Former friend: I was stunned when I saw this article ["Family Ties," by Kevin Brass, June 17]. Kathy Odom and I were friends when I was in my twenties. I lost touch with her after I broke up with the guy I was with who was a friend of Mike's.
In these past 17 or so years, I wasn't aware that Kathy was dead.
A hare trigger: If any Democrat had done what Tom DeLay has done with charities, the Republican Party would have attacked him like a pit bull on a bunny rabbit ["Sweet Charity," by Sarah Fenske, June 10].
DeLay is out of touch with reality and his constituents. Since he is so concerned about his "charities," then we in District 22 should give him the opportunity to donate his time as a full-time fund-raiser and boot him out of Congress in 2004!
MTBE warnings: The United States government mandated the use of MTBE and other oxygenates in gasoline ["Charity Begins at Home," by Sarah Fenske, June 10]. Oil companies warned of the dangers of solubility years ago and resisted the use of MTBE and other soluble oxygenates.
Attention, PI lawyers: Your article was very appropriate for me, as I have just returned from a trip to Fiesta Texas ["Thrilled to Death," by Josh Harkinson, June 3]. Unfortunately, I didn't read your article until after I went on the Rattler roller coaster. I am now in my fifth day of pain due to a bad neck sprain suffered on the ride.
I just wanted to give an additional comment on the safety precautions taken at the park. The worst of these moments came when we were waiting to board another coaster. The staff members who ran the ride were supposed to check each belt before the ride began. However, being teenagers, they were racing each other to see who could finish their safety check the fastest. Needless to say, almost none of the safety belts were properly inspected and I saw a few people leave with their belts clearly unbuckled.
Please keep up the work of reporting on these companies so that their deeds become public record.
Whiff of conspiracy: I found your article exceedingly irresponsible. Throughout the nine-page diatribe, the guesstimations, estimates and "scary quotes" were portrayed as more enlightening and more telling than surveys, statistics and hard facts. What is your opinion worth if you bend the facts to fit your own sense of reality?
The article also has the rank smell of a conspiracy theory, which I found most distasteful.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
The Kerry Cramp
Volunteer sorrows: I am writing from the Houston office of John Kerry for President in response to your recent article regarding our acceptance (or lack thereof) of volunteers [Hair Balls, "No Help Needed," June 17].
Unfortunately, this office contains a grand total of four computers and desks for volunteers -- all cramped into a narrow space. Our office is so small that the simple act of leaning back in your chair constitutes a risk requiring you to look both ways.
We are pleased to hear that the mother mentioned in your article took her child to the Harris County Democratic Party. I hope that if nothing else we can continue to assist in providing volunteers for all facets of the Democratic Party in Houston. Anyone interested in volunteering time for the Kerry campaign in Houston should log on to www.TexansforKerry.com, an exciting grassroots effort here in Texas.
It is our hope that your article does not discourage others from calling our office to offer their time and efforts. The irony of the story is that it was most likely a nervous volunteer like myself who offended the mother. From this office to her and her child, we extend our apologies.
Artful, Not Awful
Jadeite fans: We have lived at 2016 Main for the past six years and have welcomed all the new and old restaurants in the city. One at the top of our list is Café Le Jadeite -- artistic in its atmosphere and artful in its cuisine ["Pacific Rim Shot," by Robb Walsh, May 20].
P.S.: We realize that every restaurant and every critic has a bad day.
Joe and Christine Di Paulo
Velvet Revolver shots: Seriously, why don't you just call Axl and ask if you can suck him off ["Use Your Illusion," by Geoff Harkness, June 17]? Bucket head can watch! I don't know how old you are, but maybe that's your problem. I get the feeling you long for the days of yesteryear when big hair and spandex wouldn't get your ass kicked.
I miss Guns N' Roses as much as any fan, but it's over. Axl is a loony who couldn't even get through an MTV performance without looking fat, old and winded. However technically acclaimed the new members of GNR are shouldn't matter, because they look like a bunch of ass clowns out of Montrose.
Velvet Revolver might be overrated like you claim, but they still fucking rock! Scott Weiland will blow Axl's ass out any day of the week. He's younger, probably in the best shape of his life, and still at least has some sanity left. You can have Axl and his fat, dread-transplanting, plastic-surgery-enhanced, loony-tuned punk ass.
If GNR ever did reunite (the original members), I don't think anyone would care anyway. That bitch split out on his fans a long time ago to be some eccentric, Michael Jackson queer in seclusion. I say let him fucking rot.
Led astray: Although some of your writing was humorous (albeit unintentionally), I find this article riddled with misleading assumptions, ignorance and utterly deplorable journalistic value.
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Heavy-light dynamics had nothing to do with Zeppelin's name. The Who's drummer Keith Moon said they would go over like a "lead zeppelin." Moon preferred Jimmy Page's previous band, the Yardbirds. It's called research. Do some.
You're obviously not a musician -- and definitely not a drummer. Stephen Adler couldn't keep time if you implanted a clock into his forehead. Matt Sorum has taught percussion (recently in the Houston area) for years and years.
Your article is a joke. You may want to ask them to save you the embarrassment of subjecting more people to your idiotic literary diarrhea and delete this article altogether.