Thursday, August 5, 2021

Throwback Thursday To Blackberry Shakes At Fife's Pick Quick With The Tacoma Trio

The above may be my favorite photo taken during the previous decade.

August 15, 2017.

Theo, David and Ruby were taking me to the airport to send me to Arizona. 

On the way to the airport we stopped at the Pacific Northwest's legendary Pick Quick burger joint in Fife, to have ourselves some burgers and blackberry milkshakes.

During my week with the Tacoma Trio I taught them there is nothing better, milkshake-wise, than a blackberry milkshake.

Ruby was hesitant at first, being a chocolate aficionado, but eventually Ruby came over to the blackberry side.

If I remember right, Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jack have left Arizona and are currently having fun with the Tacoma Trio, and their parental units, along with seeing some less fun relatives.

With COVID spiking again I hope a new lockdown doesn't leave Jackie and Jack stranded in Washington...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Firing Walmart Hiring Kyle To Change My Oil


The above was the view through my windshield for about 10 minutes this first Wednesday morning of the 2021 version of August.

I was getting my oil rapidly changed.

For several years now, well, since I moved to this town, I have been getting the oil changed at my nearby Walmart.

But, the last couple attempts at doing so, being told it would taken an hour, and that they were under staffed, and the final straw, standing for 10 minutes waiting for the guy who told me it'd be a minute before it checked me in, I decided I was being dumb getting an oil change at Walmart.

So, the local radio station I listen to most is known as BOB. On BOB I frequently hear an advertisement for Kyle's Quick Change. The ad makes a good case for getting ones oil changed at a locally owned enterprise.

Kyle is the voice speaking on this ad. Kyle has a classic Texas accent. Not quite as strong as Elsie Hotpepper's when she is in sailor on shore leave mode, but close.

Kyle does not pronounce oil the way I am used to. As in oil rhyming with boil. Kyle pronounces oil as rhyming with bawl.

"Get yer next awl change at Kyle's Quick Change and I guarantee your satisfaction." Or words similar to that.

The team changing my oil chattered the entire time, like some sort of rapid sitcom dialogue, that was funny to listen to because it was all about how many whether or not my vehicle had 6 or 8 cylinders.

I recognized the voice of the person dealing directly with me, and when he handed me back my credit card I asked if his was the voice on the radio ad. He confirmed that it was he and thanked me for noticing.

Well, I won't be going back to Walmart again for an oil change. I arrived at Kyle's around 9 this morning. I was back on the road, heading to the library, by about 9:10.

I got back to my abode by 10 and was able to get in a long bike ride before noon...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Two New Sikes Lake Hoodoo Cairns Sprout Up Overnight

Two new Hoodoo-like cairns, or cairn-like Hoodoos showed up today on the east shore of Sikes Lake.

Those are some big boulders someone is lifting to build these works of art.

As you can see via the absence of any wave action today at my location we are currently in dead calm mode. 

The temperature the past couple days has gotten nowhere near 100. Yesterday when I rolled my bike's wheels the temperature wasn't even in the 80s. Same today, but slightly warmer at 79 when I left my abode.

These chilly temperatures are feeling like an early harbinger of winter, well, fall, not winter.

I'm really not in the mood for winter. So far we have not had a super HEAT wave hit, with the temperature well above 100.

So, so far the Texas electricity grid has not been strained like last winter's sub-zero disaster...

Monday, August 2, 2021

McNutty Strikes Again From Tacoma This Time

Little Miss McNutt's latest homesick inducing image, posted on Facebook, is not the usual view of Mount Rainier, which is usually from the Seattle perspective, if not an up close look at the Mountain.

Tacoma is closer to the Mountain than Seattle is. At times when driving around Tacoma it seems like the Mountain is somehow following you, at times seeing to loom larger and closer than other times.

The view above is a tad exaggerated. I think David, Theo and Ruby's Tacoma abode is hidden somewhere in the tall evergreen trees.

The Washington Native American's name for Mount Rainier is Tahoma, which means "snowy mountain peak".

I do not know why David, Theo and Ruby's town replaced the 'h' in Tahoma with a 'c'. There likely is an explanation for this.

What Is Elsie Hotpepper Doing In Yellowstone With Kevin Costner?

A time or two or three I have been asked if I have photo documentation documenting the actual existence of Elsie Hotpepper.


Yellowstone, the TV drama, is one of the most popular shows on cable.

Season 4 has begun filming.

With much of Yellowstone's Season 4 taking place in Fort Worth.

This is a TV drama where a 6th generation homesteader owns the largest ranch in America. The homesteader is named Dutton and is played by Kevin Costner.

Dutton deals in a corrupt world where politicians are dirty dealing with oil and timber barons and land grab developers making billions of bucks. 

Dutton's HUGE ranch is in constant conflict with that which it borders, a growing town, an Indian reservation and America's first national park.

I can sort of understand why Fort Worth would be picked to be the corrupt growing town conflicting with the biggest ranch in America.

Anyway, what you see here is a publicity still from the upcoming 4th Season of Yellowstone. Fort Worth suburb native, Elsie Hotpepper, has a part to play in Season 4.

Which would make that photo documentation of Elsie Hotpepper you are looking at above.

No details are yet known regarding the role Elsie Hotpepper is playing in Yellowstone. Romance with Kevin Costner? Rival ranch owner running cattle across Costner's territory? Or a dirty dealing politician?

We can hardly wait to find out...

Sunday, August 1, 2021

115 Degrees With Soaring COVID Cases In Wichita County

Yesterday, Saturday, the last day of the month of July in the year 2021, around 6pm I exited air conditioned coolness to drive to Walmart.

The outer world was HOT.

I got in my vehicle and saw the vehicle's temperature monitor was indicating it was 115 degrees HOT.  I attempted to take a photo documenting the temperature, which you will see, above, if you look closely at the right side of the rear view mirror.

Entering Walmart something happened which has never happened previously during the era of COVID. A Walmart employee was handing out masks. Since being vaccinated I have not been doing the masking thing. I asked the person handing out the masks if Walmart was reversing their masking policy due to the new CDC recommendations. Yes was her reply.

The CDC is recommending that even those who have been vaccinated mask up when out and about where humans congregate. So, I put on my new Walmart mask and proceeded into the store, to find myself freshly appalled to see way too many refusing to be masked, even with Walmart giving you a mask upon entry.


And then this morning, the first day of the 2021 version of August I read, via the Wichita Falls Times Record News, that COVID cases are soaring again at this relatively isolated area of Texas.

I read elsewhere this morning that Walmart has reversed its masking policy, and I'm thinking, due to what I experienced last night, maybe Walmart will maybe perhaps be more assertive with the mask requirement.

For weeks now upon entering Walmart you see a big sign telling you that you can get vaccinated, for free, at the Walmart pharmacy.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

McNutty Strikes Again With Mount Rainier


Yesterday McNutty Inspired Iconic Commentary About A Texas Town & Seattle. 

This morning, on Facebook, it happened again.

As in this morning Miss McNutt posted another image of Mount Rainier, as part of her continuing series of posting images which make herself, and others, like me, homesick for our old home zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Currently Miss M is located further from her old home zone than I am, as witnessed by recent photo documentation of Miss M and her multiple offspring playing in the Atlantic Ocean.

McNutty posting today's Mount Rainier photo prompted Miss Carol BD to ask "Are you trying to make yourself homesick?"

To which Miss M replied, "I do get quite homesick! Plus, it's been too long of a stretch since my last visit!"

I do not know when McNutty had her last visit to the PNW. I know mine was way back in August of 2017. I would have been back since then, but this thing called COVID intervened.

Today's McNutty Mount Rainier Facebook posting included an informational factoid blurb about Washington's biggest volcano...

Mount Rainier, also known as Tahoma or Tacoma, is a large active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, located in Mount Rainier National Park about 59 miles south-southeast of Seattle. With a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m), it is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Washington and the Cascade Range, the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States, and the tallest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

The mountain is only 59 miles from Seattle. I do not know how many miles in any direction from my current location I would have to go to find a mountain...

Friday, July 30, 2021

McNutty Inspired Iconic Commentary About A Texas Town & Seattle

I saw this last night, via Facebook, via a fellow ex-PNWer, Miss McNutt, who shares with me the frequent seeing of scenes from our old home zone which make us long for seeing a scenic wonderland when we look out any random window of our abode.

The above scene of Seattle and the Space Needle is just a tad hyper realized. As in this is not a totally realistic scene of the view from Elliot Bay, looking at the Seattle waterfront, the Space Needle, and Mount Rainier.

However, it is close enough to the reality to evoke that dreaded homesick feeling.

I see this type iconic imagery of my old home zone, Seattle specifically, and it activates my annoyance at the delusional nonsense I experience at my current Texas location, well, not my exact current Texas location, but my previous Texas location.

A Texas location where absolutely nothing is remotely iconic, as in remotely anything which one sees an image of and knows exactly what one is looking at. And yet this Texas town, via its various propaganda purveyors, ever since I arrived, has touted this that or the other perfectly ordinary thing as being something special, something so special it causes other towns, far and wide, to be green with envy.

Or that that perfectly ordinary thing is so special it is iconic. A signature iconic image representing the town to the world. Things like three simple little bridges built over dry land, which look like freeway overpasses, get promoted as somehow being special, unique iconic signature bridges.

Or, something like a sporting goods store will be propaganda-ized to the locals as destined to be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas, thus worthy of subsidies and tax breaks.

And then six months later, when another of the same sporting goods store opens in Texas, followed soon thereafter by yet one more of the same sporting goods store in the same metropolitan area as the one which was going to be the imaginary top tourist attraction in Texas, those who spouted the ridiculous propaganda turn silent, never uttering a mea culpa confession to being part of a what amounted to being a scam.

Or there was the time those same lame propaganda-izers spewed nonsense regarding a lame food court type enterprise opening in the town's sleepy downtown, touting it as being the first such public market in Texas, modeled after public markets in Europe, and Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Seattle's Pike Place Market is yet one more iconic signature reality which exists in that Pacific Northwest town. The quickly failing imaginary public market in the Texas town I am talking about was called the Santa Fe Rail Market. It was pitiful. Even more pitifully pathetic than the town's current three little freeway overpass type bridges being touted as being iconically signature structures.

This Texas town we are talking about has been working on building itself a water feature for most of this century. That's what the three little bridges being built over dry land are part of. To one day connect the town's mainland to an imaginary island, where there may be canals, and a lake.

Over the years of this century, that Texas town's touted imaginary lake has changed in size, at times as big as 33 acres, some times shrinking to less than 10 acres. 

So far, we have not made note of that Texas town's propaganda-izers claiming that lake will create a waterfront like Seattle's, where cruise ships dock, along with ferry boats. 

However, the propaganda for that town's future waterfront does claim there will be a Panther Island Houseboat District.

You reading this in modern, sane locations in America, we are not making this up...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Big Rock Hoodoo Appearance On Sikes Lake Shore

Today when I stopped my bike at my regular watering spot on Sikes Lake I was just a little surprised to see that someone had constructed a hoodoo from the big rocks lining the lake.

Some prefer to refer to these manmade hoodoos as cairns.

As you can see via the waveless lake the air was being pretty much dead calm for today's bike ride. With the temperature 93 and the humidity making it feel like 100.

I do not overheat whilst biking when it is HOT. Unless I stop in a shade-free spot. Then I quickly turn into a HOT sweaty mess.

Today was the second incident-less bike ride on the new bike. No seat woes, nor gear shift woes, no speedometer woes, no anything woes. So, since the previous bike ride was incident free, today I rode the new bike to musical accompaniment for the first time. 

Have I made mention of the fact the new bike is foldable? You pull a lever and you can then fold the bike in half, making for easy transport. I thought this type feature might come in handy for my long planned roadtrip to Washington, where I hope to go mountain biking with David, Theo & Ruby.

But, on my own bike this time.

What with the latest COVID status I begin to wonder if that long planned roadtrip to Washington is ever gonna happen...

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Six Flags Over Texas Trinity River Bottom Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Ride

A first look at a new Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington attraction.

Trinity River Bottom Adventure.

Apparently it is sort of a Texas take on Disneyland's Jungle Cruise.

Only with this Six Flags ride you are in jeeps, with a simulated Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader in the driver's seat, taking you on a simulated tour of the Trinity River Bottom zone which exists a short distance northwest of the actual ride in Arlington's Six Flags.

The Dallas Cowboys cheerleader takes the line of jeeps into a river crossing where she dodges obstacles like cows, alligators, feral pigs, giant catfish, snakes, flotillas of litter floating downstream from Fort Worth, random simulated corpses for scary shock value and a simulated flash flood from which the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader heroically leads her adventurers back to dry safety.

I have only been to Six Flags twice. When I moved to its vicinity I thought I would be a frequent visitor, thinking it was like Disneyland, because if I lived in Disneyland's vicinity I would be a frequent visitor, getting a season's pass each year.

Actually, back in the previous century, when I lived about 1,200 miles north of Disneyland, I visited about once a year. Which is a solid indicator as to how drastically Six Flags Over Texas is not even remotely a Disneyland type experience.

After my first Six Flags visit there was never any consideration given to getting a season's pass. I only returned a second time because someone I knew had free tickets and asked me if I wanted to go. And so I did.

But, I may return to Six Flags Over Texas, one more time, just to experience this new River Bottom ride.

The simulated Dallas Cowboys cheerleader looks sort of familiar....