Potted Potter at the Hobby Center: Oct. 27-Nov.8, 2015

October 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Events, Theater

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.12.39 AM

Potted Potter is 70 minutes of boisterous laughter and brilliant fun for fans of the Harry Potter series. H Texas watched the opening night, and even newcomers to the world-wide hit will enjoy the parody, which makes references to other pop-culture phenomenons like the Lord of the Rings and Twilight. Wizards, muggles—non-wizard folk—and everyone in between of all ages will enjoy Potted Potter.

The show condenses all seven books and movies into energetic acts performed by two players on stage through a series of costume changes. Daniel Clarkson provided great comedic talent, playing a majority of roles, working the audience up, including a rousing game of quidditch (think wizard lacrosse) in the middle of the show. Jefferson Turner plays the straight man and the title character, Harry Potter himself, providing a great counterpoint to his co-star’s energy. Potted Potter is very interactive, working with the entire audience to chant, cheer, sing along and even come on stage!

Get your family and loved ones to the Hobby Center soon before the show moves on November 8th!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website.

Family pool at Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, Cabo

October 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Parents' Place, Travel Blog

Fun for All Ages

FamilyPool

Travelers of all ages love Esperanza. For families, the Villas are the place to be featuring full kitchens and private plunge pools. Your family will love the largest pool in Cabo with beach entry and swim up bars. The Villas offer partial ownership opportunities and The Residences at Esperanza offer full and partial ownership – for those of you who want to own a piece of this beautiful seaside town.

Esperanzaresort.com

REDUNDANT, AGAIN

October 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                                   26 Oct. 2015

THE MEETING HALL – As usual, Bottom Line took the podium faster than a speeding bullet and quicker than a New York minute. “Welcome to another occasional meeting of Club Cliche, where every shopworn and overused expression, word or term get together like fleas on a dog. This is an especially important gathering of the rhetorically challenged because it is campaign time, and no one can make our teeth grit like fingernails on a blackboard than our politicians. Of course, if you had to make six or 10 speeches a day, you would probably run out of originality. That’s why these office-seekers hire speech writers.”

If It Walks Like a Duck spoke up. “I used to be a speech-writer. Worked for Rudy Giuliani. It was easy work. All I had to do was make sure each sentence contained a noun, a verb and 9/11.”

Bottom Line continued. “First, I want to welcome back some old — and I do mean old – members like You Go, Girl, Millennials and Whazzup. Also, I see in the crowd Occupy Wall Street and your cousin, Wall Street to Main Street. Family Values, are you still around? I thought you died after the late 90s when it turned out the politicos who were using Values to death were, all that time, cheating on their third wives, popping pills and hiding payments of hush money to under-aged boys. You are close to our current shopworn campaign slogans, so let me introduce them. Where is Jeb with an exclamation point? That is an excellent way to remind people you are a Bush without reminding people you are not THAT Bush. And Jeb with an exclamation point, drop the line defending your brother with ‘He kept us safe.’ Maybe you don’t remember 9/11 but some voters do.”

Gravitas spoke up. “While we’re on shopworn political terms, we’ve had the Mainstream Media to kick around for a few years. The crowd goes wild when Sarah Palin refers to the Laaame Stream Media. But now Newt Gingrich introduces the Elite Media in every sentence. Elite used to mean better or special, but ol’ Newt uses it as a putdown — constantly. Keep it up, Newt.”

Low Hanging Fruit and On the Wrong Side of History both grabbed the microphone. “Redouble Our Efforts and Embolden Our Enemies and getting an exhaustive workouts. Also, we’ve been keeping score, and Fox News manages to use Black Lives Matter in a derogatory way on an average of 35 times an hour.”

“Well, the term has been in the news.”

“In the weather report?”

Small Ball got the floor. “If we could get off political hacks spouting meaningless phrases for a moment, no element of the media generates better burnt-out bromides than the sports press. I mean, we’ve got Cautious Optimism, One Game at a Time and Walk-Off Single, or Double or Homer. Whatever wins the baseball game, it’s a walk-off. Now we have Pick Six for an interception returned for a touchdown.

Double Down rose. “The other night on TV the sportscaster, Jack Hack, said, and I quote, ‘The Pinstripes knocked off the Halos while the Cheese Heads traded A Rod to the Fish and SloMoJo whipped Little Miss Baby Cakes.’ When he was finished Coachspeak and I hadn’t understood a word he said. So I nominate Hack for membership.”

There was a round of applause. Bottom Line took over. “As long as we’re on the media, Breaking News just gave us some breaking news: At 6 and 10 tonight there will be breaking news. There will be a 100 percent chance of the meteorologist telling us there will be a 10 percent chance of it raining somewhere. Moving on, Shout Out wants to give a shout out to Takeaway for becoming an overused noun. Also, Bad Boy thinks members In the Weeds and Cool As the Other Side of the Pillow should be stripped of their membership for lack of constant use. Now we have a sticky one. During the Ebola scare every newscast and printed story used the word Protocol. No one knew exactly what it meant, but it sounded serious. Protocol had its 15 minutes of fame and was on the way to the cliché Home for Worn Out Words when along came the sports world’s sudden interest in concussions. Most interest centered on the protection of players, long-lasting trauma and billion-dollar lawsuits. So now Protocol is back in our mind-numbing vocabulary.”

Chump Change took over. “I was just talking to Above My Pay Grade and we remembered a few more dog-eared phrases worthy of membership because of the current political campaigns. Some have been around but are getting dusted off. When talking about our borders, Comprehensive Immigration Reform is back in overuse, along with Out of the Shadows. New ones include Income Gap and its cousin, Growing Income Inequality. Skin in the Game is getting deliciously boring and redundant, if that’s not redundant. The late John Boehner used Adult Conversation in every conversation, adult or not. He also liked Whack-a-Mole and trotted it out constantly. Another potential member is Receiving Push Back, which replaced Opposition.”

Spot On stood up. “No pol gets far into a speech these days without saying Boots On the Ground, although most of them never put boots on any ground. They also like to use Speak Truth to Power constantly.”

Next was Selfie. “It hurts, but we must kick out Have a Nice Day. It had its fame, but now Have a Great One has taken over. Sorry Nice Day. And a question: Maxed Out is worn out, but only credit cards are maxed out. Why not air or carrots or the national debt?”

“Same reason only things on the Internet can go viral,” said Multitask. “You never heard of a song, slogan or fingernail clippers going viral.”

“Well, that wraps up this meeting,” said Bottom Line. “Just remember, avoid clichés like the plague.”

 

Ashby is plagued at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lynn Ashby                                                   26 Oct. 2015

 

REDUNDANT, AGAIN

 

THE MEETING HALL – As usual, Bottom Line took the podium faster than a speeding bullet and quicker than a New York minute. “Welcome to another occasional meeting of Club Cliche, where every shopworn and overused expression, word or term get together like fleas on a dog. This is an especially important gathering of the rhetorically challenged because it is campaign time, and no one can make our teeth grit like fingernails on a blackboard than our politicians. Of course, if you had to make six or 10 speeches a day, you would probably run out of originality. That’s why these office-seekers hire speech writers.”

If It Walks Like a Duck spoke up. “I used to be a speech-writer. Worked for Rudy Giuliani. It was easy work. All I had to do was make sure each sentence contained a noun, a verb and 9/11.”

Bottom Line continued. “First, I want to welcome back some old — and I do mean old – members like You Go, Girl, Millennials and Whazzup. Also, I see in the crowd Occupy Wall Street and your cousin, Wall Street to Main Street. Family Values, are you still around? I thought you died after the late 90s when it turned out the politicos who were using Values to death were, all that time, cheating on their third wives, popping pills and hiding payments of hush money to under-aged boys. You are close to our current shopworn campaign slogans, so let me introduce them. Where is Jeb with an exclamation point? That is an excellent way to remind people you are a Bush without reminding people you are not THAT Bush. And Jeb with an exclamation point, drop the line defending your brother with ‘He kept us safe.’ Maybe you don’t remember 9/11 but some voters do.”

Gravitas spoke up. “While we’re on shopworn political terms, we’ve had the Mainstream Media to kick around for a few years. The crowd goes wild when Sarah Palin refers to the Laaame Stream Media. But now Newt Gingrich introduces the Elite Media in every sentence. Elite used to mean better or special, but ol’ Newt uses it as a putdown — constantly. Keep it up, Newt.”

Low Hanging Fruit and On the Wrong Side of History both grabbed the microphone. “Redouble Our Efforts and Embolden Our Enemies and getting an exhaustive workouts. Also, we’ve been keeping score, and Fox News manages to use Black Lives Matter in a derogatory way on an average of 35 times an hour.”

“Well, the term has been in the news.”

“In the weather report?”

Small Ball got the floor. “If we could get off political hacks spouting meaningless phrases for a moment, no element of the media generates better burnt-out bromides than the sports press. I mean, we’ve got Cautious Optimism, One Game at a Time and Walk-Off Single, or Double or Homer. Whatever wins the baseball game, it’s a walk-off. Now we have Pick Six for an interception returned for a touchdown.

Double Down rose. “The other night on TV the sportscaster, Jack Hack, said, and I quote, ‘The Pinstripes knocked off the Halos while the Cheese Heads traded A Rod to the Fish and SloMoJo whipped Little Miss Baby Cakes.’ When he was finished Coachspeak and I hadn’t understood a word he said. So I nominate Hack for membership.”

There was a round of applause. Bottom Line took over. “As long as we’re on the media, Breaking News just gave us some breaking news: At 6 and 10 tonight there will be breaking news. There will be a 100 percent chance of the meteorologist telling us there will be a 10 percent chance of it raining somewhere. Moving on, Shout Out wants to give a shout out to Takeaway for becoming an overused noun. Also, Bad Boy thinks members In the Weeds and Cool As the Other Side of the Pillow should be stripped of their membership for lack of constant use. Now we have a sticky one. During the Ebola scare every newscast and printed story used the word Protocol. No one knew exactly what it meant, but it sounded serious. Protocol had its 15 minutes of fame and was on the way to the cliché Home for Worn Out Words when along came the sports world’s sudden interest in concussions. Most interest centered on the protection of players, long-lasting trauma and billion-dollar lawsuits. So now Protocol is back in our mind-numbing vocabulary.”

Chump Change took over. “I was just talking to Above My Pay Grade and we remembered a few more dog-eared phrases worthy of membership because of the current political campaigns. Some have been around but are getting dusted off. When talking about our borders, Comprehensive Immigration Reform is back in overuse, along with Out of the Shadows. New ones include Income Gap and its cousin, Growing Income Inequality. Skin in the Game is getting deliciously boring and redundant, if that’s not redundant. The late John Boehner used Adult Conversation in every conversation, adult or not. He also liked Whack-a-Mole and trotted it out constantly. Another potential member is Receiving Push Back, which replaced Opposition.”

Spot On stood up. “No pol gets far into a speech these days without saying Boots On the Ground, although most of them never put boots on any ground. They also like to use Speak Truth to Power constantly.”

Next was Selfie. “It hurts, but we must kick out Have a Nice Day. It had its fame, but now Have a Great One has taken over. Sorry Nice Day. And a question: Maxed Out is worn out, but only credit cards are maxed out. Why not air or carrots or the national debt?”

“Same reason only things on the Internet can go viral,” said Multitask. “You never heard of a song, slogan or fingernail clippers going viral.”

“Well, that wraps up this meeting,” said Bottom Line. “Just remember, avoid clichés like the plague.”

 

Ashby is plagued at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS BOXES

October 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                                           19 Oct. 2015

MONTICELLO – We have come to this beautiful countryside of Virginia to look into little-known aspects of our history, and this is our first stop, Monticello. A picture of it is probably in your pocket, it’s the other side of the Thomas Jefferson nickel. This house and plantation apparently can be pronounced either mon-tuh-CHELLO or mon-tuh-SELLO. I would ask the man who built it, but Thomas Jefferson lies dead these many years right here.

He was not religious, a unique stance for those God-fearing times, but was a Deist. Today that wouldn’t fly for a presidential candidate. Because of his non-beliefs, he distinctly designed his tombstone, no cross or crescent, and wrote out his epitaph: “…on the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, & not a word more: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson. Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia.”

Note there is no mention that he was our first Secretary of State, governor of Virginia or even that he was third president of the United States. Don’t you think these positions would have warranted some mention? How about “Inventor of the first Xerox?” To visit Tom’s house, make reservations. They run this place – in a kind and efficient way – like the Normandy invasion. Don’t ask the guide silly questions, such as: What was his middle name? Back then America was a very poor country and even the aristocracy couldn’t afford middle names for every child. So only two of his nine siblings had middle names (Peter Field and Anna Scott).

Monticello was a going farm, producing most of what the residents needed. Tom was a tinkerer, architect and inventor. He built a small dumbwaiter into the side of the dining room fireplace so that bottles of wine could be brought up quietly. He wrote a huge number of letters, essays, and at least one Declaration of Independence, but it was tiring to make copies of everything, so here at his desk you see a pen attached to a framework attached to a second pen next to the first. Every time Tom wrote a line, the second pen copied it. Thus beware of purchasing “Thomas Jefferson letters.” They could be written by his evil twin.

A museum displays the Jefferson family tree and, yes, Sally Hemmings is listed, along with their six children. Her father was apparently Thomas Jefferson’s father-in-law, John Wayles. But Tom was a lousy businessman and was so desperate for cash he sold his beloved book collection to Congress, which eventually expanded it to become the Library of Congress, the largest on earth. He died broke. If only he’d saved all those nickels.

Remember JFK’s famous remark to a White House dinner of Nobel laureates? “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Last stop: Quantico. At most museums you are greeted by a kindly, elderly guide wearing a blazer with a nametag. This museum greets you with five large young men who could – and may – spend their Sundays playing linebacker for the Redskins. They all obviously have the same barber and haberdasher, for they are wearing shaved heads, starched fatigues and pack heavy heat on their hips, but couldn’t be nicer or more accommodating. Akmed, next time you want to shoot up a military establishment, don’t come here to the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

You may not have heard of this place — Marines are notoriously humble and self-effacing – because it only opened in 2006, and is about a 36-mile march south of the capital near Quantico Marine Base. The building itself is a huge soaring structure evoking the iconic Marine monument of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. (That flag is here.) Inside, passed the armed honor guard — there is no admission fee — is a gigantic rotunda. Standing in neat lines and starched attention, are about 150 Leathernecks. That is nice of them to greet me, considering it took me six year just to make lance corporal. Oh, it seems there is some kind of ceremony going on. Maybe next time.

Probably these young men and women are here to learn about those in the Corps who preceded them, and a most interesting trip it is. Covering everything from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli (you may quote me), there are displays, artifacts, push a button and get a quick rundown on what you are seeing. Here is a display of Marines storming a beach in Korea. No, not in 1951, but in 1871. That part of the hymn, “We have fought in every clime and placeis not poetic license. There is a lot more than just glass boxes with old uniform — a lot of bells and whistles, lively stuff. It is really worth the trip.

Marines like sayings about their Corps, and some are carved into the walls. This from Sgt. Dan Daly, leading an assault on German trenches in WW I: “Come on, you sons of etc. Do you want to live forever?” I can’t find my favorite quote, but I’ll bet it’s here: “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” — President Ronald Reagan. A final story: One August afternoon several years ago I met a young man I had known for some time. Only he looked different from last I had seen him, a few months earlier. He now had short hair, crisp uniform, bars on his collar, stood erect. He was an officer of Marines. And the march goes on.

November 10th is the 239th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. So happy birthday and Semper Fi, my son.

 

Ashby’s glass box is at ashby2@comcst.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEE IT UP AND LET ’ER RIP—IN LAKE CHARLES, LA!

October 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Travel Blog

Don’t miss these golf getaways, with way more than just miles of greens.

by Greg Wettman

The Golden Nugget Resort and Casino (www.goldennugget.com/lakecharles)

The Country Club at the Golden Nugget

The Country Club at the Golden Nugget

For Houstonians searching for a fun weekend golf getaway, look no further than Lake Charles, Louisiana (www.visitlakecharles.org), only two hours east of Houston, just off I-10. An ideal place to call home while in Lake Charles is the Golden Nugget Resort and Casino, which is perched along Contraband Bayou. Besides incredible golf, there is so much to do at the Golden Nugget, which just opened in December 2014, that you don’t really need to drive your car again until you head home—unless, of course, you are searching for another golf course to play, or a local restaurant, which I do recommend.

The Country Club golf course at the Golden Nugget is located on the edge of Contraband Bayou. It is well designed and maintained, and very appealing to the eye. The greens are as good as any I have ever played on—bar none. When I stepped on the putting green, I felt like I was in golf heaven. The course is outstanding. There are many waste bunkers on the course that stop errant shots from disappearing from play, and the staff treats you like a king.

As impressive as the golf course is, the clubhouse is in the same class. The dining room is exquisite, and the food otherworldly. I had a special entrée of rainbow trout almandine that I’m still savoring.

At the Golden Nugget, the pool complex—the H2O Pool & Bar—is lavish and irresistible, with a lazy river and two flume rides. There’s also an awesome wet bar; multiple “islands” in the pool called daybeds; and a state-of-the-art concert stage, which features live musical performances at various times throughout the year. You can swim up to the wet bar, order your favorite beverage, charge it to your room and then float along the lazy river while listening to a top-of-the-line band nearby. That’s what I call relaxation. The pool area also features 250 chaise lounge chairs, 34 private cabanas, six fire pits and several hot tubs. Bottom line at the Golden Nugget: If you’re not playing golf, the pool is the place to be!

The Golden Nugget Spa & Salon is adjacent to the H2O Pool & Bar, very convenient if you’re craving a midday massage, manicure, pedicure or facial. At the Spa, you will also find a sauna, steam room, whirlpool and a fitness room with state-of-the-art Cybex cardio and weight equipment.

When it comes to breaking bread at the Golden Nugget, you are truly spoiled for choice. Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Landry’s Seafood House, Lillie’s, Cadillac Mexican Kitchen, Saltgrass Steak House, Grotto and Claim Jumper are just a few of the dining options available. When it comes to a spur-of-the-moment dessert, The Chocolate Box offers gourmet handmade truffles and chocolates from around the world.

If you want to relax at a beach, the Golden Nugget has you covered. During the day, you can sunbathe, play beach volleyball, or stroll along the waters of the Contraband Bayou. After sunset, the fire pits on the beach are aglow, providing the perfect place to unwind after a busy day at the resort. The Cadillac Beach Bar & Grille is right on the beach and offers great margaritas and food.

If you have any energy left after a fun-in-the-sun kind of day, there is a large, beautiful place right in the middle of the complex called a casino! Since you have already had the good luck to find the Golden Nugget, you might as well find an exciting table game or slot machine to top off your day.

L’Auberge Casino Resort and the Contraband Bayou Golf Club (www.llakecharles.com)

Next door to the Golden Nugget is another awesome place to play, the L’Auberge Casino Resort and the Contraband Bayou Golf Club. The Contraband Bayou Golf Club is a Tom Fazio design and the only public Fazio course in Louisiana. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Golfweek named this course one of the “Best Places to Play in Louisiana.” That is a well-earned endorsement. It is a blast to play. Eight spectacular lakes are found on this course. When you record a subpar score on any hole at Contraband, you can say that you recorded a birdie on the bayou. The signature hole is the downhill par three 8th—it’s a visual masterpiece and fun to play.

L'Auberge Casino and Contraband Golf Club

L’Auberge Casino and Contraband Bayou Golf Club

The resort has a very warm and comfortable atmosphere with a design inspired by the Texas Hill Country, and offers several unique dining options. Breakfast at Favorites Southern Kitchen includes what I believe are the perfect beignets and a stuffed Brioche French Toast like nowhere else. Embers Steakhouse is elegant, romantic and delicious. If you dare, order the 40-ounce bone-in rib eye. I guarantee you will not forget it. L’auberge also has a huge pool area with a lazy river and large, first-class casino. The hospitality shown by the entire staff ensures a return trip will be scheduled.

More Courses

Gray Plantation Golf Course, The National Golf Club of Louisiana and Mallard Cove Golf Course are three more excellent courses to try in the Lake Charles area. At Gray Plantation, the view of the plantation-style clubhouse from the 18th tee caps off an experience that is filled with many sightseeing and shot-making opportunities. Plantation is impressive, especially its four-par threes, two of which have island greens. Lunch on the veranda after golf was superb. I recommend their Pressed Pork sandwich.

At the National Golf Club, which opened in 2009, there are generous landing areas off the tee. The rolling terrain and over-sized greens give you many different shots during any given round. If you pay attention to pin positions with your approach shots, it’s possible to get up and down for par more often than not.

Mallard Cove is a favorite of the locals and is the site of the annual Lake Charles City Championships. The 18th hole at Mallard Cove is one of the most unique finishing holes in golf, as it has multiple options from the tee. The key to success at the 18th hole is to avoid the water at all costs with your tee shot. There are three routes to take off the tee. Mallard has a very nice new clubhouse with a bar and restaurant. It’s a top-tier municipal facility.

Each of the courses I’ve mentioned is in a class of its own and fun to play. All five courses are as appealing to the scratch golfer as they will be to the weekend warrior. All five are also bargains for their respective green fees, which range from around $25 to $160.

Local Eats

The Lake Charles area has many great local restaurants. Two I have visited are local favorites, The Seafood Palace and the recently opened 1910 Restaurant and Wine Bar. The Seafood Palace is not fancy, just really great food. It has the best fried alligator I’ve eaten, and the boiled blue crabs are delicious. 1910 features Cajun/Creole dishes that are infused with a French backbone. Everything I sampled was worth coming downtown for, and the atmosphere is elegant, but relaxed.

It will take more than one weekend to enjoy all of the top-notch golf, dining, gaming and relaxation options that the Lake Charles area has to offer. But that’s okay. It’s only two hours away. As the locals say: Bon temps! (Let the good times roll!)

A MOVING EXPERIENCE

October 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE STREET – Another moving van has pulled up to the old McToxic place. From the van, out come the sofas and TV sets, the tables and snow tires, the sled and… wait a minute. This can only mean that yet another family of Yankees is moving here with their strange sayings like “uncle and ont” and “eye-ther way.” How many times will I have to listen to, “In Noo Yawk we always….” More missionaries to the savages. Do you ever get the idea that the Border Patrol is watching the wrong river?

If it appears that Texas is receiving more refugees than usual, you are right. We have already discussed the tens of thousands of Syrians & Co. who are on their way. And the tens of thousands of Central American youths who have arrived to join the 40,000 Katrinians – those orphans of the storm who came and decided to stay. Now we need to deal with those refugees from Detroit, Newark and the other 48 states (for all practical purposes, I count North and South Dakota as one). Yes, it’s not just your imagination, it’s official: more of our fellow Americans are moving to Texas than to any other state. The Not-So-Lonely Star State added 72,243 households from the rest of the nation in 2013. A far, far distant second was Florida with just 28,006 new households.

There are a few minor notes we must address with these statistics. These figures are not people, not a head count, but households, which include the Branch Davidian and the Yearning for Zion Ranch families of 10 wives and 22 kids, who count as two households. Also, these numbers are according to IRS figures as of 2013, when oil was $100 a barrel, although more recent studies show there has not been a real slowdown in GTT. And this data from the IRS are different from the figures supplied by the Census Bureau, because they show the former hometowns based on relocation records of tax returns.

As might be expected, the larger counties, population-wise, added the most newcomers, but there is a surprise. Harris County – the state’s most populous county — added 8,900 new households through domestic migration in 2013. But Houston and its suburbs actually finished second. Number One was Travis County, seated in Austin. It saw the largest influx of domestic migration with 26,000 new households in 2013. Austin beat Houston by almost three to one.

Clearly, our newcomers like the bright lights of the big cities. Here’s the trend. Up until 1950, Texas’s population was more than half rural. Between 1980 and 2010 the state’s rural population grew by 22 percent while its urban population jumped by 88 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, during a booming growth period for the state, 78 Texas counties actually lost population. So where are the out-of-staters moving? Mostly to the Houston area, the Metroplex and the I-35 corridor (Georgetown-Austin-San Antonio). No one moves to Pampa. Would you?

These newcomers bring with them their former culture which, in turn, is changing our own. For example, at any pro sports event in Houston, you will see as many Cardinal or Yankee or Bulls jerseys as you will see Astros or Rockets paraphernalia. When an LA Laker hits nothing but net from mid court, expect to hear loud cheering. On fall afternoons, LSU, USC and Michigan banners decorate Texas’ front yards. Out-of-state universities regularly schedule TV viewing parties at local watering holes. An oddity: when, say, an OU alumnus buys a personalized Texas license plate reading “Go Sooners” or some such cheer, OU gets some of the money. We can only assume those tires do not cause wear and tear on Texas highways and potholes.

Other changes can be seen in the way some new arrivals don’t cotton (look it up, pilgrim) to our history. Next thing you know they will start moving statues around the UT campus, and changing the generation-old names of our public schools like Lee, Reagan and Johnston. Our earlier Texans would have never done that. And when was the last time you heard “Dixie”? So what we old timers (anyone arriving before 2010) need to do is educate our brand-new Texans. For example, our children say “Sir” and “M’am) to their elders – those with an AARP card – while excuse me, thank you and please are not a sign of subservience but of respect, especially when the other person is holding anything with the term “caliber” attached to it. This reminds me, warning shots are for wussies. Before using the term, “fugetaboutit,” check your own caliber. In Texas, “gun control” means holding it with both hands. Those hood ornaments on a Mercedes are actually crosshairs.

More helpful hints for those who just arrived: the slightest ice on Texas streets turns them into destruction derbies. I don’t care how you spell it, the term is, “Come sit rat cheer.” “Remember the Alamo” is not a question. God may be an Englishman, but when He retires He’ll move to Lakeway. This brings us to Houston sports columnist Mickey Herskowitz, who wrote: “There must really be something to religion. People keep comparing it to Texas high school football.” Never squat while wearing spurs. The official state song is not “The Eyes of Texas,” but no one knows what it is. Distances are not measured in miles but in hours. Houston used to have a classical music radio station, but George Strait is retiring. Big Bend is not a clock in London. You cannot buy a Texas legislator, but there are some you can rent for the afternoon. In Texas, an intellectual is someone who can listen to “The William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

Finally, if all this time you have been wondering what GTT means, it is what others in less desirable places would write on their cabin doors before departing. GTT was shorthand for: “Gone To Texas.” Those who could read followed. The others are still there.

 

Ashby moves at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

TAKE A TRUNCHEON TO LUNCHEON

October 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

To: Members of the Texas State Guard

From: Gov. Greg Abbott

Subject: Well done!

 

My fellow patriots, Washington has informed me that the so-called Jade Helm 15 “exercise” is over, although many of you never knew it began. That’s because you depended on the Main Stream Media (MSM) which never tells you the real truth about these many lurking dangers to our freedoms, like ZIP codes, crash barrels and headphones. But for those of us who receive our coded information from Fox News, we knew that a military takeover of the Republic of Texas was imminent. We knew that soldiers would seize our weapons, especially our howitzers and Abrams tanks. A stream of ambulances cleverly disguised as Blue Bell trucks was standing by to whisk away refrigerated bodies to hide all evidence of the blood baths in the streets of Pecos, Pampa and Port Arthur. And, of course, every town in Texas has at least one empty Walmart store, which served as command posts and ammunition dumps.

When word of these military “maneuvers” reached my desk, as the commanding general of the Texas State Guard (not to be confused with the Texas National Guard, Right Guard or cattle guards), I immediately commanded, “Somebody do something!” As I wrote to Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty of the Texas State Guard, “During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.” After meeting with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – who recommended shooting the Senate Democrats, then ostracizing their voters to reeducation camps – I then turned to the state attorney general, Ken Paxton, who explained that, while as attorney general he wasn’t actually a general in the military sense, if he declared martial law, perhaps his three felony indictments could be dismissed, or at least the prosecutors could be tried as war criminals.

I finally decided to empower you, members of the Texas State Guard, to monitor all activities by these foreign invaders disguised as U.S. 0troops. You did your job well, proof is that, because of your unending work, there were relatively few cases of military takeovers of any large city. Yes, there were a few screw-ups. Fort Worth turned not to be strictly a fort. But suspicious military activities were reported, complete with artillery, tanks and a marching band, at a central Texas location code named Fort Hood. The Texas State Guard managed to contain the invading force to the camp itself, plus a few bars in Killeen on Saturday nights.

Our spies in San Antonio reported military activity along the Riverwalk among young people disguised as recruits from Lakeland Air Force Base. They seemed particularly interested in taking selfies in front our secret command post, aka the Alamo. (Our motto: This time we’ll get it right.) Remember how infiltrators came disguised as postal carriers, cleverly noting who got what suspicious mail, i.e., post cards from socialist France, plus leaflets from Battleground Texas and Black Lives Matter). Others pretended to be school crossing guards or check-out clerks at your local grocery store (bar codes are telltale evidence of counter-patriotic communications) and rodeo clowns.

We now come to the greatest threat, and this is the honest truth. This bulletin from a sister group called Counter Jade Helm which was founded in Arizona and joined our monitoring: On Aug. 6 at “17:54,” a dispatch from Louisiana on the group’s website noted that military personnel were seen on Caddo Lake near the Texas line. They were described as “8 military aged men, very fit on 8 brand new Jet Skis,” raising the prospect of an invasion by troops using water-recreation vehicles. “When the eyewitness talked to them,” the report continued, “their story did not add up.” I suspect their tale was that they were simply eight guys having fun on the lake. But decoded, it was: “We’re Marine Recon, scouting an invasion by the 1st Marine Division which is camped just over the lake, awaiting our signal.” The State Guard is investigating if Jet Skis can be converted into F-35s. “We’ve all seen James Bond do it,” they added.

Another true story: Big Spring’s mayor, Larry G. McLellan, downplayed the conspiracy theories of Jade Helm, in his area, noting: “ It was so under the radar that I don’t even know anyone who came into contact with them.” McLellan received about 60 phone calls, letters, emails and social media messages from people convinced that he had betrayed his country by supporting Jade Helm. McLellan and other officials were accused of taking bribes from Washington and warned him that Jade Helm “will open the door to them doing SWAT and no-knock raids on civilians.”

So we are now told that Jade Helm 15 is over and that there were no problems between the invading forces and Texans. Military leaders thanked landowners who let young Americans practice their skills far distant from population centers. Actually, the only downside was that Texas was made the laughingstock of national newscasts, editorial cartoons, late night comedians and foreign observers who wondered if Texas was comprised totally by paranoid flakes.

But did the troops really leave? The Astrodome is rumored to hold 200 black helicopters. Have you noticed that the San Jacinto Monument now sits on a launching pad, and the USS Texas is fully manned? Are the Texas Rangers a baseball team or a para-military force? Notice how they use terms such as steal bases, sacrifice, forced out and their hero is the Sultan of SWAT. We cannot let down our guard. I have ordered at least one DPS trooper trainee to watch the Governor’s Mansion during daylight hours every other Thursday to prevent arson. All TxDOT orange cones along the highways are to be inspected for IUDs, or is it IEDs? Ever vigilant, the Texas State Guard is ready to monitor. And to you forces in Jade Helm, the spies of Texas are upon you.

 

Ashby is cowering at ashby2@comcast.net

 

CHILDREN AT RISK Annual Accolades Luncheon Oct 23rd

October 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Entertainment, Events

Fight! Human Trafficking – Brighter Futures Begin with You”

                              CHILDREN AT RISK Annual Accolades Luncheon

 

When:                  October 23, 2015, 11:00a Registration | 11:30a Luncheon

Where:                Hotel ZaZa

 

Benefiting:         Accolades is an annual event that benefits CHILDREN AT RISK’s work to end Human Trafficking.

 

Honoring:           State Representative Senfronia Thompson and Senator Joan Huffman

 

Honorary

Chair:                    Artist and human trafficking activist Molly Gochman (Red Sands Project)

 

Host

Committee:      Citizen’s Committee to End Human Trafficking

 

Cost:                     Individual Tickets: $350; Tables: $3,500 – $25,000

 

Contact:              Ellen Stauffer 713.869.7740 | estauffer@childrenatrisk.org