ARE WE HAVING FUNDS YET?

September 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Look at the three people standing next to you, but not too closely if you are in a police lineup. One member of your four-person group has money coming. Cash money.  No, you do not have to sell your left kidney nor win the Lotto nor bet on the Longhorns to lose, and I am not a Nigerian prince. You see, for years banks, utility companies and loan sharks had uncashed checks, utility deposits and such with no owner. Someone had put money in, then had died, been kidnapped or run as a Democratic in Texas and totally disappeared. So the companies would make a “good-faith effort” to find the owners, (hehehe), then keep the cash.

The Texas Legislature finally passed a law requiring any account that had been dormant for between one to five years must be turned over to the Texas comptroller who would seek out the heirs and send them a check. “What’s the catch?” you ask. Ah, you are the sharpie here, aren’t you? The state wants proof, so you have to jump through a few hoops to prove you really are heir to the Spindletop fortune. I found the state owed my mother 90 cents and it really wasn’t worth the trouble. Two other Texans with my name have funds coming. One is owed $1.38, the other $107.79. But a few years ago I did find an uncashed check from me to me for $1,200.

Let’s see what kind of cash is piled up in an Austin vault. According to State Comptroller Susan Combs, “There is currently about $3 billion in property that has not been claimed and approximately $800 million in shared property that has been partially claimed and paid to some of the owners.” Last year alone Texas returned more than $159 million to its owners. The top three largest unclaimed property payouts made in fiscal 2013 were South Plains Telephone Cooperative with $1,503,198.95. Then came the Texans Credit Union at $1,032,265.90 and Conoco Phillips with $978,103.76. The rest of the top 10, all receiving high six figures, were Ann Christian, estate of Josephine Villere, Onewest Bank, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Gunadi and Indrawati Kurniawan , U.S. Department of the Treasury and Security Service Federal Credit Union. Notice that the U.S. Treasury received two payments (totaling $1.3 million) of funds it didn’t know it had. That explains a lot.

But these were the cheap seats compared to winners in past years. William H. Olivo executor for Marie Jenny Olivo of Lubbock, got $1,921,173 in  2004. The Texas Gas Corporation of  Wimberley received  $2,194,122 in 2004. The all-time winner so far is Winston Johnson of Dallas who was paid $4 million in 1996.

So if one in four Texans has money coming, you may already be a winner, Mr. or Mrs. Texan! Here’s what you do: go to www.claimittexas.org or call 1-800 654-FIND,

and search for property in any amount held in your name, the name of your company, children, senile parents and/or aliases. If you’ve found a significant amount, go through the steps to get your greedy hands on your long-lost fortune. There is no time limit, thus the money could be your phone deposit when you were a freshman in college your first year, which lasted quite a bit longer than just one year.

While you are looking up your great-grand-uncle’s Confederate pension number, here are a few facts to know: Approximately 1.1 million claims have been approved since 2007 totaling $1 billion. Unclaimed property payments began in 1962, and approximately $900.8 million was returned in the 44 years prior to Combs taking office. The state refers to all of this as “unclaimed properties” because, besides money, it also receives contents of abandoned safety deposit boxes. When we lump all of this together, that vault is bulging with $3.8 billion, which include (you can scan this): 383,899 properties worth $1,000 or more; 3,819 properties worth $10,000 or more; 7,082 properties worth $25,000 or more and 1,088 properties worth $100,000 or more. Maybe it’s not all in a vault, so what do you suppose we are paying in rental costs for a couple hundred mini-store houses scattered around Austin?

The comptroller’s office sends out letters to many of these unsuspecting winners, but I have a question: Why are they MIA? The University of Texas has 162 items to pick up, including $300 that Stanford University owes it, for some unknown reason. Texas A&M has 20  including $1,000 from Honda. Did Johnny Football trade in his Mercedes and has a rebate coming? The City of Houston has 270 items on the list. Austin has 20. Couldn’t someone from the comptroller’s office just walk across the street and deliver the cash? The ever-evasive City of Dallas has 34 items awaiting. “Last known address — Dallas City Hall.” No kidding. Has anyone in the comptroller’s office heard of the Texas Comptroller’s Office? It has 14 items coming.

Which bureaucrat is goofing off, the controller’s office or the city clerks? “Hey, Charlie, got a letter here saying we got a million bucks coming from the Left Bank of the Trinity. On the other hand, why bother? It’s only taxpayers’ money.” Am I missing something here? Baylor University is listed 36 times. If someone wandered around Waco asking, “Have you ever heard of a Baylor U?” that money could be returned. Starbucks is owed 20 properties, which is enough for one block.

So get busy hunting for that loot. Just remember that I get a finder’s fee. Oh, did I mention that my own search turned up a $1,200 check for me? That’s an entire day’s income. We must act quickly because, at the next session of the Texas Legislature, as usual, our lawmakers will start looking for more money. It is only a matter of time until one of them proposes, “Hey, right down the street the state is sitting on $3 billion with no takers. So my idea is….”

Ashby is discovered at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

MANEA SPA—BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT

September 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Travel Blog

645-hiResolution-maneaspa_borabora_pearl_beach_resort_(2)

Nestled on the grounds of the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort is the Manea Spa boasting an impressive 675 square meters of traditional Tahitian architecture with state of the art amenities.   The menu of services is extensive:  Traditional Polynesian Massage, Hot Stone Healing, Four-Hands Massage (interesting.), Barefoot Massage, Body Treatments, etc.  The one thing I found interesting was the fact they had a tattoo artist on staff Monday through Friday.  In French Polynesia, tattoos are special and represent your family’s story or family crest. The Manea Spa helps you relax on the beautiful island of Bora Bora.  – Marisa Byers

THE MENIL COLLECTION invites you to a preview of the exhibition

September 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Nice.
Luc Tuymans


  Thursday September 26, 2013 7:00-9:00 p.m. The Menil Collection 1533 Sul Ross StreetHouston   

Exhibition dates: September 27, 2013 January 5, 2014
  This exhibition is generously supported by Louisa Stude Sarofim; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Houston Endowment, Inc.; The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Marilyn Oshman; Mark Wawro and Melanie Gray; The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation; Baker Botts L.L.P.; Bank of America; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Government of Flanders through Flanders House New York; Paul and Janet Hobby; Gensler; Russell Reynolds Associates; Lea Weingarten; and the City of Houston.   Curated by Josef Helfenstein and Toby Kamps

PUBLIC PROGRAM
A Conversation
Friday, September 27, 7:00 p.m.
Director Josef Helfenstein and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Toby Kamps are joined by Luc Tuymans in a discussion of the exhibition.

Luc Tuymans, Fingers, 1995. Oil on canvas, 14 3/4 x 13 inches (37.5 x 33 cm). Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France. © 2013 Studio Luc Tuymans.  Image courtesy of Studio Luc Tuymans. Photo: Felix Tirry
The Menil Collection 1533 Sul Ross Houston, Texas 77006
Phone: 713.525.9400  |  Email: info@menil.org <mailto:membership@menil.org>
Privacy Policy   |  Email Preferences

  Copyright 2013 Menil Foundation

Greater Houston Restaurant Association hosts 6th Annual Cookout

September 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Houston, TX  (September 24, 2013) – The Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA) will be holding its sixth annual cookout sponsored by Glazier Foods Company on Thursday, October 3rd. The proceeds from this, and every, GHRA event benefit our scholarships, Pro-Start high school culinary programs, advocacy efforts and GHRA activities.

We will also be hosting a Pumpkin Carving Contest for an entry fee of only $25. Bring a display: carved pumpkin and any photos or handouts about your company or restaurant. Event attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite throughout the evening for the chance to win a prize.

Sponsored by Glazier Foods Company, Mission Burrito, Sysco Houston Inc., U.S. Foods, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Heartland Payment Systems, and Ben E Keith. The GHRA fall cookout is the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer with friends, family, and industry leaders. Guests will get to enjoy tasty Mexican food and ice-cold beverages, while mingling with friends at one of the hottest bars in Houston, Hughes Hanger.

 

WHEN: Thursday, October 3, 2013

4:00pm –7:00 pm

WHERE: Hughes Hanger

2811 Washington Ave.

Houston, TX 77007

COST: $20 for TRA Members, $30 for Non-Members and $40 at the door

Ticket includes dinner, live entertainment, and drink tickets

 

Register at www.ghra.com/cookouts

 

About The Greater Houston Restaurant Association

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA) serves as a valuable foundation for restaurants to successfully establish and maintain their businesses. Our mission is to ensure the health of the GHRA and promote the growth of our industry through education, public awareness and governmental affairs. For more information regarding membership with the GHRA or TRA, visit www.GHRA.com or www.Restaurantville.com.

NEST IN LINE

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

A good way to look at our changing society is through the newspaper comics. The name Daddy Warbucks alone speaks volumes about that time. Li’l Abner and Pogo gave us political points of view through clueless characters. It was President Gerald Ford who observed, “There are only three major vehicles to keep us informed as to what is going on in Washington: the electronic media, the print media, and Doonesbury, not necessarily in that order.” A few years ago there was a comic strip called the Boomers, about the Baby Boomer generation. Their children are called boomerangs because they have returned home to live with their parents. So, sure enough, here is a new comic strip called Dustin about a son who moves back in with his parents to humorous situations.

I’m not sure just  how humorous this is. Parents go through all sorts of trials and tribulations taking care of their children, from changing diapers to saving up for their college education, all with the goal of getting the kids out of the house and on their way in life. But to no avail, as the returning Junior sleeps till noon, spends the afternoon drinking beer with his buddies at the ice house or pool room, comes home asking, “Hey, Mom, what’s for dinner?” The evenings are for watching TV, while late nights are spent in his room or the basement — actually, his room could be the basement — on his computer watching porn, or using his iPhone or whatever the latest toy Silicon Valley has sold him. (“Uh, Dad, could I have a loan for the new Apple iFleece?”)

There is a slight variance to this routine among daughters who return home, just take out “pool hall” and put in “health club.” In either case, looking for a job is not a top priority. “Hey, Kiddo, here’s an ad: ‘Wanted, recent college graduate to be CEO of hedge fund. Start at $1 mil. Perks include yacht, plane and penthouse.’ Sounds good for entry level.” “Dad, that is so degrading for someone with an English degree.”

Before we go any further, let’s look at this idea of a sweeping title to identify a few million young Americans. It began with the Lost Generation of the 1920s. Those members must have somehow found each other because other generations followed. Remember the Beat Generation? Back in the 1960s did everyone wear beads, smoke joints, move to Haight Ashbury and protest the Vietnam War? It would seem so. We have had Boomers, Generation X and then Y (or Gen X and Y if you are really trendy). Millennials are mostly the children of baby boomers, generally considered to include anyone born between l982 and 2004, or today ages 31 and 9, although I don’t consider 9- year-olds to be boomerangs. Fifty years from now young Americans (the Asparagus Generation or, more probably, the Radiation Generation) will think that every single college graduate in the 2000s moved back home as boomerangs. As we might expect, these titles were thought  up, and used, by Mad Men trying to target specific consumers. My generation is Gen W for Walker.

Maybe you are a boomerang or have one sleeping in your basement till noon. A Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that 36 percent of the Millennials were living at home, the highest share in at least four decades: 32 percent of their same-aged counterparts were living at home prior to the Great Recession in 2007. Despite the so-called recovery, the number keeps growing. A record 21.6 million boomerangs lived in their parents’ home in 2012, up from 18.5 million of their same aged counterparts in 2007. But wait. These figures are skewered because the Census Bureau counts at least a third and perhaps as many as half that are college students, and college students who live in dormitories during the academic year are counted as living with their parents. That includes virtually all of those attending community colleges which in Texas is half of all students. There is hope, however, that eventually these youths will move on. Census data shows that the younger boomerangs (ages 18 to 24) are much more likely than older ones (ages 25 to 31) to be living with their parents — 56 percent versus 16 percent.  This reminds me; did you hear about the guy who bought a new boomerang and went crazy trying to throw away the old one?

Meanwhile, forget about the empty nest. How many parents had planned to move to a condo — they don’t have basements — or switch to a town house? Maybe Dad had planned to turn Sis’s room into a home office or a taxidermist’s den and Mom had already moved her door-to-door Tupperware sales supplies to Bubba’s bedroom. Perhaps they had plans to earn extra cash by renting out those bedrooms to al-Quida bomb makers.                        Why this phenomena? Experts cite several reasons. The economy, of course. Young people just out of college are having a terrible time finding work, unless it’s as a food taster for Obama’s advisers on Syria. Also, young people are waiting longer to get married, especially for the first time. For years, if a young man didn’t have a job after school the Army had an opening, or else. There is no longer the cultural taboo of going home to live with your parents. In my day (here comes the eye-rolling), I didn’t know anyone who would stand the humiliation of graduating from school and moving back with their parents. In a later generation, one of my sons became a Marine officer, the other went to graduate schools until he qualified for AARP. My daughter got married.

In any event, parents must be patient and continue to nurture their offspring. Remember, they’ll pick your nursing home. Incidentally, that new cartoon strip, Dustin, isn’t very good. I think some guy draws it in his parents’ basement.

Ashby lives at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

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Door County

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

by Tom Flynn

Eagle Tower - Peninsula State ParkPut aside the fact they are rabid Packer’s fans, and the people of Door County, Wisconsin seem like pretty good folks. They love spending time on outdoor adventures: golf, hiking, boating, fishing and sight seeing. Tending to apple, pear and cherry orchards help some of them make a living while others milk cows or make cheese. The rest seem bent on helping you enjoy Door County through a variety of hospitality, food, shopping and tourism endeavors.  These hearty Midwesterners stand by to host!

 

Door County resides on a peninsula reaching into Lake Michigan. The full force of the lake can be felt on its eastern shore; the protected water on the western side of Door Peninsula is Green Bay, hence the reason they love their Packers. Winter, the quiet season, can be brutal. Dress really warm; activities include ice fishing, snow shoeing and photographing snow-draped cedars (Magnificent!). However, snows melt away in March, most shops are open by April and Cherry trees are blooming in May. With the warm weather come the tourists. From near and far, they flock to Door County to enjoy the warm weather activities and the natural beauty.

 

Life is not just a bowl of cherries. Its cherry pie, cherry cobbler, cherry ice cream, cherry tarts, cherry sausage, cherry salsa, cherry wine, cherry soda, cherry jam and anything else you can make with cherries. Cherry orchards are everywhere in Door County; virtually every business finds ways to utilize the local crop. Country Ovens dries cherries, coats them in chocolate and ships them all over as Cherry De-Lite. Galileo’s Italian eatery reduces them with cabernet and serves the sauce over their scrumptious bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. Savory Spoon cooking school holds classes on baking cherry pies, Fred and Fuzzy’s Waterfront Grill serves tall, tart cherry margaritas, Orchard Country Winery and Market hosts cherry pit spit contests and shops all over the county highlight the cherry in their crafts and products.

 

During summer months you can tour all day and never get board. Pull into any orchard you see and they are bound to offer tours on planting, harvesting or transforming their crop into wines, pies and other finished products. Orchard Country Winery and Market lets you taste the wines and sample the delicacies. Enjoy a baked egg breakfast at Door County Coffee and Tea Company and go behind the scenes to watch them roast and package their premier coffees. Door County Trolley leads prepackaged tours complete with entertaining guides. Scenic overlooks, lighthouse, culinary, ghost and wine tours are some of the packages they have designed. Keep an eye on the fields as you ride their bright red trolleys around the county. You’ll see plenty of wild turkey and deer!

 

Outdoor adventures abound. Fishermen can load up on small mouth bass and northern pike in the lakes and bays. Golfers have 11 courses to choose from. Alpine Resort and Golf offers 36 holes; many weave in and out of the bluffs above Green Bay. Their Blue Course number nine hole was rated “the most scenic hole in Wisconsin.” From atop a bluff you your ball will drop over a hundred feet on its way to the green, just 268 yards away. There are rumors of hole in ones with four irons. Hiking is also big. From day hikes in the 3,776 acre Peninsula State Park to pack in/pack out multi day trips in Newport State Park, outdoor enthusiasts can kayak the rivers, climb the bluffs, swim in the clear waters and camp amid the conifers.

 

Where you have lots of active people, you’ll find lots of hungry people. Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor feeds them Cheeseburgers and Classic Turtle Sundaes in a Norman Rockwell type setting. Fred and Fuzzy’s Waterfront Grill serves whitefish sandwiches with cold beer outside as the setting sun ignites the evening sky with brilliant colors. The Bistro in Liberty Square is the Best Place to Eat Healthy while the Mission Grille serves elegance. You’ll find seared scallops, prime rib and duck confit paired with wonderful wines in this remodeled, turn of the century church. The Savory Spoon helps hungry people help themselves. Chef Janice Thomas teaches and oversees students as they prepare their own meals in her historic 1878 schoolhouse. Now that’s a cooking school!

 

Fish boils are a must attend event. The luaus of Door County, fish boils are like a dinner show. Historians tell stories as Boil Masters prepare dinner in a large pot over open flames. At Rowley’s Bay Restaurant, 86 year-old Rowley leans on his old wooden staff and tells stories of how Indians and pioneers impacted the area. When the fire flares and the pot boils over, he rings the giant antique dinner bell and leads guests inside to eat a traditional fish boil dinner along with a full buffet of other entrees, sides and desserts.

 

***************************************

 

SIDEBAR: When loggers were harvesting timber in the late 1800s, the most plentiful food was whitefish. Unfortunately the boney, oily fish did not sit well with lumberjacks. Until, they mastered the art of boiling. Salt, potatoes and onions are thrown into a large pot of boiling water. Whitefish, gutted and chopped into steaks, gets thrown into the mix in the last ten minutes of cooking. As the fish boils, the oils are released and float to the top of the pot. At this point kerosene is thrown on the fire. The sudden burst of heat causes the pot to overflow and all the nasty oils flow over the side. The whitefish, now tender and delicious is easy to debone. It is traditionally served with generous amounts of melted butter, corn, potatoes, slaw and rye bread.

 

 

American Folklore Theatre can help you wind down after dinner as they perform outdoors in Peninsula State Park. Their signature performance, Cheeseheads, the Musical will pull at your heartstrings as factory workers deal with cheese, love and work in trying economic times. Just down the road, Peninsula Players Theatre in the Garden has been entertaining Door County for 75 years. Lomabardi has locals and visitors packing the house to hear the story of the famed Packers coach.

 

Lodging is plentiful throughout Door County, but don’t expect Hiltons or Holiday Inns. Small resorts, hotels and bed and breakfasts enhance the areas character and provide quality service. The Landmark Resort is centrally located in the county’s small town of Egg Harbor. Rooms have small kitchens and patios along with great views of Green Bay and surrounding woods. The resort has pools, fitness area, basketball/volleyball/tennis courts and a lively restaurant and bar, the Carrington Pub and Grill. Staying there is extremely affordable, starting around $150 per night for one and two bedrooms during peak times.

 

Loaded with activities, Door County, WI. is where Midwesterners vacation. The charming community’s family friendly ambiance has been drawing them back for generations. Head north, you’ll see why.

 

 

Essentials:

Door County Convention and Visitors Bureau

www.doorcounty.com

 

Country Ovens/Cherry De-Lite

www.countryovens.com

 

Fred and Fuzzys Waterfront Grill

www.fredandfuzzys.com

 

Door County Coffee and Tea

www.doorcountycoffee.com

 

Door County Trolley

www.doorcountytrolley.com

 

Orchard Country Winery and Market

www.orchardcountry.com

 

The Mission Grille

www.missiongrille.com

 

American Folklore Theatre

www.folkloretheatre.com

 

Alpine Resort and Golf

www.alpineresort.com

 

Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

www.wilsonsicecream.com

 

Savory Spoon Cooking School

www.savoryspoon.com

 

Galileo’s Italian Food

The Bistro Bar and grill

www.libertysquareshops.com

 

Rowley’s Bay Restaurant

www.rowleysbayresort.com

 

Peninsula Players Theatre in the Garden

www.peninsulaplayers.com

 

Landmark Resort

www.thelandmarkresort.com

 

 

 

2013 HEART & STROKE WALK, BENEFITING AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, SET FOR SATURDAY, NOV. 16 AT RELIANT PARK

September 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Photo-Credit-Alejandro-MontoyaWHAT:  More than 30,000 Houstonians will participate in the Heart & Stroke Walk this November in support of the American Heart Association’s fight against heart disease and stroke. Bigger than ever before, the Heart & Stroke Walk will take place again at Houston’s premier venue,Reliant Park.  The walk will feature family fun and physical fitness to promote walking as a part of a healthy lifestyle while raising funds to support cardiovascular research and educational programs for the American Heart Association.

The Heart & Stroke Walk is part of the Association’s My Heart. My Life. national platform, sponsored nationally by Subway and Jenny, and locally by ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and FMC Technologies.

WHEN:  Saturday, November 16, 2013
Opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.; Walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:  Reliant Park – Opening Ceremony and Walk Festivities in Yellow Parking Lot 1 Reliant Park
Houston, TX 77054

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 $2.8 million for the 2013 Houston Heart & Stroke 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 register online by visiting www.houstonheartwalk.org or by calling 713-610-5033. There is no registration fee, but donations are appreciated. Fundraisers who secure a minimum of $100 will receive a free event T-shirt. Walk as part of a company team or form your own team with family and friends.

THE TIPPING POINT

September 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE RESTAURANT — Here comes the waiter with my that little black folder which holds my check and a breakdown of the cost of my meal, the tax, a line for a tip and another for the total. This is the same detailed-dedicated waiter who has ignored me all evening as I desperately waved my napkin and bread plate trying to catch his eye. Have you ever noticed that a waiter can weave through tables at a restaurant, looking straight ahead like a guard at Buckingham Palace?

Yes, he can do that and, yes, I can leave a lousy tip, although those days may be coming to an end. The hot new thing in pricy restaurants is to lump the tip in with the total. Some places are calling it a “service charge,” others don’t bother. Either way, the gratuity goes with the price of the meal. This does away with the customer trying to figure out the tip, and it does away rewarding bad service with a bad tip. This operation also ends waiters stuffing cash tips into their pockets without notifying the IRS. (Actually, the tax collectors have their own formulas for determining what to collect, and today most people pay with credit cards anyway.)

Bus boys/girls and cooks like the surcharge because often they — the lowest paid employees — don’t get to share in the money. Under this new policy, the menus read “shared by the entire staff.” Also, many restaurants have small print at the bottom of the menu reading: “For parties of six or more a 20 percent gratuity (they never use the word ‘tip’) will be added.” Why? Do people in large groups not tip? Speaking of fine print,  notice those little words at the bottom of your hotel room service check: “20 percent will be added to your bill for room service, plus 20 percent for gratuity and another 50 percent to come  pick up your tray afterwards. If you can afford hotel room service, you can afford this.”

How much do you tip? Or do you tip at all? For years the rule of thumb — or fingers if you eat that way — was 15 percent at restaurants. Now it’s 18 to 20 percent. But in most Texas cities an 8.25 percent tax is added on, so if your tip is based on the total at the bottom of the bill, you are actually over-tipping. A good way to figure your tip is to spot the tax and double it. That gives the waiter a 16.50 percent tip which is close. Of course, if you are extra trouble and want a clean plate or bread without mold, you should add extra money. I generally tip 20 percent because the waiter or waitress (waitstaff is the trendy new name) has to explain to the chef what kind of jelly I want with my peanut butter. You may also need to tip the sommelier or wine steward 10 to 15 percent, especially if he has trouble opening the plastic spout on the box.

There are a few reasons when I only tip 10 percent. If I am paying in cash and the waiter returns with some bills and coins and says, “Do you want the change?” That’s my decision, not his. Also, I am cheap if she says, “Are those spoons in your pocket?” or, “Our all-you-can-eat buffet does not include food on other tables.” Some customers also tip the maitre’d, which is French for “a table by the kitchen door.” At this point you are wondering why “tip” is short for To Insure Promptness. Shouldn’t it be TEP? To Ensure Promptness? I’m buying a po’ boy not a policy.

Besides eateries, there are other service folks who work for tips (or teps). Hotel maids have a tough job, so leave a $2 tip daily, not at the end of your stay. Remember that a different Honduran may come each day to clean up your mess. When John Kerry was running for president he would leave a $20 tip at each hotel stop. And he wanted to balance our budget? I tip my barber well, mainly because he stands behind me holding a straight razor. But valet parkers have the best deal. At restaurants the valets put orange cones in the best spots so customers can’t park there. Then the parker takes your keys, drives your car maybe 15 feet, and parks it. You pay $2 to get your car back. Actually, I was paying $2 only to find that the new going rate is $3 plus any loose change I left in my car ashtray.

A prof at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, who teaches Buckingham Palace Stare 101, taught me something. Even when I pick up my own lunch at the counter and dump the remains in a bin, I leave a buck on the table. As the prof explained, “Somebody has to come behind you and wipe the table, re-set the chairs and sweep under the table.”

This same UH prof told me: “One time I was having dinner at a restaurant. I was sitting at a bar table that overlooked the dining room. The tables were cheek by jowl. This fellow and his significant other – wife, girl friend — were having dinner, and he was effusive in his praise of the service, kept telling the waiter how everything was perfect. At the end of the meal the fellow put a cash tip in the check wallet, and got up to go to the bathroom. While he was gone, the girl looked in the leather folder and apparently decided the tip was too big, so she took out some of the cash. After the couple left and the server checked the tip, the server was cursing a blue streak. ‘If my service was so good, why did the SOB leave me such a lousy tip?’”

 

Ashby receives teps at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

Travel: Scottsdale and Phoenix

September 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Arizona delivers the perfect getaway

By Marisa Byers; additional reporting by Andrew Veres

 

Yoga in the DesertIt’s a 2 ½ hour flight from Houston to Phoenix. The short flight takes you to beautiful weather and unique landscapes of the old west.  Plus, all Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer.

The area has the perfect mix of adventure, nightlife, premium dining, shopping, and meditation.  The Galleria-style fashion district includes Nordstrom, H & M, American Apparel and tons of independent restaurants utilizing locally inspired ingredients. 

Citizen Public House, a local eatery serving classic, tasty comfort food, really satisfies the belly.  The chopped salad is so good and popular it has its own Facebook page!  Crazy! If you’re hip and cool, go upstairs to Citizen R + D; maybe they’ll grant you permission to enter the speakeasy. Patrons must review the protocols before entering the bar; house rules!   Cocktails are incredibly unique. It can take up to 10 minutes to transform the unusual ingredients into tasty beverages.

The House Brasserie evokes a bygone era when hospitality mattered. Chef Matt Carter invites you into this historic old home to explore his menu of reimagined classic world cuisine.  From house made pastas to shellfish cooked on an Argentinian-style grill, dining at the House is an exciting culinary journey. 

Scottsdale is also home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, his winter home and architecture school. Taliesin West is an architectural masterpiece, integrating indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the property.  Wright invented almost all the unique features of this 1937-built property, but never had one thing patented. Track lighting highlights art and décor; you’ll also see stadium seating and solar lighting. In spite of all his innovation, Frank Lloyd Wright died almost penniless owing millions of dollars to the IRS.Taliesin West is a must see when in Scottsdale.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll love it here.  They have over 20 world-class golf courses. You can trek through the desert on four-wheelers or Tomcars (part Jeep, part ATV). Green Zebra Adventures takes you through the Fort McDowell Yavapai Reservation, educating on Arizona’s native fauna, flora and wildlife along the way; keep a lookout for bald eagles! Feeling brave? Coast 500 feet above the ground in a Hot air balloon. Extraordinary views of the desert lead to amazing pictures.  The hour-long voyage ends with traditional gourmet breakfast and awards ceremony; adventurers are given a certificate proving they flew in a hot air balloon. 

Celebrate our world’s diverse musical cultures at the Musical Instrument Museum. With a collection of high quality instruments from every country, it is the first truly global museum of its kind. The museum fosters global understanding through incomparable interactive experiences, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances.  You can see instruments used by Elvis, John Lennon, Taylor Swift and Carlos Santana.

Where to stay

The W Hotel

The W Hotel is located in the heart of Scottsdale’s fashion and arts district, ideal for exploring the city.  The W Hotel is not just a place to STAY; it’s something you EXPERIENCE.  Every detail has been closely scrutinized.  The hotel is gorgeous, enhanced through natural elements like petrified logs from the coast of Indonesia. Fusions of air, earth, fire, and water create serene and inviting nuances. The glass-beveled wall behind the bar leading up to the pool is amazing. They even pump vanilla bourbon essence into the air.

The experience continues with luxurious suites, incredible cuisine, inviting Bliss Spa, rooftop lounge and celebrity sightings. The hotel “talent” is incredibly accommodating and warm, too. Employees are selected after “auditioning” for their “role;” they are talented at putting YOU, the guest, first. 

Arizona Biltmore

The legendary Arizona Biltmore is known as the “Jewel of the Desert.” Built in 1929, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspiration pleases the pickiest travelers.  Enjoy the full-service spa, 18-hole championship golf course, and four diamond dining at Wright’s at the Biltmore.  Wright’s changes their menu weekly to incorporate the freshest ingredients available into their award winning cuisine. Especially notable is Sunday brunch featuring culinary delights for every taste.

Courtesy photos

Essentials:

gogreenzebra.com/scottsdale

thehousebrasserie.com

franklloydwright.org/about/TaliesinWestTours

Hotairexpeditions.com

MIM.org

The W: wscottsdalehotel.com

Arizonabiltmore.com

 

The Leadership Forum Sept 20th

September 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs

HOUSTONSofia Adrogué (Looper Reed & McGraw P.C.) and Caroline Baker Hurley (295th Judicial Court, Harris County), Co-Founders & Co-Chairs, present once again their Youth Leadership Forum for Houston’s Youth at Rice University from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on  September 20, 2013.  The motto is to Engage, Educate & Empower—By Service We Lead. 

The annual one-day event for high school students draws 300 of Houston’s aspiring leaders  from a cross-section of Houston schools including Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston, Chinquapin College

Preparatory School, AAMA’s George I. Sanchez Charter High School, Hall High School, Project GRAD, YES Preparatory Public Schools as well as St. John’s School, among others.  Past participants include students from Aspiring Youth, CCISD Schools, HISD Schools, and The Kinkaid School.

The Leadership Forum offers area youth a critical opportunity to gain a litany of valuable lessons:  (i) insight from emerging and established leaders in our community; (ii) knowledge about our local and national government; (iii) an understanding of how community organizations are shaping futures; and, finally, (iv) a realization that with education and hard work, our youth can accomplish their dreams. This year’s program allows students to interact with elected officials, business professionals and community leaders to discuss leadership, success and life.  Notable participants this year include:  The Hon. Eva Guzman, Hon. Sylvester Turner, Marlen Esparza,   Baby Jay, and Jean Lopez.  

 

Past participants including the Hon. Annise Parker, Hon. Sylvia Garcia, Hon. James A. Baker III, Hon. Wallace Jefferson, among others. 

 

 

Off the Wall Gallery Presents: SALVADOR DALI: THE ARGILLET COLLECTION

September 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Houston, TX (June 25, 2013) – Off the Wall Gallery (www.offthewallgallery.com), Houston’s most prestigious fine art gallery is proud to announce its presentation of Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection. The collection is on exhibition and available for acquisition at the gallery beginning Saturday, September 21, 2013.

The exhibition is a rare opportunity to meet Madame Christine Argillet, daughter of Dali’s legendary publisher and confidante Pierre Argillet, during two scheduled special appearances by Madame Argillet for the public: Saturday, September 28 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm and Sunday, September 29 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  All appearances are complimentary to the public, and RSVP’s are required.

LIVE B-ROLL LINK:  Salvador Dali & Madame Argillet   http://vimeo.com/54993068
Password: CAG 27

Meet Madame Argillet
Saturday, September 28, 2013
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sunday, September 29, 2013
2:00 – 4:00 pm

Off the Wall Gallery
Galleria Houston (Adjacent to Neiman Marcus – Entrance through valet)
5015 Westheimer, Suite #2208
Houston, TX 77056

RSVP REQUIRED:  713.871.0940   Admission is Complimentary
For additional information about this exhibition, contact the gallery via email: mimi@offthewallgallery.com or visit www.offthewallgallery.com

Salvador Dali’s publisher, Pierre Argillet (1910-2001) and Dali enjoyed a collaboration and a friendship that spanned five decades; and produced what art historians have termed “the finest bodies of the Master’s Art”.  This collection made available by the Argillet Estate is…truly. A privilege and an opportunity for the collector to own a prominent piece of Dali’s legacy.

Pierre Argillet’s body of Dali’s etchings, original works and books appear in museums throughout the world, and have enjoyed a home at the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France (Pierre Argillet’s former home “Chateau Vaux-le-Penil” and former museum) as well as in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The collection is also housed at the prestigious Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  Together, Argillet & Dali created remarkable editions of original prints, lived the true “Surrealists” life, and developed images that are prized by collectors today.

This exhibition and collection opportunity offers works from Dali’s Suites, including Mythologie, Les Hippies, Goethe’s Faust, and the incomparable Poemes Secrets d’Apollinaire. Madame Argillet has also graciously included the rare titles, Etchings and Watercolors from 1934 to the late 1960’s.

Piola hosts Robert Lanzini art exhibit Sept. 25

September 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

PT_AIP_RobertLanzini_59x29_5_HOU_HIHouston, TX – Sept. 10, 2013 – Houston artist Robert Lanzini will soon be hanging his art on the walls of Piola, a popular Midtown spot for contemporary Italian cuisine.

An opening reception for the show entitled “Ricominciare” will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25.  The restaurant is located at 3201 Louisiana St, Suite 103.

Lanzini has created art for as long as he can remember. Mainly self-taught, he is influenced by nature and travel, which serves as inspiration for his abstract creations.

“Robert’s zest for life is evident in the bold colors and energetic paintings,” Piola spokesman Bruno Cencini said. “We look forward to displaying his new work at the restaurant.”

 
Lanzini is a prolific artist who likes a challenge. He enjoys pushing himself to try a new medium, learn a new technique or dedicate himself to a subject. Anything can become a creative opportunity for Lanzini – whether painting his own walls at home, photographing his vacation or capturing an emotion on canvas.

He starts with one idea in his mind and lets the piece evolve as he works.RobertLanzini

“My art tells me where it’s going,” he said.

For more information about Robert Lanzini, visit his web site www.robertlanzini-art.com.

 
Lanzini is represented by creative consulting and public relations firm Cadence Enterprise. For more information, visit www.cadenceenterprise.com.

The Countdown Begins: Engines Rev for a 3-Day Festival of Speed

September 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers

Oct. 4-6, 2013

HOUSTON – In just 30 days Reliant Park will be transformed into MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers, October 4-6, 2103. Approximately 150,000 race fans are expected to attend the Grand Prix’s twelve races and “Three-Day Festival of Speed,” which also includes IZOD IndyCar double-header races, live music, a huge entertainment zone and fan engagement at every level including pit and paddock access.

The two-point counting, “H-town Doubles Down,” double-header IZOD IndyCar Series races headline the Grand Prix Saturday and Sunday featuring returning Houston winners Dario Franchitti and Sebastian Bourdais. 2013 winner(s) will receive the distinguished AJ Foyt Championship Trophy presented by the event’s grand marshal, racing legend, AJ Foyt himself. Additional races throughout the weekend include four sports car races – two races from the Pirelli World Challenge Championships and one each from the Mazda MX-5 and Champions Race for Charity. The event also includes all three rungs of IndyCar’s developmental ladder, the “Mazda Road to Indy” – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Firestone Indy Lights.

“We are thrilled to have such a packed race schedule for the Grand Prix,” said Austin Crossley, managing director of the Grand Prix. “But, the Grand Prix is much more than its races; it is an unrivaled experience with concerts, a fan fun zone and expo areas. Plus, seeing the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series driving around the Reliant Astrodome and Reliant Stadium will be a thrill for motorsports fans and non-fans alike.”

A variety of family-friendly activities will complement the Grand Prix’s world-class racing throughout the weekend, including a Grand Prix-mere Showcase presented by Myplates.com, Fiesta Family Fun Zone and go karting provided by MSR Houston. Other free additions near the track include dozens of interactive and educational displays, including a experiential area presented by Shell located inside Reliant Arena.

“Shell and Pennzoil have a long history with the IZOD IndyCar Series; and with our lubricants in the IndyCars, we view the racetrack as today’s laboratory for tomorrow’s road cars,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum. “There are few better places to show that off than at a Grand Prix in our own backyard.”

The twelve races will take place on a 1.7-mile track, built in 96 hours around Reliant Park, where drivers will move up to 180 miles per hour around the 10-turn course. Following Friday’s daytime qualifying races, ticket holders will have access to a free concert by Creedence Clearwater Revisited. More live music, interactive exhibits and beer gardens will be open to the public throughout the weekend.

Shell Oil Company holds the title sponsorship for the Grand Prix and the Greater Houston Honda DealersAssociation, a group of 14 local dealers, serves as the presenting sponsor. The Grand Prix has additional sponsorship agreements with 22 associate sponsors: ABI Digital Solutions, ACE Hardware, Aztec Tents & Events, Bud Light, Champions Race for Charity, Courtyard by Marriott – Houston/Medical Center, Fast Trac Transportation, Fiesta, Fronterra Geosciences, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, Hewlett-Packard, Houston Chronicle, Hyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport, Hyatt Regency Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center, MSR Houston, MyPlates.com, Redstone Golf Course, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Strike Zone, Houston Medical Center/Reliant Park and Verizon.

A variety of ticket options are available, from grounds admission and reserved grandstand tickets as single-day or three-day tickets, to pit and suite passes. Reserved grandstand tickets offer fans a guaranteed seat for the races as well as the best view of the action at key locations around the track. The best offer available is the “three-day SuperTicket,” which gives the ticket holder a premium seat in Grandstand 1 as well as a three-day pit pass.

Grounds Admissions  

      Friday only       $10
Saturday or Sunday only       $25
Three-day pass       $40      

Reserved Grandstand

Grandstand Saturday or Sunday only       $40-65
Grandstand three-day pass       $85
Three-day SuperTicket with pit pass       $155      

Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at grandprixofhouston.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or in person at the Reliant Stadium South ticket windows inside Budweiser Plaza.

Visit www.grandprixofhouston.com for more information and to join the Checkered Flag Club, providing the latest news and offerings from the Grand Prix.

FASHION HOUSTON

September 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs

FASHION HOUSTON 2013: INTERNATIONAL DESIGNERS FLOCK TO 4TH ANNUAL EVENT

Trendsetters and fashionistas take note: Fashion Houston 2013 is featuring some of the world’s most influential international designers as it roars into Houston’s Wortham Theater Center November 12-15, 2013.  Aiming to secure the Bayou City’s position as a world-class destination for fashion, organizers have secured more than a dozen top name designers and emerging talents for the whirlwind week of fashion activities.

“After surprising and delighting audiences in Houston the last three years, we are absolutely thrilled to continue raising the bar with our stellar 2013 lineup,” said Jared Lang, founder, president and CEO of Fashion Houston.

Nicole Miller, fresh off recent her recent visit to Houston supporting Dress for Success, will return to close Wednesday night’s shows. Miller, an iconic American designer with truly international reach, received the FGI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, boasting more than 30 years in the fashion industry.  During her tenure Miller’s fashion empire has stretched from her first boutique on Madison Avenue to JC Penney with her line Nicole by Nicole Miller to her most recent boutique opening in São Paulo, Brazil. Notable celebrity clients include Angelina Jolie, Halle Barry, Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks and Felicity Huffman.

Direct from the runways around the world, the collection of Nashville native Johnny Talbot and Mainz, Germany native Adrian Runhof will highlight Fashion Houston 2012.  Talbot Runhof’s popular collection for Spring 2014, featuring women’s resort and sportswear in bright hues and whimsical patterns, will close the first night of Fashion Houston on Nov. 12.

Bibhu Mohapatra and Catherine Deane will showcase their latest collections on the runway. Mohapatra is known for designing elegant and vibrant couture cocktail dresses, evening gowns and furs, deriving inspiration from the sumptuous fabrics and intricate designs of his native India.

Deane is a rising star in evening gown and bridal couture. Her designs can be seen on red carpets the world over, and she’s widely known as a go-to designer for celebrities, including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Pippa Middleton. Deane’s bridal collection is quickly gaining momentum with the opening of her London boutique, and introduction of a best-selling collection for BHLDN.

Continuing the trend of designers new to Fashion Houston are designers Marios Schwab, who burst on the scene with his London-based label in 2005, with designs reflecting influence from everything from tattoos to mythical symbols; Yigal Arwouel will show both his ready to wear line, Cut 25, a contemporary concept combining fashion with simplicity, sensibility, individuality and creativity, as well as his couture collection; Zachary Prell, the Wall Street investment banker turned menswear designer;  Rebecca Taylor, best known for unconventional color combinations and prints married with flattering cuts and unique embellishments; Sophie Theallet, whose decidedly French couture collections have received critical and media acclaim; Chris Knott for Peter Millar, a distinctive menswear collection evocative of classic American style; and emerging designer and Houston native Amir Taghi.

Returning to Fashion Houston this year are local designers David Peck and Chloe Dao. Peck has worked for renowned fashion houses such as Paco Rabanne, Junichi Hakamaki, and Robert Normand in Paris before moving back to Houston to start his collection, CrOp; Dao is the Project Runway Season 2 Champion, who recently rebranded her Lot 8 store name with Dao Chloe Dao, the label sewn into all of her designs.

Tickets for Fashion Houston 2013, $24 – $274, go on sale at 10 am on Tuesday, September 10. VIP ticket upgrades are also available. Visit FashionHouston.net to purchase tickets and for more information.

ABOUT FASHION HOUSTON

Fashion Houston is the premiere fashion event in Texas that combines international style with Texas hospitality. Started in 2010 by philanthropist and visionary Jared Lang, Fashion Houston has been embraced by the fashion loving community of Houston as well as the international fashion community. With partners such as Audi and the Houston Audi DealersNeiman Marcus and Hotel ZaZa Houston, the fourth annual event will thrill thousands with sparkling runway shows and out of this world parties. Fashion Houston takes place Nov. 12 – 15 at the Wortham Theater Center, located at 500 Texas Avenue in Downtown Houston.  For more information on designers, to see the lineup or to purchase tickets, please visit www.FashionHouston.net.

 

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Fashion Houston 2013 Overview Release_FINAL.pdf
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NOT READY FOR CRIME TIME

September 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Hi, Neighbors. Each month we bring you the local crime report in Running Rats Acres to help you keep abreast of what your sticky-fingered neighbors are up to: A house burglary on Screwworm Lane resulted in the theft of two bowling trophies, baby shoes, a wedding portrait and $2,000 in cash. The owner would like the $2,000 in cash returned because “it has great sentimental value.” In the 300 block of Weeping Wound Way a house was burglarized sometime during July while the owners were away doing community service. Nothing was taken, but the burglars left a note expressing their sympathies for the house’s condition and a $10 bill. In that same block, a resident filed a complaint that someone stole his burglar alarm.

Police report that vandals broke into Melba’s Unpainted Furniture Store and painted everything. The constable’s office points out that residents should not dial 911 when the TV cable goes out. Incidentally, there is new emergency phone number for dyslexics: 119. Authorities are viewing video tape of a break-in at Lou’s Adult Book Store & Children’s Clothing Boutique which shows two people, probably men or women, between the ages of 17 and 60, black, Hispanic, white or possible Asian. They were wearing baseball caps of undetermined color, ski masks and jackets or vests or maybe overcoats. If you have any information on the identify of these alleged perpetrators call 1-800-SNITCH. You may receive a reward. Then again, you may not.

The Running Rats Acres Little League reports someone stole third base.

The Home Owners Association would like to commend Deputy Bill “The Badger” Badge for apprehending the notorious Bee Bandit. “Hive been working on the case for weeks. It was a honey of an arrest,” he said. “I set up a sting operation.”

Sen. Ted Cruz filed a complaint against a local resident who claims Cruz was really born in Kenya. The senator explained that he’s a cousin of Tom Cruz. This summer’s Flies of Texas Festival was broken up by the SWAT team. Residents of the 5000 block of Python Fang Point say that a flasher has been hiding behind hedges and, when someone approaches, the flasher jumps out and shows pictures of his grandchildren.

On a housekeeping note, the annual Take a Truncheon to Luncheon Appreciation Gala has been cancelled because someone stole the hot plate. A report filed on Monday about a 230-foot yacht missing in Town Lake has been ruled a practical  joke. “We were taking it seriously until the complainant also claimed his yacht held 100 ostriches dressed in tutus,” the desk sergeant said. Due to a misunderstand, inmates in the city jail will no longer be supplied with an iPhone, iPad and iSaw. Apparently the chief jailer did not fully comprehend the term “cell phone.” Be on the lookout for whoever is spraying graffiti on the City Hall front door. It is covering over last week’s graffiti, which was much better. The Running Rats Democratic Club reports its supply of fake voter IDs is missing.

A driver in the 2900 block of Pothole Place reports a hit-and-run accident, but wouldn’t give his name, make of car or license plate number. The Aaron Burr High School Taser Team will hold try-outs on Friday. Also, the ACLU has submitted a criminal charge demanding the Aaron Burr High Booster Club refrain from hosting its annual Boosters Roosters Picnic. An ACLU spokesman said, “The event violates the separation of religion and state since the boosters are serving Church’s Fried Chicken.” Sheriff’s deputies confirmed they have apprehended the rustler who stole two colts and a mare from the Saddle Sore Dude Ranch. The alleged perpetrators is under horse arrest. The Texas Bankrupt & Trust reports it is missing $3 million in cash along with two clerks and the banks’ video cameras. The bank’s president said, “We think it was an inside job.”

A resident under the Federal Witness Protection Program complains that a concrete truck drove up to his house and the driver asked for his shoe size. The Running Rats Acres PD has issued an apology to KRUD-TV for sending over a video supposedly showing a robbery at the Choke & Puke restaurant which turned out to be video of the department’s Christmas party. The chief hopes this will resolve the four divorce filings along with the eight accusations of sexual harassment, and lead to the recovery of two patrol cars. Justice of the Peace Gabe Gavel has filed regicide charges against Attorney Casey Closed, specifically for murdering the King’s English, after Closed told Justice Gavel his job is easy, adding, “You don’t have to be a docket scientist.”

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has filed a complaint with the police chief, accusing officers of arresting his step-niece-in-law for shoplifting and not releasing her even after discovering the relationship between the two. “Do you know who I am?” Dewhurst explained. The desk sergeant answered, “Yeah, you’re the wuss who lost to that Canadian.” An alleged culprit, caught shoplifting at the Moribund Funeral Home, refused to be handcuffed and was charged with resisting a wrist. A customer has filed a complaint alleging that she found meat in her Big Mac.

A vendor at the town’s sales rally reported someone stole a Starving Artist’s water color of the Unknown Soldier. The painting is filed under Missing in Auction. At the flea market, someone lifted two bowling trophies, baby shoes, a wedding portrait and $2,000 in cash. A citizen reports that, during the recent garbage strike, she put all her trash in pretty gift boxes and left them in the back seat of her car, then parked it at the mall. When she returned the bags were gone. She doesn’t want them back. A bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to strip all state funding from the Running Rats Acres Police Department. Police report finding a 230-foot yacht in Town Lake with 100 ostriches dressed in tutus.

 

Ashby is arresting at ashby2@comcast.net

 

Turkish Airlines announces non-stop flight to Istanbul

September 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Exterior Photo - 1

 

Houstonians can fly direct to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines.

 

“The direct flights to Istanbul will strengthen trade, investment and tourism ties for Houston in Turkey,” says Houston Mayor Annise Parker.  She recently led a trade mission to increase economic relationships between the two markets.

 

In an interview with H Texas, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Hamdi Topçu, talked growth. “Our airline has grown more than 20% each year and now serves 98 countries. Turkish tourism is increasing as people discover our best hotels, the Aegean Sea and plenty of history.”

 

Topcu say’s the future looks even brighter, “When people come to Turkey for commerce, they come back with family. We are the gateway to Africa, the Middle East and all of Europe.”  He believes the highest quality of service will keep people flying Turkish Airlines.

 

Houston was a natural expansion choice for Turkish Airlines. Houston is the fourth largest US city in terms of population and home to thousands of Turkish residents, creating an immediate passenger base.

 

The new service flies from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Ataturk International Airport (IST). Loyal United travelers should note Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance (frequent flyer program).