Friday, April 20, 2018

POTD: Culebra Cut

From 2018 01 23 Panama Canal

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Culebra Cut in the Panama Canal. The cut is an artificial valley that cuts through the Continental Divide in Panama, allowing ships to sail across the isthmus from ocean to ocean. The amount of earth-moving involved in the cut is one example of the many feats that make the construction of the canal a modern marvel of engineering.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Excitement is Building in Downtown Richardson

Excitement is building in downtown Richardson. Or at least that's what the city said about its information outreach Wednesday evening, where it showed posters for the "Main Street Infrastructure Project," a redevelopment of streets, sidewalks, parking, and landscaping. I can't link to the drawings the city showed because, I confess, I can't find them online, even after about fifteen minutes of searching the city's new, user-friendly website.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

POTD: Gatun Lake


From 2018 01 23 Panama Canal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Gatun Lake, which forms the bulk of the length of the Panama Canal. Dams keep the rivers bottled up in the center of the isthmus, forming the vast inland sea that ships use to move between the Atlantic and Pacific locks, which ease them up and down to and from the oceans.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NIMBY, YIMBY and now PHIMBY

Richardson has plenty of experience with NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). Homeowner ire at apartment construction is never more than a zoning change and construction permit away. Still, YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) rules city government, as those zoning changes and construction permits are never more than a developer's request away. What's new? California continues to be on the leading edge of societal change, adding PHIMBY to the lexicon of urban development.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ready Player One (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Ready Player One (2018): In 2045 everyone spends more time in a virtual reality world than the real world. Movie is about that, but more about giving Steven Spielberg an opportunity to pay homage to every video game he played in his youth and every sci-fi movie he ever liked. C+









Friday, April 13, 2018

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017): Four teens get transported to a video game jungle as game's characters. Teen girl gets Jack Black's body, yuck, yuck. Makes original 1995 movie seem better in comparison. Neither enough excitement nor jokes. C-









Thursday, April 12, 2018

POTD: Gatun Locks

From 2018 01 23 Panama Canal

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the "old" Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal. These are the locks that have been in service since 1914. The "new" larger locks are also available, but the old locks continue in service for ships small enough to fit (so-called Panamax size).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Greatest Showman (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Greatest Showman (2017): Musical that's part fanciful biopic, part tale of fall and redemption, part love story, part celebration of humanity. It should have picked one of those and put all its energy there. Sum is less than the parts. B-











Tuesday, April 10, 2018

POTD: French Canal in Panama

From 2018 01 23 Panama Canal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Atlantic Ocean entrance to the Panama Canal. The canal is the channel to the left. The smaller, wilder channel to the right is the original, failed French channel.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Isle of Dogs (2018): A noble but failed effort from Wes Anderson. Great stop-motion puppetry and hand-drawn animation, but plot is plodding and tone is flat and robotic. C-











Friday, April 6, 2018

POTD: Atlantic Bridge

From 2018 01 23 Panama Canal

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Atlantic Bridge over the Panama Canal at the entrance to the canal from the Atlantic Ocean. It's still under construction.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Coco (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
Coco (2017): Oscar for animated feature. Boy travels to land of the dead in search of his gg-grandfather.  Sweet tale about power of music and family. More music please. B-

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Justice League (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
Justice League (2017): Only as much plot as needed to give each superhero his or her time in front of the camera. With wisecracks. I guess the Flash stands out as most interesting character but that isn't saying much. C-

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017): Aging civil rights lawyer has trouble fitting into modern legal system. Vehicle for Denzel Washington and he is superb, but character overwhelms story. C+

Monday, April 2, 2018

Repeat Tweets: Picking Winners and Losers

Repeat tweets from March, 2018:

  • Mar 1 2018: RT @Neil_Irwin: "Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs as reflected in today's stock market:
    US Steel +6.6%.
    Century Aluminum +7.1%."
    Picking winners and losers.
  • Mar 1 2018: Is there any polling for the Democratic primary in TX District 32? @ColinAllredTX, @EdforTX, @Lillian_Salerno, @brett_shipp all could give @PeteSessions a run, but who has the edge in the primary?
  • Mar 1 2018: Shipp had the name recognition but not money or organization and has faded on my betting sheet. Meier had the national backing and money and is the (very slight) favorite. Allred and/or Salerno also up there. A run-off is likely.
  • Mar 1 2018: Dem activists have shown some distaste for @EdforTX. (Too establishment?) Still I think it's going to be a run-off between him and either @ColinAllredTX or @Lillian_Salerno. Sorry George.
  • Mar 1 2018: "I'm from the Hillary wing!" shouldn't get votes either. Dems need to learn to move on and focus more on the issues (including Trump/Ryan/McConnell) than each other. Country can't survive two dysfunctional parties.
  • Mar 1 2018: "Texas college baseball coach fired after rejecting Colorado recruit because of state’s weed laws."
    I did not see that coming. Kudos to Texas Wesleyan University.

After the jump, more repeat tweets.