Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017): Redneck Oceans 11, where NASCAR not Vegas is the target. Decent fun if you bring enough suspension of disbelief. B-

Monday, August 21, 2017

Local Evidence that Demography is Destiny

When looking at Schooldigger.com school performance numbers, I fell back on a story of demographics to explain why the Richardson ISD has some of the highest performing schools in the state *and* some of the lowest performing. Same school district. Same policies. Same curriculum. Same central administration. But widely differing results. Different demographics, I said.

I was confident my story wasn't a fairy tale, but I didn't bother backing it up with more than just a couple of quick data points. I believe that it's a good personal habit to challenge one's own preconceptions now and then. Because sometimes I'm wrong. (I know. Hard to believe.) So I did my homework.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Transforming Fashion

It's the last weekend to catch the Dallas Museum of Art's exhibit Tranforming Fashion featuring designs by Iris van Herpen. These dresses are bold, sure, but I just can't see them "transforming fashion." No woman is going to be wearing anything that looks like any of these dresses. Sci-fi aliens, on the other hand, maybe. High fashion will probably come to use the technology van Herpen used, like 3-D printing, but it will be put to more practical styles than seen here. It's still great fun.

Coincidentally, Season 16 of Project Runway premiered this week. I have to admit, it's my guilty pleasure. I haven't picked a favorite this season yet, but I'm forever on Team Mondo.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oh, Hello on Broadway (2017)

Oh, Hello on Broadway (2017): Comic duo plays two old NY friends. Mix of skits and standup. Relentlessly paced, eventually tiresome. C-

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

The Incredible Jessica James (2017): Aspiring playwright after a breakup. Works with kids. She's complicated. Light, fun, believable. B-

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

War Machine (2017)

War Machine (2017): Afghanistan war. Mash of history, satire, tragedy. Brad Pitt is miscast. Mannerisms more Forrest Gump than general. B-

Monday, August 14, 2017

Richardson's Budget - Black or Red?

It's August and that means it's time for Richardson budget roulette. Will the proposed city budget be balanced? You'd think that would be a simple question. Isn't the city required by law to have a balanced budget? Well, yes, but it all depends on the meaning of "balanced".

Last year when I looked at this question, I concluded that the city's 2016-2017 budget was indeed balanced and didn't require use of that sneaky asterisk ("plus reserved fund balance and other financing sources").

After the jump, reviewing that conclusion and looking ahead at 2017-2018.