Texas Pioneer Spirit is Alive

CreatedSunday, 26 August 2007 09:41

The Texas Pioneer Spirit is Alive
Texas is a state that is proud of its rugged history, and a place that still fosters and preserves part of the state’s past is the Pioneer Village, located an hour and a half from San Antonio, in tiny Gonzalez, TX.

The pioneer village features fourteen homes, outhouses, and businesses brought from all over Gonzalez to build the village. If you have ever wondered what an old broom shop, saloon, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, granary, and barn from the Texas pioneer days looked like, the village has all these and more on display, fully furnished with typical hardware, equipment, and tools.


The organization that runs the Pioneer Village, also arranges seasonal events and classes to learn some of the old techniques used to sustain life during this period. Classes can be scheduled to learn how to make a toothbrush rag rug, as well as Dutch Oven cooking lessons, and different weaving techniques. Volunteers who wish to help the village are always encouraged to apply.

Throughout the year different events are scheduled. Upcoming events include the Annual Quilt and Fiber Arts Show, the Come and Take it Battle Reenactment, and Stars in the Village. The quilt show takes place on the second Saturday in September, and demonstrates a variety of old techniques used to make gorgeous and useful quilts. The Come and Take it Reenactment is a recreation of one of the incidents (the loaning of a cannon by the Mexican government to Gonzalez, and the subsequent refusal to return it) that led to the Battle for Texas’ Independence. The reenactment takes place on the first Saturday in October. “Stars in the Village” is a pioneer take on the Christmas season. The last weekend of November and the first weekend in December see the village outfitted in 1800s Christmas décor. Carolers, holiday sweets, and musical bands playing period instruments help usher in the season.

The village is an interactive historical center, and is open for group tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM until 2 PM. The tour takes about an hour and a half, and groups wishing to arrange a large tour should be scheduled two weeks in advance. The number for the village is 830.672.2157.


Rackspace to Create 5000 San Antonio Jobs

Created Sunday, 19 August 2007 09:50

More High-Tech Jobs Coming to San Antonio

San Antonio’s high tech sector is rapidly growing.  So much so, that the demand for qualified employees is outstripping the supply.  It’s no secret that many high-tech companies are moving into the city, but some, such as Rackspace, who have plans for growth, are having a hard time competing with other companies for their workers.  This is certainly a good sign for area graduates or soon-to-be-graduates with computer science degrees, and for others as well.


Texas now ranks second only to California in high-tech workers, but still needs more.  Rackspace has started hiring liberal arts majors to train in technical matters.  Of course, the competition is difficult for smaller companies like Rackspace.  Dell, the National Security Agency, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt and Whitney, Microsoft and many other cutting edge companies are based in or near San Antonio, and those named have budgets much larger than Rackspace.

It doesn’t matter to these companies whether the talent is in San Antonio or not.  Many of their employees simply commute from Austin or other nearby cities and towns.  For university students and recent graduates from San Antonio schools, though, the future looks great.  These lucky future employees have their pick of the litter for good, high paying jobs with some of the best companies in the nation.  The average high-tech worker in Texas earned over $68,000 last year.

Rackspace, with their “Fanatical Support“, is a technology company that hosts Web sites and applications and anticipates being able to create between 4,000 to 5,000 jobs over the next five years. Rackspace has agreed to lease the Windor Park Mall property in the City of Windcrest near Northeast San Antonio’s IH35 corridor and invest over $100 million for improvements. The company plans to re-locate its current headquarters in Northwest San Antonio and 1500 employees to the mall.

These new jobs will be in many different categories, not just high-tech.  Rackspace is looking to hire in marketing, sales, and professional services.


Microsoft Invests in San Antonio

Created Friday, 17 August 2007 16:
San Antonio’s high-tech industry is getting on track in a big way with the building of a massive data center for Microsoft.  The 470,000 square foot center broke ground in April, and is expected to open in Dec. 2008.  This giant project will contain thousands of servers for the company, and will be responsible for assisting with storing information and managing the accounts of Microsoft’s millions of customers.  The project, in which Microsoft has already invested over half a billion dollars, may only be the first chapter.  The company is looking at the possibility of opening another identical center as well, which would bring the investment to $1 billion.

Although the center will only employ about 75 full-time employees, the main benefit is certainly the name recognition of having Microsoft located San Antonio.  In fact, other companies have followed Microsoft’s lead, and have begun moving data centers in also.  Already this year, the National Security Agency, Christus Health, Lowe’s, and Stream Realty have all announced plans for opening data centers.  These companies should be only the beginning, as numerous others are working on deals as well.

Another real benefit for having these new centers will be the construction investments made in building them, and the support structure and upkeep that will need to keep them running.  Already CPS Energy has announced that it will have to build a substation to provide energy, and other deals will have to be made with other utilities.

Like many of the more modern office and business centers being built in San Antonio, this new project will use recycled water to cool the buildings, lowering costs, as well as helping protect the environment.


Texas Peach Blossom Trail

Created Thursday, 02 August 2007 21:23

Spring and summer are harvest times for delicious peaches to ripen, and taking a tour through Texas peach growing country is always a good way to get out of town and enjoy the Hill Country and the beautiful Texas summers. Fredericksburg and Gillespie county are the one of the major peach growing areas Texas, and account for 40% of all peaches grown in the state. In fact, there is even a name for the area, The Peach Blossom Trail. To get to the trail from Fredericksburg, take Hwy 290 east to Gellerman lane, then turn left at Vogel’s peach stand. Gellerman lane is absolutely full of peaches. Stands line the road for miles, and on either side are rows and rows of ripening orchards. With summer coming to a close, and with it another peach season soon ending, now is the last chance to enjoy this nearby part of the state. Following are some of the best places to spend a day enjoying fresh fruit in a beautiful setting.


  • Stonewall, Texas—Located along the banks of the Pedernales River, just a few miles east of Fredericksburg is this small town in the heart of Texas peach-growing country. In addition to some of the juciest, sweetest Texas peaches you’ll find, the area is also home to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park and numerous vineyards and breweries. This is the birthplace of President Johnson, and the LBJ Ranch, located in the Historical Park, contains interesting facts and memorabilia from the former president. His boyhood home is also located in the park. Be sure to check out Burg’s Corner-Hill Country Harvest Inc., and Gold’s Orchards, both located on Hwy 290. Vogel Orchard is another local landmark located on Gellerman lane. Burg’s offers their special peach salsa, peach cider, and peach preserves.

  • In Fredericksburg, George Pehl Orchard is located on RR 1376, just south of the KOA. In addition to getting some great peaches, this orchard also has fresh and juicy tomatoes, vegetables, pecans, pumpkins, and homemade jam and honey.

  • Just outside of Fredericksburg on US 87 is Donald Eckhardt Orchard, which has been producing top quality fruits for 71 years. Along with their great peaches, they offer retail and wholesale plums and tomatoes.

  •  Also, for those who want great Texas peaches, but don’t feel like driving out of San Antonio or other Texas town to get them, ePeach.com offers 48 hour in-state shipping during harvest season.

Although peach season is ending, there is still time to enjoy the Jersey Queens, the last to ripen. These are freestone peaches, meaning that the flesh easily separates from the pit, or stone, making these juicy and perfect for eating fresh off the tree! Also through October, tomatoes and apples are coming into season, so if you do miss the peaches, in Hill Country there’s always something delicious growing on the branch!