Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Trinity Continues To Rise With Inadequate Levees Threatening Downtown Dallas

I saw that which you see here a few minutes ago on Facebook, via Elsie Hotpepper.

Apparently downtown Dallas is in danger as the Trinity continues to rise, straining levees which long ago were deemed inadequate to handle a massive flood.

I have never been in Dallas when the Trinity is running a lot of water. I've only see it when the big flood plain is dry with a little thing that looks like a ditch running through the flood plain.

That little ditch in the flood plain is currently a gigantic Lake Dallas.

Elsie Hotpepper asks a good question. As in "Does Dallas not know they are downstream??"

As the Trinity passes downtown Fort Worth the Clear Fork and West Fork join together and make a bigger river as the water continues its journey east. By the time the river gets to Dallas the East Fork and Elm Fork join Clear and West to make one unified river.

Currently one big unified river  threatening one big town's downtown with getting the New Orleans Katrina treatment.

I don't quite understand how breeched levees could threaten downtown Dallas with catastrophic flooding.

But that is what I am hearing.

Then again, like I've already suggested, when I've been in downtown Dallas I have never had any awareness of where the river was, unlike downtown Fort Worth where the river is quite noticeable, all the time, not just during those times when hundreds of dementos are having themselves a mighty fine time floating in the river, drinking beer and listening to music at an imaginary pavilion by an imaginary island at an imaginary world class water front music venue.

I sure hope the Dallas levees hold. I have seen what happens when a dike breaks during a flood. It ain't pretty.

UPDATE: From the Dallas Morning News----"All that stands between downtown Dallas and its near-total submersion are a pair of very old, deteriorating earthen levees that have been judged dangerously inadequate for a generation."

Gateway Park's Boarded Up Boardwalks Are Not Being Torn Apart By The Flood

Yesterday on my way to Town Talk, after walking with the turtles who live in Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park, I took a detour into Gateway Park to get a look at the flooding Trinity River as it passes one of Gateway Park's boarded up boardwalks.

Where this Gateway Park boardwalk is located the Trinity River is in its natural state.

No levees.

At this point the river has carved itself a bit of a canyon, with the river narrow and running fast, with rapids at this location.

Upon arrival I was surprised to see part of the boarded up boardwalk deconstructed and piled up near the parking lot.

That is that pile you see below.

In  the picture above you are looking at a stairway that used to be boarded up, but now there is nothing blocking one from walking straight down the stairs and into the flooding Trinity River. Not long ago a teenager drowned at this location at a time when the Trinity River was in drought mode.

Since what one could see of the boarded up boardwalk was all intact I assume the debris you see above came from the part of the boardwalk that is now under water. I suspect the deconstruction process was underway when the flood hit.

The Trinity River Center City Panther Island Vision Boondoggle is, supposedly, building two new river overlooks. I assume that is why the boarded up boardwalk is being deconstructed.

I also assume that the new boardwalk overlooks are going to be built above where the river floods, so as to prevent what happened to the current boarded up boardwalks.

But, with America's Biggest Boondoggle one can never assume common sense will prevail....

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Were A Mom & Son Picking Up Fosdick Lake Litter To Deliver To A Fort Worth Solar Powered Trash Compactor?

Due to flooding I thought my only nearby walkabout option today was Oakland Lake Park, walking around Fosdick Lake.

After doing so I soon found Gateway Park open, not flooded, and later saw Quanah Parker Park open, also not flooded.

A lot of people were enjoying the rain respite. Along with the cheerful turtles you see here, straining their necks looking for the sun.

Fosdick Falls was not falling as thunderous a volume of water as I had expected to hear, but the roar was louder than Fosdick Falls was roaring on Memorial Day.

Today I found myself marveling anew at Oakland Lake Park's solar powered trash compactor.

Why have a solar powered trash compactor next to two non-solar powered trash barrels?

I think the blue can on the right is intended for cans and bottles to be inserted in the hole in the lid. The green barrel has no lid. I have seen litter blowing out of lid-less Fort Worth litter barrels, which is why most parks, such as those in Arlington, have litter receptacles with lids.

Way in the background you can see Oakland Lake Park's sole outhouse.

I've asked before, but I will ask again, why would you have something ultra-modern, like a solar powered trash compactor, in a park without running water or modern restroom facilities?

And then, on the opposite side of Fosdick Lake I came upon the mom and her son you see below.

As I got closer to these two I saw mom fishing something out of the lake's edge and tossing what she fished back towards her son, who then put what was fished in the bucket.

I stopped and asked what they were fishing for.

Litter was the reply.

Show him, mom said. Which had the boy showing me the contents of the bucket of litter.

A lot of litter.

The mom told me they were on their 4th litter bucket of the day.

When I got to the bluff above the lake I snapped the picture you see above.

Very commendable, I thought. Cleaning up Fosdick Lake.

Also sort of futile.

I did not ask if they were disposing of the litter in the solar-powered trash compactor.

Town Talk was a bit of a bust today.

The Latest Texas Storm Saved Me From Boarding An Ark-Like Cruise Ship

I was having a nightmare about floating away in the ark-like cruise ship you see here when I got an early morning wake up call in the form of strong wind gusts, followed by thunder booming and then rain downpouring.

I am assuming this latest deluge has flooded Quanah Parker Park and Gateway Park, if they were not already closed due to too much water.

Tandy Hills has been out of commission for what seems like weeks, due to excessive wetness.

That leaves only Oakland Lake Park available for a walkabout today, pre going Town Talk treasure hunting.

I imagine Fosdick Lake, in Oakland Lake Park, is in overflow mode, with Fosdick Falls vibrating the ground as it roars over Fosdick Dam.

Today is supposedly the last day we will be subjected to storms, for a few days.

I'll believe it when I see blue sky....

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Blogger In Town Blogging The Fort Worth Way

There is a new blogger in town, with that town being Fort Worth, with that blogger being Mary Kelleher, with Mary Kelleher being the only representative of The People among the directors on the TRWD Board.

As you can see this new blog is titled The Fort Worth Way.

As you can also see, the first post on The Fort Worth Way is titled Devastated!

A blurb from Devastated!

We lost by 10,000 mail-in votes....smh!  How could it be?  We worked so hard!

Naturally, foul play is suspected but proving foul play is another thing. Maybe there were actually 10,000 people so interested in the TRWD election they took the initiative to request a ballot and mail it in.  

The fact of the matter is we lost and we lost big; but you know what.....we have another shot at it again in 2017, then 2019, then again in 2021.  The TRWD is no longer the best-kept secret in town.

With foul play in the recent election being naturally suspected, I don't understand why an election which seemed so outrageously out of whack with previous TRWD Board elections, with pre election polling which so drastically did not match the results, with something so far out of the norm as 10,000 absentee ballots, that some automatic investigation is not triggered by some sort of election oversight entity.

Then I remember I am in Texas. where often that which makes no sense prevails.

In the two years since Mary Kelleher was elected the public had become aware of TRWD shady deals, loans to bankrupt friends, paying double market  price for contaminated land, an embarrassing boondoggle which is one of the slowest construction projects in history.

Yet somehow in the first election since Mary Kelleher got elected with the highest vote total in TRWD election history, two TRWD incumbents get re-elected with about double the previous record number of votes.

Marty Leonard seems to me to be a nice lady. I would think her conscience would bother her. I would think she must struggle with whether or not she should speak out and blow the whistle on the TRWD's shady shenanigans.

Buck the Fort Worth Way, Marty Leonard.

Expose the truth.

You'll be hailed as heroic.....

Mallard Cove Park Is Underwater With Some Mysterious Bubbles Burbling

A few days ago I blogged A New Cove Has Been Added To Mallard Cove Park.

Today I returned to Mallard Cove Park to find a river now runs through it.

A noticeable current was flowing along, moving debris with the flow, no litter, just river flotsam, like twigs and such.

The noticeable current surprised me, what with the current location being a bit distant from where the Trinity River flows by the north end of the park.

When I got to the edge of the flood I saw something a bit disturbing.

Bubbles burbling to the surface.

Natural gas pipelines run under this park, with multiple signs pointing out that fact. A fellow flood watcher walked up and I pointed her towards the burbles with her initial reaction being the same as mine.

A gas leak.

Eventually a less excitable type walked up and opined that the burbles were likely coming from a deep air pocket of the sort snakes live in.

I'm sticking with gas leak.

The leak was to the right of the view you see here, looking at a forlorn park bench currently mostly submerged.

I took some video of the flood and the burbling leak. You can watch that below.

Below are a pair of flood watchers who are near the aforementioned burbling.

Leaving Mallard Cove Park I continued east on Randol Mill Road, past the flooded Mary Kelleher farm, to find the road flooded and closed just past the River Bottom Bar. I turned around and headed back to Cooks Lane to head to high country and ALDI, where I got myself some Texas sweet onions, among other things.

Below is the aforementioned video....

Fort Worth Should Exile The Lawn Whisperer To Washington To Help With The Drought

Incoming Weather Humble Bragging from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason...

May be currently violating lawn watering ban.  All Western Washington citizens were advised last week by the governor, who declared a state wide drought, to contact their local water supplier to learn of ways of conserving water.

In the meantime Skagit County is in the midst of harvesting strawberries which just like the tulips showed up three weeks early.

Hope my FUD is enjoying the sun and dry late spring weather too.

A statewide drought in Washington? Get advice about conserving water? Maybe Fort Worth could send the Water Whisperer to Washington, now that he is no longer needed in Texas.

Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw the Skagit Valley's #1 strawberry grower, renowned author and owner of the Ole & Sven Berry Patch, Martin B., sharing a photo of a desert concoction consisting of several of his giant, deep red, ultra sweet strawberries, on top of peanut butter ice cream and a dark chocolate fudge brownie.

I read that and wondered why would anyone ruin a perfectly fine strawberry in this manner.

I also wondered why strawberries were already available for picking.

Below is the other piece of Weather Humble Bragging my Favorite Nephew Jason added to his email...

Well, FNJ, here in the Deep South we are shivering at 73 under a cloudy sky with some drippage dripping after a night of deluging with thunder booms.

More Rain Has Fallen On North Texas In 2015 Than The Previous 25 Years?

No one would deny that a lot of rain has fallen on Texas in May, record breaking in some locations.

This morning I looked out my primary viewing portal on the outer world to see that last night's deluge has filled my swimming pool to the brink. I do not recollect that happening before.

This morning I also learned, from two sources, that Mallard Cove Park is now flooded.

And, a short distance east from that location, Mary Kelleher, who has a farm, is under water and in animal evacuation mode.

Meanwhile, also this morning, I finally got around to reading this week's Fort Worth Weekly.

In this week's Fort Worth Weekly's Static column, titled Eminent Dough Rain, I read the following...

Here in Tarrant County, it’s been raining for two months, and lakes are brimming above capacity. North Texas received more rain in the first five months of 2015 than it received in the previous 25 years up to this point. Heck, this area’s 26.55 inches of rain so far in 2015 is almost four times more than we’d received by this time last year.

Has FW Weekly lost an editor, or proof reader, or something?

I figured that by the time the online version was available for reading the Static column would have been edited to no longer  make the ridiculous statement that "North Texas received more rain in the first five months of 2015 than it received in the previous 25 years up to this point."

Nope, I checked the online version to find no editing has taken place to erase that which is ridiculous, as you can see via the screen cap above.

I am available to be a proof reader, if FW Weekly is desperate to find one.

In the meantime, I told Elsie Hotpepper I would be checking in on the flooded Mallard Cove Park later this morning. Elsie suggested I also check in on the Mary's flooded farm situation. I don't know if I can make it that far east on Randol Mill Road, what with there being a couple low, don't cross when flooded spots, between here and there.

On another flooding note, I read this morning that an Arlington teenager drowned in Village Creek yesterday. His kayak tipped over. Why would anyone try and kayak that creek when it is in raging flood mode?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Texas Governor Abbott Thinks He Is Doing A Profound Job Protecting Property Rights

Looking at the group photo, above, does that not look like a group of men up to no good?

The men standing behind the man with a pen in his hand look like henchmen forcing the signer to sign something.

The thing the signer is signing is HB40.

That would make the signer the new governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.

I do not know who the henchmen are standing behind Abbott sporting evil grins and multiple chins.

Maybe they are oil and gas industry lobbyists, pleased with themselves for having managed to get the Texas legislators, whom they control, to pass a bill taking away the right of a Texas town to have a say about what the oil and gas industry does in their town.

Denton was the Texas town which pushed the gas drillers too far by voting to put an end to the poking of holes in their town's ground, followed by fracking.

Denton had experienced some of the results of sloppy gas driller's operations, which have resulted in gas fires, explosions, leaks, noise pollution and earthquakes in various locations in Texas.

When Abbott signed the bill he said that local regulations threatened gas production.

And that the new law did a “profound job of protecting property rights.”

Recently dozens of Arlington residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to a poisonous leak leaking from an Arlington fracking operation.

It seems the latest Texas governor does not think any Texans, other than gas drillers, have any profound right to protect their own property rights by voting to not allow gas drillers to operate close enough to do them and their property harm.

When was the last time Texas elected a governor who did not end up being a national embarrassment? Was it Ann Richards?

Texas Flooding Turns Dallas Into Port City Directly Connected To The Gulf Of Mexico

I saw that which you see here a few minutes ago on Facebook.

In the midst of the ongoing storms we do not yet know the total cost in lives lost and property damage.

It is not easy to make lemonade out of a sour lemon like the current flood state in Texas.


The Dallas zone has long wanted to be a port city. There have been more than one goofy attempt to turn the Trinity River into a shipping canal connecting the D/FW Metroplex to the Gulf of Mexico.

And now, according to this map, Mother Nature has opted to turn Dallas and Fort Worth into port towns with direct access to the Gulf.

This should please a lot of people, like chronic cruiser, Gar the Texan.

Soon, Gar should be able to sail directly out of Dallas, rather than making the long tedious drive to Galveston to get aboard a cruise ship every couple months....

The Fort Worth Stockyards Is Proud Of Its Indoor Plumbing

Yesterday I discovered something which has caused me to further worry that my memory faculties are failing.

Maybe not failing, but definitely not as sharp as they used to be.

For years I have been mentioning my bum puzzlement regarding Fort Worth's apparent love of outhouses.

I remember a few years back documenting the astounding Outhouse Farm of acres of outhouses, awaiting placement, located in Fort Worth's Homeless People District on Lancaster Avenue, and visible from I-30.

As recently as yesterday I blogged about the Fort Worth outhouse phenomenon in a blogging titled Seattle Got Embarrassed By Something Which Should Embarrass Fort Worth.

That same day I opened my web editor to check something on my Fort Worth Stockyards webpage. When I was looking at the list of HTML files, looking for the Stockyards file, I saw an HTML file named outhouse.html.

What is outhouse.html, I wondered to myself?

I opened that HTML file to find that which you see part of above, screen capped.

Apparently, years ago, I made a webpage about the multiple instances in the Fort Worth Stockyards of restaurants, saloons and cantinas informing their potential patrons that their establishment featured indoor plumbing.

I remember, when I saw all those signs, thinking how do these people not realize this is embarrassing? It's like saying, yes, we are a backward third world location, but, dang it, we have indoor plumbing.

I remember thinking I could not imagine a business at my former location on the planet, on the west coast, feeling the need to inform people they had indoor plumbing, due to the fact that for a long, long, long time, in other parts of America, indoor plumbing has been the norm, not the exception to be pointed to as an exceptional attribute.

I updated my Fort Worth Stockyards Indoor Plumbing webpage, with some needed changes, to make it more current, what with the original originating well over a decade ago.

Ironically, unlike other Fort Worth locations, like city parks and the Panther Island Pavilion best waterfront music venue in the world, I have never seen an outhouse in the Fort Worth Stockyards.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It's Been Raining In Texas Since Blue Bell Closed Because God Is Crying

I saw that which you see here this morning on Facebook.

I thought it to be amusing, for a couple seconds, til I thought about it and then it wasn't so amusing.

But, a lot of people commenting about that which you see here found it amusing.

Deconstructing the humor, which is what one really should always do with humor, the premise of this humor is that the massive deadly Texas flooding has been caused by God crying due to His sadness over Blue Bell closing.

Now, really, would an All Mighty God, full of love for the humans He created, let loose a Biblical flood, drowning only God knows how many people, destroying only God knows how many homes, costing only God knows how much in property damage, just because a Texas ice cream maker had to shut down due to the fact their contaminated ice cream was killing people.

Should not the All Seeing and All Knowing All Mighty have seen the Listeria problem and put a magical stop to it?

Why would He let that Listeria get into Texas ice cream and then get all Cry Baby when a supply of Blue Bell can no longer be supplied to His freezer?

And let's be realistic here, it ain't like there is not other good ice cream available in America.

Has the Brenham home of Blue Bell been in the path of the rampaging floods caused by God's sad tears?

The Wrath of God can be so random and difficult to fathom for us mere mortals....

Seattle Got Embarrassed By Something Which Should Embarrass Fort Worth

Continuing on with my popular series of bloggings about something I read in a west coast newspaper that one is very unlikely to read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

First off I must mention again that Fort Worth may have the highest number of outhouses, per capita, of any town in America.

Along with the highest number of parks, per capita, with outhouses instead of modern restroom facilities with running water.

In some Fort Worth parks, such as Oakland Lake Park, one can now find a solar powered trash compactor, compacting trash near the park's outhouse.

Meanwhile, in a west coast town called Portland, great success has been had with something called a Portland Loo, basically a solar powered mini-restroom, with running water for hand washing.

I learned of the Portland Loo this morning in the Seattle Times, in an article titled After embarrassment, Seattle finds public toilet that's just right.

That is a screen cap of part of the article that you see above, including a picture of a Portland Loo.

The embarrassment the article's title refers to I had never heard of, previously, likely due to the fact that this particular Seattle embarrassment occurred well after I began observing Fort Worth's myriad embarrassments.

The Seattle embarrassment came about in 2003, soon after the city spent $5 million for five high tech, self-cleaning toilets.

A million bucks a toilet? That's not even the embarrassing part.

Apparently these  mini-restrooms were quite roomy and luxurious. This had them become popular spots for drug use, for homeless people to wash their clothes, for hookers to use as a base of operations and for other couples to do that thing that married people do that results in babies.

In 2008 the Seattle mini-restrooms were sold on Ebay for $2,500 a piece.

The Portland Loos are way cheaper than the Seattle Million Dollar Loos, costing around $230,000, including installation.

Like Fort Worth's trash compactors, Portland Loos are solar-powered. I have no clue what the sun is powering, or what the backup is on Seattle's many cloudy days.

The Portland Loos have their hand washing sinks outside the facility, thus discouraging desperate bathers.

Now, when I read about these new Loos and Seattle being embarrassed by their failed Million Dollar Loos it crossed my mind to wonder how one town can be embarrassed by such a thing, while another town is not embarrassed by having outhouses in their parks. With no running water.

And aren't even embarrassed that their town's imaginary best urban waterfront music venue in Texas is serviced by outhouses, dressed up by concrete enclosures.

Those of you new to the plot, that town with outhouses at the imaginary best waterfront music venue in Texas is Fort Worth.

Fort Worth drug a Portland streetcar to town in an attempt to get the locals to buy into the idea of a modern streetcar.

Maybe Fort Worth could drag a Portland Loo to town in an attempt to get the locals to buy into the idea of modern, hygienic, restroom facilities....

A Storm Respite Returns Blue Sky To North Texas

Look what has returned to my location in North Texas.

Others are reporting seeing the same thing.

Blue sky.

With nary a cloud to be seen in any direction from my patio viewing platform on the outer world.

This morning I am in the best mood I have been in since the day before May 9.


I have no idea. Have I been experiencing SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder)?

The gray gloom that has hovered over Texas for much of May is a lot like a stereotypical Western Washington winter, pre-drought. Day after day after day of gray. With rain.

I did not know Washington made me SAD until I left Washington on a rainy winter day, arriving in Texas six days later to find my spirits suddenly lifted by day after day of warm temperatures and blue sky.

And then my first ice storm experience hit with a cold shock rendering me temporarily SAD again.

Storms are predicted to return this afternoon, followed by more tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the day after that, on into the foreseeable future.

I suspect I shall soon be SAD again....

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trinity River Turns Into Dallas Lake After The Amazing Race Ends There

I saw that which you see here a few minutes ago on Facebook. I think that is Reunion Tower on the south end of this view looking east at the Dallas skyline.

That would make this the iconic view of Dallas seen during the opening credits of Dallas, with a lot of water added.

I am not sure about it, but I think the Dallas version of the Trinity River Vision envisions recreational lakes being in this flood plain. Along with a tollway. I may be wrong about this.

I can't imagine how that would work when a flood event, like you see here, comes to town.

My mom called last night to find out if I'd been flooded. Apparently the flooding in Texas is big national news, as well it should be, what with it being of biblical proportions. Almost.

Yesterday I got around to watching the season finale of The Amazing Race, with Dallas being the Final Destination City. This was the second time Dallas was the Final Destination City.

When the racers left Peru their clue told them to head to their Final Destination City and find their way to AT & T Stadium.

There have only been a few times whilst watching The Amazing Race where I am familiar with the territory being covered. With those times being race legs, or final destinations, or starting points in Seattle, Los Angeles, Utah and D/FW.

At Cowboy Stadium the racers ran into a Roadblock. Each of the boys opted to play, since it was football related. They had to get in uniform, then a cable hoisted them to the stadium's roof where they were handed a playbook, then dropped back to the field, where the playbook told them they had to catch a touchdown pass and score a field goal.

Two of the boys were football savvy. The other two weren't. It was amusing.

The next clue had them going to P2 Ranch in Alvarado. I'd never heard of this place. Nor had the taxi drivers. I later learned the ranch was down by Burleson. That is a bit of a distance from the stadium, with the route taken appearing to be all country, no freeway. This seemed odd.

At P2 Ranch the racers had to get in cowboy gear and be drovers on a cattle drive herding longhorns to a pen. This was across a lot of land, through water, horses got skittish, one racer fell off her horse. It all seemed risky to me.

Phil eliminated the fourth team to arrive at the ranch. The other three teams were told to go to the aforementioned Reunion Tower to find their next clue.

I have no idea by what route the teams made their way back to Dallas. This was not shown. But one team, known as the Bickersons, due to their constant bickering, made it to Reunion Tower well ahead of the other two teams.

Reunion Tower was another Roadblock. with the girls having to do this one. They had to rappel down the tower looking for their next clue, a route marker. Hayley Bickerson found what turned out to not be the route marker, thus costing them their lead and likely the win.

The other two saw the correct route marker and quickly made it to the location. A mud pit near the railroad tracks by Reunion Tower. They had to drive a Monster Truck to get through mud to get to their final challenge.

That final challenge was a bit tiresome, but when the clue was finally released it told them to find their Final Destination at Continental Avenue Bridge. One taxi driver did not know where that bridge was, the other did, telling the taxi driver who did not know that it's by the new bridge.

So, this iteration of The Amazing Race ended on a bridge that runs parallel to one of the Dallas Trinity River Vision actual signature bridges, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

All in all, The Amazing Race made Dallas and Texas look real good.

No mention was made, during the final episode, of that town to the west which makes other towns, far and wide, green with envy....

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Memorial Day Walk Over Fosdick Falls In Oakland Lake Park

That is a Memorial Day look at Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park you are looking at here.

No raindrops dripped on me whilst I walked around the lake, but the clouds looked, and continue to look, extremely threatening.

Memorial Day had the park being much busier than the norm. But I saw only two groups attempting to have a Memorial Day picnic.

Several people were attempting to catch fish that one is advised not to eat.

I thought Fosdick Lake would be flooded more than it was. The lake will have to rise a few more inches to put the paved trail on the east side under water.

Fosdick Lake did have enough extra water to cause Fosdick Falls to be roaring like a mini-Niagara.

I don't know how many homes could be electrified by the hydro power potential currently pouring over Fosdick Dam.

Maybe one small doghouse.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A New Cove Has Been Added To Mallard Cove Park

This morning I took the backroad way to Sam's Club, a route which takes me by Mallard Cove Park.

I was curious if the almost non-stop deluging had flooded Mallard Cove Park with Trinity River mud.

Well, as you can see, via the one and only picture I took of Mallard Cove Park today, there is no readily seen mud.

However, Mallard Cove has greatly expanded, with an even bigger "cove" across the paved trail from the original Mallard Cove.

Everywhere I drove this morning I saw a lot of water standing around doing nothing but waiting to cause trouble when more water arrives.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Witnessing The Miracle Of A Litter Free Flooding Trinity River Under A Bumbershoot

On the way to Town Talk I decided to park at Quanah Parker Park and take my Bumbershoot on a short walk in the rain.

The last time I saw a flooding Trinity River from this location, years ago, the river had an amazing amount of litter, in a wide range of color and size, flowing by.

During this current flood event I have seen the Trinity River in several locations and have not seen much litter flowing by.

Does this indicate the chronic Texas littler problem has improved? Or has all the rain already flushed most of the litter to the Gulf of Mexico?

I just realized I do not know where the Trinity River enters the Gulf. I suspect  the beaches in that area, wherever it is, would make for some interesting beachcombing.

Today's Town Talk treasure hunting went well.

Organic Fuji Apples from a town in Washington called Wenatchee, Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit, Carrots, Cinnamon Rolls, 5 pounds of Gorgonzola and a gallon of Organic Milk, plus other stuff I am not remembering right now.

I Don't Think Texas Frat Bros Should Be Sent Home For A 5% Tip

What you are looking at here is a screen cap from this week's Fort Worth Weekly's Last Call column.

In this week's Go Home, Frat Bros Last Call a bartender complains, at length, about a "pack of dude-bros celebrating their graduation" by buying over $100 of drinks whilst tipping 5% of whatever the total was.

That 5% had the bartender feeling deeply insulted.

The part of what the bartender had to say that I found interesting was....

"....maybe you have no idea about standard tipping practices in American bars, where a buck per drink or 15-20 percent of the total bill is pretty typical (and appreciated). Maybe you’re from Washington State, where the minimum wage for tipped employees is $9.32 an hour versus $2.13 virtually everywhere else. Maybe you’re from another country, where nobody tips anyone. Maybe you’re simply obtuse. I have no idea. But if nobody tells you, you’re likely to bop about your bar-going life unwittingly making enemies behind every bar in town. Don’t be that guy!"

I was a year or two into my Texas exile when I first learned that in Texas tipped waiter/waitress workers got paid a fraction of the minimum wage. I remember upon learning this wondering how such a thing is legal.

I doubt my old home state is the only place in America where $2.13 is not the going hourly wage for bartenders.

Is this $2.13 an hour a Texas only thing that this particular bartender erroneously thinks is standard across America, except for Washington?

It seems to me that when one buys a beer or a margarita in a bar one is already paying an inflated price for consuming such outside the comfort of ones domicile.

I don't remember the last time I bought something from a bartender.

I do remember soon upon being in Texas being intrigued by the now long gone Baby Doe's in Dallas. Then going to Baby Doe's to find myself paying around 5 bucks for one bottle of beer to sip whilst watching the light show emanating from the Reunion Tower.

After paying around 5 bucks for one bottle of beer it certainly never crossed my mind that the bartender who sold it to me expected a tip, or that he was paid a fraction of the minimum wage.

I have read there is a growing movement to put an end to the tipping practice in some locations in America. I assume Washington is one of those locations, along with other locations which are phasing in raising the minimum wage to $15.00.

Would the Last Call bartender prefer keeping the current compensation method or would he prefer being paid $15 an hour, with no tipping expected or allowed?

Is Spencer Jack Lincoln Dressed For Memorial Day?

This morning I found that which you see here in my email.

The only explanation accompanying that which you see here was....

Spencer Jack's politics schooling requires dressing the part. Abe Lincoln, less the beard. Outfit courtesy of your favorite ex sister in-law.

My favorite ex sister in-law is Spencer Jack's grandma Cindy.

I did not know my favorite ex sister in-law could sew.

Let alone re-create clothing from the 1860s.

Is Spencer Jack attired as Abraham Lincoln for some sort of Memorial Day event at school?

Is Spencer Jack going to be reciting Lincoln's most memorable words, the Gettysburg Address, what with the Gettysburg Address being about the best Memorial Day speech ever uttered?

Is Spencer Jack a history aficionado like his favorite great uncle is? I have no idea. I suspect so though, what with Spencer Jack having already developed a love of reading, at his relatively young age.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Washington Is In Drought Mode With Fort Worth Catching More Rain Than Seattle

Lately, a time or two, I have blogged about something I saw on a west coast newspaper and opine that that was something I would never read in the Star-Telegram about something happening in Texas.

Well, this morning the opposite sort of happened, that being that which you see here from the Star-Telegram, a headline telling us that in Fort Worth rain is falling this year, not Seattle.

Which is true. Pretty much all of Washington and much of the west coast is suffering a severe drought.

I think I lost my train of thought.

Continuing on anyway, disregarding a lost train.

I've have explained to locals a time or two, regarding Seattle's reputation for getting alot of rain, that the actual annual total of rain falling on Seattle and rain falling on the D/FW zone are almost the same.

The difference is the way the rain falls.

In Western Washington you can get day after day after day after day of a slow rain, taking a long time to amount to an inch. While at my location in Texas an inch can pour down in a couple minutes.

I never experienced a Texas style downpour during all my years in Washington.

I remember a couple months after my Texas exile began I was driving from Keller back to my then abode in Haslet when I suddenly found myself in a Texas downpour. I slowed to a crawl, could barely see the road, did not know what to do. The concept of a flash flood had not been explained to me, as that type thing relates to Texas, at that point in time.

I don't recollect flash floods of the sort that happen here being an issue in Washington. Landslides, yes, but water rising rapidly like what happens here, no.

Anyway, about a minute ago the rain started coming down again. So far it is a slow motion Washington type rain. But, I heard a bit ago that a lot of rain is expected to pour down over the next couple days. I suspect some heavy duty downpours will soon be pouring down.

I wonder if anyone down at that Creationism Museum by Glen Rose is working on building an Ark yet?

America's Biggest Boondoggle's Imaginary Reality Programs & Products

Yesterday Elsie Hotpepper sent me a link to yet one more product of America's Biggest Boondoggle, telling me to check out the sponsors.

Fort Worth Weekly is now a proud sponsor of The Boondoggle's products?

What has gone wrong with The Weekly? This week's cover article covers the extremely serious situation regarding the rundown condition of the childhood home of a local golf legend.

It's a long article.

Back to The Boondoggle.

How many websites does The Boondoggle have under its boondoggle umbrella? Does The Boondoggle have in their employ a webmaster churning out these websites? How much is spent on the various Boondoggle domains and websites and all the other propaganda in various forms The Boondoggle churns out to create the illusion that The Boondoggle is a legit operation doing big things?

On The Boondoggle's Panther Fest website we learn....

You won’t want to miss this! Start your summer flying down a potentially world record-breaking 2,000 ft water slide–right on North Main Street.

Potential world breaking water slide? With beer, music and food? A new domain and website was needed for this? Why could this not simply been a sub-domain of The Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion website? As in thus saving the cost of buying yet one more domain.

Speaking of The Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion website. On that website we learn that the venue is Texas's Premiere Waterfront Stage.

Stage? Pavilion?

Near as I can tell a platform with a  partial roof over it is what The Boondoggle is calling a pavilion. As for stages, the old subway waiting stations now are numbered, as in STAGE 1, STAGE 2. You get the idea.

The premiere waterfront stage in Texas? I would think other waterfront stages in Texas would take umbrage at this bogus claim.

I've said it before, but I will say it again. The supposed premiere music stage in Texas is serviced by outhouses. Not modern American restroom facilities. Outhouses.

You reading this in more civilized, modern areas of America, I am not making this up. The premiere waterfront stage in Texas is serviced by outhouses.

I also found the following blurb from The Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion website to be amusing...

Panther Island Pavilion is a product of, and programmed by the Trinity River Vision Authority as part of the Trinity River Vision Master Plan. © Panther Island Pavilion - All Rights Reserved.

Product? Programmed? Has The Boondoggle actually paid to copyright the Panther Island Pavilion name?

And then we have The Boondoggle's original Trinity River Vision Authority website. I have been amused at the hubris of the below paragraph of propaganda on The Boondoggle's home page, more than once...

The Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA) is the organization responsible for the implementation of the Trinity River Vision (TRV) - a master plan for the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas. It is underway now - connecting every neighborhood in the city to the Trinity River corridor with new recreational amenities, improved infrastructure, environmental enhancements and event programming. The TRV will create Panther Island (formerly Trinity Uptown), a vibrant urban waterfront neighborhood, expand Gateway Park into one of the largest urban-programmed parks in the nation and enhance the river corridor with over 90 user-requested projects along the Trinity Trails.

On that aforementioned home page of The Boondoggle I saw a link.

 Panther Island Signature Bridges.

This is ridiculous, I thought to myself. The Boondoggle is still referring to those three simple little bridges, being built in slow motion, over dry land, as being Signature Bridges?

I clicked the link and soon saw that which you see below....

The Boondoggle is actually now calling these little bridges, being built to connect the mainland to an imaginary island, built over dry land, in a time frame longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, Panther Island Signature Bridges?

Below is the propaganda that you see in the screen cap above...

The Trinity River Vision is no longer a vision, it is a reality. For several years, work along the Trinity River has been on-going preparing for this project milestone. The signature bridges are a collaborative effort between the Trinity River Vision Authority, TxDOT, City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The three signature bridges positioned along the realigned Trinity River will begin construction in late summer 2014. The estimated construction cost for all bridges is $66 million. Serving as the gateways to Panther Island, the bridges create the foundation for a unique, urban waterfront community. The project partners will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience of this major construction project and will utilize multiple methods to keep residents and business owners informed. 

The Boondoggle is no longer a vision? It's a reality? Well, I guess that is true. Any project which has taken so long to do so little, well, that is a reality. For years work along the Trinity River has been on-going in preparation for this milestone?

Really? What would that work be. What would that milestone be?

Is the milestone starting the supposed construction of the three little bridges with the four year project timeline?

How come more taxpayers are not fed up with this embarrassing nonsense? How come so few people realize how embarrassing it is going to be, if those bridges ever actually get built, with the ditch dug under them actually filled with water, when one of Fort Worth's few tourists asks where this Panther Island island is, to have the local point across the ditch and say it's that there, on the other side of that signature bridge.

One would have thought the lesson of Sundance Square would have been learned. Where for decades there was no Square, with most of Fort Worth's few tourists  assuming Sundance Square to be the parking lots at the heart of downtown, where, finally, an actual little Square was built.

If The Boondoggle built Sundance Square Plaza they would have touted is as a Signature Plaza, the Premiere Plaza in Texas....

I Don't Need A Government Permission Slip To Buy An Allen Patterson T-Shirt

This morning I received instructions from my primary blog content instructor instructing me to post that which you see here.

Along with a link to the Tarrant County Libertarian Party website.

As you can see, I usually always do what my primary instructor instructs me to do.

I was unable to attend last night's Allen Patterson celebration at the Stagecoach Ballroom. I blogged about my absence in I Am Missing The Celebration Of The Resumption Of The Vices Of Allen Patterson.

I assumed the reason I was instructed to link to the Tarrant County Libertarian Party website was because that website was where one could get oneself one of the t-shirts you see here. However, when I clicked the link I did not find such.

UPDATE: T-shirts can ordered by emailing Brook Bailey at and paid for via the Tarrant LP site.

My instructor sent me the version of the t-shirt you see above, with the message that "Allen Patterson is my Homeboy" along with the "I don't need a Government Permission Slip" version you see below on the left.

My instructor did not send me the image you see below. I found that image on my own without any instructions. This added yet one more t-shirt version, with the additional one saying "FREE Market Economics. It's This simple. I'd like to Purchase your Labor. I'd like to Purchase your Product."

Money raised via the selling of these t-shirts goes into a college fund for Allen's daughter. Which seems to me to be a very worthy cause.

Regarding last night's Celebration of the Resumption of his Vices (and the t-shirts) Allen had this to poignantly say this morning on Facebook....

I've never understood it when someone wins an award and then says "I'm humbled by this." It seems to me that you're humbled when people throw rotten vegetables or dead fish at you.If you are awarded in some way you'd say "I'm honored by this." 

But I get it now. I get it. I'm truly humbled by this night. I'm not worthy of what all was done for me and for my family.. Saying that I'm humbled doesn't even come close to making the point. Thank you all so very, very much. The state Libertarian Party now has something going called The Allen Patterson award? 

Allen Patterson T-shirts? 

You folks have thrown all this on the wrong person. What the hell am I going to do if anything bad ever happens to John Spivey?? Get a stretch of Tom Landry highway named after him? 

Seriously, folks, that was way over the top. I really can't thank you all enough for being there for me during this bad stretch, and thank you all so very, very much for being part of my life. I'm fighting as hard as I can to experience as much more of it as possible. 

And yeah, I'm humbled. I get it now...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Am Missing The Celebration Of The Resumption Of The Vices Of Allen Patterson

I have had myself being bum puzzled by distractions the past few days.

Problems in need of solution.

Me not being a good problem solver.

For the most part.

Earlier today I had to bail on a lunch invitation lunching with two of the finest ladies I have the pleasure to know, and someone I have not had the pleasure to meet, in person, though we have exchanged many a word via electronic means.

And now, tonight, I am bailing on an invitation I accepted upon receiving it.

The "Celebration of the Resumption of the Vices of Allen Patterson".

I have been amused by Mr. Patterson for years. I was knocked in the gut, along with countless others, when the news of Allen's cancer hit the Internet.

Missing tonight's celebration I am missing many things. Such as seeing Gar the Texan and his latest wife.

It has been over a decade since I have seen Gar the Texan. Or any of his wives....

Under Water After A Night Of North Texas Booming

I saw that which you see here, this morning, on Facebook via Elsie Hotpepper.

I wish the thunder would do its booming during the day instead of causing me sleep deprivation. The latest night of booming had some close strikes, with the boom arriving simultaneous with the lightning flash.

Earplugs block the distant booming, but when the booming gets close it wakes me up, and I stay awake, with the earplugs no longer doing their job.

Last night's booming sleep disturbance was compounded, when it woke me up, by a bedroom so cold I got up to see if I left the A/C on.

The A/C was off. But by dawn's early light I found out why my bedroom was unnaturally cold and why the booming seemed louder than the norm.

I don't remember opening it, but my bedroom window was slightly open, thus allowing the naturally air-conditioned outer world air to blow in.

Currently that aforementioned outer world is being chilled to only 56 degrees. That is way colder than air-conditioned air.

I have a bad feeling about this current syndrome of day after day of storms in North Texas.

There has been a lot of building in the D/FW zone since the last time a mega gully washer hit. Particularly in the north Fort Worth area, which is where the flood above is located.

This area needs some sort of government agency to address flood control issues in towns like Haltom City, which has had some killer flash floods, with little done to mitigate the bad planning which leads to the bad flooding.

An agency called TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District) is responsible for mitigating flood issues in some of the D/FW zone, but mainly concerns itself with building imaginary islands, building bridges to imaginary islands, building restaurants, building drive-in movie theaters, building ice rinks, building wakeboard parks, opening ballparks, rescuing bankrupt friends, staging floating river beer parties and keeping themselves employed or re-elected or both....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A River Legacy Trinity River Walk On A Freshly Painted Boardwalk While In Fort Worth...

Today I needed a mouse. I targeted Target as the location to get a mouse.

Target is near where the Indian Ghosts haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, so I figured after getting a mouse I'd go have myself a mighty fine time walking with my favorite ghosts.

Well, that plan went awry when I got to the Historical Area's parking lot to find it blocked, with the blocking gate telling me the park was closed due to flooding.

I then decided to drive a few more miles east and go walking in River Legacy Park, a location I don't think I had been to, this year, til today.

What you are looking at above is the Trinity River, flowing with a lot of water, with my river viewing vantage point provided by the River Legacy Park Boardwalk Overlook.

Arlington seems to maintain Boardwalks a bit better than Fort Worth maintains their Gateway Park Boardwalks, what with the River Legacy Park Boardwalk not being boarded up, not falling apart. And looking as if it has recently received a fresh coat of paint.

New signage has been installed at the trail head of the, currently closed, River Legacy Park mountain bike trail. There are three iterations of that which you see above. There's the big version you see here, in the parking lot, with two smaller versions, one at the entry to the mountain bike trail, one at the hiker's entry.

Very well done signage, showing all 12 miles plus of trail. The old sign was outdated, showing only the original few miles.

Arlington's River Legacy Park is, by far, the best park I've found in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

On Saturday I found rather bizarre signage in Fort Worth's Gateway Park, with that signage put up by America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I blogged about that signage in Finding Imaginative Sign Progress By America's Biggest Boondoggle On Saturday Gateway Park Bike Ride.

On that Gateway Park sign America's Biggest  Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision Boondoggle, tells the gullible The Boondoggle is launching projects which will turn Gateway into a "world class park" by adding some new restrooms and some other things, like benches and security lighting.

How it that Arlington builds what would seem to me to be what must be considered "world class parks" without putting up signs telling their park's many visitor that Arlington is turning a park into a "world class park"?

Would a world class city actually ever refer to anything about their town as "world class"?

It seems to me to be sort of, well, classless, to do so. That and tacky. And embarrassing.

Particularly when it is blatant propaganda puffery and not even remotely true....

Incoming Smoked Salmon From Nephew Joey While Nephews JR & CJ Find Hoodoos

Yesterday I blogged about Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey's Big King Salmon Catch Of The Day.

That would be Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey you are looking at, a few years prior to recently catching a big  fish.

I used to see that volcano you see here from my Mount Vernon kitchen window. That would make that volcano Mount Baker. This volcano has not erupted since the 1800s, if I remember right.

On the day this photo was taken Joey and I hiked up Mount Baker til we could safely go no further, but close enough to see the steam spouting from the volcano's crater and smell the sulfur.

I heard from my Favorite Nephew Joey this morning, with the following message....

Fresh smoked salmon is highly requested by all of the non fishing family members. The  order in which I distribute my catch usually starts with my grand parental units on my mother's side, and filters down to bribes with my coworkers. However, I believe this is a third or forth time you have requested this highly sought after delicacy. I believe persistence pays off, so the next time I catch a fish it will be smoked and sent to Texas. I will inform you prior to its arrival.

I don't remember making smoked salmon requests, but I am old and my memory is shot, sometimes.

Looking for a photo of my Favorite Nephew Joey I came upon the photo you see below.

That would be my Favorite Nephew Jeremy (JR) on the left, with my Favorite Nephew Christopher (CJ) on the right, a few years prior to moving to Arizona.

Behind JR & CJ is Mount Shuksan. This location is on the north side of Mount Baker, opposite the side of Mount Baker Joey and I were on in the first photo. CJ is looking towards Mount Baker, which looms large a short distance away.

Where JR & CJ are sitting is the top of Tabletop Mountain. Access to the Tabletop Mountain parking lot usually opens late in the summer, after a lot of snow melts. This year I suspect the parking lot will be opening earlier than the norm, due to Washington's current drought emergency.

Can you see what caught my eye in the photo of JR & CJ? Between where they are sitting and Mount Shuksan?

A line of Hoodoos!

Just yesterday Tacoma's Queen V pointed me to an extremely impressive video showing Hoodoos being made in exotic locations. Then destroyed.

The Tabletop Mountain Hoodoos are in a slightly more scenic location than that place I frequently find Hoodoos nowadays, that being the Tandy Hills....

How Come The People Of Denton Have Not Shut The Town Down Protesting Abbott's Ban of Anti-Fracking Bans?

A couple days ago in a blogging titled In Seattle Protesting Pot & Impeaching A Mayor I mentioned something along the line of the fact that I will be reading a west coast newspaper online, like the Seattle Times or Post-Intelligencer or San Francisco Chronicle and think to myself, well, that is something I would never read in the Star-Telegram regarding such a thing happening somewhere in Texas.

In that same blogging I also opined, "Protesting is something I have long made note of being absent, for the most part, at my current location on the planet, where there would seem to be so much to protest about. Fracking earthquakes come to mind."

Well, this morning it happened again. That which you see above is a screen cap from this morning's Seattle Times. Yesterday, thousands of teachers, and others, staged a protest march in Seattle during a one day strike.

Over the weekend hundreds of kayakers protested a Shell Oil rig being floated into Seattle's Elliott Bay before heading north to poke holes in the Arctic seabed.

Meanwhile, in Texas, yesterday the new governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed a bill into law which he claimed "protects private property rights from the heavy hand of regulation".

Last year a Texas town made national news when that town's voters voted to ban fracking in Denton. This upset the oil and gas industry, which pretty much controls Texas state government and so the oil and gas industry got their Republican lackeys, that they'd installed in Austin, to pass a bill banning Texas towns from banning fracking.

Denton banned fracking when that town's people  got tired of the heavy handed gas industry abuse of their private property due to shoddy operations causing things like a well explosion, and noisy drilling near homes and schools. Along with earthquakes and air pollution.

So, why are not freedom loving, independent, free-thinking Texans who live in Denton not staging massive protests over this heavy handed gas industry usurpation of their right to have a say over what is allowed in their town?

Denton is a college town, for gawd sakes. Why have the college students in Denton not shut the town down in protest?

Greg Abbott is already a national joke. Achieving that status far faster then his two predecessors.

If the people of Denton staged a massive protest march, such as you see above, it would get national attention, with the nation's outrage focused on the outrageous bill which yesterday the Texas governor signed into law.

Come on Texans in Denton, don't be sheep.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey's Big King Salmon Catch Of The Day

What you are looking at here is a 66 pound 12 ounce King Salmon.

The catcher of the big fish is Spencer Jack's Favorite Uncle, my Favorite Nephew Joey.

I am guessing the location of the Big Catch is either somewhere in Washington's San Juan Islands, or further north, in the Straits of Georgia or Charlotte zone of British Columbia, near Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island is a real island, not an imaginary island of the sort Fort Worth imagines and then takes four years to build three little bridges, over dry land, from the mainland to the imaginary island.

No bridge connects Vancouver Island to the mainland. That would take one mighty long bridge. Ferry boats are how you get your vehicle to Vancouver Island.

Joey inherited the Jones Family fishing gene. Joey's brother, Jason, did not inherit the fishing gene. Nor did I.

I do not know if Spencer Jack takes after Joey or Jason and me in the fishing gene department.

Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey smokes a lot of the salmon he catches. It is safe to eat the fish you catch in the waters of Washington and British Columbia.

Unlike my current location, where, for the most part, fish you catch are not safe to eat, particularly if caught in the Trinity River.

I have a box of smoked salmon in my kitchen which arrived last Christmas. That smoked salmon did not come from my Favorite Nephew Joey.....

Borderer Texans Violent Plain Spoken Honorable Braggadocio

A couple days ago I was commiserating with a fellow former Pacific Northwesterner about how so much of what goes on in Texas is so different from what we'd long experienced whilst living on the west coast.

I wondered if it is just a Southern thing, myriad cultural differences, passed on through the generations from long ago, which seem so alien compared to our experience in a more progressive, liberal, free-spirited, highly educated part of America?

And then my fellow former Pacific Northwesterner said a word that made no sense to me.


Huh? What does that mean?


I Googled "Borderers in America" and soon had some understanding of the Borderer concept and how it applies to Texas.

One of the links that came up from Googling "Borderers in America" was a book titled The Texas Right.

Below is a blurb from that book...

A degree of conformity within the community. With a suspicion of outsiders and a tendency to preserve local control over the behavior and beliefs of the community members.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Some links about "Borderers in America"-----------

The Borderer Legacy Haunts America

E Pluribus Contentio: The Origins (and Dangers) of the Tea Party Shutdown

Yo, Pundits! Here's What's Up With the Republicans

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Aren't Thousands Of Kayakers Protesting Fort Worth's Shady Shenanigans?

Apparently Chief Seattle is watching what Shell Oil is up to in the Pacific Northwest, what with Shell Oil moving a big oil rig into Seattle's Elliott Bay.

Watching video of the massive protests taking place in Seattle this past weekend, contrasted with the massive herd of sheep who populate, for the most part, where I am currently located on the planet, well, it has me wanting to move back to a location in America where most of the people graduate from high school without needing the state's governor to negate graduation exams.

In Seattle, well, in the entire Pacific Northwest, well, let's expand the area to include the entire west coast, if a local congressperson's unqualified son were hired to oversee a public works project the public was never allowed to vote on, well, the outcry, the protest, the demand for a criminal investigation, would be so immediate that no idiot would even try to pull off something so absurd.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, Congresswoman Kay Granger's son, J.D., formerly a low level Tarrant County prosecutor, is nearing starting his second decade of being paid well over 100K a year, to oversee America's Biggest Boondoggle, currently taking four years to build three simple little bridges, over dry land, to connect the mainland to an imaginary island.

With the locals, apparently, having no problem with this embarrassing bit of nepotism, so used are they to the Fort Worth Way of their town being run as an oligarchy, where local elected officials can finagle sweetheart deals to rescue bankrupt friends by buying said friend's contaminated property for double market value, paying for the property with taxpayer funds and then finagling to build on that property the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century.

Is the corrupt public official who finagled this deal currently under investigation or charged with a crime?


In Fort Worth he magically gets re-elected with an improbably large landslide.

With nary a protest to be heard.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, a town filled with people who care about the environment, about social issues, about basic human values, this past weekend, and continuing on this week, we see what you see in the below video, something you would never see in Fort Worth, unless you called it a Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float.

With beer....

In Seattle Protesting Pot & Impeaching A Mayor

I have opined a time or two, or maybe three, about the stark differences between my old home zone of the state of Washington and my current home zone of the state of Texas.

On Sunday, yesterday, reading the Seattle Times, online, those stark differences were starkly noticeable.

First example.

The mayor of Bothell, with Bothell being a Seattle suburb, is in hot water due to what some, apparently, believe to be ethics violations over the purchase of something to do with a golf course.

Resulting in impeachment signs sprouting around town.

Meanwhile, in Texas, in Fort Worth, the voters, and law enforcement, apparently, have no problem with an elected official finagling to rescue a bankrupt friend by arranging to use taxpayer's money to buy said friend's contaminated property for double market value.

In Texas such a thing does not cause an impeach impulse, it triggers a re-elect in a landslide impulse.


Protesting is something I have long made note of being absent, for the most part, at my current location on the planet, where there would seem to be so much to protest about.

Fracking earthquakes come to mind.

Meanwhile in Seattle.

The Seattle locals, and other Pacific Northwesterners, are not happy with the idea of oil drilling rigs poking holes in the Arctic Ocean. Shell Oil moving an oil drilling rig into Puget Sound, and Seattle's Elliott Bay, is what set off the massive 'kayaktivists' protests this past weekend.

Which leads us to Washington's pot problem, a problem we do not have in Texas, because pot has not been legalized in the Lone Star State, where the Lone Ranger and Tonto regularly used marijuana to calm their jangled nerves.

I did not know that legalizing marijuana in Washington included pot snacks and confections, with those pot edibles migrating across the country to "dry" states.

Texas is a dry state, pot-wise. And also in the not totally over Prohibition-wise. I live in what is known as a Texas wet zone where beer, wine and liquor can be sold. A short distance from my location one enters a dry zone where one can not buy beer, wine or liquor.

If Texas legalized marijuana, which has been considered lately, would pot be legal in the dry zones?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Do Grover Cleveland & Tammany Hall Have To Do With Fort Worth's 7th Street Gang?

"Ma ma where's my pa" by Frank Beard (1842−1905)
The recent TRWD Board Election featured the most ridiculous mud slinging smears I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

The TRWD Board incumbents have in their employ, for election time smearing, a professional character assassin named Bryan Epstein.

Mr. Epstein came up with the genius tactic of informing voters that an evil Dallas businessman was plotting to take Fort Worth's water while digging up a World War II veteran's grave and if voters did not vote for the incumbents they would soon be drinking toilet water.

Yeah, it's sort of funny when you sum it up like that. But it wasn't so funny finding this absurd propaganda in my mailbox. Or that Fort Worth's highly educated, highly intelligent voters, supposedly, were easily able to be influenced by lies, smears, propaganda and an irrational fear of Dallas.

I do not know if Mr. Epstein was practicing his craft back in 1884. What I do know is the presidential campaign of 1884 had some character assassinating of the sort that some TRWD Board incumbents would be totally okay with.

Corruption in politics was the big issue in the election of 1884, just like it should have been in the Tarrant Region election of 2015.

Grover Cleveland was the reform candidate, a Democrat, with a spotless reputation. James G. Blaine was the Republican candidate. Blaine had a reputation for corruption and scandals being linked to him.

As the campaign began it was said that not since George Washington had a presidential candidate been so renowned for his rectitude as was Grover Cleveland.

Then the Republican character assassins struck.

Something unseemly had been discovered in Cleveland's past.

In cahoots with a publicity seeking preacher named George Ball, the Republicans accused Cleveland of fathering a child without marrying the mother, whilst he was a lawyer in Buffalo, New York.

The Republican's campaign chant became "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa?"

Cleveland quickly admitted he had been paying child support since 1874 to Maria Crofts Halpin, who claimed Grover was the baby daddy of a boy she named Oscar Folsom. Apparently Miss Halpin led a busy social life, "friendly" with several men, including Grover's friend and law partner, Oscar Folsom, after whom she named the boy.

Cleveland was the only bachelor among the men who had been "friendly" with the baby mama, so he took responsibility for the baby, so as to spare the other's marital woes.

Shortly before the voting took place in the 1884 election the Republican press published an affidavit from Miss Halpin in which she claimed that until Grover corrupted her she was "Pure and spotless and that there is not, and never was, a doubt as to the paternity of our child, and the attempt of Grover Cleveland, or his friends, to couple the name of Oscar Folsom, or any one else, with that boy, for that purpose is simply infamous and false."

Voters in 1884 were not as easily duped by sleazy campaign tactics as Texas voters, well, Tarrant Region voters are in 2015, because Grover Cleveland won that election. At the victory celebration the celebration chant became "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!"

Grover Cleveland went on to win the popular vote in two more elections.

But he did not become president for a second term after winning his second election.

Even though Grover Cleveland won the popular vote in his second presidential race he did not get to continue being America's president.

New York's infamous Tammany Hall rigged the election.

Tammany Hall was able to deny Cleveland the electoral votes of his home state, giving the presidency to Benjamin Harrison, who did not do too well on the job, so the voters re-elected Grover Cleveland in 1892, with Tammany Hall unable to stop Grover a second time.

New York's infamous Tammany Hall corrupted New York, and national, politics for a long time, from after the Civil War, well into the next century, rigging elections, shady business deals, graft, bribery, all sorts of corruption.

Fort Worth's Tammany Hall equivalent is known as The 7th Street Gang.

I do not know how long this gang has been in control of Fort Worth. Or how many elections they have rigged......

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Finding Imaginative Sign Progress By America's Biggest Boondoggle On Saturday Gateway Park Bike Ride

Long ago, almost every Saturday, I took my handlebars to Gateway Park to roll over the mountain bike trail before going treasure hunting at Town Talk.

Well, due to excessive mud the Gateway Park mountain bike trails are currently not rollable, but the paved trails are.

What you are looking at over my handlebars is Gateway Park's Trinity Falls, currently with the Trinity River running high, rendering the Trinity Trail bridge over the river uncrossable.

I don't know why a road has been scratched through the levee, scratched all the way to the river. I saw construction activity today in Gateway Park in addition to the scraped levee.

I found the sign my handlebars are pointing at above to be a bit amusing. Sanitary sewer relocations? Hasn't that old sewage treatment plant in Gateway Park been abandoned for decades? They're relocating it? The Sanitary Sewer Relocations are for the Trinity River Vision - Central City Project & the Trinity Uptown Service Area?

Whoever made this sign must not have gotten the memo that America's Biggest Boondoggle is now called Panther Island.

Trinity River Vision Central City Project Trinity Uptown is so last decade.

Continuing on I came to some new paved trail damage on the Gateway Park trails. The flooding river has done some fresh trail undermining.

It has been quite a few years since the remnants of Hurricane Hermine flooded the Trinity River and did the original damage to the paved trail, which the latest flood has enhanced. Is the damaged trail finally going to be fixed? I have no idea.

Continuing on, arriving back at the mountain bike trail soccer baseball parking lot, I saw the sign you see below.

America's Biggest Boondoggle loves its signage. For years now there has been a HUGE installation of Boondoggle signage by the Gateway Park dog park.

The above sign tell us....

 "As part of the Trinity River Vision Master Plan, we're counting down to the launch of some major improvements to Gateway that will make 2015 a big year for progress. Improvements have already been launched in both east and west Gateway Park, many of which are scheduled to be complete this year. Thanks to the project partners for making Gateway Park a world class park for our city!"

Oh the hubris, the raw galling hubris. World class park? Counting down to the launch of some improvements? Improvements have already been launched? I thought we just read we were counting down to the launch?

I'm stuck on "world class park"

What exactly is a "world class park" I am wondering?

Can a "world class park" be world class  if it sports dozens of outhouses like Gateway Park currently sports?

In the middle of the sign are two illustrations of the progress coming to Gateway Park, including that which you see below.

The above illustration tell us "This scenic river observation deck is one of many amenities going into Gateway Park East in 2015, thanks to the City of Fort Worth Parks Department".

Fort Worth is finally going to repair the long boarded up boardwalk eyesores which have been an embarrassment in this world class park for a decade or longer? Or is this to be a new overlook at a different location, with the existing boardwalk remaining a boarded up eyesore?

Last summer I made a video of the boarded up boardwalk in Gateway Park East. Let me see if I can find that video. I'll be right back. Okay, I found it. I'll stick the video in at the end, but first let's look at what we learn on the right side of the sign.

A comprehensive list of those aforementioned "improvements" which have either launched or will soon launch.

The sign tells us that coming in 2015 to Gateway Park East we will see new benches & tables, extra security lighting, additional restrooms, pedestrian bridges, new picnic pavilions, trail extensions, a new trailhead and something called "sights and sounds of nature" children's learning area.

Additional restrooms? Since there are no public restrooms in Gateway Park, of the modern indoor plumbing sort (except in the baseball park, open only when games are being played) are these additional restrooms more outhouses? I would assume so.

Outhouses are the restroom facilities at one of the world's premiere outdoor music venues, The Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion, where there is no island or pavilion.

Does it not strike you, as it does me, that these are rather meager park improvements? Is it really necessary to install a sign letting park visitors know more outhouses are being added in 2015?

I have grown tired of typing, so I will keep the Town Talk talk short. Suffice to say, I got a lot of good stuff today.

Anyway, below is the aforementioned video of a walk on the current Gateway Park East boarded up boardwalk....