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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

City of Gold (2015)

IMDB
City of Gold (2015): Food critic Jonathan Gold explores LA's diverse ethnic food. Gave me a new appreciation for LA as a great city. C+

Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Impression of the Candidates

The Richardson Republican Women held a candidate forum Tuesday evening at JJ Pearce High School for both city council (CoR) and school board (RISD) elections. Eight candidates are new to CoR and RISD. Three newcomers are running for city council, five for school board.

In my judgment, all of the candidates in contested races, incumbents and challengers alike, would be positive forces for the community. They all appeared to be driven by a desire to serve. I didn't detect any ideology-driven agendas. The Richardson community (city and school district) should appreciate how unusual and valuable that is in today's political climate.

That said...here are my initial impressions of the new candidates. Incumbents we should already know.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

POTD: Rowboats on the Potomac

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alexandria, Virginia: historic, walkable, beautiful.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where Went Richardson's Neighborhoods?

Remember the good old days before the Richardson City Council abandoned discussion of neighborhoods in its biennial goals statements and its annual State of the City addresses? You know, like this excerpt from the 2011-2013 Statement of Goals:
  • Support neighborhoods in their development of Homeowner and Neighborhood Associations and other community-based organizations such as Crime Watches, Crime Patrols, and Beautification Committees.
  • Promote a well-informed network of Homeowner and Neighborhood Associations and encourage constructive dialogue between this network, residents, and the City.
  • Develop and maintain community vitality and neighborhood integrity strategies to foster, preserve and promote desirable neighborhoods within the City.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cameraperson (2016)

IMDB
Cameraperson (2016): Decades of outtakes from documentaries all shot by one person. Like watching 10 movies at once. Oddly compelling. C+

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pete Sessions Faces His Constituents


Representative Pete Sessions (TX 32) held a townhall meeting at Richardson High School Saturday afternoon. It was a full house. The mood was decidedly different from his townhall meetings of 2009 and 2010.

In 2009, the mood was decidedly Tea Party. Attendees ranged from the young man with a "John Galt" name tag to an old man marching down the center aisle with a sign reading, "Euthanize Obama 'Care' Not Our Seniors". The earnest woman at the microphone who said, "I don't have health insurance" was met with a shout from the audience, "Get a job."

In 2010, it was Pete Sessions himself who provided most of the Tea Party positions. His take on the Affordable Care Act was that "the legislation was designed to inflict as much damage as needed to kill the free enterprise system," and "America's days as a superpower are over." Sessions's opposition to ACA was greeted with cheers.

In March, 2017, the mood is angry again, but this time angry with Pete Sessions, not Barack Obama. Angry with him for his support for repealing Obamacare, for his neglect in investigating President Trump's ties to Russia, for his support for cutting a range of federal programs, for this and more. Signs were everywhere, almost all in opposition to Pete Sessions.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Man Called Ove (2015)

IMDB
A Man Called Ove (2015): Local curmudgeon and how he became one. Swedish tale of loneliness and grief. Humor and pathos. Saab or Volvo? B-

Thursday, March 16, 2017

POTD: Palais des congrès de Montréal

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Palais des congrès de Montréal. And with it we bid a colorful and fond adieu to Canada.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

IMDB
Kong: Skull Island (2017): No Empire State Bldg. No Beauty & the Beast. More like "Kong: Apocalypse Now." Lots of CGI monsters. No heart. C+

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

POTD: Leave Nothing But Footprints

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. It appears lots of people took literally the old hiking rules: Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Angie Chen Button Back Stabs the Blue

From Facebook

There were a couple of curious Facebook posts last week by the Richardson Police Officers' Association FOP Lodge 105. The first, since deleted:
This is a Bill filed today by our very own State Rep Angie Chen Button. It is a direct attack against us and every other Police and Fire Association in Texas. She asked for, and received, both ours and the Richardson Fire Associations support in her last election. This is how we are thanked. We weren't even consulted about this bill. We are very disappointed to say the least.
Source: Facebook.
Angie Chen Button is the Republican state representative for parts of Richardson and Garland. The bill referred to is HB 3540, relating to "financial reporting requirements for certain labor organizations; creating new criminal offenses; imposing an administrative penalty."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Life, Animated (2016)

IMDB
Life, Animated (2016): Doc. of autistic boy who finds his voice in Disney movies. Matures to independent life. Sad & joyous at same time. B-











Thursday, March 9, 2017

Miss Sharon Jones! (2016)

IMDB
Miss Sharon Jones! (2016): Documentary of soul singer (whom I didn't know) and her fight with cancer. Open, revealing, fun, fearless. B-











Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tower (2016)

IMDB
Tower (2016): 1st person accounts of UT tower shooting. Victims. Heroes. Witnesses. Gripping. Best part? No time devoted to the killer. B-

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

POTD: Le Village Gai

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is also of Rue Sainte-Catherine in Montreal, but miles farther to the east than yesterday's POTD. If Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest isn't more than enough riches for one city, the east end of the street is home to "Le Village," the largest gay village in North America in terms of area.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Monday, March 6, 2017

POTD: Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day looks down Rue Sainte-Catherine, the main shopping street of downtown Montreal. What you see in this photo is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. "The street runs parallel to the largest segments of Montreal's underground city. The series of interconnected office tower basements and shopping complexes that make up this main thoroughfare lie immediately north of the street."

Sunday, March 5, 2017

OTBR: Woomagarma

Latitude: S 35° 52.830
Longitude: E 147° 15.114

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".

Friday, March 3, 2017

POTD: Fresh Fruit

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Place Jacques-Cartier, a great public square in a great North American city, Montreal. The selection of fresh fruit poses a delicious dilemma for this young girl, much like the opportunities abounding in this walkable city pose a delightful dilemma for every tourist.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Vouchers Arise out of White Resistance

Repeat tweets from February, 2017:
  • Feb 3 2017: "Vouchers arise out of white resistance to school desegregation, and these movements thrive in biracial districts." lakehighlands.advocatemag.com
  • Feb 8 2017: Fences (2016): Denzel Washington in a Willy Loman role, raising questions about what it means to be a husband, father, man. Oscar-worthy. A+
  • Feb 8 2017: MT @RichardsonToday: "A portion of the State of the City Address focused on how Richardson is in a strong financial position." Please link to a YouTube clip showing the portion of State of the City address that focused on Richardson's neighborhoods. If you can.
  • Feb 9 2017: Gleason (2016) Documentary of former NFL player with ALS. Raw and relentless as real life, clichéd as movie. Needs more of wife's story. C+

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

POTD: The Pulpit

From 2016 09 10 Montreal
Today is Ash Wednesday. Appropriate for this religious day, today's photo-of-the-day is of the pulpit in the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Now Kindness is a Dirty Word, Too

The Richardson ISD celebrated "Kindness Day" Friday, February 24. It was the brainchild of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. By most accounts, it was a rousing success. Most accounts. According to some, "Kindness Day" is a leftist plot.
My take is that kindness day is clearly a (attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors...strongly tied to SEL) program that indoctrinates kids...that students are to avoid saying anything "intolerant" that might offend the diversity and inclusion snowflake crowd. Kindness day is the subtle way for K-12 to impose the sort of leftist speech codes that we observe on college campuses.
So, add kindness to the list of motherhood and apple pie virtues that I used to think were non-controversial. Virtues like tolerance and compromise and civility all have come under attack from conservatives. What I thought made American democracy great is being surely dismantled, virtuous brick by virtuous brick.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Great Wall (2016)

IMDB
The Great Wall (2016): Mercenaries fight monsters less scary than a horde of roaches. Western greed vs Chinese trust. Stunning visuals. C+

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Wheel Award for Excellence in Motion Pictures

The Academy Awards will be given out Sunday evening. This will be the first time in history that I've seen all the nominees for Best Picture before the Oscar is awarded. That means my opinion means something. Right? All in all, 2016 had a good crop of movies, better than the choices in 2015. "La La Land" is the heavy favorite for Best Picture, but four or even five of the movies deserve consideration.

My ranking is based on the grades I gave the movies immediately after seeing them. In case of ties, I ordered them by my considered judgment today. Note this is not my prediction of which movie will win, but which I would vote for, had I a vote.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jackie (2016)

IMDB
Jackie (2016): Partly gut-wrenching, partly ghoulish. I remember 1963. I remember her dignity. For me it will always be too soon. A-

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

POTD: Happily Ever After

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. The happy couple is unidentified.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Arrival (2016)

IMDB
Arrival (2016): Talking to aliens is hard. So is talking to each other. But Amy Adams has a gift. Non-linear thinking is key, somehow. ?? B-











Monday, February 20, 2017

Candidates in Upcoming Local Elections

The deadline has passed for filing to run for Richardson City Council. The deadline has passed for filing to run for two of the three seats on the RISD school board up for election this year. The third seat, an open seat to fill the remaining term of Kris Oliver, has a deadline to file of March 6. So the races are (mostly) set for the May 6, 2017, election. So far, things have played out as expected.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: The Oddfits

The Oddfits
Amazon
From The Oddfits, by Tiffany Tsao:
Open quote 

The boy was clearly and unmistakably oddfitting. Oddfittingness emanated from his every pore; it enveloped him like a cloud; it hung on him and exceeded him as if it were a baggy, oversized T-shirt that came all the way down to his scrawny little ankles."

An odd boy must decide whether to abandon his home and go on a Quest to explore an odd fantasy world. Easy. Short. Odd.

After the jump, my review.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

IMDB
Hacksaw Ridge (2016): Every war movie cliché in the genre, including slow-motion combat porn. But Desmond Doss was a real-life hero. B-











Wednesday, February 15, 2017

POTD: Cultivating Her Garden

From 2016 09 09 Quebec City

"We must cultivate our garden," Candide said in reaction to scenes of human cruelty in Voltaire's famous novel. Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Rue du Petit Champlain in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, where a nun appears to take Voltaire to heart.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lion (2016)

IMDB
Lion (2016): Boy in India gets lost, raised in Australia, yearns for home. Boy, man, India, Australia, both families, all real & moving. A+











Monday, February 13, 2017

CAFR: Those Pesky "Deferred Outflows"

For city finance wonks, Christmas comes twice a year: once in August when the city budget is set and again in February when the city financial audit is published. The budget specifies the city's cash flow (its planned revenues and expenses). The financial audit details the city's assets (the value of city property, bank accounts, etc.) and its liabilities (outstanding debt, pension obligations, etc.).

Consider this a layman's adventure into the netherworld of municipal accounting, otherwise known as the CAFR. Fun fact: CAFR happens to be the abbreviation of a Latin phrase that means, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here." (Warning: I have the same lack of training in Latin as in accounting). Open the door and you'll be lured into a spider's web of terms and numbers that will bring you down and overwhelm you and smother you. Last warning: run away!

After the jump, the descent begins into this year's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the City of Richardson.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Welcome to Braggsville

Welcome to Braggsville
Amazon
From Welcome to Braggsville, by T. Geronimo Johnson:
Open quote 

It's not that the Davenports had never had black people around their house before, or even a Chinese guy once, but never a Malaysian who looked Chinese to some and Indian to others, fancied himself black at times, and wanted to be the next Lenny Bruce Lee; a preppy black football player who sounded like the president and read Plato in Latin; and a white woman who occasionally claimed to be Native American. They were like an overconstructed novel, each representative of some cul-de-sac of idiolect and stereotype, missing only a handicapped person — No! At Berkeley we say handi-capable person — and a Jew and a Hispanic, and an Asian not of the subcontinent, Louis always said."

Those four diverse characters are the self-identified "Four Little Indians." They meet at UC-Berkeley and travel together to rural Georgia on school break. An "incident" there changes all their lives.

After the jump, my review.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gleason (2016)

IMDB
Gleason (2016): Documentary of former NFL player with ALS. Raw and relentless as real life, clichéd as movie. Needs more of wife's story. C+











Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fences (2016)

IMDB
Fences (2016): Denzel Washington in a Willy Loman role, raising questions about what it means to be a husband, father, man. Oscar-worthy. A+











Tuesday, February 7, 2017

OTBR: South Mountain Creamery

Latitude: N 39° 27.918
Longitude: W 077° 36.498

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, February 6, 2017

POTD: This Guy Needs a Beer

Click for a panorama
Today's photo-of-the-day is a panorama from the Liberty of the Seas, a cruise ship out of Galveston that cruises the Western Caribbean. Click on the photo to see a 360 degree panorama of the ship at sea...and see the unidentified guy who, self-admittedly, needs a beer.

Friday, February 3, 2017

POTD: Rue du Petit Champlain

From 2016 09 09 Quebec City
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Rue du Petit Champlain in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. A walkable street in a walkable city.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Main Street Mixed-Use

The City of Richardson announced that it had approved a mixed-use development in old downtown Richardson.

A proposed mixed-use development at the northeast corner of Central Expressway and Main Street was approved unanimously by the City Council Monday. The 14.5-acre development will include residential, commercial and restaurant space. It is the first significant private sector development in the downtown area since the adoption of the Main Street/Central Expressway Form Based Code last year...A highlight of the development is the mixed-use portion planned for the corner of Main and Interurban streets. In addition to 15,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, it will have multifamily units located above the retail space, surrounding private courtyards, and a 700-space parking garage, which will be shared with tenants from the Chase Bank building. Immediately to the north of the mixed-use area will be townhomes with private yards and garage parking. The for-lease units will be two or three stories each and average 1,800 square feet per unit.
After the jump, why I am cautiously optimistic.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Conspiracy Theorists

Repeat tweets from January, 2017:
  • Jan 1 2017: Am I wrong in thinking that conspiracy theorists are the kind of people most likely to not recognize irony or sarcasm?
  • Jan 2 2017: More bowl game teams than not have serious off-field reasons for me to want them to lose. Why isn't there a "Good Guys Bowl"?
  • Jan 2 2017: Penn State had worst play calling in their last two possessions. Three runs and a punt, then a run and two crazy passes. Deserved to lose.
  • Jan 5 2017: Rogue One (2016): A rollicking fun adventure...just like all the others. Fighting an authoritarian regime has new relevance in 2017. Sad! C-

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Beauty and the Beast at BHS


Beauty and the Beast at BHS: Superb voices (leads and chorus), production numbers ("Be My Guest"), comedic acting, backed by a great pit!

Bonus photos after the jump.