Here's the Pethouse Pet of the Week, and other random thoughts, ranging from Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey to the latest Houston Rockets trade and hot dogs galore.
Pethouse pet of the week
Name: Arthur, as in Ashe, Conan Doyle, Chester Alan, and Dudley Moore.
Ethnicity: I’m a sturdy, playful, healthy Schnauzer. Citizens for Animal Protection took me to finishing school and got me all glammed up. Ain’t I one handsome little dude?
Birthdate: August 19, 2012, just entering the prime of my life. Us small’uns, 16 pounds, live a long time. We're not ready for a reverse mortgage, Henry Winkler.
The Art of the Deal: I'm available for adoption starting Saturday at 11 am at Citizens for Animal Protection. Everybody who adopts a pooch in July is eligible to win a "Destination Staycation" weekend package at the Omni Hotel in Houston. There will be three winners. And the best part of your Omni weekend? Your new dog is invited!
Coming August 4 to downtown's Toyota Center, headliner Lionel Richie with “very special guest” Mariah Carey. Shouldn’t that be the other way around, with Carey as the headliner? Carey holds the record for most No. 1 hits by a solo artist and has spent more time at No. 1 (79 weeks) than any artist in history. Her single, “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men spent 16 weeks at No. 1, also a record. This surprised me: She has the best-selling Christmas album of all time.
And when he goes on the injured list?
The Houston Rockets landed All-Star Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade. We gave up Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, and a draft pick to get him. I didn’t know that the Rockets were going to play in that 3-on-3 league next year.
I wouldn’t bet on it
New Jersey is taking its case to the Supreme Court to allow sports gambling in its Atlantic City casinos. Stupidest thing ever that a casino can have blackjack and roulette, but can’t take bets on the Super Bowl. We need to get sports betting in Texas, too. Alcohol is legal to buy, and you can smoke pot without fear of arrest in Harris County. But it’s illegal to put $50 down on a football game. Dumb. I’ve never heard of anybody killing kids in a traffic crash because the Texans didn’t cover the 7-point spread on Sunday.
The secret’s in the shaker
Everybody loves McDonald’s fries, right? A few years ago, I asked the owner of a rival burger joint, how hard could it be to duplicate McDonald’s fries? It’s just potatoes, salt, and oil. The owner said, “It’s the way that McDonald’s salts their fries that makes them so good, and we can’t figure it out.” I shook my head.
Last week, I met the owner of the new futuristic McDonald’s in Katy. Asked him the same question, how come your fries are so tremendous? You know what he said? In addition to the quality of the potatoes and oil, “it’s the way we salt them.”
The New York Times’ food team rated and ranked the best hot dogs available in supermarkets. Their results: 1, Wellshire Farms Premium All-Natural Uncured Beef Franks. 2, Hebrew National Kosher Beef Franks. 3, Applegate the Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot dog. 4, Nathan’s Famous Skinless Beef Franks. 5, Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Uncured Franks. My pick: Boar’s Head with natural casing. Expensive, but I’m worth it.
James Coney Island hot dog emporium in Houston has a nifty deal on July 4. For one day only, they’re selling 10 original Coneys for $15. That’s dine-in or take-out.
Speaking of franks, look for me on ESPN2 at 12 pm on July 4. Once again, I’m a judge at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. I’m riding a 3-contest streak of counting dogs for the champ: Matt Stonie in 2015, and Miki Sudo and Joey Chestnut last year.
Ken Hoffman's adoptable Pethouse Pet of the Week runs every Friday on CultureMap. Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. To have all CultureMap stories, including Ken's columns, delivered to your inbox in one Daily Digest every morning, sign up here.