Tuesday, February 9, 2016

60 Sunny Degrees Is No Big Deal In Texas In February Unlike The Chilly Northwest

I saw that which you see here this morning via the Seattle Times and thought it to be a variant of our popular series of bloggings about something read in a west coast online news source that I would likely not be reading in any local Texas news source.

As in, up north, in Western Washington, the outer world being heated to 60 degrees in not the chilly norm.

While at my location in Texas the outer world being heated to 60, or above, in February, in no big deal.

However, currently, this second Tuesday of February the outer world at my location is a somewhat chilly 43 degrees, heading to a predicted high in the 60s, with predicted highs in the 70s for a few of the days to follow today.

There are a couple other things in that photo I screen capped from the Seattle Times that I do not see at my currently location.

The obvious thing I don't see in Texas is that big mountain in the background. That would be Mount Rainier. I can not tell if the body of water is Lake Washington or Puget Sound.

My best guess is the body of water is Lake Washington, with that body of water being a less obvious thing that I can not find at my current location. That being a clean body of water in which one can catch salmon, and other fish, with the salmon, and other fish, being safe to eat.

And no one would think a person nuts if that person had themselves a Rockin' the Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Float in Lake Washington.

I just realized, people would think a person was nuts if they went Rockin' that Lake in February when the temperature was only 60.....

Monday, February 8, 2016

Taking Miss Puerto Rico To The Airport Getting Goose Eggs On The Way

This morning I was informed that if I gave the go ahead a designated mailbox on Randol Mill Road would have some Goose Eggs installed in it.

Around one I picked up Miss Puerto Rico to deliver her to Terminal E at D/FW International.

When I did not go the regular way to get on the freeway Miss Puerto Rico said nothing. When I crossed the freeway, on Randol Mill Road, without getting on the freeway, Miss Puerto Rico said nothing.

Soon Miss Puerto Rico was seeing a lot of cows and saying look at all those cows. It was around then I was to learn that after two decades of living in the neighborhood Miss Puerto had never driven down Randol Mill Road east of I-820. She had no idea she was living so close to farms with cattle and horses.

Then came the fun part. Just as Miss Puerto Rico was pointing out one particular farm house and its critters I pulled into that farm house's driveway, put the vehicle in park, walked over to the mailbox and extracted two boxes and then got back in the vehicle.

What's going on? asked Miss Puerto Rico. It's just a contraband pickup said I. No big deal. I need to check and make sure all is in order. So I opened a box and pulled out a giant Goose Egg.

Miss Puerto Rico seemed to be a bit befuddled for a bit. I don't think Miss Puerto Rico is familiar with farms, because she was fixated on the electric fence warning signs, asking what goes on there that they have an electrified fence. You've never touched an electric fence? asked I. It just gives a little buzz, to keep the cows from escaping.

Soon after I turned north on to Precinct Line Road Miss Puerto Rico got out her phone so as to take a photo of a Goose Egg. Precinct Line Road is very bumpy, so this was not working out too well, with Miss Puerto Rico holding a Goose Egg in one hand whilst trying to take a picture with the other hand.

So, I hit the brakes, came to a stop, took the Goose Egg from Miss Puerto Rico, which is when she took the photo you see above.

Prior to Miss Puerto Rico texting me the above photo whilst she waits to board her plane I was back home and took the photo you see below of two giant Goose Eggs surrounded my a dozen mini-goose eggs, which were also in the mailbox.
.

Terminal E is currently a construction mess. I hit the worst pothole I've ever hit soon after dropping off Miss Puerto Rico. I'm surprised that pothole jolt did not result in scrambled Goose Eggs.

My Favorite Nephew Jason Takes Me Back To The Grand Canyon

Last week Spencer Jack's great grandma told me that Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, was flying south to Phoenix to go on a roadtrip with Spencer Jack's grandpa, my Favorite Brother Jake, to the Grand Canyon.

Photo documentation of Jason at the Grand Canyon began arriving yesterday.

I looked at the picture of Jason pointing to the Grand Canyon and then looked to my left to see a  picture of myself at a different location on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

That would be the picture to which I refer below.

I have not been to the Grand Canyon since 1994. Two visits in one year.

The first 1994 Grand Canyon visit took place on 1994's New Years Day. That visit was to the South Rim. It was freezing, with the Bright Angel Trail to the Colorado not hikeable due to a thick covering of ice.

Years prior to that 1994 Grand Canyon visit I hiked the Bright Angel Trail all the way to the Colorado. Brutal hike. Most hikes one goes up, then down. Hiking the Grand Canyon, the easy part, going down, comes first. And then the hard hike back to the top. The sun set before reaching the top.

Like I said. Brutal.


My second 1994 visit to the Grand Canyon was in October, to stay in a log cabin on the North Rim. A blizzard blew in overnight. It was a bit jarring to have gone from very warm houseboating on the Colorado River via Lake Powell, to a day later shivering in a blizzard.


We arrived at the Grand Canyon after the sun set. A third of my travel companions had never seen the Grand Canyon. We assumed it would be available to be seen in the morning. But in the morning the photo below shows all that could be seen of the Grand Canyon.


We were told that what we were not seeing was very rare. The North Rim closes in winter, due to too much snow. Usually the snow arrives after the park is closed for the season, hence us getting stuck in a blizzard being a rare treat. It was kind of fun, I have to admit.

I have never seen a warning sign in Arizona like this one below that Jason is showing us.


Of the critters on that list, when I've been in Arizona, I have only seen lizards and spiders, with those spiders being in the form of tarantulas.

I suspect Jason had himself a mighty fine time seeing the Grand Canyon. Jason is returning to Arizona in a month or two, with Spencer Jack. I suspect Spencer Jack is likely going to get to see the Grand Canyon on that visit.

If Jason was a bit shocked at how overly developed the South Rim is, I know I was, well, it's a couple hundred mile drive to get the nine miles to the North Rim, with the North Rim not overly developed. No multiple hotels. No mall. No HUGE crowds.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Did Not Have An Amazing Race Experience At Fosdick Lake Today

 I needed to do something totally different than that which has annoyed me this morning. So, around noon I headed west to Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park to have myself a semi-chilly walk around Fosdick Lake.

As I neared my parking location I saw that which you see here, an orange and red sign which had me temporarily thinking The Amazing Race must be in town again.

Upon closer examination I saw that this was not an Amazing Race Route Marker, but instead a new sign advising people to lock their vehicles and hide valuables.

That which was annoying me this morning was brought about by Mary Not Contrary. Yesterday I was driving in a caravan with Mary in the lead. Upon reaching our destination, Mary informed me a light was out among the lights in the front of my vehicle.

I already had in my possession multiple replacement bulbs. I looked in the vehicle's manual to determine I had the correct bulb. I did. I then read the instructions as to how to replace the bulb. I got as far as the part where one removes the thing that holds the headlight. It went downhill from there.

So, I gave up my attempt at being a mechanic after determining this was a project for a professional.

Back to the walk around Fosdick Lake.


I probably should have been in long pants today. The wind blowing off the lake was chilly. Eventually I warmed up a little.

In the above photo you are looking northwest, with the aforementioned parking spot on the right, with the vehicle visible whose dead light vexed me this morning. That little white dot in the lake is the pitiful former Fosdick Fountain, which has been reduced to being the Fosdick Burble for years now.

Lunch awaits me, followed by going over to Miss Puerto Rico's for cat sitting instructions. I've never had to baby sit two of those difficult beasts before. This should be challenging. Ten days worth of challenging....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

An Australian Saturday Lunch With Elsie & Mary Topped With Goose Eggs

I have ceased with my regular Saturday treasure hunting at Town Talk, for the most part.

This freed me, on this Saturday, to have lunch with a pair of birds, and to go goose egg harvesting.

The pair of birds I lunched with were Elsie Hotpepper and Mary Not Contrary.

No, that would not make that Elsie Hotpepper the Peahen you see here showing off her plumage on the fence, and that is not Mary Not Contrary being the big Goose chasing me out of her hen pen.

I met the pair of birds at an Austrailan restaurant in Hurst.

Australian cuisine seems to be very American. Except for the spud shaped stick of bread slapped on the table with a knife inserted.

I cut off a chunk of the stick of bread which then lodged in my throat causing a fit of choking which nearly required the intervention of a nearby nurse who specializes in such emergencies.

I had  myself an Australian burger, which I assume was not made from ground kangaroo, while the two birds had themselves plates of what looked to be bird food.

Several thousand words, and hours later, lunch was finished.

After the finishing of lunch we proceeded, via caravan mode, to head south to where Mary Not Contrary has a farm. Yes, Mary has a farm, but I saw no fleece as white as snow.

No sheep, but a lot of birds of various types. Also dogs and a newborn calf which shunned my attempt to nurse it with a bottle of warm milk.

The highlight of today's visit to Australia and Mary's Farm was for the first time ever seeing goose eggs. Goose eggs are HUGE. I had no idea. When I first saw the pile of goose eggs I asked if they were ostrich eggs, because I had seen HUGE ostrich eggs before.

Eventually I left the Mary Not Contrary Farm and headed further south, to ALDI, where I got a text message from Miss Puerto Rico asking when I was coming over to receive my cat sitting instructions.

I am exhausted from all of today's farming, so I am putting off getting the cat sitting instructions til  tomorrow. I begin cat sitting duty on Monday, after delivering Miss Puerto Rico to the airport so she can fly to her home island for ten days.....

A Bird Can Not Fly With A Damaged Right Wing

A few weeks ago I found myself verbalizing my puzzlement that a particular person of my acquaintance associated herself with persons who opinionized rather extreme views, some verbalized in an extremely racist hatemongering manner.

The extremists to which I was referring are what many refer to as right wing tea bagger nutjobs.

My acquaintance tried to explain her tolerance for such by saying she needed to work with people from all points of view in order to hopefully get accomplished what she hoped to accomplish.

I was perplexed by this and said so.

My overly tolerant acquaintance then emailed me that which you see here, saying that this expressed the idea she was trying to express.

Well.

While I understood the basic concept, I saw a problem with the validity of the concept as it applies to the modern day American political spectrum.

I thought about this and decided to make my own meme, one which expressed what I think is a more accurate expression of the Left Wing and the Right Wing belong to the Same Bird Sentiment....


A bird can not fly unless both wings are healthy and functioning like wings are supposed to function, rather than one of the wings (the right one) flapping about in a nonsensical manner which is not conducive to causing the bird to soar....

Friday, February 5, 2016

Amusing Bass Static Over New Downtown Fort Worth Hooters

Last week's Fort Worth Weekly Static column Who’s Against Hooters? told us about Ed Bass being behind the attempt to constrain the opening of a Hooters in downtown Fort Worth.

This week's Fort Worth Weekly Static column Chest Having Fun is mostly a tongue in cheek apology for supposedly erroneously blaming Ed Bass for the anti-Hooters Conspiracy.

This week's Static column is sort of a look at how Fort Worth's shadow government works, with Ed Bass and the Bass family having way too much control over that which they seem to treat as their personal fiefdom.

I've long thought Fort Worth would be better off if it did some things on its own, like a city wearing its big boy pants does, rather than relying on the Bass family. Yes, I know, many locals think the Bass family has done wonders for Fort Worth and have no problem with the family imposing their personal tastes on the town.

Or slapping their names on the results of their largess. I know many people think the Bass Performance Hall is a wonder to behold. But to me it looks out of place, and sort of weird with those giant trumpet blowing angels stuck to the front of the building.

I digress, back to Static.

For a long long time I verbalized my perplexation regarding downtown Fort Worth having signs pointing to something called Sundance Square, where there was no square, thus confusing Fort Worth's few out of town tourists.

Eventually I was informed that there was no square in Sundance Square, that Sundance Square was a downtown development scheme run by the Bass Family.

After decades of downtown Fort Worth embarrassing itself, due to there being no square in Sundance Square, a square was finally built on one of the parking lots which many had assumed was Sundance Square, and then goofily, redundantly named Sundance Square Plaza.

So, now there is a plaza in Sundance Square.

Now, what did I learn in this week's FW Weekly Static column that I did not know before? Well, I learned that that which is still known as Sundance Square is even more convoluted and odd than I realized.

Read the entire Chest Having Fun  Static column to get the entire amusing scope of the Bass Sundance Square ridiculousness after you read the following paragraphs gleaned from the column.....

Last week, Static discussed how billionaire businessman Ed Bass was behind an organized push to keep a particular breastaurant out of downtown. We also wondered why the people who created the Facebook page Say NO to Hooters in Downtown Fort Worth (2,000 “likes” and counting) were so upset about the well-established wings chain featuring scantily clad female servers when another breastaurant, Ojos Locos, has been operating in Sundance Square for several years.

That prompted a Sundance Square spokesperson to ask for a correction. Seems Ojos Locos is not located in Sundance Square.

Anyone who has visited Ojos Locos would swear they were in Sundance Square. The sports bar with barely dressed female servers is located at 515 Houston St., and it sits next door to Milan Gallery (505 Houston St.), which is billed as being in Sundance Square.

As it turns out, streets, blocks, borders, and addresses don’t define Sundance Square, the downtown wining/dining/shopping haven and brainchild of the Bass family. Your business is considered a part of the exclusive district only if you lease space in a building owned by Sundance Square Inc., a real estate management company whose employees oversee more than 40 downtown buildings, all owned by the Basses.

___________________________

The anti-Hooters Bass Conspiracy has made itself a Facebook page titled SAY NO to HOOTERS in DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH.

After FW Weekly's Static made mention of the hypocrisy of the Bass anti-Hooters being against a Hooters in Sundance Square, while another Hooters-like restaurant named Ojos Locos seemed to be operating in Sundance Square, the anti-Hooters Facebook page was re-titled SAY NO to HOOTERS & OJOS LOCOS in DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH.

How did downtown Fort Worth suddenly get so prudish? The downtown used to host one of the most notorious red light districts in the world.

Known as Hell's Half Acre.

With dozens of bordellos and saloons. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid frequented Fort Worth to visit Hell's Half Acre, so much so that that is why Sundance Square is so-named.

What would Butch and Sundance think of Fort Worth now? The town run by prudes trying to run restaurants out of downtown simply due to the slightly revealing nature of a restaurant's waitress uniforms.

This is an appalling state of affairs....

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is Chesapeake Energy Doing Some New Drilling & Fracking In My Neighborhood?

Around noon I left the warm comfort of my abode to push my way through the chilly brisk air up the hill to my friendly neighborhood Albertsons to see about the possibility of acquiring blackberry cobbler and a spinach portabella mushroom pizza.

I was successful with both acquisitions.

I'm in attaining supplies mode for Sunday's Super Bowl Party.

The day before the Super Bowl Elsie Hotpepper and Mary Not Contrary are taking me to a pre-Valentines Day lunch. I am fairly certain I will not be having blackberry cobbler or spinach portabella mushroom pizza at Saturday's lunch.

When I left Albertsons, carrying cobbler and pizza I looked north, across the street to my not so friendly neighborhood Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas Fracking Pad Site and saw the sign you see here and thought to myself that this looked like a new sign.

So, I walked across the street for a closer sign look and to take a picture.

Is this sign announcing that a new permit to drill multiple wells has been issued to Chesapeake Energy? Or has this sign been stuck in the ground since way back years ago when the Chesapeake earth hole poking took place at this location? With oblivious me not noticing, or forgetting that I'd noticed?

It's been years since a fresh fracking has happened at this location. My other unfriendly neighborhood Chesapeake Energy fracking site has been fracked in recent years.

I thought Chesapeake had ceased with the Barnett Shale drilling and fracking.

I'm really in no mood for my neighborhood to get fracked again. It's noisy and dusty, with a lot of trucks cluttering up the roads. And there is just something unsettling about the ground underneath ones location getting fractured so as to release gas.

Maybe it is my neighborhood's turn to do some shaking from fracking earthquakes. So far we have been immune from the rocking and rolling which has vexed other areas of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone.

I have not been shaken by an earthquake this century. I understand the Texas fracking quakes are not noisy, unlike the non-fracking Mother Nature quakes that used to shake me fairly regularly in Washington and were extremely noisy....

A Tale Of Burlington's Maiben Park Fix & Fort Worth's Heritage Park Fix Failure

Yesterday around this time I was having myself a mighty fine time having a chilly walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Whilst I was doing my Ghost Walking I was pondering something I had read via website links emailed to me by Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason.

The website links were to articles about Maiben Park in my old hometown of Burlington. I grew up across the street from Maiben Park.

When I lived by Maiben Park it was a peaceful, safe place, always with a lot of kids playing.

Last year a teenager was murdered in Maiben Park. Homeless people were using Maiben Park as a residence. There were drug use problems. All sorts of problems none of which existed decades ago when I lived across the street.

The articles Jason sent me detailed what Burlington is doing to fix the problems of Maiben Park. This struck me as such a contrast with how things happen in my old home zone and how things happen in Fort Worth. For years now downtown Fort Worth has had a boarded up, cyclone fence surrounded eyesore, a park formerly celebrating Fort Worth's heritage, called, appropriately, Heritage Park.

Fort Worth's Heritage Park had very minor supposed problems which led to its closure, including homeless people using the park's water features for bathing purposes. Supposedly people felt there were security issues. It's been years now that Fort Worth has been unable to figure out how to restore its Lost Heritage.

So, what is little Burlington, population around 9,000, doing to fix the problems in Maiben Park?

Security cameras are being installed which will cover the entire park.

LED lighting is being installed to illuminate the entire park, including the area we always called "The Woods". Apparently The Woods had become popular with homeless people. The Woods is one of the few remaining stands of old growth forest on the floor of the Skagit Valley.

The restroom is being moved to a more open location. And redesigned. Yes, unlike most parks in Fort Worth, Burlington's parks have modern restrooms. Prior to the new one being built several decades ago, the previous modern restroom was built way back early in the previous century. Yes, modern plumbing has existed that long in other parts of America.

Those are just a few of the improvements being made to Maiben Park that I read about in the Burlington Leaders Propose Changes to Maiben Park article Jason directed me to.

Til reading the articles Jason directed me to, I did not realize Maiben Park now has a water feature for kids to play in. And that the Little League field is no longer used, with Little League, and other types of baseball, now being played in Burlington's complex of ball fields which have made the town a mecca for regional baseball games.

Reading the articles I learned that there was a lot of public input into the Maiben Park fixes. How is it little Burlington can bring about fixes to a park's problems, while a big city like Fort Worth dithers and dawdles unable to fix simpler problems in a park celebrating the town's heritage?

Very perplexing....

Go To Bellevue To Meet Louis Kahn Designer Of Fort Worth's Former World's Most Beautiful Modern Building

I saw that which you see here this morning on the front page of the Seattle Times online.

Louis Kahn is the architect who designed the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

I have blogged about the Kimbell Art Museum a few times, including...

Someone Thinks Fort Worth Is The Location Of The Most Beautiful Work Of Modern Architecture In The World

and

Shocked To Learn The Kimbell Art Museum Is No Longer The World's Most Beautiful Work Of Modern Architecture

In the first blogging I referenced the Wikipedia article about the Kimbell Art Museum, in which the article informed us....

"Fort Worth is home to the Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best collections in the world, and housed in what is widely regarded as the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world."

Well, clearly the above is ridiculous hyperbole, and I so indicated. Soon the Wikipedia article was edited to  be more grounded in reality, which I blogged about in the second blogging, with the edited hyperbole now saying....

The Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best collections in Texas, is housed in what is widely regarded as one of Texas' foremost works of modern architecture designed by Louis Kahn and Renzo Piano.

So, I was curious if the Seattle Times Meet Louis Kahn, the modern designer you know the least about at the Bellevue Arts Museum  article mentioned the former most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world.

Well, mention was made in the following paragraph...

Kahn’s most famous buildings — The Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh — show a fascination with pleasingly layered geometric shapes, touchable materials and human scale. They reveal a creator less concerned with making sculptures to be admired from afar than making spaces in which people can experience light and motion as it unfolds over time.

The Seattle Times article failed to mention that the Kimbell Art Museum used to be widely regarded as the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world....