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What! Dec. 7, 2017

What I Heard This Week December 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Nov. 23, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Nov. 16, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Nov. 9, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Nov. 2, 2017

What I Heard This Week November 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Oct. 26, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 26, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 10-26-17

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

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

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

Storms make trees take deeper roots. – Dolly Parton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broken crayons still color…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Oct. 19, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 19, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 10-19-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Oct. 12, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 12, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 10-12-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa

What! Oct. 5, 2017

What I Heard This Week October 5, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 10-05-17

Carlos Rafael, a US fishing magnate known as “The CodFather,” has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for falsely claiming his vessels caught haddock or pollock when they had other species subject to stricter quotas, then sold the fish for cash. He accepted full responsibility for the crimes he committed including tax evasion, false labeling and fish identification. The CodFather. I love it.  There are some stories I find that are a little more fun and interesting than others. Read on.

Gilbert Toby Curtsinger, ringleader of an operation called “Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Heist,” that stole at least $100,000 worth of bourbon from a couple of Kentucky distilleries, pleaded guilty. We are talking good, expensive bourbon. Nine people (so far) were involved in the bourbon heist which included members of his softball team who over the course of seven years, stole not only bottles but full barrels, which ultimately led to their ruin…how many people do you know that have a barrel of bourbon in their kitchen? The full barrels were worth between $1,200 to $1,500. Most of the bourbon is ruined since only unopened bottles could be salvaged which makes us all very sad.

The woman that was physically removed from a Southwest flight (and recorded) told officials she had a life-threatening pet allergy but then couldn’t produce a medical certificate needed for her flight from Baltimore to LA. Why…there were two dogs on board. Crew members told her that she could be barred from the flight if she couldn’t travel safely with animals on board but she refused to leave the plane. What’s wrong here? That’s like going into the restaurant that has peanut shells on the floor and you’re allergic to peanuts. YOU JUST CAN’T GO INTO THAT RESTAURANT! If you have a pet allergy, then you need to let the airlines know before you board the plane. Geez. Why must some things be so difficult?

Earthquakes. Volcanos. Hurricanes. Flooding. Mass Shootings. Now, fleas have tested positive for the Bubonic Plague in two counties in Arizona. You remember the Bubonic Plague…the infectious disease that killed millions in the Middle Ages. It seems that prairie dogs began dropping dead so someone said, “hmmm. I wonder why.”  The plague is curable with early treatment and antibiotics. Prairie dog holes are now being dusted with an insecticide to help prevent the spread through prairie dog colonies. You just thought we had it bad.

Rapper B.o.B. started a GoFundMe so he can prove that the Earth is flat. He only needs $1-million to launch multiple satellites into space to prove his point. I know that you’re asking yourself what’s wrong with all the thousands of images from all the other satellites already out there? Hmmm.  He needs a job.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world where women couldn’t legally drive. It could harm their ovaries.  Soon, women will be allowed to drive. Next year, in fact. They had only recently received the right to vote. As Bob Dylan sings, “…then you better start swimmin’, or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’.”

North Korea threatened to deploy a hydrogen bomb. Kim Jong Un said, “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire…” hmmm. Dotard. According to Merriam-Webster, this is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise. The word comes from the Middle English word ‘doten’ (to dote), and initially had the meaning of ‘imbecile’ when it began being used in the 14th century.Shakespeare liked to use the word. Ref: The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing… “Tush, tush, man, never fleer (laugh) and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool.”

A new study published in the annals (records) of Internal Medicine found that even if you are a heavy exerciser, people with desk jobs should get up every thirty minutes and walk around. You will live longer. By doing this, you may live. Period. Get up.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Actor Wilford Brimley is 83. The Waltons.  Rock singer Meat Loaf is 70. Can that be? Singer Shaun Cassidy is 59. Singer-actress Olivia Newton-John is 69. Musician Cesar Rosas is 63. Los Lobos. He can play the guitar!  Actress Linda Hamilton is 61. The Terminator and Beauty and the Beast.  Actress Melissa Sue Anderson is 55. Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Actor Walter Kownig is 81. Pavel Chekov in Star Trek. Singer-actress-dancer Joey Heatherton is 73. She posed for Playboy in 1997, at the age of 53.

Actor Sam Neill is 70. Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park. Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 71. Director Oliver Stone is 71. Football Hall of Fame Dan Marino is 56. Britain’s Prince Harry is 33. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 68. Country singer David Bellamy is 67. Actor Mickey Rourke is 61. Magician David Copperfield is 61. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 59. Celia in Monsters’ Inc. and a World Series Ladies’ Poker winner. She’s good. Singer Julio Iglesias is 74. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 68.

Actor Jason Alexander is 58. George Costanza. Actress Angie Dickinson is 86. Singer Sissy Houston is 84. Singer Johnny Mathis is 82. Actress Fran Drescher is 60. Classical singer Andrea Bocelli is 59. Rocker Joan Jett is 59. Actor Scott Baio is 57. Chachi Arcola on Happy Days. Actress Bonnie Hunt is 56. Actress Brigitte Bardot is 83. Actress Hilary Duff is 30. Former President Jimmy Carter is 93.

Deaths: Television icon Monty Hall has died at the age of 96 of heart failure. Remember Let’s Make a Deal which started in 1963.  What was behind door No. 3? As a little kid, I always liked it when he offered money for what women in the audience had in their purses. Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oréal cosmetics heiress and the world’s richest woman, died at the age of 94. Jake LaMotta, the boxing champion whose career was depicted in 1980 by Robert DeNiro in the film, “Raging Bull,” died at the age of 95. Violet Brown, the world’s oldest person, died at the age of 117. Xavier “X” Atencio, an animator behind early Disney movies including “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia” and the imaginer behind the beloved Disneyland rides like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Haunted Mansion,” died at the age of 98. Musician Tom Petty died of heart failure at the young age of 66.

Hugh Hefner died at age 91 of natural causes. He was buried in Los Angeles next to Marilyn Monroe – his first ever Playboy cover star, in a plot that Hefner bought in 1992 for $75,000. He is survived by 4 children and third and current wife of five years, Crystal Harris (she was 60-years younger.) That’s like Betty White marrying Zac Efron. Hmmm. “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.” Hugh Hefner

OJ Simpson has been released from prison. He got out on good behavior. Settle down girls.

Aaron Hernandez, former football player serving life sentence for murder before he died by suicide, has been identified as having Stage 3 CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) according to Boston University. Stage 4 is the highest. The disease can only be detected through autopsies. It has been linked to depression, memory loss and dementia. There is now a lawsuit against the Patriots and the NFL on behalf of Hernandez’s daughter. Last year the NFL acknowledged a link between football-related head trauma and the brain disease. A study showed that out of 111 brains examined of former NFL players, they found 110 of them had CTE. Yet, these guys continue to collect unbelievable paychecks, then sue because the NFL didn’t protect them from such danger. This doesn’t make any sense to me.

Coca Cola just bought out Topo Chico. Tell me it isn’t so. Coke, don’t mess this up!

Prayers for Las Vegas and our world right now.

– Lisa

What! Sept. 28, 2017

What I Heard This Week September 28, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 09-28-17

After five successful seasons, Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper are hanging up their tool belts. Waco, Texas and their whole family of viewers will never be the same. WHO DOESN”T LOVE THEIR SHOW. They said that it’s time to think more about their family. No one can argue with that. It’s because of their grace, humbleness and love of their family, that we drop everything and run to watch the show. Let’s face it…they like each other. I watch Property Brothers (they like each other, too.) But I can’t stand Flip or Flop. What are we going to do?!?! It doesn’t matter what I write about in the rest of this column, nothing else matters…really.

Hurricane Harvey has not been kind to many…FEMA had a little typo on a phone number so hurricane victims in Florida hoping to get help with blue-tarping their roofs, were somehow directed to a phone sex line. The new number has been correctly posted.

Disgraced former Democratic Congressman and New York mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner aka “Carlos Danger,” has been sentenced to 21-months in federal prison for sending sexually explicit pictures and messages to an underage girl. He is a perfect example of having it all but believing that he would never get caught.

According to Urbandictionary: When texting the acronym IYKWIM, it means “If you know what I mean.” If you add AITYD at the end, it means “and I think you do.” Just doing my part to make you a way cooler person than you were yesterday. It would take me longer to remember the letters than it would to just type it!

There is a house for sale in Michigan. The “For Sale” sign in front of the home says, “Quiet Neighbors.” The home is built next to a cemetery. Now there’s a real estate agent that knows how to enjoy life.

Remember when you had to defrost your freezer? Aauugh. My first apartment was horrible. It took all day, if you didn’t chip it out with a butter knife. Then I remember using my blow dryer on it and towels, lots of towels. It was just a mess. Don’t know what made me think of this. We sure have it easy now.

Police in Dumfries, South Scotland, have posted on Facebook that they are looking for the owner of a suitcase packed full of drugs that was left on a bus, then picked up by accident by another passenger. Police said, “Were you a bit wasted last night? Did you misplace a suitcase with £6,500 (which if I converted it properly, it’s about $8827 in American dollars) worth of drugs in it? Great news, it’s been found and we have it at Dumfries Police Station. Just pop in, tell us what’s inside it, where you left it and we will be happy to return it to you!” I love a police department with a sense of humor.

If you’re in the mood for a great show, AE and I have been watching the BBC drama, “Call the Midwife” – we started during Harvey and it’s great. Costumes are wonderful…it’s full of great history and just a really, really, well done show.  It’s a group of midwives working in the poverty-stricken East End of London in the late 1950s – early 1960s. Miranda Hart plays Chummy and I’m convinced that she will play Julia Child in some future production. Let me know what you think.

If you love Sam Smith like I do, you should know that he just released a new single and an album is to follow.

HAAK Vineyard in Santa Fe! These guys have so much fun. September30th, is Wine and Stars in the Vineyard.  Go to www.haakwine.com for updates and directions. October 7th is Haaktober Wurst Ever Wine Festival with Texas Sound Check Band. And really, good Madeira. Really good.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Boxing promoter Don King is 86. Remember that hair! Former US Rep. Ron Paul is 82. He’s speaking “Foreign Policy Matters” at LJ Business Association on October 11th. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 71.  Rock singer Robert Plant is 69. Led Zeppelin. TV weatherman Al Roker is 63.  Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 78. Movie director James Cameron is 63. Singer Madonna is 59. Actress Rose Marie is 94. The Dick Van Dyke Show. Journalist Linda Ellerbee is 73. Britain’s Princess Anne is 67. Actress Debra Messing is 49. Will and Grace. It’s back on NBC, September 28 (tonight) after 11-years. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters is 74. Pink Floyd. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 59.

When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” Lily Tomlin

A new 12-sided British pound has entered circulation because it was believed that the round pound was too easy to counterfeit. It features a hologram that changes from the pound symbol to the numeral one. It was tested for three years to make sure it will work in vending machines. The old coin and the new coin will co-exist for several months and is the first new pound coin to be introduced in 30 years.

“The road to success is always under construction.”  Lily Tomlin

Recently, I was reading an article on songwriter and artist, Sam Baker. He told a story about stopping at a little café and asking the waitress if they had any sparkling water. She replied that it all sparkles if you get it in the right light. Think about that…it applies to more than just water.

When someone says “Dory” I think of the friendly and forgetful blue fish that searches for her parents in Finding Nemo. Actually, a dory is a small, shallow boat about 16-23 feet long, lightweight with high sides. Pixar is clever.

In July, on a ranch in Jewett, a bolt of lightning struck a tree and killed 10 longhorn cattle, including an all-white steer and five calves. Wow. I didn’t know that could happen.

On May 3rd, 395 migratory birds collided with the American National Insurance building in Galveston. It was believed that the flock was flying lower because of a storm, there were clouds, then the bright office lights attracted the birds and they crashed. The company shut off some of the lights and is now researching ways to protect the birds during migration season, roughly March through May.

The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster left behind radioactive puppies and dogs when people were forced to evacuate the area, thinking they would return in a few days. Soldiers were dispatched to shoot the abandoned animals, but some lived and have reproduced. Officials forbid petting of the dogs because of the hazards posed by radioactive particles on their fur.  The Clean Futures Fund has a five-year plan to spay and neuter the dogs and cats in the area, then set up food and water stations along with a veterinary clinic to help care for the animals. YouTube, ”The Puppies of Chernobyl.” I never ever thought about this aspect of the disaster.

Twenty-one years ago, I was blessed with my first child. If he had been part monkey or puppy dog, I couldn’t have been any happier. Gage, I continue to derive much pleasure from being your mom. My daughter and I met him in Galveston to see Tommy Tune and Chita Rivera (a little West Side Story, a scene from Bye-Bye Birdie and All That Jazz – it was GOOD) at The Grand 1894 Opera House. Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar, and we called it a successful celebration. Happy Birthday to my kid and my friend.

– Lisa

What! Sept. 21, 2017

What I Heard This Week September 21, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 09-21-17

September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day. This annual event was first proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 as he announced that good neighbors help achieve human understanding and build strong, thriving communities. Think about it…you buy a house and move in. You don’t ask about the neighbors…nothing. You only see your relatives at Christmas time, but neighbors…you’re just stuck with them and they’re stuck with you. You may have Mrs. Kravitz living next door during the day, but remember how she asked if you needed anything during Harvey. The kids across the street may be rowdy, but they picked up sticks in your yard after the storm. So, bake some cookies or banana bread or pick up a bottle of wine and scoot on over to your neighbors this week and say hello. Who knows, they may start bringing in their barking dog, let you know when your kid is sneaking out at night and mow your grass.

In a state like Texas, neighbors rely on neighbors. Please remember that our businesses need you to Shop Local and continue to support one another, especially in times like these.

My mother taught me about justice. “One day you’ll have kids, and they’re going to do the same thing you’re doing, then you’ll see what it’s like. What goes around, comes around.”

So far, this year the Secret Service has spent over $60,000 on golf-cart rental, to protect the President at two of his resorts. Hmmm. On the outside looking in…it would make more sense to buy the carts.

I bet you are familiar with the song “Dancing Queen” by Swedish pop group ABBA. We all know the words. Well, back in 2016, ABBA got together for the first time in 30 years and NO ONE REMEMBERED TO RECORD IT. Now, all the original members (who are ALL still alive) are planning a 2019 global tour, but they won’t be there in person, instead they will be recreated as “digital avatars” for a virtual reality tour. Wait, that’s what they do for Michael Jackson. Band members say it will be just like you’re back in 1977, with a live band, live backing vocals, a great set design with lights and sound…just like a live concert, except for the fact that the band members will be back at home walking their dogs.  Hmmm. I wonder if I could do that at my office.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is the follow-up to the original 2008 film, which was based on the ABBA-inspired musical of the same name, and is expected to hit theatres in July 2018.

Hasbro is now offering a “Star Wars” Monopoly set that includes the female character Rey. Their previous version had only male characters, prompting an 8-year-old girl to write them a letter and ask why, woohoo.

Legos were invented in Billund, Denmark. An architecture firm has designed a real structure (130,000-sq-ft) of larger interlocking, Lego-like blocks for an official Lego museum and theme park of sorts that will open on September 28th.   There will be play zones, restaurants, stores, rooftop terraces and a gallery of Lego masterpieces. Then today I read that the toymaker will have to cut 1,400 jobs because after years of rising sales, revenue dropped 5% in the first six months of this year. Hmmm.

A Canadian woman discovered her mother-in-law’s long-lost engagement ring when she pulled up a carrot from her garden. The carrot had grown around the ring. The picture was great. A big fat carrot with an engagement ring on it!

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”  Lily Tomlin

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS:  Director Brian DePalma is 77. Carrie and Mission Impossible. Singer-actress-dancer Lola Falana is 75. She was the first African American spokeswoman for a major perfume, Tigress, made by Faberge. My mother wore that scent when I was in high school. Broadcast Journalist Morton Dean is 82. Actress Valerie Harper is 78. Actress Cindy Williams is 70. Laverne & Shirley. Actress Barbara Eden is 86. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 68. Cartoonist Mort Walker is 94. Beetle Bailey. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 75.

Musician Mickey Hart is 74. The Dead.  Basketball Hall of Fame Yao Ming is 37. Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson is 36.  Actor Keanu Reeves is 53. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 78. Edith Ann and her very large rocking chair. Singer Barry Gibb is 71. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 67. Singer Kenny Rogers is 79. Actor Clarence Williams III is 78. The Mod Squad. Johnny Appleseed was born September 26, 1774.  That’s 243-years ago.

DEATHS: Thomas Meehan, three-time Tony-winning co-writer of Broadway hits including Annie and Hairspray, died at age 88. African Spotted Yard Wolf, Buster, an occasional guest columnist at The Source Weekly died last weekHe was 14 which is 78 in dog years. We will miss him.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says that she will not pursue the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination… “I’m done with being a candidate.”

Apple has released their new iPhone X (10) which sells starting at $999. Yikes. My first car was a ’66 Mustang that cost $800. But that was a long, long time ago. If someone had told me that a phone would cost over a thousand dollars and it would talk to me by looking at my face…nah!

An 89-pound alligator snapping turtle wandered out of his home in Buffalo Bayou and onto Memorial Drive recently. The turtle is believed to be around 70 years old and after being treated for dehydration, was returned to his home on Buffalo Bayou.

Did you ever watch Psych? Yes, I’m a Psycho-O. I just loved the show. The series about phony psychic Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) ended in 2014 but I just heard that a two-hour, Psych: The Movie, will be airing on USA in time for Christmas. The special will pick up three years after the series ended.

Twitter ”#hashtag” celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 2007, Chris Messina sent a tweet asking Twitter users what they thought about adding a pound sign before a topic.

New at Blue Bell: Pink Camo ‘n Cream…strawberry, chocolate and cream cheese ice cream swirled together in a camouflage pattern. Banana Split Sundae is creamy banana ice cream with crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries and chopped roasted almonds, surrounded by swirls of strawberry and chocolate sundae sauces. And Rainbow Sherbet is back.

Take a break from social media. A recent study found that people who gave it up for a week felt more content.

Twenty-four years after her death, there is a live and online auction of items from Audrey Hepburn’s personal collection. Go to www.christies.com. She was one of the most famous screen actresses of the 20th century. My personal favorite.

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, I’m possible.Audrey Hepburn

– Lisa

What! Sept. 14, 2017

What I Heard This Week September 14, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 09-14-17

We are Texas, come hell or high water.

I’m sure there are words to describe the past few weeks in Brazoria County and the Greater Houston area, but it’s still hard for me to wrap my thoughts around it all and say what’s in my heart, without big tears forming in my eyes. Harvey’s wreckage is still everywhere but so is Texas love. I am humbled. We saw the biggest outpouring of love, concern and physically hard labor that was absolutely, positively overwhelming. People outside Texas are awed by what has been accomplished. Neighbors helped neighbors with donation sites, people feeding people, sandbags filled and placed by volunteers, friends giving up beds and meals to share with those left homeless…I can’t say enough about our first responders, police, county leaders, and our city personnel.  Our thoughts and prayers for our community, friends, loved ones and neighbors remain in abundance. I don’t know of a single person that was not affected by this deadly storm. And it’s not over, clean-up has only just begun. But Brazoria County will stand proud and strong.

My son left for college a month ago. Recently, I received a “ransom text” that looked like letters cut out of magazines. It said that in order to guarantee phone calls from my son, I would need to send two cases of Topo Chico mineral water, asap, to an address vaguely similar to my son’s college dorm address. Hmmm. Without any further thoughts, I paid the ransom.

Pay attention. It’s a thing in Europe. You can now snort your chocolate. Coco Loko (available on Amazon, 1.25 ounce is 10 snorts for $25, but not actually approved by the Food and Drug Administration) is a snort-able blend of cacao powder, plants and organic compounds like ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana, which is found in energy drinks and has been linked to spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations. No one has really studied what happens when you put chocolate into your nose. No one knew that we would need to. When we were kids, we stuck erasers, pennies, rocks and sticks in our noses but MOM NEVER SAID, “Don’t stick that chocolate up your nose!” I think I’ll just continue my chili pepper chocolate bar I pick up at Central Market that lasts me about 2 weeks. But I’ll never be able to pinch off my little evening piece without thinking about sticking it up my nose.

A California geophysicist believes that the Houston area was 2-centimeters lower because of the load of the floodwaters on the Earth’s crust. Water is heavy…about a ton per cubic meter and GPS data showed that the flood was so large it is believed that it flexed Earth’s crust, and pushed Houston down. Then when the floodwaters totally recede, we would expect a similar, opposite elastic response…like jumping on a mattress or trampoline. Isn’t that interesting.

Harvey and Irma Schluter have been married for 75 years. He turned 104 in July and she will be 93 in November. Mr. Schluter was a barber and owned his own business. Together they have taken in over 120 foster children during their marriage, some physically or mentally disabled. They remember the first time spotting a plane, the Great Depression, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and what the weather was like on the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot…so let’s just say that there’s a Harvey and Irma living in Spokane, Washington, that any of us would be proud to know.

To preserve the planet’s resources, Swiss supermarket chain Coop, has begun selling burgers made from insects. The burger is made of rice, chopped vegetables, and spices with about 1/3 of the burger being mealworm larvae. The texture is a bit like a meaty falafel with a crunch. “Where’s the BEEF?”

Don’t be a victim of disaster fraud…TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-252-8011

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Cajun singer Zachary Richard is 67. German composer Hans Zimmer is 60. I believe the world is better place because of his music. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 74. Rock singer Chrissie Hynde is 66. The Pretenders. Actor Corbin Bernsen is 63. Actor Topol is 82. Fiddler on the Roof. Actor Hugh Grant is 57. Actor Adam Sandler is 51. Model Rachel Hunter is 48. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble is 42. Country singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes is 26. Cutie pie.

Actress Jacqueline Bisset is 73. Actress Jean Smart is 66. Designing Women. Actress Linda Gray is 77. Dallas. Singer Maria Muldaur is 75. Midnight at the Oasis. Original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood is 65. Actor Peter Scolari is 62. Michael Harris on Newhart. Actress Rachel Ward is 60. Rock musician and drummer Neil Peart is 65. Rush.

DEATHS: Walter Becker, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted bassist-guitarist and co-founder of Steely Dan, died at age 67. ”Reelin’ in the Years” in 1972. “My Old School” in in 1973. “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” in 1974 and the list goes on and on.

Don’t forget to put out your hummingbird feeders. With the lack of flowering vegetation after the storm, they need us even more through the end of October.

Brazoria County Junior Achievement will present the Business Hall of Fame on Sept.14th at the LJ Civic Center. Each year, they honor individuals that make great contributions to our community. The 2017 Class of Laureates are Howard Goe of Goe Harley-Davidson, David Novosad of Brazosport Tire, Andy Reyes of Reyes Realty and Earl Shipp of Gulf Coast Operations VP Dow Chemical Company. If you know any of these guys be sure to drop them a note of congratulations. They have helped to make Brazoria County a great place to live, work and raise a family.

All the living former US presidents (Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama) have joined together and formed the OneAmericaAppeal, an online campaign to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the floods it caused along the Texas coast.

Dozens of wildfires burned in western US states and sent smoke into cities from Seattle to Denver, prompting health warnings and cancellations of outdoor activities. A 16-square mile fire east of Portland was believed to have been started by a 15-year-old boy and his friends while using fireworks.

Contrary to what I’ve heard from friends and customers, hurricane season is not over. Hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30th. Don’t get too comfortable.

Insurance adjusters are bringing in drones to help assess the damage from Harvey and Irma. This will allow insurance to get in to unsafe areas either because of nature or police protection. There are limitations because drones cannot fly in heavy wind or rain and cannot go inside to inspect for damage.

The Angleton branch library had to cancel their book sale but it’s been rescheduled to September 21-23. Don’t forget to visit to get your book “fix” and help support the library. Most items are $1 or less. Angleton Branch Library, 401 East Cedar. 979-864-1519.

Tetnus shots are recommended for those that worked during and after the storm filling up or slinging sandbags or those that had to wade in the rising waters. Bacteria can get into the smallest cut.


Ways to spot a flood-damaged car: Look for condensation on the inside surfaces of the windshield and windows. Sniff it. Close the windows and doors, sit inside and sniff for mold or mildew. Be aware of strong air fresheners. They may be covering up something. Run your hands along the carpet and pat to locate moisture. If able, peel back the carpet for signs of rust. If the carpet is brand new, but it’s an older car or even if sections of the carpet is new, beware. Open the trunk and feel there as well. Pull the seatbelts all the way out to see if there is discoloration from water stains farther down on the straps. Look for rust or corrosion on screws, door hinges, hood springs, trunk latches or brackets under the dashboard. Use a mirror and look below the seats to see if the springs are rusty. Use the mirror to check the undercarriage of the car for signs of corrosion. Electrical wires may be brittle. Try out all the electronics. Be sure all the dashboard lights come on…check headlights, turn signals and emergency blinkers. Turn on the AC, wipers and cigarette lighter then listen to the radio – static or distorted audio could be the result of water damage. Check the oil. Changes in color and viscosity may indicate water in the oil. Oil that’s affected by flooding may also feel sticky to the touch. Check the paper air filter for water stains. Check inside the wheel well where water tends to pool. Mud and grass may be hard to remove under the spare tire. Look. Hope this helps. Always hire a professional if there is any question.

With all the reconstruction after the storm, I can’t stress to you enough…know the contractor that you’re dealing with. Call and check references, call local Chambers of Commerce. Call the Better Business Bureau. Do not pay in advance. There will be so much scamming going on. And there will be MANY, many people that are taken advantage of because of this storm.

Great tip: Not that it will do us a bit of good now, but we can sure use this idea in the future. If you evacuate or leave town and need to know if your electricity went out while you were gone, put a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid, then put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer. That way when you come back you can tell if your food completely thawed, then re-froze or if it stayed frozen while you were gone. If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup that means all the food defrosted and you should throw it out. But if the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup then your food may still be ok. Better idea: Leave the cup in your freezer all the time and if you lose power for any reason you will have this tip to fall back on. If you don’t feel good about your food, just throw it out.

A study conducted with 549 people from 29 countries has shown that you should NEVER use a smiley face in work emails because it does more harm than good – it’s not the warm fuzzy feeling that you want to portray. Messages without smiley faces led people to believe the sender was more competent than the same emails with added smileys. Hmmm. 😊

Houston billionaire and Galveston native, Tillman Fertitta, 60, has reached an agreement to purchase the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion, the highest sale price in NBA history. Fertitta is chairman and CEO of Landry’s (Landry’s Seafood, Keman Boardwalk, McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s the Steakhouse, Golden Nugget Casinos, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, San Luis Resort, Spa and chairman of the UH board of Regents, and star of Billion Dollar Buyer. In 2008, Fertitta had to sell his share in Houston Texans franchise to comply with the NFL rule prohibiting team owners from having an interest in gambling-related business. Casino ownership is not considered an issue with the NBA.

Don’t be a victim of disaster fraud…TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-252-8011

– Lisa

What! Aug. 17, 2017

What I Heard This Week August 17, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 08-17-17

In San Antonio, a man, dressed all in black, entered a home through the garage then forced his way into the kitchen where he encountered the homeowner. He then tried to flee right after the homeowner grabbed a handgun and fired. The want-a-be thief, then later returned to yell at the homeowner for shooting at him. Huh? The female homeowner said, “If you don’t like being shot at, stay out of houses that aren’t yours.” YES!!

Eclipse: Unless you’ve been living underground, you know that the US will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918. NASA describes it as one of nature’s most awesome sights. Last minute travel may be difficult on public roadways so if you are traveling, go early and be prepared for heavy traffic, delays and headaches. In some locations in the US, the temperature may drop as much as 20-30 degrees. But NOT in Brazoria County. Since we aren’t in the direct path, it means there will never be a time when you can look at the sun without using the special eclipse glasses or viewers. Even quick glances at the sun, can cause significant damage, which people won’t feel since the back of the eye lacks pain sensors. You will think that your vision is fine until the next morning when you can’t see any more. Don’t take a chance with your expensive smartphones – cover the lens with a solar filter or the eclipse glasses. While supplies last, you can pick up eclipse glasses at The Source Weekly office. You can also go the BASF Planetarium for the Partial Eclipse Safe Viewing party that begins Monday at 11:46am, maximum viewing at 1:16pm and ends at 2:45pm. The Center for the Arts and Sciences at 400 College Drive in Clute. See you there.

Central Market’s Hatch Chile Festival has begun. Stock up and put them in the freezer. They’ll taste pretty yummy this fall, in chili, potato soup, biscuits, corn bread or pasta. They were roasting and bagging them outside the store on Saturday.

A Houston man ordered to pay child support for a daughter that is not his, has finished his 165-mile walk to Austin and the State Capitol to raise awareness of his situation. A DNA test proved he is not the father but according to Texas law, he is still responsible for around $65,000 in back child support that was accrued before the DNA test. The man in question is now married and the father of three. He is due back in Harris County Civil Court on August 28th.

New York: An 8-month-old baby was found alive in a white plastic garbage bag, 3-days and nights after she had been abandoned by her 17-year-old mother. The mother has been charged with attempted murder. So sad. Some states have laws that make it legal to leave a newborn in a safe place such as a hospital or fire station without fear of being prosecuted but it wouldn’t apply to an 8-month-old. Too bad the law tacks an age on it…some people just should not or cannot be parents…for many reasons.

And while we are on this subject…the body of an 8-month-old baby was found in a locked closet at a Ft. Worth home. A police spokesman called the circumstances “suspicious.” Really. What does that mean? Upon further search days later, it had been determined the babysitter had placed the child in his car seat which was then put in the closet so the baby could sleep…the baby was not strapped in correctly, slid down and suffocated. Moms, Dads and babysitters everywhere…listen.

Elvis died 40-years ago at the age of 42. Graceland is the second most famous home in the US after the White House – Presley is considered the best-selling artist of all time. In 4th grade, when Carolyn and I played house, she was married to Elvis and I always had to be married to the dead twin. Life is so unfair.

When a child grows up to a point where we can live with them, they decide to leave home.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Steve Wozniak is 67. Apple Co-founder. Singer Joe Jackson is 63. Actress Viola Davis is 52. Actor Richard Anderson is 91. He was the boss in both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.  Singer Mel Tillis is 85. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 80. I just watched Mrs. Doubtfire again. A classic. Actress Connie Stevens is 79.  Cricket Blake in Hawaiian Eye.  Actor Larry Wilcox is 70. Officer Jon Baker in ChiPs. Actor Keith Carradine is 68. Actor Donny Most is 64.  Ralph Malph on Happy Days. The cute smiling redhead.

Princess Beatrice of York is 29. Actress Rosanna Arquette is 58. Actor Antonio Banderas is 57. Actor-writer Justin Theroux is 46. Actress Angie Harmon is 45. Actress Melanie Griffith is 60. TV host Hoda Kotb is 53. Pro and College Football Hall of famer Deion Sanders is 50. Actress Gillian Anderson is 49. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 79. Widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

Blues musician Buddy Guy is 81. Singer Paul Anka is 76. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger is 70. Actress Delta Burke is 61. Law Professor Anita Hill is 61. Movie director Richard Linklater is 57. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 56. Actress Lisa Kudrow is 54. Actress Hilary Swank is 43. Actor George Hamilton is 78. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 54. Tennis Hall-of-Fame Pete Sampras is 46.

Actor Sam Elliott (sigh!) is 73. I could take the rest of the column to talk about Sam Elliott but I won’t. I’ll just end it right here!

Coke Zero is gone. It will be replaced with Coke Zero Sugar to give it an “even better unique blend of flavors.” Some people are mad. If I’m going to splurge and have a soda every few months, I want the straight-up hard stuff called pure cane sugar in my Dr. Pepper. Coke Zero will be packaged in cans and bottles that resemble Coca-Cola Classic.

Word on the street is that Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ is the first slam-dunk Oscar contender of 2017. My kids went to see it in Houston in Imax and said it was just unbelievable. I suggested that I might just go by myself one evening and they both said, “No…it’s just not the sort of movie that you go to by yourself.”  I must go with them or a friend. Are the tables turned or what? Hmmm.

Walmart is bringing back an app that will let you skip the checkout line. Just download their phone app then scan the barcodes of items as they are placed in the basket. Then you have your receipt and cart contents verified by a Walmart employee as you leave, out the door and on your way quickly.

Soon, the United States Postal Service may be allowed to raise the price of mailing a letter.  (It may be time for you to stock up on Forever Stamps.) But let’s think about it, since it’s only 49-cents right now, that’s dang cheap to send something across town or across the country. But, be warned, The Source Weekly may be emailing our account balances out soon. We save every place we can so we can help you advertise your business for the same amount we were charging 10-years ago. That’s right. We haven’t gone up on our rates in 10-years.

The Brazoria County Commissioners’ Court voted unanimously to ban all water activities along San Luis Pass in Southern Brazoria County. This includes bathing, swimming and wade fishing and the order will go into effect on August 20, 2017. Violators will be prosecuted – punishment up to $500 fine. They’re serious this time because too many people have ignored the dangers and lost their lives in the strong current.

Longtime Houston Livestock and Rodeo announcer Bill Bailey died at age 78. He had retired after being with the rodeo for 54 years. That voice. In the 70’s the rodeo’s world-famous BBQ contest was his idea.

A San Antonio woman was cited for disobeying a warning sign, failing to obey a police officer and driving past a barricade, after she waded back into rushing waters to retrieve her keys…AFTER SHE HAD ALREADY BEEN RESCUED from her flooded car by first responders. You could just see the roof of her car in the picture. While I researched this information, I happened to click on a recent rain-soaked video showing a rescue of a San Antonio man that was stranded atop his SUV that was submerged in raging floodwaters. My knees were weak as I watched all 25-minutes of the video. Emergency and first responders everywhere, deserve a huge round of applause because they are absolutely, awesome.

A child is someone who passes through your life, and then disappears into an adult.

The day that this paper comes out, my son, my oldest child, leaves for college. I’ve been preparing for this, for a long, long time. I remember his first birthday party and feeling so sad because it meant that I had only a limited number of years left with him. Well, as it turns out, I got bonus years because he’s a smart kid and stayed at BC for two years, all while working two part-time jobs. I couldn’t be prouder. I first said that I won’t cry on Thursday, then I said that I will NOT cry in front of him but now I’m saying that I will do my very best not to let him see me cry, because honestly, I can barely even see the computer as I type this and my nose is running like a faucet. This kid has made me so happy. He has the nicest, sweetest heart and can find good in most any situation. Because of him I got to be a mom…somebody’s mother…something that I knew I had to be or my life wouldn’t be complete. I was 41-years old when he was born. He went to work with me every day and we built Legos, read the “P” encyclopedia, struggled through math homework, colored and played games, all while I could have (and should have) been working on this newspaper. Regrets? Nope, not one single regret. We played in the dirt, caught frogs, rode bikes and worked on scouting. We talked and I mean, we really talked. And often.  Many, many times, I would close the door of his bedroom at bedtime with him still talking, then as I slipped back in the next morning to wake him, he would pop right up and say, “Now, what I was saying…” and start right back where we left off, in the same conversation that we had tucked into bed the night before. I rejoice in knowing that I saw Disneyworld, Harry Potter World, New York, Boston, fishing on the lake and the whole wonderful world through his eyes.  I have loved helping him check off his concert bucket list of Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Frankie Valli, Tom Jones, B.B. King, Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson and Z.Z. Top. His future concert list will change and I hope I’m there with him clapping and cheering. But I know that I will mourn for all the vacations we didn’t go on, the books we didn’t read and the little things that we didn’t do, because our lives will never be the same, once we load up all the college related stuff that has been filling up my dining room for the past month. It’s so sweet and sour. I will be happy and sad as he closes his dorm door and I walk back to my car.  I will still sit on the back porch this Sunday and think about all the things we talked about, analyzed and scrutinized every Sunday morning while sipping our favorite coffees from our favorite mugs. I am so excited to see where this new chapter takes him. This is what I raised him to do. But I have this huge, gigantic lump in my throat. I’m going to miss him so much.

Having a child is like growing another heart.

– Lisa

What! Aug. 10, 2017

What I Heard This Week August 10, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 08-10-17

A Houston woman is free on a $5,000 bond after being accused of belting, slapping and using a Taser on her 6-year-old son because he disrespected her, refused to study and had gotten in trouble in school. If you have ever had a child then you understand a mother’s frustration but I admit, I have never, ever thought about using a Taser. The mother said, “My anger management class told me not to tase him, but we didn’t go into what else to do.” Hmmm. Take away his bike?

On July 28, there was a calf named Genie, born in Kerrville, Texas, that looks JUST LIKE Gene Simmons, bass player of the rock group, Kiss. You know, the tongue, the black and white paint with the points heading off the forehead. A perfect doppelganger. The side-by-side pictures tell the tale.

Former Governor Mark White, who served as Texas governor from 1983 to 1987, suffered a heart attack in Houston and passed away at the age of 77. He made significant investments in improving education in Texas including limiting classroom size and the “no pass, no play” rule, which required students to maintain passing grades to play sports. The latter was not very popular in a state that loves football like Texas. Former President George W. Bush and Luci Baines Johnson were both speakers at the funeral which was open to the public.

The Dow hit 22,000 earlier in August and I didn’t hear about it until today…are we becoming complacent? Don’t get too comfortable.

Again, Willie Nelson says not to listen to the new rumors about his death. He says, “I’m not dead yet.” He’s coming to the rodeo this year. Saturday March 18th, 2018.

The UN passed new sanctions against North Korea so they can’t sell iron, coal, lead and seafood on the international market – about one third of their export income. The world just wants them to tone down the missile-muscle flexing that they have going on. NK says, no way…and they now threaten revenge against the US. In today’s paper they use the words, “pay dearly.” Great. But it does help that China is now in agreement that something needs to be done.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for global cooperation to end nuclear weapons as Japan marked 72 years since the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”. George Santayana (1863-1952)

The Cubs waited 108-years to win the World Series last year so with all the celebrating that happened during that time and if the math is right…they’re being call “World Series Babies.” Chicago hospitals are now seeing quite a spike (double) in births, 9-months later. One couple welcomed Addison, named for the street outside Wrigley Field.

According to Urban Dictionary: Scaramucci, noun (scar-moo-chee) a unit of time, approximately 9.5-10 days. Example: “I go through a pack of paper towels every Scaramucci.”

The James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt concert was my birthday celebration to myself this year. The kids absolutely loved it. My son got his autograph and all is right with the world. But there were some really, old people rocking and rolling there. Then I remembered how old I am. ☹

New cooking classes at H-E-B in LJ…Friday, Saturday and Sunday…ages 21 and up…Homemade mozzarella ravioli with tomato garlic sauce and salad with a special vinaigrette. Go by their service desk and sign up. It’s fun.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Singer Tony Bennett is 91. The man never stops. He played at Smart Financial recently and he still has everything that it takes to woo a huge crowd. Actor Martin Sheen is 77. Rock singer James Hetfield is 54. Metallica.  Actor Sam Worthington is 41. He was Jake Sully in Avatar. New Avatar movie scheduled for release in 2020. Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer is 36. She is the best part of the Today show. Actress Loni Anderson is 72. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 70. “Hang on Sloopy.”

Actress Maureen McCormick is 61. Marcia Brady.  Actor Daniel Radcliffe is 28. Blues singer Robert Cray is 64.  Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 81. Laugh In. Actress Lynda Carter is 66. Wonder Woman. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 49. Comic Orson Bean is 89. To Tell the Truth. Actress Louise Fletcher is 83. Nurse Rached in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Game show host Alex Trebek is 77. Britain’s Prince George of Cambridge is 4.  Actor Billy Bob Thornton is 62. Former President Barack Obama is 56. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens is 55. Cartoon artist Jim Davis is 72. Garfield.  TV Producer Dick Ebersol is 70. Saturday Night Live and married to Susan Saint James since 1981. Actress Sally Struthers is 70. All in the Family.

Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is 74. Actor Danny Glover is 71. Director Albert Brooks is 70. Singer Don Henley is 70. Singer Bobby Sherman is 74. He earned six gold records during his career including “Julie, Julie, Julie, Do You Love Me and Easy Come, Easy Go.” He retired from music in the 70s for a career as a paramedic and later a police officer.

What do you call a block of cheese that hasn’t been shredded? Ungrateful.

Peach Street Farmer’s MarketBuy Local, Eat Fresh, in Angleton, open on August 12th. 234 S. Arcola. New venue. Homegrown fruits, veggies, honey, kick-off activities and a great deal of enthusiasm.

Several studies have come out showing that stressful life experiences can lead to dementia. Like losing your job, poverty, divorce, fighting in a war…life experiences and the environment people live in has long-term effects.

Downtown Houston Summer Movie Series is showing Ghostbusters (1984) on August 19th at Main Street Square at Main and McKinney. DowntownHouston.org. It’s a fun movie night plus food trucks.

I seem to be receiving more and more junk and scam mail, every day. I don’t open but just “block sender” on each of them. It doesn’t seem to matter. The robots are working overtime. There are so many fake “$50 vouchers” from Walgreens, Costco, Sam’s, Amazon…just to name a few. One email that caught my eye this morning, “Salads Causing Heart Attacks.” Oh, my. “My order on Delta has been successfully charged to my credit card and my e-ticket is now available for download…just click here.” I’m not sure where Delta is taking me but I bet the trip isn’t worth it. This just came in…I’ve got a “Telegraphic Transfer of a payment from Fabienne.” Where you been, Fabienne? It also seems that there is a “Japanese toenail fungus that could be killing me.” I know what’s killing me but I can’t seem to block it from my computer.

And I need you more than want you. And I want you for all time.  Glen Campbell 1936-2017

A seriously injured Dallas couple are seeking more than $1-million from a body shop that repaired their hail damaged Honda with glue instead of welding. Because the shop did not repair the car properly the fuel tank and structural integrity of the car was compromised, the car caught on fire and the driver sustained serious burns while still conscious and trapped in the burning vehicle. Yikes.

Jim Gentil publishes the Positive People newsletter email. It’s a great read. He is also an ex-Brazoria County guy and motivational speaker for companies that need a good shot of positive. FYI. jim@jimgentil.com.  A few weeks ago, he had this little piece written by Steve Goodier. It is worth repeating. It hit home with me because I know many kids leaving for college in a few days…including my own son. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did…

Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter and sculptor, once said this about his ability: “My mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as Pope.’  Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”  No lack of confidence here.

But he would have agreed with Abraham Lincoln.  “Whatever you are,” said Lincoln, “be a good one.”  He demonstrated the wisdom of that advice with his own life.

And Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

I think it helps to remember that excellence is not a place at which we arrive so much as a way of traveling.  To do and be our best is a habit among those who want to live well.

Viennese-born composer Frederick Loewe, whom we remember from his musical scores that include “My Fair Lady,” “Gigi” and “Camelot,” was not always famous.  He studied piano with the great masters of Europe and achieved huge success as a musician and composer in his early years.  But when he immigrated to the United States, he failed as a piano virtuoso.  For a while he tried other types of work including prospecting for gold and boxing.  But he never gave up his dream and continued to play piano and write music.

During those lean years, he could not always afford to make payments on his piano. One day, bent over the keyboard, he heard nothing but the music that he played with such rare inspiration.  When he finished and looked up, he was startled to find that he had an audience – three moving men who were seated on the floor.

They said nothing and made no movement toward the piano.  Instead, they dug into their pockets, pooled together enough money for the payment, placed it on the piano and walked out, empty handed.  Moved by the beauty of his music, these men recognized excellence and responded to it.

Whatever you are, be a good one.  Because if you believe that what you do is of value, then, at least in the important things, you and I can’t afford to be content with mediocre output.  Like Albert Einstein said: “We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.”

And when you choose the path of excellence through this life, then like Frederick Loewe, you may find encouragement from unexpected sources.  And it will have been worth it. Steve Goodier

What I didn’t tell you about my recent Zoo trip was that there are “people of the zoo” that are more interesting to watch than the animals…mainly because of their total lack of common sense. Leave t-shirts at home that says you shower naked and other lovely comments that I can’t repeat in this column. Shame on you. The zoo is for kids. There was the lady with her newborn baby sitting in the sun in late July. I believe that you should be at least 18 months old to visit the zoo with an adult, because otherwise you’re just an adult using a child as an excuse to get into the zoo. Bring your manners with you. Strollers to the right just like driving a car…and you can’t put three strollers side-by-side at the zoo so you can continue your conversation with the other moms. You were wiping people out. There’s no passing lane. Drink a glass of wine together this afternoon after you get home from the zoo. You don’t have the right-of-way simply because of your stroller is bigger than me. I’m a nice person – don’t hurt me. And by the way, healthy 10-year-olds should not be in strollers – are you trying to raise a capable adult or a wimp? OK, I feel better now.

Martin Shkreli was found guilty of securities fraud. He is famous for raising the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750, practically overnight. Then he was also running a Ponzi scheme, stealing millions of dollars from investors. He could get as much as 20 years in prison. He’s just so cocky…

According to Dictionary.com, a Ponzi (pon-zee) noun, is a swindle in which a quick return, made up of money from new investors, on an initial investment that lures the victim into much bigger risks.

Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realizing that everyone has a different question paper.

Did you know that zebra stripes are different on every single zebra? Like fingerprints.

– Lisa

What! Aug. 03, 2017

What I Heard This Week August 3, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 08-03-17

Hey.  Someone left some very pretty, red tomato cages in my backyard office garden area. Whoever you may be…thank you and I appreciate your random act of kindness. I must pay it forward.

BestHerbs Coffee in Grand Prairie, voluntarily recalled all its New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee because it contains a substance similar to Viagra. Some people were buying the coffee to use as a male enhancement. Hmmm. Cuppa tea?

A federal appeals court has ruled that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) must now review sizes of seats on commercial planes. So, I say…are the seats shrinking…because some of these planes have been in the air with the same size seats for the past 25-30 years…or are our behinds just getting bigger?

A collection bag used by Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969, containing traces of moon dust, sold for $1.8-million recently at an auction, after a lengthy court battle. The artifact from the Apollo 11 mission had been misidentified and sold at an online government auction in 2015 and NASA fought to get it back, but it was recently found to legally belong to the Chicago woman who bought it in 2015 for $995. NASA still says that the artifact belongs to the American people. Oops.

Remember skate key hanging on a piece of yarn around your neck?

An Alaskan Princess cruise was diverted because a Utah man on board killed his wife. The man told an acquaintance who walked into the blood splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn’t quit laughing at him. Personal note to self… laughter is not always good medicine. Princess Cruises announced that passengers received $150 onboard credit “because of the effect on their vacations.”

A married, senior pastor at a Woodlands church, was arrested and charged with prostitution after he paid an undercover sheriff’s deputy $80 for sexual activities. Yikes.

Jeff Bagwell was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He mentioned his dad. A lot. He mentioned little-known clubhouse attendants. Then he thanked his dad again and again. Bagwell said, “You showed me respect, how to have respect and to walk through this life as a man. That’s something that I’m very proud of…you are just a wonderful father and I’m so happy that you’re here for this day for me. I know it means a lot to you. And we’re in this together, my friend.” Tears. His dad, Robert, is 89.

Katy ISD, home to nearly 73,000 students, has blocked off six “family nights” for the 2017-2018 school year calendar, where teachers will be dissuaded from assigning homework and students will be encouraged to eat, read, play and bond with their families…this is an imaginative idea if people will seize the moment and do it.  I say, don’t wait for a school calendar to suggest a family night. What’s wrong with tonight?

Sam Shepard, the rugged good-looking actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of plays, screenplays, stories and memoirs, has died at the age of 73 from complications of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was one talented guy.

Pay attention because this one gets complicated. In Montgomery, Alabama, inmates escaped from a jail by using peanut butter to change the number above a cell to the number that identified the door leading to outside the jail, then they tricked a new inexperienced jail employee into letting an inmate into his cell (which actually led to the outside.)  They apparently saved peanut butter from food served at the jail.  If only they would use all that smart for the good of mankind and themselves.

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Singer Yusuf Islam is 69. He is the former Cat Stevens. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 69. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 60. Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is 48. Humorist Dave Barry is 70. Love him. Actress Betty Buckley is 70. Actress Jan Smithers is 68. WKRP in Cincinnati. Actor Tom Cruise is 55. Actress Yeardley Smith is 53. Lisa Simpson. Martha Stewart is 76. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 73. Author J.K. Rowling is 52. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 80. He says, “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”

Longtime cannabis activist and talk show host Montel Williams is 61.  He debuted his line of cannabis-based elixirs last week. Williams’ multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1999 pushed him to become an outspoken advocate for medical cannabis.

The world’s oldest-known zoo hippo, Bertha, died at the age of 65. The female hippo had lived at the Manila Zoo in the Philippines since it opened in 1959.

J.J. Watt debuted his new clothing line. It is sold locally at Nordstrom and online at MizzenandMain.com.

On a normal day, I seem to think I can do two things at once. It’s obviously not very efficient or I would be further along at the end of each week. Currently, I have toothpaste down the front of many of my clothes because I think I can cook, clean and change the oil in the car, all while I brush my teeth. There again, not very efficient.  But, I do think I’m capable of listening to a book on tape all while driving a car, because I’ve done it for thirty plus years, without incident. They were called books on cassette way back then. I have had several favorite authors including Sue Grafton with the alphabet series about female private investigator, Kinsey Millhone. Grafton said that, “while going through a bitter divorce and custody battle that lasted six long years, she imagined ways to kill or maim her ex-husband. Her fantasies were so vivid that she decided to write them down.”  Hmmm.

Recently, I started listening to the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I LOVE THEM. They’re on the opposite end of the spectrum with this main character, an Episcopal priest named Timothy Kavanaugh, living in a fictional town in North Carolina. It’s just the sweetest read that doesn’t preach, is free of sex, violence and profane content. There are 20 books in all, including two children’s books AND I just found out that the first movie in the series, “At Home in Mitford,” will preview August 20th, on the Hallmark channel.  The only bad part is Cameron Mathison and Andie MacDowell don’t really fit my vision (at all) of the main two characters, which always happens when you read a book first. I envision someone more mature like Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. But, they didn’t ask me. But now that I’m thinking about it, why can’t Sam Elliott just star in everything.

I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.” Tom Stoppard

The International Olympic Committee has announced that the 2024 and 2028 Olympics will be held in Paris and Los Angeles BUT we don’t know which city gets which year, yet.

Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brazosport Center Stages, September 15-24. I’m telling you early because I don’t want to hear you whine when it sells out and you don’t get a ticket.  So, mark it on your calendar now so you can say that you bought tickets and saw one of the most popular shows in the world. Audrey II will be looking for you.

“If you’ve never been hated by your child, you’ve never been a parent.”  Bette Davis

Stay dry this week.

– Lisa

What! July 27, 2017

What I Heard This Week July 27, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 07-27-17

An English woman was having anesthesia injected into her eye before cataract surgery when they discovered 17 contact lenses clumped together in her eye…then, they discovered another 10 lenses…that’s a total of 27 contact lenses in one eye. The patient had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for about 35 years. Yikes. That makes my eyes hurt.

The rapper, Bow Wow, has denied that he paid people to follow him down the street to “make him appear more popular.” I’ve thought about doing that…me in H-E-B, with an entourage following close behind, through the gluten free isle then on to the red wine.  People swooning when they see what I placed on the checkout line. I would be so popular that readers would want to read more and advertisers would be lined up, just waiting for me, begging me to let them advertise more each week. I should try it.  I wonder how much he paid them to follow him. Which reminds me…I need part-time sales people at my office. Retired…college students…mothers that want to go back to work now that their kids are in school…I need good, conscientious, MATURE people that want to work with a super-great, employment family.

Between 1980 and 2014, the average life expectancy increased in the US from 77.5 to 81.5 years for women and from 70 to 76.7 years for men.

Texas Monthly has named Truth BBQ in Brenham as one of their “Top Fifty BBQ Joints in Texas.” If that wasn’t enough, Truth made the “Top 10 List” for their mouth-watering brisket. Truth BBQ Pitmaster is 29-year-old, third-generation restaurateur, Leonard Botello IV, who also happens to be a Lake Jackson native. Remember Café Laredo and Café Annice? It is reported that Leonard will soon open a second location “somewhere” inside the loop. Congratulations to the whole Botello family. We know you ALL worked hard for this.

According to the Geological Society of America, the coast of Louisiana has experienced catastrophic rates of wetland loss over the past century, equivalent in size to the state of Delaware.  A variety of factors have contributed to the problem, including construction of flood-protection levees (sediment from the Mississippi River is now funneled into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico) and accelerated sea-level rise (climate change.) It was stated, “Perhaps worst-case scenarios should be considered the new normal in other low-elevation coastal zones worldwide as well.”

Just weeks ago, Saudi Arabia decided to let girls take PE class in public school. Then a week later, Saudi police arrested a young woman for wearing a mini skirt and crop top in public which is very much against the law there. They are still required to cover their hair and bodies in public. Hmmm.

Have you noticed how pretty the crepe myrtles are this year. Plenty of blooms and the colors are just gorgeous. I wonder why this year is different than the last.

Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”  Luther Burbank

England is celebrating Jane Austen (it is the 200th anniversary of her death) by releasing a 10-pound note with her portrait on it. Last year England released a 5-pound note with Winston Churchill’s portrait on one side and Queen Elizabeth on the other side. Both notes are printed on polymer plastic and should last twice as long as cloth paper notes.

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.Bo Derek

Basketball Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo says he is working on putting together a group that have interest in buying the Houston Rockets.

A couple called off their $30,000 wedding in Indiana, but were left with a non-refundable contract and a plated dinner for 170 guests, so families, veterans and others – around 200 homeless strangers in all – arrived at the Ritz Charles in donated clothing and accessories to feast on bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted chicken smothered in chardonnay cream sauce and of course, wedding cake. The bride-to-be had scrimped and saved for years to pay for her dream wedding and just didn’t want it all to go to waste. When life gives you lemons…

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Actor Patrick Wayne is 78. He made eleven films with his dad, John Wayne. Actor Jan-Michael Vincent is 73. He was once the highest paid actor on TV. Singer Linda Ronstadt is 71. The singer is often referred to as the first true female rock superstar and is considered the top-selling female singer of the 70s. Arianna Huffington is 67. She is the co-founder of The Huffington Post. Actor Terry O’Quinn is 65. John Locke on Lost. College Football Hall of Fame and football coach Jimmy Johnson is 74.

Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland is 65. He was the former drummer of The Police. Dancer Michael Flatley is 59. Actress Phoebe Cates is 54. She has been married to actor Kevin Kline since 1989.  Actor Donald Sutherland is 85. The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Kelly’s Heroes, Klute, Animal House, Ordinary People and many, many more, Singer-actress Diahann Carroll is 82. Julia. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is 70. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is 63.  Singer Vikki Carr is 77. It Must Be Him. Rock musician Brian May is 70. Queen. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is 41. Actor Vin Diesel is 50.Actor Anthony Edwards is 55. ER.

Ex-NFL player and actor Rosey Grier is 85. Actress Jane Lynch is 57. Actress Diana Rigg is 79. The Avengers. Singer Kim Carnes is 72. Bette Davis Eyes. Musician Carlos Santana is 70. Actress Donna Dixon is 60. She has been married to Dan Aykroyd since 1983. Actor James Brolin is 77. Businessman Richard Branson is 67. Virgin Group. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 63. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 56. Cora Crawley in Downton Abbey but also the frontwoman of a band called Sadie and the Hotheads. Watch, ‘Nothing New.

A Nevada parole board has decided that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star, O.J. Simpson, will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.

A Dallas man walked 3-miles to work every day because he was trying to better himself. A group of strangers, so inspired by his need, secretly set up a donation box at a local restaurant where they were able to gather enough money for a used Toyota Camry, a year’s worth of insurance, 2-years of oil changes and a $500 gas card. There is so much good in the world.

Former President Jimmy Carter was treated for dehydration while helping to build houses in Canada for Habitat for Humanity. He is 92 years old and still building houses for Habitat. Two years ago, after he revealed that cancer had spread to his brain, doctors treated him with Keytruda, a drug to help the immune system seek out and destroy cancer cells. It sure sounds like it worked.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited North Dakota last week to learn more about the fracking and oil industries. There has been much speculation about the billionaire’s possible future in politics.

Mark your calendar. The 2017 Lavender and Wine Festival will be hosted by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery on August 12th, in Brenham, Texas.

Back to childhood years…remember the black and white Indian head picture on the tv screen as it signed off the air at midnight after playing the national anthem…then that terrible shrieking noise and outrageous static that was a reminder to turn off the TV and get to bed. Somewhere during that midnight hour, they had a video of a jet fighter with a poem that had nothing to do with going to bed or turning out the lights. Then early the next morning the color bar test pattern would appear and your day had started.

They are calling them reboots. New movies about previously produced topics. Tom Cruise will make archaeology cool again in a reboot of The Mummy. Brie Larson will star in the new King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island. The Fate of the Furious is the eighth installment in The Fast and Furious franchise. Helen Mirren will make a cameo appearance which classes up the whole thing. Baywatch returns with Dwayne Johnson and others. I never saw the TV series so I’m underwhelmed. Oh, and Top Gun 2.

Krispy Kreme – Japan, has Crème Brulee donuts and café latte bunny donuts. Central Florida Krispy Kreme’s have the Birthday Cake Batter doughnut – yellow cake batter and white Kreme filling, topped with yellow icing and sprinkles. But, no one can compete with LondonRed Berry Drizzle yeast donut filled with raspberry jam, topped with cream cheese frosting, finished with biscuit pieces and fresh strawberries, plus a drizzle of red berry coulis and lacy crepe crumbs. You should see the pictures. There’s a Popping Champagne donut filled with Marc de Champagne brandy-infused white chocolate topped with champagne cream and Belgian chocolate shavings, sprinkled with popping candies and gold sugar…Magic Unicorn Donut (think new unicorn drink at Starbucks – it’s beautiful) and then Salted Caramel and Honeycomb donut drizzled with white chocolate. Don’t get excited because these upscale donuts are only available at one location…inside the food hall at Selfridges (a high-end department store similar to Neiman Marcus) where the namesake Selfridge Donut is stuffed full of chocolate frosting, covered in dark chocolate ganache, finished with gold dust, Belgian chocolate stars and a candy Selfridge plaque on top. I heard there are some good deals on flights right now.

Disney has announced that Epcot, Disney’s third-oldest theme park, is going to get a facelift.

Remember when the TV announcer would say…” It’s ten o’clock – do you know where your children are?” When I explained this to my kids, they did not understand AT ALL. Sigh. Those were the days when we were still outside playing instead of having our noses stuck into a phone.

UrbanDictionary says the word of the day is “Magic Stairs” which is another word for escalator…” The elevator is too slow, so I’ll take the magic stairs.”

When a barber shop owner received an estimate for the new floors at his shop in the UK, he decided that it was way too expensive and that he could do better, so he covered the floor in pennies. It took the barber shop crew a full week to glue 70,000 coins to the ground and then grout. Talk about the coolest floors in town! They are beautiful. I would never have guessed that it would be that pretty.

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” Phyllis Diller

I told you that my daughter turned eighteen last week. Heavy sigh. She had a reunion group that met at the Zoo early that morning so we went together, then I did my own thing which was to visit the new 305-pound baby elephant named “Joy” that was born to Asian Elephant mom, Shanti on July 12th. Nothing prepared me for Joy being so cute.  We hurried back to LJ, showered then headed back to Jinya Ramen Bar (our favorite ramen noodle joint) and on to Jones Hall to watch/listen to The Houston Symphony perform live while the first Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” played on a huge screen. IT WAS SO GOOD! 3 sold-out performances. What an 18th birthday!

– Lisa

What! July 20, 2017

What I Heard This Week July 20, 2017

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By Lisa Baker • 07-20-17

Researchers have developed a ‘red wine pill’ that gives all the benefits of red wine without the alcohol. It’s called a grape.” Norm Macdonald

I don’t typically win anything (well, a set of cheap luggage that broke into little pieces the first time I used it, then once, I signed up for Dallas Cowboy tickets in someone else’s name, and the guy that won said thanks, and took someone else to the game…the 80’s were not good to me,) but I recently won $1000 at Tri-City Auto, just because I’m smart, good looking and fun to be with…ok, well, not actually. It was luck of the draw and I had a really hard time walking away with that money because I didn’t do anything to deserve it. But, I’m going to tell you this…if you need your vehicle repaired, call Bart at Tri-City Auto. He’s one of the best and you will leave there feeling like he was honest and did the best job he could do on your vehicle. Just like Henry always did.

A naked, 25-year-old man, sitting in front of a store in Angleton, was taken into custody without incident. Did I mention that he was naked? Perhaps alcohol was involved. I bet many us can remember at least one time that alcohol got us naked.

A woman was found guilty of aggravated murder, felonious assault and conspiracy in the November 2013 killing of a Cleveland veteran firefighter/husband that she had been married to for only four months – she wanted to collect his life insurance Oops, the firefighter was married previously and never changed the name of the beneficiary on his life insurance policy, so his ex-wife will be the one to inherit $100,000 plus his city pension. What goes around, comes around. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes it doesn’t. 😊

Blue Bell has announced the release of Sweet ‘n Salty Crunch. It’s a vanilla ice cream base with chocolate-coated pretzel bites, chopped roasted almonds and milk chocolate chunks. If the pretzel bites just had a little dab of peanut butter in them, it would be perfect.

There is an online retailer (because they’re too embarrassed to show these in real stores) that’s selling an $80 male romper (think the blue Dow or Dickies coverall with short sleeves and cut off 10 inches above the knees…yep) with a really, really, close-up picture of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un’s face (eyebrows at underarm level and mouth at belly button level) on it. I can’t make this stuff up. And it sells for $80?!? Well, maybe it sells. I just got my “People of Wal-Mart” pictures that an unnamed friend sends to me, and I didn’t see a single person wearing this romper. Close your eyes and imagine this.

Imagine this: You’ve said yes, to the dress, and the order for the bride’s maid dresses have been made, you’ve made your down payment (or paid the whole shebang), and then…aaauugggh, your bridal dress store files for bankruptcy and shuts their doors with no warning. A bride’s worst nightmare. The bridal chain, Arnold Angelo, did this exact thing. They didn’t even tell their employees. Not nice. Some competing bridal companies are trying to come to the rescue and provide samples, discounts and other dresses that they have in stock. One bride tweeted, “My wedding is in 29 days. I’m glad that orange is my wedding color because I’m gonna be married in jail if I can’t get my dresses.”

A recent study shows that those that drink diet soda are at a greater risk for dementia and strokes.

There’s a business in Houston where you can hire mermaids to entertain and explain the finer skills of mermaiding at your next pool party. I wish this had been around when my daughter wanted to be a mermaid…yikes, it’s $400. Maybe not, but wouldn’t it be fun to try on a mermaid tail and pretend to be Ariel for an afternoon. www.HoustonMermaids.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Actor Will Ferrell is 50. Singer-musician Christine McVie is 74. Fleetwood Mac. McVie and Lindsey Buckingham are on tour now and were on a late night show a couple of weeks ago sounding really good. Racing Hall of Fame Richard Petty is 80. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 70. Seinfeld. Daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson Luci Baines Johnson is 70. Actor-comedian-sex deviant Bill Cosby is 80. Ick. Fitness guru Richard Simmons is 69. Actress Cheryl Ladd is 66.

Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is 46.  Actor Tab Hunter is 86.  “Young Love” was released in 1956. Actress Sela Ward is 61. Sisters, Once and Again. Rock guitarist Richie Sambora is 58. Bon Jovi.  Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin is 50. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie is 70. Singer-actress Jessica Simpson is 37. Chef Wolfgang Puck is 68. Actor Kevin Bacon is 59. Singer Toby Keith is 56.  Actor Patrick Stewart is 77. He says, “Being cast as Jean-Luc Picard (in Star Trek) was the most significant thing that ever happened to me because there wasn’t an area of my life that it didn’t touch, mostly for the better.”

Actor Harrison Ford is 75. Doesn’t seem possible. Actor-comedian Cheech Marin is 71. Actor-director Cameron Crowe is 60. Actor Brian Dennehy is 79.  Soul singer Leon Bridges is 28.  Actor Richard Roundtree is 75.  Shaft. Author Dean Koontz is 72. Football Hall of Fame O.J. Simpson is 70. Pianist, composer and TV personality John Tesh is 65. Actor Jimmy Smits is 62. Actor Tom Hanks is 61 Actress Kelly McGillis is 60. Top Gun. Actress-singer Courtney Love is 53. Actor-director Fred Savage is 41. The Wonder Years. Singer Mavis Staples is 78. In the 2015 documentary Mavis! she revealed that Bob Dylan once proposed to her, and she turned him down.

Mark Lester is celebrating his 59th birthday and is the English, former child actor known for playing the title role in the 1968 musical film version of Oliver! You’ve seen him. What is interesting is that he is now an osteopath but was the close, long-time friend of Michael Jackson…they were even godfathers to each other’s children. Lester defended Jackson throughout his trial on child molestation charges in 2005. OK. What’s even more interesting is that Lester believes that Paris Jackson could be his child because he had donated sperm to Michael Jackson as a gift in 1996 and he is willing to take a paternity test to prove either way. Huh. Do guys do that? Make gifts of their sperm? I thought they just borrowed each other’s lawn equipment and tools.

RODEOHOUSTON will have a new rotating concert stage next year at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that is THE latest technology so you can boost YOUR experience. It’s star-shaped with five-star points where each star point can be raised individually or jointly and can be lowered or raised to and from the arena surface…it rotates and as it is positioned and ready for each performance the star points lower and open like the petals of a flower. Watch the video. Garth Brooks will be the first entertainer to perform on the stage on February 27th, 2018.

Krispy Kreme Donuts is celebrating their 80th birthday. KK opened their doors on July 13, 1937, when Vernon Rudolph bought a secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef, rented a historic building in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, N.C. and began selling donuts to local grocery stores.  I LOVE Krispy Kreme.

Houston Rockets owner, Les Alexander, announced that he is putting the team up for sale. Alexander is among the richest team owners in all of sports and bought the team before the ‘93-‘94 season for $85-million. The franchise is now valued at $1.65billion. That a tidy little profit because there is a big difference between a million and a billion. Many prominent names are floating around as purchasers including Tilman Fertitta, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

A Corpus Christi ATM repairman accidently locked himself into a small room connected to the money machine while changing a lock last week. He sent several notes out through the receipt slot“please help I’m stuck in here and I don’t have my phone please call my boss at (phone number.)” Many people thought it was a prank and walked away so he was in there for several hours. Even the police thought it was a joke. When someone did finally take the plea seriously, they could hear a faint voice calling to them as they approached the ATM. Bless his heart.

Martin Landau died at age 89 of an unexpected complication after a brief hospitalization. He was a true legend of the screen.

In the U.S., presidential job approval ratings were introduced by George Gallup in the late 1930’s (probably in 1937) to gauge public support. President Trump has historic disapproval ratings (58% disapproval to 36% approval) which is the lowest for any President at the 6-month mark in 70 years.

Walmart has upgraded their beef to certified Angus across the US as they compete with others…such as Aldi or Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

The Blue Whale Challenge; it’s a social media game (appealing to teens) that presents itself as 50-days of dare-challenges that are assigned by an anonymous administrator with the participant submitting photo evidence each day to prove their task is completed, then on the final day the participant is supposed to commit suicide and post it on social media. Some of the tasks include watching horror movies, drinking bleach and committing acts of self-mutilation. Our world is a crazy one and you better pay attention to your kids because they are being led to believe that crazy is normal.

Nitrates added to processed meats are not healthy for you. Oscar Meyer is now saying that their nitrates are derived from celery juice which sounds healthy…but nitrates can combine with compounds found in meats and at high temperatures fuel the formation of nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens in animals. The World Health Organization says there is a chemical reaction that happens regardless of the source of nitrates (including celery juice.) They say that nitrates are nitrates and are calling for a cancer warning label on processed meats, regardless of how they’re made.

Elevate your legs above your heart every day for 20 minutes to increase circulation and prevent spider veins.

I just finished piddling in my garden and I am “all better” now. I cut some rainbow swiss chard which I will wrap around chicken thighs, sauté, then cover with a white wine lemon sauce that my kids are crazy about, then I cut some lemongrass into 5” sticks that I’ll use as skewers for grilled chicken this week-end – the taste that the lemongrass gives the chicken is yummy. I picked a few Zinnias for my desk and pulled a few weeds. It’s just amazing what 30-little tiny minutes of mindless thought in the heat and sticky air, can do to clear all the mud that gets stuck in your brain during the day. Even the aphids didn’t get a rile out of me. Now the ants are another story. If someone has a great organic recipe for killing those little critters, let me know.

Happy 18th birthday to my sweet girl, Anne-Elisabeth Inez. Seventeen plus years ago, I went to Nick Giannone (Industrial Medicine Doctor) for what I thought was an upper respiratory infection. Dr. Nick was so happy because he didn’t often, get to give such a happy diagnosis. I have had so much fun with you but I never, ever thought the time would go so fast. I love you beyond compare and I am so super-proud to be your mother. The law now considers you an official adult. Get over it.

– 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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