Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Study Indicates High Rate Of Dementia Among NFL Players & More On Tony Romo's Backwards Baseball Cap

Earlier today I blogged about the super shocking disgrace of Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo's improper use of a baseball cap.

There are Dallas Cowboy fans here in this Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone I live in who feel quite strongly about Tony Romo's outrageous fashion faux pas, getting so worked up about it that they send off earnest missives to the local newspaper editors.

And then this afternoon one of my researching corespondents, based here in D/FW, sent me information from the New York Times regarding a study commissioned by the National Football League in which it was learned that Alzheimer's disease and other memory-related problems appear in the league's players at a rate vastly higher than the general population of non-football players.

100s of on-field concussions occur at all levels of football every week, at high school, college and the NFL, there are football players sustaining head injuries. Apparently those silly looking helmets need a serious re-design.

Scrutiny of brain injuries in football players has grown more intense in the past 3 years, with many players and former players coming forward and reporting cognitive problems.

The NFL is currently conducting an in depth study of 120 ex professional football players, doing extensive neurological examinations over the course of the study. This process is expected to take several years.

For dementia related diagnoses, 6.1 percent of NFL players age 50 and above had a dementia rate 5 times higher than the general population. NFL players aged 30 to 49 showed a dementia rate 19 times the national average.

I do not think Tony Romo is quite 30. I heard Tony Romo speak at an event in Dallas a couple years ago. I was quite impressed and found him very likable. I really hope it is not early onslaught of NFL football dementia that is causing Tony to forget which way to point his baseball cap. You add this baseball cap problem to Tony's seemingly irrational dumping of Jessica Simpson and you have some rather strong indications of somewhat slightly demented behavior.

I don't know if Tony Romo is still firing on all cylinders in the football throwing department. Are there signs of diminished capacity there, too? I don't watch football, if I can help it, so I don't know. I think the Dallas Cowboys won their most recent game and there was no rioting of the Party Pass People.

My Eyes On Texas Website Got Hacked Again

It has not been a good morning in Durango World.

My Eyes on Texas website got hacked by malware again. I think I caught it before Google did. I found out I had a problem when I clicked on my State Fair of Texas page to find it acting odd. I looked at the source code and saw the hacking code.

The hacking seems to always target the same pages, all of them the ones that get the most hits. Like Turner Falls Park.

My webpage about the Dallas Cowboy/Jerry Jones/Arlington Stadium building eminent domain abuse scandal also is one that has gotten hacked each time. If I were a paranoid sort I would suspect that nefarious Jerry Jones guy of being behind trying to shut me up about his new palace in Arlington.

I've Googled for info about my server, IX Webhosting, before and found a litany of complaints. Most of the complaints do not match my experience with my server. Yes, the Ukrainian support people can be a bit of a strain, but they usually end up being useful. Calling support has always been a good experience, friendly and efficient.

Many people have complained that the IX servers go down regularly. Some claiming it's an every day occurrence. That has not been my experience. Some claim the servers are slow and that there are email and spam problems. That also has not been my experience.

Yes, there was the time a couple years ago when my home page re-directed to Ebay. I called support and the problem was fixed while I was on the phone. I never did get an explanation as to how this could happen. Same with the hacking incidents. I followed IX's tech support instructions as to how to tighten FTP security. And then had the problem re-occur, this morning.

It's very perplexing. I had other things I wanted to do this morning than fix a website.

Tony Romo's Backwards Cap & America's Dallas Cowboy Team's Eminent Domain Abuse

I found some good letters to the editor and comments in this morning's Dallas Morning News about Dallas Cowboy, Tony Romo, he being the team's quarterback and former boy toy of Jessica Simpson.

Tony Romo often wears a baseball cap backwards. I have read negative comments about this previously, and again this morning in the DMN letters to the editor.

The cap backwards umbrage commenter also mentioned the Dallas Cowboys being America's Team. That got a good comment. I also have commented before about the Dallas delusion of being America's Team.

Another letter to the editor was regarding the abuse of eminent domain crimes that were committed in Arlington to get land for the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. This letter was written in reaction to a Dallas Morning News article about America's Team and the corrupt Jones family.

I'll copy the letters and comment below, followed by the YouTube video I made of the homes and apartments destroyed in Arlington for the new stadium.

Turn that hat around

If Tony Romo wants to turn the Dallas Cowboys around, he needs to turn his hat around first.

Romo is the quarterback for the Cowboys, not a street musician. He should wear the uniform properly until he has earned the right to assume the casual nature he projects with his various hat-wearing contortions.

Perhaps if he wins a Super Bowl, he will have earned the respect needed before he can take a casual approach to dressing for America's Team.

Patrick Gallagher, Fort Worth

The Dallas Cowboys are NOT America's team. There is no such thing. And get a little perspective here. They are a private entertainment company like any other sports team or league. Sports teams do become part of our culture like musicians and other entertainers but they are not any more deserving of respect than any other private enterprise.

Comment Posted by Mike D

The right to take away homes

Re: "Behind America's Team and its home, an American family -- State-of-the-art facility a labor of love for Joneses," Monday news story.

How do the Jones family and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck justify the use of eminent domain to seize homes and businesses in order to build the stadium where they wanted?

The Jones family and Cluck always have pat answers that voters voted for it, the stadium brings tourists, the city owns the stadium or the owners were paid, but these homes and businesses were not for sale.

Heir Stephen Jones is correct -- this stadium was built on the backs of families -- the working class and elderly former owners whose homes and businesses were condemned and destroyed.

Linda Lancaster, Arlington

Massive South Pacific Earthquake Sends Deadly Tsunami To Samoa & American West Coast

I've been intending to find out where, in the South Pacific, Samoa is located ever since Survivor Samoa started up. I now know exactly where it is.

This morning news of a powerful 8.3 magnitude earthquake striking about 125 miles from Samoa, causing 4 tsunami waves, 15 to 20 feet high, to crash into Samoa and American Samoa up to a mile inland.

So far the death count is at 99 on Samoa and American Samoa, with dozens missing. Tsunami warning sirens got many people to high ground before the big flood arrived.

There are 180,000 people on Samoa, with 65,000 on American Samoa.

10 hours after the quake, Japan was hit with very weak tsunami waves. On the U.S. west coast strong currents and dangerous waves were forecast from California to Washington. Los Angeles lifeguards cleared beaches by 8 pm due to the possible dangerous currents.

I've seen the damage caused by a tsunami from a massive earthquake in Alaska. If I remember right that one killed a couple people and did a lot of damage in Crescent City, California. That tsunami also flooded on to shore on the Washington coast, doing damage at Ocean Shores and other low lying locations.

I was hit by a rogue wave years ago while on the beach at Ocean Shores. All of the sudden it was obvious the incoming wave was bigger than the norm. Everyone started running. I picked up my little sister and ran, climbing up on a big driftwood log. The wave hit, knocking us off the log, getting us soaking wet. Every time I see images of the effects of a tsunami I think of that rogue wave. A tsunami would be like a rogue wave on steroids. Very very scary.

We may be getting natural gas drilling caused earthquakes here in North Texas, but there is very little chance any of those little temblors will be causing a tsunami.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Age Related Fort Worth Forgetfulness & Other Woes

I got up around 4 this morning. It was not an insomnia issue. I'd slept well, woke up and knew I was done with the sleeping thing for the night.

It was while down at the pool this morning I had my first dingbat incident of the day. It was 56 when I went outside to brave the elements. The water was warmer than the air.

The sky was being clear and very dark. A very starry sky. Often the stars are not all that viewable in this polluted urban zone. But this morning I saw the Orion constellation. I looked for the Big Dipper, but I think trees blocked the view.

I forgot to say what the first dingbat incident of the day was. Well. I forgot to take a towel with me. That did not turn into the chilly problem that I thought it would.

When I got done pooling I turned into a Twittering Maniac, seeing if I could repeat yesterday's record breaking website/blog day.

After I tired of Twittering I shoved a chicken in the oven. A totally natural bird with none of that added bad stuff that some chickens get injected with. I pulled the chicken from the cooking device about noon and headed to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake.

That is when my 2nd dingbat incident of the day occurred. I have developed a habit of never leaving home without my camera, lest I miss taking a picture of something strange that I might come upon. Well, as I walked along I looked up to see an interesting view of the Tandy Hills tower that I called the Fort Worth Space Needle. I reached in the pocket where I keep the camera to find the pocket empty.

I knew where my camera was so I didn't panic thinking it'd slipped out of my pocket like a previous incident. So, no picture, today, of the Fort Worth Space Needle as seen from Oakland Park.

The chicken and baked tomatoes turned out real tasty. I really should open a restaurant.

Big Tex Takes DART Green Line To The State Fair Of Texas

That is Big Tex waiting to get on a DART train at Mockingbird Station. Big Tex is heading to the State Fair of Texas where he stands tall all day long and talks to people.

To get to the Fair, Big Tex will need to switch to the DART Green Line at Pearl Station. The Green Line will take Big Tex directly to the State Fair.

Before getting on the DART train Big Tex went to Kroger where he bought a combo ticket to the Fair. For $16 Big Tex gets a ticket to the Fair and a Round Trip transport on DART.

For those not familiar with Dallas, DART is Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Dallas has about 50 miles of light rail. Each year seems to bring more miles of DART. There are currently 3 DART lines, the Red Line, the Blue Line and the Green Line. The Green Line will currently take you to the State Fair of Texas. By 2010 the Green Line will take you beyond the State Fair.

The Orange Line is under construction. It will take riders to Irving and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

The Dallas Morning News has a video of Big Tex going to Kroger and riding DART to the State Fair of Texas. You'll really want to be sure and watch it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Being Vulgar In Texas While Twittering

Yes, I know it's vulgar to talk about money. Being vulgar has never really been something I've spent much time worrying about.

Anyway, I don't know what's causing it, for sure, but today is not even over and I've somehow broken my ad revenue record in both the total of all sources and in the total from this very blog you are reading right now.

The only variable that has come in to play, of late, is I finally figured out how to use Twitter. Is Twitter driving traffic to my websites and blog? According to the website I use to shrink URLs, for Twitter, those links have been clicked on oodles of times. However, those oodles of clicks do not show up in my other stats, such as FeedJit or my Google Webmaster stats.

It is very perplexing. But I'm finding it amusing. Just doing the Twittering is addictive, sort of. You have only 140 characters to get your message across. Doing so makes you have to come up with some clever editing. This uses the same part of my brain that does not get all that much use that Scrabble strains. I suppose this type straining is a good thing. It's like exercise.

A Difficult Pink Wildflower Blowing In The Cold Wind At The Tandy Hillls Natural Area

I saw a wildflower I'd not noticed before, today, coloring up the Tandy Hills Natural Area. I set the camera on macro mode and tried 28 times to get a sharp focused closeup picture. The result on the left was the best of the 28 attempts.

I think the ethereal, translucent petals of the pink wildflower made it difficult for the camera to focus on it.

We are in the midst of another cold front chilling us here in North Texas. It is only 77 right now, a couple hours past noon.

I'm continuing to be perplexed by Twitter. Ever since I started Tweeting with a webpage link as part of the Tweet, with those webpages being either one of my blogs or my Eyes on Texas website, well, my stats have gone way up. But, I have no way of telling if this is being caused by Twitter.

Above is one of the 27 pictures of the pink wildflower that managed to look somewhat ghost-like. Today slight coolness in the breeze blowing over the Tandy Hills made me remember last winter, hiking the Tandy Hills in sweatpants and running up the hills to try and get warm. Those cold days will soon be here.

We Are Getting More Bullets In North Texas As Ammo Supply Increases

A headline in this morning's Fort Worth Star Telegram caught my eye, the headline being "After almost a year, ammo shortage starting to ease in in Dallas-Fort Worth."

I had no idea we were suffering from an ammunition shortage. I know I've got all the bullets I need for my guns, because I own no guns.

Reading the article I learned it was not just us in the D/FW Metroplex who are having trouble keeping our arsenals supplied, it's a national problem.

Seems that when the Democrats came back to power those who insist on having their own little private armies got panicky that the Democrats would enact stricter gun control laws, or outright bans.

And so those who feared not being adequately armed stocked up on assault weapons and ammunition, thus creating the shortage. Gun owners bought 9 billion bullets this year, up from the usual 7 billion.

That is an awful lot of bullets. When the demand for ammo went way up, those who manufacture bullets were caught by surprise, unable to quickly meet the increased demand. This caused the price of ammunition to go up. A box of bullets that used to cost $15 went up as high as $39 per box. The price has come down from its high as the supply of bullets has increased.

I think I'll go to Guns R' Us today and get myself an assault rifle and some ammo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Don Young Gets Moody About The Tandy Hills

I got an email this morning from Don Young, waxing poetic about the Tandy Hills. It motivated me to go there, again, today, even though I was there yesterday.

There were several beautiful photos included in the email. I used the one that looked like the prairie was looking today. It continues to perplex me that I have lived in my current location for about 8 years and only 2 years ago discovered the Tandy Hills Natural Area. I would guess that the majority of the people of Fort Worth have not set foot on the Tandy Hills. Their loss.

Prairie Notes #35
September 27, 2009

The Many Moods of Tandy Hills Natural Area

This is a quickie "Notes" to remind you that right now the weather is nearly perfect for late afternoon hikes along the (too) many trails at Tandy Hills Natural Area. The trails are mostly dry after the extended rains of last week. The prairie has suddenly come alive, not unlike the Spring.

Tandy Hills is not a typical prairie. The variety of elevations resulting from the hilly terrain gives THNA a variety of moods. You can go from a wide-open, prairie view up on top to a deep woods experience in just a few hundred steps. There are bright, sunlit meadows with panoramic views and shaded alcoves where you can disappear from the mad, mad world. Creek-hiking and exploring is yet another way to experience Tandy Hills. You may have to bypass the occasional pool but that's part of the fun. These pools are where the local wildlife come to drink.

>>> Bring the kids. >>> Tandy Hills is a great place to see and learn about plants not commonly found in Fort Worth. You can see grass as high as an elephant's eye. There are cottontail rabbits hopping along most trails. THNA is also a fossil hunters paradise, especially in the creek bottoms. (But please don't overdo it.) Don't forget to look up, either. THNA is great for bird-watching. Bring your binocs, camera, notebook and always bring drinking water.

Come on in and let yourself and the kids off the leash for awhile. THNA is open for business pleasure.


The Tarrant County Arlington Dallas Cowboy Stadium

Around noon I was exiting Interstate 30 at Cook Road, heading to Wal-Mart and looking east towards Dallas when I saw the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium sticking up above the trees.

There has been some muttering in Arlington over various incidents of various people making reference to the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

I don't know if there were people in Irving, that being the location of the former Dallas Cowboy Stadium, who got upset when Irving was left out in some reference to the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Irving. When the Cowboy Stadium was in Irving it was very close to Dallas, you could see the Dallas skyline from the stadium, the Dallas city limits were just a short distance away and the stadium sat in Dallas County.

The new Dallas Cowboy Stadium is not in Dallas County. It is in Tarrant County. Fort Worth is the county seat of Tarrant County. Arlington does not border the town of Dallas, there is another town between Arlington and Dallas, that being Grand Prairie.

The new Dallas Cowboy Stadium is visible from all sorts of Tarrant County locations. I don't know if the stadium is visible from any Dallas locations. Maybe you can see it from Reunion Tower or some other Dallas downtown skyscraper.

I've not read of any Dallas people being annoyed that the stadium for their football team is not in their town. I have read, a time or two, of Dallas people pleased some other town got hoodwinked into putting up the money for their new stadium. It really is a sweet deal for Dallas. Except for having to leave Dallas to watch the home team play a game.

Had the new stadium been built at Fair Park, as some proposed, before Dallas refused to fund it, you would have been able to travel to a game via the new DART Green Line, saving $40 on parking. Arlington has no mass transportation of any sort. Fort Worth has an excellent bus system and I believe Fort Worth is running buses to Arlington on game days.

I wonder if Fort Worth had been the town hoodwinked into funding the new stadium if that would have upset Dallasites?

The Astounding World Of Tomorrow

One of my Washington corespondents sent me this amazing amusing look into the future.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Atlanta Housewives Hog My TV Blog & Cause Odd Comments

The comments I get to my blogs and Eyes on Texas website are borderline scary at times. People with thinking disorders add to their scariness due to being so sure of themselves, with absolutely no ability to question the premise of their scary thinking.

About a year ago I thought it a good idea, at the time, to start a Durango TV Blog. Even though I don't watch all that much TV. I thought Google ads might do well on a TV Blog. I was right about that.

In November of 2008, or thereabouts, Bravo started up a new iteration of their Real Housewives franchise, it being The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I found the show amusing and blogged about it several times. For reasons, not clear to me, Google indexes my bloggings about the Atlanta housewives mostly at #1 for way too many search strings.

So, whenever the Atlanta housewives are on, my TV blog catches fire, which it really did big time on Thursday, due to one of the housewives, Kim, going on about her married boyfriend she calls Big Poppa. I'd blogged, a year ago, about Big Poppa, his real identity and had a photo of him.

When the TV blog catches fire it gets thousands of visitors a day. Almost all looking for Atlanta housewife info. In addition to the search for Big Poppa, people are looking for the dirt on housewives named NeNe and Lisa. If you go to my TV blog's FeedJit Stats you will see, on any given day, how many people come to it due to those Atlanta housewives.

So, about a year ago someone sent me court records about NeNe. And photos of her "real" house. I blogged this. Easily 90% of the people who come to my TV blog come there because they are looking for a photo of Big Poppa or info about NeNe's and Lisa's house and bankruptcy woes.

The blogging about NeNe's bankruptcy and house woes has had 24 comments, including one today from someone who has a bit of a reading comprehension problem and misunderstood who did what regarding finding info about NeNe.

I'll copy the commenter, Mel's, comment below. My usual impulse is to fix the punctuation and spelling errors, but I'll leave them be. I'll just take out the profanity.

Wow, the fact that you have that much time on your hands is really sad. I mean, take 5 minutes of of your day to read a blog is one actually take the time to drive and locate someones house is another! Can anyone say stalker?

I watch the Real Housewives every week. You know why? Because its entertainment! TV! "Reality" or not, its on to entertain us! As for Nene financial state...who cares? really? how is it hurting you?

First and many of you own your on home? If you have a morgage- hun, its not your house, its the banks! I have seen Kim and Sheree throw their so called wealth around often during the two seasons. Buying UGLY expensive jewelry. While I have heard Nene say on several occassions to spend wisely cause we're in a recession! (See when Nene and Dwight go shopping to decorate her new home) Which is smart thinking no matter how rich or poor you are. You dont get rich by spending all your money!

Do you haters actually dislike Nene cause she does not fit your stereotype of a person with money? Because you actually want to be her, in her position? And to the OP, since you are so good at researching things, why dont you go research a good therapist. Cause thats the scary stalker type stuff!

Saturday In Texas With Big Bugs, Fallen Tents, Tandy Hills & Town Talk

That monster bug in the picture almost stepped on me today when I was deep into my oblivious relaxation mode whilst hiking at the Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium Area.

I have no idea what type bug this alien looking creature is. Unlike my pet cockroaches, it remained calm while I looked at it and posed politely for me without moving very much.

There are still wildflowers busy blooming on the Tandy Hills. Did I just not notice them last Fall? Or were they not there? North Texas has remained so green this year, maybe that is why there is still color on the prairie.

The solo tent that had been standing tall in the Tandy Hills Tent Campground was collapsed today. I don't know if the collapse was caused my Mother Nature or vicious vandals.

After walking through the Tandy Campground, my hike was over. I then headed to Town Talk where I found all sorts of good stuff. I got a totally natural organic chicken, bananas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, Provolone and Bleu cheese, green peppers, organic Delicious apples from Yakima in my old home state of Washington and I forget what else.

Some of the food cooked this week on Top Chef perplexed me because I did not know what it was. One of the perplexations was over Shepherd's Pie. So, I Googled it to learn that what the Brits call Shepherd's Pie my mom called Hamburger Pie. So, I made Hamburger Pie this morning. It is in the oven as I sit here clacking at the keyboard.

It smells real good and I am real hungry. As well I should be, I've burned up a lot of calories today, starting the day, early, with an extra long amount of time in a nice cool pool, then there was that hiking I think I mentioned, followed by exhausting shopping.

It is time to eat now. Come over if you're hungry.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Rattlesnake Bridge & The Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

I don't know where the pedestrian overpass bridge in the picture is located. I found it while looking at my webstats on a website that had linked to a picture of mine of some artwork up in Oklahoma City at Bricktown.

The website was all about bus stops and pedestrian bridges being designed as works of art. I did not see it at first, that the pedestrian bridge in the picture is one big rattlesnake.

I do not think I would have realized it was a rattlesnake had not someone commented that they thought the Rattlesnake Bridge looked tacky.

Maybe this bridge is out in Sweetwater, Texas. A perfect fit for the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. If the bridge in the picture is not crossing Interstate 20 in Sweetwater, I think the town should get right on a project to build their own Rattlesnake Bridge.

FBI Stops Jordanian Illegal Alien From Blowing Up Dallas Skyscraper

That is 19 year old Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi and the Fountain Place tower in Dallas in the picture. Smadi was in a Dallas courtroom yesterday, in front of a federal magistrate, due to being accused of attempting to blow up the Dallas skyscraper.

Smadi was arrested by the FBI yesterday after he attempted to blow up the 60 story tower using fake explosives supplied by the undercover sting operation.

The FBI had been monitoring the illegal alien, Smadi, for more than 6 months.

Undercover agents, speaking Arabic, connected with Smadi in the little Texas town of Italy, about 45 south of Dallas. To the undercover fake Arabs, Smadi pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and verbalized the desire to kill Americans, saying, "I want to destroy targets, everything that helps America on its war on Arabs will be targeted."

Smadi thought the undercover agents were an al-Qaeda sleeper cell. He told agents he came to America for jihad, to target military recruitment centers, eventually switching to American financial centers as his target.

Smadi was arrested yesterday after he parked a Ford Explorer in the garage of Fountain Place. In side the SUV was a fake bomb, supplied by the FBI. Smadi thought he could detonate the bomb via a cell phone. He parked the Explorer and got into another vehicle with one of the FBI agents, who drove Smadi several blocks away.

The agent asked Smadi if he wanted earplugs to mute the noise. Smadi did not want ear plugs, he told the agent he wanted to hear the blast. Smadi then dialed the number that he thought would set off an explosion. Instead the only explosion Smadi heard was the noise of FBI agents taking him into custody.

It would seem that the FBI and CTU, or whatever the federal counter-terrorism unit is called, is doing a real good job, post 9/11. Plots in Denver and New York have also recently been thwarted.

I hope there are no un-thwarted plots being hatched. The Party Pass Riot on Sunday would have been a real good opportunity for a real bad deed, when police gave up and lifted the barricades, letting the masses stream in to the Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

Yesterday Dallas Cowboy officials said they do not intend to curtail the number of Party Passes, despite the riot and Arlington Mayor Cluck's request that the number be limited to 10,000. The Cowboys spokesperson claims they are working on ironing out the issues that caused Sunday's melee.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grab 'n' Go See A Bikini Clad Coffee Maker In Washington

Yesterday, or was it the day before, Gar the Texan emailed me, concerned about a 71 year old Fort Worth man who had been harassed by the Fort Worth Gestapo for working in his backyard, naturally.

Gar the Texan seems to have become being quite a crusader when it comes to instances where the police act with a heavy hand where clothing is concerned.

Read the following news blurb regarding the Espresso Stand that got Gar the Texan's attention, written before the Espresso Stand found itself in trouble...

EVERETT -- It's a fad that's picking up steam in Snohomish County's hyper-competitive coffee market.

Espresso drive-through stands with bikini- and lingerie-sporting baristas are popping up from Monroe to Edmonds.

In the past year, at least six of these java joints employing provocatively dressed young women have opened in the county.

A few owners of these roadside stands say business is so brisk, they're hiring more employees and have plans to open new locations.

"I brought a touch of Vegas back to Washington," said Bill Wheeler, who opened Grab 'N' Go Espresso on Highway 99 just south of Everett last year.

Wheeler says he aims to soon operate a dozen stands in Washington and Nevada, including one with male baristas in tight Speedos and bowties.

Sometimes wearing little more than pasties and bikini bottoms, the scantily clad baristas at Wheeler's stands have scores of well-tipping customers.

Now, what happened after the above was written is, apparently, there were a large number of citizen complaints to the police regarding untoward behavior at the Grab 'n' Go, unlike the incident with the Fort Worth 71 year old man, where there had been no complaints to the police, before a policewoman on a bike decided to chase an old man into his house.

The police went undercover at the Grab 'n' Go, as part of their extensive investigation during which police learned the 5 Washington state baristas charged customers to touch their breasts. This led to the 5 being charged with prostitution, because charging money for such a thing falls under the city of Everett's definition of prostitution.

The Everett Herald's investigation into the Grab 'n' Go operation discovered the women were charging up to $80 to strip down while making lattes and mochas.

During their tough 2 month investigation detectives saw the women lick whipped cream off each other and pose, au naturel, for pictures.

Should these not be capital punishment type crimes? And what are those who paid for these behaviors being charged with?

I know that before he married a very strict German, Gar the Texan used to frequent establishments here in Texas were money was paid to women with little clothing to do special dances. I don't think there was any coffee product as part of the deal. Texas is so much more liberal and liberated than that repressive state I used to live in.

Battle In Seattle & G-20 Pittsburgh Protests

I turned on the TV to see what appeared to be a lot of agitated people. They were being agitated in Pittsburgh. Some of their agitation was due to getting hit with tear gas and pepper spray.

Apparently a few hundred malcontents were making their way from a Pittsburgh park, to the location of the G-20 Summit. President Obama touched down in Air Force One a few minutes ago. I don't know if he is off the plane yet. I turned the TV off before Barack got off.

The Pittsburgh Protesters are a mixed up group of groups with various causes. There is even a group of Buddhist monks among the tear gassed and pepper sprayed.

If the protesters are unable to disrupt the G-20 meeting, their plan, according to what I heard on MSNBC, is to go around town doing damage to businesses like Starbucks and McDonald's.

When I heard about the protesters going after Starbucks I remembered the Battle in Seattle. That Battle took place in November of 1999. If you'd asked me 3 hours ago where I was in November of 1999 I would have said I was in Washington. But I was in Texas when the Battle of Seattle took place, watching live on CNN and getting eye witness reports from people in Seattle, including a very panicked Wanda who was watching the Battle from high up in the AT & T tower. She watched in horror as her favorite Starbucks was destroyed. She was trapped in her building well into the night. Eventually police came to the rescue.

Realizing the Battle of Seattle took place in November of 1999 made me realize I moved to Texas in December of 1998, not 1999. Meaning I have been in exile here a year longer than I realized. I remember being up in Seattle a month after the Battle. There was still a lot of damage to be seen, but most of the mess had been fixed.

Watching the Battle in Seattle, from here, was one of my strangest experiences since I've been in Texas. Another happened in 2001 when I was watching CNN, around noon, when Breaking News said a big earthquake had struck the Northwest. CNN had footage of a panicked Bill Gates stopping in the middle of a speech, fires and a lot of damage. I remember calling people in the northwest and getting a message saying "an earthquake has struck the area you are calling, phone service is temporarily disabled." Or something like that.

Anyway, below is a YouTube video about the Battle in Seattle, the movie...

Scottish Twittering & Quivering To Texas

I tell you, between Twitter, Facebook and Blogging it's always something interesting. A couple hours ago I blogged about my latest Twitter follower, he being a Scottish inventor named Kieran McCrorie.

I verbalized wondering what caused Kieran to become one of my growing legion of Twitter followers. I speculated that the connection might have something to do with hiking naked, due to Kieran having Tweeted about a new German naked hiking trail.

Soon after I Blogged and Tweeted about Kieran and the naked Germans I heard from Kieran via a comment to the blog post about Kieran.

I commented on Kieran's comment. An hour or so passed and I saw a message from Kieran via Twitter. That somehow led me to click on a link to Kieran's Quiver blog where I saw that Kieran's latest blog post is about my blog post about Kieran with the title of Kieran's post being, "The Blogger Becomes The Bloggee."

This social networking media thing is very very circular.

Durango Jones Scottish Twitter Follower & Naked Germans

That is Kieran McCrorie. Kieran is my latest Twitter Follower. Each day I have more Twitter Followers than the day before. Why? I still don't know.

Kieran is located in Glasgow in the UK. I think Glasgow is in Scotland. I guess that would make Kieran a Scot. Kieran is the Design Director at Quiver. He has designed a new type of insulated bottle and wants to know what the world thinks.

I have not seen Kieran's bottle, so I don't know what I think about it.

I don't know why Kieran is following me on Twitter. It may have something to do with me long ago Twittering about Naked Hiking. One of Kieran's Tweets is "Gotta love the Germans and their naked ambition. Germany's First Nudist Hiking Trail Opens."

Kieran included a link to an article in Der Spiegel online about Germany's First Nudist Hiking Trail. Don't click on the link if seeing naked humans is upsetting to you. Or if you are one of the Fort Worth Gestapo. This website would likely trigger a Fort Worth Gestapo thug's write a stupid citation impulse.

The Dallas Space Needle At Texas State Fair Park

The Dallas Morning News, this morning, had an interesting article about the State Fair of Texas. Apparently the State Fair of Texas is one of the few state fairs in America that shows a profit and gets no state government subsidy. I suppose it helps the State Fair of Texas make a profit by being the biggest state fair in America.

Another interesting bit of news, in this article, was that in 2011 the fair plans to "launch a 500-foot tower reminiscent of Seattle's Space Needle."

By 2012 the fair hopes to open Summer Place Park, turning the State Fair's midway into an amusement park, with the new needle, called Texas Centennial Tower and a new roller coaster.

I was impressed with Fair Park from the first time I saw it. But perplexed as to why it seemed to be so underutilized most of the time. It is a sprawling complex with several museums and an aquarium, open all year. I used to frequently go roller blading all over the Fair Park grounds, often seeming to have the place to myself.

From the first time I saw Fair Park it reminded me of Seattle Center, without a Space Needle. Seattle Center evolved from the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. Fair Park evolved from the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.

A DART rail line recently extended to Fair Park. It seems this should make it a much more popular destination.

At the top of Texas Centennial Tower there will be an observation deck. I don't know if there will be a rotating restaurant. At the base of the tower there will be a museum with State Fair and Centennial memorabilia. Seattle's Space Needle also has a museum, almost at its base, called EMP, the Experience Music Project.

I'm guessing Dallas will have a lot more luck building a tower reminiscent of Seattle's Space Needle than Fort Worth had building a public market that was propagandaized as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market.

I hope I get to go to the State Fair of Texas this year. My last visit had to be cut short due to a variety of woes. I want some of that Deep Fried Butter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lush Green Jungle Of Fort Worth's Serene Fosdic Lake

I have never seen Fosdic Lake at Oakland Lake Park look so calm, serene and green as it did this morning about 10. I have known a clueless type or two, up north, who think all of Texas is brown. I remember going to see the X-Files movie. It opened in Dallas, but somehow managed to make it look like Dallas was situated in the West Texas desert. I remember leaning over to my fellow movie goer and whispering, "it's not really like that, it's green." She had the gall to reply, "yeah, right."

I would venture to guess that right at this point in time on the 2nd day of Fall, that North Texas is being a lot greener than the Western side of the Cascade Mountains of the State of Washington, a state known as the Evergreen State. My last 2 visits back to the Pacific Northwest have been during lean water times, with a lot of formerly green stuff turned nice shades of brown.

See that lady jogging across the Fosdic Lake dam? She was pushing a kid in a stroller. I saw her jog all the way around the lake, a distance of about 2 miles, I think. She was even jogging on the uphill parts.

That jungle like scene above is what you see on the north side of the Fosdic Lake dam. It looks like an Olympic Rain Forest, without moss or moose.

Swimming, Shivering & Twittering In Texas

59.7. That is my temperature this morning, coming up on 7 am. Under 60 degrees. Brrrrr. I had to close the windows last night due to the frigid cold. No fan whirring overhead, no A/C cycling on and off, no earplugs to block the noise.

In other words I slept very peacefully, so much so that I woke up at 4 am and got up. Sometime before 6 I went down to the pool. The water was warmer than the air. But it still felt cold and once again had me wondering how I managed to get in that thing all last winter.

Even though I think I understand the use of Twitter better than I did a month ago, it still perplexes me. I keep getting Followers. Why? I do not know. Some of them are obviously some form of spam. Due to what motive, I do not know.

This morning I got a new Follower named Sarah. When I clicked Sarah's Twitter link I was brought to a page telling me that Sarah had been banned due to some nefarious activity. Twitter told me "There is nothing to see here, so move along."

So, I moved along like Twitter told me to. I am always very obedient.

I am not quite sure where today is going to take me. I suspect I may see downtown Fort Worth at some point in the coming hours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again In Texas

I have finally had a Happy Day, here in Texas, in this Hell that I am living. I'm not quite certain if Happy Days are here again. But it has been nice to have this one Happy Day, today.

I suspect tomorrow will be a Happy Day, too. And maybe the day after that.

Friday, I'm not so sure about. But I'm optimistic...

71 Year Old Fort Worth Man Gets Ticketed For Doing Yardwork Naked

Gar the Texan is always on the lookout for interesting, quirky info about Fort Worth and its neighbors.

Today Gar the Texan pointed me to a story which has gone national, with Fort Worth proudly attached to the story.

Seems a 71 year old Fort Worth man, likes to do yard work at his house near Lake Worth. The man has a privacy fence around his property, for the most part.

The 71 year old Fort Worth man, apparently, is a bit of a naturist. Nothing wrong with that, when you're minding your own business on your own property.

Unfortunately, while the 71 year old Fort Worth man was busy working on his backyard, wearing nothing but shoes, a female member of the Fort Worth Gestapo, Deputy L.M. Rowland, was doing some peeping tom work, looking through the privacy slats that were supposed to guard the 71 year old naked Fort Worth man's privacy.

The Fort Worth Gestapo agent was patrolling on a bicycle. She proceeded to pedal on to the 71 year old naked Fort Worth man's property. He saw her rolling in and ran into his house, despite the Gestapo agent's insistent demand that he stop.

Deputy Rowland stood at the 71 year old naked Fort Worth man's door, yelling for him to come outside. Eventually he did so, putting on a pair of shorts first, which he forgot to zip up. All noted in Deputy Rowland's police report, also noted was the fact that the unzipped shorts revealed that the 71 year old formerly naked Fort Worth man was wearing no underwear.

I'm shocked that this Fort Worth female Gestapo agent was ogling the 71 year old's private parts to check for underwear? Is this some form of sexual harassment or something?

Deputy Rowland proceeded to grill the 71 year old formerly naked Fort Worth man about his yard work habits. He admitted that he sometimes worked in his private backyard, naked.

I don't know how Deputy Rowland managed it without a patrol car, but somehow she determined that the 71 year old formerly naked Fort Worth man was not a sex offender. She then issued him a Class C misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct, under the Texas penal code 4201 A-10, for exposing his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.

The 71 year old Fort Worth man's backyard is a public place? Deputy Rowlands did not see exposed genitalia. All she saw was a bare butt running into the bare butt's house.

It's all very disturbing to me. In other parts of America there are naked bike rides, naked hikes, all sorts of naked things. Usually in public places. But in Fort Worth if you feel like beating the heat by pulling weeds without benefit of outerwear, a member of the Fort Worth Gestapo may be spying on you, chase you and ticket you. I could see, maybe, there being some legitimacy to these Gestapo tactics, if there had been complaints, made to the Gestapo, about a 71 year old Fort Worth man working in his backyard wearing nothing but shoes.

It seems a simple polite informational warning is all that was called for. Deputy Rowlands could have respectfully let the 71 year old Fort Worth man know that his nakedness was viewable from the road and that he should be a bit more modest. She really did not need to issue a ticket to a 71 year old man. I really think Deputy Rowlands should be investigated and possibly punished in some way for so outrageously violating the 71 year old Fort Worth man's privacy.

Arlington Mayor Cluck Wants To Prevent Future Dallas Cowboy Party Pass Riots

Yesterday, on Monday, I mentioned that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did not report the Party Pass Riot that occurred at the first regular season football game in the new Dallas Cowboy stadium.

By Tuesday, apparently, the Star-Telegram decided that an out of control mob scene, with beer bottles being thrown, was newsworthy.

The Star-Telegram even somehow found a photo of the Party Pass Riot. The photo does not quite show how rambunctious the riot actually was. For that you had to see the video evidence on CBS Channel 11.

Arlington Mayor Cluck told the Star-Telegram, "They put up barricades and the people ignored them. There were beer bottles flying around and a lot of pushing and shoving. I don't want to see a repeat of that."

The first game in the new Dallas Cowboy stadium broke an NFL attendance record of around 108,000 attendees. However, of that large number, only some 78,000 actually had a seat. The 30,000 Party Pass people are what pushed the total to the record breaking number. 30,000 Party Pass people, less the number who gave up, in frustration and anger, and went home.

Many of the Party Pass people arrived early, hoping to get a good place to stand. Some had been standing for hours without being allowed into the stadium. The bottleneck grew as kickoff approached. Police and Fire Officials attempted to restrict entry to just a few football fans at a time, trying to make sure there was enough standing room for those they were letting in.

And then, as the game grew closer and those left outside grew more anxious, the roof and end zone glass walls were opened, with a rush of cold air and loud cheering hitting the angry Party Pass people.

At that point the Party Pass people began to push up against the barricades. As beer bottles flew and the mayhem reached riot level the Police decided to lift the barricades and let the Party Pass people flood in.

Video screens were set up outside the stadium at both end zone plazas, for the Party Pass people. I don't think it was ever considered that all 30,000 of the Party Pass People were going to be inside the stadium. The Cowboys must have figured some of those thousands would be perfectly happy standing outside for several hours looking at video screens.

When it was first announced, months ago, that tickets would be sold so people could stand on the plazas outside the stadium, to be "part of the excitement" of the game, I thought that sounded nuts and wondered who in their right mind would pay to stand outside a stadium during a game.

The First Day Of Fall In Wet Texas

The Autumnal Equinox has fallen upon us with a vengeance here in my zone of North Texas. Fall was ushered in last night with a short Lightning Show, accompanied by wind and rain. No hail that I noticed.

In the picture you are looking at my 9 in the morning view, in Texas, of a rainy first day of Fall. We are looking south towards the 820 and 30 freeways. It is convenient to live real close to a freeway entry. In Washington I lived about 3 miles from the closest freeway entry.

This first day of Fall in Texas is reminding me very much of a stereotypical Winter day in Western Washington. I don't miss Winter in Western Washington. Except, now that I am thinking about it, I do miss going up in the mountains to go cross country skiing. I have been on my cross country skis in Texas during a rare snowstorm or two. But, the skis did not work too well on Texas snow and puny hills.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hiking Tandy Hills & Battening Down The Hatches Awaiting An Incoming Texas Storm

Due to too much rain in the past couple weeks, I've not been able to set foot on my favorite place within a 5 mile radius of my abode, that being Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium Area. But today I took a big gamble and drove myself to the Sanatorium, thinking it may have dried out enough to make the place navigable.

My gamble paid off. There were a couple areas of slight muddiness, but other than that, I had myself a real fine, sanity restoring, hike.

Due to our recent deluges there was a very slight trickle rumbling over Tandy Falls. The trickle really was too minuscule to show up in a picture, not with my limited photographic skills.

The National Weather Service has issued a dire warning that we can expect Flash Flooding here, starting sometime this afternoon. A cold front is moving in from the north to do battle with a warm front, currently blowing quite hard, from the south. Several inches of rain are expected, along with the usual sidelights, like lightning and its accompanying thunder.

But right now it is pretty much clear blue sky, making it a bit hard to believe that Apocalypse Now will be booming in a few hours from now.

The sun does not turn the light on here til a bit past 7 at this point in time, one day before the Fall Equinox. I was in the pool after the sun had risen. Each day the pool is a bit colder than the day before. How did I manage to get in that thing all winter long last year, I can't help but wonder? We'll see if I manage that this year. I suspect I will.

Party Pass Riot At Sunday's Dallas Cowboy Game

Before the game started on Sunday's NBC telecast of the Dallas Cowboy's first defeat in their new stadium, we were treated to an interesting bit of nonsense on the gigantic video boards.

A voice intoned...

"The Manmade Wonders of the World"

"The Parthenon"

"The Great Wall"

"Taj Mahal"

"Roman Coliseum"

"And Now Cowboy Stadium"

"What the Roman Coliseum was to the 1st Century
is what Cowboy Stadium is to the 21st Century."

Yikes! It's like shooting fish in a barrel, so I'll just say this about that. There have been some rather incredible edifices erected in Dubai in the 21st Century and in a few other locations.

On an entirely different, yet related note. I have long been fascinated regarding what a horrible newspaper, journalism-wise, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is. I've lost count of the number of things, about which I have had first hand eye witness knowledge, only to read an article totally distorting reality in the Star-Telegram.

I think of the Star-Telegram as being like the old Soviet Union's Pravda. Pravda means Truth in Russian. Pravda rarely printed the objective truth. Instead Pravda printed the party line.

I read both the Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News this morning. I was curious how the papers reported yesterday's near riot by people possessing Party Passes, but denied entry to yesterday's game, until near rioting forced the stadium to open.

The Star-Telegram printed a Roses & Sunshine version about the Party Pass People. I'll print what the Star-Telegram had to say, followed by what the Dallas Morning News said about the same subject...

The atmosphere in the end zones recalled the excitement of a major college football game — the type of spirit that team owner Jerry Jones hopes to repeat throughout the season and for years to come.

"You’ll see this thing flow so easily, in and out and up and down. We’re going to have a collegiate-type atmosphere, and it will create an appealing atmosphere for the people who have seats as well," Jones said.

At 5:50 p.m., the 120-foot-tall glass doors parted in each end zone, and the retractable roof opened. The Party Pass fans let out a collective sigh as Cowboys Stadium was converted from a climate-controlled dome to an open-air facility and refrigerated air from inside poured through the giant openings and rushed over their painted faces and sweat-stained jerseys.

I must say that, even though the Dallas Morning News does mention the problem with the Party Passes, its version differs greatly from what was shown last night on the CBS Channel 11 local news. The Dallas Morning News article says Party Pass people were let in after 15 minutes of complaining. The Channel 11 news said Party Pass people had been waiting for hours, many giving up, in anger, leaving and vowing never to return, some collapsing, removed by ambulance. And now, what a more responsible local newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, had to say about the Party Pass incident.

That monumental crowd, however, came with a price and some tense moments.

About a half-hour before kickoff, several hundred angry ticket holders gathered outside the stadium, unable to get in. The glass doors at Section G were locked.

Fans yelled, "Let us in, we've got tickets," said Justin Diaz, a concessionaire near the entrance. "They were going crazy. For some reason, they didn't want to let them in until kickoff."

Security officers kept saying, "You'll have to wait," Diaz said.

After about 15 minutes, officers let the people in, he said.

"I was getting nervous," Diaz said. "I've got all this money here. What am I supposed to do if they all start rushing me?"

Some season ticket holders said they were upset with the long lines and congestion caused by the thousands who spent $29 each for the standing-room-only Party Passes.

For many fans, taking bathroom breaks or buying concessions became harrowing treks into uncomfortably crowded corridors. It was an unacceptable proposition for fans paying thousands for their seats.

"All these people pay $30 and then come in and take all the concessions," said Chuck Elhoff, 63, a financial adviser and a season ticket holder from Southlake.

So, there you have it, the local news on Channel 11 showed what looked like a riot of disgruntled Party Pass people. While the Star-Telegram makes no mention of any Party Pass problem, while the Dallas Morning News does mention the problem, but does not seem to match the visuals and words, seen and heard on Channel 11.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Near Riot Breaks Out Before First Loss In New Dallas Cowboy Stadium

The cheapest ticket to tonight's Dallas Cowboy first game of the season in their new stadium cost $29. For $29 you got to stand in a designated "Party" area inside the stadium.

Thousands of $29 Party tickets were sold. However, a thousand. Or two, of the Party ticket holders were blocked from entering. The throng grew unruly, pushing towards the stadium entry, pushing against security.

Some Party Ticket holders gave up. Some succumbed to the heat. Eventually, realizing they had a near riot on their hands, the Party Ticket holders were allowed into the stadium.

Multiple events in the Entertainment Districts of Arlington and Grand Prairie had traffic slowed down on I-30. Watching the local news it seemed, other than the near riot, most people were being very pleased with the new stadium, even though Bob Costas said he was in Dallas. And the sound system zonked out at the start of Jordin Spark's Star Spangled Banner. The sound slowly grew louder as the national anthem progressed.

A record breaking crowd of over 105,000 watched a good game, with the lead switching back and forth between Dallas and the New York Giants. I grew bored and quit watching early in the 4th quarter. The game is not yet over as I type this. Currently, Dallas has taken the lead, again, 31 - 30.

UPDATE: Giants Win. Last minute field goal puts New York ahead 33 - 31.

Calling Mom From Village Creek Natural Historic Area & The First Dallas Cowboy Game Of The Season In Their New Stadium

We have not had any real serious rain for a few days, but that didn't stop Village Creek, today, from ramming a large volume of water through the big tubes that run under the dam/bridge you see in the picture.

We have had a semi-return to somewhat blue skies, here in North Texas, with the temperature high enough to require the running of the A/C.

I got gas on my way to Village Creek Natural Historic Area, in Arlington, so, like I always do when I get gas, I called my mom in Arizona. But, mom and dad were not home. I got the answering machine where my dad has voiced a poetic "we are not at home" message. So, I left a message telling them the price of gas and the temperature.

Today is the first game of the NFL season for the Dallas Cowboys in their new stadium. This is a nationally televised game against the New York Giants. It will be interesting to see what the national press makes of the stadium and its tawdry surroundings.

A kooky Saudi Arabian prince with way too much money, who became a Dallas Cowboy fan, years ago, when he lived in Texas, has painted his private jet in Dallas Cowboy colors. And he has purchased one of the expensive private suites in the new stadium. He and at least one George Bush will be in the stadium tonight. Likely to watch Dallas lose their first game in their new stadium.

It's called karma.

A Cougar Stalks The Microsoft Campus In Redmond

What is going on with the cougars in Washington? By cougars I'm not referencing the Washington State Cougars, I'm referencing the wild animal type cougars.

A few weeks ago a cougar was trapped in Discovery Park, deep in the heart of the Seattle urban zone. That same day a cougar was killed by a car in Redmond.

And now, also in Redmond, another cougar has been spotted, this time on the Microsoft campus. That is a map of Microsoft's campus, above. Microsoft's campus covers a large area and is heavily wooded with tall fir trees.

How does a cougar makes its way to Microsoft? How did it get past Microsoft security? What is driving the cats to the urbanized zone? Why aren't they living happy in the deep woods?

It's all very disturbing. Ever since a 10 foot alligator was found in my neighborhood I have been keeping a lookout for gators when I walk near the Trinity River. I also keep a lookout for our local type cougars, known as panthers or mountain lions. There have been sightings.

The cougar that was trapped in Seattle's Discovery Park was collared with a GPS location device. I've not read any followup reports regarding that cougar's current location. Maybe it somehow got free of the collar and made its way to Microsoft.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ecofest In Arlington With Free Trees

I went to Ecofest in Arlington this afternoon. This took place at Founder's Plaza in downtown Arlington. I have to say, what Arlington has done to Center Street and their new downtown is a very good, well done thing. This may evolve into giving Arlington, finally, a real downtown. The cutest thing I saw at Ecofest was little kids playing in the fountain you see above. The fountain only came alive when someone wanted to play with it. Giggling little kids having fun is always a good thing to see.

How often do you go to any sort of 'Fest' and get something free that has any substance? Well, at Ecofest they were giving away FREE TREES. Sponsored by Wal-Mart, as part of Wal-Mart's ongoing program to save the planet. I got 2 FREE TREES. Now I have to figure out some place to plant them. I suppose I could drag a shovel to an obscure corner of the Tandy Hills and add a couple new trees. I wish I could ship them to Princess Annie of Wink, so she could plant them as part of her massive Wink Prairie Restoration Project.

Here you see some of the Arlington Ecofesters busy Ecofesting. Blue seemed to be a popular color among the Ecofesting.

I was informed that after I left the area that music was being played on the stage you see here. Ecofest continues until 10 pm tonight. I suspect if you haul yourself down to downtown Arlington, to Founder's Plaza, tonight, you will be able to hear some good music. And get yourself some FREE TREES. And play in a fountain, if you are feeling child-like.

Trinity Trash Bash Attracts Big Crowd of Trash Bashers

Today was the annual Trinity Trash Bash. An event where thousands of Tarrant County good citizens gather to remove litter from the Trinity River zone. This is a daunting task.

My participation in the Trinity Trash Bash took place at the Beach Street location near Gateway Park. This is the spot I showed you a week or so ago where litter had backed up behind the dam/bridge across the Trinity.

I also showed you a pipeline I discovered sucking water from the Trinity River. Today I saw the pipeline had been moved further away from the river, I suspect so as not to interfere with the legions of litter removers, any number of whom may have mistaken the pipeline for litter.

The first and second picture shows the new route of the Beach Street Trinity River pipeline.

Previously the pipeline would have been behind me, so the above picture gives you a real good idea of how drastically the pipeline has been relocated.

Here we are looking west towards part of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Mixmaster, where Interstates 35W, 30 & 287 come together in an amazing feat of highway engineering. There was a long line of cars parked on the west side of Beach Street. I'd never seen that before. That is an indicator of how many people were involved in this section of the Trinity Trash Bash. I have never seen so many people in this location. If you look closely you can see some of the bags of Trinity Trash that have been collected.

A few of the throngs of Trinity Trash Bashers walking towards the dam/bridge where previously a flotilla of litter clogged the river.

A few of the many boats patrolling the Trinity, on the look out for floating litter. Behind them you can see some more piles of bags of gathered trash that now line the banks of the river, awaiting pickup.

Magic Mushrooms Sprouting In Texas

All previous years during my exile in Texas, by this time of the summer, most everything on the ground is brown. This year green remains the dominant color, as you can see in the picture, looking at a field of grass, today, at Oakland Lake Park.

Saturday started off with sad news when I learned that one of my all time favorite people's dad had died. It had only been discovered around Labor Day that cancer had invaded his liver and pancreas. And now less than 2 weeks later cancer has won yet one more battle in its war against humanity.

In the past few months I've learned of way too many sad things. I call it Facebook Syndrome.

I did not get up til past 7 this morning. It was in the 60s overnight. The water in the pool bordered on being cold. I liked it.

Tootsie Tonasket called me around noon and entertained me while I walked around Oakland Lake Park, including when I took the picture you see above of some giant mushrooms that sprang to life recently in our very damp climate. I don't know if these are edible mushrooms, so I did not eat one.

I'm off to Arlington in a bit, to some event at some new park near the city center of Arlington. I forget the name of the park. Music is involved. Details to follow, with pictures, should the event warrant it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Scantily Clad Females Marching In Protest In Texas

One of my blogging fodder providers sent me the above picture, along with a couple more this morning. The pictures were sent without explanation. The above photo appears to be a large group of scantily clad females in some sort of protest march following a nice looking convertible car through what appears to be a residential neighborhood. I did not read anything about a protest clogging up traffic anywhere in the local paper, online, this morning.

In the above picture it appears the protesters have moved in doors, with some more scantily clad females joined by what looks to be noisemakers pounding on drums. This looks like a basketball court. I am almost certain it is football season, not basketball season. But, things are done different here in Texas, so maybe they are playing basketball now. For all I know, football is a spring sport here.

Swimming In A Sad State Of Melancholy While Alma Sings & My Little Sister Pseudo Breeds

It was not raining this morning, so there was no flood of mud to navigate through to get to the pool. So, I put my stocking hat on, for the needed warmth, due to it being in the 60s (BRRRRR) and headed to the cold water soon after the sun broke through the cover of gray to light up the place.

My Lincolnesque state of sad melancholy has not lifted, so I continue to spread doom and gloom to all I come in contact with. I can't help myself. Not that I try all that hard.

I continue to worry about my little sister and her apparent attempts to turn her house into a bad sit-com plot, what with the frequently hospitalized poodles, the ever growing brood of little kids and the chronic cases of, what sounds to me like, food poisoning.

I'm also worried about Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, due to her diabetes taking a turn for the worse. An ER visit got her some interventions that I hope make her better.

Despite ailing, Alma is such a trooper she is doing a short show, 7 pm Saturday, at the Port Aransas Inn. Alma's percussion partner, Luis Villarreal, is re-joining Alma to give her some rhythm. I'd go if I were in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, I am about 500 miles away.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting Soaking Wet At Quanah Parker Park & Sneezing At Town Talk

Yesterday I showed you the view you see here, in a picture taken the same time of the day as it is right now. Today's same view, at the same time, is minus yesterday's return of blue sky. Or was it the day before yesterday that blue returned? Regardless, the gray has returned, today. With a vengeance. Dropping water in heavy doses.

For days, I have been unable to do my usual daily walking/hiking routine due to a variety of vexations, some weather related.

Today I decided, no matter what, I was going to get outside. My therapist, Dr. L.C. insisted upon it.

Due to time restraints I decided to go to Quanah Parker Park. It is a short distance away on Randol Mill Road. A couple miles further is Town Talk, which I also wanted to go to, to get cheese.

About 2 miles in to the walking at Quanah Parker it started to rain. A soft rain, at first. Then a downpour. Buy the time I got back to my vehicle I was a wet mess. Even so, I decided to continue on to Town Talk and get that cheese.

By the time I was in the Town Talk cooler I'd developed an itchy eyes problem, along with sneezing. I made it real quick in Town Talk, got my cheese, got out of there, got back here.

So, that's my Thursday, so far, of this hell I am living in Texas. I wish you could join me.

The Texas Grapes Of Wrath

I've read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I've seen the John Ford movie version several times. A couple days ago I watched The Grapes of Wrath for the first time while both living in an area of America affected by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and during a recession which is the worst America has suffered since the Great Depression.

Times were way tougher in the 1930s. People were left to fend for themselves way more than they are today. And the police could act in bad ways that are much worse than the current day abuses of the Fort Worth Gestapo and other misbehaving police.

In the 1930s there was no Internet, no cable news, no nothing to shine a light on the abuse heaped upon those forced to escape the Dust Bowl. It was an era of foreclosures, much like today. And like today, you could be ordered out of your home with bulldozers soon to follow, ala Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and the City of Arlington.

I have personally known escapees from the Dust Bowl. The parents of my best BFF, known as Big Ed, in Texas, escaped the Dust Bowl, from Ness City, Kansas in the mid 1930s. Big Ed's mom and dad had 2 kids at the time. Big Ed's dad made a makeshift camper on the back of a pick up truck. One of those old time vehicles, which started the engine using a crank in the front. I was to see that truck, still running, in the 1970's, hauling firewood in a pasture in Washington. It should have been in the Skagit County Museum.

Big Ed's mom and dad made their way west on Route 66, joining thousands of other Kansans, Okies and Texans, seeking work and a life away from the walls of lethal dust and grinding poverty.

Big Ed's mom and dad eventually made it to Yuma, Arizona. There was cotton to be picked. Ed's dad, a real hard working man, picked cotton for one day, declared it the hardest job he'd ever done, quit and headed north, towards Ely, Nevada, where they heard there was work to be found in mining camps.

Big Ed and I have driven through the same areas his mom and dad traveled through on that old truck, including Yuma and Ely. Even today, Ely is a very isolated place, at the east end of the Loneliest Road in America.

They found work at the mining camp, room at a boarding house. Ed's mom worked as the boarding house cook. Ed's mom was not a good cook. But she made really good bread and homemade noodles. I suspect those were her specialities in the boarding house.

Eventually Big Ed's mom and dad got a letter from some Kansas friends who had made it all the way to western Washington, to this valley called Skagit, near this town called Alger. They told Big Ed's mom and dad that there was logging work and land for sale, cheap.

So, the family loaded up their makeshift RV, again, and headed north, by what road, I do not know. I do know there are some high mountain passes to cross between Nevada and Washington and that the roads were not quite what they are today.

Eventually the family made it to the Promised Land. A job logging for Weyerhauser was found. Land was bought, from Weyerhauser. The makeshift RV was taken off the pickup and became the first part of what became the house Big Ed and his twin, Wally, grew up in.

The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression trauma continued to affect Big Ed's mom and dad decades later. They were very frugal. Indoor plumbing was not introduced until the 1960s. In the 1970s I told my mom that Big Ed's mom had this cool thing with big rollers to wash clothes with. My mom was appalled. Mom decided she needed a new washer and dryer. Big Ed's brother-in-law, Keith, Big Ed and I brought my mom's old washer up to Ed's mom's place. Ed's mom was not happy at first, but she soon learned to like the modern appliances. When those wore out, she bought new ones.

Years later I remember visiting Big Ed's mom and being fascinated by her tales of life in Kansas in the Roaring 20s. She was a flapper! Big Ed had no idea his mom had such a scandalous past. He'd always known her as an extremely pious, Christian mom. Not a bob-haired, short-skirted Charleston dancer.

And now, all these years later, Big Ed finds himself back in the Dust Bowl zone, during yet one more Great Depression, trying to figure out if he needs to fashion a makeshift home on the back of a pickup in order to escape this place and seek his fortune elsewhere. What an ironic conundrum.

Excellent YouTube video below about The Grapes of Wrath. And how it mirrors our current troubled times....