Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Arctic Blast Has Not Covered Mount Wichita With Snow While Seahawks Beat 49ers


This is not Mount Wichita you see here, covered in snow from the Arctic Blast which has sent the temperature way closer to single digits than triple digits in need of air conditioning.

My interior world warmth producing device has been getting its toughest workout in a long long time the past 24 hours.

While that which you see here is almost a dead ringer for my neighborhood artificial mountain what this actually is is a real mountain, which is also a volcano.

Last night after watching the Seattle Seahawks win another football game I saw this mountain on Facebook via Seattle's KOMO TV.

Which would make this Mount Rainier.

I have wondered a time or two since I have been in this mountain/volcano free part of the planet what a person who grows up mountain-less thinks the first time a mountain is seen, or a range of mountains.

In a flat part of the planet, such as where I am currently, the sky looks big, the horizon way in the distance. A mountain range, when one is close to it, shrinks the sky, and the horizon is not way in the distance.

I sort of miss mountains, and big forests of evergreen trees.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bass Plan To Increase Fort Worth Global Influence With Granger Grifter Gang Soap Opera

What you see here showed up on the November 10, 2019 front page of the online version of the Sunday Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Apparently Fort Worth's Bass's are forming some sort of team with some sort of fellowship program and this is going to lead to an increase in Fort Worth's already totally formidable global influence.

Soon we can expect even more national and international corporations to join Radio Shack and Pier One Imports in locating their headquarters in downtown Fort Worth, what with that coming increase to Fort Worth's global influence.

Is the Fort Worth Bass family related to the famous Sam Bass gang of stage coach robbers? I've never been able to get a clear answer to that question. I do know the exquisite good taste of the Bass family has left an indelible mark on Fort Worth, architecturally and otherwise.

And now Fort Worth is going to be able to thank the Bass family for an upcoming increase to Fort Worth's global influence.

I don't know if another rumor I have heard about Fort Worth is reality based, or Trump type fake news. That being that Lorimar Productions is looking to once again have success with a prime time soap opera of the sort which brought Dallas world wide recognition in the last century.

It is easy to imagine a prime time soap opera based in Fort Worth, with the opening credits zooming in towards the Fort Worth skyline, making that skyline known world-wide, like the opening credits of Dallas did for Dallas, zooming in over I-30 from the west, heading toward Reunion Tower and the impressive Dallas skyline.

The below is an artist's rendering of what that zooming in on the Fort Worth skyline scene of the opening credits will look like for the new prime time Fort Worth soap opera.

Unlike the Dallas opening credits zooming over I-30, it looks like the Fort Worth opening credits will be zooming over the West 7th Street Bridge.

Soon this view will be known worldwide, should Fort Worth become a hit, greatly amping up Fort Worth's global influence.

The Dallas soap opera was all about oil and the Ewing family. Will the Fort Worth soap opera be about fracking and the Bass family?

Or will the Fort Worth soap opera be more of a Falcon Crest type soap with a domineering mother ruling the roost?

Instead of Miss Ellie (or Angela Channing) will the Fort Worth soap opera matriarch be based on Fort Worth's Kay Granger? Will the Granger Grifter Gang be the plot inspiration for Fort Worth, the soap opera? Instead of Miss Ellie and J.R., will we have Miss Kay and J.D.?

Will the plot of the Fort Worth soap opera be the ongoing tale of one family's Fort Worth shenanigans, wreaking havoc with their trailer park aesthetics in their ongoing nefarious plots to make a buck off Fort Worth's yokels?

Will there be a plot line about a bizarre imaginary flood control project with J.D. in charge of building bridges over dry land, while having thousands of bucks funneled to his bank account, whilst season after season after season nothing much gets done and the ongoing debacle of J.D. trying to build bridges over dry land becomes the Fort Worth TV show's ongoing joke, til the show gets cancelled after running for a decade or two?

Well, I know I'll be watching. I already feel like I have been watching the Fort Worth soap opera for a couple decades...

Wichita Falls Mysterious Seymour Highway Ruins

This second Sunday of the 2019 version of November is being yet one more perfect weather day at my North Texas location.

Tomorrow weather perfection is scheduled to come to an end with an Arctic Blast arriving with a chill well below freezing.

And so, today, whilst the outer world remains pleasant, I took myself back to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to join the throngs getting themselves some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

Actually, I only saw five or six other humans, and only one of them was in aerobic stimulation mode.

I suppose you may be wondering what that photo above is documenting. What you see there has long made me wonder what it was whilst driving by on the Seymour Highway on the way to the west end Wichita Bluff Nature Area parking lot.

Does any Wichitan know what this massive abandoned cement structure was used for? It looks like the remains of a fort.

Regarding my use of that Wichitan word.

This is how natives of Wichita Falls refer to themselves. I learned this soon after my arrival when I made the mistake of referring to the natives as Wichita Fallsers. Severe umbrage was taken by a few who chose to verbalize their umbrage. I tried to defend myself, saying I thought Wichita Fallser made more sense than Wichita Fallsian or Wichita Fallsperson.

Dropping the Falls and turning Wichita into Wichitan did not occur to me as an option.

I was told that it is the same as residents of Niagara Falls, who the umbrage takers claimed refer to themselves as Niagarans, not as Niagara Fallsers, or Niagara Fallsians. I had no way to confirm that those who live in the town of Niagara Falls refer to themselves as Niagarans.

Anyway, any Wichitan, or other aficionado of Texas history, know what these cement remains are?

Friday, November 8, 2019

Tacoma Could Show Fort Worth How To Build A Bridge Over Water

I saw that which you see here yesterday on Facebook via a post by Mildred's paternal parental unit.

With the post being the story of the fall and rise of a bridge in my old home state of Washington, known as the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Later in the day, yesterday, Spencer Jack's paternal parental unit text messaged me asking me "Did you hear that the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed today?

To which I replied "Yeah. About 80 years ago. Or was it 79??"

To which my Favorite Nephew Jason replied "You are too smart to be easily tricked. No wind today to knock down a bridge. In fact it has been sunny and gorgeous her for nearly two weeks now. I think Seattle is setting an all time record for lack of rain this time of year. My mother just informed me that she is cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I am welcome to bring a guest. Will you be able to join us in Big Lake? I think dinner should be around 3 or 4 pm..."

To which I replied "I have booked a flight, arriving 10:25 am, November 28, Gate D, Bellingham International Airport. Please ask Spencer Jack if he can pick me up and drive me to his grandma's."

And now back to that post from Mildred's paternal parental unit. The entire text which accompanied the photo of Gertie Galloping...

On This Day in History: November 7, 1940.
The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Washington collapsed in a windstorm – only four months after its completion. Spanning the Puget South from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, the bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. At the time it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world, covering 5,959 feet. Its design was its downfall as it was designed to be the most flexible ever built. This flexibility was experienced by the builders and workmen during construction, which led some of the workers to christen the bridge "Galloping Gertie." The engineers, however, did not take into consideration the aerodynamic forces during a period of strong winds. On this day in 1940, high winds caused the bridge to sway considerably. A little after 11 a.m., the bridge broke free of its restraints and was tossed back and forth before it finally collapsed. The only casualty was Tubby, a black cocker spaniel, who was too scared to come out of Leonard Coatsworth’s stranded car. Coatsworth was the last person to drive on the bridge. Another person tried to rescue Tubby during a lull in the winds but the dog was too terrified and bit one of the rescuers. A replacement bridge opened on October 14, 1950, after two years of construction. It is 40 feet longer than the original and the fifth longest suspension bridge in the U.S. Today, the remains of the bridge are still at the bottom of Puget Sound and have formed one of the largest man-made reefs in the world.

Photo: The bridge’s roadway twisting and vibrating violently under 40 mile per hour winds the day it collapsed.

Now let us take a look at the local to Texas angle regarding the story of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge turning into Galloping Gertie.

The Tacoma Narrows is so named because it is a narrow, deep Puget Sound channel, with extremely strong tides. Cliffs are on both sides of the channel, hence the need to use the suspension bridge method to span the channel.

At the time it was completed, in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

After the original bridge failed its replacement took two years to complete.

Two years.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas. A town with no deep, fast moving water, or steep cliffs, three simple little bridges have been in construction mode since 2014, currently not scheduled to possibly be completed til sometime in the next decade.

Oh, I forgot to mention, these three simple little bridges are being built over dry land.

Dry land.

There will be no water under these bridges until the money and means can be found to dig a ditch under them, with Trinity River water then diverted into that ditch.

And those responsible for this Boondoggle have managed to get away with conning the locals into thinking these simple bridges are being built over dry land in order to save time and money, when there was no other option.There never was any other option, since there will/would never be water under the bridges until/unless the Trinity River is diverted into the ditch.

Those responsible for this Boondoggle have also managed to try and con the locals into believing that these three simple bridges are complex feats of engineering, hence all the delays.

Complex feats of engineering?

The three little bridges look like freeway overpasses.

Structural engineers have raised multiple design issues, hence the slow motion bridge construction. The ridiculous V-piers are problematic. Some think the bridge foundations are unstable. Others think if the ditch is ever dug under the three completed bridges that multiple issues will arise compromising the structural integrity of the bridges.

And yet a little town in Washington, a fraction of the size of Fort Worth, somehow managed to build a suspension bridge over actual deep, fast moving water, in two years. And then, in this century, add another, even bigger suspension bridge, next to the original, also built in less than four years.

And people wonder why I refer to Fort Worth as a backwards backwater...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Missing Mom's Rainy Poetry Whilst Driving To ALDI

On my way to ALDI this morning I thought of my dear, late mother.

No, not due to usually calling mom on my way to some destination to ask if she wanted to ride along.

No. Today I thought of my dear, late mother on my way to ALDI due to remembering mom's penchant for reciting poetry.

Such as on a day like today mom would wax poetically saying "rain rain go away, come again another day."

In her later years mom did not develop a lot of fresh material and tended to repeat her oldies but goodies.

In the above rainy photo documentation we are driving south on Taft Boulevard with the MSU Fantasy of Lights ongoing installation on our right as we drive by. Due to the cold rain not much installing appeared to be going on today. There is still plenty of time to get Christmas up and running in time for its post-Thanksgiving debut.

Due to the ongoing inclement weather, and anticipating much worse with the coming winter, after ALDI I went to a shoe store and got myself a pair of winter weather ready shoes. In Washington these type shoes were known as waffle stompers. I do not know if that is what they are known as in the South.

What I do know is I am now ready to stomp waffles in deep snow...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Spencer Jack Prescribes Exercise For Texans

Incoming email from Spencer Jack and his paternal parental unit, FNJ, also known as my Favorite Nephew Jason.

Subject line in email: "Y'all need some exercise".

And then after that rude subject line all there was in the email is the graphic you see above listing the Top Five American States with the Highest % of Physically Inactive Adults, and then next to that listing the Five American States with the Lowest % of Physically Inactive Adults.

The Top Five Most Inactive States...

!. Kentucky, 2. Mississippi, 3. Texas, 4. Arkansas, 5. Oklahoma

The Top Five Most Active States...

1. Washington, 2. Colorado, 3. California, 4. Alaska, 5. Oregon.

Shocking, the least active states are all in the South, while the West Coast states are the most active.

With my old home state being the Most Active State in America. Whilst the American State I am currently sitting in, Texas, is the 3rd Most Inactive.

I would be prevaricating if I tried to pretend that I have not noticed way more slothfulness when I am in Texas than I notice when I am West of Texas, be it Colorado, Arizona, Utah, or any of the West Coast States.

I think I have mentioned previously the incident way back in 2004 when I returned to Washington after two years of only seeing Texans. I remember being in downtown Seattle, taken to a gallery in Pioneer Square ( a real square, unlike Fort Worth's imaginary Sundance Square) and when mention was made to the gallery owner that I had just flown in from Texas, and was visiting Washington for the first time in two years, the gallery owner asked something like has anything changed?

To which I said something like it is striking me that the people are looking like they have had the air let out of them.

This was before I learned that many Europeans refer to Americans as Balloon People. I assume Europeans make this reference after visiting a Southern American State, not a West Coast American State.

Big Ed is currently scheduled to return to the West Coast, and Washington, this coming summer for the first time since Christmas of 2002. I have warned him to be prepared for culture shock. Such as the HUGE increase in traffic along I-5. The homeless camps in Seattle. And the greatly changed Seattle skyline, with things like Amazon, along with a Great Wheel on the waterfront, multiple giant cruise ships. Along with way less litter, the world looking new, less shabby, and the air smelling like Christmas trees, at times.

When you've spent almost two decades in the part of America which sort of plods along in slow motion, it is a bit jarring to adjust to the more accelerated pace one finds in modern America. I just remembered, Big Ed has been back to modern America one time since 2002, with last October's visit to Arizona, where he was impressed to once again see competent urban planning, streets with sidewalks, and city parks with zero outhouses.

And way fewer ultra plump people...

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Biking With Horizontal Horses Before Turkey Taco Thanksgiving

When one lives in what used to be one of the locations of the wild, wild west one never knows what historical remnant one might come upon whilst rolling ones bike's wheels around and about.

Today my handlebars came upon the scene you see here.

A pair of exhausted horses laying down, unhitched from their wagon, with no humans anywhere to be seen.

In a few weeks, likely the weekend following Thanksgiving, this pair of horses will be back vertical, hitched to the wagon, with the wagon's wheels mysteriously turning with a buckboard driver holding the reigns attached to the horses.

A day or two ago I made mention of the fact that the annual Fantasy of Lights were already being installed at their regular MSU (Midwestern State University) location.

After I made mention of this early arrival of the Christmas season, local historian, Miss Wood, informed us that this is the norm, for the installation of the MSU Fantasy of Lights to begin well before the lights goes live after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of MSU.

Yesterday I found myself watching college football. The University of Washington Huskies being beat by the Utah Utes was one of the games I watched.

Whilst that game was going on I saw another football game being broadcast by one of the non-major broadcasters. This was a football game broadcast in the primitive pre-HD TV style. That game was the aforementioned MSU, being soundly beaten by something called Tarketon.

Later Saturday, Saturday evening to be precise, I watched the Oregon Ducks soundly beat the USC Trojans. The Ducks play for the University of Oregon. The University of Oregon is located in Eugene. I was born in Eugene. I did not realize til watching that game last night that the Oregon Ducks were headquartered in Eugene.

This sort of indicates how much attention I usually pay to football; college, high school or professional.

I don't even know if my old high school still plays football. I can't remember the last time I read a fuss being made regarding my old high school doing well in football playoffs. The last time I do remember that happening was way back in the last century when my old high school somehow made it to a championship game being played in the now long gone Kingdome in Seattle. I do not remember if my old high school won or lost that championship game. I think I remember watching it in person.

Speaking of Thanksgiving.

This year I am not gonna roast a turkey. Instead I am having a Tequila Turkey Taco Thanksgiving Thursday Party. I am currently taking reservations. There is limited seating available...

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bluff Biking Almost Crystal Clear Wichita River

This post Halloween first Saturday of the 2019 version of November is another clear blue sky semi-warm day at my location nowhere near being deep in the heart of Texas.

Of late, well, the past couple weeks, I have been enjoying actual hilly bike riding via rolling on the Wichita Bluff Nature Area section of the Circle Trail.

Which is what I did today.

After a mile, give or take a foot or two, I stopped the bike at one of the side trails and aimed the handlebars at a house I have noticed ever since I first rolled in this location.

From a distance this house reminds me of my old home in Mount Vernon. A couple years ago I tried to get up close using motorized means, but could not figure out what road would take me there.

So, a zoomed close up is the best I can do.

It is the flat roof and multiple levels, and light brown color which reminds me of Mount Vernon. Though, zoomed up close it sort of looks like a prison facility. Which I know it is not.

At the east end of the Wichita Bluff Nature Area the Circle Trail makes a long looping descent til it gets to river level, and then runs along side the Wichita River til the current trail end under the Loop 13 bridge over the river.

Today the Wichita River looked way different than I had ever seen it look previously.

As in instead of being the usual cool shade of reddish mud, which always reminds me of Utah redrock, today the Wichita River looks like a Western Washington river running clear clean water which might have only been recently thawed from its high mountain origin. Which definitely could not be the case here, what with no mountains for hundreds of miles, let alone snowpacks to melt.

The water was being so clear today, if there were fish swimming nearby, I should have been able to see them. I suspect if I had lingered more than a minute I would have seen a fish or two.

Changing the subject from clear river water to something else.

A few days ago I made mention of a Smoky Visit With The Retired Elsie Hotpepper.

At the time when I made mention of that smoky visit it did not occur to me that there were some who did not know there is more than one DFW individual known as Elsie Hotpepper. There is Elsie Hotpepper, the Younger, she being the Hotpepper we are more familiar with, and then there is Elsie Hotpepper, the Elder, the grandmother of Elsie Hotpepper, the Younger.

I probably should try and make these type distinctions clearer in the future...

Friday, November 1, 2019

Wichita Falls Light Fantasy Cranking Up The Holiday Scrooge

A couple days before yesterday's Halloween I was surprised whilst driving Taft Boulevard to see that Christmas was already arriving on the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus.

At that point in time, a couple days ago, my location in Texas was in the throes of what was seeming like a stereotypical Western Washington winter day.

Cold, totally overcast gray sky, dripping all day long. With fog.

And then on the third day, Halloween, the fog lifted, with the return of a totally blue sky. With the temperature below freezing.

Today, with the temperature a bit above freezing I layered on layers of outerwear and rolled my handlebars to the MSU campus, where me and my handlebars stropped to take the festive holiday photos you see here.

If I remember right when this holiday extravaganza opens it is called "The Fantasy of Lights". I may be remembering that wrong.

It will be several more days before this fantasy lights up, as there are still a lot of installations not yet in place, and wired.

Every year which I have observed this particular holiday display there have been multiple new elements. So far, and it is early, I made note of nothing new.

And I gotta say. I am really not in the mood for this holiday season thing to start up. I am currently feeling more Scroogy than I usually do, and that is with a high level of Ebeneezer being my norm...

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Tonight With Spencer Jack & Linda Lou

Incoming email this Halloween morning from Spencer Jack and his paternal parental unit, FNJ, also known as my Favorite Nephew Jason.

The email included multiple \photos along with asking me the probing question "Are you ready for Halloween?"

The answer to that probing question is that I am as ready as I need to be.

Since I have been located in Texas my location has never been conducive to having my doorbell rang by trick or treating beggars.

When I lived in Washington, about three miles slightly northeast of where Spencer Jack is standing in this photo, in the neighborhood known as Thunderbird, I was inundated by trick or treaters.

The first few years of living at that location it was sort of fun having so many doorbell ringers on this particular night. And for a few years I had fun adding some Halloween touches, like a looping loud soundtrack of spooky noises.

I do not recollect, however, going as gungho with Halloween decorations as Spencer Jack appears to be doing.

Above we see a closer look at the doorbell location, with Spencer Jack holding a bowl full of candy bars.

One of the included photos documented what the little beggars will be getting tonight when they trick or treat at Spencer Jack's house.

That does look like a good supply, sufficient to handle the first wave of beggars.

Linda Lou lives a block or two from Spencer Jack's home location.

Linda Lou, if you are reading this, you should go trick or treating tonight at Spencer and Jason's.

I can't remember the name or number of the street, but it is due north off Blackburn, a block or two east of Hillcrest Park. I'm sure you can easily find it by looking for the 1435 house number and Spencer Jack's Halloween decorations.

I wonder if we will be seeing photo documentation of David, Theo & Ruby in trick or treat mode?