Archive for the ‘community’ 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.


LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Hazmat team was called to the “Dancing with the Stars'” offices on Friday evening after reps for the show received a package containing an unknown white powder substance, Access Hollywood has learned.

“An envelope containing an unknown substance was delivered to the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ production office on Friday evening,” a rep for ABC said in a statement to Access on Friday night. “Security and the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department were immediately notified. Measures were taken to secure the area and ensure the safety of personnel.”

A white, powdered substance sent to an ABC production office? LAPD, Hazmat, You should move fast. Most, if not all of that substance may be gone by the time you get there.


Posted: July 25, 2010 in community, life, people
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Last night I needed to go to a little store around the corner. It was 9:00. In the short distance from my place to the store, I saw two separate cars pulled over. When I got to the store I saw an argument at the gas pumps. When I walked inside I saw a very long line and the cashier (on the other side of the counter) arguing with some guy who spoke almost no English. This guy was claiming he got into a fight with someone or some people and was demanding to see the surveillance videos and the cameras that recorded it. The cashier kept asking if he should call the cops and this illegal alien kept saying he didn’t want to get the Policia involved. Round and round it went until the cashier finally ran him off. This cashier told me later that the guy was probably sent there to case the place.

I felt uncomfortable the moment got there. I could feel the tension. Everyone was agitated and not just because of what was going on there at the time. As I was making my stupid little purchase I mentioned to the cashier what a crazy night this was. He lowered his head and shook it saying “I was about to keeek heees ass.” Even he was out of character. I told him I wanted to get home as fast as I could. And I did just that.

As I drove home I saw the moon. It was full. It wasn’t a completely full moon, it had started to wane. No matter. A full moon phase makes people crazy.

I first noticed this as a deckhand on the night trips on a boat I worked on. Then I noticed it as a bartender. Full moons bring out the worst in people. Ask any bar or club owner, any bartender or any waitress about full moon nights and they will tell you this: There will be trouble. When I was a kid my Dad owned a bar. During every full moon phase he had to be there to “put out the fires” as he described it. Ask any cop about a full moon. They will tell you the same thing.

Earth is about 70% water and affected by the Moon’s orbit which creates our tides. The human body is also about 70% water. Maybe the human body is affected in a similar way.

Just a thought

Posted: November 26, 2009 in community, people
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While working today, I had to drive to a little town southeast of Houston called Dickinson. I do it every month. It’s comparable charm lies somewhere between the places depicted in the movies “Walking Tall” (the original) and “The Hills Have Eyes”.

I noticed that one of those sticky, greasy carnivals had set up in one of the parking lots. After I drove past it I thought about how impossible it would be to recognize the carnies from the locals. Then I realized what a good thing it is for the community. Dickinson has a job fair in town.

Architectural Euthanasia

Posted: April 12, 2009 in city, community, Uncategorized

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 . . .


I’m not getting much work done right now. On the best day, Houston’s traffic is heavy. It’s worse now after the storm because the traffic signals that are even there, the actual lights, are either blinking red in all four directions or swinging upside-down from their wires. Who knows where the missing lights were blown off to.

This has turned Houston into a busy city of nothing but four-way stops. There are a few working signals but not enough to even matter. If this were the only issue it wouldn’t be all that bad but it seems noone remembers what to do at a four-way stop anymore. They either just sit there waiting for hell to freeze over or go out of turn and sometimes two or three cars at a time. Military guys have a colorful expression used to describe such situations and geez, is it ever fitting right now.

Posted: April 10, 2008 in city, community, life
Tags: , ,

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.

Okay . . . Whatever you say.

Posted: April 3, 2008 in community

The apartment complex I live in was taken over by another management company awhile back and those that worked here were sent out to the street as is the norm for that cut-throat business. It’s not stable employment. The people (mostly females) that work in the apartment business go to work every day knowing that they may not have a job at the end of the day. I see it on a daily basis in my own line of work. I think that stress is what makes most of them the bitches that they seem to be.

For the most part the transition here has been easy as a tenant. Good, in fact. They are making improvements and upgrades to the property even though it isn’t needed in my opinion. It seems like they are so obsessed with cosmetics that they are neglecting the business end of it. Not that I give a shit and I’ll tell you why:

It seems that my rent just went down by twenty bucks. After hurricane Katrina, I couldn’t find a parking space anywhere near my apartment. I was having to park on the other side of the complex from my unit. I finally broke down and secured the reserved parking space directly in front of my door for $20.00/month. It was worth it. Now that almost all of the people from New Orleans have left I don’t really need it anymore. But I still want it. I still have it but for some reason I’m not paying for it anymore.

The company that took over this apartment complex doesn’t know a thing about the tenants. On the occasions that I go into the office to give them my rent check I am always told that I have credit. They tell me I’ve overpayed not just for the previous month but for many in the past. I tell them over and over and over and over that they are forgetting that I’m supposed to be charged for the reserved parking. They tell me that I don’t owe them anything for the space. Why then did I have a red parking violation sticker stuck to my window a few months ago. Why does nobody dare to park in my space? Fine. I give the hell up. I tried. I tried to to tell them that they were supposed to be charging me for this. Thank you for the free reserved parking.

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.

Click each picture to enlarge it