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Two Texas Cities give Uber and Lyft the finger

Prop minus one

Latest news from Texas is that two most liberal cities of Texas – Houston and Austin – have demanded that Uber / Lyft, conduct more stringent security  background checks above what the companies are currently willing to do.

  • May 7th Austin: Prop 1 was voted DOWN so that potential drivers MUST do finger print based criminal checks.
    • Both Uber and Lyft are now saying they will shut down. Temporarily of course.
    • Uber and Lyft argues that their own background checks were stringent enough and that finger-printed checks by Austin city was an overkill.
    • From the Austin Statesman: The Voting populace didn’t agree and in Austin’s case, the vote was a backlash against the Uber/Lyft campaign who had spent $8m versus anti-prop 1 spend of $0.1m

In Houston, the City push back is bigger where City Hall requires finger-printing, drug testing and a physical which is far more than what Austin requires. Lyft has already had previously balked while finger printing requirement existed. Uber is threatening to follow.

Meanwhile the Texas legislature may come up with a State wide direction. That will be interesting considering Austin’s rhetoric about Big Government over-riding local voters.

Weird Houston – Video of the Orange Show Foundatation

We’ve been expanding Roam and branching out into the video making game. While I don’t think Steven Spielburg will be worried about any competition, this is our first video,”Weird Houston”. It oveview the four unique attractions (or repulsions,depending on how you’d view bizarre art) of the Orange Show Foundation.

You may recognize some of these from our post ‘Oranges are not the only fruit‘ from the Summer of 2015. We have a follow on video in the works on the 2016 Art Car Parade so watch this space.

Houston we have a problem

“.Don’t shoot”: A crimbo robs a Houston camera crew.

As part of an initiative to promote Houston, a film crew was were filming a promotional video in front of a piece of local art that proudly says “WE LOVE HOUSTON”.

Lights. Camera. Action.

And action it was when an unscripted event happened and a man produced a handgun and robbed them of their equipment.

“It’s ironic we were there filming a video about how awesome Houston is when it happened,” Jankovic says.

..Luckily for Jankovic one of the cameras that the suspect stole, the GoPro, was rolling time-lapse footage when it was taken. The suspect ditched the GoPro but not before a picture of the suspect was captured. That GoPro and the weapon used in the robbery were found at the construction site.

Jankovic says the gun ended up being plastic.

I’ll bet the perp didn’t expect he’d be filmed. The best quote in the Houston Chronicle article:

This incident will likely not end up in the final cut of the realty company’s promotional video.

No. They don’t say..

Oranges are not the only fruits

Picture from The Orange show

Pictures from The Orange show. One of Houston’s unique attractions

Following on from the HOA battle with the dinosaurs in Sugarland, I decided to go and re-check out Houston’s batshitterycrazy scene and places associateed with ‘The Orange show‘.

I took Patricious just to get him off his Xbox but I pre-warned him that what he will see, I may not have any explanation about why they did it. So off to 2401 Munger Street, we went – $5 for me but free for kids under 12. As expected I could not explain why or what this entire thing is about. Something about someone who liked oranges and collected random bits of stuff. I think Patricious now understands that sometimes people are just crazy but hey, no one was harmed in the making of whatever the orange show is supposed to be. Continue reading..

Hot Tamales : custom made

Houston Customs captured man smuggling cocaine filled Tamales

Houston Customs captured man smuggling cocaine filled Tamales

A 46 year old man from El Salvator was caught with cocaine filled Tamales in Houston George Bush Airport.

Way to go Amigo: you smuggle something illegal hidden inside something that needs to be declared to customs when you bring inside the US?

From the 200 Tamales he had in his luggage, 9 were filled with Cocaine.

They would have questioned the heck out of you regardless of the Cocaine or not.

FYI: here is link that describes in details foods you can/cannot bring into the country. Any food item made from a meat product is a big red flag.

Motorcycling in Houston: Reality hits the road

An unfortunate ranking  for Houston.

An unfortunate ranking for Houston.

8/10/ 2014: A Houston Chronicle headline opens with “Motorcyclist killed in six-vehicle crash in east Harris County

The key points to the story per the Chron:

Around 10:30 p.m., the driver of a 2006 GMC Sonoma pickup was traveling east in the 17600 block of East Freeway where traffic was slowing because of a lane closure. Investigators learned the unidentified pickup driver was traveling on the inside improved shoulder when he failed to control his speed and crashed into the back of a motorcycle.

The motorcycle was forced toward the inside eastbound lanes, striking the left side of 2014 Dodge Dart. The rider slid across the roadway into the center lane while the motorcycle hit a wall and caught on fire, authorities said.

At the same time, the Sonoma continued traveling east where it rear-ended the back of 2011 Cadillac CTS, authorities said. The Cadillac then crashed into the Dodge Dart before striking the back of a 2014 Ford F-150.

Some years back, a daughter’s boyfriend told me of the time when he got knocked off his motorbike from behind while waiting a red light in Houston. He was hurt pretty bad. The woman driver was drunk.

My first ever vehicle was a motorbike where it was my main mode of transport for many years. It was not that I didn’t like cars, but it was the only thing I could afford. A condition of getting the bike was a promise to my mother to take a defensive driving Motorcycling course. I learned a lot : about where on the road to drive; to be continually aware of the road – who is doing what ahead and behind; preventive actions to take when seeing a car waiting at a junction; the underlying assumption that the other driver has not seen you. Continue reading..

Vive La Revolution : Houston allows Uber and Lyft to operate with conditions

The Revolutionary Che'ring economy. [1]

The revolutionary Che’ring economy[1].

In the war against the old style Taxi and municipal regulation, Houston City council came down on the side of Uber and Lyft and voted to allow them to operate in Houston City limits.

Click2Houston.com says:

“After months of discussions, City Council has approved the operation of ride-sharing services in Houston.

Taxi cab drivers have been fighting it, but on Wednesday Houston city leaders gave the green light to companies like Uber and Lyft.

For months Uber and Lyft have been asking to operate within city limits, but city leaders have been slow to say yes because there were questions about how to regulate the new mobile app-based services.

City Council members discussed the topic for more than five hours Wednesday and focused on insurance, accessibility for the disabled and how to make sure there weren’t any gaps in regulation that could lead to lawsuits down the road.”

And this is where Mr. Devil meets Ms. Details as there are different models under the Uber and Lyft banner. Continue reading..