Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reality TV, anyone?

"Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want."

~ Clive Barnes
New York Post Dance and Drama Critic

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Though it ends, I am not sad. Though there is death, all is not forgotten. Though we weep, there is also laughter.

For years of pleasure, many thanks.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

rats and machines

Remember when I said it looked like fun? Well it was. Transformers is a fantastic bout of transforming action full of world peril and hilarious moments. There were only a few corny lines and two horrible characters. With these oversights, perfect summer fun.

As per usual, I skipped into a second feature (I hate paying full price for a film these days) and found Ratatouille enjoyable but not up to the charming standards of its predecessors. Again, extremely gorgeous to look at but almost hard to believe. That sounds silly about an imaginary kids film but because it took place in the human world, it was hard to convince me. I am sure that is my practical engineering side talking and I should get over it. A nice film but for me, only just that.

Seven Deathly Questions

Scholastic asks seven questions as the Potter series comes to fruition. By far, the most interesting question is whether Snape is good or evil. As I have just finished re-reading book four, I believe that he is good. There is just too much evidence for this argument, the top one being that Dumbledore trusted him beyond all measure. We have to trust our late noble leader. Furthermore, Voldemort himself says that one of his most trusted Death Eater is lost forever something that I think will come back to haunt our fearless army for never would Voldemort really trust Snape again. I fear that Voldemort will betray Snape which will eventually lead to the cheater of death's downfall. Optimistic me believes all will be well in the end.

And I must say that the last few chapters in that book are the hardest ever to read. How much that poor boy goes through in one night. How much we love him for it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Riding the rails

If one thing bothers me about this country, other than the media and the lawyers, it is the fact that we have no high speed ground mass transit. The highway system, while impressive and longstanding, is becoming atrocious. Roads fall apart in no time with the amount of traffic and poor weather. Construction is a never ending hindrance. Gas prices are not decreasing and please do not get me started on people sitting in the left lane talking on their phones and going under the speed limit. I understand the logistics, the fact that we would need to invest quite a bit of capital to get things moving, pun intended, but perhaps we should be investing in this country more than we are currently.

Here in Austin, after seventeen years, we will have commuter train transit (on existing tracks) into the city and to San Antonio. Why this was not adopted earlier, I will never understand as traffic in Austin is very poor with only two north-south routes that envelop the city and only an east-west that sits at the south portion of the city. Rush hours are parking lots and enough to make my blood pressure rise to the outside summer temperatures.

Let us hope that this country thinks ahead and starts planning for a better way to travel throughout.

Hey America, Make With the !@~$ High-Speed Rail Already

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

a beautiful Declaration

An impressive and throroughly enjoyable dissection of the Declaration of Independence by Stephen E. Lucas. It is a long piece but, to my satisfaction, speaks not only to the meaning of the document but the poetry, the sonorous phrases, and the linguistic nature of each chosen word. A must read by any person doubting or needing reaffirmation of the true genius on which this country is built.

Declaration of Independence: Stylistic Artistry

lucky me

More touring of Texas this weekend took me to Ft. Worth and Dallas. I stopped by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History for the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit, the only southwestern location of this tour. It was pretty interesting though I skipped most of the learning centers for kids. I just enjoyed the costumes and models of ships that were used in the films. The keenest thing was you could see how used they were with scuffs on the shoes and little LED lights in the models. While the gloss from the Star Wars universe, for me, has receded, the creativity of the series still rings true. A lot of the creatures, ships, and locations while extreme are based in fact and that will continue to make the fantastical story endure.

After a side trip to the Russel Stover outlet for some sugar free candies for my aunt, I headed to Pizza Hut Park for the FC Dallas - Houston Dynamo soccer game. It was great to be there and it is a great park. However the game was scoreless with little shots on goal. Not the best introduction to my professional game debut. I hope next time, and there will be a next time, is a better game.

Finally, after spending some time with my aunt, we drove to Shreveport, LA for some gambling at the casinos there. Shreveport is no Vegas or Atlantic City, but there are plenty of casinos and shopping. I suck at gambling because I hate to take risks. I cringe at televised poker tournaments watching these thousands of dollars being wasted on cards I know are going to lose. However, that day was my lucky day. I happened to win $172.80 on the penny slots. I should have bought a lottery ticket.