Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Final HOT Day Of July In Texas Thinking About My Nephew David In A Copter & Gar The Texan Up A Creek

You are looking at a very rare early afternoon view from my secondary viewing portal on the outer world on this very last day of July.

As you can see there is nary a cloud in the sky. What you can not see is the outer world is currently heated to one degree under 100.

I was in the cool pool for over an hour this morning, very early, due to being up and awake since 4 this morning.

I am feeling a bit beat up, for various reasons, making me in no mood to get in a better mood by getting myself my regular endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

I did go walk around Wal-Mart, though, during my regular walk time, due to needing bread and coffee.

Changing the subject to something else.

I'd not subjected myself to reading Gar the Texan's blog in awhile. He'd been promising a major upgrade with a new title and, I hope, a change to the current color scheme.

Gar the Texan is always really sparse with details, but, I was able to glean that last week he flew up to Idaho with his current unnamed Gal Pal. I hope this one speaks English.

Gar the Texan was pleased to wake up in Idaho to find the temperature was only 8 degrees above freezing and to see a deer in the backyard. When I lived in Washington I grew tired of the deer who terrorized my foliage, particularly my fruit trees.

Apparently Gar the Texan had never seen a deer before, in the wild, and this has led him to conclude that living in Texas all his life has been a big mistake. That and he discovered that other parts of the country have these things called brew pubs, in abundance.

At one point during his Idaho visit Gar the Texan paddled some sort of boat device on the Salmon River for several miles, which, if I understood correctly what I was reading, somehow caused a case of the vapors, which had Gar the Texan seeking out an Emergency Room at a hospital.

Like I already said, Gar the Texan is always very very sparse with details and corroborating photographic evidence of what his sparse details describe.

Changing the subject again, this time to my nephew David.

That is David in the picture, holding on to the controls of a helicopter in Olympia.

David and his twin siblings, Theo John and Ruby Jean, were in Olympia on Saturday to visit a cool park, the name of which, or why it is cool,  I do not know.

After visiting the cool park they stumbled on an event called Touch a Truck. David got to check out a firetruck, dumptruck, ambulance, police car, a couple buses, a bread truck, a semi and a lot more, including the helicopter, which technically is not a truck, but does haul stuff.

Theo followed his big brother on most of the trucks, whilst Ruby watched.

It has been a long time since I had fun playing with little nephews. I've never played with a little niece. I got to have some fun with my nephew, Spencer Jack, in March, in Arizona, I forgot about that, so it hasn't been all that long since I had fun playing with a little nephew.

I hope my uncle powers remain strong. I've been out of practice. It's likely like riding a bike, a skill you master once and don't forget.

UPDATE: One of David, Theo and Ruby's parental units has explained why the Olympia park they played in on Saturday was cool and that the name of the park is Yauger Park.

Quoting the parental unit's description of Yauger Park, "It’s cool because of the giant and super fast slides!  It also has swings, a toddler climbing toy, ball fields, skate park and plenty of room to run around."

That does appear to be one gigantic piece of playground equipment. Other pictures documenting the park's coolness showed the gigantic slides. I want to play in Yauger Park.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rosie The Rat Dog's Grizzly Bear & Sarah Palin Encounters In Alaska

Rosie the Rat Dog and her entourage have now made it to the Valdez zone of Alaska.

The latest entry on Rosie's Alaska! Blog has some really good pictures of grizzly bear encounters, like the one you are looking at here, in a blogging appropriately titled "Stay in your car."

The only place I've been where I had dozens of bear encounters, none of them grizzlies, was at Stehekin, on Lake Chelan, in Eastern Washington.

Rosie's pictures of all sorts of critters having a salmon feeding are something I don't recollect seeing before.

I also do not recollect ever seeing a picture of my sister paddling a kayak so close to a glacier before.

Does my sister not know that in summer glaciers break off humongous chunks of ice that are known as icebergs? And that it is likely a bit dangerous to get too close?

What with all the bears, moose, dodging icebergs and visiting Sarah Palin in Wasilla, I am appalled at all the dangerous situations to which Rosie the Rat Dog is leading her entourage.

Looks fun though.

White Energy Pickups & Other Quanah Parker Park Puzzles

On Saturday, driving west on Randol Mill Road, on my way to Gateway Park and Town Talk, I noticed an odd thing going on in Quanah Parker Park.

There were several white pickup trucks on the grass near the Quanah Parker Park Pecan Tree that is some sort of heritage tree, or some such distinction.

I saw orange construction type fencing, but could not make out what was being done to the park from my vantage point from the road. I figured I'd check it out later, but then forgot about it til today.

So, after I cooled off by walking around Fosdick Lake I drove to Quanah Parker Park.

Well, as soon as I entered the park I knew something hinky was going on. I'll get to the hinky thing in a bit.

Upon close perusal, the area fenced in by the orange netting appears to be some sort of raised road bed, made of what looked like beauty bark, leading from the Quanah Parker Park parking lot to the edge of the bank above the Trinity River.

I am fairly certain I have made mention, many a time previous, regarding my aversion to white pickup trucks. Particularly if any combo of words that includes the word "energy" is on the white pickup truck.

Upon arrival at the entry to Quanah Parker Park I saw two white pickup trucks, both of which had the word "energy," among other words, painted on them.

I took the picture of the two white pickup trucks when I was leaving Quanah Parker Park, a zoomed view through my windshield.

That yellow barrier you see on the road is a metal grate covering 3 water pipelines. The 3 water pipelines run into the park for a couple hundred feet and then terminate. It appears more pipes need to arrive to complete the connection to the Trinity River so the water sucking can begin.

What this has to do with the raised beauty bark road, I have no clue. There are many access points to get to the river prior to the Quanah Parker Park parking lot and its new orange netting lined beauty bark road.

How is it that trucks with the word "energy" on them can put up an obstruction like this in a public park with no signage explaining what is going or, with no permits displayed?

Getting Cool While Walking Around The Shrinking Fosdick Lake

The outer world was heated to 95 degrees when I left air-conditioned comfort to get my mid-day constitutional by walking around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

As you can see via the picture, Fosdick Lake was looking serene today. A beautiful shade of green that somehow turns blue in a digital camera.

A breeze blowing across the lake, from the south, made for a nice cooling effect whilst walking across Fosdick Lake Dam.

The long absence of rain and broken water mains is causing Fosdick Lake to shrink. Beaches have appeared at some locations on the lake. Not sandy beaches of the pleasant sort, but rocky, muddy, littered beaches of the unseemly sort.

Yesterday we got heated to several degrees above 100, and yet this morning the water in the pool was almost cool. In previous summers, during the HOT period, pool water has become borderline un-refreshing with its lukewarm temperature. Maybe we are getting colder than the norm at night, hence the cooler water.

Looking at my computer based temperature monitoring device I see we have been getting down into the 70s at night. Is that colder than the norm? I have no idea.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tonight Facebook Faced Me With A Lot Of Fallen Tigers

I was already having myself a melancholy Sunday evening when I checked in on Facebook and soon found myself looking at a picture of my big sister, who is currently up in Alaska, sitting at a picnic table in Bay View State Park, in Washington.

I do not remember what it was that brought me to this particular Facebook page, except for the fact that it was a link that showed up on my Facebook page. What that link said that caused me to click it, I don't remember.

But, when I clicked the link I found myself on a Facebook page about Fallen Tigers.

Tigers, as in Burlington-Edison High School Tigers, with Tigers being the mascot of the high school from which I graduated a few decades ago.

Fallen Tigers is dedicated to those who have passed on. It was a bit moving, starting with the suicide of a classmate of my aforementioned big sister. That tragedy seems so long ago, and yet, so recent.

I think you have to have a Facebook account to check out Fallen Tigers, but I'm not sure about that.

Last summer, the day after a class reunion, which I missed, Honey Lulu called me. We had fun trying to figure out who the people were in the photos we were getting of the reunion. Whilst talking to Honey Lulu we talked about various people.

Prior to Honey Lulu calling I had been looking at my ancient high school yearbooks.

I remember asking Honey Lulu if she knew anything about Steve Straub, this guy who was 2 years older than me, who left an impression on me. He was a really smart, nice guy. Well, I was a bit saddened to see that Steve Straub is on the list of Fallen Tigers. What befell him, was not revealed.

I was surprised by how many of the Fallen Tigers I remember, who I did not know had fallen.

Life is really short, and we, the living, really need to make all of it we can, while we can.

Fort Worth Has Turned Into A Desert Hotter & Less Humid Than Phoenix

The above was taken from my computer based temperature monitoring device a few minutes before 6 on this HOT sunny Sunday afternoon in Texas.

As you can see, and, if you are in Texas, feel, it is HOT. And going to get HOTTER.

As in, on Wednesday, it appears we are going to be sizzling.

One benefit of all this HEAT is it has burned off much of the humidity. Currently the humidity is only 18%.

In Phoenix, at this moment, the humidity is 27%, with the temperature chillier than Fort Worth, at 102 degrees. With the humidity in Fort Worth being lower than Phoenix, does this mean we are now experiencing a desert climate on this part of the planet?

Will Saguaro Cactus soon be arriving? I hope so. I really like Saguaro Cactus.

A Sunday Walk With The Indian Ghosts Who Haunt The Village Creek Natural Historical Area

The Village Creek Blue Bayou
I realized this morning I may have been overdoing the mountain biking at Gateway Park.

This realization came to me when I realized how frequently I've pedaled the Gateway Park trails in the past couple weeks, at ever increasing velocity and ride length.

And that this behavior must be what has caused me to have some aching muscles in the mid-section / lower back zone.

So, until the pain abates, no mountain bike trails for me.

With mountain biking currently being a no-no, I decided to go to Arlington, to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to walk with my Indian Ghost friends who I've been neglecting lately.

With the temperature being above 90 there was not a big crowd of fellow ghost walkers today.

More people need to discover how pleasant it is to walk under the shade of the Village Creek trees when one might think the temperature was too HOT to possibly be pleasant.

Very little water is flowing through Village Creek, making for some very stagnant, scummy ponds. The Village Creek Blue Bayou is choking on foliage, with the water a little less scummy than what remains in Village Creek.

Seeing all that stagnant water made me wonder what the plan is to keep the water in the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Granger Pond and the canals, if the canals are still part of the myopic vision, from being stagnant.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dodging Disc Golfers While Finding My Way On Gateway Park's FWMBA Trail

I was pedaling fast on the Gateway Park mountain bike trail, not quite sure which way to go, when I came upon the very conveniently placed FWMBA TRAIL sign you see in the picture, with an easy to follow arrow pointing the way.

It was not yet heated to 100 degrees in the outer world when I left air-conditioned comfort today to go get me some endorphin therapy via excessive aerobic stimulation.

I only saw a couple other bikers today. I saw way more than a couple disc golfers. The disc golf trail and the mountain bike trail share trail in a couple locations. Disc golfers are sort of loud as they shout at each other whilst looking for their lost discs.

I saw one of the disc golfers had an interesting personalized license plate.


That seemed to me to be a bit of an unfortunate personalized license plate if your intention was to indicate your fondness for the disc golf sport.

FWMBA is not a word. I tried to pronounce FWMBA as a word and gave up. I believe FWMBA is shorthand for Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association.

Dallas has DORBA, while Fort Worth has FWMBA. The reason DORBA is not DMBA is because DORBA is shorthand for Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association.

Does Seattle have a SORBA or SMBA? If so, I've never heard of it.

I think I probably should take a day off of the excessive exercising, even if it makes me feel good. I was in the pool for over an hour this morning. And I did two loops around the FWMBA trail.

I am ever so slightly sore, but I think that may be from packing, into my abode, all the stuff I got at Town Talk today. I need to cease, for awhile, buying frozen things at Town Talk. My freezer is just about filled to capacity.

The outer world was not yet heated to 100 when I went biking in the noon time frame. Now, at almost 4 in the afternoon, we have passed the 100 degree mark, yet again, heading to a predicted high of 104, before today's heating part of the day comes to an end.

We are heading into a period of predicted day after day after day over 100.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Did Downtown Fort Worth Not Open A CityTarget On Wednesday?

In the picture you are looking at something called "CityTarget". This is an urban concept Target store.

This new Target store concept opened in three locations this past Wednesday, those being Los Angeles, Chicago and Fort Worth.

I'm sorry, I typed Fort Worth when I should have typed Seattle.

That is the Seattle CityTarget in the picture. It is located one block from Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market is a market that is like the Dallas Farmers Market on steroids.

Nothing like the Dallas Farmers Market, let alone the Dallas Farmers Market on steroids, exists in Fort Worth. Years ago, in a civic delusion that preceded Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle civic delusion, the powers-that-be in Fort Worth, powers like the town's sad excuse for a newspaper of record, the Star-Telegram, trumpeted a lame failure called the Santa Fe Rail Market as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market.

The misrepresentations, made by the local powers-that-be, in regards to the Santa Fe Rail Market, are very instructive, what with the same type deluded nonsense being foisted on the public in regards to the TRV Boondoggle.

For example, this morning the Star-Telegraph, (please note I typed Telegraph, not Telegram) pointed me towards an absurdest editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram titled Funding for Fort Worth bridges and bikes good for the future.

The Star-Telegraph blogged about this twisted Star-Telegram editorial in a blogging titled They don't read. That blogging reprinted a very good comment to the Star-Telegram's editorial from someone calling himself gmsherry1953. You can read that comment on the Star-Telegraph's  They don't read blogging.

The fact that downtown Seattle has opened yet one more department store, in addition to all the department stores, grocery stores and vertical malls that already exist in downtown Seattle, with the first floor of the new CityTarget being a grocery store, a type store downtown Fort Worth lacks, except for something called Oliver's Fine Foods, a place which only a very imaginative person would call a real grocery store, has me thinking that it would behoove the powers-that-be in Fort Worth to devote some think time to the reasons why downtown Fort Worth lacks a single department store, grocery store, vertical mall and many of the other amenities one associates with a big town's downtown.

Yes, I know someone is going to say the reason why downtown Fort Worth lacks stores and is the deadest downtown of all the big towns in America, on the biggest shopping day of the year, that being the day after Thanksgiving, is because few people reside in downtown Fort Worth.

So, it would seem the question to be asked is why not enough people live in downtown Fort Worth to cause the normal development one sees in a big town's downtown?

The bizarre Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is partly touted as being the solution to bringing downtown Fort Worth out of its current doldrums, causing people to want to live in what's called the Trinity Uptown zone. An area, supposedly, where condos, apartments and other living quarters will be built. Along with other big town amenities, in addition to a tourist attraction the likes of San Antonio's River Walk. Only bigger.

Did I mention already the tendency of Fort Worth's powers-that-be to come up with exaggerated delusional plans that end up being big boondoggles?

Yeah, it seems really likely that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is going to out-do San Antonio's River Walk.

Just like the Cowtown Wakepark became the world's premiere urban wakeboarding destination.

In the graphic you are looking at the the population increase in downtown Seattle's various downtown areas from 1990 to 2010. Downtown Seattle, as a whole, grew 72%, outgrowing all of Seattle's neighborhoods outside of downtown.

Instead of coming up with pathetic boondoggles in the hope that the boondoggle will somehow cause Fort Worth's downtown to magically become like other big towns, Fort Worth's powers-that-be should look at towns like Seattle and make note of what it is that has caused those other town's Downtowns to become Boomtowns.

Seattle's Downtown became a Boomtown not as the result of a bizarre nepotistic plot using the abuse of eminent domain, with massive influxes of federal dollars to build bridges to nowhere, over giant, un-needed flood channels, with a little pond, and maybe some stagnant canals, to employ a Seattle congresswoman's unemployed son with a job for which he had zero qualifications.

Seattle's Downtown and other town's Downtowns become Boomtowns due to the organic, natural attributes and legitimate efforts of the people who live in the towns, not due to pathetic public works projects that the public is not allowed to vote on.

I'm done now. For now.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Sign Keeps Me From Flying Over Cliff In To The Trinity River

In the picture you are deep in the heart of the Gateway Park jungle, on a mountain bike trail.

That sign tacked to a tree trunk says "TRAIL" with a useful arrow pointing the way.

Without that "TRAIL" sign one might not make the turn and instead continue straight ahead, which in about 15 feet would have you flying over a cliff and falling about 40 feet to the raging waters of the Trinity River.

Til today I'd missed two days in a row of getting my daily salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

Currently the mountain bike trails, along with the paved trails, at Gateway Park, is my favorite place to pedal. Gateway Park is about 4 miles west of my abode, which makes it very convenient.

I am a bit appalled that these trails have long been in existence with me ignorant of their usefulness. It's like all the years I was unaware that I had hills to hike so close to where I live, known as the Tandy Hills.

In my wanton ignorance I used to frequently drive long distances to bike and hike.

Like 25 miles to Cedar Hills State Park in south Dallas to both bike and hike.

Or north to the hiking and biking trails at various parks on Lake Grapevine.

Many a time I've driven 150 miles roundtrip to bike or hike at Dinosaur Valley State Park.

Or east 120 miles to Tyler State Park to mountain bike.

And many other locations, not so far and way too far, like Waco, to find mountain bike trails at Cameron Park on the Brazos River.

And now, I find myself having most of my hiking and biking needs met by locations 4 miles (or less) distant from my living quarters.

Betty Jo Bouvier Is Being Eaten Alive By Sedro-Woolley Mosquito Bugs

I saw on Facebook that Betty Jo Bouvier is suffering from severe mosquito attacks.

Betty Jo Bouvier lives in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Before Woolley was added to Sedro, Sedro was a solo town.

Around 1885 Mortimer Cook moved his family from Santa Barbara, California to a new home and store that was waiting for them in Washington's Skagit Valley. Soon, Cook let it be known he was going to name his new town "Bug," due to the swarms of mosquitoes.

However, Cook's wife, and other local wives, the Betty Jo Bouviers of their day, protested the idea of naming their new town "Bug." So, Cook decided to name his new town after a type of tree that grew in the Skagit Valley,  using the Spanish word for cedar, which is cedro, and then making the name a little different by changing the 'c' to 's'.

A few years later, in 1889, a railroad builder named Phillip A. Woolley moved to the Sedro zone and built Skagit River Timber & Shingle, starting a company town, named after himself. A couple other towns developed in the Sedro zone. And then, on December 19, 1898 the towns all merged together and became Sedro-Woolley.

I do not know why, more than a century later, the town, which should have been named Bug, still does not have its mosquito population under control.

I think I have mentioned previously that when I lived in the Skagit Valley of Washington not a summer went by where I did not get multiple mosquito bites.

I have no clue why, in bug-infested Texas, I have not once been mosquito bitten, in all my years of exile in this hot humid zone where Texans have succumbed to the mosquito delivered West Nile Virus.

Maybe it is the copious amounts of raw garlic I consume in Texas which thwarts the skeeter bites. I did not consume copious amounts of raw garlic when I lived in Washington. Betty Jo Bouvier may want to amp up her raw garlic consumption to see if that thwarts the swarms of mosquitoes laying waste to her delicate epidermal layer.

It's worth a try.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In Alaska Rosie The Rat Dog Finds Humpbacks, Orcas, Otters & New Words

An Otter On Ice In The Gulf Of Alaska
The latest update of Rosie the Rat Dog's Alaska! Blog has the best scenery yet.

In a blogging inexplicably titled Tails, Fins and Eyes you take a boat ride out into the Gulf of Alaska where you'll see giant glaciers, humpback whales, sea lions, orcas and otters, among other things.

The nicknames of the humans who Rosie the Rat Dog looks after are Otter and Penguin, hence the Internet handle of otterpengu.

I've never had explained to me the reason for the Otter/Penguin nicknames, but I can guess that it might have something to do with a resemblance to those cute critters.

I am enjoying the written commentary on the Alaska! Blog. It is written in a very purple prose style, like what a pioneer woman might write whilst crossing America on the Oregon Trail back in the 1860s.

I particularly enjoy the imaginative spelling and new word inventions. I think my favorite new word may be "fastination."

I am not certain, but I think "fastination" means being fascinated by scenery one sees when traveling at a high rate of speed.  I may be wrong about this.

Will The Non-Stop Commenting Of Bob Costas Ruin Friday's London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony?

The London 2012 Summer Olympics opens this coming Friday. That is something like two days from now.

This morning I was reminded, by a blog comment, of a blogging I wrote way back on April 22, 2008, titled Boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

That above mentioned blog comment...

Michael Robinson has left a new comment on your post "Boycotting the Beijing Olympics": 

Thank you. Now I have something to link when someone asks me why I don't watch the Olympics. I looked forward to the 2008 opening ceremonies for years and this guy ruined it. 

I had a pretty good idea what had me in boycott mode over 4 years ago, even before I re-read what I wrote.

Bob Costas.

I was boycotting Bob Costas and his non-stop yammering that had me turn off the Athens Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Below is part of what I had to say on April 22, 2008....

I only made it through a couple hours of the Athens Olympics opening ceremonies. I like watching all the pomp and ceremony and trying to hear the music. But Bob Costas would not shut up. It was so distracting. If someone had been in my house watching TV with me and they yapped on and on like Bob Costas I would issue an ultimatum, either shut up or get out of my house.

When I wrote about Boycotting the Beijing Olympics I said when I lived in Washington, near the Canadian border, I could watch Canadian coverage of something like an Olympics and see way fewer commercials and hear no Bob Costas boobery.

On April 22 of 2008 I did not know that by the time of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony I would be in Tacoma and thus able to watch the Olympics Bob Costas-free on Canadian TV.

Til you get to watch such a thing without a babbling boob like Bob Costas you can't possibly realize how much better this makes the viewing experience.

It has long been a mystery to me why the non-stop yammering is deemed appropriate, let alone necessary.

I wonder if I can get Mexican TV here in North Texas? Even if the Mexican TV coverage had their version of a Bob Costas boob doing non-stop commentary, at least it would be in Spanish and thus not distracting because I would not understand what was being said.

I suppose I will try and watch the London Opening Ceremonies on Friday, eternal optimist that I am, hoping that NBC has figured out they need to muzzle Bob Costas.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The New Zorro's Buffet In Hurst Hits 100% On The Dud Meter

I do not think I've been to Zorro's Buffet since Thanksgiving of 2008.

Zorro's Buffet on Thanksgiving in 2008 did not make for a good Thanksgiving. No carved turkey, with all the fixin's. Among other shortcomings.

When Zorro's Buffet first opened I opined enthusiastically about it, because I thought it was good, on a par with buffets I've been a pig at in Las Vegas and Reno and elsewhere.

Subsequent visits were on a par with the first, til that Thanksgiving turkey debacle ended my visits to Zorro's Buffet.

Til today.

A short while ago a new Zorro's Buffet opened close to where I live, in Hurst, in the Northeast Mall complex.

Today was fellow former Pacific Northwesterner, Big Ed's, 39th birthday, give or take a year or two. I asked Big Ed if he wanted to go to the new Zorro's Buffet for his birthday. The answer was in the affirmative.

I'd not been to any sort of buffet type deal since I was in Arizona and we went to the Sweet Tomatoes in Ahwatukee. That was a really good buffet experience.

The buffet experience, today, at the new Zorro's Buffet in Hurst, was not a good buffet experience.

The new restaurant looks nice, big and open. Clean. Cool looking cement floor. Several buffet stations.

The first problem is the Zorro's Buffet plate has been shrunk to dessert plate size. A BBQ beef rib overwhelmed the plate.

Another problem was the food was not tasty. For instance, the aforementioned BBQ beef rib did not taste even remotely BBQed.

The only protein that tasted good was a grilled fish of some unknown variety. There was fried, grilled and roasted chicken, none of which seemed to be seasoned or tasty.

There were no fresh yeast rolls like I'd learned to like at the original Zorro's.

The prepared salads were blah.

There were slabs of some sort of steak product covered with what might have been intended to be BBQ sauce, but which was pretty much just a slab of tasteless, tough leather.

Blindfolded I would not have guessed what the chile rellenos were. All I tasted was egg.

The chicken flautas were like hard, flavorless cigars. The chicken enchiladas were like the hard, flavorless chicken flautas, only with a sauce poured on top.

The original Zorro's did dessert well. Simple, with few selections, all of which seemed fresh and made on the premises.

The desserts at the Hurst Zorro's were not fresh, did not seem as if they could possibly have been made on the premises, all had that previously frozen, mass-produced look. Like the awful cherry cobbler with little evidence of cherries and a crust that might be a new construction product. The peach pie was not peachy.

And the ice cream. At the original Zorro's you could scoop up the ice cream yourself and put it on the cobbler. At the Hurst Zorro's an employee scoops the ice cream for you. A golf ball size scoop.

I don't know what has happened with Zorro's Buffet. Did the original owner sell out? I think the cost cutting measures and the quality reduction portend for a very short life for Zorro's Buffet in Hurst.

Too bad.

The original Zorro's Buffet was really good. Originally.

Don't Mess With Texas Because If You Kill Someone We Will Kill You Back

Late last night, Elsie Hotpepper sent me the picture of the above sign that she came upon during one of her extensive travels across Texas.

Prior to reading it on this sign, I knew that it was unwise to mess with TEXAS.

I also knew that many Texas citizens carried concealed weapons.

I also knew there was an eye for an eye Texas tendency, where if you kill someone, without a good reason, you'll likely also be killed. Sometimes by the state, sometimes by a self-justified angry Texan.

I actually did not know that Texans enjoy their gunfights because gunfights are a Texas tradition. Though this new information does not surprise me.

I also did not know that there are 120 prisons in Texas. That is a lot of prisons.

Today I Learned There Is No Sundance Square Under Construction In Downtown Fort Worth

Artist's Rendering Of Sundance Plaza From The
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Way back on Friday June 1, 2012 I got email from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. which led me to believe that after years of there being no square in Sundance square that a square was finally under construction and that soon the decades of Fort Worth's few downtown tourists being confused by the lack of a square in Sundance Square would come to an end.

I blogged about this in a blogging titled I Love Downtown Fort Worth & The Biggest Comic Strip In Texas That Surrounds Sundance Square.

So, what do I read in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an article titled Sundance Plaza will feature fountain, pavilion and large shaded area?

Well, a group of so-called executives executing the non-existent Sundance Square have "revealed the long-awaited plans for the 1-acre plaza, to be located on former parking lots between Third and Fourth streets and Houston and Commerce in the heart of downtown Fort Worth, during a meeting of the Downtown Design Review Board today."

So, I was misinformed by Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Apparently, at the present time, there is no square under construction in the misnomered Sundance Square.

This proposed square, I mean plaza, whose plans have now been revealed, covers only one acre? And will be called Sundance Plaza? Thus continuing to confuse tourists in their search for the still non-existent Sundance Square?

According to one of downtown Fort Worth's chief propagandists, Ed Bass, the plaza has been part of the downtown master plan for over 2 decades.

In a sentence which really makes no sense Bass says, "We always envisioned a beautiful plaza that would be the fabric of our wonderful city and is now set to become a vibrant social centerpiece reflecting the best of a lively downtown."

This plaza will be the fabric of this wonderful city? Becoming a vibrant social centerpiece? This one acre plaza will reflect the best of a lively downtown?

This is just embarrassing.

One acre?

With four 40 x 40 feet umbrellas lit by led lights?

A 2,000 square foot glass pavilion? 2,000 square feet? That's like the size of a big apartment.

The pavilion is designed in the English garden style? Why not designed in the Texas garden style? I shudder to wonder what a pavilion designed in the English garden style is going to look like in downtown Fort Worth.

The article in the Star-Telegram makes no mention of when the one acre Sundance Plaza is scheduled to open.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finding A Green Scum Covered Pond In Gateway Park Wondering About The Man With Music In His Ear

Three days in a row getting my salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation via the mountain bike trails in Gateway Park may be one day too many.

I think I may have overexerted myself. As in there seems to be some soreness that can only be attributed to overexerting.

Yesterday I mentioned the mysteriously disappeared green scum covered pond that had been seen next to a disc golf hole.

Today the green scum covered pond was back next to the disc golf hole, as you can sort of see in the picture.

I have no explanation for the comings and goings of the Gateway Park green scum covered pond. I did run into a muddy section of trail today that had mud clinging to my tires. From whence did this wetness come?

On Saturday I mentioned being buzzed by a copter whilst in Gateway Park. To this buzzing someone named Anonymous had an interesting comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Pedaling The Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Buzzed By A Copter Before Finding Strawberries":

If the helicopter you noticed was buzzing about in the late afternoon, it was the one looking for a nursing home patient, a woman, 54, with dementia, who wandered into Tandy Hills park and died. The guy who found her is the fellow you have referred to, I believe, as the 'man with music in his ear'.

A fence is sprouting around the nursing home as we speak. Far too little and far too late, I suspect, to influence the massive lawsuit which will undoubtedly be filed. 

I  found a very short article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about woman found dead on the Tandy Hills. This happened on Wednesday. I was buzzed by a copter on Saturday.

I really tire of my age related memory woes. I have no idea what or who Anonymous is referring to regarding the 'man with music in his ear.' Could it be Stenotrophomonas?

How To Write Good

I saw these 10 Steps to Writing Good on Facebook this morning. I found it to be amusing and so I swiped it. I think I'm guilty of all these crimes against good writing, to some degree.

The worst Cliche Monkey whose cliche ridden prose I occasionally try to understand is the stuff Gar the Texan writes on his rambling blog. I think if Gar the Texan was forbidden to use cliches it would render the boy mute.

Rosie The Rat Dog Is Now Catching Salmon In Alaska's Kenai River

For 5 or 6 days Rosie the Rat Dog was out of contact with the modern world and was thus unable to update her Alaska! Blog.

Yesterday contact with the modern world was once again established and so Rosie and her entourage were able to send out email and do some blog updating in a blog post titled Kenai Friends.

I am a little unclear as to where the re-connection to the Internet was made, I think maybe it was in Seward.

I suspect Rosie is out of contact again, now that they are on the Kenai Peninsula.

The two humans, who Rosie takes care of, have been getting their daily limit of 3 salmon, caught via fishing in the Kenai River.

The pictures in the most recent blogging show some rather spectacular scenery, including active volcanoes, in addition to the picture of Rosie the Rat Dog on a park bench under a giant mosquito.

I don't know if the West Nile Virus has made it all the way north to Alaska. I have read nothing about anyone in Rosie the Rat Dog's entourage getting mosquito bites.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back To Gateway Park With Wind Damage & Disappearing Green Scum Covered Ponds

I was up early and in the pool shortly after the arrival of the sun this Sunday morning, staying in the water well over an hour.

By around noon the temperature had warmed up the outer world to 90 degrees and thus was sufficiently warm to enjoy some aerobic stimulation.

My choice for aerobic stimulation was to return to Gateway Park's mountain bike trails once again. And once again I found some new trails.

Yesterday I mentioned the green scum covered pond that had a disc golf hole next to it. Today that green scum covered pond was totally dried up. I know it got to a record breaking 108 yesterday, but that much heat really does not explain the disappearing green scum covered pond.

In the above picture you are looking at my handlebars pointing to one of the disc golf holes. This disc golf hole is not the one by the former green pond covered pond. This one showed up on one of the new trails I found today, right next to the Trinity River, which flows about 30 below the level of the trail and the disc hole.

Gateway Park Trail Blocked By Windfall
I can't imagine there are many disc golfers that make it to this hole, willing to risk their disc ending up in the Trinity.

At some point in the time between Saturday's Gateway Park pedaling and today's Gateway Park pedaling a heavy wind must have blown through the park, leaving behind large pieces of trees laying across the trails in various locations.

I detected no wind at my location of sufficient strength to do this type damage in the last 24 hours. My abode is about 4 miles east of Gateway Park.

I was later told that there were reports of several micro-burst windstorms in the D/FW zone in the past 24 hours. One of those micro-bursts must have burst through Gateway Park.

I have only experienced a couple micro-bursts since I've been in the D/FW zone. One tore apart a balloon festival in Midlothian. I only saw the aftermath of that one. I've experienced, first hand, a micro-burst bursting at my current location. It was very loud and a bit unsettling.

It is almost 3:30 this Sunday afternoon and we have yet to hit 100 today. Currently it is only 98. With that vexing omnipresent humidity making it really feel like 105.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fort Worth's Nurse Martha Dancing The Ragtime Cowboy Joe Blues

In the above video that is Nurse Martha on the right.

Nurse Martha runs a giant Living Care Center on Randol Mill Road, a few blocks west of my abode.

Nurse Martha has long been a World Class Hula Hooper. And now, apparently, Nurse Martha is branching out into Walker Dance Routines.

I knew Nurse Martha was good at choreography, due to her years as a cheerleader for one of those universities in Kansas whose teams regularly gets into bowl games and those college basketball tournaments that so many people seem to pay attention to.

It was not I who was the videographer for this particular Nurse Martha performance, If I had been the videographer I would have zoomed in for some closeups.

In addition to being a dancer, Nurse Martha is one of the most accomplished gourmet cooks whose cooking efforts it has been my pleasure to sample.

The most memorable Thanksgiving since I've been in Texas comes to mind.

I'd never experienced tossed dinner rolls before that particular Nurse Martha Thanksgiving.

A Tale Of Three Town's Temperatures

I was on my way to Wal-Mart, not to get gas, but to get milk, and, even though there was no gas involved, I called my mom.

I'd not called for a few weeks, so my mom answered the phone with "Howdy Stranger."

I was being a bit overheated waiting for the vehicular A/C to cool me down. My mom asked what our temperature was.

I told my mom it was currently 107, because that was what I'd just heard on the radio.

My mom matched my 107 and said it was HOTTER in Phoenix, well, Sun Lakes, which is a suburb of Phoenix.

When I got back to my abode and checked my computer based temperature monitoring device I saw that that device was indicating the radio was correct regarding the Fort Worth temperature.

But, when I checked my mom's Phoenix temperature, via my computer based temperature monitoring device I saw that Phoenix was actually way chillier than Fort Worth, at only 104 degrees.

Now looking at this temperature data for both towns I see a problem. The temperature in F-Town is 107, with a wind speed of 5 mph and a humidity of 20% making it still really feel like 107. Meanwhile Phoenix, with a temperature of 104, also has a wind speed of 5 mph and also a humidity of 20%, yet really feels HOTTER than Fort Worth, at 108 degrees.

So, my mom was right, after all, it is hotter in her AZ zone. But, how is it that in Phoenix having a lower temperature than Fort Worth, with the same wind speed and humidity as Fort Worth, somehow feels hotter than Fort Worth? This is very perplexing.

Meanwhile, up in Tacoma, where my nephews David and Theo live, along with my niece, Ruby and their caretaker poodles, Blue and  Max, it is a very chilly 73 degrees, with a wind speed of 8 mph and a balmy humidity of 47% making it really feel like 78.

Pedaling The Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Buzzed By A Copter Before Finding Strawberries

Since it was not quite yet 100 degrees, I decided it'd be cooling to ride my bike on the Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail on my way to Town Talk.

That being the part of the trail before one gets to the roller coaster twisting and turning part. And then pedaling on the paved trail.

I discovered a new area of mountain bike trail that shares trail with the disc golfers. This trail, with two disc golf holes, runs beside a pond covered with green scum for part of the distance,

I can not imagine many disc golfers willing to try to hit the holes that are by the pond covered with green scum, lest they lose their disc in the pond. I had some concerns for myself pedaling beside a green scum covered pond, what with the recent warnings to avoid stagnant ponds that are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus.

But, the only mosquito like critter I saw today was the thing you see in the picture that looks as if it is trying to push over a Gateway Park light pole.

For some reason a helicopter was buzzing all over the Tandy Hills and Gateway Park and points further to the west. Maybe the helicopter was looking for the latest Gateway Park snake bite victim.

The last time I was at Town Talk I got a case of the best peaches I've had in years. Today I got a case of strawberries. I've not tasted them yet. They are Driscoll's Strawberries from California. I have occasionally had  a semi-good Driscoll's Strawberry.

Now if these had been Ole & Sven's Strawberries, from the Skagit Valley, well, I would know they'd be real good even before my first taste.

Who Is Testing The Rockin' The Trinity River Water Where The Happy Hour Inner Tubers Float?

I was looking at the Party Pics section of DFW.com ink edition's photos of the latest Trinity River Vision Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float and thought to myself that this sure looks fun, and surely must be the biggest number of bikinis on display in one concentrated location in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

I also thought to myself that I wish I was able to believe that the Trinity River was not way too polluted to go floating in, so I could feel all right about joining in in the regularly scheduled Thursday floating fun.

Last year, on September 22, 2011, to be precise, WFAA Channel 8 had a story titled Questions about Trinity River water quality.

To find out if the Trinity River water quality was safe to float in, WFAA hired an independent water tester to test the water where the TRV happy hour inner tube floaters float and also the water in the Cowtown Wakepark pond where wakeboarders get wet.

Somehow the Wakepark pond tested safe. The Rockin' the River area did not test safe.

Part of the WFAA article...

One of two samples at the tubing area was enough to make you sick. The sample found 387 E. coli organisms per 100 milliliters of river water. That's well above what the Environmental Protection Agency recommends as acceptable for a single sample.

An environmental scientist at the University of North Texas, Dr. Joon-hak Lee, said more samples are needed at all sampling locations to protect the public.

In response to last year's WFAA Trinity River dirty water expose, the project manager for the Trinity River Vision Authority, Woody Frossard, said the Trinity River Water District was going to start testing the tubing and wakeboard pond areas regularly, starting last fall.

Has this been done? Has the TRWD been doing testing? If so, what are the results? Does the floating public not have the right to know the results of any testing a public agency does on the water in this controversial river?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thunder Claps Over F-Town With The Power Restored For Now

Around 5 this afternoon I left my domicile and was surprised to see a wall of clouds to the north, with lightning striking.

I did not know this was in the forecast.

A short time later I was back in my abode, with suddenly a strong wind blowing. A short time later the power went out.

When the power came back on I emailed my sister in Tacoma, who earlier had told me lightning was striking T-Town, to tell her that lightning was now striking F-Town.

I am suddenly struck, not by lightning, but by how appropriate it is to refer to Fort Worth as F-Town.

And now, barely after 6 in the afternoon, the SEVERE THUNDERSTORM, warned about in the above warning, has arrived.

Thunder is clapping to the left of me, to the right of me, and above me.

Rain is falling in copious amounts. But not quite, so far, in Biblical proportions. I need not angst about getting my ark ready for an immediate sailing.


Australia's JB Buckingham's Frack Finding Tour Of Fort Worth & Beyond

Interesting incoming from the always interesting Don Young...

It's not every day that an Australian State Senator from New South Wales pops into Fort Worth for a visit. Senator Jeremy Buckingham, and his esteemed 8-person entourage are on a Frack-finding tour of the USA. They dropped by FWCanDo HQ last Monday seeking an unvarnished tour of Dirty Ol' Town, TX.

I was honored to be their "Virgil" on a whistle-stop, Don-te's Inferno Tour of devastation in the newly-industrialized city of Fort Worth. We visited several of the most offensive gas wells in FW including one in Gary Hogan's backyard. Other north Texas stops included Dish, Texas where they met with former mayor, Calvin Tillman.

Jeremy is a member of the Australian Green Party which enjoys more mainstream support and power than Greens in the USA. In addition to Texas, he and his entourage are touring Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New York to investigate the impacts of fracking in their fight to ban the practice in coal seam and shale gas mining in AU.

Others on the tour include, Drew Hutton of Lock the Gate Alliance and Peter and Kim Martin of Southern Highlands Coal Action Group. The group will wrap up their tour at the Stop the Frack Attack in Washington D.C. on July 28. Their passion and commitment to protecting public health and the environment from fracking is admirable. Their willingness to travel to the US in that effort is inspiring.

Check out pics, videos and commentary of JB's USA Frack Finding Tour.

Looking Over My Handlebars At Scorched Quanah Parker Park Earth Heated To Over 100 Degrees With No Irritated Eyes

Once again I am copying my favorite Fort Worth blog, Hometown by Handlebar, by taking a look at something over my handlebars.

In today's look over my handlebars I am closer to my actual hometown, due to being in the town I am currently aboding in, Fort Worth, west of my previous looks over my handlebars, in Arlington.

What you are seeing my handlebars pointing towards is the remains of a fire in Quanah Parker Park.

I was peacefully pedaling against the wind when I began to notice a not unpleasant burned smell. Soon I came upon the remains of a wildfire that had scorched a 10 foot wide swatch about 100 feet long along the Quanah Parker Park paved trail.

I've no clue what lit this Quanah Parker Park wildfire. Lightning strike? Arson?

When Mother Nature sets something on fire, with a lightning strike, is that considered arson?

I really think the bad behavior of Mother Nature besmirches all the Good Mothers in the world.

I think Mother Nature maybe should be renamed Naughty Nature, for those times when Nature does a bad deed, like earthquakes, tsunamis, thunderstorms, volcano eruptions, floods and the births of creatures like Hitler and Fubbo the Butt.

Things like wildflowers and a gentle summer rain should be attributed to Mother Nature.

We have now gone over the 100 degree mark according to my computer based temperature monitoring device. The 32% humidity is making it really feel like 108.

Even though we are over 100 we are currently not suffering with an Air Quality Alert.

And I am not currently suffering with irritated eyes.

My Litany Of Texas Woes Now Includes A Black Irritated Eye

That is my left Eye in Texas that is staring at you in the picture.

Both my Eyes in Texas have been irritating me the past 24 hours, with the left one irritating me the most.

Is anyone else, who is exposing their eyes to the polluted air in this Dallas/Fort Worth zone of North Texas, experiencing any eye woes?

Yesterday, after I got back to my abode from riding my bike at River Legacy Park, my eyes, particularly the left one, felt as if they'd been in a sandstorm.

A lot of dripping drops of Artificial Tears and Redness Reliever eventually abated the irritation, a bit, by late afternoon yesterday.

As you can see, via the picture, my suffering left eye has really taken a beating from all the eye rubbing, to the point that it almost looks as if I have a black eye.

I don't remember the last time I was such  hot mess, literally, with the outer world at my location supposed to heat today to a HOT 103 degrees.

An hour in the pool, real early today, was very pleasant. At that point in time my eyes were not irritating me, too much. The eye irritation has accelerated since then.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wedgewood Massacre Afghan Veteran Glen Bucy Attacked By Frivolous Ridiculous Idiotic Lawsuit

A couple days ago, in response to one of my many personal problems with Texas, my sister, the lawyer, said to me, "OMG, how long will you subject yourself to the jurisdiction of such a crazy place????"

A few minutes ago I got an email telling me, basically, to check out, via Facebook, what the jurisdiction of this crazy place is doing to Glen Bucy, candidate for Constable in Arlington, Texas.

Below is what I was appalled to read on Facebook....


Frivolous Lawsuit Filed by Former Constable Candidate Tim Hotchkin Against Glen Bucy For the amount of $322,000

Glen Bucy, survivor of the Wedgwood Baptist Church Shooting, U.S. Army - Afghanistan Combat Veteran , and Candidate for Constable Precinct 6 was served paperwork pertaining to a lawsuit filed by Tim Hotchkin (former Candidate for Constable). The lawsuit stated "During the campaign, Glen Bucy distributed by hand and U.S. mail a push card flyer comparing himself to his opponents." The suit alleges that the Push card included a number of false statements and omissions. The lawsuit also falsely alleges that Bucy created a fictitious FaceBook account in order to post the aforementioned "Push Card" material.

Bucy said "Look at the timing of this Lawsuit, it is nothing more than a direct attack on my character. Early voting will start in less than a week and I believe this is a coordinated attack in order demean my moral and ethical character to win an election to political office. Mr. Hotchkin is a known supporter of Jon Siegel and has given his full support and endorsement to him as well. I did in-fact distribute a comparative mailer before the primary election, however, all information pertaining to that mailer derived directly from the appropriate sources which include: Voting history provided by Tarrant County Elections, Hours of Police Training provided by TCLEOSE, and Employment history directly from the Constable that fired Mr. Hotchkin." The fact that the card states Mr. Hotchkin is a Private Security Officer Vs. Private Security Investigator is irrelevant and to my knowledge there isn't a difference between the two. However, in the same paragraph on the mailer I mention that he is a Reserve Officer with 8 years experience. "

In the race for Constable of Precinct 6, Glen Bucy is the only candidate who is actually a full-time Police Officer. The fact that the lawsuit calls for damages exceeding $322,000 is based on the assumption that Mr. Hotchkins would have won the election if this mailer would not have been distributed. That fact is that the mailer in question was actually delivered the day after the election due to unseen delays having the piece mailed. There is no basis for damages as all information was factual and voters received the piece after Mr. Hotchkin had already lost the election having received only 17.38% of the vote. The lawsuit therefore is nothing more than a smear tactic used late in the election in an attempt to discredit Mr. Bucy.

Today Mountain Biking In River Legacy Park I Did Not Get Snakebit

I'm copying my favorite Fort Worth blog again today, that being Hometown by Handlebar.

But, once again, my handlebars are nowhere near my hometown. My handlebars are, once again, in Arlington, about 2,000 miles from my old hometown.

What you really can not tell via looking at the picture of my handlebars is that they are on one of the mountain bike trails in River Legacy Park. I'm at a junction in the trail, with a green arrow pointing the way.

The River Legacy Mountain Bike Trail has expanded a lot over the years, with many loops added, and bypasses. The trails have become a bit of a maze.

There are sections of the trail which I do not enter on two wheels, with names like "Fun Town." A name like "Fun Town" makes you think it'd be really fun to ride on. And likely it is, if you are a teenager or in your 20s and impervious to flying over your handlebars.

There are two very extreme sections of the River Legacy Park Mountain Bike Trails. I am drawing a blank on the name of the one that is not "Fun Town." I have neither biked nor walked "Fun Town." I have tried to bike the other extreme section and quickly gave up. I have managed to walk the non "Fun Town" extreme section and managed to get lost. It is a very confusing maze of trails. Steep ups and downs. And water features that you really do not want to end up in.

Speaking of mountain bike trails, which is what I'm doing right now, I heard from someone named Anonymous about getting snakebit whilst walking the Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail yesterday....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Walking The Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Finding Tasty California Peaches": 

You're a lucky man!! I just read in the Startle Gram that there was person bitten by a snake near Gateway Park yesterday!! Could have been you! 

I missed the article about the snake bite in this morning's Startle Gram, also known as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. When I found the article, after reading the comment from Anonymous, I found there was very very little information in the article. I don't even know if the few words amounts to enough words to qualify as an article.

Suffice to say someone reported someone got bit by a snake and after awhile that person was found somewhere near Gateway Park.

I don't believe I have ever seen a snake in Gateway Park.

I have seen many snakes in River Legacy Park. I've had to stop on the mountain bike trail and wait for a big bull snake to move out of my way. I've been stopped by a big snake on the paved trail, stretching clear across the trail. I've been warned about a swarm of copperheads ahead on the mountain bike trail, which I never saw.

My Anonymous Oak Harbor Relative Has Me Thinking About Not Having A 2012 Family Reunion

Above are a few of my relatives, and me, at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington, a few miles south of the Canadian border, on July 27, 2002, attending the biggest family reunion in my relative American family history, celebrating 120 years of being in America, going back to the arrival in 1882, when my great-great grandpa, great-great-grandma, great grandpa, great grandma and great aunt landed in America after sailing in from Holland.

Me and my relatives are a very difficult to please type of people, so, upon landing in America, my ancestors kept heading west til they finally ran out of places to run to, which, luckily, turned out to be at the same time they found a place much to their liking, that reminded them of Holland, that being Whatcom County, in Washington.

That 2002 Family Reunion was a bit of a boondoggle fiasco which I sort of felt bad about for awhile, though the boondoggle fiasco parts were none of my doing.

I'd not remembered I'd blogged about this particular relative family boondoggle fiasco previously, in detail, til I got a blog comment this morning to a previous blogging, from one of my Anonymous relatives living in Oak Harbor, Washington.

The comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "My Anonymous Oak Harbor Relative Bringing Back The Pain of July 27, 2002": 

Durango.... Are you going to reconstruct a 10 year reunion of the family reunion? Signed Anonymous in Oak Harbor. 

No, Anonymous in Oak Harbor, I am not going to reconstruct a 10 year reunion of the family reunion boondoggle fiasco.

Almost a decade after I flew up for that "event" I am unable to even remotely put myself in the frame of mind that caused me to help bring that about, let alone build the most complicated, biggest family history website on the Internet. I can only attribute this temporary insanity to Post 9/11 Trauma Syndrome.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Walking The Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Finding Tasty California Peaches

For my mid-day doctor prescribed daily constitutional today I went to Gateway Park to walk, not bike, the Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail.

When you walk a trail that you've previously biked, it looks way different on two feet than two wheels, because when you are on two wheels you have to pay very close attention to the trail, lest you end up having a painful accident.

So, I was a bit surprised, whilst walking the trail, to see how close the trail is, at times, to the paved trail. I had no idea, except for locations where the MTB trail crosses the paved trail, that there were so many escape routes from the Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail Roller Coaster.

Another thing I had not noticed, whilst quickly zipping by on two wheels, is the sign at the start of the trail which has a map which shows the convoluted twisting and turning, roller coaster maze nature of this trail.

Click on the picture to make it big. The Mountain Bike Trail is the black squiggly line on the map.

The trail begins on the far left, you'll see two lines, the upper black line is the start of the trail, the lower black line is the end. Follow the upper black line til you make it back to the lower black line and you'll get a clear idea of why this trail has twice left me disoriented, not knowing which direction I was going, and exhausted from the miles of ups and downs, twists and turns and dodging of obstacles, like cliff drops, root ruts and stumps.

Walking this trail, through the jungle canopy, at around 90 degrees, was very pleasant. Totally shaded, for the most part.

I only saw one reptile today, and that was not in Gateway Park, it was on my front door when I opened it to leave. A cute little lizard.

Since Gateway Park is almost next door to Town Talk I went to Town Talk where I got a case of peaches for only $4. California freestone peaches. 84 peaches when I got them home and counted. What am I going to do with 84 peaches?

Well, more accurately, what am I going to do with 80 peaches? 4 disappeared during the lunch process.

Very good peaches. Blindfolded I would have bet they came from Eastern Washington, because they actually taste like a peach, unlike other tasteless peaches I've had the misfortune to have misrepresented to me as peaches in the past.

I didn't go to the Parker County Peach Festival this past Saturday. I read no glowing reports about the tastiness of the Parker County peaches this year.

Anyone want some peaches? I deliver within a 4 block radius.

X-Case Manager Claims Loss Suffered As By Product Of Paradise Center Scandal Blog's Exposure

When I don't hear from the Good People at Paradise Center I know all is going well in their world.

When I was first made aware of the wrongdoing that led to the Paradise Center Scandal it took me a few days to grasp an understanding of the wrong that had been done.

My first blogging about the Paradise Center Scandal was on February 23, 2011, in a blogging titled The Paradise Center Scandal Has Me Mad As Hell At Fort Worth.

That blogging caused a comment frenzy, with the Paradise Center Scandal suddenly seeming, to me, much worse, and more sinister than I had realized.

So, on March 12, 2011, I started the Paradise Center Scandal blog, with the first  blogging also titled 
The Paradise Center Scandal Has Me Mad As Hell At Fort Worth.

Soon, via comments made to the various postings on the Paradise Center Scandal blog, it became obvious that the corruption in MHMRTC (Mental Health Mental Retardation Tarrant County) was much worse than initially realized.

It was not long before the Paradise Center people began to bounce back. Soon they were in a new location and back in operation. They have since moved to another new location and opened the successful Camp Bowie Bingo operation.

Late last night I got a blog comment that sort of updates me as to the current status of the Paradise Center Scandal....

X-case manager has left a new comment on your post "When Are The Bloggerman & Catwoman Going To Camp Bingo?": 

Amen, anonymous. We dare you to go to this Camp Bowie Bingo with Catspaw dressed as our favorite superhero Batman.

BTW, you have no idea how much loss mhmrtc and their friends suffered as the byproduct of your blog's exposure. Melissa Gibbons is no longer making money off of the mentally ill. Nor is BRAVO Health after that scandal that Jim "Dr." McDermott orchestrated. The ruthless mental health consumers mhmrtc and mcdermott used as puppets are gone, most notably Tony "smile"/"the manager"/pool table expert and loopy Lynne who thought they could do what Theresa and Paradise Center (as if!). Of course, the people living with serious mental illness and our community suffered the greatest loss. Not McDermott and his bureaucratic pals given the public trust...and public money. 

Well, X-Case Manager, I really don't think I am going to be able to convince CatsPaw to go with me to Camp Bowie Bingo with CatsPaw dressed as Batman. CatsPaw is a very logical cat, I don't think I could convince her of the logic of CatsPaw becoming Batman. That and the Batmobile is in the shop for extensive repairs.

West Nile Virus Has Reached Epidemic Level In North Texas

I was aware that for several years now the West Nile Virus has been being delivered by the Culex species of mosquitoes to humans all over America.

I had no idea til this morning that the number of incidents of West Nile Virus cases in North Texas has now reached an epidemic level.

Dallas recorded the first West Nile Virus death of the year, in America, within the past week.

West Nile Virus comes in varying levels of seriousness, with the most serious being the neuro-invasive virus version, which attacks the body's nervous system.

When I was reading about this mosquito caused epidemic I thought to myself that I do not recollect having a single mosquito bite all my years in Texas.

So,  what do I see on my face upon my return from the pool this morning? Well, it looks like a mosquito bite.

I do not remember a spring, summer or fall, in Washington, where I did not get mosquito bites.

I remember my first year in Texas, being in a Home Depot, in March, appalled at an invasion of what we called waterbugs. These round bugs that were attracted to light and sort of killed themselves ramming into the light, leaving a pile of waterbug corpses on the ground.

The lady at Home Depot told me the bug situation gets much worse as we get closer to summer.

I was mortified. Thinking the Texas bug invasion was going to be much worse than the annual insect invasion in Washington.

Well, I was relieved that, except for a plague of locusts, the insects in Texas are not as annoying as those in Washington. Except for cockroaches. I never saw a cockroach til I moved to Texas. But, I find cockroaches to be the most entertaining insect I have ever met. And they don't bite.

In Washington, in the Puget Sound lowlands, you would get plagued by annoying horse flies, in addition to mosquitoes and other flying biters.

Til the first freeze of the coming winter you can not go hiking in the Cascade High Country without covering yourself with bug spray, lest you find yourself covered with biting deer flies, whose bite hurts real bad.

I just checked the insect bite I got on my face in the pool this morning. It seems to have faded. I don't think it was a mosquito bite from a West Nile Virus Culex species of mosquito.

The majority of people who get bit by a West Nile Virus carrying mosquito develop no symptoms. People over 50, with weak immune systems, and people like Gar the Texan, who are prone to attacks of the vapors, are at risk of developing the disease.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Biking With The Indian Ghosts Who Haunt Village Creek While Thinking About Chief Joesph

Today I am sort of copying my favorite Fort Worth blog, Hometown by Handlebar.

So, in the picture, those are my bike's handlebars, no where near my hometown, which is a couple thousand miles distant.

My handlebars are on the deck that overlooks the Blue Bayou in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Riding a bike for my mid-day constitutional is a lot less HOT than walking or hiking

Currently the outer world, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device, is being heated to 93 degrees, with the 45% humidity making the temperature really feel like 100.

Being in a HOT place makes me think about being in a cooler place. The Pacific Northwest is a much cooler place than the HOT place I am in right now.

I read on Facebook, this morning, that the Pacific Northwesterner known as Debbi Downer, is taking a long road trip from Pasco, in Eastern Washington, to Lake Wallowa, in Oregon. I think the distance from Pasco to Lake Wallowa is something like 70 miles. Debbi Downer characterized this as a long roadtrip vacation.

Lake Wallowa is at the heart of the land stolen from the Nez Perce Indians, an act of theft which led to one of the most epic battles of the Indian Wars, with multiple skirmishes, over a distance over 1,000 miles, as Chief Joesph attempted to lead his tribe to safety in Canada.

Chief Joesph and the Nez Perce were never allowed to return to the valley that was their home.

In the modern era area of Wallowa Lake there are many historical monuments making note of the history that took place in this location.

Chief Joesph died on September 21, 1904. According to his doctor, Chief Joesph died of a broken heart.

After he surrendered Chief Joesph made many attempts to right the wrong that had been done to his people. Chief Joesph traveled to Washington, D.C. three times, pleading his case to three presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879, William McKinley in 1897 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1903.

Chief Joesph spoke out repeatedly, in poetic language, about the injustice of American policy towards native people.

Chief Joesph was widely admired, even by his old adversaries, like General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Chief Joesph's most famous words were the speech he gave at the time of his surrender. They may be the most famous words ever uttered by a Native American...

"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever."

When Are The Bloggerman & Catwoman Going To Camp Bowie Bingo?

Almost every week since Camp Bowie Bingo opened for business I have had the good intention to make a visit.

A couple weeks ago the Camp Bowie Bingo Mistress, Miss Teresa, informed me I could visit Camp Bowie Bingo to check it out and take pictures without needing to play Bingo.

I have also had the good intention to visit the new location of the Paradise Center, but have not made it there.

This morning I saw a comment on the Paradise Center Scandal blog from X-Cowtowner chastising me and the Catwoman for not playing bingo.

This is what X-Cowtowner had to say.......

Say, Bloggerman. When are you and the Catwoman gonna go play bingo at that new Camp Bowie Bingo so you can take pictures and tell used readers living far away your impression of the venue?? You've always been really good about reporting what you had experienced. You've done plenty of reporting on the excesses, incompetencies, and corruption that are part and parcel to living in your area of Texas {and my place of birth}. How about a positive and uplifting report about these courageous Americans? 

I am fairly certain that the Catwoman X-Cowtowner refers to is CatsPaw.

I did make an attempt to go to Camp Bowie Bingo on its pre-Grand Opening practice night. But, I drove up and down Camp Bowie Boulevard unable to locate Camp Bowie Bingo. I understand there are now signs marking the location so easily confused people, such as myself, can find the place.

Camp Bowie Bingo has a website where you can find out when and where to go play bingo. Camp Bowie Bingo is also on Facebook, where you can find up to date Camp Bowie Bingo info.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hiking The Warm Tandy Hills Thinking About Living In A Police State While Almost Stepping On A Giant Snake

The outer world was almost chilly when I did some hill hiking on the Tandy Hills today, starting my climbs around noon.

Even though the humidity was almost 90%, a pleasant breeze kept me from overheating, too much.

Much of what used to be green on the Tandy Hills is currently turning into various shades of brown. I particularly like the tall sticks of brown foliage you see in the picture. I don't remember what these looked like while they were still colorized.

Have I ever mentioned my two biggest concerns that concerned me when I moved to Texas?

Snakes and the HEAT.

Growing up in Washington I was never a big fan of summer. I did not like HOT weather. In Washington that meant  temperatures in the 70s. Low 80s was a heat wave.

Even though I did not like HOT weather in Western Washington, I did like to go to Eastern Washington (East of the Mountains, in Western Washington lingo) in summer.

Eastern Washington is sort of like North Texas, only more scenic with bigger rivers, fruit orchards and canyons. And it does not get as hot as North Texas.

I don't recollect ever being East of the Mountains with the temperature over 100. I do remember being East of the Mountains and having snake encounters.

That may be where my fear of snakes was amplified. One time whilst staying at Sun Lakes State Park my brother and I were out exploring when a park ranger came up and warned us we should go no further because there were a lot of rattlesnakes just ahead. I don't think til that moment we were aware of rattlesnakes being a possibility.

That is not a Sun Lakes State Park rattlesnake you are looking at in the picture.

That is a Tandy Hills snake that I almost stepped on today.

I'd just crossed dry Tandy Falls, heading south, lost in my thoughts about living in a Police State, when I almost stepped on that slithery monster. He (or she) was about 5 feet long. I took several pictures, was going to get around the monster by walking behind it, when suddenly the snake turned its head and started slithering towards its tail and then off the trail into the brush.

Snakes can move alarmingly fast.

I have no idea what brand of snake this guy was, except for knowing, for certain, it was not a rattlesnake.

With this incident I will likely be back in overreacting to sticks and roots mode again, til the memory of almost stepping on this big snake fades.