Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Protesters deface "Lupe" the Bass

The national attacks on statues reached Kerrville last weekend, when protestors desecrated the beloved symbol of the Texas state fish.

“Lupe” the Guadalupe Bass was painted over with graffiti saying “Eat more Chiken” and “Fish ain’t Food.”

Claiming credit was a group of Anti-Fishists, or Antifi.

“Fishists are using their reel privilege to exploit our natural resources for their selfish hunger for sweet, flaky fillets,” said Antifi spokes-human Charlie Starkeys. “We have actual footage of groups, including minor children, gathering along lakes and streams in an attempt to remove Fish of all species from their natural habitats.”

The Guadalupe Bass statue was erected in Louise Hayes Park in 2017 as a tribute to the “clear, rocky spring-fed rivers of the Hill Country,” home to 14 fish species, according to accounts at the time of installation.

The twisting fish includes hundreds of handmade mosaic tiles created by local residents, and is hailed as “an iconic symbol” of the community.

Citing the Guadalupe bass’s indigenous right to live in the area’s flowing streams, Starkeys called for reparations and respect for all fish lives.

“Fish should not come out of the water until they can do it on their own four legs,” Starkeys said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Is liver a cure for COVID?

People across the country are reporting remarkable resistance to the COVID-19 virus just by adding liver to every meal. Lucinda O'Quinn, a home economist with Wisconsin AgriLife, has been collecting reports and compiling anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of the treatment.

"We are hearing dramatic reports from people whose diets include an abundance of liver that they are at lower risk of acquiring the virus, and if they do, of recovering more quickly," she said.

Scientists are working to identify the active ingredient that attacks the virus. Meanwhile, diners still need to consume liver in its original form, an arduous task for many.

"Liver is definitely an acquired taste," O'Quinn said. "Our research shows that 98% of the population loathes the taste and texture of eating liver in any form."

Evidence is showing that liver prepared in any way is effective, including fried chicken livers and turkey livers with gizzards in dressing. However the most dramatic results are coming from calf liver sliced and fried with onions, as commonly served at in cafeterias and small-town lunchrooms.

"You just can't beat the effectiveness of a slab of fried liver smothered in onions, next to a pile of mashed potatoes and peas," she said as she prepared to go to lunch. "Further research is required."

That may be more difficult than she hopes, going by the reaction of people we approached.

"No way I'm touching liver," said one cafeteria diner. "I'd rather get the disease."

In related news, supermarkets are limiting purchases of raw calf liver to 20 pounds per customer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Texas running out of names for wineries

The number of wineries in Texas has outstripped the list of good names, according to a surprise statement issued by the Texas State Comptroller’s Office last week.

“Wineries are springing up around the state in alarming numbers, and the list of possible names is dwindling,” said spokesperson Grady Rath.

The most popular names for wines have come from the nature world. According to Rath, these types of names inspire confidence in the product and take advantage of the pride Texans have in the Lone Star State.

“All the best natural names are already gone,” said Rath. “Oak, stone, rock, cactus, pine, anything to do with mountains or hills, and every river name has been used. That includes the animals–armadillos, mustangs, hawks and eagles, even jackasses have been tapped to lend their names and personalities to existing wines.”

Over the past decade, the popularity of Texas wines has led to a rapid expansion in the number of wineries, especially in the Hill Country area. That pace of growth is threatened as vintners scramble to lock down a name that will look good on a label, and be whimsical enough to stand out to the millions of visitors to the region.

“Yeah, you can’t go to market with a name like Screw Cap Cabernet or Stained Tooth Tempranillo,” said Drew Blanks, owner of Cattle Guard Winery. “Our typical client doesn’t really care what’s in the bottle, it’s the name of the wine that makes the sale.”

Rath is starting to see hints of the desperation in finding names by new owners.

“I already have applications on my desk from new owners wanting to name their wines after 16th century poets, classic TV game shows, and auto parts.”

In other news, the Texas Wine Association has announced an initiative to locate a winery within one mile of every Hill Country resident by 2025.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dollar Tree theft has major economic impact

May 23, 2017–Fredericksburg Police Dept. reported a break-in and theft over the weekend at the Dollar Tree located at Hwy 290 West.

Authorities estimated the total financial loss to be around $187.

A thief or thieves entered the store in mid-afternoon on Friday. Witnesses reported seeing a 10-foot enclosed trailer backed up to the store’s front door around 2:30 pm.

“Yeah, we just thought it was Dollar Tree people getting ready for the holiday weekend,” said Genie Auel, who was walking out of Altos de Jalisco. “They looked like they worked there.”

The impact on the community will be significant, according to store manager Justin O’Toole.

“They cleaned out nearly half of our inventory,” O’Toole said. Besides the financial loss , O’Toole expressed concern for his regular customers. “With the Fourth of July coming up, we are really worried about our regulars who expect the Dollar Tree to serve their need for red, white, and blue paper napkins, glitter centerpieces, and pastel flip-flops for those Fourth picnics. It’s also going to be tough on families needing cleaning supplies and one-ply paper towels.”

The thieves were uninterrupted in their crime spree, as the store had no customers at the time and the lone checker was on break.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Misdirected March on Washington

Iowa City, Iowa–Some muddled directions led to a mixup for a local political action group.
A busload of activist women boarded a Greyhound bus in this Iowa university town on Saturday with the intent of joining the throngs marching on the nation’s capitol. Instead of Washington, D.C., the driver took them to Washington, Iowa, a small county seat about 60 miles away.
As the marchers spilled from the bus, there was confusion all around. One rider was heard to comment, "That didn’t take as long as I expected."
On the courthouse steps, local farmers stopping by to pay their property tax bills were speculating on why 80 young women were dropped in their town square.
"The election is over, and the county fair isn't until August," said one.
The misdirected marchers decided to make the best of it, and marched around the square seven times to symbolize the Seven Sisters that are used to symbolize everything from liberal arts colleges to a globular cluster.
By the end of the laps, the women met locals over herbal tea at The Coffee Corner. Plans are to make it an annual event.
"There are nice folks here," said a spokesperson. "Plus, the trip is shorter and they have a lovely fountain."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ethnic group to protest Cracker Barrel name

August, 2013–Crowds plan to gather outside a popular Texas restaurant next weekend, and it won’t be to line up for Grandpa's Country Fried Breakfast®.

No, this meal mashup is part of a nationwide protest against the Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain. Neil Daly, President of White Hispanics & Tan Europeans (W.H.I.T.E), is leading the effort.

Daly–noting the national hoopla over the racist and demeaning names of sports teams such as the Redskins, Braves, and Chiefs–is focused on removing “racist” names of the popular restaurants that line the national interstate highway system.

“They call it Cracker Barrel, for goodness sake!” said Daly, who claims English-Irish descent. “How can they name a restaurant ‘Cracker?’ We all know what that means. It is a demeaning putdown of the newest minority of Texans. Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence. Just step inside any Cracker Barrel anywhere and what do you see? A bunch of older white people eating grits, buying pecan logs, and listening to Boxcar Willie CDs. Don’t tell me that’s not stereotyping.”

A Cracker Barrel spokesman dismissed any racial undertones in the name of the restaurant.

“When our founder chose the name Cracker Barrel, he was referring to the old general store practice of selling crackers, pickles, and sewing needles in large barrels placed by the counter,” the spokesman said. “While we realize the meanings of words change, we didn’t expect there to be any problem with the word ‘cracker.’ Now, ‘crack’ we were worried about. We were afraid patrons might equate that with meth labs, which are often found within a few blocks of many of our restaurant locations. Or ‘Morning Sampler.’ But not ‘cracker.’”

Daly noted that protesters plan to slow down the already “measured” service, by taking longer to decide on whether to order home fries or hash browns with the pancakes on their The Cracker Barrel Country Boy Breakfast®. Protesters also plan to stand outside the front doors of the busy restaurants. Or, as Daly explained, “We might sit in those wooden rocking chairs. Our protestors are a bit older and those rockers are mighty comfortable.”

Even with the access to comfortable seating, Daly cautions this won’t be a quick fix.

“We realize we are facing a big challenge with these methods, as it will be hard to detect any difference from a typical customer experience at Cracker Barrel. But we are willing to make some sacrifices to finally get rid of the ‘C’ word.”

The group does not plan to stop at protesting Cracker Barrels. Daly listed possible future targets such as White Castle, Pale Ale, and any establishment that calls itself a “honkytonk.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bookless Library clever use of Stimulus Funding

by Nick Bottom

While some complain that the recently-renovated Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library has shed about 20% of its books, writing letters to the editor and generally complaining, few realize how clever the culling of those books really is.
"Sure, we've had to part with some great books," said Tommy E. Reader, head librarian, "like most of Dickens, Tolstoy, and Jackie Collins. But the absence of books is only part of the real story."
Indeed, many library patrons, after visiting the shiny new library have remarked the renovations look great, but have asked, "Where are the books?"
It seems a little-known part of the massive federal stimulus bill provides funding for libraries to remove books.
"It's a little like the farm subsidy program," the head librarian noted. "Instead of getting paid not to plant a crop, we're getting paid to not shelve books."
In fact, the library staff has grown since the remodeled library re-opened.
"With these federal dollars rolling in, it made sense to hire more folks, especially in these hard times. A job is a job. When the federal government will pay you to not shelve a book, we figured we could also get paid to not check out a book, not repair worn books, and not point out books to patrons seeking information or enlightenment."
The future looks bright at the bookless library. Since the non-books do not take up space, nor weigh anything, there are plans to open up branch libraries in the future.
A branch library containing, say, 100,000 non-books would take up the same amount of space as a small linen closet. "We hope to open a branch in every neighborhood in the county," said Reader. "Of course, they'll be small branches, but they'll have the same number of books as the main library."
And since the non-books have no weight, several bicycle-based "Bookmobiles" are planned.
"Just imagine all the kids we will be able to serve this summer," he continued.
"Imagine children running to the book-mobile bicycle, smiles on their faces, being able to take home as many non-books as they imagine they can hold."
Bookless libraries are just the start of a great economic trend. In fact, many school districts are studying the idea of student-less school districts, while local governments are hoping to adopt politician-less city councils.