Texas high schoolers compete in varsity barbecue

Leave it to Texas to have high school varsity teams dedicated to barbecuing.

Here's a story about how some students at a high school in northern Texas are learning to compete with meat. WFAA reports:

Horticulture teacher Tommy Copeland helped start his team at [Ennis High School] after discovering an annual state tournament in Burnet where over 100 schools compete...

At Ennis High, the barbecue team is like a Texas hybrid of metal shop and home economics. The students fabricate and weld their own cooker together then use it to compete.

Copeland and other vocational teachers assist the students in learning how to be pitmasters. Teachers or instructors aren’t allowed to help students during cook-offs, and they’re judged on best beef brisket, pork ribs, ½ chicken, best beans, dessert, best pit, most school spirit, and best t-shirt.

...he only requirements to be on the barbecue team? Maintain a passing average and be a senior.

However—that doesn’t stop Copeland from mentoring aspiring juniors who have interest in the team like Marshall Sladecek.

Before Ennis’ home football game against Corsicana, he and some other juniors got some ‘ribs practice’ outside the stadium. “We all barbecue, why not take it to the competition level?” Sladecek said. “Every guy needs to know how to do it.”

...“When these boys leave here, they are kings of their grills,” Copeland said.

Read the rest

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog mocks Cruz right to his face

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog went to Texas to get close to the Democratic and Republican Senate race candidates. He first visited Beto O'Rourke's rally where he landed a short interview. Then he went to Ted Cruz's where he, amazingly, got some face time. Oh, the burn... Read the rest

Texas high-school students can't graduate without watching a video on not triggering snowflake cops

The "Civilian Interaction Training Program" is a project of the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement, aimed at teaching children how not to terrify heavily armed, easily-spooked Texas law enforcement officers, who, when triggered, are at risk of murdering children during traffic stops. Reviewing these training materials is mandatory for anyone hoping to receive a diploma from a Texas high school. The bill's author, Texas state senator Royce West, says the curriculum's purpose is to end "distrust for law enforcement." Read the rest

UPDATED: The US Patent and Trademark Office is ready to hand over an exclusive trademark for "Dragon Slayer" for fantasy novels

Update: The USPTO has withdrawn this from publication for "further review."

Michael-Scott Earle, a self-publisher of "pulp harem fantasies" is seeking a trademark on the use of "Dragon Slayer" in connection with fantasy novels. Read the rest

EFF to Texas AG: Epson is screwing Texans

You remember when HP tricked its users into downgrading their printers by sending them a fake "security update" that actually made the printers refuse third-party and refilled ink cartridges? Read the rest

Profiles of the three worst Republican lawmakers running for re-election in Texas

Susan Schorn writes, "The Political Action Committee 'Cowboys for Liberty' has released some funny, horrifying videos about the three worst GOP office-holders up for re-election at the state level in Texas: Sid Miller, Ken Paxton, and Dan Patrick (the rodeo clown, indicted fraudster, and former talk show host, respectively)." Read the rest

Willie Nelson debuts song at Beto rally: 'Vote'em Out'

The legendary Willie Nelson supported Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke Saturday night by playing at his rally. In a song, Nelson urged rally-goers to "Vote'em Out."

"If you don't like who's in there, vote 'em out

That's what Election Day's all about,

The biggest gun we got is called the ballot box

It sure is! Texas readers, are you registered to vote?

Previously: After the debate, Beto O'Rourke air drummed to The Who at a Whataburger drive-thru Read the rest

After the debate, Beto O'Rourke air drummed to The Who at a Whataburger drive-thru

On Friday night, after the first Texas Senate debate where he faced Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke went to a Dallas Whataburger and air-drummed to The Who's "Baba O’Riley" while waiting to get to the drive-thru window, commenting, "This is the best song ever." This clip is just part of a 45-minute long live-streamed video he shared on Facebook Live.

Thanks, Julie!

(Aaron M. Morales) Read the rest

Rice University eliminates tuition for all but wealthiest students, makes housing free for poorest

From its founding in 1912 until 1965, Houston's Rice University was free to attend; but today, Rice has joined other US universities in saddling its students with ghastly, inescapable mountains of debt, with annual attendance costing $61,350, $40,000 of which is tuition. Read the rest

Nightmare park attendant blocks driver, then falsely tells 911 she's being run over

Chris Hampshire of Georgetown, TX was driving through Cedar Breaks Park near Lake Georgetown when he took a wrong turn. He backed up and turned towards the exit when a park attendant stopped him. And that's when all hell broke loose.

Hampshire describes what happened:

The situation was me leaving a lake with my Jetski. Accidentally steered down the wrong exit while leaving, this parks and rec worker happened to be outside. She saw me correct myself and I was about to leave the main exit point. At that point she started telling me she was calling the cops and I wasn’t allowed to leave. I said no ma’am you’re mistaken, you can’t hold me here. She jumped in front of my car then this is when I pulled out my phone... shortly after the video ended she stepped out of the way to talk to the park rangers and I voiced that I was leaving being that this was unlawful from the beginning and I didn’t do anything illegal.

About a mile down the road I see 15 officers with sirens and lights speed pass me (they legitimately thought someone was being run over) quickly a few officers turned around, pulled me over and talk to me about what happened. Thankfully they were very calm and shortly after showing the video I was let go....

The park attendant was identified as Judine Reed. She no longer works for the park, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read the rest

Texas board of education tries to erase Hillary Clinton from history

The State Board of Education in Texas has proposed some rather interesting cuts to the their social studies curriculum. Read the rest

Dallas cop charged with manslaughter after killing neighbor in his apartment

Dallas cop Amber Guyger, 30, was charged this weekend with manslaughter after killing her neighbor Botham Shem Jean, supposedly under the belief that he was an intruder in her apartment. She was in fact intruding into his apartment after returning home from work. Authorities' refusal to arrest Guyger in the days after the slaying led to an outcry, and they were only forced to act after the story made national headlines.

Lawyers for Jean's family had been calling for Guyger's arrest, saying the fact that she had remained free days after the shooting showed she was receiving favorable treatment.

''Police say Guyger, a four-year veteran of the force, told investigators she was returning home from her shift Thursday night and accidentally entered Jean's apartment. Guyger believed Jean was an intruder and shot him, police said. Police have released few other details.

"Right now, there are more questions than answers," Police Chief Renee Hall said. "We understand the concerns of the community. That is why we are working as vigorously and meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of the case and the department is upheld."

Read the rest

Let me tell you about living my life on the road

In passing, I've talked about the fact that my wife and I are full-time nomads. Lemme expand on that.

A few years back, we bought a 21-year-old RV with the intention of living in it while my wife completed her degree in Vancouver, Canada. Typically, winters in Vancouver are mild by comparison to the rest of the country. The climate is similar to what you see in Seattle. Not so while we were there. It dropped to below freezing for weeks at a time. Snow, a largely unknown commodity in British Columbia's lower mainland, hung around for months. We were cold. We blew through hundreds of dollars worth of propane trying to stay warm.

We were poor.

Shortly before we were to make the drive over the mountains, I was informed that, after five years of service to a site that I had built, my services were no longer needed. It shattered me emotionally and financially. I was sent scrambling to find enough work, piecemeal, to make end's meet. There was cash coming in barely enough to keep afloat. Staying in a campground in the lower mainland costs around $800 per month. We couldn't foot the bill. We made do. Weekly, we would sneak into a local university sports complex for a shower. On one occasion, we had to decide between buying food or propane for heat. We chose food. This ended up costing us $1200, money that could have kept us going for months, to replace our hot water tank as it iced up and cracked in the cold. Read the rest

A cowboy in New Jersey built a ridable e-horse for himself

“What do you do with an old Texas rodeo cowboy when he marries a Jersey girl, he’s up in Jersey, and he has no place to keep a horse in Cranford? You make a mechanical horse!”

Steve Bacque, aka the Crazy Cranford Cowboy, is that Texan and he did indeed make himself an electric horse. Four golf cart batteries power his not-street-legal e-horse, which he calls "Charger."

According to NJ.com,

Charger can do up to 40 miles per hour (though he has a governor to rein him in to about 15 miles per hour) and can handle up to 600 pounds. Charger even has a wheelie bar in the back, which is “not just for show,” Bacque warns. Yes, this motorized horse can pop a (small) wheelie.

Charger turns left and right with the reins and even brakes when you pull back on them. A key turns him on, and a gas pedal sets him in motion.

Bacque first caught attention in town when he rode up on Charger to his bank's drive-thru window:

When Mindy Weiss Affronti pulled up to the bank drive-thru two weeks ago and saw a man atop a robotic horse at the teller window, she did a double take.

Then she took his picture.

The friendly cowboy smiled, happy to oblige, before riding off. Left in the stupor of what she had seen, Affronti did what any other rational person would do: She posted the photo on social media...

After Affronti shared her photo and a video in a neighborhood Facebook group, there were others.

Read the rest

Trump's government denying passports to some Americans born near U.S.-Mexico border: WaPo

They served in the Army, Border Patrol and as police. They have legitimate U.S. birth certificates. But Trump's government is denying their passport applications and telling them they aren't U.S. citizens. Read the rest

Who is this mysterious shackled woman ringing doorbells in Texas?

(UPDATE HERE)

Police in Montgomery County, Texas are searching for this mysterious woman who was apparently ringing multiple doorbells in the middle of the night at a subdivision over the weekend. Read the rest

Injured combat veteran runs against Texas tea party congressman who wouldn't meet with her

MJ Hegar is an Air Force veteran whose helicopter was shot down in combat. In this video, she talks about how she fought and won against Pentagon efforts to keep her and other women from ground combat positions in the military. Now she's running as a Democrat against the tea party Republican Congressman who refused to meet with her about her fight because she wasn't a campaign donor. Read the rest

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