Archive for June, 2006

Cattle Rustling still alive and well in Texas


From the Chronicle: Nolan Ryan’s Stolen Cows Recovered

Authorities said Tuesday they have cracked a cattle-rustling operation that stretched across eight counties and claimed 289 head, including 17 cows and 30 calves belonging to Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.

I guess the more things change they more they stay the same., a new calendar service for bands and venues has launched recently. I’d lamented a while back about the lack of development over at, so I’ve officially decided to throw my weight behind the efforts of Mike & Gary at Could be a great resource for bands, venues and people who just want to go out and catch some great live music. All it takes is some dedicated users.

One great feature that caught my attention right away was their way of importing your favorite bands from either an iTunes XML export or a profile at Very nice to be able to join and within 5 minutes have it know a long list of music I listen to. It also does SMS text message alerts to your cell phone at programmable intervals leading up to a show you plan on catching.

Looks like I was the first to join representing the Houston area, so today I entered about 40 upcoming shows and 10 venues. More will come as I find time and interest. I encourage others to set up accounts and submit info as well. No matter how slick the code on the back-end, the service will only help our community if there’s enough info in it to make visiting the site worthwhile.

1“What weight?” you may ask. Well, a few of you may remember back when I used to run the Celtic Houston majordomo list hosted by Around the same time was a regular contributor to musi-cal, one of the earliest distributed music calendar services on the web. (Heck, before that I even used to sit around with Carolyn Wonderland & the Bi-Bulb hand-folding Houston Music Calendars prior to distribution.) So it’s not like I’m particularly new to this idea…

Juneteenth: Let Freedom Ring!


Juneteenth (or June 19th) is an official holiday in Texas history, but is now celebrated nationally and even around the world. It is a day that marks the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom for African Americans and blacks (hence the name Juneteenth). In fact, we do have a Houston neighborhood that is a part of this Texas history. Freedmen’s Town, one of the oldest black community located in Downtown Houston (the Fourth Ward-area), is now a historic site recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Sadly, in recent articles in the Houston Chronicle, much of Freedmen’s Town are vanishing due to “an abortive city-sponsored effort to buy up property for development of affordable housing.” (And I suspect that Houston’s fast population growth may be another factor.) As a result, the city plans to pave its way through this historic site, “giving way to modern, single-family houses and townhouses.” Many groups, forming the Coalition for Freedmen’s Town for instance, are coming together to save and preserve what’s left of this historic site. After all, this town, they hope, will commemorate not only Juneteenth but also remind younger generations the significance of freedom and black history. Furthermore, they reason, if it takes a city’s effort to save a historic site from the bulldozer because it’s on the National Register (like the Alamo in San Antonio), then Houston should do the same. Otherwise, “we [would] lose the character of Houston.” Let us all hope for the best for this history-saving effort. And Happy Juneteenth!

*Note: Photo courtesy of Hill Swift Architects.

Heavy Flooding Hits Houston

Houston was hit with 10 inches of rain in the span of only a few hours this morning. Streets in the south-east Hobby-airport area are reporting significant flooding as well as some residences.

As much as 10.5 inches of rain was reported by the heart of the morning commute today, said Rusty Cornelius, administrative coordinator for Harris County Emergency Management. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Houston and Galveston counties until 10 a.m.

Houston Chronicle: Heavy rains prompt flood watch, road closures

KHOU has extended video coverage. Weather predictions for Houston are showing more rain throughout the week.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor

It has recently come to my attention that our fair city’s mayor is currently a finalist in the World Mayor 2006 contest.

And just who are these World Mayor people, you say? They describe themselves using the following words:

World Mayor, an annual project organised by City Mayors, intends to raise the profile of mayors worldwide, as well as honour those who have served their communities well and who have contributed to the well-being of cities, nationally and internationally. Above all, World Mayor wants to show the world what great mayors can achieve.

Mayor White is one of 50 finalists (selected from 677 nominees), with only 10 being mayors of cities in North America.

Go vote!

Sitting still in your car has never been so entertaining…

The last movie I saw at a drive-in theater was Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. I remember thinking that I preferred the first one and that their journey was kind of bogus (but not in the way they intended). The drive-in closed and I was forced to go back to watching movies indoors where my dog wasn’t welcome.

Until now.

There’s a drive-in out in Hockley (near Tomball, five minutes east of 290 on FM 2920) called The Showboat Drive-In Theater. Adults can watch a double feature for only $5 (tickets are $4 for kids 2-12, and free for kids under 2). Better still, the movie sound comes from your own car radio, instead of those rickety old speakers that I remember from my youth!

June 16 – June 22
X-Men: The Last Stand
(First movie starts at dusk.)

Coming soon: Grease!

Because of a previous post of mine about a new dining-during-movie theater in Copperfield, I now officially have two theaters to go inspect and report back on. Full reviews of both coming very soon, I promise.

Where Am I?


Located in Houston’s first Latino neighborhood and next to one of the largest Latino cultural centers in the United States.

Answer will be posted Friday afternoon. :)

Businesses to be fined for graffiti

I just read an article over on the Chron about a proposed amendment to fine business owners for not removing graffiti fast enough. The original ordinance is 10 years old and apparently this is a way to breathe new life into it. When I read this article, I immediately thought of Java Java, a coffee shop that cleverly disquises graffiti as advertising. Even barring Java Java as an example, I’m sure that there are other examples that could be used to support graffiti as art. So my question is who decides what graffiti is?

New Apple Store at Memorial City

For some, being a part of the Apple community is like being in a cult. It’s fanatical and, at the very least, can lead to excessive purchases of Apple products.

If you fit in the above mentioned category, you’ll be happy to know that Apple is opening up another Apple store in Memorial City Mall. The grand opening is this Saturday, June 17 at 10 a.m.

The first 1,000 visitors will receive a free Apple t-shirt and you could also win a digital lifestyle collection which includes a new iMac, 4GB iPod nano, Canon digital camera, and more.

I think that this speaks volumes for the changes Memorial City Mall has undergone in the last few years. Apple stores are usually in high profile locations, and this is yet another indicator that the mall has improved for the better with plenty of new stores and an updated look.

Blue Bayou

sabinetobagbyolive.jpg Chances are, you were one of the thousands of Houstonians this weekend at Blue Bayou, a celebratiion of the grand opening of the Sabine to Bagby Promenade along Buffalo Bayou.

The event was filled with food, beer, bands (including a string quartet), a floating cinema courtesy of the Aurora Picture Show, boats & kayaks buzzing along the Bayou, a video of Monarch butterflies projected against the Sabine Bridge, and the length of the newly developed Promenade awash in cobalt blue lights. Families were strolling the promenade, kids were tumbling down hills and small groups of friends and couples were laying out on blankets. It was a beautiful summer evening and a wonderful way to experience one of Houston’s recent developments.

Spanning 23 acres, the $15 million Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade features trails, beautiful landscaping, a pedestrian bridge, public art and a high-tech lighting system. According to a Chronicle article about the Promenade features, “the lighting system features glowing orbs that will be white when the moon is full and, moving east to west, progressively change to blue as the moon goes through its phases. The lights will be all blue when the new moon appears, and the pattern will reverse itself for the remainder of the lunar cycle.”

If you weren’t able to make it to the Blue Bayou event this weekend and haven’t yet seen the new Promenade, you’re in for a treat. It’s beautiful, clean and also great new route for runners and bicyclists. For more information on the Promenade and other upcoming developments along Buffalo Bayou, check out the Buffalo Bayou Partnership website.

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