Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Coast near Rockport as a Category 4 storm. It is the worst storm to hit Texas in 50+ years. Harvey has been downgraded to a Tropical storm but is dumping an enormous amount of rain. Many areas like Houston are facing epic floods.

 

Flashback: Top 10: Ways to Know You Are in Texas

Originally posted 29 January 2009

top10

#10: The weather forecaster is describing the day as breezy and the wind speeds are over 50 mph. It isn’t windy yet because the trees aren’t touching the ground.

#9: Complete strangers wave at you. This is especially true in small towns.

#8: When driving in west Texas that strange smell is oil and it is the smell of money.

#7: If you are in a small town during the fall the entire town closes down for the high school football game.

#6: Barbecue is beef usually brisket and possibly sausage served hot.  The good places smoke the meat using mesquite wood.  Also, there may be only one choice of sauce and it is served warm.

#5: People know the difference between queso and cheese sauce.

#4: In a restaurant the server doesn’t act like it is strange to ask for salsa with just about anything not just Mexican food. When ordering eggs servers usually ask if you want salsa.

#3: Even though you are driving at least 75 mph other cars are passing you in the slow lane.  This is especially true in Houston.

#2: Within a two minute period you see two different Bubba’s in trucks towing another truck .

#1: It is possible to get Dr Pepper at just about every restaurant even if it serves Coke products. Further you are not offered the other stuff in lieu of Dr Pepper. Most people know that Dr Pepper is not a Pepsi product.

 

Continental Does it Again

airplaneOnce again Continental Airlines has demonstrated that passengers are unimportant. Last Friday Continental/Express Jet left passengers stuck on a plane overnight. Inclement weather forced flight 2816 from Houston to Minneapolis/St. Paul to land in Rochester, Minnesota.  Passengers were only offered one drink, no food and a broken bathroom.  Ironically, less than 50 yards away was a terminal with all food and bathrooms. However Continental refused to allow passengers off.  The Continental’s excuse or rather lie was that passengers could not exit the plane because TSA screeners had left for the evening.  Passengers were finally allowed off the plane around 6 am but were only given a drink voucher.

Personally, I am not surprised Continental Airlines and their partner Express Jet did this.  After all, Continental is the same airline that set my luggage on fire and failed to take responsibility. In our case we were told that the airlines policy did not cover luggage because it was too costly to reimburse passengers.  Continental is obviously an airline that only cares about the bottom line not the passengers. The paying passengers were only given lies and excuses. First, Continental claimed that it was legal for passengers to disembarked because TSA was gone for the evening. Anyone who has had a connecting flight knows that it is not necessary to go through security again if one does not leave the secure area. Airport officials in Rochester confirmed that passengers could have been allowed into the secure area of the airport. However that might have required Continental to actually go out of their way to help their customers.

Ok, I understand the weather problems but contingency plans should have been made. Diverting the flight due to weather is probably the only thing Continental/Express Jet got right.

Continental claims that the crew had reached their flight limit and had to wait for a new crew to come. If that is the case they could have at least either fixed the bathroom on the plane or had a new plane come. Of course, that would have cost money. Clearly Continental wishes to spend as little money as possible on passengers.

The airlines also claims that attempts were made to find a bus to take passengers to Minneapolis. Continental may have actually tried to call a bus company. When that did not work out the flight had less than 50 passengers, why didn’t they rent vans or something else.

While I personally want as little government involvement in my daily life apparently it is  time for a “passengers bill of rights” to be made into law. There are greedy companies like Continental Airlines that only care about their bottom line that must be forced to do the right thing. It really seems ridiculous that it is necessary for  law to require airlines to provide basic services/needs for customers.

Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

It is has been about a week since Hurricane Ike ripped through Louisiana and Southeast Texas but the effects of Ike are long term.   We Are Texas Baptist has posted quite a bit about the storm and ways to help.

Volunteer:

Meet Specific Needs:

Donations:

Tribute to Tejas (Texas)

San Jacinto Monument Today in 1836 the Texican forces under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The short but decisive battle took place near Buffalo Bayou (Houston). While the Mexican forces were taking a nap, Houston launched an attack on the Mexican camp. By the time the Mexican forces woke and figured out what was happening it was all over but the shouting. The entire battle lasted 18 minutes, making it one of the shortest battles in military history. Officially today is San Jacinto Day. Today’s post is in honor of those and other Texicans who fought for independence. Before you send comments about how the war between Texas and Mexico was really funded by the U.S. to steal Texas from Mexico I just want say that when my family first moved to Texas they became Mexican citizens. Well, enough serious stuff and learning on with the festivities and fun.

Texas Facts

  • Texas Flag framed by Mesquite TreeBeaumont to El Paso: 742 miles. Beaumont to Chicago: 770 miles. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas.
  • The real Texas Rangers are a part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). There are only 134 officers for the entire state with 254 counties in the state that most rangers cover 2-3 counties. No, the Rangers do not patrol the streets like in Walker Texas Rangers. That show is so messed up in many ways, that it would take several posts to cover. Also, they are nothing like an army or militia force that would be the Texas Guard (National Guard).
  • The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Yes, that is one ranch not some fancy development called a ranch.
  • Don’t Mess with Texas is an anti-littering campaign. It didn’t come from the Alamo. The battle cry was Remember the Alamo! Remember Gonzales! Remember Goliad.
  • World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, July 4, 1883.
  • The Capital of Texas is seven feet taller than the U.S. capital.
  • The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.
  • More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States. Edwards Plateau in west central Texas is the top sheep growing area in the country.
  • The Heisman trophy is named for John William Heisman the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston.
  • Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation. Texas is also the only state legally allowed to fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. Flag.
  • Six flags have flown over Texas and eight governments.: Spain, France, (Spain), Mexico, Texas, U.S., Confederate (U.S.) So if you ever wondered where 6 Flags theme parks get their name it comes form Texas. The original 6 Flags Park is in Arlington, Tx. That is Arlington not Dallas. No they are not the same city.
  • The state was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845.
  • The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was Houston.
  • 70% of the population of Texas lives within 200 miles of Austin.
  • Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper. Yes, I can tell the difference between regular Dr Pepper, Dublin Dr Pepper and even that fake stuff but that is another post.
  • Average yearly rainfall totals in West Texas are less than 8 inches while in East Texas totals exceed 56 inches.
  • Texas’ largest county is Brewster with 6,208 square miles. Compared to Rhode Island is only 1,545 square miles, Delaware with 2,489 square miles and Connecticut with 5,543.
  • The first suspension bridge in the United States was the Waco Bridge. Built in 1870 and still in use today as a pedestrian crossing of the Brazos River.

Sometime ago I got this one via email and decided to hang on to it. Hope you enjoy it, I found it amusing. Texas Logo With Hat

Rules for Living in Texas

  • Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
  • We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it’s red. We may even stop when it’s yellow.
  • It’s called a ‘gravel road’. I drive a pickup truck because I need or want to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
  • They are cattle, and oil wells. That’s what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don’t like it? I-20 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.
  • So you have a $60,000 car. We’re real impressed. We have $250,000 cotton strippers that we drive 3 weeks a year.
  • Every person in every pickup waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
  • Trucks are made to get dirty. Don’t bring your Eddie Bauer Limited Edition to my huntin’ camp and expect to leave clean on Sunday. It won’t happen.
  • We all started hunting and fishing when we were nine years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi, too. We got over it.
  • If that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in, we will shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time.
  • Go ahead and bring your $800 Orvis Fly Rod. Don’t cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for that little 13-inch trout you fish for—bait.
  • Yeah, we eat catfish, carp, and crawdads. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the corner bait shop.
  • The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
  • Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks – because they want to. Our women are some of the best looking in the country.
  • We open doors for women. That applies to everyone regardless of age!
  • No, there’s no “Vegetarian Special” on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.
  • When we fill out a table there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices – salt, pepper, and Picante Sauce!
  • We don’t care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat… It AIN’T REAL CHILI!! Chili was born and bred in San Antonio…. and real chili never met a tomato! Real chili doesn’t have beans. Think about how silly “Northern Chili sounds”. Chili was developed by the Vaqueros or Mexican cowboys.
  • You bring “Coke” into my house it better be brown, wet, served over ice, and plenty of it! You bring “Mary Jane” to my house she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
  • High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a more fun to watch.
  • Yeah, we have golf courses. Don’t hit in the water hazards – it spooks the fish.
  • Colleges? Try Texas A&M, Hardin-Simmons, Texas Tech and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. They come outta there with an education and a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come home for the holidays.
  • We have more Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force than any other state, so, “Don’t Mess With Texas”.
  • Also, remember what Governor Sam Houston (President or General if you prefer) once said, “Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can’t make it without Texas!”

In honor of Texas eat some real barbecue or some thick sliced beef brisket served hot and with warm sauce. We don’t care how many sauces you have just so it is warm. Pulled should never be used in the same sentence with Brisket. It is served either sliced or chopped. No it won’t be dry if you thick slice it. Why is that people in Texas and Oklahoma can do what outsiders believe is impossible? No BBQ isn’t pork or chicken. If you are unclear about what real BBQ is read this. If you can’t find real BBQ then eat some Tex-Mex. No that is not Taco Bell, which is neither Mexican or food. If you don’t know what Tex-Mex is find the nearest On the Border. Yes, there is a difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food. Every Texan living in exile knows that On the Border has good Tex-Mex. If you can’t find that cook a nice thick steak and throw some cheese enchilda’s on top and serve with Ranch Style Beans (or Texas Beans as they are called outside of Texas). Since my husband is an Aggie (graduate of Texas A&M) we will be attending our local Muster. Hope you have a happy San Jacinto Day.

Top 10: Favorite Foods

Top 10#10 Good Queso.Queso not cheese sauce. It must be spicy but not too spicy. Served with warm chips and it is even better. Easy queso recipe:

1 box of Velveeta
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Wolf Brand Chili

Dice cheese and dump into crock pot. Be sure to turn crock pot on. Add tomatoes and chili. Stir occasionally until melted.

#9 Cherry. I like just about anything cherry flavored except for maybe medicine. Combine cherry with chocolate, ice cream and/or cheesecake and it is even better.

#8 Ice Cream. My favorite brands are Blue Bell and Braum’s. We have a local place that makes ice cream in house. Their stuff is amazing especially the Cream Brulee.

#7 Chicken Enchiladas. Especially the ones from Pulido’s. I like the kind smothered with sour cream sauce not red sauce.

#6 Aunt Ruby’s Chocolate Pudding. Growing up Aunt Ruby’s Chocolate Pudding was always a special treat. You can read more about it and find the recipe in an earlier post.

#5 Barbecue.Barbecue is brisket!!!!!!! Not pork or chicken. Brisket should be dry rubbed, marinated and slow cooked over wood preferably mesquite. It needs to be served thick sliced, hot and with warm sauce. I don’t care how many sauces you have, I want the sauce warm! No, the brisket will not be dry when cooked correctly. Yes, you can thick slice. Pulled and brisket are two words that should never be used in the same sentence. Brisket sandwiches are either sliced or chopped, not pulled. Oh yeah, barbecue involves slow cooking meat with smoke. It is not cooking burgers on the grill in the back yard, that is grilling or cooking out. My favorite barbecue place is Goode Company in Houston, TX. According to the Food Network, Goode Company is one of the top 5 places in the country.

#4 Wings. If you haven’t figured out by now I am not a vegetarian. I have created my own version of wings combining our two favorite sauces: BBQ Ranch. Maybe I will share the recipe another time.

#3 Mom’s Pancakes.My mom makes the best pancakes in the world. Banana is probably the best flavor she makes. Her secret is that she doesn’t use a mix and that she adds vanilla to the batter. In fact, I usually don’t like anyone else’s pancakes, other than my own of course, because Mom’s are just so much better. Maybe I will share that recipe another time.

#2 Mimi’s German Chocolate Cake. This is another of my childhood favorites. Mimi made the best German Chocolate cake. It was so moist it would fall apart when you tried to cut it. I have been known to hide them from others. If I am ever feeling especially benevolent I might share the recipe but don’t hold your breath.

#1 Steak.It should be cooked over wood preferably, mesquite. A good cut of beef needs very little seasoning so don’t ruin it with fancy sauces or vegetables.