Friday, January 9, 2009

The Bottom 10

The Pollyanna Principle: a term used to describe people who agree with positive statements describing them or things close to them. See also: The Frisco Line.

That’s right, folks, I’ve got a pretty rosy outlook on our fair burg. A quick review of past editions of The Frisco Line shows a definite predisposition to highlighting the positive aspects our Frisco, Texas.

But not all is sun and roses in North Texas. Just last month, I compiled a list of the top 10 things I love about Frisco. This month, it’s time to look at the dark side. Contrary to popular belief, there are some things about this area that set off my personal peeve-meter. Some are particular to Frisco, while others apply to the entire region. Some can be fixed. Others I’ll just have to learn to live with. Here, then, in no particular order… the Bottom 10:

Topographical Relief – Yeah, I know. This is North Texas. It’s flat. But I grew up around the Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma. Then, a 12-year stint near the Wasatch Range in Utah firmly planted a love of the vertical in my psyche. Now, I’ve been in Frisco for almost 10 years… give me a mountain! A hill… a bump… anything that goes UP!

No Trees – First of all, let’s just discount all the silver leaf maples and other quick-growing trees that builders plant in every development. You can find dense groves of trees in the undeveloped plots around town. But those are really just “trash trees” that provide some ground cover, but mostly get in the way. I’m looking for some Oaks. Some Elms. Some deciduous or coniferous edifices that provide equal parts of beauty and shade!

Traffic and Toll Roads – Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems like the lights on the access roads along the tollways are set to slow you down. Every time I approach the on-ramps to SH-121 or the Dallas North Speedway, I go through a quick “time vs. money” debate. Is it worth a buck and a half to avoid a couple of stop lights? Then I roll the dice, figuring there’s at least an even chance that the lights will be green. No such luck. Going the speed limit along the access road just seems to ensure that you hit EVERY RED LIGHT along the way. And Preston Road is no better. Whatever happened to timing stop lights so you can travel just under the speed limit and hit green lights all along the way? Not in Frisco, I guess.

Naming Things After People Who Are Still Working – More than anything, this really accentuates the lack of significant history in Frisco. We just don’t have that many notable figures to draw from. We’ve already got a Dr. Pink road and a Dr. Pink stadium. Now, I’m not debating whether the people in question deserve the honor – I’m sure they do. It’s just that naming buildings and parks after people who are still actively involved in city business sort of gives them an unfair advantage. Honestly, how are you going to argue the finer points of civic matters with Mike Simpson when you’re standing in the middle of Simpson Plaza?

Summer Heat – When I left Utah, I was looking forward to not having to shovel three feet of snow every winter. But I guess I wasn’t quite prepared for living through 3 months of inferno! At least when it snows, I can put on more clothes.

The Water – Have you tasted our water lately? Earlier this year, the North Texas Municipal Water district made some changes to how the water is processed, with the goal to eliminate that funky taste that so many of us have come to recognize. Keep working, guys.

No Performance Center – Mrs. Line and I love to go out to plays, musical events and other “cultural” activities. Sadly, we have to travel to McKinney, Plano, Dallas, or any number of other cities to satisfy our needs. Frisco does not have a single, decent performance venue, outside of the high school auditoriums. The new Dr Pepper Stars center is going to provide a nice venue for mid-sized concerts, but it doesn’t address the need for a theatre where we can catch a play or a jazz recital.

School Zones de Jour – My children were fortunate to attend Curtsinger Elementary throughout their grade school years. But most other Frisco residents aren’t so lucky. I know of some students who have changed schools almost every year! Other than that “new school smell,” that can’t be any fun. I’m looking forward to the day when FISD can slow down the new building and let things settle down.

BONUS PEEVE: “Kiddos.” I don’t have kiddos. I have children, or kids. If I have to listen to one more principal or teacher laud our wonderful “kiddos” I’m gonna lose my cookies!

Hike and Bike Trails (or Lack Thereof) – Until some of the large tracts of land are developed in town, it’s unlikely we’ll have a robust set of trails that link up to take you around town. For now, we’re limited to some nice trails here and there (Taychas Trail and Caddo Trail come to mind), but no way for most of us to get to them, short of driving.

So, that’s nine. Oddly, long discussions with my wife, poker group, and random characters on street corners failed to conjure up a tenth. So I’ll wrap up my gripe list, and return to my usual sunny disposition. Frisco, Texas, may not be paradise, but I’ll take it.

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