Photo Story: Concrete Canoe Social Activity

April 8, 2010

P4080006Being a civil engineer, much of my time is spent huddled at a desk working out mathematical queries or researching some sort of technical topic. Many nights, when not making waste of my homework time following the inner workings of college baseball, I’m up very late, frustrated and slamming my head into my desk over yet another statics problem involving a simply supported beam that is loaded with a drum held down by a belt and an applied distributed force acting as a creating an internal moment and shear within the beam. It’s not a lot of fun.

Full story after the jump:

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Alcohol, Sex, and Smith County, TX

April 2, 2010

I’m currently at a university nestled in East Texas, the former retirement destination of Tyler. It’s a small city, steadily growing over the last decade, but it has one huge flaw – prohibition of alcohol sales to the public.

In this town, I can go to a restaurant, and for a $5 fee, I can join a "club" that allows them to sell me alcohol by the glass, for prices well above what a bar would normally sell. I’m talking a $10 rum and coke. That is the only available way for me to buy alcohol in town.

If I desire to buy a fifth of rum, or god help me, a 6 pack of beer, I have to drive no less than 25 minutes to leave Smith County. Unfortunately, that 25 minute location just doesn’t have that great of a selection, which leaves me with a 40 minute drive in a different direction. It’s horrible.

But something else stood out as I took the travel to the store 25 minutes away this afternoon: Smith County has a drive in XXX movie theater with adult book/movie store within it’s jurisdiction, but alcohol is prohibited. If there was one potential "moral vice" out of alcohol or sex, I would have bet my life savings that sex would be the one banned. I’m shocked that it’s allowed, although I’m not against banning XXX businesses either. I’m just amazed the conservatives in the area would allow it.

Hopefully this Sam Adams Summer Mix Pack and a Michigan Baseball win will have me feeling better about that gross injustice sometime soon.