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What I Heard This Week! August 16, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 15, 2018

A man swimming off a sandbar near Stingray Road at Crystal Beach on Boliver Peninsula was bitten by a shark right above the knee. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… A Harlingen man reeled in a 12-foot tiger shark last weekend at South Padre Island after a 2-hour fight. He released the shark after taking pictures and measurements and says that he knows in his heart that he got a state record so releasing the shark was more important. Nice.


In celebration of Shark Week, I bought my son a silly stuffed shark that makes shark noises if you push its little fin. I found it at Walmart. The kitties at my house did not like it at first, but they have now warmed up to the idea because you now hear shark noises at all hours of the day and night. It’s not unusual at all to see a cat tearing through the house carrying a stuffed shark that is almost as big as she is. We laugh. Life is good. PS – It’s been 40 years since of the release of JAWS 2.


About 15 miles from downtown Austin, there is a 14-acre, rainwater-fed, state-of-the-art surf park that has rideable waves every two minutes. It’s called NLand. In addition to surfing, you can head to the NLand Juice Bar or eat at the Blue Prairie then have a beer at the NLand Brewing Company. There is live music and film screenings. Sounds like a daytrip to me.


A friend of mine has a little one that LOVES tractors and trucks. I thought of her as I read about Extreme Sandbox. It’s located in Pottsboro, a small town in north Texas and if you’re 14 or over, you can ‘rent time’ on excavators, backhoes and bulldozers then play in the dirt. The Sandbox Crew gives you 25 minutes of classroom instruction then they let you start your adventure in an air-conditioned cab as you haul wrecked cars, move barrels and dig dirt. Picnic tables are available for spectators.  There are gift certificates and different packages that start at $195 and some even include a room at Tanglewood Resort. At their Minnesota location, there is a firetruck where you can spray the giant water hose or rent it, so you can arrive in style at your wedding. Eat your heart out, Tonka trucks.


The Marriott Marquis Houston has opened its Parkview Terrace to the public, which just happens to include the beautiful Lone Star state-shaped lazy river, heated infinity pool, hot tub, fitness center and food & drinks from the High Dive restaurant. There is still a little summer left to go play. See above.


An employee spotted a garter snake in the basement of the Georgetown library in DC. They released the snake outside only to discover three more snakes in a knot hours later, so they closed the library for two days as pest control did what was needed to rid the library of the snakes. When the library reopened, one of their first scheduled educational programs was ‘Reptiles Alive,’ a show-and-tell with snakes, frogs and other reptiles. What are the chances.


After 17 years of working as a morning news anchor, Rachel McNeill has announced that she will be leaving KPRC and her co-anchor, Owen Conflenti, to move to Phoenix, Arizona where her husband will be working as the Chief of Cardiology and Director of Adult Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I will miss her. She is very genuine and one classy looking lady.


When it rains, the frogs start their singing. You listen and say to yourself that it’s because they’re so happy that their little hole in the dirt is now cool and comfortable. Nope. The males are singing to woo the females for breeding. Sly devils. The males arrange themselves and try to sing in unison. Females (just like a girl) take their time to arrive and select a mate, preferring the ones that sing longer or louder.  It rained today, and I can hear two of them outside my office window screaming, “Pick me, pick me.”


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actress Catherine Hicks is 67. Dr. Faith Coleridge on Ryan’s Hope. Basketball Hall of Fame David Robinson is 53. San Antonio Spurs. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is 60. He started out as a bartender and is now the owner of Dallas Mavericks. Actor Wesley Snipes is 56.  Author J.K. Rowling is 53. Country singer-musician Zac Brown is 40. Actor Martin Sheen is 78. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 77. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 41. Actress Evangeline Lilly is 39. Madonna is 60. She is celebrating with a fundraiser for orphans and children in Malawi. Actress Loni Anderson is 73. Actress singer Maureen McCormick is 62. Author David Baldacci is 58.


Remember the gorgeous Tab Hunter, blond and beautiful movie idol from the 50’s. He died last month at the age of 86.


Hope you took advantage of tax-free weekend to get your school supplies. At one school district, a parent will spend about $132 on supplies for a second-grader. And that’s not including new jeans and underwear. To save money, I always tried to gather stuff for my kids all year long when it was marked down, especially in September and October at office supply locations and Target. We still have more than our fair share of notebook paper in my supply closet because $.25-cents a package was always so appealing.

Tilly is the newest Asian elephant calf born at the Houston Zoo, having arrived June 17. Her older sister, Joy, was born last year and has a different mom but they share the same father, Thai aka Baby Daddy. This is a great thing for the Houston Zoo because Tilly is one of only two elephants have been born in captivity in the US this year.


A 25-year-old man who was being detained by police officers in Maryland, told them that since he worked at Krispy Kreme Donuts, he would give them donuts if they let him go.  Hmmm.


The novel, The Fault in our Stars, was first published in January 2012. The title is inspired by Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” By June 6, 2014, it was released as a movie and opened at number one at the box office. It is quite a lovely love story that also tackles life, terminal illness, and death successfully. John Green is now one of the biggest young-adult authors in the world and plans to do something totally crazy by releasing the book in a much smaller form – all the original words just squeezed down to the size of a cellphone; it’s horizontal and you flip the pages up like you do when you swipe your phone screen. The spine is a hinge that helps the book remain open and the paper used is the same that’s been in Bibles forever – so very thin without being see-through. The Penguin Minis by John Green that will be released on October 23rd, are “Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars” and will sell for $12 each. I, for one, am excited to see this. Teens will love this.

John Green – “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”


Just saw the email for Hatch Chilis at Central Market, so it must be the 23rd Annual Hatch Festival. Buy them for the freezer. I used my last bag in early spring to make two meat loaves that were just full of chopped Hatch peppers. So delicious.

Crestless Wave “August is a gentle reminder for not doing a single thing from your new year resolution for seven months and not doing it for next five.”


A father and his 17-year-old son were captured on video cameras installed by wildlife officials, after they shot a mother bear and her crying newborn twins inside their Alaska den. The clip shows the men skinning and butchering the bear as they declare, “They’ll never be able to link it to us.” The mother bear had been part of a three-year study due to concerns about the declining black bear population in the area. I vote for skinning the dad. Sometimes immature boys do things that they think will make their dads proud of them.


Apple became the world’s first publicly traded company to be valued at $1-trillion.


The Han Solo jacket worn by Harrison Ford in the Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back is expected to bring as much as $1.3-million in an auction of rare movie memorabilia on September 20th at London’s BFI Imax. There are many other items including a Star Wars lightsaber, Johnny Depp’s costume from Edward Scissorhands and a hat worn by Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.


Brazosport Rotary Club 57th Annual Shrimp Boil and Fish Fry. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. Harvey changed the date and location for them last year, but it worked out so well that they decided to try it again. Thanks, Harvey. This year it will be Sunday, October 7th at Lake Jackson Civic Center. The list of various community service projects that are helped by this fundraiser is enormous, so don’t forget to support them with your purchase of meal tickets and Raffle tickets for the 2018 Honda Accord EXL with additional prizes that may include an Apple Watch, Go-Pro and Samsung tablet. Our whole community benefits in ways that you can’t imagine. www.BrazosportShrimpBoil.com


Pray for California.


A couple in Houston were fighting as they left a restaurant. Not normal fighting where you say ugly stuff to each other and then immediately regret it. Nope. They ended up taking it to the streets and were chasing, hitting and running into each other’s cars. As the man sideswiped the girlfriend’s car, he lost control of his own vehicle, struck a pole and was thrown from his truck. He died at the scene. Yikes.


A burglar broke into a home through a basement window, opened a bottle of wine and passed out in an available bed. The wife came home and discovered the stranger in her son’s bed, then told her husband. He confronted the thief but couldn’t understand what he was saying because he was so drunk.


Southwest Airlines decided to discontinue the little bags of peanuts out of concern for those with allergies. I have a son who is allergic to peanuts, so I appreciate what they’re doing but I’m really going to miss those peanuts!


The McDonald’s Big Mac is turning 50.Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.’ That TV jingle stuck in everyone’s head. We all knew it. I ate a Big Mac almost every single day my senior year of high school along with an order of fries and a Dr. Pepper. Well, occasionally, I ate a Filet-of-Fish. Fast food has since become a little more sophisticated. We didn’t know then that fresh meat patties were better than frozen ones and we didn’t know that kale was better than lettuce, we just knew that Big Mac’s were good. If you haven’t tried one lately, you should.


I turned this column in early this week because I’m leaving early to deliver my youngest child and 14-pairs of her shoes to college. I’m not sad, because this is what I have raised her to do, but I do know my life will be different now. I’ll let you know what happens next week. PS. I’ll have tissues in the car.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! August 9, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 8, 2018

Eleven ‘financial industry’ employees ranging in age from 21 to 60, will split $543-million, the biggest prize in California lottery history after each one chipped in $2. They all plan to keep their jobs. The owner of Ernie’s Liquor store in San Jose will get his own million-dollar check as his reward for selling the ticket.


The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a ‘very nice’ SUV and is now available as the first SUV in the British automaker’s 112-year history. For a base price of only $325,000 (I did NOT add an extra zero) you can have a vertical Parthenon (think Greek goddess Athena) grille, a spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and umbrellas hidden in coach doors that shut automatically with a push of a button. Every Rolls-Royce is hand-crafted by 60 carmakers. It has a top speed of 155-mph, features hand-cut wooden trim and hand-sewn leather details with lambswool floor mats. Options include a rear info-tainment system where passengers can input directions to the driver, a rear center console with a whiskey decanter, a rear tailgate set with mechanized fold-out chairs and a table. Sorry, the chauffeur is extra.


According to Zillow, the median home value in Texas is $185,900 and the median home value in Houston is $178,300. So that tells me that you can buy almost two houses in either Houston or the State of Texas or you could just settle for one lonely SUV with what looks like a woman flying with sheets wrapped around her arms then stuck in the middle the hood. Priorities.


Rosamond Gifford Zoo in upstate New York is proud to announce the birth of twin red pandas, an endangered species found in Asia. Their names are Loofah and Doofah after characters in “The Land Before Time.” Then, rescued and rehabbed harbor seal pups, Tomato and Ravioli, made their public debut at Moody Gardens Aquarium. Both are considered un-releasable because of poor eyesight and neurologic & balance problems.


Shark Week: A woman and two men pulled a horn shark named Miss Helen out of her tank at the San Antonio Aquarium, wrapped her in a blanket then pushed her out of the aquarium in a baby stroller. Video showed it all, so the thief had no choice but to direct police to his personal aquarium where he had placed the shark.


Terry and the T-Birds in concert. August 18th Lake Jackson Civic Center 979-415-2600


Alan Alda, 82, star of M*A*S*H, revealed that he has been living with Parkinson’s disease for over three years. “The reason I want to talk about it in public is that I was diagnosed 3-1/2years ago and I’ve had a full life since. I thought it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.” Alda says he went to the doctors after reading that acting out one’s dreams could be an early warning sign of the disorder. He is also speaking out to reassure people that they do not have to be fearful after a diagnosis. He boxes three times a week, plays tennis and marches to John Philip Sousa music because it’s good for Parkinson’s. Thank you, Alan Alda.


Freaky Friday, the Musical, will broadcast this Friday evening on the Disney channel.


‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ – This sequel seems to be a totally ridiculous mixture of joy, good songs, dance, love and all sorts of cheesy, happy and weepy moments. I cried. I laughed. Honestly, if you can’t go and just enjoy it for what it is, then leave the rest of us alone so we can continue singing.


Maya Angelou – “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Patrick Stewart is 78. Actor comedian Cheech Marin is 72. Actor director Cameron Crowe is 61. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Before moving into the film industry, Crowe was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine. Actor Giancarlo Giannini is 76.  He dubbed Jack Nicholson’s voice in the Italian release of both The Shining and Batman and is the official Italian dubber for Al Pacino. Rock singer Joe Elliott is 59. Def Leppard. Rapper Chuck D. is 59. Public Enemy.


Singer Tony Bennett is 92 and just released his new single with Diana Krall. He will be at Smart Financial Centre later this month. Singer Christine McVie is 75. Fleetwood Mac. Fitness guru Richard Simmons is 70. Actress Cheryl Ladd is 67. Actor Darryl Hickman is 87. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Comic strip creator Jim Davis is 73. Garfield. Actress Sally Struthers is 71. Gloria Stivic on All in the Family. Jazz musician producer Delfeayo Marsalis is 53.


In nature, when a new queen splits from her original hive, all the bees with her must find a new home. So, when you see this happening it will look like a swarm (because it is) but it is pretty safe if you don’t provoke them. When you have a problem with bees, always call a professional (beekeeper) that will help protect and save the bees – not an exterminator. WE NEED BEES.


Lady Gaga announced her Las Vegas concert residency at Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort. She will have two different shows scheduled; ‘Jazz & Piano’ and ‘Pop.’


Pink Eye is transferred from person-to-person quickly, lasts one to two weeks, is not treatable with antibiotics and seems to be on the rise this summer. The strain making its way around right now is viral instead of bacterial and more resistant to medication. WASH YOUR HANDS, don’t touch your face. Learn to sneeze into your elbow since the virus can travel with a sneeze. If you have someone in your family that happens to get this charmer, then wipe down your door and cabinet knobs, wash your sheets and towels in hot water, change your pillow case often and your tube of mascara. Now, I bet that your eye is itching or watering just reading this. Mine is.


In Texas, “Aren’t you precious,” translates to “At least your Mama thinks you’re pretty.”


French lawmakers passed legislation banning students as old as 15 from bringing smartphones and tablets to school unless they are turned off. Officials believe, “This is a way to shield children from addictive habits and to safeguard the sanctity of the classroom.” Way to go!


Socrates – “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”


Saint Arnold Brewing was founded 24-years ago by Brock Wagner. His beautiful new beer garden and restaurant is open to the public seven days a week. Enjoy beer, food, architecture, art and a view of downtown Houston. Love that Lawnmower.


JOKE: I was visiting my daughter and son-in-law last night when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.  
‘This is the 21st century,’ he said. ‘We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow my iPad.’  I can tell you, that mosquito never knew what hit it…


University of Houston All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver is featured on one of four regional covers for the college football preview issue of Sports Illustrated. The headline reads: “Ed Oliver Is A Big Boss. For the Cougars Now. In the NFL Draft Next Year.”


It looks like Australia just built the world’s longest cat-proof fence bordering the Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s 27.3-miles long and after they clear the area of cats and other predators, they will introduce eleven different endangered species as part of a “rewilding” campaign. The mala is a marsupial that looks like a cross between a rabbit and a rat is only one of Australia’s most endangered mammals. Eventually the fence will extend another 84 miles making it one of the most important conservation infrastructure pieces in Australia. Feral and pet cats kill more than a million birds in Australia every single day.


Baby diapers, tissues and toilet paper are expected to get more expensive as demands for wood pulp increases. At the Source Weekly office, we can tell you that the price of paper used in this newspaper you are reading right now has increased significantly over the past few months. So please pass this paper along to a neighbor, a recycle sack or to the SPCA. We’ve got to start taking better care of our planet.


In the District of Columbia, about 18 to 22 “Violence Interrupters” will be on the streets after receiving 40 hours of mediation training. Interrupters cruise the streets of the toughest neighborhoods to identify and intervene in neighborhood conflicts and issues before they intensify. Hmmm.


This is really sad. Sabine Ntongo dropped her children off at their father’s apartment for visitation early on Saturday morning. His children cried, and the young son told his father “Daddy, I’m sorry,” just minutes before his father allegedly slit the children’s throats and left them on the bed, telling his wife he’d left her a ‘present.’ Jean Pierre Ndossoka has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of his 1-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. I’m speechless. Stories like this used to be unusual. It seems to be the norm now.


My daughter will be studying Industrial/Packaging Design in college this fall. She plans to place special emphasis on finding more recyclable or compostable products that are safer for our beautiful home, Earth. She has longed for this career since she was a little girl. In my reading I found that Kraft Heinz Co. has just announced that it plans to make 100 percent of its packaging globally recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. They admit that it will be a tough road. Other consumer companies that have set deadlines to make their products more friendly to the environment include Unilever (Bryer’s, Dove,  Hellman’s Knorr, Lifebuoy, Lipton and more), Procter & Gamble (Always, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Febreze, Gain, Luvs, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, Tide and lots more), Nestle (over 2000 brands including Alpo, Carnation, Cat Chow,  Friskies, Fancy Feast, Gerber, Haagen-Dazs), and Colgate Palmolive (Colgate, Softsoap, Lady Speed Stick, Murphy Oil Soap, Tom’s of Maine, Fabuloso and more).  As consumers, we HAVE to make sure that we set our standards high and ONLY buy products that are safe for our Earth.  Starting today.


Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans. John Lennon


A friend of mine has a 2-year-old son in addition to 2 older teen daughters. In my opinion, boys are just different than girls. She recently let some of her friends know that she has had to resort to the ‘old wooden spoon’ to convince him to stay buckled up in his car seat. I sent her a note letting her know that when my son was younger he had to sign and date the spoons. (I say ‘spoonS’ because sometimes they would disappear, so I had several stashed in various locations.) It wasn’t often that I actually ‘had to use’ the spoon, I just had to flash it.  Often. I do miss those days. The only thing a mom can do now is to turn off the wi-fi or quit paying their phone bill. The wooden spoon was so much more fun.


Thanks again for reading this and have a great weekend. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! August 2, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 2, 2018

An experimental therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, has slowed mental decline by 30 percent in patients who got the highest dose in a mid-stage study and it also removed much of the sticky plaque that gums up the brain. Please hurry.


New federal law requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to post calorie numbers on menus and menu boards so we stupid humans can make better choices with our eating habits especially since the average American now eats approximately 200 more calories than they should per day. They’re calling it “calorie sticker shock,” as people are now realizing just how many calories most restaurant food contains. And it’s not just fast food. For instance, a plate of Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara at Olive Garden – 1,590 calories. One slice of P.F. Chang’s Great Wall of Chocolate Cake – 1,730 calories. Buffalo Wild Wing’s All-Star Sampler with Crispy Tenders and Signature Sauce – 2,450 calories. Red Robin’s Towering Onion Rings – 1,890 calories. A tub of movie popcorn – 1000 calories. So, you think a salad might be better? How about the California Pizza Kitchen Quinoa & Arugula Salad, which sounds perfect to me? Nope. It’s 1070 calories. How about The Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad? 1,740 calories. And the IHOP Chicken & Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken. 1,100 calories. We should just stay home and eat celery and drink water. Heck, a Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Glazed Doughnut has 240 calories all by itself, but who can stop at just one.


The manager of the only remaining Blockbuster Video store in the US says, “It’s pretty exciting that we are the last holdout…it’s very nostalgic. We have a bunch of 19-year-olds working here – it’s fun explaining to them what a floppy disk is.” – Sandi Harding


Former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is selling his Lake Conroe home for $2.6-million. I knew I should have encouraged and directed my children towards sports, more than I did.


Adopting stricter child marriage laws, Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed a bill to raise the minimum marriage age to 16. What? Missouri had been the only state that allowed children at age 15 to marry with only one parent’s approval, even if the other parent objected. In May, Delaware became the first state in the nation to ban child marriage to anyone under 18, no exceptions. Hmmm. Do you know of any 15, 16, 17 or even 18-year-olds that have the education, maturity or need to be married at this age? Nope, me neither.


“It’s all about saving lives. Each life matters. When you rescue an animal from a shelter, you are saving two lives – the one that you are adopting and the next one who needs that space.” Beth Stern, wife of Howard Stern


The maker of the chocolate KitKat bar has tried for 16-years to trademark the four-finger breakaway shape, arguing that it deserves protection, but a European court ruled against KitKat and Nestle, and instead sided with makers of Kvikk Lunji, a Norwegian snack launched in 1937, two years after KitKat hit UK shelves., that is shaped almost exactly the same as KitKat.


On July 29th, 1981, thirty-seven years ago, we all watched in awe as Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Their first child, Prince William, was born about 11 months later and Prince Harry was born in September 1984.


On July 31st, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in Detroit, Michigan. He was one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century despite his relationships and partnering with mobsters throughout the 60’s. A popular belief is that he was the victim of a Mafia hit.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Verdine White is 67.  Earth, Wind and Fire. Actor Ronny Cox is 80. Deliverance. Actor Woody Harrelson is 57. ‘Cheers.’ Activist Monica Lewinsky is 45. Blue Dress. Actor Daniel Radcliffe is 29. ‘Harry Potter.’ Rock star Mick Jagger is 75. Actress Helen Mirren is 73. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 62.

Actress Sandra Bullock is 54. Blues musician Buddy Guy is 82. Movie director Peter Bogdanovich is 79. ‘Paper Moon.’ Singer Paul Anka is 77. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is 71. Filmmaker actor Richard Linklater is 58. He was born in Houston and is now working on ’Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ which was a great book. Bet it makes a great movie.

Actor Laurence Fishburne is 57. Actress Lisa Kudrow is 55. There is some speculation that there may be a reboot of ‘Friends’ soon. Actress Hilary Swank is 44. Actor Jerry Houser is 66. ‘Summer of ’42.’  Actress Jane Lynch is 58. Actor Matthew Fox is 52. Jack Shepherd on ‘Lost.’ Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 70. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 61. ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 50. In 2017, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Former actor Jamie Waylett is 29. His only role is that of Vincent Crabbe in six of the eight’ Harry Potter’ films. Author Tom Robbins is 86. Game show host Alex Trebek is 78. Singer George Clinton is 77. Actor Danny Glover is 72. Actor Willem Dafoe is 63. Actor John Leguizamo is 54. Chi-Chi in ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.’  Actor comedian David Spade is 54. Actress Selena Gomez is 26. Britain’s Prince George of Cambridge is 5.


Nancy Sinatra Sr., the first wife of Frank Sinatra and the mother of his three children, died at the age of 101.  She married Frank Sinatra in 1939 as he was struggling to launch his singing career, sewing his signature silk bow ties and skillfully cooking his favorite Italian dishes, but it wasn’t enough for the husband who did little to hide his flings with stars like Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe and Angie Dickinson. They divorced in 1951 and within a week Sinatra had married Ava Gardner. Nancy Sinatra Sr. is survived by her daughters, 78-year-old singer-actress Nancy Sinatra Jr. (These Boots are Made for Walking) and 70-year-old television producer Tina Sinatra. Son, Frank Sinatra Jr. died in 2016 at 72, of a heart attack.  Frank Sinatra died in 1998 at 82, also of a heart attack.


Rabbit Trail: In reading about the Sinatra’s life, I found the story about the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. on December 8, 1963, at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. He was 19 at the time and released two days later after his father paid the $240,000 ransom demand (which I think would be about $2-million in today’s money.) The kidnappers wanted all communication to be conducted by payphone (a public telephone that is operated by coins.)  During these conversations, Sinatra Sr. was very concerned that he would run out of coins, which then brought about the habit of him carrying 10 dimes with him at all times for the rest of his life. He was even buried with 10 dimes in his pocket. Great story.


The Toronto Blue Jays have traded suspended closer Roberto Osuna to the Houston Astros in exchange for Ken Giles and two minor league pitchers. Osuna is currently serving a 75-game suspension under MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy. He was charged with assaulting a woman in May and pleaded not guilty. Hmmm.


A Baytown woman wanted for outstanding drug charges, allegedly jabbed a police K9 dog twice (around his eyes) with an eyebrow brush while police were trying to arrest her. The poor pooch was treated at a veterinarian’s office and put back on duty.


Relatives of the nine family members killed in the ‘Duck Boat’ incident in Branson, Missouri, have filed a lawsuit against the company and are seeking $100-million.


San Francisco voted to ban carryout containers and wrappers treated with fluorinated chemicals, eliminate drinking straws and many non-recyclable plastic items like coffee stirrers…single use plastics are choking our marine ecosystems and littering our world.


At least five unsuspecting League City families fell victim to a Craigslist housing scam where they signed leases and paid thousands of dollars, only to discover that the homes were already rented and owned by another company other than the one that they paid their money to. Is everything a scam now?


“Love never Dies” – The Broadway sequel to ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was touring in Houston, is my daughter’s favorite musical and we had tickets which just happened to be on her 19th birthday. We ate first at Jinya – the very best Ramen Bar and our family’s favorite place to eat right now – especially the fried Brussels sprouts tempura, the pork melts in your mouth and the Jinya Bun is like eating a cloud.  We shopped a little, then fought the horrible traffic to get to Theatre Under the Stars on time. The review I read before this show was not flattering at all, so we were not expecting perfection. Surprise. The costumes were great, the sets were outstanding, and the actors didn’t miss a beat even though it was a Sunday evening of understudies. Was the storyline odd? Yes, of course, but let’s face it, the story of the original Phantom of the Opera is pretty, dang weird. ‘A deformed man, known as Phantom lives in the sewers underneath Paris Opera House and falls in love with a chorus singer, then kidnaps her.’ The sequel just adds Coney Island to the story. Conclusion: we liked ‘Love Never Dies’ just fine.


Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a concert with my sweet son. I say fortunate, because he is almost 22-years-old and still wants to share 70’s rock-n-roll with me. He is super lucky in his ability to procure memorable tickets. In this case, he found $9.00 tickets online, so we ordered three, but they chose instead to send four tickets along with a note AND three paid ‘Valet’ parking passes. Hmmm. What’s the catch? When we got there, we pulled up to a special drive-through section where they not only parked our car, but then someone took us upstairs in the elevator to our box seat area where we found a sofa, two chairs and four bar stools that overlooked the private twenty-person seating area and the stage. There were super nice hand towels in the bathroom with the Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land logo on them. I felt like I had been raised in a cave and gone to the big city for the first time. We always buy the cheapest seats available and can only believe that the box seats were not selling well so they discounted them, and we just happened to win the lottery. It was great. Oh, the concert was Jeff Beck of Yardbirds fame, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, and Ann Wilson of Heart. Ann Wilson is crazy good, but I missed the music of Heart, Jeff Beck can still play the guitar like nobody’s business, but Paul Rodgers was phenomenal.  He’s 68, but you would never know it, the way he sounded and pranced around the stage. Hard to believe that ‘All Right Now’ was his number-one hit in 1970. My only problem was with the loudness.  Easy solution, Anne-Elisabeth and I just sat inside where it was quieter and had a wonderful time.


This morning, since it was my birthday, my daughter made breakfast for me. Scrambled eggs, avocado toast and coffee. Yum. Well, as I took my first bite, I was overcome with the smell of garlic. Trying to be gracious, I smiled sweetly and asked her if she had used garlic. Yes. How much? Well, it seems that when she sprinkled, the garlic dumped out and she loves garlic, so she thought to herself, “If a little is good then a bunch must be great.” Needless to say, I will not worry about vampires or zombie apocalypse today, but please excuse me while I go brush my teeth again.


Have a great week, and thanks for reading this. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! July 26, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 26, 2018

According to the Planet Fitness website, this chain promises a “Judgement Free Zone,” where members feel comfortable regardless of their fitness level.” In New Hampshire, one member walked in, stripped off all his clothes, walked across the gym a couple of times, found a mat and struck a yoga pose. He was arrested for his nakedness and said that he thought it was a judgement-free zone (which is nothing like a clothing free zone.) There is belief that he might have been under the influence of ‘something.’


Retired attorney, Marshall Fogel of Denver, owns a pristine 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card that is insured for $12-million but believed to be worth more than that. It was recently delivered to the History Colorado Center for a 72-hour public display because the owner wanted the community to enjoy looking at the card. People told him that he was stupid to pay $120,000 for it in 1996. They now call him “wisely eccentric.” Great story.


Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon in 1994 and CEO, is now the wealthiest person in modern history, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which says he reached the $150-billion mark last week which is $55-billion ahead of the world’s second-richest person, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is about $95.3-billion.


According to Wikipedia, “Shark Week originally premiered in 1988 on the Discovery Channel and was devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks.” As it has grown in popularity it has become a super hit. Since 2010, it has been the longest-running cable television programming event in history. PS – it started July 22. Shark Week.


In Houston, another child was left behind, forgotten in a sweltering vehicle for over three hours. People get busy and forget, but it is our job to remember the little ones, the aging and animals that can’t take care of themselves. Again, add something to your back seat next to your passenger, like your shoe, something that you need or have to have when you leave the car. I left Lily the dwarf hamster in my back seat one time. I didn’t know that my kids brought her along that morning, so she could go back to my office where she lived. My son cried for 24 hours straight.


Sitting at my desk this morning while working on this column, out of the corner of my eye I saw a lady walk by my dirty office window. Since people walk by my office all day long, I didn’t think much about it until Connie came around the corner and asked who she was because she had just dropped off a beautiful plateful of decorated cupcakes. I rushed outside and found her just as she got into her car. Bluntness was the only solution, “Thank you for the cupcakes, but who are you?”  Our sweet customer had just “purchased the treats at a fundraiser for a woman with cancer” and decided to bless people with drop-off’s (but prefers to remain anonymous.) How sweet. I have told my children that in life, you are responsible for doing nice things for other people because ‘it’s the right thing to do.’ It makes both of you feel good BUT even more important is to do it anonymously, not telling a soul, because that’s when the real blessings come to heart. Thank you, anonymous, for the treats and the blessings.


The Great Texas Mosquito Festival is this weekend. In addition to the petting zoo, barbecue cookoff (brisket, beef fajita, chicken & pork spareribs), Horseshoe Tournament, Grill-Master Cookoff, Mosquito Chase 5K Run, BASF Kid Run, Washer Pitching Tournament, Carnival, Haystack Dive, Cornhole, Mosquito Calling, Mosquito Legs and Karaoke, there are guest acts – Across Life (Christian band), The Spazmatics (geek chic), David Nail (country), Shayne Still (country), Bag of Donuts (super-pop) and Kevin Fowler (modest honky-tonk country).  See page 14 for schedule of events or go to MosquitoFestival.com.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Author Carmac McCarthy is 85. No Country for Old Men. “My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold, and anything else is just a waste of time. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is 38. Author & underwater explorer Clive Cussler is 87. Founder of National Underwater and Marine Agency, which has discovered more than 60 shipwreck sites and numerous other notable underwater wrecks and author of more than 70 books.

Actor Jan-Michael Vincent is 74. Airwolf. Singer Linda Ronstadt is 72. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012, which left her unable to sing. What a gift she has given us in music. Arianna Huffington is 68. Co-founder of the Huffington Post. Actor Terry O’Quinn is 66. John Locke on Lost. Rock musician Joe Satriani is 62. Deep Purple, Chicken Foot. 80’s Supermodel Kim Alexis is 58. Actor-Director Forest Whitaker is 57. The Butler. Actress Bridgette Nielson is 55. Last month, she had her fifth child, a girl and is mother to four sons, the oldest being 34.

Actress Phoebe Cates is 55. Comedian Will Ferrell is 51. Actor Corey Feldman is 47. Gremlins, The Goonies and Stand by Me. Sports announcer Jimmy Johnson is 75. Actor James Brolin is 78. Married to Barbara Streisand since 1998. Singer Martha Reeves is 77. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Businessman Richard Branson is 68. Virgin Records. “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

Singer Ricky Skaggs is 64. Actor Vin Diesel is 51. Singer, songwriter, actor, musician, activist, and politician Ruben Blades is 70.  Actor director George Dzundza is 73. Basic Instinct, Crimson Tide and The Deer Hunter. Actor Anthony Edwards is 56. Dr. Mark Greene in ER. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is 42.  Rock musician Carlos Santana is 71. “The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”

Harrison Ford is 76. Because of script problems, the release of the ‘still-untitled’ Indiana Jones 5, has been delayed to July 2021. Yikes. That will make Harrison Ford just hours away from turning 79. It’s hard for me to believe that Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in 1981. I don’t care how old he is, I will be first in line to see him again.


A woman in Michigan once found a second-hand sofa on the street with a “free” sign attached to it so she “smelled it and everything – it looked okay.” Later, she found a 4-ft. boa constrictor in the cushions. Which leads me to this. Roommates in Virginia came home to find a snake in the toilet. I bet that was fun to watch. Talk about scaring the pee-pee out of you. After deciding the snake was real, they configured a noose on a fishing pole that enabled them to get the snake without harm. Animal control determined that it was a female ball python bred to be a pet, which was good because miles away, her owners were looking for their lost pet snake which had been missing for over two weeks. Speculation was that she came through the sewer, but more likely is she crawled into the house, then into the toilet for a drink. Either way, I’m like Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?”


Since there have been some super, hot days recently, we all need to do our part to conserve electricity in our area. They are asking us to reduce energy usage all the time but especially between 3-7pm. Raise thermostats up by 2-3 degrees, set programmable thermostats to higher temp when you’re not at home, use ceiling fans and limit use of dishwashers, washers and dryers in the morning or late evening hours, and if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, schedule your pump to shut off during this same time. There are more things you can do, but these are ones that suck huge energy and can be started today at your home or office.


When I was in my early 20’s, one of my first (of many) dinner parties was planned around a recipe I found in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, King Ranch Casserole, a recipe unknown to me at the time, but it sounded delicious. Nowadays it’s everywhere; you know, it’s the “popular girl” at all potluck affairs. I cooked it that fated evening and it was beautiful! Just one small setback that really spoiled the night…I was a novice and hadn’t cooked enough to know the difference between condensed milk and ‘sweetened’ condensed milk, therefore the final tasting didn’t go over very well at all, so we ended up with pizza. No problem. There are currently many versions of this recipe but the following one is quick to fix because it uses canned soup and rotisserie chicken but it’s sooo delicious. Lady Bird Johnson listed King Ranch Casserole as her favorite dish to serve at LBJ Ranch.

King Ranch Chicken: 8-10 servings. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together meat from a rotisserie chicken and 2-tablespoons chili powder.  Set aside. Dice a medium onion and a bell pepper, sauté in olive oil and/or butter until softened, then add, 1 (10.75-ounce) nacho cheese soup, 1 (10.5-ounce) cream of mushroom soup, 1 (10.5-ounce) cream of chicken soup, 1 (14.5-ounce) Ro-tel tomatoes, 1 (7-ounce) can green chilies. Mix. Warm.  Add chicken mixture to pan. Warm. Butter a 9-by-13-inch pan and spread a small amount of the mixture on the bottom then completely cover the bottom with 12 corn tortillas, half the chicken mixture then 2 cups cheddar cheese. Layer another 12 corn tortillas, remaining chicken mixture and 2 more cups of cheddar cheese. Place casserole on baking sheet on middle oven rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly. Remove, let cool for 10-15 minutes, garnish with sour cream, diced tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro with a side of guacamole, a salad and some tortilla chips.


I have just written a song about tortillas. Actually, it’s more of a rap.


The University of Houston has received an anonymous $3-million gift to fund tuition for its planned medical school’s inaugural class. Since the average medical school debt is $190,000, this is huge. UH hopes to begin instruction in fall 2020.


Thoughts on flying. Having just come back from a vacation where air travel was involved, it is still fresh in my memory that one single person can deliver either a lovely memory of your flight or brutal thoughts of the whole vacation. Here goes. 1.) Keep your feet in your own space especially if you are, gasp, barefooted. I don’t care if your pedicure looks great – I don’t want to see one little pinky toe in ‘my’ personal space. Gross. Bring a fresh pair of socks with you just in case you need to take your shoes off. 2.) On one flight I thought there was a child sitting behind me – bumping, kicking, shoving the back of the seat, the side of the seat and underneath the seat, the entire flight. As soon as we landed, I reached down to find my purse on the floor and when I stood up, I hit my head on him because he was leaning over the back of my seat. A grown man. I gave him ’the look’ I give my ex-husband. You know ‘the look.’ 3.) What makes you think that you can sneak ahead and board before me? We set alarms to remind us to get our boarding passes, so set your own alarm or stand behind me in numerical order. We earned this position. 4.) Jumping on your phone the moment we unbuckle, then yelling over the loud noises that still exist. “We’ve just landed. I can talk now.”  Wait five minutes or just text. 5.) Use your elbow when you sneeze, cough, belch or anything else that has spit flying freely. Manners please.


Auction house, Profiles in History, will be auctioning off more than 1,900 personal items of Liza Minnelli from July 30 to August 1. When the singer-actress and daughter of Judy Garland, moved from NY to LA in 2015, she decided to clean house, so there will be costumes, clothes, photographs, belongings of her mom and dad, Vincente Minnelli, as well as gifts from Frank Sinatra and the replica of The Wizard of Oz shoes that Liza wore to her second wedding to Jack Haley Jr. (whose father was the Tin Man in OZ.)


Thanks bunches for picking up this paper today. We appreciate you. Don’t forget to sell something. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! July 19, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 19, 2018

This one was hard to write. A 29-year-old Corpus Christi woman was arrested after having sold her son, age 7, and was also in the process of trying to sell her daughters, age 2 and 3. I admit that there have been many times that I thought about getting rid of my children, but I swear, I never walked into my other office, filled out the classified ad form and paid my five dollars.


What a crazy week. My sister arrived from Austin this weekend to help me get the last of my mom’s stuff packed up and sent to either Mom’s new home in Waco, to other family members, friends or donated to a non-profit. We are fortunate to have so many non-profit resale stores in this area where you can donate and feel good about knowing that someone will love and appreciate that sweet little memory that you are releasing to a new home. In my own attic, I rediscovered a group of 5 vintage wood-carved sailors that I ‘donated’ to my sister and her husband for their new Rockport home since they lost everything in Harvey. (Now I know I have a place to stay in Rockport when I visit. wink. wink.) I am calling this my PRE-estate sale. So, Mom’s stuff is moved, and the townhouse is ready to rent. Well, almost. All was going well over there until the AC went bonkers (it’s ONLY 9-years-old) so I now must purchase a new unit, then the AC unit at my house got a less than a thumbs-up report card today, and the refrigerator in the rental unit is trying to die…a slow death at around $150 a repair job and its only Tuesday. But, when all is said and done, life is perfect, don’t you think.


Consequences: Houston Astros relief pitcher Ken Giles has, as I see it, been put in time-out for poor performance and acting out. When you’re 5 and you have a meltdown, it’s a timeout. Any mother will tell you that. When you’re supposed to be an Astros ‘team’ player and you misbehave by spouting a totally inappropriate, unflattering, four-letter directive to your team manager after he goes out to the mound to pull you from the game, you get demoted to Triple-A Fresno.  It gives you ample time to get your mind right.


In 2012, a girlfriend took a picture of her very proud boyfriend while he siphoned gas from a police car, then they posted it to Facebook and police arrested him soon after. Don’t you just love social media.


Shaquille O’Neal has listed his Orlando-area estate for $28 million. The 31,000-sq-ft property (my entire office is 2960-sq-ft. so does that mean that about eleven of my offices would fit in his house?) overlooks Lake Butler, has 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms (yikes, about the time you finish cleaning the last toilet, the first one would need to be cleaned again), 17-car garage, recording studio, fitness facility (no, not a fitness room, a fitness facility) and a 95-ft pool with hot tub and swim-up bar. Sigh. Oh, and the swimming complex is nicknamed ‘Shaq-apulco.’


CODE RED. CODE RED. You need to read this. SPCA of Brazoria County is filled to maximum capacityAll fees now associated with adoption of all animals is currently FREE and includes microchip, rabies and the spay or neutering procedure. What a deal! Adopt two kittens so they can keep each other company…our two Harvey rescue babies have brought so much joy to our home, filling a spot with love that we didn’t even know was empty. I went over to SPCA just a few minutes ago and took pictures. It is such a pitiful situation but most of all, it just makes me sad to know that there are so many irresponsible pet owners in our area that do not have their pets spayed or neutered. If you can’t adopt, then save your newspapers, old towels, blankets, cat and dog food, office supplies, hand soap…the list is endless. Please spread the word to your neighbors, friends, and family. Go. Today. 979-285-2340.  spcaBC.org


A group of 47 scientists are proposing that mankind sets aside half of the Earth in various reserves, in order to protect the dying bio-diversity and protect Earth’s animal and plant species. Interesting.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Children’s performer Raffi is 70. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 69. Actress Anjelica Huston is 67. Writer journalist and columnist Anna Quindlen is 66. Actor Kevin Bacon is 60. Country singer Toby Keith is 57. Actress Katherine Helmond is 89. SOAP. She may be 89, but in my opinion, she was one of the sexiest women in television, in her day.

Actress Shirley Knight is 82. Singer musician Robbie Robertson is 75. Julie Nixon Eisenhower is 70. Rock star Huey Lewis is 68.  Attorney Gloria Allred is 77. Self-described feminist lawyer who has gone after OJ Simpson, Eddie Murphy, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Anthony Wiener, Donald Trump, and Bill Cosby.  Humorist Dave Barry is 71. Talk-show host Montel Williams is 62. Actor Tom Cruise is 56.

Journalist Geraldo Rivera is 75. Singer John Waite is 66. Missing You. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly is 60. INXS. Former ‘First Child” Malia Obama is 20. Actress Joan Van Ark is 75. Boxing Hall of Fame Roberto Duran is 67. Remember his fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. Actor Ned Beatty is 81. Deliverance.  Former President George W. Bush is 72. Actor Sylvester Stallone is 72.

Actor Grant Goodeve is 66. Oldest son Steve Bradford on Eight is Enough. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 81. Shakespeare in Love, Anna Karenina, Empire of the Sun. Actor Donald Sutherland is 83. Camilla Duchess of Cornwall is 71. Actor David Hasselhoff is 66. Country singer Luke Bryan is 42.

Singer songwriter Bill Withers is 80. In July of 1972, Bill Withers stepped into a recording studio for the first time ever and just two years later he had written and recorded the #1-Hit, “Lean on Me.” His story is interesting. He was the youngest child, born in 1938 in a West Virginia coal-mining town, leaving school at age 13 after his father died. At 17, he joined the Navy and overcame his stutter, settling in California after his discharge nine years later. Although he wanted a career in music and had debuted “Ain’t No Sunshine,” he continued to work full-time in an aircraft factory assembling toilet seats because he had a hard time accepting his new career. “It was like I was on vacation from the factory and at some point, I would have to take my tool box and go back to work,” believing the music industry was fickle. Other hits included Use Me, Just the Two of Us, Lovely Day and Grandma’s Hands plus three Grammy Awards. One of my favorites.


Texas Highways was my magazine of choice a few days back and I was surprised to learn that James Avery, founder of James Avery Artisan Jewelry, died in April at the age of 96. Almost everyone has at least one piece of his jewelry. I have several and I have to say that “they’re all my favorites.” Avery earned a degree in industrial design and began fabricating jewelry in his in-law’s garage in Kerrville in 1954. He quickly found success selling his products through churches on consignment then opened his first store in Dallas in 1973. He said, “I’m not concerned about having eternal life at all. Man will be gone from this planet before too many more years. But while we’re here, let’s be kind to each other and help each other reach out and do whatever we can for each other.”


Bush’s Beans announced that Duke, the unofficial company mascot, died on June 27. Sam (his real name) was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. Their commercials just won’t be the same.


Senator Rand Paul says he still has trouble breathing since he was attacked in his yard by his neighbor who was angry about Paul stacking yard debris near their property line. The neighbor was given a 30-day sentence, one year of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine which Paul thinks is not acceptable. He has filed a civil lawsuit against the neighbor asking for medical costs and attorney fees relating to the incident. That seems ONLY right to me.


The rescue of the boys from the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand affected me more emotionally than anything has in quite a while. Kudos to every single diver and volunteer from around the world (I heard there were over 200) that jumped in and gave everything they had, including the life of one diver, to bring the boys and their coach back. A real life ‘Dream Team.’ Finding and then freeing the Wild Boars and their coach proved to be an uncharted, unprecedented challenge because nothing like this had ever been done before. For a few long weeks their children were our children as we held our breath waiting for them to be rescued.  Success. These were the real Avengers. And btw, all the boys could swim.


In Georgia, a 14-year-old was killed when a tree fell on his tent at a Boy Scout camp. Sad. My son said that the first scout camp he attended, a huge tree fell 40-feet in front of him. I told him that things like that happen when you go outside in the real world. See above.


Remember me telling you about the fabulous new hotel in Houston that Tilman Fertitta owns…well, the construction company has filed a lien for $20 million because Fertitta’s company Landry’s has failed to pay the contractor and several of its subcontractors in a timely manner. Hmmm.


Researchers at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine are getting $5.3 million from the Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute to study ‘medication-assisted treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorders.’ Geez. I have a better idea. Let’s put tighter restrictions on the sale and use of opioids. Go for the drug companies and educate the doctors that are writing the prescriptions. There just must be something that can be prescribed that doesn’t cause a chemical dependency.


Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery will celebrate 13th Annual Lavender & Wine Fest in Chappell Hill, Texas on Saturday, August 11 from 9-3. Local crafts, lavender, plants, demo, live music.


In 2015, the FDA said they were banning all artificial trans fats from all food in the US with a deadline effective June 18, 2018. The time is now. Trans fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and make you more likely to get heart disease and lower HDL “good” cholesterol. Good job FDA.


Bayer (pesticide business) will merge with Monsanto (genetically modified crop portfolio) and will create the largest seed and agrochemical company on our beautiful Earth. Monsanto’s name will be dropped as part of a campaign to win back consumer trust (reference the alleged harms of pesticides and GMO’s.) Hmmm. Are our memories that short?


A Charles Schwab survey of 1000 adults show that 62% say spending time with family tops the list of things that make people feel wealth in their day-to-day lives.


29-years ago, Keanu Reeves & Alex Winter teamed for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure…. now they will reteam for Bill & Ted 3/Bill and Ted Face the Music. Means nothing to me, but you may be interested.


Bad News: The Monkees had to postpone the last four dates of their tour because guitarist Mike Nesmith had a minor health issue. Those were the days…Tiger Beat and Mickey Dolenz.  Nice.


National Moon Day is observed annually on July 20 and commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969.  NASA reported the moon landing as being “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”  July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the moon.


Thanks for reading this today. Have a great weekend.

What I Heard This Week! July 12, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 12, 2018

If you enjoy “nibbling on sponge cake” and like your “booze in the blender”, you can now look forward to retirement, because Jimmy Buffet is due to open his first of many senior neighborhoods loaded with beachfront access, live entertainment, lap pools, spas and more, but only for those of us that are 55 or ‘better.’ The first retirement community has been named Latitude Margaritaville and is located in Daytona Beach, Florida where residents expect to be moving in by late summer. There will be two-and three-bedroom homes from $200,000’s to $350,000. Do you think that they will have happy hour before or after Wheel of Fortune?


For neighbors and friends, each Christmas I try to make a homemade cooking item like beef stew seasoning, cinnamon extract and my favorite, Madagascar vanilla extract. To make it is quite simple – dark colored bottles, Madagascar vanilla beans and lots of liquor – the better the liquor, the better the extract. I’ve got the “buy 11 Gallons and get the 12th FREE” punch card at Spec’s. I just can’t imagine a world without vanilla extract. So boring. Remember Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies used it on her neck and wrists instead of perfume. I feel the same way. (I also believe they should bottle wood smoke for men but that’s another column.) So, in Madagascar, vanilla farmers are now having to stamp a code on their vanilla beans, so if a thief steals the crop, it can be traced. WHAT. Do you know how skinny a vanilla bean is? I was amazed and totally unaware that vanilla is such a big business now. It’s not easy to be a vanilla bean either. Vanilla blooms only once a year and for ONLY ONE DAY. It must be pollinated by hand and the fruit takes nine months to mature. New vines take three years to mature. Vanilla thieves now face up to four years in jail. One farmer said it’s not enough. She wants a life sentence. “You invest all your life in growing the vanilla, stealing it is the same thing as killing someone.”


An additional note on vanilla beans: I looked up the company OliveNation, where I have always ordered my vanilla beans and to order one bean is now $9.49 plus shipping and if you happen to need 11-pounds, you’re going to be out $5,822.49 plus shipping. Look out Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell.


Seventy-two years ago, in July 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit in Paris. It was dubbed “bikini” after the US atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week. The reason for the tiny swimsuit was wartime rationing of fabric. (Quit it. It was designed by a man.) Enough said. Reard had trouble finding a model to wear the revealing two-piece so he asked an exotic dancer who had no qualms about appearing almost naked in public. The bikini was a hit, especially with men, and became a mainstay of European beaches in the 50’s. His advertisements stated that it isn’t a genuine bikini, “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.” America was a little slower in embracing this new skimpy thing but the 60’s brought the hit song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” and the beach blanket movies of Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon, then The Beach Boys had hit after hit about California surfing and the bikini was truly born. My mother sewed, so she made my first bikini with chains of crocheted daisies in yellow and white. Funny how you remember certain things.


You must be famous if you’re known by only one name…Cher, Plato, Einstein, Mozart, Elvis, Oprah, Twiggy, Prince, just to name a few, but the most famous of all was Koko, the 280-pound gorilla who learned sign language, loved cats and learned more than 1,000 words, died in her sleep recently at the age of 46. Koko’s real name was Hanabiko, Japanese for fireworks child. She was born July 4, 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo. If you want to watch something very sweet, then pull up one of the many documentaries about this amazing animal.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 62. Boxer Mike Tyson is 52. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 33. Actress Mariette Hartley is 78. Actress Meredith Baxter is 71. Bridget Loves Bernie and Family Ties. Actor Michael Gross is 71. Steven Keaton from Family Ties.


Rocker Nils Lofgren is 67. Crazy Horse and E Street Band. Britain’s Prince William is 36. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 87. Singer songwriter Brian Wilson is 76. Actor John Goodman is 66. Actress Nicole Kidman is 51. Actress Kathy Bates is 70. Pro Football Hall of Fame John Elway is 58. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 52. Actress Nancy Allen is 68. Carrie. Reggae singer Astro is 61. UB40.


Actor John Cusack is 52. Randy Jackson is 62. American Idol judge. Actress Frances McDormand is 61. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 48. Actor Nick Offerman is 48. Parks and Recreation. Actress-singer Ariana Grande is 25. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 74. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 71. Actress Liv Tyler is 41.


Actress producer Mindy Kaling is 39. Singer Solange Knowles is 32. Actress Olivia de Havilland is 102. I could write a whole book on this interesting woman. Actor Jamie Farr is 84. Cookie-maker Wally Amos is 82. Dancer choreographer Twyla Tharp is 77. Rock singer actress Deborah Harry is 73. Blondie. Olympic gold-medal track star Carl Lewis is 57. Actress Pamela Anderson is 51. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 47.


Actor comedian Dan Aykroyd is 66. Crystal Head Vodka and SNL. He would like to see Nupita Nyong’o and Taylor Swift cast in the upcoming, all-female reboot of his hit movie “The Blues Brothers”. Aykroyd says, “In this movie, these ladies inherit the franchise from Elwood. You know, they get the Bluesmobile. They get to drive the Bluesmobile, they get to fight the Klan and the Nazis – it’s really neat.” Hmmm.


This morning at my office, we jumped on the subject of ‘first phone numbers’. Four of us (all over the age of, harrumph, excuse me,) aww, let’s just say that we were very young and remembered when phone numbers had a prefix…for instance, PL-24252, which was my first phone number. The ‘PL’ stood for PLAZA which was the telephone exchange. These were hubs through which the calls were routed. Phone subscribers were given a unique 5-digit number which followed the telephone exchange. After that, our office conversation was on a roll, so we discussed party lines where if you were very quiet you could listen in to other conversations without anyone knowing. Somehow, the conversation then progressed to a young age when we called the 7-11 convenience store and asked, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and if the clerk said yes, then we would reply, “Well, then let him out.” We were such hellraisers, as you can tell. 😊 All our dads smoked pipes (think Mad Men) so we thought we were really clever. For those that don’t understand, Prince Albert was a brand of pipe tobacco in a cute little red can with a flip-lid or the giant economy size that looked like a small paint can. I think my dad had a key to open it that looked like a miniature flat screwdriver. When the can was empty, you never threw it away because it became home for all your treasures. Like a cigar box. AND it smelled so wonderful. Even today, I love the smell of pipe tobacco. Isn’t it funny how smells bring back sweet memories?


On July 6, 1957, Paul McCartney and John Lennon met at the Annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, where there was a dog show, a brass band and The Quarry Men. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney showed up to watch. Later McCartney just happened to play a few songs on the guitar that he just happened to bring with him. Two weeks later he was invited to join The Quarry Men. Yikes, that was sixty-one-years ago.


An e-mail announced this week that H-E-B has FREE 1-hr delivery on beer and wine but the offer only good until 09-03-18. It was easy to download the app called Favor. Really.


Speaking of wine, Haak Vineyards in Santa Fe, Texas did it again. At the prestigious Los Angeles International Wine Awards, they won 1-Gold medal, 1-Silver medal and 3-Bronze medals, then at the Lone Star International Wine Competition they received 1-Gold medal, and 5-Silver medals. You should hop in the car and drive over to Santa Fe for a sweet stroll around the vineyard or call H-E-B right now.


If you have been reading this column for any time at all, you understand that I think we could and should treat our Earth better than we do. One of the many things we need to work on is to provide for the butterflies and the bees. Every time I hear the mosquito-man, or the mosquito-plane come by, I worry for the bees. You can help by installing more bat houses and using less pesticides. With that in mind, remember that the Third Annual Honey Expo is July 21, from 11am-5pm at Brazoria County Fairgrounds. It’s free and in addition to classes in beekeeping for adults there are classes for kids on honeybees and pollination, demos, tastings, local honey, a butterfly tent, snacks, soaps, lip balm and crafts all relating to bees and butterflies along with how we can contribute something positive to our environment. Brazoria-county-beekeepers-association.com


The first drug in the US derived from marijuana, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Epidiolex will treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.


In July of 1953, Elvis paid $3.98 plus tax to make an acetate record as a birthday present for his mother. The two guys that recorded it made note of this incredibly shy young singer. When they recorded him a year later they were not terribly impressed until they took a break from recording and heard him “messing around” with a guitar, playing and singing “That’s All Right,” but he sang it at least twice as fast as the original song which had been written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. After two more days of recording, they released “That’s All Right (Mama)” to a Memphis radio station, then two weeks later released it as a single with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side. Rolling Stone magazine lists it as “#113 of the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.” It was an instant hit, the rest is history.


On June 23rd, Zsa-Zsa, a 9-year-old English bulldog, won $1,500 as first place in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Sadly, she died in her sleep this week with no known health issues. Zsa-Zsa spent the first five years of her life in a puppy mill in Missouri until she was put up for auction and bought by a rescue group. After being adopted, she spent her days in a very relaxed position unless food was involved. Favorite snacks were Slim Jim’s or a steak burrito from Chipotle. Left to cherish her memories, is her owner, Megan Brainard and last words…help promote pet adoption.


Six Brazoswood baseball players and one player from Sweeny have been named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association academic all-state team. Our congratulations to Bucs’ Tanner Bundick, Ryan Faltisek, Horacio Garcia Jr., Nash Neff, Tyler Reinhardt and Daryl Soliz Jr., along with Sweeny’s Jaden Bohlar. Way to go, guys. You have made your community proud.


To help protect the environment, SeaWorld Entertainment is now removing all single-use plastic straws and plastic bags from the company’s 12 theme parks. YES! Then, Starbucks decided to remove all plastic straws from their stores. What a great start to cleaning up unnecessary plastic from our Earth.


July 17th is World Emoji Day. Can you send a message using ‘just’ emojis? I’ve tried to do that in a text to my kids. They either thought I was extremely brilliant or really, really old. I don’t know which. Oh, well.


Thanks for taking the time to read this today. It is appreciated. Don’t you need to place an ad to sell something that’s just taking up space in your garage or attic? Call Connie, Pam, Patricia or Janice.

What I Heard This Week! July 5, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 3, 2018

In Georgia, a 46-year-old woman went outside in her own front yard to take a picture and a bobcat attacked her, so she grabbed the cat by the throat and didn’t let go until she choked it to death.  She was treated for rabies, a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. It just so happens that her father-in-law was once a bobcat trapper. What are the chances.


How to win the war on drugs: 1. Legalize drugs. 2. Require all drugs be purchased through your local cable company customer service.


A black felt Bicorn-style hat believed to have been dropped on the battlefield at Waterloo 203 years ago by Napoleon Bonaparte, was purchased at auction for more than $400,000. The buyer was an unidentified private collector from Europe.


If you didn’t get Napoleon’s hat, then there is still time to purchase a private jet once owned by Elvis Presley that has sat on a runway in New Mexico for nearly four decades. Red velvet seats may seal the deal for you. It sold last year for $430,000. Better hurry.


The Miss America organization has announced that the pageant will no longer judge contestants on their appearance. Swimsuits are out and “each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where they can highlight achievements and goals in life.”

Golfer Bubba Watson has donated $200,000 to the Travelers Championship to support the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children. Pay it forward.


A woman has been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to her ex-boyfriend. Why, you ask? Hmmm…it seems that in 2013, when the boyfriend was accepted to study at Los Angeles’ Coburn Conservatory of Music, she intercepted his acceptance email and declined the “full” scholarship offer because she didn’t want him to leave her. I hope the girl will be able to get some help in the self-esteem department and eventually get rid of the huge “L” on her forehead.


Do you ever think about your own obituary and what it will say? I have a file in my desk that is titled, “My Funeral.” When I see something that I like; music, quotes, prayers, thoughts and more, I stick it in my funeral file. I believe I’m making the job easier for my children when my time comes. Well, in Minnesota, an 80-year-old woman died, and here are small bits of her obit: “She married…had two children, Gina and Jay. In 1962 she became pregnant by her husband’s brother…moved to California…abandoned her children…will now face judgement…she will not be missed…understand that this world is a better place without her.” Hmmm. A little harsh, perhaps. In Texas, the obit of a 74-year old male read…“a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive…he lived 29 years longer than expected, and much longer than he deserved.”  I just got back from a 10-day driving trip with my two kids. It was fun, but perhaps I should write my own obit. 😊


An American sperm donor, who has fathered 33 children, with 10 more on the way, has been banned from donating sperm in Israel. His nickname is ‘The Sperminator.’ Sometimes I have no comments that are printable. On a more positive note, just think of the lovely obit and all those children that he will leave behind. Surely, one of them will have something nice to say. If this isn’t enough information for you, then note that there is a documentary.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Barry Manilow is 75. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 75. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 67. Saturday Night Live when it was funny. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 57. Actor Greg Kinnear is 55. Tennis player Venus Williams is 38. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 31. Baseball Hall of Fame Lou Brock is 79. Music legend Sir Paul McCartney is 76. Have you seen his ‘Car Karaoke with James Corden?’ It’s really good…a guided tour of Liverpool and some of the greatest hits ever, very sweet and very emotional.  


Actor Malcolm McDowell is 75. Remember A Clockwork Orange? Comic Tim Allen is 65. Tim the Toolman and Buzz Lightyear.  Actress Ally Sheedy is 56. The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. TV anchor Hannah Storm is 56. Actor Chris Evans is 37. Captain America. Actresses entrepreneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are 32. Actor Robert Englund is 71. Playwright actor Harvey Fierstein is 66. Mrs. Turnblad in Hairspray. Comedian Sandra Bernhard is 63. Singer Tom Jones is 78. He still looks and sounds sooo good. Actor Ken Osmond is 75. Leave it to Beaver. Actor Liam Neeson is 66. Vice President Mike Pence is 59. Rocker Dave Navarro is 51. Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Vanna White, age 61, became the official cohost of Wheel of Fortune in 1982, has worn over 6,500 outfits, never the same one twice and helped give away millions of dollars in cash and prizes over the past 35 years. The mother of two (age 24 and 20), says she is not going anywhere anytime soon. We all have a Vanna White dress in our closet and I remember telling my daughter to just get up on stage and act like Vanna White. What an icon.


Rock singer Ann Wilson is 68. Heart. Actress Kathleen Turner is 64. That husky voice. Romancing the Stone. Singer Paula Abdul is 56. Actress Zoe Saldana is 40. Star Trek, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War. Rapper Macklemore is 35. Actress Isabella Rossellini is 66. Actress Carol Kane is 66. The Princess Bride. Country singer Blake Shelton is 42.


O.J. Simpson is 70. On June 17th, 1994, 95-million viewers were glued to their televisions as he led police on a low-speed chase along a southern Los Angeles freeway in his white Ford Bronco. He was arrested and charged with murder in the slaying of his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson shocked the nation when he walked out of court a free man in 1995 after his defense team proved there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty. The case cost nearly $20 million (in 1995 money) to fight and defend. While he was awaiting trial in prison, he was allowed to continue signing memorabilia as part of a marketing and merchandising plan by his defense team to generate money. He would sign cloth numbers that were later sewn on jerseys and sign leather pieces that were made into footballs. Later he landed in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.


Richard Harrison, better known as the “Old Man” in the TV show Pawn Stars, has died at age 77.


Mark your calendars: The much-awaited documentary about the late comic genius Robin Williams will air on July 16, 2018 on HBO. Robin Williams died in 2014. The show is titled Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.


LeBron James announced he is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers – and, cough, cough, $154 million. I wonder how much that is per day. My son says it’s $105,479.45 per day.


Speculation is that Ewan McGregor is going to reprise his role as the iconic Jedi master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars 9.


A 46-year-old, well-known criminal in France, escaped after an armed commando landed a helicopter in the prison courtyard then carried him away. Officials believe that they had scoped out the place with drones. BUT, there is more. He had done it before. In 2013, he took four guards hostage, then used plastic explosives hidden in tissue packs to blast through five sets of prison doors, escaping from another prison. At one time he renounced crime and wrote a book that said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat. Hmmm. No more hall passes for this guy. This has Hollywood written all over it.


In June of 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America.  The 450,000-pound, copper and iron statue, was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland and is known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.  French sculptor Fredeic-Auguste Bartholdi modeled it after his own mother. The statue alone (without the pedestal) cost the French an estimated $250,000, more than $5.5-million in today’s money. “Lady Liberty” was originally copper-colored, but over the years has gone through a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue. President Cleveland said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” 


US News and World Report’s annual list of Best Places to Live has several Texas locations including Austin as #1.  Other locations in Texas are San Antonio #14, Dallas-Ft. Worth #18, Houston #26, Killeen #90, El Paso #105, Corpus Christi #106, Beaumont #113, McAllen #115 and Brownsville #121.  Judging by the 5:00 traffic that we seem to be having lately in our small town, it must also be considered one of the best places to live.


In Richmond, Texas, three masked men kicked down the door of a home and held a 7-year-old boy in a bathtub of hot water to force his family to turn over cash and valuables. The boy was treated for burns. That was rather brutal.


In Italy, thieves used a blowtorch to pry open steel bars, then crawled in through a narrow window and stole a bunch of organic cheese. They did this twice in 24-hours. All in all, they made off with almost 25,000 pounds (271 wheels weighing 90 pounds each) of Italy’s famous Parmigiano-Reggiano with a total street value of $300,000.


People at Glenwood Caverns Adventure theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, were evacuated because of a wildfire that was quickly stopped by fire crews. That’s an adventure that could be skipped.


In Topeka Kansas, a law went into effect that protests Good Samaritans who break into vehicles to save overheating children, animals and vulnerable adults. Why the heck would anyone need a law to protect this?


In Las Vegas, the names of about 7,200 registered sex offenders are due to be posted on a state website beginning in October. Why wait until October?  The kids and I ended our 10-day trip and flew home from Las Vegas last weekend. After looking at all the billboards and “other” things, it’s no wonder that there are many sex offenders there.


Stay cool, and many thanks to the readers that missed this column and let me know. That made me feel good, but I was having fun on vacation and rocket launching in White Sands with my daughter. More about that next week.

What I Heard This Week! March 15, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 15, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

I was reprimanded by one of my readers last week because Thursday March 8th was International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. I’m so sorry. I was unaware of this day, and I now stand corrected. Thank you, Mark.  In my heart, I believe that I celebrate every day by raising a strong, compassionate, confident daughter that likes and respects herself enough to demand respect from those around her – she is going to make a difference in this world. I am raising a son that not only honors women but understands that every woman is capable of doing any-and-every little thing she can educate herself to do. Yes, boys and girls are different, that’s why my daughter had a Little Tyke’s workbench and my son had a kitchen set. At my house, it’s more than a day, it’s a lifestyle.


Stephen Hawking – Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”


Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous physicist and one of the finest minds in the world, was diagnosed with a debilitating disease (ALS) in graduate school and given just a few years to live. He was confined to a wheelchair for decades and in later years, he communicated by blinking his eyes to control a computer and a digitally simulated voice. The 2014 movie, The Theory of Everything, was award winning. (After seeing it, I don’t understand why he never received a Nobel Prize.) Hawking said, “Despite my disability, I have managed to do most things I want. My main regret is that it has prevented me from playing with my children and grandchildren as fully as I want.”  He died Tuesday night at the age of 76. He has the greatest quotes.


Stephen Hawking – “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”


Last week, my daughter wanted to go to White Oak Music Hall and see Coin, an American Indie pop band. The tickets were only $20, and I like their music, so I agreed. The venue is awesome, and the parking was a dream. If I wanted to drink, I had to have an armband which meant they would check my driver’s license. As good as that would have make me feel, I opted for water. It was an hour and a half dance party, the lighting was great, and the boys are so cute, but man, did I feel old. The music had so much bass it made my teeth hurt and it was just so stinking loud. Apology to my mom. What goes around, comes around.


An 18-year-old waitress at a La Marque Waffle House has received a $16,000 scholarship from Texas Southern University after she helped cut up food for an elderly customer that was on oxygen, had trouble with his hands and was struggling to eat his meal. She was working to save money for college. Nice story and smart move for TSU. We need more compassion in the world.


Stephen Hawking – However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”


The US Army Corps of Engineers said leading up to and during Harvey they worked diligently with officials in Houston to inform the public on flooding risks from reservoirs but that some local officials didn’t issue advisories for days.


There was a sale at the Alamo Village Set in San Antonio, where over 2,000 items from movie sets dating back to the early 1950’s, were sold. Scripts from Lonesome Dove, antiques and artifacts from films like The Alamo, Davy Crockett, and The Man Who Came Back. Bet that was interesting.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Former astronaut Frank Borman is 90.  Apollo 8 and oldest living former American astronaut. Actor Michael Caine is 85. He has hinted that his days as a film star may be coming to an end, but he was great in Interstellar. And remember Alfie. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 85. He has recently apologized for recent claims that included he knows who killed JFK, that Michael Jackson stole many of his hit songs, that Marlon Brando had sex with Richard Pryor and other stuff that makes me think he’s either not getting enough attention or he’s not just getting old, he’s acting old. He acknowledged that his friends “called him out.

Prince Albert II is 60. Ruler of Monaco. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson is 35. Hanson. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles is 21. Actress Barbara Feldon is 85. Agent 99. Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 72. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 70. Singer Mary Wilson is 74. The Supremes. Oooh Child. Rock singer-musician David Gilmour is 72. Longtime member of Pink Floyd. Director Rob Reiner is 71. Meathead. Likely the most underrated film director of the modern era. The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men. Reporter John Stossel is 71. Hmmm. He doesn’t look like 71.

Comedian Billy Crystal is 70. In ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ he said, “When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends.”

Boston Celtics legend and NBA Hall of Fame JoJo White died from complications of dementia that was brought on by the removal of a benign brain tumor in 2010. He was 71.


Texas-New Mexico Power Co. is warning customers of a scam in which threatens that your electric service will be disconnected if you do not make an immediate payment. Hang up on them and call the number on your bill if you wish to check your billing status.


A 10-month old French Bulldog puppy named KoKito, died after a United Airlines flight attendant told the owners to place the dog and its carrier in the overhead bin for a three-hour flight leaving Houston to NY. United Airlines said that this was a tragic accident, pets should never be placed in the overhead bin and that they assume full responsibility. As a new mother to our two ‘Harvey’ rescue kittens, I realize how quickly a pet becomes a huge part of the family.


Stephen Hawking – “People who boast about their IQ are losers.”


Being in the newspaper business is ‘pretty fun’ most days. I get to meet a lot of new people and find out about how and why they went into business. This last week I met Jayson at Jay’s Oil 2 Go. This one is a winner. Book your appointment, pick the time and location and he will come to you for your oil change. It comes with free vehicle inspection, tire and brake check, window wash and a vacuum of the interior of the vehicle. I would call fast because this nice guy is going to be busy. See his ads on pages 16 and 19.


The Texas Department of Public Safety will begin recording the height, weight and waistlines of its more than 4,000 troopers during their routine physical readiness test. The state has slowly increased its fitness standards since 2010 and some officers are concerned that this is an attempt to push out older troopers. Bah. Maybe they just want healthy officers.


According to Ancestry.com, the most popular last names in the state of Texas are Garcia, Smith and Martinez. Popular names in other states include Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Anderson, Brown, and Miller. Minnesota adds Nelson, North Dakota adds Olson and ‘Irish’ Massachusetts adds Sullivan. Hawaii has Lee, Wong and Kim and California has Garcia, Hernandez and Lopez.


A Nederland woman was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a family member and sentenced to 50 years after she forced an 11-year-old into sexual acts in 2015. It occurred a second time in 2016 when the victim was 12. The woman will not be eligible for parole and will be a registered sex offender for life. Not long enough or tough enough in MY opinion.


Audrey Hepburn – “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”


For the love of Texas: Since Harvey, I haven’t worked in my garden except to dig up sweet potatoes that came up accidently in my compost pile. They were big, fat and delicious because my “compost gardens” are always better than the stuff I plant on purpose. One year I had 5 different kinds of tomatoes all winter long just from my compost. With that said, I feel that, on occasion my job is to remind you about pollinators, so here goes. Too soon, flowers will only exist in photographs without pollinators.  1 out of every 3 bites of food you eat is available because of the butterflies & bees, and according to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, they service over 180,000 different plants and more than 1,200 crops. Without these butterflies & bees, our food supply will be in peril. They are losing their nesting and feeding habitats because of pollution, climate change, disease as well as the misuse of chemicals. What can you do? Plant flowers that continuously flower for as long as our zone allows. For us, that’s a pretty long period of time. I had five different kinds of zinnias last year, along with the tiny flowers that bloom when I allow my broccoli, cilantro, and dill, to go to seed and I plant milkweed for the monarchs. So, please plant flowers. Have fresh water for the pollinators, don’t forget to feed the hummingbirds and the birds, and eliminate the use of pesticides in your yard and garden. Become a part of the solution.


This is interesting. New research is questioning the use of the usual saline IV bags used on almost every patient in every hospital in the US. By using a different intravenous fluid, it could greatly reduce the risk of death or kidney damage. Some doctors are hoping the results will persuade hospitals to switch.


Elvis ‘D/8520’ Presley performs shows as the late superstar Elvis A. Presley and has now officially filed to run as the Libertarian nominee for a congressional seat in Arkansas. All Shook Up.


Stephen Hawking – “Silent people have the loudest minds.”


The Walt Disney Co. is investing $100-million to bring themed treatment rooms, linens and gowns featuring each child’s favorite characters, play cars with Disney-themed games, activities and even pop-up movie theaters in children’s hospitals across the nation. They will begin with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. WooHoo


The state of Oregon has sued Nevada gambling mogul Steve Wynn and the board of directors of Wynn Resorts for failing to act in the best interests of shareholders and stop sexual misconduct. Oops.


James Dean died at the age of 24 in 1955. The cherry-red jacket that he wore in Rebel Without a Cause is expected to bring as much as $600,000 when it goes up for auction.


It was so windy when I was walking to the gym that I was blown into the wine store.


If you hear a story that you feel needs to be in this column, let me know (in case I forget or don’t see it.) I won’t promise you that I’ll use it, but I’ll consider it for sure. Thank you for the emails and phone calls saying such nice things about the column. I love to hear from you and I appreciate the fact that you picked this paper up to read today. Lisa@TheSourceWeekly.com

– Lisa

 

What I Heard This Week! March 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

Tourists catching a flight out of Las Vegas can now dump their leftover legal marijuana in metal containers set up at the airport. The 10 green bins are named “amnesty boxes” and are there to prevent agents from finding pot on passengers during security screenings since the drug is legal in Nevada but still banned by the US government. Years ago, I remember Hobby Airport allowing me to mail my baby buck knife back to myself because I had left it in my purse. If someone had told me then that someday we would be dumping pot at the airport…


In 2005, Franklin Graham visited Angola Prison (Louisiana State Penitentiary) where the Graham family had donated more than $200,000 to help build chapels and support prison ministry. In earlier years, a new warden had decided that prisoners shouldn’t be buried inside crate-like boxes not much sturdier than cardboard, so a casket-building program was started. When the younger Graham visited, he asked to have the carpenters make a casket for his mother, Ruth Bell Graham and his father, then to burn the builders’ names into the wood. The caskets cost $215 each. Ruth Bell Graham died in June 2007 and Rev. Billy Graham died last month. The caskets said, “Hand-Crafted by Richard Liggett, Clifford Bowman and Paul Krolowit.”


eeeeeek.  A woman was at Memorial City Mall one morning last week before the retail store where she worked opened for the day.  A man attacked her in the restroom, choked her with a plastic bag used as a rope, hit, kicked and stomped on her then left her unconscious on the floor. She sustained injuries to her face and lost several teeth. Warning. Never let your guard down. It can happen anywhere.


Anne-Elisabeth and I went to the Rodeo on Friday evening and saw Leon Bridges perform. He was, of course, spectacular. The new stage rolled out, his band members were dressed in sharp black suits, the lights went down, and Leon Bridges appeared in black and white silk polka-dotted shirt and black pants. No boots and jeans for these guys. It was perfect. But, there are no words to describe the new stage. We had $6 tickets and it cost $7 to ride in from the Reed Road Park-n-Ride. So, for $13 each, it was a very affordable and entertaining evening. Go see the stage!


Rodeo Food: This year there is a bacon cheeseburger with a funnel cake bun, bacon-wrapped cinnamon rolls, deep-fried cookie dough on a stick, chocolate cobbler, fried bread pudding on a stick, pizza on a stick, cookie-dough parfait, liquid-nitrogen-dipped blobs of cotton-candy-flavored whipped cream…artic bonbons that disintegrate on your tongue and create plumes of smoke in your mouth, a foot-long corn dog slathered in crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and more. Oh, and salad.


Flamin’ Hot Cheetos were the invention of then 55-year-old Richard Montanez, who was a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant. He was inspired by the Mexican dish Elote (corn dusted with spices) so he thought to add some chili powder to unflavored Cheetos. The rest is history and now Fox Searchlight will film a movie about his wild success story. Nope, I’m not kidding. Coming soon to a movie theatre near you.


Experts are warning that video footage is becoming very easy to recreate. It’s call a deepfake – an ultra-realistic fake video made with artificial intelligence software. Until now, computer-generated video was a laborious pursuit only available to big-budget Hollywood producers, but recently hobbyists (that’s a nice word for them) have been experimenting with more powerful tools which make it so easy to make fake, look real. So, if you find a “Lisa Does Dallas,” don’t believe it. Just kidding. Experts worry that people will use it to blackmail others. The article said that we need to educate people that this is a possibility, so warning. You read it here first.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actors James and Oliver Phelps are 32. Harry Potter. Author Tom Wolfe is 88. The Bonfire of the Vanities. Actress Laraine Newman is 66. Saturday Night Live. Singer Jay Osmond is 63. Pop musician John Cowsill is 62. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 56. Actor Daniel Craig is 50. Singer Chris Martin is 41. Magician Penn Jillette is 63.  Actor Dean Stockwell is 82. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is 68.

Musician Emilio Estefan is 65. Actress Patricia Heaton is 60. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 49. Actor director dancer Tommy Tune is 79. Hall of Fame auto racer Mario Andretti is 78. Actress Bernadette Peters is 70. Country singer Jason Aldean is 41. Former CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 81. Former professional wrestler Ric Flair is 69. Actress Tea Leoni is 52. Latin singer Julio Iglesias Jr. is 45.


David Ogden Stiers who was the tall, balding, somewhat snobbish surgeon on M*A*S*H, died at the age of 75. He was also the voice of Cogsworth, the strong-willed pendulum clock in the 1991, Beauty and the Beast.


My peeve for the week. Lowe’s on Saturday morning. The lines were really, long outside, so I decided to do self-checkout lines inside. Huge mistake. I was carrying everything because someone had borrowed my basket while I was looking the other direction, (hope you enjoy that Boston fern that I hand-picked). There were “only” about ten people in each line inside ☹. Three registers out of four were working. The fourth one had a bag over its head like an empty gas pump. It was excruciating to watch the difficulties involved in getting through those lines. By the time I left, there was only one register working. Wouldn’t it be better, more cost & time efficient to have a trained real person to check people out?


According to Wikipedia: A pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to themselves, to a greater degree than others may find. Its first usage was around 1919. The term is a back-formation from the 14th-century word peevish, meaning “ornery or ill-tempered”. So, there is it.  I’m ornery and Ill-tempered.


The Oscars: Jennifer Garner had on a drop-dead gorgeous cobalt blue gown with her hair parted and swept to one side. It was stunning. She was stunning and my favorite. Ben Affleck, eat your heart out. You didn’t deserve her. Rita Moreno showed up wearing the same dress that she wore 56 years ago (1962) when she won the Oscar for “West Side Story.” The skirt fabric was Obi, which is the sash that Japanese women use in their kimonos. She simply changed the neckline and added a necklace. That’s true style in my book, but she shouldn’t have changed the neckline. Lupita Nyong’o was another perfect look in gold. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything BUT perfect. Helen Mirren looked fabulous. She has so much style. Emma Stone wore a silk pant suit that was really, nice. Did you know that until 1940, women could be arrested for wearing pants in public and it wasn’t until 1972 that girls were guaranteed the right to wear pants to school. I remember my first pant suit – the top matched the pants and was the same length as my fingertips, khaki-colored polyester double knit that is likely still around today because polyester doesn’t die. Oh, yes. The Oscars. Keala Settle performed “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.” Nice. Eddie Vedder played Tom Petty’s 1999 single, “Room at the Top,” which was beautiful, while the Academy recalled the lives and legacies of those that had left us this year. Many were upset because they missed some important people like Robert Guillaume, John Hillerman, Adam West, Jim Nabors and Rose Marie but it would be hard to remember them all. They’re dropping like flies. 😊 A man was arrested after stealing Frances McDormand’s trophy during the Governors Ball. She was reunited with Oscar and celebrated with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out Burger.


Thank you for reading this today.
Hope you have a great week…
– Lisa

 

What I Heard This Week! March 1, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 1, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

There is a revival of the cocktail culture, and in an attempt to encourage more women to drink scotch whiskey, Johnnie Walker is rolling out a limited U.S. edition and changing their logo from Johnnie, the traditional top hatted man, to Jane Walker, a female version. Women, are you encouraged to go buy Johnnie Walker or is this just plain silly. Why do women need their own whiskey?


The Family of a Houston woman is suing her former landlord and a pest control company, claiming that a bedbug-killing heat treatment used in the woman’s apartment, killed her. The treatment was a non-chemical method which raises the temperature to above 139 degrees. The woman entered the apartment after treatment and in a short time, lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital where she died of hyperthermia – a condition that results when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate.


Flu activity has declined for the third straight week, so it’s a hopeful sign that the season may have peaked – but no one will say that out loud since it’s been such an unusually bad year. I still have tea tree oil and other essential oils running at my office every day. None of us had the flu.


Rita Schiano – “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.”  This was very interesting to research because it makes you think about ‘The Laws of Attraction.’ Do you want to attract people that only talk about their problems or do you want to spread positive energy that creates an environment for others around us to do the same. Could we change the world by letting go of negative conversation? This has my attention.


Mattel, best known for clean-cut Barbie, is releasing a game called Flushin’ Frenzy that sends brown plastic poop flying into the air. Hasbro released Toilet Trouble where water squirts on you from a toy toilet. This year they are releasing Don’t Step In It, a game where players are blindfolded and have to avoid stepping in piles of poop made out of a clay-like substance. Hog Wild Co. has Sticky the Poo, where you throw a squishy poop shaped mess with eyes and it clings to the wall.  Their rainbow version is called Sticky Unicorn Poo and it has rainbow colored poop. Poopeez makes squishy collectibles with names like Pooji, Skid Mark and Dumpling which is aimed at boys age 7-years and up.  Geez. Go buy your kids a game where they can actually learn something.


March 2nd is “Read Across America Day,” Grab a book & read so your kids don’t have to play poop games.


In early 2016, General Mills starting using natural sources for color, such as turmeric, strawberries and radishes in their Trix cereal. Well, people whined… “natural just doesn’t taste as good as artificial dyes and flavors,” so now Classic Trix is back on the shelves, along with the healthy version. Hmmm.


Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, installed four giant billboards in California proclaiming that Serena Williams is the “greatest momma of all time,” to welcome her back to tennis after giving birth in September. Eighteen years ago, I had my daughter and went back to work (with her in tow) in less than a week and no one gave me a party.


Barbara Streisand loved her Coton du Tulear, Samantha, so much that she recently revealed that her two new pups, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, were cloned via cells extracted from Samantha’s mouth and stomach.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Mitch Ryder is 73. CC Rider, Devil with a Blue Dress On.  Singer Michael Bolton is 65. Film music company executive David Geffen is 75.  Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, DGC Records in 1990, and DreamWorks SKG in 1994. Actress Tyne Daly is 72. Cagney & Lacey.  Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 60. Actor William Baldwin is 55. Author Amy Tan is 66. The Joy Luck Club. Actor Jeff Daniels is 63.

Britain’s Prince Andrew is 58. Author Toni Morrison is 87. Beloved. Movie director Milos Forman is 86. Amadeus. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The People vs. Larry Flynt. Musician Dennis DeYoung is 71. He is credited as the writer of more Styx songs than any other Styx member. Actress Cybill Shepherd is 68. Moonlighting. The Last Picture Show. Taxi Driver. Psych. Actor John Travolta is 64. Game-show host Vanna White is 61.

Actor Matt Dillon is 54. Rapper Dr. Dre is 53. Actress Molly Ringwald is 50.  American artist, author, actress, fashion designer and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt is 94. Actor Sidney Poitier is 91. Actress Sandy Duncan is 72. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is 64. Basketball Hall of Fame Charles Barkley is 55. Model Cindy Crawford is 52.


Nanette Fabray, Broadway actress and singer, died at the age of 97. In her 20’s, she began to lose her hearing and several years later she learned that she had otosclerosis, a disease of the bones of the inner ear that limits the transmission of sound. She underwent several operations from the 1950s to the 1970s that helped restore her hearing. She learned sign language and served on several national commissions to help provide education and job training for people with hearing loss. On the Carol Burnett Show in 1968, she performed an a cappella version of over the Rainbow singing and signing.


Don’t read this one if you don’t care for blood and guts talk. There is a 26-acre research farm affiliated with Texas State University close to San Marcos, called the Freeman Center ‘body farm’ (Forensic Research Anthropology Facility.) Yep, for the past ten years researchers have been studying how human remains decompose and what that means for solving crimes involving dead bodies. 500-bodies later, there are remains in various stages of decay, bodies under tarps or tires, under the ground, and tied up. The lab trains cadaver dogs and helps locate human remains.  What happens to a body depends on the season, heat, humidity, whether the person was on strong antibiotics, the intensity of the sun – all such interesting information.


Singer Paul Simon announced that his 2018 spring tour will be his last. He feels that the travel and time away from his family, detracts from the joy of playing. Simon is 76. He definitely “still has what it takes.”


American Farm Kids: At a high school in North Dakota, a group of students played a prank. They let three goats loose inside the school. But before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2 and 4. School Administrators spent most of the day looking for No. 3. And you thought there was nothing to do in North Dakota!

 


“To make an oven interior look new, put ¼ cup baking soda in a bowl, then add enough dish soap to form a paste. Remove the oven racks and set them aside. Wipe out scorched food bits with a paper towel and then rub the paste on with a sponge. After 10-minutes, scrub and wipe the interior clean with a damp microfiber clot.” HGTV Magazine


Two shoplifting suspects running from police scaled a fence to get away…oops, they landed in the secure parking lot of the police station. They were arrested.


This is too funny, and I need to share it with you. I’ll set the scene. Boudreaux and Thibodeaux are on their lunch break: Boudreaux and Thibodeaux dey work togetter on da Red River near Moncla. One day, dey sit down to eat when ole Boudreaux pulls out dis long round plastic ting out his lunch box. Thibodeaux say, “Mais, Boudreaux, what dat is you got?” He tell Thiboudeaux, “Dat’s someting new dey done come out widt. It’s what you call a Termis Bottle.” So, Thib ask, “A Termis Bottle…..,what dat do????”
Boudreaux say, “Mais, you put someting hot in it an it keep it hot. You put somting cold an it keep it cold.” Thibodeaux reply, “Oh man, what dey gonna tink of next????? Hey, by da way, what you got in dat new Termis Bottle?”
Boudreaux say, “A cup of soup an two popsicles!!!”


In California, an employee of Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (40) has filed a complaint with the state. He was fired after he refused to play ‘spin the bottle’ with his boss. It is the second accusation of sexual misconduct against Garcia, who is currently on a voluntary unpaid leave of absence while the Assembly investigates claims that she drunkenly groped a former legislative staff member. Staffers have accused her of fostering an improper work environment, including allegations that she discussed sex and used alcohol at work. Hmmm.


A librarian who had been cataloging old books at New York’s Union College found a grimy, leather-bound 1793 almanac where tucked inside was a yellowed envelope with the hand-written words “Washington’s hair.” Inside was a silvery lock of hair tied with a thread. The book belonged to Philip Schuyler, son of General Philip Schuyler who served under Washington during the Revolutionary War and founded Union College in 1795.  It is likely that Martha Washington gave the snip of hair to Eliza Schuyler, daughter of the general and wife of Alexander Hamilton. The envelope notes, “from James A. Hamilton given him by his mother, August 10, 1871.”  And that is your wee bit of history lesson for today.


Pollutants are generally associated with cars, but according to a study published in Science magazine, our deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays and soaps that keep us smelling good and petroleum-based chemicals in paints and other consumer products, along with pesticides, are as harmful as the emissions from today’s cars and trucks.  So, use as little of the product as you can to get the job done. I use a natural mineral salt deodorant that contains none of the harmful chemicals found in regular deodorants. It’s called Crystal and I give it five stars. Years ago, you could only find it at health food stores, but I now buy it at HEB.


Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. one of the largest retailers of its kind in the US, is ending sales of assault-style rifles and banning the sale of guns to people younger than 21, according to company Chairman and CEO Edward Stack. He said, “We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.”


An impressionist painting by Edgar Degas that was stolen from a Marseille museum in 2009, was found by French customs officers. It was inside a suitcase on a bus and none of the passengers claimed the suitcase during the search.


Thank you for reading this today.
Hope you have a great week…
– Lisa

 

What I Heard This Week! Feb. 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week February 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

A flight from Dubai to Amsterdam had to make an emergency landing in Vienna after one of the passengers had uncontrollable, noisy flatulence. He was asked to stop by his disgusted seatmates who then complained to the crew. The captain then issued a warning to the two men complaining, a fight broke out, the plane made an emergency stop to remove the two men that complained and two women that happened to be sitting on the same row as the men involved, but the farting man stayed on the plane. Get the guy some Beano. The four individuals removed from the plane have been banned from flying Transavia Airlines in the future.


People love a good comeback story. Disgraced and disappointing Johnny Manziel says he was self-medicating with alcohol for bipolar disorder and wants to make a comeback to football now that all that is behind him. This comes at the same exact time that Manziel is releasing a new clothing line called ComebackSZN (Comeback Season for the Hip-Challenged.) How convenient. I’ll believe it when I see it.


According to Google, the top searched “how to spell” word in Texas, is Maintenance.


There is a new exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science that opened earlier this month called “Message in a Bottle.” It’s a collection of messages in all sorts of bottles found while cleaning up riverbeds and waterways throughout the nation over the past twenty-years, by Chad Pregracke. There are messages of heartache, anger, jokes, song lyrics, messages written on dollar bills and a Yahtzee sheet.


Mattel’s revenue fell 11 percent last year, so they are looking to turn business around by updating classic brands such as Barbie and Hot Wheels. However, the card game, Uno, had sales up 12 percent in 2017. An Uno smartphone app is in the works for the spring and Mattel has launched a way to play the card game through Facebook Messenger.  Now Mattel is launching the new card game Dos (isn’t that clever) and will have similar rules as Uno, except players make two piles of cards and can throw down two cards at a time instead of one. Cost: $5.99 and it goes on sale at Target in March. Time for family game night again.


As Steve Wynn resigns as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations, the company that bears his name is leaving him without any severance or compensation and prohibits his involvement in any competing gambling business for two years. Bummer. Imagine that. Consequences for bad behavior.


There is a norovirus outbreak among staff and volunteers at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Last week the total was up to 261 cases. The outbreak has been traced to contaminated water used in food preparation. Excuse me, I’ve got to go wash my hands.


Houston police said an SUV plunged from the third story of a parking garage after the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. Firefighters rescued the woman who was not hurt.   This one would be hard to live down.


The flu seems to be slowing down just a bit. Texas’ new death toll stands at 4,153. Yikes.


 

Scott Israel – Broward County Sheriff – “I’ve said this time and time again. While the people who are victims of mental health illnesses in the country are being treated, in the opinion of this sheriff, they should not be able to buy, surround themselves with, purchase or carry a handgun. Those two things don’t mix.”


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Joe Don Baker is 82. Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall. Author Judy Blume is 80. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 62.  Actor Josh Brolin is 50. Actress Christina Ricci is 38. Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. Actor William Katt is 67. He was the ill-fated prom date in Carrie and his mother was Barbara Hale who was Della Street in the television series Perry Mason. Actor LaVar Burton is 61. Kunta Kinte in Roots.

Actor-rapper Ice-T is 60. Tennis Hall of Fame John McEnroe is 59. Actress Jane Seymour is 67. Singer Melissa Manchester is 67. Blues-rock musician Gary Clark Jr. is 34. Football Hall of Fame Jim Brown is 82. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 56. Basketball Hall of Fame Michael Jordan is 55. Actress talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is 60. Actor Tom Selleck is 73. US Air Force Major General Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Yeager is 95.  Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. aka Prince Michael Jackson is 21.

Musician Peter Tork is 76. The Monkees. Rolling Stone announced today that Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith will tour for the first time as a duo, this June. Peter Tork is skipping this tour to focus on his upcoming Lead Belly tribute blues album, “Relax Your Mind” and Davy Jones died at age 66, in 2012. I, for one, would sure love to see them.


Victor HugoMusic expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.


Reverend Billy Graham, preacher to more people than anyone in history, first noted evangelist to take his message behind the Iron Curtain, and advisor to past presidents, has died at age of 99. He was known as a master of the media since he was the first to use telephone, television and satellites to deliver his message to homes, churches and theaters around the world.


A team of 75 staff members from eight specialists at Texas Children’s Hospital have successfully separated 13-month-old identical twin girls conjoined who shared a chest wall, lining of the heart, diaphragm, liver and a large blood vessel connecting their hearts, a very complex procedure.


Useless Information: Zebras are black with white stripes, not white with black stripes. Even under the white hair, they have black skin.


A Prairie View A&M student who said she had been sexually assaulted on campus, filed a report with the university’s police department, went for a sexual assault exam and identified her assailant as policy requires, but  her coach responded by telling her multiple times that she did not need to alert her parents and then…drum roll please…the coach paid for a plane ticket to help the alleged assailant avoid arrest and disciplinary action by the university. The coach left his position several months later, telling the girl’s teammates that she was the reason for his departure. The teammates then retaliated against her. Six, on-campus rapes were reported by Prairie View A&M in 2015. Yikes. Not good.


I am thankful for all those difficult people in my life, they have shown me exactly who I do not want to be.


Former first Lady, Rosalynn Carter is recovering from surgery to remove scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine where a cyst had been removed many years ago. Mrs. Carter is 90.


McDonald’s is taking cheeseburgers and chocolate milk off the Happy Meal menu, in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium and saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants. You can still ask for cheeseburgers and chocolate milk, but it will not list them on the menu. I’m a firm believer that cheeseburgers and chocolate milk are ok, but always in moderation.


According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “Commonly used food dyes such as Yellow 5, Red 40, and six others, are made from petroleum and pose risks such as hyperactivity, cancer and allergic reactions.” Despite these concerns, millions of pounds of these petroleum-based dyes continue to be used in our food. No warnings. No labels, No nothing. So, avoid products that contain names with numbers. Pick up organic vegetables, fruits and spices that can be used to color frosting and foods naturally, like beets, cranberries, pomegranate, strawberries, roasted bell peppers, paprika, mango, carrots, golden beets, curry turmeric, saffron, blueberries, basil, spinach, mint, avocado and green tea powder.


Quincy Jones – “They were the worst musicians in the world.”  Quincy Jones speaking about the Beatles. Huh? So wrong.


Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas, sang the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game and tried something different. She was on pitch, but her tempo, musical accompaniment and very sexy delivery were not exactly typical for a sporting event. Charles Barkley joked that he “needed a cigarette” after her performance. Shaquille O’Neal liked it and said, “leave her alone.” Rosanne Barr said that she sang “better” when she did it almost thirty years ago. Hah. That was a silly thing to say.


Tom Petty’s family says his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose, because he suffered from emphysema, a fractured hip and knee problems that caused him great pain. He should have rested but was committed to finishing his tour which he had just finished a few days before he died in October at age 66. Too many pain medications.


KFC has been forced to close stores across the UK due to the lack of chicken. What can I say. I hope they have Popeyes, Church’s or Cane’s.


omgosh. Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston broke up. In a perfect Hollywood world, Brad Pitt is waiting for her at the corner. In a perfect world, Brad would be waiting for ‘all of us’ at the corner.


Police in a Philadelphia suburb were notified that a person in a Tyrannosaurus rex costume was walking their kid to school this week. I don’t see that as a problem and neither did the officers.


In a suburban Detroit home, a man destroyed his home by using a smoke bomb to get rid of skunks. A spark quickly spread from a crawlspace to the first floor, through the walls and the attic, finally destroying the entire home. No skunk carcasses were found in the ruins.


Dang. I missed it. While we are all glued to our TV’s watching the Olympics, sixty-four dachshunds were at Sam Houston Race Park competing in the 11th Annual Weiner Dog Races. Roxy, age 6, took the top spot with rescue Snookie, age 7, coming in second.


Lexus was the most dependable vehicle brand for the seventh consecutive year in JD Power’s annual survey. Porsche, Buick, Infiniti and Kia were the other top five performers and the worst were Chrysler, Land Rover, Fiat, Jeep and Cadillac.


A 61-year-old Florida man was arrested after using his apartment wall for target practice. His neighbors that shared the wall, awakened to a loud bang, finding holes in their bedroom and living room walls.


Thanks for reading this…


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Feb. 15, 2018

What I Heard This Week February 14, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

Billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts, which he founded, because of sexual misconduct allegations. Not a single person, but dozens of former and current employees have accused him of pressuring employees to have sex with him – and other things. He blames his ex-wife for somehow pulling this all together in order to ruin him. As I roll my eyes, I wonder to myself, “How did she do that.”


The Food and Drug administration approved the first drug for breast cancer patients with inherited BRCA gene mutations who have already undergone chemotherapy. The drug has been on the market since 2014 for ovarian cancer. This is great! We were all clapping until we got to the part about the drug, Lynparza, costing $13,886 a month without insurance. I remember sitting by myself in the doctor’s office the day I received the diagnosis of breast cancer and feeling sick to my stomach.  I can’t help but believe the only thing worse would be to have someone tell me that there is a drug out there, but you can’t have it because it’s too expensive. I’m speechless. $13,886 for a month.


Italians recently began to understand why their postal service is considered to be unreliable. More than a half-ton of undelivered mail was discovered in a postman’s garage. That’s 1,260 pounds. Police were tipped off when volunteers from a recycling center reported receiving 25 big yellow containers from the postal service, with mail inside. So, a thief with a conscience for recycling. He can’t be all bad.


The South African city of Cape Town is running out of water. Soon. Like it should happen around the middle of April. It’s blamed on climate change and the city’s growing population. They need rain. When they run out, people will turn off their taps until it rains and line up for rationed water. It will be the first major city in the world to run out of water.


Japanese scientists are suggesting that when they used the chemical Dimethylpolysiloxane (found in silicone) that they can mass produce hair follicles that grow hair when transplanted into mice. This chemical is also used to cook French Fries. If I see a bunch of bald guys lined up at McDonald’s when I head home…


A McKinney, Texas doctor, linked to at least six overdose deaths and who had prescribed more than 1.5 million hydrocodone pills over a 37-month period, was sentenced to 10-years in prison and more than $50,000.


The wife of Donald Trump Jr. opened a letter addressed to her husband and found white powder inside.  She reportedly started coughing and feeling nauseous after that and was sent to the hospital. Turns out, it was just cornstarch. That’s pretty rough stuff…cornstarch.


Ancient Egyptians regarded a tattoo as a sign of wealth. I’ve told you before in this column that the inks used can contain printer toner and car paint. A new study has found that the inks also can trigger a permanent allergic reaction, invade lymph nodes and cause tumors at the site of the tattoo. Just saying.


One-year-old Lucas Warren is the new SpokesBaby for Gerber. His photo was chosen from more than 140,000 entries. He will receive $50,000 and his image will be used in the company’s social media posts. His parents were very excited and hope that this will help increase the acceptance of special needs children. Lucas has the biggest, prettiest smile you have ever seen, and has Down Syndrome.


Me: Let me sleep. Brain: LOL no, let’s stay awake and remember every stupid decision you ever made in your life. Me: okay.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor James Spader is 58. I loved him in Boston Legal. Country singer Garth Brooks is 56. He is opening and closing act at the Rodeo this year. Actor-comedian Chris Rock is 53. Actor Ashton Kutcher is 40. Former Argentinian President Isabel Peron is 87. She was the third wife of Juan Peron (behind second wife, Eva Peron) and served as president of Argentina after his death in 1974.  Former Vice-President Dan Quayle is 71. Rock singer Alice Cooper is 70. Country singer Clint Black is 56.

Olympic gold-medal boxer Oscar De la Hoya is 45. Journalist Roger Mudd is 90. Actress Mia Farrow is 73. Singer Joe Ely is 71. His music is described as honky-tonk, Tex-Mex, and rock and roll. Actress Judith Light is 69. Country singer Travis Tritt is 55. Baseball Hall of Fame Hank Aaron is 84. Football Hall of Fame Roger Staubach is 76. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is 56. Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Actress Faye Dunaway is 77. Bonnie and Clyde. Actor Carl Weathers is 70. Apollo Creed in Rocky. He was killed off by an internet hoax last week but lived to tell us he is actually alive and well.  Movie writer-director Steve Soderbergh is 55. He secretly shot an entire movie using his iPhone. Rapper actor LL Cool J is 50. Rock singer-musician Dave Grohl is 49. Foo Fighters. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 57. Seinfeld. She is now fighting breast cancer.

Actor Patrick Dempsey is 52. Dr. McDreamy. Actor Robert Wagner is 88. Singer Roberta Flack is 81. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Killing Me Softly with His Song. Feel Like Makin’ Love. Olympic gold-Medal swimmer Mark Spitz is 68. World Golf Hall of Fame Greg Norman is 63.  Actress Emma Roberts is 27. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz is 21.

Singer producer T-Bone Burnett is 70. In 2005, he worked with actors Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for their singing roles as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the film Walk the Line and produced the film’s soundtrack album and wrote the score.


LL Bean, famous for their lifetime product replacement program guarantee, is no longer interested in replacing worn-out boots that you found at a garage sale. Yes, there has been some abuse from customers and non-customers, so now LL Bean is forced to have stricter rules which require providing proof of purchase and one year to make a return.  I worked for Sears in high school and a lady (I use that term lightly) brought in a bathing suit that was many, many years old. Even the style was out-of-style. It looked like she had tied it to her bumper and drug it through the streets. We had to go back through years of hand-written (no computers) steno pads, then gave her money back. That still bothers me.


By the way, thanks for reading this today…


Please spay or neuter your pet. Seriously. Harvey affected every one of us. Some more than others. Since my daughter and I rescued the litter of five kittens in the middle of the storm, I seem to have a huge weak spot for the SPCA.  From August 24th to September 24th, they received 783 pets into their care.  Support them if you can. They need your help with either money or supplies. SPCABC.org


A 20-year-old Florida man that won a $452-million Mega Millions jackpot, chose to take a one-time lump-sum of $281,874,999. He said, “I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way and cement a path for financial success so that I can leave a legacy far into the future.” Nice words.


A dinosaur skeleton has been unearthed in Egypt’s Western Desert. It’s the size of a city bus and researchers are hoping to find many more of the new dinosaur species which are long-necked herbivores. It lived about 80-million years ago and is being called the “holy grail” of dinosaur discoveries.


Useless Information: The dot over the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle. Tittle also means ‘iota’ or ‘little bit’ as in, I don’t care one tittle.


A North Dakota woman was sentenced to life in prison without parole after killing a pregnant 22-year-old neighbor by cutting the baby from the mother’s womb as she faded in and out of consciousness.


A professor of psychology at San Diego University, says, “The more we learn about kids and smartphones, the more we’re going to see that limiting their exposure is a good idea.”  I say it’s so hard for kids to separate what they see on social media from real life. Snapchat or Instagram photos make everyone look happy and everything is perfect, which is not always real but who is going to post something that makes them look bad. They post the newest clothes, the cutest pets, and ‘everything perfect.’ It is believed that this is contributing to teen depression which had a 60% rise in the US between 2010 and 2016. There is a company now that manufactures lockable phone pouches that students keep with them but can’t be opened until the end of the school day. Hmmm.


Fidel Castro’s oldest son committed suicide at the age of 68 after being treated for depression in recent months. His nickname was Fidelito or Little Fidel because of how much he looked like his father who died in 2016.


If you get into a collision on the road, you need to quickly determine if everyone is safe, then you need to think outside the box and figure out if the crash was an accident or was it staged. Yep. Get your normal information…name, address, driver’s license, car insurance and license plate number, then look for witnesses. Ask for their statements about what they saw and make sure to get their contact information. Make a recording of the event with your cellphone, take photos of the witnesses, the other drivers involved, their DL info and count the passengers in the other vehicle – con artists often file claims for people who weren’t in the car during the collision. Beware of tow trucks that appear before you’ve called for help. Beware of people who try to encourage you to use a specific doctor, lawyer or body shop. When in doubt, call the police. Record the officer’s name/s and get a copy of the report for your insurance company.


Netflix cut its ties with Kevin Spacey last fall after he was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, then suspended production on House of Cards and wrote Spacey’s character out of the series, then canceled a new movie project where Spacey would have starred as the late author Gore Vidal. It was reported that all in all, this could cost the company around $39-million. Sorry, Netflix.


The Printing Museum, in Houston, which has been closed since a May 2016 fire, has reopened with a fresh look, updated displays, and a bindery with tools for making books. Printing isn’t dead, and this museum is fun. 1324 West Clay. 713-522-4652. Thank you for supporting print.


The city of Lake Jackson is 75 years old. The first shovelful of dirt to build LJ was turned on December 8th, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dow Chemical was building the first plant along the Texas Gulf coast near Velasco and Freeport therefore needed housing for the families of the employees who built and then operated the plant.  Alden Dow was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and developed a master plan for the city. Check out page ___ for planned celebrations honoring this event. Happy Birthday Lake Jackson, City of Enchantment.


Tomorrow is National “Slap your Annoying Co-Worker Day.” If you’re not sure who that is, I would call in sick. Just kidding.


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Feb. 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week February 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

A student spit on a teacher at Cypress Woods High School so the teacher took off his belt and struck the kid. Wrong thing to do. Of course, it’s all on video. If these teachers don’t think that they are being set up to be videoed, then someone needs to let them know. First off, we don’t know all the facts, but if a child of mine spit on a teacher, there would be hell to pay. But some of us are raising a bunch of kids that don’t understand consequences because there are none. When I was young, and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we all believed that there was a paddle in the principal’s office that had holes drilled in it so there was a swooshing noise as it flew through the air and made contact with your behind. When someone got in trouble, we all got quiet and listened, so we could hear if there yelping involved when the paddle hit home. We would never, ever have spit on a teacher. I’m not saying that all teachers are perfect because THEY ARE NOT, but we need to raise children to respect not only the position, but to respect themselves or we’re not going to have any teachers worth anything because NO ONE WILL WANT TO BE A TEACHER, or fireman, or police officer. Next week I’ll talk about the paddle with the nails in it…or so we thought.


The first delivery of prescription marijuana in Texas has been delivered. There are three dispensaries in the state, two in Austin and one in Schulenburg.


An autopsy has shown that the young unclothed boy, 3 or 4-years old, whose body washed up on a Galveston shoreline in October, showed signs of neglect and abuse, malnourishment and he had died before being placed in the water, not drowning as had been previously believed. The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for successful identification and location of the family members caring for the boy at the time of his disappearance. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or 409-765-3776. Someone, somewhere knows something. Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward. They released the actual photo of the child the day they found him as a last option. He was a beautiful child with long eyelashes.


Meryl Streep, 68, has filed an application to trademark “Meryl Streep” so others may not profit from her name and fame. I didn’t know you could do that.


Nearly forty years after his wife drowned, investigators are now calling 87-year-old actor Robert Wagner a ‘person of interest’ in the death of Natalie Wood. It is believed that he hasn’t told the whole story about what happened during the boat trip the night of her suspicious death. Really!


The father of two young women that gave statements at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, asked the judge if she would give him “five minutes in a locked room” with Nassar. The judge said no, so he asked for one minute, then rushed across the room to take care of Nassar himself. The father was released without charge. I can’t believe that this hadn’t happened earlier and most of the parents that I know, agree with me.


Not far from the temples of the ancient city of Tikal in northern Guatemala, even the most experienced archaeologists were surprised to find about 60,000 homes, palaces, tombs and even highways hidden in the humid lowlands under the cover of tree canopies in the jungle, built by the Maya over a thousand years ago. Researchers found the structures by shooting lasers down from planes that pierced the thick foliage and painted a 3-D picture of the ground below.


DeLorean Motor Co. plans to start manufacturing the new DeLorean locally in Humble, in early 2019. When the original two-seater rolled off the production lines in 1981, it sold for about $26,000. A used DeLorean now typically costs $55,000 to $65,000. The new DeLorean will sell for around $120,000.


Have you seen the new concert stage for the Rodeo? You should. It’s fan-damn-tastic. OK. Incredible.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 76. Country singer Howard Bellamy is 72. TV Chef Ina Garten is 70. Model Christie Brinkley is 64. Rapper T-Mo is 46. Singer guitarist Dave Davies is 71. The Kinks. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 68. Actor Nathan Lane is 62. The Birdcage and MouseHunt. Two of my favorites. Actress Katharine Ross is 78. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stepford Wives. Vanessa Redgrave is 81.

Actor Tom Selleck is 73. Magnum, P.I. Actress Ann Jillian is 68. It’s a Living. Rock Musician Louie Perez is 65. Los Lobos. La Bamba. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 64. Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 58. He has been called both “the greatest American diver” and “probably the greatest diver in history.” Actor Gene Hackman is 88. Good grief. I can’t believe this. Oscar for Best Actor in The French Connection. Unforgiven. 79 films. It is said that he is retired but still in charge. I believe it.

Drummer, singer-songwriter, record producer and actor Phil Collins, is 67. Genesis. In the Air Tonight.  Actress Carol Channing is 97. She’s so cute. Composer Philip Glass is 81. I can listen to his music all day long. Google Philip Glass – Metamorphosis.  Actress Jessica Walter is 77. Play Misty for Me. Remember Clint Eastwood as a disc jockey and she was the obsessed fan. I had forgotten. Dang. I love this job.  Baseball Hall of Fame Nolan Ryan is 71. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 62. Sex Pistols. Actress Minnie Driver is 48. Good Will Hunting.

Comedian Tommy Smothers is 81. I just watched the 20-year reunion show 1988-monologue. I do encourage you to Google it. Funny, I called my son and told him to watch it. It was interesting to look back at why CBS kicked them off the air. They were clean cut, ‘boys next door’ so censorship was not expected. They asked for and were given creative control in 1967. They were up against Bonanza on Sunday evening, where nine other shows had been canned because they didn’t have the ratings to compete with Bonanza.


The city of Friendswood is allowing homeowners that flooded last year along Clear Creek to rebuild at ground level, even though they will be subject to severe flooding in storms much less powerful than Harvey. City officials are using a 20-year-old flood insurance map that underestimates the risk of future floods for thousands of homes in order for approximately 300 homeowners to make repairs without going to the expense of elevating their homes. Friendswood had over 2,400 homes that had from 6” to 48” plus inches of water last year.


Keurig Green Mountain has plans to purchase Dr. Pepper Snapple for nearly $19-+—————–billion. *4an’t some things just stay the same. Several years ago, when Snapple bought out Dr. Pepper and shut down the Dublin, Texas plant, I said I wasn’t ever going to drink Dr. Pepper again. I was depressed. OK, I have cheated a few times but not often. I’m a Waco girl. I still have a couple of bottles of Dublin DP in my file cabinet. I’ll break one out when my daughter graduates from high school.


In the past, I have used this column to complain about a few things, but I’m going to repeat one complaints now because it’s meaningful…why don’t they make women’s clothing with pockets. Real pockets, not half pockets or stitched pockets where your phone falls into the toilet or on to the floor. Men would not put up with a 3” deep pocket. Yes, I got an Otter Box this time. It’s not pretty at all and I wish I had my beautiful tortoise shell back but l I can only lose my phone so many times before I must change my ways. Perhaps this will keep it dry.


Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has signed to be an occasional contributor to ABC News. Hmmm.


Giant manta rays are being added to the threatened species list by the federal government. Last year, scientists were pleased to discover a large population of juvenile manta rays at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, the protected coral reefs about 100 miles off the coast of Galveston.


A Houston chemical container company now faces environmental charges after using a hidden storm drain to dump benzene and other highly toxic, carcinogenic and flammable liquids into waterways near homes and schools that lead to Sims Bayou and then Galveston Bay. Employees were injured as the chemicals burned through their gloves, irritated their eyes then the company refused to pay for their medical care, so they tattle-taled on them. Gee, do you think this will be good for the manta rays.


Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai have now used the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996, to clone two healthy female monkeys named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua. Since Dolly, they have produced dogs, cats, pigs, cows, ponies and many, many other animals but never a primate which they think will bring them closer to replicating humans. The belief is that this will help in the research of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


The flu season is in its third month and its no better. Continue practicing flu prevention. Wash your hands, don’t put your fingers in your mouth, eyes or nose, and stay home if you can. Flu death in Texas is 2,897 on January 27th.  The Brazoria County Health Department said the flu season started October 1 and as of January 19th, had recorded 1,946 cases. The way I understand it is, there is Flu A and Flu B. If you had one of those, you can still get the other. We have at least another month to go before it slows down.


J.J. Watt won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for raising more than $37-million in 19 days for Harvey relief fund. He, of course, said, “It’s about so much more than just one man, it’s about a whole city.” He’s so cute and humble. The Man of The Year honors a player each year because of their charitable contributions off the field and excellence on the field. The only other Houston winner has been Warren Moon.


It’s time to prune the crepe myrtles. For those that do it correctly, it’s called pruning. For those that go to cutting and sawing with no knowledge of how to do it properly, it’s called “crepe myrder.” Please avoid the mutilation and read some instructions first. Your trees will be prettier for it and we won’t talk about you behind your back.


Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies, Kotex, Scott toilet tissue, Viva and other consumer products says that declining fertility rates in the US have contributed to a decline in diaper sales. The company now plans to dismiss around 5,000 people and sell or close about 10 manufacturing facilities. Amazon.com has launched its own private label brand of diapers.


My son comes home from college often to work at The Clarion but one week-end he came home, just because. He arrived after I was in bed and wanted to talk. A lot. I kept falling asleep as he spoke. He would say, “Mom, are you listening? what did I just say?” and I would repeat small, very tiny words that I pulled from the fog of my non-working brain. This went on forever. It was a lot like Chinese water torture except for people that love each other. Gage, I will do better next time. Love, Mom


Thanks for reading this.


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Feb. 1, 2018

What I Heard This Week February 1, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

A mom turned her 14-year-old son over to police after he and his two friends carjacked an 81-year-old woman at gunpoint outside a Walmart in Florida. Surveillance video captured the three youths and then…his mom saw the video of the carjacking on the news. What a woman. I nominate her for Mom of the Year for the guts and the unbelievable love that it took to turn him in.  He will benefit for the rest of his life. When my kids were that age, I believed in the “pinching of the earlobe between two fingernails,” when discipline was needed, especially when they had embarrassed me in public. It leaves no real evidence other than pink earlobes, but it gets immediate attention. I picture that poor mom with an earlobe in hand, marching her son into the police station.


The Houston Boat Show saw an 18% increase in attendees over last year as 81,000 people shopped earlier this month, looking to replace vessels damaged by Hurricane Harvey.


United Airlines turned down one traveler’s request to bring her ‘emotional support peacock’ on a flight even though the woman said that she had purchased a second ticket for the peacock. The airlines had explained to the customer on three separate occasions that the animal did not meet guidelines including its weight and size. What about the poop?


The head of Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency has resigned and the employee who issued a ballistic missile alert to residents causing mass panic for 38 minutes earlier this month, has been terminated. As it turns out, the employee who had worked at the agency for 10 years, intentionally sent the message because he really thought the island was being attacked, but the worker had made similar mistakes twice before.


A Houston woman posted an ad in her husband’s girlfriend’s name on Craigslist ‘seeking sex from married men.’ The ad included the girlfriend’s name, age and a personal photo. Investigators traced the ad to a computer at the scorned woman’s workplace. Hmmm. In discussion with my peers, many believed that she deserves a standing ovation for creativity and sheer guts.


Mistakes are proof that you are trying.


The appraisal district took ALL my money this morning, so as I left the substation in Clute, I decided to treat myself at Dairy Bar with one of their delicious cheeseburgers. A smiling Robert (who took my order) asked if I wanted large fries and a drink with my order. I told him that I really DID want large fries, large onion rings, large milkshake and a sherbet but I would settle for just small fries and no drink. He must have seen the desperation in my eyes knowing that I had just signed over my firstborn at the tax office. He walked away from me for just a moment then turned around holding a small dish of coconut sherbet and a spoon, saying, “Here, try it.” It was so delicious – it tasted just like vacation. The next time you’re on Plantation Drive, be sure to stop and have a dish of Robert’s special sherbet. Tell him that Lisa sent you.


Hope you saw the once in a “Blue Moon” on the 31st.  Actually, it was a Super Blue Blood Moon. Even though it’s called a blue moon, the moon appears red because it is the only color on the spectrum that will make it through the Earth’s atmosphere, giving the moon a reddish glow. It won’t come again until 2037.


Helen McIntire is retiring from our office. She has been here from day one, 19 years ago. We will all miss our co-worker and our friend. If you ever need anyone to pray for you, Helen is the girl. The office won’t be the same without her. Come by on Thursday afternoon and help us wish her the best.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS:  Actor Richard Dean Anderson is 68. MacGyver. Dr. Jeff Webber in General Hospital. Rock singer Robin Zander is 65. Cheap Trick. Princess Caroline of Monaco is 61. Actress Mariska Hargitay is 54.  Actor Jerry Maren is 99. He is the last known surviving Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 82. Louisiana Man. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 50.  Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 89. He is considered the most widely read satirist in the country. Actor Scott Glenn is 79. Urban Cowboy, The Right Stuff, The Hunt for Red October.

Musician Lucinda Williams is 65. Passionate Kisses. Rock singer-musician Eddie van Halen is 63. Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is 60. Celebrity Chef Graham Kerr is 84. The Galloping Gourmet. Singer Steve Perry is 69. Journey. Actress Linda Blair is 59. Regan in The Exorcist. Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri is 50. Actor James Cromwell is 78. The Green Mile, Space Cowboys, The Queen. Ballet Mikhail Baryshnikov is 70. Actor Alan Cumming is 53. Most recently the master of ceremonies in Cabaret on Broadway. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 50. Sticks and Stones.

Candice Bergen, 71, will star again as the popular Murphy Brown in the CBS 2018-2019 season. The original show earned 18 trophies and tackled current political and cultural issues. Murphy Brown, a single, very successful business person, became pregnant and decided to raise her baby without the father, calling it a lifestyle choice. This prompted then VP Dan Quayle to voice his opinion about “the breakdown of family values.” She responded that families come in all shapes and sizes and that’s what really defines a family is caring and love. Yep, she was a rebel in 1988. Shoulder pads and all.


Elton John announced the ‘Farewell’ Yellow Brick Road tour will include Toyota Center Dec. 8th & 9th.


Madonna. Madonna. Madonna. Someone must not be getting all the attention that she needs at age 58. Recently, she posted an Instagram picture posing topless with a $4,000 Louis Vuitton handbag printed with the Mona Lisa and a caption that read, “Still drooling over a handbag…”. Hmmm. And what’s with the gold and diamond things on her teeth they call Grillz. Is that age appropriate or considered even the least little bit fashionable?


Taco Bell is now serving fries. They can be topped with beef, pico de Gallo, nacho cheese, sour cream, guacamole, bacon or jalapeno peppers. Dang.


The National Hurricane Center’s official report on Hurricane Harvey has been released, five months after what we hope was the only ‘once in a lifetime event’ that will rock our world. Fingers crossed. The report confirms and exceeds what we knew already. Rainfall amounts were likely even more extreme in places with levels so high that flood gauges could not capture them. The hurricane center estimates damage at between $90 to $160 billion. The storm killed at least 68 people but attributed another 35 deaths to indirect causes. “The most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in US history.”


The Spoetzl Brewery, in Shiner, Texas, which has produced Shiner beers for more than a century, (for those of you that are math-challenged, that’s more than 100-years), announced that they will have a $1.2 million, 30-second commercial, that will air statewide during this year’s Super Bowl. I love Shiner Black Bohemian Lager. Then my second favorite is Shiner Bock. But there are 12 other selections that might do something nice for your taste buds…IPA, Holiday Cheer, Ruby Redbird, Strawberry Blond…it’s a long list. You can try them out this Sunday during The Super Bowl LII. May Justin Timberlake have no controversial costume problems this time around.

Remember, most people aren’t really all that they ‘post’ to be.


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 25, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 25, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

Many things are changing in Saudi Arabia. The country is getting its first movie theatres. Soon women will be allowed to drive and now 12 camels have been disqualified from this year’s “Camel Beauty Contest” because their handlers used Botox to make them more handsome for the judging. Or should this be pretty? I just couldn’t tell from the pictures. This is a perfect example of men objectifying camels again. So many questions. What about the talent competition?  Where do you inject the Botox? The face?  The hump? Must be tough to be a ‘hot’ camel these days. Especially if you are retaining water.


People are eating Tide Pods. Yes, laundry detergent wrapped in a soft, squishy dissolvable covering. It’s a viral fad called Tide Pod Challenge. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Same thing, except this is for people with less brain cells. You bite down on a pod, making sure of course, that you video yourself or get one of your stupid friends to video it for you, then you’ll need to call poison control before you post your video and see how many ‘likes’ you have. Poison Control Hotline is 1-800-222-1222. So far, in the first 15 days of this year, there were 39 reported cases of teens poisoned by the capsules. That’s seizures, respiratory arrest and even death.


Shakespeare’s scripts contained over 2200 never-before-seen words. He liked to invent words, turn nouns to verbs and use cleverly applied prefixes. Many of these words have become some of our everyday language. The top ten words I found…Addiction, Arch-villain, Assassination, Bedazzled, Belongings, Cold-blooded, Dishearten, Eventful, Eyeball, and Fashionable. If you’re bored at this point, don’t read the next ten. Half-blooded or Hot-blooded, Inaudible, Ladybird, Manager, Multitudinous (means numerous), New-fangled, Pageantry, Scuffle, Swagger, and Uncomfortable. Interesting.


When GasBuddy surveyed their customers on ratings and reviews for “who has the best gas station,” guess who won? Best Coffee? Cleanest? Customer Service?  Outdoor Lighting? BEST Restrooms? and Overall, the BEST? Do you need a hint? Well, the mascot is a beaver. Congratulations, Buc-ee’s. We didn’t need a stinking survey to tell us what we already knew.


Don’t settle: Don’t finish bad books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it. – Chris Brogan


Researchers have developed a non-invasive blood test that can detect signs of eight types of cancer long before any symptoms of the disease emerge. Cancer of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung and breast can be screened all at once. Great news because ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal currently have no screening tests. The research was said to have been like looking for a needle in a haystack.


Newest Kardashian and Kanye West baby is named Chicago West. She will be called Chi which is pronounced SHY. She joins Saint and North. My momma always said, “Lisa, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”


As I sat down for a recent meeting, we were notified that we had an absent board member who needed to attend his own company meeting for SwampButt Underwear. His website says Science Sweat Stink Stank and SwampButt Underwear where there are two styles and both fit snuggly with no droop. That’s what it says. Personally, I hate droopy underwear. I’m ordering a pair for my son and I’ve now done my part for local business by telling you. Pay it forward. Small businesses need your help. swampbutt.com


Elton John emotionally announced that he will retire from performing after a lengthy Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour of 300 shows over a three-year period. Rocket Man is almost 71.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Hector Elizondo is 81. Former AC News anchor Diane Sawyer is 72. Golfer Jane Stephenson is 66. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 55. Actress Betty White is 96. Actor James Earl Jones is 87. The voice of Darth Vader. Talk-show host Mary Povich is 79. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 61. Singer Susanna Hoffs is 59. The Bangles. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 56. World Golf Hall of Fame Jack Nicklaus is 78. Opera singer conductor Placido Domingo is 77.

Singer Mac Davis is 76. He wrote for Elvis, “Memories, In the Ghetto, Don’t Cry Daddy, A Little Less Conversation” then in the 70s he did “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me, I Believe in Music” and starred in North Dallas Forty with Nick Nolte. I always thought he was very attractive.

Basketball Hall of Fame Hakeem Olajuwon is 55. Actress Tippi Hedren is 88. The Birds. Marnie. Actress Shelley Fabares is 74. The Donna Reed Show. Former ABC newswoman Anne Compton is 71. TV chef Paula Deen is 71. Butter. Actor Desi Arnaz Jr. is 65. Yikes, Little Ricky. Dino, Desi and Billy. Actress Katey Sagal is 64. Dancer singer Chita Rivera is 84. I saw her recently singing and dancing with Tommy Tune in Galveston. You would never believe that she was almost 84.

Actress Jill Eikenberry is 71. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 68. Actor-director Robby Benson is 62. Actress Geena Davis is 62. Rapper Kid Rock is 47. He just donated $122,000 from sales of merchandise promoting his potential US Senate campaign to a voter-registration organization. I guess he isn’t really running for the US Senate after all.


After 50 years on the road, 77-year-old Neil Diamond has announced that he will retire from touring after having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy at the Grammy Awards this Sunday. I may have said this before but when I saw him in concert in Houston in the 90’s, I was amazed at the audience participation when he started singing “Sweet Caroline.” Everyone sang and danced in their seats in unison, all while waving their arms. It reminded me of the Wiggles concert that we had taken the kids to a few weeks before. Happy memories.


Twenty-five years ago, Fort Bend County’s assistant engineer had a meeting with US Army Corps of Engineer and was told that the footprint for Barker Reservoir was bigger than the land owned by the government, therefore the reservoir, while dry most of the time, could fill during a major rainstorm. He warned the county judge, county commissioners, the FB County Drainage District and the county emergency management coordinator. The land in the reservoir was sinking, therefore the houses being built were at a level lower than the water level the dams were designed to hold.  They ignored him, attacked him for writing the memo, and questioned his credentials. Around 9,000 structures were damaged during Hurricane Harvey in this area. Hmmm. He kept a copy of the memo.


“I cannot help but express the pain and shame…over the irreparable harm caused to children by church ministers. It is fair to ask for forgiveness.” Pope Francis, in an apology for sexual abuse by Catholic priests.


Ladies at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Nassau Bay take recycled plastic grocery sacks, cut them up and make ‘plarn’ which is then used to crochet sleeping mats for those that need a soft place to sleep or sit, like the homeless. They look great and I heard that there are instructions on Pinterest.


I’ve reached that age where my brain went from “you probably shouldn’t say that” to “what the hell, let’s see what happens.”


Remember all the problems that American Airlines has had with their new uniforms. Thousands of complaints from flight attendants and crew members about hives, wheezing, vertigo, headaches and other health problems. The supplier, Twin Hill, remains confident of the quality and integrity of their product and will continue to supply uniforms until its contract ends in 2020, but after that, Lands’ End will have enough uniforms ready for all 51,000 employees minus the pilots, who are still looking for a new supplier. In the meantime, airline employees can choose to wear an approved alternative.


Guinness World Records, the world’s authority on record-breaking achievements, honored Dolly Parton as the artist with the most hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a female and the most decades with a Top 20 Hit on that same chart. Dolly Parton turned 72 last week.


Almost 160 victims and Olympians that former doctor Larry Nassar abused under the guise of medical treatment, have now confronted him before the court. Kyle Stephens said, “Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world…I have been coming for you for a long time.”  The former sports doctor pleaded guilty to molesting girls at his Michigan State University office, his home and at a Lansing-area gymnastic club, sometimes with a parent present. Why didn’t someone have the courage and character to come forward before now. Prison will not be good to him…inmates don’t like child predators. Good. As this paper goes to printer, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. The judge said, “You’ve done nothing to deserve to walk outside a prison again.”


Don’t forget the Houston Auto Show this weekend. One NRG Park. January 24-28.+


Food Thoughts: Red Lobster turns 50 and changes are coming. You can order online and there’s delivery. ‘Loaded Seaside Fries’ topped with cheese, fried clams and a ladle of hot clam chowder on top, Yucatan Shrimp, Petite Red Lobster Rolls and Shrimp Pot Stickers are just a few of the additions to the new menu. Kitchens are being redone, and Beyoncé is getting credit for increased sales from younger eaters when she used ‘Red Lobster’ twice in her 2016 song, “Formation.” Repeat after me…cheese biscuits.


McDonald’s is testing the use of fresh beef in new burger called ArchBurger. They have made several changes to their menu recently to appeal to those concerned with the ingredients in their food. No artificial preservatives in Chicken McNuggets and apple juice in the Happy Meal has less sugar. Isn’t that the way it should have been all along. Burger King introduced Double Quarter Pound King, its own version of McDonald’s quarter-pounder. McDonald’s & Burger King did not immediately return our calls seeking comment. Wink, wink. All this food talk, I’m starving.


The whole world has a packaging problem and it’s our job to encourage and help companies reduce packaging waste. Think about how much trash YOU have each week. Plastic never breaks down but ends up as very tiny particles that are eaten by animals and invades our food sources. Coca-Cola announced it wants to recycle a bottle or can for every beverage it sells by 2030 and reduce the amount of plastic it uses in bottles. McDonald’s plan to use all recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025 and they plan for all their 37,000 restaurants worldwide to recycle customer waste by that same year. This is good.


The flu season is not getting better, it’s getting worse. Hawaii is the only state that doesn’t have wide-spread illnesses. Now they are saying that you can SPREAD the flu virus just by breathing, which means that you can GET the flu the same way, just by breathing. Hold your breath.


Remember, your vibe attracts your tribe.


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 18, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 18, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa BakerFewer than 3 percent of cars sold today in the US have stick shifts and clutch pedals. You can’t even get a stick shift in a Volkswagen Beetle. I had a 1975 chocolate brown Toyota Celica that I couldn’t quite get into reverse, so the first day I had the car, the boy that carried out my groceries had to do that for me. (That tells you how long ago it was, because no one has carried out our groceries in forever.) After that, I always pulled through to the second parking place, so I could go forward. It took me about a week to master shifting and reverse, then it was THE MOST fun car to drive. It was a 5-speed and I rolled through those gears. I’m making wistful sounds right now.


American Girl Dolls is introducing Luciana, an 18-inch doll, a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. She has skills and brains, is a good leader and team player, has STEM-inspired outfits and accessories including a flight suit, space suit and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research tools. To insure the doll’s authenticity, they worked with female experts from NASA. Barbie. I miss playing with you in your wedding dress and putting together carboard furniture to go in your Dream House where you could live happily after with Ken. My, how times have changed.


A Louisiana teacher was ejected from a meeting room by a marshall, handcuffed on the floor and put into a patrol car when she stood up at a school board meeting and asked why the superintendent was getting a raise while educators and support staff hadn’t received a raise in 10 years. This teacher had won a teacher of the year award in 2016 and is said to be a really, good teacher and nice person. It’s all on video so there are facts. I watched it all and she should not have been arrested. Maybe there was more to the story.


A New Jersey couple were renovating their new $2-million condo, only to find that the inside of the walls, the insulation and the ceiling had been stuffed full of water bottles filled with urine. There were also containers of partially eaten Chinese food, cupcake wrappers, construction debris, and the insulation in the master bedroom was soaked in urine. The couple tried to sell the condo back to the construction company but are now suing the company. Ugh.


You saw the picture of the little boy in the hoodie that had “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” written across the front. The ad prompted some celebrities to end their partnerships with the H&M clothing line. Well, this little boy’s mom doesn’t have a problem with it and says, “(I) am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here…get over it.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this…I really don’t understand but not coz (I) am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.” OUCH. At my house, if momma is happy then everybody is happy.


Part of my children’s Christmas gift (memories instead of stuff) involved tickets to see Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, author and science rock star. He and his enthusiasm strips down complex ideas, make jokes and suddenly you understand what a black hole is. All this is done while he is walking around on stage in his socks. He recently released “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and it immediately went to No. 1 on the New York Times’ nonfiction best seller list. He’s a good Google.


Neil deGrasse Tyson – “Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That’s a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don’t know what you’re doing.”


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Naomi Judd is 72. Singer Rod Stewart is 73. Boxing Hall of Fame and entrepreneur George Foreman is 69.  Singer Robert Earl Keen is 62. Singer Mary J. Blige is 47. Texas-born, Mexican-American rock musician Alejandro Escovedo is 67. Singer Pat Benatar is 65. Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Rahal is 65. Folk singer Joan Baez is 77.  Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 77. Treat Her Right.

Comedian Larry Storch is 95. Ahh. Remember him on F Troop. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 85. Singer Shirley Bassey is 81. She recorded the theme songs to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker for the James Bond movies. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 80. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 76. Musician Robby Krieger is 72. The Doors.

Musician Stephen Stills is 73. Actress Victoria Principal is 68. Actor-Director Mel Gibson is 62. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 37. The Amazing Kreskin is 83. He predicted that Trump would be elected 11 months before it happened. Actress Kirstie Alley is 67. Country singer Ricky Van Shelton is 66. Radio-TV personality Howard Stern is 64. Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos is 54. Amazon.com.

Rock singer Jimmy Page is 74. Led Zeppelin. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 51. Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Floor length hair. Voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1983. Baby sister of 84-year-old Loretta Lynn (who btw fell and broke her hip last week.)

Physicist Stephen Hawking is 76. A good quote of his (and he has some really great ones) is, “I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.” Hmmm.


Ray Thomas, Moody Blues founding member and flautist, died at age 76. Thomas stepped back from the band due to ill health in 1999 and in 2014 confirmed that he had been diagnosed with inoperable but treatable prostate cancer. Nights in White Satin. The Moody Blues are to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April.


President Oprah? Fact or Fiction or just Fantasy?


Stephen Hawking – “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.” That’s good advice whether you are disabled or not.


Houston Auto Show, January 24-28, at NRG Center and presented by The Houston Chronicle.


In Southern California at a private residence, authorities found 13 siblings, ages 2 to 29 years old, all malnourished, in filthy conditions and some chained to furniture, after one of the children, a 17-year-old, jumped out a window, called 911 and led police to the home. The child that escaped was so small that police thought she was 10-years-old. The mother and father are being held on $9-million bail.


Mahatma Gandhi – “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”


The LJ Civic Center Ballroom will be the location of the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance this year. February 9th and it always sells out so get your tickets soon. Tickets are not sold at the door.


Actually, this was a really boring week. I struggled to find something interesting to tell you. I will do better next week.


Dr. Seuss – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

 


– Lisa

What I Heard This Week! Jan. 11, 2018

What I Heard This Week January 11, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa BakerDoctors believed that surgery was needed for a 41-year old woman that had not responded to six years of standard treatment for Crohn’s, which is a very serious bowel disease. Surgery finally found the problem, two small foreign objects that had pierced and inflamed the woman’s intestine. Both pieces of plastic had the word ‘Heinz’ written on them. The woman said she had no memory of eating ketchup packages and is relieved that she no longer has any symptoms of Crohn’s.


The Dow Jones industrial average hit 25,000 for the first time, just 23-days after it hit 24,000 – the fastest 1,000-point gain in the Dow’s 122-year history. It was just one year ago that it hit 20,000. Did you get that???


Country singer Mickey Gilley is recovering after the car that his son was driving collided with another vehicle and rolled 3 times. They were on their way to Branson where Gilley owns a theatre where he regularly performs but says he will be back on stage as scheduled in just a few days. His cousins are Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. The famous club in Pasadena, gained fame in the 80’s with Urban Cowboy and was billed as the “World’s Biggest Honky Tonk.”


San Francisco was hit by magnitude 4.4 earthquake last week. Fires, earthquakes and now landslides. The rain turned the scorched landscape into mud and then flash flooding.


Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and stars in a remake of the classic, “A Star is Born,” along with Lady Gaga. It was first done in 1937 with Janet Gaynor as the aspiring Hollywood actress and Fredric March as the fading movie star who helps launch her career. Then in 1954, Judy Garland and James Mason starred in a very well received production. In 1976, Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starred in the third remake. I loved this one, but Rotten Tomatoes only gives it a 31%. But then again, I love Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand. This fourth remake will be released in May 2018.


Pho Saigon Vietnamese Noodle House is opening a new restaurant in Pearland in the Kirby Commons shopping center. My kids and I discovered their original Midtown location years ago on a wet, cold, rainy afternoon stuck away in a shopping center that we didn’t really like the looks of, but we went in anyway. We continue to drop in because their Pho is outstanding.


The 2018 RodeoHouston lineup includes Garth Brooks (opening), Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, Leon Bridges, Kelsea Ballerini, Alessia Cara, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Cody Johnson, Calibre 50, Zac Brown Band, J Balvin, OneRepublic, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks (closing.) I’m in for Leon Bridges.


I’m so hot. I’m so cold. Just months ago, inmates of Texas prisons complained that the heat-sensitive needed AC. Some of them got it. Now there are multiple complaints of unheated and under-heated units at around two-dozen prisons. Officials say that all heating units are working. It’s a Goldilocks world.


Researchers at University of Colorado say that injecting wastewater from oil and gas production back underground causes enough increase in underground pressure to make rock formations slip along fault lines, therefore creating human-caused quakes along the Colorado-New Mexico border.


Barnes & Noble sales had a bad sales quarter because they say that in the same quarter (2016) a year ago, “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” was released and there wasn’t a similar hot seller released in the same quarter of 2017. Buy and read a book.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Patty Loveless is 61. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 58. R.E.M. TV host Jack Hanna is 71. Remember Johnny Carson episodes with animals?  Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 50. Model Christy Turlington is 49. Actor Taye Diggs is 47. Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale is 90. Actor Robert Duvall is 87. Actress Diane Keaton is 72. Rocker singer Marilyn Manson is 49. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 76. Woodstock. Country Joe and the Fish. Yikes, that’s a long time ago. Rapper GrandMaster Flash is 60. I love it when rappers turn 60. Rock musician Andy Summers is 75. The Police.

Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 74. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 71. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 59. Dr. Lilith Sternin who married Dr. Frasier Crane in Cheers. Actor Val Kilmer is 58. Author Nicholas Sparks is 52. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is 22. Singer Kenny Loggins is 70. Nitty Gritty Dirt Bank, Loggins and Messina, Blue Sky Riders. Actor David Caruso is 62. Talk-show host-reporter Katie Couric is 61. Actor Nicholas Cage is 54.


Actress Rose Marie, best know for her role as a wisecracking comedy writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show died at age 94. She believed that female comedians today think that being funny means you use four-letter words for shock value and that’s just not funny.

Sue Grafton, bestselling author of her alphabet detective mysteries, died at the age of 77. She started with “A Is for Alibi,” in 1982 and continued through “Y is for Yesterday,” released August 2017. Her last book, “Z is for Zero,” was set for release in the fall of 2019, but her husband says that she hadn’t started writing it because of her chemotherapy treatments, so it seems that it’s a 25-letter alphabet and Investigator Kinsey Millhone has retired. Grafton was always adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows. I’ve read them all. She will be missed.

Astronaut John Young, the first man to make six trips to space and to walk on the moon, died at age 87.

Jerry Van Dyke, comic actor and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, died at the age of 86.


The Starplex Cinemas in Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson had 20 to 30 gallons of water dumped into the theatre after the sprinkler system was activated. First responders and fire fighters from LJ and Clute determined that there was no fire and after viewing surveillance cameras it was determined that a young man had thrown something at the fire sprinklers on the ceiling. I heard it was a coin. When I discussed this with my son, I stated that I would have “torn him up” if he had ever done anything like that. His reply was, “It would have been hard for me to do that because you would never let us go to the mall by ourselves because you said the mall is not a babysitter.” Hmmm. They weren’t happy with me when I told them ‘no’ but they both agree now that the mall is not the place to be dropped off with no supervision. They listened.


American Cancer Society says that studies have shown that taller people have a greater risk of cancer. Shhh.


John Williams has composed music for more than 100 films including all seven Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone,, The Book Thief, Schlindler’s List, E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, the first three Harry Potter films and tons more. Part of my children’s Christmas gift this year (working on the idea of creating memories instead of buying stuff) were Houston Symphony tickets to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film with live orchestra and a choir.  It was three hours of pure pleasure. The Butterbeer wasn’t spectacular but it was still cold Butterbeer.


For those of you that haven’t read Harry Potter, Butterbeer was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting “a little like less-sickly butterscotch.” It was served at numerous locations in the wizarding world and had a very slight alcoholic content. Students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would often buy it when visiting Hogsmeade. I found a recipe online that has sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch topping, whipped butter, and vanilla cream soda. I don’t feel the need to try, but you might want to.


The good thing about science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it. Neil deGrasse Tyson


The official name is Eclectic Menagerie Park and I know that you have seen it off to the left as you race towards Houston on 288. The Rubenstein Family and Texas Pipe and Supply has created a very untraditional park with huge handmade metal sculptures. Let’s face it. Welders are artists. There is the armadillo, dinosaur, gorilla, the little red truck caught on a fishing pole, eagle, three art cows, roadrunner, planes, and more. It’s a great place to take pictures. 288 and Belfort.


New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.” Mark Twain


The 86-acre Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Galveston Co. has been owned and operated by Clint Wolston since 1985. He’s loved and raised a white rhino named Pee Wee, zebras, a zonkey (there was some hanky-panky between the donkey and a zebra but I’m not naming names), kangaroos, ring-tailed lemurs, ostriches, emus, giraffes, camels and currently, 500 other animals. The place is for sale because Mr. Wolston is almost 81-years-old and wants to relax with his wife. The park had 90,000 visitors last year and includes two miles of trails, 15 lakes and ponds, native trees and 3,500 feet of waterfront on Dickinson Bayou. Years ago, I remember visiting with my kids and riding the tram through the grounds with the animals practically sitting on our laps. Mr. Walston just wants someone qualified to continue the magic for the next generation. Oh, and $6-million allows you this little bit of heaven.


Momma Mia II, the sequel, Here We Go Again, is due to release July 20th, 2018 and rumor is that Cher has a part.


DeeDee Bridgewater is an American jazz singer. She is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress. For 23 years, she was the host of National Public Radio’s syndicated radio show JazzSet with DeeDee Bridgewater. She sang with Ray Charles and she is now coming to The Clarion on January 20th. Don’t say that I didn’t let you know in time to get your tickets. Box Office 979-230-3156.


I thought I saw a spider, but it was just a piece of yarn. It’s dead yarn now.


Hoda Kotb – “I think the whole money thing for me, I’ve always been sort of – I know it sounds ridiculous that I’m going to say this, but I really have done jobs I liked for the job I liked because I never wanted to be happy every other Friday on pay day,” Kotb said. “Like, I didn’t want that to be the happy day. I wanted to feel good throughout. So, no, I’m not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close.” Meanwhile “Today” has thrived in the ratings since pervy Matt Lauer was dismissed for sexual misconduct. There are some thoughts that perhaps a lot of viewers could see his true colors.


If you stumble, make it part of the dance. Lisa

 


– Lisa

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  • Much Ado About Nothing - Hacked

    by on May 24, 2018 - 0 Comments

      My next door neighbor got a United Nations Development Programmed grant. No really! He sent me a Facebook direct message to tell me he got $150,000.00. His exact words were, “I’m no joking or pulling legs.” Here’s where it gets really exciting: he saw my name on their lucky winner list, too, and I […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Family Court

    by on May 31, 2018 - 0 Comments

      In this trough between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, there is no better time to take a look at some examples of beautiful, happy families in their natural habitat: the courtroom. Parents are busy suing their children while the kids are getting lawyered up to go after their parents. Tell me, Hallmark, how are […]

  • What I Heard This Week! May 24, 2018

    by on May 24, 2018 - 0 Comments

    A 51-year-old Iowa man says his dog shot him while they were playing and roughhousing on the couch. Ballew, a pit-bull-lab mix ‘must have disabled the safety on the gun in his owner’s belly band and then stepped on the trigger, then shot him in the leg.’ I would have been embarrassed to report that […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Willis Carter

    by on June 6, 2018 - 0 Comments

      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 […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Hurricane Season Again

    by on June 20, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hurricane Season started a few weeks ago. Again. I’m not sure I’m ready for this, to be honest. As I type this, I’m half asphyxiated with paint fumes from 14 doors, door frames, and hundreds of feet of baseboards all shiny with their fresh coat of oil-based paint. I still have a tendency to lie […]

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