Thursday, November 15, 2018

Free Solo (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Free Solo (2018): Documentary of first free climb of El Capitan. Fascinating look at psyche of a thrill seeker driven to take insane risks. Nice guy, but by watching am I encouraging behavior that could kill him? Should I feel guilty? Still there's that stunning photography. A-









Wednesday, November 14, 2018

POTD: Opera Abstract

From 2018 03 27 Sydney
Today's photo-of-the-day is from Sydney, Australia. Give yourself 50 points if you knew it is a closeup of the Opera House's roof.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

POTD: Beach Bums at Bondi Beach

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Sydney, Australia's Bondi Beach. Sydney has it all — great climate, great harbor, great sights (Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge dominate views), a walkable central business district, and if that's not enough, even a great beach.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Monday, November 12, 2018

POTD: Bike Share in Sydney

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Argyle Cut in Sydney, Australia. In March when we visited there was a booming bike share business in Sydney. Six months later, I can't say. Ofo, the owner of the yellow bike in this photo, has abandoned Sydney "to focus on priority markets internationally." Supposedly, bike share is still available from other companies. But the shakeout from the Wild West days of many companies flooding the streets with bikes appears to have already happened.

Friday, November 9, 2018

RISD TRE: Lessons and Roadmap

In a tax ratification election (TRE), voters in Richardson ISD approved a tax rate increase by a ~7% margin. What should be the takeaways for the RISD board of trustees and district administration?

First and foremost, the district now should have enough revenue to run the schools for the next five years (with or without a solution to the root cause of the problem with school finance at the state level). So, execute. Give teachers that raise. Hire more special ed teachers. Expand Career and Technology programs. Increase security. Do all the things the district said were needed. That's the obvious takeaway. But we now ought to be able to turn our attention to other matters that might have been overlooked while we were focused on solving our local funding problems. I have a few suggestions, some easy, some hard.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

RISD TRE: The Facebook Election

In a tax ratification election (TRE), voters in Richardson ISD approved a tax rate increase by a ~7% margin. In a normal non-partisan May election that would be considered close, but in a November general election where the turnout is eight times as high and tribal politics rule, 7% is a comfortable margin. The outcome was never in doubt once the polls closed and the early vote totals were released.

The TRE passed in all areas of RISD. The precincts that voted "No" were scattered. There was no geographical base of support that controlled the election. Nor was there a base of opposition. The precinct with the highest support had 66% "Yes". The precinct with the lowest support had 34% "Yes." The rest of the precincts were spread evenly between. About half of the precincts voted for the TRE in higher percentages than the overall margin, about half in lower percentages.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

POTD: Clash at Dawes Point

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Dawes Point in Sydney, Australia. The first photo is looking straight up at the lacy leaves of the gum trees on the point. The second photo is looking horizontally at the lacy girders under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Together they clash and mesh in an oddly mesmerizing way. At least for me.

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018): If you like the music of Queen, you'll love this movie. If you like historical accuracy and innovative moviemaking, well, you'll love the music of Queen. Still, it's just a movie. It's a cautionary tale of temperamental genius. But mostly fun. B-

P.S. It's election day in the US. Somehow it's comforting to lose oneself in rock anthems of 40 years ago — especially "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions."








Monday, November 5, 2018

POTD: Climbing Up Down Under

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. Look closely and you can see a dozen or more tourists climbing the bridge. Not us, but we climbed it ourselves later. It's not a strenuous climb, but it takes a long time. You are connected to each other and to the bridge by a safety cable, so there's no danger of falling. On a clear day, you can see forever as they say. Sydney Harbour is one of the world's greatest natural harbors and Harbour Bridge offers the best view of it.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Friday, November 2, 2018

POTD: Opera House or Wind Chime?

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Or is it a wind chime?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Trolling: Dictators

Trolling from October, 2018:

  • Oct 3 2018: RT @iyad_elbaghdadi: "Dictators only truly 'reform' under severe existential pressure. You can't appease them, give them space, give them money, give them world class PR, and *also* expect them to reform. That doesn't happen. That only makes them more dictatorial."
    I read this and honestly thought it was a comment on @realDonaldTrump, not Saudi Arabia.
  • Oct 3 2018: "Expect a 'Presidential Alert' test message at 1:18pm Wednesday."
    If Obama were still president, I'd expect a flurry of crazy theories from the Right. Has anyone on the Left warned that Trump is, e.g., secretly installing listening apps on your phone?
  • Oct 3 2018: Not quite synonyms. When you mean to say "duplication" but instead say "Questions will be screened for duplicity."
  • Oct 4 2018: Trump has brought the country together.
    In Dec 2017, Trump said, The FBI's "reputation is in Tatters - worst in History!"
    In Oct 2018, with the FBI's sham Kavanaugh investigation, Dems agree.
    Win-win for Trump. He has to be pleased. (Putin, too.)

After the jump, more trolling.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

POTD: Table for Three

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

Today's photo-of-the-day is from The Rocks district in Sydney, Australia. It's one of the oldest neighborhoods in Sydney. In the 1970s, it seemed doomed for demolition, to be redeveloped with high rise offices and condos. But a neighborhood group organized and saved it. Renovations have since turned it into a popular, walkable commercial and tourist district.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

mid90s (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
mid90s (2018): Hard-to-love teens slowly show they aren't as tough as they first appear in this slice-of-life look at a dysfunctional environment. The plot never really goes anywhere, but it may still be an important movie for teens and parents to both watch. C+









Monday, October 29, 2018

Cleaning Paint Brushes


The Dallas Museum of Art is currently showing an exhibition, Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty. It's co-organized with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which says, "A Fragile Beauty explores the work of a rebellious artist whose oeuvre embodies a critical, witty, yet rigorous and penetrating critique of the canon of modern art."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Young Frankenstein (RCT)

Repertory Company Theatre
Young Frankenstein (RCT): Mel Brooks's musical comedy on stage in Richardson. Large cast, great singing, dancing, and comic timing. Support local musical theater.









Friday, October 26, 2018

Ozark - Season 2 (TV:2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Ozark - Season 2 (TV:2018): Quiet accountant in the Ozarks launders money for a Mexican drug cartel. It's all about family. If that sounds like "Breaking Bad," well, Ozark lives up to the comparison. Season 2 is darker, more violent, but still all about family (or families). B+









Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Old Man & The Gun (2018): Robert Redford as aging gentleman bandit who robs banks. Again and again. No dramatic arc here. Think of it as "The Sundance Kid in his Sunset." I see Casey Affleck is working again. No arc there, either, in movie or real life. B-





Wednesday, October 24, 2018

POTD: Over the Moon Down Under

From 2018 03 27 Sydney

"Glory to Australia,
down under they say we are,
over the moon am I
with you in the southern land."

— John Williamson

Today's photo-of-the-day is of course from Sydney, Australia. The Opera House is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. And the Moon is, always, out of this world. Sydney Harbor was a wonderful place for "L" and me to end our own stay Down Under.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Forever (TV:2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Forever (TV:2018): Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in a light drama that explores a mundane marriage and the prospect of it lasting forever. Afterlife without religion. Quiet desperation on her part. Cluelessness on his. Original, quiet, quirky, mildly thought-provoking. B-









Monday, October 22, 2018

The Company He Keeps

The Richardson ISD is asking voters to approve a tax increase. I am voting YES for many reasons that I've been spelling out in previous blog posts. This post is not going to add to the reasons to "Vote YES." Instead, this post takes a look at the organized "Vote NO" side, specifically its political action committee (PAC) treasurer, Chris McNutt, and the company he keeps.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Bad Times at the El Royale (2018): A sketchy hotel's worth of sketchy guests, each with secrets. It's a mystery, a thriller, film noir, whatever, but it's great fun to figure out who's who and who will survive the night. Ending drags once everything is figured out. B+








Friday, October 19, 2018

Reason #3: Do It For the Teachers

The Richardson ISD is asking voters to approve a tax increase. I am voting YES for many, many reasons, but there are some that, all by themselves, are enough to convince me to vote YES.

Reason #3: Do It For the Teachers

Thursday, October 18, 2018

POTD: Miss Fortune

From 2018 03 25 Cairns

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Kuranda, a village high in the tropical rainforest above Cairns in northern Queensland. It is a photo of the crashed plane cleverly named "Miss Fortune". Built during World War II, it was stationed in Australia, where it was popularly called Geronimo. After the war, it was transferred to commercial use, where it was called Cunningham and flew the first DC-3 service from Melbourne to Adelaide. It flew a variety of routes for a succession of airlines until it was withdrawn from service in 1976 and scavenged for spare parts. It later starred as "Miss Fortune" in the 1986 movie "Sky Pirates", when it was painted in World War II olive drab and was crashed into the sea for a movie scene. After that demise, the hulk was rescued from the sea, transported on three semi-trailers and put on display in Kuranda, where it sits today, being slowly reclaimed by the jungle.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

First Man (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
First Man (2018): Neil Armstrong is too cold and distant to carry a movie. Space scenes are claustrophobic, not sweeping. I wanted to relive the thrill I remember from my youth but this movie never gets off the ground. More of Claire Foy's Janet Armstrong story please. B-









Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Reason #2: State's Share Is Going Down

The Richardson ISD is asking voters to approve a tax increase. I am voting YES for many, many reasons, but there are some that, all by themselves, are enough to convince me to vote YES.

Reason #2: State's Share Is Going Down

Monday, October 15, 2018

POTD: Queensland after a Cyclone

From 2018 03 25 Cairns

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Queensland, Australia, as Cyclone Nora was dumping tons of rain. On the minus side, the cyclone made for very soggy conditions for sight-seeing. On the plus side, it made for very wild conditions for sight-seeing. The first photo is from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway we rode up from Cairns on the coast to Kuranda, a picturesque village high in the rainforest. The cableway is strung along the Barron River. The cyclone ensured that Barron Falls, shown in the bonus photos, was at its raging best.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Reason #1: Not "Good" and No Longer "Enough"

The Richardson ISD is asking voters to approve a tax increase. I am voting YES for many, many reasons, but there are some that, all by themselves, are enough to convince me to vote YES.

Reason #1: Not "Good" and No Longer "Enough"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Growth and Infrastructure

The City of Richardson's planning and zoning commission approved the long promised "Town Central" development on the land surrounding the Chase Bank building on Main Street in downtown Richardson.
Called Town Central, the planned project includes 430 apartments and townhomes, more than 20,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, parking garages and open space. ... Paris Rutherford, principal with Catalyst Urban Development, told the planning commission. "This will be equivalent of kind of a Bishop Arts District feel."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Simple Favor (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
A Simple Favor (2018): A fun mystery/thriller that keeps you guessing (and smiling) throughout. Is anyone who they say they are? Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively make for an instant movie classic odd couple. A-









Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Star is Born (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
A Star is Born (2018): After seeing too many mediocre films, I was ready for something good. Third remake doesn't lose a thing. Two stars on opposite trajectories in a classic tragedy. Convincing portrayal of addiction. Biggest surprise? Lady Gaga can act as well as sing. A-









Monday, October 8, 2018

Guess Who Steals Political Yard Signs?

Like Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, it's that time of year again. You know, political yard sign stealing season. It happens to both sides. Neither side gains anything by it. A woman on Nextdoor complained that her Ted Cruz sign was stolen and someone else responded, I assume tongue-in-cheek: "Imagine how many people may not vote for him now that your sign is missing."

It's as predictable as falling leaves and as futile to stop. All that really happens is that victims become even more partisan. So I'm not going to tell you it's not helpful to your candidate (IT'S NOT HELPFUL) or tell you not to do it (DON'T DO IT!). I'm just going to repeat an evergreen story (a true one — the kind that makes for the best old stories) that shows how cheaters never prosper (just kidding — "The good guys always win" is a movie trope that doesn't apply in real life).

Friday, October 5, 2018

POTD: BATS!

From 2018 03 25 Cairns

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the central business district of Cairns, Queensland, Australia, where a large colony of fruit bats, aka flying foxes, makes its home. They hang out in trees during the day (literally) and take wing in large numbers at dusk.

The flying foxes are controversial. Some argue that they are dirty and disease-ridden and their presence in the city is unnatural and ways should be found to encourage them to relocate to surrounding forest and swamps. Others believe they are an asset to the city and should be accommodated. We didn't take sides. We just took photos.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

RISD TRE Information Meeting at BHS

The Richardson ISD held another of many information meetings about the upcoming Tax Ratification Election. The meeting was held at Berkner High School. I was there live-tweeting the show. What follows are my tweets, with only the most cursory proofreading. If I heard wrong or garbled what I heard, that's on me. Don't blame the RISD without checking your own sources first. Here, you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Escaping the Poverty Trap

The story is from The New York Times. It's about Seattle...and Memphis and Minneapolis. But it could be about Dallas...and Richardson.
SEATTLE — The part of this city east of Northgate Mall looks like many of the neighborhoods that surround it, with its modest midcentury homes beneath dogwood and Douglas fir trees.

Whatever distinguishes this place is invisible from the street. But it appears that poor children who grow up here — to a greater degree than children living even a mile away — have good odds of escaping poverty over the course of their lives.

Believing this, officials in the Seattle Housing Authority are offering some families with housing vouchers extra rent money and help to find a home here.
After the jump, a look at Richardson.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

POTD: The Not-So-Great Barrier Reef

From 2018 03 25 Cairns

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, it doesn't show the beautiful colors of the reef or its sea life. Sadly, due to global warming, that color and sea life is only a shadow of its former glory. I asked a guide how much of the reef at our particular spot was dead and was told, "about 70%." The reef stretches 1,400 miles and is composed of almost 3,000 individual reefs, so making sweeping generalizations after visiting just one particular spot of one particular reef is not indicative of what it's like everywhere, but word is it's not a pretty story, and it's only getting worse as ocean temperatures continue to rise. So, instead of treating you to a photo of the beautiful colors of the reef and its sea life, instead you get a photo of the beautiful colors of the snorklers who came to see the beautiful colors of the reef and almost certainly left disappointed. At least I did.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Trolling: "Beto Will Lose"

Trolling from September, 2018:
  • Sep 3 2018: RT @Redistrict: "Prediction: after all the hype, Beto will lose the epic 2018 TX Senate race by 1%, then settle for the 2020 Dem presidential nomination as a consolation prize."
    1. Beto losing by 1% is a prediction right in the margin of error.
    2. Predicting 2020 ahead of the 2018 mid-terms is a crap shoot.
    3. Winning the 2020 Dem presidential nomination is hard to imagine if he loses.
  • Sep 4 2018: Empower Texans. Remember the name. Anything published by Empower Texans is not done in good faith. Be on the watch for the billionaire.
  • Sep 4 2018: Eat Pray Vote.

After the jump, more trolling.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Going in Style (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
Going in Style (2017): Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin as seniors facing money problems who decide to rob a bank. Not an original line or scene in the movie, but these actors are still fun to watch. C+









Thursday, September 27, 2018

POTD: Dot Painting in the Outback

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Ayers Rock Resort in the Australian Outback. It shows Ellen exhibiting her artistic skills making a dot painting. There's no souvenir finer than one you make yourself. It's not just a pretty painting. Ask her to explain her symbolism.

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

POTD: A Toast to Kata Tjuta

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Kata Tjuta (aka the Olgas), a rock formation near Australia's Uluru (aka Ayers Rock). Kata Tjuta is equally impressive but much less well known.

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs
Ellen wearing a fly net


From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs
Reason why a fly net is desirable

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

POTD: Please Don't Climb Uluru

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock). It shows the track by which countless tourists have climbed to the top of the rock. Traditional owners have put up signs asking tourists to respect native law and culture by not climbing, but climbing is not outright prohibited...yet. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management has decided to close the climb to the top of Uluru on October 26, 2019. But don't rush to climb before that date. How about just respecting the local culture which holds Uluru sacred.


Monday, September 24, 2018

POTD: Uluru Up Close

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock). It's not the classic distance photo, which makes Uluru look like a big rock surrounded by desert. If you get up close to Uluru, the experience is different. There are stands of gum trees and glades with water holes and an altogether pleasant environment.

Friday, September 21, 2018

POTD: Field of Light Uluru

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock) at dawn. Uluru is forever. The "Field of Light" in the foreground is fleeting. It's a temporary exhibit by artist Bruce Munro. Its website says, "Overwhelming in size, covering more than seven football fields, it invites immersion in its fantasy garden of 50,000 spindles of light, the stems breathing and swaying through a sympathetic desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white." Its run has been extended until December 31, 2020.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

POTD: Obligatory Uluru Photo

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock), the rock that every tourist to Australia has on their bucket list. Check.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

POTD: Mount Conner

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Outback, on the highway south of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, on the way to Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock). No, that's not Uluru in the background. It's Mount Conner, or as tour guides sometimes have to tell tourists, Mount "No, not Uluru". The soil here shows why pictures of Uluru often show it as bright red.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

POTD: Lot for Sale

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Outback, on the highway south of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, where an optimistic real estate developer looks to have marked out lots for sale. This really should have been a 360 degree photo, as the landscape is the same in all directions. If you dream of a house without having to put up with neighbors, this could be the lot for you to build on.

Monday, September 17, 2018

POTD: A Town Like Alice

From 2018 03 21 Alice Springs

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. The distance from my home to Alice Springs is 9,300 miles. It's a little farther to Jakarta, Indonesia, and farther still to Perth, Australia, but that's about it. South Africa, India, China, even Antarctica are not as far away. Besides actually being so far away, Alice Springs also seems so far away because it's so isolated even from other Australian cities. If you want to get away from it all, it would be hard to find a better place than Alice Springs.

Friday, September 14, 2018

POTD: The Great Ocean Road

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

If you visit Australia, you have to see the four greats: the Great Barrier Reef (sadly, a victim of global warming), the Great Dividing Range (more like hills, but you can ski there in winter), the Great Australian Desert (aka the Outback), and the Great Ocean Road (one of the world's most scenic ocean highways on the south coast of Australia).

Bonus photos after the jump.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

POTD: Cowes, Australia

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Cowes, Victoria, located on Phillip Island in southern Australia. It's a seaside town, similar to seaside towns the world over, popular as a summer getaway for residents of Melbourne, two hours away by car. The tree, which is my favorite thing in the photo, is a Golden Cypress, aka Monterey Cypress, a native of California, but introduced to Australia in the 1800s. At least I think that's what it is. I'm no botanist.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

POTD: Obligatory Koala Photo

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Maru Koala and Animal Park, located on the Bass Highway in southern Victoria, Australia. No trip to Australia is complete without seeing a koala, preferably in the wild, but in an animal park if necessary. We were fortunate to see both, but close-up only in nature parks.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

POTD: Melbourne

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It was taken from the Shrine of Remembrance, a war memorial built to honor Australians and New Zealanders who fought in World War I.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Monday, September 10, 2018

POTD: St Patrick's Cathedral

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Specifically, the Roman Catholic St Patrick's Cathedral. "St Patrick's has the distinction of being both the tallest and, overall, the largest church building in Australia."

Bonus photo after the jump.

Friday, September 7, 2018

POTD: Fitzroy Gardens

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Specifically, the Conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens. The park is full of surprises, like Captain James Cook's boyhood home (relocated from England), the model Tudor Village, the Fairies Tree, and, of course, the Conservatory. This photo illustrates how we can take thousands of photos on one of our trips.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

RISD TRE Information Meeting #1

The Richardson ISD held the first of many information meetings about the upcoming Tax Ratification Election. The meeting was held at the Richardson YMCA. I was there live-tweeting the show. What follows are my tweets, with only the most cursory proofreading. If I heard wrong or garbled what I heard, that's on me. Don't blame the RISD without checking your own sources first. Here, you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Most Unknown (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Most Unknown (2018): Documentary of scientists in diverse fields talking to each other about their work. Good to inspire kids about the cool places science is done (caves, oceans, mountains, etc.) but doesn't explain the science (dark matter, time, consciousness, etc.) C-

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

POTD: Melbourne's St Kilda Beach

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Specifically, the St Kilda beach. One doesn't usually think of Melbourne as being an ocean town. It's located at the head of enormous Port Phillip Bay, with its business center located a few miles up the Yarra River even from that bay. But take a short tram ride from the center of the city to St Kilda and, there it is — a beach, an historic pier, a classic amusement park, an historic yacht club, and an esplanade that hosts a popular weekend market.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Repeat Tweets: Car chases, Fist fights, Shootouts

Repeat tweets from August, 2018:

  • Aug 2 2018: Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018): Much better stunts than script. The mission is to recover stolen plutonium. The "plan" constantly goes wrong and needs improvisation: car chases, fist fights, shootouts and everybody changing sides. Tom Cruise shows his age. C-
  • Aug 3 2018: Warlight: A coming-of-age novel set in London after WWII, where a boy is left by his parents "in the care of two men who may have been criminals". Why leads to a life-long quest of self-discovery. Along the way, some great adventures. B+
  • Aug 3 2018: What's new? A foreign country inflicted upon our election system systematic violations of democratic norms, and not only did we *not* consider it an act of war, our government can't stop praising the hostile foreign country responsible. Where's the outrage?

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Review: This is How You Lose Her

This is How You Lose Her
Amazon
From This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Díaz:
Open quote 

Your girl catches you cheating. (Well, actually she’s your fiancée, but hey, in a bit it so won’t matter.) She could have caught you with one sucia, she could have caught you with two, but as you’re a totally batshit cuero who didn’t ever empty his e­mail trash can, she caught you with fifty! Sure, over a six­-year period, but still. Fifty fucking girls? Goddamn. Maybe if you’d been engaged to a super open-minded blanquita you could have survived it—but you’re not engaged to a super open­minded blanquita. Your girl is a bad­ass salcedeña who doesn’t believe in open anything; in fact the one thing she warned you about, that she swore she would never forgive, was cheating. I’ll put a machete in you, she promised. And of course you swore you wouldn’t do it. You swore you wouldn’t. You swore you wouldn’t. And you did."

Thursday, August 30, 2018

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
BlacKkKlansman (2018): Undercover cops infiltrate Klan in 1970s. A broad satiric look at America's dark history, but Spike Lee slips in a word or scene now and then to show he's more interested in today than the 1970s. And he connects with a gut punch by the end. B+









Wednesday, August 29, 2018

POTD: Hosier Lane

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Specifically, Hosier Lane, one of the lanes and arcades of central Melbourne that make it such a fun city to walk. "The graffiti-covered walls and art-installations have become a popular backdrop for fashion and wedding photography."

Bonus photo after the jump.