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Everything posted by sarahiki

  1. There's a lot in your statement that makes absolutely no sense to me, but this phrase in particular had me wondering. How is it that you see the government being run by a less intelligent, non-tax-paying majority? If someone is running the government, they are working, and therefore paying taxes. Or is there a secret cabal of stupid, unemployed people actually running the goverment? If so, they are probably not so stupid. Plus, it is clear that whether or not you agree with his policies, Obama is far more intelligent President than the last one, again making me wonder about this "less intelligent" comment. I also suspect that you are equating rich with smart. In some cases this is surely true... someone smart might know better how to make money. But not all smart people dedicate themselves to getting rich. I am thinking of myself as an example. So I must take exception to that argument. Now, as for this ascent or descent into Socialism, that has been addressed on this board too many times already.
  2. I've just been reading up on these. Engineered hardwoods are not the same as laminate. They can have differing thickness in the top layer, which would determine whether or not they could be refinished at some point. What got me interested, when I had been thinking solely about traditional hardwoods, is that they are supposed to be better in a humid climate. Less warping, less cupping. Has anyone had a problem with that in regular hardwood floors here? Personally, I would prefer regular hardwoods, unless there is some real advantage to the engineered, in terms of how humidity affects them.
  3. I was seriously looking at Pearland for a while; it's got some very nice neighborhoods with nice parks and playgrounds, lots of families. If your wife is going to be home with the baby, I think it would be a good place to be. Plus there are tons of nice supermarkets & shopping centers. The downsides, as I see them, are: 1. Traffic. Just getting around Pearland can be tough, especially on the west side, due to rapid development. 2. Not as many interesting restaurants as within Houston; mostly chain restaurants. Same with shops. Those aren't big negatives, and the trade-off, in a neighborhood like Silverlake, for example, is a nicely-maintained, lovely place to live with parks & playgrounds, that's relatively safe (I say relatively because there has been a little crime spike lately, though it seems to have been mainly one bad dude who has been arrested).
  4. I don't know if you can rent a place in the Heights for that, but it would be worth trying. Easy commute to UH, nice for families. Either Sugar Land or Pearland would be good choices, too, especially if, as a student, you have a little flexibility in your commute time. Neither place is very far, it just takes a hella long time during rush hour. Those are three good options; I don't think you need more. As for hurricanes, don't worry. Get supplies and plan to hunker down. Pearland might face mandatory evac but other neighborhoods you are considering would not. Oh, and by the way, welcome to Houston! UH is a great school. I hope you like it here.
  5. Meme explains this stuff better than I do, but I guess I'll give it a shot. I think you are thinking about it from the wrong perspective. It's not so much that there was a NEED for change, and so beings evolved. Rather, variability is inevitable, because of mutations and sexual selection. From that vast sea of variability, certain traits were useful. It's a long term process, but condense it and magnify the scale of the mutation, and imagine a person born with a mutation that gives them an extra arm. Useful! That three-armed dude is able to get a ton of work done, plus is quite attractive to women for his abilities & wealth. He has lots of babies, some of whom inherit the third arm. They also find the third arm to be a useful trait to have, and it allows them to succeed and reproduce. It's not that anyone NEEDED a third arm to get by, but once it was introduced, it was "selected for." This is probably a terrible example since in fact mutations and variations happen on a much smaller scale over a much longer period of time, but I think it still illustrates the process. (edited to remove weird duplication of text)
  6. I am not used to thinking about it from a "design" perspective, though it's certainly interesting to consider. However, why, then, would whales be designed with five useless fingers, instead of having a more fish-like skeleton? It defies the logic of design. For that matter, why not design the whale as a fish entirely, rather than as a mammal. It lives in water, after all. I realize that from the perspective of belief, one shouldn't ask "why" the Designer designed things, one should just accept that it must have been done for very good reasons that are none of our business. But in that case, we really can't examine the case for design. So it really can't be considered in a classroom. And thus, another very good reason that religion doesn't belong in a science classroom.
  7. But whales have five fingers, too. The bones are there, within their fins. Certainly they don't need five fingers. But the whale, and other mammals, have a common point of origin in the distant past. Hence, we all have five fingers. This is the kind of thing I love about evolutionary theory... it is so elegant.
  8. Done! I'll consider it a deposit in the karma bank, a little gift to the buyers. And I don't mind at all adding some work to HCAD's inbox. They have it coming.
  9. thanks. Given the hoops we had to jump through with HCAD last year, I think I'll just let this one go.
  10. Question-- we just got our appraisal, and it hasn't gone up since last year. But we are selling our place at the end of the month for way less than the appraised value. Will HCAD automatically adjust their 2009 calculation (which would mean we would owe less for the first three months of the year), or should I protest (even though the taxes are only our responsibility for the first three months of the year), or should I find something better to worry about?
  11. I hate it too. Now I am forced to see everyone's stupid everything. "So-and-so send a marshmallow peep to so-and-so." Who cares?!?
  12. Well dagnabbit, I thought it wasn't on this week. I missed it.
  13. That sounds right... I think I remember him from that movie, too.
  14. Thank you for pointing out the biggest hypocrisy of the last 8 years.
  15. I don't know. I think it's fair to hate someone who's responsible for the number of deaths that Bush is responsible for, in Iraq. He has a lot of blood on his hands. Anyway, that's why I dislike him so much (we don't really use the word "hate", as I tell my kids). Okay folks, have at it.
  16. Thanks KA, for saying what I was thinking.
  17. I might add to what you said by noting that people often fail to recognize the advantages they've been given, and attribute all their luck and success to their own hard work. Sure, hard work is a critical part of the equation, of course. But never mind if you happened to be born white, male, and in a home where you were given good care and a good education? People not born or raised with those advantages have it harder, period. That's not to say that they shouldn't work hard to overcome them (some do, some don't), but it's BS to claim that everyone who has it tough right now DESERVES it. And it's just nauseating to hear that attitude coming from people with the advantages listed above.
  18. We are planning to buy a house somewhere in these neighborhoods (Westbury 1 or 2, or maybe 3; Parkwest; Maplewood South). My preference would be Parkwest, because it is pretty & zoned to Parker (we have little kids). But we could be in a nearby neighborhood and magnet in to Parker or Kolter. My question, for residents there, is whether there are other differences that might not be readily apparent. Are there more kids in the neighborhoods zoned to the better schools? (Fewer kids in Maplewood South, for example, than in Parkwest?) And the fees in Maplewood South are higher... do you get more for that? If so, what? Any other insights into the little differences in these neighborhoods would be appreciated. Thanks.
  19. Buchanan's in the Heights is a great resource. They have native plants and all manner of organic fertilizers, etc. They will give you good advice, as well. They saved my baby trees that were languishing last fall with some kind of miracle fertilizer.
  20. Not sarcasm as much as hope; I find this season to be more ridiculous than ever so I'm sort of hoping they just go whole-hog on the absurdity. Ghosts, aliens, whatever. One more stupid inter-office romance and I may give up on it.
  21. The end of the episode gave me some hope that this season might not be a total waste of time, but I not quite convinced. I kind of hope they will throw any remaining credibility to the wind, and Almeda will turn out to be dead and a figment of Jack's addled brain. He is acting rather ghostly and mysterious. All in all, I am WAY disappointed.
  22. Obviously we're not in a retail-friendly climate at the moment, but I would think that someone might see good reasons to put some nice retail at that location. It's a pretty great Heights location and fairly retail-starved, wouldn't you agree?
  23. TJones, I love, love love your signature. And you know where I stand. But damn, that makes me laugh.
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