Oh, $#!!!!!++++!! Zombie rezone back from the dead

The church offered to pay the cost of the new Environmental Impact statement so long as the engineering firm that did the last one—which was 95% BS—prepared the new one. We just discovered that this engineering firm has had a lien on the property for the entire cost of their work since the beginning. So they have their own reasons for wanting to continue since they seem to think the property has no value unless rezoned. Even so, the amount the church is willing to shoulder represents only about a third of the cost the city will incur going through the process again. My theory is that someone, most likely the Pastor’s son—a former council member, now political consultant—put the screws to his two political proteges who broke ranks and voted to stop the bleeding at the October 14 council meeting. These two council members and the two who remained true to the cause came to last night’s council meeting united in the suspicion that the large cost estimates they were given earlier were the result of a conspiracy between the new mayor and the planning department staff—a conspiracy intended to bring the issue to an end. The mayor responded that he had been taken aback by the numbers in the estimate himself, and had questioned the staff extensively on their reasoning for those numbers. One of the more perceptive council members pointed out that these four united council members had, earlier in the year, heaped praise on this same planning staff for ushering through the failed EIS, but now when their cost estimates do not support continuing with the rezone effort, the staff’s numbers are suspect. The reality is, as with most government estimates, they are probably low.

As usual, I took up my entire 5 minutes, down to the second. I mostly pointed out that the huge legal costs to the City were the result of their acceptance of the many obvious inaccuracies and deceptions in the first EIS and that it really didn’t seem prudent to give the same firm another go at it. No matter, at the end of the meeting, one of them announced he would move to rescind the October 14 decision at the December 2 council meeting. It looks like I am in for another year of this. :-( The chances this property would or even could be developed commercially seem almost nil, but my experience in this saga tells me that trusting government officials to act in the best interest of the community, in accordance with law, or using common sense is a bad bet.



Ground Fog — A herd of ghostly horses

 It was a frosty morning and I had gotten up to check the sunrise for pictorial magnificence. Too clear, but as I watched the ground fog moving on the valley floor, I kept thinking, I should get a video of this. Unfortunately for you, it was too fascinating to watch for me to break away and get the camera. It really did look a bit like the ghostly figures of a band of horses rising up out of the fog hundreds of feet in the air and then disappearing—all within a few seconds. The underlying herd was in a stampede down the valley. When it eventually settled down, I did go out and take a couple of pictures of a much calmer scene.


My latest contest submission–Doritos Super Bowl Ad

I always thought the ads were the best part of the Super Bowl. In fact, I don’t think I have watched the actual game for at least 25 years. Maybe that explains how I missed the fact that Doritos has been running a contest for their Superbowl ads since 2006. Anyway, a Facebook friend clued me on the opportunity last week. The deadline for submission was last night. I had a lot of fun yesterday putting this together and I am looking forward to seeing Harry Lipz on the Jumbo-Tron. Just click the image below:

Harry Lips Does Doritos

Harry Lipz Does Doritos

The Mouth Knows Doritos


Riddle Explained

Yes, Jan, it was a dutch baby. I often make myself a dutch baby for breakfast. When I pull it out of the oven, I set it on the nearest heat-resistant-trivet-like surface—a burner coil on the stove. On this particular day, about an hour after breakfast—as I was talking on the phone and a little distracted—I decided to heat some water for coffee. Fortunately, I had moved about 15 feet away when from behind me came a gunshot-like bang and shards of glass were everywhere. Oops, wrong burner.

Pie Plate in a Bag

Be Safe! Solve This Riddle!

Your mission, friends, should you decide to accept it, is to figure out what the subject of this photograph is and how it came to be. I did add some art filters and distortion to make it less obvious. Here is the riddle that provides the answer:

For me it was just a typical morn

as the babe from the fiery furnace was born.

The crib was hot and ready for rest,

but where in the world could stand such a test?

Lacking for space, it lay down on a burner

and waited in ambush for me, the wrong turner.

The water was cold, though it wanted to boil,

when the beast with a bang sprang from its coil.

Lucky for me, I was just out of its reach,

but for your future well-being, I thee beseech,

if it is fire you need, and proceed with dispatch,

be more than certain you light the right match.

Safety Riddle