Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hurricane Hannah Brings Heat Relief To Wichita Bluff Nature Area's Buffalo Rock With Trump Derangement Syndrome

Til today it had been a couple weeks since I drove myself to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to do some bluff climbing and communing with nature.

I think my main reason I have been avoiding the bluffs is because it has just been too HOT.

But, such was not the case today.

Last night, a couple hours after the sun set in the west, the remnants of Hurricane (or was it Tropical Storm) Hannah blew into town with gusts, lightning strikes, thunder booms, and rain.

Lots of rain.

By morning the moat which surrounds most of my abode's location, whenever a lot of rain falls, had returned. When the moat is in town this necessitates taking an adventurous cross country route to the covered carport.

I forgot to mention. See that photo above? One comes to that view soon after passing under the Wichita Bluff Nature Area sign. Today that rock formation you see on the left, under the tree, looked like a buffalo.

So, I decided it is Buffalo Rock.

In Eastern Washington, my old home state, there is a state park on the Columbia River called Lincoln Rock State Park. I have never been able to see Lincoln on this rock in that park. Buffalo Rock is much more easy to see than Lincoln Rock. At least for my eyes.

I was having myself a mighty fine time getting some aerobic stimulation and the resulting endorphins when rain began to makes wet circle dots on the Circle Trail. At that point I was maybe a mile from my vehicle, and maybe a quarter mile from a covered shelter which overlooks the Wichita River.

I opted to get to that shelter, which you see above, and wait it out til the rain ceased downpouring. When that happened I hurriedly hastened my way back to my vehicle, snapping the above photo after I left the shelter.

Just a few feet from that shelter there is the above peaceful looking overlook, with two swinging benches. Unfortunately this is not a covered area. A roadrunner lives in this area. I saw him today, but no coyotes.

We are a month into summer. This most recent dose of rain should keep the outer world green for awhile longer, before the green eventually gives up and everything formerly green turns brown. Except for irrigated lawns. And a few other exceptions.

People suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome were on my mind today whilst walking.

People with TDS think Trump Derangement Syndrome is what those who think Trump is the worst president in American history are suffering from. There is no convincing them otherwise, which is one of the troubling symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

You can not use facts, reasoning, logic or history with people who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. If facts, reasoning, logic or history were part of their makeup they would not be suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

I know millions are working on a vaccine for TDS. I think it arrives on November 3, ahead of the hoped for vaccine for COVID-19...

Monday, July 27, 2020

Rolling My Bike To See The Great Wheel Of Wichita Falls

It had been a day or two or three since my bike has rolled me anywhere, til today.

A cold front has lowered the temperature into the low 90s during the time of day I usually do my wheel rolling. The humidity makes the temperature feel hotter, as in over 100, but that is still much more pleasant than the actual temperature being over 100 with the humidity having it feel like 115, or hotter.

I took the photo you see here when I stopped for my first water break. On this particular bike ride that first water break takes place on the east side of Sikes Lake, under the shade of a tree.

From that drinking location, looking west across the lake, I could see the recently erected Great Wheel of Wichita Falls wheeling above the treeline horizon.

This recently erected Great Wheel of Wichita Falls is the Ferris Wheel part of a carnival which is currently taking up space on the parking lot of this town's one and only mall, called Sikes Senter.

When I first saw the name of this mall I pondered what it must be like to think spelling Center with an 'S', so as to alliteratively ally with Sikes, was a clever idea, and that whoever had that clever idea was able to convince others to go along with that clever idea.

As for the carnival on the Sikes Senter parking lot. I have no idea as to why it is there. Back in my old home zone of Burlington the carnival would arrive annually in town for the Berry-Dairy Days celebration. And after Berry-Dairy Days was over the carnival would pack up and move about 5 miles east to Sedro-Woolley for that town's annual Loggerodeo celebration.

But, I have no clue why this carnival is currently on the Sikes Senter parking lot. Since I have been in town the carnival has shown up at this location every year. I've never seen many people riding the rides.

And with our current mask wearing times it somehow seems like it might not be a great idea to take the kiddies to a carnival. Even though I'm sure there is plenty of sanitizing going on...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Lucas Takes Us On Detailed Hidden Lake Trail Hike In Washington's North Cascades

This blog post fits in the recent category of me mentioning the fact that recently hardly a day seems to go by without something or someone making me to one degree, or another, homesick for my old home zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Today's instance came about via an email I received a couple weeks ago from a website article writer named Lucas who had written about something I had blogged about more than once, that being the Hidden Lakes hike in the North Cascades of Washington.

Lucas was hoping I would check out his article about the Hidden Lakes hike and possibly include that information via linking to it from that blog post.

Well, I can do better than that.

The blog post to which Lucas referred was way back from August of 2013, titled Hiking With Maxine To A North Cascades Hidden Lake While In Texas.

Searching the blog I found two more instances, more recent than 2013, of mention made of the Hidden Lakes hike.

In May of 2019 there was Linda Lou Leads Me Back To Skagit Valley Black and Blue Berry Picking.

And even more recent, as in May of this year, as in 2020, there was Finding The Hidden Lake Photo.

Now, none of my blog posts which mention Hidden Lake are of much use for anyone hoping to find info about how to find this hike's trailhead, or what to expect on the hike, or how strenuous this hike is.

You can find all that info via Lucas' 10 Adventures North Cascades National Park Hidden Lake Trail article.

Now I must add hiking to the Hidden Lakes, again, to my need to do list for the next time, if ever, I return to the Pacific Northwest...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Joining Walmart Masketeers & Fiesty Old Ladies With Wichita Falls Murals

This Tuesday morning I joined the throngs of Walmart masketeers seeking goods to purchase.

Starting yesterday Walmart is requiring all who enter to be wearing a mask of some sort. A gatekeeper in black guards the entry, preventing any from entering without proper protection.

The south entry to Walmart, both at the one I went to this morning, and the one across the street from ALDI, is now blocked from entry or exit. This makes for a slight annoyance if you park at the south end of the parking lot, and object to being subjected to an unexpected walk.

At that Walmart by ALDI I witnessed a hunched over cane using gray haired elderly lady standing at the now blocked exit, knocking on the glass door. I had told her that entry is blocked and the only way in is at the other entry.

We shall see about that, she said to me.

I like feisty old ladies, unless they are open carrying, and this one's only weapon was her cane. I did not stay around long enough to see if someone let her in.

So, the south self checkout is still open, even though the south exit is not. So, I self checked out at the south end, and when done I soon found myself seeing that which you see above.

A large Wichita Falls mural. An informational sign next to this informed it was part of some sort of local mural project. I should have taken a photo of that informational sign so that I would have the correct information, including who made the mural.

Wichita Falls is known for having murals all over town, well, mostly the downtown zone. Some are quite large.

And that has been my COVID-19 excitement for today. Later this afternoon I expect to go on a bike ride...

Monday, July 20, 2020

Theo Sandcastled On Harstine Island Before Making Puget Sound Glow Blue

A couple days ago, if I am remembering accurately, I mentioned that during these current times rarely a day goes by where something or someone will not cause me a bout of homesickness pinging for a visit to my old home zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Currently, if I were on the west coast, I think I might likely be heading to the state I was born in, to go to the biggest town in that state, Portland, to join those trying to protect the lawful protesters from Trump's thuggish Storm Troopers.

Back to what made me homesick today, well, actually this arrived last night, via email. Photos from Washington's Harstine Island.

For those living in Fort Worth who know not of such things, Harstine Island is an actual island, a chunk of land totally surrounded by actual water. In this case the saltwater of Puget Sound. Harstine Island can be accessed by boat, float plane or the bridge which connects the actual island to the mainland. That bridge was built in less than a year, over actual water, the depth of which varies due to this thing called tidal action.

The photos from Harstine Island came in two separate emails.

The text in the first email said "Some Tacoma friends came to the island on their boat, Theo as sandcastle, and the mountain framed between trees."

Which would make that Theo being an integral part of a sandcastle, in the picture you see above. That is Theo's sister, Ruby, to the right of the castle. But, the kid on the left is not brother David, unless David is nowadays coloring his redhead hair a new color.

That would be the Tacoma friend's boat on the right side of the below photo. That white thing you see on the horizon, in the distance, is Mount Rainier, known in Washington simply as The Mountain.

Also, in the above photo, if you look on the left side of the picture you will see some swimmers swimming. Their identity was not part of the information in the email, so I don't know if it is David, Theo and Ruby in the water.

Yes, for those who have not had the pleasure, the saltwater of Puget Sound can get warm enough to pleasantly swim in. That and at most locations the water is crystal clear, with the not crystal clear locations being where rivers drain into Puget Sound, with that river water made silty due to much of the water being from melting glaciers and snowpacks.

Continuing on we come to the photo with the mountain framed between trees.

That appears to be Mama Kristin in the kayak, floating under Mount Rainier.

Now we come to the second email, with the explanatory text of "While waiting to see the comet, Theo tossed some rocks in the water and it lit up! I told them you tried to show them bioluminescence at birch bay but they didn’t remember."

Above you are see the blue bioluminescent glow that lit up when Theo threw a rock in the water. There were two other blue glow photos, with the above one being my favorite. It sort of looks like a blue alligator.

I did try to get the kids to experience bioluminescence when we were at Birch Bay, summer of 2017. It was a Sunday night, August 13, to be precise. The tide was all the way in. It was dark. The Uncle Mooch entourage had departed. I had earlier that day told the Tacoma Trio that if we went in the Bay after dark the water would glow.

So, we went to the water's edge, tested the water. It was cold, way too cold to get wet in. We should have tried soon after dark, before the tide was all the way in, and while the water was still warm from being heated from rolling in across the HOT sandy tidal flats.

If all had gone according to the plan, I would be in Washington right now. I think the Birch Bay part of being there would have happened more towards the end of July.

I have yet to remember to go out after dark to look north at the Big Dipper to see the comet. Maybe I will remember tonight.

And that is the final photo, the aforementioned comet, far above Harstine Island.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

She Pricelessly Cancelled J.D. Granger From Rockin' The Polluted Trinity River

I saw that which you above and below last night on Facebook. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Betsy Price's best friend's eldest son, J.D. Granger getting into a Twitter twitfest over the canceling of Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube floating beer parties in the frequently e.coli infested Trinity River.

Betsy Price tweeted thanking J.D., and his nefarious gang of river pirates, for making the right call and canceling this weekend's concert and river float scheduled to take place at one of the world's best imaginary music venues, located, partly, on the landlocked imaginary archipelago known as Panther Island.

Well, J.D. was not gonna sit still for this bit of subterfuge, so he posted a lengthy retort Tweet to set the record straight as to who it was who DID cancel the river floating.

Oh my. The above has so many absurdities.

J.D.'s crew painted a grid system on 1.3 acres of riverfront "lawn"?

With safe distancing between all the spots?

Every single attendee was to get a temperature check before being allowed to get wet with the river's multi pathogens?

Capacity was capped at 25%? What is the number of floaters considered full capacity, I can not help but wonder?

Health safety monitors were staffed throughout the site? On land and in the sea, I mean, in the polluted river water, to make sure masks were worn, with no groups larger than 10 allowed to congregate, with all distancing requirements met? Violators to be asked to leave?  How many of these health safety monitors were hired, I can not help but wonder? And how do you find someone with that skill willing to get wet doing their job in a polluted river?

Cleaning attendants were disinfecting on the hour? Wiping down touched surfaces throughout the day? Like what? Wiping down the concrete enclosures around the multi-outhouses? And the outhouses themselves?

The final third of J.D's Tweet details all the measures he thinks Betsy Price went to to shut down his operation, even after she twice rode her bike to the location and eye witnessed the massive effort underway to make the Trinity River and its surrounding area safe from COVID-19, with the final blow from Betsy coming Friday afternoon in the form of a threat, threatening that if J.D. proceeded with Rockin' the River the city would have no choice but to shut it down.

This all has generated quite the kerfuffle on Facebook. One of the more amusing comments opined that this must be real rough for J.D. to get Rockin' the River taken from him, that this was all he and his new wife, Shanna Cate Granger, had to do after their demotion about a year ago, when J.D. was removed from his post as Executive Director of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, and given a new job, working directly for the Tarrant Region Water District overseeing the imaginary flood control part of what has become one of America's Dumbest Boondoggles ever.

I think we have pointed out previously that J.D. Granger's new job of being in charge of the flood control part of the Boondoggle is a bit ironic in that the area in question has not flooded for well over half a century, due to levees which have kept the area flood-free ever since they were installed. It is thought that J.D. was given this "job" because it would not be possible for him to muck it up, like what happened with what was originally known as the Trinity River Vision.

Those new to this Boondoggle, the Trinity River Vision is an ineptly implemented, ill-conceived pseudo public works project the public did not approve of via the voting method which is the norm for such things. The Trinity River Vision was touted as being, way back when first touted, near the start of this century, as a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme.

Vitally needed flood control in an area which does not flood. The economic development scheme part of the cloudy vision has always been even more sketchy than the imaginary flood control.

This project was touted as being vitally needed, and yet has limped along in slow motion for most of this century. The project has never been fully funded. Relying on hoping to secure federal funding.

And so the son of a local congresswoman gave up his job being a deputy prosecutor to become an executive director directing a project for which he had zero qualifications.

The purpose of this brilliant scheme of giving J.D. this job was to motivate his mother to secure those federal funds, to help pay J.D.'s over $200,000 a year salary (plus perks), plus the salary of J.D.'s wife, and to pay for all the fun fact finding junkets J.D. and his wife take their crew of river pirates on.

Oh, and also to help pay for things like building three simple little bridges over dry land. And the cement lined ditch to go under the bridges, along with canals and other infrastructure on the imaginary island which is currently an industrial wasteland.

Those three simple little bridges have been stalled in slow motion construction mode for five years. I read a comment, on the Facebook post where these Betsy/JD Tweets came from, that those pitiful bridges are no longer being referred to as the Panther Island Bridges. They are now being called, I assume by the Boondoggle's propaganda websites and printed publications, the TxDOT Signature Bridges.

Fort Worth has a weird pathology regarding signature and iconic things. And labeling some ordinary thing as such. I think this pathology comes from the fact that there is nothing in Fort Worth of the signature or iconic sort, and this creates some sort of civic inferiority complex. I have had it explained to me as such by longtime locals.

Many Fort Worthers have long had a strange obsession with Dallas, which comes across as jealously to one new to hearing it.

Dallas has multiple iconic and signature items. First off there is the Dallas skyline, known world wide due to a hit TV show in the previous century. There is Reunion Tower. A couple new, actual signature, bridges across the Trinity, have been added to the Dallas skyline this century. It was when those Dallas bridges were announced as being planned as part of the Dallas Trinity River Vision (I don't remember the actual name of the Dallas River Vision) that soon thereafter I remember being appalled at a banner headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


No, I am not making this up. Really happened. Something was gonna turn landlocked, mountain-free, Fort Worth, into the Vancouver of the South.

Trinity Uptown soon morphed into Trinity River Vision, and soon was touting three "signature" bridges. However, when the cost of the Fort Worth bridges came in, the designer bridges were dropped, with what look like freeway overpasses replacing them, but hanging on to claiming them to be signature bridges. As if applying that word to something magically turns it into a signature iconic thing recognized the world over.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

From Wichita Falls For The Love Of God Anyone But Trump 2020

A couple days ago I blogged about biking in my Caribbean neighborhood where I saw someone thought By Destroying His Trump Flag I Know He's Losing It. In the blog post I included photo documentation of this Trumpnut's Trump 2020 flag which had been shredded.

After the flag shredding the Trumpnut had added a yard sign pointing out that the flag had been shredded, with the sign pointing in the wrong direction.

That sign pointing in the wrong direction seemed sort of an ironic metaphor.

Today, biking in the same location, I saw that the yard sign had been moved curbside, directly under the shredded Trump flag, with the sign now pointing in the right direction. Where that sign had been previously, in the Trumpnut's yard, not at curbside, a new basic generic Trump 2020 yard sign has been stuck in the ground.

After biking past this I looped around to head the other direction to find myself pleased to see the yard sign the Trumpnut's next door neighbor has stuck in his yard, facing the Trumpnut's signs and shredded flags.

I hit the brakes, got out my phone and took the photo you see above, expressing the sentiment felt by millions, possibly billions, worldwide...


Friday, July 17, 2020

Ocean Shores Postcard From David, Theo & Ruby

A couple days ago, on Facebook, Miss Tamara posted a photo of her current view. I asked if that view was looking at Anacortes. The answer quickly confirmed that I was looking at a view from a roof in Anacortes. This led to a series of comments which eventually had Miss Tamara apologizing for making me homesick.

Anacortes is a town in Washington with multiple saltwater features, such as Fidalgo Bay and the Guemes Strait. Ferry boats launched from Anacortes take you to Vancouver Island. That is in Canada. Ferry boats also ferry you to the various San Juan Islands.

Anacortes is also the location of Spencer Jack's dad's Fidalgo Drive-In, which was made mention of in the series of comments on Miss Tamara's Facebook post, with all the comments amounting to being rave restaurant reviews.

When Miss Tamara apologized for making me homesick I replied that this was absolutely no problem, that such happened just about each and every day, of late.

Such as this morning when I found what you see above, in my mailbox.

A post card from David, Theo and Ruby.

In the photo we are looking north at the south end of the Ocean Shores beach. That skinny thing you see sticking out into the water is a manmade breakwater consisting of giant boulders, protecting the inlet into Grays Harbor. For those used to being landlocked in Texas, that body of water with the Ocean Shores beach is known as the Pacific Ocean.

The message on the postcard is what you see here, telling me the Tacoma Trio could have used my mad sandcastle building skills.

A few months ago I was just about 100% certain that at the current point in time I would be up north, in Washington, helping David, Theo and Ruby build sand castles, among other things.

The heading to the Pacific Northwest this summer thing not happening is the cause of the extreme bouts of homesickness.

 I was sort of looking forward to being there.

That and using the roadtripping method to get there. Something I had not done since July of 2001.

I was hoping to bring my mountain bike along, so David, Theo and Ruby could take me on the mountain bike trails in the park we biked a short distance the last time I was in Tacoma.

I was also hoping to do some trail hiking on Harstine Island, the location of the cabin David, Theo and Ruby have acquired since I was last in Washington. The island has a lagoon for swimming, and calm south Puget Sound water for kayaking.

Someday, maybe, the world will get back to some semblance of normal. And I will then be able to go somewhere other than my current location. I suspect that semblance of normal ain't happening anytime soon...

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

By Destroying His Trump Flag I Know He's Losing It

A week ago, give or take a day or two, I came upon a giant Trump/Pence 2020 Keep America Great flag.

I see such a thing and wonder to myself how can there be so many members of this cult, so willing to identify themselves as members of the idiocracy?

I will see someone proudly posting photos of themselves, in MAGA hats, in front of Washington, D.C. monuments, like the Lincoln Memorial, and wonder the same thing.

One has to hope that at some point in time, in the not too distant future, the majority of those MAGA hat wearers, and Trump flag wavers, are going to feel so embarrassed they were conned by someone so corrupt and stupid, and likely mentally ill.

Then again, being way too optimistic may be my greatest character flaw.

Anyway, today when my bike rolled me down that Caribbean Granada street I saw the Trump flag has been shredded. And the proud bearer of that Trump flag has stuck a new sign in his yard saying..


I do not know what the arrow in the yard sign is supposed to be pointing towards. Perhaps it was intended to point at the destroyed Trump flag. It is not unusual for a Trump supporter to not know the difference between up and down, or left and right, and especially right and wrong.

I don't get why the guy thinks the flag being destroyed indicates that the flag destroyer is losing.

More likely it would seem to indicate to me that the flag destroyer is just one more decent normal American totally fed up with Trump and all Trump's fellow idiots who enable him.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

After Years Of Delays Fort Worth's Emperor Still Wears No Clothes

I saw that which see you above this morning on the front page of the online version of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I read the headline and thought to myself what fresh ridiculous absurdist propaganda is this?

And then I was surprised to find myself not blocked from reading the article which tries to make sense of that senseless headline.

It has been several months since Mr. Bobalu asked me if I had heard anything of late regarding the status of the bridge building which had wreaked havoc on Mr. Bobalu's life due to how the Boondoggle, known as the Trinity River Vision Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, had abused using eminent domain to take Mr. Bobalu's property in order to build a bridge over dry land, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Construction on these three bridges built over dry land began way back in 2014, with a then astonishing four year project timeline.

It is now six years later, with Fort Worth's only newspaper claiming the bridges could be ready sooner than expected.

The Golden Gate Bridge, built over actual deep, swift moving water was built in less than four years. Tacoma's newest Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge was built over actual deep, swift moving water in less than four years.

But Fort Worth has been unable to build three simple little bridges over dry land in four years, in five years, and now in six years. With no actual projected estimate of when the bridges might be of actual use, let alone having water flow beneath them, after a cement lined ditch is dug, channeling Trinity River water to create the imaginary island.

This latest Star-Telegram article about those hapless hopeless bridges and the Boondoggle of which they are only part, contains multiple instances of Star-Telegram type nonsense. Let's start with the first paragraph...

Work on the downtown Fort Worth bridges, needed for the Panther Island project, has moved swiftly enough that officials now say two of the three spans may be done slightly early.

Work has moved swiftly enough that officials now say two of the three bridges may be done slightly early? Swiftly enough? It's been six years. If the completion is already two years behind the original timeline  how can finishing any of them, at any point in time, now be remotely considered to be slightly early?

Well, that question is sort of answered by the paragraph which follows the first..

Of course, early at this point is still behind the original completion date and a later delayed schedule, but Doug Rademaker, a senior project manager for the city, said work on bridges for Henderson and North Main streets is moving faster than expected.

Okay, now we are saying we are behind the original completion date, as well as behind the later delayed schedule, but work on two of the bridges is moving faster than expected. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

And then there is this perplexing sentence later in the article...

Traffic may be allowed on the bridges before they’re completely finished.

Did San Francisco allow traffic on the Golden Gate before it was finished? How about NYC's Brooklyn Bridge? Why would you allow traffic on an unfinished bridge?

From the following paragraph we learn the bridge construction has been a beehive of activity...

Contractor Texas Sterling increased workers on site to as many as 120, Rademaker said, and had been running three shifts seven days a week. Sunday shifts were recently canceled.

As many as 120 workers working in apparent slow motion, in three shifts, seven days a week, til recently.

And then there is this paragraph which raises questions...

Earlier this year, project managers increased the bridges’ $69.9 million budget to a little more than $89 million. The North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Regional Transportation Council approved the extra money in the form a $15 million federal transportation grant and another $5 million that will be paid back to the council of governments through a special tax district.

Okay, originally these three simple little bridges were projected to cost only $69.9 million, then increased by another $20 million. How much of that extra cost has come from having those 120 workers working years longer than the original project timeline projection? Why has there been no investigation looking into finding out why Fort Worth has been unable to build these three simple little bridges? Is it problems caused by J.D. Granger's interference insisting on those controversial V-Piers rather than the bridge supporting piers of which the Army Corps of Engineers approved?

And then there is the following...

The three bridges are needed for a $1.17 billion project that would create Panther Island by cutting a bypass between the two forks of the Trinity River as a means to control river flooding.

First off there has been a means to control river flooding in the area in question for well over a half century. This project is fixing a non-existent problem. Which is likely why the project has such trouble getting funding. It can't be sold to the public to vote on and approve of funding. The federal funders looking at it quickly find out it is an economic development scheme, poorly planned, ineptly implemented, which the rest of America should not be expected to pay for.

And please, please, please, drop the Panther Island nonsense.

Surrounding an industrial wasteland with a cement lined ditch does not an island make. It is only gonna end up being one more thing which causes Fort Worth's few tourists to giggle when they ask for an explanation.

Like where is Sundance Square? The answer to that one was an embarrassment for decades.

Where is Panther Island? Uh, it is what you come to when you cross one of those little bridges over that cement lined ditch. Are there panthers on the island? No. Why is it called Panther Island when there are no panthers. And it is not an actual island?

Anyone playing along with this nonsense is like that Emperor having no clothes fable, with the sheep going along with pretending the Emperor is finely dressed, when in reality he is walking around naked. Or, in the Fort Worth case, walking around with the sheep pretending to see a mighty fine island, when all there is is a chunk of wasteland accessed via three little bridges over extremely muddy water.

And one last amusing gem from this latest Star-Telegram article about America's Biggest Boondoggle. See if you can spot what the editor missed...

The progress has been a welcome site for business owners along White Settlement Road, which have taken a financial beating from the road closure, said Steve Metcalf, president of the White Settlement Road Development Task Force.

After six years of Boondoggling along I don't see how the word "progress" fits, let alone be some sort of welcome "sight"....

Hotter 'N Hell Seven July Days Over 100

I do not remember when last I saw a SEVEN DAY FORECAST which forecast seven days in a row over 100 degrees.

I just remembered when last I saw such a forecast. It was in July of 2017, in Arizona.

Apparently what I am able to remember at any given moment in time is extremely fleeting.

For some reason 105 degrees feels way HOTTER at my current location than such a temperature feels whilst getting burned in the Arizona dry desert.

Currently there is just a slight breeze blowing in from the south, which appears to not be blowing enough to render any sort of chilling comfort whilst indulging in doing some bluff hiking. Maybe the shade trees of Lucy Park are in need of a visit...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How's Your Forecast? Mine Is HOT 100s

Yesterday Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's grandpa Jake text messaged my phone asking me "How's your forecast?"

I wondered if something dire had been forecast for my location that had made the news at my brother's Arizona location, so I texted back "Nothing special is forecast that I am aware of."

My brother then texted back "I tried sending you our 6 day forecast which shows nothing below 110 and a 116 on Sunday."

I texted back to that with "We haven't hit 100 yet in real degrees. Have gone to 115 in feels like degrees."

And now this morning what did I see when I checked the forecast for my North Texas location? That which you see screen capped above. Not quite day after day over 100, but close.

I do not like ultra HOT days. Particularly of late when I've been sporting an extra layer of adipose tissue and its resultant heat trapping insulative properties...

Monday, July 6, 2020

Big Lake 4th Of July With Spencer Jack & Hank Frank

A couple minutes ago whilst scrolling on Facebook I saw that my favorite ex-sister-in-law, Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's grandma Cindy, had posted several photos documenting the 4th of July as experienced at grandma Cindy's Big Lake abode.

Big Lake is a little lake located a couple miles east of my old home location in Mount Vernon, in the state of Washington.

Among the grandma Cindy photos was one of my eldest great nephew, Spencer Jack, along with one of my youngest great nephew, Spencer Jack's cousin, Hank Frank.

Which would make that Hank Frank you see above with the giant watermelon.

Earlier this year I was pretty much 100% sure I would be meeting Hank Frank for the first time, later this month.

But, COVID-19 put an end to that happening. Last week our reservations to stay at Birch Bay were cancelled. And a couple days ago, whilst talking to Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's grandpa Jake, I learned grandpa Jake had canceled his plans to stay a month in the Skagit Valley, in addition to our time at Birch Bay.

No wonder we are all sort of depressed.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Ducky Linda Lou Sikes Lake Gazebo Call

Yesterday I was riding my bike through my Caribbean neighborhood, heading west on Haiti, when my phone made its incoming call noise. I did not stop rolling to see who was calling, since that is inconvenient when rolling, and when I do try to do that I usually do not make it to the phone in time to answer it.

Soon thereafter I left the Caribbean behind and arrived at Sikes Lake. A short distance later I stopped at one of the Sikes Lake gazebos and got my phone out of the phone holder which holds it whilst I am rolling.

The call was from Linda Lou.

Linda Lou is fun to talk to, so I sat at the gazebo and returned Linda Lou's call.

Whilst I was talking to Linda Lou at one point she asked what was that quacking noise she was hearing. Ducks I replied. I am surrounded by ducks.

I told Linda Lou I would take a picture of the ducks when I got off the phone and send it to her. I remembered to take the photo, but forgot about it til this morning when I decided I would just send Linda Lou a duck photo via this means.

It was only a flock of four ducks who were serenading me with their quacking. Only two of the ducks, the ones you see above, under the gazebo table, cooperated in having their picture taken.

During the course of a day a lot of people show up at this location on Sikes Lake bringing food to the flock of ducks and geese. The geese out number the ducks by a large margin. I think the four ducks who quacked at me and Linda Lou were hoping for a handout, as that gazebo is a popular lunching spot with the lunchers tossing tidbits to the birds.

At one point a little boy showed up who instantly got my flock of four duck's attention, with the ducks waddling after the little boy for a few minutes, before giving up on that kid giving them anything to eat, so they returned to me and the gazebo and Linda Lou.

This is the type thing which passes for being an exciting thrill in my current pandemic infested world.

I realized yesterday that it has been a year since I last trekked the few miles to the southeast that takes me to the Dallas/Fort Worth zone. I have had no reason to go there, and now what with the DFW Metroplex turning into a COVID-19 hotspot it seems even less appealing than it usually does to go there.

But, I would sure like to have myself a chile relleno at Esperanza's in Fort Worth. I have had a hankering for that for months now...

Friday, July 3, 2020

Raven Escapes To Ocean Shores With Kristin, Michele & The Tacoma Trio

I learned last night that to temporarily escape being housebound in Tacoma, or cabinbound on Harstine Island, the Tacoma Trio decided it was a good time to take a summer time look at the Pacific Ocean.

Doing so took the Tacoma Trio to Ocean Shores.

I have blogged about Ocean Shores a couple times on one of my other blogs, first in a blogging titled Ocean Shores Washington and a second time in Washington's Pacific Ocean's Ocean Shores is Celebrating 50 Years of Coasting.

In the first photo that is David, Kristin, Ruby, Michele & David, being guarded by Raven. I do not know where Raven's step brother, Eddie is.

Maybe Eddie took the picture.

That is the body of water known as the Pacific Ocean behind Raven and his family.

When I was the Tacoma Trio's age going to Ocean Shores was just about my favorite place we'd go on weekend camping trips. Only we simply called it "going to the coast".  And we did not usually stay in Ocean Shores, which is a town created in the 1960s. We usually stayed a few miles north in the little town of Copalis, where my little brother and I always had fun buying a balsa wood airplane to fly til it broke.

The Pacific Ocean beach at Ocean Shores, and for miles north and south, is a wide sandy swath, so wide two lanes of traffic drive on the "beach".

The last time I did so was way back in 2004, if memory serves me correctly.

Above that appears to be Ruby, Michele and Theo running towards the waves.

And now it appears Ruby, Michele and Theo are preparing to run in the other direction to escape the incoming waves.

Here we see David, Ruby, Theo and Raven on the big rocks which make up the spit which sticks way out into the ocean at the entry to Grays Harbor. The waves can get mighty big at this location. When I was last there, in 2004, we watched a big herd of seals frolicking in the surf. And whales spouting further out.

This is also the location of my one and only time experiencing what is known as a rogue wave.

It was a Sunday morning, long long ago. Ruby's mama Michele was about five years younger than Ruby is now. We joined throngs of others walking the beach at low tide.

Suddenly it was obvious an incoming wave was way bigger than the rest.

People began running to dry land. I picked up little Michele, and ran as fast as I could go, eventually getting high on a piece of driftwood, which ended up not being high enough, as we got swept off, and totally wet. The getting wet thing pretty much ended the drama as the wave retreated.

I remember this incident so clearly. I have previously asked Michele if she remembers it. She does not. One of the more vivid things I remember was, with it being Sunday, many of the beach goers were still wearing their going to church attire, including a lady wearing a ridiculously big fur coat. She could not run fast enough and was totally knocked down by the rogue wave. Her fur coat probably never recovered.

The information accompanying the Ocean Shores photos made no mention of staying overnight in one of the many Ocean Shores motels, but the above photo indicates such was the case. Maybe they stayed at the Gitchee Gumee. The last time I overnighted in Ocean Shores, with Michele, and mom and dad, was at the Gitchee Gumee. And one of the attractions was the indoor pool.

Months ago I was 100% certain I would be in Washington this month, having fun with the Tacoma Trio, swimming, sand castle building and mountain biking. But, last week the reservations at Birch Bay were cancelled, putting an end to what had become an ever decreasing chance of roadtripping to the Pacific Northwest this summer.

Someday, I hope, this current nightmare will end. Maybe in time to roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest for David's high school graduation. Or Spencer Jack's wedding. Or something else which currently seems like it would be way into the future...