Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mountain Out With Ruby Rocking The Tacoma Pump Track

I had just finished watching the latest episode of NCIS: Los Angeles with part of this week's plot having Callan discovering the fun of being an uncle, which had me thinking about the fun I had being an uncle a couple weeks ago with David, Theo and Ruby whilst I was in Arizona.

I turned off the TV and woke up my phone to see an incoming text message from my Favorite Sister-in-Law Kristin with the text message saying...

"Ruby Rocking the Tacoma Pump Track with a HUGE Smile."

The text message had a video attached which then had me connecting the phone to my computer so as to turn the video into a YouTube video.

The Tacoma Pump Track Ruby is Rocking is this well done mountain bike rock and roll track in one of Tacoma's many extremely well done parks. I can not remember the name of this particular park, but when I was in Tacoma the summer of 2017 I had myself a mighty fine time in that park, rocking and rolling the track, and then doing some further exploring on our bikes with Ruby and Theo, whilst David had an injury which needed attending.

Wondering if I can easily find the blog post I made that day. I shall see if I can do so, before adding the YouTube video of Ruby mountain biking.

Found it.

Swan Creek Blackberry Mountain Biking With David, Theo & Ruby

I am thinking the name of this park, whose name I can't remember, may be Swan Creek Park.

The photos you see on that blog post give you a good idea of what the Evergreen part of the Pacific Northwest looks like, with giant trees smelling like Christmas.

I'm hoping, sooner than later, to make it to Tacoma with my mountain bike so as to ride those Swan Creek Park trails with Theo, Ruby and David.

I can't remember the last time I mountain biked on an actual mountain bike trail on an actual mountain. This century? I don't remember.

Anyway, here's is that aforementioned YouTube video of Ruby Rocking her mountain bike...

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Can't Bike Like The Mountain Is Out In Texas Today

Winter has made an unwanted return to my location on the planet, with a cold front blowing in on this last Saturday of the 2019 version of March.

A few minutes past noon a strong wind blows, making those barely in the 40s degrees feel way colder.

As in freezing.

I will not be rolling my bike wheels today. Or tomorrow. Probably not til Tuesday when a heat wave is scheduled to arrive.

Speaking of bike wheels, well, mountain bike wheels. Whilst I was in Arizona I was given a mountain bike related t-shirt, hand-picked for me by David, Theo & Ruby, with help from their maternal parental unit, Mama Michele.

This morning I took a photo of that t-shirt and cropped out the shirt's message, which is what you see above.

When I  first saw this t-shirt, whilst in Arizona, in the Valley of the Sun, that being an area surrounded by mountains, I said that back at my Texas home location no one will get what the message on the t-shirt means, what with there being no mountains of the real mountain sort for hundreds of miles in any direction.

That fact became reality when I was wearing the t-shirt whilst in ALDI. In the checkout line a local asked me "How do you bike like a mountain is out?"

I explained that this was a reference to Mount Rainier, and that in the Puget Sound zone the phrase "The Mountain is Out" means the sky is clear and you can see Mount Rainier hovering HUGE over the horizon to the south.

"Oh" was the response to my explanation. I could tell the concept of a mountain appearing when the cloud cover lifts was a foreign concept. And that the phrase "Puget Sound" had no meaning. I did not feel the need to elaborate on my explanation and thus alleviate the local's confusion.

Anyway, I wish I could bike today like the mountain was out. But, even if there was a real mountain to see, it is too cold. That and rain is predicted to fall at some point today...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Searching For Fort Worth Indoor Plumbing, Sidewalks & Public Pools

Prior to leaving Texas for my recent two week Arizona visit I had resolved to myself that on this Arizona visit I was going to photo document the excellent road landscaping, the streets with sidewalks, the multiple public swimming pools, the parks with modern restroom, running water and zero outhouses, and then compare what I photo documented to what I do not see in some Texas towns which pretend to be modern American cities with hopes of hooking a corporation to move its headquarters to town.

Yes. Fort Worth. I am talking about you. A town with parks without modern facilities, but plenty of outhouses, miles of streets without sidewalks, zero public pools, roadside landscaping which is shoddy, if it does exist, and, well, you get the point.

But, my best laid plans went awry, for the most part, once I was on the ground in Arizona, relegated once again to driving Miss Daisy way too many miles to way too many locations.

However, on my last day in Arizona, whilst being driven to the airport, I was able to do a little photo documenting of some of the roads on the route to Sky Harbor. I will likely soon get around to blogging about those landscaped roads.

One more thing. I was also planning to photo document, and take video, of some of the multiple waterfalls I see when driving around the Phoenix metro zone, particularly in Chandler.

I do not understand why the town I am currently in, named Wichita Falls, with no actual waterfall, but one well done fake falls, does not install realistic looking waterfalls at the town's entry points, and other locations around town. It must not be too cost prohibitive, with with the myriad of manmade waterfalls I see in Arizona. Or is that state just way more prosperous? Or more aesthetically imaginative?

Back to Fort Worth and the town's love of outhouses.

Years ago I recollected photo documenting signage in Fort Worth's only actual sort of unique tourist attraction, that being the Fort Worth Stockyards. With that signage, on multiple business venues, proudly boasting they had INDOOR RESTROOMS with INDOOR PLUMBING.

It took a little looking but I found the webpage I made of this, titled FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS INDOOR PLUMBING.

It has been several years since I have visited the Fort Worth Stockyards. Maybe the signs touting Indoor Plumbing no longer exist...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

New Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Propaganda Source

Early this morning Elsie Hotpepper text messaged my phone with a message telling me she had emailed me a link to something downright terrible.

What fresh hell is this gonna be, I sat and thought to myself?

Checking my email I found the email from Elsie Hotpepper, with the email consisting of a link and a message saying...

"It must be something in the water. Lead? Total BS with one of the worst articles ever in the Fort Worth Business Press."

I clicked the link to the During hearing, Army Corps officials express Trinity River Vision support article and soon understood what was appalling Elsie Hotpepper.

The Fort Worth Business Press usually does not spew Fort Worth Star-Telegram type propaganda. Usually the FWBP asks cogent questions of the responsible journalism sort.

Let's look at some of what is in this article, but to get the full picture, click the link and read the article in its entirety.

First paragraph...

During a hearing in front of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on March 27, officials from the Army Corps of Engineers testified to Congress about the Central City project, also known as the Trinity River Vision project in Fort Worth.

Also known, in all its multiple names glory as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or more commonly as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

So a couple officials from the Army Corps of Engineers did some testifying. And in the following two paragraphs we learn the basic gist of what the officials are testifying to...

Responding to a question from Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, two Army Corps officials voiced support for the project and for other projects that have yet to be funded.

“I very strongly support the project and I’m not sure the administration doesn’t support the project,” said R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “They’re trying to elevate projects based on their priorities, economic return to the nation, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."

So, the official is not sure the administration does not support the project? That sounds definitive, something you can really bank on. And they are trying to elevate projects based on their priorities and economic return to America?

Well, that criteria alone should doom this hapless project which has been limping along most of this century.

And then there is the statement released from Rep. Kay Granger regarding her commitment to the project...

“The Central City project is my top priority, it is vital to the future of Fort Worth,” she said in a statement. “Assistant Secretary of the Army, R.D. James, expressed his strong support of the project and the Army Corps of Engineers committed to completing Central City.”

An accurate statement from Kay Granger on this subject would be "The Central City project is my top priority, it is vital to the future of my son..."

And then there are the final three paragraphs in this article...

James said he had talked to Granger about the project.

“I have talked with Ms. Granger before and intend to do so again to see if there are other ways or other authorizations this project needs. At this time I don’t know of any.

"It’s a good project. There have been misunderstandings about the project.”

Now that is earth shaking news. James, he being the Army Corps of Engineers official who testified in front of a house sub-committee, reveals he has talked to Ms. Granger, and will do so again. Because talking to Ms. Granger is the avenue to finding other ways or authorizations this project needs, while at the current time he is unaware of any needs.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe someone has not told this James person that this project has never been fully funded, that it has limped along for years, with little to show for the effort. And that Ms. Granger's son, J.D., was given the job of being the project's Executive Director, a job for which years of embarrassing incompetence have made clear J.D. was not qualified.

This is a good project? Really? Then why is this project progressing in ultra slow motion? There have been misunderstandings about the project? Such as what? Not understanding why it was not scandalous nepotism to give Kay Granger's job a high paying job to motivate her to secure federal funds? Misunderstanding why it is taking so long to build three simple little bridges?

Maybe if that sub-committee meets again, with this James guy testifying, he might be asked why the project did not go along with the Army Corps of Engineers design for the Boondoggle's three simple little bridges, with the Corps design mirroring the design of the West 7th Bridge? A design we learned a few months ago was thwarted by J.D. Granger, for what seemed ridiculous, unfounded reasons, because the J.D. engineering and design whiz thought bridges supported by V-piers would really be something cool.

The design mirroring the West 7th Bridge design was approved by the Army Corps. The Corps was slated to cover the costs. Costs which were estimated to be way less expensive than the three simple little V-pier bridges, which have turned into a construction nightmare, beginning construction in 2014, with a then astonishing four year project timeline, which has now been stretched into the next decade.

It would also be a good idea for the members of that sub-committee to ask why, if this project is a vitally needed flood and economic development project, why has it been developed at a snail's pace?

If this project is so vital why was it not sold to the Fort Worth public, asking for support long ago in the form of approving of the project via a bond funding vote, in the manner towns wearing their Big City pants get projects done. Particularly projects touted as being vitally needed flood control.

And one would also think it would behoove that sub-committee to ask why this is a vitally needed flood control project, in an area of the Trinity River which has not flooded for well over half a century, due to flood control levees which have worked ever since they were installed.

Why should money be wasted on flood control where there has been no flooding, while other areas of Tarrant County have serious flooding issues, deadly, property damaging flooding issues, which are not being addressed, while those who will financially benefit from this bogus flood control project continue to drag this Boondoggle along, underfunded, begging for federal dollars?

Yeah, I can see why Elsie Hotpepper was offput by this article and what appears to be the FW Business Press's dereliction of their journalistic duty...

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hank Frank Happy Six Month Birthday Today

Six months ago today, on September 26, 2018, Spencer Jack's Grandpa Jake got the best birthday present ever.

That being the arrival of the newest Jones boy, Henry Francis, known also as Hank Frank, or HF.

Hank Frank was born at United General Hospital*, located between Burlington and Sedro Woolley, the same hospital in which Hank Frank's dad, my Favorite Nephew Joey, was born, way back in the previous century.

Grandpa Jake was in Washington at the time of the arrival of Hank Frank, and so grandpa and grandson were able to celebrate their first birthday together.

And now it is already a half a year later, with Hank Frank in Happy Birthday mode, which you can clearly see via the red 6 Months tie HF is wearing in the first photo.

In the second photo Henry appears to be getting ready for his birthday lunch. It is not known what Henry had for his birthday lunch. The photos you see here arrived this afternoon, sent by Henry's dad, with no explanatory text. It was left to Henry's great elderly uncle to detect the details of what he was seeing.


In the following photo that aforementioned great elderly uncle's best guess as to what we are seeing is Hank strapped into his car, heading to Grandma Cindy's for his Six Month Birthday Party.


Back when Hank Frank's Dad and Uncle Jason were at the age of birthday parties their Favorite Uncle would get quite elaborate with what Joey and his big brother would have to un-wrap at their birthday parties.

I remember after one of these events Mama Cindy complained she was finding glitter for the next month.

Soon after Joey's first nephew, Spencer Jack, was born, Joey called me and told me that he would need to consult with me regarding making complicated to un-wrap birthday presents when Spencer Jack got old enough for such.

But, there has never been a consult in all the following years.

Maybe Spencer Jack has not had epic birthday parties of the sort his Dad and Uncle Joey had.

And on another note. A couple days ago Joey told me he was hoping to fly Henry and his mom to Arizona next fall, after the heat of summer dies down. We are going to try and coordinate this Arizona visit so that I am there at the same time.

By then Hank Frank likely will be walking. I know a couple fun parks to take him to in the Valley of the Sun...

*UPDATE---Hank Frank's Uncle Jason has corrected our erroneous location of Hank Frank's birthplace, saying "I know with much certainty that your great FNHF was born at the Mount Vernon hospital."

Safe Bike Landing On Lake Wichita Park Airstrip In Shadow Of Mount Murphy

Looking at what you are seeing here you may be thinking it looks like a plane may be going in for a landing in front of a big green mountain.

Well, you would be wrong on all counts.

Yes, my bike's handlebars do sort of look like flying wings. Yes, that is a landing strip between the handlebars and the mountain. And yes, that is the closest thing to a mountain for many miles in any direction.

And that actually is an airplane landing strip. It is located in Lake Wichita Park.

The mountain is man made. The inspiration of a man with the last name of Murphy, hence many locals call it Mount Murphy, whilst I prefer Mount Wichita.

A week ago today I flew to Wichita Falls, from DFW. After dark. Arriving shortly before midnight.

The flights between Wichita Falls and DFW always seem to be adventurous. The return this latest time was via a different route than previous times. We were not long in the air before the pilot informed us to prepare for landing, trays up and locked, seats upright.

For a long distance we seemed to be descending. And then there came a point when I looked out the window and realized we were crossing the Red River. Which means we were coming in to Wichita Falls, and Sheppard Air Force Base from the north, as in from Oklahoma. After crossing the Red River it seemed to take a long time to fly the additional short distance to the air force base.

Upon landing I feared the pilot would once again get lost and take us on a long dark tour of the tarmac. But, unlike the time when that happened, last week the pilot seemed to make a beeline for our final destination.

I seem to be repeating this particular flying experience every few months. I am really looking forward to the next instance...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Wichita Falls Roundabout Art & Fort Worth Boondoggle Roundabout Art

Today whilst riding around Sikes Lake I saw a new art installation has been installed in the center of what one might characterize as some sort of traffic roundabout, located at the northwest side of the Wichita Falls Museum and Arts Center.

That would be the art installation we are talking about which you see here, looming over my bike parked in a bike parking stall.

Some of the WF Art Center's art installations have plaques installed nearby which name the work of art and who it was who created it.

Such was not currently the case with this new installation.

I can not help but wonder how much this work of art cost.

Likely not nearly as much as the art installation installed years ago in Fort Worth at the center of a still unfinished traffic roundabout which is part of the HUGE mess of uncompleted construction blighting a large area of Fort Worth courtesy of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The homage to an aluminum trash can had been blighting the Fort Worth landscape for years before I finally got around to seeing it in person, back in 2018. Photos do not do justice to how absurd this thing looks when one sees it directly. I blogged about seeing this in Fort Worth Drive By America's Biggest Boondoggle Embarrassment.

Years ago the Boondoggle's Visionaries brought Fort Worth wonders such as an urban wakeboard venue, called Cowtown Wakepark, which was the first of the Boondoggle's visions to fail.

And then around the time Cowtown Wakepark was in obvious failure mode the Boondoggle brought to Fort Worth Rockin' the River Inner Tubing in the polluted Trinity River, located at an imaginary pavilion with an imaginary music venue across from an imaginary island, floating only when the e.coli level was low enough.

Even more ridiculous than Cowtown Wakepark and Rockin' the Polluted River is an absurd art installation installed at the center of that aforementioned still unfinished traffic roundabout.

This homage to an aluminum trash can was foisted on the Fort Worth public years ago.

If I remember right, this was installed even before that embarrassing TNT exploding ceremony celebrating the start of construction of three simple little bridges.

Two of those bridges, still not built, years later, are a short distance from the un-finished, un-landscaped roundabout eyesore with its homage to an aluminum trash can, or what some have seen as a giant cheese grater.

The Boondoggle paid almost a million bucks for this work of art.

Why?

Why was money spent on this years ago, spent before construction began on the related road and bridge work?

Why?

From what source did the funds come to pay for this?

The Boondoggle has been starved for funds. Hence begging for federal dollars which are being denied. Hence a bogus fraudulently worded ballot measure to try and secure funds.

Where is the accounting for the almost million bucks spent on this homage to an aluminum trash can? Is it part of the bridge building funds? The White Settlement Road re-build funds?

Who made the decision to spend money on this work of art and have it installed, years before the roadwork it was intended to beautify was any where  nearfruition?

Who benefited from the almost million bucks spent on this? Who associated with the Boondoggle is a crony of whoever benefited? Friend of J.D. Granger? Friend of his mother? Friend of Jim Oliver? Cousin of Mike Moncrief? Ex-boyfriend of Betsy Price?

Who?

And Why?

Inquiring minds really want to know....

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Hank Frank & Spencer Jack's Dad's Want Me To Know Seattle Is Skinny & Dying

Friday night my phone made its incoming text message noise. When I found where the noise was coming from I saw the text message was from Hank Frank's dad, also known as my Favorite Nephew Joey.

I tapped the message link to quickly see Joey had texted me a link to a YouTube video.

Clicking on the link to the video I assumed I was about to see a video of baby Hank Frank being cute.

I was erroneous.

The YouTube video was one I had already had myself pointed to, multiple times. But had yet to watch. The video is a KOMO TV production where "KOMO's Eric Johnson explores the impact the drug and homelessness problem is having on our city and possible solutions in Seattle is Dying."

And then Saturday night Hank Frank's uncle, who is also Spencer Jack's dad, and my Favorite Nephew Jason, emailed me another Seattle related link.

This one to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article titled Seattle is one of the skinniest metro areas in the fattest country in the world.

I have no idea why my Washington based nephews are suddenly flooding me with Seattle input.

The homeless problem in Seattle is a shocker. I remember way back in August of 2008 being in downtown Seattle, at an event in Pioneer Square, when I found myself looking for parking and came upon the homeless encampment under the I-5 freeway.

I believe that homeless encampment under the freeway in downtown Seattle is no longer there. I may be wrong.

In August of 2017 I found myself back in Seattle, being slowly driven north on I-5, as there was no option other than go slow. This allowed a long look at the huge homeless encampment along I-5 as it passes through downtown Seattle.

I was shocked.

It was a Dystopian scene. Something you might have seen in a movie made in 1999 showing a bleak Seattle, twenty years in the future.

All the west coast boom towns have a bad homeless problem to various degrees. A result of the boomtowns attracting a lot of people hoping to find their futures there, and then discovering it not easy to find a place to live.

I may be over simplifying.

You can watch the Seattle is Dying YouTube video at the end of this blog post.

As for that Seattle P-I article about Seattle being skinny.

Well.

When I moved to Texas one of the elements of culture shock was suddenly being where way more people were way bigger than I was used to seeing. And I do not mean being bigger in the being taller sense of the bigger word.

I remember driving back to Washington summer of 2001 for mom and dad's 50th. It was in Colorado I first noticed it seeming like the people were smaller. And then in Oregon I went in a Walmart in Ontario and was struck by how much smaller the people looked.

And then in February of 2004 I flew to Seattle, was picked up at Sea-Tac and before my final destination was brought to downtown Seattle to a gallery in Pioneer Square where I uttered the memorable utterance "The people here look like they've had the air let out of them".

So conditioned was I, by then, to the plus sized Texas norm which I had become accustomed to seeing, that skinny people looked alien to me, seeing so many of them.

Now when I am in Tacoma I do see more plus-sized sorts of the type I see in Texas. Maybe that is because so many people from all over America are stationed in nearby Fort Lewis. Or some other explanation.

Anyway, below is that afore promised Seattle is Dying YouTube video...

Sunday Spring Biking Lucy Park Finding Six Flags Still Flying Over Texas

What with today being the first Sunday of the 2019 version of the season known as Spring, and what with a blue sky sun warming the outer world to almost a balmy temperature, I decided to slather on sunscreen and use my motorized means of motion to roll to Lucy Park so as to have a bike ride on my non-motorized means of motion.

A lot of people were similarly motivated. A crowd was all over Wichita Falls, making for slow rolling as I pedaled past one of the most scenic artificial waterfalls I have ever seen.

Wichita Falls, what waterfall, not the town, is not in Lucy Park. Wichita Falls, the waterfall, is accessed via the Circle Trail, which circles over a bridge past the waterfall.

After checking out the Wichita Falls waterfall I circled back to Lucy Park, eventually exiting the paved trail to a non-paved trail which eventually took me to the location you see above.

You can not tell it from the photo, but between my bike's handlebars, and that building with a lot of flags, the Wichita River runs. And today the Wichita River was running a lot of water. Rain must have fallen whilst I was in Arizona.

That building is one of the Texas Travel Information Centers one comes upon driving across Texas.

Hence all those flags. When I first noticed the flags I saw only five. I think the brisk wind rendered one of the flags unfurled. I took several  zoomed photos of the flags, thinking I would make mention of there only being five displayed, assuming the Confederate flag must have been removed, rendering Five Flags Over Texas, rather than the expected Six Flags Over Texas.

But, when I got the photos off the phone I saw all Six Flags Over Texas were still waving over this Texas Travel Information Center.

Since it is a fact that for a brief time Texas decided to be on the wrong side of history and ceased being one of the states of the United States of America to become one of the Confederate States of America, and thus for a short time the Confederate flag flew over Texas, and even though homages to the Confederate era are considered by many to be an embarrassing outdated offensive relic, it would seem to me that it would be real dumb to pretend that there have not been Six Flags Over Texas.

That and the name of that theme park in Arlington would sound wrong if called Five Flags Over Texas...

Friday, March 22, 2019

No Artist Rendering Fort Worth's Pitiful Panther Island Bridges

No, what you are seeing here is not an artist's rendering of what one of Fort Worth's Panther Island bridges will look like if they ever become something someone can see, some distant day in the future.

What you see here is one of the spans of the Deception Pass Bridge, connecting two actual islands, crossing a small island, between the two larger islands, with those three islands being Fidalgo Island, Pass Island and Whidbey Island.

This photo appeared to me in Facebook, via former Skagit Valley Girl, Tess Sakuma, with the photo captioned "Tonight's moon and Venus over Deception Pass Bridge." With the photo credit going to Rakan AlDuaij Photography.

The Deception Pass Bridge is an actual iconic, signature bridge, as described in the Wikipedia article about Deception Pass Bridge "The bridge is a commonly photographed landmark of the Puget Sound region."

As you can see, unlike Fort Worth's pitiful little bridges being built over dry land (low bridges which, according to artist's renderings, look like freeway overpasses, yet promoted as somehow being unique signature bridges of the becoming iconic Fort Worth images) Deception Pass Bridge was built over actual water.

Actual water which is deep and which during extreme tidal ebbs flows so strongly ships are not able to navigate against the rushing tide.

Ironically, those Fort Worth bridges are in the process of becoming an iconic ironic signature symbol representing what a messed up, corruptly run town Fort Worth has become.

I almost forgot to mention. Fort Worth's pitiful Panther Island bridges began construction way back in 2014, with a four year construction timeline. That construction timeline has now been stretched into the next decade.

While construction of Deception Pass Bridge began in August of 1934 and was completed in less than a year, on July 31, 1935.

I have blogged about the Deception Pass Bridge a few times on my Washington blog...

Deception Pass Bridge Connecting Whidbey Island with Fidalgo Island

Washington's Deception Pass Bridge Took A Deceptively Short Time To Build

July 31 Deception Pass Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration Picnic

Can you imagine, at some point in time in the next century, the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Fort Worth's pitiful Panther Island Bridges?

No?

Me either.

When will the sheep of Fort Worth stampede and demand the shut down of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle?

How much longer can this embarrassing mess continue blighting what could be a reasonably okay town if responsible adults with common sense somehow took over and booted the crooks and charlatans, including one local congresswoman's ineptly unqualified son?

One would think just the bizarre inability to build three simple little bridges part of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle would put a stop to the nonsense before more money gets flushed down the river....

Star-Telegram Propaganda Claims Fort Worth Is All In On Panther Island Boondoggle

What you see here is a photo which appeared yesterday in an article in the online version of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The title of the article?

As Fort Worth is all-in on Panther Island, what are our odds on this billion-dollar bet?

At the start of this new year I had said to someone that I was done making mock of Fort Worth's pitiful excuse for a newspaper and the way it does not cover the civic disaster which used to be known as the Trinity River Vision.

But then suddenly there was some hope among some that this pitiful excuse for a newspaper was finally acting as one. This optimism was due to multiple articles about Fort Worth's embarrassing Vision which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Or Ma Granger's retirement plan for her favorite son, J.D.

With people thinking the Star-Telegram was finally doing some honest reporting about The Boondoggle I felt compelled to point out that these articles were all the same lame propaganda nonsense the Star-Telegram has been spewing this entire century whilst The Boondoggle has been boondoggling along.

Let's just look at those three simple little bridges The Boondoggle has been trying to build over dry land for over four years, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

In none of these "new" Star-Telegram articles have you read any information as to why this simple bridge building project has been a construction eyesore and traffic impediment for so long. Is it a funding issue? Is it an engineering issue? What is the problem?

And now yesterday's new piece of embarrassing dumb Star-Telegram propaganda.

Just the title is blatant propaganda.

Neither Fort Worth (or America) is "all in on Panther Island".

I'm sure the article author thought they were being extremely clever with the first paragraph...

Long before I listened to talk of Panther Island, I watched Gilligan’s Island extensively. I’m now an expert on fabricated islands.

Comparing Fort Worth's embarrassment to one of the most embarrassingly dumb shows in TV history seems apt.

And then there is the next paragraph...

I’ve listened to the pros and cons of Fort Worth’s Panther Island project since arriving here last October. For a lot of it, I’ve felt a little like Gilligan — who, when caught in the middle of two other people’s argument, would alternatively take both sides.

The author has been in Fort Worth for six months and now feels informed enough to share insights?

A couple paragraphs deeper into the article...

The $1.16 billion plan to cut a bypass channel for the Trinity River north of downtown to reduce the chance of catastrophic flooding would also, as a happy byproduct, create an 800-acre, ripe-for-development man-made island surrounded by riverfront and crossed by canals.

The author has only been observing for six months, so let me be the first to tell this person the fact that that bypass channel has nothing to do with reducing the chance of catastrophic flooding. Catastrophic flooding has been prevented in the area in question for well over a half century, ever since levees were constructed to prevent such a thing.

However, other areas of Fort Worth, and Tarrant County, are subject to catastrophic flooding, with those potential catastrophes not addressed.

And then we have the following gem of blatant propaganda...

Supporters are supremely confident in the project, in vast public support for it as expressed in a $250 million 2018 bond election, and in the prospect of roughly half the money coming from Washington, D.C.

Vast public support? That 2018 bond election was a May election, held when few vote. With the wording on the ballot measure thought by many to be criminally fraudulent, invalidating the election results.

And then this bit of idiocy...

And let’s face it: They need to pull it off. Desperately. With more than $300 million expended, three massive bridges in the works and hundreds of thousands of tons of dirt turned, treated and hauled, if the Panther Island project were a poker game, Fort Worth has already gone all-in.

The Boondoggle needs to continue because thousands of tons of dirt have supposedly been turned? And three massive bridges are in the works? Massive? The Golden Gate Bridge is massive. and built in less than four years over actual deep, fast moving water. Anyone with any measure of common sense knows when something being constructed is massive. These three bridge are not massive. They look like freeway overpasses.

Read the article to read the latest J.D. Granger ridiculous misinformation quotes, followed by the following paragraph...

When you listen to Granger and Trinity River director of communications Matt Oliver — as some 150,000 have, in presentations over the past dozen years — other flood control measures sound inadequate.

Really? 150,000? Those presentations must have been at those public meetings The Boondoggle claims have taken place where citizens supposedly requested dozens upon dozens of imaginary amenities, which The Boondoggle has added to the boondoggle. I have yet to hear from anyone who has been to a meeting where public input has been solicited, including people who live on the bluff which overlooks the mess which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

And then this following propaganda gem...

And look what the project has already done. It’s remediated some 82 environmental sites, removing 380,000 tons of hazardous material from soil that once was home to foundries, a refinery, auto scrap yard, a battery reclamation center, a Styrofoam plant and a police firing range.

Really? 82 environmental sites remediated? 380,000 tons of hazardous material removed? Can the Star-Telegram please identify for us those 82 sites? And we are curious where those 380,000 tons of hazardous material were moved to.

The article author seems really taken with J.D. Granger...

It’s also intriguing to watch Granger’s excitement at the mere prospect of repurposing vintage bricks, removed from the Stockyards area and otherwise headed for scrap, to one day line walkways on Panther Island.

Yeah, I can imagine it is really intriguing to watch Granger get excited about removing bricks from the Stockyards to be used to line walkways. Where are these bricks currently stored, one can not help but wonder?

Awhile back I thought it might be fun to compile all the stupid stuff J.D. Granger has been quoted as saying.

But I have yet to go to the bother of doing so.

I remember my favorite is when J.D. Granger claimed he beamed like a madman whilst floating incognito at one of The Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the polluted Trinity River, so pleased to hear person after person singing the praises of the brilliance which has caused so many to take an e.coli bath.

I wondered at the time what Granger's incognito disguise was. A wig? Groucho glasses with mustache?

Most articles in the Star-Telegram are lucky if they generate any reader comments. This morning I checked on this As Fort Worth is all-in on Panther Island, what are our odds on this billion-dollar bet? article and there are already three quite apropos comments...

Patrick Sheppard
Only time will tell! I still think if we, the citizens of Fort Worth, aren’t willing to foot the bill then it is a boondoggle! I’ve always wondered about “conservative” Fort Worth wanting the federal government to pay for something for us instead of paying for it ourselves! Seems like we love to hate the federal government until we want something from them. 😉

Graeme Cowan
What a waste of monies. I don't buy into the flood threat. The Panther Island idea has missed its timing with all the other new residential and retail developments advancing in the past few years. Also, what is the timing of reopening White Settlement Road? Really...!!!???

Chris Serrano
I am over this project already it such a cluster f**k...& was from the beginning. Let Kay Granger & her son & Betsy Price flip the bill on their screw-up. Federal funding will never come to this project cause when they came to Betsy she couldn't produce any receipts for the project. It wasn't a surprise that Betsy wanted an audit folks. All they had to do was build along the Trinity. I've never been more ashamed of my city like I am now.

_______________


And there you have it. One more chapter in an ongoing perplexing embarrassment in a town without a real newspaper...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Back In Texas With Apache Tears From Grandpa Jake

I made it back to Texas last night, well before midnight.

Previously, due to various delay issues, midnight turned out to be the time my pickup-er needed to arrive to pick me up.

But last night all went well, lift off was right on time, arrival in Wichita Falls seemed to arrive quicker than usual.

And the pilot did not get lost on the large Sheppard Air Force Base  landing zone.

And so when we landed, unexpectedly early, I called my pickup-er so the pickup would not arrive way too late. I was barely out of the terminal when I was happy to see my transport arrive.

What does any of that have to do with BETO?

Well.

Whilst in Arizona it was soon apparent my little brother, Jake, also known as Spencer Jack and Frank Hank's grandpa, was in a productive creative phase.

The first example of this was the Little Library Jake made for Aunt Jackie. We mentioned this previously in Uncle Jake Builds Little Library In Chandler Arizona.

On my last visit to Arizona, back in October, Jake showed us where he hunts for Apache Tears.

Apache Tears are black obsidian agate like rocks hidden inside a coating of perlite rock. Jake harvests a load of perlite rock, releases the Apache Tears, runs them through a rock polisher and adds them to his HUGE Apache Tear collection.

Since that visit last October Jake has found a way to re-purpose the Apache Tears.

At the top, that is an Apache Tear refrigerator magnet holding up the BETO FOR SENATE sign on my refrigerator.

Jake also figured out how to turn Apache Tears into cabinet knobs. Below is one of the pairs of Apache Tear cabinet knobs I brought back from Arizona, still in their packaging.

A load of Apache Tear products is one of many reasons I was overloaded on the return trip, and why I left some stuff behind at Miss Daisy's.


This morning I replaced my kitchen cabinet knobs with the Arizona Apache Tear knobs from Jake.


Now, the above photo of the pair of installed Apache Tear cabinet knobs makes it appear they are both quite different in size, and that my cabinet knobs are not level. Both appearances are erroneous. The knobs are level, and whilst all are slightly different, making each one one of a kind, they are all similarly sized.

And this kitchen upgrade looks real good...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Miss Daisy Driving To Maricopa McDonald's Before Sending Me Back To Texas

I am now back in Texas, at DFW International Airport, which I think is in Grapevine, not either Dallas or Fort Worth.

I have a couple hours before I get on the final flight of the night.

Today began with Miss Daisy making a delicious breakfast of cinnamon rolls, yogurt, chicken soup, oranges from the front yard Daisy Tree, and a lot of coffee.

By mid morning Miss Daisy's substitute drove us to a medical complex in Mesa where Miss Daisy had a follow up procedure following the procedure she had last Tuesday, which is why I have been in Arizona, providing pseudo professional medical care for Miss Daisy.

With a few hours to kill before it was time to deliver me to Sky Harbor Airport Miss Daisy directed her temporary driver to drive to Maricopa to the Ak-Chin Casino Resort prior to visiting Penny at our favorite Maricopa McDonald's.

Above you are seeing Miss Daisy rolling through a sculpture garden which is part of the impressive Ak-Chin landscaping.

We were in the casino only long enough to secure this week's special gift given to those who regularly support the Ak-Chin money raising efforts.

I did not want a repeat of over eating at the McDonald's buffet, so I only had a fish sandwich, double cheeseburger, coke, chicken tenders, and a small fries, with the small fries being the cutting back part.

I am sort of looking forward to being back at my home location. The past two weeks have been exhausting. Fun at times. But exhausting.

I left some clothes behind at Miss Daisy's this time, due to my travel bags being overstuffed with new stuff.

But, I really don't see myself returning soon to make use of those clothes I left behind...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ruby & David Grant Grandma Daisy A St. Patrick's Day Pinch Pardon

Well, yesterday was a super festive St. Patrick's Day with Miss Daisy, here in Arizona. We joined the celebrations at more than one Costco, along with driving by at least one Finn McCool's in full Shamrocks in Guinness Irish mode.

Whatever that means.

Mid afternoon on America's favorite Irish holiday I found myself in a text message frenzy with multiple siblings, along with non-siblings in Texas.

Among the text messengers was David, Theo and Ruby's Mama Michele.

Grandma Daisy had me text the message that if David, Theo and Ruby were not adequately dressed in green that we would like pinch punishments to be administered.

This seemed just a tad hypocritical on Miss Daisy's part, since she was wearing absolutely zero anything green. But, no counter message came from Tacoma regarding our level of green here in Arizona.

A followup message from Tacoma said that Theo was not currently at their home location, and that one of the trio was totally in green, and that the green one was not the one we would probably guess to be all green.

We guessed that the redhead leprechaun David was who we might guess was all green but that it was Ruby who was the all green one.

Soon it was confirmed we had guessed correctly.

We requested photo documentation before totally granting the pinch pardon.

The photo above soon arrived. We could see Ruby was totally green, though later it was determined her shoes were not properly green. But, David's green claim appeared weak. Grandma Daisy and I texted that unless David amped up his level of green we were going to have to insist he be pinched.

Almost immediately the following photo arrived. And so we granted David a pinch pardon.


Soon after granted the pinch pardon to David and Ruby, Miss Daisy and I got an old-fashioned phone call from Ruby and David. Grandma Daisy's lack of appropriate green was discussed. I asked Ruby and David if I should pinch Grandma Daisy.

Both said do not pinch Grandma.

And so there was no pinching of Miss Daisy yesterday on our exciting St. Patrick's Sunday in sunny Arizona...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Driving Miss Daisy To St. Patrick's Day Poolside Computing

What you see here is my post swim St. Patrick's Day Sunday morning attempt to take what I feebly thought to be an imaginative photo of my current internet wi-fi connected computer, with the view I was seeing also on the computer screen.

But, I had lighting issues my limited photography skills were unable to overcome.

Even with those serious lighting issues, I rather enjoy my current temporary computing location.

Which I am able to enjoy when I am successfully able to get away from Miss Daisy.

However, sometimes I am left with no choice but to take Miss Daisy with me in the Daisy Mobile. Or roll her here on her non-motorized locomotion device.

After today I have one full day remaining in Arizona, and then fly out of here on Tuesday, getting back to my home location around midnight.

I am hoping there will be no flight vexations on the Tuesday return flight of the sort which vexed the arrival flight.

This current Arizona visit is likely my last for a long time. At least that is my current thinking. I really do not think my delicate constitution could take another two weeks of this engaging type stimulation without an extremely long recuperation, and maybe therapy of some sort....

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Answers Needed From C.B. Team

Back earlier in the year I received an email from someone I eventually ended up identifying as Deep Moat II.

Deep Moat II sent me some info about someone running for the Tarrant Regional Water District Board, info she felt people needed to know about, so as to know who he is and to whom he is connected.

The name of the guy in question is Charles "C.B." Team.

I blogged about what Deep Moat II had to tell me, mostly about the appalling abuse of the perfectly legitimate legal tool known as eminent domain, as regarding those with whom C.B. Team is associated.

A day or two ago C.B. Team commented, at length, in response to that blog post.

I shared C.B. Team's comments with a few people associated with the current TRWD Board Election. Those people asked me to ask C.B. Team why he opted to not run in the last TRWD Board Election, when he was expected to.

And who influenced him to run this time? Specific names would be useful.

And what is C.B. Team's position regarding the ongoing Granger Scandal, and the other nepotism corruption issues associated with the TRWD?

Multiple inquiring minds would really like to know.

But, as our inquiring minds eagerly await answers, below is the referenced comment from C.B. Team...

Charles "C.B." Team has left a new comment on your post "Deep Moat II Concerned CB Team Not Fit For TRWD Board":

Hi Durango. This is C.B. Nice to meet you. I want to clarify a few things from your blog post. 

I have never been a party to, or represented a client in any eminent domain cases. My company has never represented a client in eminent domain proceedings. I do not take the issue of eminent domain lightly as I have spent my career as a REALTOR standing up for private property rights at the local, state, and national level. I have become very familiar with the eminent domain process because the person, Vic Tinsley, I acquired my company from in 2013 is the most experienced special commissioner in the State of Texas. This means that he has been determined to be a real property expert by State of Texas Judges and then appointed to hear and then decide both sides of eminent domain proceedings in Special Commissioner Hearings. Special Commissioners do not represent either party and are NOT the condemning authority. I have had the opportunity to sit in on these hearings in order to better understand the process and witness first hand what the property owner has to endure during the long and tedious process. 

I am not a politician. This is my first run at public office. I'm just a business owner that saw a need on the TRWD board for fresh energy and someone with real estate and business knowledge to help get us out of the predicament in which we currently find ourselves. I'm committed to responsible and transparent oversight and I figured commenting here directly would be the most transparent approach to tackling these errors. Feel free to reach out to me any time. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Are The Fort Worth Grangers Scheming Fraudsters?

You reading this from other parts of America, and the world, may not recognize the pair of Texans you see here.

No, it is not J.R. Ewing standing next to Miss Ellie.

It is J.D. Granger standing next to Miss Kay.

Also known as J.D.'s Mama, Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger.

The past few days scandals have broken out regarding some nefarious celebrity types paying bribes in order to get their kids into schools which they could not get into on their own merits.

J.D. Granger used to be sort of a practicing attorney. It is known the law school J.D. graduated from is what is known as a Tier Level 4 school. My source for such is Fort Worth political historian, Clyde Picht.

It is suspected J.D. was unable to get into an upper tier law school, such as Harvard, Yale, or the University of Washington.

Back when it was time to get J.D. into law school his mother likely lacked the funds to bribe for something better, and had little political pull to yank on her son's behalf.

I do not know if Texas requires someone to pass any sort of bar exam in order to become a practicing attorney. I would not be surprised if all Texas requires is proof of graduation from any accredited law school.

Such would explain how the likes of J.D. Granger could become a lawyer.

Now, back to that fuss being made over those TV stars paying bribes to get their kids into a school for which they were not qualified.

When the entity known as the Trinity River Vision Authority was looking to hire an Executive Director there was not some sort of talent hunt, seeking the best qualified civil engineer experienced in directing such a project.

Instead the agency which oversees the TRVA, the Tarrant Regional Water District, hired local Congresswoman Kay Granger's son, J.D. for a job for which it is now painfully obvious he was not qualified.

J.D. was hired so as to motivate his mother to secure federal funds for that which eventually became America's Biggest Boondoggle, originally known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle.

J.D.'s mother has been unable to secure the federal funds it was hoped she would secure.

Hence America's Biggest Boondoggle limping along, becoming an ever bigger embarrassment to Fort Worth and its citizen victims who did not vote for this ill conceived, poorly planned, ineptly implemented civic disaster.

And so, tell me, why is it an epic scandal for those Hollywood celebrities to pay bribes to get their kids into a school for which they could not legitimately qualify, but it is not a scandal for someone like J.D. Granger to be given a high paying job he did/does not know how to do, as a sort of bribe to motivate his mother to dip into the federal pork barrel?

And why is it not a political scandal for Kay Granger to be a part of this scheme? How much money has J.D. Granger been paid, all totaled, all sources, during the course of his tenure as Executive Director of what is now America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Kay Granger knew her son's ability level better than anyone. She knew he would never make it as a lawyer, if the making it part of that equation was making a lot of money. Kay Granger had a strong motivation to help get her son into a well paying position, securing his future, and his future retirement.

The current project timeline of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle extends to 2028, about the year J.D. Granger hits retirement age.

What an accomplishment that will be, if the Grangers are able to milk this til J.D. can retire.

I suspect, though, that there are now strong forces in play which will derail J.D.'s retirement plan.

Perhaps the Grangers will be small players in the overall HUGE number of Republicans who end up indicted, tried and jailed before this Trump nightmare runs its corrupt, scandalous course...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Miss Daisy Becomes Durango Texas Guest Blogger

My eldest baby is letting me be what he told me is his guest blogger today.

I don't really know what that is. He told me all I had to do was hit the space bar and talk and this machine would turn what I say in to readable words, and so that is what I am doing.

Only this past week when my grandchildren were here did I learn from David that on this internet thing I am known as Miss Daisy.

So, I now understand why my son was calling me Miss Daisy every once in awhile. Like when he was ready for me to get out of the car he would say something like hop aboard Miss Daisy.

Or we would be driving along and I might say I am hungry and my son would ask where would Miss Daisy like to eat?

I don't know why I can't just be Miss Shirley, since that is my name, not Daisy.

But, I have had it explained to me that some of the time my son uses nicknames for people when he writes about them. I thought he really knew someone named Elsie Hotpepper and Betty Jo Bouvier. I am not sure who Elsie and Betty Jo really are, but I do know who Clancy and Fancy are.

And who is Durango Jones? That one really puzzles me.

I went along with this guest blogging thing because my son told me if I cooperated he would go to his nearest internet connection, which is my Community Clubhouse, and put what I had to say on this blog deal.

And then go swimming.

Anything to get a break from that boy's constant need to be doing something or going somewhere. Or drive me somewhere.

I really should just stay home and rest, but my son seems to really enjoying Driving Miss Daisy...

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Miss Daisy's New Driver To Maricopa's New Bridge Over Dry Land


Yesterday Sister Jackie was Miss Daisy's replacement driver, whilst Miss Daisy's regular driver got to sit behind the driver, thus better able to enjoy the passing scenery as we drove out of the Phoenix metro area to the distant suburb of Maricopa, population 48,007.

When I am in Arizona I am regularly impressed with the differences between this American location and what I see when I am in some other American locations, such as some Texas towns.

Texas towns like Fort Worth, Texas.

A railroad passes through Maricopa. This is where the Amtrak station is located which serves all of the Phoenix area to the north. Other trains also pass through Maricopa. When a train comes through town this has long created a traffic backup, waiting for the train to pass.

On my last visit to Arizona, when we visited Maricopa, I asked what that was being constructed by the Amtrak station. I was told it was a new highway overpass, passing over the train tracks and a road or two.

And now a few months later this bridge project, being built over dry land, appears to be near completion.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas, population over 800,000, the town has been struggling for over four years to build three simple little bridges over dry land, hoping to one day connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

How can such a similar project be realized so efficiently in one town in America, and so ineptly in another town in America?

Perhaps someone other than the dopey unqualified son of a local congresswoman is in charge of this Maricopa bridge building project.

Seeing this new Maricopa railroad track overpass in the making brought to mind another mystery regarding how one location in America can be so different from another.

Regularly at various locations in DFW, such as Highway 377, a train can bring all traffic to a halt, creating massive traffic jams. This has been going on for years, with the locals, near as I can tell, seeming to think there is no solution to such a problem.

And another item noted.

Being driven around the Valley of the Sun with Sister Jackie being Miss Daisy's driver I was freshly impressed with what I was seeing when I saw new development. Sister Jackie confirmed that when new development develops it is mandated that parks, landscaping and sidewalks be installed along with the new homes and apartment complexes under construction.

Every month when I return to DFW I am appalled at the mess of zero urban planning I see in north Fort Worth, where thousands of new homes have been stuck on the ground, with little if any landscaping, parks, sidewalks. The main roads are the same roads I drove on in this area when I first moved to Texas, with little upgrading.

It is like an entire area of America is greatly lacking in basic common sense, whilst another area of America seems to have a surplus of common sense.

So perplexing...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Uncle Jake Builds Little Library In Chandler Arizona

Last Friday, after having way too much to eat at Scottsdale's Fiesta Burrito, our three vehicle caravan made its way to Uncle Jake's Scottsdale location where we got a first glimpse at the Little Library he was building to install in Chandler at Aunt Jackie's.

Aunt Jackie had decided it was time to introduce the Little Library concept to Chandler. So, Uncle Jake agreed to be the architect.

Summer of 2017 I was introduced to the Little Library concept when I saw the Tin Man Little Library installed in David, Theo and Ruby's front yard.

At that point in time I blogged about it in David, Theo & Ruby's Tacoma Tin Man Little Free Library.

The day after we saw Uncle Jake's Little Library in the making he installed it in Aunt Jackie's front yard, which is what you see above.

Jake built this without use of some sort of shop with a plethora of tools. The base is a tripod of three windfall branches. Somehow Jake was able to bind these together, make their three surfaces flush with the ground and the base of the Little Library, and line up with the bolt holes in the bottom of the Little Library.

Uncle Jake has always had construction skills at a level high above that of his big brother.

And then there was this, taken the day we visited Uncle Jake's house and the Little Library in the making.


We were instructed to pose by photographer Mama Michele. That would be myself and Jake behind Theo, David and Ruby.

I just got a text message that Theo is currently in doctor visit mode due to a rash behind his ears and back of neck. While in Arizona Theo had fun hunting scorpions with a night light. Theo objected to exterminating the captured scorpions, preferring to catch and release.

I hope this Theo rash is not a delayed reaction to a scorpion sting...

David, Theo & Ruby In Mesa's Riverview & Pioneer Parks

On this second Tuesday since I have been in Arizona this morning we are going to go back to last Friday.

That day began with an early morning horse ride at a Dude Ranch in West Chandler.

After we parked the horses we had a McDonald's visit before heading north to Mesa, that being the location of two parks we intended to visit, one of which I have wanted to play in with David, Theo and Ruby ever since I first saw it last year.

The first Mesa park is called Riverview Park. This park is adjacent to the Chicago Cubs Cactus League version of Wrigley Field.

In the first photo you see Theo climbing on some ropes arranged in a climbing device. In the distance you see a taller climbing device shaped like a pointy pyramid.

When Theo reached that pyramid he quickly climbed high, like a monkey in a tree. I tried to follow, but soon gave up due to shaky ropes and shaky nerves.

But soon Mamas Michele and Kristin followed Theo in monkey mode.


That is yellow Kristin on the left, and pink Michele on the right, with Theo far above them.


And then Mama Michele somehow monkeyed herself higher than Theo. We assumed this playground attraction has been rigorously tested for safety, that if one fell one would catch oneself in the mesh of rope before actually falling to the thickly padded ground. But, I did not want to test this myself.


Neither of Ruby's brothers were brave enough to take the zip line ride. Ruby is a bit of a daredevil.

Mesa's Riverview Park's playground is impressive beyond any I have seen anywhere else. And unlike what I see in some town's parks in Texas, this park had zero outhouses, but did have an extremely modern large restroom facility.

Mama Michele whilst infosearching Mesa parks, after I had said I would really like to take the twins and David to Riverview Park, found another Mesa park, near downtown, called Pioneer Park.

Miss Daisy and I saw Pioneer Park last February whilst looking for a Mesa concert location. Since then almost $8 million has been spent upgrading the park with a playground of the likes I had also never previously seen.

Also with no outhouses, but with a modern restroom with attributes I had never seen, such as the hand washing sinks were outside, used by both genders. And the interior facility was so large the men's wheelchair stall had someone using it who had brought his mountain bike in the stall with him. That seemed a bit odd, but it did seem a good way to make sure the bike did not get stolen.

Fort Worth might want to send some sort of study group to towns like Chandler and Mesa and just check in on the quality of their parks. This might provide big clues as to why when a corporation looks to relocate they take a look at Fort Worth and decided to locate elsewhere. Outhouses in your public parks really do not a good impression make.

So, Ruby went from swinging on a zip line at Riverview Park to a different type swinging at Pioneer Park.


We had never seen a swing before like the one above. A tandem swing. Uncle Jake saw this and opined if our dad had seen such in a park he would have managed to build us a replica in our backyard. So true.

Above that is Ruby in the air on the left, with Theo pushing on the right.

Below is the centerpiece of this playground in Pioneer Park. I had never seen anything like this in a park, that was not a waterpark.


Ruby and Mama Kristin were the first to go up this thing, whilst the rest of us watched. At the top a little kid panicked at the point Ruby and Kristin were at the final climb to the crow's nest at the top. It took several minutes to get the panicked little kid back down the crawl space.


Above we are seeing Ruby shoot out of the tube, graceful, at high speed, landing on her feet like an Olympic gymnast.


Followed by Mama Kristin who used a different exit strategy, while proclaiming she felt like she was having another birthing experience, only this time being the one being birthed.


And then Mama Michele and I decided to give it a try. The climb to the crow's nest was more arduous than I anticipated, involving some knee crawling through tighter spaces than my claustrophobic self finds comfortable.

Before making the slide to the bottom we tried to photo document how high we were, via selfie mode, which I am quite adept at doing, taking only a minute or two to get my phone ready to take the photo you see above.

No photos were taken of Michele and me making our slide exit. But I can tell you we were graceful, like Ruby.


When I realized how accessible this playground was I talked Miss Daisy out of her chariot on to her non-mechanized mobile device. What you see above is Miss Daisy and David in a sort of treehouse accessed via the elevated walkway which give anyone mobile access to the various locations on the playground installation.


Now, the above slide looks like no big deal, doesn't it? Aunt Jackie was the first to slide down it. She was quite vocal whilst doing so, some screaming may have been part of the vocalizing. I thought she was exaggerating.

And then it was might turn.

The slide is made of rollers. One slides down at high speed, faster the more mass one is blessed with. So, David, Theo and Ruby did not slide fast, until they slid down the slide in front of me, with that extra mass making for a fast slide.

Above I am on my one and only solo slide, with Ruby at the bottom, Theo at the side, and Mama Michele and Uncle Jake at the top.

You can use the rubberized climb at the side of the slide to get back to the elevated walkway, or use the more sedate way to get to the same location.

In the above photo you can see a section of that elevated walkway.

So, Mesa has two extremely impressive parks the likes of which I have not previously seen.

At some point during exploring this park someone sarcastically opined that this is an example of that horrible socialism right wing nut jobs find so disturbing.

Someday, hopefully, the right wing nuts jobs will be no more, and America will be a democratic socialist paradise, and backwards towns like Fort Worth, Texas will have public parks with no outhouses, with modern playgrounds, and public pools....

Monday, March 11, 2019

Cool Arizona Pool With Theo Driving Ruby On Handlebars


Saturday saw an Arizona relative gathering at Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack's house in Chandler. This gathering gathered in one place all the fun Jones relatives currently in Arizona, plus some friends of Theo and Ruby's who had moved from Tacoma to Maricopa.

A few hours into the gathering Miss Daisy directed us to go to the nearby park, rolling down the street with a Macklemore Downtown soundtrack, with Ruby leading the way., which is what you see above.

But, before that happened there was a water balloon street battle, which eventually moved to the backyard where the unexpected happened, photo documented in the next two photos.


The five kids were at pool's edge, David, Theo, Ruby and the two kids from Maricopa, whose names I have already forgotten due to age related memory limitations. Theo asked the Maricopa kid's mom if they could get in the pool. She indicated she had no problem with this but that the other parents needed to approve.

I then said I was the designated parent of Theo and Ruby and it was okay with me. I said Uncle Jake was the designated parent of David and asked if it was okay with him. Jake gave his go ahead, and almost instantly Theo jumped in the pool, followed by a loud shriek of horror from the actual parental units who were looking out from inside the house.

Soon all kids were in the pool, deemed way too cool by all the adults in attendance, but one. Aunt Jackie came out and asked why I was not jumping in. I said I did not bring my swimsuit.

No problem, said Aunt Jackie.

Soon I was in a new swimming suit, still with its price tag attached.


And here we see me lifting David out of the pool. In the photo above that photo that splash you see in the pool is the result of Theo pushing brother David into the pool. David was the last to participate before I joined in.

The Arizona weather babies seemed not to understand that the unheated pool was my Texas norm, and that just a few days prior I had been shivering at 3 degrees below zero.

After an hour, give or take a minute or two, we all got out of the pool and hot tub for the BBQ part of the day.

The BBQ was followed by that walk to the park we saw at the top.


Here we see Aunt Jackie being Miss Daisy's driver, in the park, whilst Miss Daisy holds her new best friend, whose name I have already forgotten, again due to that age relative memory problem. Miss Daisy's new best friend lives with nephew Christoper (aka CJ) and semi-niece in-law, Carrisa.

At some point during the park visit Aunt Jackie arrived on her bike. I soon found myself helping Theo try to ride the bike. But lowering the seat to its lowest turned out not to be low enough. I tried pushing Theo on the bike, but that soon turn out to be too aerobically stimulating.

Years ago when Aunt Jackie was a wee little thing I used to give her bike rides whilst  she balanced on my handlebars. Theo was onboard for trying this. Soon Theo mastered balancing on the handlebars. And soon after that I found myself giving handlebar bike rides to all the kids, including Ruby, who was the easiest, due to being the lightest.


While the bike rides were happening Cousin Jeremy (aka JR) showed up on his skateboard. Theo soon was asking if we could return to homebase to get a skateboard. We used the ride on the bike's handlebars method to ride to get the skateboard. We then left the bike in the garage and drove Miss Daisy's vehicle back to the park.

Well.

Actually Theo did most of the driving. His first time behind the wheel. Theo did a good job of driving. But, when Theo told brother David that he got to drive, David did not believe him.

And so, when playing at the park was over and everyone headed back to home base, Theo drove back, with me doing video documenting, which you can see below.

In the video you will see Theo drive by all his favorite Arizona relatives, including Miss Daisy...