Thursday, September 1, 2022

Random Thoughts: "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

Tweets from August, 2022:
  • 2022-08-01: Richardson moved forward with the taking of park land for construction of a 5 million gallon water tank. The City Manager describes this loss of park land as a "win-win" situation. As the old saying goes, "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."
  • 2022-08-01: The applicant, anticipating another rejection, withdrew the application for student housing near UT-Dallas. I hate telling UT-Dallas students to hang on a little longer. It's obvious that housing for students is not a priority of this City Council.
  • 2022-08-01: Irony. Kentucky Noah's Ark sues insurance company over damage caused by heavy rains - CBS News.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • 2022-08-02: Nope (2022): It had me at Jordan Peele. Strong characters and an eerie atmosphere with a crazed chimp and a murderous cloud, but it comes up short when it's time to explain what's going on. Is it a Western? Horror? Sci-fi? Social commentary? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Is it good? Yep. B-
  • 2022-08-03: What's the matter with Kansas? Tonight, nothing.
  • 2022-08-03: Verbatim quote: "The TPPF Take: Being 'woke' means thinking, saying and doing exactly as you are told by the left." So much for TPPF. Merriam-Webster defines woke as "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)."
  • 2022-08-04: Julia (2021): Documentary of Julia Child. Like a Wikipedia article on film, it covers her whole life but barely captures the intellectual rigor that made her cook book a best seller and the joie de vivre that made her a star TV chef. Still, a good place to start. B-
  • 2022-08-04: Not a "love story": Former Richardson mayor gets 6 years for accepting bribes, sex
  • 2022-08-07: Reasons to vote for a Democratic majority in 2022.
  • 2022-08-07: A fine day's work.
  • 2022-08-08: The Worst Person in the World (2021): Norway. Not a plot, but a slice of life. Julie changes majors, falls in and out of love, struggles to figure out who she should be in life. Contrary to the title, a normal young woman. Acting so good, the movie feels like cinema verité. A-
  • 2022-08-09: The Great - S01 (TV 2020): Over-the-top parody of Catherine the Great's early years. It helps to know the real history to appreciate some of the jokes, which tend to be explicitly sexual. Everyone plays it straight but obviously all are having great fun. B-
  • 2022-08-09: Republicans falsely criticize Dems for wanting to defund the police (some do, but most don't). Republicans openly say they want to investigate the FBI (many, many are saying this today). So much for the law-and-order party.
  • 2022-08-10: This is, as Joe might say, a BFD. I worked for Micron.
  • 2022-08-10: Catherine the Great (TV 2019): Hellen Mirren's turn as The Great. 4-part series covers only the last half of Catherine's life, which is the less interesting part. Mirren plays her as needy, which undercuts her greatness. Helen and Catherine both deserve more. B-
  • 2022-08-10: Tabitha Branum assumes her RISD duties amid unanimous praise and good wishes. May her honeymoon period with the district last beyond Thursday.
  • 2022-08-10: You see the mob takes the Fifth," Trump said in April 2018. "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"
  • 2022-08-11: The Old Man (TV 2022): Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow share secrets from a distant past in Afghanistan. When an assassin tries to kill Bridges in the present, events are unloosed in which those secrets gradually emerge in this cerebral thriller. Great work by two old actors. B+
  • 2022-08-11: Big D Reads. The 2022 selection is Jim Schutze's "The Accommodation," the classic 1986 history of race relations in Dallas. Peter Simek in "D Magazine" called it "the most dangerous book in Dallas."
  • 2022-08-12: Regina Harris and Debbie Renteria were elected President and Vice President of the Richardson ISD school board. Steady as she goes in RISD
  • 2022-08-15: Loot (TV 2022): Maya Rudolph plays a snobbish billionaire looking to fill her days after her husband cheats. She volunteers at her own charitable foundation. Does it change her? Do we care? Her problem is not money. A one-note sitcom that can't even get that one note right. C-
  • 2022-08-16: The Monuments Men (2014): Dramatization of real-life frantic effort to recover stolen artwork during the last days of WWII. Watched this on a vacation in Europe, which added some interest to this otherwise predictable march to a known end. Cast of stars distracts from story. C+
  • 2022-08-18: Dallas County affirmed that it "honors the right of pregnant persons to bodily autonomy and control over their private medical decisions and the protection of the patient-doctor relationship." Commissioner JJ Koch opposed that. Voters can replace him with Andrew Sommerman in Nov.
  • 2022-08-19: Book Review: Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic. A former FDA Commissioner and Trump White House advisor gives us his view of COVID-19. A balanced, neutral look at the things we did right and the things we got wrong. A-
  • 2022-08-20: An above average high school graduate has a vocabulary of 65,000 words. To achieve that, they must learn an average of 10 new words a day, each and every day of their lives, school days, weekends, holidays, summer vacations. Every day. They deserve ice cream.
  • 2022-08-21: Latest email to me from Trump: "You've always been one of my STRONGEST supporters, so I am honored to inform you that you have reached Great MAGA King Status. Only my TOP patriots qualify for this status, and YOU have earned it, Friend." It's a cult, I tell you.
  • 2022-08-22: Uncharted (2022): Serviceable adventure movie. A series of set pieces to solve puzzles and fight bad guys in search of lost treasure. Dialog uses wisecracks to indicate no one should take this too seriously. If there's any doubt, the climactic scene is completely over the top. C+
  • 2022-08-22: Sometimes I think the earth needs to be scorched. Replant it." -- Small Axe.
  • 2022-08-23: Doug McDonald returns to Plano - Plano Magazine." The City of Richardson loses a good one, leaving a weak city planning department behind.
  • 2022-08-23: God's Favorite Idiot (TV 2022): Workplace sitcom. Clark is struck by lightning and begins to glow as God's messenger. Cast is diverse and talented, but not even Melissa McCarthy can save this. Show gets credit for treating believers favorably while gently mocking religion. C-
  • 2022-08-25: RISD teacher turnover from last school year is projected to be approximately 16%, up by 1-3% from recent years.
  • 2022-08-27: Is there another word for "follower of Christ"? Because white Christian nationalists have co-opted the word Christian and attached enough uncharitable behavior to it to risk it becoming a dirty word for others.
  • 2022-08-27: RISD says: "Connecting Cultures is changing for 2022-23. Instead of being part of regular or weekly activities, resources will be provided to schools to choose as part of each of the four nationally-recognized cultural heritage months." That seems like a de-emphasis. Why?
  • 2022-08-27: Permitless carry" is now the reality. Will lawful shooting anywhere, any time, be the next demand?
  • 2022-08-28: Read it. Let it percolate. Act.
  • 2022-08-28: When we first started wearing facemasks at the start of the pandemic, I wondered why we hadn't always used this method of reducing influenza infections that had been killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. Asians had the habit in the 1990s. Why not us?
  • 2022-08-28: The HR report presented at the RISD board meeting of 8/9/2022 listed the appointment of 379 professional personnel for 2022-2023. Texas Tribune reports that RISD has 2,841 teachers. By my math, this would indicate 13.3% of the teachers will be new this year. Steady as she goes.
  • 2022-08-28: If you add in 100 more new teachers for the teacher shortage that RISD appears to have right now, that would bring the percentage to 16.9%, almost exactly what RISD is reporting. So the numbers seem right. The question remains, why didn't more teachers leave?
  • 2022-08-28: Richardson City Council agenda item: "Consultation with City Attorney * Regarding Walker et al. v City of Richardson, Texas et al. United States District Court Cause No. 3:22-CV-01164-X." My advice? Quit fighting and settle. Ticket quotas by any name are wrong.
  • 2022-08-30: Anatomy of a Scandal (TV 2022): British parliamentary leader is caught in a sex scandal whose stakes ratchet upwards until his wife, the PM, even the government prosecutor all get drawn in. Decent acting and compelling story even if the biggest reveal is highly implausible. B-
  • 2022-08-30: Aaron Rodgers trashes California Gov. Gavin Newsom over COVID response." I'm a Packers owner and even I'm embarrassed by this dishonest cheesehead.
  • 2022-08-31: Gmail is getting better at sending Trump fundraising emails to my spam folder making my spam folder more entertaining. Here are adjacent emails from today. Subject lines: "I need YOU" followed by "My friends say that I'm fun... Especially in bed ;)" Which is the Trump email?

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