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Question for the Group: What Should We Call Our Podcast?

Looks like Zac and I will attempt a podcast. Without getting too heavy into the details, it’ll be kinda like FrontBurner (actual Dallas-related content mixed with time-wasting foolishness). About six years ago, a fellow named Adam McGill and I attempted something like this. We called it FrontBurner For Your Ears. A woman named Charity Beaver was once a guest. But I digress. We did the thing without buying any equipment, using instead a free service called Blog Talk Radio, which relies on telephones to record sound. The audio quality was not top notch (to say nothing of the content). This time we’ve invested some money. We’ve got microphones. And even a microphone stand.

So I throw it to you, dear content consumer. What should we call this thing? Keep the name FrontBurner For Your Ears? Something snappier? Anything in particular you’re interested in hearing?

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Grapevine Charity GRACE Needs Help After Fire

One day when I was 7 and in elementary school, the apartment building where I lived burned down. The fire was started when the kid who lived upstairs was playing with matches, and it spread fast. We lost just about everything: clothes, furniture, even the dishes in the cabinets. All of my toys and video games were gone, and the few stuffed animals my mom tried to save were singed and smelled like smoke for years. I can still remember seeing my little piggy bank, melted into a strange new shape, with the small amount of money I’d collected sealed inside forever.

There were a lot of groups that helped us, including several churches and some of the teachers at school. But no organization helped more than Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange, better known as GRACE. They helped with food and clothing and furniture and dishes and, the thing that fixed most permanently in my 7-year-old brain: toys. Nothing grand, but when you have nothing, anything is great. And they gave me a new (to me) piggy bank.

I mention all of this because now GRACE needs help. Last week two men started a fire that destroyed the donation center, took out months worth of donations, and caused more than $75,000 in damages. Grapevine Craft Brewery (maker of the controversially delicious Sir William’s English Brown Ale) has already stepped in to help raise funds. (With beer!) But they need more help. There’s an event this Saturday at the GRACE facility in Grapevine, where you can drink beer, eat barbecue, and listen to music, all while helping an organization that has helped a lot of people. You can also donate through this GoFundMe page.

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A Few Words About David Carr

I worked with David at a magazine in Minneapolis in the late 1980s. I was a lowly editorial assistant; he was a staff writer. It was my job to type manuscripts into a fancy new Tandy computer and print them out for the editor to read. Even though David was battling a drug problem at the time, his brilliance came through in his work. I have never seen anyone more gifted at stringing words together than David, especially when describing people or scenes. He also was like a Pied Piper, always leading a gaggle out to drink after work. Sometimes he’d be with his buddy Tom Arnold, who’d come into the office from time to time. I’d occasionally tag along. David never wanted the party to end.

In the first chapter of his memoir, The Night of the Gun, David wrote about getting fired from the magazine. I was sitting right outside the door when the editor gave him a rehab ultimatum. David wasn’t ready and walked out. Eventually, of course, he was ready, and his talent and perseverance led him to become one of the most respected and successful journalists in the country. He loved, loved, loved what he did. Here’s one of my favorite quotes of his:

Journalism is “a grand, grand caper. You get to leave, go talk to strangers, ask them anything, come back, type up their stories, edit the tape. That’s not gonna retire your loans as quickly as it should, and it’s not going to turn you into a person who’s worried about what kind of car they should buy, but that’s kind of as it should be. I mean, it beats working.”

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Some Things We’ve Learned in the Trial of Chris Kyle’s Killer, Eddie Ray Routh

We had a debate here about whether I should be down in Stephenville, covering the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the man who killed Chris Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield. Part of me wishes I was there, because I’m obviously very interested in the story. (The part of me that sees the massive media presence, though, is happy I’ve got other things that need finishing.) But I’ve been following the coverage. And through the first few days of testimony we’ve learned some interesting new information. Here’s a quick rundown:

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This Morning’s Nitpick: The Meaning of the Phrase ‘Sour Grapes’

Today Steve Blow has a column about Casey Monahan, who has been the director of the Texas Music Office for 25 years. Blow writes:

With a new governor making new hires, next week will be Monahan’s last as director of the Texas Music Office.

But no sour grapes. “Oh, gosh no,” he said. “I mean that sincerely. I don’t feel entitled to this job. If the governor wants to go in a different direction, that’s what he was elected to do.”

Blow could have used the help of a good copy editor.

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CultureMap Sold to Dallas Company

Houstonia, the city magazine of Houston, is reporting that according to a “source who requested anonymity,” Houston-based CultureMap has been sold (or is in the process of being sold) to a Dallas company called ViewMarket (formerly the Haul Company), which was co-founded by Alexander Muse, Bob Bennett, and Molly Cain. I can confirm this. My source is Alexander Muse. I should also note that Bennett was the publisher of a magazine I edited long, long ago called Spirits & Cocktails. Has ViewMarket bitten off more than it can chew? The coming months ought to provide an answer to that question.

UPDATE (10:21) The Dallas Business Journal reports that the deal hasn’t closed yet. Like I said, though, Muse indicated in an email to me weeks ago that they were buying CultureMap. Too, Bennett and Muse have been talking to candidates about jobs at CultureMap.

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Author Jaye Wells Sells TV Rights to Two Books

From the author’s Facebook page: “I’ve been sitting on some news for a while. It just went out in Publisher’s Marketplace today so I can confirm that I’ve sold a TV option for Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon. It’s still early in the process and I can’t say too much about the details, but I’m thrilled at the possibility of seeing Kate Prospero on the small screen.”

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Share Your #HiddenDallas Secrets, Win a Fabulous Prize

The cover story of the February issue of D Magazine is “Hidden Dallas.” It was painful for our staff to publicly share this compilation of their favorite secret spots, special deals, off-menu meals, and insider know-how with our readers. When more people know, for example, how you can dine at Lucia (which is usually booked up weeks […]

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Freed’s Furniture Alters Downtown Dallas in TV Ad

Freed’s Furniture, as anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows, is where you can afford your dreams. The family-owned company has been selling furniture in Dallas since 1938. They boast of this longevity in a TV spot that caught the attention of a longtime FrontBurnervian. The reason it caught his attention: Freed’s used a historical photograph of downtown, digitally removing the name of another furniture store, Winn, and replacing it with Freed’s. Have a look.

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In Fluoride Debate, Steve Blow Lays Bare His Less Than Beautiful Mind

We’ve had some fun recently with Steve Blow’s substandard work. First John Neely Bryan skewered him. Then Zac, not having seen Mr. Bryan’s post, had a go at Blow. (It was interesting that they both hit on the same satirical concept; for my money, Bryan executed it better.) But essentially Blow’s point was: “cool kids in town” (his phrase) don’t want to build a toll road in the Trinity floodway. “Sensible adults” know better. Sensible adults understand that we need more tolled highways ringing downtown Dallas. His folksy argument made no sense. And his use of a derogatory term for people like esteemed architect Bob Meckfessel reveals prejudice.

Today Blow brings us another noteworthy column.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Let’s All Give Steve Blow a Wide Berth, Shall We?

Lee Kleinman is the most courageous member of the Dallas City Council. I am pleased to announce that he is the first — thus far the only — member of that quasi-august body to accept my challenge. He has agreed to face off against me, mano e mano, over heaping bowls of dal makhani at Mughlai. I’ve asked my people to reach out to his people to work out the details. I shall keep you informed as to the progress of this endeavor.

Now, to today’s business.

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