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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 83,308

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

This Map Shows the Taco Geography of Texas

One Texas man has created a humorous new map that shows the “harsh realities” of Tacos in each region of the Lone Star State.

“Extensive research was put into this,” John D. Garcia, the map’s creator, wrote on Facebook.

You’ll notice Garcia outlined some places in Texas where you’re S.O.L. if you want good tacos. There’s a “dead zone” in the southwest, a section in the Panhandle where “you’re screwed,” and a stretch out in East Texas where nobody cares. Everywhere else has its own distinct qualities that you may or may not agree with.

As an Austin resident, I can attest that some of our tacos do indeed have tiny tortillas and can be too expensive, but damn are they delicious.

Read more: http://www.wideopencountry.com/this-map-shows-the-tacos-geography-of-texas/

Obama speaks with Abbott, offers support after North Texas tornadoes

President Barack Obama called Gov. Greg Abbott Monday to offer his support after 11 people died and thousands of homes were destroyed as tornadoes swept through the Dallas area over the weekend.

“The President relayed heartfelt condolences on behalf of himself and the First Lady for those who lost their lives and for the many people who lost their homes in the tornadoes over the weekend,” said White House Press Press Secretary Eric Schultz in a statement.

Officials estimate that as many as 1,450 homes sustained substantial damage caused by nine tornadoes reported Saturday through North Texas.

In the statement, Schultz said Obama’s team had been closely monitoring the situation and will continue working with Texas officials to provide assistance.

(short srticle)

Update - Cause of mosque fire in SW Houston declared 'incendiary'

Authorities have upgraded the investigation of a Christmas Day fire at a southwest Houston mosque to "incendiary" and cited multiple points of origin in the two-alarm blaze as suspicious.

"As part of the investigative process, evidence is being collected and analyzed; and interviews are being conducted," the Houston Fire Department said in a release Saturday. "We want to reassure the public that we will conduct a complete and thorough investigation."

Though the fire department's arson bureau is leading the investigation, HFD spokesman Ruy Lozano said, adding that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is assisting. "When we're looking at different occupancy types, such a religious facilities, it's good to bring them in as a partner."

Community leaders called for a throurough investigation.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Mosque-catches-fire-in-southwest-Houston-6721038.php

Earlier thread:

Mosque catches fire in southwest Houston

Staff shortage left NWS scrambling to cover tornado outbreak

Staffing shortages at the local Dallas-Fort Worth National Weather Service office left forecasters scrambling to cover Saturday’s tornado outbreak and could slow the process of completing damage surveys.

NWS officials insist all weather warnings were issued in a timely way. But the union that represents forecasters says forecasters covered the storms with the help of meteorologists who volunteered to come in from home and managers pulling extra duty.

The Dallas-Fort Worth National Weather Service office currently has three vacant front-line forecaster positions. The meteorologist who serves as the union representative for the DFW area office says Saturday’s storms highlight the urgent need to fill those jobs.

“This office needs to be fully staffed. We shouldn’t have to be spending time trying to find people to cover shifts and do surveys after high impact weather,” said local National Weather Service Employees Organization representative Jason Dunn.

Read more: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/12/nbc5-investigates-staff-shortage-left-nws-scrambling-to-cover-tornado-outbreak.html/

Ted Cruz says federal government wants boys and girls to share showers

Sen. Ted Cruz recently suggested our government wants boys and girls showering together.

The Republican presidential candidate told an interviewer: “Look, these guys are so nutty that the federal government is going after school districts, trying to force them to let boys shower with little girls.” The Texan went on: “Now, listen: I’m the father of two daughters, and the idea that the federal government is coming in saying that boys, with all the God-given equipment of boys, can be in the shower room with junior high girls — this is lunacy.”

We hadn’t heard about that push and also didn’t hear back from Cruz’s camp about the basis of his claim.

But it looks as if Cruz was referring to an Illinois student’s well-publicized legal battle for full access to school restrooms and locker rooms rather than being restricted to facilities matching her gender at birth.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/ted-cruz-says-federal-government-wants-boys-and-gi/npr3R/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

US hits Islamic State group with 17 Christmas Day airstrikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says the United States hit Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria with 17 airstrikes on Christmas Day.

The strikes targeting Islamic State fighters, facilities and vehicles were carried out by fighter aircraft, bombers and remotely controlled aircraft.The Pentagon said Saturday that five of the strikes were carried out in Syria and 12 in Iraq.

The strikes targeted Islamic State tunnels, explosive manufacturing sites and other targets such as bridges and Islamic State fighting outposts.

All US aircraft returned safely.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/US-targets-Islamic-State-group-with-17-Christmas-6722158.php

Eight confirmed dead in storms in Garland and Collin County, 50,000 without power across North Texas

At least eight people died during an explosion of tornadoes that spread devastation across several North Texas cities as December’s unseasonably mild weather shifted in the most violent of ways.

Five deaths occurred in Garland in what police say were tornado-related traffic accidents near Interstate 30 and Bush Turnpike.

Joe Harn, a department spokesman, tied the fatalities to a confirmed tornado that hit that area about 6:45 p.m.

Officers were trying to determine whether there were any other casualties at the accident site, where a dozen or so vehicles had crashed. KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported that police were investigating whether vehicles might have been blown off a turnpike bridge.

Read more: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/12/seven-confirmed-dead-in-storms-in-garland-and-copeville-50000-without-power-across-north-texas.html/

Valeant Pharmaceutical Chief Is Hospitalized With Pneumonia -- Can He Afford The Drugs He Needs?

J. Michael Pearson, the embattled chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, has been admitted to the hospital for severe pneumonia, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed on Friday.

The spokeswoman, Laurie W. Little, declined to provide further details. She said that out of respect for the privacy of Mr. Pearson and his family, the company would update his condition only as appropriate. “We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to him returning to work when he is feeling better,” Ms. Little said in an email.

Mr. Pearson, 56, has been struggling to reassure investors about the future of Valeant, as the company comes under fire for its drug pricing and distribution policies. Valeant’s strategy of acquiring old drugs and sharply raising their prices, often by several hundred percent, has attracted attention from Congress.

It also faces scrutiny for its secret relationship with Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order pharmacy that dispensed some of Valeant’s expensive dermatology drugs and took care of getting them reimbursed by insurance companies. Valeant severed its ties to Philidor in October, after questions were raised about the pharmacy’s practices.

Read more: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/business/valeant-chief-is-hospitalized-with-pneumonia.html?ref=business&smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&smtyp=cur&_r=1&referer

Mosque catches fire in southwest Houston

Smoke rising from across the parking lot of a southwest Houston strip center caught Abdul Hafiz's attention as he sipped a cup of tea and chatted with friends at a restaurant Friday afternoon.

The source was the Savoy Mosque, where Hafiz had finished his afternoon prayer a bit earlier. Hafiz and a few other men rushed over to the mosque, banging on the glass door as thick, dark smoke billowed around them.

"Thank God there was no one inside," Hafiz said.

It took about 80 firefighters to extinguish the two-alarm blaze that began around 2:45 p.m. at the small mosque, a storefront in the Savoy Plaza, near Wilcrest Drive and West Bellfort Avenue. Arson investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire.

Members of the mosque said images from several digital surveillance cameras in the worship center had been turned over to investigators. Although they hope it was not a case of arson, members said they were baffled about what might have caused the fire. It is only about three years old and well-maintained, they said.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Mosque-catches-fire-in-southwest-Houston-6721038.php

Has anyone heard from freshwest lately?

The last time that she posted was on December 1st. It's unusual for her not to check in for this long.
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