Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alarming Snakes & Biking Injuries At River Legacy Park

It's another hot Sunday in Texas. 91 out there right now. My Physical Therapist, Dr. LC told me I don't get enough exercise, so I decided to go to River Legacy Park and pedal the mountain bike trail.

My last attempt to bike at River Legacy, on the mountain bike trail, was aborted due to the dual problem of it being too muddy and my bike gear/chain thing having a malfunction that caused me to have to jump off the bike 3 times, narrowly averting disaster.

So, I didn't know how it was going to go today. I'd quickly know if the gear/chain woe was gone, when I hit the curb to start the trail. Made it up that without a problem. And then make it up the first steep part with no problem, so I relax a bit about it.

So, my first incident. This is a one-way trail, for good reason, lots of blind corners. I was on the first of the steep up and down sections with multiple ups and downs. I see this kid coming right at me. I hit the brakes. He stops. I tell him he is going the wrong way. He says "someone got hurt on the South Loop, it's closed." I ask, "hurt how?" But he pedals off without answering.

When I pulled into the parking lot there were 4 or 5 emergency vehicles, including one firetruck. I figured they were doing a practice thing, because I've seen them practice search and rescue at River Legacy, closing the paved trail at the far north end past the Boyds Branch Bridge.

I don't bike the South Loop. It's a new section. I tried it once. I made it to the third downhill and decided, no, I'm not going to do that. As I pass the South Loop intersection nothing indicates it was closed. I pedal through the bypass and continue on. As the trail loops to run parallel to water treatment land I hear voices. I stop. I couldn't see anyone. I hear one guy say something like we can't take him out over the trail, he's too unstable on the stretcher. We've got to get them to come in this road so we can get him out.

I could only make out parts of what they were saying. I'm guessing someone had a really bad bike wreck and maybe broke his neck, hence the need to get him out as smoothly as possible.

So, I continue on, no major incidents til I have trouble passing a family of slow moving pedalers.

Due to that copperhead incident of a few days ago, where I almost ran over one while pedaling at Village Creek I was being a bit hyper-vigilant about the snake threat. Okay, I'll just admit it, I was being a whacked out neurotic. Over and over again I hit the brakes due to thinking a curvy stick or root was a snake. The flickering light shadowing through the trees plays tricks when you're moving fast.

On the second time around I come to the South Loop turnoff and stop to take a picture. Several bikers fly by and zip in to that danger zone. A guy walks up that I'd howdyed the first time around. I ask him if he knew anything about someone getting hurt. He'd walked the South Loop and said he saw no one in there except for the biggest snake he'd ever seen. I ask him what type. He says he didn't know snakes. He then describes it as brown with a criss cross pattern. I say rattlesnake. He says he didn't think so, he saw no rattle. Then I say cottonmouth.

Maybe the injury that caused the big ruckus was a snake bite causing an epic wreck, or just seeing the snake causing an epic wreck.

So, I pedal on. If I was being a hyper-vigilant neurotic before, now it went into overdrive. One of the snake alert heavy braking false alarms almost caused a wreck, wrenching forward, twisting my neck.

I make it back to my van without further incidents of any sort. It was a good bike ride. I hope the injury wasn't serious. Maybe I should start wearing my helmet at River Legacy.

Studmuffin Durango Jones

I already had my Durango Internet nickname when I moved to Texas. At that time I did not know there is a town named Durango in Texas. This has caused some confusion with me getting email questions about Durango the town.

This morning looking at blog webstats I saw that someone from Helsinki, Finland came to my Durango Roadtripping Blog by Googling "Durango Jones."

So, I Googled "Durango Jones" and was surprised to learn there supposedly was a Durango Jones known as a studmuffin back in the early days of Hollywood. I did not know the term "studmuffin" was around back then. I would have thought that to be a relatively new word.

Below is a blurb from a website selling a book about Durango Jones. It's a novel, so I guess there was no real Durango Jones. Anyway, below is the blurb about Durango Jones and his alter ego, Lotte Lee....

Here is the story of Durango Jones, a scandalous exhibitionist of a golden age, a lost boy-man,a male nymphomaniac. He thrilled millions. All of them in bed.

It's a story about a smiling, golden-haired, blue-eyed hunk turned sexual predator during the early days of Hollywood.

Who slept with Mary Pickford's three husbands, her two brothers-in-law, and her brother? Durango Jones, that's who!

A raunchy sense of the picaresque was alive and thriving in early Hollywood.

It somehow reminds us of what Rabelais would have written IF HE'D BEEN SCREWING AROUND HOLLYWOOD IN THE 1920S.

Who's Who? Personalities you'll meet and tales you'll encounter within this book involve Antonio Moreno, Barbara LaMarr, Buddy Rogers, Ramon Novarro, Rudolph Valentino, Natacha Rambova, Pola Negri, the Gish sisters, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Francis X. Bushman, Gary Cooper, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, that cross-dressing Julian Eltinge, Richard Dix, Rod LaRocque, Theda Bara, Thomas Ince, Tom Mix, William Boyd, William Desmond Taylor, Wallace Reid, Sessue Hayakawa, and many many more.

They're each viewed and interpreted through the lens of
studmuffin Durango Jones....and his seductively buxom alter ego, Lotte Lee.

Another Hot Texas Sunday

That's the jungle view, last night, from Miss Puerto Rico's balcony. You'd think Texas was the Evergreen State from all that foliage. Most of what you see being green will remain green til Fall comes. And then it all turns very very brown.

We've had many days in a row in the 90s. This is making the pool not quite as refreshing, as in the water is getting warm. If we get a string of 100 degree plus days the pool becomes unpleasantly warm.

I was not in the pool at the crack of dawn today. It was a couple hours after the crack that I got around to my daily swim. The magnolia trees by the pool are blooming. The flowers are these big white tulip shaped things that put off a very powerful stench that is quite pleasant to smell. Some of that is wafting through the open window at this very moment.

Mechanical Juan returned my van yesterday. I think I'll use it to go to River Legacy Park today to pedal the mountain bike trail. It should be all dried out. I'll have to be on the lookout for snakes. Those new sections of trail could easily have snakes lurking about. I've been more alert ever since last week's copperhead encounter.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taking The Bus To The Tandy Hills Natural Area

The first time I took the bus to go hiking the Tandy Hills it turned into a bit of a boondoggle. I enjoyed riding the bus, the boondoggle, not so much.

Today I was convinced that the bus ride planner had a better plan and that it might be safe to ride the bus to the Tandy Hills, again, and have it not be a boondoggle ordeal.

Since we were going to the Tandy Hills Natural Area and Fort Worth buses run on natural gas, it all seemed very sensible.

So, just before noon my Saturday Tandy Hills Hiking Group headed to the bus stop. There I saw the wildflower you see in picture. I thought we'd passed the peak of wildflowers, but I saw plenty of them today, including some new ones, like the one by the bus stop.

This bus riding attempt we knew to get off the bus where we got back on it the boondoggle time. This made it a totally different entry to the Tandy Hills. Before we get there I have to say that it is a pretty fun ride going on these Fort Worth buses. At times the bus rocks back and forth and feels like it's going to tip over. I'm always the driver, so it is a good thing to get to look around without being the pilot. And you are perched high in the bus, which makes for a better view. In the picture we are heading south on oak tree lined Oakland Avenue.

The above view is from outside the Tandy Hills park zone, about 2 blocks from Oakland Avenue, looking west at beautiful downtown Fort Worth's stunning skyline. As you can see, there are still plenty of wildflowers coloring up the scenery.

The above is the new wildflower I saw hiking the Tandy Hills today. Speaking of hiking. It isn't all that hot today, only 90 when I left to get on the bus. The humidity is down. I was carrying a backpack, due to not having a vehicle to leave my stuff in, and extra water. Anyway, some combo of factors had me breathing way to hard a couple times and sweating like a fat pig in a sauna. Why do I always use that metaphor? It really makes no sense. Why would a pig be in a sauna, and how do I know if it'd sweat in one or not?

That annoying WeatherBug is going off with its annoying weather warning chirp. I've tried to alter the settings so I only get warned if the situation is extremely dire, like an incoming tornado. But I'm still getting warned about every little thing. The past 2 days when I click the flashing WeatherBug it has been a Level Orange Air Pollution Warning. I'm sure that's what it is now. I'll go see. Yup. And the other thing that is annoying is it takes way too long for WeatherBug to come up with the warning. I click it and about a minute later, or longer, I see the message. A tornado could arrive in the time it takes WeatherBug to give me a warning.

The air did not appear to be at all smoggy today.

We took the 11:52 #21 bus to the Tandy Hills. To get back we had to get to the Transfer Center by 1:28, I think, to catch the #2, heading east. If we missed the bus it would be a half hour wait for the next one. That might have been unpleasant. The #2 arrived on time and so did we. The driver on the ride back was a real wild one. She liked to accelerate fast and brake even faster. Each Fort Worth bus I've been on seems to have its own personality. The #2 did a lot of creaking and groaning.

I've only been on buses a few times. One time riding the, then free to ride, SKAT bus back in my old hometown of Mount Vernon. I don't remember the SKAT bus as being particularly fun. I've ridden the Seattle buses several times. They are totally different than the Fort Worth buses. As in they are way bigger. The ride can be a bit wild though if you've got a frisky driver.

I think my next Fort Worth bus adventure will be to go from here to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

So, that's been my exciting day so far, up early and in the pool, a bus ride that did not turn into a boondoggle and later I think I may go over to Miss Puerto Rico's. I've not done that in awhile.

To see what I mean about Seattle buses being way different than Fort Worth buses, watch the YouTube video I made last summer when I was in Seattle. It starts with a walk across the plaza in front of Westlake Center, then goes into Westlake Center, riding the escalators down to the bus tunnel, to ride a bus for a bit, before getting out in Pioneer Square.

Doodle 4 Google Won By Texas Girl

A 6th Grade Texas girl named Christin Engelberth, from San Antonio, won a contest called Doodle 4 Google. Kids from Kindergarten through 12th grade were asked to come up with a new logo for Google's homepage.

Because the world and our country are in such a mess Google asked the students to Doodle around the them "What I Wish for the World."

Below is Christin's winning Doodle...

A New Beginning

My doodle, "A new beginning," expresses my wish that in the current crisis discoveries will be made. That in these discoveries solutions will be found to help the Earth prosper once more. That those solutions will help the world get back on its feet, and create a better place for everyone.

Christin Engelberth
Bernard A. Harris Jr High School
San Antonio, TX

A sixth grade Texas girl wrote that? And designed that logo?

Google gave the 3 Doodle finalists a laptop computer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Miscellaneous Melancholy & Other Woes

I'm being vexed by that Durango Roadtripping Blog I started awhile back. I can see visitor stats on the blogs, as in I can see how many visitors, where they came from, and sometimes, what they were searching for.

I get a list of the most recent 50 visitors. On this blog you are reading right now that list sometimes goes back only an hour or less, meaning more than 50 visitors an hour. At one point, due to some Atlanta Housewife Scandals my TV Blog was getting 50 visitors every 20 minutes or so. I had to turn off the incoming visitor sound effect due to it got way too annoying.

The new blog is the first time I've seen one of my blogs have a visitor/stats list that goes on for days, as in, just a second, I'll see how far back it goes...

"Calgary, Alberta arrived from on "DURANGO ROADTRIPPING: Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park" by searching for going to the sun highway.
17:34:53 -- 1 day 22 hours ago"

Now, I'll go look at how far the blog you are reading right now goes back...

"Wilmington, Delaware arrived from on "Durango Texas: Biking the Trinity Trail in Fort Worth" by searching for trinity trails biking blog.
12:48:52 -- 3 hours 33 mins ago"

The new blog goes back almost 2 days, this one about 3 and a half hours. Today is not being a very busy day on this blog.

Writing those Roadtripping Bloggings is way too much like being in school and doing homework. I actually have to pay attention and get the info correct.

The search engines have the new blog indexed, the Google Web Tools are now generating what search queries bring up the blog and in what position, the ads started matching the content last week, I guess I'm being impatient. And being boring by writing about this particular subject which is vexing me at this point in time.

East Fort Worth Armed Robbers

I guess I needed something new to worry about. The Fort Worth Police have warned residents of my neighborhood that we are having an armed robber crime spree.

The robbers work as a two man team. One has a gun. They work after 10pm. They wait til you get out of your car and then pounce. We are being advised to be very careful if coming home or leaving after 10pm.

We are also being asked to call the police if we see anyone out after 10pm. I have not personally been a victim of a crime, well, there was that breaking in of my van that did a lot of damage. I forgot about that. There have been a few murders in my neighborhood. And there was that woman who drove home with a guy stuck in her windshield. And Lee Harvey Oswald is buried nearby, but then again, of late, I've decided he was a patsy and didn't do the dirty deed.

I don't remember the last time I got back here after 10pm. Oh, I remember, August 20, 2008, incoming from Seattle, I got picked up in Dallas after 9, didn't get back here til after 10pm.

It being Fort Worth and Texas, a lot of people pack heat here. That's slang talk for carrying a gun. I've never owned a gun. They make me nervous. Maybe if I plan to continue to live in this wild west lawless region I should get over my nervousness and start packing heat.

So, that's been my day in Texas, an afternoon swim in 90 degree temps and keeping an eye out for an armed robber.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Presents Concerts In The Garden


I think tonight is the first of this year's series of Concerts in the Garden. Tonight, apparently due to popular demand, someone or something called Mingo Fishtrap will be making music in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden, along with the Fort Worth Symphony.

I don't understand some of the terms, but Mingo Fishtrap is known for its top-notch music which dances a line between "gutbucket soul, N'Awlins' grit-down funk and horn-fueled Motown pop."

I've been to a Concert in the Garden. My first summer in Texas. I was not yet quite used to the heat. Even though the concert takes place after the sun has gone down, it was still way too hot for my comfort zone. Now, I'd likely find it chilly.

The theme the night I went was Star Wars. The Star Wars theme music sounded pretty cool outdoors. People were dressed up like Star Wars characters, though I do not remember seeing a Princess Leia. One would have thought that would be a popular character due to the comfortable in hot temps skimpy outfit.

The night I was at Concerts in the Garden was the first time I ever saw fireflies. Those flying glowing bugs perfectly fit the theme. I tried to find a list of this year's themes and all I came up with was something called Laser Spectacular Night, a Gatlin Brothers Night and I think an Eagles Night, oh, and one called Jailhouse Rock Night. One would think that would mean Elvis, but some other band name was listed.

You can get special seating on chairs near the stage, or sit with the masses on the lawn. We chose the sit with the masses option. You can bring your own food or buy what's available at the concert. If I remember right there were quite a few feeding options.

The concert ends with a fireworks show. And then you go home. I remember by the time the fireworks went off I was no longer hot.

In The Dumps Over Water Pumps

Two days ago I got back here after riding my bike, stepped out of my van to hear a hissing noise mixed in with a sputtering spitting noise. This can't be a good thing, I thought.

I tried to open the hood, but couldn't. I tried to pry it open with a screwdriver. I will admit I am not mechanically inclined. Eventually I got the hood open. The first thing I did then was spray lubricant on the hood latching mechanism. I find spraying lubricant on something that is misbehaving is always my first go to solution. And once more it worked. Now the hood pops open effortlessly.

Now, what did I find under the hood. Well, there was a big hose from which a little pinprick of a hole was allowing water to escape. I went to an auto parts store and got a new hose. Then I found my mechanically inclined friend with tools, Sean, and he replaced the hose. All was hunky dory again.

Until yesterday. On my way back from Arlington I stopped for a walk at the Village Creek Natural Historic Area. When I stepped out of the vehicle I didn't like what I was smelling. I popped up the hood to see water oozing from a new location.

On the drive back here, after the walk, the engine temperature gauge began to move towards HOT during the short 3 miles back here. When I got here, I again lifted the hood to see water oozing from something near the bottom of the engine.

So, I called Juan, another mechanical guy I know and described what I saw. Juan told me my water pump is shot. He's going to replace it for me on Saturday.

It is a good thing to know mechanically minded people. My first car was a 65 Mustang Fastback. Worth a fortune now if in good condition. I got it used for $1,150. That car was nothing but trouble, but it was easy to work on, unlike these complicated modern vehicles.

Over the course of driving that Mustang I replaced the shocks, the carburetor, the fuel pump, installed a sound system,fixed the radiator, did the tuneups and even replaced the water pump. It was all relatively easy to do. But I hated doing it. It's been years since I've worked on a car.

I didn't even know that it was the water pump that was leaking that I was looking at on this currently disabled vehicle.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dallas Cowboy Stadium Drive-by Shooting Photos

Earlier today I blogged that the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium sort of had its Grand Opening on Wednesday. I'd not seen the stadium, up close, in a couple months, so, today, since I had to be in Arlington anyway, and on Collins Street, I thought I'd drive by and see if I could see those End Zone Plazas where Jerry Jones is going to charge die-hard Dallas Cowboy fans 30 bucks to stand outside the stadium, to sort of have a live, game day experience.

Well, they are still working on the landscaping around the stadium, but the stadium, itself, does appear to be finished. I could see the big end zone glass doors. That's what you're looking directly at in the picture. There is nice looking signage for all the parking lots. I saw at least a dozen parking lots. And new lamposts on Collins Street by the stadium.

A new pedestrian bridge across the creek that runs between the Cowboy Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington, connects the Ballpark's parking lots with the Cowboy lots. I saw other new paved pedestrian trails along the creek.

There has been none of the hoped for boom in new businesses in the area around the stadium. It's still mostly run-down pawn shops, restaurants, apartments that have seen better days, an awful lot of buildings and businesses that are run-down and have seen better days.

I think the area around the new stadium may generate some negative press when the rest of the country checks out this futuristic giant space ship looking thing that's been plopped down in a run-down American neighborhood.

Speaking of Collins Street (info only locals will understand), the new Collins Street bridge over I-30 looks complete. The new Collins Street eastbound exit is open, so I exited there for the first time, which is the first time I've seen the new bridge up close. Arlington is building, I think, 3 new bridges across the freeway to better connect the entertainment district that is on both sides of the freeway, making it pedestrian friendly.

So, the new Collins Street Bridge is very wide. I think I saw maybe 8 car lanes. And two wide, covered, separated pedestrian sidewalks. Now, what struck me as odd is neither end of this new bridge is near the entertainment district stuff like Six Flags, the Ballpark, the Cowboy Stadium, Hurricane Harbor. None of it. I think Whole Foods may be easily accessed from the north side, maybe. But on the south side this pedestrian access takes you into a neighborhood and Center Street. It made no sense to me. But the bridge looks cool, even though it seems to be mislocated. I would have taken a picture, but traffic did not let that happen.

Arlington's Reservations About Hybrid Vehicles

I went to Arlington this morning, to a Tarrant County Courthouse Sub-Station to get a vehicle registration renewal sticker for my windshield. The parking lot was almost full, I saw some empty spaces facing away from the sun, so I headed towards them.

When I got to the 4 empty spaces I saw they were reserved.


Since I was driving a vehicle that did not qualify for one of those empty spaces, I continued emitting pollution in my non-efficient vehicle, til I found a parking space. That somehow seemed sort of ironic to me.

Back to the registration renewal subject. The Texas method for this is very annoying. Each year you have to replace two big stickers on your windshield, the registration renewal and the emissions test sticker. They are not small stickers. It seems counter-intuitive that the State of Texas makes you put two vision blocking stickers on the thing the driver looks out while he is piloting his vehicle.

In Washington a much simpler method is used. You simply put your new license tabs on your license plate every year. Washington is not quite as polluting as Texas is, so, in the county I lived in I did not have to take my vehicle in for an emissions test. Some areas of Washington, like Seattle, do make you get your vehicle tested. I have no idea where the proof of that testing goes. I would hope common sense prevails up north and it's not a sticker on the windshield.

More irony, just as I'm typing about emissions, WeatherBug went off with an alert, warning that a Level Orange Ozone Alert has been issued. But it appears so clear and blue out there. It must be invisible pollution.

Fort Worth's Natural Gas Is Officially...DIRTY

I just got back from Arlington where I saw an amusing 'environmentally friendly' sign on my way to check out the now finished new Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

I checked email to find fresh incoming from Don Young regarding the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling air pollution.

By the way that's a guinea pig, as in we are all being test animals for the first time ever massive drilling operation in a highly populated urban zone.

Below is the message from Don Young....

The Jig is Up !!!!!! Natural Gas is officially...DIRTY.

The "clean natural gas" myth has been debunked by none other than the State of Texas.

Mike Moncrief, Ed Ireland, Chesapeake, XTO and other environmental criminals were wrong.

Barnett Shale gas is now, officially, just another dirty fossil fuel and a major contributor to DFW smog.

How much?

200 TONS per day !!!!!

Dr. Al Armendariz of SMU, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) all agree that oil and gas development in the Barnett Shale is about equal to all the vehicles in the 9 county DFW Metroplex.

This particular study is ONLY about air quality.

When you factor in the water and safety issues, greenspace destruction and other quality of life issues, natural gas production is a significant endangerment to public health and safety.

Environmental Justice has been denied to people, pets and wildlife in the Barnett Shale.

Now the jig is up.

We are ready for some justice.

Click to read Dr. Armendaiz' press release and TCEQ data results.

New Dallas Cowboy Stadium Open For Business

Some things seem to take forever to get built here, like the little lake, unneeded flood diversion channel and canals that Fort Worth is very slowly trying to see in their Trinity River Vision.

And then there is something like the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. It seems like just yesterday dozens of homes were taken and thousands of people displaced in what many believe to be the worst case of eminent domain abuse ever to occur in America.

This morning I got a typically ignorant comment to the YouTube video I made that shows what was destroyed to build the new stadium...

"I've lived in Arlington since 1966 and the apartments that were the vast majority of the buildings that were torn down were havens for criminals and crack dealers. That area of town was responsible for the highest total cost of police calls in all of Tarrant County. The last holdout homeowner received $1.5 million for her house. Everyone who lived or owned a business there got paid well. Scandal my ass."

First off, the last hold-out, Evelyn Wray, finally settled for well over $2 million. Second off, not everyone got paid well, several of the homeowners, who's homes were taken against their will, are still fighting in court for more money. Arlington has had to pay out many millions more than they'd originally planned, due to the dozens of court cases. Third off, if this area of Arlington was such a crime haven why would Wal-Mart build the nicest Wal-Mart Supercenter I've ever seen in that location? I'm sure Evelyn Wray and her neighbors love reading their former neighborhood was such a slum.

Before I interrupted myself I intended to say that unlike some public work projects that seem to take forever to get built, the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium seemed to get built at hyper-speed. The new stadium sort of had its Grand Opening on Wednesday.

There was no ribbon cutting. Instead Arlington Mayor Cluck pulled a lever that opened the giant glass doors at the west end's end-zone. Once the doors were open about 1,500 people walked inside. I do not know if any of the former residents, who's homes the stadium was built on, were among the invited guests. Or if any of them are getting free tickets to the first event in the new stadium, that being the June 6 George Strait, Reba McEntire concert.

Cowboy owner Jerry Jones was quoted as saying, "A building like this is beyond anything that me and my family could ever imagine."

If they were unable to imagine it, how did it manage to get built?

The new stadium cost $1.15 billion. Arlington taxpayers paid $325 million of the tab.

Jerry Jones talked about an interesting revenue raiser at Wednesday's door opening. Outside the stadium, past the end zone glass doors, there are end-zone plazas. Jones said they were designed to create an exciting atmosphere during events. He said that fans will be able to buy tickets to hang out on the plazas and the main concourse platforms at the Cowboy games this fall.

So, if you are not one of the 90,000 inside the new stadium watching, Jones says, "This plaza along with the platforms allow us to have as much as 30 and 40,000 people here that come to an NFL football game and be involved, and they may not be paying but $30, $29 a ticket to get that done."

Will people actually pay 30 bucks to mill around outside, watching the game on big video screens, just to somehow feel like you're part of the game? That will truly amaze me if it actually occurs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Asparagus Cancer Treatment

Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, constantly sends me interesting tidbits, some word tidbits, some picture tidbits, some video tidbits and other miscellaneous tidbits that I'm not remembering right now.

This morning Alma sent me an article titled "Asparagus for Cancer," printed is a publication called Cancer News Journal in December 1979.

Today is the day I go to Sprouts Farmers Market while I'm up in Southlake. Today I guess I'll get some asparagus if it's available.

Below is the article....

Asparagus for Cancer

I am a biochemist,and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years..Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. That asparagus might cure cancer.

Since then, I have worked with him on his project. We have accumulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few example S:

Case No. 1, A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.

Case No. 2, a successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.

Case No. 3, a man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared.. He is back at his regular business routine.

Case No. 4, a woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by the acting specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus.

I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of material medical', edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania , stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones.. Note the dates!

We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using, and therefore canned asparagus is just as good as fresh.

I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.

Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening.

Patients usually show some improvement in from 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent'. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals.

We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups.

The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink...

As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer. Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalizer. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic.

In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body's most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

Tuesday Night's Texas Storm

The last thing I blogged about yesterday was the incoming storm that had started rumbling in the west.

By the time the storm reached my location the hail was pea-sized, not golf ball-sized. Golf ball-sized hail I've only seen once, during the tornado storm that blew through downtown Fort Worth in 2000. Golf ball-sized hail hitting the roof of a house causes a deafening pounding noise.

I just remembered another golf ball-sized hail storm. I'd been at a Dude Ranch down by Glen Rose for a BBQ catered by Riscky's. I had a Texas native named Julene in my vehicle. Julene had had a car destroyed by the infamous hail storm in Fort Worth that occurred during Mayfest sometime in the early 1990s.

Leaving the Dude Ranch we could see we were heading into a storm. By the time we got to Interstate 35, heading north, we were in wind and rain, but the lightning was still north of us. Gradually we caught up. Just before we got to the junction of I-35 and I-20 all hell broke loose. I'd already slowed to about 10 mph and then the hail started hitting. Big golf ball-sized hail.

Julene reacted in panic and climbed over the seat to get away from the windshield that she was sure was about to shatter. When she reacted like that it reminded me of Jackie Kennedy climbing onto the back of the limousine in the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination.

The hail bombardment was over quickly. Julene climbed back into the front seat. And then explained the panic. That was the first I'd heard of the Mayfest Hail Storm.

Washington #1 For Bikes, Texas #36

For two years in a row a group called the League of American Bicyclists has had the state I lived in previous to Texas, that being Washington, as the #1 Most Bike Friendly State.

Last year Texas was the 30th Most Bike Friendly State. But, unfortunately, this year Texas became less Bike Friendly, falling 6 spots to #36.

According to the LAB's website, "a Bicycle Friendly State promotes cycling through legislation, policies, programs, and by creating new places to ride, educating motorists and cyclists, and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation."

I guess I can see how it is that Washington is more bike friendly than Texas. Just comparing Seattle to Fort Worth for instance. Seattle has these things called sidewalks running along side virtually every street in the town. Fort Worth has some sidewalks, usually narrower than your average Texan, and a lot of dirt paths. Seattle and the county in which the town is located, that being King County, has quite a well-developed complex of biking trails.

Fort Worth and the county in which it is located, that being Tarrant County, has some paved biking trails, most of which run along the Trinity River.

Recently Fort Worth's city government announced a 30 year plan to expand Fort Worth's biking trails. When I read that I wondered why in the world it would take 30 years.

Currently, as far as I know, there is no 30 year plan, here in Fort Worth, to build sidewalks on the city's streets that currently lack them. I'm pretty sure if the League of American Sidewalk Walkers had a list ranking American City's Sidewalk Friendliness that Fort Worth would rank near, or at, the bottom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Texas Weather: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Tonight

The extreme weather may be my favorite thing about Texas. I love a good storm. But I'm not in the mood for one tonight. I've already had myself enough fun today. Which was our hottest day of the year, hitting 95.

WeatherBug went off with a National Weather Service Storm Watch warning about an hour ago. Apparently we can expect 2.5 inches in diameter hail with gusts up to 70 mph. I'll batten down the hatches.

Just got a live report from a local telling me lightning could be seen to the west, as in by downtown Fort Worth. Heading this way. I'm still seeing blue sky out my window, but I did step out on the balcony and looked west to a very angry, dark wall of clouds.

Below is the dire NWS warning....


Urgent - Immediate Broadcast Requested Severe Thunderstorm Watch Number 312 Nws Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 520 PM CDT Tue May 26 2009

The Nws Storm Prediction Center Has Issued A Severe Thunderstorm Watch For Portions Of

Small Part Of Southern Oklahoma Much Of North Central Texas

Effective This Tuesday Afternoon And Evening From 520 PM Until 1100 PM CDT.

Hail To 2.5 Inches In Diameter, Thunderstorm Wind Gusts To 70 Mph, And Dangerous Lightning Are Possible In These Areas.

The Severe Thunderstorm Watch Area Is Approximately Along And 80 Statute Miles East And West Of A Line From 15 Miles East Northeast Of Durant Oklahoma To 45 Miles East Southeast Of Brownwood Texas.

Preventing Prevention Magazine

I used to subscribe to a lot of magazines. Now I don't have a single magazine subscription. For a couple months I've been finding letters from Prevention magazine in my P.O. Box. I assumed they were junk mail, because, well they were junk mail, and tossed the letters in the trash.

Then today there was a letter in the P.O. Box that had no indication who it was from, just a return address of Westbury, NY.

I opened the letter to find a REQUEST FOR PAYMENT from something called the North Shore Agency, Inc. for a subscription to Prevention magazine that I never subscribed to.

The letter demanded $17.94 be paid immediately, claiming multiple billings had been sent for a magazine I don't think I've received. If one showed up at my P.O. Box I would have just thrown it away, deeming it to be junk mail, just like their bills.

Near as I can tell the gist of Prevention magazine is info to help you get or stay healthy. I'm already there. Why would I want this magazine. That and it's a Rodale Publication. I've long known to stay away from Rodale Publications.

The collection agency had a web address at where I could pay my "bill." So, I went there hoping to find some place to complain. It was fairly easy to access my "account" to a subscription I did not subscribe to. I found a Customer Service email option.

So, I wrote the following...

"I did not subscribe to Prevention Magazine. I did not open any mail from Prevention until today when an envelope arrived that did not indicate who it was from. Inside was a dunning notice from a collection agency for a magazine I did not subscribe to. I don't think I have received any magazines. Had I found one in my PO Box I would have assumed it was junk mail and tossed it."

When I clicked to submit the message, the page would refresh, the message would still be there, with no feedback that the message had been sent. I hit the submit button at least 5 times.

Then I looked at my "account" again. I saw a "cancel subscription" option. If clicked that and then clicked "cancel subscription' figuring even though I did not subscribe maybe this would put an end to this nightmare. When I hit the submit button on the cancel option, that worked.

So, we'll see where this goes now. Likely it'll just get loonier and loonier, just like that whole Dallas Morning News Boondoggle.

Getting Naturally Friendly In Midlothian

This morning I found out I'm going to a Naturist Facility in Midlothian, with Yvonne, called Naturally Friends. Naturally Friends does not have a website, but a lot of similar facilities in Texas do have a website. I was surprised by the number of Naturist choices in the D/FW Metroplex zone within easy driving distance.

When I Googled for info about Naturally Friends I eventually found a map of the U.S. You click a state and a list of that state's Naturist Facilities pops up.

I lived in Mount Vernon, Washington. Mount Vernon was on the Washington list. Somehow it seemed I'd been down this same path of confusion before. I could not picture there being a Naturist Facility in Mount Vernon. So, I clicked on the website link to quickly realize I'd seen this before and that the actual Naturist Facility is not in Mount Vernon, but out at Lake McMurray, which is maybe 10 or 15 miles from Mount Vernon.

That's a picture of a waterfall at the Mount Vernon/Lake McMurray Naturist Facility. I used that photo for Miss Joely, who has never seen a waterfall in person. But will this summer.

I don't know when Miss Yvonne is taking me to Midlothian and Naturally Friends. Yvonne is fond of getting what she calls "nakey," but I've never gotten "nakey" with Yvonne with a bunch of strangers thrown into the mix. I'll try not to worry too much about it. I'm sure I'll survive.

Village Creek Grim Reaper With Snakes & The MuMu Lady

A long time ago I blogged about an encounter at Village Creek Natural Historic Area with an odd woman wearing a MuMu and walking with a strange gait while waving her arms and talking to herself.

I never saw her again. Til today. In the previous encounter I said "Hello, did you see the armadillos?" To which she said "No, did you see the strange bird?"

I said "No, I have seen no bird." She then asked if she could give me her "testimony." I politely declined, but she began it anyway. I listened for a little bit and then went on my way. A short time after that I came upon her again, sitting on a bench. She then told me the story of her encounter on that bench with a mountain lion. She'd been praying, looked up to see the mountain lion. She then loudly prayed SAVE ME JESUS! And the mountain lion walked away without eating her.

Now, what is really strange about that story is I believe it to be true. There had been many reports of a mountain lion sighting along the banks of the Trinity River. And there was one story of an encounter with an elderly lady at Village Creek. I believe that elderly lady was Miss MuMu.

During my bike ride, a couple days ago, at Village Creek, I had several bad encounters. Same thing today. A crew was trimming the jungle at the sides of the trail. One had a long scythe-like thing, you know that thing the Grim Reaper has with a big blade on the end of a stick. I thought the Grim Reaper guy saw me coming and was letting me pass, but right as I got to him he swung back the scythe-like thing, in my direction. I let out a yell and disaster was averted.

A short distance from the Grim Reaper encounter I had a snake encounter. I was biking real fast, maybe 20 mph, down an incline that leads to the second dam/bridge, when I nearly ran over a well-camouflaged snake. I hit the brakes and got out the camera. My only copperhead encounter in Texas took place in about this same location. That copperhead was a big snake who would not get off the trail. Another guy had spotted the snake and warned me to stop. I was roller blading. Eventually the snake got bored and slithered away.

I forgot to mention, that's Miss MuMu lady in the picture at the top. I came upon her a second time today as she was entering the part of the trail that goes through Interlochen. She must live in one of those cool houses on a canal. I was coming up behind her, I don't think she can see very well. There's a bench at the top of the slope that leads from the dam/bridge. She sort of crawled on to the bench, getting down on her knees in the down on all fours position. It was very un-ladylike.

I pedaled on, down the slope, then hit the brakes and turned around, thinking I gotta see if I can get a picture of this. I was far enough away that she would not have been able to tell I was snapping pics. I took the pics using the maximum optical and digital zoom.

The other regular Village Creek character was there today too. Log Man. He's an older guy who walks while swinging a thick stick, like a long log. It's a little unsettling when he's swinging that thing and you bike up on him from behind. I don't think he hears very well.

Italian Police Investigate Gar the Texan

I went for my usual crack of dawn swim and then while sitting here eating breakfast I saw that Gar the Texan had freshly blogged.

When Gar the Texan was in Italy a few weeks ago he told some amusing tales of drunken misadventures and troubling train rides.

Gar the Texan had to go back to Italy a few days ago. He is now safely back in Texas where he disturbed the Memorial Day peace and quiet.

While he was in Italy, this time, Gar the Texan came under police surveillance. Why, I do not know. Suspected of being a terrorist? He no longer has an odd hairstyle that could get police attention. He used to be a mullet head, which could probably land you in jail in fashion conscious Italy.

By his own admission that boy would likely not be married, at this point in time, had he not listened to my suggestion that he lose the mullet. Has Gar the Texan thanked me for this? I don't remember for sure...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Pizza

When my physical therapist, Dr. Layla, read on my blog that I was having pizza for Memorial Day she sent out an urgent query, wondering what had been done to Durango. Due to Dr. Layla's erroneous belief that pizza is not health food.

I beg to differ with the doctor. She is always telling me I get way too much exercise and that I eat way too many fruits and vegetables and other healthy stuff.

But, for Dr. Layla to assume the consumption of a pizza is a fall off the health food bandwagon, well, it just makes me question her credentials and wonder if she might not be just some sort of quack pretending to be a physical therapist.

My Memorial Day Pizza was a whole wheat pie. Covered with a tomato paste base. Tomatoes are rich in lypocene. There was a chopped up red pepper on the pizza, also rich in lypocene. BBQ chicken breast was the meat product on the pizza. Other vegetables included green pepper, onion, garlic, broccoli, spinach, green and black olives, fresh tomato (more lypocene) and mushrooms. On top of all that was a smattering of low fat Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Now, how can any legitimate doctor not see that this was one very healthy pizza? It perplexes me.

Memorial Day Moms, Humidity & Pizza

I've only got a few minutes before my Memorial Day pizza comes out of the oven. It is 84 and very humid here this afternoon. We had some rain overnight, hence the humidity. It seems sort of counter-intuitive to be baking a pizza in a 400 degree oven while you're running the A/C.

I was up before the crack of dawn again, which means that once again I went swimming as the sun came up. This seems to be a good way to start the day.

Due to the rain, the Tandy Hills would not have been hikeable today, most likely, so a walk around Oakland Lake Park substituted. A lot of people were there having their Memorial Day picnic.

I called my mom while I walked. Even though I didn't get gas. My one long time reader may remember that I call my mom whenever I get gas to tell her how much it cost. Yesterday I got email from my mom and dad telling me how much their Phoenix gas cost. I figured this was a hint that I'd not called with a gas call in awhile.

Yesterday I got two Facebook messages from long ago high school friends telling me they'd lost their moms and how it hard it was on both their dads. That was sort of odd to hear that from two people on the same day. I think that was what motivated me to make a non-gas related call to my mom on Memorial Day.

That's been my exciting Memorial Day. It started with an urgent cry for help from my Favorite Blogging Co-Conspirator. She finds the most interesting ways to mess things up. I find it quite enjoyable fixing them.

And now it's time for pizza.

Charlie Company Memorial in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden

Last Fall I walked all over Fort Worth's Botanic Garden looking at the Fall Foliage which was being particularly colorful. Tucked away, way off the beaten path, I came upon a lonely, neglected memorial.

It being Memorial Day I thought I'd tell the story of this Fort Worth Memorial to Charlie Company.

Way back in August of 1967 an 18 year old soldier named James David "Shorty" Haas sent a letter home from where he and his group of fellow U.S. soldiers were hunkered down deep in the steaming jungles of the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

The troops were war-weary, had suffered months of sleep deprivation and constant enemy fire. They were getting discouraged. The letter James Haas sent home asked for some sort of encouragement, some token of acknowledgment to raise the morale of his comrades.

Somehow the letter soon found its way to DeWitt McKinley, the mayor, at the time, of Fort Worth. He was touched by the simple humility of the hometown soldier caught in the throes of war, asking for nothing but a glimmer of hope.

The mayor and the people of Fort Worth responded. In September, Fort Worth's answer to the letter began to arrive in Vietnam. Duffle bags stuffed with cookies, cakes and letters of support arrived weekly. Among the many letters sent to the soldiers was one proclaiming that the City of Fort Worth had officially adopted the soldiers, formally known as Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.

For the soldiers, this flood of reassurance came at a particularly difficult time. One soldier later commented, "You have no idea how that compassion turned us around."

Thirty-four years later, on July 6, 2001, 21 surviving members of Charlie Company met in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden to again say "Thank You" to the people of Fort Worth. Sadly, among the missing, was James David "Shorty" Haas, who's letter had touched so many.

President Obama's Wolf T-Shirt

Apparently a black t-shirt, sold on, that has 3 wolves howling at the moon on it, has gone viral, which means a lot of people are ordering this t-shirt, some, I suppose, due to the hype that wearing the t-shirts gives a guy magical women attracting powers.

I assume the photo of President Obama wearing one of the wolf t-shirts is not faked. The photo is on the Amazon page that sells the t-shirts.

Below is an amusing comment from a guy who wore his wolves howling at the moon t-shirt to Wal-Mart with magical results....

This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called methh. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women.

Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The World's Biggest Butt In Trafalgar Square

Well, I think I may have solved the "World's Biggest Butt" mystery. I've mentioned many a time how people come to this blog by Googling various search strings which had me thinking they were looking for the biggest human butt in the world.

But, this morning I learned that the UK is in the midst of campaign to get smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts properly, rather than dropping the butts on the ground.

Apparently a lot of pounds are spent every year picking up cigarette butts dropped all over England.

So, to publicize this anti-butt dropping campaign, the World's Biggest (Cigarette) Butt was constructed on Trafalgar Square in London.

I wondered why so many people, all over the world, thought somehow that there would be photo documentation of the biggest human butt, I mean, how would that info be gleaned? But, looking for a photo of the biggest cigarette butt in the world after you heard mention made of it, I guess that makes sense.

I don't know when the World's Biggest Butt appeared on Trafalgar Square or if it is still there.

Big Butts, Ugly Women & The Hippie Hollow Nude Beach

I've mentioned before how there are strange patterns of search strings that bring people to this blog. The last couple days, once again, it's been a world-wide search for the "Biggest Butt in the World," that people are looking for more than anything else.

From the blog stats I can see that people in Saudi Arabia have a big butt fixation.

This morning I saw three people came to this blog after Googling something like "insomnia caused by ugly fat woman." I thought to myself, why would my blog come up with that search string? So, I typed "insomnia caused by ugly fat woman" into the search window and was appalled to see my blog comes up as #1 when someone searches for "insomnia caused by ugly fat woman."

I'd forgotten I'd blogged on this subject after I had a nightmare of being chased by several scary, ugly, fat women. The scary, ugly, fat woman, who was the source of the nightmare, bears an uncanny resemblance to the guy in the picture.

I'm likely going to have an insomnia episode tonight due to this subject being brought back to the forefront of my consciousness. I hope it doesn't turn into another sleepwalking trauma.

Speaking of traumas, I can see people are looking for info about Hippie Hollow, likely looking for something different to do this Memorial Day. If you've never gone to a nude beach, this might just be the different thing to do that you are looking for. If it weren't such a long drive to Hippie Hollow I might go there on Monday. Nothing I like better than communing with nature.

Which means I think I'll go pedal the mountain bike trail at River Legacy Park today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wal-Mart's Institutionalized Thievery Strikes Again

Yes, I realize my one longtime reader is rolling her eyes and thinking he's not going to go on about Wal-Mart sucking again, is he?

Why, yes I am. Earlier this month I blogged several times about how Wal-Mart, system-wide, was charging $2.00 for a gallon of milk, when their shelf price signs had it at $1.98. After the 3rd or 4th time of being overcharged 2 cents, I went to Customer Service, assuming the longstanding practice of totally refunding the price of a mistake was still in play, but instead I just got my 2 cents worth back. And the satisfaction of blogging about it.

I then got a very long comment from some guy who I found out later has a Wal-Mart Sucks Blog. He referred to Wal-Mart's pricing scams, which have become chronic, as Wal-Mart's Instituionalized Thievery.

Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to shop at Wal-Mart anymore, but, other than Sprouts, where am I to go? Sprouts is 12 miles north. I'm not going to go there every time I need something. And today I needed bread. I got only 6 items. Of the items, the bread was the only item I had noticed what the price was.

I usually get Wal-Mart brand whole wheat bread. For a long time, for some reason, Wal-Mart wasn't stocking their Wal-Mart brand whole wheat bread. They substituted locally made Mrs. Baird's whole wheat bread for the same price, that being $1.47. Mrs. Baird's whole wheat bread is usually $1.78.

Today the Wal-Mart brand whole wheat bread had gone missing again. And once again, there was Mrs. Baird's in its place, with $1.47 once more as the price.

But, when I checked out, the bread scanned at $1.78, a 31 cent difference. I know you're thinking if I went to the bother of going to Customer Service to get my 2 cents worth I certainly would do that again to get a whopping 31 cents. Well, you would be wrong. Even though there was no line in Customer Service I wasn't going to waste time to get a measly 31 cents.

I have other ways of making Wal-Mart pay for their Institutionalized Thievery...

Looking for Hogs, Studs & Suds at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie

I noticed this billboard a couple days ago, driving back from hiking the Tandy Hills. From the quick drive-by glance I could tell it had something to do with Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. That's a horse race place.

It was the Hogs, Studs, and Suds part that perplexed me. Hogs I figured were motorbikes. Suds I figured was beer. But Studs? The party with me was certain Studs referred to the guys and their Hogs. I suggested that Studs must refer to horses. It being a horserace track, that seemed logical. I was told that not all racehorses are Studs, that some are Fillies.

I don't know farm talk so I had to ask what a Filly was. Maybe the Lone Star Park only races Studs. It being Texas that makes sense. I did not know there were girl race horses. Perhaps I should doubt the rectitude of my source.

I Googled "Hogs Studs Suds Lone Star Park" and still don't know what the "Stud" part of the sign refers to. But I did learn on Memorial Day you can pay $5 to get in the park ($3 kids 4-12, under 3 free). When you are in the park apparently you get to experience "the richest day of Texas Thoroughbred racing on Lone Star Park Million Day."

I don't know if that means there is a million dollar prize, or what. Being at Lone Star Park for Million Day you have a chance to win a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, hence the Hog part of the sign. You'll also have the opportunity to get quite drunk, sampling more than 100 microbrews at the Studs and Suds Micro-Brew Festival. So now we know why Suds is on the sign.

But why Studs? A band called Professor D will play during the festival at the Courtyard of Champions. Maybe Professor D is the Stud.

Tandy Hills, Wildflowers, Hamburgers & Broccoli

It's 3pm, 84 degrees, windows closed, A/C running. It's Saturday, so I did my usual Saturday thing and went hiking on the Tandy Hills.

I don't know what happened but I lost a couple hours this morning. This had me in the Tandy zone way later than usual. Being later had it also being hotter, as in today I was sweating like a Fat Pig in a sauna.

The first thing I did when I got back here was to jump in the pool. The water was way cooler than the air. Which was a good thing.

The Tandy Hills are being about as green as they are going to get before gradually returning to being brown. Last week's rain seems to have caused a fresh crop of wildflowers to bloom. I thought they'd passed their peak, but today the prairie was being real colorful again.

Big Ed did not like my abridged version of his long-winded Lake Powell fish story that I blogged about this morning and put on my Durango Roadtripping Blog. I thought I improved the story. Well, at least made it so it couldn't be used as a sleep aid.

I'm hungry, I must go eat a hamburger now. With broccoli.

Lake Powell Fish Catching Passive Aggressiveness & Scarborough Faire

In my email inbox this morning I found a long-winded tale, by Big Ed, tall taling about catching a single solitary fish at Utah's Lake Powell during a houseboating trip.

The tale was way too long to use as a blogging, so I re-wrote a much shorter version and put it on my Durango Roadtripping Blog. A blog which is starting to seem way too much like being back in school doing homework. So many facts to check on.

Also in the inbox this morning was something from my Favorite Blogging Co-Conspirator that can only be thought of as being cruel. She knew I was lamenting over wanting to go on a road trip or hike up a real mountain or swim at a saltwater beach, hopefully combining all three. So, what does Miss Sassypants send me? A picture of Fort Walton Beach where she spent several days lounging recently.

If that's not passive-aggressiveness, I don't know what is.

There is no saltwater beach in my future today, but I did go swimming, again, this morning at the crack of dawn. That is a pathetically weak substitute. Maybe I'll go for a long walk on the beach at Lake Grapevine today, which is another pathetic substitute, but at least it's a beach and if it's windy there'll be waves with whitecaps.

This weekend and Memorial Day is your last chance to go to Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival for the year. I've only been to the Faire once, several years ago, but that day and its aftermath had a lingering effect. It's been awhile since I've gotten a death threat, so that's a good thing.

80 degrees. Time to shut the windows.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nearly Killed At Village Creek Crime Scene

I had too much to get done this morning. By the time I was able to escape it was past noon. I was going to go to River Legacy Park to ride the mountain bike trail, but that would have taken too long, so I went to my nearest pedaling place, that being Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

When I was at Village Creek a couple days ago I was not pleased to find myself biking over the remains of a window. Likely a break-in theft attempt looking for valuables, which you are warned not to leave in your vehicle because there have been problems previously.

So much so that a pole with security cameras were added some time ago. The sign on the security pole says...


The first time I saw this it just seemed real silly to me. "Enforcement of all illegal activities?" What does that verbiage even mean? And am I supposed to believe that someone actually monitors these cameras? If so, I've mooned that person a time or two, as I quickly change from biking shorts to non-biking shorts. I guess mooning the security camera must not be an illegal activity requiring maximum enforcement.

As soon as I stepped out of my van I saw there'd been two more windows broken. From the position of the glass I could tell they were side windows on the side not facing the street. Since there is nothing of value in my van, I left the window open today.

I had several "incidents" while biking today. First off groundskeeping crews were all over the place, trucks were driving the trail. They can be hard to get around.

Coming to the first bridge/dam I could see 3 bikers on the other side. I knew that by the time I was on the other side, they'd be coming down the hill fast towards me. I met the first 2 females with no problem, but the male behind them was looking at his odometer and heading straight at me at high speed. I had no room to maneuver out of his way. I hollered, he looked up and swerved, narrowly avoiding a head on collision.

About a mile after nearly being killed in a head-on bike wreck there was a group of 2 moms with 5 little kids. I hollered "coming up on you." The moms got all frantic, yelling at the kids not to move. I slowed way down, then, just as I got right to them, a little boy, who had only been paying attention to a spider, suddenly backed up when the spider moved towards him. I had to slam on the brakes or I would have hit the little guy.

The next weird thing is they'd been mowing the sides of the trail. This leaves some grass residue, which would likely desiccate and blow away within 24 hours. But, rather than let that happen, a person stands on the bed of a pickup, while the driver drives as the bed stander holds a leaf blower and blows some of the grass off the pavement.

I thought, why waste gas doing such a thing? Not to mention the pollution, both noise and air, that those air blowers put out.

So, that was my bike ride today. I almost died and I almost killed a little kid and I was at a crime scene where there is maximum enforcement of all illegal activities. It's been a good day in Texas.

Fort Worth Soldier Zachary Boyd Battles Taliban In Pink Boxers

I am sure the Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered this story, since it involved a Fort Worth soldier. I no longer get the Star-Telegram so I no longer get to marvel at that paper's odd need to mention the Fort Worth connection, no matter how tenuous, to a celebrity or person in the news. You could be married to someone who once lived in Fort Worth and that would be enough of a connection for the Star-Telegram to need to mention it.

Long ago I webpaged some examples of that paper's goofiness, including funny uses of their patented "Green With Envy" verbiage. As in towns far and wide are green with envy because a soldier from Fort Worth battled the Taliban in Afghanistan out of uniform, clad in pink I Love NY boxer shorts and flip-flops.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates (if I were like the Star-Telegram I would somehow insert that Gates was a neighbor of mine when I lived in Washington) heaped praise on a Fort Worth soldier on Thursday. Earlier this month a picture was snapped of the soldier hurrying to defend his post, wearing pink boxers and flip-flops.

Secretary Gates yesterday said he wants to meet the soldier and shake his hand the next time he visits Afghanistan. Gates said, "Any solider who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage. I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his cross-hairs. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare."

Army Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, ran out of his sleeping quarters May 11 to help his other platoon members who were under fire from Taliban positions shooting at their base in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan. A photographer was on the scene. When the picture showed up on the front page of the New York Times, Zachary told his mom and dad, here in Fort Worth, that he might lose his job if President Obama saw that he was out of uniform.

To which Secretary Gates said, "I can assure you that Specialist Boyd's job is very safe indeed."

Memorial Day Weekend at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

I've said it before, I'll say it again, during my now decade long exile in Texas the funnest thing I've done, where I laughed more than anything else I've laughed at in Texas, was my drive through Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone and you've not been to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and you're looking for something in the area to do to kick off the start of the summer season, you can not go wrong with Fossil Rim. Especially if you have kids.

Fossil Rim is down by Glen Rose, near Dinosaur Valley State Park, which is also a good getaway if you've never seen the dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed. The hiking and biking in Dinosaur Valley may be the best I've experienced in Texas.

At Fossil Rim you go into the Visitors Center to buy your tickets and feed, if you want to feed the animals. On weekend and holidays the entry fee is at its highest. It may sound a tad expensive in these troubled times, with adults 12 - 21 $22.95, kids 3 -11 $16.95 and seniors $19.95.

I do not know, what with Fossil Rim qualifying 12 year olds as adults, if the 12 year olds are allowed to buy adult beverages at Fossil Rim.

The entry fee may seem steep, you will only think that before you see what you get for your money. After that it will seem like a bargain and the money will seem well spent.

After I webpaged my visit to Fossil Rim I was sent an annual pass good for one year and two guest passes. I did not get around to using the pass. I had good intentions. I wanted to go back and take video. But, I've not been back.

For more pictures, including more zebra pictures, go to my Eyes on Texas website to see why Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is the funnest thing I've done in Texas.

Have yourself a good, happy Memorial Day Weekend.