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Well, the Pam Holm campaign may not have received the Chron’s endorsement, but they did make my weekend by delivering this fine piece of campaign swag to me:

Pam Holm koozie

Pam Holm koozie

As you can see, it’s primed and ready to go for today’s Texans game. Is there some kind of blogger ethics form I need to fill out, or does this count as sufficient disclosure? My thanks to Sallie, Samantha, and the rest of Team Holm for the memento.

Seven sidewalk sins

Sid Burgess presents seven examples of how to be pedestrian-unfriendly. How many of them have you seen in the Houston area? I can say I’ve seen all seven. Thanks to neoHouston for the link.

Wilshire Village Apartments…gone

Hair Balls, Swamplot, and Robert Boyd document the final demise of the Wilshire Village Apartments. Boyd wonders what will replace them. I wonder how long the land will lie vacant, given how long some other lots have remained empty following the demolition of what had been on them.

Wilshire Village’s going-away photos

I ask for photos of the impending demolition of Wilshire Village Apartments, I get photos. And I echo Robert Boyd:

I just hope the developer, who thus far has been shown to have no particular vision (or much human decency) will preserve the oaks and magnolia trees that dot this property.

Amen to that.

The IR Guide to Parenting

In honor of Father’s Day, I bring you this post by Stephen M. Walt on how parenting and international relations are basically the same thing.

First off, modern realist theory focuses on the structure of the system and especially number of major powers in it. Right off the bat, this perspective can tell you a lot about the dynamics parents face as the size of their family increases. When parents have one child, the balance of power is in their favor. They can double-team the lucky kid, and give each other a break by taking turns. Life is good.

But if you have a second child the dynamics shift. If one parent is alone at home and both kids are awake, the balance of power isn’t in the parent’s favor anymore. Instead of double-teaming them, they get to double-team you. And once the kids are mobile, you learn about another key IR concept: the window of opportunity. You’re feeding or changing Kid #1, and Kid #2 makes a bolt out the front door, just like North Korea tested a nuclear weapon while we were busy with Iraq. Or you’re in the middle of a crowded department store and they each decide to head down different aisles. The potential complications of a multipolar order were never clearer the first time this happened to me.

Read the whole thing – it’s hilarious in the way that makes you laugh and wince at the same time. Thanks to Hilzoy for the link.

And since I got a request for a current picture of the girls, here’s one from Olivia’s fifth birthday party:

Olivia and Audrey

Olivia and Audrey

Happy Father’s Day!

600 sq mi: Hidden

Two years ago, Houstonist sponsored a photography show called 600 sq mi, which was about everything Houston. They’re doing it again this year, with a show called “600 sq mi: Hidden”.

Houstonist is proud to announce 600 sq mi: Hidden, our second biennial photo show. It will be a juried show, like before, though this time around it’ll open in October at Xnihilo Gallery in the Montrose. The theme of the show, “Hidden,” reflects some of the things we love most about our hometown: its hidden corners, unknown places, overlooked people, the things that make Houston a truly wonderful city for anyone who bothers to scratch the surface a bit. We all have our favorite bits of hidden Houston — and this is your chance to show us yours. (And yes, this show is open to anyone, regardless of experience. Whether you just picked up a camera yesterday or make a living with your lens, we want to see your work.)

So, what we need now are your images. Head over to the show’s website,, for all the information you’ll need, including instructions, rules, the official entry form, FAQs and a link to contact us with your questions and concerns. Keep in mind that we will be updating the site as often as we need to with the latest news, deadlines, answers to your questions and anything else we think will come in handy.

The deadline for submitting your photos to us is Monday, July 13, 2009, which gives you six weeks to pull some images together and check your couch cushions for the $15 entry fee. We can’t wait to see what y’all send us, and we’re looking forward to an incredible show.

So break out those digital cameras and start snapping.

A new Presidential head comes to Pearland

You all know I’m a big fan of David Adickes and his giant Presidential heads, which were moved to Pearland last year. Well, they are about to be joined by the latest model.

A 20-foot-tall bust of Barack Obama made of concrete and weighing 3.5 tons will be on display in Pearland this Friday off Texas 288 near the Waterlights District starting at about 2:30 p.m.

The sculpture is the latest in a series done by Texas artist David Adickes and will briefly join other president heads by Adickes that are permanently displayed on the site.

While an Obama bust is eventually planned for the site, this particular statue will be just passing through on its way to the Presidents Park near Deadwood, S.D., where it will arrive in time to join 42 other presidential busts for a July Fourth celebration.

Between Friday and July 4, the bust will visit 30 cities in eight states. In some cities, life-size busts of Obama will be auctioned to raise money for the homeless.

According to Peter Smetek, chairman and CEO of Larrea Biosciences, a sponsor of the tour, the statue will be in Pearland overnight if police protection can be secured.

Don’t worry if you miss it though. A launch party will be held in Houston at 2500 Summer Street on Saturday starting at about 4 p.m.

Awesome. I drove by Summer Street to try to get a picture of the new Obama bust yesterday, but it wasn’t in the yard with the others and the studio was all closed up, so no dice. Maybe I’ll get the next one.

By the way, I don’t know if you’re the type that finds the Chron comments in general to be hilarious or appalling, but whichever the case, the comments on that post are a pure distillation of the genre. It’s a fetid swamp of racism, paranoia, and blithering stupidity, the kind that makes you think you can feel IQ points dripping out of your ears as you read them. If you like that sort of thing, the comments on that post are definitely the sort of thing that you’ll like. Enjoy, if you dare.

Happy Easter!

People have been telling me lately that it’s been too long since I’ve posted a picture of the girls. So here you go:

Happy Easter! And now it’s time for a nap.