Sunday, August 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: Highs in the 80s in Texas in July

Tweets from July, 2021:
  • 2021-07-01: I agree, Pete Delkus. Highs in the 80s in Texas in July are pretty amazing. Now say something about global warming. Be sure to mention that Portland, Oregon, now has a hotter all-time high temperature than Dallas, Texas.
  • 2021-07-02: Headline: "Olympic sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson suspended one month after marijuana test." I didn't know marijuana was a performance enhancing drug. If it is, all the warnings about it when I was in school were a big fat lie.
  • 2021-07-02: Gary Slagel has filed to run for Congress against Colin Allred. Expect Richardson to suffer a black eye as Slagel's history gets rehashed: CapitalSoft and StarTech, Richardson's bridge to Fossil Watch, Slagel's donation to Ill. Gov Rob Blagojevich before winning a govt. contract.
  • 2021-07-03: No Sudden Move (2021): A heist movie set in Detroit in 1954. The object is engineering drawings. Or a mobster's code book. It doesn't matter. Neither do the plot twists. Just try to figure out who the bad guys are. The film noir feel more than makes up for a convoluted plot. B+
  • 2021-07-05: I used to think American democracy was resilient. To survive 245 years, there had to be a stable super-majority who believed in democracy. I no longer have faith in that. I now believe close to half of Americans would trade democracy for autocracy to get their way in politics.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Killing Eve - Season 1 (TV 2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Killing Eve - Season 1 (TV 2018): Eve, with British MI6, and Villanelle, a Russian assassin and psychopath, play cat-and-mouse game across Europe. But who is the cat? Shadowy group "The 12" are targets, but of whom? My only complaint is that Season 1 leaves so many loose ends. A-

#VeryTardyReview

Friday, July 30, 2021

Loki (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Loki (TV 2021): Loki (villain, antihero, God of Mischief), branches the universe and is captured by the forces tasked with pruning him to protect the sacred timeline. Plot, sets, costumes are all absurd, but just go with it all the way to the void at the end of time. It works. B-

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021): Moral is OK: Kids should be allowed to follow their dreams. But it's lost in a nonstop onslaught of CGI action and WB IP. Like watching a 2 hour infomercial. Maybe I smiled once. Lebron can't act. Don Cheadle wasted. "New legacy" is an oxymoron. D+

After six consecutive posts dealing with the Richardson Police Department's "Quota-gate" scandal, I felt like I needed a change. "Space Jam" was the wrong change.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Stop in the Name of the Law

Much has been made of the plain meaning of the words "predetermined and specified number" of citations in determining whether the Richardson Police Department has a ticket quota system. Those words are from the state statute prohibiting cities from imposing ticket quotas on its police officers.

The City's investigator stated that the City does not have a ticket quota. He conducted only two interviews with patrol officers and reviewed an unspecified number of performance evaluations. A suspicious mind might wonder if he was afraid to turn over too many rocks for fear of what he might find. And he included no evidence from any of this. No interview transcripts. Not even a list of questions he asked. No evaluation reports.

Let's turn over just one of those rocks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Plain Meaning of the Words Chosen"

The crux of the question of whether the Richardson Police Department imposes a ticket quota system on its patrol officers comes down to these key sentences in the report by the City's investigator.
As noted above, the Texas Transportation Code generally prohibits a political subdivision from evaluating an officer based on a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations. The words "predetermined" and "specified number" are not defined in the Transportation Code.

When possible, Courts determine legislative intent from the plain meaning of the words chosen.

Interpreting the statute according to the plain meaning of the words chosen, there is no indication that the City has violated the Transportation Code because there is no evidence that the City in any way directed its patrol officers to issue a predetermined or specified number of traffic citations.

Monday, July 26, 2021

This Isn't About Her

First course, something light to whet your appetite...

In my ramble yesterday about last Thursday's Richardson City Council meeting, I made a lot of trial analogies. This despite my firm intention of hammering home the point that the council meeting was in no way a legal proceeding. But one reader said I missed one analogy by not noting the symbolism of the name of one person in our little drama, the most effective questioner, Councilmember "Justice." He was right. But I defer to John Barth, who included some advice in his novel, "The Floating Opera," that I've always thought was worth following.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Richardson Police are Hiring. Surprised?

If you're looking for the five Ws of journalism (Who, What, When, Where, and Why), this is not the post for you. But if you don't mind going for a ride through my disorganized mind, you're in the right place. I'll inevitably go off on a few tangents on our journey, but I promise to always get back on track.

For three days, I've been promising to write about Thursday night's special called session of the Richardson City Council, and I've kept putting it off. Oh, I wrote about Wayne Olson's verbal report and his written report of his investigation into Office Kayla Walker's complaint that the City operates an Illegal ticket quota system. But I didn't write about the City Council. Why was that even the venue? Why not a court of law? The councilmembers didn't take a vote at the end. They didn't take any action regarding the complaint at all. When I pondered why it all happened the way it did, I found my mind becoming a jumble of different thoughts. It's taken me three days to even begin an inventory of them. I'm thinking if I just start writing, maybe some semblance of order will come.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

A Quota System with a Moving Target

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the law is pliable, too, especially when talking about numbers. I know I promised I'd have more to say about what we learned from Thursday night's special called meeting of the Richardson City Council, and I promise I will still get to that, but first I have to talk about the written report itself, which wasn't available to the public until after the meeting.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Investigator Clears RPD of Illegal Ticket Quotas

In just five minutes, the amount of time members of the public are given to speak during the public comment section of City Council meetings, a 13-year veteran of the Richardson Police, Kayla Walker, kicked off a storm in Richardson in April, charging supervisors in the department of illegally using quotas to evaluate and discipline officers. Thursday night, in a special called session of the Richardson City Council, the public learned the result of the City's investigation into the charge. Spoiler: the City found nothing illegal about its own police department's practices.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Paved A Way: Fair Park

Amazon

Unlike Tenth Street and Little Mexico, I felt I had a good understanding of the history of Fair Park in Dallas. Collin Yarbrough fills in the details.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastructure development cut a path of destruction through south Dallas.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sweet Tooth (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Sweet Tooth (TV 2021): Pandemic triggers "Great Crumble." And human/animal hybrids. All about a deer-boy's quest to find his scientist mother. Lots of adventures, but not much plot resolution. Good guys good, bad guys bad, deer-boy precious. It's a kids' tale for whole family. B-

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Paved A Way: Tenth Street

Amazon

I don't think I ever heard the terms the Black Bottom, Tenth Street, or the Heights before reading "Paved A Way." Or, the only Heights I heard of were Richardson Heights and Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights." But here I'm talking Oak Cliff, or south Dallas, and a neighborhood decimated by the construction of I-35.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastructure development cut a path of destruction through south Dallas.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Roadrunner (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Roadrunner (2021): Documentary of Anthony Bourdain. His show was the best travel show on television. Global politics disguised as a food show. Clips, outtakes, and interviews with his friends and crew give us a peek behind this complicated, flawed, and open but enigmatic man. B+

Friday, July 16, 2021

Black Widow (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Black Widow (2021): Half superhero movie, half dysfunctional family drama. Marvel Universe has guns but fights all turn into fist fights. The plot is messy. I kept asking, why are they doing this? Out of nowhere they rip off their faces to reveal a switcheroo and I ask WTF? C+

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Anything is Better Than Nothing in East Richardson

In a 5-2 vote, the Richardson City Council approved a permit for a drive-through Popeyes chicken restaurant on Belt Line Rd east of Plano Rd. The arguments presented by some council members in the majority exemplify what I consider a problem with the City's approach to east Richardson for decades.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Elections Have Consequences, Richardson Edition

There are three new members on the City of Richardson's City Council. In a zoning case Monday night, they made their first mark on Richardson's future shape. In a 4-3 vote, the newcomers, Jennifer Justice, Joe Corcoran, and Arefin Shamsul, plus second term council member Ken Hutchenrider, voted to reject a special use permit for a conventional drive-through restaurant in the so-called Restaurant Park. That's right. Richardson's city council rejected a drive-through. It wasn't because they oppose all drive-throughs. It was because they oppose a drive-through restaurant in that particular location. Still, it's a new day in Richardson.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

High on the Hog (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
High on the Hog (TV 2021): How African-American cuisine transformed America. It's a food show, but it's also a history show. From Benin to South Carolina to Philadelphia to Texas, our nation's menu was created by Blacks. Stephen Satterfield finds the culture behind the menu. B+

Monday, July 12, 2021

TIL: I'm on Team Smart America

I'm generally leery of analyses that divide people into two types, or four, or whatever. Clickbait headlines like "Which Avengers Hero Are You?" never get my clicks. Even tests popular in corporate America like Myers-Briggs, tests that are uncanny enough in their analyses that they seem to have been spying on me, earn my respect only grudgingly. Imagine my surprise when I found a political analysis that neatly divides America up into four factions that I think captures not just the red/blue divide, but the divides within those different camps as well.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Paved A Way: Little Mexico

Amazon

For decades, I've known about the El Fenix restaurant on the north side of Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. To me, it always seemed like a bad location for a restaurant, cut off from downtown as it was. I shamefully admit that, until reading Collin Yarbough's book, I wasn't even aware of Dallas's "Little Mexico." Now I know why El Fenix was built where it was.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastructure development destroyed "El Barrio."

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Fosse/Verdon (TV 2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
Fosse/Verdon (TV 2019): Why are so many artistic geniuses such jerks? Good look behind the curtain of musical theater. In this biopic, Gwen Verdon is the more interesting character. She endures Bob Fosse's mistreatment of her and all around him because of her own ambition. B+

#VeryTardyReview

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Paved A Way: Deep Ellum

Amazon

In past installments of this book report, we've seen how Central Expressway cut through the African-American community of North Dallas, or Freedman's Town, in the 1940s. But before it was Central Expressway, a 1912 Dallas master plan called for a Central Boulevard. And before that, it was the Central Track, or the Houston and Texas Central Railway, which was laid on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas and up through North Dallas and beyond. Dallas's huge cotton market needed workers, lots of manual labor, which attracted a large African-American community along the tracks, creating what came to be called Deep Ellum. But what infrastructure creates, it also destroys.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastructure development both built and then destroyed Deep Ellum.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Summer of Soul (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Summer of Soul (2021): Concert series in Harlem in summer of '69. After years of tragedy, the decade ends with joy, community pride, and Black power. Questlove's documentary covers all that, but especially the music. Blues, soul, R&B, gospel, jazz. I never felt so white. B+

Monday, July 5, 2021

The Mandalorian - Season 1 (TV 2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Mandalorian - Season 1 (TV 2019): Bounty hunter becomes guardian of a baby Yoda, who a galaxy bad guy wants badly. Fight after fight, our Mandalorian and his asset escape. Not so for countless storm troopers. Repetitious. It's hard to act wearing a helmet all the time. C+

#VeryTardyReview

Saturday, July 3, 2021

No Sudden Move (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
No Sudden Move (2021): A heist movie set in Detroit in 1954. The object is engineering drawings. Or a mobster's code book. It doesn't matter. Neither do the plot twists. Just try to figure out who the bad guys are. The film noir feel more than makes up for a convoluted plot. B+

Friday, July 2, 2021

Paved A Way: Freedman's Cemetery

Amazon

I first became aware of Freedman's Cemetery in the early 1990s when the project to expand Central Expressway uncovered a cemetery in its path. Did that stop them? Of course not. But it did delay them for several years while they dug up bodies and reinterred them elsewhere. RIP? Not in Dallas.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastructure development finds a way to harm you, even if you're dead.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: Failings of Just in Time Manufacturing

Tweets from June, 2021:
  • 2021-06-01: "Global Shortages During Coronavirus Reveal Failings of Just in Time Manufacturing." The business revolution of the 20th Century came by concentrating risk in supply chains. We've reached the natural end state: "It all cascades. It's just a mess."
  • 2021-06-02: Mare of Easttown (TV 2021): Outstanding whodunit. Plenty of suspects, all kept in the game until the last episode. But more, it's a story of unresolved grief that comes between Mare (Kate Winslet) and her ex-husband, her daughter, her daughter-in-law and her job. Emmy worthy. A-
  • 2021-06-02: I care less about where donations come from than who they come from. That a non-profit for developing leaders in education equity thinks highly enough of Amanda Clair to donate just affirms my decision to support her. Chris Poteet attacking her for it is disappointing.
  • 2021-06-03: I am proud of Lake Highlands valedictorian Paxton Smith speaking up for women's rights, and proud of RISD for allowing her the freedom to speak.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Feel Good - Season 1 (TV 2020)

Rotten Tomatoes
Feel Good - Season 1 (TV 2020): Sitcom about 30-yr-old standup comic with relationship and drug problems. Her insecurities are not helped by falling for a woman who isn't sure she's lesbian. Doesn't sound like a comedy. Call it a quirky drama. Complicated but worth it. B+

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Paved A Way: Boulevards and Parks

Amazon

On a national scale, Dallas is only average in terms of providing residents with access to parks. But the goal has been on the minds of Dallas city officials for more than a century. In 1910, the city brought landscape architect George Kessler to Dallas. The journey from George Kessler's vision to today's reality hasn't been a smooth path.

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, we look at how infrastucture development finds a way to target Black and poor communities.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Hacks (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Hacks (2021): Jean Smart plays an aging standup comic in Vegas forced to hire a young TV writer to punch up her stale set. Predictable oil and water relationship. Show improves as defenses break down and jokes are left behind. Maybe it'll hit its stride in Season 2. B-

Friday, June 25, 2021

Paved A Way: Redlining

Amazon

I don't know when I became aware of the notion of "redlining." High school maybe. I do know that I learned it was a racial injustice. And I thought it was a thing of the past, like segregation. Or was it?

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Today, Yarbrough introduces us to redlining and its long-term impact in Dallas.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Update on That Land North of UTD

Speaking of the outdated 2009 Comprehensive Plan for the City of Richardson, there's one corner of the City where that Comprehensive Plan is a killer obstacle for a development that would be good for Richardson. I'm talking about the land north of UT-Dallas.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Joji (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Joji (2021): India. Inspired by Macbeth, loosely. Stern family patriarch suffers a stroke and a family fight ensues. Son's greed for an early inheritance leads to a spiral of worsening consequences. No witches, no prophecies, but in the end, that fatal flaw leads to tragedy. B-

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Paved A Way: The Battle of Village Creek

Amazon
If you have studied the history of Richardson, Texas, you have probably come across this marker in McKamy Spring Park in Brick Row:
The Yoiuane tribe of the Caddo group of Indians lived here as early as 1690 to 1840. They hunted buffalo and deer on the prairie. They used McKamy Spring as a watering place. It was from these friendly Tejas Indians that Texas got her name.
McKamy Spring Historical Marker

Something about that statement should trigger a question in your mind. What happened in 1840 that caused these friendly Tejas Indians to leave the area? I doubt that it was something like "There's a job opportunity in Oklahoma too good to pass up."

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. Yarbrough doesn't discuss Richardson or McKamy Spring, but he has the answer to my question anyway. And, no, it had nothing to do with the local job market.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Goals for our New City Council

Richardson has a new City Council. Three new members were elected in May, taking seats alongside two others who were elected in 2019. That leaves only two members with more than one term of service (Bob Dubey, with two prior terms, and Paul Voelker, with four). Early in each council's term, it's traditional for them to set goals for their own term. I have a suggestion. ;-)

Sunday, June 20, 2021

A Father's Day Meditation on Abraham, Isaac, Kierkegaard, and Donald Trump

Thinking about the inherent conflict between American individualism and Christian selflessness, and how some people can comfortably hold both in their heads simultaneously, I found some paragraphs from a Kierkegaard biography relevant. They are about true faith. They also made me think of Donald Trump.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Action Required: Email Subscription Change

If you've been receiving new blog posts of "The Wheel" by email subscription, notice that this service will be changing in mid-July. The service available for years (provided by FeedBurner) will be going away, requiring all subscribers to resubscribe using the new service (provided by Feedrabbit). To do this, use a desktop browser (not a mobile browser) to go to The Wheel's home page (https://marksteger.com). There, look in the right side menu for the "Subscribe by Email" link. Or, you can just go to the subscription service directly here
(https://feedrabbit.com/?url=http://www.marksteger.com/feeds/posts/default). Subscribers will receive each new post in their email inbox immediately after publication.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Paved A Way: Extermination as Government Policy

Amazon

Who is the worst villain in history? Hitler, right? And what makes him the worst villain? Genocide, right? The word was even coined for him. Where does Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar rank on the list? Top ten? Top hundred? Or so far down the list that your first reaction is "Who is Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar?"

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. It fills us in on Mirabeau B. Lamar.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Paved A Way: "Dallas Doesn't Give a Damn About its History"

Amazon

I've begun reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city referenced in the title is Dallas, Texas. Instead of reading it all the way through and then writing a short review (my usual practice), I've decided to blog as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention.

A good place to start is with this quote in the opening chapter:

Robert Lee Thornton, Dallas’s former mayor, once said, "Dallas doesn’t give a damn about its history; it only cares about the future."
Paved A Way

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): A conventional quest movie. 5 yr-olds will like the plush friendly dragon. (Are all dragons friendly now?) 10 yr-olds will like the quick, smart dialog. Parents will like the message of inclusiveness and trust. Me? I'm not the target audience. B-

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

TIL: Whatever were the Founders Thinking?

Growing up, I heard a lot about what the Founders were thinking when they drafted and adopted the confusingly worded 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. The dominant argument (by NRA types) was that the Founders intended the right to bear arms as a safeguard against tyrannical government, a protection should an evil King George III ever arise again and seek to take away our precious liberties. It seemed to be a compelling argument to my young self. But it wasn't the last word on the subject.

Monday, June 14, 2021

In the Heights (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
In the Heights (2021): Caribbean-American musical. The block is gentrifying. Neighbors are being priced out or moving to follow their dreams. Yet, the neighborhood holds together. Cast and plot are a little crowded, but the joy and message of "Paciencia y Fe" come through. A-

Friday, June 11, 2021

Review: The Ministry for the Future

From The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson:
Everything was tan and beige and a brilliant, unbearable white. Ordinary town in Uttar Pradesh, 6 AM. He looked at his phone: 38 degrees. In Fahrenheit that was— he tapped— 103 degrees. Humidity about 35 percent. The combination was the thing. A few years ago it would have been among the hottest wet-bulb temperatures ever recorded. Now just a Wednesday morning.
Ministry for the Future
Amazon

This is speculative fiction from the near future, when the world can no longer ignore global warming. Lots of things touched on here, from science to economics to government to terrorism, sometimes dramatized, sometimes just straight talk.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Halston (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
Halston (2019): Documentary about the fashion designer who was a demanding, demeaning coke addict. He is treated more favorably than in the 2021 TV series, maybe because there is no video to show of his private excesses. There's more focus on his successes than his failures. C+

#VeryTardyReview

Compare with the 2021 5-part Netflix drama.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Halston (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Halston (TV 2021): Dramatization of life of Halston, a talented fashion designer who was an egotistical coke addict who drove away those around him until he crashed his business and his life. If there's anything below the surface to the man, this movie doesn't bring it out. C-

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Underground Railroad (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Underground Railroad (TV 2021): Cora's flight joins Odysseus and Gulliver's travels among fiction's all-time great journeys. She's always fleeing from horror, not running to freedom. Harsh backlit look and haunting sounds accentuate the horrors of the Black experience. A-

Read my review of the novel it is based on. This is one of the rare cases where the movie lives up to the book. Both are excellent.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Analysis of Local Election Runoffs

The City of Richardson's City Council elections are now completely over. The Richardson ISD school board elections are, too. Congratulations to Arefin Shamsul, new Richardson City Council Person for District 6. Congratulations to Chris Poteet, new Richardson ISD Trustee for Place 7. Both runoff elections were effectively over with the announcement of the early vote when polls closed at 7pm on June 5. Neither runoff upset the results of the May 1 general election. Both candidates who led then went on to win the runoff, by about the same amounts.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Cruella (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Cruella (2021): Backstory for an all-time great villain. Writers succeed in balancing her evil (or madness) with sympathy for how she got that way. Movie is slow getting going, but once the two Emmas take over, the fireworks are worth watching. More fun than I expected. B+

Thursday, June 3, 2021

RISD Race Turns Negative

"I am running against a candidate that has raised 77% of her campaign funds from not only outside the district, but also outside the state of Texas! 69% of her campaign funding is from the same Washington DC organization." — Chris Poteet.

I care less about where donations come from than who they come from. That a non-profit for developing leaders for education equity thinks highly enough of Amanda Clair to donate just affirms my decision to support her. Chris Poteet attacking her for it is disappointing. Besides, he's the odds-on favorite to win this runoff election. Why come out and attack a non-profit organization developing leaders for education equity? It's a bad look.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Mare of Easttown (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Mare of Easttown (TV 2021): Outstanding whodunit. Plenty of suspects, all kept in the game until the last episode. But more, it's a story of unresolved grief that comes between Mare (Kate Winslet) and her ex-husband, her daughter, her daughter-in-law and her job. Emmy worthy. A-

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: Look Beyond Dallas County to Know Who Won

Tweets from May, 2021:
  • 2021-05-02: Look beyond the Dallas County vote to know who won the election (or made the run-off anyway). Daniel Burdette beat Marilyn Frederick in Dallas County, but it was the reverse in Collin County, so Frederick will face Arefin Shamsul in a run-off for Richardson City Council.
  • 2021-05-03: There's something deeply wrong with an American political party that tolerates collusion with Russian interference in US elections, but wants nothing to do with vaccination against a pandemic disease.
  • 2021-05-04: Trying to shoehorn English into the rules of Latin makes no more sense than the Star Wars nerds who try to speak English with the speech patterns of Yoda of Dagobah: "Backward run sentences 'til reels the mind."

After the jump, more random thoughts.

Monday, May 31, 2021

POTD: A Perfect Fit

From 2019 11 21 Kom Ombo and Edfu

If the shoe fits, wear it. For two thousand years. Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River in Egypt.

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Nevers (TV 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Nevers (TV 2021): In Victorian London, Amalia runs a home for women, each "touched" with unique powers. Who or what is behind it all is the mystery. While Joss Whedon takes his time telling us, he pads with a large cast of villains, violence, sci-fi, and special effects. C-

Thursday, May 27, 2021

POTD: Ancient Egypt in Color

From 2019 11 21 Kom Ombo and Edfu

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River in Egypt. It shows what's left of a ceiling. What makes it striking to me are the colors. Although paintings in the ancient tombs often still show their original colors, it's rare to see colors this vivid on outdoor parts of temples. This ceiling was probably originally indoors, and I have no idea how many centuries ago the walls came down, but still, I find the 2,000 year-old colors stunning.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

POTD: Literacy Lost and Found

From 2019 11 21 Kom Ombo and Edfu

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River in Egypt. It shows a panel of hieroglyphs. It's unsettling to me to think that a great civilization once lost its ability to read and write. Its records were indecipherable for over a thousand years until modern linguists figured out the system. If a global calamity wiped out today's civilizations, what would archaeologists of the future (of whatever species or planetary origin) have to go on to decipher our written wisdom?

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Wheel's 2021 Election Runoff Voters Guide

Early voting is open for both the City of Richardson and the Richardson ISD's runoff elections. Early voting runs from May 24 - June 1. Election Day is June 5.

CoR has one place on the ballot, Place 6. RISD has one place on the ballot, At Large Place 7. All registered voters in CoR and RISD can vote in these elections, whether or not you voted in the May 1 election. (But you do have to be registered already. You can't register at the polls. That would be too easy. And, in Texas, making it too easy to vote is verboten.)

Here is how I'm voting.

Friday, May 21, 2021

POTD: Vanishing Point in the Nile

From 2019 11 21 Kom Ombo and Edfu

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River in Egypt. The perspective is down a roofless hallway in the 2,100 year-old temple. In the distance, beyond the palm tree, is the Nile River.