Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whisky Wednesday's at the Manor

There's nothing like listening to the smooth vocals of Frank Sinatra in the comfort of a casual lounge to help chase away the stress of the week.

So when I learned that The Manor on Washington was having their first "Whisky Wednesday" complete with cigars, a special drink menu and music from the Rat Pack, I had to find out more.

"Whisky has always been kind of a tradition with the Rat Pack and Frank Sinatra, so we wanted to bring some of that tradition to the Manor," said Rae Millican, who does PR for the venue.

However, if you think this is going to be some sort of whisky drunk fest, you'll be disappointed. "Whisky Wednesdays" at the Manor are actually quite cool because what they've done is take the concept of traditional wine and food pairing and tweaked it to whisky and cigars. heard me - it's a cigar and whisky pairing.

"There will be five types of cigars ranging from $8.00 to $20.00, and based on what cigar the person picks, we'll pair it up with a whisky or scotch," Millican said.

Millican says they have researched the cigars and brought in a number of whiskys and scotches to make the night unique. In fact, they will even have a special menu that ranges from the basics like Jack Daniels and Crown Royal to top shelf brands.


Now I know "Whisky Wednesday" is already sounding pretty good and I admit they had me hooked when they told me about the pairings, but it gets even better -- and I'm not even a smoker.

From 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. there is a happy hour with discounts on Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. And of course, there is no cover to get in.
"You just show up and have a good time," Millican said.
Wednesday, September 30, is their first "Whisky Wednesday" which is when I went, but don't worry if you can't make it. They plan on doing this every Wednesday.

But for those of you who are true cigar and whisky connoisseurs (or maybe you're like me and just would like to be), Millican let me in on a little secret.

"Two weeks from now, we are bringing in a specialist to do a whisky flight."
Now that sounds like a night that would make the Rat Pack happy.
In case you haven't been yet, the Manor is located at 4819 Washington (Washington and Sheppard).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Love Guinness? It's time to unite on Arthur's Day

I've never had Guinness. I know you're shocked, but for some reason an opportunity to drink the dark stout has never come up.

But that all may change this Thursday when 5,000 pubs and bars across the United States will host celebrations to toast the world's most iconic stout --whoohoo!

That's right. On September 24, Guinness lovers everywhere will toast 250 years of brewing tradition started by one remarkable man: Arthur Guinness.

The global celebration known as Arthur's Day marks the 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the 9,000-year lease on the famous St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin in 1759.

The commemoration of this milestone will begin in Dublin and spread westward throughout the United States and across the world.

But what I'm sure you want to know is...just who is celebrating it in Houston.

I know I did. So I called over a dozen pubs and bars in the area, and surprisingly, very few of them even knew it was going on (yeah...I know. How can you call yourself an Irish pub and not know about this?).

Anyways, I did find two that were getting ready to raise a glass in honor of Arthur:

1) The Bull and Bear Tavern and Eatery @ 11980 Westheimer
- Guinness 250 on Draft for $2.50 all day on September 24
- Free Guinness stew and Irish brown bread at 7 p.m.

2) The Dubliner @ 4219 Washington Avenue
- Jamieson promotion at 10:30 p.m.

By the way, don't bother going to The Ginger Man if you feel like sampling Guinness 250. According to the hostess, they have been serving it all summer and are already sold out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Couple finds love connection through Sarah Palin

Success stories are the best. Whether it's finding love, completing an incredible feat, taking a chance on life, beating a disease or fulfilling a goal , I love to hear about how it.  It's the dreamer in me.  I honestly believe everyone can reach the moon if they put their heart into it.

And speaking of hearts...this story is a love story. One of the regular commenters on the site emailed the station to thank us -- here's why:

For months, Trip7 had been a regular commenter on our daily weather story. But while she's been playing on the site everyday and posting comments, she had no idea that she was about to find her soul mate - and she never expected that he would be living 3,289 miles away in Alaska.

"We were talking about how horribly hot it was and he popped in and said something like it's 47 where he is and we all busted back at him with, 'Thanks a lot. Why don't you rub it in?'" said Trip7.

Kascat and Trip7 first connected on in May 2009. Kascat is originally from Pearland and is currently working in Alaska. He was checking in on the weather back home and came across Trip7's posts.

"He said what drew him to me in the first place was the way I write. I write in character. I write as Trip," said Trip7. "I play and have fun and I do rain dances to bring in the rain. He was drawn to me because of my writing style."

After a couple weeks of responding back and forth on the weather story, the two moved to public message and then onto private emails. From there it was eight hour phone calls and endless Web cam chats.


But it wasn't just the weather that brought them together.

"When we went to the private pages on, he said something to me and I said that I had been Palinized. He said I could do worse," said Trip7.

Yup...that's right. He loves Sarah Palin and Trip7, well...she's probably not Sarah's Facebook friend.

"On the weather blog one day, he said something about coming on up and dealing with the weather, and I said I would rather be hot than deal with Sarah Palin," said Trip7.

This sparked the conversation and got them talking about deeper issues.

"I told him she was fine a woman and I respected her for a lot of things, but I didn't respect her for other things. She needed a guide dog and maybe when she got her mainland legs she would be okay," said Trip7. "It kind of endeared him to me that I took her side."

Then there was a story on abuse that KHOU had posted on the site. After reading it, Trip7 posted an encouraging message to women under the story.

"I had been in an abusive relationship before and I posted a long post about women being brave enough to walk away from it because if you didn't you would die --either physically or emotionally," said Trip 7.

Trip7 says it was this post that got the two of them talking more privately. And from there their love bloomed. Their messages got longer, he sent her photos of where he lived and even sent her some salmon from Alaska.

"We just kept talking and getting to know each other. We kept getting closer and closer and he talked about coming home for Christmas to see his family and how he would like to meet me then," said Trip7.

But Christmas was months away and by August Trip7 and Kascat had made a decision: They were going to meet.

"I hadn't had a vacation in 41 years and he said why don't you come?" said Trip7.


Flying to Alaska wasn't an easy decision for Trip7. She was nervous about meeting someone she had met on the internet and she was concerned about how safe it would be to fly miles away from her family and friends to meet someone in a place that she didn't know.

She says even though neither of them had ever met someone online before and they had never tried online dating, she decided to take a chance.

"We just clicked and I felt comfortable enough about it that I decided to book the flight and go," Trip7 said.

Her friends and family thought she was crazy. Some thought that he should come to her. Others were simply worried about what could happen.

And they were right. Something did happen--they fell deeper in love.

"I came around the corner and there he stood. It was like I had known him all my life. I was just overjoyed," said Trip7. "He said that when he saw me his first thought was, 'Oh my God, she's so beautiful.'"

For a week they toured the beautiful Kenai Peninsula (click here to see photos) and fell madly in love with each other.

"He's the most kindest, considerate and loving person I have ever known. He planned the whole trip and went out of his way to show me special places," said Trip7.

Trip7 is now back in Houston, but the love affair isn't over.

Originally, Kascat planned to come home for Christmas, but now he's thinking Thanksgiving. Trip7 is also thinking about her next trip.

"If it weren't for the weather blog, we would have never met. And if it wasn't for Sarah Palin, we would not have gotten so close," said Trip7.


While Trip7 and Kascat seem like a match made in heaven, you can never be too careful when it comes to meeting someone online.

Below are some safety tips from Online Dating Magazine.

1. Trust Your Gut Instinct
2. Don't Provide Personal Information Too Soon
3. Use a Free Email Account
4. Use a Cell Phone or Anonymous Phone Service to Chat
5. Beware of Married People
6. Look for Questionable Characteristics in Your Communication
7. Ask for a Recent Photo
8. Stick With Paid Online Dating Services
9. Don't Get a False Sense of Security
10. Meet in a Public Place for Your First Meeting

Friday, September 4, 2009

Precious stones, a swanky bachelor pad and monogamy? Girl penguins have it made

For those who have been following my blog, you have probably noticed some reoccurring trends. Firstly, I love Starbucks (pumpkin spice latte out this week - yay!) and secondly, I'm a little obsessed with the penguins at Moody Gardens.

But how can I not be? The little birds had me captivated in the documentary "March of the Penguins" and now I just can't get enough of them.

And the boy penguins...well, they are just so polite.


If you go to Moody Gardens this month, you'll be in for treat. That's because their Gentoo Penguins are getting a head-start for the mating season--which is fall to winter on our side of the globe.

Yup, that's right. It's kind of like high school prom where the guys have to pick their date. But instead of being limited to the girls in homeroom, they are limited to the ones living in the pyramid.
And here's how they they get their girls:

• Precious Stones: Males collect rocks to build nests to impress the females. They carry the rocks with their beaks.

• The Super-Sexy Bachelor Pad: Males are territorial to defend the nesting sites.

• How you doing?: Just like Joey in Friends, the penguins have their own way of getting the chicks to check out their bachelor pad. The male attracts females with a head-swing & squawk and shows possession of a nest.

• Double head-swing & squawk: This is how the pair strengthens their bond.

• Respectful Bow: This just may be their way of opening the door for the lady.  It seems the respectful bow is the way a potential couple acknowledges each other and lessens aggression.

• Apparel: Tuxedo-clad penguins are always prepared to look sharp for date nights.

Penguin Courtship Facts: Did You Know?

1. Guys always ask girls out: Yup, the males know that "home is where the heart is" so they usually build a nest, and then find a mate.

2. Girls rule: Females have the power in the penguin world. They determine with whom they want to mate with.

3. Monogamy: The good news is that once the girl accepts you, you are a keeper. In fact, 90 percent of Gentoo females go back to the same mates each year.

4. Thanks, but no thanks: The boys only get one chance. Females won't return to the same males if breeding was unsuccessful in the previous season. So sad. I can just imagine the poor penguin boy waddling away with his head down.

If you want to check out the penguins yourself (or maybe bring your own date there), visit