One of my grandsons and his parents are spending part of this summer visiting various Texas college campuses to see if he can get in any of them. He’s only in the third grade but these days you’ve got to start at the womb or earlier to get in. One they visited was Georgetown. No, it’s in Georgetown and the school is Southwestern, not to be confused with Southwest Texas State which is now Texas State. They also visited Austin College which is not Stephen F. Austin and neither is near Austin, which brings us to the University of Houston School of Law and the Houston College of Law – two law schools suing over their names. A bit of background: Texans have always had a confusing problem with what to name our institutions of higher learning, also with Texas A&M. Indeed, let’s start with … [Read more...] about What’s the Alma Matter?
A reader recently gave me a good ribbing for one of my columns, and I’d share his email if the language wouldn’t have been so disgusting. This happens a lot, and that’s a good thing – minus the filthy language, I suppose. The nasty-gram was a good reminder that I need to be more responsive to readers when they call or send me notes, so let’s answer some of your questions today. Amazingly, one of the most common questions we get is about the size of our newspaper. You’ve probably noticed it, too. Sometimes it’s 16 pages. Sometimes it’s 24 pages. Sometimes, it’s even bigger. So why does the paper feel so small some weeks and larger other weeks. The answer, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the week), is that the size of our newspaper correlates directly with the number of … [Read more...] about Mailbag: Let’s answer some reader questions
Dear Editor: Several weeks ago I sent a note to the Oak Forest Homeowners Association (OFHA) about the signs at all of the construction sites and other locations not under construction. As of today I have received no response from the OFHA. I have become more concerned about the situation after the Houston Chronicle published the article about the Garden Oaks Homeowners Association losing a lawsuit about a garage being too large. Apparently they had ignored other garages of the same size being built in the past. I served as an officer in the OFHA in the late 80’s. We dealt with the same type of situations. If the OFHA ignored a deed restriction violation that we were made aware of and another lot owner did the same type of violation then they could argue that the deed restrictions were … [Read more...] about Reader: Job of OFHA is to preserve deed restrictions
Dear Mom and Dad, Camp Wanakawa is really great. So is the food. I like my counselors and I’ve met a lot of neat guys. My two favorite classes are canoeing and starting a fire Indian-style with just flint, straw and napalm. Camp rules forbid having electronic gadgets such as smart phones, iPads, even stereos and satellite TVs. Luckily, our mattresses are lumpy. I seem to have left a few items at home, so could you please mail me shoes, socks, 2 sheets and Spot. I really miss him. Your son, Motley. PS: Please send a few dollars for the camp store. Dear Mom and Dad, Camp is still great. The food is not so terrific, but I sort of like my counselors. Maybe the reason I haven’t been getting your letters is because Camp Wanakawa’s name has been changed. My counselors say this is necessary … [Read more...] about Camping in the present tents
Houston, we have a problem. Apparently, me saying this just triggered an endless wave of anger and frustration among the native Houstonian population, so I apologize in advance. At least, that’s what I gathered, if an editorial posted to the Chronicle’s website is any indication. I admit it. I’m totally being a Scrooge right now and a bit of a kill joy by reading into a recent article claiming that “Houston we have a problem” is the most annoying catch phrase ever uttered and its use is somehow doing a disservice to the city. I want to believe that it’s tongue-in-cheek, but given how defensive people are of the rotting, festering, concrete carcass of irrelevance that people call the Astrodome which remains so high on people’s list of “Things In Houston To Be Proud Of,” I’m not so … [Read more...] about Having a problem with ‘having a problem’ a strange situation