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  1. The info about the limitations of the 172 is pretty accurate. It's best as a trainer -- 2 person plane for local use. Great aircraft for that purpose and it can travel for 2 people + bags, when necessary. Most 4-seat single-engine planes are for 2-3 people, once FAA-required fuel reserves and weight and balance calculations are figured in. The speed info was very conservative. It's possible to fly into a headwind and have short periods of flight that slow (45mph), but more typically, your ground speed is in the 90-100mph range -- and you aren't bound by roads (unless you're having to use them for navigation).With a tailwind, I've seen airspeeds of 130kt + (around 150 mph). In a plane like a 172 (granted, I have mostly flown the 180hp version -- the lesser models fly and climb a bit slower) I usually cut a similar car trip in 1/2. So, a 4-hour trip to Tyler, for instance, is about 2 hours by plane. A 180hp Cessna burns about 10 gallons per hour (conservatively speaking) and has about 50 gallons usable fuel capacity, if memory serves. So,you flight plan accordingly. to stay in regulations. As you can see, you can easily fly north, well into Oklahoma on a single tank and still meet minimums.
  2. I think the cable company even refused it, which I find really puzzling.When did Houston get so prudish? Anyway, I don't think it will hurt IKEA's turnout. They're giving away FREE chairs! Free Poang Chairs to the first 100 people at IKEA Houston 6/9/2010
  3. So, IKEA is going to have a grand reopening next week and apparently is having a little trouble getting the word out because their commercial is too risque. I don't think it is, but whatever... I hear they'll have free food and $100 sofas for the first few hundred people there.
  4. I'm in for the dome, provided there are real plans for video screens and lighting on it.
  5. I created a Super Bowl spot a few years ago which was placed through a partnership we had with an out-of-town media buying agency. We got prime placement, right before the end of the second quarter and a discount off the published rate. I'm told the published rate is always just a mark they strive for -- big discounts happen every year. I hear that just about everyone here hoping to rent out their houses for thousands per night, back during our Super Bowl was disappointed, too. A lot of the hype surrounding it is overblown and perpetuated by a strange collective desire among the "Super Bowl culture" to will the game to ever loftier heights. I watched this year and enjoyed it. I like the ads because I'm in that business. But, if they didn't play it next year for some reason, I'd be alright.
  6. Mine: US: Get Back - Beatles UK: Ballad of John and Yoko - Beatles Wife: US: He don't love you like I love you - Tony Orlando and Dawn UK: Stand by your Man - Tammy Wynette
  7. Surely no lighting could be so spectacular as to be seen from five blocks away. Why do blinking lights so interest you?
  8. I remember liking their first iteration here 20 years ago. I believe the location where Sullivan's is on Westheimer was an On the Border. Of course, I was 20 years old then and probably didn't know much better. The fact that I could get a margarita without ID was enough for me. they left this market about 15 years ago and reinvented the concept. I haven't been to one since they re-entered the market. Looks like I may have missed my chance...
  9. They seem to have an idealistic notion to stick to a scientific, museum-like attraction with minimal "theme park" attractions such as thrill rides. Even Disney offer only a couple of thrill rides in -land and World. I don't give this vision much chance of success at this scale. My guess is that, after realizing pretty good attendance over the first season of phase one, interest in phase two will be low and repeat visits will be hard to generate. So, they will back off their idealistic eco-educational plan and play more to the masses. Then, you'll see some roller coasters, motion simulators and more thrill-type rides and shows. Of course, this mission change might change the whole scope of the park and its surroundings over the long term. For better or worse, time and foot traffic will tell.
  10. I like AXH. I can park my car right at the terminal and be on a plane within 10 minutes.
  11. Taz's Texas Tornado was a permanent installation of a traveling coaster from Europe that rarely ran, due to maintenance issues.
  12. The Houstonians craving this are unaware of The Galleria. I think <100 sounds about right. On a serious note, a comparison to The Galleria is valid, I think. When that mall was introduced into a seemingly illogical setting -- It was considered the middle of nowhere at the time -- it focused on destination retail and the novelty of an ice rink in hot, humid Houston, to draw people who were curious. It also was designed as an enclosed city unto itself, with a nod to "public spaces" (ironically on private property) that had rarely been seen outside much older cities. It invented (or more accurately re-invented) an architectural type, further distinguishing itself and sealing its longevity as a model for others to follow. I hate to think what "Marq-E on Main" will look like when it turns The Gal's age.
  13. Strange, I found the discussion of places he would "seldom frequent" and "occasionally frequent" to be very poorly said.
  14. And you are impressed with it? I didn't have any fantasy in mind, I was merely observing. I didn't actually WANT anything out of HP, as I find shopping, dining, entertainment and living options in other parts of Houston to be excellent. I have no secret hard-on to buy Gap khakis or even Cartier watches downtown. If retail is, in fact, the answer to building downtown life past 6pm, and if we all agree that downtown life is our goal for whatever reason, I think this seems like poor execution. I think turning the shops inward does exactly what The Park Shops did -- it eliminates its interaction with the street and with the larger potential neighborhood that might begin to develop, had this been considered. If the types of retail planned were more destination oriented, people would have a reason to seek this place out and to come back often. If it had the mentality to create more of a sense of place to encourage a streetscape, it would draw even people not looking to shop, but merely gather. Again, this begins to build community -- something this collection of what looks like temporary buildings lacks. In the end, for all its promise, it's really just an inward-facing outdoor mall that may serve office workers and a few people killing time before a concert or basketball game and no one else. The thing I find funny is that we already have one lame mall downtown that no one goes to, why does anyone think we need two?
  15. If HP had about 10 times the retail space and some air conditioning, it would be a run-of-the-mill mall. If its storefronts faced the street, it would be a curious collection of lackluster shops that make a downtown shopping district. If its tenant list were interesting enough (except for HOB and Lucky Strike-those are great, but perhaps not enough to sustain it) it would be a destination. If it were connected to residential or better positioned near a critical mass of residential (no, a few Midtown bargain hunters shopping for high school apparel isn't enough) and gave that population a public square -- not just an un-air-conditioned mall (this claustrophobic tin can is going to be miserable in summertime) it might form the core of a real urban neighborhood. If its architecture reflected local materials, or some hint at a Houston or Texas regionalism, it might inspire developers around it to continue its mission with complementary retail and restaurant developments of their own. As it is, HP is none of these things and doesn't appear to be in this for the long haul. HOB seems cool, though for "happy hour" I counted five people behind the bar, serving seven customers this evening. Granted, it was Monday, but someone needs to adjust staffing levels or their employee costs are going to run them out of business. And why stick on a crappy mall to this thing? It would have been fine as a stand-alone without the Lidz and the handful of restaurants we already have. I'm a big Houston booster and try to look on the bright side in cases like this, but HP sucks.
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