Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sister Jackie Fountain Hills Elsie Hotpepper Style Selfie

This afternoon an incoming text message, with photos, from Spencer Jack and his dad, with the photos documenting what looked to me to be a possible crime in progress, caused me to plug the phone into my computing device to extract the photos from the phone.

When I did that I saw another photo, taken last Friday, whilst I was still in Arizona, which I forgot about til now.

On that day I did blog about going to Fountain Hills and witnessing that town's famous fountain in spouting mode. Two previous visits to Fountain Hills missed the timing of the spouting, but navigator, Sister Jackie, knew when the eruptions took place.

Whilst there Sister Jackie thought it a good idea to take a selfie with her two brothers. That would make Brother Jake on the left and me in the middle.

As you can see, Sister Jackie has somehow managed to master the patented Elsie Hotpepper style of selfie taking, which is an art form I have not been able to master.

At one point in time the fountain in Fountain Hills was the tallest in the world, spouting, at times, almost as high as Seattle's Space Needle when it is at full spouting power.

From the Wikipedia article about Fountain Hills...

Fountain Hills has the world's fourth-tallest fountain. It was built in 1970, by Robert P. McCulloch, the year before the reconstruction of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, another of McCulloch's projects. The fountain sprays water for about 15 minutes every hour between 9am and 9pm. The plume rises from a concrete water-lily sculpture in the center of a large man-made lake. The fountain, driven by three 600 horsepower (450 kW) turbine pumps, sprays water at a rate of 7,000 US gallons (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal) per minute through an 18-inch (460 mm) nozzle. With all three pumps under ideal conditions, the fountain reaches 560 feet (170 m) in height, though in normal operation only two of the pumps are used, with a fountain height of around 300 feet (91 m). When built it was the world's tallest fountain, a record it held for over a decade.

Spencer Jack drove his dad up north today, to a few miles south of the border with Canada, to go to lunch in Lynden, and then go swimming at Birch Bay, due to an extremely low tide making that an appealing thing to do.

And along with those activities, the boys have also been engaging in that aforementioned possible criminal activity, which I may get around to documenting later.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price's Washington Panhandling Adventure

I think I was still in Arizona when I learned, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and DFW locals emailing me, that Panther Island (is) back in line for federal funding after Betsy Price’s White House meeting.

I saw the headline and thought what fresh ridiculous propaganda is this going to be. I did not get around to reading the article until I was back in Texas.

Cutting through the baloney, the Star-Telegram thinks Fort Worth mayor, Betsy Price, somehow successfully convinced the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to get Fort Worth's Boondoggle back on track, even though the Boondoggle has been Boondoggling along for most of this century, with little to show for the effort, even though this pseudo public works project is propagandized as a vitally needed flood control project, in an area of Fort Worth which has not flooded for well over a half century, due to levees already in place.

And recently we learned, after DFW locals reacted with the truth, to propaganda spewed in the half million buck Riveron Review of America's Biggest Boondoggle, that the Army Corps Of Engineer's Document Contradicts Controversial Riveron Review.

From the Star-Telegram article...

“We really wanted to talk to them about the bypass channel,” Price said. “That’s the flood control piece and our major concern.”

Does the Fort Worth mayor not realize that it is relatively easy for those who authorize federal funding to find out the bypass channel is not needed, that there is no legitimate flood control concern. And that the entire scheme has never had anything to do with flood control, but has all along been nothing but a disguised economic development scheme, conniving to secure federal funds to make some sort of water feature on which multiple developments would develop.

You know, the sort of economic development which occurs in other parts of America because developers see an opportunity to make big bucks, and thus they invest their own money to do so. Such as, for example, Point Ruston in Tacoma, where billions of dollars have been invested to develop a thriving development on the site of a EPA superfund cleanup, where paying for that cleanup was the only part of the development involving federal funding.

How can the people of Fort Worth not see how pitifully pathetic it is for their town's mayor to go begging to Washington for what the town should manage to finance itself, if the project filled a legitimate need, by going to the voters with an honest, well designed proposal, not some sham ballot measure of the sort which passed two May's ago, with fraudulent deceptive wording suggesting the measure was for flood control and drainage, when the funds were actually to be directed to the Panther Island debacle. That is til some responsible sorts put a halt to that, pending additional investigation.

And sadly, that additional investigation, you know, that hoped for forensic audit of the Trinity River Vision, turned into the Riveron Review, in which those doing the reviewing only interviewed those directly responsible for the mess, not those who might, you know, tell the truth, such as officials with the Army Corps of Engineers, who could address the actual flood issues, and actual bridge building facts.

Federal funding for the Trinity River Vision began to unravel after it was made known that the required Army Corps of Engineers cost-benefit analysis was not done. And the fact, as we already mentioned, that the Army Corps of Engineers can not be involved in economic development schemes, with is what the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision actually is.

The fact that there has been no legitimate public vote in support of the Trinity River Vision, indicating the sort of support which maybe the federal government, and the rest of America might support getting behind. You know, ballot measures of the sort  I frequently experienced whilst living on the west coast, and recently saw underway in the Phoenix metro area. Or like I saw yesterday via the Seattle Times, a headline of the sort one does not see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about some voting measure in that town.

Now look at that, King County voters being asked to approve spending way more on park improvements than what Betsy Price went begging for in Washington.

Why should the rest of America help pay for an economic development scheme in Fort Worth? Legitimate flood control of the sort which saves lives, yes, that is in every one's interest. But not this ill conceived ineptly implemented Fort Worth Boondoggle.

This article about the Betsy Price panhandling episode has typical bits of Star-Telegram ridiculousness, such as this paragraph...

It also noted that the public views Panther Island as three projects in one — flood control, economic development and recreation.

The "IT" referred to is that aforementioned Riveron Review. The public views Panther Island as three projects in one? Really? And how was this conclusion reached? How many people were asked "How do you view Panther Island? Oh sure, I can see how over and over again it is believable people indicated they viewed Panther Island as being about flood control, economic development and recreation.

I suspect if that question were actually asked of the public the majority of the answers would indicate the public viewed  Panther Island as a Boondoggle.

Because that is what it is...

Spencer Jack's PNW Island Orcas Mystery Solved

Incoming email this morning from Spencer Jack and his favorite dad, my nephew Jason, with a subject line of...

"Beautiful PNW Day".

Text in the email asking...

"Do you recognize this PNW location Spencer and I visited today"

For those not familiar with the PNW abbreviation, PNW abbreviates Pacific Northwest.

The email included three photos, including the one you see above.

And the one below.

I was fairly sure I knew the location in question when I saw the photo at the top. The second photo confirmed that I knew the location I was looking at.

Behind Jason and Spencer Jack in that second photo you are looking at a structure constructed by the Civilian Conversation Corps back in 1936, modeled after a medieval watch tower.

The CCC was an evil socialist plot launched by FDR during the Great Depression. There are CCC structures in parks all over the Puget Sound zone.

This CCC structure is an observational tower atop the summit of Mount Constitution.

Mount Constitution is the most prominent feature, elevation-wise, of the San Juan Islands, which means Spencer Jack took his dad on a ferry ride to Orcas Island, which is where Mount Constitution is located in Moran State Park.

In addition to being the highest spot in the San Juan Islands, Mount Constitution is the second highest mountain on an island in a ocean location in the lower 48 American states.

For those reading this in Fort Worth, Texas, who do not know what an island is, what you see behind Spencer Jack, surrounded by water, are islands. Spencer Jack is standing on an island. These islands were not created by digging a ditch into which polluted river water was diverted. These are real islands. Lots of them, as in hundreds of islands of various sizes make up the San Juan Island archipelago.

No bridge connects the American mainland to any of the San Juan Islands. Access to these islands is via boat, small and large, with the large boats being the multiple ferry boats which take one from Fidalgo Island, and the town of Anacortes, to the islands.

Fidalgo Island is not one of the San Juan Islands. One does access Fidalgo Island via several bridge options, all of which were built over actual water in way less than four years, including that iconic PNW actual signature bridge connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island over the swift moving tidal waters of Deception Pass.

Meanwhile in that aforementioned Fort Worth town, we are almost to year six of trying to build three simple little bridges over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

I doubt ferry boats will ever be needed...

Monday, July 29, 2019

Back On Texas Circle Trail As The Fort Worth Boondoggle Turns

It seems like weeks, because it has been several weeks since my handlebars took me on a bike ride on the Wichita Falls Circle Trail.

But those handlebars took me on a ride today, to Sikes Lake, then MSU, then the Circle Trail back to my abode.

My return to Texas went much more smoothly than my exit to Arizona weeks prior.

It will be awhile, as in quite awhile, before I muster the stamina to put myself through that type travel ordeal again.

When I finally managed to land in Wichita Falls on Saturday, shortly before midnight, the temperature in the outer world was about as perfect as it can get.

Quite the contrast with what I had been enjoying sweltering in in Arizona.

If I remember right it was 112 when I lifted off the tarmac at Sky Harbor, 81 when I hit the tarmac at Wichita Falls Municipal Airport, also known, I think, as SPS.

I am still in recovery mode from the past couple weeks. I gained the usual ten pounds I gain during an Arizona visit. McDonald's was particularly tasty this time.

This morning I was fairly sure a drive to DFW was going to be required. But the need disappeared by mid-morning. I was sort of relieved. When I am in Arizona it seems like I do a few thousand miles of driving Miss Daisy around.

About the time I got back to Texas a new chapter in the ongoing soap opera known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, or the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, took a new pitiful embarrassing turn, with Fort Worth mayor turning panhandler begging for federal money like a stereotypical welfare queen, attempting to fund the lavish lifestyle she is unable to afford on her own.

I think I may have totally bungled that welfare queen metaphor.

Anyway, I have saved all the info about the latest episode of As The Boondoggle Turns and will have fun opining about it just as soon as my cerebral blood flow returns to normal.

Oh, and I have heard from Deep Moat for the first time since she attended the Fort Worth Wedding of the Year, thus confirming, for me for the first time, that those nuptials actually took place...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Fountain Hills Steel Drumming With Jamaican Jake & Jackie Duo

That is that Fountain Hills fountain you see here, in the background, out in the middle of the Fountain Hills Lake.

In the foreground you see the Brother/Sister Jake & Jackie Duo performing a Jamaica type steel drum rhythm song timed to the spoutings of the fountain.

Prior to this musical interlude Sister Jackie drove me and Brother Jake to Fiesta Burrito in Scottsdale.

I had my usual chile relleno enchilada platter, as did Sister Jackie. Brother Jake had habenero infused carrots because he is on a strict diet.

The drive northeast to Fountain Hills was via a different route than I took last March whilst driving Miss Daisy. This different route was significantly more scenic than the previous route Miss Daisy had directed me to drive.

Tomorrow Miss Daisy's regular driver drives me to Sky Harbor, from there I hope to successfully board a plane to fly away from modern America, back to Texas.

I am sort of looking forward to being back in Texas.

Modern America is exhausting...

Last Day In The Oasis Of Arizona

 Last night was my first night at the Oasis in Chandler. One more day of this level of serene peace and quiet and I may be ready to return to Texas to less serenity, peace and quiet.

Yesterday's delivery of me to the airport by Miss Daisy and her regular driver was perfectly timed.

As we drove into the Terminal 4 departure area upon entry we passed a Honda with Washington plates. Miss Daisy's driver pulled to the curb a short distance thereafter. I got out of Miss Daisy's chariot, said my goodbyes, entered the terminal, exited the terminal and then got into that Honda with Washington plates, driven by Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake.

Grandpa Jake then drove me to Scottsdale to a gallery with an incredible stock of various works of art, in various forms, including two displays of Grandpa Jake's Gems by Jake Apache Tear and Various other gems made into door knobs.

After that we ventured to the north side of Camelback Mountain where I soon found myself on the grounds of an over the top example of why the 1% need their marginal tax rate returned to 90%.

Ending that tour of excessive consumption we headed to Grandpa Jake's Scottsdale abode where he had made a big pot of seafood chowder which was just about the best of this type vittle I have had this century.

My suite in the Chandler Oasis was at a comfort level much more comfortable than I had been enjoying the previous 14 days. A HUGE bed with giant pillows elevated so far above the floor I felt in need of some sort of mechanized assist to get to ground level, and then I mastered going from horizontal to vertical.

By the time I exited my luxury suite all the other inhabitants of the Chandler Oasis had exited to other activities, such as playing pickle ball.

I opted to take my blogging device to the pool patio, which is what you see photo documented at the top, and then go for a salubrious solo skinny dip.

The Chandler Oasis pool was at a cooler temperature than I had been experiencing whilst swimming with the Sun Lakes ladies in their pool. Quite refreshing. I swam for an hour or two, taking libation breaks periodically.

I forgot to mention, I once again tried to take one of those patented Elsie Hotpepper style selfie photos, to no success, with the result being what you see above. I can not see the phone's screen in the bright sunlight.

It is now an hour later. Sister Jackie has returned from pickle balling. We are soon going to be heading north to Scottsdale to Brother Jake's and then on to Fiesta Burrito for a chile relleno.

And then tomorrow I fly back to Texas....

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Chandler Peace & Quiet Oasis Before Maricopa McDonald's

For the first time in what seems weeks I am in a totally private, totally quiet, totally serene location.

An Oasis.

Also known as Sister Jackie's pool in Chandler.

Sister Jackie is currently driving Miss Daisy to a doctor appointment, after which my short peaceful period will come to an end, and then we will be heading south to Maricopa to Penny's McDonald's, where I am hoping to have myself a Canada burger, and a Dutch dessert.

Tomorrow morning Sister Jackie will drive Miss Daisy to Sky Harbor Airport to drop me off, after which I will get in my brother's vehicle. I am not quite sure where I am going when my brother drives me out of Sky Harbor Airport.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sun Lakes Kids Chase Me To An Oasis Before Haboob Monsoon

My days of pooling in Arizona during this current visit are drawing to a close.

Due to an 8 in the morning breakfast date with Bruno and Mary, Miss Daisy sent me to the pool well before 7 this morning. That pooling is at the location I call the Big Pool at Miss Daisy's Community Club. The Big Pool is actually multiple pools, not just one Big Pool.

Then later, following that early morning breakfast I decided to go swimming again. But, when I returned to the Big Pool it was full of little kids. Not the usual Sun Lake Ladies. Little kids. Where could so many little kids come from in this elderly desert?

With the Big Pool over crowded I opted to go to the pool closest to Miss Daisy's. That pool is known as the Oasis Pool. It is a small, rectangle shaped pool. I had the pool all to myself, which you can clearly see via the photo documentation above.

There is no deep end to the Oasis Pool. It is only 5 feet deep at its deepest. Due to the time being near the noon hour I did not last long once I was out of the pool, what with the temperature being somewhere north of 100, with some clouds somewhat mitigating the direct sun misery.

Out of the pool I tried to take what is known in Texas as an Elsie Hotpepper style selfie, but I could not see the phone screen in the bright sun, with the result being the photo you see here where everything in the photo appears crooked and it does not even remotely resemble an Elsie Hotpepper style selfie.

Last night nephew Jeremy arrived right on time for his regularly scheduled dinner date with his Grandma. This involves driving to a fast food joint then returning to Grandma's TV viewing room where Jeremy and Grandma have their weekly Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy competition.

Soon after the visiting Uncle's latest correct answering of the Final Jeopardy question Jeremy headed east to Chandler to his current home location.

Jeremy was gone less than a minute when my phone alarm suddenly became alarmingly loud.



The phone warning from the National Weather Service said something like "SEVERE DUST STORM IMMINENT AT YOUR LOCATION. STRONG WIND, RAIN, ZERO VISIBILITY EXPECTED."

The phone warning had barely shut up when the wind hit like a slap. With thick dust which made for a thick haze dimming outdoor lights. I tried to make it to the road to drag the recycle bin back under cover. But I was unable to make it to the street due to being slammed by dust which felt like sandpaper.

Soon rain began to downpour. The Monsoon Haboob lasted about a half hour.

And then peace and quiet returned. Except for Miss Daisy asking a few more times what day it was...

Monday, July 22, 2019

Ruby, Max & Theo Cardboard Boat Regatta

Sunday morning Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake went swimming again with one of their favorite uncles.

During the course of pool time Grandpa Jake asked if I had seen Ruby and Max together.

What an odd question I thought to myself, what with Max the poodle having gone to dog heaven way back in summer of 2017. So, I said, yes, I have seen Ruby and Max. Why would you ask, I asked?

Because they are just so darn cute together, like an old married couple.

To which I said Max the poodle and Ruby are like an old married couple? Max has been dead for over two years, said I.

No, the Max who is Ruby's best friend since they started school said Grandpa Jake.

So, I then texted Ruby's Mama Michele to ask about this Max character, and to request some photo documentation, which was quickly forthcoming, arriving as I drove Miss Daisy on her first drive of the day.

The photos came with explanatory text, which I will copy and paste. for the most part, with the following photos, except for the photo above, which is not below, in which we see Max for the first time, sharing a jacket with Ruby.

Max and Ruby have been best buds since the start of kindergarten. I will find some photos.

Theo, Ruby and Max.

Max is not a huge fan of swimming but he helped out at the cardboard boat regatta. Did I mention the regatta to you? Theo and Ruby took second place.

The cardboard boat regatta had not previously been mentioned to me, and so more photos with explanatory text were sent.

Regatta was June 1, at the wave pool they took you to. They won their heat and took second in the final.  

In the above  pic Ruby and Theo squeak by a boat at the finish.

After that all the remaining boats got to go out and they turned the waves on, which is the third pic (the pic above). Middle is their boat. Had to be cardboard and duct tape. Max's dad, Saul, helped us build the boat and then we covered it with duct tape. It was free to enter the regatta but I spent a fortune on duct tape. LOL. Was totally worth it. So much fun. They won an inflatable boat.
I agree with what Betty Jo Bouvier recently said, that being that those kids sure do have a lot of fun adventures.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Army Corps Of Engineer's Document Contradicts Controversial Riveron Review

Less than a week to go before I return to my regular Internet connection to the world. It is frustrating having a thing or two I feel compelled to opine about, and not being able to easily do so.

The thing or two I am feeling compelled to opine about have to do with the controversial Riveron Review of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

As more and more people read the Riveron Review it has become increasingly clear that a half million bucks was wasted on what amounts to being a review based on multiple falsehoods.

Near the end of the Riveron Review a couple pages list those "interviewed". No one from the Army Corps of Engineers is on that list. The people interviewed, to varying degrees, are those responsible for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle mess, people like TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver, and TRVA Executive Director, J.D. Granger.

Whoever did the interviewing apparently accepted the self serving spin spun by the likes of Oliver and Granger.

More on those other obvious obfuscations of truth later, but for now let's just take a look at one falsehood which shows up in the Riveron Review.

That particular falsehood is the Riveron Review's claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had determined the levees needed to be raised by 10 feet to meet some post-Katrina standard.

The following is copied from the Riveron Review...

"Build the existing levees an additional 10 feet taller, requiring an additional 150 feet on each side of riverway, negatively impacting businesses and neighborhoods, and resulting in an even more inaccessible riverfront."

The above makes ZERO sense.

First off, the area in question has not flooded in well over a half century, due to massive levees which have long done their intended job.

Second off, what are these businesses, or neighborhoods which would be affected negatively? The area is an industrial wasteland.

And third off, the Army Corps of Engineers never suggested raising the existing levees another ten feet. Never determined doing such was needed, feasible or recommended.

As we already pointed out, the Riveron Reviewers did not interview anyone from the Army Corps of Engineers. Instead the Riveron Reviewers only interviewed the various foxes who have been ineptly allowed to guard the hen house.

Methinks this half million buck Riveron Review borders on fraud.

The raise the levees part of this scandal came to my attention via email from one of the early victims of the TRWD/TRVA eminent domain abuse, with this victim's business taken a decade ago, followed by a long struggle trying to be made whole from the taking of his property.

Eminent domain is a legit process where property can be taken, with the owner fully compensated, for a project for the public good, like a highway, hospital or school. That type thing. Not for imaginary flood control or an economic development scheme benefiting the schemers.

Clearly this was not a legit eminent domain use for the public good, what with it now being well over a decade with that totally unneeded flood control project not anywhere close to being reality.

Now the motivation behind the Boondogglers misrepresenting the history of their ill fated project we will look at in future blog posts. In the meantime let's look at the email exchange between that aforementioned victim of America's Biggest Boondoggle and a former Fort Worth city councilman...

Bob Lukeman to Durango---

I did not get too far into the Draft before I hit my first WTF moment. 

Bob Lukeman to that aforementioned former Fort Worth city councilman...

This was news to me. Was the Corp initiating the idea of a bypass channel and was the levee fix an across the board 10 foot raise with a property taking element? We had Corp docs that gave the sparse locations of levees that need topping out in way less that 10 feet and no reference to any takings.

You may know more having been on the Council. Makes me think that Riveron was interviewing TRWD staff about the origins, and they were revising history to justify and defend the flood control aspects. 

10 million was the fix as I recall. Not 10 feet more on all the levees. That early of a suggestion to dig a bypass would have been in conjunction with the taking DOWN of certain levees. The 2 points made in the Draft seem to contradict a levee repair plan.

And then this from that aforementioned former Fort Worth city councilman...

I wasn’t aware that the project was in planning as early as 2001. There was never any discussion about the height of the levees or taking 150’ on either side that I was aware of. Sounds like a little historical revisionism although maybe they have the documents to back it up. I believe the channel idea may have come from Gideon/Toal and the corps bought into it. It started downhill in 2005. At least that’s when it was apparent to me.

Cheers, Clyde

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Theo Hires Sand Castle Building Consultant With Ruby & David

After a couple days of amateur sand castle building, Theo hired the services of a professional sand castle builder to instruct himself, and Ruby and David, in the art of fancy sand castle building.

Mama Michele photo documented the results.

In the first photo we see Theo, Ruby and David, along with Mama Kristin, at the start of their intensive sand castle building instructions.

That would be the sand castle construction instructor on the left, next to Ruby.

Prepare to be impressed when you see what resulted from Theo, Ruby and David learning how to build a complex sand castle.

This appears to be a classic Gothic Sand Castle, rising taller than the tallest of the trio.

I know you are wondering if Theo, Ruby and David guarded their latest sand castle til the tide rolled and gradually obliterated it. I do not have the  answer to that probing question.

My information source may be faulty, but it is thought by some that today the sand castle building trio are flying their parental units back to Washington, which is extremely disappointing, because this morning Miss Daisy decided it would be fun to drive to San Diego to surprise the grandkids...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Theo's Pacific Sand Castle Building With Help From Ruby & David

Photo evidence has arrived documenting the fact my Favorite Nephew Theo has raised his sand castle building skills to a new level of complexity.

Prior to receiving those photos, whilst driving Miss Daisy in the extreme Arizona heat, Theo's grandma verbalized concern regarding wondering how David, Theo, Ruby and their parental units could possibly spend so many days outdoors in extreme heat.

I then tried to remind Miss Daisy the Pacific Coast is way cooler (in more ways than one) than the Arizona desert.

I suggested to Miss Daisy if we took off early in the morning we could reach San Diego easily by mid-afternoon, which would make for a fun (shocking) surprise for David, Theo, Ruby, their parental units, and Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack.

Miss Daisy was not receptive regarding this adventurous concept.

Which is probably for the best, because tomorrow morning David, Theo and Ruby's Uncle Jake is planning to show up for Miss Daisy's morning swim.

However, Miss Daisy has been refusing to participate in the morning swim due to excess heat concerns. I have not informed Uncle Jake regarding Miss Daisy's current no swimming status.

Let's take a look at last yesterday's sand castle building...

Above Theo celebrates castle construction completion. Now the wait for the incoming tide begins, and the eventual defense of the castle as the Pacific floods in.

Here it appears Ruby joined in with the castle defense as the tide began to breech the outer defenses.

Theo looks forlorn as the tide begins to win.

Theo, Ruby and David stand on top of the sand castle ruins.

Around the time the above photo arrived Mama Michele texted "OMG. I am freezing. Sitting waiting for the ocean to destroy Theo's sand castle. I blame you for this fixation. LOL."

It's true. Theo and I had ourselves a mighty fine time fighting the incoming tide way back in August of 2017 up north at Birch Bay in the state called Washington.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Spencer Jack Flips While David, Theo & Ruby Tarpit To End Of Route 66

New California photos from David, Theo and Ruby. Currently the trio is in far Southern California, as in San Diego. There was no explanatory text accompanying the photos, leaving it to my feeble analytic skills to figure out what I am looking at.

Prior to San Diego the trio spent a couple nights in Santa Monica. That is a Los Angeles suburb, for those not familiar with Southern California.

And now that you are causing me to think about it I am wondering if Santa Monica considers itself a suburb of LA. I have no way of solving this conundrum.

What I did know for sure about Santa Monica is that the western terminus of the Mother Road, Route 66, ends at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica. If I remember right Route 66 ends when it reaches California Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway.

I vaguely remember back in the previous decade, during a visit to Los Angeles, driving Mulholland Drive to its end. Was that in Santa Monica? I must wait til I am Internet connected so I can consult Google about this Mulholland Drive question.

In addition to the Route 66 in Santa Monica photo, I am guessing the next one is showing David, Theo and Ruby on a carnival type ride called the Scrambler, on the Santa Monica Pier.

And then the next photo I think shows a location not in Santa Monica.

Which would make this the La Brea Tarpits which David, Theo and Ruby are standing by.

Maybe Santa Monica has its own tarpits. Or maybe the La Brea Tarpits are in Santa Monica and I have for years erroneously assumed the Tarpits were in Los Angeles. I vaguely recollect them being near Wilshire Boulevard, or on that road. And near Century City.

But it has been a long time since I have explored the Los Angeles zone. I think the last time was Christmas week of 1994. And I don't remember going into the Los Angeles downtown zone on that visit.

When next I am connected to the Internet I must remember to Google "La Brea Tarpits" in addition to Googling "Mulholland Drive".

Meanwhile, up north in Washington, while his cousins are having fun in Southern California, Spencer Jack has been working the grill at the Fidalgo Drive-In in Anacortes. Seems like only yesterday Spencer Jack was a little kid, and now he is a professional burger flipper...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Riveron Review Needs A Forensic Audit


I have now read the Riveron Review of the Trinity River Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, or simply as The Boondoggle.

This is no Mueller Report. It is only 92 pages long. Not detailed, in an indepth, investigative sort of way, like that aforementioned Mueller Report. But, like that Mueller Report,  those being investigated have tried to take control of the Riveron Review, wanting to check it for "accuracy" before the public gets a look at it.


That attempt at coverup did not work. The Riveron Review is now widely available for public perusal. Even though, as you can see via the screen cap above, the draft is under embargo - not for public dissemination.

There is more than one element in the Riveron Review which seemed to me to be possibly a bit tainted by propaganda input by those with the most to lose, as in those who have been responsible, well, more accurately, irresponsible, regarding how this pseudo public works project has been foisted on the public.

The section of the Riveron Review which looks at how the failing V-pier bridge design came to be, seemed to be not based on previously revealed information. And in addition to that, the rational for building those three little bridges over dry land also seems to be, well, ridiculous.

Suffice to say we will have more to say on this subject and the elements in the Riveron Review which seem to be a bit, well, wrong, later, when we are back located at our regular Internet connection to the world.

In the meantime, suffice to say, where upon actually reading the Mueller Report one could not honestly say that report reported "No Collusion, No Obstruction", with the Riveron Review one might accurately say upon reading it "Much Confusion, Slow Construction".

Like we said, more on this later...

David's Pacific Vigilance Looking For Portuguese Warmongers

Judging from the evidence provided by Mama Kristin, it appears David, Theo and Ruby have successfully guided their tour group to their San Diego Pacific beach destination.

Mama Kristin's text accompanying this photo was as follows...

"The quintessential sand castle building picture from our family..."

Almost two years ago, in August of 2017, a similar sand castle building scene happened up north, in Washington, at Birch Bay, a few miles south of the Canadian border.

During that sand castle building project, Theo and Ruby, along with some expert construction technique guidance from Mama Kristin, and heavy sand lifting by Uncle Me, David stood guard during the entire construction process, with David monitoring the progress of the incoming tide.

David also was guarding against Sea Urchins and Dungeness Crabs possibly encroaching on the sand castle building site.

There had been an earlier incident with a crab which unsettled David, which is what we think put him in hyper guard mode. As for Sea Urchins, I think it may have been me who caused that particular threat to enter David's imagination, with David somehow thinking a Sea Urchins is some sort of actual pirate which pops up out of the water.

I do not know what David was on guard for during this most recent sand castle building. Someone may have mentioned a Portuguese Man-o-War, or two, may have been encountered in the Pacific Ocean waves, with David then concerned this was an actual warmonger from Portugal, instead of a jellyfish...

More than once it has crossed my mind that David, Theo and Ruby watch too many Japanese anime type cartoons.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

David, Theo & Ruby Virtually Tour Hearst Castle With Miss Daisy

On Sunday, whilst stalled to a slow crawl entering the outer limits of Los Angeles, David, Theo and Ruby asked their driver, Mama Michele, and co-pilot, Mama Kristin, if they could call Grandma Daisy to tell her about exploring the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.

The following day photos showed up via email, with explanatory text, the first of which explains the first photo...

From the grounds. We went up the tower on the left, but not to the top.

And so Grandma Daisy and I got to virtually enjoy a Los Angeles traffic jam in real time, and a visit to San Simeon in delayed time..

David, Theo and Ruby's destination in the Los Angeles zone was Santa Monica, staying overnight near the old western termination of Route 66 at the Santa Monica Pier.

By tomorrow, David, Theo and Ruby should make it further south to the San Diego zone where they hope to find Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack. We last heard from Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack whilst preparations were under way to float down a lazy river with something called a cocktail. We do not know where this lazy river was located, other than likely somewhere along the Southern California Pacific Coast.

And now the rest of the tour of San Simeon Hearst Castle photos and explanatory text...

Our tour involved lots of stairs, but the guide had the kids demonstrate an elevator, which is how Hearst and his pals got up and down. 

We saw Hearst’s bedroom and lots of other bedrooms and the library, and this room - his study. He ran his businesses from that big table.

His art and antiquity collection remains on display. David liked this Egyptian themed piece. 

Chili'n by the Neptune pool. 

We have not yet seen photo documentation of the Santa Monica Pier, so we do not know for sure that David, Theo and Ruby made it through that LA traffic jam to that destination. Today, if all goes as planned, we think San Diego is the destination.

Aerobic Swimming Congestion With Sun Lakes Pool Ladies

The pool is crowded with way more Sun Lake's Ladies during these warm July days than was the case during cooler days last March.

As you can clearly see via the photo documentation as I lounge chair lounged after this morning's swim, the poos was over populated today..

Today my choice was to either join the throng doing something called Water Aerobics. Or get out of the pool and their way, hence the photo documenting opportunity.

As per usual I was invited to join in with the Water Aerobics. But, it looks to be way more stimulating than what I am used to doing in water. That and I lacked accessories like a Pool Noodle and Water Weights.

Today the temperature is scheduled to hit a high for the year, at 115 degrees. That is Fahrenheit, not Celsius, just to be clear.

Yesterday morning I discovered the battery powering the thermostat which controls the air conditioning in Miss Daisy's abode had died. This explained why the A/C was not turning off, and why it was so cold the night before I found myself seeking a blanket covering.

A malfunctioning A/C in this climate would seem to be extremely problematic.

Yesterday in the early evening my favorite nephew Jeremy, aka FNJ3, showed up and drove me and Miss Daisy to their favorite Panda bear where we got ourselves some Chinese food. Tasty. And then we returned to Miss Daisy's television viewing room where Jeremy beat me at every single Wheel of Fortune puzzle. However, Jeremy did not do so well with the Jeopardy questions which followed Wheel of Fortune.

Today marks number five full day in Arizona, not that I am counting...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Trinity River Vision Review Confusion's Most Wanted Fugitives

If I remember right I have previously mentioned I've been receiving multiple messages about the "review" of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Much of the initial outrage appears to revolve around disgust that the TRWD board, well, the TRWD's controversial manager, Jim Oliver, apparently, is behind attempts to, well, try to censor, or redact, the report before it is released to the public who paid for it.

However, someone inside the TRWD evidently was disgusted by the attempted cover-up and managed to leak a copy of the review to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. From what I have seen of what is in the review I can see why Jim Oliver and J.D. Granger want to censor what the public sees.

On Facebook what the public has already seen has brought multiple calls for the immediate firing of Granger, the defeat of his mother in the 2020 election and a ceasing of the long stalled building of three simple little bridges over dry land, with either the removal of what exists of the bridges, or turning the remains into some sort of cautionary memorial.

Let's look at the Jim Oliver/Granger part of this Review finds confusion, lack of planning in $1.17 billion Panther Island project Star-Telegram article...

Meanwhile Oliver and J.D. Granger pushed to keep the report secret until they could read it and offer changes. With Star-Telegram and KXAS/Channel 5 reporters present, Granger wondered if the two news organizations would accurately report Riveron’s findings. Oliver said he believed only his staff had a full understanding of the project, requiring them to provide input before the report became public.

Oliver defended keeping the report from the public Friday, saying he didn’t believe it was ethical to release a draft document.

Typically during an independent review, he said, staff are given the chance to make comments or corrections before a report goes to a public board.

“This has been backwards,” he said.


Oh, the irony.

The TRWD's Jim Oliver thinks the release of the review is backwards.

Everything about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle has been backwards. And now after all these years it is the release of this review of the Boondoggle, that Oliver finds backwards?

Nothing about this project has been done the way such projects get actualized in areas of America where public works projects are thoroughly vetted, sold to the public, with the public validating the project by agreeing to finance it via the voting method, with a qualified team of project engineers put in charge of designing and building the project, and completing the project following a well-planned project timeline.

Qualified project engineers?

Which leads us to J.D. Granger's concern about whether the news would accurately report the review's findings.

I'm guessing Granger's real concern is that the review accurately finds much of what is dire wrong with America's Biggest Boondoggle, making clear that a large part of the problem has been caused by the son of a local congresswoman being given a job for which he had no qualifications, with no clear oversight making sure Granger did not stray afar from the actual project.

You know, so Granger would not detour the imaginary flood control/economic development project into frat boy fun like beer drinking inner tube parties on the Trinity River, Octoberfest for more beer drinking or a wakeboard pond. And other such nonsense not normal for such a project.

When I clicked on the link to the Review finds confusion, lack of planning in $1.17 billion Panther Island project in the Star-Telegram that which you see above in the screen cap is what showed up under the article headline, a video starting with a plea to help Arlington police locate 10 Most Wanted Fugitives.

More than one comment on Facebook suggested criminal charges need to be brought against Granger and Oliver and others associated with what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hank Frank's First Truck Driving Moving Task With Grandpa Jake

On Friday Hank Frank and Spencer Jack's Grandpa Jake made it from Washington to Arizona without a minute of delay, unlike what Grandpa Jake's brother experienced trying to make it from Texas to Arizona.

In the photo here we are looking at Hank Frank driving the moving truck he rented to move from Clear Lake to his new home located in the Skagit Flats, I think somewhere near Roozen Garde, information which only would mean anything to someone familiar with Skagit Valley geography.

Grandpa Jake's return to Arizona was necessary to help facilitate a subterfuge scheduled for Thursday, July 25. Miss Daisy and her primary driver will drop me off at Sky Harbor around 10 in the morning. I will then enter the airport departure door, then exit that door as Miss Daisy and her primary driver drive away, with me then getting in Grandpa Jake's vehicle, which I assume will be driven by Grandpa Jake, not Hank Frank.

Miss Daisy and I have had no news from Hank Frank and Spencer Jack's cousins, David, Theo and Ruby. We guess their current location is somewhere in Southern California. Possibly Santa Monica.

Or maybe David, Theo and Ruby have already found Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack somewhere in the San Diego zone, where they will be especially vigilant whilst dodging Pacific Ocean waves and the recent epidemic of stinging jellyfish.

Decades ago I remember a stay at San Clemente State Park where David, Theo and Ruby's Uncle Jake and Aunt Nancy got stung multiple times by jellyfish. The stinging jellyfish left their other uncle alone...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Fort Worth's Dunce Confederacy Strikes Again

Since my current exit from Texas I have been receiving a higher than usual number of emails, text messages and Facebook messenger messages, leaving me a little frustrated at not being at a location with an Internet connection.

The messages from the various sources have all been about the uproar which erupted when it was announced the long anticipated independent investigation of the Trinity River Vision Authority, with that investigation costing around a half million bucks, spent to try and find out why and how so much money has been spent, for so many years, with so little progress, after so much time and money, what with the fact that that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle has been limping along most of this century.

Many were under the apparently false assumption this independent investigation was going to be a forensic audit, examining where the money has gone and on what the money has been spent.

For instance, after all these years of zero transparency many were hoping a forensic audit would reveal how much has been spent on salaries, in total, of all those employed by the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Authority.

And how much has been spent on all the TRVA's various propaganda operations. Such as the incredible volume of signage which began sprouting up around Fort Worth way back in 2010, with sign proclamations such as "Trinity River Vision Underway". Or the HUGE sign propaganda installation at Gateway Park touting all the imaginary things the Trinity River Vision was going to see, at some point in time, apparently distantly into the future.

Or how much the bizarre propaganda installation cost which sits on the ground floor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram building.

Or how much has been spent on all the junkets J.D. Granger and his minions have taken, supposedly to check out other visions at other locations on the planet, in towns which have actually managed to bring a vision to fruition.

I have long wondered how much money has been wasted on all the TRVA various websites. Or all the propaganda mailers sent out quarterly.

Or how much has been spent paying people to "execute" this myopic vision, years after the project would have been, should have been, completed if it was competently executed, and if this project was an actual legitimately needed flood control project.

If this were a legit flood control project, should not someone be held responsible for the fact years have gone without this imaginary flood control problem fixed.

Clearly, it is obvious now, after all these years, this public works project never had anything to do with flood control. Or helping protect the public. It has long been an ineptly implemented money making scheme, benefiting few. With a few having already benefited from their scheming.

The name "Granger" comes to mind.

So, many people back in Fort Worth are not okay with that independent investigation having been announced as completed, and turned over to the TRWD board, which then indicated only a redacted version would be released to the public, once the TRWD board approved of the independent investigation's findings.

Yeah, that sounds like what you do with an independent investigation. Can't imagine why people would be offput by this.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Successful Two Day Flight To Arizona With Miss Daisy

What you are looking at here is the Friday, July 12 view from Miss Daisy's living room.

Which indicate I finally made it to Arizona. The flying method of getting here took a lot longer than the driving method I used last October.

On day two of trying to get to Arizona I got to spend around six DFW hours wandering from terminal to terminal and gate to gate, as American Airlines moved the boarding location time and time again as Flight 1666 out of Charlotte, North Carolina was delayed over and over again.

The original departure time of 6:30pm was changed to 8pm even before I left my abode to drive to the Wichita Falls airport. By the time I got to the airport the departure time had moved back another hour. By the time I actually made it to DFW, around 3:30pm, ahead of the scheduled arrival time, the departure to Phoenix gate had been changed again, with the departure even later than the previous delayed time.

Eventually I became part of a group of fellow weary travelers, traipsing from gate to gate, updating each other with new incoming info. Depending on the source, departure times and gates varied, due to, we finally figured out, the various timeliness of the various sources.

Eventually it became obvious that Spencer Jack and his dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, were our best info source, due to tracking our flight from its stalled position to finally being in the air. As in I was getting text messages along the line of telling me that Flight 1666, an Airbus 321, has just crossed the Mississippi and should be to DFW within the hour.

Followed by she should be on the ground at about 9:05pm, Texas time, and arrive at gate A24 at approximately 9:14pm. Jason further advised that from his personal experience with these type scenarios it would take about an hour to get the aircraft ready to fly again, which indicated it should take off about 10:15pm.

Spencer Jack and Jason were on target, except for one detail. Due to the long delay messing up everyone's schedule the pilots and flight attendants arrived slightly later than 10:15. So, the actual departure was sometime around 10:45.

The riotous groans of the weary passengers was amusing when the gate keeper announced we were now delayed by an expected half hour wait for the pilots and flight attendants. And then when the group of flight attendants showed up a couple minutes later the cheering was worthy of a Super Bowl touchdown.

By the time I finally was in my seat I was way past my regular bedtime and the most tired I think I have been this century. The Wednesday re-booking had me in a seat not of my choosing, as in middle seat on row 8. The plane was almost fully boarded when the window seat occupier showed up.

It was one of my co-commiserators, a young lady escaping Dallas, where she currently resides, to return to her home location in Spokane for a wedding. We had been venting about our misery for hours and now we were seatmates for the final stage.

Finally in the air the leg to Phoenix went fast. Interesting seatmates on both sides helps. That and a touch screen laptop.

It was coming up on midnight I found myself rolling through Sky Harbor til I found Miss Daisy and her regular driver, my sister Jackie. It was a relaxing ride from the airport to the Miss Daisy abode.

And now a little over 12 hours later I have already had my first trip to Costco...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Stuck In Texas Trying To Get To Arizona

No, I did not make it to Arizona yesterday. I am still stuck in Texas, after being stuck in the Wichita Falls Municipal Airport for hours yesterday, hoping to fly to Dallas/ Fort Worth hoping to fly to Sky Harbor in Phoenix.

Before I left my abode yesterday to drive the short distance to the airport I had received multiple text messages informing me of delays and new departure times.

By the time I made it to the airport the security entry was closed, with people milling about outside security. I soon learned the take off time had now been delayed to 5 o'clock, more than two hours later than the original take off time, and that the security gate would open when the time drew closer for actual departure.

So, I found myself a computer station and connected to the Internet. About a half hour later the security gate opened. Through security, more delay notices. By then we had been told the problem was bad weather in the Dallas zone.

Finally the plane arrived. Somehow escaping the bad weather in DFW. A half hour later we boarded. Then another long wait. I called my sister in Arizona to let her know I might not be making it there on time. While I was talking to my sister the pilot informed us the DFW airport was on lock down, no take offs, no landings.

But that it should clear within a half hour and we would be on our way.

At that point, if we did take off soon I could still make my connection to Phoenix.

And then the pilot informed us that the wait was now of longer duration, and that we would get back off the plane to cool off in the air-conditioned terminal.

I was not long in the cool terminal when I got a text message that my flight to Phoenix had been cancelled. But the flight out of Wichita Falls was not yet cancelled, was still on delay.

So, when I went to try and book a new flight to Phoenix, as I had been advised to do, the new flight did not include getting out of Wichita Falls, instead all the options were flying out of DFW the next day, as in today, as in Thursday.

I then called the American Airlines number on the card we had been provided with info on how to get out of this mess.

I expected a long phone wait, instead I almost instantly had a nice lady helping me, re-booking me on the exact same flights that I was supposed to be on on Wednesday.

I then called for a Stuber ride to take me back to my home location. After a bit of a problem getting my checked in bag off the plane, I was finally out of the airport, coming up on 8 o'clock.

And today I get to do it all over again, I hope with better results. And also cancelled was my trip today to Maricopa to the McDonald's Buffet with Penny.

Almost forgot to mention another bit of yesterday's airport drama. As we waited to hopefully get back on board more planes arrived. There are only two gates at this airport. I do not know where the second plane came from. But soon after those on board de-planed those waiting to get on that plane were told that flight was cancelled. I have no idea where that plane came from or was going.

And then another plane arrived, with no gate to roll up to. Soon the pilot of that plane escaped via a stairway rolled up to the door. He came in the terminal and soon had people all around him, thinking he was some sort of official who might have answers. Instead he told us he was the pilot trying to find out what to do with all the people on his plane. That plane was still sitting there, out on the tarmac, in the heat, when I left an hour later. That plane had been diverted from landing at DFW on its way from Fort Wayne.

Have I ever mentioned previously that I do not like flying? A roadtrip is so much more enjoyable, even though it takes longer...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Looking To Stay Cool In Arizona With McDonald's Stroopwafel

In less than 12 hours I should be touching down in Phoenix where I just checked the temperature and see it is currently a relatively chilly 78 degrees at 6:18am Arizona time.

The temperature will likely be closer to 119 by the time I exit Sky Harbor today.

It is highly unlikely I will be brought to a restaurant tonight where TODAY'S SPECIAL is 5 minutes in the walk-in freezer, with any purchase.

Tomorrow I may have that walk-in freezer option, if needed, due to being currently scheduled to head south to Maricopa to see Penny at McDonald's.

But, McDonald's is cool without needing to take refuge in a walk-in freezer.

Tomorrow, in addition to being cool in McDonald's, I am looking forward to sampling an item or two from McDonald's new International Menu.

I will be trying the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich from Canada, which is a chunk of crispy chicken, tomatoes, leaf lettuce, mozzarella cheese and some sorta special sauce. This sounds better than the Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger from Spain which has some sorta special bacon sauce. I may succumb to the Stroopwafel McFlurry from the Netherlands. I have already had confirmation from one of my fellow half Dutch relatives that the Stroopwafel is good.

Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake is also scheduled to return to Arizona this week, on Friday. I do not know if Miss Daisy and I will be involved in the Grandpa Jake airport pick-up. I suspect not...

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Can Trinity River Vision Boondogglers Build Bridges Any Faster?

No, anyone familiar with Fort Worth's current sponsorship of America's Biggest Boondoggle, that is not what you might think it is which you are looking at here.

No, it is not a section of one of Fort Worth's pitiful Panther Island bridges, stuck in slow motion construction, barely above the ground, slowly built over dry land.

What you are looking at here is a section of light rail under construction in the Sound Transit zone of Puget Sound. I am guessing this is a section heading into downtown Bellevue.

I saw this Could Sound Transit build light rail faster? It wouldn’t be easy article this morning in the Seattle Times, and once again was struck by the fact that an article like this, with facts such as those contained in the article, about the subject of a local public works project, is not the type thing one would ever expect to read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something like Fort Worth's Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Have you seen an article headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram along the line of Could Trinity River Vision Build Bridges Faster? Nope, that newspaper has not had a single line of legit explanation as to what the problem has been with the building of those three simple little bridges being built over dry land to possibly one day manage to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Just the first four paragraphs of this Could Sound Transit build light rail faster? It wouldn’t be easy article contain elements one would never expect to read in an article about Fort Worth's hapless project in that town's hapless only newspaper of record...

When Sound Transit successfully sought a record $54 billion tax package to finance eight light-rail extensions, more commuter rail and bus rapid transit in 2016, the agency’s supporters called their campaign Mass Transit Now.

They chose that slogan even though some rail lines won’t open for another 11 to 22 years.

Traffic Lab recently asked readers what they’d like to know about Puget Sound transportation, and the most popular question came from Timothy Chang: “Is it possible to speed up the construction of light rail? If so, how?”

Construction schedules of five to 10 years are typical for major transit projects in the U.S. and Europe, and can’t be compressed much, as Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff has often said. In the Seattle area, planning and engineering take just as long. The best way to speed light-rail delivery may be for politicians and community members to unite early on easy-to-build routes.

Fort Worth locals, how many things can you spot in the above four paragraphs that you would not expect to see in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the town's infamous imaginary flood control boondoggle?

Let's see if we can help.

Imagine the concept of convincing voters to approve a $54 billion bond issue, in 2016. Two years after Fort Worth began construction, with a TNT boom, of its three little bridges over dry land, hoping to one day connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island. Fort Worth voters have never voted to fund the building of those bridges, in any legitimate sense, any aspect of that which has become such an embarrassing Boondoggle. That 2016 Sound Transit bond issue passage was only the most recent voter approval to Sound Transit proposals.

In the second paragraph we do see something in common between this Puget Sound area project and Fort Worth's Boondoggle. Some rail lines won't open for another 11 to 22 years. The Fort Worth Boondoggle has an ever shifting project timeline, but many observers do not think anyone will be actually able to see the Trinity River Vision for another decade or two.

Something called Traffic Lab asked Puget Sound locals about Puget Sound transportation issues. And got legit feedback. Fort Worth's Boondoggle touts imaginary public input at meetings no one has any record of having happened, which the Fort Worth Boondoggle propagandists tout resulted in almost 100 citizen requested amenities be part of the imaginary vision.

Anyway, it seems just baffling how two areas of the same nation can be so different, one operating in a modern, progressive democratic type fashion, the other fumbling along in third world backwards backwater mode.

So perplexing, all those knuckleheads who run Fort Worth in their old-fashioned Fort Worth Way have to do is go a few miles to the east, to Arlington, or Dallas, to see a town more successfully manage building big things. Or go visit Austin.

You do not have to exit Texas to visit modern America, but you do have to leave Fort Worth...

Monday, July 8, 2019

Will Panther Island's Encore Include Sinking Bridges?

Years ago, during one of his many embarrassing propaganda pronouncements, Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Executive Director, J.D. Granger, told the gullible that that year, whatever the year was, 2015? 2016?, that that year construction would begin on the first of many building projects to be built on Fort Worth's imaginary island, with this initial project a residential complex called "Encore Panther Island".

One of those propaganda pronouncements from years past said "Proposed 300 unit apartment community scheduled to begin construction in the summer of 2017 with completion 12 months later."

But, nothing happened. And then in an online discussion about this stalled Fort Worth embarrassment the photo you see above was posted on April 25, 2018, with accompanying text saying "Signs and fence are up, at a very minimum."

Earlier this year I asked a pair of observers who are located in a location overlooking the mess which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle if they were seeing any construction of this Encore building which Granger long ago indicated would be a done deal by now. That pair of observers, known as Deep Moat III, reported back that they have seen some ground work at the location, but little of what one might called vertical progress.

And then today I got a Facebook message from the entity known as Captain Andy pointing me to a Fort Worth Architecture Forum discussion about the Encore Panther Island project.

You need to read the entire two page multi-comment discussion to get the full effect. Suffice to say I have seldom seen so much optimistic delusion so earnestly on display, well for the first couple years of discussing the Encore Panther Island project, then, of late, reality seems to have set in.

Before reality set in reading this reminded me of a Rockford Files episode where Rockford uncovers a scam where senior citizens were being sold imaginary waterfront lots on an imaginary lake next to an imaginary clubhouse. Whilst being very excited about what they were imagining, even though all they could see was desert wasteland.

So, this Encore Panther Island forum discussion begins in 2016 with a poster breathless posting that "It's on". Meaning the project, after who knows how long since J.D. Granger announced it.

This is followed with artist renderings of the building, along with more breathless excitement about the design. (Have none of these people visited modern America, I read this stuff and wonder? How about a field trip to Scottsdale and Chandler Arizona? They would see multiple instances of residential design, with water features, far more impressive than these cartoon drawings they drooled over).

So, moving ahead to 2019 in this forum and the stark Boondoggle reality filters in, with forum members asking about the lack of progress, and then excitement over seeing some progress take place, with workers working on it for a few hours in the morning.

The comments begin to get a bit snarky at that point, with one suggesting that maybe they work on Encore in the morning and the bridges in the afternoon.

Multiple photos of the "progress" show up. With a lot of puzzlement regarding the engineering of this project, with some saying they'd never seen a project progress in such a way.

Some comments wondering about the canal which is supposed to be part of this project. As in if they are digging the canal now, what will it connect to, what with there being no promised lake, as yet.

And then comments about seeing a multi-level garage go up, just recently, as in the past couple months.

And now in July complete befuddlement upon seeing workers tearing down the garage they had just built. With one person confirming the tear down news saying "Evidently so, and probably to start over. Must have been a structural defect."

With had another saying, "Yikes. I guess this is a taste of what's to come with the Panther Island bridges."

And then we learned what apparently has actually happened, with Austin55 telling us "Evidently the garage was sinking. Curious how they will handle this. Any forum engineer types weigh in?"

Which had another saying "I am not an engineer, but I believe the first step is to have all the women and children board the lifeboats."

Another person, in the quest to find out what has happened, posted he has alerted Luke Ranker at the Star-Telegram, because Ranker has been covering Panther Island and related topics.

Uh, looking for answers via investigative journalism practiced by Fort Worth's only newspaper is futile, a fact long established by the years of delusional propaganda that newspaper has spewed about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Has the Star-Telegram told you in detail, yet, what has been the design problem with the simple little bridges being built over dry land?  Do you think the Star-Telegram will find out why the Encore garage was sinking? And how big a setback this is? And what a sinking garage portends for any other construction on the imaginary island.

Methinks this sinking garage is what is known as a metaphor.

That being a metaphor for the entire sinking project...

Ruby, Theo & David Take Us To Tacoma's New Bridge & Dune Peninsula Park

Above you are looking at my favorite niece Ruby, Mama Michele, favorite nephew Theo and favorite nephew David, sitting on a bench on a newly opened bridge, high above Tacoma's Point Defiance Vashon Ferry Dock, connecting Point Ruston with Point Defiance Park, over looking the newly opened Dune Peninsula Park.

Mention was made of this new bridge and park when I blogged about it a week or two ago in Fort Worth's Panther Island Remains Toxic While Tacoma Exemplifies Civic Reinvention.

At that point in time Mama Michele said she hoped to take the kids to the new Dune Peninsula Park and bridge after its July 6 Grand Opening, before David, Theo and Ruby fly their parental units to San Francisco, then rent a car to drive the California coast highway to Santa Monica for a couple days before driving to San Diego for a few days of beach fun with Uncle Jack and Aunt Jackie, whilst I am in Arizona conducting art classes with Miss Daisy.

Regarding Tacoma's new park and bridge, with that bridge, incidentally, mostly built over dry land, a four paragraph excerpt from that aforementioned blog post...

Dune Peninsula park is every bit the vision presented to Tacoma voters before the 2014 bond election that promised a fresh destination-quality landmark. It is an example for communities throughout Washington of how the legacy of one era can be reinvented as a resource for future ones.

Wow! Imagine that? A real vision presented to a town's voters, in an actual bond election of the sort which happens in modern America, passed in 2014, the year Fort Worth had an idiotic TNT exploding celebration to celebrate the start of construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

And now, five years later, those Fort Worth bridges are nothing but eyesores, with no end in sight, while in an American town wearing its big city pants the people are enjoying the results of what they approved via the voting method.

What a revolutionary concept...

Anyone made note of any noticeable progress on Fort Worth's pitiful simple little bridges being built over dry land, stuck in slow motion construction for years, beginning the long dawdle way back in 2014, currently projected to possibly be ready for traffic some time in the next decade, with maybe, then, a cement lined ditch possibly dug under the three bridges, with the ditches then filled with polluted Trinity River water, thus making an imaginary island out of an 800 acre industrial wasteland?

That is if the welfare state, I mean, city, of Fort Worth, is able to finagle federal funding for its hapless project which has never been properly vetted, or voted for in a legitimate way such as what happens in modern American towns, like Tacoma, you know, a town where the people vote to build something because a case is made that it is in their interest to pay for it.

What a concept.

Meanwhile Fort Worth wants a big welfare check to pay for imaginary flood control where no flood has happened for well over a half century due to massive levees which the rest of America already paid for, and which have done their job, non-stop, ever since.

Why anyone has the nerve and gall to ask why I refer to Fort Worth as a backwards backwater is truly perplexing...