Friday, July 31, 2009

Village Creek Flood Debris & Texas Emissions

It appeared to be a lady operating that piece of heavy equipment on the dam/bridge across Village Creek at Village Creek Natural Historic Area in Arlington, this morning, about an hour before noon.

I think she was trying to unplug the culverts from debris deposited by the recent high water. When I walked by, a half hour later, the dam/bridge was clear of heavy equipment. It did not look as if much debris was removed. But, water was flowing.

I was in Arlington because it is the last day of the month. Meaning today was the last day I could take my vehicle in for its annual emissions test and be good to go for another year.

I see a lot of vehicles here that appear to be spewing too much exhaust. I never understand how it is that they don't get stopped and ticketed, because it seems sort of obvious the smoke spewing vehicles could not have passed the emissions test.

Where I lived in Washington we did not have to get vehicles tested. People living in the Seattle Metro Zone did have to get their vehicles tested. I don't know if this has changed since I've been away.

Awhile back some branch of the government of the State of Texas admitted that the Barnett Shale Drilling Operations, in their totality, put out more bad emissions than all the vehicles moving in the D/FW Metroplex. I don't know if the Barnett Shale Drilling Operations have to pass some sort of emissions test. I suspect not.

So, that's been my day in Texas, so far, up before dawn, in the pool while it was still dark, in Arlington to pass an emissions test, walking at Village Creek, watching a lady move debris, then sitting at a picnic table under the shade of giant oaks, making a call to a Texas lady who cheered me up an awful lot.

Jerry Jones Moves New Cowboy Stadium To Dallas With Free Tours For Arlington Residents

Lately I've noticed a lot of letters to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from citizens willing to criticize local sacred cows more vociferously than I've made note of before.

In some letters, Fort Worth's dimming Trinity River Vision has been criticized, with some calling it what I've said it was for years, that is it seems to be a huge Boondoggle in the making.

For years I've also been disgusted by how Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and the City of Arlington went about getting a new stadium, using what is believed to be the worst case of eminent domain abuse in American history, kicking thousands from their homes, apartments and businesses to make way for the building and parking lots of a private business.

So, this morning there were 2 letters expressing umbrage on a couple points regarding the ongoing Jerry Jones' public relations shortcomings....

Raw deal for residents

I read in the July 26 Star-Telegram that Arlington residents will get their free tour of the Cowboys Stadium on Aug. 9. I thought that was great until I saw all the places we don’t get to go, that the tour is only from noon to 4 p.m. and residents can bring out-of-town people with them.

The residents of Arlington who paid for most of this stadium get less than the people who pay their $12- $15 for a tour. Since Arlington has more than 370,000 residents, you want us plus any guest to cram in between noon and 4 p.m. for a partial tour. Again we get thrown under the bus by Jerry Jones and Mayor Bob Cluck.

— Helen Scanlan, Arlington

Jerry Jones gave a very impassioned speech in San Antonio at the opening of the Cowboy’s training camp, inviting the San Antonio fans to come see the Cowboys at their new stadium.

Thing is, if they listened to him, they won’t find it.

See, Jerry repeatedly told of the new Cowboys Stadium — in Dallas.

Perhaps Jerry’s been too busy to know that the new stadium is in Arlington. Perhaps Jerry is unaware of all the Arlington residents forced to lose their homes to build parking lots for that behemoth. Perhaps Jerry hasn’t noticed the massive road construction in Arlington to provide access to the stadium. Perhaps Jerry didn’t know about the increased taxes Arlington residents are paying for the new stadium.

Arlington is paying the price, but Dallas is getting the credit.

If Jerry goes to Dallas for the home opener to watch the Cowboys play the Giants — well, he’ll miss the game.

— Cam Kirmser, Hurst

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kiowa Red River Casino & Whataburger

I've had me a day. A loud thunderstorm had me up well before 5 this morning. By 6am I was swimming in the rain. Then I remembered Sunday's lightning strike fire and how the occupants described the electricity zapping through the building, popping out of outlets and light switches.

Even though the pool is at a low spot and the lightning did not seem too close, I cut the swimming short.

For lunch today I took a virtual trip up to Wichita Falls, then headed north across the Red River to the town of Devol where the Kiowa Nation runs the Kiowa Red River Casino.

I'm not a huge fan of gambling. I can be entertained for a short duration by slot machines and video poker. But not of the sort allowed in the Oklahoma casinos.

One thing I do like in a casino is a good buffet. Morningstar is a popular Kiowa name, so the Kiowa Casino's buffet is the Morningstar Buffet. How was the buffet? After the Zorro's Buffet debacle, I no longer share my opinion about such matters.

Absolutely total change of subject. This morning I got a comment to a blogging about Whataburger. The comment was from "Anonymous," who wanted a previous commenter, Jeremy B., to post his email address, because "Anonymous" would like to ask Jeremy B. about his Whataburger experiences.

When I read what "Anonymous" was asking I wondered why he/she did not post his/her email address so Jeremy B. could reach him/her. Why would "Anonymous" think Jeremy B. is going to be reading his comment asking for Jeremy B.'s email address? That's just goofy.

Giant Rattlesnake Killed In Manor Texas With Recipes & An Urban Legend

I was looking at my blog statistics and saw that an infosearcher had come to my blog from BING searching for "Giant Rattlesnake Killed in Manor Texas."

So, I went to BING and clicked on "Giant Texas Rattlesnake - Urban Legends." Apparently the snake picture you see here has been circulating for a few years, with various versions of where it was caught. The rattlesnake is alleged to be 9 feet 1 inch long and weigh 97 pounds.

The text accompanying this version of the Giant Rattlesnake story (including a Rattlesnake Recipe) was as follows...

Next time you're out in the tall grass, remember this one. This snake was recently found at the J & S Quik Mart located just south of RR 3014 Turnoff on Highway 281 south of Tow, Texas. [That's just west of Burnett, Texas]

9 feet, 1 inch - 97 lbs.

A reminder that these creatures are actually out there and no matter what you believe, sometimes they should get not only prescriptive rights to be there, but the full right of way.

And here's how to cook 'em .......


1 medium-sized rattlesnake (3-4 lbs.), cut into steaks
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 teaspoon salt dash pepper

Mix dry ingredients. Whisk milk into beaten egg and use to dip snake steaks. Then coat them with dry ingredients. Fry, uncovered, in 400 degree oil until brown. Yum,Yum!

After reading this urban legend version of a giant rattlesnake I was appalled to click on another link to learn that a giant rattlesnake was found in a Manor woman's backyard on Monday. Manor is a town a short distance east of Austin in Central Texas. When the police arrived they shot the snake. A snake autopsy revealed the carcass of a full grown rabbit in the snake, hence the bulge in the picture.

The Austin area is being invaded by rattlesnakes seeking relief from the drought. The number of people treated for snakebites in Austin this year is nearly the total for all of 2008, when 36 snakebites were treated.

If you get bit, don't copy what you've seen cowboys do in movies. Don't suck the venom out and don't choke off the blood with a tourniquet. Instead get yourself, as quickly as possible, to an ER.

Thursday Morning Thunderstorm In Texas

Mother Nature has been throwing a temper tantrum this morning. She woke me up before 5 with a light show with loud concussive sound effects.

The National Weather Service has issued 6 Alerts this morning. Among them are several Thunderstorm Alerts, a couple Flash Flooding Alerts and at least one Tornado Alert.

I have not heard the Tornado Sirens this year. I'm guessing we are due.

In this morning's Seattle Post-Intelligencer I saw that 1 more degree was added to yesterday's record high, making 103 the new temperature record in Seattle.

Meanwhile, here in currently frigid Texas, it's in the 60s out there. And raining.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seattle Breaks Record at 102 Degrees & Rising

Something I thought would never happen. Seattle has broken its temperature record, going over 100 for the first time ever, 102 degrees at 2:38, with the temperatures still rising. It's only 98 in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley and Mount Vernon.

Called my sister who lives in Kent to see how she's handling it. No answer.

Ironically, one of my other sisters and mom and dad, who live in the Phoenix zone, are up in the Northwest right now, to escape the heat of Arizona. In Phoenix they have air-conditioning wherever they go. Right now, their only relief is likely in their vehicles.

Just got a message from the Queen of Wink. She called a friend in Seattle who alternated between crying and laughing hysterically. The Queen advised her friend to put towels soaked in water in the freezer, then after they're frozen wrap them around whatever is HOT.

I'll call mom and dad and see where they are and how they're handling it. Well, dad answered. They are at my sister's house in Tacoma. It is 84 inside the house on the middle floor, 98 outside. The poodles, Blue and Max, are refusing to go out in the yard. My sister is heading home from Olympia, then they are all going to Costco. Where it is air-conditioned. My mom and dad already spent several hours in the Tacoma Mall to get cool. Found out my other sister, who I thought was in the Northwest, is back in Phoenix in air-conditioned comfort.

100 Degrees In The Pacific Northwest Hotter Than Texas

91.4 is not my temperature in Texas. That's the current temperature at half past one in my old hometown of Mount Vernon, Washington.

They are having themselves a HEAT WAVE. And now that it is the 90s, they are no longer being Weather Babies. They've got reason to whine.

Here in my Central Time Zone, two hours later than Pacific Time, we are not even in the 90s! In other words, it is HOTTER in Washington right now than it is in Texas.

The temperature in Seattle has gone over 100 at the National Weather Service's offices on Sandpoint Way, but the place where the official temperature is taken, that being Seattle-Tacoma Airport, the thermometer remains stuck in the 90s, with the expectation that it will go to 3 digits by the time the sun is done with its day's work.

I was in Washington in 2004 for a HOT August month. When I arrived I was cold, just like I was for my entire month in Tacoma, last year. When I arrived, in 2004, the temperature was in the 70s. The locals were whining, but I was cold. That was to end a few days later. My sister in Kent had relatives, like my mom and dad, over for a BBQ. The temperature that day was predicted to possibly break the record by getting to 100. It stalled at 98.

But it was so miserable that day. My sister has a real nice house, lots of shade, well insulated. But that house was HOT. Finally everyone left. I knew the hot tub had had its heater off for days. I told the few that remained to avert their eyes if they don't wanna see me in my boxer shorts, because I'm gonna get in that cool water. And so I did. I was staying that month in an apartment in Tacoma. It was so miserably hot that night.

Seattle Transit is advising bus riders they might not want to be on the buses today. Only 30% of the buses have air-conditioning.

I'm guessing the Puget Sound beaches are having themselves some record breaking crowds today. That's the beach by the Edmonds Ferry Dock, in the picture, taken back in 2004 during that heat wave. There is an underwater scuba diving park here and you often see seals. Edmonds is a Seattle suburb at the north end of the town.

Looking at that picture has me thinking, once more, how lucky those towns in the northwest are. So much water, all over the place, with so many fun things to do on or in the water. All natural, none of it the result of any Water Visions. I've heard of other places, not so blessed with natural water features, that come up with kooky cockamamie plans to build little lakes, thinking that people will flock to it and all sorts of businesses will spring up just to be near the murky waters of the little lake.

Big Brother Is Watching In Fort Worth

The picture you're seeing here was taken about an hour before noon. As you can see, we are a bit overcast today in Fort Worth.

The McDonalds you see in the picture is on Beach Street. I am standing in the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot, looking east.

That white thing that looks like some sort of carnival ride is actually a Fort Worth Gestapo Reconnaissance Tower. I have only seen these in Fort Worth and only in Wal-Mart parking lots.

The glass is tinted, but you can still see in. I have never seen a Gestapo Agent in one of the towers. Maybe there are cameras inside, broadcasting a 360 degree view of the parking lot to Central Gestapo Headquarters.

We are only 81, coming up on noon. Chance of storms throughout the day. I did not get up early today. I did not go swimming. I got coffee at Wal-Mart. Maybe I should perk some and see if that perks me up. I may be chronically unperkable today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Unforgettable Moonlit Swim In Washington

A few days ago one of my favorite friends from way back in high school got into our senior annuals. She thought what I wrote in her annual was amusing, due to me making a rather bizarre spelling error. I was mortified when I saw it.

I then dug out my ancient annual to see what the spell checker, I'll call Miss B, wrote in my annual.

Well, the only thing that caught my interest was a line that said "I won't forget Bay View in the moonlite!"

I had no memory of anything unforgettable about Bay View in the moonlight. So, I asked a mutual friend, also one of my favorites, if she could remember what Miss B was talking about. Well, this third party, who I will call Miss C, did remember what was memorable about Bay View in the moonlight.

Before I queried Miss C, I had replied to Miss B's message and asked her what the moonlight at Bay View, never to be forgotten memory was. She did not get back to me on that, but instead called Miss C and asked her if she remembered. Then Miss B got back to me, as appalled as I am, that neither of us remember Bay View in the moonlight. It is interesting that Miss C was both our go to sources to solve this puzzle. Apparently we both realize that Miss C's memory function has not deteriorated as much as ours.

Miss C has told us that the 3 of us were at Bay View on a moonlit night. To non-Washingtonians, let me explain, Bay View is a state park on Padilla Bay in Puget Sound. It is a shallow bay, so when the day is warm and the tide is low, the incoming water gets quite warm. Which it was the night of the memorable moonlight at Bay View that Miss B and me have totally forgotten.

So, with the water being enticing and us kids without proper swimwear, according to Miss C, we decided to go swimming in our underwear. Like Miss B said, wouldn't you think we'd remember this? Now, I was a boxer wearer at the time, so this would have been no big deal. But those girls getting down to their skivvies under the moonlight? If that happened, I'm thinking I would remember it.

I've suggested, to Miss C, that maybe she is remembering an incident at Baker Hot Springs. Although I don't clearly remember going there with Miss B & Miss C. Baker Hot Springs is a clothing optional type place, but at our tender, young ages, and being sweet, innocent kids, I don't think that would have been an option. But, I could see where hot springing in undies might have happened. I never had the full Baker Hot Springs experience til a year or two after high school.

Anyway, that's what's been perplexing and vexing me today. Being unable to remember a moonlit night at Bay View. Yet one more sign that I'm getting old and quickly losing cerebral function. Be kind to the elderly.

Below is a really short YouTube video I made last summer while up at Bay View to meet my grand little nephew for the first time. Apparently I did not put this video on this blog, but did put it on the Blue & Max Blog, those being the pair of cute little poodles you'll see in the video. You'll also get a good look at Padilla Bay and the location of the moonlit undie dip at Bay View.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned & Only Child Syndrome

I think I may be dealing with a mild case of Hell Hath No Fury Syndrome. I hate it when that happens.

And, speaking of syndromes, in the past year I've blogged several times about Only Child Syndrome. I think the OCS Bloggings get more comments than anything else I blog about. My Bloggings about Only Child Syndrome Google in the #1 or 2 position, which causes some to think I'm the world's go to guy for info about OCS. Or to deny the syndrome exists.

This morning I got the best Only Child Syndrome comment yet. As so many of my interesting comments are, this one is from the ubiquitous Anonymous, he/she being my most frequent commenter. The OCS deniers are almost universally quite angry, sanctimonious and self-righteous. I suspect the OCS deniers are Only Children cluelessly exhibiting the syndrome.

Below is the comment from Anonymous....

One thing I can add is that only children tend to be HUGE users of Facebook. I know one only child (a woman in her 40s) whose Facebook page is an avalanche of narcissism and an endless celebration of her specialness and awesomeness. And of course, Facebook allows her to make a big, big deal about her birthday. I don't display my birthdate on my FB page, and she acts like I'm some kind of sociopath because I don't want my birthday celebrated.

This same only child is also notorious for her weirdly manipulative gift-giving. She loves to give people odd, random gifts and then stands there, waiting eagerly for a flood of gratitude. Talking to her is agonizing because she constantly tries to one-up everything you say. And she takes EVERYTHING personally -- if the earth crashed into the sun, she'd think it had something to do with her.

Another only-child friend has a huge birthday party every year, and gets really angry if anyone skips it. At the last party, when she realized someone wasn't there, she flew into a rage and grabbed the phone, intending to call the party-skipper and chew her out. Everyone was squirming with embarrassment. This, incidentally, is a woman in her 50s.

What amuses me the most is that the most fervent debunkers of only child syndrome are the only children themselves. "I'm an only child, and I turned out GREAT! I'm beautiful, and brilliant, and awesome, and ... hey, where are you going? I haven't finished telling you about me!"

A Muddy Muggy Texas Day

A lot of rain fell here last night before midnight. By morning the pool was almost overflowing. And significantly cooler, which was a good thing.

Speaking of the weather, and really, I have nothing else to talk about, I'm hearing from people up in the Puget Sound zone of Washington State, being in Full Weather Baby Mode because it is in the 80s. In their defense, most people on the west side of the Cascades do not have air conditioning.

I think I've mentioned it before, but last summer I shivered a long wintery month in Tacoma. It never got higher than the very low 80s the entire month.

When I first arrived I was put into what I called the Arctic, due to it being in the basement and very very cold. After a week of never finding enough blankets to stay warm I petitioned to be moved to the house's upper loft/bedroom, deemed unlivable by the house's occupants, due to their belief that it was too hot, so much so that they did a rare in Western Washington thing by installing 2 window air conditioning units. And even with the air conditioning they still thought it was too hot.

So, I moved into what I called the Tropics. My sister would come up into the Tropics to lecture me about one thing or the other and quickly retreat due what she thought was stifling heat. I do not believe they believed me when I explained that the Tropics was cooler than I keep my place in Texas.

Like I was saying, it rained a lot in the past 24 hours. Today has been dry, so I was able to get to Oakland Lake Park around noon, unlike yesterday's rain aborted attempt. Signs of the deluge were all over, like the mudslide blocking the sidewalk, that you see in the picture.

I think last night's rain and flash flood danger must have totally exhausted Haltom City's #1 Creek Watcher because she has been sending me goofy emails today about our mutual birthdays and my voice and other things I can't repeat.

Remembering A Tacoma Pal

That is a dog named Pal and a mountain named Rainier you're seeing in the picture. The picture was taken in April of 2006. I was in Tacoma taking care of Pal, a talking parrot Hurky, which was way too good at mimicking, and 2 cats, one of whom savagely attacked me, opening up a big gash on my face that left me scarred forever.

That beach that Pal is on is part of Point Defiance Park. That's an enormous city park in Tacoma. I believe the only bigger city park in America is Central Park in New York City.

I first learned that it was fun to take Pal on walks when I stayed in his apartment building for a month in August of 2004. You could not accidentally say the word "walk" within Pal's hearing range, because as soon as he heard the magic word he'd get all excited and go stand by his leash, waiting for it to get attached to him. At that point I'd feel obligated to take Pal on a walk.

I last saw Pal last summer. He'd gotten old. I don't think he went on walks anymore. His humans abandoned Pal one weekend last summer, which made it my duty to lock him up overnight in the garage. This was not as easy as it sounds.

So, last night I learned that Pal has succumbed to the ailments of old age. I'm not a huge dog fan. But Pal was one fun dog. Cute too. My sister in Tacoma also has a pair of cute, fun dogs who like to go on walks, Blue and Max. They are little poodles. Blue and Max are a bit more high maintenance to take on walks than Pal was.

Below is a YouTube video from last summer, going on a walk with Blue and Max at the same Point Defiance beach with the same mountain in the background as the picture above of Pal.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lightning Damage, Downpours & Flash Flooding In Texas

I got up late after an unusually late night of firefighting. So, I skipped swimming this morning. Around noon I felt the need to escape here by going to Oakland Lake Park.

But the Oakland Lake Park Plan was quickly aborted when the sky decided to go into heavy downpour mode. I'd had enough of getting totally soaked last night and was not in the mood for more of that today.

So, I drove to the scene of last night's lightning strike. That is the wet view, through my windshield and the downpour, of the lightning damage. I was surprised that there was nothing temporarily covering the open roof. I don't know what the people on the lower two floors are doing with all that rain coming in. They seemed quite traumatized last night.

I hear rumbling in the distance. I hope the Haltom City creeks are not rising into flash flood mode.

Wind Chimes Chiming In Texas

I get comments to this blog, over and over again, that sort of scare me by making it real clear that there are a lot of really dumb people out there, yet not so dumb that they can't operate a computer and type on a keyboard. It's very perplexing to me.

A long time ago I blogged about my dislike of wind chimes and the fact that many municipalities tightly regulate the peace and quiet disturbers.

I really don't get what is so hard to understand about the concept that a person should not be making noises that penetrates another person's living space. But, apparently, that common sense good manners concept is lost on some people, as evidenced by the wind chime comment I got yesterday from the ubiquitous Anonymous.

Here is what Anonymous had to say....

Pathetic!! If people want windchimes, they are perfectly entitled to windchimes!! They are not illegal otherwise they would not be able to sell them in the first place! If you want complete peace and quiet, go live in the middle of nowhere with no1 around! Honestly, do people have nothing better to worry about... very sad lives they must lead!!

Seems to me that Anonymous is living him/herself one very sad life. Reading blogs and making idiotic anonymous comments? That really is sort of pathetic.

The below YouTube video is a good example of wind chimes being annoying...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lightning Fires Burn Up My Night In Fort Worth

Well. I have had myself a wild Sunday night. Sometime around 6 a thunderstorm started up. Soon thereafter, Miss Puerto Rico called me and told me that the lightning was putting on a real good show. She has a great view from her balcony.

So, I told Miss PR I'd be right over.

When I drove onto Miss PR's property I found myself following firetrucks. And then I found myself waved off from driving further. So, I parked and walked in. The smell of smoke was heavy in the air, even with the heavy rain.

I was soon face to face with a building on fire. I saw Miss PR. Walked over to her. She was in full panic mode. Miss PR manages these buildings. It was a lightning strike that started the fire. Talking to a couple who lived on the ground floor of the 3 story building, I was surprised at their account of how the lightning flashed through their apartment, zapping out of fixtures, popping out lights.

This is the 2nd time I have seen the Fort Worth Fire Department in action. I have not a single word of criticism that I would direct towards them. Unlike the Fort Worth Police. Ironically, a fellow watcher, he being a resident of the ground floor apartment below the one on fire, echoed my sentiment regarding the Fort Worth Gestapo. He had had some run-ins with the FW Gestapo. And he was being impressed with the FW Firemen.

The fire kept re-starting. At one point a huge pulse of water shot through the roof, blasting us on the ground with water and debris. And still the fire did not die.

I did not get a good picture of the flames when they were being their most flameworthy. It got a bit chaotic at times and there were rain issues.

As you can see, the smoke and rain made for diminished visibility. As darkness turned out the lights, the firetrucks retreated, the apartment dwellers were directed to temporary dwellings. It seemed to me like a situation that could have had a much worse outcome, had a good outcome. The Fort Worth Firemen were on the scene incredibly fast. I was impressed. Now, if they could only teach the Fort Worth Police to Protect and Serve with equal high quality, well, Fort Worth might see itself taking one small step forward.

Dangling Shoes, Possums, Catfish Killing Watersnakes & A Queenly Mystery Stalker In Texas

On the way to Village Creek Natural Historic Area I saw a pair of shoes dangling from a wire, way up high. How did they get there? Why did they get there? Very perplexing.

There were a lot of people at Village Creek today. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw a guy releasing a small possum. I have seen a lot of possums released at this park over the years. Makes me think a lot more have been let go than the ones I've managed to see. Possums are kind of cute. Sort of like armadillos without a shell.

There were a couple guys acting a bit odd by the first dam/bridge creek crossing. I asked what they were looking at. I was told they had been watching a watersnake catch a catfish. I saw nothing. Later I came upon them again at the other dam/bridge creek crossing. Due to the drought Village Creek is not running much water. One of the guys climbed into one of the culverts through which the creek flows under the dam/bridge. The other guy was at the other end of the culvert. I asked what they were looking at now. I was told a big turtle had gone into the culvert.

The location of the big turtle is where I had my one and only combo encounter with a water moccasin and a garfish. No way would I go in one of those culverts.

My day started off fine with the usual morning swim, then I dealt with the Dallas Farmers Market for a bit.

By mid-morning I had heard from my snitches, telling me that the Queen of Wink had blogged about me again. I find this terribly unsettling. I can not read her blog due to the Wink Queen used her extremely highly evolved computer skills to somehow cause my browser to freeze up if I try to look at her blog. Apparently, once she successfully blocked me, she began blogging about me. Like I said, very unsettling.

Apparently the Queen of Wink believes me to be a big mystery that she has been unable to solve, despite diligent effort. And so she says she is coming to Fort Worth, next month, to solve the mystery. Forewarned, I have tightened security and am employing defensive measures that should allow me to keep my privacy unbreeched. I hope.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Scorched Prairie, Dodging Gestapo Agents & Being Depressed In Texas

The scorched prairie at the Tandy Hills Natural Area covers a larger area than I expected to see burned. In the photo you are looking at the remains of 2 prickly pear cactus patches surrounded by blackened ground.

It is going to be interesting to watch the burned area come back to life. A fire like this returns the prairie to its natural state, getting rid of the predators, like Mesquite trees. It would be a good thing if a way could be found to safely burn the rest of the Natural Area.

We were predicted to hit 101 today. But, coming up on half past 3 we are still chilling at 99. I was in the pool early this morning. The water still retained a pleasant chill. That won't last long if we get a string of 100 degree plus days.

I parked at my new Tandy Hills hiking launch spot at the top of Tandy Mountain, off the streets guarded by the Fort Worth Gestapo. I figure this new parking location saves me about a mile. 20 trips to go hiking the Tandy Hills and that saved mile will amount to a gallon of gas saved. I am all about being conservative.

The Queen of Wink has got me thinking about all I miss about living in the Pacific Northwest. The abundance of fresh produce, seafood, flowers growing everywhere, the smell of evergreen trees perfuming the air. You don't notice that constant Christmas tree smell til you move away for a few years and then return.

By July most of the hiking trails in the Cascades are free of snow and open. I can not remember the last time I hiked up an actual mountain. That's depressing to think about. So, I'll stop thinking about it now. And switch to plotting moving back to the Northwest. I sort of miss living in a participatory democracy where freedom reigns supreme.

A Non-Texan Kooky Washington Cop Story

I got email from Erik M. of Fort Worth this morning. This is what Erik had to say...


I came across this article and thought it might make your day, sounds familiar. Looks like Washington also has Gestapo police, I wonder if they are as bad as in Texas?

Erik M.

Ft Worth

When I clicked the link and started reading the article, I thought it was an incident that took place in my old home state of Washington. The highway names were not computing with me. Then I realized that this incident took place in the other Washington, that being the one with D.C. as part of its name.

In the Washington D.C. Gestapo incident a guy was driving what he thought was the speed limit, well, actually 3 miles over what he thought was the speed limit of 55. Then a D.C. cop pulled him over, right in front of a sign that increased the speed limit to 65. The cop ticketed the victim for going too slow. An $80 ticket for going 58 mph where the speed limit is 65 mph.

I do not know if President Obama has commented on this latest example of Gestapo stupidity.

Maybe there should be some sort of Universal Common Sense test that cops must pass before they are allowed to join the force. I wonder how much all this over policing, over regulating costs the economy? It's perplexing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fire & Rain & Bluebells @ Tandy Hills

I've been forgetting to blog this real good incoming from Don Young for a week now. Below is Don Young's latest Prairie Notes. In the notes I finally learn the name of an amazingly hardy wildflower that has been coloring up the Tandy Hills Natural Area (THNA) for weeks now, and is still going strong. I knew of the fire that scorched an area of the Natural Area, but I've not seen it myself. I'll check it out tomorrow.

Prairie Notes #32: July 17, 2009
Summer in the City

A prairie needs both fire and rain to stay healthy and vigorous. With a little human assistance, Tandy Hills received a little of both yesterday.

The fire, apparently, came from some kids goofing around with fireworks. The "rain" definitely came from a fire-hose wielded by an efficient Fort Worth Fire Department.

A medium sized grassy area west of the Main Trail and about 800' from the street was scorched down to bare soil and rock about 8:00 pm Thursday evening. My neighbor on View Street just happened to see the flames from her front yard and made a 911 call. (I only wish she had waited a little longer and we would have had a better burn.)

Friday morning, we found a customized bottle rocket near the burned area. It appears that some neighborhood kids are keeping alive the grand tradition of carelessly playing with fire. With their help, parts of THNA are thriving. There have been discussions about a controlled burn at THNA after more of the woody growth is removed, so keep your Brush Bash tools handy.

Speaking of grand traditions, as they have for thousands of years, Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) are once again laughing in the face of drought and producing a gorgeous display of dreamy Summer blooms. You owe it to yourself to hike in for a look-see.

Another Summer bloomer is White Prairie Clover (Petalostemum multiflorum). Like Bluebells, it is one of the few plants that can take the heat and look good doing it. The grasses, on the other hand, need rain.

Come to the meadow, soon, and do a Rain Dance so the grasses at THNA will reach their potential and sway in chilly winds of Autumn.


A Single Mom Raising 2 Kids On A Texas Lake

That is Oakland Lake in the picture. I don't know how safe it is to raise baby birds on Oakland Lake, what with all the warning signs about the possibly dangerous fish.

This bird group was an interesting family unit. I first saw them onshore. The pair in the lead seemed to be a couple, with the mother appearing to be a single parent. I think it's nice that the bird world is no nicely integrated, with black birds pairing with white birds, with no one fluttering a feather over it.

It also seemed nice that the pair of lovebirds seemed to be looking out for the single mom. It can not be easy trying to raise 2 kids on a contaminated lake, all alone.

All the HOT days have Oakland Lake turning a very nice shade of green, on some parts of the lake. It was not very warm when I took off to head to Oakland Lake Park, in the low 80s with a breeze. It is now 90 with a breeze. Tomorrow is supposed to be back over 100.

Because it got down to the low 70s, overnight, the pool this morning had dropped quite a few degrees. This is a big improvement over it being too warm from too many HOT days in a row.

Arlington Texas Has Become Nazington

Apparently I am not the only inmate in the D/FW Metroplex who has noticed the Fascist/Nazi-like tendencies of some of the local governments that run roughshod over their citizen's basic American rights. Little things like being safe from harassment in your home. Or safe from having your home stolen from you.

I don't know if Hitler booted people from their homes when he needed a new stadium for the 1936 Olympics. I don't know if the Nazis utilized the eminent domain concept, like what was used in Arlington to boot thousands from their homes and apartments and businesses to build a football stadium.

Last week we learned that Arlington employs yet one more Nazi-like, Soviet-like intimidation method by having citizens act as Code Rangers, reporting petty violations to the city, which then sends out agents to issue tickets.

Now we know that at least 2 Texans have had enough of the City of Arlington and it's Totalitarian Government and are escaping the city before the city victimizes them.

A letter in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram verbalized one Arlington citizen's contempt for his soon to be ex-town, calling it "Nazington." I wish I'd thought of that.

Below is the "Nazington" letter....

Arlington has changed

I was very interested in Robert Reuland’s July 17 letter. (Regarding Code Rangers)

In the nearly 30 years I have lived in Arlington, I have suspected that it has gone from a nice, pleasant and fairly laid-back family environment to Nazington.

Reuland’s letter confirmed my fears and, like him, I cannot wait to leave.

— Jose Allen, Arlington

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breathing Flies & All Wet In Fort Worth

That is the rainy, Level Orange Air Pollution Alert view of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, from midway up Tandy Mountain, aka Broadcast Hill, a little past noon today.

Not long into my hiking, rain began to fall. It was not warm summer rain, instead it was rain that was likely a frozen pellet, a couple thousand feet before it melted and hit my bare skin like a little icy stinger.

I liked it. Though my cargo shorts got drenched, which made them heavier than normal, but, due to the cooling effect of all those icy stingers, I was able to move real fast without overheating.

At one point I was breathing a bit hard and a small fly saw an opportunity to seek refuge through my right nostril. Feeling the fly slowly die inside of me was a bit unsettling, but I quickly got over it.

The rain hitting the parched Texas prairie made for a very good fragrance, sort of an Au De Dry Dirt smell that was quite nice. I'd use it if it were in cologne form.

A couple times the rain went into downpour mode. The first time was soon after I started hiking. I could have chosen to turn around and head for dryness, but I trekked on. The second time a downpour poured I was about as far from my vehicle as I was going to get today. I had some concern that the downpour might go into flash flood mode, turning Tandy Falls into impassable Tandy Rapids. But, the downpour stopped, no flood flashed, I was able to cross the Tandy Falls escarpment without incident.

Today I was parked, again, off the Fort Worth Gestapo regulated roads, at the top of Mount Tandy, by the NBC broadcast building and towers. To get to that, safe from the Gestapo, location I drive by Martell Avenue. This may be the most scenic street I've seen in Texas. I want to move to a house on this street. The picture does not do justice to how cool this street looks with its tunnel of pecan trees arching overhead.

So, that been my miserable day, so far, in this tiresome hell I'm living, up late this morning, no swimming, drenched while hiking and now I'm off to the post office to mail something to one of Fort Worth's Gestapo Headquarters.

Environmentally Friendly Texas Popcorn

I had not thought of air popping popcorn by sticking some in a metal container and setting it outside, til Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, sent me this picture this morning.

I'd pop some outside right now, except it is only 82 and a bit cloudy. I'm thinking it needs to be over 100, with direct sunlight hitting the popcorn popper, to make it work.

I got up late today, which happens once every few years, so, I canceled my regular early morning swim, because it was no longer early morning by the time I got my usual tasks out of the way.

I did nothing aerobic yesterday, except for the early morning swim. And that really is not all that aerobic. I did not go on a walk or a hike yesterday. I'm am turning into a sedentary slob. I will try to end this slob trend today. Even though it is off to a bad start with that missing morning swim.

I watched all of the Obama news conference last night. I don't recollect the last time I made it all the way through such a thing. I thought he made a compelling, if somewhat vague, case for moving fast on health care reform.

Having seen the medical business up close and personal, about 25 years ago, I was shocked and appalled and disgusted with the business, way back then. The bills had so many mistakes, some outrageous. I was able to catch some of them. How many was I unable to catch? They mixed up my files and sent me in for something called a Gallium Scan, when I thought I was there for a CAT scan. Thinking I was someone else, they had me drink a foul liquid, prior to the test, that was not for me. After an hour of me fussing and asking why the tests had been changed, a couple doctors showed up and apologized for the mistake.

I'm off to take a virtual drive down Route 66 in Oklahoma now. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Only A Matter Of Time Til They Come For You

Just when I think I can not possibly get more aggravated, something comes along and I manage to get even more aggravated. Here I was thinking that backwards Fascist Fort Worth had lost sight of the American Way where we all live in the Land of the Free, with little to impede our pursuit of happiness, and certainly with the government not impeding our pursuit of happiness. Or our livelihood.

So, just when I think I can't get any more disgusted and think any more strongly that I live in an insane world, I read an article in FOX News online. A disturbing article. A disturbing article detailing what happened to 2 perfectly good citizens, who did nothing wrong. Yet who ended up in Federal Prison. Due to sheer, utter, absurd idiocy. There is a slight glimmer of hope. Two congressmen are focused on the problem. What good that will do, I don't know, but I'm I'm not very optimistic. In the meantime, until this gets fixed, we are all potential Federal Criminals.

Read the below article. If what you read does not unsettle you, well, I'd go in for a check-up, if I were you.......

Federal law now criminalizes activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. Consequently, every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law and end up serving time in federal prison.

With all the attention that's been paid lately to long federal sentences for drug offenders, it's surprising that a far more troubling phenomenon has barely hit the media's radar screen. Every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law or regulation and end up serving time in federal prison.

What is especially disturbing is that it could happen to anyone at all -- and it has.

We should applaud Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), then, for holding a bipartisan hearing today to examine how federal law can make a criminal out of anyone, for even the most mundane conduct.

Federal law in particular now criminalizes entire categories of activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. This is an inevitable result of the fact that the criminal law is no longer restricted to punishing inherently wrongful conduct -- such as murder, rape, robbery, and the like.

Moreover, under these new laws, the government can often secure a conviction without having to prove that the person accused even intended to commit a bad act, historically a protection against wrongful conviction.

Laws like this are dangerous in the hands of social engineers and ambitious lawmakers -- not to mention overzealous prosecutors -- bent on using government's greatest civilian power to punish any activity they dislike. So many thousands of criminal offenses are now in federal law that a prominent federal appeals court judge titled his recent essay on this overcriminalization problem, "You're (Probably) a Federal Criminal."

Consider small-time inventor and entrepreneur Krister Evertson, who will testify at today's hearing. Krister never had so much as a traffic ticket before he was run off the road near his mother's home in Wasilla, Alaska, by SWAT-armored federal agents in large black SUVs training automatic weapons on him.

Evertson, who had been working on clean-energy fuel cells since he was in high school, had no idea what he'd done wrong. It turned out that when he legally sold some sodium (part of his fuel-cell materials) to raise cash, he forgot to put a federally mandated safety sticker on the UPS package he sent to the lawful purchaser.

Krister's lack of a criminal record did nothing to prevent federal agents from ransacking his mother's home in their search for evidence on this oh-so-dangerous criminal.

The good news is that a federal jury in Alaska acquitted Krister of all charges. The jurors saw through the charges and realized that Krister had done nothing wrong.

The bad news, however, is that the feds apparently had it in for Krister. Federal criminal law is so broad that it gave prosecutors a convenient vehicle to use to get their man.

Two years after arresting him, the feds brought an entirely new criminal prosecution against Krister on entirely new grounds. They used the fact that before Krister moved back to Wasilla to care for his 80-year-old mother, he had safely and securely stored all of his fuel-cell materials in Salmon, Idaho.

According to the government, when Krister was in jail in Alaska due to the first unjust charges, he had "abandoned" his fuel-cell materials in Idaho. Unfortunately for Krister, federal lawmakers had included in the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act a provision making it a crime to abandon "hazardous waste." According to the trial judge, the law didn't require prosecutors to prove that Krister had intended to abandon the materials (he hadn't) or that they were waste at all -- in reality, they were quite valuable and properly stored away for future use.

With such a broad law, the second jury didn't have much of a choice, and it convicted him. He spent almost two years locked up with real criminals in a federal prison. After he testifies today, he will have to return to his halfway house in Idaho and serve another week before he is released.

The other hardened criminal whose story members of Congress will hear today is retiree George Norris. A longtime resident of Spring, Texas, Norris made the mistake of not knowing and keeping track of all of the details of federal and international law on endangered species -- mostly paperwork requirements -- before he decided to turn his orchid hobby into a small business. What was Norris's goal? To earn a little investment income while his wife neared retirement.

The Lacey Act is an example of the dangerous overbreadth of federal criminal law. Incredibly, Congress has made it a federal crime to violate any fish or wildlife law or regulation of any nation on earth.

Facing 10 years in federal prison, Norris pled guilty and served almost two. His wife, Kathy, describes the pain of losing their life savings to pay for attorneys and trying to explain to grandchildren why for so long Poppa George couldn't see them.

Federal criminal law did not get so badly broken overnight, and it will take hard work to get it fixed. It is encouraging that members of Congress such as Reps. Scott and Gohmert are now paying attention to the toll overcriminalization takes on ordinary Americans. Congress needs to begin fixing the damage it has done by starting to restore a more reasonable, limited and just federal criminal law. Today's hearing is an excellent first step.

He's Not Speaking English, He's Speaking Texan

Texas provides fodder for a lot of Reality TV Shows. Texans are like some sort of Reality TV Staple. More often than not, in some way or the other, good and bad, the Texans deliver some good TV.

That is Van, the Token Texan on the new season of Hell's Kitchen, in the picture.

The most recent version of ABC's The Bachelorette had this guitar playing crooner from Austin, named Wes, universally reviled as a total slimeball. Wes was on a find a mate show, trouble was he had a girlfriend back home. Apparently a big no-no on a show where you are supposed to be looking for a wife.

Wes finally came clean when the wife wannabe sent him back to Austin. As Wes rode away, into the sunset, he bragged about his #1 hit in Chihuahua, Mexico, bragged about being the first guy ever to make it to #4 on this show, with a girl friend, then trashed the 3 guys remaining, saying he was heading back to Austin and gonna be having a lotta sex with his girlfriend.

Top quality TV, that was. Courtesy of a Texan.

And then, last night, on the season premiere of Hell's Kitchen, we had another Texan. Named Van. Apparently Van is a graduate of the Art Institute of Dallas, which apparently teaches the art of cooking. But not the art of behaving well, and keeping cool. Van cooks in an un-named, supposed "top" Dallas restaurant.

However, last night Van seemed to have some serious anger management issues, and shrimp management issues. Perhaps he'd be better suited to being a Fort Worth Policeman. The local Gestapo is always looking for new angry young men.

Van was assigned to tableside shrimp scampi cooking duty. Van had trouble with this duty. He was flipping pans into the air, with shrimp flying. At one point he was cooking shrimp for one of the other team's tables. Jean-Philippe, the mild-mannered Belgian Maitre'd, was mortified at the havoc Van was wreaking in the dining room. JP tried to reign Van in. But this made Van mad, well, actually furious. Van would not listen to JP, instead he threatened JP with his fists, putting on quite a show for the diners.

Eventually Chef Gordon Ramsay intervened and dragged the sparring pair off the dining floor, screaming at them, asking what is wrong with you two? Basically JP said it was Van's fault, that Van wouldn't listen. To which Ramsay told the pair they needed to communicate, that they both spoke English, what's the problem?

To which JP said, in a classic Reality TV moment, in his best snooty French-Belgian accent, "I can not understand him. I speak English. He speaks Texan."

For some reason I found this funny.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Were You At The Rainbow Lounge When The Fort Worth Gestapo Struck?

There is an interesting ad in this week's FW Weekly, next to the ad for the Rainbow Lounge.

You remember the Rainbow Lounge, I'm sure, it made international headlines, for Fort Worth, late last month. That does not happen to Fort Worth all that often.

The Rainbow Lounge is where, in the late hours of June 26 and the early hours of June 27, armed squads of Fort Worth Gestapo Agents, working with fellow thugs from the TABC, invaded the Rainbow Lounge, assaulted patrons, some seriously, handcuffed 20 or so, forcing them to lay, facedown on the parking lot pavement.

When news broke of this latest manifestation of Fort Worth Fascism, reaction was swift and strong. And grew stronger when the Gestapo account was greatly at odds with the accounts of first hand observers, including newspaper reporters and other respectable, credible sorts.

Soon, the police, and Fort Worth's Ruling Junta's propaganda purveying mouthpiece, known as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, had to start backpedaling, as it slowly began to dawn that Fort Worth had just had just been delivered a public relations nightmare by the Fort Worth Gestapo.

Within a week, the pressure grew so strong that Fort Worth's usually slow to do anything right, or even remotely politically correct, mayor, Mike Moncrief, called for a federal investigation to get to the truth of why it was that Gestapo Agents were sent to terrorize innocent citizens. And who sent them.

I sort of digressed there, on the way to mentioning the ad in this week's FW Weekly, next to the Rainbow Lounge ad. It's a solicitation from a lawyer. The Law Office of Rob Wiley P.C. is investigating the arrests at the Rainbow Lounge and asking "Were you at the Rainbow Lounge?"

If you have any information regarding this matter you are asked to please call 214.528.6500. This law firm has successfully brought to justice similar suits seeking monetary damages.

So, this is where it gets interesting. The Rainbow Lounge Gestapo Raid could end up costing Fort Worth a fortune. And rightly so. But will it be the Gestapo Agents who conducted the raid who pay the small fortune? No. Hopefully they will be behind bars. But, that seems unlikely, unless the federal investigation somehow topples Fort Worth's Fascist Regime.

So, will it be whoever ordered the Fort Worth Gestapo Agents to make the raid on the Rainbow Lounge, paying out the fortune in restitution?

No. It will be the people of Fort Worth. It will be your tax money, in the end, that pays for the Gestapo Raid, done in your name, on the Rainbow Lounge. It is the citizens of Fort Worth who are ultimately responsible for the fact that they are allowing a Fascist Regime to run roughshod over their fellow citizen's rights.

Where did the money come from that paid the judgments rendered over the drowning of 4 in the Water Gardens? Thin air? Was anyone held accountable for that disaster? I remember the first time I saw that whirlpool and thinking that did not look safe, then thinking it must be made to look dangerous, there must be some sort of grate that catches you if you fall in. That only seemed common sensical. Sadly, common sense is an attribute that seems sometimes to be in short supply in these parts.

Has the Trinity River Vision given its official gone blind notice yet?

Choctaw Casino, Gateway Park & Trinity Falls

My virtual trip, this morning, up to the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma, took longer than I thought it would, it always does.

I was back from Oklahoma and in a Fort Worth frame of mind by about 11 this morning. Due to the rather heavy rain this morning, I figured my hiking/walking noonday options were likely limited.

I had not been to Gateway Park in awhile. I figured I'd check out the river and see if the Trinity was in high water mode due to the rain, and then go to Town Talk, which is nearby, and get some good cheese, to which I am addicted, hence the horrendous, unsightly weight gain.

I was a bit non-plussed about what I saw, soon upon my arrival at Gateway Park. I've already blogged my umbrage about that. Once I got past my non-plussedness, which really did not take all that long, I am quite used to being disappointed and disgusted by things I see in Fort Worth, I headed towards the trail that leads to Trinity Falls.

The Gateway Park paved trail leaves the park to connect with the paved Trinity Trail that runs beside and on top of the Trinity River levee. And across dams. I have no idea how these trails would be affected by the, likely never to be built, Trinity Uptown Project, aka TRV.

You leave Gateway Park over a long pedestrian/bike bridge, with Trinity Falls framed by the bridge's sides. It is a borderline scenic spot. Today a guy was trying to fish below the falls. I don't know if he had any luck or if you are advised not to eat any fish you might catch.

I am almost 100% certain Trinity Falls is not a natural falls. I am not certain where the nearest natural falls might be. Turner Falls in Oklahoma, maybe?

One thing that was actually quite cool today, in two meanings of that word. The closer I got to the falls and the river the cooler the temperature got and the less humid it seemed. And the air was full of a good water smell, like negative ions were being shed by the falls, making the air sort of have that element you get when you are on a saltwater beach with big waves crashing. If you have not not been hit by a big saltwater wave in a longtime, I recommend a visit to Gateway Park and a walk to Trinity Falls. It's a pale substitute, but so what, you go with what you've got.

Another Fort Worth Park Puts Up Closed Signs

The CLOSED signs you see are in Gateway Park. There is a third CLOSED sign, that you do not see, to the left. The CLOSED signs are blocking you from entering the elaborate boardwalk walkway that takes you down to the Trinity River in a series of switchbacks.

There are 2 of these boardwalk, river access contraptions in Gateway Park. I assume the other one is CLOSED too.

I have previously made note of the fact that these boardwalks seemed to suffer from neglect, with no cleanup after a flood leaves a deposit of mud, resulting in the eventual decomposing of some of the woodwork.

Why was money spent to build these things, if there was no intent to maintain them? How much did they cost? Who built them? Who put up the CLOSED signs?

Today marks the second time I have been surprised to happen upon a CLOSED sign at a park in Fort Worth. The most bizarre CLOSED park discovery was when I found that one of Fort Worth's few truly unique locations, Heritage Park, it being a small park that celebrated where Fort Worth began, with a very well done system of catwalks, overlooks, water features and views, was also allowed to deteriorate to the point that cyclone fence now surrounds it.

The Heritage Park debacle is particularly bizarre to me, in the city that is the envy of other cities far and wide. Heritage Park is directly across from the Tarrant County Courthouse. The cyclone fence is in plain view of any passing motorist, and the few tourists, who drive north on Main. Any other town, with any sort of pretension to anything but mediocrity, would long ago have fixed this embarrassing eyesore.

Instead the Heritage Park eyesore festers. There are citizen groups trying to fix the park. I do not know how much headway they have made.

In the meantime, Gateway Park now has Fort Worth's latest embarrassing eyesore, that should never have happened.

Gateway Park has been sucked into that vortex of civic madness gone awry, known as the Trinity River Vision, a vision that of late seems destined to go blind.

The CLOSED signs at Gateway Park today may be some sort of omen of the impending demise of the Trinity River Vision. I mean, why don't we try to keep what has already been built here, up and running? And then move on to more grandiose projects. With voter approval, of course.

Swimming In The Warm Summer Rain With Texas Thunder

A year ago today was the first full day of my Tacoma Internment, with this day in Texas very much matching that day a year ago, in that it has been raining here and it's cold. Only 75 out there at a bit past 9.

When I went to the pool, before 7 this morning, it was raining with quite a bit of determination, a warm summer rain that felt like a shower. Very pleasant. Somehow the pool water had cooled overnight. Also very pleasant.

And in the distance I heard the continuous bangs of thunder. Also very pleasant.

The debilitating headache that struck me yesterday, like an over sized sledgehammer to the head, abated by about 7 in the evening. So far, today, no sign of the return of the sledgehammer. That also is very pleasant.

I think I'm heading a bit north and east today, virtually, heading to the Choctaw Casino Resort, just across the border in Durant, Oklahoma. That should be fun, but it'll likely seem more like tiresome work.

I can not access her blog anymore, due to it hangs up my Flock Browser, but one of my many snitches informed me that Queen Jammin, on her blog, referred to me as an elderly man with much too much time on his hands. I was appalled at the Queen's malicious slander. Since I do have a lot of time on my hands, I may have to engineer a coup and de-throne her.

In the meantime, the royal purges must wait while I go to Oklahoma.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oakland Lake Park Doom Gloom Headaches In Fascist Fort Worth

As you can see it was a bit more gloomy at Oakland Lake Park than when I was there yesterday. By the end of my walking today the rain had started to get serious about getting anything in its path wet.

The clouds and rain have now lifted. You'd think that would put me in a better mood, but, sadly I am ailing. I rarely ail. It started sometime around 8 this morning.

Suddenly I got a headache. That never happens. I thought walking might get rid of it. It didn't. Then about 2 something happened that never happens. I laid down and fell asleep in nap mode. It's been years since that has happened. I am now up and a bit better, still being a bit of a sorehead.

Maybe I am suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress syndrome. It is a month to the day since I flew up to Tacoma for what may be the strangest, most disturbing, weirdest, most inexplicable month I've ever lived. It's been a year, starting today, and I still wonder what the hell that was. Minimized to its essence. Total craziness.

Due to ailing I have not been able to do much constructive today. I did manage to do a minor contribution to the Fort Worth Underground's Fort Worth Freedom Project, by writing a long-winded blogging about why Fort Worth is a Fascist State. But, other than that and a few other things, I've been nothing but a bitter pill today.

It's almost 5. A few more hours of this hell I am living and I can go to bed at a decent hour and hope to sleep, perchance to dream, maybe to wake up in the morning without a headache.

Fort Worth Fascist Apologists

I've gotten a comment or two from supporters of Fort Worth's Ruling Junta's Fascist Rule, suggesting that it is totally unfair to use this term to describe Fort Worth.

I beg to differ. It is my contention that those who object to the suggestion that the way Fort Worth is ruled has Fascist attributes, do not know what Fascism is.

Fascism, at its heart, calls for the absolute political rule by its leaders, deploring the democratic ideal of the common people making important decisions.

Such as voting for massive public works projects, like the now, obviously, failing, Trinity River Vision.

Fascism makes use of controlled mass media. In Fort Worth, the Ruling Junta uses its mouthpiece, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to disseminate misinformation. Currently there is a split in the Ruling Junta, as evidenced by the fact that in the past couple days the Star-Telegram has broken from the previous party line, regarding the Trinity River Vision, raising serious objections for the first time, thus signaling that the project is likely doomed.

Under Fascism corporate power is protected.

The city government of Fort Worth is deeply entwined with the Barnett Shale gas drilling industry, which is wreaking havoc all over Fort Worth, making citizens feel insecure and unsafe in their homes, with the Mayor of Fort Worth, Mike Moncrief, reaping revenue from all the drilling companies poking holes in his dictatorship.

Under Fascism the Supreme Leader is beyond reproach. Media is tightly controlled, with no one allowed to question the Supreme Leader. Fort Worth's Supreme Leader, Mike Moncrief, elected by 70% of 6% of Fort Worth's voters, refuses to answer questions from Fort Worth's actual real newspaper, that being the Fort Worth Weekly, which asks tough questions and does deep investigations into all that corrupts the Fascist City of Fort Worth. As best they can, without access to the dictatorship.

A Fascist State is obsessed with Crime & Punishment. In Fort Worth the Gestapo issues tickets to people caught not wearing their eyeglasses, even though they now wear contacts, and to people caught driving 10 mph while not wearing their seatbelts.

But worse than over policing extremely minor infractions, in a manner which makes the Fort Worth Gestapo appear like cartoon characters to the Free World, the Fort Worth Gestapo commits far worse crimes against humanity. Such as when a goon squad of Fort Worth Gestapo Police Thugs invaded the Rainbow Lounge, randomly handcuffing and beating perfectly innocent citizens, throwing them to the ground to lay face down on a parking lot, to the International Outrage of the Outside Free World.

The Rainbow Lounge crimes of the Fort Worth Gestapo have yet to be punished. Yet another hallmark of a Fascist State.

Under Fascism fraudulent elections take place. People in Fort Worth have been kowtowed, for so long, they seem to have lost any touch with the idea of living in a participatory democracy on the local level. So, in the civic election of a couple months ago, despite the widespread knowledge that Mike Moncrief is running a city rife with cronyism and corruption, he was re-elected, like I already said, by a 70% vote of 6% of the voters.

Speaking of cronyism and corruption, that is another sign of Fascism. The corruption in Fort Worth manifests itself on many levels. Just take the defunct Trinity River Vision. The first Fascist aspect is the citizens of Fort Worth were denied input or voting on this project. Another Fascist aspect is a corrupt politician engineered the installation of her son, J.D. Granger, as the puppet leader of the Trinity River Vision Project, with Granger being a man with zero experience running such a project. Another Fascist aspect, of the Trinity River Vision, is that even before anything substantial has gotten underway with the failing project, J.D. Granger and his cronies arranged to have a palace built for themselves to the tune of millions of dollars. So, the only thing completed of the Trinity River Vision is an ultra-expensive office building in a city with a lot of office space available for lease.

If bets were being taken by Vegas, I'd put my money on the chance that the Trinity River Vision Office will end up being the only thing ever completed of this Fascist project.

So, there you go. Now you know why, in my opinion, Fort Worth has way too many Fascist elements in play, at great odds with a representative democracy where freedom reigns supreme. I don't know if it will take outside intervention, in the form of federal investigations or some sort of internal reform, from some currently unimaginable source, but until the day comes that the vast majority of Fort Worth's people recognize that the way the Fort Worth Trinity Vision was shoved down their throats was wrong, and do something about it, Fort Worth's Fascist Reign will continue.

That is just sad.

The Queen of Wink Texas

That is Queen Jammin sitting on her throne outside her palace in Wink, Texas. I do not know why she is sitting on her throne without wearing her tiara. The tiara lack seems like some sort of breech of protocol, to me.

And I won't even comment on the fact that I've never seen a Queen in short shorts before.

Then again, the municipality of Wink, over which Queen Jammin rules, is in Free Texas, far removed from the fascist area of Texas, where Queens must cover their legs or risk being de-throned.

Queen Jammin frequently drives around the greater Wink metropolitan area without wearing her seatbelt, waving at the local law enforcement officer as she drives slowly by.

The Queen of Wink and her Entourage will be making a visit to Dallas in August. I do not know if this is an official visit or what the purpose is. Security is quite tight. I hope she has the good sense not to take her Royal Entourage to Fort Worth.

Speaking of fascist Texas, well, more specifically, fascist Fort Worth. Overnight I learned of a new victim. I will call her Martha. Martha had had a hard long day. She was heading home, eager to get there. So Martha inched a mile over the speed limit. Martha was pulled over by one of the Fort Worth Gestapo. The Gestapo agent saw that Martha's driver's license indicated she needed to be wearing eye glasses. The Gestapo agent did not accept the fact that Martha now wears contacts. Then Martha was unable to locate her insurance papers.

So, the Fort Worth Gestapo agent issued good, upstanding citizen, Martha, a ticket that listed her speeding violation, her lack of glasses violation and her lack of insurance documentation violation.

This past weekend Martha served 8 hours in a Fort Worth Driver's Re-Education Internment Camp. I do not know if this run-in with the Fort Worth Gestapo is causing Martha to consider moving to Free Texas or not. Or if she is ready to join the Free Fort Worth Underground.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm Ready To Escape This Ongoing Storm I'm Living In Texas

That's not my swimming pool in the picture. You can not go swimming in the pool in the picture. That is Oakland Lake and it is polluted. You also can not eat fish, or shouldn't, that you catch in Oakland Lake.

Yesterday I showed you a closer view of the Tandy Tower, from the fringes of Tandy Hills Natural Area. The picture today is looking at the tower on top of Mount Tandy from across Oakland Lake. You can see how close Tandy Tower is to Oakland Lake, due to it being reflected in the lake.

I did do my usual communing with nature in my unnatural pool this morning. It was uneventful.

Mother Nature may rock and roll me out of my depressed doldrums in a little while. We are under threat of a Lightning Blitzkrieg until 9, with the forces of Mother Nature already penetrating the defense lines in Denton and far north Tarrant County. The attack is on a bee-line for me. It is only 4 and the storm clouds seem to be darkening.

I have not heard tornado sirens yet this year. Maybe this Sunday is the day.

AT & T U-Verse in July has been unlocking a lot of their movie channels. This had me watching Into the Wild while I ate lunch. Good movie. It tells the story of Christopher McCandless, who got sick of the hell he was living and so he took off on an adventure that had him all over the country, kayaking down the Colorado River, eventually into Mexico, and after a lot of side adventures, making it to Alaska, where it took Mother Nature about 4 months to kill him.

Well, to be fair, which really is not my best attribute, it really was not Mother's fault. McCandless was very ill-prepared. Had he had a proper map he would have known he was only a 1/4 mile from a river crossing tram that he could have used when he decided it was time to escape. He really was not all that deep into wilderness, just outside Denali National Park. He was found just 2 weeks after he starved to death. The Magic Bus where he died is now a tourist attraction.

So, I'm thinking of running away from this hell I'm living, dealing with Gestapo agents and other overwhelming nonsense, and just disappearing into the ether, ending up somewhere like Timbuktu. I wonder if one can kayak to one of those cool South Sea Islands I've seen on Survivor over the years?