Sunday, September 14, 2014

Today I Must Contribute To The Community By Educating Myself About Chesapeake Energy's Fresh Turquoise Water

Way back in the last decade, back when Chesapeake Energy invaded the Barnett Shale, Chesapeake ran a big counter-information operation.

If a blogger blogged something about Chesapeake almost instantly one would see blog post hits from Oklahoma City, that being the location of Chesapeake's headquarters.

Soon thereafter boilerplate blog comments would show up, often mentioning Archie Bunker and horses.

I don't know when it was Chesapeake Energy figured out their heavy handed "information" campaign was being counter productive, but it has long been gone. No more Tommy Lee Jones on billboards. No propaganda ads on buses. No this, that or the other thing brought to you by Chesapeake  Energy.

See that turquoise pond above? Way back in 2010 that pond showed up on the route I take to visit the Indian Ghosts in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

At point in time that pond did not look a very natural shade of blue. Currently the pond looks like normal murky North Texas lake water.

This morning in my inbox I found a blog comment typical  of what the Chesapeake Energy shills would send in their heyday.....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Fort Worth Chesapeake Fresh-Water Frac Pond's Unnatural Shade Of Blue":

The water is fresh water as in not salt water or treated water. The fence is in place to keep people out. The pit is lined with high density polyethylene geo textile, if someone tries swimming in it, they cannot climb out due to the plastic, which could cause drowning. You can now go back to ignorantly throwing accusations at the evil oil companies... or you could educate yourself and contribute to your community. I am betting against the latter.

I wonder if this Anonymous person would be willing to let me take video of him or her drinking a glass of this Chesapeake fresh water?

Chesapeake Energy sure has had itself a reversal of fortune from the days it freely ran roughshod  over Fort Worth and surrounding areas. Is Chesapeake's former CEO, the basketball team stealing Aubrey McClendon still a free man? Or is he doing time? With a big fine?

Who would have guessed just a few short years ago that by 2014 the City of Fort Worth would be among the many suing Chesapeake Energy for its shady dealings?

Today I read that a Fort Worth lawyer named Dan McDonald has been holding town meetings and has put together a legal team to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for their alleged underpayment of royalties to thousands of people who were allegedly cheated by the Chesapeake slicksters.

I must end this blogging now and go and try and educate myself about something....

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Today In Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park I Was Partly Protected From West Nile Virus & Possible Mini-Stealth Drones

This morning the pool was cool for the first time since some time early last spring.

For the first time in months I retreated, twice, to the warmth of the hot tub, a tub which ironically is chilled about seven degrees colder than the record breaking 102 we were sweltered with a couple days ago.

This morning the outer world was almost 50 degrees chillier than that 102.

I opted out of my regularly scheduled Gateway Park bike ride and Town Talk treasure hunt today.  I figured with the wind blowing the windchill would likely have the air feeling like it's in the 40s. And I've sort of not been enjoying the Town Talk Saturday traffic jam of late. I think I may be making Wednesdays my Town Talk day.

So, in the noon time frame I put on long pants for the first time in a long time, along with a long sleeved t-shirt and headed west to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake.

Today was the first time I've seen the sign you see above about protecting oneself  from the West Nile Virus. The sign had been added since I was at this location earlier in the week. Sort of ironic that I was wearing the recommended long pants and long sleeves for the first time in a long time.

I own no mosquito repellent.

I have no recollection of getting a mosquito bite during the entire time of my exile in Texas. I do not remember ever going a summer in Washington without getting mosquito bites.

At one point during my walk around Fosdick Lake I saw that which you see below.


Is that a West Nile Mosquito? A mini-Stealth Drone? Whatever it is it was BIG and not moving except for a slight shake. Was it grounded by the cold? Shot down by an anti-aircraft missile? Trying to re-establish contact with the Mother Ship?

All I know is whoever designed this thing I like their design aesthetic. And want a sweater that looks like this....

Spencer Jack Caught In A Web Got Me Thinking About Fort Worth's Imaginary Islands & Bridges Over Nothing Boondoggles


This morning my favorite nephew Jason emailed me some pictures, one of which is the one above, another of which is below, where Spencer Jack is caught in a tangled web.

The text in the email...

Fall is in the air. Foggy mornings. And pleasant afternoons with the day time light shrinking. Spencer Jack suggested hanging up Halloween decorations on the "to do" list. We did such in his lego/train room.

Seeing the above picture amused me when I realized I was looking at something I don't see in my current location.

No.

I am not referring to beautiful scenery.

I am referring to islands. Real islands. I am losing memory of Washington place names, but I believe in the picture we are looking north across Padilla Bay. In the distance I believe that is Guemes Island. I don't know what the small, closest island is named. To the right, if the picture were wider, we might be seeing part of Samish Island.

Samish Island is like islands in Fort Worth, such as Panther Island, due to the fact that Samish Island is not really an island. It used to be an island, but early farmers blocked off the saltwater with dikes so as to create more fertile farmland and put an end to Samish Island's island status.

Spencer Jack and his dad drive by the view above every time they drive from their home zone in Mount Vernon, 15 miles west to Anacortes, where Spencer Jack's dad's Fidalgo Drive-In is located.

Fidalgo Drive-In is so named because it is located on Fidalgo Island, which leads me to another interesting thing that occurred to me when I thought about that drive to the Fidalgo Drive-In on Fidalgo Island.

To get to Fidalgo Island on Highway 20 requires driving over the Duane Berentson Bridge. As you can see this is a twin bridge. The picture only shows you part of this big bridge.

The body of water this bridge crosses is called the Swinomish Channel. The Swinomish Channel was not dredged as part of any sort of demented flood control, economic development scheme.

The dual  bridges replaced an antique draw bridge which caused bad traffic jams whenever a boat needed to head into or out of the channel.

I remember when the Duane Berentson Bridge was built. It did not take four years to build. And it was built over existing water. What a concept. The Duane Berentson Bridge is a much bigger bridge than the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing, which are scheduled to take four years to build.

Near where we are standing in the bridge picture is the Swinomish Casino & Lodge. I believe in addition to the lodge and casino there is also now an RV park and marina. The Swinomish are a Pacific Northwest Native American tribe. Their casino has a restaurant with my all time favorite seafood buffet.

The Swinomish Casino & Lodge, with its restaurants, did not come about due to any sort of sweetheart deals from something called the Padilla Bay Swinomish Channel Vision. The Swinomish have done a good job of economic development all on their own, with maybe a little federal help, just like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, only with something to show for it a bit more elevated  than music venues, imaginary pavilions, a drive-in movie theater, a brewery and a wakeboard lake.

I do not remember ever reading, in any Skagit Valley media source, regarding the Duane Berentson Bridge, that it was a "Signature" bridge that would become an iconic gateway to Fidalgo Island.

Now, those of you who have seen artist's renderings of what the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing are going to look like, which of these bridges do you think might leave a more lasting impression in a visitor's memory, the Boondoggle's Bridges or the Duane Berentson Bridge?

Well, enough of that.

And now the aforementioned photo of Spencer Jack stuck in a spider's web in his Legoland Monorail Train Room.....

Friday, September 12, 2014

This Morning It Is Only 35 Degrees Above Freezing At My Chilly Location In North Texas

It is a dark and stormy morning this Friday September 12 at my location somewhere nowhere near being deep in the heart of Texas, which you can see via the view from my patio overlooking a nearby swimming pool.

I did not get in that nearby swimming pool yesterday due to big booming early on 9/11, along with big drips of rain dropping.

I did get in that nearby swimming pool this morning and had myself a mighty fine time getting cool.

Tomorrow if I get in that nearby swimming pool it should be even cooler due to the fact that the predicted cold front has arrived right on schedule.

The temperature has been dropping ever since the sun arrived in a currently futile effort to heat up the outer world.

I looked up at my computer based temperature monitoring device to see a drop of another degree, bringing us down now to a very chilly 67 degrees. I am math challenged but I think 67 degrees is only 35 degrees above freezing.

Brrrrr.

I don't think I will be driving anywhere to go on a hike or bike ride today.....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Does Arlington's Founders Plaza Make Arlington The Top Downtown In America?

The past week or two we seem to have been inundated with propaganda puffery pieces from Fort Worth's Ministers of Propaganda.

Top Downtown in America. Sundance Square Plaza is an award winning novelty, which towns across America should emulate. Panther Island Pavilion is a huge success drawing thousands to festival after festival.

I have blogged about my various perplexations on these subjects in several bloggings, such as...

Did The Prophet JD Granger Foresee The Irving Music Factory Making Panther Island Pavilion Look Like A Hillbilly Mudpit? and The Futile Search For The Missing Pavilion, Island & Panther At Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion and Elsie Hotpepper Helped Me Learn How Fort Worth Became The Top Downtown In America.

I'd come to terms with the fact that there is no island or pavilion in Panther Island Pavilion. I'd already sort of addressed the fact that the music events that take place at the erroneously named Panther Island Pavilion are not as "special" as Trinity River Vision Boondogglers, like J.D. Granger, propagandasize.

But what has been nagging me in the back of my memory is the thing where the Fort Worth Ministers of Propaganda spew the propaganda that Sundance Square Plaza in Sundance Square, a square which suffered for decades without a real square, is anything all that special.

And then it came to me what has been nagging my memory.

The repetitive pattern of the Fort Worth propaganda.

I think the first time I was burned by Fort Worth propaganda was when I read, over and over again, in the main propaganda spewer, the Star-Telegram, that a new enterprise in Fort Worth, the Santa Fe Rail Market, was going to be the first public market in Texas, and was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and public markets in Europe.

Well, you can go to the webpage I made about being appalled about various aspects of this Sante Fe Market propaganda and see quite clearly why it clearly aggravated me. That being the propaganda that this totally lame group of "stores" was the first public market in Texas and was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market, with both claims being not even remotely legit.

What further aggravated me was just a short distance to the east, in this town called Dallas, there is a public market which every single one of my visitors from the Pacific Northwest have opined reminded them of Pike Place Market, that being the Dallas Farmers Market.

Okay, now let's switch to the subject of this little plaza that downtown Fort Worth's propaganda spewers are currently touting is drawing thousands of visitors a week.

There are a couple plazas in Dallas which actually do draw a lot of visitors. One is called Dealey Plaza. The other is called Pioneer Plaza. Dealey Plaza is known world-wide in a way I seriously hope Fort Worth's plaza never is. I have been in Dealey Plaza at an event, along with several thousand people, many more people than I think can cram into Fort Worth's Sundance Square Plaza.

But it is not in Dallas where the plaza is located that I finally remembered and realized came along before Fort Worth's, and is very similar to Fort Worth's. And is bigger.

The little town of Arlington, sandwiched between Dallas and Fort Worth, at its city center, you will find Founders Plaza. Founders Plaza has an actual pavilion, called Levitt Pavilion. There is no imaginary island surrounding Levitt Pavilion.

That is a screencap of the Founders Plaza Levitt Pavilion website at the top. Below  is a screen cap of a lot of people in Founders Plaza enjoying one of the 50 free music events held at Levitt Pavilion annually.


A description from the Founders Plaza website informs us that it has every feature you will find in the Fort Worth plaza. And more. Did the Fort Worth plaza people copy Arlington, I am wondering?

The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is inside Founders Plaza, a city park in the heart of Downtown Arlington at 100 W. Abram St. on the corner of Center and Abram streets directly across the street from City Hall. Founders Plaza is the crown jewel in the revitalization of Downtown Arlington and has become a favorite place for an impromptu picnic lunch, community gatherings and celebrations. The park includes a spacious lawn, walkways, seating walls, beautiful trees and flower beds, an interactive water fountain generously donated by the Junior League of Arlington, public art, a history garden and the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.

Inside Founders Plaza, visitors will find two special areas: the History Garden and the Meditation Grove. The History Garden, near the northeast entrance to Founders Plaza directly across from City Hall and the library, features historical markers about Arlington and its founders along with native plants. The Meditation Grove, nestled in the southwest corner behind the Junior League fountain, offers a tranquil area for reflection.

I have been to an event at Founders Plaza, several years ago. I remember, also years ago, when the Super Bowl took place in Arlington, with ESPN setting up on a downtown Fort Worth parking lot, wondering why they did not use that plaza in downtown Arlington.

And then I forgot about that plaza til today.

So, did those who make what little happens in downtown Fort Worth get Green with Envy, years ago, upon seeing what Arlington had done, plaza-wise, and finally decide it was time to add a square to Sundance Square?

Modeled after the square in Arlington?

We all know how Fort Worth likes to model things after other things, like Pike Place Market. Only this time they did a good job of modeling. The similarities between the two plazas really are striking, however, with Arlington having a real stage, more landscaping, trees and a lawn.....

9/11 At My Location In Texas Began With A Loud Boom This Morning In 2014

Oddly Lit 9/11 Computer Room Window Thunderstorm View
On a 9/11 morning you really do not want to be vibrated by loud unpredicted booms rattling your windows.

But that is what happened this morning, soon after I got vertical. The first boom was very close, and I'd seen no lightning flash.

Before the second boom rattled my windows I did see a lightning flash, so I was almost 100% certain the booms were not being caused by demented barbarians.

After a few more booms rain began downpouring.

So, I decided to opt out of my regularly scheduled morning swim for the first time in a long time.

I know I am not the only one thinking today how can it be 13 years since that awful morning when we first learned the shocking news that America was being attacked.

For me, it was a phone call from Big Ed in Dallas, telling me the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane and that I needed to turn on my TV. Since I knew Big Ed was at a meeting near the Dallas World Trade Center and Love Field, I figured it was the Dallas World Trade Center to which he referred and it was a plane taking off from Love Field accidentally crashing.

So, I was shocked to turn on my TV right when the second plane hit the second tower. A couple minutes after that I began calling people on the West Coast telling them they needed to get up and turn on their TVs.

The thirteen years since 9/11 have not been good. I don't know if it is related but I have not driven up to Washington since 9/11. I returned from a month in Washington the week before 9/11.

Prior to 9/11 I'd flown twice up to Washington. No security hassle. I've flown up to Washington several times since 9/11, disliking all the new security hassles.

After 9/11 we suffered many more years of George W. Bush being president, with two wars, neither of which went well and in which we continue to to be stuck.

And then there was the Great Recession, from which we have only partly recovered.

It is interesting, but pointless, to ponder how our world today may have been different if the person who actually got the most votes in the 2000 election actually became president.

Methinks, for some reason, had that happened, today we would not be hearing of a scary entity known as ISIS.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Third Into September Today I Hope We Have Hit 100 For The Last Time This Year

A minute ago, or maybe two, I woke up my phone to text message a message to Elsie Hotpepper telling the Hotpepper I'd completed a task I'd been tasked with.

When I woke up the phone I was surprised to see the phone telling me that the temperature had gone over the 100 degree mark.

I looked up at my computer temperature monitoring device to see the same number.

101.

I thought the HOT days were behind us for the year, that a cold front was scheduled to arrive at any moment.

Look at the info above it appears the cold front is currently scheduled to arrive on Friday, with a low of 61, with Saturday's high being a chilly 76.

I guess I need to source my long underwear if I want to go mountain bike riding in Gateway Park on Saturday.

I had been wondering why the air-conditioning has been cycling off and on so frequently this afternoon. And now I know.

It's HOT!

Today I Learned Dallas Has The Best Skyline In The World

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram I must have missed the news this morning that the skyline of Dallas had been voted to be the Best International Skyline.

Best International Skyline? That is odd verbiage. World's Best Skyline would seem to make more sense.

Anyway, l learned of this latest Dallas accolade this morning on WFAA's website in an article titled Dallas Voted 'Best International Skyline'.

Apparently USA TODAY runs weekly 10 Best contests. Dallas has showed up on these lists 12 times, with this latest #1 being the 2nd time Dallas has topped a category.

The previous win was for "Best Quirky Landmark in the USA" with Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas being the Best Quirky Landmark.

I do not know if Fort Worth has shown up on any of these 10 Best lists. I suspect not, due to not having read any propaganda puffery about Fort Worth being on a USA TODAY 10 Best list.

The 10 Best Skylines in the World, according to this scientific skyline study are....

  1. Dallas
  2. Chicago
  3. Rio de Janeiro
  4. Toronto
  5. New York
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. St. Louis
  8. Hong Kong
  9. San Francisco
  10. Seattle

I really can not be the only person shocked that Fort Worth is not on this list, what with Fort Worth having the Top Downtown in America.

All kidding aside, these type lists are goofy. St. Louis? Why? Because of the Gateway Arch? I have only been to St. Louis once, and that was only to make a plane switch. I saw no skyline. Or the famous arch.

Shouldn't Paris be on such a list? Shanghai has a real cool skyline.

Toronto? I have no image stored in my memory of the skyline of Toronto.

Now, Vancouver, that is a Canadian town with a memorable skyline with a scenic background.

According to the WFAA article Dallas got over 40% of the votes. Apparently this landslide has something to do with a high recognizability factor due to a TV show named Dallas being a number one hit for several years all over the world.

I guess from this we Fort Worthians can glean that for Fort Worth to be recognized internationally the town needs a Fort Worth TV show to be a #1 hit all over the world.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On Twitter Trinity River Fan/Critic Durango Texas Says Calm Down About The Amon Carter Photos

This morning shortly before leaving my abode to go the Village Creek Natural Historical Area I got a couple emails from Twitter.

The first email told me that Bud Kennedy mentioned me in a Tweet.

The second email told me that the FW Star-Telegram re-tweeted the Tweet in which I was mentioned by Bud Kennedy.

I know how to put a Tweet on Twitter, but beyond that Twitter is way too complicated for my simple mind to understand.

The tweeting, twittering, mentioning and re-tweeting had to do with the blogging from yesterday titled A Star-Telegram Review Of An Amon Carter Museum Exhibit Leads To Much Ado About Photos Of The Trinity River in which I do remember suggesting those taking umbrage about the Amon Carter river photo exhibit should calm down. I did not remember suggesting that it helps to see how others view us, but when I re-read what I wrote I could see how it could be characterized as such.

J.D. Granger Had Art Meeting The Trinity River With A Judge Needing Educating

That is a young lady named Gaile Robinson smiling at you on the left. Til yesterday I had never heard of Gaile Robinson.

Yesterday I found myself learning that Gaile Robinson is an art critic, or reviewer, or reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, because Gaile Robinson wrote a critical review report about an Amon Carter photo exhibit exhibiting photos of the Trinity River.

Both the photos and the review had a lot of locals in high umbrage mode, including Fort Worth's pre-eminent project engineer, J.D. Granger, who opined that Gaile Robinson was "a reporter who failed to educate herself about our community before she inked this junk."

The junk to which Mr. Granger refers is the article Gaile Robinson wrote for the Star-Telegram.

The full J.D. Granger statement about this serious subject....

I firmly believe there are two people at fault right now. I point this out to encourage our beautiful river community to direct your comments at both of them to help educate them about our Trinity River in Fort Worth. We are victims of an outta town arrogant and ignorant photographer and a reporter who failed to educate herself about our community before she inked this junk. I am a subscriber and love the the Star T - this piece does not reflect who they are. I know for a fact they do their homework because they absolutely grill the heck out of me before any story!

What is this "beautiful river community" Mr. Granger refers to?

Someone named Anonymous made a comment to yesterday's blogging about the Photogate Scandal which also referenced Granger's beautiful river community...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Star-Telegram Review Of An Amon Carter Museum Exhibit Leads To Much Ado About Photos Of The Trinity River":

J.D. Granger says that his beautiful river community needs to educate Gaile Robinson and that she is at fault. His remarks contradict what The Trinity River Vision Authority was saying two year ago.

In 2012, the TRV Authority chose Gaile Robinson to judge a TRVA event called "Where Art Meets the River". Two short years ago she was qualified to judge such an event, but now she needs educating according to Granger. 

Has anyone thought to measure the amount of egg which has accumulated on J.D. Granger's face over the years? It may be a Guinness Record....