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editor

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  1. Since Texas now has a brazillion toll roads, which is the best electronic payment system? I will primarily drive in Harris County, so EZ-TAG seems to make sense. But I will also drive to San Antonio, Austin, and Louisiana occasionally. Dallas rarely, but it would be nice to have. Does EZ-TAG work with the other systems, or should I go for the full TxTag. I like the idea of NationalPass, but I'm not all that interested in paying a monthly fee.
  2. All I can say is that rain anxiety is real. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. Last year, where I lived, it went 243 days between rains. And the rains on either end were under a half-inch. When I'd replace my car's windshield wipers, it was because they dried out and were disintegrating from the heat and sun, not from over-use due to rain. It rained most of the days the first week I moved here. I sat and stared out at the rain for hours. I went onto the roof of my building and sat under an overhang and watched it fall. I stood out on the roof and stared up into it until I was soaked. I expect I'll get my rain driving skills back with practice. But since I walk or take a train everywhere I go so far, it'll take a while. On a related note, the only time I was ever pulled over by a cop as an adult was in Houston. It was because I went through a traffic light that had just barely turned red. I did it because I thought the streets were too slick with rain and that I'd skid through if I tried to stop. He didn't buy it and I got a ticket. This was in 2001, before I moved to the desert. So perhaps I've always had a weird thing with rain.
  3. It feels weird. Familiar, but unfamiliar at the same time. It's like swimming through a repeating dream. Some things are new and unexpected, and some are right where I left them. On a related note — seriously, couldn't you guys fix the roads while I was gone? Shepard, Kirby, Allen Parkway, Texas Avenue, and a bunch of others all have the same potholes in the same places. My pothole-dodging muscle memory came back for all of them. And the railroad crossings! If po-dunk Oshkosh, Wisconsin can get the railroads to upgrade all of its train crossings to make them smooth, surely Houston could do the same. It looks like 90% of the infrastructure tax dollars are spent on ever-widening freeways, and almost nothing goes to the neighborhoods and roads that most people use every day. Sure, the freeways are nice and wide and smooth. But the majority of the streets are atrocious. Some of them wouldn't even be legally considered "streets" in some of the places I've lived. And it's not just me being a jackwagon. I moved here because my wife's company opened a new location. That location brought people from three other cities to Houston, too. Everyone agrees that the streets are garbage. I mentioned it to someone in my building, and the go-to excuse seem to be "Well, the city is built on weak soil. In fact, it's mostly sand, so everything shifts." You know what is built on sand? Las Vegas. Phoenix. Albuquerque. They're built on freaking deserts. The streets are mostly beautiful. And don't point fingers at hurricanes. Nevada has earthquakes. The difference is that in Nevada, the streets are paved with concrete slabs instead of being 15 layers of cold-patch asphalt. Where are all the road tax dollars going? /END RANT
  4. I wandered over to the Market Square area last night, and I was pleasantly surprised with the number of businesses that were open. Main Street is still largely dead restaurants right now, but MS seems to be holding its own. I expect this is because it has two large residential towers as anchors. It was sad to see the old Treebeards building vacant, though. I loved that place. I think you're right, that there are patches of downtown that are poised to thrive, but I don't think it's going to be across all of downtown. There are still too many surface parking lots, and still too many fortress towers. Progress is being made, but it's a lot slower than I thought it would be.
  5. Hi all, I just upgraded the HAIF software again. As always, please e-mail me to let me know of any problems: editor@houstonarchitecture.com
  6. Thanks to everyone who replied to my message. The progress report is that I have a lease (mostly — main document is signed, still waiting for the addenda to get back to me), my insurance straightened out, hotels are booked and paid for (Marriott answered after an hour and 37 minutes), car hauler is paid, first two months' rent is paid, and I have most of the money for the moving company saved. Here's a basic, stupid, question. What do people call the light rail system, colloquially? In Chicago it was "the L." In Boston, it's "the T." In New York, it was just "the subway." In Seattle, it was "the Sounder," or "the SLUT," depending on which part you were riding. Do people in Houston call it "the light rail?" Or do you just say, "the train?"
  7. As a few of you know, and most of you don't, I'm moving back to Houston. It's been almost 20 years since I lived in the city, and a lot has changed in that time. When I first moved to Houston, everyone wanted to work for Enron, people crowed that you couldn't have light rail because of all the rain, and the notion of taking a cruise out of Galveston would get your dismissed as a kook. More germane to my life today, back then you found an apartment by hiring someone you looked up in a Yellow Pages in your hotel's phone booth to drive you around for a whole day to tour various apartment buildings, and they collected $25 for each tour. Today, everything is online. Well, largely online. The future is not quite here yet. But more on that further on. I thought I'd detail some of the successes and failures of my moving experience here in order to hear what you think about it. I have a lot to learn all over again, and failure is the best way to learn. So feel free to tell me I'm a dumb-ass about certain things, but try to be constructive. After all, we're all going to be able to get together for HAIF gatherings again. Though, without The Black Labrador, I'm not sure where we'll go. One other note: If I compare Houston to Chicago, Seattle, or New York it's not because I think Houston should be more like those places. It's simply because those are the city with this I am most familiar. No slight is intended. Before the Move Before I move, I have to get to Houston. I'm also bringing a cat. It's easy enough to book hotels online, but experience has taught me that if you don't phone the front desk and specifically tell them that you're bringing a pet, the hotel may run out of pet rooms and you have to find another place to sleep at the last minute with a moggie howling in the back seat. So this morning I phoned the front desk at the Best Western I'm staying in on the way. The person answered immediately and informed me that the fee would be $10. Fine. I phoned the Holiday Inn where I'm staying on the way, and someone answered immediately and told me that the fee would be $25. Fine. The third phone call was to the front desk of a Marriott. I have no idea what the fee is there, because I've been on hold for 57 minutes so far waiting for someone to answer. Fortunately, Marriott makes it easy to cancel reservations online, so I've done that and booked a room at a La Quinta. I'm just letting the hold music play to find out if anyone ever answers. It's too bad, too, because I usually like Marriotts, especially ones attached to convention centers, because they tend to have better service. I liked the Marriott in Brussels so much I bought a set of its pillows. But I don't see me staying at a Marriott again. Every Apartment Web Site Sucks I have no idea how many web sites I visited for various apartment buildings in Houston. They're all terrible. I'm a good judge of this because I build web sites for a living. Some of the web sites have so many pop-ups that I can't actually see the content. No, I don't want to chat. No, I don't want to subscribe to a newsletter. No I don't want to schedule a tour. No, I don't want someone to call me. No, I don't want to see testimonials from strangers. No, I don't want to know what your Google rating is. What I do want is a list of amenities. I want to know where you are. I want to know your phone number. Your real phone number, not the marketing company's phone number that forwards to the lead generation company's phone number that forwards to the property management software company's phone number that forwards to your leasing office's voice mail. I want a real phone number to call and speak to someone in the building. All those steps inbetween are great for middle managers to tally their metrics and show off how much "value" they're adding. But each hop adds delay, and by the time I speak to someone on the other end, it's impossible to have a conversation. Bit the biggest sin among Houston web sties is those that don't show either pricing or availability. Are you kidding me? It's not 1995 anymore. If I wanted to "call for more information" I wouldn't be on your web site. Any apartment building that didn't have real-time pricing and availability was stricken from my list of possibilities. Seriously, if you can't do something as basic as that, how can I count on you to maintain my home? Real estate is a customer service industry, and not having something this elementary tells me that the rest of your customer service is garbage. And it's not just small properties like Dakota Lofts that fail here. There were enormous skyscrapers that didn't have pricing information. What kind of cheapskate rinky-dink management is going on there? You're From Where? Houston is all about Houston. Which is great. Some cities are all about their place in the world. Some cities are all about themselves. Minneapolis is like that. Also, Cincinnati. And most certainly Houston, too. It's great. It allows the city to develop its own distinct culture, and not become another boring beige national brand strip mall (*cough* Chicago *cough). The downside is that people don't know what to do with you if you're not from Houston. - I am not able to convince my insurance agent that I don't live across the street. I'm transferring my insurance from a local agent in Nevada to an agent in Houston. She has convinced herself that I live across the street. It doesn't matter how many times I tell her that I live 1,500 miles away, she keeps saying things like I can just stop in tomorrow to make a payment, or she can bring over the documents after lunch. No, lady. I. Live. Far. Away. Another person I've spoken to in the office has somehow convinced herself that I live at Camden Midtown. I have no idea why, but that's what makes me believe it's not a defect localized to one insurance agency drone. - When I called Reliant to set up my electric service, the guy didn't know that there are places in America where there is only one electric provider. He didn't know that there are electric utilities that offer geothermal or hydroelectric options. He couldn't wrap his brain around an electric company owning a giant solar farm the size of Houston and pumping that energy directly to consumers. His only concept of "solar" is panels on rooftops. He thought that Houston was the hottest city in the world (it was 117° here when he said that). He still thinks that employers pay for non-C-level employee relocations. - Apartment buildings in Houston don't offer very many rent incentives. But the most common one I saw was "sign a lease within 24 hours of touring and get $xxx off!" Great. How am I supposed to tour if I'm 1,500 miles away? Why would you exclude people who are interested in your property just because they live outside of your city? When I explained this to one leasing agent, she didn't see the problem. To her "1,500 miles" is a distance that can be covered during lunch. - Apartment buildings in Houston are completely unable to handle shipped cars. I'm driving one car out to Houston. My wife's car will be shipped by an auto transport company. The transport company will pick up her car a few days before we leave, which means that it will arrive in Houston a few days before we get there. My new building is unable to wrap its brain around "when the truck arrives, sign the paperwork and park the car in your garage." The building has its own garage. It has its own valet parking staff. I won't accept the car on my behalf. Fortunately, a helpful HAIFer is taking care of things for me. The Energy Capital of the World Why is electricity so expensive in Houston? Every online cost-of-living calculator I checked showed that energy is more expensive in Houston. I thought that's why you people deregulated your energy market? I pay 9.473¢/kWh for 100% solar power. That includes delivery. My Reliant service is closer to 11¢/kWh. And it's not renewable. And there's a contract. And there's an early termination fee. And there''s a minimum use fee. And there's other fees. And I have to think about it every time the contract comes up. WTF? A HAIFer recommended something called Electric Ogre to take the pain out of things. I get that I'm old. When I last moved to Houston, I had HL&P. But "Discount Power?" "V247 Power?" "Energy 2 Go?" "Express Energy?" "Octopus?" These don't sound like real electric companies, they sound like fly-by-night tech bubble startups. If you can't even come up with a serious name for your company, how am I supposed to believe that you can handle something as serious as providing my electric service? I have medical equipment that needs power to work. I'm not going to trust my health to "Payless Energy." How are these people even in business? Insurance For the same coverage, my renters insurance is 3x more expensive in Houston. But my car insurance is half the price, so I end up saving money overall. Go figure. Downtown is Still Not Ready for Primetime Maybe I'll fell different about this once I move in and explore the neighborhood, but from what I can tell, downtown Houston is still not up to big city status. When I last lived in Houston, it was downtown (at Dakota Lofts.) Back then there were maybe three or four apartment buildings in downtown. That was fine, we knew we were urban pioneers and all that. But in the last 20 years, while downtown has grown somewhat, it doesn't seem to have developed into a real mixed-use neighborhood. Sure, there's a pharmacy and a few coffee shops, and thank God Frankie's Pizza is still there. But aside from bars, downtown is still 95% focused on the Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 crowd. it's focused on the same people who abandoned downtown when the Coronavirus arrived, and not the people who choose to make their homes there. Want to get a prescription? Better be a CVS customer. Want to get some coffee? Better do it early in the day. Want to get a bite to eat after church? Nope. My observation over the last four months is that things are getting better in this regard, especially with the coffee situation, so maybe this is 'rona-driven and things are putting themselves back in order. I'll be better able to evaluate this when I've lived there a few months. Miscellaneous - Cat licenses cost twice as much in Houston as in other cities where I've lived. It's not bank-breaking, but still a curiosity. - Parking still seems to be a fundamental human right in Houston. This isn't a criticism, just an observation on the little things that make Houston Houston. - Why are leases in Houston so short? Almost all of the lease options I saw were 12 months. A few went to 14. This is my 14th move. Almost every other place I've lived has offered various leases up to 36 months. It's a way for the buildings to eliminate re-leasing expenses and keep occupancy high, which allows them to raise rents on the other units in the building. It's such a money-saver that the majority of places I've lived reduce your rent the longer you lease is. That makes sense. A few places charge more for longer leases, which I've never understood, but it's still good to have the option. I would have signed a longer lease, even if it cost me more, because I like the peace of mind that comes with knowing I don't have to think about renewals every year. - Discovery Green is nice, but it waaaaay overprogrammed. For all its acreage, there's very little actual "green" in Discovery Green. It's trying too hard to be everything for everybody, and it just doesn't have the space for it. It would be better off being an actual greenspace and letting people DIY it, than to be a cluttered mess masquerading as a park. Maybe that's why it doesn't have "park" in its name. - I've heard really good things about Phoenician Foods. I have very good memories of Central Market and Specs, and am looking forward to all three. - The Heights used to be for low-end hippies who couldn't afford Key West. Now it appears to be one of the places to be. Glad to see the Wal-Mart didn't destroy the neighborhood after all. - The selected the place I will live because of its proximity to the light rail system. I remember pre-light rail, there was no shortage of people on HAIF who said that nobody would ever do that. Well, I did. And thousands of people in other cities do it every day. Cities like Chicago incentivize developer to put up residential high-rises near transit. The city gets oodles and tax dollars, and the developers get to convert parking garage space into more apartments that generate way more revenue than parking ever could. - Why do two of the train lines just end downtown? Are there plans to extend these, or has that part of the system been kicked down the road?
  8. Yeah, the big crash. I don't even remember who hacked HAIF, it was so many years ago. I vaguely recall that we lost something like 100,000 posts. If I recall correctly, you were the first person to even be banned from HAIF. Years later, you came back a different person, and have since become an asset to this group. I think of that sometimes when I see people on the internet being pilloried for things they did five, ten, twenty years ago. It is folly to judge people today by who they were in the past. We all learn and change, every day. The internet has taught people how to be vengeful and scornful. How to hate and how to persecute. But it has not yet taught people how to be patient, and how to forgive. I think that's why the internet so often seems at odds with the values that have shaped the world for thousands of years.
  9. Thanks for being a long-term member! FYI, I recently increased the upload limit. It was previously set at a size that made sense in the early days, but is no longer realistic. It is much more believable now.
  10. OK, so it hasn't been 20 years of HAIF. It's been 19 and change. But the 20th anniversary is coming up, and because I need a job, I've been looking through what remains of the HAIF archives to fill in my LinkedIn profile. So I thought I'd share some of my memories here. The issue of how old HAIF is remains kind of vague. HAIF started as a subsection of houstonarchitecture.info. But that site didn't start on that domain. It was on a different one before moving to ha.i, which happened in 2002. So that's why if you base things on the site's content, it's been 20 years, but if you base it on the address, it's been 19ish. Which you like to use is up to you. There's not a lot left in the HAIF archives. But what is there shows that HAIF was a pioneer in a lot of spaces. Things that we did back in the early days of HAIF were cutting-edge, and considered normal today. Unfortunately, back in 2002, the notion of a terabyte of cheap storage that fit in the palm of your hand was as science fiction as flying cars are today. So over the years, I saved very little. But here are some highlights, in no particular order. HAIF Days We used to have custom banners at the top of HAIF, celebrating different random days of the year. Birthdays, holidays, and naturally HAIF anniversaries. We don't do that anymore. Back when HAIF started, it was a cute, fun, community-building exercise and people loved it. Today, we don't do that anymore. People on the internet are just looking for an excuse to complain and be "offended" on behalf of other people they don't even know. The end came one year when someone moaned about a "HAIFy Christmas!" banner, and threatened to splatter their angst all over social media in a smear campaign. I just gave up. We can't have nice things anymore. So here's a selection from years past: I'm not sure what Duran Duran day is, but we marked it twice. Bastille Day One of many for Halloween. I've always been a big Halloween guy. One of many for when storms threatened. This was for Memorial Day The day the first iPhone came out. Another Memorial Day one. I have no memory of why @Pumapayamgot his own day. Maybe he wrote us a check? Again, I have no idea why @TheNichegot his own day, either. Other days We also had custom banners for non-holiday days. This was on the day that I quit my job at the television station. This was the day after I watched an Indiana Jones movie. This was the day when I held a "Spot the Editor" contest and got scammed out of an iPod. Oh, well. I tried. This was when we released HAIF:book. Yes, there was a companion book for HAIF. This was the year we had M&M's custom-made in the HAIF name and colors. Super expensive and a real ordeal to pull off back then. Now you can just order them online. Inspired by a flight into Hobby airport one morning. From back when we used to sell ad-free HAIF. I think this was supposed to be an optical illusion. I don't think anyone ever noticed it. I have a vague notion of the HAIF Finance Challenge. But don't really remember anything about it. This was when we had a photo contest. This was making fun of all the local TV stations hyping the shift to HDTV. We did manage to eventually give away an iPod. I don't remember how, though. This was the day we started paying our hosting provider to purchase carbon offset credits. Today, it's hard to find a hosting provider that isn't green, or headed that way. HAIF:cam At one time, we had a small network of live webcams around town. This is a picture from 2002, taken from the camera at Dakota Lofts. Piece of crap, that thing was. But I'm almost positive that we were the first web site to live stream a hurricane coming ashore, in Houston or anywhere else. HAIF:weather Everyone has a weather app with them all the time now. This wasn't true way back when. At one time, HAIF:weather was the only weather app you could get for your iPhone, other than the built-in one from Apple. It had current conditions, a five-day forecast, weather radar updated every 15 minutes, and streaming audio forecasts from an actual real meteorologist: Keith Monahan over at KHCW (now KIAH). This was in the days before Apple had an App Store, so all apps were "web apps," which is a trend to which more and more companies are returning. Apple featured HAIF:weather in some of its marketing material. Even today, you pay extra for radar in most weather apps. We had it 13 years ago for free. HAIF:weather on Apple's web site. HAIF:weather installed on the first iPhone. Who's up for a game of Super Monkey Ball? HAIF:traffic The HAIF:traffic logo At one time we hooked up with a traffic service and provided live traffic maps and updates on the web, mobile devices, and even by text message. Today there are a thousand apps that will do it. We were one of the first. And probably the only one to grade traffic on a scale of Movin' Easy to Mass Hysteria. A screenshot of the we version of HAIF:traffic A screenshot from the mobile version of HAIF:traffic It's a fact: HAIF is awesome In 2009, HAIF was named best local web site of the year by the Houston Press. Icons and embarrassments When looking through the archives, I found a bunch of interesting icons. I don't remember what we used them for, but they're neat to see. This was the icon we used to use for "City Services." It was funny twenty years ago. it has not aged well. Advertising HAIF We used to do quite a little bit of advertising for HAIF. Much of it online. We sponsored web site, and even podcasts back when the podcast community hated the word "podcast" because it implied that all audio streams came from Apple and were only for iPods. Things sure have changed. Here are some of the images we used. Again, not all of them have aged well. This is an ad we ran when HAIF reached 300,000 posts. HAIF:memes Before they were called "memes," they were called "image macros," and there was a whole bunch of them for HAIF. Here are a few I found. HAIF:jobs Before CareerBuilder was a big deal, it hooked up with local web sites to get jump-started. We were one of those web sites, and HAIF:jobs was born. HAIF-TV The early years of this century saw a lot of streaming video services emerge. But they never really went mainstream until the last half decade or so. Even companies like Williams, with massive video infrastructure and deep pockets, learned they got into the game too early, and folded their operations. HAIF-TV didn't get very far, but we documented a few things. This is a still shot from a video of the implosion of a downtown building. I think it was a flophouse, but I'm no longer sure. "Crawford Hotel" sticks in my head, but I might have made that up. radio:HAIF HAIF's streaming audio was more successful than the streaming video. radioHAIF only played local artists, from garage bands to the River Oaks Orchestra, or songs about Houston (Dean Martin, and R.E.M. both have songs called "Houston.") There were also occasional weather forecasts and local information breaks. It ran for several years, and worked on multiple platforms. Audience-wise, it had maybe 50 or 100 people listen a day. Not many, but enough to make it worth doing for a while. A photograph of radioHAIF playing on an AppleTV When we pulled the plug. HAIF:book The dead tree edition of HAIF. It sold about 50 copies. Look for it at a Half-Price Books near you! HAIF:calendar For a while, we published yearly calendars. But nobody uses calendars anymore. And for those who do, we can't compete with Snap-On Tools. Going all dot-com For many years, HAIF was on a .info domain. Then one day, a domain squatter offered me the opportunity to buy houstonarchitecture.com for $15,000. I didn't have $15,000. But when I mentioned in on HAIF, the donations from you nice people came pouring in, and within a few weeks, HAIF had moved to the .com it's on today. That's the kind of community HAIF is. Hard times for HAIF, and good HAIF has always been up-and-down. In good times, HAIF did really well. It made enough money for it to be my full-time job and support my wife. When times were bad for Houston, they were bad for HAIF. But there were a few notable bad moments. The Great Recession The recession hit HAIF like a ton of bricks. Advertising revenue for HAIF, and the rest of the internet, fell like a stone. We lost 90% of our revenue within a month. Simultaneously, Google's ad monster revved up and killed all of the competition. Today, online advertising is (IME) 95% controlled by Google and Facebook, leaving crumbs for the rest of us and the non-Google ad networks we rely on. In 2006, a thousand ad views on a web site like HAIF would have earned between $20 and $60. Today, you're lucky to get 75¢. This is why the congresscritters in Washington are beating drums about "big tech." Hurricane Ike I really don't know what happened here. HAIF was roaring along until this storm came. HAIF had been through bad storms before, most notably Tropical Storm Allison, but always bounced back. In the days before Hurricane Ike, HAIF traffic skyrocketed. When the storm hit, it plummeted, and for some reason didn't really come back. Lots of people were without electricity and internet for days, weeks, and even months. And perhaps being away from HAIF for so long, they forgot us. Perhaps they needed to focus more on their physical community, rather than this virtual community. That's understandable. But I've never really been able to nail down what happened. Miscellaneous Here are some images I found in the archive that I'm not sure what to do with, so I put them here. The future of HAIF While I no longer own HAIF, and am only able to devote a few hours a week to it, largely behind the scenes, I can say that financially, HAIF pays for itself, and should be here for the long run. The current owner takes a hands-off approach, and that has always served HAIF well, as it has allowed people to come and go, to express themselves, and to make this a better place. If you have memories of HAIF, please post them here. I'd love to read them.
  11. Thanks. I've sent that along to my wife to investigate. Right now she's focused on The Star, the former Texaco headquarters. Primarily, because it's near one of her friends. I like it because of the immediate rail access and it's close to Assumption Church. Any thoughts about The Star? (1111 Rusk) When I lived downtown last time (1999-2003), there were very few services available outside of business hours/days. In perusing the businesses that pop up on the maps app (coffee shops, fast food, etc...) it seems that has not changed. It's not really a mixed use district yet. It's just a regular business district with some people living there. Is my impression true, or dos it just seem that way because places have cut back on service hours/days temporarily because of COVID?
  12. I'm like you. If I smell pot on a tour, it gets crossed off my list. I'm not into the dorm vibe, either. I prefer to live like an adult. Any downtown buildings you'd recommend? When we lived there, there were only three apartment buildings. There seem to be a bunch now, and from this distance, I'm sure there are ones we're missing. We prefer newer construction, and I prefer a larger building because they tend to have on-site maintenance. Interesting about the East End. We have friends who live there and also rave about it. With any luck, I'll be able to keep my job and work from home. My wife will almost certainly end up working in the Galleria area. What's your thoughts on that commute? Does anyone have any opinions about Water Wall Place? Also, Gray House? It's above the shops in the River Oaks District. Also on my wife's list: Museum Tower. Anyone know anything about it?
  13. Interesting about the people at Skyhouse. We're quiet types, so we'd prefer a building that is also quiet, and slightly older. How did you like The James? That one is on my wife's list, too, along with The Ivy, which I believe is next door. Is it problematic being right next to the train tracks?
  14. You can tell that Spring is here, because my wife is once again talking about moving us back to Houston. We're still months away from the end of our current lease, so there's no hurry. But in light of recent events, I thought I'd throw this out there to see if it's a factor or not: Two of the places she's considering for us are SkyHouse River Oaks (2031 Westcreek) and SkyHouse Downtown (1725 Main). SkyHouse R.O. gives us more space in our budget, which is nice. But SkyHouse Downtown puts us within walking distance of the Cathedral, the train, and all the other downtown goodies that didn't exist when we last lived in 77002. It's my understanding that SkyHouse Downtown is on a high-priority section of the electrical grid, so during the storm it never lost power, while SkyHouse River Oaks did. Sure, the chances of Houston getting hit with another big winter storm are pretty small. But it's certainly going to get whacked by another hurricane in the next five years or so. Any thoughts about those properties, and the value of being on a certain section of the electrical grid?
  15. Hi all, I've made some changes to HAIF. People can now upload more pictures than before. Previously there was a 10MB limit per user. Which made sense in 2001, but not today. People can now delete their own attachments. This is useful when you realize that you might have accidentally posted a picture that you do not have the rights to post. People can now delete their own posts. This is probably the most-requested feature over the years. I've resisted it until now because it can create continuity issues. But as more and more people quit social media (and even the internet entirely), they're interested in removing information about themselves. I understand and respect this desire, so deleting your own posts is now possible.
  16. So there were still problems. You may have noticed. I've been back-and-forth with the technical support people over the last five days, and it appears to be a caching issue with the system. I've disabled most caching now. The only content currently being cached is thread views for guests, which are now only refreshed once an hour. Hopefully the HAIF server can handle running without cache. It was pretty close to 80% capacity before. I'll keep an eye on things. As always please write to me to let me know if things are borked.
  17. For those of you following this topic, I have updated the software. Hopefully it helps. Don't forget to clear your browser cache! I thought it was a stupid notion, but it made a difference for me. I've created a new thread to discuss any further problems:
  18. The Black Labrador used to be the traditional place for the mods to meet. But that's gone. So very sad.
  19. Hi All, I've updated the software that runs HAIF. I know there were a lot of problems after the last one went in, so hopefully this will improve things. An important note: Be sure to clear your browser's cache. After this upgrade, I was still having problems until I cleared my browser cache and now things seem better. Hopefully everything is magically delicious now. Only time will tell. To clear your cache if you're using Safari, press Command-Option-E. Safari on iOS (iPhone and iPad) is more of a pain in the butt. You have to use Settings → Safari → Advanced → Website Data → Remove All Website Data. If people using other browsers can reply with instructions for those, it will probably be helpful to a lot of people. As always, if there's any other problems or questions or you just want to say hi, e-mail me at editor@houstonarchitecture.com
  20. So, the bad news is that the problem with the rich text editor not loading continues to be a problem. The good news is that it's happening to lots of other fora, and not just HAIF. So hopefully that means the makers of the software will get on it. I'll keep you updated.
  21. I've upgraded the forum software. Hopefully this irons out some of the problems. If not, let me know by e-mail.
  22. To start off this Hire a HAIFer section, I thought I'd put my information in. Just so people can see where my mind is with this thing. Hire a HAIFer isn't supposed to be a place to post full resumes. Just tell people about yourself, and if they like what they see, they can contact you for a full resume by PM. Here's me: Web Developer with Healthcare and Communications Experience I've been building commercial web sites since 1997, much of that time overlapping the 20 years I worked as a broadcast journalist. For the last five years I've been working for a healthcare company, building in-house and customer-facing web sites for insurance companies, healthcare delivery companies, and a medical center. I also build data processing scripts and APIs for medical logistics. Skills include: HTML5 CSS3 PHP7 MySQL Responsive web design HIPAA training Excellent writing and communication skills (B.A. in Communications with a minor in Journalism)
  23. Thanks for posting these problems. I'll look into them. There is a software update available for the forum software. It has a list of about 100 bugs that have been squashed recently. Hopefully some of them will fix the problems you list. I'm backing up the forum right now. It takes a little while, so I will try to perform the upgrade on Tuesday. If you notice anything amiss with HAIF, the fastest way to get it rectified is to contact me directly at editor@houstonarchitecture.com. One thing to note: I had some of the same problems you did using Safari (My preferred browser, too). But when I fired up Firefox, they went away. I wonder if some of the recent Safari changes are at the root of it. Hopefully the upgrade will improve the compatibility of the forum software.
  24. With the world all screwed up, and many people unemployed, how does everyone feel about me starting a Hire a HAIFer section? The idea is that people will start a thread about themselves. Not a full resume, because that can give away too much personal information. But a list of their skills and interests. Then if anyone else on HAIF is hiring, or works for a company that is hiring, they can PM the thread-starter and maybe find a good fit. Things are rough these days. My department at work has gone from 50 people to less than ten over the last six months. So I hope that this might help us help one another. Thoughts?
  25. I think the old BBCodes were converted to the new message format. At least when I did the software upgrade, it spent about 30 minutes churning through all of the old messages. Oh wow, 1640px! You've got way better kit than I do. I'm still rocking a 2011 MacBook Air with a 1366x768 screen.
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