Saturday, November 30, 2013

Finding Bliss & A New Tandy Hills Mystery Before Town Talking

 In the picture you are looking at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth. A zoomed view from the end of the View Street trail on the Tandy Hills.

Yesterday whilst walking about downtown Fort Worth I actually thought to myself that downtown Fort Worth actually is looking good.

Real good.

So much better than when my eyes first saw downtown Fort Worth, well over a decade ago. At that point in time I recollect being both a bit perplexed and a bit appalled.

If I remember right, part of the being perplexed thing was wondering what Sundance Square was. Or where it was. The appalled part came when someone told me that Sundance Square was all the downtown parking lots. That turned out not to be true,  though many thought it to be. And now that confusion has been sort of rectified by the goofily named Sundance Square Plaza.

I had myself a mighty fine time hiking the Tandy Hills today. I was almost overdressed in long pants and short sleeve t-shirt.

What Is That Standing On A Tandy Hill?
The past couple mornings I have had myself a little endorphin inducing via quick bouts in the cool pool followed by bouts in the hot tub.

Walking all over downtown Fort Worth yesterday was a bit aerobicizing, to the point where I did feel a little endorphin bliss.

Today's hill hiking had me totally in endorphin bliss mode. So much so that a feeling of contented happiness replaced my usual melancholy gloomy operating mood.

At one point I thought I saw a couple humans a couple hills to the west. I got out my camera and snapped a few photos of the rare Tandy Hills human sighting.

But, when I got the photos off my camera and on to my computer the humans no longer looked human, but instead looked like some sort of structure. Is this yet one more Tandy Hills mystery which warrants additional investigation? Possibly tomorrow? Methinks so.

Soon after spotting the faux humans I came upon the Tandy Natural Auditorium, with its comfortable benches. And so I sat down so as to enjoy my endorphin happiness bliss and the bucolic scene, before continuing on.

What with it being Saturday after finishing with the hill hiking I was off to Beach Street and Town Talk where I got myself come giant cracked pepper New York deli style wraps, something called bleu cheese brie, flame-broiled burgers, Alaskan pollock, Matzoh crackers and my usual supply of rabbit food of the salad making sort.

I am still feeling the endorphins, but the melancholy gloom should soon return, likely after lunch, which I need to consume right now.

UPDATE: Lunch caused me to remember the best thing I found at Town Talk today, two gallons of all natural apple cider. Best apple cider I've ever tasted. One dollar per gallon. Case of six for five bucks. On my next Town Talk visit if the cases of apple cider are still in the cooler, I will be getting one.

A River Runs Through Fort Worth's Other New Downtown Plaza

Yesterday, Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I was walking on a newly asphalted trail on the south bank of the Trinity River, when a short distance past the Paddock Viaduct, also known as the North Main Street Bridge, I came upon the flight of stairs you see to the left, rising from the banks of the Trinity River to one of the downtown Fort Worth Tarrant County College campuses.

Back when this particular campus was under construction, before it became one of Fort Worth's more infamous boondoggles, a controversy arose from someone named Ed Bass over something that was known as the Sunken Plaza.

If I remember right the Sunken Plaza sank as a result of the Bass interference.

So, I was a bit surprised when I reached the top of these stairs to find myself looking at what looked to me to be a very big plaza, situated between two big buildings which formed a sort of canyon, which I imagine provides good shade on a HOT day.

What follows is a look at the Tarrant County College downtown campus plaza from the top of the stairs til exiting the plaza at street level.

Above we are looking south from the north end of the plaza. Below we do a 180 and look north, with a view of the Trinity River flowing below.

A river-like water feature runs the length of the plaza, beginning at the south end with a waterfall falling from street level to the plaza.

The water in the water feature is shallow, with multiple cement "benches" in the water which look like they'd be a pleasant place to sit on a HOT day of summer, spring and fall. Below is another look at the TCC Plaza's river and its "bench" islands.

Below we are looking south at the aforementioned waterfall cascading down into the plaza.

Below we are at street level, looking down on the TCC Plaza waterfall and south end of the plaza.

After seeing what looked to me to be a very well designed plaza I can not help but wonder what this would have been like if the Sunken Plaza had been allowed to be built.

In addition to being surprised by the TCC Plaza I was also surprised by the size of the buildings that make up this college campus.

Surprised and confused.

It has been a few years, but the way I remember it the price tag for this college campus escalated to horrific heights, the project was behind schedule, what with it being a complex engineering task, building above the banks of a river.

And then the Army Corps of Engineers would not sign off on the plan to build a bridge across the Trinity with more campus buildings on the north side of the river.

At some point in time after Radio Shack found it could not afford its new corporate campus, located a short distance to the west of the then under construction new TCC campus, Tarrant County College decided to amp up the boondoggling by spending a few hundred million dollars more for some of the Radio Shack space to turn into its downtown campus.

With the original new campus turned into some sort of medical training facility.

Yesterday it looked to me that the original new downtown Fort Worth TCC campus is a completed structure. A very large completed structure.

Is this building being fully utilized? What is the current status of this particularly bad Fort Worth boondoggle?

I could not help but notice that I did not notice a single other person, anywhere, in the TCC Plaza zone yesterday.

But, Fort Worth's downtown did not have a lot of people on the streets yesterday, what with it being Black Friday, maybe the TCC plaza sees more activity on a school day....

Friday, November 29, 2013

I Did Not Get Lost In The Black Friday Crowd At Fort Worth's Sundance Square Plaza Today

I finally made it to the goofily named Sundance Square Plaza today for the first time since its Grand Opening hoopla a month or two ago.

From photos, previously seen, I thought I had a fairly good idea of what this plaza was going to look like.

That and last April I saw the space under construction, so I had an inkling as to the size of the space.


Did I like what I saw today? The answer to that question is YES.

Sundance Square Plaza is a HUGE improvement over the parking lots which previously occupied this piece of prime downtown Fort Worth real estate.

I have liked the Chisholm Trail mural, you see in the first photo, from the first I ever saw it. But, at that point in time the mural looked out over parking lots.

Now the mural looks out over a much more aesthetically pleasing view.


I know today was Black Friday. Black Friday is a day when downtown Fort Worth is pretty much a ghost town during the day, coming alive Black Friday night, as we previously discussed, earlier today.

So, today, Sundance Square Plaza was not sporting much human activity.

But I can sure see where this space could come alive at night, particularly during the HOT days of spring, summer and fall.

Currently, due to the excesses of the holidays, the plaza is looking at bit cluttered.

I suspect the plaza looks much nicer holiday clutter-free.

I can see how the water feature of the spouting fountains variety is going to be HUGE hit come the HOT times of the year.

That is the fountain water feature in the photo at the top, with a couple kids being a bit tenuous about walking out into the water zone. At one point the fountains did erupt, but not as spectacularly as what was portrayed in a photograph taken by the persnickety Mr. Galtex, which I feloniously purloined and used on this blog.

Maybe the fountains were operating at low pressure today.

My biggest surprise today came from another plaza which I had not previously seen  That previously unseen, by me, plaza, well, I give that plaza a total double thumbs up.


And big city plaza worthy of any big city.


I don't think I can say that about Sundance Square Plaza.

I will blog photos of my favorite downtown Fort Worth plaza in a subsequent blogging.....

Having Fun Looking For Black Friday Shoppers Today In Downtown Fort Worth

Today, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year, I drove myself to downtown Fort Worth, well known to local propagandists as the most lively big city downtown in Texas, to check out Sundance Square Plaza for the first time and to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the throngs of shoppers flooding downtown Fort Worth.


The first picture is the aforementioned Sundance Square Plaza, at noon, on the busiest shopping day of the year.

As you can see, there are not many people in the plaza. Plenty of available seating.

Those of you reading this who have never been to downtown Fort Worth are probably thinking that all the people are busy shopping in downtown Fort Worth's stores.

Well, you would be wrong.

Downtown Fort Worth does not have any stores of the sort you might see in other big towns in America. Not a single department store. Not a one. No vertical malls. Not a one.

Not even a grocery store.

As you can see, via the photos, there is not a lot of life on the streets of the most lively town in Texas on this busiest shopping day of the year. Or vehicular traffic.

Below, looking south towards the location of Sundance Square Plaza there is so little street action that pigeons have taken up peaceful residence, sort of like panthers of long ago, napping in downtown Fort Worth, supposedly.

I got way too much material for one blogging today, which means there will be subsequent bloggings about that which I saw today in downtown Fort Worth, including what I thought of Sundance Square Plaza.

I have to say that this Black Friday visit to downtown Fort Worth was not nearly as lifeless as the first time I visited downtown on this particular day.

When I left downtown Fort Worth I headed west to West 7th to check out the new bridge. I really like the new bridge. It is way more impressive in person than via photos. Four lanes, plus sidewalks on the outside of the arches. I've never seen a bridge like this before.

I should have stopped and parked at Trinity Park and walked back to take pictures of the new bridge, but I was hungry and in need of lunch mode.

In case you who are not familiar with Fort Worth are sitting there worrying that the locals have no where to shop, what with their ghost town of a downtown, well, rest assured, there are plenty of places to shop in Fort Worth. West 7th is one of those location. Today West 7th was booming with Black Friday shoppers.

And tonight downtown Fort Worth will not be a ghost town because thousands will be there watching the Parade of Lights. Presented by Chesapeake Energy, according to signs I saw today.

I thought Chesapeake Energy had opted out of sponsoring this type thing, what with money woes and being sued by entities like Fort Worth.

Well, I am off to do myself some Black Friday shopping. Upon my return I have some more blogging to do.....

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am No Cook But I Can Follow Turkey Thawing Directions

I saw the above on Facebook a couple minutes ago, via the Fort Worth Connie D.

I thought this to be amusing.

When I first saw the above, as I was quickly scrolling down the Facebook clutter, I did not at first realize what it was I was looking at.

And then I realized it was a relative of that which I recently shoved in my oven.

Happy Thanksgiving, again, one and all, particularly the two Connie D's....

And let us not forget to wish Elsie Hotpepper a special Happy Thanksgiving. Elsie Hotpepper this morning warmed the cockles of my heart by saying "I'm thankful I met you. :)".

I  do not recollect anyone ever saying, before, that they were thankful they met me.

Then again, I do have a bad memory.

And I also am sitting here wondering what in the world "cockles" are. And what these "cockles" have to do with ones heart....

Happy Thanksgiving From Google, Me & My Stove Top Stuffing

Lately when I go to Google, Google has been doing some cutesy stuff where the Google logo usually resides.

Like a week or two or three ago it was a video game type deal in celebration of the first parachute jump. Or was it celebrating the first hot air balloon?

I don't remember.

And then there was a complicated video game Myst like deal celebrating something to do with a TV show I've never watched called Dr. Who. Well, I think it was Dr. Who. I am fairly certain "Who" was in the title.

And now today, it being Thanksgiving, the Google logo is replaced with a long animation involving all sorts of Thanksgiving related critters, like a turkey, raccoon, bear, fox and others, dancing along to banjo music, carrying Thanksgiving feast vittles, like pumpkins and corn, ending up at a picnic table, with the final scene turning to that which you see above, the "Happy Thanksgiving from Google" message.

I've got a turkey in the oven, slowly roasting, scheduled to be done by the scheduled arrival of this afternoon's Thanksgiving feasting. I made pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce last night. Cherry pie goes in the oven after the turkey gets evicted. The giblet boiling gravy prep is completed. Spuds are ready to go for their pre-mashing boiling.

I called my mom yesterday via my new Google phone. During the course of talking to my mom I was asked what I was cooking today. When the turkey subject came up my mom asked if I was stuffing it.

I said I was.

Mom then told me I should not do so, that it is now considered to be a dangerous thing to do, to stuff a turkey.

I then told mom that I recollected dozens up dozens of stuffed by mom turkeys with no one getting sick.

My mom then told me that that is true, but that her real reason for ceasing with the stuffing of the bird was that using a store bought stove top stuffing mix was so much easier. And was tasty. And so, I got myself some Betty Crocker Stove Top Turkey Stuffing.

I can already conclude that it was much easier getting the turkey ready to stuff in the oven without first stuffing it with stuffing.

But, I am a couple hours from trying this stove top stuffing method off having stuffing as part of my annual Thanksgiving buffet.

I hope y'all are fixin' to have yourself a mighty fine Thanksgiving.....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spencer Jack Did Not Need To Fly To The Other Washington To Greet President Obama

This morning I saw photo documentation of Spencer Jack with his dad in Anaheim, at Disneyland. This afternoon Spencer Jack's dad sent me a video of Spencer Jack at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, also known as Sea-Tac, not too eagerly awaiting the arrival of Air Force One and President Obama.

It was a couple days ago Mr. President flew in to Seattle to look at Mount Rainier, among other things.

So, I am a little confused about the Spencer Jack travel timeline.

What I do know for sure is Spencer Jack's dad is continuing our family tradition of greeting the arrivals of incoming American Presidents, a tradition that dates back a half a century.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

President Obama Did Not Visit Fort Worth This Weekend & Utter the Wow Word When He Saw Mount Tandy

A few days ago I mentioned to my mama that the Tacoma adventure poodles, Max, Blue and the newest poodle adventurer, Eddie, had not blogged in weeks, not since a temporary relocation to Chicago of the human adult figures in the poodle domicile.

Well, today Max, Blue and Eddie returned to their blogging duty, with many pictures, including the one above.

When I saw this photo I was a bit confused as to what I first thought to be an impossible view of downtown Seattle. Then I remembered the view from Fraser's window on Queen Anne Hill on the long gone NBC sitcom.

That view somehow makes the Space Needle look like the tallest structure in Seattle, which it is not. And also makes Mount Rainier appear closer than it actually appears from Queen Anne Hill. You'd need to go to Tacoma to see Mount Rainier looking that big.

President Obama put Mount Rainier in the news in the Pacific Northwest the past couple days due to the President being in Seattle, with the Mountain putting in an appearance, which had Obama pointing at it and saying "Wow!"

I wonder if President Obama were to visit Fort Worth if he would point to anything and say "Wow!"?

I don't know where Max, Blue & Eddie were when the above photo was taken. I am almost 100% it was not one of them who took the picture.

The two smallest of the kids in the picture are my nephew Theo on the left, with niece Ruby on the right. That would make big brother nephew David in the middle.

If my calculations are correct, and they usually are not, because math is something which is challenging for me, but, I believe the twins, Theo & Ruby, are about to turn 3 years old. I believe David is 5. Maybe 6.

Time flies.

I believe the twins and David are going to be in Arizona next month for their birthday and to visit both sets of their grandparental units, along with others, but likely not me.

I am not currently scheduled to meet Theo, Ruby & David for another 15 years,  in 2028, which is the year of my next planned return to the Pacific Northwest.

Unless my plans change, which they have a tendency to do....

The Village Creek Blue Bayou Has Returned While My Turkey Continues To Thaw

As you can see via the photo documentation on the left, the return of rain to North Texas has brought about the return of Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Blue Bayou.

I had myself a mighty breezy walk with the Indian Ghosts today.

Breezy and chilly.

The recent bout of below freezing iciness has abated, though the overnight temperature is still predicted to be below freezing for a few more days.

Yesterday I drove past the entry to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's parking lot on my way to Veterans Park and saw the entry blocked by the closed due to flooding sign.

Today I did not see any sign of any flooding, as in none of any of the usual flood debris backed up against the Village Creek dam bridges.

Currently the outer world is being heated to 42 degrees at my location. This should help facilitate the thawing of the frozen turkey that is parked on my patio.

Apparently I Am In Texas With An Unattractive Midland Accent

In a blogging last Monday I asked Is The Texan Accent America's Most Attractive? because I'd just read scientific proof that the Texas accent is America's most attractive and is one of the reasons Texans date, mate and breed so prolifically.

I guess this attractive accent thing also explains how it is that Gar the Texan so easily transitions from one wife to the next.

Even though I have lived in Texas for over a decade I am forbidden by state law from referring to myself as a Texan.

Not being a legitimate Texan may be one of the reasons I have not been able to develop an authentic Texas accent and thus continue to be an epic fail in the date, mate and breed department.

Yesterday I came upon a test that tests What American Accent Do You Have?

I took the test and was not too shocked to learn I have something called a Midland Accent, which, apparently, means I have no discernible accent, which, again apparently, indicates I have a good voice for TV and radio.

It seems just a little odd to me that while this test tells me I have no accent, it also tells me I may be from Dallas.

That is just confusing.....

Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting Cold Getting A Cold While Walking Around Arlington's Veterans Park

No, that is not the Fosdick Fountain spraying water in Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park in Fort Worth that you are looking at on the left.

What you are looking at is the Veterans Park Fountain in the Veterans Park Pond in Veterans Park in Arlington.

The weather prognosticators backed off of their dire icy alert by morning, due to the temperature not quite getting as far below freezing as predicted.

My computer based temperature monitoring device indicated the temperate was below freezing, at 31, when I woke up the computer this morning. But, I saw nothing frozen in the outer world, at my location, upon close perusal.

I walked around Veterans Park before noon. The time is now coming up on 2 in the afternoon of the last Monday of November of 2013, with the outer world now warmed to a still chilly 34.

My turkey hunt was not successful yesterday, but was today. And so the frozen bird is sitting outside, currently, thawing at an extremely slow rate.

Walking around Veterans Park today was more chilly than I thought it would be. I had on multiple layers of warmth inducing outer wear, including my favorite stereotypical Pacific Northwest long-sleeved flannel shirt.

I am currently having symptoms that seem like an incoming cold trying to make me sick. I do not remember the last time I was laid up by a cold.

Why does the illness that goes by the name "cold" go by that name? Is it because over time humanity has associated getting that illness with getting cold? Hence getting a cold?

Being befuddled is just one of the many incoming cold type symptoms I am currently experiencing....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sleet Rain & Snow Forecast For North Texas On The Last November Sunday

I don't know that I have ever experienced sleet.

So  far, despite the 80% sleet prediction, I have seen nothing falling that seems to be worthy of being called sleet.

I am familiar with rain and snow, so if those fall, as predicted, tomorrow, I will be able to identify what is getting me cold and wet.

The temperature of the outer world at my location, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device is two degrees above freezing at about an hour before noon on this final Sunday of November.

I don't know at the present time if I will be having myself a mighty fine time today inducing endorphins at any of my regular endorphin inducing locations.

I may go visit Walmart around noon to get a turkey bird to cook on Thursday. I am thinking with the current temperature conditions I could leave the bird outside to do some slow thawing.

Although, now that you are making me think about it, with the temperature barely above freezing I don't know how much thawing could take place.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Chilly Saturday Walk With The Fosdick Lake Ducks Before Town Talking

This morning, after nearly 24 hours of slothfulness, endorphin withdrawal was starting to get quite serious.

So serious that this morning, despite the temperature being near freezing, I decided to get myself some exercise in the hot tub.


The overnight freezing cold caused the hot tub to switch itself to low heat mode. I knew as soon as I saw there was no steam streaming skyward that I would not be hot tubbing.


Prior to my regularly scheduled Saturday Town Talk visit I stopped at Oakland Lake Park for a fast paced walk around Fosdick lake.

As you can see, the flotilla of Fosdick ducks was out in force. I regretted not remembering to bring the Fosducks some snacks.

Drippage was drizzling whilst I duck walked, but not at all copiously. So far none of the predicted sleet has iced up the outer world at my location.

Town Talk was predictably busy today, what with this being the last Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Holiday Cakes, two for $3, I saw on the reader board upon arrival.

Holiday Cakes?

I had no idea what a Holiday Cake might be. Fruit cake? I like fruit cake. Well, some fruit cake. Turned out Holiday Cakes were a white chocolate raspberry concoction. I did not get one.

I did get two bags of romaine lettuce, already chopped up. Extra sharp white cheddar, green peppers, carrots, whole wheat tortillas and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

The lunch gong just sounded, so I must go consume some food....

Friday, November 22, 2013

North Texas Is Chilling Into A Wet Deep Freeze On This 50th JFK Assassination Anniversary Day

A cold wind, with an outer world chilled to barely above freezing, prevented the acquiring of any endorphins this morning via the swimming method of getting aerobic stimulation.

By the time my regularly scheduled mid-day aerobic activity arrived, rain was falling in copious amounts, rendering the nearby Walmart as my dry, fall back, endorphin-free, walking location.

As you can see via the photo documentation of my drive to Walmart, looking east on John T. White Road, all is wet, with my windshield wiper slapping time to the incoming drops of wetness and the song playing on my radio.

Today North Texas is being very much like a stereotypical Western Washington winter day, reminding me of one thing I don't miss all that much about my old home zone.

I am guessing today's 50th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination, in Dealey Plaza, is not being nearly as pleasant, weather-wise, as the anniversary I attended, ten years ago.

Right now, in the middle of the afternoon of this next to last Friday of November, the outer world is being chilled to 34, with, as you can see below, via the graphic generated by my computer based weather monitoring device, the wind is making the outer world feel like a very chilly 16 degrees. Brrrrrrr.....

Looking, above, at the temperature forecast for Sunday, a high of 32, low of 30, with clouds dripping, I am guessing this is the day we may go into heavy sleet, ice storm mode.

Ice storms are the one weather phenomenon I'd not experienced prior to moving to Texas that I really do not like.

Last Night's Thunderstorm Followed By A Near Freeze Renders Me Swimless In Texas

Last night's predicted storm arrived after the sun left for the day, delivering at my location the first loud, rollicking thunderstorm in quite some time. Along with copious amounts of downpouring rain.

Prior to the rain and thunderstorm's arrival a strong wind showed up, facilitating the rapid movement of downpour and lightning empowering clouds.

At some point in the middle of the night I woke up to realize I was cold and in need of additional blanketing.

By this morning, when I woke up my computer, I was not too shocked to have my computer based temperature monitoring device informing me that the outer world at my location was only a degree or two above freezing, with that still blowing wind making it really feel as if the temperature was below freezing.

So, I have not left my abode, yet, today. Which means there was no attempt to test how cool the pool is this morning. It is highly unlikely there will be any testing of the pool coolness Saturday morning, either, or the morning after that.

Looking at the temperature predictions in the graphic above, through Tuesday the daily average is going to be well below 50. I do not know what is predicted after Tuesday.

I strongly suspect my morning swim ritual will be taking a sabbatical of unknown, currently, duration.

In the meantime, I am going to Walmart today for my daily walkabout.

Why Can't I Go To Dealey Plaza Today For The 50th JFK Assassination Anniversary?

In the picture I am standing on the infamous Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, on November 22.

That would be November 22, ten years ago, on the 40th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I recollect this event, ten years ago, as one of the more memorable experiences I have ever experienced.

I recollect thinking at the time that there was no way I would still be in Texas when the time of the half century anniversary rolled around.

And yet here I am.

But, today I will not be driving to Dallas, unlike ten years ago.

Back then, in 2003, a more innocent time, only two years after the 9/11 Attacks, any riff raff who had the energy to do so could go to Dealey Plaza, unmolested by any sort of police state security apparatus.

Today, if I wanted to go to Dealey Plaza I would have needed to obtain a permission ticket by emailing a request to a website titled The 50th Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy where if a lottery deemed I was worthy I would have been sent notification that this morning I could bring a couple pieces of ID to wait in a line at American Airlines Center to get my ticket to then wait in another line, going through, I assume, airport type security to be admitted to Dealey Plaza.

4,000 tickets were available.

I can not imagine 4,000 people going through this process to be able to attend this event. And even if one did go through the process I am thinking this morning's temperature being barely above freezing might have one changing ones mind about heading to Dealey Plaza to wait in lines to then stand outside waiting for the moment when gunshots blasted through the air a half century ago in Dallas.

Below is my video from that more innocent time, ten years ago........

Thursday, November 21, 2013

With Limited Visibility I Took A Foggy Walk In My Neighborhood In Search Of FW Weekly's 2013 Turkey Awards

To the left you are looking west, past the iron spears which form a barrier protecting me from possible onslaughts of intruders, at the massive fog bank which is currently covering much of North Texas and rendering impossible seeing any of the snow capped mountain peaks which would be visible, if they existed, on a clear blue sky day at this particular location.

The temperature is currently 68 degrees, well above the freeze that is scheduled for the coming days.

With the temperature in the 60s, this morning, when I had my regularly scheduled swim, I had myself a fairly fine time in a not too cool pool. With two heat up bouts in the hot tub.

Rather than drive anywhere for my daily nature walk I decided to take one of my semi-regularly scheduled walking surveys of my neighborhood, with Albertsons as my destination so as to acquire this week's FW Weekly 2013 Turkey Awards edition.

I have not yet looked to see who won this year's coveted FW Weekly Turkey Awards. I can make some guesses. Jim Oliver comes to mind.

Before I left my abode to seek FW Weekly I saw that my sister who lives in Chandler, Arizona had been to my Eyes on Texas website where she clicked on the link to this very blog you are reading now.

I had not talked to my Arizona sister since she returned from Trick or Treating in Tacoma, so I called.

No answer.

I'd not called my mom and dad for over a week, so, even though I had not gotten gas, I called.

No answer.

I hope this means mom and dad are out and about having themselves some fun. And not at a doctor's office.

Battening Down My Hatches In Preparation Of Possible Incoming Hazardous North Texas Weather Conditions

When I saw my computer based weather monitoring device had switched to its red warning color I clicked on it thinking it would likely just be a warning about that of which I was already aware, as in the outer world is currently foggy.

However, though mention is made of fog in the area of the weather info detailing current conditions, the Special Weather Statement is about much more dire incoming weather than just a little fog.

As in possible ice storm conditions with heavy sleet are heading towards North Texas.

Below is the Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service, all in capital letters, because these people love to shout about the weather...






Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Colorful Hike With The Tandy Hills Fall Foliage Before Town Talk Treasure Hunting

Rain is predicted to possibly fall, tomorrow, so I thought today would be a mighty fine time to haul myself to the Tandy Hills to do some communing with the natural world.

As you can see, the Tandy Hills are currently being a colorful wonderland of  the non-wildflower type of colorful.

I do not recollect the Tandy Hills fall foliage being as deeply colorful in falls past. I'm likely just not remembering correctly.

Or, have conditions been such, what with the Great Texas Drought, recording breaking temperatures and who knows what else, that more saturated coloring is the result?

I should inquire of renowned Fort Worth Horticulturist, CatsPaw, if she knows the answer to this colorful question.

This morning the outer world temperature was above 50 when I woke up my computer before the sun arrived. Being above 50 had my averaging 50 or above over a 24 hour period criteria met for a morning swim. The water was a bit chillier this morning than yester morn, requiring three hot tub cycles.

After hiking up a hill or two or three I drove to the Beach Street Walmart, since it is the Walmart closest to the Tandy Hills and I needed to get a Walmart product I forgot to get yesterday. My route back to my abode from the Beach Street Walmart takes me past Town Talk, so I had myself a semi-rare Wednesday Town Talk treasure hunt.

Today I did not find much Town Talk treasure, other than some extra sharp white cheddar, rye tortillas, chipotle sirloin burgers and another pre-cooked beef product.

Town Talk on Saturday should be a busy zoo, what with it being the last Saturday before Thanksgiving. So, on Saturday I should be having myself a mighty fine time at Town Talk.

It takes so little to entertain me.....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Walk With The Oakland Lake Park Turtles Around The Mysterious Fosdick Lake Fountain

It seems like it has been weeks since I've driven to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake.

Even though I had myself a mighty fine endorphin inducing time, albeit a bit cooler than yesterday, swimming this morning, I decided my delicate constitution would benefit from some additional fresh air exposure.

As you can see, the mysterious Fosdick Fountain is still blowing up water.

It has been a month or two since this fountain started spraying. I have yet to learn how this came to be, a fountain blowing water in the middle of the lake where one day there was no fountain, then three days later it appears, with absolutely no sign of any lake side, fountain related, construction.

Just like yesterday, at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, today there was a higher than the norm number of people enjoying the outer world's perfect conditions.

That perfect weather condition is currently scheduled to come to an end this coming weekend with freezing air once again arriving in North Texas.

As you can see below, today the Fosdick Lake turtles were enjoying the semi-warm temperature, lounging by the dozen on their proprietary log.

By the time I got my camera turned on a lot of the Fosdick turtles had dived into the lake, unusually skittish for Fosdick turtles, unlike the regularly skittish Village Creek turtles, who posed for me yesterday, without their regular skittishness.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hiking The Grand Canyon Of Village Creek With Turtle Power & Indian Ghosts

That is the Grand Canyon of Village Creek in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area you are looking at on the left.

This morning, due to the now ended November Tropical Heatwave, I had myself a summer-like long swim in the not too cool pool.

By the time the mid point of the day arrived I was in the mood for breathing some outer world air.

That and I was in need of some groceries which could be attained at Walmart, which is near where the Village Creek Indians had their village before being evicted by incoming Texans.

I was surprised by the large number of people who also felt the need to breathe some of this currently pleasant air. All the usually bad air indexes are currently being about the best I've ever seen them. The Pollen Index is low. The Air Quality Index is good. The UV Index is moderate.

One of those who were walking with me and the Indian ghosts today was a cute little kid with a t-shirt which advertised "TURTLE POWER" on its front.

I asked his mom if they'd seen the Village Creek turtles who I'd already discovered were being unusually un-skittish today, hence my ability to get take the below photo without the turtles jumping into the water....

Is The Texan Accent America's Most Attractive?

This morning I learned via that well known, extremely reputable news source, the FOX News website, which North American accent is the most attractive.

The first sentence of the Which North American Accent Was Voted the Most Attractive? article answers that question...

If you hail from the Lone Star state or the Heart of Dixie, then chances are you won’t have any problems in the dating department.

Those of you who do not know what state the Lone Star state is, well, the Lone Star state is also known as Texas.

I pretty much agree with this most attractive accent conclusion. I have, multiple times, found myself totally charmed by a dripping honey Texas accent.

Years ago I made a website for a Texan named Ann. I usually try to get people to use email to communicate about website issues, due to that being much more efficient than talking on the phone. However, with Miss Ann, if she'd email me with a question, I'd call her, just to get to hear her dripping with honey accent.

Elsie Hotpepper is a native Texan. I would not describe the Elsie Hotpepper Texas accent as dripping with honey. The Elsie Hotpepper Texas accent is perfectly pleasant, just not a honey dripper. With Elsie Hotpepper her Texas accent comes in two versions. There is the professional spokeswoman Elsie Hotpepper Texas accent, which is subtle and understated.

And then there is the Elsie Hotpepper in informal mode Texas accent, which I characterize as Elsie Hotpepper being in Cowgirl mode, with her Texas accent much more twangy and peppered with barnyard vulgarisms spoken with that peppery twang.

Gar the Texan is another native Texan with his own spin on the Texas accent. Gar the Texan's Texas accent was acquired in West Texas, so I guess his version would be known as the West Texas accent variant. I would definitely not characterize Gar the Texan's Texas accent as dripping honey. It is more of a slow drawl with the Texas accent part of the drawl being very understated.

Understated, that is, until Gar the Texan has one of his bouts of the vapors. At that point his Texas accent gets extreme, to the point of being difficult to understand as the drawl starts dropping word endings, almost to the point of getting into slur mode.

Speaking of a hard to understand Texas accent, my best example of that variant is a neighbor all the neighbors call Crazy Greg. If you have yourself a Crazy Greg encounter you usually find yourself in a conversation which makes no sense, spoken in a twangy drawl that is very hard to comprehend.

Susan is another native Texan neighbor. Susan's Texas accent is another honey dripper. I particularly like talking to Susan because many of her sentences end with the word "Hon" which never fails to make me feel all cozy.

I don't know if it is what is known as a guilty pleasure, or just a regular pleasure, but one of the things which pleases me is to wander around Walmart hearing snippets of dialogue in multiple variations of Southern accents, including when the loudspeaker makes an announcement, like "Clean up on aisle 12" spoken with a Texas twang.

I have attempted to affect a Texas accent a time or two.

I have had a Texan, a time or two, tell me I fail at this effort.

Apparently my faked Texas accent, to a Texan's ears, sounds like an annoying Yankee trying to sound Texan.....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We Are Having Ourselves A Mid November Tropical Heatwave In North Texas

We're having a Heatwave, a Tropical Heatwave, a mid-November Tropical Heatwave in North Texas.

I did not drive to any of my regular haunts for one of my regular excursions today. Instead I prowled my neighborhood, eventually making it to Albertsons where I found this week's Ink Edition.

Post-lunch I was starting to over heat in my abode.

I refuse to indulge in a mid-November re-igniting of the air-conditioner to abate the overheating.

Instead I opened all my windows and went for a rare Sunday afternoon bout in the pool, followed by poolside lounging, documented in the above photo.

I had not noticed what knobby knees I have til I saw them photo documented. They look like bulbous tumors.

Last week Miss Sampson documented her beachside lounging in Maui with a picture similar to the above photo, only Miss Sampson was wearing an itsy bitsy bikini and she made it look like she was lifting a palm tree with her left foot.

There are no palm trees anywhere in my vicinity, so I was not able to replicate Miss Sampson's photo with a Texas version.

When I was a youngster, decades ago, and I would go on a roadtrip, I would buy these things called postcards on which I would write something and then mail the postcards to lucky recipients.

How primitive.

I think it is both interesting and a little bizarre, that nowadays, one can easily keep any number of people instantly posted, via words, photos and video, of what you are doing on a trip, pretty much in realtime.

Currently Miss Sampson and entourage have returned to the mainland, so that insta-trip documentation has ended.

But an even more interestingly high-tech trip documentation continues with daily updates from the ongoing voyage of a boat called Daybreak. This particular Daybreak boat trip started in San Diego and is currently docked in Cabo San Lucas. The updates are via the Google Blogger method, with the link to that particular blog found on the list of blogs on the right column of this very blog you are currently reading.

I have inquired, via Facebook, as to how the Daybreak Adventures blogger is doing the blogging whilst floating in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico, but have yet to have my query answered. I suspect Facebook is being ignored while floating in the Pacific. I know I would.

I rather enjoy going on these virtual trips.

Speaking of Facebook. And who isn't? This morning I got an invite, via Facebook, to a reunion of my high school class, to take place the day after Christmas in a place called The Train Wreck in my old hometown of Burlington.

I strongly suspect I will not be at this particular Train Wreck at that particular time.

And now, back to the weather.

D/FW Record Temperature Update from WFAA-TV via Twitter.....

Record Breaking D/FW Temperatures Render Multiple Pleasant Benefits

My No Longer Cool Pool On Sunday November 17
Record breaking temperatures the past day or two in the Dallas/Fort Worth zone, as in record breaking of the HOT, not cold type of record breaking, has rendered my formerly cool pool not so cool.

In other words I had myself a mighty fine swim this morning of lengthy duration with no warm-up retreats to the hot tub.

I think the high yesterday was somewhere in the 80s. When I woke up my computer this morning the computer based temperature monitoring device informed me that the outer world was being heated to 67 degrees, just an hour after the sun had arrived to begin its daily lighting and heating duties.

I got myself plenty of aerobically induced endorphins via swimming this morning. Even so, a return to the Tandy Hills on such a pleasant Sunday is an inviting idea. Or a walk with the Village Creek Indian ghosts. Or just not drive anywhere and instead take one of my semi-regular walking inspections of my neighborhood...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Monday The Capitol Christmas Tree Stops In Dallas On Its Journey From One Washington To The Other One

On the left you are looking at people standing around in the northeast corner of my old home state of Washington, watching the process by which an 88 foot tall Engelmann spruce tree gets prepared to begin its more than 5,000 mile journey from Washington to Washington, D.C., where it will serve as the Official 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

I did not know of this magnificent event until informed about it, this morning, by Fort Worth's renowned horticulturist, Ms. CatsPaw, pointing me to the well made Capitol Christmas Tree website which was obviously not made by the same people who made the dysfunctional Obamacare website.

On the Capitol Christmas Tree website I learned that Washington is proud to share its good nature by sending a tree from the Colville National Forest to the other Washington.

The People's Tree's journey to D.C. began on November 1 in Newport, Washington, where it stayed several days before taking a short journey to Colville, Washington. The next several days the Capitol Christmas Tree traveled all over Washington, to Spokane, Republic, Wenatchee, Yakima, and then over the Cascade Mountains to Western Washington to Everett, Olympia, Vancouver and then back east over the mountains to Kennewick before finally leaving Washington and arriving in Mountain Home, Idaho on the 10th.

From Idaho on the Capitol Christmas Tree has not lingered long in any one state. You can see all the Capitol Christmas Tree stops on the map below...

On its circuitous route to the other Washington the Capitol Christmas Tree makes two Texas stops.

Today, November 16 the Capitol Christmas Tree is in Amarillo at the downtown library for a holiday celebration with Park and Recreation mascots, serving up cookies and cider along with Santa Claus.

Then on November 18 the Capitol Christmas Tree bypasses Fort Worth to get to Dallas to the American Airlines Center where the tree will participate in pre-game hoopla with the Dallas Mavericks Mascots.

Seven days after leaving Dallas the Capitol Christmas Tree arrives at the Capitol where, in early December, there will be a tree lighting ceremony with the notorious Speaker of the House, John Boehner leading the lighting.

I do not know if throngs of Capitol Christmas Tree aficionados have been lining up to cheer on the passing tree like what happened when the Olympic Torch made its way across America to do its lighting duty at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. I remember joining the multitude doing so, somewhere between Seattle and Tacoma, and feeling a bit ridiculous, and yet strangely caught up in the event, as that torch passed by to the cheers of the onlookers.

Today On The Tandy Hills I Found A Partly Resurrected Hoodoo Before Finding A Lot Of Yogurt

Last Saturday I was totally distraught to discover that the Tandy Hills Hoodoo had been hoodlumized, toppled over and obliterated in a senseless act of eco-terrorism.

Today I returned to the Tandy Hills and was not too surprised to see that the Tandy Hills Hoodoo has been partly resurrected, but, as you can see, the partly resurrected Tandy Hills Hoodoo is just a shadow of its glorious former self.

The outer world is being heated to its hottest in several days, today. As in I had myself a summer-like HOT hike today.

When I woke up my computer this morning it informed me that the outer world was no longer chilly, at a relatively balmy 66 degrees, so I had myself a relatively long time in the no longer quite so cool pool this morning.

As you can see, via the picture below, this week's freeze amped up the color in the Tandy Hills' trees. Though some remain stubbornly green.

After having myself a mighty fine time hiking up multiple hills it was off to Town Talk for my regularly scheduled Saturday treasure hunt.

You would have really liked Town Talk today, MLK. Cases of yogurt, 3 for $5. I got a case each of Siggi's Pomegranate/Passion Fruit, Chobani Black Cherry and Cascade Fresh Lemon. I also got Havarti cheese to please the Dutch side of my nature. And my usual rabbit food in the form of lettuce and carrots. Plus Polish Kielbasa, sauerkraut, whole grain tortillas, a bag of Gala apples from Wenatchee and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

The lunch gong just sounded, so if you want lunch you need to be here in about 5 minutes or you are out of luck....

Friday, November 15, 2013

Did The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Erroneously Editorialize Regarding Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Too?

This morning I had an incoming email pointing me to an amusing story that has been all over the Internet the past couple days.

I am guessing the person who sent me this email would prefer I not identify her, because that is her norm, for the most part. Suffice to say this "anonymous" emailer is locally known, well, known by me, as a highly refined Queen of Snark.

In addition to the website link the body of the "anonymous" email said, "Does this mean there is hope for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram yet???"

This particular hope refers to the Harrisburg Patriot-News retracting an editorial from a century and a half ago, where that newspaper opined that Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address consisted of words which were "silly remarks deserving a veil of oblivion."

It took this newspaper this long to admit making this boo-boo?

I am not sure which of the Fort Worth Star-Telgram's multiple editorial boo-boos the "anonymous" Queen of Snark is referring to.

There are so many.

The ones I can think of, which are retraction worthy, would be editorials which spewed Chamber of Commerce type propaganda puffery.

Such as, the Star-Telegram opining that a very lame, little enterprise called the Santa Fe Rail Market would be the first public market in Texas, was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place and European public markets, when the reality was not only was this not the first public market in Texas, it was not even the first public market in Fort Worth, what with a Texas State Historical Marker marking the location of Fort Worth's first public market, a short distance from the bogus Santa Fe Rail Market.

And the Santa Fe Rail Market bore no resemblance to Seattle's Pike Place, while a short distance to the east, the Dallas Farmers Market bears a strong resemblance to Seattle's Pike Place.

Enough of this particular Star-Telegram editorial mis-step. Let's move on to Cabela's.

The Star-Telegram was all gungho about giving tax breaks and other enticements to the Cabela's sporting goods store, when Cabela's came calling making the same type con-man type pitch that had worked in other back waters in America.

As in Cabela's convinced the Star-Telegram that a sporting goods store would be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

You reading this in more sophisticated, better educated parts of America, I am not making this up.

The Star-Telegram touted the #1 tourist attraction nonsense over and over and over again, with the numbers of tourists projected varying from 5 to 7 million.

A short time after Cabela's opened in Fort Worth another Cabela's opened down by Austin. And now, just a few years later, the Fort Worth Cabela's is not even the only Cabela's in the D/FW Metroplex.

Has the Star-Telegram fessed up to their part in being snookered by the Cabela's #1 tourist attraction con?

No, they have not.

And then there was the time the Fort Worth Star-Telegram breathlessly informed its readers that a project then called Trinity Uptown would turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

Seems like I just recently blogged about the Vancouver of the South nonsensical propaganda.

I found it.

A blogging from just a couple days ago, titled Is A Fort Worth Arctic Blast Helping Freeze Panther Island Ice In The Vancouver Of The South? details, in part, the Vancouver of the South Star-Telegram irresponsible reporting.

Like I already said, I don't know what Star-Telegram editorials the "anonymous" Queen of Snark thinks the Star-Telegram should retract. I'm guessing there may be dozens....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Trying To Count A Village Creek Dead Tree's Rings While Walking With Indian Ghosts

I was in the mood to commune with nature and Native American ghosts today in the noon time frame.  My closest location for that type communing is to go walking in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

And so that is what I did, along with way more than the usual number of ghost walkers.

I think the cool temperature must appeal to some people who are usually averse to outdoor activity. Or maybe today's Village Creek crowd was just an odd fluke.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that whilst walking on the Village Creek NHA's paved trail I came upon a dead tree surrounded by what looked like crime scene tape. That dead tree was leaning, precariously, on a tree which was still among the living.

Today I was not too surprised to see that the corpse of the dead tree had been chainsawed into several big pieces.

When I saw the log on the ground, that you see above, I thought that this gave me an opportunity to solve a mystery that has been mystifying me ever since I learned the Village Creek location used to house one of America's biggest Indian villages, before Texans used a very primitive form of eminent domain abuse to force the Indians off their property.

The mystery that had long mystified me was wondering if the big trees I see in the Village Creek zone date back to the time when Indians still called this home.

I've counted rings on a stump, in my Pacific Northwest past, to determine how old a tree was. The Pacific Northwest tree ring counting took place on fir, pine and cedar trees. Not oak.

The ringage on the Village Creek dead oak tree was not clear enough to allow for counting the years it had been alive.

So, the age of the Village Creek trees remains a mystery.....

Gas Pipeline Explodes In Milford Texas Sending Black Smoke Plume North Of Dallas

Before leaving my abode to drive to Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area I heard on the radio that a Chevron gas pipeline had exploded in south Ellis County, south of Waxahachie, near the little town of Milford.

The radio report said the black smoke plume from the explosion was visible for miles and would be heading north, staying close to the ground due to a temperature inversion.

I did not expect to see this black smoke plume, but, see it I did, when I drove north on Eastchase Parkway to Walmart.

That is the black smoke plume you see, low on the horizon, in the picture above, looking east, towards Dallas, from the Walmart parking lot.

My camera could not catch the entire plume, but it extended as far as I could see south and as far as I could see north.

The entire town of Milford was evacuated following the explosion and the resulting ongoing fire, including 230 students and faculty. The students were taken to the town of Italy's high school's Gladiator Coliseum.

Apparently no one has yet been reported injured or killed by this explosion, which occurred at a drill site where workers were penetrating the ground.

The exact location of the big boom is south of Milford, close to the intersection of Farm Road 308 and U.S. Highway 77.

I do not know if the black smoke plume's fumes are toxic.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Is A Fort Worth Arctic Blast Helping Freeze Panther Island Ice In The Vancouver Of The South?

Yesterday after I mentioned that an Arctic Blast was scheduled to arrive, today, in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone, along with the rest of North Texas, someone, calling him or herself Anonymous, made the following comment, with a website link....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Drizzly Swim Before Today's Arctic Blast Blew Cold In To Texas": 

The Arctic Blast should go well with Panther Island Ice. 

Panther Island Ice. An ice rink located at the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, that being the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Coyote Drive-In.

Why is the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle persisting in this Panther Island name foolishness?

Was nothing learned from the debacle of decades of confusing Fort Worth's few tourists by naming its downtown Sundance Square, with that confusion only recently slightly mitigated by actually adding a square in downtown Fort Worth, but then goofily naming that square Sundance Square Plaza?

So, decades from now when, or if, the Trinity River Vision ever becomes clear, a future tourist may ask what makes this Panther Island place an island to be told that the island is surrounded by the Trinity River and an un-needed flood diversion channel, that may, or may not, have water in it.

As for this Panther Island Ice ice rink, which opens for business November 22, 50 years, to the day, after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, well.....

Who would have thought, over a decade ago, when we first learned of the Trinity River Vision, in a totally breathless piece of propaganda puffery in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in which the Star-Telegram informed us that what was then called Trinity Uptown would transform Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South, that that lofty expectation would come to this.

An ice rink.

You reading this in Vancouver, or other locations in the Pacific Northwest, I guarantee I am not making this up. The local newspaper of record informed its readers that this public works project, which the public has never voted on, would transform Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

Vancouver of the South without mountains, large bodies of saltwater, cruise ships or a highly educated population with an annoying tendency to add "eh" to the end of every sentence....

29 Degrees Freezing In Texas While Warming Up In A Hot Hot Tub

Well, the Arctic Blast delivered a freeze to North Texas just like the weather predictors predicted.

It was 29 degrees in the outer world when the sun arrived to begin it daily heating duty.

Last night was my best slumbering in a long long time. I don't like running the furnace at night. Like the A/C, it wakes me up when it cycles on and off.

So, when the outer world gets frigid it is time to get into multiple blanket mode.

I had such a pleasant, cold weather enhanced, multi-hour period of being restfully horizontal, that come morning, despite saying I would not, I decided to take a chilly walk to the pool.

With a heavy frost covering the roofs, it was fairly obvious the water in the pool was not as cool as the frigid air. So, I quickly dipped and just as quickly retreated to the hot tub.

The hot tub is big enough that I can get in swimming type exercise, sort of. But, with the hot tub heated to the low 90s, I quickly start feeling too HOT.

Feeling too HOT in the hot tub my solution is another quick dip in the cooling pool.  Sort of the opposite of the norm when I escape to the hot tub to warm up from the chilly pool.

By Sunday, according to the temperature predictors, my location on the planet will be heated to 50 degrees above freezing, at 82 degrees.

82 degrees is almost as HOT as the hot tub....