Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Armadillo Roadkill Blocking My Way On A Texas Highway

After I was done with my Tandy Hills Heat Aversion Therapy I headed to the Beach Street Wal-Mart.

As I drove by Town Talk I was surprised to see the store open. After I was done with Wal-Mart I headed back to Town Talk, hoping for the return of hummus and good cheese.

No Town Talk luck. Though, I did get some apples.

I left Town Talk and headed east, on Randol Mill Road, towards my default location.

I soon saw my first Armadillo Roadkill of the year. Recently I had remarked that the armadillos did not seem to be making their usual busy Spring appearance. This concerned me. I like armadillos. They're cute.

I don't know what the cause of death was for this particular armadillo. Usually it is obvious that an armadillo was hit and run over by a car. As in the armadillo is squished. Today's Armadillo Roadkill seemed fairly intact.

It's perplexing.

Are Memorial Day BBQs Contributing To The Texas Level Orange Air Pollution

Almost a year ago, in a 4th of July related event, the section of the Tandy Hills you're looking at here, burned. In olden times the prairie was renewed, regularly, by wildfires, keeping the prairie healthy and burning off bad stuff.

You can see how wildfires were a good thing, by looking at the change in this Tandy Hills location, compared to the unburned zone.

I did not overheat today. It was a pleasant experience. It helped that it was breezy and only in the mid-80s.

I won't be swimming tomorrow morning. My pool has had a major malfunction. Something was not done right when the pool was re-lined and now the filter is clogged. This may be a quick fix. Or not.

It being Memorial Day, in my immediate vicinity, the smoke from multiple BBQs is contributing, in a pleasant way, to the Level Orange Air Pollution.

LOST Dreaming About A Happy Memorial Day In Texas

It is too early to tell if this is going to be a memorable Memorial Day, for me.

One good indicator is, unlike yesterday, I did not wake up with a headache.

But I did have me a night. Insomnia. Finally fell asleep sometime past 1. And then went into heavy duty full blown epic cinematic dream mode.

I think the epic dreaming may have been triggered by watching war movies on Turner Classic Movies yesterday. The Dirty Dozen really is a pretty ridiculous movie. Guns of Navarone is sort of ridiculous too, but fun to watch.

My dream/nightmare of last night was sort of like an episode of LOST. I did me some time traveling, which included a visit with my grandmas, which was a very Memorial Day appropriate thing.

Somehow bringing Fort Worth's corrupt mayor, Mike Moncrief, to justice, was also involved. I uncovered a huge stash of stolen cash, hidden in giant mayonnaise jars on Costco shelves. That somehow led to Barnett Shale natural gas drilling operations randomly exploding and eventually the collapse life as we know it in Fort Worth.

I think somehow my grandma's were involved in the collapse of Fort Worth.

Needless to say, but I will anyway, I woke up exhausted from way too much nocturnal activity. Woke up early. As in before 6, which led to a very long, very early, bout in the pool.

I am not cooking hot dogs for my Memorial Day lunch. Instead it will be fish & chips. Around 1. Don't be late.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Tandy Hills Prickly Pear Cactus Did Not Give Me A Headache

I've got me a big, bad headache this last Sunday of May. And no, it is not the result of Saturday night saloon hopping with Elsie Hotpepper.

I was feeling not so good all day yesterday. Worse today. I thought going swimming would fix me. It didn't.

I thought the Tandy Hills Sanatorium would fix me. It didn't.

I think the Sanatorium made matters worse. I overheated real bad. And it's only 91. Maybe all these warnings about not going out in the Level Orange Air Pollution need to be heeded.

But, last year I had no problem with overheating. If I remember right we went to Level Red a time or two last summer without having any dire effect on me that I recall.

I remember the last time I was subjected to a surgeon's scalpel, I was forbidden to have coffee, which caused a really bad coffee withdrawal headache, which instantly went away when some drug was administered via a needle. I wish I had some of whatever was in that needle, right now.

Must eat lunch now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Tootsie Tonasket Memorial Day Tribute

That is Tootsie Tonasket you are looking at. Also known as Princess Thunder Rump of the Tonasket Tribe. The Tonasket Tribe is one of the few in Washington that don't have a casino.

I have known Tootsie since 2001. She emailed me way back then, confused, as people often are, by one of my webpages, with Tootsie thinking, like people often do, that I am somehow connected officially with whatever I'm webpaging.

In Tootsie's case she thought I was a Branch-Davidian, associated with the David Koresh group down by Waco. I don't recollect what exactly Tootsie asked me, but I know it was something along the line of telling me it was awful what had been done to my people.

And with that began a merry go round of funny confusion.

At first, due mostly to Tootsie's fractured English and oddball reactions and misunderstandings, I thought she might have some issue of the psychological sort. And then one day it finally dawned on me that Tootsie was playing with me.

The first time I spoke to Tootsie she seemed really downcast and sad. That might have been way back in 2003. Back then she just really exuded a lack of self confidence.

Well, one of the pleasures of knowing Tootsie Tonasket has been observing her gain confidence over the years. Tootsie has some health issues borne of childhood disease, one effect being memory lapses.

Tootsie grew up thinking she was not very smart. Well, by 2005, or thereabouts, I recollect telling Tootsie that I find her highly intelligent. And that she writes well. Because she does.

The Internet brought the world to Tootsie. Facebook reconnected her with people she'd long lost touch with. Nowadays Tootsie has all sorts of people letting her know how special she is. And she found a long lost sister.

When I talk to Tootsie now, that hangdog girl is long gone. She sounds upbeat and laughs a lot. Tootsie has a very good sense of humor. Another really admirable thing about Tootsie Tonasket is she has not a single mean bone in her body. She only knows how to be nice.

Tootsie has sent me all sorts of things over the years. My favorite may be a blue denim shirt.

Tootsie is an excellent cook. Her pies are legendary in Tonasket and surrounding environs. Tootsie introduced Thai food to Tonasket with her Coconut Chicken Soup. I sent her the recipe.

Every year at Tonasket Days, Tootsie sings, signaling the end of the show. And with that, this blogging is over.

I'm A Hot Mess Butchering Chickens In Texas

You're looking at a sign telling you about the Tandy Hills. The wildflowers being in bloom indicates I took this picture previous to today.

I did not feel up to doing my usual aerobic thing today. Hence no hiking or walking anywhere. Consequently I am now suffering from endorphin withdrawal.

I did go swimming this morning for a long time. I somehow am able to swim without it being all that aerobic.

After I was finished with the swimming is when Saturday started to go awry.

I wanted to oven fry a chicken. That involved cutting up the bird. I'd not done that type surgery since some time in August of 2008. It did not go well. I ended up with a lot of very strange pieces of chicken. It turned out okay, in the end, though, sort of.

By the time it was time to consume the oven fried chicken I was not feeling all that well. I usually feel quite well, so feeling not so well is unsettling to me.

After lunch I went to the library, which has re-opened for one day. I returned some books, got some new ones, but the main purpose was to make copies of police reports. I think I mentioned police reports and the FBI previously.

I was befuddled by the complex copy machine and had to ask for assistance. I told the librarian I was too stupid to figure out the complex copy machine, could you be so kind as to help me.

It turned out to be fairly simple once I was shown how to make it work.

The temperature is in the 90s again today. Once more with the National Weather Service issuing one of its Level Orange Air Pollution Watch Alerts. So, I'm sitting here looking out my window, watching the air pollution.

This morning whilst swimming there was a slight petroleum like smell in the air, as if I was out in West Texas, in Odessa or Wink.

Speaking of Wink, I've not heard from the Queen of Wink. I assume she made it to Albuquerque, as planned, and then on to Denver, where she has likely taken possession of her new car and is heading back to Wink, with Princess Annie helping navigate.

I heard from Elsie Hotpepper this morning. Elsie mentioned doing some saloon hopping. I am currently in no condition to do any saloon hopping, even though that sounds like a really fine time.

I think maybe I am having some sort of imbalance, like my electrolytes are out of whack, or something. Because I keep feeling the need to drink a lot of water. To the point I think I'm starting to bloat up, like a sponge.

Yes. I'm a HOT mess.

I Am A Phone Book Reading Gringo In Texas

A new phone book arrived on my doorstep this week. There are few things I enjoy reading more than a good phone book.

This morning I was looking at the restaurant menus in the phone book.

The menu for Dos Gringos Tex-Mex Grill & Cantina had an interesting bit of "information" that did not seem quite right to me.

As in....

"Did you know that gringo is a word that was born in the Texas Mexican Border disputes? The Texas Soldiers wore green coats as part of their uniform. As they patrolled along the Rio Grande River there were exchanges across the river between the Texas Troops and Mexican Troops. The Mexicans would shout to the Texans "Green Coats Go Home". Later, the phrase was shortened to Gringos! Just a little bit of trivia from your friends at Dos Gringos."

Well, it was those Mexicans shouting, in English, "Green Coats Go Home" that seemed to make this bit of trivia a bit unlikely.

So, I Googled "Gringo" to learn, via Wikipedia, that gringo was used in Spain long before it crossed the Atlantic. Gringo is derived from "griego", which is the Spanish word for a Greek person.

Apparently it is true that gringo was first heard by Anglo ears when used by Mexicans as an epithet during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War. From that point on the word gringo took on a special meaning in the relationship between Mexico and America.

Now it's time for this gringo to go do something else besides read the phone book.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Watching Level Orange Air Pollution In Fort Worth

You are looking at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth through today's filter of a Level Orange Air Pollution Watch.

I really don't know what we are supposed to watch for when the National Weather Service issues an Air Pollution Watch.

The past couple days the annoying WeatherBug program, that I really need to get rid of, has gone into its annoying chirp warning mode. I have my WeatherBug settings set to alert me to only the most dire of weather emergencies. Makes no difference. The chirp warning mode goes off over anything.

Like a Level Orange Air Pollution Watch.

I did not notice my eyes burning when I was out in the Level Orange. I didn't seem to have any trouble breathing the dirty air. I remember when I was a kid, the first time in Los Angeles, we were all thrilled to see the famous smog we'd heard so much about. And traffic jams. Neither of which existed, at that point in time, in Washington.

I remember going to Universal Studios and the air was so bad my eyes stung as if lemon juice was being squirted at me. Southern California has cleaned up its air, a lot, since then. I remember it was not until the late 1980s that I first saw the mountain range to the east, in Los Angeles, looking like the Cascades look, when you are in the Puget Sound zone.

I wonder if the Level Orange Air Pollution is what causes my bouts of feeling dizzy? I did have a little of that today when I overheated out in the 90 degree swelter.

Talking To The Queen Of Wink, The Tandy Hills & Other Stuff

You are looking north at the Tandy Hills trail where I lost my sunglasses on Easter and then found them a month later, right beside the trail.

It remains a mystery why it took me a month before I saw the sunglasses that were hiding in plain sight.

I called the Queen of Wink this morning. I knew she was heading out of Wink today, eventually making it to Denver. I did not know she was pretty much taking the midnight train, I mean, car, to Albuquerque.

It is a miracle. I spelled Albuquerque correct on the first try. That has never happened before.

So, I talked to the Queen of Wink til my phone went dead. I called because I knew she'd find an email I got this morning to be both bizarre and amusing. And a little sad. Since she was intimately connected to the reason it was so bizarre, amusing and sad.

Anyway, have I mentioned before that the Queen of Wink is very amusing to talk to on the phone? Some people do good phone, the Queen being one. Tootsie Tonasket does good phone talk. As does Elsie Hotpepper. My sister in Phoenix is also a very good phone talker. So is my mom.

I won't name the bad phone talkers. You know who you are.

With the Queen of Wink, and to a greater degree with Elsie Hotpepper, you also get a lilting Texas accent. The Queen turns hers off easily. I don't know if Elsie ever turns hers off.

It was 90 when I hiked the Tandy Hills. I overheated. As I overheated I pondered how it is I manage this when it is well over 100. I know I manage it, but today it did not seem possible. I think maybe mesh shorts are involved when it gets HOT. I must look for them.

Feeling Grateful For The Real Sane People Of Texas

Every once in awhile something happens that has me thinking, wow, I had no clue.

This morning I had me one of those I had no clue moments.

My #1 guilty pleasure TV show is The Real Housewives of New York City. I find this show to be highly amusing. Except for the past 2 weeks when I, along with a lot of other viewers, found it highly disturbing.

What happened was there was a moment when it became obvious, to the other housewives, that one of them had a serious mental disorder. When that moment of realization hit them, they suddenly quit arguing with the disturbed one and instead turned, sort of, sympathetic.

I had that sort of a moment of realization this morning via an email that made clear that the sender was not just, well, mean-spirited, but instead something far more disturbing.

My usual reaction would be to blog the email and make fun of its ridiculousness. But, instead my reaction was that this is just really sad. And then I found myself feeling sorry for the sad soul. I knew there was nothing I could do, or would want to do, to help, but I also knew I didn't need to make it worse by feeding the neurosis.

So, that's been my Friday, so far this morning, sitting here feeling thankful that I know a lot of sane people in Texas.

I think I'm really going to enjoy my sanatorium time on the Tandy Hills today. Before I have to be in Arlington.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fort Worth's Strange Library Priorities

I'd planned to go to the library today. To return some books and get some new ones. And make some copies of a report I'm filing with the FBI, well, some police agency, I'm pretty sure it's probably not the FBI.

As I zipped east on I-30 I passed my neighborhood library, it being the Eastside branch, I saw only 2 cars in the parking lot, thus indicating the library was closed.

I thought maybe it'd be open later, so I checked the hours on the Fort Worth Library website to learn only 4 of Fort Worth's libraries are open today.

And all Fort Worth libraries will be closed on Friday.

As you can read above, in a clip taken from the library website, 2010 budget cuts require a reduction in operating hours and services for most city departments.

This at the same time that Fort Worth's mayor, Mike Moncrief, is pushing the Fort Worth City Council to approve a $10.7 million gift for RadioShack.

Now, I'm of the opinion that library hours are the last thing you want to be cutting back on in a city that likes to see itself as the Envy of the World.

When Lisa Simpson goes to visit her Springfield library she usually is all alone in there. My neighborhood library is not like Lisa's. When it is open there are always a lot of people in there. I'll see moms helping kids with homework. All the computer stations being used. Others who bring in their laptops to use the Wi-Fi.

Where do all those people go when the library is closed? My neighborhood library usually opens at noon. You will actually see people lined up waiting for the doors to open. Opening a library is a good thing. It should be open often. And for a lot of hours.

Maybe if Mike Moncrief donated half of his conflict of interest earnings that he makes from all the gas companies that drill in his town, that he should not be taking money from, due to that conflicts of interest thing, maybe that money could keep the libraries open more often.

My Cougar Kitty Courtesy Of Chesapeake Energy

You're looking at a cougar kitty. Earlier today I mentioned that a feline that looked like a cougar kitty visited with me while I was swimming this morning.

I said I was almost 100% what I was looking at was not an actual cougar kitty.

But, now I'm re-thinking the cougar kitty by the pool subject.

Due to getting a comment from the ubiquitous commenter who calls her/himself Anonymous.

Anonymous played to my newly discovered Paranoid Personality Disorder by telling me...

"It probably is a cougar kitty. Your fracking friends across the street drive out all kinds of wildlife every time they fire up the noise/pollution makers."

Well, I have been told, previously, that it was the noise and activity across the street, foisted on my neighborhood, courtesy of Chesapeake Energy, that had caused the influx of possums, raccoons, rats and snakes. But no one mentioned cougars. Til now.

I just hope there are no gators lurking in those woods.

Cougar Encounters With Elsie Hotpepper & Me Thinking About Leaving The Tandy Hills

Aren't the Tandy Hills looking serene today? I was in the mood for some serenity, after a disturbing morning of extreme weirdness.

I read an interesting article this morning about Paranoid Personality Disorder, focusing on a very odd person named Kelly Bensimon.

Ironically, I read that before I was blessed with a dose of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

So, I had myself some heavy duty pondering to do today whilst hiking the Tandy Hills. At over 90 degrees.

The adjustment to the HEAT seems to be progressing. Soon I'll be able to easily tolerate being out in it when it's 110. Or HOTTER.

This morning, before I blogged about the FBI, I blogged about all the alligators swimming in the lakes around here. I had alligators on my mind when I was in the pool this morning. I'm not very far from the Trinity River. My own Paranoid Personality Disorder had me worrying about alligators swimming with me this morning.

As I pondered gators, a cat walked into the pool zone. I said, "howdy kitty." This stopped it dead in its tracks. It stared at me, I stared at it.

The more I stared at the cat the more it looked like a cougar to me. A cougar kitty. We have cougars in these parts, but call them panthers. I've not seen one, but have spoken with locals who have.

I'm almost 100% certain that that was not a cougar kitty with me in the pool today. But, how can I know for sure?

A big wooded zone is right across the street from where I live. There is a lot of wildlife in there, snakes, possums, raccoons, rats, bobcats. I really don't think you have to have Paranoid Personality Disorder to worry that there might be a cougar or two living in my nearby woods.

Today Elsie Hotpepper and I are thinking of leaving the country. To go where? I have no idea.

I Filed A Report With The FBI & Other Nonsense

Well, I've had me a sort of sickening morning. The sort of sickening that would be funny if it weren't so sad and sickening.

I got an email this morning from my Anonymous Tacoma emailer with a link to Facebook.

Imagine my joy when I clicked on the link to see myself being discussed by the entities I call Fubbo, Mister Sister and Mega Nag. Discussed on Facebook.

Apparently I am stalking (or stocking) Fubbo on the Internet. And it's very creepy. And sloppy.

The FBI has been contacted by Fubbo and she has her people working on the case, including Mister Sister, who Fubbo suggests might do some IP digging.

Now, where this turns funny, and sad, is a couple months ago Fubbo showed up on Gar the Texan's blog, anonymously, at first. The Queen of Wink sent me the Anonymous comment, along with the IP address. I could tell it was Fubbo. I then said so on Gar's blog. To which Fubbo, almost immediately, commented, denying ever being Anonymous.

And yet Fubbo somehow knew she'd been exposed on some random blog, denying it was she making the Anonymous comment. Fubbo's damage control comment was pretty lame, the Queen of Wink pretty much amusingly countered Fubbo. Fubbo then deleted her comments and went away. Or so I thought.

The Queen of Wink was able to use some IP tracking thing to see where Fubbo was going, blog-wise.

I then commented that it was pretty ironic that Fubbo has said she forces herself not to read my blog and now to find out she's not only stalking mine, but also stalking the blogs of people I know in Texas. If you look at my FeedJit stats you can see Tacoma is constantly showing up on my blog.

Fubbo must have stewed about this embarrassment for a couple months and then decided to project her behavior on to me.

What profoundly disturbs me is that Mister Sister and Mega Nag are feeding into these delusions. I'd told Mister Sister that she needed to be wary of Fubbo due to the girl being a pathological liar.

It's all very perplexing to me. And sad. And just slightly funny.

My Chesapeake Energy Neighbor Has Returned

This morning, early, I started hearing what sounded like the bangs and booms of a construction project.

A few minutes ago I went outside to do some contemplating whilst sitting on the picnic table, one of my favorite contemplating spots.

I was barely into contemplating mode when I heard a bang and turned around to see that today's bangs and booms were being brought, again, courtesy of Chesapeake Energy and the Barnett Shale Natural Gas Drilling operation across the street from where I live.

I guess it must be time to freshly frack the well. I believe this happens several times during a well's lifespan. Or maybe this isn't fracking, maybe it's a new drilling operation. It did appear that pipe was being shoved downward, with that guy you see in the picture appearing to be directing something.

I hope this is not an around the clock operation like the initial drilling was. I suspect it will be, though, with an army of trucks delivering water, soon to follow.

Swimming In Texas With The Lake Worth Alligators

You're looking at an alligator, recently spotted on Lake Worth. Lake Worth is in Fort Worth. People swim and water ski on Lake Worth. Apparently this is the time of year when gators usually get real active.

There is more water than the norm flowing out of Lake Eagle Mountain, which flows to Lake Worth. The alligators don't like fast moving water, so they head to where it is calmer. Which, apparently, has caused many of the big boys to leave the Fort Worth Nature Preserve for the calmer waters of Lake Worth.

I have not seen an alligator in the wild since I've been in Texas. I have seen the signs in the Fort Worth Nature Preserve informing visitors of the presence of gators.

Last year a 10 foot long alligator was killed in my neighborhood when it was crossing a road on its way to or from the Trinity River.

It has been years since I've gone swimming in a Texas lake. I think the last time may have been when I was chased by a big turtle.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Calling Mom Prickly Pears Tandy Hills & Spencer Jack

I need no help identifying the new "wildflower" I saw blooming on the Tandy Hills today. What I don't know is if it is actually a wildflower. What I do know is the flower pops out of prickly pear cactus. And then turns into an edible prickly pear.

In addition to prickly pear cactus blooms, I've had me a day. I got up around 4 this morning.

Sometime after getting out of bed, but before getting into the pool, I logged in to Facebook and saw a surprising bit of news from the Queen of Wink. We need not go into details. Suffice to say I submitted a formal inquiry to the Queen and she alleviated me of my concern.

By mid-morning Elsie Hotpepper was obsessing over getting into a car with a stranger. I had trouble understanding the obsession. But did my best to alleviate Elsie of her concern.

A bit before noon I headed up to Euless. I had to get gas on the way, so I called my mom, like I always do when I get gas. Mom was being in chatty mode. So, we chatted. I learned that my little great nephew, Spencer Jack, attended my Uncle Mel's funeral. Spencer Jack is named after my dad, Jack, and my ex-wife, who's last name is Spencer. My nephew, Spencer's dad, had been told you can't go wrong naming your kid after your richest relative. I believe Spencer's namesake was also at the funeral.

Don't I have interesting family dynamics?

I talked to my mom til I got to my destination, La Hacienda Ranch, in Euless. I was meeting up with Miss de Loca for lunch.

I over ate.

On the way back here, from Euless, I called my sister in Phoenix. My sister in Phoenix is the go to girl if I want to know what's going on with my relatives. She's an accurate, coherent, rational reporter.

I got back here a bit before 3. A short time after that, with it being in the 90s, I decided I needed to overheat on the Tandy Hills. And so I did.

It is now almost 6. I'm ready for this day to be over.

Memorial Day Weekend In Texas At Rockport Festival Of Wine & Food With Alma Squillante & Havana Daydream

Alma Squillante, also known as "The Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast," currently headquartered in Port Aransas, has partnered with a guy named Luis in a duo called Havana Daydream.

On May 30, Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, Alma and Havana Daydream will be playing at the Rockport Festival of Wine & Food in Rockport Texas.

Havana Daydream takes the stage at 4pm.

In Alma's words, "C'mon down and join us chomping on shrimp, oysters, beer, margaritas, and grooving, sassy relaxing Havana Daydream rock!"

Who wants do drive down to the Texas Gulf Coast with me this weekend to see Alma and Havana Daydream? And to have some shrimp and beer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walking With Tootsie Tonasket While Thinking About Queen Of Wink Love Shacks With The George & Laura Bush Drunken Divorce

You are looking at part of the Village Creek Natural Historic Area Bayou, in Arlington, today around noon.

I tried to get my camera turned on fast enough to take a picture of a bright red bird that was sitting atop the big stick in the bayou. But the bird flew away before I could catch it.

Tootsie Tonasket went walking with me today. Tootsie picked chamomile whilst we walked along. When she wasn't picking chamomile Tootsie gave me very good instructions as to how to make Chicken Pot Pie. In the last 48 hours I've become obsessed with wanting to make Chicken Pot Pie.

Elsie Hotpepper wants me to do lunch with her. Trouble is, Elsie's is a very odd schedule. She has lunch at something like 4 in the afternoon. I'm usually done with my day's eating by 4 in the afternoon. If I remember right, I've not had lunch with Elsie since she conned me into having a Dirty Love Burger at The Love Shack in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Speaking of Love Shacks, the Queen of Wink called me yesterday afternoon. The Queen wanted my opinion regarding a subject of great import. I was instantly quite concerned. My opinion is rarely solicited, and when it is, often unintended consequences follow.

Back to the subject of Burgers. I read today that In & Out is going to open in Garland.

I was told, at the aforementioned Love Shack outing with Elsie Hotpepper, by one of Elsie's cohorts, he calls himself the White Knight, that In & Out was rumored to be moving into the D/FW Metroplex zone. Today's news confirm the incoming In & Out.

I have only had an In & Out burger twice. It was in Phoenix. I had a 10 hour layover. My sister had taken me to a Happy Hour where I had way too many appetizers. Then we went to In & Out. I was already in no need of food. But, I had 2 In & Out burgers. Best I've ever had.

If In & Out totally invades this zone it should wreak havoc with some of the burger joints locals hold dear, about which I've never understood the reason why. Like Kincaid's, for one. And I was very very disapointed in the aforementioned Dirty Love Burger. That particular burger has gotten a lot of hype, some of which has emanated from outside this propaganda heavy zone I'm currently typing in.

The most disturbing thing I've seen today, so far, was in Wal-Mart. I was walking along on my way to the whole wheat burger buns when I saw headlines on some of those tabloid rags that were profoundly disturbing. Apparently Laura Bush has had enough of living a lie, covering for husband, George's, heavy drinking. Laura wants a divorce.


Not very believable. You see George out and about, mountain biking, all the time, on the various local mountain bike trails in the Dallas/Fort Worth zone. George really can not be much of an alcohol consumer and be out and about riding mountain bike trails.

But, now that you are making me think about it, I can not remember the last time I've run into George Bush on one of the area trails. I hope no longer being the Great Decider has not driven the poor guy to drink.

YouTube Rattlesnakes, Australians, Americans, Texans & Nazis

This morning I learned I do not get sent an email every time someone comments on one of my YouTube Videos.

I learned this when I did get an email, with a comment, from an Australian about my Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup video.

I then went to my YouTube Account to see that there has been a lot of commenting going on about Rattlesnakes, Texans, Americans, Nazis and other things, that I had no idea people were saying, spurred by watching my video about the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

I'll share comments from 3 commenters. First the Australian, OneiroscopeB...

I'm an Australian. Our snakes are far more venomous than rattlesnakes, or any other American snakes. Yet they are protected as native wildlife and a vital part of our ecology. I can't imagine any civilized country allowing such public displays of horrendous cruelty and slaughter! It wouldn't even get off the ground here. But we are obviously more civilized than Texans are.

I don't understand why you need to prove your virility (or something. It doesn't make you any kind of hero, just another inadequate American trying to prove what a 'man' he is. Or might be, if no-one is looking too hard. They are native wildlife and should be protected, as they are in more civilized countries.

I am not sure what comment OneiroscopeB is reacting to, but it would seem someone must have brought up how civilized, or uncivilized various countries are, regarding the snake issue, I guess.

jimandmarcus had something to say about Civilized Countries...

Oh Yes-civilized. Countries where killing a snake is a horror, but abortion is rampant. Civilized. Like morally decadent France? Or Germany, who produced the Nazis? Or how about Greece? THEY are acting REALLY civilized. And I don't have to prove anything. Not to myself, and CERTAINLY not to you.

And then asmodayose weighed in, sharing his view that the Rattlesnake is an American symbol. This was news to me...

Rattlesnakes play an important part in the ecosystem, hence why they evolved to live in the areas they do. And as for livestock lost to rattlesnake bites, it is minimal. If you want I can post you to a paper written by a group of herpetologists that states the statistics for livestock deaths relating to snake bites. Besides, do you really want to get rid of an animal that is an American symbol of freedom and fighting? 'Don't tread on me.'

You can watch the YouTube Video these people are talking about, below....

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST & Dizzy Looking Down Tandy Hills Manholes

I am having myself another Dizzy Day in Texas. DDT.

I gave up on watching LOST, to the end, last night, when my DVR caught up with the commercials. Waiting for commercials ruins my TV viewing mood.

Watching what I did watch of LOST made me even dizzier. Prior to LOST I'd been over at Miss Puerto Rico's where she added to my dizziness. Prior to going to Miss Puerto Rico's I'd gone for my second swim of the day.

And then I was back swimming really early this morning. I don't seem to be very dizzy when I'm swimming.

I have to be at a location in Euless in about an hour. So, I decided to get my endorphin fix earlier than normal. I parked by the Tandy Tower. I soon could tell the Fort Worth Water Boys were back in the jungle playing with their pipes.

The Water Operation has now crossed Tandy Falls. The Falls is currently a Dry Falls. A large truck had crossed the Tandy Falls Escarpment and was on the north side of the Falls doing whatever it is it was doing. Another smaller vehicle, a jeep-like device with 3 big people onboard, was crossing the Tandy Falls Escarpment, in reverse.

The jeep-like device in reverse is what you are looking at in the picture above.

South of the Falls there were 2 trucks by one of the manhole covers, which was uncovered. Next to the uncovered manhole was an interesting looking device. I asked what it was. A mechanical robot type thing. I think it chopped roots.

I looked into the manhole hole and was surprised by the amount of water I saw rushing by.

Looking into the manhole hole and seeing the rushing water did not make me dizzy. Each of the Tandy Hill climbs did make me dizzy, today, though.

Speaking of even more dizziness, today, Elsie Hotpepper and I have been talking about going to hear some music at the Red Rock Amphitheatre by Denver.

That's been my exciting, dizzy Monday, so far, today in Texas. Now, I'm out of here, again, for a couple hours.

RadioShack's $10.7 Million Fort Worth Extortion Scheme

I have been in one of my cycles of feeling like why bother whining about the latest bizarro iteration of the Fort Worth Way's way of running a town.

After awhile you can't help but realize it is pointless to point out anything, when you can point out something so obvious as the fact that Fort Worth's Mayor Mike Moncrief has multiple criminal conflicts of interests where he monetarily gains to the tune of over $600,000 a year from the Barnett Shale gas drillers poking holes all over the town of which he is mayor.

Fort Worth's goofily corrupt mayor's latest goofy corruptness has been urging the Fort Worth City Council to approve a proposal to give RadioShack $10.7 million in tax breaks. Moncrief told the City Council that the deal, also known as an extorting shakedown, with RadioShack, is a "unique and productive partnership" that is "a good deal for all of us."

Just 8 short years ago special tax districts were created with tax breaks lasting 30 years, while eminent domain was abused to boot low-income citizens from the Ripley Arnold housing project, so RadioShack could build a new corporate headquarters. All the RadioShack incentives totaled up to $96 million.

The new RadioShack Corporate Headquarters was built. Soon, RadioShack found they could not afford it. Then another Fort Worth Boondoggle, the downtown campus of Tarrant County College bailed on its new building, and bought into the RadioShack building for their new campus.

Now, inside the rarified chambers of Fort Worth's city government, one of their operating premises is that it is a great benefit to Fort Worth to have a prestigious Fortune 500 company, like RadioShack, headquartered in Fort Worth.

And so, in those rarified chambers it makes sense to give RadioShack a lot more money if RadioShack would kindly stay in town for another 5 years.

I really don't see how having RadioShack in your town is all that great a deal. I really have never understood how they stay in business with their junky stores.

Now, what I'm thinking is Fort Worth would be well rid of RadioShack. Look at the damage RadioShack has done to Fort Worth. Where the new headquarters were built there had been huge, free parking lots. A free subway took you from those parking lots to the heart of downtown Fort Worth. This made it so easy to go to downtown Fort Worth. I used to do that frequently. I have seldom gone to downtown Fort Worth in the years since RadioShack destroyed downtown Fort Worth's best asset.

I don't know what the problem is with Fort Worth and new corporate headquarters. Pier One Imports built a new corporate headquarters, about the same time as RadioShack. The Pier One Imports Headquarters has now been taken over by Chesapeake Energy, used as the base of operations from which Chesapeake runs its shadow Fort Worth government.

The RadioShack CEO, Julian Day, was paid $8 million in 2009.

Fort Worth is closing swimming pools, cutting library hours, not filling potholes, not doing a lot of things, due to revenue shortfalls.

How is it anything but insane for Mike Moncrief and the Fort Worth City Council to consider giving a company like RadioShack, which has already done so much damage to Fort Worth, $10.7 million more? Instead, why is there not a demand that RadioShack return money to Fort Worth, due to the fact that their new Corporate Headquarters did not live up to the bill of goods RadioShack sold the city. It did not spur development on the Trinity River, it did not end up being a commitment to the city that lasted generations.

The commitment lasted a couple years, if that. Fort Worth should now sue for divorce from RadioShack, in my humble opinion.

The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You Dirty Litterbugs

I saw this sign out in East Texas, at an I-30 rest area. I was on my to Kilgore. Kilgore has a good museum about the East Texas oil boom, but I digress.

When I first saw this sign I thought it was an anti-litter sign. But, those always say "Don't Mess With Texas." Not, "The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You!"

This sign was imploring cell phoners to be snitches. Maybe that particular rest area, on the way to Kilgore, had a lot of criminal activity and emergencies.

Texas litter is freshly on my mind due to Zelda del West putting it there. Zelda is currently vexed about Texas litter, particularly in the San Antonio zone.

Apparently the San Antonio litter problem has become a serious issue. My one and only time visiting San Antonio I did not notice all that much litter.

But, I may be warped in my litter perceptions due to my current location, which I believe must be the Litter Capital of the World, also known as Fort Worth, also known as Dirty ol' Town.

A few weeks ago there was a letter to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram opining that North Texas had a natural anti air pollution system, where Mother Nature simply blew the bad air across the Red River to Oklahoma.

I believe a lot of North Texans subscribe to the same Mother Nature method for disposing of litter. My favorite disposal method, that I have seen many many times, is to drive down the freeway with your pickup bed loaded with trash, letting the rush of air dispose of it as you drive along.

I don't know what direction the prevailing wind blows here. Is it north, most of the time? If so, does the litter relentlessly march on Oklahoma, just like the bad air? Why don't the Oklahomans get cranky about this? Or do the Okies subscribe to the same litter disposal method and send theirs north to Kansas?

Anyway, I really don't understand why way too many Texans are way too cavalier about trashing their part of the planet. It really is not all that difficult to pick up after yourself and toss litter into a proper receptacle.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Walking In The Tandy Hills Emerald Forest Thinking Of Dinosaur Valley & Turner Falls

We are deep in the Tandy Hills Emerald Forest Jungle in the picture. It sort of looks like a Washington Olympic Rain Forest. Without moss. Or moose, elk, deer or bear.

My low blood pressure dizziness continues. My favorite West Texas Witch Doctor prescribed more salt for me.

When Gar the Texan returns from learning to play football in Italy he's going to go hiking with me.

Some time ago I recollect Gar the Texan telling me he had never gone on a hike. I remember, at the time I heard that, that it struck me as such a sad thing.

So, I drove the boy down to what, at that point in time, was the best place I'd found to hike in Texas, that being Dinosaur Valley.

I was a little apprehensive regarding hiking with Gar the Texan, due to the fact that every time we'd gone on a bike ride he developed a very serious case of the vapors, with only one of those vapors incidents making sense to me, because Gar had had one of the most spectacular bike wrecks I'd ever witnessed, flying over the handlebars and doing a tuck and roll.

It was quite an athletic spectacle.

Followed by a bad case of the vapors. Gar had to stay stationary while I retrieved vehicular transport to rescue him.

There had been another pre-Dinosaur Valley type hiking excursion, that I did not think of as being a hiking destination, but it turned into one. This was at Turner Falls Park in early January. Gar the Texan had had a bad case of the vapors attack on the way to Turner Falls, but, by the time we were there, he was a rock climbing, cave exploring, trail hiking maniac, with no more vapor attacks.

Gar the Texan's hiking at Dinosaur Valley surprised me. For one thing, there is a rather strenuous climb up a cliff. The hike is several miles. By the time we came to a junction, that led back to where we started, I pointed out some trails and said those are mountain biking trails on which it is very easy to get lost. Gar wanted to go hike them! But I was hungry and had had enough hiking for the day.

Anyway, I'm sitting here feeling dizzy. I made burgers and mashed spuds for lunch. Salt went into the spuds. So much for my West Texas Witch Doctor's prescription.

Texas Has Done Wonders For My High Blood Pressure

The past couple days I've been feeling more light-headed than usual, with a couple incidents of being downright dizzy.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I've long had a high blood pressure problem. I first learned of this in 1985 when a doctor got all dramatic over my high blood pressure. I explained that my blood pressure was highly labile and very reactive to situations where I was nervous.

Such as visiting a doctor.

I remember an incident, about a decade later, in a Moab, Utah grocery store. I was feeling stressed out, mostly due to not being all that pleased with my travel companions. The pharmacy in the grocery store had one of those blood pressure checking machines.

I may be remembering what happened wrong, time and nightmares may have augmented what actually happened. But, the way I remember it, my blood pressure was something like 279/156. An alarm went off and a message flashed warning of an eminent stroke.

What I remember for sure is I was not pleased.

At that point in time I was in good shape, or so I thought. I definitely was not overweight. I was in Moab to go mountain biking.

In the years since the Moab Alarm, eating right, exercising a lot and trying as best I can to avoid stressful situations, has had my blood pressure being not quite so dire.

So, this morning, with me feeling so light-headed, I thought this might mean my blood pressure is being a bit low.

I have a self-testing blood pressure device. I'd not used it in a long time, til this morning. I was a bit surprised to see numbers I've not seen before. As in 96/61 with a pulse rate of 46. I re-took it several times with similar results.

Is this a good thing? Or have I swung too far in the other direction? Do I need to add some stress to get my blood pressure back up again? Cut back on the exercise? Gain some weight?

It's very perplexing. I think I'll go with choosing to believe I'm being extremely healthy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Sunny Saturday Sunny Wildflower & Sunny Disposition

That Sunny Wildflower you're looking at matches my Sunny Disposition this Sunny Saturday in May.

I don't know who does the color coordinating of the Texas Wildflowers, but I do know whoever picks the color schemes does a really good job at it.

Currently the wildflower you're looking at here is being the main remaining color coloring up the prairie.

I'm looking at a long day and night, today, with the long day and night starting off early this morning with my regular early morning swim.

I almost overheated hiking the Tandy Hills today. Why? I don't know. It was not all that hot. Barely 80. Heading to a forecast high, today, of 92. I knew I needed a strong endorphin fix, so I'd have plenty of relaxed energy to be better able to survive my Oklahoma Ordeal that starts up in an hour or two.

I think I ventilated enough oxygen to guarantee a good blood flow and endorphin enhanced mood to last til, at least, midnight.

I hope.

Subscribing & Following Causing Angst In The Pants

Some time ago the Google Blogger added a "Followers" option that you could add to your blog. It seemed an innocuous thing. I added it and put it way at the bottom of the blog.

There is also a Feed Subscriber link on this blog. I get Subscriber info via Feedburner. The number of Subscribers, of late, goes up and down, erratically. One day it'll be 466, the next day the number will be 213, the day after that it'll be 488.

I have trouble believing that there are all these people out there subscribing, and then unsubscribing. And then more subscribing.

And, what is the purpose of having both Subscribers and Followers?

So, yesterday I got another Follower. Called "angnts in the pants."

I assume "angnts" had intended "angst" not "angnts".

But you never know. That is a picture of "angnts in the pants" looking all black and white, well, actually, mostly gray.

"angnts" seems to evidence a slight resemblance to a plus-sized version of the Queen of Wink. Looking at the profile, on the "angnts in the pants" blog, I see she is both an educator and a mother and is in the United States. All in common with the Queen of Wink.

Why would the Queen of Wink be having angst in her pants? I really have no idea. I know that recently she has talked of unleashing a flood of something on someone or thing. This flood could be angst related, for all I know.

This makes 2 times this week I've thought the Queen of Wink may be activating a new identity. A couple days ago I thought the Queen might be Zelda del West & Lulu Lopez. I have since been disabused of that erroneous notion.

I feel more certain that the Queen of Wink is Angst (spelling corrected) in the Pants than I was that she was Zelda del West & Lulu Lopez. Then again, it's not like the Queen of Wink to misspell something as easy to spell as angst.

It's all very perplexing.

Saturday Night At WinStar World Casino Resort With Four Tops, Temptations, Monopoly, A Prius & Delores de Loca

That is not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel you're looking at. The ceiling you're looking at is not in Italy, it's in Oklahoma, in the WinStar World Casino Resort. Or, is the proper word order WinStar World Resort Casino?

I'll find the answer to that question tonight.

Yes, I am heading north, across the Red River, to Oklahoma and the town of Thackerville.

Yesterday Miss Tex-Mex, aka Delores de Loca, called to tell me she had tickets to see The Four Tops & The Temptations, tonight, at WinStar.

I am not a huge fan of going to music concert type things. Particularly to listen to bands whose heyday was long ago, about whom I do not remember a single song.

Recently, as in the past day or two, somewhere I read someone being all excited because Crosby, Stills & Nash was coming to their middle of nowhere town. That sounds wrong. Is it Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young? Anyway, I remember them as a band from long ago, back in the 60s or 70s.

Summer of 2004 I was in Tacoma and got one of those offers you can't refuse type deals, to go see the band called America playing at the Puyallup's Emerald Queen Casino. America had a hit, decades ago, I think the name of the song was "A Horse With No Brain" or something like that.

I managed to weasel out of being subjected to America.

So, why am I agreeing to head north to see The Four Tops & The Temptations? Well, Miss de Loca has a Prius. I have ridden in a Prius, previously. But I've never had the fun of driving one.

Plus, going to the WinStar buffet was thrown into the offer. I've not been to WinStar World Casino Resort since it was hugely expanded into the 5th biggest casino in the world. The original WinStar configuration had one of the best casino buffets I've ever been to. And that covers an awful lot of casino buffets. Plus, the WinStar buffet had the absolute best coffee I have ever had in a restaurant.

Since I was last at WinStar the Oklahoma Casinos have grown up into being real casinos with real slot machines. Before that WinStar had these make believe type slot machines that I found confusing and bizarre. I am not a big fan of gambling in any form, but the new type slot machines, that I've played in Washington Casinos, are entertaining. They are more like video games than slot machines. I'm assuming this is what is in WinStar World Casino currently.

So, I may be playing some Monopoly tonight. The casino version of Monopoly that I've played in Washington Casinos, like the Muckleshoot and Emerald Queen, is very entertaining.

Wish me luck...

Friday, May 21, 2010

My First Tandy Hills Reptilian Encounter Of The Snake Sort

It was winter when I first discovered the Tandy Hills trails. The cold time of the year. As in too cold for reptiles to slither about.

That following Spring, as the air began to warm up, I began to be concerned about possible rattlesnake, copperhead and cottonmouth encounters.

I had already had snake encounters at River Legacy Park, Cedar Hills State Park, various locations around Lake Grapevine and Village Creek Natural Historic Area.

Tandy Hills seemed to be just as wild as the other places I'd shared space with a snake.

So, I emailed Don Young and asked about the Tandy Hills snake status. DY told me that the only snake he'd seen was in the beak, I think, of a hawk. I felt re-assured.

I have now hiked on the Tandy Hills for years, doesn't matter if it is 110 or 20, I do my hiking. And in all that time I never saw a snake.

Until today.

I'm talking about that green monster you see in the picture above. It'd taken up residence on the newly plowed Tandy Highway.

This seemed to be a rather passive, friendly snake. It helped that it was colored such a nice, non-aggressive shade of green. It did not seem to mind that I got fairly close to it to take pictures. This activated no slithering. However, an hour later, when I passed that way again, the snake was gone.

Maybe it'd become hawk food.

With School Almost Out For Summer It Is Time For Texas Oklahoma Tourist Attractions

It is almost that time of year in Texas when school is out for the summer.

Six Flags Over Texas, in Arlington, is already in school is out for summer mode, open daily.

I can tell when summer nears, and vacation time arrives, due to a sudden increase in visits to my various webpages that have to do with Texas and Oklahoma tourist attractions.

Texas does not allow gambling, of the big casino sort, that all the states bordering Texas allow. In the past couple weeks about a third of my webpage hits have been from people looking for information about Oklahoma Casinos. I have not been up to WinStar World Casino Resort, right across the border on I-35, since it became the 5th biggest casino in the world.

Just north of WinStar World Casino, a few miles, you'll come to Turner Falls Park. Turner Falls is in the scenic Arbuckle Mountains, just a few miles west of I-35. At Turner Falls Park you'll find, in addition to the biggest waterfall in Oklahoma, the extremely crystal clear water of Honey Creek, caves, castles, trails and other good stuff.

Between Turner Falls Park and WinStar World Casino, south of Ardmore and just a little east of I-35, you'll find Lake Murray State Park, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Oklahoma. Going further east you'll find Beavers Bend State Park and north from there you'll come to Grand Lake o' the Cherokee.

Enough of Oklahoma, let's head back to Texas. But not before we drive one of the best preserved stretches of the most famous road in America, Route 66.

In the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone there are some good summertime tourist attractions in addition to tired theme parks. I like Fair Park in Dallas. It's like a sophisticated theme park. And now you can get to it via the DART train. Also in Dallas you'll find the Dallas Farmers Market. This is the closest thing I've seen in Texas to Seattle's Pike Place Market. You won't find anything like Dealey Plaza in Seattle, or anywhere else in the world. The 6th Floor Museum is excellent.

In Fort Worth, though some of the locals seem embarrassed by it, my favorite tourist attraction is the Fort Worth Stockyards. My visitors from the Pacific Northwest may all be unsophisticated hicks, but the Stockyards is usually the place I take them that they like best of anything in the entire D/FW Metroplex. In Fort Worth you'll also find the Fort Worth Nature Center Preserve. This is one of the biggest urban parks in the world. You'll find a prairie dog town here. And buffalo. And a bayou. And maybe an alligator. To my way of thinking, it is borderline criminal that the city started charging an admission fee to this park. It should be a city amenity available to all, paid for the way other large urban areas pay for their civic amenities.

A short drive from the D/FW Metroplex, heading southwest, you'll come to 2 of my favorite places I've been to in Texas. One is Dinosaur Valley State Park. Great hiking and mountain biking. In addition to dinosaur tracks. Just a bit south of Dinosaur Valley you come to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Without a doubt, the most fun I've had in Texas.

Down south in the Houston area my favorite places are Galveston, largely recovered from Hurricane Ike, and Galveston's Moody Gardens. A short distance west of Houston you'll find the Kemah Boardwalk. Also largely recovered from hurricane damage.

Austin is west and a bit north of Houston. There is a lot to see and do in Austin. The thing I enjoyed most, in Austin, was the LBJ Presidential Library on the University of Texas campus. Hippie Hollow was also refreshing.

South of Austin, before you get to San Antonio, you'll come to New Braunfels. This is where the world's top rated waterpark, The Schlitterbahn, is located.

Austin is in what is known as Hill Country. Also in Hill Country you'll find Fredericksburg. This is sort of a German theme town. Nearby you'll find LBJ's ranch on the Pedernales River and the LBJ Historical Area. North of Fredericksburg, a few miles, you come to my favorite thing I have climbed since I have been in Texas, Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area can get so busy the park shuts down at times.

So, there you go, some of my favorite Texas and Oklahoma Tourist Attractions. I think it is going to be a Long, Hot Summer. So, get your Texas Touristing done before the sun goes into heavy duty bake mode.

Juicy Blink West Texas Milk Murder

Some names in this sad story have been changed.

A few days ago I learned of a brutal murder way out in West Texas in the town of Blink.

On New Year's Day, 2010, longtime Blink resident, Granny, was given a pair of baby cats, also known as kittens. One of the kittens was white, the other amber-colored.

So, Granny named the kittens Milk & Honey.

Milk looked to some like a little Polar Bear. During his short time in Blink, Milk became quite well known, with Blinkers dropping by just to get a look at the little white Polar Bear Cat.

Also in Granny's menagerie is a Pit Bull named Juicy. Juicy is a girl Pit Bull. Milk often played with Juicy in Granny's backyard. Sometimes Honey would join in. But Honey was shy compared to Milk.

On Monday of this week, Milk was in the backyard playing with Juicy, when Juicy brutally attacked the Polar Bear Kitty. Killing him.

Honey went into shock.

Granny's keeper, Foely, covered up the murder, telling Granny that Milk had run away to join the circus.

There was some talk of bringing Juicy to justice for the murder of Milk, but, ever since Judge Roy Bean died, there has been no law West of the Pecos, so I don't know if justice will be done in this case.

It is very perplexing.

Rest in Peace, Milk.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

National Weather Service Issues Tornado Watch For Central & North Texas Til 9pm

The National Weather Service, up in Norman, Oklahoma, has issued a Tornado Watch for Central and North Texas. We are supposed to be on the lookout for Tornadoes until 9pm.

Along with Tornadoes, the National Weather Service is predicting Gusts to 70 mph and Hail 4 inches in diameter. Along with Dangerous Lightning.

In National Weather Service-speak a Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms and persons in the Watch areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions.

Right now, at 3 in the afternoon, I am looking at a few clouds and some blue sky, at my location in far East Fort Worth.

I strongly suspect that no matter how eagle-eyed a lookout I keep I will not be seeing any 4 inch hail today. Or hear the Tornado sirens.

Not Hiking The Tandy Hills With Delores De Loca or Zelda Del West

Yes, it is a bit stormy today, here, in my current location in Texas. Yesterday, during lunch at the Mexican Inn, I must have made the Tandy Hills sound like a good thing, because Miss Tex-Mex, Delores de Loca, decided she wanted to hike the prairie with me today.

But, a BIG STORM popped up this morning, up in Euless, where Miss Tex-Mex is located. I was unable to make a convincing case that the Tandy Hills would be dry, and so de Loca bailed.

I did get hit with a few big drops of wet stuff when I first started hiking. It felt good. What with it being rather warm and humid, 86 with a Heat Index of 90.

I have heard from Zelda del West, letting me know that she is not the Queen of Wink. Zelda del West is from the Pacific Northwest. I don't know how she ended up in the Wild Zone of West Texas. I have learned we share being appalled at the incredible amount of litter we see Messing With Texas.

Well, it is time for lunch, I just heard the rice cooker buzzer. I made Egg Foo Yung and Vietnamese Spring Rolls, with Pineapple Sweet & Sour. Just typing that made me hungrier.

Steve Doeung Shouts At The Sound Of Silence On Carter Avenue

My one longtime blog reader may recognize the man in the pipe, he being Carter Avenue's Steve Doeung.

Carter Avenue, and the battle to save the homes on Carter Avenue, seems to have faded into memory.

A month or so ago announcements were made that TxDOT had approved an alternative route for the Chesapeake Energy Carter Avenue pipeline, running non-odorized, high pressure natural gas along Interstate 30, rather than under Fort Worth citizen's homes.

However, I have seen no mention of this made in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Maybe I missed it.

I also have not read the Star-Telegram editorially opine that, with an alternative pipeline route approved, that it is time to end the abuse of eminent domain that has victimized the Citizens of Carter Avenue.

Steve Doeung still has not met the mysterious attorney, Ed Fitzgerald, who somehow mysteriously represented Mr. Doeung without his approval or knowledge.

Steve Doeung recently had another woe added to his Chesapeake Energy woes and his battle against Lyme Disease. Steve's vehicle was rammed from behind, with the "accident" leaving Steve with a concussion/brain trauma.

Even though Steve is in recovery mode, he seems to be firing on all cylinders. You can't keep a Cambodian-American down for long.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Incoming Fort Worth Tornadoes With Baseball Sized Hail & Lost Sunglasses Found

You are looking at an angry Texas sky, late Wednesday afternoon, looking west from Mount Tandy, at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

The forecast is for SEVERE STORMS. Possible TORNADOES. And HAIL the size of baseballs.

The biggest hail I've seen in Texas was golfball size. I can't imagine baseball sized hail. That would have to hurt real bad. And wreak havoc with roofs. Both of buildings and vehicles.

I was late on the Tandy Hills today because I got myself into a lunch situation in Euless. I think it was Euless. Maybe it was Hurst. All those little towns, all clustered in their Mid-Cities' configuration, are confusing. Maybe I was in Bedford. I'm sure I was not in Watauga.

I do know I was in a Mexican Inn. The supposedly famous puffy chips are really annoying to me. Were they the inspiration for Fritos? Who wants to dip a Fritos type chip into salsa? Not me.

I did have something very fortuitous, maybe even omen-like, happen today. Maybe it's a sign that my decades of really really bad luck are finally at an end.

I don't know.

What I do know is today, I was hiking along on my beloved Tandy Hills, waving my walking stick and singing to myself, when I looked down and what do I see?

The sunglasses I lost on Easter! Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. It is a miracle.

I do not know how I did not see them before. They were laying right off the trail, right by where I thought I'd left them.

My sunglasses seemed to be unaffected by being left out in the elements. No bugs had decided to make them their home. The rain seemed to have washed them clean. The heat had not melted any part of them.

So. This has been a good day. This should give you a good indication of the extremely low threshold for qualifying as a good day in my world.

Lost sunglasses found? I am a very happy boy. Little things make me happy.

Lulu Lopez vs. The Wicked Witch Of West Texas & The Queen Of Wink

Yesterday an entity calling herself Zelda Del West commented on a couple of my bloggings. Nice comments, I hit the Publish Button.

Later in the day I clicked on the Zelda Del West link that came with the comment notice.

I soon saw that Zelda Del West had several blogs and websites. Names like West Texas Tumbleweed, Wicked Witch of West Texas, Zelda Del West and Lulu and the Wicked Witch of West Texas.

This morning I saw that the Queen of Wink had freshly blogged on her blog. The last paragraph of the Queen's latest blogging said...

"Strength and courage of mind and heart bottled into a course of action that flows freely like a river, just like the oil that flows freely beneath the life spring of waters in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not quite sure where my course of action will take me, but be river will flow and you will soon know."

Now, the Queen's realm is Wink. Wink is in West Texas. During the course of getting to know the Queen of Wink I've learned, over time, that she is quite a complex example of Royalty. Not a simple girl like the Queen of England, Elizabeth.

In the past couple months it's become apparent that the Queen of Wink creates, or assumes different personas, sort of like Madonna. Or Cher. Or Hillary Clinton.

For example, currently the Queen of Wink has been attending events with a very young man, I'm not sure if the young man is a teenager or older. This has caused the term "Cougar" to be bandied about. I have been unable to confirm it, but I've been told that "Wink Is Not Cougar Town" was spray painted on the side of the Queen of Wink's barn door.

I did not know the Queen of Wink had a barn.

Lately, reports have gotten back to me that the Queen has gone through a sort of groupie phase, in a persona she calls the Texan Vixen, following a band, the name of which I think is Hot Flash, with the main groupie attention being on the lead singer, who goes by the monicker, I think, of Men'l Pause.

And, then, yesterday, I hear from someone going by the names of Zelda Del West and Lulu Lopez. Zelda and Lulu seem to be rather creative. A book seems to be involved.

Now, what sort of creeps me out is I used to have social intercourse with a heavily medicated psychotic who went by the name of Lulu. Medicated psychotics can be amusing in small doses. Lulu the Psychotic had a friend who's nickname is Zelda.

I'm fairly certain I have never mentioned Zelda to the Queen of Wink, though Zelda does show up in remote areas of my Eyes on Texas website.

I have noticed of late that the Queen of Wink is in a very restless frame of mind, hence that quote above about her unleashing her flooding river. Now I'm wondering, what with the Queen being in West Texas, if it is she who is Zelda Del West and Lulu Lopez?

It is very perplexing. I'll likely now hear from Zelda Del West and Lulu Lopez denying that they are the Queen of Wink. And from the Queen of Wink denying that she is Zelda Del West and Lulu Lopez. Maybe I need to send my investigator, Elsie Hotpepper, to West Texas to investigate.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remembering Harry Truman The Washingtonian Not The President 30 Years After Mt. St. Helens Erupted

I am having myself a melancholy day today. Not quite sure why. I have been known to have bouts of insomnia. The past couple weeks I've been having bouts of whatever the opposite of insomnia is. Definitely different for me.

I already mentioned on this blog and at least one of my other blogs, that today is the 30th Anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

That means it is also the 30th Anniversary of the Death of Harry Truman. Harry captured the imagination of the people of the Northwest with his stubborn refusual to leave his Lodge on Spirit Lake, way too close to the stewing Mt. St. Helens.

Harry Truman was born in 1896. Which would have made him 84 or 85 when his mountain blew up. I wonder if the same type event occurred today, if Mount Rainier or Mount Baker or any of the other Washington volcanoes decided to wake up, if the current powers that be would let a current day Harry Truman live out his life the way he wanted? Or would FEMA show up to haul him off?

I don't think FEMA existed back when Mt. St. Helens blew up. I don't recollect any huge federal help response, though the disaster was HUGE. I do recollect Jimmy Carter showing up.

Below is a video tribute to Harry Truman (I put this on my Washington Blog, liked it so much I decided to put it on my Texas blog, too), that hit me right on my melancholy mood, with the soundtrack being the #1 hit, way back when, titled "Your Spirit Lives On...."

Not Getting Stuck In The Mud In Fort Worth On The Tandy Hills

I had not been to my regular Salubrious Sanatorium, the Tandy Hills, since last Thursday, due to Friday's rain, and followup rain, likely turning prairie dirt to mud.

Even though it did rain a little yesterday I figured the Tandy Hills would be dry enough, today, to be walked on without accumulating mud.

I was mostly correct in that assumption.

I parked at the top of Mount Tandy, near the tower known, by some, as the Fort Worth Needle. It was immediately clear to me, via the ruts you see in the picture, that a vehicle had accessed the Tandy Hills from this location. I figured it had to be the Fort Worth Water Boys.

When I reached the first fork in the trail I went north, then I took the newly graded Tandy Dirt Highway and headed south. This quickly became an obvious bad choice, due to mud. I slogged on through the mud. I did not gain too many height inches due to the sticking mud.

I came to the first of the dirt fill bridges that the Fort Worth Water Boys made across Tandy Hills Creeks about a month ago.

Applying my novice forensic ability it appeared that a heavy truck had crossed the dirt dam bridge you see in the picture and sunk down in the mud, tipping to the west.

I wondered if the heavy truck got stuck and that is why a vehicle came in from the top of Tandy Mountain, in order to yank a stuck truck out of the mud.

The second dirt bridge, this one with the culvert installed after initially being a solid dirt dam, was damaged too, with the top of the bridge squished almost down to the culvert.

It's a mess. And here I was almost not minding what the Fort Worth Water Boys had done to the sacred Tandy Hills Sanatorium Natural Area.

The current prediction is for SEVERE STORMS for tomorrow, with possible tornadoes. I am almost certain I will not be hiking the Tandy Hills tomorrow.

May 18, 1980, Thirty Years Ago Today, Mt. St. Helens Erupted

You are looking at Mount St. Helens in the State of Washington in October of 1998, about 2 months before I began my exile in the Great State of Texas.

Right now, at 10:36 am, Central Time, in Texas, it is almost precisely 30 years, to the minute, since I was peacefully soaking my aching back in a hot tub of water when I heard 5 successive loud booms. May 18, 1980.

About 15 minutes later I learned the loud booms were due to Mount Saint Helens, after weeks of having the Pacific Northwest on edge with incessant rumbling, exploding in one of the biggest volcanic explosions in history.

Trust me, it was an interesting time to live in the Northwest. Things like "ash masks" become a necessary accoutrement.

About 4 months after the Big Bang I made my first attempt to see Mt. St. Helens in its post blow-up mode. Access was very restricted. If I remember right you could not get closer than 50 miles. That attempt, it was cloudy. I did not see the mountain.

It would be years later, in 1990 or 91 that I finally saw Mt. St. Helens up close. A logging road, from the north, had been expanded into the blast zone, with rudimentary visitor services. I went with a small group of 4, loaded with a big picnic.

You exited the main highway, on to a logging road, which twisted and turned through an old growth forest of big trees. And then, suddenly, a turn in the road brought the BLAST ZONE into view. I'd never seen anything like it. Trees blown down like matchsticks. Utter devastation. At that point in time Mother Nature had yet to go, much, into recovery mode.

The access at that time ended at an overlook where you could see into the volcano and look down on the remnants of Spirit Lake, that being where Harry Truman was last seen.

Go to my Washington Blog for more about Harry Truman, including a very good video with a song called "Your Spirit Lives On" about Harry and the Mountain.

That is the view of Spirit Lake we are looking at in the picture.

It would be about 8 more years before I saw Mt. St. Helens, again, up close. By then the area had been turned into a National Monument. A feat of highway engineering had built a road in from the west side. 5 very well done Visitor's Centers had been built, along with a lot of other amenities. Mt. St. Helens had become a major tourist attraction.

The final Visitor's Center is at the location where David Johnston radioed, "Vancouver, this is it," from his location on Coldwater Ridge. This is the best of the Visitor's Centers, designed to blend into the landscape. It is very close to the volcano.

Mt. St. Helens was the deadliest, most economically destructive volcanic event in American history. 57 people were killed, 47 bridges, 250 homes, 185 miles of highway and 15 miles of railway were destroyed.

A couple days ago I blogged on my Washington Blog about how it seemed impossible that it could be 30 years since Mt. St. Helens blew her top. On that day had you told me that 30 years later I would be doing this thing called blogging about that day, and doing so from Texas, I would not have been able to imagine what could cause such a scenario.

Below is a YouTube video of Dan Rather and CBS news covering the Mt. St. Helens disaster a few days after the eruption. Looking at how dated this video is, it makes 30 years easier to believe....