Friday, August 31, 2007

Houston, we have lift off...

So yeah, haven't blogged much in the past couple of weeks. School started this week and it's been superbusy...but my classes seem great this year. Would like a bit more participation from my Euro class...but my reg World History classes seem as well behaved as I ever seen. My AP Worlds also seem ready for some intellectual discourse. Better to be a maverick than a lemming.

The weekend before school started we headed down Houston way for my buddy Lance's wedding which was great...except for the part where us groomsmen walked into the sanctuary to the UT song "The Eyes of Texas." Nice suprise Ringnald.

Lake Jackson (the site of the wedding) is an hour south of Houston down in bayou hurricaneland...right off the gulf. We ran into the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin on the way down...nasty big drops. We were made nervous by all the hurricane warning signs flashing throughout Houston due to Hurricane Dean...which fortunately ran south toward Old Mexico. Unfortunately Lance had to change his Cancun honeymoon plans. Not sure yet where Hurricane Lance eventually landed.

Had a great time down there. The trees (palms and spanish moss) are surreal, the humidity thick and the mosquitoes as big as hummingbirds down in Clute/L.J.. Wish Lance and Sarah the best...despite the Longhorn cuff links.
photo: Ted (and picture of his two boys), me and a sleeping Jackson and Q and Jud at the Stallberg reception.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Grassy Knoll Theory

Diane (my mother-in-law) in all the years she's lived near Dallas had never been to the Sixth Floor Museum in the old Texas Book Depository Building. This is of course the place from where Oswald shot JFK. So we took her there on her birthday. The whole Dealy Plaza area is a bit spooky because so many people still come and discuss in whispered tones all the conspiracies that float around the Kennedy assassination. Over 40 years later and people are still debating these whacked out theories. Unfortunately the old Conspiracy Book Store across the street, which added to the weird aura of the place, lost their lease and went out of business a few years back.

Another weird note...the website of the Sixth Floor Museum runs a web cam from Oswald's vantage point. Bit gruesome to me. Worse yet, they (some enterprising capitalist, not the museum) used to have 1963 convertable limos you could take a ride in from the starting point of JFK's route to Parkland Hospital where he was pronounced dead. I haven't seen those limos the last few trips to Dealy Plaza...but they used to lurk right outside the Depository. Out of taste for sure...but this whole place is weird. And this time I parked the truck right behind the wooden picket fence on the grassy knoll where supposedly someone saw gun smoke and heard shots.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Seattle in Texas

This has been the rainiest summer in the ten years I have lived south of the Red River. But the Texas sun is back with a fury. Reached 100 degrees for the first time today (as opposed to last summer when we had already had 40 days above the century mark). Usually I begin watering my grass and foundation in late April. This year...I watered for the first time yesterday...August 8th. Wow. Our water bill has been fantastic this year. And I hear that TXU's profits are down 76% this quarter partly due to the cooler weather. I have to admit I'm not shedding many tears for little ole TXU.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Jackson on the Move

Jackson is getting closer and closer to crawling. He really wants to real bad. He gets on all fours and rocks...then lunges six inches or so. He gets frustrated because when he really wants to move forward he usually shoves himself backwards instead. Then gets mad. Moving seems very important to him so it reminded me of the quote by Jack Kerouac...

"We all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move."

So I better get in shape...soon there will be no more of this setting JDW down in the middle of the living room and running to the kitchen knowing he'll be in the same place when I get back. Soon he'll be performing the noble human function of moving...all over the place.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Interesting statistics from the Energy Information Administration...a division of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is expected to contain a mean average of 10.3 billion barrels of oil (compared to 246 billion barrels located in Saudi Arabia). That would, according to the U.S. Government, sustain the equivalent of two years of American oil current consumption rates.

If used at the same rate as the Prudhoe Bay Field the ANWR reserves would be virtually tapped out in 20 years. The U.S. Government predicts that over that twenty year time period Americans can expect to save $0.1 per gallon of gas during that time period.

The two major groups that would profit from oil drilling in ANWR would be the oil companies (which produced the largest profit margins in American business history last year) and the citizens of the state of Alaska (who are exempt from sales tax and received an $1100 dividend per taxpayer last year from oil receipts.).

If you don't trust me...find these figures out yourself by accessing the U.S. Government's own website and type in ANWR.

It begs the much is it really worth to the average American to drill for oil in ANWR? According to the U.S. penny per gallon of gas savings for twenty years for two years worth of American gas consumption.

Is the potential damage, no matter how small, to the coastal plain of Northern Alaska worth that amount of savings?

That's up to you to figure out.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Double Dave Dilemma

So tonight Kim, Jackson and I ate at the new Double Dave's Pizza in Forney with some friends of ours. Good pizza...but that was not the first topic of conversation. The topic that provided great enjoyment to my friends at my expense was the fact that I turned down free pizza for life and perhaps $1000 in cash for giving up my phone number to Double Dave's when they first came into town.

You see, a few months ago, Double Dave's made the offer because our phone number ends with the numbers that spell out DAVE. I didn't want to give it up because we have had that number for five years and I didn't want to have to contact everybody in my life to notify them of the change. Plus, I really like my phone number.

Well the pizza was pretty good tonight. So maybe I should have made the deal after all...unfortunately they had already found someone with the DAVE numbers who took the deal without hesitation.

But hey...I still have my phone number.