Archive for August, 2006

Don’t drink, don’t drive, what do we do?

Drunkards! Er, not drunkards.

Falling waaaay behind cities like Austin, Philadelphia… heck even Denver is ahead of us on the Forbes list of America’s Drunkest Cities. Houston ranks a lowly 18 out of 35 major metro areas. I think there’s something wrong with their calculation methods though… We beat out Miami, Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans. Heck, Las Vegas is only #14!

Of course, the article is quick to point out that “just because a city ranks high on the list doesn’t make it a den of debauchery.”

Round and round the mulberry bush..

According to the Census Bureau, Houston doesn’t even rank in the Top Ten Cities With Longest Commutes. The longest in the nation clocks in at 39.6 minutes… it takes me 39.6 minutes to get to the other side of the Heights. The only explaination possible is that the Census Bureau staff are still stuck here, making their 300th lap around 610 trying to find the Beltway 8 exit.

Yes its true, I’m fond of lists. Yay lists!

Schools: Motives and Motivation

In response to the news this past weekend (you can also read the article here) and an article I came across earlier today, I’ve written a short piece on my approach to a good education at my journal. Interestingly, it seems like a few people have joined in on the discussion and pointed out the things I see that are sort of political. I, myself, will not get into politics or avoid it as much as possible, because a) it gives me a headache, b) I’m a peacemaker, and c) I just don’t like politics as much although we live with it everyday. But other than that, I’m a good citizen and when I see a problem, I try to fix it.

Excuse My Accent, Please

“Can you please help me?”, was the southern accent that was heard as I peered from the corner of my paperback to see who was trying to disturb me, while Pendergast was finally escaping from Herkmoor’s highly guard prison. Then she smiled, and I at that instance knew that my trip to Houston was going to be worth while.

It’s only fair…

I feel that it is my sworn and solemn duty to let the world (via HouMetBlog) know that September 3rd is my birthday. You may appease the gods of birthday wishes by securing gifts from Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Spec’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Diedrich.

Or a nice round of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” during happy hour at the Mucky Duck would be nice.

Hounds and Bats and Bridges – Oh My!

The Houston Active Dogs Meetup Group was at it again… uh, having a meeting with our active dogs. Ok, it was more than that… it was an outing that many Houstonians might like to check out – even if they don’t have dogs. We went to view the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony! That’s right, Houston has its very own bat colony! No longer do you have to travel to Austin to witness the nightly ritual as each of our 250,000 bats takes flight in search of all those pesky bugs.

The area has been quietly under development thanks to the HPARD, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. If you get there just before dark, you can get a good spot, listen to the members of the volunteer Bat Team explain all about the colony, and then watch as they emerge. There are even boat tours available to view them from the water.

With all the mosquitoes and the ever-present West Nile virus running rampant around the city, its good to know our bat population is increasing. Kudos to the little winged mammals for the 2 1/2 TONS of insects they eat each night!

Sugar Land Is The 3rd Best Place To Live In The U.S.

Although Adrian briefly mentioned this, I thought I’d elaborate a bit more, being a Sugar Land-ian (is that a word?)…

Having already been considered as one of the Best Communities for Young People and as one of the Best Places to Raise Your Family , Money Magazine and CNN/Money have chosen Sugar Land as one of the best places to live in America. Reasons cited for this ranking include the low cost of living, the diversity, and the number of job opportunities. Last year, Sugar Land was chosen as number 46.

I’m not surprised that Sugar Land ranked so highly. I’ve lived in the area for the last 14 years, and have seen a great deal of development. I can still remember when Highway 6 was practically empty on both sides, and now its full of businesses and restaurants. I personally consider Sugar Land to be an amazing city, filled with the modern conveniences of larger cities while maintaining that small town charm.

You can see signs all over the city celebrating this award…congratulations Sugar Land, you deserve it!

Habitat for Humanity

So, in my suddenly aquired free time (my former boss apparently didn’t need my two weeks notice), I thought to my self, “hmmmmmmmmmm, what to do”. It took me about an hour or two, but I finally figured out what to do. I figured I need to blog.

Traffic sucks, acid rain sucks, and so does Web 2.0. You know what’s really, really, really, really, really cool? People.

Dawn A., who helps with Pasadena Habitat for Humanity, is one of the 23 finalists for the Dr Pepper “Pepper Your Community” contest. The purpose of the contest is to celebrate people making a difference in their community. Online voting ends August 11 and the winners will be announced August 25.

This seems rather timely given the Mayor’s new initiative regarding the homeless.

Please help

I’m working on completing this year’s Best of Houston entry form and I need some help filling out some of the categories. Here’s where I’m stuck:

  • Best Bureaucrat?
  • Best Drag Queen?
  • Best place to people watch?
  • Best adult video store?

I don’t know crap about sports, so I just skipped over that section. I’m really stuck on the “people watch” category because there are too many places to observe the species.

Some places that receive considerable attention (on my ballot at least) include the Mucky Duck (best bar, best bar food, best concert venue), Ruggle’s (best french fries, best hamburgers), and Prince’s (best milkshakes, best burger joint).

Dude. Where the hell is everyone these days?

Awfully Quiet

Look dudes…

I know we’re all upset that Alice Cooper is not going to perform in Houston for this tour. I feel your pain… really. But that’s still no excuse not to post about other things going on in the city.

As for me? I’m damn sore from running four miles yesterday at Memorial Park. Wait… let me rephrase that. I’m really damn sore from walking/jogging/limping four miles yesterday. I arrived at Memorial around 7am and the freaking place was PACKED. I felt like I was in the middle of a pedestrian rush hour.

Anyway, I’m off to my favorite Korean bakery…
bing soo heaven
… to drown my sorrows in a pat bing soo. I’ll make sure to have an extra helping for Hard Hearted Alice.

One Year After Hurricane Katrina

I just received my August 28 issue of Newsweek in the mail yesterday and there’s an update on the Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Apparently a recent study shows that many of the evacuees have left the five major cities that they migrated to (Houston, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and Birmingham). In Houston’s case, the number of evacuees has dropped 40% from 250,000 to 150,000.

One thing that is a bit alarming is that the article mentions that in Houston, evacuees are blamed for overcrowding and a rise in crime. While crowding did seem an issue for a few weeks after Katrina hit, I see little evidence of it now. Either I’m used to it or Newsweek may be exaggerating the issue. They went so far as to say that “Evacuees feel so stigmatized that they often hide their identity when applying for jobs or social services”.

Is this true? Is it that bad here in Houston? I certainly hope not…

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