I spent the day in Dayton today.
Monday is my day away, and I decided to get away today.
I was at Panera Bread for breakfast--I'm coming to the conclusion it's the perfect combination: good pastries, good egg-and-bacon (or sausage) breakfast sandwiches, and good coffee*--plus free wifi!
I hung out there for a bit, then headed over to the bookstore to browse a little. Then I saw "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"--I'm growing more and more impressed with the Harry Potter series, for reasons I will explain shortly, if don't forget!--then over to the "Fox and Hound" in Beavercreek for a beer and dinner. More free wifi! I just got the bill so I'll sign off shortly and head home.
Why do I like Harry Potter more and more?
Well, two things in particular:
1) The stories deal with evil in a sensible way--evil is real, neither minimized nor cartoonized. It's something that faces us all, and can seduce us if we're not careful.
2) The stories deal with character and virtue. What did Dumbledore--the headmaster--say at the end of movie #4? "The time is soon coming when we must choose between what is right and what is easy." The characters in the stories, particularly Harry, must choose to do very difficult and painful things, in pursuit of what is right. What's more, Harry frequently leads others to a greater virtue than they otherwise would have attained without his example and encouragement.
These are two excellent things for any stories or movies to emphasize, for any audience. Major kudos to J.K. Rowling, and the movie makers, for this.
* I've found a lot of places either have good coffee, and not much for breakfast--such as Starbucks or Winans; or else they have a great breakfast, but poor coffee--such as First Watch or Bob Evans.