Texans to the Top?
Online readers comment on "Our Year," by Sean Pendergast, September 2:
Agreed: As a Houstonian myself, I concur with this analysis.
Good job: Awesome breakdown of the season, Sean. Now I have a better idea of what to expect out of each game. And thanks for the prop bets. "Anytime you are given  to 1 odds, you take it!!" — Kevin Malone
No chance: Last year was the Texans' chance with their cupcake schedule. This year, with this schedule, there is no chance that the Texans will make it to the playoffs. I'm looking at a 6-10 season. Unfortunately, that would probably result in Kubiak losing his job, which in my opinion would be a bad decision. There was no excuse last year for losing both games to Jacksonville. This cannot continue to happen. Playoffs next year? How long can Andre Johnson suffer on this perennial losing team? He should have demanded a trade rather than more money and a contract extension. I'm afraid he will never see a playoff game, and that will be a shame.
Not happening: I am a diehard Texans fan watching the preseason. We will be lucky to squeak out 8-8.
Online readers respond to "Latasha Connor: Cinnabon Enthusiasm Gets 10-Year Ban From Mall," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, September 1:
The bright side: Hey, at least it was just a mall ban. In Arizona, she could have been deported.
Fellow Cinnabon Enthusiast
Private property: If the mall has a curfew, yes, you can be asked to produce an ID. The Mall of America does do this. And remember, folks, malls are not public property. They are actually private property that the owners have allowed access to. And they have a right to say who can and who cannot be on their land. And it is up to the owners to give the bylaws on what is acceptable and what is not allowed. The security guards are hired to make sure everything is okay. They have the right to do as needed to make sure the bylaws and regular laws are followed by all who are at the mall and the land it sits on.
Questions: How is someone "too loud" for a mall? Was she yelling halfway across the food court over the crappy Nickelback radio station blaring? If she was just joking around loudly, then the decent thing to do is just ask her to be quiet.
I've never seen any personal noise ordinances posted at any mall before or brochures outlining the laws for shopping. How can they fault her for violating a non-posted and nonexistent rule?
I suppose there's more to this story, but it looks bad regardless. The wise choice is, of course, to not actually go to that wasteland.
Nice ban: Private property owners can make their rules, and the mall has a right to ban anyone for frivolous reasons. Yes, that's true. Getting banned from Deerbrook Mall is something I would wear as a badge of pride. In fact, I think I will make a special trip to Deerbrook Mall just for the purpose of getting banned.
But anyway, if you're not driving and a police officer believes you have committed a crime and asks you for ID, you are only legally required (at most) to answer with your name and your address. The courts have never held that you're required to produce a physical ID. I applaud the woman for not buckling to this little chieftain and pulling out ID, if she even had it on her.
Online readers respond to "Rumor to Rest," by Katharine Shilcutt, September 2:
Interesting article: By the way, the cuisine of France isn't the most famous in Europe. In relatively recent history, some influential French chefs modeled it on the cuisine of Italy.
A tabbouleh problem: Everything I've had at Abdallah's has been terrific, and you're totally correct about the tabbouleh — it really is addictive.
I love Abdallah's! I have such fond memories of eating here after church when I was a kid. Any time I was given the opportunity to bring food to school to share with the class, my mom would go to Abdallah's for pastries. I was always quite popular on those days. Years later, I started working for my dad nearby, and we shared many great lunches at Abdallah's, and a tremendous level of courtesy and genuine friendliness from the lovely staff. I have since moved out of the area, and I don't make it to Abdallah's as often as I would like, but this story and the mouthwatering slideshow have reminded me what I'm missing. I'll be eating at Abdallah's very soon.
Repping Houston: Among the Arabic community, Houston has a reputation as having pretty good Middle Eastern food for an American city. Your friend is confused, but Abdallah's is great. To be fair, maybe your friend had only been to Phoenicia deli.
Happy family: Thank you so much for this wonderful article! You made me laugh at the part where the owner, my mom, yelled that the line starts here. She just wants everyone to see her hard work before ordering! And your friend is right on, it is Mama's food! We have been family-owned and -operated, baking (from what started out as a backyard operation) since 1977, and opened the deli at 3939 Hillcroft in 1990. Reading this makes our hard work so worth it. Thanks for appreciating what we bring to our wonderful community.
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An online reader comments on "George Boehme: West U Councilman Caught in Underage Drinking Sting Because He Can't Add," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, September 7:
Dumb: "Serving alcohol to a minor is a serious thing," Boehme told the West U Examiner. He told the Examiner that a guy who looked like "an overage college kid" came in and grabbed a beer from the tub.
So, we don't actually know the person was a minor. He could be old enough to vote or own a gun. Hell, the "kid" could feasibly be a decorated war veteran (I know several who could fit in as "average college kids," are under 21 and are currently in Texas). But it's still a "serious thing" that he could get a beer with his lunch. That's even dumber than not being able to add...