Blue Tide Pod Challenge

Austin Dispatches No. 211 Nov. 14, 2018


"Looks nothing like me! Artist can't draw. Very sad!"
For once, I rooted for the Republicans. And not just because I wanted to see the usual pinkos and enragés so discouraged from their defeats that they’d abjure civics and stop pestering the rest of us.[1]


Rather, I figured significant electoral victories would prompt Democrats, spearheaded by freaks and misfits, to clamor for reimposing the individual mandate, just when I was beginning to escape the shackles of ObamaCare. After several days on the phone haggling with East Coast types, I shaved about $3,000 off my total insurance policy cost for next year. Keep in mind, though, that for 2013 I paid $326 for an equivalent policy.


Even in defeat, Democratic showings were strong enough to fuel their election-night vows of total victory in 2020.[2] Democratic gains were respectable, though the results were mixed enough that, judging from Internet commentary, everyone is dissatisfied and even looking to escalate conflict. (Caveat: Internet commentary seldom translates into real-world action.)


Down ballot, Austin voters approved a passel of expensive municipal propositions.[3] Late October’s failure of Austin Water Utility’s filters that required residents to boil water for drinking should’ve caused the voters to reconsider borrowing money for extravagant schemes when the recipients can’t even maintain what they have with what they have.[4] The local press reports the Democratic legislative sweep of Austin’s suburbs is a consequence of Austin’s residents moving to said suburbs and bringing their pinko politics with them.[5] I was intending to move there to get away from those people. Maybe I should’ve stayed in Collin County.


As further proof the Austin power elite never learns, the November Tribeza reports its cultural arbiters are rhapsodizing over new “public art” on the retaining walls of the Lamar Boulevard railroad underpass near Fifth Street.[6] Admittedly, the color choice is pretty, but the design is something any junior high kid could do. Drivers pause to ponder the artwork at their peril. Mostly the art proves the art crowd in this town is a bunch of gullible yokels.


The Nov. 9 Business Journal touts an affordable arts district off Riverside Drive – made affordable by putting the tenants in tents.[7] Even for a thumb-sucking Hooverville, this is a bit much.[8]


The Oct. 26 Chronicle sneers at black councilwoman Ora Houston for questioning the frequent marathons that disrupt eveyone else trying to get somewhere.[9] Meanwhile, construction of a soccer stadium began Oct. 24 at Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Elroy.[10] So who needs one in my neighborhood?[11]


e211fig2Ghost of a Chance


For the third time in four years, inclement weather kept me from going out Halloween proper.[12] Fortunately, the extended holiday celebrations that week made Halloween everything it should be, so I’m not relying on nostalgia to enjoy the season’s spirit.


Neighborhood News


Beginning last month, I noticed many scooters parked along Gracy Farms Lane. How long that remains until they’re stolen, vandalized or damaged in a collision leading to a massive lawsuit as yet is unknown.[13] The users I’ve seen combine the bad habits of bicyclists and skateboarders.


KXAN-TV’s traffic Web page reported auto collisions at MoPac Expressway and Parmer Lane on Oct. 24, and at MoPac and Braker Lane and at Burnet Road and Esperanza Crossing on Oct. 25.


The Nov. 9 Business Journal reports Cheesecake Factory is gobbling up the North Italia restaurant chain, with a location at The Domain.[14] I dined there on my birthday years ago and was unimpressed with the food, service and ambiance. Celis Brewery is expanding.[15] Three other businesses have opened, one has changed ownership, and one has closed.[16]


Business Roundup


The Nov. 2 Business Journal reports two companies that failed to hire me are experiencing financial difficulties.[17] Serves ‘em right.

Home Archives


[1] Hall, Katie, and Kelsey Bradshaw. “Record Turnout Brings Long Waits at Travis, Williamson Ballots.” AAS 7 Nov. 2018: A6.

[2] Barbaro, Nick. “Blue Wave Blues?” AC 9 Nov. 2018: 10; Clark-Madison, Mike. “A Glass Half-Full.” AC 9 Nov. 2018: 18; King, Michael. “The Work Goes On.” AC 9 Nov. 2018: 8+; Tilove, Jonathan, and Dan Keemahill. “O’Rourke Expands Map.” AAS 8 Nov. 2018: A1+.

[3] Goldenstein, Taylor. “State to Probe Illegal Voting Claims in Travis County.” AAS 8 Nov. 2018: A10; Jankowski, Philip. “Housing Bond Looks Headed to Approval.” AAS 7 Nov. 2018: A9; Marloff, Sarah. “Propositions: Nine Up, Two Down.” AC 9 Nov. 2018: 21.

[4] Findell, Elizabeth. “City Focuses on Long-Term Water Supply.” AAS 14 Nov. 2018: A1+; Goldenstein. “Expected Flood Map Changes Drive $22M Jump in Travis Co. Bond Budget.” AAS 14 Nov. 2018: B1+; Hall. “Chance of Rain, Flooding.” AAS 23 Oct. 2018: B1; Huber, Mary, and Elizabeth Findell. “City Water Fails State Standards.” AAS 25 Oct. 2018: A1+; Jankowski. “Debris, Silt Test Limits of Austin’s Water Utility.” AAS 23 Oct. 2018: A1+; Thompson, Paul. “Water Woes Force Businesses to Get Creative.” ABJ 26 Oct. 2018: 16; Tuma, Mary. “This Week’s Roiling Boil.” AC 26 Oct. 2018: 24; Wilson, Mark D. “Too Dirty to Drink.” AAS 23 Oct. 2018: A1+; Wilson, and Brandon Mulder. “Officials: Austin Water Drinkable Again.” AAS 29 Oct. 2018: A1+.

[5] Chang, Julie, and Sean Collins Walsh. “Republicans Lose 12 Seats in Texas House.” AAS 8 Nov. 2018: A1+; Tuma. “Tight Squeeze.” AC 9 Nov. 2018: 22.

[6] Williams, Margaret. “Fresh Pick.” Tribeza Nov. 2018: 40-41.

[7] Luck, Marissa. “Haven of Affordability Emerges Next to Downtown.” ABJ 9 Nov. 2018: A12.

[8] AD No. 42n1 (Oct. 30, 2002).

[9] Hernandez, Nina. “Ora’s Last Stand.” AC 26 Oct. 2018: 26.

[10] “First Look.” ABJ 2 Nov. 2018: A7.

[11] AD No. 208n4 (Aug. 18, 2008).

[12] AD No. 185 (Nov. 17, 2015); AD No. 200n8 (Nov. 6, 2017); Mendez, Maria. “Storms in Scary Halloween Forecast.” AAS 30 Oct. 2018: B1+; “October Weather, by the Numbers.” AAS 29 Oct. 2018: B1.

[13] AD No. 205n18 (May 28, 2018); Pope, Colin. “Over 1 Million Served – One of Them Has Gotta Need a Lawyer.” ABJ 9 Nov. 2018: A3.

[14] “Cheesecake Factory Hungry for Other Chains.” ABJ 9 Nov. 2018: A13.

[15] Luck. “North Austin Brewery in Growth Mode.” ABJ 2 Nov. 2018: A12.

[16] “Impacts.” CIN Oct. 2018, Northwest Austin ed.: 9.

[17] Pope. “Some Companies Have All the Luck: Not These.” ABJ 2 Nov. 2018: A23.