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What I Heard This Week! October 11, 2018

What I Heard This Week October 11, 2018

After minor controversy, the Houston City Council voted to ban sex robot brothels. Yep, that’s a real thing, because after playing games on your phone all day long, it’s hard to have a relationship with a real person so you…never mind. The city council responded by banning people from ‘having sex with a device that resembles a human being at a sexually oriented business.’ Just think “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” in silicone. However, the company can still sell the robots for customers to use elsewhere. Sex robots can talk, blink, smile, talk about your life and you can pick up your very own for around $15,000 or less. If you’re tired of those girls ‘swiping left’ when they see you on Tinder, here’s an alternative. Technology. Hmmm.

In Phoenix recently, a man abandoned his rental car in a no-parking area which created an alert, which then caused a busy terminal to shut down for hours while a bomb squad was called in, the terminal was partially evacuated, checkpoints were closed, and more than 300 flights were delayed along with dozens of flights canceled. The lazy 29-year-old man received only a $52 parking violation and was ordered to pay $75 for the towing.  What?!? My car was towed while parked at a local ‘unnamed’ rent-a-car location while I was out of town at Thanksgiving IN ONE OF THEIR RENTAL CARS. Cost me $125 to get my car back.

Found on the internet:At last an explanation: Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses. Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.”  Whew. It’s not aging, it’s the silly doors. I don’t care if it’s true or not, I appreciate studies like this one.

I try, but sometimes I’m just not a very good friend. A few weeks ago, I told you about trying to burn my house down with a pot of garbanzo beans that I left on the stove for the afternoon. It wasn’t pretty. I mentioned that two of my friends did some “kind, friend things” to help me get the smell out of the house, so I took the opportunity to thank them in this column.  Well, I just happened to misspell BOTH their names…Debbie is Debby, and I knew that. Deborah is Debra and I KNEW THAT TOO.  So, I’m putting this out there – I can’t be trusted to even get my friends names correct anymore. This is how it starts. My house still smells like an ashtray.

Joke: My wife and I were dressed and ready to go to a party. Being responsible adults, we called an Uber so that we wouldn’t have to drive home after the party. We turned on a couple of lamps, covered our pet bird and put the cat out, then locked the back door. The Uber arrived, so we opened the front door to leave and as we walked out, the cat rushed back into the house. We couldn’t leave her in the house because in the past, she has tried to eat the parakeet, so, my wife went on out to the Uber, while I went back inside to find the cat. The cat ran upstairs, with me in hot pursuit. While waiting in the car, my wife, not wanting the driver to know that the house would be empty for the evening, explained to the driver that I would be out quickly, “He’s just gone upstairs to say goodbye to his mother.”  A few minutes later, I climbed into the back seat of the Uber. “Sorry it took so long,’ I said as we drove away. ”That little sneak was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out, then she tried to take off, so I grabbed her sorry behind and wrapped her in that blue blanket of yours to keep her from scratching me, then hauled her downstairs and threw her out the back door again.” At this point, the Uber driver hit a parked car. (I thought it was funny.)

Recent Birthdays: Singer Frankie Avalon is 78. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 47. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 75. Walk on By.  Rock singer Chrissie Hynde is 67. The Pretenders. Actor Corbin Bernsen is 64. DJ Nina Blackwood is 66. She was the original MTV VJ. Rapper 2 Chainz is 41. Rapper Xzibit is 44. I love it when the rappers start turning 40.

Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson is 77. Basketball Hall of Fame Yao Ming is 38. When my 2 children answer me, yeah instead of yes, I always say ‘yeah (yao) is a basketball player and not an answer to my question.’ FYI, he is 7’6” and has a size 18 foot which would be 14” long.

Singer actress Jennifer Hudson is 37. Singer Gwen Stefani is 49. Comedian Chevy Chase is 75. Actress Sigourney Weaver is 69. Actor Matt Damon is 48. Singer Bruno Mars is 33. Rock n’ roll star Chubby Checker is 77. The ‘twist.’ Singer Lindsey Buckingham is 69. Best known for Fleetwood Mac before they fired him this year because he wanted a break from touring. Wait, he wrote some of their biggest hits.

The Planet of the Apes was released in 1968 which makes it 50 years old. “The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.” I loved it. It was a commercial success and many sequels followed along with a TV series, a remake and a reboot series. Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River, near Page, Arizona, was a part of the Forbidden Zone in the movie, through which Taylor, Zira, and Cornelius fled Ape City. It’s all coming back to me now. The kids and I visited Horseshoe Bend this summer on our way to Grand Canyon and found it to be an absolutely, stunningly beautiful part of our world and well worth a trip. Geez. I can sure get side-tracked.

McDonald’s is saying that most of the burgers they serve in the US (Big Mac and Quarter-Pounder) are now preservative-free to appeal to those of us that care what we put in our bodies. The Egg McMuffin and Filet-o-Fish still have artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. For now.

“Doctor Sleep,” the movie sequel to Stephen King’s horror classic “The Shining” has begun filming on the Georgia coast. Ewan McGregor will star as the adult Danny Torrance, as a child with psychic powers in the first film. Jack Nicholson was his father and Shelly Duvall played the mother. I always think of the picture of Jack Nicholson looking through the hole in the door with that wicked smile on his face.

The handsome monarch butterflies are heading to their winter home in central Mexico. I saw the first caterpillars in my garden about a month ago, right before all the rain started. The interesting part is that migratory monarchs born in late summer are the great-great-grandchildren of adults that arrived on breeding grounds in the spring. They navigate back to Mexico along an ancestral route they have never traveled, but somehow just know the way. They begin their return journey towards breeding grounds between February and March, but few will complete the trip. They will instead breed, lay eggs on milkweed, die and leave their young to continue the journey. If monarchs fail to reach a sustainable population within the next 20 years, there is a possibility they will no longer grace Texas landscape and sky. Reason? Because of the decline of the monarch’s life-giving milkweed. Eliminate pesticides and plant milkweed in your yard. Please. If you need seeds, come by my office.

Free Astronomy Day and the BASF Planetarium at The Center for the Arts and Sciences on October 27. It is so much fun.

Maria Atkins has re-opened her Forever Treasures store after closing for a few weeks because of water damage from a silly water heater. Go shopping today and don’t forget to support our small businesses. They are the backbone of our community. 217 Parking way in Downtown LJ.

As we go to print, Hurricane Michael, a potentially catastrophic monstrous storm with winds of 155mph, is battering the Florida Panhandle with northern states bracing for the impact. Hundreds of thousands were told to evacuate but many stayed, with storm surges of up to 14ft. expected. I have heard the words, ‘global warming’, with every weather report. Isn’t it time for everyone to start doing their part to see if we can turn this climate thing around for our grandchildren. I know what some of you are thinking…what if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing? Hmmm. We need to pray for the people of Florida.

Cannabis in Coke: According to an article I found online, Coca-Cola and Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis Inc. are in ‘serious talks’ about a potential marijuana-infused product. Supposedly, the focus would be on a ‘health drink designed to ease cramps and other ailments’ rather than giving consumers a buzz, or so they said.  Thinking back, I remembered hearing that Coke once contained cocaine. Ahhh. I love Google. “Coca-Cola (Coke) had cocaine in it, in varying amounts, from 1886 – 1929. At the time cocaine was legal and treated as a medicine. Coca-Cola didn’t invent using the coca plant in drinkable products (coca wine was also popular), it’s just the one product with its history and name firmly rooted in it. Today Coca-Cola uses caffeine rather than cocaine.” Hmmm.

Where does the name Coca-Cola come from? Coca-Cola refers to two original ingredients found in Coke 1. kola nuts (a source of caffeine), and 2. coca leaves. I guess Cocaine Cola didn’t have the same appeal.

Do you ever wonder how many days it is until Christmas? Not me. I’m so ‘on-tops of things’ that I just turned my income tax info over to the accountant. But, if you happen to be organized and already have your Halloween decorations displayed then perhaps you will be interested. Go to www.xmasclock.com and see the countdown clock. (ps. as of print day, it’s 74 days ‘til Christmas.) Yikes.

“Everything, Everything.” I think I enjoy the teen books because I still have a teen and it helps me see inside her head sometimes. So, the story is, a 17-year-old girl has a rare disease that causes her to stay indoors under the protection of her hermetically sealed environment.  Think ‘bubble’ girl. Her whole life is books, her mom and her nurse. One day a moving truck pulls in next door, a boy moves in and they fall in love through emails. They persevere to be a normal couple with a huge happy twist at the end. Worth a read. There was also a movie released in May, but I haven’t seen it.

Brian Casey is the new Brazosport Symphony director after a 31-year career in music at Brazoswood High School.  Talk about some exciting news. Saturday, Oct. 13th, will mark his first symphony concert called, ‘Bizet, Boots and Buckaroos’ and will feature the art of LJ native Mike Marshall. 979-265-7731.

Monsanto Company is an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation and is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate, which is marketed under the Roundup brand. They have asked a judge to throw out a jury’s $289-million award to a former school groundskeeper who said the company’s Roundup weed killer left him dying of cancer. Lawsuits involving Roundup claim the company has failed to warn users of the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other forms of cancer.

Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of MY virtues. Lol, thanks for reading this.

What I Heard This Week! October 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week October 3, 2018

Arlan’s was my first stop this morning for my morning breakfast yogurt, before I sat down to finish this column.  Everyone in the checkout line was in a buzz talking about the retired Angleton man that recently won a $1-million in the Lottery. Congratulations, (said with a tad bit of envy.) We all love to play the game…’what would I do if I won the lottery.’

Seen on the internet and immediately repeated right here in this column:According to reports, a woman was hospitalized when doctors determined she had overdosed on multiple items containing toxic levels of pumpkin spice flavors and aromas. The woman was rushed to the emergency room after passersby discovered her slumped over the wheel of her minivan in a Starbucks parking lot. Witnesses say the mother of three was clutching a venti-sized pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a container of pumpkin spice creamer in the other, and there was evidence of multiple recently consumed pumpkin spice baked goods on the passenger seat and the floor. According to sources, three others who assisted the woman were also treated for secondhand exposure to the van’s potent pumpkin spice air freshener and the box of pumpkin spice potpourri candles discovered in the back seat.  “At this time of year, the public needs to be aware of the dangers,” a hospital spokesperson told reporters. “Cases of pumpkin spice overdose have nearly tripled since 2012.” According to doctors, people at risk will exhibit the following behaviors: persistent overspending on pumpkin spice infused items, seeking out increasingly intense pumpkin spice encounters, and excessively posting on social media about their latest pumpkin spice experience. The FDA plans to issue a public warning about the dangers of pumpkin spice addiction, sources confirm.’ Isn’t this cute?

Merriam-Webster announced that they added more than 300 words to the latest edition of its official Scrabble dictionary. That means twerk, emoji, facepalm (Used to display frustration, disappointment or embarrassment in an article, comment, or post from another user), ew, bizjet (airplane used for business), Zen, bitcoin, frowny, judgy, puggle (a kind of dog), yowza (approval, excitement, or enthusiasm) and sheeple (people that are easily influenced) are all official words. This may not be important information to you but those of us that play ‘Words with Friends’ are interested. Hope it helps. I’ve lost my mojo, so I need something to help me score.

Until 1949, women were only allowed in the Sazerac Bar in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day. This changed one September afternoon when owner Seymour Weiss opened his doors to find a group of women who ‘demanded the right to a stiff drink whenever they damn well felt like it.’ Well, not really. That’s a great story but actually he had invited camera friendly “make-up” girls from Godchauz’s Department Store to pack the bar on opening day and then called it the “Storming of the Sazerac,” which continues to be celebrated every year with patrons dressing in 1940s era vintage attire. I think about this when I see all the ladies that park in front of my office on their way to visit the new Wine Revue in downtown LJ. Autumn Barrier is the owner and her theme being upscale vintage burlesque, but she will let you wear whatever you have on…within reason.

The Sazerac cocktail is a New Orleans variation of a cognac or whiskey cocktail, named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac brandy that served as its original main ingredient. The drink is most traditionally a combination of cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, and sugar, although bourbon whiskey is sometimes substituted.

Aretha Franklin was a shrewd businesswoman and demanded to be paid in cash before performing. When she died recently, she was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, but she left no will. Under Michigan law, her four sons will equally divide their mother’s assets.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Michael Douglas is 74. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 49. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 71. Actor Mark Hamill is 67. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Actor Will Smith is 50. Classical crossover singer Andrea Bocelli is 60. Singer musician Joan Jett is 60. Actor Scott Baio is 58. Chachi on Happy Days. Actor James Hillier is 45. The Crown. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 73. Pro football Hall of Fame Joe Greene is 72. “Mean” Joe Greene when he was playing for Pittsburgh Steelers.

Actor Kevin Sorbo is 60. Hercules. Actress Nia Vardalos is 56. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Country singer David Frizzell is 77. You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma. Singer Olivia Newton-John is 70. Tennis player Serena Williams is 37. Actor Wilford Brimley is 84. I wonder if his wonderful moustache is insured. Singer Meat Loaf is 71. Singer Shaun Cassidy is 60. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 46.

Rapper Lil’ Wayne is 36. Zydeco singer musician C.J. Chenier is 61. Red Hot Louisiana Band. Actress Janeane Garofalo is 54. Actress Mira Sorvino is 51. Rapper Young Jeezy is 41. Actress Hilary Duff is 31. Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 83. Nobel Peace laureate Lech Walesa is 75. Singer Phillip Phillips is 28.

SHRIMP BOIL this weekend. Did you know that until recently, every single car raffle ticket was pulled from a hopper and placed on a board along with the ticket owner’s name. It took a really long time, but it was so exciting to see the last ticket drawn, but now they just draw the 9 runner-up’s and the car winner. Change is good. 😊 With this fundraiser, Rotarians make lots of money and then give it all back to our community, so pick up a couple of plates of fried fish, shrimp, and the fixings to help support our community. Remember that it’s in LJ now. October 7, 2018, from 11:30 – 4 p.m.

New Montessori school at Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Check it out.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” Henri Nouwen

The mosquito population. We spray and spray with pesticides which is so unhealthy. Why don’t we all just hang a bat house in our yard and the mosquito population would take care of itself.

In 1948, voters of BISD elected to create the Brazosport Junior College District. In 1968, Dr. J.R. Jackson served as the first president and the college opened with 879 students. In 1970, twenty-five students graduated, and the name became Brazosport College. In 1978, Dr. W.A. Bass became president until Dr. John Grable assumed the position in 1988 after serving as VP for 11 years. In 1996, Dr. Millicent Valek moved to our area and was named the new president. Under her direction the college has blossomed with The Corporate Learning Center, The Children’s Center, BASF Center for Process Technology, The Byron & Sandra Sadler Health Professions/Science Complex, Dow Academic Center, the student pavilion, library expansion, BCPC Welding Technologies Laboratory, and the Freeport LNG Crafts Academy, all successfully added to the campus. Both of my children have helped further their college education by taking dual-credit classes in high school and attending Brazosport College during summers, Christmas breaks and after high school. It is such an affordable option. We say, congratulations to Brazosport College, and all the instructors and employees. You are such a terrific friend of our community and our children.

The person that sent the following, encouraged all of us to share with friends, family and co-workers. So, grab your hanky:

“This past week I was on a four and a half hour, nonstop flight from Seattle, Washington, to Atlanta, Georgia. In all my years of traveling, I have learned that each time a plane has the opportunity to stop, there is potential for unexpected challenges. Flight delays, weather and airline crews can create unanticipated challenges on any trip. Therefore, I always try to fly nonstop between my destinations.
About an hour into this particular flight, the Captain’s voice rang over the intercom. He asked if there was a physician or nurse on the plane.  If so, he asked them to identify themselves by ringing the flight attendant call button beside their seat.  I listened carefully but heard no one ring their bell. I immediately began to wonder what was happening.
In a few minutes the Captain informed us that there was a medical emergency on board and asked again if there was a physician or a nurse who could help. When there was no response, we were told that we were going to make an emergency stop in Denver, Colorado. He apologized but told us that there would be a medical emergency team waiting to meet us at the gate and that we would probably only be delayed by about thirty minutes. Though it was necessary, we knew we would all be inconvenienced by the extra stop.
About half an hour later, we landed at Denver International Airport and the medical crew immediately came on board.   However, everything took longer than had previously been expected. An elderly gentleman, about 95 years old, had suddenly taken ill. It was not clear whether he had experienced a stroke or heart attack.
      Even after the gentleman was carried off the plane, we still sat there for quite a while. The original “short” stop turned into about an hour and a half.
When we finally pushed back from the gate and were in the air, the pilot apologized profusely for the unavoidable delay.  He said that since the stop had taken longer than expected, those passengers who needed to make connections in Atlanta would miss their flights but would automatically be booked on the next flight out.
You could almost hear the moans and groans throughout the airplane of everyone who was being inconvenienced by the unexpected stop. Then the pilot did one of the classiest things I have personally ever seen or heard anyone do. He spoke into the intercom and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I thought you might be interested in one bit of information.  The elderly gentleman who was taken off the plane was a Marine in WWII.  I am holding in my hand a copy of the Congressional Medal of Honor that was awarded to him and signed by President Harry Truman in 1945.”
The pilot went on to say, “I realize that we have all been inconvenienced today.  However, in light of the fact that this gentleman was a war hero and was inconvenienced for four years of his life in order that we might experience the freedoms that we enjoy today, I thought you all should know this.”
Immediately the airplane was filled with applause.  Everyone was cheering and so pleased to know that the gentleman had been cared for in a way that was fitting and appropriate. As we continued to fly, I thought to myself, “Isn’t that interesting? We were concerned that we were inconvenienced for a couple of hours and yet, this gentleman’s entire life was interrupted and inconvenienced for over four years while he went and fought in a war to protect the freedoms and values that we love and hold dear in this country today.”
I breathed a prayer for the gentleman and asked God to bless him for all he had done to help us understand what freedom is all about.” 

Let’s do more than say the ‘Pledge of Allegiance.’ Let’s start living it.

In closing, I just pulled up the 10-day forecast. 10% to 90% chance of rain expected every single day. Hah. So, I pulled up the 14-day-trend. Yep, rain expected every single day until October 17th. I didn’t have the nerve to click on the 3-month forecast. I would rather live dangerously and not know. Stay dry and thanks for reading this.

What I Heard This Week! September 27, 2018

What I Heard This Week September 26, 2018

There is a new beer called Dome Faux’m. Say it slow. If you are over a certain age, you’ve already enjoyed a Dome Foam. The label say it’s presented by Moontower Sudworks x 8th Wonder Brewery and is a Throwback Cream Ale. Website says, “A tip of our hat to the foamy suds once served at the Astrodome, this Houston classic cream ale is a pre-prohibition style brew that is light, crisp and easy drinking.” Another review said, “Light-straw hue, very slight bite, with a sweet creaminess in the finish. Like the Astros, a real winner.” I picked up a 6-pack last night at H-E-B. It will be included in our next family beer tasting. Drink Local.

About 1.7-million chickens were killed as a result of the flooding from Florence as rising North Carolina rivers took over at least 60 buildings where the chickens were being raised for Sanderson Farms.

A 42-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man in Minnesota, both old enough to know better, are accused of dropping off a 5-year-old child in the woods as punishment because he wet himself. It was raining, and the young boy was wet and crying when a motorist spotted him. He told authorities he had been dropped off because he was naughty. Quit reading now if you don’t want to know my opinion. There should be two people dropped off in the middle of the woods, in the middle of the night, and in the middle of a rainstorm…soon. Real soon. There is no excuse in the world for a grown person of any age to behave this way to a 5-year-old child. Ever. A jury of my peers would agree.

Heard this week: If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you. – unknown

Seventeen years ago, Wesley Ryan had to sell ‘Christine’ his 1993 Mustang GT, because his wife had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and he needed to be able to cover medical costs. He said he knew it was the right thing to do but it still was a tough decision.  “I had to do what I had to do to support my family; that’s what you’re supposed to do to make sure they succeed.” Then, a few weeks ago, his sweet son (25) and daughter (23) put a blindfold on him and drove him to a parking lot. There, ‘Christine’ was, parked and waiting for him. Two years earlier his son had found her but couldn’t come to an agreement with the owner on a price, so when he found her again, the kids pooled their money and brought her home to their dad. His wife has been cancer-free for thirteen years. This is one heck of a good story and a great family. Bet he is one proud pappa.

According to the Brazos Mall office, a Hallmark shop plans to open right next door sometime in the next few weeks, right next door to Foot Locker. That makes me smile.

Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in prison, a $25,000 fine and is required to pay for the cost of his prosecution. The judge denied the bail request, so Cosby will be incarcerated immediately. Cosby’s publicist spoke about the sentencing, which he says followed “the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the US.” “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened. I’m not saying Mr. Cosby’s Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.” Hmmm. I loved the Bill Cosby that I was raised with, but I don’t think that he and Jesus belong in the same sentence.

Brazosport College is turning 50-years-old and are celebrating with a Block Party and Community Celebration on Saturday, September 29th at Dow Academic Center. There’s the Groove Gator Gallop, vendors, food trucks, Sweet Potato the clown (a crowd favorite for as long as I can remember), music, entertainment, robotics demos, GOE Motorcycle Scholarship Ride, 123 Andres Kids Band, washer tournament, and the Dirty Unkuls Free Concert. See you there!

When women get to a certain age they start accumulating cats. This is known as the ‘many paws.’

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Marc Anthony is 50. Comedian actress Amy Poehler is 47. Rapper Flo Rida is 39. Rock singer musician Nick Jonas is 26. The Jonas Brothers. Actor Jeremy Irons is 70. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is 58. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 54. Talk show host Jimmy Fallon is 44. The Tonight Show. Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 72. Movie director Oliver Stone is 72. Actor Danny Nucci is 50. Titanic.

Cassandra Peterson is 67. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Actor Tom Hardy is 41. Inception. Britain’s Prince Harry is 34. Actress Sophia Loren is 84. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 58. Singer LaMonte McLemore is 83. The Fifth Dimension. Comedian Rita Rudner is 65. Singer Julio Iglesias is 75. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 69. Actor Jason Alexander is 59. Seinfeld.  Actor Sam Neill is 71. Jurassic Park. Actor writer director producer Tyler Perry is 49. Madea.

Former Muppeteer Kevin Clash is 58. Elmo. The talking, giggling, stuffed “Tickle Me Elmo” was certainly a favorite of my son’s when he was little. It was “the toy of the season” in 1996 and you had to do some savage things in order to find one to purchase (or steal) so it could go under the Christmas tree. Needless to say, I didn’t get caught and spent no time behind bars. Gage celebrated his 22nd birthday this week. Time passes so quickly. Happy Birthday, Gage. I love you. A lot.

Bob Segar (72-years-old) and his Silver Bullet Band have announced their “Travelin’ Man” final tour. Remember Katmandu, Night Moves, Old Time Rock and Roll, Against the Wind, Who’ll Stop the Rain.

The city of Lake Jackson is beginning plans for Phase 3 of the Downtown Revitalization project. Survey work begins immediately. Road & sidewalk construction for this project will begin summer of 2019.

Barbara Delinsky is a very popular writer of romance novels, including 19 New York Times bestsellers. I just finished ‘Escape’ which was the story of a young female New York lawyer that loves law but hates the lawyer she has become, so one day she turns off her cellphone, packs a bag, and escapes to a happy place from her past to look at her life and figure out what her right path might be. It’s more self-discovery than romance. Pretty cliché but several chapters in, I knew I had to stay to the end.  Escape. We probably all dream of doing the same thing at least once in our lives. Easy to relate to the story. I rate it a 7/10. I’m listening to The Widow now and IT IS GOOD.

Did you know that according to the American College Health Association, in 2016, 62% of college students felt “overwhelming anxiety.” As a mom of two in college, I can totally relate. Go hug a college student. I plan to.

Almost two weeks ago, I left a pot of garbanzo beans on the stove. The fire was on low, but it doesn’t take long. We left the house for gas at Bucc-ee’s, bought cat food, snuggled with two sweet little kittens at the pet store, then we picked up a car that had been in the shop in Angleton, then back to Clute to pick up bikes at the bike shop. WE WERE GONE FOR A LONG TIME. When we arrived back home the smoke was thick. I picked up what was left of the pan, set it on the garage floor where it immediately melted the rug to the bottom of the pan. What was I thinking?!? Lowe’s pulled $150 out of my wallet for an assortment of ‘stink removal’ items, none of which worked. (I now have volcanic rocks in my kitchen.) Thank goodness for friends. Deborah let me borrow her air purifier. Thank you. Debbie brought me a HUGE bag of charcoal briquets and EnviroScent Bursts. Thank you. Those are now in my AC return air. I’m running orange oil in my essential oil diffuser, have vacuumed and I’m now in the process of cleaning the windows and the walls. I will say, it is better, but it still smells like an ashtray when I walk through the door at the end of the day. Pray that no one takes away my license to cook. 😊

What I Heard This Week! September 20, 2018

What I Heard This Week September 19, 2018

Tim Conway, one of the world’s funniest people, is experiencing dementia at age 84. Conway’s daughter has gone to court in an attempt to become her father’s conservator, so she can make medical decisions for him, since her father cannot “properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food and clothing since Conway is almost entirely unresponsive.”☹ He is now in a skilled nursing facility. Tim Conway, thank you for all the moments you forced uncontrollable laughter in our lives.

Tchotchke – chach ka, NOUN, a small object, bauble or miscellaneous item that is decorative rather than strictly functional; a trinket. Or a pretty girl or woman. “Just look at my little tchotchke growing up.”

A pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers that were on loan to The Judy Garland museum were stolen 13-years ago but have now finally been recovered. “We are grateful to the FBI and all those that worked so hard to bring this piece of cinematic treasure out of the shadows and into the light. After all, ‘There’s no place like home,’” said Grand Rapids PD Chief Scott Johnson. The shoes are estimated to be worth between $2-million to $7-million. The museum opened in 1975 and says it has the world’s largest collection of Garland and Wizard of Oz memorabilia and is located at the house where Judy Garland lived as a child.

Police officers found two Catholic priests having sex in a Volkswagen Beetle in Miami Beach. The officers had to tap on the window to let them know that people passing by on South Beach could see them. Both priests were arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and have been relieved of their church duties.

A human case of West Nile Virus was confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in a resident of Brazos County. Since the mosquitoes are carrying us away in Brazoria County, it reminds me to practice the four D’s. 1.) Drain standing water around the house, including tires, cans, flowerpots, rain gutters, buckets, wading pools, puddles, etc. Trim grass and shrubs. 2.) Wear insect repellent containing DEET. 3.) Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. 4.) Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors to prevent bites. Good luck. I have one of those machines on my back porch that attracts the mosquito with the light and then sucks him into a chamber. It seems to be doing a good job at my back door but no further than that. The word “mosquito” is Spanish for “little fly”.

Geoffrey Owens, former Cosby Show regular who played Elvin Tibideaux, the husband of the eldest daughter of Bill Cosby, was working the cash register at Trader Joe’s recently when someone photographed him, then submitted the pictures to celebrity websites. SHAME ON YOU. “I’d been teaching acting and directing for 30-plus years, but it just got to a point where it didn’t add up enough,” said Owens who has lost residual income in recent years after allegations and criminal charges against Bill Cosby prompted several networks to stop airing reruns of the sitcom. Hollywood and others ran to his defense, celebrating honest work and offering him jobs. But he is humble. “It would be lovely as one of the results of this, some doors open in terms of giving me the opportunity to audition. That, I would appreciate – always, as all actors do,” Owens said. “I don’t necessarily feel comfortable being given things as a result of this. I’m not in a position to turn things down but … I like the idea of, you know, put me in the room with everyone else and see if I’m the right one for the job.” I take this as an opportunity to remind people that their bad choices always affect every single person around them in some way.

Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was vandalized recently when someone scrawled the words Serial Rapist across the star. Hmmm. I should be given an award for keeping my mouth shut when there is so much that could be said. People make choices. Choices make history.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician John McFee is 68. The Doobie Brothers. Actor Tom Wopat is 67. Luke on The Dukes of Hazzard. Actor Hugh Grant is 58. Actor Adam Sandler is 52. Model Rachel Hunter is 49. Pop-jazz singer Michael Bublé is 43. Country singer songwriter Hunter Hayes is 27. Singer Pink is 39. Actor Idris Elba is 46. Could he be our next James Bond? Senator Bernie Sanders is 77. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is 31.

Country singer David Allan Coe is 79. Comedian Jane Curtin is 71. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 60. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 55. Actress Barbara Bain is 87. Mission Impossible. Actress Jacqueline Bisset is 74. Singer Peter Cetera is 74. Chicago. Actress Jean Smart is 67. Designing Women. Actor Ben Savage is 38. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 69. Country singer David Bellamy is 68. The Bellamy Brothers.

Actor Mickey Rourke is 66. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 65. Another one of my favorites. Magician David Copperfield is 62. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 60. She is also a World Series of Poker Ladies’ Event bracelet winner which means she is a really good poker player.

German born composer Hans Zimmer is 60. Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code, Interstellar, Hidden Figures, The Prince of Egypt, Dunkirk, just to name a few. At our house, the kids and I play ‘what movie did this music come from?’

Neil Simon, considered the most successful American playwright of all time, died at age 91. The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Brighton Beach Memoirs, California Suite, The Goodbye Girl. He was the author of more than 30 plays and more than 20 screenplays. In 1966, he had four shows on Broadway at the same time. He said, “It’s not all about the laughter – it’s about the feelings that the audience gets.”

A mom made a deal with her 6-year-old daughter, that she could order one Barbie Doll from Amazon in exchange for some chores. Several days later the mom discovered that the daughter had gone back to the computer and ordered another $400 worth of toys. They donated the toys to a local hospital and the child is now banned from Amazon. Hmmm. Too many unanswered questions for me. Why the heck would a 6-year-old be allowed on a computer with access to Amazon, because along with access to Amazon, your kids have access to a whole lot more than that.

At Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, there are 16 intensive-care-unit nurses that are pregnant and due to give birth sometime between October and February. Don’t drink the water.

The Food and Drug Administration announced that teenage use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion and they are now giving suppliers 60 days to prove they can keep devices out of the hands of minors.

Jimmy Buffett, the Margaritaville singer who has long been known as the King of beach bums, will license the use of his Coral Reefer brand name to medical marijuana company Surterra Wellness Inc. for a line of cannabis products including vape pens, gel caps, edibles and lotions. Buffett had reportedly been approached by other cannabis companies but chose to work with Surterra because of the firm’s focus on medicinal, rather than recreational, marijuana. Last month, Surterra announced that billionaire chewing gum heir William H. Wrigley Jr. II, known as Beau, has joined the company as chairman of the board.

More is more and less is a bore.” 96-year-old Iris Apfel, American businesswoman, interior designer and fashion icon. If you haven’t seen the documentary, ‘Iris’, then you need to. It’s a hoot. She has Ten Life Lessons which are: 1.) Don’t obsess over your age. 2.) Pick a partner who celebrates your successes. 3.) When something excites you, go for it. 4.) To stay young, you have to think young. 5.) Care about your own opinion above anyone else’s. 6.) But don’t isolate yourself, either. 7.) Money doesn’t buy success. 8.) Style is not about spending money. 9). Start new endeavors with one small step. 10.) Don’t pretend you are younger than you are.

On Fridays we close the office, so I get to listen to music. Today I am listening to Doc Severinsen with Gil & Cartas. The album is El Ritmo De La Vida. It’s a recommendation for happy music.

If you let the water run while you are brushing your teeth, then quit it. You can save a bunch of water by waiting until you rinse your toothbrush. When I was little, I can remember my grandparents filling a ‘reusable’ glass cup (not a paper or plastic cup) with water, brushing their teeth, then rinsing their mouth from the water in the cup, then swishing their toothbrush with what water was left in the cup to rinse it off. So, brushing your teeth took about 3 inches of water in a cup. If you brush your teeth, twice a day, for 2-minutes, that’s 8.8 gallons or 3,212 gallons annually that’s wasted. Enough water to fill a small pool. My grandparents also filled the sink basin with several inches of water to wash their face…yes, you reused the water in the sink to rinse your face. We are so lazy and wasteful now. Put a post-it-note on your mirror to remind you to turn off the water.

Did you know that a Redneck Margarita is tequila and Mountain Dew? Carrie Underwood sings about it on her new album, Cry Pretty.

Last week I had to put my daughter’s car into the shop. Seems ‘someone’ had driven with the emergency brake on. Tri-City Auto referred me to Moody and Sons in Angleton. It was a most pleasant experience. Nice people. Timely. Just paying it forward in a world that seems to find fault in so much.

If you have an item hanging around your living room, garage, back yard, wherever, that you wish to give away…and who doesn’t, just call our office, tell us what you have, and your ad is FREE. 979-285-9200. Yes, if you are giving it away, the ad is free. We make it so easy for you. Connie, Janice, Patricia and Pam are just sitting here waiting for your call. Think: bedspreads, coffee makers, wheelbarrows, tools, dishes, bags of clothing, BBQ grill, whatever. It’s the stuff that is taking up valuable real estate (space) at your home or office. Don’t forget that you can Read Us Online. FREE garage sale ads too.   www.TheSourceWeekly.com

An EGOT is the achievement of having won all four of the major American entertainment awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Not many people achieve this success. But last week John Legend, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice also reached EGOT status on the same evening as they were presented their missing Emmys for their work on Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. Some of the past winners of the EGOT were actress Audrey Hepburn, director screenwriter comedian actor producer composer & songwriter Mel Brooks, actress Rita Moreno, actor James Earl Jones, actor Christopher Plummer, actress musician Barbara Streisand, actress musician Liza Minnelli,  Actress comedian Whoopi Goldberg, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, actress Helen Hayes, composer Marvin Hamlisch, songwriter Robert Lopez, singer songwriter & actor Harry Belafonte, record producer singer & film producer Quincy Jones, plus a few more.

Thank you, Mr. Castleberry for your kind words about this column but most of all, thank YOU for reading it each week.

What I Heard This Week! September 13, 2018

What I Heard This Week September 12, 2018

Hope you enjoy the few snippets below, containing news, community, entertainment and opinion about what I have heard or read this past week.

In Greensville SC, a 38-year-old man wearing a wig, makeup, women’s shoes and clothing tried to take a picture of a woman from under the stall divider of a bathroom in a convenience store. The woman saw a cellphone appear under the potty divider, called 911, police found the video, then charged him with voyeurism. That’s so weird. Of all the things to take pictures of…what! A woman going to the bathroom?!? Maybe he got all dolled up but still needed some instruction on how to tinkle like a girl.

A crack 2-miles in length has opened in the middle of the Arizona desert. Google Earth found it first in 2014. Then it grew bigger. It seems that there is a ‘dry vacuum underground that’s widening due to aquifer depletion’ which means we have sucked too much water out of the Earth. Due to the remote location, they believe that the crack is unlikely to pose a danger to anyone, but some areas are now 10-feet across and up to 25-30 feet deep. Yikes.

Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it.

In May, a Rhesus macaque was flown to San Antonio International Airport and while the cargo was being transported, the monkey escaped but was quickly cornered in a baggage handling area where he was sedated, and the trip continued. What a fun day for the monkey. But there is more. In April, four baboons at a San Antonio research facility rolled a 55-gallon barrel close to a wall in their open-air enclosure and then used it to climb up and over the wall. Three of them were captured within 30-minutes and the other one returned to the enclosure on his own. Don’t you wish you had been a fly on the wall when they planned that escape. All barrels have been removed from the enclosure. Ha-ha.

Speaking of The Monkee’s…I spent Friday evening with my 22-year-old son and a guy whose picture I had pasted on my wall in the early 70’s. We visited the Heights Theater to see Michael Nesmith and the First National Band. I think I’m in love again. Fifty years ago, he headed off to Nashville and the music that was produced is now recognized as the foundation of country-rock and alt-county. He is such a good songwriter, musician, funny guy plus just downright cute for a 75-year-old that had quadruple bypass surgery just a few months ago (even wiping a tear from his eyes a couple of times.) Two look-a-like sons played with him and he wore a white suit, sparkly shoes and a matching sparkly cowboy hat, not the green knitted cap that you remember. ‘Joanne’ was #21 on Billboard Top 100. I know you remember the song. ‘Her name was Joanne, and she lived in a meadow by a pond, and she touched me for a moment, with a look that spoke to me of her sweet lo-ooo-ove.’ Fun night.

Lindsay Lohan is getting a new reality show. That is exactly what the world needs right now.

Happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is. At the end of this day before you close your eyes, smile and be at peace with where you’ve been and grateful for what you have. Life is good.

Animal Rescue in Poland is searching for an 18-ft-long Indian Python. Her nickname is Bertha and she has been shedding her skin, so they know where she has been but NOT WHERE SHE IS, and that skin is some-kind of big and long. Indian pythons have been known to swallow a deer whole but if Bertha isn’t found before the cold Poland winter, it’s unlikely that she will survive. Residents were told to avoid walking and sleeping near the river. Ya think?!? No one. No one would have to tell me even once.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Elliott Gould is 80. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is 51. Actor David Soul is 75. Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in Starsky & Hutch. Actress Barbara Bach is 72. Former Bond girl 1977 and married to Sir Richard Starkey (Ringo) since 1981. Singer Shania Twain is 53. Actor Jack Black is 49. Singer Le Ann Rimes is 36. Actor Bill Daily is 91. Astronaut Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 75. Fritz the Cat. Actress Peggy Lipton is 72. The Mod Squad.

Actor Timothy Bottoms is 67. Sonny Crawford in The Last Picture Show. Actress Cameron Diaz is 46. Violinist Itzhak Perlman is 73. Singer Van Morrison is 73. “Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes.” One of my favorites. Actor Richard Gere is 69. He will become a new father in a few months. Rock musician Gina Schock is 61. The Go-Go’s. Singer Jose Feliciano is 73. Rock musician Joe Perry is 68. Aerosmith. Actor Colin Firth is 58. Movie director Guy Ritchie is 50. Actor Ryan Phillippe is 44.

Last year, Southwest has announced that soon they will fly to Hawaii, but a year later they are still trying to obtain ‘Federal Aviation Administration certification for extended flights over water.’ Well, I don’t know about you but seems like a good idea to me. They were quoted as saying, “No one will remember the day we started, but they will remember if we started poorly.” Thanks, SW! You are exactly right.

Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin are making a ‘9 to 5’ sequel, as the exhausted office staff of Judy, Doralee, and Violet. I’m wondering if the egotistical, arrogant, lying, sexist, Mr. Hart (Dabney Coleman) will still be working for the company. Jane Fonda was a naïve new employee who had to work because her husband had recently left her for his secretary, Dolly Parton was his mistress (at least that’s what he told the office even though she was happily married) and Lily Tomlin accidently puts rat poison in Mr. Hart’s coffee. It was really a cute movie and should be a good sequel with these three talented ladies. I bet that #MeToo movement is a part of the story. Nearly 40-years later, 9 to 5 remains one of the top grossing comedies of all time with an adjusted gross of $356-million.

Surprise. Wanda Barzee, a woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap teenager, Elizabeth Smart, from her bedroom in 2002, will be freed from prison more than five years ‘earlier than expected.’ Smart says, “It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community.”  I have seen Elizabeth Smart speak about her captivity and read her book. When Smart was raped, tortured and starved, Barzee never intervened. Early release is wrong in every way. Smart is now married with two children and another on the way, is kind, gracious and has forgiven her captors. How can our judicial system let something like this happen? Barzee will be under federal supervision for five years. Tax dollars, well-spent.

Burt Reynolds died. Remember Gunsmoke, Sally Field, the mustache, the Cosmo centerfold on the bear rug, Deliverance, Semi-Tough, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and plenty more. He was set for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ story about the Charles Manson/Tate murders that’s due to be released July 2019. In his last appearance he was to play George Spahn, the 80-year-old nearly blind man who rented his LA ranch out to Manson, but unfortunately, Reynolds had not yet shot his scenes. He was expected to film his part at the end of September. It would have been a great part alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Lena Dunham and Rumer Willis.

A South Carolina woman has been charged with murder after killing her husband by putting eye drops into his drinking water. His autopsy uncovered a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in his system, which is a chemical found in over-the-counter eye drops. The woman confessed to investigators for the alleged poisoning and has also been charged with malicious tampering with a drug product or food.

The Lake Jackson Historical Association is preparing for a fundraising event, “An Evening with Ronee Martin.” If you don’t remember, Ms. Martin appeared on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent as a wonderfully talented vocalist and songwriter. She was fabulous, so it should be a good concert. The Clarion at Brazosport College or Lake Jackson Historical Museum for tickets. September 15th. 7pm.

9/11: Seventeen years ago, at 8:45am, an American Airlines Boeing 767, loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more above the crash. Everyone thought it was an accident.

Then 18 minutes later, a United Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the 60th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. America realizes this was no accident. The skyscrapers that were built to withstand 200mph winds and conventional fires, could not take heat generated by burning jet fuel. Almost 3000 people died in the WTC, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 NY police officers, and 37 Port Authority police who were trying to save the people trapped on the floors above the crashes.

At 9:45am, American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the west side of the Pentagon killing 125 military personnel and civilians along with all 64 people aboard the plane.

A fourth plane, United Flight 93, was hijacked and crashed into a rural field in western Pennsylvania around 10:10am but because of a delay in take-off, passengers on-board learned of the horrible events in NY and Washington and tried to regain control of the plane. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard on an open line saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” Flight attendant, Sandy Bradshaw, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.” All 45 people aboard were killed. The intended target could have been the White House, the US Capitol, Presidential retreat Camp David, or several nuclear power plants along the east coast. It is believed that their acts of bravery saved the lives of many people on the ground.

The Islamic terrorists were allegedly acting in retaliation for the US involvement in the Persian Gulf War and the continued military presence in the Middle East. Of the 19 terrorists, some had taken flying lessons at US commercial flight schools. They were able to smuggle box cutters and knives through security at three airports. Because the planes were loaded with fuel, they all became guided missiles.

Osama bin Laden was killed during a raid of his compound in Pakistan by US military forces on May 2, 2011.

Continue to pray for the nearly 75,000 responders and survivors since health officials have certified more than 5,400 of them with 9/11-related cancers. Many others suffer from the same mental health problems as soldiers returning from war.

This morning I called “treat” to my kitties, I found that they had already discovered the new container of their favorite treats that were placed high, opened the bag and were sitting, looking at me like, “Been there. Done that, already.” Thanks for reading this today – Lisa

What I Heard This Week! September 6, 2018

What I Heard This Week September 5, 2018

J.J. Watt originally planned to raise $200,000 to help the rebuilding process after Harvey last year. The Houston Texan star (and clearly the ‘star’ in all our hearts) now says he has distributed the $41.6 MILLION that his foundation raised. I have goosebumps up and down my arms while typing this. The funds have already been used to clean up more than 600 homes, distribute more than 26 million meals and provide health care for more than 6,500 people. He’s done his homework and found legitimate organizations that helped carry out his plans for rebuilding. Modern Day Saint.

In memory of 9-11: “A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.” President George W. Bush

Did you know that there is a ‘Texas’ Pledge of Allegiance? It is as follows: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.” It has come to my attention that you can sign a form at the beginning of the school year that allows your child to ‘sit it out’ for the US Pledge of Allegiance and the ‘Texas’ pledge? Hmmm.

Nothing great is ever achieved without enduring much. St. Catherine of Siena

There were so many people parking in front of my office last evening, then unloading their dogs and walking to the right down Parking Way, out of my view. Finally, someone I knew was getting out of their car, so I asked. Seems that The Wine Revue in beautiful downtown LJ was having ‘Pooches on the Porch.’ I may have to get a dog.

Billy Graham has 6-rules of living. The article was published in Reader’s Digest last month and if everyone would not only read the rules but also practice them, our world would be a perfect place.  1. Make it your goal to live at peace with others. 2. Avoid revenge. 3. Guard your tongue. 4. Never repay evil with evil. 5. Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. 6. Practice the power of forgiveness.

Thank you to Ninfa at First state Bank LJ for helping me get my new debit card. I’m sorry I lost the old one. In my own defense, I was left unsupervised for a short period of time.

A Salt Lake City unlicensed home daycare owner was arrested after breaking a baby’s legs when she slammed the 10-month old child on a bathroom floor because _______ (you can fill in the blank here because no matter, I can’t think of a just cause.) She admits slamming the child feet-first and said that she would rather be deported to Mexico than go to jail. Hmmm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2.29-million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017. That’s nearly a 10% increase.  Health officials were especially concerned by the 67% jump in gonorrhea cases since 2013 because the bacterial infection has become resistant to all antibiotics except ceftriaxone. They expect that it’s only a matter of time before super-resistant strains will emerge in the US. In other words, if you are having unprotected sex, then you are stupid.

Contrary to what we have read in the past, and now according to a new ‘massive’ study, co-authored by 512 researchers from 243 institutions, the optimal amount of alcohol someone should consume is ‘none.’ Guess I won’t need the dog, after all. See above.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Jazz musician Branford Marsalis is 58. Actress Melissa McCarthy is 48. Actor Macaulay Culkin is 38. Country singer Brian Kelley is 33. Florida Georgia Line. Comedian actress Lily Tomlin is 79. Singer Barry Gibb is 72. Singer Gloria Estefan is 61. Actor G.W. Bailey is 74. Staff Sergeant Luther Rizzo in M*A*S*H. Actor Paul Reubens is 66. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Actress Diana Scarwid is 63. Inside Moves. Mommie Dearest. Silkwood.

Talk-show host Craig Kilborn is 56. Actress Marlee Matlin is 53. Actor comedian Dave Chappelle is 45. Ahchoo in Mel Brooks‘ Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Actor Rupert Grint is 30. Harry Potter. Actor Steve Guttenberg is 60. 1984 Police Academy. Supposedly there is a new Police Academy film in the making.

Actress Mitzi Gaynor is 87. Singer Beyoncé Knowles is 37. Actor comedian Kyle Mooney is 34. SNL. Comedian actor Bob Newhart is 89. Actor William Devane is 79. Knots Landing. Actor Michael Keaton is 67.  Batman. Actress Raquel Welch is 78. We all remember the image of her in that doe-skin bikini that became best-selling posters, then turned her into a sex symbol. She still looks better than fabulous.

According to Wiktionary: Wet Willy (plural wet willies) (slang) A prank whereby a spit-moistened finger is inserted into an unsuspecting person’s ear, often with a slight twisting motion. See below.

Let’s see if I can get this one right. It’s hard to see what I’m typing when I laugh this hard. A man in Florida was arrested after allegedly “giving his girlfriend a wet willy while he was belligerent.” The girlfriend had allegedly come home and found the man drunk on the living room floor. The man and his girlfriend then left and went to a friend’s house where “he continued to drink and was belligerent.” On the way home, he grabbed her arm and gave her a wet willy. He was arrested on a battery charge. He says he wasn’t drunk. So, you laughing yet? I bet you are at least smiling.

Sawdust is man glitter.

Coming to Smart Financial Centre: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Willie Nelson & Family, Roy Orbison The Hologram Tour, Marina McBride, and Mannheim Steamroller. I just saw Tony Bennett there and you should have heard him sing ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and ‘I left My Heart in San Francisco.’ Then he wooed us with ‘How Do You Keep the Music Playing?’  He still has what it takes.

Instead of a sign that says, Do Not Disturb, I need one that says Already Disturbed. Proceed with Caution.

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”President George W. Bush

A&M opened the season with their new $7.5 million-a-year coach, Jimbo Fisher after ditching Kevin Sumlin to bring Fisher from Florida State.  For those bad at math, that’s $75-million over a 10-year period. Hmmm. What exactly does that say about the priorities of our universities. What exactly does that say about the priorities of our society? Sigh.

The Big Bang is a scientific theory about how the universe started, and then made the stars and galaxies as we see them today. The Big Bang Theory TV show will call it quits after their 12th season. It is promised that, “the series finale will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic close.”

Just in case you didn’t get a chance to watch, Leonard Botello IV, owner and pit master of Truth BBQ in Brenham, did a great job on the finale of ‘Chopped Grill Masters’ but failed to win the $50,000 grand prize. Dang. But, he is still No. 1 on our list and in the Top Ten of Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas.” It doesn’t get any better than that.

The Harris County man who put a 23-month-old toddler in scalding water and stomped on the child because he had a dirty diaper and cried, was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Not long enough. The water was so hot that the child has permanent scarring.

‘Deathtrap’ opens this weekend at the Center for the Arts and Sciences, Dow Arena Theatre. The story is a success of Broadway history, full of thrills and laughter. Friday is opening night and I’m making cookies. Be a part of it. Mature audiences, please.  979-265-7661. I can make suggestions on how to have a good time, but you need to pick up your phone or computer and get your own tickets. 😊

School officials saw a video of a middle school teacher that she had posted to her private Facebook account. The problem is that the teacher moonlights as a pole-dancer and has now been suspended ‘with’ pay pending the outcome of an investigation because the school district’s policy says, “employees are role models who are responsible for their public conduct even when they are not performing their job duties.” My question is which school official saw the video. Hmmm.

George Clooney tops the Forbes 2018 list of highest-paid actors with $239-million in pre-tax earnings. This also includes the upcoming sale of Casamigos Tequila, which Clooney co-founded plus earnings from endorsements and older movies. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson came in second with $124-million pretax. Forbes says Johnson has a huge social media following that helped him nearly double his 2017 earnings. Robert Downey Jr. was third with a measly $81-million, Chris Hemsworth with $64.5-million and Jackie Chan with an embarrassing $45.5-million.

I don’t have grey hair. I have wisdom highlights.

As I sat at my computer yesterday working on this column, a hummingbird flew right into the big plate glass window at the front of my building. I rushed out and found it twitching and fighting for life. Back to the kitchen for a towel. As I opened the front door to pick it up, I questioned whether I planned mouth-to-mouth or a good hard rub like you do puppies the moment they are born. I just don’t know. Anyway, I stepped out and the tiny, beautiful creature came up struggling, but finally flying. She was a little unsteady like she had had one too many, then she found her mojo and disappeared over the top of my roof. It reminds me that it’s time to put out hummingbird feeders. I have one outside my kitchen window and three hummers were fighting for nectar even in the rain on Labor Day. My daughter and I were working on a project at the kitchen table and watched. Such a pleasure. Easy and inexpensive nectar solution is one-part sugar with four-parts boiling water, stirring until the sugar is entirely dissolved. There is no need for red food coloring. Let it cool to room temperature and store in a CLEAN, sealed container. Please make sure that there isn’t any trace of another food in the container because sugar water can be easily fermented by exposure to yeast and that’s not good for the bird’s tiny system. I picked up a new feeder at Walmart for $7.00 that looks like it’s dishwasher safe which doesn’t really matter because IT IS going in the dishwasher this evening when I change the water, even if it’s not dishwasher safe.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. You make it fun for me to keep reading and repeating. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! August 30, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 29, 2018

Getting old is terrible. I used to wake up feeling like a million bucks…now I feel more like a bounced check.

Bush Intercontinental airport has opened four nursing rooms equipped with AC and USB power outlets, changing tables and glider chairs. Most rooms can accommodate three mothers at a time as well as additional children and an area to put the stroller. Way to go! Wish there had been something like this when I was nursing my two kids.

A lone kangaroo caused a timeout at a soccer field during a National Premier League match in Canberra, Australia. Twice. Because of a record dry winter, there is very little food, so mobs of kangaroos are hopping into towns to munch on green lawns, sports fields and schoolyards.

This is a crazy story. Volkswagen has quit using ‘hail cannons’ outside their factory in Puebla, Mexico after local farmers blamed the cannons for a drought that lead to the loss of nearly 5,000 acres of crops by keeping away precipitation. The automaker was using cannons to emit shock waves into the sky, which is believed to prevent the chunks of ice from forming, therefore eliminating hailstorms and damage to the new cars. I don’t make the news, I just read it and then figure out what I think you will be interested in knowing.

For decades, China restricted the number of babies that a couple could have, with their one-child policy. Traditional preferences for male children resulted in selective abortion therefore, there are now fewer females to marry and bear children. Three years ago, they decided to change that number to two children per family.  China now has more than 1.4-billion people, is aging quickly and has a smaller workforce left to support their growing elderly population that seems to be living longer.

The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in. Paris Hilton

Contact lens packages don’t currently tell users how to dispose of the lens, so many users either flush them down the toilet or wash them down the sink instead of putting them in the garbage. A 2015 study said that there were 93,000 to 236,000 metric tons of microplastic swirling around in the ocean. If that was 3-4 years ago, what’s it like now. Dispose of your contact lenses properly. They are medical devices so do not expect them to be biodegradable.

When I first learned to cook, there were only Red Delicious apples and Granny Smith green apples. You ate the red ones and baked pies with the green ones. That was it. Today, there are Braeburn, Fuji, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Cortland, and my personal favorite, the Pink Lady, plus many more. Well, the Gala apple which we all love, originated in New Zealand in the 1930’s and has now risen in popularity, giving it the classification of ‘new favorite’ over the Red Delicious. I think we would all agree.

Climate change has created heat so bad in Japan (and right here in the USA in case you haven’t noticed) that their government officials are urging male citizens to use parasols or umbrellas to keep healthy in the heat. Male officials posted fun pictures of themselves on social media with their UV umbrellas, as stores immediately reported a surge in sales among men in their 50’s to 70’s.

In the past two years, Brad Pitt has given his estranged wife more than $1-million and lent her another $8-million to buy her current home. She says, “he has paid no meaningful child support.” Hmmm.  I wonder if Angelina fully understands how a normal, regular, average mom in the normal, regular, average world, survives and raises kids with the amount of money they are paid for child support.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is 74. Actor David Duchovny is 58. Actress Charlize Theron is 43. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 81. Actor Keith Carradine is 69. Actor Donny Most is 65. Ralph Malph on Happy Days. Britain’s Princess Beatrice is 30. Rocker the Edge is 57. U2. Singer JC Chasez is 42. ‘N Sync. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 68. Wrestler actor Hulk Hogan is 65.

Actress Viola Davis is 53. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 35. Actor Robert DeNiro is 75. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 60. The Go-Go’s. Actor Sean Penn is 58. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells is 77. Chef Giada DeLaurentiis is 48. Talk-show host James Corden is 40. Singer Kenny Rogers is 80. Actress Kim Cattrall is 62. Country singer Kacey Musgraves is 30. Rock singer Robert Plant is 70. Led Zeppelin.

Singer songwriter John Hiatt is 66. Actress Joan Allen is 62. Actress Vera Miles is 88. Lila Crane in Psycho. Actress Barbara Eden is 87. Actress Shelley Long is 69. Singer Rick Springfield is 69. Ex-NBA player Kobe Bryant is 40. Rock singer-actor Gene Simmons is 69. Chef Rachael Ray is 50. Michael Jackson would be 60 this week.

Everyone has either read, watched the movie or heard about Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg. She is such a wonderful story teller. (When I am in the car, I am always listening to a book on tape. Always.) Last week I finished a Fannie Flagg book-on-tape called The Whole Town’s Talking. It was a very whimsical story of Lordor Nordstrom, an immigrant, his Swedish mail-order bride, their descendants and neighbors as they live, love and died in Elmwood Springs, Missouri, from 1889 to 2021. Their final resting place comes alive in the afterlife with mystery, love, laughter as odd things happen in the cemetery. It is such a sweet story and I was reminded that life is such a gift. I’m turning in the audio tonight, so you can check it out at the LJ library tomorrow.

The Eagles’ greatest hits album, released in 1976, has passed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to become history’s best-selling album of all time. Hotel California, released in 1977, is now the third best-selling album of all time. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2016.

Viktor NekrasovAugust was nearly over – the month of apples and falling stars, the last care-free month for the school children. The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear – the first sign of advancing autumn.”  (Obviously, this person was not from South Texas.)

On September 17th, the new service animal policy (i.e., trained service animals, psychological support animals and emotional support animals) from Southwest Airlines goes into effect. It says, “Southwest will only accept the following species of animals in our cabin as trained service animals – dogs, cats and miniature horses.” Hmmm. Cats. I have cats and I promise you that if I asked one of my cats to help me cross the street, they are going to give me the, “you, my friend, are only good for food,” look as they turn and walk away. Miniature horses. Well, that’s a different story. If you research, miniature horses are not uncommon for service roles since they can do everything a dog can plus pull a wheelchair and they’re tall enough to support people that need an additional way to balance themselves. So, listen up. If anybody tries to stop you from bringing your miniature horse that performs specific tasks for your health, safety, or accessibility on a flight, they’re breaking the law.

I just talked to my son who told me that he hadn’t showered because they haven’t had hot water at his dorm since yesterday. I told him that it didn’t matter since it’s pouring rain today. He then assured me that it was ok because he had an airplane bath…a swipe under each wing and the tail. I’m still laughing.

It has now officially been one year since Harvey visited our area. I found the little piece of paper where I wrote down the events of each day, the rain amounts, the water levels and such. When I read it, it made me feel physically ill. It’s been a tough year for so many and for some, it’s not over until they get to live in their homes again. I read that there were 150,000 homes flooded and damage was estimated at around $125-billion. Sigh.

Our largest grocery store chain has begun the process of phasing out the one-time-use plastic bags as more and more people begin to understand the impact on the environment. Kroger Co. says that the goal is to be plastic-free at its nearly 2,800 stores by 2025. They order about 6-billion bags each year. Why wait until 2025. Do it this year or charge for the bags if you don’t bring your own. Do it now.

I’m going bagless. I have been bringing my own bags to stores for years, but sometimes I forget when it’s a trip for just a few items. I decided two weeks ago that unless I need a one-time use bag for trash in my car or if I have too many items to carry, I am asking store clerks to let me carry out my purchases either in my purse, in my hands or in a small, lightweight bag that I’m now carrying in my purse. So far, the response is all positive. Go bagless. See above.

You know you’re getting old when: I walked back in to sit at my desk after spraying the weeds in front of my office. It was a really clear day and I always want the front of my office to look pretty when you visit. (As you have read in this column, I always use vinegar, salt and Dawn dishwashing soap because it’s so much better for the environment than weed killer. The soap causes the vinegar to stick to the weed and the salt drips down and makes the soil less desirable for the weed to return. You should use it too.) It was so hot out that morning and I was dripping wet with sweat, so I thought I would pull my hair up. No hair clips in my desk drawer, just a box of black binder clips, so the hair went up as I said to myself, “What do I care, I won’t see anyone today, anyway.” Yep. It held my hair up. And the Fed-Ex guy didn’t say anything insulting as I signed for a package five minutes later. And then the UPS guy appeared with more school supplies for my daughter and was very courteous, not laughing either. Then, about 30-minutes later some dark black clouds appeared and before I knew it, there were massive amounts of rain. Now, I will have to re-spray the weeds again because I bet it all washed off, but I don’t have the guilt that I would have if I had sprayed with Roundup and it had washed into Oyster Creek.

Hey, those binder clips also work great for attaching a bed sheet to cover and protect your favorite plants this next winter if-and-when it freezes. The clips also make a great keychain for extra keys since the handles pop-off when you squeeze them together.

A federal appeals court ruled that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that even tiny levels of exposure can harm babies’ brains and has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to remove ‘chlorpyrifos’ from sale in the US within 60 days. This pesticide is used to spray apples, citrus and other crops.

My mother moved very quickly back to Waco in May, leaving me with tons of her stuff, so I have spent the past few months cleaning out her house and wondering what I could have done differently to help her to ‘like living here.’ I had entertained her, cooked for her, worked in her yard, taken her to concerts and community functions, all so she would feel like she was a part of it all. Well, her 83rd birthday was last weekend and guess what, I got to meet her new boyfriend when I arrived in Waco. They graduated together. Their reunion was in the spring. It all fits into place now. Hmmm.

Thanks for reading this. I appreciate it. Lisa





What I Heard This Week! August 23, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 22, 2018

The way I see it, ‘Chopped’ is a game show and a cooking show and reality television all wrapped into one. They take four pretty good chefs, give them a basketful of sometimes bizarre, unrelated ingredients that really don’t work well together at all, then ask them to prepare a fabulous dish in 20-30 minutes. Last night, two of the ingredients were short ribs and spicy grub worms. Ick. Lake Jackson’s own Leonard Botello IV, owner and pitmaster of Truth BBQ in Brenham, was among the four pitmasters competing in Food Network’s Chopped Grill Masters competition, a five-part series featuring 16 chefs representing regional barbecue styles from Kansas City, Memphis, Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas. Winners from each regional competition will face off on the finale airing August 28, with a grand prize of $50,000. (PS – Botello won last night and will represent Texas.) woohoo!! Go, Leonard.

ABC 13’s Ed Brandon passed away this week. He was chief weatherman from 1972 to 1989 and 1990 until his retirement in 2007.

Ford Motor Company marked the production of the 10-millionth Mustang. Mustang is the best-selling sports car of the past 50 years in the US and the top selling sports car for the past three years. A 22-year-old, third-grade school teacher bought the first Mustang on April 15th, 1964. It was skylight blue and she paid $3,447.50. Gail Wise is now 76 years old and still owns the fully restored mustang with just 68,000 miles on it. Today’s value is estimated at approximately $350,000 to $450,000. My first car was a ‘66 Pony. Should have kept it. It sure was fun back in the 70’s.

A real estate agent in Granbury, Texas had someone dress up in a giant T. Rex costume, then pose for pictures while mowing the grass, showering, raiding the refrigerator, taking a nap and fishing on the lake, to help advertise and sell a house. Within two days, the agent had over 45 showings and a contract on the cute little, 796-square-foot home that had an asking price of $89,900. Smart advertising.

“…to me, Aretha Franklin was really the top, the best. She was one of those people who opened her mouth and out came brilliance.” James Taylor

Bill and Jen Arnold, stars of “Little Couple” have finally sold their home in the Houston Braeswood area after a year on the market and 10 price cuts. Yep. My first thought was the home was set up for little people and that was the problem, but the home had been remodeled for people of standard height. Harvey probably didn’t help things.

There is a bristly, swiveling, motorized ‘thing’ that spins when a cow brushes against it, allowing the cow to be brushed and buffed in places that the animal cannot reach. They’re called mechanical brushes and they are required for cattle in Denmark but not in the US or Canada. On average, cows will spend seven minutes a day rubbing their heads, necks and backs on these body buffers. This is important to their well-being since some of these cows may never leave the barn or experience the joy of a pasture during their lives, so there’s not really an opportunity to find a fence post or a tree to rub against. This makes for happy cows. I wonder if they make them for cats. And people.

In Dreams: Roy Orbison In Concert – The Hologram Tour is coming to Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land. The tour promises “breathtaking state-of-the-art cutting-edge digital and laser technology and extraordinary theatrical stagecraft.”  Remember “Oh, Pretty Woman, Only the Lonely, and Crying?” I’m betting that ‘hologram’ Orbinson will be a great show. Orbison died in 1988. I love watching him play in the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne.

RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Boxer Leon Spinks is 65. Remember the ’78 fight with Muhammad Ali. Actress Sela Ward is 62. Jazz musician Kirk Whalum is 60. I will Always Love You with Whitney Houston. Actress Lisa Rinna is 55. Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives, Taylor McBride on Melrose Place. Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin is 51. Rapper Lil’Kim is 43. Rock star Ringo Starr is 78. Actor comedian Jim Gaffigan is 52. Actor Brian Dennehy is 80. Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood. Semi-Tough with Burt Reynolds.

Actor Richard Roundtree is 76. Shaft. I can still remember some of the words from the theme song. Actor Jimmy Smits is 63. Actor Tom Hanks is 62. Actress Kelly McGillis is 61. Singer Arlo Guthrie is 71. He is coming to Jones Hall on February 20, 2019. Actress Sofia Vergara is 46. Singer-actress Jessica Simpson is 38. Rock singer David Crosby is 77. He is the father of Melissa Etheridge’s two children. She could have had Brad Pitt but decided against it. Hmmm.

Comedian-actor Steve Martin is 73. Author Danielle Steel is 71. Actress Halle Berry is 52. Actress Mila Kunis is 35. Football baseball player Tim Tebow is 31. Director James Cameron is 64. Actress Angela Bassett is 60. Actor Timothy Hutton is 58. Actor Steve Carell is 56. Actress Rumer Willis is 30. Actor Danny Bonaduce is 59. The Partridge Family.  Actress Debi Mazar is 54. Extra Virgin. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is 36. Bet she feels older than that. Especially right after a press conference.

Actor George Hamilton is 79. Forever tan. Rock singer musician Mark Knopfler is 69. Dire Straits. Singer Kid Creole is 68. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 64. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 55. International Tennis Hall of Fame Pete Sampras is 47. Actor Casey Affleck is 43. Actress Rosanna Arquette is 59. Actor Antonio Banderas is 58. Actor writer Justin Theroux is 47. Actress Angie Harmon is 46. Actress Jill St. John is 78. Former President Bill Clinton is 72. Actor Gerald McRaney is 71. Simon & Simon.

Tipper Gore is 70. Wife of former VP Al Gore. Actor John Stamos is 55. Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 53. Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 52. Actor Matthew Perry is 49. Country singer Clay Walker is 49. Actor Sam Elliott is 74. Actress Melanie Griffith is 61. Actress Amanda Bearse is 60. Married with Children.  Actress Gillian Anderson is 50. Actress Anna Kendrick is 33.

On the Trinity River, in Liberty County, ‘somewhere south of Highway 59,’ Lance Stephens reeled in an alligator gar measuring 8-feet, 4-inches, weighing 264-pounds, with a 44-inch girth. He caught it with gaspergou and will have it mounted.  But he’s still not going to tell you exactly where he caught it.

So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breath out and decide.Meredith Grey

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

New Zealand plans to ban disposable plastic shopping bags by this time next year. As you know, the bags are polluting the coastal and marine environment, so a number of countries have introduced bans or restrictions on the single-use plastic bags, including France, Belgium, China, (and even Hawaii and California). Carry your re-usable bags with you in your car.

The Taj Mahal and 100 other sites in India went litter-free in June with a pledge to get rid of all litter for 500 meters (.31 miles) around the buildings, plus an awareness campaign warning about the dangers of single-use plastics. Anyone listening?

Ironic: The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum switched to solar power last year to save on energy bills. The owners said they installed the solar panels because two kinds of energy can work together. Hmmm. I agree.

You remember the ‘animal cracker’ box, don’t you…red box resembling a circus boxcar with four animals riding in the car. It had ‘Barnum’s Animals’ crackers written on the side and as a kid, you loved to have that string handle hanging on your wrist. Your own private box of cookies. Thanks to the efforts of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) the box has been redesigned to where the lion, giraffe, elephant, gorilla and zebra are free-roaming animals. If you remember, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed last year after 146-years. I wonder if PETA will have a problem with us eating the animals.

Sweden’s tallest peak, Kebnekaise, shrunk in height by 13-ft in July during a glacier-melting heat wave.

A Houston sports bar is getting a lot of support after saying that they won’t be purchasing the NFL Sunday Ticket package offered by DirecTV this year due to National Anthem protests. “If the NFL and media continue to use these games as a way to further divide our country, we will stop showing any NFL games altogether,” Henry Hudson’s Pub management wrote. “We come together to watch these games and support our teams for entertainment, it is not political, and it is not educational. It is for our entertainment and it always has been. We fully support anyone’s right to raise awareness for their issues and causes and believe that as sports celebrities they already have a large platform to do so,” the statement continued. “There is a time and a place, and the beginning of an entertainment show is not it.” According to USA Today, the NFL Sunday Ticket package cost the regular home subscriber $293.94 for just the basic package. But, bars are charged depending on their occupancy and can run thou$ands.

Another bar story that I love. A 31-year-old man from Palm Beach was having dinner with his long-term girlfriend and their twin daughters in Savannah, Georgia, when he walked by a 21-year-old waitress and groped her rear end. Without missing a beat, the waitress turned, threw him down then told a co-worker to call the police. The man was arrested in front of his girlfriend and children and charged with sexual battery, then spent two nights in jail before being released. The waitress said, “I honestly didn’t even give it much thought, I just did it. I didn’t even know I could do that. I don’t care who you are. You have no right to disrespect me.”   Oh, and what makes this story even better is that there is a surveillance video that is just awesome.

The original hand-drawn map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods sold at auction for $571,000, a record price for a book illustration.

A new Oscars category to recognize popular movies was announced by the Academy. The move is seen as a bid to boost the award show’s ratings. I personally like the idea.

Robert Redford is 81-years-old and has said that he will retire from acting after his next movie, “The Old Man & the Gun” is completed. Redford made his film debut in War Hunt (1962). Inside Daisy Clover (1965) won him a Golden Globe for best new star. He starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), which made him a major star. In 1972, he had Jeremiah Johnson, and in 1973, the greatest hit of his career, The Sting, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. All the President’s Men (1976) was considered a landmark film. The first film that Redford directed, Ordinary People (1980), won four Oscars including Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Director. In 1980, he starred in Brubaker, and Out of Africa (1985) won seven Oscars including Best Picture. He released his third film as a director, A River Runs Through It, in 1992. Certainly, one of my favorites. He didn’t mention retiring from directing and producing so there is still hope for more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Don’t forget to recycle and share the paper with a friend. Lisa


What I Heard This Week! August 16, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pray for California.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! August 9, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! August 2, 2018

What I Heard This Week August 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! July 26, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! July 19, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading this today. Have a great weekend.

What I Heard This Week! July 12, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! July 5, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Heard This Week! March 15, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 15, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lisa


What I Heard This Week! March 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 8, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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  • Much Ado About Nothing - Period Party

    by on July 19, 2018 - 0 Comments

    I got an invitation to a Period Party. As a writer – well, in the loosest interpretation of that word – I thought I’d been invited to a fun little soiree involving punctuation and editing marks. My brain was so busy trying to decide which red gel pen I’d take as a hostess gift that […]

  • What I Heard This Week! July 19, 2018

    by on July 19, 2018 - 0 Comments

    This one was hard to write. A 29-year-old Corpus Christi woman was arrested after having sold her son, age 7, and was also in the process of trying to sell her daughters, age 2 and 3. I admit that there have been many times that I thought about getting rid of my children, but I […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Water-Skiing Squirrel

    by on July 26, 2018 - 0 Comments

    There may be no greater example of the brutality of Time marching on than this. Oh children, how it grieves me that, alas, I must be the bearer of this heartbreaking news, but, yes, after nearly 40 long, glorious years, the water-skiing squirrel show is ending. Please wail and gnash your teeth now. I’ll wait. […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Food Offended

    by on August 8, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Burger King offends me. Standing in allegiance with vegans and vegetarians everywhere, I must demand that they change their name. Burger, naturally, is an affront to the sensibilities of all animal lovers everywhere. Not to mention, the idea of having a crowned ruler dictating over a bun-oriented sandwich of any type seems highly archaic. To […]

  • What I Heard This Week! July 26, 2018

    by on July 26, 2018 - 0 Comments

    According to the Planet Fitness website, this chain promises a “Judgement Free Zone,” where members feel comfortable regardless of their fitness level.” In New Hampshire, one member walked in, stripped off all his clothes, walked across the gym a couple of times, found a mat and struck a yoga pose. He was arrested for his […]

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