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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

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