Saturday, September 30, 2017

Look At Fort Worth's Industrial Wasteland Boondoggle Location For Amazon HQ2

I saw that which you see here a couple days ago, and thought to myself, what fresh nonsense is this?

Just a few days ago the Star-Telegram had embarrassed itself over the Amazon HQ2 thing, which had me then blogging about that instance of Star-Telegram embarrassment in Searching For Dozen Reasons To Lure Amazon To Fort Worth.

Even before I read this most recent article I assumed it was the bleak industrial wasteland known as Panther Island where "city leaders" would like to see Amazon HQ2 locate.

The Amazon in downtown Fort Worth? Here’s where city leaders would like to see it article made clear who these city leaders were who were suggesting the location of Amazon HQ2.

Of course, J.D. Granger is a supposed city leader. This explains so much which seems so inexplicable. The Granger part of the article...

In Fort Worth, city and chamber officials have approached the Trinity River Vision Authority to put together an offer for Amazon, detailing which parcels of land are available at the Panther Island site and where the company could potentially expand, said J.D. Granger, the authority’s executive director. “Amazon is the perfect fit for Panther Island,” Granger said. “We are looking for a young, aggressive-type model, and they are a perfect fit for what is being created down there.”

Yeah, a perfect fit for what is being created down there.

Down there, where there is no infrastructure development underway upon which a monster like Amazon could be built.

Down there, where J.D. Granger and America's Biggest Boondoggle have been struggling for years to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Down there, where there is no public transit of the modern world sort.

Down there, north of a downtown so lacking in shopping venues that on the busiest shopping day of the year the downtown is a virtual ghost town.

Why would Amazon have any interest in where Fort Worth's supposed city leaders would like to see Amazon locate its HQ2?

Would those be the same city leaders who mislead Fort Worth into having a public transit system so bad it would be considered inadequate in a big city in a third world country?

Would those be the same city leaders who don't care their town is ill served by public parks? With few of the town's parks having modern amenities, such as running water and restrooms. But do have an incredible number of outhouses.

Would those be the same city leaders who don't care that their town has fewer sidewalks than any other town of its size in America?

The town where Amazon HQ1 is located has the attributes which Amazon is looking for in HQ2. HQ1 has a light rail transit tunnel under its downtown, connected to an airport and an actual major university. HQ1 has multiple recreational options, including trails with shade provided by these things called trees, an attribute mostly lacking on those Trinity Trails Fort Worth's "city leaders" like to tout.

Now, I must admit, Fort Worth does have one thing Amazon does not regularly find near its HQ1.

Dangerously polluted water with signs warning about the water's danger.

In Fort Worth Amazon could enjoy the Rockin' the Trinity River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

Which really should serve as a cautionary warning. Fort Worth is so lacking in fun outdoor recreational options that hundreds of sad souls are regularly willing to get wet in the polluted Trinity River whilst drinking beer and listening to music playing from an imaginary pavilion on an imaginary island.

Willing, that is, on those occasions when it is determined the e.coli level is low enough to render floating in the river to be relatively safe.

Amazon's HQ1 is located in what is known as a progressive city, in what is known as a progressive state. Would Amazon want to puts its workers in danger of arrest due to some minor marijuana use?

Amazon HQ1 is in what is known as a Sanctuary City. In what is known as a Sanctuary State.

Would Amazon want its HQ2 in a town and state where who uses what restroom is a major issue?

Another excerpt from the deluded Star-Telegram article with another deluded quote from one of Fort Worth's deluded "city leaders"....

The city’s Panther Island development may be part of the North Texas bid to snag a second headquarters campus for Amazon. The possible site was revealed at a City Council meeting Tuesday night when Fort Worth Transportation Authority board member Jeff Davis mentioned the downtown project as a great location for the online retailer. “We have the best location in the world for Amazon on Panther Island,” Davis said, before noting that the council’s decision to not devote property tax revenue to expand bus service could hurt Fort Worth’s chances. Amazon has listed public transit among its site criteria.

Best location in the world? Did I mention deluded?

And then there is this blurb from the deluded Star-Telegram article...

Panther Island, the name for the big development envisioned on the north side of the Trinity River once a bypass channel is added, is one of the few Fort Worth locations with enough space to accommodate Amazon’s needs. The new island would include a town lake and encompass 800 acres. Construction on bridges that will eventually cross the new river channel is underway.

Panther Island District is actually the current name for the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle. The name of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle has gone through many iterations over the course of this century, greatly helping whoever it is who has The Boondoggle's sign making contract.

Construction on bridges is underway? More accurately, construction on bridges has been limping along since 2014, taking longer to build than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, over actual water.

The imaginary island will include a town lake? You reading this in the Seattle zone. This proposed "lake" is actually a small pond smaller than Green Lake. Only not with water safe to swim in.

The bridges will eventually cross the new river channel? River channel is a fancy way of saying cement lined ditch. That ditch won't get dug til that point in time when those three simple little bridges get built.

Amazon, you are looking at a point way in the future when Fort Worth's proposed site of your HQ2 is ready to get built on, with access via those three bridges taking you across that ditch to that imaginary island, where you won't be boarding a cruise ship docking on that little pond to take you north to Alaska, or a ferry to somewhere else.

But there are alligators, snapping turtles and water moccasins...

Friday, September 29, 2017

From Arlington's Boomed Viridian To Fort Worth's Doomed Cowtown Wakepark

I was in the D/FW zone on Wednesday. Whilst there I thought I might check in on the desolation zone in Fort Worth where for most of this century a supposedly much needed flood control and economic development scheme has been underway.

In slow motion.

No, what you are looking at here is not a Trinity Trail along the Trinity River in the aforementioned desolation zone of inactivity now known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

What you are looking at above is a spur trail off the Trinity Trail in River Legacy Park, in Arlington, not Fort Worth. This spur trail leads to the massive development known as Viridian.

Way back in 2007 I was biking along the River Legacy Trinity Trail when I saw a guy doing some surveying alongside the trail. I stopped and asked the guy what he was surveying. He told me he was doing some measuring for something called Viridian, which was to be a big development of lakes, homes, schools, stores, restaurants, and other things, such as a lake with a public access beach.

Infrastructure work on Viridian soon began, quickly altering the landscape one saw whilst biking along the River Legacy Trinity Trail.

And then the Great Recession hit.

Work on Viridian ground to a stop. That stop lasted for several years, and then a couple years ago the Viridian development went into boom mode, a boom which continues to boom.

Since I last biked through Viridian new paved trails have been added, one of which took me to an overlook looking over the marina you see below, with a collection of kayaks, canoes and sailboats.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, that flood control economic development, touted as being vitally needed, has been limping along for most of this century, with little, unlike Viridian, to be seen for the effort.

The Viridian development has been developed without abusing eminent domain. While in Fort Worth eminent domain was abused to take dozens of properties. With some properties bulldozed while the property owner was still trying to get justice in the corrupt Fort Worth courts.

Property was taken in Fort Worth, supposedly for the public good, for a pseudo public works project the public has never voted for, with this pseudo public works project not bringing the project to fruition within any reasonable time frame, with those stolen bulldozed properties just sitting there with nothing happening on them.

Some of those properties taken by eminent domain abuse are where America's Biggest Boondoggle has been trying to build three simple little bridges, for years now, built over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Viridian is a private development. No federal funds involved. No local congressperson's offspring hired to help grease any wheels.

There are several lakes in the Viridian development. None of which feature a cable powered wakeboard attraction.

One of the Trinity River Vision's early failures, one of the early boondoggle indicators, was known as Cowtown Wakepark. Touted by Kay Granger's boondoggling boy, J.D., as providing the sport of wakeboarding in an urban environment, this was obviously doomed to fail. It did not take professor of economics to see the problem with the business model. As in, only a few people at a time could be wakeboarding. It'd be like a Six Flags ride which could only handle four people at a time.

And then there was the location, at the edge of the Trinity River. Which floods, Apparently it never occurred to anyone involved that a flood would wreak havoc. Extremely ironic early on mistake, what with this being part of a project touted as being, in part, flood control.

Cowtown Wakepark did not last long. There was no investigation into how this mistake happened. Who was responsible? How much money did the Trinity River Vision spend to dig the pond for the Cowtown Wakepark? How much was spent to re-route the Trinity Trail around the Wakepark? Why is no one ever held accountable for any of the nonsense associated with America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Perplexingly pitiful...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Final SAD September Thursday With Wet Wichita Falls Egrets

How much more of this is a person expected to endure before cracking from feeling SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder)?

Day three of clouds dripping wet stuff on all the places I prefer to be dry.

Overnight, in addition to the water droppage, the temperature also dropped. A low in the low 50s overnight. Only 64 mid-afternoon in chilly wet Wichita Falls.

I had some slight respite from the chill, yesterday, in the D/FW zone, where I was able to ride my bike from River Legacy Park, in Arlington, to the Viridian development, also in Arlington. More on that, maybe, later.

It was semi-cold yesterday morning when I headed towards Dallas, and so I was wearing long pants for the first time since I was in Washington in August. The long pants turned out to be a mistake, due to the air being heated into the 80s by the time I got to River Legacy.

So, today, I was feeling a bit housebound, due to the constant drippage, when coming up on noon the dripping abated. I was already in sweatpants. All I needed to do was add a sweatshirt and an ear covering hat and I was good to go on the Circle Trail.

As soon as I got on the Circle Trail I saw Holliday Creek was running more water than I'd ever seen roaring through that canyon previously. I figured rolling to Lake Wichita Dam might be interesting, possibly with copious amounts of water spilling over the spillway.

About a mile later big drops started dripping. I continued on. Passing under Kemp Street the dam spillway came into view.  I saw water was flowing over the entire length of the spillway, but not in amounts copious enough to make the ground rumble, or a mist, or a slight roar.

On top of the dam I took the Circle Trail spur which leads to overlooking the spillway, and the homage to an egret which has been painted on the south side's wall. As soon as I got my camera turned on an egret arrived to pose with its doppelganger painted on the wall.

That is the close up view of the egrets, above, and a more zoomed out view below.

Soon after taking the above photos the rain started becoming more of a nuisance, and so I began a high speed return to my abode. I was not too wet by the time I opened my front door.

I do not know when this bout of bad weather is scheduled to end. My sun tan is quickly beginning to fade. Rapid winter type weight gain is likely soon to follow.

Unless the sun and the heat it brings returns, which I suspect will be the case. I hope...

Throwing Thursday Back To Last Month At Birch Bay With Uncle Mooch

A day or two or three ago I was made aware of the photo you see here.

August 11, 2017, near the end of an extremely long day four of my week in Washington last summer, this photo was taken at a restaurant on the bay at Birch Bay, a few miles south of the Canadian border.

As the end of the day approached we had been waiting for what seemed hours for the arrival of Aunt Judy and Uncle Mooch.

That would be Uncle Mooch you see in green at the far left above, and Aunt Judy, the lady in red, clapping near the end of the table. On the right, the lady in yellow, also clapping, is Uncle Mooch's first wife, Aunt Jane.

That cluster of kids, surrounding their favorite uncle, left of the center, is Theo, David, Ruby and Kwan, who is a short distance from Ruby, next to his mom, my cousin Amy, who also appears to be clapping. That is mama Kristin at the end of the table, also appearing to be clapping.

Why are all these people clapping? Except for Uncle Mooch.


We had finished our bowls of clam chowder and steamed clams, the table had been cleared, for the most part. I sat there thinking finally it is time to get horizontal so as to get a good night's sleep ahead of what was likely going to be a long next day.


Suddenly plates with round brownies and scoops of ice cream appeared. What fresh hell is this I sat there wondering? I want no dessert. I usually eat no dessert. I wanna go to sleep.

And then the final brownie plate arrived, plopped down in front of me, with a flaming candle stuck in one of the round brownies. And then that annoying Happy Birthday song began to be sung, followed by that aforementioned clapping.

Soon, it was over and I was able to go to bed.

I complain, but it was actually the end of an extremely long, extremely special day, one of the best ever, including a long swim with David, Theo and Ruby in the warm water of Birch Bay, and Uncle Mooch demonstrating, for sister Michele, for the first time ever, why we have long known him, affectionately, as Uncle Mooch...

That would be Uncle Jake closest to you, waving, then Ruby, then David, Theo and me. And I think, way further out in the bay, is Uncle Mooch and Aunt Jane, but I'm not sure...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wichita Rain Falls Activates SAD Seasonally Affected Disorder

That is the late in the afternoon Tuesday view from one of my south facing windows you are looking at here.

Rain began dropping soon after the sun began it daily illumination duties this morning.

The dripping has gone into downpour mode multiple times.

Judging from the empty planter sitting on my deck several inches have dropped.

It took just one day for me to get SAD.

Seasonally Affected Disorder.

This day has been much too good a reminder of what a stereotypical fall/winter/spring day in my old home location in Western Washington is like. Day after day after day after day of gray drippage.

However, major difference from my current SAD location. At my location in Western Washington I could go a few miles to the west and be in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, where a desert level of annual precipitation make for a reliable rain-free experience.

Or I could drive further, heading east over the Cascade Mountains, where the rain shadow caused by that mountain range also causes a desert level of annual precipitation.

No matter what direction I go from my current location it would take hundreds of miles of driving to find any sort of rain shadow. Or a mountain. Well, a real mountain. I am a short distance from the Mount Wichita pseudo mini-volcano.

I hope the rain dries up by tomorrow morning when I make my monthly trek to the D/FW zone...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ocean Wins Again With David, Theo & Ruby

What is going on here?

Certainly not a scene taking place in Wichita Falls. Or Fort Worth. Maybe the Texas Gulf Coast.

This is one of three photos sent yesterday from the phone of my little sister who lives in Tacoma.

The only text accompanying the photos said "The Ocean Wins Again..."

Since my nephews David and Theo, along with niece Ruby, took their parental units to the Washington Pacific Coast, to the town of Seabrook for a final summer fling, this would seem to likely mean this is the Pacific Ocean we see Theo dodging waves in.

David likely did no wave dodging due to his extreme shark fear. I recollect trying to convince David there were no big sharks in Birch Bay, and whilst doing so I may have mentioned there are big sharks, maybe even of the Great White variety, when you get closer to the ocean, such as what one finds on the Washington Pacific Coast.

The text informing us that the ocean had won again was in reference to the walled sandcastle fort Theo and I built last month at Birch Bay, along with some canal digging by Ruby and a little dredging help from David.

Theo and I thought we built our sand castle's walls high enough to hold back the tide.

We were wrong. The tide won. Eventually.

Below we see the trio of David, Theo and Ruby working on a Pacific Ocean circular sand sea wall. This appears to be much smaller than that which Theo and I constructed on Birch Bay. I see no hope of the ocean not winning against this sand sea wall.

I suspect the Pacific Ocean water is a bit cooler than that which we swam in in August at Birch Bay.

It appears above the ocean has already breached the sand castle's sea wall, well before the arrival of the incoming tide. Clearly engineering help from an uncle would have been helpful with this project.

But, even with an uncle's expert sandcastle wall building help, the ocean still probably would have won in the end....

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Last September Sunday Fall Biking Around Lake Wichita

It was to Lake Wichita I rolled my non-motorized wheels today on this mighty fine last Sunday of September, first Sunday of Fall.

The route to Lake Wichita is via the Circle Trail, which crosses Lake Wichita Dam about a mile and a half from my abode. It is almost another mile across the dam, then a gravel trail around the perimeter of Lake Wichita Park til that trail returns to the current southwest terminus of the Circle Trail, in the shadow of Mount Wichita.

From Mount Wichita the Circle Trail runs along the north edge of Lake Wichita. I stopped at one of the trail overlooks which looks over the Lake Wichita marshland to take the picture you see above. From the point of this overlook it is about another half mile to where the Circle Trail is once again on top Lake Wichita Dam.

The handlebars pushed into strong headwinds today. That makes for amping up the aerobically induced endorphin stimulation.

Yesterday I got my aerobically induced endorphin stimulation via once again hiking multiple times to the summit of the aforementioned Mount Wichita.

I hope if the Lake Wichita Revitalization ever gets into actual motion that the plan is altered to using the dredged lake bottom to make a few more mountains alongside Mount Wichita, creating a sort of Wichita Mountain range.

Mount Wichita was made from that which was dredged from Sikes Lake, way back late in the previous century. Sikes Lake is several miles distant from Mount Wichita. It seems it would make sense to use that which is dredged from the Lake Wichita lake bottom to make some new nearby mountains, with no need to haul the mountain material but a short distance.

Anyway, fun bike ride today. I may be using my motorized vehicle device to haul my bike to the D/FW zone this week, I think. I do not know if there will be any wheel rolling, what with the weather prediction currently being possibly wet...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Short 25-Story Tower Changing Fort Worth's Skyline

A couple days ago I saw the headline you see here, Reaching the top: See how new 25-story office tower is changing Fort Worth skyline and thought to myself here we go again with some fresh Fort Worth Star-Telegram Chamber of Commerce-ish propaganda.

If the downtown skyline of an American city, with a population over 800,000, can be changed by one short office tower, the fact that that town must have a rather pitiful skyline seems rather obvious.

Over the years one has to admit the Star-Telegram has scaled back on some of its embarrassing propaganda. It has been a long time since I have read in the Star-Telegram that some perfectly mundane thing in Fort Worth was causing spasms of envy in towns, far and wide.

Long ago I compiled instances of this in a webpage titled, if I remember right, Fort Worth Causes World To Be Green With Envy.

Below, from the aforementioned Star-Telegram article about Fort Worth's dramatically changed skyline, we see a screencap photo documenting how this stunning low rise has altered the town's skyline.

From the article we learned the new low rise will top out this week, and be completed and ready to be occupied sometime next year. It takes a lot of time to build stuff in Fort Worth. Likely due to the extreme geological challenges.

Last month I was in one of America's west coast towns. That town has had dozens of actual high rises, higher than 25-stories, added to its skyline in the past couple years, with dozens more under construction. I highly doubt any of that town's multiple legitimate newspapers have had articles about any random one of those high rises changing the town's skyline, even though said skyline has dramatically changed.

Why does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not ever focus on the town's actual areas which need some attention, rather than puff pieces about an office tower supposedly changing the town's skyline?

Like doing some actual investigative journalism into all the problems with what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. Would one not think a town's one and only newspaper would want to do some investigating into why their town is currently hosting America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Such as what is the current status of the three simple little bridges, whose construction began years ago, constructed over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Or what about that imaginary island. Why does the Star-Telegram not weigh in about how embarrassing it is to the town's already not great image to label something which is not an island, never will be an island, an island? Let alone call it Panther Island.

Last month I spent time in two towns with much smaller populations than Fort Worth. Both towns, Tacoma, Washington and Chandler, Arizona, have multiple, large, well done, heavily used, public pools Why does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not editorially opine regarding Fort Worth lacking in this type amenity?

Again, last month I was in multiple Washington and Arizona town's city parks. All had running water and modern restrooms. And no outhouses. Why does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not editorially opine that it is high time for Fort Worth to invest in and modernize its city parks?

The Star-Telegram may have dropped its embarrassing green with envy verbiage. But the Star-Telegram still has a penchant for referring to some ordinary thing in Fort Worth as being world class, when the sad fact of the matter is nothing in Fort Worth is world class. But for some reason the Star-Telegram believes it is important to delude its few readers into thinking such.

Having the most outhouses per capita of any major American city is not a world class thing to be proud of. Having the most streets without sideswalks of any major American city is not a world class thing to be proud of.

Why does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not editorially opine on actual real Fort Worth issues which need addressing and fixing? But instead wastes time telling its readers nonsense about a short office tower changing Fort Worth's skyline.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Theo, Ruby & David Seabrook Leap Into Fall

Theo, Ruby and David leaping from summer into a Seabrook pool.

Summer of 2017 went by fast. Real fast. I was in Arizona when this year's version of summer began sizzling at temperatures north of 120.

A few days after summer began I drove back to Texas, still sizzling, via the Southwest route through New Mexico and El Paso.

I was back in Texas five days when I got the sad news my dad was finally resting in peace.

August 8 I got on a little jet in Wichita Falls and flew to D/FW to get on a bigger jet to fly to Seattle. The week in Washington was both the happiest and the saddest week I've had in a long time.

Above you are looking at three of the reasons that week in Washington was such a happy one. That is Theo, Ruby and David leaping into a body of water. Til that week in Washington I'd forgotten how fun it is to be an uncle.

Yesterday, one of Theo, Ruby and David's parental units, my little sister Michele, told me, via email, that the kids had taken the family to Seabrook for an end of summer, start of fall, fling.

I had no memory of where or what Seabrook was, so I Googled "Seabrook WA" to quickly learn Seabrook is a new, large, planned community town type thing on Washington's Pacific Coast, north of Ocean Shores and Copalis. My memory told me north of Copalis the coastal highway goes inland, getting away from the coast. If I remembered right the highway had to bypass the large Quinault Indian Nation.

So, how was Seabrook on the coast if I remembered no coastal highway north of Copalis til the road got around the Quinault Nation?

I opened my antique Microsoft Street Finder Map App to quickly have my memory refreshed that a coastal highway continues past Copalis, to the south end of the Quinault Nation at Moclips. Seabrook is between Copalis and Moclips.

There is a Seabrook Facebook page, among many other Seabrook websites.

It was from the Seabrook Facebook page I figured out this was the Washington coast town my sister Jackie mentioned to me the last time I was in Arizona. Why Jackie brought Seabrook up, I do not remember. Maybe I asked when last she'd been on the Washington coast, what with us talking about Birch Bay. What I do remember is Jackie saying they stayed at this town on the Washington coast, north of Ocean Shores, which she said was like that town in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show, like the town was a movie set, all pretty and perfect.

Looking at photos of Seabrook I can see why The Truman Show crossed sister Jackie's imagination.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Successful Wheel Surgery At Wichita Falls Bike Stop

The white thing you see in the foreground is part of my motorized vehicular transit device.

This morning, after several days of procrastinating, I got around to driving my injured bike a couple blocks to my neighborhood bike doctor, at the Wichita Falls Bike Stop bike shop.

My bike was injured on Sunday. Well, more accurately, on Sunday I realized my bike had a serious problem. I was having myself a mighty fine time rolling around the MSU campus, and then Sikes Lake, when I got a little too adventurous speeding up part of the Sikes Lake dam's spillway.

The bike behaved oddly as I zipped up the cement embankment. And then I soon found myself annoyed to be hearing an unnatural noise at every rotation of the rear wheel. I hobbled back to my abode where I discovered the bike's rear wheel had four broken spokes and a rather pronounced wobble.

It is likely the bike's spokes broke long ago, whilst mountain biking, with some combination of factors causing Sunday's additional wheel bending.

This morning, when I took the injured wheel to the bike doctor, the initial prognosis was not good. The damage was severe. It looked like there had been more than one serious impact to the wheel. The hub had additional issues. Til he got the wheel into surgery the bike doctor would not know if it could be saved, or if it would need to be totally replaced.

Two hours later the bike doctor called with the good news that he was able to save the wheel, that it was back being true as it spun around.

I was pleased and quickly traveled the couple blocks to get the wheel out of the hospital and back reunited with its tube and tire and bike frame.

Over the years in Texas, til being in Wichita Falls, I have not had good experiences with bike shops.

I also recollect not liking the bike shop in Mount Vernon, I think it was called Skagit Valley Sports. But I don't remember why I did not like that place. I do remember liking the bike shop where I bought my long lasting Schwinn Moab mountain bike, in Bellingham. I think the place was called Fairhaven Bikes.

I do remember why I developed an aversion to D/FW's Bicycle, Inc., what with multiple incompetence incidents and just real bad customer service, as in waiting so long to get waited on one felt like one was in the DMV trying to renew a driver's license.

One incident with Bicycles, Inc. also involved getting a wheel trued. I dropped the wheel off at Bicycle, Inc's Bedford store, which was quite an inconvenient distance from my abode. When it was finally my turn to verbalize my bike woe I was told I would need to leave the wheel and it would be ready in, if I remember right, five days.

Five days later I returned to Bicycles, Inc. The wheel had not been fixed. I was a bit offput and was told they'd fix it right then, to come back in an hour. And so I did. Got the wheel, got it home, re-installed the tube and tire and then began to suffer a series of flats, over and over again. Til I realized the Bicycles, Inc. bike mechanic had neglected to install the liner which protects the tube from the spoke nipples.

Today the Bike Stop bike mechanic made no such mistake. Instead he told me the old liner was so old it fell apart upon removal, and so he stuck on a new one.

Today was my second good experience with the Wichita Falls Bike Stop. In addition to their website the Bike Stop is also on Facebook.

If I decide I need to get a new bike I am just about 100% certain I know where I will be getting it...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wichita Falls Blue Sky After Powerless Night

Yesterday in the late afternoon time frame, sometime around five, unpredicted stormy weather arrived in the form of wind, rain and lightning bolts.

Soon after the arrival of the unpredicted stormy weather the electricity went into on and off mode, short bursts of no power.

And then around six the power went off and stayed off until after nine.

Yesterday was the first time since I've been in Wichita Falls the power grid has gone into malfunction mode. Such was a frequent occurrence at my previous Texas location in Fort Worth.

Yesterday's downpour poured down the most rain I've seen since I've been at my current location. By the time the sun finished its daily illumination duty I could see my abode was pretty much surrounded by a moat.

Eventually I tired of sitting in the dark and sought out my hip waders so as to make my way through the moat to my motorized transit device in order to drive to Walmart, if possible.

It was a dramatic journey through deep water, at times. Police acted as traffic lights, using flash lights. This looked sort of dangerous, what with visibility so poor and what with lightning bolts striking in every direction.

Eventually I made it to Walmart, where too much water had caused one entry to be closed. Inside Walmart most of the leaks had a bucket in place to catch the water. Thunder always seems extra loud when inside a Walmart. Last night the Walmart was eerily quiet, except for the extra loud thunder booms.

This morning I walked over to the Circle Trail to see if Holliday Creek was still in raging torrent mode like I saw last night. Nope. By morning Holliday Creek was back in slow mosey mode, which you can sort of see via the photo documentation above.

More storming is in the current 7 day forecast. I am hoping the forecast is wrong...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bug Free Mount Wichita Summit Hike

Til today it had been a long time since I found myself strenuously hiking to the summit of Mount Wichita.

Was it way back last winter, when the summit turned out to be so icy cold and windy, that I decided hiking the only mountain in town was no longer a mighty fine fun thing to do?

Or was it getting too many bug bites way back when last spring sprung which caused the bloom to fade off the Mount Wichita bloom?

Maybe it was when once again bike riding became my primary source of endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation that I ceased with the mountain climbing.

I probably should keep some sort of diary, or record of some sort, in order to be able to answer such important questions as when last I hiked to the summit of Mount Wichita.

Today I did manage to take a picture which does justice to how steep the slope to the summit of Mount Wichita is.

That photo doing justice to the steepness was taken on today's second assault on the Mount Wichita summit. This is on the west side of the mountain.

Today's first assault on the Mount Wichita summit came via the eastern trail to the top. That trail has had some wildfire activity, starting at ground level, burning all the way to the summit, part of which you can see below.

I have no way of knowing if this was a man caused conflagration, or if the burn was the result of a lightning strike.

Via the view from the summit, which you see below, you are looking southeast at Lake Wichita, and you can see a little of the aforementioned burn zone, near the bottom of the mountain.

One of the reasons I was in hiking mode today was due to the fact that getting aerobic stimulation via the biking mode was not available, due to the fact that the bike is in need of a doctor's care. The rear wheel had a bad reaction to a steep cement slope at the Sikes Lake spillway on Sunday, rendering the wheel wobbly. That and breaking four spokes.

Due to a recent outbreak of multiple bug bites I covered myself in anti-bug spray prior to going mountain climbing today. This turned out to be not needed because a bug grounding wind was blowing hard. I like it when a bug grounding wind is blowing hard whilst mountain climbing, but not so much when riding a bike.

My bike should be out of intensive care tomorrow. I hope....

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Rolling My Wheels Past Midwestern State University Desegregation American Idiocracy Reminder

I enjoy rolling my bike's wheel on the MSU (Midwestern State University) when school is not in session, such as a day like today, which is Sunday.

With the children not in school it makes for a much less busy, less congested college campus, hence easy peaceful wheel rolling.

Today I came upon a couple things I had not come across before. One being the fountain you see my handlebars looking at.

Spouting fountains are usually a pleasant restful thing to enjoy for a moment or two. This MSU fountain was no exception to that pleasant restful rule.

After a minute or two of listening to and looking at the fountain I looked to my right, which was to the south, to see a Texas Historical Marker.

What piece of history could this be marking, I wondered? So, I hopped back on board my bike and rolled its handlebars south for a closer look at what this historical marker had to say...

Midwestern University Desegregation

In 1948, Emzy Downing and James O. Chandler, both graduated from the African American High School in Wichita Falls, Booker T. Washington High School, applied for admission to Hardin Junior College, a division of Midwestern University. The Board of Trustees denied their admission. In 1950, with encouragement from local NAACP leader Professor C.E. Jackson, Willie Faye Battle, an honor graduate, applied by mail for admission to the two-year nursing school at Hardin Junior College. She was accepted, but when she and Professor Jackson went to the school to complete the application process, she was denied admission. Subsequently she was accepted to Prairie View A & M University.

In the Fall of 1951, Ms. Battle along with Maryland Virginia Menefee, Helen Muriel Davis, Golden E. Mitchell White, Carl Lawrence McBride and Wilma Jean Norris were encouraged to apply in person. Each applicant received rejected letters in the mail. Following this incident, a meeting was held between the University Board of Trustees and Representatives of the Texas State Council. Alternative solutions were discussed such as a college at Booker T. Washington High School or Midwestern paying the tuition for African American students to attend African American colleges. These alternatives were rejected and a suit was filed in United States District Court, the first of its type. Initially, Battle et al. v. Wichita Falls Junior College Dist., was decided in favor of the students, but, with Appeals and Injunctions, the final decision came through the Supreme Court in 1954, following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Ruling, the first African American students were enrolled in the Summer of 1954.

Well, we Americans have come a long way since the 1950s. Yet somehow, with the ascendancy of the American Idiocracy, we seem to be falling backwards. Hopefully, this latest iteration of the American Idiocracy will soon cease being ascendant and American Democracy will be back being ascendant....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wichita Falls Circle Trail Handlebar Encounter With Bug Eyed Robot

Yes, those are my bike's handlebars you see here, looking as if they are in some sort of communication with a red bug eyed robotic device.

What the handlebars are actually looking at is one of the bike repair stations on the Wichita Falls Circle Trail.

If I remember right I have previously mentioned that Wichita Falls is an extremely bike friendly town. These ubiquitous bike repair stations are an example of this.

This instance of a Circle Trail bike repair station is located in Hamilton Park. Today's bike ride took me on the Circle Trail to Haiti, then the Nassau alley to Sikes Lake, then through the MSU campus, eventually to Harrison from whence a couple other roads take me to the aforementioned Hamilton Park and back to the Circle Trail which I roll all the way back to my abode, making for a multi-mile circle around the Circle Trail.

I returned to my abode to soon learn I had suffered another instance of incompetence. I once again forgot to add water to the rice cooker before turning it on and leaving it to cook without supervision. The rice cooker turns itself off when it detects an incompetent human forgot to add water, so no harm done, except to my confidence in my competence.

Tree, weed and grass pollen are supposedly high. But so far I am not in bad allergy mode. Knock on wood...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Is DFW's Madame X In NYC's Bellevue Psychiatric Asylum?

The day before 9/11 I got a text message informing me that the party sending the message was heading to New York City. I was advised not to reveal this sensitive information. Or to blog about the fact that this person was leaving Texas with NYC as the destination.

As such is what I was advised I shall not name who it was who advised me not to mention NYC was to be this person's location this week. Or the identity of this person.

And so, I shall refer to this temporary New Yorker as Madame X.

Madame X verbalized some nervous trepidation about going from the relative sedate calm of her irregular Texas location to the center of the known universe, New York City, a town which never sleeps, unlike a town like, well, Fort Worth, which rarely wakes up.

I had my phone in mute mode so I did not realize til late this afternoon I had received an urgent text message from Madame X, including the photo you see above, with text simply saying "NYC is stressing me out. Dunno how much more I can take. I may be having a nervous breakdown. Or pizza for dinner."

When Madame X and I communicated about her going to NYC, prior to her departure, with Madame X verbalizing her nervous breakdown fears, I suggested she Google Bellevue Psychiatric Asylum and have their emergency number entered into her phone in case she was in dire need of a straight jacket.

So, what with Madame X not indicating via her text message what it is we are looking at in the above photo, I have no way of knowing if this is the view from her hotel. Or Madame X's room in the Bellevue Psychiatric Asylum.

I suspect clarity on this issue will soon become clear....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

David's 9/11 Happy Birthday Sushi Feast With Raw Scorpions

Last night nephew David called to thank me for that which the postal service had successfully delivered from Texas to Washington for his 9/11 celebration of turning nine years old.

Today some photo documentation of David's Happy Birthday arrived, with the only text explanation for the photos being "David's birthday choices" and "But he still hasn't eaten the scorpion he got at the fair".

The second photo is the one with David holding his un-eaten scorpion.

I did not know David's taste for seafood had expanded to include desert based seafood type creatures.

The fair referred to as the source of David's scorpion would be the Washington State Fair, also known as The Puyallup. (pew-el-up for those who don't know how to pronounce PNW tribal names).

The Puyallup takes place a short distance from David's home zone of Tacoma. In fact I think the city borders of Tacoma and Puyallup likely meet at a point or two. I think it is the Puyallup who operate the big casino which is in Tacoma.

David's Scorpion
Yesterday I mentioned the possibility the next time I'm in Tacoma, of David taking me to the Muckleshoot Casino Resort so as to experience that casino's Friday night seafood buffet, forgetting at that point in time, about the Emerald Queen Casino right in Tacoma.  I am fairly certain the Emerald Queen is a Puyallup operation. I know for certain I have had myself a mighty fine feeding at the Emerald Queen's seafood buffet.

I may remember a mighty fine Emerald Queen seafood  feeding at their buffet, but I recollect liking the Muckleshoot Casino's seafood buffet better, and have indulged in the Muckleshoot buffet version more frequently, likely maybe because its Auburn location is close by during times I stayed in Kent.

Now the absolute best, in my experience, seafood buffet-wise, in a Washington Casino, would be the one to be had far to the north of David's Tacoma location, up in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, where there are two large casino resorts, one operated by the Skagit tribe, that being the Skagit Casino Resort with its The Market Buffet, the other by the Swinomish.

Both have excellent buffets, with the Skagit one on Bow Hill being the one I have likely partaken of more than any other anywhere. But, the seafood buffet at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge is the absolute best, seafood buffet-wise. The Swinomish do oysters the way my mom did oysters, back when mom did such things as fry oysters.

Speaking of seafood, back to David's Happy Birthday yesterday, let's take a look at the third photo delivered to Texas documenting David's 9 /11.

Sushi. How many nine year olds ask for sushi on their birthday? The above photo was the one with the text telling me these were "David's birthday choices". I can make out the Super Marina Plate of sushi, but I can not identify the pie type on the right, or the liquid product on the left.

Knowing David I doubt the pie type is something as mundane as pumpkin pie. Maybe it is something like sweet potato buttermilk pie. As for the liquid product, I have no guess.

Searching For Dozen Reasons To Lure Amazon To Fort Worth

A few days ago Amazon let the world know they are thinking about building a second company headquarters. HQ2, at some location other than Seattle.

Having recently eye witnessed Seattle in Amazon boomtown mode I can see why Amazon would think it a good idea to open a second headquarters. I don't know how much more booming Seattle can take before bursting, traffic and otherwise.

And then we have sleepy Fort Worth, a town which does nothing fast. A town which has been boondoggling along year after year with an ineptly engineered public works project the public has never approved, known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or America's Biggest Boondoggle.

A few days after the Amazon announcement I was amused by a typical Fort Worth Star-Telegram propaganda article about the subject, a screen cap of that article's headline is what you see above, "Amazon headquarters in North Texas? Let us count the ways".

 The first paragraph...

It is easy to rattle off a dozen reasons why Fort Worth is a great place to live — world class museums, the Trinity River trails, the world’s largest honky tonk, Joe T. Garcia’s — to name just a few.

Really? It is easy to rattle off a dozen reasons why Fort Worth is a great place to live? And these four examples of the alleged dozen reasons are your examples?

World class museums?

What town wearing its non-provincial big city pants refers to anything in its town as "world class"? World class? As opposed to what? National class? State class? County class? Yes, it is true, Fort Worth has a couple well regarded museums, brought to town early in the previous century after the wives of some local oil barons visited New York City, then returned to Cowtown pouting to their husbands that Fort Worth needed some museums if it was ever gonna be a town of culture. And so Amon Carter, and others, bought some artwork, built some museums in an area upwind from the rancid smelling Stockyards slaughter zone, and called this area the Cultural District, to differentiate it from the rest of the town which lacked culture.

The Trinity River trails?

Yes, in Fort Worth there are paved trails along many miles of the Trinity River. As the Trinity River flows alongside those trails, for the most part, it appears to be more of a big ditch than a river. And the water in that river ditch is murky, polluted, nasty. Not fit for fish, or fishing. This is not a river of the sort those working in the current Amazon headquarters are used to seeing. Nor are the Trinity River trails of the sort those working in the current Amazon headquarters are used to biking, blading and jogging on. Few trees, few if any, amenities. The Trinity Trails are no Burke-Gilman, in other words, words which those who work in the current Amazon headquarters will understand.

The world's largest honky tonk?

Does the Star-Telegram really think Billy Bob's is a big selling point making Fort Worth a great place to live? Or a reason a corporate headquarters might consider moving to Fort Worth?

Joe T. Garcia's?

Okay, one of the four reasons cited I agree with. I am not aware of there being any restaurant like Joe T. Garcia's being located anywhere near the current corporate headquarters of Amazon. Or anywhere in Washington. Joe T. Garcia's is one of the go to places I take any visitor who has never been to DFW or Texas before.

I can not help but wonder what the rest of the dozen reasons are which the Star-Telegram thinks make Fort Worth a great place to live.

One can not be the town's lifeless downtown with zero downtown department stores, with zero downtown vertical malls. How many vertical malls are in the downtown of Amazon's current corporate headquarters? How many department stores? And then there is that sprawling attraction known as Pike Place. Does Fort Worth have anything like Pike Place? Well, there was the Santa Fe Rail Market, but that only lasted a couple weeks.

Has Fort Worth fixed Heritage Park yet? After years of being a boarded up eyesore at the north end of the town's downtown, across the street from the country courthouse. A town which can not upkeep a park dedicated to its heritage really does not seem like much of a viable candidate to which a world class corporation would want to locate.

One of Amazon's new headquarters location criteria is easy access to outdoor recreation. Well, there are no real mountain trails in the DFW neighborhood. There are no ski resorts a short distance away. No cruise ships or ferry boats docking anywhere nearby.

Like to walk? Most Fort Worth streets have no sidewalks. Don't most world class cities with world class museums have world class sidewalks?

Fort Worth is particularly ill served by city parks. Most of which lack modern plumbing. And modern restrooms. Yet proudly sport an astonishing variety of outhouses. World class outhouses.

I recently spent time in Tacoma and Chandler, Arizona. Both towns, much smaller than Fort Worth, have multiple public pools. Pools with wave features and lazy rivers. Fort Worth has no such thing. But, the town does have happy hour inner tube floats, with music, in summer, in the polluted Trinity River.

Speaking of America's Biggest Boondoggle. Maybe if that ill fated much needed flood control economic development scheme had been actualized the way things get actualized in actual world class cities Fort Worth would currently be making use of its new fake waterfront, little lake, canals, whilst driving across its three little bridges connecting the town's mainland to an imaginary island.

And, if in 2017, the Trinity River Vision were something someone, like Amazon, or anyone, could actually see, maybe Amazon might consider making its $5 billion investment on that imaginary island.

Wouldn't that be something...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Good New Circle Trail Bridge Over Dribbling Wichita Falls

A week or so ago I read somewhere that the long awaited completion of the new Circle Trail bridge over Wichita Falls had been completed, and was ready to be crossed.

That and the upgraded, widened Circle Trail relocation under the I-287 freeway was also ready to be ridden.

And that Wichita Falls was once again turned on and falling water into the Wichita River.

So, needing to return books and get some new ones, this morning I took myself to downtown Wichita Falls, to the library to conduct some book business.

After which I removed my bike from its temporary back of the truck location and rolled my wheels from the library over the easy streets of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls, through the MPEC parking lots til I got to the Circle Trail.

By the time the 287 freeway came into view I could see the new trail was ready and waiting for me.

Soon after crossing under the freeway I got off the bike and took the picture you see of my handlebars aiming toward Wichita Falls and the new bridge over the falls.

I was not the only person visiting Wichita Falls today, as you can see below.

In the above location I am standing on the east end of the new bridge over Wichita Falls, looking west at a group of moms at the other end of the bridge. The moms were a trio of smokers who were pushing their kids in roller strollers. Smoking and pushing kids in roller strollers seemed sort of contradictory to me.

Wichita Falls did not seem to be falling at full falls today. The falls seemed sort of to be in dribble mode. When I first got near to the falls I thought they were turned off because I was not hearing the waterfall roar I have heard previous times when visiting Wichita Falls.

The Wichita Falls upgrade to the Circle Trail is a nice improvement. Now if only those three missing pieces of the Circle Trail's circle could be filled in, that would be a real good thing...

9/11 Anniversary Of 9 Year Old Nephew David's Birthday

On this day 16 years ago America and the rest of the world woke up to find America under attack.

Since that day America has been a nation perpetually at war, to varying degrees.

American children born after 9/11/2001 have never known an America which is not an America at war.

My nephew, David, is one of those children. 9/11, is David's birthday.

Today David is nine years old.


That is David you see above, sidled up to a fish bar, enjoying a libation whilst waiting for his order of calamari and tempura fried jalapeno rings. This fish bar is located in Tacoma, at Point Ruston.

I've never known a kid to be as big a fan of seafood as David is. During the course of my week in Washington last month I saw David consume the aforementioned calamari at Point Ruston, dungeness crab at Duke's in Tukwila, a big bowl of steamed clams at Birch Bay, and on various non-restaurant seafoodings I saw David smacking down smoked salmon, sushi, cod, oysters on the half shell and razor clam strips.

Next time I'm in Tacoma maybe I will get to take David to the Friday seafood buffet at the Muckleshoot Casino Resort for a Happy Birthday feeding...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Rolling Over MSU Paved Trail Maze Finding Colorful Mustang

I saw that which you see here this Sunday morning during the course of taking my handlebars on a roll around the neighborhood.

Sunday is not a school day, which makes Sunday a good day to ride my bike on the maze of paved trails (aka sidewalks) one finds on the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus.

Today one of those paved trails took me to the colorful horse you see here, standing on its hind legs. I believe this horse is a Mustang. You see variations of this all over Wichita Falls.

A Mustang is the MSU mascot.

I would think a Bicycle would make for a more appropriate MSU mascot. I don't think I've seen a live horse since I have been in this town. Not even in the 4th of July parade.

Wichita Falls is a bike friendly town. One of the more bike friendly towns I've ever biked in.

The Texas town I previously sort of lived in, Fort Worth, was not a bike friendly, or pedestrian friendly town.

Leaving my abode in Fort Worth I had to drive somewhere to find a decent paved trail to roll my bike wheels on.

Leaving my abode in Wichita Falls I am just a few feet from the Circle Trail, which is a paved trail about ten feet wide. From the Circle Trail I can opt to roll through the maze of paved alleys which course through my Caribbean neighborhood, usually taking the Nassau alley option to get to the paved trail which takes me to the paved trail which rolls around Sikes Lake.

That was the route I took today, to Sikes Lake, then crossed Midwestern Boulevard to roll around the MSU campus paved trails.

On an entirely different note. Usually I am mostly immune to getting bug bites. Currently my immunity seems not to be working. At this point in time I have five big bug bites. I do not think they are mosquito bites. I have not had one of those since I have been in Texas. I used to get mosquito bitten in Washington, so I know what those bites looked like. Maybe Texas skeeters are a different, bigger version which leaves a different, bigger bite mark.

I have just added bug spray to my shopping list...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

David Columbia River Piloting Theo & Ruby In Eastern Washington

Til yesterday I did not get around to asking about the Labor Day Weekend at Lincoln Rock State Park, which was the Eastern Washington camping location David, Theo & Ruby opted to take their parental units to for the last weekend before the start of the new school year.

The route to Lincoln Rock State Park is over Stevens Pass. That is not David driving over Steven Pass you are looking at here. That is David piloting a boat on Lake Entiat. I do not know if David stopped the car at the Summit of Stevens Pass to partake in the summer activity of mountain biking via using the ski chair lifts to access mountain bike trails.

Theo & Ruby look totally okay with David piloting them at high speed on Lake Entiat. Lake Entiat is also known as Rocky Reach Reservoir. Rocky Reach Reservoir is a lake caused by the damming of the Columbia River by the Rocky Reach Dam.

Here we see Mama Michele & Ruby being towed at high speed by David.

Seems like just yesterday the parental units of David, Theo & Ruby were screaming at me to go no further out to sea with David & Theo in the extremely shallow waters of Birch Bay. Whilst above we see Ruby wild wave riding in the deep waters of one of the biggest rivers in the world with one of those formerly overly worried screaming parental units.

David, Theo & Ruby told their parental units they wanted to go camping at some point in time during the summer. The kid's parental units are not fans of the old fashioned primitive method of camping, so they opted to use the Washington State Park's new Glamping option of camping in a fully furnished cabin, complete with kitchen and bathroom.

The kids were successfully convinced they had gone camping whilst staying in a fully furnished luxury cabin. I am sure no one will disavow them of this notion anymore than anyone will let them know the truth about Santa Claus for a few more years.

I eye witnessed the new Washington State Park cabin option way back in 2008 when I met Spencer Jack for the first time, at Bay View State Park. Those cabins looked a bit more primitive than the one David, Theo & Ruby camped in in Eastern Washington.

Did it create any controversy when the state went into competition with the state's motel industry, I wondered, when I saw all the cabin options at Lincoln Rock State Park. Maybe the cabins are a private concession type deal. Such is not unheard of in the Washington State Park system.

I don't know if post 9/11 security overkill one can no longer take oneself on a self guided tour of Rocky Reach Dam. That dam has the best fish ladder I have ever walked beside, watching salmon and other fish struggle against the current to get themselves past the dam.

Just Googled to see if one can still tour Rocky Reach Dam to learn the answer is yes, according to the Wikipedia Rocky Reach Dam article...

The project is located on the Columbia River on Highway 97A, seven miles north of Wenatchee. The visitor center shows films describing the Columbia River. The "Look a Salmon in the Eye" exhibit from (May–September) is a fish viewing room. The Powerhouse includes exhibits on the fourth floor. The Rocky Reach dam is near the Lincoln Rock State Park a short distance upriver. The Rocky Reach Dam was featured on an episode of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe.

I don't know if Theo & Ruby took brother David to Rocky Reach Dam where they were able to look salmon in the eye. David has some issues with some creatures which live in water, such as sharks and crabs, particularly Dungeness crabs.

However, I have heard David speak favorably about salmon, including verbalizing wanting to go fishing for salmon. But, I don't know if David knows how big those salmon fish can get, so looking one in the eye may explain why I saw no photos documenting David in the Lake Entiat Columbia River salmon infested water...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tacoma's Visible Point Ruston Thea Foss Waterway & Fort Worth's Invisible Trinity River Vision

If you are in Fort Worth, or one of its surrounding burgs, looking at that which you see here, you might be thinking it is some sort of new advertisement for the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, what with mention made of Waterfront Condominiums, Waterfront Apartments, Shopping & Dining and a 2017 Sunfest & Summer Concert Series, along with Valet Parking.

Well, you would be wrong if that is what you thought. Not even America's Biggest Boondoggle is (so far) brazen enough with its absurd propaganda to tout such, what with the Boondoggle apparently unable to even manage to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

No, this is a screencap from the Point Ruston website. Point Ruston is a free market private sector developer development on the Tacoma waterfront which has transformed a former industrial wasteland into a booming residential area and tourist attraction.

All done without employing, as project director, the unqualified son of a local congressperson to motivate the congressperson to secure federal funds to fund the project.

Tacoma's Point Ruston development at the north end of the Tacoma waterfront, and the Thea Foss Waterway development on the south end of the Tacoma waterfront have perplexed me ever since I visited them last month.

Perplexed me because it got me wondering how does such development take place in one town, while another town, Fort Worth, flounders along for years, trying to develop an industrial wasteland, whilst operating under the pretext the project is a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme.

Yet, in Fort Worth, this "project" is not so vitally needed that the public is asked to support the project, you know, with money, but instead Fort Worth asks for charity in the form of federal funds in order to have sufficient capital to try to actualize their imaginary vitally needed flood control economic development project.

If Fort Worth's pitiful vision were actually viable wouldn't the free market come along and cause it to happen, such as what has happened at both ends of the Tacoma waterfront, during the past nine years, nine years in which little has happened, that anyone can see, with Fort Worth's embarrassing Trinity River Vision?

Soon after I returned to Texas, last month, I found myself freshly appalled by a new instance of Fort Worth Star-Telegram propaganda regarding America's Biggest Boondoggle. I blogged about this in Fresh Bridge Boondoggle Nonsense. A paragraph from the Part of Fort Worth’s Main Street closes as work revs up on Panther Island bridges article...

The private sector is interested in investing in the project. Last year, a Dallas company confirmed that it had bought nearly 2.5 acres on what will become part of Panther Island at Fourth and Main Streets for a 300-unit apartment community that is expected to cost $55 million. The development, Encore Panther Island, would be the first privately-funded development for the project.

The Boondoggle has spewed this "private sector interest" propaganda for years. Including mentioning, for years now, a Dallas company building an apartment community. After all these years the Trinity River Vision is still nothing anyone can actually see. If it were viable to build an apartment community why is it not under construction? If the Trinity River Vision is actually viable why is there not a lot of private sector building going on, such as what has taken place in Tacoma over the past nine years? And in other locations in America, locations which are actually economically viable and not a foolish poorly executed pipe dream?

Like I have already said, more than once, perplexing. And pitiful....

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ruby Takes Me To Seattle's Amazon Spheres

If I remember correctly yesterday I mentioned that I had been thumbing through the thumbdrive I took with me last month to Washington, returning to Texas with the thumbdrive full of photos, which I am now getting around to blogging, if the photos seem share worthy.

On August 14, returning to Tacoma after several days up north, at Birch Bay, Ruby directed us off I-5 to downtown Seattle, seeking burgers and pizza, which I earlier blogged about in Seattle Dick's Deluxe With Good Pay & Benefits & Long Lines.

When we exited I-5 I expected to soon be seeing the multi-billion dollar Amazon campus under construction, because ever since that construction began I have read it referred to as being the South Lake Union location of said campus. This long confused me because the area I thought of as South Lake Union had long been developed. And I knew there was no way eminent domain was being abused in Seattle to take existing property in order to build a corporate campus, which is what I have seen happen in corrupt towns in Texas, such as Fort Worth and Arlington, to build things like the Radio Shack corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth (quickly to go into failure mode in yet one more embarrassing Fort Worth boondoggle) and the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington.

So, after we left Dick's, Ruby directed our driver to the actual location of Amazon's headquarters. I had mentioned I would like to see the Amazon Spheres. The actual Amazon location turned out to be closer to Seattle's downtown core than South Lake Union.

To get to Amazon Ruby directed us south under the Seattle Monorail, south towards the aforementioned Seattle downtown core, and Westlake Center. Before we reached Westlake Center Ruby had the driver turn left, the left again, heading back north towards South Lake Union, with the Amazon Spheres soon appearing.

Ruby directed the driver to pull over and let she and me out of the vehicle to get a closer look at the Amazon Spheres and part of the Amazon corporate campus, under construction. Which explains why you see Ruby, above and below, in front of the Amazon Spheres.

Everywhere you look in Seattle, currently, you see construction cranes. I do not know if the two towers behind Ruby are part of the Amazon campus, or are new residential towers. Residential towers are sprouting up all over the downtown Seattle zone.

Eminent domain was not abused in Seattle to enable Amazon to build its corporate headquarters. But an old motel, I think maybe a Travelodge, but I am not sure, had been used by the city as a housing place for homeless people. Amazon needed that property, bought it, and then, instead of heartlessly booting the homeless, opted to use multiple floors of one of Amazon's new towers as a homeless shelter, providing services and help getting out of that homeless situation.

The homeless situation was the worst thing I saw when seeing Seattle in its current boomtown mode. Homeless encampments are shockingly visible, as one drives I-5 though downtown Seattle. One gets a good look at the homeless encampments when traffic on I-5 is in traffic jam mode, which is frequently the case.

The next time Ruby takes me to downtown Seattle I hope she is able to take me inside the Amazon Spheres...