By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Taking the heat: Every now and then it's nice to have confirmation of your beliefs. After reviewing much of the global warming information for a number of years, I had reached pretty much the same conclusions as your article ["Global Warming Is Good for You!" by Dylan Otto Krider, August 15]: 1) the earth's temperature is rising, 2) carbon dioxide levels have greatly risen since the industrial age, 3) there's really no scientific connection between the two, but jeez, if you don't know what you're doing, maybe you shouldn't do it, and 4) the earth is big enough and old enough to take care of itself; the question is what do we want it to be?
If the temperatures keep rising, I am somewhat on the side of the crowd that says it will be a good thing. Certainly Denmark will make out, getting back all that green in Greenland they lost about 600 years ago. It might help reforest the rain forests and the Pacific Northwest. Most important, I should be sitting pretty. Living on the ass end of Spring Branch, I will be in possession of some valuable new Gulf Coast property.
But I can't help but think about the poor energy lobbyists under water in their River Oaks and Georgetown mansions. At least Kenny Boy will be high and dry in his ivory penthouse (like him or not, the man knows how to cover his ass). But if you think the bugs are big, bad and virulent now
You auto try this: Reading this feature in steamy weather made me laugh. Good job! Here's what I've done to reduce global warming:
Ceiling fans cut down on my electricity bills. When I feel warm I put on shorts and sit under a fan. Because sweat is my body's free air conditioning, I stay comfortable. If I still feel hot, I turn on the window a/c in one room and shut off the others. My place is far from energy efficient, but my July electricity bill was just $48.
I enjoy riding the bus. I save money, because keeping a car, according to AAA, costs $500 a month or more. Yes, you'll end up walking to bus stops. My doctor told me to walk more. It works the blubber off my butt.
Bicycling's fun; the happy hormones it causes are a cheap, legal, healthy high. Because I'm a smoker and an overweight middle-ager, my limit is about five miles. If you carry a watermelon on your bike rack, be sure to tie it down well. They splatter when they fall off.
If you're willing to try something radical, move closer to work. Yes, the rent may be higher, but how much will you save on auto expenses? In Houston, we spend $9,000 a year per household on getting around. We spend more on driving (22 percent) than we do on housing (16 percent), according to the Surface Transportation Policy Project. Add to that the public costs, freeway building, etc. You won't miss the freeway time, will you?
Try it, you might like it.
Indian simmer: I always get an enlightened laugh or "wry" smile from Rich Connelly's News Hostage column, especially when he lambastes the Chronicle for its clinical drowsiness or patronizing deletion of words that it deems unsuitable for print. For example, he chided Chron editors [August 15] for allowing jokes about abortion and child molestation into a review of a comedienne, while editing out her mention of the word "penis" in another joke, thereby eviscerating its humor.
This is a dead-on, fair criticism, funny in itself. But if consistency counts, Rich could also read the global warming feature in the same Houston Press, and wonder at a line quoting one of the story's main subjects: "cars go away, the trucks go away. We go back to almost living like the [Native Americans]."
Now, if we're mature enough to handle the word "penis" in a Chronicle direct quote, we can surely absorb the blow of "Indian" in a Press direct quote. Strangely, this editing seems out of place in an article that elaborates on the perils of political spinmanship.
It's a small point, but in the end it almost undermines, and certainly highlights, what Dylan Otto Krider is questioning: political bias in the media.
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: You wrongly assume that the person who was quoted said the word "Indians." The brackets replaced a slang term that would have been offensive to American Indians. There is a difference between publishing the names of body parts or even profanity, and the gratuitous use of racial slurs that demean ethnic groups who are not even a subject of the article.
Circus talk: In response to the letter from Shoe Latif [Letters, August 15] attacking the Houston Press Music Awards, it seems that every year some disgruntled reader spouts off about the outcome.
While I agree with the assertion that music is a subjective art form and not a competitive sport, I still commend the Press for its efforts to promote the local scene.
Being a 14-year mainstay of Houston's "industrial music" scene, I recognize that some good local bands such as Bamboo Crisis, the Hunger, Delicate Terror and Asmodeus X were conspicuously absent from the ballot this year. Perhaps Shoe should be grateful that the Press even acknowledges a category as specialized as industrial. I doubt it would even exist without the longtime recognition that our label, Tone Zone Records, as well as the Hunger have received both nationally and internationally.
It is painfully apparent that Shoe associates with the type of frustrated musicians who receive little or no recognition (and rightfully so).
As for the allegation that Bozo Porno Circus has no talent, Shoe is entitled to an opinion. However, recent comments by ex-Ministry members Chris Connelly and Martin Atkins -- that we are "brilliant" and have "great riffs" -- seem to carry more weight. Furthermore, we do possess the minimum ten synthesizers required to be eligible as industrial.
Ken Gerhard, Bozo Porno Circus
Nominee not: To paraphrase Ezra Charles, any Houston's Best DJ poll without my name on the ballot is a joke. DJ Sun couldn't mix his dick with his balls if he held them in the same hand. Rusted Shut put it best when they suggested what you can do with your awards.
As for Best Industrial, may Bozo Porno Circus succumb to the Music Awards jinx in the worst way possible and uh, er wait: As I was saying, I pray to the denomination of my choice's god that no innocent Music Awards winner falls prey to this insidious jinx. Especially DJ Sun, whose needles I'm not worthy of licking clean.
Grant (a.k.a. Mookie) Whitehead
Baylor blues: I want to go on record on behalf of the moral and ethical standards of Annette McManus ["Down the Hall," by George Flynn, August 8]. I have known her for more than ten years. I would as well like to compliment the Houston Press for your coverage and exposure of such an abomination of the alleged theft of goods and services by the scum-bum known as her boss.
Having myself lobbied the legislature on behalf of crime victims and the establishment of crime victims' rights, I am not shocked that this goes on. I am shocked that an institution such as Baylor College of Medicine would handle this so flippantly.
Now the big question: Is the IRS going to let this be swept under the rug? Are the Baylor alumni going to let this be swept under the rug? Is the public going to continue in its complacent posture after such fine and thorough reporting?
Okay, Joe Q. Public, here's your chance to make your voice heard, or otherwise stop complaining!
Windy City wonders: Enjoyed my visit to Thelma and her fabulous brisket ["When Jeffrey Met Thelma," by Robb Walsh, July 11]! Also the column on Chicago dogs! And congratulations on your book!
Here's a suggestion for another Chicago delicacy that's hard to find in Houston: Go to Hot Dogs by Harlan on the west side of Dairy Ashford just north of Westheimer and get yourself an Italian beef sandwich. Harlan Shapiro's family was my husband's neighbor in Chicago years ago. (The only other place to get one is the Lasagna House III, or to cook it yourself.)
Bad burger experience: How can you dare recommend the Bellaire Broiler Burger [Cafe Capsules, August 8]? We went there after reading your review but were very disappointed. At best, this place is filthy and run-down. It took us 30 minutes before our orders were ready, and they weren't even cooked properly. The french fries are bad and the onion rings greasy.
I'd rather go next door to the Roadster Grill (or even Jax Grill). At least it's clean and they cook my meat the way I want.
Forget the Kids
Taste is tops: I find your opinion on the taste of the Lopez Mexican restaurant menu to be a bit critical, and excuse me for saying, but very disagreeable ["The Family Formula," by Pableaux Johnson, August 15]. Do you honestly think that all of us loyal customers keep coming back because of the kid-friendly atmosphere or cheap cuisine? No, it's because of the wonderful tastes from their menu.
Perhaps New Orleans gave you too much of the wrong taste in your mouth to know what really good Mexican food is. All you need to do is ask the loyal customers who have been going there since Lopez was a hole-in-the-wall and you had to wait outside in the heat just to get in.
I appreciate your comments about the great home atmosphere they create and their cheap menus and quick service, but I just think you've done Lopez an injustice by being so critical of their great food -- the real reason we keep coming back.
Hard on Hugo's
Mexican food fight: I've been to Hugo Ortega's and consider his Hugo's a nice try ["That Sneaky Tex-Mex Camel," by Robb Walsh, July 25]. His comment about chips and salsa is completely wrong. I was born in Mexico City and have lived there a great part of my life, and know there are very, very few restaurants where they will serve chips and salsa on request.
Chips are not a thing people eat as an appetizer in Mexico, as you know very well. Mr. Ortega says that his food is not really Mexican because he uses locally produced ingredients -- what a piece of BS! Some of the best carnitas in Mexico City are made with pork bellies imported from here. The origin of the ingredients does not define the style of cooking. If your food is made according to the original recipes of, let's say, Hungary, then you can safely say that your food is Hungarian.
Mr. Ortega is not familiar with true Mexican food. Serving lobster with mayonnaise and refried beans (for God's sake!) shows that he is not familiar with fine Mexican cooking.
Besides that, he needs to define his venue: Is Hugo's a taqueria or a serious restaurant? I wish him well, but I'm afraid this is just another missed opportunity to showcase the wonderful cuisine of Mexico.
On their way: Thank you for the cover story on a band that absolutely deserves it ["Baby, You're a Star," by John Nova Lomax, August 8]. Brian Clements is on a pathway to the cover of Rolling Stone and always has been. The success of Simpleton will mirror something of a No Doubt story. I hope the other guys hang on for the ride, 'cause the guy has it. B.C. once told me that he wished he could sing like me and later that night, when I saw "Taste of Garlic," I almost cried. I will never jump on the bandwagon because that motherfucker is an airplane. More power to them, and baby, you are gonna be a star.
Ethnic enigma: Nightfly, okay, you're a good columnist, but you seem biased [Nightfly, by Craig D. Lindsey, August 8]. At first I thought you were not black but just a dude who really likes hip-hop. But lately you seem black.
I love how you cut places like Sempers, Max's and other spots. These are places where I slum, like if there's no place worth going to, you can go there and hear a tired-assed pickup line, see some awful clothes and a good fight in the parking lot.
My pet peeve about you is you don't cover jazz unless it's mediocre. You have good taste in hip-hop, though. And I think I have a mini-crush on you.