Hampton Inn & Suites, League City, Texas

Hampton Inn & Suites Houston/League City
2320 Gulf Freeway South
League City, Texas, USA, 77573
Tel: 1-281-614-5437 Fax: 1-281-337-8906

I wrote this here because I want to keep a record of the places we stay at in League City. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites December 24-25, 2010. Here are some questions from the survey of this trip:

What was wrong with your room?
Wired Internet dropped out at 12:30 AM and didn’t return until I woke up. Housekeeping took two dirty towels and the floor mat and didn’t replace them. We expected a refrigerator and microwave in every room, not just the suites. The king bed felt short and hard and the pillows were too small.

What, if anything, could we have done to make your stay more satisfactory?
A refrigerator and microwave in every room not just the suites. Pillow top beds. King size pillows on a king size bed.

I like that they email me a survey because I had some things to say. They were minor things, but they add up and I’m running out of places to stay in League City. This makes two strikes on Hilton hotels in that area. We wont be going to the Hampton Inn and Suites anytime soon.

Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment

I think this will lead to securing transmission – or at least make point-to-point carriers responsible for the transmission of emails. To continue their analogy: the feds can’t roll up on a mail-carrier and raid your grandma’s Christmas card; they can’t wiretap your phone lines or cell towers (unless the president says they can under ‘national security’). They shouldn’t be allowed to spy on the Internet and grab email transmissions (but it says email storage).

In a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail. Source: eff.org | Breaking News on EFF Victory: Appeals Court Holds that Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment

Texas House Republican Supermajority [UPDATED]

The Republicans will have a “supermajority” in the Texas House when the new session starts January 11, 2011 (01/11/11).

The new Republican House members are expected to give the GOP 101 seats in the lower chamber in the 2011 Legislature, a number that will allow the party to exercise power not seen in the House since the early 1980s, when the Democrats had more than 100 of the 150 seats.

With a supermajority, House Republicans will be able to conduct business and approve constitutional amendments without Democratic support.

Soruce: Dallas Morning News | Second Democrat in Texas House announces switch to GOP.

What does this mean for the Texas Constitution or the bi-annual, balanced budget in Texas? It means the Republicans have carte blanche to amend the Constitution, raise taxes and slash the budget.

This is a perfect storm. The Democrats lost the majority of the U.S. Congress which means few things will change in the next two years. (Although the Senate just pasted legislation extending tax-cuts and unemployment benefits.) I expect Texas taxes will go up and the budget (jobs) to be cut. Then, in 2013, the trend will continue at the federal level.

I just wrote about La Niña and the drought Texas faces from that. Now it appears we are headed for an economic drought as well. I wonder if there is a connection?


How will the federal tax cuts affect you? As promised the next 24 months (or two tax seasons) will remain at current levels. This may sound like an early Christmas present or simply a good thing, but look closer, it reads like the fine print of a credit-card offer: no interest ’till 2013. By then we may be out of the “economic ENSO cycle”, but be prepared to pay more for this tax cut than we would have originally. On the flip side, Obama probably doesn’t care too much because in 24 months he’ll be packing his things.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Now that Congress has passed the Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010, it will be sent to President Obama for his signature. And taxpayers will have some certainty about their tax situation, if only for the next 24 months. Source: CNN.com | Tax cut deal: How it affects you

Texas Winter Drought 2010-11 from La Niña

Back in July of 2009 I wrote about how one of the worst droughts in Texas was worsening.

Now it’s December, 2010, and we are staring down the barrel of another (winter) drought – one of the worst.

The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday indicated 85 percent of Texas is between abnormally dry and in extreme drought, compared to about 29 percent a year ago. Source: KBTX.com | Experts Fear Texas Heading Into Another Severe Drought

I appears to be the effects of La Niña.

La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño. La Niña causes above average precipitation across the North Midwest, the Northern Rockies, Northern California, and in the Pacific Northwest’s southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile there is below average precipitation in the southwestern and southeastern states. Source: Wikipedia | El Niño-Southern Oscillation and NOAA.gov | ENSO Diagnostic Discussion

This certainly appears to be true. For the past week – 2 weeks before winter – the North Midwest (Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo) has been buried by snow.

Santa’s Wonderland

Well we took the whole famn damily to Santa’s Wonderland tonight about 6:30 PM. This year they started parking people in the Jockey Lot across the highway and busing them over. It aint Disney but I guess it worked for them.

We went on the hayride because drive through is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I tried to take some memorable photos and videos. You be the judge.