Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Retrospective...My Favorite Posts of 2009

I noticed recently that Blogger's search function only goes back in time so far - type in "guns" in the search bar above, for instance, and you only get posts from the last six months or so. In the dashboard interface that I use to maintain the blog, a search turns up every post right from the beginning with the query term in it (that's how I prevent myself from blogging about the same thing twice).

So, I give you the top ten posts of Shangrila Towers from the first half of the past year. These are my personal favorites, either because I liked the subject matter or because I was able to bring some decent writing to bear:

Fun Depot - Simultaneously one of the best and worst "family fun centers" I've ever been to. Good because it made for an interesting topic to blog about; bad because, well, it was a pretty sketchy experience. To be fair, though, it's a lot cheaper than other places around here.

Trial By Fire - The TYLA National Trial Competition dominated two months of my life and annihilated my GPA for the last semester of law school. "Classes? What classes? We have practice tonight!"

Chris' Taverna - Still an incredibly popular spot for casual Greek food in Lake Worth. Well worth a visit, if only to marvel at how the place has completely co-opted the strip mall it occupies (there are even tables in front of the pharmacy entrance next door).

A Different Kind of Campaign Trail, Part 8 - The "Campaign Trail" posts are a record of my 4E D&D campaign, "Sparks of Fate," one of the few D&D campaigns I've ever run that had a concrete ending. The name comes from the fact that the campaign started in the midst of the 2008 presidential campaign. I have a campaign notebook from "Sparks of Fate" that I'll probably keep for the rest of my life.

Rethinking the "If Only I Had a Gun" Experiment - Ah, who doesn't remember the incredibly slanted take on campus CCW from the folks at ABC? Every gunblogger fisked this claptrap, and I was just doing my part.

The Right to Bear Tasers? - A meditation on the less-lethal electrical stun gun, embodied in the Taser. I've softened a bit on my stance on less-lethal weapons, but it doesn't change the fact that a handgun is still the best tool, overall, for self-defense.

The Life and Death of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The show is now on DVD, but it was the drama surrounding the network wrangling that really made "Sarah Connor Chronicles" memorable. Unfortunately, Fox ended up picking the awful "Dollhouse" for another season. Darn you, Whedon!

Top 5 Impractical But Cool Firearms - One of my best attempts at starting an Internet meme. I still like the idea, but it's pretty hard to find impractical firearms (if you think hard enough, you can find a use for almost ANY gun).

Skill vs. Power - Roger Federer lost out to Tiger Woods for athlete of the decade, but I still think the Swiss Maestro deserved it. Fed's record on the tennis court is so crazy that it's hard to make meaningful comparisons with other sports. How would you describe a college basketball team that made the national championship game 17 out of the past 18 years? Or a golfer who didn't miss a top 4 finish in a major for 6 years? Dominant? Superb?

Schlitterbahn Galveston - One hot day in the Texas summer, burned into my memory.


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