Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just Forget About Jeans Day!

This requires some explanation: This hilarious video disappears and reappears on the Web due to copyright issues, so I used the best edition I could find. This is the Tennessee version, but it appeared in Texas in almost identical form under the title "STAAR Results Are In", in honor of the state's loathed standardized tests which are a bane to a teacher's existence.

AYP means "adequate yearly progress".
SPED is special education.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Yellow Jacket Through the Years

From Kermit on Tour.
Speaking of Yellow Jackets, here is an image I've been looking for. It's the 1958 Kermit Yellow Jacket mascot as painted by local artist Michael Vargas:

This somewhat poutier version appears on the wall of the high school basketball gym, which sadly is soon to be demolished:

In the 1990's and 2000's, a modern stylized version is used:

And beginning last year, this bee from the '60's has made a comeback, with the caption "Tradition Old School Style."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is Kermit Getting Tired of Kermit the Frog?

(We at Frogtown have long celebrated the now-fading images of Kermit the Frog which first appeared in 2005 when he visited our town. See here, herehere and here. But some residents and former residents of Kermit may be feeling differently ... )

From NewsWest9:
Posted: Jul 24, 2012
From Kermit on Tour.

By Sylvia Gonzalez NewsWest 9
KERMIT - It's not easy being green in Kermit.

Several people in the small town of Kermit have taken to Facebook to express their disgust for Kermit the Frog. Some want to see him permanently removed while others like having the amphibian around.

"We were proud to be the fighting Yellow Jackets, we've never been the frogs," former Kermit resident, Allen Vinyard, said.

The Facebook page, Kermit Memories, has been seeing more comments than usual and it all revolves around Kermit the Frog. There are people who believe they're seeing too much of him in town.

Vinyard lived in Kermit during his school years, and even though he no longer lives there, he says its embarrassing the reaction people get when he reveals where he is from.

"It's insulting to me when I tell someone where I grew up and they say oh like Kermit the Frog, and I say no like Kermit Roosevelt, which the town was named after," Vinyard said.

Many of the residents that NewsWest 9 spoke to didn't have any negative feelings towards the frog, as a matter of fact they are proud of it.

Austin Williamson is the starting quarterback for the high school football team and he says when he plays in other towns he actually likes hearing comments about Kermit the Frog.

"I take it as a compliment because I want a lot of people to know what Kermit is, but you have to tell them what it is, what it actually is. It's more than just a frog. I think it is just a little design, there's nothing wrong with it just being there," Williamson said.

Some of the comments on Facebook read, "The stupid frog was nothing until some California hippies got lucky. Kermit, Texas is way more important than the stuffed sock."

Another one read, "death due to an allergic reaction to a yellow jacket."

Lane Nutt is a business owner and he says he uses the frog as a conversational piece.

"In my business, I have lots of calls and they always make some comment about Kermit the Frog, it's kinda like a conversational piece, it doesn't bother me," Nutt said.

Nina Huda is a former resident of Kermit, who says the Facebook comments is just the beginning of what they plan on doing to get rid of the frog.

"We are going to be doing petitions and sending them to the City Manager's office," Huda said. Many residents say they're subject is clear. "Get rid of the frog," Huda said.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What a Couple!

From the Odessa American:

They’re known as Whataburger’s biggest fans.

At least, that’s what the orange and white T-shirts that Karl and Carol Hoepfner wore had printed as they sat down for breakfast Tuesday morning at the Whataburger restaurant on East Eighth Street.

The couple’s morning stop was No. 671, Karl Hoepfner said, on their trip to visit the chain’s 735 stores in 10 states. Stops No. 672 and 673 were to come later Tuesday as the couple visited the locations on Andrews Highway — Whataburger’s first ever A-frame restaurant — and East 42nd Street.

Traveling in their van full of Whataburger memorabilia that they’ve collected since their trip began, the Rockport, Texas, couple and retired U.S. Army master sergeants have been checking in at every store since starting their journey April 2011. To document their trip, the couple has been putting their receipts from the restaurants and other items, such as postcards and pictures, in different three-ring binders to document their trip.

Stores have also been giving up their plastic order number bearing the couple’s permanently assigned waiting number: 13.

“In our hometown, you can’t even get that number,” Karl Hoepfner, 75, said.

Earning the title “biggest fans” happened in November 2010 after an essay contest from Whataburger was brought to Karl’s attention asking people for submissions on why they felt were the organizations biggest fan A published author, Karl Hoepfner said he submitted a 400 word essay about the couple’s first trip to Whataburger in San Angelo in 1963 while the two were still in the Air Force and how Carol and himself have had visited Whataburger restaurants at least 7,000 times since then.

“We’ve been all over the world and we haven’t tasted a better burger,” Karl Hoepfner said.

The trip to visit all the stores started in April 2011 after Carol, 73, was diagnosed with eye cancer and underwent 17 treatments in 23 nights in Houston, her husband said. Karl Hoepfner also said his wife’s cancer is in remission and she has a hard time seeing.

The couple then decided to visit each store in the Houston area, 90 in total, and decided to visit them all. Karl Hoepfner said the company didn’t start taking notice until their 200th stop.

“I just enjoy seeing the people and talking to them,” Carol Hoepfner said.

A meal for the couple usually consists of their favorites, a Whataburger for Karl and a Justaburger — a Whataburger Jr. with only mustard, pickles and onions — for Carol Hoepfner. Carol also said she likes the organization’s chicken strips.

To keep from gaining weight from the large amount of Whataburger the couple consumes, the couple tries to avoid items things such as onion rings while ordering. Karl Hoepfner also said the couple walks all the time and he rides his bike at least once a day. His wife however, has an easier time keeping weight off then him.

“She weighed 113 pounds when I met her and she hasn’t changed since,” Karl Hoepfner joked.

Karl Hoepfner also said the company was big on giving back to the community, citing the work the Whataburger Family Foundation did after Katrina, and he and his wife try to do the same.

Winning $8,000 after his essay was picked by Whataburger, The Hoepfners decided to send $7,000 back and got 1,000 $7 gift cards instead. The couple then handed out their gift cards to help feed homeless people. Karl Hoepfner said it took them about a year before they finally ran out of cards.

The couple’s next stop will be in Midland and then move on to the Dallas area June 23, Karl Hoepfner said. After that, the couple plans on taking a cruise to Alaska for their 55th anniversary.

Karl Hoepfner also said he has a book in mind about the experience and plans to titled it after the license plates on their vehicle, “MSGTS 2.”

“It’s all about our life in the service and our trips,” Karl Hoepfner said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Meet Abigail!

Our newest great-niece!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


From Liz's Facebook on June 1:
"Robert has 'graduated' from Junior High and is starting high school next year.  Today was my last working day at Kermit Elementary.  We are both stepping into new territory and are eagerly waiting to see what God has in store!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Scientific Ghost Town

From the Associated Press:
Hobbs, NM, picked as site of scientific ghost town
By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press

(Hobbs is about 60 miles north of Kermit, soz ya know. - DK)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A scientific ghost town in the heart of southeastern New Mexico oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology — but no people.

A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.
Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique research facility that looks like an empty city will be a key for diversifying the economy of the nearby community, which after the oil bust of the 1980s saw bumper stickers asking the last person to leave to turn out the lights.

"It brings so many great opportunities and puts us on a world stage," Cobb told The Associated Press before the announcement.

Pegasus Holdings and its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development, said Hobbs and Lea County beat out Las Cruces, for the Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing.

The CITE project is being billed as a first-of-its kind smart city, or ghost town of sorts, that will be developed on about 15 square miles west of Hobbs.
Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, said the town will be modeled after the real city of Rock Hill, S.C., complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new. No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing.

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars.

"The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope," said Brumley.
Not far from the Texas border, Hobbs has seen new growth in recent years but local leaders have been pushing to expand the area's reputation to include economic development ventures beyond the staple of oil and gas.

The investors developing CITE were looking for open spaces. Brumley said his group scoured the country for potential sites, "but we kept coming back to New Mexico. New Mexico is unique in so many ways."

One big plus for New Mexico was its federal research facilities like White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico and Los Alamos and Sandia national labs.

Gov. Susana Martinez joined officials in announcing final site selection for the project, which she hailed as "one of the most unique and innovative" economic development projects the state has seen. She noted that no tax breaks were given for the development. "The only thing they have asked for is guidance," she said.

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $1 billion.

The project is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases.

Hobbs, a community of about 43,000 people, currently has two non-stop flights from Houston each day and is working on getting daily service to Albuquerque and Denver.

The mayor said discussions for the new flights have just started but having the research center may bolster efforts to connect Hobbs to more cities.

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