“It was as if a silent specter in a hooded cloak had tapped my shoulder at darkest midnight. I was in.”
That’s how Jacquielynn Floyd describes being chosen to be one of this year’s judges in the Great American Spam Championship at the State Fair, in this rather entertaining (but paywall’d) column. Apparently, it’s just about impossible to break into the Spam judging game. Here’s how she puts it:
“Years ago, when I half-jokingly mentioned to officials of the fair’s Creative Arts competitions that I wanted to try judging the Spam contest, they behaved as if I had casually suggested that I might like a seat on the Supreme Court. I was advised to recalibrate my goals.”
There are eight spots, and judges from the previous year get first dibs. There hadn’t been an opening in a while. There are several judges who’ve judged Spam for more than 20 years. Floyd only got in because someone else died. She never actually says how she was chosen — especially since she’d only consumed Spam twice in her life. (Maybe the column was part of the deal?) Or what it is about this particular cuisine that creates such loyal judges. Or how these other judges got their gigs. Or how much Spam they eat a year.
There’s so much more I want to know about this salty group.
As Nancy reported earlier on SideDish, that new restaurant at Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park is expected to help support the park’s ongoing operations. So, how much dough will the park pooh-bahs be looking for exactly? According to Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, a pretty good chunk. The park’s annual operating budget will be about $2.5 million to $3 million, Grant says, and “our challenge will be to run the park on a break-even basis.” He hopes the Savor/Relish venture–a partnership between HM Capital Partners chairman John Muse (photo by Billy Surface) and chef John Coleman, formerly with the Ritz-Carlton here–will “cover as much as 20 percent of our budget–that’s total, for food and beverage services in the park, including catering.”
Don’t expect to sit down for a fancy meal there once the park opens next weekend, though. “The restaurant will open after the park does. We anticipate in the June, July timeframe of 2013,” Grant says. “We might be able to get it open sooner than that, but everything has to work perfectly. Building this restaurant on top of the bridge has been very complex, so what we thought was a perfect plan turned out not to be so perfect. The devil’s very much in the details. Even with simple things, like signage, for example. We’ve spent hours and hours just dealing with the signage issues–how to do it tastefully, so that we don’t have so many signs sticking up that it looks like a cemetery, is a challenge!” Grant made the comments in a special issue of D Magazine about Klyde Warren Park that’s due to “drop” next week.
You like that? I’m totally trying to talk like I’m on The Wire. Anyway. Here’s what went down at the Buzzbrews on Fitzhugh:
Mbenga was trying to leave the restaurant just as a pair of Dallas police officers were walking in. The 7-1 center put his palm on the chest of one of the cops and said, “You move out of my way.” The officer stopped and responded, “You don’t touch police, let alone make that statement.” To which Mbenga – in hindsight, perhaps inadvisedly – responded: “You want to go? I do what I want, so you move out of the way!” As the officers escorted Mbenga out of the restaurant, he continued to argue with them. The officers smelled alcohol on his breath and noted his “unsteady balance” and bloodshot eyes. They said he failed three of six field sobriety tests.Â The 31-year-old was handcuffed and taken to the Dallas County jail.
“Main Street in downtown Dallas, Texas with a view of Praetorian Building,” 1916.
Share your ownÂ Ghosts of Dallas.
Trae Thompson does a nice job with this SB Nation profile of Lions quarterback (and former HP standout) Matthew Stafford. Especially impressive is that it runs to 3,700 words, and it doesn’t really suffer from the fact that Thompson didn’t get any access to Stafford.
From the big story on Ross Perot earlier this month in USA Today:
He’s still avoiding one thing: an endorsement in this year’s campaign. Though members of his family have donated almost exclusively to Republicans in recent years, Perot is an equal-opportunity critic, unimpressed with both Obama and Romney when it comes to addressing the nation’s red ink.
“We’re on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. Otherwise, we’re leaving a disaster to our children’s and our grandchildren’s future,” he says in the East Texas twang that spiced up the presidential debates 20 years ago. “Nobody that’s running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.”
From the op-ed Perot wrote today in the Des Moines Register:
Our country faces a momentous choice. The fact is the United States is on an unsustainable course. At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home and our constitutional freedoms.
That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. We can’t afford four more years in which debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows and our military is weakened.
I’ve talked about my Golden Retriever in this space before. Samwise is pretty cool. He’s also super cute. But alas, not eligible for our Survival of the Cutest pet contest. But you should go nominate your pup, cat, ambiguously devious iguana named Quincy, whatever, right now.
It’s Tuesday and time for another talk about Klyde Warren Park. This one is at the Dallas Center for Architecture, and the topic is programming, which you probably already know is a priority for the park’s administrators. There will be activities and music galore. If you’re curious as to the reasoning behind a fully programmed park, you’ll hear fromÂ Mark Banta, president of Klyde Warren Park, Kourtny Garrett from DowntownDallas Inc., and Dr. Dennis Jerke from Texas A&M this evening. KERA’s Jeff Whittington moderates.
Elsewhere in semi-educational events tonight, former White House chef John R. Hanny is chatting about his new book, Secrets from the White House Kitchen, at SMU. He cooked for the Kennedys and the Johnsons, the Nixons and the Clintons. He’ll share recipes and stories, and there’s still space left in the class to attend.
For more to do tonight, go here.
Terrible news today. James Woodard has died. Woodard spent 27 years in prison, convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. When he was exonerated in 2008, he had served more time behind bars than any other Texas exoneree. The thing I’ll never forget about his case: he could have gotten out of prison earlier if he’d just confessed to the crime — but he refused. Curt Sampson spent time with him just a few weeks after he won his freedom and wrote this profile of Woodard for the magazine.
Dapheny Fain Is Unable To Answer With Certainty. John Wiley Price’s executive assistant filed her formal response (paywall) to the government’s complaint accusing her and Price of laundering money and committing bankruptcy fraud. All that money flowing from Price through her business? In some cases, she says those were loans. Mostly, though, her response to the allegations was that she was “unable to answer with certainty.” Go ahead and trot out this phrase in your personal dealings today. See how it works for you.
Boy Scouts Documents Soon To Be Released. You know who’s not looking forward to Thursday? The Boy Scouts of America. That’s when more than 1,000 internal reports about possible child molesters over the years in the organization will be put online.
Police Searching for Missing UTA Prof. On September 30, assistant psychology professor Pablo Mora left his home on Avondale Avenue. His vehicle was later found at Ray Roberts State Park in Pilot Point. Have a look at his picture. If you have information that might help police find Mora, give them a call.