Saturday, September 24, 2022

POTD: Sea Palace Chinese Restaurant

From 2022 07 03 Amsterdam

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Sea Palace Chinese Restaurant. Where is it? The water the restaurant is floating on is a clue. A bigger clue is the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the background. Surprisingly, it's in Amsterdam, Netherlands.European tours are sometimes described as ABC tours — "Another Bloody Church". We got some of that. We also got the variant ABC Tour — "Another Bloody Castle". Prepare yourself. Our next photo-of-the-day selections will be up the Rhine River from the sea to the Main River and then down the Danube River. First stop, Amsterdam.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Book Review: Dance Dance Dance

From Dance Dance Dance, by Haruki Murakami:

"The hotel should never have been built where it was. That was the first mistake, and everything got worse from there. Like a button on a shirt buttoned wrong, every attempt to correct things led to yet another fine—not to say elegant—mess."

Dance Dance Dance

Book Review: Dance Dance Dance: 1988 novel with Haruki Murakami's signature touch of magical realism. This sequel to "A Wild Sheep Chase" is even better. A Japanese writer goes through an early midlife crisis as people around him disappear. What's real? What's imagination? B+

After the jump, my full review.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Legalities of Short Term Rental Regulations

The City of Richardson is likely to adopt short-term rental (STR) regulations. Richardson is not the first city to try this. It won't be the last. There is a legal thicket surrounding cities' attempts to adopt STR ordinances. Several key cases are still working their way through the courts and haven't yet reached a final judgment. Courts have looked more favorably on reasonable regulation than outright bans. So, rather than risk having more aggressive regulation tested in court, Richardson's regulations are geared to trying to control the nuisances (noise, parking, trash) that STRs bring to neighborhoods.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Schmigadoon (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Schmigadoon (TV 2021): Backpacking couple wanders into a 1940s musical and is stranded there until they find true love. A form of entertainment that doesn't exist anymore. More homage than parody. Unexpectedly, it gets better the longer it goes. Just go with it. Delightful. B-

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Short Term Rental Regulations Coming to Richardson

Movie: Project X

The Richardson City Council reviewed a possible ordinance regulating short-term rentals (STRs). This is in response to a public outcry over an out-of-control explosion in the number of short-term rentals in the City of Richardson, accompanied by an enormous number of nuisance violations (noise, parking, trash). (The police chief was on hand to define "out of control" and "enormous": he said that the police receive "a handful" of complaints each year.) But the public wants short-term rentals banned, so the City Council has to do *something*. So they shall.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Dining, Hookah, but not Belly Dancing

Another Time, Same Old Place

Back in June, a wild night at the Richardson City Council meeting saw the Council reverse themselves on a key rezoning vote. After voting 4-3 in May to approve a rezoning request for an outdoor venue for dining/hookah/music on Abrams Road in Richardson, in June Council Member Joe Corcoran reversed himself and voted against the actual ordinance that was drawn up to make the May vote official. The property owner, knocked back on his heels by this reversal, went back to his corner and licked his wounds. Now he's back with a request for approval of a similar application for the same property.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

POTD: Grand Bahama Port Back in Business

From 2020 02 04 Bahamas

Today's photo-of-the-day is from February, 2020. It shows Grand Bahama Island, five months after Hurricane Dorian devastated the island. According to ReliefWeb, "Dorian hit The Bahamas on September 1, 2019 as a Category 5 hurricane, causing flooding and mass destruction on the northwest islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama...Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record -- and the strongest hurricane to have ever hit The Bahamas." We visited Grand Bahama five months after the hurricane. The port was back in business, receiving supplies of food and building materials for reconstruction. Bahamians are resilient. Don't hesitate to visit.