Monday, December 22, 2014

The 2nd Day Of Winter Is A Blue Sky Semi-Warm Day In Texas

For what has seemed like weeks, but which was likely only a few days, my location on the planet, that being Texas, has been a gray, cold, drizzly, SAD inducing woeful miserable place to be.

By SAD, I mean Seasonally Affected Disorder inducing woeful miserable place to be.

As in that gray, cold, drizzly thing was inhibiting me from getting my much needed daily dose of endorphins from aerobic stimulation.

And now today, the second day of Winter, as you can see via the expansive view from my patio, blue sky has returned.

Temporarily.

Rain is back on the menu for tomorrow.

And cold.

But today is scheduled to become semi-warm in the outer world, as in heated into the 60s.

I had myself a mighty fine, semi endorphin stimulating time, in the hot tub early this morning. I think I will follow that with a noon time bike ride. Either rolling around  my neighborhood, or rolling with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

I suspect it will be the Indian Ghosts I will be visiting, due to the need  to acquire cranberries and celery and some other stuff from ALDI for my Christmas Dinner Buffet.....

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Is My Neighborhood Santa Protesting Police Brutality?

Today is the first day of Winter.

Winter is off to a chilly start at my usually not too chilly location on the planet.

Yesterday, on the last day of Fall, on my way to walk around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park, drenching drizzle caused me to opt out of that plan and continue on to an increasingly rare Saturday Town Talk visit.

Today in the noon time frame there was no drenching drizzle so I opted to take an increasingly rare walk around my neighborhood.

Walking north on Canyon Creek Drive I soon saw that one of my neighbors has Santa looking a bit unusual.

This Santa is about three miles from the machine gun toting Santa I blogged about earlier in the month in a blogging titled On My Way Today To Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts I Had An Encounter With A Machine Gun Toting Santa.

I am fairly certain there is not some sort of Santa Gang War going on in my neighborhood.

Could Santa, with his arms in the air, in a "Please Don't Shoot Me" pose, be a reference to the Michael Brown murder in Ferguson?

Or is this supposed to suggest that Santa is climbing the tree to gain access to the chimney?

I likely will never know the answer to this particular Santa question....

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mr. Galtex Asked Me Another Trick Question That Had Me Pondering The Dunce Confederacy Bridge Boondoggle

Way back on Wednesday, December 10,  2014, I blogged a blogging titled In Italy Mr. & Mrs.Galtex Found A Possible Parking Lot Turned Into Turin's Piazza Castello after Mr. Galtex asked me a tricky question on Facebook.

This morning, on Facebook, Mr. Galtex asked me another tricky question.

You can read that tricky question above the picture of the source of the tricky question.

After pondering Mr. Galtex's tricky question, for a moment or two, I answered the tricky question with...

Well, since there is water under this bridge, with the water appearing to be part of a real river, my guess would be this is not a Fort Worth bridge, which means I am going with the Ticino in Pavia, Italy option.

I wonder if the Italians built this bridge over the Ticino River before adding  water to the riverbed under it, you know, what with that being the cost efficient way to build a bridge?

I wonder if the Italian bridge over the Ticino took four years to build?

Facebook just made its annoying notification noise. It's a reply from Mr. Galtex confirming I was correct in my answer to his tricky question...

I thought I might be able to fool you this time, but you correctly identified this signature bridge. That water was flowing very swiftly, too, quite unnerving for anyone accustomed to Trinity-type flow.

Regarding the Dunce Confederacy and their slow motion construction of Three Bridges Over Nothing.

It continues to annoy me that the Emperor continues to wander about town, wearing no clothes, with the people  pointing out this fact being ignored by the masses going along with the buffoonery that the Emperor is wearing new clothes.

Translated to Fort Worth, The Emperor is that which used to be known as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, but which is now known as the Dunce Confederacy.  With the Dunce Confederacy foisting on its loyal subjects the ridiculous scam that the reason the Dunce Confederacy is taking four years to build Three Bridges Over Nothing is because it will save a lot of money to build those bridges over dry land. And then add  the flood diversion channel at some undetermined time in the future.

The truth of the matter is the more efficient way to build such a project would be to integrate the building of the bridges with the building of the channel. At the same time.

And a further obvious reality which shows the bogus-ness of the Dunce Confederacy dry bridge building scheme, is the fact that there will be no water in that flood diversion channel until water is diverted into it. In other words, the Three Bridges Over Nothing could be built over a totally dry flood diversion channel, under construction.

The reason the Dunce Confederacy is building the bridges over dry land, in slow motion, has nothing to do with cost efficiency. It is because they lack the funds to fund the construction of the un-needed flood diversion channel. Or build the bridges in a normal bridge construction timeline of far less than four years.

It does not take a lot of imagination to imagine if those Three Bridges Over Nothing actually do get built, and if that flood diversion channel then gets into construction mode, that there will arise a problem due to those bridges already being in place, something like the digging of the channel causing a problem with bridge support piers, or some other problem.

Bottom line truth is the fact that if the Dunce Confederacy's public works project was funded like any normal city funds its public works projects, both the channel and the bridges would currently be under construction.

And neither would take a ridiculous four years to build....

My Mom & Dad Want You To Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


Yesterday in my mailbox I found a Christmas Card from my mom and dad. On the card I thought it to be  quite a nice photo of my mom and dad, hence sharing it in this venue.

I was a little curious how this card came to exist, what with it sort of looking like a professional type photograph and what with going to a professional photographer, for such a thing, not something my mom and dad are known to do.

A few hours after receiving the card in question I was on the phone with my sister who lives in Arizona five miles from my mom and dad.

After an hour, or so, of discussing other matters I asked if she knew how this Christmas Card came to be.

Well.

Turns out my sister took the picture, well, multiple pictures, on more than one occasion, and eventually got the photo we see above.

I then asked how that photo was turned into a Christmas Card.

Well.

Apparently you can go to the online version of a drug store called Walgreens and upload  a photo, choose a card, write text and an hour later go and pick up a pack of Christmas Cards at the Walgreens most convenient to your location.

If only I earlier knew of this easy method of making a Christmas Card I might have ended my lifelong aversion to sending anyone a Christmas Card......

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hope You Have Yourself A Relatively Happy Holiday

Last week I walked into my closet in search of something I thought should be in there, some where.

I looked through three file cabinets and two chests of drawers, to no avail.

But, I did find two Christmas Cards sent to me way back in the 1990s.

On one Christmas Card there were last century versions of my favorite nephews, Jason and Joey.

On the other Christmas Card there were last century versions of my favorite nephews, Christopher and Jeremy.

I scanned those two Christmas Cards, then morphed them together and added my grandest favorite nephew of all, Spencer Jack, to make my 2014 Have A Relatively Happy Holiday Christmas Card.

This 2014 Have A Relatively Happy Holiday Christmas Card is sent via electronic means only, no hard copy versions are mailed the old-fashioned method to anyone.

The electronic version of my 2014 Have A Relatively Happy Holiday Christmas Card is not addressed to anyone specifically, it is intended for those who happen to see it electronically, sort of an automatic default Christmas Card List.

So in closing, let me repeat, I hope you all Have A Relatively Happy Holiday.

I know I will.....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Postman Sometimes Rings Twice In Texas

The Postman Sometimes Rings Twice, which is what happened today, with the Postman twice ringing and delivering packages of the Christmas present sort.

One of those packages is that which you see here, it being a HUGE box dwarfing my tall Christmas tree.

I use an exotic tropical evergreen for my Christmas tree, not the cliche pine type tree with all its vexing needles spewing off an odiferousness which makes me way too homesick due those type trees tendency to scent the air to smell way too much like the Pacific Northwest.

In a very strange bit of coincidental irony, well, I'm not sure about the irony part, well, actually, I am not even sure about the coincidental part, but just as I was transferring my Christmas Tree photos from camera to computer, Spencer Jack's dad called to tell me he and Spencer had received a package from the same source as this HUGE package you see here, the one dwarfing my Christmas tree.

Jason and Spencer Jack had opened their HUGE package. I always postpone gratification of that sort, unless I am told I need to open it immediately, due to refrigeration needs. When the HUGE package arrived I texted the senders to inform them of its arrival and to inquire if I needed to refrigerate the package prior to opening.

I was texted back "no fridge need".

So, the reason Spencer Jack's dad called about this package was due to the fact that after he and Spencer opened it they discovered it was full of wrapped Christmas presents for me.

I got off the phone and proceeded to make my way to the location of my Christmas Tree, removed the HUGE package from its resting place, then proceeded to open it to find wrapped Christmas presents for Spencer Jack, his dad and Spencer's uncle Joey.

Spencer Jack and Jason are flying here on Monday to retrieve that which arrived at my abode erroneously and deliver to me that which arrived at their abode erroneously.

I suggested it might be easier simply to use the same USPS method that caused the Postman to Ring Twice today....

UPDATE: Spencer Jack's dad emailed photo documentation of the look of joy and surprise on Spencer Jack's face upon arriving home to find a package filled with Christmas presents for his uncle in Texas!

The 2015 Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike Is Upon Us New Years Day

Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw that which you see here, that being a poster advertising the 2015, New Years Day Manly Men & Wild Women Hike on the Tandy Hills.

I do not do math well, and can not use my fingers to count right now because they are engaged in typing, but, since the first Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike took place on New Years Day of 2010 I think this upcoming Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike will be the 6th Annual Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike.

On Saturday, January 2, 2010, I blogged about that first Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike in a blogging titled Tandy Hills Hiking With Wild Women, Manly Men, The Queen Of Wink & Princess Annie.

How can it be, this upcoming New Years Day, that it has been five years since the Queen of Wink & Princess Annie journeyed all the way from their Kingdom in West Texas to do some hill hiking?

Time tends to fade memories, but my memory of that day, almost five years ago, is that the Queen of Wink, Annie and me could not keep up with the rigorous pace set by all the Manly Men & Wild Women. Eventually we found ourselves left behind, no Manly Men or Wild Women to be seen.

And so we made our way to my primitive form of mechanized locomotion and drove away from the Tandy Hills, eventually ending up in Arlington at a Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant, where we vowed to get ourselves in shape and come back to a future Manly Men & Wild Women Tandy Hills Hike where we would not be left behind in the dust.....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spencer Jack's Sick Chill Magically Cured By A Grandma Vera Afghan

A day like today, cold, cloudy and dripping, such as is happening at my current location in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, a long distance north of being Deep in the Heart of Texas, with the cold, cloudy, drippiness being quite unpleasant, makes me think that I don't know if I could adjust, ever again, to living through a Western Washington non-sunny season, which is, pretty much, fall, winter and most of spring.

But, I think I'd be willing to try to make that adjustment, because I do remember how blissful those summer Pacific Northwest days can be, what with their natural air conditioning, bright blue skies.

And blackberries. Growing wild and free for the picking.

Nothing that I know of grows wild and free for the picking in Texas.

Well, there is the pear part of prickly pear cactus.

That is Spencer Jack sleeping above. Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, emailed me this morning, with the above photo and a question about one of Spencer's relatives who lives in Tacoma.

A paragraph from the aforementioned email...

Picked Spencer up from school yesterday----he wasn't feeling well. Later that night tucked him into bed a little early. Said he was freezing. He was in sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt, covered by a sheet, a blanket and his bed comforter. Still said he was cold. Checked the thermostat in the house, which indicated it was 70 degrees. Grabbed a fleece blanket and put it over all his beddings. Went back to check on him. Still said he was cold. Drug out a Grandma Vera blanket, as seen in the picture. Must have been enough, as he was asleep in minutes.

So, Spencer Jack is ailing. I hope it's nothing serious. As soon as I saw the picture I knew what part of it was which Jason referenced, that being a "Grandma Vera blanket..."

More accurately a "Grandma Vera Crocheted Afghan."  Grandma Vera was my mom's mom. I last saw Grandma Vera in July of 2002 when Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey and I dropped in to visit Grandma in Bellingham. I think it was that visit north in 2002. It may have been an earlier visit in 2001.

Anyway, as far back as my memory goes Grandma Vera had really bad arthritis, with her hands all crippled up. This did not stop Grandma from being a crocheting machine. No one knows how many afghans Grandma made. I know I have four currently in my abode. I am looking at two right now, folded up, in position to be used should the temperature drop too much.

In addition to afghans, Grandma crocheted caps, or whatever it is you call  those mainstay headgears of skiing or a snowy winter day. I do not know how many Grandma Vera crocheted caps I have here. At least a half dozen. On a cold winter day, up in Lynden, near the Canadian border, if Grandma saw kids walking to school, capless, she'd go out and cover them with one of her crocheted caps.

I imagine to this day, in Lynden, on a cold day, you likely will see a head or two covered with a Grandma Vera cap.

Grandma Vera has been gone now for over a decade. That seems impossible. I think it would please Grandma Vera if she knew that over ten years later her eldest grandson was in Texas, talking about her on that newfangled thing, the Internet, which sort of annoyed her. Grandma Vera did not understand why everything was dot com this, dot com that. I remember trying to explain what dot com was, to limited avail.

I think Grandma Vera would be quite pleased to know her Great Great Grandson, Spencer Jack. I imagine by this point in time, if Grandma Vera were still alive, Spencer Jack would likely have a large supply of his own Grandma Vera crocheted afghans and caps.

Okay, I am feeling homesick and melancholy and sad now. Damn Seasonally Affected Disorder....

The Confederacy Of Dunces First Public Vote On The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

Yesterday after I blogged about the Confederacy of Dunces "My City. My Trinity. Fort Worth finding its way back home" photo exhibit, an amusing blog comment arrived from Ignatius J. Reilly...

Ignatius J. Reilly has left a new comment on your post "J.D. Granger & His Confederacy Of Dunces Is Now Programming Propaganda Photo Exhibit Products": 

Mr. Jones, you did not make note of a part of the TRV's press release that reeked with irony, that being the following sentence.

"A second gallery will feature community submitted photographs, the public is encouraged to vote on their favorite image."

For the first time in its history, that which you call The Boondoggle is allowing the public to vote on some aspect of The Boondoggle, albeit a very minor aspect. 

Ignatius is correct, I did not make note (in my blog post) of this first time ever public vote on any aspect of The Boondoggle.

However, I did make note of this historic fact, when I read it, and intended to mention this shocking development. But, then forgot to.

So, thank you, Mr. Reilly, for noticing this history making event and commenting about it.

As for the Confederacy of Dunces, or Dunce Confederacy, I opined yesterday that maybe we need to make this the new name for The Boondoggle.

That which is known as The Boondoggle has gone through several name changes. From Trinity Uptown, to Trinity River Vision, to Panther Island.

So, I guess it only makes sense that that which we used to refer to as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, eventually to become known simply as The Boondoggle, may now become known as the Dunce Confederacy.

The term "Confederacy of Dunces" comes from a Jonathan Swift essay, in which Swift said, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

Sadly, there is no loud genius, appearing to be heard, who is speaking truth to the Fort Worth Confederacy of Dunces. Fort Worth has no real newspaper, of the daily sort, printing the results of investigative journalism.

Thus, the Dunce Confederacy basically operates in a vacuum with no checks or balance.

Fort Worth Weekly does what it can, but can not afford to annoy the local businesses who buy advertising.

Come to think of it, I don't think I saw a single ad in Fort Worth Weekly this summer from the Dunce Confederacy, formerly known as The Boondoggle, advertising their weekly Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float Beer Parties.

You reading this outside the Fort Worth propaganda bubble, back in November we had a good example of the Dunce Confederacy in action. The occasion was the ground explosion, I mean, ground breaking, for the Dunce Confederacy's Three Bridges Over Nothing. Three very simple bridges which are scheduled to take longer to build than the Golden Gate Bridge and many other feats of modern engineering.

Only a Confederacy of Dunces would have a celebration to make note of something as lame as the start of this slow motion bridge construction project.

Go to the blogging I wrote that day, titled A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late and you will see the Dunce Confederacy in action, including video (if the Dunces have not removed it) where you can hear J.D. Granger, his Mama Kay, and Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, give a good verbal example of what Dunces sound like when they say stupid stuff which has no grounding in reality....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

J.D. Granger & His Confederacy Of Dunces Is Now Programming Propaganda Photo Exhibit Products

It seems so long ago, but it was only last September, when an embarrassing brouhaha broke out over a photo exhibit in the Amon Carter Museum, with the brouhaha being caused by an exhibit of photos of the Trinity River by Chicago photographer, Terry Evans.

Ms. Evans made the mistake of taking honest photos of what her eyes honestly saw, unaware, as she was, of the Fort Worth aesthetic when it comes to how Fort Worth is to be portrayed to the outside world.

In other words, Terry Evans did not take Chamber of Commerce type doctored photos, with manipulated lighting, filtering and a big dose of over saturating.

The Terry Evans photos looked at the Trinity River under the harsh light of day, not under the more forgiving light of darkness.

The forgiving light of darkness is the preferred lighting mode of way too many of those who have way too much influence over what  happens in Fort Worth, and which may be why so much which happens in Fort Worth ends up looking a bit ugly, when looked at in the realistic light of day.

Back in September I blogged about this Amon Carter/Terry Evans brouhaha in a blogging titled A Star-Telegram Review Of An Amon Carter Museum Exhibit Leads To Much Ado About Photos Of The Trinity River.

That blogging contained what may be the most embarrassing J.D. Granger verbiage he has uttered, and Lord knows there has been a plethora of embarrassing verbiage uttered from that boy's lips.

On Facebook, regarding this photo exhibit, J.D. said, "I firmly believe there are two people at fault right now. I point this out to encourage our beautiful river community to direct your comments at both of them to help educate them about our Trinity River in Fort Worth. We are victims of an outta town arrogant and ignorant photographer and a reporter who failed to educate herself about our community before she inked this junk."

The "beautiful river community" may be my favorite part of this Granger nonsense. Plus, "victims"? You tell the truth, or in this case, take honest photos, victimizing the community, because the allegedly beloved river is the object of an honest look? I suspect J.D. Granger likely has serious issues with mirrors as well.

So, after stewing about this victimhood for a couple months what does the Executive Director of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle do? He takes time out from his busy schedule of working on the complex, fast moving engineering project over which he is responsible to "Program" another "Product" of The Boondoggle.

In an article on The Boondoggle's website titled “My City. My Trinity. Fort Worth finding its way back home” Exhibit to Open at Fort Worth Community Arts Center we learn The Boondoggle is sponsoring a photo exhibit  including Trinity River  photos taken by the photo propagandist who helped stir up the Terry Evans controversy, Brian Luenser.

Part of the breathless "For Immediate Release" announcement....

FORT WORTH, TX -- The Trinity River and its tributaries ebb and flow through every corner of Fort Worth creating a unique opportunity for our city. Fort Worth was founded along the Trinity River because of the vitality the river provided. However, as time passed the community turned its back to the river. The Trinity became something that the community quickly drove across or beside forgetting the prominence it once played. In recent years, the Trinity River has experienced a resurrection in Fort Worth as the community has awoken to all that the river can provide. Today the Trinity River is returning to its original glory delivering water needs, open areas for recreation in and along its banks and a place to escape the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. A deeper understanding of this wonderful amenity has developed as the public realized that the Trinity River can serve as a link that brings our entire community together.

The “My City. My Trinity.” exhibit features works of art from members of our community who have embraced the Trinity River and all that it has to offer our city. One gallery within the exhibit will feature photographs from Brian Luenser and Gordon Henry, both Fort Worth based photographers. A second gallery will feature community submitted photographs, the public is encouraged to vote on their favorite image. 

This exhibit is a gift to the community for their continued support of the Trinity River and their commitment to continue improving and embracing the opportunities it affords our city,” said Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director, JD Granger.

This shift in perception would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of a select group of organizations. Thanks to water quality initiatives the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has implemented over the last 20 years the Trinity River is the only river in a large urban area in Texas that you can jump in and embrace.  The river is now enjoyed by kayakers, canoers, water skiers, tubers and swimmers alike. TRWD has also constructed a number of low water crossings and water access points for the community’s enjoyment. However, the amenity that TRWD is most appreciated for is its contribution to the beloved Trinity Trail system. TRWD has built and maintains over 58 miles of trail in the comprehensive Trinity Trails system. This system is connected to a strong on-street trail and park network provided by the City of Fort Worth which includes Trinity Park and Gateway Park. The full Trinity Trail system provides over 70 miles of continuous trails and connects to 31 neighborhoods. 

The above propaganda is right up there with the worst of The Boondoggle's embarrassing propaganda.

The river is returning to its original glory?

The river has experienced a resurrection?

The community has awoken to all the river can provide?

The public realizes the river can serve as a link to the community?

The river is the only river in an urban area in Texas that you can jump in and embrace?

And the best of the nonsense, predictably from J.D. Granger, telling us this exhibit is a gift to the community, with that gift given because of the continued support, by the community, of the river, along with the community support for improving the river and embracing the opportunities the river brings to Fort Worth.

The "community", as in voters, has never been allowed to vote for any of this, you clueless Dunce. How does the Executive Director of The Boondoggle know what the community wants?

There have been ZERO elections in which the community of voters has approved of anything The Boondoggle is doing.

Did the community want the world's premiere wakeboard lake? Did the community want the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century? Did the community want an ice rink? Did the community want the name "Panther Island" applied  to an area of urban blight, which is not an island? Did the community want happy hour inner tube floats on the river, with music?

If so, exactly by what means did The Boondoggle's Executive Director learn that this was what the community wanted, when the community has never approved of any of The Boondoggle's boondoggling via an election, including this embarrassing photo exhibit intended to childishly counter the Amon Carter Terry Evan exhibit?

Like I said.

A Dunce.

Leading what amounts to being a Confederacy of Dunces. A Confederacy of Dunces building bridges over nothing, in slow motion, to connect to an imaginary island, with a future island-making ditch to be dug, years from now, if ever, to fix an imaginary flood problem and make that imaginary island.

Confederacy of Dunces. I think this may be my new name for The Boondoggle....