Friday, December 15, 2017

Chilly Bike Roll To Thirsty Sikes Lake With Seagull Goose Peace Accord

Though the outer world temperature was barely over 40, looking out my flag viewing window on the world nothing seemed to be blowing strong enough to do any flag unfurling.

And so I layered on some insulative outer wear and rolled my wheels to Sikes Lake and beyond.

Sikes Lake is beginning to suffer from the mini-drought. The creek which feeds water to Sikes Lake is no longer doing so, which you can see via the view over my handlebars, looking west from the Bridge of Sikes, where currently no gondola can possibly float under.

It now seems obvious to me why swimming, kayaking, canoeing and other type water activities are not allowed on Sikes Lake. The lake is too shallow. The lake is so shallow now most of the birds no longer float in the water. They simply stand in it, which is what they are doing below.


Previously I made mention of the apparent conflict between the Sikes Lake invading Seagulls and the resident Goose population. An accord seems to have been reached, as you can see above, with the birds peacefully fraternizing and ignoring, for the most part, that adage about birds of a feather sticking together.

As you can see, beyond the birds, a beach has formed.

In other locations on Sikes Lake islands have popped up. How is the Sikes Lake fish population doing under this current stress?

With the exposed lake bottom one can see the type mud which made Mount Wichita, when late in the previous century Sikes Lake was dredged, with the dredged material hauled to Lake Wichita Park to be formed into the region's one and only mountain.

Methinks maybe it is time to dredge Sikes Lake again and maybe make another mountain next to lonely Mount Wichita.

Someday if the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project ever comes to fruition Lake Wichita will get dredged. So far I have not read of any plan to make that dredged material into a mountain, or mountains. Seems like an entire range of mini-mountains might be possible.

Possible and a real good idea...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cold Walk In My Brown Leaf Covered Caribbean Neighborhood

With the temperature below 50, and with a strong wind blowing, I opted out of layering on sufficient outerwear so as to comfortably enable having fun rolling my bike's wheels somewhere in my neighborhood.

Instead I opted to layer on fewer layers of outerwear, but sufficient enough to comfortably move myself the old-fashioned walking method for a stroll around my neighborhood.

In the view here we are looking north. That is the Circle Trail on the left, heading towards some trees. On the right that ribbon of blue below the blue sky is Holliday Creek, currently not moving any water, reduced to a series of ponds.

It has been awhile since any precipitation has precipitated in the Wichita Falls location. I hope this period of dry is not the start of another long drought.

It is not lack of water which has turned formerly green vegetation to the shades of brown you see here. It is the first deep freeze of the Fall which has robbed the landscape of green. And that same deep freeze has caused the leaves in the trees to turn brown and fall to the ground.


Above we are deep in the heart of my Caribbean neighborhood. I don't remember if this is Haiti or Bermuda.

I rather enjoy walking across ground covered with fallen leaves in Texas.

Leaves on the ground in Texas are totally different from what I used to be vexed by at my formerly location in Western Washington. There the leaves are big, they fall in copious amounts, and they get wet and slippery. If one does not remove the leaves problems will arise. Such as with my house in Mount Vernon, with three flat roofs. No buildup of leaves could be allowed, or the drains would clog.

In Texas the leaves fall to the ground and quickly get dehydrated to the point walking over them is like walking over thousands of crunchy potato chips.

I see people here blowing leaves with those annoying noisy leaf blowers and wonder to myself why they are bothering. As in why not just let nature takes care of the leaves. And in the meantime enjoy crunching crackly leaves whilst walking over them...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Today I Got Sea Fever With John Masefield Floating On Lake Wichita

I really am never as grumpy as I manage to look whenever I attempt to take one of those annoying selfie photos. Then again, I always manage to look the same type grumpy in non-selfie photos taken by just about anyone.

Apparently the reality is I just look grumpy.

I am okay with that.

This morning, after I returned from the library, ALDI and the post office, due to the outer world being somewhat warmed into the near 60 zone, and with a wind blowing from the south, I opted to head my bike south to Lake Wichita, a location I had not visited for a week or two or three.

When I reached the top of Lake Wichita dam and the Mount Wichita pseudo mini-volcano came into view I thought it looked fun to ride out onto the floating dock and have myself some rocking wave action.


The rocking dock did not disappoint. When a long time has passed since I have been moved by actual saltwater ocean waves, I get sort of nostalgic for such, even when I am at a pale substitute like today, on the rolling dock floating on the open sea of Lake Wichita.

A moment like this, being one with the water, always takes me back in time to 4th grade. I was out of school for about a month due to having my tonsils removed. My teacher, at the time, Mr. Gerry, assigned me only one piece of homework to attend to during my absence. I had to memorize a poem of his choosing and recite it in front of the class upon my return.

The poem was by John Masefield, a wordsmith of renown who was the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom longer than anyone, lasting as such from 1930 til Masefield's death in 1967.

The poem that 4th grade nine year old boy had to memorize is titled Sea Fever. This poem haunts me. Whenever I am in a wave rolling situation, like today, Sea Fever come to mind, I say the first lines and then never can stop myself from once again reciting the entire poem...

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
________________

This can not be normal to be haunted by a poem one had to memorize when one was nine.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wichita Falls Run-Off Voting Leads To Solving Hamilton Park Slingshot Mystery

Saturday I had an interesting run-off voting experience in my current location of Wichita Falls.

With early voting one can vote in any early voting location, so I early vote in what seems a rather odd location, that being inside a mall, in the concourse in front of Penney's in the Sikes Senter mall, which someone unfathomably thought clever to spell center with an "S".

For election day run-off voting one must vote in ones precinct's voting location. For my precinct this was in the Hardin Administration building on the MSU campus. Not hard to locate, once one finds a map of the campus. Driving to that location on Saturday there was only one car parked on the north parking lot. Is this the right location I wondered? Then on the west side parking lot I saw a few more cars. But, no where did I see any "Vote Here" type signs. Or one of those ubiquitous red, white and blue American flags.

I parked and went in the only door which seemed as if it might lead somewhere. I came to a long hall. Down the long hall I saw an elderly lady sitting at a table, still no flag or signage indicating I was in any sort of voting location. I walked to the elderly lady to find I had found the correct location. Soon I had done my duty and voted for the only item on the ballot, Penny Miller for City Council at Large.

Penny Miller lost the run-off election. Most people I vote for lose. I should have voted for Trump.

After voting I told my fellow voters, who I had taken to vote with me, that I wanted to show them something I've seen growing in nearby Hamilton Park, the purpose of which was a mystery to me. A few days prior I had biked by this location to see what looked like a giant slingshot being assembled, with a lot of other material piled up on the parking lot awaiting assemblage.

Above is the photo I took of this Hamilton Park mystery last Saturday.

And now today, four days later, the Wichita Falls Times News Record, (I may have the order of those last three words wrong), had an article explaining what the giant slingshot is going to become.

An "artistic, modern and functional piece of equipment for “Doctor’s Park,” so named for the more than 100 trees planted there donated by the WCMA."

WCMA is the abbreviated version of Wichita County Medical Alliance.

I first saw initial groundwork on this project underway what seems a couple months ago. And now, with construction underway, completion is expected to take a couple weeks.

In addition to an actual project timeline another difference from something being built in Fort Worth was the following sentence...

"The playground is close to the Circle Trail, restrooms and near a large parking lot."

Do you see the item in the above sentence that you would not likely be seeing mention made of in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something being built in a Fort Worth park?

If you identified "restrooms" as the item, you are correct. Most Fort Worth city parks do not have modern facilities, no running water, no modern restrooms. Some don't even have that Fort Worth staple of an outhouse.

Shocking, shocking I tell you, for an imaginary world class city like Fort Worth to not have modern facilities in its city parks.

Meanwhile in another town in Texas, Wichita Falls...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fort Worth Needs An Incentive To Fix Its Downtown Embarrassments

I see this incentive type headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and find myself once again wondering why this type thing is not seen as a problem in the town which the Star-Telegram ill serves as its only newspaper.

"AC Hotel, a brand popular in Europe, gets key incentive to build in downtown Fort Worth"

Does anyone in Fort Worth wonder what the problem is with downtown Fort Worth which requires incentives to get someone to build a hotel? Or why the voters have to be bothered to vote to help subsidize the building of a downtown convention center hotel?

I don't think towns with functional downtown's need to resort to incentivizing developers to develop downtown hotels, department stores and other such items common in most thriving downtown's which are not ghost towns on the busiest shopping day of the year, that being the day after Thanksgiving.

How many downtown hotels do you think New York City has had to offer incentives to get built? Or Chicago? Or San Francisco? Or Seattle?

Seattle has dozens of downtown hotels all built without the city offering bribes. The latest expansion of downtown Seattle's Washington State Convention Center includes another convention center hotel. Hotel developers competed to get to be the developer to develop that new hotel. And nothing as absurd as asking voters to help subsidize such a hotel happens in downtown's where developers want to develop hotels.

Fort Worth seems to have some sort of repeating pattern of having to offer what amount to bribes to get some developer to develop something. That or Fort Worth succumbs to ridiculous flattery, or a combo of both.

Such as when a sporting goods store called Cabela's wanted to build the first Cabela's in Texas. Cabela's convinced the rubes who incompetently run Fort Worth that this sporting goods store would become the #1 tourist attraction in Texas, thus making all the incentives Cabela's was asking for a bargain.

Fort Worth fell for that con job. Soon the Fort Worth Cabela's was not the only one in Texas. Now it is not even the only Cabela's in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro zone.

No way do I know of all the instances where the Fort Worth city government has been conned into incentives, or abusing eminent domain. Such as what was done so that Radio Shack could build their long defunct corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth.

Or that Mercado boondoggle on North Main Street, south of the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Or the Santa Fe Rail Market Boondoggle. I know a con job was involved in that embarrassment, misrepresenting what that lame development would be. Were incentives also part of the scam?

Why doesn't Fort Worth focus on fixing its downtown? How many more years will that park celebrating Fort Worth's heritage, appropriately called Heritage Park, act as a metaphor for what is wrong with downtown Fort Worth? A boarded up eyesore allowed to deteriorate, sitting at a prime location at the north end of downtown Fort Worth.

Maybe the city could offer some developer incentives to re-open Heritage Park in all its former scenic glory.

Another fix for downtown Fort Worth?

Cease referring to part of the downtown area as Sundance Square. This is just goofy and confusing to the town's few tourists, even with the addition of an actual square, after decades of there being no square in Sundance Square, the downtown zone is still being called Sundance Square, with the actual square called Sundance Square Plaza, sponsored by Nissan.

And how does Fort Worth ever expect to have a vibrant downtown if few people live there? And why would many people choose to live in a downtown with no department stores, no grocery stores, and few restaurants?

And lose that embarrassing Molley the Trolley public transit device. Converting an old bus to look like a trolley and then charging people $5 to use this public transit is just bizarre. And like already said, embarrassing...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In Texas Trying To Fix Fort Worth's Blighted New Isis Theater Eyesore

A day or two or three ago potential U.S. Representative, Elsie Hotpepper, messaged me regarding that which you see here, an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about A drama teacher’s dream: Restoring this 1930s Fort Worth movie theater.

I had already seen this article and had already screen capped that which you see here, intending to blog about it, but then forgot about it til reminded by the aforementioned future U.S. Representative, Elsie Hotpepper.

I was not long in Texas when I was first appalled by Fort Worth's New Isis Theater, appalled because it appeared to be an abandoned eyesore blighting the good looks of what I then (and still do) think is Fort Worth's only actual tourist attraction, the Fort Worth Stockyards.

That was almost 20 years ago I first saw the blighted New Isis Theater eyesore. Soon thereafter I began my Eyes on Texas website. At that point in time I was still trying to come to terms with the culture shock of adjusting to Texas, after having spent my entire life in a more modern, progressive part of America, where something like the New Isis Theater would not be allowed to fester in such a sad state of decrepitude in such a location.

Early on in my Eyes on Texas webpage writing my take on what I was describing might seem a bit more harsh than my 2017 version of describing that which appalls me, because, like I already said, I was still trying to adjust to the culture shock.

Most of what is on the Eyes on Texas website predates when I began doing the blogging thing, hence some of the dates referenced on those webpages are from way back early in this century.

During that early in this century time frame I made a webpage documenting some of the tacky things I was seeing, calling that webpage Texas Tacky, if I remember correctly.

The Texas Tacky webpage has a section devoted to the New Isis Theater tacky eyesore. That generated some interesting feedback relevant to this latest iteration of a well meaning person trying to restore that long abandoned theater.

That is a screen cap of part of the Texas Tacky webpage's New Isis Theater section you see here. I will copy some of the text. You may find the message I received over a decade ago about an effort to restore the theater to be interesting...

THE FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS

This example of Texas Tacky is in Fort Worth's Stockyards. There is an abandoned theater on Main Street in the heart of the Stockyard's 'Historical District' called, ironically, the 'New Isis'. This theater appears to have long been abandoned, broken windows covered with plywood as per the Fort Worth standard for abandoned buildings. To add to the tackiness semi-current messages are put on the marquee. On one side the sign says 'Welcome to the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards', while the other side announces 'Christmas in the Stockyards', which would be fine, except this sign still says this, on the first day of spring, 2002, well after Christmas. It is difficult to understand how a major city would allow such an eyesore to exist in the heart of its main claim to tourist fame. Particularly an eyesore with such renovation possibilities. Where is the civic pride? Perhaps a city government group could be sent to other towns to see how they manage to fix such problems. Any of the tourist towns in Washington state would suffice, or any of the tourist towns on Highway 49 in California. Or any of the tourist towns in Colorado, Utah, Arizona or New Mexico. Or just stay in Texas and find out how the town of Archer City managed to renovate their town's famous theater.

UPDATE: In fall of 2005 the reader board on the ISIS was changed to indicate the eyesore was going to be re-modeled. The re-modeling does not appear to be underway.

UPDATE 2:  June 7, 2007 we received the following email:

From: Robert Adams
To: feedback
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:40 PM
Subject: The New Isis Theater

Dear Tacky Texas,

As an FYI - The New Isis Theater is currently in the architectural phase of renovation. This will probably take 3-4 months and the renovation approximately 14-16 months. Hopefully we can achieve a look which will remove us from your expertly crafted list of Stockyard buildings in need of repair. You could be very helpful in this process by informing your web viewers that the original seats from the inside of the theater are available for those who would like to purchase a piece of history. These will need to be replaced because of they are only 16 1/2 inches wide compared to modern theater seats at 21". (a testament to the decline of our culinary tastes over the last 70+ years.)

Regards,
robert@thenewisistheater.com

___________________

So, I hope this teacher has a lot of luck with this latest attempt to restore this long abandoned embarrassing eyesore blight on Fort Worth's only actual tourist attraction. But, if Vegas is taking bets I would not put any money on it happening, anymore than Mineral Wells' Baker Hotel getting renovated.

The Baker Hotel eyesore also seems to regularly re-surface as a renovation project which goes nowhere. I have also received multiple communications about such over the years. At one point I got to take a tour of the Baker Hotel.

The Baker Hotel is a bit more impressive than the New Isis Theater, renovation possibility-wise, but I really do not expect either to have a Grand Re-Opening in my lifetime...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 Merry Christmas From David, Ruby, Santa & Theo

Opening the mailbox yesterday yielded that which you see here, from David, Ruby, Santa and Theo.

The twins and their big brother's 2017 Christmas portrait with their favorite old gentleman in red.

In the note accompanying the photo I can not be certain who wrote it, as there was no identifying signature to indicate such.

I am assuming the writer was David, he being the big brother and thus the most literate of the trio.

The note told me that this year "We got to pick out what we wanted to wear for our picture with Santa. Ruby chose to wear what we chose for her to wear. Ruby has been real agreeable lately."

So, it appears David opted to attire himself like a young Tucker Carlson, before that particular right wing nut job went full loony and bow tie-less. Theo appears to be in football jersey mode. I can't quite figure out what David and Theo picked out for Ruby. The shirt looks like maybe an Orca is in Puget Sound in front of a rainbow.

David turned nine on September 11. Theo and Ruby turn seven on December 17. Which means I need to get a couple birthday cards prepared and mailed. Since the arrival of Theo and Ruby on the planet I have received a few other photo documentations of their Christmas visits with Santa.

Below are the three other David, Theo and Ruby, with Santa, photos I have archived, starting with what I think is the Santa photo from last year, then my favorite David, Theo and Ruby Santa photo of all time, and the third, the oldest one, when the twins were little toddlers, with it looking like David was likely the only walker of the three...


The next one is classic. The twins terrorized. With David just looking amused.


I wonder what Ruby and Theo have to say when they see the above photo documenting how happy they were to sit on Santa's lap that particular Christmas.


Ruby and Theo totally look like twins in the above Santa photo, before it started to be easy to tell which one was which. But, I am pretty much 100% certain that is Ruby on the left, on Santa's lap, which would make that Theo on the right.

And it looks like David is giving Santa an earful of all which he would like to see under the Christmas tree...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Texas Three Dog Night With 19 Degree Blanket Emergency

The sun is doing its daily illumination duty, but is currently being a bit weak in its daily heating duty.

19 degrees at 8 in the morning of this second Friday of December in this chilly part of the planet which is ignoring the memo informing the weather the globe is supposed to be warming.

Last night was a three dog night, but I have not even a single dog. So, in the middle of the night, when I found myself being colder than I had anticipated being, I had to go on a blanket finding treasure hunt.

After a few minutes of searching I was able to find a couple quilts.

Today's wind chill is currently scheduled to not be as chilling as yesterday's gale force wind gusts which blew my patio furniture to smithereens. Well, that may be a bit hyperbolic, knocked over the patio furniture would be more accurate.

And there is a happy note in all this cold misery. The cold front has knocked the steam out of the weed, grass and tree pollen, thus rendering my allergy woes greatly abated.

I will not be riding my bike today. It is locked up until reasonable temperatures return...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Scientific Survey Determines Texas Has No Hip Towns

No, what you are looking at here is not one of Fort Worth's imaginary signature bridges crossing the Trinity River. Those Fort Worth bridges are being built in slow motion over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. No real river is being crossed. Someday there may be a ditch under those bridges, though.

What you are looking at here is a bridge which was built over a real river, a real big wide river named Columbia. I am not sure, but I think this is the I-5 bridge connecting Vancouver with Portland, but it may be one of the other bridges. There are several.

All built over actual fast moving real river water, in less than four years.

A couple days ago Queen Diamond D of Tacoma commented on Facebook regarding her surprise that Tacoma had out hipped Seattle in some listing of America's hippest cities.

And then yesterday via the Seattle Times I was surprised to learn that Tacoma's fellow Washington town, Vancouver, was determined, via detailed scientific analysis, to be America's hippest city. The screen cap you see above came from the Seattle Times America’s hippest city is Vancouver, Washington? article.

Vancouver being America's hippest city had a lot of people thinking, huh?

Portland, on the Oregon side of the Columbia, has long been considered to be a trend setting hip type town. There is even a TV show sort of celebrating Portland's uniqueness, called Portlandia. Portland is on the list of 20 most hip towns, but it comes in at #12, Seattle is also on the list, in last place, at #20 most hip town.

I only remember Vancouver as a town one passes through on I-5, heading south to Oregon or California or elsewhere, or being the town one passes through when almost home from a long road trip.

I think the last time I was off I-5 in Vancouver was back in the 1990s. For reasons no longer accessible to my memory I had been talked into driving a relative back to Portland to rejoin her cult attending a strange pseudo school called Multnomah Bible College.

On the way home from that bizarre weekend in Portland (which included attending services at a Rock n' Roll church, which was actually pretty cool, as in the preacher played electric guitar with the singing rockers in the choir) we stopped in Vancouver to have ourselves all you can eat fish, chips, chowders and cole slaw at a Skippers restaurant.

Skippers was a real hip seafood joint before it went out of business.

Shockingly no Texas town shows up on the list of America's Top 20 Hippest Towns. Not even Fort Worth, which bills itself as "Junky Town", I mean "Funky Town". How can a town which is proud of being funky not be hip?

Anyway, the surprising list of America's Top 20 Hippest Towns...

1. Vancouver, Washington
2. Salt Lake City
3. Cincinnati
4. Boise, Idaho
5. Richmond, Virginia
6. Tacoma
7. Spokane
8. Atlanta
9. Grand Rapids, Michigan
10. Rochester, New York
11. Orlando, Florida
12. Portland
13. Knoxville, Tennessee
14. Tucson, Arizona
15. Santa Rosa, California
16. Huntsville, Alabama
17. Tampa, Florida
18. Reno, Nevada
19. Albuquerque, New Mexico
20. Seattle

Salt Lake City is #2? Well, Mormons are rather hip. San Francisco isn't on this list? The town which made hippies famous? Reno? Has Reno had a resurgence from the hard times which came upon the town with the collapse of it being a casino mecca? Boise? Spokane?

Apparently, at four, Vancouver, Tacoma, Spokane and Seattle, my old home state has more hip towns than any other state.

These type list are sort of silly, but also sort of amusing. And possibly somewhat accurate.

It has long been obvious to me my old home state of Washington is hugely more hip than the state I currently find myself in, Texas, where all sorts of things freedom loving states allow are not allowed, like gambling in casinos, smoking marijuana, marrying anyone you like, no pockets of prohibition, being well educated, the list goes on and on....

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Seattle Restaurant Boom After $15 Minimum Wage Confounds RWNJs

I am starting to have myself a backlog of what I call blogging fodder which I don't get around to blogging, due to not feeling much like doing so, due to being in about week three of feeling miserable due to an allergic reaction to the air that I breathe which has been overstocked, of late, with too much pollen from weed, grass and trees.

Too much pollen which has been manifesting itself in a daily headache.

So, yesterday, or was it the day before, I saw that which you see here, on the front page of the Seattle Times online. I guess this falls into the category of things I see in west coast news sources, usually the Seattle Times, which I would never expect to see in the Fort Wort Star-Telegram, about something similar in Fort Worth.

But, that is not what amused me.

Way back a couple years ago when Seattle opted to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, RWNJs (Right Wing Nut Jobs) like college dropout, Rush Limbaugh, and his ignorant hate mongering ilk, spread propaganda lies about four Seattle restaurants being forced to close the very week this minimum wage increase was announced, but well before even the first stage became reality.

And now, a couple years later, with Seattle restaurants paying their help the $15 an hour minimum, even before the final mandated raise to that level, not only has this pay raise not resulted in an epidemic of restaurant closures, apparently the Seattle restaurant scene is booming.

Of course the RWNJs have all sorts of explanations, just like they always seem to do, for once again being wrong about something.

Last summer, August 14 to be precise, David, Theo and Ruby took me to downtown Seattle, to Dick's, where I got to eye witness experience the damage done to Seattle's restaurant businesses by the liberal socialist madness that raised the minimum wage.

Below is a photo I took whilst waiting in line at Dick's....


Dick's starts at $15 an hour, with $25,000 college scholarships, childcare assistance, free health insurance, paid community service, along with regular merit raises.

Now, Dick's has long been known for being a great fast food place to work, with a highly evolved, progressive social conscience.

Meanwhile, in a Texas town like Fort Worth, in what is known as a "right to work" state, which basically means such a state is a union busting state, I don't think there are any fast food places in existence of the Dick's sort.

Working in a right to work state, a restaurant worker in Fort Worth is not even paid the paltry Texas minimum wage of $7.25. If a Texas restaurant worker receives at least $30 a month in tips their employer can get away with paying a minimum wage of only $2.34 an hour. Supposedly the tips are supposed to amount to what results in a $7.25 minimum wage, allowing the employer to pay that paltry minimum. In Texas you can probably guess how well this is regulated and enforced.

So, a month or so ago someone, I think it was Elsie Hotpepper, verbalized about being surprised what a ghost town downtown Fort Worth was on a Saturday. And that the service her group received in one of downtown Fort Worth's few restaurants was atrocious.

Is it really that hard to see the link between how much one pays ones restaurant workers and how well that restaurant operates?

It is not just restaurants. When I am in Washington the quality level of just about everything, store wise, and other wise, is noticeably way more competent and better run than the craptacularness I experience in Texas. Just the difference between a Texas Walmart and the Walmart I went to in Tacoma was surprising. Or any other store, or restaurant.

And another thing. At Dick's I got a Dick's Deluxe, Cheeseburger, Fries and Strawberry Shake. The price of each was about what I remembered them being way back when I lived in Washington late in the previous century. If I remember right, on August 14 a Dick's Deluxe was $3.45. That seems close to what I remember such costing long ago. But, I have to admit, the Dick's Deluxe seemed smaller than I remembered it being.

But, that seems to be the case with just about every thing I remember....