Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This Afternoon I Got The Good News That Spencer Jack Has Escaped Alcatraz

This afternoon, via email, I received fairly good evidence that Spencer Jack's Big San Francisco Adventure has come to an end.

The email was from Spencer Jack's dad, well, actually it was two emails, containing a total of seven pictures and one line of text with that text saying...

"Spencer Jack and I escaped from Alcatraz, Trolley ride to Chinatown and darted back to the airport via BART."

It was the darting back to the airport via BART part of the text which led me to deduce that Spencer Jack's Big San Francisco Adventure was over.

I am fairly certain that the purpose behind Spencer Jack's dad taking him to San Francisco was not to scare Spencer Jack straight by putting the fear of being behind bars in Spencer's fragile young mind.

Then again, the above picture of Spencer Jack caged up in Alcatraz is a bit disturbing. Spencer looks very worried.


I am guessing, due to Spencer Jack looking relieved, the above picture was taken after the escape from Alcatraz. According to a reliable source, Spencer Jack and his dad escaped Alcatraz to take a trolley to Chinatown, which is where Spencer Jack is in the picture below.



Where Spencer Jack is standing in Chinatown does not look like the Chinatown I remember. But, it has been at least 20 years since I've been in San Francisco's Chinatown, I no longer trust my aged memory. I remember Chinatown as extremely crowded, with sensory overload from all the visual stimulation. And it smelled good.

And then there's BART. Bay Area Rapid Transit.

BART seems an odd acronym for a town's transit system. But not as odd as Seattle's South Lake Union Trolley, which has Seattle people in transit mode saying something like let's ride the SLUT to the Burger King on Lake Union.


Where I am currently located in Texas I need not worry about taking a BART or a SLUT anywhere. The only public transit available to residents of Fort Worth is called the T. The T is made up of very bare bones type buses of the sort no one would consider a luxury ride. Riding Fort Worth's T, to me, is like riding a carnival ride in a very bad theme park. In other words, fasten your seatbelts, you are in for a bumpy ride. However, unfortunately, there are no seatbelts to fasten.

Is Fort Worth the only town in America with a  population over a half million with no public transit in bus or rail form which takes the public directly to its airport?

When a Fort Worth native flies into a modern American city, like San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City, Chicago, Portland, Miami.

Or Dallas.

And sees the town is connected to the airport by public transit in the form of bus or light rail or both does it occur to the Fort Worthian that maybe their town needs to do some modernizing?

I just remembered the answer. In Fort Worth only poor people use public transit......

Walking With The Fosdick Ducks Around Green Fosdick Lake's Sputtering Fountain

Today I was back at Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park to walk around the increasingly green Fosdick Lake for the first time in a week, give or take a day.

My use of the "green" word to describe Fosdick Lake is not intended to indicate Fosdick Lake is becoming increasingly eco-friendly.

My use of the "green" word refers to the increasing amount of green algae that appears to be choking this little lake.

Back when the Fosdick Fountain mysteriously appeared I thought its aerating spewing of lake water might help mitigate the annual phenomenon of Fosdick Lake growing green stuff when the lake water was exposed to too much summer HEAT.

But, right when Fosdick Lake needs all the aerating it can get, Fosdick Fountain is in sputter mode, barely burbling, likely providing very little, if any, aerating.

Anyway, I had myself a mighty fine time today having a sauna steam bath whilst walking with the ducks around Fosdick Lake.

You can see the aforementioned ducks and the sputtering Fosdick Fountain in the video below...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This Afternoon Spencer Jack Took Me Down San Francisco's Lombard Street

My favorite nephew Jason always does what he says he is going to do. Yesterday Jason indicated that today Spencer Jack would be sending me a photo of San Francisco's Lombard Street, and true to Jason's word, that photo arrived about an hour ago, with accompanying text saying....

"Photo documentation of Spencer Jack photographing Lombard Street."

I suspect Spencer Jack and his dad were on some sort of tourist tour and not driving themselves around San Francisco. To get the full Lombard Street experience one must drive oneself up the steep hill that leads to the famous downhill part of the street, you reach the crest and then descend slowly, brakes applied pretty much the entire time.

Lombard Street is memorable to my memory for a couple reasons. One being the last time I attempted to drive down Lombard Street I was unable to, due to the fact my clutch would not allow me to ascend to the summit.

The main reason Lombard Street is memorable to my memory is due to the fact that it was on the last family vacation I was ever to take that we drove down Lombard Street.

The summer after my freshman year of high school we took our first family vacation to California and Disneyland. At that point in time there was an attraction in Disneyland called, I think, America the Beautiful in Circlevision. You stood while moving images surrounded you. You were advised to hold on to the handrails. At one point the Circlevision took us down Lombard Street. It was very dizzying.

We had so much fun on that family vacation to California that we went again the next year, staying longer and going to San Francisco on the way south, where we did the drive down Lombard Street.

I did not know, at the time, that that family vacation was to be my last family vacation. My baby blister was born soon thereafter, which ended going on fun family vacations, at least for me.

On that last family trip to Disneyland, in addition to San Francisco, we also drove across the border, to Tijuana, we did wine tours in the Napa Valley, drove Highway 1 south, past Hearst Castle, staying at Santa Barbara State Park, where I got the worst sunburn ever, leaving a weird white spot on my back which remains to this day, I think. I've not looked lately.

Just a sec, I must go see if my Santa Barbara white spot is still there...

It's still there, about the size of a small pea, currently red due to sun exposure today.

I hope Spencer Jack tours Chinatown before he leaves San Francisco. I've had myself a mighty fine time or two in Chinatown. One time all of us in my traveling group got ourselves Mao jackets and caps in Chinatown. This made us look like revolutionary communists. I recollect us all later wearing our Mao outfits to the Duffy's Disco in Mount Vernon. The gatekeeper hesitated in admitting us, and then I guess he decided we added an interesting visual element and let us enter.

You ain't seen disco dancing til you see a Gang of Four doing the Hustle in full Mao regalia....

Spencer Jack Has Me Wondering Why It Will Take Fort Worth Longer To Build 3 Puny Bridges Over Nothing Than It Took To Build The Golden Gate Bridge

This morning's email from Spencer Jack's dad confirming that he and Spencer Jack are currently in San Francisco had me motivated to blog about something I'd long intended to blog about regarding the Golden Gate Bridge.

This morning I found a Golden Gate Bridge image I intended to use for illustrative purposes and then, just as I was heading into Blogging World, fresh incoming email from Spencer Jack's dad included three pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, two of which I include here.

From this point on I will now verbalize what I was originally going to say.....

No.

That is not an artist's rendering of tourists crossing one of Fort Worth's supposedly under construction, non-signature, non-iconic bridges you are looking at.

What you are looking at is Spencer Jack on some sort of tourist contraption heading to Marin County via San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is an actual signature bridge. An actual iconic structure recognized world-wide.

The Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle's three bridges over nothing are promoted by that corrupt agency as being "signature" bridges, which will become "iconic" images of Fort Worth.

Do Fort Worth's propaganda purveyors not actually know what is meant by the word "iconic"?

Fort Worth's three non-signature, never gonna be iconic bridges over nothing are being built over nothing because this is supposedly easier than building over something, such as the un-needed flood diversion channel that some day may flow under Fort Worth's three non-signature, non-iconic bridges over nothing.

The three bridges supposedly began being constructed this month. The three bridges being built over nothing are scheduled  to be completed in four years.

Four years.

I know you are sitting there wondering how long it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, a bridge which was not built over nothing, but was instead built over the Golden Gate Strait at the entry to San Francisco Bay.

Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge on January 5, 1933 and was completed on April 19, 1937.

Four years later.

The Golden Gate Bridge is about 1.7 miles long, 90 feet wide, 740 feet tall, and 220 feet, on average, above the saltwater below.

Yes, unlike Fort Worth's non-signature, non-iconic three bridges, the Golden Gate Bridge was built over water, very deep water, water that moves due to this thing called tides.

So, how is it that Fort Worth's relatively puny, relatively simple bridges will take four years to build? How come I've not heard any of the locals asking why it will take so long?

I wonder if the reason it takes Fort Worth so long to build three little bridges has anything to do with how the building of these bridges is financed?

To build the Golden Gate the California Legislature authorized the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District as the official entity charged with the design, construction and financing of the project. But then the Wall Street crash of 1929 came along, followed by the Great Depression, which created a fund raising problem.

So, what did the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District do to get the funds to build the bridge?

Why they did something Fort Worth apparently does not know how to do.

A bond measure was placed before the voters in the counties that would benefit from the new bridge. The voters approved the bond measure in November 1930, with construction beginning less than three years later.

What a concept.

Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has boondoggled along for well over a decade, un-funded, un-voted on.

How bizarre.

Why would you not have the public vote on a public works project that benefits the public by building a much needed flood control upgrade from the levees which have kept downtown Fort Worth flood-free for over a half century?

Oh, I think I just answered my question.

Anyway, below is another picture of Spencer Jack at one of the world's signature iconic bridges....

The Last Tuesday Of August Mud Rutting In Gateway Park Before Treasure Hunting At Town Talk

Til today it had been over two weeks since I last rolled my bike's wheels in Fort Worth's Gateway Park, Monday, August 11, to be precise, fifteen days ago.

Til today it had been even longer since I'd gone treasure hunting at Town Talk, with the last Town Talk treasure hunting taking place on Saturday, August 2.

Today's bike ride went well. I had some concern that the heat would be too HOT.  But, the majority of the Gateway Park mountain bike trail is under a good cover of shade, with only one extended, out in the open, with no shade, section, that being by the soccer  fields, which today had been irrigated which quickly had my tires sporting a thick coat of mud.

As you can see via my favorite Gateway Park photo op location the Trinity River is still flowing green, managing to find water even though not much precipitation has precipitated lately.

The last of this summer's Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats happened a couple Thursdays ago.

I wonder if the river floating ceases because the Trinity River gets too green, and not from envy, when the temperature heats the water too HOT, turning the river into a thick bacteria laden stew?

Changing the subject from bacteria laden stew to Town Talk.

Today the big item that seemed to cause some excitement among some was flowers, as in bouquets of flowers. The female Town Talkers seemed to be liking the flowers. Two flower purveyors were handing out the bouquets. I overheard someone ask how much the flowers cost. I believe the answer was a dozen roses for two bucks. That seemed like a bargain to me. But, I resisted the flowery temptation.

I did get a giant tub of Chobani yogurt. Biggest yogurt container I've ever seen. I also got a big chunk of extra sharp cheese from England, plus a big bag of whole grain bagels, whole wheat tortillas, siracha sauce, soy sauce, sweet potato chips, smoked turkey legs, plums, tangerines, cucumbers and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

The last time I treasure hunted at Town Talk it was the busiest I've ever seen it. Busy to the point where it was not entertaining, more like being stuck in a bad traffic jam. Today was the opposite of that. However, I suspect I will likely return to Town Talk this coming Saturday, after another round of mountain biking at Gateway Park, creature of habit that I usually be.....

Photo Confirmation Has Arrived Confirming Spencer Jack Is Touring San Francisco

Yesterday in a blogging titled The Dog Days Of August Rolling With the Village Creek Indian Ghosts Wondering About Spencer Jack Going To Prison I wrote the following....

Changing the subject from Indian Ghosts to prisons. I just got the oddest blog comment from someone calling himself Anonymous about sending me photos of my favorite nephew and great nephew and Lombard Street in San Francisco. But this sending of photos must be postponed til after Tuesday, because on that day my favorite nephew and great nephew are scheduled to appear in prison.

I have no idea what this means. What in the world did Spencer Jack do at his young age that has him going to prison?

Below is the comment to which I refer....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Recovering From Lombard Street Triggered Nightmare...":

Weird dream. Perhaps a 'great' and favorite nephew may send you a photo of their Lombard Street experience in a couple days. However both are scheduled appear in prison on Tuesday. 

As I attempt to decipher the above riddle I am wondering if it means that Spencer Jack and his dad are currently in San Francisco, and that tomorrow they are scheduled to tour Alcatraz? I suspect all will become clear eventually.....
___________________________________________

Well. In this morning's email inbox there were a couple emails from Spencer Jack's dad, with a couple pictures, one of which is above, with Spencer Jack standing in front of one of San Francisco's Cable Cars, with the text in the email saying....

Your speculation of your greatest nephew touring San Francisco was spot on.

When Spencer Jack's dad and his brother Joey were kids their favorite uncle used to have himself a mighty fine time taking those two to places all over Washington. But never anywhere as adventurous as San Francisco.

Til they got older.

I recollect Spencer Jack's dad and me riding Vancouver's SkyTrain from its southernmost station all the way to its northern end and then floating the Sea Bus across the harbor to North Vancouver. The only time I recollect taking Spencer Jack's dad and uncle out of Washington was when we went to Las Vegas the summer before I moved to Texas.

Today I suspect Spencer Jack will be winding his way down Lombard Street, with me eventually getting photo documentation. A photo of Spencer Jack in Chinatown would be a good thing. Along with riding BART under San Francisco Bay.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Dog Days Of August Rolling With the Village Creek Indian Ghosts Wondering About Spencer Jack Going To Prison

These HOT final days of August have me looking forward to the fall following these dogs days.

Why is the latter part of August referred to as the Dog Days of August it just occurred to me to wonder?

Is this a Native American saying?

Speaking of Indians.

What with the heat and the humidity and what with needing to go to Walmart and ALDI I opted out of doing anything too strenuous during my regularly scheduled daily bout of endorphin inducing aerobic activity and instead had myself a leisurely roll through the shaded Village Creek Natural Historical Area, prior to ALDI and Walmart.

Eventually I left the shaded Historical Area and the Indian Ghosts and pedaled the less shady Bob Findlay Linear Park trail to the location you see in the picture, near a monument memorializing the murders, I mean, incident,  known as the Battle of Village Creek, a battle where a lot of the residents of Village Creek, natives, were killed.

Changing the subject from Indian Ghosts to prisons. I just got the oddest blog comment from someone calling himself Anonymous about sending me photos of my favorite nephew and great nephew and Lombard Street in San Francisco. But this sending of photos must be postponed til after Tuesday, because on that day my favorite nephew and great nephew are scheduled to appear in prison.

I have no idea what this means. What in the world did Spencer Jack do at his young age that has him going to prison?

Below is the comment to which I refer....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Recovering From Lombard Street Triggered Nightmare...":

Weird dream. Perhaps a 'great' and favorite nephew may send you a photo of their Lombard Street experience in a couple days. However both are scheduled appear in prison on Tuesday. 

As I attempt to decipher the above riddle I am wondering if it means that Spencer Jack and his dad are currently in San Francisco, and that tomorrow they are scheduled to tour Alcatraz? I suspect all will become clear eventually.....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Next To Last Hot Sunday In Texas

As you can see via the pool view from my patio this next to last Sunday of August it is yet one more almost clear blue sky day in Texas, with just a few wispy white clouds to break up the blue monotony.

This is being the coldest summer I have experienced since I have been in Texas. Yet I am finding myself being vexed by the HEAT more than in Texas summers past.

Is it because I've added a lot of weight with its resultant insulating heat gain?

No, that is not the cause of my HEAT aversion. I've lost weight this summer, skinnying down to my skinniest since the summer of 2008.

Speaking of which, I realized yesterday that this past August 20, that on that day six years ago, as in August 20, 2008, I returned to Dallas, via Love Field, from a month in Washington. A month which seemed much much longer than a month.

Six years is the longest I have gone without a return to Washington. When I left Washington I said it'd be 20 years til I returned. So, I guess I have 14 years to go. Maybe I'll make it back for Spencer Jack's college graduation.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today MSG Kept Me From My Regularly Scheduled Saturday Mountain Bike Ride Followed By Town Talk

This next to last Saturday of August I have found myself rendered miserable by MSG.

I consumed some beef jerky and some tortilla chips not realizing both contained monosodium glutamate.

It was way back in the last century, whilst enjoying Chinese food at a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Chinese restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown when I found myself suddenly feeling nauseated, red-faced and hurting with a pounding headache.

I did not know at the time that I was super-sensitive to something called monosodium glutamate. It was some time later, after MSG became controversial, that I realized that it was MSG which caused me to not have myself a mighty fine time at times when eating out at some restaurants.

I got the MSG related illustration from a website dedicated to "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about MSG" with the tagline "This Web site is dedicated to people with problems that once defied medical diagnosis -- people who discovered that elimination of MSG from their diets let them be well."

I have successfully avoided a MSG headache this century, until today. Hours after the poisoning I am slowly beginning to recover. But, it is too late and the recovery too weak, to go on my regularly scheduled mountain bike ride in Gateway Park followed by treasure hunting at Town Talk.

I have not been to Town Talk for several weeks. I was looking forward to going there today. Maybe I will feel up to Town Talking by Monday. I hope so.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Funnel Cake Ale For The 2014 Big Tex Choice Award Win

Every year around Labor Day, after Big Tex announces the latest finalists for the State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards I blog about all the exotic fried food on this very blog you are looking at right now.

This year I decided to blog about this important subject on my Eyes on Texas blog, instead.

I just realized, I am pretty much blogging about the Big Tex Choice choices on this blog too, in this very blogging.

Anyway, you can go to my Eyes on Texas blog to the blogging titled The State Fair of Texas 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards This Year With Beer to read all the details of this year's finalists.

I do not remember there ever being an entry which was not deep-fried til this year.

The un-fried Big Tex Choice Award entry is called Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale. One must be 21 to sample this Big Tex Choice. Apparently this is a beer type product which somehow tastes like State Fair Funnel Cake.

My one and only time tasting Funnel Cake I recollect thinking it tasted like powdered sugar on greasy fried dough. My taste in all matters is not very refined, so me thinking I would not like beer which tastes like powdered sugar on greasy fried dough would not stop me from taking a sip, or two, nor should it stop you from taking a sip, or two....