Friday, August 31, 2012

I Am Not Downloading The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's DFW OT App For My I-Pad

I don't know why I got email from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today. I ceased being a subscriber years ago. I understand why I got email from the Fort Worth Library today, because I still subscribe to that service.

The email from the Star-Telegram was announcing the introduction of something called DFW OT. With DFW OT apparently being DFW's first and only digital sports magazine for the iPad.

It appears Tony Romo is the cover cowboy on the first issue of DFW OT. Tony Romo is the quarterback for the local football team called the Dallas Cowboys, which is expected to win the Super Bowl this year.

What I am wondering is did it not cost the Fort Worth Star-Telegram any money to produce DFW's first and only digital sports magazine?

One really can not help but wonder why a newspaper which has shrunk considerably since I first saw it over a decade ago and which is known to be struggling to survive, money-wise, would invest in an electronic publication that runs on a device that is not a device the majority of people use.

I read in this week's FW Weekly in an article titled More Jumping Ship that more Star-Telegram employees are jumping ship. The most recent ship jumper is the Star-Telegram's business columnist, Mitchell Schnurman, who left Fort Worth for Dallas and that town's Morning News.

Maybe DFW OT will be a big money maker that saves the sinking ship. Maybe not. I don't think I'll be getting this app for my iPad.

Riding The Fort Worth Rail To Comanche Nation: The Story Of Quanah Parker At The Downtown Fort Worth Library

The Fort Worth Library sent me email today. One tidbit of info in the email was the shocking news that all the Fort Worth Libraries will be shut on Labor Day, that being this coming Monday.

There was a tidbit of info in the Fort Worth Library email that interested me. That being that the Downtown Central Fort Worth Library is going to putting on an exhibit from September 20 through December 15 called Comanche Nation: The Story of Quanah Parker and Cynthia Ann Parker.

If I remember correctly I have mentioned a time or two my interest in American Indian history. A couple months ago I read Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.

Empire of the Summer Moon was an excellent telling of the Comanche history, particularly focusing on Quanah Parker. Some of this history took place in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.

I have not been to the downtown Fort Worth Library in years, not since Fort Worth lost the world's shortest subway line which made it so easy to visit beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

I think I will make the effort to check out the Comanche Nation exhibit.

Maybe I will use Fort Worth's excellent public transit system to take me downtown. That would be very adventuresome. Like getting on a carnival ride.

I Took My Handlebars To River Legacy Park Today While Worrying About Marie's Topographical Adjustment

Those are my handlebars you see in the picture. My handlebars were on the mountain bike trail in River Legacy Park today.

I'd not been on my bike for a couple weeks due the zipper on the handlebar bag in which I keep my keys, wallet, phone and camera ceasing its zipping ability.

That is the bag replacement you see attached to the handlebars.

Near the upper center of the picture there is a signpost pointing to the North Loop on the left, with the Loop Bypass on the right. I took the North Loop. The North Loop used to be a fairly short loop, but then a loop got added to the loop. I'd intended to stay on the original loop and not take the loop that loops off the North Loop. But, I took a wrong turn and ended up finding myself pedaling that entire new loop. Again.

The new loop was more pleasant to pedal this time, because it is no longer new and is now well worn and thus more pleasant to pedal.

A couple weeks ago I heard from Marie. Marie came upon my bloggings about my wanderings whilst she was searching for places to walk. Marie has previously lived in Northern California and Seattle, among other places, including Texas. Marie is now back in Texas and is finding adjusting to the flat topography to be a bit difficult. That and she misses the Christmas tree smell of Evergreens, clean water, mountains and rain. And cleanliness.

I empathize with all that Marie misses. I remember my last time driving back to Washington, in late July of 2001. I was stuck in traffic on the I-90 Floating Bridge across Lake Washington. I did not mind being stuck in slow moving traffic. The sky was a deep clear blue. Mount Rainier was hovering to the south of me, the Olympics to the west of me, the Cascades in my rear view mirror. Lake Washington looking a deep clear blue, because it was reflecting the deep blue sky.

Which has me wondering why the Trinity River was looking so green today. The sky does not look all that green.

I digress.

So, I was driving real slow across the I-90 Floating Bridge and was making note of how clean everything looked, as if it sparkled. I'd been noticing the remarkable decrease in litter by the time I was driving through Colorado. I've often wondered if when Texans visit other less messy parts of the country, do they notice that something is missing? Do they wonder where all the litter is?

Marie, if you are reading this, I must tell you, River Legacy Park, in Arlington, is an excellent place to walk. There are many miles of paved trails, most of which run along the Trinity River, much of it under a canopy of big trees giving good cooling shade. There are also miles of unpaved trails, like the one you see in the picture. I saw more people walking the mountain bike trail today than I saw bikers.

To find the mountain bike trail enter River Legacy Park from the main Green Oaks Boulevard, then take the first left and then the second left, which directly leads to the mountain bike trail parking lot. You'll see one sign directing you to the mountain bike trail entrance, the other to the hiker trail entrance.

To find your way to River Legacy Park you'll find a link to a map on the above link to my River Legacy Park webpage, or just go directly to the map here.

What Happened To The Mineral Wells Baker Hotel Restoration?

Almost 2 years ago, October 15, 2010, to be precise, I blogged about news I read in the soon to be gone Fort Worth Star-Telegram regarding the restoration of the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells.

Way back near the end of the last century I saw the Baker Hotel for the first time. As I drove into Mineral Wells I was very surprised to see a giant structure looming over the town. And then more surprised to see the structure up close, realizing it was a Ghost Hotel.

Over the years I've been contacted multiple times regarding the Baker Hotel. This was due to the fact that years ago my webpage about the Baker Hotel was the only info about the hotel on the Internet.

That is no longer the case. There are now 6 webpages about the Baker Hotel that Google higher than mine. The #1 Baker Hotel webpage is now Wikipedia's Baker Hotel article.

The Baker Hotel has its own official website. Which Googles in the #2 position.

I've been curious as to the status of the Baker Hotel restoration. The Star-Telegram article of almost 2 years ago led one to think that the restoration plan was solid. Back then the restoration was supposedly underway, with someone named Jeff Trigger behind it, with a $52 million budget being spent to modernize the hotel rooms and return the Baker Hotel's famous features to their original splendor, including the swimming pools.


Yesterday, someone asked me, via a blog comment on the October 15, 2010 blogging, if I could help him get in contact with Jeff Trigger, because he'd been told that Jeff Trigger was the person to talk to regarding restoring the Baker Hotel.

Below is the referenced comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ballad Of The Baker: Is The Baker Hotel In Mineral Wells Really Being Restored?":

I am a investor that is willing to build the hotel to original state that is to the exacting amount of tile on the wall well what I'm doing here is trying to contact the owner of the grand old lady for purchase. I got as far as entering the old lady with escort of fire marshal and officers for a inspection of the premises and back ground info to me up to a name of a man but i need to contact this JEF T. would anyone know where i can even get any info asap because my goal is to have her finished by the end of 2013 you can contact me at 

Anyone out there have any answers for Mr. Nickolyash?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On The Breezy Tandy Hills Running Hot & Cold While My Nephew Gives Me Weather Reports From Washington

Today I decided to induce some rare endorphin production via aerobic stimulation. My choice of location to get stimulated was the Tandy Hills. The Tandy Hills is my closest location for easy aerobic stimulation.

I don't think I've previously shown you the Tandy Trail I'm showing you in today's picture. This is a steep trail that one comes to on the north side of Tandy Falls. The trail heads west to the top of the View Street Ridge.

The trail at this location is way steeper than the picture makes it look. It's a fast track to aerobic stimulation and those much needed endorphins.

The temperature was very schizophrenic on the Tandy Hills today.  Exiting my vehicle on top of Mount Tandy I was blown by a good breeze that had a bit of refreshing coolness in it. The breezeless gullies at the bottom of hills were pockets of heat. The hot pockets gave me some good steam bath action, while the breezy ridges cooled me back down.

If I recollect correctly some time ago some cranky person complained that all I talk about is the weather, thus making me extremely boring. Maybe the word was boorish. I don't remember.

So, I got email from my eldest nephew last night, he being Spencer Jack's dad. In this email my apparent weather fixation is mentioned....

FU Durango---Because I know you like to follow the weather: Seattle is going on 37 days with no rain (info from ((they gauge the rainfall via a recording device at SeaTac airport))  Should no rain fall on this device prior to Sept. 12th, that will be 52 days, a Seattle all time record.  Possible drizzle expected tonight, however, if we make it through the evening dry, forecast is good for the next 7 plus days.   FNJason.

The FU in FU Durango are initials for Favorite Uncle. You might be able to figure out what the FN in FNJason are initials for.

Summer is a time of year that perplexes visitors to Seattle and Western Washington. The tourists come expecting rain and instead see nothing but clear sky.

I don't know if Lesser Seattle is still in operation. Lesser Seattle used to run a propaganda campaign where you never mentioned, via a letter, or on the phone, to an outsider, that the weather is being pleasant. You were supposed to always say it is raining. Most of the year this does not require lying. I think Lesser Seattle likely has given up the effort. Too many tourists come from all over the world, seeing clear skies and mountains.

I wonder why Fort Worth does not have a Lesser Fort Worth program to discourage visitors from visiting? The flood of tourists here gets really tiring. Particularly all the Canadians.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trying To Walk Through The Thick Oakland Lake Park Vegetation While Worrying About My Aged Addled Defense Mechanisms

Today was my regularly scheduled weekly walk around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

As you can see in the picture, the lawn in Oakland Lake Park is in dire need of mowing.

It really is not much of a lawn, as in very little actual grass exists. It is more a covering of weeds, which quickly grow into a short jungle when a little rain causes a growth spurt.

This morning I went to Arlington to get a vehicle its emissions test. Or whatever it is called. I find this to be a very annoying annual event.

Where I lived in Washington we didn't have to get a vehicle's emissions tested. That may no longer be the case, for all I know.

I don't understand why Texas insists that vehicles that are not old have to get tested to see if they are emitting anything unseemly. I see old clunkers spewing down a Texas road every once in awhile, followed by a dirty cloud of exhaust and wonder how that vehicle passed an emissions test.

It took less than an hour, the vehicle passed its test, again, so it's good to go for another year.

So, all in all it was not nearly as annoying as last month's waiting in a line for 6 hours to renew my Texas driver's license.

Renewing, in person, ones Texas driver's license, needs be done only once every 12 years. Which works out to being a half hour a year, with all the waiting done in that one year. Over 12 years one would be having very good line luck if the wait to get ones vehicle's emissions tested did not add up to well over 6 hours.

Changing the subject from one type of emission to another.

Gar the Texan is convalescing from his most recent surgery. I think he may be on some powerful medications that are causing him to be more amusing than he usually is, with the medications also enabling really good convoluted sentences that actually make sense, like the following...

As for the reference, I have, indeed, kept my promise as my reference was in reference to something completely different, but your aged and addled defense mechanisms have come to the conclusion that I was referencing that which I promised not to reference. So, you sir, have in fact, referenced the incident that you made me promise not to reference. 

It really is not very nice to make reference to an old person's aged and addled defense mechanisms. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Looking For A Steam Bath On The Tandy Hills After Making Chile Rellenos And Learning Gar The Texan Made It Though His Latest Surgery

In the picture you are on top of Mount Tandy, at noon, on the last Tuesday of August of 2012, looking west across the wagon trail that leads to beautiful downtown Fort Worth, the stunning skyline of which you can see in the distance.

I was hoping for a good feeling steam bath today, courtesy of the humidity. But, the temperature being in the semi-chilly 80s did not make for a good steam bath.

Changing the subject from a steam bath to steaming chiles.

Yesterday I think I mentioned that I was roasting Hatch chiles that  I got from ALDI. The directions had you roasting the chiles, then putting them in a sealed container of some sort, so that the steam from the hot chiles would allow the skins to peel off easily.

I had no idea one had to peel a chile, or how that worked, or why it was needed to be done.

Well, it worked real well, the skins of the chiles pulled right off, leaving a chile that tasted like the chile one gets in a Chile Relleno, which is my favorite item of the Mexican food sort.

So, today I made a Chile Relleno casserole from the roasted and peeled Hatch chiles. Usually I don't think anything I cook tastes all that good, but, I have to say, this Chile Relleno casserole I made today may be the best Chile Relleno I've ever had.

Changing the subject from Chile Relleno to something else that needs to be roasted before peeling.

We've been worried sick about Gar the Texan. He went under the knife on Friday. Something to do with his hips needing to be replaced. No one had heard from Gar the Texan, post-surgery. Phone calls go to voice mail, email unanswered, no blogging, nothing on Facebook.

Well, Gar the Texan resurfaced today. The surgery went fine except for some inept nurses butchering his fingers when they found out he is diabetic.

I think Gar the Texan may be what motivates me to overdo the exercise thing. I see what's happened to that boy as some sort of cautionary tale, making me think I want to do all I can do to prevent that sort of decrepitude from happening to me when I get that old.

Having ones hips replaced sounds real dire. I remember when my grandma had her hips replaced. I think she was quite a bit older than Gar the Texan's current age. But, she was way more active than Gar the Texan.

And not a diabetic.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Watching Possums Escape To Village Creek After Botching Butchering A Chicken While Getting Ready To Roast Hatch Chiles

Village Creek Blue Bayou
The Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Blue Bayou was back being mostly blue today, back blue after its recent iterations as the Brown Bayou, then the Green Bayou.

I like my bayous blue.

When I arrived at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's parking lot I saw an Arlington Animal Control truck parked. Past experience with seeing that truck led me to think I was about to see a possum released back into the natural world.

This time it was 2 possums. The Animal Control guy lifted 2 possums from their possum cage, by the tail, with gloved hands. It seems to me possums would be being a bit feisty after having been trapped in a cage, then hauled in a truck, then picked up by their tails.

But the possums act like they are not at all bothered. The Animal Control guy sets them gently on the ground and waves goodbye as the possums scurry back to freedom.

Changing the subject from possums to chickens.

Last week I cut up a whole chicken for the first time since some time in August of 2008. My sister had tasked me with teaching my future sister-in-law how to cut up a chicken. There were 2 to cut-up. I showed how with the first, then my student cut up the second.

The chicken I cut up last week was a bit difficult. I sort of had to saw it a few times. This morning I cut up another chicken and I realized why it was so easy to slice a bird in Tacoma and so difficult in Texas.

I have crummy knives.

I have always been a bit of a hazard with knives. I've sliced myself a time or two or three. I'd come to think a dull knife is safer for me. But, after this morning's bizarrely botched butchering I'm thinking I need to get myself a good sharp knife. I don't think what I was doing this morning was safe. That and somehow the chicken's back ended up with one of the thigh pieces attached by the time I was finished. This made for an interesting piece of chicken. I have not been able to determine where the drumstick part of one of the wings ended up being.

Changing the subject again, this time from chicken to Hatch chiles.

I got myself a bag of Hatch chiles on Sunday at ALDI. Today I Googled to see what I need to do with these chiles and learned I must do something with them soon or they will spoil on me.

So, this afternoon I am going to be roasting myself a bag of Hatch chiles in preparation for tomorrow's attempt to make Chile Rellenos.

This operation should go better than my chicken cutting operation.

I hope.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Last Sunday Of August On The HOT Tandy Hills

It is only 79 degrees in the outer world at my location, coming up on 3 in the afternoon on this last Sunday of August.

88% humidity is making the outer world really feel like 89 degrees.

The outer world has cooled since I got myself some endorphins via aerobic stimulation on the Tandy Hills at noon. The humidity at noon hovered around 100%, making for a very wet steam bath, until clouds blocked the sun and a strong wind began blowing.

In the picture you are looking a Tandy Trail just north of the dry Tandy Falls.

It is 4 weeks until Fall falls upon us, on Saturday, September 22, to be precise, the Autumnal Equinox arrives.

As you can see in the picture, even though it is a month til Fall falls, a lot of leaves have already fallen on the Tandy Hills, making for some crunchy hiking in some locations.

At the present time, at my location, I see there are a few drops of rain falling, but no leaves. I am hearing thunder rumbling in the distance, with each rumble sounding as if it is getting closer.

I'm not in much of a mood for a loud storm, but I suppose I will adjust my mood to that reality if I need to.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Disturbing New Tandy Hills Mystery With An Ice Chest & Possible Burial Site

I had myself a disturbing time getting my endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation today on the Tandy Hills.

It started when I stepped out of my vehicular transport on to a mesquite thorn which pierced the sole of the hiking shoe on my right foot and then pierced the aforementioned right foot, very slightly.

I do not believe any blood was spilled.

Even though the temperature was in the relatively chilly 80s the humidity was making it feel HOT today. That and my possible blood loss had me feeling a bit faint at times as I did the hill climbing.

And then I came upon the thing you see in the above picture. Someone had hauled an ice chest cooler type device deep into the hills of Tandy and left it there at the side of the trail.

Why? I asked myself.

I did not want to look inside the ice chest, so I didn't.

Then, as I looked around at the surrounding area, up the hill, about 15 feet to the left of the view of the ice chest, I saw what you see below.

It seemed disturbingly clear to me that someone had carried something to this spot, in the ice chest, and buried it under that giant slab of rock.

Where did this giant slab of rock come from and how did it get there?

I was not curious enough to left the slab to see if I could see what is under it. That and I thought, with me already feeling faint-hearted, that I might faint on the spot if something disturbing was under the slab.

I'm probably going to be asked where on the Tandy Hills this burial sarcophagus is located. I'll try and describe where this is.

I assume anyone familiar with the Tandy Hills knows where the bamboo tepee is located.

From the bamboo tepee exit the trail that heads east. Take the first right, heading south, up the hill. About halfway up the hill you'll come to the scenes above.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Fisherman Getting His Feet Wet In Fosdick Lake With Bright Orange Wildflowers

Apparently it was a good day to go fishing on Fosdick Lake today, even though eating a fish one caught in Fosdick Lake might turn out to be a fatal mistake.

There were several fishermen and fisherwomen fishing in Fosdick Lake today.

The fisherman you see in the picture had his seat sitting in the water, with his feet submerged in the toxic Fosdick brew.

I figure if there are warning signs telling people not to eat the Fosdick fish, not to swim in the Fosdick water and to not even launch a boat in the toxic Fosdick brew, that dipping ones feet in the water might not be a good idea.

I wonder if Fosdick Lake is one of Fort Worth's West Nile Virus mosquito breeding grounds slated for spraying? It seems that that would add even more toxicity to the already toxic Fosdick brew.

Even though we are having ourselves a Mosquito Crisis in North Texas, I have yet to see my first Texas mosquito, let alone get bit by one.

Maybe the unseasonably, unreasonably chilly temperatures will put a damper on the rampant North Texas mosquito breeding.

It was barely in the 80s when I drove to Oakland Lake Park, at noon, to walk around Fosdick Lake. Now, hours later my computer based temperature monitoring device is telling me it is only 89 degrees in the outer world at my location.

Are we done with 100 degree days for the year? I hope so.

Even though the prime time of the Texas wildflower season is long past, there is still some color coloring up the outdoors in Texas, like the bright orange flower I stared at today located near the south end of Fosdick Lake.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Walking With The Indian Ghosts At Village Creek Thinking About Ulysses S. Grant

The Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Blue Bayou has not yet returned to its former Blue Glory, but it is getting closer, having gone from last week's Brown Bayou to today's Green Bayou.

A Green Bayou with a big white bird. Is that a swan? Or an egret?

Speaking of historical areas.

An historical area I am currently in to is The Civil War Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.

This book excerpts the Civil War years from Grant's famous auto-biography. I've long known that Grant's memoirs are thought of as the best work of its kind. But, knowing that did not prepare me for what I've been reading.

Just the excerpt of the Civil War years covers over 500 pages. In small print. Grant wrote his memoir while he was dying from cancer in a desperate bid to make money for his family, after he'd been swindled out of pretty much all he owned.

Mark Twain got Grant's memoirs published, they turned into a huge best seller, leaving Grant's family financially set. Grant died only a week or so after finishing his memoirs.

What is amazing me is the level of detail. How did Grant remember such detail? And he writes so well, very modern style, no purple prose flourishes.

Grant had no typewriter to type his story on. It was all handwritten.

As I walked with the Indian Ghosts today I was feeling very melancholy. I don't know why. Maybe it was due to dwelling on U.S. Grant. He died not knowing he'd written a best seller. He died embarrassed that he'd been swindled out of his money. He died knowing his presidency was known as the most corrupt, up to that time. The corruption never touched Grant. He remained an American hero.

After Grant finished with being president, he and his wife left America for 3 years, touring Europe and Asia. Everywhere Grant went he drew huge crowds, hailing him as the Hero of the War for Freedom. Grant's triumph abroad was so great that when he returned to America his popularity was restored, with some in the Republican party wanting to nominate Grant for President in 1880.

But, that Republican convention of 1880 turned into a deadlock between Grant and James G. Blaine, with the deadlock ended by the selection of a dark-horse candidate named James Garfield, who was assassinated in his first year as President.

The networks are not going to be devoting much time to covering the upcoming conventions. The conventions have become boring, pointless and anti-climatic. We need to bring back deadlocks and multiple voting cycles.

That would make for some good Reality TV viewing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Am Looking Through Prison Cell Bars At Rosie The Rat Dog Home From Alaska While Prince Harry Gets Naked Playing Billiards In Las Vegas

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell on this 4th Wednesday of August you can clearly see the sky is, once again, clear of clouds at my location on the planet.

A doctor appointment this morning in Euless has wreaked havoc on my regular repetitive schedule.

I did not go swimming this morning. An impediment is causing me to postpone my daily endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation until, maybe, later this afternoon.

Changing the subject from my woes to something else.

Reading Rosie the Rat Dog's Alaska! blog last night I was a bit confused. I thought Rosie and her Entourage were in far north British Columbia, making a slow return to the United State and their homeport in Kent, Washington. But, the blogging made it sound as if they were no longer in Canada, and that they were already home plotting their next trip.

This morning I learned that I was correct in my interpretation of the blogging. Rosie is safe and sound at home.

Changing the subject from Rosie the Rat Dog to Crown Jewels.

I was a little surprised, last night, to find myself looking at a photo of Prince Harry in a Vegas casino hotel room, wearing no clothes, and covering the Crown Jewels with his hands. Another photo was taken of Prince Harry's other naked side, with a big red star strategically placed.

Being a prince looks like a fun job, to me. I've never played strip billiards. I have been naked in a Vegas hotel room, a time or two, so I guess I have that in common with Prince Harry, except no photos showed up of me on TMZ, that I know of.

How much does it cost to stay in the Wynn Hotel's VIP Suite where Prince Harry lost all his clothes playing strip billiards? Does Prince Harry get an allowance from his Grandma, the Queen? Or his only income what he makes as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force?

It seems like Prince Harry would make for a fun King of England. All that stands in his way is his grandma, dad and big brother. And maybe DNA testing showing that his dad is not actually his dad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Sent Me A Nice Letter Today With A Cautionary Warning

It seems like I've been talking about Chesapeake Energy for years. Chesapeake Energy has never talked back to me.

Until today.

A few minutes ago I checked my mailbox and found a letter from Chesapeake Energy.

Inside the letter, which Chesapeake refers to as a mailer, were 2 pieces of mail. One piece of mail advised me to "ALWAYS CALL BEFORE YOU DIG."

I don't dig, so this advice was of no use to me.

The other piece of mail in the mailer is what you see in the photo. It says, in part...

Dear Neighbor:

Chesapeake Midstream Partners (CMP) will soon be conducting work on a natural gas pipeline that is located near your property*. Unless you have been otherwise informed by CMP's subsidiary, Texas Midstream Gas Services, we will not need to access your property.

Please by assured that safety and security is our first concern. All work will be performed at the highest level of quality and in accordance with the regulations of the United States Department of Transportation and the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Well. Isn't that reassuring.

Just a short distance from my abode one of my neighbors would beg to differ regarding the quality level to which Chesapeake Energy performs. You can read about that particular Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas Urban Drilling nightmare in an article in Fort Worth Weekly titled Dammed.

Part of the note from Chesapeake is at the bottom of the note, in small print. It is that to which the asterisk after the word property* refers, in the first paragraph of the note...

*Please note that the planned natural gas pipeline activity will start no sooner than ten days from the postmark of this mailer although it may be delayed by weather, materials or issues beyond our control.

So, I am  guessing, if I had reason to object to this pipeline, I don't have a lot of time to do my objecting.

Where is this pipeline going to be? Seems like that would be good to know.

Is this pipeline going to be carrying non-odorized natural gas from my nearby Chesapeake Energy gas pad? I've wondered how they are going to get the gas out of there.

Is this the type notice Steve Doeung got when Chesapeake Energy tried to pump non-odorized gas under his house, setting off the Chesapeake-Gate Carter Avenue Scandal when Chesapeake Energy underestimated the drive and determination that a Cambodian American would muster when the safety of his home was threatened?

It's all very vexing. Where I am located I am pretty much surrounded by Chesapeake Energy gas pads. And now gas lines are going to be going who knows where, underground.

Today In Walmart I Learned The Family Rules & What A Friend Is

It has been raining at my location for hours, since before the sun started trying to shine some light through the cloud cover.

I did not know rain was in the forecast, so waking up to so much dampness was a bit of a surprise.

It is currently chilly.

Only 69 degrees.

I had my windows open, but somehow was not feeling the benefit of that outside chilliness. So, I closed the windows and am now being chilled by the built-in automatic chilling device that runs on electricity.

Due to the rain, Walmart was my go to location for my salubrious noon time endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

It is a little difficult to push a grocery cart to a level that achieves aerobic stimulation.

This morning Facebook shocked me with the shocking news that I was going to be forced on August 25 to use the Facebook timeline. I don't get the point of the Facebook timeline. It seems messed up to me. The messed up Facebook timeline may be one of the reasons the value of Facebook stock continues to plummet.

When I was in Walmart, pushing a grocery cart at high speed, I sped by some signs in the home decor area with smarmy messages, of the sort that I get a little tired of seeing on the aforementioned Facebook.

I don't know why so many people feel compelled to share these type messages on Facebook. That someone would buy such a sign and hang it on a wall in their home is real perplexing to me.

I think I may be becoming a curmudgeon in my old age.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hiking The Dry Trails Of The Tandy Hills While Being Alert About The Air Quality

Even though up to 4 inches of rain fell in some locations in the D/FW zone on Saturday, I decided, since my computer based temperature monitoring device was telling me that it was only 79 degrees in the outer world at my location at a half hour before noon, that I'd risk running into rampaging creeks and getting stuck in mud by returning for some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation via hiking up and down a few of the Tandy Hills.


The trails were pretty much bone dry, with just some slight hints that a little rain may have hit the prairie in recent days. No water was running in Tandy Creek. Tandy Falls remains bone dry.

As you can see, via the look west at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, the air appears to be smog-free, scrubbed by the recent storms.

However, despite appearing to be clear air, the National Weather Service, or whoever it is who determines such things, has determined that we need to have an AIR QUALITY ALERT.

Maybe this AIR QUALITY ALERT has something to do with the toxins being sprayed throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, attempting to kill West Nile Virus bearing mosquitoes before they make more people sick. Or dead.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Pleasantly Warm Sunday Walk Around Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake

Oakland Lake Park's Fosdick Lake was being a dead calm mirror today. The only motion on the lake, that I saw, was due to turtles diving off logs at the sight of an approaching, possibly dangerous, human.

Yesterday's storming, with a lot of rain, seems to have temporarily cleaned the usually polluted air of North Texas.

Freshly scrubbed clean air caused this morning to be the first morning in awhile that I did not wake up to find myself with blurry, stinging, watery eyes.

It was barely 80 when I walked around Fosdick Lake today. With no wind blowing and high humidity, it felt way hotter than 80.

Currently the outer world, at around 2, this Sunday afternoon, is heated to 84 degrees, with that aforementioned vexing humidity making it feel like 97.

This morning, by the time the sun arrived to begin its daily heating duty, it was only 69 degrees. I had my windows open almost all morning. Tonight the low is supposedly supposed to get to 66. I do not remember such frigid temperatures this time of year in Texas. Let alone opening my windows in August.

With Western Washington sizzling from a heat wave while North Texas is cool, I may need to re-think my plan to escape the former heat of Texas for the cooler clime of Washington.

Changing the subject from Texas being cool, to something else.

Yesterday someone named Dixie Belle emailed me asking for directions to that Oakland Lake Park and beautiful Fosdick Lake that I'm always talking about.

Well, Oakland Lake Park is really easy to find. Driving either west bound or east bound on I-30, in Fort Worth, exit at the Oakland Boulevard exit. From which ever direction you exit, head south down Oakland Boulevard, barely off the freeway, take any of the next couple left turns off Oakland Boulevard and in one short block you will be seeing Fosdick Lake. There are parking lots on both the east and west sides of the lake.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Going On A Litter Free Walk With Blue & Max In Tacoma's Point Defiance Park

I hit the publish button on the previous blogging, then when I checked the blog to make sure it blogged correctly I saw that Blue & Max, Tacoma's most well known blogging poodles, had blogged again.

I swiped one of Blue & Max's pictures.

The picture shows multiple elements of why I'd like to move back to Washington.

First off, in the picture I see two nephews and one niece. That is nephew David in the yellow shirt on the far left, mom Kristin holding niece, Ruby, whilst sitting on a piece of driftwood. Sister Jackie, visiting from Arizona, in the middle, in a blue shirt, with Ruby's twin, my nephew Theo, in the red shirt on the right.

The two closest to you in the picture are Blue & Max.

In addition to nephews and a niece, what else am I seeing that makes me want to move back to Washington?

Do you see any litter in the picture?

I get so disgusted, at times, with what a littered up mess Texas is, with so many Texans mocking their "Don't Mess With Texas" slogan.

How can so many people be such slobs, creating so much litter?

It is so perplexing.

I don't know what time of day this picture was taken. My last time at this location was in the early evening, with 100s of people picnicking, in the water, playing. This is in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park, one of the biggest urban parks in America.

Tacoma charges no fee to enter Point Defiance Park.

Most big cities, which have learned to wear their big city pants, do not charge entry fees to their basic amenities, like city parks.

The only park in Fort Worth that is even remotely as diverse, and big, as Point Defiance, is the Fort Worth Nature Preserve & Refuge.

Very few people visit this Fort Worth park.

An entry fee is charged.

Point Defiance Park has miles of really good hiking trails. Trails in deep woods with really tall trees, with those trees being green all year long, hence calling them evergreens.

With Washington being known as the Evergreen State.

Which it really isn't.


A drought can make the west side of the Cascades somewhat brown, while the east side of the Cascades is mostly always brown, with a lot of irrigated green oasis.

From the location of this picture, if the sky conditions were cooperating, we would be seeing Mount Rainier.

I miss mountains.

To the left, that water you see is what is known as saltwater. Part of Puget Sound. Even though this water is in a big city, it is crystal clear, as in you can look deep into the water. Anyone looked deep into a Fort Worth lake lately? Or the Trinity River?

To get to the location of this picture Blue & Max would have parked by Anthony's Homeport. A seafood restaurant. I miss good seafood and good seafood restaurants.

Just a short distance from Anthony's Homeport is the Vashon Island Ferry dock. I miss hopping a ferry. Where I lived in Washington I could drive a short distance and hop the Anacortes ferry out to the San Juan Islands, and enjoy the island's Mediterranean climate, protected from rain by the Olympic Mountain's rain shadow.

I miss varied geography and varied climate areas within short distances.

I miss fresh fruit and vegetables. I can't remember the last time I had fresh corn on the cob. Or a strawberry that tasted like a strawberry. In Washington blackberries are free for the picking. Blackberries are my favorite of all the berries that grow in Washington.

I think if I moved back to Washington I might be able to restore my health to its former healthy vigor, with the healthy regimen of fresh seafood, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and fresh air, with no fracking allowed.

Below is a video I made in July of 2008, from a walk with Blue & Max, at the same location as today's picture. In the video you'll see the aforementioned Mount Rainier, see the Vashon Ferry, hear me talk about Anthony's Homeport, as we try and find a parking spot and you will see a lot of people at the location of the above picture. And, in the video, you will also see no litter....

Mysterious Disappearances At Quanah Parker Park

On my way to Town Talk today I parked in the Quanah Parker Park parking lot, for a short while, to facilitate checking out something I'd wondered about weeks ago, on July 30, to be precise.

In a blogging titled White Energy Pickups & Other Quanah Parker Park Puzzles I took a picture of an area where a thick layer of beauty bark had been laid down between two orange plastic fences.

There had been a Barnett Shale Natural Gas Trinity River water sucking operation going on that slowed up entering the park. But I could see no connection between the water sucking and the fenced off beauty bark.

Well, today, as you can see in the picture, all has been removed. Why was it temporarily there?

I did not stay long at Quanah Parker Park. I'm just not enjoying the outer world all that much lately. That and I have no idea where I might get hit by an anti-mosquito death cloud while out and about outdoors in Fort Worth.

I have not been swimming since Friday morning. You might intuit from that fact the fact that my pool is still in malfunction mode.

Why must swimming pools be such high maintenance operations?

I remember my first Texas swimming pool, up north of Fort Worth, in the hamlet of Haslet. At one point we got the pool chemicals messed up, resulting in the pool turning an unearthly shade of green.

A professional intervention was required.

I found it a bit disturbing how quickly the professional intervention, with the correct chemical mix, turned the pool from that unearthly shade of green to crystal clear blue water.

I am not much minding the unscheduled break from aerobic stimulation. I don't know what I did, but my elderly body's musculature feels like it feels after I subject it to a long hike up a mountain with thousands of feet of elevation gain.

Unfortunately, there are no mountains available within a reasonable distance of my current location that I could hike up and get real sore. Maybe I overdid it yesterday in the pool.

Changing the subject from Quanah Parker Park to Quanah Parker.

Recently, Hometown by Handlebar had a very interesting article about Quanah Parker titled “Deathly Perfume”: A “Noble Red Man Succumbs”

The article begins with...On December 19, 1885, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and his father-in-law, Chief Yellow Bear, came to Fort Worth. Yellow Bear was father of Wec-Keah, Quanah Parker’s first wife. The two men had come to meet with Indian agent Lee Hall

Click the link to read the rest of the story.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Am A Hot Mess With No Pool & No Mountains To Climb

In the picture you are looking at the mid-afternoon, semi-cloudy, 3rd Friday of August view from my secondary viewing portal on the outer world.

The turquoise thing at the bottom of the picture is my swimming pool. I went swimming in that pool this morning. This morning may be the last time I swim in that pool for awhile.

A pump malfunction, again, will require some water withdrawal. I do not know how long this will take. If it takes too long I will also be suffering withdrawal, as in withdrawal from my daily dose of endorphins which cause me to feel real good real early in the morning.

I see a bad bout of grouchiness in my near future.

I think I mentioned last week that this week one of my nephews would be here. Well, he got to D/FW yesterday. He thinks he is in Lewiston. Lewiston is a town in Idaho.

Today my nephew left Texas, to go to Texas Light, that being Oklahoma. I got a text message telling me, among some other things, "going to OK today, Fort Worth Saturday."

I am guessing my nephew is going to Oklahoma to go to either the WinStar Casino or the Choctaw Casino.

Or both.

My nephew lives in a very casino deprived area, with only a few casinos in the Phoenix metro area, and such a long drive to Las Vegas, so I can totally understand why, on his first day in Texas, he'd want to leave Texas to go to Oklahoma to gamble.

My nephew's mom and dad, that being my sister and my favorite brother-in-law, may be coming to D/FW in September, for the first time, to attend the wedding that is the reason my nephew is here now.

I do not know if my sister and favorite brother-in-law will also make a beeline to Oklahoma soon upon their arrival in Texas.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This Thursday Afternoon Fort Worth Texas Is As Chilly As Olympia Washington

I just got email from one of those Pacific Northwest weather babies I've previously mentioned, this email coming from that weather baby who happens to be my baby sister, she being the sibling who lives in Tacoma, but commutes to Olympia regularly, where she dispense justice of some sort.

My sister's email contains one declarative sentence, plus one question...

My phone says it is 88 degrees in Olympia right now. Does that mean we are actually hotter than you today???

When I read the question I checked my computer based temperature monitoring device (because I do not have a phone smart enough to tell me the temperature) and was surprised at the answer to my sister's question, that being at this point in time we are both being heated (or chilled, depending on ones point of view) to 88 degrees.

As you can see, in the graphic above, the humidity in this swamp-like part of the planet has it really feeling like 95, which is still cooler than the above 100 HEAT we've been having lately.

Just a second, I will go check how hot it really feels in Olympia....

Well, in just the few minutes since I got my sister's 88 degrees email, Olympia has heated up 3 degrees, to 91, but, if you look at what the Olympia temperature feels like, it is the same as Fort Worth.

95 degrees.

Is this what is known as irony? Or just bizarre coincidence?

How come Olympia gets an EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING, but we don't get one here in HOT Texas?

The Ducks Of Fosdick Lake Happily Quacking Today While I Think About Not Getting A Taco In Tacoma

Happy Quacking Fosducks On The Move
I was not too surprised to see that our recent deluge has obliterated the beautiful Fosdick Lake beaches that had appeared during the period when Fosdick Lake was being deprived of any new water, either from rain, or from the ubiquitous Fort Worth water main breaks.

The Fosducks in Fosdick Lake, in Oakland Lake Park, were seeming really happy today. Such a cacophony of quacking.

Someone, not me, had kindly deposited a lot of bird feed on the shores of Fosdick Lake. I think all that bird feed is part of the reason for all the happy quacking.

That and I think maybe ducks like it when a cloud cover prevents direct solar radiation, along with slightly cooler temperatures and extremely high humidity.

I am not a duck, though I do do a lot of quacking. So, not being a duck, I did not react as happily, as the Fosducks, to the high humidity. Even though the temperature was only in the low 80s, that aforementioned high humidity has turned the outer world at my location into a swamp.

I ended up being a sweaty mess, and not in the enjoyable steam bath way that I have learned to enjoy.

I heard from a Tacoman this morning that the Western Washington zone is going to be in the 90s the next couple days. It'd be really amusing if Mother Nature played a dire trick on those weather babies and combined that semi-high temperature with some super high humidity. You'd hear the whining clear across the country.

Speaking of a Tacoman, it never occurred to me that the name for a person from Tacoma sounds like someone in the business of selling a Mexican delicacy, til I typed Tacoman in the previous paragraph.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Bear The Burden Of Excessive Purple Prose With Limited Dignity

In the past couple weeks I have discovered that my little sister has a very strong aversion to purple prose.

At one point in the past week my little sister told me if I did not cease with sending her purple prose she would block my email.

I was appalled.

When the subject of purple prose first came up I was not sure it was a real thing.

Til I Googled it.

Googling "purple prose" I quickly learned that purple prose has long plagued the planet.

The alliterative "purple prose has long plagued the planet" may be an example of purple prose. I'm not sure. I think I may go into purple prose mode, inadvertently, and am now mortified that I have someone telling me I have been purple prosing.

That has ever happened. Til now.

The people who read my prose have been much too polite to point out that it is often purple. Except for my little sister.

Those who define such things define purple prose as a term which describes written passages written in prose so overwrought, so ornate, so extravagant, so florid, that it breaks the reading flow and draws attention to itself.

One of the most famous examples of purple prose comes from an author named Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who began his novel, Paul Clifford, with this famous sentence....

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

This sentence is often shortened to "It was a dark and stormy night," which gave rise to the famous, annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which writers compete to outdo Bulwer-Lytton with a piece of purple prose that exceeds his dark and stormy night.

Another famous example of Bulwer-Lytton purple prose, from the same novel that gave us a "dark and stormy night" is, instead of simply writing "Once the lady lit her pipe," he wrote, "As soon as the Promethean spark had been fully communicated to the lady's tube."

Now that my little sister has so kindly pointed out to me how out of control I am with my purple prose I am going to try, real hard, really, I promise, real hard, to try to make my prose less purple.

This is a worthy goal I do not know if I am worthy of attaining.

Water Has Returned To Arlington's Village Creek Chocolate Bayou

Village Creek Chocolate Bayou
Earlier today I indicated I would not be in the Village Creek Blue Bayou zone to see if last night's rain had restored the dry Blue Bayou to its usual blueness.

Me saying I would not be in the Blue Bayou zone was prompted by a comment to yesterday's blogging about the dried up Village Creek Blue Bayou....

Steve A said...
After last night, we'll be expecting a Blue Bayou update!

I was up in Hurst this morning, then back in my home zone earlier than I thought I would be. So, in the noon time frame I took off for my daily constitutional in search of some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

I exited my abode thinking I'd go to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake, but then changed my mind and headed east, instead of west, to walk with the Indian Ghosts I'd visited yesterday at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

Upon arrival at the entry off Dottie Lynn Parkway I was prepared to find the park closed due to flooding, with Veterans Park being my flood free backup.

No need for a backup. Village Creek is running more water today than it has run in a long time, but not enough to go into flood mode.

Water has been restored to the Village Creek Blue Bayou, but it is not blue, as you can see in the picture above, the Blue Bayou is currently being the Village Creek Chocolate Bayou.

It is not very hot today, only 85 degrees at half past 2. Barely 80 when I walked with the Indian Ghosts. But it is HUMID. Very, very HUMID. Making the outer world feel very very HOT.

Today was the best steam bath, yet, so far, this steam bath season. When I got back to the air-conditioned comfort of my vehicular transport, my sunglasses instantly fogged up. Since no sun was shining the sunglasses were being a bit unneeded, anyway.

Below is a very short video I shot today of the raging torrent that Village Creek has temporarily become...

We Had Ourselves A Dark Stormy Loud North Texas Night

The view is cloudy from my secondary viewing portal on the outer world on this 3rd Wednesday of August.

We had ourselves a dark and stormy night in North Texas.

Lightning struck, thunder boomed, wind blew and rain fell.

I do not know if rain fell in amounts copious enough to have restored the Village Creek Blue Bayou to its blue state.

I do not believe I will be in the Village Creek Blue Bayou zone today to see if it is no longer a Brown Bayou.

The outer world at my location is currently being cooled, naturally, to 72 degrees. My windows are open. My air-conditioning is turned off.

More lightning is in the forecast today, along with a forecasted temperature high of less than 100 degrees.

Are the Dog Days of Summer over? Or are they yet to come?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zipper Malfunction Cuts Short Bike Ride With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts

The No Longer Blue Bayou of Village Creek
I went walking with the Indian Ghosts, and my sister, at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area on Sunday.

On Sunday I did not walk to the overlook that looks over the Village Creek Blue Bayou.

Today I went biking with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Village Creek, without my sister, and I did bike to the overlook that looks over the Village Creek Blue Bayou to find  that the Blue Bayou is no longer blue.

All the water that made the Blue Bayou blue has evaporated.

We are in dire need of some incoming water on this parched part of the planet. A chance of storms is predicted for today and tomorrow. Maybe there will be some precipitation precipitating if the predicted storms precipitate.

I had a bike-related mishap today. Not a wreck. Nothing that dire.

Over my handlebars I have a zippered bag that holds my keys, phone, wallet and camera.

When I reached the part of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's paved trail that has a big round mirror on a post, I stopped to take a picture of myself looking at the big mirror on the post.

I assume that big mirror on a post has been placed in this location to help facilitate one taking a photo of oneself, documenting that one has been one with the Indian Ghosts of Village Creek.

I pulled the zipper on the zippered bag to find the zipper pop totally open, as in totally de-zippered. I could not figure out how to get the zipper back in zipper mode. Being un-zippered made the stuff in the bag vulnerable to falling out.

I was able to secure the camera to the handlebars and proceeded to slowly bike my way back to my vehicle.

Such an eventful day I have had so far.

Broken zippers, a long morning swim and reams of tortured purple prose with which to torment my youngest sister, she with a deep-seated aversion to purple prose, particularly seriously tortured purple prose of the badly bruised variety.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rockin' The Trinity River With J.D. Granger's Mama Kay

Kay Granger with Mystery Woman on the Left
The last Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float, of Floating Season 2, was last Thursday.

It seems like only yesterday I experienced the first Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float and blogged about it in a blogging titled Rockin' The Trinity River with Pictures & Video.

In the photo we are looking at the mama of J.D. Granger, Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, in attendance at the last Rockin' the River of the year.

I do not know if J.D.'s mom went floating in the Trinity River last Thursday. I would guess not.

It was mama Kay who got J.D. his job running the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle where he has been able to be the genius behind events like the Happy Hour Floats in the Trinity River.

All us naysayers who thought it was absurd to encourage people to get wet in a polluted river may need to re-think our naysaying.

We have now had 2 years of people floating in the Trinity River with no reports of anyone getting sick from e.coli or any other river bacteria.

There have been no reports of anyone having an encounter with an alligator gar, or an alligator, or a water moccasin, or a snapping turtle.

There also have been no reports of J.D. Granger, or his mama, floating in the Trinity River in an inner tube.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Gateway Park Master Plan Propaganda

Today I tried to pedal the Gateway Park FWMBA mountain bike trail, but quickly tired of its semi-muddy state and having to stop to clear fallen limbs off the trail.

Yesterday's storm hit Gateway Park harder than it did at my location, only 4 miles away. I experienced about 15 minutes of wind and lightning, with rain of an amount insufficient to leave lingering wetness.

The storm hit way harder in north Fort Worth, knocking out power to thousands, some still without power today. That would quickly turn very unpleasant, with no A/C.

After bailing on the mountain bike trail I pedaled the paved trail, where it was easier to dodge fallen limbs. Being on the paved trail brought me to the Fort Woof Dog Park and its forest of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle signage.

That Gateway Park Trinity River Vision Boondoggle signage is really impressive. If you've not seen it and you're in the neighborhood, it is worth a stop at Fort Woof to check out the signs. This is one of the coolest examples of Orwellian propaganda it has ever been my personal pleasure to experience.

The Gateway Park Master Plan sign, you see on the left, has some of the best of the propaganda. I'll copy it, almost verbatim, below...

The Gateway Park Master Plan is an exciting component of Fort Worth Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. The 1,000 acre park will be filled with new community-requested recreational amenities, making it one of the nation's largest urban-programmed parks. With the planting of over 75,000 of J.D. Granger's Magic Trees and the restoration of the original river channel, the park will transform into a natural setting the entire region can enjoy. The project is expected to spur economic growth around the park and will connect the East and Southeast neighborhoods of Fort Worth to the Trinity River corridor.

Also on this sign we learn that the Gateway Park Recreation Components are new soccer and baseball/softball fields, site work for disc golf and mountain bike course, outdoor covered basketball courts, expanded trail system (15 miles of trails), splash park, dog park expansion, amphitheater site work and grading to provide the initial infrastructure to create outdoor music venue for Fort Worth, full loop equestrian trail facility, water sports, fishing, rowing, kayak and canoe with 4 white water elements.

Along with those Recreation Components we also learn about the Ecosystem Restoration with the aforementioned 75,000 Magic Trees, gravel pits cleaned up to create a beautiful wetland environment, the old landfill will be compacted and graded for citizens desired recreational needs, lake and wetland creation in the old drying beds of the Riverside Waste Water Treatment Plant and clean up and return water to the historic Riverside Oxbow.

Where do I start?

Community requested recreational amenities? Have we not seen this odd verbiage previously with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? How does the community go about making these requests?

One of the nation's largest urban-programmed parks? What is an urban-programmed park?

Restore the original river channel? Where will that be?

The park will transform into a natural setting? I don't know of many natural settings with disc golf, soccer and baseball fields, covered basketball courts, dog parks and amphitheaters.

This project will connect East and Southeast Fort Worth to the Trinity River corridor? Really? How?

An old landfill will be compacted and graded for citizens desired recreational needs? There is that odd TRVB verbiage again. I have no idea where this old landfill in Gateway Park is. Are we talking about that methane gas spewing mound that is east of Gateway Park, on the other side of the Trinity River?

It is all just way too perplexing. And when is all this magic going to take place? Fort Worth does not seem able to maintain Gateway Park as it is. Washed out paved trails remain blocked by cyclone fence. Boardwalks remain closed, boarded up eyesores.

And that murdered armadillo still lays on the ground a few feet from where it was shot.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Obama That I Used To Know

If you, like me, listen to the radio, to music, that being pop music, you are likely really tired of hearing Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" over and over and over again. I like this song. It is very catchy. But having caught it dozens upon dozens of times I am ready for its slide to Golden Oldie.

And then there are the inevitable parodies. I've seen a few of them, like "The Star Wars That I Used To Know" and "The Tom Cruise That I Used To Know."

But the most amusing parody I've seen is one that parodies a subject ripe for parody, that being Mr. Hope and Change, President Obama.

The YouTube video of "Obama That I Used To Know" has gone viral. Rightfully so.

Rosie The Rat Dog In Stewart British Columbia Shopping At Dean's Groceries

This morning we learned, via a blogging on the Rosie the Rat Dog Alaska! blog, that Rosie and her entourage are no longer in Alaska.

The giant RV has now left America and is currently in Canada.

In Rosie's blog post titled New Beginnings we see a forlorn ghost town called Stewart. Stewart is in British Columbia. British Columbia is province of Canada.

In Stewart, Rosie came upon an abandoned store called Dean's Groceries. Under the picture of Dean's Groceries, Rosie added the caption, "Happy Birthday Dean!"

That someone would call me Dean might confuse someone.

My full name is Durango Dean Jones. When my sister, who Rosie the Rat Dog takes care of, was little, she could not say words with more than one syllable. So, she took to calling me by my middle name, which is only one syllable and really easy for a little kid to pronounce, unlike that Durango tongue twister.

I know it may seem hard to believe, but to this day very few of my relatives, or friends, call me Durango. They refer to me by that middle name. I blame this on my sister.

A Pot Bellied Old Bald Man Walking With My Sister & The Indian Ghosts At The Village Creek Natural Historical Area

My sister who lives in Arizona, who last walked with me the Saturday before yesterday's Saturday, on the Tandy Hills, went walking with me today, with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

It was a bit warm when I left air-conditioned comfort today. As in 93 degrees, with the extreme humidity making is supposedly feel like 101.

But, it did not feel like 101 to me, due to a lot of shade and a good strong breeze.

I last talked to my sister who lives in Arizona, last night, after she called me from her current location, in Tacoma. I missed the first call and called back to find myself serenaded with the Happy Birthday song, sung by my nephew, David, with help from his brother and sister, Theo and Ruby.

I called my sister back today after I finished talking to the Indian Ghosts because I had something relatively annoying I wanted to mention that I did not want to mention last night when I was on a speakerphone.

Village Creek was looking really pitiful today. There is no water moving, so the creek has become a series of ponds.

That is not the relatively annoying thing I wanted to talk to my sister about, even though Village Creek has become relatively annoying. I should have indicated I was changing the subject, thus avoiding confusion.


I was looking at the pond you see above, from one of the dam bridges that cross Village Creek, and was wondering what happens to the Village Creek fish and other critters, like turtles, when the creek stops moving and becomes a series of ponds.

As I stood looking at the scene above I saw something move in the distance, at the point you see in the picture where the pond narrows. You might be able to see what I saw by clicking on the picture to see the bigger version. What you will see is what I zoomed in on, with my camera, below.

A guy was fishing in the stagnant, scum covered pond. I'd be nervous to be fishing in this location, having to climb through a lot of jungle underbrush to get there. My one and only copperhead snake, that I've seen in Texas, was seen a few feet from where I was standing to take this picture.

I got email a couple days ago from someone asking me for directions to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area. I'm appalled I have been remiss in not previously indicating where this park is located.

From I-30, in far east Fort Worth, exit to Eastchase Parkway. You'll see a Wal-Mart on the north side of the freeway, a Target on the south side. Head south on Eastchase Parkway, past a McDonald's, past a Burger King, past a Race Trac gas station. At Meadowbrook Drive, Eastchase Parkway becomes Dottie Lynn Parkway, because you are now in Arlington. In less than a half a mile you will see the entry to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area on your left. There you will find a parking lot and the trail head that leads you into the park. The park entry is about 1.3 miles from the exit from I-30.

Go to this location every Sunday, in the noon time frame, and eventually you will see me. Look for an elderly bald man with a pot belly and a big walking stick.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Alaska's Little Sister, Texas, Is Cute According To My New T-Shirt

I remembered to check my mailbox on my way back from getting birthday party supplies and found a package with the return address being one I recognized, that being Rosie the Rat Dog (and my sister's address) in Kent, Washington.

Are they already back from Alaska, I wondered to myself.

And then closer perusal of the package showed that the package had been mailed from Haines, Alaska.

Haines, Alaska is the last place we have heard anything from Rosie the Rat Dog and her entourage, that being via a blogging on Rosie the Rat Dog's Alaska! blog titled Hungry No More.

I opened the package from Alaska to find the amusing t-shirt you see above. I did not realize Alaska was that much bigger than the teeny state of Texas. I did realize Texas was cuter than Alaska.

Happy Birthday To My Mom & Dad After A Cool Swim With An Incoming Nephew

In the picture you are looking at the earliest known photograph of me skinnydipping.

My mom and dad sent this photo to various relatives, which had my grandpa and grandma sending money to my mom and dad in Eugene, Oregon, telling them to buy that boy some clothes.

Today is the day my mom and dad's eldest son was born.

A long time ago.

I have never been a fan of birthdays, my own or anyone's. I think it is primarily, the mom, and secondarily, the dad, who should have Happy Birthday said to them on the anniversary of the birthday of one of their offspring.

That would give my mom and dad 5 happy birthdays, in addition to their own.

So, Happy Birthday, mom and dad.

On this very day, August 11, 11 years ago, I dropped in, unexpectedly, on my mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, at my sister's in Kent, Washington.

My nephew Christopher and his best friend, Jeff, were at my mom and dad's 50th. That is Christopher, known as CJ, and Jeff in the picture, with Jeff trying to get ahold of one of my sister's mutts, likely Rosie the Rat Dog.

Jeff currently lives in the D/FW Metroplex, in Lewisville. CJ is flying here on Thursday to stay a few days with Jeff, in preparation for Jeff's wedding in September.

I don't know if I will be seeing CJ whilst he is in the D/FW zone. There is a 3 day window of opportunity. My one longtime blog reader may remember seeing CJ when I was in Arizona in March.

I don't know if CJ is flying into D/FW International or Love Field. I suspect Love Field due to CJ's mother's tendency to fly on Southwest, a tendency she has likely passed on to her children.

Changing the subject to something else.

The Arctic Blast arrived here as predicted last night. I had my windows open. It was barely in the 70s by the time the sun came up. This made for a slightly chilly skinny dip this morning. It is currently almost 10 in the morning and it is only 78 degrees and I still have my windows open.

Windows open in August seems unprecedented, to me.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fosdick Lake's Inviting New Beaches Intice Forbidden Toxic Swimming

Fosdick Lake Beach
Mid morning, this second Friday of August, the temperature was barely in the 80s, with a strong wind blowing.

Due to these ideal weather conditions, in the mid morning time frame, I thought I'd drive to the top of Mount Tandy, under the Fort Worth Space Needle, that you see near the center of the picture, and have myself some might fine Tandy Hills hiking.


By the time the time came for my regularly scheduled noonday constitutional, the temperature had risen into the low 90s and that strong wind had settled back into being a slight breeze.


I decided today was a good day to take around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

Due to the lack of incoming water, Fosdick Lake is quickly shrinking. As you can see, in the picture, beautiful sandy beaches have now been exposed.

The pristine waters of Fosdick Lake, with its new beaches, looks so inviting I would have gone for a swim if it were not for the signs warning me not to do so, due to the toxicity that pollutes the water in the lake.

I imagine, as the volume of water shrinks, that the toxicity level concentrates into ever higher levels of toxicity.

One is also warned not to launch a boat on Fosdick Lake.

I wonder if the no boat prohibition is due to that toxicity eating away at the boat's structure? I saw that happen in an awful movie starring Pierce Brosnan about a volcano erupting in the Pacific Northwest. Somehow that eruption made a lake toxic, like Fosdick Lake, with boats being eaten up by the acid. If I remember right Pierce Brosnan made it safely to shore.

I have an inflatable kayak. I've been tempted, a time or two, to pump it up and take it for a float on Fosdick Lake. But then the prospect of being the victim of an on the water police chase, or the water of Fosdick Lake eating a hole in my inflatable kayak, discourages me.

Yesterday's Record Breaking HEAT Followed By A North Texas Cold Front

Temperature Headline the Star-Telegram
I did not know, til reading my secondary weather information source, that being the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that we got heated to a HOT new record of 108 degrees yesterday.

Apparently a Cold Front will be cooling us today. Currently it is barely warm in the outer world, at 81 degrees at my location.

Tonight the low is supposed to get to a very very chilly 69 degrees. I shall be sleeping sound with my windows open tonight, with no air-conditioner conditioning my interior space with periodic blasts of semi-frigidity.

This incoming Cold Front dropping us into the chilly 90s puts me in mind of an amusing newspaper headline in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that I saw upon my arrival one summer during one of the years of this century. I think it may have been summer of 2001.

The headline was something like "Heat Wave Swelters Northwest With Day 3 in the 80s."

Such weather babies are those foggy people up in Western Washington. Three days in the 80s, in summer, in North Texas, would have people getting out their sweaters and long pants.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Did Not Ride Tether Or Pasture My Animals In Gateway Park Today

Today my handlebars are pointing at a goofy sign in Gateway Park, located midway between the entry to the FWMBA Mountain Bike Trail and the Corpse of the Murdered Armadillo.

The Corpse of the Murdered Armadillo sounds like a good title for an Agatha Christie mystery. I can't remember the last time I read an Agatha Christie mystery. I enjoyed them when I was a youngster, decades ago.


All shouted in capitals. With no commas.

And then the message is repeated in Spanish, but not shouted in capitals, but with commas, "No Se Permite Equitacion, Amarrar, O Pastoreo De Animales."

I guess people who speak Spanish must be the culprits pasturing their critters in Gateway Park. Apparently there are no Spanish speaking dog owners who bring their dogs to Gateway Park, because the DOG OWNERS part of the sign is not repeated in Spanish.

Have I mentioned previously how happy I am to have re-gained the ability to be bi-pedaling? I think the reason I trended towards being obese was due to the drastic reduction in calorie burning caused by the long breaks from bike riding. I have trended towards obese during both time periods when I have been bike-free in Texas.

In Washington I had way more ways to be active than I do in Texas, so lacking bike riding, like during the Washington cold and wet season, which is about 9 months of the year, did not cause me to trend towards being obese when I lived in Washington.

I don't know what it is that causes me to so easily gain weight in this state. For me, Texas is fattening. There should be a warning label somewhere.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sharon Wilson's Freedom Of Speech Under Attack By Range Resources & The 2nd Republic Of Texas

I knew that Sharon Wilson and her Bluedaze blog were being harassed by a 2nd Republic of Texas agency called Range Resources. I figured the harassment would go away due to it being so wrong.

I seem to chronically make naive assumptions about current life in Texas.

Sharon Wilson bravely blogged, in a blogging titled My deposition with Range Resource was not what I expected about the 6 hour inquisition to which she was subjected.

When Rick Perry successfully led Texas to secede from the American Union, for the second time, there were those who warned that American liberties, like Freedom of Speech, would be in jeopardy.

Who would have guessed that the 2nd Republic of Texas would so quickly turn into a repressive totalitarian state?

I am so glad I decided to keep dual citizenship after Texas seceded, so I can plea for help from the American Embassy if Texas moves to stifle my Freedom of Speech.

No wonder, when Texas seceded for a second time, the rest of America said good riddance.

But, I think if this repressive state gets any more repressive, with more crackdowns on Freedom of Speech, there may come a groundswell in the remaining 49 states, with pleas to liberate Texas and restore Liberty to the repressed citizens of the 2nd Republic of Texas.

Taking A Tandy Hills Steambath With Gourmet Cooking Using Butter, Bacon & Parmesan

I was back on the Tandy Hills today.

In the noon time frame, at my abode's location, a good strong wind was blowing, with clouds blocking a lot of the solar radiation, which had the outer world not even heated into the 90s.

I drove to the top of Mount Tandy, exiting my vehicle to feel a semi-strong wind blowing, but also feeling solar radiation  directly hitting me, with very little cloud intervention.

In the picture you are looking north at some of the aforementioned clouds, hovering above a Tandy Trail.

A lot of people enjoy a sauna or a steambath, or both. I don't understand why more people don't experience the natural sauna steambath that you get on the Tandy Hills, and other outdoor locations in HOT North Texas.

Getting HOT and steamy whilst getting some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation usually has me feeling really good.

Which is what happened today. A wonderfully salubrious sauna steambath.

The last couple mornings I have gone into awake mode very early, as in around 4 in the morning. This had me going to bed really early last night. And getting up really early again this morning. I think this is what is known as a vicious cycle.

Changing the subject from vicious cycles to something else.

Long ago I knew this person who fancied himself both an artist and a gourmet chef. The reality was, he was neither.

I remember this gourmet chef being so proud of a concoction he made with spaghetti noodles, butter, bacon and Parmesan.

Over the years this has been a low level running joke amongst some of my acquaintances, as in what doesn't taste good with butter, bacon and Parmesan in the mix?

So, today I decided to make a healthier version of the gourmet chef's pièce de résistance.

I cooked up 2 packages of whole wheat spaghetti noodles, sauteed an onion and whole bulb of garlic in a stick of butter, with diced green and red peppers, baked and crumbled a package of low sodium turkey bacon. Mixed it all together, with a lot of Parmesan and what a shock.

It was good. Really good.

The whole stick of butter was likely the least healthy ingredient. But butter tastes so good.