From our ink-stained hands to your screen, here are the week's best deals at Austin area supermarkets.
1. Green leaf, red leaf and Romaine lettuce, .88/ea. at Sprouts and Sun Harvest (through 11/3/10)
2. Texas Ruby Red grapefruit, 6 for $1 at Newflower (through 11/3/10)
3. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.88/lb. at Sun Harvest (through 11/3/10)
4. Marinated skirt steak for fajitas, $2.29/lb. at El Rancho Supermercado (through 11/2/10)
5. Red seedless grapes, .99/lb. at H-E-B (through 11/2/10)
Also, if you need something economical to give trick-or-treaters this Sunday, pick up the Hill Country Fare Kids Play Mix - 50 solid ounces of what we old-timers used to call "penny candy" for just $5 at H-E-B. We're talking Smarties, Double Bubble, Tootsie Rolls and the like. The kids won't like you as much as the people handing out Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but at least your house probably won't get egged.
I’m in Texarkana, Tex. tonight. Texarkana is one of those towns that gets sung about a lot because it makes for a nice rhyme, as Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Cotton Fields," Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" and Jerry Reed's "Eastbound and Down" can attest.
One thing that doesn't rhyme with Texarkana is syphilis. The Ark-La-Tex region has some of the higher syphilis rates in the country, so I'm here for a meeting with public health folks from the tri-state area to discuss coordination of prevention and messaging efforts across state lines.
I would’ve preferred to meet in Hot Springs, Ark. for the spring-fed baths or Shreveport, La. for the casino buffets, but our leash ends where Texas does. As far as I can tell, the primary extracurricular activity in Texarkana would be to have a photo taken on State Line Ave. with half my girth in Texas and the other in Arkansas. Having already done that in several obnoxious iterations over the years, I’m content to hit the hotel treadmill and watch the Cowboys try to soak up some Texas Rangers mojo on Monday Night Football.
Yup, just another crazy night of road-hogging in the name of public health.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is holding its annual Walk to Cure Diabetes on Halloween. Kate, Alex and I will be walking - or strolling, in Alex's case - as proud members of Team Miles for Miles here in Austin.
The team is named for young Miles Wyatt, son of our good friends David and Rachel Wyatt. Last year, shortly before his 2nd birthday, Miles was diagnosed with Type 1 (or "juvenile") diabetes, an autoimmune disorder of the pancreas. Kate and I have watched with admiration at how the Wyatt family has responded to Miles' diagnosis, but we know it hasn't been easy for them.
Type 1 diabetes requires constant monitoring of carb intake, blood sugar levels and multiple insulin injections per day. In the past 11 months since his diagnosis, Miles already has endured over 3,500 finger pricks and 1,300 insulin injections. In addition to his rigorous blood testing and insulin shots, everything he consumes must be weighed and measured, and his blood levels need to be checked every couple of hours - even at 2 a.m. while he sleeps. Miles will be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life - or until there is a cure.
There are many devastating diseases people face in the world today. The difference with type 1 diabetes is that wiping it out of existence is extremely attainable and within reach. Researchers indicate that a cure could be available even before Miles goes to high school, helping him and countless others avoid the complications of heart and kidney disease, blindness, amputation, and early death that is a reality for many people with type 1 diabetes.
If you'd like to help Team Miles for Miles help raise funds for JDRF, you can make a donation here. All contributions are tax-deductible and every little bit makes a difference. Thanks for your consideration and support.
If you’re traveling to Dallas for business or pleasure anytime soon, do yourself a favor and stay the hell away from the Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center. I have stayed at this sub-par facility four times this year for my job. Yesterday, I checked out for what I fervently hope is the last time ever.
I am not a man of high standards when it comes to lodging. I thumb through those green discount motel guides you pick up in the foyer at Denny’s with the same tenacity a hedge fund trader pores over Investor’s Business Daily. I have stayed quite happily in off-brand motels and well-worn motor courts all across this dying empire. But I do believe in good value and that is where the Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center eats it.
Shoddily built during the mid-Eighties boom cycle, this Embassy Suites has endured several cosmetic renovations since, but none have addressed the fundamental problem of the building’s proximity to the Stemmons Freeway. Subsequently, the early morning rush hour was an unwelcome wake-up call in every one of the rooms I stayed in.
Now throw in archaic CRT TVs, middling reception of local channels and beige carpet stained with the unspeakable remnants of numerous after-prom parties. These are not things you can look past when you’re dropping $117 a night plus the obligatory Tom Hicks sports arena tax.
According to an alarming number of consumer reviews, the hotel’s parking lot is a hotbed of car theft. The hotel’s response to this is to have a crossing arm at the lot entrance that opens for anyone and everyone who drives up to it along with prominent signage to let you know you’re parking at your own risk.
I accept that it’s not the hotel’s fault that this area of Dallas is a den of thievery, but their ham-brained approach to addressing the problem is a waste of everyone’s time and money. This logic model carries over to the lobby restrooms, which have auto-flush toilets with lids that prevent the auto-flush sensors from knowing when it’s time to flush.
Then there’s the hotel’s management, which managed to bump half of our meeting delegation on two of the four times we stayed there this year. The first time was due to a plumbing issue, which wasn’t entirely their fault, but this week’s massive bump was never adequately explained to us.
Instead of stepping up, they tried to pass the entirety of blame off on our event planners – a cowardly move that indicated they were more interested in finger-pointing and ass coverage than trying to make things right for their guests. This is a hallmark of a business that simply doesn’t care, so why should you?
SXSW is getting a new home at 400 W. Bowie St. The 3-story building, now housing an architectural firm, is conveniently sandwiched between the Whole Foods behemoth and the Spring condo tower on the site of the Electric Lounge. This will put SXSW considerably closer to the epicenter of festival-related action in March than their current Hyde Park offices on 41st St.
This is a long, long way from the late 80s, when SXSW was run out of a conference room at the Chronicle's old offices on the corner of 29th and Rio Grande. Not long after that, I remember marveling at the fact they needed an entire ranch-style house (year-round, no less!) to run the fest.
Do you have a thing for boats, facial hair and/or Huey Lewis? If so, I can plan your Halloween weekend for you right this instant.
The New Drugs will be playing a benefit to help get the Austin Facial Hair Club's most hirsute hunks to the 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Trondheim, Norway. This benefit will take place Saturday, October 30 at 7:30pm on the good ship Commodore as it motors about the tranquil waters of Lake Austin.
The 3-hour boat trip will set you back $25, but drinks on board are gratis. Advance tix are available online or at Breakaway Records and End of an Ear Records. Act now or start pricing dinghies.
I was born the day Richard Nixon was elected president. That kinda sucked. I spent my only childhood watching my surrogate siblings on "The Brady Bunch" and singing K-Tel hits into hairbrushes. I came to Austin for school and stayed to play in bands. I'm 42, working for the big bad government and fighting the paunch, but I can STRETCH and I can KICK! Though I won't change this here blog's name, I'm happily married to a fine New England girl named Kate and we have an infant son who just started to crawl.