Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
I love the smell of napalm, I mean coffee, in the morning.
But I sat with an empty coffee cup, staring at it. A passionate salesman burbled about synergy.
The salesman looked like Ward Cleaver would look a decade after Wally and Beaver left to make their own lives. He was in a black suit and tie.
He opened with a firm handshake, said “How about those Dallas Mavericks?”
Then he followed with a joke about the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros that I didn’t follow. I made a polite chuckle. I needed coffee, after all. I think he would have slapped me on the back if the logistics had permitted.
He swooned about leveraging my business. He joyously “envisioned” my business would explode with the aforementioned synergy and leverage it to the next level. I think he’d read every motivational book from Paul Meyer to Zig Ziglar.
I hadn’t run into the hard sale in quite some time. I told him I’d spent my advertising budget for the year.
He created all sort of statistical fictions from which he made amazing calculations about how those numbers would grow. Volume, volume, volume. His face shone as if he was in the middle of a road-to-Damascus moment. He pulled a receipt book from his coat.
“Sign with us and we will prove what a yield will come from a tiny investment in your buisnesses’ future,” he lilted, moved by his own words.
“Times are really hard, aren’t they,” I said.
“Yes,” he said in a forlorn look. His face fell, and he appeared lost and old. “Very hard.”
“How many times do you have to do this to get a sale?”
He didn’t want to say, except that the spiel didn’t work like it once did.
“That internet,” he said in bitter sorrow. “I was born too late. I don’t understand it. It’s too impersonal.”
I made sure his name was not Willy Loman.
I looked at my coffee cup. No coffee. Need coffee.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Southwest Airlines wants American Airlines’ two gates at Love Field; Rule could mean lights out in Texas; Free encyclopedia called in lawyers after 300 'sock puppet' accounts were traced to Texas firm; The economics of Marfa; Famed Austin Nightclub Is Sold; Cinemark opening Movie Bistro in El Paso; Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Texas Zombie Stores Will Live On; IBM debuts major new Austin design studioMexican Coke to Go the Way of Dublin Dr Pepper;and more.