Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pelted with Mist

It is 9:07 a.m. I am in Austin at my office working (and blogging in between tasks until my 10:00 a.m. meeting). I got here at the usual time this morning. No one else is in downtown Austin one. The streets are empty, the capital is quiet...our phones are barely ringing. Our Fort Worth office is closed and my boss is in Phoenix for a conference. So that leaves me...the only employee at work today.

For the past two days, the local media has been buzzing about this "ice storm" scheduled to hit last night and cause mad chaos during the morning commute. (As I am writing this, I look out my office window and see only sunshine...oh and a bus...maybe Austin is coming to work today) I left my house at 8:00 a.m., which is 45 minutes later than I would normally leave. I figured since the storm was going to be so bad, I might as well wait until the school traffic was over and done with and get those buses off the road. Oh, but wait, school was delayed two hours this morning. So, I left at 8:00 a.m. for no reason.

The high for today is 58. Yesterday in White Deer, the high was 9. My point is...there was no ice storm in Austin last night. Or if there were...there was no evidence of it this morning.

I was raised in the Texas Panhandle, where it gets bitter bitter cold. When I graduated, I moved to Lubbock where it is equally as cold and super windy. After college, I moved to Washington, D.C....where it snows and snows during the winter. Austin feels almost tropical to me. We have had 80 degree weather this January, and haven't seen a bit of snow since we moved here. So I was a little thrown back when all the "ice storm" talk started yesterday. So much, that I even pulled out my ski jacket and wore it to work today.

Last night, KVUE news alloted 1/3 of their entire news cast to the upcoming "storm". 1/3...that is 8 minutes (once you figure in commercials)! Governor Perry gave the State of the State yesterday and it only got 40 seconds on the local news. The sweet reporter covering the story said she was being "pelted by mist." What does that mean? I wonder if the mist hurt as it pelted down. Seriously...mist?

There could have been a storm and I just slept through it. Or maybe all the county salt and sand trucks are just that good. I don't want to discredit them at all because I know they were up all night conditioning the roads for the "ice."

Meredith didn't go to work until 11:00 a.m. They were afraid the "ice" would be too bad, and didn't want employees to be out in the early morning during the eye of the "ice storm."

I just don't get it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A man of class...and I am not talking Obama.

It is nearing the end of a busy day in my world. January 20th was not only Inauguration Day, but it was also the day I drove to San Antonio for a lunch meeting, sent PAC letters, talked to a handful of reporters, scheduled interviews and briefed myself on EPA Advanced Notice of Proposal to make CO2 a greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act, and basically try to tax ranchers on cow farts (they do not have the authority to do that by the way...and I don't believe it will actually happen).

If I was in Washington D.C., today would have been about one thing. Obama. And as much as I didn't vote for him, I would have embraced the fact that America has a shiny new President and watched 24 hours of coverage on "America's News Station" (Fox of course). Instead, I chose to move to the real world where the only piece of the inauguration I heard was in the background of a conference call this morning and on the radio during the drive to San Antonio. Ladies and Gentlemen...there is life outside of Washington, and Carmen Fenton has officially landed there.

So, after all the craziness of the day, I am sitting at my computer (pirating my neighbors connection...thinking to myself I should really stop doing that), and jotting down my thoughts on the broken pieces of the monumental moment in American history that i witnessed and heard today.

Here we go...

First off, I am a Republican. I did not vote for Obama, and did not and have not jumped on the Obama bandwagon. So if you are reading this and are already should probably read no further.

I do not hide the fact that I am a conservative, but I do not shout it from the mountain tops either. I, unlike many of my friends, am not a radical. I would never picket, throw punches at a press conference (believe me...I have seen it), or interrupt an elected official with shouts of complete hate.

I strongly believe that one's personal convictions about politics stem from their overall view of government and what role it should play in their lives. I also strongly believe that those views should be expressed politely and convincingly when appropriate.

As I said before, I was not an Obama supporter, but I will support and pray for him as the President of the United States. No doubt, today was his day. He has broken the glass ceiling for so many in our country. His presidency will always be full of historical and inspirational value, and no one, no matter how many bad decisions he makes, will ever take that away from him. But while I commend Mr. Obama on his success, this day I could only focus on him and his family for a moment. My real focus was on Bush.

I love George W. Bush, and like many Texans, I am proud of him and respect him for what he has accomplished. America voted him as President two times. We chose him. And I think he did a pretty good job. I didn't always agree with him, but I didn't publicly boo, criticize and ridicule him either. I tell you what...any man, who has endeared the public hate that Bush has endeared deserves all the respect in the world.

I don't feel sorry for Bush because they booed him at today's inauguration, or because Obama chose to "eat dinner" rather than pay him the respect of attending his goodbye speech. Just the opposite...I admire Bush. Through everything, the snubs, the disrespects, he has never been caddy. Not once. Because he knows that his purpose was greater than himself, that he was called on by God to serve his country, that he made decisions no other man could have made. He is a man of God called on by God. He knows that.

And while all the Obama lovers were hating him, Bush made sure that Obama's transition to the White House was seamless, that it was as easy on his family as possible, that it was respectable to the position. Very much unlike the transition the Clinton administration put together for Bush.

If I were Bush, I would have boarded Marine One, looked down on the radical Obama worshippers and the press pool and given them the big middle finger. But not President Bush. He exited Washington D.C. with the morals and values that he went their with...despite the backhanded comments. Bush was never an elitist. He is a typical Texan.

I sincerely hope that Obama is an amazing president. I hope he lives up to the hype that he created. I hope that our country will continue to rally behind him.

I also hope that we teach our children the meaning of true love, pride in our country and respect for our president. You see all the celebrities, the radicals, the Republican haters out there who truly think they are spreading peace, love, and harmony throughout the country by publicly hating Bush and worshipping Obama are wrong. True love, pride and respect breaks all barriers of political parties. It comes together and supports the leaders God chose for our country...something the citizens of this country have not done in a very long time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh Yeah...the Book Contest

So for all my faithful readers out there, you may recall a certain challenge Jason and I had based on a certain assumption he made about my choice of reading material. I hadn't forgot about it. I just didn't want to rub it in.

Like most of you predicted, I won the contest pretty handily. And I didn't just do it because I read more or am more dedicated. No, I won because I had a good strategy. See, husband thought he could outsmart wife by reading one ginormous book and wiping out her pretty substantial lead. Husband didn't think about the fact that the book was borrowed or the fact that he was moving 1600 miles away.

My strategy was simple. I knew it was probable that husband would finish the book before the December 31st deadline (he is afterall a genious), but it was pretty much impossible that husband would finish the book before moving day. So what did I do? I gave it back to the owner the night before we moved. Done and done. Not only did I keep my husband from being one of those guys who borrow your books, Cd's, and movies (Neal...I still have your Hotel Rwanda) and never ever return them, but I also chalked up a nice victory and proved that just because you read a few nonsense books here and there, doesn't mean you don't appreciate the occasional educational read.

Fenton Victory Talley

Wife 1

Husband 0

Bring on the next challenge! (as long as it doesn't involve running)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So which one is better...

Every month I get a copy of Texas Montly. It is a magazine, written mostly by crazy hippy Austinites. Although it mostly disagrees with my political views, it is a great magazine with really great writers and great articles about Texas. They do lot's of top 50. Top 50 hiking trails, best places in state to travel, and my fav. top 50 bbq places in Texas. We received this issue of Texas Monthly prior to moving to Austin, and we were excited to see that just outside of Kyle in another small town lies three of the top 20. Blacks, Kreutz and Smitty's. Not too long after we saw this article, we were watching a bbq special on th travel channel. It blew my mind that all three were in the top 10 places to eat bbq in the entire country.

Clearly we must find out for ourselves if they are as good as the media says they are. So today we took our first trip to Lockhart, 23 miles east of Kyle, to begin our journey of finding the best of the best. On the agenda are the top 3, plus an additional place my boss just raves about called Chisum Trail.

Since we have no allegience, we will go down the list alphabetically.

First was Black's.

Black's is famous for their brisket, and is the oldest family owned bbq joint in Texas. Jason, myself and Josh (Jason's little brother who is visiting and will pose as our guest judge) decided we would rate each joint on a scale from 1-5 stars (kinda like star search) in five different categories. Meat 1, Meat 2, Sides, Sauce and Atmosphere.

The brisket at Black's is AMAZING...definitetly five star status. However, Meat 2 (sausage) had a really strange consistency. The sides were pretty good, sauce was great and atmosphere was mediocre. All in all, Black's received a 3.82 star rating. Not the best...but not too shabby either. The real question is "Would I take my parents there." The answer is probably...depending on what else was open.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm not obese!!!!!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, for the first time since I graduated, the number that starts my weight is a 1 and not a 2. Who'd have thunk that a little running (or a lot for a half marathon training cycle) would have such an effect. The true test will be when i put on my oldest suit, but that should fit no problem. I just hope I can still wear all my new clothes!!!!

The Husband

I'm Addicted to Television

Now that football season is over (tear), you may wonder what I will be doing with all my free T.V. time. Well fear no more my worried readers...January is the perfect time to feed my T.V. addiction.

Originally, I was going to make giving up most non-educational T.V. my New Year's resolution, but once I saw the previews for everything new and old starting up again in January, I said, "I've changed towns, states, jobs, houses...even my wardrobe has changed. I need to keep something consistent in my life." So this year I will not be giving up any of my sacred television shows (or celebrity blog sites...but that is another story). In fact, I may take up a few new ones.

So here is the list...starting with Monday, my favorite T.V. Day. I really don't think it is too excessive:

Mon: The Bachelor, Gossip Girl, The City (aka...spinoff of favorite, The Hills), Samantha Who, and NEW SHOW: True Beauty

Tues: House, American Idol (starts next week)

Wed: American Idol, The Real World: Brooklyn

Thurs: Survivor (starts Feb. 12), Grey's Anatomy, The Office

Fri: There are no good shows on Friday

Sat: And for that matter Saturday

Sunday: Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Extreme Home Makeover (as long as it isn't a 2 hour special), Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters

Combine Fox News Austin every night at 9...and you have a pretty full schedule. Some may say that my brain will surely rot, especially noting the excessive amount of reality television. But for those nay sayers, it is important to note what shows I don't watch. ie: Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Law & Order, CSI, Fringe, etc. etc.

The key here is DVR, which I now have, so I can record all my shows and spread the T.V. time throughout the week (Friday and Saturday).

So what do you think? If we share a common show, I want to know your thoughts...and if you absolutely think I am missing out on a life-changing one, I could be convinced to add another to the lineup. But if you are a hater of anything MTV...keep it to yourself.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Still Love You Mike Leach!

I can't figure out how to copy the video directly on the post, so you'll have to click here to see the 60 minute's interview with Mike Leach from last night. He is doubt about that...