Keri Russell hints at ‘Felicity’ reunion in Austin

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys speak onstage during the ‘The Americans’ panel discussion at the FX Networks portion of the Television Critics Association press tour in 2015. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

It was a moment that warmed my Ben Covington-loving heart: On a recent episode of “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo, Keri Russell said the cast of “Felicity” might reunite next year in Austin.

Although she couldn’t remember the name of the event (she referred to it as not-South by Southwest but happening in Austin), she likely was referencing the ATX Television Fest, which is known for reuniting folks from beloved shows, including “The West Wing,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Designing Women.” (This year’s fest is June 8-11.)

The late-night and free-wheeling Bravo talk show featured Russell and her “The Americans” co-star Matthew Rhys in a rare joint interview for the real-life couple, who play married Russian spies on long-term assignment in the U.S. on their F/X show. Watch the full episode here.

Russell was responding to a viewer question about whether our curly-haired college heroine might be resurrected in a reboot. That seemed like a straight “nyet,” but she said the Austin fest has been trying to get the cast back together for a couple of years and it seems likely to happen in 2018.

TEAM BEN FOREVER!

Host Andy Cohen gave a second shoutout to Austin in the same episode when he called out the prostitution ring busted because of a condom-clogged pipe.

Check out this delightfully quirky antique shop, bed & breakfast for sale outside of Austin

Want to open your own antique shop? How about your own bed and breakfast? Want to live there, too?

Courtesy Twist Tours

This wonderfully quirky property for sale on Highway 290 in Paige (between Giddings and Elgin, about an hour’s drive east of Austin) can give you all of that and more.

PHOTOS: Quirky antique store, bed & breakfast for sale in Paige

It’s currently an antiques and salvage business, and the $560,000 price tag includes all the inventory inside the store front (except the inventory in the rented-out booths), which is quite a lot:

Courtesy Twist Tours

In addition to the storefront, there’s a recently remodeled private space that can be used as a bed and breakfast, living space or vacation home. According to Moxie Realty Group, the current owners will even consider selling the furnishings inside.

Courtesy Twist Tours

As if that’s not enough for you, there’s more than half an acre of land just waiting to be developed or used as parking.

You can find more information about the property at Moxie Realty Group.

New San Antonio H-E-B adding a drive-thru barbecue restaurant

 

It’s no secret Texans love their barbecue. It’s also a verifiable truth that H-E-B is one of the mot beloved grocery stores in the state, and maybe even America. Put the two together, and you’ve got a winning formula.

RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

That’s right, Texas. H-E-B is about to introduce drive-thru barbecue stands to certain stores starting in August, the San Antonio Express-News reports.  Customers will be able to enjoy meals from True Texas BBQ, the grocery chain’s barbecue brand. The restaurant will also serve breakfast tacos, because of course it will.

More: Torchy’s Tacos lands on ‘11 absolute best taco shops’ online list

“Even if families don’t need to necessarily do a full shop, the True Texas BBQ will be a spot where families can go and dine together and enjoy what is arguably some of the best barbecue in Texas,” H-E-B spokesperson Dya Campos told the Express-News Wednesday.

Sadly for Austinites, it looks like we’re still stuck waiting in line at Franklin. So far, the only store to feature the True Texas BBQ restaurant will be in San Antonio, as part of a new 118,000-square-foot H-E-B in the southwest corner of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Road.

This in’t the first time H-E-B has partnered with restaurants to enhance the grocery shopping experience. Hutto recently opened a 24-hour Whataburger drive-thru at one of its new H-E-B locations. And let’s not forget you can also get that fancy Whataburger ketchup and Taco Cabana sauce at H-E-B.

Related: Texas teen brags about stealing doughnuts from H-E-B

Willie Nelson and Morgan Freeman hanging out on a bus is friendship goals

Getting a phone call to come hang out with Willie Nelson sounds like the dream, but can you imagine getting to chat with a Hollywood star too?

Country radio legend Bill Mack recently shared on Facebook that his pal called him to hang out on his bus in North Texas. And of all the people in the world, Morgan Freeman happened to be aboard too.

Mack asked the Oscar winner all about the movie biz. Freeman’s favorite roles include “Shawshank Redemption,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Glory,” and “Unforgiven.” And Freeman, who turns 80 this year, shared some of his favorite movies, which all happened to be released before 1960.

As for what brought Freeman and Nelson together, it turns out the megawatt actor doesn’t live in Hollywood. Like Mack, Nelson called up his famous friend, who lives in Clarksdale, Mississippi to hang and Freeman happily obliged.

Read the full post below:

Texas teen brags about stealing doughnuts from H-E-B

Protip: If you’re going to be a thief, maybe don’t brag about it on the internet.

The Donut Taco Palace on W. Hwy 290 is a popular morning destination for donuts and tacos of all kinds thanks to owner Angel Seng.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

That’s the lesson one Texas teenager learned this week when his tweet about “free donuts” at H-E-B stores caught the attention of thousands on Twitter.

“FREE DONUTS AT ANY HEB Just walk into the donut section and grab a free donut of any choice but must be eaten inside and away from employees,” the teen’s now-deleted tweet read, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

According to the Express-News, the teenager grabs a “free” doughnut every time he stops by an H-E-B Plus. But needless to say, H-E-B isn’t giving away any free doughnuts, a spokesperson told the Express-News. The teenager’s sticky fingers are the only reason he got a “free” treat—so maybe don’t try this at your neighborhood H-E-B.

RELATED: Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through

If Ronco is part of Austin now, then these funky TV ads are Austin history

This image from a television commercial shows Ron Popeil, founder of Ronco, selling some of the company’s products. Ronco — known for such gadgets as the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman — is now headquartered in Austin.

You might know Ronco Brands, a new Austin-based holding company, has filed to raise $30 million in an initial public offering.

Founded by inventor and entrepreneur Ron Popeil in 1964, Ronco is famous for gadgets sold on late-night infomercials. Though it has struggled financially in recent years, Ronco maintains that it has sold over $2 billion in Ronco-branded products in the U.S. since its inception.

 

Let’s look back at a few classics from decades ago:

 

Take that, BeDazzler!

 

Awww, yiss. The original gangster.

 

Perpetuating stereotypes and enabling creeps in cars since 1978!

 

Hear that? That’s the sound of every hipster in town flocking to eBay …

 

Nothing says sex appeal like “rich foamy dust.”

 

“Want to come over? I got ‘Boogie Nights.'” “On DVD?” “Nah, baby. On 8-track!”

187 years ago, Texas’ first immigration ban didn’t go over well

The government was deeply concerned. Immigrants were pouring into their northern lands. Immigrants who were armed. Who did not accept their values. And, perhaps most terrifyingly, did not share their religion.

Building a border wall, of course, wasn’t remotely feasible. But if they had tried, it wouldn’t have been on the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo as they called it). It would have been on the Red River.

We’re talking about Mexico in 1830, of course. A decade after Spanish authorities had welcomed settlers from the United States to help colonize Texas, newly-independent Mexico was beginning to realize that this was not going to end well for them.

So on this day in 187 years ago, the Mexican Congress issued the Law of April 6, 1830. Article 11 of that decree expressly forbid, according to T.R. Fehrenbach’s “Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans,” any “further colonization of the Mexican territory by citizens of adjacent countries.”

It was an immigration ban. Aimed at the United States.

The immigrants did not take it well. The Texas colonists were not only insulted, but were counting on growth to fuel their economy.

For years, embroiled in its own fight for independence and a hampered by political upheaval, Mexico had given little thought to its Texas territory. When they realized that the Texas colonists had little intention of assimilating into Mexican culture, it was too late.

As Fehrenbach notes:

“The Mexican mistake, beyond the original allowing of a large horde of self-discliplined, armed land seekers to cross the borders, was in permitting the Anglos to create, without hindrance, their own community within nominal Mexican territory.”

Stephen F. Austin would travel to Mexico to appeal the decree to a government still in flux and eventually did get Article 11 repealed in 1833 — just before he was imprisoned in solitary confinement at the ancient Prison of the Inquisition, according to Fehrenbach.

Other efforts by Mexico to put its stamp on Texas — collecting customs and garrisoning more troops (including convict conscriptees) there — helped fuel the fires of revolution. There were disturbances in Anahuac. A battle in Velasco.

By 1835, the Texas Revolution had begun.

Bet you can guess Texas’ most embarrassing online search habit

 

Last week, Republicans in Congress passed the repeal of an Internet privacy rule implemented by the FCC last year. The rule would have prohibited Internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers.

FILE — Computers at the 53rd Street branch of the New York Public Library system, in New York, June 14, 2016. The House voted on Tuesday March 28, 2017, largely along party lines, to dismantle rules created by the FCC requiring broadband providers get permission before collecting data on a user?s online activity. (Santiago Mejia/The New York Times)

The repeal doesn’t necessarily mean your browsing history is for sale, but if it is, and you’re a Texan, you’re in trouble. Or rather, you might be in trouble if you’re embarrassed about searching for pornography.

More: Almost every U.S. representative from Central Texas voted for repeal of Internet privacy rule

The folks over at High Speed Internet have compiled a list of each state’s “online guilty pleasure,” and Texas residents apparently like searching for “XXX Content,” as the list calls it. Texans aren’t alone; porn was also the top guilty pleasure for Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Other big “guilty pleasures”: Alaska really loves Googling celebrity news, Florida is big into “sugar daddy” sites, Utah can’t get enough fitness models, Colorado likes “fail videos,” and Mississippi residents love themselves some “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”

View the full map here.

Related:

Guess what word Texans can’t spell

Texas’ favorite reality show isn’t surprising

Texans’ Google searches since the election heavy on secession and SCOTUS

 

It was a good week for Chuck Norris, but who else is an honorary Texan?

The Texas Senate named Chuck Norris an honorary Texan on Tuesday. This was not because Chuck showed up and roundhouse-kicked everyone into submission — naming honorary Texans is something the legislature does on a regular basis. Even for lesser mortals.

Who else, you are asking, has received this honor?

Well, in 2015, the Legislature was busy making Texans. Most notably, British singer Phil Collins got the Lone Star stamp of approval for his efforts on behalf of the Alamo. Also actor Gary Sinise was honored for his work advocating for veterans.

But other honorary Texans minted in 2015 include Albanian artist Genc Mulliqi, Czech Republic exchange student Vladimir Jaskevic, UT basketball coach Shaka Smart and former Philadelphia Eagles player Troy Vincent.

The resolution can be introduced in the House or in the Senate or it can be a concurrent resolution, such as the one in 2015 that declared May 26 to be John Wayne Day for a 10-year period. Often such resolutions simply absolve newborns unlucky enough to be born outside state lines, but lucky enough to have relatives with friends in high places.

Sometimes it’s weird. In 2011, a House Resolution granted posthumous Texan-ness to Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi, for reasons nearly a half-dozen “whereas”es couldn’t make clear.

One particularly good story is the one of famous naturalist John James Audubon. After a visit to Texas in 1837, a senator in Texas’ fledgling government proposed to make Audubon an honorary Texan. Or Texian, as they said then. It went nowhere and stayed that way until 1985, when Sen. Carlos Truan sponsored a new resolution, which was easily adopted.

But the Lege doesn’t have all the fun. Texas governors can declare honorary Texans, too. Then-Gov. Rick Perry went nearly full partisan in his declarations: Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, Glenn Beck and … Rush Limbaugh. (He also dubbed singer Chris Knight and actor Russell Crowe, for a little balance.)

Gov. George W. Bush was a little more, ahem, presidential in his selections. He made several prime ministers and other foreign dignitaries honorary Texans … and Bob Dylan, too.

Gov. Ann Richards kept it a little weirder. Under her watch, the parents of Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Hope, Don McLean and Arnold Schwarzenegger became honorary Texans.

Perhaps the oddest honorary Texan ever was Nicolae Ceaușescu, Romania’s brutal communist leader until 1989. When Gov. Dolph Briscoe honored him, we’re willing to bet he didn’t anticipate Ceaușescu would be the only honorary Texan to be executed by a firing squad.

San Antonio event planner: ‘Don’t call my black-owned business asking me to plan your plantation wedding’

A black San Antonio-based event planner is speaking out against the racial undertones connected with plantation weddings.

According to ATTN, Jordan A. Maney is the owner and founder of All the Days Event Company in San Antonio. Maney said she received a call from a bride recently asking her to plan a wedding at Kendall Plantation in Boerne, just outside of San Antonio. ATTN reports it’s unclear if Kendall Plantation was the former home of slaves, but the venue’s website states it was built “just for weddings” in 2011.

Instagram / @kendallplantation

ATTN excerpted a few lines from the website’s “about us” section, some of which appears to have been removed since the article’s publication.

Some of the text referenced above seems to have been removed from the website. (Screenshot via ATTN)

“The name Kendall Plantation represents the county in which it rests (Kendall) and the architecture of a Southern antebellum home,” the website now reads, without mention of the land’s former use as “a plantation for growing cotton and other crops.”

The website still goes on to state that the venue is modeled after “true Southern Louisiana Plantation homes” and says, “The history of the land has been preserved, as we have kept original items used to work the ranch centuries ago; they are on display in unique spots along the property.”

Maney told ATTN having a wedding at a former plantation was like “having a wedding at a grave-site,” saying she didn’t understand why these aspects of history are “glamorized.”

“In the state of Texas we do have a Confederate history day, and it’s still very well practiced,” Maney told ATTN. “The idea of Southern pride tied to the Civil War is still around, but I don’t know why it gets glamorized and fantasized about.”

After Maney received the phone call from the couple requesting the wedding at Kendall Plantation, she wrote on Facebook (in a post that is now not available on her page), “DON’T CALL MY BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS ASKING ME TO PLAN YOUR PLANTATION WEDDING.” In the comments, she later detailed how the conversation with the bride unfolded, according to a screenshot captured by ATTN.

ATTN says it has reached out to Kendall Plantation for comment, but has not yet heard back. However, Kendall Plantation posted the following photo on their Instagram on Tuesday, clarifying the venue was built “from the ground up exclusively for weddings.”