Spring’s a Sprung

Despite some of our late spring cool blasts that have dropped our weather into the 50s at points through April, spring has arrived in Houston.  It was a fabulously beautiful day today, and this weekend is packed to the brim with events.


There was one major event on saturday that I’ll be missing.  It’s a crawfish boil at a friend’s house in the Northern Heights (above 20th street). I love crawfish, and it’s an easy bike, but my social calendar was already booked when it showed up.  Also being missed, there’s a Day of Derby going on at Houston Indoor Sports. Continue reading Spring’s a Sprung

Houston NFL

Oilers AFL LogoI’ve always enjoyed sports.  Participating and watching.  Drama can be found in every step (and yet TNT “We Know Drama” doesn’t show sports).  I, of course, grew up loving the Columbia Blue “Love ya Blue” Houston Oilers.

As I’ve aged, and the number of hours in a day seems continually less available, many of my interests have had to make way for others.  Most of the sporting teams I have followed have become more of a background interest.  On top of that, either my perception or reality has come to give me the view that many professional athletes are whiney spoiled asses.  (More so in basketball than football.)  This has tended to push my interest down to college sports over professional.

In 1994 I moved to Calgary.  At the time Bud Adams was trolling for a new stadium; the City was in an economic lull and saying “no”.  It was foregone, it seemed to me at the time and obviously in retrospect, that the Oilers would leave.  As it was, Canada didn’t have much coverage of the NFL and I just started ignoring the league entirely that year.

The next two years I spent in Washington and didn’t pay too much attention to the NFL except when I spent a sunday with friends.  I did attend one Redskins home game with my good friend Bill Cavender which was an awesome experience.

Texans LogoBack in Houston years later I rode my bicycle downtown for the NFL Franchise mascot announcement.  My preference of Toros was passed by for the Texans.  I went to several early year (sometimes preseason) Texans games.  I remember being deafened at one of the first games there.  I’ve enjoyed some tailgating there (something always lacking at an Oilers game).  But I’ve never scheduled my fall sundays according to the Texans’ schedule.

Now, after almost a decade, today is the Texans’ first playoff game.  To say the least: this city is excited!  I no longer have even a television I can watch live sports on.  So, I will be joining some friends at a sports bar a short 5-block bicycle ride away in the ‘hood.

Go Texans.

SXSW Monday: Wetly Interactive

I did not check the weather before I left Houston, so now on Tuesday morning I’m tossing my only pair of jeans into the washing machine.

I don’t have a jacket or any rain gear with me either.  It will be a bit nippy tonight, and raining all day.

Yesterday, after I got settled into my cousin’s place, and did some grocery shopping, I headed into town.  I parked across MOPAC from Zilker Park and rode my bicycle into town.  It was a nice day for it, and gave me a chance to get used to some of the routes that might be useful later in the week.

I locked up the bike, almost left my pannier, but thought better of it, and found some lunch.  Darwin’s Pub had a nice Chicken Shawarma, though their beer selection was minimal.  Around 4pm, I headed over to Buffalo Billiards (even thinner, though larger, selection).  There was an informal iPhone Developers Meet-up.  It ended up having about a dozen people, about half had done development work.  So, I spent some time chatting and getting to know some people, mostly from Texas, though the organizer was from the UK.

One who I met was Jacqueline, and happened to attend the same high school as I did.  This happens more often than you might think.

After that I headed to the west side for a Houston organized party (Houstonians got free drink tickets, and a friend bought me another).  I saw quite a few Houston friends.  JR was camped out with a video camera.  (Ex Houston) Mayor Bill White showed up and had a brief chat.  He’s running for Governor.  I wish he was still our mayor, and will definitely vote for him for Governor.

Jacqueline had checked in on another party and then stopped by the Houston one.  We chatted for a while and suggested we try the FourSquare party.

FourSquare, Twitter, Gowalla, and (to a less extent) FaceBook are ALL OVER the SXSWi part of the conference.  So much that there are lots of anti-SXSW whiners on-line and #fakesxsw humor from the non-attendees.

We swang by the FourSquare and it had a line out the front, we tried out the BeerCamp at Emo’s.  Their Beer Pong tournament was over but free beer was still available for the waiting in line.  The rain started, we chatted under a tent with some young strangers (Austinites schooling in Lubbock, off for the spring break).

My iPod had died by this point, and I totally missed hooking up with my good friend Bill C.  I totally should have borrowed a phone and called (sorry Bill!).  Jacqueline suggested we try out Beauty Bar (a new one, I was unfamiliar with) as the rain continued.  I stayed there for a while, but decided I needed to get back to my car and/or bike, so I left her to stay out for the rest of the night (and I think she did).

I started walking to find a cab, to get to my car.  I was planning on abandoning my well locked bike.  But I got all the way to the bike and after consulting with the pedi-cab drivers decided that that I needed to come back and retrieve the bike.  Then I decided that I was already soaking wet and warm from the walk, so decided to ride to the car.  I got home about 12:30, had to strip clean to get dry and warm.

I was of course soaked to the bone and a bit muddy from the ride.  Thus the need to wash and dry my only pair of pants this morning.  Sounds like they’re ready for the dryer.