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What I Heard This Week! June 7, 2018

What I Heard This Week June 6, 2018

Senior Prank Day is tradition at every high school. Truman HS in Kansas City wasn’t the exception, but officials didn’t think it was very funny when 18-year-old, ‘A’-student, Kylan Scheele listed his high school for sale on Craigslist for only $12,275. The individual that saw the post took it as a possible threat and reported it. A threat?!? Well, it seems that the way he worded the ad was the problem. He listed all the amenities of the school then stated, “The reason for the sale is due to the loss of students coming up.” That statement was taken as a threat instead of the ‘loss’ being all graduating seniors. Good grief. I understand both sides but what has our world come to…Kylan says that if he had it to do all over again, he would still pull the school-for-sale prank but would use a better choice of words to make sure no one misunderstood him.


“Don’t ever confuse what is legal with what is moral…You’re either principled or you’re not.” Oprah Winfrey


Because of perfect weather conditions, the ‘Hill Country’ is having an exceptional harvest of peaches this year – the best harvest in years. Think back to that long cold Texas winter that we had…well, by peach standards, long and cold. I never even got my heavy coat out. The relatively dry weather meant natural sugars weren’t diluted by rain, making this year’s fruit exceptionally flavorful. Add wineries and German food to the list of things to do and it sure looks like a road trip may be in order. (There is also a guy in town that makes fresh sangria to order that is fabulous, but I can blame it on a peach trip.)


In 1973 the International House of Pancakes shortened its name to IHOP. Now, after 60 years, there is an announcement that they will change their name to IHOb on June 11th. Hmmm. What does the “B” stand for? Some suggestions were biscuits, bacon, butternut squash, bagels, beer, burrito and barnacles. I suggested breakfast, but according to the posts, the odds are against me. There is a way you can vote on their website which has a countdown clock to the announcement. Inquiring minds want to know.


Firefighters in England rescued a man who found himself stuck in a tree while trying to chase his large green parrot. It took 35 minutes to rescue the man but unfortunately the escapee remained loose.


Allergies might be on the rise because kids are too clean. They’re saying that kids may not have the necessary exposure to germs required to build up the immune system which could lead to something called hygiene hypothesis. Listen, right now I live with two cats, a 21-year-old male child and an 18-year-old female child. To even describe their rooms would scare you straight off this planet. But, if no one finds E. coli or salmonella in their rooms, things are ok. Not to mention all the money I’m saving on allergy meds.


Fashion designer and businesswoman Kate Spade (55) was found dead in her NY home and is reported to have taken her own life. How sad.  I have always loved her Kate Spade designs. Her newest venture was Frances Valentine, a shoes and accessories brand that she named after her daughter. The designer had legally changed her name to Kate Valentine in honor of the label.

“Surround yourself with the things you love. Discard the rest.” Kate Spade

“If you’re as honest and fair as you can be, not only in business but in life, things will work out. I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend – and a heck of a lot of fun.” – Kate Spade


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Director actor Clint Eastwood is 88. Wait a minute. That can’t be. Singer Gladys Knight is 74. The Pips. Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 90. Sex therapist, media personality, actress, voice actress and author. Pro and College Football Hall of Fame Gale Sayers is 75. Actress Sondra Locke is 74. Willard, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way but Loose, Sudden Impact. Singer John Fogerty is 73. Creedence Clearwater Revival and is currently touring with ZZ Top.

Actor Brandon Cruz is 56. The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Country singer Wynonna Judd is 54. Actress Idina Menzel is 47. Elphaba in Wicked. Actor Anthony Geary is 71. Luke on General Hospital. Singer LaToya Jackson is 62. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 57. Actress Lisa Whelchel is 55. The Facts of Life. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 51. Oasis. Musician Charlie Watts is 77. Rolling Stones. Actor Jerry Mathers is 70. Leave it to Beaver. TV personality Andy Cohen is 50. The Real Housewives.

NFL Hall of Fame Joe Namath is 75. That’s soooo hard to believe. Singer Augie Meters is 78. The Texas Tornados. Comedian Mike Myers is 55. Actress Octavia Spencer is 48. Rapper DMC is 54. Actress Brooke Shields is 53. Author Larry McMurtry is 82. The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove. Brokeback Mountain, Terms of Endearment. Rock singer Ian Hunter is 79. Mott the Hoople.


Robert Mandan, who starred as wealthy, womanizing Chester Tate in the 70’s sitcom Soap, has died at the age of 86. I loved that show.


‘We’re the ones who decide, “Do I hate, or am I filled with love?” ‘ Former US President Jimmy Carter


Flag Day is June 14th. In case you have forgotten or perhaps it’s no longer politically correct to teach this…the stars on the flag represent the fifty states, and the stripes represent the colonies. The red represents valor, displayed by soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given their lives, so our flag can continue to stand tall. Don’t forget to put your flags out next week.


Loch Ness is a large, deep freshwater loch (or lake) in the Scottish Highlands. For hundreds of years, people have described sightings of the Loch Ness monster aka Nessie. A New Zealand scientist is leading a team to the lake next month to conduct DNA tests and determine what species live there. He says he wants to take people on an adventure and communicate science. One theory is that Nessie is a long-necked plesiosaur that somehow survived the period when dinosaurs became extinct.


‘Embrace the mess…your life won’t always unfold according to plan.’ Betsy Devos, US Secretary of Education


Sephora has announced that they will offer interactive make-up classes geared towards transgender customers and those who identify as neither masculine nor feminine. In the US, about 4 percent of Americans identify as LGBTQ which is about 10 million people, which means tremendous buying power.


According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms (where it is at least a tropical storm) during this storm season. NOAA experts’ based predictions on the average water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea combined with the possibility of a weak El Nino developing in the Pacific Ocean. New equipment and techniques make them more accurate each year.


A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.


Richard Gere, a very young and good-looking 68-years-old, just married a 35-year-old. That’s a big difference in dog years – heck, that’s a huge difference in human years. Richard, Richard, Richard. You could have had me.


A ‘federal’ jury ended a trademark battle between Buc-ee’s (with their round logo and a buck-toothed beaver in a baseball cap) and Choke Canyon’s Bar-B-Q (a round logo showing a lip-licking alligator with a hat that looks like a cross between a short brimmed retro cowboy hat and a fedora.) Jurors were asked to decide, “if Choke Canyon’s branding confused customers familiar with Buc-ee’s logo and merchandise and profited through unfair competition.”  Well, surprise. I wouldn’t have thought it was similar at all and all evidence indicated there was no confusion, but the jury that deliberated for six hours determined that the alligator logo too closely resembles the Buc-ee’s beaver.


There is a teacher in Louisiana who asked the students in her second-grade class to write about one invention that they don’t like. After four children wrote about the same invention, the teacher decided to post one of the essays. Misspellings included, it said, “I don’t like the phone because my panert are on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad habet. I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one. That is an invention that I don’t like.”  Yikes. Every time I go out to dinner I see families where every single member is on a phone. Pay attention.


The Dallas Zoo has a new baby giraffe that was named after retired Dallas Cowboy star player Jason Witten. Baby Witten is very outgoing.


The lucky Houstonian who won $30.25-million in the Texas Lotto last month came forward to claim the huge, gigantic, unbelievable, prize which has a cash value option of $20,327,988.00. WOW! MJ’s All-Season Food Store received a $308,766.64 selling bonus.


Shiners Hospital for Children in Galveston will admit several children with burn injuries suffered in the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.


My clever son was able to get cheap, nosebleed tickets to see the Farewell Tour of Paul Simon. We are firm believers in ‘cheap tickets allow for more concerts’ and we love concerts. We arrived in good time, parked, went through security then made our way to the very top of Toyota Center with a quick bathroom and food stop. (We might still be feeling the effects of the chili-cheese fries.) We had been sitting for less than five minutes when a young man approached and asked, “Are there three in your party?” First thought…we were in the wrong seats. He tore off three of his tickets and invited us to join him on the 19th row of the floor seats. We were cautious, not believing that someone would be so kind, BUT WE GOT THERE ASAP. We introduced ourselves to Charlie, his aunt and uncle…our row mates for Paul Simon. Charlie said, “No offense, but I chose the people with the worst seats in the house.” No offense taken AT ALL. Thank you so much! Gage and I agree that Paul Simon was one of the best concerts with the best sound that we have ever seen. Many thanks to Charlie for making Audrey’s first arena concert a stupendous one. Hope he is reading this.


Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato


Thanks for taking the time to read this…Lisa

Much Ado About Nothing – Willis Carter

Much Ado About Nothing June 6, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

The City of Houston paid a sculptor to create this massive, 32-foot tall, weird, reflective bean thing then proudly planted it near the Museum of Fine Art. I’m not sure why that much metal was wasted on such a thing when there is a real hero desperately in need of recognition and adoration, a true man among men: Willis Carrier. This man should be elevated to saint status, have elementary schools named in his honor, and every July there should be an official holiday complete with parades. Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner.

Where would we be, oh sweltering Gulf Coast of Texas, without this man? Houston wouldn’t be the fourth largest city in the US, that’s for sure. Instead the entire area would be populated by drunk, divorced, chaffed, irritable isolationists and boasting the highest homicide rate on the entire planet. Satan himself would sell his luxury condo for pennies and leave town grumbling about intolerable conditions.

Willis Carrier isn’t just cool, he’s the King of Cool. I suppose when one of your relatives is burned at the stake as part of the Salem Witch Hunts, you become a little hyper-sensitive to being hot under the collar and embody a new motivation for redeeming your family’s name and reputation. Talk about a Phoenix rising from the ashes!

Certainly there needs to be a distinctive tip of the hat to the Egyptians for figuring out how to make clothing out of cotton. Without them, we’d still be wearing wool all summer, which a large majority of people were through the 1800’s. Even swimsuits were made out of wool until the 1930’s! Just the thought of it makes me scratchy, chaffed and irritable.

Without Mr. Carrier, we’d be facing a world without leather car seats, ice cream trucks, and Slurpees®. Humidity would be an unstoppable, mold-growing, hairdo-killing scourge. We’d have no safe retreat from mosquitoes, sunburn, or the neighbors. To be honest, without Willis Carrier’s air conditioners, we’d have long since given the lower half of the Louisiana Purchase back to France and thrown in pretty much every other state south of St. Louis.

So today when you crank that thermostat down to single digits and your house is like a frosty beer mug, stop and send up a prayer of thanksgiving to Willis Carrier. Oh yes! Thank you!

Much Ado About Nothing – Shopping

Much Ado About Nothing March 15, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

Some women are shopaholics, whether they admit it or not. For some, an intervention and a 12-step program should really be more critical than the One-Day-Only sale at Kohl’s. Personally, I’m not one of those women. At the same time, I’m not one who is wearing the same outfit since 1987 because I don’t want to go to the mall. (By the way, that outfit is back in style!). Regardless of where you fall on the shopping spectrum, there are a few things that are just torturous to shop for.

Jeans. Jeans are not fun to shop for. While pretty much any t-shirt can be worn by pretty much any person, jeans are individual. The perfect pair of jeans that will fit great and be comfortable are usually found next to the unicorns and the bags of Purina Big Foot Chow. You have to have your fat jeans for the days when it’s better to feel good than to look good. There are your weekend jeans, painting jeans, dress up jeans, wear with heels jeans. And really, none of them fit perfectly. With jeans, you just have to get close and live with it.

What’s worse than shopping for jeans? Shopping for bras. Sorry, guys, but if we have to suffer, so do you. This is implanted on our female psyches at an impressionable age by our mothers. It’s a miserable task, take my word for it. You have to find the one that makes you stand up, stand out and not give you back boobs. You know, back boobs, that fat that rolls over the top of your bra strap in back right between your armpits and your spine. So not pretty. Shopping for bras is nothing like a Victoria Secret commercial. There’s no angel there with a measuring tape making the experience all ethereal. It’s usually some really old lady who’s had tuna sandwiches for lunch for the past 16 years.

And at the top of the list of things we all hate to shop for: bathing suits. Unless you’re an Olympic qualifier, Speedo is not a brand anyone should consider in any style. The simplest way to handle bathing suit shopping is to accept that you’re going to be miserable and be grateful for winter because suddenly jeans aren’t so bad.

Much Ado About Nothing – What I Don’t Understand

Much Ado About Nothing March 8, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

Did you know that 48.8% of Millennials felt climate change was the most critical issue facing our world today and that 78.1% said they’d be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment? I do my part and recycle and stuff, but I’m going to let younger, more energetic minds worry about the big issues, and I’ll worry about things like, why do cows all point the same direction when they stand together in a field? Maybe it’s part of climate change.

After you find the answer to that one, can someone please tell me why several days of sub-freezing weather only kills vegetation that has been paid for? If I paid good money for something in my flowerbed, it’s dead. Frozen, mushy, brown and dead. But the weeds come back energized and heartier than ever after their winter cryo-therapy. Why? If I bought weeds, would they die? Could I shred up some dollar bills for mulch for a better effect than wasting those same dollars on weed control and Round-Up®? Wouldn’t that be environmentally more responsible than applying all those chemicals anyway?!

Here’s another good question that maybe anyone can field: What’s an Instant Pot? Is it not cool to just have a Crock-Pot® anymore? Or is an Instant Pot just a Crock-Pot on crack? Maybe it should just be called a Crack-Pot. In so very many ways, I think that might fit.

I realize I could just ask Alexa or Siri or whoever the unseen-but-all-hearing entity is that lives inside the electronics that seem to have invaded my life. Except I don’t understand those either. To be honest, I’m still utterly fascinated at the magic of radio waves. My television screen had a message telling me to speak my request into my remote control. There was a time when doing things like that would get you a one-way trip to the booby hatch, so I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable with that quite yet.

Oh yeah, and can someone tell me why a good pair of scissors comes in a package that can only be opened with a good pair of scissors? Not to state the obvious, but if I had a good pair of scissors to open the package, I wouldn’t, well, need to open the package.

You see, Millennials, why I leave it to you to fix the big things.

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

Harvey Lessons

Much Ado About Nothing November 30, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

It’s been just over three months since Harvey, the Zombie Hurricane that Wouldn’t Die, showed up like an infected poison ivy rash to make my life a miserable mess. While it has been an incredibly challenging experience, it has also been a remarkable opportunity to discover new skills and new uses for old swear words.

To be honest, I’m not sure the English language actually has enough salty expletives to get through something like this. I’ve sent inquiries into the furthest back alleys of Detroit and really bad parts of New York City to see if maybe there are cuss words I’ve missed. I do try to hide my crazy as much as possible (which isn’t much), but there are certain times, certain contractors, certain managers at big hardware stores that won’t be named for legal reasons that just need to have their ears ring a little (a lot).

Through this, I’ve developed a deep, passionate appreciation for modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and solid walls. Not to mention, I completely get prehistoric man falling on his face to worship the discovery of fire. I was exactly the same way when I finally got my stove back in my kitchen. Three months is a long time to have to leave your cave to go forage for food every time you want to eat.  I think I was about one more Egg McMuffin away from punching someone in the throat. By the way, if you’ve never celebrated a major holiday at Whataburger, you’re sheltered.

I now know that if you clench your jaw, dig your fingernails into the palms of your hands and try to name every US president in your head while someone tells you how the flood waters came oh so frighteningly close to almost nearly but not quite coming into their house, then you’re less likely to access your vocabulary of foul language or administer throat punches. You’re better off finding other members of your water-logged tribe. They’re the ones staring at the 28 different shades of “ceiling white” paint, too overwhelmed and exhausted to pick one. Or they may be having a meltdown in the flooring department. In both incidences, approach slowly, no sudden movements, while offering soft words of encouragement and shots of whiskey.

And just think, only six more months until hurricane season.

What! Nov. 23, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 23, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci’s long-lost painting, Salvator Mundi, sold recently in NY at auction for, hold on, $450,312,500 (that’s in millions.) The painting shows Jesus holding a small orb in his hand, symbolizing the world and is one of the few surviving pieces of da Vinci’s work. Before the auction, it had been expected to sell for $100-million. Good grief!


A North Korean soldier tried crossing the heavily guarded border with South Korea and was riddled with rifle and pistol wounds. He collapsed 55 yards south of the border, was bleeding profusely and was rushed to a hospital near Seoul by a US Black Hawk Military helicopter. While doctors struggled to repair his intestinal wounds, they found dozens of parasitic worms, some being 11-inches. This gives you an indication of the deplorable conditions in North Korea. They use human waste to fertilize fields, helping parasites to spread. Hmmm.


Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was named the American League Most Valuable Player. In the game of life, this is probably more important than winning any game or series. This guy is a great role model for our kids.


I saw this on Facebook and had to share with my readers: You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? “Well, because someone bumped into me, of course!” Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you, will come out. It’s easy to take it, until you get rattled. So, we have to ask ourselves…what’s in my cup? When life or business gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and impulsive reactions? You choose. Today, let’s work towards filling cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation and kindness, gentleness and love and patience for others. Happy Thanksgiving.


Holiday Joke #1: What did the turkey say to the hunter? Quack, Quack, Quack.


What a train wreck. There’s not enough space to list all the famous people that have been accused of sexual harassment in the past few weeks. Now it’s Charlie Rose. Personally, I can’t wait until they start naming the not-so-famous people. What got me was what Kevin Spacey said when accused of sexually abusing a 14-year old. My ears heard…I‘m now gay and was under the influence of alcohol, so it really wasn’t my fault. Being gay doesn’t make you a predator and coming out isn’t going to protect him.  Wrong is wrong. That was a pathetic effort to distract from unacceptable behavior. And by pathetic, I mean weak, feeble, unsuccessful, loser and so on. He is the one that all of us mothers warned our sons of, but we just didn’t know that he was going to look like Kevin Spacey. Aauuggh.


Remember April, the very famous pregnant giraffe that had her own live stream “giraffe cam,” while the world waited for her to give birth in upstate NY. The owner of Animal Adventure Park dropped a hint that April may be pregnant again. Baby Tajiri was born on April 15. I’m not falling for that again.


Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter tastes so much better than any other butter. That’s all my family uses now because IT TASTES SOOOO GOOD. The company says it’s because they use milk from cows that are grass fed and never treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. What a cool idea. Real butter from real cows that eat real food. No defective Skittles for these cows. Add a package to your grocery basket. It’s the time of year that no one will even give you a second glance. I put a quart of half-and-half AND a quart of cream in my basket yesterday. Because I can.


BIRTHDAYS: Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 72. The following information was posted on his Facebook on November 11.  Hi there, December 1st will be a big day for me. The Visitor will be coming to your town. I will be going to my town. You will be able to hear me and see me. My archive will open on that same day, a place you can visit and experience every song I have ever released in the highest quality your machine will allow. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. In the beginning, everything is free. Lots of Love, neil

Sportscaster Al Michaels is 73. Monday Night Football. Pro football Hall of fame quarterback Warren Moon is 61. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci is 56. She was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 49. Actor Anne Hathaway is 35. Britian’s Prince Charles is 69. His mom let him do some “official palace” work this past week and it made the news. I don’t think she lets him do too much. Singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop is 66. On and On, It Might Be You, Save it for a Rainy Day.  Pianist Yanni is 63. Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is 63. Rapper Reverend Run is 53. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 79. Movie director Martin Scorsese is 75. Actress Lauren Hutton is 74.

Actor-director Danny DeVito is 73. Producer Lorne Michaels is 73. Saturday Night Live. Actor Entertainer. Poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor and environmental activist Margaret Atwood is 78. The Handmaid’s Tale. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 47. The movie, “I, Tonya” is scheduled for release on December 8th, and it has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. They describe the movie as based on the unbelievable, but true events…is a darkly comedic tale and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. I, Tonya, is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked and checkered glory.”


John Hillerman, who played Tom Selleck’s snooty British sidekick, Higgins, in the 1980’s TV series “Magnum, P.I.” died at the age of 84 at his home in Houston. He was born in Texas and educated at UT.

Mark LaMura, who played Pine Valley’s Mark Dalton and the brother of Erica (Susan Lucci) died at the age of 68 of lung cancer.

When you say “evil,” does a picture of Charles Manson come to mind? He died. Enough said.


The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug with a “digital ingestion tracking system” which would know when medication was swallowed and transmit data to a smartphone. The sensor is the size of a grain of sand and would be important in treatment of psychiatric illnesses which rely heavily on patients who must consistently take their medication if they are to maintain stability. It would also be beneficial to patients with diabetes and dementia. Hmmm. I think I’ve seen a movie with this theme and it did not end well.


The Angleton Wildcats are not only in the playoffs, they are undefeated. The Angleton Chamber of Commerce wants you to PAINT THE TOWN PURPLE.  Paint something on your Angleton business window today, to support the team.


Holiday Joke #2: What did the pig say when he was stranded in the desert? I’m “bacon” out here.


Black Friday Special: On November 24th, all adoption fees will be waived on all pets with black fur anywhere on their body at the SPCA at 141 Canna Lane in Lake Jackson. From noon to 6pm. Now, on Cyber Monday you can buy unique one-of-a-kind auction items to help support the SPCA. info@spcabc.org


Brian Ching played with the Dynamo. He will now build and operate a soccer bar and restaurant in East Downtown at St. Emanual and Walker Streets. It will be called Pitch 25 and will feature a soccer field that’s just a little bit smaller than a basketball court – There will be 20-plus televisions where you can even watch European games. The large outside area will be called the Yard at EaDo. (East Downtown) Sounds like a soccer lover’s heaven.


While my kids and I were helping build a sandbag dam during Harvey, I was privileged to meet Mia Spargo who was patiently waiting while members of her family worked alongside her. I introduced myself to her by telling her that I liked her hair-do and that I had had a “do” just like hers when I was fighting breast cancer. Mia is 10 and has the greatest smile. She also has a brain tumor that she has been fighting for 5-years. In her spare time, she runs Mia’s Magical Toy Drive so she can provide toys for the children being treated for cancer at Texas Children’s Hospital because she knows how it feels to be in the hospital while everyone else is home celebrating. Mia need donations of new toys since these kids are recovering from cancer and can’t be exposed to germs. Donations accepted until December 18th. Please call Ray 979-824-2452 or Marina 979-388-3700 and let them know that you want to help Mia.


#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by social media. It is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Perfect opportunity to help Mia…see above.


Holiday Joke #3: What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children? If your father could see you now, he’d turn over in his gravy.


For the past 17-years, hundreds of volunteers from Living Stones Church and Victory Camp have hosted the Christmas Train at Victory Camp in Alvin. There are over 300,000 lights and hundreds of Christmas decorations, colorful gingerbread villages, and life size storybook illustrations. Trains depart every 7-10 minutes and kids 2 & under are free. Order tickets online because you save $$. 281-388-2267


Serena Williams and her new husband, Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian were married. The wedding pictures were pretty spectacular (and a little over the top…ok, waayyyy over the top.) Gaudy comes to my mind.


I was in a meeting one afternoon and the word “scupper” was used in a report. I didn’t know what it meant and immediately asked for a definition. (Our end of the conference table agreed that it sounded boat-like.) I looked it up as soon as I got back to my office, so I could give YOU a proper defination. Always trying to help my readers. SCUPPER: an opening cut through the sides of a ship at deck level so that water falling on deck may flow overboard. Aaahh, yes, now I’m visualizing Pirates of the Caribbean and I can see the deck of the ship. My only sailing experience was with a 12-ft Sunfish so I had to think bigger than that. The next definition was…an opening in the wall of a building through which water can drain from a floor or flat roof, which was how it was used it in our meeting. I like my Pirates of the Caribbean mental experience better.


May I take a moment to say how THANKFUL I am that you read this column. It makes me feel so good that you take the time to pick up The Source Weekly and read it to the end. And to stop me in a meeting, in the theatre, in line at the grocery store or an email just to tell me that you enjoy reading us. Our office family wishes your family nothing but the best this Thanksgiving. Our friends and families have been through a lot in recent months and we all need to take the time to remember how thankful we are for all the things that we have because the secret to having it all…is knowing you already do.


– Lisa

Snail Slime

Much Ado About Nothing November 23, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

I’m all about putting my best face forward, wearing my sunscreen, and avoiding crossing my eyes while sticking out my tongue for the sheer threat that it’ll get stuck like that. I’m even to the age of worrying about finding a good moisturizer. While I don’t need one formulated in space by technology developed on Mars by Hubble Telescope engineers, I still want a moisturizer that hides the fact I’ve been tired since 2009. What I don’t want is snail slime.

Oh yes, snail slime is becoming all the rage in skin care, hadn’t you heard? Seems those wacky Koreans, when not busy trying to nuke each other, have been smearing snail mucin – that’s the technical term for that weird snail trail – onto their faces for years. And now snail cream is as close as your local Target store. No really, go in and ask an associate to help you find that. I double dare you.

I’m not afraid to try new things (remember, I’m the one who signed up to do goat yoga), but I think I’m going to draw a shimmery silver line on this one. There are just way too many questions – like how exactly do you harvest snail slime? How do animal rights activists feel about this? How do the snails feel about this? Is it an option to commune with the snails and just let small herds of the shelled slugs worm their way across your face? … Nah, probably better to buy snail cream with an easy to use applicator.

The biggest question of all has to be “Why?” Although, snail farmers in South America swear their hands are baby butt soft and any wounds heal twice as fast, I’m going to call foul. First of all, you’re a South American snail farmer. You can’t be trusted. Of course your hands are soft, because duh, you’re not exactly a brick layer. Wounds heal twice as fast as what? Faster than wounded lady bug farmers? May I just point out that Lubriderm and Band-Aids give me the same results without the “Ewww” factor.

Natural beauty comes with a high price, I get that. I’m just not sure I’m willing to hand over that last small sliver that’s left of my better judgement and common sense for a jar of snail snot. I think I’d rather be wrinkled.

What! Nov. 16, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 16, 2017

If you happen to be thinking about a tattoo, then you should know that tattoo ink can be made with a variety of chemicals, arsenic, lead, nickel, preservatives, plastics, bacteria…carcinogens…things not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for skin injection. Some of the inks contain pigments used in printer toner and car paint. If you decide to eliminate the tattoo with laser or ultraviolet light, the process could cause the release of toxic chemicals especially with yellow. Ick.


I remember my first bikini wax. My sister did it with duct tape and melted crayon. To this day I can’t look at a box of crayons without crossing my legs. – Contributed by Penny


November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. There are now apps that will help you write the novel that’s been floating around in the back of your brain for all these years. Planster, Novel in 30, Ulysses, The Brainstormer, Lists for Writers, Write or Die, The Hemingway app and AutoCrit are just a few that I’ve found. Local author Ron Rozelle is having a writing workshop at The Center for the Arts and Sciences. I believe his January-2018 class is full, but he may have another one in the Spring. I think my own novel will be true life because most of my real stories are so much better than fiction. I will change the names to protect the innocent, of course. Hmmm. Maybe not.


I keep seeing a half page ad offering “previously unavailable franchise opportunities” in Brazoria County…for what, you ask?!? SCHOLTZSKY’s. Yes, Scholtzsky’s. Please, please, please. Someone needs to buy this franchise, so we can have a restaurant close to us again. I remember my first sandwich in Austin, Texas in the 70’s. It was the best thing I had ever eaten.


Legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith has died at the age of 94. She was born in Fort Worth and was known more for giving her readers information about the “behind the scenes” lives of the rich and famous rather than a bunch of scandal. At her peak, she earned more than $1-million a year.


When things don’t happen right away just remember it takes 6-months to build a Rolls-Royce and 13-hours to build a Toyota.


A three-year old boy died in New York after having a severe reaction to a grilled cheese sandwich at his preschool despite having a known allergy to dairy.


About 20 drivers were pulled over in Billings, Montana last week. The officers asked for their driver’s license and registration, then returned to their patrol cars to scan for any outstanding warrants. If everything checked out, then they returned with a written warning and a frozen turkey in their hand. Yes, they passed out turkeys. There is so much good in the world. The turkeys were donated by a local businessman.


Not a single wild salmon returned to the Magaguadavic river to spawn for the first time on record, in New Brunswick, Canada. It means that whatever wild salmon that existed there are now extinct. This is blamed on the construction of dams, loss of habitat, pollution, climate change and overfishing. Sigh.


10 Rules to live by:  Always, always, always, be thankful. Sometimes silence is better than being right. Love is not what you say. Love is what you do. Let go of what’s gone, but keep the lesson. If it’s what you love, never give up. Keep going. Don’t let others steal your peace. Be patient. Things will get better. Integrity is everything.  It’s okay to be afraid but don’t let fear stop you. Live in the moment, but look forward to what is coming next.


If it doesn’t open…it’s not your door.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS:  Actress Kate Jackson is 69. Charlie’s Angels. Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Comic-strip artist Tom Wilson is 60. Ziggy. Singer Randy Jackson is 56. Actress Winona Ryder is 46. Actress Sally Field is 71. Actor Ethan Hawke is 47. Local musician Robert Ellis is 29. Check out his third album, “The Lights from The Chemical Plant” which is influenced by his hometown, Lake Jackson.

Actor-comedian Sinbad is 61. Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is 49. Singer Bonnie Raitt is 68. Yikes, I’m getting old. TV personality Mary Hart is 67. Entertainment Tonight and Miss South Dakota 1970. Singer and former child actor Leif Garrett is 56. His first acting job was in 1969 playing the son of Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 71.

Actor Chris Noth is 63. Mr. Big in Sex and the City. Actress-comedian Whoopie Goldberg is 62. Comedian talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel is 50. Actor Steve Zahn is 50. I loved him in Sahara. Actor Gerard Butler is 48. Actress June Whitfield is 92. Absolutely Fabulous. Actor Stanley Tucci is 57. Actress Demi Moore is 55.  Actress Calista Flockhart is 53. Jazz musician Ellis Marsalis is 83. His son, Delfeayo Marsalis is playing at The Clarion at Brazosport College this Friday. My spies say it’s going to be a lovely concert.


US Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has a neighbor that assaulted him while he was mowing his grass, causing six broken ribs. This is stupid stuff because the belief is that the neighbor was mad about leaves and debris along the fence line of their homes. This guy is in big trouble. Pretrial court date has been set for November 30th and he could serve jail time if convicted.


STOMP is showing this Saturday and Sunday at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. If you’ve never seen Stomp, then it’s a little hard to explain the concept but I imagine percussion, dance, comedy, lots of people moving and making music with all sorts of household items including trash cans. And it’s more fun than you can ever imagine.


Harris County started demolition on the first of dozens of flood-prone homes along the San Jacinto River. I watched the video and it must be so sad for the owners of the homes. You would think that some things (like decking & PVC pipe) could be salvaged and used again. We live on the Oyster Creek and thanks to Harvey, after the water receded we found a relatively new and seriously heavy, 8’x30” section of decking that will now be a portion of our fire pit area as soon as we can figure out how to drag it about 10-feet.  I do love a good recycle.


Kids today don’t know how easy they have it. When I was young I had to walk 9-feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.


You know you’re a redneck when: Warning, this is one crazy story.  A woman had three children, a daughter and two sons. They were legally adopted by their grandmother and the mother had no contact with them until they were adults. In December 2008, the woman married her son who was 18. He annulled the marriage two years later and listed incest as the reason. In 2016, the same woman married her daughter, convincing the daughter that it was legal even though they’re biologically related. Six months later, both women were arrested and charged with incest. The daughter had been told that the mother had consulted with three lawyers who each advised her that there would be no problems with the marriage. A judge has now voided the marriage and found that the mother “induced” her daughter “by fraud to enter the marriage.” Another court date is set for January. I told you it was a crazy story.


Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9.


– Lisa

Goat Yoga

Much Ado About Nothing November 16, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

In a time fraught with heartache, destruction and chaos, I had finally found the source of all goodness and light in the universe: Goat Yoga! What could do more to heal the wounds of the world than relaxing, restorative yoga alongside joyful baby goats? No, I’m serious. Goat yoga! It’s really a thing. Google it if you don’t believe me, I’ll wait.

I didn’t even bother looking to see if there was a Groupon before I typed my credit card number into their website to sign up for the next Sunday morning class and my chance to Down Dog with a fuzzy bundle of bounding happiness. To be honest, I don’t even like yoga. But goat yoga?! I’m all about that. I’d probably consider repeat root canals if I got to hold baby goats at the end!

Ninety minutes, 20 baby goats, and you can even rent a mat from them if you don’t want to do your next class covered in goat berries. Short of having a free wine bar as part of the class, just tell me how it could possibly ever get better?! All I had to do was contain my excitement for three days before it would be class time!

Then it happened. I should have seen it coming. My children grow up and go away to college. Harvey floods my house. My dog dies. And goat yoga gets cancelled. Even now I can’t type those words without wanting to cry out in despair. Cancelled. Why?! I just can’t fathom a why.
Yes, the email said I’d receive a full refund to my credit card. But did it offer any kind of recourse? Any consolation for the disappointment? I hold the yoga instructor completely responsible. The baby goats were surely still on board, ready to prance and frolic regardless of whether or not I showed up in stretchy pants and carrying a bottle of lime infused water. It had to have been a failure of the instructor. And that is exactly why I don’t like yoga. But I do still like baby goats.

I wonder, though, while I’m waiting to sign up for another class time, I could find something better, more in line with things I like. Do you think they have goat beach vacations? No? Well isn’t that just too baaaaaaad.

What! Nov. 9, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 9, 2017

There is a new restaurant in Paris called O’Naturel, that seats 40 diners and your meal will run around $35. When you arrive, you are asked to remove all your clothes and leave them in a restaurant wardrobe. Yep. You dine naked at this restaurant.  Paris also has a public pool with “clothing-optional” hours and a “Nudist Zone” within the city’s largest public park, but alas, it’s closed for the winter.


This week, Anthony Weiner started his 21-month prison sentence for sexting a 15-year old.


Sex symbol, Sophia Loren, will entertain you with an onstage conversation, questions and answer, this weekend at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. TheGrand.com


Astros, we thank you for the most wonderful World Series.

The June 30, 2014 (yes, 2014) cover of Sports Illustrated declared that the Houston Astros would be the 2017 World Series Champs. How did they know?

In Game 5, a well-known YouTuber ran out onto the field shirtless & wearing American flag briefs, and was charged with criminal trespassing.  Heck, in the 70’s, they were butt-naked or is that buck naked. It was called “streaking” and everyone clapped.

Houston ISD canceled classes on Friday so everyone could make it to the World Series parade to celebrate but there was so much traffic that some people were never able to get there. Memorabilia of some kind is everywhere you look, now offered on TV (World Series bats for only $129.95) and in every store that you walk through. Parking around Minute Maid Park WAS going for $75 during World Series games. Supply and demand.

Mattress Mack (Jim McInvale) made a bet with his customers on the World Series. He promised to refund customers of Gallery Furniture who spent $3,000 or more on mattresses, if the Houston Astros won the World Series. McInvale said, “It’s the best thing we could ever possibly do. The Astros inspired the city. We’re thrilled to give this money back to excited customers. We bleed orange out here.” He also flew 98 Astros fans to Los Angeles for Game 6 of the World Series and 40 of those people received free tickets to the game from him. The others already had their tickets. He says that his faith defines him. I second that. There is so much good in the world and he is a big part of it.

Carlos Correa proposed to his girlfriend Miss Texas USA, right after the game. He said, “Daniella Rodriguez, will you make me the happiest man in the world? Will you marry me?” That was one huge chunk of a diamond ring he placed on her finger. He was setting high standards.

Model Kate Upton wore a long-sleeved lace gown by Valentino to marry Houston Astros pitcher, Justin Verlander. From what I could tell the dress had a 1980’s vibe…long sleeved lace and was very pretty. The ceremony was held in Italy just days after the Astros’ World Series win against the Dodgers. A wedding ring and a World Series ring. Let’s face it, rings or no rings, it was a pretty eventful couple of weeks for all of us. Thank you, Astros.


Star Wars Fans – The Houston Symphony has just announced that April 20-22, 2018, they will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and the music of John Williams’ most unforgettable scores. What would Star Wars be without the music.


American and Southwest Airlines are expecting their average prices to increase the rest of this year.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Former First Lady Laura Bush is 71. Actor Ralph Macchio is 56. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 48. Rapper-producer Sean “Puffy” Combs is 48. Reverend Billy Graham is 99. I wonder what he thinks of our world right now? Musician Cyril Neville is 69. Neville Brothers. Rock singer David Lee Roth is 63. Race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 43. Singer Jose Feliciano is 72. Rock musician Joe Perry is 67. Aerosmith.  Actress Amy Irving is 64. Actor Colin Firth is 57.


Language is always changing. What is Phubbing?  Have you ever been phubbed? I’m betting YES.  (Think snub and phone – it’s the practice of snubbing someone in favor of your mobile phone.) So, let’s say that you sit down at a table and look down at the menu, then look up lovingly at your table companion and they’re on their phone…or you are having a nice conversation with the new mom in your kid’s class and suddenly she is on her phone right smack in the middle of you spilling your guts about little Stevie’s mom and that horrible outfit that she is wearing. It could be the long, anticipated date night and your partner is texting during the meal. Or better yet, taking a picture of your meal to send to someone. I see it this way, instead of the phone being a small part of our personal life, our personal lives have become just a small part of our phone life. I have been to dinner more than a few times and watched a whole family – kids and adults alike – every single one of them, stay on their phones even while eating. If we’re not careful, in the future, none of us will have a real relationship with anything but our phones.


On Saturday, my mom and I visited Peach Street Farmers Market located in Angleton between Arcola and Chenango. There was music, fresh veggies, Mother Teresa’s canned Italian food, goat soap, yard eggs, fresh roasted coffee, jams and lots more. Every Saturday morning. SUPPORT FARMER’S MARKETS.


It’s almost time for the SPCA New Year’s Eve Gala and the Painted Chair auction is scheduled again. Such a fun event. They need your help painting or reupholstering any type of chair, including children’s chairs. What a fun project for you, your friends and family to work on. Their goal is to auction off 30 chairs at the event and everything that they make will go towards our furry friends. I repurposed a chair years ago for a Junior Service League event by covering a $15 flea market chair purchase in classified and display ads. Then I bought it back at the auction. It sets at my front counter and gets lots of attention. If you have a chair to donate, contact lainiep96@gmail.com to arrange pick-up or drop-off.


Prince Harry has a girlfriend, Meghan Markle, who is now putting her acting career on hold to become a full-time philanthropist and just happens to be looking for a place to live in London close to Kensington Palace. Hmmm. She is cute.


Walmart is testing a delivery program where customers can use their smart technology to unlock the front door and watch a livestream delivery of their requested shopping order. Sigh. Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Key ($250 kit includes their electronic door lock and webcam.) This service will be available in Houston. I went to the streets and asked 16 people what they thought. 14 – NO, 1 – YES and 1 – MAYBE. Our questions were: Security: – do you turn off your alarm system for the whole day? Pets – do you get rid of them for the whole day? What’s your opinion?


A 26-year-old man is being held for robbing a bank in Largo, Florida. His mistake was doing a Google search of how to rob a bank before he robbed the bank. Sigh. Mental note to one’s self…


This was in the Chronicle as Jokes on Us…I think it’s rather thought provoking. “The cost of living is going up and the chance of living of going down.” If it wasn’t so true, it might be funny.


An open-mind vs empty head. Hmmm. Have a nice week.


– Lisa

Food Trucks

Much Ado About Nothing November 9, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

Food trucks are all the rage these days. Amsterdam has The Kitchen of The Unwanted Animal, a food truck cooking up pigeon, parakeet and “my little pony burgers,” and here in America, we have the Spamobile… Spam®? Yup. Google it because I can’t make that stuff up. While I’m more likely to eat deep fried dung beetles than stand in line at the Spamerican Tour truck for “Sunny’s Coconut Spam Spears with Spicy Pineapple Chutney” or even a spicy Spam breakfast burrito, I’m hipster enough to go for waffles or cupcakes or even investigate an authentic taco truck. Or so I thought.

I’m probably not a reputable authority on this matter (or really on any matter, if we’re going to be honest about things) because I have a deep, burning hatred for all things cilantro which is all too often found in tacos, but I thought the taco spectrum started with chicken and ended with beef. That was before I found myself at Chico Chuck’s Taco Truck. I think Chico Chuck’s super power is the ability to take anything that even closely resembles a meat source and put it on a tortilla.

At some point during the discovery process, I made the mistake of asking what exactly is barbacoa. Let’s just establish right now that one should never ask a question unless you’re prepared for the answer. I shouldn’t have asked. I wasn’t prepared.

According to Chico Chuck, barbacoa is the cooked head of a cow. Think Heloise the Heifer meets Marie Antoinette. Everything from the cowbell on up gets tossed into what I’m guessing is a cow head shaped crock pot — brains, eyeballs, tongue, teeth. In my overworked imagination, you can hear one last, tragic, disembodied “mooooo” as the lid is slammed onto the pot. If there was ever a more convincing argument to “Eat More Chikn,” I’m not sure it would beat out barbacoa.

The take-away from all this is to seriously consider consuming anything from a place that is, by its very nature, a flight risk or one that can be impounded for health code violations. Remember, too, that antacids can overcome a lot of things, but not your long- or short-term memories. And really, peanut butter sandwiches are not a bad thing!

 

What! Oct. 26, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 26, 2017

What I Heard This Week - Logo

By Lisa Baker • 10-26-17


What the heck is pupper necking? Well, according to UrbanDictionary, it is, “the act of slowing down traffic to look at a cute dog.” So, when my daughter and I were at the SPCA this week, legally adopting the two baby kittens that we rescued from the back of my office during Harvey, I found myself pupper necking (and kitty necking) because there are some pretty cute babies that are in great need of being adopted. 141 Canna Lane LJ. You don’t have to bring them home to provide for them. Just tell them the donation is because you are a pupper necker.


At a Welsh food bank, someone donated a can of Heinz kidney soup (a discontinued flavor) that was 46-years old. FORTY-SIX-YEARS-OLD.


Remember the Borden Dairy Company and Elsie the Cow? She was a cartoon logo developed as a mascot in 1936 to symbolize the “perfect dairy product.”  What many may not know is that Elsie had a fictional cartoon mate, Elmer the Bull who was created in 1940 and used for Borden’s (then chemical-division) as the mascot for Elmer’s Glue-All. This is weird to me since I thought glue was made from boiling connective tissue of dead animals (like cows?!?) But I looked it up and in years gone by glue was made from milk…so that’s the real story. There’s more. If you add vinegar to milk and heat, the milk will curdle and form lumps. ahhh – this is how you get the famous curds and whey from Little Miss Muffet. Take this mixture, strain to separate the curds from the whey, add baking soda to the curds and stir. Now you have casein or white glue. More completely useless information.


Storms make trees take deeper roots. – Dolly Parton


The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts plans for Sotheby’s to have a public auction of 40 works of art, including two that Norman Rockwell gave as gifts to the museum when he lived nearby. Norman Rockwell died in 1978. Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell are part of a group who are going to court to halt these plans. Massachusetts law requires the museum to maintain any gifts it receives for the people of the county and the general public.  Seems more than fair. The problem is that “the arts” don’t always get the funding that they need and museums suffer, requiring them to make it work.


If you live anywhere in Texas you know about Nutcracker Market. This year you can shop November 9-12th. It was started in 1981, to raise needed funds for Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs. Last year, over 105,000 shoppers spent over 19.5 million at more than 280 national and international booths. If you want that same experience, but closer to home, the 35th Annual Mums & Mistletoe Market will be here November 17th from 9am-6pm. Shop with 50-vendors and don’t forget the cheese soup at their Market Café.


No one is perfect – that’s why pencils have erasers. – unknown


A young unidentified child, likely 3-5 years of age, was found washed up or placed on a little stretch of beach in Galveston last week. He hadn’t been dead very long. NO ONE HAS REPORTED A MISSING CHILD. Anyone with information please call 409-765-3776 or Crime Stoppers at 409-763-TIPS, Galveston Police Department at (409) 765-3702, FBI at (409) 935-7327 or Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.


The Guinness World Record for longest dog tongue belongs to Mochi. He is an 8-year old St. Bernard from South Dakota with a tongue length of 7.31-inches. I dare anyone to say that I don’t save the best information for this column.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Musician Bob Weir is 70. Founding member of The Grateful Dead. Singer John Mayer is 40. Now touring with musician Bob Weir (see above in case you forgot what you just read) in a band called Dead & Company. Actress Suzanne Somers is 71. Actor Tim Robbins is 59. Actress Margot Kidder is 69. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 61. Country singer Alan Jackson is 59. Animator Mike Judge is 55.  King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-Head. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 49. Rapper Eminem is 45. Years ago, when I first heard someone say his name, I thought it was M&M like the candy. What can I say…I’m old. College and Pro Football Hall of Fame Mike Ditka is 78. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 56. His very talented brother, Delfeayo Marsalis is coming to The Clarion on November 17th.

Ex-actress Reverend Mother Dolores Hart is 79. As a young Hollywood starlet in the 60s, Dolores Hart had it all. She was considered the next Grace Kelly for beauty and acting talent, had a seven-figure studio contract, roles opposite Anthony Quinn, Robert Wagner, Montgomery Clift and was the envy of girls everywhere for giving Elvis Presley his first on-screen kiss. She was also the star of MGM’s highest grossing film of 1962, Where the Boys Are. Then one day she walked away from it all and became a nun.

Rapper Snoop Dogg is 46. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 78. Country singer Natalie Maines is 43. The Dixie Chicks. Singer Usher is 39. Director Philip Kaufman is 81. The Right Stuff. Singer Dwight Yoakam is 61. Parodist Weird Al Yankovic is 58. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 75. Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale is 81. Actor Christopher Lloyd is 79. Emmett “Doc” Brown in Back to the Future. Actress Catherine Deneuve is 74. Actor Jeff Goldblum is 65. Christian singer TobyMac is 53. Rock musician Zac Hanson is 32. Hanson Brothers.


Election Day – November 7, 2017: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What’cha handing out for Halloween this year? In the past, I’ve given pencils, toothbrushes, individual packages of pretzels AND in a weak moment, candy. Here are some ideas if you are thinking outside the candy box. Take a permanent marker and draw a jack-o-lantern face on the outside of a clementine. They’re so cute, easy to peel and everyone loves a clementine.  Fruit leather strips, individual packages of crackers, chips, pistachios or popcorn are also great ideas. Halloween themed water bottles, spider rings, stickers, or glow-sticks are all available at the dollar store – they have a great selection of affordable items. So, don’t feel bad about a no candy rule. The parents will appreciate it. Be sure to come by The Source Weekly office on Halloween and have your picture made in costume for the paper and get a treat.


Broken crayons still color…


Get your Halloween picture turned in for our Pumpkin Coloring Contest. You could win a gift card.


The Teal Pumpkin Project was one clever mom figuring out a way for her son with severe food allergies, to participate in trick-or-treating a few years back. Instead of handing out sweet treats, she has a treat bucket full of non-food goodies to hand out. To alert other families in her Tennessee neighborhood that it was a safe place for kids with allergies to stop, she painted one of the front porch pumpkins teal – the color of allergy awareness. Her efforts came to the attention of Food Allergy Research & Education who took the project national in 2014. There is an interactive map where you can register, therefore sharing locations of participants taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Awareness partners now include CVS, Michaels and Oriental Trading.


Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his baseball cap to keep cool and changed it every two innings.


Brian’s BBQ – The Fill Station, is now open in Downtown Lake Jackson. We’re so proud of you. I say this as I sit at my desk with a little mustard on my chin from my smoked Turkey Sandwich that Debra picked up from there this morning. SOOOO good. Welcome to Lake Jackson. We are so excited to have you guys right down the street.


Some guys get a new corvette when they turn 60.  VERY proud, new Rocket’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, says, “I will not make any decision based on what I paid for the team. If I had to make a decision based on that, I shouldn’t have bought the team.” “I want people to talk about the Houston Rockets the way they talk about the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics.” “We’re going to make good decisions and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.” “Anybody can build a boardwalk. Anybody can build an aquarium, anybody can build tall buildings. Not many can own a team in their hometown.” Sounds like we may have a winner.


Two shareholders of Blue Bell Creameries have filed suit against the company, alleging that mismanagement by executives and board of directors led to a Listeria outbreak two years ago that damaged the company’s finances and brand. Some analysts estimate that the company’s sales fell by hundreds of millions of dollars as a result. Since the outbreak, Blue Bell has slipped to the fourth best-selling brand, now behind Breyer’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs.


Coach Chris Foerster, the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line coach has resigned rather than be fired after a 56-second video was released on social media showing him using a twenty-dollar bill to snort a white powdery substance off his desk right before he leaves for a team meeting. Sad behavior but if you watch the video, he says (to someone) that he “thinks of them” as he snorts, “Hey, babe, miss you…” then the rest of what he says is not repeatable in a family newspaper even in 2017. That part is even sadder. I am embarrassed for him and especially for his family. The video was originally released by a model who lives in Las Vegas. Just another example of stupid behavior and someone saying, “Gee, I just never really thought that I would get caught.”


More than 6,600 inmates serving prison time in Texas donated almost $54,000 from their commissary funds to the American Red Cross to be used for storm relief from Harvey. Nice.


A hand-written letter on embossed Titanic stationery that was written by one of the Titanic’s passengers a day before the ocean line sank, has sold at auction in England for $166,000. It was said that the letter was “the most important Titanic letter we have ever auctioned” because of its content, historical context and rarity. It was found in the pocket notebook of the gentleman that wrote it, when his body was recovered. His wife survived the disaster. One line in the note was, “If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday am.”


A mentally ill Florida man shot and killed his mother’s friend because he believed the man was flirting with his imaginary girlfriend. When officers arrived, the suspect shot at the deputies and began walking towards a school located just a few hundred feet away, which was immediately placed on lockdown. Later the suspect entered his own home and killed himself. He was found to have an AR-15 rifle and a .22 caliber rifle in his possession. Hmmm.


According to Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, the average lifespan of a baseball in Major League play is six pitches. They don’t wear out…that takes into account the foul balls that are lost to fans, the fact that every home run ball is lost, and every time a ball gets scuffed the umpire sets it aside for the next day’s batting practice. There are 144 baseballs opened and ready for each game, and an additional 6 dozen in reserve. GO ASTROS!!


– Lisa

Just My Luck

Much Ado About Nothing October 19, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

I have a friend who is a force for all goodness, and, in return, constantly receives back happiness and light from the Universe. I, however, must be sending out the cosmic equivalent of chain letters, head lice, and invitations to join pyramid marketing schemes, because I seem to suck in dumb bad luck with the magnetic force of an unmeasurable black hole. Why else would I end up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting in Home Depot?

Honestly, I walked into the paint department with the intention of picking out a shade of currently fashionable gray to paint my soon-to-be textured brand new sheetrock. I walked out stained, soggy and emotionally scarred. It took maybe 12 minutes.

It starts when the ding-a-ling paint counter girl puts a blop of wet paint on the lid of the miniature sample can of the first color I’d picked out. Except she didn’t dry it or tell me it was wet, and I immediately get paint all over my hand. Then, she’s giving me a paper towel and sloshes the open container of the second color onto the front of my black t-shirt. In the ensuing melee, I smear the third color up my other arm. It’s like I’ve been dropped into a really bad Three Stooges movie.

As she’s trying to salvage the counter and floor, I’m in the ladies room trying to replicate the deep cleaning action of a Maytag front loader to save my shirt. Of course, some mom walks in with her baby while I’m half naked in front of the hand dryer trying to blow dry to a point of wear-ability and she’s snickering at me. Okay, from a woman who has probably been burped up on no fewer than six times that day, I can probably take that.

So I couldn’t get all the paint out. I couldn’t get the shirt dry. I couldn’t remember where my dignity had gone. I couldn’t help but think I was developing an allergic rash from the hardware store bathroom hand soap. And I couldn’t stop wondering what exactly I’d done to make Karma hate me so intensely.

Of course, my eternally sunny friend reminded me that, in the end, I did get 10% off my paint samples to make up for the mess. Honestly, I think I might hate her.

What! Oct. 19, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 19, 2017

What I Heard This Week - Logo

By Lisa Baker • 10-19-17


In Dallas, a police helicopter discovered more than 3,000 marijuana plants growing in a remote area. No suspects were found but Dallas police Major Max Geron urged anyone who might be missing their marijuana to be sure to “call us.” Oops.


The Dow just hit 23,000. That’s a huge milestone. It was just August 2, that it hit 22,000. Where’s all the hoopla?


Brian’s BBQ will have a new downtown Lake Jackson location called The Fill Station. IT WILL BE OPEN SOON!  I promise. I know this for sure because I drive by every other day and yell, “I’m waiting!” They are now yelling back. Oh, and did I tell you that they are going to serve whiskey and there is a huge picture of John Wayne on the side of the building. Finally, someone that truly understands Texas and what we really want. John Wayne, Whiskey and BBQ. Heavy sigh. See you in line.


Coach Inc. brand is famous for is beautiful leather purses and had recently purchased Kate Spade and shoemaker Stuart Weitzman. They have now announced that they will rebrand and change their name (which seems to be a trendy thing to do right now) to Tapestry, Inc. Hmmm. I wonder what name Harvey Weinstein will pick for his makeover?  I can think of a few names. That’s all I’m going to say.


Hurry. The Bellamy Brothers are entertaining on the last night of the fair, Saturday October 21st. Also, Nooney & The Zydeco Floaters. bcfa.org


In a place called Dumpty Doo (Australia’s Northern Territory) scientists are beginning an experiment to try and save the banana. Yes, the standard Cavendish Banana. The most popular fruit in the world. Baby’s first food. The fruit that is sweeter and better to cook with when it’s black, splotchy and overripe.  Scientists are planting thousands of small banana plants that have been modified with genes from the musa acuminata banana variety hoping to escape the effects of fusarium wilt aka Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 or TR4. Fungicides and fumigants are useless against it. Once TR4 hits a banana farm, the only recourse is to eradicate all the plants and start over. If this doesn’t work, you may not be able to find this delicious fruit readily available in our grocery stores, in a few years.


JJ Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture of his left leg, a break at the top of the shinbone within the knee joint. That hurts me just to type it.


The new River Oaks District shopping center on Westheimer has a 5-ft. tall security robot named ROD2 (a play on the River Oaks District and the famous Star Wars droid, R2D2.) Its eye-like cameras continuously compile information on surroundings, reading license plates, recognizing familiar faces and monitoring for unusual or suspicious activity, all while greeting you with a “good morning” or “good afternoon.” FYI. If you see its normally blue lights turn red, then you have hung around too long taking your selfie and ROD2 is mad. Be polite and move on.


A family cruise turned into a parent’s worst nightmare when an 8-year old child got on her tippy-toes for a better look over the rail (they were thinking that the railing was the same height and she couldn’t see over) and fell to her death two stories below.


An old canoe surfaced in Florida after Hurricane Irma. Using a technique known as radiocarbon dating, archaeologists determined that it could date back to the 1600’s. It could be that the wood is older than the canoe. Officials now begin a preservation process to make sure the canoe doesn’t deteriorate before it is relocated to a museum.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Singer Jackson Browne is 69. Actor Scott Bakula is 63. Rock singer Sean Lennon is 42. Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 82. TV personality Bryant Gumbel is 69. Country singer Gene Watson is 74. Farewell Party. Singer Daryl Hall is 71. Former auto executive Lee Iacocca is 93. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 74. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 71. I remember hanging at the skating rink every Friday and Saturday night listening to The Carpenter’s sing…Rainy Days and Mondays, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun, They Long to Be Close to You.

Singer Tito Jackson is 64. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 70. Van Halen.  Singer Marie Osmond is 58. Actress Kelly Preston is 55. Olympic silver medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is 48. Pro Football Hall of Fame Jerry Rice. Considered by some to be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.

Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson is 58. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 58. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 70. Actor Hugh Jackman is 49. Actor Kirk Cameron is 47. Growing Pains. Actress Melinda Dillon is 78. She was the mother in A Christmas Story in 1983. Yikes, has it been that long? Singer-musician Paul Simon is 76. I was in Houston at a Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers concert (Bluegrass) and Paul Simon came out on stage and sang a bit (it so happens that he is married to Edie Brickell who was touring with the band.) The crowd went wild and so did I.


Deaths: Remember Elizabeth Baur, who helped Raymond Burr bring the bad guys to justice as Officer Fran Belding on the long-running NBC crime drama Ironside?  She died at age 69.

There was a best-selling business management book, “The One-Minute Manager,” by Spencer Johnson (who died recently at age 78 of pancreatic cancer.) His idea was that businesspeople needed to connect with their co-workers by spending a full minute giving sincere praise or if needed, a reprimand. It had a money-back guarantee. Business schools taught it and businesses everywhere handed the book out like candy. Other books followed. “The One-Minute Father”“The One-Minute Mother” and “One-Minute for Myself.” The idea in these books was that there should be one-minute in the day is where you stop and look at what you’re really thinking and what you’re really doinga quiet time that you can listen to your own inner wisdom. His No.1 best seller was “Who Moved My Cheese?” which had main “mice” characters named Sniff & Scurry and two people, Hem & Haw. The four of them lived happily in a maze eating cheese until one day the cheese disappeared. Sniff & Scurry scampered away to find new cheese while Hem and Haw whined and whined about their fate and their terrible hunger. How do you adapt to changing circumstances?  Johnson was once a physician turned children’s book author. His decency and morals will be missed.


The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.” – Spencer Johnson


I haven’t said thank you enough to the City of Lake Jackson for everything that they did during Harvey. Those guys worked and they worked and they worked. I tried to do my part with breakfast for the pump guys or meals for different working locations during the flooding (anything besides pizza in a box – bless their hearts) but I know it wasn’t enough. Special thanks to Eddie Herrera (hope I got your name right) who was checking a drain valve in my alley, way after midnight one night and had been working since early that morning. It was so appreciated.


The Bible is available in nearly 2,500 languages including Klingon, Vulcan and Romulan, three languages created for the Star Trek series.  Hmmm.


Elton John will be playing his piano at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the last time on May 19, 2018.


The landmark Sears store in Houston Midtown will close after this last holiday season. The liquidation sale will start on November 10th. The store opened in 1939 as a modern air-conditioned shopping center where the floors were connected by escalators. There was a muralist that painted walls with scenes from Texas history and a large painting of Sam Houston. Corrugated metal coverings were added in the 1960s, an effort to modernize the building. I can only hope that whoever owns this building now, understands that this art-deco needs to be saved.


Stephen King’s IT is back after 27 years and scaring another generation of moviegoers. Opening weekend IT took in an estimated $117.2 million, so IT officially had the third-largest opening weekend of 2017. IT also earned 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and a B-plus CinemaScore. You wonder what this does to the future of Sweet Potatoe and clowns like him who are loved and adored equally by kids and adults.


The Ronald McDonald House Houston on Holcombe is increasing its campus by 40 percent…adding 20 bedrooms to the 50-bedroom campus. This facility provides accommodations for out-of-town families of seriously ill children being treated in the Texas Medical Center and must turn away 12-15 families each day.


The Harlem Globetrotters are coming January 27th.  If you have little kids, they need to see these guys. When I was in high school, I would buy tickets to take my date but tell him that my dad gave me the tickets. Because I love the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s always a fun time.


If the video title and description is fact, then I watched a video of a lady (I use that word loosely) at a convenience store, using a plant watering bucket to top off the gas tank on a rental car. The story stated that she was doing it before taking the rental car back, so that the gas tank appeared full. Hmmm.


If you’ve never been to Frankel’s Costume Shop in Houston, you better hurry because the 40,000-sq-ft building with its 57,000 rental costumes, will be closing soon. The land that the building sits on has been sold. Frankel’s is not just a Halloween shop – theatre and professional entertainers all have a special place there. If you couldn’t find it anywhere else, you could find it at Frankel’s. They have expanded their hours to allow them to sell their massive inventory in a dignified fashion and not garage sale style. My son was a magician so I remember some long hot hours spent in the magic section. They will be missed by many.


Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other simultaneously. He always wrote backward so that one could only read his writing with a mirror. Heck, I write notes to myself that I can’t figure out what I said the next day. Perhaps I should be using a mirror. Nah. I just need to write better.


It’s Daylight “Saving” Time not Daylight Savings Time. Benjamin Franklin did not originate the idea of moving clocks forward. His suggestion was that Parisians wake up at dawn, then they could save the modern-day equivalent of $200-million plus by using sunshine instead of candles. So, Franklin simply proposed a change in sleep schedules, not a time change. The American farmers were not happy with the change in 1918. They had to wait an extra hour for dew on hay to dry, hired hands worked less hours and the cows were not ready to be milked an hour earlier to meet shipping schedules. Hawaii and Arizona, except for the state’s Navajo Nation, do not observe daylight saving time and the US territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. Some Amish communities also choose not to participate in daylight saving time. We change on November 5th.


Research at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has shown that a three-month course of chemotherapy was almost as effective as six months of chemotherapy treatment for stage 3 colon cancer treatment. The shorter schedule also resulted in fewer side effects such as nerve damage because unlike hair loss and diarrhea, nerve damage doesn’t stop when the chemo ends.


Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his baseball cap to keep cool and changed it every two innings.


According to RawlingsQuoting Boutwell, McPhee says the average lifespan of a baseball in Major League play is six pitches. “Not that it wears out. But every foul ball is lost to the fans. Every homer is lost. Every time a ball gets scuffed, the umpire banishes it down to tomorrow’s batting practice.”

Additional tidbit:
There are 144 baseballs opened and ready for each game, and an additional 6 dozen in reserve.


– Lisa

Jean Ciampi for Commissioner Major League Baseball

Much Ado About Nothing October 12, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

I love baseball, from t-ball to Little League to college ball to the pros. Of course, with the Houston Astros in the post-season play-offs, lots of people are loving baseball. But I even love baseball when the Astros can’t buy a win against the Iowa School for the Blind’s practice team. It is only as a result of this deep abiding love that I point out that there are some glaring, fundamental problems going on in the sport, problems I will straighten out when I become the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Okay, blah blah that there’s not an opening right now, but I fully expect to get the call to the bullpen to take over when word of my sweeping reforms and improvements gets out.

First order of business will be making the pitchers in the American League bat. No more of this silly designated hitter ho-haw. There is no reason why the pitcher can’t step up to the plate and hack away like the rest of the team. If you don’t want to be embarrassed that you can’t hit, take lessons or look for another job. This is, after all, BASEball where the objective is to run the bases. It’s not PITCHball. I’m sorry, Carlos Beltran, it’s not that we don’t love you, Sweetie. Remember, you’ve got a fine career ahead of you in coaching

Next up to bat will be a dress code. I’m not going to nit-pick the small things like whether the pants are worn down to the cleats or pulled up to the knees, but I think it’s important the players look professional on the field at all times. That means no more of that long hair everywhere. Cameron Maybin, this means you. You’re a great addition to the team, and we’d like to keep you. But there’s only a spot there for you because we got rid of Colby Rasmus this year, most likely because he wouldn’t get a good clarifying shampoo and a haircut. As commissioner, I say get a cut or get cut! If they aren’t going to let girls play, then the boys who do play can’t look like girls.

Now, if you need me, I’ll be here with my peanuts and cold beer waiting for the next first pitch and my call up to top of the big leagues! Let’s play ball!

What! Oct. 12, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 12, 2017

What I Heard This Week - Logo

By Lisa Baker • 10-12-17


Halloween is a huge business. US shoppers are expected to spend $3.4-billion on costumes this year. Kmart corporation has been sued by a company seeking unspecified damages for unfair competition and copyright infringement because Kmart’s full-body banana costume, “has the same shape as their Banana Design, the ends of the banana are placed similarly, the vertical lines running down the middle of the banana are placed similarly, the one-piece costume is worn on the body the same way as the Banana Design, and the cut out holes are similar…this company has suffered significant financial harm and irreparable harm to its reputation as a result of Kmart’s conduct.” Hmmm. Giggle. In other words, it looks like a banana.


The Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors has unanimously agreed to welcome GIRLS into the Cub Scout program and to forge a path for older girls to pursue and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. WooHoo! My daughter always felt like she was a scout because she was there every Monday evening for meetings with me and her brother. She even went on camping trips. I’m not saying that it won’t be complicated, because it will be, but it will be a great thing for families.


Can a picture taken by a monkey be copyrighted?  Back in 2011, Naruto, an anonymous macaque monkey in Indonesia, found a photographer’s camera and snapped a monkey selfie. The photo has been the subject of a very long copyright battle. Recently, PETA, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) announced a settlement with the photographer, ending the lawsuit that they filed on Naruto’s behalf. The picture has become a personal brand for the photographer who sells signed copies of the print. As of July 2017, he will be donating 10% of the purchase price towards a monkey conservation project in Sulawesi. What about those pictures that the elephants paint at the zoo while holding the paintbrush in their trunks? Our world…sigh. See picture on page 4 of this paper. He’s cute.


Beneath the streets of London, there is what has been named the WhiteChapel Fatberg…a rock-solid collection of fat, disposable wipes, diapers, condoms and tampons and occupying 1/6 of a mile of sewer. It weighs as much as 11 of the city’s double-decker buses – more than 140 tons. It is 10-times the size of a similar mass found beneath the sewer in South London in 2013. They plan to preserve a piece of the blob for the Museum of London. I was not surprised to hear that New York, Hawaii, Alaska, Wisconsin and California are struggling with the same problems.


Scientists have created the world’s first mutant ants. Researchers at Rockefeller University modified a gene essential for detecting the pheromones (chemicals that impact behavior) that ants use to communicate. Basically, it effects the ants’ social behavior and their ability to survive in a colony. You know, like a teenager when you take away their cell phones, then they can’t communicate and refuse to survive in your colony, I mean, household.


Workers at a mine in Brazil have discovered an enormous emerald, weighing in at about 600 pounds and standing more than four feet tall.


There is now an on-demand dog-walking service through an app called Wag. Dog-owners can schedule a 20, 30 or 60-minute walk through the app and can track the walk on their phones. Sigh. Reminds me of George Jetson walking the dog on what looked like a treadmill. This service is now available in Houston, Los Angeles and New York.


Every morning when I wake up I say, I’ll never be as young as I am today. Today is the youngest day of the rest of my life. Get up and do something fun.”-  Rochelle Ford, a 78-year-old Metal Sculptor.


My daughter’s friend gave her a very pretty box of chewy candy that is rose flavored (Rose Chews.) A gummy candy that sticks in your teeth and I said “ick” when she showed me. But, then I tried one. They’re pretty delicious in a weird sort of way, but I’ve never been a candy or cookie person so my opinion is not real reliable. In doing my research this week, I happened to come upon a gummy candy that I know I will like (at least it reads well.) It’s a Moscow Mule gourmet cocktail gummy candy and it said that you can buy it at Target. Lime, mint and ginger with no hangover. Sounds like a party I want to have. I know it will beat pumpkin pie spice anything. I’m on my way to Target.


“At a McDonald’s about 50 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, a woman waiting in a drive-thru line decided to pay for the order of a man with four children in a van behind her. She said to tell him, “Happy Father’s Day,” then she drove off.  The man didn’t just take the free meals…he paid for the two cars behind him and all that goodness continued “snowballing” for a total of 167 drivers “paying it forward” by closing time. In a row. There is a lot of good in this world. Be a part of it.


Southwest Airlines started flying passengers on its Boeing 737 Max 8…more fuel efficient (burns 14% less fuel than the Boeing 737-800), can fly longer distances for international service, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and is quieter. In addition, they will have the widest economy seat in the 737 market, and more personal space.


Cell phones and the internet do make everything so much better but I find myself missing a time when we didn’t have e-mail. I miss going to the mailbox and getting a letter from someone …anyone. Last night I had 14-pieces of junk mail. Nothing else. Now, this could be because I only go to the mailbox on special occasions, like the 4th of July or an eclipse – except of course, during the holiday season because I don’t want to miss that one party that I get an invitation to 😊.  Yes, I am known for sending “real” antiquated cards with “real” antiquated messages and yes, it takes a little longer but my friend, you’re worth it. Send someone a real card today. I just sent three.


Harvey could end up costing the government about $11-billion in insurance payouts.


The US Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that Hurricane Harvey caused dioxin, one of the most potent human carcinogens to leak from the San Jacinto Waste Pits (used for decades to store waste from a paper mill), and now posing a threat to fish and public health. Concentrations were 2,000 times higher than the level at which the EPA requires cleanup. After decades of being forgotten, it sounds like environmentalists and locals around Pasadena are intent on seeing the waste pits removed entirely while some officials would like to see them just pile more rocks on top of the temporary cap.


Patty, a friendly, well-liked, 31-year-old Andean bear at The Houston Zoo, has died from an aggressive form of cancer.


I said, “Somebody should do something about that.” Then I realized I am somebody.” – Lily Tomlin


I’m here to remind you again to be careful when buying a used car that may have flood damage. The first and easiest way to start, is to pull out the seatbelt as far as it will go and inspect for moisture, mildew or grime.


Jackie Evancho is coming to The Clarion at Brazosport College, on November 3. She was the little opera singer from Season 5 of America’s Got Talent. Now, at 17, you should hear her sing “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. I’m going.


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Author Anne Rice is 76. Actress Susan Sarandon is 71. Actor Liv Schreiber is 50. Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 82. Actor Randy Quaid is 67. British Prime Minister Theresa May is 61. Astrophysicist-author Neil deGrasse Tyson is 59. Actress Kate Winslet is 42. Singer-musician Steve Miller is 74. Fly like an Eagle. Take the Money and Run. The Joker. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Football Hall of Fame “Mean” Joe Greene is 71. He is considered one of the greatest defensive linemen to play in the NFL because of his leadership, fierce competitiveness and intimidating style of play for which he earned his nickname.


I’d rather wear out than rust out!” Denton Cooley, MD


Jack O’Neill of the O’Neill surf brand, died at the age of 94. Sixty years ago, he introduced a prototype of a wetsuit and opened one of the world’s first surf shops. This was a time when guys used wool jerseys, bonfires, liquor, and were buying clothing from Goodwill, spraying it with Thompson’s Water Seal in order to brave the cold surfing waters. He was also the first to fly hot air balloons recreationally (he would drop into surf contests in his bright yellow hot air balloon) and he invented the sandsailer, a sailboat on wheels that skirts along the sand. He was one of the first to blow foam for surfboards instead of using balsa wood. His pirate-like black eye-patch was the result of a surfing accident and became his trademark.


Scientists have discovered 91 volcanoes more than a mile below the surface of the ice in West Antarctica. I’m not sure what that means.


Harvey will likely be disastrous for oyster, shrimp and rice crops. Some farmers towards Wharton lost entire crops, hundreds of acres.


Hurricane Harvey set a rainfall record of 64.58 inches that fell over Nederland in Jefferson County near Beaumont with seven other sites recording rainfall in excess of 51 inches. In this new world of trying to find someone to blame for the flooding, especially after we humans have concreted everything, I would say that no amount of planning or any drainage system could have saved us from Harvey.


Shop your local farmers markets because it gives us the opportunity to nourish our bodies while supporting our community.


According to the Texas state climatologist, climate change means engineers must change how they design dams and other failsafe structures to withstand ferocious storms that are increasing in frequency and unleashing more rain than they did decades ago. An increase in sea surface temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius can result in a 10% increase in the amount of rain a storm produces.


After 14-years, Kay Paez retired from The Source Weekly to move with her husband J.D. to Tennessee, and take care of her parents. Up until the night before, when I saw the moving truck in her driveway, we all believed our friend would change her mind and stay, but she didn’t. Duty calls. When we hire someone at our office, we look more at whether they will fit into our office family than anything else. Kay was the mother of our office. We will miss her. Not just because she knew the office from top to bottom but her sass…or was that attitude…I get them mixed up. Kay, enjoy your new chapter of life and know that we think about our friend often. Not just when we need something.


When you get an opportunity, come by The Source Weekly and meet Pam Campbell, newest addition to our office family and our classifieds department. The road to success is always under construction.


– Lisa

Bless Your Heart

Much Ado About Nothing October 5, 2017

Jean Ciampi - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by Jan Ciampi

It’s only my opinion, but the world seems to be just one bad hair day away from a complete meltdown. Mix together the pack of rabid hurricanes, earthquakes in Mexico, fires in the Northwest, volcanos in Bali with stupid, senseless shootings and bickering over religion (which includes football because that kind of is a religion) and we’re a hot mess. Maybe if we all agree to quit saying, “It could be worse,” then the universe would quit saying “Hold my beer.” It’s a small step, but it could be a start.

Besides, telling someone it could be worse is really just another way of saying “stop your belly aching.” Not that this isn’t a valid directive. In the Whiner Olympics, we’ve got real gold medal promise in the individual and team events. But, too, it is a bit insensitive and not very nice to invalidate whatever challenges someone is facing. Since we’re a society of no one having their feelings hurt, let’s not say that anymore.

Try saying “Bless your heart” instead. A solid southern principle which is basically the same idea, but it sounds better. And nobody can add hurt feelings to their mound of problems if you’ve blessed their heart.

To be honest, suffering is actually not a competitive sport despite how a lot of people seem to approach it. Yes, there are people who are worse off and there are those in much better shape. It’s not about the glass being half full or half empty; it’s about what’s actually in the glass. A glass completely full to running over with contaminated storm water is not better than a glass barely half full of spendable cash, Jamaican rum, or Godiva dark chocolate chips.

I think, too, we’d have a much better world if we could all collectively agree to stop praying for patience. Maybe then God will stop answering that prayer with opportunities to learn patience. Honestly, I don’t have to pray for those lessons, because they just keep presenting themselves completely unbidden. Despite the fact that prayers for patience, tolerance and diplomacy never leave my lips, I am overrun with chances to practice them and most often fail miserably – especially on the diplomacy part. Which is why I’m the first one to say “It could be worse” to someone so they’ll stop their belly aching, bless their heart.

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