What I learned this week, November 21, 2014

10 DALLAS SECRETS YOU DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED

I actually knew about all but three of these, but an interesting list anyway.

Grave of Clyde Barrow and his brother, Buck.

Grave of Clyde Barrow and his brother, Buck.


When I was nothing more than a sprout (or in this case, an offshoot) and lived in the Canal Zone, I was fascinated by the bananas that grew everywhere. Although everyone grew a little tired of eating them all the time, it was really cool to watch them grow and develop – and to realize that there are many types of bananas – most superior to the Cavendish that we buy in our supermarkets.

But now, disaster. Something else to worry about.

Has The End Of The Banana Arrived?

Did you know that all bananas are slightly radioactive?


I stayed up too late last night to watch most of what is one of the best movies ever made.

I’ve always found this to be one of the most frightening scenes in any movie. Starting with Lundegaard hoplessly struggling with the list of VIN numbers and then having Marge figure out that something is very wrong – you see the end of a person’s life right here. It’s awful – even if it’s somebody as reprehesible as Lundegaard. Ya, Darn tootin’.

An oh ya, this scene. I actually Googled Normandale Community College (seems like a nice enough place) after I watched it. It must be a short path from Juco to turning tricks in a snow-bound truck stop. Go Bears.


The 60 Best Action Movies on Netflix

If you were to ask me (But why would you do something like that?) I would tell you I’m not a particular fan of action movies. However, looking at this list, I’ve seen all but about five of them. The others I liked (mostly) – so maybe I should try and finish it off.

If we do see all of them, or if we want more (I’ve been thinking I should write in first person plural more often) there there is always this:

The 101 Best Movies Streaming on Netflix 2014


29 Clever License Plates That Slipped Past The DMV


The start of the Denton Katy trail off of Swisher Road, in Lake Dallas.

The start of the Denton Katy trail off of Swisher Road, in Lake Dallas.

If you build bike paths, cyclists will come

The new bridge from the Santa Fe trail into The Lot

The new bridge from the Santa Fe trail into The Lot


Check out plans for the taproom with skyline views at Dallas’ Alamo Drafthouse

This is truly the best of all possible worlds.

Richardson’s first brewery, Four Bullets, bets on opening before end of 2014


How Long To Nap For The Biggest Brain Benefits


Stylish bike rider, French Quarter, New Orleans

Stylish bike rider, French Quarter, New Orleans

When Wins Aren’t Wins; When Sharing is Renting

Magazine Street, New Orleans

Magazine Street, New Orleans


Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

Klyde Warren Park,
Dallas, Texas

Texas, 3 Ways

I ate lunch at a splashy new dining spot at the edge of Klyde Warren, Lark on the Park, and chatted with the owner, the longtime Dallas restaurateur Shannon Wynne. When he commented, “Dallas has matured more in the last five years than in the past 25,” I asked him why this was. He guffawed in reply, “Well, it certainly can’t be the locals.” He added that the city had benefited greatly from new blood, and that they in turn had emboldened establishment Dallasites to reconsider the city’s possibilities.

While Mr. Wynne talked, I looked over his shoulder at the restaurant’s walls, which were covered with intricate chalk drawings that rotate quarterly: one by a local tattoo artist, another by a medical illustrator, a third depicting the University of Texas at Dallas’s top-ranked chess team. Meanwhile, outside, dozens of residents were tossing Frisbees, or ice skating. It occurred to me that while Dallas has always exhibited the capacity to surprise others, it had now succeeded in surprising itself.

Abby Magill, of Home By Hovercraft Klyde Warren Park Dallas, Texas

Abby Magill, of
Home By Hovercraft
Klyde Warren Park
Dallas, Texas

Milk Crate Bike in the reading area in Klyde Warren Park.

Milk Crate Bike in the reading area in Klyde Warren Park.

Dance Upon the Mountains Like a Flame

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

Wind Turbines Blackwell, Oklahoma (click to enlarge)

Wind Turbines
Blackwell, Oklahoma
(click to enlarge)

Thought Myself Out Of Happiness

“I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer

I wonder what this guy is thinking. He’s been in that glass box a long time.

Dallas Museum of Art Dallas, Texas

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, Texas

Outside, For A While Anyway

“They had laughed. They had leaned on each other and laughed until the tears had come, while everything else–the cold, and where he’d go in it–was outside, for a while anyway.”
― Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

One of my favorite new places in Dallas is the Cold Beer Company. It’s on the far east side of Deep Ellum, and has been built as the rebirth of an interesting old building. It’s in a good location, has nice outdoor seating, and, of course, a good selection of cold beer.

I rode my bike there and noticed the brick patio entrance. Right in the middle of the paving was a single brick marked “Lawrence, Kansas.” I asked the waitress about that and she said one of the owners went to Kansas University, my alma mater.

“And he likes to talk about it,” she said.

So when he came out of the back I asked him about KU and the waitress was right – he liked to talk about it. He seemed a little sheepish about the brick. “They weren’t supposed to put it right there in the middle.” I’m not sure I believed him.

We talked about Lawrence and the Kansas winters. When I would look around, the waitress and bartender would roll their eyes.

I think they had heard it all before – many times before.

Paving brick in front of the Cold Beer Company Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Paving brick in front of the Cold Beer Company
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Patio in front of the Cold Beer Company, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Patio in front of the Cold Beer Company,
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

My Xootr Swift folding bike in the cool bike rack in front of the Cold Beer Company Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

My Xootr Swift folding bike in the cool bike rack in front of the Cold Beer Company
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Restlessness of the Soul

“Dreams and restless thoughts came flowing to him from the river, from the twinkling stars at night, from the sun’s melting rays. Dreams and a restlessness of the soul came to him.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

The city has made incredible strides since Katrina. However, New Orleans is still full of abandoned, vacant, and decaying properties. One of these is the old River of Life Hospital, on Jackson, across the street from the condominiums with the New Orleans Gargoyle Sculpture.

I didn’t venture inside – though it looks like there is some art there.

This place isn’t a hurricane victim, however. It’s been vacant since 1979. Hopefully, someone will find a use for it soon.

River of Life Hospital New Orleans, Louisiana

River of Life Hospital
New Orleans, Louisiana

Glimpse the Joyous Isles

“Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides… I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.”
― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Rotterdam Express Container Ship New Orleans, Louisiana

Rotterdam Express
Container Ship
New Orleans, Louisiana

Today’s technology – the amount of useless information available at your fingertips is breathtaking. Take this ship I watched sail up the Mississippi – there are a number of websites which will tell me where the ship is at any time. Right now The Rotterdam Express is underway in the North Sea off the coast near Dunkirk.

I might check in from time to time, imagine the adventure.

Tourists From the Future

“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?”
― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey New Orleans, Louisiana

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey New Orleans, Louisiana

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey New Orleans, Louisiana

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey
New Orleans, Louisiana

Clyde Casey: A New Orleans mobile percussionist

A Roving Percussionist On The Big Easy’s Busy Streets

“Party lights hang over the street, yellow and red and green. Sadie stumbles over someone’s chair, but I’m ready for this and I catch her easily by the arm.

“Sorry, clumsy,” she says.

“You always were, Sadie. One of your more endearing traits.”

Before she can ask about that I slip my arm around her waist. She slips hers around mine, still looking up at me. The lights skate across her cheeks and shine in her eyes. We clasp hands, fingers folding together naturally, and for me the years fall away like a coat that’s too heavy and too tight. In that moment, I hope on thing above all others: that she was not too busy to find at least one good man …

She speaks in a voice almost too low to be heard over the music. But I hear her – I always did. “Who are you, George?”

“Someone you knew in another life, honey.”
― Stephen King, 11/22/63

Cannot Bar Its Path

“One who knows the Mississippi will promptly aver—not aloud, but to himself—that ten thousand River Commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or confine it, cannot say to it, Go here, or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at.”
― Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Capt. Billy Slatten Towboat Mississippi River New Orleans, Louisiana

Capt. Bill Slatten
Towboat
Mississippi River
New Orleans, Louisiana

Capt. Billy Slatten towboat information

“Whoo-oop! I’m the old original iron-jawed, brass-mounted, copper-bellied corpse-maker from the wilds of Arkansaw!—Look at me! I’m the man they call Sudden Death and General Desolation! Sired by a hurricane, dam’d by an earthquake, half-brother to the cholera, nearly related to the small-pox on the mother’s side! Look at me! I take nineteen alligators and a bar’l of whiskey for breakfast when I’m in robust health, and a bushel of rattlesnakes and a dead body when I’m ailing! I split the everlasting rocks with my glance, and I squench the thunder when I speak! Whoo-oop! Stand back and give me room according to my strength! Blood’s my natural drink, and the wails of the dying is music to my ear! Cast your eye on me, gentlemen!—and lay low and hold your breath, for I’m bout to turn myself loose!”
― Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

What I learned this week, November 14, 2014

6 IDEAS FROM CREATIVE THINKERS TO SHAKE UP YOUR WORK ROUTINE


Downtown Dallas Inc Says They’re Working on a Bike Share Plan

but… on the other hand, we have this for now.

Dallas Unveils World’s Saddest Bike Sharing Program


train_animate

Red Line DART Train reflected in the gold mirror of Campbell Center at Northwest Highway and 75.

Red Line DART Train reflected in the gold mirror of Campbell Center at Northwest Highway and 75.

Moving Drawings Looping GIFs Provide Infinite Entertainment

peek



New Orleans Beignet Company

New Orleans Beignet Company

THE 101 BEST BREAKFASTS IN AMERICA: THE SOUTH

I don’t know about this list…. they have Cafe du Monde as the best Beignets in New Orleans (there are better places) – but in a pinch, these might do.


Dallas’ Five Best Bowls of Pho

This list starts with Pho Pasteur, my favorite (and within walking distance of my house), so it must be a good list.


10 Common Pancake-Making Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them


Netflixeando: 15 Mexican Films You Should Stream On Netflix

I’ve seen a few of these – and they were great. Maybe the rest of the list is worthwhile too.

Human Beings Would Not Be Human Without Them

“Any technological advance can be dangerous. Fire was dangerous from the start, and so (even more so) was speech – and both are still dangerous to this day – but human beings would not be human without them.”
― Isaac Asimov

Gas Space Heater, St. Charles Guest House, New Orleans, Louisiana

Gas Space Heater,
St. Charles Guest House,
New Orleans, Louisiana

A cold snap came through New Orleans the day after Halloween. When we came back to our room in the old guest house in the Garden District an unseen Prometheus had lit the gas space heater in the bathroom, filling the cracked and colorful old Art Deco tile designs with a warmth of blue, red, and orange.