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


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

Woolgathering: "Beto Will Lose"

Woolgathering 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 woolgathering.