Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Last post on the Houston blog

September 1, 2005

Finally got around to creating a new blog a couple of weeks ago. I switched from Movable Type to WordPress for it—WordPress has improved immensely in the two years since I picked Movable Type as my blogging platform.

I love Portland. I’m glad I’m here. Houston has a lot of great qualities: I’ll miss early morning walks through River Oaks, Spec’s, sunny Februarys, Division I-A college football, major league baseball, working at UHD, and a whole lot else. But Houston was never home, and it never would be. After 17 years away, I missed home—the West Coast. So I’m back.

The trip from Houston to Portland was more fun than stressful. With a lot of help from Thomas Gray and Danny Stevens, I was able to pack all of my stuff into a 10-foot Penske moving truck. First stop was Fort Worth, where I sat in on the June 12 Good Show, taught the bartender at The Moon how to make a Rob Roy, and survived both the Ol’South Pancake House and Chris Bellomy’s amorous 26-lb. cat. Second day got me to a Red Roof Inn in Amarillo, with one last stop at a Texas Dairy Queen (the one in Chillicothe) along the way. Third day to a Motel 6 in Cheyenne (despite getting lost in Boise City, Oklahoma). Fourth day to a Red Roof Inn in Ogden, Utah. Fifth day to visit Diane Mathews and her husband and daughter in Boise, where I got to see BoDo, which is just like SoHo or TriBeCa…except that it’s not. And then, finally, Portland.

Six days, 2400 miles, no major mishaps. Can’t ask for more than that.

What I learned on my trip:

  • When Danny Stevens tells me it is a bad idea to pack a futon like that because of what it will do if it unravels, I will believe him. In fact, next time, I think I’d just throw out the futon.
  • Lock the back door of the moving truck before I drive off. Don’t ask.
  • Red Roof Inns are worth the $5 extra cost over a Motel 6. In fact, they’d be worth $25 more. And the Red Roof Inn in Ogden, Utah is the Hilton of motels (whereas the Cheyenne Motel 6 is the Paris Hilton of motels).
  • If you have a choice between staying a night in Cheyenne and staying a night in Laramie, choose Laramie.
  • My choice for the next out-of-the-way trendy artist colony: Memphis, Texas. Nice old buildings, near beautiful natural scenery, and the land has got to be way cheap.
  • Colorado is beautiful. Wyoming is awe-inspiring. Idaho is boring.

If someone had told me when I was in high school that I would spend five years living in Houston, I wouldn’t have believed it. Houston’s national reputation is abysmally low. I’m glad I had the time to live in and enjoy the real Houston.

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Packing it up

June 11, 2005

Moving day is tomorrow, so I’m wrapping up the blog today. I’ll post one more time, when I have a Portland blog set up.

My thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting to “Walking? In Houston!?”!

Let’s go to the atlas, Bob…

June 6, 2005

At the West Gray Kroger’s this evening, I saw a package in the seafood section that contained “Atlantic Salmon, farmed in Chile”.

Microsoft and Apple

January 15, 2005

Barry Ritholtz writes about the latest smart moves by Apple.

I agree with Barry: 2004’s Microsoft security meltdown and Apple’s recent cool products make the Macintosh a choice worth considering again. I have been using Macs since 1984, and there’s nothing about Windows I miss. I have a 733MHz G4 at home that runs the most recent Mac OS with no noticeable lags (by contrast, the 867MHz Pentium III I once used at work might as well have been a doorstop after Microsoft XP was installed). In 20 years, I’ve never had a virus problem, never seen spyware, never had my computer hijacked, and have had to re-install the OS only once (and that was my fault for not RTFM). Plus, when I need Unix, I have Unix.

Yes, a Macintosh costs more up front, but it’s worth it. If you wrote off the Mac 10-15 years ago, take a second look.

Delta’s “fare cuts”

January 6, 2005

If you have skimmed the news lately, you might get the impression that Delta is cutting its fares.

Taken as a whole, perhaps it is.

All I can say from personal experience is that the price of a ticket on the one flight I invariably take on Delta—Houston to Meridian, Mississippi—just went up from about $210 to about $360.

Could it be because Delta is the only airline serving Meridian?

Anyway, if you were wondering how Delta could afford to “cut fares”…

“Nostalgia or Nausea?”

July 28, 2004

Remember “The Newlywed Game”? The idea of that game show was to have one newlywed answer a series of questions, and then the other newlywed would have to guess how his or her spouse answered each question.

I have an idea for a game show that would be kind of similar. The title of the show would be “Nostalgia or Nausea?” Newlyweds who are roughly the same age would be invited on the show. Each newlywed would be separately shown a series of 10 pop-culture artifacts (people, fads, albums, etc.) from their teenage years, and asked if each artifact inspires “nostalgia or nausea?” The host then brings the newlyweds back together, shows the artifacts, and asks the newlyweds to recite their answers. Hilarity ensues.

Come to think of it, maybe this show should be made part of pre-marital counseling. I’ll defer to the good Reverend Hasty on that one, though.

Hawkeye hammers Blue Bell

July 8, 2004

My friend the Reverend Mark Hasty travelled to Austin from the Midwest three years ago to officiate a wedding. It’s a shame he didn’t have any Blue Bell ice cream while he was here, because it would have saved him from writing this post.

A Lutheran pastor would know a gift of the Holy Spirit when he tasted it.

(Good as Blue Bell is, though, it’s not the best thing to come out of Brenham. Hi, Maggie!)

Thursday evening at El Rey

April 16, 2004

I strongly recommend the Cuban sandwich at El Rey Taqueria (we went to the one at Main and Congress, but they have other Houston locations). And if you can buy it take-out, and go to a nearby pub to wash it down with a glass of Shiraz, then all the better.

The Browns strike again

April 12, 2004

As a former resident of Ohio, I can tell you that Cleveland Browns fans deserve their reputation for pitiless fanaticism (however much the continued survival of Art Modell might seem to belie it).

But I have to say that, though it looks daft to outsiders, the Browns are doing the right thing to fire Ron Wolf. The fact is: The Browns have not won a single game while Wolf has been in their employ. That’s the bottom line in football, and there’s no sense in being sentimental about it.

Send a soldier to a bowl game

December 11, 2003

The University of Houston football team will play in the Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Day, but few Cougar fans will make the trip.

As a result, the UH athletic department (apparently taking an idea from CoogFans) is allowing people to buy tickets to the game for soldiers and sailors on duty in Hawai’i.

I bought a ticket today. I hope you’ll buy one as well.

And kudos to UH AD Dave Maggard — this promotion is typical of the smart, agile leadership he is providing to Cougar athletics.
[Link courtesy of Kevin Whited.]