Archive for September, 2010

Southwest Flexes Its Muscles

Monday, September 27th, 2010

What used to be our quaint local airline is now the biggest carrier in the world. And with a $519 million renovation of Love Field in full swing, and the Wright Amendment restrictions set to expire in 2014, Southwest Airlines has made a move to become even bigger. Today the airline announced the purchase rival low-fare carrier AirTran for $3.4 billion in cash and debt. The AirTran deal improves Southwest’s presence in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C., plus — the one I really like — opens up flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Big Tex Rides to the Rescue

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

After two consecutive depressing losses by our beloved America’s Team, the best Cowboy in Dallas is likely a 52-foot tall fellow named Big Tex. And just when we need him, the icon of our State Fair is rising above Fair Park to beckon us back to The Midway. Starting today, Sept 24 through Oct 17, head to southeast Dallas to gorge on Fletcher’s corny dogs, Jack’s fries, funnel cakes and a weight-watcher’s nightmare of other State Fair diet busters. Sports fans will love that this year’s event has a special focus on football, with tributes to Tom Landry, an exhibit about the upcoming Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium, and of course, the Red River Rivalry between Texas & OU on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Up, Up and Away …

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

After hitting up Oktoberfest the day before, my son and I decided to one again brave the Texas heat and head out to Oak Point Park for the 31st annual Plano Balloon Festival.  Still battling our funnel cake hangovers (mine may have had more to do with Spaten beer than powdered sugar), we voted to sleep in and catch the evening launch.

After walking almost a mile to get into the festival (see below parking tip), we snagged a corndog and lemonade and posted up on our blanket until launch time.  Soon after we finished eating, they gave the go ahead for everyone to go onto the field for a more up close and personal experience.  And when I say “close”, I mean you could reach out and touch the balloons.  (But don’t…you’ll get in trouble.) (more…)

Waging Legitimate Dissent: the Rise of the LDs

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

At the center of freedom lies dissent: the capacity to reject the opinion of the majority and/or contemporary orthodoxy. Dissidents who founded the United States also passed a Bill of Rights to protect those who wish to express dissent. Among other things, dissent is what made America what she is. Great American dissidents include people like Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. By definition, those who dissent take unpopular positions and risk both their social and political membership and, at times, their lives. Dissidents often say what others are thinking but who are silenced by fear. Dissidents who prevail in their dissent – whose opinion or position succeeds in overcoming the status quo – are the engines of social and political innovation. They allow society to lurch forward toward a better future. Today, we suffer from those who masquerade as dissidents as well as those who chant “Yes We Can _____!” or “No We Can’t!” It is time to replace this noisy charade with affirmative and legitimate dissent.

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In the House: Drew Waters

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Productivity drops sharply in the You+Media offices when Drew Waters stops by. The guys all want war stories from the set of his NBC drama, Friday Night Lights. The girls just get a dreamy stare and smile. Frankly, it’s awkward.

But that’s Drew. Raised in Orange, TX, he was a track and field star who passed up a scholarship to Rice to work with F-14 jets in the Navy. After his tour, talent scouts saw those baby blue eyes and modeling jobs flowed in from Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Hugo Boss. Magazine ads and covers from GQ, Esquire, Vogue, and Men’s Journal. Then photographer Bruce Weber told Drew he should try acting. Sure, why not? 20 films and six TV shows later, Waters decided to try producing, too. He has 2-3 very cool projects in development right now, and we hope he’ll share his talents with You+Dallas as well.

No matter what, Waters’ best role is as devoted husband and doting father. Eschewing the so-called ‘glamour’ of Hollywood, Waters is most content on his North Texas ranch with his family and his horses, just like his boyhood days in Orange. The man is a star.

“Tornado coming … Everyone Out On the Roof!”

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

When word  spread through the You+Media offices that a tornado had touched down in Oak Cliff, our intrepid CEO Jeff Hinson shouted, “Let’s go get a look at that thing!” and he hurried up to the rooftop deck. You can’t teach that kind of leadership. Alas, the grey monster swirled along the western side of downtown, too far away for us thrill-seeking media types. All we got out of it were some interesting new hairstyles.

More than 160 tornadoes whip through Texas every year, most through open territory with little or no damage. The last big twister in North Texas hit Fort Worth in March of 2000 and killed 4 people and did $300 million in damage. In Dallas? You have to go back to April 2, 1957, when a brutal tornado ripped through the city and killed 10 people. That was a long time ago, but Mother Nature stills awes — and fascinates — and we go up on rooftops to marvel at her power.