Monday, October 31, 2016

By the Bog of Cats at RHS

By the Bog of Cats at RHS: Euripides in an Irish bog. Challenging play for HS theatre: serious, adult, tragic. RHS pulled it off.

Support high school theatre, whether your kids attend or not. It's that good.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Disney's Fantasia Live in Concert

Disney's Fantasia Live in Concert with the Dallas Symphony: Sad to say, the animation shows its 75 years, but the music is classic. (H/T Chuck and Diana)

Friday, October 28, 2016

POTD: Summer Colony for the Rich and Famous

From 2016 09 04 Bar Harbor
Today's photo-of-the-day is from Bar Harbor, Maine.
By 1880, there were 30 hotels. Tourists were arriving by train and ferry to the Gilded Age resort that would rival Newport, Rhode Island. The rich and famous tried to outdo each other with entertaining and estates. A glimpse of their lifestyles was available from the Shore Path, a walkway skirting waterfront lawns. Yachting, garden parties, and carriage rides up Cadillac Mountain were popular diversions. Others enjoyed horse-racing. President William Howard Taft played golf. Bar Harbor become synonymous with elite wealth.
And then there was us.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dallas to Suburbs: Drop Dead, Still

Recently, we reviewed the attitude by many in the city of Dallas that there should be no cooperation between the city and the suburbs. Here's what we said:
Regionalism is dead. It was killed over DART's desire to build both a downtown Dallas D2 line and a suburban Cotton Belt commuter train line...The sticking point is not D2. It's the Cotton Belt. The suburbs want it...The farther away from north Dallas you go, the greater the opposition to spending money on the Cotton Belt.
Source: The Wheel.
What's changed in the meantime? Nothing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Marguerite (2015)

Marguerite (2015): Rich 1920s socialite thinks she can sing. No one dares tell her no. Movie looks great but is one-note: off-key. C+

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

POTD: Druids of Eld

From 2016 09 04 Bar Harbor

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Acadia National Park in Maine.

This is the forest primeval.
The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green,
indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

Monday, October 24, 2016


An evening at Prelude, a nighttime outdoor art exhibit in the Dallas Arts District. Beautiful weather. The greatest company. An inspiring message of determination and hope. Serendipity. An encouraging prelude to an uncertain next act.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Chemical Imbalance at BHS

Chemical Imbalance at Berkner HS: Spoof of Jekyll and Hyde. Lots of fun in this farce, just before Halloween. Support your high school theater.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

POTD: Cairn

From 2016 09 04 Bar Harbor

Today's photo-of-the-day is of a rock cairn in Acadia National Park in Maine. Look closely for it. Human handiwork is no match for nature's majesty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Difret (2014)

Difret (2014): Lawyer defends Ethiopian girl charged with murder in a society where women have few rights. Maddening story told plainly. B-

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

POTD: Beach View

From 2016 09 04 Bar Harbor

Today's photo-of-the-day is a distant view of Sand Beach in Acadia National Park in Maine. "Sand Beach, in Acadia National Park, is nestled in a small inlet between the granite mountains and rocky shores of Mount Desert Island. This gorgeous 290 yard long beach is one of the most popular points of interest on the island."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dallas to Suburbs: Drop Dead

Regionalism is dead. It was killed over DART's desire to build both a downtown Dallas D2 line and a suburban Cotton Belt commuter train line. DART included funding for some preliminary work on a second DART line (D2) line through downtown Dallas in its 2017 budget. It also included funding for some preliminary work on the Cotton Belt.

The latter became the casus belli for the mass transit war between Dallas and its suburbs to the north.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables
From Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery:
Open quote 

Matthew Cuthbert's father, as shy and silent as his son after him, had got as far away as he possibly could from his fellow men without actually retreating into the woods when he founded his homestead. Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of his cleared land and there it was to this day, barely visible from the main road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so sociably situated. Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place LIVING at all. 'It's just STAYING, that's what,' she said as she stepped along the deep-rutted, grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes. 'It's no wonder Matthew and Marilla are both a little odd, living away back here by themselves. Trees aren't much company, though dear knows if they were there’d be enough of them. I'd ruther look at people. To be sure, they seem contented enough; but then, I suppose, they're used to it. A body can get used to anything, even to being hanged, as the Irishman said.'"

Did anyone raise his eyebrows when he saw my latest reading selection? Was it unexpected? There's a reason I chose "Anne of Green Gables." Actually, two reasons. And I'm glad I did.

After the jump, my review.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

POTD: The Old North Church

From 2016 09 02 Boston

Today's photo-of-the-day is of a window in the Old North Church in Boston, famous for its role in the American Revolution. The church's story is told in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride." Can you still recite the opening lines?

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Beautiful Broken Brain (2014)

My Beautiful Broken Brain (2014): Young woman's recovery from brain damage. She knows the things she lost. Her spirit isn't one of them. C+

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

POTD: Apples, 9 For $2.00

From 2016 09 02 Boston

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Boston Public Market in late summer, when apples are on sale, 9 for $2.00; organic blueberries, $1.00 a pint; and strawberries, 3 pints for $2.00.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl (2015): Transgender artist in 1920s. Movie made 30 years too late. What should be shocking is now routine. Slow moving. B-

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

OTBR: London's Langthorne Park

Latitude: N 51° 33.318
Longitude: E 000° 00.198

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".

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate?

Who won the Vice Presidential debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine? It depends on which scorecard you are using.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Repeat Tweets: Drats. I wasn't ready.

Repeat tweets from September, 2016:

  • Sep 1 2016: Drats. I wasn't ready. MT @MarkSolomonsr: "September is National Preparedness Month. Don't Wait. Make your emergency plan today."
  • Sep 1 2016: Department of Defense Budget: $585,000,000,000. Terrorism funding: $0. Lying Ted's disinformation: Priceless.
  • Sep 1 2016: RT @DonHuffines: "Dove season is a great time for Texans to get outdoors & enjoy the vast, unrivaled beauty of our great state!" And kill something.
  • Sep 1 2016: RT @GregAbbott_TX: "Texas will ban sanctuary cities & keep our communities safe." You can't have both. Sanctuary cities help keep our cities safe.

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Trump Coalition

In a column in the New York Times, conservative columnist Ross Douthat gives the best, most concise explanation for how voters can support Donald Trump despite his "low character, his penchant for inflaming racial tensions, his personal corruptions," his "zest for self-sabotage, his wild swings, his inability to delegate or take advice," his seeming to be "gross and seedy and bigoted," even his "wretchedly stupid conduct since the first debate."

The key to Douthat's explanation is that there are different reasons for different factions supporting Trump. It's this coalition that gives Trump his shot at winning the White House.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Homecoming: Berkner 35, WT White 10

The Berkner Rams defeated the WT White Longhorns 35-10 Friday night in Berkner's Homecoming Game. It's a great time to be a Ram!

Attend a game yourself to see all the action, including the game, cheerleaders, drill team, colorguard, marching band and all the rest that make high school football the best value in sports entertainment. Remember, without the band, it's just a game.

Bonus photos after the jump.