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stan the man

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About stan the man

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  1. Well apparently, now that it's been two months since Lisa Hernandez gave birth (and barring her bio being dropped from the KHOU website), I wouldn't be shocked if we started seeing changes this week or next while we're still getting over Christmas dinner and firing up that new Peloton (or Mirror or what have you). But I also noticed a big change at the FCC with regards to children's programming...The FCC has relaxed KidVid rules that required three hours of educational programming on each subchannel, which CBS fulfilled by providing its affiliates with three hours of such programming under the brand CBS Dream Team. Whereas they could only have aired between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. in the past, the FCC now allows stations to air as early as 6 a.m. now. Additionally, the FCC now only applies the three-hour rule to refer to what a licensee can air across any one of a station's subchannels (as opposed to mandating a licensee carry three hours of KidVid programming on each subchannel in the past), and a licensee can now offload up to one hour of KidVid per week (13 hours per quarter) to a digital subchannel. So how does this tie into KHOU and the desire to expand weekend news coverage? I can explain the changes KHOU has made recently with regards to the weekends (WARNING: Lots of esoteric nerding out to come on this matter!): With regards to the KidVid changes, KHOU technically could push the one hour of CBS Dream Team KidVid shows it airs on Sunday over to its Bounce subchannel or push it back to 6 a.m. where two televangelist programs air. Speaking of televangelists, the station has lost its 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts of Joel Osteen to KTRK. KHOU now airs an infomercial between Sports Extra and a rerun of NCIS: New Orleans in place of the latter, and the second half-hour of Face the Nation (which used to be delayed to 2:30 a.m.) now airs after the first half in place of the former leading into Ed Young's Winning Walk at 10:30 a.m. KHOU is also dropping The Church Without Walls (6:30 a.m.) effective the Sunday after Christmas, so apparently KHOU could be launching a Sunday morning newscast to lead into CBS Sunday Morning. They also carry the sermons of two other majority black churches in Houston, Mount Corinth and Lilly Grove, as well as some Houston public access program (Latina Voices) with mostly ancient episodes before the sun rises. I am certain one of those three will be dropped as well to make room for a Sunday morning newscast with Ron Trevino. CBS This Morning's Saturday broadcast now airs continuously from 6 to 8 a.m., as opposed to being split into two hours with the second hour (the one with the cooking and music segments) being delayed two hours in favor of KHOU's Saturday morning newscast. CBS apparently is mandating their stations air CTM on time and in pattern, and there have been consequences for affiliates who buck their demands (as evidenced by WWL in New Orleans moving its 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. local morning newscast over to sister station WUPL). At least two CBS stations even lost their affiliations, including KHOU's former corporate sister in Indianapolis, WISH-TV (the former flagship of the Whitney Corporation that bought KHOU when it was still KGUL-TV and eventually became Corinthian Broadcasting), which lost CBS to WTTV in that market. Inside High School Sports, which used to air after the Saturday morning news during high school sports season, now also airs at 11 p.m. on Saturdays as well, and has pushed KHOU's entire Saturday late-night serial repeat block (NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary and Murdoch Mysteries) as well as Boomer Esiason's sports interview show back a half-hour. KHOU could even try airing a midday news on Saturday similar to what CBS11 in DFW (KTVT) does, so they might try expanding there as well...and they now have a new meteorologist (Addison Green) on board, making it five assuming Chita, Erika Lopez or Blake Mathews don't leave. I'll be shocked though if they add a newscast at 5 p.m. since it is certain to be preempted by CBS Sports programming. Texas Country Reporter already broadcasts there, though especially when CBS Sports broadcasts SEC football, college basketball or golf at 5 p.m. Saturday, it either gets preempted or airs at 5:30 a.m. Saturday instead (a long-lived CNBC-produced program, On the Money, usually airs in that Saturday morning slot). Speaking of On the Money (which used to be called The Wall Street Journal Report), it could very well be dropped by CNBC, which is ending the Nightly Business Report on PBS/KUHT this week and might cancel it as well to focus exclusively on cable, per a Katz Media report of barter syndicated shows I came across that had it lasting through 2020. It could also very well move to KPRC (a more appropriate venue for a program produced by an NBC entity), except I am not the programming God at either station. Even the Winning Walk may not be safe, especially if TEGNA decides to expand WFAA's Inside Texas Politics beyond Dallas to across the state and air it on KHOU at 10:30 a.m. (Fun fact: former KHOU reporter Jason Whitely hosts that program, which airs live on WFAA at 9 a.m. Sunday morning.) Again, KHOU has not had a traditional Sunday morning newscast according to my recollection, but they did have such programming for a time in the 90s dealing with local public affairs or current events - First Sunday hosted every first Sunday of the month by Sylvan Rodriguez, and Steve Smith's Sunday featuring its namesake anchor every other Sunday of the month. Clearly, some of the changes at KHOU are of CBS' own doing as well as those of the FCC, but considering KHOU is looking to shore up their weekend news offerings to catch up with KPRC, KTRK and KRIV, these moves don't seem surprising. The only question is now, will Lisa Hernandez actually be anchoring on weekend evenings or not at all? The time has come.
  2. I remember when Prime Cable in Sugar Land only went as high as channel 36 back around 1992, and went beyond that around 1994. There was quite a big difference in cable choices between Sugar Land and Missouri City back then: Sugar Land's cable TV offerings were less robust than Missouri City's Warner Cable system up until the two systems merged circa 1999, and it was not until 2002 when Time Warner dropped Sugar Land's own channel lineup (shared with Richmond) and replaced it with one for the entire metro area. I noticed this because I had a grandaunt who lived over in Quail Valley, and later an aunt who resided on the Missouri City side of First Colony, and their cable TV offerings were more robust. What I do remember (or at least can guess, hence the "?"s) of the channels circa '92... 1: Cinemax 2: KPRC (swapped with KTMD circa '94) 3: The Disney Channel? (on basic cable unlike Warner Cable which still had them on a premium tier) 4: The Movie Channel 5: HBO 6: KRIV? 7: TBS? 8: KUHT 9: KHTV? 10: KTXH? 11: KHOU 12: KTMD (swapped with KPRC circa '94) 13: KTRK 14: Showtime? 15: Request PPV 16: TNT? 17: VH1? 18: WGN? 19: KXLN? 20: Prevue Guide? 21: HSE (later Prime Sports and eventually Fox Sports SW) 22: Comedy Central 23: MTV 24: A&E? 25: Headline News? 26: The Discovery Channel? 27: TNN 28: ESPN 29: AMC 30: Nickelodeon? 31: BET 32: USA 33: Lifetime 34: The Weather Channel 35: CNN 36: CNBC That's 36 channels in all, and they did not even have converter boxes readily available at that time. I remember having to turn to an antenna to watch KNWS, KHSH or what eventually became KPXB (when it was a Galavision station) back then in the pre-"must carry" years. By 1994, they started issuing converter boxes and would add Cartoon Network, CMT, Sci Fi, TLC, E!, ESPN2 and Flix in addition to KNWS and what eventually became KUBE (it was another shopping channel airing Value Vision and infomercials), along with an expanded PPV service and its own dedicated preview channel, a community TV channel covering Sugar Land City Council, Fort Bend ISD football and basketball games and community affairs programming, and two additional HBO channels. They would add Odyssey, Food Network and HGTV the following year I believe. Over time, the basic lineups went to 68 channels by 1997 when TCI took over for Prime and started offering digital cable services, before eventually being absorbed into Time Warner by 1999 and dropping Sugar Land's channel lineup for the Houston one already utilized in Missouri City by 2002 (this was also around the time Nickelodeon moved to accommodate News 24 Houston, remember that?), including even the basic blue screens Warner Cable broadcast customer service information in English and Spanish on. As for outside of Sugar Land, I recall TCI stirred controversy after it took over Storer's cable systems and dropped BET to accommodate KNWS because of new federal "must carry" rules, which made the Chronicle. They were going to drop EWTN/TBN, but religious stations were reportedly protected. That was not the last time; they also dropped A&E, TNN and WGN before they were about to merge with Time Warner which led to angry calls to the FCC from many cable subscribers. Needless to say, that also made the Chronicle as well as the local TV news. Of course, we can start seeing plenty of attrition in cable TV these days, given so many are unwilling to fork over hordes of money to pay for channels they don't even watch. I can understand paying for CNN to get Fox News and ESPN, but the same can't really be said for say, MTV Classic or Chiller. NBC/Comcast already got rid of G4 and Cloo and they're fixing to drop Esquire, likely with no replacements in sight. The "skinny bundle" really is that big of a deal, since it's basically the popular channels we got in the 90s and then some. In closing, I will also add that Kingwood had its own cable service during the 90s simply called "Kingwood Cablevision", which eventually became Suddenlink, and United Artists also operated in The Woodlands around that time as well. There was also Group W Cable in Galveston around the 80s, operating out of the former KGUL-TV facilities on the island, I believe? I could go on and on, but I'd like to stop here and get a big, deep collective breath.
  3. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation also listed in their AB project search engine that In-N-Out is reportedly building a 126,000 sq. ft. processing and distribution facility in Lancaster, which is part of the quartet of "Best Southwest" suburbs south of Dallas. They're estimating completion by Nov 2017, but I haven't found a credible news article about this. Obviously, they're building this facility with an expansion to Houston in mind since the current facility is well within the Metroplex as opposed to Lancaster which is right on the edge of Dallas County on the way to Corsicana. No signs of any future Houston In-N-Outs...yet.
  4. According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Lidl (pronounced like "beetle") is reportedly looking to open at the following spots: 11821 State Highway 6 S, Sugar Land (Woodbridge/Mission Bend area) - Aug 2018 11010 Harlem Road, Richmond (near Harvest Green) - Jun 2018 6160 Sienna Parkway, Missouri City (Sienna area) - Jun 2018 2125 E. League City Pkwy, Dickinson (Tuscan Lakes) - Jun 2018 30073 Katy Freeway, Katy (Katy Mills area) - Nov 2017 8125 Barker Cypress Rd, Cypress (west of Copperfield) - Dec 2017 8802 Jones Road, Jersey Village - Dec 2017 They're also planning four stores in Tarrant County around Fort Worth plus a store in Tyler. Fort Bend and Cy-Fair might as well join the EU since they're getting the lion's share of the stores and Fort Bend itself is saturated with Aldi; their distribution center is even located in Rosenberg. They are planting their Texas office in the Memorial City area, I am told.
  5. Definitely not surprised the West Oaks Macy's held on for this long. The mall was already starting to go downhill due to competition from First Colony and Memorial City when it was still Foley's, and when Macy's took over the "think globally, shop locally" appeal of Foley's faded away completely. Macy's has too many stores for the target audience it has, and this is not going to be the last time it downsizes. The focus for Macy's now will be on its Macy's Backstage stores (off-price offshoots of their regular stores, some of which will have them) as well as its 150 "top door" locations that will offer the fullest assortments of all of its merchandise, including 30 "platinum doors" that will be getting the most attention. As far as Macy's in Houston is concerned: CLOSED Greenspoint, Pasadena Town Square/Plaza Paseo, West Oaks Top Doors The Galleria, Memorial City, First Colony, Willowbrook Women's (original Foley's), The Woodlands main store (original Foley's), Baybrook, Deerbrook (very surprised) Potentially Vulnerable Almeda, San Jacinto, Post Oak (College Station), Willowbrook Men's (original Montgomery Ward), The Woodland's children's store (potential space for H&M) Stuck in the Middle Pearland, The Woodlands furniture gallery (demo for Crate & Barrel, perhaps?)
  6. I'm surprised Randalls is still chugging along considering the competition on all fronts is leaving them behind in the dust. Wouldn't be surprised if Albertsons starts converting some of the Randalls stores to Sprouts which they are about to snap up. http://www.dallasnews.com/business/retail/2017/03/20/report-albertsons-talking-sprouts-merger
  7. Alamo Drafthouse to Imperial Market...wow! Would have thought an arthouse-focused, non-brewery-cinema would have gone into that space, especially considering Flix Brewhouse further down 90 at the Telfair development. It will be very interesting to see how two brewery-cinema combinations will pan out in Sugar Land, and whether or not these cinemas will feature the arthouse films that are of interest to folks in and around SL, especially those who can't see themselves seeing a movie at the AMC near First Colony Mall. But what's also interesting is the large amount of space devoted to restaurants including in the silos and near the "Pink Lady" that's fixing to become aloft (assuming Marriott does not dissolve the brand in its purchase of Starwood). Imperial Market's developers are surely taking cues from Hughes Landing in The Woodlands which has its own iteration of a "Restaurant Row", except in the case of Imperial Market the experience is likely going to be more authentic and probably scenic in comparison. Don't expect a Christian's Tailgate, though...that apparently has already been earmarked for Telfair.
  8. This is all I could find on this story -- a post on Kroger's Facebook page, but it is only so obvious what is going on here: https://www.facebook.com/Kroger/posts/10151531060113218 Now if Facebook is not your cup of tea, let me tell it like it is: The cutthroat supermarket competition, a glut of traditional Krogers (three newer, nicer stores surrounding it) and other factors beyond its control proved to be too much for the Rubik's Kroger, which I call it because it kept its 80s-era, graphing paper-esque decor well into the 2000s before a low-grade renovation. To that extent, the store is now winding down operations, and this is sure to become an economic hot potato in the SL. Not just because of the jobs (even if they were mostly minimum wage or less), but also a certain five-letter word that has been the bane of many a suburbanite. As for myself personally, as ubiquitous as it may sound, another relic of my childhood is fading into oblivion. I have been familiar with the store since I moved here as a toddler and as much as progress is a beautiful thing, replacing that space will surely be a challenge and the Settlers Way area of First Colony will never be the same. While I am not going to speculate, I would place my bets on HMart (or another large Asian grocery store for that matter) taking over. Have yet to see something from the TDLR, but the last thing the good people of First Colony need is something below-grade moving in there.
  9. The new Fiesta just opened two weeks ago...it's not even your stereotypical Fiesta to begin with. They even gave it a fancy name: Fiesta Market Place. Of course, my uncle was reportedly the first customer inside the new store, and they gave him some perks for his reward. As for the store itself, an elaborate paint and demo job was done to it (they even knocked out a wall where the expanded wine section is; the beer is now in one of the last few aisles). There is also a Caribou Coffee (the first in Texas), a Red Mango yogurt stand (though not a full-fledged one), Dietz & Watson deli meats (major Boar's Head competitor), a large meal section with sushi, soups and hot meals (among other items), and two aisles of international foods. Oh, and the store has been doing brisk business since opening. A dramatic change from the Gerland's days.
  10. I first knew about this going to the TDLR website and looking up architectural project filings long before this was announced to be Fiesta, of which the filing stated that Fiesta was listed as the project slated to go into the old Gerland's. I first relayed this to my BBA capstone partner, himself an experienced former Gerland's cashier, and I wouldn't be surprised if he fanned the flames of a rumbling that has now become reality even further. As for the property itself, last time I checked, they chopped off the top of the old Gerland's that had been there since the last facelift in 1993 (when the store still had exterior windows) and the steel frame of what is apparently Fiesta's new exterior is now protruding out into the front parking row (or at least what remains of it).
  11. In retrospect, I recall a topic being done on this a while back. Time to fast forward... In reality, while basic cable has the ubiquitous examples of MSNBC catering to a left-leaning audience and Fox News a right-leaning one (albeit of the "big government conservative" variety), bias is in actuality nearly impossible to spot in local news. To clarify further, just because the Dallas Morning News has a conservative bent does not mean that Channel 11 is a conservative mouthpiece, and just because Channel 2's one-time owners had ties to the Democratic Party (Bill Hobby, anyone?) does not mean Channel 2 is a bastion of leftist indoctrination. In a nation so deeply enshrined in freedom of speech, et. al., it is critical that members of the media maintain an objective tone both for the sake of their country and for the sake of their jobs. That means no boasting about "Obama sucks" or "Republicans are evil", except maybe during vastly overlooked editorial segments where Houston's own economic interests are at stake. In other words, there is nothing political about local news, because at the end of day people want to hear the facts...you're not going to get facts from a politically biased opinion show. And don't get me started on celebrity gossip, which is supposed to be a no-no in a market with major international economic interests and implications, unpredictable weather and atmospheric volatility, and a locally strong if nationally overlooked (and in some areas, much-maligned and cursed) sports culture. I may be wrong, but the news is supposed to give you what you NEED to know, NOT what you want to hear.
  12. Not surprised...considering the state of brick-and-mortar bookselling in the Age of Amazon. More bizarrely, when Books-A-Million originally decided to close nearly two years ago, there were also rumored reports on Swamplot (link here) that a disability rights lawsuit may have played a hand in their initial decision to pull out before deciding to stay put. Of course, little to nothing has been heard of said lawsuit (I don't even recall seeing this on the news), but nothing changed the fact that Books-A-Million was essentially on borrowed time in the run up to their closing up shop. Now that they're gone, and as the Pavilions is under new management, I wouldn't be surprised if they attempt to attract one of those "fast fashion" concepts downtown given its glassy, street-corner storefront. Whether or not they will succeed remains at best a hard sell.
  13. From a personal standpoint of reason, moving the Astros to the AL would do more harm than good in the long run. The Astros have done relatively well in the half-century they have taken to the field as a member of the Senior Circuit, and a lot of the reasoning behind moving the Astros is because of... an ownership transition (from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane, and both sides view a move to the AL with relative disenchantment)the team's current situation (last place in all of baseball, but it's just one season out of many)lack of closer rivals (it was this way when the Astros played the NL West many years ago)the allure of seeing the overpriced, overindulged Yankees and Red Sox come to town every year (as if it's the only way to guarantee a profit at the gate), oryou should see this from a mile away: a strengthened rivalry with the Rangers (for the last time, it already happens on a perennial basis anyway)If realignment is considered, and given the possibility of the divisions being scrapped, it would make sense to plot the teams accordingly, regardless of whether or not a rivalry does exist: Keep the historical teams in each league intact. The Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Indians, A's, Tigers, Twins and White Sox are all charter franchises of the Junior Circuit, and should not depart the AL (8 down, 22 to go). And the "Classic Eight" from the Senior Circuit - Dodgers, Giants, Braves, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates and Reds - should continue to be NL teams (16 down, 14 to go).Pair according to their metro areas. Mets (17) with the Yankees, Cubs with the White Sox, Giants with the A's, Dodgers with the Angels (18), and Nationals (19) with the Orioles. Not to mention the Ohio Cup between the Reds and the Indians. I may also suggest pairing the Pirates with the Tigers due to their shared "Rust Belt" struggles and blue-collar industrialist histories, as well as the Braves with the Red Sox due to the Braves' early beginnings in Boston, the lack of an AL team in the Deep South, and the lack of an American NL team north of the Big Apple.Now throw in the one intrastate rivalry involving 1 pre-1961 and 1 post-1961 team: Royals (20) vs. Cardinals.And a similar one involving two different states: Brewers (21) vs. Twins. Some suggest the Brewers should go back to the AL, but Milwaukee does have an NL history with the Braves (after Boston and before Atlanta).Now cobble together whatever interleague pairings exist among the remainder. Pair the Phillies with the Blue Jays (22) since their home cities have played significant roles in the early history of their respective countries. Next, pair the Padres (23) with the Mariners (24) since both teams share a spring training facility, their shares of Interstate 5 are near the borders with Canada (Seattle) and Mexico (San Diego), and the two cities have something to do with Eddie Vedder.Per my view on realignment, the Astros (25) and Rangers (26) should remain in separate leagues. I would also add the possibility that MLB may split the contracts between the leagues for regular season games in the future (similar to how the Texans usually play on CBS and the Cowboys usually play on Fox), and in that scenario it would be senseless and inconvenient for one network to have a monopoly on Texas because their league package covers two Texas teams while the other package has no Texas teams.I will simply go ahead and keep Florida as is. Historically, MLB expansion traditionally has been 2 teams in one league followed by 2 teams in the other. The last time the pattern was followed was 1993 when the Marlins (27) came on board the NL. When the Rays (28) joined in 1998, it was supposed to be the AL's turn.That leaves us with the two interior West teams. The Rockies (29) and Diamondbacks (30) both play in the NL, but the Rockies joined with the Marlins in 1993 and that makes the Diamondbacks, in my opinion, the most plausible team to switch. Of course, Arizona fans and their team's front office will complain and point to their state's historical connections to the National League, which is why the Diamondbacks' founding owner (who has since sold the team after putting the team deep in the red) did not want his team to play in the American League. But having two 15-team leagues and a patently perfected, parity-friendly scheduling formula means that these same Senior Circuit ball clubs will still make at least one annual trip to town anyway and the Rockies' fanbase in Denver is already surrounded (sans Arizona) by AL franchises in Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota and Oakland.Moving the Astros to the AL may be what most in Baseball's Illuminati prefer, but it would come back to blow up in their face in the long run, particularly when they have to struggle with the Teflon-coated, one-size-fits-all Yankees for a pennant. I should also add that mid-to-small market teams still can't compete in MLB even with the luxury tax that was supposed to correct a variety of issues. Mark my words, if I were the commish, the Diamondbacks would be the more logical candidate to move over to the AL. Leave the Astros alone.
  14. Unfortunately, the video of the snow report in Houston from January 13, 1982 was deleted by the stuffed suits at the site it came from. So much for freedom of speech in this country. But it would be more than greatly appreciated if someone who managed to download a copy of the video before it got taken down could post it somewhere. It is always a crying shame when TV nostalgia from a great American city gets wiped out in the name of blatant censorship.
  15. There are none; all the Steak and Ales closed because they were all corporate. Bennigan's was half corporate, half franchised, and to my knowledge there are no franchises in Houston and only two franchises in DFW. Their recipes are online, though. Do a Google search and you will find several recipes for the two chains' signature items.
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