Saturday, October 31, 2020

Seattle's Lonely Only Trump Voter Switches To Biden


I saw that which you see above this morning in the online version of the Seattle Times. I thought it was amusing. Can't imagine seeing such a headline in one of the online Texas newspapers I look at daily.

Such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram or the Wichita Falls Times News Record.

The curious and lonely tale of 'Wichita Falls only Trump voter' comes to an end.


The curious and lonely tale of 'Fort Worth's only Trump voter' comes to an end.

In my old home state one has to go east of the mountains, to Eastern Washington, to find yourself a lot of Trump voters. Eastern Washington is more like, sort of, rural Texas, than it is like the Puget Sound zone of Western Washington.

Eastern Washington is not quite as prosperous as the west side of the state. And Eastern Washington's education level is far below that of the population of Western Washington, though not nearly as badly educated as those who occupy rural Texas.

The early voting in Texas has surpassed, by far, the total number who voted in the 2016 election. I have no clue what this portends. Fort Worth is the only remaining big Texas city considered to be Red, as in Republican dominated.

But, in the 2018 mid-terms Fort Worth and the county the town is in, Tarrant, gave more votes to Beto O'Roarke than Ted Cruz, sort of a indicator that Fort Worth and Tarrant County are about to turn Blue, because they turned Blue for Beto in 2018.

What I know for sure is I am hoping our long national and international nightmare starts to come to an end next Tuesday...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Californian Poodle Jai Joins Tacoma Trio Family

In Summer of 2017 I met the David, Theo and Ruby's new poodle housemate, Eddie, for the first time.

Eddie did not welcome me at first, apparently used to being apprehensive with strangers. But, when Eddie saw the Tacoma Trio playing with me he quickly decided I was okay to play with too.

Eddie came to Tacoma via Los Angeles, from a rescue shelter place which finds homes for those in dire need of such. 

Way back in Summer of 2008 I had fun with Eddie's predecessors, Blue and Max. I dog sat Blue and Max, solo, for four days, at that point in time, whilst the parental units went to that other Washington on the east side of America.

Max had passed away shortly before my visit in Summer of 2017, leaving just Blue and Eddie to look after David, Theo and Ruby.

Since then a new poodle was added to the family, named Raven. I have not met Raven. Raven is a large poodle.

Blue joined Max about five months ago. Since then the Tacoma Trio has been wanting to add a third poodle to their collection of watchdogs.

A few days ago it was learned from that rescue shelter in Los Angeles that there was a two year old black purebred poodle in desperate need of a home. The parental units consulted and decided it was time to adopt a new member into the family.

Jai arrived yesterday.

Which would make that Jai you see being held by David, Theo and Ruby in that photo at the top.

And that is Ruby playing fetch with Jai in the backyard of the Tacoma abode on M Street.

Jai sure is a lookalike of Blue, but a smaller version.

If conditions improve I am hoping to get to meet Jai and Raven for the first time, at some point in time in the coming new year...

Pumpkin Picking With Tacoma Pumpkid Trio

Above you are looking at David, Theo and Ruby, my favorite Tacoma nephews and niece, also known as the Tacoma Trio, at their favorite pumpkin patch, where the pumpkids picked out several orange globes for Halloween carving purposes.

And below we see the finished products.

I have not read a word that I remember reading about how Halloween is going to work this COVID year.

The wearing a mask part of the ritual would seem to be adequately covered.

Maybe if those handing out the goods to the trick or treaters were masked and gloved.

Or maybe the goods could be delivered via some sort of tube.

Or a mechanical arm.

Maybe it would just be best if all the kids just stayed home this Halloween. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Texas Iceman Hath Arrived With An Ice Storm

Every once in awhile the Texas weather predictors make a prediction where the weather happens as predicted.

Today would be one of those cases of accurate weather prognostication. 

As you can see, via the phone screen shot made seconds ago, we are currently two degrees below freezing. With precipitation precipitating.

The leaves on the trees are being coated with ice, bending the branches.

Just a sec, I will go take a photo of the tree limbs currently being weighted down by ice, resting on my patio deck.

You can not tell it, via the photo documentation, but the deck and everything on it is now coated with ice. I do not know if I can make it to ground level without having some slipping and sliding action. 

There is not much traffic, however every couple minutes I do hear a vehicle drive by. Far less than the norm. People seem to be driving slow, but I can not tell if the road is currently thickly ice coated. I don't know if I want to find out, even though I had planned to drive to a location two miles distant this morning.

Yesterday, prior to the incoming Ice Storm, I had myself a chilly walk on the Circle Trail. I lasted about a mile before I tired of the excessive shivering.

On that Circle Trail walk yesterday I took what is known as a patented Elsie Hotpepper style selfie photo.

Via the phone, I was looking at that tree behind me, currently sporting Fall foliage colors. However, since, til today, we have not had a freeze, none of the leaves on the deciduous trees had changed from their regular green.

That tree I am looking at, colored in Fall foliage mode, is an evergreen type tree. I think maybe it had been struck by lightning and is in the process of dying.

Seems like only yesterday we were heated here to 103, requiring the A/C to run. But that  wasn't yesterday, it was last week. To go from 103 to an Ice Storm in a one week time span is a bit jarring.

I suppose I will acclimate...

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday Walk With A Previously Unseen Texas Monster


Freezing rain is on the menu for the coming week.

Freezing rain sometimes turns into an Ice Storm at this location on the planet.

I do not remember if I ever experienced freezing rain during my years of living on the west coast.

I definitely do not remember ever experiencing an Ice Storm during all my years of living on the west coast.

I have experienced four or five Ice Storms since being exiled to Texas. With the first Ice Storm happening soon upon my arrival, late in the previous century.

Ice Storms coat the outer world in a thick coating of slick ice. Which makes driving and walking treacherous.

On this final Sunday of the 2020 version of October I opted to bundle up in a few layers of insulating outerwear and go for a walk on the Circle Trail.

Soon after leaving my abode and heading south on the Circle Trail I came upon the pre-historic looking monster you see above. This giant bug was moving along at a fast rate of speed, looking like it was trying to make its way to the dried up creek with its plethora of what looks like driftwood.

I think the orange part of the monster was its head, as that was at the front of the direction it was heading.

I hope this multi-legged monster is not part of some new 2020 nightmare, and that soon I will be seeing them all over, like a cockroach infestation. 

Maybe they won't survive the upcoming freezing rain and possible Ice Storm...

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Iceman Almost Cometh Early To Wichita Falls

What you see here is a screen shot taken moments ago on my phone.

I had just returned from being unexpectedly cold whilst riding my bike around my Caribbean neighborhood, and so was curious to see if the temperature was as cold as it felt.

As in freezing.

Well, as you can see the current wind is making 46 degrees feel like it is only five degrees above freezing.

And the predicted low for today is only four degrees above freezing.

I thought I was adequately attired for these frigid conditions. But, I was not. I will need to add a few layers the next time I go on a similar trek in similar conditions.

This means it is time to go on the annual hunt for wherever it is I have secured my long underwear. Usually this annual search ends in frustration and the purchase of new long underwear.

You can also see, via the screen shot, that yesterday we hit a high of 88, before a cold front blew into town.

At some point during the night I began seeing bright flashes. Eventually those bright flashes got close enough that I heard almost non-stop thunder for what seemed like hours. The booming thunder was accompanied by downpouring rain.

By morning my main way out of my abode was blocked by a temporary lake. I was able to roll my bike through a shallower escape route which was not as inundated as my regular escape route.

Methinks this October storm is a harbinger of a harsh winter, arriving soon, well, in a couple months...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hot Walk With Lucy Park Pagoda


Last week we hit a HOT 100, one day, and then, a couple days ago, an Arctic Blast blew in from the north, taking about 60 degrees off that 100.

Usually the transition from Summer to Winter goes more gently, or so it seems. One day I'm running the A/C, next day I switch to HEAT mode. 

And now, on this third Wednesday of the 2020 version of October we are back in the high 80s, with the A/C running.

What with the return of Summer it seemed like a shady walk at Lucy Park would be salubrious.

And so it was.

I am fairly certain I have blogged a photo of the Lucy Park Pagoda previously. You see these type structures at various locations in Wichita Falls.

I have tried to find an explanation was to the why of these Pagodas, to no avail.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Joining Long Line Of Early Voters In Wichita Falls

The third Friday morning of the 2020 version of October was consumed by digesting the Texas version of Early Voting. 

Til I moved to Texas it had been a long long time since I had experienced voting at a polling place in a voting booth.

If I remember right, by the 1990s my Washington voting was by the permanent mail-in ballot method. For many years now I believe the only way to vote in Washington has been via the mail-in ballot method, as in mailing the ballot, or dropping it off at one of the strategically placed ballot boxes which look as secure as Fort Knox.

But, Texas is an entire different world. It is possible to get an absentee ballot in Texas. And for this election, due to COVID, the mail-in ballot method is possible, though not as easy to do as is the case in Washington. And a few other more progressive modern states.

My previous Early Voting at my Wichita Falls location have been at the Sikes Senter (I did not spell that wrong, it is Sikes Senter, not Sikes Center). The most recent time voting at Sikes Senter was the 2018 mid-term election.

Back then, no line. Just walk up, show the required I.D., vote and go. Taking maybe ten minutes.

Today my first voting attempt was at that aforementioned Sike Senter. I installed the required mask, entered the mall, and soon saw a line ahead of me. That can't be the voting line, I thought to myself, the voting location is way to the left. 

But by the time I was able to see the length of the mall I could see the line covered just about that entire length.

 I walked to the start of the line, to the voting booths, walked back to the end, asking a person at the halfway mark how long they had been in line.

Two hours was the answer.

I decided to try another Early Voting location.

That is part of the Sikes Senter line you see above. There were people behind me, as well.

I then drove to the next closest Early Voting location. A furniture store on Fairway. Got there, saw a lot of cars in the parking lot. And then saw the line, snaking out of the building and around the block.

So, I then decided to make a day of it and drove to the next closest Early Voting location, that being the County Courthouse, which is in downtown Wichita Falls.

Got to that location, easily found a place to park, then found the line, quickly confirmed it was about a half hour to get into the building and another half hour from that point. 

Decided to go for it. The wait did not seem to take an hour. But, I was distracted by doing text messages on my phone.

Before I knew it I was going through the final door, showing my I.D., getting my vote code and then directed to a machine, where I quickly voted, soon exiting, where I took the selfie photo you see at the top.

As you can see my attire was all blue today, which likely provides a clue as to how I voted...

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Lake Wichita Dam Boardwalk Walk Over Water

This 2nd Sunday of the 2020 version of October found me seeking endorphins and heat relief via fast walking across Lake Wichita Dam, with side walks to the floating fish dock, which is the vantage point from which the above photo was taken, looking across the water at the recently completed Lake Wichita Boardwalk.

The Lake Wichita Boardwalk is built upon iconic signature vertical piers. The Boardwalk was built over actual water in about a year's time. No local congress person's son was part of the project.

I do not know why Wichita Falls does not have Rockin' the Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in Lake Wichita.

Years ago the location where the new Boardwalk is located was a popular resort, including swimming in the lake options, along with multiple other entertainments.

A train and trolley took visitors to the Lake Wichita Pavilion Resort from points distant, such as the Dallas/Fort Worth zone.

All that remains of the long gone Lake Wichita Pavilion Resort are the wooden piers you see sticking up above the water between the floating fish dock and the new Boardwalk.

Perhaps Fort Worth could send some sort of investigative task force to Wichita Falls to try and learn how this little town managed to build a bridge-like structure over water in about a year, whilst Fort Worth has been floundering for many more years trying to build three simple little bridges with imaginary iconic signature piers, over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.


And the cooling wind blowing across the lake was refreshing today...

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Hot Humid 2nd October Saturday With Wichita Water Falling


I really think I am beginning to go COVID stir crazy. I have not been further than 40 miles from my abode since last March. I do not remember any period in my existence of such a length with going so few miles from my home location.

On Facebook of late I am seeing plans being made for my high school class to have a reunion next summer. I don't see that happening. And I sure don't see myself attending, for a variety of reasons. I do see myself being in Washington next summer, should this COVID nightmare abate sufficiently.

So, today, feeling that stir crazy feeling, I decided to take that long five mile drive north, to Lucy Park, to hike along the Wichita River to the iconic symbol of Wichita Falls.

As you can see, above, I was not alone in deciding to do this today, such as there is that lady you see, taking pics with her phone. I do not know if she had yet noticed the other group getting into position to take some adventurous selfie photos.


I suspect that group you see being scofflaws did not see the sign. The sign is not positioned in a location where every Falls visitor can not help but see it.

Continuing on I opted to take the brick paved trail which serpentines to the top of the falls and the cemetery source from which it flows.

On the way to the top of the Falls I had another view of the group taking closeup selfies at the edge of the Falls.

Another view, this time from the lookout looking out over the top of the Falls. As you can see the selfie takers are not really getting too close to falling over the Falls. Hence, limited danger.

A final view, this time from the lookout which looks over the biggest fall of the Falls. That group you see at the bottom of the Falls are not being scofflaws, they are on one of the approved paved trails.

And that was my excitement for the day. That and going to Walmart, where I got a pork roast I will grill on the smokeless grill tomorrow, along with okra.

Speaking of COVID. And who isn't? Wichita County has had a record number of new cases four days in a row. I may be off on the number by a case or two, but Tuesday there were 61, Wednesday 67, Thursday 82 and Friday 103, with two deaths.

It is getting worse fast at this location. Or so it seems...

Friday, October 9, 2020

Tacoma Trio's M Street Elementary School


Above we are seeing David, Ruby and Theo at their new school.

The Tacoma Trio no longer need to take a bus or walk to school, because they don't have to leave home to go to school.

Each student at the new school has a much larger desk than is the regular school norm. With each desk at the new school equipped with a computer connected at broadband speed to the Internet, and the source of their daily lessons.

Mama Kristen is the Teacher/Superintendent at the Tacoma Trio's new school, monitoring each student as they take their daily lesson from a small screen.

There are two recess breaks during the school day, with an hour for lunch. 

It is not known if there is any sort of sports program at M Street Elementary. With only three students in a school team sports might be a bit difficult. Maybe tennis or golf would work...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Finding The Long Rumored Lake Wichita Park Elephant


The last time I rolled my bike across Lake Wichita Dam, via the Circle Trail, when I neared the swampland one encounters slightly east of Mount Wichita I was startled by a deer leaping across the trail ahead of me.

I mentioned this in Lake Wichita Deer Encounter With No Bears Or Native Americans.

In the past month or two I have heard mention made, a time or two, of elephant sightings in Lake Wichita Park.

I figured this had to be a mirage, or someone seeing a plus sized dog of some sort.

Or maybe an elephant is actually making its home in the jungle-like swampland.

It's not like Wichita Falls has not been home to an elephant in times previous. We learned this last month whilst visiting Scotland Park for the first time, blogging about it in A Desegregated Wichita Falls Scotland Park Walk Without Miss Sugar.

Miss Sugar was the name of the Wichita Falls Municipal Zoo's main elephant attraction. 

I was fairly certain it was not a descendant of Miss Sugar which had been sighted in Lake Wichita Park.

So, today I was rolling along, having myself a mighty fine time, along with all the other rollers of various sorts, and mountain climbers working their way to the summit of Mount Wichita, when I rolled off on a side spur off the Circle Trail which leads to a lookout looking out over the marshy swampland.

Atop that lookout I looked left and right, looking for an elephant, to no avail.

And then when I rolled back down from that lookout, by the bench adjacent to that Circle Trail spur I saw the long rumored elephant and photo documented that which I saw.

Which is what you see at the top, with the bench shading the back third of the elephant.

And that has been my excitement for today in these excitement challenged times...

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Hope Luke Don't Get COVID But Hope Hicks Do


Rolled my bike a few miles this mighty fine first Saturday of the October version of 2020. The temperature barely in the 70s. 

Eventually I rolled around Sikes Lake where I found a lot of chalk drawings drawn on the cement trail. There are dozens of these cryptic drawings. I could sort of glean they were mostly personal well wishes directed at specific people, such as the one you see above, only part of which I photo documented.

The message was telling someone named Luke "You got this, don't get COVID..."

I was in Walmart yester evening for the first time since we learned our Dear Leader has contracted COVID. This was the first time I have been in Walmart since wearing a mask was mandated that I did not see a single fool disobeying that directive and arrogantly wandering Walmart mask-free.

Has the Dear Leader getting COVID rendered the pandemic deniers totally confused? 

Speaking of idiots, and who isn't, a related item, from Facebook.

Prior to learning our Dear Leader and his Third Wife have the virus, we had learned Trump aide Hope Hicks had tested positive.

Someone on Facebook posted one of those meme things, which simply said...


Now, as a sad example of how annoying Facebook can be, and how many ill informed ignorant type people are on Facebook, always ready to scold people for this that or the other thing which the scolder usually misunderstands. Multiple people scolded the person who simply posted the fact that Hope Hicks had contracted the virus.

On person simply said "how rude". Others scolded variations chastising the cruelty of hoping people get COVID.

Think of how stupid and ignorant one has to be to not know Hope Hicks is a person, working for our Dear Leader, and to think this Facebook poster is hoping that "Hicks" get COVID-19. And by "Hicks" I am assuming the scolders think the Facebook poster means Redneck Dumbclucks. You know, your basic Trump supporters, also known as Deplorables.

Anyway, we are living through troubled times, hopefully better soon, in a variety of ways...