Category Archives: Other Thoughts

25 years later, I’m still trying to make sense of what I saw in Oklahoma City

Just after 9 a.m., the phone rang in my home office in Frisco, Texas, north of Dallas. “Bloomberg, Loren Steffy.” “Do you have the TV on?” It was Mary Schlangenstein, my counterpart in Houston. “No,” I said, a little befuddled. … Continue reading

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The Saws of My Father

I have three crosscut saws I never use. One I bought myself soon after I got married because I needed to cut something, and it seemed like a basic tool that I needed to have. The other two came from … Continue reading

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Wilbur Ross and Rust Belt renaissance

President-elect Donald Trump has picked billionaire investor and turnaround expert Wilbur Ross to serve as commerce secretary, according to the New York Times. It’s an interesting choice. Ross spent years buying companies in long-suffering industries such as steel, textiles and coal. … Continue reading

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The search for `why’

For the past two years, I’ve been working on a biography of Texas oilman George P. Mitchell, sometimes (erroneously) called “the father of fracking.” Biographies are stories of people’s lives, but they really aren’t about the “who.” “Who was George … Continue reading

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The problem with software

The software industry loves to talk about “solutions.” It’s not clear whose problems some software makers think they’re solving. For years, I have used a program called Evernote, which syncs notes, webpages, photos and other things you want to save … Continue reading

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Is Bitcoin About to Become More Fed-like?

Can Bitcoin retain its anarchist edge while still operating more like a central bank? Last year, I wrote about how Texas has become a hotbed of Bitcoin development. One of the challenges the digital currency faces is how it can … Continue reading

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In Remembrance: Dave Leining

Dave Leining died last week when his private plane crashed in the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge south of Houston. He was 63. I didn’t know him well. In fact, we only met in person once, when I interviewed him … Continue reading

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Pluto’s Discovery Described by Tombaugh in Handwritten Note

One of the most popular columns I wrote in my final year at the Houston Chronicle was about the value of Neil Armstrong’s autograph. Anthony Pizzitola, who first tipped me off to the issue, is an avid autograph collector with … Continue reading

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The Eternal Driveway, Filled with Newspapers

This used to be the happiest morning of the week for him. Now, the reminder of his greatest joy only adds to my own sadness. I stare down the driveway, and it seems like a long hard road of sorrow. … Continue reading

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BizRadio: The Next Chapter in Controversy

Sunday’s Houston Chronicle had a lengthy article on former Sugar Land mayor David Wallace and his business to help rejuvenate struggling cities. Wallace has apparently closed up shop, leaving several cities in the lurch and investors wondering what happened to … Continue reading

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