Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Of late I think of SuperTuesday Cliffordville & City Special Session

Here we go with another manic SuperTuesday, talk of a Kasich-Cruz coalition and now of a break-up, who spends resources campaigning where, all distinctly flavored with the Twilight Zone seasoned with a guffaw or two that David Letterman could have made in public but hasn't because he retired, dammit.

And here we go with another special Enid City Commission with a focus on the budget again, with questions as to how highly paid a legal eagle is, representing the City to the State government while not blinking an eye about paying that ETN incompetent twice as much for knowing less than even a legal intern and knowing even less about basic mic-ing and ADA level equal access to what microphones they do have...and now replacing equipment like the dais mic, basically paying twice for equipping once.

The Music Man was partial to Gary, while people who know me well know that I'm partial to South Bend (and why).  Shortwave radio hobbyists of a certain upper class know the significance of Indianapolis in particular...and one particular famed grocery bagger...but there's nothing like living next door to that particular state, in Illinois, where the southerners there have more in common with the southerners in Indiana than they do with their respective northern co-habitants.  Hoosier daddy? The further south you go, the more commonality is in the riverways so you might as well throw western Kentucky into that mix, culturally.  Yeah--not sure that Trump would play well there, actually, so this is where the Twilight Zone comes in.

The following is on YouTube and is of poor quality, but it gets the Trumpish point across.  For a better view, there's Hulu et al.


Heh. Julie Newmar looks good in any resolution, huh.

More remarkable than that, though, is the great departure this nation has made between what was moral, Christian, proper decades ago to how those things are currently defined, how what was considered demonic drive is now sanctified under "prosperity theology".

I wonder if Dave Letterman ever visited Cliffordville, Indiana.

It's obvious that nobody on the Enid City Commission ever did--they voted in favor of the massive Kaw Project, reviewed the advice of their financial advisers, and STILL failed to go into sticker shock until NOW.  Like I've said before, that crowd reliably fails to think things through, and even now think that, without a PR department, they are NOT duplicating the jobs of both the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Enid, and now the Enid Event Center, which clearly failed to make a dent in the previous 6 months of precipitous drop in sales tax revenue.  The previous 6 months included the Christmas season and Black Friday, which do not occur in the next 6 months.  Main Street Enid's impact on sales tax revenue is less than zero, and we blow wads of cash on that sorry lot too, under the mistaken impression that all the parties they throw while everybody else is tightening their belts somehow makes Enid look GOOD.  It doesn't, and it won't.

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It's now 3:10 pm and a massive shelf cloud formed overhead from the north, with thunderclouds rolling in beneath from the south. Shutting down now--here we go.
.....  ......   ...and I'm back, in one piece, feelin' like Pecos Bill. XD


SuperWednesday UPDATE: Carly Fiorina is being poo-pooed as Cruz's running mate announced too early but with Indiana in mind as Trump continues to trash Carrier. Here's a reminder that although Fiorina always sat at the "second card table" in the early debates, she dominated the debates she was in. She does still enjoy support and she just made a point you can't refute today: Hillary made big bucks selling access (corporate speeches, same point Bernie was making) and Trump made his big bucks buying people like Hillary.  BOOM.
I ask again, Indiana---Hoosier daddy?!

Seriously, people--the GOP died with Dubya, with the rise of the anti-GOP Tea Party within the GOP. That was a hostile take-over.  Proof of the death of the GOP: the deaths of the political careers of Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush, and now the only candidate left for corporate America to support is Hillary...and the GOP olde guarde can do absolutely NOTHING about it.

mini UPDATE: Blog stats indicate that someone has been researching my background re: City stuff and this li'l bit of info is just for you folks who have noticed the ASL in my last appearance before the Commission. That stuff happened AFTER Motorola downsized and moved to Texas with its AZ HQ becoming a superfund cleanup site. AZ Relay was my next employment gig just before a parent became significantly infirm and I had to move to IL from AZ...after which I moved to OK...okay? While I was on family leave of absence, the corporation which hired the people I worked for to handle AZ Relay took a nosedive, too.  Ever hear of MCI?  Yeah--lucky me, huh.  MCI was mandated to provide Relay services and just before it bit the dust, it consolidated into AZ other Relay services it provided.  In its final days, I additionally worked Louisiana Relay, N. Carolina Relay, and Wisconsin Relay.  How 'bout THEM apples. My retirement is with Motorola, though.


Sure, I still have a few souvenirs of my time with AZ Relay...like a glowing letter of recommendation.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

GOP leaves Fortune 500 no other choice: Hillary Clinton

The amazing failure of Jeb to get the primary nod, what remains is a GOP contender who has now flat out admitted that he agrees with Bernie Sanders about big banks and large international corporations (includes Big Oil, doesn't it); Trump rails against the shipping of jobs overseas as Cruz does (a big corporation standard practice you can thank Ronald Reagan for) even as he kneels in worship at Bonnie Ronnie's feet; in today's talking head shows, now Kasich says he's only for small businesses, not the big ones.  So now being a super-successful mega-business isn't to be as celebrated as being rich in the GOP, leaving none of the mega-donors (or their individuals who run them) anywhere in the GOP to throw their money at or otherwise support.

With Bernie Sanders coming out squarely against millionaires, billionaires and big banks, there's only one candidate remaining worthy of corporate (business and individuals) support, and that's the one they've been paying the big bucks for in speeches, right?

Do the math, people.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Enid's Weldon Bird Sanctuary isn't for bird watchers.

It's spring enough for me, and my blog regulars know that I like the wide variety of colorful birds that visit my back yard seasonally.  I've posted pictures of them here periodically and I've posted them elsewhere on the web in albums I've called "Backyard Zoo". So I thought I'd mosey on down to the Weldon Bird Sanctuary to see what other birds I could see there.  On a map, there's a stream that runs through it and I was expecting to see a few plovers like I've seen elsewhere in town, to one side or the other of West-most Garriott. Killdeer, specifically.

Nada.

In my yard, I routinely get more American Goldfinches, Towhees, Mourning Doves, Ringneck Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, red headed House Sparrows, English Sparrows, woodpeckers (Flickers, Hairys) Mockingbirds, hawks, Orchard Orioles, Vireos, Thrashers, Carolina Wrens, and even Starlings than I saw at the Weldon Bird Sanctuary.  I saw one Robin, one Grackle, one marsh finch of some kind and one sparrow.  It's the sparrow that served up the final word by way of editorial on this place, but I'll get to that part soon enough...


This sanctuary was established some time in the 1960s and this sign stands in testimony to its age.  It does have another sign posted by the City of Enid, but it's the regulation uniform City of Enid sign stating name like a boring dog tag.


Now, unless you're talking about prairie grassland birds, birds by and large like trees to perch in, nest in, and survey the ground in when looking for a meal, right?  Well, take a look at the first picture I posted and look to the right of that sign (the left is where private residences are).  The big shade tree is on the border of private property, and to the right of that, there's not a tree in sight big enough to throw shade on a grasshopper.  When you walk through the premises, you'll find a couple of large trees, like a willow growing over the mostly dried up stream area, and two or so others, but the remainder of the big trees are mainly on private property, which is where you CAN see starlings.  Even the starlings prefer to avoid the sanctuary. Seriously.

A clearer view to the right of the older sign.
Sure, go ahead and make the argument that not all trees have fully leafed out yet. Tell me how many large trunks you can see here. You get the idea. Walking through the area you'll discover that despite this sanctuary being in existence since the 1960s, what you see the most of are saplings that clearly haven't been there the entire life of this refuge.  What flourishes here are tripping hazards galore.

Red industrial garden hose stretches as far as the eye can see. The aforementioned willow tree doesn't have a large trunk. Voila.



If you're out frog watching, though, that's a different story. I've posted a number of pics of those on Google Plus already.


The stream is too dry to be streaming, so yeah, that's a lot of algae in there because the water has been stagnant for quite some time.  And I just HAD to make a GIF of one of'em...



 There's a huge turtle that calls this place home, too.


Oh, the muddy stagnant place is paradise if  you're a turtle. Or a frog. It's a little more hazardous for frogs, though.  As I walked along the channel, the frogs I startled squeaked in protest and promptly jumped into the water, but one of them jumped into a plastic shopping bag instead of the water he was expecting, and a struggle ensued.  There's $$$ being blown on the saplings, there's $$$ being blown on the watering that you'd think should be naturally adequate near a stream because of the relatively high local water table, but what's glaringly obvious is that not one penny was spent in keeping the place clean.



As for the refuge bird who had the last word on the quality of this bird refuge, he'll follow this fellow--the only grackle on the premises; I've seen more grackles than this in any given parking lot of any given strip mall along Garriott:


Now finally-------and I do mean FINALLY------the refuge bird with the last word on this subject:





April 17 mini-UPDATE not on this topic: Monarch Larvae Monitoring at this MLMP site begins today because one wild Honeyvine has emerged after the long overnight soaking rain. Milkweed emergence date is what determines the start of a new season, and here it is. WOOT!



Monday, March 21, 2016

The Enid Event Center downtown is haunted by 2 dead businesses + "retreat" edition UPDATE at bottom.

Once upon a time, what seems to be like forever ago, Enid had its own non-government TV station that was actually broadcasting on actual broadcast air (not cable).  Those who remember the ghost of its deceased owner, Rex Faulkner, will also remember  how the station was before the station was sold off.  Yeah--in the name of desperate fund raising, it presumed to go into competition with an east side business, now also deceased: Walls Bargain Center.  And Walls was an inventory liquidation sale outlet, one of a major chain of stores, that eventually decided that the business of that genre wasn't significant enough in Enid to warrant staying open, and so it permanently closed.  The chain still has successful stores elsewhere in Oklahoma--just not in Enid anymore.

Liquidation sales was the essence of the Walls business model; it was not the business model of KXOK and what KXOK did was out of fund-raising desperation. Fast forward to 2016, and we get to see both ghosts of businesses past on cable now, in this form:

video

Like I said--the Enid Event Center is haunted, and not by just one ghost.

That's Enid for ya--keeping it classy. Perish the thought that Enid should EVER be too classy to be your friendly neighborhood junk peddler.

Successful Walls business locations across Oklahoma:

They're just not successful in Enid.  I wonder why.
Seriously ponder why Eskimo Joe's doesn't want to come to Enid except around Christmas time, why the New China buffet closed and Pizza Hut moved AWAY from Owen K. Garriott (Route 412). We don't have a Denny's anymore, and there's a reason for that, too. Still wanna hide behind the "Enid's growing" declaration that you got suckered into for purposes of passing that Enid Public Schools bond while you're too scared to notice that Enid claims to be growing while it's losing sales tax money hand over fist at the same time?

How does a community grow into more people buying stuff, and lose sales tax money at the same time, people?  Do the math.  Oh--that's right: the only math Enid Public Schools ever taught was the math it also claimed you'd never use in your life after you graduate.  That's why no one on the City Commission knows how to draw a line from Point A in Grant County to Point B in Kingfisher County across Garfield County--that would be Euclidean Geometry.

The failure of Enid Public Schools to value, let alone teach, mathematics is costing the City of Enid actual big money, people.  I don't mean the Vanhooser Basic Arithmetic, folks--I mean the mathematics from which analytical skills come.  The City of Enid is looking at a list of word problems it has no clue how to figure out because it was taught that what you learn in math class is stuff you'll never use after you graduate.  Those youngsters you think are going to learn coding by osmosis or something aren't going to be able to cut it in coding without analytical skills and yes--mathematics.  You know that Right To Farm bill contemplated by the Oklahoma Congress, the one that DEMANDS that farming be based on science?  You need math skills for that, even to be a farmer...so...the kids you're sending to Enid Public Schools won't even qualify for a farmer's job when they graduate.  Picking produce next to an illegal immigrant, maybe, but not farming.

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In other news, my milkweed kids are coming along quite nicely in their waterbottle containers, as you can see by this Ferry Morse Butterfly Weed seedling:


I'll be posting others on my 2016 Monarch blog page.



Saturday UPDATE, City of Enid's 5-grand "retreat" edition: ....but first....on the portion of this post where I address how much Enid Public Schools is actually costing the City by failing to put importance on mathematics as distinguished from arithmetic...I was doing some research on the origins of Common Core, despised by conservatives who USED TO be the ones complaining about how the Japanese were eating Detroit's lunch in the car market in the 1990s, how they were taking over the American auto market.  The talkingpoint line used back then was "American children have computer games--Japanese kids have homework".  It seems that Oklahoma conservatives in particular have a short attention span when it comes to being "pro business" at a time when corporations found American students sub-standard compared to the students elsewhere across the globe.  

Now, Trump might whine about how Carrier and other businesses took American jobs overseas, but it's overseas where corporations find competent workers, and that's the same reason we have special visas for foreigners to come to the U.S. to work at U.S. jobs, and (voila!) businesses that contemplate moving to Enid also insist on the construction of apartment complexes so that they can import qualified staff instead of hiring unqualified locals.  High quality jobs demand high levels of competency and a near-exclusive fine arts focus of Enid Public Schools just won't cut that mustard, folks.

Oklahoma hates Common Core because it knows it can't possibly measure up to international competency standards while it continues to whine about how America needs to be great again thinking that mathematic illiteracy is great.  The City of Enid had to hire an expert from Tulsa because there's no such thing as an Enid-grown expert.  Dwell on that, folks.  And now we have a City Commission that has "retreats" far afield from Enid because even in the City Commission's own view, Enid isn't good enough to stay in.

Dwell on that, folks. Dwell on that a long, long time. It might eventually dawn on you that Enid can't afford to permit ANY of the current City Commission to run for re-election unchallenged.



Friday, March 18, 2016

Here we go yet again--the audience is invoked to call the shots for Dish, NBC Universal re: MSNBC

Media moguls at Dish and Comcast don't agree on Comcast's fee hike for MSNBC and  now both run ads aimed at the audience to care whether or not Dish should pay the higher fee to continue to carry MSNBC.  And as was the case in Viacom vs Suddenlink, both sides overestimate their value to their audiences.  There's a bit of a spin on that, and that is Comcast's muscle over MSNBC and its trend to be a liberal-leaning media entity; Comcast doesn't care for MSNBC's leanings, seeking to overhaul it instead and could actually use the artificially dwindled audience/ratings numbers as a good excuse to outright kill off the entity if it sees fit.

And so both are running ads on MSNBC encouraging the audience to either fight Dish in favor of the rate hike or fight Comcast's rate hike.  Here's the deal, though--Fox has always crowed about how it always beats MSNBC in ratings on any given day, any given quarter, any given year and the truth of this is based on the fact that Fox is always provided to every cable viewer in every state of the union as part of the basic cable package.  MSNBC is part of a basic cable package only in some states but not all of them--ratings comparisons are not legit in the first place because of this. What's going to happen if Dish drops MSNBC is that it gives Comcast a bigger reason to gut the thing.  But given the quirks of availability in basic cable, that's not going to work well either.

We're going to see more of these rate hike disputes, declares the Wall Street Journal.  As long as web TV makes further inroads into the broader audience eyeball count, both Dish and cable are going to see declines in revenues from their audiences making cost-cutting necessary; this may very well lead to the eventual extinction of both types of entities with universal access to content would be the world wide web.

Bottom line: the audience is who determines the bottom line in all cases.  All major corporations remain at the mercy of the audiences, as well they should.

Denver Business Journal's other article on new Dish vs NBCUniversal lawsuit.

video

From Deadline Hollywood



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Enid City Commission, famous for not thinking things through

Yeah, I know that tonight I repeated to the Commission what I'd said earlier, and now Brownlee wants to change the Agenda rules, but nothing proved what I said before more solidly than the crap they were throwing around tonight.

If homeowners think that the Commission has waged war against them, it's because they have and after that homeowner got up to speak tonight, it was well worth repeating.

The Study Session opined that lots of pavement painting stating NO TRUCKS is going to curtail the need for downtown businesses to get their delivery by trucks--specifically Conrady Electric which routinely gets supplied by semi trucks and Galaxy Mattress is always going to need some kind of mattress truck to deliver its inventory...it was a mattress truck that the newspaper reported getting stuck under there a few months ago.

Well, now they perceive a revenue stream problem and what do they do?  They throw money at it--they've hired a Tulsa expert now to do the thinking they were supposed to be smart enough to do.  Repeating myself in explaining Point A Point B basic highschool Euclidean geometry again is called for because they're all products of the science-and-math-be-damned Enid Public Schools system.

But then again, I don't expect mathematical basics will sink through thick skulls any better this time than it did when they were in high school. Yeah, it's like beating one's brains against a stupid immovable wall, but somebody's gotta do it.  The Commission's bright idea of "ensuring a revenue stream" is to spend Enid money in Tulsa--just as brilliant as spending Enid money at Roman Nose...all of which is an admission that the Commission itself is just too stupid to run a city properly.  After all, this Commission thought that Steve Kime was some kind of competent.

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Late Night Primary UPDATE: Ya, I'm just now getting caught up with what's been going on with the national scene, and it's amazing--it takes a Trump to shut Limbaugh up.  It takes a Trump to show the stark reality of how far off the conservatives have kidded themselves into thinking they represent The American People when they don't.  Both Trump and Cruz are just as anti-big corporation as Bernie Sanders is, and none of the pro-big-corporation candidates have gotten any traction.  It takes a foul mouthed Trump to attract sanctimonious evangelicals.

Yeah, it's totally amazing.  Totally.
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Speaking of the failure of "The Oklahoma Way" as an education philosophy: This just in via World Economic Forum:

Anyone complaining that what one learns in math class never gets used in real life is a blithering idiot.  It's people like that who cost the City of Enid megabucks because they lack analytic skills required to even recognize problems, let alone solve them--necessitating spending Enid money for non-Enid experts in the first place.  The focus of Enid Public Schools on "world class fine arts" starves the City of the ability to pay home grown analytic talent.  They instead prefer to discard mathematically talented kids as just so much rubbish, convinced that analysts from anywhere outside of Enid is necessarily more competent than any given Enid source.  There ya go, folks: Enid Public Schools' classic case of "the soft bigotry of low expectations".  If Enid Public Schools administration is anything, it's a bunch of bigots.
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