Saturday, February 29, 2020

Mr. Spiffy Discovers Another JD Construction Failure

I saw that which you see above, yesterday, on Facebook, via the dapper man known as Mr. Spiffy.

Mr. Spiffy's explanatory text about that which you see above...

Abandoned and partially finished public works projects (like Panther Island in Fort Worth) is nothing new. Here ancient Egyptians left an unfinished giant obelisk when Nefertiti's son, JD Nefertiti, formerly an assistant scribe, was tasked with raising the enormous monument. After spending all the money on giant parties where everyone floated in the filthy Nile, they abandoned the project after they ran out of gold and honey.

I read what Mr. Spiffy wrote and commented that "I wish I was blessed with operating at your level of creative imagination..."

I wonder if JD Nefertiti was fired when he was unable to erect that obelisk, along with wasting all that money hosting giant parties on the polluted Nile.

I suspect the ancient Egyptians were not as forgiving of incompetent failures as is the case in not so ancient Fort Worth...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Jason & Spencer Jack Take Me Back In Time To 1876

Email yesterday from my favorite Jason nephew, subject line...

"Relatively Speaking: Howdy FUD".

If I remember correctly I have previously explained the letters "FUD" are the initials of Favorite Uncle D.

The relative Jason was speaking of was his Great Great Grandpa Sundean, the father of my mother's mother, Jason's Great Grandma Vera.

Jason and Spencer Jack have been doing some relative infosearching via something called, on which they found the info Jason emailed me about my Great Grandpa Sundean.

I am a lot more knowledgeable about the Dutch side of my ancestry. My dad was 100% Dutch. I am 50% Dutch. I knew I was 25% English and 25% Swedish, from my mother's contribution to my ancestry.

But, I did not know it was via Grandma Vera and my Great Grandpa that I got my 25% Swedish-ness, until this Ancestry info arrived via Jason and Spencer Jack.

Til reading what Jason emailed me I also did not know that Great Grandpa Sundean's wife was named Hattie Swanson, and that she died a year after I was born, hence me having no memory of a Great Grandma on my mom's side.

I do remember Great Grandma Tillie on my dad's Dutch side. Great Grandma Tillie taught us Dutch words and knitted all sorts of things for me and my siblings.

After I asked Jason where he found the info about Great Grandpa Sundean he gave me the Ancestry. com log-in info.

So, I logged in and found the photo you see above. I was instantly struck by the fact that the guy on the left looks just like Grandma Vera's youngest brother, who I knew as Uncle Pete, but whose actual name was Woodrow, which I did not know.

But, that is not Uncle Pete on the left above. That is Uncle Pete and Grandma Vera's brother Fred, with Grandpa Sundean in the middle, and brother Harold on the right. I have no recollection of ever meeting Uncles Fred and Harold.

Til reading this info from Jason I did not know that Grandpa Sundean, whose full name I also did not know, Andrew E. Sundean, was born November 20, 1876, the same year Custer had his last stand.

Grandpa Sundean left his mom and dad behind in Sweden when he was 18, eventually ending up, like all my ancestors, at the far northwest part of America. I do not know if he ever returned to visit Sweden and his mom and dad.

Til Jason reminded me, I had forgotten how interesting I find this family history type info. I went through a bout of learning all about my Dutch side, way back in 2001. That led to a huge family reunion happening at the Lynden fairgrounds on July 27, 2002.

After that reunion I sort of lost my interest in family history...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Spring Green Wichita Falls Wee Chi Ta Mountain Bike Trail

A morning walk on a trail on which I had not previously walked reveals a change is in the air.

Well, more precisely, a change is on the ground.

Spring seems to be sprouting green, a few weeks ahead of Spring's actual Vernal Equinox arrival.

The green you see here is on both sides of Wichita Falls', one and only, actual mountain bike trail.

Again, more precisely, a trail designed for mountain bikes. There are no actual mountains anywhere in the vicinity.

The Wichita Falls mountain bike trail is known at the Wee Chi Ta Mountain Bike Trail.

This is a well regarded mountain bike trail about which one can find a lot of info via Googling the name, including that which you find via clicking the above link.

A short description blurb from another website...

This is an approximately 12-mile singletrack with many man-made obstacles, short, punchy climbs, and switchbacks.

I did not ride my bike on the trail. I was in hiking mode, communing with nature in Lucy Park, crossed the suspension bridge across the Wichita River. Then followed a sign north directing me to the continuation of the mountain bike trail at the entry to the RV park, which is what one comes to when one crosses the suspension bridge from Lucy Park to the other side.

A couple years ago I had walked the mountain bike trail south from this location, into a section called Alligator Alley. Walking Alligator Alley did not look like an appealing location to roll my bike wheels.

However, crossing the suspension bridge and heading north gave me an entirely different outlook on the Wee Chi Ta Mountain Bike Trail.

I walked on the Wee Chi Ta trail as far at the Texas State Information Center. I had not realized til doing so that this is a one way trail, making, I assume a 12 mile loop. Following the one way direction sign directing pedestrians, that trail ran right next to the river, at times right at river's edge, with a bit of a drop off.

In some locations the two trails are almost parallel.

I reached the Information Center, needed no information, and then took the return trail back to the suspension bridge access to Lucy Park.

I could see the Wee Chi Ta trail is in extremely good shape. Over the years I have looked across the river to see riders on this trail. But not too many. I suspect I had looked at what is not the optimum time for mountain bikers.

Next time I go to Lucy Park I think I will bring my bike and helmet and do some pseudo mountain bike riding. It looks fun, though a bit challenging.

It has been a few years since I have rolled on an actual mountain bike trail...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Cowboy Hank Frank's First Howdy To Uncle Durango

Two videos arrived on my phone Sunday night.

I YouTubed both videos, one of which you can watch below.

Both videos feature the youngest member of the Jones family, Henry Francis, better known as Hank Frank.

Hank Frank's grandpa is my little brother, Jake.

The first of the two videos was aimed at grandpa Jake, with Hank Frank taking a break from eating an apple to wave and say hi to his grandpa, who is currently in recovery from surgery mode, in Arizona, with Aunt Jackie being his primary caregiver.

Last week Aunt Jackie returned to Arizona from her first trip to Washington in several years. During her Pacific Northwest visit Aunt Jackie did not make it as far north as our old home zone of the Skagit Valley, which is where Hank Frank and his cousin, Spencer Jack live.

So, Aunt Jackie did not get to meet Hank Frank for the first time.

I suspect Aunt Jackie's first meeting with Hank Frank will likely take place the same time as mine, as in this coming Summer.

I wonder if we will get to go to Spencer Jack's Fidalgo Drive-In in Anacortes.

I understand Spencer Jack makes excellent blackberry milkshakes and fish and chips.

Hank Frank eating an apple from his orchard got me wondering if Linda Lou ever made her scheduled visit to Hank Frank's Fruit Stand.

I must remember to ask when next I talk to Linda Lou.

Hank Frank turned one year old this past September 26. Which would make Hank Frank about one year five months old, currently.

Via the video evidence Hank Frank appears to be steadily mobile and audible at his relatively young age.

In the below video Hank Frank puts on his full size cowboy hat and proceeds to say a hearty howdy to his Uncle Durango.

Just as I was typing the above sentence mentioning Hank Frank putting on his full size cowboy hat Hank Frank's dad texted asked me if I recognized the hat. I had not til asked, then looked at the above screen cap and realized this was the cowboy hat I gave Joey back in 2015 when I met him at McDonald's in Grapevine when Joey was in DFW doing something electrical for Expedia.

And now, that aforementioned video of Hank Frank in cowboy hat mode...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Photo Documentation Of J.D. Granger's First TRWD Job Interview

I am almost 100% certain this is not an actual photo and quote from the TRWD/TRVA (Tarrant Regional Water District/Trinity River Vision Authority) job interview with the notoriously disgraced and fired son of District 12 Congresswoman, Kay Granger, J.D.

Even though the above may not be an actual photo and quote I am 100% certain the sentiment expressed is accurate.

After a decade, give or take a year or two, J.D. Granger was fired from the job he got because of who his mother is, and the hope that this act of blatant nepotism would motivate his mother to secure federal pork barrel money from more prosperous parts of America in order to fund an imaginary flood control scheme linked to a corrupt economic development scheme designed to help line the pockets of Kay Granger, and her cronies, operating in what is known as the Fort Worth Way, but which is known in non-corrupt parts of America as corrupt machine politics.

Eventually, after years of mis-management and little to show for the millions of dollars wasted, and with public perception almost unanimously seeing this phony public works project as an embarrassing boondoggle, J.D. Granger was fired from his position as Executive Director.

And then given a new imaginary job, working for the TRWD on flood control, in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century, due to flood control constructions already in place.

And paid the same salary of well over $200,000 a year, plus perks and benefits, that J.D. has been paid during the years in which he helped create America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle.

After J.D. Granger was fired a replacement was hired, with a salary even higher than J.D.'s.

With that replacement being a retired Army Corps of Engineers executive named Mark Mazzanti.

We recently learned J.D.'s replacement seems to be just as inept as J.D.

We learned about Mark Mazzanti's stuttering ineffectiveness via his garbled articulation during an NBC 5 DFW TV interview.

This was blogged about in Fort Worth's Slow Motion Imaginary Island Project May Get Even Slower, with that blogging including a link to the NBC 5 DFW TV interview in which you can see for yourself how inept J.D.'s replacement is when questioned about the current status of America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle.

No one can possibly know if electing Lisa Welch to replace Kay Granger will end the mess which has become America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle, but one would think finally firing Kay, after so many years, would also lead to the firing of her son from the job from which he has so greatly profited and at which he has so greatly failed, due to, like J.D. said in that first job interview, "I don't know what I am doing"...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ruby Finds The Mountain Wearing A Pink Hat While I Commiserate

Incoming text message with a photo, last night.

Text in message..."The Mountain is wearing a pink hat tonight."

Since this text message was coming from Washington I knew the Mountain being referred to was Mount Rainier, since such is what Mount Rainier is referred in Washington, as simply the Mountain.

Even though there are four other volcano mountains in Washington, Rainier is the only one which can pretty much be seen from any location in the state, hence Mount Rainier representing Washington on the state license plate.

When I looked at the photo on my phone I could not make out the Mountain, or the pink hat it was alleged to be wearing.

But, I could see my one and only niece, Ruby, on Harstine Island, standing on the shore of Puget Sound, but I could see no Mountain

I have had this problem with previous photos sent from Harstine Island.

Previously, even after taking the photo off the phone, in order to view it via the big screen monitor, I still could not see the Mountain.

But, due to learning my lesson from those previous instances I knew I was only looking at the i-Phone photo at 27% size. Increasing the photo to 100%, suddenly the Mountain appears.

I then cropped out the part of the photo which clearly shows the Mountain wearing a pink hat, for your viewing pleasure below...

I have seen Mount Rainier wearing weirder things than this pink hat.

Mount Rainier has a long history of hosting weird things, like crystal gazing gurus, and UFOs, among other things, like strange cloud formations.

Just yesterday I was in ALDI, in Wichita Falls, which is in Texas, where there are no volcanoes, or any real mountain ranges, and the subject of Mount Rainier came up when I was checking out and the ALDI checkout lady, with whom I had previously conversed multiple times, asked me when I'm going to Arizona again, since mention had been made over the years of my frequent Arizona visits.

I replied that my next scheduled escape from Texas was going to Washington next summer.

Which Washington she asked.

The one with natural volcanoes I replied.

She then surprised me saying first that she had not traveled all that much, had hardly ever been out of flat Texas, but a couple months prior had flown northwest, to Washington, to visit friends in Seattle, who had a cabin at Packwood.

Packwood, by Mount Rainier I asked?

Yes, was the reply. She told me she had seen pictures of such places but being there in person was mesmerizing, that it was so peaceful, the scenery so beautiful.

I replied something along the line of that is true, it is scenic, but that you don't really fully appreciate it when you grow up living there, but I do now, when I return.

The ALDI lady then said something along the line of she would not mind moving to Washington.

To which I replied I like visiting, but I really can't picture moving back.

And then that same day I called to my Arizona sister, who when I called was at Sea-Tac waiting to board to return to Arizona after a multi-week visit to Washington for the first time in several years.

I don't remember how the subject got brought up, but I asked about either the mountains or the Mountain, to which my sister replied she saw no mountains during the visit, other than driving the pass over the Cascades, on the way to visit the Tacoma Trio, and others, after first spending a week in Eastern Washington visiting her in-laws.

Apparently Western Washington was in pretty much 100% cloud cover mode during my sister's entire visit.

I asked how well she adjusted to the temperature difference after so long not experiencing it, let alone experiencing it in Winter. To which my sister replied that she really could not see moving back and adjusting to the cloudy rainy days after getting used to the reliable sunshine of Arizona.

Ironically, the day after my sister returned to Arizona I read in the Seattle Times that Western Washington, the previous day, had had it first mostly clear day since way back in November.

I really am sort of conflicted about the idea of moving back to my old home zone.

There are so many things I would so greatly appreciate now. Like the scenery. How close one is to so many different things. Few miles to the west, saltwater, few miles to the east, mountains. Seafood. Digging clams, catching dungeness crab. Blackberries, free for the picking. All sorts of easily acquired produce.

Drive over the mountains to a more desert, Texas-like climate, both weather-wise, and political-wise. Where apples, peaches, apricots, grapes, nectarines and all sorts of other stuff I am forgetting, grow, cheap and easy to acquire. And of high quality.

Or drive a few miles north and cross the border to another country, a progressive liberal country successfully demonstrating, for poorly educated ignorant sorts, way south of the border, how democratic socialism actually works.

I miss going regularly to Canada. I think my last time north of the border was shortly before moving to Texas, nephew Jason took me there to ride the Skytrain from Burnaby, I think it was Burnaby, to Vancouver, and then the Seabus across the bay to West Vancouver.

Next summer I will be a couple miles from the border with Canada. I suspect I will not be crossing over....

Friday, February 21, 2020

Keeping Warm Coated With Lucy Park Duck Ponders

With the windy wind chill making the outer world at my location feel like the temperature was chilling below freezing there was no way I felt like layering on sufficient outerwear to make rolling my bike wheels a pleasant experience.

But, going on a walk seemed doable, yet still needing sufficient outerwear.

And so I wore a new coat which one of my favorite Washington ladies Amazoned to me a couple days before the most recent Christmas. This coat has two layers of zippers and other accouterments which totally block the intrusion of any cold wind, rain, or other annoyances.

Ironically, walking around Lucy Park today did not seem too cold. And I don't think the super coat had much to do with it. The fact that the wind had died down to dead calm likely helped.

Above, that photo you see is part of the Lucy Park Duck Pond.  This Duck Pond is the best Duck Pond I have ever seen. I think I have mentioned that before. That and the fact that I really have not seen all that many Duck Ponds.

That bridge you see above, crossing from the Wichita Falls mainland to Duck Island, looks totally innocuous.

But, instead of being innocuous, crossing that bridge makes one think it seems like it should be something inside a carnival funhouse.

We are less than a month away from the start of Spring.

I am ready to move on from the running the furnace time of the year to the running the air conditioner time of the year....

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Serious Problem With Stone Stacking Pebble Piling Gravel Gathering Hoodoos

I saw that which you see above on Facebook via a posting by Miss Mildred's paternal parental unit, who asked that which you see at the top...

 "Are you a stone picker? A pebble piler? A gravel gatherer? Yeah, it's fun, but it also can leave a mark".

I had zero idea that that which I have long referred to as "Hoodoos" was any sort of problem.

Years ago, back when I lived in the DFW zone of Texas, I regularly hiked the Tandy Hills, located a couple miles west of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

After a few years of hiking the Tandy Hills the phenomenon I took to referring to as being "Hoodoos" began to appear at multiple locations along the trails which traverse the hills.

In all those years I never saw anyone actually building one of the Hoodoos. Some of those rock pile structures were quite elaborate feats of engineering and balancing, and likely took a bit of time to construct.

And yet I never caught anyone in the act of piling rocks into a tower.

A few months ago I was surprised to see a Hoodoo alongside the Circle Trail in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. Since that Hoodoo first appeared it has gone through multiple iterations, with the most recent being a complex of six Hoodoos. I have only seen Hoodoos at that one location on the Circle Trail.

Above is that six Hoodoo formation mentioned in the previous paragraph. I really do not see how this particular Hoodoo iteration causes any sort of problem.

Seeing this post from Miss Mildred's paternal parental unit got me remembering the first time I came across Hoodoos. Years ago, with my favorite nephews, Christopher and Jeremy. We all lived in Washington at that point in time. Christopher and Jeremy now live in Arizona.

The above is a photo of that first Hoodoo encounter I mentioned in the previous paragraph. That is Jeremy on the left, Christopher on the right. That big mountain in the background is Mount Shuksan. To the right, in the direction Christopher is looking, is the Mount Baker volcano.

A line of Hoodoos is behind the boys.

I had no idea, til reading so on Facebook, that piling rocks in Hoodoo type formations was any sort of bad thing.

I suppose it all depends on the location of the rock piling.

Probably not so okay in any sort of actual scenic wonder, but probably totally okay in a location like the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, even though the Hoodoos there are not natural...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fort Worth's Slow Motion Imaginary Island Project May Get Even Slower

Email from the retired Elsie Hotpepper's granddaughter, Mrs. TB, told me to "Watch the Video, Priceless!"

Elsie Hotpepper granddaughter is not nearly as verbose as her grandma.

The email included a link to an NBC 5 news segment titled Fort Worth’s $1.2B Panther Island Project May ‘Take a Pause’ Amid Funding Questions.

Prior to hearing from Mrs. TB I had already heard about the Panther Island pause.

When I heard about the pause I wondered how anyone would notice, you know, what with the mess which has become known simply as the Boondoggle, has been ambling along in slow motion, with little to show for the effort, and millions spent, for most of this century.

Just the three bridges part of the Boondoggle, one of which NBC's Scott Gordon is pointing to, have been being built in ultra slow motion, virtual ongoing pause mode, since their construction began with a ridiculous TNT exploding ceremony, was back in 2014, with an even then astonishing four year project timeline.

A four year project timeline which has now been paused into some point later this decade. Or maybe the next decade.

Look at that bridge skeleton Scott Gordon is pointing to.

Built over dry land, supposedly to save money and construction time, when there never was any other option than to build the bridges over dry land, because there will be no water under the bridges until a cement ditch is dug under them with polluted Trinity River water diverted into the ditch.

In addition to the claim these bridges are being built over dry land to save time and money, the idiots who foisted this on Fort Worth, well, more specifically, to name a specific idiot, Kay Granger's son, J.D., has claimed these are "signature" bridges.

You know, a signature bridge, like the Golden Gate bridge, a bridge being an iconic symbol of a town. The sort of iconic signature structure many towns have which the rest of the word recognizes, such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, the Space Needle in Seattle. That type thing.

Looking at that photo of one of these Fort Worth imaginary "signature" bridges, is it not sort of difficult to conjure just how stupid a person has to be to think such a bridge would become iconic?

And yet J.D. Granger keeps getting paid by the Boondoggle overseers. Even though he was fired from his Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director job, and instead put in charge of the flood control part of the project. You know, where there has been no flooding for over half a century, due to flood control which already exists.

J.D. got fired, after overseeing a mess which has become a boondoggle, and yet he is still being paid his over $200K a year salary, along with perks and other benefits, such as also employing his most recent wife in another high paying job, though no longer working directly under her husband, well, not while at work, supposedly.

J.D. keeps milking the Boondoggle. His mother somehow keeps her job.

But, the upcoming expected Blue Wave Tsunami may finally put an end to Kay Granger's reign....

Monday, February 17, 2020

David, Theo & Ruby On Harstine Island With Deer & Aunt Jackie

Last night multiple photos of Aunt Jackie's visit to Harstine Island arrived via email.

Aunt Jackie's birthday was two days before Valentine's Day.

If I am remembering correctly, last summer I was told that my one and only niece, Ruby, had opted to take a summer school culinary class.

And then a couple months ago I was told that Ruby had told Aunt Jackie that if Aunt Jackie visited Washington during Aunt Jackie's birthday's time frame that Ruby would bake Aunt Jackie a birthday cake.

So, I am assuming that that is Ruby's birthday cake on which Aunt Jackie is trying to blow out the candles. Does each candle represent a decade? I do not know.  I do know for certain the candle blowing took place in David, Theo and Ruby's Harstine Island cabin.

Aunt Jackie with the Tacoma trio on the Harstine cabin's deck. That is not some sort of photoshopped backdrop in the background. That is what much of Western Washington looks like. One of the reasons the state's nickname is the Evergreen State.

No text explained what we are seeing above. I am guessing that Theo is controlling, remotely, a boat.

Or an electronic shark.

Harstine Island is a real island, surrounded by real water of the saltwater sort. Which would indicate the dock Theo is standing on is in Puget Sound.

Above we see Theo, outside the cabin, leading the intrepid trio to a confrontation with a deer herd. I suspect deer living on an island are used to friendly encounters with island dwellers.

I am looking forward to my first visit to Harstine Island, this coming summer.

So far Ruby has not said she will bake me a birthday cake...

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Kay Granger's Imaginary Powerful White House Panther Island Delay

Just yesterday someone asked me if I had any photos of the current state of Fort Worth's three bridges which have been stuck in slow motion construction since 2014, currently not expected to be completed until possibly some point in this decade. Or the following decade.

I replied that I did not have any recent photos of those bridges, and then this morning the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in its Sunday online edition, on the front page, had the photo you see above, of one of those "signature" bridges in the making, along with the stunning, iconic skyline, of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

The headline under the photo...

 Rep. Granger: ‘Powerful’ White House appointee is delaying Fort Worth’s Panther Island
Local leaders expected federal money to come by now. The White House wants them to do more homework.

Seems likely Kay Granger is making up some imaginary powerful White House appointee as an excuse for her inability to secure federal pork barrel funds, what with, to help motivate Kay, her son being given a cushy high paying job planning Rockin' the River happy hours in the polluted Trinity River, along with other nonsense.

Kay Granger is up for election, again, and her part in the Panther Island Boondoggle mess is finally an issue, which many voters see as a scandal, after so many years.

For those who have no idea what Panther Island is, well, it is the imaginary island that those three bridges being built over dry land will connect to, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island.

What is now most frequently referred simply as The Boondoggle, began as the Trinity River Vision, way back near the start of the current century.

Over the years the name for the Boondoggle morphed from Trinity River Vision to Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

In recent years the Boondogglers usually refer to their slowly failing project as Panther Island, where there is no island, and where there has never been a panther, except in the long ago imagination of a Dallas news reporter.

Way back when the Boondoggle began it was billed as a vitally need flood control and economic development project.

Where there had been no flooding for well over half a century.

The original price tag for the Boondoggle was something in the $300 million range. That price tag is now well over $1 billion.

Just paying the exorbitant salaries of the Boondogglers for so many years, as the Boondoggle boondoggled along, has added greatly to the price tag.

That Kay Granger lady, referred to in the headline above, well, her son, J.D. is currently being paid over $200,000 a year, plus perks, even after he was fired from his Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director position, and moved to being responsible for the imaginary flood control in the area which has not flooded for well over half a century.

Why should the more prosperous parts of America be expected to fork over funds to pay for this Boondoggle which has been so ineptly managed?

Way back when this started, when the project was announced, I wondered why, and how, such a public works project could be legit without the public voting on the funding mechanism for the project.

Eminent Domain was abused to take property for this economic development scheme, with some property taken over a decade ago in the area where those bridges have become embarrassing eyesores.

Tarrant County is the Eminent Domain Abuse Capital of America, but, even so, one would think there would be some limit to what is tolerated. But, bulldozers began to destroy buildings even before property owners had their cases heard in court.

One would think an imaginative lawyer could come up with a viable lawsuit on behalf of the Eminent Domain Abuse victims.

Because, clearly this project does not fall into the category of taking property for the public good, because if that were the case, if this actually was some sort of vitally needed public works project, it would have been properly funded and long ago completed.

But, instead we have the Boondoggle....

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sisterly Happy Valentine's Day From Puget Sound's Harstine Island

Incoming this Valentine's Day afternoon from my favorite sister-in-law, Kristin.  That incoming being the photo you see above of my two baby sisters, Michele on the left, Jackie on the right.

Earlier today I requested island photo documentation when I learned from Jackie that she was in Tacoma and was soon departing with David, Theo and Ruby, along with Michele and Kristin, to go to the Tacoma Trio's cabin on Harstine Island.

I thought that photo documentation would likely be of the Tacoma Trio doing some fun thing, not expecting to get to see something like my young little sisters beaming happy in the semi-warm Washington sun.

Those reading this in Fort Worth, those are real islands you see in the background, I think. Or that may be the Washington mainland. But, as you can clearly see, a real island is surrounded by a large body of water.

Naturally occurring water.

Not a chunk of industrial wasteland with a cement lined ditch cut through it, pretending to be an island.

One gets to Harstine Island via a bridge connecting the mainland to the island. That bridge was built over actual water. Saltwater of the tidal changing sort.

Fort Worth has been stuck for years trying to build three simple little bridges, over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, that being that aforementioned industrial wasteland.

A short Wikipedia/Google blurb one sees when one Googles "Harstine Island"....

Harstine Island is an island in Mason County, Washington, United States. The US Census recognizes it as an unincorporated community. The island is located west of Case Inlet in southern Puget Sound, 9.94194 miles north of Olympia. It has a land area of 30.0153354 square miles, and had a population of 1,002 as of the 2000 census.

Can you imagine a day way in the distant future when someone might Google "Panther Island" and read...

Panther Island is an imaginary island in Tarrant County, Texas, United States. The US Census recognizes it as a poorly developed industrial wasteland. The imaginary island is located north of downtown Fort Worth, about 30 miles west of Dallas. It has a land area of a few square miles, and had a population of 1,002 as of the 2040 census, along with a large herd of feral cats.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day. I had the best lunch in recent memory today to celebrate this sacred holiday...

Kremlin Kay Valentine's Day Wet Kisses From Russia With Love Exposing Pudgy Putnam

What you see via the image is a screen cap of what one finds when one Googles "Pudgy Putnam". Including "Images for Pudgy Putnam".

A couple days ago we blogged about recent scandal type revelations regarding Pudgy Putnam, he being the ultra right wing nut job who  fellow Tarrant County right wing nut jobs, along with Democrats hoping a right wing nut job beats Kay Granger in the Republican Primary, thus making it easier for the Democrat, Lisa Welch, to beat the Republican in the upcoming Blue Wave Tsunami of 2020, taking District 12 for the Democrats.

I really need to work on not writing so many run-on sentences.

Anyway, like I said a couple days ago I blogged about The Great District 12 Pudgy Putnam Pretender Unhinged & Exposed, in which we learned that Pudgy Putnam shares more character traits with his Trump hero than was initially realized.

That blog post generated an amusing comment...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Great District 12 Pudgy Putnam Pretender Unhinged & Exposed":

Kremlin Kay (Granger) sends you wet kisses from Russia with Love for posting this exposé of Pudgy Putnam.

Wet kisses from Kremlin Kay, with love, from Russia.

What a perfect thing to get on Valentine's Day...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Great District 12 Pudgy Putnam Pretender Unhinged & Exposed

Yesterday on Facebook I saw that which you see here, well, part of what I saw on Facebook. screen capped, omitting the part identifying who posted this.

The 13 graphics documented that which one reads when clicking on the "See More" link.

I knew there was something not quite right about the guy who the Tarrant District 12  right wingers think has a chance to replace the current occupant of the District 12 seat, Kay Granger.

Primarily it is Granger's challenger's imbecilic Trump fawning which was an indicative warning.

Some Democrats think the best way to get rid of Granger is by having a flawed right wing Trump loving nut job beat her in the primary, making for an easy win for the Democrat in the expected Blue Tsunami Wave of 2020.

After all, Beto beat Cruz in Tarrant County in the 2018 Senate race.

I know of some deluded naive sorts who think getting rid of Granger is the goal, and that it does not matter if a right wing nutjob replacement is seriously flawed, and likely a future embarrassment to Tarrant County, and Texas, should a fluke occur, with Pudgy Putnam elected.

Those who repeat that flawed it takes a right wing and a left wing for a bird to fly metaphor ignore the reality that if the right wing is malfunctioning, deformed, broken, or stupid, the bird has a lot of trouble flying, no matter how well developed the left wing is.

If I remember right I have explained previously why I think it is just fine to engage in the uncivil name calling behavior, making fun of the overweight Putnam by calling him Pudgy, since this is the low standard which has been set by Pudgy's hero, Trump.

Before, reading this Facebook post about Pudgy Putnam I had no idea he had so much in common with his Trump hero, ethics-wise, truth-wise, name calling-wise, financial finagling-wise, and other-wise, including apparently there have been multiple children born to multiple wives, though, I don't know if the number totals equal or exceed Trump's.

And now, on to the text of this enlightening Facebook post which you see when you click to "See More" ...


While Granger’s opponent is out touting several things about who he is and what he wants to accomplish; I’d like to point out another side that her opponent doesn’t like to talk about.

1. Granger’s opponent stated he was offered an “in” with TAD to reduce his property values while in office. While he claimed he did not pursue it, his home value decreased $207,000 while he was in office. An Open Records Request shows no record of him reporting this “in.” His home value increased $795,386 when he sold his home. How does his home decrease in value 5.11% while he is an elected official when every other home on his block increased an average of 22.83% over the same time? This represents a 27.94% difference.

2. He claims he provided for the first known tax cut in city history while on the Colleyville City Council. The fact is, each year he was on the council, ad valorem tax collections increased (12.3% from 2014 – 2017). For comparisons sake, property tax collection only increased 6.8% from 2009 – 2014. He also ignored the city’s own CAFR that would have shown him the city of Colleyville actually collected less in property taxes in 2011, 2012, and 2013 than they did in 2010.

3. President Trump has openly supported and endorsed Kay Granger in this race, not her opponent. Even the President understands how toxic Granger’s opponent would be in Washington. To be clear, Trump endorsed Granger on 12/17/19. He also had some nice things to say about Kay at his Dallas rally on 10/17/19. Nor do I understand why Putnam is attempting to tell everyone that Kay Granger is currently pro-choice when she is endorsed by the pro-life groups Susan B. Anthony Candidate Fund and the National Right to Life Organization; then again, her opponent has not been able to tell the truth about many subjects in the almost 3 years I’ve known who he is.

4. Granger’s opponent is telling his supporters that Trump endorsed all of the incumbent Republicans right before the impeachment vote. He obviously forgot to verify this information. Ballotpedia only shows 4 endorsements from the House, with Granger being the ONLY one from Texas. As Putnam frequently has done, when the facts do not support his narrative, he just keeps repeating the same lie and hopes people will believe it.

5. Kay’s opponent likes to spout his successful business career. The fact is, her opponent’s business was kicked off of Nasdaq over a fraud allegation of inflating their revenue. The court proceedings that followed indicate that Kay’s opponent was aware this was going on.…/AMEN…/njd-3:2017-cv-02978-00081

6. Kay’s opponent was incredibly proud to state that he raised over $500,000 in a week. What he failed to mention is that he gave himself a $250,000 loan, not to mention his college aged children also managed to donate $5,600 to his campaign as well. In total, only about 5% of his total campaign funds have actually come from inside District 12 as can be verified from his campaign finance reports.

7. Kay’s opponent lives in Colleyville. To be clear, Colleyville is not in District 12. Her opponent is not even able to vote for himself in this election. While his supporters claim he owns a home in District 12, the only home I’ve been able to locate using Tarrant, Parker, and Wise counties appraisal districts is his $1.5 million dollar home in Colleyville. His college aged son indicated a home address in Forth Worth when he donated to his father’s campaign but according to the appraisal district, this is a rent house. Furthermore, the address that Putnam used when he gave his campaign a $250,000 loan comes back as a Parcel Plus storefront; in Virginia. Why is Kay’s opponent going to such lengths to hide where he really lives? Even the CEO of one of the groups endorsing him questions why someone would run in a district that they do not live in. Putnam’s own Congressman is stepping down and not seeking reelection. Why didn’t he run in the district he actually lives in?

8. Kay’s opponent thinks sexual assault is something to joke about. During the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Mr. Putnam thought it would be appropriate to claim that Diane Feinstein raped him when he was 13. Is this the mentality that you want representing your values in Washington?

9. Mr. Putnam fully supported, and still supports, an elected official in Colleyville that Chief Justice Brian Quinn wrote about, “…Interacting with prostitutes because “it was to be funny,” sexual promiscuity, and fondling a drunk stepsister who later protested adds plausibility or factual bases to Fletcher’s characterization of Lindamood as a sexual predator...” Rape jokes, supporting a married elected official that took advantage of his intoxicated stepsister; Kay’s opponent seems to have a problem with understanding what good character truly means.…

10. Kay’s opponent claims he will be accessible, responsive, and accountable to all constituents – even Democrats and the liberal media. What Mr. Putnam will not tell you is that he will want to see your W2 before engaging with you. Specifically, he thinks you are only worthy to talk to if your bank account meets his approval.

11. When Kay’s opponent perceives you as a threat to his success, or you are successful in calling out his lies, his go to response is to threaten to sue you. What’s particularly interesting is his comment about asking someone how getting sued works and pointing out that she has been tied up in a suit for three years (now six) at tremendous expense. Kay’s opponent will do whatever he can to silence those that show who he really is.

12. Kay’s opponent incorporated Direct Action Texas in 2017. After his wife lost a school board race in Grapevine – Colleyville ISD, he used DAT to submit open records requests, in multiple districts looking for, “…all personnel records and correspondence relating to disciplinary action, job performance, and/or separation from the district for Greg Hart.” When Kay’s opponent is unable to argue facts, he tries his best to discredit the messenger. Why does an organization that claims to focus on government transparency, government ethics, public debt, and civil liberties find it necessary to seek information regarding disciplinary action about a teacher that opposed his wife in a school board election?

13. With Granger’s opponent being nothing more than a school yard bully, he found it convenient to delete all of his social media accounts prior to running for office. What he did not count on are the screenshots that show exactly what kind of person he really is.

14. Mr. Putnam feels the only way to win an argument is to personally attack those that disagree with him. These comments truly speak for themselves as they relate to Mr. Putnam’s character. What kind of person tries to belittle an educator for taking a second job to help make ends meet? Not all of us are fortunate enough to live in a million dollar home.

15. In my experience with Mr. Putnam, when the facts do not support his narrative, he makes up his own. As his wife ran for school board, Mr. Putnam continually lied about our school district, Grapevine – Colleyville ISD. His anger towards me comes from my constantly calling out and correcting his misinformation and lies about our district.

16. Kay’s opponent has a difficult time accepting reality. When his wife lost in her school board race, he tried to blame it on mail in ballots. To be clear, there were 339 absentee votes out of 6,216 votes cast. In reality, our community understood that while his wife is a nice lady, his influence on our district would have caused significant damage to the success of our district. Grapevine and Colleyville both voted overwhelmingly for the incumbent in a 63.87% to 36.13% landslide. Granger’s opponent, once again, has a problem with truth.

17. Granger’s opponent claims he worked in the private sector for 30 years (although his resume with his former company does not support this), building a startup company into a multi-billion-dollar company. The fact is, his company misrepresented their financials and the value of the company, and the stock, tanked. Putnam was aware that that the financials were not accurate yet he still walked away with about a $1,000,000 buyout when he left the company.

18. Once again, I’m reminded of Chris’s “promise” to listen to everyone. The problem with his promise is that it is a lie. Not only has Putnam deleted my comments from his page, he has blocked me from further commenting. I guess being a teacher means my W2 does not meet his approval for open dialogue. So much for his “promise.”

Like Putnam, I am not able to vote in this election. My prayer is that as you vote in the upcoming primary I pray you stop and reflect on the character of who you are voting for. I’m tired of people like Kay’s opponent making things up and attacking people because they disagree with them. Elected officials should work together for the betterment of our country. In my dealings with Granger’s opponent, he has proven himself to be unethical, a liar, and nothing more than a school yard bully. There is no doubt that our country deserves better than Kay’s opponent.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hot Sunday Wichita Falls Lucy Park With Orange Trump Trees

Seems like only yesterday, because it was yesterday, or the day before, that the outer world at my location had chilled itself to being only a few degrees above zero, factoring in the wind chill.

I think the actual real temperature got down to something like 14 degrees.

With snow.

Now, today, on this second Sunday of the second month of 2020, the outer world was a bit warmer than it was a couple days ago.

74 degrees when I rolled my mechanized wheels to Lucy Park to do some nature communing, along with a lot of other people enjoying the sudden arrival of early summer.

I zoomed in to take a photo of the above scene of a cute little girl going all goo goo gaw gaw over the ducks that were playing with her at the Lucy Park duck pond.

I really have not seen all that many duck ponds in city parks. But, of the ones I have seen, the duck pond in Lucy Park is the coolest one I have ever seen. Scenic. With an adventurous bridge. And some feisty geese co-habitating with the duck majority.

That is not the Lucy Park duck pond's adventurous bridge you see above, at the top. That is the suspension bridge across the Wichita River, which connects Lucy Park to the RV park on the other side of the river.

When that which you see below came into view the first thought which crossed my simple mind was it looked like some sort of abstract homage to our demented Dear Leader.

It looks like the forest of Lucy Park trees is using the same person to apply makeup as Trump has been using to create that orange look he, apparently, is so fond of.

Viral photos of Trump's cotton candy hair mop being blown asunder, revealing his poorly applied mango orange makeup, have been quite amusing.

Amusing and revealingly explanatory.

Now if only a gust of wind could somehow solve the mystery of that bizarre toupee looking chia pet mess which covers the top of the pumpkin. Well, covers that unfortunate eyesore most of the time, when naughty wind is not mis-behaving.

Anyway, it sure is fun having a demented president who has set such a low bar for us for the 2020 version of civil discourse...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Day Two Iceman Blizzarding North Texas

It is the morning of the day after a day of snow blanketed North Texas.

During yesterday's ongoing blizzard eventually I could take being snowbound no longer.

At the point in time, yesterday, when I left my abode, the view from my living room window is what you see photo documented, looking north past some shivering blinds.

Before I forget, I must mention a word or two of appreciation of our US Postal Service.

On Monday I ordered a couple items from Amazon. The projected shipment arrival day was Friday.

However, Wednesday morning I got an email from Amazon telling me the shipment was already out for delivery, two days early.

I left my abode, went to the mailbox, and found that which I had ordered only two days before, successfully delivered by the Post Office, always true to their "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" motto.

I brought the packages back to my abode and then made my way through the blowing snow to my motorized means of locomotion to take an icy drive to ALDI and Walmart.

As you can see the road at the point in time I was driving on it was not covered with snow, and not yet slippery from a coat of ice.

I think a snowplow may have cleared the road. Though I do not remember ever seeing a snowplow in Texas of the big truck sort.

Eventually I made it to the Walmart parking lot, which is the view through my windshield, and snowflakes, you see above.

A device which looked like a riding lawnmower on steroids was snow plowing the Walmart parking lot, leaving big piles of snow which will likely take several days to disappear, if above freezing temperatures ever return.

Currently the temperature, this Thursday morning, is 14, with the wind chill making those 14 degrees feel like 5.

I think I may resist the need to escape being snowbound today...

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Iceman Cometh Blizzarding North Texas

Looking out my office window this morning I can barely see across the street to the Texas Lone Star flag, drooping, due to likely being frozen stiff, barely visible through the white blizzard currently covering almost everything in the outer world a bright white.

Two days ago, on Monday, I was in Walmart, surprised at how crowded the grocery part of the store was, with some shelves being stripped of goods.

I asked what was going on to be told people were stocking up because of the Winter Storm Warning.

And then, last night, whilst suffering through the litany of lies which currently passes for being a State of the Union address, the crawl across the bottom of the screen was informing of various closures, already scheduled for today, for the Winter Storm event which had not yet arrived.

I guess the locals know, from experience, to take these type warnings serious. And to plan ahead.

Back in my old home zone in the Puget Sound part of Washington, it was only after the snow actually arrived that we would eagerly listen to the radio, usually KBRC, to learn if school was going to be late, or cancelled.

I likely will not be leaving my abode today. I did not stock up on anything when I was in Walmart with all those emergency shoppers.

I have sufficient supplies, I think, to survive until the thaw arrives...

Monday, February 3, 2020

Texas Summer Heat Wave To Winter Blizzard In Two Days

Well, the winter version of summer has lasted two days, so far, at my North Texas location.

My phone just let me know that the National Weather Service has issued one of its Winter Storm Watch warnings.

Apparently tomorrow a cold front arrives with a rapid temperature drop, followed by extreme cold and snow on Wednesday.

If I was still at my old location in Western Washington I would be stocking up on supplies, anticipating a possible long instance of being snowbound. But, my experience with Texas weather is that the extreme cold never lasts long enough to cause a supply shortage problem.

I remember back in the mid 1990s being snowbound on my cul-de-sac hill in East Mount Vernon. At that point in time I grew so desperate for supplies, by about day five, that I slid my cross country skis down the hill and all the way to the grocery store then known as Thrifty Foods.

Now that I am typing that out I think this may be a false memory. Because that would be a long distance to Thrifty Foods. Maybe what I actually did was slide down the hill all the way to the AM/PM convenience store at the intersection of Waugh Road and College Way. That seems more likely.

Anyway, there will be no sliding to a grocery store from my current location. For multiple reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that I threw my cross country skis away years ago when I found that the Texas heat had caused them to delaminate.

Today I am going to enjoy this current last day of pseudo Texas summer by rolling my bike wheels on the Circle Trail through the Wichita Bluff Nature Area...

Sunday, February 2, 2020

81 Degree 2/02/2020 Super Bowl Sunday In Texas

Til this mighty fine Sunday of 2/02/2020 it had been several days since my bike convinced me it was warm enough to enjoy a pleasant bike ride.

When last I was out in the outer world for some salubrious endorphin inducing activity, as in, yesterday, I found the outer world to be too chilly and myself underlayered with outerwear.

And now, one day later, a day like today would be considered a HOT summer day back in my old home zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Tomorrow is currently scheduled to be another HOT day. And then Tuesday winter returns with the temperature plummeting to well below freezing, along with likely snow, possibly in blizzard form.

So far this winter has seemed extremely mild, compared to my previous Texas winters.

I remember doing a lot of shivering last winter. I flew out of Texas in early March of last year. That day was extremely cold. Two weeks later I returned from being HOT in Arizona to find it was no longer long pants and coats season in Texas.

Today, on this second day of February it was also not a long pants day, bike riding in shorts and a t-shirt.

As you can see via the accidentally selfie I somehow managed to take with my phone we are currently sweltering at 81 degrees in the middle of this Sunday afternoon.

The 81 degrees has not caused me to want to turn on my abode's air conditioning.

But, this morning, whilst returning from ALDI, I did turn on my motorized motion devices A/C.

I am prepared for my Super Bowl Party. Air fried chicken wings are awaiting being re-heated, along with onion rings, and other delicacies...