Tuesday, November 30, 2021

More Memories From Google Which I Mostly Do Not Remember

I need to figure out how to turn off the getting a daily Google email ostensibly showing me memories from that particular day.

I do not remember being at that memory in the upper left, but I do know that from left to right we can barely see Aunt Ruth, then Grandma Slotemaker, then my Mom and Dad, then Aunt Judy and Uncle Mel.

Below that family photo I think that is Aunt Alice standing between two people I do not recognize.

The upper right is a look at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, looking west from high atop the Tandy Hills.

Under the Tandy Hills it looks like that memory is of a tree trunk.

And I have zero clue as to who that is in black and white at the lower right.

I wonder what memories I mostly don't remember Google will have for me tomorrow on the first day of December...

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Night Text Message Dramatic Stupidity

Tonight I made a polite inquiry about a relative heart situation. To which I got one of the rudest, stupidest replies I think I have ever seen.

So over the top neurotically stupid that all one could do was a simple head shake, a little laugh, and wonder how is it that some people function with such a high level of being dumb.

And then, minutes after that perplexing text message, I was sent the above, via email. I shan't say who sent the email.

And I do not know who is engaged in this text message.

But, I have my suspects as to who the culprits are...

Monday Getting Dry Benched In Lucy Park

It was once again to Lucy Park this final Monday morning of the 2021 version of November. As you can see the sky has been cleared of clouds, allowing the sun to heat up the outer world to a temperature balmy enough to do nature communing in short pants and t-shirt.

Lucy Park has several one of a kind benches. Above you are looking at a twin bench. With a roof, allowing a dry bench escape from rain, if one happened to be walking by with a downpour ensuing.

As you can see, most color has now left the landscape, not to return til next Spring. 

26 or 27 days til Christmas. I'm not sure. Today is the 29th of November. Christmas is December 25. I think I am going to go with it being 27 days til Christmas.

I have already done all the Christmas shopping I am going to do. I have already installed all the Christmas decorations I am going to install.

And now it is time to fire up the Instant Pot and make cauliflower soup...

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Photo Tour Of MSU's Fantasy Of Lights

On this final Sunday of the 2021 version of November I rolled my motorized motion device to MSU (Midwestern State University) to do some nature communing with the Fantasy of Lights, along with walking all over the campus.

So, let's take a short tour past some of the Fantasy of Lights installations.

The couple and kid above are about to visit Ebeneezer Scrooge. Behind them is Cinderella's carriage.

Above we are looking at the Jolly Roger ship made famous by Peter Pan. The pirates have a wench tied to a mast. Don't ask me to explain what this has to do with this particular holiday season.

There once was an old lady who lived in a shoe who had so many kids she did not know what to do. That is what you are seeing above.

You can mail a letter to Santa via this mailbox, and Santa will send a letter back to you.

Humpty Dumpty before he took a head cracking fall.

Frosty looks like he has laid a lot of snowball eggs.

Mrs. Claus is holding a tray of tasty looking cookies at Santa's Workshop.

Finally, a Christmas scene, of the Nativity variety. Baby Jesus was visible and quite little. 

Multiple Santas are being busy at the Fantasy of Lights.

Mickey Mouse has a Toy Castle. Why? I don't know.

And here we see Santa with his sleigh getting pulled by a herd of reindeer.

It would not be Christmas without a visit to the Emerald City with Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Toto.

And we will end this tour with a parr of chilly snow people.

Perhaps I shall return this year at night, when the lights are bright and the music is playing, and shoot some video...

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday Lucy Park Nature Commune

It was to Lucy Park I traveled on this final Saturday of the 2021 version of November for some salubrious nature communing.

We have now had the first freeze of the freezing season, hence most of the leaves have left the trees, and the formerly green grass is now mostly brown.

In the photo above that wooden gallows looking structure is a one of a kind Lucy Park swinging bench.

Another view from the same location as the swinging bench. 

I was over dressed for today's nature communing. The temperature was way warmer than the predicted chilly temperature. And there was some solar heating happening via the openings in the cloud cover.

Yesterday I learned my first ex-wife has been hospitalized since last Wednesday, awaiting open heart surgery on Monday with a triple bypass. A couple weeks ago I learned my favorite ex-sister-in-law is under going cancer treatment. 

Appreciate your good health whilst you have it, is what I am thinking today...

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving Morning Flying Over Seattle Electrically

I saw that which you see above this Thanksgiving morning on CNN online in an article about new carbon neutral electric powered planes. 

At first glance I did not recognize the mountain in the background. Then I looked at the foreground and thought is that Seattle? Then looked at the caption which confirmed this was Washington I was looking at. 

The low clouds are covering Lake Washington. The water under the plane is Lake Union. The water at the far right is Elliott Bay. Seattle is pretty much surrounded by water and mountains.

This view of Mount Rainier is more realistic than the ones one usually sees, with the mountain zoomed in to look closer to Seattle.

This photo should help geographically challenged Thelma McNutty have a better understanding of how close Mount Rainier actually is to Seattle...

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Day Before Thanksgiving Suspension Swinging At Lucy Park

With a strong wind blowing from the south a bike ride did not sound like a good idea. So, once again I used my motorized motion device to drive to Lucy Park to do some high speed leaf dodging.

I always enjoy walking across the Lucy Park suspension bridge over the Wichita River. It is extra enjoyable when wind contributes to the swaying motion.

As you see, above, I was not the only person communing with windy nature today at Lucy Park. 

A cold front is scheduled to blow in from the north tonight. I suspect soon thereafter there will be no more leaves in the trees.

 I don't know why, but I found the left direction on this Lucy Park signage to be amusing.

Duck Pond Restrooms. As if there are restrooms named the Duck Pond Restrooms.

There are no restrooms at the Duck Pond location. But there are restrooms in the general direction the sign is pointing. 

Tomorrow I don't know if there will be any communing with nature. I will need to be getting up early to begin cooking my humongous Mexican Thanksgiving Buffet. It's a daunting task...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Amtraking With Miss Prissy Before Lucy Parking With Colorful Leaves

This morning I virtually railed the Amtrak train with Miss Prissy Prudence, from Lynchburg to my getting off location in Manassas, Virginia.

There was a lot of discussion on the train about the size of Miss Prissy's feet. With photo documentation.

After getting off the train I used my motorized motion device to drive to Lucy Park to do some nature communing.

As you can see there has been a drastic reduction in leaf greenery in Lucy Park. And the leaves which do remain in the trees have changed their color, such as the yellow leafed tree you see above.

I do not think we have gone below freezing yet at my location. So, I don't know what has the trees changing leaf color or going bald.

Last night I got all my fixin's for my massive Thanksgiving feast. It will be Mexican food themed. With ground turkey making tacos and chili. 

The Thanksgiving buffet opens at 1 in the afternoon. Til closing time...

Monday, November 22, 2021

Why No Federal Infrastructure Funding For Fort Worth's Imaginary Island?

What you are looking at here is a screen cap from the front page of the Sunday online Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

An editorial.

As Washington spews $1.2 trillion for infrastructure, none for Panther Island. Why?

If you click the link you likely will not be able to get past the paywall. If such is the case the entire editorial is readable below.

The editorial is actually asking why the recently passed infrastructure bill sends no funds to Fort Worth for its imaginary island.

There are several answers to that why question.

First off, Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision is not a project of the sort for which the infrastructure  bill is intended.

Almost two decades ago the Trinity River Vision was foisted on the Fort Worth public without any sort of vote to support the project.

The project was touted as a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme. Yet this vitally needed flood control is clearly not vitally needed, because, if it were, why has the project been floundering for almost two decades waiting for the rest of America to pay for it?

And how can it be claimed that this is vitally needed flood control in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century due to levees already built and successfully preventing flooding?

The Army Corps of Engineers agreed to support and fund reinforcing the existing levees to bring them up to post-Katrina standards. The levee reinforcement plan was rejected. If I remember right the estimated cost of upgrading the existing levees was something like $12 million. Which is a little less than the current estimated cost of Fort Worth's embarrassing Boondoggle at over $1 billion.

Instead of reinforcing the existing levees an absurd alternative was conjured up which involved digging a diversion channel ditch, with a flooding Trinity River diverted into the diversion channel. For the channel to work three bridges had to be built, with just the bridges costing way more than it would have cost to simply reinforce the existing levees.

Another problem negating the sending of federal funding to Fort Worth is the fact that prior to approving such funding a project must present a feasibility study. Such a study has never been submitted. Likely because it would be difficult to make a coherent case as to why this project is feasible, or needed.

If the Trinity River Vision is such a good idea, so beneficial to Fort Worth, so vitally needed, then why has Fort Worth not opted to pay for this project itself, in the manner towns wearing their big city pants do? You know, make a case to the public which convinces the public to vote to support a bond issue to fund the supposedly vitally needed project.

After two decades of dawdling along, waiting for that federal handout, clearly this is not a vitally needed flood control project. Or a viable economic development scheme, despite this editorial's unsupported claim that "developers are champing at the bit to start building businesses, housing and other amenities that would create a vibrant district out of basically nothing".

Read the entire Star-Telegram editorial yourself and try hard not laugh....

As Washington spews $1.2 trillion for infrastructure, none for Panther Island. Why?

Washington is spending $1.2 trillion in a new infrastructure package. A reasonable person might wonder if a tiny fraction of that will finally fund one of Fort Worth’s longest-lived projects, the rerouting of the Trinity River to create Panther Island.

 After all, the entire effort to dig bypass channels could be funded with less than 0.05 percent of the massive bill that President Joe Biden signed into law Monday. 

The answer is no. The Tarrant Regional Water District project, in partnership with the county, city and other entities, remains unfunded.

And while we wait, we’re in danger of falling back into the old patterns that got the project crosswise with the feds in the first place: Focusing on economic development, housing and other baubles when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cares about flood control. 

The water district continues to chip away at preparations for the dirt to fly, including land acquisition and utility work.

Developers are champing at the bit to start building businesses, housing and other amenities that would create a vibrant district out of basically nothing.

 If we were engineers charged with flood control, we’d want to know how that kind of construction could possibly go forward when the need to tame the Trinity remains. 

More than two years ago, an outside review identified confusion and poor communication about the project’s mission. Some leaders, including Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke, have said the economic development vision took too much prominence over a better flood-control option than the current Trinity levees. 

The Trinity River Vision Authority, which oversees the project on behalf of the water district and its partners, hired a long-time Army Corps expert to guide dealings with the agency and stress the seriousness of the flood-control mission. 

Here we go again. Whatever the hold-up in Washington is, no one can get past it — even in an era of prodigious spending.

Rep. Kay Granger, the Fort Worth Republican who has led the charge for the program, told the Star-Telegram in July that enough money would soon be granted to begin channel construction. “I think it will be funded for everything they can spend in the next cycle,” she said. We asked her office for an update Thursday, but our questions went unanswered. 

Granger has said that during the Trump administration, the impediment to funding was Mick Mulvaney, who ran the White House budget office and eventually also served as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. With the change of administrations, Mulvaney is obviously no longer an issue.

 A water district spokesman noted that the Army Corps is scheduled to release its annual project list early next year. If the project isn’t funded to the point Granger identified, it’s fair to question whether any progress can be made in the Biden administration, either. That would mean three more years of limbo. 

Water district officials have stressed that projects backed by the Corps and authorized by Congress are always finished, even if it takes years and the process appears messy. But at some point, the Washington spending spree will end, and Panther Island backers may regret missing an opportunity. 

Every time we’re told the money is juuuuuust around the corner, it’s not. In 2019, Mayor Betsy Price and Rep. Roger Williams went to the White House and emerged confident that as much as $250 million was on the way. Instead, the Corps offered a small amount for a feasibility study, which the river authority rejected.

Granger is the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, which authorizes federal spending. If Republicans win control of the House next year, which seems more than likely, she’ll be in line to chair the panel. Surely, in a government that spends trillions at a time, such a powerful official could secure a relatively small amount for a justified, approved flood control project. 

Until then, one of the many curiosities of the Panther Island saga is how it didn’t happen during a bonanza of federal infrastructure spending — and what that says about indifference in the federal government to whether Panther Island is ever truly an island.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Saturday At Wichita Falls Farmers Market Looking For McNutty Style Big Beautiful Buns

This morning I made mention to Thelma McNutty that I was going to the library this morning, along with possibly going to the nearby Saturday Farmers Market, if it were open, and take a walk around the block to look at, once again, the World's Littlest Skyscraper.

Wichita Falls having the World's Littlest Skyscraper may be the town's primary claim to fame.

It is an impressive structure, as you can clearly see. 

I was surprised to see the Farmer's Market totally open. I knew it had been shuttered due to COVID. Don't know how long the Farmers Market has been back up and running.

The interior space was full of vendors. And the outdoor space also had multiple vendors.

There were a lot of free samples being handed out. But, I am wary of such, in this COVID era. But I did try some lamb sausage, due to the fastidious way the lamb samples were being handed out.

 Another view of the outdoor vendor area. Live music was also adding to the festive mood.

When I mentioned I was going to the Farmers Market, Madame McNutty asked if cinnamon rolls were sold there. I replied that on previous visits I do not recollect seeing any bread products. Not that such would have left a lasting impression upon my memory.

McNutty is well known in Central Virginia, centered in Appomattox, for her Big Beautiful Buns, usually of the cinnamon roll variety.

I saw no cinnamon rolls today, but I did see a lot of similar products, because this visit I was looking for them. Above a pair of outdoor vendors had a variety of bread type products. I did not inquire to get more specific.

And then inside the Farmers Market building we had HEAVENLY MANNA selling heavenly bread.

Another look at various vendors vending inside the Farmers Market building.

The lady above could be an aged doppleganger of the aforementioned McNutty, also inside the Farmers Market building, selling a wide variety of stuff, from catnip to cookies.

So far, this has been my exciting next to last Saturday of the 2021 version of November...

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Cool Walking Sikes Lake With Linda Lou & Hoodoos

Linda Lou went walking around Sikes Lake with me this morning. It has been a month or two since Linda Lou went walking with me.

Winter-like temperature arrived last night, getting into the 30s, with a freeze warning for tonight.

The recent slight bout of rain seems to have caused multiple hoodoo-like cairns to sprout at their usual sprouting location at Sikes Lake.

As you can see, there are three spouting in the foreground, with three more sprouting at the end of that stretch of green grass.

Above are those three aforementioned hoodoos sprouting at the end of that green grass strip. As you can see these are quite delicate rock balancing acts.

Methinks the current conditions have brought the annual return of mountain cedar pollen. I assume such is what is causing my current allergy woes.

It was fun walking and talking with Linda Lou today. It makes the walk seem to go faster when one is also fast talking...

Drone Eye View Of Skagit Valley Flood

This video gives you a good look at the Skagit River in flood mode this week. It begins with a couple fly overs of the new bridge across the Skagit which connects Mount Vernon with Burlington, Burlington being the town I grew up in. 

I believe that new bridge across the Skagit was built in less than a year. Over, as you can see, actual water.

The drone flies over the I-5 bridge across the Skagit and then heads to downtown Mount Vernon.

You get a good look at the flood wall which has now successfully blocked downtown Mount Vernon from being inundated by a serious flood.

Towards the end of the video the drone gives you a panoramic view of the Skagit Flats. You see the mountains to the east and north. You see how close Mount Vernon and Burlington are to the saltwater of North Puget Sound. Or is it the saltwater of the San Juan Islands at that location? I never thought to wonder when I lived in the neighborhood.

You will also see several islands when the drone looks west, real islands, not imaginary islands created by a cement lined ditch...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Skagit River Crests Near Record High With New Flood Wall Successful

Much of my old home zone of Western Washington is currently under water thanks to a Pineapple Express delivering an Atmospheric River.

I don't quite understand this photo from the front page of the Seattle Times, showing people on the downtown Mount Vernon Riverwalk, standing where the flood wall is.

Except the flood wall is about ten feet tall, and is not at all in evidence in this photo. 

Just yesterday Nephew Jason emailed video showing the flood wall, and commenting that he had to stand on his car's roof to see over it.

You can see that video below.

The downtown Mount Vernon flood wall is designed to install quickly by just a few installers, when the need arises. And to be taken down equally fast.

A huge improvement over the former sandbagging method of saving downtown Mount Vernon from getting inundated by the Skagit River.

The flood control wall was just part of a $25 million riverfront rebuild in downtown Mount Vernon. If I remember right the flood wall cost something like $8 million of the $25 million.

Meanwhile, there is this backwards town in Texas with imaginary flooding issues, trying to get the rest of America to pay around a billion bucks to build an un-needed flood control system in an area which has not flooded in well over half a century because of flood control levees the rest of America paid for way back in the 1950s.

I read yesterday that Fort Worth is starting the process of taking the land needed to dig the cement lined ditch that will go under the three little bridges which took seven years to build, creating an imaginary island, solving an imaginary flood control problem.

I would have thought that the land for the ditch had already been acquired. I suspect soon more classic Fort Worth eminent domain abuse will be underway, taking property for an imaginary public works project the public has never voted to support.

And people wonder why I refer to that Texas town as being backwards....

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

11/16/2021 Jason Drives Us To Downtown Mount Vernon To See Flooding Skagit River

In the above video my Favorite Nephew Jason drives south on I-5, beside the flooding Skagit River.

And then Jason takes us to a closeup look at the Mount Vernon Skagit Riverfront's first major test of the new flood wall.

Record Storm Tips Semi-Truck On Washington's Deception Pass Bridge

Yesterday, November 15, 2021 wind, rain and flooding pummeled my old Washington state home zone. Late in the day on YouTube, via Thelma McNutty, formerly of the Skagit Valley, I watched video of a semi-truck toppled over by the wind whilst driving over the Deception Pass Bridge. 

In the video you can clearly see the hurricane like wind's effect on trees and water. The video also shows Whidbey Island's waterfront being flooded by the storm surge.

Today the Skagit River may reach a record breaking high. Last night I saw the Skagit Valley's other river, the Samish River, was also in extreme mode and two of my high school classmates had had their farmhouse surrounded. They managed to get their vehicles to high ground, but did not have enough time to rescue hay bails, which soon floated away.

Last night Linda Lou sent me video she took whilst standing behind the downtown Mount Vernon flood wall. The river looks more dangerous than I remember ever seeing it. 

The crest of the flood may top downtown Mount Vernon's new flood wall today. Seattle TV stations have been in place for two days to cover it. I can get the Seattle stations on my TV, so that should be interesting.

Nephew Jason is expected to be sending photo documentation later in the day.

And here is the video Linda Lou shot yesterday from behind the downtown Mount Vernon flood wall...

Monday, November 15, 2021

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Is Not In Lucy Park

After a virtual yoga session with Thelma McNutty this morning I was off to Lucy Park for a warm communing with nature. 

There is a possibility today will reach a record breaking high. 

The first time I visited Lucy Park I parked near that which you see above. At that point in time I did not know why Lucy Park was so named. Thus, seeing the above I thought the park's name might somehow be derived from the famous Lucy archeological dig in Ethiopia, back in the 1970s. 

But, alas, Lucy Park's name has nothing to do with the famous Ethiopian Lucy. You can read all about that Lucy in the Wikipedia Lucy Australopithecus article.

An interesting blurb from the Wikipedia Lucy article..

"Lucy" acquired her name from the 1967 song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles, which was played loudly and repeatedly in the expedition camp all evening after the excavation team's first day of work on the recovery site. After public announcement of the discovery, Lucy captured much public interest, becoming a household name at the time.

There is no explanatory signage explaining what looks like an archeological dig in Lucy Park. Maybe it's there and I missed it.

Back during the dinosaur era the Texas region played host to a lot of those long gone reptiles. You can see some of their remains, well, fossilized footprints, at Dinosaur Valley State Park, near Glen Rose and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

It is time for lunch, walking around Lucy Park, after strenuous virtual yoga with McNutty, works up an appetite...

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Pineapple Express Atmospheric River Deluging My Old Washington Home Zone

A Pineapple Express, also known as an Atmospheric River, is currently dropping a lot of water on Western Washington. I can not remember if it is in an El Nino or El Nina year that a tropical air mass gets over heated and over saturated with water, and then heads north to drench the west coast.

My Favorite Nephew Jason (FNJ) emailed the photos you see above and below, arriving in my email inbox this morning.

I believe the above photo shows the current Skagit River status in downtown Mount Vernon, while the below photo shows preparations for the disaster flood of 1995..

The text in the email from FNH---


We are still on high alert here in the valley.   The 1990 and 1995 floods were at measured depth of over 37 feet in MV.

Projections for Tuesday evening's depth are for about 36 feet in MV.

I believe the below flood photo depicting the old sandbag method was from 1995.

Hope you are high and dry in Texas. 


I think the 1995 Pineapple Express is the one that sank one of the Lake Washington floating bridges. I remember watching the late night news out of Seattle. They broke in live from Mount Vernon, showing a lot of people filling sand bags by the downtown library. Showing servicemen from the Whidbey Navy base helping. Asking anyone who could do so to come downtown to help.

And so I woke up the house and we headed to downtown Mount Vernon. I had never seen anything like it. So many people feverishly working in emergency mode. Soon I was part of  a brigade passing sandbags to be stacked in a long line to attempt to stop the river from flooding downtown Mount Vernon, which, when the Skagit is in flood mode, downtown Mount Vernon is like New Orleans. As in it is below the level of the river.

By about three in the morning the sandbag wall was complete. I went home, then returned to downtown Mount Vernon ahead of the predicted 11am crest of the flood. People were blocked from entering the downtown area, but you could see the river, and downtown, from the hills due east of downtown. If I remember right I was on the old Highway 99 bridge which crosses I-5, along with a lot of other people. 

Around 11am you could see the river reaching the top of the sandbag wall, and seeming to start to spill over in spots.

And then, suddenly, the river backed off, retreated, about a foot. People were collectively thinking and saying what the hell just happened.

Within an hour or so we knew what had happened. A dike had breached down river, a break of a couple hundred feet. This quickly flooded Fir Island. An actual island (not an imaginary Fort Worth, Texas type island) made so due to being surrounded by two branches of the Skagit River. 

The Fir Island disaster triggered all sorts of emergency action, including loud sirens. Soon we were seeing things like cows being rescued by helicopter. As in a cow in some sort of harness dangling from a helicopter. 

Before the Fir Island dike breech could be fixed, and before the Mount Vernon sandbag wall was taken down, two weeks later it happened again. Another flood, this time easily re-flooding Fir Island due to the broken dike.

I remember when it was eventually allowed driving around Fir Island seeing the destruction. I'd never seen anything like it before.

There were a few more floods where a sandbag wall was used to protect downtown Mount Vernon. And then it was decided there needed to be a better solution.

A better solution to a real flood problem, not a goofy incompetent solution to an imaginary flood problem, such as what I have witnessed in Fort Worth for a couple decades now, expecting the rest of America to pay a billion bucks, or more, for what the Fort Worth schemers claim is a vitally needed flood control project, but is, in reality a corrupt money making scheme geared to line the pockets of those foisting the project on the public.

Meanwhile, in Mount Vernon, Washington, it was decided to build a new flood control system, a temporary wall which can be installed in a few hours by a few installers. Not an army of sandbaggers.

That is the new flood wall you see in the photo at the top. It is part of Mount Vernon's rebuild of its riverfront into a sort of riverwalk. If I remember right this cost around $25 million. I don't remember what the funding mechanism was.

Likely there was a bond election with the public voting to support the project. I do know this flood control project began well after Fort Worth began its inept Trinity River Vision's imaginary flood control project, with the Mount Vernon flood control long completed, whilst the Fort Worth "vitally needed" imaginary flood control project to control floods in an area that has not flooded in well over a half century due to flood control levees already installed, had basically not even started, with nothing done other than three simple little bridges built over dry land, taking seven years to build, with the hope that one day a cement lined ditch will be built under the bridges, creating an imaginary island, and providing that vitally not needed flood control.

Fort Worth expects federal funding to pay for its not needed flood control. To that end a local congresswoman's unqualified son was given the job of being executive director of the project, to motivate his mother to get that federal funding.

Eventually it became obvious the congresswoman's son was inept at the job he was being paid well over $200,000 a year to do no one knows what, the congresswoman's son was moved to a new job, where he could do no harm, still paid that ridiculously high salary, while a person actually qualified to oversee a public works project was hired.

I am almost 100% certain that no local politician's son, or daughter, was hired by the Skagit River Vision, to motivate that politician to secure funding for the Skagit River flood control project.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Seeing Underside Of Deception Pass Bridge Takes Us To The Underside Of Fort Worth's New Bridges

Saw that which you see above this morning on Facebook. Instantly knew what I was looking at, as would most anyone who has lived in the Skagit and Island County area of the Puget Sound region of Western Washington.

I walked by this scene dozens of times when I lived in the neighborhood, passing under the Deception Pass Bridge on the way to hike up adjacent Goose Rock.

The water below is known as Deception Pass, so named because it is a connecting passage between two different tidal zones. When the differential between the two tidal zones is at an extreme it causes the water to pass through Deception Pass with great force, so much so that it is virtually impossible for a boat to go against the tide.


Looking at this photo it appears that a tide change is underway, but not quite of the extreme sort. I have seen the extreme sort a time or two, and it is something you do not forget.

On my Washington blog I have blogged about the Deception Pass Bridge several times...

July 31 Deception Pass Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration Picnic

The Deception Pass Bridge was built in less than a year, way back in the early 1930s. Built over that deep, at times fast moving water of Puget Sound. 

Such may be among the many reasons I have found it to be bizarre to witness slow motion bridge building in the Texas town called Fort Worth.

Seven years to build three simple freeway overpass like bridges over dry land.

Touted by local politicians, and those building the bridges, that the bridges were being built over dry land to save time and money. As if it were an option to dig the cement lined ditch first, then fill it with water, then take even longer than seven years to build the bridges over the ditch.

Because, if it took seven years to build these bridges, in time saving mode, how long would have taken if a water filled ditch was in the way? 

And how is it that these propaganda spewers have gotten away with that "built over dry land to save time and money" nonsense for so long?

Either the propaganda spewers know the population to whom they spew the nonsense is too gullible and stupid to figure out the claim is idiotic.

Or it is the propaganda spewers who are idiotically stupid and actually believe their bridge building over dry land to save time and money nonsense is factual.

Due to all the dumb stuff I have read the propaganda spewers spew I opt to believe it is the latter explanation. That they are so idiotically stupid they don't understand that which they spew is idiotically stupid. We have seen plenty of evidence of this.

As in, have you watched or read a J.D. Granger interview?

So, now that those bridges are open and carrying traffic, is the ditch digging underway?

It must be, because, way back when this century began, what was then simply called the Trinity River Vision was touted as being a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme, developed in an area which has not flooded for well over a half century due to flood control levees already in place.

Surely if this is such a vitally needed plan a local funding mechanism must have been in place before the project began, you know, with the public voting to support a bond issue to pay for the alleged vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme.

Surely no town wearing its big city pants would rely on hoping to secure federal funding for such a vitally needed project...

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sikes Lake Litter Aftermath With Video Of Last Night's Storm

Last night's predicted Severe Thunderstorm arrived soon after the sun ceased its illumination duties for the day. All but one possible predicted element arrived. Strong wind, gusts, hail, lightning, thunder and rain. But, no tornadoes.

I was in my slumber chamber chatting with Thelma McNutty when the storm arrived. It was loud. I shot a short video out of my slumber chamber window. You can view that below.

By morning the sky was back blue. There was a lot of flotsam blown about, and my usual route to my motorized motion device was flooded.

I drove that motorized motion device to Sikes Lake about an hour before noon. As you can see, above, the Blue Bayou of Sikes Lake has been recharged with new water. 

And Sikes Lake, in addition to the new water, also had some litter delivered.

The above was one of three flotillas of litter seen on Sikes Lake today. When this happens the floating litter usually quickly gets removed.

One benefit of a downpour, pertaining to Sikes Lake, is the downpour washes away the accumulated goose poop that one tries to avoid whilst walking the paved trail around the lake.

Those buildings you see at the end of the lake are three Hiltons. On the left it is called Hilton Homewood Suites. Next to that is Hilton Home2 Suites and Tru by Hiltion. The last time I saw Elsie Hotpepper in person she was staying at the Hilton Homewood Suites. The Hilton Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton have been built since Elsie Hotpepper last visited.

The aforementioned Blue Bayou of Sikes Lake is a short distance to the left, or south, of Hilton Homewood Suites.

And now that video of last night's storm....

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Lucy Leaves Turning Color Before Severe Thunderstorm

With a Severe Thunderstorm impending, along with a strong wind blowing, I opted out again of the bike ride option for acquiring my daily dose of endorphins via aerobic activity.

And instead, once again, drove to Lucy Park for some nature communing, along with multiple other communers, including disc golfers throwing into the wind and pecan pickers dodging the flying discs.

The above photo is making the sky look way less threatening than it actually looked. Just remembered, at this point in the long walk the sun burst through the clouds, quickly amping up the temperature.

Today was the first day that leaves changing color has been seen by my eyes, as witnessed by the tree above.

A half hour past noon, the sky is darkening. I suppose the afternoon thunderstorm can start up any time now. The prediction is strong winds, severe thunderstorms, rain, hail, and possible tornadoes...

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Senior Citizen Chauffeuring Selfie Practice With McNutty Guidance

This morning I did my semi-regular good deed of driving an elderly senior citizen to a doctor appointment.

Whilst that doctor visit was going on I remained in the driver's seat, reading.

And when I took a break from reading I worked on perfecting the art of taking a smiling selfie photo.

Thelma McNutty has been regularly critiquing the photos I take, regularly generously offering unsolicited advice.

The smiling selfie you see here was the best of today's training session.

So, my regular morning routine got a bit messed up today. I am sure I will eventually recover.

The elderly senior citizen returned from his visit with his doctor in a much better mood than before the doctor visit. Apparently a lab test showed his AC1 number was good. That is some sort of diabetes measurement.

After the doctor visit it was off to another part of town, to a pharmacy, to pick up a new prescription.

My Arizona sister provided this type chauffeur service to my mom and dad for years. I don't think her siblings have thanked their sister enough for having done this.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Rare Hike To Summit Of Mount Wichita With Big Surf

With wind strongly gusting I did not feel like rolling my bike's wheels anywhere. Instead I rolled my motorized motion device to the base of majestic Mount Wichita.

It had been well over a year since I climbed to the summit of Mount Wichita. I thought maybe I might be in better shape than the last time I climbed this mountain, and that the climb might be easier.

Well, it wasn't. Easy, that is. I don't remember when last I had myself breathing so hard and my heart pumping so fast. Plus size was the big dose of endorphins which quickly arrived.

In the above view from the summit of Mount Wichita we are looking southeast, towards the Lake Wichita Dam.

The trail I took to the summit is thick with foliage. The above photo is looking south down another of the summit access trails. The photo does not do justice to how steep this is.

No, that is not me in a long distance selfie heading down the trail I just showed you. 

You can see via the tall waves crashing to shore that a strong wind was blowing. When the McNutty woman next visits she should bring her surfboard with her and show the locals how to ride the waves.

So there you have my exciting second Monday of the 2021 version of November. The new month is already almost a third gone...

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Shadow Of The Lucy Park Thin Man Finds No Pecans

I was over dressed for this morning's Sunday walk in the park.

By the time I got to my Lucy Park parking spot I took off one upper layer.

When the temperature is in the 70s one should not be wearing sweat pants is the lesson of the day.

For today's Lucy Park walk I opted for the backwoods unpaved option.

That option is the only location in Lucy Park where I have had a snake encounter. And it was a BIG one, the type of which I could not determine before it slithered out of sight or camera range.

I think with the temperature in the 70s that may be warm enough for the cold blooded monsters to slither. But none were seen slithering today.

Eventually the unpaved trail takes you to the location above. What looks like some sort of double cross, Or a gallows, is actually, I think, part of an old, long gone, suspension bridge across the Wichita River. There is a similar structure on the other side of the river.

You can sort of make out the unpaved trail in the above photo.

I don't know what type trees these are, other than to assume they are not pecan trees. Because this time of year you see people busy harvesting pecans that have fallen to the ground. Today there were multiple pecan pickers in the more developed part of Lucy Park. Yesterday I saw a couple pecan pickers picking pecans off the ground by Sikes Lake.

All this pecan talk makes me want to have a slice of pecan pie...