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Reefmonkey

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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. When people have expressed concern about scooters weaving in and out among pedestrians on sidewalks, scooter proponents here have dismissed those concerns by saying they're "just like a bike", because "its illegal to ride them on the sidewalk" (examples above). But is it actually illegal to ride them on the sidewalk? Not according to state law, which allows them to be ridden on sidewalks, unless a municipality deems them unsafe (see the reg below). As far as I can see, the City of Houston has not passed any ordinance to make them illegal on sidewalks. I see Sec. 45-302 prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks in a business district, and Sec. 45-16 addresses " coasters, toy vehicles or similar vehicles, " on roadways, and 45-502 addresses "minmotorbikes", and 45-18 makes it "unlawful for a minor to operate a neighborhood electric vehicle or a motor assisted scooter on any public roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or city park within the city limits," and there's 32-301 that is specific to Buffalo Bayou Park, I don't see anything anywhere else in the Houston code of ordinances that makes it unlawful for an adult to ride a motorized scooter on a sidewalk.
  2. Yet the website really plays up the waterskiing, and even has pictures of families doing it. It seems kind of irresponsible to encourage or even allow water skiing on a lake that small, IMO.
  3. I'm wondering if any homeowners or guests of homeowners can tell me what the boating is like on Towne Lake? As far as I understand it, the lake is 300 acres, yet allows motor boats and encourages skiing and wakeboarding, so we're talking motorboats going pretty fast. In college I sailed on White Rock Lake, and it's four times the size of Towne Lake, yet motoboats are prohibited, with good reason on a small lake like WR. With Towne Lake being SO small, I have trouble imagining how water skiiers and kayakers and paddleboarders and people just cruising the lake could possibly coexist on the lake on a typical summer weekend and be at all safe.
  4. Yeah, I just saw that the Ninfa's moved to the building that was recently built where the old Eatzi's used to be. Makes sense about holding off on doing anything with the 1605 location until the Post Oak Blvd Project construction is complete.
  5. Now that Willie G's has moved into the Post Oak Hotel on the West Loop feeder, anyone know what will happen to its former location? My gut tells me, given the surrounding properties, this single-story building won't survive long before it's torn down and high rise luxury apartments or something like that is built there. HCAD hasn't been super helpful, there are four entries for 1605 Post Oak Boulevard, and only one of them shows it having a building on it. One of the non-building entries is listed as being owned by "Messina R", another by "Messina J % Landry Group," and a third by "Pirogue Management". The fourth, the only one that lists a building, is also owned by Pirogue Management. The Messina J entry lists having been owned by Messina R in 1985 and then owned by Messina J since 1991, the Messina R entry lists having been owned by that person since 1988. Both Pirogue Management entries list that entity having owned the property since 1988. Curiously, the only entry with a building on it lists the building having been built in 1998. I know that's not true both from personal memory, and from aerial photos showing that same building as far back as 1981. Unfortunately there is a gap in aerials between 1973, when the building wasn't there, and 1981, so I can't narrow down the actual building date. I think I remember as a little kid in the very early 80s going to that restaurant before it was a Willie G's, it was called "Flying Tigers" or something like that (Maybe "The Hungry Tiger"?), and the inside was all WWII aviation themed, does anyone remember this place?
  6. That explanation still leaves me with a lot of questions. If it's true, who did the gerrymandering? The district, or the state? It seems like the district wouldn't be able to just grab another ISD's land like that, and I have to assume that by the 70s, the timeframe the people in that thread are saying the land was gerrymandered, it should have already been long applied to another district. And having grown up in the Klein district in the 80s, and knowing the mindset of the residents there at that time (let alone 10 years before that), that then mostly lily-white group of voters would never have willingly agreed to annex Acres Homes and other nearby very black, very poor areas. So did the state force the annexation on them? If so, how, and why, and there must have been some record in the local papers of the inevitable public uproar and even legal fight over that. But there is another problem with this explanation, and it's related to the 1970s timeframe for the explanation. Klein ISD lists Recreation Acres Elementary School as a former campus, it was opened in 1949 "to serve elementary students in the southern part of the district." Recreation Acres is just south of the intersection of 249 and Antoine, down in that southern panhandle that our fellow Haifers say wasn't annexed until the 1970s to get federal funding for being more diverse, but Klein ISD is saying that area was already part of the district back in 1949, when the feds weren't giving out such diversity funding. Its the same story for Garden City Elementary School, which opened in 1956 and closed in the 1970s. It was in the extreme southeast corner of the panhandle, if still open today it would be the southernmost campus in the district. So unless Klein is distorting history and making it sound like these schools were opened and run by KISD when they were actually run by a predecessor district before Klein Annexed the area, it seems Klein owned this panhandle since at least 1949. That would be before anyone cared about "diversity", before the feds were offering dollars to schools for being more diverse. So the question still remains, how and why did Klein end up with that long skinny panhandle extending so far south, when the rest of the district stops at the natural and logical boundary of Cypress Creek?
  7. I've always wondered, why does Klein Independent School District have that long, skinny "panhandle" of territory that extends south of Cypress Creek (otherwise the southern border of the rest of the district) between Champion Forest Drive and Stuebner-Airline? Seems like logically that panhandle ought to be either part of Cy-Fair, or divided up between Cy-Fair and Aldine and/or Spring (although Spring is also weirdly shaped with two "lobes"). It seems like most of the 56 school districts in the Greater Houston area (with the exception of Houston ISD's western finger) are fairly reasonably compact in shape, Klein (and Spring) seem to be outliers. Who decided on the boundaries of the school districts, anyway, and what was their criteria? Especially why was Klein given this strange appendage that would quickly become the worst part of the district? http://texasbest.com/schools/map.html https://kleinisd.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_568041/File/District/District Quick Info/Kmap-Superintendent 2-26-18.pdf
  8. 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?
  9. 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/
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. That was my observation this March when I was up in Austin as well.
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