Happy belated birthday Houston!

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my city. Houston, Texas turned 172 on August 30th. Happy Birthday!! Sorry it’s so late. We’ve been a little busy with Mother Nature. 😉

Anyone who knows me knows of the great love I have for Houston and Texas in general.  I love it! Even when I move away, Houston will always be home and my favorite place on Earth. I wanted to share a few neat facts and tidbits about Houston so you can get an idea of why I think it’s so great. Enjoy!

  • Houston has a Theater District second only to New York City in terms of a concentration of seats in a single geographic area. Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations with more than 12,000 seats.
  • Houston has a unique museum district offering a range of museums, galleries, art and cultural institutions, including the Houston’s major museums.
  • Houston has more than 500 cultural, visual and performing arts organizations, 90 of which are devoted to multicultural and minority arts.
  • More than 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area.
  • Houston is home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The largest rodeo in the world, it attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each year.
  • Houston has a young population; 37 percent of Houstonians are 24 years old or younger and 34 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions – offering higher education options to suit all interests.
  • Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with a local economic impact of $10 billion. More than 52,000 people work within its facilities, which encompass 21 million square feet. Altogether 4.8 million patients visit them each year.
  • Home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and more than 5,000 energy related firms, Houston is considered by many as the Energy Capital of the world. Companies headquartered in Houston include Halliburton, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil Corp and Dynegy.
  • The Port of Houston ranks as the nation’s largest port in international tonnage and second in total tonnage.
  • Houston has the most affordable housing of 10 most populated metropolitan areas; Houston housing costs are 39 percent below the average of 26 U.S. urban populations of more than 1.5 million.
  • Houston has the second lowest cost of living among major American cities.
  • Houston is the fourth most populous city in the nation (trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), and is the largest in the southern U.S. and Texas.
  • Houston has more than 11,000 restaurants.
  • Houston has professional teams representing every major sport.
  • More than 38 million people each year fly in and out of Houston’s two major airports: Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby.
  • This is just a small taste of the great things about Houston. For more interesting facts check out Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_events_of_Houston

    Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm  Comments (10)  
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    Recovering from Ike

    Well we just got power back after we lost it Friday night. We have a tree on our roof still and that will be there for a while and our fence is gone. We are very, very lucky. we are all alive and so is everyone I know. We all have our homes. Now that I’m finally able to see the devastation Ike caused all I can do it sit in disbelief.

    I’ve seen some amazing things these past few days. Strangers helping each other, people still being polite and showing kindness. I would also like to mention the wonderful people I spoke with from Allstate. Not only are they doing everything they can to get to us but there was a wonderful woman that stayed on the phone with me when I unexpectedly just broke and started bawling. Even though she didn’t need to, she stayed on the phone with me until I was calm enough to face my girls.

    I would also like to send a special thank you to Vanessa  and Dane. Without them I don’t know what we would have done. They were a rock for my family and showed the true and definite meaning of love and friendship. They gave us priceless information and support these last few days. Even in the days before the storm. Thank God for them. I love you both and I would be a shivering ball of broken nerves without you.

    And last but so not least. I would like to thank all the men and women from here and around the country that have done an amazing job getting power back to Texas. We would be lost without you. Also the police and fire departments who put their live on the line to make sure we were safe. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Lots of love for everyone,

    Raga

    Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 1:00 am  Comments (15)  
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    IKE IKE IKE

    Well today’s the day. The sun is shining and the birds are leaving. The wind is picking up. Is it a sign? I think so. We’ve got some windows boarded up and water and batteries and all the other odds and ends we need. Ike seems to be turning into a massive storm.  I wouldn’t be scared if I didn’t have kids. Where I live is going to be getting the dirty side of the storm. That’s the bad side. Yippie.

    My parents had to evacuate and thank God they did. Based on some reports the coast is going to possibly be hit with 20 to 50 foot storm surges.

    I’m going to clean my house so when it blows away it’ll at least be clean. LOL   Just kidding! 🙂

    Everything will be okay, I’m sure.  For those 3 people that read my blog don’t worry if I’m not around for a day or two. It just means we have no power.

    Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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    Remembering 9/11

    As I was listening to the radio taking my kid to school I was pleased to hear the DJs and callers not only talking about the hurricane but also taking the time to remember the importance of today. This is the day America changed forever. Most people will focus on the negative changes but I am choosing not to do so. I will not remember today’s date as only a time of mourning but also as a day of pride. Why pride? Because on this day seven years ago we the American people put aside our petty differences and instead stood together and did everything we could do as individuals and as a nation to help out our fellow brothers and sisters of this great nation.  No one was immune that.  Rich, poor, black, white, and all the colors in between were affected.  We were all red, white, and blue Americans. The terrorists thought that they would destroy America but they were wrong. We do what we in America have always done in the face of tyranny. We stood together and said you will not knock us down, you will not destroy us. Don’t tread on me is a motto not forgotten. We stood as a nation with a backdrop of red, white and blue. I love America with all my heart and I’m proud to be a citizen.

    Remember today in any way you see fit. I will try to honor those who died and sacrificed their lives to save others in the best way possible.  Be nice to each other. Be a proud American.

    Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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    Well the shit is about to hit the fan. Ike is coming.

    IKE is on his way. It’s bigger than Katrina and Rita were and it’s headed here. We’re looking at roughly 85 to 100 mph winds inland and big ass storm surge on the coast. My parents live about 5 minuets from the coast and they are having to evacuate. They have 2 dogs and 7 cats so it should be interesting for them. Hopefully their house will be okay.

    I live a relatively safe distance from the coast so I’m not worried about storm surge or anything like that. I am very concerned about losing power and high winds and tornadoes. I’ve gotten most of our supplies but I might go buy more water and pop tarts. I’m also going to be preparing everyone’s bug-out bag in case we do have flee.  Anyone got room for a family of 4 with 2 dogs and a cat? Just kidding. sort of. 🙂

     

    Anyway I’m sure we’ll be fine but please take some time out of your day and pray to whatever God or Gods you have that the damage to the people in Texas will be minimal and that we have no deaths.
    Thanks!

    Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm  Comments (4)  
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    The best writer you’ve never heard of

    There’s this guy.  He writes in a way that can chill you to the bone, make you laugh ’till you cry, and always leaves you wanting more.  The problem is this guy doesn’t know his own worth.  Big dummy.  He creates these characters that you fall in love with, (Dillon anyone?), and paints images in your mind using his words like a giant paintbrush.  He’s done for the water what Jaws did for going to the beach 20+ years ago.  Know the best part?  He just gets better and better. His talent is enormous and with every new story you get the honor and privilege of watching him grow as a writer. I keep thinking it isn’t possible for him to knock my socks off, but with every new piece he again blows me away.

    Want to know who he is? Of course you do!  He’s the DarcKnyt. He’s awesome and if you read his work you’ll fall in love too. You don’t know what you’re missing. I plan to fix that! He’s written many wonderful things but I’m going to share some of my favorites with you.

    The first is Ghost Hunters. Hands down! This is where I met this kickass writer and his creations. I had no idea what a treat I was in for when I started reading this book. I felt every emotion he portrayed so much and was left salivating for the next installment every week.

    Now if you want to be scared and disturbed you need to read Getting Away from it All. Thanks to this story alone I won’t be getting on a boat any time soon.

    Now if you’re looking for a hot and steamy mystery you have got to check out Remember Me.  Here Mr. DarcKnyt shows that you can write emotional and HOT love/sex scenes without being vulgar.

    Another story that enjoyed beyond words is The Lake. I laughed my butt off at this one. SO WELL DONE!

    You want a little vampire in your brain? Then read this short fantastic story My Childhood Friend.

    Also, if you want an eye opening and moving experience then please read Not a Typical Morning. This IS NOT just a story. It really happened to my dear friend and it’s shows a stark and gritty portrayal of how low we as people can be. It shook me to the core and was at the forefront of my thoughts for weeks after he wrote it.

    I believe in this man’s abilities 100% and I’m honored that he lets me into his world. In the world we live in today where your blog/chat/log-in name means so much I’ve tried to show him how much I appreciate what he does. He’s the reason I’m the KnytStalker.

    He’s an amazing writer and an even better friend. Not to mention his wife is one of my most favorite people in the whole universe. I could go on for hours about her too! She’s funny and sweet and tough as nails. That will have to wait for another day because this today is all about The D man. Don’t want to wait??? I sure as hell don’t blame you. Here’s her blog:  http://darcsfalcon.wordpress.com/

    So in short if you don’t read what this man writes then there will be a void that you won’t be able to fill. Entertainment that is fun and intellectual seems to be lacking in today’s society. If you’re missing it then you’ve found the right place. Read his work, be blown away, and then be sure to tell him how awesome he is.

    Update on the bad cop!

    Well we spoke to Johnny Law’s main supervisor just now. He was surprised and is going to investigate and talk to the cop that was here yesterday and all the other police personnel we spoke to yesterday and today. He is going to call us tomorrow and talk to us again. Meanwhile my husband is going to be speaking with our local ACLU about the matter.

    For those who think we might be blowing this out of proportion please stop a minuet and think about this. He refused to do his job and then while speaking to us in an aggressive manner with his hand on his Taser. If any of you live in Texas you know about the big problem here with officers using Tasers unnecessarily.  A badge is not a blank check to do or say whatever you want and it is not a licence to attempt to intimidate people.  His acceptance of a paycheck, but refusal to preform the duties outlined in his job description is, by definition, fraud.

    Oh! As far as we know the dogs that started this whole mess are still out and their owners are still unaccountable.

    Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 6:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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    Law enforcement: NOT on your side!

    Hi all! Scary news today. We’ve been harassed by our neighbors dogs for a while now. The final blow came when said dogs trapped my 5 year old and me in my car until my husband came and scared them off.  Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been trapped somewhere with dogs circling you, watching you but it’s a terrifying experience.  Remember Cujo? We’ve called the police several times. The last cop that was here at our house told us next time the dogs are out to call the police again. Well today they were out and we called again. Like we were told to. The officer that came out walked up with an air about him that was annoyed. I’m sure he thought he should be out eating doughnuts and hitting on young girls and not wasting his time DOING HIS JOB.

    When my husband and I explained what the situation was he said that’s not my problem call animal control. Things went downhill from there rapidly. My husband said you need to go deal with those dogs because the dogs being out not on a leash is breaking a law. The cop told my husband that since my husband knew all the laws and was a law enforcement officer that he should go handle the people. My hubby is not a cop, he just knows the laws like any good citizen who cares about his rights should.

    Now, what you don’t know is that the neighbors house is a hangout for gang-bangers and society’s mistakes. It took 6 cop cars to arrest 1 teenager. Yeah, I want to go down there and talk to those people. My lily white ass would do a lot in getting them to obey the law.

    Back to the story! Well said Jellyroll and my husband then began to argue more and I made my husband go inside. The cop then told me he wasn’t talking to me or my husband anymore and that we were basically on our own. I followed him to the end of our driveway literally saying please talk to me over and over again. He then got into his car and wouldn’t talk to me until I said for the 6th time I’m begging you to talk to me. He then proceeded to tell me that my husband was a know-it-all and that he thought very little of my husband. I tried to steer him away from the conversation about my husband several times and when I FINALLY did I told him my main concern in dealing with these neighbors was the fear of retaliation. Copper’s response was to say don’t you think they know it’s you already? Well they do now!

    As I was outside begging the cop to talk to me the dogs came out and ran up to someone on the street. Well the cop then went over there but I’m positive it was only because i was outside at the time.  I came back inside my house and we call the pig’s Sargent and talked to him. The Sargent said flat out that we were not to go talk to these people and what the boy in blue did was wrong. He said that the office that came here and turned me into a nervous wreck was in the wrong. He claims that he will talk to him but I won’t be holding my breath.

    My new concern is that we pissed this jackass off. Will we receive proper police protection now? I hope so, but again I’m not holding my breath. So if Mrwakeupcall and I disappear please remember this and call Fox News. Or maybe Nancy Grace, she’s a real bitch who loves busting chops.

     

    I would also like to say that while in general I have issues with authority I am a law abiding citizen that pays her taxes. I also have respect for the badge and generally hold police officers in high regard. I DO NOT however have respect for those who abuse the badge. Especially those that have no problem taking a paycheck that we the people provide them but refuse to do their job unless it suits their mood.

    Just because you can make babies doesn’t mean you should…

    A big story happening here in Texas is the problem of parents/grandparents leaving their kids/grandkids in hot cars for hours at a time. Sadly, in August 2 small children died because they were left in cars for hours in this unbearable heat. Both of the children were accidently left in cars while their parents went to work.

    What’s worse is that yesterday it almost happened again. The big difference this time is that the boys are still barely alive and they were left in the car because their mom was drunk. Seems mom didn’t think it was a bad idea to take her 1 and 2 year old boys to a party that she left at 4 am. She says she consumed 5 alcoholic drinks and that she left the kids in the car when she got home because she was going to run in and out. Well she ended up falling asleep. When she woke up at 1 p.m. she suddenly remembered she forgot the children in the car. Those little boys sat in that car for 11 HOURS. By the grace of God the kids were still alive and a neighbor preformed CPR and thanks to her actions both children are alive.

    See http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5980386.html for the entire story.

    Now I would like to state that I know I’m not the world’s best mom but I’m sure as hell not the type of mom to keep her babies out until the crack of dawn partying. Every time I get out of my car I look in the back seat, even if my kids aren’t with me. It’s a good habit to have and one I never break. I’ve also gotten in the habit of glancing into people’s cars as I walk through parking lots because people leave their kids on accident more than we think. I hope more people will do this too.

    So please people, pay attention to things going on around you because if we’re all a little less self-centered maybe this won’t happen as much.

    Published in: on September 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm  Comments (3)  
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