Friday, June 23, 2017

POTD: Honoring Those Who Served in WWII

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces who served during World War II. Today, these veterans' ranks are rapidly diminishing with age. In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 372 World War II veterans were dying every day (Wikipedia).

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Café Society (2016)

IMDB
Café Society (2016): Nostalgic '30s Hollywood & NY clubs & parties. Golden cinematography. Typical Woody Allen dialog. Watchable trifle. B-











Wednesday, June 21, 2017

POTD: Neenah Everywhere

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Washington, DC. Don't just look up at the monuments, look down at your feet, too. No matter where you are, the chances are good that, stamped in iron, the name of Neenah, Wisconsin, will be there, even at the base of the Washington Monument. The Neenah Foundry has been manufacturing cast iron manhole covers, gratings, and similar items since 1872 for use all over the country and world.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Beginning of the End for DART

With the runoffs to Dallas City Council races over, three incumbents were defeated. There are, perhaps, many reasons to cheer the overturning of the old guard in Dallas. But the future of DART for Richardson is not one of them.

As reported in December, 2016, the Dallas city council voted unanimously on a resolution that did not include the Cotton Belt line as one of its transit priorities. Then, it named Patrick Kennedy to the DART board. Kennedy is opposed to converting the Cotton Belt line to passenger service from Richardson to the DFW Airport. I concluded with, "Richardson is going to have a fight on its hands to get that Cotton Belt line developed." Developments since then have only gotten worse. It's not just the Cotton Belt line at risk, but the whole DART system.

Monday, June 19, 2017

POTD: Let's Go Fly a Kite

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria
A belated Happy Father's Day to all fathers. Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Washington Monument in Washington, DC., where a father is flying an eagle-shaped kite with his two girls.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Heathers: The Musical at PHS


Heathers: The Musical at PHS: Cliques, bullies, damaged kids. Black comedy with a body count. Meaty subject for high school. Powerful.

Another photo after the jump.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

IMDB
Fantastic Beasts (2016): Magical suitcase mixup in 1920s NYC. Hogwarts meets Jumanji, Ghostbusters, Alien & MIB. See any of them instead. C-











Wednesday, June 14, 2017

POTD: Congress In Her Hand

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Washington, DC, where for a brief moment, Ellen held Congress in her hand. All in all, a better arrangement that maybe should have been made permanent.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Passengers (2016)

IMDB
Passengers (2016): Think Robinson Crusoe in space. Or The Martian with fewer challenges to solve. Or a love story with a jerk of a guy. C-











Monday, June 12, 2017

The Future of Education

As always, society is engaged in a great battle for the future. Education is ground zero. The New York Times reports on how the heads of tech giants like Netflix, Facebook, and Salesforce are using philanthropy to try to improve education.
In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.

Friday, June 9, 2017

POTD: No Glory

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the streets of Alexandria, Virginia.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (2017)

IMDB
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (2017): In Egypt, Russia, even America, democracy retreats. Here, it's Hong Kong. Hope lies in youth. B+











Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OTBR: Blueberries and Stones in the Czech Republic

Latitude: N 49° 07.494
Longitude: E 015° 15.450

A child on a road trip with his family asks, "Where are we?" and the father answers, "Let's check the map. We're off the blue roads [the Interstate Highways marked in blue on the road atlas]. We're off the red roads [the US and state highways]. We're off the black roads [the county highways]. I think we're off the map altogether." It was always my dream to be off the map altogether.

After the jump, a few of the random places (and I mean random literally) that I visited vicariously (not actually) last month that are "off the blue roads".

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

IMDB
Wonder Woman (2017): Best. Superhero. Ever. Movie is smart, funny, romantic, even believable for a comic book movie. Please, no sequels. B+











Monday, June 5, 2017

Richardson Needs Inclusionary Zoning

The Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze scolds the Dallas City Council for trying to drive poor people to the suburbs by restricting low-income housing options in the city. He supports instead what is called inclusionary zoning.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has made inclusionary zoning the centerpiece of an ambitious affordable-housing program. It’s basically a win-win bargaining tool for cities dealing with developers who want to build more units on one piece of land than the law allows.

We’re talking about zoning law, which is well within the purview of city councils to amend. In other words, the council can change the law at the stroke of a vote and give developers some or all of what they want. Under inclusionary zoning, before the council gives away the company store, it is required to ask for a little something in return for the people in the way of affordable-housing units.
I doubt this will be popular, but if Dallas wants to drive poor people out of their city, cities like Richardson ought to accommodate them.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bob Townsend, 1933-2017


Mayor Voelker honors Bob Townsend

The City of Richardson announced that former Mayor and longtime city council member Bob Townsend passed away.
Townsend was first elected to the City Council in 2001 and served until deciding not to run for re-election earlier this year. His term ended last month. During his time on the Council, Townsend also served as Mayor from 2011-2013, Mayor Pro Tem from 2007-2011 and again from 2013-2015.
To mark the sad occasion, we republish Bob Townsend's responses to questions posed by The Wheel last year in our first (and so far, only) online Town Hall Meeting.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Alien: Covenant (2017)

IMDB
Alien: Covenant (2017): Inept crew, androids and aliens like monkeys in Oz. Exploding bodies. Dripping goo. Joe Bob says check it out. C+











Thursday, June 1, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Iconic Art Space is At Risk

Repeat tweets from May, 2017:

  • May 2 2017: Have you ever been to the UT-Dallas Art Barn? This may be your last chance. The iconic art space is at risk.
  • May 2 2017: The Circle (2017): Telegraphed morality tale about loss of privacy to online big data. Nothing novel here. Watch Black Mirror instead. C-
  • May 3 2017: "James Comey Says He's 'Mildly Nauseous' at Suggestions He Swayed Election." Word nerd alert: Yes he is and he makes me feel nauseated.
  • May 4 2017: Beauty and the Beast (2017): Visual feast but uninspired remake of Disney 1991 animated movie. Most believable beast and love story yet. C+

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

IMDB
Pirates of the Caribbean (2017): Jack Sparrow's an old drunk. Movie franchise is just old. Too many characters. Too many ships. Too much. D+











Tuesday, May 30, 2017

POTD: Politics Gone

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the streets of Alexandria, Virginia.
From before the election.
When America was Great.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy
Amazon
From Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis , by J.D. Vance:
Open quote 

I didn’t write this book because I've accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I've achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn't happen to most kids who grow up like me. You see, I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember. The statistics tell you that kids like me face a grim future—that if they're lucky, they'll manage to avoid welfare; and if they're unlucky, they’ll die of a heroin overdose, as happened to dozens in my small hometown just last year."

I had high expectations from this highly-praised 2016 bestseller. It would explain the mentality of poor and lower working class whites, of Fox News viewers, of Trump voters. Or so I thought.

Friday, May 26, 2017

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

IMDB
What We Do in the Shadows (2014): Mock doc. Cult classic. 4 vampires share a flat and house chores in NZ. Clever concept lacking a plot. C+











Thursday, May 25, 2017

POTD: Cavalier Antiques

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

...or Palace Cleaners. You decide. Today's photo-of-the-day is from the streets of Alexandria, Virginia.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

IMDB
King Arthur (2017): Giant elephants, squids and Kung Fu George in medieval England. Knights with no armor. Over-acted, over-stuffed. D+











Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Show Us Your Privates

To the command "Show us your papers" we can now add "Show us your privates." After previously approving a draconian anti-sanctuary cities bill, the Texas House now has approved a so-called "bathroom" bill with only the fig leaf of an amendment to claim it's not discriminatory. It is. Despite what the legislators might try to have you believe, all you need to know is that the bill keeps transgender students out of bathrooms that match their gender identity.
"If they are biologically considered to be a female, they must use that [facility]," [Chris] Paddie said in laying out this amendment. "Otherwise, there will be accommodations made for them to use a single-occupancy facility."
Source: Texas Tribune.
Local representatives Angie Chen Button, Linda Koop, and Jason Villalba all voted in favor of this discriminatory bill. Sine die can't come soon enough. Neither can Election Day 2018, when I can register my own vote — against legislators who discriminate. We are living in hard times.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Lobster (2015)

IMDB
The Lobster (2015): Hotel where singles get turned into animals. Black comedy with deadpan, robotic style. Watch Black Mirror instead. D+











Friday, May 19, 2017

Snatched (2017)

IMDB
Snatched (2017): Mother/daughter buddy comedy. Amy Schumer gets the good lines, not Goldie Hahn. Better than my low expectations for it. C+











Thursday, May 18, 2017

POTD: PDA in VA

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the streets of Alexandria, Virginia, where a public display of affection brightens the day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Colossal (2016)

IMDB
Colossal (2016): Days of Wine and Roses with big monsters. More a study of alcoholism and codependency than a sci-fi movie. Different. B-











Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review: To Build a Castle

To Build a Castle
Amazon
From To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter, by Vladimir Bukovsky:
Open quote 

Only greenhorns, when they come in for their first stretch, look forward to their release and count the days. Life outside appears to them as some bright, sunny, unattainable shore. But I was in for the fourth time, I knew that there is nothing more disillusioning in life than to be released from jail. I also knew that I had never managed to last longer than a single damned year outside — and never would. Because the reasons that had landed me in jail in the first place would land me there again and again. These reasons were immutable, just as Soviet life itself was immutable, just as you yourself could never change."

This 1979 book is a memoir of one man's run-ins with the KGB, prisons, work camps, and the mental hospitals used to suppress dissent in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s. Given the state of affairs today, I thought it would be a good time to research this earlier time, suddenly relevant again, closer to home.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Surge in Democratic Votes in CoR?

According to "Indivisible Richardson", there was a "223% Increase in Democratic turnout in May 6 election." I think that refers to Collin County races, not the City of Richardson, but if true and if it carried over to Richardson, that might explain Cory Montfort's surprisingly (to me) good showing in her city council race, losing by only 284 votes out of 5,488 total. She didn't explicitly run as a Democrat in this non-partisan race, but if asked she didn't try to hide her party leanings either.

Friday, May 12, 2017

20th Century Women (2016)

IMDB
20th Century Women (2016): Single mom enlists help in raising teen boy in 1979 LA. Great acting. Great evocation of the period. Feminism. B-












Thursday, May 11, 2017

POTD: Repurposing the Old

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alexandria, Virginia. Just a block or so from where George Washington enjoyed a pint or two at Gadsby's Tavern is the King Street Blues, purveyor of comfort food with a Southern accent. Old buildings don't have to be torn down to be saved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

IMDB
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017): Star Wars with more wisecracks and explosions. Same "I am your dad." More Cat Stevens, please. C+











Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Richardson City Council Election Analysis

On Saturday, May 6, Mabel Simpson (Place 4) and Marta Gómez Frey (Place 5) were elected to the Richardson City Council and Paul Voelker was elected as Mayor. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all candidates who volunteered to serve our community.

As opposed to the RISD school board election held the same day, the story here is much simpler to tell. Or so I thought going into election day. Looking back, things were going on under the surface that I was too blind to see.

Monday, May 8, 2017

RISD Election Analysis

On Saturday, May 6, Karen Clardy, Justin Bono, and Kristin Kuhne were elected to the Richardson ISD board of trustees (Bono and Kuhne to three-year terms, Clardy to the two years remaining on the term vacated by Kris Oliver). Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all candidates who volunteered to serve our community.

In the most contested race (Place 7: Kuhne vs Davenport) there were 11,209 votes cast, compared to 10,460 in the other contested race (Place 6: Clardy, Eager, Armstrong, Prado). Contrast both of those totals with the 9,507 votes in 2016 for a bond election. This year's interest was higher than normal, but note that 18,667 voters turned out for the 2011 RISD bond election, so this year's interest was not all that high. Countywide, turnout was only 7.81%. Attribute it to complacency, apathy, hopelessness, or whatever, turnout is low and unhealthy for democracy.

Let's look at the individual races.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The White Helmets (2016)

IMDB
The White Helmets (2016): Documentary short about most admirable men in world - volunteer first responders in Syrian war. Renews hope. A-











Friday, May 5, 2017

OTBR: A Temple in Pearland

Latitude: N 29° 31.362
Longitude: W 095° 17.712

A child on a road trip with his family asks, "Where are we?" and the father answers, "Let's check the map. We're off the blue roads [the Interstate Highways marked in blue on the road atlas]. We're off the red roads [the US and state highways]. We're off the black roads [the county highways]. I think we're off the map altogether." It was always my dream to be off the map altogether.

After the jump, a few of the random places (and I mean random literally) that I visited vicariously (not actually) last month that are "off the blue roads".

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

IMDB
Beauty and the Beast (2017): Visual feast but uninspired remake of Disney 1991 animated movie. Most believable beast and love story yet. C+











Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Good Place for a Coffee Shop

For a long time, I've advocated for more urban, higher density, mixed-use development in places like CityLine and Palisades and Brick Row and Eastside and on and on. And generally, I have been disappointed with the result. At best, we ended up with mostly multi-use (not mixed-use) developments (apartments over here, a strip shopping center over there, and an corporate office campus off in the corner). At worst, we ended up with a 1980s style apartment building without even the claim of mixed-use.

Take, for example, GreenVue apartments on Greenville Avenue between Arapaho and Collins. Within walking distance of a DART station, it was a good location for catalyst mixed-use project. Instead we got a 1980s-style apartment building that was built to be "retail ready." No mixed-use. No retail. No offices. Just four stories of apartments that someday, maybe, can be retrofitted to have some retail. If the market demand ever appears. Sigh.

So is it time to change my mind?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Circle (2017)

IMDB
The Circle (2017): Telegraphed morality tale about loss of privacy to online big data. Nothing novel here. Watch Black Mirror instead. C-











Monday, May 1, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Why Europe Needs the EU

Repeat tweets from April, 2017:

  • Apr 2 2017: RT @Bencjacobs: "Theresa May would go to war to protect Gibraltar, Michael Howard says." Makes you understand why Europe needs the EU.
  • Apr 2 2017: Today is International Fact-checking Day. There are 111,214 fact-checking teams in 11,047 countries.
  • Apr 4 2017: RT @DonMcLeroy: "It's Time for Conservatives to Celebrate This President." Which President? Putin?
  • Apr 5 2017: "Caltech claims first conference win in 29 years." Hooray for student-athletes. Go Beavers.

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Sing for Your Life

Sing for Your Life
Amazon
From Sing for Your Life, by Daniel Bergner:
Open quote 

Each time he left the lobby, passing under the hotel’s marquee and facing Lincoln Center, in the middle of New York City, he felt even less at home. He climbed the broad steps to the Lincoln Center plaza and was surrounded by towering white stone columns that made him think of ancient stadiums—Olympians competing for Zeus’s pleasure and gladiators battling one another for survival. At the far side of the square stood the opera hall. This was the home of the Met, the greatest opera company in the country."

Those are the opening lines of the book. It sounds cliché, but this troubled youth's climb from a broken home across from a crack house to become an opera star with the New York Metropolitan Opera is real. It's a non-fiction story you wouldn't believe if you found it in the fiction section.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Silence (2016)

IMDB
Silence (2016): Persecution of Christians in 1600s Japan. Repetitious torture scenes. Where was God? Passionless. Where was Scorsese? C+











Wednesday, April 26, 2017

RISD Voters Guide - Addendum


Yesterday, I recommended a vote for Kristin Kuhne over Lynn Davenport for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees Place 7. The reason I gave was Kuhne's work with education research non-profit Educate Texas versus Davenport's association with conservative activist Alice Linahan. But judging a candidate by the company she keeps is not fair, unless keeping that company reflects shared attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Wheel's RISD Voters Guide


Election day is Saturday, May 6, 2017. Early voting is underway. I attended multiple candidate forums for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees, so you didn't have to (you're welcome).
I also read the candidates' opinions on a range of topics chosen by The Wheel:
Based on all of that, this is how I decided to fill out my own ballot.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Wheel's CoR Voters Guide


Election day is Saturday, May 6, 2017. Early voting is underway. I attended multiple candidate forums for Richardson City Council so you didn't have to (you're welcome).
I also read the candidates' S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Based on all of that, this is how I decided to fill out my own ballot.

Friday, April 21, 2017

LWV CoR Candidate Forum

On April 20 at the Richardson Civic Center, the LWV-Richardson hosted a candidate forum for the Richardson City Council. Six candidates for the three contested places took part: Cory Montfort, Mabel Simpson (Place 4), Marta Gómez Frey, Kashif Riaz (Place 5), Jared Weadon, Paul Voelker (Mayor).

A few of the questions plowed old ground from forums on March 21 and April 13, but there were some novel and interesting questions (and answers) as well.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

S.M.A.R.T. Goals of City Council Candidates

According to classic management training advice, goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. You know, S.M.A.R.T.

So, I asked the candidates for the Richardson City Council, what one specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goal will you personally champion and seek to have the full city council adopt as a priority for the next two years? Why? (It is great to have several such goals, but for the purposes of this exercise, I asked the candidates to please choose one.)

After the jump, their answers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mohawk RISD Candidate Forum

On April 17 at Mohawk Elementary School, the JJ Pearce HOA, along with three neighboring neighborhood associations, hosted a candidate forum for the Richardson ISD school board candidates. Six candidates for the two contested places took part: Joseph Armstrong, Ben Prado, Karen Clardy, Eric Eager (all for Place 3), and Lynn Davenport, Kristin Kuhne (Place 7).

Most of the questions plowed old ground from forums on March 21 and April 12 — personal resumes, Lake Highlands overcrowding, school choice vouchers, technology in schools, teacher retention. But there's always something new in these forums.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mohawk CoR Candidate Forum

On April 13 at Mohawk Elementary School, the JJ Pearce HOA, along with three other neighborhood associations, hosted a candidate forum for the City of Richardson City Council candidates. Six candidates for the three contested places took part: Cory Montfort, Mabel Simpson (Place 4); Marta Gómez Frey, Kashif Riaz (Place 5); Jared Weadon, Paul Voelker (Mayor).

Monday, April 17, 2017

RISD Candidates on WRE Space Needs

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "White Rock Elementary Space Needs."

Friday, April 14, 2017

LWV RISD Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters of Richardson and the RISD Council of PTAs hosted a candidate forum for the RISD school board candidates Wednesday evening. With only an hour available for six candidates to cover only seven questions, including an opening question (reason for running) and closing statement, it took effort to find something to distinguish the candidates. Nevertheless, I managed, weakly.

RISD Candidates on RISD's PEG Schools

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "RISD's PEG Schools."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

RISD Candidates on Standardized Testing

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "Standardized Testing."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RISD Candidates on Special Education Services

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "Special Education Services."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RISD Candidates on Vouchers for Private Schools

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "Vouchers for Private Schools".

Monday, April 10, 2017

RISD Candidates on School Funding

I asked the candidates for Richardson ISD Board of Trustees their opinions on a range of subjects. To limit bias on my part, I did not phrase the subjects in the form of questions. I invited the candidates to focus on whatever aspect of the subject they think is most important for RISD voters to consider when casting a ballot on May 6. My desire is to publish the candidates' opinions in their own words, so I will post their responses, unedited and without any accompanying editorial comment.

For readability, I've collated the responses by subject and will post the subjects separately. The topic of this post is "School Funding."

Friday, April 7, 2017

POTD: Farewell my fpoufe

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

"John Boyar Departed this Life 19th November 1802."
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Christ Church cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Soul Crushing Suburbia

"Why even driving through suburbia is soul crushing." That's the provocative headline on an insightful article in Quartz by Alex Balashov. Personally, I think the headline ("soul crushing") is over-stated, but almost all twelve points Balashov makes are dead-on. I want to focus on just a couple, because they spotlight problems being repeated as you read this right here in Richardson, in CityLine.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

POTD: George Washington Ate Here

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is of Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia. Yes, George Washington really did eat here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

OTBR: Abandoned House in Iowa

Latitude: N 39° 58.176
Longitude: W 094° 18.120

A child on a road trip with his family asks, "Where are we?" and the father answers, "Let's check the map. We're off the blue roads [the Interstate Highways marked in blue on the road atlas]. We're off the red roads [the US and state highways]. We're off the black roads [the county highways]. I think we're off the map altogether." It was always my dream to be off the map altogether.

After the jump, a few of the random places (and I mean random literally) that I visited vicariously last month that are "off the blue roads".

Monday, April 3, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Two Half-Price Tickets

Repeat tweets from March, 2017:

  • Mar 1 2017: Puzzle: If a contest offers a prize of "two half-price tickets" to some event, how much will the winner have to pay?
  • Mar 1 2017: TIL: Bradford Pear trees are even worse than I thought. "The curse of the Bradford Pear."
  • Mar 2 2017: RT @RichardsonToday: "Print error on page 3 of rec guide in Richardson Today that hit mail boxes today." Best Picture goes to La La Land.
  • Mar 3 2017: "Pence Used AOL Account for State Business as He Complained About Clinton’s Emails." Because of course he did.
  • Mar 7 2017: "Trumpcare breaks every promise Trump made about healthcare." Because of course it does.

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Walter D. Tiedeman, Jr.

Walter D. Tiedeman, Jr.
September 27, 1921 - March 29, 2017
More photos

Walter D. Tiedeman Jr. 95, of Richardson, TX passed away on March 29, 2017. He was a long-time resident of Evansville, IN, moving to Texas in the fall of 2006 to be near his daughter.

Friday, March 31, 2017

POTD: Good Morning, Alexandria

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alexandria, Virginia.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

POTD: Canada Goose in America

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alexandria, Virginia.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Loving (2016)

IMDB
Loving (2016): 1960s racial injustice maddens us all today. When will today's injustice madden us all? ACLU rocks. Movie? Not so much. C+

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Land of Mine (2015)

IMDB
Land of Mine (2015): Young POWs forced to clear land mines in Denmark. WWII Germans get sympathetic treatment! Powerful but predictable. B-

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore
Amazon
From Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami:
Open quote 

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step."

After the jump, my review.