Archive for December, 2004

Tear down the Astrodome

December 31, 2004

The Houston Press reports on the possible fates of the Astrodome.

Houstonians are properly proud of the Astrodome. Billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, it was the first air-conditioned sports stadium and an excellent example of the architecture of its time. The combination of audacity and publicity that went into building it is the trademark of this city. Even 40 years later, people the world over hear “Astrodome” and think “Houston”.

And it ought to be torn down.

(more…)

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Art as a mirror

December 30, 2004

Art is a mirror not because it is the same as the object, but because it is different. A mirror selects as much as art selects; it gives the light of flames, but not their heat; the colour of flowers, but not their fragrance; the faces of women, but not their voices; the proportions of stockbrokers, but not their solidity. A mirror is a vision of things, not a working model of them.

— G. K. Chesterton, 1910

An embarrassing day for the Big XII

December 30, 2004

The Big XII North champion was taken to the wire by an 8-3 WAC team, and Oklahoma State fell behind 33-0 to Ohio State, finally losing 33-7.

Thomas Gray and I went to the Colorado-UTEP game at Reliant Stadium. Great game. UTEP played their hearts out and had an early lead, but Colorado’s superior size and athleticism wore them down. The UTEP quarterback had little protection for most of the second half, and made several bad passes (including two interceptions).

The Miners brought about 10,000 fans and their band to the game, while the Buffaloes brought maybe 4,000. The difference told—the UTEP fans roared, the Colorado fans muttered.

After the game, Thomas and I took METRORail back to Midtown, joined up with his brother-in-law, and headed to the Doghouse Tavern to watch my alma mater turf the Cowboys. It wasn’t much of a game, but I certainly enjoyed it. The key to the game was the Buckeyes’ dominating defense—it’s hard to lose a game when your opponent is held scoreless for 3½ quarters. Also, the Buckeyes’ backup quarterback, Justin Zwick, who played the entire game, was surprisingly effective, especially when leading the 94-yard scoring drive that put the game away in the third quarter. And I was impressed by the monster block Zwick laid on a Cowboy defensive lineman during one of Ted Ginn’s cutback runs—that belongs on a highlight reel.

The pleasure of history

December 30, 2004

I am inclined to think that history pays its way largely in the personal satisfaction of sitting on the fence and enjoying vicariously the trials and tribulations of men and times now ended; of enjoying the rare privilege of taking sides in their quarrels without in the least bearing responsibility; of sharing the good and the bad alike without the slightest feeling of guilt or a troubled conscience; of taking part in their victories and their defeats without the vanity of the one or the pain of the other; of enjoying their secrets to a degree that few shared them in their own time; of associating with kings and peasants, saints and scoundrels, without anyone questioning the kind of company we have been keeping.

— Avery O. Craven, 1964

Snowing? In Houston!?

December 24, 2004

It snowed earlier today in Houston.

Yes, you read that right.

It was great—I’m only sorry that none of it stuck. And that the snow came today and won’t be back tomorrow.

An article to learn & sing

December 21, 2004

CNN gives Echo & the Bunnymen the respect they deserve.

No. No, no, no.

December 15, 2004

I own and respect several of the books on this list, but…”moan with intellectual pleasure”?

Talk about a cheap date…