Archive for the ‘city’ Category

This is my desk. It’s both my personal desk and my work desk. What I am directing your attention to here is that big wall map. It’s a map of the entire Houston area and I use it for reference.

This is a closeup of the East side of the city. Does anyone else see what I see? If not, click the photo to enlarge it.

I’m back in Houston for awhile. Don’t get the wrong impression by the title above. I don’t mind flat terrain. Hell, I grew up on Padre Island and Houston is close enough to the Gulf that it’s also flat as a board. I’m just glad to finally be home.

I love the hills and mountains of California. This was my forth time out there and I have to say that I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

I was out there to help the L.A. guys install a ridiculous number of water treatment devices. 35 in all. It was work hell. I pretty much just worked, ate and slept the whole two weeks I was out there.

However, we did get Sunday off. I thought that was odd because of the cost of having me out there. By then I was so tired and pissed off at everyone out there that I didn’t care. I was staying in Simi Valley so that Sunday I actually took a cab to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Here are some photos of that.

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Go ahead and laugh at the picture of the missile. I did.
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My work out there was in some really bad neighborhoods. One was near the intersection of Crenshaw and Slausen. Anyone who listens to rap knows what that means. Another job was in Ingelwood. I think we all know what that means. Below are some photos of my last day out there.

The ghetto bird starts circling above us.

Despite having to work in this environment the two weeks I was there, I did get to drive through my favorite part of L.A. on the way to the airport. I got to revisit Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice. As much as I love it out there I still have to say God bless the state of Texas. I am so happy to be back.

Skyline

Posted: February 18, 2010 in city
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This is just a snapshot of downtown Houston from the roof of a 10 story building in the Heights.

My number finally came up

Posted: December 19, 2009 in city
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It was only a matter of time. It was inevitable. I’ve lived in Houston for 20 years without any trouble but that streak of good luck ended Friday. I experienced my first armed robbery yesterday.

I was almost off work. I had just one more place to go but I made a bad decision. I decided to stop at a store to get a drink. When I got back in my truck a thug jumped in on the passenger side and stuck a gun in my face.

Thug: “Gimme wallet!”
I gave it to him.
Thug: “What in it?”
Me: “Money” (I didn’t mention the debit or credit cards.)
Thug: “Gimme you phone too muh-fuckuh!”
I gave it to him.
Thug: “What else you got?”
Me: “Nothing.”

I thought he would just rob me and run away. Instead he just sat there pointing that gun at me and staring at me. I was just waiting for him to pull the trigger. He was thinking about it.

I was scared because it seemed like this guy wanted me to see his face. Even after he jumped out of my truck he came back and stared at me for a long time through the passenger side window before he ran off into an apartment complex.

I am so getting my CCL in January.

Architectural Euthanasia

Posted: April 12, 2009 in city, community, Uncategorized
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Architectural Euthanasia is an exhibition of the works of Dan Havel and Dean Ruck running through May 9th at Architecture Center Houston.

These are the guys that turned the Houston Art League’s 40 year-old classrooms into an eye-popping, traffic-stopping work of art just before they were to be torn down. They called it “Inversion”.

I wrote about this on my old blog when it was happening in 2005. I’m too lazy and tired to describe it now so I’ll show you what I said about it then along with some of the pictures I took.

The Houston Art League’s headquarters in the 1900 block of Montrose usually stands out because of the two towering, funny looking humanoid statues staring creepily out toward the street. Lately though a project by Dan Havel and Dean Ruck has drawn more attention to the small facility than it probably ever expected.

Two small and very old wooden buildings are to be razed to make room for a larger and more efficient one. Sometime before the scheduled tear-down, Havel and Ruck tore off the exterior wood planks, cut through both buildings, enlarging the size as they went and used said planks to build a tunnel through both buildings creating the effect of a house either having been blown out or sucked in by implosion. The veneer facing the street remained intact and the stripped planks from the sides and rear were used to build the tunnel with the paint side facing inward . . .

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Posted: April 10, 2008 in city, community, life
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I woke up in a relatively good mood and had a productive day without any problems. That is until I got back to my side of town at the end of the day. I was all over this city today but it wasn’t until I got back to my own neighborhood that my day just went to shit within an hour. It was the very last hour before I got home at the end of the day. I should have just picked up Gabby and gone straight home instead of stopping off at the reptile place first and then going to the grocery store after I picked her up.

My mood took it’s first downward turn when I stopped at the fish and reptile place which wasn’t really urgent because turtles will eat anything. Plus we keep minnows in the aquarium for them to eat and minnows breed like rats. I just did this because Gabby asked me to. Get ready to hear the word “again” over and over. When I got out of my truck and made my way toward the store I noticed that a car was backing out right in front of the store. I waited as they began to slowly pull out so that they could get out and on their way without having to wait for me to get out of the way. The car stopped rolling backward after about three feet and just sat there for awhile. I then started to move across and this time the car lunged backward. I stopped again and stepped back onto the curb and waited for them to continue pulling out. It just sat there and sat there. I started across again and the car lunged backward again. I decided to make my way around the front of the car. This time it started moving foreward preventing me from making my way around the front. I stepped back and waited. Again, it just sat there. I decided to just walk around the back of the car and it started backing up. I stopped. It stopped. I moved. It moved. Finally, I stepped it up and began to dash around the rear again. The car kept up with me foot for foot this time completely blocking me which of course was the intention. Finally, both right-side windows rolled down. What I saw was a car-full of thugs (5 or 6) all looking me right in the eye and laughing their useless, worthless, intoxicated, lazy asses off at my expense.

I bought the damned turtle food and went to pick up Gabby around the corner. From there we went to the store. When it was time to check our items out I decided to have it checked for me because I had a lot of produce and the self check lines were backing up into the aisles. Well, guess what? For the second time in a row it turned out to be the same little 19 or 20 something shit-head that checked out my groceries over the weekend. He has little-guy syndrome. Same as little man syndrome. He stands about 5′ 4″ has a permanently clenched jaw and lips pursed so tightly that you couldn’t drive a nail between them. My 14 year-old daughter is taller than he is and I think he noticed that. Of course he never even looked up at me when he started angrily scanning my stuff. When he had completed that, without looking up he said “Kroger card.” I handed it to him. He handed it back to me with my change. I said “Thank you.” He never even looked up. I thanked him again a little more audibly. He just looked up for less than a second, snorted through his nose, looked back down and began ringing up the next customer. I decided at that moment that the next time this ever happens, no matter where it is, I am going to tell them what to do with themselves and where to go and walk away leaving the store’s property to rot at the register.

After that we took some back streets home in total silence. Gabby knew I was extremely pissed off. I nearly bit my tongue in half to keep from expressing how I was feeling at this point. As we rounded the last corner and were no more than a block from home, some thug with two pit bulls started crossing the street way down the street in front of us. I slowed down to allow the guy enough time for him and his dogs to get across the street before I reached that point. What does he do? The closer I get, the slower he moves. When I finally get in direct proximity, he and his attack dogs stop dead in the middle of the street and face my truck just daring me to run over them. Believe me, I was temped. The message from this particular thug was clear: You get out of our way when we’re in the streets, or else. At this point I’d had about all I could take. So just to make a point I did not go around him. I slowed down to a stop right in front of him and layed on the horn. This class-act called me a mother fucker and slapped the hood of my truck. I had Gabby in the truck and he had two pit bulls. What can I do? When he got out of my way I drove home.

Success or a shot in the foot?

Posted: March 27, 2008 in city, community

Matt Stiles of the Houston Chronicle pointed out today that because of the increase of red-light cameras here in Houston, red light citations have decreased. According to his column, citations have dropped from 27,000 in October to 17,000 this month.

About 60 percent of those motorists have paid their fines, resulting in more than $11.5 million in revenue. The police department has spent $4 million operating the system, including $2.7 million to its vendor, American Traffic Solutions. Another $2.1 million must be shared with the state, leaving a profit of about $5.4 million, records show.

I thought I read a net profit of about 4.7 million in the paper. Maybe I’m wrong. It doesn’t matter.

I can see a near future where the city ends up fucking itself by keeping these cameras up. Eventually no one will run red lights where cameras are known to be and the city will suffer from a lack of revenue.