Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stalled Drive By Arlington's Dallas Cowboy Stadium Waiting For Elsie Hotpepper

This last day of August, was the day of my regularly scheduled return to the Dallas/Fort Worth zone to buy a couple dozens bagels at WinCo, among many other things.

My first stop was at a Doctor in Euless, then it was south on Collin Street, where eventually I found myself stuck in traffic, stuck due to the chronic Arlington, Texas problem of a train rolling through town, stopping the traffic flow til the train has rolled on by.

Is there any other American city the size of Arlington which has itself cut in two by train tracks with only a couple overpasses, or underpasses in the entire town?

I think it'd been over a year since I'd seen the Dallas Cowboy stadium up close, not since I had the extremely exciting experience of watching the USA team play some other country in something called the World Cup.

I'd forgotten what an enormous monstrosity this stadium is. And how out of sync it looks with that which surrounds much of it. I would have thought by now some of the slum aspects would have been replaced by new development. But today I still saw pawn shops and run down looking motels and other eyesores.

Arlington does so much so well, like the town's parks, but in other things Arlington is a bit of a dud, such as in the public transportation realm. And cohesive development around a major development, like a HUMONGOUS football stadium.

I saw that which you see below on the east side of Collin Street on the south side of the stadium.

Still pushing the delusion that the Dallas Cowboys are America's Team, With that delusion apparently based on the Dallas Cowboys having had a few winning seasons at some point way back in the previous century.

Recently I saw, I think on Facebook, a graphic representing some scientific study showing who the majority in each state thought of as "their" football team.

Only one state thought of the Dallas Cowboys as "their" football team.


All of the Pacific Northwest, plus, oddly, New  York, thought of the Seattle Seahawks as "their" football team.

I can't remember the favorites of the other states, but if memory is partly serving me right, the Green Bay Packer was consider "their" football team by more state than any other.

Methinks it is time for the Dallas Cowboys to hang up that America's Team nonsense.

After I was done with what I was doing in south Arlington I headed back north, stopping in River Legacy Park, where I called my mom and dad. Bad connection. That call did not last long.

I thought Elsie Hotpepper was going to meet me today, but the Hotpepper failed to show up.

The drive forth and back from D/FW today was extremely pleasant. Noticeable road improvements on I-287.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In Wichita Falls Praying For Revival Hoping Jesus Is The Answer

For a couple weeks I have been seeing that which you see here at the northwest corner of the intersection of Kemp Boulevard and Midwestern Parkway in beautiful Wichita Falls.

Today was the first time the stoplight cooperated enough to allow the taking of a phone photo through the driver's side window.

Today's sign holding group was the smallest I have seen.


 I think the most I've seen is double that.

Whilst struggling to take a picture I did not have time to read what was on the sign held by the sitting cowboy. The standing cowboy remained with his back turned to me til the light turned green, so I had no chance of reading what was on that sign.

Previous signs have expressed sentiments such as "Pray for Revival" and "Jesus is the Answer".

I have no idea what the question is to which Jesus is the answer, or what is in need of reviving.

I suppose if I really wanted to know I could stop and ask the cowboys....

Over Half Decade Ago Trinity River Vision Pretended To Be Underway

Yesterday after I blogged about Hoping The Lake Wichita Revitalization Project Happens Soon it got me to thinking, anew, about Fort Worth's pitiful Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, known now as America's Biggest Boondoggle, due to boondoggling along for most of this century, with little to show for the effort.

Currently Fort Worth's clouded vision is being made more murky due to the inability of Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, to secure federal pork barrel money to help jump start the stalled project in dire need of a money infusing defibrillator.

Kay Granger's son, J.D., with no experience running any sort of public works project, was hired by America's Biggest Boondoggle to be the Executive Director of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Hiring J.D. was supposed to help motivate his mama to secure those federal handouts.

That has not quite worked out as planned. Instead, J.D., with a highly honed frat boy mentality, has turned that long ago Trinity River Vision into seeing things like muscial happy hour inner tube floats in the polluted Trinity River.

Yesterday a conversation about how Wichita Falls seems to wisely go about a project, such as revitalizing Lake Wichita, turned into musing about how bizarrely backwards Fort Worth is when trying to do just about anything.

That musing had me thinking back to when I first saw signage claiming that the Trinity River Vision was underway. With that "underway" verbiage referring to the actual moving of dirt, rather than simply propagandizing about moving dirt. The dirt moving propaganda began in 2002. Eight years later the signage appeared announcing that the cloudy vision was underway.

The last day of September, 2010, I rode my bike from Gateway Park, west, towards the Stockyards. A short distance after passing under I-35 I found myself seeing signage such as you see above, informing me, and others, that the long stalled Trinity River Vision was finally underway.

Six years ago.

I blogged about being astonished by the number of Trinity River Vision underway signs, and other ridiculousness in The Trinity River Vision Is Underway With A Lot Of Signs.

Among the things astonishing me that day was an area where the Trinity Trail had been re-routed around what looked like a big excavated area.

When she read that long ago blogging Connie D commented asking if this (a link to a TRV webpage) could be what I saw.

Cowtown Wakepark.

What I saw that day, six years ago, was America's Biggest Boondoggle moving a lot of earth to build a private business a pond. Soon after Cowtown Wakepark opened it went out of business, due to what seemed to me to be a rather obvious bad business model.

That and building such a thing where a predictable flood could do a lot of damage.

Ironic that such an easily flooded entity would be built by a project touted as a much need flood control project.

How much money did The Boondoggle spend to build that pond for the Cowtown Wakepark? Why has the Cowtown Wakepark's failure and The Boondoggle's part in that failure not become an issue with the local media? You know, journalists covering wrongdoing.

J.D. Granger was quoted multiple times touting the viability and wonders of Cowtown Wakepark giving the citizens of Fort Worth the ability to satisfy their imaginary long held desire to participate in the sport of wakeboarding.

Why has J.D. Granger not been held accountable for the failure of Cowtown Wakepark? Or any of the other failures of America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Like that simple little bridge being built over dry land to connect Fort Worth's mainland to an imaginary island. Is that bridge yet back under construction after a half year delay due to supposed design problems, and not due to the rumored lack of funds, due to J.D.'s mama not delivering that federal pork?

Both J.D. and his mama need to be fired....

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hoping The Lake Wichita Revitalization Project Happens Soon

I was back in Lake Wichita Park today, climbing to the summit of Mount Wichita.

I cut the mountain climbing short due to there being way too many skeeters skeetering about.

I'm assuming the recent rain and the drop in temperature has the mosquitoes out and about in bloody bite mode.

When a skeeter skeetered to my left ear lobe I decided to seek skeeter free shelter.

I was not long in Wichita Falls before I learned there was a local effort known as the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project, aimed at returning Lake Wichita to its former glory, well, actually, even more glorious than its former glory days of long ago.

Below is an artist's rendering of one aspect of the proposed Lake Wichita Revitalization.

In the view from the summit, in the photo at the top, we are looking down on the area where hopefully soon the beach you see above will be built.

The Wichita Falls city website is where I gleaned the beach scene, along with a lot of other information about this project.

The Lake Wichita Revitalization Project came into existence a couple years ago. Currently the permitting process is underway, with the project taking 1.5 to 3 years to complete. The lake will be drained and dredged so as to make for a deeper, healthier lake. Water features will be added, such as a canoe/kayak trail which will wind its way around Mount Wichita and a new mountain which will be added near Mount Wichita.

I have not been in Wichita Falls long enough to know if this project is actually going to happen, or if it will end up being like a Fort Worth project, as in dawdle along in slow motion, blustered by a lot of hot air, turning into an embarrassing boondoggle due to corruption, ineptness, poor planning and, well, wanton stupidity.

I suspect, judging by what I have seen so far in Wichita Falls, with so many things, like city parks, done so well, and events, such as the just completed Hotter'N Hell 100, done so well, that the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project is going to happen, and will happen in a timely fashion.

And the end result will be a HUGE boon to Wichita Falls and the entire Texoma region.

I hope the Lake Wichita Revitalization happens much sooner than later. I want another mountain to climb, a lake to swim in and a kayak trail to paddle on....

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Is The TRWD-Gate Scandal About To Blow Wide Open?

Last week, on August 24, 2016, to be precise, I blogged about Tarrant Regional Water District Board Election Fraud.

In that blogging I blogged about the rather bizarre fact that nothing had been done about the rather obvious electoral fraud which occurred in the last TRWD Board Election, where Marty Leonard and Jim Lane were re-elected in a HUGE landslide, breaking Mary Kelleher's previous TRWD Board Election record by around 10,000 votes.

10,000 votes in an election which did not attract a large number of voters, and yet this election somehow generated around 10,000 absentee ballots, which, apparently, coincidentally, was about the same number of votes Leonard and Lane landslided to victory with.

Yet I detected no verbalization of outrage in what passes for the Tarrant County press and media. No editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram calling for an investigation. Nary a peep in Fort Worth Weekly, Nothing about the unseemly election results in the Fort Worth Business Press, which had endorsed one of those trying to unseat Leonard and Lane, that being Craig Bickley.

Two days after blogging about me being perplexed by the TRWD electoral fraud I was informed that finally something, supposedly is being done about this miscarriage of electoral justice.

I first learned of this on August 26, 2016 via the Star-Telegraph. Please note that is Star-Telegraph, not Star-Telegram.

Above is a partial screen cap of the Star-Telegraph blog post titled Attorney General’s Office Investigating Voter Fraud in Tarrant County.

An entity about which I know nothing, called Empower Texans, is apparently behind the effort to ferret out the corruption in elections in Tarrant County.

You can read the Empower Texans post about the Tarrant County Electoral Fraud in AG Investigating Voting Abnormalities in Tarrant County Elections.

As you can see, via the screen cap from the Star-Telegraph, the official in charge of the Tarrant County Election Office admits to knowing there were abnormalities related to mail-in ballots.

Now, unless I missed it, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has not informed its readers that Tarrant County is being investigated for Electoral Fraud. Would one not think that this is news the local population might want to know about?

It's like there is a Watergate type cover up of a worse crime than Watergate, with no local Woodward and Bernstein, journalizing for no local newspaper, following the money to find out how it happened that thousands of absentee ballots came in to play in the last TRWD Board Election.

Who has the most to lose if control of the TRWD Board is lost to the good ol' boy and girl network which runs Fort Worth and its environs in what is known as the Fort Worth Way?

It is all very perplexing.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hotter'N Hell 100 Finish Line In Wichita Falls With Mr. Spiffy

No, that is not Mr. Spiffy you are looking at here, shortly after crossing the Hotter'N Hell 100 Finish Line.

I did not catch their names, but the announcer announced, to thunderous applause, that this pair of bikers was somewhere in the 90 years old range. I did not catch the exact age, due to the atmosphere being a bit noisy, which you can hear for yourself via the below video taken at the Hotter'N Hell 100 Finish Line.

Not everyone crossing the Finish Line rolled the entire 100 miles. I documented that fact in a blogging previous to this one titled Pickle Juice & Muscle Milk At The Wichita Falls Hotter'N Hell 100.

To qualify to go the full 100 miles riders must make it to what is known as "Hell's Gate" at the 60 mile mark by 12:30pm.

Mr. Spiffy took time out from rolling his wheels to take a picture of making it through Hell's Gate and documenting having done so on Facebook. Just a second, I will go see if I can find that picture. I'm sure Mr. Spiffy won't mind me purloining it.
If one makes it though Hell's Gate in time I believe the 100 mile route then eventually takes riders through Sheppard Air Force base where much cheering takes place.

Somewhere around 14,000 riders ride in the Hotter'N Hell 100. There are distance options shorter than the 100, such as 50 mile and 25 mile options. I think there may even be a shorter option.

What I do know for sure is riders were crossing the Finish Line the entire time I was there. I think I was off looking at something else when the first rider to complete the 100 miles crossed the Finish Line.

Below you can see a couple of race helpers holding orange strings to which Hotter'N Hell 100 race completion medals were attached. Part of the medal giver's job seemed to be to keep the riders moving along to make way for incoming Finish Line crossers.

The Finish Line scene became a bit chaotic at times, which you will also see in the video at the bottom.

As you can see, bikers came in all sizes and ages.

I was at the Hotter'N Hell 100 not too long today before I decided that next year I want to roll wheels at this event. This will require new wheels. A mountain bike would not work.

And now the aforementioned video where I find myself wandering amongst the incoming bikers crossing the Finish Line...

Pickle Juice & Muscle Milk At The Wichita Falls Hotter'N Hell 100

Yesterday I was told by a lifelong Wichita Falls local that the Hotter'N Hell 100 was a really big deal, bringing thousands of people to downtown Wichita Falls.

I thought there might be some exaggerating going on with that thousands of people claim.

Then this morning I was listening to the local radio station which calls itself BOB to find myself being told that there were already thousands of people at the MPEC (Multi-Purpose Events Center).

Yesterday I learned from Hotter'N Hell rider, Mr. Spiffy, that one needs to be at the finish line by 11 to be certain to see the first of the 100 mile riders cross the line.

I arrived in the MPEC zone around ten this morning. I quickly realized that that thousands of people claim was no exaggeration. All the parking lots around the MPEC were full, as were multiple other parking places near the MPEC. I drove towards the heart of downtown and found a place to park near where I parked for the 4th of July parade. It was only a couple block walk to get to the event center.

Via Facebook Mr. Spiffy has been updating his progress on today's 100 mile ride. The only update I saw prior to leaving for the Hotter'N Hell 100 was Mr. Spiffy's update from the first rest stop, where he was in line eagerly awaiting his dose of Pickle Juice.

Pickle Juice? wondered I and others.

One of the first things I saw upon arrival at the Hotter'N Hell 100 was that which you see above. A banner advertising the aforementioned Pickle Juice. I was offered no sample of Pickle Juice, but I was offered, multiple times, something called Muscle Milk. The first time I was asked if I would like some Muscle Milk I took slight umbrage. The question somehow seemed disparaging. In the video below, at the bottom of this blogging, you will see the moment I discovered from whence the Muscle Milk came.

The temperate was a bit warm, in the 80s, as I explored the Hotter'N Hell 100, and humid.

The above person, attired to look like a Holstein cow, asking people to eat more chicken, was miserable just to look at. The sad cow looked so HOT, and a bit feeble from likely heat exhaustion, with that feebleness requiring walking assistance in the form of the lady on the left helping the cow keep upright.

Art Bikes was a new addition to the Hotter'N Hell 100 this year.

There were dozens of cleverly designed bikes. The elephant bike was not the most clever, but it did seem to be the most photogenic.

Below we have some abstract Bike Art.

Near the Finish Line there is a large First Aid Station.

I don't know at what point in the ride the guy above crashed into injury mode. It looked painful. Did he crash near the Finish Line? Or crash miles away, but continue on to the Finish Line where he coasted to the First Aid Station?

At the Hotter'N Hell 100 one can escape the HEAT and find themselves in air-conditioned comfort inside a large exhibition hall where a lot of vendors were exhibiting a lot of bike related goods. As you can see, more people were enjoying the HEAT outdoors, than the indoor conditioned air.

What is all that orange material you see below being guarded by guards in gray t-shirts?

Well, the above is at the finish line where a constant stream of bikers crossed the line to find themselves being given a medal attached to an orange string.

The video below will give you a better idea of what some of the Hotter'N Hell 100 event looked like this morning. I took a lot of pictures, and video. Following this blogging I will blog another one, focused on the Hotter'N Hell Finish Line, where you may, or may not, see Mr. Spiffy.

Friday, August 26, 2016

At MPEC Day Before Wichita Falls Hotter'N Hell Hundred

Like I said in the Looking At Lucy Park Pagoda Focal Points Before Looking At Hotter'N Hell 100 blog post, which preceded the blog post you are reading right now, after doing some nature communing along the Wichita River in Wichita Falls' Lucy Park, I intended to make my way, via a confusing maze of roads, to the MPEC (Multi-Purpose Events Center) to see what there was to see of the Hotter'N Hell 100.

Well, I saw that which you see here, which I believe must be either the starting point, or finish line, or both of tomorrow's HOT race around Wichita Falls.

Before I saw that which you see above I saw a HUGE encampment of RVs, trailers and tents, set up on parking lots to the south of the MPEC.

I took several photos of the Hotter'N Hell encampment, but my photo skills do not render a photo worthy of showing how HUGE this conglomeration is of the Hotter'N Hellers is.

I saw a lot of vendors getting set up, likely opening later today, or maybe tomorrow.

The Hotter'N Hell 100 starts early Saturday morning. I expect to be at the MPEC before noon tomorrow, hopefully before the first rider rolls across the finish line.

I know only one person riding in tomorrow's Hotter'N Hell 100. He being the extremely speedy, Mr. Spiffy. Yesterday I learned Mr. Spiffy's doctor told him that for him to be in top shape for a 100 mile bike ride he needed to lose 20 pounds and start drinking red wine.

I doubt Mr. Spiffy has managed to lose the prescribed 20 pounds in the time since the prescription. I also doubt that enough time has passed for the wine to have had its salubrious effect.

Nonetheless, when I am at the finish line tomorrow, I fully expect Mr. Spiffy to be the first to cross it...

Looking At Lucy Park Pagoda Focal Points Before Looking At Hotter'N Hell 100

Til today I had not been back to Lucy Park since receiving an interesting blog comment earlier this month, part of which referenced that which you see here, that being the Lucy Park Pagoda.

Ann Arnold-Ogden has left a new comment on your post "Wichita Falls Creatively Covers Traffic Signal Boxes":

I'm the Community Marketing Director at the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, and I'm currently working on a video for Lucy Park! I asked the Parks Director, Jack Murphy about the pagodas a few months ago. In his email, he replied, "I thought it would be interesting to have some ornamental structures with an Asian flair. The blue roof Pagoda and the smaller shelter by the park road are meant to be focal points from each other along the open space axis between." 

Further information on Mrs. Saunders from her obituary: Mrs. Lucy O. Saunders, one of Americas foremost woman oil operators, died here today of Spanish Influenza. She amassed a vast fortune in the oil business, operating successfully in the Sour Lake, Batson, Tulsa and the Burkburnett fields. One of her most notable achievements was development of the Sunshine Hill, Texas field. 

Today I wanted to check out the epicenter of tomorrow's Hotter'N Hell 100 at the MPEC (Multi-Purpose Events Center).

Since Lucy Park is near MPEC I thought a peaceful nature walk would be salubrious prior to getting Hotter'N Hell.

And at Lucy Park I could check out the Pagoda and see if I could figure out how the Pagoda and another structure were focal points from each other.

Figuring out that focal point thing proved to be a futile effort. My powers of imagination are quite weak.

After failing to find the focal point I continued on to something more tangible.

With that tangible thing being the Lucy Park suspension bridge across the Wichita River.

I wonder how long it took to build this Wichita Falls suspension bridge over the Wichita River? I suspect construction took way less time than the four years it took San Francisco to build a suspension bridge across the Golden Gate.

Or the four years it is supposedly supposed to take Fort Worth to build a bridge over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

I like the golden brown color of the Wichita River. I wonder if anyone inner tubes in the Wichita River? The Wichita River somehow looks more inviting to get wet in than the Trinity River as it flows through Fort Worth. The Wichita River looks like one would be taking a mud bath, whilst the Trinity River looks like one would be taking a sewer bath.

It also helps the Wichita River seem more appealing to float in due to the fact that, unlike the Trinity River, one is not also floating with a lot of litter of various unseemly sorts.

Is the Wichita River tested for bad stuff, like too much E.coli? I suppose if no one goes floating in the Wichita River there would be no reason to be testing it for E.coli.

Well, enough of that, it's time to head to the MPEC and Hotter 'N Hell 100.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Need For Changed Oil Eventually Takes Me To A Wichita Falls Dock On A Bay

When I ignited my motorized means of vehicular transportation this morning the dashboard told me something like I should change the oil soon.

I am a big fan of being right on top of vehicle maintenance, never procrastinating on these type issues.

So, since I was driving to Walmart, among other destinations, and knowing Walmart had an Auto Care Department, I figured what could go wrong with a Walmart oil change?

I figured right. It was an efficient operation. I walked in, said I needed an oil change, was told to park the vehicle at the first open bay, did so. A Walmart auto tech guy was quickly there with a high tech handheld device taking down all the vital information.

I was given a card to scan on the in store price check scanning devices, with the card scanning telling me the status of the oil change whilst I did my search for Walmart goods. The first time I scanned the card I was told "Waiting". The second time I scanned the card I was told "In Bay".

I did not scan the card a third time because the in store loudspeaker loudly told me that "Mr. Jones, your vehicle is ready."

The whole process took about 15 minutes.

Leaving Walmart I took the out in the country route, leaving Wichita Falls to make my way to Lake Wichita for some maritime refreshment via a location I'd not been to previously, that being the Lake Wichita Boat Launch and Dock.

Walking out to the end of the Dock was a bit of a rickety boardwalk experience that I liked.

In the  photo documentation above, way in the distance you can see Mount Wichita looming over the far side of the lake.

I had originally planned to do some mountain climbing on Mount Wichita today, But, with the temperature semi-hot in the mid 80s, and with no wind blowing, I opted not to overheat via mountain climbing and instead acquired endorphins via negative ions zapping from the slow moving waves on the lake.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In August Thinking About Climbing Snow Covered Mount Wichita

No, that is not snow covered Mount Rainier you are looking at here. What you are looking at here is snow covered Mount Wichita in Wichita Falls, Texas.

A day or two ago I opined that it would be a good thing for a chair lift to be installed to take people to the summit of Mount Wichita, obviating the need to do that vexing mountain climbing thing for those disinclined to experience vertical exercise.

It did not occur to me that a chair lift to the summit of Mount Wichita might facilitate downhill skiing.

I found the photo you see above on the Facebook page about Mount Wichita titled The Dirt Hill.

Calling Mount Wichita "The Dirt Hill" seems sort of rude to me.

Are those people in the foreground sliding on a frozen Lake Wichita? If so, apparently Wichita Falls has the capacity to become a bit of a Winter Wonderland.

You would need to click the photo to enlarge it to see the large number of people trekking their way to the summit of the snow covered Mount Wichita.

I can not imagine doing so. Climbing Mount Wichita is treacherous enough without the added treachery of ice and snow.

I suspect in a few months, weather permitting, I will be finding out how doable it is to ascend and descend Mount Wichita when it is in snow covered mode...

Tarrant Regional Water District Board Election Fraud

From the Wikipedia article about Electoral fraud....

Electoral fraud or vote rigging is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both.

In Texas the government is very concerned about voter fraud, you know, people voting who should not be able to vote.

Even though there is no evidence this type fraud actually exists. But, in Texas some hoops were installed which voters had to jump through in order to vote, such as providing photo I.D.

Court rulings have recently ruled that Texas is in the wrong with this voter I.D. form of voter suppression, and must cease with the practice.


I get annoyed at how backwardly twisted Texas can be at times. As in installing procedures to prevent imaginary voter fraud, whilst doing absolutely nothing about actual election fraud.

Such as.

The last time there was a Tarrant Regional Water District Board election the election fraud seemed to be so obvious that a blind person could have spotted it from the moon.

Jim  Lane and Marty Leonard were re-elected with a record number of votes, a huge number of votes, far in excess of the previous record number of votes, held by Mary Kelleher, as in, something like 10,000 more votes, give or take a vote, or two.

The TRWD board election did not produce a big turnout.

And yet, for some reason there were something like 10,000 absentee ballot requests.


Now, please note the number of record breaking votes which re-elected Leonard and Lane.


It is not easy to get an absentee ballot in Texas, unlike most other states. In my old home state of Washington one could be a perpetual absentee ballot voter. Meaning one could mail in ones vote each election.

So, how is it that this TRWD board election, with its bizarrely skewed results, did not come to the attention of any sort of election oversight board.

Surely, Texas has some sort of election oversight system. Doesn't it?

Does the upcoming General Election include yet one more TRWD board vote? I don't know. I have not made note of any hype about such. But, I no longer get mailed the Tarrant County election mailers.

Is the reason there has been no investigation of what seems to be obvious election fraud in the last TRWD board election due to this being considered a low level type election not worthy of any sort of oversight?

Anyway, I know I've blogged about this perplexing issue previously, but I thought I'd bring the subject up again, what with it being an election year...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hostess Aunt Alice's Deep Fried Walmart Twinkies

A few days ago I found myself having the following exchange on Facebook with Aunt Alice, also known as Tootsie Tonasket....

Durango Jones Sounds like your new personal chef is working out for you, Aunt Alice. Getting you back on a healthy feeding regimen. Unlike your previous personal chef who had you eating way too many things like Deep-Fried Twinkies covered with hot fudge.....

Aunt Alice Personal chef? One could only wish sweetheart. You could be mine. I eat semi healthy. Love veggies. Deep fried Twinkies? Yum. Never had. Can I get your recipe? Not had Twinkies in years and years. Nor hot fudge. Making me hungry. Stop. Glad you worry about your Auntie.

So, imagine my surprise yesterday, in Walmart, when walking by the freezer section I saw that which you see above.

Hostess Deep Fried Twinkies and Deep Fried Chocolate Twinkies.

Aunt Alice, these Deep Fried Twinkies may only be available in Texas, as part of the ongoing plot to try to get the Texas population to put on some weight.

But, next time you're in the Omak Walmart check out the freezer section and maybe you will find Deep Fried Twinkies....

I Am Soliciting Donations For Donald Trump & The Cult Of The Stupid

I hit the blog publish button yesterday to quickly find myself mortified to see that the blog had two Donald Trump Make America Great Again ads and one Only Trump Can Stop Crooked Hillary ad, soliciting donations to the campaign of the Great Embarrassing Orange Pumpkin.

I have no control over what ads appear. The ads are supposed to be content and user oriented. Sometimes this renders ads which make sense, and other times senseless ads, like finding myself being sort of a party to a con man conning confused simpletons into sending him money.

I do not remember ever so ardently wishing an election was over and done with. I don't remember an election where so many people opined so much stupid stuff based on nothing but their ignorant, ill-informed stupidity, reinforced by others sharing the same stupidity.

I blame the empowerment of stupidity on the rise of social media.

Before the rise of social media the stupid had no outlet where they could share their stupidity with other stupid people reinforcing each other's stupidity in a sort of Cult of the Stupid.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are two examples of locations where the Cult of the Stupid acquire much of their stupidity.

Go to FOX News online and read the comments to pretty much any article and you will soon develop a sick feeling regarding how badly educated the education system is educating way too many people.

Or go to Facebook.

I only have about 100 Facebook "Friends". I put "Friends" in quotation marks because only a few of the 100 are people I actually know. Even with only 100 Facebook "Friends" I manage to have several "Friends" who are charter members of the Cult of the Stupid.

I feel embarrassed for them when I read some of it. But, I long ago learned there was no cure for stupid. Stupid is like cancer, a disease in dire need of a cure, but with no cure in sight.

Hence the rise of Donald Trump and his Cult of the Stupid......

Monday, August 22, 2016

Finding Something On Mount Wichita Not Seen Previously In Wichita Falls

A couple weeks ago I blogged about my Fruitless Friday Wichita Falls Search For Litter, documenting my futile fruitless attempt to find litter littering like I saw so frequently at my previous Texas location.


Today, on the summit of Mount Wichita, I saw that which you see here.


This was not the only litter. I always saw. Several beer cans, fast food wrappers and other usual litter suspects.

Why would anyone drop litter on one of the most scenic locations in Wichita Falls?

I suspect out of towners are the culprits. Maybe Fort Worth litter buggers in town getting ready to ride their bikes in the HOTTER than HELL 100.

Next time I climb to the summit of Mount Wichita I will do so with a garbage bag stuffed in a pocket.

On a non-litter note, whilst on the summit of Mount Wichita today something happened which had not happened before. Two text messages. One from Miss Linda, one from Elsie Hotpepper.

One of the messages was a woeful litany. You have a 50/50 chance of guessing from whom the litany of woe came....

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Striking Similarity Between Mount Rainier & Mount Wichita

No, that is not an early morning look at Lake Wichita you are looking at here, with Mount Wichita looming in the distance.

What you are looking at here is Lake Meridian in the town of Kent in the state of Washington.

And that mountain looming in the distance is a volcano known as Mount Rainier.

I believe it was in the year 2005 I was in Washington, staying at my ex-wife's house in the aforementioned Kent.

My ex-wife and my sister had taken off to do their daily delivery duties when soon thereafter one of them, I don't remember which, called me to tell me "the Mountain is out and looking beautiful."

In Western Washington the phrase "the Mountain is out" is universally known to mean that Mount Rainier is cloud free and visible.

When the Mountain is out it is visible from a long distance. For instance, when the Mountain was out I could see it whilst driving on the Skagit Valley flats, about 100 miles north.

So, after I got the call telling me the Mountain was out I walked the short distance to Lake Meridian to take some photos and shoot some video of the exposed Mountain.

Looking at the above photo of Mount Rainier it sure is easy to see why I say that Mount Wichita looks like a mini-volcano, which you can see via the photo I took yesterday of Lake Wichita with Mount Wichita in the distance....

Come winter I wonder if Mount Wichita develops a snow cap?

I suspect not.

A chair lift to the summit of Mount Wichita would be a very cool thing. There would be nothing like it for hundreds of miles in any direction....

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Blazing A Trail Around Lake Wichita While Exhausted

I am exhausted. A storm stormed into Wichita Falls around three this morning. I have been awake ever since.

The storm dropped a lot of water along with delivering some lightning strikes.

Around noon I took off to Lake Wichita for some water based scenery, along with a good dose of humidity.

In the picture you are looking west from the east side of Lake Wichita. Mount Wichita, looking like a volcano, is in the distance on the west side of the lake.

The picture does not picture what looks like much wave action. However, when I got on the floating dock it surprised me by how much rock and rolling it was doing.

A surprisingly large number of people were enjoying the cooler temperature and respite from rain. Lots of bikers and joggers.    

After I had myself enough lake time I decided to see if I could drive all the way around Lake Wichita. I'd looked at maps previously and saw no obvious road choice that went around the lake. Which I found to be the case when I tried to drive around the lake.

On the south side of Lake Wichita one finds the small town of Lakeside City. I thought maybe a road out of that town would take me back to the Mount Wichita side of the lake. I thought wrong.

Eventually I came to a freshly blacktopped new looking road heading west. Eventually that road came to a road heading north. On that road heading north I came to a sign which said "Trail Crossing Ahead".

Trail Crossing Ahead?

What could that mean? A Cattle Trail? A spur of the old Chisholm Trail? What?

Turns out the trail ahead was the Wichita Valley Rail Trail. When I got back to a Google enabled device I learned this was a converted old railroad track, now a hiking biking trail, running from Wichita Falls to the town of Holliday.

Soon after crossing the trail ahead I was back in familiar territory, heading east towards home on Southwest Boulevard.

So, fact of the matter is I did manage to drive all the way around Lake Wichita. But the route turned out not to stay too close to the lake shoreline.

I think I need to try to take a nap. That rarely works out. But, like I said, I am exhausted.....

Anonymously Wondering What Really Stopped Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Bridge Building

Earlier this month, August 10 to be precise, I wrote Trinity River Vision Should Cataract Kay Granger Out Of Congress after reading a ridiculous piece of Fort Worth Star-Telegram propaganda about Congresswoman Kay Granger's attempt to finally secure funding for her son's embarrassing debacle which has come to be known, far and wide, as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Yesterday someone with the relatively common name of Anonymous made an anonymous comment to that blog post about Cataracting Kay Granger out of Congress.....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Trinity River Vision Should Cataract Kay Granger Out Of Congress":

It occurs to me that the reason the TRV bridge construction was halted was due to a lack of funds. That there was enough money to get construction started on one bridge, with the hope that once that bridge construction was underway that Kay Granger could then manage to secure the federal funds her son was hired to motivate her to get. But that plan failed and has turned sort of desperate, as you noted in this blog post I am commenting on. 

Now that this Anonymous person has caused me to think about it, isn't it rather curious that the Star-Telegram would have an editorial and article about funding finally being secured for America's Biggest Boondoggle, while at the same time making no mention of the fact that The Boondoggle's bridge construction had ground to a halt for almost half a year?

Almost two years ago a big TNT explosion celebrated the start of construction of the first of The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect Fort Worth's mainland to an imaginary island, with an astonishing four year construction timeline.

Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, and other actual feats of actual engineering.

Months ago we were told, by the Star-Telegram, that a design error had brought a halt to the construction of the only one of The Boondoggle's bridges under construction.

How did this alleged design error come to be, what with this being a rather simple bridge? It's not like they were launching a new rocket that had never been launched before.

Was there really a design error which stopped the bridge construction? Or was it more a matter of what Anonymous suggests, that The Boondoggle did not have the funding to actually build the bridges, until J.D. Granger's mama hoodwinked those coveted federal dollars?

One can not help but wonder why, rather than publish embarrassing propaganda puff pieces about imaginary progress of America's Biggest Boondoggle, the Star-Telegram does not send one of its imaginary reporters to the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building, where the Trinity River Vision Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision has its offices and an enormous propaganda display of the imaginary wonders this ill-fated project pretends it will deliver, and ask J.D. Granger to answer some rather obvious questions.

Like what's gone wrong with the bridge construction? That would seem to be an easy, logical question a legitimate newspaper of record might ask....

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another Chilly August Day In Texas

What you are looking at here is this morning's stormy view from my computer room window.

Currently the temperature is only two degrees warmer than my old home zone which is currently chilled to 73 degrees.

Which means I am shivering at 75 degrees in Wichita Falls.


75 is five degrees cooler than I have my A/C set at.

The HOTTER than HELL 100 takes place here in a few days. Has there ever been a HOTTER than HELL 100 with the temperature well below 100?

The dark clouds you see above have been dripping a lot of drops. So far no lightning strikes with thunder booms. Yesterday I visited my favorite bank teller who told me the bank employees had just been informed they were under a tornado warning. I heard of this warning no where else.

Does this chilly August bode ill for the coming fall and winter? I hope not.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday To Great Grandpa & Grandma John & Tillie

Earlier in the month whilst searching for an illustrative photo to illustrate my mom and dad's 65th Wedding Anniversary I came upon that which you see here.

I do not remember seeing this before, but obviously I had, because it would have been me who scanned the original news clipping, way back earlier in the century when I found myself making the most elaborate family history website the world has ever seen.

I may be hyperbolizing.


That would be my great grandpa and great grandma, according to the caption under the photo, "Pioneer Lynden citizens".

John and Matilda Slotemaker. I knew Matilda as great grandma Tillie. Great grandpa John died before I was born.

My great grandpa John, grandpa of my dad, Jack, moved to America in 1892, along with his mom and dad and sister, Anna.

Noord Scharwoude is the town in Holland my Dutch ancestors left behind when they moved to America.

I do not know if my Dutch ancestors were what we now call illegal immigrants. I believe their point of entry was Ellis Island, but I am not sure of that.

Upon arrival in America the family of four began to journey west, eventually settling in Orange City, Iowa, where John met and eventually married great grandma Tillie.

My Dutch Ancestors were not happy with Iowa. They heard of a Dutch community way out west, a town named Lynden in the new state of Washington. Great grandpa John was sent west, solo, to see if this might be a good place to move to.

Great grandpa John made the journey to Lynden via train. He spent a summer in Lynden, quickly deciding that this would be a good place to move to, partly because the farmland reminded him of Holland. I am guessing the towering mountains and nearby Mount Baker volcano did not much remind him of Holland.

Great grandpa John returned to Iowa with a knapsack full of things to show his family from this new place he wanted to call home. Things like apples and the thick bark off a giant tree. He told them about the fertile green land, berries growing wild, rivers abundant with fish.

So, my Dutch ancestors loaded up their possessions and moved one final time. to the Pacific Northwest. Soon a large chunk of land was purchased on which the Slotemaker farm was built. Along with Slotemaker Road. Both of which exist to this day.

But, before the move could be made to Lynden, great grandpa John got married to great grandma Tillie. The train ride to Lynden was their honeymoon.

Fifty years later great grandpa John and great grandma Tillie had their 50th Wedding Anniversary, attended by their four sons and two daughters. One of the sons was my grandpa, Cornelius, who I was supposed to be named after, but my mom and dad decided to break the family naming tradition of the oldest son of the oldest son alternating between John (Dutch version, Jan) and Cornelius (Dutch version, Cornelis).

My grandpa, Cornelius, died before I was born, not long after his mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

And that is my Throwback Thursday for the month....

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mothers With Annoying Brats Stormy Sikes Lake Stroll

Storms seem to be brewing at my location on this third Wednesday of August. So far only a few drops have dripped.

In the picture you are standing with me on one of the bridges which cross Sikes Lake, with the view looking northeast.

Whilst I walked around the lake I was passed by multiple joggers, some in full speed run mode, three roller bladers, several bikers and multiple walkers.

I was passed by no walkers. I did do the howdy thing to multiple walkers as we passed by each other walking in opposite directions.

The only disturbing thing I saw today at Sikes Lake, other than way too many geese, was a herd of young moms pushing baby strollers, with multiple babies in full crying, screaming, whining mode. I assume this phalanx of stroller pushers was some sort of club, or support group, something like Mothers with Annoying Brats, or some other such thing.

On a more pleasant note, I saw another mother, stroller free, with two of the cutest little toddlers toddling along, laughing and having themselves a mighty fine time. The littlest of the cute toddlers waved at me as she giggled.

I don't know what was the problem with the Mothers with Annoying Brats that was causing all those little darlings to muck up my nature commune with their crying, screaming and whining.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lake Wichita Revitalization Project & Fort Worth's Corrupt Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

The Texas town I previously lived in, Fort Worth, had a lot of problems.

Among the many problems was a bizarre economic development scheme camouflaged as a much needed Trinity River flood control project, in an area of Fort Worth where there has been no flooding since well over a half century ago, after the Army Corps of Engineers installed levees which have functioned without flaw ever since.

This pseudo public works project was foisted on Fort Worth well over a decade and a half ago. The public has never been allowed to vote on this public works project. This project, known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or, more commonly, as America's Biggest Boondoggle, is currently stalled in full Boondoggle mode.

A couple years ago a big fuss, with a big explosion, marked the start of construction of one of The Boondoggle's three bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. Construction on that one bridge has been stalled for almost half a year.

Meanwhile the Godmother of America's Biggest Boondoggle, Congresswoman Kay Granger, is trying to attach an earmark to a spending bill so as to send about a half billion bucks of pork to Fort Worth for her son, J.D. Granger, the unqualified Executive Director of America's Biggest Boondoggle, given the job so as to motivate his mama to get that federal money.

So far, like most of Fort Worth's pitiful development schemes, this is not working out as planned.

If I have said it once, I have said it more than once, Kay Granger needs to get booted out of Congress, her son needs to be fired, the plug needs to be pulled on America's Biggest Boondoggle.

And the only federal involvement should be a racketeering investigation.

One more thing, before I move on to another thing. Tarrant County has some actual serious, deadly, dangerous, flood control problems. Development in north Fort Worth of malls, houses, schools, has covered acre upon acre with asphalt and roofs, with no effort to mitigate the increase in runoff volume and speed during a heavy rain event.

This has resulted in deadly floods careening through Haltom City. Kay Granger visited the area devastated by deadly flash floods. Kay Granger has done NOTHING to help direct any federal help, of the Army Corps of Engineers sort, to mitigate this problem. While being party to the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's planned waste of money on an un-needed flood control project.

Criminal irresponsibility is a phrase which comes to mind. The woman apparently has no conscience. Fort Worth and Tarrant County deserve someone better to represent them. Someone who is more interested in the problems of the people than pocket lining schemes.

Meanwhile, the town I moved to, Wichita Falls, has its own water related vision. The Lake Wichita Revitalization Project. This project seems to be well thought out, has involved the public in a meaningful way, solves an actual problem and when fully realized will be a tremendous asset to Wichita Falls and the region.

This week the project proposal for Lake Wichita is being delivered to Army Corps of Engineer offices in Oklahoma.

No unqualified son of a local congresswoman has anything to do with the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project. No one has plotted an elaborate scheme to line their own pockets with the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project. No local congresswoman is promising to attach an earmark to a spending bill so as to send some federal pork to Wichita Falls.

Wichita Falls does not seem to be a town ruled by corruption, by people so corrupt they don't even realize they are corrupt. Who do not understand why nepotism is wrong. Who, apparently, don't understand, or care, why conflicts of interest are corrupt. Who really do not understand much of anything other than to continue to rule Fort Worth in what is known as The Fort Worth Way, until, maybe, some magical day when the Fort Worth sheep have had enough and vote all the rascals out and take over the town, for the people.

Oh, and run J.D. and his mama out of town on a rail after a good tar and feathering....

Monday, August 15, 2016

Minutes Away From My 50 Second Wichita Mountain Climb Time

I am amping up the exercise thing due to my new, as of yesterday, five year goal of being able to run up Mount Wichita, in under 50 seconds.

I was in the pool early again this morning. I am gradually learning to like this pool and its saltwater contents. I can float, vertically, in the 8 foot deep deep end.

I do not know if this unusual floating ability is due to the saltwater or excess adipose tissue rendering me extra buoyant.

Long ago I went floating in Utah's ultra salty Salt Lake. But that lake, at the location I floated in, was extremely shallow. No matter how far out into the lake one waded. I never got remotely close to the lake being deep enough to facilitate vertical floating.

So, what with the saltwater floating not providing sufficient aerobic stimulation I rolled my mechanized wheels to Mount Wichita, this third Monday of August, to do some stimulating mountain climbing.

I do not seem to improve at the selfie taking thing. In the above attempt I am in descent mode, about halfway down the mountain.

I timed my climbs up Mount Wichita today.

Three minutes, 43 seconds for the first ascent.

But, part of that time was spent talking to a young lady who was heading down the mountain.

Three minutes, 12 seconds for the second ascent. Which would seem to give some indication as to how much time I spent talking to that descending young lady on the first ascent.

After the descent from the second ascent I was in no mood for a third ascent of the day.

I think I may be overdoing the getting endorphins via aerobic swimming stimulation thing, with my mountain climbing appendages being rendered a bit rubbery....

Chilly Wichita Falls Ides Of August Mountain Climbing

My photo taking skills do not do it justice, but in the picture I am on the summit of Mount Wichita, looking down one of the steep trails which leads to the summit, watching a young lady run, at high speed, up the mountain.

This was on Sunday, yesterday, the busiest I have ever seen the Mount Wichita area of Lake Wichita Park. Lots of mountain climbers.

Upon arrival at the Mount Wichita parking lot I saw a person running at high speed almost at the summit of the mountain.

Turns out it was the same lady you see in the photo. When she reached the summit I asked her what was wrong with her.

Nothing said she, I am just winded.

No, said I, I meant what is wrong with you that you are able to run up this steep mountain so fast, non-stop.

To which she told me the run I witnessed was her third of the day, with three more to come.

I then realized it was she I saw near the summit upon arrival.

She told me the run I witnessed was her fastest yet. 42 seconds. A smart phone was used to time the run.

I tried running up Mount Wichita the first time I climbed the mountain. I tried this because upon arrival that day I saw a guy running up the mountain, with that guy making it look easy.

It took me about 5 seconds of trying to run up the mountain to realize this was not possible in my sadly lacking state of fitness.

Yesterday I mountain climbed because I thought the newly arrived cool temperature would be conducive to easier mountain climbing. It wasn't.

Today is even cooler, at 77 degrees. Brrrrrr. But no wind. Yesterday was breezy.

I went swimming this morning soon after the sun's arrival. The pool lost a lot of its heat overnight. Not to the point of being cold, but much cooler.

A harbinger of the coming Fall.

And Winter.....

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Burlington Reunion Of Former Associates Collective Collects Without Me

Yesterday, in my old hometown of Burlington, in my old home state of Washington, a reunion  took place of a collective of associates with whom I associated for a period of time, decades ago, way back in the last century.

I have known, via Facebook, of this impending reunion for quite some time, and was eagerly awaiting the formal invitation arriving in my mailbox, but such never arrived.

This morning photos of this reunion, to which I was not formally invited, and thus was unable to attend, showed up on Facebook.

In the above photo foreground you are looking at Miss Linda and Betty Jo Bouvier. Miss Linda called me yesterday whilst she was en route to pick up Betty Jo to go to the aforementioned reunion.

It has been two and a half decades since I have attended one of the reunions of this collective of former associates. That reunion took place in the Skagit Valley tourist town of La Conner.

My only vivid memory of that reunion was the aforementioned Miss Linda doing a hilarious stand up routine which predominately featured the controversial issue of her hair dent and the intervention scheduled to deal with that serious issue. At some point in Miss Linda's act she mentioned me, which caused the larger of the Goober twins to physically assault me, lifting me up and causing me to trip on to the stage in front of Miss Linda.

I really have never forgiven the larger Goober twin for this drunken outrage.

The last reunion of this collective of former associates took place five years ago, at a farm a couple miles north of Burlington.

Few attended. Like I already intuited I was not among the few attending. Nor was Honey Lulu. I don't remember getting a formal invitation to that one either.

The day after that reunion a group photo of those in attendance showed up on Facebook. Honey Lulu called me, due to being perplexed as to the identity of some of those in the photo. I was of little help with the identifying.

Above on the left, that is the aforementioned Honey Lulu (aka Beth SM), yesterday, at that aforementioned reunion of a collective of former associates. You may recognize Honey Lulu from such television shows as LOST. I do not know who that is standing next to Honey Lulu looking like he is prepping for a role in a Santa Claus movie.

Isn't the scenery scenic in my old hometown zone? Big green trees under a big blue sky. The locals have been sweltering in my old home zone with temperatures only slightly cooler than my current location, as in temperatures in the 90s.

Years ago a now long gone Washington icon, Emmett Watson, initiated a campaign whereby the people of Western Washington were not to send photos out of the state showing sunny summer scenes. Photos of rain were okay, thus perpetuating the rainy reputation as a year round thing. But, over the decades, with millions of tourists experiencing the Western Washington summer reality, including multiple cruise ships sailing in and out of Puget Sound, the effort to perpetuate the year round rain myth has gone away.

I wonder if I will get a formal invitation to the next reunion of this collective of former associates of mine? Probably not.....

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wichita Falls Saltwater Swim Before Sikes Lake Geese & Barbecued Chicken

Last night, after experiencing Rabble Rouser Lunch exhaustion, I opted out of the planned attendance at Art in the Dark, due to that exhaustion problem, and precipitation was precipitating.

There is another downtown Wichita Falls art event tonight called Pop Up Art. It is not an outdoor pop up. The Pop Up Art takes place in what is known locally as the iconic Big Blue Building.

I remember when I first saw what I now know is the iconic Big Blue Building I thought to myself, well that is unfortunate. The iconic Big Blue Building is currently being restored to its former glorious state of iconic wonderment.

I have discovered if I go swimming early enough the sun has not had time to heat the area around the pool hot enough to melt my flip flops to the ground. Yesterday I made the mistake of going swimming in the late afternoon, soon before precipitation precipitated and found, upon finishing with the swimming, that my right foot flip flop had melted.

So, this morning I had myself a mighty fine time swimming in the saltwater pool. I have grown to sort of like the saltwater pool with its 8 foot deep deep end. Due to the extra buoyancy afforded by saltwater I can float, for a time, standing up, in the deep end.

I really did not think swimming gave me enough exercise today, though I did feel some aerobic endorphin stimulation, so in the noon time frame I drove the short distance to Sikes Lake to commune with nature and the Sikes Lake geese.

The Sikes Lake geese seemed to be in cranky honking mode today. I feared for the safety of the little guy you see above who approached the flock of four you also see above, with no apparent adult supervision, not of the little guy, or the geese.

Eventually an adult figure arrived and picked up the little guy about the same time a plus-sized adult white goose arrived and herded the flock of four in the opposite direction of the little guy and the adult supervisor.

It is now time for lunch. Barbecued chicken, rice and cabbage. Each item is more complicated than my simple description would seem to indicate.

Friday, August 12, 2016

No Kickapoo Copter So I Climbed Mount Wichita Before Art In The Dark In The World's Littlest Skyscraper

I was expecting a helicopter to touch down today at Kickapoo Airport, that being the airport almost next door to my abode, to pick me up and fly me to Haltom City so I could do some much needed rabble rousing.

However, no helicopter showed up in the expected time frame.

So, around noon I took off in my motorized transport and soon found myself fearing I was in vehicular malfunction mode. The transmission was not transmitting the way it normally transmits.

That and an odd warning light was lit. The warning looking like a trailer with a hitch.

I got to the base of Mount Wichita, turned off the engine, got out the manual and quickly learned that I must have inadvertently pushed the button on the end of the shift lever, a button which puts the vehicle into tow mode.

So, with that problem solved I exited the vehicle to go do some mountain climbing.

A group was already ascending the main route to the Mount Wichita summit, including a young, skinny guy who ran all the way to the summit, at high speed, with no stops on the way up.

You can see the young skinny guy, in red, near the summit, about to pass what looked to be a slightly overweight older guy.

I walked around the mountain to make my ascent via the less frequently used southeast summit trail. I did not run non-stop to the top.

A cooling wind made the almost 100 degrees feel not so HOT. Which is always a good thing.

Tonight I'm going to Art in the Dark in the downtown Wichita Falls Arts District. The Art in the Dark includes art in the World's Littlest Skyscraper. This should be interesting.....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Photo Documentation Of America's Biggest Boondoggle's Bridge Debacle

The text at the top of the screen cap of the photo you see here says "The V piers looking mostly the same  as they did in March."

Yesterday I blogged Trinity River Vision Should Cataract Kay Granger Out Of Congress arguing it is time to boot Granger from Congress, fire her son and pull the plug on America's Biggest Boondoggle.

A week ago today, last Thursday, I blogged Imaginary Fun Phase Begins For Fort Worth's Entertainment Boondoggle after Captain Andy sent me a link to an insipidly stupid FOX4 News online propaganda article about America's Biggest Boondoggle.

This morning Captain Andy sent me a link to the Fort Worth Architecture Trinity River Vision Forum in which someone had posted photos of The Boondoggle's stalled bridge construction. You know, those simple signature bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, construction of which has ground to a halt for five months.

The photos of The Boondoggle's bridge embarrassment showed up after someone in the Forum asked "Anyone heard an update on the one month bridge delay that is quickly and quietly closing in on 5 months?"

I have had a person or two of the information challenged sort suggest I exaggerate when I mention how long America's Biggest Boondoggle has been boondoggling. At the top of each of the many pages of the Trinity River Vision Forum we learn "Trinity River Vision Forum started by Fire-Eater, May 20 2004."

Obviously Fire-Eater did not start this Forum on the day it was foisted on Fort Worth with a massive Star-Telegram front page headline hysterically screaming "TRINITY UPTOWN TO TURN FORT WORTH INTO THE VANCOUVER OF THE SOUTH". I believe The Boondoggle has been boondoggling since 2002. I do not recollect when it was J.D. Granger was put on the dole, I mean, put in charge, in a money raising scheme, to motivate his mama to send some federal pork to Fort Worth. That did not work out as planned, hence this ill-conceived scheme becoming America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I so clearly remember the morning I read that Star-Telegram headline about scenery blah Fort Worth becoming the Vancouver of the South and that being the first time I thought to myself something is dire wrong with this town. Are insane people running the place? It took several more years for me to come to the conclusion that Fort Worth is just a Sick City, in dire need of an intervention.

Below you are looking at a photo you will see if you go back one page from the Fort Worth Architecture Forum page Captain Andy directed me to. In this photo you are looking at the current state of the Damage Zone inflicted on Fort Worth by America's Biggest Boondoggle. You are looking down on the stalled bridge construction and the ridiculous "art" installation at the center of a roundabout that the Forum debaters do not like. In the upper left of this photo you are looking at the location where two forks of the Trinity River come together, where regularly unseemly levels of E. coli collects, along with J.D. Granger and his legion of polluted river aficionados.

Reading the Fort Worth Architecture Forum comments I learned all sorts of appalling Boondoggle ridiculousness.

In one comment I learned...

There are now districts and they have names.

- East Island 
- West Island
- And the Houseboat District 

Houseboat District? Is J.D. Granger a big fan of Sleepless in Seattle? One of the commenters had this to say about the new "island" names...

Maybe they are going to follow the corporate sports model, take tax money to build the installation and then take more money from some company for "naming rights".  Alcon Island, American Airlines Island, Locheed-Martin Island, Frost Bank Island, XTO Island, BNSF Island... If you don't like the name just wait a few years, sort of like Texas weather. The company will go bankrupt and some other company will acquire new naming rights: Texas Central Island, Green Mountain Island, Solar City Island, Hyperpoop Island, etc.

One of the commenters commented about the new 3-D models of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision which have been installed at The Boondoggle's propaganda installation on the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building.

Does no one in the Sick City understand the concept of conflicts of interest? Can we expect factual information in the Star-Telegram about the tenant on the ground floor? We have long known that nepotism being a bad thing is a concept lost on these goobers known as the good ol' boy and girl network which runs the town in what is known as The Fort Worth Way.

As in corrupt. And self-serving.

So, these new models in The Boondoggle's waste of space show all sorts of imaginary wonders. You can push buttons on an interactive map and have imaginary nonsense light up.

How much has all this propaganda cost? How much does it cost to lease space on the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building? Who is making all these 3-D models? And why? And how much do the models cost? How many people are on the TRV dole, in addition to J.D. Granger?

How can money be being wasted on such utter propaganda nonsense at the same time J.D. Granger's mama, Kay, is trying to scam federal money from American taxpayers to pay for Fort Worth foolishness?

Appalling. Disgusting. Perplexing. And Embarrassing....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Trinity River Vision Should Cataract Kay Granger Out Of Congress

I think I may be about to write the longest blog post I have ever written. So much material.

Yesterday Miss B emailed me regarding an email she had received from a Texas Watchdog, who asked Miss B if she knew how to contact that guy who writes that blog that so frequently mentions America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I told Miss B how the Texas Watchdog could contact me. This morning the Texas Watchdog emailed me, asking about something I really knew nothing about, with a link to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article which contained the mis-information I knew nothing about. This mis-information was in a Star-Telegram article earlier this month, August 6, I think.

Then, later in the day, Elsie Hotpepper emailed me with a subject line of "Early Birthday Present". The early birthday present was to yet one more Star-Telegram article, an editorial published, I think, on Monday, August 8, about the same subject as the earlier article, that subject being America's Biggest Boondoggle, which the Star-Telegram still, occasionally, refers to as the Trinity River Vision.

Well, now that I've gotten the prelude out of the way, where to begin?

The Star-Telegram article the Texas Watchdog referenced was titled Fort Worth’s water project is finally on the verge of funding.

Let that title sink in. According to the Star-Telegram America's Biggest Boondoggle, after nearly 15 years of boondoggling, is on the verge of finally being funded.

How is this funding on the verge of happening, you might wonder?

This paragraph from the article answers that question...

Granger, a former mayor of the city “where the West begins,” has, after nearly 20 years as a member of the House of Representatives, helped smooth the way for Congress to approve about $520 million in federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Fort Worth project. It is estimated that the completed cost, which includes nonfederal funding, will be nearly $1 billion.

The Granger being referred to is Kay Granger, mother of J.D., who was hired to be The Boondoggle's Executive Director in order to motivate his mama to do some pork barreling and attach some earmarks to bills to get money to fund this ridiculous project.

So, Granger, after all this time, years and years and years after her unqualified son was hired to muck up a project he was unqualified to execute, has now supposedly smoothed the way to get some of that federal money siphoned to Fort Worth.

But, the article tells us time is running out for the bill to get passed to add this pork to the president's budget.

(Note to president: If this ludicrious waste of public funds gets to your desk, please veto it, or line item it into oblivion.)

The article spends some time explaining various reasons this Kay Granger scheme might fail.

I particularly found the following paragraph of interest...

There are some differences between the House and Senate bills in funding the Trinity Vision project – the House bill authorizes $526.5 million and the Senate $520 million – and the Senate bill stipulates that the assistant secretary of the army for civil works certify that the project meets cost-benefit criteria.

Certify that the project meets cost-benefit criteria?  This "project" has been touted as a much needed flood control project, with the side benefit of providing an economic stimulus to a blighted section of a blighted town. There are areas of Tarrant County in dire need of flood control mitigation. Haltom City and Fossil Creek come to mind. The area where Kay Granger expects the American people to send Fort Worth money has not flooded for over half a century due to the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers built flood control levees that have kept that zone dry ever since.

This ridiculous "vision" has always been a crooked scheme to line the pockets of those who instigated it. What the federal government needs to do, instead of sending money to Fort Worth for a bogus flood control project, is to investigate who, including Kay Granger, stood to have their property values enhanced if the Trinity River Vision ever became something someone could see.

It also might be a good idea to investigate, on a federal level, how and why it was that Kay Granger's unqualified son, a low level district attorney, was hired to direct this project.

Okay, now let's get to the Star-Telegram editorial about this subject.

I will copy the entire short editorial, in its entirety, with its tortured verbiage intact...


The Trinity River Vision project is one step closer to being a reality.

Thanks to the tenacity of its principal advocate in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Kay Granger, the massive flood control and economic development project is close to receiving the congressional authorization needed to ensure its inclusion in the president’s budget.

Approval would unleash $520 million in federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers — the majority of the estimated money needed to see the almost $1 billion project to its completion.

Granger, a former Fort Worth mayor, has been working for years to secure federal dollars for the endeavor, which, when finished, would divert the Trinity River and create an urban lake and 12 miles of developable waterfront in the northern quadrant of the city.

The funding still has a few hurdles to overcome: The House and Senate have to resolve slight differences in their respective authorization bills, and then legislators have to pass the bill in the time that remain this congressional session.

"Developable waterfront in the northern quadrant of the city"?  Who is on this Star-Telegram Editorial Board? People who have never been to Fort Worth? The northern quadrant of the city is a long distance from the area at the north end of downtown Fort Worth where The Boondoggle is doing its boondoggling.

This editorial was illustrated by that which you see at the top. The infamous TNT explosion which marked the start of construction of The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Underneath that explosive illustration was the following blurb...

Officials detonate a blast on Henderson Street at the official groundbreaking of construction of the Panther Island Bridges being built on Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement in Fort Worth, TX, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. The ceremony included remarks by Congresswoman Kay Granger, Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Make note of the date of the TNT explosion. Nov. 10, 2014. Almost two years ago. At that point in time The Boondoggle shamelessly informed us that the bridge construction would take four years.

Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

Almost two years after the TNT explosion all that can be seen of the bridge construction is some wooden V-pier forms near the site of the TNT explosion, that being the only one of the three bridges to have had any construction activity.

With that solo bridge construction activity halted months ago due to design problems.

You reading this in sane locations in America. This Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for a long time, Funds have been wasted on parts of the project which have already failed, such as Cowtown Wakepark. J.D. Granger has been making money for years longer than a real project director would have been making money from a legitimate project which should have been long completed, with the legitimate project director having moved on to his next project.

As an indicator of how absurd it is that Kay Granger's son was given this job, do you think, if this project ever does actually come to any sort of fruition, would any other city, anywhere, hire J.D. Granger to be the Executive Director of a public works project, after turning this Fort Worth embarrassment into America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Why is the Star-Telegram still cheerleading this disaster? Are owners of the Star-Telegram among those whose property values will increase if this project ever actually happens? What possible reason would the Star-Telegram have to bring up the subject of those bridges, with no mention made of the fact that building these simple bridges has run into a major snag?

Why does the Star-Telegram not have issue with the fact that The Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for such a long time with so little to show for the effort?

Why does the Star-Telegram not see a problem with a statement such as "Fort Worth's water project is finally on the verge of funding?"

This public works project which the public has never been allowed to vote on  was foisted on Fort Worth almost a decade and a half ago. And now, all that time later this project is finally on the verge of funding? And the local newspaper of record does not find this embarrassing, inept, stupid, irresponsible and, well, idiotic?

And definitely not the way major projects happen in modern locations in America.

Kay Granger needs to be booted out of Congress. Her son needs to be fired. A federal investigation into the various nefarious shenanigans needs to take place. And the plug needs to be pulled on this totally unneeded pseudo flood control project before any more harm is done to Fort Worth.

It's just appalling.