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About Reefmonkey

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  • Birthday 01/23/1976

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    Memorial area
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    Dining, international travel, kayaking in the Gulf and West Bay, sailing, diving, cooking, reading, gardening, wine, margaritas. Native Houstonian, grew up in Spring/Klein area.

    Bachelors in Biology, Masters in Environmental Science, used to be an environmental consultant, doing soil and groundwater risk-based remediation for closures, Brownfields on hazardous waste-impacted sites. Now do beneficial reuse for waste chemicals, coproducts, etc.

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  1. This is a field guide TXDOT put together to help identify historically significant gas stations. http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/env/toolkit/420-05-gui.pdf Anyone have any favorite older gas stations in Houston that are still standing?
  2. Today's Houston Matters episode on KUHF, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, discussed the Diana Foundation, and organization I hadn't heard of, that started with an Oscars viewing party in someone's apartment the night of the very first televised Academy Awards in 1953. It is the oldest continuously active gay foundation in the country. They've published a book on the history of the foundation, and you can flip through the book for free online. It's an interesting snapshot of what life was like for gay and lesbian Houstonians through the years, especially for me, to see what things were like before the 80s, when I first became aware of the gay community through my mother's theatre friends, right around the time when they first started being able to be out in public. https://www.dianahistorybook.com/
  3. Yeah, I wonder about that too, there is a car inside the downtown one, but I don't think its the same one. Yeah, the old HAIF ad, wasn't that a kick to see?
  4. My 12 year old daughter has been obsessed with 80s culture for the last 2 years now, so towards the beginning of her obsession I took her to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, explained that when I was her age in the mid-late 80s, Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts were a huge fad (along with Spuds McKenzie shirts until the school district banned the latter), and I bought her one of the classic shirts. Last night she told me she was outgrowing that shirt and needed another one, so we need to go back to Hard Rock. She then said something about how cool it was that she could go to the same restaurant I went to when I was her age. So I had to break it to her that Hard Rock wasn't downtown back then, it was on Kirby, and that got me curious about what years the Kirby location was open, and why they moved downtown. I found this article, didn't realize Houston's Hard Rock Cafe opened as early as 1986, so early into the Hard Rock fad (I don't think I actually ate there until about 1992). Some mildly interesting discussion of the architecture of the building, and (edit) as cspwal points out, check out the old www.theHaif.com ad! http://offcite.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2010/03/RIP_Moore_Cite67.pdf Looks like they moved downtown in 2000. I remember to going to the "Fire and Ice" restaurant that briefly took over the space in 2001. On the "why" Hard Rock left Kirby, this HBJ article from 2001 sheds some light: https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2001/11/19/newscolumn3.html I guess it did make sense in 1986 to open a Hard Rock on Kirby (Galleria area would have worked too, hence Planet Hollywood) when downtown was nothing, but once the late 90s early 00s downtown renaissance started, Hard Rock wanted that access.
  5. Kinda depends on the style of wine. A vintner who goes after the big bold California styles that are all about varietal, you probably would not have found wines that tasted like those centuries ago. But a lot of European wines are probably very similar to what they were centuries ago, especially certain Italian styles. And retsina is a style that probably tastes nearly identical to the way it did at least 2,000 years ago. Don't assume though that older winemaking techniques were better. Before the advent of cultured yeasts and dosing grape must with sulfites or sulfur dioxide to kill wild yeasts before starting fermentation, winemaking was much less predictable than it is now. Winemakers would of course use the lees from an old batch of wine of proven quality to inoculate the next batch with yeast that worked (although they didn't really understand why this worked), a batch could still become contaminated with a wild yeast species (both from the grapes or from the poor sanitation back then( that would give it a funky flavor, or worse, make it spoil, and wine makers would try to recoup their losses by blending this off. There was a reason the ancient Romans rarely drank wine that hadn't been cut with water and sweetened. And speaking of the Romans and sweetening wine, from Roman times through the 1800s, lead acetate was regularly added to wine to sweeten it and balance the flavor.
  6. Yeah, isinglass, it's a fining, or clarifying agent. (I do a little home winemaking) Generally the isinglass is going to agglomerate suspended solids in the wine and cause them to fall to the bottom as lees, and theoretically the isinglass all ends up in the lees, which are discarded when the wine is racked, so winemakers don't consider the isinglass to be "in" the wine anymore, but because the wine process involved an animal product at one point, the wine can't be considered vegetarian. Wines that want to be considered completely vegetarian will use a non-animal derived fining agent, like bentonite, a type of clay. You have to use a lot more bentonite than isinglass though.
  7. I tend to agree with H-Town Man here. Even if IM Pei designed it himself with some grand vision in mind, it's a completely unremarkable looking early 80s one-story commercial building with no significant Houston history to it, and it's not an efficient use of a parcel in downtown Houston in the 21st Century.
  8. That was my observation this March when I was up in Austin as well.
  9. You must have the wrong table, I don't think anyone here ordered a word salad.
  10. Never eaten at one, how do they measure up to James Coney Island?
  11. Here are a couple of Bobby McGee menus, probably from one of their Arizona California locations, which lasted a lot longer than in Texas. Here's one that the source I got it from says is from 1987: https://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1249&context=menu_collection Can't quite tell what year this one is from, but judging from the design of the menu and the prices, which are slightly higher than the 1987 menu, (along with the lack of email address or website under the corporate address), I'm guessing very early 90s?: https://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1946&context=mbf_collection FilioScotia is right, food doesn't look to be anything special at all. Interestingly, Bobby McGee's was founded in 1971, and very similar Magic Time Machine was founded in 1973, and Magic Time Machine (which still exists in San Antonio and Dallas), still serves a menu very similar to these two from 30 years ago. A lot of the prices have gone up in that time, but interestingly, shrimp scampi cost $15.99 then and now. https://www.magictimemachine.com/assets/file/magic-time-machine-menu.pdf
  12. I get it, it sucks to have to deal with it on a daily basis, I remember it well. Just trying to walk to stores from my apartments down there in the early 00s I was constantly being pursued by aggressive panhandlers, and I do mean pursued, I had them shout at me from a block away, and start following me, it was spooky. I remember shopping in that Randall's in midtown when it was all shiny and new and being accosted by a panhandler in the frozen food section. When I lived in the Camden Midtown circa 2003, across from the Cadillac dealership, my view from my 2nd story balcony was of the homeless woman who wore plastic grocery bags for socks and always sat on the bench right below me. Couldn't even be free of their badgering when I was in my own apartment - one sunny Saturday afternoon I was grilling on my little hibachi out on my balcony and a homeless person (can't remember if it was her or another one) calling up to me for money. I haven't lived there in 15 years, but I do go down there a lot on weekends, park and walk around, eat at restaurants, shop, etc, and it's a lot better than it was 15 years ago. There is so much more development and activity now than there was back then, homeless people can't exist there in the concentrations they did back then, and when you get hit up by a homeless person on a busy street with a lot of other normal people, and a lot of brightly lit businesses, it's a lot less threatening than when it is just you and a homeless person on the lonely street between your apartment and the nearest store. And the corridor between midtown and downtown under the Pierce Elevated back then, having to pass through a Hooverville, it was a real psychological barrier between the Fourth Ward and the First Ward. Making that area gated parking was great. Again, it sucks when you're dealng with it on a daily basis, and I understand how that is going to affect someone's perspective, and I am sure there are certain times and certain areas where things get to be more like they used to be for a while, but from a longer perspective of 20 years, it looks much better overall.
  13. As wilcal said, the Lime rep rode the scooter from the Galleria area to downtown. Matthews's tweet: " I rode the lone operating Lime scooter in Houston yesterday. Lime scooter rep rode it from the Galleria down the Buffalo Bayou trail to his downtown hotel during rush hour. Would you use these scooters instead of driving your car around Houston? "
  14. On what do your base your opinion that it is worse? I'm looking at the statistics, which show that homeless numbers have significantly decreased over the last several years. This comes from the Coalition for the Homeless's 2018 report on the Point-in-Time Homeless Count & Survey for the Houston area, which is required by HUD. It shows a 51% decrease in overall homelessness since 2011, and a 63% decrease in unsheltered homelessness in that time. There has been a slight uptick since Harvey, but it's still significantly lower than it was 5 years ago.
  15. Strack definitely looked brutalist on the outside, but I remember going to speech tournaments there in 6th-8th and thinking the inside seemed nicer, I guess because it was only 10 years old as opposed to 20. And up to that time I had never gone to a two-story school, which seemed cool. Klein was definitely a much nicer school my last two years than my first two years. The Commons, Pavillion, and courtyard between the two, the Hi Rise, pretty much everything south of the original building, was pretty nice. I was kind of surprised that they tore down all that stuff that wasn't that old, when they could have just torn down and rebuilt the main building. But I guess that open campus with walking outside wasn't secure enough in this day and age. Once I got my license, I used to joyride all around "up in the country" as I called anything north of Louetta, and I had my favorite "country roads." I'd take Old Louetta up to Spring-Cypress and then over to Huffsmith-Kohrville Rd, and then maybe turn on Boudreaux Road, and all that felt like the rural South at that time. I'd also take Louetta to North Eldridge Parkway, and head south on Eldridge, and it was nothing but dense pine forest as far south as Cypress-North Houston Rd. My girlfriend and I would pull off the road at the bridge over Cypress Creek and make out under the bridge. Shocking how built up that is now 25 years later.
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