Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Enid's Blue Skies & Bright Ideas strike again. Same ole Same ole.

Hello, folks.  I was spending some more quality time on this blog to "tidy up my diggins", as Bugs Bunny would have put it (R.I.P. Mel Blanc) and I noticed a few folks hovering around here on a somewhat extended basis today, and not the usual suspects in the UK either (re: copyright dispute with the BBC).  It's just now dawning on me that I really ought to say something about yet another Big Deal biting the dust in Enid; Enid, have you had enough of these Lucy Football Projects that this current City Commission keep committing to?  I expect that you have, but you're stuck with 'em and the debt they signed on to in your name.


Step back and notice how Steve Kime's name isn't on either one of those citations, nor on the article about the Kaw Pipeline.  The Mayor was quoted, and this is after some Kime cheerleader wrote the paper about how great that incompetent is.  Really.  The last time Kime spoke to the paper on behalf of the City, at best he was being Captain Obvious and after a year plus in his position, that's as good as it has ever been.  He'd find a perfect fit as an employee of Hotels.com. For this the Commission gives him a raise, and still wonder why they're not trusted by the public with a tax hike.  It's why the City raises utility fees instead--no vote of the people required for rate hikes.




Yeah, I know I got up in front of the camera in front of God-n-Everybody saying that muny bonds were a good idea, and if Enid was a regular city that regularly utilized muny bonds to fund projects, what I said would have been true--but we also know, as of my posting about bond ratings, that this particular Commission is its own worst enemy when it comes to "cash position" and it's infernal fixation on making vanity projects some kind of priority when those should have been the first things to get the axe.  And the newspaper agreed with my opinion when it published the editorial criticizing the raises that the Commission handed out to the cronies it employs.  This is the Commission that grew government to cringe-worthy bloated size and it's adamantly remaining obese.

I was asked if, were I elected, I would vote for a tax increase to repay the loans with as if there was a straight yes or no answer to that question.  My reply was to recall the failure of the tax initiative for that grand Parks scheme and point out that the problem people have with a tax hike is exactly what this particular Commission thinks is important to spend big bucks on, and the trails system isn't helping convince voters that they're wise in how they spend City money. Nor is that contradiction-in-terms Enid Television "Network". But I could vote in favor of a tax hike IF there were cuts to the vanity projects FIRST.  That would be the kind of thing the voter would be looking for in terms of making a statement about priorities, that Kaw is TOP priority and vanity projects are just frilly money pits.  Voters recognize that Kaw is a priority, and that's not the problem.  The problem is trusting that money to Commissioners who have a long track record of foolish spending.

====================
Inserting this paragraph to address a certain skeptic who thinks that I was against the Kaw project before I was for it.  Sir Skeptic, I was in favor of a lake and I was against a pipeline by itself.  The current project, as approved, is a pipeline PLUS reservoir, and it's because of the reservoir that I'm in favor, for the following reasons:
 On a tight budget, a small reservoir makes sense PROVIDED that the bottom is dug out to create a good game fish habitat, which would attract tourist fishermen and others similarly inclined from the region--and a reservoir can be enlarged as the city grows, meaning one doesn't have to pay now for something of a finite size that limits future demands.  It's a capacity expansion option that a fixed pipeline-only can't provide.
====================

This, the current grow-big-government City Commission, is the problem. Not just from how I'm looking at it, but also how the banks have been looking at it.  None of the local banks offered the low interest sweet deal because that's how much the local banks trust Enid.  The out of state bank cut the sweetest interest deal because none of the Commissioners thought to ask about (let alone publicly discuss) service fees when they were discussing the matter at the time the Commission was convened.

No bank is in the business to lose money, and the short-sighted Commissioners didn't even pause long enough to consider that what a bank loses in interest rates, it makes up (and then some) in service fees.  Loan shark, anyone?

Honestly--this Commission that gives raises for incompetence is, itself, incompetent, and nothing stands in greater monument to that fact as yet another failed business move as the canola plant--to which you can add the downtown hotel, the Gamble-era Bell call center, the on-again-off-again presence of Star Tek, the "de-malling" of Oakwood Mall and on and on and on.  Come on--didn't somebody besides me notice that Oklahoma was ALREADY in a prolonged drought cycle when the canola plant was first agreed to?  Please.

When you go into debt you'd better be damn sure you are able to pay back the principle, the interest, AND the service fees.  And possibly learn from Kansas:


IMORTANT discussion of finance principles of gov't indebtedness, comparing various states, cities, and nations (primarily Puerto Rico, Greece, Guam) by John Mousseau on CSPAN

The Topeka Capitol Journal article
OKC's new pothole issue


I got your bloated government wasted money right here:
Proudly growing big government make-work positions with ostentatious benefits.



Wednesday UPDATE, Nuff Said Edition:


 Link to the article HERE

 Link to article HERE


Meanwhile, back on Twitter, there was this:


I'm thinking that there are now some folks who used to worship our Founding Fathers to a fault are re-thinking their reverence at this point.




Late Wednesday UPDATE, Something Completely Different Edition: The New York Times broke the internet via Twitter today, posting a recipe for guacamole and insisted that it was good to add peas to it.  Every big name press entity was reacting in horror to that and the POTUS himself turned against the idea.  And I couldn't resist jumping into the fray myself, alas.  I've got a series of screen shots, but for the life of me I have no idea why the font size changes to huge in some of the entries.  Whatever the reason for it, it's something I had no control over and so I beg your pardon in advance.  I started out mildly irked by the thing, and things just went downhill from there...




...and then it happened. I done hit the pun skids hard...
Didn't leave it alone either. An hour later, repeated the line (go ahead and cringe)...

And then the thing caught on in the UK, fer crissakes!


Snowballing was inevitable, alas...

The next screen shot should be read bottom entry first, then top, and I have to explain that the guy in the top entry retweeted the bottom entry before writing the reply you're about to see, at the top entry...and again, I can't explain the huge font here...

By this time I had picked up a few more Followers, and I thought that I shouldn't disappoint...

Remember, for chronological order, the bottom message gets read first, top message last...and this is how the whole thing pea-tered out, at last...



Throwback Thursday mini-UPDATE: Late to last night's party, teevee decides it wants to do segments about the New York Times' Pea Event yesterday, and on Twitter one straggler came forward: David Corn of Mother Jones, a mag that decided to do an article on the topic of peas and guacamole. Well, I replied by calling him Mr. Succotash rather than say he was full of beans, and then I posted the Throwback Thursday post up there:


Here's where that link goes...

Encore! Burl Ives solo:


Now Robot J. McCarthy, the Red Scare Bot, jumps in because somebody made a communist crack about the pea guac...






Oh, for those who believe in that sort of thing, I've got some good news for you--it didn't last long.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Right To Work state Oklahoma, a strike apparently closes a coffee shop; bridge eats another truck UPDATE

I'm posting this on the fly right now, and that's the way things appear at this point but the story is certainly subject to fact checking at this point...but...I have a video of a one-person picket at the Great Expectations coffee shop located on N. Van Buren in Enid, where the old Carl's Jr. used to be (gee, Enid can't even keep a Carl's Jr. business--imagine that). Posted on the door of Great Expectations is a notice of a different location.  Did they move, or was the Carl's Jr. location a branch?

What I do  know is that it was open, doing brisk business being located on a main artery, it added a car wash facility to its parking lot, it got picketed June 9, and then shuttered.

video



I used to go there on occasion when it used to be Carl's Jr, as I was a fan of something unique in its interior: that mural...


video


Friday UPDATE: activity was observed at this establishment--3 vehicles, doors open, but still dark inside. Couldn't keep the lights on, maybe?  Something that makes me go "hmmmmm".  Monday UPDATE: Saw a small wood-sided trailer full of what looks like came from the innards of the establishment.  The word COFFEE was painted across the front windows, and that's down now.  Has it been sold again?  And whence that lovely mural, I wonder I wonder...
Next Friday UPDATE: it's open again, but as a taqueria, no sign of where the mural went. :(

Saturday UPDATE: I have made the pronouncement that TODAY is THE DAY---I'm making apricot BBQ sauce from scratch, and the inner mad scientist is hereby RELEASED!! Muahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
Mmmm, smells good, too.  Too bad we haven't invented smellevision yet.  Whereas whiskey improves standard BBQ sauce, I think I'll take a shot at using brandy.  So to speak. Mini-UPDATE: yup, I got some damn awesome apricot BBQ sauce and it looks like the high pectin content of the 'cots really really really thicken the sauce admirably.  And I haven't added brandy yet--and here we go, adding the brandy...and...DAMN that hit it right outta da park, and it's now quite literally awesome sauce!  This recipe is a KEEPER!



Sunday mini-UPDATE: Egypt erupts again, and this time it's women leading the protests. Yet again, journalists are jailed, though. Here we go again.

The Itahadiya Palace protest which Egypt says can't be filmed because the protest has no permit. The issue: free the detainees.


....and then there's THIS.



Meanwhile in Turkey, better developments despite Erdogan's re-election: Parliament losses.  I also note with great interest that Mona Eltahawy is being interviewed this weekend on BookTV's Afterwords program.  Big fan of hers over here.

In this new season of Ramadan, it's well worth mentioning a Libyan Blogger blogger with some GREAT recipes for Eid, for Suhour, and, if you ask me, all year 'round: Laila's Cooking Corner. Laila Arif, specifically.

Monday LOLz UPDATE! You'd think that the City Commission would get wise by now--trucks ain't skeered o no teeth!


Oh here we go, just now put up a clip of Punched Out Judy on YouTube with this as the topic. The episode was submitted for broadcast a little over 24 hours before this happened, and when it happened, I had to laugh my arse off.  Here's the clip I just posted, and note that the above still was added at the end of the clip. ROTFLMAO!!!!


And now for another important message...



Sunday, June 07, 2015

Visiting Oklahoma? You can't do better than visiting Bartlesville right about now & GOLD UPDATEs

OKMozart International Festival
...not to mention that Bartlesville is the best looking city in the state, as it happens, and a great travel in time via the Frank Lloyd Wright tower ( the Price Tower) and the Phillips Museum tour, and the Frank Phillips mansion, and...man, it's tough to make a list.  When I dig 'em up, I'll be adding pics to this post from past excursions out that way, and when I get there this year, there will be current pics too.  Stay tuned, watch this space.



MiniUPDATE: Veni, vidi, vici da tee shirt.






I've seen those guys before this, and they've got the best brass in the business...


Here's a pic I took of them when they appeared near Edmond, at the Armstrong Auditorium (2012):




I'll bet that the presentation they gave at the Bartlesville Public Library for the kids went a little bit like this--

video

Ach du liber, Augustine!  These guys give permission to record and post on social media because they appreciate the free publicity. By all means, blog readers, copy the vid and spread the word!

These guys put on a light-hearted show, but will, on occasion, throw a serious curve ball...

video

Ohhhhhh yeaaaah, you guessed it: I'm a fan.

Meanwhile, back in Bartlesville in 2012, I was able to take pics and vids of the Price Tower innards when they had their blues/poetry theme going on.  They won't allow pics or vids now, so this next clip is something of a treasure.  No poetry in this clip because I gotta keep vids in compliance with Blogger's stupid limitations...

video


While some humanities arts involve historian-actors prancing about in costume on stage and lecturing, OK Mozart is more like a time traveler convention where exciting discoveries are shared.




...and the time traveler convention takes place in a town where one has breakfast with Bach and then can find the best damn BBQ lunch on the planet, ever, at Dink's.


Oh, I know that pic would hardly cut the mustard for an advertisement--I chose a rather small dish in the first place (The Special)--but they do have platters available, and the one thing that makes this a great lunch is the flavor.  Can't take a pic of the flavor.


By all means, get sauced! I did!


It comes in regular as well as this hot version. I'm just partial to the hot stuff.


Boy oh boy oh boy--*I* sure did. Like a ton of bricks.

As I was saying, the OK Mozart festival isn't so much about just Wolfgang Amadeus as it is a time traveler's convention, and it's via the gift shop that I encountered a kindred Macgyver spirit...


A person of this ilk is perfectly suited for time machine maintenance and operation, clearly. Very steampunkish, too...



Indeed, I found Jessica Holeman on Facebook, Liked her page, and found that she took better pics than I did of her stuff, so the next pic is from her Facebook account:




Noteworthy (so to speak) are "Those 2", footage of which appear in this blog.
The sked--


Sked of events at the Bartlesville Public Library--oh, those Canadian Brass!


The following vid was shot in 2012, the year Kyle Dillingham performed the grande finale. A group of harping ladies (not harpies--come on, now) performed what could be heavenly classical music, and when the performance was over, THIS broke out:

video




Friday mini-UPDATE: while prospecting for gold in my own back yard, I done hit the JACKPOT!!

video

The +cityofenid isn't short on cash when it throws it around on cronies...


Oh geez, you didn't see me there?...And you can plainly see I was in Bartlesville, right?  So how did I get this pic?  For me to know and for you to not find out. :P XD

To confuse you further, I was also in Oklahoma City for the DeadCENTER Film Festival, too:



In time and space, it's all relative. Of course.






Monday UPDATE, Gold Edition: Yup, STILL panning for it right in my own back yard...well...more like boxing for it.  It's that time of year when I'm up to my eyeballs in apricots:

video

...and that's just ONE of a half dozen saplings here, plus one full grown tree.  And then there's pecan season. Whew! I am seriously considering concocting apricot BBQ sauce!

Tuesday UPDATE, Dolezal/Mitchell Edition ...mainly because related topics were already covered in this blog in various posts, and particularly because the events pertaining to Rachel Dolezal and Joyce Mitchell have generated search engine traffic to those related posts. First, although I've lived in black neighborhoods I never claimed any racial affiliation other than being a member of the human race, and it's by the experience that I recognize many assertions of unjust privilege and discrimination as legitimate, and, further, that the people who do not recognize those assertions as legitimate are the same people who didn't directly experience those things themselves.

As for Joyce Mitchell, I've said it before and I'll say it again: people who try to find reasons for what happened even though she has a husband (and might actually still be happy with him), well--those people are trying to find reason in a phenomenon that never has and never will  have anything to do with reason at all.  It just happens--it just IS.  And when it comes into being, it opens the door to manipulation, and the press has now become part of the manipulation scenario when they buy all the claims of aforementioned manipulating con men that yarn about how Joyce was interested in having her husband killed.  In being suckered into believing the con men's story, the press themselves have been seduced.  Press, wise up because you're looking like lovesick loonies right now.

It's not that I've got anything against lovesick lunacy, you understand--I'm certain all of us have been there and done that not just once but on a number of occasions, and when everything and the universe actually clicks in tune to it, it's delightful--but the press is in the business of cold hard facts and factual analysis (unless we're talking about yellow journalism), so the press is what's inappropriately out of line when it gets snookered by stories told by con men.  Seriously, press--snap out of it. It doesn't look cute on you.

Speaking of the press, there's this Salon article about the "polyamorous" people.

Tuesday UPDATE, Dolezal Interview Edition:  I'm just now watching a late night repeat of the Dolezal interview conducted by Melissa Harris Perry on MSNBC and that's evoked a number of issues I've heard in Oklahoma as to who is really Native American, too--and I've often heard it commented that a good many Indians claim bloodlines to prove tribal membership but "they don't look Indian, they look white". It's also historically true that blacks have "passed" on looks alone.  So Dolezal "passed" on looks alone, and that family member of hers who got before the press to declare her a white person could have passed as black on looks alone. There are blacks in Oklahoma who are Indians, and this is just recently a big issue within the Cherokee Nation whose government decided that although black Indians were regarded as members of the tribe, as of now, it's no longer the case, and we now have black Indians who are suddenly denied their heritage by fiat.

The conclusion was reached that there was no malice associated with Dolezal's embrace of an ethnicity which bore no privilege, while passing as white does involve acquiring privilege that whitefolk who don't step out of their privileged lives always take for granted and think EVERYBODY gets regardless of biology.  And those of us who have stepped out of our cozy corners of the world to see how other people live know that to be a lie.  Yeah, I'm inclined to cut Dolezal slack on that one, and I find her explanation of her lawsuit against Howard to be plausible even though there are white racists who claim "reverse discrimination" for completely bogus excuses.  Prejudice is the result of thought conforming to stereotype and applying one rule to all cases is in fact stereotyped prejudice--passing judgement without careful due consideration of ALL the facts of a given case.

Kudos to Lyle Mitchell for recognizing con men for what they are: CONS.

UPDATE, Con Capture Edition: That's what you get, Press, for believing the tall tales of cons. Mrs. Mitchell said what she did out of fear for her husband's life, suckers.  One question none of you has ever thought to ask, either: Is the arrested prison guard her superior and set the lackadaisical guarding standard for not just Mitchell but all of the people who answers to him, too? #FAIL

Tuesday mini-UPDATE: another corrections person was arrested, a guy named Gene Palmer. Wait, wait, don't tell me, lemme guess--he fell in love, too, right? Who could ever even imagine that con men could be so fickle? Oh, the humanity!!  And there's a skeptic out there who thinks it's all electronical magic that I appear to be in 3 vastly removed places at once.  Well, Sir Skeptic, how about THIS for proving that I was at least in Bartlesville, not Enid, hm?

video




No, that is NOT "photoshopped". In the mirror is the vidcam that took this pic and that's a fact.
Oh alright, here's a video of the OKMOA (Oklahoma Museum of Art) which was one of the festival's venues, and you can see the deadCENTER covers under glass in the front. I WAS THERE.

video

About the now-demolished Stage Center--I didn't take pics because there was just a fence around the area with black plastic fabric to block the view.  Except in one spot that the wind blew aside, and through that I could see one humongous pond.  No construction there yet.  I was ALSO in Bartlesville for OK Mozart. Deal with it.


UPDATE, Theory Edition: Just in down the pike is the opinion that I have minions. Plausible, to be sure, but just consider the political implications of my ability to attract and retain minions.  Well, it is a fact that I have city-wide political support in the form of the PEGASYS voter, so, sure--I'll buy that! If you're willing to commit to believing that I have amassed that much political pull the last time I ran for office, the only thing I can do is say that I can believe that, too!