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Posts posted by amanda

  1. Hello,

    I was reading this article a while back and featured this photo of a building (not sure of location) that showed the solar panels installed in an inefficient manner. The author claimed little or no thought was taken into account for the solar paneling (which was blocked by other equipment and not angled in the best way).

    Is any new or in-progress commercial construction in Houston that may be another example of this?

    I'm by no means an expert on this issue, but if anyone could enlighten me and tell me a location, I'd like to see for myself. I don't know how often LEED updates their standards and guidelines for getting LEED credits, but I know they do re-evaluate their guidelines for improvement from time to time.

    Thanks in advance - and here is the photo from the article:


  2. Has anyone lived in or known anyone who lived in the townhomes at Grove Ridge or Leonora? They all look like these:


    and I saw about three of these townhomes this weekend. One was destroyed and wrecked by renters and two others were recently remodeled/updated. If you come to this neighborhood through the Glenbrook Valley residential area (come in through Broadway) it seems okay- many single family, kept-up houses, quiet neighborhood. The townhome community was quiet and barely any people out.

    But if you take the townhomes out through Leonora, it looks like old school parts of Texas City which can be pretty frightening. Low income housing and run down apartments with people hovering outside their shacks all the way to Telephone Rd.

    has anyone had any experience with this neighborhood at all? I wonder if I am being too judgmental based on the conditions of the housing and the state of the people outside their houses. but then again I don't care; after all why put money into a place you are scared to live?

    Thanks in advance

  3. Does know of anyone/where that teach printmaking or similar evening classes or a workshop?

    I can't meet my universities morning schedules because of work, nor attend other universities because of class and work in the Fall. I was hoping someone around here knows how to do it, has a studio, and can teach or give workshops for a reasonable fee. Does anyone know of anyone or anything like this?

    Thanks in advance!


  4. There was some city program that offered down payment assistance for first time buyers but the income caps were pretty low (as were the maximum purchase prices).

    I beleve the income cap was $35K for a single person and the purchase limit was $150K.

    I'm not sure if the program is still around.

    This is the one I was thinking of, I think. I had seen brochures for it when I lived in Austin about 2 years ago, but it was a statewide program I believe.

    I actually wasn't referring to the tax credit, but those are some good resources that I did not know about.


  5. Hello--I am considering the purchase of a 2 bedroom townhome inside the Beltway and have never bought anything before. I have a good Realtor and have no began to look just yet because the lease on my apartment still has 6 months left.

    I see the "first time home buyer!!!" grant all over the place for Texas. This is my first time to buy a home, so I was wondering if anyone could recommend an actual program they had used in the past, or one they had heard about. When I do Google searches very generic results come up usually to link farms or nonsense pages. I would much rather use a suggestion of someone who has previous experience.

    Thanks in advance,


  6. EMME - If you haven't already, check out HoustonStreetArt.org.

    And there's a big Give Up over by Target, if you haven't seen it.

    Hey thanks!

    I actually run Houstonstreetart.org. I'm always looking for submissions so if you see something and want me to post it up there, contact me on my page and I'll post it. Those are really nice photos above, I was worried for a minute there that everything was getting painted over so quickly. Anyhoo, the Houston street art scene is getting bigger and bigger, so keep your eyes peeled!


  7. OK, maybe I should rephrase what I meant about the "reasonableness" of the drive to Alvin. I'm not judging the rationality of driving 90 miles a day, just the drive itself. Personally, I wouldn't choose to make those drives every day, but I understand that everyone's circumstances are different than mine.

    I thought that my drive to Alvin took a reasonable amount of time for the distance involved...27 miles in 30 minutes seemed pretty good to me. Of course, I hit all greens going down SH 6. I was surprised at that, and I can understand that hitting every light would cause you an extra 10 minutes of drive time.

    By comparison, there are much worse 27-mile commutes in Houston. Driving 27 miles into Houston from Cypress probably takes something longer than 30 minutes.

    Also...in reference to the original dilemma of where to live for a couple who have separate commutes to Alvin and the Med Center, somebody's going to have to do some driving. My suggestion is that the person with the longest distance to drive at least do the drive as a reverse commute, rather than doing the longest distance in rush hour traffic.

    In other words, say the couple moves to Alvin...the person who works in Alvin has a short drive. The person who works in the Med Center gets the 30-mile drive in rush hour traffic, which ain't gonna be a 30-40 minute drive with traffic.

    On the other hand, say the couple moves to the Med Center. The person who works in Alvin has a 30-40 minute drive, going against traffic. The person who works in the Med Center hops on the MetroRail and doesn't worry about driving, parking, etc.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Moving to Alvin is not a remote possibility, maybe closer to Pearland-ish, maybe 35, closer to the Beltway. I do agree with the above, EXCEPT....

    what about the one who works in Alvin, and their 2-3 drives/week from Alvin (work) to UHCL (school) that take 45minutes to Clear Lake (yay the 45 bridge demo) and the 40 minute drive back to the med center (home)?

    Sounds like the person should not have never moved to Houston, IMO.

  8. I was ready to type up another diatribe in defense of my neighborhood and similar neighborhoods (Sunnyside and South Park)...but I'll avoid being a pompous ass today.

    In response to VicMan's questions: in my experience the probability of random crime in our neighborhood is less than in other neighborhoods I've lived (including the Heights). Quality of life is what you make it, in my opinion. There are miserable people on my street and then there are some of the happiest people you'll ever meet on my street. Some of the most miserable people you'll meet in your life live in River Oaks. Drugs do exist in our neighborhood...just like every other neighborhood in Houston. Ours is more in the open, with deals occuring at certain corners at certain hours. Of course, I think I just read about a bunch of students in Katy getting busted, and I recall something happening in Sugar Land recently as well. It happens everywhere...in our neighborhood I don't bother the dealers and they don't bother anyone else, for better or worse.

    In response to the original post from sevfiv, looking for ideas on places to live: I lived in Old Pearland in younger days, right close to the Pearland/Friendswood boundary...and from what I recalled, it's a 15-20 minute drive to get to any freeway from there. That's something to keep in mind if you consider Old Pearland or Friendswood. On the other hand, you'd be pretty close to Alvin.

    You might consider a rental in the Med Center area, like the condo city around Almeda and Holly Hall. I had to head to Alvin recently for a morning meeting, and it was about a 30-minute drive from my house (288/610) to get just south of Alvin. I had expected a slow drive down Hwy 6 with all the lights, but I think it was about 15 minutes from SH 288 to SH 35. Add in 15 minutes from 610 down to Hwy 6, and it was a pretty reasonable 27-mile commute, averaging a mile a minute the whole way.

    Reverse commutes are nice.

    Reasonable? It takes me at LEAST 40 minutes to get to work from Holly Hall to Alvin (North Gordon at 528) and yes I am late to work frequently. It's roughly 30 miles each way from Holly Hall to Alvin (about 40 minutes) on top of about a 40 minute drive from Alvin to UH-Clear Lake (another 30 miles), then another 30-40 minute drive back to the medical center (yet another 30 miles) where I live now?

    I am sure it will be extremely reasonable when gas prices jump back to $3.50-$4.00 a gallon. It's only a matter of time. And actually, the Highway 6 lights suck on gas mileage. There's roughly 15 lights from where I work to 288. Which may be better than sitting in rush hour traffic, but same freaking concept. Accelerate to 55 mph for 3 minutes, slow to 15 mph then to a complete stop, repeat x 15, both ways. Way to get excellent gas mileage!

    I can't wait till my 2 fill ups a week jump from $18 to almost $40 bucks a fillup like it was in 2008. Nobody wants to freaking spend $80 a week on gas, especially driving an economical vehicle. Almost $400 in gas a month is ridiculous.

    Trust me, I drive it every week day. And I drive a '00 Mazda Protege that gets about 25-28 MPG.

  9. Has anyone had any experience with these doctors, groups, or the PAs in their office? I need a PCP to do general stuff, fill a rx, etc. Nothing major. These are the ones in my immediate area that I found through my insurance. Any help is appreciated, thanks

    Eugene Degner MD - 1550 Concho Lane

    Medical Center Family Practice - 8307 Knight Rd

    Claudette Jones MD - 2626 South Loop #120

    Lonestar Health Group - 2626 South Loop #600

    Thanks again.

  10. 1. Astros will make the playoffs but lose first round to the Mets or Phillies. Texans will finish 10-6 but not make the playoffs. Rockets will lose in the conference finals to the Lakers who will lose to the Celtics in 6. People will still not care about the Dynamo.

    2. One or more of the following people will die: Fidel Castro, Amy Winehouse, Dick Cheney, Gene Wilder, Gene Hackman, or Gene Simmons.

    3. There will be a significant terrorist attack in Dubai, Paris, or Madrid, with a publicized failed major attack in NYC, DC, or Atlanta. Obama will catch Osama.

    4. There will be another bridge collapse somewhere in the midwest, significant dam break in China, and a significant earthquake on the west coast.

    5. Steve Jobs will retire and APPL stock will plummet. The to-be-announced ZunePhone and AtariPhone will both be busts and along with the G1 Android phone will still fail to outsell the Iphone.

    6. Meatloaf will have a top 10 Billboard hit.

    7. There will be a major UFO sighting seen by 100,000+ in the U.S.

    8. Dreamworks' "Monster vs Aliens" will have a stronger opening weekend than Pixar's "Up"

    9. EADO will be ridiculed, none of the hotels planned for between DG and MMP will break ground.

    10. On the last day of 2009, RedScare will still be on top the Haif Financial Challenge Leaderboard.

    lol, I concur with every single one of these. p.s. I will put money on Amy Winehouse.

  11. P.S. I went out here today too, and it was a total jip!! Just like that abandoned "barn" in Dickinson off 517. The only thing worth noting is that nature's way of telling you to stay out is by creating those thorny vines that lock on and envelop onto a branch or root to trap you!!! And there was a series of 3 ponds. I think it was a trifecta possibly created by aliens and/or religious freakz, back in the 70s (as former posts have stated). They may have skinny dipped here, ate some of the nasty mushrooms out there, and worshipped the big J!!!! (hence the cross!)

  12. I visited this place several weeks ago. I was utterly amazed by the beautiful 70s-style paint job, and desolate nature at best. The only thing I remember was a gigantic, ghost town like bookstore and LIDS. Other than that it looked it had been abandoned for years, with a paint job to set an outdated mood. Oh, and it smelled like pee. Shockingly, I saw no homeless people? Very queer!

  13. Hi there, thanks for the info and yes I do work for AHI Supply. Upchurch has done some decent work at getting some of our colored mortar, cleaners, and cast stone spec'd into jobs but I am trying to take a more aggressive approach; i.e. meeting with architects personally! :D

    Upchurch is a supplier/distributor for numerous lines of brick and stone from multiple manufacturers.. and Yes, it is common to go through suppliers when spec'ing a project.

    The architect indicates in plans, specs, or both, when he has specific manufacturers in mind for certain building components. For some, it's less important to get the exact component, so you would add a note like "or equal in performance".. then if the contractor wants to use a similar component, say for door pulls, he would issue a submittal to the architect, who will then accept or deny the substitute.

    Brick, stone, usually does not fall under the "or equal" category since there are hundreds and hundreds of different but similar brick colors out there and we wouldnt want the contractor deciding aesthetically what is equal. Additionally, exterior brick and stone is something that has to be approved by the municipality design review process, as well as by the neighborhood if they have a Arch review committee.. so once you've selected brick and had it approved... there is no deviation or substitution without much sweat and tears..

    How do architects decide what to specify? Some of it is based on what they know or are comfortable with. Sometimes they see new products in other projects, architectural magazines etc., and pull information themselves from the manufacturer or local distributor. Most architectural firms have libraries of material specs and samples and product literature that they have built up over years. Most architectural firms are visited quite often by product reps showing the latest and greatest.

    If you are a supplier, distributor, or manufacturer and you want architects to start specifying your product... you would have to make lots of field trips to various architect firms to introduce your project, drop off product literature, and feed the architects.


    I just noticed your signature.... You work for http://www.ahi-supply.com/?

    Guess you know who Upchurch is...

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