There’s Something About Springfield

Behold, the mighty Plaza Towers in Springfield.

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Plaza Towers, Springfield, Missouri

A couple points to consider:

  • There is only one building. How is this “Towers”?
  • A plaza tends to be a public square. That is, it is a ground-level sort of thing.

I dunno; Plaza Towers sounds kinda like something called “Sea-Level Mountains” on a single hill. But this 10-story (?) building is what passes for a tall building in Springfield.

Book Report: The Impressionists by Denis Thomas (1975)

I wish I could have read this book more closely, but a previous owner had removed pages, probably pages whose reverse included pretty pictures the previous owner wanted for crafts or display. As such, I would read along into the life of Degas, for example, and suddenly would find myself in the middle of the life of Renoir. So I gave up reading too closely and focused on the paintings. Well, the paintings that the previous owner of the book did not think were worth tearing out.

As with any survey, it can give a broad overview or help broaden your perspective. Reviewing this book, I learned that I need to review the work of Mary Cassattm more closely, as I like it. However, I don’t like Paul Cézanne as much.

But that’s what these kinds of survey books are for. Also, they fill the time between plays with something cultural on a Sunday afternoon.

Books mentioned in this review:

You Might As Well Advertise The Fact

A local flea market goes by the moniker STD Flea Market.

It advertises As Seen On TV / As Seen On Jay Leno.

As laughed at by Jay Leno's studio audience
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Now I’m just leaping to conclusions here, but it’s the women’s track, and the conclusions aren’t as far away. If STD Flea Market appeared on Jay Leno, it was probably followed by a close-up of the card, a pause for the audience to laugh, and then Jay went onto another card with a goofy name or strange nuptial couple name.

I guess the ad doesn’t have room for that. Instead, perhaps they want us to infer that Jay Leno found an inexpensive collectible motorcycle there.

Cosmic Christmas Kitsch Kismet

Ladies and gentlemen, the Thomas Kinkade & John Deere Illuminated Christmas Village.

The only way to up-schlock this item would be to put a USS Enterprise in the sky above it or put little Precious Moment figures in it somewhere.

UPDATE: John indicates the link doesn’t work. Forget about that and see what I saw advertised initially: the Thomas Kinkade & John Deere Sleigh Bell Ornament Set.

Now, imagine how much more awesome it would be if it had something Dale Earnhardt about it.

Book Report: Degas by Phoebe Pool (1966)

This book is a pretty detailed biography of Degas, one of the founders and/or inspirations for the Impressionist movement in France, and a number of full color reproductions of his work. He, like Remington among my recent art reading, did not live a life of penury. Instead, he was pretty comfortably comported with a banker father (who proved to be less successful than thought). Degas travelled abroad and studied art and achieved enough success that he could exhibit with the Impressionists at no real risk to himself. Apparently, showing with that riff raff instead of at the Salon was quite a statement.

At any rate, Degas’s work with the human form falls into my wheelhouse of Impressionist appreciation. As you might recollect, I prefer Impressionism to include human figures instead of just landscape. Degas also worked with sculpture and wrote sonnets, so what’s not to like about the guy?

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (2008)

I think I’m reaching a scientific breakthrough on these books. I liked the first, where Odd Thomas interacted with a lot of people. I didn’t like the second, where Odd was on his own thinking to himself as much. I liked third, where Odd interacts with lots of people, more than I liked the second. Now this one, the fourth, and Odd spends a lot of time wandering in the fog on his own being a bit of an action hero, and…. Well, if you were taking a standardized quiz, you would best fill in the circle for “He didn’t like it much.”

In this book, Odd Thomas is on a seashore town trying to prevent an apocalyptic vision from occurring. It somehow involves a cryptic mother-to-be who seems wiser than her years and seems to know a lot about Odd Thomas. And it involves Odd wandering around in the thick fog of the seaside town trying to dodge corrupt cops and to prevent the aforementioned apocalypse.

And he does, of course, almost as a matter of course. He seems to be in no real jeopardy as the story progresses, even as a woman mystically drawn to people in trouble appears out of the fog to give Odd a gun so he can be an action hero for a bit. Then the book ends as Odd and the cryptic mother-to-be head to parts unknown as he’s pledged to defend her with his life. Because he does. Never mind, I don’t get it either.

I snuck a look at the Wikipedia entry for the series, and I see Koontz plans a couple more books and has a graphic novel or two in the series already as well as a Web series going on. Ah, I see. That would explain a bit of it, then. The plotting and depth of the book sort of match what you would get in a graphic novel, but with more Odd Thomas interior monologue to fill it out. Not quite up to snuff. And this book ends kind of in the middle of a larger story, unlike the others, which detracts from it. I didn’t want to read a comic book without pictures.

I hope the other books in the series pick it back up.

Books mentioned in this review:



Another Springfield Street Sign Triumph

I expect this stunning example of sign placement preceded the Campbell Avenue Exit Excellence recorded earlier.

Note that the street sign here is positioned about eight feet away from the Do Not Enter sign:

Signs, signs, everywhere signs
Click for full size

This is particularly awesome when you see it from the other side. You know, when you’re driving eastbound on Sunset in the proper lane as you approach Grant:

Blocking up the other signs, breaking my mind
Click for full size

Notice that the Do Not Enter sign, whose back displays to the oncoming traffic, completely blocks the name of the street.

What could possibly go wrong here?

Iä! Iä! Bipartisanship!

Is it for something trivial? You bet it is! Does it add regulation to industry? Hell yes!

Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it’ll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

Bear in mind that is our beloved Republicans standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Democrats to burden industry for a trivial citizen complaint.

So how good are you feeling about the Brave New Principled Free Market World swearing into the legislature in 2011?

Me, too.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

(Link seen on Boots and Sabers.)