Friday, September 30, 2016

POTD: Sailboat, Yacht, and Paddlewheeler

From 2016 09 02 Boston

Today's photo-of-the-day was taken from Boston's Fan Pier Park looking towards downtown Boston.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Anomalisa (2015)

Anomalisa (2015): Motivational speaker has breakdown in Cincinnati hotel. Stop motion puppetry does little for this odd, wooden movie. C+

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Indoor Practice Fields...for Swimming

The Richardson ISD asked voters to approve $437 million in bonds in 2016 for a range of capital projects, including $60 million for four indoor practice fields for a variety of activities including athletics. Voters did approve. But the RISD board of trustees took a lot of abuse from voters who thought the district was squandering money.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

POTD: Taxi to the Airport

From 2016 02 14 Mumbai

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the streets of Mumbai, India. The taxi to the airport led to a long flight from Mumbai to Dubai to D/FW. This brings to an end the series of photos-of-the-day from India. India is a large and fascinating country — a photographer's delight.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: A Brief History of Seven Killings

Brief History of Seven Killings
From A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James:
Open quote 

There's a reason why the story of the ghetto should never come with a photo. The Third World slum is a nightmare that defies beliefs or facts, even the ones staring right at you. A vision of hell that twists and turns on itself and grooves to its own soundtrack. Normal rules do not apply here. Imagination then, dream, fantasy. You visit a ghetto, particularly a ghetto in West Kingston, and it immediately leaves the real to become this sort of grotesque, something out of Dante or the infernal painting of Hieronymus Bosch. It's a rusty red chamber of hell that cannot be described so I will not try to describe it. It cannot be photographed because some parts of West Kingston, such as Rema, are in the grip of such bleak and unremitting repulsiveness that the inherent beauty of the photographic process will lie to you about just how ugly it really is."

Spoiler alert: This novel is not brief and there are way more than seven killings. But the excerpt above is an accurate description of the world depicted in this novel. The novel won a shelf-load of awards, probably deservedly so, but be warned: it's not for everyone.

After the jump, my review.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

Fundamentals of Caring (2016): Man takes care of handicapped teen. Both have issues. Road trip buddy movie. Sweet, but by the book. C+

Thursday, September 22, 2016

POTD: Ellen's Mumbai Peeps

From 2016 02 14 Mumbai

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the waterfront by the Gateway of India in Mumbai. Tourists from all over the world come here to see and be seen. Getting your photo taken with strangers is both easy and fun.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Diplomacy (2014)

Diplomacy (2014): Swedish diplomat and German general debate fate of Paris as Allies advance. Each faces the trolley problem. Gripping. A-

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

POTD: Mumbai Waterfront

From 2016 02 14 Mumbai

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the waterfront by the Gateway of India in Mumbai. It's right in front of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, target of a terrorist attack in 2008. Ten men in inflatable speedboats came ashore here, split up and attacked multiple sites in south Mumbai. The attacks killed 164 civilians and security officers. It took four days for authorities to regain control.

Bonus photos are after the jump.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Firewall in Old Downtown Richardson

City of Richardson

The rendering above is of the new police and fire department facilities planned for old downtown Richardson. There is little news here. The old facilities were outdated. The 2015 Bond Program funded part of the reconstruction. The 2016-2017 budget funds more. I knew all that, but seeing this rendering triggers the thought that this might turn out to be a huge missed opportunity for Richardson.

Friday, September 16, 2016

POTD: Hare Krishna

From 2016 02 14 Mumbai

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, a temple in Mumbai, India, of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Campbell Road Deterioration Outlined

"Campbell Road Improvements Deterioration Outlined."

There, Richardson, I fixed the headline to your "Week in Review" item. Widening Campbell Rd from US 75 to Collins Blvd is not an "improvement."

Those added lanes will fill up as fast as you can pour the concrete. TxDOT is overhauling Central Expressway (again). Adding lanes to Campbell Rd only encourages the added cars on US 75 to use Campbell Rd. You can't build your way out of traffic congestion. Induced demand is the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed. Road construction is Exhibit A.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Son of Saul (2015)

Son of Saul (2015): Holocaust tale of futility. Premise unbelievable without insanity. Characters and acting leave me numb. Passionless. B-

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

POTD: Dhobi Ghat

From 2016 02 14 Mumbai

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Dhobi Ghat, an open air laundry in Mumbai, India. "The washers, locally known as Dhobis, work in the open to wash the clothes from Mumbai's hotels and hospitals."

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Frozen Chosen (2014)

Frozen Chosen (2014): Spear-fishing on frozen Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Will leave you cold, but if you grew up there, must see. C-

Friday, September 9, 2016

POTD: James Bond's Hotel

From 2016 02 12 Udaipur

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the City Palace in Udaipur, India. The palace plays the part of a hotel James Bond stays at in the movie Octopussy.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Embrace of the Serpent (2015): Amazonia in 1909, with shaman and scientist, false messiah and rubber barons. Heart of Darkness. B-

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

POTD: Octopussy's Floating Palace

From 2016 02 12 Udaipur

Today's photo-of-the-day was taken from the shore of Lake Picchola in Udaipur, India. It shows the Taj Lake Palace. The hotel was the setting of the island home of James Bond's nemesis, Octopussy. Bond swims up to the palace disguised as a crocodile. Well, OK then.

P.S. It seems like maybe we've been following James Bond around.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Who Got Snookered on Plano Road?

At its July 25 meeting, the Richardson City Council approved a zoning change to accommodate the development of a 43-unit community of apartments and/or townhomes on 2.7 acres on the east side of Plano Road south of Arapaho Road.

Who are these new apartments/condos going to be marketed to? According to the city staff report accompanying the zoning change request, it's senior citizens.
The applicant's intent is to provide a residential project for the City's aging community that is different than the other available types of housing such as patio homes, independent living facilities, and assisted living facilities. The applicant has developed other senior housing in the City including the Twin Rivers independent living facility at Belt Line Road and Glenville Drive and the Twin Rivers assisted living facility on Plano Road, just south of Campbell Road, which is currently under construction. The applicant states that there is a market for seniors who desire to purchase, rather than rent, a low maintenance home without stairs.
The developer did the Twin Rivers senior living community. Each planned unit will have only one story, perfect for seniors who no longer want to navigate stairs. So, seniors it is, right?

Monday, September 5, 2016

OTBR: Estonian Sunset

Latitude: N 59° 12.840
Longitude: E 023° 32.772

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, September 2, 2016

Repeat Tweets: Donald Trump is a Shape Shifting Lizard

Repeat tweets from August, 2016:

  • Aug 2 2016: Fun pastime. Type "Donald Trump is..." into Google and see what Google suggests. I got "Donald Trump is a shape shifting lizard."
  • Aug 2 2016: Less fun pastime. Type "Hillary Clinton is..." into Google and see what Google suggests. I got HRC "is winning" and HRC "is a man."
  • Aug 2 2016: MT @GPollowitz: "Katrina Pierson just blamed Obama and Clinton for changing the ROE that "probably" cost Cptn Kahn his life." North Texas's own Katrina Pierson says time-traveling Obama is responsible for Capt Kahn's death in 2004.

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

POTD: The Blue Room

From 2016 02 12 Udaipur

Today's photo-of-the-day is from inside the City Palace in Udaipur, India.