Wednesday, January 31, 2018

No Haltom City Buffalo Elsie Hotpepper Lunch With Fried Blackberry Pie

Well, I have had myself a day. A long day. A long day of feeling like I was inside an amusing situation comedy, but not laughing all that much.

The day began with an early drive into bright sun and heavy wind to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metromess town of Haltom City.

The destination today was a new one, not the regular monthly trek to a specific location in Euless.

Today's new trek's destination was via this bumpy route called Haltom Road.

Did you know Haltom City does not open its library til a half hour before 11? Neither did I. Soon after finding that out I found out Haltom City is one of the D/FW towns in which driving can grind to a halt due to a train crossing town.

Eventually I reached my first destination. A short time after that, since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to check out how Gateway Park is doing. I took some photo documentation, but that will have to wait til tomorrow, because the Gateway Park part of the day was not situation comedy material, maybe tragi-comedy material. We'll see how I think about that when I tell about that which I saw in that Fort Worth location if I get around to doing so tomorrow.

Leaving Gateway Park the Beach Street route back to Haltom City takes me by Town Talk. Til today it had been a couple years since I'd been in Town Talk. Yogurt Sale on the reader board is what caused me to stop. The hope I'd find some exotic yogurt. I miss good exotic yogurt. Siggis comes to mind.

Dud. Town Talk is worse now than years ago when I decided to stop stopping. Sometimes a new owner thinks he/she has some great ideas, but those great ideas are not what was working in the first place. I can't see myself stopping at Town Talk ever again..

After Town Talk, like I said I was doing, I headed back to Haltom City, to a sub-city of Haltom City called Fuel City.

I expected Elsie Hotpepper to show up at Fuel City for lunch. I waited and waited and waited. Eventually I had a fried blackberry pie and a couple tacos, consumed whilst watching the Haltom City Herd which consists of a couple really big longhorns, a zebra, and a buffalo.

After about an hour of waiting for Elsie Hotpepper I got a text message telling me a pickup was ready in five minutes. I headed to the pickup zone, then headed to a bank back in Fort Worth to deposit a check. The route to the bank was adventurous, through Haltom City/Richland Hills No-Man's Land, eventually reaching smooth passage on Handley-Ederville Road.

Two seconds at the bank and it was realized the person who issued the check had neglected to sign the check. So, a phone call was made, and it was back to Haltom City, this time via the fast route on the 820 freeway to 121.

Nope. Total traffic jam on 820, so it was Randol Mill Road, back to Handley-Ederviille, back to 121 and then back to Haltom City where the check was signed, and then back to Fort Worth to the bank, via the southbound 820 route, which was not jammed.

After the bank, due to that aforementioned traffic jam, the route to the next destination, WinCo, an alternative route had to be taken. So, once more it was back to Randol Mill Road, via Brentwood Stair, and whatever the name of the road which connects the two, then crossing over the Trinity River and a new bridge which was actually built over real water, in way less than four years, in Fort Worth, at the same time that embarrassing bridge boondoggle limps along in another part of town.

Crossing that bridge the road goes by Gateway Park, then it was right on Beach, by Town Talk, again, then back to Haltom Road, driving by Fuel City and the zebra, buffalo, longhorn gang.

And now the I need gas light was on. No problemo. I stopped at a gas pumper I've pumped at many times. Inserted the card, entered the PIN. And then "CARD INVALID" or "CARD DECLINED". I don't remember for sure. I was already stressed out. That card had just been used to make that aforementioned check deposit.

I figured gas pump malfunction and continued on to Sam's Club where I had pumped previously. Same result. Total rejection.

Use another card? Can't find it. I don't have dozens of cards. Where is the other one? I start to get concerned. I have enough cash to get enough gas to get where I need to go, but still, why was the card getting rejected? I wanted to go to WinCo and get stocked up. I needed that card working. Figured it'd work at WinCo, that the card problem was a gas pumping malady.

I get to WinCo, take out the card, look at it, see the expiration date is 1/2018. I see that and think, wait, I just replaced this card with a new one the bank sent me last month.

At this point I am totally befuddled and completely bum puzzled.

And then I shuffle some papers on the paper holding thing between seats and I see another card. I pick it up. It's the new card. The one I had just used to make a deposit. Why was the old card in the vehicle? I'd activated the new card from inside my abode, took out the old card, or so I thought, and stuck the new card in my card holder.

I still have absolutely no clue by what mysterious means this confusing card conundrum happened.

So, went into WinCo, got the goods, and then proceeded to have myself a mighty fine drive back to Wichita Falls where I will likely be having nightmares involving bank cards tonight...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Today Mom Is Having A Happy Arizona Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday, if I am counting correctly, and I usually do, if the arithmetic is simple, my mom's birthday number today is 85.

On my way to downtown Wichita Falls I called mom to do the Happy Birthday phone call.

I got the answering machine. Mom is such a gadabout.

So, an hour later, when I was leaving downtown Wichita Falls I called mom again. Still not home.

I then called mom's regular chauffeur, my sister Jackie, to ask if she knew where mom was currently located.

Out in the car was the answer. That was the exact same answer I got the last time I called my sister to ask if she knew where mom was.

A couple minutes later my sister handed off her phone to mom so I could do the Happy Birthday thing.

My mom is expecting a visitor in a few days, so mom and my sister were out and about getting supplies for the incoming visitor.

In the photo above you are looking at my mom, a couple months ago, enjoying Thai food for the first time. In this case Pad Thai. David, Theo and Ruby's mom was in town for a couple days and at one point when the lunch hour arrived asked if mom was feeling adventurous, culinary-wise.

Yes was the answer. The question was asked because my sister saw a Thai restaurant at their present location where they'd gone shopping for some special item the precise nature of which I have now forgotten.

I am thinking I have mentioned mom and Thai food before.

Anyway, the last time I was in Arizona, on my last day in town, I was asked where I'd like to go eat on the way to the airport. I said Thai sounded good. This soon turned into a series of a sort of Abbot and Costello Who's on First type exchanges, which eventually lead to Chinese food at the Big Wa in Tempe where I had Moo Goo Gai Pan, rather than Pad Thai.

I suspect I will be having Thai food in Arizona at some point in time in February. That and maybe a McDonald's fish sandwich, likely in Maricopa.

Today I learned a bike has already been delivered to where I will be staying in Arizona. And mom told me they are having a winter heat wave. So swimming is also on the menu, along with that fish sandwich and Pad Thai.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, mom, see you in a few days...

Betsy Price Fantastic Friend Trump Fort Worth Sewer Flood Fix

It seems like just yesterday we blogged about the latest insanity from the Fort Worth Zone of Delusion, with that delusion provided by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Then Elsie Hotpepper pointed us to an indication the delusion pathology is spreading to other D/FW news sources.

Such as NBC DFW.

NBC DFW is the DFW NBC TV local affiliate. In a "news" story from that source titled  Trump Praises Fort Worth Mayor, How It Could Help City we learn several surprising things.

Such as....

Fort Worth is in the national spotlight as President Donald Trump calls Mayor Betsy Price a "fantastic friend." This week, the president singled out Price, thanking her for attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors and thanking her for her long friendship.

Oh my, you just can not make up idiotic nonsense this idiotic. You out in the non-delusional non-Fort Worth part of the nation, had you noticed Fort Worth being in the national spotlight? Because Trump called Betsy Price a "fantastic friend".

A fantastic friend.

A fantastic friend who Trump thanked for her long friendship.

Proof please.

Has Betsy been to Trump Tower? Overnighted in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House? Lunched with Melania or any of the previous wives? Been told she reminds Trump of Ivanka? Trump never lies or makes up stuff, so he and Betsy must really be longtime fantastic friends. They probably exchange Christmas cards and call each other on their birthdays, because, you know, that's the type thing fantastic friends do.

And then this doozy from Trump's fantastic friend...

"I was proud the president recognized Fort Worth during his remarks. With a potential $1.8 trillion infrastructure package on the table, it's good to be noticed, and we are ready to get to work," Price said in a statement.

So, the local grifter thinks Fort Worth may get itself some graft from her fantastic friend, the grifter in chief.

Others opined about all that could be done in Fort Worth with the money Betsy is going to get from her fantastic friend...

Some in the city would like to see federal money go to solving an aging sewer and drainage system. "We can use the money in this area to fix the infrastructure," Irwin said. "The streets flood when it rains really hard." Irwin said the water comes up to their curb on Hulen Street, but the problem gets even worse further down the street. "It's a valley down there near Central Market. It really floods. Cars can't get through there. They drown out the cars," Irwin said. "Water would be up to the window of a small sports car."

We do not know who this "Irvin" person is or why this "news" story suddenly switched to quoting this Irwin person's hopes as to what can be done with all this money Betsy is going to get from her fantastic friend. Irvin does give you a good idea of what sad shape Fort Worth is in, and how dire need of help the town is.

The "news" story then switches to quoting a person named Wiggins with her thoughts about how dire the needs are in Fort Worth for Betsy's fantastic friend's incoming federal aid...

"The cars just come flying through here and pushes the water up. It's crazy," stylist Tara Wiggins added. Wiggins said students at nearby Arlington Heights High School must wade through the water. "It's even hard for the students that are on their lunch break," Wiggins said. The idea that Fort Worth is on the president's radar is a comforting fact for Wiggins. "He's actually looking at Fort Worth. He actually knows Fort Worth. It's not just another town in a state that he's over," Wiggins said.

Oh honey, it's not just Trump, we think everyone is over Fort Worth and its backwater backwards grifting ways. These people actually think Fort Worth is on Trump's radar due to his supposed fantastic friendship with Betsy Price, and thus Trump is going to somehow direct federal infrastructure funds to Fort Worth to fix the town's flooding problems and antiquated sewers?

These people are describing what sounds like some really bad flooding issues in Fort Worth, which apparently the town is doing nothing to fix, other than hope Betsy Price's fantastic friend sends the town some money.

And yet, at the same time areas of Fort Worth regularly go under water, around a billion bucks is being slowly spent on America's Biggest Boondoggle, touted, in part, as a vitally needed flood control project, where there has been no flooding for well over a half century, due to levees American taxpayers paid for long ago.

Half of that billion boondoggle bucks is slowly being doled out to Fort Worth from federal funds, thanks to incoming pork courtesy of Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, whose unqualified son, J.D., was installed as executive director of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, where, currently, three simple little bridges are taking years to build over dry land to one day maybe connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

And now, due to Betsy Price's fantastic friendship with Trump, some in Fort Worth apparently think even more federal money will be doled out to Fort Worth.

You know, money funneled to Fort Worth from the more prosperous parts of America, you know parts of America which fund their own infrastructure improvement needs by voting on these things called bonds. I know such is possible in more, well, uh, normal parts of Texas.

The Texas town I am currently in, much smaller than Fort Worth at around 100,000 population, is a town which wears its big city big boy pants, unlike Fort Worth which wears little boy knickers. The Wichita Falls City Council just approved a big bond issue to be put before the voters this coming May. Six different bond measures, each with multiple facets. Such as one bond issue to complete the Circle Trail, make improvements on Lake Wichita, and other park improvements. That is just one of the bond issues. Another has to do with infrastructure upgrades, roads, drainage, and such.

Are the majority of Fort Worth's citizens so clueless as to how civic improvements happen in modern towns in America that they actually think such comes about due to a town's mayor being a fantastic friend of an extremely unpopular president?


I need to share the details of the upcoming Wichita Falls bond vote, and compare that to how Fort Worth approved the building of a little arena, with the approval coming via the passing of three separate propositions which the voters were allowed to vote on, like one proposition was to charge a $1 fee to rent a livestock stall.

That passage of the three separate propositions approving fees supposedly somehow gave voter approval for the building of the arena. That arena vote was one of the most bizarre things I have witnessed during my time of being amazed at what a backwards backwater Fort Worth is, and continues to be, even though the town's mayor is a fantastic friend of the man on a downhill slide to being the worst president in American history.

But, you never know, Betsy Price's fantastic friend might just turn the town around. Why maybe Trump can convince Jeff Bezos to open Amazon's HQ2 on Fort Worth's imaginary island industrial wasteland, which may someday be connected to three simple little bridges, which the public has never voted for, and may never see.

Yeah, sounds like a real good idea to send some more federal dollars to Fort Worth...

Monday, January 29, 2018

Time Agrees That Trump Boy Don't Act Right

Fort Worth's number one citizen activist, Gale McCray, has taken his message all over America, including to America's capital, Washington, D.C., where Abraham Lincoln, who has been regularly spinning in his grave in appalled disgust at what his Republican party has become, helped Mr. McCray hold up his now iconic sign....


Gale McCray has yet to take his sign to the west coast, a location where he would be enthusiastically welcomed.

Taking his sign on a Tour of Europe would also likely generate a lot of attention.

I do not know how one would pack such a sign to take along on a plane. It would not fit in the overhead bin storage area.

Maybe the sign rolls up to be inserted in a protective carboard tube.

I saw the above Time magazine cover this morning on Facebook, via the aforementioned Gale McCray.

Since our current fake president has introduced us all to the make believe concept of fake news, this fake news thing has really taken off in all sorts of variants.

It seems to me that Gale McCray has become what used to be known as an American Folk Hero. A Will Rogers of few words for the digital age.

We could really use a few more American Folk Heroes in our current troubling times. A Mr. Smith going to Washington type American Folk Hero would be a real good thing.

If you've never watched Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, you really should, applicable as is its message to what's gone wrong with 2018 America.

You will see why Mr. Smith's message is applicable to America today just by watching the clip below of Mr. Smith's famous filibuster. I wonder if Beto O'Roarke is able to give a Jimmy Stewart Mr. Smith type impassioned speech. I hope we get to find out when O'Roarke replaces the current greasy Texas embarrassment named Ted Cruz...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

David's Disneyland Recovery With Route 66 Radiator Springs & Brunch

UPDATE: Though the initial Disney diagnosis was food poisoning from tainted salmon, it is now thought possible David's sickness was a bout of influenza, due to his mother coming down with the flu within 24 hours of returning home.

Photo documentation arrived Sunday morning documenting some of nephew David's last day in California before heading north to Tacoma with his little brother and sister, Theo and Ruby.

By Saturday morning David had recovered from his bout of food poisoning from tainted salmon served at Disneyland's Blue Bayou restaurant at Pirates of the Caribbean.

The first couple photos document David, Theo and Ruby brunching at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel where they were joined by Pluto and a large Disney rodent who I do not recognize.

After brunching David felt good enough to go to Disney California. It is at Car Land in Disney California where we see David, Ruby and Theo in front of Mama's Michele and Kristen.

Route 66 is in the Radiator Springs Racer zone of Car Land. I first learned of this Disney Route 66 location a couple years ago when Spencer Jack sent me a couple photos which had me thinking he'd taken his dad somewhere along Route 66. But, what I was seeing did not look like any part of Route 66 I had ever driven on. Eventually I was told this was in Disney California. I think the actual Route 66 terminates a few miles north, in Santa Monica, if I remember right.

Eventually everyone was exhausted enough to leave Disneyland, Disney California and the Grand Californian and make their way back to home in Tacoma.

Above see what appear to be an extremely tired David, with Ruby and Theo resting on a less tired looking Mama Kristen. They are sitting at the Grand Califronian waiting area waiting for a taxi to come take them to John Wayne Airport, a few miles to the west.

I was informed yesterday by David, Theo and Ruby's Aunt Jackie that this coming October 23 through 26 is my next opportunity to go to Disneyland with a pair of Disney loving twins and their big brother.

Plot To Lure Amazon To Fort Worth's Web Of Boondoggles

Recently Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorially opined one of the many things Fort Worth needed to do to fix its identity crisis was to get over the town's Dallas fixation.

Around this same time Bud Kennedy's employer spewed an Embarrassing Fort Worth Dallas Rivalry Editorial which really made no sense and which regurgitated more of Fort Worth's nonsensical delusional Dallas rivalry fixation.

I know I have blogged more than once regarding the reason I repeatedly verbalize snarky opinions about Fort Worth and the town's pitiful newspaper of record. That being it is the town's delusions, as reflected in its pitiful newspaper of record, which have grated ever since I was first exposed to it.

It's the bizarre hucksterism, the delusional bragging, based on, well, delusions, and the out and out misrepresenting reality which I have long found to be pitiful and have long thought does a great disservice to the citizens of the town.

I remember one astounding incident from a few years back where those who have been to other downtowns in America were shocked to learn, via the Star-Telegram, that Downtown Fort Worth is the Envy of the Nation.

I long ago gave up trying to understand why Fort Worth, as represented by the town's pitiful newspaper of record, and its inept town leaders, persist in so much wanton hucksterism, trying to portray sleepy Fort Worth as something it is not. And probably never will be, or could ever possibly be.

Vancouver of the South. Envy of the Nation. Best this that or the other thing.

Which leads us to this Luring Amazon a good reason to drop Big D rivalry editorial. It being the latest iteration of the ongoing delusional nonsense in the Star-Telegram, despite that newspaper's Bud Kennedy wisely suggesting such be knocked off because all it does is make Fort Worth appear small and petty to those observing from outside the town's Zone of Delusion.

The subject of this latest delusional editorial is the fact that Amazon included Dallas in it list of 20 finalists to be considered as locations for Amazon's HQ2.

One of the Star-Telegram's ongoing delusions, ever since Amazon announced the HQ2 thing, has been that Fort Worth had a chance to be the HQ2 location, and that that location would be on the industrial wasteland bizarrely called Panther Island. A location where Amazon decision makers would find no island, no mass transit, few amenities, streets without sidewalks and parks with no modern facilities, such as running water, let alone modern restrooms, and three simple little bridges which have been under construction for years, over dry land, to one day maybe connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island..

So, this Star-Telegram editorial suggests Fort Worth drop the Big D rivalry for the bigger goal of securing Amazon HQ2 somewhere in the D/FW zone.

Recently during the spate of articles and opinion pieces about Fort Worth's identity crisis and the spending of hundred of thousands of dollars to try and figure out the obvious, we learned, via comments made by those not subjected to the Fort Worth propaganda, such as people who live in Dallas, that they had no idea there was a rivalry between the two towns. Time and again people living outside of Fort Worth opined they did not know this was a thing.

And then we have this latest Star-Telegram editorial with its premise largely based on the misconception there is some sort of rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth.

The first paragraph of this Luring Amazon a good reason to drop Big D rivalry editorial...

There’s been a lot of posturing lately as the historic rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth resurfaced.

I think I have already mentioned I find the delusional nonsense to be pitiful. An "historic rivalry"? Really? Historic? And such has re-surfaced? After being dormant? Really? This is an imaginary historic rivalry which exists only in the deluded imaginations of some in Fort Worth who, I don't know, don't get out much to see other towns, including Dallas.

And then the following paragraphs...

When a recently released economic development study said Fort Worth needs to up its game or be perceived as a Dallas suburb, many of our Cowtown citizens went ballistic.

“Don’t Dallas my Fort Worth,” some of you said.

This Star-Telegram Editorial Board also weighed-in when a Dallas Morning News columnist suggested Fort Worth should embrace its junior status.

We said, Fort Worth is junior to nobody, and “we aren’t sitting at the kiddies table.”

That was good-natured ribbing. (Most of it.)

Oh yeah, what hilarious jokesters, enjoying some good-natured ribbing, which makes sense to no one outside the Zone of Delusion. Cowtown citizens went ballistic? Fort Worth is junior to nobody? And won't be sitting at the kiddies table? How many times over how many years has it been opined that Fort Worth needs to grow up and start acting like a city of its size, wearing its big boy pants? So delusional.

In addition to delusional verbiage the Star-Telegram also just gets the facts wrong, like in this paragraph...

When it comes to the really big things that matter — when there are millions of dollars and up to 50,000 high paying jobs on the table — we should all support and applaud regional collaboration. Even if Big D gets top billing.

It is not millions of dollars. The Amazon impact would be billions of dollars. Billions. Amazon has spent billions just on its downtown Seattle campus. And that's just the campus. There are multiple other Amazon buildings all over downtown Seattle. And the dollar impact for the local Seattle economy is a number in the dozens of billions. Even this inept Star-Telegram editorial included the info that Amazon has pumped $38 billion into the Seattle tax base.

And then we get another paragraph with more of the aforementioned delusional nonsense...

The Fort Worth Chamber’s Vice President of Communications Andra Bennett says the Chamber is still trying to clarify whether in naming “Dallas” Amazon means it’s considering a site location within that city, or if it’s shorthand for looking at sites throughout the region’s communities, including Fort Worth’s Panther Island.

Can you really imagine any sane businessman, like Jeff Bezos, for instance, looking at the industrial wasteland Fort Worth currently insists on calling Panther Island, and think this was a location to build a new corporate headquarters?

And then we get to the most pitifully deluded three paragraphs in this overall pitiful editorial...

Fort Worth is being mentioned in national media coverage as a player for one of the biggest economic development “gets” in years.

Bennett said the Chamber’s economic development executive Brandom Gengelbach was interviewed more than a dozen times in the past week and included in media reports around the country.

“Fort Worth’s visibility has been raised,” she said. “It would take a lot of marketing dollars to get that.”

Do some of the Star-Telegram's readers actually believe this embarrassing hucksterism? Due to Dallas being considered for Amazon's HQ2 Fort Worth's visibility has been raised? And it would take a lot of huckstering marketing dollars to get that type visibility?


I have read multiple articles in multiple legitimate publications about the Amazon HQ2 subject. Not once. Not a single time. Never ever, have I seen Fort Worth mentioned as a contender. Or included in any mention of Dallas.

Not once.

The only place I have seen where Fort Worth is considered a viable HQ2 contender is in the Star-Telegram's propaganda.

Could the Star-Telegram please provide us some instances of where Fort Worth is being mentioned in national media coverage regarding Amazon HQ2?  One of the Fort Worth Chamber's hucksters has been interviewed more than a dozen times in the past week? With those interviews appearing in media reports around the country? Really?

Note that the Star-Telegram makes no mention of what those interviews are about. We are left to assume the interviews had to do with Amazon HQ2. That is what is implied. Again, can the Star-Telegram please provide the information as to who did these dozen plus interviews with this Fort Worth Chamber huckster? And what media reports, around the country, did those interviews appear in? If such actually happened, this information should be easy to provide.

This type nonsense is precisely why I have developed such a disgust for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

This pitiful newspaper ill serves the people of Fort Worth, creating illusionary, delusionary misrepresentations of the reality of a perfectly ordinary town with a large population, with the civic mentality of a small town.

A small town with a small downtown with no department stores, no grocery stores, few residents, meager public transit, with the rest of the town having streets with few sidewalks, parks without running water, but plenty of outhouses, and host to America's Biggest Boondoggle, an inept public works project which has been limping along for almost two decades, with nary a mention made in the town's newspaper of record of this boondoggle's various scandalous missteps.

Yeah, that sounds like a town one of the world's biggest companies, with the world's richest man, would want to locate to for a second headquarters.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wishing I Was At Disneyland With Theo & Ruby

UPDATE: Though the initial Disney diagnosis was food poisoning from tainted salmon, it is now thought possible David's sickness was a bout of influenza, due to his mother coming down with the flu within 24 hours of returning home.

With their big brother, David, trying to recover from food poisoning, after eating some tainted Disneyland salmon at the Blue Bayou at Pirates of the Caribbean, the twins, Theo and Ruby soldiered on, trying to make the best of their suddenly sick trip to Disneyland and Disney California.

While David was being treated for being poisoned, Theo and Ruby went swimming in the Grand Californian pool.

And took the photo you see here, to send to their favorite uncle, verbalizing the wish that he was there.

Theo, Ruby and David called me about a month ago, asking me to go to Disneyland with them. Had I gone along with that plan I can see how it may have been useful to have me there whilst David was busy recovering from being poisoned by tainted salmon.

I woke up my phone this morning to find a text message telling me that David was able to get vertical for a short duration, last night, but quickly got horizontal again to continue recovering whilst being bed bound.

Friday, January 26, 2018

David Sick From The Disneyland Salmon Food Poisoning Ride To Urgent Care

UPDATE: Though the initial Disney diagnosis was food poisoning from tainted salmon, it is now thought possible David's sickness was a bout of influenza, due to his mother coming down with the flu within 24 hours of returning home.

I had a feeling something was amiss when I did not hear from David, Theo and Ruby's mom yesterday after she'd recovered from yesterday's Disneyland visit. I'd asked my sister a question, to which she answered that she would ponder and get back to me later.

This afternoon, 24 hours later, a text messaged arrived which quickly made obvious why I'd not heard back, til this afternoon.

Yester evening, dinner was had at a Disneyland restaurant, the name of which I have not yet been told. David loves seafood. David had salmon.

Later, back in their Grand Californian hotel room, in the middle of the night, as in around 2 in the morning, David began being sick.

And proceeded to throw up multiple times.

Soon the hotel nurse insisted David be taken immediately to an urgent care emergency facility.

David is now back in the Grand Californian, sleeping.

The hotel is comping David, Theo, Ruby and their parental units brunch. Somehow I think Disneyland needs to come up with something more than brunch for tainted salmon which pretty much wreaked havoc with a visit to Disneyland.

UPDATE: David's Disney salmon dinner was had at the Blue Bayou in the Pirates of the Caribbean zone. It was a combo dinner and show deal with good seats after the salmon at Fantasmic. David enjoyed both dinner and show, and then hours later, as my sister put it, "Barforama". David is currently medicated and not yet perked up to his usual perky self.

I hope David recovers real quick and gets back to full Luke Skywalker light saber wielding mode before it is time to board a plane back to Washington...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Disneyland With David, Theo & Ruby

About a month ago I got a call from David, Theo and Ruby asking me to go to Disneyland with them late in the first month of the new year.

That Disneyland proposed date with David, Theo and Ruby began today.

The twins and David knew I was going to be in Arizona a week after their scheduled Disneyland trip and that it should work out easily for me to head west a week early and go to Anaheim before heading back east to Phoenix.

However, there was a wrinkled wrench in the me going to Disneyland concept. I already had another destination I had to go to that I could not get out of going to during the Disneyland time frame.

And so I get to enjoy vicariously going to Disneyland with David, Theo and Ruby, with the first photos arriving a few minutes ago.

Behind David, Theo and Ruby, Sleeping Beauty's Castle looks as if it has been remodeled since I last visited the Sleeping Beauty, way back on Christmas of 1994. Don't the twins and David look cute in their matching Disney shirts?

I do not know what the name is of those t-shirt's shade of blue, but it is my favorite blue color. The Seattle Seahawks also use that color, and years ago, back when I used to have a rooftop patio deck festooned with flowers, many of those flowers were lobelia in that shade of blue. I used to remember the name of that particular lobelia, but age related memory loss has that name no long accessible to me.

In the next photo, possibly for a lunch date with Mickey Mouse, Ruby, Theo and David have changed their Disney attire.

I used to have a long sleeved Mickey Mouse on a mountain bike t-shirt from Disneyland. I don't think that shirt successfully made the move to this new location because I have no recollection of seeing that shirt in a long time. I never wore it anyway. I have some sort of neurotic aversion to wearing t-shirts with messages on them. This neurosis is so strong I get embarrassed for people past a certain age when I see them wearing such type t-shirts. Gar the Texan comes to mind when I think of this.

Anyway, back to the Disneyland photos.

Last week I asked David, Theo and Ruby's mom if there were any problems with height restrictions keeping the kids off of some of the fun rides, like Thunder Mountain Railway. I was told there are some rides which only David is tall enough for, a roller coaster in Disney California was mentioned which caused Theo grief when he was not allowed on board, but David was. And then on the next Disney California visit Theo had sprouted enough to join David on that roller coaster.

But I was told all were good to go on Thunder Mountain Railway, which is what I think we see a close up of Theo on below, with Ruby in the seat in front of Theo, and David ahead of Ruby.

I remember Thunder Mountain Railway as one wild ride. These are tough, difficult to scare kids.

I'd like to drive David, Theo and Ruby up the Phoenix version of Thunder Mountain, called South Mountain. Apparently their mother drove up South Mountain with our mutual mother and determined never again to do so. The drive up and down South Mountain is a bit adventurous, but I have driven roads much scarier. The Moki Dugway in Utah comes to mind.

I am not quite sure what David is doing below, but I am guessing it is Star Wars related.

David looks to be a natural young redheaded Luke Skywalker. The twins and David are such cute kids a Hollywood talent scout might discover them at their current location near Hollywood. I have been twice at Disneyland when I've run into people I recognized from TV. One time it was the guy who played Maude's husband, and another time it was the shrink from the Bob Newhart Show.

This interactive type thing we see above is a new addition to the Disneyland experience that I have not witnessed. I suspect a lot has changed in Disneyland and the parking lot I used to park on to go to Disneyland, since I was last at that location 24 years ago...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Visiting Swan-Like Possible Pelican On Lake Wichita

That which you see here I saw yesterday floating on Lake Wichita. I was on top of Lake Wichita Dam, on the Circle Trail, and as soon as the lake came into view I saw what looked like a big swan, with no other birds of the same feather anywhere to be seen.

The photo does not quite make this bird look as swan-like as it looked upon initial visual perusal. When I got the photo off the camera and in computer screen view, and saw that big beak, the big beak had me figuring this must be a pelican, but I'm sort of bird ignorant, so I really don't know. Maybe it is a swan.

Yesterday I thought this morning I would be navigating my motorized travel means to the Dallas/Fort Worth metro mess, specifically to Haltom City. But by the time last night's evening arrived that trek to D/FW was postponed a week.

Three days after next Wednesday's drive to D/FW I will be flying back to D/FW on a little plane to switch to a bigger one to fly to Phoenix for about a month long stay. I am looking forward to being warm in the outer world, and swimming in a heated pool.

And going to the Maricopa McDonald's to have a fish sandwich with Penny...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Imaginary Upcoming Fort Worth Hot Area

That which you see here was brought to my attention Saturday morning via a Facebook tagging from Elsie Hotpepper pointing me to a question asked by Le Mastadon...

Just asking---is the Star-Telegram running out of photographers? Front page of today's S-T has a picture of Kay n J.D.'s PLAYHOUSE. Looks about the same condition that the bridges were in a year or maybe TWO YEARS AGO. Is this a REPRINT?  

I had no idea what these people were talking about til Elsie Hotpepper sent me the link to this latest bizarre Star-Telegram propaganda puff piece, with the odd title you see via the screen cap.

This up-and-coming area is so hot that developers can expect new fees.

The up-and-coming area which is so hot is the industrial wasteland known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, or more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle. That being an inept pseudo public works project the public has never been allowed to vote on, which has been boondoggling along for almost 20 years, according to the article.

Way back in 2005, Kay's son, J.D., to whom Le Mastadon refers, was made the executive director of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Those privy to know such things believe J.D. was given this job, for which he had zero qualifications, to motivate his mother to secure federal funds for the imaginary economic/flood control scheme which was originally touted as being vitally needed, but which was not so vitally needed that the public has ever been asked to vote to help fund the project, and which was so vitally not needed that the project has not come to any sort of useful fruition, even after almost two decades of being an ongoing boondoggle embarrassment for the already boondoggle embarrassment rich Fort Worth.

Okay, now let's take a look at the propaganda in this latest bizarre Star-Telegram propaganda puff piece.

First paragraph...

Construction on three landmark bridges that are a part of the $910 million Panther Island flood control and economic development project downtown will be joined by a fourth bridge, but instead of federal dollars this one will be paid for by Fort Worth taxpayers and by using impact fees paid by developers.

What? Another bridge being built in slow motion? But this one paid for by the locals? And once again the Star-Telegram refers to these three simple little bridges under slow motion construction as "landmark bridges". 


The Star-Telegram is actually suggesting these pitiful low rise bridges are going to make a mark on the land, becoming some sort of landmark iconic image recognizable as being a Fort Worth landmark by all who see these little bridges, if they ever become anything anyone can see?

And then, regarding this fourth bridge and the new fees paying for it, we read this...

The most recent proposal includes the 800-acre Panther Island and identifies two projects that would be built using money collected from impact fees: the $7.5 million road and bridge connector and $2.5 million in intersection improvements at White Settlement Road and Main Street. There is no timetable for when those projects will be done, only that they could happen in the next 10 years.

Does anyone else make note of the fact these Star-Telegram propaganda pieces make so much use of conditional language? Such as "would be", "could happen".

And for once a Star-Telegram article admits an aspect of this pseudo public works project has "no timetable". There has never been any legitimate timetable for any aspect of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Such as those three simple little bridges began being built with a TNT celebration bang four years ago, with an imaginary four year construction timeline, which we learned recently has been stretched to 2020.

And then this paragraph, with more conditional language...

It is the first time since the city started assessing transportation impact fees a decade ago that an inner city area is being included. Construction on the first residential development, Encore Panther Island, a 300-unit $55 million project, is anticipated to begin soon.

More conditional language telling us construction on the Boondoggle's first residential development "is anticipated to begin soon". We have been hearing about this relatively puny private residential development for years now. Why is it not known when ground will be broken for this development? Have building permits not been applied for and issued? Has the infrastructure work begun? You know, water and sewer and power lines in the area of the industrial wasteland where some developer is supposedly ready to develop a place for people to live in this up and coming "hot" area.

Of course, no article in the Star-Telegram about America's Biggest Boondoggle would be complete without idiotic input from Kay Granger's favorite son, J.D.,

Three J.D Granger related paragraphs, including a choice insipidly idiotic J.D. quote...

JD Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, the entity overseeing the Panther Island project once known as Trinity Uptown, said the fourth bridge will be “simple” and provide pedestrian access to complete the circular boardwalk around the planned town lake where restaurants and entertainment amenities are expected to be built. It will also connect the two sections of the island separated by a canal and lake.

“It’s a smart piece,” Granger said, adding, “It won’t be an iconic feature. It won’t be high in the air.”

Granger said he believes it’s reasonable to add Panther Island as an impact fee area and that he doubts developers will balk at the fee because of the benefit it provides.

So, J.D. thinks this fourth bridge will be "simple" unlike those three other complex little bridges being built over dry land.

And regarding that fourth bridge,“It’s a smart piece. It won’t be an iconic feature. It won’t be high in the air.”

A "smart piece"? Unlike all the stupid pieces of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle? Stupid pieces like the now defunct bankrupt Cowtown Wakepark? Or a stupid piece like sponsoring Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the e.coli, benzene, arsenic polluted Trinity River?

This fourth bridge won't be an "iconic feature"? Because "it won't be high in the air?"

Does J.D. Granger actually delude himself to think those three simple little bridges, which have been under construction for years, are going to be iconic, unlike this fourth un-iconic bridge, which may get built in ten years? And that the three simple little bridges will be iconic because he thinks those low lying bridges will be high in the air? High in the air is a bridge like that one in San Francisco called Golden Gate. or any of the other thousands of bridges in the world which actually span an actual chasm, usually over actual water, not dry land, often to connect to an actual island.

Granger thinks developers won't balk at development fees? Because the imaginary island provides so much benefit to imaginary developers that the imaginary developers won't balk at paying a fee to develop something on the imaginary island? At this point in time, why would any legit developer risk any capital making any investment in this yet to be "developed" industrial wasteland?

And then we have this paragraph in this embarrassing Star-Telegram propaganda...

Panther Island is part of a public works project that spans about 1,800 acres north and east of downtown. When completed, it will create an island about the size of the central business district that will include an urban lake, room for 10,000 residential units and more than 4.4 million square feet of space for offices, shops and restaurants.

The above has been the Boondoggle's spiel almost from the start. With the only changes being the name of the project and the size of the "lake", which is actually more of a widened spot in the river, than what any sane part of the planet would call a lake. And why do these people persist in calling this little pond an "urban lake"? Any lake in a city is an urban lake.

But then a sane part of the planet would not think it clever to refer to a chunk of industrial wasteland, surrounded by a ditch, as being an island, let alone name the imaginary island after a century's old imagined slight from a Dallas reporter who visited downtown Fort Worth, then returned to Dallas to report that Fort Worth was so sleepy he saw a panther sleeping on the courthouse steps, or some similar location.

Of course Fort Worth, in an earlier generation of the town's bizarre Dallas fixation, thought they'd really show Dallas what's what by nicknaming their town Panther City. And slapping that Panther label on this that or the other thing remains part of Fort Worth's pitiful civic pathology to the current day.

Ironically, well over a hundred years after that Dallas reporter saw that sleeping panther, downtown Fort Worth remains the sleepiest big city downtown in America, a virtual ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year, due to there being so few stores in downtown Fort Worth attracting day after Thanksgiving shoppers.

And then this interesting paragraph which blithely references how long this boondoggle had been boondoggling along with absolutely no sense of the absurdity of such...

Paying for Panther Island has been an issue since the project was conceived of nearly 20 years ago.

And regarding paying for the Boondoggle, we have the final couple paragraphs from this latest embarrassingly inept Star-Telegram Trinity River Vision Central City Uptown Panther Island District propaganda puff piece...

In 2016, Congress authorized up to $526 million in funding for Panther Island as part of a package of $5 billion in water projects proposed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. By 2017, the project had already received at least $53 million from the Army Corps of Engineers and $50 million in federal highway dollars.

Fort Worth has put $27.6 million in the pot through the 2004 and 2008 bond programs, the Water Enterprise Fund and the Tax Increment Financing District. Tarrant County has put in $11 million.

Yes, you in sane parts of America have been paying for this ongoing Fort Worth boondoggle, while Fort Worth and Tarrant County donate a pittance to the pitiful effort.

Has this up and coming hot area article been a paid advertisement placed in the Star-Telegram paid for by the Trinity River Vision Authority? Such was recently speculated after another propaganda piece seemed in total violation of minimal legitimate journalist standards.

How many more years is this boondoggle going to be America's Biggest Boondoggle? Apparently at least ten more years, or longer, while that fourth bridge gets slowly built....

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Wichita Falls Women's March & Impeachment Rally

I wimped out on this year's annual Wichita Falls Women's March & Impeachment Rally.

Well, more accurately, the marching part I wimped out on, the Impeachment Pre-March Rally, I made it through.

I successfully delivered my fellow marchers to the march initiation site.

I listened to the pre-march speeches, full of inspiring MLK and JFK quotes.

I did some crowd mingling.


I was not adequately attired to keep warm enough. While the air was heated to somewhere near the 50 degree zone, a strong wind blew, activating that dreaded WIND CHILL FACTOR.

I shivered through the speeches and then when the march began I slithered back to my vehicle's warm interior. Mid-slither I stopped on the Sikes Lake Bridge and took the photo you see below of the march underway.

Upon exiting the parking lot I turned onto Midwestern Boulevard to drive by the marchers whilst honking my horn and waving. The marchers appreciate this sort of feedback.

Salutes involving a single finger, not so much....

Pacific Coast Rogue Washington Waves With Mom, Dad & Sister Michele

I saw that which you see here this morning in the Seattle Times, via an article titled Watch cars flee a rogue wave at Ocean Park on Washington state coast.

No, this is not yet one more instance of sharing something I see in a west coast online news source which is not something I'd expect to see in a Texas, or Fort Worth news source, about something one would not expect to see in Texas or Fort Worth.

Well, now that you're making me think about it, I guess while it is obvious a rogue wave can happen on the Texas Gulf Coast, such a thing could not occur in Fort Worth. The town does not even have a water park generating fake waves which could malfunction and get out of control.

Then again, now that you're still making me think about it, what you see in the screen cap above is actually something one rarely finds in Fort Worth. That being a modern restroom facility in a park. In this case, Ocean Park, in the Long Beach zone of Washington's Pacific Coast.

In the Seattle Times article, in the caption under the video we are told this...

The National Weather Service recorded waves more than 30 feet tall near Aberdeen and near the mouth of the Columbia River. More stormy weather is forecast for the weekend.

The west coast has been getting battered by some big waves of late. A couple days ago I saw video from Cannon Beach, that's on the Oregon coast, of a wave making its way far from shore, foaming water down a Cannon Beach street. I don't know if this wave got near my cousin's Cannon Beach house. But I have not seen him on Facebook ever since this infamous wave came to town.

Years ago, when my little sister, David, Theo and Ruby's Mama Michele, was younger than Theo and Ruby are now, at 5 or 6, we were at Ocean Shores. That is on the Pacific Coast at the north side of Grays Harbor. There is a massive jetty made from massive boulders at the entry to Grays Harbor. The Ocean Shores beach begins at the north side of that jetty. Let me see if I can find a photo of this location.

All I could find was what you see above. Dad and mom at the aforementioned location. The jetty is to their left. This photo would have been taken in August of 2001. I was in Washington for mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary party. A few days after that dad drove us out to Ocean Shores where sister Jackie, nephew Jeremy, brother-in-law Jack and others were staying at an Ocean Shores beachfront hotel.

At some point we all drove to the above location. I remember I had my new Olympus camera and being surprised at how well that camera captured big waves splashing into the jetty. I do not know where those photos are, or why they are not on this computer along with this one of mom and dad.

Anyway, back when David, Theo & Ruby's Mama Michele was 5 or 6 I had driven over to Ocean Shores during a spring break from CWU in Ellensburg. That's in Eastern Washington. On a Sunday morning we took off to play on a now removed shipwreck which sank during a storm in the early 1960s.

Now where are my photos of that?

Missing photos are beginning to bug me.

So, we got to the beach where you see mom and dad above. The tide was out. There were dozens of people on the beach, at the water's edge. Some having come from church, all dressed up. I remember one lady wearing a fur coat which seemed sort of odd.

As we were playing wave dodge, suddenly we, and everyone else on the beach, realized the incoming wave was way bigger than the ones we had been dodging.

We began to run away from the shore. I picked up Michele. The wave caught up with us. I got us up on a driftwood. We were washed off the driftwood. This was the most dramatic panic scene I had ever been part of.

And then it was over, the wave receded. And we were left soaking wet.

I wonder if Michele remembers this incident? Or was it so traumatic it became a buried memory? If I remember right Michele did not panic or get scared. She probably thought we were having fun. I may have been able to keep Michele dry. I don't remember for sure.

I must try and find all these missing photos. In the meantime watch this cool drone video from the Seattle Times of the "Storm Surge - High Tide - Ocean Park, Wa Beach Approach "Cars Scrambling" Today 1-18-2018"...

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sikes Lake Bird Visit Before Tomorrow's Wichita Falls March & Meeting Beto O'Roarke

Today, around noon, even though the temperature was way closer to 60 than 32, there was still ice on Sikes Lake.

And for some reason most of the Sikes Lake bird population was floating at the edge of the transition between thawed water and water still capped by ice.

The bird population of Sikes Lake seems to have soared since I last surveyed this particular aviary-like sanctuary location.

Many of the Sikes Lake birds were out of the water, hunkered down and not their usual skittish selves. The birds in the water, as well as those on land, were segregated, per their norm, by feather type. In the foreground in the lake we see the goose group, in the middle of the lake the flock of seagulls congregated, and then at the far end of the lake ducks gathered.

At that other side of the lake location, where the ducks gathered, there was a group of about 20 small ducks. I thought maybe they were duck chicks, or whatever one calls baby ducks. Ducklings? Anyway, there was no large adult size duck near the flock of little ducks. Is there a pygmy breed of ducks, like there are pygmy goats and miniature horses?

I only came across four other humans, amongst the birds, braving the still cold, breezy air, following the path around Sikes Lake.

I will be returning to Sikes Lake tomorrow. Sikes Lake is the launch location for the Wichita Falls Women's (and Men's) Impeachment March. I'm assuming tomorrow's will be a larger marching crowd than last year's, what with nice clear blue sky expected, along with semi-warm air. And it is likely more people will feel like participating this year, for obvious reasons.

I do not know how long tomorrow's march is going to take. I know that at the march's destination there will be some speechifying. Saturday night I am expecting to be at MSU to see the Texan who it is hoped will send Ted Cruz to the ashbin of history, Beto O'Rourke.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hike To Summit Of Mount Wichita With Stomping Godzilla

I do not understand why my current Wichita Falls location does not follow the Texas norm of bragging and exaggerating.

For reasons unfathomable to me the only geographic feature within dozens upon dozens of miles, even remotely resembling a mountain, is referred to as a hill.


Well, to me this HILL shall always be known as Mount Wichita, and it was to that location I took myself today, what with the outer world no longer freezing, with the temperature almost halfway to 100.

With nary a breeze blowing, and the conditions perfect, I hiked to the summit of Mount Wichita multiple times today, using a different trail for each ascent and descent. It felt good to aerobicize with endorphins coursing through my internal energy supply system.

The view from the summit was blue today. Some ice remains frozen on Lake Wichita, which you can see via the bands of white. I was advised by lifelong North Texan, Miss Dana Wood Knot not to try and walk on any frozen body of Texas water. That the ice never gets thick enough to make doing such a thing a safe endeavor.

Whilst on the summit of Mount Wichita, soon after taking the above photo, I was startled by a stomping noise and loud breathing. I turned around to see that which you see below reach the summit.

The camera made some sort of optical illusion which makes the noisy stomper look like a Godzilla monster in a hoodie.

Anyway, nice to have a nice day, once again. And to see some scenic scenery. And breathe some fresh air that is not freezing...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Freeze In Texas While Washington Swelters In A Heat Wave

The past couple days the temperature has been in the 60s in my old Washington home zone in the semi-tropical Pacific Northwest.

Semi-tropical on the west side of the Cascades. While on the east side, where Tootsie Tonasket resides, Tootsie is being chilled to an Arctic Texas type temperature, though not as cold as my current North Texas, well below freezing, wind chill below zero, location.

My North Texas location is currently scheduled to return to being warm, in the 60s, by Saturday, just in time for the Impeachment March.

The screen cap you see here is from this morning's Seattle Times. For those unfamiliar with such things, that is a mountain you see in the distance. It appears to be one of the Olympic Mountains, which indicates in the photo we are looking west across Puget Sound, from, I think, a park on Elliott Bay, slightly north of the downtown Seattle waterfront zone.

You know how climate change deniers make mock of the concept of Global Warming, well, the man being the cause of it concept, along with denying the climate is changing, point to formerly warm, now freezing Texas as some sort of proof the climate is not warming. I do not know how such deniers explain to themselves what is causing the current balmy weather in the Pacific Northwest.

What I do know is I think I'm going to enjoy the coming HOT summer. And in the meantime I am hoping to be enjoying a nice warm Arizona in a couple weeks....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What Makes You Think Fort Worth Is A Backwards Backwater?

I would never have used a illustrative graphic using the barnyard profanity you see here, had it not been made socially acceptable by the mentally stable genius currently pretending to be America's president.

A couple days ago I got an email from someone who asked not to be referenced, identity-wise, in blog mode, who asked the following interesting question...

What makes you think Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater????

Now, that question can be taken two ways.

One way would be, "How dare you think Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater?"

Or, the way in which I chose to interpret the question, "What the hell do you think is wrong with Fort Worth which keeps causing it to be such a Backwards Backwater?"

Well, let us all look at what Wikipedia has to say about a Backwater...

If a river has developed one or more alternative courses in its evolution, one channel is usually designated the main course, and secondary channels may be termed backwaters. The main river course will usually have the fastest stream and will likely be the main navigation route; backwaters may be shallower and flow more slowly, if at all. This results in a more diverse environment of scientific interest and worthy of preservation. Backwaters also provide opportunities for leisure activities such as canoeing and fishing.

The term has been applied as a metaphor to physical and social areas that have been bypassed. It may apply to places that have been neglected in economic development, or in the expression a "cultural backwater"

Okay, now do you get why and how Fort Worth is a Backwards Backwater? Both meanings of that Backwater word are applicable.

The Trinity River as it flows through Fort Worth is pretty much in Backwater mode, with the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision ineptly trying to turn the river into even more of a brackish Backwater.

Cultural Backwater? This is a town which thinks it is doing some marvelous thing instigating Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in that aforementioned Backwater river polluted with e.coli, benzene, arsenic and alligators. And pretends it does so at an imaginary island listening to music from an imaginary pavilion whilst being located at an imaginary urban world class music venue, with performance stages made from abandoned subway shacks.

With that world class music venue at that imaginary island sporting world class concrete enclosed outhouses and outdoor showers to wash off the river water, if one is inclined to attempt to wash off the e.coli, benzene and arsenic.

Speaking of outhouses. Most Fort Worth city parks do not have modern restroom facilities or running water. Most do have outhouses. Outhouses worthy of a city park in a third world city, or an American city which does not mind being a Backwards Backwater.

So, really, is it all that difficult to understand the fact Fort Worth is a Backwards Backwater?

Need a further example. Ride Molly the Trolley to the location of the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. Only a  Backwards Backwater would have a public transit system consisting of a bus converted to look like a trolley, whilst charging its victims five bucks to take a tour of Fort Worth's low highlights.

And then there are Fort Worth's miles upon mile of city streets without sidewalks. Again worthy of a third world country, or an American city which does not mind being a Backwards Backwater.

Recently the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in a rare instance of actually focusing on the multiple reasons why Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater, published an opinion piece focusing on what Fort Worth might want to try and do to fix what ails the town. This was blogged about in Bud Kennedy Fort Worth Fix Gets Over Dallas.

On the day that opinion piece appeared there were multiple comments commenting which ironically were reinforcing what is dire need of a fix in Fort Worth. Yesterday morning those comments had been deleted. But then last night the comments magically reappeared, along with many more comments, many also embarrassingly, ironically and cluelessly exhibiting the very type attitudes which Bud Kennedy indicated were in need of a fix.

If you click on the link to the Star-Telegram Here’s how to fix Fort Worth. (It’s not about Dallas, or pilots, or the cow.) the comments may still be there, maybe with even more.

I copied the comments I saw last night, but don't know if I want to copy them all here. Suffice to say there were one or two comments which were rational, among the dozens which where not rational.

I will just copy four of the comments. The first two appeared at the top of the comment list and are two of the comments I refer to as rational. The two which follow the rational comments are examples of the not so rational comments....

John Laird · Works at Retired Journalist
Excellent column as usual. Thoroughly researched. Creatively written. Compellingly presented. Thanks, Bud.

Randall Arnold · Author at Unsettled Space
Many comments here are shamefully reactionary. I wish people would read and process more thoughtfully. Bud raises valid, fact-based points here. Emotional responses are unhelpful.

Preston West
We’re supposed to be ok with being called dumb rednecks huh?!

Mary Beth Nicholson · Sul Ross State University
Spoken like a true liberal Dallas wantabe!
Screw you, Bud Kennedy, do us all a favor and move to Dallas!


UPDATE: Reading through the comments there are two more I feel compelled to share. The first reactionary one demonstrates that bad education problem, while the second comment also comments on the bad education problem, but not in a reactionary way...

Janice Hallmark · Carter- Riverside High School
I want the world to know that Fort Worth is the greatest big city in the U. S. All those things said about Fort Worth by this so- call writer is so untrue.

Bo Bolinger · The University of Texas at Austin
Thanks for a great article Bud. Your opinions really seem to get people fired up. This is an uphill battle as it seems the consensus is to keep Tarrant Co dumb and useful!

Two Shivering Degrees Below Zero In Wichita Falls

Apparently a breeze is blowing with enough cooling power to make my location's currently semi-balmy 20 degrees feel like 2 degrees below zero.

And my location is currently scheduled not to get above freezing today, with the low tonight 8 degrees colder than the current semi-balmy 20 degrees.

In a little over two weeks I should be finding myself in Arizona where I anticipate the outer world will not be freezing.

Last summer I was twice in Arizona while the temperature rarely got under 100 degrees. During the June bout in Arizona the temperature was breaking records, at some degree above 120. So HOT for a couple days planes could not fly out of Sky Harbor Airport during the HOTTEST hours of those days HEAT.

During the week in August whilst I was in Arizona, even though August is usually the hottest month of the year, the temperature was no where near as blistering as it was in June.

Even though Arizona in February will be a bit cooler than it was last summer, I anticipate doing some daily swimming in a large heated pool...

Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK Day With Theo & Ruby Snow Fort Worth Building At Hyak Sno-Park

On this 2018 edition of Martin Luther King Day, Theo & Ruby decided today was a day worth fort building.

So, Theo & Ruby, along with big brother David, took their parental units a few miles east of their Tacoma abode to Snoqualmie Pass, from whence, a few minutes ago, their mama Michele sent the above photo of Theo & Ruby building a snow fort.

David did not think building a fort worth his time, so he opted instead to have fun throwing snow when he was not consuming snow cones.

It seems like only yesterday I was in a much warmer location with Theo, Ruby & David, at Birch Bay, building a sand fort, well, castle. David opted out of that building project, for the most part, too. And he also threw some sand, but at that point in time he consumed no sand cones.

For those with no familiarity with locations on the planet with extreme elevation variables, who are used to an extremely flat planet, let me explain where Theo & Ruby are.

In Tacoma, where Theo & Ruby live, their house is not very many feet above sea level. To the west of their abode there is a mountain range called the Olympics. To the east of their abode is a mountain range called the Cascades.

In the Cascades is where one finds Washington's five volcanoes.

The state of Washington is divided by the Cascades into Western and Eastern Washington. Eastern Washington is like Texas, but more scenic, with a BIG river running through it. Eastern Washington is also like Texas politically. It is the red part of Washington, with a higher percentage of rednecks than the blue western side of the Cascades.

In summer there are several ways to drive over the Cascade mountain between the west and east side. The North Cascades Highway, Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass and White Pass connect the two sides of the state, weather permitting, with Stevens and Snoqualmie the two passes kept open year round, for the most part, with an occasional closure due to heavy snow and avalanche danger. Or an actual avalanche.

In total in Washington there are more than a couple dozen  of what are known as mountain passes. You can check all of them out via Wikipedia's Mountain Passes of Washington State page.

A highway over a mountain range, the North Cascades for instance, has two passes, Rainy Pass and Washington Pass. For those unfamiliar with the pass concept, a pass is the point were a road "passes" over a summit, as in reaches a high point and then heads back down. Such can occur more than once on any given mountain crossing road, but only happens once on the two main passes across Washington's Cascades, that being Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass.

Stevens Pass is crossed by Highway 2. Snoqualmie Pass, where David, Theo & Ruby are today, is crossed by Interstate 90.

All the major Washington mountain passes have ski resorts at their summit, except for the North Cascades Highway.

The ski resort at Snoqulamie Pass, where Theo & Ruby felt a fort worthwhile to build, is known as Hyak Sno-Park. There are a couple other ski resorts at Snoqualmie along with Hyak. My last time on a chairlift at Snoqualmie was in the 1990s. And it was not to ski. In summer you can put your mountain bike on a ski lift in order to be taken to the high country for some rugged mountain biking and an eventual fun, fast trek back to the chair lift base.

I do not know how far from my current location I would need to travel to find a chairlift and snowy mountain to play on, other than, of course, nearby Mount Wichita, sans snow and chairlift. Would it be in New Mexico at Ruidoso or Taos? Os somewhere in Colorado?

Snow is currently in the forecast at my location. I doubt sufficient will fall of a depth permitting some adventurous Mount Wichita skiing. Or sledding...