Monday, June 30, 2014

The Last Day Of June Rolling My Wheels In River Legacy Park With A Large Number Of Fellow Semi Plus-Sized Bikers

I don't remember when I last rolled my wheels to the east end of the paved trail in Arlington's River Legacy Park, but it had been awhile.

As you can see, to the right of my handlebars, rescue signage has been added of the same sort which is now on the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails.

Every quarter mile there is a 911 sign, with the paved trail identifier of "RL" and the mile, which is "7" at the trail's end.

Arlington seems to have River Legacy Park in a constant state of improvement. I wish Fort Worth would expend the same type effort on Gateway Park. Or Oakland Lake Park. Or Quanah Parker Park.

However, some of the changes I saw today whilst rolling on the River Legacy paved  trail were not exactly improvements, such as that which you see below.


A wide swatch of trees has been removed since I was last at this location, with a new power line installed, crossing the paved trail.

I was surprised by the number of fellow bikers I saw today pedaling the paved trail. There were a lot of vehicles in the mountain bike trail parking lot, causing me to assume there were a lot of bikers rolling on those trails.

The majority of those I saw biking the paved trail today were of the slightly plus-sized sort, with more of the males being plus-sized sorts than the females.

When I first discovered River Legacy Park, back late in the last century, I remember being surprised at how few people were using this park. At that point in time I did not know that River Legacy Park was a new park.

The number of people I see now, a decade and a half later, getting exercise, having a mighty fine time in River Legacy Park, and the large number who seem to be a bit plus-sized and exercising, well, methinks Texas, well, maybe not all of Texas, but certainly the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington zone of Texas, is getting in better shape.

I suppose this explains why Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington don't show up so frequently, anymore, on those list type deals of the Most Obese City type.

Tomorrow I Am Not Watching The World Cup Match Between Belgium & The USA On The World's Biggest TV Screen With Ann Coulter

Tomorrow, on the first day of July, around two in the afternoon, I will be on my way to Arlington, to a location about five miles east of my abode, known as Jerry World, by some, but known by more as the Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

Tomorrow will be the first time I've been inside this notorious stadium.

The stadium's PR department explains why I'm going inside for the first time...

AT&T Stadium will host a World Cup watch party for Team USA’s Round of 16 match against Belgium on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  This will be a unique opportunity for all Team USA supporters to come together in one location to watch the biggest match of the year to date on the largest video board structure in the world.

Parking and admission are FREE, so fans of USA soccer can join together in the comfort of climate controlled AT&T Stadium, to cheer on their team together.  What better way to experience the thrill of World Cup soccer, an opportunity that comes just once every four years.

The match starts at 3:00 pm.  Doors to AT&T Stadium will open at 1:30 pm and parking lots will open at 12:30 pm.  Fans can enter the stadium through Entry A, C, H and K.

The current AT&T Stadium bag policy will be in effect for this event.  No large bags or purses will be allowed into the stadium. Only small, single-compartment clutch purses are permitted.

Where am I going to find myself a single-compartment clutch purse by tomorrow? And what would I put in it?

I think I've mentioned before that I find it bewildering that watching soccer games is so popular with so many. To my limited imagination the World Cup seems to be an awful lot of ado about very little to get in much of an ado mode over.

Others beg to differ on my soccer-perplexed point of view. Others, like Mr. Galtex, who waxed poetically about the wonders of World Cup Futbol in a blogging he wrote back during the 2010 version of the World Cup titled Dance for Space.

The regularly provocative Ann Coulter, she of right-wing nut commentator fame, wrote a column about soccer and the World Cup recently which many found to be aggravating, but I found to be mostly amusing, and a bit appalling, what with finding myself sort of in agreement with a few of the things Ann Coulter opined about soccer.

The AMERICA'S FAVORITE NATIONAL PASTIME: HATING SOCCER title of Ann Coulter's soccer column pretty much sets the tone for the rest of what she had to say.

I will glean a few of the Ann Coulter hating soccer gems....

I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade -- or about the length of the average soccer game -- so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay. 

I'm impressed Ms. Coulter was able to hold off for a decade sharing her thoughts about soccer.

Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That's when we're supposed to go wild. I'm already asleep. 

I don't quite get the MVP point in the above paragraph, but I find myself in agreeance with the second and third sentence.

Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.
 

Okay, the above Coulter assertion seems a bit rude, but also sort of has a grain of truth to it.

No other "sport" ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: "2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0." Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: "1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0." If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he'd still be alive, although bored.

I've long said if soccer got rid of having a goalie the game would become much more entertaining. Along with having basketball game-like scores.

The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare. As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don't worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.

Well, if Lady Thatcher really said that, well that's sort of amusing.

Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game -- and it's not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box. 

What is wrong with me that I'm finding this Coulter lady to be funny?

You can't use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here's a great idea: Let's create a game where you're not allowed to use them! 

The above, in addition to the no timeouts, and the low to no scoring, is what I've always found oddest about soccer.

Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it's European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren't committing mass murder by guillotine. 

The metric system emerged from the French Revolution? This I did not know. Or forgot that I knew.

Remember when the media tried to foist British soccer star David Beckham and his permanently camera-ready wife on us a few years ago? Their arrival in America was heralded with 24-7 news coverage. That lasted about two days. Ratings tanked. No one cared. 

I thought that Beckham guy got paid a few hundred million dollars to play soccer on some California team, so someone must have cared. Or been very foolish with their money.

I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time. 

I really think Ms. Coulter may have erred with her above assertion. Mr. Galtex is an American. I'm almost 100% certain the great-grandfather of Mr. Galtex was born in America, likely in the Texas part of America. And Mr. Galtex seems to be totally addicted to watching soccer, I mean, futbol.......

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stenotrophomonas Pointed Me To A Formerly Rusty New Tandy Hills Mystery

Late Friday Stenotrophomonas emailed me after he'd hiked the Tandy Hills for the first time since the recent rains.

This is what Stenotrophomonas had to say....

I went in there (Tandy Hills) for the first time since the rains around 5pm. Reasonably dry, only a little mud on the jungle trail and other low-lying areas. The mundane thing: a hoodoo. Looked kinda rickety, so it may be horizontal by morning. The other thing: I saw a rusty exhaust pipe and some other piece of metal by the green sewer obelisk approaching the escarpment. Then I looked to my left and saw that the car that had been parked there for decades had vanished. I didn't see any obvious ground scrapings where metal had been dragged through, nor did I find any car carcasses nearby. Heard anything?

I returned to the Tandy Hills today, this last Sunday of June, for the first time since the recent rains, to find the Hoodoo just as Stenotrophomonas described it, rickety, but still vertical.

Below is the green sewer obelisk to which Stenotrophomonas referred, with the rusty exhaust pipe and piece of metal, looking to me like a pair of snakes in confrontation mode.


The next picture documents the now empty location of the rusty car which had sat rusting for decades, unmolested, except for an occasional snake infestation, which I never saw, but was told about.


Just as Stenotrophomonas indicated, there was no sign of anything rusty being dragged. No tire track marks of any sort of vehicle which would have been needed to haul away the rusty mess.

Then, later in my Tandy Hills tour I saw that the recent rains had flash flooded across the Tandy Highway, washing out the crossing over Tandy Creek, blocking the only way in or out for someone wanting to haul something large, like a rusty old car.


I suspect the disappearance of the Tandy Hills Rusty Car Landmark will just be added to the ever growing list of the Mysteries of the Tandy Hills.

Mysteries such as what is the name of this big purple wildflower I saw today coloring up the Tandy Hills?


Saturday, June 28, 2014

A BBQ Infused Walk Around Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake Before Getting Cheese From Switzerland At Town Talk

That would be my favorite picnic table in Oakland Lake Park you are looking at in the picture.

A ditch runs under the picnic table on its way to Fosdick Lake. I have never seen water running in this ditch, likely due to the fact that I have never sat at this picnic table whilst rain is in falling mode.

A large group, part of which you can see at the top of the picture, had the Oakland Lake Park Pavilion packed with people today, along with a couple BBQers in full smoke mode.

Whatever meat product those people were smoking it sure smelled mighty fine. I hung out around the BBQers for a bit, then when no invite seemed to be forthcoming I continued with the rest of my walk around Fosdick Lake before continuing on to Town Talk for the first time on a Saturday in awhile.

I got myself some good stuff at Town Talk today, including Swiss cheese from a country called Switzerland, sharp cheese from a continent called Australia, a big bag of sweet red, yellow and orange mini-peppers, a big bag of unsalted peanuts, harbanero chicken sausage, a bag of chipolte huumuus chips, plus tomatoes, spuds and onions.

Apparently the era of finding a big variety of various cases of yogurt is over at Town Talk, at least for now. It has now been a couple months, I think, since I got myself a case of yogurt.

Today We Learn How TRWD Nepotism Can Lead To Tacky Cheesy Signs

Yesterday morning I blogged This Morning I Learned J.D. Granger Is Promoting Little Kids Cheering For Beer & Going Nuts For Runner's Butts.

By late afternoon, yesterday, Jeff Prince, in Fort Worth Weekly's Blotch, also blogged about this subject in Trinity River Vision's J.D. Granger, Kids Hold Tacky Signs.

I did not know til learning so in FW Weekly that it was J.D. Granger's kids who were letting runners know they go nuts for runner's butts and cheer for beer.

Jeff Prince talked to the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle spokesman, Matt Oliver, from whom he learned the signs were not tacky, but instead were "cheesy".

Four paragraphs from the FW Weekly Blotch blog explaining how these "cheesy" signs came to be...

TRV spokesman Matt Oliver explained the backstory to Blotch: Oliver had learned back in February that the Cowtown Marathon route would pass Panther Island Pavilion, and so he made up signs for he and friends to hold as the runners passed.

He looked online at signs being held up at other marathons, chose some of the "cheesy" ones, and printed up a handful of signs, he said.

Granger and his two children (the boy and girl shown in the enlarged photo) arrived shortly before the runners approached, and they grabbed a few of the signs that weren't being used and held them without paying much attention what was written on them.

“At no point were his kids involved in the making of the signs,” Oliver said. “[Granger] and the kids were walking down there, and there were six or seven signs left over and they picked up some to cheer on the runners.”

Who suggested the Granger kids were involved in making these signs? Why is that straw man being knocked down by this Oliver guy?

Speaking of Matt Oliver. Does anyone know how many of the Tarrant Regional Water District's General Manager Jim Oliver's relatives are nepotistically employed by the TRWD?

So, Matt Oliver came up with these "cheesy" signs by going online to find the "cheesy" slogans?

Okay, let's try that. I Googled "marathon signs" and found none cheesy or tacky.

I then Googled "cheesy marathon signs" and found "Run Fast I Just Farted" "Run Like An Angry Kenyan" "Worst Parade Ever" "The Beer at the Finish Line Won't Drink Itself" and "Mortuary 1 Block Ahead: Look Alive".

So, Googling for "cheesy marathon signs" came up with some that are almost as bad as the ones Matt Oliver claims to have found online.

But, Googling for "tacky marathon signs" quickly came up with one which more closely matched the Matt Oliver "cheesy" taste level with "Nipple Chafing Turns Me On" plus I saw one which looked familiar, saying "I Go Nuts For Runner's Butts". And then I moused over that one to see that Google had already indexed the photo of J.D. Granger and his kids from the FW Weekly Blotch blog.

So, I can not help but wonder what search term Matt Oliver used to find the words he put on those signs.

Matt Oliver claims that J.D.'s kids picked up the signs they were holding with no one paying any attention to what was on the signs. Yeah, that seems believable.

There was an email in my inbox this morning from someone who had read the FW Weekly Blotch blog who reacted in much the same way I did to the TRVB spokesman's "cheesy" explanation regarding the controversial signs.....

The guy who is supposed to be their spokesperson (who happens to be related to The Jim Oliver) swiped the tackiest sign ideas he could find, from someone else. Did he come up with Clean Swimmin' Dirty Livin' all by himself? What do we pay him to steal the worst ideas ever?? AND the guy who is in charge of a billion dollars (that has yet to materialize) didn't read the signs. What else didn't he read? 

So, when is the Censure Hearing scheduled with the Tarrant Regional Water District Board regarding Matt Oliver's "cheesy" bad judgement?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finding Renewal In Arlington With A Vietnamese Visit To Chinatown Before Finding Giant Mushrooms Sprouting In Veterans Park

If I remember right I have heard it said, a time or two, that everything is bigger in Texas.

I've thought that sounded ridiculous every time I've heard it said.

And then today I came upon the biggest mushroom I have ever seen, sprouting in Veterans Park in Arlington.

I have never seen the vegetation in Veterans Park sprouting at the lush level it is currently sprouting.

I was in Arlington today to get a vehicle registration renewal sticker. An annual ordeal I go through due to forgetting to mail the form in in time to avoid not taking care of it in person. Then again, I always enjoy the drive to the heart of Arlington.

Since I was in the heart of Arlington part of town and since I needed some Asian products, after doing the sticker renewal I headed further south and east to Cho Saigon Market in Arlington's Chinatown.

After shopping with the Vietnamese I was off to Veterans Park to find the aforementioned giant mushroom. There were dozens of mushrooms sprouting. I figured this sprouting had to have recently occurred because it seems unlikely these growths would last long without being plucked.

I was tempted to pluck one of the giant mushrooms to add to today's stir-fry lunch, but then I remembered these type things can be poisonous, like so many other things that are bigger in Texas.

Whatever that means....

This Morning I Learned J.D. Granger Is Promoting Little Kids Cheering For Beer & Going Nuts For Runner's Butts


I found the above picture in my email inbox this morning, sent by Elsie Hotpepper, with the subject line being "There are no words....".

It took me a second or two to figure out that which left Miss Hotpepper speechless.

I will try to see if I can find the words which eluded Elsie.

Well, this picture is some sort of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, I mean, Panther Island Pavilion Boondoggle promotion.

That is J.D. Granger in the yellow shirt standing behind a little kid holding a sign. It is what is on the signs which rendered Elsie Hotpepper speechless.

Let's look closeup at the three signs nearest J.D. Granger....


Two little kids holding Panther Island Pavilion signs with the first kid's sign saying "I go nuts for runner's butts" with the next kid's sign saying "Will cheer for beer" with the third sign saying "Run quietly when hungover".

The messages on the others signs were gems like "If this was any easier it would be your mom". I have no idea what that means.

Then there was this one, "You make chafing look sexy". What in the world is being promoted here?

"You've got stamina? Call me".

"You're almost there. That's what she said".

Are some of these signs supposed to be funny by being real juvenile type double entendre type messages?

There are signs sitting on the two chairs on the right side of the picture. I could only make out part of one of the sitting signs, that being the one on the right. The part I could make out is "If peeing your pants is cool then you're.....". I could not make out the next two words.

I don't know what you are thinking about this latest bit of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, I mean, Panther Island Pavilion Boondoggle bizarreness, but what I'm thinking is whoever it was who thought it a good idea to make these signs and have a photo taken with little kids holding signs saying one goes nuts for runner's butts while the other little kid cheers for beer, well, methinks terminated without severance pay would seem to be a fitting response.

Should not the buck for something like this stop at the top? As in, J.D. Granger must have signed on to make these signs. He certainly signed on to promote them. Will the Tarrant Regional Water District Board have a Censure Hearing regarding this?

Or am I just an old fuddy duddy who does not get the highly evolved, sophisticated Fort Worth sense of humor?

Extremely perplexing.....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It Took 30 Seconds Of Watching Germany Beating U.S. In World Cup For My Attention Deficit Disorder To Kick In

This morning was consumed by a new computer hunt which took me as far north as North Richland Hills before finally finding a computer in Hurst, at a Walmart of all places.

By the time I got back to my abode it was well before my regularly scheduled lunch time, but I was hungry, so I made an early lunch.

When I turned on the TV to entertain myself whilst nutrifying myself I remembered that the U.S. was World Cupping with Germany today.

I've been hearing mention made of this World Cup thing much more than I remember hearing during World Cups of the past. But this had not caused me to watch any of it.

Til today.

I think I have only made it all the way through a soccer game once, and that was way back in the last century, when I watched the first game of the original Seattle Sounders, played in Memorial Stadium in the Seattle Center. The only thing I remember about that soccer game was what a great view of Mount Rainier my seat provided.

So, today I turned on the TV and channel chased til I came to mention of the World Cup. It was on ESPN. I was about 30 seconds in before I started wondering what I have wondered before, as in what in the world do people find entertaining about watching this?

Now, I am not much of a sports spectator type. Never have been. I can take watching a football game, of the American style football game, a few times during the year. I still find baseball boring, but the up close way TV covers baseball, in our modern times, makes it a lot more watchable.

I've always found watching basketball or tennis capable of holding my attention, at times, particularly basketball, though it has been years since I've watched a basketball game. Way back in the last century I used to attend many Seattle Supersonic games in person.

But soccer? Or what the rest of the world calls football?

Yes, I used a question mark even though those two sentences above are not questions.

I imagine in person World Cup football might be entertaining. But, watching it on TV? Most of the time the camera view is pulled way back, covering the bulk of the field. I guess this is how it has to be filmed due to that ball being kicked back and forth over and over and over and over again.

By the time I turned on the World Cup Germany had scored 1 goal with the U.S. goalless. The game ended with that same score. At some point the play by play talkers started repeating over and over again that if the score in a game being played at the same time ended with Portugal beating Ghana, which was what was happening, why then the U.S. losing to Germany was not really losing because the U.S. still advances to something called the Knockout Rounds of 16.

Or something like that.

I remember my dad at some point in time saying something about soccer which stuck in my memory, that being that it is such an odd sport, it being a game where one can not use ones hands, for the most part, but you can hit the ball with your head.

I remember myself a long time ago wondering if the reason soccer is so popular with the rest of the world, but historically not so popular in America, is because way back when sports like baseball, football and basketball became popular in America the rest of the world could not afford the stadiums, ballparks, basketball courts and uniforms and equipment that baseball, football and basketball require.

While the most desolate location on the planet could manage to come up with a ball suitable for kicking, and a flat piece of land on which to kick the ball.

And so that peculiar foot kicking game became popular.

And known worldwide, except for America, as football.

Which has me wondering now, what with most all of the world wired to TV, watching events like the Olympics, exposed to all sorts of entertainment, how in the world is something as boring as watching these World Cup soccer games holding the attention of so much of the world?

Perplexing....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yesterday Mother Nature Decided To Flood Fort Worth

I've collected a few photos generated by yesterday's ultra wet Fort Worth flood event from the interwebs, well, mostly Facebook, and one via incoming email.

The photo on the left, found on Facebook, is not one taken of yesterday's Fort Worth flood. The guys in the boat were floating in the 1949 Fort Worth Trinity River flood.

I am not certain, but I am fairly certain the 1949 flood is the water event which resulted in the Army Corps of Engineers building the massive levees which have kept Fort Worth from being flooded to the 1949 level in well over a half century.

The below flood photo was gleaned from Facebook via Layla Caraway, she being the young lady who often pops up in the news whenever the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex goes into flash flood mode, due to her personal experience with bad flash flood control planning, experienced when her Haltom City home teetered on the edge of a disastrous flush into a deadly flash flooding creek a few years ago.


The TRWD to which Ms. Caraway refers is the Tarrant Regional Water District, that being the government agency which is supposed to concern itself with flood control and water supply, which somehow morphed into an agency opening a restaurant, wakeboard lake, drive-in movie theater, ice skating rink, and, apparently, a brewery, along with abusing eminent domain, in cahoots with a sub-agency the TRWD created, currently called the Panther Island Boondoggle, with that boondoggle planning to take down the aforementioned levees which have kept Fort Worth from catastrophic flooding for a long long time, replacing the levees with a little lake along with a flood diversion channel.

Below is a photo from yesterday's flood which the Fort Worth police had on their blog, which then ended up on Facebook.

Below you are looking at a water covered Hulen Street, with what looks to be a white pickup in way too deep.


I was a little surprised to see the below area so badly flooded. The West 7th Corridor is mostly new development, with Crockett Street developed this century. So, why are these recently upgraded roads not able to handle an excess rain event, like yesterday's, without water backing up like we see below?


I was in the Eastchase Target in East Fort Worth when yesterday's thunderstorm and downpour started up. Upon leaving Target I did not see any flooding at the level seen above.

When I got back to my abode the rain was downpouring, with non-stop lightning strikes, so I decided to opt out of getting drenched and instead called my mom so she could experience some vicarious rain, what with mom's location in Arizona being rain-free since some point last March.

Rain is on the weather menu again today.

So far I have not seen any drippage, other than what dripped off me when I got out of the pool this morning....

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Hot Humid Walk With A New Incoming Texas Park Pipeline

Today at which of my regular hiking haunts do you think I found what you see on the left?

The Village Creek Natural Historical Area? Quanah Parker Park? Gateway Park? River Legacy Park? The Tandy Hills? Veterans Park? Oakland Lake Park?

Well, if you guess Oakland Lake Park you would have guessed correctly.

I know for certain this line of pipes is not being buried to carry water to Oakland Lake. I know this because there is no Oakland Lake in Oakland Lake Park, due to the Fort Worth tendency to oddly name things, like for decades there was no square in Sundance Square, until a square was finally built and then oddly named Sundance Square Plaza. which seems sort of redundant.

I digress.

The lake in Oakland Lake Park is called Fosdick Lake.

Is this new line of pipes running to Fosdick Lake part of some part of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's plan to clean up the water in Fosdick Lake to turn it into a safe swimming venue? Or perhaps a safe location for Rockin' the Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

No, I don't think the Oakland Lake Park neighbors would like having their lake rock with loud inner tubers.

And I don't think there is any part of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle that has anything to do with cleaning up polluted water.

I just remembered, it has been awhile since I have mentioned the Trinity River Vision Boondoogle. I temporarily forgot the Boondoggle has been renamed the Panther Island Boondoggle.

Has anyone else noticed that "Vision" has been taken out of the Boondoggle..........?

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Unexpected Unflooded Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts & Blonde Water Joggers Before Mouse Hunting

Around noon I left my abode to go mouse hunting.

On my way to the Target of my mouse hunting expedition I decided to drive by the west entry to Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, expecting to see the entry blocked with the "Park Closed Due To Flooding" sign.

However, entry was not blocked, resulting in my having myself a mighty fine time walking with the Indian Ghosts who haunt their former home.

I was not the only one walking today, surprised to be able to walk to Village Creek. There were plenty of signs that plenty of water had fallen, as in constant drippage from the trees along with a lot of standing water.

However, when I got to the first dam bridge I was surprised to see Village Creek was a couple feet below flowing over the bridge.

The second Village Creek dam bridge was not as water free as the first, as you can see below.


Between the two dam bridges another creek, that being Rush Creek, joins Village Creek, adding to the water flow, thus topping over the second dam bridge.

See that wet spot in the cement at the bottom of the picture? That is a foot print. As the flooded dam bridge came into view I was surprised to see a young blonde jogger jogging across the flooding dam bridge.

The picture does not adequately document the volume of water rushing down Village Creek. The picture certainly does not document how loud the rushing water roars.

Methinks that young blonde jogger was a bit foolish to jog across the flooded dam bridge. The water is moving fast. One slip and one might find oneself on a swift water ride direct to the Trinity River, a short distance away.

Why is Rush Creek so named I wondered to myself today? Surely it is not named after Rush Limbaugh. I listened to that bloviated gasbag on my way to do my Target mouse hunting.

I really think the Obama administration should do some sort of executive order reviving John Adams' Alien & Sedition Act and use it to shut down seditious blowhards.

Then again, if I remember right, eventually the Alien & Sedition Act was ruled un-constitutional. Or was it the first act of Thomas Jefferson to abolish the act and set free those who Adams had imprisoned?

Anyway, blue sky seems to have returned, with no sign of the predicted afternoon Thunderstorms anywhere on the horizon.

For now.........

So Much Rain Is Falling On Texas We Are Having Ourselves Areal Flood Advisory With Thunder

That "AREAL" part of an "AREAL FLOOD ADVISORY" always seems odd to me.

Why not AREA FLOOD ADVISORY?

Or A REAL FLOOD ADVISORY?

Anyway, at my location, that which causes the flood started flooding to earth soon after daybreak.

By the time I went for my regularly scheduled swim thunder was booming in the distance.

So, not wanting to be lightning bait, I cut short my swimming in the rain this third drippy day of Summer.

I read this morning that south of Glen Rose got flooded with over 8 inches of wet yesterday. That is a lot of rain.

My pool is about an inch from flowing over the top. If I remember right there has only been one time previous when sufficient rain fell that the pool overflowed.

There is at least one nice benefit from the chilly temperatures brought by the rain.

No air-conditioning needed.

All my windows that are not in the direct path of incoming rain are open. I do not remember opening windows in late June previously in Texas.

I  suspect the Village Creek Natural Historical Area is currently closed due to flooding. The Tandy Hills and Gateway Park will currently be muddy. My only close walking zones, should I want to risk lightning strikes under a bumbershoot, are walking around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park, Quanah Parker Park or Mallard Cove Park.

I think I shall forego any park walking and instead do some store walking. My computer mouse is in malfunction mode and in need of replacement.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The 2nd Day Of Summer Is Dripping Wet In Texas

Early on the first day of Summer I saw a 7 day forecast for my location on the planet which indicated the following 7 days would be partly cloudy with the temperature highs in the 90s.

With no rain or thunderstorms in the forecast.

So, I was a bit surprised to hear rain pitter pattering on my windows early this morning of the first Sunday of Summer.

Rain has continued to pitter patter all morning. I have also heard a couple thunder booms. By the time of my regularly scheduled morning swim rain had fallen in amounts copious enough to have raised the water level an inch or two.

For the first time this year the water in the pool felt significantly warmer than the air. I was not long into the pool when the pitter patter shifted to downpour mode. I like swimming in the rain, but I do not like doing so when the rain is in downpour mode.

As you can see below, the 7 day forecast is now predicting a few days of rain.



Having Summer start off with a few days of rain is very stereotypical of the start of Summer in the Pacific Northwest. This type start of Summer has not been stereotypical of previous Summer starts in Texas, in my limited Texas experience.

By now is it not the norm that we should have been treated to a few days in the triple digits?

I have just been informed I need to read something on Facebook. So, I shall do as told, as soon as I hit the publish button on this watery blogging.....

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Seeing Indian Ghosts In Arlington At The Village Creek Spirit Lodge

The Spirit Lodge in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area was looking a bit spooky today.

Usually when I walk in the Village Creek zone I don't actually see any Indian Ghosts, I just feel their presence.

But, if those are not Indian Ghosts hovering over the Spirit Lodge, what is it? A big mass of spider webs?

Currently I am at the point in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee that tells the tale of the bad deeds done to the Ponca tribe by a very confused U.S. government, way back in the 1870s.

It is really hard in 2014 to imagine that at some point in time, long ago, our U.S. government made confused foreign policy mistakes that caused far more harm than good.

If you don't know about the dastardly betrayal that the Ponca suffered at the hands of the confused Americans, Wikipedia does a good job covering the Ponca history.

After paying my respects to the Village Creek Spirit Lodge I continued on my walk.

Eventually I came to the Village Creek crossing. There I saw a large group of guys appearing to be intently interested in something. When I got close enough to inquire I learned it was what they thought was a water moccasin which had caught their attention.

I did not see the snake. It had slithered under rock cover.

I did not ask the snake hunters if they'd seen the Indian Ghosts at the Village Creek Spirit Lodge.....

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rolling My Wheels To Survey Tree Damage In Fort Worth's Mallard Cove Park

On Sunday during the course of my 1st Annual Mallard Cove Park Father's Day bike ride I stopped and took a picture of a tree which I used for illustrative purposes on my 1st Annual Mallard Cove Park Father's Day bike ride.

Today I returned to Mallard Cove Park to roll my bike's wheels and found that half the aforementioned tree is missing, with part of what was formerly vertical now laying on the ground.

I've been seeing a lot of tree damage of late, well, isolated tree damage, as in on Wednesday in Gateway Park and now, today, in Mallard Cove Park. I have not made note of any extreme windiness.

Changing the subject from rolling my wheels past mutilated trees to something else.

What with day after day being heated into the 90 zone each morning the water in the pool is just a little bit less refreshing than it was the morning before. Summer starts up tomorrow with the annual moment when the sun reaches its zenith and then begins its long retreat back to winter.

100 degree days will likely soon arrive, followed by the water in the pool being as warm as the air and thus no longer refreshing.

It's a hellish time of the year......

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spencer Jack Not The Nephew In Danger Crossing A Rickety Methow River Suspension Bridge

I think it was Tuesday Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, emailed me pictures of Spencer Jack throwing rocks in the Skykomish River and skiing on a patch of snow near the summit of Stevens Pass, before continuing on to spend the night in Leavenworth, Washington's extremely popular Bavarian themed tourist town.

In addition to the emailed pictures, on Tuesday Jason also emailed a message, commenting regarding my Sunday Father's Day blogging, with a question or two, along with the tentative itinerary of Spencer Jack's drive around the Cascade Loop, including mentioning a stay in Chelan before continuing on to Winthrop.

Continuing on to Winthrop meant Spencer Jack would be driving up the Methow Valley. That had me replying to Jason's email, the germane part of which is the next paragraph...

Doing the Cascade Loop sounds fun. I don't think I've done that since you and Joey took me. Ironically I had a scary flashback to that yesterday when something caused me to remember you and Joey climbing out on a rickety old suspension bridge above the Methow River. Do not let Spencer Jack do that on your way to Winthrop.

Well, this morning in my email inbox I found fresh photos from Spencer Jack's dad, with those photos being pictures of the aforementioned rickety suspension bridge about which I clearly imparted my uncle wisdom regarding not letting Spencer Jack play on that bridge.

The text in the email accompanying the suspension bridge pictures simply said...

FUD-

Found this bridge for you today.   

-FNJason (not in danger)

To translate, FUD is Favorite Uncle Durango. One might look at the picture above and think, what with Jason indicating Favorite Nephew Jason is not in danger, that that is Spencer Jack making his way across the bridge. And in DANGER.

Well, that is not Spencer Jack, that is Spencer Jack's dad in the aforementioned incident from the last century, where Jason and Joey did not listen to their favorite uncle's suggestion that walking out on this bridge might not be a good idea.


It actually looks worse than the reality. The water, while moving fast, was not very deep. Had the bridge tossed them into the Methow River I'm sure I would have been able to fish them out, downstream a few miles, where the river calms down.


If I remember right the above photo documents the moment when I clearly indicated they were to go no further, which had Jason pleading that they wanted to continue to cross the bridge. However, I was able to successfully use my powers of persuasion to get the boys back on land.

And now, Jason photo documenting that this bridge is still presenting an attractive nuisance tempting tourists touring the Methow Valley.


That is Jason below, not Spencer Jack, taking what is known as a selfie with the rickety suspension bridge behind him.


I wonder if Jason was mortified when he returned to this bridge yesterday, realizing how he and his brother must have terrorized their uncle by trying to cross it.

These type adventures became known, over time, as Nephews in Danger episodes, never revealed to the various parental units til the following century.

I think I webpaged the Nephews in Danger episodes, but I'm not in the mood to try and find it. I'll try and remember some of the Nephews in Danger episodes.

Well, there was the time my nephews Christopher and Jeremy took me exploring the Ice Caves one accesses via the Mountain Loop Highway on the west side of Washington's Cascade Mountains. I don't know if exploring the Ice Caves is still allowed after someone met an untimely end from a falling big chunk of ice.

A Nephew in Danger episode I clearly remember involved only Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey. Joey convinced me it would be fun to climb up Sauk Mountain in a snowstorm with the switchback trail covered with a coat of ice. This Nephew in Danger episode was a bit scary.

One fun Nephews in Danger episode with Jason and Joey happened when they took me to Las Vegas. The nephews thought it sounded fun to drive to Badwater, that being the location of the lowest elevation below sea level in the Western Hemisphere, in Death Valley. The nephews had read that there was a possibility that that day might break the world's highest temperature record. By the time we got to Badwater it was only 124 degrees. No record. Little danger.

I just recalled the episode with Christopher and Jeremy on Tabletop Mountain by Mount Baker. Suffice to say sliding at high speed down a glacier could have gone all sorts of sideways. But it didn't.

Enough with the Nephews in Danger............

Fort Worth's Connie D Has Relieved Me Of My Texas Natural Lakes Ignorance

Yesterday I mentioned in Today Spencer Jack Was Not Wading In The Largest Natural Lake In Texas that I'd heard it repeated repeatedly that there are no natural lakes in Texas, which has repetitively struck me as being unlikely.

On Facebook Miss Julie commented that she thought the claim was that there are no "large" natural lakes in Texas, unless one counts Caddo Lake, which is mostly in Louisiana.

Then the Fort Worth Connie D provided some new information for me, via the website version of the Texas Almanac's short article about the short supply of Natural Lakes in Texas.

Below is what the Texas Almanac had to say about the Texas Natural Lakes...

There are many natural lakes in Texas, though none is of great size. The largest designated natural lake touching the border of Texas is Sabine Lake, into which the Sabine and Neches rivers discharge. It is more properly a bay of the Gulf of Mexico. Also near the coast, in Calhoun County, is Green Lake, which at about 10,000 acres is one of the state’s largest natural freshwater lakes.

Caddo Lake, on the Texas-Louisiana border, was a natural lake originally, but its present capacity and surface area are largely due to dams built to raise the surface of the original body of water. Natural Dam Lake, in Howard County, has a similar history.

In East Texas, there are many small natural lakes formed by “horse-shoe” bends that have been eliminated from the main channel of a river. There are also a number of these “horse-shoe” lakes along the Rio Grande in the lower valley, where they are called resacas.

On the South Plains and west of San Angelo are lakes or "playas," such as Big Lake in Reagan County, that are usually dry.

Now that is interesting. In Texas, in the South Plains region, apparently there are natural lakes without water.

And from this article I also learned that I am walking distance from a natural Texas lake which I have actually walked over. That being an old bend of the Trinity River which got itself cut off from the river, but still somehow manages to get a water supply of sufficient quantity to make it a natural lake.

I do not know if my neighborhood natural Texas lake has a name. I do know there is a dilapidated bridge that crosses the lake, with a "DO NOT TRESPASS" sign on the bridge which is easily ignored....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Today Spencer Jack Was Not Wading In The Largest Natural Lake In Texas

No, on the left, that is not Spencer Jack at some tropical paradise, or wading into the largest natural lake in the State of Texas.

What you are looking at is Spencer Jack wading into the largest natural lake in the State of Washington.

I have read repeatedly that there are no natural lakes in Texas. This strikes me as bizarre, but after having this repeated so many times I've come to accept it as reality.

There are no natural lakes in Texas.

I do not know how many natural lakes there are in Washington.

Dozens?

Hundreds?

Do the lakes which popped out of the desert, like Sun Lakes and Soap Lake, after Grand Coulee Dam blocked up the Columbia River, count as natural lakes?

That largest natural lake in Washington, which Spencer Jack is wading in above, is Lake Chelan, in Eastern Washington.

Eastern Washington is on the east side of the Cascade Mountains.

Eastern Washington is the HOT side of Washington in summer. In winter Eastern Washington can get quite cold. Eastern Washington is a lot like North Texas, though way more scenic, with way more fruit orchards.

The picture of Spencer Jack wading in Lake Chelan showed up a few minutes ago in my email inbox, sent by Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, with the text in the email saying "Spencer Jack wading in crystal clear Lake Chelan."

There is a lot of crystal clear water, both of the fresh and sea variety, in Washington.

I have also seen crystal clear water in Texas, though, apparently, not in natural lakes.

Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, Texas comes to mind as a time when I was quite surprised to see crystal clear water in Texas, what with my Texas experience up til then being seeing works of water like the polluted Trinity River and murky reservoirs.

Lake Chelan is 55 miles long. At its deepest point Lake Chelan is 1,420 feet deep, making it the third deepest lake in America and the 26th deepest in the world.

Lake Chelan is long and narrow, averaging only a mile wide.

The Fall before I moved to Texas I had myself a mighty fine time floating on Lake Chelan via the Lady of the Lake, to the town at the north end of the lake, Stehekin, where I had multiple bear encounters among other good things, all documented here.....

A Cloudy Mountain Bike Ride In Wind Damaged Gateway Park Before Taking To Town Talk

As you can see, via my favorite Gateway Park mountain bike trail photo opportunity location, today I was rolling my wheels under a brooding gray sky.

I did not get the afternoon rain potential memo til this morning. I was still going by the earlier memo which had no rain chance in the current 7 day forecast.

And now the middle of the afternoon has arrived, with the appearance of zero drippage.

For reasons unknown to me I have been feeling a bit punky the past couple days.

Punky is the word I use to indicate feeling not so good,.

But, by this morning I had re-bounded and had myself a mighty fine time having an early morning swim under a bright quarter moon, clearly visible, before the arrival of the blue sky blotting clouds.

Gateway Park currently looks as if it may have been hit with a micro-burst wind event. Multiple big branches on the ground. However, nothing of a trail blockage sort impacted the mountain bike trail.

Since I was in the neighborhood, after I had exhausted myself on the Gateway Park roller coaster, I dropped in on Town Talk for some treasure hunting.

Dozens of all natural chicken legs was the best thing I found at Town Talk today. Along with broccoli and extra sharp white cheddar cheese, plus two bags of brown rice.

Due to visiting Town Talk today I suspect this coming Saturday will be the second Saturday in a row without a Town Talk visit. I don't remember the last time that happened.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spencer Jack Stones Skykomish River Before Finding Stevens Pass Snow While Staying Away From Fort Worth's Trinity River

According to photo documentation I received this morning Spencer Jack is currently taking his dad and favorite girl friend, Brittney, on a Washington Roadtrip known as the Cascade Loop.

One can Roadtrip the Cascade Loop clock-wise or counter clock-wise.

Spencer Jack has opted for the counter clock-wise option, meaning first over Stevens Pass, to overnight, last night, in Leavenworth, then on to Lake Chelan, then north up the Methow Valley, to Winthrop, before heading west over the North Cascades via Highway 20, which eventually takes everyone home to Mount Vernon.

That white stuff you see Spencer Jack standing on is some snow remaining at the Stevens Pass ski area.

Very few people in Western Washington have air-conditioning, mostly because days when you wished you had A/C are few and far between. Currently the people I hear from in Western Washington are lamenting having to run their furnaces to keep warm, with one person colorfully commenting on the rain volume by saying it was at "frog strangling levels."

On the way east, up the western slope of Stevens Pass, Spencer Jack had his dad stop at the little village of Skyomish where Spencer Jack had himself a mighty fine time throwing rocks into the Skyomish River under the Skyomish River Bridge.


Can you see how crystal clear the Skyomish River is? But, for more than one reason you probably don't want to have yourself a Fort Worth Trinity River style Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float in this river, even though it is pollution free.

One reason you might not enjoy floating in the Skykomish River would be due to the fact that the water would be very cold, likely only recently melted. Another reason it might not be a good idea to go inner tubing in the Skyomish River is due to the fact that the river gets a bit wild in places, challenging to even expert kayakers.

Regarding the not so crystal clear Trinity River in Fort Worth, a couple days ago, on the City of Fort Worth website I read the following regarding the Trinity River....

The Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility discharges treated effluent into the West Fork of the Trinity River, a sensitive stream that during dry months may be composed of up to 95 percent treated effluent.

Yikes!

During the dry summer months the Trinity River is almost entirely composed of water which has gone through a sewage treatment process?

Well, that sort of explains the lovely green hue...

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention. Happy Birthday, this June 17, to Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Finding A Horizontal Hoodoo On The Dry Tandy Hills While Thinking About Hiking With Maxine

Today I was back on the Tandy Hills for the first time in what seems weeks to have myself a mighty fine time doing some high speed hill hiking.

I prefer my Hoodoos to be vertical, but I can see where there is some merit to the new Horizontal Hoodoo I found today.

A Horizontal Hoodoo would seem to be not as vulnerable to gusts of wind.

I'd taken the Tandy Hills off my to-do list since recent rains. But I saw no sign of anything even remotely wet today. Tandy Falls looks as if it has been dry for a long long time.

I think I can extrapolate from the dry Tandy Hills and assume the Gateway Park mountain bike trails are also dry.

Lately Maxine of Wild Ass Custom Milling fame has been causing me to remember various hiking venues I used to enjoy regularly in my old home zone, like the hike to Fragrance Lake from Larrabee State Park, the hike up Goose Rock in Deception Pass State Park, and my favorite, hiking the trails in Washington Park in Anacortes.

In my latest email exchange with Maxine, regarding the hikes she's been hiking I found myself saying "This is sure making me once again realize what a topographically zero zone I am currently in, where I think the Tandy Hills is a good thing. Big Ed has often opined if the Tandy Hills existed in WA no one would go hiking there because they'd they'd think it was like hiking in a gravel pit. So true."

Well.

While what I opined to Maxine is basically true, what is also true is that my favorite hiking locations in Washington, while incredibly scenic and varied compared to the Tandy Hills, all were over 25 miles from my abode, while the Tandy Hills is less than four miles from my current abode.

Then again, now that you're making me think about it, I could walk out the front door of my house in Mount Vernon and have myself a scenic hike much hillier than the Tandy Hills. And a short mile to the east I could hike to the top of Big Rock, which is a sort of Gibraltar like monolith left behind after the last Ice Age.

If I still had a house to move to in Washington, I think I'd move back to where only a couple days of the year people wish they had air-conditioning....

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The First Annual Fort Worth Father's Day Mallard Cove Park Bike Ride Confusing My Brother

Today was the day of my First Annual Father's Day bike ride on the paved trails of Mallard Cove Park, located on the wild and rugged east side of the Texas town of Fort Worth.

In the picture you are looking at one of many big trees which rise from the open prairie of Mallard Cove Park.

That line of trees you see behind the big tree line the south bank of the Trinity River as it scenically passes Mallard Cove Park.

For some unfathomable reason all access from Mallard Cove Park to the Trinity River has been blocked. So, I am no longer able to roll my wheels out of the park to take pictures of big piles of discarded tires, abandoned beds and vehicles rusting in the middle of the Trinity River.

With access to the Trinity River blocked I had only Mallard Cove Park to look at and find odd stuff which seems out of place. Such as that which you see below.


Since I last visited Mallard Cove Park a giant white straw has been inserted into Mallard Cove. My limited imagination could imagine no possible explanation for this unnatural insertion.

After I had had enough of riding my bike I sat at a picnic table under the Mallard Cove Park Gazebo and text messaged "Happy Father's Day" to most of the dad's entered into my phone, including my dad and my brother.

I'd not called my brother in a long time. A really long time.

Within less than a minute after sending out the Happy Father's Day text messages the phone twice made its incoming text message noise.

The first one was from my dad, simply saying "Thank you".

The second was from my brother, simply saying, "Thanks who is this I don't know this number or area code Go Hawks".

My brother is very avant garde with his punctuation.

I replied back saying, "This is your big brother, calling from Fort Worth, Texas. Are the Seahawks already playing football again?"

I have received no subsequent message from my brother, so I don't know if the Seahawks are back playing football. Seems like only yesterday Seattle won the Super Bowl. Is it already time for them to start making that happen again.........?

Happy Father's Day To All The World's Dad's Especially My Pa

On Friday my dad's favorite grandson named Jason, he being the father of my dad's one and only great-grandson, Spencer Jack, partially named after my dad, whose name is Jack, emailed me the photo you see here, with the question accompanying the email asking me what was the occasion where this photo was taken.

First off, from the top, that would be me, looking all bloated and tied on the far left, next to my favorite brother-in-law, also named Jack, next to his wife, my favorite sister, Jackie, next to my not so favorite sister, Clancy, next to Spencer Jack's dad, and then his dad, my little brother Jake, next to his first wife, Spencer Jack's favorite grandma, Cindy.

In the front row we are looking at Christopher, aka CJ, sitting next to my dad, sitting next to my mom, with my favorite nephew, Joey, behind my mom, with my favorite nephew, Jeremy, aka JR, sitting in front of his big brother, CJ.

So, Jason's question was, why were we all in this picture? And where is Aunt Michele?

Well, I told Jason this picture was taken via my antique Nikon camera's self timer on November 3, 1994 prior to all of us heading north, to Lynden, for my grandma's, my dad's mom's, funeral.

As Jason later so eloquently put it, his Aunt Michele is not in this picture due to her tendency to always be late.

With today being Father's Day, I am just a bit sad that I am not one of those getting Father's Day cards today.

Being a good dad is a tough job.

I was a lucky guy because I was blessed with a very good dad. I don't think I would have managed to do as good a job as my dad did, raising five kids.

I found taking care of a cat to be taxing.

I learned a lot of good lessons from my dad which my time on the planet has taught me others were not so blessed to learn.

Things like staying calm when something goes awry.

I was only 13 when we took our first family vacation trip to Disneyland. The level of anticipation regarding going to Disneyland, for me and my siblings, was unlike anything we had experienced before.

Only a few miles into our trip to Disneyland we experienced a major malfunction with our vacation trailer's wheels.

Dad pulled off what was then not quite Interstate 5. Dad then removed the broken wheel part. He then un-hitched the car from the trailer. We then drove south, to Marysville, to find someone to weld the broken part. My dad found a fixer, the fix was made, we returned to the trailer, installed the fix, re-hitched the trailer and were on our way, with mom making us a ham on potato roll lunch on the road which to this day has me feeling fondly at any mention of potato rolls.

Mom and dad made something difficult seem like just part of the adventure.

Years later I found myself back in California. I'd gone to a taping of the Laverne & Shirley sitcom at Paramount Studios. Leaving Paramount my troubled 65 Mustang Fastback decided to cease working its clutch. That night was spent stuck in Hollywood. The next morning the malfunction was fixed. I stayed calm and sort of enjoyed the bizarre experience, thanks to lessons learned of going with the flow, from my dad.

Years later, long after the Laverne & Shirley debacle, I was driving through Death Valley when suddenly it became obvious I had a flat tire. The others in my tour group went in to full panic mode. While I just thought to myself, worst case scenario, we have to walk 6 miles to Stovepipe Wells to seek help.

Turned out switching out the flat was no big deal, and then repairing that flat in the town of Bishop, California, turned out to be fun, benefit of lessons learned from my calm dad.

Anyway.....

Happy Father's Day, and thank you for being such a good dad, Dad!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

With The Indian Ghosts At The Village Creek Green Bayou Thinking About The Sand Creek Massacre & Stupid Smart Cars

To the left you are looking at the formerly blue Blue Bayou of Village Creek, which has now become the Green Bayou of Village Creek.

How is the Green Bayou managing to be so green, what with the ongoing Great North Texas Drought, I pondered as I gazed out from the Green Bayou Overlook.

I did not think mountain biking was likely doable at Gateway Park today, due to rain a few days ago. I thought the same thing might have muddied the Tandy Hills.

So, since I was not in the neighborhood, I opted out of my semi-regular Saturday Town Talk treasure hunt.

This morning I was reading the chapter of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee that covers the Sand Creek Massacre, that being the mass murder of Black Kettle's band of Cheyenne, along with some of their Arapaho friends, with the murderers led  by the notorious mass murderer, the Methodist preacher named John Chivington, who was never held accountable for his crimes, thus never executed, like many thought was the just thing to do.

So, with the Sand Creek Massacre fresh in my memory, my walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area was naturally a bit more poignant than the norm today.

Even though today is Flag Day, I only saw two flags flying today whilst I was out and about.

After I finished my Indian Ghost Walk I dropped in on ALDI for a couple needed provisions. Leaving ALDI I was perplexed by the heavy oncoming traffic on Ederville Road. I looked over at  I-30 and saw traffic moving, so thought a jammed freeway was not the explanation.

But then at the next point on Ederville Road when I can see the freeway I saw the eastbound lanes were totally frozen, indicating to me that at some point west of the Cook's Lane exit there must have been a very bad accident.

In Texas when a freeway comes to a standstill, due to there usually being frontage roads, many drivers escape the freeway by free wheeling it over the grass buffer between the freeway and frontage road. This can lead to some difficulties for some vehicles not equipped for such adventurous cross country driving.

As in today I saw a SMART car stuck in no-man's land, trying to escape the traffic jam. The SMART car sort of looked swallowed up by a deep dip in the no-man's land.

SMART cars look fun, but you'd have to be sort of dumb to take a SMART car off-road....

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Beautiful Blue Sky Texas Friday The 13th Fearing Full Honey Moon Lunacy

Looking west through the bars of my patio prison cell the view is a bit more blue than yesterday's multiple shades of gray.

Today is a special day, feared by Triskaphobes.

Do I have that word right? The word has been underlined in red, indicated a misspelling.

Well, whatever the correct word, the meaning of the word is those who have a fear of the number 13.

So, those Triskaphobes should be particularly afraid today due to today being a very rare Friday the 13th.

This Friday the 13th should be doubly fearful for those suffering from both Triskaphobia and Lunarphobia.

Well, I totally made up that word, Lunarphobia, so it is no surprise that it also got redlined.

Tonight, if my information sources are correct, a full moon will be making a rare Friday the 13th appearance.

In addition to the moon being a full moon it is also a Honey Moon.

I have no idea what is meant by the full moon being a Honey Moon. But, I read it on Facebook so you know it is reliable information. Apparently tonight is the first Honey Moon in something like one hundred years, thus rendering it very special.

So, those prone to lunacy should be out in full force.

Translated to Pacific Northwest terms, it would likely be a wise move to stay off the streets of Tacoma tonight, with Tacoma long known as the Pacific Northwest nexus of lunacy.

Translated to Texas terms, what with it being Friday the 13th and a full Honey Moon, it is likely a wise move to stay safely locked indoors tonight, no matter where you live in Texas......

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dodging Lightning Bolts With Arlington's Village Creek Muumuu Lady & Indian Ghosts

Today I managed to get in a visit with Arlington's Indian Ghosts between raindrops and thunderbolts.

A surprising number of people were braving the elements today at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, including an Arlington animal control person releasing a herd of captured possums.

I was sitting at a picnic table enjoying the weather ambiance, text messaging my sister, when the Muumuu Lady came in to view.

I picked up my camera and zoomed in for the picture taking attempt you see above.

The Muumuu Lady walks with a unique gait, with her hands held out in front of her. The Muumuu Lady is very friendly. We exchanged pleasantries when our paths crossed later on today's walk with the Indian Ghosts.

The Muumuu Lady is a very spiritual person, but I have never asked her if she ever talks to the Village Creek Indian Ghosts.

After I was done communing with nature I made a quick stop at ALDI because I desperately needed to replenish my coffee supply.

So far I have experienced no extreme storming, but I keep hearing thunder rumbling in the distance, with occasional wind bouts with rain dropping.

I suspect that before this stormy Texas day is over I will have experienced some EXTREME weather. Today just has that sort of feel to it.

Thunderstorming Thursday In Texas While I Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee Again

On the left you are looking west through the bars of my patio prison cell at what appears to be a threatening sky.

The sky appears to be threatening because it is being threatening. Threatening to send lightning bolts to the ground, along with downpouring rain.

The sun had yet to arrive this morning when I detected a brief flash of light. Many seconds later I heard a distant boom.

By the time of my regularly scheduled morning swim arrived I was counting 10 to 15 seconds between flashes and booms, so I felt fairly safe from a zapping.

Soon after getting wet big drops of rain started plopping into the pool. I like swimming in the rain when the rain is not in big drops mode. I  was not enjoying swimming in the rain this morning.

After I saw a flash and counted only 5 seconds before I heard a boom I decided to get out of the pool.

Changing the subject to something else.

I just glanced over at my second monitor to see incoming email coming in, one of which in the subject line says "Martha looks 20 years younger. Did she get a face lift?"

Are we talking about Nurse Martha here? If Nurse Martha looked 20 years younger she'd look like a teenager.

Changing the subject again.

I had planned to go walk with Arlington's Indian Ghosts today, prior to going to ALDI. However, stormy weather may alter that plan.

Speaking of Indian Ghosts, yesterday I started re-reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. If you have never read this book you really should.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pondering Pleasant Air Pollution From Big Blooming Magnolia Tulips

Today, with it being Wednesday, this is my regularly scheduled day to walk up the hill to Albertsons to not find this week's Fort Worth Weekly, I did so in the noon time frame and found that once again FW Weekly had not yet arrived.

Like I said, I walk up a hill to get to Albertsons. Not a Tandy Hills level of hill, but an incline, nonetheless.

From the vantage point of the Albertsons hill I looked back to my abode, to the canopy of trees surrounding the swimming pool to see that the top of the pool's two magnolia trees blooming with multiple tulip-like white flowers.

When I am in the pool I can not see the tops of the magnolia trees, but those multiple tulip-like white flowers make their presence known by polluting the air with a pleasant fragrance.

When I returned to my abode zone I checked out the magnolia trees, up close, to see if I could see the blooms at the top of the trees. That effort was futile, but I did manage to get a  picture of one of the low-hanging magnolia blooms.

When I was a youngster there was a magnolia tree in our backyard. My mom always called it a tulip tree. Today that had me wondering if that was just my mom's nomenclature, or is tulip tree a common nickname for a magnolia tree?

One thing I know for sure is that a tulip tree tulip puts off a pleasant perfume, while tulips don't, not that I have ever smelled, and I have tiptoed through plenty of tulip fields, never noticing anything remotely fragrant.

I don't know if tulips grow in Texas. I don't think I've seen one here. So, it is unlikely locals would call a magnolia tree a tulip tree.

Enough with the serious magnolia issues. I am burned out from too much typing, which has made me hungry, which is good timing because the lunch gong just went off....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Will The Heritage Conceptual Plan Improve Or Destroy The Fort Worth Stockyards?

Among my Facebook friends are a couple guys who contribute much to the preservation of that which needs to be preserved of the historical sort in Fort Worth.

Lately the object of historical preservation concern has been the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District.

I have long opined that the Fort Worth Stockyards is the best tourist attraction in the D/FW Metroplex, and that the Fort Worth Stockyards are the only part of Fort Worth which is remotely unique, as in not found elsewhere.

I have also long opined that it seems to me that the city of Fort Worth, as in the town's city government, does not do enough to improve the Stockyards.

Although, I must admit, during the course of my time of observing the Fort Worth Stockyards there have been many improvements. Things like artwork of the sculpture sort. Improved amenities for visitors, like more seating spots, more shade and misters.

And the tacky carnival rides have long been gone, replaced by a nice looking hotel.

However, there are many things about the Fort Worth Stockyards which could use some fixing. The long abandoned New Isis Theater eyesore comes to mind. Along with other abandoned buildings which have long been boarded up. Really, would it not take just a little effort and not much money to make those abandoned buildings look worthy of a National Historical District?

Back to those aforementioned Facebook friends. Lately they have been talking about the controversial private development known as the Fort Worth Stockyards Heritage Conceptual Plan.

You can check out a power point presentation of that plan by clicking the link in the above paragraph.

When I checked out the plan I was a bit surprised to find that it is a much more ambitious plan than I realized. I thought the idea was just to develop the big open space to the east of Billy Bobs.

Well, the open space to the east of Billy Bobs is just one part of the three part plan, with that east of Billy Bobs part of the plan being called the Stockyards North District. That district includes stores, restaurants, offices, a hotel, an entertainment lounge, with all of this centered around three acres of something called Festival Green.

Another district of the plan is called the Marine Creek District. This is to the south of the existing Stockyards and includes activating the mule barns, whatever that means, plus more stores, restaurants, 250 parking spaces and office space.

The third district in the plan is the Swift-Armor District, that being the area to the east of the existing Stockyards which I have long called the Stockyard Ruins.

The Stockyard Ruins, I mean, Swift-Armor District will include more office space, a hotel, more restaurants, two residential areas, a parking garage with 450 spaces, along with surface parking with 500 more parking spaces.

Will the Swift-Armor District preserve any of the Stockyard Ruins? I hope so. I'd never seen anything like the Stockyard Ruins before I moved to Texas. They look like photos I've seen of war zones. Like Berlin at the end of World War II.

The concern over the Fort Worth Stockyards Heritage Conceptual Plan is that the actual concept of the plan may not pay proper homage to the actual heritage of the Fort Worth Stockyards, possibly destroying that which makes the Stockyards unique.

From what I have seen of the plan and what with my limited understanding of it, I can sort of get behind the Stockyards North District part of the plan. I'm not so sure about the Marine Creek District part of the plan, and I really don't like the Swift-Armor District part of the plan, unless it somehow preserves some of the Stockyard Ruins.

What I really think will happen is this plan will peter out and never happen, just like the countless failed attempts to restore the New Isis Theater to its former glory.....

Monday, June 9, 2014

Today Heavy Rain Blocked Me From Access To Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts

At some point in time during the middle of the night I woke up to find myself feeling a chilly breeze which felt like the air-conditioner in chilling mode.

However, the air-conditioner was not running, but the ceiling fan was spinning and unbeknownst to me the temperature in the outer world had plummeted into the 60s.

Brrrrr.

As I lay awake, shivering, in the distance I heard rumbling. As the rumbling grew closer I started to hear the pitter patter of raindrops hitting my windows.

Soon flashes of lightning and booms of thunder flashed and boomed pretty much non-stop til after the sun arrived, struggling to bring light through the dense cover of black clouds.

By the time the time of my regularly scheduled swim arrived the lightning had ceased striking, but the rain continued dropping. And so I had myself a mighty fine time swimming in the rain this morning, with the water in the pool feeling significantly warmer than the air for the first time this year.

Around noon I drove to Arlington to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to find access at the west entry blocked by the gate with its "Closed Due To Flooding" sign.

So, I drove to the east access to the Indian Ghosts, in Interlochen, where I soon saw that Village Creek really was in flood mode, as you can see above.

More rain is in the forecast, along with chilly temperatures, as in, currently, past noon, the outer world is heated to only 71 degrees at my location.

Again. Brrrrr.......

Charging Chesapeake Energy With Fraud & Racketeering Has Not Happened Yet In North Texas

Yesterday Elsie Hotpepper sent me a link to info about Chesapeake Energy being charged with fraud and racketeering in an article in wfmj.com titled Chesapeake Energy charged with fraud and racketeering.

The first paragraph of the article...

LANSING, Michigan - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed racketeering and fraud charges against the Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation for allegedly victimizing private land owners across northern Michigan.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, which became the world's first experiment in massive urban drilling under the Reign of Terror of former Fort Worth Mayor, Mike Moncrief, who did Chesapeake Energy's bidding to the extent that during Moncrief's reign Chesapeake acted sort of like a shadow Fort Worth city government, complete with its own "city hall" in the former Pier One Imports headquarters.

As a stark indicator of how far Chesapeake has fallen since it was in bed with Mike Moncrief, Fort Worth has joined other North Texas towns in suing Chesapeake Energy over Chesapeake's shady dealings.

However, the local legal moves against Chesapeake are civil suits, no local prosecutor has charged Chesapeake with fraud and racketeering.

And, on a sort of related note, regarding Fort Worth's former mayor, this morning I found the following in my email inbox....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Visit To The Garden Of Eden In Texas May Be In My Future Later This Month":

And Now for Something Completely Different:

Former Fort Worth mayor Mike Moncrief dressed up like Carl Spangler from the movie, Caddyshack:

http://fwtx.com/snapshots/best-of-2014-party/92952/3460

Clicking the above link brings us to the photo below....