Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Is The Sorriest Excuse For A Town I've Ever Seen While Hiking The Humid Tandy Hills

Hiking the Tandy Hills Jungle was very very humid today.


The hiking was made more pleasant due to the trail trimming some kind trail trimmer did.

In the picture you are looking at the newly trimmed trail into the area where the Tandy Bamboo TeePee Art Installation sits. Prior to the trimming, going through here required a lot of ducking and pushing brush out of the way.

Currently, coming up on 4 in the afternoon, it is 90 with the humidity making it feel like 100.

Have I ever mentioned that I get a lot of comments to my various blogs? And to my Eyes on Texas website?

Among my favorites of the comments are those from someone who is very overwrought over something they have read,  and then motivated to share their overwroughtedness. Usually in a way that comes across as very angry. And usually sort of stupid.

This morning I got an email from someone calling herself Diana Ware. The subject line said "Fort Worth."

I have no idea if Diana Ware is upset over something about Fort Worth on this blog or with something about Fort Worth on my Eyes on Texas website.

This is what Diana Ware had to say (with some profanity censored)....

"This is the sorriest excuse for a review of a town I've ever read.  You are a hateful sarcastic excuse for a writer.  I hope you never get to see or experience anything better than life as you describe it in Fort Worth.  I will bypass anything else I see by you on the web in the future.  I'm totally disgusted after reading this site--not by the town, but the sorry writer with such a sh**ty outlook."

This sort of reminds me of the bizarre reaction some Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival people had to my description of Scarborough Faire. Many of them thought they were reading an article in a magazine. Among other things.

I have no idea where I've written a review of Fort Worth. Did Diana Ware Google for info about Fort Worth and clicked on a link to my website, or blog, thinking she was going to get travel information? Diana Ware somehow concluded I've never seen or experienced anything better than what I described of Fort Worth? Why would a person continue reading something that was totally disgusting to them? And then feel compelled to vent about their disgust?

People like Diana Ware are just a little scary to me.

And now it is time to go for a swim and some sun lounging in the 90 degree, feels like 100, heat.

The Last Day Of May Thinking About The Most Notable Graduate Of Wink High School

You are looking through the bars of my patio prison cell on the morning of the last day of May, the day after a memorable Memorial Day.

I currently am in non air conditioned comfort due to the windows being open because it is only 74 degrees in the outer world in my vicinity. Heading to a scheduled high today of 92.

I think some allergens or other pollutants must be blowing in the wind today because I am having some eye irritant issues, along with sneezing bouts.

Yesterday, being in a Memorial Day mood, I remembered where I went to high school and blogged about it.

Does every high school in America have a Wikipedia entry? Just a second, while I Google. Yes, Wink High School is in Wikipedia. This would seem to indicate every high school in America is in Wikipedia. I picked Wink to test this theory because Wink High School is really really small.

In the Wikipedia article about my high school Wikipedia listed 6 notable graduates. The Wikipedia article about Wink High School listed only one notable graduate. Someone named Garland Franklin. The article did not say why this Franklin person was notable.

And on that note, it is time for my morning swim.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Shadow Of The Extremely Skinny Tandy Hills Thin Man Thinking About Gators, Ukrainians & Mesquite Needles

Yes, that is the Shadow of the Extremely Skinny Tandy Hills Thin Man in the picture.

It is coming up on 3 in the afternoon. It is 90 degrees, currently. I have had me one of those days, so far, that has me feeling kicked in the gut.

Pretty much all self-inflicted.

Everything was going fine til I came in from swimming. After that, til a little after noon, I was stuck being dumbstruck trying to figure out a confusing problem on my web server.

My one longtime reader may remember way back in 2009 when my websites were being attacked by Ukrainians. As soon as I could, I moved my websites from IX Webhosting to Gator.

I have not had any Ukrainian problems with Gator. But, IX Webhosting's control panel was far easier to use than Gator's. With Gator's I'm always thinking I don't really understand this stuff all that well. With IX Webhosting I never thought that.

Anyway, after hours of straining my seldom strained brain, I figured out what was causing the problem. Short version. User error. Sort of.

My plan today had been to go to the Memorial Day BBQ at the Paradise Center, after hiking the Tandy Hills. When I was having my morning vexations I got a text message from Paradise Center hoping I could make it.

I made it late to the hills. Did not get back here til well after 2. I'm in no mood to do anything but eat the pizza that I just took out of the oven.

On an extremely happy note, someone did some brush clearing on the Tandy Hill's trails. I got poked by a Mesquite needle blowing in the wind a couple days ago. Those Mesquite needles are wicked weapons. I was pleased to see that the Mesquite that had attacked me had been summarily dealt with.

It is now time to eat pizza.

A Memorable Memorial Day Monday Morning In Texas

It is the morning of the next to last day of May which also happens to be a Monday and Memorial Day.

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at the blue pool oasis and the sky about it, it would appear that Memorial Day at my location on the planet will be a pleasantly weathered day.

The forecast for my location on the planet for Memorial Day also indicates it will be a pleasantly weathered day, partly sunny and breezy with a high of 89 and no threat of tornadoes.

I have no idea what I am going to do to memorialize Memorial Day today. I may drop in on the Paradise Center. I may go do some hill hiking on the Tandy Hills. I may have a hot dog for lunch.

The only thing I am absolutely certain of is I am going to go swimming in about 5 minutes. Talk to you later.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Village Creek Natural Historic Area Looking For Snakes, Fish & Graffiti

You are looking at some fishermen and fisherwomen and fisherkids fishing on and near one of the Village Creek Natural Historic Area's dam bridges, today, around noon.

I'd not seen a large group of people fishing here before. There were 3 or 4 more fishing to the right.

You can't see it in the picture, but the guy in the middle had a big net that he stuck in the creek which caught little minnow-like fish, which he then distributed to the other fisher people, who used the little fish as bait to try and catch bigger fish.

I saw no big fish caught.

I had barely started my walk through the jungle when I was annoyed to see graffiti.

A couple weeks ago I was annoyed to see graffiti on the new wooden bridge in Veterans Park. You can't see it in the picture but there is a big mess of graffiti on the dam bridge near where they guy with the minnow net is standing.

The graffiti in the picture is not quite so bad. It's more artistic. The artistic graffiti is on some sort of sewer outlet. The graffiti artists did not even have the decency to take their empty cans of spray paint with them.

The annoying graffiti, besides spray painting on the dam bridge, was spraying graffiti on various park signs. That goes past being graffiti to being outright vandalism.

I have seen more snakes in the Village Creek Natural Historic Area Park than any other park I've been in in Texas. Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Rattlesnakes. It is also the only place I've seen an Alligator Gar.

Today I walked off the paved trail to take the picture of the graffiti on the sewer outlet and saw a "road" path that I'd not previously seen. I thought maybe the recent Barnett Shale seismic testing in the park had had a truck make this new road.

Walking on this "road" through the jungle made me a bit nervous, due to that snake issue I mentioned two paragraphs ago.

Eventually the "road" came to a dead end at the creek. This is not Village Creek. I think the name is Bush Creek. But I'm not sure. What I do know for sure was there was a big white pipe crossing above the creek, supported by cables, like a suspension bridge. It looked very strange.

I am happy to report I saw no snakes.

The Last Sunday Of May Thinking Of Getting Drilled By Chesapeake Energy On Broadcast Hill

Looking out at the world from my primary viewing portal it appears the last Sunday of May has dawned cloudy in my location on the planet.

Today in my location on the planet we are scheduled to be heating to a relatively chilly high of 90. Much cooler than yesterday's high of 98.

If I remember right I think I have mentioned that I often go to the top of Mount Tandy as my start off point for hiking the Tandy Hills Natural Area's many trails.

I do not think I have also mentioned that Mount Tandy is also known as Broadcast Hill, due to television broadcasting facilities being located there.

I knew the Broadcast Hill facilities were a NBC operation. What I did not know, til this morning, was that the Broadcast Hill NBC operation is the location for the Dallas/Fort Worth NBC affiliates broadcast studio.

Apparently, after 63 years of operating from Broadcast Hill/Mount Tandy, NBC is moving its operation to a new, currently undisclosed location.

Chesapeake Energy owns the land between the NBC operation and the Tandy Hills operation. Chesapeake Energy also owns land on the west side of the Tandy Hills operation. That land has already been drilled. It would not please me if the Chesapeake Energy land on the east side of the Tandy Hills operation gets drilled.

Rather than worrying about getting drilled, right now, I think I'll go swimming.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Am Going Over The Edge In Downtown Fort Worth For Only One Thousand Dollars

Yesterday I blogged that the entity known as Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. was sponsoring an event in Burnett Park on June 9 called Picnic & Politics in the Park.

I opined that Picnic & Politics in the Park struck me as a bit odd.

Just like how I think the Cowtown Wakepark is a bit odd.

The Cowtown Wakepark is part of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. The Wakepark is the first part of the vision able to be seen.

And then there is the Rockin' Live on the Trinity River, TRV sponsored Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. With music. Very, very, very odd.

The Trinity River Vision and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. are tightly connected entities. Both Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy operations.

I think the Trinity River Vision and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. must be consulting the same creative geniuses. Geniuses specializing in raising goofiness to some sort of art form.

Outdoing the Cowtown Wakepark, for sheer goofiness, is Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.'s "Over The Edge" event.

Fort Worth's current goofy mayor, Mike Moncrief, has been practicing for this event for at least a month.

Mayor Mike's first rappelling lesson ended up with him upside down on the side of a Fort Worth skyscraper.

On Friday, June 24, for only $1,000, you can rappel down the side of the 26 story XTO building at 714 Main Street in beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

This is limited to only 80 participants, so you'll want to sign up as soon as possible, because those 80 slots are going to go fast.

According to the DFWI website, you will "Get a whole new view of Downtown Fort Worth during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience big thrills and excitement!"

The DFWI website also suggests, "If you want to live on the edge, this is your chance! Go as a solo climber, or sign up a representative from your organization. Pool your money and "toss your boss." Or give this unique experience as a Father's Day or anniversary gift."

The DFWI website claims this is "A Lofty Fundraiser for Downtown Fort Worth" where "Your participation will help Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. (DFWI) continue to improve our wonderful Downtown. You'll be supporting projects like the JFK Tribute, our downtown marketing programs, Burnett Park, Heritage Park, our social media efforts and everything DFWI does for Downtown!"

This will help support projects like Heritage Park? Heritage Park is a closed, surrounded by chain link fence, downtown Fort Worth eyesore.

If 80 people actually pay $1,000 to rappel down a building, that is only $80,000. Minus, I am sure, a lot of expenses. How is this measly amount going to help Heritage Park, where the latest estimate of the cost to restore it to its former glory is something like $7 million?

That would take a lot of people paying $1,000 each to rappel down a Fort Worth building to raise $7 million.

Almost 100 With Pirate Booty & Tandy Hills Hiking With No Power

At 3 in the afternoon we are currently 5 degrees shy of today's predicted high of 98.

I think it was nearing 90 when I went hill hiking on the Tandy Hills today. The humidity seems to have dropped, so the hill hiking was not like walking through a wet wool blanket, like it was a few days ago.

I was surprised to see, today, that the Tandy Bamboo Teepee art installation survived the recent storms. I would have thought being pummeled by hail, rain, winds and possible tornadic action would have brought down the teepee.

Here in East Baghdad, I mean, East Fort Worth, the power went out again this morning. There were a couple very short outages. And then it went out for about an hour.

I am getting very tired of the almost daily power outages. The Albertsons, across the street, and the Krogers a little further up the street, both lose power when I do. As do several other businesses in the zone I live in.

I am sure it must have happened at some point in time, but I do not ever remember the power going out when I lived in Mount Vernon. All the utilities were underground there. Is that the difference? Or does it have something to do with Texas being more like a third world country than Washington is?

I had a good foraging expedition at Town Talk after my Tandy hiking. I got grapes. And a super-sized bag of Pirate's Booty white cheddar cheese puffs. They're a delicacy.

I think I will go swimming now and do some sun lounging in the 93 degree heat. I likely will not last long.

Looking At A Blue Oasis On The Morning Of The 28th Day Of May

It is the morning of Saturday, May 28. This month has gone by in a super flash. I do not like months going by in a super flash.

Looking out at that blue oasis on ground level it appears that enough water has been added back to the pool that swimming will be doable this morning.

The prediction that today would be the first 100 degree day of the year in my zone of habitation has been lowered by 2 degrees.

98 degrees will still be HOT.

I'm going swimming now. Talk to you later.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Am A Platinum Sponsor Of Fort Worth's Picnic & Politics In The Park

This afternoon I made one of my infrequent forays into Facebook. During that foray I saw GG making a cryptic comment that intrigued me.

GG said, "Only in Fort Worth do you have to pay $60 per person to hear what mayoral candidates have to say, in a public park."

What fresh hell is this, I wondered to myself?

Well, GG and her assistant provided sufficient hints to allow me to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Seems the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy has two candidates running for mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price and Jim Lane. The one chosen to be the next mayor, by the Queen of the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy, Kay Granger, is Betsy Price.

I do not know if Jim Lane did something to displease the FWRO Queen, which caused him to lose royal favor, or what.

Maybe the FWRO Queen did not think Jim Lane could as easily be made to do her bidding, as could Betsy. Or maybe it is something as simple as the fact that both Betsy and Queen Kay are Republicans, while Jim Lane is a Democrat.

Back to paying $60 to hear what the mayoral candidates have to say for themselves.


On June 9 at 11:30 AM - 01:00 PM at Burnett Park, it being one of downtown Fort Worth's public parks, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. is staging an event called Picnic & Politics in the Dark. I mean Park.

I'm assuming Betsy Price and Jim Lane will give speeches while a picnic takes place. This Picnic & Politics in the Park is open to the public, Fort Worth being the type of inclusive town that it is. And the fact that the event takes place in a public park. How could it not be open to the public?

All it costs to attend this event is $60. You can get in for $50 if you pay $350 to become a Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. member. That is $350 a year to save you $10 on a political picnic.

I'm already going to this important event, due to being a PLATINUM SPONSOR. It only cost me $2,500, for which I'll get priority seating for me and 20 of my closest friends. Plus I'll get recognition in the luncheon program, event signage and stage announcements.

Best $2,500 I have ever spent.

A Red-Head Nephew And Twins Named Theo & Ruby Babysat By A Pair Of Poodles

I got an email a few days ago telling me that the censorship block had been lifted from the Blue & Max Blog that I'd made well over 3 years ago.

Blue & Max are a pair of real high maintenance, real cute, poodles.

When I last saw Blue & Max they were living in a big house in Tacoma with a pair of real high maintenance, real cute, humans.

When I was last in the house Blue & Max live in I was astonished at how many things were serious issues. Like there was a house ban on repetitive noises. Everything in the kitchen had to be organized in alphabetical order. There were 6 or 7 different containment vessels for various types of trash.

If you mistakenly put something in containment vessel 4 that should have gone in vessel 5, well, let me tell you, the inquisition that followed was not a pleasant thing to endure.

And do not get me started on the dish washing protocols.

At the time I observed this domicile, like some sort of anthropologist observing an alien tribe, it appeared to me that Blue had the most issues. Blue is one very particular poodle. Blue's brother, Max, is the most laid back, easy going inhabitant. Max really was the only inhabitant I had a comfortable bond with.

So, sometime after I left that domicile, in a very metaphoric dark sky downpour, on August 20, 2008, had you told me then that less than 3 years later that a 2 year old boy and a pair of twins would be added to that house, I would have said this would not be possible.

And yet that is what happened. My nephew David was added, I think, well over a year ago. David is my first red-headed relative that I am aware of. Then 5 or 6 months ago the twins, Ruby Jean and Theo Ryan, RJ & TR, were added.

My mom and dad have yet to meet Ruby & Theo. They have met David. David flew down to Arizona to see his grandma and grandpa. I think maybe my mom and dad have been back up to Tacoma since David arrived, but my memory is faulty.

In the picture at the top, that is David, in the Big Brother t-shirt, with his arm around Ruby Jean. On the Blue & Max Blog there are a lot of pictures of David being the big brother, and Blue & Max being the babysitting poodles.

I highly doubt the circumstances will arrive where I play the uncle role with David, Ruby and Theo. I don't know how one can play the uncle role long distance.

When I did play the uncle role it was with 4 nephews who lived in close proximity. I was an excellent uncle, even if I do say so myself. Ask my nephews, they will confirm my excellent-ness as an uncle.

Hiking The Hot Windy Tandy Hills Thinking An Adult Intervention Is Needed In Fort Worth

The weather predictor has backed off a degree from tomorrow's 100 degree temperature. What a relief.

As you can see, via the view from the top of Mount Tandy, looking west to where the west begins, at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, you can not see anything but a bright blue cloud-free sky.

Hiking the Tandy Hills was a good thing today. Borderline HOT with a very strong wind blowing.

GG's husband, currently calling himself Mike, pointed me today to some upcoming Fort Worth events that are causing me to again think a federal intervention is needed in this goofy part of America where I find myself living.

A couple days ago it was the Rockin' the River Inner Tube Happy Hour Parties that had me thinking it is time for adults to intervene here.

Then yesterday it was an advertisement for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Cowtown Wakepark that had me wondering am I the only one who thinks this is goofy?

I may get around to blogging about the goofy stuff GG's husband sent me. But, right now I'm worn out and tired.

I've not been able to swim for 3 mornings in a row. But, the problem with the pool has been fixed and it is currently in re-fill mode. An amount of water sufficient for swimming should be in the pool by morning. That will please me.

Betsy Price & Jim Lane In A Race For Mayor In The Fort Worth Stockyards

One of Jim Lane's ex-girl friends sent me this picture of her ex in a horse race with Betsy Price at some location in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

It appears, in the picture, that Jim Lane has a slight lead over Betsy Price. I don't know if that is currently the case in their horse race to become Mike Moncrief's replacement as mayor of Fort Worth.

Betsy Price is the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy's choice to be mayor. Jim Lane is also a member of the FWRO. But not the chosen one.

In the May 14 election that eliminated the non-FWRO candidates, Betsy got 43.3% of the vote, while Jim got 26.3%. Together, Betsy and Jim got 69.6% of the vote.

In the last mayoral election Mike Moncrief won by getting 70% of the 6% of the votes of the voters who bothered to vote. In the May 14 election more than 10% of the voters bothered to vote. With the percentage of votes going to the FWRO candidates virtually at the same 70% level as when only 6% voted.

This would seem to negate the theory that the way to overturn the FWRO is to get people to vote. If there was a 50% turnout would the FWRO still get around 70% of the vote? It would be interesting to find out. But, sadly, it will never happen.

There are too many fun things to do on a Saturday in Fort Worth, competing with voting, like going wakeboarding on the world's premiere wakeboard lake, for example.

Even though he is a charter member of the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy, I'm voting for Jim Lane. I think he may make an amusingly goofy replacement for the amusingly goofy Mike Moncrief.

Jim Lane has a Facebook page for his mayoral campaign. I gleaned a few good comments that I will share below...

 Best quote of the day regarding supporting Jim Lane for Mayor:

"It's time to coalesce around a real leader for Fort Worth. Besides, Best Buy wants their logo back."

--Todd Hill, Democratic Activist

Fort Worth has taken the wrong path of leadership for years, it's time to "Get in the right Lane" besides; "The Price ain't Right"

---Joycia Sunshyne Johnson

I wish I lived in Fort Worth for this election. Betsy Price is a great lady, but there is nothing in her resume that qualifies her for mayor. Mayors have to think forward and VOTE ON MATTERS concerning: public safety, parks and recreation, setting property tax rates, street maintenance, water and sewer system maintenance, libraries, bond issues, employee salaries and benefits, long-range planning, attracting new businesses and on and on. So...Who talked Betsy Price into giving up a nice salary and why?

---Joe Forsythe

The gas drilling industry perhaps? Fort Worth needs a mayor that will regulate the excesses and public abuse caused by the gas drilling industry. I agree that Betsy Price is in no position to afford any protection or review of regulation to protect the Fort Worth public. I was looking to Cathy Hirt for that. I can only hope that Jim Lane is in a position to protect Fort Worth and it's residents should he be elected.

---Paul Philip Holt


A lot of people seem to be wondering why Betsy Price is willing to give up a job that pays over $100,000 a year for one that pays considerably less.

I have asked if maybe Betsy Price is independently wealthy so the change in income is meaningless. Or maybe she is married to someone who makes a lot of money, rendering the change in income meaningless.

Mayor Mike Moncrief made millions during his tenure as mayor from the gas companies poking holes all over his town. Maybe Betsy Price has figured out her own way of getting money from the gas drillers. I understand she is very good at handling large amounts of money.

When asked why she was running for mayor, Betsy Price said she was doing so because the Queen of the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy, Kay Granger, asked her to. Maybe Kay also promised to make up the income difference after Betsy's installation as mayor.

A Woozy Friday Morning With 100 Degrees On Saturday Thinking About Voting For Jim Lane

The sun got up before me on this 27th morning of May.

When my camera looked out my viewing portal on the world, this morning, it was set in aquarium mode, which caused it to take a picture that matched my currently woozy view of the world.

At this point in time the outdoors is chilled to a very pleasant 67 degrees. Thus my windows are open.

The outdoors is currently scheduled to be heating today, eventually, to a relatively warm 93 degrees.

Tomorrow the current forecast is that we will be experiencing the first 100 degree day of 2011 in this particular zone of North Texas.

At 100 degrees all windows are closed. Fans are spinning, A/C is running.

Now, on non-weather related news. Former Fort Worth mayoral candidate, Cathy Hirt, has endorsed Jim Lane for mayor.

Many former Cathy Hirt supporters are now voting for Jim Lane.

I voted for Cathy Hirt. No one I vote for ever wins. This has me thinking I should vote for Betsy Price, even though I prefer Jim Lane.

It's a perplexing conundrum.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wakeboard Free Without A Boat Or A Lick Of Sense In The Cowtown Wakepark

Elsie Hotpepper read that she was missing and called to confirm that she has been found, just as I was getting ready to blog the exciting news that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's first vision to be seen is about to have its Grand Opening.

I am speaking, obviously, about the Cowtown Wakepark. The Cowtown Wakepark is the center eyepiece of the Trinity River Vision.

Bringing to Fort Worth the "country's hottest watersport in a whole new way!"

On June 12, from 10am til 7pm, you can come to the Cowtown Wakepark and meet the Pros and ride for free. That's right. Everyone rides for free.

And then, when we get to the regular business hours of the Cowtown Wakepark operation, for only $25, you can get the Cowtown Early Bird Special (before noon). For 25 bucks you get all the equipment you need to enjoy 2 hours of ride time. All you need to bring is your swim suit!

The lines are likely to be very very long on June 12 for the "Free All Cable Tour." You will want to get there early. I know I will. I hope I remember my swim suit.

I believe it was the Trinity River Vision Advisory Board which determined that the Cowtown Wakepark was the most important part of the vision. Hence it being the first part of the vision to open. I am guessing that TRV Advisory Board member, Betsy Price, will be there June 12, in her swim suit, ready for the ride of her lifetime.

I know you won't be able to keep me away from participating in this exciting sport that will now be available to all the citizens of Fort Worth.

Courtesy of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

My Therapist Advised Tandy Hill Hiking To Cure Today's Headache

I had myself some stressful aggravation early today. This eventually led to me having a rare headache. I used to get headaches all the time when I lived in Washington. Moving to Texas cured me of that particular woe, but added several new ones.

By mid morning I had consulted with my therapist, Dr. L.C., who told me I needed to do some heavy duty hill hiking, which the good doctor said should cure me of my head pain.

Due to the deluge of downpours pouring down on Monday and Tuesday I did not think the Tandy Hill's trails would be dried out.

I was wrong. I had no mud issues whilst hiking the hills today. And Dr. L.C. was right. Hiking the hills cured my head pain. I returned to my abode in a hugely improved frame of mind.

The only odd thing I saw on the Tandy Hills today was crime scene tape laying on the ground near the washed out Tandy Highway bridge across Tandy Creek.

Is this yet one more Tandy Hills Art Installation?

Is the person trying to artfully say that it is a crime how many times this bridge has to be re-built by the City of Fort Worth Water Department engineers?

One of Jim Lane's ex-girl friends sent me a link to an online quiz today. It being the World's Smallest Political Quiz.

I took the test and was shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn I am a left-wing liberal. I would have thought I was a reactionary right-wing nutjob. Shows how politically ignorant I am.

Speaking of reactionary right-wing nutjobs, I've not heard from Elsie Hotpepper in a few days. Has anyone seen Elsie lately?

I've also not heard from Eunice Lovers in awhile. Last I heard from Ms. Lovers she was doing some undercover sleuthing and was going to get back to me with what she found. If anything.

Anyway, I'm glad I listened to my therapist today, rather than ignore her prescription, which is what I usually do.

It Is A Beautiful Day In The 32nd Most Bike Friendly State Of Texas

Looking skyward through the bars of my patio prison cell on this 26th morning of May I can see nothing but bright blue sky.

Looking at the forecast this morning I see a description for today I don't remember seeing in a weather forecast before.

Sunny and beautiful.

Is beauty not in the eye of the beholder? Maybe my idea of a beautiful day is foggy drizzle. Or snow.

Anyway, this morning I learned from the League of American Bicyclists that in a ranking of the American states, judging their relative bicycle friendliness, Texas ranked # 32. The state I lived in prior to Texas, that being Washington, ranked # 1.

Having pedaled a bike in both states I can see how Washington is more friendly to bicyclists than Texas is. But, I don't see how Washington is hugely more friendly, bike-wise than Texas is.

Then again, I don't read bike-related things in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram like I read this morning in the Seattle P-I. That being that Seattle is building a $10 million pedestrian bike bridge to take walkers and bikers from the lower Queen Anne Hill/Belltown zone, down to the Seattle waterfront.

There is no waterfront or hill to build a bridge to or from in Fort Worth. Although, lately, I've been a bit perplexed to see the Trinity River banks referred to as waterfront as part of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's propaganda campaign trying to convince the people of Fort Worth that a pig is a beautiful butterfly.

It is time to go swimming now. But I can't. Because there is no water in the pool.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Walkng Late After A No Power Lunch Catching Fosdic Lake Fish Thinking About Safe & Sane River Inner Tubing

There has been no swimming, for me, for two mornings in a row, due to the pool needing to be drained so the underwater lights could be replaced.

Today, at noon, I drove up to North Richland Hills for my weekly Wednesday restaurant rendezvous. As I exited the freeway I got a call telling me the restaurant was closed, due to power being out in the area, due to last night's storm.

North Richland Hills was hit a bit harder, by the storm, than it hit my location.

With the restaurant rendezvous aborted, I continued on to the ALDI Market in Hurst, not knowing if it was powered up or not.

It was.

By the time I had lunch I managed to overeat. I do not like overeating.

Coming up on 5, I decided I needed to get some pedestrian exercise. So, I drove to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake.

I thought Fosdic Falls might be falling hard due to last night's rain. I was surprised to see Fosdic Falls barely dribbling.

I was also surprised to see so many people angling for fish in Fosdic Lake, where signs warn you to be careful about eating what you catch.

In addition to all the solo fishermen, there were two cute family groups.

The group you see at the top was a grandma, a mom and two kids. I know this because I stopped to talk to them after I took the picture. They'd caught a fish. A very little perch. First fish I've seen caught from Fosdic Lake. I should have asked if I could take a picture of it. But I did not think of that til later.

Grandma told me they don't eat the fish, their cat does.

The other fishing family was a dad with two kids, a girl and a boy. The girl was in a pink ballet tutu.

This group reminded me of my dad. Not due to the pink tutu, but due to the fact that when I was a little kid we'd go on family fishing excursions on the Skagit River. Sometimes it'd just be dad and me and my brother.

The fish one sought from the Skagit was not perch. It was salmon.

My brother strongly caught the fishing gene from my dad. Me, not so much. My brother passed the fishing gene onto my nephew, Joey, who continues to catch a lot of salmon in the Skagit River, without his dad, who has moved to Arizona. Where no salmon spawn in any river. As far as I know.

I never much enjoyed standing on a river or lake bank tossing a fish line in the water. But, I did very much enjoy fishing from a fishing boat out in the San Juan Islands zone. My mom and dad had a nice big boat, sort of a floating camper. Trolling for salmon is fun. Catching cod is fun. Sometimes when trolling for salmon you'd catch a shark instead. Dogsharks. Not as fun as salmon.

My dad caught a halibut over 180 pounds, once, out in the San Juans. I was not along. The local newspaper printed a picture of my dad and the big halibut. I must see if I can locate that picture and one of my dad's dad, my grandpa, with a giant sturgeon he caught in the Nooksack River.

Strange, it never bothered me to float in the Skagit or Nooksack Rivers, particularly the Nooksack. It's a big inner tubing river in summer.

Never crossed my mind to worry about a salmon or sturgeon encounter. No one organizes the massive weekend Nooksack inner tube float parties in summer. It just sort of organically happens.

Not the result of someone's brilliant brainstorm, like the one we learned about yesterday with the announcement of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's summer Rockin' the River with Inner Tube Happy Hours.

Up Early After A Texas Thunderstorm & Pete Delkus Ruin My Tuesday Night TV Viewing

The sun has now lit up the dark view you are looking at from my patio perch view on the world.

Tuesday night was an annoying one in Durango World.

A little before 7, last night, I popped myself some popcorn, in preparation for eventually watching American Idol, watching something else that had been recorded, til the DVR had recorded enough of American Idol so I could fast forward through the many boring parts.

At a little before 7 the predicted damaging thunderstorm had not arrived in my zone. But, at a little before 7 the power went out.

No TV.

So, I sat outside, eating popcorn, enjoying the breeze and listening to very distant thunder. About a half hour later the storm arrived. Bursts of hail were very noisy. I got a call from Miss Puerto Rico telling me she was in her office safe zone with her cat, because she'd heard tornado sirens. I'd not heard them.

Sometime near the end of American Idol the power came back on. I've no idea what time that was.

I tried to watch the Dancing with the Stars results show. But, it was not possible to watch because it is on ABC. Which locally means, when there is a weather event, this weather obsessed annoyance named Pete Delkus ruins whatever TV show you are trying to watch. Even if it is one of the top-rated  shows on TV.

Yes, I know, the weather in these parts can be deadly.


What use was Pete Delkus to me, weather information-wise, when the power went out?

I have said it more than once, if you are at home watching TV you are likely aware of storm potential. If a storm gets bad you have many options for information. You don't need Pete Delkus being a Drama Queen because the Doppler Radar spotted a rotating cell somewhere.

I gave up thinking I was going to be able to watch Dancing with the Stars, no longer able to take the overly earnest Pete Delkus I turned off the TV, voluntarily cutting myself off from any TV generated dire weather warnings.

When I read the news, online, this morning, I was expecting to read about some bad local weather damage. It was not all that bad. A lot of people lost power. Some windshields were knocked out by hail. There was a report or two of tornado sightings. The Rangers had to stop playing baseball.

That's about it.

The headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, this morning, indicated last night's was a very major weather event, with the headline saying, "Biggest storm system in years hits Dallas-Fort Worth."

Biggest storm in years. That sounds pretty big.

Then in the second or third paragraph, in the biggest storm in years story, I read the following...

"This is one of the biggest storm systems to hit the area since 2007," said Mark Fox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

So, the headline should have been "Biggest storm system since 2007 hits Dallas-Fort Worth."

That sounds way less dire.

ABC really needs to have a talk with its D/FW affiliate about how weather events are covered. And maybe consider getting Pete Delkus into some sort of therapy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Citizens Advisory Committee

A few minutes ago, someone claiming to be one of Fort Worth's potential next mayor's ex-girlfriends, sent me a link to a page on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle website, telling me she thought I might find it interesting.

I find a lot of things interesting. What I found when I went to this link was more bizarre than interesting. Okay, maybe it was interestingly bizarre.

The page in question on the TRVB website is titled "Citizens Advisory Committee."

Under the heading "Citizens Advisory Committee" there is a paragraph describing the goal of this advising committee made up of citizens.....

To assure that each element of the Trinity River Vision project is designed and delivered with the needs and wants of the community in mind, an advisory board was created to provide the project partners with direction and feedback throughout the project timeline.

Well, now, is that not a fascinating thing? A committee of 64 citizens has been created to make sure that each and every element of the Trinity River Vision project is done with the needs and wants of the community in mind. Giving direction and feedback.

Was it this committee who got feedback from the Fort Worth community indicating the people of Fort Worth desperately wanted the world's premiere wakeboarding lake? Is this the answer I have long sought, as to how this goofy lake, which few will use, came to be?

I recognize some of the names on the committee.

Kenneth Barr. Didn't he used to be mayor? Then go to work for Chesapeake Energy? Well, it is only fair that you have some people who are members of the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy on this committee.

Kathleen Hicks. Isn't she a Fort Worth Councilwoman? Well, it's only fair that you include some people already in office on a committee of citizens helping direct something you already have input into, due to the office you've been elected to.

Melody Johnson. The disgraced Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent. It seems fair to include an ordinary citizen like this on such a committee. Now that she is resigning as Superintendent is Melody keeping on this important committee helping guide the TRV Boondoggle? From what I've read, Ms. Johnson is a bit of a boondoggle expert. She is likely quite helpful.

Betsy Price. Now, that seems a sensible pick of an ordinary citizen for such a committee. I think Ms. Price is currently some sort of tax collector for Tarrant County. And I believe she is the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy's pick to be Fort Worth's next mayor.

Danny Scarth. Another highly regarded Fort Worth City Councilman. And ordinary citizen. Excellent choice, TRV.

Andy Taft. Why I get email from Andy Taft. He's the president or czar or something of the Downtown Fort Worth Association. I'm glad the TRV picked people with absolutely no vested interest in the TRV project to be on this committee.

Julie Wilson. The very last name on the list, due to her name starting with a "W." I think Julie Wilson is some sort of shill for Chesapeake Energy. Makes sense to have a shill for Chesapeake on a citizen's committee helping make sure that the concerns of all the citizens of Fort Worth are taken in to account.

Are there records kept of this committee's meetings? Can one find out what input they have given to the TRV project?

Are any of the people who's property has been taken, or will be taken, by eminent domain, on this list of citizens?

This makes two extremely goofy things from the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle in one day. I think the boondoggle is accelerating.

Walking Among Giant Yellow Flowers Today In Arlington's Veterans Park Thinking About Bad Girls Like Mother Nature & The Queen Of Wink

The hills were alive with a lot of color today. I'm not talking about the Tandy Hills. For all I know those hills are alive today with a lot of color, but not according to any eye witness account from my eyes.

The hills I saw alive, with a lot of color today, were the hills, well, glorified mounds, of Veterans Park in Arlington.

I was being a bit stir crazy this morning, a blogging and webpage making maniac. It is exhausting for me to spend more than a few hours of heavy duty thinking without a break.

I took off from here to go to Village Creek Natural Historic Area to talk to the Indian Spirits. But, that park was closed today, due to Village Creek being in water overload mode. So, I continued on another couple miles to Veterans Park.

There were some really big flowers being real colorful in Veterans Park today. I think I already said that.

My chronic typo problem continues to worsen. This morning the Queen of Wink humiliated me with a really bad one.

I typed "actua" when I meant to type "actual." The word "actua" totally changed the meaning of what I was saying, changing it from something like "Gar the Texan and I are going to an actual Hooters," to something like "Gar the Texan and I are joining a Canadian Charitable Organization in order to get some charitable attention from Hooters."

I really don't like it when hyper-intelligent people, like the Queen of Wink, use their intellectual advantage over me to make me feel even stupider than I already do. Like I said, it is humiliating. I can barely stand to log in to Facebook anymore, due to seeing that the Queen of Wink has scored yet one more Scrabble Bingo, while I can't even spell actual.

I did not walk for a very long distance today. I was not liking the humidity. I think the humidity was making my right knee hurt. Maybe I have arthritis that is acting up, due to what Elsie Hotpepper told me this afternoon, that being that we may be having a historically bad storm hitting North Texas in a few hours.

The maladies of getting ever more elderly really do get vexing after awhile. Reduced cerebral function manifesting itself in chronic typos. Failing body parts. Weakening vision. We won't talk about the other things that are in semi-fail mode.

I heard on the radio on my way to Veterans Park that I should have an Emergency Kit ready for an incoming emergency. I don't have an Emergency Kit ready. I do have flashlights strategically placed. I have a lantern I can find in the dark by using one of the strategically placed flashlights. I have a gas-powered cooking unit I can use to heat coffee and other essentials. I have water stored in several locations. I do not have much of a food supply. But, two grocery stores are within easy walking distance and could likely easily be looted if I get too hungry.

I am ready, Mother Nature. Hit me with your best shot.

I take that back. I just realized I sounded like George W. Bush telling the Iraqi insurgents to "Bring it on." I take it back, Mother Nature, I am not ready, please don't hit me with your best shot. Don't bring it on.

Rockin' Live On The Trinity River Inner Tube Happy Hour Concert Series Announced

I really truly believe it is time for some sort of federal intervention in this strange part of America I am currently living in.

A few minutes ago, my best friend, Anonymous, sent me a link to a story on the dfw.com website, titled "Inaugural 'Rockin' the River' concert series announced."

In the first sentence of the article the writer, Preston Jones, writes, "It's an idea so good, one wonders why nobody thought of it sooner."

The idea Preston Jones is talking about is, "Starting June 9, the Rockin' the River - Live on the Trinity summer tubing and music series will take place every second and fourth Thursday through the month of August. Trinity River Vision, the organizers, are billing the series as a "floating happy hour," with free admission and free tubes for the first 600 people to show up, starting at 4 p.m."

An idea so good, one wonders why nobody thought of it sooner?

Actually, it is an idea, so stupid, it is a wonder anyone thought of it now.

But, this is what you get when your local congresswoman puts her unqualified son in charge of a big public works project, when that son is very fond of partying and partial to adult beverages.

The Trinity River Vision is providing 600 free inner tubes. Do those getting the free inner tubes get to take them home with them? How much do 600 inner tubes cost? Is buying inner tubes what voters thought they were voting for back in 2004 when, apparently, a bond vote occurred which some claim is what has validated the TRV foolishness and folly which has evolved into massive Happy Hour Inner Tube Parties on the Trinity River?

Now with music.

The Trinty River Vision will even allow you to bring your own inner tube, along with booze coolers and lawn chairs to set on when you tire of floating in the polluted river.

Apparently the Trinity River Vision's vision has been expanded to include helping increase alcohol consumption. From the TRV's Rockin' the River poster we learn that if you "Want your Happy Hour to last all night long?! Wear your Rockin' the River wristband to a participating bar after the float and receive drink specials ALL NIGHT!!"

Starting June 9, Josh Weathers and the True+Endeavors, along with other Texas acts, will make beautiful music from a waterfront stage, serenading the happy hour floaters out in the river, dodging snakes, turtles, alligator gar, assorted toxins and occasional floating fecal matter.

Happy Hour floats will continue through the summer. Or until someone dies in an unfortunate, totally unforeseen accident. The Happy Hour floating dates are June 23 with Bleu Edmondson, July 14 with Eleven Hundred Springs, July 28 with Ryan Turner, August 11 with the Kyle Bennett Band and August 25 with The Will Callers.

Now, if there is a fatal tragedy, like what happened in the Fort Worth Water Gardens, who is it who will be sued? The Trinity River Vision? The City of Fort Worth? The Tarrant Regional Water District? All of them? Who will pay?

Ultimately You........

May 24 Anticipating Texas Tornado Thunderstorms Washington Hooters & Kirstie Alley Winning Dancing With The Stars

I'm up early on this 24th day of May, with only one week to go in the month, looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at the glowing cauldron of doom I call a hot tub.

According to the National Weather Service the conditions will be that today's storming could produce tornadoes.

The NWS says, "There's a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Some of today's storms could be severe as a strong upper-level disturbance comes into the area. The greatest threat will be hail, but the system could also spawn strong winds and tornadoes."

Something in the air is making my eyes slightly burn and water. I would have thought that yesterday's heavy duty storming, with almost 2 inches of rain, would have cleaned up the polluted local air, temporarily.

I was up unusually late last night, I think I was overstimulated by watching Kirstie Alley doing gymnastic routines, straining partner Maks's musculature to the limit, during her freestyle routine on last night's Dancing with the Stars finale.

My first couple hours of trying to sleep last night were interrupted by an amazing series of surreal nightmares. All I remember was waking up startled, over and over again.

Total change of subject from my nightmares to Hooters.

Before I moved to Texas I did not know that Hooters was an actual place with beer, hot wings and girls in hot pants. I thought Hooters was just a joke place that Al Bundy liked on Married With Children.

Well, imagine my surprise, this morning, when reading the Seattle P-I to learn that Washington spawned Hooters at some point in time after I moved to Texas. Apparently the Hooters have not done well in Washington. They have been closing without warning. Washington is now down to only 2 Hooters remaining. To get a Hooters hot wing, and view hot pants, you now have to go to Tacoma or Spokane.

I have yet to have been in a Hooters. I recollect the strip joint connoisseur, who calls himself Gar the Texan, wanting me to go to Hooters with him. I declined. The association in my mind with Al Bundy was just too strong. I'd not thought of it before, but Gar the Texan is very much like Al Bundy. Except for not being a shoe salesman or having a receding hairline.

Time to go swimming now before the incoming electric apocalypse.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Damaging Thunderstorm Is In The Forecast For North Texas Tuesday Night

According to the current forecast we will be having some more stormy weather this week in North Texas.

The forecast for tomorrow night is one I do not remember seeing before.

"A Damaging Thunderstorm."

Thunderstorms due damage with lightning strikes, hail, flooding, high winds.

And tornadoes.

This afternoon I watched, well, mostly listened to a YouTube video of about 5 minutes of utter terror in the dark inside a store in Joplin, Missouri, during yesterday's deadly tornado.

The guy who took the video had this to say...

"The video I took while at Fastrip on east 20th Street. We huddled in the back of the store until the glass got sucked out, then ran into the walk in storage fridge. Sorry for the lack of visuals but the audio is pretty telling of how intense the storm was. The tornado hits at around 1:20 seconds."

I don't believe I have ever heard anything like this before. I've seen video of a tornado before. But not of people in some enclosed space, when a tornado struck.

It is remarkable how calm these people were. It sounds as if there was a large number of them. You hear some crying. You hear some praying. You hear some guys keeping everyone calm. And at one point you hear a guy saying "I love you," over and over again. It was not as if he was saying "I love you" to one person, it was more "I love all of you."

This short video is sort of haunting, in a Blair With Project sort of way. It's got me a bit spooked about tomorrow's incoming damaging thunderstorm.

I don't know where my closest storage fridge safe place might be. Albertson's across the street?

Watch the video below and you'll be wondering where your closest storage fridge safe place is too....

A Special Letter From My Good Friend Kay Granger Clearing Up The Trinity River Vision Lack Of Clarity

Ever since I became friends with J.D. Granger I've also become friends with J.D.'s mom, Kay.

Kay Granger is Fort Worth's Congresswoman, representing the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy in the House of Representatives.

Yesterday I got a letter from my good friend, Kay, clarifying some questions I had regarding funding issues regarding the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Below is Kay's letter. And below that I continue with my pithy comments. If I can think of any....

May 20, 2011
Dear Friend,

Since coming to Congress I have worked on a prominent urban waterfront project called Trinity River Vision.  Recently, I have been asked questions about a funding issue regarding this project.  Please pass this on should you hear of anyone who needs clarification.

“The TRV Project has increased my water bill.”

Six years ago, the City of Fort Worth added a “Storm Water Fee” to the City water bill.  Not a single cent of that fee goes to the TRV project.  The fee is to make improvements to the drainage system throughout the entire city.

“How much money does the City of Fort Worth pay for the TRV Project?”

The City of Fort Worth committed $26.6 million to the Trinity River Vision project.  This amount has not changed since the start of this project – and is not expected to increase.  Of the City of Fort Worth’s $26.6 million contribution, $16 million has already been acquired through two bond elections.  The remaining amount committed by the City of Fort Worth has been budgeted within the city’s revenue fund, and does not compete with any street repairs or other initiatives.

“Is the TRV project funding Trolley Cars?”

Like the majority of Fort Worth’s inner city, the Trinity River Vision Uptown Plan has been designed with future mass transit in mind.  However, not a single dollar of the project cost is allocated to funding a trolley or street car line.

Trinity River Vision will bring 16,000 jobs to our community and add $1.1 billion to our tax base when it is completed.  It is important that you have all the facts.  As always, please continue to ask questions and I will make sure you have all the information.


Kay Granger


I found several things interesting in the letter from my friend, Kay.

Kay says, "Like the majority of Fort Worth’s inner city, the Trinity River Vision Uptown Plan has been designed with future mass transit in mind."

The majority of Fort Worth's inner city has been designed for something? Who knew? What a revelation. Who is it who designed Fort Worth's inner city with future mass transit in mind? And where can we see these things that have been designed?

Regarding funding for the TRV Boondoggle, Kay says, "Of the City of Fort Worth’s $26.6 million contribution, $16 million has already been acquired through two bond elections."


There have been bond elections relating to the TRV Boondoggle? The people of Fort Worth got to vote on this pet project of the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy? How did I miss two votes? I thought I paid fairly close attention to what goes on in these parts. How did I miss 2 bond elections which related to the TRV Boondoggle?

So, went to the go to person for such questions, Clyde Picht.

Mr. Picht told me, "There was $4.5 million in the 2004 bond program and $22.2 million in the 2008 bond program. In 2008, $12 million was for 7th St bridge and $10.2 million was for TRV bridges. Total cost of TRV expected to be $86 million with remainder from Federal grants. The 2004 TRV proposition is the one that proponents said indicated public support for the whole TRV project."

So. These were not actually votes on the TRV Boondoggle. And, a vote in 2004, on a bond program worth only $4.5 million, is the vote that TRVB proponents cite as indicating the Fort Worth public's support for the almost $1 billion Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Apparently I missed the connection between these two bond votes and the TRVB. I suspect I was not the only one who missed the connection, even if I am more dense than most.

My good friend Kay says since coming to Congress she has worked on a prominent urban waterfront project called Trinity River Vision.

Kay came to Congress in 1997. The Trinity River Vision did not exist in 1997. When it was born it was called something like Trinity Uptown. The vision came along sometime in the following century.

Is it Kay who started the Trinity Uptown/Trinity River Vision Boondoggle project? Started the project as soon as she got to Congress in 1997? And then, a couple years later, the project she had been working on, gets introduced to the Fort Worth public?

Was this Kay's master plan from the start? A designed to grow ever-bigger, massive, federally funded public works project to build a little lake, take down some perfectly good levees, build an un-needed flood diversion channel plus a wakeboard lake so the people of Fort Worth can finally take up wakeboarding.

And, most importantly, to give her unqualified son, J.D., a job managing Kay's public works project.

At one point in time, the vision included some canals and real cool designer bridges, which are now pedestrian bridges (by pedestrian I mean ordinary, not foot traffic only)?

Among the many things about the TRVB that has perplexed me is this. How is it that as the TRVB project grows more expensive it loses more and more of what was originally sold to the public as the Trinity River Vision?

Like those canals? And those cool designer bridges. Somehow, we went from something possibly unique, to the world's premiere wakeboard lake and 80,000 magic trees in Gateway Park designed to save Arlington from flooding. According to J.D.

It is all perplexing. Including this perplexing letter from my good friend, Kay.

Egrets I've Had A Few But Then Again Too Few To Mention Today At Fosdic Lake

This morning's storm lasted a couple hours. Some areas of the D/FW Metroplex were hit with hail an inch in diameter. The hail that hit me was not nearly that big.

I don't know how many inches of rain fell. I do know when I drove to Target, near the end of the storm, there was a lot of water on the road.

By 12:30 the skies had brightened. So, I drove to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake.

A lot of other people had the same idea. There was a guy practicing his golfing, a couple guys fishing, lots of walkers.

And the birds seemed in some sort of celebratory mood. I suspect wild storms are difficult moments in bird world. And they are very happy when the storm ends.

Usually the Fosdic Lake birds and turtles are quite skittish. Particularly the turtles.

But, today the ducks did not quickly duck for underwater cover as soon as I neared them. A flock of pigeons continued sitting on the ground, as I walked by them.

And the turtles stayed on their logs.

The oddest of the bird behavior was the egret you see above, on the Fosdic Lake paved trail. I thought as soon as I turned the camera  on it would fly away.

Instead the egret performed some sort of egret dance for me.

The egret did not seem to care in the slightest that I was getting so close. I think I could have reached out and petted the pretty white bird.

And then there was Fosdic Falls and Fosdic Creek. I'd not seen Fosdic Falls falling so much water before. I don't think I'd been in this location so soon after a big rainstorm.

So, that has been my exciting day so far. Swimming pre-storm, surviving yet another wild Texas storm. Followed by following an egret around Fosdic Lake.

And now it is time for lunch.

Monday Morning Thunderstorm With Hail & A Lot Of Rain Keeps Me Housebound In Texas

Around half past 10 this morning we started storming here in my zone of Texas. Thunder in the distance quickly got closer.

Then the rain started.

Now we are being pounded by hail. The hail is hitting the windows hard. Like rocks.

In the picture you are not looking at hail. Those are big raindrops, coming down in downpour mode, taken from my patio, with my camera under my handy Popabrella rain/sun protection device.

I made the Popabrella website several years ago. You can order your very own Popabrella from the website.

It is very dark now, the rain is still pouring. Not being hit by hail, currently. The rumbling thunder seems to be growing more distant. The eerie darkness is making me nervous.

What happened in Joplin, Missouri yesterday, reinforces, yet again, how deadly and destructive a tornado can be.

Some think the metal of trailer parks attracts tornadoes. If metal attracts tornadoes, that big metal structure about 7 miles east of my location, the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, is like a trailer park on steroids.

I suspect there will be no Tandy Hills hiking for me today. I did get in my morning swim. It was pleasant.

A Humid Monday Morning In May Grumbling That Fort Worth Has Too Many Farmer's Markets

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell you can sort of tell I am up early this Monday May morning.

Early in the evening, before it got dark, I enjoyed sitting outside watching lightning light up the clouds and counting the seconds before I heard thunder. The lightning slowly crept closer and closer.

And then the rain came.

I enjoyed the cooling drops for awhile, until there were too many dropping at once. And so I retreated back under cover.

I think that rain last night has amped up the humidity more than its already way too amped up state of stickiness.

Change of subject from being too humid to where it rains a lot.

This morning, reading the Seattle P-I, I was surprised to learn Seattle suffers from a problem Fort Worth also suffers from.

That being a glut of farmer's market. Last summer Seattle had 19 farmer's markets, in addition to the farmer's market on steroids known as Pike Place Market.

I don't know how many farmer's markets make up Fort Worth's farmer's market glut.

The picture of blackberries and blueberries is from the Seattle P-I article titled, "Grumbles that Seattle has too many farmers markets."

I sort of miss fresh blackberries and blueberries. I had 2 big blueberry bushes on my rooftop deck in Washington. And blackberries growing in the woods behind my house.

I guess I could go to one of  the many Fort Worth farmer's markets today and try and find myself some fresh blackberries and blueberries.

In the meantime, I am going swimming.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Smoggy Sunday Skyline Of Beautiful Downtown Fort Worth From The Top Of Mount Tandy

The plan, when I left my abode at noon, was to go to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake and feed the ducks.

I figured the Tandy Hills had not dried out from our most recent deluge.

As I drove towards Fosdic Lake and the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth came into view, I was surprised by how smoggy the view was.

I'd been oblivious to the state of today's Fort Worth air, til I saw the FW skyline through a thick haze and then looked in the other directions, where I could see into the horizon, and saw a thick foggy smog had descended over the D/FW Metroplex.

I decided I wanted to take a picture of the Fort Worth skyline. That required going to the top of Mount Tandy. I figured I'd take my picture and try to hike, but if it was muddy, I'd go back the short distance to Fosdic Lake.

Well, the Tandy Trails turned out to be dry. So I got in some good, salubrious, aerobicizing hiking.

Due to the humidity and the temperature nearing the 90 zone, by the time I was done I was a totally wet mess. Wettest mess I ever recollect getting whilst hiking on the Tandy Hills.

I am ready for this ultra-humidity to go away.

Although, the ultra-humid wet wool blanket type air does make getting in the pool very refreshing.

Not A Sunny Sunday This May 22 With Incoming Severe Thunderstorms

Looking up, while retrieving my swimming suit this Sunday morning, it appears we are currently under a somewhat stormy sky.

A stormy sky fits with the forecast for this first post Rapture 2011 day.

Severe thunderstorms are scheduled for this afternoon.

We need a return to a cloud-free blue sky and HEAT to get rid of this awful humidity that renders me sticky way too easily.

I think it is time to go de-humidify myself via swimming.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nine Months After Tropical Storm Hermine Flooded The Trinity River Fort Worth's Gateway Park Trails Are Still Closed

I do not think I'd been in Gateway Park, in 2011, til today.

My last time in Gateway Park may have been in October of 2010, when I pedaled my bike past the Trail Closed/Do Not Enter signs to see why the trail was closed.

The Gateway Park trails were damaged by the flooding Trinity River, swollen due to Tropical Storm Hermine, way back in September of 2010.

I was surprised when I pulled into the Gateway Park parking lot, 9 months after Tropical Storm Hermine, to see the trail still barricaded, with a "TRAIL IS CLOSED TEMPORARILY FOR MAINTENANCE DO NOT ENTER" sign.

Well, I was in a scofflaw sort of mood, so I entered.

When I pedaled my bike in to see what was closing the trail, way back in October of last year, the damaged parts of the trail were blocked by logs laid across the trail. It was not much of a barrier. Now, 9 months later, I guess as part of the extensive maintenance project, chain link fence blocks off the damaged areas. As you can see, in the picture, it is very easy to go around the area where the rampaging river has eroded the river bank right up to the trail.

Above is another section of the trail, damaged, blocked off by chain link fence. And easy to get around.

Above we see a section of the Gateway Park trail that is not part of the Tropical Storm Hermine damage. This area was damaged and repaired years ago. Note how easy that repair is. Simply lay some new sidewalk  on the non-river side of the trail.

So, 9 months later, why has this not been done to the Tropical Storm Hermine damaged areas? And, in the previously repaired section, why has the chain link fence not been taken down and the old section of sidewalk removed?

How much did all that chain link fence cost, plus the labor to install it? As opposed to the cost of installing a new replacement trail?

There seems to be a pattern with Fort Worth's parks. When a Fort Worth park has a problem, the city puts chain link fence around the problem, like what's been done to downtown Fort Worth's Heritage Park.

And calls it "MAINTENANCE."

What The Frack Is Going On With My Water On Fire Tonight?

This morning Miss Sarah R sent me a link to an amusing YouTube musical video about America's fracking epidemic.

I get an email when someone makes a comment about one of my YouTube videos. This morning I got a comment about the video I made about the Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale fracking operation by the Tandy Hills and Carter Avenue.

Lately I've noticed that the comments about that video have not been of the Chesapeake Energy shill sort, telling me I'm a moronic, clueless idiot. Instead, for some time now, more of the comments are of the feeling the pain of the fracking sort.

The YouTube video below is also of the feeling the pain of fracking sort....

An Early Texas Saturday Waiting For The Rapture While Wondering How A City Gives A Right Arm & Other Moncrief Nonsense

I am up early this Saturday morning of May 21, looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at what looks like a cauldron.

So far I have heard no news of the Rolling Rapture of 2011. No earthquakes. No reports of Christians flying skyward.

But I did learn in the Seattle P-I this morning that Rapture 2011 has sparked a lot of End of Earth parties.

When May 22 arrives on schedule tomorrow, what do all those people who spent their life savings buying all those billboards do after their erroneous beliefs are shattered?

Speaking of erroneous beliefs.

This morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram had another article about the plan to finally put a square in Sundance Square.

According to the article, "For years, downtown leaders have wanted to create a plaza, or square, to host events and gatherings."

So? What has stopped those downtown leaders from turning some of those downtown parking lots into a square for all these years?

And then, in a paragraph which has the words "Mayor Moncrief said" without making clear, with quotation marks, what he actually said, the article said this...

"That need became even more evident when ESPN set up its broadcast center during Super Bowl XLV in February on the very lots that Sundance Square wants to transform, Mayor Mike Moncrief said. Those events drew thousands of people downtown."

I added the quotation marks you see at the start and end of the above paragraph.

So, the need for a plaza became apparent after the ESPN debacle where ESPN set up a broadcast center on one of the parking lots, and then retreated when it got really cold and snow arrived. It has only been a few months since this occurred. And yet the Star-Telegram is re-writing history to suit its propaganda. The ESPN "events" only drew people to downtown Fort Worth on the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Because it was too COLD on the previous days.

In reference to the downtown Fort Worth parking lots and the dream to turn them into a real square, the Star-Telegram quoted Fort Worth's goofy mayor, again, and this time put what he said in quotation marks.

"A lot of cities would give their right arm to have what we have and will have," Moncrief said.

A lot of cities would give their right arm to have what Fort Worth has? And will have? Give up their right arm to have surface parking lots at the heart of their downtown that will become a square/plaza?

I think it'd be more accurate to say a lot of cities, with a population over 500,000, would be embarrassed that their downtown is so undeveloped that is has acres of surface parking lots at the heart of its downtown.

This downtown square propaganda is reminding me way too much of the downtown Fort Worth and Fort Worth Star-Telegram propaganda about the pathetic Santa Fe Rail Market boondoggle. Sold as the first public market in Texas, modeled after public markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market, the reality turned out to be lamer than a small town mall's food court.

This morning's article about the downtown plaza, that other cities would lose an arm to have, also said, "Fort Worth's Bass family developed Sundance Square."

How does one family develop a town's downtown? That is sort of bizarre.

Then again, in this week's Fort Worth Weekly, I read about the Bass Machine's secretive project to replace the elderly Will Rogers Coliseum. Apparently an attempt was made to get a bill passed that would have raised the tax rate on downtown Fort Worth hotels. Somehow this was to finance the construction of the new arena.

But, somehow the shady Bass Machine operation came to light and the bill was pulled. There is talk of having an actual bond election where the citizens of Fort Worth would actually be allowed to vote on this project. But so far, The Bass Machine is providing no details of their latest development.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Walking With The Ghosts Along Arlington's Humid Village Creek Wildflowers

Til today, I had had no aerobic activity of the hiking sort since Tuesday.

I could not go swimming this morning due to the pool being shocked with chemicals.

Rain fell this morning, ruling out the Tandy Hills.

By noon I could take being cooped up no longer, so I took off to the Village Creek Natural Historic Area in Arlington.

The humidity was high before the rain. The humidity went super high after the rain. It was very windy whilst walking under the trees of Village Creek. The wind caused blobs of water to fall from the trees. That was a bit refreshing.

I like being outside when it is hot. I do not like being outside when it is humid.

I did not walk for long. Maybe 2 miles, tops. But, I feel better now, even though I don't think I aerobicized enough to generate any endorphin activity.

The Village Creek wildflowers, in the Village Creek Wildflower Area, were being much more colorful today than the last time I was in this area.

When I tried to take a close up picture of the bright red flower, in macro mode, I could not get a clear picture. So, I gave up and walked away, thinking something had gone wrong with my camera.

Then, as I walked away I remembered the first pictures I took of the Wildflower Area had been in zoom mode, which renders macro mode not macro-ing correctly.

So, I walked back to the Wildflower Area, got down on the ground and this time managed to take a clear picture of the bright red wildflower.

Lately I think I'm being distracted, without realizing it. I seem to be making dumb mistakes, like today's with the camera, with disturbing frequency.

The Day Before Rapture 2011 In Texas With No Pool No Hiking & No Sundance Square

In the picture you are looking at my view of the world from my prone position, still in bed, this morning of May 20, one day before Rapture 2011.

Tomorrow, according to experts in the field of end of world predictions, around 200 million select Christians will disappear, while Planet Earth is rocked by a humongous earthquake.

One horrible disaster after another will follow in the ensuing months before Planet Earth meets its final doom in a calamitous fire on October 21.

According to the Rapture 2011 spokesman, John Dekruyff, tomorrow's Rapture will be what is known as a "Rolling Rapture." Gradually moving through the time zones, with the Rapture beginning at the international date line, then moving westward, with the first major landmass to be Raptured being New Zealand.

The international date line had not been invented at the time the Bible was invented, so how did the Rapture 2011 experts make this particular determination, I can't help but wonder?

As we can clearly see on one of the hundreds of billboards dotting the American landscape, the Bible guarantees Judgment Day May 21. And suggests we "Cry Mightily unto God."

And now on to equally goofy, but totally secular news.

In this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram I learned that a park-like plaza has long been part of the Sundance Square Master Plan.

There has been a long term plan to put a plaza in the square?

I have long opined that it is very goofy to call Fort Worth's downtown "Sundance Square." When there is no square.

When I was first in Fort Worth and saw the signs pointing to Sundance Square I found it confusing. Where was the square? Eventually I decided Sundance Square was the collection of parking lots at the heart of Fort Worth's downtown.

Very few big cities are able to have big downtown parking lots, because downtown real estate is so valuable. Fort Worth is very exceptional. Those big parking lots are just one of the many reasons Fort Worth is the Envy of the Nation.

An interesting tidbit from this morning's revelation about the incoming plaza was this, "Sundance Square is considering constructing two to three buildings as part of its long-planned central plaza project in the heart of its popular downtown entertainment, residential, office and shopping district."

First off, the dullest big city downtown I have ever seen is not popular. There are very few people residing in this dull downtown. Which is why there are no grocery stores in downtown Fort Worth.

Fort Worth is the only city in America, with a population over 500,000, with not a single downtown department store.

No, Macys. No Nordstroms. No Neiman-Marcus. Not even a Sears or a Penneys. Or a Target. Not even a Wal-Mart.

Are you able to detect that it annoys me when the Star-Telegram does its usual propaganda regarding something to do with Fort Worth? When the Star-Telegram misleads the locals into thinking downtown Fort Worth is a dynamic, popular, bustling zone, it does a disservice to the locals.

What does a local think when they visit the downtown of a city which actually does have a popular downtown entertainment, residential, office and shopping district?

Why does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not put in some effort into determining why downtown Fort Worth is the only city in America with a population over 500,000 with no downtown grocery store or department store?

And yes, I do know, now, that Sundance Square is the name given the downtown Fort Worth re-development project. I shudder to wonder what downtown Fort Worth was like before this re-development.

I really think the Fort Worth Ruling Oligarchy needs to change the Sundance Square misnomer to something else. Or actually build that plaza, rather than study the feasibility of doing so, and call that new plaza Sundance Square, and end the confusion of the out of area tourists who visit downtown Fort Worth and can't figure out where Sundance Square is.

Yes, I realize that downtown Fort Worth does not attract very many out of area tourists, but, still, it would be a good idea to not be confusing to those few who do visit Fort Worth's downtown, who find themselves wasting time looking for the mysterious, non-existent Sundance Square.

Can you tell I am cranky this morning? I can't go swimming this morning because my pool got its first chemical shock of the year, yesterday, late in the afternoon. I have had no salubrious, endorphin producing hiking activity for 2 days. Wednesday due to being stuck up in Hurst, Thursday due to a doctor visit.

I may not get in any salubrious, endorphin producing hiking activity today, due to the likelihood of incoming thunderstorms.

My crankiness is likely going to be increasing exponentially.