Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Walk Through Gateway Park Checking The Boondoggle's Progress

I think til today it had been over a month since I'd done any treasure hunting at Town Talk.

Gateway Park is between my abode and Town Talk. So, I decided to walk around Gateway Park on the way to Town Talk, figuring I would check in on the progress of America's Biggest Boondoggle's construction in the park.

With the construction in Gateway Park being yet one more "product" of The Boondoggle I did not expect to see much progress, unlike the road and bridge building project taking place on the north side of Gateway Park, the upgrade to 1st Avenue East, which is making rapid progress, with the bridge piers for the bridge across the Trinity taking shape, but with no propaganda touting such as a major accomplishment.

Like I said the upgrade to 1st Avenue East is not a product of The Boondoggle. It appears to be a well engineered, well designed project, quickly getting built.

I digress. Back to Gateway Park.

The photo you see at the top. That is a sign near the trailhead for the Gateway Park mountain bike trail. If I remember right I have made mention of this sign previously. Today, looking at that sign, something struck me as noteworthy. Under the heading of things "Coming in 2015 to Gateway Park East" among the items on the list is "ADDITIONAL RESTROOMS".

Additional restrooms? How do you have additional restrooms when you currently have no public restrooms? A 100 feet north of the above sign you see that which you see below.

Yes, what you see above is what passes for a "restroom" in Gateway Park, just as it does in most of Fort Worth's city parks.


As you can see this installation of outhouses has been prettified with a concrete enclosure. The plus-sized outhouse at the end is plus-sized so as to accommodate wheel chairs. Isn't that thoughtful? But there is no place to wash ones hands after using these outhouses. Isn't that disgusting? How does a town get away with having public parks with no running water? Isn't that some sort of health code violation?

The above outhouse installation is not the only one located on this parking lot. There are a few other outhouses sitting at other locations on this parking lot, but without the prettifying concrete enclosures. All the Gateway Park parking lots have outhouse installations.

More on the Gateway Park outhouses later as we take a walk to the west side of Gateway Park to check out the current state of the new overlook being built to replace the old boarded up eyesore that had been making eyes sore for a decade, give or take a year.

Well, there has been some progress since I looked at this a month or so ago. The overlook is taking shape. Looks like there is a lot to get done though if this is going to be open for overlooking by the end of 2015.

From the overlook I decided to head east on the paved trail to see the current status of one of the new trail bridges I saw in the making the last time I was at this location.

Well, the paved trail does not yet connect to the new footbridge, a wood plank currently makes that connection.

The Gateway Park paved trails are rather messed up by this project. Could it not be done in a more cohesive, less sloppy manner? The mountain bike trail has been messed with in several locations. A lot of work had gone into the mountain bike trails. A lot of work will be required to restore the mountain bike trails to their pre-Boondoggle glory.

I think I have mentioned previously that I find it bizarre how much America's Biggest Boondoggle likes its signage. Sign propaganda is about the only thing The Boondoggle does well.

The massive sign installation by the Fort Woof Dog Park in Gateway Park is the most astonishing bit of propaganda signage I have seen produced by The Boondoggle. I've made note of this a number of times, if my memory is serving me correctly.

The Boondoggle's Fort Woof signs have had an update. See the big sign above, in front of all the other signs? Notice another sign stuck under the big sign? Let's get a close up look at what that update is telling us.

Oh my, America's Biggest Boondoggle paid someone to make a new sign announcing "CONSTRUCTION NOW UNDERWAY". With  two scenic river overlooks, paved trail upgrades, children's learning center, pedestrian bridges, bench, water fountains and...


Upgraded restrooms? Are these different than the "Additional Restrooms" we read about on the first sign we saw today? There will be upgraded restrooms at a new trailhead? Where is this new trailhead? How do you upgrade restrooms in a park which has no restrooms?

Is The Boondoggle upgrading the outhouses? Maybe painting the concrete enclosures? Or putting concrete enclosures around the outhouses which are currently not so adorned?

I was recently told that the genius behind America's Biggest Boondoggle's propaganda of the signage sort you see in Gateway Park and those embarrassing slick quarterly updates The Boondoggle mails to voters who have never been allowed to voted on this project, telling those voters all the progress that has been made since the last quarterly update. You know, like the Fall of 2014 quarterly update breathlessly told about the TNT explosion that mark the start of construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect Fort Worth's mainland and an imaginary island.

Was it in the Spring quarterly update that we got told about the amazing feat of engineering achieved with the construction of the wooden forms for the little bridge's V-piers?

That paragraph that started with me saying I was recently told who the genius was behind The Boondoggle's propaganda turned into a run-on sentence that got away from me.  Anyway, I was told it was the notorious propaganda artist, Bryan Eppstein who is behind The Boondoggle's public relations. Apparently Eppstein was hired to help repair The Boondoggle's bad public image. I recollect mentioning something in relation to that, which had me offering advice for free regarding The Boondoggle's bad public image, with that advice being you can repair your bad public image by "Getting something done you clueless boobs" or something like that.

Did those running The Boondoggle really think that no one would notice that they have been Boondoggling along for well over a decade, with little to show for the effort?

Did The Boondoggle really think that no one would point out the fact that taking four years to build three simple bridges is just embarrassing? Taking longer to build than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, built over deep, fast moving water.

Did The Boondoggle really think no one would point out that their propaganda about building the bridges over dry land as a planned construction method, cheaper and easier than building over water, was an obvious lie? When the obvious fact of the matter is there will be no water under those bridges until the Trinity River is diverted in the ditch not currently being dug because The Boondoggle is not a fully funded project.

I was told Bryan Eppstein's propaganda firm has been paid a substantial amount of money to spew out The Boondoggle's propaganda, well over a million bucks. How does that work? The Boondoggle is not a private business. The Trinity River Vision in all its various names is some sort of quasi-public agency. The funds The Boondoggle spends are not private funds, the money spent is taxpayer money. So, The Boondoggle takes your money to build a project you have not voted to build, then takes more of your money to produce propaganda to convince you that they are doing a good job with that money you have given them.

I tell you, the Fort Worth Way of getting things done is very unusual....

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fort Worth Wayward Mayor Betsy Price's Devilish Ballerina Tutu

At some point in the 2008 time frame I began getting emails from someone calling him or herself "Deep Moat".

Deep Moat, I believe, but never had any means to confirm, was an employee of the Trinity River Vision, now known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Deep Moat's inside the TRV tidbits of info came before America's Biggest Boondoggle turned, well, bizarre, what with "products" like its Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the polluted Trinity River at a location the Boondoggle calls Panther Island Pavilion, where there is no island or pavilion.

It was from Deep Moat I learned about the extravagant spending going on inside the Boondoggle that the taxpayers would likely not be happy to hear about.

Things like multiple employees getting company cars, iPhones, iPads, I forget what else. It's been years, but phones and tablets don't seem all that extravagant to me now. I'm likely forgetting a lot of it. I do remember being told of a well stocked liquor supply in the main TRV office. And junkets. Lots of junkets. Junkets which turned into party time. Some junkets being long distance junkets. Some junkets only going to Dallas, with only two people and an overnight stay in a downtown Dallas hotel.

Deep Moat also told me about extramarital flings involving TRV executive officials and subordinate employees. Some of these extramarital flings led to broken marriages in the TRV family of employees.

While it has been years since I have heard from Deep Moat, in recent years I hear from someone who calls him or herself  "Fort Worth Wayward".

It was from Fort Worth Wayward, last year, I learned that J.D. Granger was having his offspring cheer for beer and go nuts for runner's butts.

You can read all about that particular scandal in the blog posting titled  This Morning I Learned J.D. Granger Is Promoting Little Kids Cheering For Beer & Going Nuts For Runner's Butts.

That particular blogging became the posting on my blog with the highest number of page views. And that blogging is one of the few times that a blogging has caused local news entities to contact me wanting details.

I figured that the Going Nuts For Runner's Butts Scandal would be the thing that finally got J.D. Granger fired. That that instance would be the thing that finally hammered home the fact that this guy is not suited to be in charge of something like what the Trinity River Vision was purported to be.

You know, a massive public works project designed to enhance flood protection and stimulate economic development, where there was already flood protection and where economic development is unlikely a result of this dithering Boondoggle.

So, back to today and that photo you see above. That was brought to me via incoming email from the aforementioned Fort Worth Wayward"s email address Fort Worth Wayward*** I used that *** to protect Fort Worth Wayward's email anonymity. Don't click on the email link, it won't work unless you can successfully guess what *** is.

That is Fort Worth's mayor, Betsy Price, you are seeing in the above photo, looking like a devil in a ballerina tutu. I assume this must be a photo taken during the most recent Fort Worth City Council Meeting. Likely Betsy is explaining why she, Fort Worth's best public servant, is ignoring the Pulte Wall of Shame.

If I recollect correctly I blogged about this recently in Why Is Fort Worth's Best Public Servant Ignoring The Pulte Wall Of Shame?

Now looking at that photo one might think to oneself that Fort Worth's mayor is a bit of a party girl. I have seen more than one photo which confirms such.

However, I think Fort Worth Wayward's insider info purporting that Betsy Price is in some sort of Cougar Relationship with Kay Granger's wayward son, J.D., is totally ridiculous.

Then again, I've had heard of stranger things, though not often.

J.D.'s mama, Kay, and Betsy, are friends. It was Kay who convinced Betsy to run for mayor of Fort Worth.

But I really don't think Fort Worth has reached a Roman Empire, at its worst, level of demented debauchery.

Then again, how do you explain something like the Trinity River Vision Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision Boondoggle without it being caused by something like lead in the water? That being the element that is believed to have caused the Roman dementia.

Could Fort Worth being the world's most concentrated area of fracking, and that fracking's resultant pollution, be what has driven Fort Worth a bit nuts, as evidenced by Fort Worth's mayor, attired as you see above? And locals willingly getting in an e.coli polluted river to drink beer while listening to music coming from an imaginary island?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Bearded Lady's Coffee & Donut Burger With Mildred's Papa

A year or two ago, maybe three, I acquired yet one more Facebook friend who I do not actually know.

Mildred's Papa.

Mildred's Papa and Mama travel the country watching baseball games, enjoying lunch and dinner in exotic locations.

But none that I made note of while on the road are as exotic as those Mildred's Papa and Mama frequent whilst they are in their home zone of Fort Worth and its environs.

Mildred's Papa and Mama post selfie photos on Facebook documenting their attendance at various baseball games in various locations along with documenting, via the selfie method, what was had for lunch and dinner.

Such as yesterday's lunch at the Bearded Lady in Fort Worth where the above was had for lunch. A delicious looking Bearded Lady Burger of the Week Coffee and Donut Burger.

The description of the Coffee and Donut Burger below, gleaned from Mildred's Papa's Facebook entry and confirmed on the Bearded Lady Facebook page....

Lunch today! Burger of the Week: Coffee and Donut Burger! Ground Beef Patty stuffed with Blackberry Cream Cheese topped with Cheddar, AVOCA Coffee Glazed Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Candied Pecans on a Paul's Donut's Glazed Donut Bun!

I read the above description of the Coffee and Donut Burger and then made the following comment to Mildred's Papa's Bearded Lady Facebook post...

You and your lovely wife really need to write a How To book explaining how it is you two manage to eat that which you eat and yet remain such svelte figures of fitness.....

The Bearded Lady Facebook page's photo of their Burger of the Week did not look as tasty as Mildred's Papa's photo of the Coffee and Donut Burger.

I like a donut once or twice a decade. Bacon is tasty every once in awhile. I don't think coffee glazed bacon sounds like a good thing. Blackberry cream cheese would likely be tasty on a bagel.  Candied pecans are a good thing. As are caramelized onions

But, all this assembled together?

How is all that held together by a donut bun?

Mildred's Papa and Mama go to a lot of places where something real tasty looking shows up on their table.

Of those I think the most tasty looking item comes from a place called something like Bentley's Pub. There Mildred's Papa gets classic British style fish and chips.

I miss fresh seafood of the cod, crab, halibut, clam and oyster sort.

This fish and chips that Mildred's Papa gets at that Bentley's Pub place looks like a classic fish and chips I  have had myself a time or two at a fish and chip joint at Stanley Park in Vancouver.

The Bearded Lady has an interesting menu which you can peruse by going to the Bearded Lady website.

Who wants to take me out to lunch at the Bearded Lady for a Coffee & Donut Burger?

I hear crickets......

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Climbing Disneyland's Matterhorn Gets Me Melancholy About San Clemente Body Surfing

That which you see here arrived in my email inbox this morning at 12:55 am, sent by my Favorite Nephew Jason, aka FNJ.

The email contained no explanatory text.

The subject line of the email was: Disneyland Park Video jpg.

There was no video included, despite what the subject line said. There also was no photo in the jpg format. The photo that was included is in the png format.

I knew not what to make of this.

I thought that since this was sent about an hour after midnight that FNJ was tired and not thinking clearly.

A few minutes after thinking FNJ was not thinking clearly I was on Facebook where the mystery was cleared up with this...

Jason Jones FUD---We actually were privileged to hike up the Anaheim Matterhorn. Most guests reach such heights using a bobsled. It was a disastrous attempt. I was surprised as anyone might be that we were allowed this opportunity. Nonetheless, to make a short story.... Disney has pictures logged of this. I will contact those folks in Anaheim and see if I can provide you with photo documentation of our journey up one of Disneyland's four mountains.

The photo documentation to which FNJ refers is the photo you see above. At least I am assuming such.

When I read "one of Disneyland's four mountains" I could only think of one, at first, that being the Matterhorn. Then I remembered Space Mountain. After that I remembered Thunder Mountain. But, currently I can not think of a fourth Disneyland mountain.

Disneyland exists in my memory as far back as my memory goes. When mom and dad took me and my siblings to Disneyland for the first time I was 13. That trip was the best, funnest family vacation we ever took. And that covers a lot of fun family vacations.

Recently my little brother wrote a rather well written story of his memories of that trip. The first trip to Southern California was so much fun the following summer we did Disneyland and Southern California again. My little brother and I have been trying to differentiate those two trips, finding doing so difficult. Like I realized it was on the second trip we took that twisty ride down Lombard Street in San Francisco, because we did not know of Lombard Street til we saw it on the Circlevision attraction  in Disneyland the year before.

So, in my 13th year on the planet I had my first visit to Disneyland. My last visit to Disneyland was on Christmas Day of 1994.

21 years ago.

For some reason realizing this particular passage of time is making me feel melancholy.

I remember another Disneyland related time I felt melancholy. I was 21, seven years after my first visit to Disneyland. I was back in Southern California, camping at San Clemente State Park, near the Nixon abode. I was standing on the San Clemente bluff, looking out across the Pacific. The plan was to go to Disneyland the next day. I remember standing there and thinking it seemed such a long time ago, when it was only seven years, that I was there for the first time, with my siblings, and now I was back, without my parental units or siblings. I remember that first day at San Clemente, me and my little brother being so excited to hurry up and find our way down to the ocean. We all had our chores we did to set up camp. We hurried through those chores. Mom and dad knew how anxious we were to get to the ocean. They let us go ahead of them, which was not the norm in a new place, protective mom that we had.

To get to the San Clemente beach you take a trail that cuts through the tall bluffs,  goes under railroad tracks and then opens up on the beach. A beautiful beach with big waves crashing. We were quickly in the water and soon were trying to master the art of body surfing.

I can not remember the last time I went body surfing.

I think I have now gone from feeling melancholy to being depressed.  An ocean breeze and the sound of crashing waves would be a real good thing right about now.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spencer Jack Is Ready To Climb Switzerland's Matterhorn After Climbing Disneyland's

Incoming emails this morning from my Favorite Nephew Jason and my Favorite Great Nephew Spencer Jack, also known as FNJ and FGNSJ.

The emails included several photos, including the one you see here, along with a very short video, which was so short you won't see it here.

In addition to the photos and the short video there was the following message....

Your mother obviously spoiled our photo attempt to throw you off our current whereabouts.

And for the record books, this is only Spencer's 2nd trip to Anaheim in 2015.  I believe.

The choosing of our vacation destination is a complicated process. One that I am not at all involved in.  

This is solely Spencer's job. I merely suggest spots. 

Once he chooses a spot, I handle the travel arrangements and such like matters.

This was not a suggested spot. And I have no inside knowledge as to how Spencer comes up with his final choice. You would have to ask him if you desired to know his trip picking methodology.

I suspect he might have seen an Halloween Disneyland Commercial. The kid is easily persuaded by advertising gimmicks.

I was lobbying for Phoenix or an overnight floating trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  

Both were denied.

In the end, I don't really care where we go, as I just enjoy our time together wherever we are at.

That being said, I should probably ask him what we are doing tomorrow.

Last night he mentioned we may be visiting the Santa Monica Pier.



When I was a much younger boy there was period where I was making annual treks to Southern California and Disneyland. But never twice, or thrice in one year, that I recall.

If I remember correctly I have asked FNJ if he and Spencer Jack have also visited Knott's Berry Farm. I do not remember the answer to that probing question. Knott's Berry Farm is real close to Disneyland. Back in its original iteration, before it became a roller coaster mecca, Knott's Berry Farm was sort of a one of a kind theme park. Now it's become like Six Flags Over Texas on steroids with better landscaping and a lot more variety, including Mrs. Knott's chicken dinner with boysenberry jam on biscuits.

Spencer Jack needs to add Universal Studios in Universal City in Hollywood to his theme park wish list.

And head south to San Diego to go to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park in Escondido.

I think I have been to what is now known as Safari Park twice, if I remember right. The former name for Safari Park was Wild Animal Park. It is the only zoo type place where I have experienced a gorilla getting annoyed at all the gawkers to the point that he began tossing gorilla doo-doo at the crowd. It was a lot more amusing than it sounds.

Safari Park is also the only zoo type place where I found myself peacefully walking along a trail in a jungle-like setting to suddenly find myself face to face with a big tiger.

Spencer Jack, and his dad especially, would really like the Safari Park monorail that takes you on a safari tour above all the wild animals milling about in their recreated natural habitat.

Anyway, I hope FNJ and FGNSJ are having themselves a mighty fine time in Sunny Southern California. But, I suspect they are probably already back home in chilly Washington....

Monday, October 26, 2015

With An Old Lady Saluting Arlington's New Veterans Park Vietnam War Memorial

The other person besides myself who reads this blog is likely looking at that tidy row of outhouses and thinking I must have visited one of Fort Worth's many outhouse infested parks today.

Well, that person would be wrong.

The tidy row of outhouses you see here is a temporary installation in Veterans Park in Arlington.

Arlington is a town whose parks have few outhouses, unless one counts the amazing number of outhouses which dot the parking lots surrounding Arlington's ballparks, as in the place the Texas Rangers play baseball and the crashed spaceship in which the Dallas Cowboys try to play football.

I believe it likely that this tidy row of outhouses was installed in Veterans Park for the use of the crowd which attended the dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Park Vietnam War Memorial.

Let's take a look at the new Veterans Park Vietnam War Memorial.

As I hiked west, up a brown grassy knoll, towards the new memorial, I saw what appeared to be a white-haired little ol' lady saluting something. What is she saluting, I wondered? We will find out.

As I walked towards the saluting senior, and stepped onto the memorial area, the first thing I came upon was what appeared to be a large gold Buddhist urn, filled with coarse sand in which many spent stick of incense were stuck. At the center of the memorial there is a statue of two soldiers. The soldier on the left appears to be Vietnamese, fighting next to an American soldier. The red, white and blue wreath on the left paid tribute to the American soldiers. I assume the yellow and red wreath on the right paid tribute to the Vietnamese soldiers. But I could not read what that wreath was conveying because I am unable to read Vietnamese.

After looking at the wreaths I looked left to see what it was the white-haired senior had been saluting.

A long message on a shiny slab of polished marble or granite or some such polishable stone, of which my photo only shows about half of the message. At the top, in capital letters, "THEY SACRIFICED SO OTHERS COULD LIVE".

The first paragraph, being saluted, "Vietnam was for so many years engulfed in the fires and destruction of  war. More than 2 million soldiers in the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, and more than 1,000,000 soldiers in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and Allied Nations fought valiantly and selflessly side by side for South Vietnam. Countless soldiers suffered injuries and became disabled. More than 300,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and more  than 58,000 American soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice, dying so the people of South Vietnam could live. They died, but their heroic spirits will never die. They were gone, but they are not forgotten."

I think I will not touch the irony in the sentiment expressed above and just leave it alone.

Above and below is a look at the American and South Vietnamese soldiers, fighting side by side. I believe the yellow and red flag, above, in the middle between the American flag and the state flag of Texas, was the South Vietnam flag, back when there was still a South Vietnam.

I was very impressed by Arlington's new Vietnam War Memorial. On one of the shiny slabs of stone we learn who donated the funds to build this memorial. Many of the donors were Vietnamese Americans, some of whom I assume were born in America, some of whom I assume were among those who escaped to America during the final sad chapter of that sad war.

Arlington has a large Vietnamese American community, who have made quite an impact on Arlington in many ways. A positive impact, working hard to make it in their new land, opening restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses.

The last time I had to renew my driver's license, back in August of 2012, I waited in line for hours behind a funny Vietnamese lady. She was one of the Boat People who made it to America back in 1974. She was very young when she left Vietnam, leaving her mom behind. She has made it back twice to Vietnam to visit her mom and other relatives. And her mom has visited once in America.

It works out best for America when we welcome new people, no matter how they get here, with open arms, not demonizing them as illegal aliens. Or so it seems to me.

Another thing. Arlington's new Vietnam Memorial was built very quickly. It seems like only a month ago, or so, I saw the foundation work underway. Clearly no unqualified son of a local congresswoman was in charge of getting this project finished.....

Is Spencer Jack Learning Spanish On His Way To Texas?

Incoming email from my favorite great nephew and nephew, Spencer Jack and Jason, this morning.

Subject line: Spencer Jack learning Spanish whilst traveling.

It appears Spencer Jack is onboard an airplane, holding a book with the book's title being "I'm Going To Texas" which apparently translates into Spanish as "Yo Voy A Texas."

Now, had my mom not called me yesterday while I was walking the aisles of Albertsons, I might be thinking Spencer Jack and his dad were making a guerrilla visit to Texas, with me getting no fair warning and instead getting a phone call asking me to come get them at the airport.


Mom told me that Spencer Jack and his dad were currently in the Southern California zone, not North Texas.

Spencer Jack and his dad are once again visiting Disneyland. I think this makes the third visit with Mickey Mouse this year.

Mom told me that last week my favorite sister, Jackie and my favorite brother-in-law, Jack headed west from Arizona to Disneyland to visit Mickey Mouse with Jackie's youngest sister and her brood of three.

My last visit to Disneyland occurred on Christmas Day of 1994. If I remember right it cost $29.95 to get into Disneyland on that day. Currently it costs around $100 to get into Disneyland. And another $100 to get into Disney California, that being the new theme park adjacent to Disneyland, built where the Disneyland parking lot used to be.

I really don't know if I could get myself $100 worth of fun by going to Disneyland, nowadays. I remember my last visit, over two decades ago, wore me out by closing time. Wore me out even with a mid day break back to the motel for resting purposes.

What I  found much more enjoyable than Disneyland on that visit to the Los Angeles zone was going to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Mr. Nixon was still alive at the time, while Pat Nixon was not. Visiting Pat Nixon's gravesite was oddly melancholy. Mr. Nixon joined her there soon thereafter.

The Nixon Presidential Library has so many interesting elements. For one thing the building is like a palace, with the most deluxe restroom facilities I have ever seen. One area has life size statues of all the world leaders Nixon had known. One area has a large section of the then newly crumbled Berlin Wall. As you walk through the Library it is arranged like a timeline walk through Nixon's life. You hear the Checker's Speech as you walk by the area devoted to the 1952 election. Eventually you come to the dark Watergate Tunnel of Shame. The Tunnel of Shame ends with a room where you can ask questions of Mr. Nixon in a pseudo press conference. I imagine new technology has made this even more impressive than it was in 1994.

In Mr. Nixon's gift shop I got myself an official White House bath towel. I still have that towel. It  has never been used.

I think something like the Nixon Presidential Library is a Disneyland for Adults. And not nearly as exhausting as Disneyland....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Last Sunday Of October Only 25 Degrees Above Freezing In Texas

I do not recollect previously ever seeing that which you see here.

With that thing you are seeing being my computer based temperature monitoring device showing the same temperature as my old home location, Mount Vernon, located in the far northwest state of Washington, is showing, this morning, in the online Skagit newspaper.

57 degrees.

Even though my established criteria for going swimming in the morning requires that the 24 hour average temperature has to be 50 degrees, or above, I decided to fore go the likely too cool pool this morning.

I have not yet felt cold enough to turn the interior climate control device to HEAT mode. That may change as the day progresses.

I suspect the only locations available today for my almost daily bout of hiking, biking or walking would be Mallard Cove Park, Oakland Lake Park or Quanah Parker Park.

Mallard Cove Park went under the last time we got into flood mode, but I've not heard, yet, that the Trinity has risen to that level of flooding.

I suspect this bout of chilling will soon switch back to something more reasonable, in the 80s, I hope.....

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Overnight Dog Dispute Little Girl Shelby Corker Turns Into 25 Year Old Woman

Yesterday afternoon Elsie Hotpepper pointed me to a case of what seemed to be total police incompetence, which led me to blog Fort Worth Police Take Down Little Girl Saving Puppy.

After I blogged about this Elsie Hotpepper asked me why this isn't news? As in why isn't this being reported by local TV news and the Star-Telegram.


This morning's Star-Telegram online front page is telling the story of the police taking down a little girl who saved a puppy.

Overnight the "little girl" has turned into a 25 year old woman.

I do not know if the above was the little girl's mugshot, or not. According to the Star-Telegram Shelby Corker spent Thursday night in jail, before being bailed out on Friday.

Usually the Star-Telegram does not let me read anything but the front page and the weather, but I was allowed to read the article about the Doggie dispute.

The Doggie dispute is a bit more complicated than I thought it was yesterday. But it still seems way too extreme to arrest and jail someone for something like what happened in this instance.

Friday, October 23, 2015

New Monitoring Storm Action From Miss Puerto Rico's Balcony

What you are looking at here is the stormy view, looking northeast, from my neighborhood Albertson's parking lot.

That menacing sky was doing its menacing in the noon time frame. I'd been to Walmart, forgot to get eggs, and so I stopped at Albertsons to correct that mistake.

Upon returning to my abode there was a respite from storminess. During that respite, post-lunch, pre the next storm, I drove over to Miss Puerto Rico's to pick up a couple items.

One of the items was a flat panel computer monitor.  A real big one. I'm looking at it right now. It will take some getting used to. Using two computer screens comes in real handy. The previous second screen was a bulky antique thing from sometime way back in the previous decade.

Whilst at Miss Puerto Rico's Belly Baby and I went outside to take the stormy picture you see below, looking north from Miss Puerto Rico's balcony.

It is now a few minutes past  five in the afternoon. So far no major storming. Just a little extra drippage. I suspect the respite from drippage and thunder booming will not be a long respite....

Fort Worth Police Take Down Little Girl Saving Puppy

A couple hours ago I was in the midst of conferring via the video phone method when the annoying phone made its incoming text message noise. When I finished conferring I checked to see the incoming text message to see it came in from Elsie Hotpepper, telling me she had Facebook messaged me with something totally appalling.

When I get a message like this my initial reaction is to assume it is something appalling I have done. Or said. Or  both.

Elsie Hotpepper's Facebook message sent me to another Facebook page, StandwithShelby. The StandwithShelby Facebook page had a link to a StandwithShelby website, courtesy of her attorney.

Both StandwithShelby webpages told the same appalling story, about yet one more convoluted thing happening in Texas that has given rise to the Internet meme graphic with the outline of the State of Texas, with the text saying "Day In A Row Without Texas Being A National Embarrassment" Then below that a big ZERO.

Fort Worth is the epicenter of this latest Texas Embarrassment. I'll  copy for your appalled disgust the entirety of the embarrassment that you can also read via going to either of the StandwithShelby webpages linked above.....

Shelby Corker was arrested on October 22, 2015 by the Fort Worth Police Department. Shelby rescued a stray dog that had no collar, no tags, and no microchip. Shelby took the dog to a veterinary clinic to be cared for. The veterinary doctor informed Shelby that the dog had been severely neglected. The dog was 30 pounds under weight, yeast infections in both ears, and a polyp on the lower lid of the right eye causing the eye to be matted closed. To say the least, the dog was in bad shape. Shelby paid to have the dog vaccinated and treated. The veterinary doctor reported that the dog was not receiving proper health care or nutrition.

A stranger contacted Shelby claiming to be the dog’s owner. Shelby was not convinced. The stranger filed a complaint for theft. Fort Worth Detectives threatened Shelby with arrest if she did not hand over the dog. Despite a letter from the veterinary doctor to Fort Worth Police Department, the detective refused to consider the possibility that the dog’s purported owner was abusing the dog. The detective arrived at Shelby’s work. Five police officers arrested this girl who was trying to save a dog. They also sent officers to raid her house.

What the detective failed to realize is that the dog was taken to Fort Worth Animal Care and Control. Fort Worth Animal Care and Control said to take the dog to the humane society. Eventually, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control took the dog. The dog was in the City’s custody when Shelby was arrested. Within hours, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control turned the dog over to the purported owner – the very same person who was responsible for the dog not receiving the proper care and nutrition.

Shelby is represented by Joshua Graham & Associates, PLLC. “Of all the bad people that we could be spending our efforts on, its a shame that so much went into taking down a little girl trying to save a puppy. Shameful.”

A Dark Stormy Friday Morning In Texas With Incoming Hurricane Patricia

Til this Friday morning it had been a long time since I looked out my computer room window to see and hear a thunderstorm accompanied by a downpour of large water pellets.

The downpour of large water pellets and thunder booms started up about an hour after I had returned from my morning bout in the cool pool.

Rain during the night added several inches to the pool depth.

No hiking or biking for me today. Unless I decide to go on an under the bumbershoot stroll.

When I checked in on the news online I was surprised by big HEADLINES screaming the news that the most powerful Pacific hurricane ever measured was blowing wind at around 200 mph, taking aim at Mexico's west coast, then heading towards Texas.

Upon first glance I did not understand why such a powerful hurricane had not been on my news radar for days.


The reason I had not heard of Hurricane Patricia before this morning is because yesterday she was just a little Tropical Depression, which overnight grew to hurricane strength. Did she even have a name yesterday?

The forecasters are forecasting the Patricia is likely to wreak havoc of record breaking proportions when she makes landfall on Mexico.

The fact that the strongest Pacific hurricane ever measured sprang up overnight  is a bit disturbing.

And what happens here in Texas if this already saturated state gets hit by Patricia?

I think I will venture to Walmart this morning and stock up for what may be the Apocalypse.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Pre-Rainstorm Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts

With rain seeming imminent, and with me in need of doing some easy going walking, that and needing some ALDI items, like bread, peanuts, coffee and milk, I ventured out into the incoming storm to have a visit with the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Indian Ghosts.

I overdid it on my last jog/run. This was two days ago, running around Fosdick Lake. On that occasion when I found that running as fast as I can run was way easier than doing such a month ago, I over indulged.

With the result being a sore Achilles zone, if Achilles zone means ankle.

Hence yesterday's taking it easy, and today's  easy walk with the Indian Ghosts. Can you spot any Indian Ghosts behind me via the Giant Village Creek reflecting ball? I only see two.

I experienced no drippage whilst walking along Village Creek. However, it was obvious a storm is moving in. This morning, in the pool, I was dubious about the storm prediction, due to still seeing a lot of blue sky, albeit with a lot of cloud action zipping north at high speed.

Leaving ALDI rain began to drip. By the time I got to John T. White Road, to head west to my abode, I had to turn on the windshield wipers of my new motorized transport device for the first time.

Now that I am back under shelter I eagerly await the first downpour of this storm. Or boom of thunder. So far, only slow drippage is happening....

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Will Incoming Extreme Texas Flooding Reach Biblical Level Requiring An Ark?

Well, this is not good. Earlier today I heard the incoming rain would be delivering between one inch to three over the next few days.

But, the forecast I just read on Facebook, via one of the best weathermen in Texas, John Basham, it will be between 6 and 14 inches which will be hitting the ground between now and Sunday.

Are the reservoirs drained enough from last June's deluge to be able to handle this?

Below is what Meteorologist John Basham had to about what is heading our way....

EXTREME FLOODING FORECAST- FOR A LARGE PART OF TEXAS - ISSUED: 200PM CDT WED OCT 21 2015 - Heavy and Flooding Rainfall is Possible across a large part of Texas through this Sunday including the very populated Interstate 35 Corridor. The Cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi are in the area where significant flooding rainfall can occur through Sunday. Computer modeling forecasts show this area receiving between 6 and 14 inches of rain through Sunday evening. Isolated amounts along the Red River in Northeast Texas could easily exceed 1 foot of rainfall through this time period. This is a serious flooding risk. Persons in these areas who live near low lying or flood prone areas should be prepared to seek higher ground. Persons who have equipment, livestock, or pets in flood prone areas need to move them now as flash flooding will not afford you the time to save your stock, property, or pets. This is a potentially dangerous situation across a large part of Texas. Emergency Managers, First Responders, and National & State Guard forces should prepare for an emergency flooding scenario across a large region. We will be updating this forecast as new data offers greater resolution to the flooding threat. THIS IS NOT AN NWS PRODUCT. Meteorologist John Austin Basham Storm Spotter 

Spencer Jack Is Worried About His Grandma Cindy

This morning when I woke up my computer I saw an incoming email from Spencer Jack.

Subject line: Grandma Cindy's Potential Poultry Problem 

The email including the photo you see here, of Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy.

In addition to the photo Spencer Jack wrote a plea for help----

Howdy Great FUD,

My dad has told me that somehow you were acquainted with my Grandma Cindy. I'm worried about her right now.

Can you help?

The only reason I seek your assistance tonight is because my dad says you were a doctor at some point in your life. A MD that one could dial up and ask medical questions to, he says.

I'm struggling to understand  what "dial up" means despite my dads repeated attempts to define such.  He keeps trying to act out a noise that sounded like nothing I have ever heard.

Anyway.... My dad said that people could once dial up my Great FUD and get medical advice years ago when he claims you lived near us.

Me and my dad had dinner at Grandma Cindy's house last night. Pretty good dinner...she fixed me panfried chicken and deviled eggs.  Plus she made me a special milkshake for dessert.

Does my great ex-MD FUD think grandma Cindy had an allergic reaction to the poultry?

I refused to share my milkshake with her, so I'm pretty sure it is not a dairy issue.

Please help.

She is soon retiring, and thus on a fixed income and just a few years shy of Medicaid eligibility.

Looking forward to hearing your diagnosis.

Your FGN Spencer Jack


Below is my reply to Spencer Jack's query.....

Howdy FGN Spencer Jack,

You are such a good grandson, worrying about your Grandma. I will try and answer your questions.

First off, yes, I am acquainted with your Grandma Cindy. Long before you were born your Grandma was married to my brother, your Grandpa Jake, you know, the Grandpa you go to visit in Arizona.

Yes, what your dad told you is true about me being a doctor at one point in time. I was the type doctor  known as a quack. I had a website  that was very popular with sick people called Dialing Doctor Durango. And people did connect to that website via an antique method of connecting to the Internet, using what was known as a telephone line.

And yes again, what your dad told you about me living near where you now live, is true. Back when I was Doctor Durango I lived in Mount Vernon.

I don't know if I can diagnose if your Grandma Cindy had an allergic reaction to poultry, long distance, with only a  photograph to base my diagnosis on. I have not seen your Grandma Cindy in over 7 years, at Bay View State Park, the same day I met you for the first time. Looking at the photo it does appear your Grandma Cindy may have put on a little weight and grown a couple warts on her nose. Did those warts pop out while you were all eating that fried chicken? Is that what you think might be an allergic reaction to poultry?

While I do not have enough diagnostic information what I can do is express ship you a gallon of Doctor Durango Restorative Tonic. You will need to give your Grandma Cindy 4 ounces of the Tonic every day at noon until the jug is empty. Within a week your Grandma Cindy should be well on the way to being restored to how I remember her looking 7 years ago, just like she looks in the below photo.....

Now, Spencer Jack, don't you be sampling any of your Grandma Cindy's Doctor Durango Restorative Tonic. You have to be 21 before you can sample the Tonic.

Yours Truly, Great FUD

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Running With Fort Worth's Fosdick Ducks Wondering About A Fountain Mystery

In the noon time frame I had myself a mighty fine time jogging and running with the Fosdick ducks who like to quack in Oakland Lake Park's Fosdick Lake.

This morning's cool pool bout was the chilliest in a long time. We are at that time of year when a threshold is crossed after which the cool pool is too cool to pool.

It has been several years now since the Fosdick Fountain made it mysterious appearance. When the Fosdick Fountain began its water spouting it did so by squirting water upwards about 30 feet. Then the Fosdick Fountain died, with no more squirting. A year or so after its death the Fosdick Fountain came back to life in the burbling fashion you see above.

Prior to the Fosdick Fountain coming to life there had been no plumbing work in evidence. I am at Oakland Lake Park frequently and saw nothing being worked on which would explain why a fountain suddenly appeared.

There were several people jogging and running around Fosdick Lake today. I think the cooler temperature is the reason for this. I saw two moms trying to get in shape, each running whilst pushing a baby carriage with a baby on board.

I am sure liking how doing this jogging/running thing is making me feel. Endorphins are addictive....

Monday, October 19, 2015

An Uneventful Visit With Coco & Belly Baby

You are looking at Coco Bella here. That would be Coco on the left, with Bella, also known as Belly Baby, behind her sister.

This morning the sisters, well, their mother, text messaged me, telling me they missed me.

I texted back that I would visit the Babies this afternoon. And so I did.

Last Monday when I visited the Babies, Belly Baby ran and hid under the bed. The week before that was the last time I successfully picked up Belly Baby. Which by the way is not something someone with a weak back would want to be doing. That last pick up of Belly Baby did not last too long.

That pick up ended with extended hissing, for no apparent reason.

Today, when I entered the Babies' abode, the first thing I did was close the door to the hide under the bed location. I then said hello to Coco who was in her regular position, guarding the computer room from her computer chair lookout post.

I looked for Belly Baby in the computer room. Could not find her there. I reopened the under the bed location and looked under the bed. No Belly Baby there. I then went back to the TV room and quickly saw that Belly Baby was sitting in the prime TV viewing chair. She must have been at that location when I entered, but due to the lack of light, due to blinds being closed, I do not see too clearly upon entry.

I left Belly Baby where she was and returned to the computer room to pick up Coco.

Coco seemed pleased to get picked up. I sat down with Coco on a chair opposite from the one Belly Baby was on. I expected Belly Baby to run away, but she just sat there staring.

After a few minutes Coco jumped off my lap and walked to the chair Belly Baby was sitting on. At that point Coco did one of the weirdest cat things I have ever seen. She pretty much stood up on her hind legs, meowing at Belly Baby while she was doing so. After about a minute of hemming and hawing, but not hissing, Coco hopped up on the chair to join her sister, which is what brought about the picture you see above.

Belly Baby looks as if she may have lost some of her big belly since I last saw her. I did not attempt to pick Belly Baby up today. I have a hard time getting over being hissed at for no apparent reason....

Apparently One Should Not Bother Trying To Explain Things To Idiots

I saw that which you see here a couple days ago on the world's most popular social network.

I thought it to be amusing.

And so true.

Around the time of the last Tarrant Region Water District Board Election I picked up a few Fleas, I mean Friends, on that aforementioned world's most popular social network.

I would get one of those "Confirm Friend" messages, with the message informing me that the Friend requester was also Friend's with other specified Friends on my Friends list.

So, I would confirm the Friend requests of the Friends I'd never met and knew nothing about, if they were Friends with someone who was an actual Friend who I had actually met, such as Elsie Hotpepper.

The world's most popular social network has this thing called "The Timeline" where you see some of what your "Friends" have posted,  along with the comments to that post.


Some of these new "Friends" of mine have a mindset totally alien to mine. Mindsets which think it is an okay thing to verbalize outrageous nonsense about our president.

Hateful, bigoted, ignorant, dangerous nonsense.

Such as suggesting that it it time for a patriot to save America by taking out the president.

I believe making such a suggestion is a crime punishable by jail time. But the fact that suggesting such a thing is wrong in so many ways does not stop those with muddled thought processes from making such suggestions.

Which is very disturbing.

And then there are those who think it the height of cleverness to refer to our president as "Obummer".

Isn't that witty? Obummer.

It is sort of depressing reading the comments to some of what these "Friends" post. Like it is a window into something very dark and disturbing. I get the same sick feeling reading comments to a story on FOX News online. A few voices of reason try to talk sense to the ignorant nutjobs,  to no avail. Usually doing so gets the reasonable, educated, intelligent person insulted with that label the right wing nutjobs think is a searing insult.


Or Libber.

Or Libtard.

I restore my belief in the basic sanity of most Americans when I get off FOX News and read a more reputable website that is aimed at educated people, where the comments are cogent, thoughtful, reasonable and the discussion respectful. And where if one of those right wing nutjobs shows up to make an idiotic comment, the idiotic comment maker is shot down with style. And good humor.

Okay, it is now time for me to get off my soapbox for a couple hours.....

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Village Creek Ghost Running With Snake Hunters

Rather than drive to Dallas to go to the last day of the State Fair of Texas I opted instead to do my usual Sunday thing by being a Ghost Runner in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

As you can see, the current chilly temperature, in the mid-70s, required extra outerwear so as to keep warm.

As I ran along in one of the most isolated locations in the Village Creek zone I came upon a young lady and her boyfriend acting all frazzled, looking intently for something. I figured their dog had run off.

I stopped and asked what they were looking for.

Snakes, was the reply. Snakes? Asked I. Yes, snakes, said the young lady. She told me further down the trail they had almost stepped on a real big snake. I told them they really had nothing much to fear, that I'd only seen a few rattlesnakes, water moccasins and copperheads in this park. That, and the temperature is so chilly cold-blooded snakes can't move too fast. So, no danger.

Later on my run with the Indian Ghosts I came upon the same couple again, still walking slow and intently watching where they were walking. I think they must have been visiting the Great State of Texas from somewhere up north or west, due to the irrational fear of snakes, which is a malady I suffered from when I first arrived in Texas. I remember just the walk to the end of the driveway to pick up the morning paper made me nervous, sure was I that snakes were lurking about.

All these years later I have only had a few encounters with venomous snakes. Those being a rattlesnake in Cedar Hills State Park, a copperhead, cottonmouth and water moccasin in Village Creek, a cottonmouth on the Horseshoe Trails on Lake Grapevine and a copperhead on the River Legacy mountain bike trail.

None of my venomous snake encounters have come even remotely close to me getting a snake bite, with the closest encounter being that rattlesnake on the DORBA Trail in Cedar Hills State Park. That rattlesnake was BIG, coiled up and rattling its tail right beside the trail. I heard the telltale rattle before I saw the snake. It was within striking distance as I zipped by, but it remained coiled and rattling and did not attempt to kill me.

I slept in way past my norm this morning, vertical well after the sun had arrived to do its daily lighting duty. I did not make it to my morning swim til around 8. The pool was cool due to the newly arrived cooler temperature, but even though the pool was cool it was still doable to have myself a mighty fine time seeking endorphins via water aerobics.

The running/jogging thing has really kicked in. It no longer feels awkward. It feels natural. And no aches or pains. Knock on wood. I did some bouts of running as fast as I could today. We'll see if that brings me aches and pains by tomorrow morning.  I suspect I will be pain free.....

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Tandy Hill Hiking Thinking About Real Cascade Hiking Litter & Flat Tires

Today is Saturday. My go to Saturday hiking location is usually the Tandy Hills, weather permitting.

Today the weather was very permitting, so it was to the Tandy Hills I ventured for some salubrious high speed hill hiking.

No, that is not a picture of me laying down on one of the Tandy Hills you are looking at here.

The picture you are looking at here was taken  some time late in the previous century. I am taking a rest atop the peak upon which the Hidden Lake lookout looks out on the North Cascades. That patch of blue is Hidden Lake. We are looking east at what is part of what is known as the Sea of Peaks. When you hike high enough in the North Cascades, you see the ridge of peaks extending north and south, as far as the eye can see, looking like big crashing ocean waves. Hence Sea of Peaks.

To go mountain hiking in the North Cascades I drove a few miles east from my home in Mount Vernon. To go hill hiking in Texas I drive a few miles west from my home in East Fort Worth. Somehow the scenery I see when I hike the Tandy Hills does not quite reach the spectacular scenery level seen when hiking the North Cascades.

In the above photo we are looking west up a semi-steep trail which leads to the new Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom. I do not know what it was about today that got me thinking how pitiful my current hiking venues are, compared to what I now think of as my Glory Days of Hiking in the Cascades, Olympic and Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Maybe it was seeing the un-scenic scene below what got me thinking about how pitiful my current hiking venues are.

This pile of litter was located at the original Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom. Why would someone haul all this junk to this location and leave it there? Prior to seeing this mess I came upon an abandoned raincoat and what looked like a DVR.

There was no Town Talk visit today. Even if I had planned to go to Town Talk, a post-hike trouble would have thwarted a Town Talk visit.

At the end of today's hike, when my vehicle came into view on the summit of Mount Tandy I instantly saw something was wrong, due to the vehicle tilting.

Flat tire.

Another flat tire.

Earlier in the week it was the left front tire. Today it was the right front tire.

I had not yet replaced the spare that I used to get out of the previous flat tire mess. Today required some ingenuity to alleviate the flat dilemma. An hour later I was on my way to the tire doctor where something called a plug fixed the problem.

Previous to the past seven days I believe my last flat tire incident occurred in October of 1994, in Death Valley, about 5 miles from Stovepipe Wells.

How could I go over 20 years without a flat tire and now have two flat tires within one week?

The tire doctor said today's flat was caused by driving over something very sharp which sliced the tire, which is why it was rendered flat within an hour, and not fixable with a plug or patch. I have been driving to the summit of Mount Tandy for years, without a flat tire. I won't be returning to that location, due to me thinking it has become a flat hazard.

I have to say, flat tires do seem to turn into a bit of an adventure. The Death Valley flat tire was particularly adventurous....

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Student Scourge Of J.D. Granger's Millions Wasted On Boondoggle Propaganda & Election Fraud

I did not read the Fort Worth Weekly cover article, STUDENT SCOURGE, til this morning because I thought it was yet one more article regarding the neighborhood around TCU (Texas Christian University) about homeowners objecting to neighborhood homes being taken over by rowdy frat boys, like J.D. Granger.


Yes, the article was sort of about people not wanting noisy student housing next door, but the article was more about the person spearheading the effort to boot the students from their housing.

Byran Eppstein.

Byran Eppstein is the notorious propagandizer behind much of the election tom foolery which takes place in Fort Worth and its environs.

A jaw dropping bit of info from the STUDENT SCOURGE article, which was news to me, in the following paragraph...

At the same time, Eppstein oversees other businesses that sometimes benefit from his many connections. For instance, he heads a public relations firm that was given $1.6 million in no-bid contracts to shore up the Trinity River Vision project’s public image. Recall that Eppstein helped elect Sen. Kay Granger, whose son, J.D. Granger, is executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. And Eppstein helped Lane and Marty Leonard get elected to the TRWD board that oversees aspects of the Trinity River Vision.

Eppstein's propaganda, I mean, public relations firm was given $1.6 million to shore up America's Biggest Boondoggle's public image?

Well, that explains why The Boondoggle's quarterly updates look just like the propaganda Eppstein spews for elections, such as the election mentioned above, that being where Eppstein's corrupt propaganda helped Jim Lane and Marty Leonard get elected in a landslide in the recent TRWD board election.

Speaking of that election. All these months after that election I have yet to hear of any investigation into the obvious election shenanigans that got the two incumbents re-elected with, by far, the most votes in TRWD board election history.

Over 17,000 votes. Of which around 10,000 were absentee ballots.

10,000 absentee ballots and yet, apparently, this raised no red fraud flag.

In Texas you have to be 65 or over, disabled, or out of the area on voting day, to apply for an absentee ballot. It is beyond defying believability that over 10,000 did so.

And yet no election racketeering investigation. As far as I know. Maybe the FBI is on the case.

And how does the Trinity River Vision get away with spending $1.6 million to shore up America's Biggest Boondoggle's bad public image?

I can tell J.D. Granger and The Boondoggle, for free, how they could shore up their bad public image.


Embarrassing bragging, such as, a year after starting construction with a BIG BANG TNT explosion, a few V Pier forms are sticking up in the air at the only location where one of the three simple bridges is actually under construction to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

How much money has The Boondoggle wasted with its propaganda bragging about those little V Piers, acting as if finally managing to build a few wooden, re-bar re-inforced forms, awaiting cement, is some major accomplishment worthy of making public pronouncements?

How much of The Boondoggle's budget has gone into propaganda? The Eppstein propaganda, the ridiculous amount of signage with the Panther Island re-branding, the mailings, the advertisements in various print media, all the beer and music parties?

How much?

I wonder how much a city wearing its BIG CITY pants, like Los Angeles or Seattle or Dallas spends on propaganda to shore up the public image of an ongoing public works project?

Seattle has several projects underway that dwarf Fort Worth's Boondoggle. One, the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project, is currently stuck due to the world's biggest tunnel boring machine running into trouble. This has been a bit of a pubic relations embarrassment, known world-wide. I doubt any money has been spent trying to spin the problem with propaganda. Voters in that well educated part of the planet would be outraged to see money spent on blatant propaganda.

That and the Bertha Tunnel Project does a good job of keeping the public informed of the current status of the project and its latest project completion timeline. Unlike America's Biggest Boondoggle which has no real project timeline, other than this new imaginary one where it is touted that The Boondoggle will be finished in 2023, a couple decades after the project began.

Yeah, I can see why J.D. Granger would need Bryan Eppstein's help in duping the public in to not running him out of town on rails whilst covered in tar and feathers....

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jogging With Village Creek Indian Ghosts Talking About Columbus Day

Yes, that is the Ghost Mirror in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area you are looking at here.

Which means I went jogging with the Indian Ghosts today on this record breaking, temperature-wise, October 15 day.

Currently my temperature monitoring device is indicating we are one degree above the record, at 97, so I'm back with the A/C running and ceiling fans spinning.

It's like Summer never left.

Jogging went well today. It no longer feels awkward. I am not yet at the point where I can run and run and run as long as I want. That point may never be reached.

The Village Creek Indian Ghosts were less cranky than my last two visits. They dread Columbus Day each year.

But this year the Indian Spirit World got the news that the well-educated, modern parts of America have figured out that Christopher Columbus is not a historical figure who should be the subject of a national holiday, and so the Indian Ghosts are optimistic that this bizarrely twisted bit of Euro-Centric nonsense is coming to an end.

I told the Indian Ghosts, today, that it may be decades before the South figures it out, that many in the South only recently figured out that displaying Confederate Battle Flags really was not a good idea.

On Facebook, in a totally ludicrous comment thread to a totally ludicrous post about the absurdity of those who disdain Columbus, politically correct liberal fools that they be, a neanderthal, uneducated, clueless miscreant actually said.....

"You people who want to quit honoring Columbus on Columbus Day need to understand that if Columbus had not discovered America, the United States, as we know it, would not exist".

I added punctuation to make the sentence more legible.

Can you count how many levels of stupidity exist in this comment? I know I can't.

How do you educate someone who thinks something like this? I mean, where do you start?

And, thinking that honoring Columbus, with a national holiday, is a bad idea, has nothing to do with political correctness or being liberal. It has to do with the fact that in the modern era we now know the actual history, other than the myth, and the actual history of Columbus, in America, is nothing to celebrate.

To continue to pretend Columbus was something he was not is like those who continued to believe the earth was flat, after most people came to understand the earth was not flat.

Anyway, I'm  glad the Village Creek Indian Ghosts were back being semi-content today....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In A Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom With Rush Limbaugh's Ranting Echo

I hurt my right foot changing a tire yesterday. Yes, I realize you are wondering how one could manage to hurt ones foot whilst changing a tire. Well, it's none of your business, so I'm not going to explain my most recent case of mechanical ineptitude.

I figured some high speed rocky hill hiking would have a salubrious effect on my aches and pains. I figured right.

In the picture the view is looking north, I think, across some of the seats in the newest Tandy Hills Outdoor Classroom.

I sat for a bit in the Outdoor Classrom and pondered. On the drive to the summit of Mount Tandy I listened to Rush Limbaugh make a bigger fool of himself than he usually does, ranting nonsense about last night's Bernie and Hillary Show. Rush Limbaugh lives somewhere in Wonderland, with Alice, a land where up is down, right is wrong, stupid is smart, yes is no, crazy is sane. Well, you get the drift.

I have met Rush Limbaugh types in person over the years. Invariably, like Limbaugh, their formal education ended with high school, If they got that far. And while in high school their grades were average, at best. Solid C students.

Solid C students, who as adults blather nonsense because they just don't know any better because they just never learned any better.

Anyway, as I hiked today, armed with my snake whacking stick, I was startled by what sounded like it had to be a large animal crashing through the brush.

It was.

A very large animal.

A human in the form of a lady all attired in naturist garb with a clipboard, like Jane Hathaway going butterfly hunting. (Jane Hathaway was Mr. Drysdale's secretary on The Beverly Hillbillies). I chatted with Ms. Hathaway. She invited me to some sort of Orienting Event on Saturday. I politely declined the invitation, which seems to be what I do with most invitations.

No one has invited me to lunch today, so I think I will invite myself to go cook something right now....

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Looking Close At A Non-Boondoggle Fort Worth Bridge Project

Yes, you guessed correctly. What you are looking at here is one of Fort Worth's new bridges under construction.

No, this is not one of America's Biggest Boondoggle's three simple little bridges under construction over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

What you are looking at here is a Fort Worth bridge under construction over water, with that water being the Trinity River. And not the Trinity River where its flow is slowed by dams and levees. This Trinity River bridge is being constructed where the Trinity River flows wild and free.

This bridge over the Trinity River is actually this road building project's third bridge. The first two were built over dry land. These bridges are part of a project to upgrade the 1st Street East/Randol Mill Road connection between  I-820 and Beach Street.

I drive this route frequently and have enjoyed watching the speedy progress of this project, which has been underway for less than a year, starting with tree removal around the time of this year's Prairie Fest.

Underway for way less than a year with far more to show than America's Biggest Boondoggle has to show after a decade and a half of boondoggling.

Obviously no local congresswoman's unqualified son is the project manager of this project, building three bridges in less than four years, with one of those bridges being built over water.

Speaking of America's Biggest Boondoggle, and who isn't? I was in downtown Fort Worth early this morning. Since I was in the downtown zone I decided to exit downtown via Henderson Street to eye witness those amazing signature V Piers that have been being touted by The Boondoggle and its propaganda partner, the Star-Telegram.


In person those V Piers look a lot smaller than the photos I saw in the Star-Telegram. I think some tricky angle manipulation was used to make the V Piers appear taller. I was actually surprised by how small and short the V Piers are.

Currently only the Henderson Street V Pier imaginary signature bridge is under construction, despite The Boondoggle's propaganda which implies all three bridges are currently being built.

I saw no construction activity around the V Piers this morning. Nor was there any work going on at the nearby traffic circle with its bizarre, already installed, supposed art work, consisting of what looks like curved shiny pipes stuck in the ground. Why is this already installed? How much did this cost The Boondoggle?

While I saw no construction activity at the site The Boondoggle has been bragging about, there was a lot going on at the construction site pictured above. Dozens of worker's cars parked along 1st Street East with dozens of workers working.

At the bridge over the Trinity River location I watched a giant drilling device digging down and inserting some sort of concrete like substance as it drilled. I'd not seen anything like this before. There were at least a dozen men working at the bridge location, with a lot of heavy equipment in play.

I saw no heavy equipment in play today at the only location The Boondoggle is currently building a bridge.

Did J.D. Granger give everyone extra days off to celebrate Columbus Day?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Endorphin Overload After Jogging Around Fosdick Lake

I was back at Oakland Lake Park today in the noon time frame to jog around Fosdick Lake, along with other joggers, walkers and dogs being walked.

88 degrees currently. When is the predicted cold front scheduled to arrive?

Today's was the first successful jog in around a week. The jogging had turned painful due to a foot injury acquired during a nightmare. The pain has now abated, hence the successful jog.

I had myself a mighty fine cool pool bout early this morning, exiting the pool before the sun began its daily illuminating duty. I do not remember the pool being so comfortably doable this many days into Fall in years previous. Makes me a selfish fan of global warming.

I don't understand why I seem to get no endorphin benefit from pool type aerobic activity, while jogging seems to bring an extreme endorphin dose, leaving me feeling very relaxed and in a good mood.

Now would be a good time to try and annoy me because it would be very difficult to annoy me til  the endorphins wear off.

The lunch bell, well, microwave timer just sounded its noise indicating microwaved baked spuds are ready for consumption, smothered in chili, topped with sour cream, with corn and cabbage-carrot-celery salad on the side.