Marathon Oil Corporation Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards

August 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The 2012 Marathon Oil Corporation Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards will be held on Thursday, January 19th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Houston.  This annual awards banquet is held to announce the Coach of the Year winner live and to recognize a Lifetime Achievement recipient on his career accomplishments.  Awards night festivities include a VIP reception for attendees to mingle one-on-one with coaches and celebrities; and an auction of sports memorabilia and experiences.

WHAT:
Each year, the American Heart Association offers a unique opportunity for sports enthusiasts to mix and mingle with legendary college football coaches from across the nation while supporting the important cause of fighting heart disease and stroke.  On Jan. 19, 2012, the 26th Annual Marathon Oil Corporation Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards benefiting the American Heart Association will take place at the HYATT Regency Hotel in Downtown Houston.

The grand ballroom will be filled with sports legends including the likes of Hayden Fry, former Iowa Coach, and 10th all time winningest coach in college football history, who will be crowned as the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Winner.  Presenting the award to Fry will be Bobby Bowden.  Also joining them will be some of the nation’s top football coaches patiently waiting to find out who will take home the coveted Coach of the Year Award, formally given to football greats such as Joe Paterno, Nick Saban and Mack Brown. The winner will be announced live at the annual awards dinner.

Marathon Oil Corporation is the title sponsor, and media partners for the event include 1560 The Game, Health & Fitness Sports Magazine, H Texas and Fox Sports Houston.

WHEN:
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 @ 6 – 10 p.m.

WHERE:        
HYATT Regency Hotel Downtown
1200 Louisiana Street
Houston, Texas 77002

TICKETS:
For more information, or to purchase tickets or a table for the event, contact Kristin Rodriguez at 713-610-5026 or visit www.bryantawards.com.  Prices are: $250 per individual ticket, $1,000 VIP tickets with tables starting at $5,000.

WHY:
The Marathon Oil Corporation Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards is a major fundraiser for the American Heart Association, with many businesses, community leaders, and sports figures annually lending support to the event. The American Heart Association seeks to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

2011 Houston Heart Walk

August 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

FIGHT HEART DISEASE ONE STEP AT A TIME: JOIN THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION FOR THE 2011 HOUSTON HEART WALK

Photo credit: American Heart Association

WHAT:
Join the American Heart Association on Saturday, November 5 with more than 25,000 Houstonians for the 2011 Houston Heart Walk, a non-competitive, five mile walk. Join families, friends, co-workers, heart disease and stroke survivors and walk. Walk for a family member who lost their battle. Walk for a survivor. Walk for yourself. Walk for your children as an example to live a healthier life. Walk to raise funds for the American Heart Association so they can continue to fight the No. 1 health threat, heart disease. Take a step toward a stronger, healthier life and show your support for the cause. The walk kicks off at 9 a.m. in Sam Houston Park Downtown.

Families will celebrate and enjoy festivities throughout the park in three interactive villages: Inspire Change (nutrition, information about making changes for health); Celebrate Success (Kid’s zone, Lifestyle Change Award announcement, team photos); and Create Hope (survivor area, free health screenings, heart health).The annual success of the Heart Walk is due in part to national and local sponsors. The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® restaurants, and locally by Reliant Energy and FMC Technologies.

WHEN:
9 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2011
(Opening ceremony starts 9 a.m. with walk kicking off at 9:30 a.m.)

WHERE:

Sam Houston Park Downtown- Entrance at Bagby
1100 Bagby Street
Houston, TX 77002
Parking is available on the street.

WHY:
Heart disease and stroke — the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers — and all other cardiovascular diseases, claim more than 870,000 American lives a year.  The American Heart Association’s goal is $2 million for the 2011 Walk. Research funded by the American Heart Association has yielded or contributed to many important innovations such as CPR, life-extending drugs (including clot-busters), pacemakers, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine and surgical techniques to repair heart defects.

HOW:

To participate in the annual event, walkers can registers online by visiting www.houstonheartwalk.org or by calling 713-610-5000. There is no registration fee, but donations are accepted. Walk as part of a company team or form your own team with family and friends.

This Weekend!

August 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

—- Cocktail Party @ Americas

Join Houston Single Friends
for a Cocktail Party at
River Oaks

Churrascos

Cocktail Party @ Americas on Friday September 2, 2011 at 6pm
2040 West Gray Street  Houston, TX

  • New Location at Shepherd and West Gray
  • Meetup from 6pm to 8pm or so…
  • Complementary valet parking for tips
  • Free parking in the shopping center
  • Free parking garage behind the restaurant
  • Complimentary Appetizer Samples with be served

—- Improv Comedy Club – Ali Siddiq

Without hesitation, those who have crossed paths with Ali would agree that using the word “funny” to describe him is an understatement. From his over-the-top fashion to his thought provoking punch lines, Ali’s comedic approach is undeniably captivating. After discovering his calling, Ali sought ways to showcase his new found talent. During this time, he caught the attention of the owner of Jus’ Joking Comedy Café, in Houston, Texas. There, he emerged as a weekly featured stand-up comic. This opportunity allowed him to perfect his comedic storytelling skills, brand his name and catch the interest of some of the most talented comedians in the industry.

Event Phone: (713) 333-8800
Event Website: Ali Siddiq website
Venue Phone: (713) 333-8800
Venue Website: Improv Comedy Club (Houston) website
Categories: Music, Comedy
Price: $17
Age Suitability: 18 and up

Social at the IMPROV on Saturday September 3, 2011 at 8pm
7620 Katy Fwy Houston, TX

A ROYAL PAIN

August 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                                                29 Aug. 2011

Just when we thought the Canucks had grown up and left the nest, they move back in with Mom. In case you missed it, here’s the news item: “Canada’s Conservative government, stressing ties to Queen Elizabeth II and the monarchy, is reinstating the names Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy after a gap of 43 years.”

Gen. Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defense staff, explained, “The initiative to restore the historic names of Canada’s three former services is aimed at restoring an important and recognizable part of Canada’s military heritage.” It seems that back in1968, the Canadian Liberal Party removed the “royal” designation when they amalgamated the branches of service and called the military simply “the Canadian Forces.”

Note that the announcement refers to the “three former services,” but does not mention the Canadian Army, which long ago sold off its rifles and commenced to nation building. Actually, Canada is the only country which has erected a monument to its army of peacekeepers. Honest. And we must suppose up north they don’t have a Marine Corps. Maybe they use the Mounties, although charging a beach in those high-collared bright red tunics seems a bit dangerous.

Next our northern cousins will add a Union Jack to their Maple Leaf flag and return to singing “God Save the Queen” in place of  “O Canada,” which was quite pretty the first 54 times you heard it during the Winter Olympics. None of this will go over well with the 7-million French-Canadians. Of course, when your chief of the defense staff is named Natynczyk, he’s probably not French, as I was telling French President Sarkozy. They are still “subjects.” I wouldn’t want to be called a subject. Being a predicate or an adverb is fine, but subject sounds like some peasant toiling in the fields as the king’s carriage rolls by.

Now, some of you Canadians are thinking, “What aboot the colour of your shed-yule, eh? And what business is it of yours?” Well, speaking of business, the U.S. and Canada have the largest trading partnership on Earth. We share the longest border in the world — 5,525 miles — and we speak almost the same language. Vast numbers of Texans have worked in the Yukon in January and lived to tell about it. A lot of Canadians live in Texas. We gave you NORAD. You gave us Justin Bieber and Celine Dion.

But the Canucks protect themselves from the Goliath to the south. While the Toronto Sun could, and did, buy The Houston Post, vice versa was not allowed by Canadian law. Nevertheless, the Canadian publishers were great people – loved sports and gin, not in that order. With that (excuse the cliché) 400-pound gorilla camped on their southern doorstep, and with a population a bit more than one-tenth that of the U.S., it’s easy to see why Canada wants to protect itself.

This subjugation to the British monarchy is not unusual. Two years ago the eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines voted to remain under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II — they rejected a plan to replace her with a president chosen by Parliament. In one form or another, 15 former parts of the British Empire still pay homage to Her Majesty. She is still their monarch; her face is on their money. Some countries (Australia and New Zealand being the most prominent), use the Union Jack as part of their flag. These countries, or colonies, still have a governor general who is the Queen’s personal representative. It is usually a local loyalist, and the job is mostly ceremonial, but not totally.

Still, I’ve never understood some people’s fascination with the British royals, especially among Americans. Didn’t we fight a long and bloody war to toss out the Brits? However, historians estimate one-third of the Colonials were loyal to King George III and fled when the revolutionaries won. Where did they go? To Canada. Today the British, with their dry sense of humor, annually put up a small sign in their consulate in Houston: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be closed July 4th.”

Our Founding Fathers were so spooked by the British royalty that our Constitution strictly forbids royal titles and foreign awards were frowned upon. In the Boxer Rebellion, Marine legend Smedley Butler was wounded, but rescued a British soldier under fire. Butler was recommended for the Victoria Cross, Britain’s equivalent of the Medal of Honor, but in those days members of the U.S. military were not allowed to accept foreign decorations.

A few years ago when then-Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson visited Texas, reporters slavishly referred to “Fergie-mania.” Why? During the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate, who seem like nice folks, American reporters gushed over the couple, their lifestyle, what they were wearing, and I kept hearing, “Americans are fascinated by them.” And, “We’ve always had a love affair with the royals.” Maybe the TV types do. I don’t. Nothing personal, it’s just the contrast of all the gold and lace and servants running around, and then a few weeks later to see thousands of poor, out-of-work youths about the same age rioting for jobs and flat screens.

Still, most Brits have little trouble supporting the House of Windsor, to the tune of about $66 million in U.S. dollars each year. Forbes magazine estimated the Queen’s net worth at around $450 million US in 2010. Buckingham Palace says that’s “grossly overstated.” The recent royal wedding cost an estimated $163 million. If the Brits are happy being subjects of the crown, and paying the bills, that’s their business. I just wish they’d first paid us back for Lend Lease.

As for our good friends the Canadians, they are back in the royal fold, subject to being subjects. They have been good neighbors, ignoring the fact that we invaded them twice and tried to annex the place. And we can only wonder what Texas would be like today if the Spanish had conquered Canada while the Brits and French had landed at Vera Cruz.

We end with the story of a young man applying for a job at a large company. The CEO, who liked to do his own hiring, asked, “Where are you from, son?”

The young man replied, “Canada, sir.”

“Oh really? Why did you leave Canada?” asked the CEO.

The young man replied, “They’re all just loose women and hockey players up there.”

“My wife is from Canada.”

“Really? What team did she play for?”

 

Ashby rules at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

LARGEST CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL IN TEXAS WITH 400 CRAFT BEERS, 20 BREWMASTERS & 80 BREW BRAINS!
TEXAS BREWERY TASTING TOUR JUST ADDED, PLUS FIREWORKS AND FAMILY FUN ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

 

WHAT’ S BREWING FACT SHEET

BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival at Moody Gardens
Labor Day Weekend, September 2 – 5  


WHAT:                  BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival, presented by Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods!   
Held at
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, the largest craft beer festival in Texas is a four-day celebration showcasing three signature events:  the BrewTopia Beer Garden, the Brew HaHa Grand Tastings & Keg Korner, and BrewLicious in the Ballroom.  Interactive activities include the BrewMasters 5K Rock & Run, a new kid’s zone, live music, beer and food pairing dinners featuring renowned chefs, educational seminars, and award-winning Brewmasters.

To beer-lovers delight, Spec’s will bring in upwards of 20 Brewmasters/Founders and 80 Brew Brains to quench the literal and educational thirst of consumers interested in learning more about the festival’s 400 represented craft beers.  More than 15,000 suds sippers are expected to hoist a mug at the craft beer bonanza.

WHEN:                  Labor Day Weekend, Friday thru Monday, September 2 to 5

WHERE:                Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, One Hope Boulevard, Galveston, 77554 —  (888-388-8484)

HIGHLIGHTS:
BREWTOPIA BEER GARDEN – Friday-Sunday, September 2-4, 4-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Sat/Sun
The family-friendly area under the big tent in the Oleander Bowl at Moody Gardens includes a new Krazy Kids Fun Zone, live music, food and of course beer! Entry to the BrewTopia Beer Garden is free, although the donation of canned goods or spare change is encouraged with contributions benefiting the Galveston County Food Bank in conjunction with hunger awareness month.

BREWTOPIA MUSIC LINE-UP:

Friday, Sept. 2
4:30-6:30 p.m.                   David Grace
7-10 p.m.                            The Line Up

Saturday, Sept. 3
Noon-2 p.m.                       Free Radicals
2:15-3:45 p.m.                   The Hit Squad
4-6:30 p.m.                         Wearemantis
7-8 p.m.                               Mr. Blacc Sheep and Bigga Staar
8:15-10 p.m.                       D.R.U.M.

Sunday, Sept. 4
Noon-2:30 p.m.                  The Navigators
3-5 p.m.                               Paul Ramirez Band
5:30-7:30 p.m.                   Texas Brass Band
8-9:30 p.m.                        ZWEE

BREWLICIOUS IN THE BALLROOM – Friday, September 2, 6:30 -10 p.m.
Located at the Moody Gardens Hotel’s Francis Anne Moody Ballroom, BrewLicious in the Ballroom will feature restaurants and chefs showcasing unique food and beer pairing samples.  Tickets to the event are $55, with a VIP Premium Room upgrade ticket for $75.

PUB PARTY CRAWL – Friday, September 2, 8 p.m. start from Moody Gardens Hotel Lobby
Tour Galveston Island’s featured hot spots in an air conditioned bus and meet Brew Brains along the way while sampling their crafts.  Tickets are $20; includes BrewMasters coozie, T-shirt and reserved seat on Moody Garden’s bus.

BREWMASTERS 5K ROCK & RUNSaturday, September 3, 6 a.m. onsite registration; 7 a.m. walk/run
Party on the Pavement sponsored by Coca-Cola and held at Moody Gardens.  The race will be a timed fun run, followed by a 5K walk.  A post-event awards ceremony takes place at 8:45 a.m. and includes complimentary “fitness friendly” beer.  Participants may register online at www.signmeupsports.com/77924 <http://www.signmeupsports.com/77924>   or download a race brochure at www.brewmastersbeerfest.com <http://www.brewmastersbeerfest.com> .   Entry fees paid by August 27 are $20; fees paid August 28 thru race day are $25.  The BrewMasters 5K Rock & Run benefits Galveston County Food Bank Gleanings From the Harvest, a non-profit whose mission is to find and distribute surplus food to organizations that serve the hungry.

TEXAS BREWERY TASTING TOUR – Saturday, September 3, 11:30 a.m.  at Moody Gardens Convention
Center Floral Rooms   —  
Exclusive meet and greet and sampling with emerging and wildly successful Texas craft brewery Brewmasters representing No Label, Saint Arnold, Karbach Brewing, Southern Star, Austin Beerworks, Ranger Creek, Rahr & Sons, and Real Ale.  Tickets $25; limited to 50 guests.

BREWHAHA GRAND TASTINGS & KEG KORNER – Saturday & Sunday, September 3-4, 2 p.m. VIP;
3-6:30 p.m. at Moody Gardens Convention Center —
Sample some of the best of brews featuring 400 craft and specialty brews, more than 30 wines, and Brew Brain seminars on the Spec’s University stage.  Admission to Brew HaHa is $35 in advance, $40 at the door, $75 for a VIP ticket, or purchase a VIP or general admission two-day Spec’s Hopper Pass.

BrewHaHa Brew Brain Seminars
Moderated by Justin Cody, Craft & High-end Import Buyer, Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods
Grant Wood, Senior Brewing Manager, Samuel Adams (Boston, MA)
Gregg Berman, Owner, Clown Shoes Beer (Massachusetts)
Craig Pijanowski, Lead Brewer, Boulevard Brewing (Kansas City, MO)
Eric Warner, Founder and Brewmaster of Karbach Brewing – Houston’s newest Brewery opening in   
September and featuring their brews first at BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival
Rick Lovett, Owner/Founder, Indian Wells Brewing (Inyokem, CA)
John DeMers, Author & Radio Host, “Delicious Mischief” (Houston, TX)

BEER DINNERS & BRUNCH – Saturday & Sunday, September 3-4 at Shearn’s Restaurant/Moody Gardens
Shearn’s 4-course Beer Pairing Dinner to feature Samuel Adams beer (Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. for $85) and hosted by Samuel Adams Lead Brewer Grant Wood (appearance Saturday only); South of the Border Beer Brunch with Victoria, Modelo, Pacifica, and Corona Beer (Sunday only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $35) in the Frances Anne Moody Ballroom.

FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR – Sunday, September 4 at 8:45 p.m.  — Celebrate Labor Day Weekend with a bang at this fireworks extravaganza held over the water at Moody Gardens.  Free to the public.

SPONSORS:       
The BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival is presented by Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods.  Additional sponsors include Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, Alex Rodriguez Mercedes- Benz | Sprinter,
Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, Toasted Head, CultureMap, Cumulus Radio (ESPN 97.5, KRBE 104.1, and KHJK 103.7, Draft Magazine, The Greensheet, WHERE Magazine, Houston Press, Shiner, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s, Great Brewers, DaFalco’s Home Wine and Beer Supplies, AT&T and Coca-Cola.

BOOK HOTEL:      Moody Gardens Hotel is offering a special BrewMasters package for the festival weekend.  To book a hotel package, visit www.moodygardenshotel.com <http://www.moodygardenshotel.com/>  or call 888-388-8484.  For additional hotel reservation options, visit www.galveston.com <http://www.galveston.com> .

MORE INFO & TICKETS:    www.brewmastersbeerfest.com <http://www.brewmastersbeerfest.com>  or call 713-557-5732

Chi Ali Presents: The Happenings In Your City

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Classic Rock Social at Sambuca Jazz Café on Friday August 26, 2011 at 7pm
909 Texas St
Houston, TX

Dinner Social at Block 7 on Saturday August 27, 2011 at 6pm
720 Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX

Paws-itively’ Good Time Promised at Bridgeland’s Howl-O-Ween Fest

August 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Events


Tails are already wagging as Bridgeland embarks on a Fido favorite event — Howl-O-Ween Fest, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park.

The annual pup party, which drew more than 3,000 dog lovers last year, offers plenty of fun for two- and four-legged family members. Top dog on this year’s stage schedule is Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix, which performs at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. With appearances on David Letterman, Primetime Live and the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, the comedy act stars mostly rescue dogs. Returning this year after successful shows in 2010 are Guennadi and his world-famous dog act, who performs at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and the gravity-defying canine antics of the Houston Canine Frisbee Disc Club, which performs at noon. And especially for young audiences is a magic show by Houston’s Lanny Kibbey, who performs at 2 p.m.

As in previous years, Howl-O-Ween Fest is a pit stop for the “Splash Dogs” dock-diving competition, which takes place both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30. High-ranking dogs for 2011 have leaped more than 25 feet into the water. Learn more and register at www.splashdogs.com or at the event. There will be a registration fee, with a portion going toward Howl-O-Ween fundraising efforts.

Other Howl-O-Ween Fest treats include a 1 p.m. pooch fashion show and costume contest, with prizes going to the top three winners, a farmers’ market with pumpkin patch, several rounds of bingo with prizes awarded, pet vendors and street performers. As in years past, Foundry Church will hold its annual fall event during Howl-O-Ween Fest, with carnival games, bounce houses, a miniature train, laser tag and more.

Most activities will be free; however a few will fetch a small donation, which will go to participating animal rescue groups, including Cocker Spaniel Rescue of East Texas — Houston, Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief & Rescue, Great Dane Rescue of Southeast Texas and Weimaraner Rescue of Texas. Other rescue groups will be added as the event date nears.

Quieting hunger growls will be a caravan of food trucks trekking to Bridgeland for the day. Already on tap for the event are Fusion Taco, The Berry Boys, Papa John’s Pizza, Grill ‘em Girls and Grill Marks, with more to be added.

And while fun will be unleashed throughout the day, dogs will have to remain on their leashes at all times. Plus, pets must be current on all vaccinations, wear a current rabies tag and be on their best behavior — any aggressive pooches will be asked to leave to keep the event enjoyable for everyone.

Also, sponsorships for the event are currently available. For information, phone 281-213-9600 or download the sponsor packet at http://www.bridgeland.com/2011-howl-o-ween-fest-sponsors.

Howl-O-Ween Fest is just one of several events bringing people to Bridgeland this year. Thousands attended the annual Nature Fest held this spring as well as racing events happening throughout the year. Learn more about Howl-O-Ween Fest and other Bridgeland events at http://www.bridgeland.com/events. Also, visit Bridgeland on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/Bridgelandcommunity and Twitter, http://twitter.com/BridgelandTX.

 

Photo Information

Howl-O-Ween Fest

Costumed canines will again parade the streets of Bridgeland during annual Howl-O-Ween festivities 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. In addition to a costume contest, the event will include performances by Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix and the Houston Canine Frisbee Disc Club, pet-themed vendors, a “Splash Dogs” dock-diving competition, carnival games, gourmet food trucks, farmers‘ market, pumpkin patch and more.

 

About Bridgeland

The Bridgeland community is a development of the Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the United States, including Las Vegas, Manhattan and Honolulu. As owner of Bridgeland and The Woodlands, the Howard Hughes Corporation is one of the largest master-planned community developers in the Houston area.

Spa Week Presents Affordable, Lifetime Wellness for Everyone

August 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

National Event inspires millions to get and stay healthy with its $50 Treatments

October 10–16 2011

143 million people went to the spa last year, and the number one reason was to reduce stress and relax, according to research by the International Spa Association. The most popular, sought after services—number one being massage—are also the most expensive; the average price of a massage is $85, a facial is $91, and a body treatment is $95. From everyday career and family obligations to an uncertain economy, it’s becoming more difficult than ever for consumers to justify spending time and money on spa treatments as a necessity rather than a luxury. That’s where Spa Week comes in. Since 2004, the original and most successful Spa Marketing Event to date has allowed millions to take advantage of the healing benefits of the spa with its biannual, signature $50 treatments.

Moving into its 15th installation this Fall, Spa Week will continue to bring the most innovative and wellness-focused services at an affordable cost to deserving consumers across the United States and Canada. From October 10th – 16th, hundreds of day spas, medical spas, resort spas, yoga and Pilates studios and other health and fitness centers will offer 2-3 exclusive services for a discounted price of just $50 each. As always, Spa Week works with some of the most prominent, trusted names in the industry and is responsible for educating spa-goers on how to incorporate specific treatments into their lifelong health regiments.

From acne zapping laser-facials, pain alleviating trigger-point massages, and meditating yoga classes to nutritional counseling sessions, Spa Week offers an experience specific to the unique wellness needs of everyone. The highly anticipated Fall 2011 Event will feature the most contemporary and cutting-edge services available to help jumpstart and maintain optimal health.

In order to take advantage of Spa Week, consumers should register on SpaWeek.com for exclusive information on participating spas and their $50 services. Spas will book up just hours after SpaWeek.com launches on September 12th, so it is recommended that spa-goers sign up in advance and book their appointments immediately.

Since its inception, Spa Week’s goal is to open up the spa industry to the masses by making the spa lifestyle available to everyone, and its Spring and Fall Events have proven to be so successful that well over one million affordable spa treatments have been booked and enjoyed by consumers across North America. With the intention of banishing the “rich and famous” spa stigma and making the spa an accessible and affordable reality for generations to come, Spa Week maintains the most popular and active spa page on Facebook, a widely popular, heavily read spa blog, a Mobile App for iPhone & Android, and a prestigious National Gift Card program.

Spa Week was created and founded by Cheryl Reid, who hails from successful careers within the luxury spa industry and publishing spheres. Joining Spa Week again for the Fall 2011 Event, sponsors include the makers of CAREFREE® liners: Presenting and Title Sponsor; Vdara Hotel & Spa, CityCenter Las Vegas: Exclusive Destination Sponsor; YOUNGBLOOD Mineral Cosmetics: Exclusive Cosmetic Sponsor; Dole: Exclusive Food Sponsor; Allure magazine: Exclusive National Media Sponsor; and ISPA: Exclusive Spa Association Partner.

For more information, visit http://www.spaweek.com/or call Kelly at (212) 352-8098 Kelly@spaweekmedia.com <mailto:Kelly@spaweekmedia.com>

 

How to Find the Right School or Daycare

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Parents' Place

By Christina Moreland

The first day of school for most students in the Houston area, including those in Houston ISD, Fort Bend ISD and Cy-Fair ISD, is Monday, August 22. For children and parents alike, this day often conjures feelings of anxiety, stress and excitement. As a parent, you worry if your child will socialize and perform well, if he or she will feel comfortable in the new setting and make friends easily. And for children, well, that’s obvious! The first day can be terrifying! Even if you enroll into a private institution beginning at the daycare level, finding the right school for your child can be one of the most stressful tasks in early parenting. If you are required to go back to work, many daycares have a year-long wait list, not to mention the high cost and fees associated with new admissions. How do you navigate the timing properly so you can return to work knowing your child made it in and you chose the right option? And more importantly, how do you finally settle on your school of choice feeling confident about your decision?

 

To help, here is a list of questions you can use at the daycare and elementary levels to interview administration and staff before making your final decision.

 

Questions for Infant and Toddler Levels

What training or certification is required for your teachers?

 

How does your school measure its students’ progress? (Keep in mind this is also important at the infant and toddler levels, when gross motor skills and early socialization need to be nurtured.)

 

May I see what your typical day calendar looks like for my child’s age group?

 

May we walk to that classroom and meet the teacher(s)?

(When you walk around, notice if the children appear engaged and happy.)

 

Why is it this school’s opinion that having a curriculum at the infant level is important? What is the infant/toddler curriculum?

(Typically for this age group it involves working with infants on their gross motor skills, playing music and engaging them, reading, and stroller rides through the school hallways.)

 

Will I receive regular progress reports and direct feedback from my child’s teacher? How frequently? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

(Compare this to other schools you’re interviewing.)

 

What is your teacher-to-child ratio and how does this compare to the state requirements?

 

Are all teachers infant- and child-CPR trained?

 

How are teachers and upper level administrative staff trained to handle a crisis? For example, how do they notify parents when a child is injured at school? How does the school assess whether or not emergency personnel need to be called and then parent notified? How often do you run mock fire drills?

 

As a parent, do I have the ability to show up at school at any time and monitor how my child is doing?

 

What kind of security does the school offer to protect the children? (Ask about drop-off and pick-up procedures, how other family members may or may not participate, etc.)

 

What is your student retention rate from year to year? What about teacher retention?

 

Questions for Pre-K – Elementary Levels

What is the difference between Vanguard and Magnet? If we are not zoned to your school, what ways might we transfer into it?

 

What do most people do here in this area for schools? Private? Public? Combination?

 

Do you provide education for parents to get their children into a good program, such as advanced placement classes? What is the first step?

 

Typically, is this a paid program, or are you grandfathered in based on test scores?

 

How are children measured once it is determined they want to be placed into a magnet or Vanguard program?

 

How does this school measure its students’ performance outside of the state requirements and how are parents periodically notified about their children’s performance levels?

 

Will I know how my child is performing compared to other students his age? How will you update me and how frequently?

 

What are some things that I can be doing at home to complement your current curriculum for my child’s age group?

 

Do you have this month’s curriculum calendar for my child’s class that I can take with me?

 

On a personal level, after having received several parent recommendations for my son’s school and answering all of our questions satisfactorily, our final decision for his school came when we saw the children who attended there. We walked into several classrooms and the children were engaged and active, from the infant level to the Pre-K students. And when we looked at the bulletin board of school classroom photos, almost every single child in every single photo was smiling and happy. This gave us a tremendous amount of comfort. And while no place can be perfect or administer care quite like you can as a parent, there are definite signs to put you in a positive mindset for your child’s school.

 

Ongoing communication with teachers and administrators is important, so keep in mind the school cannot do its job if you do not voice concerns and work to resolve them as soon as they come up (and they will). Finally, after you have done all the research and cross-referencing in the world, your mom instincts will ultimately be the decision maker, and most likely, they will be right!

 

 

Christina Moreland Bio:

Christina Moreland, an H Texas Magazine contributor, is the mom of a growing infant and a bright, spunky 4-year-old. She is passionate about all sorts of parenting and childcare issues. Her goal with this column is to equip families with good, sound information so they can be well informed and create healthy homes. Her writing has been featured in numerous Houston publications. Contact Christina at ctmoreland@sbcglobal.net.

 

Macy’s Hosts Sixth Annual Shop For A Cause Day

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Customers donate $5 to local charities and receive special Macy’s 25% discount saving pass

WHAT:  Macy’s 6th annual “Shop for a Cause” charity shopping event is a unique one-day-only shopping event created to support local charities’ fundraising efforts.  The event has raised more than $38 million for local charities across the country since 2006.

By purchasing a $5 shopping pass to the event, customers support their favorite causes and receive 25% off most regular, sale and clearance purchases at the store or online all day. Some exclusions apply, see shopping pass for complete details. Customers who want to purchase a ticket to benefit a specific non-profit organization can look up participating charities on www.macys.com/shopforacause. 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the individual charity selling the tickets.

Shop for a Cause passes sold at all Macy’s stores beginning August 20 through August 27, 2011, and at macys.com on August 27, 2011, will benefit the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, is the exclusive national beneficiary of this year’s event.

WHEN:
        Saturday, August 27, 2011

                     Select stores only also Friday, August 26, 2011

WHERE:
     All Macy’s stores and macys.com        
.  
About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.

For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom

Houston Restaurant Week Blog: Mockingbird Bistro

August 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

Mockingbird Bistro

@mockingbirdbistro

This quaint eatery in the heart of Montrose bustles with hipsters, yuppies and goldeners alike.  All enjoy the super fresh and tasty cuisine.

Bistro Caesar
Creamy Parmesan Dressing, Truffled Potato Croutons, Sweet Pepper Bruschetta
Wine Pairing: 2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc,  Marlborough, New Zealand

Lobster Risotto
Carnaroli Risotto with Maine Lobster and Citrus Beurre Blanc
Wine Pairing: 2010 Starry Night Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California

Onion Soup “Modern Style”
Slow Roasted 1015 Onions, Gruyere Crostini
Wine Pairing: NV Fantinel Prosecco, Fruili-Venezia-Giulia, Italy

Tri-Melon Gazpacho
Texas Shrimp Ceviche & Garlic Flatbread
Optional Wine Pairing: 2010 Bieler Rosé (dry rosé), Provence, France

2nd
King Salmon
Local Sweet Peppers, Wasabi Whipped Potatoes & Ginger / Soy Sauce
Wine Pairing: 2008 Stoller “JV” Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon

Roasted Half Chicken
Summer Squash, Polenta Croutons & Orange / Cranberry Glaze
Wine Pairing: 2010 Starry Night Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California

Slow Braised CAB Short Ribs
Creamy “Farroto”, Organic Baby Spinach & Braising Jus
Wine Pairing: 2007 Brick Angel “Littlefoot”(syrah/petite syrah/zinfandel), Napa Valley, California

Diver Scallops
Roasted Rainbow Cauliflower, Heirloom Baby Tomatoes & Truffle Pea Butter
Wine Pairing: 2008 Mer Soleil “Silver”, Santa Lucia Highlands, California

3rd
Summer Wild Berry Cobbler
Vanilla Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Hazelnut Butter Cream

Apple Bread Pudding
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Wine Pairing: 2010 Erazurriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Maipu, Chile

 

H Texas Ratings:

Romantic Dining: ****

Family Friendly: **

Cost: ***

Houston Restaurant Week Blog: Philippe

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge

@TheFrenchCowboy

It was restaurant week that brought us back to Philippe, but we just weren’t interested in the menu.  So, check out the largest grilled cheese sandwich ever.

Hula Hoop for Houston

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

On Sunday, August 28 from 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

2,500 people will come together at Discovery Green Park to beat the Guinness World Record for simultaneous hula hooping, as a pre-cursor to the Care2Spin™ event in September, both benefiting Easter Seals Greater Houston, presented by John Eagle Honda of Houston.

We have slashed the required $100 donation to participate, and are now opening this up to any Houstonian that loves to hoop and wants to be a part of something BIG. Donations to Easter Seals Greater Houston will be appreciated, but not required.

We encourage you to join us for hooping, and would also love help getting the word out about the challenge as well. 1 in 6 Houstonians is living with a disability, and is going without necessary services due to recent state budget cuts.

Register here at http://www.give2gether.com/projects/easter-seals-of-greater-houston-1/ to prevent waiting in line, and get ready to join Easter Seals Greater Houston for the largest hula-hoop event Houston has ever seen.

 

Houston Habitat for Humanity hosts Bike to Build to benefit Houston families

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Houston Habitat for Humanity invites the Houston community to come out and cycle for a cause at Bike to Build, sponsored by BG Group, on September 24, 2011.

The family-friendly ride, co-chaired by State Representative Carol Alvarado and State Senator Rodney Ellis, is expected to bring together more than 1,200 teams, cyclists and friends in an effort to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing. The Post Ride Party, at Discovery Green immediately following the ride, will feature live entertainment, games and activities for kids and adults. Other event sponsors include Sysco Corporation and REI.

“We are truly looking forward to uniting the community for a fun event and a great cause,” said Algenita Scott Davis, Houston Habitat Executive Director. “Bike to Build is a chance for corporations, families and teams to join together and directly impact the lives of hard-working Houston families.”

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2011

08:30 a.m. Ride Start

10:00 a.m. Welcome and Program

 

WHERE: Discovery Green (Route start and Post Ride Party)

10 and 20 mile routes travel through Houston Heights

 

WHO (Interview/Photo Ops):

State Representative Carol Alvarado, Event Co-Chair

State Senator Rodney Ellis, Event Co-Chair

www.HoustonHabitat.org/Bike

 

 About Houston Habitat for Humanity

Since 1987, Houston Habitat for Humanity, along with thousands of sponsors and volunteers, has built more than 830 affordable homes for purchase by hard-working, low-income Houstonians. Qualified Houston Habitat homebuyers agree to a no-interest mortgage and contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment. Partner families are also provided with classes on money management and home maintenance. More information about Houston Habitat and the Houston Habitat ReStore, a discounted building supply outlet, is available at www.houstonhabitat.org or by calling 713-671-9993.

Flying Saucer to Host Eleventh Anniversary Part

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

‘Eleventeen’ celebration will be a two–day birthday bash                                                                      

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium will host its two-day 11th anniversary party, “Eleventeen,” on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21 at its location at 705 Main St.

The special two-day anniversary celebration will begin with the tapping of six different rare beers on Saturday. On Sunday, the Saucer will feature a build-your-own Michelada bar, beginning at 11 a.m., as well as an assortment of rare and cask beers being tapped throughout the day. Live music will be provided by Robolicious and Grah So Loud from 2 to 6 p.m.

Rare and cask beers being tapped for the Eleventeen weekend party include offerings from Brewery Ommegang; Ranger Creek Brewing; Stone Brewing Co.; Real Ale Brewing; Saint Arnold Brewing Company; and Avery Brewing, as well as several other selections. Special prizes will be raffled off throughout the weekend at both days’ festivities.

“Our anniversary parties have been such an overwhelming success in the past that we decided to make this year’s celebration a two-day party for beer lovers,” said Jake Rainey, general manager of Flying Saucer. “With all of the rare and cask beers that we’ll be tapping, plus the raffles, Michelada bar, food specials and music from Robolicious and Grah So Loud, this will be a great weekend of beer and fun!”

Admission is free for both days but beer and food prices will vary.  For more information about the event, please call 713-228-9472 or visit http://www.beerknurd.com/stores/houston/.

 

For more information, contact:

Ryan Jones                                                                      Diane Willingham

Obsidian Public Relations                                            Eight-O Management

Phone: (901) 359-2245                                                 Phone: (214) 969-9321, ext. 228

E-mail: ryan@obsidianpr.com                                    E-mail: diane@anotherplanet.com


 Flying Saucer to Host Eleventh Anniversary Party

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium was founded in 1995 in Fort Worth, Texas. Offering a wide variety of imported and domestic quality craft beers, as well as a full pub menu, the Flying Saucer family has now expanded to 14 locations in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri. A seventh Texas location will open in fall 2011 in Sugarland.

Top Galveston Artists to be Showcased at “Help Float the Boat” Auction

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Galveston Art Scene Supports Artist Boat

The work of many of Galveston’s leading artists will be available to the public on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at a silent auction benefiting Artist Boat, a local arts and environmental education group.

The event will be held at Eibands, 2201 Post Office Street, Galveston, TX 77550 from 6 to 9 PM.

The work of more than 75 Texas artists will be showcased, including popular painters Rene Wiley and Janet Hassinger, ceramist Maggie Fuller, photographer, Robert Mihovil and sculptor Stephanie Thomas.

Great Town for Artists Great Opportunity for Collectors

“This is a great town for art and for artists,” says Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski.  The fact that the arts community is so generous in its support of Artist Boat demonstrates the enormous contribution that art and artists make to the City and to the environment.”

Jaworski notes that the art scene in Galveston was hard hit by Hurricane Ike. “Artists lost much of there work and many were displaced from their homes and studios, he says.  “The fact that so many of our artists are already giving back to organizations like the Artist Boat speaks for itself.”

“A lot of collectors will be present at the auction,” adds philanthropist Robert Lynch. “It’s an opportunity to see the latest work by some of the State’s top artists and also pick up some great art at a good price.”   Lynch is a well-known collector and former President of the Galveston Arts Center.

“The Float the Boat silent auction is one of the few times during the year when the public can see the full range of the Galveston art scene, adds Martha Terrill, the event’s arts coordinator.

“Galveston has a rich association with the arts dating back at least to the 1970s,” she says. “Artists such as Joe Glasco chose to work here and helped set the tone for much of what goes on in local art scene.”

Glasco moved to Galveston in the early 1980s and influenced artists such as George Condo, Julian Schnabel and Michael Tracy. He also inspired many of the artists who contributed their work to the auction, Terrill adds.

In 2010, 34 local and regional artists donated more than 50 pieces to the Artist Boat auction valued at $27,000.

“It’s going to be difficult to beat that mark, but early indications are that this year’s event could exceed that number, says Terrill.

The first major piece donated in 2011 by Susan Bogan at Bogan Gallery, was a 36 x44 canvas beach scene entitled “Lazy Days 2000” by well-known painter Lee Reynolds. Other participating artists include: Sallie Anderson, Bets Anderson, Derek Anderson, Victoria Narkin.

Artists who would like to contribute their work are asked to contact Terrill at mterrill4401@yahoo.com. The deadline for donations is October 4th.

About Artist Boat: Artist Boat promotes the well-being of the Gulf’s coastal and marine environments. In pursuit of that mission, the organization has conducted kayaking tours for almost 40,000 middle school students and trained more than 1,300 teachers to conduct integrated art- and science learning programs.  Since 2008, the organization also helped students and teachers restore more than 15 acres of dunes, prairies and wetlands damaged by Hurricane Ike.

Contact: Susan Persons

Tel: 713-504-2030

Riverstone’s Heart and Sole 5K

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Registration opens for Riverstone’s Oct. 15 Heart and Sole 5K

Registration has opened for Riverstone’s annual Heart and Sole 5K Run and Walk, set for Saturday, Oct. 15.

The event benefits Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, which provides services to more than 1,000 seniors daily.

The race begins at 8 a.m., with racers following a certified course through Riverstone. Cost for the adult run/walk is $25 and kids’ run registration is $10. Register at http://www.active.com/running/missouri-city-tx/riverstone-heart-and-sole-5k-run-and-walk-2011.

Last year, approximately 200 people raced in Riverstone’s inaugural event, raising $4,000 for Second Mile Mission, another Fort Bend-based charity.

“We hope to top last year’s results with more runners and more money raised for a good cause,” said Riverstone’s lifestyle director Melanie Rushé, who is organizing the event.

Several sponsorships are still available for the event, including Ghostbusters, a $500 sponsorship; Spooktacular sponsors, $250; Boo-tiful sponsors, $150; R.I.P. (Really Important People), $100; and Sweet Treats, $50. Sponsors already on board are Texas Running Company and Elements Massage.

 

For more information, visit www.riverstone.com or phone Rushé at 713-817-6427.

 

 

Houston Restaurant Week Blog: Mark’s American Cuisine

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

Mark’s American Cuisine

What a treat to eat at Mark’s.  And, to eat at Mark’s for $35…. Seriously fabulous!

1st
Soup du Jour

Hearth Roasted Flying Point Oysters
Topped with a ragout of jumbo crabmeat, shrimp and roasted leeks in a truffle aioli vinaigrette

Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
With arugula, goat cheese & riesling almond oil vinaigrette

Mascarpone Flan
With roasted asparagus, crispy beech mushrooms, arugula and a tangerine oil vinaigrette

2nd
Chicken
Hearth roasted Bryan Farms chicken, house made chicken sausage, mississippi style grits, ratatouille, summer vegetables and a natural sauce

Beef
Seared tenderloin of beef with field mushrooms, roasted squash, crispy sweet “tater tots”, served with a spiced Cabernet Sauvignon sauce

Salmon
Roasted scottish salmon with crab & shrimp risotto, spiced cauliflower, asparation and a Sherry prawn sauce

Duck
Fire roasted breast of muscovy, duck confit, wild rice & golden jewel rice, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries

Trio Entree
V-10 diver scallop, Texas crab, asian shrimp, crab filled zucchini blossom, spinach flan, asian salad and two vinaigrettes

 

 

 

 

 

3rd
Marks´s Seven Layer Chocolate Cake
Chocolate sponge and truffle ganache filling, fresh berries, Turkish coffee ice cream

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Créme Brulee
Spritz cookie & assorted berries

Raspberry Shortbread Tart
A buttery, flaky, tender crust, fresh raspberries and piedmont pistachio ice cream

 

H Texas Ranking:

Romantic Dining: *****

Family Friendly: *

Cost: *****

GIVE ‘EM SMELL

August 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

THE TERRACE – A pleasant evening here at my lake house in Varicose Valley – the setting sun, the pink clouds, the boats on the water. OK, it’s 107 degrees, another record breaker, so I concentrate on the wildlife which is in abundance: deer, armadillos, possums, a fox or two, skunk, more deer, a…SKUNK!!

Gad. There it is, its black and white fur so fluffy and pretty, it would make a nice cap for Davy Crockett, but you don’t have to be a Crockett scientist to know it is definitely trouble. To paraphrase Gen. Philip Sheridan on Indians, the only good skunk is a dead skunk. I don’t want to kill it, just go away.

As I dash inside and slam the door, I contemplate my predicament. I could put up a sign with a picture of the animal with a big, red slash across it. Or hang out a banner: “This Is a Skunk-Free Zone.” I could call the Taste Police who terrify and intimidate Varicose Valley. For example, they demand I mow the grass, paint the outhouse and they say I can only have two cars up on blocks in my front yard. As with any living problem, be it killer rabbits, angry stockholders or the NRA, there is a protective group looking out for skunks. It is the Compassionate Action Institute, aka Tree Huggers. It proclaims, “Occasional skunk sightings in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem.” The organization recommends building a little one-way door over the skunk’s burrow so when it leaves, it can’t come home again. No doubt the next step is buying little cans of deodorant.    

What’s its natural enemy? Deer have wolves, antelope have lions, Obama has Boehner and Boehner has sunscreen. No dog is going to attack a skunk. No lion would, not if it wants to lie down with the lamb. Maybe porcupines. No one gets close to porcupines, anyway, so they could smell like a locker room at halftime and nobody would know.

There are rat catchers, pest controllers, poachers and termite eradicators. For enough money, you can hire people to knock off a business competitor or a cheating spouse. I look in the Yellow Pages under “Skunk Busters.” Nothing. Nor is there anything listed under “Busters, Skunks.”

In Texas we have high school teams named the Hutto Hippos and the Hamlin Pied Pipers, but no football team is called the Fightin’ Skunks, although the University of North Dakota is opposing an NCAA ruling that the school drop its nickname, the Sioux Warriors. Maybe they would settle for Skunk Warriors. What do you call a baby skunk? A kit. Or a group of them? Bees go in swarms, owls hang together in parliaments, goats go in trips and a group of skunks is called a surfeit. Actually, one skunk is surfeit.

It is now the next night. The deer and the antelope are playing. I’ve got the usual suspects in the yard, but no skunk. Maybe it had the night off. The Noble Brotherhood of Skunks Local 347 is on strike for a better reputation. Perhaps like toxic dumps, pirates and the Houston Astros, skunks are not really bad, only suffering from a bad press. That’s it. Like almost everyone else, when in trouble, blame the press. Works every time, as I was telling Newt.

Charles Darwin wrote in “Voyage of the Beagle,” “We saw also a couple of Zorrillos, or skunks — odious animals, which are far from uncommon.” Darwin went on to note: “Whatever is once polluted by it, is for ever useless.”

Right now a number of you are thinking, “I’d really like to have a pet skunk, if only I knew more about them.” As usual, I have done the heavy lifting for you. First and foremost, of course, we know the animal can fire off a really awful odor. Learned skunkologists – using their most scientific terminology — describe the smell as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber.

Pepe Le Pew has muscles which allow him to squirt his stink up to 10 feet with great accuracy. The stench can be smelled as far as a mile away downwind. We have all been in a car merrily going down a highway when we suddenly inhale a waft of worst. That road kill was el skunko.

How you get rid of skunks? There is a product called Electronic Yard Repellent Pro which emits a high-pitched sound that deters skunks. However, it also keeps out deer, dogs, cats, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, bats, rodents and Yankees. Ten out of 11 ain’t bad. Then there is Shake Away, a powder to repel only skunks. But how smelly does it have to be to repulse skunks? The cure could be worse than the curse.

How do you get rid of the skunk smell? We turn to the experts who opine: “The scent is persistent and difficult to remove. Diluted solutions of vinegar or tomato juice may be used to eliminate most of the odor from people, pets, or clothing.” Then we have happy ending: “These methods are not effective.”

What do skunks eat? Anything they want. Who’s going to stop them? Actually, they are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material — insects, larvae, earthworms, small rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles and eggs. Here’s something you might want to know before clearing out the old dog house for your new pet: The Centers for Disease Control recorded 1,494 cases of rabies in skunks in the U.S. in 2006. That’s about 21.5 percent of reported cases in all species. All of this moot anyway, for you pet lovers. It is illegal to keep a pet skunk in Texas, although I am told they are delicious.

An aside: Some of you may be familiar with the term, Skunk Works or Skonk Works. The works appeared in Al Capp’s cartoon strip, Li’l Abner, and were in a dilapidated factory that smelled terrible. Later, the name was given to a secret, unconvenetional program run by Lockheed Martin that developed the U-2, Blackbird, Nighthawk and several other cutting-edge aircraft. Today Skunk Works can apply to any maverick, usually secret, progam within a larger operation, run by screwballs, eccentrics and/or geniuses, like the Tea Party.

It is now the next night. There is the setting sun, the pink clouds, the boats, deer, armadillos, etc. What’s worse than a skunk in your yard? Two skunks. Where is Davy Crockett when you need him?

Ashby is fuzzy and adorable at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

Houston Restaurant Week Blog: Bistro Alex

August 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

Bistro Alex

@BistroAlex, @HotelSorella, @HouRestaurantWk

The new City Center is impressive.  The Hotel Sorrella’s swanky roof-top pool provides the perfect setting for this Brennan’s sister property.  To-die-for bread comes to the table in the shape of a salad wedge.  It’s drizzling with garlic butter.

Seafood Gumbo with Jasmine Rice 
 
Shrimp and Tasso Pinchos  

Fried Green Tomato Salad with a Roasted Yellow Corn Ravigote Sauce

 

2nd
Roasted Springer Mountain Chicken

Creole spice rubbed roasted chicken with loaded smashed red potatoes, asparagus, and shallot herb butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast Iron Seared Prime Ribeye

 

 

 

With maytag blue cheese lyonnaise potatoes and coffee ganache

 

 

 

Scallop and Shrimp 

Seared diver scallops resting on top of a bed of roasted fingerling potatoes and shrimp dressed with bacon vinaigrette and crushed corn sauce

 

3rd

Creme Brûlée 
Silky bruleed grand marnier and vanilla bean custard with peach compote and hazelnut tuille   

Tea Cake 
Orange scented cake with seasonal fruit compote and sweet whipped cream

Brandy Cherry Bread Pudding

With cinnamon ice cream and cherry sauce

H Texas Rating:

Romantic Dining: *****

Family Friendly: **

Cost: ***

(* = Golden Forks, 5 the highest)

  

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