Hoffman's Houston
oh no, metro

Hoffman on busting a Metro bus driver, TV streaming warning, and West U war

Ken Hoffman on busting a Metro bus driver and a West U war

METRO bus Houston skyline CROP
Should Metro bus drivers be allowed to stop for a soda? RideMetro.org
Chick fil A exterior
Chick-fil-A has won yet another industry award. Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A
The Post
Look folks, there's something seriously wrong with The Post. Courtesy photo
Houston, Pethouse Pet of the Week, June 2017, Arthur the dog 2
There's a battle brewing in West U over...dog leavings. Courtesy photo
METRO bus Houston skyline CROP
Chick fil A exterior
The Post
Houston, Pethouse Pet of the Week, June 2017, Arthur the dog 2

All my little plans and schemes...

— John Lennon

Busting a bus driver
Last week, I saw a Metro bus driver standing in line to buy a soft drink at a convenience store. His bus was parked outside with passengers aboard. I thought, this is odd, and certainly inconvenient for the passengers.

What if a passenger were going to work, and might be late because the driver took a soda break?  What about somebody heading to a doctor's appointment?

The driver can't wait until the end of the line to grab a soda? Airline pilots flying from Los Angeles to New York don't make unscheduled landings in Chicago because they're thirsty. Uber and taxi drivers aren't supposed to take breaks with passengers in their car. Ambulances don't stop for a Frosty at Wendy's.

I called Metro and asked if drivers are allowed to take refreshment breaks in the middle of their routes. If yes, it would mean passengers can't depend on Metro to get them where they need to go on time. The whole idea of mass transportation is to transport people. At least Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Metro said the rule is a driver can make an unscheduled stop only for emergencies. There is no excuse for a driver standing in line at a convenience store buying a soda.

Metro asked if I had the 4-digit ID number on the front of the bus, so they could investigate the situation.

Who takes down bus ID numbers? But, I did take a photo of the driver standing in line at the convenience store. You can see the driver's face clearly. Moral question: Do I rat out the driver and get him in trouble? Or do I delete the photo and it's not my problem? Debating.

Cleveland rocks...kinda
The Cleveland Indians say they'll stop wearing their offensive, racist Chief Wahoo logo during games, starting in 2019. Why not 2018? It's never too soon to do the right thing.

Much ado (doo) in West U
Big controversy stirring in my little town (great song by Simon and Garfunkel) of West University Place. Residents are upset because some rude, inconsiderate pet owners pick up their dog's doody (good) but throw the bag on neighbors' lawns (disgusting and unlawful). This is where security cameras come into play.

TV streaming warning
Travel tip — and a warning: If you travel abroad and sign up for VPN service, you can watch U.S. television on your computer. It's a great little trick and it works. But watch out. Several months ago, I visited France and signed up for VPN with a company offering a "free week trial." At the end of the week, the service clicked off. No problem, I was coming home that day, anyway.

Last week, I checked my debit card account and discovered the VPN company has been charging me $12.95 the past five months. The company never notified me that the trial was over and that monthly charges were kicking in. Amazon Prime always gives customers a warning that the free trial is ending. I contacted the VPN service and may have used some colorful language. They're refunding me, but you be careful.

Sandelman Restaurant Market Intelligence (never heard of them) has released its "highly coveted" Awards of Excellence for the fast-food industry. For "overall excellent experience," the winner was, no surprise, Chick-fil-A. Next in order: In-N-Out Burger, Raising Cane's, La Madeleine, Torchy's Tacos, and Five Guys.

King Keurig
Keurig, the single-cup coffee company, has bought the company that owns Dr Pepper, Snapple, 7UP, A&W, Mott's, and Sunkist. I would have thought that Dr Pepper, 7UP, etc. was a much bigger company than Keurig.

Funny you should football
Fun fact: Jon Kelley, host of the Funny You Should Ask game show, played four seasons at running back for the University of Nebraska and signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 1988 before entering show business.

Ken's movie adventures
Saw two movies last week, The Post and The Darkest Hour. I loved The Post, but it really should have been called The Times. It was the New York Times, not the Washington Post, that broke the Pentagon Papers story. It was the Times, not the Post, that won the Pulitzer that year. Making a movie about the Pentagon Papers and setting it in the Washington Post would be like making a movie about Watergate and setting it in the New York Times. But a bigger problem...

I went to a Saturday showing of Darkest Hour at the Edwards Theaters on Weslayan. The lobby was packed, and lines were long at the ticket counter. There are nine windows at the Edwards ticket counter. Only three were open. People were not happy.

At least Edwards made up for this by charging reasonable prices at concessions counter: I bought two SMALL Diet Cokes for $12.

Life Fizz good
A better drink deal: Sonic Drive-In now serves Fruit Fizz, sparkling water with real fruit and no artificial flavors. Choices include Strawberry Peach, Mango Lime, and Raspberry Lemon. The Mango Lime and Raspberry Lemon drinks have fewer than 5 calories per 12 ounces. Strawberry Peach will cost you 60 calories, still pretty skinny. They're all good, but Sonic would have to move a mountain to get me off its Diet Cherry Limeade.