Category Archives: Other Thoughts

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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