I think a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds may be being filmed down at my local neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter.
As I drove towards Wal-Mart I made note of a large glowing object in the late in the day sky. I wondered if this could possibly be the "Special Star" I blogged about earlier today, that is supposed to herald the second coming of Buddha, known as Maitreya.
As I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot it did look like something supernatural was happening. I have never seen so many birds in one location. I am talking thousands of birds.
Birds in the air, in trees, lining the roof of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. Birds on cars, one huge group of maybe 1000 standing on an open spot til spooked, causing a mad chain reaction. After the mad chain reaction the birds re-roost til re-stirred.
People were running into Wal-Mart like they were in The Birds, hands over head for protection.
The birds made a cacophony of noise that added to the surreal scene. Why do these birds hang out at a busy with humans and cars zone? Why not go to a nearby park like Village Creek Natural Historic Area?
I must turn on CNN now and see if Maitreya is having that promised televised news conference to announce his coming to America along with his bright star.
And, apparently huge herds of birds.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I think a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds may be being filmed down at my local neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter.
I wish I had the napping ability. Somehow that gene didn't make it into my DNA. I've been up since 5, straining my brain, swimming in frigid water at 7, then more brain straining.
Then around noon I needed some upright activity out of a computer chair and away from monitors.
So, I went to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake. I'd not been to this location in awhile. The tree leaves were being a bit colorful today, as you can see.
But, the leaves were not the only thing that was being colorful at Fosdic Lake today.
As you walk around Fosdic Lake you see several signs advising against eating fish you catch in the lake. And forbidding boating and swimming.
Now, swimming I can understand. First off Fosdic Lake is home to a lot of turtles. I had a turtle attempt to kill me once while swimming in Lake Grapevine. It was the last time I swam with turtles. They are very territorial. And they travel in packs.
But why ban boats on Fosdic Lake?
I have a kayak that would be fun to take out on Fosdic Lake, it being the body of water closest to where I live, other than the Trinity River, which I would be not want to kayak in.
Today as I was crossing the bridge that goes over Fosdic Lake's dam spillway, I saw what may be the reason one might not want to put ones boat in Fosdic Lake.
On both sides of the spillway there is what can only be described as neon green slime. It looks the color of anti-freeze, but intensified.
You can see where the green has stained a rock or two. What chemical is this green stuff? One can't help but wonder.
Is it corrosive? Would it eat at your skin and the structure of your boat? How do the fish, birds and turtles survive and seem to thrive in this chemical stew? Do they build up an immunity?
With Fort Worth closing the city pools, wouldn't it be a nice thing to de-pollute Fosdic Lake and make a swimming beach? Fort Worth could really use a clean lake with a nice beach. Fosdic Lake is one block off the bus line on Oakland Boulevard.
When Fort Worth's Parks & Recreation Director, Richard Zavala, finally got his way and all Fort Worth pools but one where shut down, he told the city council that Fort Worth kids had "other options." When asked what those options were this nincompoop said "Hurricane Harbor."
Hurricane Harbor is in Arlington. It costs about $30 to get in. And there is no mass transit available to take Fort Worth kids to Arlington if they did have $30.
Is Zavala one of the geniuses behind the attempt to dye the Trinity River Purple? Maybe he should check out Fosdic Lake and see what a good job is being done there of dying Fosdic Lake neon green.
A MAJOR PLANETARY EVENT IS NOW UNFOLDING!
A mysterious star is being seen worldwide, captured on hundreds of YouTube videos, photographs and some local news reports.
That is the mysterious star over Tokyo in the picture.
I was curious what this fresh nonsense was all about. So I went to the wakeupdallas.org website to see if I could see what Dallas needed to wake up about.
Well. Apparently this Buddhist guy named Maitreya, who is the second coming of the original Buddha, has arrived on the planet. Maitreya has been showing up for awhile now. Supposedly in 1988 CNN and others reported that Maitreya had appeared before 6,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya.
Then on December 12, 2008 something called Share International announced that in the very near future a large, bright star will appear in the sky throughout the world, night and day. That star has now been seen by people in Norway, South Africa, America, Dubai and Qatar.
That star seems to be quite selective about who it appears to. It must be a stealth star, it's done such a good job of not being well-known.
The star's appearance signals the beginning of Maitreya's mission.
The wakeupdallas.org website says in one spot that the star has appeared in the U.S., but the last paragraph says that soon after the star appears in our skies that Maitreya will show up and give his first media interview on American TV. I've not seen any TV interviews with Buddha's second coming. I would think this would be big news.
I wonder if the same people who are seeing this star saw Purple in the Trinity River on Friday?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I am getting reports from Carter Avenue observers telling me that the American Flags that had been placed along Carter Avenue to celebrate the victory over Chesapeake Energy's nefarious plan to run a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under the homes on Carter Avenue, have been removed.
Removed by whom remains a mystery. The bulk of the flags were on the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. Is that not city property?
Did the city send in a crew to clean out the flags? It would not be the first time this week that the city of Fort Worth wasted city money on something funny.
Well, whoever took down the flags didn't change anything. All those flags were was a symbol for a group of Americans banding together and sticking up for themselves, defending and protecting their homes and property and children. And winning.
That famous, iconic American flag no longer waves on top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. That victory was won and remains won, just like the victory on Carter Avenue.
Japanese Imperialism is a very apt metaphor for Chesapeake Energy and their ilk. Running roughshod over people's rights, but in the end, defeated by the stronger, more righteous American spirit. You can't take that away as easily as you can take away flags.
In Texas the smell that will forever say Texas to me is the smoke from a BBQ. In Washington the smell that forever says Washington to me is the scent that fills the air from Evergreen trees.
Today I went to my neighborhood Kroger. That is a grocery store for you who don't know Kroger. For you in the Northwest, Kroger is what bought Fred Meyer, to noticeable bad results, near as I can tell during my Fred Meyer visits whilst up north.
As I walked into Kroger today I was instantly transported back to Washington. I was slapped with an extreme Evergreen tree assault. I just stood there taking it in. Best thing I've smelled in Texas since I don't know when.
I figured the Christmas trees must be from Texas. I believe Christmas trees are grown out in the Piney Woods Region of Texas.
So, I was a bit surprised when I looked at the yellow tags on the trees to see that they were "ANOTHER "GEM" FROM THE EMERALD FOREST" from a Christmas Tree Company called EMERALD, based in Bellevue, Washington.
So, I really was transported back to Washington. Those were Washington Evergreens making Krogers smell real good today.
When I lived in Washington I did not notice the Evergreen smell as being so prevalent. I'd notice it if I was up in the mountains hiking, or sometimes when outside in my yard or slacking on the hammock on my roof deck.
But, in 2001 I drove back to Washington, solo, for my mom and dad's 50th Anniversary. As I crossed over the summit of Snoqualmie Pass I started noticing that the air was somehow seeming heavy and I started to be almost startled by how strongly the air smelled of Christmas trees.
Smelling Christmas trees constantly kept happening til I got re-acclimated by about week 3 and no longer noticed the smell. When I fly to Seattle I've never had the Christmas tree thing hit me in the same way it did driving over the mountain pass. I can be sitting in my sister's back yard or hiking some place, like Point Defiance Park, and it will smell like Christmas. But never again in that overwhelming way it did in 2001.
I think maybe the fact that that return in 2001 was the longest I'd been away, sort of made everything seem more vivid. I remember in addition to smelling Christmas trees I was struck by how shiny, clean and new everything looked as I drove west through Issaquah and Bellevue. I remember getting stuck in a traffic jam on the I-90 floating bridge and loving it. Mount Rainier was hovering big to the south, Lake Washington was sparkling, dozens of sailboats, everything looked, I don't know, as if Mother Nature had given it a good scrubbing til it sparkled.
Anyway, it was nice to have a brief visit back to Washington today, if only for a couple minutes.
You are looking out my rain covered windshield, heading west on John T. White Road, in far east Fort Worth, coming up on 1 in the afternoon.
I aborted any planned walk soon after leaving here around noon, due to drips starting to fall. I headed to Krogers to find cheese for whole wheat macaroni and cheese that I had a hankerin' to make.
To you Yankees reading this, hankerin' is Texan for "wanting" or "craving" something.
I knew we were in for some predicted rain, but I thought its arrival was not til later in the day, along with a drop in temperatures. Yesterday it got in the 70s, was 65 at midnight and 64 when I managed to have a semi-pleasant swim this morning. It is 53 out there right now, so our predicted temperature drop has arrived.
It is downpouring out there now. I grow concerned for my favorite Haltom City corespondent and the killer creeks she monitors whenever they go into potential flash flood mode.
Krogers was my first stop on my cheese hunt, that ended at Wal-Mart. I saw, well, actually smelled, and saw, something at Krogers which made me sort of homesick. I'll tell you about that later. Right now I'm fixin' to satisfy my hankerin' for macaroni and cheese.
To be clear, fixin' is Texas speak meaning you are about to do something. If you damn Yankees would make more of an effort to learn the language us Texans wouldn't find you so annoying.
This morning a couple things brought the phrase "Confederacy of Dunces" to mind. Great book, by the way.
The infallible sign of genius quote is one of Jonathon Swift's better known epigraphs.
The first thing this morning that brought a Confederacy of Dunces to mind was a comment made to yesterday's blogging about the Star-Telegram's confused description of the attempt to dye the Trinity River purple.
The commenter, the ubiquitous Anonymous, apparently drank the purple Kool-Aid and saw the magic water 19 hours after the Star-Telegram report said the water (that had been turned ever so slightly purple, through their reporter's, apparently, lavender-colored glasses) had returned to its usual muddy brown.
Below is what Anonymous had to say....
I was there on Saturday early around 7 am when they were pumping and it was purple I commend their effort and spirit!
The attempt to turn the Trinity River purple occurred at 10am Friday morning. Not Saturday. And there was no purple and no pumping.
Anonymous commends their imaginary effort and spirit???? I've seen some effort and spirit displays in my time on the planet. What I saw Friday morning was a pretty lame effort that resulted in rather subdued spirits.
Moving on to the other thing that brought a Confederacy of Dunces to mind this morning.
It is a YouTube video of Americans being interviewed while waiting to see Sarah Palin at one of her book signing events for her Going Rogue best seller, that apparently goes quite wildly rogue with a lot of erroneous bits of information.
We've all run in to people like you'll see in the video. People who say some ridiculous thing where you instantly realize they have not the slightest clue about what they are talking about. So, you ask a follow up question and they either get upset because once more they've been caught in the "stupid" trap. Or they get that deer in the headlights look and admit they don't know anything about what they'd just made a strident comment about.
I really think a test similar to the citizenship test given to new Americans should be passed before an American is given their license to vote. When you have a Confederacy of Dunces voting you end up with results like Fort Worth's Mayor Mike Moncrief, re-elected in a 70% landslide of 6% of Fort Worth's eligible voters.....
Saturday, November 28, 2009
During the decade since I quit being a Yankee and started being a Texan I've seen some crazy things. One of the craziest I found my first year here while roaming around the countryside that surrounds the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
I headed towards a town called Mineral Wells, because I wanted to check out Mineral Wells State Park. I had heard good things. I was not disappointed. Penitentiary Hollow, in the state park, was particularly a good thing.
After climbing around Penitentiary Hollow I headed into the town of Mineral Wells. A few minutes later I was to see a giant structure come in to view. It was huge. Seemed totally out of place for a little town.
Soon I found myself walking all around what I learned was the long abandoned, rumored to be haunted, Baker Hotel.
On a subsequent visit, after having learned the Baker Hotel's impressive history, I was let inside the ground floor. Much had been removed, but signs of opulence remained.
The Baker Hotel came into existence due to the item that gives the town its name. Mineral Wells. People came from all over for the mineral waters of Mineral Wells. So many people claimed to have so many ailments cured by the waters, at times there would be thousands of people in town, taking the cure.
Some took to calling the mineral water "Crazy Water" due to the consumption of said water being thought to have cured a crazy lady of her craziness.
By the late 1950s, or maybe early 1960s, the FDA came down hard on the selling of Crazy Water and its cure claims. And then it was found that the water had lithium in it. Lithium is used by the medical profession as one of the drugs to help control the behavior of, well, crazy people.
I believe for a time, due to the lithium content, the FDA would not allow the sale of Crazy Water.
But, I found out yesterday you can still get Crazy Water (with lithium) from Mineral Wells. Thanks to my new information source, Twitter, I learned from "lovecrazywater" that Famous Mineral Water Company is bottling and selling Crazy Water.
You can haul your own container to Mineral Wells and get it filled with Crazy Water. Or order a 12 pack from the Famous Mineral Water Company online store. Or, I think, they deliver. I assume within a limited area. Just looked, the website says "Water Delivery to Home or Office."
I've no idea how that works. Delivering to home and office, I mean. Maybe it's home and offices in the D/FW zone. Or maybe just Mineral Wells.
I'm thinking there are plenty of crazy offices that might benefit from having Crazy Water calming the more difficult cubicle dwellers.
I'd head to Mineral Wells tomorrow to get me some Crazy Water. Lord knows I need it. But I don't know if they are open on Sunday.
Lately, I have been having more human sightings whilst hiking the Tandy Hills Natural Area. Pleasant temperatures may be the reason. Way too many weather babies don't venture out hiking when it's 105 in the shade.
Today, this 3rd Saturday of November, it is almost 70 out there. Maybe this will warm up my swimming by tomorrow morning. I aborted this morning's swim attempt after about 5 minutes.
I kind of get lost in my thoughts while communing with nature on the Tandy Hills. Today I hike down a hill, cross a creek lined with trees, come out of the trees to start up a steep hill when I am startled by an over-sized guy ahead of me on the hill.
It was a HOT enough to hike shirtless day. It is important to expose as much skin to the sun as possible, periodically, in order to get Vitamin D into the system. It does not take much sun exposure to do the job. But way too many people get way too little sun, and develop a Vitamin D deficiency.
It is not good to be deficient in Vitamin D.
My one reader may remember how a time or two I took issue with some erroneous Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting.
It's been so long now I forget what the final straw was that caused me to cancel my subscription.
But, this morning reminded me of the type of thing that caused me to doubt pretty much anything I read in that paper, because over and over again when a Star-Telegram article was about something I had eye-witness knowledge of, I would spot bizarre errors.
Like over and over again touting a little lame collection of shops called the Sante Fe Rail Market as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and being the first public market in Texas. Soon I was to discover not only was it not the first public market in Texas, it was not even the first public market in Fort Worth!
Anyway, back to this morning's Star-Telegram.
In an article about yesterday's predictable dyeing the Trinity River Purple Boondoggle, titled "TCU fans are purple, even if the Trinity isn't" were a few odd pieces of information.
First off, please note the the title of the article accurately reported that the Trinity did not turn purple yesterday.
Yet in the article you read the following...
"We started this morning at 2 a.m., and we will go until it runs out," said Jim Oliver, water district general manager.
He said he didn’t know how long the river would remain purple, as the water district had never tried to dye it before.
"At least a day or two," he said.
They started what at 2am??? Nothing was sprayed into the Horned Frog River until Moncrief poured his glass of purple dye sometime after 10am. The Star-Telegram has this water district manager, Jim Oliver, saying he did not know how long the river would remain purple. And then in the next sentence he is saying it'll stay purple "At least a day or two."
The article has Moncrief saying he'd been a tad worried the past couple days about whether the Trinity River would really turn purple. I'll copy directly from the article...
Mayor Mike Moncrief admitted that he’s been a tad bit worried the past couple of days.
Would the Trinity River really turn purple?
"I did sleep with one eye open," Moncrief joked Friday morning while standing on the riverbank, where trucks were shooting purple dye into the water.
"But it is purple now, and it will be purple tomorrow."
Uh, it was not purple then and it certainly is not purple today. And trucks were not shooting purple dye into the water. It was one truck and it was spraying something into the air, not pumping anything into the river, as you can clearly see in the picture above.
I'd not heard Mayor Mike Moncrief speak before yesterday. I have had others tell me how embarrassing he can be. I totally get that now. He slept with one eye open? Due to worrying about dyeing a river? How does he sleep without worrying about getting indicted for corruption? How does he sleep without worrying about cutting back on library hours? How does he sleep without worrying about closing all the city pools?
Here's another Moncrief quote from the purple river article...
"To see people out here, in large numbers, young and old, with helicopters flying overhead, you can feel the energy in the air," he said. "There is nothing Fort Worth can’t do."
To which the article retorts, accurately, "Well, maybe one thing."
As in Fort Worth can't successfully dye a river purple. As for helicopters, in the plural, flying overhead, I saw one helicopter. It made one pass sometime after 10, but before the pseudo dye job began. The helicoptor was well gone before Moncrief finished with his mayoral decree and ceremonial dumping of his purple kool-aid into the former Trinity River.
To Moncrief's statement that the river will be purple tomorrow, the Star-Telegram said...
Well, maybe not. At 2 p.m. Friday, several hours after the dye briefly turned the river purple, the river looked the way it usually does — muddy brown.
Once more reporting that the river was turned "briefly" purple. It was not remotely purple, even briefly. I do not know how the river looked at 2pm, but at 10am it did not look brown or muddy. As I said yesterday, the river was looking a shade of purple. But not from any dye job.
I don't know if it is true or not (because I read it in the Star-Telegram) but the article about the failed dye attempt said the dye was donated by Streams & Valleys, with the Tarrant Regional Water District handling the details, "such as pumping dye into the river."
Again, I saw no pumping yesterday. I saw some material being sprayed from a truck, material that only altered the look of the river by causing a sort of white foam, which quickly dissipated. You can see that in the picture.
As another example of how brain dead dumb this operation was, make note of where the "dye" is being sprayed. On the blocked side of a dam-like structure, which has an opening in the middle that the river rushes through. Thus, whatever was being sprayed, yesterday, was quickly whooshed through that narrow funnel and sent merrily downstream, with no detectable purple left in its wake.
Except for the purple provided by Mother Nature.
One more thing. The dye was donated, but how much did the rest of this latest Fort Worth Boondoggle cost the city?
Friday, November 27, 2009
I have watched a strange thing or two over the years in Texas and Fort Worth. I don't know, for sure, if this morning's attempt to dye the Trinity River purple was the strangest, but I am sure it is in the Top 10 Strangest Things I've Seen in Texas.
There was quite a large crowd assembled in Trinity Park to witness the spectacle of turning the Trinity River purple.
Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief read an extremely long proclamation that ended with him decreeing that the purple section of the Trinity River was re-named Horned Frog River.
Before Moncrief's proclamation another politician spoke. A female. I've no idea who she was.
In the picture you are looking at Moncrief pouring a glass of purple dye that looked like grape Kool-Aid into the newly christened Horned Frog River.
Now, this was a bit of a pep assembly, so Moncrief's hyperbole could be forgiven. I guess. This was the first time I've seen Mike Moncrief up close and heard him speak, at length. I wish I'd thought to whip out my video camera and record the entire speech. Some of Moncrief's verbiage was shockingly ironic. I can't quote it exactly from memory, but he said something very Jesus-like, about Fort Worth looking out for the least among us. And being the #1 city in America. Or was it the world? Darn, I wish I'd turned on the camcorder.
As you can see, Moncrief is bookended by two TCU Cheerleaders. You can also see the Trinity River behind Moncrief. At this point in the proclamation he had not yet re-named the river. You can also see that it already looks sort of purple. When I first saw the river I thought it had already been dyed, plus there was a white froth on the banks that I thought might be dye related. When the actual dyeing did begin there was pretty much a collective rolling of the eyes watching. It was that bizarre.
Soon after Moncrief emptied his glass of purple dye into Horned Frog River a tanker truck on the other bank started spraying what looked like water. This was the dye. People started muttering. The tanker sprayed for maybe 5 minutes before there was no more dye to spray. The only change to the river was the effect of the spray as it landed. When the spraying stopped I could detect no color.
I asked a couple people if they saw any purple. They didn't. One lady told me her husband told her there was no way they could turn the river purple.
The crowd of hopeful purple river watchers quickly melted away after the tanker spraying stopped. The only purple I saw, besides on TCU people's clothes and the cheerleader's sign, was "GO FROGS" painted on the Trinity, I mean, Horned Frog River Levee.
Okay, now I've got to tell you the really weird thing that happened. Someone came up and asked me if I was Durango Texas. That has never happened to me before. Not in Texas. I've had it happen in Washington. I've sort of slightly had it cross my mind that this might happen and that the person might be cranky about something I'd said about their, I mean, my, beloved Fort Worth.
I asked the questioner why she thought I was Durango Texas. She said she read my blog, read what I wrote about the plan to dye the river purple and that I looked like the pictures on the blog. So, I confessed that I was the culprit. We exchanged a few pleasantries and then I wandered off taking more pictures.
A couple minutes later I sat on the river bank to listen to Moncrief. I was slightly paranoid, noticing a few people looking at me and not at the mayor. Maybe it was something behind me they were looking at. Like I said, I was slightly paranoid.
Anyway, I'm glad I watched the purple river spectacle this morning. I found it entertaining. And more so than before I'm appalled that 70% of 6% of Fort Worth's eligible voters voted that man to be their mayor. Like I said. Bizarre.
I am heading to downtown Fort Worth's west side, to Trinity Park, in a bit to see if Mayor Mike Moncrief actually goes ahead with his plan to dye the Trinity River purple.
And rename it Horned Frog River.
All because a Fort Worth football team, called the TCU Horned Frog's, has won some games. And their school color is purple.
Too bad TCU's color wasn't brown instead of purple. Wouldn't have needed any dye if that were the case.
This has boondoggle written all over it. How much dye would have to be inserted into the river to color a section of it purple?
I'm hoping to get some good pictures. And maybe video. But I'm assuming this expedition will end up being a big dud.
On a totally unrelated, though wet note, it was 40 degrees when I tried to go swimming at 7:30 this morning. I lasted about 2 minutes in the icy water. Now, over 2 hours later I am still sort of shivering. Methinks my pooling may be over for awhile unless we get some warm days. I kept pooling last year til sometime in December.
Will this Global Warming thing I keep hearing about ever make it to Texas?
Thursday, November 26, 2009
No. You are not looking at one of those weird, mysterious designs that appear without explanation in some farmer's field.
I know what made this design. Some idiot drove over the very slack, very low to the ground cable that serves as a very lame fence, separating View Street from the entry to the Tandy Hills Natural Area.
Two days ago this latest damage had yet to appear. How is someone doing this? It's in plain view of several houses.
On my last hike on the Tandy Hills I showed you a picture of the ruts made by someone driving some off-road device where he or she should not. Today, looking at the same ruts, I realized the rut-maker had continued on, heading south on the main trail that leads to other Tandy Hills trails. Apparently the rut-maker realized the mud was sticky and so when he/she came to subsequent muddy areas he/she simply careened off into the prairie, making a new trail.
The rut-maker is playing a very dangerous game. Unless he/she knows the Tandy Hills well he/she might quickly find he/she to be in a very perilous situation, careening down a ravine, like the Hapless Haunted Van Man who hit the Witchey Tree, with a dead girl friend the result.
Yes, that is me running away from you in the pool this Thanksgiving morning. It was 41 degrees. I did not last too long in the water. It is supposed to get in the 70s on Saturday.
I'm hoping some of that heat gets into the water.
Last Thanksgiving I went to Zorro's Buffet for turkey. This year I'm cooking the bird myself. I think Thanksgiving last year may have been the last time I've been to Zorro's.
Time goes by so fast. This is the time of year that fast forwards to Christmas, then New Year's Day.
The Christmas lights start turning epidemic tomorrow. I'm going to try and see the lights at Interlochen this year. Did not get around to it last year. The Interlochen neighborhood puts on the most over the top Christmas displays I've ever seen. The throngs of viewers require traffic control.
When I get back from the Tandy Hills, this afternoon, the turkey should be done. If I've done the calculations correct, which is a bit of a concern because high level mathematics is not one of my strengths.
Okay, I admit I am not much of a spectator sports fan. I've watched a game or two over the years, but it is not something I regularly do. I prefer to play, rather than sit and watch others play.
So, I don't pay all that much attention to who wins what. This can leave me woefully ignorant of who is doing well in whatever sport.
As in, I had no idea that Fort Worth had a football team that is ranked #4 and is undefeated, that being Texas Christian University, aka TCU. Apparently TCU has never been in a BCS bowl game and due to their ranking they likely will get their first invite.
I did not know that 2 weeks ago Fort Worth initiated a "Go Purple" campaign. Evidently purple is TCU's school color. TCU's team mascot is something called a Horned Frog.
Now here is where it gets really weird.
Fort Worth's corrupt Mayor Mike Moncrief, a man who loves to help people pollute, announced on Wednesday that a section of the Trinity River that runs through Trinity Park will be dyed purple Friday morning.
And the Trinity River will be renamed "Horned Frog River" for the duration of the football season.
The wondrous powers of being a Fascist Dictator. You can order the arbitrary coloring and renaming of a river.
Tarrant Regional Water District and Streams and Valleys employees have been working on a non-toxic purple dye that will not affect water quality or harm fish, turtles or birds.
Isn't just the act of turning river water purple harming the quality of the water?
And, how are we to trust that this purple dye is totally non-toxic? Are these not sort of the same people who used to claim the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling was non-toxic til proven otherwise?
It would seem there are better ways of showing support for the local football team than turning an already troubled river into the River Purple.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
That's another look at Carter Avenue, this Thanksgiving Eve of 2009. The people of Carter Avenue have good reason to celebrate a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Using the greatest power an American has, the use of their free speech, the people of Carter Avenue fought back against Chesapeake Energy and the corrupted elected officials of the city they live in.
I'd barely hit the publish button on this afternoon's blogging about Carter Avenue, and its flag celebration, when I got a comment from my favorite commenter, the ubiquitous Anonymous.
I'll copy that comment below, and below that I'll add what Anonymous suggested, that being lines from the National Anthem. The lines I found most appropriate are from the seldom heard last verse of the Star-Spangled Banner.
First the comment from Anonymous and then the National Anthem....
Well put, Mr. Durango. It would have been a shame if you, the unofficial chronicler of life around what the locals generally call Eastern Hills (thus a high school with that name), had not made your mark on this pretty significant--if not historic, in terms of all this invasion by the gassers and their gassing fields and gassing equipments--occasion. I agree with you that those American flags express everything that is positive regarding this whole fight--for life and death, literally. Maybe these people are thinking of the lines from the National Anthem. Maybe you could print the words and let your readers reflect and compare what the song said and what has occurred on Carter Ave., one small battle in a long war against tyranny and inhumanity (maybe that's where the ever strong Mother Nature comes in). But truth, justice, and the American way certainly would sum it up pretty well also. David kicked Goliath to the freeway might also be approppriate.
"O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
Big congratulations to the people of Carter Avenue. You have scored a huge victory for Fort Worth. In the end, good always triumphs over evil. Eventually. Hopefully.
After I checked out the massive Carter Avenue flag display, and Mother Nature, I went north on Beach Street. Yesterday it looked like maybe the gas drillers had cleaned up the mess they'd made, well, actually damage they had done to the Trinity River Levee.
So, I thought I'd take a look.
As I walked towards the rutted damaged levee area I thought I saw someone working on the damage, pushing something. Was it a grass seeder I wondered?
No. It was a kid wheeling his fishing gear down to the river's edge.
The damaged levee remains damaged.
On the way back to my vehicle I walked a bit north to check out these giant weed-like plants I've noticed before, like mutant corn stalks. As I got closer I saw a WARNING sign.
High Pressure Petroleum Pipeline. How this relates to the mutant weeds I have not a clue. But, whatever those giant plants are they were making the oddest noise, like clicking and popping. It took me a couple minutes to figure out there were a lot of birds in the weeds making the noise.
So. Anyone know what the giant weeds are? Is it sorghum?
Some time after 2 this afternoon an email came to my attention from a reliable source, let's call him Fort Worth's Deep Well, telling me that he'd been asked by another reliable source to tell me I should drive down Carter Avenue.
I always do what I'm told to do. Usually.
So, I stuck my camera in my pocket and hopped on my trusty steed and headed towards Carter Avenue, having no idea what I would find there.
I thought maybe a Thanksgiving Eve Block Party was underway, celebrating the news that Chesapeake Energy is backing off on their threat to run non-odorized natural gas through a pipeline running under the homes along Carter Avenue.
As soon as I turned off Beach Street on to Carter Avenue I saw flags, lots of American flags, in front of every home on Carter Avenue,
then more flags when I turned left on Sanborn Street, flags all the way to Mother Nature on Scott Avenue, a monument that continues to weep over the damage done to the Tandy Hills by Chesapeake Energy.
How has Mother Nature lasted so long? Has it not been 2 long hot summers and 2 long cold winters that she has sat there? She looks no worse than the last time I saw her, maybe as long as a year ago.
Back to the flags. Was this the people of Carter Avenue celebrating that the American Way had worked? That truth, justice and doing the right thing had prevailed. That they had used the power of their freedom of speech to let other Americans know about the threat being directed at Carter Avenue?
Following the American flags down Carter Avenue leads you to Mother Nature. That has to mean something....
I've not often jumped on the Microsoft Sucks Bandwagon.
Til last night when Bill Gates rudely woke me up by taking control of my computer, again, against my will. And restarted it.
Yesterday afternoon I saw that there was yet another round of security updates to prevent someone horrible from taking control of my computer (like Microsoft does).
I read the details of the updates, saw one was irrelevant to me, de-selected it and hit the cancel button.
Now, I know I can somehow disable these Microsoft XP automatic updates, I think. But, I also know that it's likely a wise plan to do the updates. But, I really do not think I was in imminent danger of attack. I should have been allowed to install and re-start when I wanted to.
It is not easy to disgust me with a display of bad taste. Like what Adam Lambert did on Sunday at the American Music Awards didn't disgust me, instead I was sort of embarrassed for him and his incredibly bad judgment.
Now the poster you see here, that does disgust me due to the extreme display of bad taste. I don't know who or what DOOM is. I do know DOOM convinced the Oak Cliff Bicycle Company in Dallas to display their race poster that says...
DOOM PRESENTS 3rd ANNUAL KENNEDY ASSASSINATION RACE, NOVEMBER 28, 1PM at GLENCOE PARK.
I assume it is bikes being raced.
What does "AFTER ALL, IT WAS YOU AND ME" mean? Again, I don't know.
I'm not alone in finding this poster to be a very bad thing. It has generated a lot of comments on the Oak Cliff Bicycle Company website. From reading the comments I think I gleaned this is a bike race, with one of the comments coming from the guy behind the DOOM poster, Alain, who writes a very long reply to Galen, explaining his rationale for the poster. You can go to the link to read what Alain had to say for himself. Below are some other comments...
The poster and, indeed, the whole idea is in very poor taste. I take it the folks behind the Assassination ride didn’t live through that terrible time.
While I understand this flyer may be deemed offensive to many, our intention is to promote cycling and cycling events in our community. Period.
Oh, I understand now. It’s like if I lived in NYC and owned a bungee jumping equipment store. OK, I want to promote bungee jumping, so I organize a 9/11 Twin Towers Memorial Bungee Jump, and on my flyer, I have pictures of the poor souls jumping to their death from the Twin Towers. Wow, what a great idea! It would really drum up support for my store and bungee jumping, wouldn’t it?
In my mind, this poster is a symbol of so much that is wrong with our society. It is a reflection of how so many people, especially those of Gens X and Y, have become numb to images of graphic violence. From video games to movies, these young people have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of scenes of exploding brains, steaming entrails, and other gratuitous gore. It also expresses that desire to shock people’s sensibilities, just for the sake of being shocking.
Two Dallas Thanksgiving traditions take place tomorrow. I may participate in one of them, that being the Turkey Trot. The other tradition is the Dallas Cowboys always play a Thanksgiving Day Football Game.
Tomorrow Dallas is going to try and beat the Oakland Raiders in Arlington. Dallas never plays football in Dallas, which means Dallas never plays a home game. Dallas played football in Arlington this past Sunday. Tony Romo was slightly hurt. Four days is not much recovery time between games. Or so I would think.
Tomorrow's Turkey Trot in Dallas started way back on Thanksgiving of 1968. I believe that the original race ran from White Rock Lake to downtown Dallas. The current version of the Turkey Trot starts downtown at the Dallas City Hall and runs an 8K or 5K route in the downtown zone. Why the run is not around White Rock Lake, I do not know.
Back in 1968, in Dallas, there were few runners, that fad had not hit this part of the country yet. Now, 41 years later, the Turkey Trot, officially known by its sponsor's names as the Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, race of its sort in America.
Over 37,000 runners, 15,000 spectators and 2,000 volunteers will be joining me at the Turkey Trot.
Running should work up a good appetite for a big feeding of turkey and other goodies tomorrow. See you in Dallas.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Alma Sends Me From Texas To The Ukraine For Kseniya Simonova's Incredible Ukraine's Got Talent Performance
I have long known that when Alma, the songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, sends me something she thinks is good, via email, to trust Alma's instincts.
Alma may get a bit testy at times, on Facebook, for instance, confusing some of my other Facebook friends, who don't know Alma. And so don't know that Alma is a good-hearted sweety-pie, very smart, very talented. And with one of the best senses of humor and good taste it has been my pleasure to encounter.
So, just seconds ago I watched a YouTube video Alma sent me. It was a jaw dropping video experience, the best since Susan Boyle shocked me on Britain's Got Talent.
And, as coincidence would have it, this YouTube video, that Alma sent me, is the Ukraine's winner of their version of Britain's Got Talent.
A very good looking Ukrainian, Kseniya Simonova, uses a light box, dramatic music and incredible sand painting skills to artfully make an interpretation of Germany's WWII invasion of Russia, and occupation of the Ukraine, that is so powerful it drives many in the audience to tears.
I have never seen anything like this. Thanks Alma....
I had not been back to the Tandy Hills Natural Area since our recent bout of rain here in Fort Worth. I figured we'd been dry long enough that the Tandy Hills would be dried out.
I was wrong. They were muddy spots. But, not too bad, so I was able to go up and down 2 hill climbs over and over again til the endorphins kicked in.
I was in desperate need of an endorphin fix. Being an endorphin addict and in dire need of a fix is not a good thing. I don't get an endorphin fix from swimming in the morning. That's more some form of aversion or shock therapy.
A couple weeks ago I was perplexed whilst hiking the Tandy Hills when I saw a couple small blue plastic flags on a spike stuck in the ground. Today I saw another pair.
What is the purpose of the unnatural plastic flags being stuck on the Natural Tandy Hills?
My way to the Tandy Hills today was from the playground main trail entry that goes by Fort Worth's most recent exhibit of stunning public art. As I left the grass/lawn zone, on to the trail, I was puzzled by big lumps of mud, some basketball size. What could have left those, I walked and wondered? There were a dozen, maybe 2 dozen, of these big lumps. From where were these lumps extracted?
And then as I neared the first trail junction, off the main trail, I started seeing tire ruts. Who is driving a 4 Wheeler on the Tandy Hills Natural Area? And leaving ruts? The ruts went no further than you see in the picture. You are looking south, back towards the playground/public art zone.
Are the ruts and the blue flags another Billy Hill antic?
And why is there no Cable Gate across the main entry trail to the Tandy Hills, blocking vehicles? Up by the tower, known as the Fort Worth Needle, there is a Cable Gate. This in a location that sees few vehicles. And then you start down the trail from the Needle and come to an intersection that has another Cable Gate across the trail that goes down the hill to the north. If you go down the trail to the south you will find another Cable Gate blocking the trail at the junction that goes north. Why these Cable Gates and none at the main entry where the rutting took place?
It's all very perplexing.
Yeah, that's me in the pool this morning with one of my swimming buddies. It was so cold I had to wear a jacket, but forgot my stocking cap.
When I woke up the computer this morning, at 6am, WeatherBug told me it was 65. I thought, well, this is unexpected, I thought it was supposed to get cold overnight, the pool should be nicely warmed up.
And then WeatherBug refreshed its reading and told me it was 45 out there.
That had me thinking I might not last too long swimming this morning.
I was partly right. The water was warmer than the air, so that made getting in the ice water easily doable. I lasted about 10 minutes before requiring a warm up in the hot tub, in which I do not feel the heat when I first get in it. And then I overheat in about 3 minutes and get back in the ice water to cool down.
One would think that going from hot water to cold would be more bracing than my initial immersion, but it isn't. I've not been able to find a physiological explanation for this peculiar phenomenon. Then again, I really have not searched all that hard for an answer.
I see in incoming email that Republic Tequila is now following me on Twitter. Why do I seem to attract so many alcohol related Twitter Followers? It's very perplexing to me.
WeatherBug is chirping with a Weather Alert Message. These usually are annoying. And true to WeatherBug form, this one was annoying. And not at all weather related. It was a Child Abduction Alert. I've tried to change the settings in WeatherBug to only warn me if a severe Thunderstorm or Tornado is incoming, to no avail.
I should get rid of the WeatherBug nuisance. But I like being able to see what the temperature is. It's a conundrum.
Monday, November 23, 2009
A few minutes ago I drove to my nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter to get some vittles. Vittles means food items.
My route to Wal-Mart goes down a 4 lane boulevard called John T. White Road. It's got a wide median between the lanes.
This afternoon there were 3 amigos riding their horses on the John T. White Road median.
Is median the right word? My brain is being fuzzy right now.
The horse on the right was way too frisky, darting back and forth. I was concerned the horse would dart out on the road.
I remember previous recessions, recessions that were supposedly not as bad as the current one. During the previous recessions you would notice a big difference in customers in stores, as in way fewer of them. This afternoon Wal-Mart was a madhouse of people buying stuff, carts loaded. I do not remember a previous recession where I would see so many people yapping away on cell phones. Seems a luxury, like a cell phone, would be the first thing to go when times get tough. I guess cell phones have become a necessity, not a luxury. How could one get by not being able to call from Wal-Mart to ask what brand of beans to buy?
Speaking of things to buy. Wal-Mart had a big stack of Turkey Fryers Sets and Peanut Oil by the frozen foods. Do Turkey Fryer Sets show up in stores up north these days? Are they on the west coast? I'd never heard of frying a turkey or a Turkey Fryer til I came to Texas.
Click here to read everything I've learned about frying a turkey.
I had to be in Arlington to sign something around noon. On the way to do that it was being such a perfect day I thought a walk around Veterans Park would be a good thing.
Many people thought the same thing. The desire to get outside and enjoy the nice day was likely somewhat prompted by relief at having the heavy fog of this morning disappear, replaced by a solid blue sky.
Walking Veterans Park I searched in vain for another Arlington outhouse for my Arlington Outhouse Series. I took a picture of the composting exhibit, but that's really not the same thing, even remotely, as an outhouse.
Walking through the Veterans Park Xeriscape I thought I was smelling roses, but could not find them. I did find a strange plant that had no leaves, but did have very colorful clusters of purple berry-like things dangling on twigs. My picture does not do justice to how both cool and odd, this plant looks.
After I finished signing something I decided to go to the Cho Saigon New Market to get an apple and orange for the cranberry chutney I'm making for Thanksgiving. I also needed fresh Ruot Gia for the exotic stuffing I'm sticking in my bird. For those of you who do not speak Vietnamese, Ruot Gia is Pig's Rectum. Yes, I know this sounds disgusting, but you really must try and expand your world into an appreciation of the foods of other cultures. I've learned to do this from watching Anthony Bordain's No Reservations show on the Travel Channel.
The party who rode with me to Arlington was not believing my account of the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium being surrounded by outhouses, despite the photo proof, so I had to do a drive-by of the stadium after I got my pig's rectum. This drive-by was coming from the south on Collins. I had not seen the extensive stadium outhouse collection on the west side of the stadium. I was in a hurry, so no photos were taken.
Who wants to come for Thanksgiving Dinner at my place now that you've heard about my tasty stuffing?
Jessica Simpson's Strange Smooch With Tony Romo Who Gave Dallas A Win With Last Minute Touchdown Pass
That is former newlywed, Dallas girl, Jessica Simpson, smooching her former boyfriend, Dallas Cowboy quarterback, Tony Romo.
Now that looks to me to be one disturbingly odd smooch, made more disturbing by the blue substance under Miss Simpson's nose.
Anyone have an answer to the question of what's going on here?
Thank you in advance for solving this mystery.
By the way, Tony won yesterday's game for Dallas, after being behind the Washington, I think, Redskins, 6 - 0, til the last few minutes of the game when Romo threw a touchdown pass with the extra point kick giving Dallas the win.
I am never happier than when Dallas wins a football game.
That is a very foggy Fort Worth you are looking at this morning around 8, looking out my patio window. I don't know where this fog came from or why. Fort Worth is hundreds of miles from the nearest large body of water, that being the Gulf of Mexico.
It is currently 45 degrees out there. That was also the temperature when I went swimming in the fog an hour and a half ago. I only lasted about 10 minutes in the cold water.
I'm going to Arlington around noon today. This trip to Arlington is not part of my very popular Outhouses of Arlington Series, but if I see an outhouse today in Arlington I will be sure to take a picture of it.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Twitter continues to perplex me. There seems to be a lot of Twitter spamming and scamming. I've had someone somehow using my Twitter account to send out weird "Direct Messages" saying stuff like "I think you look weird in this picture." Of course, the person clicks on it. I did. Next thing you know you're taking an IQ Test that wants your cell phone number.
Then, just seconds ago, Irma Rogers became my latest ardent Twitter Follower. I clicked on Irma to see she wanted me to check out this wonderful thing that automatically got me Twitter Followers.
For a fee.
Why I would so desperately want Twitter Followers that I'd pay for them is a mystery to me. Somehow I've gotten some Twitter Followers, like Irma, without paying a single dime.
Apparently, for only $450.00 I can get myself 10,000 Twitter Followers. What a bargain. If I'm feeling like being cheap I can get 500 new Twitter Followers for only $50.00.
I think I'll take the go for the gusto option and get 10,000 Twitter Followers for a measly $450.00.
What a bargain! Follow me on Twitter!
After a quick visit to River Legacy Park I drove towards the Dallas Cowboy Stadium to see why a blimp was hovering in the vicinity. I did not think there was a game today because I thought the Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving because they are America's Team and for some reason that means they play football on Thursday.
I had not driven south on Cooper Street very far when I saw that the blimp said Direct TV on it. Not Goodyear. I took the picture you see above, that looks like someone has launched a missile to take down the blimp, and continued on towards the stadium.
Evidence quickly accumulated that indicated the Dallas Cowboys were playing football today. I saw dozens of buses, of the commercial sort, like Trailways, parked in one of the new lots that Arlington would not let Jerry Jones take by abusing eminent domain.
Soon I was at the intersection of Randol Mill Road and Collins. It was clearly obvious a football game was happening, due to all the tailgate parties on the corner of that particular parking lot, which you are looking at in the above picture.
Yesterday, that being Saturday, I dropped in on the Dallas Cowboy Stadium to take pictures of outhouses. I was surprised by what I found and blogged about it. There were high school football games going on, with lots of cars parked in the lots. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday, had no problem parking. Wal-Mart was busy, like the day before Christmas type busy. I thought to myself that I thought there had been complaints about Wal-Mart suffering a loss of business when the stadium was being used. I thought, well, one more crackpot making a bogus complaint.
So, imagine my surprise today. I wanted to go to Wal-Mart to get a missing ingredient for the curry thing I was making for lunch. The blimp had led me to the Stadium Wal-Mart so I figured I'd go there. Nope. Could not happen. There were a few cars in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but all entries off Randol Mill were blocked. The above picture shows the west entry blocked.
I figured maybe I could get to Wal-Mart via one of the side streets, and that maybe that was how the few cars in the lot had gotten in. Nope. All roads in were blocked. I was appalled. How is Wal-Mart being compensated for this?
Just past Wal-Mart I saw a pair of Pedicabs with no customers. I was to see maybe a dozen more, all with no customers.
Arlington is notorious for being the largest city in America with no public transit. That's right, the town that has Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, The Ballpark in Arlington and the Dallas Cowboy Stadium, in what they call the Entertainment District, has no bus system. Except for the aforeseen Pedicabs and the trolleys you see above, that were lined up today by the Ballpark in Arlington, I assume after dropping people off for the game. The trolleys travel around the Entertainment District, stopping at the District's many lodging locations.
In the above picture you are looking past one of the Texas Ranger parking lot's outhouses at some Tailgaters having a BBQ. This particular lot charges $60. It is not close to the stadium. Maybe a 3/4 mile walk. How much did those first Tailgaters pay to park in that first lot I showed you, that is right up next to the stadium?
Above you see an Event Parking $60.00 sign. Along with another sign spelling out the Tailgating Rules. Such as you can only BBQ on the grass. And pick up your litter. Why must a sign tell Texans to pick up their litter?
Yesterday I toured the Dallas Cowboy Stadium's Outhouses. And blogged about it. In that blogging I made mention of outhouses in my favorite Dallas/Fort Worth park, that being River Legacy Park in Arlington.
Today I decided to drive to River Legacy Park to continue my Outhouses of Arlington Texas series.
I was barely on the road when I saw a big blimp. No, I am not talking about a plus-sized person in the Albertson's parking lot. I'm talking about a Goodyear blimp type of big blimp. A couple miles further and it appeared to be hovering above the Dallas Cowboy Stadium.
I was talking to Tootsie Tonasket on the way to River Legacy. Tootsie directed me to take pictures of the blimp after I was done with the River Legacy outhouses. Which is what I did. You don't say no to Tootsie Tonasket.
But, back to the River Legacy outhouses. The pair you see in the picture serve the River Legacy Pavilion. You can see the Pavilion in the background behind the outhouses. It is a very nice structure, with some glaring omissions. There is no sink or water faucet. There is a nearby drinking fountain, which would seem to indicate it would be possible to have running water in the River Legacy Wedding Pavilion. I have seen a dozen or so Saturday weddings taking place over the years in the River Legacy Pavilion. Usually with meat products being BBQed on the provided BBQ pit.
There is a modern facilities type restroom in River Legacy Park. It is built on a knoll, due to the fact that a large area of River Legacy, including the Pavilion, can go under water during a major flood of the Trinity River. I have seen that happen twice. The outhouses are evacuated prior to an incoming flood.
I know building another knoll and putting another restroom on it would be more expensive than outhouses. But, isn't it the right thing to do in such a nice park? In such a nice city as Arlington? And it would set a good example for Jerry Jones. Maybe he'd decided that real restrooms might be a nice thing to provide his customers who pay $60 or more to park on his lots and use his outhouses.
I wonder why Jerry has not thought of a way to monetize the Dallas Cowboy outhouses? He sells Party Passes for $29. I'm thinking a one use Potty Pass for $5 seems reasonable.
In about an hour it will be 46 years to the minute since John F. Kennedy was assassinated as his motorcade drove by Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
I was at Dealey Plaza for the 40th Anniversary, along with thousands of others.
It was a sober, sort of macabre, experience. The moment of silence and countdown to when the shots were fired was disturbed by the arrival of Dallas police in full riot gear. I have never learned why that happened. The police quickly backed off when it was apparent there was no riot.
And then the moment arrived, suddenly the mournful sound of a lone bugle filled the air.
Go here and watch the video I made of what I saw on this day, 6 years ago. Or watch it below...