Ramblings

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Mountain Biking - Part 2: "The Wipe Out"

Mar 24, 2009, 7:58 am by John

So yesterday afternoon my buddy and I went riding in Terry Hershey Park here in Houston. It's basically a 7 or so mile long park following a creek with a concrete path on one side and a mountain biking/hiking dirt trail on the other. About 20 minutes into the ride we decide to switch bikes just to see how the other rode. So my buddy and I are riding along the dirt path and get to this fairly steep 10' tall hill. Neither one of us makes it up the front side and have to walk to the top of the hill. He immediately jumps on my bike and makes it down no problem. At the end of the hill was a big tree lying across the path and so he jumps off the bike to get under it, just as I take off from the top of the hill.

So the path down the back side of this hill is covered in roots from rain water washing the dirt out and other mountain bikers. This usually is a bigger deal going up than down so I didn't think too much of it...yet. So I start off and go over a couple roots no problem and then I get to this one that's sticking up about 6" above the trail. I'm not sure if I didn't try to pick up the front wheel or as I did I hit the brake, all I know is that I hit the root and my front tire stopped immediately. So, this isn't the first time this has happened and usually I just jump off the seat, put my feet on the ground, and awkwardly walk down the hill. This would not be the case today.

As my front tire stopped I jump off my seat, put my feet on the ground, and said "Uh oh!," immediately catching my buddy's attention so he could watch the events unfold. As my feet hit the ground the rear tire lifted and I went straight over the bars. As I fell over the bars I tucked my right shoulder, I think I do this because of the number of times I jumped off my house and out of trees as a kid. Anyway, as I tucked my shoulder my left foot came up first and my heel caught the pedal of the bike, lifting it and sending it soaring in the air. As I landed flat on my back I looked up at a bike, that isn't mine, flying through the air. It landed about 4 feet away.

At this point my buddy is also on the ground, except he's laughing his ass off. He somehow squeezed out "are you OK?," and by this time I realized that I wasn't in too much pain. I got back up, checked his bike and our cell phones that were in my Camelback. Thankfully there were no injuries to the rider, the bike, or the phones. We continued our ride and got a solid 13 miles in.

My buddy swears it's the funniest thing he's seen in a long time. My shoulder's a little sore this morning.

Mountain Biking

Feb 17, 2009, 2:18 pm by John

I finally decided that i am gaining too much weight and needed to do something about it. i have joined a gym and it is nice to have a place to workout and destroy co-workers in racquetball but sometimes i just want to be outside. i have also found, over the years, that i despise running because i find it one of the most boring things to do ever.

I have some friends in college station and here, in houston, who mountain bike on a regular basis and after riding with them a few times i decided to go ahead and buy one (see pic)

i rode it a few times up and down the bayou behind my house but didn't get into any intense riding until this weekend. while riding i came upon 2 very important discoveries. 1. know which way your shifters shift. when you get up to a big hill you don't want to go into a higher gear, stall out, and stumble half way down...in front of other people. this sounds simple but you would be amazed what actually happens when you get into this situation. 2. look at where you want to go and not where you don't want to. this, too, sounds simple but have you ever seen those video shows where the guy driving down the highway crashes into the police car sitting on the side of the road? same concept when applied to trees and stumps while riding a bike.

anyway, i would recommend this source of exercise to anyone. it's a great way to get out and get some fresh air, while getting a full body work out without getting bored.
http://www.fisherbikes.com/img/bikes/2009/640x400/

2 great finds on saturday night

Jan 5, 2009, 1:49 pm by John

This past saturday night i got the pleasure of find 2 things that i love. a new band and a new music hall. i call it a music hall, though it is basically a long skinny store with a bar down the length of 1 wall.

the band is "Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers" and the music hall is "the continental club" in downtown houston.

mr. stiverson and i have had many conversations about what various bands were lacking. i think, he will correct me if i'm wrong, we've decided that most bands need a double bass, an steel guitar, or a fiddle. add in the drums and you have "Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers." I don't believe i had ever seen a country band that lacked an electric guitar but these guys didn't need one.

To add to the great band, who all knew how to play their instruments well, Miss leslie is a singer song writer, which is always the best. they did, however, cover some songs including johnny bush's "green snakes on the ceiling" and some patsy cline. they were definitely a texas swing band much like "asleep at the wheel." this makes their songs more difficult to dance to but perfect for just having a drink with some friends and listening to. despite this, there were several couples dancing in the small area in front of the stage.

the other great part of the evening was going to "the continental club." this place looks straight out of the 1960s, complete with shlitz in a can and lonestar on tap! i knew this place was going to be good when i walked in and saw that neon light fixtures, not neon light beer signs or any of that jazz, but actual fixtures made up the lighting of the whole place. to top it off they had some locals in the back with fresh cajun food. i didn't have any but looked and smelled delicious.

i had a very pleasant evening listening to some texas swing in one of the places, it appeared, where it was born. be sure to look up "miss leslie" and "the continental club," they won't disappoint.

Edit: I originally posted that the band had an electric guitar. It is actually a steel guitar. It's not easy to mix them up and I don't know what I was thinking. The band consisted of a steel guitar, double bass, fiddle and drums! Most excellent!

November 18, 1999

Nov 17, 2008, 8:16 pm by John

http://mikeandtim.com/wp-content/uploads/Bonfire.jSince the bonfire memorial was erected, every November 18th while I was a student at Texas A&M I came to the memorial with hundreds of other Aggies. Like everyone else I have seen the pictures from bonfire's past. I imagine the flood lights on stack, Aggies all around, people carrying logs, others on the stack strapping logs together, everyone talking about who's dorm is best, yelling, laughter, no one wanting to be anywhere else. Aggies being Aggies.

Then, at 2:42AM on November 18th, 1999 everything changed.

It doesn't matter what your thoughts about bonfire are; whether or not you think that bonfire should be back on campus or not is irrelevant on this day. It is a day to remember 12 fallen members of the Aggie family.

I have never seen Bonfire on campus. Every year I wish I could, just to be a part of something like the picture above.

Never forget

Burger Tex

Oct 24, 2008, 12:42 pm by John

http://www.lonestarcorvairs.com/gallery/main.php?gi'm one of those people that loves to eat at local places. when ever i visit a new place i refuse to eat at fast food joints unless absolutely necessary. so one day, my buddy asked me if i wanted to go to a local burger joint and the obvious answer was yes.

my buddy and i roll up to "burger tex" and i looked at the parking lot and found that 2 of every 3 vehicles in the parking lot are trucks. this place must be good. as we walked inside i immediately noticed something about this place was different. all the workers are asian.

for the record i have no problem with asian people (i call them asian because i don't want to insult them by trying to guess their country of origin) and since i work for a japanese company i work with other races all the time. that being said, i found this very unusual for a texas burger joint.

all fears about these guys being able to make a good burger were doused when i saw that, not only did they cook their burgers fresh from real ground beef, but that they bake their own buns fresh each day! once i got my burger i made my way over to the buffet of toppings and realized this place also had melted cheese...this is going to be delicious.

from the first bite to the last, this had to be one of the best burgers i'd had anywhere! so if you're ever in the northwest houston area and are looking for one of the best burgers you'll ever have, look up "burger tex," it's worth it

Downtown Bryan

Oct 13, 2008, 10:07 am by John

This past weekend I had the opportunity, thanks to Mr. Stiverson, to visit 2 establishments in Downtown Bryan. This was my 3rd trip to the heart of Bryan and I am disappointed that I didn't go more often. Previously, when I had thought about Bryan, I thought of a slightly run down area with low income families and rickety houses from the 70's. After living in Bryan for 3 years my opinion hadn't changed. I started to see the light with my first trips to downtown. I had heard good things about Caffe Capri and decided to take my girl friend for dinner. While we were walking around downtown waiting for a table to clear I noticed the String and Horn Shoppe. Since I dabble in the fiddle I grabbed a good friend who plays the banjo and bought a few music books.

It was probably another year before I made my way back this past weekend. I asked Mr. Stiverson if he would like to get some breakfast before we headed out for the football game and he said he had just the spot. So we headed to Los Nortenos.

I had heard great things about this place but had never visited. Maybe because of my preconcieved ideas that Downtown Bryan was run down or that it was "too far." Maybe I thought that it was all down hill since Robert Keen sang about. I'm not sure, but I wish I had visited sooner. I was instructed that "1 breakfast taco would be plenty," but I was skeptical. When the waitress brought out my plate, my jaw dropped. I was staring at a breakfast taco like none other. I finished, maybe, 2/3 of it and I enjoyed every bite. The best part came at the check-out counter. $5.19! What a deal.

After the Aggie football team ran out of time against Kansas State we decided it was time for a pick-me-up. "To the Corner of Time!" Once again, this was an establishment I had heard of but had never visited. I heard that they had real soda jerks and made Dublin Dr. Pepper starting with just the syrup. This sounded ideal after a long hot football game. So we headed up there where I met my sister, her boyfriend, and my dance partner. It was amazing! The coldest, tastiest, freshest Dr. Pepper I had ever had. Delicous! And with a warm brownie I was in heaven. Good food, good drink, and good friends. Could it get any better!?

I'd like to conclude by asking you to make sure to get over to Downtown Bryan just to walk around. Step into the small shops and look around. You never know what you might find or who you might meet. It makes me wish more places were like this. friendly people, smiles, and howdys. the way texas should be.

Actors & Politics

Oct 2, 2008, 8:39 pm by John

So Take i on this subject ended with a not very well thought out ramble complaining about people giving their opinion when that is what they are paid to do. so i didn't really have a reason to complain in the first place and decided to remove my post. after more thought i decided to give this another shot.

take ii:

the other day i was watching the morning news and they talked about how the ladies on the view got into a big to do about political matters. i then decided that i didn't like that they were giving their opinions in the first place, but mr. stiverson pointed out that they are paid to do just that. so why are tv hosts asked to give their opinions in the first place? some how i see a disconnect between their daily lives and mine. for that matter, i'm sure that their lives are drastically different than 95% of the people who watch these shows and maybe are falsely leading people to a certain candidate.

so people are paid to give their opinion...i don't like it but i can't do anything to stop it. i think what really turns my stomach, and why i don't like this so much, is that these people might actually effect how someone else votes and who wins an election. does anybody think that an average american would watch one of these shows and actually vote because of who someone like a barbara walters is going to vote for? (comments please, i'd like to know what you think) i'm of the opinion that a person should base their vote on the debates or other speeches from the candidates. this is the only time you get to see how a candidate, from their own mouth, feels about a subject (without the media's "filter"). maybe i'm more of a free thinker than i thought...

Hurricane Ike: Part II - The Party

Sep 16, 2008, 8:21 am by John

i left off with preparations for ike made. 5 of us were at my friend's apartment ready for this storm to come. by late evening we had seen what was going on in houston and on the coast. around 6am the worst of it hit bcs. i was disappointed. i had expected much better. i went outside anyway just to see what the wind was like and i wasn't able to keep my eyes open when looking into the wind, but that was about all.

saturday was full of movie and dvd watching. of course this was topped off by eating a large amount of baked good, prepared by our wonderful host, as well as chips and dips and large amounts of dr. pepper. all in all i had a good time hanging out with my friends, but was not very impressed with ike. saturday evening my girl friend and i went to her place for a nice warm shower and a real bed.

sunday morning i planned to head back to houston, for i was a little worried about damage to my roommates house. since he was in indianapolis all weekend i felt that it would be a good idea to get down there to see if there was any damage. i just hoped that the gas, water, and power were on

to be continued...

    Hurricane Ike: Part I - The Refugee

    Sep 12, 2008, 6:10 pm by John

    This story starts two weeks ago. I was talking to my girl friend, who lives in College Station, and I decided that I wanted to come into town on a Thursday night so that I could get out to my favorite local establishment, The Texas Hall of Fame. I then decided that a great time to do this would be the weekend that the Aggies didn't have a football game (the weekend of September 13th). This would be great because I could spend time with my friends and not have to throw out a day of relaxation to tail gating, lots of walking, and 3 to 4 hours of standing. Though I do enjoy all of the things in the previous sentence, I'm sure everyone can agree that it is nice when you can have a weekend to just hang out. Plus, without a football game the city would be much less crowded.

    I first met Ike about two weeks ago when he first showed up. His brother Gustav was around scaring everyone in New Orleans. I always suspected that this guy, Ike, could be trouble. Sure enough, he wasn't a partier like his brother Gustav, so he skipped over New Orleans and headed for Houston. By the time we knew, approximately, where Ike would be travelling, I had already arranged with my boss, to take vacation days on September 11th and 12th. I needed to register my new truck and run some other errands before getting up to College Station on Thursday for a fun night of dancing. I awoke on Thursday morning, at 7am, approximately an hour and a half later than normal, and found out that mandatory evacuations were in place for Galveston. Thanks Ike....

    With errands to run I got to work. Since I would have to deal with local government, while registering my truck, I assumed this would eat up the majority of my day. But to my suprise, no one is interested in registering vehicles when a hurricane is 2 days out and everyone is leaving the city!! Victory! So I registered my truck, and now $1200 less rich I got home at around 9:30am. At this point I remembered that I had a softball game with my work team at 6:00pm Thursday night...ugh. What would I do with 9 hours of free time? Anti-love bugging my truck took the top spot.

    I knew that a hurricane was coming but my nice, new, shiny truck had love bugs on it. The front of my truck looked like a psycho-killer/porn flick. So as I wash the front of my truck, because the whole thing would be getting a bath in 48 hours, I noticed that my neighbor, the conductor imfamous "Eduardo Freak Out" was once again boarding up his house. I felt that maybe this time my priorities were slightly mixed up...

    Around 11am I found out that my softball game was cancelled and I was free to go to College Station. I packed up my things, a couple Gatorades, pretzels, and my weather radio and hit the road. Suprisingly 290 was not overly crowded and my trip took just over an hour. I was now "safely" in College Station with lots of other evacuees. I hung out with my girl friend in the afternoon and prepared for my night at the before mentioned local dancehall. I had a great time, and now I sit at 6pm on Friday, groceries secured in the fridge, truck parked far away from trees, waiting for my new buddy Ike to come on up to BCS. It's overcast and the wind is picking up. I'm really not too worried but better safe than sorry. Bring on a night of DVD's and unhealthy snacks! To be continued...

    E85

    Sep 9, 2008, 12:48 pm by John

    So I passed by HEB down here in Houston this weekend and noticed that they were selling E85 for about $2.80 and that got me to thinking about whether or not E85 was worth it or not. The only thing I could come up with is that it is renewable...atleast in a short term sense. However, it has LOTS of problems.

    First of all i'd like to say that i am all for helping out the farmers and ranchers of america. That being said the only person who benefits from this product is the corn farmer, again, only in the short term. he grows oodles of corn and is now able to sell it because everyone wants it for E85 manufacturing. however, this means that the national price of corn increases because the demand increases.

    so the price of corn goes up a few cents...so what? well i'll tell you what. every domestic animal in this country also enjoys corn as much as you and i, except they eat it almost every day. so mr. rancher's feed gets more expensive. so of course the price of beef, pork, and chicken increases, either because they have to charge more, or because ranchers are forced out of business by increasing prices and the supply drops. every cow, pig, chicken, horse, dog, cat, and turkey in the country eats this stuff. so not only does the price of corn go up, but so does the price of milk, eggs, butter, pork, beef, chicken, leather, cosmetics, glue...etc.

    but this is okay because the environment is better off. wrong.

    being the engineer that i am, i know that the amount of energy out of anything has to equal the amount of energy in. so this means, unless the process is 100% efficient, which, obviously, nothing is, we have to put more power into the system to get e85 out for our cars. this means that more coal and natural gas has to be burned to make energy to power the e85 plant. so we end up with even more polution then if we had just stuck with gasoline.

    for those of you who buy kroger gasoline because it's cheaper, don't forget that little sign that says "may contain up to 15% e85". they are basically putting a thinner in their gas that makes your car less efficient, yet you pay around the same amount per gallon. i will say i haven't tested this yet, but i do know that e85 is less efficient, so if you are paying the same price for this slight blend, it can't be worth it.

    finally, let's just say that growing e85 is unstoppable because we run out of oil. then, all of the big companies will take over all of the little corn farms and will put the farmer out of business. this means that the farmers and the ranchers are out of work, we have no beef, we pay $10 per ear of corn, a gallon of milk cost 5 times what a gallon of gas does, and our dog's food is more expensive then ours.....well maybe not quite that extreme but you get my point.

    rant over. have a great day :)

    Drunken Stuper

    Aug 25, 2008, 1:02 pm by John

    I made it up to College Station this past weekend and had a great time. All of my friends, who are still in school, are back in town and I got to see quite a few of them. Two of these people are contributers to this blog and we went out to our favorite hangout, the texas hall of fame, on saturday evening.

    Highspeed Hayride was on the bill and they weren't bad at all. most of their songs sounded very similar but they were pretty good and they played covers well. they are a band that plays some purely country songs but even these have a rock influence. Anyway, after 3 lonestars, part of a pitcher of shiner, and several swigs from 2 young ladies' whiskey and cokes, i was feeling pretty good. just to point of slight dance floor stumbling but not even close to "oh crap i need to go to the bathr....". i was sitting in my chair, right off of the floor, slouching quite a bit, listening to the middle of some song i don't remember with the stage lights change colors from blue, to yellow, to pink and back to blue again. it was at this point, that i realized that i had been in this exact situation many times before and it was like Déjà vu all over again. there have been several times listening to this type of band, with this much alcohol in my system, that i begin to think about all of the concerts i had seen here and all of the people i had met and all the good times i've had. it was relaxing and surreal and amazing all at the same time. maybe it's just that i've graduated and realized that my good times at the hall may be fewer and further between, but it was one of my favorite nights surrounded by most of the people that made those memories happen.

    My New Truck

    Aug 20, 2008, 9:14 am by John

    http://images.dealer.com/jato/us/photo400/FORD/F-1This last weekend I bought a new truck. It is awesome and so far I wish I could drive it more...if someone else picked up the gas bill. Not that it's a gas guzzler, it's just that all cars use gas (yes Paul there are some electric cars out there but I call the golf carts not cars) and to go down the road you must purchase some. Unlike the typical Texan, redneck, diesel driving daddy, I bought a half-ton, 4.6L V8, regular cab that gets about 20mpg (before you ask, it gets the same gas milage as the V6). And unlike the typical Texan, I have already used it to tow a trailer and it only has 500 miles on it.

    Before my purchase everyone wanted me to get an extended cab, or four-door or the biggest V8 engine...but this all seems like a waste of money and resources. I don't need an extra 800lbs added to my 2 ton truck. I also don't plan on carrying more then 1 or 2 people. If 10 people need a ride...there's a bed. In an emergency, I can get 15 people where ever they need to go. Finally, for those of you who worried about me driving a 95 Ford Probe (feel free to chuckle) from Dallas to Houston and being stranded somewhere between Corsicana and Buffalo...WORRY NO MORE! :)

      Olympic Protests

      Aug 8, 2008, 11:39 am by John

      what are the olympics? well i thought it was a time when the best athletes from around the world to get together at one place and compete against each other to see which country is the best in different events. Boy was I wrong. Appearently it's the the time of year when everyone and their mother decides that they want to protest whatever their mind feels like. Having been an athlete for the majority of my life I know what it is like to train for hours a day, everyday of the year. Of course I was never close to Olympic calliber but it gives me a good idea and great respect for all of the work that these athletes put in. Now when these athletes get to show the world their talent and share it with their countrymen, in what should be an event that the entire world gets together and watches, people who don't have anything better to do take to the streets and try to stop one of the greatest world traditions, in the running of the olympic torch.

      exactly how will stopping the torch fix all of the world's problems? i'm pretty sure it won't. people say things like, the olympics shouldn't be held in china because they are communist. well i'm sorry, i didn't know that being communist had anything to do with athletic ability. in that case, why aren't all athletes communist? maybe they are....hmmm.

      why can't people put away their differences for 2 weeks and just stay at home and watch the Olympics? The Olympics are about sports. For those of you who didn't catch it the first time...the Olympics are about sports. if you and your ego feel that you are so important that you need to show the entire world how you feel, use other means. i'm all for getting together and voicing your opinion and marching up and down the streets with signs. I don't want to take anyone's rights away but I can gaurantee you that when an american goes into a gold medal match, for whatever sport, he doesn't care about the person on the other side's political views...he just wants to beat the snot out of them.

      a quick note, the iraqi athletes were nearly disqualified from the olympics because their olympic body was disperessed...like it was their fault. i don't see why anyone shouldn't be allowed to compete despite what their government does.

      let's talk politics in a few weeks. get out of the streets, go inside, watch the games on tv and for now, sit back and enjoy an amazing display of athletic talent.

      tropical storms II

      Aug 6, 2008, 7:05 am by John

      so the storm of the century came through yesterday and somehow i managed to survive.

      on my way out the door at 6:20 i could see it coming. it was on the horizon and looked like a big gray blanket about to sweep over the entire area. it was coming from the east so the sun rising behind it made it look pretty spectacular. the roads were deserted. there must have been about a quarter of the normal traffic load. it was the best drive to work i've had in the 2 months i've been here. as i got to work the clouds started to sweep over northwest houston.

      the rain started around 9am. i walked over to a window to see this storm i'd been hearing about for, going on, 3 days now. when i walked over to the window i noticed that the sky was a light shade of grey and it was sprinkling. i thought to myself "there must be some mistake. this storm should be bending trees over and dumping rain down so hard i shouldn't be able to see more then 50ft." if only i hadn't listened to the media's hype i might have thought it was nothing more then a spring time shower.

      i checked back with the storm every hour or so and at one point the wind might have been gusting up to 20mph. it did rain hard at times but nothing to worry about. as i checked the radar in the early afternoon i noticed that instead of turning north like the meteorologists had guessed the storm came right through downtown houston. i work just northwest of downtown so this had me a little worried...worried that i might get wet on the way out to my car in the afternoon.

      as 3:45pm came through i left my post and headed out to the parking lot. it was sunny. i lugged my umbrella around just knowing that i would have to use it for this tropical storm, alas, it stayed dry. no rain coming into work, no rain leaving work. how disappointing. the best part about the entire day was the drive home. when i reached my car the temperature outside was 80°, instead of the usual 100, so just getting in my car was more pleasurable. then, when i got on the road it became appearent that the hundreds of thousands of people who didn't go to work in the morning were still at home and the roads were clear again. finally, to sum up the whole day...the roads were dry.

      i've decided we should have a tropical storms more often. people will stay off the road, my car will stay cooler, and since everyone will have already filled their cars up with gas i will be able to go to the gas station and not have to wait for 10 minutes to get a spot. thanks for a great day edouard.

      ps. i laughed my ass off when i got home, looked down the street, and saw that the house on the corner had all its windows covered in plywood. hilarious.

      Tropical Storms

      Aug 5, 2008, 11:39 am by John

      Preface: As mentioned before I am from Dallas and we don't get tropical storms or hurricanes up there.

      So my only previous tropical storm/hurricane experience is with Rita when everyone in College Station freaked out and school was canceled. Then the storm turned north and absolutely nothing happened. Once again, Mr. Stiverson will correct me if I'm wrong but tropical storms and class 1 maybe 2 hurricanes seem like big thunderstorms, atleast when you are more than 50 miles inland. If you are on the coast it might be a different story, I don't know, but it sure doesn't seem like something to freak out over.

      Yesterday I went to Kroger to fill up with gas. Big mistake! I did not go because I fear evacuation or gas price increases but because my gauge was near E. When I got there it looked like they were giving the stuff away. People were lined up 3 and 4 deep! The same story at the Exxon across street.

      Today they were talking on the radio about how people were buying up all the water and supplies at grocery stores. While I was passing up Kroger, I came back later for my gas, I noticed that the grocery store was packed as well. I don't get it. We'll see here in a few hours, when this storm hits, but I think it's going to be a lot like when a line of thunderstorms sweeps across North Texas, except it will last all day. Down here I don't even have to look out for tornadoes! What's all the fuss about? I don't want to knock people around here for getting ready for a hurricane but Edouard (or however the hell you spell it...what kind of name is that anyway!?) is a tropical storm... S-T-O-R-M. So maybe I'm wrong but 35-50mph wind sounds like good kite flying whether to me. This thing doesn't even seem to have lightening to worry about.

      More to come after the storm of the century passes

      Fantasy Football

      Aug 4, 2008, 6:40 pm by John

      Preface: I consider my self a big sports fan. I watch at least an hour of ESPN everyday and I check their website a few times a day. I'm not a HUGE fan of any given team or sport but I am a big fan of all of the Dallas teams and could probably tell you more than you want to know about any of them.

      Fantasy Football is about to, and in some places has, kicked off and I wanted to give everyone my thoughts on the subject. I don't like it because I find myself having to root for other teams and, sometimes, against my own in order to have a good fantasy week. I am from Dallas, I am a Cowboys fan. But if I have a fantasy football team I have to become a Ravens, Giants, 49ers, Lions, Browns, Texans, Packers, Patriots fan so I can cheer for my players to have a good week. Of course you don't have to root for the team just 1 or 2 players, but hopefully these players are on your fantasy team because their team turns to them when they are down and gives them the ball in hopes they will produce a victory. Dilemma.

      I have decided that fantasy sports are just a way for professional organizations to get more people to watch their broadcasts and serve no other purpose besides bragging rights. I have not taken part in a fantasy league of any kind since then. I only want to cheer, and will only cheer for the Cowboys, Rangers, Stars, and Mavericks. I don't care about how any other team or player in the game does. Take all that time you spend messing with the fantasy team and apply it to playing that sport. Then we might get somewhere.

      Stop Lights

      Aug 1, 2008, 7:34 pm by John

      Since this is my first post on here I feel that I should put up something that I feel passionate about...stop lights. As Mr. Stiverson will atest, I despise the people who program stop lights, or forget to, in every town except my hometown (Plano, TX). Is it really that difficult to spend 30 minutes at a traffic light at 3 or 4 different times during any given day and figure out how to time the light? Or heaven forbid, get in a car and drive from 1 light to another to determine the time it takes to get there!? There is no reason I should hit every single stop light when traveling with heavy traffic in the same direction. Also, its 2 AM and I am the only car in the entire area and I have to wait 3 minutes at every single light. Are you kidding me!? I know all of the intersections now have sensors in the ground to detect if there is a car sitting there. After 11 PM I shouldn't have to sit for more then 15 seconds at any given light. Also, why am I waiting at a light when I am at an intersection where a 6 lane road crosses a 2 lane road? Why aren't the lights flashing yellow on the big road and red on the small one? This is better for all parties involved. I don't have to wait on a car who has been sitting at this light for 5 minutes and he wouldn't have to waste 5 minutes of his time waiting on this stupid signal. You might say if it's the middle of the night just run the red light...but I know that as soon as I do the 1 car I am sharing the road with is a cop.

      Plano has figured this out and driving around most of the time is a breeze. At night all of the small intersections have flashing lights and when you pull up to a big intersection the light immediately changes. It's not that difficult. The part I also enjoy is knowing what a particular light will be when I get there. If I know I take this turn on this street, on this day, at this time, the light will ALWAYS do the same thing. Then I know what to expect. This may be a lot to ask of College Station, but I'm in a highly populated section of north-east Houston. Let's get it together!

      I'll save my rant about left turn only lights for another day.

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