Picking Battle

Mean machine: Shame on you for printing more open borders/unlimited immigration-from-Mexico propaganda, complete with bratty farmers threatening to move U.S. food production to Mexico ["Shorthanded," by Todd Spivak, December 7]. Cabbages, apples and most other types of field crops can be harvested by machine. From the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Web site:

"From 1999 to 2003, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada engineers, in collaboration with Univerco Hydraulique, developed a mechanical cabbage harvester. It is a single row machine mounted on a farm tractor. The picker was the main challenge in the project; it pulls up the cabbages using two belts and lifts the cabbages up to a rotating blade that cuts the stalks very cleanly...Five workers located on a trailer pulled by a second tractor pick up the cabbages and carefully place them in storage bins. For the 2003 harvest season, tests were performed on two commercial farms; a team of eight workers harvested at an average rate of 3,277 cabbages per hour...The machine is now commercially available."

I dare you to do a follow-up article on advances in mechanical harvesting such as the commercially available cabbage harvester mentioned above.

Mary Jessel
San Francisco, CA

Jordy's Toilet

Tasteless travesty: In "Almost Wikipedia" [Hair Balls, as told to Richard Connelly, December 7], I'm surprised you didn't mention Jordy Tollett's monument to bad taste, also referred to as "Jordy's Toilet."

We stand on the balcony at the Alley Theatre and look at that travesty that is supposed to mimic Monet's beautiful paintings...The computer that generated it must have had a serious bug in its program.

I wanted to remind you about this. And I hope he is gone, gone, gone!

Marsha Smith
Houston

HPDebacle

Rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate: I was at the Cougars game last Friday night, and I can tell you that not only were the police overwhelmed with the traffic, they were complete idiots ["Championship Crowds," Hair Balls, as told to Richard Connelly, December 7].

There seemed to be plenty of HPD police in the immediate area of the stadium, but absolutely none directing traffic. Gridlock was the main reason people were late for the game. It could have been avoided easily with simple planning.

Instead, the HPD spent their time close to the stadium harassing fans trying to get in late. They instituted a brand-new security policy banning many items from entering that previously had been allowed during the regular-season games. My two-year-old daughter had her toy football yanked from her hands by an overzealous HPD officer when she tried to walk into the stadium with it. As she cried, we were held aside and threatened with being thrown out of the stadium for disobeying an officer.

They were rude and obnoxious and inconsiderate. We were just a family trying to get into a game that we were already 30 minutes late to, thanks to them.

UH needs to take care of problems like this or they can kiss my behind when they start talking about how attendance is bad during regular-season games.

Rick Lines
Spring

Taken with Tommy's

Recommendation letter: Tommy's Steak House on Westheimer is so understated ["Jazz and Oysters," by Robb Walsh, December 7]. Next time, try the escargot off the appetizer menu. It is to die for. I always start my meals with that delicacy. And the pureed carrots taste good enough for dessert. It's not like the bar is swarming with smokers. This place still exudes a nice jazzy atmosphere, and it has a great menu. The bartenders, as well as other service staff, are accommodating. And the music is the crème de la crème. I highly recommend.

Deborah Monroe
Houston

Mirror, Mirror

Review reflections: You speak of clichés in Blood Diamond["Say It with Diamonds?" by Nathan Lee, December 7]. Clichés? What is a bigger cliché than the jaded reviewer using sarcasm (not humor, but sarcasm) as his means of communication? Before knocking others, it might be of some benefit to look in the mirror first.

Mark Hays
MarshallHouStoned Blog Comment of the Week On "Who Burned the Lasagna?" by Nick Keppler

"Were Lomax and his gaggle of undesirables seen parading down Westheimer again during the time in question? I know he has a particular distaste for dinner theater." Comment by Reg Burns -- December 12, 2006

 
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