: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

S.O. Young’s Historical Collections of Houston Stories

Houston Chronicle Blogger J.R. Gonzales at Bayou City History clued us in to two classic titles in early Houston history being reissued in limited edition sets by Copano Bay Press. Dr. S.O. Young’s “A Thumbnail History of the City of Houston, Texas” and “True Stories of Old Houston and Houstonians.” Copano Bay is producing 500 beautiful, gift-worthy sets, priced at $124.95.

If that’s a little too rich for your taste, the Internet Archive has copies for download.

One of my favorite chapters so far begins…

It is an historical fact that at the first session of court held in Harrisburg County, as Harris was then called, two men were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. It is stated that those two men were hanged immediately because the jail was uncomfortably cold and the kind-hearted judge did not want the prisoners to suffer unduly.

I don’t mention this because I approve, of course, but as a rather graphic illustration that Houston’s love affair with rough justice has deep roots.

Seal a half-eaten bag of Chips with kung-fu folding technique

Video: Seal a half-eaten bag of Chips with kung-fu folding technique. (via lifehacker)

Michael Lewis Studies the Plight of the Placekicker

Michael Lewis, best known for his books Moneyball and the Left Side, has carved out a niche in a sea of ESPN-addled braggadocio by bringing a novel and highly-analytical mind to bear on the world of sports.

His latest in-depth article chronicles the plight of the place kicker, the red-headed stepchild of the profession, this misplaced soccer player with a helmet is expected to kick game-winning field goals as a matter routine, yet shunned after the inevitable miss. In typical Moneyball fashion, Lewis makes his argument on the numbers and concludes that the oft-sought clutch kicker is more myth than reality.

NY Times: The Kick Is Up and It’s … A Career Killer

Houston Cougars go Bowling in our own backyard, soon to be Coach-less?

The same week the University of Houston Cougars accepted an invitation to play in their hometown Texas Bowl on Dec. 28, held in Houston at Reliant Stadium, it was announced that Houston head coach Art Briles is a front-runner for the newly vacant job in Waco. Baylor fired coach Guy Moriss following their 12th straight losing season and a winless year in the Big 12. Briles interviewed with Baylor’s AD today in Dallas. From the Houston Chronicle:

“Art asked for permission to talk to Baylor, and I said OK,” said UH athletic director Dave Maggard. “We talked about it. I asked if he really felt that he needed to do this, and he said that it was something he needed to do. I told him that I wanted him to stay in Houston. That was it.”

Say it ain’t so, Art. Or if it is so, at least win us a damn bowl game before you go.

Houston Police Department Tests Unmanned Spydrones

Acting from a tip from farmers convinced the government was turning their pasture into some sort of Area 51, Click2Houston stumbled onto a cadre of Houston police surreptitiously testing an unmanned aircraft. As for the purpose of the craft, it looks like our beloved red light cameras were just the tip of the 1984-iceberg.

Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft would be used for “mobility” or traffic issues, evacuations during storms, homeland security, search and rescue, and also “tactical.” She admitted that could include covert police actions and she said she was not ruling out someday using the drones for writing traffic tickets.

No posts on the subject yet from Big Chief Hurtt on his newly minted HPD Chief Blog

Only in Texas – Bearfire Ski Resort


Neil Woodburn at Gadling reminded me of the Xanadu, er… Bearfire Ski Resort currently being developed outside of Dallas. Sigh…. I don’t know what to make of this one. Only in Texas would we think the mountain should come to us.

“Bear”-fire? I’d love to design the logo for that one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Video Link: Paul Simon in a Turkey Suit

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho a la Mister Potato Head

Video Link: Psycho Potato

Cal Marching Band Plays Old Skool Video Games

Link: Cal Marching Band Plays Old Skool Video Games

Do Over? Texas Legislator Calls for State Tuition RE-regulation

I have to admit, despite my free market tendencies, this proposal resonates with me.

Coleman also provided statistics. Over the last five years, tuition and fees have risen 111 percent at the University of Texas, 94 percent at the University of Houston and 113 percent at Texas Southern University. About 70% of increased student costs stem from deregulated tuition, Coleman said.

I started out at a small private liberal arts college in the northeast, though I had the largest scholarship they offered I dropped out for financial reasons after only a year and a half. If it weren’t for the state-subsidized education I subsequently received at the University of Houston, I doubt I would have finished college at all, much less gone on to law school. I’ve posted some of my thoughts on UH previously in New President and Chancellor of the University of Houston, an Opportunity for Reflection.