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100 Reasons Texas Is Twice As Awesome As Any Other State

Do any of these still apply?
The Top 100 Reasons Texas Is Twice as Awesome as Your State:
2. World class birding. Even in the middle of Dallas at White Rock Lake.
3. Tex-Mex
4. El Capitan
5. South Padre Island (best sand castle sand in the world)
6. Molly Ivins
7. Ann Richards
8. Taco Cabana
9. Sons of Hermann Hall
10. Barton Springs, Balmorhea, Krause Springs and all the rest
11. When Katrina refugees needed places to stay, we took them in.
Nolan Ryan.jpg
12. Nolan Ryan 
13. Willie Nelson
14. Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Lyle Lovett and Townes Van Zandt
15. The most popular poker game in the world isn't called New York Hold 'Em, is it?
16. The Frio River
17. The Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater
18. Bottle RocketReality Bites and Robocop were filmed here.
19. Also, GiantLogan's RunFandango and No Country for Old Men.
20. The Last Picture ShowBonnie and ClydeLonesome Dove and Dazed and Confused, too.
Thumbnail image for its-real-chuck-norris-becomes-texas-ranger.5709035.87.jpg
Patrick Michels
21. Walker, Texas Fucking Ranger OR Chuck Norris
22. Texas high school football is Friday Night Lights.
23.In some Texas towns, you can hear native Texans speaking Spanish, German and Polish. 
24. Oh, and Czech, too
25. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders
26. Our school kids take a full year of Texas History. Can they name all other 49 states? Not sure but they sure as hell wouldn't bother to rank them below us in a list.
27. Chili. Real chili, with no beans and not made with chicken or other yankee bullshit.
28. That "The stars at night are big and bright..." scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure? That shit really works in real life. And not ironically. We've seen it many times. 
29. Aggie jokes/tests. [Updated. Applause for commenter Missy!]
30. SMU Physics Dept.'s Dark Matter Research (apparently leading the field)
31. Top Tier Universities: Rice (17) and the University of Texas at Austin (45)
32. You've heard of "Texas Music," right?
33. Kris Kristofferson, the guy who wrote every song you've ever heard (pop and country)
34. Waylon Jennings, not from Texas but got here quick (Luckenbach, anybody?)[Corrected. Editor's note: Dude, we know, but apparently some of the contributors to this list haven't yet gotten their honky tonk degrees.]
35. Tommy Lee Jones
36. Can we count Bill Moyers? Born in Hugo, OK but went to UT Austin and was press sec for LBJ. 
37. That Larry McMurtry guy with all those badass books he wrote about us.
38. Lon Tinkle, writer, literary critic and Dallas Morning News journalist who now (posthumously) pays for a lot of kids to go to school (Lon Tinkle Award at SMU, for instance)
39.The Texas Freedom Network - watchdog against radical religious conservatism
40. Dallas Mavericks! 
41. Dirk Nowitzki!
42. Mark Cuban! 
43. Denton proving that you don't have to be a big city to have a phenomenal music scene.
44. You can sing any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." 
45. More mega-churches
46. Dr. Denton Cooley performed first artificial heart transplant
47. Best state shape for cookies
48. Regional theater started here with Margo Jones in the 1940s
49. "Cowboying" is still a profession.
50. The Marfa lights and Janis Joplin still aren't fully understood by outsiders.

51. Everybody knows somebody who has a ranch.
52. Bill Hicks lived and died here.
53. We still have the moon rocks.
54. Betty Buckley was born here and still lives in Fort Worth.
55. SXSW is now cooler than the Sundance Film Festival.
56. Cheap avocados.
57. Great surfing. But we like to keep that to ourselves.
58. You can go to an opera and a rodeo and see the same people in the crowd at both.
59. No state income tax. So far, anyway.
60. We get heat, ice storms, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.
61. Lots of chupacabra sightings.
62. Frozen margaritas were invented here.
63. The State Fair of Texas, which has changed very little in 50 years but is still the biggest, best damn state fair in the land.
64. Farrah Fawcett splashed in the NorthPark fountain and was born and raised in Corpus Christi.
65. Currently the leader in most reality shows filmed about one city/state.
66. Did we mention our State used to be a nation? Our state used to be a nation.
67. More songs written about/involving Texas than rest
68. "Everything is bigger in Texas" -- We have the most "legendary" perception from others, national and internationally.
69. More than 10 distinct ecological regions (Coastal Plains, Delta Valley, Deserts, Mountains, Hill Country, etc.)
70. UT Austin owns all the Woodward and Bernstein files from Watergate.
71. First state to successfully prosecute those nutty FLDS pedophiles.
72. Dinosaur tracks in Glen Rose
73. Texas toast.
74. Real iced tea from teabags, not that California mango crap.
75. Gruene Hall, which has a unique history all its own
76. Tubing down the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers
77. The Alamo, y'all; it's especially beautiful lit up at night
78. Joe Ely
79. UT Austin has Norman Mailer's papers, and also LBJ's
80. Fiesta in San Antonio (it's a citywide party)
81. Wes Anderson was born here
82. The sky! And the best thunderstorms you've ever seen.
83. Larry McMurtry's Booked Up shops in Archer City
84. The Harry Ransom Center
85. Chicken fried steak
86. A state shape that makes for excellent souvenirs, aside from the aforementioned cookies
87. The Texas Rangers are nice boys.
88. Buddy Holly
89. And therefore, the very excellent Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock
90. Big Bend National Park
91. Austin City Limits (the show, not the fest)
92. East Texas Bigfoot
93. John Graves
94. Shiner and Rahr
95. Enchanted Rock
96. Barbecue
97. Dead Armadillos Drinking Lone Star, and related folk art/crafts
98. Roy Orbison
99. Roky Erickson
100. George Jones

Fort Worth - The 817 is Worth All the Hype

At one time, Fort Worth had the nickname of "Panther City" due to a story dating back to 1875.  It was rumored that the town had become such a drowsy place, that a panther (mountain lion) had been spotted sleeping on the steps of the courthouse.  In 1876 when the economy boomed due to the Texas and Pacific Railway coming to town, the city embraced the nickname of Panther City.

Things have changed since those days back in 1876.  Fort Worth has recently been named the #1 best downtown in the country to live in by  Fort Worth or as I grew up calling it, "Funky Town" has the true sense of culture that many Texas towns lack.  It has a very artistic side that can be found in the Kimble Art Museum.  It has one of the top Zoos in the state and a fantastic western culture in the Stock Yards.  The people of Fort Worth are friendly and posses a true "good 'ole boy spirit.

Here is a list of just a few things that make Fort Worth great:
  • Bass Performance Hall
  • Stockyard
  • Kimbell Art Museum
  • Fort Worth Zoo
  • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
  • Omni Theatre
  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art
  • Billy Bob's Texas
  • Cowtown Coliseum
  • Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
  • Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
  • Casa Manana
  • Colonial Country Club
  • Sundance Square
  • And More...
Check out these two videos:

Married entrepreneurs behind Dallas-based Hari Mari flip-flops make a perfect pair

Published: 28 June 2014 06:13 PM
Brad Loper/Staff Photographer
Business partners often joke that they’re married to one another.
What happens when you actually are married to your business partner?
Consider husband and wife Jeremy and Lila Stewart, who launched flip-flop brand Hari Mari in Dallas two years ago.
They knew that combining home life and work life can be fraught with landmines. But just as there are horror stories, there are also successful couples who have built household brands together.
Through some missteps, the Stewarts learned to navigate the challenges of working as husband-and-wife entrepreneurs and find balance between their personal and professional lives.
“You have to work on it, and it’s a continual process,” said Jeremy, 35. “We’re at a really good stage right now.”
Along the way, they’ve nurtured Hari Mari into a premium flip-flop brand that is carried in 270 stores across 39 states. Hari Mari recently celebrated a milestone: It got picked up by national brands Jack Spade and Urban Outfitters. And sales are growing rapidly: Hari Mari sold more flip-flops in the first three months of 2014 than it had for all of last year.
“It’s been an absolute blast working with my husband. I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else,” said Lila, 33.
The transition from husband and wife to business partners wasn’t always easy, though, the couple say.
The simple part was knowing that they would work together to launch Hari Mari after the couple saw a void in the flip-flop market: a lack of color, character and comfort.
The brand also has a social mission, giving $3 for every pair purchased to a pediatrics cancer fund at Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth.
“Jeremy is the genius behind Hari Mari. I jumped on board the second I saw the flip-flops. He didn’t have a decision. I told him I would handle sales,” said Lila, who previously worked as a sales executive for AEG Live.
Lila handles sales and marketing while Jeremy oversees design and manufacturing. The couple says their complementary skills help run the company’s day-to-day operations.
In the early days, though, the couple struggled with resolving office conflicts. They first tried to handle business disagreements like they did personal ones. That meant having unfiltered, unvarnished conversations, which don’t always translate well in a professional setting, the couple acknowledged.
“We were talking in the office like we would talk to each other at home,” Jeremy said. “And it’s surprising and off-putting to everyone else, outside of us.”
Through those early disagreements, they learned not to give unsolicited advice. They also work hard to defer to the other’s expertise or focus.
Recently, the team was choosing color combinations for the brand’s 2015 line. As the creative one, Jeremy wanted wild and bright colors, such as a black and pink combination for men.
Lila leaned more conservative because she has to sell the line to customers.
“I tried to nix it, and he strongly disagreed,” Lila said.
In the end, the two agreed that Lila would make decisions for women’s colors and Jeremy for men’s colors.
It also helps the business to have a third partner, John Veatch, who provides an independent opinion and at times acts as a mediator.
Veatch said he uses humor to defuse tension between Jeremy and Lila.
“It’s a tough position that they’re in, and I’ve definitely noticed a marked improvement in the way they maintain the professionalism and not blur the line,” said Veatch, who handles advertising, marketing and other creative decisions.
The line between professional and personal issues is clear. While it took time, the couple has made a concerted effort not to let personal squabbles affect their work life.
“There are times where we go back home and it resumes, but again, it’s beneficial to everyone and to ourselves to not bring the extra baggage to the office,” Jeremy said.
The challenges of working with a spouse have been minimal compared with the upside of bringing up their professional “baby” together. The experience also has been good for the marriage, the couple say.
“You see your spouse in a totally different light, and it’s attractive,” Lila said recently from their new Deep Ellum headquarters.
Jeremy added: “I think so, too.”
Follow Hanah Cho on Twitter at @hanahcho.
Lila and Jeremy Stewart’s tips on working together:
Keep communications professional: Maintain business-related talks and emails, preserving a consistent style of communication across all work relationships.
Help each other: Divide the labor and be understanding about the amount of work the other is doing and help out when you can.
Strike a balance: It may vary from couple to couple. For some, it may mean working at home or discussing work at home in moderation. For us, rigid rules haven’t worked. Instead, we’ve adopted a flexible approach to work at home on an “as-needed” basis. Find what works for you.
Remember to compliment: Not unlike marriage, it’s important to let your co-workers know when they’re doing a great job. It’s no different when that co-worker is a spouse.
Celebrate successes: It’s important to balance the daily grind with wins and successes when they arise. It serves as a good reminder of what you’re working together toward.
Leave personal problems at home: Doing otherwise is a productivity killer. There’s plenty of time to settle those differences later at home.

Thrilla in Brazilla - Peticolas Brewing

Thrilla in Brazilla
In sports, it's World Cup time again as Brazil plays host to the 2014 soccer championship this summer. Media everywhere are attempting to be current and topical as they tie content to this event, the athletic competition or to thehost nation in general. Unfortunately, for craft beer this usually means some stale coverage of Brazil's Xingu dark lager, a decent but unremarkable import now found almost anywhere in Texas.
However, Peticolas Brewing has saved us from this fate by brewing a new beer specifically for the World Cup, the Thrilla in Brazilla. It was officially released on the first day of the contest for the Brazil vs. Croatia game, and early access was heavily tied to pubs showing and celebrating the opening match. This should surprise nobody as Michael Peticolas personally oozes soccer fandom from his pores.
The Thrilla in Brazilla is a light blonde/gold American-styleIPA with a thin head but good lacing down the glass. The aroma provides some preview of the taste with dry, floral hops, and the flavor follows suit with light blonde malt and more earthy, grassy hops on top of the more familiar citrus. As usual for Peticolas, the not unpleasant bitterness is very well-balanced with a tiny malt sweetness and a more dry, lingering floral finish.
At a more traditional 7.5% ABV and 75 IBUs, Thrilla is a much more approachable and sessionable beer than his potent Sit Down or I'll Sit You Down. This is the IPA Peticolas should be making year-round, not just to round out his standard portfolio of beers but because it would fit well into the developing landscape of Dallas IPAs. Thrilla contrasts well with Deep Ellum's full, robust IPA and Community's fruity, citrusy Mosaic, showcasing the more bitter and dry side of the hops spectrum.
With its bitter balance, Thrilla would pair well with heavy foods like steaks, burgers or anything from the grill to cut through those rich flavors. It's almost light enough to be called a summer beer, and should be enjoyed long past World Cup season.

Eight / 11 Place: Come Visit Downtown Frisco

Nestled in the cozy town square of Frisco, Texas is a quaint little wine bar named Eight / 11 Place owned and operated by Lance and Ursula Clayton. From the handmade mason jar lights to the rustic cocktail tables; Eight / 11 brims over with an intimate quality sure to be perfect for a girls night out or a date night with that someone special. The name of the establishment has a special significance to both owners who have significant family connections to the numbers eight and eleven. With a variety of wine and beer choices and some scrumptious munchies to pair with them, this place definitely needs to be on your "to try" list as the summer quickly approaches. Eight / 11 Place 7080 W. Main St. Frisco Texas 75034 469.888.4037 Hours: Tues-Sat 4:00-10:00 PM Sun 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Closed Mondays

Teacher Appreciation Week - Texas Educators

As educators ourselves, we understand how hard teachers work on a daily basis. This week is teacher appreciation week and what better way to feel appreciated than by receiving a great deal at your favorite restaurant, store, etc.  Below, you will find deals offered to teachers by local establishments.  These are only a few of the many offers out there, so it never hurts to ask if one of your favorite places is doing something but not publishing it.  Also, each deal may vary based on the location.

If you are a parent, do not forget to recognize your child's teacher this week.

The Deals:

AC Moore – Teachers receive 15% off your entire purchase

Adobe Education Store
Save up to 80% on Adobe products if you are a student or for personal use by teachers, administrators, and school staff on their personally owned computers.

Read More: 
Teacher Appreciation Week FREEBIES and Deals! |

Ann Taylor Loft – Enroll in the free Loft Loves Teachers program and save 15% off full-price purchases.

Apple - Apple offers special pricing on Apple products including computers, software and select third party products. This special pricing is available to college students, parents buying for a college student, or teachers, homeschool teachers, administrators and staff of all grade levels.

On Tuesday May 4, 2010 select Applebees locations are giving teachers a free entree.
The locations appear to be in Kentucky, Ohio and Arizona.  For more information, check out this PDF: Applebees Teacher Appreciation
Must show check stub or school id.

Barnes & Noble – Save 20% off the publisher’s list price on all purchases for classroom use when you join the free B&N Educator Program.

Buca di Beppo: Get a FREE Buca Taster Bowl of Ravioli or Baked Ziti from May 6-10 with a valid school ID card. This deal is valid for dine-in only.

The Container Store – Offers special discounts to educators to help organize the classroom. This program ends December 31, 2014.

Chick-fil-A – Select locations offer a freebie on May 7th to teachers who present a valid teacher ID. Free offer may vary by location.

Chipotle - Show your school faculty ID on May 6th at any Chipotle from 4pm – close and they will hook you up with a buy one/get one burritos, bowls, salads or tacos! (call ahead and make sure your store is participating)

Crayola – Artful lessons, classroom resources and the latest information regarding special programs and offers.

FedEx Office – Offers teachers, professors, faculty and staff members 15% off on most products and services at participating FedEx Office nationwide. To receive your discount, simply present your discount card when making a purchase in-store or at and the discount will automatically be applied.

Some IKEA locations are giving teachers a free meal all week (up to $7.99) in their 2nd floor restaurant.  Also, on May 4, Teacher Appreciation Day, they are giving teachers a free $10 IKEA gift card.

Call your local Ikea to see if offer is valid at your location

One free meal and one free gift card per teacher (must provide id).

Joanne Fabric - Sign up for a free Jo-Anne Teacher Rewards Discount Card and receive 15% off all purchases.

Lakeshore Learning - Join the free Teacher’s Club and save 15% off purchases everyday and receive special offers every month!

All teachers receive 15% off their in-store purchase with valid school ID.  Some exclusions apply – please see store associate for details.

Read More: 
Teacher Appreciation Week FREEBIES and Deals! |

New York & Co - Teachers who show a valid ID can receive 30% off May 1-7 to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Plus sign up for the Teacher Program and you’ll receive a 15% discount all year long.

PDQ Restaurant – Free combo on 5/6.  Valid for 3 piece tenders, sandwhich or salad combo with teacher ID.

Staples - It pays to be a Teacher Rewards member. When you sign up, you’ll earn 5% back in rewards, and an extra 5% back in rewards on teaching and art supplies. Plus, get free shipping on every® order.

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