Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Loving (2016)

Loving (2016): 1960s racial injustice maddens us all today. When will today's injustice madden us all? ACLU rocks. Movie? Not so much. C+

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Land of Mine (2015)

Land of Mine (2015): Young POWs forced to clear land mines in Denmark. WWII Germans get sympathetic treatment! Powerful but predictable. B-

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore
From Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami:
Open quote 

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step."

After the jump, my review.

Friday, March 24, 2017

City of Gold (2015)

City of Gold (2015): Food critic Jonathan Gold explores LA's diverse ethnic food. Gave me a new appreciation for LA as a great city. C+

Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Impression of the Candidates

The Richardson Republican Women held a candidate forum Tuesday evening at JJ Pearce High School for both city council (CoR) and school board (RISD) elections. Eight candidates are new to CoR and RISD. Three newcomers are running for city council, five for school board.

In my judgment, all of the candidates in contested races, incumbents and challengers alike, would be positive forces for the community. They all appeared to be driven by a desire to serve. I didn't detect any ideology-driven agendas. The Richardson community (city and school district) should appreciate how unusual and valuable that is in today's political climate.

That are my initial impressions of the new candidates. Incumbents we should already know.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

POTD: Rowboats on the Potomac

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Alexandria, Virginia: historic, walkable, beautiful.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where Went Richardson's Neighborhoods?

Remember the good old days before the Richardson City Council abandoned discussion of neighborhoods in its biennial goals statements and its annual State of the City addresses? You know, like this excerpt from the 2011-2013 Statement of Goals:
  • Support neighborhoods in their development of Homeowner and Neighborhood Associations and other community-based organizations such as Crime Watches, Crime Patrols, and Beautification Committees.
  • Promote a well-informed network of Homeowner and Neighborhood Associations and encourage constructive dialogue between this network, residents, and the City.
  • Develop and maintain community vitality and neighborhood integrity strategies to foster, preserve and promote desirable neighborhoods within the City.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cameraperson (2016)

Cameraperson (2016): Decades of outtakes from documentaries all shot by one person. Like watching 10 movies at once. Oddly compelling. C+

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pete Sessions Faces His Constituents

Representative Pete Sessions (TX 32) held a townhall meeting at Richardson High School Saturday afternoon. It was a full house. The mood was decidedly different from his townhall meetings of 2009 and 2010.

In 2009, the mood was decidedly Tea Party. Attendees ranged from the young man with a "John Galt" name tag to an old man marching down the center aisle with a sign reading, "Euthanize Obama 'Care' Not Our Seniors". The earnest woman at the microphone who said, "I don't have health insurance" was met with a shout from the audience, "Get a job."

In 2010, it was Pete Sessions himself who provided most of the Tea Party positions. His take on the Affordable Care Act was that "the legislation was designed to inflict as much damage as needed to kill the free enterprise system," and "America's days as a superpower are over." Sessions's opposition to ACA was greeted with cheers.

In March, 2017, the mood is angry again, but this time angry with Pete Sessions, not Barack Obama. Angry with him for his support for repealing Obamacare, for his neglect in investigating President Trump's ties to Russia, for his support for cutting a range of federal programs, for this and more. Signs were everywhere, almost all in opposition to Pete Sessions.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Man Called Ove (2015)

A Man Called Ove (2015): Local curmudgeon and how he became one. Swedish tale of loneliness and grief. Humor and pathos. Saab or Volvo? B-

Thursday, March 16, 2017

POTD: Palais des congrès de Montréal

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Palais des congrès de Montréal. And with it we bid a colorful and fond adieu to Canada.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island (2017): No Empire State Bldg. No Beauty & the Beast. More like "Kong: Apocalypse Now." Lots of CGI monsters. No heart. C+

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

POTD: Leave Nothing But Footprints

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. It appears lots of people took literally the old hiking rules: Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Angie Chen Button Back Stabs the Blue

From Facebook

There were a couple of curious Facebook posts last week by the Richardson Police Officers' Association FOP Lodge 105. The first, since deleted:
This is a Bill filed today by our very own State Rep Angie Chen Button. It is a direct attack against us and every other Police and Fire Association in Texas. She asked for, and received, both ours and the Richardson Fire Associations support in her last election. This is how we are thanked. We weren't even consulted about this bill. We are very disappointed to say the least.
Source: Facebook.
Angie Chen Button is the Republican state representative for parts of Richardson and Garland. The bill referred to is HB 3540, relating to "financial reporting requirements for certain labor organizations; creating new criminal offenses; imposing an administrative penalty."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Life, Animated (2016)

Life, Animated (2016): Doc. of autistic boy who finds his voice in Disney movies. Matures to independent life. Sad & joyous at same time. B-

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Miss Sharon Jones! (2016)

Miss Sharon Jones! (2016): Documentary of soul singer (whom I didn't know) and her fight with cancer. Open, revealing, fun, fearless. B-

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tower (2016)

Tower (2016): 1st person accounts of UT tower shooting. Victims. Heroes. Witnesses. Gripping. Best part? No time devoted to the killer. B-

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

POTD: Le Village Gai

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is also of Rue Sainte-Catherine in Montreal, but miles farther to the east than yesterday's POTD. If Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest isn't more than enough riches for one city, the east end of the street is home to "Le Village," the largest gay village in North America in terms of area.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Monday, March 6, 2017

POTD: Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day looks down Rue Sainte-Catherine, the main shopping street of downtown Montreal. What you see in this photo is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. "The street runs parallel to the largest segments of Montreal's underground city. The series of interconnected office tower basements and shopping complexes that make up this main thoroughfare lie immediately north of the street."

Sunday, March 5, 2017

OTBR: Woomagarma

Latitude: S 35° 52.830
Longitude: E 147° 15.114

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, March 3, 2017

POTD: Fresh Fruit

From 2016 09 10 Montreal

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Place Jacques-Cartier, a great public square in a great North American city, Montreal. The selection of fresh fruit poses a delicious dilemma for this young girl, much like the opportunities abounding in this walkable city pose a delightful dilemma for every tourist.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Vouchers Arise out of White Resistance

Repeat tweets from February, 2017:
  • Feb 3 2017: "Vouchers arise out of white resistance to school desegregation, and these movements thrive in biracial districts."
  • Feb 8 2017: Fences (2016): Denzel Washington in a Willy Loman role, raising questions about what it means to be a husband, father, man. Oscar-worthy. A+
  • Feb 8 2017: MT @RichardsonToday: "A portion of the State of the City Address focused on how Richardson is in a strong financial position." Please link to a YouTube clip showing the portion of State of the City address that focused on Richardson's neighborhoods. If you can.
  • Feb 9 2017: Gleason (2016) Documentary of former NFL player with ALS. Raw and relentless as real life, clichéd as movie. Needs more of wife's story. C+

After the jump, more repeat tweets.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

POTD: The Pulpit

From 2016 09 10 Montreal
Today is Ash Wednesday. Appropriate for this religious day, today's photo-of-the-day is of the pulpit in the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal.

Bonus photo after the jump.