Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sliding Down The Chesapeake Energy Snow Tubing Hill In North Richland Hills

It seems hardly a day goes by without learning of yet one more way Chesapeake Energy is improving our lives in North Texas.

Just a couple days ago I was blogging a lament about the lack of snow and the lack of mountains anywhere near where I am currently located.

So, what did I learn, just minutes ago?

Well.

In only 4 days, on December 3, I am going to be within only about 8 miles of a snow covered mountain.

Mount Chesapeake is a hill covered with real authentic certified snow. I believe this snowy mountain will be located at the NRH20 waterpark.

The summit of Mount Chesapeake is 12 feet above the mountain's base. From the summit there will be 3 lanes for riding an inner tube down the mountain for 110 feet.

I do not know if these inner tubes are being borrowed from the Trinity River Vision Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tubes Floats. If they are, you might want to bring along a sanitizer to sanitize the tube before you touch it.

You have to be at least 42 inches tall to ride this mountain.

The Mount Chesapeake Energy Snow Tubing Hill will be open for sliding from 3 pm til 9 pm. It will only cost $2 per person to slide down the hill. I'm guessing this is to help pay for the chair lift ride to the summit.

The Mount Chesapeake Energy Snow Tubing Hill is just one part of the City of North Richland Hills 12th Annual Night of Holiday Magic.

I wonder if I paid the 2 bucks if I would be allowed to ski down the mountain on my cross country skis?

Walking With The Shadow Of The Tandy Hills Pin-Headed Thin Man Thinking About Being The Master Of My Domain

That's the Shadow of the Tandy Hills Pin-Headed Thin Man on the day before the start of the last month of 2011, in the noon time frame.

I was fully covered in outer wear today. I thought I needed to be because my temperature monitoring device told me it was 45 degrees in the outer world. I think my temperature monitoring device lied to me.

I was overdressed and quickly slightly overheated.

I think I am suffering from low energy due to not getting my regular early morning swimming stimulation.

I had myself a very rare experience this morning.

I'd been procrastinating dealing with my domain renewal for a domain that expires on December 5. I wanted to renew/transfer it to something called Dot Earth. I went through the process, Dot Earth sent me a confirmation email. When I clicked on the "approve" link I was brought to a webpage where I needed to have something called an "Auth Code."

I was confused.

And then the first shocking thing happened. I called Dot Earth's customer service line and a pleasant English speaking woman answered on the 2nd ring! The Dot Earth lady explained what I needed to do.

Basically I had procrastinated too long and needed to call the current registrar to renew the domain. So, I called Frontline Communications. I hit #4 for customer support and this time a pleasant English speaking man answered on the 1st ring!

The domain was renewed and the pleasant English speaking man explained how to get the "Auth Code" so I can take care of transferring my domain before it needs to be renewed in another year.

I am still feeling slightly shaken from last night's nightmare with J.D. Granger, that ended up in a Dallas hotel room. I am likely going to be an insomniac tonight, fearing a repeat of last night's nightmare.

The Last Day Of November Having Lunch At Joe T. Garcia's With J.D. Granger

Standing outside on my secondary viewing portal we are looking at a clear blue sky above a cold blue pool on this last day of the next to last month of 2011.

In only 32 days it will be 2012. Or is it 33? Counting is not one of the things I do well.

It is currently 3 degrees above freezing in the outer world at my location on this parched part of the planet.

I had a strange nightmare last night. I met J.D. Granger for lunch at Joe T. Garcia's. We had two platters of fajitas and several giant pitchers of margaritas. At some point a blonde named Shanna showed up. Next thing I remember is being in a hotel room in Dallas. And then something traumatized me, causing me to wake up yelling something.

The first day of December is tomorrow. I've already got all my Christmas shopping done. And all the Christmas cards that I send have been sent.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Mysterious Star Telegraph Pointed Me To A Surprising Editorial In The Fort Worth Star-Telegram About The Woodshed Scandal

Can anyone tell me who the person or persons are who make up the Star Telegraph blog?

Frequently I will notice on my blog stats that the Star Telegraph has referenced one of my bloggings, linking to the blogging.

This happened this morning to the blogging titled The Next To Last Morning Of November Thinking About Bankrupt American Airlines & Other Fort Worth Corporate Boondoggles.

In a Star Telegraph blog post titled Who's Next (without a question mark) the first sentence is "Durango tells you about American Airlines filing bankruptcy and the boondoggle/bankruptcy connection in Fort Worth."

The Star Telegraph's use of my first name, rather than the more formal Mr. Jones, makes it seem as if they know me.

Looking at the Star Telegraph this morning I came upon interesting info about which I was unaware.

An editorial yesterday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The title of the Star-Telegram editorial is Fort Worth restaurant deal has folks talking.

The Star-Telegram is actually being critical regarding some aspect of the Trinity River Vision for the first time that I am aware of.

For example, this paragraph....

The persistent cadre of Trinity River Vision detractors probably still would pounce on the idea as conniving. But one would think after the various criticisms of the authority through the years, its officials and water board members would have learned to appreciate the value of being aboveboard with everything connected to this project.

Click on Fort Worth restaurant deal has folks talking to read the entire editorial.

The editorial currently has generated 3 comments that I rather like....

TexasR

The only people who should be surprised by any of this have been living under a rock.

loosinmyland

The persistent cadre of Trinity River Vision detractors is most people. Other than those involved, those who will benefit, and the Star Telegram, few support the project that was never put to a public vote, that was enabled with a questionable cronyistic state law, and that operates with a huge gas royalty budget obtained from land managed by a political subdivision that is supposed to be insuring our future water needs. That is public land entrusted to their care. The TRWD is an octopus that can operate in secrecy, grab land and hand out largess to their chums.

Where then is the persistent cadre of journalists at your fine paper, that should be looking into all aspects of the TRWD operations as well as the TRV. Do your job and pull back a few curtains and let the light shine in!

Restore the Water District to their previous mission and reduce our water rates. How's that for starter?

jimposter

Thank you for your editorial.  There were many details of which I was unaware. 

It is truly mind-boggling the extent of political incest at work here.  

Apparently just about every member of the inside-circle gang has helped himself to a piece of the public's pie.

The "lesson" of transparency should have been learned. Instead the actual lesson learned was to just do a better job of hiding it until it is too late for the public to do anything about it.

Disgusting. They ALL should be driven from any office or employment with any public or taxpayer-funded entity.

________________________________________


Methinks this has not been a good couple months for J.D. Granger and the Trinity River Vision.

J.D. caught a lot of flak for bailing at the last minute from a public forum he had agreed to appear in. This earned him a prestigious Turkey Award from FW Weekly. And now J.D. is entangled in The Woodshed Scandal.

I like attaching "gate" to a scandal, but The Woodshedgate Scandal just did not seem to work.

One final note on the Star Telegraph. I clicked on the "Email Us Your Concerns" link on the blog and politely asked who they were. The reply said "the Star Telegraph is a collective of concerned citizens from the community."

Well, that was helpful. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of concerned citizens in this troubled, troubling community.

The Quanah Parker Park Ghosts Will Now Be Lit Up At Night By Solar Powered Lights Thanks To Fort Worth City Gas Lease Revenue In Action

Ghosts Flying In The Quanah Parker Park Trees
We are way past Halloween, so I don't know why there appeared to be ghosts in the trees of Quanah Parker Park today.

It was 50 and slightly windy when I went on a walk today. And somehow I managed to overheat.

Today a City of Fort Worth work crew was picking up the tires I mentioned in a blogging earlier this month and then again when the tire pile grew bigger.

Where did all those tires come from I continue to wonder?

Last Wednesday I blogged about Fort Worth city gas lease revenue in action in Quanah Parker Park. Action like adding a new section of paved trail that seems a bit redundant.

Solar Light To Illuminate Trail At Night
The paved trail of Quanah Parker Park does not see a lot of people. But that Fort Worth city gas lease revenue in action has been adding new benches that someone someday may sit on.

I had noticed poles stuck in the ground beside the paved trail and wondered what they were for.

Today I found out.

A crew was installing solar powered lights on the poles to illuminate the trail at night that few walk on during the day.

Clearly Fort Worth is flush with cash with all that city gas lease revenue in action.

I'm assuming now that Fort Worth is flush with cash with all that city gas lease revenue in action that the Fort Worth public swimming pools will be reopened and the public library operating hour cutbacks will be reversed.

The Next To Last Morning Of November Thinking About Bankrupt American Airlines & Other Fort Worth Corporate Boondoggles

The steamy view through my primary viewing portal on the world is not due to a freezing frost on this next to last morning of the next to last month of 2011.

It is yet one more clear blue sky dawn of a new day semi-deep nowhere near the heart of Texas.

Currently heated to a chilly 37 degrees.

If the temperature predictors are correct it looks like Thursday may be the first day in several that the 24 hour average is 50 degrees or above, thus warming the water I swim in sufficiently to make going swimming doable.

Elsie Hotpepper has gone missing. Again. Even though she sent me an email telling me she has not gone missing. Again.

The most troubling news this morning was that American Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. American Airlines is one of the few big corporations based in Fort Worth. Along with Radio Shack and Pier One Imports. There may be others I am not aware of.

I'm not sure if Pier One Imports is still in business. They built themselves a very nice corporate headquarters near the Trinity River and then soon had to abandon their nice new corporate headquarters to Chesapeake Energy so Chesapeake Energy could have a nice new building from which to run its shadow government of Fort Worth.

I am almost certain that Radio Shack is still in business, even though Radio Shack also abandoned its very nice new corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth. I think Radio Shack may still lease a room or two in its former corporate headquarters, but it has mostly been taken over by Tarrant County College.

It is interesting how Fort Worth's scandals and boondoggles intersect.

Fort Worth abused eminent domain to take away a public housing project so the land could be given to Radio Shack. Radio Shack then took away Fort Worth's free parking lots and subway which used to make visiting downtown Fort Worth pleasantly easy.

Meanwhile Tarrant County College began building a very expensive new downtown campus that eventually turned into a boondoogle that was costing too much. So, that construction was scaled back with the majority of the new downtown campus moved over to the then mostly abandoned Radio Shack corporate headquarters.

And now American Airlines is bankrupt. If AA goes out of business that is going to leave an awful lot of open slots at D/FW International Airport.

I wonder what causes corporations headquartered in Fort Worth to have such woeful woes?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Trying To Find The Phantom Fosdic Ducks While Thinking About Riding A Ferry In Texas

Fosdic Blue Lake In Oakland Lake Park
I snapped 4 pictures of this view of Fosdic Lake. My eyes saw dozens of ducks floating on the lake. My camera somehow saw none of them.

The only evidence of the flock of ducks is the waves on the lake. Bigger waves than when I saw Fosdic Lake on Saturday when it was very windy.

Today is being pretty much dead calm in the outer world.

Dead calm and slightly cold. We are no longer freezing. It is currently 48 degrees at my location.

Yesterday I blogged about the Tacoma Adventure Poodles, Blue & Max's Thanksgiving blogging, mentioning that they were the Primary Caretakers of my nephews David and Theo and niece, Ruby. And that the Secondary Caretakers had taken the kids to play in snow. I was not certain where that snow was located. I have now heard, via a blog comment from one of the Secondary Caretakers, that my guess as to the snow location was correct.....

Secondary Caretaker has left a new comment on your post "A Happy Thanksgiving From A Pair Of Poodles Has Me Homesick For Washington": 

As we were driving up - yes to the Summit - I was thinking how thankful I am to live somewhere with such geographic diversity. We could have chosen a ferry ride, a trip to the snow, or even the ocean. We are very lucky here.

In one long day's drive I could go from my current location to Galveston where I also could ride a ferry and be on an ocean beach. Well, a gulf beach. That looks just like an ocean. It would be a longer drive to find some deep snow.

The Locals Are Taking J.D. Granger To The Woodshed For A Well Deserved Spanking

J.D. Granger Covering His Rear On The Way
To A Spanking In The Woodshed
The picture is a figurative representation of the Fort Worth public taking J.D. Granger to the Woodshed.

A big brouhaha is brewing over the sweetheart deal J.D. Granger gave Tim Love.

That sweetheart deal being a new restaurant called The Woodshed that has area restaurateurs crying foul. Complaining that the Trinity River Vision went through no competitive bidding process for the sweet lease deal that Tim Love was gifted with.

The article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about this latest Trinity River Vision nefariousness sort of manages to raise more questions than it answers.

Apparently the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to a governmental body like the Trinity River Vision. So, there is no transparency. J.D. Granger claims he approached other restaurateurs about the sweetheart deal, but was turned down.

But, J.D. refuses to say who these other mystery restaurateurs were.

And, apparently neither J.D. Granger or Tim Love remembers who approached whom first about this sweetheart deal. Does it not seem like one would remember such a thing? Apparently the Star-Telegram reporter, Barry Shlachter, was not curious enough to push harder for answers.

The Star-Telegram's best reporter, Bud Kennedy, mentioned The Woodshed Scandal on his Facebook page a couple days ago, which resulted in oodles of comments indicating there are a lot of people not happy with what they are seeing with the Trinity River Vision.

The Star-Telegram article titled "Restaurant owners irked by no-bid deal with celebrity chef Tim Love" has also generated a lot of comments, 70 in total, as of right now. Likely to increase.

I particularly liked the most recent comment, it being #70, from someone calling him or herself FoodCourtJester...

Seems everything Mr. Love touches turns to gold except his sorry food. Did I see he baked a roasted jalapeƱo granny smith apple pie for the Cowboys game? He thinks he's inventing new food if you read the recent paid advertisement, I mean article, in Ft Worth magazine. A bunch of clueless locals so eager to latch onto anything a celebrity chef does because Ft Worth has a major inferiority complex is to blame. That same inferiority complex brought us the TRV. Austin has town lake and SA the riverwalk. Oh, and the comment in this article that Love mentioned Woodshed on national TV. Yippee. Sounds like Baby Granger, Lane, et al should be taken to the woodshed.

Another comment suggested that the FBI would soon be raiding the offices of the TRV. Apparently that comment maker was not aware that Fort Worth is under a protective bubble where its corruption is immune from federal scrutiny.

But, if there was an FBI investigation, or even if someone was able to invoke the Freedom of Information Act, I think the public would be fascinated to learn how much of their money is spent on the liquor supply at TRV headquarters. How much has been spent on junkets to other towns? How much has been spent at expensive restaurants? How much has been put on a TRV credit cards for a room or two in an expensive Dallas hotel?

Why doe the Star-Telegram not politely ask J.D. Granger for a look at the Trinity River Vision's books? If it is all on the up and up and totally justifiable, J.D. Granger should have no objection to total transparency.

Regarding FoodCourtJester saying that Tim Love makes sorry food. All Tim Love has ever cooked for me is a Dirty Love Burger at the Love Shack in the Fort Worth Stockyards. After reading all the hype about the Love Shack burgers I was a bit disappointed to find I found nothing all that great about it. And the fries were cold.

The Last Monday Of November Freezing & Earthquake Free In Texas

On this last Monday of the next to last month of 2011 I am looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at a swimming pool that could have ice floating in it, if the circulating pump did not stop that from happening.

Because it is below freezing this morning in the outer world at my location on this parched part of the planet.

I have turned on my interior heating device for the first time since last winter. I do not like having to run my interior heating device.

I did not feel any of the 6 earthquakes that have rattled Oklahoma in the past 4 days.

Hyper sensitive to having the earth move, Elsie Hotpepper, usually feels any ground movement within a 200 mile radius.. But I've not heard if Elsie felt any shaking the past 4 days.

I will not be going swimming again this morning. My health is rapidly deteriorating due to this decrease in activity.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Regular Sunday Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Was Blowing Below Freezing Today

The Sunny Sunday View Of The Village Creek Blue Bayou
With it being Sunday and creature of habit that I be, today in the noon time frame I drove to Arlington to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to walk with the chilled Ghosts of the Indians who used to live here in one of the biggest Indian Villages in North America, til the Natives were run out of their town by incoming Texans and their primitive use of an early version of eminent domain.

We are having another gusty day in North Texas. So gusty that the wind chill factor had the 41 degrees feeling like 4 degrees below freezing when I entered the outer world.

As seems to be the pattern there were a number of other people enjoying the brisk wind blowing over Village Creek today.

Due to the big trees that line the walkway that you pass under as you commune with nature in this location, when it is windy, you must keep an eye out for flying branches and other airborne debris.

I had no flying branch incidents today.

As you can see via the screencap I made of the weather conditions prior to taking off to visit the Indians it is going to be cold for the next 5 days.

It appears that there will be no 24 hour periods where the temperature averages 50 degrees or above. This means I will not be swimming into the foreseeable future.

Without my salubrious morning swim my health is likely to quickly deteriorate. And I will get very very cranky. A substitute must be found.

A Happy Thanksgiving From A Pair Of Poodles Has Me Homesick For Washington

Ruby, Theo & David With Kristin
Getting Ready To Ski
This morning I saw that Tacoma's best known Adventure Poodles, Blue & Max, had written their annual Happy Thanksgiving blogging.

Apparently, on or about Thanksgiving, Blue & Max sent my nephews, David and Theo and niece, Ruby, up somewhere in the Cascade Mountains with their secondary caretakers, Michele & Kristin, for some fun in the snow.

It looks like the snow location may be the Snoqualmie Pass summit zone. There are several ski areas in this location. The Snoqualmie Pass summit zone is a fairly short distance east of Seattle and Tacoma, on Interstate 90.

Among the things I miss about Washington, that I don't have in Texas, is the extremely varied topography within very short distances.

In my current location the topography is pretty much the same in any direction for 100s of miles. There are no snow covered mountains in this parched part of the planet.

Where I lived in Washington, in the Skagit Valley town of Mount Vernon, I could drive about 10 miles to the east and be up in the mountains. Or go 10 miles to the west and be on a Puget Sound beach. Or in the tourist town of La Conner.

In Washington I could get up on a Saturday morning in November and choose to go cross country skiing, or go have a weenie roast picnic on a beach, or hop a ferry 20 miles from my abode, in Anacortes, and head out to the San Juan Islands, which is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and thus is a reliable escape from rain, if you feel in need of escaping the gray dripping.

View From My Bedroom Window Of My
Van & Car Covered By Snow
The Puget Sound lowlands do not get a lot of snow. Some winters pass with no snow. There was one snow storm in the 1990s that was the deepest snow I ever saw in the Puget Sound lowland zone. I was pretty much trapped in my house for a week. I could not drive anywhere, but I could cross country ski to the grocery store.

When the thaw finally came I had all sorts of problems. Water was backing up on the flat roofs. Two drain pipes broke off. It was a mess.

Go here to visit me in Washington. Scroll down and you will come to more photos of the most snow I ever saw piled up in my location in Mount Vernon.

In Western Washington when you want a really major change of scenery you can drive one of the passes over the Cascade Mountains to a starkly different type of topography than the evergreen western side of the mountains. East of the mountains the hills have no trees growing on them, except for the 1000s of acres of fruit orchards.

In Eastern Washington you have a climate much more like Texas. Very HOT in the summer.

There is a big river than runs through Eastern Washington, called the Columbia, with several big dams, like Grand Coulee. Because of the big river and the reservoirs behind the dams, much of the desert of Eastern Washington has been turned into land upon which all sorts of things grow. One of the side benefits of Grand Coulee Dam was the appearance of lakes in various coulees (Washington Indian-speak for canyons), like Sun Lake. Sun Lake State Park was one of my favorite places to go in summer in my younger years.

Dry Falls, by Sun Lake, is the location of what at one point in time was the biggest waterfall the world has ever known. The melting of the last Ice Age and its massive flooding is what made the coulees of Eastern Washington.

Can you tell I'm feeling a bit homesick for Washington? It has been over 3 years since I've been back. That is the longest I've been away from Washington in my long life. I'm thinking I will likely be going to Arizona and Washington soon.

The Last Sunday Of November Of 2011 Has Dawned Wind Free & Cold In Texas

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the outer world this last Sunday of the next to last month of 2011 we can intuit that the temperature differential between my inner world and the outer world is significant enough to cause window condensation.

It is currently 37 degrees on the other side of the wet window.

It was windy pretty much all day yesterday and into the night. I assumed some massive weather system was blowing in.

However, this morning, near as I can see, there is nary a cloud in the sky.

I will not be going swimming this morning.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

According To The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Update No Other Town In North America Has As Much Downtown Waterfront As Fort Worth Texas

Roundabout With The Trinity River Vision
On Tuesday I blogged about the TRINITY RIVER VISION UPDATE VOLUME VI - ISSUE 3 - WINTER 2011 that DP had emailed me in PDF format, in a blogging titled "The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges To Nowhere Built In Slow Motion."

Today the hard copy TRV Update showed up in my mailbox. The hard copy was identical to the PDF version.

Except.

An extra page had been inserted. That extra page has a few jaw dropping gems on it.

In a section of that extra page titled "Fort Worth Finally Embraces Trinity River" we are told....

Periodic devastating floods, including one in 1949 that flooded downtown, led the Corps to build high levees to protect the city. As leaders today acknowledge, it also protected the city's residents from using and enjoying the river. J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, joked that the only people making use of the river were skinny sweaty people, i.e. joggers who ran along the green spaces protected by the levees.

Despite the levees, the Trinity River still posed a flood danger during extreme rain events. The solution that eventually emerged was to dig a new channel to connect two sides of an oxbow that wound through the city. The channel, which would mostly cut through abandoned industrial properties, would turn part of downtown into two islands with a small bay between them, and provide miles of river-walks similar to the famous one in San Antonio that has become a mainstay of that city's tourism industry.

First off, a lot of people, besides the skinny sweaty people Mr. Granger mentions, use the Trinity Trails. Bikers, walkers, moms pushing strollers. Has Mr. Granger never been to Trinity Park? There are usually a lot of people in Trinity Park. Some of them are fishing.

Second off, despite the fact that there has been no repeat of the 1949 flood since the levees were built, the Trinity River still posed a danger if it rains real hard? I've seen some rather extreme flooding since I've been here. I have never seen the river get near going over the levees. I have seen other areas of Tarrant County that have turned deadly during extreme rain events. Haltom City, for example. But the Army Corps of Engineers does not care about Haltom City's flood woes.

Third off, the Town Lake has now been reduced to a small bay between two islands? How does that work?

Fourth off, this is the first I've heard that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle now includes miles of river-walk like the one in San Antonio. That's an impressive plan, copying the famous tourist attraction of another town in your state. That is just kind of sad.

In another section of the propaganda, titled "Trinity River Vision remains focused, on schedule," we are told...

For what developers call the Trinity Uptown component of the Trinity River Vision project, residents can expect an 800-acre mixed use development connecting downtown, the Cultural District and the near North Side. Remaining project components are the Gateway Park master plan and what's dubbed the Trinity River Vision Experience, providing greater river access over 88 miles of river and tributaries.

And then this gem from Fort Worth's director of Planning and Development Department, Randle Harwood.

"We are in a unique position that no other city in North America can claim," Harwood said, citing the amount of waterfront access near downtown as unique to Fort Worth. "I just think that it gives us an economically competitive advantage. You can't create that, although we are creating additional riverfront by using the bypass channel."

No other city in North America has the amount of waterfront access near downtown as Fort Worth does? Who is writing this stuff? Someone borrowed from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram? I've not read such ridiculous propaganda in a long time. The Star-Telegram's bizarre claims about the long defunct Santa Fe Rail Market being the first public market in Texas, that it was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place and European public markets, comes to mind.

The Star-Telegram apparently did not know about the Dallas Farmers Market when it propagandized about the Santa Fe Rail Market. And the Trinity River Vision must not realize that the Trinity River also flows by the downtown of Dallas. And that the Dallas Trinity River Vision will see an actual big lake with a lot of waterfront.

Fort Worth's waterfront puts this town in a unique position no other city in North America can claim?

Apparently New York City, Miami, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver and other towns I'm likely forgetting are not in the same North America that Fort Worth is in.

Besides Dallas I can think of other towns within a day's drive of Fort Worth with a lot of waterfront.

Like Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa, at the head of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, is the most inland river port in the U.S. with access to international waterways. Yes, the Arkansas River is a real river, a real wide river as it passes through Tulsa.

The Trinity River as it passes through Fort Worth is more of a glorified ditch than a river.

Shreveport, Louisiana, with the Red River, also navigable, providing a lot of waterfront, is also a short drive from Fort Worth.

Waco has some nice waterfront on the north side of its downtown, provided by the very scenic Brazos River, which also is a real river, not a glorified ditch, as it passes through Waco.

If the goofball assertions made in the Trinity River Vision Update are indicative of the thought processing going into this project, I fear we will be seeing a way bigger boondoggle than any of us dreamed possible.

The Wind Doth Blow Across The Texas Prairie Today With Fosdic Ducks & Solar Panels

Birds Of Various Feathers
 Flocking Together On Lake Fosdic
The weather predictors were predicting accurately this morning when they predicted it would be windy today.

At ground level the gusts seem to be coming from the west. At sky level the clouds seem to be coming from the south. The temperature has dropped to 52 in the early afternoon, after starting the day in the 60s.

On my way to Town Talk today I stopped for a very brisk walk in the very brisk wind that is blowing around Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

It was so windy I thought there should be waves making whitecaps. But there weren't.

Birds of various feathers were sticking together in the wind, with a bunch of ducks seeming to be being guarded by some big white birds. The quacking was a cacophony.

What Is This Mysterious Device?
A month or so ago there appeared something perplexing by the spillway of Lake Fosdic Dam.

A post cemented into the ground with an antenna at the top and what looks to be some sort of solar panel. A cable runs underground to a pipe that runs to the spillway.

Is this to measure the water flow over the dam? Something that does not happen too often lately on this parched part of the planet.

A little dribble was dripping over the spillway today, thanks to last night's little amount of rain.

There must be some really good explanation why the City of Fort Worth, with its budget woes, spent money on this particular waiting to be vandalized device.

Yet one more thing to be perplexed about. Like the latest mailing from the Trinity River Vision, which arrived in my mailbox today. More on that later.

Getting Whacked Like A Mole Because Of My Constant Weather Reports On The Last Saturday Of November

Blue appears to be the dominant color that I see from my secondary viewing portal on the outer world this last Saturday of the next to last month of 2011.

The outer world is currently being heated to 60 degrees.

But.

If the weather predictors are to be believed that temperature is heading to a freezing temperature of 32 at some point in the next 24 hours.

We are also advised by those same weather predictors that it will be windy today.

Speaking of the weather, which is something I seem to frequently speak of, someone named Park Lover commented on my weather reports this morning....

Park Lover has left a new comment on your post "The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Made A Whopping $39,885 In Admission Fees Last Year From 45,000 Visitors": 

I usually play Whack-A-Mole when commenting to you in the past. Bad manners not to wish you a happy holiday and that despite my frustrations with you at times, your blog is highly entertaining (minus the weather reports) and makes me laugh. 

Why would anyone be frustrated with me at times I can not help but wonder? And what is Whack-A-Mole? Am I a mole being whacked without realizing it?

Speaking of blog comments and other comments. I get a lot of them. I have 5 blogs. The one you are reading right now gets the most comments because it has had the most posts. An appalling 4,085 blog posts. Any one of which gets comments. Most of which are spam. As of this morning I have hit the publish button on 5,331 comments on the Durango Texas blog.

But, it is not the blogs that generate the most feedback. It's my Eyes on Texas website that is the major feedback generator. And most of that feedback is asking me a question. Which I always feel obligated to answer.

Right now I feel obligated to go swimming before it gets cold in the outer world.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Made A Whopping $39,885 In Admission Fees Last Year From 45,000 Visitors

Watch Out For Alligators
The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge and the Tandy Hills Natural Area are both gems of wilderness of the sort which few large towns in the world are blessed.

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge covers 3,621 acres, with over 20 miles of trails and wooden walkways over bayou-like waterways

Waterways where, as you see on the CAUTION sign, you may come upon an alligator. Or two.

When I first moved to Texas I lived closer to the FWNC & R than I do now. Back then I fairly frequently frequented the FWNC & R. And I've visited quite a few times since I moved further away from the FWNC & R.

But.

I have not been to the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge since April of 2006.

Why?

Because the City of Fort Worth started charging an entry free. This I thought was an asinine thing for a city with pretensions of being the Envy of the World, to be doing.

I had been to the FWNC & R many times where I saw moms and dads with little kids, having fun looking at the Prairie Dogs and the Buffalo. These often seemed like families with finances which likely did not allow mom and dad to take the kids on fun trips to Yellowstone or Disneyland or Grand Canyon.

Having park amenities in your town, freely available to everyone, is part of what makes a great city GREAT.

And then yesterday, I read the following in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram....

The center has an operating budget of $664,776. It netted $39,885 from charging a fee at the park entrance and saw more than 45,000 visitors enter the park last year.

The city started charging the fee in 2006.

How much does it cost for admission you may be wondering?

From the FWNC & R website....

$5 Adults (13-64)
$2 Children (3-12;under 3 FREE)
$3 Seniors (65+)
$1 Discount per person (with Military ID)

So, mom and dad and 3 kids in the 3 -12 range can get to see the alligators for $16.

When I first learned that an entry fee was to be charged I wondered how much the cost of the ticket booth would be and how much it would cost to pay someone to take the money.

From the Star-Telegram article we learn the Center has an operating budget of $664,776. That is money that has been collected from you Fort Worth taxpayers. Taxes paid so the city has money to pay for things, like parks, for the benefit of the tax paying citizens.

Charging the entry fee netted only $39,885 last year. I'm assuming that net is after factoring in the cost of collecting the money.

There were more than 45,000 entry fee paying visitors. Let's say the average entry fee paid was $3. A $3 average would bring in $135,000. That is rather heavy overhead to end up netting only $39,885.

Let's take the operating budget of $664,776 and divide that number by the 45,000 visitors. That gives us a total cost per visitor of $14.77.

So, the City of Fort Worth is paying $14.77 per visit to the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

How many visited annually prior to a fee being charged?

Why not remove the entry fee, since it costs such a ridiculous amount to make that puny net of $39,885 and make money by other means?

Popcorn for a buck a bag at the Visitor's Center? Rental canoes? Maybe special events like the Concerts in the Garden that take place in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Surely some means could be found to easily raise $39,885 a year other than charging a ridiculous entry fee.

I had not discovered the Tandy Hills, which is only 4 miles from my abode, back when I still semi-regularly drove to the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

I wonder why the City of Fort Worth isn't charging an entry fee to the Tandy Hills. I think there easily could be a total of at least a 1,000 people who hike the hills annually. Some of those would be multiple visits from the same person, though.

I'd need to get a season's pass.

Being A Fat Blimp On The Tandy Hills Thinking About Stealing Elsie Hotpepper's Fence Posts

The Dark Brooding Black Friday Skyline of
Beautiful Downtown Fort Worth
You are looking west, on Black Friday, from the top of Mount Tandy at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

As you can see we are being a bit overcast and hazy today. Or maybe it is smog that is blurring the Fort Worth skyline.

I'd not been on the Tandy Hills for several days.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, I got an email from Don Young in which he suggested I was a blimp in need of working off my fat. But, it is because off all that fat I am sufficiently insulated so I can stay in the pool for a long time, like I did this morning.

Anyway, here is part of what Don Young had to say about blimps and fat....

Feeling like a blimp after all that fun food? Fly over to Tandy Hills Natural Area and work off your fatties and have a good time, too. Need a reason? Here's 10:
  1. Perfect weather today and tomorrow
  2. 160 acres of Autumn scenery
  3. Deep woods and open prairie
  4. Water in the creeks
  5. Quiet solitude just 5 minutes from downtown FW
  6. Great place to bring the dogs and the kids
  7. You might see and smell a Nodding Ladies Tresses Orchid in bloom
  8. You might see a rabbit or a fox or a hawk or all three
  9. Walking in nature is good for your mind, body and soul
  10. Free and open to the public. You own it, enjoy it!
I saw no Nodding Ladies Tresses on the Tandy Hills today, that I know of.

I did hear, via email, from the Nodding Lady who calls herself Elsie Hotpepper, upon my return from the hills. In the first email Elsie Hotpepper accused me of stealing one of her fence posts. And then in the next email she tells me she has stolen the fence post back.

Tandy Tires Growing Closer
First off, I did not know Elsie Hotpepper had a fence. Second off, why would I steal one of Elsie's fence posts if she did have a fence?

I tell you sometimes I have an awful lot of trouble understanding what Elsie Hotpepper is talking about.

Changing the subject from stolen fence posts back to the Tandy Hills.

The number of mysteriously appearing Tandy Tires remains at three, still sitting on the Tandy Highway. But, Tire #3 has now moved much closer to Tire #2, as you can see in the picture.

It is time for some leftover turkey now. I must replace the fat I lost on the Tandy Hills today.

The Day After Thanksgiving With Downtown Fort Worth A Ghost Town Until Tonight When Chesapeake Energy Brings Christmas Delights!

You can not tell by the view through my patio prison cell bars that the sky above is cloudy on this day after Thanksgiving, last Friday, of the next to last month of 2011.

You can also not tell by looking at the picture that the outer world is currently heated, or chilled, depending on your point of view, to 55 degrees.

Which means I will be in the pool enjoying a morning swim in a few minutes.

Today is what has come to be known as Black Friday.

The biggest shopping day of the year.

I won't be participating. I used to enjoy going to a mall on this day to do some people watching, but that no longer seems like a fun thing to do.

I may go to downtown Fort Worth today and shoot video of the ghost town that is downtown Fort Worth on the busiest shopping day of the year. Due to Fort Worth being the biggest town in America, population-wise, with no downtown department stores, and few other stores, it is not a shopper's mecca on this day when the masses go into heavy duty buying mode.

However, tonight downtown Fort Worth will see its population somewhat surge with people watching more than 100 floats, horses, marching bands and other stuff that makes up what is being called "Christmas Delights!" in the annual Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights.

This was not always the annual Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights. But, it is now yet one more thing Chesapeake Energy has taken possession of in Fort Worth.

We are very grateful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some Things We Are Thankful For...


Elsie Hotpepper sent me this this morning.

I was rather thankful for having been sent it.....

Walking With My Mom & The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Before Eating Too Much Turkey

The Village Creek Thanksgiving Blue Bayou
It is another pleasantly warm day in paradise here in the parched part of the planet I currently reside in called Texas.

Speaking of Texas, Top Chef Texas is doing Texas proud. This week I learned how to better make chili and saw Padma ride a horse in a San Antonio rodeo.

Today, prior to my Turkey Buffet, I walked with my mom and the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

After mom stopped talking to me I left the Indian Ghosts and went to Wal-Mart because I'd forgotten to get olives.

I knew Wal-Mart would be open. I never expected it to be so busy with so many checkers. I asked my olive checker if they got paid more for working on Thanksgiving. She said, "Oh, yeah!" More checkers were going to be on duty by 5 because, apparently, a lot of people come in after eating turkey to begin their Christmas shopping.

My Turkey Buffet went well. Except for the mashed potatoes. Let's just say I changed the name to chunky potatoes. No one complained. But I did not like them. I've never had a problem making mashed potatoes before. I've no clue what went awry.

I had a nice long swim this morning. Since it is currently 65 degrees in the outer world at my location I likely will be able to have another nice long swim tomorrow morning.

I had to take a time out from eating to do my blogging thing. It's time for pumpkin and lemon meringue pie now.

A Frosty Thanksgiving Morning In Texas With The Exiles

I do not know why the Thanksgiving morning view from my primary viewing portal on the world is frosty.

But it is.

Currently, in the outer world at my location, it is 10 degrees above freezing. The exact same temperature my old home location in the Skagit Valley town of Mount Vernon is being chilled to, up north, in Washington, at this point in time this morning.

The high yesterday got into the 60s. This means, even though it is only 42 degrees at the present time, I will be going swimming this morning. And I will likely go on a Pre-Turkey walk around Fosdic Lake. I will try to remember to bring something tasty for the Fosducks.

This morning I experienced the disturbing revelation that Elsie Hotpepper does not know what the word "exile" means.

Elsie had asked what I was doing for T-Day. I told Ms. Hotpepper I was making a Turkey Buffet for my fellow exiles.

Elsie Hotpepper replied to this by asking, "Exiles"?

I will never understand why it is so many people do not know how to access a dictionary when they do not know what a word means.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Walking Quanah Parker Park Thinking About Gas Lease Revenue, Turkeys, Cranberry Sauce & Pumpkin Pie

City Gas Lease Revenue In Action
My route west on Randol Mill Road to Beach Street to go to the Beach Street Super Wal-Mart and Town Talk takes me by Quanah Parker Park.

A few days ago I noticed that the sign I'd blogged about previously, September 10, to be precise, in a blogging titled "Fort Worth's Quanah Parker Park Is Closed Thanks To City Gas Lease Revenue In Action," appeared to have changed.

So I parked at Quanah Parker Park for a quick look at the sign and my favorite Pecan Tree.

Well, the sign really had not changed all that much. Previously it had  a notice tacked on informing wannabe park visitors that the park was closed. That has been removed.

I had not noticed, when I saw this sign the first time, that near the bottom it says "Scheduled Completion Date Year 2011."

Old Heritage Pecan Tree
Since I first made note of this operation, last September, I've seen a lot of the city gas lease revenue in action in Quanah Parker Park.

Action such as Informative Acorn Signage, Such as the acorn signage identifying the special, old, heritage Pecan Tree that lives in Quanah Parker Park.

Other gas lease revenue in action includes cement slabs on which, I think, eventually, park benches will sit.

New litter barrels have shown up along the paved trail.

A new section of paved trail has been paved, giving the few who walk this trail a short cut bypass detour, for which I have not been able to fathom the reason precious city gas lease revenue went into action to pave that new trail.

Some road work has taken place, fixing flood damage. I assume that was part of the city gas lease revenue in action.

There are likely other Quanah Parker Park examples of the city gas lease revenue in action that I am either forgetting or have not noticed.

Changing the subject to my favorite, the weather.

It is currently 65 degrees in the outer world at my location. I have my windows open.

Changing the subject again, this time to Thanksgiving.

I'm already ready for tomorrow's Turkey Buffet. Today I made cranberry sauce, brown rice stuffing and pumpkin pie using vanilla yogurt instead of condensed milk. The pumpkin pie came out real tasty.

Bible Belt For Perry Is Following Me


This morning I can not tell you how thrilled I was to learn that Bible Belt For Perry is now following me on Twitter.

As everyone knows, and this message from Twitter confirms, "Bible believers support GOVERNOR RICK PERRY FOR PRESIDENT."

I do not know if there are any Bible non-believers supporting Rick Perry. I'm actually not quite sure what it means to be a Bible believer.

Does it mean you believe everything you read in the Bible? Some of what's in the Bible is a bit far fetched.

Or so it has always seemed to me.

Some of what Rick Perry says seems a bit far fetched as well.

Maybe believing in the far fetched is what Rick Perry and these Bible believers supporting Governor Rick Perry for President have in common.

Another thing I really don't understand is why in the world anyone would follow me on Twitter.

The Day Before Thanksgiving Dawns Clear & Cold In Texas

The morning of the day before Thanksgiving has dawned free of clouds blocking the sun's rays.

The sun may be shining, but it is cold. Only 12 degrees above freezing.

I did not have insomnia last night. I did have some doozy level nightmares.

At one point in a nightmare I saw a shadow through the window of a second floor room. I woke up shouting call the police.

I hope no one did.

I don't know if I'll get in the pool this morning, even though the 24 hour average was above 50 degrees.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges To Nowhere Built In Slow Motion

Two TRV Boondoggle Bridges Are Now Fully Funded
This afternoon someone calling him or herself "DP" emailed me TRINITY RIVER VISION UPDATE VOLUME VI - ISSUE 3 - WINTER 2011.

This is the pdf version of what I assume will be the TRV Boondoggle's latest snail mailing.

"DP" pointed out an item he or she found of interest in the mailing, that being the following...

"Need a Speaker?"

Do you belong to a community organization that would be interested in learning more about the Trinity River Vision? TRVA staff is happy to provide a project overview and update to your group! To schedule a speaker, please call Matt Oliver at 817-698-0700."

"DP" goes on to say....

That doesn't really make sense does it? TRIP contacted them to speak at their forum so they could "learn more about the TRV" and they were a no-show. I guess they are only interested in "certain" groups.  

"DP" is correct. The TRV had agreed to send someone to the TRIP Forum at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, but the TRV representative failed to show up. I blogged about this the very night it happened, in a blogging titled "Boos Greets News That J.D. Granger Bailed At Last Minute On Tonight's Trinity River Vision Open Discussion Forum."

This J.D. Granger travesty has been mentioned in a few subsequent bloggings, including one titled "The Trinity River Vision's J.D. Granger Wins A Coveted FW Weekly 2011 Turkey Award."

In the TRINITY RIVER VISION UPDATE we learn that not only are two of the bridges now fully funded, we also learn that construction on the Henderson Street Bridge is to begin by the end of 2012 and take 3 to 4 years to complete. While the other funded bridge, the Main Street one, is slated to start being built by the end of 2013 and also take several years to complete.

I remember, when I first moved to Texas, being perplexed over the slow construction of the now long completed downtown Fort Worth Mixmaster. I remember being astonished when I learned construction had begun years earlier.

Now, I realize some find it tiresome when I compare Fort Worth to Seattle. But, you have to understand, Seattle is the other big town with which I am familiar.

Currently Seattle has three HUGE projects underway that dwarf the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. One is a multi-billion dollar project to build a massive tunnel under downtown Seattle and re-do the Seattle Waterfront by removing the dangerous Alaskan Way Viaduct. Another project underway is boring another tunnel to take light rail from downtown to the University of Washington. The third big project is to replace a floating bridge across Lake Washington. 

I believe the pontoons for the new floating bridge are currently being built. I believe the estimated completion date of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel is in 2015. I believe the rail link to the UW is to be completed before that.

So, how is it in Fort Worth that building 2 non-signature, simple bridges, takes so long?  Is it the piddly panhandling way projects are funded here that makes them go so slow? If the project is of such great import why not put more of an effort into getting it done?

I wonder if having the public vote on projects, voting to tax themselves to fund them, helps with the process? Rather than being all happy that funding for two Trinity Uptown Bridges has now been pieced together. By who knows what nefarious earmarking means.

It's sort of pathetic.

And sort of perplexing.

But, when your local method of governing largely depends on nepotism and a corrupt good ol' boy network, this is what you get.

Bridges to Nowhere Built in Slow Motion.

Dodging Trains In Arlington Texas To Make My Way To ALDI In Pantego

ALDI Food Market in Pantego
No hiking or nature walks for this boy today. I am tired after a night with the worst bout of insomnia since I spent a night in a Mexican jail.

I think that may have been in a nightmare that I spent a night in a Mexican jail. It does not seem like  a reality based memory. Keep in mind, I am operating on few cylinders with a lot of sleep deprivation.

Instead of going walking in any of the many parks I have available in my location for that particular activity, I went to Pantego to ALDI to get my Thanksgiving supplies. Well, some of them.

It was the busiest I've ever seen ALDI today. The checkout lady said tomorrow will be an even worse zoo.

On the way to ALDI I was freshly annoyed that Arlington is the biggest town in America that allows itself to be cut in two by a slowing moving train.

I was on Division Street, heading east, when I saw traffic backed up. Nothing was moving on Bowen Street, which is the right turn one takes off Division to ALDI.

I continued east on Division. At Fielder Road there is a badly designed overpass that takes you over the train tracks. One of the few crossings in Arlington. Eventually I made it to ALDI.

I wonder how much gas and time gets wasted because of Arlington's badly designed railroad crossings?

Changing the subject from train crossings and food markets to my favorite subject.

It is currently 57 degrees. It was 47 when I went swimming this morning. My 50 degree 24 hour average plan to determine the doability of swimming continues to seem to be valid.

I wish I was constitutionally capable of taking a nap.

A Fort Worth Chesapeake Gate Left Wide Open To Chemically Altered Pond Of Water

The Wide Open Chesapeake Gate Scandal
I was on my way to Pantego today, driving on a day in Texas that is being like a stereotypical Western Washington dreary winter day, when I drove by a Chesapeake Energy fracking pond I've made mention of previously.

The fracking pond is on Brentwood Stair Road, east of Brentwood Stair's intersection with Cooks Lane.

The fracking pond is surrounded by chain link fence, with No Trespassing Signs.

Today the Chesapeake Gate was wide open. No Chesapeake Energy workers were at the site.

I turned around to take a picture. Getting out of my motorized transport I soon found that the ground was very muddy, so I could not get close to the sign.

A Fort Worth police car drove by whilst I was taking pictures. I wanted him to stop and ask what I was doing.

But he did not.

Now.

Does this seem right to you? That this gate would be wide open? Any little kid, passing by, could walk through the open gate thinking this was a fresh water pond to have some fun with. The little kid might touch the water, nice innocent shade of blue that it is, to see how warm it was. And find himself with a chemical burn.

Methinks this appalling negligence, on Chesapeake Energy's part, is the sort of thing that should be treated serious by law enforcement.

And it probably would be.

If this were any other place but Fort Worth.

The 4th Tuesday Of November Dawns Dark After A Night Of Bad Insomnia

You might guess, via looking at the picture of my primary viewing portal on the outer world, that I am up well before the sun on this 4th Tuesday of the next to last month of 2011.

What you can not tell from the dark view is that it was one rough night of bad insomnia in Durango World.

Around 10 last night thunder began rumbling. The thunder continued rolling until sometime after 1 this morning.

After the thunder was turned off, with the return of peace and quiet, I was unable to fall asleep until some time after 4 this morning. And that only lasted til a little after 5.

So, I gave up on sleeping and got up and made coffee.

It is 47 degrees currently, at my location. I think the 24 hour average was above 50. I don't know if I have the energy to attempt swimming. I'll decide that after the sun decides to arrive for the day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Walking Around Fort Worth's Fosdic Lake With Ducks While Looking For The Missing Elsie Hotpepper

Fosdic Lake Fosducks
I do not recollect walking around Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park, previously and so many birds. In addition to the quacking Fosducks there were a lot of birds in the trees.

Collectively all the Fosdic birds were making quite a lot of noise.

The atmosphere was being very hazy in the noon time frame. As I drove west towards my walking destination the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth was barely visible through whatever it is in the air that was reducing visibility.

It was 47 degrees in the outer world when I left my abode. When I finished my salubrious walk around Fosdic Lake as soon as started the engine of my motorized transport device rain began hitting the windshield. Not in copious amounts, but sufficient to require activating the windshields water removal device.

I did not go swimming this morning because I did not think the 24 hour temperature average was 50 degrees or above. It is 52 degrees, currently, in the middle of Monday afternoon. I don't think by tomorrow morning the 24 hour temperature will be 50 or above. Maybe I will try swimming anyway.

Has anyone heard from Elsie Hotpepper? I've not heard from EH since Saturday.

Alma, The Songbird Of The Texas Gulf Coast, Taught Me How To Successfully Peel A Hard-Boiled Egg

Blowing On A Hard-Boiled Egg
That sort of looks like me, in the picture, doing something to a white object.

But it is not me.

I think I've made mention previously of the fact that Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, currently crooning in various venues in Port Aransas, daily emails me a lot of good, funny, useful stuff.

I do not remember if I've made mention previously of the fact that I like to cook. I enjoy the process. To cook efficiently you have to juggle multiple issues. Having good cooking tools is helpful.

The one thing about cooking that has always vexed me, til now, is hard-boiled eggs. Sometimes they peel easy, sometimes they don't. I've Googled for tips on how to easily make easy to peel hard-boiled eggs and met with very limited success.

And then, a couple days ago, Alma emailed me a link to a YouTube video showing how to successfully peel a hard-boiled egg.

I watched the video and thought there was no way this would work.

The instructions were to boil the eggs at a soft boil, covered with 2 inches of water, for 12 minutes. Then cool the eggs. Then make a hole in each end of the egg. Then blow through a hole, popping out the egg, shell-free, at the other end.

The instructions also called for baking soda to be added to the water to raise the PH level. I had no baking soda when I tried the blow hole method of peeling an egg.

Without the baking soda I still had the easiest time ever of getting the shell of a hard-boiled egg. Previous to trying this I thought if the egg actually did pop out that it would be difficult to catch the flying egg. This turned out to be a non-issue.

Below is the YouTube video Alma sent me.....

The 3rd Monday Of November Dawns Cold & Cloudy While Fort Worth Visionaries Enter Their 4th Decade Of Visioning

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell we can sort of see that the dawn of the 3rd Monday of the next to last month of 2011 has dawned with clouds covering this parched part of the planet which I inhabit.

It is currently only 46 degrees in the outer world at my location.

I will not be going swimming this morning.

Changing subjects from my favorite subject, the weather, to something else.

I have long been a fan of goofy stuff I read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Star-Telegram, to you reading this who are not in Texas, is what passes for a newspaper in this part of the world.

This morning, in the Star-Telegram...

In January, hundreds of "visionaries" will begin the yearlong process of designing the fourth, 10-year master plan for downtown Fort Worth.

Downtown residents, business and property owners, civic and government leaders and representatives from surrounding neighborhoods will be asked to participate in so-called visioning sessions conducted by Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

The process has worked well in the past, so Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group that oversees downtown, decided to continue it.
The past three plans are responsible for much of how downtown looks. "The last strategic plans were very well-received," Taft said.

Hyde Park at Ninth and Throckmorton streets, the redesign of Burnett Park off Seventh and Lamar streets, the new design of the bus passenger shelters, Molly the Trolley and parking improvements are examples of some completed projects.

"More cities than not go through elaborate planning," Taft said.

Do I really need to make any mocking comments about this? I don't think so. It pretty much mocks itself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Walking & Talking With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Thinking About Fred Jackson & Bubba's Sex Change

Village Creek Kids Looking For Turtles
I don't know what happened to the 80 something degrees those weather predictors predicted for today. It was 65 when I went swimming this morning. Now, at around an hour past noon that number has reversed and it is now 56 degrees in the outer world in my location.

The forecast is still forecasting Thunder and Rain and has added tomorrow, Monday, as a wet, electrical day.

I went to one of my favorite walking locations, the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, today. On Sunday's there are a lot of people enjoying walking and playing with the Indian Spirits that inhabit the Historical Area, including the two little kids and their dad you see in the picture.

Changing the subject now to football.

Village Creek is in Arlington. Arlington is where the Dallas Cowboys play football. A couple days ago I blogged about NFL Films wanting to use some of my photos of the destruction caused by the worst abuse of eminent domain in American history. The person who contacted me from NFL Films told me they were doing a story on Fred Jackson and his boyhood home that had been lost to the Cowboy bulldozers. I had no clue who Fred Jackson was or why NFL Films would focus on him.

And then I heard from JJ..........

JJ has left a new comment on your post "A Cloudy Cold Tandy Hills With The Dallas Cowboy Stadium Scandal Back Haunting Me": 

Hey Durango, Fred Jackson is playing a key role in the success of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. He was born in FW but grew up in the Arlington neighborhood that was located in and around the current Eminent Domain Abuse Stadium. Could be an interesting story, especially considering all the odds that this guy had to overcome in order to compete at the highest level, especially his small stature + playing in a tiny college, not picked by any NFL team, etc. 

Changing the subject from football to running around Christmas lights. A couple days ago I mentioned Cori asking me if I thought it doable to do a group run past the Interlochen Christmas lights. This morning I heard from Bubba with an alternative suggestion...

Bubba has left a new comment on your post "Walking With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Think About Running Past The Interlochen Christmas Lights With Cori": 

Cori and his fellow runners should consider the Diamond Loch area in Haltom City and North Richland Hills. The decorations are on a smaller scale but comparable to the way overcrowded and tiny streets in Interlochen. Plus the said neighborhood is right off of loop 820 and Ruff Snow, with lots of parking/staging in nearby parks and schools and churches. And the streets are very wide and thus much safer for walkers/cyclers/runners. BTW, who is Cori and co. running from?? Do they need some good hiding places, too? 

Bubba has turned Cori from a girl into a guy. That's disturbing.

The 3rd Sunday Of November Dawns Dry & Warm In This Parched Part Of The Planet

The view from my primary viewing portal on the world is not frosty this 20th morning of the next to last month of 2011.

The sun is up on the 3rd Sunday of November, currently heating the outer world in my location on this parched part of the planet to a balmy, for this time of year, 68 degrees.

I have the window open of my primary viewing portal. I believe this to be unprecedented at this point in time in the rapidly approaching Winter.

We are in Day Two of the rain predictors predicting rain.

So far, at least where I have been, total dryness has prevailed. Currently I'd call what hovers above to be light cloudiness. Not as stormy looking as yesterday morning.

MKB's Computer Screen
A few days ago we got to the edge of freezing. This put what appeared to be frost on my primary viewing portal. I took a picture of the frosty window.

Later that day I was scrolling through all the babble on Facebook when I saw a picture that looked familiar.

My favorite Tacomaite, MKB, had taken the picture of my frosty window and turned it into the background on her computer screen, so she could have a window in her windowless cubicle at work.

It is now time for me to venture into the outer world and find my way to a swimming pool to have a very pleasant swim in very pleasant temperatures.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On The Windy Tandy Hills Missing Elsie Hotpepper While Getting Vertigo From The Leaning Tower Of Tandy

The Stunning Skyline Of Beautiful Downtown
Fort Worth From High Atop Mount Tandy
In the picture you are on top of Mount Tandy, looking west towards the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, at a few minutes after noon.

The wind was blowing quite hard on the Tandy Hills today, blowing from the west.

Looking up at the tower, known as the Fort Worth Space Needle, made me dizzy with the tower seeming to sway.

The wind was so strong the the tower was bending to the east, making the eastside support cables slack, while the ones on the westside were pulled tight. Seeing this made me wonder if these type cables ever snap. And what happens to such a tower if a tornado passes by.

The Leaning Tower Of Tandy
Looking up at the tower, and the clouds racing by it making me dizzy, made me think of Carlotta Camano and her bout of Vertigo she told me about yesterday. My only experience with the subject of Vertigo, previously, was the Hitchcock movie of that name, with Jimmy Stewart plagued with Vertigo.

Changing the subject from Vertigo to Elsie Hotpepper.

Ms. Hotpepper had been missing for a couple days. But, she was supposed to meet me on top of Mount Tandy today to go for some salubrious hill hiking.

But, upon arrival on top of the mountain, there was no Hotpepper. I called the Hotpepper Hotline, but got no answer.

So, I did my hill hiking solo.

Then, an hour or so later, I was in Town Talk when the phone rang. It was Elsie Hotpepper wanting me to now meet her at The Point on Lake Worth for a hamburger, and, I assume, some Happy Houring. No mention was made of not showing up on top of Mount Tandy. And I did not ask. And I did not go to The Point.

Changing the subject from the erratic Elsie Hotpepper to my favorite subject.

The weather.

So far the predicted rain has not fallen on any of the locations I have been at. It was in the 70 degree zone when I did my hill hiking today. It is 77 right now at a little after 4.

I stayed in the pool for a long time this morning. The water will be even warmer tomorrow morning.