Friday, November 17, 2017

From Tacoma Postcard I Learn David, Theo & Ruby Will Never Come To Fort Worth

Yesterday I found that which you see here in my mailbox.

Several weeks ago David, Theo & Ruby text messaged me saying they'd lost my address, asking me to send it to them again. I did so, figuring David, Theo & Ruby must be wanting to mail me something.

So, starting a few days after that I eagerly opened the mailbox anticipating incoming from my Tacoma nephews and niece.

After weeks of nothing from Tacoma I sort of forgot about it. And then yesterday the postcard you see here arrived. On the postcard a label was stuck informing me there had been some delivery difficulty, the nature of which I was unable to determine.

I was barely back in my abode when David, Theo and Ruby, and their mother, texted me asking "Did our postcard get to you?"

I replied that it had arrived a couple minutes previous. A reply to that told me they'd mailed the postcard weeks ago.

What spooky coincidental timing. Texting asking if I had gotten the postcard minutes after I got the postcard which was weeks late in arriving.

My mailbox is in a location without good lighting. When I got the postcard out of the mailbox I was without my reading glasses, just returning from a long bike ride. When I first read the message on the postcard I mis-read Worden as Worth and thought the kids had written "We want you to come explore Fort Worth with us."

Yikes, I thought, they are in Fort Worth? I thought they were supposed to be in Arizona? But then I checked again, even before better light and reading glasses, to read the message correctly.

I told my sister of my initial confusion to which my sister said,  "I can't see us coming to explore Fort Worth anytime soon. OK. Ever."

And then my reply to that struck me as both amusing and revealing, due to it being how Fort Worth is talked about when talked about to non-Texans. This is what I replied...

"Well, I can almost guarantee the kids would love the Fort Worth Stockyards. But, other than that. Nothing. Well, unless a storm blew in with tornado sirens. They might think that was fun."

Nothing of interest in Fort Worth to three kids from Tacoma other than the Stockyards?

Fort Worth Zoo? Those kids have been to the San Diego Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, the Tacoma Zoo, Northwest Trek, and others I probably don't know about.

Parks? I'd be embarrassed to take them to a Fort Worth park. What if they needed a restroom? David, Theo & Ruby live a short distance from Point Defiance Park, a huge Tacoma park which could likely contain all Fort Worth's parks. Point Defiance Park has miles of trails through old growth forest, an actual fort in Fort Nisqually, miles of beach with crystal clear water, the Tacoma zoo, and I think, an aquarium and multiple other assets one would not find in a Fort Worth park. Such as modern restrooms in multiple locations.

Swimming pools? Tacoma has multiple public pools in various iterations. One with a giant wave pool, another with a lazy river.

Sundance Square Plaza? Tacoma has two plaza type locations, with water features kids play in, that pretty much dwarf Fort Worth's little plaza, which is sponsored by a Japanese auto maker. The kids have also been to Seattle's Westlake Center, which also dwarfs Fort Worth's little plaza, and also has a water feature. And a monorail. And a vertical mall, and access to a light rail tunnel underground.

Cabela's? The sporting goods store which the Star-Telegram helped propaganda-ize would be the top tourist attraction in Texas. when six months after opening it was not even the only Cabela's in Texas, and now is not even the only Cabela's in the D/FW Metroplex.

David, Theo & Ruby live a short distance from two Cabela's, one a short drive to the south on I-5, the other a short drive to the north on I-5. Both built without trying to con Washingtonians with idiotic nonsense about a sporting goods store being the top tourist attraction in Washington. Both built without being conned into providing incentives such as Fort Worth willingly provided, you know, so as to get that top tourist attraction in Texas.

Okay, maybe get out of Fort Worth and take the kids to Arlington to Six Flags Over Texas. Nope. They've been to Disneyland and Disney California. But, the kid's parental units might like Six Flags, due to the admission fee being a fraction of what it costs to go to Disneyland. Then, again, you get what you pay for.

Well, I guess I could take them to one of Fort Worth's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. Such is not available anywhere else in the world. Floating in a muddy river regularly contaminated with too many toxins, like e.coli, while listening to music coming from an imaginary pavilion on an imaginary island. You can't find that type entertainment in Tacoma. Or anywhere in Washington, or probably the entire west coast, including British Columbia....

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Did MSU Flying Monkeys Return Tin Man To Yellow Brick Road?

Yesterday after I took a Roll Through MSU With Cinderella & Dorothy On The Yellow Brick Road I verbalized being concerned as to the whereabouts of the Tin Man, due to the Tin Man not being with Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow or Toto at the massive MSU (Midwestern State University) Holiday Season Christmas Theme Park.

I have no way of knowing if the Tin Man, as was speculated, had been Flying Monkey-napped by the Wicked Witch of the West, or had simply wandered off, or took a coffee break.

The missing Tin Man worried me almost all night long. So, today I rolled myself back to MSU to find myself relieved to see the Tin Man back with the rest of the gang heading to the Emerald City via the Yellow Brick Road in the Merry Land of Oz in Texas.

If the above were a video you would be seeing the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion in motion mode. The Tin Man slowly swings his ax whilst squeaking, while behind him the Cowardly Lion waves an arm holding a can of tin lubricating grease. The Scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto were also in motion mode in various ways today.

Maybe before this latest iteration of the "Holidays" is mercifully over for another year I will wander through the MSU Christmas Theme Park and take video of all the action.

And in other news, this morning I was pleased to learn I am now the Wichita Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau's Outdoors Adventure Guru. This gets me many perks, including ice water anytime I visit WFC & VB's offices in Ray Clymer Hall at MPEC (Multi-Purpose Event Center) in downtown Wichita Falls.

Best free ice water since the last time I was in South Dakota at Wall Drug....

Washington Outhouse Landing Thought Not To Fly In From Fort Worth

I saw this this morning on Facebook, via Tacoma's Queen V, which had me thinking, before learning the details, that this was yet one more interesting Fort Worth outhouse installation.

But, why would Queen V in Tacoma be seeing this?

Well, turns out this outhouse took flight a couple days ago during a big, bad windstorm which battered Western Washington.

I do not know in what town and on whose house this outhouse landed.

The reason I assumed this was in Fort Worth was because of the number of times I have seen similar such things in what is known as the Outhouse Capital of the World, with more outhouses per capita than any other major town in America.

Having more outhouse per capita than any other town in America is yet one more Fort Worth claim to fame which has cities Far and Wide Green With Envy regarding Fort Worth.

Most Fort Worth parks have no modern facilities, no restrooms, no running water. But do have picnic tables and outhouses, with no place to wash ones hands.

Even Fort Worth's only real tourist attraction, the Fort Worth Stockyards, considers indoor plumbing to be a luxury. We have blogged about this a number of times, most recently in Is Indoor Plumbing An Imaginary World Class Fort Worth Luxury?

That most recent blogging about Fort Worth's paucity of indoor plumbing was prompted by some foolish nonsense in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about some mundane thing in Fort Worth being "World Class" and thus worthy of being considered for something I don't remember. The Amazon HQ2 location? Maybe that was it.

Most of Fort Worth's city parks can not be accessed by a sidewalk. Because Fort Worth has the fewest sidewalks per city street mile than any other major city in America. But that's a whole different issue than the Fort Worth indoor plumbing shortage....

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Roll Through MSU With Cinderella & Dorothy On The Yellow Brick Road

This mid November Wednesday was warm enough to make for a mighty fine bike ride today, mighty fine, even with a mighty strong wind blowing in from the north.

Today I once again found myself rolling through the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus Christmas Happy Holiday Season theme park.

The lights were on and the animation was animating, with a piano player playing for dancing girls dancing,a Ferris wheel spinning, along with the spinning wagon wheels of Cinderella's pink chariot, which is what you see above. From this angle you can not see Cinderella looking all cozy inside her carriage, but you can see those jealous evil step-sisters look evil in the foreground.

I am unclear as to what the Holiday Season connection is between Cinderella and Christmas. The same is true with the below exhibit.

But you have to admit, even though the Christmas connection might be a bit confusing, Cinderella, along with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Toto make for a festive piece of Holiday Season merriment.

But, where is the Tin Man? Has he already entered the Emerald City ahead of the rest of this gang? Or lost on the Yellow Brick Road? Did the Flying Monkeys snatch him? Or the Wizard of Oz?

I don't know.

I shall look more earnestly for the Tin Man the next time I visit...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Looking Puzzled At The Multiple Texas Veterans Memorials

What you are looking at here is a small section of the Veterans Memorial in Veterans Park in Arlington.

Behind and to the left of the soldier a couple years ago a Vietnam War Memorial was added.

Veterans Park is a sprawling park at the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

A beautiful park with an equally beautiful Veterans Memorial.

Long ago I made a webpage about Veterans Park, which shows the scope of the park, but I think that webpage was made before the memorials were added.

In Dallas, at Fair Park, there is an excellent Vietnam War Memorial which emulates the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. On the Dallas Wall all the names of Texans who died in the Vietnam War are engraved.

 A new Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Saturday in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City.

There are likely many other Veterans Memorials in the D/FW zone which I do not know about.

There is an obscure Vietnam War Memorial in Fort Worth. I say it is obscure because I accidentally happened upon it whilst exploring the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. I blogged about this in Charlie Company Memorial in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden. The Charlie Company Memorial may be the best such thing I have ever seen. One would have to have a heart of ice not to be touched by the story told at the Charlie Company Memorial. And it makes one proud of Fort Worth and the people of Fort Worth.

A half century ago.

I do not understand why a bigger deal is not made of the Charlie Company Memorial, with the memorial brought out of the shady shadows and made easy to find with directional signs.

A couple months ago I attended an event at Lake Wichita celebrating finally getting Army Corps of Engineer approval for fixing Lake Wichita. Part of that event involved plans for a Wichita Falls Veterans Memorial, to be located at the to be upgraded boat launch dock on Lake Wichita. A local car dealer donated a half million bucks to the Veterans Memorial, making the donation with one of those giant checks you see when someone wins something like the million bucks on Survivor.

One can also buy a personalized brick to help pay for the Wichita Falls Veterans Memorial. I do not know why personalized bricks seem to be the go to fund raiser for this type thing in Texas. That and car washes.

A couple days ago I was thinking about all the Veterans Memorials in Texas, maybe this was triggered by the one I see one directed to when passing by the small town of Alvord, between D/FW and Wichita Falls, and this got me trying to remember if there is any sort of Veterans Memorial in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, in Mount Vernon, or the town I grew up in, Burlington, or in any of the other towns or parks in the valley. I could remember none.

I did remember that Anacortes has some sort of Seafarer Memorial dedicated to those who are lost at sea. As in fishermen, based in Anacortes, usually lost whilst fishing the rough seas of Alaska.

I can not remember any Veterans Memorial in Seattle. Or Tacoma. Or Olympia. I'm sure such must exist, in some form, but I don't remember.

It has crossed my mind that all these memorials may be a fine thing, but that it would be more impressive, to me, if rather than dedicating yet one more memorial, a town might do something more memorable, like put that money to helping Veterans, to making sure there are Veteran services in your town, to making sure you have no homeless Veterans in your town, to doing all you can do to prevent a Veteran from getting so desperate that suicide is the only option in your town.

How many millions of bucks and hours of time have been spent on multiple Veterans Memorials in Texas, I can not help but wonder. And I also can not help but wonder could not that money and time have been put to a more meaningful memorial to Veterans?

Anyway, that's what seeing that sign on 287 pointing to an Alvord Veterans Memorial made me think about. That and why isn't Veterans Park in Arlington sufficient to cover all the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Veterans Memorial needs, like Arlington covers D/FW's professional ball park needs...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bike Ride To MSU Santa & Peter Pan Battling Captain Hook With Pirates Of The Caribbean Wenches

Saturday and Sunday strong wind blew cold air at my location on the planet. This frigidity had me not wanting to ride my bike or climb a mountain.

And now, on Monday, even though rain is supposedly on the weather menu, there is no wind, dead calm, nothing blowing.

And so, even though the outer world is cloudy and chilled to the middle 50s, with only a little extra layering I was able to take myself on a long roll of my wheels, first to Sikes Lake, eventually to Hamilton Park and the Circle Trail, but before I got there I rolled through MSU (Midwestern State University) and stopped to visit one of the multiple Santas currently holding court over a large assemblage of Christmas Holiday Season type installations still in being installed mode.

Among those installations is the pirate ship you see below.

I am not sure, but I think this pirate ship is Peter Pan themed. The name of the ship is Jolly Roger. A damsel in distress is tied to a mast, looking like she is being tormented by evil eyed pirates, whilst what appears to be Peter Pan is battling what looks to be the sword wielding captain of the ship, looking like Captain Hook, because, well, one arm has a hook instead of a hand at its termination point.

This pirate ship holiday season installation seems to be a bit out of sync with the times. Didn't I recently read that Disneyland has edited The Pirates of the Caribbean to no longer have scary drunken pirates chasing scared wenches?

I have not been to Disneyland since Christmas day of 1994. At that point in time the pirates were still chasing those scared wenches  The wench chasing part of the ride was one of my favorite parts, going all the way back to the first time I took the dead men tell no tales boat plunge to enter the mayhem of the Disneyland pirate world.

My mom and dad were along for the ride the first time I experienced Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe that's why the pirates chasing the wenches did not seem all that frightening. I was more disturbed by It's a Small World and all those singing Precious Moments type figures singing that annoying song over and over and over again.

I just realized, whilst thinking about riding Pirates of the Caribbean with mom and dad, for the first time, decades ago, that the last time I rode a theme park type ride with mom and dad was in November of 1995, at Luxor in Las Vegas. I was staying at Treasure Island, mom and dad were nearing the end of their retirement trek across America. They met up with me. I left who I was with in Vegas to go with mom and dad to Luxor, where we buffeted and then rode the Luxor virtual reality ride which makes one think one is flying to the center of the world in search of an obelisk, or some such thing. Mom was amusing. Sort of terrified. But, she recovered enough to give me a big box of Christmas presents to haul north to distribute.

As for Pirates of the Caribbean. I Googled to find the correct name for the It's a Small World ride and this brought up a YouTube video with the entire Pirates of the Caribbean ride, start to finish. That ride, along with the rest of Disneyland is one of the many reasons I found Six Flags Over Texas so totally lame the first time I visited that theme park.

Take the video ride below, if you've never been to Disneyland and ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The ride starts slow, building drama, stay with it til the first time you hear dead men tell no tales. Then the video goes dark for a bit, not managing to catch the shock of what actually happens, when your boat sort of goes over a waterfall to enter the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean, eventually ending with the pirate Jack Sparrow counting his treasure.

The blurb accompanying the video....

Avast ye land lubbers! Set forth with this HD Front Seat POV on one of the best Dark Rides every created. Disneyland never disappoints and Pirates of the Caribbean is always a crowd pleaser....

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day Visit To Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town With No Armistice

With it being Veterans Day, or Armistice Day if one prefers to pretend the American 1950s never happened, I decided to visit my neighborhood's survivors of the Indian Wars who live in the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town.

I did not know if the cold weather would have the Prairie Dogs underground or out and about.

I brought with me a bag of various bread products I cleared out of my fridge this morning, along with sweet potato peelings I made this morning when I peeled sweet potatoes.

Arriving at the Prairie Dog Town suburbs it was quickly obvious the cold weather had not sent the Dogs down under Town.

The little guy on the left is enjoying one of those sweet potato peelings. When the Prairie Dogs see food has arrived they announce the delivery with a sort of high pitched barking which has the Town come to life with Prairie Dogs peeking out of burrows all over town. And in the suburbs which ring the walled main Prairie Dog community.

This guy, who I call Chester, immensely enjoyed the chunk of Italian bread I tossed him. He finished that and then I tossed him some whole wheat bread, so as to provide some extra fiber. Chester also got some sweet potato peelings.

This pair enjoyed big chunks of French bread while I admired their artistic homage to nearby Mount Wichita.

Since my last visit to Prairie Dog Town a new playground has been installed. A walled playground with a deep covering of sand inside the wall. I assume this is intended to be a barrier to Prairie Dog additional development, blocking this area from being a new suburb.

The previous playground equipment had been compromised by a Prairie Dog invasion, with burrows at the base of the slide and all around the swings and monkey bars. The Prairie Dogs are strategic with their land grabbing invasions, hence the Trump-ish border wall, attempting to keep an area out of Prairie Dog control.

I suspect there is Prairie Dog plotting afoot in the Prairie Dog Councils of War, on this Armistice Day of 2017, trying to determine the best way to make an encroachment into the new walled playground area.

When next I visit I expect to see Prairie Dogs popping up from burrows burrowed under that deep sand behind the wall....

Friday, November 10, 2017

Misty Cold Wichita Falls Bike Ride To Sikes Lake Priddy Pavilion With No River Rockin'

That is my COLD look you are looking at here. This is not all that different from my HOT look, but with the COLD look a hooded sweatshirt is included.

If you think the air looks a bit misty behind me you are thinking correctly.

A fine mist misted me as soon as I left being under cover to take myself on a bike ride to Sikes Lake. Eventually the mist amped up its thickness to being borderline rain.

In the photo my handlebars and I are stopped at the Priddy Pavilion on the aforementioned Sikes Lake. That is a bridge over water you see in the background. The paved trail which surrounds Sikes Lake crosses over that bridge.

I do not know if when that bridge was built it was built over dry land, with the water added later. I suspect not. I also do not know if the Wichita Falls locals were told this was a signature bridge. Again, I suspect not.

What I do know is Rockin' Sikes Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at Priddy Pavilion do not take place at this location. Even though it is a real pavilion.

Because, well, unlike another Texas town I can think of, Wichita Falls is significantly saner and does not encourage its people to get wet at an imaginary pavilion on an imaginary island in polluted water. Even though Sikes Lake is not polluted to a Trinity River level of pollution, swimming is not allowed.

Except for the large goose and duck population, and the occasional seagull....

Elsie Hotpepper & Clod Hopper: Texas Partners In Crime Fighting

A day or two or three ago I was talking to Elsie Hotpepper about her domicile's security upgrade which Elsie brought about due to concern about the recent bout of mass shootings.

This seemed excessive to me.

I recollect a line of a song sung by someone which I sort of remember as...

"Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep"

Or something like that.

I have never owned a gun or felt the need to do so. Worrying about my abode being invaded has never concerned me.

I am probably either moronically naive. Or totally rational. Or somewhere in between.

I have only been to the Hotpepper Hacienda once. The experience was unsettling.

Not unlike flying.

Once one gets past the security gate guard one is then confronted with parking ones vehicle in the designated zone monitored by security cameras. Once parking is approved you are clear to make your way to the Hotpepper Hacienda entry door. You pass through a device that is sort of like the security thing at the airport.

I set the entry security thing off several times.

Eventually I got through security after being reduced to only wearing my swimming suit and a pained expression.

I had been invited to a Hotpepper Hacienda Pool Party so it was not too annoying to find myself ready to swim sooner than I had expected.

Inside the Hotpepper Hacienda one only notices the security cameras and motion detectors when one looks for them. Outside, on the main grounds behind the house, where the pool complex is, the security cameras are more obvious, though somewhat cutely disguised in things like garden gnomes and prickly pear cactus, and welded to the bar and other location in forms like whiskey bottles and table lamps.

The portrait you see at the top is what greets you when you enter the Hotpepper Hacienda.

In that portrait we see Elsie Hotpepper and Clod Hopper in crime fighting mode in some Texas town somewhere.

Haltom City? Midlothian? Grapevine? I don't know. I did not ask. I feared asking too many questions might seem suspicious and set off a security alarm....

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Democrats Take Control Of Washington Legislature Meanwhile In Texas...

Saw that which you see here this morning via the Seattle Times.

A Democrat with an unusual name defeated a Republican with an unusual name, in a district which had been reliably Republican, with this Democrat win giving Democrats control of the Washington State Senate, and thus control over both the Washington House of Representatives and the Washington State Senate.

And the Washington Governorship.

We can only hope this result is a harbinger of the near future for the rest of America, saving us from the Idiocracy and its False Orange God and his worshiping Basket of Deplorables.

Washington's Governor Inslee says with this Democrat win he plans to initiate an ambitious climate change agenda, whatever that means.

We can hope that this further swing to the Washington left means my old home state will be increasing its leadership role as one of America's most progressive, liberal states.

Meanwhile in Texas...

In Texas, this morning, via Facebook, regarding Tuesday's election, I read a Texan comment that "Wish cannabis law reform would happen here, but Texas is so assbackwards it will never happen."

Texas will continue to be assbackwards, compared to the progressive states, as long as Texas continues to elect morons to state and national office. How can this be the same state which gave America LBJ, Sam Rayburn, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, and other intelligent, progressive, liberal, decent-minded leaders, and now is the state which foists the embarrassing likes of Ted Cruz, John Cronyn, Rick Perry, Kay Granger and Greg Abbott on America, to name a few of the Texas embarrassments?

But, there is hope in Texas, a lot of hope. I have met a lot of Texans who are not morons, who are embarrassed by the assbackwards embarrassment Texas has become. Methinks the non-moron Texans are going to soon be back in control of this formerly great state.

This morning I read a letter to the editor of a Texas newspaper lamenting the idiot Texas elected governor...

‘Idiotic response’ from governor

I don’t think we’ll ever hear a more idiotic response concerning this past weekend’s tragedy than from our cowardly governor.

Obviously scared of offending the NRA, and losing the financial support given by them, Greg Abbott dropped the responsibility of preventing these tragedies squarely on “more prayer and forging a stronger connection with God?”

That’s his answer for dealing with this kind of tragedy? No mention of tightening up and enforcing gun laws? That’s the same “thoughts and prayers” route that our nation’s legislative branch has been using in dealing with this for years. That doesn’t seem to be working very well.

My old home state of Washington has not been immune from the national tragedy of senseless mass shootings, though, so far, not on the Texas, Vegas scale. If, after one of the Washington senseless shootings Washington's governor said something so idiotically stupid as suggesting preventing such required more prayer and forging a stronger connection with God I can pretty much guarantee that that idiot governor would be scorned with a scorn level which would have him laughed out of office and the state.

Meanwhile in Texas...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Why Keep Fort Worth Funky?

Yesterday Keeping Fort Worth Funky showed up on my radar screen, via Facebook. Some sort of sponsored link thing linking to a Fort Worth Funky Facebook page.

I had heard this Fort Worth Funky verbiage previously and not thought much of it beyond thinking it odd, and somehow derivative, wondering if Fort Worth was once again copying something from another town. Austin? Portland?

I really did not spend too much time wondering.

Til this Keep FW Funky thing showed up before me, advertising a Funky Member Card, and, I assume, a coffee mug.

I vaguely wondered what this Fort Worth Funky thing meant. Being funky somehow did not seem, to me, to be something a town, or a person would want to be aspiring to.

So, I Googled "Funky" and found the Merriam Webster definition of Funky....

Definition of Funky
1: having an offensive odor: foul
2: having an earthy unsophisticated style and feeling; especially :having the style and feeling of older black American music (such as blues or gospel) or of funk a funky beat
3a: odd or quaint in appearance or feeling
b: lacking style or taste
c: unconventionally stylish

Well now, that definition of Funky hits bingo multiple times on Fort Worth.

The town used to be known for its offensive foul odor, emanating from the Fort Worth Stockyards, back when cattle were slaughtered and processed at that location. The town is currently known for the polluted river which runs through it, which the town encourages its citizens to have beer parties in when the e.coli level is low enough.

Fort Worth definitely has an unsophisticated style and feeling. The town's only newspaper constantly reflects that reality with it rube-like insipid propaganda boosterism.

Fort Worth is no doubt an odd town. I do not know if it is quaint in appearance or feeling. It is most certainly rundown in appearance. Shoddy. Little attention paid to things like landscaping along city streets, such as one sees in modern cities in the world. Or sidewalks. Very few Fort Worth streets have sidewalks.

Lacking style or taste? Well. Have you seen the downtown? A downtown with style would not have a boarded up eyesore celebrating the town's heritage right at the heart of the town's downtown.

Unconventionally stylish? Well, if Fort Worth were anyone's idea of stylish, it would most certainly be unconventional.

So, what is the deal with this Fort Worth Funky thing?

It really makes no sense to promote a town like Fort Worth in this way. Why not Fort Worth Junky? That is equally accurate. Or Fort Worth Clunky...

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sundance Square Plaza Sponsor Propaganda

In the past 24 hours the subject of Fort Worth Star-Telegram irresponsible propaganda, and inept reporting of local newsworthy news, came up on Facebook due to an opinion piece by a long ago Star-Telegram reporter who verbalized a cluelessly ironic warning about how a town without a newspaper could easily be corrupted.

This was then blogged about in Bob Schieffer Warns Fort Worth Corruption Will Rise Without Real Newspaper.

And then this morning's Star-Telegram delivered a classic example of that pitifully sad newspaper's hyperbolic propaganda style in Sundance Square Plaza lands a sponsorship deal.

Okay, for those who do not know. Sundance Square Plaza is a little plaza in downtown Fort Worth, built on a parking lot. For decades Fort Worth had been confusing its few tourists with signage which pointed to Sundance Square, where there was no square.

And then, in 2013, after years of Sundance Square confusion, an actual square was added to Fort Worth's downtown.

I remember soon upon my arrival in Texas being confused by those Sundance Square directional signs. And asking locals where Sundance Square was. Usually I would be pointed to parking lots at the location where an actual square eventually appeared. It was years after that I learned that Sundance Square is/was the name of the development effort developed to try and renovate Fort Worth's rundown downtown. I remember learning that and thinking, yikes, it used to actually be worse?

And now, four years after finally getting an actual downtown square, I mean, plaza, that plaza has a sponsorship deal.

Downtown Fort Worth's tiny one acre plaza needed a sponsorship deal?

Have other towns, you know, towns wearing their big city pants, made similar sponsorship deals for their downtown plazas? I suspect not.

Last summer I was in Tacoma, a town much smaller than Fort Worth. Tacoma has several areas in town one might refer to as a plaza. All larger than Fort Worth's little downtown plaza.

I blogged about two of these Tacoma areas, both with large interactive water features.

In the first blogging Point Ruston Ruby, Theo & David Surrey Survey Of Tacoma's New Waterfront Development it ends with a video at one of Tacoma's unsponsored plazas. The second blogging, Ruby, David & Theo Thea Foss Waterway Uncle Walk Vision, looks at what amounts to a sprawling linear plaza, with a marina.

All built during the same time frame in which Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision has been dawdling along with little to be seen.

And now some of the embarrassing propaganda bits from the Star-Telegram article about Sundance Square Plaza getting a sponsor...

Since Sundance Square Plaza opened in 2013, it has become a downtown centerpiece. Flanked by high-rise office buildings and an interactive fountain underneath a Chisholm Trail mural that celebrates the city’s history, the plaza has become a gathering place with free movie nights and concerts. The city’s Christmas Tree will installed on Nov. 13, welcoming everyone home for the holidays. And soon you may find a car or SUV parked out there.

I copied without editing, so that missing "be" word was missed by the Star-Telegram editors, not me.

Soon you will find cars parked on the little plaza?

To help pay for its free programs — and possibly more — Sundance Square has signed a one-year sponsorship deal with Nissan USA that lets the automaker display its vehicles, put up signage and be included in advertising for the plaza. It won’t, however, put its name on the plaza.

Nissan signs and cars? And then there's this...

“We continually work on developing new ideas and partnerships that keep customers engaged and excited,” said Tracy Gilmour, Sundance Square’s marketing director. “Nissan is a perfect fit — they have a focus on community and providing exciting moments. Working together, we will bring even more excitement to our visitors.”

If I were the Star-Telegram I would have asked that Sundance Square marketing director for examples of some of those new developing ideas. I would also have asked how it is determined "customers" are engaged and excited. And how will working with Nissan bring even more excitement? Elaborate, please, on what exactly the current existing excitement is regarding this little plaza. Movies and concerts? Yes, that type thing is unique and very exciting.

And also this...

Sundance has been approached “from Day One” about company sponsorships and will continue to look at them on an individual basis, said spokeswoman Carolyn Alvey. The one-acre plaza was built on former parking lots and is flanked by The Westbrook on the west and The Commerce to the east. The brick plaza, which also includes a stage and pavilion, breaks up Main Street but offers a stunning views of the historic Tarrant County Courthouse and the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Now Sundance Square Plaza has been reduced to one word. Sundance. Like Cher or Elvis or Trump. Been approached since day one. Really? Can you tell us who has made some of those approaches?

Stunning views of the Tarrant County Courthouse and the Convention Center. Really? The courthouse is a distance to the north. Who finds this a stunning view? And why? As for the Convention Center. From Sundance Square Plaza all one sees of the Convention Center is the bizarre homage to a giant flying saucer that is always in the running for the Top Downtown Fort Worth Eyesore Award. So, yeah, it's pretty stunning to look at.

And one more thing, that photo accompanying the Sundance Square Plaza sponsor article, which you see at the top, is visual propaganda. That photo makes this little plaza look like the Taj Mahal.

Why does the Star-Telegram perpetually print propaganda of this trite type? It seems so shallow, so stupid and so not big city worthy...

Bob Schieffer Warns Fort Worth Corruption Will Rise Without Real Newspaper

Last night I got one of those worrisome Facebook messages telling me I have been tagged. This always sounds slightly threatening to me. This time, as it often does, the tagging came from Elsie Hotpepper.

The Star-Telegram had printed one of its patented bizarrely ironic articles, an opinion piece titled Schieffer: Corruption will rise if local news organizations aren’t here to fight it.

The obvious irony, made obvious just by the title, even before you get to the ironies in the article, is that Fort Worth is already rife with corruption due to having no local newspaper of the shining a light on truth, justice and the American Way sort.

In other towns in America, towns with real newspapers, local corruption, such as nepotism, would be made a criminal legal issue. In such a town with a real newspaper questions about corruption would be asked of a local congressperson if said congressperson benefited financially, or personally, by advocating an ill conceived, ill actualized pseudo public works project the public never voted to approve.

The Facebook posting about this Star-Telegram article generated a lot of comments. I share some below, giving you a clue that not everyone in the readership area ill served by the Star-Telegram are sheep, cluelessly unaware of the corruption which has corrupted their town.

A sampling of those comments, with a few from me, the second of which was made after I actually read this latest embarrassing Star-Telegram propaganda...

Aaron Harris: I think this is a satire piece...right??

Elsie Hotpepper: I can’t stop laughing long enough to finish reading it.

Fort Worth Mayor
 Betsy Price
Mary Kelleher: It has to be a satire piece! Wow! Our mayor!

Melissa McAdoo-McDougall: It is laughable! They never cease to amaze me.

Chris Putnam: Is this The Onion???

Durango Jones: You people really should consider cutting this elderly man some slack. It is highly likely his delusions are senility or Alzheimer related. He probably thinks Betsy Price is his grandma, and Fort Worth is New York City, and the Star-Telegram is the New York Times. Or some equally sad, pitiful confusion. Or maybe the old guy can no longer read and has no awareness that the Star-Telegram does not function as a real newspaper covering real local issues, let alone the wanton corruption which so obviously corrupts the town that sad newspaper so ill serves....I'm done now....

Durango Jones: Ugh. I have now actually read this Scheiffer opinion piece. I do not think Mr. Scheiffer has any awareness of the fact that the newspaper he worked at years ago has become the very type newspaper he warns about. Corrupted by a strange hubris which has the Star-Telegram functioning as some sort of perverse propaganda organ of the Chamber of Commerce sort, spewing delusions and ignoring, well, not investigating and reporting on obvious corruption. Things like acts of nepotism which should not, would not, happen in a town with a real newspaper. How long would J.D. Granger and his mother last in a modern American town with a real newspaper? A town like New York City, Or Seattle. Or Denver. Or Portland. Or Phoenix. Or San Francisco. Or Austin....

Elsie Hotpepper: Someone...needs to write a note to the new girl and let her know instead of writing about ‘coaching salaries’ maybe be she go downstairs and look around.

Durango Jones: Elsie Hotpepper--- New girl? Go downstairs? What does that mean???

Elsie Hotpepper: Durango Jones---the new girl running the ST. She needs an open letter telling her no one buys this crap for a reason, about a billion of them.

Durango Jones: Elsie Hotpepper--- Is this new girl an actual real journalist? Or just another, well, toady????

Elsie Hotpepper: Durango Jones---we’re about to find out. The ST has a very long history of shoving one sided propaganda down our throats. Ask them to write a ‘fair’ article on your Congresswoman, her baby and their 13+ year, billion + dollar project. Just one.

Wichita Falls Late Sunday Biking To Sikes Lake Bridge Of Sighs

One day in I found myself liking this year's reversion to normal time, with the sun setting earlier than it set the day previous to the normal time reversion.

Sunday, with the sun soon in setting mode, I took off on my second bike ride of the day. With the temperature tickling close to 90, doing such was just too tempting.

My evening wheel rolling destination was Sikes Lake. The paved trail around Sikes Lake is 1.1 miles long. I roll around the lake multiple times. It is about a mile of wheel rolling to get to the Sikes Lake paved trail.

Last night on the third or fourth time passing over the Sikes Lake Bridge of Sighs the setting sun made the view particularly sigh worthy.

So, I stopped mid Bridge of Sighs to do some photo documenting. But, I had not brought along my camera, I only had the phone camera. I took multiple phone photos in multiple scene settings, as in 'sunset', 'autumn color', 'fireworks', 'candlelight', 'dawn' and others I am not remembering right now.

I think the version we see above was in 'autumn color' scene mode.

Last night I was not too surprised to see no gondolas passing under the Sikes Lake Bridge of Sighs.

Wichita Falls does not much try to be any sort of inland Venice.

I do not know why there are never any watercraft on Sikes Lake, such as kayaks and canoes. Or gondolas. There are signs forbidding swimming in the lake, and informing potential floaters kayaking is allowed only with permission from MSU. As in Midwestern State University, which is where Sikes Lake is located, on the MSU campus.

Apparently no one ever asks for permission to float a watercraft on Sikes Lake, or permission is never granted when someone asks to do some boat floating.

Or maybe I just have never been at Sikes Lake on an occasion when someone has been allowed to float on the lake...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Green Eyed Elsie Hotpepper NOT Blown HOT With Me This First Sunday Of November

Another HOT November Sunday in the Texoma zone of North Texas.

The balmy type pleasant HOT which makes the muddy brown eyes of a chilly DFW lovely, who calls herself Elsie Hotpepper, turn green with envy.

In the photo my handlebars are aiming north on the Circle Trail atop Lake Wichita Dam.

The yellow sign warns "GUSTY WIND AREA".

I assume wind blowing in across the lake makes for extra speedy wind, at times, such as was the case today. I let the wind blow me across the dam and then I exited to the right, via a side trail from the Circle Trail, to head east into a neighborhood with a confusing maze of roads.

Eventually I found my way through the confusing maze to Kemp Boulevard. Crossing Kemp was a bit of a challenge. Eventually I managed that crossing to find myself in another neighborhood with a confusing maze of roads.

After a few false turns I found my way to familiar territory and then re-joined the Circle Trail, a short distance south of my abode.

All in all I had myself a mighty fine time rolling my wheels on this first Sunday of November in Wichita Falls.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

America's Biggest Boondoggle Proudly Tweets Panther Island Ice Wall Progress

I saw that which you see here yesterday via Twitter.

A Twitter Tweet from the Trinity River Vision.

I have no recollection of choosing to follow the Trinity River Vision on Twitter. Does me seeing this Tweet mean the Trinity River Vision is following me on Twitter?

I don't know.

All I know for certain is I saw this yesterday on Twitter and my reaction to what I saw was, oh my, how pitiful.

Yesterday I blogged, yet again, about Fort Worth's ongoing embarrassment which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, in a blogging titled Crickets Chirp while Fort Worth Politicians Promise Bridges Where There Is No River.

In that blogging, among many speculations, I speculated that maybe one of the reasons the Trinity River Vision has become such a Boondoggle is due to the fact that someone totally unqualified to direct such a project, J.D. Granger, was made this vitally un-needed flood control/economic development scheme's Executive Director.

Over the years of J.D. Granger executively mis-directing this mess, his Frat Boy mentality has left its mark on how this Boondoggle has developed.

With items like Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats on the polluted Trinity River. A beer hall called The Shack. Music events at an imaginary pavilion on an imaginary island. Various beer party events, such as Octoberfest.

And the first of the Boondoggle's "products" to go defunct, the highly touted, by J.D. Granger, Cowtown Wakepark, which Granger touted as providing the much coveted sport of wakeboarding in an urban environment.

How is the Coyote Drive-In, that being the world's first drive-in movie theater of this century, doing?

The above Twitter Tweet Tweeted the news that progress is being made on Panther Island Ice, that the ice rink's walls were being put into place.

Yes, you reading this in sane locations in America, America's Biggest Boondoggle, paid for with your tax dollars, installs a little temporary ice rink at the location of the aforementioned Coyote Drive-In, which has opened for skating for a few weeks for the past couple years.

Note how attractive the ice rink's structure is.

America's Biggest Boondoggle has quite a shoddy, tacky design aesthetic. As witnessed by that which is known as Panther Island Pavilion, which resembles no ones idea of a legitimate pavilion. Or the Boondoggle's beer hall appropriately called The Shack. Or the now defunct Cowtown Wakepark, which was a shoddy, tacky mess from its inception.

Note the signage surrounding the Boondoggle's ice rink.

America's Biggest Boondoggle loves its signage. No one knows how many of your tax dollars the Boondoggle has wasted on its ubiquitous signage.

Because Fort Worth has no real newspaper making inquiries into such things.

How much did all those embarrassing plastic directional signs cost which have been stuck along the Trinity Trails? These signs look like some nimrod's bad idea of futuristic, such as what one may have seen at a world's fair in the previous century.

Has Cowtown Wakepark been whited out on those embarrassing directional signs?

When is there ever going to be any accountability for Fort Worth's embarrassing Boondoggle?

When are the people of the town going to quit being sheep and put a stop to the nepotism, and demand J.D. Granger be fired?

And elect someone with a functioning conscience, to replace his mother as the town's congressperson?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Crickets Chirp while Fort Worth Politicians Promise Bridges Where There Is No River

This morning I was searching for a photo of Nikita Khruschev and Shirley Maclaine when I came upon that which you see here.

A quote from one of my favorite dictators of the Soviet Union, the aforementioned Nikita Khruschev opining....

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river".


Guess what came to my mind when I read what Nikita had to say?

If you guessed an American town building bridges where there is no river, proudly trying to build these bridges over dry land, you know, to save money, when there will never be water under those bridges until a ditch is dug under them, with water added to the ditch, well, you guessed right.

How Fort Worth's governing morons got away with spewing that ridiculous lie, the bridges being built over dry land to save money lie, has appalled me for years now.

The three simple little bridges were being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island because there was no funding to pay for digging the ditch into which the Trinity River could be diverted. And if that ditch had been dug at the same time the bridges were being built there would be no water in that ditch until the Trinity River was diverted into the ditch.

In other words, there never was any other option than to build those three simple little bridges over dry land.

And yet the BIG LIE about the bridges being built over dry land in order to save money.

Repeated over and over again.

I point you to the Wikipedia article about the Big Lie for instructive insight into how propaganda works in a town like Fort Worth.

Fort Worth lacks any real newspaper doing this thing called journalism, reporting on this thing called news. Well, all the news. Fort Worth's fake newspapers do cover murders, mayhem and the rare construction of a new downtown Fort Worth building, and other things which do not contradict the party line of the good ol' boy network which runs Fort Worth in what is known as the Fort Worth Way.

In other words, run the town with a large dose of delusional propaganda.

So, unless I missed it, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Weekly and Fort Worth Business Press have all failed to investigate, and report on, what has gone wrong with the building of those three simple little bridges.

What was the design problem which caused the long construction halt? What was the alleged solution to this design problem which allowed the slow construction to supposedly resume?

It was way back on Tuesday November 11, 2014 I blogged about a big TNT big boom announcing the three month late start of bridge construction at a big celebration hosted by those aforementioned Fort Worth government morons, such as Mayor Betsy Price, Congresswoman Kay Granger, and Granger's embarrassing son J.D., he the master of stupidly ironic quotes and Executive Director of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, of which those three simple little bridges are only one part.

I forgot to mention, when that TNT big boom marked the start of bridge construction those three simple little bridges being built over dry land had a four year construction timeline.

Four years to build three simple little bridges.

Over dry land.

Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, over deep, fast moving water, and other actual feats of engineering. Such as actual signature bridges built over the actual Trinity River in Dallas. Or the new Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington.

The Dallas Cowboy stadium, also built over dry land, also costing over a billion dollars, would seem to be a more complex engineering effort than Fort Worth's three simple little bridges being built over dry land, and the rest of Fort Worth's vitally needed flood control/economic development scheme known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, which has been boondoggling along for most of this century, built in slow motion, even though, you know, it's a vitally needed flood control/economic development scheme.

And an apparently lifelong employment opportunity for Kay Granger's son who had zero experience directing a project such as what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I wonder if there is any connection between this project becoming an embarrassing boondoggle and the project's director being an unqualified embarrassment?

There is one thing the construction of the new Dallas Cowboy stadium and Fort Worth's embarrassing boondoggle have in common. Both outrageously abused eminent domain to take property from its owners, including both bulldozing property whilst the owners still had not had their say in court.

But, with a big difference. Four years later Arlington saw a big new stadium and a Super Bowl where all that private property was taken.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth crickets chirp...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sunset Circle Trail Ride To Wichita Falls Mount Wichita Mini-Volcano

Yesterday in the late afternoon, early evening time frame, about an hour before the sun made its exit for the day, I decided it might possibly be pleasant to enjoy the balmy first day of November heat with a bike ride to Lake Wichita, with Mount Wichita as the distant goal.

As you can see here, by the time I got to Mount Wichita the sun was setting behind the Wichita Falls pseudo mini-volcano.

I saw no one doing any mountain climbing on Mount Wichita, but I did see dozens of people circulating on the Circle Trail via various means of locomotion.

Prior to arriving at Mount Wichita I arrived at the location of the Lake Wichita floating fishing dock. As you can see wind had the lake being a bit wavy, which causes the dock to oscillate. But that sea sickness inducing oscillation did not stop fishermen from fishing.

And now, nearing the end of last night's bike ride, heading north on a straight section of the Circle Trail.

Holliday Creek looks serene and blue, no longer the raging flood of rapids it was a week or two ago. At this point in last night's bike ride the wind was now working for me, not against me, adding several additional miles per hour to my speed.

The white dot you see towards the middle upper right is an almost full moon. However, even with the moon almost full, I did not detect much post-Halloween lunacy last night...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

First Of November Wichita Falls Santa's Workshop Visit 55 Days Til Christmas

On this first day of November the weather in the Texoma zone of North Texas is just about as perfect as it ever gets.

Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, the sky totally blue, pollen levels low, biting bugs diminished by recent freezing.

So, with only 55 days til Christmas I decided to roll my handlebars to the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus to check in on the current state of Christmas preparations.

Above you see my handlebars looking at Santa's Workshop, with Santa waving and Mrs. Claus coming into the shop from the right.

A few days ago I took a Final October Sunday Bike Ride To Wichita Falls MSU Santa Train and blogged about it, with the blog title telling you I saw a Santa Train on that day.

In that blogging I speculated the reason for the MSU early Christmas installations was likely due to the fact that this Holiday Season display is a sprawling thing, involving electricity, illumination and animation, requiring a lengthy set up time.

Miss Darnya Woodknot read that blogging and confirmed my assumption was correct, that the early set up is due to it being a complicated operation.

Only 55 days until Christmas.

I am not a procrastinator. I have completed all my Christmas shopping. I have put up all the Christmas decorations I am going to put up.

All I have left to do is cook my Christmas goose, but that will have to wait til the magical day gets closer...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maxine's Halloween Hiking Tale To Stehekin With Smoky Bears

Time has been busy flying way too fast, what with tomorrow being the start of 2017's version of November.

For months now, beginning in early June, I have been feeling a bit discombobulated. I find myself losing track of this that or another thing.

Like I'd not heard from Maxine since about a week after I got back from Arizona last June.

I knew I'd not heard from Maxine due to the fact that every fall Maxine hikes over Cascade Pass to Stehekin, after which I get a report, allowing me then to get to enjoy, vicariously, going to Stehekin, which is one of my favorite locations I have been to. And the Courtney Ranch in the Stehekin Valley, one of my favorite places in which I have consumed vittles.

Long ago, late in the last century, prior to broadband and the resulting lesser need to make photos small, bytesize wise, I made three webpages about a Lady of the Lake boat trip to Stehekin. There is a general page about Stehekin, which mentions a lot of bears. Another page about Hiking in Stehekin. And another about Eating in Stehekin.

Last year I made Maxine's annual Stehekin tale into a blog post on my Washington blog titled Maxine's 2016 North Cascades Adventure Trek To Stehekin. Last year's Stehekin report from Maxine included a lot of photos.

This year's Maxine Stehekin report included only one photo, which is what you see above. In Maxine's 2017 Stehekin report, below, you will read reference made to the fact that the air was smoky. And there was an encounter with two bears, which you can find, if you look close, in the above photo. Due to the photo being so smoky I used a photo filter to filter out some of the smoke.

And now, Maxine's 2017 Hike to Stehekin...

The hike up to the pass was hot and smoky. One of women in the group broke her wrist in 2 places the week before but was determined to hike in with us. She had overpacked and  really had a struggle, fortunately her 30 ish son was hiking in too and took part of her load so that helped her immensely.

We had lunch at Doubtful Falls, everyone took off their boots and soaked their feet. Delyn slipped on a wet rock and fell on her right shoulder really hard, fortunately it was just a bruise. We were packing for 2 nights on the trail so all packs were heavier than usual, makes for a more arduous hike.

We saw 2 big black bears in Pelton Basin, thankfully far away. We hiked to a nice campground at Flat Creek. The 2nd day was only 4 miles, we stayed at Bridge Creek campground.

The weather was hot and so some of the younger people in our group (in their 50’s) slept outside under the stars. A mouse ran over one of them. We stayed 3 nights at the Stehekin Ranch. It rained a little and the wind shifted so there wasn’t any smoke. I got a massage, a banjo player stopped by one evening and jammed with the Lauri the Mandolin Player.

I kayaked on Monday and ate pie every night for dessert.

The hike out was 16 or 17 miles.  Originally Delyn and I wanted to go in a day early and spend the night at Pelton Basin and take a side trip to Thunder Basin (I think that’s what it’s called, a little valley surrounded by waterfalls), but somehow the whole group ended up going in a day early, I may have opened my big mouth. The campsites are on a first come first serve basis and the sites that would have worked better for our plan were taken. It all worked out, but a 14 mile day followed by a 4 mile day is kind of silly.  The woman with the broken wrist decided to take the ferry out, I think  the body takes a lot of energy to heal.

Can’t wait until next year for more multi night back packing trips. We hiked up to Cutthroat Pass October 8th hoping to see fall colors and everything was covered with snow.  I saw more people than  I have ever seen before out on the trail. There was a big article in the Seattle Times about best places to hike for fall color the week before and I think that was the reason we saw so many people. There were a few people using Micro Spikes, like a crampon that goes over your shoes. I thought I had every possible piece of gear but shoot, one more thing I may need.

There was a big storm on the 18th and 19th of  October followed by snow in the mountains.  A man from Bellingham hiked up Sauk Mt during that time and died. I tell you that mountain is haunted. I haven’t heard the details yet, so can only imagine what happened.


Yikes, another Sauk Mountain fatality. My worst Nephews in Danger incident took place on Sauk Mountain, when Spencer Jack's uncle, who is also my nephew Joey, and I, hiked to the summit of Sauk Mountain in a mild snowstorm, with ice coating the trail switchbacks near the top. I was being terribly irresponsible. We should have turned back when the trail got icy and the hiking got dicey. But, we were having a mighty fine time, and that top of the mountain kept pulling us higher...

Happy Halloween From Zombies David, Ruby & Theo

That is Zombie David on the left, Zombie Ruby in the middle, which makes that Zombie Theo on the right.

When I was in Tacoma last summer I quickly learned how fond David, Theo and Ruby are about zombies.

My second day in Tacoma I found myself in a Tacoma community center where David, Theo and Ruby were taking some sort of immersive, intensive Lego oriented class.

I was never clear as to the Lego aspect of this class. But each day when we retrieved the kids from the Legos they were armed with multiple papers on which what looked to me like pixelated drawings, made with large pixels, which rendered images which to my eyes all looked the same.

However, when one of the kids, usually David or Theo, would show me an image and ask if I knew what it was the only time I was right was if I said it looked like a zombie. Like I said, all the images looked the same to me, but apparently some were non-zombies. Things like lions, tigers, bears and snakes.

Spending quality time with David, Theo and Ruby was the first time this century I have spent quality time with pre-teenage kids.

I had no idea so much has changed regarding a kid's world. I don't think zombies had been invented when I was a kid.

When I was a kid we had cartoons like the Flintstones, Popeye, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, the Mickey Mouse knock-off known as Mighty Mouse, the Jetsons, the Roadrunner, and others.

Each morning I was in Tacoma I joined David, Theo and Ruby for cartoon viewing. The cartoons seemed a bit disturbingly dystopian to my sensitive nature. Each morning we watched this one "cartoon" where we joined in a battle against evil monsters, helping a good guy superhero. At multiple points during the battle the good guy superhero would stop the action, turn to us and implore us to help with the spell he needed to cast to thwart the evil doer/

We were told to stand, to do this, to do that. When I just sat there watching in amused amazement, David, Theo and Ruby got upset, imploring me to join in with the effort to help the good guy superhero thwart the bad guy. And so I would find myself joining in with the casting of the spell.

I felt as if I had joined a cult.

And then there was Mindcraft, or Minecraft, or some such name. This was a video game played on Amazon Kindles. Played by David and Theo. An interactive game with their two Kindles connected via wi-fi.

My first morning in Tacoma I found myself caught between David and Theo in a Kindle battle caused by this aforementioned video game.

Suddenly Theo cried out that David had stolen one of his hearts. David did not deny the theft, quickly telling Theo it was his fault because Theo left his heart unprotected. Theo demanded David return his heart.

David then told Theo that he could not return Theo's stolen heart because he had already buried it in his Garden of Eternal Memories.

Theo accepted the futility of retrieving his stolen heart. And the game proceeded.

And then it happened again, with Theo crying out David had stolen another of his hearts. Again David told Theo it was Theo's fault for leaving his hearts unprotected.

I then found myself sucked into this bizarre world when I found myself saying to Theo that he had been warned by David to not leave his hearts unprotected. I then found myself imploring David if there was any way he could see his way clear to getting Theo's stolen hearts out of his Garden of Eternal Memories and returning them to his little brother.

David said it was possible, but it took a lot of effort and would require the acquisition of a variety of difficult to acquire magic spells and potions.

I walked away.

Happy Halloween, one and all, especially my favorite Zombies, David, Theo and Ruby...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Nurse Canecracker's Halloween One Night Stand

I saw that which you see here last night via Facebook.

The caption accompanying the photo said...

"One Night Stand".

It took me a second or two or three to get that which was the "One Night Stand".

Very clever.

That is Nurse Canecracker costumed for Halloween as "One Night Stand".

I know Nurse Canecracker is scheduled to go on a Caribbean cruise sometime during the late fall time frame. I do not know if it was during this Caribbean cruise Nurse Canecracker attended a Halloween party as a "One Night Stand".

I last saw Nurse Canecracker last summer, on August 13, at Birch Bay, a few miles south of the Canadian border.

Betty Jo Bouvier had chauffeured Nurse Canecracker north from their Skagit Valley home location to visit me for the first time since early in the last decade of the previous century.

I shudder at the thought of how old I will be if another couple decades pass before I visit again with Nurse Canecracker and Betty Jo Bouvier.

I have no way of knowing if Nurse Canecracker plans to do any active trick or treating whilst in "One Night Stand" mode. Or if this was just Halloween attire being tested for use on Tuesday at home in Mount Vernon, getting ready to greet the hordes of little beggars. Or party attire for floating somewhere between Caribbean islands.

Spencer Jack's Hillcrest Mount Vernon location is about two blocks from Nurse Canecracker's home location. I hope Spencer Jack goes trick or treating at Nurse Canecracker's and photo documents Nurse Canecracker's "One Night Stand"....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Seattle Seahawks Honor Karl Knapp With #76 Seahawk Jersey

All afternoon, this last Sunday afternoon of October, Chris and Sheila have been posting photos, on Facebook, from the Seahawk football field, in Seattle.

Literally, from the field, from the sidelines, and out on the field.

Chris and Sheila fairly frequently attend Seattle Seahawk games, usually due to the fact Sheila's dad has long had season tickets, center field, near ground level.

Ever since it happened, last month, I have wanted to tell a particular story, but it was not my story to tell. But, today I think it is okay to do so.

Last month Sheila's brother and her dad watched the Seahawks win yet one more football game. Sheila's dad, Karl, in his 88th year, had been in failing health, but this did not stop him from enjoying watching the Seahawks, or going to the Muckleshoot Casino with his favorite daughter.

Well, after the Seahawks won that game last September, when Sheila's brother and Karl made it to their car in the Seahawk parking lot, Karl collapsed and died.

What a way to go.

And now a month later, from Chris, on Facebook, the photo you see above, and the following...

For those of you who are not friends with Sheila on FB, her parents were Seahawk Season Ticket holders since 1975. Today the Hawks Organization honored him by giving the family a Seahawk Jersey with the Knapp name on it, and let us have sideline passes on the field. Her dad passed away in September. RIP Karl

Chris and Sheila have been modeling a variety of Seattle Seahawk garb, from the field, this afternoon.

Chris and Shelia live in Kent, a couple blocks from where one of my relatives used to live. When staying in Kent, visiting Chris and Sheila was my go to place when I was in need of sane, normal conversation.

Almost 12 years ago, Halloween weekend of 2005, I went to the best Halloween Party ever, at Chris and Shiela's next door neighbors. My relatives who lived two blocks away did not attend...

Final October Sunday Bike Ride To Wichita Falls MSU Santa Train

Today, this last Sunday of October, the temperature in the outer world was warm enough, unlike the previous couple days, to facilitate a comfortable bike ride without need of excessive insulating material.

So, I rolled my wheels through my Caribbean neighborhood and then left Nassau for a loop around Sikes Lake, before crossing over a not busy Midwestern Boulevard to do some uncongested, mostly student-free, touring of the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus.

I was doing my wheel rolling, having myself a mighty fine time, when suddenly I was startled to see Santa Claus waving at me from a train.

Three days before Halloween, about a month before Thanksgiving, two months before Christmas, and Santa is already doing his business in Wichita Falls.

I stopped, got off my bike, aimed the handlebars at the shameless Santa and photo documented that which I saw.

It was not just Santa and his train. On the grounds all around Santa there were other Christmas displays getting ready for the apparently already beginning Holiday Season.

I remember last year when these things began showing up, with me having no clue what it was, being new to town. Soon to learn this is an annual Holiday Season display. It is quite an elaborate operation. Many of the displays have animated illuminated aspects.

I would imagine setting all this up is quite time consuming, and difficult, hence beginning the process even before Trick or Treating is done for the year.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Where In The World Are Ruby, Theo, David, Blue & Eddie?

Last night I got a text message on my phone asking...

Where in the world are your niece and nephews and poodles?

Along with the photo documentation you see here.

That would be Theo on the left, holding the poodle, Blue, David in the middle, and Ruby on the right holding the poodle Eddie.

I examined the photo documentation trying to determine the location. I was fairly certain it was not any location in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. Goose Rock in Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey island? Seemed doubtful, as that would be a long drive from Tacoma. A location above Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula? Again doubtful because the body of water appeared to be too wide.

So, texted back with my guesses and soon received an answer...

Beautiful weather today, mid 60s. Kids had a day off school so we headed to Fort Worden, just outside Port Townsend. So much fun.

Well, Fort Worden would also be a long drive from Tacoma, but not as far as Goose Rock. Fort Worden is located at the northeast corner of the aforementioned Olympic Peninsula.

If I remember right the last time I was at Fort Worden and Port Townsend was with David, Theo and Ruby's cousin Joey, who is also Spencer Jack's uncle and my second oldest nephew. Joey and I took our bikes to Fort Casey, on the opposite side of Admiralty Inlet from the Fort Worden side.

We rolled our bikes on the ferry to cross over to Port Townsend and biked to Fort Worden. We were having ourselves such a mighty fine time we almost missed the last ferry crossing of the day.

By the time we got back to our vehicle parked at Fort Casey the park gates were locked with a note from the ranger telling us to come knock on his door and he'd let us out. And so that is what we did. Apparently this happened frequently, people crossing back to Whidbey Island after Fort Casey locks up for the night.

I was amused when I went to Google "Fort Worden". I typed "Fort" and got as far as "W" when Googled added "orth" making the search "Fort Worth". I backspaced and changed "Worth" to "Worden", and thought, now that is ironic.

Fort Worden was an actual fort. Fort Worth was never a fort. It was known as Camp Worth. I don't know what early local propagandist puffed up Camp to Fort. But, this may be the earliest example of Fort Worth hyping something into being something it is not.

Sundance Square where there was no square. Trinity Uptown to turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South. Panther Island where there is no island. Panther Island Pavilion where there is no pavilion. An iconic downtown where there is nothing iconic. Well, you get the drift.

A town named after a fort where there has never been a fort.

From the Wikipedia article about Fort Worden we learn about three actual forts actually doing what real forts do, you know, guarding something...

In the 1890s, Admiralty Inlet was considered strategic to the defense of Puget Sound in the that three forts -- Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, and Fort Casey -- were built at the entrance with their powerful artillery creating a "Triangle of Fire" to thwart any invasion attempt by sea. Fort Worden, on the Quimper Peninsula, at the extreme northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, sits on a bluff near Port Townsend, anchoring the northwest side of the triangle. The three posts were designed to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching such targets as the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.

Fort Casey on Whidbey Island is the biggest of the three forts. Massive bunkers built into a bluff, with huge guns at various locations. Dark tunnels leading to underground chambers to explore. Over the years I spent many hours exploring Fort Casey, with my siblings, and later with my four oldest nephews.

I think I would have myself a mighty fine time exploring Fort Casey with nephews David and Theo and niece Ruby. However I think David might get a big concerned in some of those dark, spooky tunnels. David is very cautious...

UPDATE: Three new incoming photos with explanation text explaining "as per your blog post"...

Ruby looking spooky in one of the Fort Worden underground bunkers. I think that is Theo behind Ruby.

Ruby, Theo, David and Eddie, with Mama Kristin behind them, in one of the Fort Worth tunnels. I don't know where Blue is. Likely with photo taker, Mama Michele.

In the blog post I mentioned that it would be fun to take David, Theo and Ruby to Fort Casey to explore that fort's complex of tunnels and underground bunkers. But that David might be a bit cautious, as is his nature. Above it appears David is being a bit cautious in a Fort Worth underground bunker, worried as to what he has gotten himself into this time...

UPDATE: Reading back I see I typed "Fort Worth" when I meant to type "Fort Worden". If David were in a Fort Worth fort bunker, if such existed, I think he would have good reason to be very worried...