Saturday, April 2, 2011

Letterbox: From Worker: "Maggie...I like you, blog. Who are you endorsing for city council?" (Richardson Texas blog)


Please don't print my name because of my work.

Reply:

Dear, Worker,

I haven't decided on all endorsements, just three. One has not filed yet as a write in candidate in Place 3 (Chris Gaines). I am still hopeful.

Thank you for the compliment and for writing.

Maggie May USA

P.S. A point of clarification, we here at Maggie May USA are not a blog, we just present one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Letterbox: Dear Barbara R., tried to reply to your email here earlier but got a tag error. Who filed for council has been announced, but will post it.


Thanks for sending the list to that point and making it a point to tell me who were the incumbents. It really doesn't matter that much to me who the incumbents are. I will be voting for who I think is the best choice for the city given the presented options. (The support of Chris Gaines and others as candidates received quite the reaction from you and one other.) (Are you the same "Barb" from a year ago?). Here is who filed to run for city council. (There is still time for the rest of my candidates, but they would need to be write in candidates now.)

Place 1, William Gordon and Bob Townsend Place. 2, John DeMattia and Mark Solomon. Place 3, Scott Dunn and Darrell Day (update, Darrell Day decided not to run). Place 4, Laura Maczka and Karl Voigtsberger. Place 5, Dennis Stewart and Kendal Hartley. Place 6, Steve Mitchell and Joe Mounger (Mounger's petition was submitted w/o enough signatures, so he won't appear listed on the ballot and is not running). Place 7, Amir Omar, Diana Clawson, and Alan North.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

O.K. Here's my pre, pre endorsements.

For the schools, ABBRC. (anybody but dude r.c.)

For the city, For Place 1, it could be Mitt but it could be someone else, I'll explore the options with you soon on all fingers, not just one. All I know is that I can't vote on one finger. It would mean more embarrassment to the city, especially to have a stacked parks and rec court on the one finger and have one finger count to four.
For Place 2, Choice of being reminded constantly on our dime that someone is selling insurance and was escorted around by Gary, finger and company during the last election or getting someone who knows how to make a delicious pizza exactly as you asked but can think for himself on the issues and tries to do what's right. That's easy. PIZZA!!!
For Place 3, Chris G.!!!!!! I never heard of the other guy until a few months ago, not that it matters.
For Place 4, Billy (at the outside I could go for the other, but she'd have to grow a soul patch, which I see no signs of)
For Place 5, Zoolander (he's the middle ground between the two other opposites running)
For Place 6, Will, because he makes me laugh so hard. It's an empty seat, so it will be an easy win.
For Place 7, I never heard of either them before like two years ago, so I don't have enough information upon which to decide who would be the worst one.

Sorry ladies, no ladies in this group as of pre pre endorsement time. I'm only totally lesb about Chris Gaines! I'm RC ish now too in that regard. LOVE like this makes one fickle. What can I say.

Except. I LOVE YOU, CHRIS GAINES!!

Networked cars, airplane cars, bio runners...

I like checking out concept cars and various modes of transportation whenever they are unveiled.

This one is called EN-V. (By GM- China and SAIC). For city driving. Electric. It is networked. Avoids collisions. Five can park where one car fits now. Reduces congestion, parking spaces. Photo credit: AP

Another one switches from being a plane (hobby license required) to a car in 30 seconds. Can fit in your garage. 115 mph for 450 miles. The 2011 model costs $194,000 (Terrafugia, Inc).

A couple of others I saw have solar and turbine features, and one motorcycle looking one, but that you sit inside, is called Volkswagen Bio Runner (which is not unveiled yet other than in image, definitely concept) has something called synthetic muscle based suspension. These look pretty wild.

Many of them are closer to conventional looking but with many interesting features like sonar, car to car communication, advanced cameras/displays, customizable interfaces...

More technologies are converging and at a quicker clip. And so is design. Have you noticed since about 2005, following the lay people drifting onto the Internet first starting in about 1994, that road and store signs and now especially way finder signs and other human interfaces are looking more "browser page like" or iconish, heading into smart phoneishness.... a car more like a smart phone than a traditional car... people are going to be driving into the shopping parking lot and trying to click on the sign to "get to" a store if they momentarily forget they are outside and not "online, for those who don't already mainly shop online. One of the design adoption challenges I've noticed is that "fonts" are a little too small in scale for the "outdoors" application (like store signs), sometimes difficult to read (no, it's not my eye sight). This is one reason why I had to chuckle when someone accused a candidate of using "big fonts." I say, bring it on. Well, at least in some places. This coupled with an aging population's needs. I also hope that digital signs grow more attractive. They have some great features, but they are very ugly in a lot of cases. Like outside of a couple of community colleges and a couple of mega churches. A few months ago I was traveling and saw one outside of a beautiful neogothic church. It didn't do anything for the setting. Pretty odd, and out glared by the daylight.

That reminds me, I have this video where Lady GaGa's "Pokerface" becomes "Nutra Face" (a supposedly newly invented font that some font designers have struggled and toiled to create).

Back to the cars, we may see more changes in "transportation separation" because tiny human transport and large goods transport (double semi trucks, for example) may struggle to share road space safely, at least initially, more even than the case now. I'm not sure technology can overcome adoption time and size differences as rapidly as some desire at first. I was reminded of this when out on the highway a bumper sticker on a semitruck that I was passing said that if you couldn't see a reflection of your car in the truck's side mirrors that meant that the driver couldn't see your car (you). It would have been a good reminder, however, the only way to have read it was to have been very very close as I was, when I was passing in the other lane right beside the truck. That might have been designed like that, but it would have been even safer to be able to read it while in back, six feet or a little more away, before you become invisible to the driver of a double trailer.

I've always had an invention in my mind that gives a message to the car tailgating in literary terms (not the Bronx cheer). Car-to-car communication could be a problem if it got personal however.

"Did you hear what your car just called my car?"

"Yeah, that's just how he is in the morning. He's not a morning car. He always complains if I take him out too early and the solar road isn't warm yet. He whines that his breakfast energy absorbtion from the solar road is freezing his battery off. And he won't even think about turbining before nine."

Wouldn't it be funny if you dressed you car up to match your outfit or a close approximation. More than we do. Like really did it. Aaleyah's car would wear a burka and Ms. Glenn's car would wear a hat, and wouldn't be her car without some dangly pretty ear rings and a pink and animal print pant suit. Ms. Glenn has a beautiful joyful aura about her. No reason why her car can't as well. Right now my phone is still wearing an Ed Hardy "jacket" that was a gift to me. The next one I'm supposed to put on it is a black and pink Hello Kitty. I'm easily controlled by midgets at times.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I think I got my numbers, places all confused in that last one. It happens when you are in LOVE!!!. I LOVE YOU, CHRIS GAINES!!!!

I'm hoping Chris Gaines will file to run. I think he would file in place three or if there is no one doing anything anymore in six, then six.

Everyone who matters has heard of him.

As in, three thirty in the morning.

Or, six o'clock in the evening. Momma doesn't know she's leaving.

Oh, it'll never happen. Only one normal person has filed to run so far that I know of. Most all the normal people won't run now.


I hope if Chris does run, he's still rocking his soul patch on his chin.

If he doesn't run, Will should run, at least in place six. Or Zoolander should run. As the last resort, maybe Mitt. Maybe (but only if he doesn't try to pretend that his health insurance plan was completely different and only if he goes back to not being a fundamentalist, like he wasn't before). And as the last, last result, Billy can run. But only in place three and only if Chris doesn't run.































I LOVE YOU CHRIS!!!! (I think he smiled at me! Did you see that! >Melt<.... <3)

I HEART YOU CHRIS!!! I DOUBLE FREAKING RAINBOW HEART YOU, CHRIS!!!! AND THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!





Thursday, March 10, 2011

Irritation irrigation. While boring, GAS leak. (Richardson, TX)

Jupiter Rd. near Belt Line Rd. Traffic backed up, lanes shut down. Detour. A GAS line was cut while digging and boring to install more water irrigation for medians / parkways.

Native drought tolerant plants need establishing but after that they shouldn't have to be watered. Use one of the water trucks at first and then avoid the expense of boring and installing for water irrigation systems and maintenance. There is a lot of costly maintenance and effectiveness issues with existing ones already across the town. If the public plantings can't sustain after the first year, they aren't the right plants and trees in the right place put in at the right time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lost And Found Department, Richardson Room, three Mondays ago, one pair of custom gloves, (Richardson, TX)

found by the southwest end of the eastward horseshoe, under the table, on the carpet, on the floor. We believe they belong to someone who sits around there.

Please pick them up at the L&F if they are yours. Items are only held for 30 days or until accepted for donation, before going to auction.

The updated policy is that you must fill out the description affidavit with current date and someone's signature and proof of safe transportation in order to claim an item or items and leave the premises in an orderly manner. We are not responsible for any damage or accidents.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maggie May USA proposes a City of Richardson, Texas, ordinance or rule that tax payers will not be forced to foot the very large city liquor tab.

Politicians and friends of politicians and special friends and "volunteers" (the kind that are helping themselves to what's not all theirs) and favor seekers and relatives, sometimes one in the same, should get faced (blitzed, smashed) if that is their thang on their own party dime and golf club time. O.K.

I believe the County and State and Feds And DART and all the others should not make us pay for things like that either.

I have nothing against drunks as far as being any worse or better than K3heads, or guys who wear wife beaters (or white after Labor Day, or boat shoes when they aren't even near water or fountain around which to frolic), 100% apartment haters, rabid partisans, and so forth. I just don't like them faced (pickled) while on duty representin and making me help pay for it. I do not want to pay for it. I'm seeing it way too much. I am not joking.

If you do not believe me, check the cost to benefit analysis (hire one of those impartial liquor economic development lobbyist to run the numbers even); check the metrics with 13 other cities on the proportional per capita liquor spending per city budget, with appropriate adjustments*; make a Richardson council and staff code of ethics where the politicians (inclusive of all staff politicians and beneficiaries) check each other with a breath o meter or coordination test at tax payer billed booze functions, in a closed door meeting, if necessary.

You can vision what the results will be.

*The numbers should also include money spent on liquor by organizations that have so called free money to spend thanks to being assigned tens of thousands of dollars by a tax program arguably for activity brought into the city. The grant is disproportional to their performance and contribution, tax generation. Not all groups are treated equitably. One in particular gets a lot because the right glasses are filled, repeatedly. The right aesthetics and culture, a board clique. Grants can, in one case, amount to the neighborhood of a million dollars in the last ten years, counting related subsidy, to a group that has liquor gushing yet has trouble paying people for legitimate work performed.

In another case, an arm of local government co-mingled with other roles and conflicts, inbred, has nearly an annual tax payer contribution through the city approaching one million, more if you count the extras.

There is a lot of liquor flowing with local government with tax payers paying the tab, directly and indirectly. It's too much, as with some other things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It was at Waterloo that General Cambronne, when called on to surrender, was supposed to have said, "The Old Guard dies but never surrenders!"

What Cambronne actually said was, "Merde!" which the French, when they do not wish to pronounce it, still refer to as, "the word of Cambronne." It corresponds to one four letter word for manure. All the difference between the noble and the earthy accounts of war is contained in the variance between these two quotations. -- Ernest Hemingway, Men at War

Monday, February 7, 2011

Silly Firemen, Politics is for coalitionistz. How could you believe for a sligul you are as zeck as a ruso or as kin dull bull as a nusu or vip as


an urh.... and, you, you citizien alliance ple-ople are as wacky and skip to z luskie as the firemans to think you can do the politics. You aren't big chiefz. I know, I know. All you want to do is paint. But you see here. Forget about it. As Bulldozer Hh says: Lambs. Led. To. Slaughter. Hahaha (to borrow a phrase). Consider you ple-ople dun in, so ring Z coalition bell. May oft with you!

And you, n(par)imbys, forget about it. Like the park mime said, you aint nobody (we need progress and change he and his man again taunts, but they only means it when it suites the immediate want, but oh! ever what will he and his man do when they are back to "political noise?" And, will nepotism still play? They have proven it doesn't take much of a hard-of-hearer or mocker to gather masses or ride coat tails). Like GAS said, we don't need no umbrella groups, just the umbrella group called Z Coalition, that is. (If Z GAS Coalition finds out any mere firemans are in, xpecially if they decline to endorse gas ites, look for really really riled up, led by big chiefz again, to pop up and sling mud as far and wide as necessary to keep z control. A well placed word by chiefz to the right vip linemen is all it takes in part of the umbrella, you know.)

(Odd that chiefz don't say nothing to supposed offenders, just start zlinging mud.
o.k., if zthatz z way wanted it and still playing it.)

You ple-ople. You're not even coat tail riders. At least you could sidle up and be a coat tail rider. Hahaha (o.k., now you can have the phrase back).

I can hardly Stan The Suspense. There's starz in my tech eyes. I can but wait for the CoalitionistZ (how dare those underling firemen, in the mere linemen category) along with Z best friend I'mma get mines-Big Tex, The LapDancers, Mr. I-Pay-More-Taxes-Than-You-Do-But-Not-Really along with Choke It Out and Visionary visionary visionary, oh, and Bulldozer Hh, and Sir Nods Alot, and buy my assurance, and one-finger and ho' spital suspense... to run student body. Not to worry, strategic amends have been made (or have they?). It'll be a grabtastic GAS. I see one-finger for maaaaayoooooooor. No, wait. It's Z other one. (Just don't let the lab come back with the real DNA evidence, boy was that egg on z ol face). (Just don't say anything when someone peeks on you in the shower and is brought back and paid tax payers dollars). (Also, don't say anything about out of court settlements).

Charmed, I'm sure.
Now, eat your lunch, you silly silly ple-ople. It's gonna take a little longer for Z bad GAS to clear out. "Retirement" is lucrative. (Politics is lucrative for some.) String pulling is so zstrenuous.

Po po business, move along, nothing to see. Step aside.

But which GASZer to pick... lemme see... oh, let's just go with what zhey zay.

As long as z taxes get frozen and streets sprinkled with lots of water run off and expensive fuss (clap clap clap), ice man silly strawz gets filled, liquor flows from the tax payer tap free to select vips, laps gets sitted in, people gets followed, hundreds of thousands spent on z spew, z golf club house is avail including off hours, so is the ice man, vips get pats on heads, jet chartered, awardz are given, select fingerz still in z pie, uni is combined with city, z po po empire state of mind, all's well that grabs ends well.

Sillyz iz as sillyz doesz. Chip chip cherio coalitionistz!

.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Persimmons and The Winter Weather (blogging from snowy, freezing Richardson, Texas)

Old wives' tales, as they are called, are golden to my family and me. In my hamlet as a small child, I found great joy, curiosity, and terror taught by such instruction. One is that of the persimmon and the spoon, the fork and the knife.

The sign is, slice open a few persimmon seeds from a few ripe persimmons (in the fall), which takes some skill with a sharp knife, and the shape inside the seeds will tell you what kind of winter it will be. Will it be mild? If so, you will see the fork. Cold and snowy, the spoon. Icy, windy and treacherous, the knife.

There are between four and eight smallish slippery seeds inside. As the seeds are hard, so is the persimmon wood of the tree, making it specialized wood. Golf clubs and other interesting items make use of persimmon wood.

Photo: Here is a photo of a seed of the persimmon, showing "the spoon." Some of the light amber or honey colored pulp is still on it.

Photos: A box of persimmons (not wild), with a box of apples above the persimmons. A persimmon wood driver (golf club).




The scientific name chosen for this berry, that is thought of as a fruit, translates from Greek to be "food of the gods." The "common name" we use, persimmon, comes from eastern American Indians.

The wild, mushy sweet (when ripe) is the best variety for flavor, in my opinion. You can eat it with a spoon and recipes are many, like preserves and fudge. Whole and unaltered is my favorite. The other main variety mostly available here, shipped in, is the firmer crispier kind (can be sliced). That main kind is o.k. and found at the green grocer far more often than the wild ones.

A trick played on the uninitiated is to offer up an unripe persimmon (the true meaning of pucker up! and then some... not recommended, one can become ill from eating unripened berries).

Last year, the persimmon seeds predominantly read "spoon" to say dig out the snow shovel (not that hardly anyone here has a snow shovel). It did snow on Christmas last year. This year, the seeds read ..."knife." Cold it is, indeed. Windy, fairly. We have snow so far. I hope the several inches on the ground of snow (with a small sandwich layer of ice) is the sum of it, and that the temperature goes up and not back into single digits, but I see there is a low possibility of light wintery mix this coming week. Tiny snow flurries right now...

Mubarak says 'chaos' will reign in Egypt if he steps down, blamed Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist umbrella group banned in Egypt, for instigating riot

denies allegations Egyptian authorities orchestrating violence. link.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Arrested Development, Or Chop Wood Carry Water. Eating lunch.

To me, the most important element is not massive size, brownfield versus virgin field, apartment slathering, economic incentives, or immaculate vision, but tending to the garden when it comes to success in mixed use (or most any) development.

Legacy, not TOD (transit oriented) development, has a medium fish in a pond, he watched the knitting like a hawk. Sat and still sits on top of it, literally. Success (the level depends on if you don't count the full costs). Does the next shiny penny have at least that care, where is the care, the caretaker?

Eastside had partners. Stuck to the knitting. Completed most construction relatively fast.

I won't mention the names of a couple MUDs (mixed use developments, not municipal utility districts) who have yet to meet the sold vision. With one of them, the market at the corner was already saturated with nearly free rent for small retail space and it wasn't very mixed, mostly just apartments. It has switched hands a couple of times.

With another, there were warning signs early on, and it's not all one guy's fault, all by himself, but now politicians and chamber pots (including one who was actually on the developer's payroll) are wagging tongues and pointing fingers (including ones receiving their salary from taxpayers), throwing little broken wing under the snow mobile.

Yeah, the warning signs were ignored, covered, fingers crossed, subsidies given, awards arranged, neighbors mocked by "expert" politicos for asking questions (one councilman and his politico went to another neighborhood to mock people who asked questions in the closest neighborhood), neighbors made up facts it was claimed because facts kept changing, there were wide-spread accolades among the development community, atlas shrugged.

I think there is still hope, it's not over, but it is not a smart move for any confidence in redevelopment for politicians and chamber pots to throw the developer, original or subsequent, under the snow mobile, verbally acting like it is all none of their or their hero's doing. It is bad for redevelopment. Just like Choke It Outs are. (If they did it to them, they'll do it to you when expedient or visonary, at the time. They need to find another way.)

Mixed treatment.

One big majordomo dev (not mixed use, not TOD) already owned the land, had for years, didn't need a subsidy, got one anyway.

There are a few who do not pick everyone else's pocket to make his or her personal pocket filing dream come true.

Yet, another said, you give me my name in lights, I'll give you back part of your subsidy to spill some water. We look benevolent. You look marvelous. We don't pay or take the normal prerequisite risk. (With stockholders, there's diffusion of responsibility anyway. It doesn't affect bonuses, so what does it matter).

With another, a need to rename sold naming rights when the pyramid scheme fell otherwise.

More PR and more awards. Some deserved, some not.

Several MUDs around are award winning, but not successful.

Subsidies.

If you play the game with the right people, you get other people's money.

One got the land cleared at city expense, another (more than one) got a private drive public road, given city money, but not working as sold.

(The first even came back for seconds for a small retail storefront subsidy of all things. Now that is a very special friendship).

One promised an office park, it's just apartments.

It could be o.k., alright, if it were not overkill with little return assurances when so much is provided, no strings attached (or honored, that is). How much can we hand over to you today? Paper or plastic (because we know you don't want to use your own bag, though you have one)? You will get help carting it off. How may we give up other private visions and property rights in a location for your visionary visions? For even the visions of a few who do not even have much skin in the game, they just like social experiments, architecture, with more and more of OPM (other people's money).

The Next Shiny Penny.

So for failing developments, the political easy move is to throw broken wing or derivative, once a parner, under the bus. This is not a long term smart move if politicians and politicos stopped to think about it. But whatever is expedient. Right.

Clearing the way, can be good. Better than what was there, sometimes true. Not taking development credit where credit is due, both good and bad credit, bad. Politicians and chamber pots blaming any developer for what they too helped clear the way for and promoted, is pathetic. What they didn't bother, even blocked and mocked, was helping cross the t's and dot the i's, not good. (The chamber pots had plenty of time to politicize and divide what was once a promising good chamber feeling, now fouled. Taxpayer chamber pot: "You really going to vote for him?" Let's run the campaign out of the chamber. Who cares if all the members agree. Anyway. Someone needs to decide if he is an employee who follows employee rules, including being in the retiree system, or if he is outside and doesn't have to comply with state rules, like open records requests. But nevermind. Now time to expand the staff of the pot. The initiative will promote the few and the politician primarily. Good luck getting your reduced rent. I heard you quit the pot.)

It's fun repeating things.

Don't worry about it.

So, with a mixed record, why are people so upset that the important questions should be answered instead of jogging around the block, parade jumping, or throwing little wing under the train all to not supposedly jeopardize the shiny new (blank stamp) penny. (This next new "massive" development, as it is called.)

It's fun repeating things.

A few are better at "playing the game" than everyone else. Making the rules. Public not so much. Bubbles and speculations. There are shrewd developers and politicians with a confidential inside scoop and control over your money. What's theirs is theirs, what's yours is theirs. Choke you out, singing Aye Oh. aye oh. aye oh.

Trust in me. Sang the swirly eyed snake.

Postcard from the inner ring says, the original so called land speculators of a certain massive area weren't that speculative. They reduced their risks charmed seat fillers, included some in more than one confidentially beneficial way, sold (at a great profit) and moved aside, watching and waiting. Like the stock market derivatives, new owners. And the price. Up up up and away. Can promises be kept that drove the price up, to cover the new price, to cover the promised profit and bankable collateral to the second string? To lay the bed for the upcoming major majordomo deal promised? The roads are set, paid for (OPM, tax payers). There is a utensil in place (OPM). The big road as planned (mostly OPM). Now, watch for old players (thought to be cashed out or "out of the game") to dive back in (to the rescue?) when the public-private situation unfolds. It's part of the confidential deal. Bubble bursting. King of the hill. One born every minute. Confidential fingers in confidential pies. So what if some little wing gets thrown under the snow mobile somewhere else. So what if more is given away than needed. It's other people's money. OPM. Taxpayers'. And more will be asked for.

Mixed use, mixed results. Are the few city visionaries that expert today on creating a limiting vision and then plugging things and people into it (if not themselves). Instead of not drumming out and choking out visions, including from people who are not prone to use government as their piggy bank success vehicle?

Throw a dart.

Only the most incestuous of visions are on the menu these days (except for parade jumping and taking credit for others' success or taking credit for temporal market swings upward but never taking credit for market swings downward... but don't you just know if the few visionaries left the city we would just simply crumble... oh the humanity).

Don't be a stick in the mud.

But everyone is doing it. We can't not do it unilaterally. Really? So why aren't all the using cities putting up half their sales tax for a ride? (So why didn't the school district join the TIF because it's so good). (Why if you get in a wreck in McKinney/Collin Co. you are at Parkland in Dallas Co.) The rules aren't the rules for all suburbs. The Theory Of Everything doesn't fit. This is especially true when the only thing physically separating people in cities is a road sign or a road.

I want to trust you. But I have great reason not to. I can't hardly dislike what I and my family are a part of, what we have vested in, invested in. One year we vote for term limits. The next we vote otherwise. Fear. It's not that we are sheeple, just distracted. Hopeful. Trusting. Busy. Tell me what's going on. I don't have time. Advise me. Suspicious but tried, and why bother because it's not going to get that bad and if it does, I'll do something then, in the future. Or the nest is empty, we are older, just move, some place warmer (but we never will, this is home). We must promote whatever it is because it is hard to separate from what we have done, from who we are, even though they are not the sum of us, just a small part. They didn't birth the world. They didn't make me volunteer for good deeds. We need to be proud. We can't throw ourselves under the bus. Let's throw someone else. Not us. Someone different. Someone who lives you-know-where or something. Let's blame a developer here and there when it goes not so good because the sales job by nearly all of us was overkill and the devil was in the details. We are so much better than those people. Do you want to turn into that-other-city? (We soon will at this rate.)

Tax policy is a distorted mess. But why make it worse?

Inconsistent treatment and friendship.

The next shiny penny. Begone questions. Begone broken little wing (casualty). Begone anyone who does not share The Full Vision (depending on the current shiny penny or old friends who need to make a killing off a corn field). Choke it out.

Uh oh.

I hear a northern city is considering putting a moratorium on wayward train tracks running a U shape behind sports stores. It's called the Upper Spring Valley Choke It Out. I hope not. But I guess more than one can play it like that. Like fly in the face of.

Wonder what's going on with a city's mixed use apartment plans across from a ho'spital. And at the uni. And in the valley.

Go density. It's your birthday.

I wished the bus stop located a mile from my home had a shelter and bus service since there is money given for it. I was informed that both are non starters. A young urban professional not young enough? Too suburban, I guess. Not of the creative class, happy, gay class. Even if I were of mythological description, they won't let me paint. My mural. Too hispanic they say. Colors too bold I was told. All I ever wanted to do is paint.

I wished the HOV let me on but off at at my city since there is money given for it. We had a carload full but had to slug it out and not able to use the EMPTY HOV because we wanted to eat, live, play and shop in our city. We were disenfranchised. We still pay taxes. The saying is that it clears the road. But the HOV was empty. (It's going to be tolled soon. That'll do the trick. Yeah.)

And, in closing, our business didn't get a subsidy. Small businesses have hired more people than large businesses. We must not hang with the right people.

The road is cracked. Litter is in the creek again. Got to pass out money to develop virgin land. Crime is down because it had gone up. We can say it dropped. Success!

If you go to the dance with a certain city, don't expect not to be left at the punch bowl for the next hot ticket (coming back to grab money from you for cab fare). May I at least get a half cup, not just a sip.

I've seen you in your swimming trunks. The emperor wears no clothes. The wizard passes me some sun lotion. The future's so bright, I've got to wear shades. I don't trust them anymore. Yeah. I walk through the valley of the shadow of apartment complexes, again, twenty years later, I still can't get no ride home. Good thing I brought my car.

Fear no evil, for we are trying not to become like you-know-where. But we strive to be like the big city. What's wrong with just us (with a bit of good housekeeping)?

I'll take a medium.

Right.

Water cost is going up. Utility drainage fee coming. Tax bill up. Electric charge requested to go up. User fees up. Bond to redo the once visionary valley coming will come and it won't be free. Services cut. Education cut. Taxes are not covering all the many plans and visions. The visions as structured won't cover the visions.

I'm done eating lunch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I remember the first time I saw the Klu Klux Klan (in person in costume). I was a young child. The Klan had come to town. (bloggin from Richardson TX)

(Only later did I suspect that not all of them were out of town people as claimed).

They picked the main intersection in town and lined the four way. It was Saturday.

As Momma and I rode past, my mouth open initially, alarms then going off in my brain, she told me not to stare and I felt her body stiffen next to mine as some of the white robes moved into the road.

Why are they here, Momma?

Hush.

When Momma said to hush, and said it like that (low, controlled), that meant to capital H hush.

I knew I would have to wait to ask her everything when we got to the house (sometimes I could get a satisfactory answer about such things and sometimes not, depending. Dad was easier to get information from until he realized you were getting information that Momma had declined to give. Would we even get home alive?)

I could hush, believe it or not, but this time I couldn't help but stare, as silently as I could (I learned how to cut my eyes way, way, to the side, in church, across church pew laps, undetected, to signal back and forth to my equally restless Sunday classmate, sitting further down the pew... it beat staring at the red wall-to-wall carpeted stairs leading to the pulpit, or at the pastor, without blinking until your vision started blacking out). I cut my eyes at the two figures in the road trying to give us some piece of paper to read, held out across the hood.

There was police in the grocery store lot, but they were not stopping them from getting in the road or from being there, all in the white robes.

They were saying things, I could hear some things. They had some signs. I already knew they were KKK from off the black and white news in the front room but they didn't exist here, just in Alabama, somewhere else, but not here. They didn't live here. Why were they here of all places. The white robes. Sure, we had people here who didn't like other people because they were different than them, but they weren't no KKK. The first sign I read confirmed it. KKK. With some smaller unreadable things. Bobbing up and down.

Supposedly in life, there is at least one face of a stranger, that just sticks in your head, that you are never going to forget. A tornado is swirling around but you see, the face.

She couldn't have been but a few years older than me. I saw her there. A child's mind gravitated to a child's form. Standing along the side of the road. She was so close. If I had rolled down the window I could have touched her (Momma would have yanked me a new something if I had rolled down the window and besides I wouldn't have). Flaxen straight hair, big brown eyes, fair unblemished skin (I didn't even see one single freckle), white robe, hood off, her small frame wedged in front of two big bellied bunches of white cloth. She stood there with a look of sass (defiance). After the pass, I automatically rubbernecked to look to see more for as long as I could now that we were passed, there was the sign she was holding, but we were gone by. And her face. I had automatically tried to read it in that, a few seconds slow motion passing. What was she thinking? Was she mad, out of her head, or something? Standing out there. It was a bad thing to do what she was doing. Didn't she know that? Didn't anybody ever warn her about the KKK? Did they force her to do that? How did she get her hair so straight? Where did she come from? Didn't she go to school?

Recalling this incident made me want to check back in with a relative who still lives there who takes delight in being able to remember events, both pleasant and horrific, even when you don't want to know all the details. You stop asking Momma or the relatives who have lost their memory or who don't want to remember things they would rather forget. And don't ask the one who always cries about most things and guilts you for not visiting more often, using over half the visit to complain that you don't visit. You know when you call your oldest living aunt, the one who can still hear you on the phone, and say, do you remember the time ...?

Sometimes the answer these days is yes, and sometimes it is no (sometimes it's a phone call a week later saying, I do remember, but it was in April, not August...) I do this now.

In my pursuit about information regarding the above incident (the answer was, I don't rightly recall that particular time, they rallied here more than onest), I found out something that I really never remember having heard anything about.

And as kids, we heard, yes, we heard all about a lot of things from relatives, who got to yakking and forgot we were there on the floor beside the devan playing jacks or didn't care, including about things that happened plum out to California. Or a hundred years ago, in Tennessee.

And what we didn't hear about from them (or about them), or from neighbors, was augmented by our bike riding, pop bottle breaking in the road, granny bead* wearing compadres, who like Randy Goldberg made sure we heard about the more unseemly underbelly of what a grade schooler knows. Or we read it in the murder mystery magazines with the black bars across faces and chests of dead victims, police photographs, that we weren't supposed to be looking at. (I'm still afraid of getting murdered in Michigan because they have "cereal killers" according to Randy Goldberg who moved after third grade, not to be heard from again).

I was more stunned at never having heard about this next thing than that it happened.

It was a scosh before my time, but the older relatives who were but little kids maybe could tell you if they ever heard about it from kin before they passed.

The night Tulsa burned. It was 1921 and a terrible race riot, some historians (I am reading it now to augment what I was told because the details relayed were sketchy) say the worst race riot in US history, broke out. In Tulsa. Not in all the places you know or always hear about having race riots, but in Tulsa, o.k. An area called Greenwood, The Black Wall Street (until its block after block destruction).

Why didn't anybody ever say anything about this before? (What else? Do I have an adopted out twin someone forgot to mention? Probably not, but lucky for the world. Did someone sneak off and get a tattoo and now I have to deal with it because it's infected? Did the rabbit die? Was the moon walk filmed in a Burbank studio?).

I don't have anything to share on past prelims about the apparently near secret worst, most costliest riot in US history, in Oklahoma, in Tulsa, a few miles and few hours from here, because I am just now learning about it myself, like I said. If you are interested in the topic of The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, which included aerial strikes, many deaths, a swath of destruction, internment, please look it up, I'm seeing a few things here, including documentary type videos. It seems like it is one historical wow ....

(*granny beads happen when you play outside and get dusty and it mixes with sweat and forms dirt beads in a line encircling your juvenile neck, or your old neck, or medium neck, if you never take a shower or bath, a necklace as grandmother would wear, but not really, because it's dirt and sweat)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Southlake halts new gas drilling requests for 6 months, water and air quality concerns, noise. Parker County water damage, frac fluid, gas drilling...

Lots of natural gas-fracking, water concerns in the news this week, including for Texas.

Texarkana Gazette: "Marvin Nichols nets another suit, Region D residents allege water development board ignored responsibilities"

1/22/2001 - By: Brandy S. Chewning - Texarkana Gazette

Division over the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir has led to another lawsuit.

The Region C water planning group of Dallas recently submitted a plan to the state that lists Marvin Nichols as a water supply for the metroplex. But the plan of the Northeast Texas group, Region D, where the reservoir would be built, did not include it.

Both plans were approved by the Texas Water Development Board
... Link (pay wall link to be able to read rest of article).

-

With Lake Fastrill (reservoir) plans (at one location) having been put down by the Supreme Court, look for things to heat up around all the other planned and eyed water sources for above averge per person water guzzling DFW a little more. It's not like water grows on trees (apart from sprinkler-system showered onto our city medians and concrete and notwithstanding big water abatements).

Over 3 years ago, I was glad to see at least one council member open on the NTMWD "take or pay" contract issue, joined by another, then others,

getting enough support to get it on the Richardson plan sheet to pursue (again) and the NTMWD's nag sheet. That went away (I really am sad the water guys had so so so much time to run as the Richardson Coalition PAC hangmen). It simmered. (Some affronted by the suggestion of any change, and are still spewing, but that is the pac's loss, and all our loss).

The political will of some member cities has ebbed and flowed on this difficult area, but it has to be addressed, one way or another, sooner better than later. Just saying, "it can't be done" doesn't hold water.

I am very glad that Plano is leading on this. Go Plano! (Go, Richardson, O.K.?)

Mark Israelson, Plano Deputy City Manager and so called "young upstart," who I know, and I think is doing good, presents it well. Go M.I.! Mayor Phil Dyer too. Go M P.Dyer! All y'all...

Basically, the two way rachet adjustment (not just the upward one way "take or pay" formula as it has been) coupled with the use of reserves to level out the inevitable swings for the water system should be something that cities, and investors, can agree to.

Because, if some adjustments are not made overall to the non conservation promoting "take or pay" formula (plus some other adjustments, plus some inside city adjustments), the system is not well sustaining.

The non member cities need to share more in the cost (debt cost). The debt load to provide water (sourcing, financing) has gone up since the percentage rate for non member customers was last set in 1970.

The old framing of winner cities versus loser cities, growth cities vs. mature cities, in any given time period will just be, "we are all losers" if something is not done. The casual talk, that comes around here on uneven Springs, will not be only about paying for water we don't use, as it is now, but about having an ample water supply (financed AND affordable) to even use.

It is very challenging, because all the member cities have to agree, but it is not impossible. It can be done. I have been really encouraged by Richardson City Manager Bill Keffler's growing supportive tone about the issue, more than ever before (aside from his winner-vs-loser speak, and the one-eyebrow baby obsession with competeting with and beating Plano). Whatever works, to keep the boat afloat (and doesn't make us mortgage our homes, businesses and economy to pay the water bill. It could be nice not to have to flood east Texas quite so much).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Changes, concessions on PGBT-Renner-75 mixed use zoning in the works. I don't consider any "side" to be "political noise" as Mayor Gary Slagel does.

I also think some people supporting the different positions had and have talking points and were coached, true, and some not, whether by a tax payer funded PR firm and tax payer paid staff, subsidized land speculators or developers, or politicos, not just one "side" or the other.

Gary Slagel as Mayor of Richardson should not use the mayoral position and meetings to call citizen concerns "political noise." His remarks "fly in the face" (his phrase) of being a mayor more people can look up to no matter where they are on a particular issue.

Empire State of Mind (blogging from Richardson, Texas)

(misses and all) "But B.K. is from Texas," I like that he put that line in there.



Yeah,
Yeah, Imma up at Brooklyn,
Now Im down in Tribeca,
Right next to DeNiro,
But I'll be hood forever,
I'm the new Sinatra,
And since I made it here,
I can make it anywhere,
Yeah they love me everywhere,
I used to cop in Harlem,
All of my dominicanos,
Right there up on broadway,
Brought me back to that McDonalds,
Took it to my stash spot,
Five Sixty Stage street,
Catch me in the kitchen
Like a simmons whipping pastry,
Cruising down 8th street,
Off white lexus,
Driving so slow
But BK is from Texas
Me I'm up at Bedsty
Home of that boy Biggie,
Now I live on Billboard,
And I brought my boys with me,
Say wat up to Ty Ty, still sipping mai-tai
Sitting courtside Knicks and Nets give me high fives,
I be spiked out, I can trip a referee,
Tell by my attitude that I most definitely from...

New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do,
Now you're in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

I made you hot,
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
I made the yankee hat more famous than a yankee can,
You should know I bleed Blue, but I aint a crip tho,
But I got a gang walking with my click tho,
Welcome to the melting pot,
Corners where we selling rocks,
Afrika bambaataa,
Home of the hip hop,
Yellow cap, gypsy cap, dollar cab, holla back,
For foreginers it aint fitted they forget how to act,
8 million stories out there and their naked,
Cities is a pity half of y'all won't make it,
Me I gotta plug a special and I got it made,
If Jesus paying LeBron, I'm paying Dwayne Wade,
3 dice cee-lo
3 card marley (a play on monte and marney),
Labor Day parade, rest in peace Bob Marley,
Statue of Liberty, long live the World trade,
Long live the king yo,

I'm from the empire state that's...

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do,
Now you're in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York
Welcome to the bright light...

Lights is blinding,
Girls need blinders
So they can step out of bounds quick,
The side lines is blind with casualties,
Who sipping life casually, then gradually become worse,
Don't bite the apple Eve,
Caught up in the in crowd,
Now you're in style,
And in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
The city of sin is a pity on a whim,
Good girls gone bad, the city filled with them
Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out,
Everybody ride her, just like a bus route,
Hail Mary to the city you're a Virgin,
And Jesus can't save you life starts when the church ends,
Came here from school, graduated to the high life,
Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
The city never sleeps better slip you an Ambien

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do,
Now you're in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
No place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahhh
Come on, come,
Yeah,


In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do,
Now you're in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York


video

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Women of The Richardson Coalition. At least one of them says that the Coalition never had the right to use her name. Are there others?

The Richardson Coalition is responsible for trashing a lot of people, that has caused a lot of backlash, and this is a large group looking at the list of its members and the list of "under the radar" members (like one of their prior web technicians, if he in fact has stopped doing it, who thought Gary did something for him but he was actually promoted by others, who he then attacks on Gary's behalf).

(Just like the guy doing bidding, who thought he was kept off of something, but he is blaming the wrong people).

If what people are saying is accurate, expect a lot more backlash and listing of the names of The Women of The Richardson Coalition. I read some of their names on a local Richardson blog too.

Several whisper about "it's too bad about the collateral damage, but it wasn't me" or "I disagree with what they did to some people, but it's over and done with."

Why did those ladies trash some people who had helped them? It's right there in black and white on the Coalition web site, the names of the ladies are right there (not all of them, but most), and the mailer and trash they endorsed is right there. They endorsed the mailer and behavior. (Now they are helping lend their prestige to crafty email harvesting.) If she didn't, why is her name there. If she didn't why didn't she disavow it. At least she could have asked for her name to be removed, as someone else has requested. She goes around saying, "It wasn't me, so my name should not be on the list" but she doesn't say anything to Gary and Chuck and Stan and C dude or A dude or the five founders or whoever runs the site.

Was trashing good (and bad) people really worth it? Did the business sent your way make the necklace shine more? Was the safari trip to Africa sweeter?

If you did not trash good people and your name was misused, then why aren't you saying anything? No, you didn't just disagree with them, you trashed some of them. You helped caused this backlash.

You know the things you said about those ladies, how would you like it if they started saying things about you (true things, which is less harrassing than what you did)?

Why is it ok for The Women of The Richardson Coalition to trash people and not for people to trash them? Why can they trash two of my friends with lies and innuendos and expect me to be ok with it?

Richardson has a double standard. The Women Of The Richardson Coalition can trash, no matter the reason, including other ladies, but don't anyone dare trash them, after all, they are just women.

Her name is on the list, endorsing the trashing. If it is not true, then the Richardson Coalition needs to stop misleading all of Richardson by using people's names without their permission. The people's names who are being misused should be concerned that they are being listed on the trash list if they really had nothing to do with it.

The re-election committee of someone includes a lady that goes around saying that she wasn't a part of it and she has even apologized, but she is still listed. (She has plans). Her prestige is given to the trashing, including of someone she claims is her friend.

They just shrug and say it is collateral damage.

I have started hearing and seeing the names of the Women Of The Coalition and I can only believe that some of them don't deserve to be associated with it, but they do need to get their names off the list if they are not responsible for the trashing and lies and innuendos because they are going to be part of the backlash campaign against The Richardson Coalition and what it did, what the women listed did.

People accuse The Richardson Coalition of being sexist. Darn right they are, but not entirely in only the way we all might be conditioned to think. The Women Of The Richardson Coalition (most of the names are on the web site or Gary Slagel's re-election web site) are as much or more to blame than the "men." The men couldn't have done it so well without you ladies.

I never heard anyone trash The Women Of The Richardson Coalition at all in public, until after they started doing it in public. It wasn't just disagreement they dished out, it was trash. So that's why the trash in return, ladies. You have been given a pass. At least until now because I am starting to see your names being listed as the trashers.

I would like to thank The Richardson Coalition, especially The Women of The Richardson Coalition for "protecting our quality of life" as they claim they are. If they are not, then they don't need to claim they are. I don't hear anyone claiming that except people who seem to "not be protecting our quality of life" like The Women Of The Richardson Coalition have not been protecting our quality of life.

At least one of them has newly moved herself into one of the most respected groups in Richardson, but has become the Membership chair with access to the database and people's check information (banking, driver's license numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, etc) including people she has helped trash.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stan Bradshaw, Mayor Gary Slagel's Son In Law, chairs Richardson Coalition Real Heroes award, requests us to vote via unique email addresses.

The 2011 Richardson Coalition's PR campaign kick off release is here (in case you were not set up to receive Richardson Coalition spam). Read the PR release. It certainly comes across as a closed, highly manipulated process for such a supposedly friendly, local volunteer appreciation award in my opinion.

The stakes smell pretty high.

But what a peach of a deal.

Can we just cut to the chase and email Mayor Gary Slagel directly at his email address and give him our email address for his Richardson Coalition PAC editorial and slate promoting purposes, in case our email address is not already in the City's database, or the PAC has not already taken it from the neighborhood list? That's how "The Richardson Coalition" got one of my email addresses when they started. I never gave it to them. I gave my email address to the City, not the Richardson Coalition, to be able to contact me.

Oh, so little privacy when one gives one's email addresses to the city (unless of course you are a special person and affixed it to a petition to beg Gary to not take his ball and go home if he's couldn't be in charge of everything, as in the Eisemann petition presented to the city. In that case, tax payers pay the contract attorney to write for a ruling request to the state attorney and redact the email addresses, saying they were given to the city, to communicate with the city).

My opinion is that in order to significantly ensure chances of a win as a Real Hero, which many people are, during the "interview" with the "board," it couldn't hurt to allude to a promise to vote for Slagel (or his surrogate/s), especially for lifetime mayor (Richardson Coalition style hinting and flirting... you would still be more honest than they were). Agree to put up his yard sign, to seal it.

Oh the "interview." It's not like the panel plans to outright show flash cards with different poses of Slagel and the Slagel slate (plus the guy they couldn't find an opponent for at the last minute) or any issue positions at the Richardson Coalition "interview." Or.... is it? How might that go...

Let's us now go into the magical world to catch a glimpse of a fake "real Richardson" 2011 style interview:

Dweedle dweedle, dweedle dweedle...remember, the "real" "interview" counts, little else does (except if we already "know" you and you are "one of us.")
Dweeedle dweedle...



FLASHCARD


Apple or Banana.

Uh....

The question is, Apple or Banana.




What do you mean?

APPLE OR BANANA!

Uh.... apple? I dunno. I guess?

Correct!

May I go now? I've been here all day.



NO!

May I at least remove these wires?

NO!


dweedle dweedle, dweedle dweedle...
...


It is pretty cheesy of them using hero awards and good Richardson volunteers for political propaganda purposes of the Richardson Coalition PAC, once again collecting, refreshing and using emails for Coalition election propaganda. If one runs a not for profit, or volunteers and does work for the community, who wouldn't want an award as a hero? Or to vote for their friend who volunteers? Hang that award up on the wall for all to admire. Get family and friends to vote, vote, vote. Or who wouldn't desire to know which real gynecologist to really go to?

I love it when I get awards (real good ones, that is). Just being nominated is an honor. (Let's say my nomination last name is Smith, yes, that's it, but no relation to the city Smith. That's S-M-I-T-H....) I'll definitely vote for the slate they suggest, real real hard, after I am nominated and so will my friends and all my family and coworkers. I can hardly wait for their political editorials to come into my volunteery ebox. And pretty pretty slicky pitchurs in the big mail box that tell me what bad meanie is putting flyers on windshields illegally (although technically when they told me who supposedly did that, they were lying). But I've already forgotten about that, e'specially if I have a chance at a hero award!

I'm so excited. I want to go to a Slagel and Slate rally at the auto museum (in fact, I want to go to all three of them), not see Cong. Pete Sessions (who doesn't come after people get onto him for accepting the invitation, bok bok bok bok) and then I will march to the voting booth with my new RC award-giving, "quality of life protecting" friends and I want to do it all right this instant. (I'm not sure who that guy is hanging around at the rally, but I'll vote for him too, he looks friendly).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Over a month ago, I referred to at least one known development application on West Spring Valley that was in the works. (Richardson, TX)


It was not deterred (cajoled and convinced away). You were not supposed to know this, that it was in process. The "temporary moratorium" ax fell, despite rush rush efforts, hampered by late posting (this "strategy" has happened before, in different things, in regard to public interests, not just postings and this city moratorium).

The applicant comes today, at a moved up City Council session at 6:00 pm, not the normal 7:00 pm regular time, to come in front of Council to beg to do with her business what she bought it for (a dentist office).

If their tactics against the lady don't pan out, and I hope things do work out for the lady and for taxpayers, but if it doesn't, I say let's get The Visionary (Visionary, visionary), The Bulldozer Heavyhand, The Upchuck, The Choke It Out A-O, and the "responsive" unresponsive councilmen to pay for the taking of her property out of their own pockets.

As in, don't stick everyone else with the bill for your heavy handedness, unready (bold! riight) visions, wacky moratoriums, and sneaky rush rush posting boo boos and fibs.

I hope it turns out well, for the lady and taxpayers' sake.

I like people who get things done, I do not have anything against activists or activist councilmen. I'm just tired of the small group of unelected and elected politicos promoting things, however good some of the sentiments begin, but going about it all in such wacky heavy handed (controversial) (costly to taxpayers), fibby ways, and sticking the city with the bill.

This is the small crowd of politicos that makes fun of people who want basic details, who want to dot and cross the important "i's and t's" and protect and serve taxpayers. The bold guys go out selling things and they do not know the details of what they are selling much of the time. They make fun of people who aren't "bold" (their definition). Nearly all of them laugh at people's homes and businesses (while backstabbing each other and then trying to trick each other that it was someone else), wanting to bulldoze whole areas of Richardson, not just blight, especially according to one of The Bold, and another high profile guy can't decide what he wants, either to preserve or rip up (he has pushed for both, as long as it's not his property and he doesn't have to pay for it).

If they would just all come clean at the city, be straight up, stop causing controversy by trying to stop "controversy" we could all get more positive things done, and not just another lawsuit to defend or to see the city pass out cash to settle (the cash of tax payers).

Even plans with good, positive potential are getting black eyes (ok, pink eyes, happy JWP in Dallas?), why, because we don't trust them to shoot straight.

And whatever you do, please don't offer to let her put her dentist office in the city incubator (wait...), or city hall (wait...), or pay for her expenses and let her use city resources and staff so "donations" can be free to pay her "executive non profit volunteer director" salary (oh wait...)... Hey, maybe you could snow cone her (or shaved ice cup her) (wait...)...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oncor's asking to raise our rates. Again. Like about a year ago.By about $5 bucks a month. Just a few cups of coffee is all. (Richardson, Texas, blog)

We used less electricity they say (edit: another source says Texas, at least as a whole, used over 3% more electricity and more of it came from coal than natural gas last year). Anyway, with Oncor, supposedly we now have to help them out by paying higher rates as reward. They gave out much bonus and ran debt 60%, (so said) equity 40%. Their bonuses are important. They want to increase their (nearly guaranteed) profit rate over prior years. A level of profit, especially in a down economy, most would absolutely love to have. Thanks for partnering with us. Oncor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The board of a religious sect just decided it would go for the "free" pipe water for using, and not pursue rainwater collection as a primary source

for outdoor, and other, use at this time.

It's about (manipulated) economics, even for private religious sects.

(Why collect water or conserve that much if the City of Richardson now and first gives it for free?)

People should keep in mind that if they make too many comments about out of date code and really (honestly) being water wise or not mixing so much private things with public business with few safeguards that they are at risk of ruffling features and getting targeted for removal from the club, or course.

The road to Hades is paved with good causes. (Didn't the Inquisition start that way?)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Pine Away

Evening, the sky is glowing
underneath us the grass is slowing down
on its way up to the sun.

Lying around devoting
time to watching the stars exploding
on into space one by one.

Takes me to a distant place and time
this is not the first time I have pined.

Puts me in a distant state of mind,
this is not the first time I have pined,
I pine away.

I love the older people,
they seem to live in a world of simple life
where simple pleasures still belong.

Years past, they contemplated
how the world was less complicated
years before they came along.

Takes me to a distant place and time
this is not the first time I have pined.
Puts me in a distant state of mind,
this is not the first time I have pined,

I pine after my home, the yard
the olden days, the faraway
weird star that rained over it all.

Lying around devoting
time to watching the stars exploding
on into space one by one.

Takes me to a distant place and time
this is not the first time I have pined.

Puts me in a distant state of mind,
this is not the first time I have pined.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Green Tomato Holiday Cake. If you grow tomatoes and have ones left over that did not finish ripening during the season, get them picked before the

hard freeze. Use in a recipe like this. I call it Holiday because of the green and I add dried cherries (a little red), and there is already a Jesus cake. It's a flexible recipe, very thick, and there are a number out there to pick from. I substitute applesauce for the butter and cut the sugar. Use your own choice of dry sweetners. Moist spice cakey.

There is none left after yesterday's brunch, so no picture of it this time.

You could make red tomato cake too.

Or fried green tomato and shrimp remoulade po boys, recipe. If you can't or do not wish to eat shellfish, then substitue something else, like avacado.








Or can up some green tomato chutney.












mobile: "Twitter is over capacity. Please wait a moment and try again. For more information, check out Twitter Status" (Richardson, Texas, blog)

"Dec 25th Site availability issues 6 minutes ago We're currently experiencing some site availability issues: we're looking into it now and will update when we have more information. Tweet"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Festivus (Dec 23) (Richardson, Texas)

Festivus poles being prepared for shipment

Gasland. Several things have reminded me about this film. I had to travel to far west Texas and the closest/southeast part of New Mexico and in the

gasfields (nothing having to do with any film). And, whew.... what an eye opener about what is going on about now in the so called "middle of nowhere." (middle of yonder, is what we call it). Don't get me wrong, I've been around oil towns and rendering plants. Dumps and sulfer wells. Changing adult and baby diapers. I'm just not the squeamish type. Blood and guts, no problem (if not unavoidable, as far as handling the immediate medical need part of it). So, I was down in the Gulf Coast (LA to Florida) about a month ago and all but like Grand I. is clearing up, that can be seen. Yes, some tar balls, some not pleasant smells here and there. Yeah, some energy towns stink. (Fort Stockton as an example in Texas). Pig towns stink. Poverty places are a wreck. Thug apartments, are thuggy. Et cetera. I know we collectively do some not too pleasant things to hang. And then some (don't forget Picher, ok) (or drilling mud spread about). And sometimes nature does too.

But holy toxic vomit and gas masks. What's going on is way more than gas well burn off and old school gas well fracking.

I wasn't looking to see any of this or seeking it.

I can see (did see, smell, taste, hear, feel, get sick) more than ever why the New Mexico people had such a fit when more of the gas (and oil) drilling was about to happen in what is considered a more sensitive area to the west. We need energy. But have mercy. Not a free for all, with what appears to be little to no oversight, record profit of the energy companies at the expense of people's homes, land, other industry, livestock, and water.

I'm all for people being excited about the future and getting things done, and we are human and pollute, but the details and the big picture have to be considered together. It's like certain things have taken too many steps backward. It took la smog and the river catching on fire at one point in history to get a little attention. Oil spills. Blow ups. Things happen. But invariably it seems a very, very short time after major bad things happen, safety measures, if they were tightened or put into place, go slip slidding away (too much or in the wrong places).

I feel like I don't even need to see Gasland now, but will.

They call the once poor landowners "shale-ionaires."

If you watch only one of the following clips, watch all of the second one, but watch them when you get a chance.

Gasland trailer (1 min)
video

Interesting interview with film maker: 11 mins

video



60 minutes did a piece on fracking (13 mins)

video

Barnett Shale saltwater disposal (1 minute)

video

Cleburne: earthquakes, gas money/taxes, lobbying, etc. (6 mins)

video

Monday, December 20, 2010

To tout the development plan at 75 and Renner as sustainable, not to mention, a traffic reducer for the location, (Richardson, Texas)

as it is currently proposed, is intellectually dishonest. It is not building trust to try to convince people of these things.

It will be approved and it will be a less than stellar version, right out of the gate, of what it could be if it were truly planned to be sustainable and really meant to be a wonderful "town center" and things were ready for it to succeed.

The majority of people like, even love, excitement and prestige, not to mention convenience, and also wealth. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not free. Neither is decay nor the dreaded "creeping blight."

I don't feel good about subsidizing other people's profit dreams to such a large extent these days.

I do hope that once things get cooking up at the locale that it offers a real "sense of place" (the catch phrase of the "new urbanists" who are not all that new). It will be a destination and draw a lot of people who don't live there if it is built like the models mentioned, for a while. (The highway was jammed, the frontage roads were jammed, and the streets were jammed up Saturday night outside of one of those "places." I hope that means the economy is pulling upward more than it means bad town planning.) I'm not being mean, but the models mentioned are not that sustainable and they aren't going to be long lived "places" much more than any mall or any other massive apartment complex is.

I hope it is a wonderful place to live for those who live there. I hope the apartments are not built as cheaply as most all of the ones that have preceded it over the last ten years.

I hope it's a wonderful place to shop and that it offers a place for people to buy groceries for the times they do not or can't eat out, like when they get tired of the four major restaurants, or ten or more when all the other density goes in on the other tracts, if something other than apartments comes as it is being sold. And I hope that it has hotel space for relatives to stay for the holidays and for convention events and parties.

And I hope a lot of jobs come there for the apartment dwellers even if it is after the fact and even if most people who live there do not work there (more people than jobs). And whether people who work there can afford to live there or not.

For the ones who do not want to use a vehicle or give up private transportation, I hope there is improved, viable travel options, like real bus service and rail and other things, that gets them where they need to go. Since this is TOD, there won't be as much parking if the TOD theory is correct. Parking should not be a problem and if it is, you will need to give up your driving, and vehicles.

As you can tell, I am hopeful, but skeptical and I think I have very good reason to be.

I hope that people are not surprised when the Renner (beautiful) parkway toward the east is made into more lanes, especially the bridge over Rowlett Creek (the bond paid report will confirm that it must be made wider, more lanes) and that people know that grade separations are going to come on line soon in the area, like at Plano at Greenville, and Plano Rd at Renner Rd. And they shouldn't be surprised when what they thought was the nature area across the road is built upon because the north area is private land, not city park land, and even if it was park land it doesn't mean it's off limits or anything, it wasn't.

I hope our taxes do not go up more to support it all because the truth is this "place" won't "pay for itself."

If you haven't noticed, our taxes never go down, they are outstripping inflation and interest, when all these developer dreams come to town and they collect subsidies to boot. One reason is lack of planning by and for residents, lack of care, the developers make the sale, set up to make the profit, spread it around to just the right person or people to convince and sell it to well-meaning and enlightened people to be completely for it and not to ask too many questions and not to give too many answers. But most developers and people who do not live by it, aren't that interested in sense of community in the location, here today, gone tomorrow. Those not right next to a development living in Richardson just want some shopping one to three miles closer. To them trade off for that is worth it, to others it is not.

The money we gave and give to roads have not gone to roads, such as when the local road maintenance prior allotment was used to pay for the Eisemann Center dream debt service when things did not pan out as dreamed and sold and how the money sent to the state for transportation has not been used fully for transportation for the majority of people (but for perhaps special friends).

The crime doesn't go down when dense apartments move into an area. Traffic doesn't reduce in the area. Air pollution doesn't get better. Education levels do not go up and the dropout rate doesn't decrease. Local schools don't seem to get better because of dense apartments even though the schools get more money with increased head count (so far). The divorce rate doesn't go down (except there are less marriages and more single household family situations). The neighborhood services budget for apartments doesn't decrease and the fee doesn't cover the increase. Apartments are not any more dream-like than anything else.

Well managed apartments have a place in most communities. We need apartments, for transitional use, for corporate use, for single lifestyle use, for empty nesters who want an apartment, for families that decide it is healthier to split than stay in a situation, and some rights have been given for apartments, etc. that should be accepted. Apartments are not evil. It is what comes with poorly thought out plans that could be called that.

Richardson is growing more apartment-heavy. After a point, it doesn't seem like a high proportion of apartments adds to sense of place or community that is good unless elements are in place to make it work and have that "sense of place" that urban planners, architects, politicians, developers and environmentalists are seeking to create by building high density in suburbs.

And public-private partnerships are often much more expensive to taxpayers in the long run when it comes to supporting high density utensils than if taxpayers would just pay for them (but can't because they are being jacked up for everything else and everyone else that they shouldn't have to be paying for, like other people's dreams and utensils and planning honchos' and politicians' steak dinners and retreats, and they do not take public transportation to their retreats).

Architects, urban planners and developers have dreams, even nostalgic dreams. Businesses want the traffic and pool of employees to tap as needed and pay less. I do wonder why people who do not share the dream have to subsidize their dreams at the expense of their own dreams, to such an extent. It is becoming too much.

So build this dreamed "sense of place." It is going to be "approved" anyway, but please don't just slap it in there with a mass of apartments hoping the rest will follow. Answer the questions that are being asked. Security and amenities are expensive, don't expect everyone else to pay for it, the developers who will make a tremendous profit need to pony up. There is still great profit if done well. Inexperience in development and finance is the major problem with another struggling development in town as much as anything.

Use form based, but do it right and not to the point of just apartments and little else. Expect to deal with noise issues more with mixed use (the updated ordinance isn't updated enough), deliveries, garbage, recycling, traffic, recreation, security/crime, air pollution and other issues that are made more challenging with higher density 24/7. Be honest with the sales pitch. Suburbanites should know that things are not going to be exactly the same...this includes good and bad things. And taxes will go up faster than inflation and interest in order to support the more dense dream as it is structured. Any local gain seems to always be spent and then some lately.

You are not going to stop this thing from being built, and the adjacent density around it that is coming, but you can make it marginally better by not nodding or flying off the handle, but by telling representatives that you helped elect and by telling the developers they need to pay attention and try to get it right. Trust me, they do not have it right as it stands. Will they listen?

The past says it is highly doubtful that this particular set will unless it is at a minimum of political placating. There's no need to. They count on, or have counted on, the anti's cutting off their own noses and the noses of people who try to be reasonable and listen so all we are left with is cagey, non forthright, politician "leaders" who are leading the majority exactly wherever they want the majority to go whether it is the right path or not and some of them have their own back stories and private goals they are more interested in.

With concerned citizens, the politicians even pretend to blame the developers who they say they have no control over to get them to do certain beneficial things, when that's just not true. But naive people believe it and repeat it, not holding them accountable and pointing fingers at only developers and commissions under the politicians. The anti's turn on each other and favor the smooth tongue politicians who won't level with them and the top politicians are free to move about the cabin.

When the phrase kept being used, "Richardson is built out," the politicians knew this was not true but they didn't want to correct the phrase and tell you the score. Richardson is not built out. The population will grow much more. I would say it will grow double in the next forty years, for one, because some guys want it to, well beyond how it would normally grow. Richardson will take on more than it's usual or proportional share of population growth. Richardson is a pro-growth city with pro-population, pro density string pullers and proteges. People complain that Plano is getting people there that should be in Richardson, desiring a larger and larger population. Whatever it takes.

Not to be rude, but some people are about twenty years, if not one year, too late to be noticing these things but they keep doing the same thing and promoting the same slippery politicians, attacking others on behalf of the great politicians who should not agree to private goals or blaming everyone but the ones they put in charge at the very top, and getting results they claim they do not want, like higher taxes, more debt, more traffic, less nature preserve, water waste. Richardson doesn't like honest politicians. Anti's and RC'ers don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. It's all a dream. Richardson wants high density. It obviously doesn't want mass transit to serve the masses to the extent it should but it wants to spend millions and millions (half of Richardson's part of sales tax collections) in Richardson each year to say it does (or to not do it). If you want to live in the burbs, go somewhere else, alright?