Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CNN last in TV news on cable

From yesterday's New York Times.

CNN, which created the all-news cable network almost 30 years ago, hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, with three of its four programs between 7 and 11 p.m. finishing fourth and last among the cable news networks.

It was the first time that the programs had ever performed that poorly against their news network competitors. October was also the third month in the last year that CNN as a network finished fourth behind the three other cable news networks in prime time with the audience that the networks rely on for advertising sales.

For the month, CNN averaged 202,000 viewers, ages 25 to 54. That was far behind the dominant leader, Fox, which averaged 689,000. But it also trailed MSNBC which had 250,000 viewers in that group and HLN, which had 221,000 viewers.
I've been forced to watch CNN in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoon over the past few months (that's the only cable news network I can get at work ... blech), and it's shocking how horribly bad that network has become. I've always enjoyed Kiran Chetry, but her move from FOXNews to CNN was a major mistake (Come back, Kiran! Come back!). And the likes of Rick Sanchez are beyond putrid. I've literally had to mute that guy on more than one occasion. It's almost painful.

And what's up with their endless series of "Being Black in America," or "Being Latino in America"? I mean, really.

Anyway, interesting numbers. My how the times have changed.

tableau tuesday

Beatin' the dirt monkeys in Lubbock is worthy of two pictures.

Gig'em Ags.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

rite of passage

Aidan attended his first Texas high school football game last night with two of his besties -- Ashlyn and Allison. The three of them have been together in the same class since they were about 6-weeks old. I call them the "Triple As."

Anyway, there's a ginormous hill at Tully Stadium (our local football stadium) that all the kids love to roll down (not much opportunity for that in Houston).

I remember doing it as a kid, so I got a huge kick out of watching my little guy do the same last night.

He wasn't much into the game, although he periodically would scream, "Go, Aggies!" I had to keep reminding him that we weren't at an A&M game, but at least he's remaining loyal to his roots.

High school football -- one of the million reasons why I love fall. So great.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

tableau tuesday (on thursday)

Crazy wicked weather blew through town this morning ... right as the morning commute was getting underway (of course).

It's currently 9:00 a.m., and we've already had over 5 inches of rain this morning.

Gotta love it. Especially when the rain has nowhere to go, so it sits on the road ... and rises ... and rises ... and rises ....

The silver lining is that its bringing cooler temps with it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

how texas lives within its means

During a time when I'm often left shaking my head after listening to a politician trying to explain away the reckless spending of my children and grandchildren's money, the Op-Ed column written by Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst that I read this morning was a welcome (and rare) breath of fresh air.

Given recent comments about our state’s budget, I feel it is time to
separate fact from political fiction. The fact is, in stark contrast to the U.
S. Congress, the Texas Constitution requires the Legislature to balance the
state budget every two years, and that would have happened with or without any
federal stimulus dollars.

In 2007, I led the effort to save $7 billion to balance the revenue
shortfall we anticipated this year.

So it’s simply political fiction that stimulus dollars were necessary
to balance our budget.
Although we tried to use the federal stimulus dollars
on one-time expenditures, in some cases the federal government made us use the
money on recurring costs that actually add to the cost of state

While other states struggle with overwhelming deficits, Texas has
created a model for the rest of the nation to follow that is based on living
within its available revenue. The state cut taxes a net $4 billion per year in
2007 while fostering a predictable regulatory environment that allows business
to thrive and continue to make Texas the No. 1 job creator in the U.S. over the
past two years.

These are the moral, fiscally conservative values with which I was raised, and with which I will try and impart to my children. In a nutshell, if you don't have the money, don't spend it.

Thank God not all politicians have lost their freakin' minds.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

i may not agree with his politics

... but I'm proud of the warm reception President Obama received at my beloved Alma Mater, Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. I'm sure it didn't hurt that he was flanked by Aggie favorite (and legend in his own time around our parts), former Texas A&M University President and now Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates.

According to student newspaper, The Battalion:
President Barack Obama received a hearty "Howdy" from more than 2,000 attendees at the Presidential Forum on community service on Friday afternoon in Rudder Auditorium at Texas A&M.
"Service isn't separate from our national priorities or second to our national priorities, it's integral to achieving our national priorities," Obama said. "It's how we will meet the challenges of our time."
Aggies are known for their dedication to service, so this non-political speech on a subject that we could all get behind made it easy to temporarily put aside ideological differences.

Mr. Obama was treated with respect, yet dissenting opinions were peacefully on display outside the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum where Obama was invited to speak as a guest of former President, George H. W. Bush.

The First Lady of Texas A&M, Reveille (our beautiful collie mascot) was there to greet the President as well. And one resourceful Aggie football fan even managed to get in a plug for our quarterback, Jerrod Johnson (and a pie-in-the-sky hope at a Heisman).

All in all, a great fall day in the Lone Star State.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

tableau tuesday

... again a day late ... but hey, it was a short week, and my internal clock is off. ;)

Houston Chronicle writer Kathy Huber perfectly captures the crazy personality of the uniquely-Texas tradition ("bigger is definitely better") of homecoming mums:
"In a state where football is king, the homecoming mum is queen. Not a shy bloom relegated to the sidelines, but an enormous concoction of grapefruit-size silk flowers; stuffed animals; a flowing skirt of ribbons."
I giggle with a bit of shame (mixed in with a big ol' chunk of fond memories) when I think about how giddy we used to be as we walked around Tully Stadium, tinkling with the bells hanging from our ginormous red and white mums. Oh, and of course our dates sported the obligatory mum-like matching garters on their jerseys that day at school. Gawd, we were crazy. Gotta love high school football in Texas.

Stomp 'em, MHS Mustangs!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

four-day weekends and fall

Everything has pretty much come together perfectly this weekend.

I already had Monday off (Columbus Day), and since Ty is home for a few days, I figured I'd make it an even longer weekend and take Friday off as well. His visit is much-too short, but we're trying to make the most of our few days together.

In honor of the occasion, Mother Nature cooperated beautifully and ushered in our first good cold front of the season -- just in time for tailgating and football yesterday. Kick-off against the Cowboys from Oklahoma State was 11:30 a.m., so our tailgate crew did breakfast tacos, Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, and Paula Deen's gorilla bread (holy crap, that stuff is rockin' good).

We also took Aidan to his first football game. He's attended a few tailgates in the past, but he's always been too pooped (or hot) to head over to the stadium. But yesterday's temps, combined with the early kick-off time and Ty being home, was the perfect opportunity to give it a shot. He [unbelievably] slept through the first half, but woke up just in time to watch the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band take the field.

So here we are ... Sunday morning, sipping coffee and enjoying the temps and each other.

And the good news is, tomorrow is a work-less Monday. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

houston texans to wear pink

To show their support for breast cancer awareness, four players from my home town Texans — receiver Andre Johnson, defensive end Mario Williams, receiver David Anderson and running back Ryan Moats — will wear pink shoes and gloves during today's game against the Big Bad Oakland Raiders.

The players, along with other players and coaches across the league, will wear different shoes, gloves, towels, and pins, but all will be a shade of pink, in order to show support for the NFL's “Crucial Catch” campaign promoting breast cancer awareness.

Johnson received a pair of new hot pink-and-white cleats with shiny silver soles from Nike this week.

"I have never worn pink in my life that I can remember," he said. "Especially not pink gloves or pink cleats or anything like that. But it's a good cause, and I'll definitely have it on on Sunday."

Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer and second-highest cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Women stand about a one in eight chance (12 percent) of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Most doctors feel that early detection tests can save thousands of lives each year.

Well done, Men. Wear that pink loud and proud.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

pumpkin schnapps? who knew?

One of my projects for today is to find a bottle of Harvest Grand Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur.
"...perfect blend of American pumpkin spice flavors and premium Irish cream. The Irish Cream has great mouth appeal due to the premium quality dairy used. The amount of all natural flavor blended is just enough, not to overpower the liqueur, but to create an even pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie experience. Harvest Grand like many of its competitors is 17% alcohol by volume or 34 proof. The creams color is reminiscent of a Thanksgiving pumpkin pies orange and brown tones. Suggested to be served chilled, Harvest Grand can be prepared on the rocks, strait or mixed with other liquors to make a personalized drink."
How lovely does that sound?