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Everything posted by sarahiki

  1. I'm kind of laughing now. But seriously, what are you talking about? Who is shaming whom? And anyone who thinks a suburban house in Houston is a good investment is worse than a sucker. I really think most people are buying these houses to live in, and to raise their families in. Not because they've been "shamed" or think they're going to get rich buying in a suburban subdivision. Of course, I can't pretend to know the minds of the masses....
  2. Sorry Puma, I'm still looking for a better answer than that. Many of those neighborhoods are already 10 years old, so surely into second owners. Things still look pretty good. I'm not invested in this in any sense of the word, I just think these opinions are being flung around pretty wildly, and I'll like to hear some evidence. I agree about cookie cutter homes. One reason people may buy them is that they cost 1/2 to 1/3 what a more interesting house in the loop might cost. That's a fairly compelling reason. Personally, I wish the builders would build things that varied in style more, in particular more modern homes. But I guess the rest of the buying public disagrees, or they probably would.
  3. Huh?!? I've spent a good bit of time exploring the west side of Pearland and I have yet to see any indication of slumminess. I must be among the blind you cite. Can you back that up with a "for example"?
  4. Amtrak has not been funded in such a way that high-speed travel has been able to develop, despite existing technology for it. Congress and the people have demanded a bottom line that's in the black: if it's not turning a profit, what's the point. This has always seemed absurd to me. We don't demand profit from our highways, yet we fund them. From my current perspective (in Europe) we have fallen about a century behind in terms of rail. There are bullet trains streaking all over France now, for example. I took one directly from the airport in Paris out to Avignon, and arrived in centre ville in I think four hours. That thing moved! Google Maps puts the drive at 6.5 hours, and that's without traffic, which believe me is not the reality. And having also missed a train last week by literally three seconds, I can tell you that they run on time. If we weren't so wedded to highways, and had built (and continued to fund) a good train system, it could be a very different experience in the US.
  5. I've always been an Olive Garden snob, because I had a terrible meal there about ten years ago in upstate New York. But we went recently with the kids, who are little and tough to bring to restaurants. We had the nicest, most thoughtful waitress I've ever had in a restaurant, who brought cut up fruit for the baby without being asked, for example. The bread was great, the salad was good, and the rest of the food was fine. No, it's not great quality food, but it certainly has other virtues--service, for example. I probably won't go back, but I'm not going to knock it anymore, either.
  6. It's not what you say, it's what you do. How ambitious are those fuel efficiency standards, really? And so on.
  7. Any comments on this Friedman piece? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/opinion/...a3e&ei=5124 Here's the beginning: Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was
  8. Have you eaten at Reggae Hut or Alfreda's? I've wondered about both but had never had a recommendation from anyone. I agree about Spanish Village; I heard great things about that place and thought the food was pretty bad. There was supposed to be a new development nearby... a medical building with retail/restaurants on the ground level... does this ring a bell with anyone? Maybe on that huge (vacant) site on McGregor, just east of (and adjacent to) 288? I wish I could remember details. Maybe the whole thing is stalled. Any chance of Mosaic having retail or restaurants?
  9. Donald Barthelme's "I bought a little city" is set in Galveston. It was featured on the New Yorker fiction podcast last year. You can still get it on ITunes (for free). I definitely would like to read more of his work.
  10. I just read "The Liar's Club" by Mary Karr. It's a memoir about her childhood in an east Texas town near Houston in the early 60's. I loved the way she evoked the place and the time. Can anyone else recommend good books that are set in or around Houston?
  11. Interesting thread... and topical, for me. While I've been on this side of the pond this month I've been researching spirituality, shamanism, hallucinations, and the supernatural. Nope, no direct research, not even with Ambien. Anyway, my take on it is that humans, through history, have had to deal with the brain's insistence on conjuring up supernatural phenomena. Taking certain drugs, chanting, meditating, all bring on a particular hallucinatory experience, thanks to the structure and functioning of our brain. In some cultures this is sidelined as weird or illegal (like ours), in others it is cultivated as a way to communicate with the cosmos. And by the way, if anyone on this list is a neurologist or some other specialist in hallucination (again, not a specialist in that sense ), please PM me because I'd love to discuss that further with someone whose expertise comes from a different direction. At the same time, though, I've heard too many "ghost stories" not to believe; I think that's different, though. You don't have to believe in "God" to believe that there is the possibility of ghosts, etc. But I've never seen one. I think it would freak the ** out of me.
  12. thanks for the reminder... this is the first time I've felt compelled to use it.
  13. Well, as they are saying at Bonoroo or Wanadoo or whatever the concert is that all those young folks are at this weekend, "the hippies were right!" Bob Dylan wrote some amazing stuff.
  14. I was struck dumb when I saw that yesterday. I cannot BELIEVE that multiple people at Fox thought that was okay, and aired it. Unbelievable.
  15. I agree, the old trains were quirky. But for all the times I clocked my head on the top of the thing getting in and out, I am glad to see them gone. Those trains were not sized for grown-ups.
  16. I bet bougainvillea, morning glory or star jasmine, planted in the ground next to the deck, could be guided over to the fence pretty easily on a trellis.
  17. I would really like to speculate on the possibilities of the "obitchuary" section, but the feminist in me can't do it. Can't someone with less delicate sensibilities take this one on? It's crying out for a comment...
  18. very nice! what a pretty city. I particularly like the crazy roof on that cathedral.
  19. Extended work-rest stay. Are you on this side of the pond, too, or just awake in the middle of the night?
  20. Yep, that's exactly my point. I'm part of a radical pro-potato fringe party.
  21. I'm not talking about vehicle size. And I'm not talking about automakers waiting until gas gets so high that people stop buying F-250's (yes, I read the news). I'm talking about radically rethinking how engines work. When the government agrees to buy a fleet of hybrids, for example, a car company will produce a fleet of hybrids. If the government demands new fuel efficiency standards, car companies will meet them. Not before. And until someone says, YOU are required to build cars that run on potatoes, or whatever, and YOU are required to produce and sell potato fuel, it's not going to happen. That's my point.
  22. I think one problem is that you need vehicles that can use alternative fuels, and there is no market motivation to produce a car that runs on something that gas stations don't provide, and no market motivation for gas stations to provide something that cars can't use. I dare suggest that sometimes market forces alone can't solve problems. Sometimes you need something to provide some structure for change, even a mandate to change. I suggest that one might need a government to require a change... lordy! That sounds almost socialist! have that girl arrested for anti-american activity immediately....
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