gave me the park almost to myself, yet was still a pleasant setting.
We went with my brother and his wife to the place in Plano where you both watch a movie and order a meal. Prior to our visit, we got a chance to visit with my brother's family's new dog, Arnold. Arnold is a chihuahua mix, and charmed me completely.
We saw the movie "Batman Begins", which I found better than my expectations, even if a few too many things at the end got blowed up real good. I think that if I ever make a movie, then the hero will go to on a pilgrimage to a Missionary Baptist Church in Bradley, Arkansas, instead of to the snow-covered eastern steppes of Asia. I think that Katie Holmes would be a better Missionary Baptist than Scientologist in any event. I always think the truly exotic is right here at home.
Then we headed back to my brother's home and watched a DVD half-hour short they had called "Gamers". This DVD parodies Dungeons and Dragons in a very low-fi way, with really cool low-fi special effects. We enjoyed it, because it reminded us of people we knew in college.
Young Arnold had a traumatic moment soon after we arrived. I sat on my brother's sofa. My brother and I bear a passing resemblance to one another, except that he is thinner, better looking, smarter, and was always dressed in blue by our mother. Arnold mistook me for my brother, and hopped on the sofa to be with my brother, only to find me a sad consolation prize. He emitted what can only be described as a kind of shape note concert of barking. Arnold never quite forgave me for what is, after all, the irremediable sin of not being my brother. I retaliated in kindness, picking up my brother's cat Alice and lavishing love upon it, as Arnold, restored to my brother's lap, spectated, thus showing an over-attentive Arnold that the wages of hostility are that cats get petted.
I still find myself deeply impressed by Arnold, who confirmed my belief that our own family will only have shelter or rescue pets from now on.
I am reading CS Forrester's novel "The General", which makes the point, using a broad satire of the WW I British army, how armies always fight the last war and not the present one, and also how a ruling class can be stuck on the wrong issues and notions. The novel has some lessons for today.