Leading Off (10/8/09)

1. The opening paragraph to this article about Texas health care being ranked 46th in the nation is a bit depressing.

Health care in Texas ranks among the worst in the nation, dragged down by large numbers of uninsured and by the nation’s most porous safety net, according to a scorecard and analysis released Thursday by the health care-oriented Commonwealth Fund.

On the bright side, a 46th ranking is better than its 48th ranking two years ago.

2. Speaking of rankings, Dallas is a top sports city (No. 9 to be precise), according to Sporting News Magazine. This really isn’t a big surprise to any of us. But it’s still nice to know. And here’s part of the reason it got that ranking.

“The North Texas area has it all: highly competitive teams in all four major sports leagues, and these teams play in arguably the top facilities in their leagues,” Dallas Stars president Jeff Cogen told Sporting News. “Add to those Texas Motor Speedway, FC Dallas, the Roughriders, Air Hogs, Fort Worth Cats, SMU, TCU and UNT, and you have quality sporting options across all areas of the Metroplex, across all sports and something for each pocketbook.”

And in the spirit of some OU-TX rivalry, I would ask you to kindly scroll down the list and notice where Norman and Austin rank. I know, I know. It doesn’t really matter. But it may be the only time I can gloat over UT this year.

3. It’s never too early to start thinking about what gifts you’ll be getting for those you love this holiday season (I like all things shiny). Toy manufacturers are definitely plotting their approach at this week’s Fall Toy Fair being held at the Dallas Market Center. It looks like all your kid’s favorite toys will likely be reduced. And, if you didn’t know, this year’s hot product is the Zhu Zhu Pets hamster toys. The hamsters are like the real thing–except they don’t require cleanup, and they drive cars.  All that said, I know where I’m doing my shopping this year.

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