Monday, February 24, 2020

Cowboy Hank Frank's First Howdy To Uncle Durango

Two videos arrived on my phone Sunday night.

I YouTubed both videos, one of which you can watch below.

Both videos feature the youngest member of the Jones family, Henry Francis, better known as Hank Frank.

Hank Frank's grandpa is my little brother, Jake.

The first of the two videos was aimed at grandpa Jake, with Hank Frank taking a break from eating an apple to wave and say hi to his grandpa, who is currently in recovery from surgery mode, in Arizona, with Aunt Jackie being his primary caregiver.

Last week Aunt Jackie returned to Arizona from her first trip to Washington in several years. During her Pacific Northwest visit Aunt Jackie did not make it as far north as our old home zone of the Skagit Valley, which is where Hank Frank and his cousin, Spencer Jack live.

So, Aunt Jackie did not get to meet Hank Frank for the first time.

I suspect Aunt Jackie's first meeting with Hank Frank will likely take place the same time as mine, as in this coming Summer.

I wonder if we will get to go to Spencer Jack's Fidalgo Drive-In in Anacortes.

I understand Spencer Jack makes excellent blackberry milkshakes and fish and chips.

Hank Frank eating an apple from his orchard got me wondering if Linda Lou ever made her scheduled visit to Hank Frank's Fruit Stand.

I must remember to ask when next I talk to Linda Lou.

Hank Frank turned one year old this past September 26. Which would make Hank Frank about one year five months old, currently.

Via the video evidence Hank Frank appears to be steadily mobile and audible at his relatively young age.

In the below video Hank Frank puts on his full size cowboy hat and proceeds to say a hearty howdy to his Uncle Durango.

Just as I was typing the above sentence mentioning Hank Frank putting on his full size cowboy hat Hank Frank's dad texted asked me if I recognized the hat. I had not til asked, then looked at the above screen cap and realized this was the cowboy hat I gave Joey back in 2015 when I met him at McDonald's in Grapevine when Joey was in DFW doing something electrical for Expedia.

And now, that aforementioned video of Hank Frank in cowboy hat mode...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Photo Documentation Of J.D. Granger's First TRWD Job Interview

I am almost 100% certain this is not an actual photo and quote from the TRWD/TRVA (Tarrant Regional Water District/Trinity River Vision Authority) job interview with the notoriously disgraced and fired son of District 12 Congresswoman, Kay Granger, J.D.

Even though the above may not be an actual photo and quote I am 100% certain the sentiment expressed is accurate.

After a decade, give or take a year or two, J.D. Granger was fired from the job he got because of who his mother is, and the hope that this act of blatant nepotism would motivate his mother to secure federal pork barrel money from more prosperous parts of America in order to fund an imaginary flood control scheme linked to a corrupt economic development scheme designed to help line the pockets of Kay Granger, and her cronies, operating in what is known as the Fort Worth Way, but which is known in non-corrupt parts of America as corrupt machine politics.

Eventually, after years of mis-management and little to show for the millions of dollars wasted, and with public perception almost unanimously seeing this phony public works project as an embarrassing boondoggle, J.D. Granger was fired from his position as Executive Director.

And then given a new imaginary job, working for the TRWD on flood control, in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century, due to flood control constructions already in place.

And paid the same salary of well over $200,000 a year, plus perks and benefits, that J.D. has been paid during the years in which he helped create America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle.

After J.D. Granger was fired a replacement was hired, with a salary even higher than J.D.'s.

With that replacement being a retired Army Corps of Engineers executive named Mark Mazzanti.

We recently learned J.D.'s replacement seems to be just as inept as J.D.

We learned about Mark Mazzanti's stuttering ineffectiveness via his garbled articulation during an NBC 5 DFW TV interview.

This was blogged about in Fort Worth's Slow Motion Imaginary Island Project May Get Even Slower, with that blogging including a link to the NBC 5 DFW TV interview in which you can see for yourself how inept J.D.'s replacement is when questioned about the current status of America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle.

No one can possibly know if electing Lisa Welch to replace Kay Granger will end the mess which has become America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle, but one would think finally firing Kay, after so many years, would also lead to the firing of her son from the job from which he has so greatly profited and at which he has so greatly failed, due to, like J.D. said in that first job interview, "I don't know what I am doing"...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ruby Finds The Mountain Wearing A Pink Hat While I Commiserate

Incoming text message with a photo, last night.

Text in message..."The Mountain is wearing a pink hat tonight."

Since this text message was coming from Washington I knew the Mountain being referred to was Mount Rainier, since such is what Mount Rainier is referred in Washington, as simply the Mountain.

Even though there are four other volcano mountains in Washington, Rainier is the only one which can pretty much be seen from any location in the state, hence Mount Rainier representing Washington on the state license plate.

When I looked at the photo on my phone I could not make out the Mountain, or the pink hat it was alleged to be wearing.

But, I could see my one and only niece, Ruby, on Harstine Island, standing on the shore of Puget Sound, but I could see no Mountain

I have had this problem with previous photos sent from Harstine Island.

Previously, even after taking the photo off the phone, in order to view it via the big screen monitor, I still could not see the Mountain.

But, due to learning my lesson from those previous instances I knew I was only looking at the i-Phone photo at 27% size. Increasing the photo to 100%, suddenly the Mountain appears.

I then cropped out the part of the photo which clearly shows the Mountain wearing a pink hat, for your viewing pleasure below...

I have seen Mount Rainier wearing weirder things than this pink hat.

Mount Rainier has a long history of hosting weird things, like crystal gazing gurus, and UFOs, among other things, like strange cloud formations.

Just yesterday I was in ALDI, in Wichita Falls, which is in Texas, where there are no volcanoes, or any real mountain ranges, and the subject of Mount Rainier came up when I was checking out and the ALDI checkout lady, with whom I had previously conversed multiple times, asked me when I'm going to Arizona again, since mention had been made over the years of my frequent Arizona visits.

I replied that my next scheduled escape from Texas was going to Washington next summer.

Which Washington she asked.

The one with natural volcanoes I replied.

She then surprised me saying first that she had not traveled all that much, had hardly ever been out of flat Texas, but a couple months prior had flown northwest, to Washington, to visit friends in Seattle, who had a cabin at Packwood.

Packwood, by Mount Rainier I asked?

Yes, was the reply. She told me she had seen pictures of such places but being there in person was mesmerizing, that it was so peaceful, the scenery so beautiful.

I replied something along the line of that is true, it is scenic, but that you don't really fully appreciate it when you grow up living there, but I do now, when I return.

The ALDI lady then said something along the line of she would not mind moving to Washington.

To which I replied I like visiting, but I really can't picture moving back.

And then that same day I called to my Arizona sister, who when I called was at Sea-Tac waiting to board to return to Arizona after a multi-week visit to Washington for the first time in several years.

I don't remember how the subject got brought up, but I asked about either the mountains or the Mountain, to which my sister replied she saw no mountains during the visit, other than driving the pass over the Cascades, on the way to visit the Tacoma Trio, and others, after first spending a week in Eastern Washington visiting her in-laws.

Apparently Western Washington was in pretty much 100% cloud cover mode during my sister's entire visit.

I asked how well she adjusted to the temperature difference after so long not experiencing it, let alone experiencing it in Winter. To which my sister replied that she really could not see moving back and adjusting to the cloudy rainy days after getting used to the reliable sunshine of Arizona.

Ironically, the day after my sister returned to Arizona I read in the Seattle Times that Western Washington, the previous day, had had it first mostly clear day since way back in November.

I really am sort of conflicted about the idea of moving back to my old home zone.

There are so many things I would so greatly appreciate now. Like the scenery. How close one is to so many different things. Few miles to the west, saltwater, few miles to the east, mountains. Seafood. Digging clams, catching dungeness crab. Blackberries, free for the picking. All sorts of easily acquired produce.

Drive over the mountains to a more desert, Texas-like climate, both weather-wise, and political-wise. Where apples, peaches, apricots, grapes, nectarines and all sorts of other stuff I am forgetting, grow, cheap and easy to acquire. And of high quality.

Or drive a few miles north and cross the border to another country, a progressive liberal country successfully demonstrating, for poorly educated ignorant sorts, way south of the border, how democratic socialism actually works.

I miss going regularly to Canada. I think my last time north of the border was shortly before moving to Texas, nephew Jason took me there to ride the Skytrain from Burnaby, I think it was Burnaby, to Vancouver, and then the Seabus across the bay to West Vancouver.

Next summer I will be a couple miles from the border with Canada. I suspect I will not be crossing over....

Friday, February 21, 2020

Keeping Warm Coated With Lucy Park Duck Ponders

With the windy wind chill making the outer world at my location feel like the temperature was chilling below freezing there was no way I felt like layering on sufficient outerwear to make rolling my bike wheels a pleasant experience.

But, going on a walk seemed doable, yet still needing sufficient outerwear.

And so I wore a new coat which one of my favorite Washington ladies Amazoned to me a couple days before the most recent Christmas. This coat has two layers of zippers and other accouterments which totally block the intrusion of any cold wind, rain, or other annoyances.

Ironically, walking around Lucy Park today did not seem too cold. And I don't think the super coat had much to do with it. The fact that the wind had died down to dead calm likely helped.

Above, that photo you see is part of the Lucy Park Duck Pond.  This Duck Pond is the best Duck Pond I have ever seen. I think I have mentioned that before. That and the fact that I really have not seen all that many Duck Ponds.

That bridge you see above, crossing from the Wichita Falls mainland to Duck Island, looks totally innocuous.

But, instead of being innocuous, crossing that bridge makes one think it seems like it should be something inside a carnival funhouse.

We are less than a month away from the start of Spring.

I am ready to move on from the running the furnace time of the year to the running the air conditioner time of the year....

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Serious Problem With Stone Stacking Pebble Piling Gravel Gathering Hoodoos

I saw that which you see above on Facebook via a posting by Miss Mildred's paternal parental unit, who asked that which you see at the top...

 "Are you a stone picker? A pebble piler? A gravel gatherer? Yeah, it's fun, but it also can leave a mark".

I had zero idea that that which I have long referred to as "Hoodoos" was any sort of problem.

Years ago, back when I lived in the DFW zone of Texas, I regularly hiked the Tandy Hills, located a couple miles west of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

After a few years of hiking the Tandy Hills the phenomenon I took to referring to as being "Hoodoos" began to appear at multiple locations along the trails which traverse the hills.

In all those years I never saw anyone actually building one of the Hoodoos. Some of those rock pile structures were quite elaborate feats of engineering and balancing, and likely took a bit of time to construct.

And yet I never caught anyone in the act of piling rocks into a tower.

A few months ago I was surprised to see a Hoodoo alongside the Circle Trail in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. Since that Hoodoo first appeared it has gone through multiple iterations, with the most recent being a complex of six Hoodoos. I have only seen Hoodoos at that one location on the Circle Trail.

Above is that six Hoodoo formation mentioned in the previous paragraph. I really do not see how this particular Hoodoo iteration causes any sort of problem.

Seeing this post from Miss Mildred's paternal parental unit got me remembering the first time I came across Hoodoos. Years ago, with my favorite nephews, Christopher and Jeremy. We all lived in Washington at that point in time. Christopher and Jeremy now live in Arizona.

The above is a photo of that first Hoodoo encounter I mentioned in the previous paragraph. That is Jeremy on the left, Christopher on the right. That big mountain in the background is Mount Shuksan. To the right, in the direction Christopher is looking, is the Mount Baker volcano.

A line of Hoodoos is behind the boys.

I had no idea, til reading so on Facebook, that piling rocks in Hoodoo type formations was any sort of bad thing.

I suppose it all depends on the location of the rock piling.

Probably not so okay in any sort of actual scenic wonder, but probably totally okay in a location like the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, even though the Hoodoos there are not natural...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fort Worth's Slow Motion Imaginary Island Project May Get Even Slower

Email from the retired Elsie Hotpepper's granddaughter, Mrs. TB, told me to "Watch the Video, Priceless!"

Elsie Hotpepper granddaughter is not nearly as verbose as her grandma.

The email included a link to an NBC 5 news segment titled Fort Worth’s $1.2B Panther Island Project May ‘Take a Pause’ Amid Funding Questions.

Prior to hearing from Mrs. TB I had already heard about the Panther Island pause.

When I heard about the pause I wondered how anyone would notice, you know, what with the mess which has become known simply as the Boondoggle, has been ambling along in slow motion, with little to show for the effort, and millions spent, for most of this century.

Just the three bridges part of the Boondoggle, one of which NBC's Scott Gordon is pointing to, have been being built in ultra slow motion, virtual ongoing pause mode, since their construction began with a ridiculous TNT exploding ceremony, was back in 2014, with an even then astonishing four year project timeline.

A four year project timeline which has now been paused into some point later this decade. Or maybe the next decade.

Look at that bridge skeleton Scott Gordon is pointing to.

Built over dry land, supposedly to save money and construction time, when there never was any other option than to build the bridges over dry land, because there will be no water under the bridges until a cement ditch is dug under them with polluted Trinity River water diverted into the ditch.

In addition to the claim these bridges are being built over dry land to save time and money, the idiots who foisted this on Fort Worth, well, more specifically, to name a specific idiot, Kay Granger's son, J.D., has claimed these are "signature" bridges.

You know, a signature bridge, like the Golden Gate bridge, a bridge being an iconic symbol of a town. The sort of iconic signature structure many towns have which the rest of the word recognizes, such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, the Space Needle in Seattle. That type thing.

Looking at that photo of one of these Fort Worth imaginary "signature" bridges, is it not sort of difficult to conjure just how stupid a person has to be to think such a bridge would become iconic?

And yet J.D. Granger keeps getting paid by the Boondoggle overseers. Even though he was fired from his Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director job, and instead put in charge of the flood control part of the project. You know, where there has been no flooding for over half a century, due to flood control which already exists.

J.D. got fired, after overseeing a mess which has become a boondoggle, and yet he is still being paid his over $200K a year salary, along with perks and other benefits, such as also employing his most recent wife in another high paying job, though no longer working directly under her husband, well, not while at work, supposedly.

J.D. keeps milking the Boondoggle. His mother somehow keeps her job.

But, the upcoming expected Blue Wave Tsunami may finally put an end to Kay Granger's reign....

Monday, February 17, 2020

David, Theo & Ruby On Harstine Island With Deer & Aunt Jackie

Last night multiple photos of Aunt Jackie's visit to Harstine Island arrived via email.

Aunt Jackie's birthday was two days before Valentine's Day.

If I am remembering correctly, last summer I was told that my one and only niece, Ruby, had opted to take a summer school culinary class.

And then a couple months ago I was told that Ruby had told Aunt Jackie that if Aunt Jackie visited Washington during Aunt Jackie's birthday's time frame that Ruby would bake Aunt Jackie a birthday cake.

So, I am assuming that that is Ruby's birthday cake on which Aunt Jackie is trying to blow out the candles. Does each candle represent a decade? I do not know.  I do know for certain the candle blowing took place in David, Theo and Ruby's Harstine Island cabin.

Aunt Jackie with the Tacoma trio on the Harstine cabin's deck. That is not some sort of photoshopped backdrop in the background. That is what much of Western Washington looks like. One of the reasons the state's nickname is the Evergreen State.

No text explained what we are seeing above. I am guessing that Theo is controlling, remotely, a boat.

Or an electronic shark.

Harstine Island is a real island, surrounded by real water of the saltwater sort. Which would indicate the dock Theo is standing on is in Puget Sound.

Above we see Theo, outside the cabin, leading the intrepid trio to a confrontation with a deer herd. I suspect deer living on an island are used to friendly encounters with island dwellers.

I am looking forward to my first visit to Harstine Island, this coming summer.

So far Ruby has not said she will bake me a birthday cake...

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Kay Granger's Imaginary Powerful White House Panther Island Delay

Just yesterday someone asked me if I had any photos of the current state of Fort Worth's three bridges which have been stuck in slow motion construction since 2014, currently not expected to be completed until possibly some point in this decade. Or the following decade.

I replied that I did not have any recent photos of those bridges, and then this morning the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in its Sunday online edition, on the front page, had the photo you see above, of one of those "signature" bridges in the making, along with the stunning, iconic skyline, of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

The headline under the photo...

 Rep. Granger: ‘Powerful’ White House appointee is delaying Fort Worth’s Panther Island
Local leaders expected federal money to come by now. The White House wants them to do more homework.

Seems likely Kay Granger is making up some imaginary powerful White House appointee as an excuse for her inability to secure federal pork barrel funds, what with, to help motivate Kay, her son being given a cushy high paying job planning Rockin' the River happy hours in the polluted Trinity River, along with other nonsense.

Kay Granger is up for election, again, and her part in the Panther Island Boondoggle mess is finally an issue, which many voters see as a scandal, after so many years.

For those who have no idea what Panther Island is, well, it is the imaginary island that those three bridges being built over dry land will connect to, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island.

What is now most frequently referred simply as The Boondoggle, began as the Trinity River Vision, way back near the start of the current century.

Over the years the name for the Boondoggle morphed from Trinity River Vision to Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

In recent years the Boondogglers usually refer to their slowly failing project as Panther Island, where there is no island, and where there has never been a panther, except in the long ago imagination of a Dallas news reporter.

Way back when the Boondoggle began it was billed as a vitally need flood control and economic development project.

Where there had been no flooding for well over half a century.

The original price tag for the Boondoggle was something in the $300 million range. That price tag is now well over $1 billion.

Just paying the exorbitant salaries of the Boondogglers for so many years, as the Boondoggle boondoggled along, has added greatly to the price tag.

That Kay Granger lady, referred to in the headline above, well, her son, J.D. is currently being paid over $200,000 a year, plus perks, even after he was fired from his Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director position, and moved to being responsible for the imaginary flood control in the area which has not flooded for well over half a century.

Why should the more prosperous parts of America be expected to fork over funds to pay for this Boondoggle which has been so ineptly managed?

Way back when this started, when the project was announced, I wondered why, and how, such a public works project could be legit without the public voting on the funding mechanism for the project.

Eminent Domain was abused to take property for this economic development scheme, with some property taken over a decade ago in the area where those bridges have become embarrassing eyesores.

Tarrant County is the Eminent Domain Abuse Capital of America, but, even so, one would think there would be some limit to what is tolerated. But, bulldozers began to destroy buildings even before property owners had their cases heard in court.

One would think an imaginative lawyer could come up with a viable lawsuit on behalf of the Eminent Domain Abuse victims.

Because, clearly this project does not fall into the category of taking property for the public good, because if that were the case, if this actually was some sort of vitally needed public works project, it would have been properly funded and long ago completed.

But, instead we have the Boondoggle....

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sisterly Happy Valentine's Day From Puget Sound's Harstine Island

Incoming this Valentine's Day afternoon from my favorite sister-in-law, Kristin.  That incoming being the photo you see above of my two baby sisters, Michele on the left, Jackie on the right.

Earlier today I requested island photo documentation when I learned from Jackie that she was in Tacoma and was soon departing with David, Theo and Ruby, along with Michele and Kristin, to go to the Tacoma Trio's cabin on Harstine Island.

I thought that photo documentation would likely be of the Tacoma Trio doing some fun thing, not expecting to get to see something like my young little sisters beaming happy in the semi-warm Washington sun.

Those reading this in Fort Worth, those are real islands you see in the background, I think. Or that may be the Washington mainland. But, as you can clearly see, a real island is surrounded by a large body of water.

Naturally occurring water.

Not a chunk of industrial wasteland with a cement lined ditch cut through it, pretending to be an island.

One gets to Harstine Island via a bridge connecting the mainland to the island. That bridge was built over actual water. Saltwater of the tidal changing sort.

Fort Worth has been stuck for years trying to build three simple little bridges, over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, that being that aforementioned industrial wasteland.

A short Wikipedia/Google blurb one sees when one Googles "Harstine Island"....

Harstine Island is an island in Mason County, Washington, United States. The US Census recognizes it as an unincorporated community. The island is located west of Case Inlet in southern Puget Sound, 9.94194 miles north of Olympia. It has a land area of 30.0153354 square miles, and had a population of 1,002 as of the 2000 census.

Can you imagine a day way in the distant future when someone might Google "Panther Island" and read...

Panther Island is an imaginary island in Tarrant County, Texas, United States. The US Census recognizes it as a poorly developed industrial wasteland. The imaginary island is located north of downtown Fort Worth, about 30 miles west of Dallas. It has a land area of a few square miles, and had a population of 1,002 as of the 2040 census, along with a large herd of feral cats.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day. I had the best lunch in recent memory today to celebrate this sacred holiday...

Kremlin Kay Valentine's Day Wet Kisses From Russia With Love Exposing Pudgy Putnam

What you see via the image is a screen cap of what one finds when one Googles "Pudgy Putnam". Including "Images for Pudgy Putnam".

A couple days ago we blogged about recent scandal type revelations regarding Pudgy Putnam, he being the ultra right wing nut job who  fellow Tarrant County right wing nut jobs, along with Democrats hoping a right wing nut job beats Kay Granger in the Republican Primary, thus making it easier for the Democrat, Lisa Welch, to beat the Republican in the upcoming Blue Wave Tsunami of 2020, taking District 12 for the Democrats.

I really need to work on not writing so many run-on sentences.

Anyway, like I said a couple days ago I blogged about The Great District 12 Pudgy Putnam Pretender Unhinged & Exposed, in which we learned that Pudgy Putnam shares more character traits with his Trump hero than was initially realized.

That blog post generated an amusing comment...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Great District 12 Pudgy Putnam Pretender Unhinged & Exposed":

Kremlin Kay (Granger) sends you wet kisses from Russia with Love for posting this exposé of Pudgy Putnam.

Wet kisses from Kremlin Kay, with love, from Russia.

What a perfect thing to get on Valentine's Day...