Saturday, November 30, 2019

Beautiful Blue Last November Day In Texoma

A couple hours after the sun arrived for the last day of the 2019 version of November the two day fog siege lifted, with the sky returned to its usual clear blue with nary a cloud to be seen in any direction.

And so this morning my mechanized motion device took me to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to roll my bike wheels up and down some hills, along with dozens of others who came out of their Thanksgiving hibernation to get some salubrious exercise.

All in all a pleasant experience, except for the bad barking behavior of a poorly train German shepherd. The owner had the decency to be apologetic, claiming the bad dog had been cooped up for days and was thus overly rambunctious.

My first annual Tequila Taco Thanksgiving went well. There were few complaints, and lots of leftover taco fixings, along with leftover tequila.

On Thanksgiving after texting a Happy Thanksgiving message and asking if they were cooking the turkey at their new cabin, I heard from David, Theo & Ruby that they made faux turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. I have no idea what a faux turkey is. I shall make inquiries.

And now it is only about 25 days til Christmas. All my Christmas decorations are up, and all my Christmas shopping is completed, with all my Christmas cards in the mail...

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Foggy Thanksgiving

Today,  the 2019 version of Thanksgiving, I can think of a lot of things I am thankful for. And a thing or two I am not too thankful for.

A couple months ago I was sure I would be in Arizona today.

Instead I am looking at a dreary foggy Texas landscape. 

And I am blogging on a new phone. If this works I likely won't be hauling my laptop on a plane anymore.

So, one more Happy Thanksgiving one and all before I hit the publish button...

UPDATE: Well, the typing part worked fine, but the photo did not show up, so I had to use the more primitive using the laptop method. I'm sure it was a user error issue which will resolve with practice.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Elsie Hotpepper Granddaughter Panther Island Challenge

That which you see here arrived on my phone yesterday, on the final Tuesday of the 2019 version of November.

The sender was Natsie Hotpepper, granddaughter of the recently retired Elsie Hotpepper.

We have not heard from Natsie's grandma since our last Smoky Visit With The Retired Elsie Hotpepper.

Natsie Hotpepper's actual first name is Natasha, but she has been known as Little Natsie Hotpepper almost from the first words she ever spoke.

Elsie Hotpepper has long insisted she never be addressed by her actual first name, which is Elsivinia.

Naming Elsie's actual name in this blogging venue is not the same as addressing her by her actual name in person, so that particular Elsie Hotpepper convention has not been violated.

I hope.

Now, regarding this "graphic" which Natsie Hotpepper sent me, well bless her heart. She means well.

And we can all appreciate Natsie's sentiment regarding making mock of Fort Worth's ongoing embarrassment which has become America's Dumbest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle.

But there are some obvious problems with Natsie's Panther Island Challenge meme.

First off the three bridges began their slow motion construction in 2014, not 2009. The meme shows the 2009 V-piers having made it to the cement part of their slow motion construction. That actually happened closer to 2019 than 2009.

And the 2019 part of the meme shows the V-piers in wooden form mode, prior to cement being added. Which is the reverse of the pitiful reality.

Even in 2014, when the bridge construction began with a bizarre TNT exploding celebration, actual construction did not begin til months later, in 2015, and then soon stalled.

Another problem with Natsie's meme is in the 2009 part we see the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth rising in the distance.

But, in the 2019 part of the meme the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth has totally disappeared.

Anyway, thanks for the effort, Natsie, and keep on trying to live up to your grandma's feisty reputation of working to right wrongs and fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

The original Hotpepper legacy is a tough act to follow...

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Late Halloween With David, Theo & Ruby On A Real Island

Yesterday David, Theo & Ruby's Mama Michele emailed me with an update regarding next summer's Birch Bay stay.

I replied back and mentioned being surprised I had not seen any Halloween photos of the aforementioned David, Theo & Ruby.

Mama Michele then emailed back with several photos, with only one of the photos, that being the one you see here, being Halloween related.

I think I can only identify one of these costumed characters, and even that one I am not totally sure about. But, I think the third from the left, in basic black with red stripes, is Ruby. I am guessing that masked figure next to Ruby may be either David or Theo, with the skeleton on the far right also being either David or Theo, because none of the un-masked figures looks, to me, like either David or Theo.

And now on to the other photos, more recent than Halloween, since these were taken last weekend whilst David, Theo & Ruby drove their parental units to their new cabin on Hartstene Island. I made mention of the new cabin a couple months ago when I mentioned Ruby & David Racing Theo To New Cabin On Puget Sound Island.

For those reading this in Fort Worth, a town which only has imaginary islands surrounded by imaginary water connected by bridges built over dry land, who don't know what an actual island is, these are chunks of land surrounded by water, in this case islands in Puget Sound, which is a body of water which connects to the Pacific Ocean via the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Above that is Theo, David & Ruby, and I have forgotten the name of the new family member, posing on a beach on a real island.

And here we see the trio on what is known as a beach. Those are also islands you see in the distance across Puget Sound. On a real island surrounded by real water this thing called the tide causes a thing called tidal flats to appear with predictable regularity.

I am looking forward to next summer at Birch Bay, which is an extremely shallow bay. When there is a low tide the beach at Birch Bay becomes huge. And then, if it is a blue sky warm day the sand on the beach heats up so much that when the tide rolls back in the water heats up, making the experience like swimming in a heated pool. This is particularly fun if the incoming tide comes in as the sun sets, with the swimming then being lit up by phosphorous illumination when one splashes the water.

Continuing on with some more beach scenes.

That appears to be Theo standing on a beached log. Beached logs are known as driftwood. It looks as if Theo is holding a large tree limb, but I suspect that is an illusion and that the limb is attached to the log.

My elderly memory just had a moment of possible clear thinking. I think the new poodle's name is Raven. That sounds right. Which would make that Raven on the log with Theo.

The above look at Hartstene Island looks like it could be a scene on a Hawaiian island, with the evergreens almost looking like palm trees. I do not know if that bridge across the channel was built over dry land, using the Fort Worth bridge building method, with the channel added later.  I can say, with almost 100% certainty, that no local politician's son had anything to do with building the bridge or digging the channel. Or creating the island.

Mama Michele made mention of the fact that they are enjoying exploring all the trails on the island. That would be photo documentation of doing so, above. I am fairly sure that is Ruby in the foreground. Not sure who that is ahead of Ruby.

In yesterday's email Michele said I needed to come check out their new cabin, soon, and have myself a mighty fine time exploring the island.

That does sound fun. I can not remember the last time I was actually on a real island.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Liberal Lunatics Body Slam Pudgy Putnam

A month or so ago I found myself blogging about a Futile Right Wing Trumpist's Boot Kay Granger Attempt.

At that point in time all I knew about this potential Kay Granger booter was what I read on his campaign announcement in which he proudly vowed to stand with Trump, protect our border and defend the sanctity of innocent life, because Kay Granger has not done these things.

And now in the past several days for some reason Facebook has been showing me multiple posts about this guy's effort to stand with Trump via his "absolutely epic campaign kickoff."

I do not know why Facebook was showing me this, but I found it amusing. I looked at the myriad photos of those attending this campaign kickoff and what came to mind was it looked like the sorts who attend one of those Trump rally's. Only better dressed, and not topped with red MAGA hats. But still a bit crazy looking.

Then I clicked on a link in one of those posts which took me to this guy's Facebook "PUTNAM for Texas" page.

I was a bit startled as soon as the page loaded to see the profile photo, which you see above, and thinking to myself why would this right wing nutjob be posing with what looks to be a drag queen? Then I saw the guy on the far right and realized that this was no drag queen, that this is Donald Trump Jr.'s mistress, Kimberly.

Yes, I know it is extremely rude to suggest she looks like a drag queen, but that was the thought which first occurred to me, and due to the fine example of our Dear Leader and his pseudo conservative enablers, it is now perfectly normal to make comments like that, following the ill-mannered examples of Trump.

I scrolled down the page a bit and soon found the source photo of Pudgy Putnam's Facebook page.

Again, I realize it used to be considered really rude to label someone something like "Pudgy". But, like I said, this is the new accepted norm, due to the fine example of our Dear Leader. And pudgy was the word which came to mind when I saw a photo of the guy.

The text accompanying this pair of photos is interesting...

Don Jr. and I shared a big high-five for body slamming the liberal lunatics on "The View" earlier in the week. Don and Kimberly were excited to see Jack there so he got called back for his own pic without mom and dad. Trump is to Jack what Reagan was to me.

Yeah, that really was quite something seeing Don Jr. body slamming those annoying liberal lunatics, including John McCain's daughter, on The View.

Again, bragging about doing something like body slamming someone, whilst mislabeling them as "lunatic liberals" is totally okay in our current world, thanks to the enlightened leadership of our Dear Leader.

And then I came to the next photo with still more amusing text...

Waiting to meet Don Jr. and Kimberly. Jack is pumped. Raise them right friends.

Now, I read the above and honestly wondered to myself what does it take for CPS to intervene to save a child from exposure to a cult of clueless fanatics?

Continuing to scroll down this Facebook page I decided to copy out the text of some of the posts for your amused reading pleasure, giving you a good inkling of the high quality thinking of this challenger to Kay Granger for the 12th District Representative seat, followed by a comment, if the motivation to do so, strikes me....

There is zero doubt that the TX 12th is hungry for unapologetic, principled conservative representation in Washington DC. Come join us. Kay Granger started as a Democrat, and still acts like one. Siding with Pelosi on bailouts, Obama on amnesty, and refusing to stand with President Trump, she's become a stranger to us.

Yes, everyone likes their conservative representation to be unapologetic and principled. It is like it goes without saying, yet somehow nowadays seems to rarely occur. Principled conservative? Nowadays that is what is appropriately known as an oxymoron.

President Trump's leadership has led to a significant reduction in illegal border crossings, but the issue of drug trafficking remains. Democrats in Congress need to return their focus to securing the border and ending the ongoing crisis.

One can not deny giving Trump credit for getting that wall built along the southern border. And having Mexico pay for it. Now we must figure out how to stop the Mexicans from so easily bulldozing through the world's first Medieval wall built since the Dark Ages of long ago.

Last week, the American people learned that the Democrats don't have a case against President Trump. Nonetheless, they are continuing this pointless witch hunt. Join me in telling them to end the impeachment sham by adding your name now!

Those wily Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. Having diplomats and ambassadors confirm that Trump was colluding with the new Ukrainian government to get the Ukrainians to announce their government was launching an investigation into Biden. It is just like that Russian hoax, accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. How can the Democrats be so un-American as to think it is somehow an impeachable offense for the president to withhold aid unless a foreign government does his bidding? What a shameful sham case those Democrats have mounted. By now everyone should accept that Trump totally tells the truth in matters such as this.

The Left sees President Trump's conservative, America First agenda as a threat. That's why they're doing everything they can to stop him, including impeachment! We need strong conservative voices in Congress to stand by the President and help advance his agenda.

What an insight! The un-American Left thinks the Trump disaster must be stopped.

It is not just the Left. It is pretty much most of the educated, informed, intelligent humans on the planet who sees Trump's agenda as an existential threat. Even some former Republicans, such as actual conservative stalwart, George Will. And others.

Under Pelosi and the Democrats, this Congress will be remembered for doing more to avenge President Trump's election than working for the American people. It's time for the impeachment sham to end so the real issues can be addressed.

Yeah, it's all about avenging President Trump's election. It has nothing to do with anything remotely rising to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. What's a little bribery or extortion? No big deal. It's not a high crime and misdemeanor like lying about an office affair with an intern. Or covering up a break-in of the DNC headquarters. Or wanting to go easy on the defeated states of the confederacy.

All Trump did was collude with a foreign government to smear a political opponent, whilst using withholding aid to bribe that foreign government to do so. The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for thinking something obviously innocent like this is an impeachable offense..

There were multiple comments to these posts on the Pudgy Putman Facebook page. I will just copy one of the more amusingly wrongheaded ones...

Susan Whitehead: We must really know who the people we vote for are. Are they true conservatives? Conservative financially, ethically, morally, politically? Our country needs to return to the constitution and the republican form of government it outlines or we are going to become a socialist/communist nation, then there will be no place to go to live free.

Whitehead? Is that really someone's name? Susan is totally correct. We really must know who we vote for. Real conservatives. Not a budget busting, deficit exploding, bankrupting, amoral, lying, cheating, porn star boinking, poorly educated, inarticulate buffoon, but a real true conservative of the Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower type. Or even another Nixon would be a good thing at this point. No one ever described Nixon as being a dumb moron.

If Susan wants to continue to live free after America becomes a socialist communist nation there are multiple democratic socialist nations in the world she can move to.

Like Sweden. Or France. Or Germany. Or Denmark. Or Norway. Or our conveniently located neighbor to the north, Canada.  I hope Susan gets the point and can quit worrying...

Following Yellow Brick Road Tot MSU's Fantasy Of Lights

Operation Get in Shape for Moab Mountain Biking has been going well.

Yesterday, as in Sunday, I joined the throngs in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, biking the hills over and over again at relatively high speed in a relatively high gear.

Today, as in Monday, it was Off to See the Wizard on the Yellow Brick Road Day, rolling my wheels around Sikes Lake and then to the MSU campus where eventually I was rolling through the now totally installed, turned on, and ready to open Fantasy of Lights.

The Emerald City is in a new location this year. I saw several new Fantasies I did not remember previously. And some I do remember seem to have been spruced up a bit, such as new passengers on the Ferris wheel, including multiple Santas.

Today all the displays were turned on, with wheels spinning, music playing, saloon girls dancing, piano players tinkling the ivory, dolphins swimming, Dorothy walking, the Scarecrow strutting, the Cowardly Lion puffing out his chest and the Tin Man fiddling with his oil can.

I saw on the morning news the Fantasy of Lights being talked about. I believe I heard the talking head say tonight was the Grand Opening.

I do not remember if I have ever actually seen the Fantasy of Lights lit up at night. I must remember to drive by after dark sometime during this long holiday season...

Saturday, November 23, 2019

World's Most Unique McDonald's No Longer In Dallas

Years ago, near the start of the current century, I recollect reading of a new McDonald's in Dallas. And that this McDonald's may possibly be the most unique McDonald's in the world.

I was sort of used to Texas style hyperbole by that point in time, so I sort of figured I would be non-plussed when actually eye witnessing this McDonald's.

I remember it was soon after reading of it that I first saw this supposed world's most unique McDonald's.

Well. I was impressed. It seemed to live up to the hype. With me thinking if this is not the world's most unique, it certainly must be one of the world's most unique McDonald's.

And so I made a webpage about it titled World's Most Unique McDonald's 

The webpage soon was getting a lot of page views, which by 2007 was being monetized by Google.

My last time seeing this McDonald's was in January of 2009, when my mom and dad were in the midst of what was to be their final visit to Texas. That is mom and dad, above, posing in their cowboy hats in front of the former World's Most Unique McDonald's.

I say former, because that which made this McDonald's unique no longer exists. I knew something had been changed with it due to previous feedback. Somehow I just thought that this McDonald's had closed, to be demolished for some new project, or road expansion. I did not know the actual facts of the matter.

And then this week I got the following letter, from McDonald's....

Hello. I work for the McDonald's Franchise that owns the McDonald's on Montfort and LBJ in Dallas. The "world's largest Happy Meal." This location was remodeled years ago, years before we purchased it.

While we do love the attention, some of your readers make a long drive to see this huge Happy Meal, only to be disappointed...then they get angry....then they complain. I've had several customer book birthday parties here, only to be disappointed when they arrive to see it is now a regular McDonald's.

Please consider updating this story. Thank You Kindly,

Arch Fellow, McDonald's
Community Ambassador


Arch Fellow? That sounds like something sinister.

So, I altered that webpage, including the letter from the Arch Fellow. And let me say, it was not easy to alter. It has been several years since I have done any HTMLing. And with that webpage, as with most of my others, the HTLMing was done on my old laptop, using the long dead Microsoft web editor called Front Page.

Trying to edit that webpage in a simple text editor wreaked all sorts of havoc, but eventually I managed it.

I wonder what was the reason behind altering the former unique McDonald's into being just a regular McDonald's?


Friday, November 22, 2019

Hank Frank's First Haircut With Uncle Lottsie & Krispy Kreme

Last night Hank Frank's grandpa, he being my little brother, Jake, texted me the photo you see here.

With the text in the message saying...

"Henry's first haircut. I don't remember mine. Do you remember yours?"

To which I replied...

"I do remember my first haircut. The year was 1954. The town was Eugene. The state was Oregon. And the barber was uncle Lottsie. And I cried like a baby."

To which my little brother replied...

"Your memory is awesomely amazing. I only remember dad taking you and me to the midway barbershop on old 99 between Burlington and Mount Vernon."

I remember not liking getting haircuts at that place between Burlington and Mount Vernon. I believe that is near where Costco is now.

So strange, little Burlington, population back then around 4,000, population now around 9,000, now has a Costco, along with multiple other big box stores. And a huge mall, which I think now has joined the trend of malls closing. Burlington even has a Krispy Kreme. And an Outlet Center, and a car selling complex called I-5 Auto World.

And multiple grocery stores. In little Burlington.

No wonder I was amazed when I discovered little Fort Worth did not have even a single grocery store anywhere near its downtown when my eyes first looked at that location. Let alone, at that point in time, the town not having a Costco. Or even a modern mall built in recent times.

I do not know if Krispy Kreme succeeded opening in Burlington.

I remember soon after arriving in Texas the first Krispy Kreme opening in the D/FW zone, in Arlington, if I remember right. To BIG hoopla with long lines. I had never heard of Krispy Kreme before that. So, years later, when I read Krispy Kreme was moving into Washington, including Burlington, I wondered if it would go over, what with most of the locals likely never having heard of Krispy Kreme.

Regarding uncle Lottsie giving me my first haircut. I do not actually remember that. But I suspect such was the case. Uncle Lottsie was my dad's dad's brother. His actual name was Otto. Otto was married to Pernella. We called them Lottsie and Pernie. I do not know if that was what everyone called them, or just us kids.

I remember in 1968, on the way to California and Disneyland, spending the night at Lottsie and Pernie's. Robert F. Kennedy had been in Oregon campaigning for the presidential primary. Uncle Lottsie was taken to RFK's hotel room to give him a haircut. He saved some locks. Had them in an envelope. Sounds weird now, but as kids we were impressed seeing this. Trying to recollect this now I am thinking this must have been post assassination, because we would have been on our way to Disneyland in late June.

My memory is not as amazingly awesome as my little brother thinks it is...

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Jason & Cindy & Tina Solve Paris Love Locks Melon Mysteries

A couple days ago I blogged about Wichita Bluff Nature Area Mysterious Oddities, with those mysterious oddities being some unexplained locks and melons.

We now have been provided, from multiple sources, solutions to these two mysteries. A comment from someone named Anonymous solved the melon mystery with a link to a Wikipedia article...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wichita Bluff Nature Area Mysterious Oddities":

It's a gourd called Cucurbita foetidissima. Good for throwing at your sister when playing in the field.

The first paragraph of the Wikipedia article about this Cucurbita melon...

Cucurbita foetidissima is a tuberous xerophytic plant found in the central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It has numerous common names, including: buffalo gourd, calabazilla, chilicote, coyote gourd, fetid gourd, fetid wild pumpkin,[1] Missouri gourd,[1] prairie gourd, stinking gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin. The type specimen was collected from Mexico by Humboldt and Bonpland sometime before 1817.

As for the mystery of those locks.

 It was a comment from Miss Tina, on Facebook, which first provided a solution to the lock mystery.

And then this morning a photo collage from my FNJ (Favorite Nephew Jason) and my Favorite Ex-Sister-In-Law, (FESILL Cindy also solving the mystery with a photo of Jason and Cindy in Paris, along with a link to a CNN article about the Pont de Arts bridge in Paris, which is what you see Jason and Cindy standing on in that photo collage at the top..

The comments on Facebook which first shed a light on this lock mystery...

Miss Tina: Perhaps Wichita Fallians have aspirations of their own Pont des Arts. I think you've written before of Texans' fondness of being the [whatever] of Texas. So, they want to be the Paris of Texas? You know, the Paris, France of Texas, not the Paris, Texas of Texas.

Durango Jones: Miss Tina, I had hoped you would come through, per usual, and you did not disappoint. I vaguely remembered locks or something on a bridge or wall, but I could remember was the gum wall in Seattle's Pike Place, which I have never seen, cuz it has become a thing since I was last wandering around that location. I think I have an old lock around this place somewhere, so I can try and contribute to Wichita Falls becoming the Paris of Texas...

Miss Tina: Paris removed the locks in 2015 because the weight of them was hazardous to the bridge. However, I can see that WF has a long way to go before that would happen. Be sure to put a love note (to Texas ... hahah!) on your lock.

So, there you go, two mysteries solved.

This was going to be a much longer blog post due to an additional subject regarding McDonald's Happy Meals, but I ran into a complication with McDonald's requiting the need to solve a problem.

I do not enjoy solving Happy Meal problems...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Wichita Bluff Nature Area Mysterious Oddities

Bike wheel rolling the Circle Trail hills in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area has become my new favorite endorphin inducing aerobic activity.

On my most recent wheel rolling at that location I came upon two mysterious oddities.

The first mysterious oddity is the locks you see locked to a railing.

To find this oddity access the Wichita Bluff Nature Area from the western entrance, go down the first hill, then up the second hill til you come to the first spur off the trail. This is on the left side. At the end of that spur you come to a junction. Take the left junction and you will see that which you see above.

Why would people leave combination locks and padlocks at this location? My imagination is not sufficiently developed to enable the conjuring of an explanation.

And then at the other end of the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, well, out of the area to be precise, I came up the second oddity.

Soon after one exits the Nature Area, passing under the eastern entry to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area sign, coming from the west, one comes to a long, curved downhill. At the end of that downhill glide the Circle Trail runs next to the Wichita River.

Eventually the trail comes to another incline. Near that point the trail crosses a big drainage ditch. On the east side of that ditch, between the trail and the river I saw that which you see below.

Greenish round balls, in size bigger than ping pong balls, smaller than tennis balls. Laying on the ground, connected by a network of vines.

Above we are looking at a close up look at one of the "balls".

It looks like a small round watermelon. This leads to the assumption that this is some sort of melon patch. Did someone spit out a seed which then went viral?

Perhaps a local horticulture lock expert can identify the above oddities...

Monday, November 18, 2019

Retired Army Corps Executive Replaces J.D. Granger Leading Panther Island Boondoggle

I first saw that which you see here on Facebook, with the Facebooker commenting "Will the absurdity never end?"

For a day or two I avoided reading about the latest absurdity of that which has come to be known, far and wide, as America's Dumbest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle.

As the years of this century amble on, along with this Boondoggle, I lose track of the timeline. Suffice to say in the past year or so, multiple entities have become fed up with Fort Worth's biggest mess.

And so it was decided to spend about a half million bucks to have someone analyze what has caused this mess and how to fix it.

That analysis was released a few months ago to almost universal eye rolling and contemptuous disgust, due to the obvious erroneous nature of much which the analyzer concluded.

But, out of that waste of money one conclusion was acted on. J.D. Granger was fired as Executive Director of the Trinity River Vision Authority.

And then transferred to another job in the TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District) at the same $200 thousand annual salary, with his job now being to oversee flood control efforts. Since there has been no flooding in the area in question for well over half a century it must have been assumed that this was something Granger could not muck up. And keeping him on the payroll might still motivate his mother to attempt to secure federal funding for Fort Worth's pitiful imaginary flood control and economic development scheme.

Here's the part of the FW Business Press article in which we learn about J.D.'s new phony job...

As part of the re-organization, the position of TRVA executive director was eliminated and J.D. Granger, who held that position at a salary of more than $200,000 annually, was shifted into the ranks of the TRWD in a role focused on flood-control. His salary has reportedly been unaffected.

But, someone was needed to take over the job which J.D. Granger had failed at. Hence the subject of that aforementioned Facebook post and its link to the Fort Worth Business Press Former Army Corps executive named new Panther Island leader article about J.D.'s replacement.

This article contains no details about how the J.D. Granger replacement, a retired Army Corps of Engineers executive, named Mark Mazzanti, was selected and vetted. Was a more stringent investigation into the replacement's record conducted than that which resulted in hiring the un-qualified to oversee anything, J.D. Granger?

Let's look at a couple paragraphs in a recent article in another publication in which the hiring of J.D. Granger is mentioned. The article is titled Commentary: Panther Island and the Tarrant Regional Water Discombobulation (TRWD) and the author is former Fort Worth city councilman, Clyde Picht, who details the absurdity of the hiring of J.D. Granger...

To add insult to injury, TRWD General Manager Jim Oliver picked a lawyer to oversee this project. This lawyer was reportedly from a fourth-tier law school and, at the time, worked for the Tarrant County district attorney.

You should be aware that the general description of a fourth-tier law school is one with lower entrance requirements, but apparently, they also teach economic development and flood control subjects.

This new, highly paid manager, who has since declared that everything is on cost and on schedule, was J.D. Granger, coincidentally the son of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX); a recent programmatic review from a third-party organization found the opposite to be true.

We have long known that it was TRWD General Manger Jim Oliver's fault that J.D. Granger was hired. And now that J.D. Granger has been fired, why does Jim Oliver still have his job after so many years of so many various scandals of various sorts?

And, again, what was the process by which this new guy was hired to replace Granger? Let's take a look at what we learn about him from the FW Business Press article...

He recently retired as director of programs for the Dallas-based Southwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, covering Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. He managed inter-agency work on more than $6 billion in programs and led efforts for Congressional appropriation of more than $5 billion in disaster funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

His previous special positions include serving at Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he prepared the budget for the agency’s Civil Works Program and in a management role for the Corps in Baghdad and Iraq, where he managed more than 3,000 projects worth about $10 billion for infrastructure development.

Okay, did the TRWD people do a better job of vetting this guy's qualifications than they did with J.D. Granger? What was the process by which Mazzanti was selected? Were there other candidates? Was there looking into this Mazzanti guy's performance on these multi-billion dollar projects for which it is claimed he managed various aspects of various projects?

It would seem sensible that one can not help but wonder why a retired guy would come out of retirement to oversee an un-funded, stalled project which has been boondoggling along for most of this century.

Well, there is that $25,000 a month, which could be quite enticing.

And one can not help but wonder where this additional salary money is coming from, you know, what with the project being short of funds. Well, the article answers that question with...

TRWD General Manager Jim Oliver said Mazzanti’s will be paid from funds the TRWD received from the 2019 TIF disbursement as debt repayment.

With inadequate funding how does Mr. Mazzanti plan on getting this Boondoggle out of Boondoggle mode?

Will Mr. Mazzanti ask, you know, due to those vast previous management experiences, why, if the Trinity River Vision is a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme, why was it not put to a vote of the people asking voters to support paying for the project, such as what happens in towns wearing their big city pants?

A billion bucks for a public works project in a big American city is not a huge price tag for something worthwhile. Multiple big American cities have gone to their voters for approval of projects which dwarf Fort Worth's relative puny project.

Why should the more prosperous parts of America pay for Fort Worth's Boondoggle is a question it would seem any reasonable person would ask.

Will Mr. Mazzanti be appalled at the reality that this project has been long stalled in slow motion due to the lack of funding, because the locals are expecting federal welfare to pay for their imaginary flood control scheme, where there has been no flooding, and which is really all about the economic development part of the ongoing scam?

Like that Facebook poster asked above, will this absurdity never end?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

New High Hoodoo Rises In Wichita Bluff Nature Area

On this mighty fine third Saturday of the 2019 version of November I returned again to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to do some high speed hilly bike riding on the Circle Trail.

The hill climbing on the Wichita Bluff Nature Area of the Circle Trail is pretty much the only location I have found in the Wichita Falls zone where one can get themselves some good aerobic stimulation in anticipation of a Spring return to Moab to do some real mountain biking on real mountain bike trails.

A couple weeks ago I photo documented a trio of hoodoos which had been erected in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

On the next visit to the hoodoo trio the precarious hoodoo in the middle of the trio had crashed to the ground, either by the whimsy of Mother Nature, or some passing hiker's swift kick.

Evidence seemed to indicate it was a hiker's swift kick which had dismantled that hoodoo, due to the way the rocks of the hoodoo were scattered about in a way which did not appear to be what would happen due to a hoodoo destroying gust of wind.

And now today I was pleased to see the rocks in the hoodoo zone have been reconfigured into a solo hoodoo of a height I have seldom seen for this type construction. Which is what you see photo documented above.

Speaking of bizarre constructions. I have some blogging fodder about that ridiculous construction in Fort Worth which has been dawdling along in Boondoggle mode for most of this century.

But, I somehow find myself not caring enough to bother making mention of the latest absurdity. Maybe I will muster motivation enough to make mention of the latest.

It is amusing to see the blog stats after mention is made of Fort Worth's ongoing Boondoggle embarrassment.

Multiple hits from Washington, D.C., I assume due to the link being shared by those being asked to send Fort Worth federal welfare for its debacle...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wichita Bluff Nature Area With No Amber Waves Of Blueberry Mountains

At my current location on the planet there is no purple mountain majesty no matter which direction one looks and no matter how powerful a telescoping viewing device one might use.

But, there may be some amber waves of grain waving somewhere closer than the nearest mountains, though I have not personally eye witnessed any wheat or oats or rye growing any where near my current location..

And those are not amber waves of grain you see waving here. Those are tall, as in maybe 12 feet tall, or taller, waves of, (I think the name is) cat-o-ninc tails, rendered brown by the recent deep freeze of recent days.

I saw that this jungle of foliage was no longer green today when I returned to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area of the Circle Trail so as to enjoy some chilly pseudo hill hiking.

A few hundred feet to the west of those wannabe amber waves of grain I came upon that which you see above. An evergreen tree of some variety not familiar to me, blooming what looked to me like blueberries. This definitely is not a blueberry bush. And this did not seem to be a juniper tree with the "berries" smelling like something that would come out of a bottle of Dutch gin.

Today I hiked as far as the point you see above, an overlook looking over the Wichita River. As you can see the dominant color is no longer green. The deep freeze has wreaked havoc with the color scheme.

The next time the outer world temperature moderates I am thinking a drive north to Oklahoma to Medicine Park and the Wichita Mountains Wilderness zone might be scheduled. I do not know if these mountains are of the sort I think of when I see that "mountain" word, but it sounds fun to find out...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Arctic Blast Has Not Covered Mount Wichita With Snow While Seahawks Beat 49ers


This is not Mount Wichita you see here, covered in snow from the Arctic Blast which has sent the temperature way closer to single digits than triple digits in need of air conditioning.

My interior world warmth producing device has been getting its toughest workout in a long long time the past 24 hours.

While that which you see here is almost a dead ringer for my neighborhood artificial mountain what this actually is is a real mountain, which is also a volcano.

Last night after watching the Seattle Seahawks win another football game I saw this mountain on Facebook via Seattle's KOMO TV.

Which would make this Mount Rainier.

I have wondered a time or two since I have been in this mountain/volcano free part of the planet what a person who grows up mountain-less thinks the first time a mountain is seen, or a range of mountains.

In a flat part of the planet, such as where I am currently, the sky looks big, the horizon way in the distance. A mountain range, when one is close to it, shrinks the sky, and the horizon is not way in the distance.

I sort of miss mountains, and big forests of evergreen trees.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bass Plan To Increase Fort Worth Global Influence With Granger Grifter Gang Soap Opera

What you see here showed up on the November 10, 2019 front page of the online version of the Sunday Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Apparently Fort Worth's Bass's are forming some sort of team with some sort of fellowship program and this is going to lead to an increase in Fort Worth's already totally formidable global influence.

Soon we can expect even more national and international corporations to join Radio Shack and Pier One Imports in locating their headquarters in downtown Fort Worth, what with that coming increase to Fort Worth's global influence.

Is the Fort Worth Bass family related to the famous Sam Bass gang of stage coach robbers? I've never been able to get a clear answer to that question. I do know the exquisite good taste of the Bass family has left an indelible mark on Fort Worth, architecturally and otherwise.

And now Fort Worth is going to be able to thank the Bass family for an upcoming increase to Fort Worth's global influence.

I don't know if another rumor I have heard about Fort Worth is reality based, or Trump type fake news. That being that Lorimar Productions is looking to once again have success with a prime time soap opera of the sort which brought Dallas world wide recognition in the last century.

It is easy to imagine a prime time soap opera based in Fort Worth, with the opening credits zooming in towards the Fort Worth skyline, making that skyline known world-wide, like the opening credits of Dallas did for Dallas, zooming in over I-30 from the west, heading toward Reunion Tower and the impressive Dallas skyline.

The below is an artist's rendering of what that zooming in on the Fort Worth skyline scene of the opening credits will look like for the new prime time Fort Worth soap opera.

Unlike the Dallas opening credits zooming over I-30, it looks like the Fort Worth opening credits will be zooming over the West 7th Street Bridge.

Soon this view will be known worldwide, should Fort Worth become a hit, greatly amping up Fort Worth's global influence.

The Dallas soap opera was all about oil and the Ewing family. Will the Fort Worth soap opera be about fracking and the Bass family?

Or will the Fort Worth soap opera be more of a Falcon Crest type soap with a domineering mother ruling the roost?

Instead of Miss Ellie (or Angela Channing) will the Fort Worth soap opera matriarch be based on Fort Worth's Kay Granger? Will the Granger Grifter Gang be the plot inspiration for Fort Worth, the soap opera? Instead of Miss Ellie and J.R., will we have Miss Kay and J.D.?

Will the plot of the Fort Worth soap opera be the ongoing tale of one family's Fort Worth shenanigans, wreaking havoc with their trailer park aesthetics in their ongoing nefarious plots to make a buck off Fort Worth's yokels?

Will there be a plot line about a bizarre imaginary flood control project with J.D. in charge of building bridges over dry land, while having thousands of bucks funneled to his bank account, whilst season after season after season nothing much gets done and the ongoing debacle of J.D. trying to build bridges over dry land becomes the Fort Worth TV show's ongoing joke, til the show gets cancelled after running for a decade or two?

Well, I know I'll be watching. I already feel like I have been watching the Fort Worth soap opera for a couple decades...

Wichita Falls Mysterious Seymour Highway Ruins

This second Sunday of the 2019 version of November is being yet one more perfect weather day at my North Texas location.

Tomorrow weather perfection is scheduled to come to an end with an Arctic Blast arriving with a chill well below freezing.

And so, today, whilst the outer world remains pleasant, I took myself back to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to join the throngs getting themselves some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

Actually, I only saw five or six other humans, and only one of them was in aerobic stimulation mode.

I suppose you may be wondering what that photo above is documenting. What you see there has long made me wonder what it was whilst driving by on the Seymour Highway on the way to the west end Wichita Bluff Nature Area parking lot.

Does any Wichitan know what this massive abandoned cement structure was used for? It looks like the remains of a fort.

Regarding my use of that Wichitan word.

This is how natives of Wichita Falls refer to themselves. I learned this soon after my arrival when I made the mistake of referring to the natives as Wichita Fallsers. Severe umbrage was taken by a few who chose to verbalize their umbrage. I tried to defend myself, saying I thought Wichita Fallser made more sense than Wichita Fallsian or Wichita Fallsperson.

Dropping the Falls and turning Wichita into Wichitan did not occur to me as an option.

I was told that it is the same as residents of Niagara Falls, who the umbrage takers claimed refer to themselves as Niagarans, not as Niagara Fallsers, or Niagara Fallsians. I had no way to confirm that those who live in the town of Niagara Falls refer to themselves as Niagarans.

Anyway, any Wichitan, or other aficionado of Texas history, know what these cement remains are?

Friday, November 8, 2019

Tacoma Could Show Fort Worth How To Build A Bridge Over Water

I saw that which you see here yesterday on Facebook via a post by Mildred's paternal parental unit.

With the post being the story of the fall and rise of a bridge in my old home state of Washington, known as the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Later in the day, yesterday, Spencer Jack's paternal parental unit text messaged me asking me "Did you hear that the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed today?

To which I replied "Yeah. About 80 years ago. Or was it 79??"

To which my Favorite Nephew Jason replied "You are too smart to be easily tricked. No wind today to knock down a bridge. In fact it has been sunny and gorgeous her for nearly two weeks now. I think Seattle is setting an all time record for lack of rain this time of year. My mother just informed me that she is cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I am welcome to bring a guest. Will you be able to join us in Big Lake? I think dinner should be around 3 or 4 pm..."

To which I replied "I have booked a flight, arriving 10:25 am, November 28, Gate D, Bellingham International Airport. Please ask Spencer Jack if he can pick me up and drive me to his grandma's."

And now back to that post from Mildred's paternal parental unit. The entire text which accompanied the photo of Gertie Galloping...

On This Day in History: November 7, 1940.
The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Washington collapsed in a windstorm – only four months after its completion. Spanning the Puget South from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, the bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. At the time it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world, covering 5,959 feet. Its design was its downfall as it was designed to be the most flexible ever built. This flexibility was experienced by the builders and workmen during construction, which led some of the workers to christen the bridge "Galloping Gertie." The engineers, however, did not take into consideration the aerodynamic forces during a period of strong winds. On this day in 1940, high winds caused the bridge to sway considerably. A little after 11 a.m., the bridge broke free of its restraints and was tossed back and forth before it finally collapsed. The only casualty was Tubby, a black cocker spaniel, who was too scared to come out of Leonard Coatsworth’s stranded car. Coatsworth was the last person to drive on the bridge. Another person tried to rescue Tubby during a lull in the winds but the dog was too terrified and bit one of the rescuers. A replacement bridge opened on October 14, 1950, after two years of construction. It is 40 feet longer than the original and the fifth longest suspension bridge in the U.S. Today, the remains of the bridge are still at the bottom of Puget Sound and have formed one of the largest man-made reefs in the world.

Photo: The bridge’s roadway twisting and vibrating violently under 40 mile per hour winds the day it collapsed.

Now let us take a look at the local to Texas angle regarding the story of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge turning into Galloping Gertie.

The Tacoma Narrows is so named because it is a narrow, deep Puget Sound channel, with extremely strong tides. Cliffs are on both sides of the channel, hence the need to use the suspension bridge method to span the channel.

At the time it was completed, in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

After the original bridge failed its replacement took two years to complete.

Two years.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas. A town with no deep, fast moving water, or steep cliffs, three simple little bridges have been in construction mode since 2014, currently not scheduled to possibly be completed til sometime in the next decade.

Oh, I forgot to mention, these three simple little bridges are being built over dry land.

Dry land.

There will be no water under these bridges until the money and means can be found to dig a ditch under them, with Trinity River water then diverted into that ditch.

And those responsible for this Boondoggle have managed to get away with conning the locals into thinking these simple bridges are being built over dry land in order to save time and money, when there was no other option.There never was any other option, since there will/would never be water under the bridges until/unless the Trinity River is diverted into the ditch.

Those responsible for this Boondoggle have also managed to try and con the locals into believing that these three simple bridges are complex feats of engineering, hence all the delays.

Complex feats of engineering?

The three little bridges look like freeway overpasses.

Structural engineers have raised multiple design issues, hence the slow motion bridge construction. The ridiculous V-piers are problematic. Some think the bridge foundations are unstable. Others think if the ditch is ever dug under the three completed bridges that multiple issues will arise compromising the structural integrity of the bridges.

And yet a little town in Washington, a fraction of the size of Fort Worth, somehow managed to build a suspension bridge over actual deep, fast moving water, in two years. And then, in this century, add another, even bigger suspension bridge, next to the original, also built in less than four years.

And people wonder why I refer to Fort Worth as a backwards backwater...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Missing Mom's Rainy Poetry Whilst Driving To ALDI

On my way to ALDI this morning I thought of my dear, late mother.

No, not due to usually calling mom on my way to some destination to ask if she wanted to ride along.

No. Today I thought of my dear, late mother on my way to ALDI due to remembering mom's penchant for reciting poetry.

Such as on a day like today mom would wax poetically saying "rain rain go away, come again another day."

In her later years mom did not develop a lot of fresh material and tended to repeat her oldies but goodies.

In the above rainy photo documentation we are driving south on Taft Boulevard with the MSU Fantasy of Lights ongoing installation on our right as we drive by. Due to the cold rain not much installing appeared to be going on today. There is still plenty of time to get Christmas up and running in time for its post-Thanksgiving debut.

Due to the ongoing inclement weather, and anticipating much worse with the coming winter, after ALDI I went to a shoe store and got myself a pair of winter weather ready shoes. In Washington these type shoes were known as waffle stompers. I do not know if that is what they are known as in the South.

What I do know is I am now ready to stomp waffles in deep snow...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Spencer Jack Prescribes Exercise For Texans

Incoming email from Spencer Jack and his paternal parental unit, FNJ, also known as my Favorite Nephew Jason.

Subject line in email: "Y'all need some exercise".

And then after that rude subject line all there was in the email is the graphic you see above listing the Top Five American States with the Highest % of Physically Inactive Adults, and then next to that listing the Five American States with the Lowest % of Physically Inactive Adults.

The Top Five Most Inactive States...

!. Kentucky, 2. Mississippi, 3. Texas, 4. Arkansas, 5. Oklahoma

The Top Five Most Active States...

1. Washington, 2. Colorado, 3. California, 4. Alaska, 5. Oregon.

Shocking, the least active states are all in the South, while the West Coast states are the most active.

With my old home state being the Most Active State in America. Whilst the American State I am currently sitting in, Texas, is the 3rd Most Inactive.

I would be prevaricating if I tried to pretend that I have not noticed way more slothfulness when I am in Texas than I notice when I am West of Texas, be it Colorado, Arizona, Utah, or any of the West Coast States.

I think I have mentioned previously the incident way back in 2004 when I returned to Washington after two years of only seeing Texans. I remember being in downtown Seattle, taken to a gallery in Pioneer Square ( a real square, unlike Fort Worth's imaginary Sundance Square) and when mention was made to the gallery owner that I had just flown in from Texas, and was visiting Washington for the first time in two years, the gallery owner asked something like has anything changed?

To which I said something like it is striking me that the people are looking like they have had the air let out of them.

This was before I learned that many Europeans refer to Americans as Balloon People. I assume Europeans make this reference after visiting a Southern American State, not a West Coast American State.

Big Ed is currently scheduled to return to the West Coast, and Washington, this coming summer for the first time since Christmas of 2002. I have warned him to be prepared for culture shock. Such as the HUGE increase in traffic along I-5. The homeless camps in Seattle. And the greatly changed Seattle skyline, with things like Amazon, along with a Great Wheel on the waterfront, multiple giant cruise ships. Along with way less litter, the world looking new, less shabby, and the air smelling like Christmas trees, at times.

When you've spent almost two decades in the part of America which sort of plods along in slow motion, it is a bit jarring to adjust to the more accelerated pace one finds in modern America. I just remembered, Big Ed has been back to modern America one time since 2002, with last October's visit to Arizona, where he was impressed to once again see competent urban planning, streets with sidewalks, and city parks with zero outhouses.

And way fewer ultra plump people...

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Biking With Horizontal Horses Before Turkey Taco Thanksgiving

When one lives in what used to be one of the locations of the wild, wild west one never knows what historical remnant one might come upon whilst rolling ones bike's wheels around and about.

Today my handlebars came upon the scene you see here.

A pair of exhausted horses laying down, unhitched from their wagon, with no humans anywhere to be seen.

In a few weeks, likely the weekend following Thanksgiving, this pair of horses will be back vertical, hitched to the wagon, with the wagon's wheels mysteriously turning with a buckboard driver holding the reigns attached to the horses.

A day or two ago I made mention of the fact that the annual Fantasy of Lights were already being installed at their regular MSU (Midwestern State University) location.

After I made mention of this early arrival of the Christmas season, local historian, Miss Wood, informed us that this is the norm, for the installation of the MSU Fantasy of Lights to begin well before the lights goes live after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of MSU.

Yesterday I found myself watching college football. The University of Washington Huskies being beat by the Utah Utes was one of the games I watched.

Whilst that game was going on I saw another football game being broadcast by one of the non-major broadcasters. This was a football game broadcast in the primitive pre-HD TV style. That game was the aforementioned MSU, being soundly beaten by something called Tarketon.

Later Saturday, Saturday evening to be precise, I watched the Oregon Ducks soundly beat the USC Trojans. The Ducks play for the University of Oregon. The University of Oregon is located in Eugene. I was born in Eugene. I did not realize til watching that game last night that the Oregon Ducks were headquartered in Eugene.

This sort of indicates how much attention I usually pay to football; college, high school or professional.

I don't even know if my old high school still plays football. I can't remember the last time I read a fuss being made regarding my old high school doing well in football playoffs. The last time I do remember that happening was way back in the last century when my old high school somehow made it to a championship game being played in the now long gone Kingdome in Seattle. I do not remember if my old high school won or lost that championship game. I think I remember watching it in person.

Speaking of Thanksgiving.

This year I am not gonna roast a turkey. Instead I am having a Tequila Turkey Taco Thanksgiving Thursday Party. I am currently taking reservations. There is limited seating available...

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bluff Biking Almost Crystal Clear Wichita River

This post Halloween first Saturday of the 2019 version of November is another clear blue sky semi-warm day at my location nowhere near being deep in the heart of Texas.

Of late, well, the past couple weeks, I have been enjoying actual hilly bike riding via rolling on the Wichita Bluff Nature Area section of the Circle Trail.

Which is what I did today.

After a mile, give or take a foot or two, I stopped the bike at one of the side trails and aimed the handlebars at a house I have noticed ever since I first rolled in this location.

From a distance this house reminds me of my old home in Mount Vernon. A couple years ago I tried to get up close using motorized means, but could not figure out what road would take me there.

So, a zoomed close up is the best I can do.

It is the flat roof and multiple levels, and light brown color which reminds me of Mount Vernon. Though, zoomed up close it sort of looks like a prison facility. Which I know it is not.

At the east end of the Wichita Bluff Nature Area the Circle Trail makes a long looping descent til it gets to river level, and then runs along side the Wichita River til the current trail end under the Loop 13 bridge over the river.

Today the Wichita River looked way different than I had ever seen it look previously.

As in instead of being the usual cool shade of reddish mud, which always reminds me of Utah redrock, today the Wichita River looks like a Western Washington river running clear clean water which might have only been recently thawed from its high mountain origin. Which definitely could not be the case here, what with no mountains for hundreds of miles, let alone snowpacks to melt.

The water was being so clear today, if there were fish swimming nearby, I should have been able to see them. I suspect if I had lingered more than a minute I would have seen a fish or two.

Changing the subject from clear river water to something else.

A few days ago I made mention of a Smoky Visit With The Retired Elsie Hotpepper.

At the time when I made mention of that smoky visit it did not occur to me that there were some who did not know there is more than one DFW individual known as Elsie Hotpepper. There is Elsie Hotpepper, the Younger, she being the Hotpepper we are more familiar with, and then there is Elsie Hotpepper, the Elder, the grandmother of Elsie Hotpepper, the Younger.

I probably should try and make these type distinctions clearer in the future...

Friday, November 1, 2019

Wichita Falls Light Fantasy Cranking Up The Holiday Scrooge

A couple days before yesterday's Halloween I was surprised whilst driving Taft Boulevard to see that Christmas was already arriving on the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus.

At that point in time, a couple days ago, my location in Texas was in the throes of what was seeming like a stereotypical Western Washington winter day.

Cold, totally overcast gray sky, dripping all day long. With fog.

And then on the third day, Halloween, the fog lifted, with the return of a totally blue sky. With the temperature below freezing.

Today, with the temperature a bit above freezing I layered on layers of outerwear and rolled my handlebars to the MSU campus, where me and my handlebars stropped to take the festive holiday photos you see here.

If I remember right when this holiday extravaganza opens it is called "The Fantasy of Lights". I may be remembering that wrong.

It will be several more days before this fantasy lights up, as there are still a lot of installations not yet in place, and wired.

Every year which I have observed this particular holiday display there have been multiple new elements. So far, and it is early, I made note of nothing new.

And I gotta say. I am really not in the mood for this holiday season thing to start up. I am currently feeling more Scroogy than I usually do, and that is with a high level of Ebeneezer being my norm...