Friday, November 30, 2012

I Am In A State Of Shock From Being Facebook De-Friended

On the left you are looking at part of my Facebook timeline thing. I think in the picture I was going for looking like I was in a bullfight with a Texas Longhorn.

Today I came back from having myself a very pleasant mountain bike ride on the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails to find a shocking message telling me that one of my relatives had de-friended me on Facebook.

Why would anyone in their right mind de-friend me on Facebook? The person who informed me that I'd been de-friended told me it was suspected I was de-friended because I'd been being too nice to that particular person, who, apparently, is an arch enemy of the relative who de-friended me.

This is all very perplexing to me.

I don't think I have ever friended anyone on Facebook. Or de-friended anyone. I will get an email telling me someone wants to friend me and if I know who it is, I usually click 'confirm.'

This Facebook de-friending thing is going to make it seem really really awkward if I ever see this particular relative again.

Who Is Helping A Needy Family This Holiday Season Besides Me?

Janice Providing Needy Holiday Needs
I know I am all about celebrating this holiday season, but that is not really what this particular blogging is about.

Yesterday I got email from Spencer Jack's dad, he being my Favorite Nephew Jason.

Below is the email from my nephew with a link to an article in my old hometown newspaper...

I noticed a picture of one of your old girlfriends in today's Skagit Valley Herald. She is delivering food, gift cards, bags of oranges and potatoes to the needy. The article didn't mention anything about delivering a Smart Car to a needy uncle.   

I guess the news that I asked Santa for a Smart Car has been widely broadcast.

The "old" girlfriend to which my nephew refers is Janice. I do not think Janice would much appreciate being referred to as "old". Janice has not aged a day in decades. A fact that regularly annoys those who have.

Janice's current husband is the eccentric best selling author of a historical novel titled Vis Major, all about the Wellington Disaster, early in the last century, in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

In addition to being a best selling author, Janice's current husband's other eccentricities include being a Civil War buff and having a fetish like attraction to trains.

Janice's current husband's Civil War buffness manifests itself in him having one of the world's longest handlebar mustaches and by only taking black and white photographs, in an attempt, I think, to emulate Matthew Brady. The train fetish manifests itself via things like spending hours outside a train tunnel in the Cascade Mountains waiting to take a black and white photo of an emerging train.

I am amazed Janice finds the time to deliver goodies to the needy and still manage to attend Civil War Re-Enactments and train vigils.

And, Jason, one more thing, you need to tell Janice you are very sorry for saying she is old.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hiking In The Tandy Hills Sunset Twilight

Late this afternoon I decided I really do not get enough exercise, so I drove to the summit of Mount Tandy and had myself a real fine time doing some twilight hill hiking.

As you can see in the picture, looking west across the wagon train trail that heads from Mount Tandy towards the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, the sun is setting to the south of downtown.

Hiking the Tandy Hills while the sun goes down has the hills looking totally different than they do under the bright glare of a noonday sun.

I rather like it.

I may have to see what a sunrise looks like on the Tandy Hills.

Christmas Off To A Rocky Start With Ruby & Theo Terrorized By Jolly Red Giant

I don't know what my nephew David was thinking, taking his high strung little sister and brother, the twins, Ruby & Theo, to sit on the lap of a stranger dressed like a big, red, bearded monster.

David looks quite pleased and not at all concerned that his siblings are in hysterics.

I have no details regarding the final outcome of this apparent debacle. All the poodles, Blue & Max, shared, was the photographic evidence of the terrorized twins.

After A Lot Of Hard Work My Christmas Decorations Are Finally Festive

In the blogging previous to this current blogging I mentioned that I had finished with the task of installing my Christmas decorations.

Well, Christmas decoration would be more precise.

Bart Simpson, sitting on my fireplace mantle, serves as my Christmas tree, upon which I hang my one and only Christmas tree ornament, a Christmas stocking tree ornament crocheted by my grandma back in the last century.

I have never had a Christmas tree in any of the domiciles I have inhabited in all the years since I became the master of my own domain.

My lack of Christmas decorating vexed my mom when I lived in Mount Vernon. The house had flat roofs, three of them, two of which were easily accessed via doors. My mom felt it was some sort of sacrilege that I did not string up Christmas lights, what with it being so easy to do on my flat roofed house.

One year, around Thanksgiving, my mom brought over boxes of Christmas lights. She'd bought new ones and was giving me her old ones, thinking this somehow made it inexcusable for me not to put up the lights.

The boxes of lights stayed in their boxes. I don't remember what became of those Christmas lights.

Cranking Pedals Looking For Christmas Decorations In Interlochen

I don't remember when I last took my handlebars on a pedaling excursion. Was it Gateway Park? I don't remember.

But I do remember taking my handlebars to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area today to do some pedaling with the Indian Ghosts who haunt this area.

In the picture those are the aforementioned handlebars on the overlook that looks over the Village Creek Blue Bayou.

There were quite a few people out among the ghosts today. I think the ideal temperature causes an amp up in physical activity among those who are not so inclined when the temperature is 20 or 30 degrees hotter.

Right now the outer world at my location, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device, is 2 degrees shy of 70. This would be considered a hot summer day at my former location in the Pacific Northwest.

Today I pedaled out of the Village Creek Natural Historical  Area zone into the Interlochen zone,  pedaling on the Bob Findlay Linear Park trail.

Interlochen is known for its over the top Christmas displays. I did not see much evidence of over the top Christmas displays in Interlochen today. But, I only saw the houses one sees from the Linear Park trail. I'm sure other areas of Interlochen are in over the top Christmas decoration mode.

I've got all my Christmas decorations totally installed. My Christmas decorations consist of a little crocheted Christmas stocking my grandma made for me a long, long time ago. I hang it on my Bart Simpson Christmas tree.

I should take a picture of my Christmas decoration. I'll hit the publish button and go do that.

I Had To Resort To Word Captcha To Ward Off Incoming Russians

On the left you are looking at a screen capture of Outlook Express and just a few of the incoming emails. Email gets checked automatically every 15 minutes.

For the past couple weeks each batch of incoming emails been flooded with dozens upon dozens of spam emails.

Mostly Russian.

The source of this incoming email spam is the very blog you are looking at right now. When someone makes a blog comment Google sends me an email so I can moderate the comment.

Up til a couple weeks ago Google's Blogger spam comment filter has worked flawlessy. I don't recollect any time, previous to this current nightmare, where Google's Blogger stuck a spam in the 'Awaiting Moderation' folder.

Google's Blogger nuisance comment filter worked so well it even knew to stick the psychotic rantings of the sociopath known as Fubbo the Butt into the spam folder, sparing my sensitive eyes from being subjected to that particular psychotic sociopath's ranting.

My other blogs are getting hit by this new spam nuisance, but not nearly to the level this Durango Texas blog is getting hit with. Other Google Blogger blogs, which I help with, are also getting hit with spam comments showing up in the 'Awaiting Moderation' folder.

To put a stop to the current problem of spam flooding this blog's comments, this morning I enabled the annoying Word Captcha device. You see a screen cap of that below.
Google's Blogger's version of Word Captcha is particularly annoying. As you can see above, it is telling me to 'Type the two words'. Do you see two words? I don't.

Gar the Texan has long had the annoying Word Captcha thing enabled. It makes making a comment on his blog to be a bit of a pain. I suspect he intends this result, trying to cut down on the huge number of blog comments his musings generate.

Enabling this Word Captcha thing instantly fixed the spam flood problem. I'll give it a week and then get rid of the Word Captcha and hope the spam comments problem does not start up again.

I am not overly optimistic, but I am assuming Google is aware of the problem and is working to fix it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Long Shadow Of The Tandy Hills Thin Man And An Anonymous Crank

That is the Long Shadow of the Tandy Hills Thin Man waving at you this afternoon from atop the Tandy Escarpment above Dry Tandy Falls.

I was late today to get my daily dose of salubrious endorphins, due to a doctor's visit up north in the town of Hurst, this morning.

When I got to the top of Mount Tandy, this afternoon, I was blocked from my usual parking place by two ladies walking three dogs.

I took this upset in my regular parking routine as a bad omen.

However, nothing bad happened, so, once again, I saw a bad omen where none existed.

I sort of preferred the late afternoon hiking to the noonday, sun directly overhead, hiking. With the sun only an hour or two from disappearing for the day, the long shadows make for a mostly shady Tandy Hills.

I came upon another of those new Tandy Hills Signposts today. This one directed hikers to the Roadrunner and Sun Trails. If I am reading the Hieroglyphics correctly.

A couple days ago I mentioned my slight perplexation regarding the new Tandy Hills Signposts. This prompted someone named Anonymous to make an interesting comment...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Walking Over A Field Of Broken Glass On The Tandy Hills While Pondering Signposts & Sociopaths":

Directions to the Roadrunner & Sun Trails
I don't like the signposts. First, they are not wood, yet they are cast to resemble wood, a deception which always annoys me, and more so when I am out in what purports to be a 'natural' area. Second, the glyphs, as you point out, are indeed too cryptic. They soon will be forced to erect a huge plastic-that-looks-like-stone Rosetta Stone to help decipher all of the post glyphs. Can you imagine trying to give instructions? Go past the post with the sprig of something on it until you see the post with the raptor (or is it a roadrunner?) on it, and then turn right and roll down the hill until you see the post with the something about a sun on it.

And of course as your sighting of the new sea of littered glass proves, the more posts and people you encourage into a natural area, the more the area begins to resemble the environment from which it is supposed to provide refuge.

Yours in crankiness.

Everyone knows I am a humongous fan of crankiness, especially well articulated crankiness.

I know the Tandy Hills Signposts are some kid's Eagle Scout project.  I am sure he means well.

Don't You Be Jeering Us Over-Patriotic Americans

Yesterday I got a feedback email from my Eyes on Texas website from a person who I think lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Alberta is a province of a country called Canada. I point that out for anyone who is over the top America-centric and is unaware of the country that is on the other side of America's northern border.

The reason I think the Canadian emailer is from Calgrary is he has an unique name, Brandon Uptigrove. In Facebook I stuck Brandon Uptigrove into the search window and two Brandon Uptigrove entries came up, one in Canada, one in Oklahoma.

It was via Brandon Uptigrove's email that I gleaned he was a Canadian. Below is what Brandon Uptigrove said in his email...

You can mock and jeer the over-patriotic Americans, but they're usually the first ones to jump in front of a bullet if it means preserving your freedom.  I wish we had more men like that in Canada.

I have no idea what on my Eyes on Texas website caused Brandon Uptigrove to opine the above. Maybe it was my America's Team webpage which sort of mocks how the Dallas Cowboys seem to cling to the ancient myth that they are America's Team.

As for Brandon Uptigrove wishing Canada had more bullet loving men, well, I know America loves its wars, to the point that we hardly ever are without at least one, however, I believe that Canada was fighting in both World War I and World War II long before America joined those wars to bring them to a winning conclusion for the good guys.

I remember watching the show in one of the Canadian pavilions at Vancouver's Expo 86, a show that was devoted to Canadian history. A few of the names were vaguely familiar to me.

Suffice to say, Canada does not quite have a historic legacy that is on a par with America's. There is no Canadian version of Uncle Sam. No Canadian leader who resonates through time like Abraham Lincoln.

Canada has no Statue of Liberty, which seems odd, since it was the French who gave America the Statue of Liberty. It would seem only fair, since Canada has much stronger ties to France than America does, that the French would have given Quebec a Statue of Liberty.

The closest Canada has ever come to a Civil War was when Quebec was in heavy duty pout mode, thinking the French Canadians were being slighted. I think that Civil War was averted by agreeing to add French to every public Canadian pronouncement, which can be really annoying when you are at any Canadian event and have to hear everything twice, once in English, once in French.

Canada has had no equivalent of Elvis Presley. And then when a sort of Elvis type Canadian phenomenon happens, in the form of little Justin Bieber, Bieber moves to America, to Los Angeles, and by the time he is a world wide celebrity most of the world thinks he is American. I know I did til I learned otherwise.

And now the Canadians boo Justin when he returns to Canada acting way too American by dressing way too casually when meeting whoever it is who is Canada's current Prime Minister or Premier or whatever it is they call their president. I used to remember these type things and know who is the current leader of Canada and Mexico and all sorts of other countries.

Currently I think I can only name the leader of America, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Egypt, Israel, Syria and North Korea.

I am woefully ignorant.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Have Done Just About All The Holiday Shopping That I Am Going To Do

Continuing yesterday's Happy Holiday Theme, today I voted in a holiday shopping poll in the online version of my old hometown newspaper, the Skagit Valley Herald.

Years of reading a small town newspaper of high quality, like the Skagit Valley Herald, may have contributed to my bad reaction to much of what I read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram upon first exposure.

Example, back some time in the 1990s, a legit entity, which makes those ranking type lists, named Mount Vernon as the #1 Small City in America.

CNN showed up. There was no city-wide celebration. The Skagit Valley Herald did not opine that being #1 on this list was making other cities, far and wide, green with envy.

Meanwhile, a bogus Washington, D.C. lobbying group, supporting the Urban Village concept, named Fort Worth one of the most livable cities in America. Neither CNN or any other legit news source showed up. Fort Worth had a city-wide celebration and the Star-Telegram opined that other cities, far and wide, were green with envy.

Back to the subject of voting in an online poll. The question was "When do you start holiday shopping?"

The choices were, "About now", "I start early", "Last minute" and "I don't shop for the holidays".

As you can see via the chart above, I voted "I don't shop for the holidays".

Apparently, according to the voting, I am not alone in being a Scrooge. Maybe it has something to do with the Skagit Valley that made me into such a bah humbug sort this time of year.

Today, rather than going walking at any of my regular walking haunts I decided to go to Walmart and get my endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation via pushing a loaded shopping cart whilst pretending to be a Holiday Shopper.

It was exhilarating and did not cost me a single penny.

Except for the almost $20 spent on stuff that had nothing to do with Holiday Shopping.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spencer Jack's Christmas Tree Has Me Thinking About Driving To California

Spencer Jack's Christmas Tree
I saw on Facebook this morning that Spencer Jack has now installed his 2012 Christmas tree. In the picture, that is Spencer Jack on the right, topping out the tree, which would make the Christmas tree that gaudy item on the left.

Either Spencer Jack has had a big growth spurt since I saw him in Arizona in March, or Spencer chopped down a rather short Christmas tree.

Where Spencer Jack lives, in the town of Mount Vernon, in the Skagit Valley of Washington, one can drive up into the mountains to a Christmas tree cutting zone, where, if you have the proper permit, you can cut down a tree.

Where I currently live, in the town of Fort Worth, in the Trinity Valley of Texas, there are no mountains to drive up to to cut a Christmas tree. I have read reports of Christmas tree harvesting occurring on the Tandy Hills, but I suspect these are just unsubstantiated rumors.

The time of year known as the Holiday Season is not my favorite time of the year. As far back as my memory goes I have not had much fondness for the Holidays. It starts off okay with Halloween. I always had fun as a kid at Halloween.

Then comes Thanksgiving. This particular holiday has been relative free ever since I moved to Texas. I never much enjoyed the big Thanksgiving dinners with a lot of relatives.

And then comes Christmas. I was disillusioned with Christmas at a very young age. I had been misled to believe that one told Santa what one wanted for Christmas and what one wanted would magically appear.

This never quite worked out the way I expected. By the time I was 6 or 7 I refused to have anything to do with Santa because he'd lost all credibility with me.

And I have never been a fan of candy, so being bribed with a candy cane had no effect on my anti-Santa Claus feelings.

The only part of Christmas I vaguely remember liking was the hunt for our Christmas stockings on Christmas morning. That was fun.

The large family gathering of relatives at Christmas was something I did not much enjoy. I endured it up through my teenage years, and then, by the time I was in my 20s, I'd  find a reason to be gone for the latter part of the Holiday Season. Usually a roadtrip to Southern California, with a long stop in Reno on the way.

The last Christmas related roadtrip escape from Washington occurred Christmas of 1994.

I got to Disneyland the day before Christmas Eve. Stayed in a hotel right across from Disneyland.

Christmas Eve went to Knott's Berry Farm and had Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner.

Christmas day was spent in Disneyland, til closing. Strangest, funnest day ever at Disneyland. The attendance record was broken. Some of the food vendors ran out of supplies. The guide on the Jungle Cruise turned into a crazy man after he confirmed there were no kids on board.

The days after Christmas were spent driving around the Los Angeles zone. Went to the Nixon Presidential Library.

A few days before New Year's Eve took off for Las Vegas. The freeway was jammed so took backroads til rejoining the freeway somewhere around Barstow. In Vegas there were no rooms at the decent inns, so ended up staying two nights in the Vegas 6 Motel from Hell. Biggest 6 Motel in the World.

After Vegas it was on to Flagstaff, going to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon the next day. Snow on the ground. Had not seen snow on the ground at the Grand Canyon before. Two years later I would find myself stuck in a log cabin on the North Rim watching a blizzard pile up snow.

After Grand Canyon it was across the Painted Desert to Monument Valley, then past Mexican Hat where I saw the San Juan Inn, a place I was to return to a few days before being stuck in the aforementioned blizzard.

New Year's Eve took place in Moab, Utah. One of my favorite places on the planet. The next day, New Year's Day of 1995, hiked all over Arches National Park, and then drove into Canyonlands National Park, ending up at Islands in the Sky, looking down to the canyon below, seeing mountain bikers and resolving to get a mountain bike and return.

The return, with a mountain bike, took place two years later.

Leaving the Moab zone, the night of New Year's Day was spent in Salt Lake City, next night in La Grange, Oregon, then home to Mount Vernon.

I have no idea why it was that I preferred the roadtrip holiday option to the relative type holiday option.

Very perplexing.

I Did Not Have A Whopper Today While Walking With The Fosdick Lake Ducks

The Fosducks who quack in Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park in Fort Worth, Texas were not in quack mode today.

Instead of quacking the Fosducks were making a high pitched squeal-like noise I had not heard from ducks before.

This was not quite a pig-like squeal noise, but sort of similar.

My favorite Fosdick Lake Norman Rockwell scene was in position today, that being an older lady, who I like to think of as a granny, with her long bamboo fishing pole stuck out over the water, with her happy looking dog sitting beside her.

Every time I see the Fosdick Lake granny fishing I think of my Grandma Vera. When I was a real little kid we'd drop in on Grandma Vera's in Lynden, in Washington, a border town about 5 miles south of the Canadian border. Often we'd find a "Gone Fishing" note on Grandma's front door. My dad would then drive us to Grandma's favorite fishing holes on the Nooksack River until we found her.

I finished watching Ken Burn's Dust Bowl last night. Until watching this I did not know that Dalhart, up in the Texas panhandle, was in the heart of the Dust Bowl. I was last in Dalhart in late August of 2001. I stopped in, I think, a Burger King and had a Whopper.

That may be the last time I've had a Whopper.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Walking Over A Field Of Broken Glass On The Tandy Hills While Pondering Signposts & Sociopaths

Today, half way down Mount Tandy, at the junction in the trail where one direction heads north, while the other heads south, I came upon the field of broken green glass you see on the left.

I find it difficult to believe that any of the litter averse, ecologically evolved sorts who wander the Tandy Hills would commit such a vandalistic act of broken glass mayhem.

Maybe a big green glass bottle fell out of a plane and landed on this spot. I'm sure that is the explanation.

Earlier today, on Facebook, I saw a photo of a very healthy looking bobcat which was spotted on Saturday on the Tandy Hills by some Boy Scouts.

I suspect the bobcat spotting Boy Scouts were on the Tandy Hills to help install the new signposts that have been stuck in the ground since my last visit.

The previous sole signpost had one direction indicating it was the rabbit trail, while the other direction appeared to be the eagle or hawk trail.

The new signposts that I saw today had what looked like maybe the sun, or a sunflower, another what appeared to be stalks of grass and another with what looked to be a roadrunner.

So, I guess those are the sun, grass and roadrunner trails.

I was a bit perplexed as to how the signposts are going to work to help someone find their way. The signposts may be too abstract for my relatively simple mind.

Changing the subject from signposts to signs of other things.

Hiking today in the Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium I found myself have some peaceful reflection time, reflecting on why I've been feeling relatively depressed lately.

I think I may have reflectively simplified my relative depression to the fact that I don't like being lied to. Character matters. As does loyalty and respect. Duplicity is not an attractive trait. And, it is a sad fact that among the humans who inhabit this world there are some who are truly evil sociopaths. I always believe that time heals all wounds and wounds all heels. But sometimes that process seems to take too long.

Changing the subject again, this time from evil sociopaths to swimming.

The temperature is just a few degrees shy of 80. In the Washington of my youth this would be considered a really HOT summer day, with the idea of heading to a lake crossing my mind. But, here in Texas, it is the idea of heading to a swimming pool that is crossing my mind right about now.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meandering Around Gateway Park Looking Forward To My First Mountain Bike Trail Workday

On my way to Town Talk today I stopped at Gateway Park to meander through the seldom visited backwoods  zone of this very big, largely undeveloped, city park.

I came upon a plaque today whilst doing my meandering that informed me that Gateway Park opened in 1991. I first visited Gateway Park soon after I arrived in Texas, which would be 7 or 8 years after Gateway Park opened.

I can never remember what year, for sure, my exile in Texas began. Was it December of 1998, or was it December of 1999? One would think I would know this.

At the top of this blog it says I've been exiled in Texas since 1999. I think maybe my thinking that made me think that was I got to Texas about a week before Christmas, I think in the year of 1998, with the new year of 1999 beginning in just 2 weeks, I think that is why I say my exile began in 1999 because that marked the start of my first full year in exile.

Anyway, the first time I visited Gateway Park I entered the park from Beach Street, saw the boardwalk connected to the Trinity River, parked and walked the boardwalk. The Trinity River was running a lot of water at that point in time and in my newbie naivete I figured this was the river's regular state of water flow, with rapids.

The Gateway Park boardwalk was in fine shape the first time I saw it. At that point in time I did not know there was another, even more elaborate boardwalk, further down stream.

Part of the FWMBA Trail Workday Notice
And now, a relatively short time later, both boardwalks are boarded up eyesores with "CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC" signs.

The Gateway Park boardwalks may be rotting eyesores, but other parts of Gateway Park have been worked on, such as the miles of mountain bike trails that now meander through the Gateway Park jungle.

Today I saw a notice on the reader board that provides info about the mountain bike trail, with the notice informing me that there have been 2 Mountain Bike Trail Workdays that I have missed, with another one coming up on the first day of December.

The Trail Workdays are a FWMBA (Fort Worth Mountain Biker's Association) operation. According to the notice, apparently Phase 2 is off to a great start with over 1 mile of pure single track and a completely new 5 mile rideable loop. Lunch and drinks are provided to the workers on the workdays.

I need more specificity as to the exact nature of the food and drinks to properly motivate me to work on a mountain bike trail.

I have no idea if I have biked the mile of pure single track or the new 5 mile loop. I have biked, twice, what I thought was all the mountain bikeable trails that are in Gateway Park. Some of it is a little difficult for my diminished skill level. I easily could have missed a loop or a trail junction.

Town Talk was not its usual busy Saturday self today. I suspect shopper fatigue is the explanation.

Friday, November 23, 2012

49 Years Plus One Day After The JFK Assassination The Nick Beef Mystery Continues To Mystify

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, November 22, was the 49th  Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The assassin who murdered JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, is buried about a mile from my abode.

Way back early in this century, prior to attending the 40th Anniversary at Dealey Plaza I had visited the Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park and found Oswald's grave.

I made an entry about the Oswald gravesite on my Eyes on Texas website, a webpage titled Lee Harvey Oswald Gravesite.

For years search engines have had me be the world's go to boy for info about finding Oswald's gravesite.

Decades ago had you told me that in the next century I would be directing people to the location of the grave of Lee Harvey Oswald, my feeble imagination would not have been able to conjure a scenario where that would make sense.

Next to Oswald's headstone there is one for a non-existent person named Nick Beef. Nick Beef has confused people for years.

Yesterday I got email feedback from Rick Saunders regarding Nick Beef. This is what Rick had to say about Nick....

The story I have always heard regarding Nick Beef is that Oswald's grave stone had been stolen or vandalized several times. Finally they just didn't replace the stone. Two reporters split the cost and bought the grave next to Oswald's and put the marker there. There is actually no one buried there. It is simply a landmark for Oswald's grave.

I don't know how Rick missed the explanation about Nick that is on my website....

JFK Researcher Barb Junkkarinen offers the following explanation that first appeared in a newsgroup post:

"According to the folks in the black suits at the cemetery office, Nick Beef is the stage name of a comedian who bought the plot and had a headstone with that name installed. In his act, he apparently tells people that if they want to find Oswald's grave (which info the cemetery office will not give out)...just ask for Nick Beef instead and you will find Oswald. Only thing they won't tell people where Nick Beef's grave is either! Once the cemetery folks realized a group of us (Arthur and Margaret Snyder, Bill Hamley, and myself) who were out there already knew where Oswald's grave was and were just curious about Nick Beef, they told us the story. Of additional note...Marguerite (Oswald's mother) is buried on the other side of Oswald.... sans headstone."

A Slow Recovery From My Thanksgiving Buffet Debacle With The Chesapeake Energy Parade Of Lights

Tandy Hills Fall Color
I am slowly recovering from yesterday's Thanksgiving Buffet debacle.

A long swim this morning helped with my recovery.

I don't think I will be able to swim tomorrow morning due to the fact that a cold wind is blowing from the north.

I thought a nice long hike in the Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium might help with my recovery from yesterday's debacle. I thought right, with the endorphin inducing from aerobic stimulation being quite salubrious.

I sure you are wondering what about my Thanksgiving Buffet was a debacle.


One thing I learned is mashed sweet potatoes are no substitute for mashed potatoes. And then there was the stuffing. I think when my back was turned someone added a lot of Oregano to the stuffing. The gravy tasted good, but was very thin. I had no corn starch to thicken it. Somehow the cranberries that I made the day before Thanksgiving turned into a stiff gelatinous mass.

I've decided yesterday was my last Thanksgiving Buffet. It is way too much bother.

I forgot to mention how the color display on the Tandy Hills has gotten a lot more colorful since my visit just a couple days ago. You see evidence of that in the photo at the top.

The Wagon Trail To Downtown Fort Worth
My hiking today started on the summit of Mount Tandy. From the top of Mount Tandy I walk down the old wagon trail you see in the picture on the left, heading west to where the west begins, in downtown Fort Worth.

Today is Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. I'm not a fan of Black Friday and the throngs of shoppers. So, I won't be going to downtown Fort Worth today to do any shopping in any of its department stores or vertical malls.

Later today, starting around 6pm the local benefactor that calls itself Chesapeake Energy is presenting the Parade of Lights. This year there are 106 entries, lighting up downtown Fort Worth with over a half million lights. The theme for this year's parade is "The Wonder of it All."

I have only been to the Parade of Lights one time. Big Ed's little sister was visiting Fort Worth for the first time, and so a group was assembled, with watching the Parade of Lights our Friday night entertainment. The Parade of Lights was quite impressive.

I've been impressed with every parade I've been to in Texas, with Fort Worth having three that I liked, in addition to the Parade of Lights. The Fort Worth Stock Show Parade is a  parade of the sort I'd never seen before. Non-mechanized.

The other Fort Worth parade that I liked a lot was a one time only parade that introduced the Fort Worth Herd to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

I don't think I will be heading to downtown Fort Worth tonight to watch the parade. Too chilly.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day

Happy Turkey Day was the subject line in an email I got this afternoon from Spencer Jack's dad.

The email included the photo on the left, with the text saying...

FUD--- Thought you'd enjoy this photo. Spencer Jack's girlfriend and I took an early morning drive down to see Snoqualmie Falls. I was telling Brittney that my favorite Uncle took us there during the 1990 flood when even more water could be seen flowing down the falls.

Spencer Jack's dad calls me FUD. The FUD initials stand for Favorite Uncle Durango. Spencer Jack's dad is known as FNJ, or Favorite Nephew Jason. Spencer Jack's uncle is also known as FNJ, for Favorite Nephew Joey.

I think FNJ is erroneous about the year I drove him and his brother and cousins down to see Snoqualmie Falls. I remember the vehicle I was driving at that point in time and that vehicle did not get driven by me until 1994.

The visit to Snoqualmie Falls, which FNJ is referencing, was falling a lot more water than what appears to be falling in this picture. I remember the ground was vibrating and a very thick mist made seeing the falls only possible intermittently.

The view in this picture became well known after a TV show called Twin Peaks frequently showed a slightly wider view, which included the Salish Lodge on the left.

Go to the Salish Lodge website and you'll see a rather cool view of the Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls. Move the mouse to the top of the picture and you'll see a mountain in the background. That mountain is Mount Si.

Yesterday whilst blogging I was lamenting the fact that I can not remember the last mountain I hiked. Seeing the picture of Mount Si has me thinking that may have been the last mountain I've climbed, at some point in time late in the previous century.

The trail to the top of Mount Si may be the busiest trail in Washington. Every time I've reached the summit I have been amazed by how many people are already there.

The last time I hiked to the summit of Mount Si I remember going to North Bend afterwards and having some of that famous cherry pie at the Mar T Cafe. Along with coffee. Neither were as memorable as Twin Peaks led one to think they would be.

Thanksgiving Turtles In Village Creek

Before the scheduled removal of the turkey from my oven I decided to go take a walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

I was surprised to find myself walking with a lot of other walkers out walking before eating too much turkey.

On Tuesday I mentioned that the Village Creek turtles were so skittish I'd never been able to get a picture of them, unlike the eagerly posing Fosdick  Lake turtles.

Today the Village Creek turtles, for the most part, did not jump in the creek as soon as they saw me. Instead, several of the previously shy reptiles politely posed for multiple photos, including the one above.

Changing the subject from one body of water to another.

This morning my formerly too cool pool had warmed up enough that I was able to have myself some swim time. I don't know the same will be true tomorrow morning. Currently my computer based temperature monitoring device is telling me it is a relatively chilly 67 degrees in the outer world at my location.

I need to go mash some sweet potatoes now.

A Thanksgiving Morning Gas Pipeline Warning From Chesapeake Energy

This morning I decided I needed to add cherry pie to my Thanksgiving Buffet.

The closest cherry pie to my location was a short distance from my abode, so I walked over to Albertsons where I was surprised by what a large number of people were shopping for groceries on Thanksgiving morning.

On the way to a cherry pie I walked by a new addition to the neighborhood, across the street from Albertsons.

A  GAS PIPELINE WARNING sign, courtesy of Chesapeake Energy.

I guess this means that the newly installed pipeline now has non-odorized natural gas flowing through it.

Behind the sign, in the center of the picture, there are a bunch of pipes coming out of the ground.

There is no security in the form of impenetrable fencing on this particular gas pad site, located at the east end of Boca Raton Boulevard. A short, easily climbed over, chain link fence surrounds part of this gas pad site.

The bunch of pipes in the above picture looks sort of vulnerable. It is outside the area surrounded by a short chain link fence. I can see where some of the neighborhood kids might not realize they are doing a bad thing turning a valve or two.

My other neighborhood Chesapeake Energy gas pad site has a tall brick wall around it. While the Albertsons Chesapeake Energy gas pad site sits exposed to the world.

I suspect a better fence will appear at some point in time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Shadow Of The Tandy Hills Thin Man Worrying About Losing His Memory

The Shadow of the Tandy Hills Thin Man did some pre-Thanksgiving hill hiking today.

I felt a dire need for some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation and there is no better place to get such stimulation, within a 4 mile range of my abode, than the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

Last week on Top Chef Seattle when the Top Chefs got to the place they would be bunking and saw the view, one of them remarked something along the line of there are mountains every direction you look.

The mention of mountains on Top Chef had me trying to remember the last time I hiked on an actual mountain. I could not remember if such a thing has taken place in this century.

Not being able to remember the last time I had hiked on an actual mountain was sort of depressing.

Is this how Alzheimer's starts?

I did remember to go swimming this morning in the cool pool. The water had not warmed up as much as I'd hoped it would, but I managed to get in some swimming without shivering. The pool should be less cool tomorrow morning due to the fact that it is being warmer today, as in it is currently 79 degrees according to my computer based temperature monitoring device.

I heard on the radio we may get into the 80s today. In my younger, pre-Alzheimer's years, I would consider a day in the 80s to be a very HOT day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today The Fosdick Turtles Were Performing For The Oakland Lake Park Crowd Of Visitors

Fosdick Turtles & Their Happy Dancing
Apparently summer decided to make a temporary return to North Texas for Thanksgiving Week, which had the turtles of Fosdick Lake in high fiving celebrating mood, today, after their recent bouts with frigid temperatures.

Why are the turtles of Fosdick Lake, in Oakland Lake Park, such willing photo posers? While the turtles who live with the Indian Ghosts in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area are totally camera shy, so much so that I've never successfully taken a picture of any of them.

It may be that the turtles of Fosdick Lake are used to having a lot of close encounters with humans.

Like today.

I don't remember ever seeing so many little kids walking around Fosdick Lake as I did today.

Below you see some of the kids and their parental units. The pair of tall blondes were maternal units to some of the kids. Prior to the scene in the below picture one of the tall blondes let out a very charming yell with a very thick Texas accent, yelling to her kids, "Y'all get back here now."

I find a good thick Texas accent to be very charming. Even when the accent goes into yelling mode it still sounds charming to my Yankee ears.

Elsie Hotpepper has a pretty good Texas accent. I've never heard Elsie Hotpepper in yell mode, not that I remember. Some Texas accents, like the one that lady had in the above photo, well they just sort of drip honey. Elsie Hotpepper is not exactly a honey dripper, her delivery is too rapid for that, but the Hotpepper accent is still quite pleasant to listen to.

For several mornings of late I've run the furnace to heat up this space. This afternoon my windows are open.

I went swimming this morning. I lasted a couple minutes before I got in the hot tub. But the hot tub was quickly too hot, so I got back in the cool pool and swam for several more minutes.

|With today's high supposed to be in the 80 degree range I suspect I will be able to swim as long as I want to tomorrow morning, without going into shiver mode.

I have all my fixin's, for the most part, for my Thanksgiving Buffet. Invitation only. $30 a person, includes beverage.

The Ongoing Search For The Truth About Jesse James

Several years ago rumor had it that Jesse James had not been killed by Bob Ford, but had escaped, living out his life in the Texas town of Granbury.

This rumor ran so far amok that at one point in time somehow an exhumation order was issued with the grave in a Granbury cemetery, thought to be Jesse James, was dug up. It was quickly determined that this was a mistake, with the digger claiming the wrong grave had been opened, but no further exhumation orders were issued, so no further grave digging was done.

Earlier in this century I made a webpage titled "The Truth About Jesse James" on my Eyes on Texas website.

The webpage about Jesse James has generated some interesting feedback over the years, including an email this morning from someone named Jsradan Radan. I have no clue how one might pronounce that first name.

Below is the email from Jsradan, followed by a couple other interesting emails I've received regarding Jesse James....

My grandmother was Gladys Parker, married name, her maiden name was Biggerstaff.  She died in 1985 in Newport, Washington. The closest birth record had her born around 1889.  Before she past away she said she had a letter from Jesse James after he supposedly died.  But shortly after she said something she "past away" at the old folks home and all of her stuff was taken and "sold" to pay for what they said she owed.  History is written by the winners or what the government wants you to know.  Think about the lies that are told as fact even in your own lifetime.  I think he escaped the tyranny of Pinkerton and the government.  GOD bless the USA, but condemn the socialistic government. If you have anything you can share with me about my grandmother so I can find my own history I would appreciate it. 

If you have anything to share with Jsradan you can email him here.

And then there was the following from Doug Bigelow...

I found your website "Eye on Texas; The Truth About Jesse James" and thought you might be able to help me with a few questions. 

As you are certainly aware one of the stories / legends about Jesse James is that Charlie Bigelow was killed in his place. Although there has been much said about the life of Jesse James and his history I have not been able to discover much about the supposed Charlie Bigelow. 

I have read that he may have been from Bigelow, MO and that the town was named after his family. I have also found that the town may have been named after a wealthy English businessman that invested in the railroad. This leads me to believe that there may have not even been Bigelows in the small town. 

With all of the alias that the outlaws used I wonder if “Charlie Bigelow” might have been one that Jesse James used thus confusing who was actually murdered. They say that Charlie looked liked Jesse, maybe it WAS Jesse? 

My hopes are that you can help me with my research on Charlie Bigelow. Did he even exist? If so, where was he actually from? If Jesse was the one actually killed by Bob Ford then what happened to Charlie? Was he even a Bigelow or was it an alias that Jesse or some other outlaw used at one time? 

Any light you can shed on this mystery would be greatly appreciated. I hope to write an article for the Bigelow Genealogical Society’s newsletter, Forge. 

Thanks for your time and efforts on this matter.

Doug Bigelow

If you can shed any light on this mystery you can email Doug Bigelow here.

And then there was the email from a lady married to the great great great granddaughter of Geronimo...

The man known as deacon reminds me of some of the Jennings. They were in Kansas City, Missouri at that time, left in 1869. Albert A. Jennings, who is a cousin of the James Brother, as well and the Youngers, he was there in Missouri for while since he left Reddish River North Carolina after his marriage to his wife Mary Pollyanna Muse. 1853, the son of John Thomas Jennings and Nancy I. Irving or Irvin, one of the founding people probably founded the place between Fort Worth and Dallas. I suspect Albert A. Jennings was a member of the James gang. For some reason he changed his last name from Jennings to Gennings or Gennins, like he was on the lam.

Also have you heard the story were Jesse James sold the rifles and ammo to the Lakota Sioux that ended in the destruction of another cousin, General George Armstrong Custer, even though he really deserved what he had did to my red brothers?

Guess I would classify myself part Indian, for interest sake, i am married to the great great great granddaughter of Geronimo, through his second wife and daughter Tosey, who married Jose Ramirez. Of course my wife was born in a place called Idabel, Oklahoma.

On your page you should have the photo of Jesse James when he was there, took with some sheriff or somebody of that time.

The above email with the connection to Geronimo, plus the reference to Custer and what he did to the red brothers, may be my all time favorite feedback email I've received from my Eyes on Texas website.

Everybody In Fort Worth Loves That New Rig Smell

Yesterday I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when Someone Else opined, via a blog comment, that he or she felt I was perennially negative about the city that calls itself Fort Worth, even though there is no fort in Fort Worth, which is just one more example of how the town tends to misrepresent itself.

Gone looking for Sundance Square lately in downtown Fort Worth?

The fact of the matter, regarding Fort Worth, is that there are some things that go on in this town that, when one describes them accurately, it really can not be done in a positive way, if you want to be truthful.

Take the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, for example. A billion dollar public works project that the public has not voted on. A public works project of very dubious value, destroying river levees that have functioned well for over a half a century, replacing the levees with an un-needed flood diversion channel and adding a little lake to the north side of downtown Fort Worth, where currently the Clear and West forks of the Trinity River merge.

And to give Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger's son, J.D., a job running the project, with that job currently being America's worst example of nepotism.

And then we have Fort Worth being the world's big city test tube experiment for allowing thousands of holes to be poked in its ground to fracture shale to produce natural gas, and then move that un-odorized natural gas, under the city, in hundreds of miles of pipeline.

Last night I got an email from Don Young which I imagine Someone Else would characterize as being negative about Fort Worth, when in reality the message is actually a plea for civic sanity from a lifelong Fort Worth citizen who is appalled at what he sees happening to the town he lives  in.

Below is what Don Young had to say, along with 3 links to what some other people had to say about that which goes on in Fort Worth....

Only in Fort Worth would such an arrogant message via a giant billboard sprout in the heart of downtown.

The people that run Fort Worth (FW), Texas, the 16th most populous city in the USA, are hell bent on helping FW become the dumbest large city in the USA. Here's a short list of their accomplishments:

- FW was the first large city in the USA to allow natural gas (NG) drilling in all neighborhoods regardless of zoning class.

- FW has more UN-ODORIZED NG pipelines in neighborhoods than any large city in the USA.

- FW is the first large city in the USA to allow an UN-ODORIZED NG pipeline in the downtown corridor.

This new billboard in the downtown FW, just a few hundred feet from I-30, reinforces the fact that Fort Worth is out of touch with reality as Chesapeake completes installation of the downtown pipeline. 

The real dangers and risks to public health and the environment are well known as these recent reports confirm. Please educate yourself, raise hell and/or move out of the shale patch, if you can.

An Exploratory Study of Air Quality Near NG Operations

Filming Dirty Air

Flowback: How the Texas NG Boom Affects Health and Safety


Monday, November 19, 2012

Hiking The Tandy Hills With My Perennially Negative Self & A Possible Bobcat

Today I was back on the Tandy Hills. As you can see via the view up a steep trail up a Tandy Hill some of the Tandy trees are getting very colorful.

Most of the food in the Tandy Buffet Shrine, that I have mentioned a couple times in the past week, has now disappeared. Not a single crumb of the coffee cake was in evidence.

I have not gone swimming since last Monday. It's been cold. But the 24 hour temperature average the past 24  hours has been well over 50 degrees. With the current temperature in the middle of Monday afternoon being 71 by tomorrow morning the 48 hour average will have been well over 50.

So, tomorrow morning I am going to try and go swimming. If the water has not warmed to a suitable temperature I can retreat to the hot tub.

Yesterday, in a blog comment to a blogging that mentioned my twin nephew and niece, Theo and Ruby, had their 23rd month birthday party on Saturday, also mentioned one of Theo and Ruby's aunts, which had the commenter commenting that Theo and Ruby's aunt is a bad apple. That seems a really harsh judgement to make from very little evidence.

And then Someone Else, in another comment to another blogging,  that being a blogging about the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world, outrageously opined that my supposed "perennial negativity toward Fort Worth has become rather annoying."

I am shocked. Perennial negativity? At best it is only occasional. And usually with very good reason.

Changing the subject from my perennial negativity back to the Tandy Hills.

As I headed down the hill that leads to the aforementioned Tandy Buffet Shrine I was hearing voices. Eventually the trio of guys you see in the picture above came into view. The trio appeared to be painting. I  would have gotten closer to see for sure what the trio was doing, but I respected their invisible no trespassing sign.

Continuing on I eventually found myself back on the Tandy Highway, heading towards Mount Tandy and my vehicular transport parked on the summit. When I got on the Tandy Highway and looked north I saw what looked like a bobcat looking at me. I stopped and grabbed my camera.

I zoomed in and took 3 pictures. From where I was standing I was too far away to tell for sure if this was a bobcat. It has been awhile since I've had a bobcat encounter.

When I got the pictures off the camera I was able to tell with some certainty that this was not a bobcat. I think it was a rather big cat of the domestic house cat sort. Out having him or herself a real fine time running around on the Tandy Hills.

I hope I have not been too negative about the perennial Tandy Hills today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Someone Thinks Fort Worth Is The Location Of The Most Beautiful Work Of Modern Architecture In The World

The Kimbell Art Museum
In the picture you are looking at the outside of the Kimbell Art Museum, located in the area of Fort Worth zoned for museums called The Cultural District.

Stay with me, eventually I'll get back to the Kimbell Art Museum, but first we have to go to Rome.

Last night I went to Rome via Wikipedia. There I saw some incredible sights, like closeup views of structures like the Coliseum.

While visiting Rome I saw mention made of Rome being what is known as a World City. So, I went to Wikipedia's World City entry.

There are several organizations that rank the world's cities by various criteria. Every one of them had New York City as the #1 World City. And London #2. Some Texas towns showed up on the various lists. Like Houston, Austin and Dallas. Maybe San Antonio, I don't remember for sure.

But, I do remember, for sure, that the city that makes the world Green with Envy, Fort Worth, was no where to be seen.

Seattle was on several of the lists. As was Vancouver. And Portland.

Seattle, Vancouver and Portland are the world's biggest cities with which I am most familiar, along with Fort Worth and Dallas.

I clicked on the Seattle Wikipedia entry. It was a good article, with great photos giving a good idea of what Seattle looks like, including the skyline from various angles.

Then I clicked on the Fort Worth Wikipedia entry. Yikes. "Holy Embarrassment!" as Batman might say. Or "Ay Carrumba!" as Bart Simpson might say.

Below is the Wikipedia picture of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth. As viewed from the aforementioned Cultural District. The caption for this photo in Wikipedia says, "Fort Worth skyline from the Amon Carter Museum."

Fort Worth Skyline from the Amon Carter Museum

From the view from the Amon Carter Museum let's go back to the Kimbell Art Museum. I told you at the start we'd eventually get back there.

The third paragraph in the Wikipedia article about Fort Worth starts with the following doozy of an example of classic delusional thinking, of the sort one might read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"Fort Worth is home to the Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best collections in the world, and housed in what is widely regarded as the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world."

The most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world? I don't even think it is as beautiful as the Museum of Modern Art next door.

The Wikipedia entry about the Kimbell Art Museum does not repeat the nonsense found in the Fort Worth entry.

The Seattle Central Library
Now, if you want an actual example of a beautiful work of modern architecture, visit the Seattle Central Library.

A few years ago the American Institute of Architects compiled a list of Americans' 150 favorite structures located in the U.S.

The Seattle Central Library was voted #108. This surprised me, wondering how did many Americans even know about this relatively new building.

The Star-Telegram printed this list of favorite structures and opined outrage over the borderline criminal omission of the Kimbell Art Museum from the list.

That is sort of shocking, what with the Kimbell Art Museum apparently being widely regarded as the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world.

I don't remember if any buildings in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex were on this list. I would guess a new list of this sort would include the new Dallas Cowboy stadium. And would still omit the Kimbell Art Museum, mostly due to the fact that hardly anyone in America has heard of this building that is the most beautiful work of modern architecture in the world.

Rained On While Fishing In Fosdick Lake With The Twins Theo & Ruby

Fosdick Fishermen
A time complication caused by Brussels Sprouts had me exiting my abode later than the norm for my daily mid-day endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

So, due to running late, I aborted my plan to check in on the growing buffet that has been sprouting on the Tandy Hills and opted instead to walk around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

I experienced a sort of strange weather phenomenon whilst walking around Fosdick Lake today.

In the sky there were a few wispy clouds. A good steady wind was blowing. For a few minutes, from no apparent source, rain rained down. Not many drops dripped, but there was sufficient drippage to make no mistake about the fact that the almost cloudless sky was raining.

In the picture above you are looking at a pair of Fosdick Fishermen fishing next to one of the signs warning fish catchers that it may not be safe to eat the fish you catch from this polluted Fort Worth lake.

It always strikes as such a pitiful, sad thing that such a sign is needed, with that need not seeming to provoke any sort of civic initiative to clean up Fort Worth's lakes. Maybe cleaning up Fort Worth's lake could be added to the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Changing the subject  from dirty water and boondoggles to something else.

The twins, my nephew, Theo John, and niece, Ruby Jean, turned 23 months old yesterday. That is Theo and Ruby below, sitting in their favorite chair in their living room in Tacoma.

I heard from Theo and Ruby's mama on Friday, inquiring whether I would be seeing the twins, and their big brother, David, later this month, or early in December, in Arizona, where they are going to see their grandma and grandpa and favorite aunt. Among many others.

My mom and dad have been thinking that they would be seeing all their kids in one location for the first time since August 11, 2001, sometime in late November or early December.

However, one of Theo and Ruby's aunts is not cooperating with this plan. The old TV game show, Family Feud, comes to mind.

I am sort of looking forward to meeting David, Theo and Ruby for the first time. I am fairly certain my uncle powers are still strong, but it would be nice to have that confirmed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Back On The Tandy Hills With More Food At The New Tandy Shrine

I was back on the Tandy Hills today, warming up with some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation before tackling the crowds at Town Talk.

Yesterday's Tandy Hills hiking revealed some perplexing new Tandy Hills Mysteries. No new mysteries were found today.

However, the mysterious, possibly pagan, construction I found yesterday has had some food added to it.

Another bulb of garlic, in addition to the one still on the ground. An onion, Two slices of what looked like coffee cake. Three spears of a green vegetable, maybe beans, maybe asparagus. Plus three shrimp.

What does it all mean, if anything?

I was tempted to sit down and have lunch, but I was not sure how safe those shrimp were to eat.

How come no critter, like a Road Runner or a Coyote, has come along and had themselves some fine dining? One would think the coffee cake would be tempting to birds. Maybe they are warded off by the garlic. No insects were seen either. Where are the ants?

I suspect I will be drawn back to the Tandy Hills tomorrow to see what fresh food has been added to this growing buffet.

As for Town Talk. It was busy. Longest wait ever in a Town Talk checkout line. Usually there is hardly any wait, the checkouts are so efficient  so the fact that today was the longest I've ever waited does not mean it was a long wait. It was an entertaining wait. Interesting characters shop at Town Talk.

The lunch buzzer is about to buzz. Chicken Samosas with Cilantro Chutney, Spinach, plus Spuds made in the Indian style of cuisine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

On The Tandy Hills Again Following Trail Markers To Sites Of Possible Pagan Rituals

I was back on the Tandy Hills today for the first time since Wednesday. I am terrible at math, but I think that is two days ago.

A lot has happened on the Tandy Hills since my last visit, two days ago.

Today I came upon one of the new directional markers that are being installed to help reduce the problem of people getting lost on the maze of trails that meander all over the Tandy Hills.

I was a little surprised when I descended Mount Tandy today to get to the trail junction where the Tandy Shrine formerly sat to find the Tandy Shrine has been totally removed. This removal had to have taken place since sometime between noon on Wednesday and noon today, which is Friday, if I am right about what day it is today.

The missing Tandy Shrine is a minor Tandy mystery. I came upon two MAJOR Tandy mysteries today, mysteries which were not mystifying me when I hiked past their location last Wednesday.

The trail marker you see in the picture above is located on the trail that leads into the Tandy Hills from the park on View Street. The trail marker is at the first trail junction. If you follow the arrow on the marker, pointing to the "Rabbit" trail, you will soon come to another trail junction, currently unmarked. Go right at this junction and you will soon go down a hill, to a gully with a dry creek bed, cross the dry creek bed and you will see the new Tandy Mystery #1.

Above was my first Tandy Mystery of the day. Someone has made a rock monument pedestal. That pedestal is surrounded by a rock wall. On top of the rock monument pedestal there is a goblet half filled with an amber colored liquid. On the ground to the left of the rock monument pedestal there is a white object. I  had to get close up to determine what that white object was.

I was more than a little surprised to see that the white object was a full bulb of garlic. That is the garlic you see in the picture above, in the middle foreground.

Doesn't garlic have something to do with vampires and werewolves? Were some loony teenagers having themselves some sort of party related to the opening of the final chapter of those inexplicably popular Twilight movies? Is this the site of some sort of pagan ritual?

What is the amber liquid? I did not submit the amber liquid to a sniff test. I did not touch anything at this location.

I continued on. Soon after leaving the amber liquid and garlic the trail goes up a hill, then down a hill, then up another hill, past the previously mentioned, in previous bloggings, Creepy Tandy Crypt. The Creepy Tandy Crypt appeared months ago, near the center of the Tandy Hills. Ground had been dug, a huge rock placed over the hole in the ground, with other rocks added, making what looked like a crypt.

Well, today I was disturbed to see that the Creepy Tandy Crypt has been disturbed, making this disturbance Tandy Mystery #2.

Dirt has been moved from under the large rock that makes up the bulk of the Creepy Tandy Crypt. I imagine the rock is too heavy for an ordinary mortal to lift, so, someone tried to dig under it to try and determine what is in the Creepy Tandy Crypt.

All I could see, when looking inside the opening, under the crypt, was what looked like black plastic sheeting, the sort of sheeting one might wrap something in before sticking it in an ice chest to haul it somewhere to bury it.

The bigger mystery of today's Tandy Mystery #2 was the large clam shell that has been placed in front of the opening to the Creepy Tandy Crypt. This clam shell was almost as big as a horse clam shell one might find on a Puget Sound beach in Washington.

Why would someone bring a large clam shell to the Tandy Hills and place it at this location?

Methinks it may be time to install security cameras on the Tandy Hills, in addition to trail markers.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Relatively Depressed Walk With Indian Ghosts & Scooter Man

I woke up this morning feeling relatively depressed. I don't know why. Other than the relative depression may have something to do with annoying epic length cinematic dreams, I mean, nightmares, that put me through a living hell last night.

I also may be relatively depressed due to the outer world being too cool to swim in the pool.

I needed to go to Walmart to get my anti-depressant, I mean, a can of coffee. So, since Walmart is in the neighborhood, I went to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to commune with the Indian Ghosts who haunt that area.

But the Indian Ghosts were not doing much haunting today. However, there was a lot of noisy ground action coming from busily rooting armadillos.

Above, in the picture, you are looking at one of the dams which impound water to make the Interlochen canals. When I got to this Interlochen dam today I was on the far side of the view you see in the picture.

When I got to that location and began crossing the dam I saw a real surreal Twin Peakish type scene on the other side.

A gentleman, appearing to be older than me, and a bit heftier, rolled up to the dam on a scooter, along with two large dogs. The older gentleman then lowered the scooter onto the dam and proceeded to scooter across the dam, with his two unleashed dogs.

We met in mid dam and howdied.

The scooter man got to the other side of the dam, got off the scooter and carried it up to the trail that leads to the Village Creek Blue Bayou. This trail does not seem as if it would be very scooter friendly to me.

Very perplexing. What with miles of paved scooter friendly trails, why go this route?

Anyway, I am a bit tired, courtesy of my long night of relatively annoying nightmares. I hope I don't have a repeat tonight.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reading Idiot America With Goober The Texan And His Kooky Ideas

I am currently on the reading a lot of books part of my book reading pendulum. Sometimes I go a month or two without reading a book. The no book reading is the nadir of the book reading pendulum. Then I go to the other end of the pendulum and become a reading maniac.

I have been in reading maniac mode for a couple months now. I think excess reading does wonders for my eyesight. Currently I am reading without needing reading glasses.

Sometimes my book mania mode gets fixated on a genre. The current mania is not too genre specific, though there have been a number of Civil War books.

Among the 8 books I am borrowing from the library at this point in time is one called IDIOT AMERICA: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. Written by Charles P. Pierce.

IDIOT AMERICA seems a perfect two word description for much of America's most recent election season.

A blurb from the back cover of IDIOT AMERICA...

"Charles Pierce takes us on a brilliant and hilarious tour of the back roads of American idiotocracy through history -- skewering Atlantis seekers, evolution deniers, jackasses, nincompoops and right-wing know-it-alls with his trademark sledgehammer wit. Reading Pierce's IDIOT AMERICA, I laughed myself stupid."

Calling anyone an American idiot seems so harsh. And yet I so often find myself thinking such a thing.

For instance there is this blogger. To shield this blogger from the embarrassment of being identified I shall refer to his blog as Goober's World and I will refer to the blogger as Goober the Texan.

During the election season Goober the Texan's blog had a lot of political ranting that was not too well grounded in reality. A couple times I attempted to add some factual content via comments to the political ranting, but, eventually I realized this was hopeless.

In one of Goober the Texan's most recent posts he ended with this quote...

"I have never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friendship. But stupidity will make me drop you like a hot potato."

I guess I have finally learned why Goober the Texan no longer returns my phone calls. 

On Facebook Goober the Texan has been verbalizing his rather, well, I guess erroneous is not too strong a word, opinions.

Goober the Texan's verbalizations of his erroneous opinions, and the rather strident way they are verbalized, has caused dozens of his Facebook friends to de-friend him.

Goober the Texan gets an idea in his head and no matter how wrong-headed that idea is, there is no changing his mind.

For instance, Goober the Texan thinks that to be in a presidential debate a candidate's party must get at least 5% of the vote in the previous presidential election.

Goober repeats this over and over again in various ways and in various venues.

Two examples of this particular instance of Goober the Texan being an Idiotic American, one from Facebook, one from the Goober's World blog...

"And the Libertarians get their 5% so that in 2016 we have more choices. I have 100 different varieties of toilet paper to choose from, but only 2 for President... Strange."

"Unfortunately if your nutcase candidate (Libertarian Gary Johnson) would have managed to get just 5%, the one in four years might actually have had a chance."

Near as I can tell, Goober thinks the presidential debates are some sort of mandated by law operation, stacked in favor of the majority parties.

Apparently Goober has no memory of the election of 1992 when there were 3 candidates invited to the debates, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot. I believe the League of Women Voters was still running the debates at that point in time. The criteria was that a candidate had to be polling 15% support or better to get invited to debate.

I suppose Goober is too young to remember the election of 1980. Ronald Reagan was the Republican, Jimmy Carter, the Democrat. And John Anderson was an independent candidate who was polling high enough numbers to get invited to debate. Jimmy Carter refused to debate with John Anderson on the stage. So, Reagan debated Anderson without Jimmy. Anderson plummeted  in the polls, resulting in only Carter and Reagan getting invited to a debate one week before the election.

Where does Goober the Texan come up with this 5% notion?

Does Goober the Texan not know that the Republican and the Democrats have not always been the two majority parties?  Any awareness of the election of 1912? Where the Republican, William Howard Taft, came in third? Where the Progressives, led by Teddy Roosevelt, came in second? With Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat, elected?

Now, I am a very tolerant type person. So, even though, in some areas, I may think Goober the Texan is kind of stupid, this will not cause me to drop him like a hot potato......