Monday, June 24, 2024

Richardson's new City McHall

Source: City of Richardson

The Richardson City Council reviewed plans for a new City Hall during its June 17, 2024, meeting. This was the second time renderings of the new building were reviewed, the first time being February 5, 2024. Then, I said, "My guess is the City Hall will look fortress-like from Fountain Plaza, but the rest of the views are more than acceptable to me." I also reported that the architecture team said, "The materials to be used on the exterior walls are not yet decided. 'We're intentionally trying to be very nebulous or non committal about what the exterior materials will be at this moment.'" Well, we now have a better understanding of the view and the materials. I'm sorry to say my overall grade for the plan has gotten worse.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

POTD: My Name is Ozymandias


"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

—Percy Bysshe Shelley
From 2023 09 18 Volubilis

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site in Morocco. Volubilis, "founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. Extensive remains of these survive in the archaeological site, located in a fertile agricultural area."

A bonus photo of the Queen of Queens is after the jump.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

POTD: Colors Bright and Faded


"Modern gaze meets past,
Overlooking ancient ruins,
Visitor ponders."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 18 Volubilis

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site in Morocco. Volubilis, "founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. Extensive remains of these survive in the archaeological site, located in a fertile agricultural area."

This building is modern and overlooks the ruins of Volubilis, which were behind me as I took this photo. It's said that many ancient buildings and sculptures were painted in colors that have worn away long ago. No one is saying that a visitor in Roman times might have seen Volubilis similarly painted, but modern visitors are permitted to imagine anyway.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Leveraging AI for Local Govt Efficiency

Source: Dan Barrios

Richardson City Councilmember Dan Barrios is attending a conference. He reports on Facebook, "My first fascinating breakout for the day! It was a packed room and the most popular one yet!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Boys in the Boat (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

The Boys in the Boat (2023): Drama based on real-life story of the University of Washington rowing team who went all the way to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The scrappy kids face every obstacle on their way to glory. The script is filled with every sports trope, but if a feel-good sports movie is what you like, this is for you. B-

Amazon

Monday, June 17, 2024

Book: Symphony of Secrets

From Symphony of Secrets, by Brendan Slocumb:

Symphony of Secrets

Amazon


"It was actually happening. A piece of RED—the elusive, mysterious, impossible RED—had been found. And out of everyone on the planet, Bern himself—a poor bologna-sandwich-eating kid with a beat-up French horn—was going to actually see it. Be one of the very first people to touch it, to decipher Frederic Delaney's distinctive handwriting."

Sunday, June 16, 2024

POTD: Martyr's Cemetery


"Rabat's ancient stones,
Beside the vast, tranquil sea,
Eternal, serene."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 17 Rabat

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Rabat, Morocco. It shows Sidi Al Khattab Cemetery, also called Martyr's Cemetery. It is located next to the thousand-year-old Kasbah of Rabat. I haven't been able to find much information about the cemetery online, but visually it's incomprehensibly large and stunningly beautiful as it overlooks the ocean. As I age and contemplate being much closer to death than birth, I find myself irresistably drawn to such scenes.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

POTD: Kasbah of the Oudaias


"Ancient walls embrace,
Kasbah of the Oudaias,
Heritage preserved."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 17 Rabat

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Kasbah of the Oudaias in Rabat, Morocco. Dating to the 10th century, "it is located on a hill at the mouth of the Bou Regreg opposite Salé, and adjacent to the Medina quarter of Rabat. It is listed, along with other sites in Rabat, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site."

Bonus photos are after the jump.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Three-Body (TV 2023)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Three-Body (TV 2023): Chinese. Adaptation of same Chinese sci-fi novel as the American version, but not as well done. Character bonding is missing. On plus side, 30 episodes vs 10 means more time to explain WTF is going on. C+

Peacock

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Godzilla Minus One (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Godzilla Minus One (2023): Japan. Not a sequel or prequel, it's a reboot. And it's more than a monster movie. It's a melodrama with a lot of heart. A kamikaze pilot with unfinished business after WWII joins the fight against the monster. It's actually good. B+

Netflix

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Book of Clarence (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

The Book of Clarence (2023): Clarence, a man struggling with debt in Jerusalem in 33 AD, has a plan to solve all his problems by imitating Jesus. This could be seen as homage or as sacrilege depending on how easily offended you are. It'll probably satisfy no one. C+

Netflix

Monday, June 10, 2024

Which Brings Me to You (2024)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Which Brings Me to You (2024): Young couple meet and dare to tell each other every romantic relationship in their past. This concept requires too much screen time for the leads to be dating others. And it shows them in unhappy relationships. Result? I never saw or cared about them as individuals or as a couple. C+

Hulu

Sunday, June 9, 2024

POTD: Mausoleum of Mohammed V


"King’s legacy lives
In each deliberate craft,
Mausoleum's grace."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 17 Rabat

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. The king died in 1961. Construction was completed in 1971. "The rich materials, as well as the deliberate use of historical crafts and motifs, is meant to not only pay tribute to Mohammed V but also to evoke his own efforts to encourage traditional craftsmanship as a means of promote a sense of Moroccan identity."

Bonus photos are after the jump.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

POTD: Mercado de San Miguel


"Colors, scents, and sounds
Merge in historic Madrid.
Gastronomic bliss."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 16 Madrid

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain. "Located in the center of historic Madrid and with more than 10 million visitors a year, the Mercado de San Miguel is the gastronomic temple of the city of Madrid, the contemporary essence of all corners of Spanish gastronomy."

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Council Recap: Bicycle Parking

Source: h/t DALL-E

On June 3, 2024, the Richardson City Council held a public hearing on a proposed ordinance specifying a mininum number of spaces for bicycle parking in new developments. This was approved unanimously by City Council.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Council Recap: Ferris Wheel and Outdoor Music

Source: h/t DALL-E

On June 3, 2024, the Richardson City Council held a public hearing on a request for a new development in Restaurant Park on US 75 of a brew pub and food truck business with live outdoor music. Oh, and a 45 ft. Ferris Wheel. This was unanimously approved by City Council.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Eileen (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Eileen (2023): Psychological character study. Young, lonely woman living with her alcoholic father is fascinated by a glamorous new counselor in the youth prison where she works. As their friendship deepens, matters slowly turn dark. Reality and fantasy blur. B-

Hulu

Monday, June 3, 2024

Franklin (TV 2024)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Franklin (TV 2024): Docudrama about Ben Franklin's years as an American diplomat in Paris. It's a painless way to learn history, but Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin? Forget it. In its favor, costumes and sets are beautiful. C+

Apple TV+

Sunday, June 2, 2024

POTD: Catedral del Mazapan


"Gleaming sugar shrine,
Kids outside are unimpressed.
Toledo still grand."

—h/t ChatGPT
From 2023 09 15 Toledo

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Toledo, Spain. The photo shows kids hanging around outside a marzipan store which is named after a prized display in the store: a model cathedral made out of marzipan. Unimpressed is the vibe I get from the kids. Your own mileage may vary. But Toledo itself is undeniably a great city.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Random Thoughts: Taking Down the UT-Dallas Protestors' Encampment

Mastodon

2024-05-02: Taking down the protestors' encampment at UT-Dallas involved officers from UT-D, Richardson, Allen (SWAT), Collin County Sheriff, and Texas Rangers. That shows impressive coordination...and maybe needless risk, as coordination on that scale doesn't come easily.

2024-05-02: Maybe they all have experience taking down homeless encampments. If so, you'd think any one of them was probably up to the task at hand. From reports, everything was peaceful before (and during and after) the police move.