Keller City Limits

Discussion of Keller, TX politics

Browsing Posts published by Monty Snow

The old fighter pilot has rolled the dice one more time, picking 44-year-old Alaskan governor and beauty queen Sarah Palin for his running mate.

From an ideological point of view, it is an excellent choice. She mirrors Johh McCain and George Bush down to the last jot and tittle: anti-abortion, pro-oil, pro-gun, etc. etc. She’s Charlton Heston on estrogen (lots of it). She should be a big help in shoring up the base.

She also will appeal to women who are not part of the Republican base, but will vote for any woman who can get herself on any ticket, without regard to political affiliation or issues.

She’s under an ethics investigation in Alaska, but I hear she has a very good explanation that will appeal to women.

I understand she is extremely capable, a great speaker, blunt and to the point, and she has an 80% approval rating in Alaska. They don’t get much higher than that.

I’m sure she will wipe up the floor with Joe Biden on foreign policy, and now McCain can brag that HIS inexperienced candidate is just a running mate, while the democrat inexperienced candidate is at the top of the ticket. Reminds me of O Brother, Where Art Thou, where incumbent Gov. Pappy O’Daniel is commiserating with his campaign “brain trust” re opponent Homer Stokes’ lead over him in the governor’s race. Of particular chagrin for the O’Daniel campaign is the fact that Stokes was driving home his twin themes of “I’m for the little man” and “Let’s sweep this state clean” by appearing everywhere he goes with a midget wielding a broom.

Pappy’s son Junior* has an epiphany, and blurts out “Hey, Pappy, I got a idea. Why don’t we get our own midget, even littler than Stokes’s?” Of course that was greeted with a string of expletives about being a “Johnny Come Lately” and Junior slumped into his usual dejected blob. The difference here is, PappyO’Daniel is not John McCain. One of them is fictional…

I realize presidents don’t live forever and John McCain’s medical record is 1100 pages long as compared to Obama’s 1, but I’m sure Gov. Palin will make a convincing case that she is as ready for that 3 a.m. call as Barack Obama or Joe Biden.

And she’s a heckuva lot easier to look at for 4-8 years than Joe Lieberman.

*The best assessment of Junior was supplied by Pappy when he said, “Junior, it’s a good thing your momma died in childbirth. If she’d a seen ya, she woulda died of shame”

Rochelle got this letter the other day. I don’t know why, unless they were using the “Friends of the Library” mailing list and forgot to compare it to the enemies list. Note how he claims the council voted on the “Clean Fleet” policy. I guess he remembered the initial vote, but forgot the final vote. oops. It looks like the entire council voted the way Jim did. Same way with the Veterans Memorial. The rest of the council will be miffed that they got lumped in with Jim, and Jim will be miffed that the rest of the council got credit for voting the way he did. The voters will merely be confused. lol

D.R. Newton
657 Hallelujah Tr.
Keller, TX 76248

March 14, 2008

Dear Friends and Fellow Citizens,

I have lived in the Keller community for over 38 years and seen many changes through the years. I don’t know of a time when I was more concerned for our city. As many of you know, we have a problem with the Keller City Council.

Our community has been a leader in the region with other cities looking to us for direction as we grow. It is unfortunate we are now ridiculed by other cities and the Star-Telegram for having a city council, which does not function and makes poor decisions. There are numerous instances of their inadequacies – most recently was their decision not to pass the “Clean Fleet” policy as did most all of the cities in North Texas. The City Council actually considered not honoring the City’s commitment to the Veterans Memorial after the funding had been promised and donations made from two civic organizations.

The City Council as a whole should be good stewards and ambassadors for the city. There are many instances where individuals and businesses appeared before the council only to be treated rudely and unprofessionally. There are also many instances of council treating staff disrespectfully and violating Keller’s Code of Ethics. These actions have resulted in a loss of five key staff members and morale is at an all-time low. We can do better…Keller deserves better!

I am delighted that we have three positive independent thinking individuals who are stepping up to bring a new and positive approach to our City Council. I personally know these individuals and they are men with integrity and are outstanding professionals with management experience. They are:

Place 2- John Baker Place 3- Tom Cawthra Place 4 – Jim Thompson

These candidates need your help! In order to be successful and make Keller proud again, they need not only your vote but your financial support. No amount is too small or too large. Payments should be made to each candidate’s Treasurer. (Corporate donations cannot be accepted by state law.) This financial support is needed as soon as possible to insure the election of these candidates. Further, they will need help to put up signs, distribute materials, contact voters, and etc. Please contact the candidates if you can help them in any way.

Together we can make Keller a community to be proud of again!

Very truly yours,

Doug Newton

Well, you guys got what you wished for. I just hope this isn’t a case of “be careful what you wish for.” But, while the thought of listening to that voice and looking at that face every time I turn on the TV for 8 years is creepy, I have found that you can get used to just about anything, given the right conditions.

In fact there is a condition under which I would probably vote for Hillary (This is a major difference between me and John McCain, who when asked by his captors for the names of his fellow squadron members, gave them the names of Green Bay Packer linemen. At the very least I would have thrown in Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi, but then I’m still pretty miffed by that sucker play quarterback sneak in the Ice Bowl).

I think this is best explained in song, so I will sing it to the tune of “Arkansas” from the musical “Big River,” music and lyrics by the late Roger Miller. If you don’t know who Roger Miller is, shame on you, you carpetbagging soda-sucker.

I was going to link to the real tune, but I didn’t know how, and besides, my daughter said I had to pay for it and if I didn’t she’d turn me into the download police. I’m too cheap to pay for it and too poor for bail, so you just get my lyrics.

Here’s my (truncated) election 2008 version of “Arkansas.”

Hillary, Hillary,
You gotta love old Hillary,
She made Barack look sillery
With a little help from Billery.*

With Hillary comes Billery
and just a tad of shrillery,
and I might vote for Hillary
If you clamp me in a pillory.

Hillary, Hillary, I might vote for Hillary,
If you want my vote for Hillary,
Just clamp me in a pillory.

(Segue to How Blessed We Are…)

*And his Republican allies

As you probably know, analog TV signals will soon be kaput. I figured this meant that if you didn’t have a digital TV on the day they pull the plug, your analog would now be a doorstop. Not so. The cable companies, in their benevolent wisdom, have come up with a plan to supply digital converter boxes so that frugal antique collectors won’t have to toss a perfectly good machine.

Now, who, you say, would be foolish enough to buy a digital converter box when you can buy a digital TV at a very reasonable price these days? It’s the same people who pay usurious interest to get cash advances on their paychecks and the people with $50,000 in credit card debt, never paying more than the minimum (actually, if they can string it out until they charge their casket, these people may be on to something).

Of course, with something so dire as the demise of analog TV looming over our national security and threatening our economy, can the U.S. Congress quietly watch from the wings? Noooooo. Of course not. They have set aside $1.5 BILLION to subsidize the purchase of those converter boxes. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What do those things cost, a half billion apiece???

I hope yours is getting a better start than mine. I woke up this morning at 6:08 a.m. (I report to work at 5:30 a.m.) and had my first panic attack of the year. I chewed my wife out (warning: this behavior at 6:08 a.m. on New Year’s Day is pretty much guaranteed to offset any good luck infused by the black-eyed peas). She was wide awake. I asked her why she didn’t wake me up for work, and she said she wasn’t sure Manny G’s was open today and she didn’t want to disturb me if they weren’t. !!!!???!!!

I started to explain the difference between “not sure” and “thought they were closed,” but thought better of it and just unleashed a string of ill-advised expletives instead. This is one of those times when thinking twice is smarter than thinking better. I then tangled my work togs while trying to put them on while brushing my teeth, and raced out the door, closing it with more force than usual, but not enough so she could definitely accuse me of slamming it, which comes with 10 penalty points (20 on holidays).

The only people on the street were the police and the unfortunate drivers with faces alternately reflecting blue and red. The cops were so focused on potential DWIs that they were apparently ignoring speeders. I careened into the parking lot and, still trying to untangle my apron from my jacket, was almost to the door when I noticed I was the only one there.


I could swear the last thing I heard Thursday was “see ya Tuesday.” My bad for not asking which freaking one. Frank Flanagan had even emailed me last night to find out if we were open today, and when he shows up for the leisurely New Year’s Day breakfast he dreamed about last night I imagine my expletives will be repeated…well, no, this is Frank we’re talking about.

Then came the hard part, i.e., slinking back into the house before the anger had worn off, which really looks ridiculous in combination with a sheep face. Thank goodness she had gone back to sleep. I decided someone had to pay, so I enraged the cats by ignoring their caterwauling and feeding the dog first.

I often wonder if our insurance agent has a firm grasp on…well, let’s be kind and just leave it at that. On the other hand, he issues his pronouncements with such self-assured conviction that I am reluctant to write them off without further investigation.
After all, even a loose cannon will go off and hit something solid every now and then.

He told us today that our homeowner’s insurance rate will go up in January, because of our ISO rating. But, we said, what’s so bad about an ISO rating of 4? Oh no, he said, you have an ISO rating of 10. We unisoned an incredulous “huh?” Ten is the worst ISO rating there is, we said. Yeah, I know, he said.

But Keller has an ISO rating of 4, we say. It says so right here on the rate analysis you sent us. Yeah, he says, but Tarrant County has an ISO rating of 10. So what, we say, we don’t live in unincorporated Tarrant County, we live in Keller.

Well, he says, starting in January, it’s the COUNTY ISO rating that determines your homeowner’s rate. “Huh?” we said, this time in harmony, not in unison, as my voice squeaked a little more than before.

Somebody help me here. Has the Lege been huddling with the insurance industry in the smoke-filled room again? What gives here? Is this true, or should I go ahead as planned and suggest my agent might be better suited to sell used Kias?

I just checked the reading list for a class I’m taking against the Keller Public Library collection. The books I was looking for, by category, were:

Experimental Literature: Oryx and Crake, Vurt, Invisible Monsters, Never Let Me Go, House of Leaves, The Children’s Hospital, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Coming-of-Age Novels: Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, How I Live Now, Speak, A Separate Peace, Bastard Out of Carolina, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Member of the Wedding, Norwegian Wood, The Bell Jar.

Classic Literature Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, The Awakening, Anna Karenina, The Stranger, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1984.

The Keller library had copies of all except Vurt (nobody had that or seemed to have ever heard of the author, Jeff Noone), Catcher in the Rye (This was a surprise, although the Keller Library does have an audiotape – book available at Haltom), and Norwegian Wood (although the Keller Library did have a number of other titles by the author, Haruki Murakami – the book is available at Central).

I wondered if the books were there (other than the ones that obviously should be there) because Tarrant County College only selects books for its reading lists which are available in Tarrant County libraries. That may be true; however, the TCCD would have selected books available in the Fort Worth Library System, not the Keller library. Not every library has copies of these books.

However, I went over there at Story Time to check one out, and that was pathetic. There is a huge demand for childrens’ services, and the sad thing is, the now 8-year delay in improving the library (admitting I’m one of the responsible parties for the last of the 8), has left a void that in one sense cannot be filled, because a child is not small for long, and watching those cute little kids all excited about story time left me feeling guilty that some have had to be turned away.

Before you say we don’t need an improved library, you should first go over there at story time and look them in the eye.

I was just checking out some titles in the Keller Library. One of them was Invisible Monsters and the library status is “Missing From Shelf.” I’m just wondering if they only visually inspected the space, or if they stuck their hand in there just to make sure.

The High Life


Happy to see that a long overdue restroom at the Keller-Smithfield activity node is under construction. I don’t know why it took so long. I can only conclude that the city number-crunchers figured out that in the long run, building a john would be cheaper than filling the sandbox with “Fresh Step” and its associated regular maintenance.

Say it ain’t so, but I’ve heard the tab will run to $130,000.00. How much is that a square foot? The answer might explain the proposed library options. Now, I’m not complaining, just wondering. First of all, I don’t believe it but I can’t get anyone to deny it.

But, assuming it’s true, then it’s my guess that in keeping with the latest trend in urbanizing the suburbs, only the ground level floor will be toilet, and the upper floors will be artist studios or something of the sort. Can someone tell me how many floors you get for $130K?

Always defrost your chicken before putting on the grill. I had already eaten several bites before I realized I was eating a raw salmonella colony. I quickly downed straight tequila in an attempt to kill the germs, but I don’t know if it worked. All I had was half a liter.

I noticed several letters to the editor criticizing the alleged “zeal” of Keller Police Officer Bettes in ticketing speeders, noting that he had given a whole bunch of people speeding tickets indicating a speed exactly 14 mph over the speed limit. And then the next week a couple of guys wrote in defending Bettes, one even suggesting that Bettes was cutting all these people some slack, since the fine goes up once you hit 15 mph over the speed limit.

I don’t know what to make of it, other than the fact that the only police officer whose name I know, other than Chief Hafner’s and Operation Lieutenant and frequent spokesperson Brenda Slovak’s, is Officer Bettes’. Whether he’s a good cop or a bad one, no one can accuse him of being a lazy one, and that’s all I have to say about that.

But, the letters got me thinking about something that just irritates the living brake fluid out of me. I never consciously speed (although I don’t know what happens after I pass out). JUST KIDDING, OFFICER BETTES!!

No, I used to speed, but then one day as I was sitting alongside the road waiting for the officer to walk back up to my window after checking my fugitive status on his computer, I suddenly realized, “Hey, there appears to be a direct correlation between flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror and writing checks and slipping them into the sliding metal drawer that pops out from underdeath the window where the nice lady sits next to a pile of money at municipal court.”

So, now, I set my cruise control at the speed limit, whether it be 30, 45, 60, or autobahn. This just drives my wife crazy, not because of the slow speeds, but because I hate to take the thing off cruise when it’s necessary to 1. Go slower (her position) or 2. Maneuver the vehicle in a creative but completely legal evasive manner to avoid going off cruise (mine). Of course I revert to her position when the situation warrants (such as approaching the rear of Officer Bettes’ cruiser at a red light).

But anyway, slowing down is not the problem. The problem is, I am apparently the only driver on the road who sees the words “Speed LIMIT” on the signs. Everyone else seems to see “Speed SUGGESTION,” and they apparently take the suggestion to be the minumum speed in low gear.

I’ve been tail-gated On 377, 1709, 114, Davis Boulevard, North Tarrant Parkway, and all the streets, avenues and boulevards in between. I think a couple of the tail-gaters may have been school buses and ice-cream trucks. Can’t really tell for sure though, because they passed me in a yellow and/or tutti-frutti blur.

NEVER ONCE has Officer Bettes roared up behind one of my tormenters with lights flashing and siren screaming, as I sincerely pray will happen every time I look in the rear view mirror and see nothing but the word “PETERBILT” from one edge of the mirror to the other. It just doesn’t happen. There is no justice at the speed limit or below.

What does happen is people pass me like I’m standing still, and it doesn’t matter what lane I’m in.

I’ve had to careen out of the allegedly slow, right hand lane to avoid a rear end collision at the hands of someone who has just careened INTO the slow lane after doing a double-S maneuver around a couple of cars in the middle or left lane, and I just happened to be at the end of the second S.

Of course then I get honked at and finger-fanned by those two drivers in the middle lane who are actually irate at my tail-gater who is also the guy who cut THEM off, but he’s now an increasingly tinier speck on the horizon and I’m readily available to absorb abuse.

Doesn’t it seem more than fair to give us law abiders at least one lane in which to dawdle? I don’t care which one. Heck, I’d even drive on the shoulder, except then I’d be tailgated by bicycles. All I want to do is get out of the way in peace, but there is no peace for nerds who refuse to speed.

I heard about a device being tested, in Arlington I think, that is sort of a gizmo that snags tail-gaters.

It calculates the rate of speed of the predator vehicle, as well as the prey, and then the required distance in which the predator must stop to avoid hitting the prey if the prey suddenly slams on his brakes, for example, at one of the yellow lights timed to turn red just before the typical senior citizen is able to hit his brakes.

And then as best I can understand the process, it applies Einstein’s theory of relativity to that number, so that to beat the tailgating rap in court I’m pretty sure you will need both an attorney AND a physicist, which is fine with me, as long as the jail sentence is significantly long and there is no bail or chance of parole.

If I could convince a few other drivers to go the speed limit for a while, maybe the speeding tickets would drop dramatically, and the only way to replace the revenue would be for the Keller PD to procure some of these tailgate-busters and tap what seems to be an undending supply of offenses.

Does anyone else share my point of view, or do you all just want to know where I live?

I know some of you who thought I had mooched my way to Taos courtesy of donations from my detractors will be profoundly disappointed to learn that I was just away on vacation. My offer to emigrate by invitation has produced not so much as a trickle of trading stamps, but I can assure you it still stands. I promise to do all I can to make the offer increasingly attractive.

The vacation started with a two-day ride on AMTRAK, where I learned that all the rumors about bad service and rude employees were spread by people who do not enjoy a good game of monopoly before being served their dinner, and who have the unreasonable expectation that their stupid request for another pillow will be met with a straight face.

My son’s nascent interest in American history and government found us in our nation’s capitOl (spelling corrected by Evan) enjoying such thrilling experiences as reading the Articles of Confederation and trekking from one monument to another, all the while wondering whatever the founding fathers were thinking when, ignoring the more obvious garden spots like Newark, they invested so much granite and marble in a sweltering, mosquito-infested swamp like Washington D.C.

We briefly considered a monument tour, only to learn that monument tours are sold out precisely one week before you arrive in Washington, so we did it the 18th century way, which is perfectly fine for people in excellent physical condition, a couple of whom we actually witnessed with our very own eyes.

There was something called Hop-A-Bus that you could get on and sit on its open-air top, thus providing a 12-foot advantage over the poor suckers on the ground looking up at the 555-foot-tall Washington Monument, but it only stopped across the street from wherever we were at any given time, and as a result we craned our necks the extra 12 feet just like the other 18th century bozos.

Rochelle did get into a pamphlet throwing altercation with a trolley car tour driver when he complained that she was holding up his tour with her stupid questions about how one manages to actually secure a seat on the trolley. “See, folks,” he intoned into his (very loud) microphone as she huffed wearily away, “Look at the red-faced woman with the sweat-drenched tee shirt. This is what happens when you come to Washington unprepared and get all hot and sweaty walking instead of riding the trolley.”

Apparently, her elevated body temperature was due only in part to the giant magnifying glass that some sadist had cleverly slid between us and the sun, and the rest was due to some internal electrical malfunction, because she demagnetized everything she touched, including her subway tickets and the hotel room keys.

We looked at the outside of the Capitol building, but not the inside because you had to have tickets that the Capitol SWAT Captain said we could get by visiting the house office building and groveling before our representative. We were too embarrassed to ask who that might be so we blew it off, but we did see the inside of the Supreme Court building whose justices couldn’t care less who our congressman is, of for that matter, if we even have one.

Evan was uninterested in the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, which is odd considering that his hero is 322-year-old Alexander Hamilton, who, to Evan’s everlasting dismay, was relegated to a statue upon which pigeons performed stunts BEHIND the Treasury building, a travesty considering the magnificent monument enjoyed by Hamilton’s nemesis and notorious scene-stealer Thomas Jefferson.

I was able to coax him into the Air and Space Museum, due in part to the fact that it was air-conditioned, and only incidentally because they had rocket simulators you could ride for cheap.

The American History Museum was closed (of all things) until 2008, but the curators had set up a small display of their 150 most popular items, in the Air and Space Museum no less. And it was there that we learned a lesson about the present state of American priorities.

It quickly became apparent that you could not get close to such historic relics as George Washington’s actual military uniform, or the desk Thomas Jefferson made with his own hands and upon which he allegedly wrote the Declaration of Independence. The reason was an ever-present beehive of foreign visitors, buzzing in a cacophony of unintelligible dialects while snapping photographs over each others’ shoulders, of said august American treasures.

It became equally apparent that the photographic interest of the iPod-swinging, slang-spewing Americans was, in descending order: KIermit the frog; Dorothy’s magic red slippers; and Archie Bunker’s easy chair.

From there we rented a car in one of the most bizarre transactions ever. We were upgraded without asking and without any coupons to a new Volvo with GPS (I later refused to drive the family care until I got a GPS which I eventually secured at Costco) and learned after the fact that we had received a 10% discount for no reason at all, other than perhaps the fact that I have AARP written all over my face.

We then zigzagged across Virginia to the Fredericksburg Civil War battlefield, Jamestown (where these English idiots accustomed to cool English summers landed in May 1607 – undoubtedly remarking on the hospitable balmy weather – only to drop dead by the dozens of heat stroke in the middle of August) and Yorktown (magnificently displayed battlefield where our forefathers proved that being sneaky always trumps being arrogant), and then finally, back the other direction to Virginia Beach, because we had gone too far east for Rochelle not to put her bare feet in the Atlantic Ocean, which she did, along with the James and York Rivers, immediately after which we promptly departed.

We then zigged back northwest to pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway and zagged in some fashion that only the GPS knows in order to pick up every mountain road between Virginia and the redneck states between the Smoky Mountains and Texas. I say redneck because I’ve never seen so many perfectly good Confederate flags being abused by so many inbred cretins with shaved heads and full-body tattoos in all my life. That’s merely an assumption about the tattoos being full-body, I didn’t really check.

Somehow we wandered into North Carolina just long enough for Evan to realize we were passing through Murphy, a town in which the author of the summer reading book he was reading in the back seat (A Walk Across America) had sojourned a couple of weeks thirty years or so ago. We went to the library (luckily they didn’t recognize me, I guess my blacklisted library card hasn’t made it that far east) where we learned he had attended the Mount Zion Baptist Church, which the GPS found so we could take photos for show and tell next week.

The only other thing of note happened in Vicksburg, where, to Evan’s dismay, I parked downtown in front of an antique store. “Why did you have to park here, Dad? You know Mom will go in there and never come out.” She did go in and eventually came out, but as we were paying for our cheap silverplate trinkets, Evan noticed a sign that said “Scenes from Borat shot here.”

It was then that I recognized the owner as the poor sap in the movie whom Borat abused by careening from aisle to aisle smashing his alleged antiques. The antique store was supposedly in Dallas, but I already knew that wasn’t true because of all the Confederate accoutrements in the movie. In Granbury, yes. Dallas, no.

According to the owner, he was paid $500 to be interviewed by a foreign dignitary, which he thought was fair until he realized how much more money Sacha Baron Cohen, a documented imbecile, would earn, causing him to seriously reassess his own self-esteem. He was also paid for the busted antiques of course, and not in the Kazakh pubic hair that was Borat’s original offer. All-in all, he felt like he got off light, as the news director for Channel 16 who arranged a live on-air interview with Borat was promptly fired for her efforts. I took the guy’s picture just in case Pat H. accuses me of making this up, which in fact I probably would have done if it hadn’t actually happened, and that fact alone may satisfy Pat.

And other than the fact that our car was dead as a doornail when we got back to the AMTRAK station and I had to buy a jumper cable, having removed the existing one to make room for luggage prior to the trip, and then almost had to call a Volvo dealership before I finally found the battery disguised as a lunch box, to which I hooked the jumper cables, at which time the alarms in both cars went off and drew annoyed stares from the passengers and panhandlers at the train station before we were able to start the engine and slink away, nothing else happened.

You may have noticed that our daughter, Taylor, declined our invitation to join us. Said she, “Like the rest of Keller, my dream vacation is two weeks away from the three of you…”