Gay hiking

I’d rather be hiking or doing laundry than being stuck in the metaverse

Regarding “Take a hike. No seriously. It just might set the tone for your best year yet. (January 20): Thanks for the article on hiking in Houston. Yesterday my wife and I took advantage of the cold weather to hike 7 miles along Keegans Bayou southwest of Houston. He showed us country clubs and golf courses, abandoned houses and lean-tos in the woods, a small waterfall (!) at the confluence of Brays and Keegan, red-shouldered hawks, RV parks, junkyards, swimming pools, graffiti, highways and taco trucks, all part of the Houston scene.

Thanks to Bayou Greenways, Houston Parks, and the Harris County Flood Control District for maintaining these trails for everyone. It’s been a silver lining during those weird pandemic years. Although we have lived in Houston for more than 25 years, we are only just getting to know the city through its many trails.

M. K. Johns, Houston

Regarding “So What’s All The Hype About The Metaverse” (January 23): My sister and I had just discussed the challenges keeping up with technology posed to our elderly parents and we both expressed a desire to try to avoid their fate. But we both admitted to not really understanding bitcoin, NFTs and “the metaverse”.

I’m not a luddite and I don’t have any technical difficulties yet. I’m a NASA engineer who stays cognitively and professionally with much younger colleagues. But the main takeaway from this article is that the metaverse is an elaborate game that will give mankind another appealing reason to get stuck on the couch engaging in some fantasy game rather than creating something tangible, enjoying nature, exercising, interacting In Real Life (IRL, as the kids say) with friends and family, reading a book or doing laundry. We really don’t need more insidious ways to trick people into being less active, less productive, less socially connected…and less interesting. Do we?

Maybe I’m more of a dinosaur than I thought, because I don’t get it.

Susan Hanley, Houston

Vote

Regarding “Editorial: Hundreds of Ballots Rejected? The new Texas “poll” is working as expected. (January 21): I’m 81 and have never failed to vote in an election in Texas. However, I would have missed this one if I hadn’t read Joanna Pasternak’s letter to the editor and your editorial. I vote by mail because of my age. I have always relied on the Harris County Elections Office to send me a ballot request. I had no idea that I had to call or email the polling station to get a ballot request. Even if I had known I had to take the matter into my own hands to do so, I wouldn’t have known the phone number or email address to do so. That number is 713-755-6965 and the email is [email protected] I called and have a vote request on the way to me. Thank you very much for the information. Shame on Texas lawmakers for being so mean to old people like me.

Jeanne Mayo, Houston

Regarding “It’s long overdue for Texas to allow online registration” (January 22): In a few very clear words, Senator Carol Alvarado explained several points that I was unsure of, and most likely other people as well. With all the Machiavellian maneuvers imposed on us by the most powerful people at the state level, we are dizzy. They work so hard to limit voting in Texas that they tried to stop us from using the little detail of “giving residents the option to register to vote when they renew their driver’s license.” Thank goodness they were “found in violation of the nation’s voter registration law.”

Thank you Senator Alvarado. Do not think for a minute that we will forget all your efforts.

Brando Halsey Toy, Houston

The Chronicle editorial certainly poses an interesting question. Where indeed are the GOP efforts? The straightforward answer is untraceable and with nothing on the horizon. Driving this inaction is the grassroots movement of former President Trump’s most zealous supporters toward autocracy, where voting is now made more difficult for minorities, members of LGBTQ communities are pushed to the sidelines, women are deprived of freedom of choice, books are banned from libraries and school curricula are reduced to only topics that fit a white nationalist/authoritarian narrative.

Marty AdamsHouston

Sunday’s editorial regarding the Republican primary for the Texas Railroad Commission incorrectly stated that candidate Sarah Stogner’s campaign was being funded by a client embroiled in a protracted dispute with the Commission. Stogner represents the landowner and lives on his land, but self-finances his campaign.