Monday, November 30, 2015

In Texas Looking At Snow Geese Flying From An Island To A Snow Covered Volcano

Yesterday I blogged about a Rainy Walmart Drive With Mom To A Mallard Cove which I made mention of the fact that the cold gray rain currently infesting Texas reminded me way too much of a stereotypical Western Washington winter day after day after day after day of rain.

I also made mention of the fact that when winter Western Washington rain finally dried up with a return to blue sky that in any direction one looked one would see snow-capped mountains, unlike  my current mountain-free zone.

In that aforementioned blogging I also made mention of Fir Island in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley.

And then this morning, in one of those serendipitous coincidence type things, what do I see in one of my west coast online  news sources?

That which you see above, with a caption of....

Been out to catch the snow geese yet? They are really getting thick out there! This was shot on Fir Island Road with Mount Baker for backdrop. photo credit: Eddie Murdock Photography

Now, that sure is something I would never see at my current location. A real island. A real mountain, which is a volcano. Glaciers. And snow geese....

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rainy Walmart Drive With Mom To A Mallard Cove Mystery

When I was a young lad I recollect on days like this my mom would sing a song part of which went something like "rain rain go away, come again another day..."

Since Thanksgiving Texas has been reminding me of what a Washington winter can be like. Day after day after day after day after day of rain.

And cold.

But there is one HUGE difference. When the rain in Washington finally stops and the sky is once again blue you look in just about any direction and you see these things called mountains, snow-capped, this time of year. If the sky ever turns blue again, at my current location, no matter which direction I look I will not be seeing any snow-capped mountains.

I tried going jogging this morning. That did not go well after a downpour started getting me extra wet. About an hour before noon I texted my mom and dad to ask "Are you kids home and by the phone?" My dad texted back with a "Yes".

So, I called and asked mom if she wanted to ride to Walmart with me in the rain. Mom was onboard for the Walmart trip.

I got gas a couple days ago but it was not convenient to call my mom, like I usually do, when I get gas, to tell mom how much it cost. That and usually also mentioning the temperature.

After I finished my walk around Walmart I returned to Mallard Cove Park for the third day in a row. I figured the flood would be flooding much higher, what with a lot of rain continuing to fall.

Instead, when Mallard Cove came in to view I was surprised to see the water had receded quite a distance. Today's photo through the rain spattered windshield sort of shows you the Mallard Cove reduction, compared to the photos from Friday and Saturday.

Why has the river level gone down whilst rain still falls in copious amounts?

If this were in the aforementioned Washington, in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, when the flooding Skagit River suddenly drops it means only one thing. A dike downstream has broken.

I remember a flood event back in the early 1990s. The storm that sank one of the Lake Washington floating bridges. Downtown Mount Vernon was in major emergency mode. An army of locals poured into downtown to help sandbag, along with a couple hundred servicemen from the Whidbey Island Naval Station. Or was it the National Guard?

I remember I was at home, about midnight, watching the flood news on TV, when the coverage went live to Mount Vernon, where the KING 5 news guy was making it sound like hundreds of people were making their way to downtown to save the library.

It was about a three mile drive from my abode to downtown Mount Vernon. About 15 minutes after hearing the library was in danger I was parking on a hill above downtown and making my way to the library.

Where I learned the library was not in actual immediate danger, but was ground zero for sand bag filling operations, I was told they had plenty of sandbaggers, but able bodied sorts were needed on the revetment (think dike with a parking lot on top) to help build a sand bag wall.

Soon I  found myself in a bucket  brigade type operation. This went on for a couple hours til about a 5 foot wall extended the length of downtown.

The river was predicted to crest around noon, if I remember right. It was expected to topple over the sandbag wall, by a slight amount, hopefully not enough to flood downtown Mount Vernon, which is sort of like New Orleans, as in below the river level when it is in flood mode.

So, before the expected crest I made my way to downtown Mount Vernon again, along with a lot of other people. We were kept a distance away, safe from a catastrophic flood wall failure. We watched as the river rose higher and higher, reaching to the top of the sandbag wall, then starting to go over the wall in spots.

Then, suddenly the water level dropped by a foot, or more.

What happened? No one knew. Soon emergency sirens were wailing. Helicopters were in the air.

I do not remember how long it was before it was known that the dike had broken downriver a couple miles, about a 200 foot breech in the dike that protected Fir Island from a flooding Skagit River.

When the Skagit River reaches Fir Island it splits into two forks, the north and the south forks of the Skagit River. The west side of Fir Island is a body of water known as Skagit Bay, which is part of another body of water known as Puget Sound.

Those reading this who live in the environs of Fort Worth, Fir Island is a real island, surrounded on all sides by moving water. There are two bridges that cross the Skagit River on to Fir Island. Both built in well under four years, and both built over a wide deep river, not dry land.

Those reading this who do not live in the environs of Fort Worth, who are wondering why I am explaining Fir Island's island status and bridges, well, here in Fort Worth we have this pseudo public works project which has been boondoggling along for almost all of this century, with very little to show for the effort.

This project has gone by many names. Currently it is the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision.

Known by many as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Over a year ago The Boondoggle had a big celebration to celebrate the supposed start of construction on its three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

A month or so ago The Boondoggle launched a publicity propaganda burst to proudly share the news that wooden forms were able to be seen being constructed at the location where the only one of the three bridges is currently sort of under construction.

I think I got off subject.

So, the breech in the Fir Island dike caused the Skagit River to flood Fir Island, doing a lot of damage.

When the river receded the dike was quickly repaired. Then, two weeks later, another storm caused another flood. The sandbag wall was still in place. Once again the river rose to a level which was going to top the sandbag wall and once again the Fir Island dike broke. This time not as catastrophically, because the damage  had already been done two weeks previous.

So, what caused the water level in Mallard Cove to drop since yesterday? I drove no further east, on Randol Mill Road, than Mallard Cove. That road is a bit of a pot holed bump fest to drive on any old time. With the flooding driving that road becomes a bit treacherous, what with flooding creeks rushing water over the road and deep puddles.

The sky is actually looking brighter right now than it has in days. Is the gray coming to an end? Will blue sky return tomorrow with clear views of the gorgeous surrounding landscape....

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Look At Texas Flooding & Town Talk

Swimming and hiking were not doable on this last Saturday of the next to last month of 2015, due to rain and air chilled to only a few degrees above freezing.

I did go jogging in the rain this morning, though. I did not get too cold.

Before noon I headed west, towards Town Talk, via Randol Mill Road, not knowing if the road was open or closed due to flooding.

As I drove by Quanah Parker Park I saw the park was flooded more than I'd ever seen previously. Then I got to the bridge crossing the Trinity. I decided to park and walk out onto the bridge to see how the new  bridge construction was faring with the flooding.

As you can see the Trinity River is moving a lot of water. I don't recollect seeing it this high before. The river appears to have wreaked some havoc with the new bridge construction. Unlike America's Biggest Boondoggle, this Trinity River bridge project did not have the option of being built  over dry land, with the water to be installed at some distant point of time way in the future.

Were no warnings given that gave the road and bridge builders time to evacuate their heavy equipment? Did the river rapidly rise due to the reservoirs being full from last spring's flood? Mary Kelleher has a farm on Randol Mill Road that also got flooded with Mary not warned a flood was on its way. Mary was alerted to the flood in the middle of Thanksgiving night when she heard her water trapped cows crying.

After checking out the flooded bridge construction I was back in my vehicle, heading west towards Town Talk, dodging some deep water covering the road in several  locations.

Town Talk was not busy and was a bit of a bust, again, in the treasure finding department.

After Town Talk I headed back east, again via Randol Mill Road, continuing to Mallard Cove Park to see how much higher the water has risen since yesterday.

Well, this flood has flooded higher than last spring's flood, at this location. When the previous flood subsided I figured a mess would be left in its wake in Mallard Cove Park. Instead, the water quickly receded with nary a sign of it having been there.

I saw a lot of flood looky-loos, both at Mallard Cove Park and in the Gateway Park/Trinity River Bridge zone. I forgot to mention, the north entry into Gateway Park is currently not doable, due to too much water.

The above was one of the Mallard Cove Park looky-loos. I do not know what this person is doing in the picture. Framing something with his hands? As he was doing this he was also talking to himself. I kept my distance.

I have not witnessed any precipitation precipitating for several hours. Is the worst of this over now? I thought I read the remnants of a Pacific hurricane was scheduled to arrive in Texas after visiting Mexico.

Will this flood be the final nail in the former Cowtown Wakepark's coffin? How has that other project of The Boondoggle, that being those V-pier forms under construction that The Boondoggle seemed so proud about, fared during this latest deluge?

I suppose The Boondoggle's one little bridge being built over dry land likely has not been too impacted by too much water....

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday In Walmart Wondering About Humanity Sanity Before Seeing A Flooding Trinity River

Donald Trump being the Republican front runner has a lot of people concerned about the sanity of a large number of my fellow Americans.

Well, I was finding myself concerned about the sanity of a large number of my fellow Americans when I had myself a Walmart visit on this Black Friday.

As I drove on to the Sam's Club/Walmart parking lot I saw the largest woman I have ever seen. She was loading stuff into her trunk. She was as wide as her trunk. How was she able to drive I found myself wondering. But, I did not linger long enough to satisfy my curiosity.

The two ladies you see using motorized transplant inside Walmart were dainty in comparison to the large woman I just got done telling you about.

In Walmart today I saw an inordinate number of people ill-fitted into clothes, sporting too much weight for the clothes they were stuffing themselves in to, along with sporting tattoos, piercings and one with his ear lobes enlarged into big circles.

The guy with the expanded ear lobes looked quite slovenly.

It always perplexes me when I see such things, wondering why would getting tattoos and piercings and ear lobe expansions be something one thought improved or enhanced their appearance, when there are other things one would think would come first. Like losing weight, getting a haircut, wearing clothes that fit, that type thing.

I did not realize so much rain had dropped during the current storm til I  learned, on Facebook, via Mary Kelleher, that the Trinity has once again flooded her ranch, with some of her cow babies needing a middle of the night rescue from the unexpected flood.

After leaving Walmart, on the way back to relative safety, I drove Randol Mill Road and was surprised to see how high the flood waters  had risen.  Eventually I drove into Mallard Cove Park.

The water appears to have risen higher than last spring's flood, which was the first time I ever saw Mallard Cove Park flooded. I did not get out of my vehicle. Those are big raindrops hitting my windshield you see above looking like Village Creek ghosts.

More rain is on the menu for the next several days. Not good.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Happy Thanksgiving Pre Turkey Taco Tandy Hills Hike

Hope you all are having yourselves a mighty fine Thanksgiving.

The last 48 hours the temperature average has been just slightly below 70, so I was able to have a nice long swim this morning in the not too cool pool. I do not remember the pool being so easily doable this far into fall in previous years.

Makes me a fan, sort of, of Global Warming.

Turkey tacos are my take on the traditional Thanksgiving feeding today.

I'd not been on the Tandy Hills for well over a month. Not since something slashed a tire whilst parked on the summit of Mount Tandy.

As you can see via the view of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth we are being a bit stormy at this location on the planet. Only a few drops dripped whilst I was doing the hill hiking. Now that I am back under cover rain has begun dripping in greater volume.

I saw some colorful tree leaves today, likely being more colorful since the freeze of a few days back.

Also coloring up the Tandy Hills today were hundreds of yellow flags.

I assume the hundreds of yellow flags are part of some complex science project. That or it is some madman's abstract art installation.

It is time to work on those turkey tacos now.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Texas Bullet Trains May Cut Off Texas Milk Supply

Today we have the reverse of our popular series of bloggings about something I read in a west coast online news source which I would not expect to see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Today it is something in the Star-Telegram I would not expect to see in a west coast online news source, such as the Seattle Times.

What you see here was on the Star-Telegram's front page this morning.

For those reading this who are outside the Texas news orbit, there is a proposal afoot to make a high speed bullet train connection between Dallas and Houston.

Bullet trains exist in various advanced countries, such as France, Japan and China.

I suspect France, Japan and China have dairy cows, with some dairy farms close to train tracks.

Are Texas cows known to be easily frightened as opposed to more courageous cows in other countries?

There is some opposition to the bullet train in Texas plan. Are the opposition's arguments so weak that they are claiming a possibly dried up milk supply as a reason not to lay track through rural areas?

I would think there would be a lot better arguments against the Texas bullet train proposal.

Such as would there really be enough riders to make the train economically feasible?

The countries which already have bullet trains have elaborate train networks connecting to the bullet trains. Both Dallas and Houston have areas of their towns served by light rail. I suppose one might be able to exclusively use rail to get to your final destination.

I have only taken a long train ride once. Amtrak from Tacoma to Portland for a long weekend. The train was a rockier ride than the ferry crossing from Keystone to Port Townsend during a big tide change. Meaning it was almost impossible to walk on the train. And using the restroom facility became a treacherous balancing act.

By the time I got to Portland I was what amounted to being seasick for the first and only time ever. This was made worse when the lady who picked us up at the train station turned out to be a driving maniac. I remained seasick and head achy the entire weekend.

Since that train ride from hell, back in the last century, the track  has been upgraded and a new faster train has replaced the thing which sea-sicked me. I have been told the ride is now smooth.

There is a California high speed train proposal to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. I think that may be further along than the Texas train. I wonder if the California's know about the possible danger to their milk supply?

Anyway, I think the Texas milk supply is safe. I doubt we really are going to be seeing bullet trains speeding at this location on the planet any time soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

According To Experts Evil Wins When Good People Do Nothing

Yesterday I blogged about the fact that Before Facebook I Had No Idea How Scarily Stupid The Racists Are.

Some of the reaction to that blogging got me thinking that while bigoted racists are a vile disgusting sub-set of humanity, those who collaborate with bigoted racists may be even worse.

I think that to be a bigot and a racist you have to be at the low end of the IQ scale.

I have known no intelligent, educated people who were blatantly bigoted and racist.

I have known some intelligent, educated people who collaborate with racist bigots, rationalizing doing so in ways which make no sense to me.

Thinking about this had me thinking of that quote one hears fairly frequently about evil people. To get the quote right I started to enter into the Google search window "For Evil to...."  and then Google filled in the rest.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

That's the quote I was looking for. What I did not know before looking for this quote was its origin and its many variations.

It is the Irish statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke who, in 1770, is credited with first expressing this truism, writing, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Edmund Burke's original is more poetic in the way the idea is expressed, than its later permutations.

Almost a century later, in 1867, British political theorist John Stuart Mill gave a speech in which part of what he said was, "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing."

And then, again almost a century later, in 1961, an American president named John F. Kennedy, in a speech to the Canadian Parliament, credited Edmund Burke for the quotation, but used the modern version, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

As for Albert Einstein, and the version of the Burke quote that particular genius is quoted as uttering above, that is not a version which Einstein is thought to have said. What Einstein is believed to have actually said, in a tribute to Pablo Casals, was, "The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it."

So, what lesson do we glean from this history lesson?


Monday, November 23, 2015

Before Facebook I Had No Idea How Scarily Stupid The Racists Are

A week or so ago I blogged about being No More Mr. Nice Guy Regarding Pseudo Conservative Reactionary Racist Republican Right Wing Nuts.

A few days after that particular blogging I read that a right wing nut job in Las Vegas had been indicted for death threats directed at President Obama.

Does the FBI and the Secret Service monitor Facebook for presidential death threat types? If not, they should.

I have seen death threats directed at the president being spewed on Facebook from one of my Facebook "Friends" who I do not know and have never met and with whom I would never actually be friends.

The guy making death threat type comments is clearly an idiot. He may be insane. He clearly has some sort of mental impairment. But none of that excuses his spewing  hateful racist nonsense.

Idiots are not able to understand that the First Amendment, you know, the one guaranteeing Free Speech, does not mean you can say any fool thing your sick mind tells you to say. The cliche example of that is you are not free to scream "FIRE!" in a crowded theater.

And, you are not free to suggest that some "patriot" save America by taking out the President. Suggesting such a thing is what is known as a crime, with a possible life sentence.

If you read the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" blogging you already know that the idiot who has been appalling me with his racist, bigoted, ignorant, hateful, idiotic nonsense calls himself David Patriot Lambertsen. Clearly this idiot is no patriot. What he is is what is known as a traitor.

Over and over again this idiot traitor refers to our current President as being a traitor, as you can see via the below screen cap.

I found that second comment, above, by the Lambertsen Traitor, to be very amusing. Is he confessing that he is clearly out of his mind? Because he clearly is. But can he possibly have the self awareness to realize he is what is known as an asshole, and to describe himself as such?

How is it someone living inside the borders of America can be as cut off from reality as this David the False Patriot idiot? Did his education end at grade school? What explains this level of stupidity? Does this idiot have no contact with normal people? Is that the explanation?

It's just perplexing. And equally perplexing is though this David Traitor Lambertsen person might be an extreme example of a right wing nutjob, people of a similar simple minded mindset are scarily large in number. And on Facebook they cluster like a little cult of crazies that you only get to witness if you accidentally accept a Friend Request from one of them. Then it becomes hard not to look at the train wreck madness, like a window into ignorant insanity.

How do so many people come to believe so much idiotic, stupid, ignorant nonsense?

Though Rush Limbaugh's audience is dwindling, he still has millions of listeners. Rush Limbaugh is very articulate. But he articulates nonsense, which then morphs into even more ridiculous nonsense when his poorly educated illiterate listeners try to repeat the nonsense.

Rush Limbaugh's education ended at high school. Rush Limbaugh already knew it all when he tried to go to college where, according to his mother, he enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University where he flunked everything and left the school after two semesters and one summer.

Rush Limbaugh is the Idiot Savant behind much of the hatespeak which spews from the right wing nutjob collection of idiots.

I explained in my previous blogging about this disgusting subject that this Lambertsen moron ended up on my Facebook Friends list because he sent me one of those Facebook Friend Requests. That request told me we had 13 "Mutual Friends". One or two of whom I actually know, and am fairly certain they are not racist bigots.

While it is a bit disheartening to find that there are so many Americans willing to spew hateful nonsense with zero apparent awareness they are doing such, it is also a bit heartening to see multiple Facebook threads where people express their shock and disdain for the ugly spewage of the racist haters. From what I see via my little Facebook window on the world, the sane, normal, sensible, non-racist, non-reactionary, non-bigot real Americans are in the majority.

By a large number.

Just this morning I read through the comments in a post about the latest Nazi-like idiocy from Donald Trump. A sub-set of that comment thread morphed into a lot of very wise comments about the absurdity of Rush Limbaugh and the ignorant hate speak he spews.

Well, I think I will hit the publish button on this blogging and then go to Facebook and delete a racist, bigoted non-friend, or two.

Maybe three......

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Celebrating Retirement With Spencer Jack On A Beach In Maui

This was in my email inbox this morning, sent by Spencer Jack's dad, with the text accompanying the photo saying...

Thought you'd enjoy this picture of Spencer Jack celebrating his Grandma Cindy's retirement dinner on Kaanapali Beach tonight.   Absent in the pic is myself and FNJoey.

I see no beach in this photo.

The only Kaanapali Beach I know of is located on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

Didn't Spencer Jack skip school a couple weeks ago to go to Disneyland? Maybe Spencer's school is closed for Thanksgiving, so he isn't skipping school.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

PETA Throws No Party For Meat Eating Impotent Texas Cattlemen

I saw that which you see here this morning on Facebook, brought to my eyes by Miss Miki who saw this billboard near the intersection of I-121 and Beach Street in Fort Worth.

Along with the photo Miss Miki posted the following words, "Really ‪#‎PETA‬ you're pathetic!! Go ‪#‎meat‬ and ‪#‎texasstrong‬".

Go meat and texasstrong? I have no clue.

Several people made comments, including me. Here's a couple...

Carole Jeremy Shaffer: English being not my first language it took me a minute to get this... very tacky

Durango Jones: English is my first language but I didn't get it either, til I read the small print....

The message in the small print is "Eating meat can cause impotence. Go vegan!"

After I made a comment Miss Miki made a comment directed at my comment...

Miki Hojnacki Von Luckner: I want to read your musings on a blog about this Mr. Durango!!

Well, I usually always do what someone wants me to do, hence me musing about this billboard on this blog.

Haven't men been meat eaters going all the way back to our caveman days? One can not help but wonder how the number of humans got to be many billions with so many impotent meat eaters.

Who is the genius at PETA who thought this billboard message is an effective good idea?

Did it not occur to any PETA person that this billboard message is extremely tasteless and tacky?

Til I enlarged the image I did not realize the woman on the billboard appears to be stripping off her clothes.

I doubt drivers zipping by this billboard can read the small print, but drivers likely do notice the woman taking off her clothes and probably have enough time to read the woman's message, "I Threw a Party, but the Cattlemen Couldn't Come."

Keeping with the eating meat makes men limp theme, shouldn't the woman be saying something like "I Threw a  Party, but the Cattlemen Couldn't Come Up"?

That is if  "Cattlemen Couldn't Come" is the tacky double entendre I assume it to be. Which seems a bit counter-intuitive. I mean, if the woman's issue is that the Cattlemen could not finish the task at hand, doesn't that seem to indicate that the Cattlemen had been able to adequately perform their mating duty, except for the happy ending part of the job?

Did it not occur to anyone at PETA that they were making this woman seem to be a bit of a slut? Cattlemen? She threw a party for multiple Cattlemen? Wouldn't the sign be just slightly less tacky if it said "I Threw a Party, but the Cattleman Couldn't Come Up."?

Still wouldn't cause me to cease being a meat eater......

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Supposed Post Flood Fort Worth Wakeboard Revival

A few minutes ago I saw that which you see here, on Facebook. A few minutes after that I got a text message from Elsie Hotpepper telling me "I see Andy sent you FOD on FB."

Which translated means Andy sent me blogging fodder on Facebook.

The blogging fodder is a link to an article in this week's Fort Worth Weekly titled Wakeboard Revival.

The blurb from the article, which you see in the screen cap says, "The city’s biggest wakeboard park is being resuscitated after it was flooded by Tropical Storm Bill in June. A new owner is rebuilding ramps at the donut-shaped watercourse at the West Fork of the Trinity River downtown and adding several..."

Adding several what? Lucky for me I had acquired this week's Weekly at my neighborhood library. I could not find where I'd put this week's Weekly, then remembered I likely left it in my vehicle. Soon upon retrieving this week's Weekly I found the rest of the paragraph following several... to be "new features, including shaded seating and a place to get food and drinks."

I have several problems with this FW Weekly article. For one,  it reads like a Press Release. I mentioned a couple other problems I had with this article in the comment I made to Andy's Facebook post, before I had actually read the entire article....

Durango Jones: City's biggest wakeboard park? Does that mean there is another one and it is smaller? How could one get any smaller? This being re-opened under new management has been the operating propaganda on the Cowtown Wakepark Facebook page for months. If it is being re-opened, will the problem with it getting flood damaged be fixed? After all, America's Biggest Boondoggle is primarily a flood control project. Sort of ironic that the first project completed by The Boondoggle has been flood damaged twice....

Well, the article answers the question about there being multiple wakeboard parks in Fort Worth...

About a half-dozen are in Texas, and two are in Fort Worth: the full-sized Cowtown WakePark, with its endless loop cable hauling people around in circles, and TXMC Wake Park, which has a smaller, straight-line cable system.

I have no idea where in Fort Worth this TXMC Wake Park is located. I'd never heard of it before today.

Another paragraph was very perplexing to me....

Water levels on the West Fork, according to the USGS National Water Information System, rose by nearly 6-and-a -half feet during the last two weeks of May. These waters normally flow at low levels –– the West Fork is part of a flood control reservoir.

Only a nincompoop would look at the Cowtown Wakepark pond and not realize that whenever the Trinity River goes into flood mode the little pond is going to be flooded. The flood in May was not the first time the little pond has suffered flood damage. What did they think was going to happen when the river next door floods? And what is this about this area of the West Fork of the Trinity being part of a flood control reservoir.


Doesn't a reservoir require a dam which holds back water? Thus controlling a flood? Where is this downriver dam creating a reservoir?

I tell you, Fort Worth Weekly is getting to be almost as embarrassing as reading Trinity River Vision Boondoggle propaganda. Or a Star-Telegram puff piece.

So, when Cowtown Wakepark reopens it will have a new name, Republic Waterpark DFW. The new owner of the so-called "park" is a Philippine man named Lray Villafuerte who is paying for its reconstruction. Supposedly new parts for the renewed park are being assembled in a Manila warehouse owned by Mr. Villafuerte.

I remember when America's Biggest Boondoggle put up signage along the Trinity Trails pointing out the direction to the various wonders one could find along the trails I opined that etching "Cowtown Wakepark" on the signs seemed a bit of an obvious risk, with it seeming obvious to me that that enterprise would not be in business very long. Will The Boondoggle use whiteout to cover up Cowtown Wakepark and write over the whiteout with Republic Waterpark DFW?

Last summer after I discovered Cowtown Wakepark was closed and saw a sign saying it would open soon under new management, it only took a little Googling to find that Cowtown Wakepark had a Facebook page. On that page there were a lot of comments lamenting its closure and the misinformation as to when it would reopen. There were comments about financial malfeasance, funds being stolen. It wasn't pretty.

Did Fort Worth Weekly not consider it might be worthwhile to dig a little deeper into the Cowtown Wakepark debacle?

Early on, when Cowtown Wakepark opened, J.D.  Granger very much touted this as an accomplishment of his Boondoggle, bragging about how The Boondoggle was bringing this wonderful sport to Fort Worth.

I have asked more than once how much The Boondoggle spent to build the wakeboard pond.

I  remember back in October of 2010, biking along the Trinity Trail and suddenly coming upon a ridiculous amount of signage touting the "TRINITY RIVER VISION UNDERWAY'. In the area that became Cowtown Wakepark I was totally bum puzzled wondering why so much earth was being moved, why a big hole was being dug, why the Trinity Trail was being re-routed.

I took pictures and blogged about it, asking if anyone had a clue. Connie D then sent me a link to page on the Trinity River Vision's website, touting this new thing they were bringing to Fort Worth. It was only an artist's rendering, but I could tell the hole I saw being dug was what is now the wakeboard pond.

How much money did The Boondoggle spend on this ill-fated enterprise? Shouldn't that information be readily available?

Changing the subject slightly.

This week's Fort Worth Weekly is their annual Turkey Awards issue. The prime Turkey Award went to the current extremely embarrassing governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.

I think Fort Worth Weekly should also have given itself a Turkey Award.

A Turkey Award is well deserved for firing Fort Worth Weekly Editor Gayle Reaves. Ever since Fort Worth Weekly lost Gayle Reaves the quality of Fort Worth Weekly has plummeted.

This article about the Cowtown Wakepark debacle is just one more example of that plummet.....

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Look At An Actual Fort Worth Pavilion Which Has Seen Better Days

In the picture you are in Oakland Lake Park's picnic pavilion which overlooks Fosdick Lake and the Fosdick Sputtering Fountain.

This picnic pavilion looks to have been built in the CCC era back in the 1930s, making that guess due to the style of stonework construction, which looks like other CCC structures I have seen elsewhere.

But this is Texas. Was the CCC allowed to build public works projects in Texas? Or was there an obstructionist Greg Abbott type governor of Texas way back then?

In its original glory the Oakland Lake Park picnic pavilion must have been a nice place to picnic. Large fireplaces are at both ends of the pavilion, currently boarded up and useless. It appears that at some point in the distant past running water may have been available.

I have seen a photo of a long ago drinking water fountain located near the picnic pavilion. Running water still runs under Oakland Lake Park, as evidenced by the fountain which sputtered back to life a couple  years ago, which you can see below if you look past the flock of Fosdick ducks.

If you have ever visited that area of Fort Worth that is called Panther Island Pavilion and wondered where the pavilion was you might have wondered if Fort Worthers know what a pavilion is. The Oakland Lake Park picnic pavilion is a good indicator that at some point in distant time Fort Worthers did know what a pavilion is.

Regarding this pavilion nonsense, additional nonsense occurs to me, as in the nonsense regarding how Fort Worth names things.

For decades Fort Worth's downtown had signs pointing to Sundance Square, where there was no square, confusing Fort Worth's few tourists. Now there is a square, goofily named Sundance Square Plaza, which apparently did not occur to the people naming it such that the name seems a bit redundant.

Then what is known as America's Biggest Boondoggle started calling a chunk of land "Panther Island" where there is no island. And then called an area of the imaginary island "Panther Island Pavilion" where there is no pavilion.

And then we have Oakland Lake Park, where there is no Oakland Lake in Oakland Lake Park. The lake in Oakland Lake Park is called Fosdick Lake.

Changing the subject from walking with the ducks to my other exercise woes.

Swimming went well this morning, which surprised me, because the air was chilled to 48. Tomorrow morning may be my last swim for awhile, because on Saturday the low is predicted to be 31.


I Wonder When A Super Tall Tower Will Be Built In Fort Worth?

It has begun to seem a bit repetitive, pointing out something I read in a west coast news source online, usually the Seattle Times, which I would not expect to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about something taking place in Fort Worth.

I have said before that hardly a week goes by where I don't read about some new big construction project in the Seattle zone, usually downtown, with most of that construction having to do with the HUGE demand for downtown living space, due to downtown Seattle, like downtown Los Angeles, like downtown San Francisco, like downtown Dallas, being seen as being extremely desirable as a place to live.

So, now, apparently, Seattle is going to have one of those ridiculously tall Super Towers, well over 1,000 feet tall. There are so many skyscrapers and residential towers being added to the Seattle skyline I don't think I will recognize the town as being Seattle til I see the Space Needle, when next I visit.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, quaint, sleepy, charming Fort Worth.

A few days ago in the Star-Telegram an article appeared titled Oilman touts new downtown Fort Worth office tower.

A new 25 story office tower, being brought to downtown Fort Worth by something called Jetta Operating.

A gas drilling company.

Yes. Fort Worth has had good luck with the endeavors of gas drilling companies. Isn't the old Chesapeake Energy building available for occupation? You know, that location from whence Chesapeake Energy ran its corrupt Fort Worth shadow government during the reign of Mayor Mike Moncrief, a buffoon of a man also known as the Poster Boy for Gas Corruption.

A rather embarrassing factoid in this piece of Star-Telegram propaganda is contained in the following paragraph....

"... the building, touted as the first high-rise development downtown in seven years, was carefully designed to fit into the available urban landscape."

The city which deludes itself in thinking it is the envy of the nation has not had a single high rise development for seven years?

And trust me on this, most towns wearing their big city pants do not count a short, 25 story building, as being a high-rise. More like a low-rise. Maybe, at best, a mid-rise.

So, why make mock of this, you are sitting there wondering? Well, there is something serious afoot here.

Why is it that other big cities in America, during this time of economic recovery, have been booming to various degrees? Just drive a few miles east to Dallas and you will see a town in boom mode. Go west to pretty much any of the west coast towns and you will see the same thing.

So, what is stifling Fort Worth's downtown from growing and booming like other downtowns in America?

Besides the obvious.


I think Mr. Spiffy nailed it a couple months ago when he opined that America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision has killed development in the Fort Worth downtown core, due to the fact that developers do not know if The Boondoggle is ever going to deliver on that which its propaganda purports is going to be delivered at some indeterminate future date.

Developers see failed efforts of The Boondoggle, like Cowtown Wakepark, and they opt to move their money in another direction. Like to a tall Seattle skyscraper. Or multi-story residential complexes in Dallas.

Meanwhile Fort Worth flounders, looking ridiculous to outsiders, embarrassing itself, continuing to allow Kay Granger's totally unqualified son, J.D., to continue mis-managing that which has come to be known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

It all really is very boggling.

And very perplexing.

Fort Worth, and the people who live here, deserve better......

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spencer Jack Takes Us On A Drive Through The Flooding Skagit River

Last August my Favorite Great Nephew, Spencer Jack, who I just realized is currently my Only Great Nephew, took us all on a drive where the Skagit River used to flow.

Well, Spencer Jack is taking us to the river again, only now, a few months later, the Skagit River is back full of water to the point of being over filled, as in flooding.

The current flood is the second Skagit flood of the flood season. It would seem the drought has ended in the Western Washington part of the West Coast. Early snow has closed the North Cascades Highway til Spring. A winter or two, well, maybe only one, there has been so little snow that that mountain  pass has managed to stay open through the winter. But this year it is already closed, with winter still a month away from arriving.

The below is a screen cap from yesterday's Skagit Valley Herald online version.

I read in the Seattle Times this morning that the storms of recent days have killed three and left hundreds of thousands without power.

Texas floods seem to have a tendency to be much more dramatic than what I remember of Washington floods. One would think Washington would get downpours at a Texas level, what with being so close to the Pacific and what with there being areas which are rain forests due to so much rain. I don't think Texas has any rain forests.

Washington does tend to have more horrific mudslides than what happen in Texas, likely due to Washington having steep hills and mountains down which walls of mud and debris can slide.

Below is another picture of Spencer Jack and the Skagit.

I see the Riverside Bridge and the Tulip Tower in the background,  which means Spencer Jack is in Mount Vernon. I can not tell if Spencer is on the east bank or the west bank of the river. What looks likes submerged playground equipment behind Spencer Jack confuses me. I don't remember any park type location being near the west bank of the river as it passes by downtown Mount Vernon.

Texas locals who observe the Trinity River when it is in flood mode and have been astonished by the volume of litter floating towards the Gulf of Mexico, make note of the fact that you see absolutely no litter in the Skagit River floating towards either the Gulf of Mexico or Puget Sound.....

At An Arlington Trade Show With Miss Puerto Rico Loaded With Swag & Margaritas

A couple weeks ago Miss Puerto Rico told me I was going with her to something called the AATC Trade Show on November 17.

Yesterday was November 17, which, seeings as I always do what I am told to do, I drove Miss Puerto Rico to the Arlington Convention Center to a Trade Show.

I can tell you Miss Puerto Rico is among the show goers you see here in the photo.

Hour upon hour of being vertical at a trade show was exhausting, with the exhaustion enhanced due to the need to haul the bags of what I guess is called swag. Soon my bags of swag grew so heavy I used two of the 48 inch yard stick swags to carry a couple of the swag bags over my shoulder, in hobo with a stick mode.

I am thinking a 48 inch yard stick should be called a yard stick plus, what with it being a foot longer than a yard.

As we made our way through the Trade Show time and again I found myself being given a greenish concoction called a Margarita. The Margaritas were tasty, but sometime around the 7th or 8th Margarita something about the concoction seemed to be making the swag seem heavier to carry.

I have not been in all that many convention centers. The only ones which come to mind are the Fort Worth, Dallas, Seattle, Tulsa and Oklahoma City convention centers.

The Arlington Convention Center seemed extremely minimalist compared to the others I have been in. The exhibition hall in which the Trade Show took  place was rather spartan. Meaning I was tired of being vertical, but there were very few seating opportunities, and those were all occupied and consisted of being folding chairs.

Most of the vendors had bowls of edibles for the show goers. Candy type edibles. I had not had myself such a thing in a long time. Last night I had a Snickers, Nestle Crunch, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, York Peppermint Patty, Mars Bar and others I am not remembering. I'd not consumed so much candy type stuff since I last went to one of Miss Puerto Rico's company Christmas Parties, way back in December of 2008.

Another thing about last night. I have an aversion to being in crowds. Even an outdoor crowd, such as what populates the Prairie Fest, quickly gets on my nerves.

I think my aversion to being in crowds stems from a traumatic experience  in October of 1986, about a week before Vancouver's Expo 86 was to close. The crowd was HUGE. If I remember right it broke the attendance record to that point, then broke it again and again as the Expo wound down.

So, it was nearing closing time. I was heading to where I'd parked near the southeast entry. Others were heading other directions. At a point where several Canadian pavilions were located the walkway was under a high cover. The passage through this location was only a couple hundred feet wide, which sounds real wide, but is not when human gridlock occurs. It  is an awful feeling to suddenly find yourself only able to move in slow increments.

Crowds can panic in such circumstances, such as what has happened many times in Saudi Arabia with Muslims making their trek to Mecca.

Last night's crowd at the Trade Show did not reach an Expo 86 level of human congestion, except for a couple locations where throngs had gathered to await the reading of a raffle ticket.

Eventually I made it safely home and this morning feel no after effects, thus I was up early and in the cool pool shortly after dawn, with the outer world heated to a semi-balmy 51 degrees....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

America's Biggest Boondoggle Allegedly Finally Completes Something Worthwhile

What you are looking at here is a screen cap from the NBC DFW website, that being the online version of the Dallas Fort Worth NBC affiliate.

The article we are looking at is titled Art Piece Completed for Trinity River Vision Project.

The caption under the person talking with his hands says "Work on Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Bridges has been going on for years and there are a few more years to go, but on Monday morning, one part of the project was complete."

The part of the project that is complete, after all these years, is an alleged work of art, that being the metal object the above person's right hand is pointing towards.

If you have driven by The Boondoggle's bridge construction zone you have likely seen this work of art and wondered to yourself why, among with maybe a few other choice words.

Work on The Boondoggle's bridges have been going on for years, with a few more years to go? NBC DFW makes The Boondoggle's boondoggle sound even worse than the embarrassment it actually is.

Actually only one of The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges is being worked on, with that work starting with a bang a little over a year ago, with not much to show for the effort til a couple months ago.

This NBC DFW article and news clip contains several gems in addition to what has already been mentioned, such as....

Most Fort Worth public art is installed after a project finishes or at the very tail end. In this case, Wind Roundabout is really the first finished piece of the Trinity River Vision Project, also known as Panther Island. 

I wonder if NBC DFW can provide us with some examples of Fort Worth public art which was installed after a project was finished, or at the tail end? I draw a blank. This work of art is the first "finished piece of the Trinity River Vision Project?" How can any legit news source print, or say that, without realizing something is dire wrong if this art project is the first finished piece of a project that has been boondoggling along for well over a decade?

Does the now defunct Cowtown Wakepark not count as one of The Boondoggle's completed projects?

The reasoning as to why public funds, for this public works project the public has never voted for, have been spent on an "art" installation, at this stage of the project, is just a bit bizarre....

"The decision was that it would be nice to show something that indicates the progress," said Martha Peters, of Fort Worth Public Art. Showing drivers and residents that progress is happening is part of the reason. Another major reason is that with the artist selected and the piece designed, building it in the future could prove to be more costly. With the piece now finished, it's a chance to show off what the future may hold for an area currently undergoing major construction for the bridges. "It's really sort of setting the stage for the kind of architecture and development the Panther Island Project will bring to Fort Worth," Peters said.

Oh, I see,  part of the reason for adding this work of art to this unfinished project is to show drivers that progress is happening with The Boondoggle. Yes, I am sure that is what most of those driving by that work of  "art" have thought to themselves. As in, something like "Oh my, look at that progress! And here we were thinking nothing was happening with this vitally needed flood and economic development project."

This "art" installation is setting the stage for the kind of development the Panther Island Project will bring to Fort Worth? Could this not be interpreted as a cautionary warning?

When I first saw this art work in progress and wondered why such a thing is being installed now amongst all this sloppy construction mess I figured the artist must be a relative of J.D. Granger or Jim Oliver or Bryan Epstein, in dire need of funds. Thinking thusly due to The Boondoggle and the TRWD's penchant for corrupt nepotism.

The installer of the work of art is a German living in Maine named Uwe Langmesser. The work of art was designed by some other German whose name I have forgotten. I guess nepotism could still be in play, even though those installing the artwork do not have an obvious connection to The Boondoggle's perpetrators.

Another thing about this work of art which bothers me came to mind when I listened to Uwe the Installer wax poetic about how the wind creates a kinetic piece of ever changing art as it blows the thousands of aluminum flappers in the wind.

I thought to myself, is it really a good idea to put such a visual distraction at the center of a big roundabout where all drivers should be focusing their attention on making their way around the big circle, and not staring at some metal blowing in the wind?

I'm guessing the inside, true story as to why this ridiculous piece of art has already been installed in an ongoing construction zone would make for an actual news story, rather than the puff piece of propaganda produced by NBC DFW.....

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lord Baby Jesus Please Let The People Learn To Drive In The Rain

I saw that which you see here on Facebook a couple minutes ago, a meme from something called Olympia Memes.

Olympia is the capital of  the state of Washington. I don't know if Olympia being the state capital has anything to do with Olympia Meme being so named.

I do know that Washington has been much too dry for much to long, til lately. Apparently some people are being vexed by Washington drivers not driving well in the rain. Others blame California transplants.

My current location, a little north of being deep in the heart of Texas, is, weather-wise, being a stereotypical Western Washington Puget Sound lowlands type winter day.

Gray and a slow motion rain, off and on.

On Saturday I read a report or two, again via Facebook, that snow flakes were falling on the Kent Highlands. Kent is a suburb south of Seattle. The Kent Highlands are the area of Kent up on a high bluff above the flat lowlands. I have heard of no snow falling in my old homezone of the Skagit Valley. The lowlands of the Skagit Valley are known as a Banana Belt. Snow can fall and stick in copious amounts in the next county north of Skagit, that being Whatcom, whilst the Skagit zone gets nary a flake.

Lowland Washington drivers are just about as bad as Texans when a rare snowstorm makes roads slippery. Maybe not as bad as Texans due to the fact that lowland Washingtonians can easily get some snow driving practice by heading a few miles east, to the Cascade mountain zone. There are no mountain zone snow opportunities at my current location for hundreds of miles. Probably Colorado would be the closest location one might find a mountain with snow, currently.

I really do not know if I will be able to adjust to living in Western Washington again. Just one day of this gray Texas dripping has me suffering a mild case of SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder).

I did manage to go swimming this morning, which sort of surprised me. For very selfish reasons I am really becoming a fan of global warming. I went running in the rain in the noon time frame. Running in my neighborhood zone.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

French Flag Waves Support Around The World Along With Fort Worth's Unique Contribution

With this particular blogging my original intention was to make it one of my popular series of bloggings about something I see in an online west coast news source which I would not likely see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

I had screen capped an article about Seattle's French community singing La Marseillaise on Saturday whilst the French flag was raised atop the Space Needle.

The 25 by 35 foot flag was made via a rush job by a Tukwila flag maker, then rushed to Seattle for hoisting atop the Space Needle at 4 pm Saturday.

So, while hoisting a French flag atop a well known Fort Worth landmark is something one would not see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, due to the fact that Fort Worth has no well known landmarks, I decided it would be tacky and tasteless, on this occasion, to point out that fact.

Oops, I guess I just did.

And does Fort Worth have a French community? I sort of doubt it.

Below is the Sydney Opera House lit up in the French flag tri-colors. The French flag is like the American, Canadian, British, Japanese and a few other flags, in that it is readily recognizable, what with its red, white and blue simplicity.

A month or so ago we heard the sort of shocking news that the skyline of Dallas is the best in the world. Not New York City, not Paris, not any other well known city skyline, it is Dallas with the best, or maybe most well known, skyline in the world. The Dallas skyline has been lit up with the French tri-color flag via the Omni Hotel next to the Reunion Tower.

Note that Dallas is following the French flag's color protocol, broad stripes, with blue on the left, white in the middle, red on the right.

And then we have Fort Worth's contribution to the world-wide symbolic support for France.

I saw the above and totally did not get it. We are looking down on downtown Fort Worth's Sundance Square Plaza. Is the fact that there is blue, white and red lighting supposed to be easily noted as representing France? On ground level did this look like anything even remotely memorable?

Maybe all the other cities in the world were being totally literal, while Fort Worth opted to go for an abstract rendering of the French flag.

Yes,  I realize in the bigger scheme of things this particular Fort Worth oddity amounts to nothing, but still, it is just goofy.

I found this photo on Facebook. A selection of a few of the comments were, well, sort of equally embarrassing....

Debbie McGee: So beautiful! Brian captured the support for our neighbors across the sea!

Judy Schell: So proud of Fort Worth, Texas

Jean Wright Potts: Lovely to be so proud of our cities in mourning with France.

Judy Gans: Beautiful.

Nikki Frazier Sonderegger: Very well displayed.

Mary Zimmerman: awesome way to show we care.

So proud? Beautiful? Well displayed? Awesome way to show we care?

The Brian to which the first commenter refers to is Brian Luenser, he being a local photographer who uses filters and digital manipulation to create extremely distorted photos of Fort Worth, which legions of locals gush over like clueless sheep.  Mr. Luenser's photo of Sundance Square in its tri-color glory appears to be more photo-realistic than most of his photos.

In this blogging I had intended to mention how badly some Republican neo-con nincompoops have embarrassed themselves, and America, with the French, and other thinking people, world-wide, with some of their idiotic statements about the horrific mass murder in Paris. But, I have already run long and it is time for lunch....

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Found No Town Talk In Irving Today

In the photo you are looking at the Saturday post-noon skyward view from my patio prison cell. The photo makes the sky appear more stormy than what my eyes see.

However, apparently, storm clouds are on their way with some anticipated water delivery.

Saturday used to be the day I could usually be counted on to go treasure hunting at Town Talk. But, lately the Town Talk treasure hunting has not been all that fruitful. That and most of the Town Talkers who I was used to seeing whilst checking out, have checked out, replaced by multiple faces I do not recognize.

This morning rather than head west I headed east, to Irving, to check out some property. I don't think I'd been to Irving since my mom and dad were here in January of 2009. I recollect driving them through Las Colinas. Prior to that I think the last time I was in Irving was to go to a Dave & Busters for Miss Puerto Rico's company Christmas party.

Anyway, Irving was a heavy traffic driving adventure today.

Changing the subject to something else.

This morning when I got myself vertical I was very pleased to find that my strained Achilles tendons were no longer in pain mode. This pleased me. So, even though the temperature was a bit below 50, I took myself on a limp-free walk to the pool where I was surprised to find myself able to have a mighty fine time.

After exiting the somewhat cool pool I did my now regular warm up routine of installing myself in sweatpants and then running as fast as I can run til the need to breathe hard stops me. This went quite well this morning with the, now, no longer hurting Achilles heels.

And now it is time for lunch. Chicken, pizza and potato salad....

Friday, November 13, 2015

Riding A Disneyland Log With Ruby, Theo & David

I found that which you see here in my email inbox this afternoon. Photo documentation of the first visit to Disneyland by my Favorite Niece, Ruby and Favorite Nephews Theo and David.

Ruby, Theo and David's grandma had told me the kids were in Disneyland a couple weeks ago when I called my mom and dad from Fort Worth's Disneyland known as Sundance Square Plaza, which is also one of the happiest places on earth where people go to make dreams come true, when they have no better place to go.

Ruby, Theo and David did the Disney parks five days in a row, hopping between Disneyland and Disney California, using something called a Park Hopper Pass.

I have never gone to Disneyland for more days than one in a single visit. Disneyland is exhausting. My last time getting exhausted at Disneyland was Christmas of 1994

Christmas of 1994 was also my one and only time taking a ride on Disneyland's Splash Mountain. I did not like the ride. It was a cold winter day and that ride splashes water. That and I enjoyed Knotts Berry Farm's version more. Probably because the temperature was warm and getting splashed felt good.

On the log you are looking at David in the lead, followed by Theo, then my little sister, Michele, followed by Ruby, followed by mama  Kristen, and then behind  Kristen, near as I can tell, is my Favorite Brother-in-Law, Jack, he being the first husband of my Favorite Sister Jackie.

Jack and Jackie were also in attendance at Disneyland, for at least one day during the extensive stay of Ruby, Theo and David.  My Favorite Nephew Christopher, he being Ruby, Theo and David's cousin, was a surprise visitor, along with Christopher's girl friend.

I do not know how Christopher managed to find his mom and dad, cousins and aunts in the vast Disneyland parks. My guess is he called his mother once he was in the vicinity, got an idea where they were in which park, and then tracked them down. Christopher is very resourceful that way.

Strollers were used to move the kids through the parks. I can not imagine herding three little kids around Disneyland. I can barely handle herding myself in that locale...

Wobbling On My Strained Achilles Heels Looking For Signs Of Christmas

What you are looking at here is what I was looking at a few minutes ago when I walked to Albertsons. This view is looking northeast from the north side of the Albertsons' parking lot. That little structure on the right is a Fort Worth bus stop waiting room.

Soon after I snapped this photo a bus arrived and soon thereafter I started hearing a guy shout "hold that bus, hold that bus." The guy was riding one bike whilst holding on to another, smaller bike. The bus waited for him. I did not wait to see if he successfully boarded with two bikes.

I took this photo not because I was enamored of the bus stop, but because of the billboard in the center pf the picture. That billboard is shilling a store I have never heard of called At Home, apparently with multiple locations in the D/FW Metroplex, with the main message being that this store is the "Home of  the Christmas Spirit."

I thought that home was Walmart.

Speaking of Walmart, it was at Walmart yesterday I saw my first sign of the coming, dreaded, by me, Holiday Season, that being a partially assembled Christmas tree, with its upper third missing.

I likely have passed by many other signs of the coming Holiday Season but did not notice them due to my blissful obliviousness. Which makes this billboard only the second sign of the Holiday Season I have seen.

Changing subjects to something more pleasant, like the weather.

As you can see via the photo documentation my location in North Texas is currently enjoying a totally clear blue sky. The temperature this morning at the time of my regularly scheduled swim was 46. I opted out of swimming. The temperature currently is 64 at a bit past noon. I likely will opt out of swimming tomorrow morning as well.

I am currently being medicated to mitigate the pain I have been suffering from due to strained Achilles tendons. The strain is currently not causing much pain. Apparently the medication is working.

I must now see if can remain vertical long enough to make lunch....

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Shadow Of The Tandy Hills Thin Man Was Not Seen By Me Today

No, that is not the Shadow of the Tandy Hills Thin Man you are looking at here. What you are looking at here is the Shadow of the Village Creek Pinhead.

When I am on the Tandy Hills my shadow looks like I'm a thin man. When I'm running with the Village Creek Indian Ghosts my shadow looks like I have grown myself a pair of thunder thighs.

Thunder thighs are a genetic trait which occurs in many of my relatives. I have always been grateful to have had that genetic trait pass me by.

Til, apparently, now.

Yesterday's high was in the 80s. This morning when the sun arrived the outer world was chilled to the high 40s. With the 24 hour average being well above 50 I opted to do my usual morning swim. The morning swim went quite well, with the water much warmer than the air, and once again confirming that swimming works if that 24 hour average above 50 thing happens.

I suspect tomorrow morning's pool bout will be a bit more dicey. I mean icy.

For my run in with the Indian Ghosts today I had on much more outer wear than is the norm. Long pants and a long sleeved sweatshirt. The long pants may have contributed to the thunder thigh illusion.

After my visit with the Indian Ghosts it was on to ALDI to acquire vittles. Lots of vittles. And now it is time to turn some of those vittles into lunch.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why Is The Fort Worth Arena Project Only Now Getting Closer To Reality?

In last year's November vote Fort Worth voters approved of the building of a new arena to replace the ancient Will  Rogers Coliseum.

Voters voted to approve of the project by passing three propositions. One proposition approved charging a buck to rent a livestock stall. Another proposition approved of a parking fee surcharge. And still another proposition approved of charging a surcharge on tickets.

Yes, I realize you reading this in democratic parts of America are wondering why three propositions of this sort would be on a ballot  and how it is that approving them approved of the building of an arena.

Well. Apparently the passage of those three propositions really had nothing to do with an arena actually being under construction. I remember wondering at the time, during that election season, why there was no mention made of the construction timeline of this arena project.

But, this is Fort Worth where the locals are used to public works projects with no project timeline. America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, has been boondoggling along for almost two decades, with no real project timeline, yet recently touting 2023 as the year when The Boondoggle's projects are finally completed.

So, this morning the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article titled FW arena project getting closer to reality.

I thought that vote a year ago brought the FW arena project to reality?

I know I have asked a time or two lately if anyone has seen any sign of that arena being under construction.

Well, now we have the answer. It is not under construction. A year after being approved by voters voting yes on three goofy propositions, nothing is currently being built.

From the Star-Telegram article....

The new multipurpose arena in the Will Rogers Complex approved by Fort Worth voters last November won’t happen for a few more years, but work on the project has made some significant steps forward.

The City Council on Tuesday was presented with the proposed master agreement between the city and its private backers, Event Facilities Fort Worth Inc., for the development, construction and operation of the $450 million, 14,000-seat arena.

Completion of the master agreement should “allow construction to begin in earnest,” said a city staff memo to the council.

Initial projections pegged the arena’s opening for 2019.

Really? Initial  projections projected the arena opening in 2019? I do not remember that opening date being part of the campaign information during the election.  Five years after voters voted to approve building it? Five years is even longer than America's Biggest Boondoggle is expected to take to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

I thought we were sold on the idea that the entire funding scheme for this arena was in place at the time of the vote, a year ago.

I remember many people wondering at the time, but I am wondering anew, how in the world do you spend almost a half a billion dollars on an arena which only seats 14,000?  The new Cowboys stadium cost a bit over a billion and can hold over 100,000 event attendees. And that giant thing was built in less than four years.

I am thinking that America's Biggest Boondoggle may be getting some local competition for that coveted title.....

No More Mr. Nice Guy Regarding Pseudo Conservative Reactionary Republican Right Wing Nuts

Something has been bugging me bad for way too long, with me taking the easy route of just ignoring that which bugged me, rather than saying what I think about that which is causing the bugging.

Had I been a German in Germany in 1930 I like to believe I would have spoken out against the Nazi evil.

But, how can I think I would speak out against the Nazi evil when I don't speak out when I see similar evil in America?

Well, I am about to purge my conscience by speaking out against the evil amongst us Americans.

One does not have to spend much time on Facebook before one reads something that can simply be summed up as being pure idiocy.

Case in point, that which you see here. A posting by a moron named Steve Davis in which he shares the idiotic idea that Attorney General Loretta Lynch has mandated that the term "juvenile delinquent" can no longer be used, with the term "justice involved youth" to be used instead.

You live in the United States of America, you clueless idiot. The Attorney General has no power to dictate what words Americans use.

How can any grown adult be this stupid, to think something so moronic? Well, let's look at one of the replies to this idiotic Facebook posting....

David Patriot Lambertsen: Eat Shit and Die you worthless affirmative action anti-American anti-Military and Police hating POS - due your duty and indict the traitor Hitlery Clinton - oh I forgot If you do she'd rat out that worthless marxist muslim homo illegal alian grifter infesting the WH and destroying our Country.

Uh, isn't the above what is known as hate speak? Would an actual patriot speak of the occupant of the White House in this manner? A White House occupant who Americans have twice elected?  For months now I have noticed this David the Patriot person showing up on Facebook. I paid little attention. When I did notice he was saying incredibly inflammatory, stupid stuff, I figured he was a troll, trying to point out the absurdity of that which right wing reactionary nutjob types spout.

Then I realized he was an idiotic reactionary right wingnut. And then I realized the reason I was seeing this idiot's nonsense was because he was on my Facebook Friends List.

Yikes! I have a hateful, reactionary, bigoted, traitorous, un-American idiotic moron listed as one of my friends? How did I make this mistake? Well, I get one of those Friend Request things and if I see we share mutual friends I click confirm, without any more thought about it. So, when  I checked and saw this False Patriot on my FB Friends List I also saw we share 13 Mutual Friends. Several of whom I actually know and a couple of whom I hold in high regard. How can they be friends of this wretched excuse for a human being? I am beyond appalled.

I feel an existential crisis coming on. Which I will likely avert.

So, I went to this David Traitor Lambertsen's Facebook page to see some of his other traitorous, seditious, possibly criminal entries. Those follow for your appalled reading displeasure....

David Patriot Lambertsen: The University should cancell the scholarships for these dumb sub-human mongrels as they probably don't qualify to attend the University - the football team sinks anyway. There must be something wrong in MO.

David Patriot Lambertsen: He does have unsually big ears / but not as big as the monkey throwing turds in the WH

David Patriot Lambertsen: Any muslim with a green card or a visa must be immediately deported - tough luck about a sad story - and by the way it goes for the aunt and uncle of the worthless muslim infesting the WH.

And then there is this gem, screen capped right from the Facebook page of this shameless, traitorous, sad excuse for an American....

David Patriot Lambertsen: Just love talking to those young patriots. They are so kind to an old geezer like me. Especially when I start talking about being a Barry Goldwater Delegete (Young Republican) 1964.

Okay, so this idiot was a "Delegete" (Delegate) to the 1964 Republican Convention which nominated Barry Goldwater, he being an actual conservative who actually understood what the word "conservative" means. Barry Goldwater would be appalled, disgusted and embarrassed by what many who call themselves conservatives opine about our current American president. Barry Goldwater was a decent man, with high standards, who was admired by all sides of the political spectrum when he reached the elderly statesmen stage of his career.

Barry Goldwater would rip the current so-called conservative Republicans to shreds. As likely would Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan would have no tolerance for the hate speak of a David Traitor Lambertsen sort. Ronald Reagan was a decent good man.

I am not going to un-Facebook Friend this David the Traitor Idiot.

It is not often one gets a window seat look into utter madness. I shall keep looking as long as I can. And I am no longer going to be a nice quiet guy when I feel my conscience is being troubled by evil....

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

There Will Be No Confederate Lives Matter Veterans Day Parade In Washington Tomorrow

I saw that which you see here on Sunday, in the Skagit Valley Herald, but forgot about it til now, the day before Veterans Day, which is a good time to remember.

This particular item sort of fits my ongoing theme of things I see via west coast news sources online which I likely would not ever see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, or most other Texas newspapers.

This past Saturday my old hometown of Burlington had its annual Veterans Day Parade. In the rain. For the first time a Native American was the parades's Grand Marshall, he being a Swinomish Tribe veteran of the Vietnam War named Chester J. Cayou.

One might see a normal Veterans Day Parade in Fort Worth, or other Texas towns. But it would be difficult to have a local Native American Veteran as Grand Marshall, due to the fact that long ago Texans ran most of the Native American population out of Texas, those that they did not kill. Only two or three very small reservations exist in Texas.

None in Tarrant County.

My old home county, Skagit, in Washington, has multiple tribes with multiple reservations. The aforementioned Swinomish, along with the Skagit and the Samish. Two of the Skagit County tribes own HUGE casino resort complexes, those being the Swinomish and the Skagit.

Meanwhile in Texas one of the few remaining tribes has recently gotten feisty about its plan to build a casino resort of the sort tribes have built in other states.

Also, meanwhile in Texas, I learned a few minutes ago via the highly esteemed Bud Kennedy, on Facebook, that tomorrow Fort Worth and a couple other towns in the vicinity are going to be having themselves very special Veterans Day Parades of the sort one would not see in my old home zone. Or the rest of modern, civilized America.

First the announcement graphic and then a couple comments to the Facebook post which will show you there are some sane voices in Texas, even though they may not be in the majority most of the time....

Oh my, this is just embarrassing for so many reasons. I really do not see this attracting very many people, either to be in these parades, or to watch them.

And now the reasonable pair of comments regarding the Confederate Lives Still Matter Veterans Day Parades...

I'm descended from Confederate veterans who opposed slavery and secession but served anyway. It's not at all clear to me that they'd want to be remembered for that part of their lives. Maybe, I suppose. But they'd surely not want their service *emphasized* over that of veterans from other wars. That aspect of this smells of malice to me.

And this one...

Those who fought for the Confederacy, including several of my ancestors, were traitors to their country and their Constitution. American soldiers swear an oath to defend the Constitution not destroy it.

See what I mean? Definitely not all Texans are embarrassing nutjobs. In other words, Ted Cruz is definitely not the Texan norm. More on Texan nutjobs in a following blog post....

Today Is My Favorite Nephew Joey's Happy Birthday

In August of 1998, the summer before I moved to Texas, my favorite nephews Jason and Joey took me to Las Vegas for a few days of fun, including getting trapped for hours at the top of the Stratosphere Tower, with no air conditioning, at 115 degrees.

Joey was 15 years old when we were stuck high above Las Vegas in a malfunctioning tower.

Joey turned 16 on November 10, 1998. I have already admitted, more  than once, that I am terrible at complex math problems, but, near as I can successfully calculate, I believe on this day in 2015 Joey is now 33 years old.

Last month I found my favorite nephew Joey standing on a McDonald's parking lot in Grapevine. Joey did not look a day over 29 at that point in time.

Hard to believe Joey is 33. Seems like only yesterday I got a call telling me my nephew #2 had arrived. Another boy. I lived in Bellingham, Washington at the time. I headed south to United General Hospital, located halfway between my old hometown of Burlington and Sedro-Woolley, to meet my new nephew for the first time. When I arrived Joey's mama, my favorite ex-sister-in-law, Cindy, was holding Joey.

I found the above collage of Joey photos this morning on Facebook, posted by some impostors claiming to be Joey's favorite Aunt and Uncle. I think this was some sort of typo with the typo-ist intending to type "favorite Aunt Dorothy and favorite Uncle Randy", which would make the favorite claim accurate.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my Favorite Nephew Joey.