Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse.



I too,  support our right to arm bears.

I know he's a republican, but Governor John Kasich does NOT seem like a bad guy.  His life story is somewhat remarkable.

My early vote was rejected.  Investigation reveals I died a few years ago.  Worse, they say, dead men can't appeal decision.

The power of photography.  I'm doing a lot better now that I've posted Tom Selleck's picture as my profile picture on Match.com

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Ever wonder what happened to Dennis the Menace when he got older?




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Liz Ashley caused unprecedented traffic jam of rubber neckers today watching our shoot on my porch.







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Just when you thought things couldn't get worse.


FCC Commissioner: Restrictions On College Campuses And Twitter Show Free Speech Slipping Away

by Darren Smith
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Ajit Pai
Ajit Pai
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai expressed his worry of the waning of free speech rights in America. The suppression of dissenting speech on college campuses and Twitter he believes are prime examples.
"I think th[is] poses a special danger to a country that cherishes First Amendment speech, freedom of expression, even freedom of association. I think it's dangerous, frankly, that we don't see more often people espousing the First Amendment view that we should have a robust marketplace of ideas where everybody should be willing and able to participate.
Largely what we're seeing, especially on college campuses, is that if my view is in the majority and I don't agree with your view, then I have the right to shout you down, disrupt your events, or otherwise suppress your ability to get your voice heard."
The text of the First Amendment is enshrined in our Constitution, but there are certain cultural values that undergird the amendment that are critical for its protections to have actual meaning."
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Man Dies After Being Slammed Against Concrete Wall In 2009 By Deputy Sheriff

by Darren Smith
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Christopher Harris
Christopher Harris
A thirty-six-year-old man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury as a result of a use of force by a King County Washingtonsheriff's deputy in 2009 has died as a result of his injuries, according to a Thurston County forensic pathologist. The coroner's office determined the death to be caused by a homicide. This does not necessarily mean that the homicide was criminal in nature. It means that the death was caused as a result of a person and is not necessarily criminal nature. Such a determination is within the purview of the County Prosecutor's Office.
I find the use of force to be troubling, however the deputy was cleared by both an internal affairs investigation and a review by the County prosecutor's office. I do not agree with the findings of the IA but I recognize it would have been a difficult criminal case presented to a jury.
Read more of this post


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THE 10 HOTTEST RESTAURANTS IN HOUSTON FOR FEBRUARY 2016 [UPDATED]

The parmesan-crusted rack of lamb at La Table
The parmesan-crusted rack of lamb at La Table
Photo by Shannon O'Hara
Welcome to the very first installment of our picks of the hottest restaurants in Houston. To make it as helpful as possible, the list is divided by category ranked from most to least fancy. Additionally, every month we'll feature an “Oldie But Goodie” to point out longstanding places that diners should go check out again, especially if it's been a while.
This month, it's clear that the Heights has it really good right now. It's been the hottest of the hot spots for new and notable Houston restaurant openings. Half of this list is, in fact, in the Heights — and deservedly so. In time, though, every restaurant settles into more normal levels of business. How long will these restaurants be hot? Only time will tell. 
Fine Dining
La Table, 1800 Post Oak: Word on the street is enthusiastic about the current direction of the former Table on Post Oak. The restaurant is now under the purview of Invest Hospitality, the same company behind Michelin-starred L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Finally, traditional French fare and service is getting a hearty embrace at this location. The restaurant is divided into three spaces: fine dining (Château), a casual French market (Marché) and a pastry counter that features fine macarons.
The greens-n-cheese pie at Helen Greek Food & Wine is not only a work of art, but delicious as well.
The greens-n-cheese pie at Helen Greek Food & Wine is not only a work of art, but delicious as well.
Troy Fields
Nice But Not Fussy

Helen Greek Food & Wine, 2429 Rice: With its recent mention in The New York Times’ “36 Hours In Houston” article, Helen continues to be on a rocket ride skyward. This follows its November mention in the Washington Post’s focus piece on Houston in its "The Search For America’s Best Food Cities" series. The newcomer is solidly among Hugo’s, Underbelly, The Pass & Provisions and Oxheart when it comes to the Houston restaurants that have broken through from local to national notability. The can’t-miss items include the greens-n-cheese pie, lamb ribs (when available), the trio of dips and make your own gyro. Do allow owner-sommelier Evan Turner or his staff to talk you into trying the exciting selection of Greek wine. UPDATED, 2/17/16, 11:26 a.m.: Helen Greek Food & Wine has been named a semifinalist for this year's James Beard Foundation awards. It doesn't get hotter than that!
The spectacular Silver Salver at Hunky Dory is a big, gleaming antique tray filled with fine charcuterie, cheese, relishes and crusty bread.EXPAND
The spectacular Silver Salver at Hunky Dory is a big, gleaming antique tray filled with fine charcuterie, cheese, relishes and crusty bread.
Photos by Troy Fields
Hunky Dory, 1801 North Shepherd: Chef Richard Knight’s new home received a glowing review from us and is still under heavy discussion and comparison by diners. It’s the first of the Treadsack trio of new restaurants that have opened since November. The can’t-miss items include The Silver Salver (for groups of three or four — a mini-selection is available for duos), a remarkable but not overwrought double-patty cheeseburger that incorporates chuck, brisket and tongue (that’s the real secret right here), and the touching nods to Knight’s prior restaurant, Feast. Those include the Exmoor toasts, available at lunchtime, and the sticky toffee pudding. Try at least one cocktail from bar director Leslie Ross and bar manager Chris Morris. Also, the assortment of British-influenced breakfast dishes at brunch is well worth rolling out of bed for. The scones are excellent.
Bernadine's burger is served on square Texas toast, a fun, homestyle touch that's evident throughout the menu.
Bernadine's burger is served on square Texas toast, a fun, homestyle touch that's evident throughout the menu.
Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Bernadine’s, 1801 North Shepherd: How to start an animated talk (argument) with diners — express an opinion on which is better, Bernadine’s or its next-door neighbor, Hunky Dory. Bernadine’s has been a little more low-key than Hunky Dory, but more than one diner has been charmed by its Gulf Coast offerings. Start with a glass of dry white wine and some selections from the raw bar, such as marinated blue crab claws and Gulf oysters, then move on to homey choices such as smoked duck and oyster gumbo and Dr Pepper-glazed duck. Cheeky items like smoked ribs with sorghum popcorn and grilled strawberries exemplify the fun side of LaFayette-reared chef Graham Laborde.
One of the best new dishes in Houston is the State of Grace cheesy homage to Felix Mexican Restaurant.
One of the best new dishes in Houston is the State of Grace cheesy homage to Felix Mexican Restaurant.
Photo by Troy Fields
State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer: Houston native Ford Fry’s first endeavor in his hometown is doing very well — so well, in fact, that the only issue is caused by the hordes of diners who have come to worship at his temple of Houston food culture. There’s great affection evident in the menu choices, and it comes through in the execution of gems like the twice fried hot chicken (a.k.a. Korean fried chicken) and the cheese enchilada a la Felix. A selection of raw oysters are only one dollar at happy hour, and that’s one of the best restaurant bargains in town. This is a nice place, but don’t be afraid to eat with your hands.
From sushi, hot rock beer and ramen to inspired Japanese desserts, like this black rice pudding with sesame ice cream, diners can find just about anything their hearts desire at KA Sushi.
From sushi, hot rock beer and ramen to inspired Japanese desserts, like this black rice pudding with sesame ice cream, diners can find just about anything their hearts desire at KA Sushi.
Photo by Phaedra Cook
KA Sushi, 1901 North Shepherd: This Japanese restaurant next door hasn’t received a whole lot of attention in the media, but diners in the area sure know it’s there. It went on a 30-minute wait a few Fridays ago. Once inside, the menu is shockingly extensive in every area — cocktails, whiskey (Japanese and Scotch, among others) and several pages’ worth of food choices. Sushi is done the traditional way — bite-size, not hulking slabs or monstrous rolls. No matter whether someone wants hot rock beef, yakimono (such as a skewer of grilled chicken hearts interspersed with shiso) or sashimi, KA Sushi has it. Even the ramen with oxtail in curried coconut duck broth here is a pretty fine rendition.
The "burnt ends" at Southern Goods come from beef belly, so they're a little more tender and yielding than a traditional brisket cut. They're perched atop a bed of grits and greens and topped with pickled onion.
The "burnt ends" at Southern Goods come from beef belly, so they're a little more tender and yielding than a traditional brisket cut. They're perched atop a bed of grits and greens and topped with pickled onion.
Photo by Troy Fields
Jeans Appropriate
Southern Goods, 632 West 19th: How hot is Southern Goods? One night a few weeks ago, it went on a 90-minute wait for a table. The restaurant, helmed by executive chef Lyle Bento, chef de cuisine J.D. Woodward and pitmaster/sous chef Patrick Feges, is bowling people over with smoky barbecued beef belly, “pig wings” (imagine chicken wings but a hundred times meatier) and cheeseburgers that are among the best in town. Some nights there is live entertainment featured, and those seem to be the busiest. The parking lot isn’t huge, so be prepared to park a short distance away on 19th street.
Casual Cuisine
The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Houston for February 2016 [UPDATED] (13)
The Halal Guys, 3821 Farnham: The initial opening was fraught with long lines and traffic issues, but we're hearing that things have calmed down a bit. Waits are as short as ten minutes for weekday lunch now. So it's worth trying to go for a New York-style fix of chicken and gyro doused in the famously garlicky white sauce and flaming-hot pepper sauce. Use with caution. The best story we've heard so far is of a woman trying to cool the heat by calling for "some more of that white gravy." Oh, Houston. You're so funny sometimes. 
It's not just chocolate anymore at Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball. The barbecue is selling out more often than not daily.
It's not just chocolate anymore at Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball. The barbecue is selling out more often than not daily.
Photo by Scott Moore Jr.
Tejas Chocolate Craftory, 200 Elm, Tomball
The quaint small town just outside of far northwest Houston has shaken off its culinary slumber at last. Leading the charge is Tejas Chocolate Craftory. In addition to its longstanding bean-to-bar chocolate program (yes, Tejas even roasts and grinds its own cacao beans), the restaurant has added, of all things, Texas-style barbecue. It's a hit. They sold out this past Saturday and have been helped along with good reviews by local barbecue writers. Houston has been graced with unseasonably gorgeous weather so far this month. Isn't it time for a short road trip? 
New happy hour deals, like this $7 short rib mac and cheese, are one of the things infusing Mark's American Cuisine with renewed vigor. It's our Oldie But Goodie pick this month.
New happy hour deals, like this $7 short rib mac and cheese, are one of the things infusing Mark's American Cuisine with renewed vigor. It's our Oldie But Goodie pick this month.
Photo by Phaedra Cook
Oldie But a Goodie
Mark’s American Cuisine, 1658 Westheimer: The ideas machine at Mark’s seems to be in full gear. Chef Mark Cox appears to be on a mission of refreshing the menu. This month, a different mini-pie with an optional wine pairing will be offered each week. Mark’s has also implemented a new happy hour (bar area only) Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. A selection of cocktails and wine are six dollars each, and small plates, which include pear salad with goat cheese, crab-stuffed squash blossoms and beef carpaccio with capers and vinaigrette, are $7 each. Could it be that this old stalwart in a former church is embracing a new, modern perspective on Houston dining? We think so. Keep an eye on its Facebook page, as Mark’s often posts photos of just-arrived ingredients and new dishes (and they are uniformly gorgeous). 




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Black NYPD Cop Awarded $15 Million After False Arrest & Beating By Fellow Officers At His Home

Afederal jury has awarded a Black New York police officer $15 million after he was falsely arrested, beaten, and had his hand fractured by fellow officers at his Queens home in 2010, reports the New York Daily News.
Off-duty Officer Larry Jackson, 45, was “beaten with batons, choked, kicked, sprayed in the face with pepper spray and had his hand fractured during the 2010 attack, according to his lawyer, who blames race biases on escalating the incident,” writes DNAInfo New York.
The Brooklyn Federal Court jury decided Wednesday that Jackson was entitled to punitive damages from 12 individual officers for a total of $2.6 million, in addition to $12.5 million in damages.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office refused to prosecute the arresting officers following an investigation, according to The New York Post.
Via DNAInfo:
The confrontation began after Jackson’s wife called 911 to resolve a dispute outside their home, where they had just held their daughter’s birthday party.
When police arrived, they mistook Jackson for one of the agitators and began to physically subdue him, ignoring his repeated attempts to identify himself as a member of the NYPD, according to the lawsuit.
“Dude, it is my house and I am a police officer too,” Jackson told the arresting officers, according to the complaint. Jackson was then handcuffed and taken to the 113th Precinct stationhouse even after officers found his NYPD shield, which had been in his front pocket the whole time, the lawsuit says.
Jackson’s attorney, Eric Sanders, told DNAInfo that his client could never be compensated for the disrespect he received from the police department.
The suit notes that Jackson’s hand is still recovering from the attack; he can’t hold a gun and may have to retire, notes the report.
SOURCE: New York Daily NewsDNAinfo New York | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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Saturday afternoon Sealy porch shoot featuring my eye brows in full glory


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old people like to pick out places we plan on someday just sitting and watching stuff




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This photo of Obama and a little visitor at a Black History Month celebration is remarkable


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