Up the river without a paddleboat
We don't like to be party poopers, but in the case of Saturday's Trinity River Challenge, a grievous error floats on the horizon and we can't help but call it out. The race, which begins with a 7:45 a.m. check-in at McInnish Park, 2340 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton, pits contestants in an 11-mile paddling race up and down the Trinity River with proceeds benefiting lake and river protection groups. Now, we're fans of paddlin' for a good cause, but this canoe stuff is for the birds. Where are the paddleboats? In our dream version of the Trinity River Challenge (which, by the way, would start no earlier than 7 p.m.), the race would be a leisurely paddleboat battle that would leave contestants' hands free for important things such as drinking beer and throwing cans of beer at competitors. Obviously, this hasn't stopped hundreds of paddlers from taking part in the challenge for nearly a decade, so if you have $25 and a hankering to join the contest's venerable "under two hours" club, then put the beer down and get to paddlin'. Call 972-979-2519. --Sam Machkovech
Lawn-loving Texans hear the word "xeriscape" and cringe as they picture the "lawns" of El Paso--crushed white rock interspersed with narrow strips of sad-looking grass. But you don't have to give up greenness to have a water-friendly landscape. You can have a yard filled with flowers, trees, shrubs and, yes, turf, all while conserving that precious H2O. So until they figure out how to wring the humidity out of the air and onto your perennials, learn how to love your lawn and your water bill at two free xeriscape seminars sponsored by the city of Dallas at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Register by calling 214-670-3155. --Michelle Martinez
It's OK to love chartreuse. Feel free to list neon orange as a favorite color. Miami Vice teal? Go for it. A safe assumption can be made, however, that your neighbors (or prospective buyers of your home) probably don't feel the same way about these, um, dynamic hues. Therefore, it is suggested that the exterior color of your house be painted a fairly tame shade with complementary trim to improve upon your home's outer charm...and your neighbor relations. However, anything past the threshold is fair game for Day-Glo colors. Rick Spence of HGTV's Curb Appeal will share such tips when he hits the 22nd Annual Fall Dallas Home and Garden Show for a special appearance Saturday. The show runs Friday through Sunday and features various other celebrity and expert guests--some of whom might even be able to help you plan a "sunglasses required" rumpus room. Visit www.texashomeandgarden.com. --Merritt Martin
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