Archive for April, 2006

Buh-Bye Bonus Ball

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If you are trying to score the $32.2 million Lotto Texas jackpot tonight, you probably should’ve bought your ticket for the next go-around on Wednesday.

Why? Because tonight you’re odds of winning are 1 in 47.7 million, instead of next week’s 1 in 25.8 million. Still not really great odds granted, but it beats the hell out of 47.7.

This evening’s game is the last appearance for the apparently much-hated Bonus Ball. The mischevious little beastie was incorporated into the game 3 years ago to create uber-huge jackpots and up sales – at $32.2 million, I’d say that at least part of their plan worked.

Happy Lotto-ing!!

Speaking of energy…. how’s your electric bill looking?

Mayor Bill White recently released the Houston Consumer Choice website for Houstonians to compare electricity company pricing and make an educated decision on who you pay and how much you pay to get you your energy.

The site is really cool – you can compare variable priced, fixed price and renewable energy pricing for your zipcode with some pretty surprising results.

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As of right now, I could stand to save around $30/month on my energy bill and you may be eligible for even more than that. $30 is coffee and Niko Nikos money and I’m all down for that.

In the future, this will be an even more important website as (in Bill’s words):

…at the end of this year neither the City nor the Texas Public Utility Commission will have as much control over electricity rates. So, consumers must take some responsibility for protecting themselves if the prices rise too much.

Why won’t the city have as much control? Because ‘The Price To Beat’ (the standard rate offering set by the Public Utility Commission) will no longer be available – which means even the little guy electricity companies will be shooting their prices to the moon. Great.

Learn more about your rights as a consumer here at the Power To Choose site. Thanks Ed!

Can I Get Some Service? and We’re California!

This started a week ago, actually, this started I don’t know how long ago with Studewood being half closed for repairs. Wow, that’s annoying sometimes. Then a week ago, the city just decided to start working on Main St. right down from my house. They park their backhoe right in front of my house, drive it down the street and proceed to rip into the ground. Shortly thereafter, they shut off the water for most of the day with absolutely no notice.

Of course, this all comes along with the rolling blackouts of Monday. Follow this up with some spottiness in Road Runner’s service and it somehow seems I’m at the epicenter of service outages lately. I know I’m not the only one, but man, it seems like a conspiracy. Sometimes city and private services are just out to get you. At least they still pick up the trash… I hope.

Back to the rolling blackouts, though. Wow, that was a new one, huh guys? Actually, with the high profile crimes, natural disasters and power outages… we’re giving California a run for their money. Now all we need to do is elect Kinky into office and we’ll have a celebrity governor too!

another great Schizophrenic Post™ brought to you by your friendly neighborhood adrian.

Bunny’s Day Out (Yes, seriously.)

What a cute bunny! Strap a leash on your bunny and head down to the Houston SPCA this Sunday for a little Bunny’s Day Out action!

The event will include refreshments, goodie bags, holiday portraits, a rabbit playpen, rabbit adoptions, and more! Further information on the event can be found on the Houston SPCA’s website.

If bunnies aren’t your thing, keep an eye on the the SPCA’s event calendar, as they are likely to host a similar event for your pet of choice. And if you don’t actually have a pet, you should really consider adopting one from a local rescue (My rescue of choice: the Houston Beagle & Hound Rescue, from whom I adopted the most adorable beagle on earth.)

(Thanks to BeeSparkle on Flickr for the photo.)

Turn the table

In light of the trials of Enron, I thought it would be appropriate to post a conversation I had with a scam artist on instant messaging. It’s a bit of a long read so I bolded my lines and italicized the scammer. I wasn’t immediately aware they were a scammer but once this was evident I decided to try and keep them going as long as possible. I was particularly bored that day so I hope you are as amused reading this as I was in having the conversation:

scarey045: hey babe
cyng1976: hello hun
scarey045: how is you?
cyng1976: I am fine and u?
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SPORTS – National Judo Championships

Gail Stolzenberg
National Judo Championships
George R. Brown Convention Center

(Time: 1:07)

206-202-3644 Call in your news!

Nancy Rapaport, UH Law Dean resigns, Rankings Blamed

As a newly admitted student at the University of Houston Law School, it’s more than a little disturbing to discover that the dean of the law school, Nancy Rapaport, has resigned due in some part to the programs 20 point fall in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of colleges and graduate schools since 2003. Rick Casey continues the Chronicle’s coverage with U.S. News skews rank of UH Law.

The notion of rankings has become a bit of a theme as I blogged just a few days ago on Mercer’s quality of living survey. Rankings do matter. They matter to law school deans, obviously. They matter most to prospective law students – by far the most neurotic and status-conscious society I’ve ever kept – for whom a few points in a ranking is likely to change the minds of more than a few. They matter to 3Ls (about to graduate) who are competing for jobs with graduates of other schools. The law school rankings have more than its fair share of detractors however, and I think this may add a little fuel to the fire.

Other bloggers weigh in Christine Hurt, Tom Kirkendall, Brian Leiter (Leiter’s explanation of the ranking’s methodology)

So much to do, so give up some time!

Wow, this is definitely a loaded week! With the feeling of summer quickly approaching around the bend, there are so many events to take notice of and plus they’re all for good causes.

Event One:

First up, I’d like to highlight a volunteer organization called StandUp For Kids. This organization’s purpose is to help keep kids off of Houston streets by educating them and providing them ways to look at life in a more optimistic and worthwhile way (an outreach organization). We have so many homeless people on the streets, but we sometimes do not know that there are also homeless kids who are not in school and who are also among the homeless population anyway. standupforkids.png This weekend, StandUp For Kids is hosting a 48 Hours on the Street event, beginning this Friday, April 21st through Sunday, April 23rd. This is your chance to make a difference in the lives of these kids.

To help out with this organization, they will be conducting a donation drive at the Hermann Park Pavilion on April 22nd. You can drop off donations from NOON to 6 pm.
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Houston listed last in US by Mercer World-wide quality of living survey

I’ve got to learn to stop looking at city rankings. The methodology always leaves much to be desired and Houston has a habit of hovering at the bottom. The latest is one conducted by Mercer Human Resources and is intended to give companies sending workers to different locations an idea of how whether or not they need to adjust compensation.

Honolulu, the highest ranking city in the U.S., drops two positions to 27th with a score of 103.3. San Francisco remains at 28th position and scores 103.2. Boston, Washington, Chicago and Portland follow in positions 36, 41, 41 and 43 respectively (scores 101.9, 100.4, 100.4 and 100.3) while Houston remains the lowest ranking city in the U.S. at position 68 (score 95.4). Overall, U.S. cities continue to slip slightly or remain stable in the rankings, except Chicago which has moved up 11 places due to decreased crime rates.

I know, I know, I keep telling myself these things don’t matter, but why is Houston always consigned to the basement?
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Penetrable Amarillo

I had the opportunity to go by the Museum of Fine Arts yesterday during the rolling blackouts and noticed something odd:

The yellow tubes that normally hung in the frame in the Jesus Rafael Soto “Penetrable Amarillo” sculpture were missing.

Is the exhibition moving elsewhere, or is this a part of a scheduled cleaning of the tubes?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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