April is National Autism Awareness Month

March 31, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

DSC_7548

What: Nat’l Kick off of Special Needs Families First Saturdays – April is Nat’l Autism Awareness Month

When: Sat. April 4th, 9am

Why: Because parents of special needs kids have asked us to set aside time so their special child can play without judgement/rough play from mainstream kids.  It’s also great for parents to meet other parents of special needs kids.

 

Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Parks Across the Country Open Doors Just for Special Needs Families First Saturday of Every Month – Kicks off April 4, Start of Autism Awareness Month    

 

To raise awareness for children with special needs, Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Parks nationwide will open their doors at 9 a.m. – an hour early – every first Saturday beginning April 4 so special families can enjoy an hour of play before the general public is admitted at 10 a.m.  April marks National Autism Awareness Month.

“Families have shared with us that their children with developmental challenges feel more confident in their play when the park is less crowded,” says Jumpstreet COO Mark Goldman.  “We want all our young guests to have fun without interruption or judgment from others who may be unaware or may not understand children with different abilities.”

Jumpstreet’s “Special Family Saturdays” also provide an exclusive reduced rate of $8 for a two-hour “all access pass” for children 4 and older.  The regular price for the general public is $21 for the same package.  Children 3 years and younger enjoy two hours of play for $4.  An “all access pass” allows guests to enjoy additional attractions at each location such as the mechanical bull, a foam pit, an inter-tube slide, walking sticks and other unique activities at Jumpstreet.

Families with special needs children can enjoy the VIP treatment on the first Saturday at Jumpstreet’s 15 locations: Chandler  and Glendale, AZ, Greenwood VillageLakewood and Littleton, CO, Lawrenceville, GA, FranklinGoodlettsville and Murfreesboro, TN and  AllenCedar ParkColleyvilleDallasKaty and Plano, TX.   “We are a family-owned business and take pride in reaching out to the communities we serve,” Goldman states. “Our friendly staff is looking forward to meeting new families and their children.”

About Jumpstreet:

The Colorado-based company has 15 locations in the United States and continues as a stand out among competitors for its safety-conscious corporate culture while offering fun and exhilarating attractions families love.  Jumpstreet was founded in 2007, with a mission to provide families with a safe, reliable, exciting venue that encouraged physical activity in children and quality time among families and friends.  For young children, jumping improves balance and gross-motor coordination. For teenagers, it’s a great way to burn off energy while practicing cheerleading or gymnastic-like maneuvers. Jumpstreet is also a very popular choice for hosting birthday parties and other celebrations.  Companies also utilize Jumpstreet as a unique setting for a memorable team-building experience among coworkers, or adults can sign on to the free WiFi for some productive time while their children are having fun in a supervised environment.  Visit www.gotjump.com.

TRIGGER-NOMETRY 101

March 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

TRIGGER-NOMETRY 101

 

THE PARKING LOT –Driving to this convenience store at my weekend getaway in Varicose Valley, I suddenly hear shouting. True story. Parked in the middle of the lot are two vehicles, drivers’ doors open. The shouting is the work of two guys who must have had an altercation down the street and pulled in here to begin their learned discussion. They are red- faced and blue-tongued, calling each other every obscene term you have ever heard. “You tailgated me all the (fill in the blank) way!” “You (etc. etc.) were driving five miles an hour down the middle of the (one guess) road!” And so on.

They are about to come to blows. A young man who drives a huge Pepsi delivery truck runs up to calm things down. Several others do the same. I am taking notes. Yep, young white trash Billy Bob and LeRoy are about to go to Fight City, except these two foul-mouthed combatants are in their sixties or seventies, both white-haired, one is wearing a baseball cap from his country club. Each is driving a new-model white Mercedes — one is an SUV.

What I am witnessing quite probably are two retired CEOs – it’s 10:30 on a Monday morning — who got to executive suite by intimidation, but each has met his obnoxious equal. Now my real worry: what if one is carrying a concealed putter on his hip, or maybe a nine-iron in his shoulder holster?  Or both of them? Golf fight at the AARP Corral.

Yes, hang on my fellow victims because the Texas Legislature is about to overturn a 125-year-old law and allow us to openly carry handguns. Back step one pace: Under current law, Texans older than 21 who pass a background check, take a class and shooting test may carry concealed handguns after paying a fee and becoming properly licensed. Fortunately, only a handful of Texans were willing to jump through so many hoops. Wait, the number is nearly 826,000, and the state has agreements recognizing license holders from 30 other states. That’s a lot of locked and loaded people – the loaded part worries me.

          There is a problem for the gun gang. A number of locations prohibit concealed carry, including institutions of higher learning, so the Legislators are closing it. This new law would require public colleges to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry handguns on campus, while allowing private schools to opt out of the law. Surprisingly enough, those ivory tower eggheads don’t like the idea.

College presidents, chancellors, regents and campus cops, most students and parents, not to mention professors who occasionally flunk students, are aghast at the idea of some hungover frat rat coming to class armed and nauseous. “I’ll show you how to dissect a fetal pig, professor.” Bang! Bang! Or: “Hank Sam, you’ve been making moon eyes at Sally Sue all semester. Put down that Pythagorean Theorem and draw!” Bang! Bang! It gives a whole new meaning to the term, student body, or for ROTC students, mortar board.

Not only are the professors appalled at the idea of giving a lecture, from behind a two-inch-thick bullet-proof glass shield, on Modern Philosophy – How to Get Along. There is also the cost. Estimates to implement campus carry at Texas’ public colleges and universities could cost tens of millions of dollars. UT and UH systems alone would need to spend $47 million combined over six years to update security systems, build gun storage facilities and increase campus police units. These costs would either (a) be taken from the school’s education and research funds, or (b) increase tuitions, which would be passed on to the parents who are already holding down five jobs to get junior though school.

Nonsense, says the bill’s sponsor, Republican Brian Birdwell of Granbury. He argued: “A fundamental right granted by the creator is not subordinate to the financial costs or speculation of our public universities.” It’s good to find out that Rep. Birdwell knows more about the finances of higher education than the people who actually handle the costs, but this brings up an interesting question. “A fundamental right granted by the creator.” Where in the Bible is carrying guns granted by God? “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” That may have been mistranslated from: “Beating plowshares into AK-47s,” or, “Beating a hasty retreat when a student comes to class carrying an M 16 assault rifle.”

In all of this debate, and it lasted for days, some left-wing nut jobs might have been wondering why our legislators were not taking up our education funding, which is dismal. Or our roads and bridges which everyone agrees are crumbling, especially the people who make a lot of money building and repairing our roads and bridges. Our state government is totally controlled by conservative Republicans, so how about dealing with the hordes of Texans with no health insurance who get treated at our emergency rooms and the rest of us have to pay the bill? How conservative is that, big spenders?

In spite of the above list of embarrassing if not silly shortsightedness, our lawmakers love tax cuts, and are looking at a proposed $4.7 billion reduction over the next two years. Why not? Texas already ranks at or near the bottom in per capita spending by state governments. Good, except that Texas is falling apart — our infrastructure is devastated, our schools need help and health care is sick.

No, our legislators have different priorities, like allowing college kids to openly carry weapons into classes, profs’ offices and did I mention dorms, too? It’s all about gun control, and remember, in Texas, “gun control” means holding it with both hands. As for those two codgers facing off in the parking lot in Varicose Valley, thank goodness the golfers only had harsh words and not a Walker Colt between them, or there would have been a hole in one.

 

Ashby ducks at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park

March 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

One more day Houston! SUNDAY 10AM – 6PM. The weather is perfect. This is why we live in Houston.

450 Artists working in 19 different mediums, Non-Profits, Music, Food, Beverages, Creative Zones – and you!

HoustonArtFest

ZeeBerry.com

March 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Beauty & Fashion, Blogs

Online Shopping Extravaganza

ZeeBerry.com is one of the web’s fastest growing jewelry destinations. You can find many of your favorite brands here; from Alex and Ani, Dogeared, Gorjana, Ettika & Shashi and Chan Luu. As I browsed the site, I couldn’t deny my love for Kendra Scott. A new pair of stylish earrings arrived the next day. Our readers receive 15% off use the code htexas15.

Zeeberry.com

It's fun shopping with ZeeBerry.com

It’s fun shopping with ZeeBerry.com

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SECEDE

March 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

Ski Texas! Go south to Canada! You can’t arrest me, officer. I’m a diplomat! All this will be true if our latest troops from the Republic of Texas have their way. Members claim that Texas never actually joined the Union and, since there is no national government here, they had a duty to form one. They have minted their own silver and gold currency (In Willie Nelson We Trust?) with a state department and a court system, and carry ID cards warning the cops the members are diplomatic representatives of the nation of Texas.

Oddly enough, not all law officers buy this tale, for they remember 1997 when supporters of the Republic of Texas abducted a West Texas couple and held them hostage. In the ensuing standoff and gun battle, a member of the group was shot and killed. The leader, Richard L. McLaren, surrendered and remains in state prison. Over the years, other members have been charged with assault, forgery, the impersonation of an officer and, in a 1998 federal case, threats to use a weapon of mass destruction. “They’re a harmless, clueless and interesting group of generally nice older guys with too much time on their hands,” Jerry Patterson, a former Texas land commissioner, told The New York Times.

Nevertheless, the new soldiers have monthly meetings, sometimes lasting up to eight, hours, and this past Valentine’s Day a gathering in the V.F.W. hall in Bryan — where each female attendee was given a rose, yellow we must suppose — another small army invaded. This one was made up of local, state and federal law officers including the FBI. The fuzz seized equipment (flintlocks?), cell phones and briefcases, and dozens of supporters were detained. Some were fingerprinted.

According to the Times, the raid stemmed from a nasty altercation the group had with a judge in Kerrville who was ordered to appear at the V.F.W. hall for a “court hearing” involving his role in the pending foreclosure of a member’s home. The judge was also sent two letters ordering him to present “proof of his authority for executing his claimed powers involving a foreign entity,” and warned him that copies might be provided to the United Nations. Paul Robert Andrus, who was among those detained, accused the sheriff’s lead investigator of “trespass upon liberty.” He demanded $3 million in gold, money order “or any combination necessary thereof.” Money order?

After the raid, the V.F.W. prohibited the group from meeting there again, so the Republic’s next congressional session was to be held at the Ace Buffet and Grill in Waco. Incidentally, this group is in no way associated with the Sons of the Republic of Texas of which I am associated.

If the R of T boys succeed and Texas is, indeed, restored to its original size and shape, plus laws, constitution and habits, they may be careful what they wish for. The Republic was about a third larger than Texas is today. The western border ran up to the beginning of the Rio Grande, then due north to the 42nd degree of north latitude, thence along the boundary line between the US and Spain, which still claimed the area.

Today that would be the borders between California and Oregon in the west and between Pennsylvania and New York in the east. Point Pelee, Ontario, lies just south of that line, meaning that southernmost part of Canada would be south of northernmost Texas. Most Colorado ski resorts would be in Texas, so our doctors could make a fortune fixing broken legs. Coors, not Lone Star, could be the “National Beer of Texas.” Alas, we had to sell our western and northern portions to the US for some magic beans because we were broke and, besides, the only inhabitants of the area were Comanches who had this thing about collecting Texans’ scalps.

In the rest of the remaining Republic, dueling would be outlawed, but not unknown. (A Houston newspaper editor, Dr. Francis Moore, got elected to the Republic of Texas Senate and worked for an anti-dueling law. Sen. Oliver Jones labeled it, “An Act for the Protection of Cowards.” The measure became law and until 1939 all Texas officials had to swear an oath that they had never taken part in a duel.)

Most of our judges would be appointed, not selected as we do today, blindly voting for whomever has an R or D by their names on the ballot. In Republic ceremonies such as inaugurations and the opening of a new session of Congress, dignitaries would proceed down the center aisle of the Capitol chamber including cabinet members, high-ranking officers of the armed forces, ambassadors and, of all things, newspaper editors.

We note that this present gang that can’t think straight is not part of the constant movement for Texas’ secession. We hear that push all the time, it’s nothing new and continues. A Texas Congressman, Jim Collins, once introduced a resolution in the U.S. House: “And if Texas citizens favor the establishment of the Republic of Texas, I would ask that both the Senate and House in the U.S. Congress be provided the opportunity to confirm this transfer of authority to the Republic of Texas.” — April 13, 1978. That’s right, 1978. In last year’s Texas Republican primary for governor, a secessionist who changed his middle name to reflect his cause, Larry Secede Kilgore, received 19,055 votes.

Right now Texas, as a state, is first among the 50 in executions and in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, but 45th in SAT scores and 49th in the percentage of low-income people covered by Medicaid. But we’re first in high school football and in loonies who like to mint their own coins and carry their own diplomatic immunity passports. Worst of all, they like to sit through eight hour meetings.

Finally, we must remember President Sam Houston’s observation: “Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States cannot make it without Texas.”

 

                           Ashby secedes at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons

March 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Events, Parents' Place


“Whether child or adult, we were together invited to explore his world of magic. Maurice opened our eyes and allowed all of us to dream, discover, and imagine.” David Copperfield, Illusionist

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons

Collection on view at:
Central Library, Jesse H. Jones Building and the Julia Ideson Building | 500 McKinney St. and 550 McKinney St., 77002

March 21, 2015 – May 2, 2015

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons is the comprehensive memorial exhibition of 50 select works by the late artist supplemented with accompanying comments by celebrities, authors and noted personalities – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publishing of the universally revered Where the Wild Things Are. Since 2013, this exhibition has toured selected venues throughout the United States featuring works in a variety of media.

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons is a survey of the highlights of Sendak’s career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. From children’s literature to Broadway and the opera, from animated to young adult textbooks — Maurice Sendak remains an iconic American illustrator and author, acclaimed around the world for his genius and insights.

Houston Kids Triathalon

TRI_About

When: April 19, 2015
Where: University of Houston 4500 University Drive Houston, TX 77004
Website: http://www.houstontexans.com/kids/triathlon/about.html

The Houston Texans and Texas Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Kids Triathlon, Inc., have partnered to bring you the 2015 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon presented by Texas Children’s Hospital. It is expected to be the largest USATriathlon sanctioned kids triathlon in the world for the second year in a row with 3,000 participants ages 6 to 15. Thousands of families will gather for the interactive triathlon expo and tons of racing fun. The Houston Texans are proud to support this PLAY 60 initiative, helping to build a generation of healthy, active and responsible kids.
Training Guide courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
The Houston Texans and Kids Triathlon, Inc. are proud to partner with Texas Children’s Hospital on the 2015 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon. To prepare yourself or your child for the race, Texas Children’s Hospital has put together a guide that offers nutrition advice, an endurance training plan and safety tips so all participants will train properly and perform their best on race day. This tool is FREE so make-sure to download and print today!

To download the guide, click here.

Map
The race will take place on a closed course and water stations, race volunteers, and safety personnel will be positioned throughout the race.

Click here to view race maps.

Parking
Free parking will be available to all participants, spectators, and volunteers on the campus of the University of Houston. The large surface lot at the intersection of Texas Spur 5 and University Drive provides the best access to the event. There are other surface lots in this same area that are also open and only a short walk to the race course. Exit 44C or Exit 44B off of I-45 are the best ways to reach this area of the University of Houston campus.

Click here for the parking map.

Hotels & Travel
We welcome race participants that are traveling from all over the region to be a part of the  Houston Texans Kids Triathlon. William P. Hobby Airport is less than 10 minutes from the University of Houston, and is home to hundreds of flights each day.

If you would like to stay at a hotel close to the race site, there are a number of options:

The Crown Plaza Hotel located at 1700 Smith Street in downtown Houston is offering a special race-weekend rate of $79 per room for registered participants. Contact the Crown Plaza at:

Crown Plaza Hotel – Downtown Houston
1700 Smith Street
Houston, TX   77002
(713) 739 – 8800
www.crowneplaza.com
Promo Code:  Kids Tri

Discovery Green Flea

flea

Discovery Green Flea presented by Green Mountain Energy

Where: Discovery Green
When: March 21 11am-5pm  /  April 18, 2015
Website: http://www.discoverygreen.com/flea

Treasure-hunt at this monthly, one-of-a-kind market nestled in the shady southeast end of the downtown park. The destination market features an array of artful kitsch, vintage items, mid-century modern furniture, recycled and repurposed items and collectibles.

Discovery Green Flea is irresistible to the avid shopper! Whether you are a bargain hunter or an eco-sensitive collector dedicated to repurposing and reusing, seek and find at Discovery Green Flea while enjoying light bites and local entertainment. With the planning expertise of Project for Public Spaces and our new friends at Brooklyn Flea, Discovery Green Flea is the place to see (buy and eat) and be seen.

The next Flea is scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 11 am – 5 pm.

Get crafty in the Make It/Take It booth, hosted by The Tinderbox! This is for ages 18 years and up. The little ones can make a craft in the Kid Zone hosted by City ArtWorks!

Flea Market Vendor Rules

Mark your calendars! Future dates for the Discovery Green Flea are March 21 and April 18, 2015. As the weather warms up, the event will transition to Discovery Green Flea by Night on May 16 and June 20, 2015.

Spring Break at the Children’s Museum of Houston

springbreak2015_main

MARCH 7 – 22, 2015: AMAZINGLY IMMATURE SPRING BREAK IN HOUSTON FOR KIDS


ALL EVENTS. ALL DAY. ONE PRICE. ONLY $10.

Quirkiness and genius are taking over this Spring Break in Houston! America’s No. 1 children’s museum will roll out the antics with thrills, surprising performances and the national debut of KLUTZ® Amazingly Immature exhibit during the Amazingly Immature Spring Break, March 7 – 22, 2015. Embrace your zany side then tumble, cartwheel or unicycle to Houston’s top spring break family destination! Kids can –

  • Spin out of control in any of our two Human Hamster Balls
  • Let loose in any of our four Bungee Trampolines
  • Enjoy entertainingly immature and interactive performances
  • And so much more!

Plus, it’s ALL included with the price of admission!

DAILY SPRING BREAK ITINERARY FOR FAMILIES:

  • 10 a.m. Immature Giveaways: Leave your maturity at the door and embrace your zany side with a different giveaway every day! Limited to first 100 kids. (Sunday time: Noon) 
  • 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Immature Happenings: Plastic fusion fashion, gooey boogers, immature makeovers and more! Clown around with a new Klutzy surprise every day. (Sunday time:  3 p.m.) Check out our daily blockbuster activities.
  • 1:30 p.m. Spotlight Performance: Enjoy entertainingly immature and interactive performances! (Sunday time: 2 p.m.) See online calendar for complete lineup.
  • 2:30 p.m. Immature Contest: Put your Amazingly Immature Spring Break experience to the test and compete for the top Immaturity spot with new contests each day!(Sunday time: 3 p.m.) 

ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT

THE HOTEL – Once again I am on the road as part of my philosophy of journalism: it’s hard to hit a moving target, and I am staying in a Motel 5 (I can’t afford any better.) If you have checked into such dwellings recently, you have noticed a few changes. First, there are no more mom and pop hotels. The closest are the B&Bs which are lovely old houses, usually in small towns, that have been converted into hotels. This means you can hear the couple in the next room arguing, or whatever, all night long. Bring a robe because the bathroom is down the hall, or outside in the back. Enjoy your breakfast and be out by 7 a.m. — another guest is on the way.

So the hotel industry has been taken over by chains, and even their varying names are misleading. Doubletree, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn are all owned by Hilton. Incidentally, Conrad Hilton bought his very first hotel, the Mobley, in Cisco, Texas. He later moved on to other West Texas towns. Hilton later observed, “At Lubbock I found that Texas had no use for an imported French chef.” Most of these chains or franchises are clean, similar and, if you go online, you can find some bargains: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in January, Tucson in August, and Juarez year ‘round. This hotel where I am staying is nice. The towels are so fluffy I can hardly close my suitcase. (Old joke). But the room is so small, when I stuck the key in the lock it broke the window. (Even older joke.)

The average hotel room has a big TV, but some still have rabbit ears. All TV sets have a remote, and this brings us to a problem. Like you, I am against more federal laws, including those dealing with armed insurrections, plagiarism and most insider trading. But another law is needed: every TV remote in hotels and motels should be the same. How many times after checking in have you gone up and down the remote trying to find the Taxidermy Channel? In the middle of the night in Pampa have you had to turn on the bedside light, put on your glasses simply to turn off the TV? Some rooms have a little card listing the various numbers for the channels. None of the numbers jibe with the channel listed. If you want to rent a movie, hotel bills no longer list its title, so your expense account won’t show you watched “Cheerleaders in Chains” instead of “Mary Poppins.”

Today virtually every room has a coffee pot, and no two are the same. The last thing I need the first thing this morning (thank you, Willie) is to spend 20 minutes attempting to make this strange coffee pot work. In Dublin I had three maids trying to figure out how to make coffee. We need a law. Another point, and I’m sure this has happened to you. It’s the end of a long day. Your plane was three hours late, you sat between two sumo wrestlers, and the flight attendants ran out of vodka serving the seat in front of you. What you really need, besides vodka, is a hot shower. You step into the shower and there, mounted on the tile wall, is a cross between a moonshiner’s still and the innards of a ’59 Oldsmobile. So you turn a few handles and either: (a), you are scalded like a Maine lobster or (b) you are bathed by an Arctic vortex. Either way you leap back into the bathroom buck naked, dripping wet and wishing you had told your boss that next time he can go to Pampa.

A few hints from a seasoned — OK, well-marinated — traveler. You don’t want to be like Howard Hughes and walk around your hotel suite with your feet stuffed into Kleenex boxes to protect from germs, and recent tests show those hand cleansers are ineffective. So always bring along a bottle of rubbing alcohol to cleanse that generator of germs, the ol’ remote. Studies show it is far more infectious than any other part of rooms, including the commode. Take along a clothespin because hotel drapes never touch. There is always a gap to let the sun hit you in the face at dawn, in my case, about noon. Read the fine print at the bottom of the room service menu. It will show that it is cheaper to bring Wolfgang Puck along to prepare your meals. (Louisiana has an extra 18 percent tax on room service.) Say goodbye to the mini-bar. Hotels say the income isn’t worth their declining use. If the hotels can’t make money on a $5 bag of stale peanuts they need to get in another line of business.

A relatively new wrinkle in the sheets is a small card on your bed: “Every day millions of gallons of water and detergents are used to wash linens that have been used only once. If you are staying more than one night and would prefer to reuse you sheets, place this card on the bed each morning” That’s fine with me. At home I change my sheets each time we go on or off Daylight Saving Time. But other hotels tell us to put the card on the bed if we want the sheets changed. Congress, which is it? If you like that picture on the wall, be careful stealing it. Many hotels have stenciled on the wall under the picture in big print: “PICTURE HERE” That way when the maid comes in to clean the vacant room, he or she can immediately spot the theft and your will enjoy your stay in a different type residence. Speaking of maids, leave a tip daily rather than at the end of your stay because a different maid may clean the room each day.

Have a nice visit, and don’t forget the clothespin.

 

Ashby rooms at ashby2@comcast,net

 

 

 

ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT

March 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE HOTEL – Once again I am on the road as part of my philosophy of journalism: it’s hard to hit a moving target, and I am staying in a Motel 5 (I can’t afford any better.) If you have checked into such dwellings recently, you have noticed a few changes. First, there are no more mom and pop hotels. The closest are the B&Bs which are lovely old houses, usually in small towns, that have been converted into hotels. This means you can hear the couple in the next room arguing, or whatever, all night long. Bring a robe because the bathroom is down the hall, or outside in the back. Enjoy your breakfast and be out by 7 a.m. — another guest is on the way.

So the hotel industry has been taken over by chains, and even their varying names are misleading. Doubletree, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn are all owned by Hilton. Incidentally, Conrad Hilton bought his very first hotel, the Mobley, in Cisco, Texas. He later moved on to other West Texas towns. Hilton later observed, “At Lubbock I found that Texas had no use for an imported French chef.” Most of these chains or franchises are clean, similar and, if you go online, you can find some bargains: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in January, Tucson in August, and Juarez year ‘round. This hotel where I am staying is nice. The towels are so fluffy I can hardly close my suitcase. (Old joke). But the room is so small, when I stuck the key in the lock it broke the window. (Even older joke.)

The average hotel room has a big TV, but some still have rabbit ears. All TV sets have a remote, and this brings us to a problem. Like you, I am against more federal laws, including those dealing with armed insurrections, plagiarism and most insider trading. But another law is needed: every TV remote in hotels and motels should be the same. How many times after checking in have you gone up and down the remote trying to find the Taxidermy Channel? In the middle of the night in Pampa have you had to turn on the bedside light, put on your glasses simply to turn off the TV? Some rooms have a little card listing the various numbers for the channels. None of the numbers jibe with the channel listed. If you want to rent a movie, hotel bills no longer list its title, so your expense account won’t show you watched “Cheerleaders in Chains” instead of “Mary Poppins.”

Today virtually every room has a coffee pot, and no two are the same. The last thing I need the first thing this morning (thank you, Willie) is to spend 20 minutes attempting to make this strange coffee pot work. In Dublin I had three maids trying to figure out how to make coffee. We need a law. Another point, and I’m sure this has happened to you. It’s the end of a long day. Your plane was three hours late, you sat between two sumo wrestlers, and the flight attendants ran out of vodka serving the seat in front of you. What you really need, besides vodka, is a hot shower. You step into the shower and there, mounted on the tile wall, is a cross between a moonshiner’s still and the innards of a ’59 Oldsmobile. So you turn a few handles and either: (a), you are scalded like a Maine lobster or (b) you are bathed by an Arctic vortex. Either way you leap back into the bathroom buck naked, dripping wet and wishing you had told your boss that next time he can go to Pampa.

A few hints from a seasoned — OK, well-marinated — traveler. You don’t want to be like Howard Hughes and walk around your hotel suite with your feet stuffed into Kleenex boxes to protect from germs, and recent tests show those hand cleansers are ineffective. So always bring along a bottle of rubbing alcohol to cleanse that generator of germs, the ol’ remote. Studies show it is far more infectious than any other part of rooms, including the commode. Take along a clothespin because hotel drapes never touch. There is always a gap to let the sun hit you in the face at dawn, in my case, about noon. Read the fine print at the bottom of the room service menu. It will show that it is cheaper to bring Wolfgang Puck along to prepare your meals. (Louisiana has an extra 18 percent tax on room service.) Say goodbye to the mini-bar. Hotels say the income isn’t worth their declining use. If the hotels can’t make money on a $5 bag of stale peanuts they need to get in another line of business.

A relatively new wrinkle in the sheets is a small card on your bed: “Every day millions of gallons of water and detergents are used to wash linens that have been used only once. If you are staying more than one night and would prefer to reuse you sheets, place this card on the bed each morning” That’s fine with me. At home I change my sheets each time we go on or off Daylight Saving Time. But other hotels tell us to put the card on the bed if we want the sheets changed. Congress, which is it? If you like that picture on the wall, be careful stealing it. Many hotels have stenciled on the wall under the picture in big print: “PICTURE HERE” That way when the maid comes in to clean the vacant room, he or she can immediately spot the theft and your will enjoy your stay in a different type residence. Speaking of maids, leave a tip daily rather than at the end of your stay because a different maid may clean the room each day.

Have a nice visit, and don’t forget the clothespin.

 

Ashby rooms at ashby2@comcast,net

 

 

 

5th Annual Kemah Crawfish Festival

March 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Events, Kid's Corner

The 5 Annual “Kemah Crawfish Festival” will be held March 20,21,22, 2015 in the Famous Lighthouse District in the heart of Kemah! 604 Bradford Street, Kemah Texas 77565

The festival will quickly have your mouth watering for some of the best Crawfish and Cajun food in the country. Life Zydeco and Country music all weekend with special guest star Grammy Award winner Wayne Toups in concert Saturday at 7pm. on the Baytown Stage!

There will be plenty Ice cold Dos Equis beer and soft drinks to quench your thirst! Plenty of seating and vendors of all kinds will be there to handle all your shopping needs! Tickets to the 5th Annual Kemah Crawfish Festival are $8.00 for adults and children under 12 FREE!

For more information, visit our web site: www.gulfcoastfestivals.com or email to: gulfcoastfestivals@aol.com

Japan Festival Houston

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Now in its twenty-second year, Houston’s much beloved Japan Festival returns to Hermann Park on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015.   One of the most attended events of its type across the entire United States, this year’s Japan Festival brings about a reaffirmation of the Festival’s commitment to Japanese and Japanese American traditions, both old and new.

This free, family-friendly event will feature the Saturday Sushi Roll-Off, (a competition among some of Houston’s best sushi chefs,) children’s activities, anime and cosplay, arts and crafts, martial arts, traditional Japanese song and dance, cutting edge technology, and of course wonderful food!

For more information: www.houstonjapanfest.org

2nd Annual Hermann Park Kite Festival

kite_photo-680x400

 

Sunday, March 29, 2015
10 am – 5 pm
Miller Hill and Jones Reflection Pool

Join us for the Second Annual Hermann Park Kite Festival on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Everyone is invited to this free festival as kites in all shapes and sizes set sail in the spring sky on Miller Hill and around the Jones Reflection Pool. There will be entertainment for kids including kite making, friendly kite flying, face painting, and more!

Throughout the Park will be performers, ribbon dancers, musicians, jugglers, and more. Pedal boats will be available on McGovern Lake and the train will run throughout the day. Food trucks will be stationed around the park with creative culinary delights for all.

Click here to join the host committee and enjoy benefits such as reserved parking and access to the VIP tent.

 

Japan Festival Houston

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

Now in its twenty-second year, Houston’s much beloved Japan Festival returns to Hermann Park on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015.  One of the most attended events of its type across the entire United States, this year’s Japan Festival brings about a reaffirmation of the Festival’s commitment to Japanese and Japanese American traditions, both old and new.  This free, family-friendly event will feature the Saturday Sushi Roll-Off, (a competition among some of Houston’s best sushi chefs,) children’s activities, anime and cosplay, arts and crafts, martial arts, traditional Japanese song and dance, cutting edge technology, and of course wonderful food!

Saturday April 18: 10am-7pm
Sunday April 19: 10am-5pm
Hermann Park

JOIN THE FUN – RUN FOR THE CENTER!

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

30th HBA JOHN J. EIKENBURG LAW WEEK FUN RUN
Benefiting THE CENTER, making independent and productive lives possible for those with intellectual disabilities in our community.

Saturday, March 21, 2015 7:30 a.m. Sam Houston Park – Downtown

Race events include an individual 8K race, an 8K team competition, a one-mile children’s run (12 & under), and a one mile family walk. All events begin at Sam Houston Park and are open to the public.

7:30 a.m. One-mile children’s run
7:50 a.m. 8K wheelchair start
8:00 a.m. Individual 8K and team 8K start*
8:30 a.m. Non-competitive one-mile family walk

THE CENTER is a private, nonprofit United Way agency that provides education, job training, socialization, and health care to developmentally disabled persons. Over the past 29 years, the HBA Law Week Fun Run has raised more than $1,136,400 for THE CENTER.
Join the fun and support THE CENTER at the Houston Bar Association’s 30th John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run, the only 8K race of its kind.
The post-event festivities in Sam Houston Park feature live music, refreshments, an awards ceremony honoring the winners, and drawings for prizes donated by local merchants. All participants will receive commemorative T-shirts.
Entry fees for individuals are $30 for the 8K run ($35 after March 12) and $18 for the one-mile children’s run and family walk. Three-person team entry fee is $300 ($330 after March 12).
Adopt a Walker from THE CENTER! Support the participation of residents from THE CENTER by paying the $25 entry fee for a resident to join the 1-mile walk, which includes a t-shirt, race packet and opportunity for the resident to win prizes in special drawings. Check the appropriate box on the entry form.
Registration is available online at www.lawweekfunrun.com or at one of these locations:

Thursday, March 19, 2015 (10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
Luke’s Locker
1953 West Gray – (713) 529-0786

Friday, March 20, 2015 (8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
THE CENTER
3550 West Dallas / Cullen Residence Hall
(near Shepherd & Allen Parkway – call 713-759-1133 for directions)

Saturday, March 21, 2015 (6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.)
Race Day Registration at Sam Houston Park

* The 8K course is certified (TX02104ETM) and the 8K race is sanctioned by the GAAC. The 8K Run is an official Spring Series Race of the Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA) and a sanctioned Houston Corporate Athletics Association (HCAA) event.

ARE WE WHERE YET?

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

SOUTH OF SEVEN OAKS — “Turn left at the next peacock crossing.” The Voice Lady in the dashboard is still talking to me. “Make a U-turn across the median.” And so it goes. I have a new Global Positioning System or GPS. Well, it’s new to me. I understand Vasquez de Coronado used one when he was seeking the Seven Cities of Gold. (Maybe GPS stands for Gold Prospecting System.) My wife and I are trying to drive from Houston to Tyler, an easy trip up East Texas on Highway 59 to Lufkin, then on Highway 69 to Tyler. Since most of my previous trips have to the barber, grocery store, tattoo parlor and bail bondsman, I have not needed my GPS until now.

You probably have one, and know how it works. When you get in the car and punch the correct button, a mysterious live voice comes on and asks for your destination. Then a recorded voice tells you where to go, when to turn, where’s the nearest rest stop, hidden state trooper and, of course, the nearest City of Gold. But not always. When we gave the destination, a map came on the dashboard screen showing three routes. Huh? There was only one route unless we wanted to see the Big Thicket, Waco or Galveston on the way. Thumbs Ashby must have picked the wrong route, or maybe the GPS is a worthless machine, because from the first few feet out of the driveway the Voice Lady kept telling us we were going the wrong way. “Make a U-turn at the next intersection.” “Turn around and take a right.” “Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go.” “In one mile of the left there is nothing to see.” And I can’t shut her up.

“Turn left at Waco.” I don’t want to go to Waco! “OK, get lost. See if I care.” The Voice Lady seems to be edgy today. Just as I am trying to master the GPS and catch up with the rest of humanity, I remember reading an article in the newspaper saying that GPS navigation systems such as Garmin and TomTom, which were all the rage just a few years ago, are becoming obsolete. “Now, most consumers are more likely to put their map-equipped smartphone in the cup holder. Google’s Android Autodashboard system means Google Maps will now be on a car’s main screen, making a separate GPS device unnecessary,” the article said. But you can’t trust the liberal media.

What’s more, automakers’ efforts to build navigation systems will also be obsolete because many are clunky, and the maps they contain are often outdated. “They will seem even more so when compared with the continually updated mapping and traffic reports from Android Auto or CarPlay.” I have no idea what Android Autodashboard and Android Auto or CarPlay mean, but this does mean my car’s built-in GPS is becoming obsolete. Great, and I just got rid of my built-in eight-track Betamax. “In a quarter of a mile, you will be one quarter of a mile farther.” Thanks, Voice Lady. Maybe you can tell me where I am. Oh, there’s a sign. Highway 59. Lufkin ahead. How did anyone ever find their way before the GPS came along?

Speaking of out-of-date new breakthroughs, do you have an app in your car, purse or duffle bag? Sorry, that is so last Thursday. “Who needs a version of Pandora just for a Chevrolet or a Ford, when consumers will already have that app on their phone-powered screen?” the article said. Another message: “In half a mile make a right turn into a speeding Peterbilt.” I think the Voice Lady is trying to get rid of me. Looking around your car before the Smithsonian wants it for display, now is the time to say goodbye to the MP3 music player, or even songs stored on your phone. According to that news story, Android Auto and CarPlay feature streaming music from their huge libraries, and services like Pandora and iHeartRadio will offer apps as well. So toss your apps.

How about your car’s CD player? My old car could hold five or six CDs and would play for an hour or more. This new car is retro — it only plays one CD at a time, and plays it and plays it. But CDs are on their way out. They still come included in many new cars, because they’re super cheap to produce and for car companies to install, so they’re still in a lot of vehicles even as consumers’ actual use of CDs is on a steep decline. People buying a new car these days want to receive smartphone-based music, whether via Bluetooth or a cord. This means my car’s CD player is Stone Aged. Maybe it can still play old songs. After all, until 2010, Lexus still offered a sedan with a cassette player.

The article isn’t even discussing car radios. Remember the old days when you had a knob on the dashboard that turned the radio off or on and adjusted the volume, and a second knob that ran the needle back and forth to select the stations? Then came buttons pre-set to a station, am and fm, stereo and satellite. This radio has a cursor on the console that lets me move a little white box around the screen on the dashboard until I hear a loud Bang! This means that, while I was busy moving the cursor, I ran into the car stopped in front of me. And no ashtray. I get tired of tossing my cigar butts out the window. Is this planned obsolescence? Every new gadget is instantly ancient. I take my brand-new desk top computer out of the box and my son says, “Oh, you got one of those old models. Is it steam powered?”

Vasquez de Coronado never did find the Seven Cities of Gold, and now I know why.

 

Ashby is lost at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Culinary Wonderland of Calgary

March 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Words and photos by Dick Dace

At the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers in the grassland of Alberta, Canada, Calgary’s downtown spires of glass and steel rise like the oil derricks of old, pumping Texas gold throughout every facet of the city. Calgary is an economic little sister to Houston, both shaped by a past of land and cattle, and a future fueled by oil and gas. Each city is also the beneficiary of the largess of its famous wildcatters, whose gifts to their citizens include outdoor art, an opera, symphony, avant-garde theatres, museums and culinary excellence.

 

After a short four-hour flight on Continental Airlines, we arrived in time to attend the VISA Infinite dinner at CHARCUT Roast House, recently named one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants by enRoute magazine. CHARCUT Roast House owners and chefs, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, were joined in the kitchen by Food Network CA and Iron Chef star Chuck Hughes of Montreal’s Garde Manger restaurant and Paul Rogalski of Calgary-based Rouge Restaurant, one of San Pellegrino SpA’s Top 100 Best Restaurants in the World.

 

The menu was served family style, helping showcase our hosts’ farm-to-table philosophy. The menu consisted of Jungle Farms Pumpkin Soup served tableside in a 250 lb pumpkin, a Whole Roast Baerd Farm’s Goat filled with County Sausage (think a Canuck turducken), Charred Brussels Sprouts from Innisfail Farms with Shaved Lardo, followed by Warm Stick Toffee BC quince Pudding with Maple Praline Chantilly Cream, paired with Beer Steward Kirk Bodner’s personal selection of local hand-crafted beers.

 

“We don’t employ a sommelier,” explained Jackson. “Most people know their wines and we want to promote our local breweries, as well as our local farmers.”  This was a philosophy we were to find expressed by other chefs in Calgary, as well.

 

After a night’s rest in the new Hotel Le Germain Calgary, which is heated and cooled by thermal energy, and centrally located in the downtown business zone, it was time for a little exploring.

 

First up was Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian-friendly street lined with shops, restaurants and bars and where some 60,000 office workers gather daily in the summer for lunch at its sidewalk cafes. The shoppers in our group were thrilled to find Fashion Central, home to many local and Canadian fashion designer boutiques stocked with many beautiful and unique fashions. A block over on 7th Avenue was Art Central, a three-story building housing galleries and studios of local and regional jewelry, sculpture, paper and oil artists.

 

We decided on lunch at Catch, a local fish emporium known for its “jet-fresh” seafood that was named Best New Restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine the year it opened. Executive chef Kyle Groves shared with us that every day at 10:30 a.m. is an Iron Chef moment – that is when his daily shipment of seafood arrives. “I never know what the daily special will be until then – and we open at 11 am!” The lunch he prepared for us consisted of a Seafood Tower stacked high with lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops, with a side of braised double-smoked bacon with truffle maple syrup.

 

Dinner was another culinary treat at Divino Wine and Cheese Bistro, known for serving naturally raised game, from its own ranch. Chef John Donovan prepared a feast of Sweet Corn Bisque with Corn Flan and BC Striped Shrimp; Roasted Alberta Rack of Lamb with Potatoes Fondant, Fraser Valley Roasted Beets, Swiss Chard and Olive Tapenade Jus; Black Pepper Linguine with chicken, tomatoes, spinach and sesame seeds in a white wine cream sauce, and for dessert, Baked Vanilla Rice Pudding with Mango Glass Biscuit and Passion Fruit Coulis. The cheese course included La Tomme D’Elles, a firm sheep’s and cow’s milk floral from Charlevoix; Ermite Blue, a tangy semi-soft Blue that is monastery produced in Quebec; and Champfleury, a soft, washed-rind, mildly pungent cheese also from Quebec. The meal left us asking, where does all this amazing food come from?

 

We found out when CHARCUT’s owners and chefs, DeSousa and Jackson, invited us to breakfast and to join them on their daily visit to the farmers who supply all the restaurants meats and vegetables. But first, we enjoyed breakfast with their baker, Aviv Fried with Sidewalk Citizen Bakery (who got his start by delivering his breads by bicycle.)

 

At their communal table, Fried, who has an undergrad degree in physics and mathematics, learned the art and science of bread making in Tibet, among other places, had laden the table with still warm-from-the-oven scones and breads. DeSousa and Jackson provided the jams, preserves and coffee that made the meal complete, and that provided us with the substance for our trek to the farmers.

 

About twenty minutes away, in an old airplane hanger, Alberta area farmers had gathered to sell their fresh produce. Blaine and Leona Stapes and their family own Innisfail Farms, and grow everything from pumpkins to spinach. They even have different refrigerators for each type of produce, so they can maintain the perfect temperature to ensure freshness.

 

CHARCUT’s pig farmer Greg Spragg and his family were selling links, sausages, butts and roasts at their booth, Spragg’s Meat Shop. Their farm also consists of 200 acres of irrigated land on which barley, wheat and fava beans are grown to feed their hungry pigs. But large farms are not the only source of produce for chefs in Calgary.

 

Executive chef Mike Decker at Rouge Restaurant, has five city lots on the banks of the Bow River, in the historic community of Inglewood, just 5 minutes from downtown, on which he grows “every herb imaginable, as well lettuces, carrots, beets and berries.”

 

“The whole kitchen team tends the garden,” Decker explained. “It is truly prized by all of us, and nothing could be more flavorful.”

 

Which just proves the point, for food full of flavor nothing beats farm-to-table freshness.

 

# # #

Dick Dace was a guest of Hotel Le Germain Calgary.

 

Resources:

 

Hotel Le Germain Calgary

www.GermainCalgary.com

 

CHARCUT Roast House

www.CharCut.com

 

Catch Restaurant

www.CatchRestaurant.com

 

Divino

www.CRMR.com/Divino

 

Aviv Fried

www.SidewalkCitizenBakery.com

 

Spraggs Meat Shop

www.SpraggsMeatShop.com

 

Innisfail Growers

www.InnisfailGrower.com

 

Rouge Restaurant

www.RougeCalgary.com

 

ADMISSIONS OF GILT

March 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

So you want you or your kid or that cousin wearing the ankle monitor to get into The University of Texas at Austin. You’ll have better luck with Harvard, Yale or the College of Cardinals. Better yet, become a state official, endow a chair (and table, too, the profs need them) or simply move to Fargo. I shall explain. In the never-ending saga of power moves in the hierarchy of The University of Texan at Austin, hereafter known as The University, UT, the 40 Acres or Chaos-on-the-Colorado, power was, indeed, moved, i.e., President Bill Powers was moved – out of his job.

In addition, the chancellor of the UT System left for his old position as a pediatric coronary surgeon, feeling that it was easier repairing a newborn’s heart than wresting with the UT regents, legislators, alumni and fat cat donors who – in the immortal words of former regent Frank Erwin — want a school the football team can be proud of. You may know the rest: legislative inquiries, a regent censored, criminal investigations and, worst of all, last fall’s 6-7 season. Almost as an afterthought, it was revealed that President Powers overruled the school’s admissions officers to let otherwise unqualified students enroll. The president explained these under-achievers, who leapfrogged over more qualified applicants, were the scions of legislators, important alumni and those who donated enough to get their names on campus buildings. Powers and other top academics said that this end-run is common among “selective” universities.

The new chancellor, Adm. William (I shot Bin Laden) McRaven took the bold type of action and leadership one would expect from a Navy SEAL: He formed a committee to look into the matter. It is made up almost entirely of former UT presidents and chancellors, who may not dig too deeply into this mess if the perpetrator’s actions were traditional.

While they are sorting through the express lane for those with SATs of 400 or less, I have the solution to getting into UT, aka known as The Diversity of Texas. Yes, diversity is the hot word among not only universities but boards of directors, editorial staffs and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” (big scandal there awhile back). Even TV ads are subject to review. I heard one comic boast, “I am the one black guy in every beer commercial.” This diversity situation is particularly touchy at UT, which has been fighting in courts for decades over the school’s policy of giving special weight to applicants who are minorities, from ghettoes or whose parents are economically challenged — hobos, ISIS suicide bombers and college professors. So the Longhorns go the extra yard (oh, if only they could on fourth and one) to make the campus a UN Assembly.

The solution? You can add to your application some references: Michael Dell or Houston Endowment. Mention casually, “I turned down the NBA,” or “My aunt, who is chairwoman of the Texas Senate Higher Education Finance Committee, hopes I can be accepted.” There is another way, which I call the North Dakota Syndrome. Some background: This year UT has 52,713 students and of these in the freshman class, American Indians and Hawaiian Pacific Islanders each make up 1 percent. Blacks are 4 percent as are foreign students. Hispanics are 21 percent and whites come in at 45 percent. Get this: while Asians only account for 3.8 percent of Texans, they are 23 percent of the UT freshman student body and that percentage is rapidly growing. (At this point some wag will ask: “Shouldn’t they be going to Rice? Hahaha.”) “Others” make up the rest. The school, as do most “selective” institutions, proudly proclaims its young scholars hail from everywhere. Students represent all 254 counties in Texas, all 50 states and 115 foreign countries. Brochures for the school show a rainbow of smiling students.

Tilt. Does UT really have at least one student from all 254 Texas counties, including Loving out in West Texas? That county has a population of 95, with 38 percent of them18 years or younger and 10 percent 65 or older. That leaves about – help me here, math is not my strong point – 50 or so residents of whom at least one attends UT and rest are shepherds? No way. What probably happened is that some wannabe Longhorn in Houston or Dallas, who thinks Bevo is one of the Marx Brothers, simply put down a PO Box in Loving as his or her return address. That was enough, because Loving County has absolutely no blacks, Hawaiians or Asians.

This brings us back to the North Dakota Syndrome, and you can see where I’m going with this. Among residents from the other 49 states in its freshman class, California leads, followed by Illinois, New York and New Jersey. How many are from North Dakota? I’m not sure, but I hear he’s sick and may go home. One percent come from Hawaii or the Pacific Islands. That, too, is a thin base. Aloha and Hook ‘Em. American Indians may qualify as Eskimos, so sign you application, Igloo Mukluk, Nome, AK.

There is a slight drawback to my plan. Remembering that today student debt tops $1.3 trillion, in-state tuition and fees at UT are $9,798 (2014-15); out-of-state tuition and fees are $34,722 (2014-15). That’s a big difference but can be overcome. I know one young lady who lived her whole life with her divorced mother in Illinois, but put on her UT application that she lived with her father in Houston, and was accepted with in-state tuition. Or you can just put down that you were brought here as a child illegally from Mexico. You, on the Dream Team, go to the head of the line. For this last term there were 8,362 out-of state applicants. Of these, 2,302 (or 28 percent) who applied were accepted but only 39 (6 percent) enrolled. Those in the last group were Croatian Falklanders from Fargo who could go the extra yard.

 

Olaf Mobutu Ashby is enrolled at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Mexico is ready for Spring Break

March 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

STORMS ROLL IN AS NEW MEXICO ROLLS ON WITH SOME OF THE NATION’S BEST SKIING
As New Storms Blanket The Mountains
Angel Fire Resort Preps for a Busy Spring Break

Powder: New Mexico is ready for Spring Break

Powder: New Mexico is ready for Spring Break

ANGEL FIRE, NM – As storms continue to hammer Northern New Mexico dropping five feet of snow over Angel Fire Resort, skiing and riding conditions just keep getting better.  The snowfall from this past storm is leading into what the state’s ski resorts hope to be a record-setting spring season.
 

“These are definitely the conditions that everyone loves,” explains Dan Swanson, director of marketing, Angel Fire Resort.  “Over five feet of new snow in the past 10 days has given us the best conditions of the season. With more storms heading our way and with the next couple of weeks packed with lively Spring Break events, hopefully it offers everyone a chance to come up and experience the best that Angel Fire has to offer.”

With 100% of the ski mountain now open and a 76” snow base, Angel Fire Resort enjoyed record skier visits over the President’s Day holiday weekend and a Veteran’s Appreciation Weekend they held in late February. Now the resort is focusing on Fiesta Del Sol, the Spring Break festival that lasts from March 6 – 19. Typically the state’s northern mountains see an uptick in storms in late February and March creating great conditions, which should continue through the resort’s extended spring break. After a staggering amount of snow topping 60 inches, meteorologists in the area predict another round of storms for the southwest through this week.

“We were optimistic that we would have a great snow year and that’s how things are panning out.  With more on the way we are looking at incredible snow conditions leading into March,” Swanson adds.

SPRING BREAK
As part of Fiesta Del Sol which runs March 6-19, Angel Fire Resort will run a Dos Equis Big Airbag March 9 – 11 and again March 16 – 18.  The activity will take place on Exhibition just above the base of the mountain. Skiers and snowboarders will ride down a ramp and off a jump into the inflatable 50×50 foot airbag. Participants must be at least 21 and wear a helmet. The Bag is free, with a valid lift ticket for all brave enough to try it and includes a free Dos Equis beer in any of the resort’s dining outlets

Additionally the resort will host a Dos Equis Most Interesting Ski Run on the backside of the mountain, a Most Interesting Bar in the base village, a Pi Day Party on March 14, a St. Patrick’s Day Party, a dummy launch, live music and outdoor grills throughout the entire Fiesta Del Sol event. There will also be daily night skiing available.

For more details about Angel Fire spring break rates, trails and reservations go to www.angelfireresort.com or call (855) 923-7387.

STORM AND DOS ESQUIS BIG AIR BAG PHOTOS LINK: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9Xy7iv-fGjYTGx1QkZadXJuaGM&usp=drive_web