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PIANO LESSONS

PIANO LESSONS: NOW Accepting Seniors & Home Schooled Students! Taught By KATHY GRIFFIN RICHARDS, 979-285-7398, 979-798-7526

 

Used Washers & Dryers

Used Washers & Dryers: For Sale, Excellent Condition, $169 Each, 6-Month Warranty. Alton Fortner, 979-415-4841

 

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SALINAS WELDING: Welding Of All Types, Including Aluminum Welding. 979-798-1516, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4pm

 

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Much Ado About Nothing – Space Trash

Much Ado About Nothing January 11, 2018

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Attention People of Earth! It’s like this: remember that 9.4-ton unmanned space station that China launched, oh, way back when? No? Well, it’s going to be crashing into Earth sometime in the next couple of months. While nothing can ruin your day quite like being obliterated by space debris with a “Made in China” tag on it, the chances that you’ll take a direct hit from the Tiangong-1 are about “a million times less than your odds for winning the Powerball jackpot,” according to experts. And let’s face it, your odds on that one are less than NONE ever, so maybe hold off on panicking.

However, Aerospace Corporation reports that “It’s hard to pinpoint where the station or its parts will fall, but it’s anticipated to land” along a line that includes multiple states in the U.S. from northern California to Pennsylvania. Texas is out of the line of fire, so the important national treasures — Whataburger and the 2017 World Champion Astros — are all safe.

Now, I’m just going to throw this out there, but maybe the Chinese should have Googled “Skylab” before they got all giddy over this whole launch-things-into-space business. They would have discovered that in 1979 we were all watching the skies for America’s monster manned orbiter to drop on us like Dorothy’s house in “The Wizard of Oz.” Not since a wayward meteor knocked out all the dinosaurs had so many been terrorized by the possibility of a close encounter with space junk. Yet, here we go again and, wouldn’t you know, all our insurance policies for unplanned injuries, death, or dismemberment caused by projectiles re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere have expired.

While maybe we don’t need to run around like Henny Penny worrying that the sky is falling, scientists are still warning that “highly” toxic hydrazine from the 34-foot long space station could survive re-entry. Yeah, so don’t touch unknown substances on the ground and avoid inhaling fumes. Which is pretty much just good advice regardless and should go without saying.

In other space news, a man in France is raising money to erect a statue to memorialize the first and only cat in space. And we wonder why they cancelled funding for the space program.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

Much Ado About Nothing – Crabbiness

Much Ado About Nothing January 4, 2018

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

If you have a verifiable emergency, call 9-1-1. Indicators that you might have an emergency are the presence of more blood than can be contained in an average sized Band-aide; firearms being used inside a building that isn’t a gun range; and fire where fire shouldn’t be. All those things constitute a call to 9-1-1. Problems with your dinner do not make that list unless your dinner is obstructing your airway. Otherwise, talk to the restaurant manager. Don’t call the police Nelson Agosto, age 51 of Stuart, Florida.

It seems Mr. Agosto didn’t understand this and called 9-1-1 TWICE from Crabby’s Seafood Shack to complain about the size of his clams. He told the dispatcher that he had “ordered something and it was extremely so small.”

I’m in no way affiliated with any law enforcement organization, but I’ve watched lots of real-crime TV shows and on none of them did SWAT stand for Seafood Weight Assessment Team. So calling 9-1-1 and expecting the SWAT team to rush out in full riot gear and throw gas canisters into the kitchen at Crabby’s Seafood Shack to smoke out larger clams was misguided for sure. I’m going to also step out on a limb here and wager that the even the Navy SEALS, who by the very name of the organization may seem like reasonable allies, are also going to register a big, fat negatory on their scale of concern over Mr. Agosto’s clam size.

The sad thing is that the waiter told the guy before he ordered that the clams were small. When they actually showed up small and he complained, the restaurant gave him an additional free order. He still called 9-1-1. Well, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, because the Stuart, Florida PD rolled a cruiser and responded to the call. And arrested Mr. Agosto. He’ll do the perp walk for misuse of 9-1-1. Maybe he’ll get charged for being an idiot in a No Idiot Zone. If that’s not a thing, it should be.

A couple of lessons to take away from this: Don’t go getting crabby at Crabby’s. If you do, don’t be shellfish with emergency public services. And if you’ve got problems with undersized clams, just cross your legs, shut your mouth and keep this problem to yourself.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa BakerThey ordered their pizza 5 minutes before the New Year and when it arrived they firmly stated, “Wait, we ordered this pizza a year ago.” 😊


Reliable, smart, compassionate Hoda Kobt has officially replaced Matt Lauer on “Today” and the former (fired) newsman sent her a congratulations text. Whoopee. I don’t know why it would make the news. That was nice, but I don’t think that too many people really cares what he thinks.


Magnolia Market owners, Joanna and Chip Gaines, are expecting their 5th child and we are told that it is the result of a romantic Johnny Swim concert last October. We all wish the Gaines lived next door.


New Year’s Day now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Mark Twain


A couple were on their first date. He is a well-known Houston attorney. She is…hmm, a “well-known” date. He claims she was drunk, he called an Uber to pick her up, but she refused to leave. She did stick around and destroy $1-million worth of artwork which included several oil paintings (two Andy Warhol valued at $500,000 each) and two sculptures, then poured wine on three paintings and tore a Renoir and a Monet off the wall. Ouch. The young lady was released on $30,000 bond. That’s exactly why I stick with posters. They’re easier to replace when the drunks tear them off the walls.


In February, the first DNA genetic-based dating app, Pheramor, will be launched. It will combine genetic information with data from social media posts to create user profiles. The Houston-based mobile dating app will use cheek swabs to analyze users’ pheromones, which research suggests could predict who is attracted to whom. According to Wikipedia, a pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species …that affect behavior or physiology. The word was first proposed in 1959 with researchers reporting the identification of the first pheromone in silk moths.


Dating apps are big business these days. According to eHarmony.com, 53 percent of people lie on dating profiles. See above.


They have been best friends for 60 years…since sixth grade; diving, and playing first-string HS football together. In Hawaii, two men have just discovered that they have the same biological mother, so they are not only best friends, but brothers. Both are retired, plan to do some traveling together and said it was the best Christmas present ever. Thanks, Ancestry.com.


Learn to park with manners, I’m not a sardine.


In Moscow, a 65-year-old woman was blown off a 4th floor balcony in heavy winds, broke her arm and three ribs landing in a snowdrift, was then taken to the hospital in the bucket of a construction truck because the ambulance couldn’t reach her in the snow. I like to close my eyes sometimes and picture these stories I tell you. This one made me laugh.


In Rome, police arrested a topless protestor after she tried to remove the baby Jesus from the Vatican’s nativity scene…with the statue of the mother of Jesus looking on, in what I picture would be silent amazement. My eyes are closed on this one too. Oh, my.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Mouseketeer Tommy Cole is 76. He is an Emmy winning makeup artist as well as former actor. Musician Walter “Wolfman” Washington is 74. Singer Jimmy Buffett is 71. Country singer Barbara Mandrell is 69. Actress Sissy Spacek is 68. Carrie. Academy award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. And she has been married to the same guy since 1974. Singer Annie Lennox is 63. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 46. News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 74. Humorist David Sedrais is 61. Rock musician Lars Ulrich is 54. Metallica. Actor Jared Leto is 46. Actor Kit Harington is 31. Game of Thrones.

Actress Susan Lucci is 71. All My Children. Rock singer Eddie Vedder is 53. Pearl Jam. Actor Mike Lookinland is 57. He was the youngest brother Bobby Brady on The Brady Bunch. Actress Jennifer Beals is 54. Flashdance. Model Tyson Beckford is 47. He was named the greatest male model of all time by Vogue Magazine in 2014. Host John Walsh is 72. Criminal investigator, human rights & victim rights advocate, and host/creator, of America’s Most Wanted. Walsh is known for his anti-crime activism, with which he became involved following the murder of his son, Adam, in 1981; in 2008, the late serial killer Ottis Toole was named as the killer of Walsh’s son.

Author Mary Higgins Clark is 90. I love her books. Considered to be The Queen of Suspense. Designer Kate Spade is 55. Singer Ricky Martin is 46. Author Stephenie Meyer is 44. Twilight. Best-selling author of 2008 (29 million) and 2009 (26.5 million.) That’s a lot of vampires. Actor-director Woody Allen is 82. Actress-singer Bette Midler is 72. Actor Treat Williams is 66. Hair. Musician-actor John Densmore is 73. The Doors.


Bruce McCandless, the first NASA astronaut to float untethered in space, died at 80. He said, “I wanted to say something similar to Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon, so I said, ‘It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.’ That loosened the tension a bit.” He logged more than 312 hours in space.


January is a very special “moon” month. This month’s first full Moon, the full Wolf Moon, was rising on January 1. What a great way to start the year. A second full Moon, the Blue Moon rises on the 31st and brings the year’s only eclipse for North America just before dawn. Its total phase can be seen from west of the Mississippi and in western Canada. Both of January’s full Moons are Super Moons.


Moon Folklore: A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year. A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry. A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather


At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it’s not so important, happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you and once in a while people may even take your breath away. – Meredith Grey


According to BabyCenter, the most popular baby girl names of 2017 were: #1 Sophia aka Sofia, Olivia, Emma, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Aria, Riley, Zoe, Amelia, Layla, Charlotte, Aubrey, Lily, Chloe, Harper, Evelyn, Adalyn, Emily and #20, Abigail. And the most popular baby boy names of 2017 were: #1 Jackson aka Jaxon, Liam, Noah, Aiden, Lucas, Caden, Grayson, Mason, Elijah, Logan, Oliver, Ethan, Jayden, Muhammad, Carter, Michael, Sebastian, Alexander, Jacob and #20 Benjamin.


What happens in the Artic doesn’t stay in the Artic, it affects the rest of the planet. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, permafrost in the Artic is thawing faster than ever, water is warming, and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace seen in 1,500 years. Because of the many buildings, roads and pipelines that are built on frozen land, thawing could make them vulnerable when the ground melts and shifts.


Per-ma-frost (noun) 1. A thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year, occurring mainly in polar regions.


Iceland’s parliament has presented a bill that would require public and private businesses with 25 or more employees to prove through audits and certification that equal pay for men and women is provided or they will face fines, in what will be the first such requirement in the world.


The oldest tree on the White House lawn is a magnolia that is now too old and badly damaged to remain in place. According to specialists from the National Arboretum, a large portion of the tree was removed last week. According to folklore, Andrew Jackson brought the seedling to Washington because a magnolia was a favorite tree of his wife who died just days after he was elected. Hoover held Cabinet meetings there, Roosevelt spoke to Winston Churchill in its shade, Nixon walked past the tree as he left the White House for the last time and for decades, the magnolia was featured on the back of the $20 bill. Wood from the magnolia will be preserved and hopefully, a seedling will be available for replanting in the same area.


Think Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Jan Gaston (my best friend in HS who had a purple car and a purple bedroom) and Connie Rhodes (the sweet smiling face that you meet when you walk in the front door of The Source Weekly.) What do they all have in common? They love the color, purple. Pantone just announced its 2018 Color of the Year is Pantone 18-3838, also known at Ultra Violet.


We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.Stephen Hawking


As an iPhone owner, I wasn’t happy to find out that Apple issued software updates that deliberately “slowed down older-model phones so aging batteries lasted longer.” Huh? I don’t believe the aging part.  But, I dropped my phone so many times, it turned black and blue so there was no real need for a new battery. If you have a slow problem, install Battery Life, a free app that tells you how much capacity your battery still has or for more detail, try Lirum Info app (free or $2.99.)


The Paris-Texas Bakery on 288-B is quite a treat.  Anne-Elisabeth and I met there for breakfast this morning. On my first visit I had feasted on the avocado toast and a chocolate-almond croissant. Both were big winners. Today, we both ordered the sausage & cheddar quiche (it’s a huge slice with the most delicious smoke flavor) and the almond croissant (no chocolate.) There was nothing left on our plates. We drank our coffee and watched them roll out and cut cinnamon rolls, all while making the most of the Christmas break. Life is good.


A stay-at-home mother of five boys, opened her electric bill to find she was being charged over $284-billion. That’s dollars. She knew that her outside Christmas lights or Christmas tree wouldn’t have made that much difference. As it turned out, it was just a mistake from the electric company.


A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other – Anonymous


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Dec. 28, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 28, 2017

What I Heard This Week by Lisa BakerMy list of New Year’s resolutions. Here’s the first: (1) Stop procrastinating so much. I’ll post the rest tomorrow or maybe the day after.


House for Sale that once belonged to Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon. 7,271-square-feet for $595,000, includes four-bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths (can you imagine cleaning eight toilets), pool & spa, waterfall, outdoor kitchen, gym, office, wine cellar, game room, media room and small basketball court. I would have said, YES, immediately, but the teeny-tiny basketball court just won’t work for me and the wine room isn’t even stocked. Sigh. Former next-door neighbor was “Mattress Mack.


My New Year’s resolution is to simply remember to write 2018 instead of 2017 as the date.


The kids and I have Broadway Series tickets. It was their joint birthday gifts this past year, so we could secure tickets for Hamilton and because we really like Broadway shows. So, we have seen some shows that we likely would not have purchased tickets for if we hadn’t had the package. Last month it was Escape to Margaritaville, a musical of Jimmy Buffett. We were like, um, not excited but willing to take a chance. I should have known it was going to be a great evening when I found myself sitting in an Adirondack chair next to a giant beach ball, drinking a Hendricks and tonic with extra lime while looking at a strange mix of theatre people dressed in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. I was definitely overdressed. The Jimmy Buffett lead was played by Paul Alexander Nolan who we had seen in Jesus Christ Superstar in New York, an unbelievably talented guy who did a remarkable job on the Buffett songs. It was an outstanding show and at the end, Jimmy Buffet, in the flesh, came out and sang for us. They released a slew of beach balls and confetti cannons were shot. We stood in line at the stage door for autographs and I realized then, that Jimmy Buffett is short.  Gage and I are now newly converted Parrot Heads. This was a trial run show so in the spring, they head straight to Broadway.


New Year’s Eve, where ‘auld acquaintance be forgot,” unless, of course, those tests come back positive.” Jay Leno


It’s incomprehensible that someone could do this to a child. A mother has been ordered to undergo intensive psychotherapy for the next five years because she lied about her young son having cancer and sought unnecessary treatment for him including powerful pain drugs like Oxycodone and methadone. She raised money through a GoFundMe, shaved his head, eyebrows and told people that he had a brain tumor and that “some of the best oncologists” were treating the child.  She convinced her husband (what the heck!), doctors (come on, how long did they go to school) and family members that she, herself, was a doctor. Because she is aware of her deceptions, she is not considered to be mentally ill. Arghhh. We are creating a society of selfie-taking, egotistical, self-centered, human beings. She was given a five-year probation sentence (not even close to enough), the maximum under the law and if she violates probation, she faces three years in prison. (Maybe she will violate probation.)


Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” Bill Vaughan


A former top Volkswagen official in the US, Oliver Schmidt, was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the automaker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests. This has cost VW more than $20-billion in fines and settlements.


My New Year’s resolution is to stop hanging out with people who ask me about my New Year’s resolutions.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rapper Jay-Z is 48.  Actress Diane Ladd is 82. Director Joel Coen is 63. Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? Comedian Howie Mandel is 62. Actor Andrew McCarthy is 55. St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Weekend at Bernie’s and was a member of the Brat Pack in the 80’s. Actress Liv Ullmann is 79. CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl is 76. Rocker Billy Gibbons is 68. Rocker Keith Richards is 74. Director Steven Spielberg is 71. Actor Brad Pitt is 54. Actress Katie Holmes is 39.

Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 92. He’s the best. Singer Ted Nugent is 69. Actor Steve Buscemi is 60. He always seems to play the evil guy in the movies, but he is also the voice of Randall Boggs in Monsters. Inc. Actor Jamie Foxx is 50. Singer Taylor Swift is 28. Pope Francis is 81. Rock singer-musician Art Neville is 80. Actor Christopher Plummer is 88. Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music and he recently replaced the scandal-plagued Kevin Spacey who was playing J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World,” and has since received a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor for this role.


Last Saturday, I took my daughter and her friend to downtown Alvin for a rockets class Christmas party, so while she was socializing, I visited Froberg’s Farm. First, I hit the fried pies for a pumpkin, a strawberry (that turned out to be apricot) and a pecan. They were hot, so I forced myself to eat the pecan pie before I even started shopping. I had to. Then I bagged loads of huge green onions, radishes, mustard greens (99 cents a bunch – cooked them with bacon), curly kale (99 cents a bunch – cooked them with orange juice), and turnips, red beets & cabbage that I roasted with olive oil and lemon pepper. A feast. Wait, let’s get back to Froberg’s. Then, I hauled my two-vegetable laden recycled bags over to Greak’s Smokehouse next door and added stuffed bell peppers and a package of pork chops thick enough for stuffing, along with (pay attention here) a bacon-wrapped, cream cheese stuffed, pork loin that was just perfect. There is no way to describe how yummy it was. It was quite a nice hour at Froberg’s. Don’t forget to check out the Peach Street Farmers Market Saturday mornings in Angleton.


New Year’s Resolution I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to exercise every day. I’m going to go on a diet and stick to it…Is that cake?


An unexpected surge of donations recently has allowed the Houston Firefighters Foundation to donate $52,000, enough for two additional swift water rescue boats for The Houston Fire Department. As we all know they struggled along with thousands of other volunteers to rescue stranded residents during Harvey.


Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey


Cardinal Bernard Law, disgraced former archbishop, died at 86. Although never accused of abuse himself, he covered up years of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Boston by transferring sexually abusive priests to other parishes to protect them and the status of the church. The movie “Spotlight” was based on this story. He resigned in 2002 to take a job with the church in Rome.


My daughter and I watched “The Keepers,” last week on Netflix. It is a true-crime tale that was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series 2017. Great show. Sister Cathy Cesnik was 26 and a beloved teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough HS when she was murdered in 1969. Fifty years later, students explain what was really happening at the school. There were seven shockingly brutal episodes.


Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin           Happy New Year’s my friends…Lisa


– Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Resolutions

Much Ado About Nothing December 28, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

If you’re scrambling at the last minute to get your New Year’s resolution lined up and are considering just falling back on a trusted standard like kicking that two 12-pack a day Mountain Dew habit, just stop. It’s a new year, it’s time for new resolutions. Forget the “lose weight,” “eat vegetables,” and “be a better human” choices. We all know no one is going to do any of those and, if they do, no one wants to hear about it. Let’s be more creative.

This year give up using plastic bags you don’t need. Shocking, I know, but it’s time to eliminate the urban tumbleweeds already. I honestly believe you can muscle two bananas and a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to the car without a plastic bag. Give it a try. If you need additional assistance, get someone to help you out to your car, but skip the bag.

If you want a real challenge this year, something that will push you beyond where you think you can go, resolve to use your turn signal. Not just when there’s a state trooper behind you, but all the time. Changing lanes? Use your signal. Turning left? Use your signal. Right turn? You got it: signal. This is an advanced resolution, so keep the plastic bag thing as an option if you think this is too much. Most people do.

You can resolve to return your shopping cart to the cart corral. Don’t just leave it in a parking space or on the stripes next to the handicapped spot. Putting it in front of another parked car is not cool. Neither is hooking the wheels over the curb of the grass around the light poles. You pushed the cart all over the store, surely you can push it another 30 feet and put it in the corral. You can do it. I believe in you.

If these are overly daunting, go for the guaranteed win. Resolve to not talk on your phone in public bathrooms. Don’t wear pajama pants outside the house. Stand up against unnecessary use of cilantro (by the way, all cilantro is unnecessary). Smile more than you snarl. And what the heck, eat more vegetables and be a better human.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

Much Ado About Nothing – Blood Donor

Much Ado About Nothing December 21, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Christmas shopping recently quickly reminded me that this is truly the season to be bled dry. From your MasterCard, checking, savings, 401K, and your children’s college funds should all be liquidated, right? But until you’ve really opened a vein, you haven’t been bled for Christmas. This Christmas give the real gift: The Gift of Life. This is the time of year to resolve to stop being a baby and be a blood donor!

Trust me, there’s no bigger needle-phobic than me. I’d rather be dipped in honey and rolled in fire ants than be stuck with a needle for any reason. But when you consider that surviving a tiny stick in the arm may be the difference in someone just surviving, it’s kind of hard to be a conscientious objector to donating blood. So suck it up, Sunshine, and roll up your sleeve already.

Sure, there are those who have the “Get Out of Donating Free” card. If you take certain medications, have Mad Cow disease, recently tattooed the name of your favorite elementary school teacher anywhere on your body and punctuated it with random piercings, or partaken in a short list of activities that don’t need to be discussed here, then you’re off the hook. The rest of you need to be the next in line at the donor coach.

If just doing the right thing to save the life of someone in need of blood isn’t enough, consider this: they give you free stuff in exchange for a bag o’ blood. A significant portion of my weekend wardrobe is made up of free donor t-shirts. Plus, you get cookies! And I’m almost sure but don’t Google it or anything, I think that all the calories in the cookies you eat after donating blood are null and void. Calories consumed while performing any type of life-saving activity just don’t count. It’s only fair and reasonable, right?

The holidays are a tough time for the Red Cross to keep the blood available for those who need it. People get caught up in finding just the right Chia Pet for the office gift exchange and forget to donate or they’re sick or out of town or whatever. So this season we all have to do our part. What better gift can you give than the gift of life?

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What! Dec. 21, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 21, 2017

Another human foot has washed ashore in Canada. That makes thirteen (13) feet attached to sports shoes, that have been found in this area since 2007. This most recent one was a tibia and fibula attached to a left human foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe. These feet have their own Wikipedia page and a map showing where all the feet were found. eww. One theory is shoe technology. More and more sports shoes are using air pockets or light foam which make them much more buoyant. One article said, “Notice there are no feet washing ashore in stiletto heels or flip flops.”


Onomatopoeia: is a word that imitates a natural sound. Boo, chomp, crunch, eek, huh, sniff, eek, giggle…just to name a few.


This was on Facebook. I found it to be very true especially with the recent cold weather. Why I prefer Summer over Winter. “When you get in a hot car, the a/c begins to work immediately. When you get in a cold car, the heat doesn’t start working until you get where you need to go.” Yep.


Ocean’s Eleven starred George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Elliot Gould, Bernie Mac, Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Casey Affleck and was a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film starring Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop. It is one of my favorite movies. Then came Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen. I love them all. Now, there’s going to be Ocean’s Eight, starring Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina and Sarah Paulson.  (What a group, but what happened to Julia Roberts?) Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, the ex-con sister of Danny Ocean (Clooney & Sinatra). The heist goes down at the annual Met Gala. Is it called Ocean’s Eight because it will take only 8 women to ‘kick the same patootie’ it took 11 guys? Release date is June 8, 2018. I’m ready.


Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at University of Houston has been suspended until 2023 because of abusing pledges during a three-day ritual last year that left one with a lacerated spleen. The indictment says that one pledge was forced to roll in vomit, spit and feces and had to go without food, drink and sleep during the three-day period. He was tackled in the dark by fraternity members and was later hospitalized. Sorry, folks, but five years is not enough time. Hazing is unacceptable just as bad behavior is unacceptable.


He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” Roy L. Smith


To keep up with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will change their legal name to Walmart Inc. in February. Walmart wants to be your ‘everything’ just like Amazon and I bet if they take the dash out, this will work. Right. You know, keeping up with the Jones…the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s.


Which reminds me. Remember the show in the 70’s called Alias Smith and Jones. Their outlaw names were Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two of the most wanted and most successful outlaws in the history of the West, good-looking (and I mean, REALLY good-looking), popular with everyone except the trains and bankers, and with all their robbing and stealing, they had never shot anyone. The two of them decided that they wanted out of the bank and train robbing business, so as the show evolved, it was the story of the two of them trying to stay out of trouble until the Governor felt that they had earned and deserved amnesty. Sally Field played Clementine Hale and Susan Saint James was Miss Porter.


Daily Specials. Did you know that on Whiskey Wednesday at The Fill Station (new Brian’s BBQ) in downtown LJ you can get ½ price whiskey flights? And at Happy Hour (3-6pm) you can get a beer and chopped beef sandwich for $7.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 84. Just thinking of him makes me smile. Actor Don Johnson is 68. Miami Vice and white suits. Singer Lulu is 69. Think of “To Sir with Love.” Comedian-actress Rosanne Barr is 65. Actress Kate Capshaw is 64. She met her husband, Steven Spielberg, working on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne is 69. Actress Daryl Hannah is 57.  ‘Splash.’ Actress Julianne Moore is 57. Impressionist Rich Little is 79. “The man of a thousand voices.” Singer Tina Turner is 78. What’s Love Got to Do With It, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Proud Mary, Private Dancer…

Pop musician John McVie is 72. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac.  Actress Kathryn Crosby Is 84. The daughter of a West Columbia, Texas schoolteacher and politician, she went to Hollywood as a beauty contest winner and onetime queen of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Actor economist Ben Stein is 73. Footwear designer Manolo Blahnik is 75. TV Host Bill Nye is 62. Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Actress Cathy Lee Crosby is 73. Wonder Woman in 1974. Broadcast journalist Stone Phillips is 63. He was born in Texas City. Pop singer Britney Spears is 36.  Actor Jeff Bridges is 68. Actress Patricia Wettig is 66. Thirtysomething.


Several months back when I was trying to assist us (you & me), on our journey to become way cooler people than we really are, I explained the Danish term ‘hygge’ (hue-ugh) which translates to ‘coziness’ in English, but recently the word has been used more to describe a sought-after lifestyle. So, today your new hip, trendy word is ‘lagom’ which is Swedish and is defined as not too little, not too much, just right. You know, like Goldilocks. This too, is a lifestyle or way of living, with suggestions of reducing your environmental impact on the world…making life easier, more enjoyable and less expensive by being frugal, fair and creating balance. Pay attention because you are going to hear this word again. Lagom. It will be named on shampoo bottles, candles, sandwich meat and paint colors as everyone jumps on this fad. OK, maybe not sandwich meat but you know what I’m saying.


Good news for many…Pfizer, maker of the little blue ($65 a single pill) Viagra, will now have a little competition when Teva Pharmaceuticals launches their own little white impotence pill. No word on what the cost is but Pfizer has decided to make its own generic version of Viagra and sell it for half the price. Good grief.


A Saudi prince was the mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi” which brought $450.3-million at auction last month. Hmmm. Where will it end up.


A LAW WENT INTO EFFECT in Texas on September 1, 2017, that allows estate executors, guardians and trustees to gain access to the digital assets of those who die. It could include photos, digital music library, emails and credit card loyalty points. It could be a domain name (toys.com just sold for $5-million) but you will need to leave written instructions in a will or trust. So, if you have any embarrassing information with your “digital assets” you better make provisions quick.


This one is sick. A Wisconsin man was sentenced to federal prison after he was caught in a Houston undercover sting where he believed he was meeting a Houston mother at a hotel to have sex with her four-year-old child. I’m not telling you ‘all’ the ugly, just enough to gently remind you that there are some people in this world that we need to protect our kids from. Sigh.


Which is worse? Pitching a hissy fit or pitching a conniption fit? I guess it just depends on what part of Texas you are from.


The Houston Zoo welcomed Hasani, a three-year-old African lion that came from the Oregon Zoo. Since the zoo carnivores eat more than 36,000 pounds of meat annually, they would love it if you would help them with an end-of-year ‘Gift of Grub’ contribution. In fact, they have quite a few new mouths to feed with so many new baby animals…two baby Masai giraffes, a baby California sea lion, a baby Asian elephant, two baby Red River hogs, and two baby jaguars.


Personal story: First, I’m going to set this up by telling you that I’m allergic to cats. My daughter and I, along with a few employees, were up at The Source Weekly office one day during the catastrophic Harvey weeks. As we came in through the back door, Anne-Elisabeth heard a very faint meow. I ignored her plea of, “Mom. Please. Kittens. Listen,” and went to work. An hour or so later, in the rain, 7 of us ended up rescuing 3, three-week old kittens that were surrounded by water underneath our deck. Kay’s husband had to come up with his electric drill to help us remove boards from the deck to get those babies out. They were so very tiny, cold, dehydrated, wet and almost dead. We dried them off, kept them warm, then an hour later as we left, we saw (gasp) two more babies underneath the generator behind State Farm. OMG. Five kittens. We took them to the Gaspard’s house (which is kitty city,) drained Orren and Margaret of information, bottles and all sorts of kitty things. That evening, the SPCA kindly provided milk and droppers. They were fed every 2 hours. We lost 3 of the kittens over the next 24 hours which was pure agony that I can never forget, so we were very determined that the last two males were going to live. And my, how they have lived. We now have Winnie who was Winston until the vet found girl parts.  She has the most beautiful eyes and has the looks of a Blue Russian, is a very healthy eater, moves so gracefully and is full of love. You only have to say her name and her motor just rumbles in utter contentment. Then there is Sully (Sullivan) who was also supposed to be a male but, alas, wasn’t. Sully has a mild case of gender identity disorder (what would you do if everyone told you that you were a boy for the first 6 weeks of your life then decided you were a girl – talk about confusion), she is believed to be the runt of the litter, has soft little white stripes on her belly, might have selective hearing, can jump to the top of the shower door and is the sweetest most affectionate little ball of fur that you have ever seen. We don’t think she knows how to meow because instead, she chirps like a bird. They know yum-yum (food), nite-nite (they run to their sleeping box) and treats (self-explanatory.) Oh, and Mr. Strawberry, their favorite toy. My son, Gage, who is also allergic to cats, says that our house has an unbelievable amount of love in it now. What I am trying to tell you is that there are a ton of the cutest, sweetest puppies and kittens just looking for new parents at the SPCA. It breaks my heart to go over there and see animals just begging to have you touch them. If you had asked me 6-months ago if I was going to have two cats… absolutely, NOT.  There was no way.  But it sure has been fun. Expensive, yes. But who needs to be able to send their kids to college!


CVS Health, the second-largest US drugstore chain announced plans to buy Aetna, the third-largest health insurer, in a $69-billion deal. This merger could change the health care by lowering prescription costs. Something’s got to give. We can’t keep on like it is.


Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Luke’s Health System and Dignity Health said they agreed to merge operations, creating what could become one of the largest not-for-profit US hospital systems. The new system would have 139 hospitals in 28 states and employ 159,000 people.


A Utah man fled from police, then hid from them in a church’s boiler room, only to have to call 911 six hours later to be rescued because he had accidently locked himself in and couldn’t get out.


Merry CHRISTmas, my friends. Remember that when you quit believing in Santa, you get underwear.


– Lisa

Holiday Tips

Much Ado About Nothing December 14, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Yes, the holiday season is here. Stop looking so surprised, overwhelmed and freaked out. It shows up same time every year, and the stores have been throwing up warning signs since mid-August. Yet here we are with panic rising in our throats. Not to worry, oh festive elf! I’ve got some fool-proof pointers that will make this year as smooth as eggnog (as long as the eggnog is 85% bourbon and fool-proof actually means 90-proof).

Tip #1: Do all your holiday shopping online late at night. Everything looks better and affordable online late at night. Sure, blurry-eyed exhaustion may cloud your better financial judgement, but you can cut back other places later. Think of what you’ll save in heating costs by burning your unopened credit card statements in the fireplace!

Tip #2: Go gift cards! Invited to the wedding of an old boyfriend once, I took a nice Macy’s gift card. Just the gift card. I didn’t actually put any money on it. Which I hope made for a horribly awkward situation for the lucky bride and groom later, but he didn’t invite me to his subsequent weddings. See how that’s a win? So stuff those stockings with empty gift cards. You come off looking like Santa himself and there’s zero guilt when they get lost later.

Tip #3: Don’t overthink your holiday dinner. Make a Chef Boyardee pizza kit crust into the shape of a Christmas tree and “decorate” it with pepperonis, post it on Pinterest, and look forlorn if anyone mentions turkey. If your family still insists on squelching your inner creative diva, lock yourself in your room – at least until the dishes are done.

Tip #4: Know now that anyone who tells you Christmas cookies aren’t breakfast food is not your friend. Those people are toxic and you don’t need them in your life. You need Christmas cookies in your life. Freeze a few. You’ll need them in February, too.

Last Tip: Remember the Holiday Serenity Prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the presents I cannot exchange, the courage to exchange the things I can, and the wisdom to save the receipts. From my family to yours, have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season and year to come!

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What! Dec. 7, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 7, 2017

An Oregon woman visited her boyfriend at the Oregon State Penitentiary and kissed him one very long “super kiss” as she was leaving. At the same time of the kiss, she was also passing seven tiny balloons filled with methamphetamine from her mouth to his. Two of the balloons ruptured in his stomach a short time later and he died of methamphetamine toxicity. Hmmm. He was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder in the stabbing death of his mother-in-law (yikes) and his girlfriend has now been sentenced to two years behind bars on drug conspiracy. That’s a heck of a kiss.


J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve received the Sportsperson of the Year Award during Sports Illustrated 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Show in New York City. Watt, honored for his $37 million fund-raising effort for Hurricane Harvey relief, and Altuve for his role in leading the Astros to their first World Series title in the storm’s wake, are the first Houston athletes to receive the award, presented since 1954.


So, you’ve planned your trip, then traveled to Hotel Charleroi in Belgium. Sitting all by yourself in the hotel room, you suddenly realize that you are, oh, so lonesome. (Now in real life, I can’t imagine feeling this way because there would be no office phones ringing, no kids needing something, no cats to feed, no clothes to wash…just pure nothing…but, for the sake of this short paragraph, you are sitting there and lonely.) Fear not, call downstairs and for just $4.00 a night, you can rent a goldfish. That’s cheaper than bad pay-for-view movies or ordering off the room service menu. Just one clever listener that lets you go to bed when you want and watch whatever you please on the television. Soon to be available at a Motel 6 near you, I’m sure. Beats the heck out of spending quarters on the vibrating bed.


In Des Plaines, Illinois, there is a replica of Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s location with the original sign out front looking just like it did in 1955. Vintage cars and everything. The old sign says that burgers are 15-cents and “we have sold over 1-million.” My little bit of research showed that McDonald’s quit updating the “burgers sold” number in 1994 and just stayed with the “over 99-billion sold” theory. In one of their training manuals it is noted that they sell “more than 75 hamburgers per second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day of the year.” If there are about 31.536-million seconds in a year, then multiply that by 75 burgers to get 2.365-billion a year and since it’s been 23 years since ’94, it would be approximately 55-billion more burgers (give or take a few.) When my kids were little and said, “What’s that?” I always told them that it was Dr. McDonald’s office. Therefore, in my mind, they would never want to go. Yikes. Sidetracked. I started this paragraph to tell you that they are getting ready to tear down the museum because of repeated flooding and a decline in visitors to the site. That’s a shame. Modern history.


Are you looking for a new Christmas tradition? Go see the Season of Light, the classic Christmas full dome planetarium show celebrating the customs of Christmas and exploring the question, “If the star of Bethlehem was a natural phenomenon, what might it have been?” Wonderful for the entire family and includes a beautiful tour of the winter circle of constellations. BASF Planetarium at The Center for the Arts & Sciences 400 College Blvd. 979-265-7661


A six-year-old was asked to write a letter to Santa. It said, “Dear Santa, Santa I’m only doing this for the class. I know your notty list is empty. And your good list is emty. and your life is emty. You don’t know the troubles Ive had in my life. Good bye. Love, Im not telling you my name.” (ps. the “troubles” in his life were just his brother.) Sibling rivalry.


According to 5 Gyres, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean, than fish. We should be so proud of ourselves. Go to 5gyres.org.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Actor Ed Asner is 88. Actor Sam Waterston is 77. He’s great! Actress Beverly D’Angelo is 66. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. is 88. He has been partners with Diana Ross since 1965.  Former Late Show Orchestra leader Paul Shaaffer is 68. Actor Ed Harris is 67. Apollo 13. Former NASA Astronaut Barbara Morgan is 66. Actor Judd Nelson is 58.

Singer Randy Newman is 74. His awards have included – Academy Award for Best Original Song (2011, 2002) · Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (2011, 2000) · Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media (2007, 2003, 2001) · Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition (1985) · World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film (2006)


A celebration of life will be held for Bonnie “Miss Kitty” Smith at 2pm on December 18 at Kitty’s Purple Cow. Bring a dish and a bottle. I remember the first time I stuck my foot inside the door of that old purple building on Bluewater Hwy for one of Miss Kitty’s cheeseburgers and fries. I thought she was old then, wearing shorts (we called them hot pants) and waiting on every busy table in that restaurant. I fell prey to the poster of the lovely muscled young man in the women’s bathroom that had a little white door that covered his private parts. The devil made us all open that tiny little door. What I didn’t know was when you lifted the door, a loud buzzer went off all over the building, so you then had to face every single person in the restaurant knowing what you had just done as you shamefully walked back to your table. My kids loved popping quarters in the juke box. Her Sunday morning homemade waffles were the best. Today I realize that the famous Miss Kitty was much younger then, than I am today. She was 87 when she died and had never slowed down. Her family plans to keep the restaurant open. (note: the young man was clothed under that little white door.)


Animal control officers in a suburb of Dallas near Interstate-35, found themselves on two strange calls last week. First, they were called to pick up a 15-foot albino python. The snake was dead, so police assume that it was a pet that someone had dumped and left to fend for itself or it had escaped from a nearby home. Sad. One of the postings said, “maybe they will find the owner once they open up the snake.”  The same animal control officers had been called earlier to retrieve a pit bull from a tree. If you travel that direction, don’t drink the water.


If you missed the only visible supermoon of 2017 which happened on December 3rd, don’t fret, because on January 2nd and 31st of our new year (2018) there will be opportunities to view two more supermoons. Go to Virtual Telescope Project for live images.


The Houston Ballet Nutcracker is coming December 10-23, to Smart Financial Centre (thank you, Harvey) and December 30-January 6 at Hobby Center. 1-800-745-3000 Houstonballet.org. The Health Museum in Houston will have a Teddy Bear Checkup on Saturday December 9th. Take your favorite child and their teddy bear for an annual checkup. There will be information on healthy eating, healthy snacks, breakfast, photos with Santa and more. That sounds like fun. Perhaps I can borrow a young child.


Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort on North Padre Island could be auctioned off a foreclosure sale in February if a deal for the property is not reached before then, according to US Bankruptcy Court in San Antonio. I saw a drone video of the property and it’s so sad to see all the graffiti and vandalism that has happened there.


If you hate where you are, “MOVE!” You are not a tree.


– Lisa

Starving Student

Much Ado About Nothing December 7, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

College. It’s the place where you pay big bucks to learn big things. My youngest son is currently close to finishing up his first semester at college and is learning some really big things. Like how not to starve to death. Last August, we settled him into his new dorm room with clean sheets, a manageable class schedule, and an ample meal plan. By Thanksgiving break, his checking account was dry, his gas tank empty, and he had $1.19 left on his meal plan until the end of the semester. Desperation is the mother of invention.

He reports that he’s started hanging around with sorority girls and his scrawny friends. Obviously, these are people who are not utilizing their meal plans and are happy to let him mooch a lunch now and then. I’m hoping the parents of those kids are all socialists or at least voted Democrat in the last election.

It seems that since the days when my dad let me starve in college, they’ve upped the age that you can sell plasma. So that option is out for him, at least for another year. But, by then, I’m hoping he’ll have wrestled his budget to the ground.

He “rented” his car so an international student in his dorm could take his test for his US driver’s license. He convinced drunk fraternity boys that he was cheaper than Uber (he wasn’t). He found a $5 bill in the dryer. He’ll be fine.

Discovering a new, hunger-fueled resourcefulness, he used his last nickels to buy a four pound jar of discount peanut butter at the Dollar Store. He can’t afford bread, but, no worries, the plastic spoons at Chick-fil-A are free. Coffee creamer and ketchup packets are yours for the taking just about everywhere. And if he tags along with someone going out for Mexican food, there’s that big bowl of free chips. I hardly worry that he’ll waste away to nothing.

I know, though, that college is making him smarter because he hasn’t asked me for money. Eating crow and swallowing your pride just aren’t that filling. On a positive note, I bet he’ll never run out of money again. Of course, he may also never be able to face another box of no-name mac-n-cheese ever again either. So college really is making him a better, healthier, smarter person!

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

What! Nov. 2, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 2, 2017

Thanks to the Astros for giving us all something to think about besides Harvey…something that made us proud and have happy, heartfelt thoughts. We all needed this. GO ASTROS.


After actor Paul Newman made the 1969 auto racing movie “Winning” his wife, actress Joanne Woodward gave him a Rolex Daytona with an art deco-inspired dial that was recently sold at auction for $17.8-million. The inscription on the back of the watch in all caps said, DRIVE CAREFULLY ME.  It is the most expensive wristwatch ever auctioned, but not the most expensive timepiece. A pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1933 sold for $24.4-million in 2015. Time IS money.


Paul Newman – “When you see the right thing to do, you’d better do it.”


In Utah, the mother of a 13-day-old infant boy and the woman’s boyfriend have been charged with first degree murder and three counts of child abuse. The baby was found unresponsive on the floor with a fractured spine and a broken rib with bruises and abrasions that were believed to be bite marks. The baby appeared to have no health problems when born. In my opinion, certain actions in this world are non-negotiable. The punishment must fit the crime and there should be just penalty for evil actions. An “eye for an eye.” No excuses.


Three teenage boys cruised several St. Louis neighborhoods and were able to “borrow” 48-pumpkins, a gourd and then somehow stuffed all that plus themselves into one small Subaru Forester before police found and arrested the porch pirates’ aka pumpkin-nappers aka thieves. I didn’t know that a Subaru Forester was that roomy. Then the tough job of finding the owners of the pumpkins began with a “pumpkin line up”, a social media post from the police department and at last report, all but 13 had been reunited with their owners. I did see the pumpkin line up and not a single pumpkin was decorated, so I have no idea how the people knew “their” pumpkin. Poor boys.


Researchers from the State University of New York at Fredonia found that sea salt – the same stuff that we use in cooking and in the salt shaker at dinner every night – is just one more thing that helps us with our daily intake of plastic particles. Yep, plastic particles are just everywhere now and you could be ingesting as many as 660 particles a year with your salt. We’ve got to start taking better care of our Mother Earth.


Paris Hilton, the former Simple Life star is the highest-paid female DJ in the world, commanding up to $1-million for a one-night gig. Kim Kardashian was her former assistant.


Budweiser plans to release a limited-edition 1933 Repeal and Reserve Amber Lager this holiday season. The forgotten recipe dates back to pre-Prohibition days but back in 1920, it couldn’t be sold outside St. Louis due to the enforcement of Prohibition which banned the manufacturing, transporting and sale of alcoholic beverages. Just little bit of history that you can pick up and drink in 2017. It’s described as a “light, hoppy aroma and a rich caramel malt taste” with 6.1% ABV and will be packaged in vintage bottles.


Nancy Rosatti recently retired and sold Elaine’s Fashions & Accessories in LJ. We will miss her kind heart, beautiful smile and a more than gracious attitude. Thank you, Nancy, for years of making us beautiful and always having something wonderful for graduation gifts or a last-minute birthday surprise. We will miss you and wish you the very best in this new chapter of life. Congratulations to Terry & Julie Edwards, the new owners of Elaine’s Fashions. You have some very BIG Brighton’s to fill. 😊


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Bill Wyman is 81. The Rolling Stones. Actor Kevin Kline is 70. Rock singer-musician David Hidalgo is 63. Los Lobos. I love them! Russian President Vladimir Putin is 65. Cellist YoYo ma is 62. Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson is 76. Comedian Chevy Chase is 74. Author R.L. Stine is 74. Actress Sigourney Weaver is 68. Gospel/rhythm & blues singer CeCe Winams is 53. Rock musician C.J. Ramone is 52. The Ramones. Actor-screenwriter Matt Damon is 47. Singer-songwriter-producer Bruno Mars is 32.


Actress Nanette Fabray is 97. Actor-comedian John Cleese is 78. Actress Cassandra Peterson is 66. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Actress Sophia Loren is 83. She is coming to The Grand 1894 Opera House in April 2018. Hockey Hall of Fame Guy LaFleur is 66. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 57. Journalist Barbara Walters is 88. Actor Michael Douglas is 73 and his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones turned 48. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 70.


Pro Football Hall of Fame Tony Dungy is 62. His book, Quiet Strength was No.1 on New York Times Best Seller list. It’s a great book. Dungy is an evangelical Christian and at one point in his coaching career considered leaving football for the prison ministry.


“Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.” Tony Dungy


Robert Guillaume died at the age of 89.  I remember him best as Benson, the level-headed butler on the TV series Soap and then the spin-off show, Benson. He was a hoot and the only sane person on the show. I can still see him rolling his eyes. He was magnificent on Broadway, Off-Broadway and was the first black ‘Phantom,’ replacing Michael Crawford in a 1990 production of The Phantom of the Opera in Los Angeles. He earned a Grammy for voicing the role of Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King. I could go on and on.


New Orleans musician Fats Domino died at age 89. He was big in the 50’s and 60’s when he sold more records than anyone except Elvis during that time and was one of the first people admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He had more than three dozen TOP 40 hits including Blueberry Hill and Ain’t That a Shame. Supposedly, Elvis once said, “Let’s face it, I can’t sing like Fats Domino can.”


A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B.Fats Domino


Former architect, Robert L. McKay, who designed the first Taco Bell restaurant (the Spanish-style arched and tiled building that is still the signature look,) then was so intrigued by the fast-food concept that he closed his architectural firm and joined Taco Bell, eventually becoming president, died at 86. McKay helped American consumers understand the exotic Mexican dishes that we now eat every day…like tacos and burritos and embraced the concept of franchising. Taco Bell had around 900 restaurants when it was sold to PepsiCo in 1978 for $125-million in stock.  I wonder what that would be in “today” dollars.


A 31-year-old Galveston man died from flesh-eating bacteria he likely contracted in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It is believed that the carpenter suffered a skin puncture from a nail while repairing homes damaged by the flooding. It is also believed that a 77-year-old Kingwood woman died in September from the same infection after falling in floodwaters and cutting her arm.


Remember Howard Johnson’s. HoJo.  How about Sambo’s Restaurant. The name became controversial but in truth, was named for owners Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnet who opened the first restaurant in 1957. Steak and Ale? They always had frozen salad plates. I loved that. How about Bob’s Big Boy. Today I saw that the company owning 24 Dairy Queen locations in Texas has filed for bankruptcy and that they are shutting them down. The list does not have West Columbia on it. Whew. I would miss my cherry and banana Blizzard on the way to Austin.


Creepy Hollow Haunted House, is off 288 in Rosharon. Now, I’m not a haunted house sort of person. I won’t even watch CSI by myself. What I do appreciate is an organization that gives money back to the community and Creepy Hollow does just that. Just ask the LJ Lions Club. For those with weak bladders, go prepared. When my son worked there, I was certainly NOT prepared as I waited in the parking lot to pick him up. The website says: Do not enter if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, prone to seizures, heart conditions, physical ailments, respiratory or any type of medical problem or are pregnant or suffer any form of mental disease including claustrophobia. No refunds for the wimpy or those that don’t follow the rules. There is a good reason that they post this. It’s still open this week-end and there is a $5.00-off coupon on their website for up to 4-people.


Typeractivity: the overuse of personal devices with special emphasis on texting. My daughter’s typeractivity is very distracting when I am trying to talk to her.


Target is listening to their customers saying that want they more emphasis on Thanksgiving and just an ease-in to Christmas promotions. It is hard to walk into stores in August and see Christmas trees. Thank you, Target. Another BIG thing for Target will happen on November 5th when they unveil Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, a collection of Joanna Gaines’s signature designs with modern, classic, industrial and vintage touches…“modern farmhouse style.” The merchandise is supposed to be arranged like a little shop inside Target. I don’t know about you but I loved visiting Magnolia in Waco and this looks like pretty good stuff.


I love you like biscuits and gravy” – unknown origin but understood by people all over Texas.


I was reading a newspaper when out of the corner of my eyes I flashed over an ad…Female Replacement SALE…for just the smallest moment I thought to myself, “What the heck?!?! Female Replacement Sale?!?!” My brain went in to overtime.  “I thought it was harder than that to replace a female…who would be having the sale…why aren’t we running that ad in The Source?” Yep, it was an ad for cows and I’m still blond. You guys would be so bored without me.


Former Vice-President Al Gore visited Rice University last week speaking on climate change and how the warming of the oceans will lead to more storms like Hurricane Harvey in our future. He said, “We can’t treat the world like an open sewer.” “Every day we’re dumping 110 million tons of CO2 in the sky and it traps heat.” We all know that when Gulf water is hot, a hurricane is more likely. My son said it was a great talk.


A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the NYC area only once every 500 years could occur every five years. The primary blame for the predicted change is sea-level rise caused by global warming. Hmmm. Is anyone listening?


November 4th is the new full moon. Prepare accordingly.


– Lisa

Girl Boy Scouts

Much Ado About Nothing November 2, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Men in dresses who aren’t even Scottish. Women in the men’s bathroom and not because the line is too long next door in the girl’s room. Boys want to be girls who want to be boys, and it all just gets so confusing. Now Boy Scouts are girl scouts but not Girl Scouts. Just girls being scouts ala Boys, although boys can’t be Girl Scouts so how is that fair? Because it has to be fair. And everyone needs a trophy.

Starting next year, Boy Scouts of America are allowing girls to join their ranks. Because how else can you earn your merit badge for Utter Absurdity? What exactly is wrong with girls being Girl Scouts and boys being Boy Scouts? Wouldn’t it just be easier to let the boys in on the cookie sales thing and let the girls do… I don’t even know what it is that Girl Scouts can’t do that the boys do, except pee against the trees when they go camping.

Honestly, I don’t think everyone has thought through this whole thing or considered the doors that will be blown open that can’t be closed again. How long will it be before a Siamese cat wins the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show because Fluffy the Persian identifies as a German shepherd. Will Lassie and Toto get cast as the leads in the Broadway musical “Cats”? And will crazy cat ladies be obligated to have dogs, too, on the basis of canine equality?

So if you ask me – and quite frankly, no one does – girls in Girl Scouts and boys in Boy Scouts or stop all the silliness already, lump them all together and call them “Scouts.” Whoever shows up, pays their dues, and builds a soapbox derby car is in.

Because, guess what!? Both sides are already charged to “Be Prepared” and “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Who knew, but both sides of the Scout debate have the same motto and slogan. We should probably now realize that what they’ve both been saying since the 1940’s is “Be prepared to do a good turn daily, because the world is going to get crazy and people will be weird, but someone still has to step up and sell cookies, salute the flag, deliver mulch, and help old ladies across the street. Scouts, it’s on you.

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