27 November 2011


Just a few words about Martin Scorsese's film Hugo. It was a really good movie about movies. Visually it was stunning. I think 3D added to the film's aesthetics and was used appropriately. People directing 3D movies should probably study this film to see how to do it. I didn't think the plot of Hugo was all that great. I kept expecting more to happen. It felt like there were plot lines and connections that were not included in the final cut of the movie. There were certain things that I had expected to happen, that didn't. The effect was somewhat jarring. The automaton never comes to life, the death of Hugo's father in an explosion is never explained. The movie is really two stories, that of Hugo and that of the film maker Georges Melies. Both are actually good stories, but there didn't seem to be as much drama in either as I would have liked.

Lee's Bakery

For fantastic bahn mi or Vietnamese Sandwich consider Lee's Bakery. You will not have a better sandwich and they are a steal at less than $3 apiece. Kelly and I got a pork sandwich and a scrambled egg sandwich and gave each other half of our sandwich. Both were outstanding. If this place were anywhere near my office I would be eating here at least twice a week.

21 November 2011

Crime Victim

It had been a long work week, I had left work late, made the walk over to the Marta station, took the southbound train to Five Points, and the eastbound train to the Chandler Park/Edgewood Station. By the time I got to the Park and Ride lot it was about 7:45 I was so ready to go start my weekend, but as I walked up to my car the emergency lights were flashing. My brain was trying to wrap my head around why my emergency flashers were going off and how did I possibly manage to leave them on. My biggest worry was if the battery had drained down with them running all day. There was a notice on the windshield under the wiper about unattended vehicles and to call the police which I found confusing. I was tired and wasn't thinking all that clearly. But when I got in the car to start up the engine and found that the ignition was torn apart along with all the plastic around the steering column the light started to dawn. About that time one of MARTA's finest shown a light on me and asked me in a pleasant but authoritative tone if that was my vehicle. After getting out and having my identify and ownership verified, the police took my report and waited with me while the tow truck arrived. They did ask if I wanted the car fingerprinted and then pointed out I'd already been in it. Not having the fingerprints of any possible suspects or even having any suspects in mind I declined. In fact they asked me to decline in writing. I am not sure if that was the right thing to do or not. I got the feeling they didn't want to or felt it wouldn't matter and I had no idea of the significance of doing it or not. I still don't. I need to learn to ask more questions.
The tow service given me by the police was going to take an hour and a half, a friend recommended that I call Allstate since I was a customer, even though I didn't have their motor-club service. Allstate arranged a reasonable tow in about 45 minutes. As I was waiting I walked around the car and found the passenger side window had been pried outward which is how they gained access to the vehicle... more damage. As I sat in the cold waiting on the tow to arrive I noticed a bolder sized rock in the passenger side floorboard and idly wondered if that was to smash a window or if they were using that as leverage to smash the ignition lock.
The police office that waited with me was very courteous and seem pretty offended that someone had committed a crime in her lot. She seemed to think I was taking it pretty well and I guess I did, at least at first. The truth is that it's been worrying at me all weekend. It's the money and a sense of violation and frustration. Ironically the ignition they destroyed was just a week old. I'd just had it replace because it had worn out and the key was stuck. Right now I am out the $75 I've already paid to have it towed to Summit Auto Service. I suspect the guys over there will be calling me with the bad news later today. Insurance isn't going to pay for anything because I only carry liability. It's a 95 Accord and it wouldn't make sense to have a comprehensive policy.
I am frustrated with the whole thing and it's caused a lot of anxiety. It's inconvenient and money issue around the holidays are never any fun. On the other hand, it's just a car, I'm healthy, happy, life is going my way, and I am profoundly grateful for the multiple friends who either looked out after me this weekend or offered to help. Because of them I did have a nice weekend and perhaps was even more conscious than usual that it was a nice weekend. Certainly next time I drive somewhere in my own vehicle I am going to be consciously appreciative of the fact.
Note: In talking to the MARTA officer, she mentioned that the north lot at the Chandler Station might be the safer lot because of higher activity levels. This happened in the south lot where as you might guess, I will not be parking again.
Update: It looks like I will just need another new ignition. Yeah, to replace the one I put in last week. When  the shop called me with the diagnosis on my car, they said it was that I needed to live in a better neighborhood. I love their sense of humor and I am really grateful the would be thieves didn't successfully steal my car. Now that would be a problem.

Dancing Goats

On Saturday did I really drink coffee somewhere besides Starbucks? Why yes I did. Kelly's pick after we took her cats to the vet. I think the coffee was stronger and darker than Starbucks. It was delicious. Also, if I was going to hang out and work, or hang out and socialize, the Dancing Goat has a far better space than Starbucks. This is a really cool little coffee shop. Dancing Goats Thumbs Up

16 November 2011

Yeah Burger

A good solid burger, but the fries were a little disappointing, not crisp or tasty. The ambiance could have been a little better. It seemed a little loud for the casual conversation I like at a burger joint. I think Farm Burger has the better burger and is still my favorite. (And no I have not tried Flip Burger yet.) Yeah Burger Thumbs Up

12 November 2011

Pho Dai Loi #2

Kelly introduced me to Pho tonight (Vietnamese noodle soup pronounced "fa"). My first impression was kind of "meh". The flavors were very different from what my palate is used to, but I kept going to give it a fair shake and by the time I got to the bottom of the bowl I was wondering when I would get a chance to come back. Kelly was introduced to it by a Vietnamese co-worker who said it was some of the best in town. Pho Dai Loi #2 Thumbs Up