Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Giant Duck Takes Over Wichita Falls Catfish Pond

Driving Southwest Boulevard, east, this morning, heading to Walmart, as I drove by my neighborhood catfish pond at the south end of Weeks Park I was surprised to see a giant duck floating by the catfish pond's fountain.

I decide to put the short drive to Walmart on hold whilst I parked at the catfish pond's parking to get a closer look at the plus-sized duck via walking the paved trail which circles the catfish pond.

When I reached the part of the trail which afforded a look at the duck's backside I learned that, apparently, the duck's name is WALLY. That may be an erroneous assumption. Maybe WALLY is who owns this duck. Or maybe WALLY made the duck.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sikes Island Leads Me To Ponder Fort Worth's Deluded Ridiculousness

What you see above, under the pavilion at Sikes Lake, is an island born from the lack of rain. Sikes Island has existed so long greenery has sprouted on the island. I know of no plans to build bridges across water to the new island.

Behind my handlebars there is a bridge which crosses Sikes Lake, it being one of two bridges over water at Sikes Lake.

I have no way of knowing if the Sikes Lake bridges were built over dry land during the period of time during which Sikes Lake was drained and dredged, with the dredged residue hauled to Lake Wichita where it was deposited near the lake shore, eventually becoming Mount Wichita, after a year or two of the mud sludge solidifying.

I also do not know if anyone in Wichita Falls was deluded and ridiculous to a level sufficient to embarrass themselves by referring to the simple little Sikes Lake bridges as "signature bridges", which is the case in another Texas town with which I am familiar.

Fort Worth.

Where bridges are built over dry land with astonishingly long bridge building construction timelines, and touted as being "signature bridges", you know, like the Golden Gate Bridge.

And also touted by those responsible for Fort Worth's public works debacle as being built over dry land to save time and money.

When there was never any other option but to build Fort Worth's simple little bridges over anything but dry land, since there was no water where the bridges are being built. And where there will never be any water until a ditch is dug under those three simple little bridges, with water diverted into the ditch from the Trinity River.

Deluded and Ridiculous.

That really should be Fort Worth's city motto. Drop "Where the West Begins" and go with the more accurate "Deluded and Ridiculous"...

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Star-Telegram Actually Answers A Question I Asked

A couple days ago I blogged that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Was Unable To Answer Why Boondoggle Bridges Take So Long To Build.

In this Saturday morning's Star-Telegram, on the front page, top of the fold, I saw another headline question asked...

When your plane lands at DFW Airport, why does it take so long to get to the gate?

Once again I found myself hopeful the Star-Telegram was going to answer a question I recently found myself asking.

This time the Star-Telegram did not disappoint me, sort of.

My last two times landing at DFW I have found myself annoyed at how long it took to get to the gate after touchdown.

Last Saturday was the longest taxi ride yet. I was beginning to think the pilot was lost on the tarmac. I only had 55 minutes to make my connection to Wichita Falls. When the pilot finally parked the plane at the gate, and after the 10 or 15 minutes it took to finally get off the plane, I hurried to the SkyLink to make my way to Terminal B, Gate 38.

Upon entering Terminal B I heard the loudspeaker loudly speaking "Flight 3715 to Wichita Falls is now boarding at Gate B38. That's Bravo 38".

I did not remember hearing this type announcement before upon entering a terminal. And so I picked up my pace. I got to the Gate B38 to find everyone already on board. I handed the check-in person my boarding pass, and then boarded. Less than ten minutes later we were in the air.

I had 55 minutes to make this connection. And managed to get there with only ten minutes to spare. This tells me we took around a half hour between touchdown and parking at the gate.

This article in the Star-Telegram explains why it takes so long to get the gate, what with the planes having to taxi across active landing zones, waiting for an all clear to proceed, so that question did get answered. Along with an upcoming solution.

But, the article claimed the taxi time is usually between 5 to 10 minutes.

A taxi ride on the DFW tarmac has never been as short as 5 to 10 minutes in my experience. Maybe I just have bad luck.

The return last May to DFW was particularly annoying. After the long tarmac taxi ride, when we reached the gate, the pilot soon announced something along the line of "We seem to have caught the ground crew by surprise. We are bugging them to hurry up."

I recollect thinking the "bugging them" verbiage was amusing. And likely not officially approved pilot-speak.

About 20 minutes went by and then the pilot again apologized for the delay. The elderly man sitting next to me was getting nervous. I soon found out his nervousness was due to needing to make a connection to Abilene. And time was running out. And that this was the first time he had flown anywhere since the Vietnam War. I had plenty of time, so I told him I would help him get to his connection, if we ever got off the plane.

Landing at other airports I have never experienced the long waits I have experienced at DFW, after the plane docks.

And the only other airport at which I have experienced an ultra long taxi ride over the tarmac, was at the Denver airport, flying United. The tarmac taxi ride was long, but at a much faster speed than that which the DFW airport allows its pilots to taxi.

This morning David, Theo and Ruby's mama texted me from Reagan International in Washington, D.C., verbalizing what a terrible airport the one named after Reagan is. I do not know what, precisely, my little sister finds annoying about the D.C. airport.

My mom called me last night, asking me to come back to Arizona as soon as possible. I do not see that happening for more reasons than just that I do not like flying...

Friday, July 27, 2018

Lake Wichita Biking With Snakes & Nurse Canecracker Thinking About Trump's Dementia

When I opted to roll my wheels to Lake Wichita this morning, about an hour before noon, the outer world was chilled to somewhere in the high 70s.


I had to find my sweatpants and insulated underwear before venturing out into the semi-Arctic blast.

There were a lot of other wheel rollers enjoying the momentary respite from triple digits.

When I reached the top of Lake Wichita Dam I decided to roll down to the floating dock which today was not occupied by people wielding fishing poles. You can see the Mount Wichita pseudo volcano on the far side of the lake. The pseudo volcano is my eventual destination.

Today, for the first time since I have been in my current North Texas Wichita Falls location, I saw a snake.

It was in the drought dried lily pond creek which flows into Lake Wichita I saw the snake, slithering in the little bit of water remaining in the creek.

What you see above are my handlebars perched on the Circle Trail bridge which crosses the aforementioned dried up creek. Apparently the snake slithered out of camera view by the time I snapped the above photo.

Lately dementia has been on my mind. I deal with a lot of dementia in Texas.

And when I leave Texas.

Last night Nurse Canecracker called.

My favorite nurse and I had an hour long conversation about dementia, and other topics. It is useful to consult a wise medical professional when one is troubled by such things as dementia.

I heard from David, Theo and Ruby's mother this morning. She has been in Washington, D.C. all week. I do not know the precise purpose of my little sister's D.C. visit, but I am just about 100% certain the visit did not involve consulting Donald Trump about his obvious dementia issues...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Unable To Answer Why Boondoggle Bridges Take So Long To Build

Just a day or two or three ago I blogged about a Bizarre Star-Telegram Propaganda Video About Boondoggle Bridge Detours.

That video contained no useful information of the factual sort which in anyway explained how or why these simple little bridges have been so difficult for Fort Worth to build.

Over dry land.

Bridges to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, with that imaginary island not really an island, but in actuality, if it is ever dug, a chunk of land surrounded by water in the form of a cement lined ditch filled with diverted polluted Trinity River water.

And then a day or two after the Star-Telegram's propaganda video showed up about the Boondoggle's bridge detours, another article appeared, the headline of which you see above, asking Why is it taking so long to build those bridges over the Trinity River?

I saw that headline and thought, wait, what? The Star-Telegram is finally publishing an article looking into why those bridges which began construction in 2014 are still in an early stage of being built, four years later, when, originally these simple little bridges were supposed to take an astonishing four years to build. Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge over actual, real, treacherous water.

And now the Boondoggle's bridge construction timeline has been stretched to 2020.

So, I eagerly read this article, thinking the Star-Telegram is finally doing some honest investigative journalism, perhaps actually telling its few readers about all the engineering complications and disagreements the design of the V-piers have caused.

But, in true Star-Telegram fashion, one reads this entire article to find not one iota of an answer to the question asking why it is taking so long to build these three simple little bridges.

Yesterday there was only one comment to this Star-Telegram article, with someone named Will Smith asking...

An interesting article, but it doesn't answer the headline's question: Why IS it taking so long to build those bridges?

Let's take a look at some of the erroneous nonsense in this latest Star-Telegram propaganda piece about America's Biggest Boondoggle's pitiful bridges...

The first paragraph...

Three bridges over Fort Worth’s Trinity River just north of downtown are now set to open in 2020, a year later than previously scheduled.

Uh, no. Construction of those bridges began with an absurd TNT explosion celebration back in 2014, with the then four year construction timeline having the construction of the simple, little bridges completed in the year we are in now. 2018. We blogged about this already way back then in A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late.

And again the Star-Telegram repeats one of the biggest lies associated with this bridge building boondoggle...

Construction of the bridges is taking place over dry land to save time and money, said Val Lopez, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman. Once the bridge work is done, the new river channel can be dug beneath them.

The bridges are not being built over dry land to save time and money. There was never any option but to build the bridges over dry land. Due to the fact that funding for the ditch and diversion dam does not yet exist. It does not take being an engineering whiz to think that digging the ditch and the bridges at the same time makes more sense than digging the ditch under the bridges after they are built, with that idea seeming fraught with the possibility of more project stalling complications.

Does the Star-Telegram have any editors who check this drivel before it goes to print? Like this gem...

The island would be built in the area that currently features LaGrave Field and the Coyote Drive-In.

Island would be built? Whoever wrote this thinks an island is going to be built? In an area which currently features a closed eyesore of a cobbled together baseball park and an equally tacky looking drive-in movie theater? The writer failed to mention one of the Boondoggle's early failures on the imaginary island, that being Cowtown Wakepark, which the Boondoggle's project manager, J.D. Granger long ago breathlessly bragged this doomed to fail operation would bring the coveted sport of wakeboarding to an urban setting.

And this paragraph with another bit of propaganda erroneousness...

Panther Island has been planned for more than a decade, and at times the Trinity River Vision Authority has struggled to obtain funding for the project, which is being billed not only as an economic development effort but a crucial flood control improvement project to protect Fort Worth’s city center from future storm water drainage problems.

Panther Island has been planned for more than a decade? Really? What, and kept a secret from the public til years later? Way back in September of 2010 I was biking the Trinity Trails and near what later become the now defunct Cowtown Wakepark I encountered my first instance of bizarre over the top Trinity River Vision signage in full TOUT the project mode. I blogged about this in The Trinity River Vision Is Underway With A Lot Of Signs.

At that point in time, eight years ago, what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle was still referred to as the Trinity River Vision. Over time additional monikers have been used, such as Central City and Uptown. And then a few years ago suddenly what had been known as the Trinity River Vision morphed into Panther Island, where there is no island, where there never will be a legitimate island. Which is actually a perfect metaphor for the entire mismanaged boondoggle.

And again the Star-Telegram repeats the lie that this is a crucial flood control project, protecting Fort Worth's city center, where there has been no flooding for well over half a century, due to massive levees which have kept the Trinity River under control ever since they were built back in the 1950s.

And the following, most outrageous bit of misinforming propaganda in this article...

In May, Fort Worth-area voters approved the issuance of about $250 million in bonds to ensure there would be enough local money to build Panther Island, much of which is being federally funded.

On the ballot, the bond measure which was approved, indicated the money was supposedly for flood control and drainage. There was no mention made of the money being approved for ensuring there was enough local money to build the imaginary island.

And the following on the same subject from one of those responsible for creating America's Biggest Boondoggle...

Jim Oliver, water district general manager, said the approval of the bond sales by about two-thirds of voters was “very important. It’s going to allow us to complete the project, keep it online and on track.”The money is needed to buy land, rechannel 1.5 miles of the river and build water storage areas and floodgates, he said.

So, Oliver is admitting the verbiage on the ballot measure was a fraud. The Boondoggle and its Godmother, Kay Granger, have used the fact this measure passed to refute the claim, made by many, that the public has never been allowed to vote on this pseudo public works project. Such would be true only if the ballot measure somehow asked voters whether or not they approved of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision project. Instead the ballot measure asked voters to approve a quarter billion bucks for flood control and drainage.

Outrageous fraud, just as fraudulent as this article in the fraudulent Fort Worth Star-Telegram...

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

HOT Mount Wichita Bike Ride After Haltom City Doctor Appointment

After returning from the DFW zone, this final Wednesday of July, I thought rolling my bike wheels to Mount Wichita in this 110 degree natural sauna seemed like a good relaxing idea when I thought of it.

But the reality turned out to be a bit warmer than I thought it might be, even with a somewhat cooling breeze blowing from Lake Wichita.

As long as one is in motion the heat does not feel too hot. But, when one stops for a liquid refreshment break the heat quickly feels HOT.

On Saturday, when Miss Daisy took me out for lunch, before launching me on a plane back to Texas, she asked, yet again, about my monthly drive to DFW to visit a doctor. This doctor visit has been explained to Miss Daisy multiple times, but apparently Miss Daisy expressed a worry about my health problems to Sister Jackie, with Miss Daisy verbalizing her concern that I was having to make a monthly visit to some sort of brick specialist to have my brick situation monitored, with Miss Daisy asking Sister Jackie if she knew what my brick ailment was all about.

So, today I decided I would photo document the Brick Doctor's office, located in Haltom City, which is a suburb of Dallas, which borders Fort Worth.

Above you are looking at the Brick Doctor's new clinic. No patients are treated in the clinic. All patients are treated on a sort of out patient basis.

The view from my vehicle's driver's side window, looking at the new Brick Doctor sign and an incoming Brick Doctor truck, with the 121 freeway hovering above.

After the Brick Doctor appointment was over we heading west to the rock and roll roads of Fort Worth, bumping our way to the Stockyards neighborhood, and Esperanza's, where I had a chili cheese relleno and did not find Elsie Hotpepper among the hot peppers in my favorite Mexican restaurant....

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bizarre Star-Telegram Propaganda Video About Boondoggle Bridge Detours

I saw this bizarre item in the Monday online version of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

On the front page.

A link to a Star-Telegram produced embarrassingly bad propaganda video about the hapless bridges being build in ultra slow motion by the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Under the While you take detours Trinity bridges are taking shape there was the following blurb...

The detours will last until early 2020 on north Main Street, White Settlement Road and Henderson Street as 20 distinctive V-shaped piers are built to bridge the re-channeled Trinity River that is part of the Trinity River Vision.

You who live in modern America, can you imagine living in a town where a pseudo public works project dawdles along for years, with little to show for the effort, with project timelines, such as bridges which began construction in 2014, with a then astonishing four year project timeline, now stretched out two additional years.

Six years to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

The imaginary island was not part of the original vision. The fake island came along years later. Though project propagandists try now to make it seem as if this bizarre mess has always been about making Panther Island.

In the video you will hear some sort of bridge builder official tell you the bridges are being built over dry land because, you know, that is way easier than building over water.

I have said repeatedly now for years, there never was any option but to built these little bridges over dry land because there will be no water under them until a cement lined ditch is built in which the Trinity River's polluted water will be diverted.

And currently funding of that ditch does not exist.

This propaganda video also shows you the Boondoggle's roundabout, with its million dollar homage to an aluminum trash can. And claims this roundabout part of the project is completed.



With the Fort Worth norm of no landscaping other than the weeds and litter which currently decorate this eyesore?

I saw this ridiculous waste of money last month and blogged about it in Fort Worth Drive By America's Biggest Boondoggle Embarrassment.

I will likely be back in the DFW zone on Wednesday. I do not plan on another drive by the mess that has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. I suspect no progress would be possible to notice...

Monday, July 23, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy To The Top Of The Rock Before Leaving Arizona

I have been in recovery mode since my midnight return to Texas on Saturday, leaving the humid heat of Arizona's Valley of the Sun for the dry heat of the Texas Red River Valley.

Does the Red River actually have a valley? And is Wichita Falls in that valley?

I have no idea.

All I know for sure is the Red River, and Oklahoma, are about 20 miles north of my current location.

That and that dry HEAT of Arizona turned muggy from monsoon rain during my two week stay. whilst rain-free North Texas seems to have developed dry HEAT, hotter than Arizona.

In other words, when I exited the Wichita Falls Airport on Saturday, rather than being slapped in the face by a wet blanket of cotton, such as was the case a couple months prior, this time the Texas HOT air felt good.


And not all that HOT.

My vehicle's temperature monitor indicated the outer world was 115 degrees HOT when I ventured to Walmart in the late afternoon of Sunday.

Anyway, back to Arizona.

In the photo above you are looking at Sister Jackie being Miss Daisy's driver. With me in the back seat enjoying the scenery without having to follow Miss Daisy's driving directions..

Miss Daisy was directing a pre flying out of Texas lunch excursion, with one of the highlights being the restaurant location known as the Top of the Rock, where we did not have Wagyu Short Ribs, Alaskan Halibut, Arctic Char, Roasted Duck, Buttes Mac & Cheese or Herb Gnudi, but instead opted for Sweet and Sour Cashew Chicken.

Prior to the Top of the Rock, since we were in Tempe, which is close to my final Arizona destination of Sky Harbor Airport, I asked if Miss Daisy could possibly direct her driver to drive me by all the new corporate headquarters which have popped up in Tempe in recent years.

My favorite nephew, Jeremy, had told me all these new buildings were quite an impressive thing to see. And they were.

But first we checked in on Tempe Lake. I think that is the name. Sort of a 'town lake' made by damming, I think it's the Gila River. I have never seen water running in the Gila River, and yet somehow it provides a lake. And on the non-lake side of the dam the river is bone dry.

Above you are looking at one of the "signature" bridges which cross Lake Tempe.

I see things like this and it freshly reminds me of how pitiful Fort Worth, Texas is.

What with imaginary islands with imaginary signature bridges, stuck in engineering failure mode for years, bridges built over dry land, one day hoping to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, crossing over a manmade cement lined ditch filled with polluted water in which the starved for entertainment locals regularly have River Rockin' Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats sponsored by an agency known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

With that Boondoggle currently sporting big wooden bridge supports which look like Paul Bunyan's abandoned teeter totters, which some locals have taken to calling the Yeehaw Seesaws.

Above is one of those new corporate headquarter's which moved to Tempe. I do not know which one this one is, but there were several buildings which looked like this and my woefully inadequate photography skills do no justice.

I think the above is an apartment type complex. There are multiple such things in the area of Tempe's new corporate headquarters.

I do not know if Fort Worth tried to lure any of these Tempe corporate headquarters when those corporations were in re-locate mode. Fort Worth regularly makes such attempts, offering multiple perks in hapless efforts to attract a corporation to town.

I have more than once wondered if those who try to lure a corporation to Fort Worth have visited those towns which win out over Fort Worth to try and figure out why no one wants to come to Fort Worth.

Fort Worth's pitiful attempt to attract Amazon's HQ2 was the most recent Fort Worth failure of which I am aware.

If Fort Worth sent a task force to Tempe, or Chandler, or Scottsdale, or any other Phoenix area town to which corporations have re-located their headquarters. they would find towns with good roads providing easy transportation. Parks with no outhouses. Streets with sidewalks. Paved trails all over town. Aesthetically pleasing landscaping in abundance. And just an overall location any corporation would be proud to call home.

In Chandler, Arizona one finds a HUGE Intel complex on Dobson Road. I do not know how many thousands Intel employs there. Every time we drive by this location Miss Daisy tells me when they moved to the Chandler zone all which is now Intel, and other high tech operations, was agricultural fields.

Fort Worth made a pitiful attempt to lure the Intel development which is in operation in Chandler. This occurred early in my Texas exile, when I lived in Haslet, in far north Fort Worth. Across the street from my then abode what were then acres of open land were slated for Intel. A new overpass was built over I-35 to access the land. Perks were offered. Fort Worth thought they had a done deal. But the deal fell through. Someone from Intel must have visited Fort Worth and decided no way are we building anything in that town.

How much money has the city of Fort Worth wasted over the years in futile attempts to get some company to re-locate to the town? Perhaps the time has come where maybe Fort Worth should spend some research money to identify all the town's elements which leave such a bad impression.

Slow motion pseudo public works projects, such as that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, that being the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, currently a badly engineered mess of slow motion, or stalled, construction, do not leave a good impression, or lead someone to think the town can get anything done within any reasonable time frame.

Oh, and above is that Top of the Rock restaurant in Tempe I mentioned multiple paragraphs ago before I slipped into my patented regularly scheduled verbalization of being appalled by the Texas town named after a fort, which was a camp, of tents, and which, unlike other Texas frontier forts, nothing remains of the Fort Worth frontier fort, except for a penchant for embarrassing hyperbole...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Big Tempe Surf With Sister Jackie & Brother Jake

With the Valley of the Sun  outer world heated to well over 100 degrees it seemed like a good time to do some desert surfing.

So, Sister Jackie drove me to Tempe to meet up with Brother Jake where we were able to do some of that desert surfing at the Big Surf Waterpark.

It was hard leaving Miss Daisy behind in Sun Lakes.

We arrived at Big Surf soon after the ocean opened for the day.

I soon found myself in a simulated tropical paradise, luxuriating in a big ocean I almost seemed to have to myself.

While waiting for the surf to rise, Brother Jake, Sister Jackie and my feet lounged in the water, enjoying the almost empty of people pseudo ocean.

And then surfers began to arrive. Many with flotation devices of the air mattress sort.

A cacophony of screams blocked out the rock and roll background music when a Big Kahuna wave suddenly appeared.

I had not surfed since sometime in the last century, in the Pacific Ocean in California, at San Clemente Beach, if my memory is serving me correctly. Negotiating a big wave quickly came back to me, like riding a bike. After an hour, or so, I asked Sister Jackie if there was anyway I could get her to try and photo document me in surf boy mode. Above is the best of Sister Jackie's surfing photo documentation.

Scroll to the end for up close video documentation of me getting tossed by the wild waves of Big Surf.

After an hour or two of surfing it was time for a break under shade. But still in a pool. That would be Brother Jake looking at you, with Sister Jackie looking away. Soon after taking this photo I left my camera behind to take a ride on one of the waterslides. I did not realize I would slide at such a high speed. This excess speed had me shoot out of the tube underwater, wreaking havoc with my sunglasses.

That is not Sister Jackie, above, pretending to be a lifeguard. That is a real lifeguard, who guarded my life by telling me I was too close to the wall you see here with rope fenced posts sticking out of the wall. After getting scolded I waded over to the lifeguard to take the photo you see above.

Soon after I got in trouble with the lifeguard we decided to leave Big Surf to head west to Scottsdale to the Fiesta Burrito Mexican Restaurant.

Above is a lunch look of my chili relleno enchilada in the foreground. Brother Jake's mixed enchilada is viewed to the upper left. Sister Jackie had the same chile relleno enchilada I had, so you do not need to see photo documentation of that.

Whilst we were surfing Sister Jackie mentioned something new in Tempe. A car vending machine. That's right, a car vending machine.

CARVANA. You build your car online, then make your way to the CARVANA tower in Tempe, and somehow, apparently, your new car is rotated to ground level, where you can drive away, with a freeway conveniently nearby.

A redlight stopped us right before entering that aforementioned freeway, rendering easy photo taking of CARVANA.

It's gonna be an adjustment leaving modern America and going back to Texas on Saturday.

And below is a short video of surfing today at Big Surf Waterpark...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy's Bank Tank Kini Dillards Fashion Mall Chariot Excursion

It is only an hour or two past noon and I have already had myself yet one more mighty fine busy day driving Miss Daisy around to various Arizona locations.

This morning began with Miss Daisy joining me for pool time where once again she was asked why she was not in a swimming suit, with the most pointed asking coming from my favorite nonagenarian, Philamina, whom we call Miss Phil.

After swimming, prior to being allowed to return to where my regular clothes are located, Miss Daisy directed me to drive to her bank, and then McDonald's, where we could find Sausage McMuffins with Egg.

Miss Daisy's directions to her bank soon went awry. Eventually it was realized, after passing McDonald's, that we had somehow missed the bank. So, we turned around and eventually found the bank on the opposite side of the street Miss Daisy had said it was on.

Miss Daisy directed me to one of the bank's ATMs. I parked. Miss Daisy gave me her bank card and told me the secret four digit code by which one was allowed to conduct Miss Daisy's bank business.

I stuck the card in the appropriate ATM slot, then, when asked to, I entered that four digit secret code, after which the ATM told me the four digit secret code was incorrect and that the transaction was being cancelled for security reasons.

Back in Miss Daisy's mechanized chariot I gave her the rejected card and proceeded east on Riggs to that aforementioned McDonald's and its Sausage McMuffins with Egg.

At some point, in the short distance to McDonald's, Miss Daisy somehow lost the bank card I had just handed her. I told her not to worry, we would find it, it had to be in the vehicle.

Parking at McDonald's I went inside to get those McMuffins. Miss Daisy continued to search for the missing card.

When I returned with the McMuffins Miss Daisy directed me to head to her home base, which I did, whilst we consumed those McMuffins.

Back at home we forensically deconstructed Miss Daisy's purse and the billfold device inside the purse, in which she was sure she had stuck the bank card.

I made a pile of the 1's, 5's and 20's. And the various cards. There were a lot of cards. At one point I removed a small bright red zippered purse-like thing. Miss Daisy said that was of no import.

I continued to look, to no avail. At one point apparently I got into a forbidden zone in the larger purse, when I discovered some folded large bills of the 100 dollar sort.

Just as I was beginning to be just a bit frustrated Miss Daisy unzipped that aforementioned small red purse and to her wondering eyes what appeared?

Yes. The missing bank card. Which was also red. Bright red.

Miss Daisy then remembered this was where she kept the bank card, so she could remember where it was amongst all her other cards.

With that crisis over Miss Daisy directed me to drive to the Chandler Fashion Center Mall. I soon found myself pushing Miss Daisy's manually operated chariot over all levels of that HUGE mall.

At one point I was more than a little shocked when Miss Daisy indicated she wanted to go into Dillards.

To shop for a swimming suit.

I soon found myself in situations I never envisioned being in. Asking Dillard's people where the women's swimming suits were located. The location was on another floor, so we were directed to the special elevator for those who are transported via wheeled chariots.

Upon finding the swimming suits I found myself telling the Dillard's swimming suit section lady that we where shopping for a swimming suit for my mom. We were quite excited because the swimming suits were 40% off. The saleslady advised that something called a tank-kini (no idea how to spell this) was likely the best choice.

Unless Miss Daisy would prefer a one piece or a two piece bikini type.

We went with the tank-kini option after learning these were much easier to put on, compared to a one piece. We quickly ruled out the bikini option.

The swimming suit Miss Daisy picked out cost $71, after that 40% discount. What a bargain. And it looked and fit so nice.

We shall see if I am able to get a photo of Miss Daisy at the pool in her new swimming suit before I head back to Texas on Saturday.

At the top that is Miss Daisy in the Chandler Fashion Center, heading towards a giant mural of what looked like a Grand Canyon image.

Tomorrow Sister Jackie is taking me and Spencer Jack's grandpa surfing in Scottsdale. I do not know if I will be able to photo document this desert experience. The waves are reportedly Pacific ocean worthy....

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jeremy Driving Miss Daisy To Arizona Arby's Atom Bomb

Monday night my favorite nephew Jeremy showed up for his regularly scheduled date with grandma, also known as Miss Daisy.

I go along for the weekly drive to the drive through through one of the neighborhoods many fast food joints for some counter balance to the healthy stuff we consume during the rest of the week.

For tonight's fast food Jeremy drove Miss Daisy and me north on Alma School Road to the fast food joint known as Arby's.

Ever since I have been in Arizona I have been seeing an Arby's TV ad touting two Arby's Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions. On TV the ad man has Donald Trump hands, making the Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions look enormous.

In reality the Arby's Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions turned out to be a fraction of the gargantuan concoctions shown on TV. With hard chunks of bacon instead of strips. And the melted orange stuff may have been cheese. With a few slices of what appeared to be a beef-like product.

Did that aforementioned Donald Trump sign one of those executive orders he is so fond of signing, reversing yet one more American regulation?

Like truth in advertising?

Anyway, Jeremy is an excellent Miss Daisy chauffeur. Unlike when Jeremy's mother is Miss Daisy's chauffeur, when Jeremy is the driver I am able to relax and enjoy the scenery without feeling the need to keep a close eye on the driver.

Heading back home with our bagful of Arby's, clouds appeared to the east. Monsoon clouds. One of which looked like what I imagine an atom bomb looks like if one were to see such a thing actually explode.

I am fairly certain tonight is the last time I will ever be having myself anything from Arby's. Don't get me started on the curly fries...

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Morning Worrying Arizona Monsoon Swim

You are looking at my slightly cock-eyed morning Monsoon view, post swimming, this third Arizona Sunday of the 2018 version of July.

Miss Daisy did not accompany me to the pool this morning. I think the threatening sky worried her.

Last night, early in the evening, my phone went off with multiple dust storm warnings. Miss Daisy and I had returned to cover shortly before the warnings arrived. We saw the incoming wall of dust on our way back to Sun Lakes.

I am a bit worried my return to Texas may be more adventurous than I like. Both ways, this trip, my DFW connection was less than an hour. No big deal when the plane departs, or arrives, on time. The flight out of DFW was delayed almost an hour. Which really caused no problem, except for the extra wait time for the pickup crew in Phoenix.

The return to DFW is where I may have a problem.

Saturday the Arizona temperature at my location is scheduled to reach around 115. We have this ongoing Monsoon madness. With that, and a high temperature, flights may be delayed out of Sky Harbor Airport.

If there is a significant delay I will not be able to make the connection to the flight to Wichita Falls. Thus rendering a wait til the first flight out the following morning.

I am sure if such a calamity happens someone like Miss Puerto Rico or Elsie Hotpepper will come to my rescue.

Or not.

The photo of me you see here was taken post-pooling this morning, drying out on a lounge chair under a gray sky with cooling drops dripping slowing the drying process.

Keeping Cool In Tacoma With David, Theo & Ruby

No, what you are looking at here is not me cooling off at one of Arizona's many refreshing beaches.

Last night my favorite Ruby niece text messaged me what you are looking at here.

That being her favorite brothers, Theo and David, rescuing some driftwood at Owens Beach which had floated in from some where on the Puget Sound.

Owens Beach is located in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park, near the ferry landing which takes one from the mainland to Vashon Island.

To those reading this in Fort Worth, and its environs,Vashon Island is a real island, not an imaginary make believe pretend island surrounded by a man made ditch..

That is just a piece of Vashon Island you see in the distance to the right of David's red head.

The gap between the mainland and Vashon Island is too far to close the gap with a bridge, hence a ferry boat being the means of island access.

No local Tacoma congresswoman's incompetent son, exhibiting classic Dunning-Kruger Effect syndrome, was put in charge of building the boat to float from Tacoma to Vashon Island, hence that boat has been floating for decades.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, has anyone been seeing any real progress with those pitiful little bridges which have been stuck in slow motion make believe construction for around four years. Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, which was an actual feat of engineering, built over actual water?

Yesterday around the time Ruby sent me the above cool looking photo Miss Daisy and I were getting hit with yet one more dust storm and monsoon. With the temperature over 100.

Owens Beach, Tacoma, the Pacific Northwest, and a naturally air conditioned outer world sounds appealing at this point in time.

I don't know if I can successfully trick Miss Daisy into directing me on a roadtrip north to Washington.

It is now Sunday, the day after the above pithy paragraphs were written. A week from today I should be back in Texas.

This Sunday morning Miss Daisy directed me to her usual Sunday morning McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg. Followed by a long drive to Santan Mountain.

After not doing some mountain climbing Miss Daisy directed me to a Costco where we free sampled and hunted for some sort of frozen cone confection.

The frozen cone confection search was futile. We left Costco with nothing but those aforementioned free samples.

The drive from Costco back to Sun Lakes passed through some falling raindrops, but not enough, it seemed to me, to qualify as legitimate precipitation.

However, this morning, post swim whilst lounging poolside, whilst talking on the phone, some legitimate precipitation precipitated, but not in full downpour mode. It was refreshing.

I took a photo of this morning's poolside monsoon. It is one my phone. Maybe I will get that photo off my phone later...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Arizona Swim Between Incoming Monsoons

This morning I took my feet to the pool for a swim between incoming Monsoon storms.

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, Miss Daisy and I made it back to interior cover a few minutes before that day's Monsoon hit.

Today we are heading north to Scottsdale, being adventurous and risky, what with today's predicted Monsoon scheduled to be a wild one.

The most unusual, to me, thing about these Monsoon storms, is they can include big balls of hail. A temperature over 100 degrees would seem to HOT to not melt incoming ice....

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Survived First 2018 Arizona Monsoon Haboob

Last night my favorite Jeremy nephew managed to make it to grandma's slightly ahead of the Haboob Dust Storm.

Soon after Jeremy arrived so did the Haboob.

The blowing dust was quickly replaced by rain, followed by lightning strikes.

Jeremy's uncle Jake called from Scottsdale to let us know he had lost power and was taking refuge in his vehicle in order to keep cool.

After Jake called we located emergency lighting in the form of four flashlights.

We did not lose power, but it was a good thing to be prepared.

Last night's storm did not last too long at our location, Elsewhere, according to the morning news. the Valley of the Sun took quite a Monsoon Haboob hit last night.

Below is video taken a couple minutes after the Monsoon arrived....

Monday, July 9, 2018

Stuck In My First Arizona Haboob Dust Storm With Miss Daisy & Jeremy

Miss Daisy and I were about to head north to Mesa to go to the Superstition Ranch Farmers Market when the phone went into Emergency Alert Warning mode, warning us of an impending dust storm, from which we were advised to seek shelter.

And get off the road if driving.

Incoming Haboob.

Last night, around ten, the phone made the same warning, multiple times. We noticed nothing, til this morning when the morning sun revealed an outer world covered with a coating of dust.

And this morning when I went pooling I learned some emergency warning went off at 3 in the morning which had the pool maintenance people busy dealing with clogging filters.

Now this most recent Emergency Alert Warning has been extended another 25 minutes.

I stepped outside a few minutes ago to photo document the incoming wall of dust, which is what you are seeing.

Nephew Jeremy just arrived, chased by the dust storm, says lots of lightning is on the way. It's getting real dark. Brother Jake just texted that power is out in Scottsdale.

The dust has arrived. Must hit the publish button and batten the hatches...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Arizona Day One HOT As Expected With No Additional Turbulence

In the view you are looking at here you are looking east from my mama's living room, with a sun-blocking screen causing the pattern of squares between you and the pair of cactus.

The ride to Arizona was the wildest yet. Extreme turbulence on the leg from Wichita Falls to DFW. The flight to Phoenix from DFW was postponed a couple times, ending up with about an hour delay.

As we descended into the Valley of the Sun a blockade of dark clouds appeared, shooting lightning. The turbulence hit quick and hard, banging my fragile head against the window.

The turbulence soon abated.

Nearing Phoenix I looked out the window on what looked like those palm islands in Dubai. I quickly realized I was looking directly down at mom's Sun Lakes location and the clubhouse swimming pool I pooled in this morning.

A few minutes later I was on the ground. A few minutes after that after traveling on three sections of moving sidewalks my little brother came into view in the distance. Then I saw mom and sister Jackie. Spencer Jack's grandpa was rolling mom in her chariot. I took over that duty whilst SJ's grandpa took over wheeling my rolling bag.

Upon exiting the Sky Harbor interior I was a bit surprised at how HOT the blast of 115 degrees felt. I mean, this really was not all that much HOTTER than the Texas temperature I had just left. But it felt like I was at the Gateway to Hell.

This Sunday morning mom took me on a shopping expedition to Food City, Costco and WinCo. We got all the fixin's for tonight's steak grilling.

Almost one day down, and only 13 to go. Not that I am counting...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sikes Lake Ducking Before Leaving Wichita Falls For Arizona

With a few hours to go before I fly out of here I decided I had time for one more bike ride before hitting HOT Arizona.

I was not long rolling before it was evident a lot of people decided this relatively cool Saturday made for a good day to be outside.

Rain is slightly in the forecast for today. Sikes Lake is in need of some rain. Islands are beginning to form.

And the geese and duck flocks stand in the remaining water as much as they float in it.

Today I stopped under the Sikes Lake Pavilion, which is the location you see my bike resting at above. As I rolled to a stop at a bench I rolled past a small flock of snoozing ducks. They woke up upon my passing, and then when I got off the bike to sit down and do some drinking, the ducks rose as one and began waddling towards me, quacking loudly.

I think the ducks were expecting something to eat from me. I suspect such happens throughout the day, which is why they camp out at this location near the museum parking lot.

Friday, July 6, 2018

HOT Wichita Bluff Nature Area Walk Prior To Being HOT In Arizona

Around the noon time frame this first Friday of the 2018 version of July I decided some HEAT exposure would feel good in a place with little shade.

And so I rolled my mechanized wheels to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to go on a HOT walk.

By early tomorrow evening any walking I do will likely be HOTTER than today's walking, because that walking will be taking place in the Valley of the Sun, which is in Arizona, which is a HOT location.

Nurse Canecracker informed me a few minutes ago, via Facebook, that a monsoon has been blowing and dripping in the east end of the Valley of the Sun. If there is some monsoon activity extreme humidity will likely be added to the Phoenix zone's HOT mix.

Regarding that photo you see above. I was sitting at a picnic table, under the shade of a picnic pavilion, looking northeast over the Wichita Bluffs. I have no clue what those rectangular stone formations are supposed to be. A fourth one is out of photo frame, to the left.

Tomorrow's weather prediction is for some possibly storminess. I hope this does not wreak havoc with my travel plans. I have a short, less than an hour, connect time to get from the little plane which takes me to DFW from Wichita Falls, to get on the bigger plane which takes me to Phoenix.

I suspect it will all work out. And if it doesn't, well whatever happens should be interesting. I like it when whatever happens is interesting...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

My Arizona Mom Did Not Shoot Her Son To Stay Out Of Assisted Living

I saw this early 4th of July morning on Facebook.

By noon I got email from one of my mom's four grandsons suggesting this may be some sort of cautionary warning about grandma.

I believe this Arizona shooting took place in Tempe. My mom lives in Sun Lakes, a short distance south of Tempe.

There has been talk about moving mom to some sort of assisted living situation. But, as far as I know, none of mom's sons are on board with such being a good idea.

I have been tasked with flying to Arizona on Saturday to help find some solutions to make mom's living easier. I do not think I need to worry about making sure mom is not hiding any firearms. Mom has never liked guns. Guns were never in our home growing up.

However, at times I wonder and worry that I do not know all which mom may be up to.

For instance, on my last visit I discovered an almost empty large bottle of gin hidden in the back of the lower shelf of mom's refrigerator.

Mom has never been a consumer of alcoholic beverages.

Except for the brief period of time when mom discovered getting free drinks whilst playing slot machines in Reno. I recollect at one point mom asking me if I'd ever had a root beer fizz. Which I learned was one of the "exotic' cocktails mom had discovered in Reno. When it was explained to mom these were alcoholic beverages that particular fad quickly faded.

Or so I was told.

But that bottle of gin had me wondering.

The day after I found mom's hidden bottle of gin Spencer Jack's grandpa and his favorite aunt Jackie showed up. I brought up the gin subject for the first time. Til then I had not mentioned my discovery to mom.

Mom acted all innocent, claiming no knowledge regarding the booze in her fridge.

Spencer Jack's aunt Jackie then came up with some sort of explanation explaining the mysterious bottle of gin as having something to do with David, Theo & Ruby's mother, who is also our little sister, Michele.

I soon gave up getting to the bottom of mom's gin mystery.

But, I am pretty much 100% my mom has nary a gun hidden anywhere,

I do not think any of my sane relatives have firearms.

However, one of our relatives with marginal personality disorder is known to keep a gun close by. This relative is a classic example of why we need stronger gun control laws so as to keep firearms away from the arms of such marginal personality types...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

2018 Wichita Falls 4th of July Parade Extravaganza

The 2018 Wichita Falls 4th of July Parade is now history.

Today's 4th of July Parade in downtown Wichita Falls is the third one I have eye witnessed. This year's had the coolest temperature of the three.

The parade began right on time, at 9 this 4th of July morning, with soldiers marching the colors of the flags of the various nations stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, complete with loud musical accompaniment. You can see and hear that below, via video.

Before the parade began, the crowd of parade viewers quickly grew. And waited. Above you see a quartet waiting in the shade, having themselves a pre-parade smoke of what appeared to be some sort of tobacco product.

Like we said, the parade began with dozens of soldiers in uniform, carrying flags. The parade viewers stood, many with hand over heart. No kneeling was seen. Though I may have been tempted to do so.

I have been to a parade or two where the passing paraders toss candy to the kids in the crowd. But I have never seen this done to the level I see happen in Wichita Falls. One nearby dad commented it is like Halloween without having to go through the effort of walking door to door.

What with all that candy being thrown about and so many people seeming to be having themselves a mighty fine time, the Wichita Falls 4th of July Parade has a sort of party feel. I've never seen so many people in a parade looking like they are having so much fun.

The parade viewers seemed to be having just as much fun as the paraders. Such as the lady above. She laughed a lot. The adult parade viewers had fun directing the kids to candy locations.

Red, white and blue seemed to be the dominant color theme.

Red, white and blue, along with multiple iterations of Uncle Sam, with the guy above being one of the best, riding on a rusted jalopy, which reared up and down as it rolled along.

And here we have a pair of red, white and blue grannies riding on the tailgate of a red USA pickup.

A red 65 Ford Mustang sporting the red, white and blue. My first car was a 1965 Mustang Fastback. A 65 Mustang is over half a century old. Yikes!

A collection of young Uncle Sams sporting more of that red, white and blue color motif.

This pair of older "Uncle Sams" pushed a sign which said "SUPER SAM & SAMANTHA: TRUTH JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY".

I think I recognized the people riding the above large Radio Flyer wagon. I am fairly certain they were red, white, blue and Browns.

One of the last entries in the parade was from the local Patterson Auto people, suggesting we PRAY FOR PEACE, with the message tacked to the side of a military vehicle.

And now that aforementioned video of Sheppard Air Force soldiers leading the Wichita Falls 4th of July Parade...