Russia Invades Ukraine

Vlad the (Impudent) Impaler
Vlad the (Impudent) Impaler

Have you seen this guy? Of course you have. It’s ol’ Vlad. The Putinator. The Russian President for Life. Well, about 10 days ago he went off his meds and attacked – excuse me, launched a ‘special military operation’ – in the sovereign nation of Ukraine with soldiers, tanks, bombs, missiles, etc.

In the past 10 days over 1 million people have crossed the border to neighboring Poland, Romania, Moldova and Hungary. Estimates range from 136 to 2,000 Ukrainians have been killed so far.

Some of the Ukrainians fought back with what else – the quintessential weapon of choice – Molotov cocktails made by an Ukrainian brewery.

The 2022 Primary Election in Texas

It’s midterm election season once again, and somethings have changed: the Texas Legislature redrew district maps. I was in US Congressional District 17, now District 10. My State House District stayed 14. My State Senate District stayed 5. I was State Board of Education District 8, now District 10.

The Primary Election this year is March 1 (early voting starts February 14), and the General Election will be November 8 (early voting starts October 24). As usual, the Texas Tribune has a useful primary election guide.

U.S. Senate

Ted Cruz (R) – Next election 2024

John Cornyn (R) – Next election 2026

U.S. House of Representatives (District 10)

Michael McCaul (R-Incumbent)

Linda Nuno (D)

Governor

Greg Abbott (R-Incumbent)
Paul Belew (R)
Danny Harrison (R)
Kandy Kaye Horn (R)
Don Huffines (R)
Rick Perry (R) (Not the former Governor)
Chad Prather (R)
Allen West (R)

Inocencio “Inno” Barrientez (D)
Michael Cooper (D)
Joy Diaz (D)
Beto O’Rourke (D)
Rich Wakeland (D)

Lieutenant Governor

Trayce Bradford (R)
Todd M. Bullis (R)
Daniel Miller (R)
Dan Patrick (R-Incumbent)
Aaron Sorrells (R)
Zach Vance (R)

Michelle Beckley (D)
Carla Brailey (D)
Mike Collier (D)

Attorney General

George P. Bush (R)
Louie Gohmert (R)
Eva Guzman (R)
Ken Paxton (R-Incumbent)

Mike Fields (D)
Rochelle Garza (D)
Joe Jaworski (D)
Lee Merritt (D)
S. “T-Bone” Raynor (D)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Charles Schwertner (R-Incumbent)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

John Raney (R-Incumbent)
John Harvey Slocum (R)

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Texas to allow carrying guns without a license or background check

So this is a thing now…

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is poised to remove one of its last major gun restrictions after lawmakers approved allowing people to carry handguns without a license, and the background check and training that go with it.

Source: ABCNews.com

I got a License To Carry a few years ago, and I passed background checks for every gun I purchased. I’m with the LEO on this one – I object! I think all gun sales (private too) should require a background check. And people that carry should have a License To Carry (LTC) license.

UPDATE:

Governor Abbott signed House Bill 1927 into law on June 16, 2021, and it takes effect September 1, 2021. (Source: Texas Tribune, Texans can carry handguns without a license or training starting Sept. 1, after Gov. Greg Abbott signs permitless carry bill into law)

Memorial Day Ribs 2021

This year I sound like a broken record. I made ribs for Memorial Day weekend – using my tried and true recipe. The world is still in a corona virus pandemic, and more Americans are resisting getting vaccinated. This year I finished the ribs in the oven with bbq sauce; I don’t think I’ve lit the grill in 9 months.

Ingredients

Meat
2 slabs (~6 lbs) of baby back ribs

Rub (a little different than last year)
4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder

Directions

It was really easy this year since I didn’t light the grill. Heat oven to 250 F. (My oven runs cool so I sometimes turn it up to 275 F.) Start by taking off the membrane that covers the bones. Then sprinkle top and bottom of the ribs with your favorite rub seasoning. Place ribs bones down, uncovered, on a foil covered roasting pan, and bake for 2 hours.

Next take the ribs out, cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, and place back on the pan and bake them another 2 hours.

Finally, take the ribs out, uncover them, paint them with your favorite barbeque sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes or so. Check for doneness. If they aren’t tender enough you could try covering them again and baking another 30 minutes.

This year we served the ribs with corn on the cob and Barbie’s (famous) potato salad. It was delicious!

The 2021 Hurricane Season

This year CSU again predicted an above-average season with 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. If last year was any indication we should expect a wild season that starts early and ends late.

From the National Hurricane Center, the 2021 Atlantic tropical cyclone names are: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

This year, instead of the Greek alphabet, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a list of normal names to use as the supplemental list of tropical cyclone names: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, and Will.

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With manned Mars missions on the horizon, nuclear-powered rockets are finally getting reconsidered

I was a sophomore in high school when someone asked me, “what do you want to do when you graduate college?” To which I promptly replied, “make nuclear rockets.”

Nuclear-Powered Rockets Could Be The Best Option For Bringing Humans To Mars

Source: NPR

Finally, nuclear-powered rockets for space travel are getting some recognition.

Worst Week of Winter Weather. Ever.

I’ve lived in this area for 25 years, and I’ve watched the weather change over that time, but I have never seen weather like this, last this long. For a solid 7 days temperatures have not gotten above 40 F. (Thursday 2/11 high was 37 F.) We had rolling power outages on Sunday (2/14) and Monday. We got every kind of precipitation – rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow. The lowest temperature was 5 F Tuesday morning.

Fortunately for us, we were prepared. We saw the signs and listened to the forecast, and we ordered grocery pickup on Saturday (2/13) before the food ran out and the bad weather hit. By Monday, HEB was the only place open.

I camped-out in my living room Sunday – Thursday, tending dripping faucets, watching tree limbs sag, turning on heaters when the power came back on. Texas A&M cancelled classes and work for non-essential employees Monday – Thursday. “Warm up shelters” (that’s new) were setup Tuesday – Thursday at local arenas.