Sunday, October 31, 2021

No Halloween Bread For The Lucy Park Ducks

With the outer world chilled to 61 degrees, with the air moving at about a 10 mph pace, thus creating a wind chill factor making the outer world feel like it's chilled to somewhere in the 50s, I again opted out of rolling my bike wheels anywhere on this last day of the 2021 version of October.

Instead I drove to Lucy Park for some nature communing and duck walking. On this day of Halloween we shall take a look at the Lucy Park Duck Pond. Where a lot of geese co-habitate with the ducks. 

At the west entry to the Duck Pond signage warns against feeding the birds bread. MSU needs to put up similar signage at Sikes Lake.

The photo does not make it clear, but above the Duck Pond was dominated by big water lilies. 

The ducks see a human and gravitate, I mean, float, towards the human, in this case, me, hoping I am going to toss some Halloween treat at them.

A pagoda style bridge across the Duck Pond. I have yet to learn what's up with all the Japanese type structures in Lucy Park.

The trails around the Duck Pond have multiple sitting opportunities, on swing benches. Which is the Wichita Falls norm.

And that concludes our tour of the Lucy Park Duck Pond...

Hank Frank & The Great Halloween Pumpkin

Earlier this 2021 Halloween, in a blogging about a Super Slug Halloween I wondered if I would be seeing Trick or Treat costume pictures today of David, Theo, Ruby, Spencer Jack and Hank Frank.

About an hour later the photo you see above showed up on my phone.

Hank Frank with a great giant pumpkin.

That is the Mount Baker volcano hovering above the foothills you see in the background behind Hank Frank.

Happy Super Slug Halloween


Most people who have spent any time at all in the Pacific Northwest will know what the above Halloween costume is costuming.

Known by most as slugs. By some as snails. They come in several sizes and colors, including the version known as a banana slug, due to being yellow.

Slugs are sort of the PNW pest equivalent of cockroaches. I never saw a cockroach til I moved to Texas. I don't think they exist in the Pacific Northwest. 

A couple years ago a friend of mine here, a lifelong Texan, flew up to Washington for the first time. Being surrounded by mountains for the first time in her life impressed her the most. She said she found the mountains mesmerizing.

And then there was this other thing she'd never seen before that she found disturbing.


On her first morning in Seattle she went out to the backyard of the friend's house in which she was staying and saw dozens of giant worm-like things leaving a trail of slime in their wake. She quickly retreated back into the house and alarmingly reported some sort of invasion was taking place in the backyard. The friends rushed outside, saw the invaders, and simultaneously said "slugs".

Slugs can be a big nuisance. I had a rooftop garden at my house in Mount Vernon. I grew strawberries, basil, spinach, blueberries and I forget what else. Somehow slugs managed to get up the stairs and into the various food growing containers.

You can buy slug bait which attracts and kills them, leaving a trail of slime and a slug corpse in its wake. Or you can put beer in a saucer. The beer attracts the slug, which then drowns, happily drunk.

I wonder if I will be getting Halloween costume pictures of David, Theo, Ruby, Spencer Jack and Hank Frank today?

Spencer Jack may have reached that age where he thinks he is too old to go trick or treating...

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Looking At Memories I Don't Remember

Google continues its sporadic sending of email with the subject line of "Look back at your memories from this day". This last Saturday morning of the 2021 version of October Google sent two memory looks. The one you see above and another made up of photos of Aunt Alice, and one of me.

In the look at memories above I only remember two of the memories. In the lower left that is me, at Dinosaur Valley State Park. There is a swimming zone there, with no life guard, but does provide Life Jugs to throw at a drowning person. The only other memory I remember from above is that is Reunion Tower in Dallas at the lower right.

Above all but the lower right are Aunt Alice in her various Halloween costumes. In the upper left and right Aunt Alice is Mary Todd Lincoln. Lower left Aunt Alice is Marilyn Monroe. Next to Marilyn, Aunt Alice is Gloria Swanson. And then on the lower right, that is me and Wanda on a houseboat on Lake Powell.

What fond memories to not remember...

Friday, October 29, 2021

Another Windy Texas Day Grounds Me

Another extremely windy day at my location on the planet. With gusts gusting to around 40 mph riding my bike had zero appeal. So, it was to nearby Sikes Lake my motorized motion device took me for a walk around Sikes Lake.

Above you are standing in the middle of the bridge at the west end of Sikes Lake, looking west at what looks like a lagoon, but is, in reality, the creek which delivers the water which makes Sikes Lake. 

The high wind had the Sikes Lake Geese Fleet grounded today. Out of the water, out of the air. Above you are seeing only a small portion of the Sikes Lake goose population. There is also a flock of ducks in residence, some of whom mingle with the geese.

Soon after getting past the flock of grounded geese we come upon the scene above. I have blogged about this previously, but never got an answer to the question I asked. Soon after the plaque you see in the foreground was installed the information on the plaque became wrong. Mention is made of the small horse you see above the plaque, indicating the small horse's name is "Painters Parade". And then mention is made of a large horse named "Apple-oosa".

Well, Apple-oosa disappeared soon after this plaque was installed. Was Apple-oosa stolen? Or moved to a new location by the Wichita Falls Museum of Art? If it was stolen it was a rather brazen act of thievery. As in there is no easy access via vehicle to this location. And there are a lot of eyes at this location.

New Problems With Fort Worth's Three Bridges To An Imaginary Island

Apparently the Contractor, Panther Island partners at odds on final cost of three bridges.

We learn of this latest chapter in the multi-year Fort Worth bridge building boondoggle via an article in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Below are four paragraphs from this article. Below these four paragraphs we are going to talk about the second paragraph...

TxDOT officials also identified a “malfunction of design” as the cause of delays as far back as 2016.

Built over dry land to save money, the three bridges will eventually span a Trinity River channel to connect with the $1.17 billion Panther Island development north of downtown Fort Worth.

Prior to start of construction, there were suggestions that the design of the 7th Street bridge could be replicated and constructed quicker and less expensively than the V-pier design of Freese and Nichols.

But J.D. Granger, who oversees the Panther Island project and is the son of project champion U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, argued that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer had signed off on the V-pier design and a change would delay and possibly increase the cost of the bridges as well as possibly jeopardize the $526 million the project is expected to receive for channelizing the Trinity River to improve flood control.

For longer than seven years we have been told, over and over and over again, that these three bridges were being built over dry land to save money. This article's mention of this is the first time I've seen it not mentioned that the bridges were also being built over dry land to save time.

The being built over dry land to save time claim becomes obviously ridiculous when it took an astonishing seven years to build three simple freeway overpass type bridges over dry land. Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, over actual deep, fast moving water.

With the final price tag being way higher than originally projected, the saving money claim is also rendered bogus.

But, what is most annoying about this built over dry land to save time and money claim is that to suggest such is totally idiotic. 

I mean, how hard is it to see why claiming the bridges were purposefully being built over dry land to save time and money is totally idiotic?

There never was any other option but to build the three bridges over dry land.

That this must even be pointed out is like a metaphor for the entire Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

If that cement lined ditch were built first, before the bridges, how would drivers drive to the other side of the channel? How could it ever have been an option to dig the ditch first, and add the bridges later?

I have read so many supposedly responsible adults repeat the bogus, ridiculous "built over dry land to save time and money" claim.

Congresswoman Kay Granger has repeated this nonsense. As has her son, J.D. Granger, currently paid $242,000 a year, to do what? No one seems to know what J.D. does to warrant being paid so much. Former Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price has spewed the "built over dry land to save time and money" nonsense. 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has repeatedly repeated the "built over dry land to save time and money" nonsense. As have other supposed news sources, including, now, the Fort Worth Business Press.

When will this absurdly ridiculous nonsense end?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thelma McNutty Learning To Surfboard In Florida

Yesterday I learned via photo documentation on Facebook, and an on the scene observer, that Madame Thelma McNutty is taking surfing lessons at a school which teaches that skill, whilst Thelma waits out her exile on Florida's Treasure Island.

Earlier on her stay on Treasure Island the McNutty one said she and her caretaker, Ben, were going to go swimming with Manatees at a location on or near Treasure Island which provides the adventure of swimming with those loveable sea creatures.

I have seen no photo documentation of a McNutty swim with the Manatees.

I do not know the name of the surfboard position Thelma is demonstrating above. I am pretty sure it is not what is known as Hanging Ten. 

Windblown Gusty Walk To Circle Trail's End With Fly Hats

With the outer world temperature barely into the 60s, with a steady breeze blowing at 30 mph, with gusts predicted to be blowing as high as 46 mph, I layered on the outerwear and drove to the east parking lot access to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to walk in the direction opposite the Nature Area, to head east to the current termination point of the Circle Trail.

By the current point in time the new section of Circle Trail was supposed to be connected to Lucy Park and Mile One of the Circle Trail.

That is Trail's end you see above.

I do recollect, when it was announced that this section of Circle Trail was given the go ahead, that the funding was a bit short, so the last 1,000 feet were not going to be paved, would be gravel instead, awaiting the funding for future pavement.

As for today's gusting. The steady gale was easy to deal with. But at one point a gust gusted gustily, faster, it seemed, than the predicted 46 mph. During the gust my hat blew off, flying about 100 feet before getting stuck on a bush. I retrieved the hat, re-installed it, and secured it by flipping the hoodie of the sweatshirt I was wearing on top of the no longer airborne hat.

The 10 day forecast for my location looks like we are heading towards a few stormy days and nights. I don't like it when Mother Nature gets herself riled up...

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

After Last Night's Deluge A Cold Windy Lucy Park Walk With Flying Acorns

Last night rain poured down in downpour mode, doing so in copious amounts.

Thunder did some rumbling whilst the rain poured down.

By the time the sun arrived to do its daily illumination duty rain was no longer falling.

However the amount of rain which had poured down managed to make a lake blocking my regular route to where my motorized motion device is kept under cover.

So, I took the alternate route to where that motion device is parked and then managed to drive to Lucy Park for an extremely windy, extremely cold communing with nature.

The outer world was chilled to 61 degrees, with the brisk wind making it feel much colder. Wind was gusting to blows around 35 mph. This resulted in the occasional pummeling from acorns being blown out of their host trees.

As you can see via the photo evidence above, I am getting much better at taking a selfie. Due to it being cloudy I was able to see the screen to take the photo in what is known as the patented Elsie Hotpepper style.

In the selfie I am on the suspension bridge over the Wichita River.

Due to the copious amount of rain at my home location I thought the Wichita River might be in flood mode. When that happens much of Lucy Park goes underwater. But, as you can see the river today is running a bit higher than the norm, but nowhere near flooding. In the above photo we are in the middle of the suspension bridge, looking south.

One of the many paved trails winding through the Lucy Park trees. Lucy Park has a wide variety of trees. I think my favorite are the Cypress.

Directional signage was added awhile back, pointing people to the Falls. I recollect on my first visit to Lucy Park having to ask how to get to the Falls. And since then more than once I have found myself being asked where the Falls are.

I was way underdressed for today's commune with nature. It always takes me awhile to adjust to the arrival of frigid air.

Tomorrow is scheduled to also be cold. And windy. I do not foresee a bike ride happening tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Brown Vs. Topeka While Battle Vs. Wichita Falls With Both Winning

I think I have made mention of that which you see above, previously. A Texas Historical Commission Marker telling the history of Midwestern University Desegregation.

I do not know when or why Midwestern University added "State" as its middle name. I do know that desegregation worked due to seeing a lot of African-Americans on the MSU campus.

This Historical Marker is located a short distance south of the one and only fountain on the MSU campus. I rolled by this location today. Additional signage has been installed, of the temporary sort. Apparently it is MSU Homecoming Week.

The interesting tale told on this Historical Marker...

In 1948, Emzy Downing and James O. Chandler, both graduates from the African American High School in Wichita Falls, Booker T. Washington High School, applied for admission to Hardin Junior College, a division of Midwestern University. The Board of Trustees denied their admission. In 1950, with encouragement from local NAACP leader, Professor C.E. Jackson, Willie Faye Battle, an honor graduate, applied by mail for admission to the two-year nursing school at Hardin Junior College. She was accepted, but when she and Professor Jackson went to the school to complete the application process, she was denied admission. Subsequently she was accepted to Prairie View A & M University.

In the Fall of 1951, Ms. Battle along with Maryland Virginia Menefee, Helen Muriel Davis, Golden E. Mitchell White, Carl Lawrence McBride and Wilma Jean Norris were encouraged to apply in person. Each applicant received rejection letters in the mail. Following this incident, a meeting was held between the University Board of Trustees and Representatives of the Texas State Council at Booker T. Washington High School. Alternative solutions were discussed such as a college at Booker T. Washington High School or Midwestern paying the tuition for African American students to attend African American colleges. These alternatives were rejected and a suit was filed in United States District Court, the first of its type. Initially Battle, Et Al v. Wichita Falls Junior College Dist., Et Al was decided in favor of the students. But, with appeals and injunctions, the final decision came through the Supreme Court in 1954, following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling. The first African American students were enrolled in the Summer of 1954.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Wichita River Circle Trail Walk To New Hoodoo

On this final Monday of the 2021 version of October I took myself on a walk along the Wichita River, starting at the parking lot at the east entry to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. But, instead of walking to the Nature Area I walked east to the current end of the Circle Trail. 

When one walks east at this location one soon goes under the Loop 11 bridge over the Wichita River. To my eyes the underpinning of this bridge looks a little wonky.

Wichita Falls must rank near the top of any ranking of number of benches per capita of all the towns in America. Yet I seldom see someone sitting on one of these benches. The benches are comfortable. And they swing.

I think I have made mention of late regarding it seeming bizarre that I find what I call Hoodoos at two locations which I frequent. I have suggested that there must be other instances of this phenomenon at locations I do not frequent.

Well, this pair of dwarf Hoodoos showed up near the current end of the Circle Trail. Usually these rock formations show up where there are a lot of rocks. Not at locations such as above.

Speaking of the Circle Trail.

This new section was supposed to connect to the Circle Trail in Lucy Park. I have not learned why the construction halted prior to reaching the goal.

If the Circle Trail ever gets completed, I will be able to roll from my abode the short distance to the Circle Trail, and then roll 26 some miles, making a big circle around the perimeter of the town.

It has been a few years since I have rolled as many as 26 miles in one bike ride...

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Blowing Saturday Smoke Up the Lucy Park Japanese Pagoda

Lucy Park was the destination today for communing with nature on this 4th Saturday of the 2021 version of October.

This 4th Saturday of October is being a HOT one. The A/C is back running again, after a multi-day rest.

Meanwhile out west and up north the Pacific coast is bracing for a Bomb Cyclone, which is expected to blow wind at a hurricane level whilst dropping water like a river from the sky.

I have heard from a few Washingtonians today. All are saying they are ready for what is coming. Hatches are all battened. Back up lighting ready.

I am getting real good at taking a selfie photo, don't you think?

Behind me that is the Lucy Park Japanese Pagoda.

Today the Pagoda appeared to be blowing smoke out its top.

I have made mention of the Lucy Park Pagoda before, asking if anyone knows the story behind its existence. I have not received an answer.

I got an email this morning suggesting I go visit Hawaii. I like that suggestion...

Friday, October 22, 2021

Biking To See Holiday Season Arrive At MSU

My bike rolled me around a dozen miles this morning. Perfect temperature for pleasant bike riding. 

Eventually we rolled to the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus, where we stopped to take a picture of the annual arrival of the Christmas installation known as the Festival of Light.

I think I am remembering that name correctly. 

It takes awhile to set up this massive installation, hence beginning well before Halloween. 

And so it begins, the annual return of the Holiday Season. We now fast track through Halloween, then Thanksgiving, speeding towards Christmas and then New Year's Day. 

Never has been my favorite time of the year.

But, I have already almost completed all my Christmas shopping...

Today's Look At Mount Baker For Thelma McNutty


I saw that which you see above, this morning, on Facebook, via a posting by Miss Beth of Sedro Woolley.

This view of Mount Baker is from the town of Conway, which is a few miles south of the town I moved to Texas from, Mount Vernon.

I was able to see Mount Baker from my kitchen window in Mount Vernon. I see nothing remotely resembling a mountain when I look out of my Texas kitchen window.

I remember the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains not being all that impressed. The Rocky Mountains did not seem as tall as the Washington, and other west coast, mountains. This perplexed me, because the elevation of many of the mountains in the Rocky Mountain range is higher than mountains in the Cascade Mountain range.

Then one day my simple mind realized why the Rocky Mountains did not look as tall as Washington mountains. 

Conway, and Mount Vernon, and Sedro Woolley, and Burlington, and the rest of the Skagit Valley Flats are only a few feet above sea level. Mount Baker's elevation is 10,781 feet. 

When you are in Denver you are about a mile above sea level. That cuts about 5,280 off the perceived height of the Rocky Mountains.

Mystery solved.

I hope today's Mount Baker photo activates Thelma McNutty's homesickness. A concerted effort has been underway to make Thelma homesick for Washington, so that she will return next summer after having been away from many things Washingtonian for around half a century...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Elderly Return To Original Wichita Falls

This morning I was tasked with driving a senior citizen to one of his drug suppliers on the east side of town.

The location of the drug supplier is about a block south of O'Reilly Park.

At the west side of O'Reilly Park one finds the original falls on the Big Wichita River for which the city was named.

So, this particular senior citizen had never seen the original falls for which Wichita Falls was named, so after acquiring the drugs I drove to the O'Reilly Park parking lot to walk to Wichita Falls.

It is the Circle Trail one walks on to get to the falls. One begins hearing the roar of the falls before one sees the falls.

Yes, that which you see above is Wichita Falls. The river is running low enough to produce what look to be minor rapids at the location of the long ago, washed out by a flood, original Wichita Falls waterfall.

See that bridge crossing the river at the top left of the picture? Let's take a closer look.

I have no clue as to the purpose of this giant rock wall which is part of the bridge. This is a long abandoned bridge. There is a historical marker at the entry to the bridge explaining why it is historical. There is no easy way to get from the Circle Trail up to that historical marker.

I know I blogged about this bridge and the nearby Wee-Chi-Tah statue. I shall see if I can find those blog posts.

Okay, found them. 

Walking Over The Wichita River On The Old Ohio Street Bridge takes you over the bridge, via video. And finds that aforementioned historical marker.

Waist Deep Comanche River Crossing Gives Texas Town Its Name takes you to the Wee-Chi-Tah statue.

And that has been my thrilling day so far, that and earlier today having someone tell me she had been tasked with being a Mata Hari... 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Biking To Find Another Random Rock Formation At Sikes Lake

It seems of late that almost everywhere I hike or bike I come across rock formations such as the one I came across today whilst rolling around Sikes Lake, which is what you see the handlebars aimed at above.

Yesterday's hike on the Wichita Bluffs came across the tallest yet of these type rock formations.

Warm air has returned to the outer world at my location, thus allowing the return to shorts, which was nice after the recent temperature plummet forced me to hunt for sweatpants.

A new cold front is on the weather menu for tomorrow. I'm ready for it...

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hiking With The Wichita Bluff Hoodoos, Grasshoppers & Sunflowers

Today I returned to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to go on a long hike. All the way from the western parking lot to the eastern parking lot and back. A roundtrip of around five miles. It has been awhile since I hiked this long a distance.

I don't know how well I would do these days, going on a real hike on a real mountain with a real elevation gain and a distance of 10 miles, or more.

I forgot to mention, as you can see above, the Wichita Bluff Nature Area Hoodoo Cairn has risen to an unprecedented height. Today the Hoodoo Cairn was being buffeted by a strong steady wind. With gusts.

Just to the right of the Hoodoo Cairn, behind that green bush tree, there was the splash of yellow you see below.

Are these sunflowers? They look like sunflowers. Whatever they are they were swaying in the wind, so much so I was surprised the photos I took were not all blurry.

Grasshoppers were out in force today. They can be a bit annoying. Multiple times today one hopped right at my face...

Gimme Three Steps While Thelma McNutty Finds Linda Lou With Lynyrd Skynyrd

I did not realize, til Thelma McNutty suggested it yesterday, that the Skagit Valley's Linda Lou could possibly be the Linda Lou in the Lynyrd Skynryrd "Gimme Three Steps" song.

But, I really do not see how the Skagit Valley's Linda Lou could possibly be the Linda Lou in this Lynyrd Skynyrd song.

1973 was the year "Gimme Three Steps" was a hit. Linda Lou would have only been 19 years old. Maybe 20. Okay, I guess that possibly Linda Lou was old enough to possibly have been some sort of Lynyrd Skynyrd groupie and song inspiration.

The lyrics to "Gimme Three Steps" really don't make much mention of Linda Lou. Certainly not sufficient detail to make a clear identification (video below the lyrics)...

I was cutting the rug
Down at place called The Jug
With a girl named Linda Lou
When in walked a man
With a gun in his hand
And he was looking for you know who
He said, "Hey there, fellow
With the hair colored yellow
Whatcha tryin' to prove?
'Cause that's my woman there
And I'm a man who cares
And this might be all for you
I said, excuse me
I was scared and fearing for my life
I was shaking like a leaf on a tree
'Cause he was lean, mean
Big and bad, Lord
Pointin' that gun on me
"Oh, wait a minute, mister
I didn't even kiss her
Don't want no trouble with you
And I know you don't owe me
But I wish you'd let me
Ask one favor from you"
"Oh, won't you
Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister
Gimme three steps toward the door?
Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister
And you'll never see me no more"
For, sure
Well the crowd cleared away
And I began to pray
And the water fell on the floor
And I'm telling you, son
Well, it ain't no fun
Staring straight down a forty-four
Well, he turned and screamed at Linda Lou
And that's the break I was looking for
Well, you could hear me screaming a mile away
I was headed out toward the door
"Oh, won't you
Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister
Gimme three steps toward the door?
Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister
And you'll never see me no more"
Show me the back door

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Communing With Nature & Disc Golfers At Lucy Park

As you can clearly see I am getting way better at taking selfie photos with my phone.

The wispy clouds above me were wisping above Lucy Park this Sunday morning.

Dozens of disc golfers were spinning frisbees into wire traps. 

I don't see why disc golfing is so popular. I also don't see why regular golfing is so popular. 

If forced to choose one I think I would go with disc golfing.

Throwing a frisbee at a target looks like more fun than hitting a little ball with a stick trying to get the little ball into a little hole in the ground.

I have been talked into golfing a couple times. It was a slow torture.

We are past the middle of October and the leaves in the trees are still green.

I would have thought some disc golfers would have shown up in the above photo. There was a large group to the left, another to the right.

And soon after I took the above photo a solo disc golfer was wandering from one group to the next asking if they'd found a phone on the fairway. When he asked me that question I said I don't know where the fairway is. And I have seen no phone.

I think I will go on a bike ride this afternoon. Yesterday's bike ride I cut short because I was wearing shorts and got too cold. Today's walk around Lucy Park was in sweat pants and long sleeved t-shirt.

Seems like only yesterday the outer world at my location was heated into the 90s. Last night got down to the chilly low 40s.

This bodes ill for the coming winter. I don't think Texas has fixed its power grid...

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Chilly Wichita Bluff Walk With Linda Lou

Linda Lou, from Washington's Skagit Valley, hiked the Wichita Bluffs with me this 3rd Saturday of the 2021 version of October.

The outer world got near freezing last night. Well, within 10 degrees of freezing. So, I was in sweatpants and long sleeved t-shirt for the hiking today.

We were not more than a minute of the hiking today when we came across what looked like a homeless camp. This was seen shortly after walking under the west entry arch into the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

Upon further examination it was determined this was part of a photographer's set up, because we saw a photographer photographing a couple of people behind that green tree you see on the right.

And the photographer was asked if that was his pile of stuff on the other side of the tree. With "yes" being the answer.

The Instant Pot just beeped indicating it has completing pressure cooking today's lunch...

Friday, October 15, 2021

Is Fort Worth Grand Jury Investigating A Local Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization?

Outrage over the Tarrant Regional Water District payoff to former TRWD Executive Director, Jim Oliver, has opened a can of worms that has long been in dire need of being opened.

A Grand Jury investigation is underway.

Maybe this will finally lead to a RICO investigation. (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations)

Apparently at the latest TRWD board meeting it became apparent that some of the board members have no understanding of even the simple type of corruption known as nepotism.

Fort Worth's new actual real news source of the investigative journalism sort, Fort Worth Report reported on the TRWD Grand Jury Investigation in Grand Jury Investigating Tarrant water district.

Having a real news source in town seems to have motivated the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to act more like a real newspaper.

The above is a screen cap from the front page of the online version of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram with a link to an article about the TRWD Grand Jury investigation titled Grand jury investigating Tarrant Regional Water District after complaint about settlement.

It will be interesting to see where this Grand Jury investigation goes...

Thursday, October 14, 2021

In Disneyland With Spencer Jack & Jason

A couple years ago my Favorite Nephew Jason emailed me a photo of himself and Spencer Jack standing in front of what looked to me to be Utah-like scenery, along with a Route 66 road sign. This confused me because I did not think Route 66 went through Utah, or any Utah-like scenery.

Last night FNJ emailed a similar photo and asked, once more, if I could guess where he and Spencer Jack were. This time I replied "Disney California".

Jason then called to tell me I was correct. Spencer Jack took a couple days off school and flew his dad to Anaheim. Jason is now at the age when a day at Disneyland is exhausting. So, he left Spencer to continue riding rides, whilst Jason walked back to the hotel to get some rest and call his favorite uncle.

This morning another photo showed up in my email.

Above I can tell Jason is in Disneyland, floating on a canoe, following the Mark Twain Riverboat on the Mississippi, heading to Tom Sawyer Island.

When last I was in Disneyland, Disney California had not yet been invented. That last visit was Christmas of 1993. Disneyland broke an attendance record that day.

Way back then it cost around $30 to get admitted to Disneyland. If I remember last night's conversation correctly, Jason told me it cost $290 each for a two day pass to both Disneyland and Disney California. I'm thinking that price must include some sort of express pass.

When I was around Spencer Jack's age our annual family vacation was to California and Disneyland two years in a row.

We did not just go to Disneyland. We also went to Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Sea World.

Doing such in 2021 for a family of six would cost a small fortune.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Mountain Is Out With Madame McNutty

Another in the continuing series of making her homesick Facebook posts from Madame McNutty. 

Madame McNutty comments "Fantastic photo. The Mountain is out and everything."

I think I have made mention previously of the fact that in Washington when you say "The Mountain is out" you are referring to Mount Rainier, even though it shares being a volcano mountain with four others in the state.

But, Mount Rainier is the only one of the Washington volcanoes which can be seen almost anywhere in the state you happen to be, which is why Mount Rainier is on the Washington state license plate.

Even though this is a bird's eye view of the Space Needle, which is a view most visitors to Seattle do not get to have, this is a more realistic photo of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier than most.

Often a photo trick is done which makes Mount Rainier look way bigger and way closer to Seattle than it actually is. This photo shows accurately how Mount Rainier actually looks from Seattle.

Now, the view of Mount Rainier from Tacoma does have The Mountain seeming way closer and way bigger.

I remember back in the last century, on a rare rainy day in Seattle, Hank Frank's dad, Joey, and Spencer Jack's dad, Jason, were riding the ferry with their favorite uncle, from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. As we were floating along a tourist asked if we were locals. Yes, we replied, we are not tourists. The tourist then asked if we could point to where Mount Rainier would be seen if the sky were clear of clouds. All three of us simultaneously pointed in the same south, slightly east, direction.

I wonder how many tourists visit Washington hoping to see The Mountain, but don't get to, due to it being socked in by clouds. I remember the first time going to San Francisco being disappointed due to not being able to see the Golden Gate Bridge, due to thick fog.

Speaking of the Space Needle. My favorite Macklemore song and video, "Can't Hold Us", ends with Macklemore landing on top of the Space Needle, looking much like the Space Needle image above...

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Rainy Wichita Falls Library Return With Lucy Park Plaque Walk

That is the entry to the Wichita Falls Public Library you are looking at, shrouded by trees.

I was last at the library two Saturdays ago, as in 10 days ago, and somehow managed to read the four books I checked out that day and so needed to return to check out four more.

Maybe I should check out more than four, that or slow down my reading speed. But it gets cumbersome carry so many books in my book bag. Five might be my limit.

The forecast for today is for heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. Leaving the library the sky looked menacing, but, even so, I decided to go to nearby Lucy Park for a brisk walk of a mile or two.

Eventually rain began to drip, but I made it back to my vehicle without getting soaked.

A few days someone asked me if Lucy Park was named after Lucille Ball. I recollect when first hearing this park's name wondering why it was named such.

There is a plaque stuck to a big boulder by the Lucy Park Duck Pond which explains the name.

Lucy O'Neill Saunders was a Wichita Falls oil baroness. That is not mentioned on the plaque. I learned that elsewhere. Lucy owned the land which is now Lucy Park, land which was donated in her mother's memory by Frances Ann Dickinson.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Last Night Thunderstorm Before Today's Clear Blue Calm

My bike decided to roll me to Sikes Lake today, after visiting Hamilton Park and the MSU campus.

As you can see the outer world is pretty much dead calm at my location on this second Monday of the 2021 version of October.

Such was not the case last night when a strong thunderstorm with 70 mph winds and a short downpour poured down. The power only flickered a couple times. Tornado warnings were issued for Wichita County and the surrounding counties. 

But, the tornado sirens never went active.

While this storm was happening I was on a virtual Amtrak train ride, going from Manassas to Lynchburg, Virginia. It was a rocking and rolling train ride. Almost as bad as my one and only time of riding Amtrak from Seattle to Portland. And back.

Or was that Tacoma to Portland? And back.

I can't remember, for sure. What I do remember is the ride back was worse than the ride to. And, that by the time I was back driving I had to pull off of I-5 so that I could throw up. First time I have ever been seasick.

And it was from a train ride. Not a rocky boat ride...

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Shadow Of The Wichita Falls Thin Man On Sunday MPEC Walk

That is the Shadow of the Wichita Falls Thin Man you are seeing here.

On this second Sunday of the 2021 version of October I decided not to go to church this morning, and instead went on a walk around the Wichita Falls MPEC.

Multi-Purpose Events Center.

I have only gone to a few events at the MPEC. The finale of the Hotter 'N Hell 100, a Christmas Crafts Show and an anti-Trump Rally.

I don't know how the MPEC came to be. It is a large complex consisting of several buildings and HUGE parking lots.

Since I have been in Wichita Falls I have not seen any big projects come to fruition.

I have heard of big plans, such as the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project, which I learned of soon upon arrival via a well done website. And when I learned about it I thought that the revitalizing was going to soon come to fruition. I now see the well done website no longer exists, but its domain name is available for $5,195.

Anyway, let's continue on with our look at the MPEC.

Above, that is a small section of the MPEC's large parking area, with a solo pickup parked under some shade trees.

Kay Yeager Coliseum is where hockey gets played, along with other sporting type events.

Sheppard Air Force Base is a NATO training base, located at the north side of Wichita Falls, which is why we are seeing flags from other nations blowing in the breeze between Kay Yeager Coliseum and the Ray Clymer Exhibition Hall. The Ray Clymer Exhibition Hall is where that Christmas Crafts Show aforementioned was located.

Standing under those NATO flags looking at the entry to the Ray Clymer Exhibition Hall.

One of the entries to Kay Yeager Coliseum. These were steep steps. So, I ran up and down them. I can see where these steps could get a bit dicey when a large crowd exits.

From the top of the Kay Yeager steps looking towards the Agricultural Building on the other side of the Wichita River. We will get there eventually.

A view of the MPEC grounds. During events such as the Hotter N' Hell 100 there are variety of things taking place in this area. Like a beer garden, multiple food vendors, bike related art and a lot of people.

Now we are heading towards that aforementioned Agricultural Building. I'm sure it has a name, but I don't know what it is. .

Some sort of event was happening today. There were dozens of RV's parked to the left of the view above. And horses were making horse noises in a corral to the right. One solo cowboy was seen riding a horse.

In the middle of the pedestrian bridge which takes you to the Agricultural Building I stopped to take a picture of the Wichita River.

And above you see the Shadow of the Wichita Falls Thin Man walking back across the bridge, heading to the parking lot where we started our MPEC tour.

I enjoyed not going to church today. I may make a habit of it...