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

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    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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    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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    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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    Why Houston is better than Chicago

    There’s a debate going on at my big sisters page. This has been going on for a long time. She lives in Chicago and HATES it. Hates it so much she started a wonderful little section on her blog about why Chicago sucks. There is a wonderful little man named Frank on her blog that for some strange reason loves Chicago. He seems to think Chicago is better than Houston and I’m here to tell him why he’s wrong.
     
    Gasoline – This morning I filled up my car for $3.19 a gallon. According to this website http://www.chicagogasprices.com/ the cheapest gas in Chicago is $3.85.
     
    Crime – Now we in Houston have our fair share of crime just like Chicago. The major difference in the types of crime. Here is a wonderful little comparison chart of the crime statistics in Houston and Chicago. It would appear that, with the exception of murders (a whopping difference of 1.8 per 100k), current data from www.city-data.com suggests that Chicago actually leads Houston in violent crime, and Houston leads Chicago in crimes related to money. However, before Katrina, that was quite the contrary. Incidentally, New Orleans’ crime has gone down since Katrina which would suggest that at least a portion of the criminal element that came to Houston during Katrina, stayed in Houston afterward. Eventually, it will get back to the average which is about 5 below what it is now, and about 7 less than Chicago’s average.
     
     

    Chicago Crime VS. Houston Crime

    Crime in Chicago by Year

    Type

    1999

    2000

    2001

    2002

    2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    Murders

    641

    627

    665

    648

    598

    448

    446

    467

    per 100,000

    22.9

    21.7

    23.0

    22.4

    20.7

    15.6

    15.6

    16.4

    Rapes

    2,469

    2,237

    1,976

    1,963

    1,799

    1,757

    1,618

    1,524

    per 100,000

    88.2

    77.2

    68.2

    67.8

    62.3

    61.2

    56.5

    53.6

    Robberies

    20,210

    19,449

    18,473

    18,532

    17,302

    15,965

    15,961

    15,860

    per 100,000

    722.0

    671.6

    637.9

    639.9

    599.5

    556.4

    557.6

    558.0

    Assaults

    28,027

    26,660

    25,571

    24,842

    19,784

    18,820

    17,934

    17,441

    per 100,000

    1001.3

    920.6

    883.0

    857.8

    685.5

    656.0

    626.6

    613.6

    Burglaries

    30,122

    28,401

    26,026

    25,552

    25,064

    24,542

    25,298

    24,125

    per 100,000

    1076.2

    980.7

    898.7

    882.3

    868.4

    855.4

    883.9

    848.7

    Thefts

    112,454

    105,728

    98,544

    96,380

    96,779

    94,651

    83,235

    83,518

    per 100,000

    4017.6

    3650.8

    3402.7

    3328.0

    3353.1

    3299.0

    2908.0

    2938.2

    Auto thefts

    36,075

    35,570

    27,571

    25,245

    22,779

    22,788

    22,491

    21,823

    per 100,000

    1288.8

    1228.2

    952.0

    871.7

    789.2

    794.3

    785.8

    767.7

    Arson

    1,267

    1,106

    1,006

    1,022

    947

    772

    683

    716

    per 100,000

    45.3

    38.2

    34.7

    35.3

    32.8

    26.9

    23.9

    25.2

    City-data.com crime index (higher means more crime, U.S. average = 323.2)

    872.4

    803.6

    743.6

    727.1

    666.3

    633.7

    610.0

    604.2

    Crime in Houston by Year

    Type

    1999

    2000

    2001

    2002

    2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    Murders

    241

    230

    267

    256

    278

    272

    334

    377

    per 100,000

    13.3

    12.0

    13.4

    12.5

    13.6

    13.3

    16.3

    18.2

    Rapes

    748

    813

    945

    892

    768

    908

    872

    854

    per 100,000

    41.3

    42.3

    47.3

    43.7

    37.6

    44.4

    42.6

    41.2

    Robberies

    8,350

    8,256

    9,921

    11,212

    10,985

    10,182

    11,128

    11,371

    per 100,000

    460.7

    429.9

    496.6

    549.5

    538.2

    498.3

    544.0

    548.3

    Assaults

    12,178

    12,192

    12,286

    12,598

    11,957

    12,065

    11,653

    11,648

    per 100,000

    672.0

    634.9

    614.9

    617.4

    585.8

    590.4

    569.6

    561.7

    Burglaries

    24,744

    23,254

    25,108

    26,905

    26,522

    27,110

    27,541

    26,869

    per 100,000

    1365.4

    1210.9

    1256.7

    1318.5

    1299.4

    1326.7

    1346.3

    1295.7

    Thefts

    66,068

    67,102

    69,371

    73,445

    72,032

    74,752

    72,476

    73,091

    per 100,000

    3645.6

    3494.3

    3472.1

    3599.2

    3529.1

    3658.1

    3542.8

    3524.6

    Auto thefts

    19,445

    19,864

    24,089

    23,939

    21,451

    21,563

    20,408

    21,093

    per 100,000

    1073.0

    1034.4

    1205.7

    1173.1

    1051.0

    1055.2

    997.6

    1017.2

    Arson

    1,735

    1,642

    1,758

    1,696

    1,553

    1,255

    1,262

    1,121

    per 100,000

    95.7

    85.5

    88.0

    83.1

    76.1

    61.4

    61.7

    54.1

    City-data.com crime index (higher means more crime, U.S. average = 323.2)

    659.5

    621.1

    659.8

    678.5

    652.2

    653.3

    659.6

    659.2

     
    Now this is what Forbes has to say about Houston.
     
    Houston becoming a top tech city, says Forbes
    Houston came in at No. 4 behind Columbus, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Palm Beach County, Fla. http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2008/03/10/daily22.html
     
    Forbes: Houston best place to buy a home
    HOUSTON — Forbes Magazine says Houston is tops on the home buying list.

    Forbes looked at 40 of the country’s metropolitan areas to come up with the data.
     
    This is more information I got from citydata.com and it’s the statistics for unemployment in September 2007:
     
    Houston:
    Unemployment in September 2007:
    :Houston 4.3%
    Texas: 4.4%
     
    Chicago:
    Unemployment in September 2007:
    Chicago: 5.7%
    Illinois: 4.8%
     
     
    I could go on and on and on. But what I want to talk about next is the real reason I love this state and city. The people here are nice, strangers talk to each other and the words are nice, not nasty. If you get a flat people pull over and help you change it without wanting anything in return, they don’t yell at you for making them late as they drive around you. The people and the much lower cost of living are wonderful.
     
    I know Houston has it’s problems, the heat and humidity, the man sized flying bugs and it’s probably one of the worst cities to live in if you have really bad allergies. Not to mention the traffic sucks. All and all though the good far outweighs the bad. I’ve been all over the country and there’s no place like home. Where having a stranger wave at you just because is no big deal because we’re all friendly like that. Also, and this is minor, our state slogan was voted the best in the country. Where does Chicago’s rate? I don’t know and don’t care. All I know is, don’t mess with Texas.
    So that’s where I’m leaving off, with the people. It’s the thing people who visit here remember most.
     
     
    .

    Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm  Comments (18)  
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