Tuesday, January 31, 2017

HUGE Pro-Trump Dallas Demonstration Draws Eight Women

The anti-Trump protests all over America, and the World, have been HUGE.

And then I saw this this morning on Facebook, via one of my favorite Texans, which I found amusing and a bit embarrassing.

Embarrassing that even this many Texas women could be found who are so deluded they call themselves "Women for Trump" and applaud Trump's busy first week.

A HUGE demonstration of eight women expressing their opinion that they "...just wish they would give him a chance. Because he's only been in office for one week."

Yeah, that makes sense.

It  took only a week for our most  idiotic president since Millard Fillmore to lead America into Constitutional Crisis territory, so let's give him a chance to do even more idiotic things before we decide that maybe it is time to stand up and say "NO YOU IGNORANT INTERNATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT' we won't give you a chance to turn America the Great into America the No Longer Great.

Last night, also on Facebook, I saw and shared the meme you see below...

I like to think if I was a German in 1932 I would have verbalized what I thought about Hitler's shenanigans, and publicly verbalized that I thought him to be an  IGNORANT INTERNATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT, among other things I found disturbing about Hitler.

Those hapless Germans did not have anything like the Internet, or Facebook, to share how they felt about the Hitlerian Nazi madness. The World, and America, are not so unfortunate. In 2017 it is relatively easy to organize  a resistance to a dangerous despot, thus a lot more difficult for a Hitler type madman to wreak havoc.

At least I hope that is the case and that I am not being overly optimistic....

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mom's Happy Birthday & Hot Walk Around Sikes Lake

With the outer world temperature nearing 70 degrees I decided to take myself on a long jaunt to and around Sikes Lake today for the first time in weeks.

A lot of people, and a lot of birds, had the same idea.

Prior to exiting my abode to get me some salubrious aerobically induced endorphins I made a happy birthday call to Arizona because today is my mom's birthday.

Happy birthday mom.

My mom is twenty years older than me. Give or take a week or two. Or maybe a month or two.

For her happy birthday lunch my mom and dad are going to go to an Arizona restaurant called Denny's. I learned this whilst talking to my mom when their other phone rang with my dad answering and then informing my mom it was sister Clancy calling to confirm being at Denny's at 11.

I did not think to ask if my Arizona favorite nephews were included in, or invited to, the Denny's happy birthday party.

I do know I was not invited to my mom's happy birthday party at Denny's.

Now that you are causing me to think about it, I assumed Denny's was a restaurant. Maybe mom's happy birthday party is taking place at someone named Denny's house.

I should have asked more questions.

Anyway, it is nice to be back on the verge of needing to turn on the air conditioning again....

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fort Worth Sidewalk Inertia Not Found In Wichita Falls

What you are looking at here is something I never saw during the entire time I found myself stuck in the third world city which calls itself Fort Worth.

A sidewalk under construction.

For years I lamented Fort Worth's bizarre sidewalk shortage. I lost track of the number of times I found myself appalled at seeing some young mom struggling to push a baby carriage on a dirt path on the side of a Fort Worth road.

Or some old lady ambling along leaning on a cane as she navigated Fort Worth's mean sidewalk-less streets.

The Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network which runs Fort Worth would not have to travel far to find towns which have figured out how to build sidewalks. Just about any Fort Worth suburb is a modern American city, with sidewalks and city parks with no outhouses.

At my current location in the Texas town which calls itself Wichita Falls, the town knows how to build sidewalks. I can leave my abode and head any direction able to walk on a paved sidewalk.

On both sides of the street.

The sidewalk under construction, which you see above, will connect the Circle  Trail to the sidewalk at the north side of Southwest Boulevard. There was not a foot worn dirt path at this location indicating the need for a sidewalk, but it is easy to see that adding such is a good idea at this location.

If Fort Worth wanted to add sidewalks to its forlorn sidewalk free streets there would be no need to fund a study group to determine where sidewalks are needed. All one would need to do is map all the town's forlorn footworn dirt paths, clearly indicating where a modern paved sidewalk is needed.

Washington Governor Inslee Declares Trump Enemy Of The United States

I think ones memory of living in the United States would have to go back to the 1960s to remember another time such as we are experiencing now.


Back in the 60s the protests were against things like the Vietnam War and for things like Civil Rights and protecting the environment.

Was it Friday Trump issued his Executive Order banning incoming humans from several Muslim dominated countries, except for those Muslim dominated countries with whom Trump has business ties?

I don't know how it happened, but in airports all across  America, by the time incoming humans were being denied entry, thousands of protesters arrived.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport most of the protesters were arriving by light rail. At one point the police halted trains from stopping at the Sea-Tac station, for about a half hour, before an intervention put an end to that.

Looking on the bright side, methinks whilst the American democracy has taken a reputation hit, world-wide, these protests, being so spontaneous, and of such magnitude, well, it is showing the world that democracy is alive and well in America.

Regarding the Sea-Tac protests, Washington Representative Pramila Jaypal tweeted "Cries of Let Them In are echoing around Sea-Tac Airport. So proud of Washington's 7th District right now. We will not be silent."

Makes me proud to be from Washington too. And also proud of Texans for showing up at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to express the same protest sentiments.

The Texans do not have as easy a time getting to the airport as Washingtonians do. That and D/FW International is so HUGE it would seem it might be a bit of task to locate the heart of the protests.

I believe it was at Sea-Tac Washington's governor, Jay Inslee, verbalized what many Americans are thinking, that being that Donald Trump has become an enemy of the United States.

I would amend that to add the word "dangerous", as in Trump is a dangerous enemy of the United States.

Only a week into the Trump Reign and we are already seeing unprecedented protests protesting a president's unprecedented un-American incompetence.

I think we all need to fasten our seatbelts, this ride is likely going to get a lot rougher. But, while you fasten your seatbelts listen to Washington's governor express his outrage....

Friday, January 27, 2017

Visiting Riverside Cemetery Searching For Wichita Falls With Confederate Flags

This morning I drove to downtown Wichita Falls to go to the library to do some book returning and getting.

After finishing with the library my plan originally was to go to Lucy Park to hike to Wichita Falls.

A month or so ago I read that Wichita Falls was going to be turned off for awhile whilst some remodeling was done.

Yesterday I read on Wichita Falls Rants & Raves on Facebook where someone was asking if there was a way to get to Wichita Falls without what the inquirer felt was the long arduous trail walk from Lucy Park.

Someone then advised the inquirer to drive to the north end of Riverside Cemetery from whence access to the top of the falls is available, without that vexing long hike. Previously I'd been to the top of the falls and had not noticed any type of access to the cemetery allowing someone to get past the cyclone fence adorned at the top with barbed wire.

So, as I saw Riverside Cemetery come into view, prior to the Lucy Park entry, I opted to drive into the cemetery to see if there is access from there to Wichita Falls.

Ever since I first saw this cemetery I have said I wanted to return during cool weather to check it out, due to it being an old cemetery, where even from the road  you can see it is huge with a lot of equally huge headstones and crypts.

Well, I was a bit rushed for time and so did not do much exploring, but I soon saw that this cemetery has a lot of Texas State Historical Markers. I only read a couple of them before continuing my search for the top of Wichita Falls.

The search was soon ended with it being obvious there is no access point through the fence, hence the photo you see above, looking through the chain links at the trail to the top of the falls and the Wichita River below. I could not see the falls, but I could hear it, and I could see the original bridge is still in place. I don't know what happened to the remodeling project.

I was not long in Riverside Cemetery before I noticed that many of the graves had the iconic Confederate Stars & Bars flags stuck in the ground near the headstone.

Here we see an example of this flag phenomenon. Adorning the grave of Judge Edgar Schutte, who apparently was a LOYAL SON OF THE SOUTH.

In our current era this flag has received a lot of scorn. Sometimes that scorn seems to me to be totally appropriate. But, in instances such as the Confederate flags I saw today, well, that just sort of part of the colorful history.

I also don't object to Confederate memorial statues. Again because they are a piece of history.

I remember way back in 1998, May of, spending a week in the Dallas/Fort Worth zone to see if it was doable to move there. During the exploring the area phase I found myself in Weatherford, walking around the square which surrounds the Parker County Courthouse.

On the grounds surrounding the Parker County Courthouse there is a Confederate memorial statue. I do not remember who are what is on the statue, Jefferson Davis? Robert E. Lee? Stonewall Jackson? A rebel soldier? I don't remember.

What I do remember is, during the course of reading the inscription on the memorial, suddenly realizing I was in the South.

In one of the states which made up the Confederacy.

It was not that I was not aware, prior, to the fact that Texas was a Confederate state, it was just that til reading that memorial that reality had not registered with my present moment.

Anyway, I think it is wrong for people to make a fuss over those type Confederate memorials. It's part of our history.

Now if you want to use those type memorials, or flags to celebrate being a racist moron, well, that I do object to.

I must return soon, before the outer world returns to  being HOT, with my camera, to do some photo documenting of Riverside Cemetery. Today I only had my phone with me...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tune Into Elsie Hotpepper & I Love Betsy

Turns out Elsie Hotpepper and I were worried needlessly about not yet receiving a coveted invite to the "I Love Betsy" fundraiser starring Betsy Price, because that coveted invite has arrived.

Elsie and I have decided to donate at the Co-Host Level. We think this may allow us to bring along some other Betsy Lovers. So, let us know if you want to go with us.

The I Love Betsy Fundraiser takes place at the posh Ashton Depot on Thursday, February 9, which is only a couple weeks from today.

Elsie and I are unclear exactly as to why Betsy is having this fund raising event for all of us Betsy Loving people. Are the funds being raised for Betsy's personal use? Or for her upcoming mayoral campaign? The invite is not clear regarding what the funds are for.

But, Elsie and I Love Betsy so much that if she is in need of funds for her personal use, well, we are totally happy to help out.

If the funds are being raised for the upcoming mayoral campaign Elsie and I are wondering why such funds are needed. It's not like anyone ever runs against the Ultra Lovable Betsy. And even if someone did run against the Ultra Lovable Betsy she still automatically gets elected, due to the special Fort Worth Way of running elections.

Which has us wondering how that State of Texas investigation into the most flagrant election fraud in Texas history is going.

You know that Tarrant County election fraud investigation which generated a lot of publicity a couple months ago, with that investigation triggered by the obviously fraudulent vote totals which saw Jim Lane and Marty Leonard keeping their TRWD board positions with an astounding vote total from thousands of allegedly bogus absentee ballots.

The "I Love Betsy" Fundraiser lasts from 5 pm til 7 pm. Is Betsy going to make dinner for us? Ply us with alcohol? I guess we will find out when we get to the Ashton Depot...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Looking For Elsie Hotpepper At Fuel City In Haltom City

This morning I was on the road soon after the sun came up, heading to the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, to a little town called Euless.

After I was done with what I was doing in Euless I headed south, to Arlington, to Costco, among a couple  other locations.

At Costco, for the first time in years, I had the famous Costco $1.50 hot dog. The Polish version.

The years have not treated the Costco hot dog kindly. Or maybe it is just Texas has shrunk the Costco dog and stuck it in a bun too short to hold the entire dog.

Regardless of the current state of the Costco hot dog, I still enjoyed it, likely due to the nostalgia factor, reminding me of the many times I enjoyed such in its former glory, back in Costco's  home location, which also is my old home location.

After Costco I headed west, stopping at a bank in Fort Worth and then continuing on to the booming town of Haltom City. Being in Haltom  City was not planned, but came about when I realized I was in the area of a new doctor's office I had not yet seen.

 Leaving the doctor's  office I soon found myself on a Texas Turnaround, turning me around to head west again, on the frontage road of what is known as the Airport Freeway. Soon I found myself at the thoroughfare known as Haltom Road.

As I was stopped at the Haltom Road stop light I looked across the street and saw that I was at the location of Haltom City's newest tourist attraction.

Fuel  City.

Where one can get car wash tacos in addition to gas. As you can see via the photo at the top.

Soon I found  myself parked at Fuel City and ventured inside, half expecting to find Elsie Hotpepper, due to the fact that the Hotpepper has been seen at this location multiple times since it opened.

But, no Elsie Hotpepper was found.

Continuing on from Fuel City, after a short stop at WinCo in North Richland Hills, it was time to make my way back  to the northwest, to Wichita Falls.

This time I returned via a new route, rather than boring 287. This new route had me driving over Lake Bridgeport and Runaway Bay, before being surrounded by dozens upon dozens of giant windmills.

North of Jacksboro, I came upon dairy farms and a huge herd or flock or whatever one calls a group of sheep. Hundreds of the fuzzy critters.

The next time I make my way home via this route I will photo document what I see, but today I did not bring my camera, just the camera that doubles as a phone.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Caribbean Walking Safely Not Tumbling Into Holliday Creek Gorge

With the temperature nearing 70, with a strong wind providing some cooling, I opted to venture out into the current heat wave to go on a long walk in my Caribbean neighborhood.

I headed north on the Circle Trail til I got to Grenada. Left Grenada for Barbados and then used Haiti to get back to the Circle Trail.

I was slightly overdressed in t-shirt and cargo shorts.

With these wildly fluctuating temperatures it is difficult at times to know what level of outer wear is needed for comfort's sake.

In the photo view we are on the Circle Trail looking south. At this location apparently a rail fence is needed to prevent people from tumbling into the Holliday Creek gorge. I know this rail fence made me feel safe from tumbling.

Tomorrow I will likely be at various locations in the Dallas zone, far from any danger of tumbling into the Holliday Creek gorge.

The temperature is currently scheduled to drop into the freezing zone again, tomorrow. I hope I get my level of outer wear correct....

Monday, January 23, 2017

How About Fixing Real Fort Worth Flood Issues?

This morning, prior to checking in on Facebook I did my regular habit of checking various online news sources, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where I read an article titled "Fixing Fort Worth flooding issues could top $1 billion, reports says".

Well, that headline hooked my interest, what with Fort Worth already spending, supposedly, around $1 billion on flooding issues with what has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

America's Biggest Boondoggle was, in part, supposedly supposed to solve some imaginary flood issues where no floods have occurred for over half a century, With that lack of flooding due to the fact that massive levees were installed by the Army Corps of Engineers way back in the 1950s, which have kept Central Fort Worth dry ever since.

The Boondoggle wants to remove those levees and replace them with a flood diversion ditch. However, the inept Boondoggle has been stymied for a long time now by being unable to figure out how to build three simple  little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Today's Star-Telegram article about flooding issues has nothing to do with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's inept flood control project. The article is about actual flash flooding which has repeatedly occurred in other areas of Fort Worth.

Many have long opined regarding the ridiculous wastefulness of throwing money away on an un-needed flood control project where there are no floods, while Fort Worth and Tarrant County have actual serious, deadly flash flood issues.

Such as the deadly flash floods which have occurred in Haltom City.

The Haltom City flood issues have largely been ignored, including being ignored by Congresswoman Kay Granger, who surveyed the Haltom City floods, but did nothing.

Kay Granger's efforts have gone into securing federal funds for America's Biggest Boondoggle, where there are no floods, but is a project which was able to give her son, J.D., a job for which he was totally not qualified, for which he has been paid well over $1 million during his reign of incompetence.

In typical Star-Telegram fashion, today's article about the need to spend $1 billion to fix flooding issues is a bit bizarre.

Bizarre because no mention is made of the money being wasted on the TRV Boondoggle fixing non-existent flood issues.

Two paragraphs illustrating the bizarreness of this Star-Telegram article...

“If we [spent $25 million to $35 million] we would have spent more money than we’ve ever spent to solve a single flooding issue in the city of Fort Worth and there would still be a significant flooding risk,” Simmons recently told the council.

And many other locations in the city have similar problems, but most of the serious problems are in the central city, or within Loop 820, where Simmons said the drainage system is below current standards.

If $25 to $35 million is spent this would be more than ever spent in Fort Worth on a flooding issue? How  much money has already been thrown down the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle drain?  I suspect it is well in excess of $35 million. How much was spent to build the existing levees  in the downtown Fort Worth zone?

Many other locations in the city have problems, but the most serious are in the central city?

Central City?

Isn't  Central City one of the many names which have been given the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Very perplexing.

So, when I did get around to checking in on Facebook I soon saw that I was being pointed to a Facebook post about this Star-Telegram article about which I have been opining.

That Facebook post generated many comments, including a long one from TRWD board member, Mary Kelleher.  I will copy the Mary Kelleher comment below, along with a couple  other comments....

My name is Mary Kelleher and I'm currently on the Board of the TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District). I'm frequently criticized by my fellow board members (Victor Henderson, Jack Stevens, Jim Lane, and Marty Leonard) for fighting for people like us against wasteful spending by people like them....career politicians and Fort Worth Way Good Ole Boys and Girls. I could really use your help. Here's just an example:

In 2004, the citizens of Fort Worth voted for Proposition 1; the ballot read, “The issuance of public securities for street and storm sewer improvements in the aggregate sum of $232,000,000.” What the people didn’t know was this money was going to be used for the design and construction of the Trinity River Vision. 

In 2008, citizens of Fort Worth voted for another Proposition 1. The ballot read, “The issuance of public securities for street improvements in the aggregate sum of $150,000,000.” What the people didn’t know was this money was going to be used for three bridges over the TRV bypass channel. The bridges are to be built over dry land and the water will come later IF federal funding is still available by then.

So....while millions of our tax dollars go to this frivolous economic development project disguised as flood control....parts of our city are truly suffering unprecedented flooding as the city has failed to plan for the spike in development and its effects on our now-inadequate infrastructure. 

Following Mary's comment, a couple other Facebook  comments....

Deborah Forbes: This is what the TRWD should be doing instead of buying properties, forcing businesses out, building bridges, developing waterways. They should have helped the city become more flood resistant.

And this....

Wm Atkins: In Fort Worth, Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is more important than homes being flooded.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women (And Men) All Over The Globe Marching With Ian McKellan In London

Yesterday's Women's March turned into a global event the likes of which is pretty much unprecedented, near as I can remember.

This morning I learned my old hometown, Mount Vernon, in Washington, had a big turnout, lining the main drag through downtown with protesters chanting and waving signs.

The phenomenon was repeated in towns large and small all over America.

And the rest of the world.

Including London.

Here we see British actor Ian McKellan holding the protest sign he carried yesterday in London.

On his Facebook page Mr. McKellan posted his take on what yesterday's marches, worldwide, were all about.

Many clueless sorts seem unable to understand, near as I can tell, from what I've seen in comment form in various locations,  why millions of people were in protest mode.

The clueless are always among us, as has always been the case.

Below is Ian McKellan's Facebook post about yesterday's Global Event....

The Women’s March in London was the longest I have been on. Unlike most demonstrations it was not commandeered by any one group with its identical posters.

The Women and their allies had devised their own visual protests, hand-written and improvised at home, expressing their personal reaction to the new president, whose name in schoolyard English means “to break wind” appropriately.

The placard of Sir Patrick, by the way, was not my own – I found it at the end of the March in Trafalgar Square. 

President Breaking Wind has impacted us all; and personally. Some like him, think they can identify with him, believe him because they’ve seen him on television perhaps and think the billionaire and his billionaire team are truly their friends. The rest of us, including the majority of voters in USA, see through the charade: after all, the schtick is not exactly subtle. But he’s riled us, got under our skin, making us angry and despairing that he should have got through to the final of his show and turned democracy into a TV/Twitter spectacular.

What will happen? No doubt his believers will be soon disillusioned. The rest of us cannot let him reign unchallenged. The Marches worldwide were a good beginning. Some who fear him say “give the man a chance”. OK – he’s started by removing LGBTQ people, climate change and state funding of the arts from POTUS’s website. He’s had his chance.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wichita Falls January 21 Women's March

Yesterday I indicated today I was likely going to be participating in the Wichita Falls version of the Women's March phenomenon taking place all over America and the world today.

And so I did.

It takes about two minutes to get from my abode to the starting location for today's march, that being Sikes Lake.

I must have my clocks off by a few minutes because when Midwestern Boulevard and Sikes Lake came into view I could see the marching was already underway, with a lot people quickly parking and running to join.

It took what seemed like a mile for me to finally get to the front of the march to take the photo you see above of the "WOMENS MARCH OF THE FALLS" banner which lead the protest.

The above photo was taken near the start of the march. As you can see the weather was a bit inclement.  A little rain dripped, a few umbrellas were unfurled, thunder boomed in the distance. But, by the time the march reached Kemp Boulevard the sky had brightened and ceased with the dripping and booming.

I did not know what to expect prior to experiencing today's Wichita Falls Women's March. Just a few participants passively walking along? No protest signs?


At the start the number of marchers extended for a couple blocks and continued to grow  as we marched  along.  New marchers would park at businesses along the way and join in, or just stop and wave and cheer.

Yes, there was a political component to this march. I was not among those worried that Melania needs to be freed from her involuntary servitude. However, I do think Melania would be a folk hero for the ages if she escaped to freedom.

Wichita Falls knows how to hold a totally peaceful protest. We stopped for all street lights, causing temporary gaps in the marching line. During the traffic light stops the chanting seemed to grow louder,  particularly when vehicles drove by with their horns honking, passengers waving with thumbs up.

I would estimate about 25% of the marchers were not women. Such as the grizzled geezer you see above holding a Women's March on the Falls sign.

Above is another instance of the march stopping at an intersection with the crowd bunching up and getting  more demonstrative with their demonstrating.

On Kemp Boulevard, near where the marchers are marching above, we passed a car wash. Three men who worked at that car wash stood in front of their business and waved and hollered their support quite enthusiastically. I heard a lady say that that is where she would be taking her car to get washed from now on. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the three guys with their car wash name behind them. Suffice to say this car wash is near the Wendy's on Kemp.

Pink was a popular color today.

I was just a little distressed regarding the number of words I saw which were missing their much needed apostrophe. Often women or a woman missing that much needed apostrophe.

Looking back at the pictures I am thinking my estimation that about 25% of the protest marchers were male may be a bit off, well, maybe way off. Ten percent might be more accurate.

Like I said, there was a political component to the protest march. Obviously. Such as the above Hillary Clinton quote "Fear is always with Us, but We just don't have time for it. Not Now!"

There was a lot of horn honking support, which you can hear, along with chanting, in the YouTube video below. I shot this video on Kemp, near the aforementioned car wash staffed by good guys.

I only experienced two yahoo type moments during the march. One was a guy yelling out his window, shouting something like "you better not be protesting Trump". A women shouted back something like "this is not about Trump".  At another point a yahoo drove by with his arm out his window while his hand made a threatening gesture involving his middle finger.

Finally, the aforementioned YouTube video....

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump Inauguration Venting From Spencer Jack's Dad

On this day, which will likely live on in infamy, a Trump Inauguration message from Spencer Jack's Dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason.....

FUD --

Tomorrow morning I am not going to be at work by my normal arrival time.  I will be watching the inauguration. 

Last year, on a very hot sunny Saturday, in early May, I attended Trump's rally in Lynden.  You and I talked in length about that event.  I described it as 'a red neck circus' and how it made me really embarrassed to have roots in Lynden or be associated with anyone who was truly there to support Trump.

I had no idea that Trump would have any chance of being our next president.  I truly thought I was only observing a man making a fool of himself and our democracy.

I was standing just yards from Trump's podium when he spoke.  Immediately after the speech, I was within just a few feet of the now president-elect, with ample opportunities to shake his hand.  I opted to let others forge forward.  A hand shake with the Donald did not intrigue me then, however, should I have known he would be elected, I might have just done such just for the sake of saying I did such.

Nephew Spencer Jack and myself are privileged. I'm saying that in the most humble way I can think of constructing such.  I know that many people in this world (and our own country)  don't have what we have.....health care, food, shelter, clothing, an education, etc.   We are very grateful to not be in that situation.

My whole adult life I have always believed in and tried to support those who are less fortunate than myself. I believe it to be my moral duty to help others, given the opportunities I have been afforded.  I don't believe Trump feels the same way.  I am a huge fan of social programs, open immigration, welfare, free education, and basically doing anything we can to help others succeed.  Taxing the wealthy to help the poor just makes sense to me.  I am worried Trump doesn't feel the same way.  I am so worried that he will put big business before any social obligations.  My biggest worry is that he will not help those people  --- the abandoned, abused, unfortunate and underprivileged --- and forget that our government was founded when it opted to seek to offer those inalienable rights for all.

I met my mother's parents at McDonald's for coffee two days ago.  They asked me if Spencer and I were flying back to D.C. to watch tomorrow's inauguration.  My mother's parents are huge Trump fans. I don't understand why. I avoided the subject, but all I could think about is how my mother's father is a son of an immigrant who came to this country with nothing.  That son of an immigrant now has 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren, 4 great grand children (Spencer Jack being the eldest) all of whom have health care, food, shelter, clothing, an education, etc...   Yet he supports a man who wants to build a wall.

I have personally been to the Statue of Liberty.  Spencer has not, he has only sailed past it....I will take him there someday so he can read the inscription planted on Miss Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free....

If I had a chance to talk to the Donald, I would kindly tell him this:  "We don't need a wall. We don't need tax breaks. Please set aside your agenda of helping big business, and help man kind.  This country was once open to immigrants wanting a better life.  Those are my ancestors.  Because of that opportunity, I have a way better life then they ever did.  Let's continue the cycle."

I live in a town full of immigrants.  Many are here, perhaps, illegally.  But I'm guessing they are all in the pursuit of happiness for their offspring.  I hope their children and grandchildren are given the same opportunities I was.

America is Great.  I hope it doesn't change.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Holliday Creek Roaring Rapids Anticipating Saturday's Wichita Falls Protest March

Relatively warm air has returned to my location on the planet, with the temperature a couple dozen degrees warmer than freezing.

The return of relative balminess had me opening my kitchen window this morning to enable enjoying that heated breeze blowing in from the south.

When I opened the window I heard the sound of water moving fast, indicating to me that Holliday Creek was moving a large volume of water.

A short time later I slathered on the sunscreen and ventured out to take a look at Holliday Creek. What you see above are my backyard Holliday Creek rapids churning up some whitewater this morning.

I do not know why I have yet to see any kayakers shooting the Holliday Creek rapids. One would think such would take place, what with a university nearby full of free-spirited sorts.

Speaking of which, well, speaking of the nearby university. This morning, via Miss Marilyn on Facebook, I learned I will be doing some protest marching Saturday morning.

Miss Marilyn's Protest Post....

January 21st. Start at 10am and meet at Midwestern by Sike's Lake.
For those that can't walk that far you can pick up the March at Sike's Center as we move toward Fidelity Bank on Kemp and Kell. For those that can't walk far at all you can meet us at the bank for a show of solidarity there.
Purpose: We stand in solidarity with others in this great nation who feel their individual human rights have been threatened by the election of Donald Trump and the Cabinet members he has proposed. Mr. Trump may have been elected our next POTUS but WE will be heard and WE will not go away. This march is for both men and women.


I can not remember the last time I participated in a protest march. If ever.

I do remember being in Seattle with my two oldest favorite nephews, Jason and Joey, and coming back to ground level from the downtown Seattle bus tunnel to find ourselves in the midst of a HUGE protest march protesting, if I remember right, the first Gulf War, you know, the one to liberate Kuwait.

I doubt Saturday's Wichita Falls Protest March will be as big and loud as that one years ago in Seattle. But you never know. I have learned, during my short time here, that the people of Wichita Falls are a feisty collection of Texans, totally unlike those herds of sheep I was used to seeing in Fort Worth, where there is so much to protest about, just the local issues, but seldom is a peep heard.

Or, have I somehow missed the news of the Fort Worth protest march protesting America's Biggest Boondoggle and the still stalled construction of The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island?

A protest march demanding Kay Granger's son be fired from the job it is now quite clear for which he was totally not qualified. No, that won't happen, not in a district which re-elected Mrs. Granger, also known as Queen Porky Pig, by a landslide.

Meanwhile, to the northwest of Fort Worth, in Wichita Falls, on Saturday, there will be a protest march. Photo documentation will arrive that afternoon via this blog you are reading right now....

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

David Theo & Ruby Snoqualmie Summit Snow Fun

David on the left, Ruby in the Red Tube
with Theo on the right
At my old home zone location of Western Washington there are these things called mountains.

Mountains any direction one looks.

To the west the Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula.

To the east and south the Cascade Mountains.

At my old home location in the Skagit Valley I could drive a few miles to the east and be in a cross country ski zone, or a few miles to the west and be on a saltwater beach.

My Favorite Nephews, David and Theo, and Favorite Niece, Ruby, live in Tacoma, walking distance from the south end of Puget Sound.

Last night David, Theo and Ruby's mom, my Favorite Little Sister Michele, emailed me some pics, with the subject line of "Snow Fun".

The text in the email explained what I was looking at in the pictures....

We went tubing at Snoqualmie Summit yesterday and then played in the snow at the Hyak Sno-Park. Super fun.  And just over an hour from our house.  I know you like things like this, so I thought I'd send some pics.

To which I replied....

I had not seen snow lanes for tubes before. That must be a new invention since last I was in that snow zone.

Theo trekking rather than taking the Magic Carpet
To  which my little sister further elaborated....

Yeah, I’d been hearing about the tubing center for a few years, but this was our first visit.  You have to make reservations and buy a ticket for a two hour session. They have 5 or 6 sessions that all seem to sell out.  They really hit on something.  It used to have a rope tow to get you and your rental tube back to the top, but now it is a Magic Carpet. 

David ready to be launched
The mention of a Magic Carpet had me questioning....

Magic Carpet????

Ruby taking a break at (I'm guessing) the Hyak Sno-Park
The Magic Carpet question had my little sister explaining....

Think of a narrow, enclosed, moving sidewalk, but it is carpeted. It is weird, cuz you can feel the rollers under your feet.

This Magic Carpet thing intrigued me. The only means by which I have ever been transported up a snow covered mountain has been via chairlift, rope tow or gondola.

It did not take much Googling to find out that the ski resort  at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass is now called The Summit at Snoqualmie. I can not remember what this ski area was named whilst I still lived in the neighborhood. There are several ski resorts in the Snoqualmie Pass Summit area, in addition to The Summit at Snoqualmie, such as Hyak and  Alpental.

On The Summit at Snoqualmie website I found the conveyance which transports tubers up the hill referred to as the Magic Carpet, with it being explained as "our convenient covered conveyor surface lift that whisks you to the top of the hill..."

Seems like this Magic Carpet thing must be quite a feat of engineering, somehow adjusting to the ever changing snow depth.

The last time I was on a chair lift at Snoqualmie Summit it was not to go skiing. At some point in time in the late 1990s, myself, and some fellow mountain bikers, rode the chair lift up the mountain to easily access some extremely bumpy trails. The chairs were retrofitted to hold a bike, which rode on the chair ahead of the one the rider rode to the top.

As I recollect a large number of bikers were using this elevation gaining method. I remember the long ride back to start was a lot of fun. I do not remember how many times I took my bike up the chair lift that day....

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pray For Peace With Patterson Auto Via 2 Thessalonians 3:16

I do not remember when upon my arrival at my current location in North Texas, known as Wichita Falls, I began noticing signs suggesting one "PRAY FOR PEACE".

This praying suggestion appears on yard signs, such as the one you see here, which I photographed a few minutes ago whilst  I was jogging through my Caribbean themed neighborhood.

This praying suggestion also appears on roadside billboards.

And, whilst driving Highway 287 to the Dallas/Fort Worth zone I have seen multiple instances of this message attached to those big trailers you see on the road being towed by a semi-truck, with the big trailer detached from a semi, and then parked at a right angle to the road, thus serving as a movable billboard, temporarily stationary.

Under the PRAY FOR PEACE part of the message one reads "2 THESS. 3:16".

Googling this bible verse one only gets as far as "2 THES" before Google fills in "2 Thessalonians 3:16".

Clicking one of the links to this bible verse one soon sees various versions from various bible versions, with all versions pretty much expressing the same "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you" sentiment, in slightly various ways.

All of these PRAY FOR PEACE signs also includes a website.


Clicking the link one quickly learns that  Patterson Auto is not a church. Patterson Auto is a car dealership, with multiple locations.

I make no judgement as to whether, or not, a car dealership advertising in this manner is appropriate, cheesy, tacky or sacrilegious.

I will make the judgement that there sure are a lot of people willing to help advertise in this manner, with this sign in their yard....

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Day Returns Blue Sky To North Texas

Last night, an hour or two after the sun left for the day, I found myself driving in an epic storm the likes of which I have seldom found myself driving in.

A storm which the weather predictors accurately predicted, including possible tornado action.

At the worst of the storm I found myself driving through lightning strikes striking on all sides, in front, to my rear, to my left, to my right.

With rain downpouring so copiously the drains could not drain fast enough, rendering the road being like driving on a river.

Eventually I found my way back to my abode's covered parking. To get from the covered parking to my front door required a fast sprint through multiple mini-lakes, along with the lightning strikes, deafening thunder and big blobs of rain being blown by gale force wind.

I enjoyed last night's fast sprint to safety so much I decided to go jogging today after I saw that the clouds have been blown out of town with blue sky returned, assuming, as it turns out, erroneously, that blue sky equates to sunny warmth.

The jogging did not last too long. Pretty much just long enough to snap the phone photo you see above, looking north at that aforementioned blue sky hovering above the Circle Trail and Holliday Creek Canyon.

I have no clue as to what I'm going to do with the rest of Martin Luther King Day.

Other than lunch.....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Morning Wichita Falls Downpour Thunderstorm

My location on the planet has escaped, so far, any Ice Storming.

Yesterday's day long drizzly misting turned to actual rain by the time the sun left for the day.

Rain continues to drip.

This is like being back in the Pacific Northwest, as in this is being like a stereotypical Western Washington winter day.

Except for a couple elements. Such as this evening a tornado is possible.

The forecast for tonight is for severe thunderstorms which can bring downpours, damaging winds and even an isolated tornado.


It is still early Sunday morning and already the downpouring has arrived, along with thunder booming, way ahead of schedule.

I must go batten down the hatches now....

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Second Wichita Falls Saturday Of The New Year With No Ice Storm Yet

A few minutes ago I left the warmth of my humble  abode thinking I might be able to endure the current frigidity long enough to have myself some salubrious exposure to endorphins via aerobic stimulation derived from high speed jogging.

I thought wrong.

Too cold, with too much drizzly mist adding to the chilly 34 degrees.

If we lose two more degrees we may be in Ice Storm mode. I do not want to be in Ice Storm mode.

I will not be driving anywhere until the threat of Ice Storm mode totally abates.

Twice in the past three years I made the mistake of leaving my old D/FW abode when an Ice Storm threatened, to find myself about a mile down the road when the temperature dropped below freezing, with the road suddenly treacherous, with the return to safety taking a couple hours of negotiating unwanted slipping and sliding and avoiding being  hit by other slippers and sliders.

The precipitation which is currently precipitating seems to be gradually migrating from mist to raindrops. Raindrops combined with a temperature below freezing is the recipe for an Ice Storm.

During my brief exposure to the outer world, on this second Saturday of the new year, I made it as far as the Circle Trail. I snapped the photo you see above, looking north, and then retreated to my safe zone where plenty of heat is being generated, including some heat from an oven baking a big turkey tortilla casserole.

I think I hear the lunch bell tolling....

Friday, January 13, 2017

Belated Grandpa Jones 114th Happy Birthday Greeting

A couple days ago, on Facebook, my most elderly cousin, Scott, posted a Happy Birthday message to our Grandpa Cornelius, using the Dutch version of the family surname, along with the photo you see here of our Grandpa displaying a sturgeon he caught in the nearby Nooksack River.

What follows is Cousin Scott's tale about our Grandpa (please note that in the jurisdiction in which Scott resides the use of capital letters is strictly forbidden)....

today is cornelius slotemaker's (jones) birthday. i’m told he loved to ride his horse into the mountains east of bellingham and ride back when it seemed time to do so. i’m told he loved to fish and helped his family through the depression by catching sturgeon and salmon. mom tells the story of how he was milking their cows one day – they milked by hand in the early 1950s – and started squirting milk straight from the cow into the cat’s open mouth. i apparently opened wide, too, and he squirted milk straight into my two- or three-year-old mouth. when we got back to the house, mom said i was smiling and he was laughing like crazy. he would have been 114 today. happy birthday, grandpa...


I believe Cousin Scott is the only one of his Grandkids at whom Grandpa Cornelius ever had the chance to squirt milk.

Way back during the second year of the new century I found myself scanning hundreds of photos of my relatives, mostly the Dutch relatives, with some of the photos dating back to the 1800s, when the Jones, I mean, Slotemakers, still lived in Holland.

Among those photos I scanned is the below one.

I do not know for certain which of the Jones, I mean, Slotemaker boys we are looking at above, milking a cow. It could be Grandpa Cornelius. But I suspect it is our Grandpa's brother,  Uncle Hank.

Below is an interesting photo documenting some fun during the Roaring 20s in the Lynden, Washington, Whatcom County zone.

Fifteen years ago I still remembered what name went with which person we see above.

Suffice to say, one of  the boys on the ground is Grandpa Cornelius, The other boys are Grandpa's younger brothers, including the aforementioned Uncle Hank. The other brothers are Otto and Dick.

One of the Flappers standing behind the Jones Boys is our Grandma Sylvia. One of the others standing may be Grandpa's sister, Aunt Agnes, which would make the baby sitting on the ground Aunt Jessie. The others standing may be Otto and Dick's wives, or future wives, Pernie and Ann.

What the Jones Boys are drinking is an illegal, at the time, libation known as beer. Details have long been sketchy, but it is believed, by many of the younger Jones generation, that Grandpa Cornelius brewed beer during Prohibition and then distributed his product all the way to Seattle.

Others dispute the Grandpa the Bootlegger legend.....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spencer Jack Big Lake Frozen Water Adventure

Til this morning I did not realize my old home zone was experiencing an extremely rare bout of extremely cold air, so cold that Western Washington lakes are freezing solid enough to walk on.

This morning's email brought a tale from Spencer Jack's dad of a potential tragedy averted on the Skagit Valley's Big Lake.

Big Lake is a small lake located about 3 miles east of my old abode in Mount Vernon. Spencer Jack's grandma Cindy's primary abode is on the shores of Big Lake.

This morning's email from Spencer Jack and his dad, along with video documentation of Spencer Jack doing some ice sliding....

FUD --

Winter here is the PNW has been quite abnormal.

Grandma Cindy has temporarily returned from sunny California.  She arrived home late last night.  Today, she invited FNSJ and I over to her Big Lake residence this afternoon to play on a frozen lake.

Last time I did this was with you at Lake Padden in the late 1980s. I remember you, FNJ2 and I ventured quite a few yards out on Lake Padden before going to see a nearly frozen Whatcom Falls.  Do you remember this?  I can clearly recall the exact spot at Lake Padden were you tested the waters before giving Joey and I the okay to walk out on the lake.

Frozen Big Lake today was nerve racking.   When we arrived, 3 kids were playing at the public boat launch without any parents in sight.

My first question was a shout out to the children, "Where are your parents?"

The kids were 100 yards from the shore.   I coached two of them back with ease.   The third kid, identified by the others as 14-year-old Nathan way too far out.  He was defiant.  He wanted to see how far he could go.

Spencer and I plus the two others pleaded with him to return closer to shore.

He kept saying, if he fell in, he would just climb out.

I was exploring all options to coach him back.  He wouldn't listen at all, and I knew if the ice broke, he would have no chance of me offering any type of assistance.

Despite all my efforts to get him to come back, he continued to push further out into the lake.  I knew I could not go grab him....my weight would crack the ice that far out.   The ice in the pictures of FNSJ was plenty thick---maybe at least 6 inches or a foot.   But I knew the ice in the middle of the lake was 'ice thin.'

The two other non-supervised kids finally were able to assist me.  I sent one to immediately get another adult.  I knew if I dialed 911, by the time help arrived it would be to late.

Despite all my various attempts of trying to literally save this boy's life, the two other kids shouted out to him to remind him that he had his phone with him, and told him if he fell in it would get wet.

With that knowledge reminder, defiant Nathan returned to shore.

Nathan must have known that his smart phone wouldn't be of use for this dumb kid when wet.

And that smart phone probably saved his life.   Go figure.


I don't clearly remember taking my Favorite Nephews, Jason and Joey, to a frozen Lake Padden, or an iced over Whatcom Falls. However, when those two were youngsters I took them so many different places so many different times it is not surprising that my aged memory would have trouble remembering some specifics.

And now the video of Spencer Jack taking a running slide on a frozen Big Lake.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Windy Wichita Falls Heat Wave's Giant Seed Pods

A day or two ago sub-freezing had me searching desperately for my missing long underwear.

Now that I located the missing long underwear such is currently no longer needed.

My swimsuit would be of more use today than long underwear, what with the outer world being heated into the 80s.

I was barely two steps out into the outer world  today when HOT hurricane force-like wind sent my head covering skyward. Eventually I was able to retrieve the flying hat.

On the Circle Trail I soon found that the high wind had blown free from trees a lot of big seed pods like you see me holding above.

The seed pods had not blown free from the leaf free trees you see in the picture.

The seed pods appeared to have blown free from evergreen type trees which were standing tall behind me at the location from whence I took the above picture.

I hope this balmy summer type weather stays around for awhile. The icy temps wreak havoc with my arthritic joints.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Spencer Jack's Virtual Drive Through California's Fallen Pioneer Cabin Tree

Spencer Jack Simulation of Driving Through the
Pioneer Cabin Tree
Last night Spencer Jack's dad text messaged me asking if I had ever been to the Pioneer Cabin Tree.

I assumed my Favorite Nephew Jason was asking about that drive through sequoia which came crashing down during the recent California rainstorm.

I replied saying I assumed it was the fallen sequoia he was asking about, and further saying that I did not recollect driving through the tree, but I do recollect driving by it.

I added that if I remember correctly the drive through tree was near what is now Redwoods National Park and also near the Trees of Mystery.

Mentioning to Jason the Trees of Mystery got me wondering if that long time Northern California tourist attraction still existed, with its giant Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox.

Traveling Highway 101, back in the last century, stopping at Trees of Mystery seemed sort of mandatory, what with all the Trees of Mystery bumper stickers one constantly saw, the sort of thing which caused kids in a car, well, me and my siblings, to beg to stop.

I Googled to quickly find myself pleased to learn that the Trees of Mystery not only still exists, this roadside attraction has greatly expanded since my last visit.

Since my last visit to Trees of Mystery a Sky Trail has been added, which is a Gondola  ride high above the ground, communing with Sequoia tree tops. Motel Trees have been added. A Forest Cafe. A museum. And other things I did not remember seeing previously.

Well, actually, it has been so long since I was last mystified by the Trees of  Mystery the only elements of that tourist attraction which I remember are the aforementioned Mr. Bunyan and his Ox, and a souvenir store.

The Pioneer Cabin Tree was old, real old,  maybe as old as a thousand years. If I remember right, when last I saw what became known as the Pioneer Cabin Tree, it was known as the Tunnel Tree, and was situated in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. I vaguely recollect exploring trails in Calaveras Big Trees State  Park prior to Redwoods National  Park coming into existence.

Travelers began being able to travel through the Tunnel Tree after it was hollowed out in the 1880s. At that point in time it would have been travelers on horses or riding in a horse powered buggy which traveled through the Tunnel Tree.

Eventually automobiles were allowed to transit through the Tunnel Tree. I do not recollect doing so.

At some point in time, late in the previous century, or early in  the current century, vehicular traffic through the Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree was banned, with a hiking trail becoming the way to transit through the tree tunnel.

So, I suspect some sort of digital manipulation has been used, above, by Spencer Jack and his dad to create the illusion that Spencer Jack is about to drive through California's former iconic giant sequoia tree...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Balmy South Wind Blows Away Latest Wichita Falls Arctic Blast

Venturing into the outer world at my location on the planet has been a cold experience the last few days.

To do so comfortably required attiring pretty much as if one was doing some downhill skiing.

For the first couple days of this most recent Arctic Blast I did not attempt any outdoor excursion of any lengthy duration.

And then my GPS locator located my missing long underwear, with that discovery rendering the outdoor frigidity a bit more tolerable.

And now, today, the second Monday of the new year, a breeze from the south has risen the temperature well above freezing to a relatively balmy 51 degrees.

And so today I left my long underwear behind whilst I ventured outside, still well layered with the outerwear, to take a walk on the wild side of my neighborhood Circle Trail.

A strong breeze is blowing in the warmer air, but with that strong breeze making that warm air feel colder than 51 degrees, hence that which you see above, me looking like it must be really cold.

Tomorrow the weather menu has us scheduled to reach a temperature in the 70s. I do not think this will provoke a bout in the swimming pool, or a Polar Dip in Lake Wichita, but you never know until tomorrow arrives....

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Amazon's Spheres Got Me Thinking About Fort Worth's Spheres Of Boondoggles

A couples days ago I was asked if I knew the current status of the stalled bridge construction in Fort Worth.

A question about stalled Fort Worth bridge construction is referencing the three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Fort Worth's four year bridge building project began with a big TNT bang over two years ago. Then, in March of last year, construction was halted due to supposed design errors involving re-bar.

Such is one among many reasons that that which used to be known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision is now known, far and wide, as America's Biggest  Boondoggle.

Now with federal funding to the tune of about a half billion bucks.

That's right, you who live in other areas of America, particularly those areas of America which are allowed  to vote to approve and fund public works projects, you are helping pay for Fort Worth's vitally un-needed flood control and economic development scheme which has been dawdling along for most of this century, and has never been approved by a public vote.

A couple days ago I saw something in the Seattle Times which had me freshly pondering what a backwards backwater Fort Worth is in so many ways. An article titled Amazon's Spheres: Lush nature paradise to adorn $4 billion urban campus.

Can you imagine an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram  about something in Fort Worth with two paragraphs such as....

The fruit of a bold design, the so-called Spheres will serve as a haven of carefully tended nature geared to letting Amazonians break free from their cubicles and think disruptive thoughts. It’s an internet-era, Pacific Rim answer to the architecturally astounding gardens set up by European monarchs during the Enlightenment era.

The structures are also the architectural crown jewel of Amazon’s $4 billion investment in building an urban campus, an eye-catching landmark that symbolizes the rise of what 20 years ago was a fledgling online bookstore into a global e-commerce and cloud-computing leviathan.

During my time in Texas two corporations built new corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth.

Tax breaks and eminent domain abuse were used for Radio Shack to build its new headquarters, which caused Fort  Worth to lose the world's shortest subway, acres of easy parking, and which became a Boondoggle when Radio Shack could not afford its new headquarters, with the Boondoggle compounded by another Fort Worth Boondoggle, that being the messed up construction of a downtown campus of Tarrant County College, with that Boondoggle eventually leading to Tarrant County College paying millions to Radio Shack to use the Radio Shack headquarters for a purpose for which it was not designed.

A college.

You reading this in modern areas of America, I am not making this stuff up. Fort Worth has to be the Boondoggle center of the known world, with Tarrant County being the eminent domain abuse center of the known world.

The other new corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth was the Pier One Imports building. Soon Pier One also could  not afford its new building. So, it was sold to Chesapeake Energy, from whence Chesapeake then ran its shadow government of Fort Worth during the bizarre reign of Mayor Mike Moncrief. Chesapeake Energy has since been run out of town. I don't know who own the old Pier One Imports building now.

I saw that Seattle Times article about the new Amazon campus. A $4 billion campus, built at the north end of the Seattle downtown, an area already highly developed and thought what a contrast between how such a thing happens in modern America, compared to how projects falter in Fort Worth.

I have read of no eminent  domain use, or abuse, used to acquire the property to build Amazon's buildings. I have read of no tax breaks or sweetheart deals or bribes finagled by Amazon from the Seattle government in exchange for building its new headquarters where it is being built.

If Amazon tried that type tactic, which works so well in desperate Fort Worth, Amazon would likely be told if they can't afford to build without such help, then don't built it there. Which is what Cabela's was told when it tried to shake down a Washington town. Unlike in Fort Worth, the absurd claim that Cabela's would be the number one tourist attraction in Washington was not tried, while Fort Worth bought that Top Attraction in Texas con and gave all sorts of enticements to the sporting goods store, while in Washington Cabela's was told no, if you need subsidies to open here, then don't open here.

Reading about the new Amazon campus in Seattle got me thinking about issues regarding Fort Worth other than just the Radio Shack Boondoggle.

Fort Worth's infamous Trinity River Vision debacle has been boondoggling along for most of this century. Boondoggling along with an ever shifting project timeline, the latest of which had Boondoggle Executive Director, J.D. Granger saying most of the project's infrastructure should be complete by 2023. Who knows what is meant by project infrastructure. The pitiful bridges? The ditch under the bridges?

Thinking about Fort Worth's pitifully slow, badly designed, ineptly implemented public works project got me thinking about other public works type projects I know of which have been happening during the same time frame during which Fort Worth has not managed to complete its relatively simple project.

Arlington voters approved of the building of a new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Construction on that billion dollar plus spaceship began in 2004. If I remember right the first Super Bowl happened there in 2009, or 2010.

Way back late in the last century Dallas voters approved their own Trinity River Vision, well before Fort Worth did its copy cat thing. The Dallas Vision included three signature bridges. Fort Worth's Vision copied the three signature bridges element, then failed to deliver. Whilst Dallas has finished one of its signature bridges, with another soon to be completed, or, for all I know, is completed. I know the second bridge was well under way when last I was in Dallas.

I blogged about the Dallas bridges my one and only time driving over the completed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in In Dallas Driving & Walking Across Impressive Signature Bridges To Trinity Groves.

During the period of time Fort Worth has been limping along with America's Biggest Boondoggle, up north, in Seattle, two major public works projects have come to be a reality. The new 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington is completed, floating and carrying traffic. Unlike Fort Worth's stalled bridges the Seattle floating bridge was built over actual water. The entire new floating bridge project cost around  $4 billion.

Seattle has another $4 billion project well underway. That being the Alaskan Way Viaduct project This involves the world's biggest tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Bertha, tunneling under downtown Seattle. Bertha is nearing completion after a major hiccup put the project about a year behind schedule.

While Bertha has been boring, other parts of the project have been underway, such as replacing the seawall along the Seattle waterfront.

Seattle projects, and public works  projects in locations other than Fort Worth, have actual project timelines, with full transparency when something goes awry, like the Bertha problem. Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, no one knows the real reasons The Boondoggle's simple little bridges have stalled.

Here is an example of how a responsible public works project's directors let the people know how their public works project is progressing, with that example being on the WSDOT Follow Bertha webpage.

How come such a webpage does not exist for Fort Worth's infamous Bridge Boondoggle? Other than the Trinity River Vision's bizarre quarterly propaganda publications which tout, four times a year, what little has actually been accomplished since The Boondoggle's last quarterly propaganda mailing.

This blogging has gone long. I was going to mention some other west coast public works projects, approved in the November election. The something like $82 billion transit bond approved by Los Angeles voters. And the $54 billion transit measure approved by Pierce, King and Snohomish county voters, those being the counties where Tacoma, Seattle and Everett are located.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, no public vote funding the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. But there is that almost half billion bucks that may dribble in to town over time, maybe with enough money arriving that those little bridges being built over dry land  might one day get built, along with the ditch dug to go under the bridges....

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Texas Mailbox Woes With Disappearing Smoked Skagit Salmon

A few days ago during the course of an incoming call from Washington the caller asked if I liked the Smoked Salmon.

Huh? Thought I.

I'd seen no Smoked Salmon from the person calling. However, Smoked Salmon had arrived in my mailbox a couple weeks ago from a different Washington entity.

That is that Smoked Salmon, yet unopened, you see here.

When I told the Smoked Salmon enquirer I had received no fish from him I was told a couple pounds of Smoked Skagit Salmon had been mailed to me.

I was appalled. Among my favorite things is Smoked Skagit Salmon. That and Dungeness Crab.

Then yesterday I got another call from Washington. This particular Washingtonian was calling to tell me that the Sam's Club Gift Card she'd mailed from Mount Vernon on the 18th of December had been returned on January 6, with the envelope opened, but the gift card still inside.

So, now I am wondering if others have sent me anything which I have not received.

If you have mailed anything to my location in Texas and you have not heard from me telling you a mighty fine thank you acknowledging having received such, well, this indicates the package did not make it to my mailbox.

I have rarely had any problems with any mail delivery type issue.  I am assuming these recent incidents are a rare anomaly and that I can continue to trust the Post Office will successfully deliver that which is sent to me.

But where is that Smoked Skagit Salmon?

Wichita Falls 10 Degrees With Heat Index Feeling Like 18

Every faucet in my domicile is in drip mode. My respiratory system also is in drip mode. I can turn off the faucet dripping, but my respiratory system dripping is not as easily plugged.

When the outer world is heated to 90 I can understand why high humidity can make those 90 degrees feel warmer, hence the concept of the Heat Index.

But, with the outer world chilled to 10 degrees, as is the current case at my current location, how does 82% Humidity make those 10 degrees feel like 18?

How can there be a Heat Index when the temperature is well below freezing?

I suspect some sort of weather reporting error is the explanation.