TRAVEL: We tended to call Texas 21 "the highway of death." The main link between the hometowns for the University of Texas and Texas A&M University was too narrow and confounded by too many off-speed entries. This past weekend, we headed to College Station for the first time in four years and found 21 newly wide, smooth and well-regulated. Once in Aggieland, we tend to get lost. Its largely traffic-free parkways and freeways all look alike to an outsider. On the way out, we tried to angle over to 21 and found ourselves on FM 60 instead. Bonus: It’s a pretty drive, detours around Caldwell and takes you directly into Snook, allowing for a stop at the meat treasury at Slovacek’s, home to the famous sausages. (Do not miss this marvelous meat market.)

FOOD: Since we were visiting Dale Rice and Antonio La Pastina in College Station … We could predict that the food and wine would be glorious. The first evening, we dined on six courses at Cocoamoda in Calvert, 30 miles away. Well worth it, including a visit to our table by an outrageously outgoing guest, who lent us a new, unrepeatable catchphrase, and a good 30 minutes at the table with chef Ken Wilkison. The next day, we munched on hand-chopped beef at Martin’s, a Bryan barbecue institution since 1925 (it feels like nothing has changed). Dale cooked two light breakfasts and one fantastic dinner of Brazilian seafood moqueca, introduced by a roasted butternut squash soup. We sampled from five superlative Goldeneye pinor noirs that Kip had brought along. (Even five mile walk/runs could not keep off the pounds this splendid weekend.)

SCHOOL: Regents to discuss UT president’s employment. From Ralph K.M. Haurwitz’s story online: "University of Texas System regents will discuss the employment of UT-Austin President Bill Powers in a closed-door session Thursday. The posting on the regents’ agenda refers to a "recommendation" by Executive Vice Chancellor Pedro Reyes and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa concerning Powers’ employment but does not specify what they are recommending. "Unfortunately, since it’s an executive session item I’m not able to comment on it," said Karen Adler, a spokeswoman for the system. Some of the regents have sparred with Powers in recent years on fundraising, faculty productivity and other matters, but he is thought to be supported by a majority of the nine-member board. http://shar.es/DLG2V(Hang in there, Bill.)

PARKS: Plans for dog park on Auditorium Shores heads to vote. From Sarah Coppola’s story in Monday’s Statesman: "The Austin parks department’s vision for a new, much smaller off-leash dog area at Auditorium Shores is generating a backlash ahead of two votes scheduled this week on the plan. Currently, dogs are allowed off-leash on all 18 acres of Auditorium Shores, a popular park on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake. The new plan would reduce the off-leash area to about 4.7 acres on Auditorium Shores’ west end. City parks officials say it would be a state-of-the-art dog area built with $1.1 million of a $3.5 million donation from event producers C3 Presents, the company that has held the Austin Food & Wine Festival at Auditorium Shores. But the plan calls for making the middle section of Auditorium Shores on-leash only and for banning dogs altogether from the large event lawn on Auditorium Shores’ east end. http://shar.es/DLGP2(So disappointed in my fellow dog lovers: 4.7 acres is more than enough for leash-free fun there.)

MUSIC: From Bon Jovi to Broadway: Memphis. From Wes Eichenwald’s story in Monday’s Statesman: "David Bryan, a founding and still active member of Bon Jovi, is more than just the guy who’s been playing keyboards on the likes of "Livin’ on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name" for the past 30 years. For Bryan, having a second career as a composer for stage musicals is just another side of the same coin.A pal and bandmate of John Bongiovi Jr. since both were teenagers in late ’70s suburban New Jersey, Bryan is also the composer and co-lyricist of "Memphis," which opens Tuesday at Bass Concert Hall and plays through Dec. 15 as part of the Broadway In Austin series at Texas Performing Arts. Strictly speaking, "Memphis" isn’t a jukebox musical, because the songs are original to Bryan and his writing partner, fellow New Jerseyan Joe DiPietro ("I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change"). "Memphis," which deals with segregation and an interracial romance against the backdrop of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the early ’50s, was first staged in California in 2002, but it took another seven years to hit Broadway. In 2010 the show won four Tony awards, including best musical, best original score and best book." http://shar.es/DLhkG(Intriguing.)