Archive for December, 2005

NEWS – Fireworks ban doesn’t deter revelers

Despite ban on aerial fireworks, the skies over Texas light up on New Years.

(Time: 0:58)

via This Week in Houston

Freedom Through Education – VI

“Culture – not space– is the greatest distance between two peoples.”

— Jamake Highwater

Burlesquercise request


This isn’t any sort of breaking Houston news update or calendar event. It is a request to my fellow Houstonians – plain and simple.

Why aren’t there any Burlesquercise-esque classes in Houston? San Fran is a cool city – but we Houston kids like to get our workout on in fishnets too, dammit.

Will somebody please get on this, pronto??!!?? Thanks.

A bit of Osteen holiday cheer (or The Case of The Messy Pull-Down Tray)

Looks like Victoria Osteen had a nice early Christmas gift for her fellow Vail-bound Continental flight passengers – a 2 hour wait while she and her family ‘voluntarily left’ the airplane and had their luggage removed after an altercation with a stewardess.

Just what is becoming of airline first-class seating anyway?? Spilled liquids on the pull-down tray? Flight attendants trying to prepare their pilots for take-off?

Regarding the ‘minor misunderstanding’, Vic says: “While I am not perfect, I will always seek to be a peacemaker and seek the high road”.

Apparently this means shoving people in front of your children and a plane full of holiday travelers when they don’t wipe things up fast enough for ya’. Diva-Licious!

Houston continues to make a splash in podcasting

A Podcast Christmas Carol, the collaborative effort that began as a thread on the Podcast Pickle message boards and includes over 50 podcasters across the world has made the jump to mainstream.

Producer/Director and Houstonian Chris Doelle (aka C-Dogg) noted that within two hours of the show’s completion and post, there were over 2,000 downloads. In addition, thanks to the participation of industry leaders like David Lawrence, Leo Laporte and Adam Curry, mainstream and satellite radio are carrying the tale.

The adaptation of the Dickens classic with a decidedly podcast twist will be played on XM and Sirius satellite radio as well as over 50 terrestrial radio stations – with inquiries to distribute on more coming in daily.

via This week in Houston

NEWS – Holiday Shipping Woes

Eric Scalf reports from the Beechnut station Post Office on the status of last minute shipping.

(Time: 1:18)

via This Week in Houston

Holiday Travelers Beware

Since the school semester ended a few days ago, I’ve flown to a couple of places for work and leisure. One of the things that I’ve been able to find really helpful is the ability to check in online prior to arriving at the airport. This has been helpful in speeding up the departure process and allows me to arrive later at the airport then I have had to in the past.

The first couple of times that I took advantage of the online check-in, everything went by smoothly. I was flying with Continental, and the process couldn’t have been easier. Upon arrival at the airport, I would check in again with the kiosk, and a Continental agent would take my bags for me. I only had to get to the airport about 45 minutes before my scheduled departure time.

As the holiday travel rush has started in the past few days, I have to say that the situation has gotten progressively worse. When flying with AirTran, I encountered a couple of problems. On the day of my flight from Houston, the flight was delayed and the kiosks wouldn’t work. I had to check in at the desk, which wasn’t too big of a deal because there wasn’t a line.

Once returning to Houston (yesterday, five days before Christmas), it was a disaster. The situation was partly my fault, because I underestimated Atlanta holiday traffic, but at the same time AirTran says that it is “recommended” that I arrive to the airport at least 45 minutes before departure. I had again checked in online, and arrived to the airport with about 45 minutes left. Once I reached the check-in desk, a big sign stated that if baggage check in would be closed 45 minutes prior to departure. In other words, I was screwed. The lines were long and the kiosks were once again not working. By the time I got to the ticket counter, there was only 20 minutes left until my flight. Consequently, I missed my flight and had to catch the next one (5 hours later). Not the most pleasant way to get back home.

In any case, make sure that you arrive extra early to the airport if you plan on traveling the next few days. I know that this is probably a given, but the advertised benefits of online check-in (go straight to the gate! no waiting in line!), are in fact not true during the holiday season.

Educational Discounts

With only a few more shopping days until Christmas, the pressure is on to make those last minute purchases. Time is running out, but the budget-conscious student can still make some wise purchases.

If your school issues student identification cards, make sure and take advantage of educational discounts where possible. For example, at the Apple Store in the Galleria, you can get a 10% discount on Apple-branded products (such as iPod, Apple DIsplays, and Apple Computers). Just show your student id and the discount will be given at the register. On high dollar items, the discount can result in a considerable difference in price. An 4G iPod nano that is normally $249 can be purchased for $229 – the reduction is even greater on laptop computers and desktops.

You can even use this discount through the Apple Store Online if you choose the “Educational” link when going to the store’s page. Additionally, some educational institutions have set up customized pages that show recommended products at special prices for that school.

If anyone knows other places that offer educational discounts for purchasing products in the Houston area, please mention the location and discount in the comments.

Survival of the Fattest

So I found the chart you see below on the BBC News web site and wondered if there was any way to explain the pattern shown. You

DeLay to run for 12th term


Local alleged money laundrer Tom DeLay is running for a 12th term – surprise, surprise.

After being indicted, having to step aside as majority leader and now having the US Supreme Court wanting to review his Texas congressional redistricting, this may not be the merriest of Christmases for Tom.

Be sure to send him a holiday card. Or, alternately, be sure to check on how your favorite politican ranks on the corruption scale.

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