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What I Heard This Week! May 17, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 17, 2018

Some people really mess things up for the rest of us. The city of Houston had what I thought was a great idea to allow people to Adopt-A-Drain, encouraging residents to help keep their neighborhood storm sewers clear of debris and yard waste and prevent flooding during Houston downpours by cleaning 10ft on either side of their drain 4-times a year, allowing water to keep flowing and avoid back-ups, especially as flood recovery continues after Harvey. You can even ‘playfully’ name your drain – they have “Blue Eyes Crying in the Drain, Drainy McDrain Face, Thomas the Thirsty Trench, Snakes on a Drain and my personal favorite, Sterling Cooper Drainper Pryce. (Obviously, a ‘Mad Men’ follower.) Well, as in all good things, someone decided to mess it up, naming over 200 drains after an online sex toy retailer, then people were being directed to the website of this company. Houston hopes to have this problem worked out by the end of this week since there are still over 115,000 storm drains still available for adoption. So far, over 500 drains have been successfully and lovingly placed with a family of their very own. Yay.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has rescinded the honors it awarded to Bill Cosby, the first time the center has taken such action. Aye.


One lucky woman, watching the Kentucky Derby at an off-track betting parlor in Texas, picked the winners of five straight races at Churchill Downs and turned her $18 Pick-5 bet into a $1.2 million payout. That’s nice.


“I’m not a trophy wife, I’m a commemorative plaque.” – Ali Wong


In March, a veteran who lost his genitals in Afghanistan has received a penis, scrotum and part of the abdominal wall transplanted from a deceased donor in a highly experimental 14-hour operation. The patient who asked to remain anonymous, is eventually expected to recover urinary and sexual function. He also received an extra experimental step, an infusion of bone marrow from the same donor that research suggests may help the immune system to better tolerate a transplant and would also allow him to take one anti-rejection drug instead of many. Amazing. The patient was quoted as saying, “When I first woke up, I finally felt more normal.”


The book, “Soul on Ice,” was checked out of the San Francisco Public library in 1970. It was an overdue book for 47 years, four months and 29 days, with a late fee of what could have been $1,731.70, but the library caps fines at $10.01. That’s a nice story.


Antonio Banderas is playing artist Pablo Picasso in National Geographic’s 10-part series, Genius. Not only does he share a Spanish heritage with Picasso, they were also both born in the town of Malaga where Banderas crossed the street in front of Picasso’s house, as a child.


It’s a fact that anywhere in Texas you can yell “The stars at night are big and bright” and random strangers will finish your sentence.


BrickWorld Chicago is five straight days of Lego play. Lego enthusiasts from around the world build, display, play, talk, swap and win Legos. Kragle is a bad word among this crowd (a tube of Crazy Glue designed to ensure that everyone touched by it is permanently sealed in place, for those that didn’t see The Lego Movie.) Don’t touch, don’t ask how long it took to build, don’t ask how many pieces there are and most of all, don’t ride your skateboard on the convention floor. This year’s convention is June 13-17. Be sure to tip the Lego bellman.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Dick Dale is 81. The King of the Surf Guitar. Singer Rita Coolidge is 73. Country singer Tim McGraw is 51. Singer Toni Tennille is 78. Actor James Mitchum is 77. He is the eldest son of Robert Mitchum who died in 1997. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 65. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 54. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 43. Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 73. Editor at Rolling Stone, MTV.

NBC newsperson Brian Williams is 59. Actress Tina Yothers is 45. Jennifer Kees on Family Ties. Singer Adele is 30. Singer Donovan is 72. Actor Mike Hagerty is 64. Overboard. Inspector Gadget. Wayne’s World. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 63. Rock singer Bono is 58. U2. Model Linda Evangelista is 53. Actress Christine Baranski is 66. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 63. Actor Dwayne Johnson is 46. The Rock. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is 3. Singer Janet Jackson is 52. Actress Tina Fey is 48. Country singer George Strait is 66.

Filmmaker George Lucas is 74. Star Wars. “A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” Director Robert Zemeckis is 67. Credited as “one of the greatest visual storytellers in filmmaking” with Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbi and Forrest Gump. Rock singer David Byrne is 66. Talking Heads. Actor Tim Roth is 57. Actress Cate Blanchett is 49. Writer-director Sofia Coppola is 47.


Unless your name is Google, stop acting like you know everything.


A 33-year-old man in England was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his 32-year-old girlfriend in 2017, dismembering her body, and then admitting to police he made a necklace out of her teeth. Ugh.


Texas: Some days you eat salads and go to the gym. Some days you eat 20 tacos and drink margaritas. It’s called balance.


The co-pilot of a Sichuan Airlines flight was sucked halfway out of the cockpit window after a loud noise, then a window blowing out. The plane was shaking so hard that the pilots could not read the gauges. Luckily the co-pilot was wearing a seatbelt and was pulled back in, suffering only minor injuries. The plane was believed to be 7-years-old and mechanical failure is to blame. This comes right after a Southwest Airlines pilot was credited with landing a plane after an engine exploded in midair, shattering a window, then sucking one passenger partially out of the plane. This passenger died soon after. What the heck is going on.


In Michigan, an engineering employee has been fired after police determined that she baked ‘laxative brownies’ intended for a departing colleague’s send-off party. Co-workers believe there might have been some tension between the two. You think. If there wasn’t, there is now. The employee wasn’t charged with any crime because she ‘fessed up’ before her co-workers ate the brownies.


Shop the 6th annual Artisan’s Market at Haak Vineyards and Winery on May 20th noon-4 pm. It features beautiful, handcrafted and homemade items from talented artists and of course, wine. It’s FREE but rsvp requested so they can plan for you. www.haaakwine.com or 409-925-1401. Go do something fun while you are still alive.


If you have the defective Takata air bags in your vehicle, seek repairs immediately. Use your VIN# and go to NHTSA.gov.


Nestle is paying more than $7 BILLION for the rights to sell Starbucks coffee and tea in grocery stores worldwide. Why? Because they have failed to pull in younger consumers. Anyone under the age of 60 thinks Nescafe is boring. Starbucks will focus on their more lucrative coffee shops and higher-end Roastery locations. They will also use the $7.15 Billion to fund stock buybacks.


About a mile from downtown Uvalde, Texas, there is the birth home of country-western star Dale Evans, Queen of the West. Inside the house, it’s dusty, all the furnishings are gone, doorknobs are missing and there was some discussion that the house should be demolished but it’s now on the market for $149,000 and there might be a buyer that wants to save it especially since it was designated as a local landmark last year by the city’s historic preservation board. When Evans married Roy Rogers in 1947, she was his third wife, but he was her fourth husband. They continued as a team until his death in 1998. She died at age 88 in 2001. Evans wrote the well-known song, “Happy Trails.”


Dang.  Add Roy Rogers to my list of cowboys and westerns from last week. Oh, and Gabby Hayes.


I think I messed up. Employee Appreciation Day is an unofficial holiday, the first Friday in March, and Administrative Professionals’ Day was April 25th. It is also called Secretaries Day or Administrative Assistant Day. I think I missed it. All of it. I’m sorry. The kind and loving people I work with everyday deserve better than this.  I had giant candy bars on their desks when they came in on Monday morning, that said “I appreciate you, Thank-you and You’re the Best.”


Things Texans Love: Whataburger, Kolaches, Cowboy Boots, Tacos, BBQ, Shiner, Blue Bell, Sweet Tea, Chips and Salsa, 85 MPH limits.


There is a Rolex watch called the Unicorn, perhaps one of the most expensive watches to ever go to auction, is a manually wound vintage Rolex Daytona made entirely of white gold and was a special-order piece produced in 1970. A collector is now willing to sell it and donate 100% of the proceeds to charity to help humanity. Because of its’ uniqueness, it is expected to bring over $3 million. The band is quite beautiful.


According to Time magazine, February temperatures were 27-degrees hotter than normal at Greenland’s Cape Morris Jesup, the northern most land-based weather station. Yep. 27 degrees. Having temperatures in LJ in the 90’s is horrible. Can you imagine 27 degrees hotter?

The Avengers: Infinity War took in $1-billion worldwide in the first 11 days, $450-million in the US.


Streaming music service, Spotify, is dropping R. Kelly from its playlist. Over the years, the multi-platinum recording artist has faced many accusations of sexual misconduct and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Spotify says they want to choose program to reflect their values.  #MuteRKelly. OK. Let’s hold some more famous people accountable. Especially the ones that young adults and kids look up to. See Bill Cosby…


Rita Moreno is 86 years old and is an EGOT – that means she has an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. The list of people that have received the coveted EGOT award is VERY short, as in only 12 people. So, when I heard that Moreno was on a recent talk show talking about how Marlon Brando was such a much better lover than Elvis, it took me by surprise. I thought she had more class than that. The list of people that do actually have class and show it, now seems to get smaller and smaller.


Exciting graduation and end-of-school festivities are upon us. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Much Ado About Nothing – Stalker Stories

Much Ado About Nothing May 17, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

So a guy in Phoenix, Arizona meets Jacqueline Ades through an online dating site. They go on one date. She got a nice dinner and he got 65,000 text messages, a butcher knife, visits to his office, and the woman arrested while taking a bath after breaking into his house. According to the police reports, Ms. Ades was sending no fewer than 500 text messages per day to this guy following their date. You have to believe this dude is thinking he should reconsider that nice girl his mother knows from church and stay off the Tinder app.

But don’t think that the United States has a corner on the weird stalker market. Sure, having Brittany Spears and Taylor Swift as citizens does sway the numbers dramatically into our favor, but Japan is making a strong move into the creeper industry. Not in a way you’d expect, though.

In the US and in many first world countries, when someone retires, they find an interesting hobby: golf, taxidermy, competitive dog grooming, performance art. But in Japan, an increasing number of people over 60 are spending their free time being weirdos. In that country, the number of reported stalkers over the age of 70 increased 460% between 2003 and 2012 and is now 9% of all reports. While this is alarming and frightening, you still have to be impressed that there are that many older folks who can utilize the internet, text message, and drive at night well enough that someone is calling the police.

To be honest, I’m a bit baffled at how this is happening at all. Does Japan not have bingo or bus trips to casinos? Quilting clubs? Genealogy groups? Surely there’s a way to entertain mom and dad so they aren’t forcing the waitress at Japan’s equivalent of Denny’s to buy a Rottweiler and screen her calls.

And how does Ms. Ades in Arizona send that many text messages? Unless you’ve got a 17-year old out an hour past their curfew, you don’t need to send that many messages to anyone. At what point does the phone just overheat and explode?

The world is a strange place and getting stranger. Your mother was right when she told you to lock your doors, wear your seat belt, be home before midnight, and for goodness sake, don’t talk to strangers!!

What I Heard This Week! May 10, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 10, 2018

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all great moms out there. Since both of my children will be in college this fall, I have to say that it has given me ample time to sit and think about the job I, and my village of friends, coworkers and others, have accomplished.  Well, I’m pleased with the results so far. People comment occasionally that I gave up my personal life to raise my kids. I didn’t. I simply took the job seriously and realized that I signed up for this – for better or worse, so I should work hard to make it better since I planned to be with these kids for a long, long time. There are no reruns in child rearing. Most important is to turn off the TV and spend TIME with them. If you don’t know how to do something, then read a book. I read, and I read and I’m still reading. Books on raising strong girls that will rock the world; strong boys that not only have respect for themselves, but for those around them, and vice versa. Gage and Anne-Elisabeth, I am so proud of you two and all the great things you are doing in these new chapters of your lives. Thank-you for allowing me the privilege of being your mom…it’s the most important job I have had or will ever have. I love you.


Here’s to STRONG WOMEN. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. – unknown


Don’t MARRY A MAN unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him. – unknown


The very popular Yeti cooler company recently cut ties with the National Rifle Association and say that they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. Huh?  Well, that’s their right. My gut tells me that this will not be a good business decision, but, I have always heard that success is about opportunity and timing. With that in mind, RTIC Coolers took advantage of this situation and posted the 2nd Amendment. Some Yeti owners, because of their unhappiness at this decision, have started blowing up their VERY EXPENSIVE coolers. Sounds silly. Wouldn’t a better idea be to donate them to your local law enforcement for their convenience and all the work they do for our community.


Former Marine colonel, Oliver North, who became a household name in the 80’s in the Iran-Contra scandal, has been announced as the next president of the National Rifle Association.


It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. – Frederick Douglas


In 1983, Magic Island opened in Houston. You remember the well-recognized building on the SW Frwy near Greenbriar, with the huge pharaoh’s head on the roof. It was a private club before going public and in its heyday, there were magic shows, music, fine dining and drinks. The building was loaded with Egyptian artifacts and was so much fun to enter the elevator and have it take you down (or was it up?)  The unexpected was a little scary, too. My son spent several birthdays there because he loved magic. The building has been empty for years. The inside is covered in crude graffiti, there was a fire during Hurricane Ike and scavengers and street people have done their damage and vandalized over the years with broken marble and glass strewn about. New owner, Mohammad Athari, an area neurologist, plans to start from scratch, tear everything out (there isn’t even any electrical wire left inside) and “bring it back to life just like it was when it was new.” I hope that his dream becomes a reality.


Senator John McCain is reportedly nearing the end of his life and wants it known that he does not want Trump at his funeral. I can think of a couple of people that I don’t want at my funeral, but my plan is to just haunt them after I’m gone. Move, hide things in their home and turn the TV back on during the night. Like a mischievous guardian angel. Hah. McCain also said that he wishes he had not picked former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008. Never look back. Read my lipstick.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Ace Frehley is 67. Former lead guitarist and co-founding member of Kiss. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 59. U Got the Look, with Prince. Actress singer Anne-Margaret is 77. Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno is 68. Actress Penelope Cruz is 44. TV home improvement personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 40. I just love them. Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff is 80. Largest Ponzi scheme in world history and largest financial fraud in US history. Now serving a 150-year prison sentence. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 64. Actress Kate Mulgrew is 63. Star Trek.

Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann is 72. Grateful Dead. Actor Michael E. Knight is 59. Tad Martin on All My Children. Architect I.M. Pei is 101. The Louvre Pyramid, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Comedian Carol Burnett is 85. I LOVE HER. First Lady Melania Trump is 48. Actor Channing Tatum is 38. Singer Willie Nelson is 85. Actor Perry King is 70. Riptide.

Recently retired actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 61.  He is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. The only man to ever win three Best Actor Academy Awards, who carefully picked his roles – he’s only starred in five films since 1998. My daughter and I just watched ‘Phantom Thread’ last week and we both agreed that it was one of the most beautiful films we had ever seen but also one of the strangest stories.

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 60. Scarface. Dangerous Liaisons. The Fabulous Baker Boys. Actress Eve Plumb is 60. Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch. Singer Carnie Wilson is 50. Wilson Phillips. Actress Uma Thurman is 48. International Tennis Hall of Fame Andre Agassi is 48. Singer Frankie Valli is 84. Singer Christopher Cross is 67.  Singer Lance Bass is 39. ‘N Sync.



Music legend Bob Dylan, turning 76, is now a whiskey distiller at a 140-year-old church in Tennessee.  It’s called “Heaven’s Door.” Dylan released a straight bourbon whiskey, a double barrel and a straight rye. Dylan knows his whiskey and says, “This is great whiskey!”  Sales of American whiskey has grown 52-percent over the past five years.


Mom Note #5 – You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.


Found on Facebook: Co-Worker Says: “Have you watched anything good lately?” Mother of Young Child Replies:I’ve been really into Moana. Paw Patrol is getting kind of predictable but I’m waiting to see if season 5 is better. Also, the music in Trolls is pretty good.”  I remember those days. At our house, it was Little Bear based on character, honesty and love along with Duck, Cat, Owl, Hen, No Feet the snake & Emily, The Wiggles (we spent my birthday at a Wiggles concert one year), Arthur, the 8-year-old aardvark third grader, Blue’s Clues – an animated blue-spotted dog named Blue, Mail-time, mail-time, mail-time! Polly Pockets, Furbies, Game Boy, Babysitters Club, Babe (because baby pigs grow so fast, 48 little piggies were used during filming for the role of Babe), Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone, Toy Story, The Lion King, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. STOPPPPPPPP! I’m sorry. I can tell that I’m getting nostalgic because my daughter is graduating from high school this year. I’ve have definitely enjoyed being a mother!


When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always must think twice, once for herself and once for her child. – Sophia Loren


Recently, my daughter and I strutted our stuff through The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston to ‘ooh and aww’ at  The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta; a collection of nearly 70 ensembles once worn by celebrities, fashion icons and dignitaries. It was very nice.


Don’t raise your kids to have more than you had, raise them to be more than you were.


Raising strong boys requires knowing when to move in and when to pull back, when to rescue and when to let them fail. Dr. Meg Meeker


No one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. – unknown


Remember “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. She was an arrogant, rich heiress who falls overboard, suffers a head injury then loses her memory, and he is the poor hired help that she treated so poorly. Because of the memory loss, Russell convinces Hawn that they are married so she is forced to see the world through his eyes. There’s a remake of the movie out now where the sexes are reversed; a little twist where it’s the rich Latin playboy and an ill-treated carpet cleaner who convinces him that they’re a couple.  What I heard was the remake is entertaining but dull and lacks believability. So, just rent the original and enjoy a good laugh.


Congratulations to Bob Sipple – new Mayor of Lake Jackson.


Bay Area Regional Health Care has shut their doors. It is the second closure of a Houston area hospital in the last six months.


All my life, I have enjoyed a good western. I guess westerns may not be that popular or politically correct now but there is something so appealing about a good ‘ol cowboy movie; it’s part of our history, all those cowboys and Indians fighting and killing each other.  I  don’t care, I just love the good, the bad and the ugly guys. So, who are some of the greatest “western” movie stars of all time. John Wayne gets my first vote. I bet if you Google cowboy, a picture of John Wayne will appear. Of the 140 films he made, 83 were westerns. I loved True Grit. My second favorite is actor and director, Clint Eastwood. He has given us some of the best movies of all time. Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Gary Cooper in High Noon. Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Vance. Henry Fonda in The Cheyenne Social Club.  Charles Bronson in The Magnificent Seven. James Arness in Gunsmoke. One of my personal favorites is Lee Marvin with that beautiful hair playing dual roles in Cat Ballou. I never, ever get tired of watching that movie. James Garner in Maverick. Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven. Ben Johnson. He was an actual world champion rodeo cowboy before he was a star. Chuck Connors in The Rifleman. OK, here’s another personal favorite – Sam Elliott. He is absolutely my picture of a perfect man. That thick mustache and deep voice; I think I’m perspiring. Walter Brennan. Glenn Ford. Robert Mitchum. Kirk Douglas. Roy Rogers. Robert Duvall. Lorne Green. Michael Landon. Lee Majors. Slim Pickens. Fess Parker. And of course, Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid which btw, also happened to have a small role played by Sam Elliott.  I know that really doesn’t count but it’s my column. Who have I forgotten? (Tom proofed my column and reminded me of Yul Brynner and James Coburn.) Heck, how could I forget James Coburn


Teacher Appreciation Week – don’t forget to hug a teacher. Their happiness depends on how well you are raising your children. Nurse’s Appreciation Week – don’t forget to hug a nurse. Sometimes they don’t have very nice patients.


Armed Forces Day concert at Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, May 18th at 7pm. Tickets are $7. www.haakwine.com. If you’ve never been, I can tell you, go.


Remember, your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise. Have a great Mother’s Day and thanks for reading this. Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Train Trip

Much Ado About Nothing May 10, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

When was the last time you took a trip with your parents? The last one for me might have been a family camping trip in the early 1970’s that involved hot dogs getting dropped in the dirt, swear words getting muttered during the set-up of a canvas tent, and a whole lot of mosquito bites. Since my dad now states he’s “in the 4th quarter with no time outs remaining,” it was probably smart to not put off taking another trip together. This time, though, we decided on something that didn’t involve airplanes, uncomfortable beds, or hot dogs – things we dislike. So I booked an Amtrak train to Illinois to visit his 96-year old sister.

Since we were going to blow my inheritance on this adventure, we reserved a “luxury sleeper car” with two beds and a private bathroom. Compared to, say, a polyester sleeping bag on the ground, it was definitely luxury. Conveniently, with the bathroom set up, you could easily sit on the toilet and shower at the same time. Actually, you almost had to sit on the toilet to shower. To be completely honest, I have serious concerns about what happened to the people who were in the less than luxury cars.

Then, what should have been a 24-hour trip from San Antonio to Bloomington, turned into 36-hours of Uber, Trailways, Hertz, the train, and six hours of hard wooden benches in the Fort Worth station waiting for a little engine that actually could before we finally made it where we were going. You see, Amtrak is a wee bit loose on their schedule maintenance and it doesn’t take much to completely derail them. Figuratively speaking, of course.

But I loved every minute of it. I loved listening to my dad and my aunt tell the stories and tall tales and family legends from generations back. He taught me how to play cribbage (I won). I taught him how to take selfies (sort of). We learned to decipher train whistles (two long, one short, one long = crossing). And we shared an amazement at how you could get a really good steak and a really good night’s sleep on a train.

It was a little “Thelma and Louise” mixed with “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” with a touch of “Grumpy Old Men” and it was the best trip ever!.

.

What I Heard This Week! May 3, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 3, 2018

I loved this: In the 1960’s, people took LSD to make the world weird, Today, the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.


Riddle:  What has an eye but cannot see?


Kim Jong Un hopped over a concrete barrier to enter South Korea, becoming the first North Korean leader ever to cross. South Korean President Moon Jae-in greeted him with a handshake with both leaders stating their common goal of “complete denuclearization” and a formal end to the Korean War. Hmmm.


For the past 108 years, the Boy Scouts program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the organization will be known as Scouts BSA effective February 2019.


People in the courtroom gasped as the guilty verdict was announced for Bill Cosby. When prosecutors requested to revoke his bail because he owns a plane (and could flee), the comedian reportedly shouted in response, “He doesn’t have a plane, you a**hole.” Tsk-tsk. Someone should tell “America’s Dad” about consequences. Each count of felony aggravated indecent assault carries a sentence of five to 10 years, so the maximum Cosby could be sentenced to is 30 years, though it could be as little as five. He lived his entire life behind the image that he portrayed on TV exist in real life.  I feel for his family.  Families are always the ones that suffer because of bad behavior. He will be 81 years old in July.


Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, which in the past has been given exclusively to classical and jazz musicians.


A massive alligator measuring 11 ft. 6 inches, was captured off Hwy 59 in Cleveland near Whataburger, creating a joint effort from 6 men just to load the hissing creature into the back of a flatbed truck. It was stated that only in Texas can you get a gator and a Whataburger in the same picture. Ward, the Tarkington cowboy who has wrangled about every kind of beast imaginable and was in the news during Harvey for rescuing cattle and horses in floodwaters, was called in to assist law enforcement in the rescue. He had captured a llama a few years ago close to the same location and said, “That llama was the worst, He was a wild llama and he tried to whoop me. I’d rather go up against a gator any day of the week than another llama.”  Only in Texas.


FYI: The city of LJ began a process of flushing and changing the chemicals in the water system. They said that residents can expect the color and taste of their tap water to change. This change ends around May 11. Questions or concerns call 415-2691.


Speaking of water in LJ…the city has been painting fire hydrants in my neighborhood. First, they painted them a messy solid glossy white, then a few days later, three city employees came back and added just a little bit of green on the top portion of the hydrants. I hope they’re not finished because they are currently very ugly. Yep, it took three city employees to make them look that ugly.


According to TrustedSec and Binary Defense, an information security firm, “Public Wi-Fi networks are like a modern Wild West – there’s nothing protecting your computer or mobile phone from those who want to steal your information.” Things like passwords and credit card numbers. It is safer to use places that hand out passwords, but your best bet is to pick up one of the personal mobile hot spot gadgets. If you ‘must’ use public Wi-Fi, don’t do banking or other sensitive work and avoid entering login information on sites.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Loretta Lynn is 86. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 50. National Lampoon’s Vacation and Sixteen Candles. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 41. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 81. Lando Calrissian in Star Wars. Brian’s Song, Lady Sings the Blues. Director Barry Levinson is 76. Best Director for Rain Man released in 1988. Actor John Ratzenberger is 71. Cliff Clavin in Cheers. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 74. Coach. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 62. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 53.

Magician David Blaine is 45. He is coming to Smart Financial Centre. Ethel Kennedy is 90. Actor Joel Grey is 86. Cabaret. Actress Jamie Lynn Spears is 27. Actor Steven Seagal is 66. Rock singer-musician Brian Setzer is 59. Stray Cats. Singer Mandy Moore is 34. Actor Haley Joel Osment is 30. Yikes. Country singer Maren Morris is 28. Actress Daisy Ridley is 26. Star Wars. Columnist Ellen Goodman is 77.  Actor Ed O’Neill is 72. Ed Bundy on Married with Children. Talk show host David Letterman is 71. Actor Andy Garcia is 62. Country singer Vince Gill is 61.

Recording executive Suge Knight is 53. I just found this online. “Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, who is awaiting trial for murder after being accused of ramming his truck into two men in 2015, killing one, was asked by a judge during a hearing to pick which team will win the 2018 NBA Finals in June. According to the Los Angeles Times, Knight, who was in a hearing for a separate case, began to answer the question, saying, “At this time …” before being cut off by the judge, who wanted a “once-and-for-all answer.” “Houston,” Knight said. “Alright, Houston. Good pick,” said the judge, concluding the unusual exchange.

Actress Ashley Judd is 50. Actress Kate Hudson is 39. Actor James Woods is 71. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Denham is 56. Talk-show host Conan O’Brien is 55. Actor Eric McCormack is 55. Will & Grace. Actress America Ferrera is 34. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 84. Actress singer-director Barbara Streisand is 76. Actor comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 54. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 36. Actor Jack Quaid is 26. Actor Al Pacino is 78. Actor Hank Azaria is 54. Actress Renee Zellweger is 49. She is performing an unbelievable transformation as she prepares to play Judy garland in a new film role.


Conductor and musician Andre Previn is 89. He was married to Mia Farrow and they adopted toddler, Soon-Yi Previn. In 1979, Mia Farrow divorced Andre Previn, fell in love with Woody Allen and was his partner for 12-years.  Mia Farrow discovered nude photographs of Soon-Yi in late 1991. I don’t think that went over very well. Woody and Soon-Yi dated for several years, then married in 1997 when he was 62 and she was 27.  It seemed scandalous in 1992 because I always thought that Woody was her step-father, but he wasn’t.


Use the same OxiClean stain remover you use to get rid of stains in your laundry, to tackle stubborn mildew on your bathroom grout and around drains. It’s supposed to work really well. I’ve never thought of using it.


“I asked my mom the other day if she could hear me?” She said, “No.” – Unknown


ABBA has written and recorded new music together for the first time since the Swedish pop group split in 1982. I love ABBA. Their hologram tour will feature digital versions of themselves.


The duke and duchess of Cambridge named their third child Louis Arthur Charles.


Remember to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.


I think it’s a miracle we made it out of our twenties. So where have all the rock stars gone? Gone to graveyards everywhere. NAH. Not really. They are so alive and kicking and dancing. Ozzy Osbourne (69) has announced his ‘No More Tours 2 Tour’ (he also did this in the 90’s).  Paul Simon (76) has announced his last run of shows. He was 26-years old when he so beautifully sang the song ‘Old Friends’ with Art Garfunkel with the words, “Can you imagine us years from today sharing a park bench silently. How terribly strange to be seventy.Anita Baker and Aretha Franklin have said that 2018 is the last year they will tour, and Elton John is following with his yellow brick road. Neil Diamond and rocker Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest have stepped back because of Parkinson’s disease. So, who is STILL rocking? ZZ Top says the best is yet to come as they start their 50th anniversary tour, John Mayer fills the void of Jerry Garcia with The Grateful Dead…Willie Nelson was born in 1933 in Abbott, Texas, which makes him 84. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith turns 70 this month. I saw him last year and he was great. Mick Jagger is 74. Al Jardine is 75 and still touring with Brian Wilson who will be 76 in June.  Graham Nash just turned 76 and sounds great. Paul McCartney turns 76 in June. He still puts on the best concert you’ll ever see. (Since his divorce from Heather Mills was settled for $48.6-million, he may have had to go back to work.) 😊  Art Garfunkel is 76.  Bob Dylan turns 77 this month. David Crosby is 76. Charlie Watts is 77 next month.  Ringo Starr is 77.  Smokey Robinson is 78. He will be at Smart Financial Centre this Monday May 7th. Frankie Valli is 83. He’ll be in Austin on May 10th. Little Richard is 85. He’s on tour right now. John Mayall is 84 and is touring Hawaii this month before he plays in California. Hope I brought you some happy memories with this paragraph. It sure was fun to look them up.


At a Clarion concert recently, I saw a friend as I walked around looking for my mother.  The friend said, “What’s up?” and I said, “I lost my mother,” and I kept walking. I saw the friend a few minutes later and she asked me if my mother had died. No, she just went to the bathroom and I haven’t seen her since.


When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill them in with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful. It’s time we rethink our philosophy on aging.


Yesterday my mom moved back to Waco.  Four years ago, she had decided it was time to move to LJ, so we could be closer. I wanted to be a good daughter, so I moved her into my townhouse and I bought another home a block away, so I was close to her. I bought concert tickets, an Art League membership so she could paint, cooked for her, weeded her flowerbeds and did all the things I thought I was supposed to do, but she was never happy. She is 83 years old and wanted to be near what she knows and is familiar with.  I’m trying to understand. The new apartment is small, but they cook every meal for her. There is bingo, popcorn, movie day, and tons of other activities that she will absolutely hate. I am happy for her, but it will never be the same.


Here is an organic ‘Garden Pest Control’ recipe. Spray your plants once a week. Place 4 cups of water, ½ onion, 2 garlic cloves and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or any other hot pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil. Then grate ¼ bar of natural soap and add to boiling pot. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then remove from heat when the bubbles start to rise. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. Cool, strain and put in a heavy-duty spray bottle. Refrigerate any extra. Bon Appetit, bugs!


Answer:   A needle. Thanks for reading this today.

Much Ado About Nothing – Rutabagas

Much Ado About Nothing May 3, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

I decided to eat rutabagas. There are zero logical reasons why. I’ve never knowingly eaten rutabagas before, but I’m all about an adventure. So, armed with a Google search and a shopping list, I set out to inflict rutabaga recipes upon my household for an entire week. All week, all rutabaga. Other evil dictatorships have their tortures; I have rutabagas.

Step One: rutabaga identification. First of all, rutabagas should not be confused with rhubarb. While rhubarb is another vegetable that’s really fun to say, rhubarb looks more like weird reddish purple celery. From what I understand, with half a plantation worth of sugar, you can make it into a pie, and should I decide to do rhubarb week, I’ll test that out. Rutabagas, however, look like turnips grown just downstream from the Chernobyl Nuclear Site. According to Wikipedia, it’s “a root vegetable that originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip.” Thankfully, there were no graphics on how you cross breed turnips and cabbages because I really didn’t want that visual stuck in my mind’s eye. What happens in the vegetable bin stays in the vegetable bin.

Interestingly, I also learned that in Europe rutabagas are commonly used to feed livestock in the winter and are often carved out to make lanterns at Halloween. Therefore, my thinking is that if Bossy the Cow will eat them raw and frozen, then how bad can they be baked and smothered in lots of butter? And if it truly does go way south, I can use the rest for nightlights. At less than a buck a pound, it’s an obvious win-win situation, right?

Rutabaga Night #1: Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga Fries. This is just one more sad attempt to make you think you’re eating French fries when you’re not. Accented with plenty of red wine and ketchup, these were actually pretty good.

Rutabaga Night #2: Baked Garlic and Herb Shoestring Rutabagas. I should have quietly stepped back from this one when it required putting a rock-hard root vegetable through the utensil we got suckered into buying that’s supposed to make zucchinis into spiraled spaghetti things. However, with plenty of red wine, we were able to improvise.

Rutabaga Night #3: Carrots and Rutabagas with Lemon and … Okay, let’s be honest. The rutabaga lanterns are cool. And the red wine was great with the pizza we ordered.

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Much Ado About Nothing – Exploding Ants

Much Ado About Nothing April 26, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

In the dark, misguided world of ants, there’s a complete spectrum of ant terrorism that threatens all the insect world and beyond. The raspberry crazy ants must surely have a rap sheet for cocaine possession equivalent to the collective total of the Rolling Stones. Fire ants are just mean in an ugly, unified way, showing no thought or remorse in their attacks. And then there are the real extremists: Exploding Ants. These are the ants of mass destruction.

While I have some really great people in my tribe of friends and I would do almost anything for them, I’m probably not going to blow myself up to protect them. I’d take a bullet for my kids, but I’m still not sure I’d voluntarily explode my personage on their behalf. In the same vein, I’m not a good candidate to be an ISIS bride with a body bomb in a crowded market in Syria. That’s just not me. Not so, though, for exploding ants!

When threatened, these little ISIS-like insects will sacrifice themselves by exploding their bodies and sliming their enemies with a sticky, yellow irritant that either scares them off or kills them. If they don’t run away, I’m guessing the enemy may die of shock as much as from being slimed. Because honestly, the last thing you expect when you’re in hand-to-hand-to-hand-to-hand (they’re insects, they have a lot of hands) combat with an ant, is for it to suddenly pull the pin and blow up.

All this is not to scare you. You can still sleep at night, because exploding ants seem to be found primarily in the rain forests of Borneo. Unless you’re reading this in a wet Borneo tree, then ramp up your concern levels. But how long before they show up here? How long before other insects catch on to this trick? Or reptiles?! Personally, I’d love to see all snakes explode. But what if it continues to spread? How long before you’re hiking through Yosemite and Yogi Bear explodes because you startled him? You only have to Google “exploding whale” to see the video of what happened in Oregon in 1970. (No, really. Do it.)

As a responsible journalist, I’m here to write the news, not invent it. If you think I’ve made all this up, check it out for yourself at www.ExplodingAnts.com. But wear your Kevlar.

What I Heard This Week! April 26, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 26, 2018

A Michigan couple welcomed their new baby…their 14th child…all boys. They named him Sheboygan. Their story is that many years ago, a Native American chief was also father to many boys, but he was certain his last baby was going to be a girl. According to the tale, when that baby also turned out to be a boy, the chief named the baby Sheboygan, because “she is boy again.” Sounds like a family with a sense of humor.


A New Orleans resident who parks legally in front of his house has received ten speeding tickets from the city after traffic cameras that are located close by snap pictures of his parked car, then tickets are automatically sent out.


A 7-year-old boy was born with a cleft lip and complete Heterochromia Iridum – that means the iris of each eye is a different color. His mother happened to see a post on a mom’s group with a picture of a rescue cat who not only had a cleft BUT also had Heterochromia Iridum. Since the family lives in Oklahoma, their friends helped fund a road trip to Minnesota to adopt the kitty. Now, tell me how a cat in Minnesota ends up with a family in Oklahoma. Because there are no accidents. They named the cat, Moon.


When my son was in junior high school, his math teacher always had a riddle of the week. We always had so much fun discussing it as a family. Here’s your easy riddle: What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries.


Thank you, Dr. Pruett for the great idea for the paper. Thank you, Ms. Bahlar, for the nice card. The Source Weekly has the ‘best and sweetest’ customers!


Heinz has bottled a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup that it calls “mayochup.” They are letting the public vote on whether to put it on the shelves or not… of 930,000 votes, 700,000 have voted yes.


Half a million cars were reported as flooded from Hurricane Harvey. The Flood Guard is a waterproof cover that you zip your car into. Like a huge Ziploc baggie.  You drive in to the bag, zip it up, strap it, Velcro the padding, and attach the straps to either a post, tree or a fixed structure so the vehicle won’t float away. The car looks like the tenderloins that I vacuum-pack with my FoodSaver.


A thirty-year-old bag of Walkers Crisp Chips (like Lay’s) washed up onshore a British beach and was found by a 10-year-old boy while doing beach clean-up…cheese and onion flavored (with a touch of sea salt.) 😊 The bag dated back to the 80’s. This comes less than three months after another Walkers Chip packet was found on a neighboring beach dated 1997. Are you beginning to understand that we have a PLASTICS PROBLEM in our oceans?


The now famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is now estimated to contain at least 87,000 tons of plastic. That’s just in one area of the ocean.


A 33-foot-long sperm whale, not yet fully grown, washed ashore on the SE coast of Spain in February. He was rather scrawny so when they performed the autopsy, the reason became clear. The whale had 64 pounds of trash – plastic bags, ropes, netting and a plastic drum clogging its intestines and stomach because it could not process the plastic or pass it through the digestive system, causing severe inflammation as it starved to death.


Maturity:  At my age, getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why I am there.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 92. There’s a lot going on with the Royal Family right now. New prince (Arthur or Philip?), Harry’s wedding, a possible pregnancy with Kate’s sister, Princess Diana’s glamorous gowns unveiled to the public along with other royal fashion on display at Kensington Palace. Exciting times and we all enjoy them sharing it with us.

Singer Iggy Pop is 71. Godfather of Punk. Actor Tony Danza is 67. Taxi and Who’s the Boss? Actress Andie MacDowell is 60. I think she is the Queen of the Hallmark channel. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 38. Actor Jack Nicholson is 81. He says, “I’m definitely still wild at heart.” Author Janet Evanovich is 75. She has over two hundred MILLION books in print worldwide and is translated into over 40 languages. Singer Peter Frampton is 68. Humble Pie, Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band.


Scientists tested 24 pairs of headphones/earbuds to see how gross they are just in case you wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether you should share buds or not with your best friend. Nothing really, horrible was found other than yeast (another word for fungus) but it would still be a good idea to wipe them in alcohol before you share next time.


Are smartphones keeping teens off drugs? Researchers believe that the possibility is worth exploring because interactive media appears to play to similar impulses as drug experimentation.


Remember the popular 2005, March of the Penguins? There is now a sequel…March of the Penguins 2. Did you know that a penguin’s coloring provides camouflage in the water? The dark back fools predators from above while the white stomach fools predators from below. It’s on Hulu.


An 18-year-old bragged to his father that he had “broken into 250 cars last week,” so the dad turned him over to the police. The dad says, “I love him, but he’s got to wake up from wherever he’s at right now.” “I would rather him be upset with me than me burying him because he was on a path to self-destruction.” Give that dad a pat on the back. Good job. Tough love is hard.


The Source Weekly was faced with some hard decisions in the past few weeks. Our printer of 19-plus years was closing in Texas City, and we needed to quickly find someone new to print us. We did just that, so you may or may not notice a few minor changes to the paper that you are reading today. Honestly, you probably will NOT notice anything different –  color is fabulous, and the paper looks great.


Blue Bell is still trying to recapture customers that they lost during the 2015 listeria outbreak. The company announced a new flavor, chocolate with milk chocolate chunks and pieces of peanut butter cookie dough called “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough” and will be sold in our area soon. Yum.


Remington Outdoor Co., whose roots go back to 1816 and is the oldest firearms manufacturer in the US, has filed for bankruptcy protection after declining guns sales. The way I understand it is if Hillary had won then gun sales would be good, but because Trump was elected and is a friend of the National Rifle Association, then people are not now rushing out to buy guns. Gunmen opening fire in Las Vegas and at schools has also reignited the debate over gun violence.


Old tobacco barns in Kentucky are now housing sheep, rabbits and hand-painted murals urging people to quit smoking. Federal grant money has helped to pay for some of these signs. It is part of a campaign to help the anti-smoking message where they have one of the highest smoking rates in the country.


Riddle answer: A towel. (I’ll be making you think harder next time.) Thanks for reading this – we appreciate you…

What I Heard This Week! April 19, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 19, 2018

In Honor of Income Tax Week –I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need – just so long as I die by four o’clock.” Henny Youngman


There’s a new ‘solar’ garden robot named Tertill that looks like a ‘Roomba’ with a baby weed-whacker superglued on its belly. It’s weather-proof, lives patiently in your garden and was invented by the Roomba people. It knows what to cut based on plant size and only cuts plants smaller than an inch. You can put a collar around plants and it will know not to go there, you can use your Bluetooth to check and make sure it is behaving, it’s 4WD, and performs best, in home gardens (not farms), and costs $249.


A survey released on Holocaust Remembrance Day last week shows that many adults lack basic knowledge of the events that happened 70-plus years ago. I’ve said it before; The Holocaust Museum in Houston is a must for families. It’s not light hearted but our children need to know what happened.


An international committee of meteorologists have officially retired four of the 2017 names from the rotating roster of cyclone names. In case you haven’t guessed, they are Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. The National Hurricane Center said that the names “don’t bear repeating.” Replacement names in the rotating roster will be Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but hurricane season starts on June 1. Sigh.  First name up is Aletta. I personally, would like to go back to the time when if someone mentioned Harvey, we all thought they were talking about the six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch tall invisible rabbit.


Just watched and listened to the Facebook LIVE Album Release of Blue Water Highway’s new album, “Heartbreak City” – these local kids are putting out some really great music. You’ll love their new album cover and I think you’ll all recognize the picture.  Look it up, I’m not going to tell you.


Earth Day is here, reminding us not only to celebrate our planet but to DO OUR PART. Why, you ask, do we only celebrate something as magnificent as our Earth, on just one day a year? I ask myself that same question every single day. Do your part TODAY and EVERY DAY to help provide a positive world for our children and grandchildren to live in. I’m going to hate to tell them that we could have done something, but we didn’t. We were too busy, too uninterested, or just didn’t think that it really affected us. Shame.


The moment has come…beginning now at age 5, girls can now join Cub Scouting. This will allow participating girls to work towards and earn Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout. Requirements will be the same for young men and young women and uniforms will remain the same, though the fit and styling may change. Providing good character and leadership opportunities will always be in style. For those of you that poo-poo the idea, I can tell you as the mother of an Eagle Scout, it is a family affair. It will be as much fun for your family as it is for your kids and you will love it. Even camping on the coldest night of the year has only positive memories for me, my son, and my daughter. If this had been available years ago, my 18-year-old daughter would now be an Eagle Scout. There is an ‘information only’ night for boys and girls on May 10th at St. Michaels Catholic Church in LJ. So, pull the kids off their cellphones and load them up. Something awesome is getting ready to happen. I promise. 409-750-3657.


A Florida couple found a letter in a bottle after Hurricane Irma hit last year. The bottle and message had been written by a child in Scotland then thrown into the North Sea in 1992, as a class project about pirates. Yes, 4,500 miles.


Local boy and musician, Justin Gambino, invites you to join him at his album release party at The Clarion on Friday April 27th. Download your FREE ticket at www.justingambino.com. Come support him.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is 91. Basketball Hall of Fame Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 71. Contributing columnist for The Washington Post and Time Magazine, now writes nonfiction and mystery books. Actress Claire Foy is 34. The Crown. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 75. Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 59. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 40. Actress Emma Watson is 28. Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. Columnist Heloise is 67. She attended Texas State University and full name is Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans. She inherited the nationally syndicated column from her mother, Eloise, the original creator of the “Hints from Heloise” when she died in 1977.

Reba McEntire is 63. On Sunday, she hosted the Country Music Awards and sang a duet of “Does He Love You” with daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson. Even better, was the fact that she was wearing the same low-cut, sequined red dress that she wore during a performance of the same song at the 1993 CMA Awards. The dress has been housed in a display at the Country Music Hall of Fame until McEntire retrieved it.  She looked GOOD.

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 79. Singer John Oates is 70. Actor Jackie Chan is 64. Actor Russell Crowe is 54. Mouseketeer Darlene Gillespie is 77. Singer Peggy Lennon is 77. The Lennon Sisters. Singer Julian Lennon is 55. Actress Robin Wright is 52. Actress Patricia Arquette is 50. Actor Sean Bean is 59. Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. Actress Jennifer Garner is 46.

Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, 51, confirmed that she will run for governor of NY this year.


It took me forever to finish this. I started, then stopped so many times because it’s just heartbreaking and unfathomable to most human beings. I had tears so please be warned. In Brazoria County (November 2016), a boyfriend of only 2-weeks (Antoine Allen Gorman, 28) was left to care for a 7-week old baby boy and two older children, 3 and 4, while his girlfriend/mother of the children (Tashiay Nelson, 29) was at work. The mom returned from work, found the baby was not breathing and that the children had been left unattended. Hospital personnel attempted to revive the baby for more than 30 minutes. The boyfriend was arrested three days later in Houston. Prosecutors allege that the boyfriend grabbed the baby by the foot and dunked him in toilet water, therefore drowning the child. It was suggested by the Galveston County deputy chief medical examiner that forensic experts needed to test for the presence of ‘semen’ in a swab of the baby’s mouth that he had taken during the autopsy. The medical examiner had found fluid he compared to soap froth in the baby’s windpipe. No sample was taken of this fluid. The DNA swab (a swab…a Q-tip) contained five sperm cells, but this amount was not enough to identify who the semen belonged to. Sigh. The autopsy could not determine how the baby died, but pictures produced in court showed bleeding in the baby’s upper chest, lower abdomen and lungs. The jury reached their conclusion less than ‘60 seconds’ after they retired to deliberate the sentence. Life in prison. ‘Boyfriend’ raised his middle finger and rested it against his face during the reading of the jury’s verdict and then did it again as Brazoria County sheriff’s deputy placed him in handcuffs. He is also currently facing a third-degree felony charge for attempted sexual assault of another inmate. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for those jurors, the attorneys, and every single person associated with the case. The mom (who should in my opinion, needs to accept some responsibility) met him on dating app, Plenty of Fish. Enough said. There’s only one place I think they should send him and I can assure you, it’s not prison. And I would suggest surgical removal of a body part, and I don’t mean his finger.


A Chinese couple that had been trying to have a baby through in-vitro fertilization were successful four years after they were both tragically killed in a car accident. Four grandparents fought a lengthy legal battle to inherit the frozen embryos and won. Since surrogates are illegal in China, they had to travel to Laos, then the surrogate had to come back to China on a tourist Visa to give birth, so the child would have Chinese citizenship.


The Community Foundation of Brazoria County gave its Philanthropist of the Year award to Vernon and Joyce Stewart who had many of their four children, twelve grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren join them on stage to accept the honor. Also honored was Pearland resident and former Pearland Rotary Club president Craig Slater. Congratulations to all and thank you for being great volunteers in our community.


Volunteer Recognition Day is April 20th. Please thank a volunteer. Please be a volunteer. If you don’t know where to start, come by my office and we can talk about it for a few minutes.  “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Unknown


Forgot to tell you this is Vinyl Week. Columbia Records introduced a 12-inch, 33-1/3 rpm long play record in 1948. Lighter and less brittle than its predecessors, it dominated the recorded music market.


Lake Jackson celebrated again this pastweekend with the 75th Anniversary Pioneers Banquet. Former mayors and residents with stories and memories to tell, packed the LJ Civic Center and celebrated.


Huey Lewis just announced that he has lost most of his hearing therefore making it impossible to find pitch and must therefore cancel all future shows. The belief is that he has Meniere’s disease which causes vertigo and ringing in your ears, but in some cases the symptoms have been known to subside. ‘The Power of Love and I Want a New Drug.’


The Art Car Parade was last weekend. My son was running the fog machines in one of the cars, so I ran up to support him, never giving any thought to the fact that it’s one of my favorite things to do. I just love it! When my kids were little the parade was on Mother’s Day, so we spent the weekend at the Doubletree, doing downtown stuff before and after the parade. Gage and I shared a late outdoor lunch afterwards, so the day was perfect. Favorites were Rain-X mini car with an umbrella spraying water…the singing and dancing lobster and Big Mouth Billy Bass Volvo where the crustaceans and fish all move in unison. One truck was hauling a 12’x10’ full fountain, there was the dragon motorcycle, the traveling popcorn machine, the Astros fan who motorized his lounge chair to travel 20 mph. He crashed right in front of us. A John Deere riding mower with a baby grand piano attached and a tux suited gentleman playing. But my favorite was a skinny 18-20 ft. canoe that was traveling right down the middle of Allen Parkway. Heck, they were all my favorites. Fun day with a trip to Central Market before home.


Barbara Bush died. She reminded me so much of my grandmother that died about 21 years ago. She was something special. Feisty, proud of her grey, and always willing to do the right thing for her family. Here is a nice quote from Barbara Bush. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”


Remember to do the right thing even when no one is watching. It’s called integrity. Thanks for reading this. Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Bee Aware

Much Ado About Nothing April 19, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

Just when you think it’s safe to go back into the house, they show up. Hundreds of them. And they’re all buzzing and flying and crawling, coming into my home while I stand by seemingly helpless and mildly horrified: BEES! A swarm just smaller than something conjured by a frightening Stephen King novel was invading my house, establishing their own independent colony, and usurping my authority over my own domain. What these little airborne bumble bodies didn’t know was that they’d picked the wrong house.

Okay, they weren’t exactly John Belushi dressed as a Bandito bee demanding all our pollen. Nor were they the Astro’s Biggio, Bagwell, and Berkman. For that matter, they likely weren’t even killer bees at all. They were relatively harmless European honey bees excited over spring in full bloom looking for a place to set up shop for their honey buzzness. It just couldn’t be in my house.

Armed with the power of Google, I called three bee removal companies, all of which said they’d come to my house and spray them dead for a “fair and reasonable price to be negotiated later.” Suddenly, I’m more horrified by the bee wranglers than the infestation. With the exception of their South American cousins with anger management issues who actually want to kill off any life form near their hives, bees are actually on the more loveable end of the insect spectrum (as opposed to say, cockroaches). No possible way did I want the bees murdered in cold honey!

I wanted these bees relocated to a nice field of clover more than two miles from where I now live. I wanted them to forget my address. Forget my house. Forget the belief that taking over my attic was like annexing Poland as a first step to total world domination. Because, let’s face it, my house is only big enough for one all-important, omnipotent queen bee, and I’m still wearing the crown in this hive. So they just needed to be moved on.

Fortunately, I found apiarists (guys in bee tamer suits) who came immediately to calmly and politely remove the buzzing interlopers to a new better-suited location. So at the end of the day, I’m happy. The bees will be happier. And my check cleared so the bee guys will be happiest of all.

What I Heard This Week! April 12, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 12, 2018

A 27-year-old Russian woman undergoing routine surgery, died after her IV bag was mistakenly filled with a solution containing formaldehyde instead of saline solution.


The city of Austin is offering free chicken keeping classes as a part of Austin Resource Recovery’s Home Composting Rebate Program. Attend a chicken keeping class, buy a coop, submit a rebate application and receive $75 from the city. This way you keep food waste out of the landfill and recycle your food scraps while getting fresh eggs and creating healthy soil with chicken poop. Love it. They pay you to raise chickens. Brazoria County!?! I believe it is far better to ask for forgiveness than permission, so let’s do it.


An unnamed Texas donor has promised $9-million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to help construct two new health centers in West Texas next year. Nice.


I like martinis. They’re served with an olive, which gives me the feeling I’m eating right.


A Kansas State Department of Labor plans to conduct a full audit of Schlitterbahn Water Park’s daily inspection records before it reopens May 25th, after criminal charges were filed over the decapitation of a 10-year-old on the world’s tallest waterslide there in 2016 when the raft on the 17-story ride went airborne and hit an overhead loop.


Robert Pattinson – “Betty White is one of the sexiest women in America.”

You know I listen to books on tape. It is a main staple of my life. Betty White has written ten books total and I just finished listening to my second one, “If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won’t)” and I have to say that she is just so cute. The book is short and so very sweet. Just fun bits of her life, friends and aging. She says, “I have no idea what color my hair is, and I never intend to find out.” A winner.

Jamie Lee Curtis – “There’s a reason why there is only one Betty White.”


Be an involved parent. Download a parent-teen agreement from AAA.com/teens. Review it with you child to encourage responsible driving. There will be many new drivers on the road as we head towards the end of this school year.


Please do not offer yarn, string or human hair for birds to build nests. Sometimes the material can cause the bird to lose their foot or leg as it winds around, tightens and cuts off circulation. Do not offer dryer lint either. I always thought this was OK, but they say that it not only soaks up water but may have chemicals such as remnants of detergent and fabric softener that are unhealthy for the birds. Do not use pet hair that has been treated with specialty shampoos or tick/lice treatments. Instead, use small twigs under 4 inches. Supply a muddy spot as nesting material for swallows, swifts and robins. Lay out a small amount of grass to dry after you mow. In shaded areas, moss is popular with some hummingbird species.


Yikes. As I tried to figure out what to wear today because IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, I heard that Phoenix just had its first 100-degree day of the year.


CenterFest was great fun with food and beer from Wursthaus, fabulous artists and some of the best music Texas has to offer. Dale Watson was GREAT. We pleased many a young artist with art classes and fun things to do, but we froze our be-hinds off. What the heck happened to our weather?!? Even in the cold, we had a really special 3-day party at The Center for the Arts and Sciences. Mark your calendar to join us next spring…the weather is going to be beautiful.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: TV personality Willard Scott is 84. You remember him from the Today show but he was the creator and original portrayer of Ronald McDonald. International Motorsports Hall of Fame Janet Guthrie is 80. She was the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 and was originally an aerospace engineer. Entertainment executive Michael Eisner is 76. Walt Disney Company and Paramount Pictures. Pro Football Hall of Fame Franco Harris is 68. Pittsburg Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. Pro and College Football Hall of Fame Lynn Swann is 66. Pittsburg Steelers.

Actor Bryan Cranston is 62. What an actor. I’m not sure he gets the recognition that he deserves… Actor Michael York is 76. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 55. Singer Mariah Carey is 48. Actor Chuck Norris is 78. Actress Sharon Stone is 60. Actor Jon Hamm is 47. Country singer Carrie Underwood is 35. Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 69. The Cars.  Singer Chaka Khan is 65.  Actress Keri Russell is 42. Actor James Caan is 78. Hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Singer Diana Ross is 74. Rock singer Steven Tyler is 70. Aerosmith.

Comedian Martin Short is 68. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 50.  Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is 87. I wonder how he is doing since marrying the much younger Jerry Hall in 2016.  Former ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson is 84. Musician Flaco Jimenez is 79. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 68. Rapper BowWow is 31. Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 47. Webster. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 82. He played his own birthday party at The Clarion at Brazosport College a couple of weeks ago and it was a sold out super show.

Actress Michael Learned is 79. Olivia Walton in The Waltons. Dennis Quaid is 64. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 52. Sex and the City. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 39. Rudy Huxtable, the youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable. Actress Kristen Stewart is 28. Twilight Saga. Former Vice President Al Gore is 70. Actor Christopher Walken is 75. Actress Rhea Perlman is 70. Cheers. Matilda. Rock musician Angus Young is 63. AC/DC.


John Wayne Walding – “We owe it to the fallen to live well.”  I was given a gift this week. Our speaker at The Women’s Lecture Series at Brazosport College was John Wayne Walding who was born on the fourth of July and is named ‘John Wayne’ – a true American. I was expected to give the blessing after his talk but had difficultly collecting myself enough to say the first word. He had us laughing and wiping our eyes for an hour. Mr. Walding lost the lower half of his right leg to sniper fire during an operation in the Shok Valley of Afghanistan yet returned fire for four more hours with the severed limb tied to his thigh. His awards and badges include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat infantry badge, Airborne air assault, and is the first amputee to graduate the Special Forces Sniper School. I felt privileged and honored to even sit next to him for just a short lunch. There is a book by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer, “No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan,” that tells the tale of the Battle of Shok Valley. Thank you, John Wayne Walding for your service to our country.


Useless information: Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th. ps – That’s tomorrow.


A Florida school superintendent was pulled over for illegally passing a school bus as police were running a bus safety campaign. Officers had issued 115 tickets and 14 warnings for failure to stop for a school bus during the campaign. Oops.


In Kentucky, a pizza deliveryman saw a mobile home on fire, ran in, shut off the breaker, then got down on his hands and knees, made his way back to the kitchen and got the home owner out and to safety.


A Kansas man was arrested after breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and hiding in the attic several hours before falling through the ceiling. Giggle. Then a woman applying for a job at a jail in New Hampshire was arrested for a previous theft in Maine. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.


You will always find a book on tape in my car. Since I work so many hours, I just don’t get to read as often as I like, so I listen to books. Always. I just finished Gene Wilder reading his autobiography “Kiss Me Like a Stranger.” It was great! In his book, he reads of finding these words in the kitchen of his future wife, Karen Boyer. It is titled “After a While” and was written by Veronica Shoffstall. It’s too nice not to share.

After a while you learn the subtle difference

between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

and company doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats

with you head up and your eyes open

with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today,

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,

and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth.

And you learn and learn…

With every goodbye you learn.


Have a great week and as always, thanks for reading this…Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Royal Wedding Prep

Much Ado About Nothing April 12, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

The invites are out for next month’s royal wedding, and I wait anxiously for mine to arrive, the whole while brushing up on a few key royal guest no-no’s in order to not be sent to the Tower to await beheading.

First of all, don’t hug the Queen. Did you hear that, Michelle Obama? Don’t hug the Queen. I know it was just that one time you put your hand on her back, but she’s squirrely about the whole personal space thing. I think this goes back thousands of royal generations. You think the Marquis de Sade is your buddy and just wants to give you a warm, happy hug, and the next thing you know, there’s a knife in your back. Happened all the time, just ask Julius Caesar. Sure the Knights of the Roundtable wear metal suits, but hardly practical for the Queen. This may be why you’re not invited this time. And why President Trump is also not invited.

Secondly, don’t send texts, update your status, or tweet. Really? I’m considering the caliber of the guest list here. Don’t people at this level have “people” to do that for them? Don’t they clench their jaws and say, “James, send a line to Mumsy to have Buffy’s polo pony walked.” Or “James, FaceBook that Lady Wallingford looks like a stuffed platypus in that horrible dress LOL.” The key here is to wait until after the nuptials to worry about Buffy’s polo pony. And remember that Lady Wallingford is one of your FaceBook friends, so she’ll read that.

Other tips: Back up when leaving the presence of the Royals. I don’t know if that is related to the fact that the lactose intolerant rarely get invited to these things or not. Just back up and don’t knock anything over. Also, ladies must wear a hat. The one you wore to the rodeo is a no. Yankees baseball cap is a double no. I wouldn’t even wear that one to a dog fight. Think pretty but low profile. You don’t want Lady Wallingford to smack it off your head because she can’t see the bride.

Prince Harry and Meghan are contemporary and a bit unconventional, but don’t expect that to mean that all the rules are right out the royal window. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check the mailbox again.

What I Heard This Week! April 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 5, 2018

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were often (very often) in the car driving to another town for water polo, so we listened to ‘Serial’, an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Keonig who narrates a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. The story was about Adnan Syed, who was convicted in 2000 in the murder of Hae Min Lee, his ex-high school sweetheart, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park the year before. Syed was sentenced to life in prison. His case made international headlines in 2014 when the Serial podcast profiled his conviction and cast doubt on his guilt. Syed has maintained his innocence throughout the years. On March 29th, Adnan Syed was granted the right to a new trial. It was stated that he received poor legal counsel because his attorney didn’t make contact with a key witness. It’s definitely worth listening to the podcast.


Since March 2016, China lost control and had not been unable to communicate with their space station, Tiangong-1, which translates to “Heavenly Palace” in English. On Sunday, the school bus-sized, 9.4-ton structure re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and the majority of the structure most likely burnt up upon re-entry. The rest of the space debris is believed to have fallen into the Pacific Ocean northwest of Tahiti.


It’s Prom season and it’s a really, expensive adventure for these kids so help them out. If you have ’prom’ things just hanging in your closet, call The Source Weekly to sell them and we will run your ad for FREE. 979-285-9200


Suspected mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, who allegedly killed 17 and injured 17 more with an AR-15 rifle at a high school on February 14, has been getting stacks and stacks of fan mail and love letters sent to the Broward County jail, along with hundreds of dollars in contributions from teenage girls, women and even older men. There are photographs, cards, and letters with some suggestive remarks, of course. Groupies are also joining Facebook communities to talk about how to help the killer. The public defender’s office says that they’ve never seen anything like it before. Cruz has not seen the mail because he is on suicide watch. Go figure why this would happen.


Blogger, Jennifer S. White – “I never thought dashing to Target without kids would feel like a mini-vacation, but it does.”  Jennifer, there’s not a mom around that doesn’t feel your joy! It has been called, ‘whimsical escapism” with an air of sophistication and serenity. Yep. Target.


Wisconsin police released body camera footage that captured the moment a suspect allegedly bit a K-9 dog. Yep. The ‘man’ bit the police dog.


Kidney disease has claimed the life of Ensa Cosby, 44-year-old daughter of Bill Cosby. She stayed out of the public spotlight for most of her life but did appear on The Cosby Show in a single episode in 1989. Jury selection began this week as the 80-year-old Bill Cosby now faces the charges that he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.


Hawaii lawmakers approved legislation that will make it legal for doctors to fulfill requests from terminally ill patients for prescription medication that will allow medically assisted suicide. Good.


Remember 2001 Space Odyssey? Well, this week is the 50th anniversary. Film director Stanley Kubrick hired NASA engineers and consultants to make the sets as authentic as possible. He even asked astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan for help in depicting extraterrestrial life. It was not a box office or critical success when it came out, but today it’s considered one of the most influential films of all time and perhaps the greatest science-fiction film.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Eric Clapton is 73. He has been a member or played with The Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominos, Delaney & Bonnie, Blind Faith, John Mayhall & the Bluesbreakers, The Dirty Mac, Cream, The Plastic Ono Band, The PowerHouse, The Louisiana Gator Boys, The Immediate All Stars, Chick Shack, Sting and the list goes on. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 68. He was hand-selected by J.K. Rowling to portray Hagrid the Giant in the Harry Potter series. Perfect pick. Actress Doris Day is 96. Oh, my.

Actor-Director Warren Beatty is 81. Yikes. TV Host Peter Marshall is 92. Singer Celine Dion is 50. Actor Paul Reiser is 61. Mad About You. Singer Tracy Chapman is 54. Rapper MC Hammer is 56. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is 73. Country singer Reba McEntire is 63. 1984 Olympic gold-medal gymnast Bart Conner is 60. He is married to Romanian Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comeneci.

Rapper Salt is 52. Salt-N-Pepper, Actor Vince Vaughn is 48. Singer Lady Gaga is 32. Singer Emmylou Harris is 71. Yikes. I’m showing my age but that’s another one that’s hard to believe Singer Wayne Newton is 76. Actor Alec Baldwin is 60. Comedian Eddie Murphy is 57. Actress Ali MacGraw is 79. Rhythm & blues singer Rudolph Isley is 79.

Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 70. Along with Bunny Wailer he is one of only two living musicians to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences. Movie Director Barry Sonnenfeld is 65. Men in Black. Singer Susan Boyle is 57.


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South Africa’s ‘Mother of the Nation’ died at 81.


After a frantic 12-hour search in the fast-moving sewage of Los Angeles, a 13-year-old boy was rescued by firefighters after being swept almost a mile away when a plank broke covering an access portal to the sewage. It sounded like the sewage system is a maze underground. What a nice outcome.


Remember hearing that a woman shouldn’t use hair dye while she is pregnant? Well, doctors are now saying that hair dye generally isn’t in contact with the skin on your head long enough to do any significant damage or cause harm. If you have any cuts or scrapes on your scalp, it could increase absorption, but it’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t EVER be putting hair dye on open cut. But there are still a huge bunch of believers that say NEVER dye your hair while pregnant. It’s a good thing that grey is in style.: 😊


Tom Hiddleston – “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.”


Elvis Presley changed history on a Gibson J200 guitar. Eric Clapton’s famous solo on the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps’’ was played on a Gibson, and when young B.B. King fled a burning building and realized he’d left his Gibson behind, he risked his life by going back inside to retrieve it. The fire had been accidentally started by two men fighting over a woman, and King gave his hollow-body guitar her name – Lucille. Now, after 116 years, the beloved Gibson guitar maker is fighting for life while facing debt of as much as $560-million due this summer. What happened?


Since the worldwide success of Disney-Pixar animated fantasy film, Coco, traditional Mexican guitars (the Paracho-style guitar played a central role in the movie) have seen a surge in sales in the tiny Mexican town of Paracho where prices for hand-made guitars range from 2,000 Mexican pesos ($104) to 20,000 pesos for those made with finer wood.


Lucinda, thank you for the cake that you brought by our office for Easter. It was delicious.


These guys had waited for five months but right before the start of the game at Minute Maid Park this week, one by one the Houston Astros players walked up on stage to receive their little black box containing their 2017 World Series 10.55 carat ring with 214 diamonds and nine natural orange sapphires.  The rings are huge. They have to be, to have Minute Maid Park, the trophy, 2017, and Houston Strong on there – and that’s just on one side of the ring. Go, Astros. We’re so proud.


Art. Music. Fun. This week at CenterFest. Yes, there will be art but let’s talk about the music which will be fabulous. Join us Friday night for Dale Watson. Only $20 general admission. Watson is an silver-pompadoured American country/Texas singer, guitarist, songwriter from Austin that sells out wherever he plays, and believe it or not, HE IS PLAYING HERE ON FRIDAY NIGHT. He believes in authentic country music, calls it Ameripolitan music, and as a result has become a favorite of critics, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and alt-country fans. Pull up a video, put on your dancing shoes and I’ll see you on Friday night for craft beer, food, art and music at The Center for the Arts and Sciences. 979-265-7661. Saturday, we have family fun, more craft beer, Art March, art market, and music with Corey McGaughey at noon, Erica Honore at 3pm and Lost Vertigos at 6pm. Then Sunday is the E-Flat Porch Band at 1pm and Cole Degges at 4pm. I try to keep you informed of fun things to do but you have to turn off the TV, put up the lawnmower, grab your keys and get out of the house.


A note from my daughter: If you can, come on out and help Brazoswood High School National Honor Society make cancer history. Come to Slade Field on April 7th from 2-8pm and enjoy games, food, entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit cancer research at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer has affected each and every one of us in some way. Let’s do our part.


San Francisco’s ‘Killing My Lobster’ troupe has a program that teaches sketch comedy to kids, then grownups take their work, rehearse it, add crazy props and perform it in front of a live audience. Now, that sounds like FUN theatre.


According to the new American Kennel Club rankings, Labrador Retrievers remain the country’s most popular purebred dog for the 27th year while German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers have the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. French Bulldogs are No. 4 with the Bulldog coming in as No. 5. The Beagle, Poodle, Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terrier and German Shorthaired Pointer are No. 6 through 10.


The BIG Lake Jackson 75th Diamond Jubilee Parade is set for Sat., April 14th. Everyone is invited to join the parade fun which will start at 11am at LJ Intermediate, travel downtown LJ, then return to LJI. Line-up begins at 9:45am. BISD is partnering to help with the parade, so our kiddos will be out in full force to be a part of this exciting event. Brazoswood HS and LJI bands will be marching with groups from all LJ schools and communities. Friends & neighbors from area businesses, industry, civic and community groups, come join in and honor the city. Get your fire truck, float, scout group, ball team, dance group, church members, clubs and decorate your cars, flatbeds, bikes or yourselves to walk in the parade, join city dignitaries, former mayors and Grand Marshall Grant Scoggins to celebrate rich history and honor LJ Pioneers. It won’t be much of a celebration without you so, come on. LakeJackson-Tx.gov


A Canadian teenager bought a $4 scratch lottery ticket and a bottle of sparking wine to celebrate her 18th birthday and as luck would have it, then had to decide whether she wanted the $1-million lump sum or $1000 per week for the rest of her life. She considered her options and her age then decided to go for the weekly sum for life. What luck.


Have a great week and as always, thanks for reading this…Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Coffee Cancer

Much Ado About Nothing April 5, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

And in happier news… well, there’s none of that. But California says your coffee will give you cancer, so you’ve got that to look forward to. According to the courts, roasting coffee beans creates – along with a steamy, hot cup of Joe — a chemical called acrylamide which has been linked to cancer. As a result, there has to be a warning posted to protect us from ourselves. Although, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to read the warning if you can’t actually pry your eyes open without drinking the coffee first.

I’m not a coffee drinker myself. To be honest, I’ve actually never had a cup of coffee in my ever-lengthening life. I went through college during the age of Jolt Cola, which was the equivalent of a caffeinated atomic bomb. You drank one at the beginning of the semester and didn’t actually sleep again until a week after mid-terms. So I never found the need for coffee, nor did the taste appeal to me. But I understand the bond people have with their coffee cups. How else do you explain Starbucks?

So correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t every researcher and nutritionist touting the health benefits of coffee? You only have to Google to find studies showing it reduces risk of heart disease, hair loss, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and lowers the risk for early death. Unless you die of acrylamide sourced cancer, I guess.

Tell me, too, why aren’t those same courts up in arms about the fact that there’s also formaldehyde in coffee beans that comes out when you roast them. As I recall from my high school biology days, anything drenched in formaldehyde wasn’t exactly healthy.

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in the shadow of the petroleum and chemical plants most of my life, but I’m thinking there are bigger risks out there than a café-latte-expresso-mocha with a shot of moo juice (or whatever you call those expensive designer coffee drinks). There are a lot of people doing a whole lot of things to keep folks from being exposed to nasty stuff. But we have to face the facts that we’re a Better Living Through Chemistry kind of society and it comes with risks. So does stepping out your front door on a daily basis. So enjoy your coffee, but wear your seatbelts.

What I Heard This Week! March 29, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 29, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

Mister Rogers, the gentle TV host who educated generations of preschoolers on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, has been honored with a US Postal Service stamp. Mr. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74. The stamp has a smiling Mr. Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with the puppet character, King Friday. Those were the good old days.


There was a passenger who was bumped off a full United Airlines flight and was given a $10,000 voucher after refusing an $800 voucher, then even refused a $2000 voucher. She told them that she didn’t want travel credit, she wanted cash. So, they offered a $10,000 voucher. Dang, they would have had me at the $2000 level. I am so easy. Actually, the flight wasn’t overbooked, just at capacity because one seat was broken, and could not be used.


Reminder: You don’t have to rebuild a relationship with everyone you’ve forgiven. Just because you’re at peace, doesn’t mean they’re not still toxic.


It was called the Million Dollar Mouse Project. After a 125-year infestation, more than 200,000 mice have been eliminated (exterminated) from New Zealand’s Antipodes Islands, an 8-square-mile island located 470 miles southeast of New Zealand. The story is that the rodents were accidently introduced in 1893 from either a shipwreck or by seal hunters and have since feasted on the island’s insects and birds, causing many local extinctions.


You can call him Sir Ringo or Sir Richard because Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) finally received his long-awaited knighthood from Prince William last week. Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997. Ringo says, “I had dinner with him (McCartney) last week and we were both actually laughing about where we came from, and we’ve ended up in the palace and its now Sir Paul and Sir Richard.” Let’s face it, you’ve been royalty in our eyes forever, guys.


Billy Graham – “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”


Standing desks are very popular. Standing up to work was supposed to be so much better for you than sitting. Well, new research is showing that people who stand at work are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease, back discomfort, and swelling of veins, as those that sit more often. Recommendation is now suggesting you rely less on standing desks and instead, take more walks at work. Sigh.


San Francisco has voted to ban the sale of fur as it now becomes the largest US city to approve the prohibition. The fur ban would apply to coats and anything else featuring real fur, including keychains and gloves. Business owners are concerned because the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce estimates that fur sales account for at least $40-million a year. The ban would allow for resale of vintage fur at places like resale shops. Is that like banning cowhides in Texas?


Frank Avruch, who played Bozo the Clown for over a decade, died at the age of 89. Whoa…wait a minute.  I remember Bozo and he lived in Waco and I got to go to the taping of his show for a birthday party when I was in first grade. I didn’t know that there was more than one Bozo. This is very upsetting. Another child fantasy squashed.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actress Joanne Woodward is 88. The Three Faces of Eve. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 84. His 1965 publication of the bestselling book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturer became known as one of the most important journalistic pieces of the 20th century. Singer Josh Groban is 37.

Actor Timothy Dalton is 72. James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). He dated Vanessa Redgrave from 1971-1986. Actor Gary Oldman is 60. Comedian-actress Rosie O’Donnell is 56. Actor Scott Eastwood is 32. He looks just like his daddy. Designer Bob Mackie is 79. He was best known for his dressing of entertainment icons Joan Rivers, Cher, RuPaul, Barbara Eden, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Tina Turner, Carol Burnett and Mitzi Gaynor. He was the costume designer for Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show during its entire 11-year run.

Singer Nick Lowe is 69. How do you talk to an Angel? Designer Tommy Hilfiger is 67. Actor Robert Carradine is 64. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 58. The Woman in Red with Gene Wilder. Actor Jim Parsons is 45. NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is 42. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 56. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted her the Greatest Female Athlete of All-Time. Former astronaut James Lovell is 90. Activist and author Gloria Steinem is 84. I bet she is not happy that Walmart just pulled Cosmopolitan Magazine from their check-out lines. I say, GO Walmart.

Singer Aretha Franklin is 76. Singer musician Sir Elton John is 71. Actress Marcia Cross is 56. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 53. Auto racer Dania Patrick is 36. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 75. Tell me that’s not so. I just loved him in Starsky and Hutch. His wife, Elizabeth Glaser was a major American AIDS activist and child advocate who contracted HIV very early in the modern AIDS epidemic after receiving an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth. Like other HIV-infected mothers, Glaser unknowingly passed the virus to her infant daughter, Ariel, through breastfeeding. Ariel was born in 1981 and died in 1988. The Glaser’s’ son, Jake, born in 1984, contracted HIV from his mother in utero, but has lived into adulthood and now works full-time for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Elizabeth Glaser died in 1994.


Hubert de Givenchy (1927 – 2018) was known for his effortlessly chic clothes with simplicity and elegance being the hallmarks of his designs. He dressed Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, Funny Face, plus many others. He once said, “The little black dress is the hardest thing to realize because you must keep it simple.”  We all know how important the LBD is in our closet. He died at the age of 91.


Remember that April Fools is on Easter Sunday so if you wake up and see the Easter Bunny in disguise, you’ll know that he was just having a good day…


The Cape Town “Day Zero” has now been pushed back to around July 9th, the time at which all water taps across the South African area are scheduled to be turned off due to low water reserves. Residents and tourists have been asked to use only 13 gallons per day to preserve the remaining supply. Egad.


A 37-year-old Houston-area US Army recruiter is accused of sending a snapchat photo of his genitals to a 16-year-old HS student that he had met while recruiting in Deer Park. Shame.


The city of Houston has secured $9.4-million for the installation of high-water warning systems at 40 specific Houston locations to help drivers avoid dangerous flooding. Sensors, cameras and computer components along with warning lights and signs will be installed this year.


A Portuguese airline has apologized to passengers after they were stranded overnight after an airport staffer alerted security that a co-pilot was stumbling and reeked of alcohol. Security grounded the plane, and when one passenger called the airline out on Twitter, the airlines replied, “the flight was canceled due to the pilot’s incapacity and that they will go through an internal investigation process and act accordingly, taking the necessary and consequent measures.” I say, the airlines did the right thing.


Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs in 2013, driving on a restricted license and speeding in a residential area when he lost control, crashed into a group of people trying to help a motorist, killing four and injuring nine, was convicted and ordered not to consume alcohol. Two passengers in his truck suffered serious bodily injury, one with complete paralysis. He had stolen the liquor from Walmart. You know, a real classy kid. His slap on the hands was to receive ten years of probation. A video then surfaced showing him playing beer pong at a party, so he fled to Mexico with his mother (and his mother never went to jail, but that’s another story.)  Well, he will now be released from the Tarrant County jail on April 2 after serving only 720 days. A witness had argued at his trial that he didn’t know right from wrong. Hmmm. 720 days. I know why I never get called to jury duty.


My Christmas gift from my son happened to be tickets for the three of us to see the Lorde concert in Houston last week. Her music is described as Indietronica (indie, electronica, rock and pop music.) Not what I would typically listen to everyday, but when you’ve been invited to attend a concert with your kids, you get your pants on and get ready to go. I like Lorde, enjoy several of her songs and was excited to attend, but I am naïve, inexperienced and starry-eyed about today’s music, so I kept looking for the band. I finally swallowed my pride, took a deep breath and asked my daughter, all the while trying to look educated, sophisticated and worldly. No band. It’s all electronic music. That was a new one for me.


Last week-end, The City of Lake Jackson presented Coming Home, two concerts that celebrated 75 years of music and heritage for LJ. ‘Locally grown talent’ entertained us for two evenings and believe me, we were entertained. We sang along and danced in our seats with Robert Ellis, Cole Degges, Zack Kibodeaux and Greg Essington of Blue Water Highway, Will Hearn, Claire Kibodeaux of The Blue Jazz Faction, Christian Wiggs of The Vintage 15 and the Brazosport Big Band. There was live music on the patio of The Clarion before the show and after the show. Texas Beer Refinery and brew master John Hearn (also home grown) supplied wine and craft beer all while we were honored with the most memorable celebration of great music and entertainment from some of the finest talent to come out of The City of Enchantment. I was so proud of these ‘kids’ aka adults. There’s a BIG 75th Diamond Jubilee Parade set for Saturday, April 14, 11:00am. They need floats. Sign up.


CenterFest! April 6-8 is a huge weekend of FUN at The Center…art, live Texas Music, 2nd annual Art March (above) and food & drinks provided by Wurst Haus. Activities for your entire family. Kids 12 and under are FREE. I always try to keep you informed but you’re going to have to come see for yourself. I can only do so much without full access to your calendar and vehicle. This is a fun way to kick-off CenterFest! Create fun, wearable works of art with an old pair of shoes. Design your shoes then come show ’em off in our second annual Art March on Saturday, April 7. The winning 2017 entry from Lil’ Anna Klein is still on display in the lobby of the Center for the Arts and Sciences where our 2018 winner will be displayed. Entry is easy, no experience or training is necessary to have fun. www.brazosortcenterfest.org  


Thank you for reading this,

– Lisa

 

Much Ado About Nothing – MLB Opening Day

Much Ado About Nothing March 29, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

It’s been exactly 148 days of dark, cold, baseball-less winter. Four months and 28 days since the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series. But it is Opening Day for Major League Baseball and I’m as happy as a tick on a fat dog. The Cracker Jacks® are cracking, the hot dogs are grilling, and the Astros are gearing up for another run on the Title. These are the days filled with great hope, optimism, and a belief that all can be right with the world. Until it’s not.

There are some weird things brewing in the back offices of America’s game. Since I haven’t gotten the call up to take over as the Commissioner of the MLB, there isn’t much I can do about these proposed changes. Obviously, if I had any say at all, the Astros wouldn’t be playing in the American League West; there’d be no such thing as a designated hitter; and there’d be a cap on salaries and ticket prices.

So somewhere in the Halls of Power, someone is drunk. In order to speed up the game, the MLB is proposing that each extra inning starts with a runner at second base. I can only wonder if the players will also be expected to sell those $1 chocolate bars to raise money for the party at the end of the season, if there will be 10-run rule, and will the winning team get free snow cones from the concession stand?

From someone who sat up to watch all 18 innings of the Astros game against the Atlanta Braves in 2005, I think this is a ridiculous, pointless rule. If they’re going to do that, then why not just call the game after five innings? Why play at all? Just send the two owners to the mound and flip a coin. Heads gets a win and a bath in a cooler of blue Gatorade. Tails has to eat one of the new pickle corndogs that the Texas Rangers will be selling at their stadium this season. Poor food choices are just one more reason to not like the Rangers. If you need more reasons, hit me up. There’s a long list.

From the five-year old with a glove bigger than his head to Jose Altuve once again besting his own batting records, it’s finally time. Let’s Play Ball!

What I Heard This Week! March 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

The lead engineer with the company that designed the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami, killing and injuring several, had called the state two days earlier to report cracks in the concrete span, but he left a voicemail message that wasn’t heard until the day after the bridge fell. Not good. A witness to the loud boom that followed the collapse said, “it sounded like the world was ending.” The estimated weight of the bridge was 950-tons. Another witness said it sounded like a bomb.


The AstroDome, ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, will be designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, the highest honor the state can bestow on a historic structure. The Dome opened on April 9, 1965 to a sold-out crowd of more than 47,000 for a baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. The Dome will be 53 years old next month and the county spends about $170,000 each year to maintain the Dome but they will begin their $105-million renovation in October.


Toys R Us says it will slowly shut all 800 stores in the US. There are 18 stores in Houston area. They filed for bankruptcy six months ago and have struggled to pay down nearly $8-billion in debt. Charles Lazarus founded Children’s Bargain Town in 1948 in Washington, then opened the first Toys R Us in 1957 and in 1965 Geoffrey the giraffe became the company’s mascot.


Don’t forget to feed the birds. Our feathered friends are now migrating, and some will endure a 600-mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico to Texas. I went to Tractor Supply this morning to pick up bird seed, corn, mealworms and sunflower seeds so I can do my part for their trip. After standing in line twice, I decided that the nicest people shop at Tractor Supply on Sunday mornings. They have a great assortment of spring vegetable seeds and products. Everyone in the store was happy, kind, and not hurried. There was the “store” cat that welcomed us with her friendly purrs at the checkout counter AND the baby chicks AND baby ducks were making such precious spring sounds. It was a really, nice visit.


A group of prairie chickens are known as a “little house” or a “pack” of prairie chickens. Thanks to the GCBO newsletter for this little tidbit of info and some gorgeous bird pictures.


Speaking of chicken…Chick-Fil-A just released their newest menu item, a seasonal beverage/dessert called the Frosted Sunrise, a blend of their signature vanilla Icedream and Simply Orange Juice. I say, just bring back the raisin & carrot salad AND the chicken salad sandwich and I’ll be happy. Who ever heard of a “healthy” chicken restaurant without a chicken salad sandwich?!?


It’s the newest thing: If you google ‘pickle flavored foods’ you will find Pickle-Ice Freeze Pops, Pickle Candy Canes, Pickle Cashews, Pickle Peanuts, Pickle Mints, Pickle Candy, Intense Pickle Doritos, Pickle Popcorn, Pickle Gummies, and Pickle Salt Shakers. In June, Sonic will unveil their Pickle Juice Snow Cone Slush. Tasters say it’s surprisingly delicious. Very sweet and tangy. I know that when working the concession at games, I always had requests for pickle snow cones, so here’s your chance.


Did you know that The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show animals must have their urine tested for drugs? They also pluck the animal’s hair for a DNA analysis. The pig that I read about took an hour to relieve himself, having walked around with a clear bag tied around his belly to catch the pee. I just never thought about this. City girl.


A 32-year-old man has been charged with online solicitation of a minor under 14, accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a 10-year-old Pearland girl. The girl’s parents showed the Pearland Police the messages but are still wondering how the man got the girl’s phone number. Parents…are you listening?


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Peter Fonda is 78. Actress Patricia Richardson is 67. Jill Taylor on Home Improvement. Actress Kristin Davis is 53. Charlotte York on Sex and the City. Actress Dakota Fanning is 24. Actor Patrick Duffy is 69. Actor Kurk Russell is 67. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 64. Cinderella in 1965. Actor Rob Lowe is 54. Singer John Sebastian is 74. The Lovin’Spoonful, Welcome Back, Do You Believe in Magic, Summer in the City.

Country singer Charley Pride is 84. Singer-actress Vanessa Williams is 55. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 48. Rock singer Adam Levine is 39. Maroon 5. Actress Lily Collins is 29. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 77. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 76. Actor Erik Estrada is 69. Rock singer musician Nancy Wilson is 64. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 54.

Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 27. Author Philip Roth is 85. Portnoy’s Complaint. Actress Ursula Andress is 82. Bond girl Honey Ryder in Dr. No and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Actress Glenn Close is 71. Actor Bruce Willis is 63. Rapper Bun B is 45. Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 69. Actor William Hurt is 68. The Big Chill.  Movie Director Spike Lee is 61. Model Kathy Ireland is 55.

Actor Gary Sinise is 63. He took his Lieutenant Dan role in Forrest Gump, then formed The Gary Sinise Foundation, The Lt. Dan Band and has been helping our military heroes adjust to combat injuries, providing homes, boosting moral on military bases, educating the public and more, ever since.  

Actress Emily Blunt is 35. She will play in Mary Poppins Returns where the stories will be taken from PL Travers additional seven books. Michael and Jane are all grown up with Michael living on Cherry Tree Lane with his three children. Lin-Manual Miranda (Hamilton) and Dick Van Dyke will also be in it, along with Meryl Streep. The original Mary Poppins was set in 1910. This sequel goes forward to 1935. They plan a 2018 Christmas Day release, so it will be a while, but I bet it’s practically perfect in every way. I’m going to drive you crazy talking about this one.


Texas should have an especially beautiful bluebonnet season. Great for roadside pictures of the kids but be careful of fire ants, rattlesnakes and other critters that can be hiding in the pretty. Be sure to treat the flowers with care because every time you sit on one, you likely kill it. Do not pick the flowers (the seeds need to fall off for next year’s flowers) or pull them up.


Fleur-de-lis, or “lily flower” in French, is a symbol whose petals represent faith, wisdom, and chivalry.


Roses are red, violets are blue, your daisies are droopy, oh, what can you do? Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar & two tablespoons of sugar together and add to your flower vase water. Replace both the water and the vinegar mixture daily. This will keep your spring flower bouquet looking pretty for longer.  It is amazing how white and apple cider vinegar can be used for so many common household solutions.


Charles Manson died in a prison hospital while serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others. His body has been on ice since November 2017 while many came forward to claim his corpse. There were a bunch of wills filed and many claimed to be his heir. A grandson of the cult leader has now won the bizarre California court battle to claim his remains.


Cooking classes this week-end at HEB March 23, 6-8pm in Lake Jackson. Shrimp fried rice, chicken egg rolls and a homemade sauce. Stop by the Business Center and see if they have any openings. 21 and up only. $20 per person.


Walmart plans to expand grocery delivery to 100 cities. Order by 1pm – have it delivered in four hours.


Happy 75th Birthday Lake Jackson. This information was taken from the Lake Jackson Historical Association. In the early 1940’s The Dow Chemical Company, located in Midland, Michigan was looking for a site to build a chemical complex. Dow wanted to extract magnesium from seawater with technology based on its patents for extracting magnesium from the brines beneath the Midland area. Texas looked like a good choice. Dow narrowed the field of potential sites to Corpus Christi and Freeport. As the story goes, the Dow Board of Directors personally visited both locations. They arrived in Corpus Christi during the worst cold spell in decades. The hotels had inadequate heating and the automobiles had no heaters. However, when the Board of Directors arrived in Freeport, the cold front had passed, and the weather was sunny and warm. They then decided for the Freeport site on March 7, 1940. Even though the story is often repeated, in reality, the company had done extensive studies of both locations comparing land availability, access to raw materials, access to transportation and other factors before authorizing an $18-million plant. The first load of construction equipment arrived in Freeport by train on March 22, 1940. Workers soon began building in the area known today as Plant A.


WikiAnswers says that $1-million dollars in 1940 would be worth $22-million dollars in today’s money.


Coming Home, celebrating 75 years of Lake Jackson will be this Friday and Saturday evening at The Clarion. Wine, beer and great music from generations of musicians that are coming home to entertain us. Earlier in the day on Saturday, 9am – 2pm, is the Auto and Cycle Show family fun at the Civic Center. It’s not too late to show a car or be a vendor. There will be Pinewood Derby racing, door prizes and bounce house for the kids. Come help us celebrate.


Andrew Liveris is leaving DowDuPont after four decades and will be replaced by Jim Fitterling when Dow reclaims its name as an independent company next year. 56-year-old Fitterling is the first openly gay executive to be named CEO of a major chemical company and will continue as a vocal proponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in corporate America.


What is Human Trafficking? A Nigerian woman on a cul-de-sac in Cinco Ranch was forced to work without pay as a nanny to five children – forced to sleep on the floor,  bathe in cold water, eat leftovers, work 20-hour shifts seven days a week, she could not take breaks, sit down or watch TV, could not use the phone (sounds like the job of a mother except for the following), see a doctor for an injured arm attend church regularly or walk beyond the immediate neighborhood with the young children. The couple slapped her, called her ‘the idiot’, withheld her passport and threatened harm if she did not cook, clean and tend to the children. The couple had helped the woman travel to the US from their native Nigeria by creating false documents that enabled the forced labor. They have now been sentenced to seven months in federal prison and will owe the woman $121,000 in compensation. A concerned, observant neighbor brought this situation to the attention of a human trafficking task force.


JoyBell C.-It’s not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: “This is what you should wear at age twenty”, “That is what you must act like at age twenty-five”, “This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen.” But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It’s always wonderful to be elegant, it’s always fashionable to have grace, it’s always glamorous to be brave, and it’s always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!”


Thank you for reading this,

– Lisa

 

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