Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spencer Jack's Early 2013 New Year's Eve Party

A couple minutes ago incoming emails from Spencer Jack's dad, he being my favorite nephew, Jason, brought me some early west coast New Year's Eve celebrating.

The first email included a video, with the email's subject line being "Spencer Jack Welcomes 2014."

The second email was simply subject lined with "Happy New Year" and included the picture you see here of Spencer Jack at his, apparently, early New Year's Eve Party.

To view one of Spencer Jack's dad's iPhone created videos I have to convert it to a YouTube video.

You can view that video below to witness for yourself Spencer Jack's raucous New Year's Eve Party, including a pre-mature countdown to the New Year of 2014.

When I was Spencer Jack's age, and younger, and older, til I was a teenager, heavy drinking was part of the New Year's Eve celebrating, in that it was the one time of the year when my parental units would let us get HUGE quart-sized bottles of sugary pop. This seemed like a real special treat, way back then.

I recently learned via that recent New York Times deal that went viral which identified where one was from, accent-wise, by answering a lot of questions, that calling carbonated beverages "pop" identified me as being from the Pacific Northwest.

In Texas "pop" is called "soda" or Dr Pepper.

Below is the aforementioned YouTube video of Spencer Jack ringing in the New Year of 2014, well ahead of the rest of America....

The Last Day Of 2013 Taking A Village Creek Indian Ghost Litter Walk

My waking hours on this last day of 2013 began before the sun arrived.

Soon after the sun arrived I left my artificially heated abode to venture into the freezing outer world to have myself some salubrious hydrotherapy via hot tub immersion.

Though I was tempted, after I started getting too hot in the hot tub, I resisted the temptation to take a quick cooling dip in the way too cool pool.

Post hot tub, on my way to ALDI and Walmart to take possession of my New Year's Eve Party materials I decided to have myself a short walk with the Indian ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

It was a good walk. The last time I walked with the Indian ghosts I did not cross the dam bridge that leads to the Village Creek Blue Bayou, because I wanted to walk to Interlochen to get myself  a Christmas decoration photograph.

That Interlochen walking day I did get told about the appalling litter jam that had piled up behind the south Village Creek dam bridge.

That litter jam was still piled up today, more than a week after the deluge downpour that caused it. I'd not seen the litter jammed up quite this bad at this location after any of the previous floods that have flashed through this location.

How do so many empty bottles of various sizes manage to get into this creek? I believe Village Creek flows from Lake Arlington, a short distance away. How does this much litter get going with the flow over such a short distance?

Very perplexing.

And now it is time for lunch....

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Next To Last Day Of 2013 Brought Me Happy Holidays Greetings From Sunny Arizona

On this late afternoon, of the next to last day of 2013, what to my wondering eyes appeared in my mailbox?

My favorite late Christmas card of this Very Merry Holiday Season.

My mom has been wanting almost daily updates, since a week ago today, regarding the non-arrival of a tardy Christmas card from my mom and dad.

I thought it was mom and dad's missing card in the mailbox when I found the card you see on the left.

And then, when I returned to my abode, from my mailbox trek, I found my mom had used the convoluted Google phone message method to leave an email. That email was garbled into gibberish, due to a blue screen of death issue, and so I called my mom and dad to quickly learn that the missing Christmas card had been returned to Arizona.

My mom then had me tell my dad my address so it could be confirmed that they had the correct address.

They did. Have the correct address, including the correct zip code.

And now here is where it gets odd. The Christmas card in my mailbox, that I found this afternoon, from my Arizona sister, well that card was addressed with the wrong zip code, that being 76124, rather than the correct 76112. And yet that card arrived successfully, whilst my mom and dad's card, with the correct address zip code, was returned to Arizona.

Now, regarding that Christmas card from Sunny Arizona. I am guessing you can likely guess who my mom and dad and sister are in the picture. You may have trouble guessing who the other three characters are.

My mom told me that my Aunt Ruth thought the character sitting next to my mom was my brother Jake.

No. That is not my brother Jake. That is my nephew Christopher, aka CJ.

CJ is about half as old as my brother Jake.

That would be my favorite brother-in-law, Jack, with his right hand on eldest son, CJ's, right shoulder, which would make my nephew Jeremy, aka JR, aka Whitey, next to his mom, she being my favorite sister, Jackie.

Don't they look like a fun group of relatives? I think I should have myself a relatively fun visit to Arizona sometime soon in the coming New Year.....

It Does Not Take A Dutch Boy To Plug A Fort Worth Leak

For months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a leak has been spewing what looked to be dozens of gallons of water an hour from a break near the fire hydrant at the north entry to my neighborhood Albertsons' parking lot, with the leak running downhill on Boca Raton Boulevard to the nearest storm drain, from whence the water can make a journey to the Trinity River.

So, I guess it's not like this massive water leak has gone to waste.

However, what with all the yammering, locally, about water shortages and droughts, it strikes me as odd that such a leak would be so noticeably flowing for such a long time.

I came upon the repair underway during my regularly scheduled inspection of my neighborhood on this final Monday of the year of 2013.

Instead of the deluging flow which I've been appalled by for months, today the deluge is slowed to a mere trickle, not making its way all the way to the storm drain.

I wonder what the value was off all the gallons of water which flowed from this leak? I wonder how much the repair will cost, compared to how much the lost water cost?

It seems to fiscally ignorant me that it would likely be financially prudent to repair a leak of this sort as soon as it is discovered, which, in this case, was the day the leak spouted, months ago....

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Photo Documenting Playing Bingo With My Grandma Vera

Recently, in a blogging titled Please Come See Me I mentioned my Grandma Vera.

Yesterday, for reasons I am currently not remembering, I was looking for a photo of myself on a Lake Powell houseboat being in Captain of the Ship mode.

I have that photo in print form, in a frame, but can not find the original hard copy, in digital form.

Way back in the early digital age, the 1990s, entities, like something called Seattle Filmworks, would offer to process ones photos, with the processing adding the newfangled digital image option, on floppy disks, in addition to hard copies.

I have multiple Seattle Filmworks floppy disks on which, I believe, the photo I seek, exists.

Unfortunately, computers which have floppy disk readers are currently only located in Old Folks Homes and the Smithsonian.

Whilst looking for the aforementioned photo I came upon one of my aforementioned Grandma Vera, at a bingo parlor in Ferndale, Washington.

I was talked into going bingo-ing with Grandma Vera a time or two. In the picture above that would be me taking a "selfie" of me and Grandma. To take this "selfie" I was using my first digital camera. It being a now outdated antique Casio camera which burned through batteries and occasionally took a good picture if the light was right.

Grandma Vera did not like having her picture taken, which may explain why she is looking a bit grumpy. Or maybe the bingo caller was not calling the right bingos.

Grandma Vera would play six bingo card at once. I could barely keep up with two, with multiple incidents of Grandma pointing out me missing a bingo. Or whatever the correct terminology is.

Grandma Vera was a regular fixture at various Whatcom County bingo parlors. On this particular bingo outing the bingo-ers included my mom, a couple of my sisters, along with all four of my nephews.

At some point during the bingo-ing the bingo announcer announced that "At the Vera table today Vera has four generations with her, her daughter, her grandson, granddaughters and four great-grandsons."

We were all requested to stand and acknowledge the clapping of the bingo-ers.

I do not believe it was my Grandma Vera bingo-ing experience from whence my aversion to bingo came and hence why I have not accepted any of the bingo invites I have received since I have been in Texas, because, as I remember it, I had myself a mighty fine time playing bingo with Grandma Vera....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Strolling The Tandy Hills With A Baby On The Last Saturday Of 2013 Before Town Talk Treasure Hunting

No, that is not a "selfie" of me and my little family strolling the Tandy Hills on this final Saturday of the year 2013.

I have not often seen someone pushing a baby stroller on the Tandy Hills, if ever.

The stroller's wheels did not seem designed to deal with rocky trails, but the baby getting rolled seemed to be having himself a really fine time.

I wonder if baby strollers with mountain bike type tires exist? It would seem to me that a market for such a thing would exist, and so such strollers are likely available. Maybe from REI.

If I had a baby I would definitely need a stroller with mountain bike type wheels. That and a baby-sized insulated scuba diving type suit so my baby could do cool pool time with me in the morning.

I paid homage to Rome (and Seattle) today on the Tandy Hills by hiking the Seven Tandy Hills of Fort Worth. At high speed, thus generating some much needed endorphins, which put me in a good mood to go treasure hunting at Town Talk.

Today my Town Talk treasure hunting came up with the usual rabbit food in the form of four bags of mixed greens, a big bag of carrot sticks, plus onions. I don't know if onions are rabbit food. I also got big jalapeno cheddar wraps, kielbasa sausage, a ham, bleu cheese, tofu, shrimp egg rolls and a case of vanilla yogurt.

The lunch gong just sounded. I'm hungry....

Friday, December 27, 2013

Please Come See Me......

I found the sentiment expressed on the left on Facebook this morning. I removed the part at the end which advised one to "share if you like".

I can not remember the last time I saw either of my Grandma's.

My mom's mom, Grandma Vera, well, Grandma Vera's birthday was yesterday.

My dad's mom, Grandma Jones, well, Grandma Jones' birthday was December 16.

I believe both my Grandma's would be over 100 years old if they were still around to celebrate birthdays.

I remember on my birthday in 1994 Grandma Jones sent me a birthday card, just like she had for decades. I did not know, then, it was to be the last birthday card I'd ever get from Grandma Jones. In that card, Grandma wrote, in shaky script, written with a hand holding a pen which had been rendered weak by a stroke, "please come see me."

That "please come see me" plea haunts me.

In October of 1994 I returned from a long road trip to get a call from my mom, the day after I returned, telling me that Grandma Jones had died.

I cried.

It is almost 20 years and I still have trouble with thinking about "please come see me".

Grandma Vera was at my mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary party on August 11, 2001. One month before September 11, 2001. I'd driven myself back home, solo, in what is currently the last time I've driven back to Washington. All subsequent trips north have been via the boring airplane method of travel.

I do not remember if it was at my mom and dad's 50th that I last saw Grandma Vera.

One of the times I was up north, early in this century, nephew Joey and I drove up to Bellingham, in Whatcom County, in Washington, to visit Grandma Vera. I remember when we left, taking the elevator to the ground floor, Joey telling me that Grandma would be at the window to wave us goodbye. Joey was correct in his prediction.

I do not remember if the Grandma visit with Joey was before or after mom and dad's 50th.

What I do remember is the last time I was in Whatcom County was July 26, 2002, for a Jones family reunion in Lynden. Lynden is a Dutch town a couple miles south of the Canadian border.

When the reunion was over I could not get out of Whatcom County fast enough. I had originally planned on visiting Grandma Vera, in Bellingham, before heading back to Seattle. However, like I said, when that reunion was over I could not get out of Whatcom County fast enough, and so I got on I-5 and zipped by Grandma Vera in Bellingham.

That was to be the last opportunity I would have to see my Grandma Vera.

It was about a year later I learned Grandma Vera's health was failing. I remember talking to my Arizona sister while I walked with the Village Creek Indian ghosts, asking my sister if she would be heading north for Grandma's funeral when the inevitable happened. Ironically, unbeknownst to us, as we were talking, Grandma Vera had already passed away from this mortal coil.

Neither of us went to Grandma Vera's funeral, because there wasn't  one. Grandma Vera did not want one. Grandma Vera was real good at getting what she wanted....

A Post-Christmas Pre-New Year's Tandy HIlls Hike Pondering Generating Electricity From Tandy Falls

Today I felt the need for some extreme aerobicizing.

Fast hiking on the Tandy Hills is my nearest location where I can get myself some extreme aerobicizing, and so it was to the Tandy Hills I motored myself today for the first time since last Saturday's deluge.

I was last on the Tandy Hills several days after the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013. At that point in time the Tandy Highway was muddier than I like my hiking to be.

Today the Tandy Hills were even muddier than my previous visit. So I avoided the Tandy Highway, except for a short distance at the north end,  en route to the Tandy Escarpment from which Tandy Falls falls.

Today Tandy Falls was dropping a lot of water, as you can see photo documented above. Viewing all that hydro power had me wondering if there has ever been any consideration of adding a generator at this location. I suspect not.

I came upon two fellow hikers today, both with two dogs. Human sightings are quite rare on the Tandy Hills. Two sightings in one day are even rarer.

I feel a lot better after getting myself some endorphins.

Swimming in the hot tub just does not do it for me, aerobically-wise, like hill hiking does. I did have one real quick bout in the cool pool this morning when I got too hot in the hot tub. A real quick bout in the cool pool was quite stimulating, so much so that I did not need a second round of stimulation.

I enjoyed hiking the Tandy Hills so much today I think I may go for a repeat tomorrow, before my regularly scheduled Saturday visit to Town Talk, weather permitting...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Post-Christmas Walk To Interlochen With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts

Does it qualify as a 'selfie' if you aim a camera at a mirror-type device and take a photo of oneself? I have no idea what the 'selfie' criteria are.

This particular 'selfie' was taken in Arlington, at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area where I went to walk with the Indian ghosts today to try and get myself back to feeling normal after yesterday's Christmas feeding debauchery which ended up with me feeling like a python who had ingested a much too big pig.

It was yesterday's extremely tasty macaroni and cheese followed by too many Christmas cookies which turned into a too big of a pig for this particular python.

I shan't repeat that mistake anytime soon. I'd rather be hungry than feeling like I am about to explode. I really don't understand how plus-sized people manage it.

Today I exited the Village Creek Historical Natural Area to walk along the Bob Findlay Linear Park in the Interlochen zone.

Interlochen is known for its over the top Christmas decorations which result in traffic jams requiring traffic police and directional rules.

My previous bloggings about Interlochen and the directions to get to the experience must rank high in search engines because every year my Interlochen Christmas Lights Map blogging gets a lot of hits.

The Interlochen Christmas displays are not nearly as bright at noon as they are after the sun leaves for the day.

At night the scene depicted in the display above would be brightly lit. But in daylight I am still able to tell that this is some sort of religious scene of some sort of Christmas related event.

It has been several years since I braved the Interlochen traffic to view the Vegas-bright light displays. I feel no compelling urge to do so this year....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hope Y'all Read A Bee's Knees Of A Groovy Dope Merry Christmas

The outer world was warmed to above freezing when I took my Merry Christmas morning hot tub dip this Merry Christmas morning.

Being above freezing had the hot tub not in steaming mode, like what happens when the air goes frigid.

I was hoping to take a selfie this morning through a veil of steam.

I am appalled I used the current "selfie" slang. I generally have an aversion to slang.  I know not from whence this aversion comes.

I remember decades ago cringing when someone said "groovy" unless that word was used sarcastically or ironically. In this century the word "groovy" does not annoy me because it is no longer a slang word. "Groovy" has faded to antique status, like saying something like "bee's knees".

Another current slang word usage that I find annoying is when someone says this that or the other thing was a "good read". Does this annoy me because it is just bad grammar? Or what? I have no idea.

Yesterday I was appalled on Facebook when I read a borderline senior citizen begin a Facebook post with the slang phrase "This is dope."

I commented to the "dope" comment advising that I felt this person was much too old to be saying things like "this is dope." The "dope" poster hit the like button on my comment. I hope this means he drops "this is dope" from his vocabulary.

Well, none of this groovy dope talk has anything to do with wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas.

So, I shall end this good read with yet one more MERRY CHRISTMAS, this time in shouting capitals mode....


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Freezing On A Hot Merry Christmas Eve Morning In Texas

Yes, it was well below freezing when I ventured out to my too cool pool for some hot tub hydrotherapy on this Merry Christmas Eve Morning.

Tomorrow morning I must remember to wear my Santa cap to my morning hot tub dip.

As you can see, the hot tub is big enough to enable swimming action, thus providing some endorphin inducing aerobic action.


The hot tub is hot, which really is not all that conducive to pleasant aerobic action without short pool dips. But, the pool is being too cool, even for my genetically mutated Polar Bear self. So, I overheat in the hot tub, with the necessary cooling provided by stepping out of the pool and standing in the frigid air til I feel a chill and then get back in the hot tub.

I do not think I will be going on a Christmas Eve afternoon hike or walk. I think I will go to Walmart and enjoy pushing a cart through the throngs of fellow lemmings....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Today I Learned The Fosdick Flock Of Seagulls Do Not Like Whole Wheat Stuffing

Today was my first time back at Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake since, I think, the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013.

Upon arrival I quickly noticed a Flock of Seagulls had joined the Fosducks who are in permanent residence floating on Fosick Lake or slacking on the ground on the lake's perimeter.

Today I remembered to bring some Fosduck feed in the form of whole wheat stuffing mix I got at Town Talk, but which I did not find too tasty.

The Fosducks seemed to have a mighty fine time eating the Town Talk whole wheat stuffing. However, the Flock of Seagulls showed absolutely no interest in getting stuffed with stuffing.

Speaking of getting stuffed with stuffing, that will not be happening with my Christmas menu, it being a menu on which nothing is getting stuffed.

Unless I overeat the Turkey Pot Pie.....

This Morning My Mom Insisted I Open A Package From Arizona To Find A Plethora Of Christmas Cookies

I called my mom and dad this morning to let them know that a package from Arizona had arrived.

My mom asked about the package delivery soon after answering the phone.

When I said I had not yet opened the package mom told me I needed to open it at once, because the box was full of stuff which needed to be eaten.

So, after getting off the phone I opened the box and what to my wondering eyes appeared? A selection of the greatest hits of my mom's Christmas cookies.

The box contained the assortment you see in the foreground, plus a sub-box full of gingersnap cookies, plus the fruitcake hovering above the boxes.

I have never understood some people's aversion to fruitcake. I have always liked fruitcake. Maybe it is my mom's fruitcake I have always liked and that I have never been exposed to the type fruitcake to which people have an aversion.

Due to my mom's macular degeneration my dad acts as mom's sous chef for cooking operations.  I suspect maybe my sister was part of this cookie cooking operation. Though I have seen my mom and dad in cooperative cooking mode and it is an impressively efficient operation.

I may be going into a form of diabetic shock in the coming day or two. I am not used to eating dessert type sugary stuff.....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Seeing A Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey Lookalike In Walmart Put Me In A Merry Melancholy Christmas Mood

In the picture on the left you are in the backyard of the house I grew up in, in Burlington, Washington.

1027 Washington Avenue.

If I remember correctly, at this point in time my brother, he being the guy on the left in the picture, had bought the house from my mom and dad.

The reason we were getting our picture taken was because myself and most of my siblings had attended my nephew Jason's high school graduation and were at the after party at my brother's house.

That would be my nephew Jason standing between my brother and me, which would make nephew Joey on the right.

Now, what prompted this trip down memory lane?

Well, I was in Walmart around noon, a busy Walmart, very busy. I was in the frozen vegetable section of the frozen foods area when this mom and her boy walked up, with the mom and her boy engaged in an amusing conversation about the boy's vegetable issues.

The boy reminded me of Joey.

Suddenly I found myself in a very Merry Melancholy Christmas mood as I continued to walk around in Walmart, pushing an empty shopping cart.

My nephew Jason's graduation from high school happened a year or two before I moved to Texas.

My brother, Jason and Joey look so young in the above picture, while I've not aged a day. I assume I can attribute this to the healthy Texas lifestyle.

I last saw my nephew Joey the first time I met Joey's nephew, Spencer Jack, back in early August of 2008 at Bay View State Park.

In the picture on the right, that would be Joey on the left, with Spencer Jack insisting Joey eat something.

Being at Bay View State Park and meeting Spencer Jack for the first time seems so recent, yet it was over 5 years ago.

I have seen Spencer Jack and his dad since that day at Bay View, 5 years ago, back in March of 2012, in Arizona.

A couple months ago my mom asked me to arrange for me and Joey to come to Arizona this past week, but that could not be arranged. I feel sort of bad about this, which likely adds to the Merry Melancholy Christmas mood.

Below we see the aforementioned mom and dad, on that day over 5 years ago, at Bay View State Park, with Spencer Jack and Joey, along with either Blue or Max in scavenging poodle mode. Likely Max, Blue is usually too refined to scavenge.

Now, how am I going to get myself out of this Merry Melancholy Christmas mood? Maybe a cup of coffee will help.....

You Can Not Disown Your Sister

Last night one of my fraudulent activity monitors who monitors fraudulent activity in the Tacoma, Washington zone emailed me an email with the subject line:


The message in the fraudulent activity monitor's email was not shouted in capitals like the subject line of the email was shouted.

The message in the email was a copy and pasting of a totally inappropriate Facebook comment, commenting on some clearly irrational Facebook ranting.

I don't quite know what would be gained by disowning ones sister. I Googled the subject to find that a lot of people are interested in disowning some of their siblings for a wide variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on ones point of view on this serious subject, there is no legal mechanism by which one can disown a sibling.

More than one person advised those seeking a sibling disownment to simply cease contact with the annoying sibling. That seemed to be good advice and relatively easy to do, particular if one is blessed with a geographic buffer of a couple thousand miles.....

It Is Freezing On The 2nd Day Of Winter In Texas

I did not realize til after yesterday's fall of the sun, also known as sunset, that fall of 2013 had become history with yesterday's shortest day of the year and the start of winter.

And now, this morning, the 2nd day of winter, we have returned to winter appropriate temperatures, as in, as you can see, it is freezing, with the wind making that 32 degrees really feel like 22 degrees.

Yesterday I did not venture out into the flooding landscape during my usual pool-time part of the morning.

This morning I did venture out to the pool, what with no rain falling and the sky somewhat clear of clouds.

Yesterday's deluge added several inches to the pool depth. I did not get in the too cool pool this morning. The hot tub provided my only hydrotherapy.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Making My Way Over Flooding Streets To Go Treasure Hunting At Town Talk

In the picture you are looking west at a very wet Randol Mill Road, around noon, this next to last Saturday of 2013.

I ventured out into the ongoing deluge to make my weekly Town Talk trek.

For a moment or two I considered going on a bumbershoot enabled walk in the rain, but opted not to.

Right after I snapped this picture a vehicle passed me on the right, hitting a big puddle, which sent a wall of water on to my windshield, virtually blinding me for a second or two.

Town Talk was not as busy as I expected it to be. I suppose a lot of people did not feel like navigating drenching downpours to go treasure hunting.

I got some real good rabbit food today at Town Talk. The reader board out front said "Salad Bowls 2/$1"

I have no idea what was meant by "Salad Bowls" til I found them. A variety of various salads of sorts like Mixed Greens Bacon Ranch Salad. I had that one for lunch. In addition to several salad bags I also got rabbit food in the form of big carrots. I don't know if rabbits like tortillas, but I got a big bag of flour tortillas, thick homemade type tortillas which I used as hamburger buns for lunch.

Excuse me, knock on the door, I'll be right back....

This is unprecedented. Yesterday there were two knocks on the door with packages being delivered by the USPS mailman. Today, the door knock brought the same result, another package delivered to my door by the USPS mailman. This package is another one from Washington, specifically a town named Seattle.

Switching the subject from packages back to food.

While making lunch I also made a batch of refried beans, well, began the process of making refried beans by installing the ingredients in the slow cooker. One of the ingredients is a chopped up jalapeno. I thought I'd thoroughly washed my hands after chopping the jalapeno.

However, a strong burning sensation is currently occurring in several sensitive locations.

The rain has stopped downpouring. For now. So far I have heard nary a boom of thunder.

The Rain Is Downpouring In North Texas On The Next To Last Saturday Of 2013

I don't remember when last I saw rain falling in downpour mode at my current location on the planet in the copious amounts that are falling on this next to last Saturday of 2013.

At the time this morning of my regularly scheduled pool and hot tub bout the route to the pool was in flash flooding mode.

But fear of wading through a flash flood was not the reason I bailed on getting cold this morning. It was the downpouring that greatly lessened the pool appeal.

You can sort of tell via the above picture how dark and dreary this day is starting out to be. When I stepped outside to take a picture I stayed under cover rather than step out into the downpour to take a picture from my usual location at the railing's edge.

I do not foresee a walk under a bumbershoot in my future for today. I do see a visit to Town Talk in my future today to do some treasure hunting.

With this being the last Saturday before Christmas, Town Talk should be a busy zoo today.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Today The United States Postal Service Delivered A Christmas Miracle To Texas

Today in my world a Christmas Miracle occurred.

Two packages were delivered to my door by a United States Postal Service mailman.

Last year, a few days before Christmas, I got a note in my mailbox telling me the mailman was unable to deliver a package. This turned into a month long debacle after which a box of stale cookies were finally successfully delivered, although not to my mailbox or front door, but to a neighbor's front door.

Around 1 this afternoon I heard someone knocking on my door. I opened the door to find a mailman handing me a package.

Then somewhere between 3 and 4 this afternoon I heard someone knocking again. I opened the door to find the same mailman delivering another package.

Unprecedented service from the US Postal Service.

In the photo above, that would be package #1, from Washington, on the bottom, with package #2, from Arizona, on top.

Sitting on top of package #2 is my one and only Christmas decoration, that being my lovable Christmoose, who moved to Texas with me, way back late in the last century.

I won't be opening these packages until Christmas. It gives me something to look forward to, which is something I need during this bleak, cheerful, happy holidays time of the year....

A Warm Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Ends Cold

I got rained on whilst in the pool and hot tub this morning. The drippage was quite refreshing.

This morning's bout in the cool pool and the less cool hot tub did not give me as many aerobically induced endorphins as I need to make myself feel mighty fine.

So, with the outer world temperature at my location in the 70s I used my motorized vehicular transporter to take myself to Arlington to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to go on a walk with the Indian ghosts, optimistic, was I, that I would not need a bumbershoot to do so.

Turns out, for once, my optimism proved to be warranted. Nothing dripped on me whilst walking with the Indian ghosts today.

When I got to the area of the Village Creek Blue Bayou I saw tire tracks leading from the paved trail. I followed the trail of the tire tracks and eventually came to the big white pipeline you see above, hovering above the creek that brings water to the Village Creek Blue Bayou.

I have no idea what is being piped across the creek and into the natural area.

After walking with the Indian ghosts I dropped in on the very conveniently located, newly opened, ALDI to get myself some needed vittles.

At the ALDI point in time the outer world air was still semi-balmy, warm, and very humid.

And then, in the less than three mile distance from ALDI to my abode, I arrived at my parking location and exited my vehicle to discover the predicted temperature drop had arrived sooner than I thought it was predicted to.

Like I already said, when I left my abode the outer world was in the 70 degree zone. When I returned, less than two hours later, the temperature in the outer world at my abode had plummeted into the 40s.

I do not know when the predicted thunderstorm action is predicted to arrive. Flash flooding is also in the forecast.

I am prepared. My hatches have been totally battened.

One second, please, someone is knocking on my door....

United States Postal Service mailman hand delivering a package from Washington. A year ago, almost to the day, a month long delivery failure ensued with the USPS that eventually ended with the successful delivery of a  box of stale Christmas cookies.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thinking About Escaping My Security Fence For A Benito's Platter At Uncle Julio's

In the picture you are looking northwest over the spiked spires which form a security fence which keep me securely secure.

For the most part.

As you can see, clouds have returned to North Texas, with thunderstorms on the menu starting tomorrow.

This morning I was in no mood to drive anywhere for my daily prescribed bout of aerobic stimulation and its resultant medicating endorphins.

Not driving anywhere leaves walking around my neighborhood as my only option for getting some bi-pedal activity.

I used this neighborhood walkabout to walk to Alberstsons to acquire this week's Fort Worth Weekly.

Before leaving my abode I used my Moira Collins Google persona to call my sister in Arizona to see how it is going for her with a houseful of two of my other sisters and their brood consisting of a pair of twin toddlers and their big brother.

Sounds like my sister is having a mighty fine time with her houseful. Yesterday they caravaned to my mom and dad's for a swim with the seniors at my mom and dad's clubhouse. There are four pools at my mom and dad's clubhouse, with only one of them un-heated.

Speaking of un-heated swimming pools. The temperature average at my location on the planet has been above 50 degrees the past 24 hours. That fits my good to go swimming criteria.


But, this morning I discovered it takes more than one day averaging above 50 for the cool pool to become un-cool enough for pleasant swim. So, I had two quick cool dips with two hot tub warm-ups after the too cool dips.

Speaking of needing a change of scenery. This morning, after a lengthy discussion with Elsie Hotpepper, I came to the conclusion we need a break from all this holiday cheer. Some place sort of tropical would be nice.

Speaking of holiday cheer. This week's best holiday cheer came via a Christmas Party at which I acquired an Uncle Julio's gift card. I'm thinking I'll be having myself a Benito's Platter, or two, or three, or four, or five, over a period of time in the coming period of time.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Murder, Mayhem & Madness Leaves Me Discombobulated In Texas Walking With Indian Ghosts

The Ides of December, that being the 3rd Wednesday of the last month of 2013, a week before Christmas, this morning, a bout of murder, mayhem and madness had me being a bit discombobulated.

Being a bit discombobulated caused me a rare instance of forgetting to bring my camera with me when I left my abode today to commune with nature and the Indian ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

So, to illustrate what a mighty fine day it is today in North Texas I had to resort to taking a picture, upon my return, of the turquoise view from my patio of my cool pool and the blue sky above it.

Currently the outer world at my location is only two degrees shy of 70. That temperature is to the point where we border on warm, but not to the turning on the A/C point of warm. Maybe warm enough to open some windows.

I do not recollect being able to open windows at this point in time in previous years in Texas.

I think I will hit the publish button on this blogging now and then go on a window opening expedition....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Growing Taller On The Muddy Tandy Hills While Hunting For Roadrunners

Today seemed to be a mighty fine time to return to the Tandy Hills for the first time since the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 rendered hill hiking an icy impossibility.

In the picture you are look at today's view from the top of Mount Tandy, looking west across the wagon train trail which heads towards downtown Fort Worth, the stunning skyline of which you see in the distance.

Soon upon arrival my worry that the hills might still be in a muddy state from our recent bout of freezing ice was quickly abated by the dry conditions I found on top of Mount Tandy.

But then when I made my way to the Tandy Highway I quickly found myself walking over mud which quickly added a couple inches to my regular six feet. The muddy condition of the Tandy Highway appeared to have been exacerbated by Fort Worth Water trucks tracking over the highway, post-thaw.

Due to the muddy Tandy Highway I altered my hiking route to making a full circle, returning to the summit of Mount Tandy via the Tandy Falls route, avoiding the muddy part of the Tandy Highway.

Taking an alternative route soon had me coming across what I thought was a Roadrunner, standing uncharacteristically still for that particular brand of bird.

I got out my camera, turned it on, expecting the camera's bird-like beeping noise to send the bird running.

Instead the bird politely posed for several photos. Only when I resumed my hiking, hiking towards the bird, did the bird move, not via running, but by flying, clearly indicating that that which I thought was a Roadrunner was not a Roadrunner.

By the time I made it back to the summit of Mount Tandy and my motorized vehicular transport most of the mud had absented itself from my shoes, rendering me back to being my usual short self.

Other than the mud I had myself a mighty fine time hill hiking today.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Is The Obstruction Blocking The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Gateway Park Master Propaganda Plan?

Last Saturday I snapped a picture of what I believe to be the most bizarre example of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle signage propaganda.

That being the Gateway Park Master Plan signage near Fort Woof in Fort Worth's Gateway Park.

This massive sign installation was installed sometime in the previous decade, if I remember correctly.

And now, well into the following decade, I don't believe a single thing touted on the propaganda signs is even remotely close to being seen by anyone's vision.

Thinking about the stalled Gateway Park Master Plan brought the current state of Bertha to mind.

Bertha is currently the world's biggest tunnel boring machine. Bertha is currently stuck by an unknown obstruction, about 70 feet underground, after boring about a thousand feet of a new transit tunnel which will run under Seattle, scheduled to be completed by 2015, replacing the earthquake damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct.

I don't believe there are any signs in the vicinity of the Bertha operation touting the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Master Plan.

And yet that plan is well underway, started well after the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle started boondoggling, with Bertha's tunnel slated to be completed before much of anything will be able to be seen, if ever, of the Gateway Park Master Plan's likely imaginary projects.

Is there something stuck regarding the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Gateway Park Master Plan of a metaphoric Bertha obstruction sort?

Some choice verbiage from one of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Gateway Park Master Plan's propaganda signs....

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

Long ago, way back in 2011, I blogged about those promised 75,000 trees referenced in the above propaganda, known as J.D. Granger's Magic Trees, in a blogging titled J.D. Granger's Magic Trees Saving Arlington From The Trinity River While Not Worrying About Haltom City Getting Saved.

The Gateway Park Master Plan propaganda references "community-requested recreational amenities".

Community requested?

And how are these requests being made, I can not help but wonder?

We know these imaginary community requests are not made via any sort of public vote, because the public is not allowed to vote on any aspect of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

So, how are these alleged community requests for specific amenities being made?

Over drinks with J.D. Granger?

Hubris. Why is it that that word always comes to mind when I ponder the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and any of its various boondoggly aspects?

What Is The Meaning Of The Quanah Parker Park Martin Luther King Jr. Poster?

Last Wednesday in a blogging titled An Icy Walk At Quanah Parker Park Before Town Talking With Apple Cider & Monkey Food I mentioned that I came upon something odd whilst walking the Quanah Parker Park trail which I would blog about later.

And then I proceeded to forget about this odd thing I saw, til now, five days later.

The odd thing I saw laying on the ground was the poster you see laying on this blog.

The poster was about two by three feet in size, made of thick construction paper type material. Part of the message on the poster had been obliterated. By what means this obliteration occurred I do not know, or why the obliteration occurred, I also do not know.

What I do know is that I can clearly read words on the poster which say, "Martin Luther King Jr. helped the Color People get there Rights (indecipherable) advantage to do that..." After which only a few words, like "White" and "and" and "to" are legible.

So, what was the message on this poster intending to say? I have no idea.

The grammar is a bit lacking.

"Color People"? I assume the writer intended "Colored People."

But, who uses the term "Colored People" at our current time in history?

Was this a positive poster message about Americans getting "their" rights? Or did the obliterated part make obvious this was a negative message about Americans getting their rightful rights?

Very perplexing.

And why was this poster laying on the ground in a very remote location of Quanah Parker Park? How did it get there? And why did it get there?

Like I said, very perplexing.....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Semi-Warm Pleasant Sunday Walk To the Village Creek Blue Bayou

A cloudless blue sky has returned the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Blue Bayou to its usual blue status.

That and a recent influx of water in this drought plagued part of the planet has helped with the blue-ness.

What a difference a day makes in Texas, weather-wise.

Yesterday I shivered in long sleeves, whilst wearing gloves, as I walked among the thousands of bikers gathered in Fort Worth's Gateway Park.

Today, with the temperature being about the same as yesterday, when I had my walkabout, as in, in the 40s, only with yesterday's foggy sun-free sky and strong wind making for bitter cold, while today's solar radiation and light wind made for a comfortable, glove-free, long sleeve-free, t-shirt only, mighty fine time walking in the outer world.

Now that I am back at my computer based temperature monitoring device I see that that aforementioned outer world is currently being heated to only five degrees shy of 60.

I had myself a mighty fine hot tub time this morning, with no cool pool dips to cool off. Frost was frosting up the outer world this morning when I made my way to the pool zone. Tomorrow morning should be well above freezing when I make that same salubrious trek.

This morning I saw that the forecast for my location for the coming week is forecasting a return of freezing rain, on Saturday. There are plenty of days between now and then for that unfortunate forecast to change to something less cold and slippery.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It Appears The Dallas Observer Observes More Than Fort Worth Weekly Observes About Greg Abbott Being One Of The Worst People

Last week I ventured into the store which is next to the newly opened ALDI on Eastchase Parkway in East Fort Worth.

At the entry to the next to ALDI store I found that a stack of Dallas Observers had made their way into the Fort Worth part of Tarrant County. I have found the Dallas Observer in the Arlington part of Tarrant County, previously, but never in Fort Worth.

I have read Dallas Observer a time or two or three over the years, but this recent exposure had me noticing something I'd not noticed before. As in the Dallas Observer has way more content to read than does Fort Worth Weekly.

Eventually I figured out why it is the Dallas Observer has way more content than FW Weekly.

The cover article of this week's Dallas Observer is titled "The 20 Worst People of 2013".

I thought this to be an amusing article, but was a  bit surprised at the national scope of where the worst people came from, rather than being Texas-centric. Only one or two of the worst people were Texan. With one of those worst ones being Greg Abbott, he being the embarrassing Texan currently employed, via election, as the Texas Attorney General.

Ted Abbott is running for governor of Texas. I suspect Fort Worth's Wendy Davis will soundly beat Ted Abbott to become the new Texas governor and in the process create a national sensation with tons of verbiage devoted to the return of Texas to being a blue state.

Yes, I am an optimistic dreamer with serious delusional bouts.

So, what is the reason the Dallas Observer has so much more content than FW Weekly?

I realized the reason why, via the online version of the Dallas Observer, when I saw that the cover article of this week's Dallas Observer was not a Dallas Observer production about the worst people of 2013.  It was an article written by Pete Kotz of the Riverfront Times, that being the St. Louis version of a Dallas Observer/FW Weekly type publication.

I suspect the Riverfront Times and many other publications across the country are owned by the same entity which owns the Dallas Observer, hence the content sharing, with more content in the publication than that which appears in FW Weekly.

Don't get me wrong. I really like FW Weekly and I think that publication does a real good job of being Fort Worth's only real newspaper, filling in for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram journalistic vacuum.

And now what is it that the Riverfront Times had to say about Greg Abbott, who came in at #11 on the list of worst people? I will copy and paste...

11. Greg Abbott
Dallas couple Jeffrey and Henry Buck were married in Massachusetts, only to see their love wither two years later. A Dallas family court granted their divorce.

This caused Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to blow a gasket. He's a strident opponent of gay marriage, fearing it will spur an outbreak of elegant kitchen remodeling that makes no allowances for gun racks. And because he's also running for governor, he wanted to appease the state's many followers of Mean Jesus, the pissed-off version of the leading brand.

So Abbott appealed the decision. Since Texas law banned gay marriage, he argued, the Bucks couldn't legally divorce either. A state appellate court agreed, reportedly signing its decision in drool.

Abbott got his wish: The Bucks were forced to stay gay married.

Wait? What?

The case is now before the Texas Supreme Court justices, who are expected to hire someone who can read it to them.

Finding Myself In Gateway Park Surrounded By Thousands Of Bikers At The 2013 North Texas Toy Run

A Few Of The Thousands Of Bikes & Bikers
Every year since I moved to my current location, at some point in time during the Christmas Holiday Season time of the year I seem to manage to find myself accidentally experiencing the Annual Great North Texas Toy Run with its thousands of bikers on thousands of motorbikes.

This annual Toy Run is a spectacle to behold, the likes of which I certainly never experienced during my years of living in the sedate Pacific Northwest.

I suspect the reason I find myself surrounded by bikers year after year is that this event occurs on a Saturday, with the event staged in Gateway Park, with me finding myself, pretty much every Saturday, at Town Talk, a location right in the path of the thousands of bikers.

Today on my way to Town Talk I wanted to visit Gateway Park to get new photos of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Gateway Park Master Plan signage. For blogging purposes.


A phalanx of Fort Worth police were stopping vehicular traffic from entering the north entrance to Gateway Park, due to that area being the aforementioned Great North Texas Toy Run's staging area. I was informed I needed to make a U-Turn and was advised that the west entry to Gateway Park was not being blocked by bikers or Fort Worth police.

So, I headed to the west entrance, parked, got my photos of the Gateway Park Master Plan signage and then walked to the Toy Run staging area, drawn was I by the roar of the motorbikes and rock music blaring.

I walked amongst the assembled bikers whilst running my video camera. You can view the resulting video below.

Stuck In A Toy Run Roadblock
Even though the air was heated to somewhere in the 40s, the wind and lack of direct solar radiation, and insufficient outerwear coverage, quickly made  me colder than I like to be when no hot tub escape is in the near vicinity.

It was a quick escape from Gateway Park to the significantly warmer Town Talk where all I got was rabbit and monkey food in the form of broccoli, lettuce, carrots and bananas.

I wanted to be out of Town Talk and heading east on Randol Mill Road well before the departure, at one, from Gateway Park of the thousands of Toy Run bikers.

I missed that goal by about a minute, and so got stuck in a police roadblock  for about 20 minutes while all the bikers made their way down the road to their Interstate 30 destination and the throngs of onlookers seeking candy tossed by passing bikers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Yesterday My Dad Had Himself A Mighty Fine 83rd Birthday

A few minutes ago I made one of my rare visits to Facebook where I found that one of my sisters, a day late, had Facebooked a photo taken last summer, at an event I did not attend, mentioning that yesterday, December 12, was our paternal parental unit's 83rd birthday.

I purloined the Facebooked photo and then cropped out most of my relatives to better focus on my mom and dad.

You can probably guess that is my mom on the far right, with dad holding mom's hand. That would be Spencer Jack's uncle Joey next to my dad, with Spencer Jack's grandpa, my brother, Jake, with his hands appearing ready to throttle my favorite sister-in-law, Jill.

Aren't my mom and dad cute?

I did not call my dad a day late to wish him a happy birthday.

I called on the appropriate day, as in yesterday. My mom was screening dad's calls, so mom relayed, to my dad, my happy birthday message.

When I called to wish dad a happy birthday, the aforementioned brother Jake and Jill were visiting, hence not cropping them out of the photo.

Nephew Joey was not visiting his grandma and grandpa yesterday when I called, but it would take too much effort to crop Joey out of the picture, so I left him standing next to his dad and grandpa.

Finally Mostly Free Of Ice On This 2nd Friday Of December In North Texas

What a difference a week makes.

Last Friday this same cool pool scene you are looking at here was mostly white, due to a covering of several inches of ice, delivered by the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013, currently quickly fading into history.

For the first time in over a week the outer world at my location did not dip below freezing. Currently, only a couple hours after this morning's sun arrival, we are already being heated to 41 degrees.

This morning I had myself a mighty fine time in the cool pool, well, mostly in the hot tub. A slight amount of rain dripped on me whilst I was pooling.

Tomorrow, Texas transplant, by way of Kansas, Nurse Martha, is heading to the Pacific Northwest, well, specifically, Seattle, for the first time.

The norm is normally that when I fly up north I quickly find myself chilly, due to the extreme temperature differential. Nurse Martha should be experiencing the opposite of that norm, what with the Western Washington outer world being heated slightly warmer than North Texas.

I hope the clouds lift for Nurse Martha so she can marvel at the spectacle of being surrounded by mountains, some of the giant volcano sort.

Now matter how high the clouds lift at Nurse Martha's and my current location we can see no mountains, let alone giant volcanoes spewing steam....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Mostly Ice Free Walk Around Fosdick Lake Finding A Faux Chrysanthemum

Til today I had not been to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake since before the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 struck me immobile, motorized transportation-wise, for several days.

As you can see by looking past the Fosdick Fountain, most of the ice cover has melted, reverting the landscape back to a more natural green than the un-natural ultra white ice.

Currently the outer world is being heated to 42 degrees for the first time in about a week. When I left my abode to drive to Fosdick Lake the outer world was only two degrees above freezing.

I was not the only one out and about today enjoying the return to easy, much less slippery, walking. Some of those others who were out and about were having fun feeding the Fosducks. There were a lot of hungry Fosducks on Fosdick Lake today.

Regarding the above fountain. When it began to spout, out of seemingly nowhere, I inquired if anyone had an explanation. So far, all I have learned is that Google satellite imagery, from some point in the 1990s, showed the fountain spouting on Fosdick Lake.

Walking on the mostly ice-free grass I came upon the optimistic big yellow wildflower you see  in the picture, rising, defiantly, above a patch of ice.

That big yellow wildflower looks to me like what a Chrysanthemum looks like.

However, I am almost 100% certain that there is no wildflower version of a Chrysanthemum that would be sprouting colorfully this time of year in North Texas....

Why Have Google Accounts Lost Their List Of Google Products?

This morning when I logged in to my Google account I found that overnight Google has totally messed up.

Previously I would log in, then click on "Products" from a list of options on the left.

Then the page with "Products" icons would load and I would click on whatever Google Product I wanted to use.

As in, click on the "Blogger" icon to blog. Click on the "AdSense" icon to check on AdSense. Click on the "Gmail" icon to check on email.

What you see above is a screen cap of what I now see when I log into my Google account. No list of "Products".

Clicking on a the clicking options I eventually clicked on a little symbol that opened up Google Products which I could choose to add. As in, Google Products I'd already added and have been using.

I saw the "Blogger" icon on the list of Google Product options, clicked it and the Blogger app appeared. Which is how I am managing to blog this blogging you are currently reading.

There was no "AdSense" icon on the list of addable Google Products.

I was able to access AdSense by looking at my browsing history for the last time I checked on AdSense.

How is it that Google has made such a big boo boo?

This big boo boo is likely perplexing, annoying and puzzling Google Account users world-wide.

NOTE TO GOOGLE: Please get this fixed. Quickly. Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Apparently Urban Fracking Is Threatening The Dallas Suburb Of Fort Worth

Late this afternoon Elsie Hotpepper emailed me with the subject line of the email being "FW was first at something..."

I was intrigued.

The message in the email said "Why do I have a feeling no one is 'green' with envy?"

The green with envy reference refers to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's now, mostly, dormant practice of claiming this, that or the other actual lame thing, in Fort Worth, was causing spasms of envy in other locations on the planet.

Long ago I documented, via a webpage, instances of the Star-Telegram's Green With Envy verbiage.

That particular webpage is one of my more popular ones. It has generated a lot of ad revenue over the years.

But, I digress.

Elsie Hotpepper's email included a link to an article on the Truth Out website, with that article titled "Urban Fracking Bonanza Threatens Dallas Suburbs".

I am sure those in Fort Worth who suffer from what some refer to as the Dallas Fixation will really be liking that the Dallas suburb this article refers to is the town that calls itself Fort Worth.

Basically the article tells the tale of what a mess this Dallas suburb has made of itself by allowing itself to be the world's first large city to allow thousands of fracked gas wells to pollute its environs.

Fort Worth's noted Watch Dog, Don Young, makes an appearance in this article, as is to be expected in articles of this nature...

An Icy Walk At Quanah Parker Park Before Town Talking With Apple Cider & Monkey Food

Today I ventured west for the first time since the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 made road travel perilous in my area of the planet.

I headed west hoping to make it to Town Talk, that being a place I'd not been to since the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and thus I had run out of my much needed yogurt supply.

On the way to Town Talk I parked at the Quanah Parker Park parking lot and had myself a mighty fine time enjoying a mostly ice-free nature walk.

However, as you can see, ice still blankets the ground in the Quanah Parker forest.

I came upon an odd thing along the trail today, which I will blog about later, maybe.

This morning I also had myself a mighty fine time inducing endorphins, aerobically, in the hot tub, with one quick dip in the cool pool.

My treasure hunting at Town Talk was successful. I got three cases of yogurt, some Italian cheese, the name of which I am not remembering right now, but to which I was drawn because it put me in mind of all the tasty stuff I've been having shared with me from Italy lately, via Mr. and Mrs. Galtex.

I also got 6 gallons of apple cider.  Last time I was at Town Talk I got two gallons of this cider, not knowing til I tasted it that it was the tastiest apple cider I'd ever tasted. So, today when I saw the Town Talk reader board reading "Apple Cider 6 Gallons for $5" I knew I was going to be coming home with a lot of apple cider.

I did not find any rabbit food today at Town Talk. But I did find some monkey food, in the form of bananas, 19 cents a pound.

I also got a bag of large whole wheat hamburger buns. Those will be put to use in a few minutes in the form of fish burgers.

The lunch gong is sounding.....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Freezing Morning Nearing The End Of The Great North Texas Ice Storm Of 2013

I erroneously assumed the worst of the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 was over.

Like I already said, I was erroneous in this assumption.

This morning soon after the sun arrived, under a clear blue sky, I headed to the cool pool and hot tub with the outer world being much colder than I had expected.

19 degrees. With the Wind Chill Factor making that 19 degrees feel like 11 degrees.

11 degrees is getting into the temperature range where I start feeling cold.

So, this morning I had only on brief jump from the hot tub to the deep end of the cool pool, which was much warmer than 11 degrees, then a fast move through the cool pool to the shallow end for a swift entry back in to the hot tub.

Last night I called my Arizona sister on my Google phone which identifies me as Maura Collins. I'd already called my sister, on the Google phone, a couple days ago, with her Caller I.D. telling my sister it was Maura Collins calling, with it taking two attempts before my sister would answer the unknown Maura's call, that first time, but with my sister answering on the third ring last night, because now my sister knows about my new identity.

Anyway, somehow the subject briefly switched to my cool pool dips, with me mentioning that the icy hydrotherapy seems to have abated, totally, for now, my mild arthritis symptoms. My sister opined that this seems to be the opposite of what cold usually does to arthritis symptoms.

I agreed.

But I am quite happy to be an exception to the usual arthritic rule regarding sore joints and the arthritic reaction to cold weather.

With most of the white ice in full retreat I discovered a new peril this morning. With that new peril being small spots of ultra-slippery clear ice.

Be careful out there, fellow North Texans.....

Monday, December 9, 2013

An Escape From The Great North Texas Ice Storm Of 2013 With A Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts

Two People & Their Dog Pony
Today, Day Four (or is it Five?) of the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013, the ice retreated enough that I felt like it was a good idea to roll my mechanized wheels some place walkable.

And so I aimed my steering wheel towards Arlington, to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

I was half expecting the park to be closed, due to fallen tree limbs, or dangerous slipperiness.

However, entry to the parking lot was not blocked, and so I parked and had myself a mighty fine time walking with the cold Indian ghosts.

I came upon two other people enjoying the invigorating cold, along with an animal that looked like a cross between a small pony and a dog.

Driving-wise, the only icy treachery was on the two over passes I had to pass over on my way, back and forth. The John T. White over pass over I-820 was the more adventurous of the two, with it being a very bumpy, very icy section of road. The Cooks Lane over pass over I-30 was not as iced up, but still, everyone was doing their passover in slow mode.

The ice around my cool pool was mostly in full retreat this morning. Thus I was able to test what it is like to get into a cool pool when the outer world is chilled much cooler than the cool pool. It was one quick dip and then a retreat to the hot tub.

But then I got too hot in the hot tub and so I did two more quick dips in the cool pool. It actually is very invigorating to do so. I think more people should give this form of hydrotherapy a try.

I needed milk and a couple other vittles-type items. And so I made a quick stop at ALDI after walking with the slippery Indian ghosts. Having an ALDI now so conveniently located is very convenient.

I hope this Ice Storm is the last of this type weather event for the year, and into next year, til spring arrives.

But, I suspect this Ice Storm was only the preview of a wicked winter to come....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Watching Four Of Fort Worth's Finest Help A Guy Get Out Of An Icy Predicament

Taking myself on a neighborhood walkabout on Day Three of the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013, I was not surprised to once again see a lot of sliding mishaps and stuck vehicles.

Including the guy on the ground, kneeling by his blue car which he slid perpendicular to the curb.

When I first saw this particular perpendicular blue car the driver was still behind the wheel, spinning the rear wheels in a futile effort to get moving.

Then he exited the car about the time one of Fort Worth's finest showed up. I could not hear what the cop in the car was telling the guy on the ground.

Soon another Fort Wort cop car showed up. The cop cars and the stuck car and the other stuck cars were making the road impassable for those vehicles who were not stuck.

After about a minute the cop in the second cop car got on his loudspeaker and said something funny like "Please move your police car, it is blocking traffic."

The cop in the first cop car then turned around and parked perpendicular to the stuck blue car. Both cop cars had two cops onboard.

Soon all the cops were helping the guy in the blue car get moving again, telling him to put it in 1st gear and not to push on the gas pedal.

At one point all four cops were pushing from behind the blue car. After that all four pushed the blue car from the driver's side, with the ice being so slippery they were able to move the car in the direction it needed to go.

I was quite impressed with how nice the cops were whilst dealing with this. I'm sure this was just one of many similar type incidents they've been dealing with the past several days.

I am ready for the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 to fade into history....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Going Stir Crazy With Fort Worth Buses On Day Two Of The Great North Texas Ice Storm Of 2013

Today, December 7, 2013, a day which will live on in infamy as Day Two of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, saw conditions worsen.

Yesterday, on Day One of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, I was a little surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice, with no noticeable problem getting up and down the hills which were being major vexations for those driving cars.

I thought the Ice Storm may have grounded the buses. I thought wrong.

Today, on Day Two of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, with the ice having grown much slicker over night, I was again surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice.

However, today the buses were rolling noticeably slower. And whilst I was helping Miss Puerto Rico deal with a fallen tree this morning we saw one of the buses come down the hill, slowly, and then have a little sideways sliding action whilst maneuvering around a couple stuck cars.

With the Fort Worth bus system, known as the "T", delivering its people packages so reliably under these dire conditions, it occurred to me that it would be an excellent idea, excellent, I tell you, if the "T" would announce via radio and other means that bus service, system-wide, was free during the duration of the dire weather event.

Free bus service on an occasion like this would accomplish several things.

One good thing would be offering free bus service would likely cause a lot of people to decide to take the bus, rather than risk driving.

Another good thing is offering free bus service under these dire conditions would cause people to ride the bus for the first time, and thus discover how good the Fort Worth bus system is.

Additionally, getting extra weight on the bus, in the form of extra humans, would likely make the buses more stable in these slippery conditions.

Also, offering free bus service would likely cause more people to decide to risk the ice to go shopping or to a restaurant.

Due to going slightly stir crazy I was tempted to go on a bus ride today, and pay the fare, which is still way cheaper than driving. And safer.

The stir crazy thing had me back in the outer world late this afternoon. I managed to slip my way up to Albertsons, which is where I saw the Fort Wort bus in the picture above. I saw three Fort Worth buses in the short time I was exposed to their route this afternoon.

Speaking of the sliding. I saw some major slipping issues in the Albertsons parking lot. One was a pickup truck which could get no traction. And then, after many minutes of tires spinning the truck began to slowly move. Another vehicle, of the car sort, could not make it up the gentle slope which leads to the parking lot.

On my way back to my abode I had myself one incident of extreme sliding. I had no control. I was able to ride it out without falling. That slide was at least 20 feet. Very unsettling. And yet, also sort of fun.

I am ready for this to end. But, I believe we are scheduled for several more days of ice and the deep freeze....

North Texas Ice Closes Roads Leaving Motorists Stuck & Me Slipping

What you are looking at on the left is the fountain that spouts water into the cool  pool I usually go swimming in, weather permitting.

To the left of the fountain is the hot tub I use to get hot if I get too cool in the cool pool.

This morning, what with it being a measly 16 degrees, I thought some hydro-therapy in the hot tub might have a salubrious effect.

It did.

My original plan had been to get in the hot tub and then try one dip in the cool pool, curious was I as to how that would feel, what with the water being much warmer than the air. However, the ice cover had grown more slippery overnight. I did not think it a good idea to try and walk, barefoot, from a hot tub to a cool pool over thick ice.

Whilst in the hot tub I noticed the icicles you see in the picture. After finishing the hot tubbing I returned to my warm abode and outfitted myself in proper attire suitable for not getting cold in air chilled to 16 degrees, then returned to the outer world to take the above picture and to check on the icy condition of my motorized transport device.


It was on my way to that aforementioned motorized transport device that I discovered I'd made the right decision not to walk barefoot on ice. I was barely on the ice, with my slip resistant waffle stompers over my formerly bare feet, when I had myself a sudden fall from the vertical position. I had a fairly smooth landing and am fairly optimistic no damage was done, other than startling me out of my peaceful frame of mind.

Reading the news this morning I should have realized the level of slipperiness had amped up overnight, what with the news that I-20 west of Weatherford had turned into a treacherous thick ice impassable mess after the melted ice re-froze.

I-35 north of Denton, to the Oklahoma border, also had to be closed, with a lot of travelers stranded on those sections of road, and other locations.

So, for the first time in a long time I will not be going on my regularly scheduled Saturday treasure hunt at Town Talk.

Today I don't think it is safe even to take myself on a neighborhood walkabout. I don't think I could make it to Albertsons without falling.

Friday, December 6, 2013

An Icy Walk In My Neighborhood Dodging Falling Branches & Sliding Cars

With the outer world coated with ice I was not among those who thought it a good idea to roll the wheels of my mechanized transport anywhere today.

I opted to take an icy walking tour of my neighborhood and found myself surprised to find people risking driving on the ice, with that risk being too risky for several that my eyes witnessed.

As you can see my pool is looking particularly cool today, with its new white and turquoise color scheme.

I quickly realized walking on the ice of this Ice Storm was not as difficult as other ice storms I've walked on. And so I decided to try to walk and slide to Albertsons.

I quickly came upon the scene below, on the hill below Albertsons, with cars spinning their tires, with various levels of success, trying to get up the hill on Boca Raton Boulevard.

I learned later the white car on the right slid to that location hours previous and was abandoned by its driver. Not a good place to leave ones car. I saw several incidents of near misses as cars and trucks careened up and down the hill. The car on the far left was also stuck, but the driver was still behind the wheel. The blue car was trying to push it to no avail. Eventually a truck with two big burly guys showed up who were able to push the car enough to get it moving on its own.

As you can see, Albertsons is open, with a few people successfully managing to slide their way to the parking lot. I only saw two Albertsons checkout people checking people out. Both were dressed as if they were out in the cold, complete with stocking caps.

Leaving Albertsons I soon came upon Miss Puerto Rico. None of her co-workers were able to make it in today. Miss Puerto Rico asked if I wanted to tour her property with her, looking for ice damage. That sounded possibly entertaining, so I walked along, for awhile.

The only problem found whilst I was part of the Miss Puerto Rico inspection team was a big branch which had broken off and on to two vehicles. Neither vehicle appeared to have suffered any damage.

After I abandoned Miss Puerto Rico's inspection team I tried to open the door of my own personal mechanized transportation device, to no avail. The driver's side lock was covered with ice, with more ice sealing the door shut solid.

I was able to get the key in the passenger's side door and unlock it. But that door was also sealed shut with ice.

I then got myself a pitcher full of hot water which was able to do enough melting that I got the passenger door open and then was able to open the driver's side door by pushing from the inside.

I wanted to get my vehicle motion ready in case of an emergency need to drive somewhere. Apparently we are not scheduled to get any addition ice coverage. What we get to deal with now is continuing below freezing temperatures which will prevent much of the ice cover from melting.

I am sort of already over winter and winter has not even yet made its official arrival...