Texas®

Poking around on the internets this morning, I stumbled across 6 awesome pumpking carving stencils on the Texas Rangers’ website. Now you can show your Texas Rangers a little glow in the dark Halloween pumpkin love!

I’m thinking my porch is going to be littered with these things…

To view and download Texas Rangers stencils, just click here!

Several people have groused at me for not talking about the Texas Rangers and their magnificent season on the blog. But guys, I just can’t. I’m so all at once scared, excited and overwhelmed, that I’m afraid I’m going to jinx them, and I’m so not alone in that fear.

I will say this though: The day after the Rangers win on Oct 12, my neighbor came over expressing domestic violence concerns over the screaming and crying she’d heard coming from our duplex.

Now that that is out of the way…

If you’re like me, you won’t be attending tonight’s Rangers game because you don’t have either the tickets or the scrilla for a ticket broker. However, you can go to Cantina Laredo and score 10 bucks off your meal tonight if you’re sporting some Rangers duds:

After last night’s amazing, exhausting and nail biting win, The Rangers managed to break a three-game losing streak and secured a much needed 2-1 victory over the Angels. Whew! If all goes well in the big four-game series with the Athletics that kicks off tonight, next week will find The Rangers at home and head-to-head with the Seattle Mariners.

Home Plate Entrance of Rangers Ballpark in Arl...
Image via Wikipedia

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to the day game on Wednesday, September 29th – and who doesn’t love playing hooky from work, eating hot dogs and sipping coldish beer – we have an offer you can’t refuse. See, the good folks at Chelsea Park, a brownstone-styled townhome community in the footprint of Arlington’s Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark, really want you Best of Texans to go to the game and take a look at their townhomes and they’ve made it really easy on you to win:

Just fan us on Facebook and then do one of two things: either retweet this post with the #BESTOFTEXAS hashtag or leave a comment below telling us why you want to go to the game.

We’ll pick the winners on Tuesday, September 28th and contact you for more details.

Anyone is eligible, and if you win, all you have to do to pick up your tickets is take a quick tour of Chelsea Park Townhomes and voila! Rangers Tickets.

Ta-da.

Growing up in Texarkana, all Craig Monroe cared about was sports, in particular baseball. A standout in almost any type of physical activity, Monroe eventually had to choose between football and baseball, however, getting picked up by the Texas Rangers organization made the decision pretty easy.

Monroe graduated from Texas Senior High 1985, “I decided I was going to do everything in my power to get myself a chance to be professional baseball player,” Monroe recalls while sitting in the corner booth of his new Plano sports bar, Twenty7, the number he wore in seven seasons as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers,“I started in the minors in Tulsa as part of the Texas Rangers organization. I decided very early I was going to work harder and try harder than anyone else and I got a chance to play for my hometown team in the Texas Rangers.”

While bumped up to AAA Oklahoma City when he got the call to come to Dallas after Ruben Sierra was put on the injured list, Craig explains, “I was up with the Rangers for three months, but at the end of the season they needed a roster spot for a pitcher and I was put on waivers.” Monroe smiles with a professional athlete’s confidence earned in ‘The Show,’ “I don’t think I was on waivers for more than a day when the Detroit Tigers called and I was on the way to join them.”

As a hard-hitting outfielder, Monroe earned a spot in the starting lineup and even made the trek every kid with a bat dreams of: competing in the 2006 World Series. Grins Craig, “I’m actually very proud that I managed to tie Hank Greenberg for most home runs by a Tiger in a world series.”

As his career began to wind down, he was traded to Chicago and then the Pirates. In the end, Craig had to find a life after baseball. Now a full time resident of Frisco, he’s teamed up with some other industry veterans to create Twenty7, a baseball themed sports bar with quality food usually expected to be found at a higher-end Gastro-Pub.

The food, which is really quite amazing, comes courtesy of Jonny Weisman, formerly the kitchen wizard at The Rugby House. Jonny has been making a name for himself since moving to the Dallas area a few years ago as one of the best pup chefs in the area.

On the menu Weisman has created a number of unique dishes to augment the high quality traditional fresh cut fish and chips and burgers. Case in point: A mango-based bruchetta adorned with fresh mozzarella which is wrapped in panchetta and topped with a lime-infused mango salsa that makes for a wonderfully light, bright and extremely tasty appetizer. “We wanted to put together a menu, right off the bat, that has some light items as well as the traditional bar offerings,” Weisman explains. He’s also reached into his bag of tricks to create a Cuban fried rice served as a side and as the base of the Taco del Mar Fish Tacos.

Weisman also brings his deft touch to spare ribs that should have a warning label on them: After one bite, the slow cooked meat literally leaps off the bone, so make sure you lean over the plate and adorn your lap with a napkin. Rounding off the delights I experienced were lightly battered fresh cut haddock and multi cheese mac’n’cheese that was so sinfully rich, it darn near gave me heart palpatations.

The bar itself is decorated with some of Craig’s own memorabilia from his years with the Tigers and other items from friends and other famous players. The uniform worn by the young ladies working at the bar is a sexy variation of the “ball girl” uniform.

Taking the Sport-Bar+Gastro-Pub mixture, adding in a pinch of “breastaurant” with the sexy outfits, and rounding it out with an additional side of non stop high-def televisions might just prove to be a winning combination.

Twenty7 also sports – no pun intended – another section originally meant to be a small ultra-lounge attached to the bar. However, the plan has been modified to bring more of a game room lounge to the location. “We just think this will work better in this location, we want to expand on our theme and business center rather than trying to do the ultra lounge in Plano,” explains GM James Brown.

The official grand opening kicks off August 27th. Craig admits he’s a little nervous, “My whole life has been about hitting, running and throwing. This is the first real job I’ve ever had.” His smile is rather electric and the anticipation of getting this bar off the ground is something that is really energizing him,“I really hope this is the first one…” he smiles with confidence again knowing the premise, if successful could be the foundation of a multi location business.

Twenty7
3100 Independence Parkway Ste 299
Plano Texas 75075
972-599-2000

Tonight I took a little drive to Arlington, Texas just to see for myself if it lived up to all the hype.  I mean, sure, Arlington is the home of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Texas Rangers Ballpark and Six Flags Over Texas, but I wanted to know what life in Arlington was like when there isn’t a ballgame or roller coaster on a fellow’s itinerary.  As I neared the area in which Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark are located, I noticed this really nice townhome complex on The Road to Six Flags St.

Called Chelsea Park Townhomes, I was immediately struck by how close it was to both sports venues.  It was so close, in fact, that people were paying to park in nearby lots to walk to that night’s Rangers game against the Seattle Mariners, a game which the Rangers, sadly, lost 4-2.  I thought to myself about how nice it would be to just be able to go to the ballpark on a Monday night without having to make the baseball game the central part of my day, since this sort of access is usually enjoyed only by Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs fans.

Chelsea Park is located on a piece of prime real estate heading into the 2010-2011 football season.  With the screens on the outside of “Boss Hogg Bowl,” residents could actually watch the games from their rooftop balconies.  Seeing as the complex is only one-half mile away, a resident Cowboys fan would not have to spend hours in traffic, yelling at everyone on the road to get out of the way.  (This, ultimately I suppose, would preserve the aforementioned fan’s voice for when it is needed most, during the game.)  Whether or not the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl this coming season, Arlington will be the site of one of the biggest sporting events in the world, Super Bowl 2011, and Chelsea Park will be in the middle of all of the action.

Sports not your bag?  The complex’s residents can also walk to shopping and dining areas.  Lincoln Square Shopping Center is located within walking distance and contains restaurants such as Hibachi 97 and Olive Garden.  Retail stores such as Gap, Jones New York and Nine West also call Lincoln Square home.  Nightlife is active as well with establishments such as Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub and Grill and Xtra Innings Sports Bar.

Chelsea Park’s central location acts as a gateway to the conveniences of both Dallas and Ft. Worth.  I-30 is quickly accessed from the townhomes making both cities reachable within 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.  The complex is also 15 minutes away from DFW International Airport and getting to the airport and back is a breeze, so frequent travelers will really enjoy Chelsea Park.

Chelsea Park Townhomes makes for a great homebase for anyone, be it their first home or a second, home away from home.  The complex is gated and each apartment is pre-wired for an intrusion alarm system so when you’re not there, your place is always protected.

These brownstone-styled townhomes define luxury.  Each unit comes with a 2-car garage with remote, a pre-wired living area with surround sound, European-style concealed hinge cabinetry and granite slab countertops.  The bathrooms are impressive with oval garden tubs and semi-frameless glass shower enclosures.  Upgrades are available such as  jetted tubs in the master bathrooms and pre-wired speakers on roof decks.  The complex also includes courtyards in between the buildings, plenty of green space and, bonus, the townhomes are in close proximity to hiking and bike trails.  While the townhomes are located in a bustling area, these green spaces provide a tranquility to the complex.  Inside the gates of the complex, it is quiet and relaxing.

With its central location, proximity to what is fast becoming the entertainment capital of the DFW area, and luxurious construction and amenities, Chelsea Park Townhomes is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to move to the great city of Arlington or searching for a second home.

Chelsea Park Townhomes
206 Road to Six Flags E
Arlington, Texas 76011
Tel 817.265.1000

While on my way from Dallas to take my daughters to camp near Austin, we stopped at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. Now, I wasn’t a Walker (Texas Ranger) fan but I was curious to see what treasures would be found inside. Think guns. Lots and lots of guns.

The Texas Rangers – the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America – began as an organized group of men formed by Moses Morrison on Stephen F. Austin’s request to discourage the Comanche, Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians from raiding Hispanic settlements – in August 1823 – when Texas was still known as Tejas – and still a Mexican territory. Stephen F. Austin had previously been authorized by the Mexican government to develop settlements in Tejas.

texasrangerEarly on Anglos, Hispanics and American Indians served side by side in all ranks from private to captain. These men freely borrowed from each others’ experience, expertise and equipment. Besides men from the South, many hailed from Ireland, Germany, Scotland and England. Early Rangers shot Spanish pistols, Tennessee and Kentucky rifles, carried Bowie knifes made in Sheffield England and rode swift Mexican ponies. One writer said that a Texas Ranger could “ride like a Mexican, trail like an Indian, shoot like a Tennessean, and fight like the devil.”

One of these early Rangers, Captain Bill McDonald coined the Ranger creed -”No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’.”

Over the years, besides Indians, Rangers fought lawless Texans, preserved law and order in the mining towns near Big Bend, fought train robbers, bootleggers and even single-handedly stopped an illegal prize fight scheduled in Dallas.

They’re most famous or infamous for stopping Pancho Villa’s raids across the Texas – Mexico border in the mid-teens. The Ranger force swelled to hundreds of men – many of whom were more lawless vigilantes themselves than fighting for what was right. An investigation after the revolution revealed these renegade Rangers had not followed the law. And, as a consequence, the Ranger ranks were cutback to four companies of not more than 15 men.

But, they’re not all men – women were commissioned as special Rangers in the ‘20’s to the ‘40’s. Today two women are serving as Rangers – one in Waco the other in San Antonio.

Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety; it fulfills the role of Texas’s State Bureau of Investigation. And, as of this year, there are 134 commissioned members of the famous Ranger force.

After seeing several rooms brimming with guns, armor, uniforms, saddles and knives, the girls were ready to shop in the museum store. We decided against the sheriff’s badge for their Dad, though.

Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum
I-35 and University Parks Drive
Waco, Texas
9:00 – 5:00pm Monday – Sunday

rangersyoungWhen the Rangers asked Michael Young to move from shortstop to third base last month, the prospect of another tumultuous season seemed a lock.

 Young immediately demanded to be traded, which would have meant the Rangers would have gone into 2009 without their best hitter. Minor league product Elvis Andruswas picked to man the shortstop position, even though Andrus has never played higher than AA baseball. Surprisingly, Young acquiesced and agreed for the second time in his career to switch positions for the good of the team. Enormous expectations are being put upon Andrus, so as an insurance policy the Rangers signed 41-year-old Omar Vizquel.

As far as the pitching staff, the Rangers haven’t gone overboard to solidify the starting rotation. And they’re missing healthy arms. Joaquin Benoit is out for a while after rotator cuff surgery and there are other injuries in the bullpen as well. Millwood and Padilla will anchor the rotation once again with the 3, 4, and 5 spots open to competition. The bullpen looks decent, but expect the faces to change throughout the year.

This could be Ron Washinton’s last swim through Texas or his crowning moment. A-Rod just admitted to steroid use and blamed his time in Texas for his transgressions. In 2009 the Rangers have a chance to do things the honest way and get to a World Series with integrity and hard work. When you have guys like Michael Young on your side how can you lose?