Friday, November 30, 2018

Time For J.D. Granger's Forensic Job Performance Review

What is going on? Is it now a daily thing where the Fort Worth Star-Telegram publishes an embarrassingly inept article about the ongoing debacle now known as America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Today's entry is titled It’s a $1B project, but Panther Island’s head honcho has never had a written job review.

Before we take a look at all of this latest Star-Telegram propaganda let's jump to the end of the article, with its last sentence a bit of defiance delivered by the disgraced Head Honcho, J.D. Granger, responding to demands that a forensic audit take place looking at the twelve years J.D. has been mismanaging the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision...

If the independent review showed the need for organizational change, J.D. Granger said he’d be open reporting to the board or receiving written evaluators. “I’m fine with that,” he said. “I think I’ve done a great job for 12 years, so bring it on.”

Oh, it's on, J.D.

Now, let's just look at one or two other odd items in this latest Star-Telegram article about the Boondoggle...

J.D. Granger, the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, said near constant communication with his boss has ensured that his work is up to par during his 12 years on the job. The authority oversees promotion and coordination of the Panther Island project and is a political subdivision of the Tarrant Regional Water District.

J.D. thinks his constant communication with his boss has ensured his work is up to par? What is that par? An extremely low expectation? As in a low bar par? Up to par for 12 years on the job? Can we get some sort of accounting telling us what J.D. thinks he has accomplished during this over a decade period? Let's start with Cowtown Wakepark and go from there.

And what is with this now multiply repeated assertion that the (TRV) authority oversees promotion and coordination of the Panther Island project? This seemingly absurd assertion comes up again deeper into the article where the actual project somehow becomes the sole purview of the Army Corps of Engineers...

The authority has been the public face of the project, promoting Panther Island events, coordinating government agencies and vetting design standards for development of the future island, but the Army Corps of Engineers would manage construction of the channel and other federally funded flood-control pieces.

There we have the new propaganda repeated again. The (TRV) authority's purpose is to promote events, coordinate agencies and vet design standards. Yet, somehow, due to the revelation of email exchanges between J.D. and his mother, we learn it was J.D.'s interference with an Army Corps of Engineer's plan to use the West 7th Street Bridge design for the Boondoggle's Panther Island three simple little bridges. J.D. insisted the now controversial V-Pier design be used, to the consternation of multiple engineers who have called a stop to the bridge building multiple times, hence the bridges being nowhere near completion after beginning with a TNT explosion way back in 2014.

We blogged about J.D.'s interference in the bridge design in America's Biggest Boondoggle Unravels As Trinity River Vision Scandals Grow. The Army Corps of Engineers approved of the West 7th Street Bridge design, included federal funds paying for the bridges, and indicated the bridges would be built in a timely fashion, long ago completed, unlike J.D. Granger's V-Pier Bridge Debacle, with the three simple little bridges being built over dry land now not expected to be completed until possibly, maybe, hopefully, in 2020, six years after starting construction.

But, the bridge building debacle is not J.D.'s fault, because, as we now have learned, he is only responsible for event planning, such as Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats, Octoberfest, and other music type events at the imaginary world class music venue at the imaginary island with the imaginary pavilion.That and J.D. is also responsible for vetting design standards.

Let's see how much J.D. has been paid for event planning and vetting design standards...

Granger, son of Republican U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, earns $213,000 a year in his publicly funded position. 

What designs have J.D. vetted one can not help but wonder, with J.D.'s vetting expertise worth millions if you multiply his annual salary by the 12 years he has been busy boondoggling? Did J.D.'s law school training teach him how to be an event planner? Is this why his event planning skills are worth paying him so much money?

This Star-Telegram article brings up a new confusion not seen made mention of previously. Three paragraphs illustrate this...

Fort Worth city manager David Cooke said he asked about evaluations for the executive director’s position when he first joined the authority’s board. At the time, having the position report directly to Oliver, who reports to a separate water district board, made sense and “didn’t raise any red flags.”

But Cooke said the independent review should address whether that command structure works.

“It’s an appropriate question,” he said. “You’ve got the director of the TRVA reporting to the TRWD director, who reports the the water district board, not (the TRVA) board.”
So, apparently we have a Trinity River Vision Authority board of directors (unelected) whose director, J.D. Granger, reports to the Tarrant Regional Water District director, who then reports to the TRWD board of directors, who are elected.

And somehow this mess of nonsense has mismanaged itself into being America's Biggest Boondoggle....

Thursday, November 29, 2018

More Star-Telegram Panther Island Propaganda Nonsense

America's Biggest Boondoggle really does get to be exhausting.

Now that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has finally gotten around to sort of noticing that something is dire wrong with the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision more words have been printed in the Star-Telegram about the subject in the past couple months than in the past dozen plus years this embarrassment has been limping along.

And yet, the Star-Telegram still does not seem to be able to bring itself to print words which one would think a responsible newspaper of record would print.

As in print the truth. And question the nonsense.

Many have long wondered if the Star-Telegram is crippled in its coverage by the fact that the Trinity River Vision Authority headquarters take up the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building. This might explain why the Star-Telegram seems to be a propaganda cohort for the ongoing debacle.

Let's just take a little look at this most recent Star-Telegram article about America's Biggest Boondoggle, titled Officials say Panther Island is on track. But it needs a lot of money soon.

Just the article headline is ridiculous. Needs a lot of money, but the project is on track? Yes, that headline makes a lot of sense.

Entities the Star-Telegram deem to be "officials" said Tuesday the project is on track for completion in the next decade.

But, this project has been propaganda-ized as a vitally needed flood control project. And yet, with that flood control supposedly vitally needed, in an area of Fort Worth which has not flooded for well over half a century, this vitally needed flood control project awaits federal handouts.

And then there is the fraudulently worded ballot measure, passed last May 5 for $250 million purported to be for flood control and drainage, but with those same supposed "officials" later admitting the funds would be going to the Panther Island debacle. A truth which caused Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, to call for an audit of the entire Trinity River Vision mess.

An amazingly hubris laden bit in this article from J.D. Granger's fellow philanderer, Jim Oliver...

Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District which has partnered with Fort Worth and Tarrant County, said Panther Island has always been seen as a long-term project. It is expected to be completed by 2028.

Really? Completed by 2028? Way back when this ridiculousness was first foisted on the public, way back near the start of this century, with a HUGE headline in the Star-Telegram proclaiming something like "TRINITY UPTOWN TO TURN FORT WORTH INTO VANCOUVER OF THE SOUTH" there was no mention made that this project would take multiple decades to come to fruition.

I remember reading that headline and thinking to myself what moronic idiocy is this going to be. I had already become wary of Star-Telegram propaganda, way back then. Who could have guessed this Vancouver of the South thing would get so absurd. morphing into things like Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

Trust me, in neither of the Vancouvers of the North do they do any River Rockin' in any polluted waterways.

Which leads us to the bizarre J.D. Granger part of this latest Star-Telegram Boondoggle propaganda...

Oliver spoke Tuesday during the water district’s monthly meeting where J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority charged with coordinating the project, gave an overview of the authority’s responsibility.

Granger said he believes that the community is confused about the authority’s role. It is not to develop the land. Its main role is vetting developer ideas and promoting a tax district through event programming, he said.

We’re not building anything,” he said.

Well, for once I guess J.D. Granger speaks the truth. They really have not managed to build anything worthwhile in well over a decade of boondoggling.

Granger is claiming his main job is to vet developer ideas and promote events? Really? I sort of remember J.D. touting at a TNT explosion, way back in 2014, that now the public would finally be able to see some vertical construction, with those three simple little bridges under construction over dry land.

And did not J.D. Granger tout the now failed Cowtown Wakepark pond as a Trinity River Vision Authority production, providing the coveted sport of wakeboarding to a longing urban population?

J.D. Granger is being paid over $200 K a year for developer vetting and event planning? How's that developer vetting going? See a lot of developments being developed on the imaginary island?

If that forensic audit of America's Biggest Boondoggle actually takes place it will be interesting to learn how much money had been spent over how many years for salaries and perks of the TRVA employees, starting with J.D. Granger.

How much has been spent on junkets to supposedly look at other town's water projects. A lot of people went along on those junkets, according to our inside the TRVA source known as Deep Moat.

How many dollars have been spent via TRVA expense accounts, for lunches, dinners, hotel stays in Dallas, and other similar wasting of public funds.

And yet these nimrods don't seem to understand why those who dole out federal funds are now asking for a detailed analysis of this lame project's financial feasibility?

Will this perplexing nonsense ever come to an end?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Is This Photo Documentation Of J.D. Granger's Final Boondoggle Beer Party?

Yesterday we talked about Hotpepper Deep Moat Search For J.D. Granger Junket Shenanigans.

And now today let's talk about some more J.D. Granger shenanigans.

But first I have a sort of embarrassing confession to make.

Somehow, in October, whilst I escaped Texas for a month in Arizona, something went awry with Google emailing me comments made to various posts on my various blogs and websites.

I discovered this lapse yesterday when I saw there were 258 comments awaiting moderation just for this blog you are reading right now. Most of those comments awaiting moderation I delete when I see them in incoming email, due to them being spam, stupid or not hitting the publish button worthy. The comments can show up for something like 11,000 blog posts, spanning something like 12 years. It's a daunting task keeping keeping on top of it.

Anyway, the number one comment maker, named Anonymous, made a comment back in October, which I only managed to get around to publishing yesterday....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Fort Worth Weekly Sees Trinity River Vision Sleigh Sleight Of Hand...":

JD Granger & Matt Oliver celebrating Oktoberfest before finding out about the Boondoggle losing its federal funding. The pertinent photos are #68 and #81.

Oktoberfest Fort Worth 2018 at Panther Island Pavilion

The # 68 photo to which Anonymous refers is the one above, which makes the one below # 81.

The loss of Boondoggle funding, which took the smile off J.D. Granger's face, along with the smiles on the faces of his fellow grifters, I did manage to blog about whilst I was in Arizona, most notably in With Federal Funding Cut Will Fort Worth Finally End America's Biggest Boondoggle?

That is the notorious J.D. on the left side of the # 81 photo, mouth open. No clue if the guy reaching towards Granger, with the stein of beer is about to pour beer down J.D.'s gullet in some sort of Octoberfest frat boy type ritual.

I have been told that in addition to losing federal funding J.D. and his fellow grifters in the Granger Gang are nervous about the recent demands for a forensic audit which would look into how many public funds have been spent on things like this Octoberfest beer party.

Such as how much was spent to make the Octoberfest beer hall?

Were public funds used by J.D. and his girl friend/fiance, Shanna Cate, for their multiple trips to Germany to check out how the home country of Octoberfest does their festing?

Inquiring minds, and lawyers, want to know...

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hotpepper Deep Moat Search For J.D. Granger Junket Shenanigans

Last week someone asked Elsie Hotpepper to ask me if I could remember any specific details, such as precise dates, about junkets led by J.D. Granger on ostensible TRVA fact finding missions.

Such junket details would have been blogged many years ago, back when someone inside the TRVA, calling him or herself Deep Moat, was sending me details about various things eye witnessed, or known about, which disgusted Deep Moat.

Including being disgusted by married man, J.D. Granger's office affair with Shanna Cate. I was told about this inappropriate office shenanigan years ago, as in many years ago, and yet recently the guy who is J.D.'s boss, Jim Oliver, claims he only learned of this compromising relationship two years ago, admitting this when details of the affair recently came to light,in NBC TV reports raising questions about nepotism being rife in the TRWD and TRVA, causing disgruntlement in the TRWD/TRVA employee ranks.

So, this question about junket details had me searching my own blog because the search tool works better than my apparently failing memory. This search soon came to a blog post I had long forgotten, published back on Monday, July 29, 2013, titled The Continuing Quest To Find Who Is At The Center Of Fort Worth's Culture Of Corruption.

In light of the growing realization that something is dire wrong with the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, and with many people now calling for the firing or resignation of J.D. Granger, and a forensic audit of this ongoing embarrassment which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, I found what I read in that blog post from over five years ago to be currently even more relevant.

Below are a few lines from The Continuing Quest To Find Who Is At The Center Of Fort Worth's Culture Of Corruption...

Re-reading what Clyde Picht wrote about J.D. Granger being picked as the guy to run the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is why at this point in time, in the graphic above, I have J.D. Granger at the Center of Fort Worth's Culture of Corruption.

Re-reading what Clyde Picht wrote got me thinking about TRWD board member Mary Kelleher's quest to get TRWD documents available for Mary's, and the public's perusal.

Thinking about TRWD documents got me wondering what sort of documentation exists of the communications between J.D. Granger and Jim Oliver regarding hiring J.D. to run the TRVB project.

J.D Granger was working as an assistant District Attorney. So, what happened? Did J.D. get a call one day, during a break from prosecuting, from Jim Oliver? An email? A personal meeting?

When Jim Oliver suggested to J.D. Granger that he was the man he wanted to run the TRV Boondoggle, what did J.D. say?

Did J.D. say to Jim Oliver I have absolutely no qualifications for such a job? Did J.D. ask Jim Oliver why are you thinking I could, or should, take this job?

What was Jim Oliver's explanation, to J.D., as to why Jim Oliver thought J.D. was the man for this particular job?

Go to The Continuing Quest To Find Who Is At The Center Of Fort Worth's Culture Of Corruption to read what Clyde Picht had to say, years ago, about the hiring of J.D. Granger for a job for which it is now horribly obvious he was not qualified...

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Baffling Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial About America's Biggest Boondoggle

Yesterday we blogged about Elsie Hotpepper's Midnight Fort Worth Weekly Cookin' The Trinity River Vision Books Turkey Alert.

On that same day the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an opinion piece from the Star-Telegram Editorial Board, pretty much about the same subject, sort of.

With that subject being America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

That being a vision which now, in 2018, is pretty much universally viewed as being an imaginary vision,, with an imaginary island, imaginary bridges and an imaginary project executive director in the form of Congresswoman Kay Granger's boy, J.D., who has zero qualifications for such a project. A fact now painfully obvious to anyway who has watched this sad vision gradually develop a bad case of macular degeneration.

The Star-Telegram's editorial is titled Has Fort Worth’s vision for Panther Island exceeded its grasp?

This editorial is a typical Star-Telegram bit of propaganda misinformation, disguised to seem to be well intentioned.

Rarely does any article in the Star-Telegram generate any comments. This editorial, a day after being published, has generated two comments. The second of the comments we will get to before taking a look at what the commenter is commenting about...

Jim Schermbeck: No quotes from a decade of uncritical S-T's editorials supporting this boondooggle? No acknowledgement of its own complicity? Newspaper, heal thy self.

My reaction to this Star-Telegram editorial was the same as Mr. Schermbeck's. As in the editorial struck me as being bald faced hypocritical. Let's go through what the Star-Telegram had to say...

Fourteen years after its rollout — and just months after this year’s public vote of confidence, in the passage of a local $250 million bond referendum — the $1.16 billion vision has hit a huge sandbar: half a billion in federal funding, approved by Congress in 2016 and thought to be in the bank, was not included in the Trump administration’s current spending plans or Army Corps of Engineers budget.

Public vote of confidence? The Star-Telegram actually feels okay with signing on to this bit of Trinity River Vision/Kay Granger propaganda? First off, all the voters in the city of Fort Worth were not allowed to vote on this imaginary vote of confidence. Just like all affected are not allowed to vote on TRWD board elections. The ballot verbiage indicated the $250 million was for flood control and drainage issues. There was no mention in the ballot measure of anything to do with what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Many have called this fraud and have asked for some sort of investigation.

Moving on...

It’s important that in our grand vision we don’t lose sight of the fact that the genesis and primary purpose of the Panther Island project is flood control. The Trinity River authority’s own materials tout the need to shore up the 1960s-era levees and bolster them with the “1.5-mile bypass channel, three new flood gates, expanded storm water valley storage opportunities and a new dam.”

Say what? Grand vision? The primary purpose is flood control? In an area of Fort Worth which has not flooded since levees were built in the 1950s. Note, 1950s. Not 1960s. The now disgraced TRV Authority touts the need to shore up those levees which have done their job for well over half a century, by bolstering the levees with a bypass channel, three new flood gates, and some "expected" valley water storage, along with a new dam?

New flood gates? Three of them? Where are the old flood gates? Expected water storage? Isn't that water storage area what has been dug in the area of Gateway Park? Flood storage needed if the bypass ditch is ever dug, with flood waters racing at much greater speed towards Arlington and Dallas. The Star-Telegram forgot to mention J.D. Granger's 60,000 Magic Trees which are also supposedly supposed to help stem a flood.

And then this in this embarrassing editorial...

While it’s an enticing byproduct that we’d be creating “12 miles of publicly accessible waterfront consisting of a river promenade, riverwalk system and a 30-acre town lake as its centerpiece,” and “doubling the size of downtown,” the main mission is to protect the downtown that we already have.

Oh my, how the size of that imaginary lake changes. We have seen it go from 12 acres, to the Star-Telegram's 30 acres. Yes, what an enticing byproduct of this un-needed flood control, creating 12 miles of waterfront able to be accessed by the public who have paid for it. What a concept. And a river promenade, with a riverwalk system. Anyone know what a riverwalk system is? As opposed to just simply a riverwalk. Double the size of downtown? Really? The existing downtown is up a bluff from the Boondoggle's imaginary island.

The main mission is to protect the downtown we already have? Like we just said. The downtown is up a bluff from the Trinity River. And those big levees have long protected any part of downtown Fort Worth which is not high above the river on that aforementioned bluff.

Why does the Star-Telegram continue to spew this type nonsensical irresponsible propaganda?

And then we come to this...

The Trump administration’s decision to withhold funding for the project should be seen as the reasonable, prudent challenge that it is: The feds appear to want an economic study proving the project’s need. This is a hurdle we should want all government projects to clear.

Finger-pointing and recriminations won’t get us anywhere, or get those already-under-construction Panther Island bridges off the ground.

The feds want an economic study to prove the project's need? And now the Star-Telegram agrees such should be the case with all government projects? And yet the Star-Telegram, up til now, has supported this Boondoggle, has never called for any sort of study or analysis. And regarding those bridges, which are now into year five of their slow motion construction, the Star-Telegram has done zero actual investigative journalism into what has caused the slow motion construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land.

 Like Mr. Schermbeck said in his comment, "Newspaper, heal thy self."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Joining Mount Wichita Summit Throngs After Late Night Washington Apple Cup Blizzard

With what seems like the return of spring, or even summer, what with the outer world being heated into the high 70s, I joined throngs of Wichita Fallers thronging today on Mount Wichita on this first Saturday after the 2018 version of Thanksgiving.

I have no idea what the record is for number of Mount Wichita summiteers on any given day, or if such a record is kept by anyone.

But I do know that today I saw more people heading up and down and on this region's tallest mountain than I have ever seen on any previous visit to Mount Wichita.

Winter type temperatures are scheduled to return tomorrow. I am not fond of winter type temperatures returning.

Last night I watched the Apple Cup. That's an annual football game played in Washington between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. The Apple Cup location alternates each year. This year it was Pullman's turn, as in Washington State, as in Eastern Washington, where it is colder during the cold time of the year, and hotter during the hot time of the year than is typical of the west side of the Washington mountains.

Methinks probably Washington State might have preferred playing in Seattle this year, so as to have possibly better luck at beating Washington in what turned out to be playing football in a whiteout blizzard, which Washington seemed to handle better than did the Cougars, who one would have thought had more practice playing in such dire conditions.

Nonetheless, it was an entertaining football game. And I don't even like football. Though this year I seem to be watching a lot of that which I don't even like. Tomorrow it's the Seattle Seahawks I will be watching.

If the Seahawks get into the Super Bowl again I have a permanent invitation request in for tickets to attend the legendary Knappson Super Bowl Party...

Elsie Hotpepper's Midnight Fort Worth Weekly Cookin' The Trinity River Vision Books Turkey Alert

Last night, shortly before midnight, a few minutes after I'd become horizontal, my phone made its incoming text message noise.

I then struggled to get myself back vertical so as to make it to the location of the phone.

And found it was a message from Elsie Hotpepper. With the message being a screen cap from Fort Worth Weekly's Turkey Awards 2018 edition, specifically the lead Turkey Award, titled Cookin' the Books.

Below is that lead Turkey Award in its entirety....

Cookin' the Books

Turkeys are coming home to roost at Panther Island. The $1.1 billion (and climbing) private economic development plan disguised as a public flood control project is bogging down in its own hubris. Critics say the flood control portion could be completed for much less money, say, around about $20 or $30 million. A billion bucks is vital for flood control, at least according to proponents like Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, which provides water for 2 million people and implements flood control measures for 11 North Texas counties. Nobody can say exactly how much money is or isn’t needed for flood control because a cost benefit analysis hasn’t been done during the two decades that this project has been kicking around. Why? Because Oliver and water district board members don’t want such a study. Why? Why do you think?

The project is drifting now, even after local taxpayers recently approved $250 million worth of bonds for the water board to issue. Still, at least $700 million more is needed – money that doesn’t appear to be coming from the federal government or anywhere else anytime soon. Fort Worth officials are now demanding an audit, even though most of them have been coddling and enabling Oliver and the water district from the beginning.

It is interesting to me to see how, now that what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle is clearly sinking, that those who might have been accurately reporting this multi-decade embarrassment are only now doing so.

I was not long in Texas, not long in reading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before realizing this was not a newspaper of the sort I was used to reading whilst residing on the west coast. I soon realized the Star-Telegram was more of a propaganda organ for the local chamber of commerce, than a legit newspaper of record.

I was not long in Texas before I realized Fort Worth Weekly was the closest Fort Worth came to a real newspaper. That and, at times, the Fort Worth Business Press.

But, it has long seemed to me that Fort Worth Weekly could be more aggressively investigating that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Such as way back during one of the Trinity River Vision's early failures, that being the Cowtown Wakepark.

It did not take much common sense to see that Cowtown Wakepark was not going to work. We still do not know how much public money the Trinity River Vision Authority wasted on the Cowtown Wakepark.

Or the TRVA  and TRWD shenanigans which resulted in the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century. Oddly named something Coyote, rather than the Panther Island label the Boondoggle eventually came to slap on anything associated with its multiple shady operations.

Like Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at the imaginary Panther Island Pavilion on the imaginary Panther Island at the imaginary world class Panther Island music venue.

And, I am more than a little offput that in Fort Worth Weekly's 2018 Turkey Award about the TRV Cookin' the Books that Boondoggle propaganda is repeated, as in...

"The project is drifting now, even after local taxpayers recently approved $250 million worth of bonds for the water board to issue."

That bond issue which the voters approved remains controversial due to the misleading verbiage on the ballot, as in claiming the $250 million was for flood control and drainage. When, soon after passage, the Boondogglers, such as the TRWD's number one turkey, Jim Oliver, in full hubris mode, claimed the $250 million was for Panther Island. And another of Fort Worth's turkeys, Kay Granger, claimed this misleading ballot measure passing amounted to voters approving of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, after years of criticism that the public had never been allowed to vote for what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Yeah, another Fort Worth Weekly 2018 Turkey Award should have been awarded to Kay Granger and her favorite son, J.D., and Kay's future daughter-in-law, Shanna Cate....

UPDATE: Elsie Hotpepper has informed me I was erroneous in saying Kay Granger also needed a 2018 FW Weekly Turkey Award. Turns out Fort Worth's worst congresswoman did get herself a piece of the turkey for we have lost track now of how many times. In its entirety...


Back when Kay Granger was mayor of Fort Worth and considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans wanted her to run on their ticket. She was considered accessible and intelligent and sometimes even sensitive to the needs of her constituents. 

When she decided to run on the Republican ticket, in fact, some conservatives thought she was too liberal. 

Sometime during the last 20 years, that all changed. She has become a rubber stamp for all things right-wing, has not held town hall meetings for years, and, hell, she doesn’t even respond to most reporters’ requests for comments on issues that affect her own district.

So it wasn’t really a surprise that when Vanessa Adia decided to run against her for her District 12 seat Granger chose not to have a single debate with her. Disappointing, yes, but typical of someone who has been in office so long that she has become insulated and isolated, and the little people, even those running against her, just don’t warrant attention.

Kay, your constituents do matter. Time you wake up and come back down to earth. Meanwhile, since you’re apparently doing so well without our help, you must not need much. Therefore, all you’re getting is one turkey foot this year. Enjoy it. It’s all you deserve.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving In Utah Not Throwing Rocks With Spencer Jack

That which you see here showed up last night, sent by Spencer Jack and his favorite dad, my eldest nephew, Jason.

I saw this photo and had zero clue as to what I was looking at, besides it appearing to be Spencer Jack and Jason on some sort of mass transit device.

Train, bus, trolley, tram, monorail? What? I had no clue.

And then a follow up email arrived, with more photos and a text message from which I could make a slightly educated guess as to what Spencer Jack is taking is dad for a ride on.

First the text message...

Spencer Jack and I had a mighty fine time exploring NV, AZ, and UT.

Spencer had this week off from school and desired a return trip to some of our favorite National Parks.

After a late night on the Las Vegas Strip, we headed north on I-15 and followed the Virgin River to Springdale, UT.

Hiked the Narrows in Zion, before climbing to Inspiration Point in Bryce.

Had my first, and hopefully, last, 'almost ran out of gas' moment.  That's another story.   Nonetheless, Spencer and I coasted into Richfield, UT on fumes and called it a night.

Have a Happy Turkey Day.

Thought you'd enjoy the pictures and video (and of course, we checked for hikers, before rock tossing).


So, gleaning the info in the above text, and looking at the below photo of Spencer Jack, clearly in the Zion Canyon Narrows, I am guessing the above transit device, on which Spencer Jack and Jason are riding in scream mode, is a bus taking them into Zion Canyon. But, I thought that that traffic reducing means was only active during heavy duty tourist season. So, I may be erroneous in my transit assumption.

There is a big parking lot at the entry to the Zion Narrows. Every time I have been at that location it has been a bit of a challenge to secure a parking spot.

Moving on...

Above I am guessing Spencer Jack is swimming at the motel he and his dad spent the night in in Springdale, the town at the west entry into Zion National Park.

Continuing on...

Here we see Spencer Jack at Inspiration Point in Bryce National Park. The text message indicates a climb was required to reach Inspiration Point. I do not remember a climb. Instead I remember a walk from a parking lot. I do remember a climb via the Navajo Loop, which, if I remember correctly, has its trail head near Inspiration Point.

Bryce Canyon is at a high elevation. In the 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level type high elevation. I remember the Navajo Loop hike being incredibly scenic, with multiple other trails, like Peek a Boo, accessed from the Navajo Loop. I also remember the series of switchbacks back to the starting point being brutal, what with extreme oxygen debt.

Bryce Canyon National Park is my favorite of the Utah National Parks.

And below we have the video mentioned by Spencer Jack and his dad in their text message. I really do not think the boys were so irresponsible as to throw rocks off the Inspiration Point edge. That would be an extremely bad thing to do....

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Crossing Galloping Gertie On Way To Wichita Falls Sculpture Of Nature

It had been awhile since I had rolled my mechanized wheels to Lucy Park for a nature walk.

And so, this day before Thanksgiving that is what I did.

Soon after the nature walk began I found myself crossing the Wichita River via the Lucy Park Suspension Bridge.

Today a fellow bridge crosser turned the Lucy Park Suspension Bridge into what seemed like a Texas version of Galloping Gertie.

Galloping Gertie was the nickname given a suspension bridge in my old home state of Washington. Galloping Gertie crossed the Tacoma Narrows. The bridge was poorly designed and so it swayed way too much when hit with winds. And then one day Galloping Gertie galloped out of control and tore itself apart. Now two suspension bridges cross the Tacoma Narrows in Galloping Gertie's place. And neither of them gallop, no matter how windy the wind gets.

After leaving the Wichita Falls version of Galloping Gertie I soon found myself at the Wichita Falls version of a waterfall.

The Wichita Falls waterfall always seems to be falling the same volume of water, when it is in waterfall mode and not in dry falls mode.

Soon the nature walk walked me to the top of Wichita Falls, where a look out had me looking directly over the top of the falls.

Today I saw a historical market type thing I had not noticed on prior visits to Wichita Falls.

A plaque from New York with the following message on the plaque...





JUNE 5, 1987

Sculpture of nature? Did these Niagara Falls people not realize this is not a real waterfall of the work of Mother Nature sort? And that it was not a rebirth of the original falls? Which are located about a mile downstream?

Doesn't matter, still was a nice gesture from the New Yorkers. But, how in the world did they find out about the new waterfall in Wichita Falls?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Biking Wichita Falls MSU Finding Mickey Mouse With Head Wound

The outer world warmed up enough this third Monday of the 2018 version of November to allow a pleasant bike ride with only a few extra layers needed of insulative clothing material.

But, I quickly realized I should have worn gloves other than my open finger biking gloves. Hours later my fingertips are no longer numb.

Rolling through the MSU campus I soon saw that the Fantasy of Lights displays are in full fantasy mode, with electric motors whirring, animating the parts of the fantasy with moving parts.

My bike stopped at the spot you see above where I noticed a big hole though Mickey's Mouse's head. I do not believe Mickey was the victim of an assassination attempt, but instead Mickey, along with multiple other famous figures, is providing photo opportunities for someone wanting to stick their face in the hole in Mickey's head.

The background for the Mickey Mouse photo op location has a pair of what appear to be singers singing whilst a piano man plays, with the Emerald City, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Toto to the right. I don't know if you can make out the Old Lady Who Lives in a Shoe and all her kids. Or Santa's Train.

Further along in the Fantasy of Lights I came upon the moving scene you see above, depicting a migrant family finding shelter in a barn where a baby is born, with sheep and what look to be three Africans with camels looking on.

Rolling through the Wichita Falls version of Beverly Hills today I saw many mansions decked out in Holiday splendor. I may try and photo document some of that on another day. Though I do not know how documentable this would be in broad daylight. I guess there is only one way to find out...

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Snowless Saturday Mount Wichita Climb With An Afghan

As you can clearly see, the recent brush with snow which flurried slightly in Wichita Falls was not a strong enough brush to leave Mount Wichita snow capped.

And so, what with the return of temperatures dozens of degrees above freezing, I left my cross country skis in the closet and put regular shoes on my lower extremities so as to facilitate a salubrious endorphin inducing bout of aerobic stimulation via hiking to the summit of the tallest mountain rising to the sky anywhere for miles around at this relatively flat location on the planet.

I was not alone in enjoying the great pleasantly warmed outdoors today.

From the summit of Mount Wichita, looking down from high above, I saw a bench beside the Circle Trail filled up with sitters sitting, enjoying a break from whatever they were doing, listening to the waves flowing to shore, or maybe geese squawking. Or both.

Back at sea level, I mean, lake level, I walked on the Circle Trail for a couple miles. As you can see, via the photo documentation above, the Circle Trail gets mighty close to Lake Wichita and those incoming waves being blown across the lake.

Eventually I left the Circle Trail for a more rugged dirt path which makes a wide circle around Mount Wichita. The entire route takes an hour, gave or take a minute or three.

When I finally made it back to my mechanized means of motion I drove to the Post Office for a date with an Afghan. That went well, for the most part.

Suffice to say I am challenged when determining whether a number is an 8 or a 5, or not, apparently...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Safely Passing Wichita Falls Rickety Wooden Circle Trail Guard Rails

A couple days ago I made mention of a Small Minded Hobgoblin Hiking Wichita Bluff Nature Area Circle Trail in which I mentioned the fact that the guard rails which guard against an unwanted Circle Trail exit are of extremely inconsistent quality.

Among the guard rails mentioned were the most decrepit of the Wichita Falls Circle Trail guard rails, that being the ramshackle wooden guard rails which guard the Circle Trail as it passes under Midwestern Boulevard.

The photo documentation fails to document it, but at its most treacherous point, that being where the Circle Trail is under Midwestern Boulevard, a section of the wooden guard rail is totally missing, leaving Circle Trailers vulnerable to an unwanted exit down a steep cement slope to a drenching in Holliday Creek.

Or a possible drowning during those rare periods when Holliday Creek is in flood mode.

Yesterday and today makes for two days in a row where a bike ride was doable without need of excessive outer wear being needed in order to keep warm.

Such is one of the many things I like about weather in Texas. You can be in a deep freeze one day and a day later wonder if comfort requires switching the climate control back to A/C mode...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Linda Lou Takes Me To Skagit Valley Swans & Mount Baker

I saw the scenic scene you see here this morning on Facebook, via a posting from Miss Linda Lou.

Last month I found myself on the summit of an Arizona mountain with Linda Lou called South Mountain. South Mountain is not quite as scenic as the mountain you see above, which is a volcano, called Mount Baker.

Mount Baker has a perpetual snow cap, much of it in the form of what is known as a glacier. During a hot summer much of what is white on Mount Baker melts away. Which renders hiking high on Mount Baker easily doable.

I've hiked to that notch you see to the right of the summit multiple times. This hike begins in what is known as Schrieber's Meadow. The first time I hiked this hike was when I was a teenager, with the trail guide being ardent lifelong hiker, Maxine. My most recent hike up Mount Baker was with my great nephew Hank's, papa, Joey.

Just a sec, I shall see if I can find a link to photos of Joey hiking on Mount Baker. Found it.

Years ago, from my abode in Mount Vernon, Washington, on a clear day I could look out my kitchen window and see the Mount Baker volcano. Sometimes I could even see the steam venting from Mount Baker's crater vent.

South Mountain rises from the Valley of the Sun. Mount Baker rises above the Valley of the Skagit. I doubt South Mountain has ever been snow capped. I am absolutely certain there are no glaciers on South Mountain.

Those big white birds you see in the foreground, above, are Trumpeter Swans. They are big birds. I do not remember when they arrive in the Skagit Valley. Or whether the Skagit Valley flats is a way station on their journey south for the winter, or if the Skagit Valley is their southern escape from the cold north of Canada.

I remember years ago, way back in the previous century, when Spencer Jack and Henry's grandpa, my little brother Jake, was located at a house he built on a large plot of land east of Burlington Hill in the Skagit Valley. A huge flock of Trumpeter Swan's would congregate on Jake's land, consuming whatever there was to consume.

When startled the Swan's would take off, all at once, making a loud thump thump thump noise as they quickly gained altitude. One had to be on the lookout, as the big birds flew overhead, for emergency evacuation of what their digestive systems had digested, dropping what amounted to being non-explosive bombs which one did not want to land on one's head.

Recently I have been pondering the idea of relocating back to Modern America, where the politics are blue, where most of the people are well educated, and not overly inflated. Where most grown ups do not still follow their old high school's football games. Where berries grow free for the picking, where seafood is plentiful, also free for the picking, I mean, catching. Where...well, this type list could go on and on and on.

So, I will shut up now....

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Small Minded Hobgoblin Hiking Wichita Bluff Nature Area Circle Trail

This morning watching the local news on one of the local TV sources, don't remember which one, but it was ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox, and during the local weather portion of the broadcast the background was that which you see here.

Sort of.

The entry sign which hovers over the Circle Trail as it enters the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

Actually the entry sign you see here is the one at the east end of the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. The local TV broadcast used the entry sign at the west end of the entry to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, that being the location of the parking lot which one can park on to gain easy access to the Bluffs.

I have seen pretty much every mile of the Wichita Falls Circle Trail.

Today when I saw that which you see above, that being the heavy duty galvanized steel guard rail guarding anyone from having an unfortunate exit from the trail, a thought occurred to me which soon had me thinking of a famous quote, that being something like "Consistency is the Hobgoblin of a Small Mind".

Was that quote from Shakespeare? Or is it something that world renowned wordsmith, Donald Trump said?

Anyway, the thing I was thinking was wondering why there is no consistency to the quality of the Circle Trail's guard rails? The guard rails range from the substantial type you see above, to broken old wooden guard rails one rolls by on the Circle Trail as it passes under Midwestern Boulevard.

The guard rails further south, as the trail descends to go under Kemp Boulevard are made of metal and are more substantial than wood, but not as substantial as that which you see photo documented above.

I suppose thinking that something like a guard rail on a trail should be of a consistent quality is something only a small-minded person, such as myself, might concern himself with.

Then again, I think a case could be made for consistency in a case like this, even it is the hobgoblin of a small mind.

Anyway, seeing the Wichita Bluff Nature Area on the news this morning caused me to think it might be enjoyable to have a freezing nature walk. And so that is what I did, hence the photo you see above, and below.

The last 24 hours the North Texas Deep Freeze has wreaked havoc on some of the foliage, causing massive overnight wilting. This made for scenery which looked more fall-like than the look at the Wichita Bluff Nature Area a few days ago.

As you can see, the Wichita River is still running high.

I am already tired of winter and we still have more than a month to go before winter arrives. Seems like only yesterday I was overheating in Arizona and going swimming every day...

Monday, November 12, 2018

Orca Killer Whales Currently In No Peril In Fort Worth's Trinity River

I saw that which you see here this Veterans Day morning in the online version of the Seattle Times.

No, this is not yet one more instance of something I see in west coast news sources which I would never expect to see in a Texas news source, such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

I just thought it interesting because this was different type news than that which I read about something in my local location.

And that the image was cool.

But, then again, now that you are causing me to think about it, reading about Orcas in peril in Texas waters is definitely not something one would expect to be reading in the Star-Telegram.

Now that you are continuing to cause me to think about it, this actually is the type news article I read in west coast news sources which I do not read in a Texas news source such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

As in the article brings up a troubling local issue, that being the current state of Puget Sound not being a healthy habitat for residents who have lived there well before the arrival of European invaders, that being the long suffering Puget Sound Orca pods.

When is the last time, if ever, you have read an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the Trinity River not being a healthy habitat? Let alone an article suggesting maybe it was not wise to encourage people to get wet in the regularly e.coli contaminated river viia America's Biggest Boondoggle's ridiculous Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

This morning I found myself tagged multiple times on Facebook in posts related to various aspects of Fort Worth ineptitude, not reported in the Star-Telegram. As in the flooding issues in East Fort Worth not being addressed. As in those flooding issues being caused by inept urban planning not requiring flood mitigation infrastructure in new housing developments.

While millions of bucks have been wasted, and are proposed to continue being wasted, on imaginary flood control issues in the area being messed up by America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

An area where there has been no flooding for well over half a century, due to levees long ago installed which have kept the Trinity River under control as it flows past downtown Fort Worth.

Levees which America's Biggest Boondoggle proposes removing, replaced by a cement lined ditch which will supposedly safely flow flood water to holding ponds and thousands of flood restraining Magic Trees...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cold Wichita Falls Sunday With Ebeneezer Scrooge Writing Sponge

On Wednesday, after a Chilly Ride To Wichita Falls Fantasy Of Lights RockI made mention of the fact that prior to stopping at the Wichita Falls Fantasy of Light Rock I had passed by what looked to be a Scrooge tombstone.

And I also mentioned that the next time I was in the Fantasy of Lights neighborhood I would stop at the Scrooge tombstone.

And so, this cold Sunday in November, that is what I did, which you see photo documented here.

Turns out, via this Ebeneezer Scrooge tombstone, the infamous miser is soliciting funds.

My handlebars are blocking the full text which at the bottom of the tombstone says PLEASE DONATE with arrows pointing to a slot in a locked strongbox secured inside the tombstone.

On the tombstone, under EBENEEZER SCROOGE and above the PLEASE DONATE there are some words forming what may be a sentence, of which my limited understanding of English is not quite able to parse the meaning---


Maybe someone well versed in Dickensian speech can translate...

Saturday, November 10, 2018

What Erases Wichita Falls Directions?

If I remember correctly, which I sometimes do, I have previously mentioned that one of the things Wichita Falls does well is the directional signage one sees whatever direction one is going to in Wichita Falls.

The Wichita Falls directional signage helped me find many a location when first learning what was what and where was where in this town.

There are some Wichita Falls landmarks which do not show up on the directional signage.

Such as Mount Wichita. I have not seen any sign directing anyone in the direction of Mount Wichita.

Lately I have seen something on some of the Wichita Falls directional signage which perplexes me.

Such as that which you do not see on the directional signage you see photo documented here.

This particular Wichita Falls directional signage is located near my abode, at the intersection of Southwest Parkway and Taft Boulevard.

I can no longer read what this particular sign directed me to. I do not remember what this particular sign directed one to.

Whatever was on this sign has been whited out, covered up, erased.

Why? I have no clue. And this is not the only instance of Wichita Falls directional signage which has had this done to it. Have some Wichita Falls destinations been eliminated, closed, moved? Hence being erased from directional signage?

Very perplexing. I suspect I will soon learn the solution to this mystery...

Friday, November 9, 2018

Snow Free Cold Climb To Mount Wichita Summit

On this second Friday of the 2018 version of November what feels like a winter Arctic blast has blasted into North Texas.

A windy blast.

Barely in 50s by late afternoon. Barely in the 40s when I decided to take a now rare drive to the base of Mount Wichita so as to attempt a climb to the summit.

With snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, today may possibly be the last time a climb to the summit of Mount Wichita is possible without navigating an icy snowcap, til spring arrives, melting the glacier in the making.

And so that makes what you are looking at above the currently snow-free view from the summit of Mount Wichita, looking southeast across Lake Wichita with Lake Wichita Dam at the far side end of the lake.

With a freeze expected to arrive in a few hours I have removed all my flowering plants from their outdoor patio location to the protected solarium zone where they are more likely to survive.

Last Friday a blown transformer knocked out power in my zone for hours. A rare power outage at my current location. That powerless incident motivated me to arm myself with multiple light sources of the candle and battery powered sort. But, now I am concerned if this Arctic Blast somehow knocks out the power I have no alternative means of heating my interior space.

My previous abode had a fireplace. This came in useful more than once during a power outage during cold times. I do have a plentiful supply of thick blankets. I should be able to warmly survive a power outage tonight. Or tomorrow...

Reviewing America's Biggest Boondoggle's Panther Island J.D. Granger Scandal

It has begun to be a bit challenging keeping up with all the various reports from various venues reporting on the Fort Worth debacle which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

A vision which has been blindly limping along for most of this century.

I must say it is sort of pleasing to  see that which so many of us referred to as such, almost from its inception, now referred to as a Boondoggle in almost all reporting on the subject.

Except for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I think maybe the Fort Worth Way's propaganda organ may have made reference to some outrageous, knuckeheaded critics criticizing this Boondoggle as a Boondoggle. But, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has yet to join the majority of those who have watched this debacle correctly identify it as a Boondoggle.

The latest Star-Telegram article about America's Biggest Boondoggle appeared yesterday, at least that is when I saw it. That is the article's headline you see screen capped above. By this morning this article had disappeared from the front page of the Star-Telegram, online.

And once again, an article about a serious local issue appears and generates zero comments. Why? I do not understand. Is it because so few people read the Star-Telegram? Is it because most of those who do read this newspaper are border line illiterate and thus unable to formulate words into coherent sentences?

This lack of comments perplexes me because almost daily I see articles appear in the Seattle Times and there will be 100s of thoughtful, articulate, often argumentative, comments.

I see other Fort Worth publications where comments are made to an article about America's Biggest Boondoggle. Such as a recent editorial type article by Richard Connor in the Fort Worth Business Press titled It's time to bridge the River Vision information gap. This generated multiple comments, including one from my favorite Fort Worth right wing geezer, which I shall copy...

Clyde Picht Nov 2, 2018 5:02pm
Thank you Mr Conner. There's not much to add. Why didn't we accept the CoE proposal to buttress the levees for a mere $10 million? Because we wanted to take advantage of the possibilities of economic development which would increase the tax base. So we chose to re-channel the river and potentially flood Arlington and Dallas. That's why we're spending so much on flood control mostly in the Gateway Park area. The initial $360M cost estimate supposedly contained an inflation factor to keep costs under control. The amount for environmental cleanup was rather underestimated. In 2005 the $435M cost estimate once again included an inflation factor and still underestimated the cost of environmental cleanup. Every increase in cost is supposed to be the last - but it isn't. Now we are at $1.16B and all bets are that even that isn't the end. Why is this happening? Ninety-five percent of the blame lies with Jim Oliver, Director of the Tarrant Regional Water District. Oliver apparently wanted to grease the wheels for obtaining federal funds and hired a lawyer from a tier four law school to head up the project. That lawyer, even though not having any credentials or experience in project management, was qualified by virtue of his family ties. If only that's all it took. But it isn't and now we have a financial train wreck for the taxpayers of Fort Worth. The Mayor finally realizes it but will anything really change?

Yesterday, on Facebook, Mary Kelleher shared a link about a NBCDFW TV news report about America's Biggest Boondoggle, which also used the Boondoggle word. That Facebook post also generated comments of the sort one does not see on the apparently little read Star-Telegram. Here are a couple of those comments, the first from one of the Boondoggle's most outspoken victims, and another from one of my best Facebook friends...

Bob Lukeman: 10 years ago I went to D.C. with Paul Driskell to try to expose the corruption of the TRV. Paul was an old friend and had worked under Speaker Wright for years and he knew his way around the Hill and the town. Our most memorable meeting on that trip was with Steve Ellis of Taxpayers For Common Sense. I was glad to see him interviewed for this story. His organization has a ton on their plate, but I find it unbelievable that after a decade beating the drum, that now, this project is getting the scrutiny we always knew it needed. Also unbelievable in their story was the belief by Jim Lane and Jim Oliver, that Kay Granger was still going to get the funding. J.D. getting grilled in the hall by Scott Friedman, looked a whole lot like a 60 Minutes episode. Many of us tried to get those network news shows to look into the TRV. Now the media is using the Boondoggle moniker. In the words of Gomer Pyle... Gaaaalee!

Waynemans Page: All this boils down to is - Greed, Ignorance, Incompetence & Lies. Initially starting with the biggest lie about flood control from Granger to the government, of which, the situation of flooding had been controlled for several years since the historical flood. A true waste of tax payer money. Only an idiot couldn't see this was nothing more than a cover up for development & greed driven by. J.D.'s Incompetence & the other board members wanting to cash in. It's disgusting how people's property was forcefully taken by eminent domain. The trail of destruction is huge, including 3 rusty rebar forms that would had been for bridges to the make believe island. Bridges to knowhere as it stands now, just sitting for years waiting to be built. That "art" resembling a glorified trashcan at the center of the round about on Henderson Street & other such long list of waste. There's so much to this that we all can hope will be investigated, exposed & accounted for. I hope the citizens of Ft. Worth actually get involved & demand action. Especially action for the real flooding that's going on there on the east side of town.

So, what is in that latest Star-Telegram article, the one screen capped at the top titled Review of $1.16 billion Panther Island project is happening. But when? 

Well, this article is chock full of typical Star-Telegram propaganda which raises more questions than it answers, as in whoever wrote this article and interviewed the culprits, such as J.D. Granger, asked no obvious followup questions of the probing deeper in search of the truth sort.

An example---

J.D. Granger, the project’s executive director, said he welcomed an independent analysis, which would likely look at progress, management and finances.

On Wednesday J.D. Granger voiced support for the review. Independent reviews have been done in the past for cost estimates, the Trinity River bypass channels and bridges, he said. “I’m optimistic it could help save money and help out with communication,” he said. “Let’s do it. Just open the books and let them come in.”

When Mary Kelleher was on the TRWD Board she tried during her entire tenure to get a look at the books, to no avail, constantly blocked. And now we are to believe J.D. Granger welcomes a review.


Any sort of legitimate audit of the TRWD/TRVA books is going to see how much money has been spent on various items, like junkets, parties, various entertainment expenditures, such as turning a subway maintenance building into a Beer Shed.

My inside the TRVA source, who calls him or herself "Deep Moat", recently told me that J.D. and his fiance, Shanna Cate, have taken repeated trips to Germany to do research on the German version of Octoberfest, supposedly to help better America's Biggest Boondoggle's annual Octoberfest which takes place at the imaginary pavilion at the imaginary island. Deep Moat verbalized being appalled at how much time J.D. and his fiance spend on planning various entertainment events associated with the failed Trinity River Vision, such as those Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats, the 4th of July, and other like events.

Those Boondoggle events which would seem to have zero to do with what the original Trinity River Vision purported to supposedly see, are part of that which has come under suspicion and criticism, hence some defensive sounding answers to questions about this aspect of the Boondoggle, as mis-reported in the Stat-Telegram...

Though the Trinity River Vision Authority exists as a part of the Tarrant Regional Water District to coordinate the Panther Island project, the authority also holds events at Panther Island Pavilion to promote the project’s tax district.

Those events are designed to be self-funded through ticket sales and partnerships, but according to a report last updated in September, they have a net loss of about $5,000 this year.

To make the distinction between flood control and entertainment more clear, J.D. Granger said the authority is exploring creating a separate nonprofit, similar to Near Southside Inc., to manage and promote Panther Island events, like Oktoberfest Fort Worth.

A loss of only $5,000 a year for all those events? Is the Coyote Drive-In and its Panther Island Ice Rink considered in the costs? What was that dollar figure finagled by TRWD Board member, Jim Lane, to help a financially strapped friend, with part of that finagling resulting in the world's first new drive-in movie theater of the 21st century? How many dollars did the TRVA waste on one of its earliest failures, the Cowtown Wakepark? How much has been spent on J.D. Granger's copious liquor supply in his offices on the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building?

An actual forensic audit into all aspects of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle will be interesting. Will J.D. Granger resign ahead of the results being revealed? Or will he wait to be fired?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Oh No Snow In Wichita Falls

I continue to experience weather discombobulation. This woeful weather woe began in early October when I found myself driving through flash flooding rains, heading towards Arizona, whilst still warm, wearing short pants.

And then the next day, whilst still wearing short pants, I found myself in the cold in snow in Show Low, Arizona.

A few hours after getting snowed I was in the Valley of the Sun where I was relatively hot for three weeks.

And then a little over a week ago I left air conditioning to return to Texas to my home abode where I opened my vehicle's door to quickly learn short pants were once again not appropriate attire.

Soon thereafter I switched on the furnace for the first time in a long time.

And now, with the memory of daily swimming still fresh, I see via this morning's Wichita Falls Times News Record that come Monday the outer world at my location is currently scheduled to be chilled below freezing to 29 Fahrenheit degrees.

With snow.

I do not know if sufficient snow is predicted to fall to open the Mount Wichita ski lift for the season. I suspect not...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Chilly Ride To Wichita Falls Fantasy Of Lights Rock

What with Halloween being a week in the past, and the latest election over and done with, I can finally focus attention on my favorite time of the year.

The Holiday Season.

Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away, followed soon thereafter by Christmas, and then the Happy New Year.

Today I rolled my bike's wheels on the Circle Trail, heading north, eventually reaching the Midwestern State University campus where I saw progress happening with the installation of the Fantasy of Lights, including the new installation you see above, which was not available for viewing last year.

I thought, looking at this, that it must be a fake rock made of Styrofoam, or some such material. But, I whacked the rock to find it to be a solid piece of something. Limestone? I have no idea. But it definitely was a rock of some sort.

There was also a new installation near Santa's Outhouse. I only glanced at it as I rolled by, but it appeared to be a large tombstone for either Scrooge or Mallory. I will photo document this the next time I am in the area.

I am having some trouble adjusting to roller coaster temperatures. When I left Texas in early October I was still in the wearing short pants mode time of the year. Those short pants became problematic a day later in Show Low, Arizona, where the temperature had dropped enough to allow snow to accumulate.

And then descending into the Valley of the Sun short pants were back again the right thing to be wearing. Three weeks of swimming followed. And then back in Texas I went from needing A/C to turning on my furnace to heat up the place.

But, then, yesterday it was back to short pants in Texas, with temps in the 80s. But now, today, back  in BRRRR mode. Sweatpants and multi-layers to make for a warm bike ride.

And now I just learned freezing is in the immediate future at my north Texas location, with a predicted Friday high of only 53 with a low of 30.

I have already located my long underwear, and so am totally prepared for this frigid nightmare...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

RSVP My Beto Victory Party Tonight

Henry F.'s favorite uncle, my favorite nephew Jason, also known as Spencer J.'s dad, texted me this afternoon asking that which you see here.

Even if Texas continues its streak of Zero Days without being a National Embarrassment by re-electing Creepy Cruz, who the Houston Chronicle characterized as having a repellent personality, Beto O'Rourke still wins, because his race to return sanity to Texas has made him a national, and international figure.

If Beto does defeat Cruz there will be celebrating tonight in Texas, and across America.

The deplorable sorts who don't get why most Americans, and probably most Texans, are repelled by Cruz, due to his multiple reptilian attributes, will not be able to comprehend why a Beto win would be a win for all that is good about America.

During the course of this current election I have heard from many people from other states asking about Cruz. None of those I have heard from can comprehend why Texans elected the smarmy Canadian Cuban American Cruz in the first place, and totally do not get why they would re-elect him.

Just the sound of his voice repels many people. Let alone the words that voice utters.

The utter idiocy of some of the Cruz supporters which I see reflected on my Facebook feed is truly troubling. Total cluelessness. How, the deplorables ask, can Texans support someone like Beto, a candidate of the sort failed states like New York and California would support and have supported via contributing to the Beto campaign.

Yes, I have read morons referring to New York and California as failed states. Because, don't you know, oodles of New Yorkers and Californians have escaped their state's failed policies by running to Texas, where they are so stupid they now want to impose, via electing Beto, the same type socialist Venezuelan type government that has ruined New York and California.

I am not making this up. There are actually Texans stupid enough to believe such things. Too ignorant to know the California economy is doing quite well. California schools perform well, unlike Texas schools, which perform at the bottom of the American states. Many of the Californians and New Yorkers, and those from other states who move to Texas, do so because successful businesses in their states are expanding or opening new operations in Texas.

My old home state of Washington also sees a lot of Californians moving there, for the same reason, with Facebook and Google and others opening operations in Washington. Those Californians are not moving to Washington to escape those horrible progressive liberal California ways, what with Washington being even more progressive and liberal than California.

Texas suffers due to the poor education of many of its citizens, with the resulting wanton ignorance being reflected in the nonsense they spout about someone like Beto O'Rourke being just too Blue for Red Texas, with zero awareness that millions of Texans are just as Blue as me. Or Bluer.

I'm hoping for a good outcome tonight. But, I am prepared to be disappointed...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Heavy Wichita Bluff Nature Area Walk With Shrinking Resolve

This morning I returned to the Wichita Bluffs Nature Area section of the Wichita Falls Circle Trail to have my first long walk in about a month.

Unless one counts rolling Miss Daisy around Arizona as walking.

I returned from Arizona with a big new scale of the weighing oneself type.

When I left Texas, heading to Arizona a month ago, my old scale had me thinking I weighed around 190 pounds.

The big new scale has given me more accurate weight feedback, letting me know I weigh no where near 190. Instead add about 20 pounds to that 190.

Finally an explanation why pants which used to fit loose at 190 no longer did so.

That and being crammed inside an airplane had become more uncomfortable. I blamed this on American Airlines stingy seating for being the reason I was not as comfortable as when flying Southwest in 2012.

So, this being well over 200 pounds is not the biggest shock brought by the new scale.

Big Ed, who is bigger than me in the number of inches tall department, thought he weighed around 220, which is what he was told the last time a doctor examined him. Everyone who saw Big Ed in Arizona, who had not seen him in years, remarked regarding how skinny he looked.


Big Ed got on the new scale which revealed the shocking news that Big Ed weighs 195.

15 pounds less than me.

I have become a porky pig without realizing it.

And so, I am now on a mission to shrink to well below 200, so that the next time I cram myself into an airplane seat it feels roomy to me, like was the case way back in 2012.

Anyway, the walk among the Wichita Bluffs was quite pleasant today. Scenic with fall colors. There were more fellow walkers than I had previously experienced at this location. And one roller blader.

Maybe I should look into getting myself roller blades....