Monday, February 28, 2011

At The Village Creek Bayou Thinking About Killing Indians In The Battle Of Village Creek & Wal-Mart

That is the Village Creek Bayou in Village Creek Natural Historic Area in Arlington, you are looking at in the photo, today, around noon.

In 1841 many tribes, like the Caddo, the Waco, the Waxahachie, the Wichita and others had a series of villages along both sides of Village Creek, extending about 5 miles.

The Indians grew around 300 acres of corn.

And then the Texans decided they wanted the Indian's land. And so they took it in the Battle of Village Creek in 1841.

I think I've mentioned before the history of eminent domain abuse has long been the norm in this part of Texas.

Change of subject. My mom called this morning. Mom and dad are getting an iPad. Mom asked me if I wanted their computer. I may be going to Phoenix in late March. My favorite aunt, she being my dad's big sister, is going to be there.

Change of subject, again. My aggravation with First Inconvenience Bank got less aggravating this morning when I saw my Google Direct Deposit had finally shown up in my account. Four days after Google made the Direct Deposit.

Change of subject, again. Having lost my latest aggravation I needed something new to be aggravated about. So, I went to Wal-Mart after finishing with being natural and historic at Village Creek. I needed coffee. I bought 5 items.

Only 5 items.

One of the items was Wisconsin Sharp Cheese. Price on the shelf said $1.98. Rang up $2.18. As soon as I saw that I stopped the checker and told her the price is wrong. And now I don't want the cheese.

It's the principal of the thing. How can Wal-Mart make mistakes like this so often? With nothing being done about it.

So, the checker finishes checking the 5 items. I hit the ok button on the debit machine. Then when she handed me the receipt I saw she'd not removed the $2.18 for the cheese.

She yelled across to Customer Service for someone to come over when they had a minute. I decided it was not worth it to wait, at that point in time, so I told the checker to just give me the damn cheese.

I have my ways of making things right with Wal-Mart.

How is it I have never had a pricing error at ALDI Food Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Town Talk or any of the Asian grocery stores I go to in Arlington? I have lost count of the number of times I have bought only 5 or 6 items at Wal-Mart to have one of them priced different than the shelf price.

And then to add insult to injury (or is it injury to insult?) the cheese ended up being not remotely sharp.

I really need to re-think going to Wal-Mart.

A Windy Morning On The Last Day Of February In Texas

As you can see, looking out my viewing portal on the world, the last day of the second month of 2011 has dawned windy.

Very windy.

I only lasted about an hour watching last night's Academy Awards Show. I made it through the wobbly part with Kirk Douglas and turned off the TV soon after James Franco turned into Marilyn Monroe.

The Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards used to be way more boring than the Academy Awards. But, the Grammys and the Emmys have improved, particularly the Grammys.

The Oscar show is a real snoozefest for me anymore.

It is under 50 this morning, as in, 46. I have learned to attempt swimming only when the 24 hour average is 50 or above. We got in the 70s yesterday. I'm guessing the average over the past 24 hours has been above 50. I'll let you know how the swimming attempt went later.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hiking The Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium Before It Rains While Thinking About Bank Robbers

In the picture you are standing on a Tandy Hill looking west towards the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth under a stormy sky.

I hit the hills earlier than the norm today. I had need of the Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium. And wanted to make sure I took the cure before rain fell.

I believe Severe Thunderstorms are scheduled for later today. So far the main weather action has been wind. And it's 74 degrees out there, so my windows are open.

I'm being aggravated at myself for not doing any Googling for info about First Convenience Bank before I got an account there because I thought it would be so convenient with its Wal-Mart location. Til I solve the problem of the missing Google Direct Deposit I am going to be in aggravated mode.

MLK, former Fort Worther, currently exiled in Tacoma, pointed me to the Fort Worth Community Credit Union. A branch is near my abode. So, I think I will be getting out of this First Inconvenience Bank and going to FWCCU instead.

Who do you call when a bank behaves badly in Texas? Anyone know?

The Last Sunday Of February With The Academy Awards Tonight

The last Sunday of the second month of 2011 has dawned at a balmy temperature of 65.

You can not tell from the picture looking through the bars of my patio prison cell that it is cloudy. I do not know this portends for rain to be falling today.

Tonight the Academy Awards start up at 7, I think, on ABC. I pretty much lost interest in the Academy Awards show by the time I moved to Texas.

The Academy Awards used to be sort of like watching living history, with stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood in attendance. In 2011 most of the stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood are no longer glittering.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway are the hosts tonight. I like James Franco. I don't know that I've ever seen an Anne Hathaway movie. When someone like Bob Hope was the host it somehow lent more stature to the proceedings. Maybe that was just my youthful perception.

The Academy Awards is not time delayed. So, in my current location the show starts up at 7. In Washington it started up at 5. Starting at 7 puts the way too long show's ending past my bedtime. Very inconvenient. I'll likely watch The Amazing Race while the DVR records the Academy Awards. And then fast forward through the Academy Awards til I get caught up to it being live.

And then go to bed.

In the meantime I am going swimming.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Witnessing The Resurrection Of The Tandy Teepee While Talking To Steve Doeung & Thinking About A Bad Inconvenient Bank

I was surprised whilst hiking the Tandy Hills today to find that the Tandy Teepee has been resurrected.

Today Fort Worth's Lone Ranger, Steve Doeung went hiking with me. Sort of.

I had myself an aggravating morning.

Way back in December I opened a new bank account because I was tired of the inconvenience of Chase Bank.

In Wal-Mart and Kroger there is a bank called First Convenience Bank. I thought due to the bank being in Wal-Mart it'd make it real convenient.

I was wrong. First problem was I did not realize the bank's ATM's don't accept deposits. You have to wait in line. That is inconvenient.

Once a month Google makes a direct deposit into my account. Google has been doing this for over 3 years. Towards the end of the month I'll log into my Google Account and see a "Payment in Progress" message.

Within a few hours the "Payment in Progress" message changes to "Payment Finalized." At that point the money is in my account.

Yesterday I saw the "Payment in Progress" message. This morning I saw the "Payment Finalized" message.

But the money is not in my First Convenience Bank account.

So, I called customer dis-service at First Inconvenience Bank. Via the phone I had to enter all sorts of I.D. info, like SS #, PIN, zip code. I forget what else. I then go through a phone tree, eventually getting to the talk to a live person option.

I think that live person was in India. She asked me for most of the I.D. info I'd already punched into the phone. After the answer to each question she'd say in a thick Indian accent, "Thank you for the information you have provided me."

Eventually we got to the point where I asked where my money was. It took a lot of talking to sort out what I was asking. Then she asked if I could kindly wait while she contacted something called ACH. She then gets back to me a couple minutes later to tell me ACH is closed on weekends, that I must call back Monday. She then asked if there was any other service she could provide me.

When I opened the account I asked for the business card of the Sudanese woman who convinced me a First Inconvenience Bank account would be good for me. Her name is Randa.

Randa was with another customer, but soon she was on the line. I explained the problem. There was some confusion. Randa has a very thick accent. I think after I repeated myself enough times Randa finally understood what I was saying. She then told me she was calling ACH and would be right back.

When Randa got back on the line she told me the same thing the Indian told me. That ACH is closed til Monday. But, Randa said she would contact ACH first thing Monday morning to get to the bottom of this and then call me.

We'll see if that happens.

So, I'm looking for a new convenient bank. I don't trust First Inconvenience Bank anymore.

The Last Saturday Of February In Texas

The last Saturday of the second month of 2011 has dawned with a blue sky and a temperature of 10 degrees above freezing.

Not exactly balmy.

But over 20 degrees warmer than my previous location in the Pacific Northwest.

I have no idea what I am going to do today. Other than go hiking on the Tandy Hills, then going to Town Talk.

And swimming. Which I am going to go do right now.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taking A Hike On A Texas Desert In Arlington

Looking at the picture you might think you are looking at an isolated Texas desert landscape with civilization hundreds of mile distant.

You would be thinking wrong.

In the picture you are in Arlington, looking west, in Veterans Park, in the rugged, hilly area of the park.

The air chilled to just a few degrees above freezing by this morning. It has warmed to 51 now.

Because we got into the 80s yesterday, even though it got near freezing, the water in my swimming pool was at a temperature well above the air temperature this morning. In other words I had a nice long swim.

Being able to be back swimming again has quickly melted away that layer of insulative blubber that I'd grown due to way too much weather caused sloth.

I've gotten multiple reports of snow woes from Washington yesterday and today. People living in the lowlands of Western Washington handle snow about as well as North Texans do. As in not too well.

Ironically, I've gotten way more practice dealing with severe Winter Weather in Texas than I did living way up north near the Canadian border.

As you can see by looking at the flags not waving in front of the soldier who stands guard over the Veterans Park Memorial, it is being dead calm out there today. Absolutely no Wind Chill Factor.

Swimming In The Center Of Paradise As The Last Friday Of February Dawns Cold In Texas

Stepping outside this last Friday morning of the second month of 2011 I looked up to see the recently full moon is now but a sliver of its former full self. That sliver is that little white spot in the photo.

It is only 4 degrees above freezing out there this morning in my zone of Texas. It got above 80 yesterday. I don't know if the water in the pool retained enough of that heat to make swimming pleasant this morning.

But, I aim to find out.

Up north, in my old hometown, in what is known as a banana belt due to its usual imperviousness to winter type weather, the ground is currently covered by a foot or more of snow, chilled to 19 degrees.

Total change of subject. The blog I wrote a couple days ago about my disgust regarding the Paradise Center Scandal has generated some interesting comments. Some pro Teresa Davis, some pro MHMR.

With the pro Teresa Davis comments seeming, well, intelligent and reasonable, while the pro MHMR comments seems, well, I don't want to use the word "retarded," even though I guess that is an acceptable term to use. Let's use the word "stupid" instead.

One of the stupid pro MHMR commenters was too stupid to note that comments are moderated. So, the commenter repeated the comment a couple times when it did not instantly get published.

It is time to go swimming now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

80 Degrees With No Snow In Fort Worth Or Anywhere Else In Texas

The rain rained down as predicted on my zone of Texas this morning.

The predicted Thunderstorms, however, did not arrive in my zone of Texas. At least not so far.

A couple counties to the east went into Tornado Alert mode earlier today.

Because the skies were a bit unsettled, with periodic dripping, I decided to take my daily walking constitutional at the park closest to my abode, that being Quanah Parker Park.

Quanah Parker Park has some really big, old trees standing. I assume these are old growth trees that have been there since the beginning of time. Or soon thereafter.

I thought these were giant oak trees, but a certified know-it-all informed me these were giant, old pecan trees. I don't like questioning a certified know-it-all's knowledge, but wouldn't you think if these are pecan trees that you'd see some pecans laying on the ground?

I'd been wondering where the Scrabble Queen of Washington was. I'd not heard from her for over a week. She'd been iPading from Hawaii, still being a Scrabble Queen. Well, this morning I learned that the Scrabble Queen is back on the mainland and the reason I'd not heard from her was she was deathly sick. As in stay in bed with anti-biotics level of deathly sick. Was sick on the islands and flew back sick.

I do not like being stuck on a plane. I can't imagine being stuck on a plane while deathly sick.

Currently the Scrabble Queen of Washington is no longer sickbound, but, she, like most of Western Washington, is snowbound.

The Scrabble Queen of Washington lives about 15 miles west of the Wild Woman of Woolley, Betty Jo Bouvier. The snowy photo shows the current condition of Betty Jo's vehicular conveyance.

That is a lot of snow. That is more snow than I remember ever seeing on the ground in the not prone to a lot of snow Skagit Valley of Washington zone.

As you can see below, the conditions are not favorable right now for snow in Fort Worth.

I've got my windows open, with a nice tropical-like breeze blowing. I immensely enjoyed swimming in the rain this morning.

Thursday Morning Texas Drizzle While Washington Gets A Foot Of Snow

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell I experienced some minor drippage drizzling from above. The drizzle is scheduled to possibly turn into Thunderstorms today on the last Thursday of the second month of 2011.

It is currently a semi-warm 64 in my zone of Texas.

Meanwhile up in Washington, this morning in the flatlands of the Skagit Valley, it is 27 and snowing.

Betty Jo Bouvier, she being the Wild Woman of Woolley, as in Sedro-Woolley, reports this morning that she is being a wild woman with a snow shovel, trying to remove a foot of snow.

I do not know why Betty Jo is shoveling snow. With a foot of it on the ground it's not like she's going to be driving anywhere.

I can say for certain that I will not be shoveling any snow today. I can also say for certain I will not be hiking any hills today. I can say for certain I will be going swimming in the drizzle today.

As in, right now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Paradise Center Scandal Has Me Mad As Hell At Fort Worth

The troubled sky over the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth is a good metaphor for my foul mood.

I thought a late afternoon hike at the Tandy Hills Natural Sanatorium might break me out of this I'm mad as hell and I don't wanna take it anymore Howard Beale mood I've been in.

I think it may be the bizarre Fort Worth Paradise Center Scandal that has pushed me near the edge.

I've have had it happen to me, having something taken away with no warning. Unfairly and wrongly.

I've often been troubled, during my Texas Exile, as to what in the world is wrong with Fort Worth. Is there an Empathy Deficit in this town?

I'm not much of a religious person. Well, actually, I'm not a religious person. But I sure get some of what Jesus tried to teach people. As in, what you do to the least among you, you do unto me.

In the Paradise Center you had a place that helped the least among us. And you had a lady running the place of whom I think Jesus would have approved.

Running the Paradise Center in the Buckle of the Bible Belt.

Where are the Christians coming to the defense of these wronged people?

It is incidents like this that make me have very little respect for way too many who go about claiming to be Christian.

Why was Teresa Davis fired? What is the justification for disrupting her life and the lives of those she helped?

This is a woman who went way beyond the call of duty. Over the years she took adult disabled children on adventures they otherwise would never have experienced. Overnight trips to Sea World in San Antonio, the Space Center in Houston, Diamond Digging in Arkansas.

Why is there not a LOUD outcry from all the people who had family who were helped by the Paradise Center and Teresa Davis?

Why is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not interested in this scandal?

Am I the only person who sees that something is very wrong here? I've already opined that the reason Teresa Davis was fired needs to be made public. An investigation needs to take place into who made the decision to fire Teresa Davis. And why. This may end up needing to be a criminal investigation. There may be some serious wrongdoing in play here.

And another note as to what bothers me about this. Teresa Davis is married to Steve Doeung. Teresa and Steve were put through a living hell by the City of Fort Worth and Chesapeake Energy in their fight to protect their home from having a non-odorized natural gas pipeline placed underneath it.

I watched Steve defend himself in court. I saw Chesapeake lawyers tell the judge that the judge was incorrect on some point of law. That Steve was correct.

I am embarrassed, as an American, at what the City of Fort Worth and Chesapeake Energy put this proud Cambodian-American through, after he went through so much to get to America.


Where Steve was under the delusion he would finally be free of Communist type oppression.

Yet now, once again, Steve and his wife are subject to oppression, in America, oppression that is of the sort of bureaucratic bullying practiced by the Communists and the Nazis.

And yet nary a voice speaks out, demanding that this wrong be righted.

I really do not think Jesus would be all that proud that this sad part of the earth is known as the Buckle of the Bible Belt.

It's more the Center of Divine Hypocrisy.

I've told Steve Doeung, previously, that he and his family might be a lot happier if they moved to the part of America that is the America he thought he was moving to, when he left Cambodia.

Move to Seattle. Anyone in Washington reading this. Can you provide asylum to a Cambodian-American and his family and help them finally live in the America of Steve's dreams?

If Steve does move out of Texas and into America, I must warn you, if you meet him, he has a good Texas accent. And speaks way better English than a lot of Texans I've met over the years.

Riding The Trinity Railway Express From Fort Worth To Dallas With Gail Galtex

I have not taken the ride on the rails to Dallas on the Trinity Railway Express, also known as TRE.

I have ridden a TRE train in Dallas though. From a parking lot east of the State Fair of Texas to an entry gate to the State Fair.

I live very close to the Richland Hills Station of the TRE. I don't know why I've never hopped on board.

And then this morning I got email from a young lady I will call Gail Galtex which leads me to think I might not enjoy riding the TRE to Dallas.

Below is what Gail Galtex had to say about the TRE....

Your question got me thinking about Dallas and the TRE.

We used to go there a lot on the TRE train. We were members of the Dallas Museum or Art, and would go there for the day, visit the Nasher, take the DART to Uptown to a pizza place we like, go to the State Fair, sometimes meet friends @ Union Station, and come home before the last train.

That was when a 2-zone day pass on the TRE was $5 a person. Now it is $10 bucks a person, or $20 for us to ride the train to Dallas for the day. Now we'd be better off driving, especially if we can park for free.

We take the TRE to the airport (Centerpoint stop) at least once a month when we travel. It now costs $14 round trip for both Mike and I to ride to the airport. We leave our apartment and roll our bags nine blocks to the ITC train station on Jones (there is no bus from where we live) and there is no park and ride there either. Even the park and rides along the train route won't let you park overnight. The price of the train has doubled since 2007, and sometimes on short trips we now drive and park in the DFW remote south lot ($8 a day) for up to 4 days because it is more convenient and doesn't cost that much more. The train is a no-brainer if we are gone for a week or a month because we don't want to pay to park the car that long.

Don't get me wrong. I love the TRE -- it is one of the coolest things around here because it is a real train. But there are some major problems.

The price has gotten too high for occasional users like us, probably for commuters too. And to make matters worse, they rarely check tickets. Even if they do, they don't enforce the fines. As a result, the trains are often loaded with homeless and questionable characters who don't smell too good.

The train doesn't run on Sundays, which means we can't travel in or out of DFW on this day. The last train from downtown Dallas back to FW is now @ 9:20pm. So people who go to games/concerts probably can't take the train now. The last train from Centerport to FW is at 9.48pm, so we can't fly back into DFW much past 7:30ish and expect to catch a train back home if there are flight delays. And if we miss the 8:48 train back home, we have to wait on the platform with our bags for another hour until 9:48. ONE train per hour in the evenings.

Since we've moved here, the TRE has added an extra rail line and doubled prices, but the service schedule and hours have not improved. And they still don't run on Sundays. I don't mind paying double, or even more -- if they give us something back in return. I would even go to Dallas more.

Even with all the problems, Dallas and FW are light years ahead of Austin in public transit. Austin is a complete joke and traffic is horrible. You'd think a city as progressive as Austin could get something like this right, but they are way behind.

Thanks for listening to my rant of the day. :-)

Gail Galtex

The Last Wednesday Of February Pondering Planetary Insanity

You are looking out one of my viewing portals on the world on the last Wednesday of the second month of 2011.

Today has dawned a lot warmer than yesterday's dawn, already heated up to 57 degrees. Meanwhile my old hometown in Washington is chilled to one degree above freezing. With snow incoming.

My computer is acting up again. Which just adds to the anxiety I'm already feeling.

What's got me anxious?


You've got the Middle East seemingly spinning out of control, into chaos. Which is causing the cost of oil to soar. North Korea is getting ready to test another nuclear bomb. Budget woes in several states, as in American states, have paralyzed those state's governments. This paralysis will likely be spreading. America's daily federal budget deficit is somewhere in the $5 billion range.

Then you mix in the local nonsense like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and Fort Worth's Paradise Center scandal and I just get real tired of thinking that way too much of the world is way too insane.

Which right now is making me think I'll escape for awhile into a pool of semi-warm water.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The First Wildflowers Of 2011 Are Showing Their Colors In Fort Worth

Just this morning I mentioned that in less than a month it will be Spring. I did not say in less than a month it will be Spring and Texas will be putting on its annual wildflower show.

Today for my mid-day constitutional I went to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake.

Upon arrival I was a bit surprised to see color carpeting the ground in blue and purple wildflowers. And some of those beautiful yellow wildflowers that someone at some point in time told me are called Dandelions.

The pleasantly high temperatures that followed our unpleasantly cold temperatures must have confused some confusable plants into thinking Spring had arrived. And so they woke up and turned on the color.

It is 63 right now, a little before 3. I don't know if it is being warm enough to wake up the cold-blooded reptiles. Like snakes. Where does a big reptile, like an alligator, go when it gets way below freezing?

Elsie Hotpepper called me soon upon my arrival at Oakland Lake Park. I'd gotten out my camera and had it turned on to take a picture of a deflated boat that had joined the collection of litter that trashes up Fosdic Lake.

I turned off the camera and turned my attention to Elsie Hotpepper. Elsie was driving down the freeway at a high rate of speed when she called. It sounded like she was on a motorcycle.

I just saw incoming email on the other screen. Stenotrophomonas says it was not he who demolished the Tandy Bamboo Teepee. I fear the mystery of the Tandy Bamboo Teepee is going to remain an unsolved mystery.

Protesting Because Paradise Seems To Be Lost In Fort Worth For Now

Yesterday I blogged the Press Release about a protest planned in front of the Tarrant County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Headquarters protesting the ham-handed, possibly illegal, actions of the officials running TCMHMR.

It was only this morning I learned that the the MR part of TCMHMR stands for Mental Retardation.

For some reason I thought the term "Mental Retardation" had fallen upon disfavor.

But, now having learned that mental retardation is perfectly okay terminology, I guess it is politically correct to say it seems to me that maybe someone in a position of power within TCMHMR may be a bit retarded.

Drivers driving by yesterday's picketing protesters obliged the picket sign asking them to "Honk for Justice!"

Someone drove by the protest, honked their horn in support, then left a blog comment, saying...

This must be pretty serious because we drove by on Hulen this morning and honked in support of several people in yellow shirts holding signs saying "honk 4 justice for Paradise". An important looking man and woman were trying break them up or something. On our way back the group was still there but with a news cameraman obviously interviewing some of them. Keep us updated because this is both interesting and disturbing.

The news cameraman referred above was a WFAA, Channel 8, operation. As far as I know, Fort Worth's pathetic excuse for a newspaper of record, you know, a newspaper that actually reports the local news, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has not told its readers about the Paradise Center Scandal.

However, Fort Worth's actual only real newspaper of record, it just isn't daily, Fort Worth Weekly, sent Jeff Prince to take a look into the Paradise Center Scandal and yesterday's protest. The resulting FW Weekly article is titled "Paradise Center Visitors Protest MHMR."

FW Weekly did not uncover what is behind the firing of the Paradise Center's only full-time employee, Teresa Davis.

However, comments made in response to the FW Weekly article seem to shine some possible light on the Paradise Center Scandal...

FWISD Product says:
Nice story. But whispers around MHMR is that there is a scheme to use the established reputation and leadership and skills of those people running the place as volunteers to keep attracting mental health consumers so MHMR and a private company can bill Medicaid for providing an essential component of mental health treatment/recovery.

There’s also talk of emergency meetings by the Board of Trustees and the executives to prepare for legal actions and possible investigations related to the whole affair, which those in the know say could cost a bunch of money and even executives’ jobs.

Please stay on this story because something doesn’t smell right about what MHMR is trying to present.

Carol says:
MHMR may not have plans of closing Paradise Center or reducing services, but will it truly be a “client run” organization as it has been in the past? It seems that MHMR has other plans for the building which may include serving individuals with mental illness, however, Teresa Davis and the consumers have kept Paradise Center “alive” for the past 10 years. As a consumer run organization, Paradise Center has given many individuals suffering with mental illness a reason to continue in life. It has given them hope, encouragement, and a place where they truly felt needed….because the organization did not “run” without the consumers or Mrs. Davis! So, will MHMR keep it a consumer run organization or just allow the clients to participate in what they tell them to do? Paradise Center has opened their doors on weekends and every holiday such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Teresa Davis, her family, friends and volunteers were the ones there to help, not MHMR faculty and staff. And, why would MHMR need a “change in management”, as Massey said, when Teresa Davis has not had an evaluation in 8 years (because she was the director of a non-profit, not an MHMR employee) and has been a dedicated worker. Why the sudden change???? Something’s not right! What is MHMR trying to hide?

Linda says:
The clients of Paradise Center are family. They care about each other and help each other stay well. I have heard so many from other areas comment that they would love to have a safe place like Paradise and someone like Teresa. I know of no other that understands and helps clients like she does. Football season found her preparing weekly for the football games. Cooking and providing rides so that the group could get together to cheer for the Cowboys. They were able to have get togethers like friends do. Her phone turned on 24/7. She takes them to grocery shop, doctor appointments, out to eat and on and on. You do not find someone like Teresa that has dedicated her life to helping those that suffer from an illness that so few understand. She keeps these folks well and out of the hospital. She has respect for them and they love and respect her. This situation with the loss of their “home” is pitiful. No,it is shameful. Teresa deserves respect.

Bob C. says:
Teresa Davis deserves better than this, as do the people who are served by Paradise Center.

emey says:
They threw away her papers and stuff from her office!

Glenda says:
Not only did Teresa keep many patients out of the hospital
she gave up all her holidays for the patients. So the patients would not be home alone and could be with “family”. She does deserve better. I think someone should look into “the reasons” she was terminated.

I agree with Glenda. Someone should look into the reasons why Teresa Davis was fired. I think the first comment above, the one from Fort Worth Independent School District Product, aka FWISD Product, may contain a big clue as to the reason for these retarded actions.

Since this is a government action, as in isn't this being done by a Tarrant County agency? Isn't there supposed to be transparency regarding actions by a public agency?

At this stage in the Paradise Center Scandal I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Teresa Davis needs to be re-instated.

An investigation needs to take place as to why she was fired.

And then whoever instigated that firing needs to be fired.

Five Degrees Above Freezing In North Texas With Less Than A Month Til Spring

The last Thursday of the second month of 2011 has dawned with a blue sky heated up to only 5 degrees above freezing.

I think I will skip swimming this morning.

Looking out my viewing portal on the world it looks cold out there.

We had a run of a week or so of being 30 or 40 degrees warmer than my old hometown in Washington. This morning my zone of Texas is only 3 degrees warmer than Mount Vernon.

And snow is in the forecast for Western Washington. I hope we are done with snow being in our forecast for North Texas for the remainder of the particularly cold, snowy, icy Winter in Texas.

We have less than a month to go before this miserable Winter is history. Spring is currently scheduled to arrive on March 20.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alligator Awareness Is Fort Worth's Latest Craze

Today I am finding myself learning all sorts of new things. Like I did not know that Inner Tubing in the Trinity River was Fort Worth's latest craze. I am so un-trendy and un-cool, these type things just escape my attention.

Then Water Baby, she being the Water Baby who yesterday sent me a picture she took of a gator enjoying the Trinity River, in the same part of the Trinity River that is so popular with those caught up floating in Fort Worth's latest craze, sent me a couple links to City of Fort Worth informational webpages about Alligator Awareness in Tarrant and Wise County. Why Wise County gets added to Tarrant and none of the other counties surrounding Tarrant County, I don't know.

The other link Water Baby sent me was to another City of Fort Worth webpage, titled "ALLIGATOR AWARENESS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS."

One of the frequently asked questions was, "How many are there?" As in how many alligators, I assume. The answer only focuses on the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, saying "preliminary findings" indicate the alligator population is between 15 and 25. No mention is made of how many are living in Lake Worth. Or how many relatives of that big 10 footer that was run over near my abode, last year, are still in my neighborhood.

Water Baby pointed me to an amusing part of the AA FAQ in the Public Education Program section where it advises, "Avoid swimming and doing other water activities in areas where alligators are known to exist."

So, you've got one part of the City of Fort Worth government advising the public to avoid swimming and other water activities in areas where alligators are known to exist, while another part of the Fort Worth City Government organizes Happy Hour Inner Tubing Parties in part of the Trinity River where alligators are known to exist. And has turned this activity into a craze that has swept fad prone Fort Worth like a hula hoop attached to a frisbee.

How can anyone not get why I love living in this nutty, craze prone town?

The Shocking Discovery That The Tandy Hills Bamboo Teepee Has Been Grounded

I was shocked today to find that the mysterious Tandy Hills Bamboo Teepee has been knocked to the ground.

Knocked to the grounds by human hands? Or Mother Nature?

I did as good a forensic exam of the collapsed Teepee zone as my CSI skill level allowed and could find no evidence that gave any indication as to how or why the Tandy Teepee met its demise.

The Tandy Teepee was in a rather protected zone, near the bottom of a hill, lots of trees on all sides to help buffer it from the wind.

I suspect maybe the Tandy Hills Bottle Policeman, Stenotrophomonas, may have had a hand in the Bamboo Teepee's destruction.

In addition to the mystery of its demise, the mystery of the arrival of the Bamboo Teepee remains. Who went to the bother of hauling about 20 long sticks of bamboo, with leaves still attached, to this isolated location in the heart of the Tandy Hills? And why would anyone do this?

The temperature has dropped since I had myself a real good swim this morning. A cold wind blowing in from the north has replaced the warm wind that was blowing in from the south. It was 65 when I went swimming this morning shortly after 7. It is 59 this afternoon, at 3:15.

No threat yet that we are heading back to that nasty sub-freezing stuff.

Today I Learned That Tubing The Trinity Is The Latest Craze In Fort Worth Among Other Things

A couple days ago I blogged about a slick propaganda brochure from the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle that had arrived in my mailbox.

I blogged about the brochure before I actually read through the entirety of the propaganda.

Yesterday I blogged about Water Baby's possible spotting of an alligator in the Trinity River, right at the location pictured in the TRV's slick propaganda brochure of crazy people Inner Tubing in the Trinity River.

I bet you did not know that Tubing on the Trinity is the latest craze in Fort Worth. I know I sure didn't. I can't actually think of anything I'm aware of in Fort Worth that is a craze.

The brochure earnestly suggests I grab some friends & head out for a Trinity River floating event. Anyone reading this in Washington, where the rivers run clean, want to fly down to Texas to do some tubing with me? It's the latest craze in this fine town I'm living in.

Yesterday after I blogged about Water Baby's gator I got a few good comments regarding critters in the Trinity River.

Unca Mikey said...Y'think maybe it was a nutria? We've seen lots of nutria in the Trinity, and when they swim they leave a wake like that. We've even seen herds of Nutria grazing along the river below the Taylor St. roundabout.

Anonymous said...Or an alligator gar. Trinity is home to them, some of them weighing up to 200 lbs. The tributaries are full of snakes, some of them bigger than you care to think about. 

CatsPaw said...Hey, that's my 'hood. Considering a nine-and-a-half footer was caught, tagged and released in Lake Worth last summer, alligators are entirely possible here. They're here; they're just stealthy and usually feed at night. Just have some night tubing and this location can be featured in ChowBaby.

And then there is the gem below that I missed upon first perusal of the slick TRV Boondoggle propaganda brochure.

When I blogged about the slick TRV Boondoggle propaganda brochure I did make note of the part that mentioned over 2,500 people toured a Streetcar when it visited Fort Worth.

Anonymous then commented that it was odd that the slick TRV Boondoggle propaganda brochure neglected to mention that the Fort Worth City Council killed the streetcar project.

I'd not noticed the part of the brochure above, where the caption says, "A modern streetcar was parked outside the TRVA office from Nov. 16-28 for citizens to gain firsthand knowledge of the transportation option."

Or the picture next to that of Fort Worth's Ruling Despot, Mayor Mike Moncreif, with the caption saying, "Mayor Moncrief and other local leaders unveiled the streetcar Nov. 17 and announced a public town hall meeting to discuss the possibility of having streetcars in Fort Worth."

Yes, it really does seem odd to me, now, that the slick TRV Boondoggle propaganda brochure made no mention of the fact that the Fort Worth Streetcar had died.

You in other parts of America are likely wondering how a modern streetcar happened to be in Fort Worth for knowledge gaining purposes.


Now, you are going to think I am making this up. I assure you I am not. Just like I'm not making up the fact that the latest Fort Worth craze is Inner Tubing in the snake, gator, nutria, alligator gar infested Trinity River.

It is also a fact that, bizarre as it seems, the TRV Boondoggle, in cahoots with a couple other entities, shipped a streetcar from Portland, Oregon, so that locals, who have never seen such a modern wonder. Or been to Dallas. Could see such a marvel.

I'm surprised only around 2,500 people took advantage of the opportunity to gain this once in a lifetime knowledge. I would have thought the number would have been in the 100s of thousands, just like those humongous crowds that filled the Sundance Square parking lots because ESPN was broadcasting from a Fort Worth parking lot.

I'm done now.

Mental Health Consumers Picket In Fort Worth Over Paradise Center Closure Scandal

Has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had an article about the Paradise Center closure that I somehow missed? Or is this often sad excuse for a town's newspaper of record not reporting this particular news?

I just got an email with the latest Press Release about the Paradise Center Fort Worth Scandal

Mental Health Consumers Picket 
MHMR of Tarrant Co. Headquarters 
CEO Dr. Jim McDermott 
Return Their
Properties and Their Dignity as PEOPLE

Today, Monday 2/21/11    11:00am  3840 Hulen, FW

Fort Worth, Texas-- 02/21/11  

One weekend after MHMR of Tarrant County's CEO and his executive team's shocking and upsetting decision to take over their community center and locked them out of their home away from home of over a decade (as recorded and reported last Friday evening by WFAA/Channel 8 News) the leaders and supporters of Paradise Center Inc., ( -- an autonomous 501/c/3 non-profit Organization dedicated to helping people with serious mental illness with their recovery and reintegration back into the community as full citizens AND one of the few such organizations in the nation/world that is run by people living with serious mental illnesses-- are going to the offices of the CEO and his executive team to picket and demand that they return every item of property that belong to their outstanding Organization.

The list is long but include operational equipments like computers and printers, office desks and  pool and ping pong tables, a closet of puzzles and games, expensive arts and crafts supplies, bins of prizes used for weekly Bingo games  - all items donated to Paradise Center, Inc. or purchased with monetary donations given by groups and individuals to Paradise Center, Inc.

The leaders who operate Paradise Center, Inc. are anxious to retrieve their possessions as well as the promised funding from MHMR so they can relocate and continue to offer vital peer support services through a community center to the hundreds of members who consider Paradise Center the home away from home.

By simply doing these two basic things, Dr. Jim McDermott and MHMRTC can minimize the damage that has already started as a result of the sudden and unexplained take over of this well-established and reputable community center and the organization that has operated it for over 12 years.

The public and the media should be concerned about the manner in which these mental health consumers have been treated by this tax-payer funded organization that CEO Dr. McDermott leads.

Make no mistake, what is and will be operated out of 505 S.Jennings Avenue IS NOT ANYTHING CLOSE TO THE COMMUNITY CENTER THAT PARADISE CENTER HAS OPERATED.  The staff in the building are not Paradise Center staff, they do not operate by Paradise Center's philosophy and are not experienced in operating a consumer-run organization.

Paradise Center, Inc., while homeless and in exile at this moment, is still alive and determined to fight to recover our properties, our good name, and our promised operational grant.

MHMR and CEO Dr. Jim McDermott can restore this "Paradise lost" by acting with decency.

A Full Moon Over Texas Brings On Puerto Rican Lunacy

I stepped outside to check out the morning view from my patio this 3rd Monday of the 2nd month of 2011 to see a big round white glowing orb hovering in the sky above.

Had I realized it was the full moon time of the month I might have been a bit more understanding about how extra loony Miss Puerto Rico was acting last night.

Near as I can tell, Puerto Ricans have a tendency to irrational emotional bursts of temper. Last night's Puerto Rican temper incident occurred when the ABC website required a flash update in order to view a TV show. While Miss Puerto was having an emotional breakdown over this I was clicking the mouse and installing the update.

I can understand something making a person mad. What I've never understood is having a temper tantrum over some minor thing. I've known more than one person, over the years, with this problem. I find it very annoying to be around.

I escaped from Miss Puerto Rico's after the flash installation. I likely won't return for quite awhile.

On a more pleasant note, the full moon has heated the air this morning to a balmy 33 degrees above freezing.

Which means I am going swimming.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Water Baby Has A Gator Encounter In The Inner Tubing Area Of The Trinity River In Fort Worth

One of my undercover agents, who, for blogging purposes, will be referred to as Water Baby, was taking a stroll along the Trinity River last night, before sunset. As Water Baby walked, she and her walking companion were startled to see a large reptile moving stealthily down the Trinity River.

Moving stealthily in the same location in Trinity Park that J.D. Granger and his TRV crew hold their Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

Due to the bad light provided by the setting sun, Water Baby's pictures aren't all that great. But you sure can clearly see something is moving in the river and leaving a wake behind it.

Below is another of Water Baby's pictures and below that I'll insert Water Baby's Full Gator in the Trinity Report.

Yesterday while I was walking on the trinity trail I spotted something peculiar swimming in the river.  I noticed it right away because the wake behind it was huge.  It was swimming in the middle of the river at a very slow pace and coming from under the university st. bridge toward the mini train station (by the zoo).  My first instinct told me it was a gator because of the way it was moving, like it was scoping the area for prey.  I  took a few pics and continued to watch just to see where it was going, it eventually stopped along the edge of the river bank over by the train station.  By this time it was out of sight so I continued my walk, looping around to the other side of the river and headed back home in the direction of the zoo (and the mysterious creature).  When I was nearing the train station area I walked over to the river bank area to look around and check to see if that thing was still in the water and I saw it in the shadows!!!  At this time I was very close and it still looked like a gator, so I was a little nervous.  I took a few more pics.  Because the sun was going down, my flash was on and I could tell it was bothering this thing.  It seemed to be looking at me from the side, then it swam around in a half circle to face me, as if it were sizing me up.  then it became too dark to take any more pics on my cell phone cam, so I just sat there staring at it.  It stood there looking at me for a while and then slowly started swimming back toward University upstream. There were two ducks swimming downstream so I thought maybe it was interested in the ducks, but as it approached them, they started flapping their wings and took off flying.  I watched it until it disappeared into the shadows of the river banks under the bridge.  My companion and I really thought it was a gator, let me know what you think.  One thing is for sure--JD Granger's TRV tubers better watch out, because if this was really a gator, their happy hour production could turn into Jaws, gator-style. 

A Soldier Under A Stormy Looking Arlington Sky With Me Botching Spaghetti With Kettle Korn

Today I stopped at Veterans Park in Arlington on my way to Pantego to go to ALDI.

The picture I took of the soldier guarding the Veterans Park Memorial makes it appear way stormier than it actually was. A very strong wind was blowing around noon, coming from the south.

I did not like walking in the wind, so I did not walk for long.

On weekends there are a lot of groups playing Disc Golf at Veterans Park.

I really think Disc Golf should have its own park, instead of being in a mixed use park. I nearly got hit by one of those hard spinning discs today, likely blown far from where its thrower intended it to go by the strong wind.

When I got back here from ALDI I made lunch. Spaghetti. I was in superfast cook mode, which caused me to grab the wrong thing when I reached for garlic powder. Instead I sprinkled Kettle Korn Seasoning into the spaghetti sauce. I thought this would ruin it. But it didn't.

Speaking of Kettle Korn Seasoning, if you like Kettle Korn, but don't like the amount of fat and sugar involved, you can make do it yourself Kettle Korn that tastes just like the real thing.

With the Kettle Korn Seasoning only adding 5 calories per 1/4 teaspoon.

Of course, I don't need to tell you to make air-popped popcorn and spray it with butter-flavored non-stick/fat-free spray so the Kettle Korn Seasoning will stick to the popcorn.

Sunday Morning In Texas Thinking About How Sad It Is That Fort Worth Does Not Have A Daily Newspaper

The 3rd Sunday of the 2nd month of 2011 has dawned with me in a very good mood.

And it's not because I woke up early, as you can see from the view through the bars of my patio prison cell, after a long night of saloon hopping with Elsie Hotpepper.

I don't think I've whined about it on this blog, but I have been having a chronic pain in my right foot for quite awhile now. And when I say pain I mean PAIN.

And now this morning the PAIN is gone. I hope this is not just a temporary respite because this pain has been a really BIG PAIN.

Maybe it's been being able to go swimming the last few days that has cured my foot pain.

Still no mention made in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, online, that I could find, of the bizarre closure by Tarrant County of a significant mental health facility called the Paradise Center. How does a newspaper make any claim to being a legitimate newspaper, and not just a tool of the corrupt local power structure, if it does not investigate and report the results of its investigation when something as bizarre as this incident is?

Thugs shutting down a mental health facility in your town is not news?

I need to go swimming now and try and swim away my disgust.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hiking The Tandy Hills Thinking About Fort Worth's Corruption With Its Dis-Connect From Paradise & Gestapo Goon Squads

The Tandy Bamboo Teepee was still standing tall, and unoccupied, today when I saw it around noon.

Such a perfect day and yet I saw no one but myself out enjoying the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

I've been making up for all those days being snowbound. This morning I was in the pool for around 45 minutes. Today's Tandy Hill hiking was over an hour.

I'd really been missing my endorphins.

I'd gotten myself all twisted up this morning, obsessing about a Google/AdSense/Feedburner feed confusion, that was having me confused and annoyed.

I was also obsessing about an Inconvenience Bank problem that arose yesterday, that I'm going to wait to blog about when I'm not quite so obsessive about it. The bank problem was not exactly mine. But I sort of got blamed for it.

So, as I hiked the hills today I was continuing to obsess. But as the aerobicizing continued and the endorphins started having their desired effect I found myself slowly sliding into my preferred mindset of living in the moment and not letting things bug me.

Sort of.

No further word on the fate of Fort Worth's Paradise Center. This morning I remembered the bizarre incidents of the Fort Worth Gestapo raiding Steve Doeung's house to intimidate him at various times when he'd appear in the press, using ridiculous strong arm tactics to scare Fort Worth's Lone Ranger into giving up his fight against Chesapeake Energy and their Henchmen on the take in the City of Fort Worth.

Steve Doeung was featured in an article in FW Weekly last week regarding State Bill 18. A bill that supposedly was supposed to reign in eminent domain abuse in the eminent domain abuse Capital of America.


But instead the bill was written in cahoots with those who do the eminent domain abusing.

Which has had people like Steve Doeung and Bill Mitchell criticizing it.

And then Thursday bully thugs working for Tarrant County used Gestapo tactics to shut down the Paradise Center. And what is Steve Doeung's connection to the Paradise Center? Well, it was Steve Doeung's wife who was the object of the Gestapo this time.

I really think it is time to use Twitter and Facebook to organize protests on Sundance Square, demanding Fort Worth Regime Change and the arrest and prosecution of the Fort Worth Gestapo and those who give the Fort Worth Gestapo its orders.

Did you know that the Paradise Center is very close to the Rainbow Lounge? With the Rainbow Lounge being another Fort Worth location that was subjected to a Gestapo Raid. That raid injured people and made news world-wide. One of the many reasons Fort Worth is the Envy of the World.

Now, how can we get the story of what Fort Worth and Tarrant County has done to the Paradise Center to be a national story? I suppose protest signs could be made in support of the Paradise Center, to wave in front of the TV cameras covering the thousands of Fort Worthers holding Sundance Square hostage until we get Regime Change in this sadly corrupt city.

And let's add a total sweep from their jobs of those who are the administrators of the Fort Worth schools, starting with Superintendent Melody Johnson. Read this week's FW Weekly cover story "Dis-Connects" and you'll see why I think total regime change of the Fort Worth school administrators is needed.

And then send a task force to observe how a successful school district is run. It ain't rocket science. But, in Fort Worth, apparently, it is.

The Saturday Morning Shadow Of The Skinnydipping Texas Thin Man

The 3rd Saturday of the 2nd month of 2011 is starting off 26 degrees above freezing. As you can see, via looking past the Shadow of the Skinnydipping Thin Man, it is yet one more sunny morning in Texas.

Heard from Y. Steve Doeung this morning that WFAA, Channel 8 news reporter, Chris Hawes, showed up yesterday at the closed Paradise Center to interview board members and community supporters for a report that may have aired last night at 10:00.

I have no idea what I'm going to do today, except for going swimming in a little bit, hiking a little later, with a visit to Town Talk after the hiking. And then possibly some saloon hopping with Fort Worth's most infamous saloon hopper, Elsie Hotpepper.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Helping To Get A Memorial In The Garden Of Angels To A Texas Murder Victim

I have likely mentioned The Garden of Angels before on this blog.

The Garden of Angels is a memorial to murder victims, built on the site were Amy Robinson's body was found.

From a plaque near the entry to Garden of Angels...

This is the place where Amy Robinson was taken and murdered. She was kidnapped by two co-workers while on her way to work. Because she did not like to be alone, others decided to put their loved ones in the garden with Amy.

I long ago made a webpage about The Garden of Angels on my Eyes on Texas website. That webpage usually Googles #1 or 2. Which is what brought about a rather poignant email this morning from Wandalyn, the grieving mother of a murder victim.

This is what Wandalyn wanted to ask me.....

How would one get the name of a murdered loved one put on one of the crosses in the garden? My daughter was murdered in 2000. I visit, often, the place where her body was found. I'm 62 now, and that place is very scary. I go alone, because no one wants to go with me. My daughter was 31, when she was murdered. The crime remains unsolved to this day. I miss her very much. I've often thought about making a memorial there. With no money and no one interested in helping, that's all it's been, a thought. It's dangerous there and very scary, so I don't go as often now. viewing the angel's view of your park, looks so much like the thoughts I've had. My health has gone downhill, since she was taken from me. I have no closure. If you can point me towards the path to take, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time. I hope I haven't wasted it.

I was able to help Wandalyn in her quest to add her daughter to The Garden of Angels by pointing her to The Garden of Angels website.

I asked Wandalyn to keep me posted. I'll go take a picture of her daughter's Garden of Angel's memorial after it is added. If you want to help with The Garden of Angels you can make a donation from their website.

The Garden of Angels has grown hugely since I first saw it early in this century. I don't think I've been to The Garden of Angels since 2003 when I was there with my cousin Kristi. We'd been to Joe T. Garcias, where we had too much of the Mexican food called Margaritas.

Kristi lived in Dallas at the time. She was new to Texas. I drove backroads all the way back to her place near where the American Airlines Center is now. Those backroads took us by The Garden of Angels. So, I stopped.

Kristi totally freaked out. She would not enter The Garden of Angels. She said she felt spirits there, unhappy, unsettled spirits.

Kristi's grandma, my aunt, was murdered, brutally, in the early 1980s. She is in her own Garden of Angels, along with a lot of my relatives, in a cemetery in Lynden, Washington.

It Is Hot In Fort Worth With A Tandy Bottle Hanging Mystery & Texas Girls Packing Heat

Why is someone hanging bottles from branches along the trails of the Tandy Hills?

A couple days ago it was the Mystery of the Tandy Bamboo Teepee. And now the Tandy Bottle Hanging Mystery.

A week ago I was having trouble getting warm, suffering through blizzards with sub-zero wind chills.

A week later I'm getting too HOT hiking which forced shirt removal.

And this morning I had my first real swim of the new year. I was in the water for over a half hour. It felt good. I think it was the loss of swimming that caused my gain of weight.

The pool will be even warmer tomorrow with today's degrees being in the 80s for the first time of the new year. I think that's true.

My current temperature reading is 82, with the Heat Index making it feel like 83. I think I like the Heat Index better than the Wind Chill.

I have not turned on the A/C. But I do have my ceiling fan spinning above me.

Denise finally checked her gmail, so we can quit worrying about not hearing from Denise. Now Denise must complete her undercover assignment.

I learned yesterday that a person I frequently mention on this blog, but who I won't mention right now, by name, got her license yesterday. License to pack heat. Now armed with a six-shooter. Which is why I don't want to raise her ire by saying who it is who is now armed and dangerous.

I will say it is not the Wild Woman of Woolley, Betty Jo Bouvier. Betty Jo is well over 2 thousand miles away, so really can do no harm to me with bullets. Same with Carlotta Del Rio. Carlotta is closer than Betty Jo, but not close enough to be dangerous.

I just heard from Carlotta Del Rio. Telling me how beautiful Washington is being today, with Mount Baker making an appearance, after being shrouded in clouds for awhile.

I can't remember the last time I saw a mountain.

EMERGENCY: Save Fort Worth's Paradise Center From The Fort Worth Way

Last night I got an email from Fort Worth's most famous Lone Ranger, Steve Doeung, with the word "Emergency" in the subject line. Steve's wife works at a Fort Worth Community Center which helps people with mental health issues. Last night agents of Tarrant County shut down the Community Center, without warning and for no apparent valid reason, in what seems to me be yet one more instance of the local government behaving badly. Read the Press Release below and you'll likely find yourself feeling a bit disgusted. You reading this who do not live in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, are likely even more appalled, than us who live with the Fort Worth Way...

Press Release for Immediate Distribution

On Thursday Feb. 17, 2011 the CEO and executives of MHMR of Tarrant County, a sub-unit of local government under the County Commissioners Court of Tarrant County, took a shocking and devastating action that could very likely damage the mental health and stability of many citizens living with serious mental illness who are members of Paradise Center Inc., a 501/c/3 nonprofit organization that is run by the very people recovering from serious mental illness and homelessness.

After over a decade of cooperation and of keeping its commitment/contract to provide the "foundational grant" for very effective but rare organization in the whole state of Texas, MHMR of Tarrant County began to exert intense pressure on the organization's only full-time professional staff of almost ten years Teresa Davis (two masters degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) to admit and agree to something that she knew was not true and could jeopardize her organization and her own personal and professional reputation:  that Paradise Center Inc. is "just another MHMR program" and that she is just another one of their 1,300 employees who need to submit to their control and "supervision".

MHMRTC ignored our Board of Directors' many attempts to communicate with them to find out why they were pursuing this disturbing course of action and causing emotional distress on Ms. Davis and the people she serves.  We implored them to deal with the authorized Board of Directors of Paradise Center.

Instead they decided to exert even more pressure, including the withholding of critical paper goods like toilet paper for the four bathrooms, and culminated in this so called "termination" of Teresa's job.

Essentially, this means that they are reneging on their commitment to fund Paradise Center's operations, including paying her salary and benefits.  Their xerox copied letter of the so called termination cited the sole cause for termination being that Ms. Davis did not accept an invitation to meet yesterday with the CEO, Assistant CEO, and MHMR's lawyer. They demanded her immediate evacuation of the taxpayer owned community center and sent four men to come take the keys and take over the building.

The peer leaders of the hundreds of mental health consumers who are members of Paradise Center were angry and tearful as they hurriedly removed their operational supplies like the bingo box they use weekly, the cash register that is used in their snack bar, and the basic supplies they use daily.

The mental health consumer leaders, Board members, and Ms. Teresa Davis will gather today across the street from the little building at 505 S. Jennings Avenue.  The building that they have worked so hard for many years to create a haven, a "paradise" for them and others with serious mental illness.  The building they have now been suddenly thrown out of.

The Dawn Of Another Friday In Texas

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell I can see that the 3rd Friday of the 2nd month of 2011 has dawned with yet one more blue sky day in Texas.

And it is 30 degrees above freezing this morning.

Today I think I'll go somewhere under the golden sky orb and get a sunburn. I've been feeling a slight Vitamin D deficiency of late.

Due to several days in a row being warmed to an average over 50 degrees yesterday's swimming attempt was successful.

I suspect this morning's swimming attempt will be even more successful.

I'm going to to test that theory right now. Talk to you later. Maybe....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Late Hike On Fort Worth's Tandy Hills Thinking About My Move To Las Vegas Thanks To Betty Jo Bouvier

I was late on the Tandy Hills today, which you can sort of guess by looking at the picture, in which we are looking west as the sun starts to set on the stunning skyline of the downtown of the most Envied City in the Nation, Fort Worth, Texas.

I just got the rudest message from Betty Jo Bouvier, telling me I should move out of this lizard and snake infested location and relocate to Arizona.

How can Betty Jo not know that there are a lot of snakes in Arizona? And lizards?. And scorpions?

The desert location I would like to move to is Las Vegas. That'd be a nice central location. A few hours drive to visit my mom and dad and sister and nephews. And brother. In Arizona. A few hours drive to go to Disneyland. An easy drive north to Washington.

Along with all sorts of other places I like that I'd like to live close to.

Like the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park Bryce Canyon. In Vegas it's around 30 miles to Lake Mead, which is like a less cool, but still incredible, version of Lake Powell.

Yeah, I'm convinced. I must initiate a move to Las Vegas as soon as possible. It will be tough leaving the Most Envied City in the Nation. But I am convinced I can adjust.

The Trinity River Vision's Slick Propaganda Brochure Raises A Lot Of Questions About The Cost Of Signs, Junkets, Websites, Parties & Booze

Speaking of wasteful government spending. Here in Fort Worth, it being the city that is the Envy of the Nation, we have the biggest public works project in the history of the planet, underway, known as the Trinity River Vision. Sometimes referred to as TRV. Or simply The Boondoggle.

The Boondoggle is currently about a Billion Dollar Boondoggle. Some of that billion is federal money. Which means you who don't live in the Best City in America are helping pay for The Boondoggle. The TRV Boondoggle has all sorts of amazing things going on.

To help inform the Citizens of Fort Worth as to the current amazing status of the TRV Boondoggle, apparently, it was decided a mass mailing would get that job done.

Because today in my mailbox I found a very slick, full color, 4 page brochure titled TRINITY RIVER VISION UPDATE. The 4 page brochure was folded into the 3-fold mailer you see at the top. With my address on it. Please do not use that information to make an uninvited visit.

The brochure, when opened, was too big to be able to scan the entire thing in my scanner. So, I scanned pieces of the brochure for your reading pleasure.

Above is the top part of the front page of the TRV Update brochure. I thought it was real interesting that there was an article on this page titled, "CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT IS PARAMOUNT TO THE PROJECT."

You who live in cities which are not the Envy of the Nation may be surprised to learn that the biggest public works project in the History of the World came about without the good Citizens of the City of Fort Worth getting to vote on the project.

Getting to vote on something seems to me to be sort of key to CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT, particularly if that involvement is paramount to the project.

The above is from the 2nd page of the brochure. Part of the Trinity River Vision's vision has been to see Fort Worth having the premier wakeboarding facility in the world.

About the Wakepark, the esteemed visionary, J.D. Granger has said,  “Cowtown Wakepark will be one of the shining stars of the dynamic improvements happening on the Trinity River right now. We are very excited to have teamed up with the best people in the field of wakeboarding and we are working diligently to help make Cowtown Wakepark the premiere wakeboarding facility in the world. We want everybody in Fort Worth to be able to experience the fun of Wakeboarding, and Cowtown makes it affordable for everyone in Fort Worth to take up the sport.

How lucky is Fort Worth that the town's Congresswoman, Kay Granger, had a son who wasn't doing anything, who was willing to run the TRV Boondoggle. In Fort Worth we don't know anything about nepotism because of the city law against words with more than 3 syllables. I have lost track of the number of Excess Syllables Tickets I've gotten from the City of Fort Worth Word Police.

The above piece of the TRV Brochure is from the top part of page 3. It shows a Natural Stone Outfall and Boat Launch. The picture shows a lot of people with inner tubes and no boats. I believe last summer we learned that part of the TRV Boondoggle's vision was classifying inner tubes as boats. J.D. Granger has promised many more Trinity River Inner Tube Happy Hour Boating Parties, next summer.

The above is from the top of the back page of the brochure, showing TRV Out on the Town, including a picture of a few of the over 2,500 people who toured a Portland streetcar when it sat on one of the Sundance Square parking lots.

I don't know why no pictures are shown of any of the many TRV out of town junkets and drinking parties.

I can't help but wonder how much this 4 page, full color 14" by 8.5" brochure cost to produce and mail.

How much is the TRV Boondoggle spending on its very well done website?

I've wondered previously how much the TRV signage I've seen in Gateway Park cost. Which is also the question I asked when I was appalled at the incredible amount of TRV signage I saw along the Trinity Trail when I checked out the Cowtown Wakepark.

Does another of Kay Granger's kids have the TRV Boondoggle sign concession?

What is the total Granger family take from the TRV Boondoggle, I can't help but wonder?

How much have all those junkets to other cities cost? Junkets, the purported purpose of which, was to look at other town's river projects. You know, information likely gleaned easily via the Internet, but with the TRV Boondoggle, it involves junkets with multiple TRV employees taken along for the fun, which involved a lot of expensive restaurant eating and booze consumption.

I've received a couple emails in recent days, very cryptically suggesting that there is some dissension in the TRV Boondoggle ranks, which has upset J.D. Granger. My guess is that someone privy to the inner workings of the TRV Boondoggle objected to some objectionable things. With J.D. Granger unable to explain whatever he was hoping to explain. Like maybe his latest expense account submission? Or not being able to adequately explain exactly what it was he was doing over in Dallas on some very specific days. Tied to credit card charges.

Shouldn't  the amount of money the TRV is spending on brochures, signage, junkets, restaurants, parties and booze be part of the public record? Why is this entity getting away with acting as if it is not a public agency open to public scrutiny?

It is all very very perplexing.

Why Texas Stands Out And Is The Envy Of The Nation

In the picture you are looking at the gun toting Texas governor, Rick Perry, in downtown Fort Worth, where he had a shoot out with Fort Worth's soon to be ex-Ruling Despot, Mike Moncrief.

I did not know, til this morning, when reading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's letters to the editor, that Rick Perry said that Texas is "still the envy of the nation."

I Googled "Texas envy of nation" to learn Perry said this in his most recent  State of the State Address to the joint session of the Texas State Legislature.

I thought the Star-Telegram had a patent on the "Envy of the Nation" verbiage. Maybe the Star-Telegram licensed Perry's use of their patented verbiage.

Below is the above mentioned letter to the editor....

Why Texas stands out

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that Texas is "still the envy of our nation" on a multitude of fronts despite a withering budget crunch that is threatening deep cuts in state services.

Yep, Texas is first in the number of uninsured, in the number of executions, in the number of teen pregnancies, in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, in the amount of toxic chemicals released into our water and in the percentage of high school dropouts.

Texas sure is the envy of the nation all right; that is, the rest of the nation is extremely glad they are not like Texas.

-- Edward Lindsay, Fort Worth

Edward left out Texas being the nation's #1 litterers. And being the state with the largest number of obese people.

Thursday Morning in Texas Going Swimming & Thinking About Jesse James

Starting off the 3rd Thursday of the 2nd month of 2011 31 degrees above freezing in formerly frigid Fort Worth, 30 degrees warmer than Seattle is right now, which is the reverse of a week ago.

The sky is bluer than what is indicated by the picture taken from my viewing portal.

I got a strange email this morning. I'm assuming it was generated in response to a webpage I long ago made about Jesse James, titled "The Truth About Jesse James," which I made when someone in Granbury was trying to prove that Jesse James was buried there.

This is what the emailer had to say...

If you did your research, you would know that Stella James, Jesse's son's wife disproved J. Frank Dalton claim, Jesse James wore a size 6 1/2 boot J. frank Dal tons foot was a lot larger! Also a forensics expert compared Jesse's known photo to J. Frank Dalton, there a somethings that change with age and somethings that don't, example Jesse's receding hair line, the spacing between his eyes, width of his forehead compared to J. Frank Dalton did not match! Jesse's mother was not a Dalton, her 2nd husband was related to the Dalton's not Zerelda!

All I got out of the above is Zerelda is an interesting name I'd not heard before.

And now it is time to go swimming.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Mysterious Bamboo Teepee Grows In The Heart Of The Tandy Hills & Denise The Indian Needs To Check Her Gmail

I've happened upon a strange thing.

Or two.

Over the years of hiking on the Tandy Hills.

But, today was the strangest yet.

I was rather enjoying the late afternoon hiking. Perfect temperature. Wind blowing.

I went down one of the steeper hills, crossed a creek, took the option to the right that required going under some low hanging branches.

Popped out from under the low hanging branches to a small clearing to find myself startled by the structure you see above.

A teepee framework made of bamboo.

There is no bamboo growing on the Tandy Hills that I have ever seen.

This location was about as close to the center of the Tandy Hills Natural Area as you can be. Meaning, as long a distance from a road as you could find.

Yet, someone hauled in multiple bamboo poles, with the leaves still attached. There is a pile of bamboo leaves laying on the ground around the perimeter of the teepee frame.

I'm guessing I am going to be asked exactly where this bamboo teepee frame is located.

Take the main View Street trail to the Tandy Hills. Take the first right from that trail. Continue east on that trail, down the steep hill, across the creek. When you get across the creek take the trail to the right. The bamboo teepee frame is just on the other side of the line of trees.

Is this teepee the first of many? An Indian Village in the making? A new Fort Worth Homeless People Shanty Town?

And on a totally different subject, Denise, check your Gmail. I have a question for you.