Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Snake In The Lake Before Going To Arlington's Sweet Tomatoes

I was running early on my way to Sweet Tomatoes in Arlington, so I stopped at Veterans Park in Arlington to sit on a bench under the shade of a tree to gaze out at the turtles on the Veterans Park Pond.

I was doing some phone talking whilst doing my pond gazing when I said to the person I was doing some phone talking to that something long was coming across the pond towards me.

The person I was doing some phone talking with told me I should get off the phone and get out of the incoming gator's way.

So, I hung up and turned on my camera. Soon it became obvious I was looking at a water snake of some sort, a big one, swimming across the pond, towards me.

The snake swam up to the log the turtles like to sit on and then disappeared. I stood at water's edge waiting for a reappearance, but that did not happen.

So, I turned off the camera and got back on the phone for some more phone talking.

I must make note of the fact that every day since Gar the Nerd sent out his dire "Unpleasant Warning" about an incoming snake invasion, I have had a snake encounter of one sort or another.

After surviving yet one more snake encounter it was on to Sweet Tomatoes. I am currently feeling very well nutrified. I do not believe I have been to Sweet Tomatoes since the Queen of Wink and Princess Annie took me there.

Both CatsPaw and Elsie Hotpepper informed me today that a Sweet Tomatoes will be opening soon in Fort Worth, on 7th Avenue, across from the newly opened In 'N Out Burger joint.

CatsPaw also asked me if I'd been to Souper Salad and how it compared to Sweet Tomatoes. Well, I really like Sweet Tomatoes and have been there many times. I have only been to Souper Salad once.

Up Way Before The Sun On The Last Day Of August Looking For Sweet Tomatoes At Noon

I am up way before the sun looking through the bars of my patio prison cell on this last day of August of 2011.

It is about a half hour before the sun arrives and already it is 87.6 degrees in the outer world in my vicinity, heading to a scheduled high of 101 today.

If the weather forecast is correct, today will be the last 100 degree day in the current string of 100 degree or HOTTER days.

By Monday the high level low, which begins arriving tomorrow, will have us chilled to a high of 92.

I did not go swimming yesterday morning due to Tuesday is the day the pool gets its weekly treatment so that it can be chemically crystal clear. This morning if the sun ever shows up to provide some illumination, I am going swimming.

In the noon time frame I am scheduled to go to Arlington to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. I have not been to Sweet Tomatoes for a long time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fort Worth Being Picked As High Tech Capital Of The Planet Causes World-Wide Green With Envy Epidemic

I think I have mentioned previously being amused by the difference in how some types of news is covered by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and my favorite newspaper when I lived in Washington, that being the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

For instance, no matter what accolade might come Seattle's way you would never read in the P-I that cities and town, big and small, far and wide, were green with envy because of some particular accolade tossed Seattle's way.

Or because a country music singer, few have heard of, has moved to town.

In Fort Worth, on the rare occasions an accolade is tossed at the city, the local newspaper of record will trumpet the alleged epidemic of jealousy that ensues and, at least once, cheered as the city had a city-wide celebration, when a bogus D.C. lobbying group picked Fort Worth for some sort of Most Livable City accolade.

So, today, in the P-I, there was a short article, definitely not trumpeted, titled "Where does Seattle rank among the top cities for tech?"

The first paragraph of the article says "We Seattleites love to be included on lists."

The 3rd paragraph says, "Today we’ve got not one, not two, but three lists that rank the top cities for technology."

No mention made of at what position Seattle ranked on these lists. Or even if Seattle was on any of the lists. You had to click on the gallery of photos to find out.

The first list was from Wired Magazine ranking the Top 10 Cities by tech-friendliness.

I have no clear idea what tech-friendliness is. Wired did not rank the towns in any particular order, but you could go to the Wired Magazine website and see all the criteria that went into putting a town on the list.

The Wired Magazine list was the only one with a Texas town on it. Austin.

The second list was from Forbes, ranking cities on their Internet access via various criteria, like rate of broadband adoption. The list started at #10, which was Baltimore, then worked its way past New York City, Denver, Miami, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Atlanta and others, til I got to Seattle in the #1 spot.

The third list was from Scientific American, which used other lists listing towns by tech criteria and made a hybrid list of America's Top 10 towns in terms of overall technology performance. On this list #10 was Pittsburgh, followed by towns like Minneapolis, New York City, again, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., again. And Seattle, again, in the #1 spot.

Now, I can not help but wonder how the Fort Worth Star Telegram article on this same subject would be different than the P-I article if it were technologically hapless Fort Worth that showed up in the #1 spot on such lists?

I can guess what the banner headline on that shrinking newspaper's front page might be...

Fort Worth Being Picked As High Tech Capital Of The Planet
Causes World-Wide Green With Envy Epidemic

Gar The Nerd's Unpleasant Warning Caused A Big Snake Encounter On The Tandy Hills Today

Yesterday Gar the Nerd sent out an unpleasant warning about the heightened danger of poisonous snake encounters in these drought troubled times in Texas.

When I first experienced the Texas outdoors I was very skittish with snake concerns. Over the years I've lost that skittishness.

There was a point in time, long ago, that a random root on a trail could cause the flight response.

I'd been Texasified long enough by 2002 that a large rattlesnake encounter on the Cedar Hills State Park DORBA mountain bike trail did not bother me. Too much.


Today I was back on the pleasantly temperatured, windy Tandy Hills, walking through the dehydrating Tandy Jungle, when I saw what, for a second or two, I thought was a very big snake.

I think the snake stick may be the latest work of the Tandy Hills Guerrilla Artist.

Today I took self-anointed botany expert, Mr. Ed, with me to the Tandy Hills. Mr. Ed is a bit of a know-it-all. Not as bad as the aforementioned Gar the Nerd, but, still quite a know-it-all.

Well, Mr. Ed determined that the trees with dead leaves are not the trees with dead leaves of the normal fall season falling leaves type. Mr. Ed claims the trees along ridges do not have as much access to underground water as foliage growing in ravines and along creek beds. And so they are dying. Or going dormant.

Is Mother Nature's Great North Texas Drought and record breaking temperatures getting rid of some vegetation on the Tandy Hills that is not native to the prairie? I have no idea. I'm not a botanist. Nor to I pretend to be one on the Internet.

Taking A Look At My New Chesapeake Energy Neighbor

You are sitting with me in my vehicle, in the Albertson's parking lot, looking north through my windshield at the Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas Drilling Operation that is my newest neighbor.

You can not see Albertson's, but it is to the left. The brick building on the right, that you can see, is the Super Bowl Buffet, directly across Boca Raton Boulevard from the Chesapeake operation.

It seems like just a few weeks ago I began to see activity on the old Wal-Mart site, and hoped it was going to be an ALDI Food Market being built, then a short time later seeing a Chesapeake sign announcing their request for a restriction waiver.

I remember when this Barnett Shale gas drilling first started happening, it was in the rural zone north of Fort Worth. I remember reading of complaints about noise and dust from people living near the drilling. I remember driving by my old abode, in Haslet, and being surprised to see a drilling operation underway, on the ranch that was on the Fort Worth side of the road, across from my former abode.

I remember thinking that I was glad I no longer lived there. How ironic that all these years later I have two Chesapeake operations closer to me than the one where I lived in Haslet.

Back then the rules were that the drilling had to be 800 feet from the nearest abode. That distance shrank over the years. Now it appears to be less than 100 feet, judging by my new neighbor. Actually I think the Super Bowl Buffet is closer than 100 feet from the big brown wall.

Are those big walls what is causing the corrupt powers that be to grant restriction waivers? My first Chesapeake neighbor, which is actually closer to my abode than the new one, did not put up a barrier wall when that operation was underway. It was very noisy and dusty.

I wonder if I'm going to be hearing noise from my newest neighbor. I have that Chesapeake wall as a buffer, plus several buildings to block the noise. I am sure you will hear me whine about it if I starting hearing high-pitched metallic whining noises. Again.

The Next To Last Day Of August May Be The Next To Last Day Over 100 For The Year

I am outside looking down at the ground getting irrigated on this next to last day of August.

The ongoing Great North Texas Drought brought on water restrictions in Tarrant County starting yesterday.

I thought the sprinklers that are currently sprinkling were not supposed to be sprinkling today.

I read in the Star-Telegram this morning that the gas drillers may also be put on water restriction, even though that particular industry claims the millions of gallons of water used to frack each well is just a teeny percentage of the overall water consumed in these parched parts of the planet.

The town of Grand Prairie is not allowing its water to be used for fracking during the drought. So, Chesapeake Energy trucked water to a Grand Prairie drilling site from Arlington. Apparently this is not allowed. Chesapeake feigned innocence in the matter and supposedly will be fined for this latest bad Chesapeake behavior.

Meanwhile, apparently we will be getting a break from Mother Nature's ongoing bad behavior. Starting Thursday or Friday an upper level low should be replacing the upper level high that has been stuck over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex all summer long.

This incoming upper level low will knock the temperature under 100 and possibly bring some rain.

Monday, at 102 degrees, as measured at the official measuring station at D/FW Airport, was the 63rd day of 100 degrees or more for 2011. The record is 69 days, set in 1980. Tomorrow may be our last 100 degree day of the year.

Unless that pesky upper level high returns.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I've Got Me A Banjo Strumming Giraffe Mulling Asparagus Eating Gourmet Nephew

I thought my having a young nephew days were long behind me.

And that I would never have a niece.

As I often am, I was wrong about never having a niece. Or another nephew. Or two.

I currently have two new nephews and a niece. David Jay, Theo John and Ruby Jean.

That is David in the picture, recently at Woodland Park Zoo, in Seattle, where he met his first giraffe.

Today David's mom, my sister, told me a very amusing David story. I told my sister we must start getting video documentation of my new nephews and niece.

Below is my sister's tale about David.....

David has taken to watching videos most nights while we put the babies to bed. A few days ago, I introduced a Sesame Street one called Elmo’s favorite country songs or something like that.  Anyhow, one of the first scenes is a guy playing (Stephen Foster's) "Oh Susanna," on his banjo.  David then turned every possible toy into a banjo. So yesterday, I took him to a toy store and he marched up to the counter and asked if they had banjos. Sure did. He was so happy. He has been carrying it everywhere since, strumming on it and singing, "Now Don’t You Cry For Me, I’m Going To Alabama With A Banjo On My Knee."  Except he says “Alabanjo” instead of Alabama. It is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. His thumb, that he strums with, got a blister which popped yesterday. My son has a banjo related injury.  On top of that, he picked out lemon yogurt at the store yesterday and dipped his grilled asparagus in it at dinner. The kid kills me!!!!

I really need to meet my new nephews and niece. I am a great uncle. In more ways than one.

Hiking Amongst The Dying Trees Of The Tandy Hills Thinking About Gar The Nerd's Unpleasant Warning About Snakes

This morning a little rain fell. That stopped falling before I was swimming, so there was no swimming in the rain this morning.

By the time the time of the day arrived for my daily aerobic stimulation it was only 90.3 degrees and windy.

So, I decided to drive to the top of Mount Tandy and do a full Tandy Hills Hike. Something I've not done in quite some time.

The full Tandy Hills Hike had me seeing the full Tandy Hills, for the first time in awhile, and what I saw surprised me.

The prairie appears to be under severe drought stress. A lot of the leaves on a lot of the trees have taken on fall foliage color mode. But, I think the leaves have died from lack of water, not their usual leaf shedding cycle. I hope this does not bode ill for a lot of dead trees not able to survive the drought.

This morning Gar the Nerd, formerly known as Gar the Texan, emailed me with the subject line being "An Unpleasant Warning."

With the first line of the email being "Something you might be able to use on your Weather Blog :)."

I was a little confused about the reference to my Weather Blog, but then I remembered an odd blogging Gar the Nerd wrote on his blog, about my blog, where Gar the Nerd said I post 70 - 90 times a day, with about 90% of the bloggings having to do with the temperature.

This was a bizarre exaggeration by Gar the Nerd. It is never more than 50 bloggings a day, with rarely more than half of them being about the temperature.

You can read Gar the Nerd's Readerless Ramblings by going here, where you get to read Gar the Nerd tell you all about minute minutia in Gar the Nerd's world. It is really quite fascinating and the temperature is very rarely mentioned.

Speaking of the temperature and the drought, it is currently only 101.1, coming up on 4 in the afternoon. And still a bit windy, but not windy enough for a wind chill factor to make that 101.1 feel cooler. Instead the heat index's humidity is making it feel like 104. Again.

I forgot to mention what Gar the Nerd's Unpleasant Warning was.

Well, apparently the aforementioned drought has the snake population of Texas starving and thirsty. Snake experts expect an explosive invasion of snakes in places they usually tend not to visit.

Like backyards and swimming pools. Starting in late August (which is now) and September.

The 4 most common types of venomous Texas snakes you might have show up at your door or backyard are Rattlesnakes, Texas Coral Snakes, Copperheads and Cottonmouths.

Cottonmouths are also known as Water Moccasins. That'd be the type snake you might find yourself swimming with.

Tarrant County Water Restrictions In Effect Last Monday Of August While Raindrops Hit Me This Morning

When I stepped outside in to the early morning air, heated to 89 degrees HOT, to look through the bars on my patio prison cell at the pool waiting for me below, on this last Monday of August of 2011, I was surprised to find myself getting splatted by a few big drops of warm rain.

Being partly cloudy is on the weather menu, but precipitation is not scheduled as a possibility until Thursday, so I don't know where this morning's hint of wetness came from.

Speaking of wetness, this morning Tarrant County Stage 1 Drought Watering Restrictions take effect. Apparently signs and banners will start popping up around the county telling water users that they'd better learn which 2 days of the week they can use their sprinklers.

I do not know what Chesapeake Energy and all the other gas drillers are going to do for fracking water now that the drought has reached this serious level.

I do know my swimming pool is still full of water which I am going to immerse myself in right about now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bi-Pedaling The River Legacy Park Mountain Bike Trail The Last Sunday Of August

I decided to take an unusually long roadtrip this fine last Sunday of August and drive 9 miles to River Legacy Park in Arlington.

It was slightly over 100 degrees when I left air-conditioned comfort around noon. It is almost 108 now, 3 hours later.

I had not been to River Legacy Park for almost 10 months. Not since 4 days before my mountain bike was stolen in a brazen act of personal, to me, terrorism.

After my bike was stolen I quickly rationalized this was maybe a good thing, due to the fact that on that last bike ride at River Legacy Park I had what is currently my last bike wreck.

It was a minor bike wreck, but I think it wrenched my right foot, creating a malady that still slightly maladizes me, 10 months later.

The older one gets the harder it is to recover from injuries. My worst bike wreck, ever, occurred on the DORBA Trail at Cedar Hills State Park. On a steep downhill the front brake cable broke. This caused an instant burst of speed that had me crashing. There was some blood and gore and a miserable walk back to the trailhead that followed that wreck.

On August 11, 2004 I survived my ex-wife talking me into rollerblading while she rode her bike in a park and through her neighborhood in Kent, Washington. In the park I found myself blading down the steepest hill I'd ever bladed on. It was a scary miracle that I did not crash.

One week after this near death experience I was back in Texas, roller blading on the paved trail at Village Creek Natural Historic Area, when a snake caused me to mis-focus my attention, which had me crashing. The skin was ripped off the left side of my butt, leaving a big, bloody mess and later a huge black bruise.

I swore off roller blading after that fall, for a long time, and only bladed a few more times before deciding it was not worth the risk of having to recover from another catastrophic fall.

Today, walking the River Legacy Park mountain bike trail it did make me feel a bit nostalgic for the good ol' days when I had fun in that location. The trail looked a bit treacherous in places, due to being broken up, due to the drought, but other than that, the trails are in great shape.

A lot of well done signage has been added to the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails, helping let bikers and hikers know the correct direction to go on the one-way trails.

It was so peaceful today in the heavily wooded, shaded zones of the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails. Very quiet, except for the rustling of leaves. I saw no herds of wild boars, no snakes, no armadillos, not even a squirrel.

One thing I did make note of today is the fact that if I were hiking up in Washingtion today, up on any random Cascade Mountain trail, I would be covered with bug spray and still spend a lot of energy swatting at biting flies of various types. In Texas, today, I interfaced with absolutely zero flying, biting insects.

Til I got to Wal-Mart....

The Last Sunny Sunday of August Will Be HOT With Not HOT On The Horizon

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the world you can sort of tell I am up well after the sun on this last sunny Sunday of August, Day 28.

There is a little cloud action in the sky. Is Hurricane Irene spewing clouds this far to the west? I have no idea.

We are already heated to 86.2 degrees HOT this morning, heading to a predicted high, again, of 104.

But, there is relief on the horizon.

As you can see, above, starting Wednesday our scheduled high, in North Texas, is 99, with partial cloudiness, with a chance of precipitation, with that partial cloudiness turning to a chance of a thunderstorm on Friday and again on Saturday, with Saturday's scheduled high being a relatively chilly 95.

Before it starts getting cold I guess I should go enjoy swimming in a HOT pool while I can.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The HOT Thrill Of Walking The New Road Down Mount Tandy Before Finding Strawberry/Rhubarb Yogurt At Town Talk

It was not 100 degrees or higher when I left my air-conditioned abode for my daily mid-day constitutional, so I decided to go to the Tandy Hills, which I've said I would not subject myself to, for the most part, until the temperatures become more reasonable.

It has been several weeks since I've been to the top of Mount Tandy. Upon arrival I could see that there had been some vehicular traffic on the road/trail that runs down Tandy Mountain to the Tandy Highway.

Well, imagine my easily surprised surprise when I saw that a new road has been forked off the road/trail down Mount Tandy.

The new road/trail leaves the Main Mount Tandy road/trail near the top and heads south, eventually joining the existing trail prior to it reaching the Tandy Highway.

The two creek crossings have been made passable, again. Other than that I did not see many results of this new activity on the Tandy Hills.

I sort of like the new way down Mount Tandy.

I was not on the hills too long before it was time to head to Town Talk where I had an adventure with a German lady involving trying to release cases of strawberry/rhubarb yogurt from the boxes of yogurt piled on top of the flavor we sought.

Town Talk was very busy today. I think all the positive word of mouth and the advertising, of late, in FW Weekly, may be bringing in new shoppers.

CatsPaw Is Taking Me To Rustic Creek Ranch To Stay In An Intimate Cottage With Yogi Bear

CatsPaw has been getting me to do things in the past month or two that I don't think I would have been doing without CatsPaw's instigation.

Things like helping make a delivery of toilet paper.

Or agreeing to walk with the dead folk at Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.

And then yesterday CatsPaw talked me into going to some place down in the Burleson zone, at the southwest edge of the D/FW Metroplex, called Rustic Creek Ranch.

Apparently Rustic Creek Ranch has 248 full service RV sites, 2 resort size swimming pools, 4 recreation buildings (where you can play candy bar bingo, sing karaoke and other stuff), or stay in one of 37 intimate cottages, where Yogi Bear would love to come and visit, or just to tuck us in to bed.

According to the Rustic Creek Ranch promotional literature, all this takes place on "69 acres of pure Texas soil."

As opposed to impure Texas soil?

I don't know what makes a cabin "intimate." It should be interesting to find out, and see what level of effort Yogi Bear goes to to help achieve the desired level of intimacy.

I stayed in a log cabin on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon one snowy October day in 1994. I can see why one might describe that Grand Canyon cabin as intimate. Particularly when the blizzard hit.

Yogi Bear was not visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon when I was there. I suspect he was up north, at Yellowstone National Park. I wonder how the Rustic Creek Ranch people got Yogi Bear out of Yellowstone? I hope they did not kidnap him.

The Last Saturday Morning Of August With No Rain From Hurricane Irene In Texas

In the picture I am outside looking down at still waters that don't run deep on the last Saturday of August of 2011.

The outer world is currently heated to 83.6 in my zone of Texas, heading to a high of 104. Again.

There is nary a cloud in the sky this morning. That monster, Hurricane Irene, is not spinning any moisture in this direction.

This Saturday the only thing I am looking forward to, besides not doing anything that causes bruising, is going to Town Talk. I am hoping to find a big platter of sushi in the Town Talk cooler.

In the meantime I am going to go swimming and try and cool off.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rick Perry? God Here. The Voice In Your Head Is Not Me. Take Your Meds

My favorite Fort Worth native living in Tacoma, Washington, MKB, had this picture on her Facebook wall today.

I found it amusing. So, I swiped it.

Rick Perry, having only recently entered the Republican race for president, and this week coming in #1 in the polls, has me thinking it is time to give up and live off the grid on some deserted South Seas Island.

It is clear to me I don't understand the world around me, which leaves me in an almost constant state of feeling perplexed, confounded and confused.

And vexed. Very very vexed.

How can the state which gave America the likes of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Barbara Jordan, and other notables, be the same state that foisted George W. Bush on the world? And now, Rick Perry. Another D Student Texas governor.

What has Rick Perry done as governor of Texas that warrants all this support he is getting outside of Texas? I don't get it.

With the current state of affairs methinks just about any Republican is going to beat what's become the Obama abomination.

I remember when it started to seem likely that Ronald Reagan was going to be president, I found myself opining that the safe thing to do was to probably leave America. I was wrong about that. Reagan quickly became my favorite president.

I eventually learned to appreciate Bill Clinton, though I never voted for him. I think I may have voted for Ronald Reagan for his second term.

We need a wily devil like Richard Nixon as president again. Rick Perry does seem to have some Nixonesque attributes. I always thought Richard Nixon would be very amusing to spend time with, super smart guy that he was. I think spending time with Rick Perry would be un-amusing, painful excruciation, D Student that he be.

Are there any Texas LBJ types in the state, these days?

I have only been to two presidential libraries. Richard Nixon's in Yorba Linda, California and LBJ's in Austin, Texas.

I totally enjoyed both Nixon's and LBJ's libraries. Nixon's is like a palace. LBJ's is more down to earth. Nixon's is like walking through a time capsule of decades of American history.

My favorite things in the Nixon library were the area where you walked among life size statues of all the world figures Nixon had dealt with and the way Watergate was dealt with, which was very well done. I imagine that has changed since I visited in 1994. Nixon was stil alive at that point in time.

My favorite parts of the LBJ library were the replica of the Oval Office and the life size animatronic LBJ which talked, spewing amusing LBJisms. And the gallery with Grandma Moses paintings.

Can you imagine a Rick Perry Presidential Libary of the future with a life sized animatronic Rick Perry spewing amusing Perryisms?

I may be letting my voter's registration lapse. In addition to not participating in the futility of voting, I'd also get the added benefit of getting out of jury duty.

J.D. Granger Is A Great Family Man, Faithful Husband & Brilliant Project Manager Rockin' The Trinity River Better Than The San Marcos River

Today I got a couple interesting blog comments from someone calling him or herself Anonymous in which Anonymous sort of comes to the defense of Fort Worth's favorite rogue, J.D. Granger and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

I'll copy the two comments from Anonymous below...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "J.D. Granger's Trinity River Happy Hour Tubing Party":

J.D. is a great guy. Loosen up a little.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Rockin' Live On The Trinity River Inner Tube Happy Hour Concert Series Announced":

In response: Study your geography. The Trinity River is constantly moving. Goes thru Texas out to the ocean. No still, standing, stagnant water. The events are totally funded by sponsors, not the tax payers money. There is a lifeguard there and there are port-a-johns and people do use them. Neither of these are available at San Marcos. Its your choice to what beverage you bring. Life is all about choices. Learn your facts people!


In response to Anonymous informing us that J.D. is a great guy. Well, we already knew that. Great family man, faithful husband, top-notch mega-project director. A tea-totaling saint of a man who has deserved every dime he has earned while on the public dole. And need we mention how blessed J.D. is in the mother department?

As for Anonymous making a very strong case for the idea that floating in the Trinity River is a better deal than floating in the clear San Marcos River, because Rockin' the River has a lifeguard and port-a-johns, while the San Marcos River does not. Well, who can argue with that impeccable logic?

Anonymous also helps us geographically challenged sorts understand that the Trinity River is constantly moving. Constantly. On its way to the ocean. With no still, standing, stagnant water.

Except for that water that is not moving much, right now, behind the many pond creating dams that block the Trinity, in multiple locations, as it flows through Fort Worth.

Like the pond at the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River, at the location where the Rockin' the River Inner Tube Happy Hour Floats take place.

I hope Anonymous appreciates that I've loosened up with J.D. Granger today, as per his or her Anonymous request....

The Last HOT August Friday In Texas Thinking About Turtle Soup Among Other Things

Standing on Fosdic Lake Dam today, in Oakland Lake Park, gazing south across the lake, as a water cooled breeze made the 99 degrees feel less HOT.

The Fosdic Fosduck flock was down to 3 birds today. Where do the Fosducks go?

I do not know why, but the Fosdic Lake turtles are very skittish. Unlike the turtles I see sunning themselves on a log in the pond at Veterans Park in Arlington.

The Veterans Park turtles pretty much preen and pose for the cameraman. While the Fosdic Lake turtles jump off their sunning log as soon as they hear the beep of the camera turning on.

Today I saw two rather large Fosdic turtles sunning themselves on a log. Today's Fosdic turtles did not even wait for the beep of the camera before jumping in the water. All it took was reaching into my camera pocket and they were gone.

Is someone catching Fosdic turtles for Turtle Soup? Is this why they are so skittish?

No, that is not Elsie Hotpepper on the left. The photo is used only for illustrative purposes representing the pain I am in.

It is the weekend and I'm still in a weakened state from last weekend's hyper-activity hyper-extending my hyper-abilities.

The bruise on my arm is starting to fade. That is the only visible bruise that is starting to fade.

This weekend I am going to be very sedate. I shall allow no liberties to be taken with my sedate state of being. Not even if Elsie Hotpepper shows up in one of her official t-shirts.

Frank E Asked Me About My New Chesapeake Energy Neighbor

I am almost 100% certain that I have mentioned, at least once, that Chesapeake Energy is drilling another Gas Well in my neighborhood. I believe I blogged a few pictures, as well.

Just a second, I'll find the blogging in question.

Found it, from July 24, 2011, titled Chesapeake Energy Wants To Poke Another Hole In My Neighborhood.

This morning Frank E made a blog comment regarding my neighborhood Chesapeake operation...

Frank E has left a new comment on your post "The Confederacy Of Dunces Wants To Know Why The Yard Waterers Of Tarrant County Are Wasting Water That Could Go To Gas Well Fracking ":

Hey Durango, have you been made aware of the sneaky plan by CHK and the city to turn that former Walmart land right near your abode into another heavy industrial drilling site? Yep, it's the one right across the street from the Chinese buffet and Albertson's.....and right next to a large apartment complex, full of people and children which the city's Ordinance classifies as a public-use and thus requires a minimum setback distance of 600 feet. But CHK and its servants the public officials seem to think that people who rent are third-class citizens, deserving little to no protection or input to such a hazardous plan. Maybe, the people in this city is like the proverbial frog-in-the-slow boiling pot of water when it comes to this crazy gas drilling+fracking+pipelining+profiteering enterprise...of the backs, and lungs, of regular people.

Yes, Frank E., I have been aware of this Chesapeake sneakiness. I walked over to the sneakiness this morning to take some new pictures. The picture at the top is a sign announcing in rather convoluted English that "A Gas Well Permit within 600 feet of a Protected Use by Protected Use Waiver to drill for gas has been requested by Chesapeake Operating, Inc."

Now, here is where it gets a little weird. At the top is the Chesapeake sign from today. The sign on the left is what Chesapeake had installed on the site on July 24. On the July 24 sign it says "A Gas Well Permit to drill for gas within 600 feet of a Protected Use has been requested by Chesapeake Operating, Inc. A public hearing is scheduled at City Council Chambers - 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX on August 6."

Okay, why does today's sign repeat that a waiver has been requested? The project seems to be well underway. I know a resident of the nearby apartment complex was gathering signatures on a petition objecting to this close by drilling operation. Did that petition get presented at the public hearing?

Let's look at some pictures I took this morning of this close to the public Chesapeake Energy gas drilling operation...

Above I am standing at the northeast corner of the Super Bowl Buffet that Frank E references. Albertsons is to my left. Across the street is the Chesapeake Operating Inc. Operation.

Above I am still standing on the Super Bowl Buffet parking lot, looking north across Boca Raton Boulevard at the Chesapeake Energy Operation. At the north end of the drill pad site you see a building. That building is the offices for a big self storage complex. Someone lives, full-time in that office. Thus living well inside the supposed minimum 600 foot setback.

Above I am looking northwest from the north side of Boca Raton, up against Chesapeake's chain link fence that surrounds their operation. This picture gives you a good idea of how close these apartments are to this operation. The last time Chesapeake drilled near these apartments, on the west side, it was so disturbing to the peace and quiet that some residents moved.

I don't understand why the setback rules are so easily ignored, particularly when you are talking about a setback from a densely populated location.

Like I've already said, if, as the sign indicates, a "Protected Use Waiver Has Been Requested", with no mention made of the waiver having been granted, then why is this gas well operation well underway?

It is all very perplexing. And thank you, Frank E, for asking me about it.

Up Early The Last Friday Of August

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at the turquoise pool below on the 26th Day of August, the final Friday of this 8th month of 2011, puts me in the mood to plot an escape from this particular confinement.

I'm in the mood to be shivering in the chilly Pacific Northwest. This morning, before the nuclear explosions in the sky arrive, we are chilled to 84.5, heading to 104. Again.

84.5 degrees is a few degrees warmer than what I have my air conditioner's thermostat set to. Up in my old home zone of Mount Vernon, Washington, right now, it is 55.7 degrees. That is way colder than what I set my air conditioner's thermostat to.

It is a bit disappointing that Hurricane Irene chose to take a course that will not deliver any much needed water to Texas.

The sun has now arrived and is providing sufficient illumination that I can find my way to the swimming pool.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fort Worth Is Where The West Begins But It Turns Classic In West Texas

The rainbow in the picture is not the one that arched over me this morning whilst I was swimming.

The rainbow in the picture was in a video Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, sent me today of photos of West Texas taken by Wyman Meinzer of Benjamin, Texas, where his gallery is in the old Benjamin jail.

The photos are classic scenes of the American West. In Texas. Scenes that are what many people think all of Texas looks like.

When I first moved to Texas I did not get how Fort Worth could bill itself as "Where the West Begins." Coming in from the Far West, this made no sense to me. It took me awhile, but now I get it. Fort Worth is sort of where the West begins.

Going way back to when I could first check a book out of a library the history of the American West has always been one of my favorite genres.

Reading about Custer's Last Stand, Captain Jack's Stronghold, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Black Kettle, Red Cloud, Sand Creek, the Fetterman Massacre, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Deadwood, Virginia City, Tombstone, Dodge City, Wounded Knee, the Black Hills, Fort Union and much more, and then eventually visiting these locations where these people did their deeds, well, good memories.

I do love the American West. And Fort Worth. Where the West Begins....

Another HOT Walk In The Shade Of The Village Creek Oak Trees

The sun had barely arrived this morning when a thunderstorm let loose a few big bangs and a short flood of water vertically delivered in drop form.

By the time I was in the pool a very bright rainbow arched across the sky above me. I wish I had had my camera with me.

One would have thought the bright rainbow might have been a bright omen for a bright day.

Well, the day did turn out bright, my mood, not so much.

The rain temporarily made the outer world feel cool. But, by the time I went walking in the shade of the Village Creek Natural Historic Area the rain-caused humidity had the 89.4 degrees feeling way HOTTER.

Currently it is 104.1, according to the Weather Underground, with that miserable humidity making it feel like 108.

The Last Thursday Morning Of August Has Started With A Thunderclap & Downpour

That blue oasis in the picture is looking inviting this last Thursday morning of August of 2011.

The sun has only been providing illumination for a few minutes, so it has not had a chance to take the chill out of the air which is currently only 81.4 degrees in the outer world in my vicinity.

I just heard what sounded to me like thunder. Looking out my primary viewing portal on the world I do see some thundercloud type activity in the sky. The National Weather Service claims there is a 10% chance we may see some precipitation today. No mention made of thunderstorms.

Yesterday, that being Wednesday, set yet one more temperature record, reaching 106 at the official temperature monitoring station at D/FW Airport.

Just as I hit the period on that last sentence rain began hitting the window. I must go outside and stand in the downpour. I'll be right back.

Now that was refreshing. Big, semi-warm drops of wetness. I am about 10 minutes from my morning swim. Will I be swimming in the rain this morning? I hope so.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Confederacy Of Dunces Wants To Know Why The Yard Waterers Of Tarrant County Are Wasting Water That Could Go To Gas Well Fracking

Lately the Confederacy of Dunces has been confounding me more than the norm. This current confounding may be heat related.

The constant HOT seems to make everything HOTTER.

Like the level of outrage generated by Chesapeake Energy running 3 big water pipes through Fort Worth's Trinity Park, in order to suck a few million gallons of water out of the Trinity River, so that chemicals and sand can be added to the water, so that Chesapeake can frack yet one more Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale gas drilling site.

The local CBS TV Station, Channel 11, covered the Trinity Park Chesapeake operation, with the help of Fort Worth's Watch Dog, Don Young. You can watch that particular news report below.

In that news report the news reporter reported that of the estimated water usage of Tarrant County only 1% was used by the Gas Drillers, while Yard Watering used 50-60%.

Does this seem credible to you? It does not to me.

One fracked well uses up a lot of water. Millions of gallons of water over the course of multiple frackings.

I do not see a lot of yard watering going on. Yes, there is an occasional sprinkler. But, it appears to me that most people let their yards turn brown during this water starved time of the year.

I know Oakland Lake Park does not irrigate its big fields of grass. Most of the fields of Gateway Park turn brown. Veterans Park is brown except for the Xeriscape garden that shows you how to grow green, in Texas, with little water.

How many thousands of gas wells are now in Tarrant County? How much water has been used to frack those wells?

If, in Tarrant County, there were only a thousand wells using a million gallons of water, to do their fracking, that amounts to 1 billion gallons of water. If yard watering is using 50-60 times that amount, that would be 50-60 billion gallons of water.

Yard watering uses more water than other household uses? Like washing clothes, dishes, drinking, bathing, flushing?

This whole yard watering fuss seems like a phony bogeyman, to me, an amorphous imaginary thing used by propagandists to frighten dunces into behaving.

What Dunce in the Confederacy came up with this 1% figure for the amount of water the gas drillers are using?

Methinks that the gas drillers need to be told there is a moratorium on using the local water supply until the drought ends. Or better yet, run a water pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico and pump that water to Tarrant County. It'd have the benefit of already being salted.

As wise man once said...

"When gas drillers use water, it's permanently removed from the water (hydrologic) cycle.. There's a finite amount of water on planet Earth. Whenever you use it to frack, it has to be buried in the ground a million years."


This is all very perplexing. Why is common sense so lacking in this part of the planet?

According To Anonymous The Trinity River Has Been Tested On More Than One Occasion By Different Organizations And Is No Different Than A Pristine Lake

You are looking at today's HOT noon view of Fosdic Dam at the north end of Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

It was breezy today, but that did not stop the, what may be, record breaking temperature from feeling too HOT.

Minutes prior to exiting air-conditioned comfort and heading to one of Mother Nature's natural sauna steam baths I got a blog comment about a blogging from a few week's back about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats on the Trinity River.

The commenter was calling him or herself "Anonymous." Anonymous made the very astute observation that if you "swim in the lakes, it's the same thing," as swimming in the Trinity River, I assume Anonymous meant.

Well,  I guess that is true. Fosdic Lake, which drains into the Trinity River has signs around its perimeter forbidding swimming and warning that one should not consume the fish one catches in Fosdic Lake.

Apparently the water from Fosdic Lake must somehow magically transform into pristine water when it enters the Trinity River. Perhaps it passes through a forest of JD Granger Magic Trees.

Among the many well-reasoned points that Anonymous makes is suggesting that "People shouldn't comment when they don't know what they are talking about."

Below is the comment from Anonymous in its entirety....

I have attended more than one of the floats and enjoyed it each time. It was well organized, clean and safe. The stage that was built for the band is awesome and the event has attracted people of all ages. Twenty year olds to Fifty year olds. It was not a drunk-fest, just people having fun. The water has been tested on more than one occasion and by different organizations. There is nothing wrong with it. If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that. If you swim in the lakes, its the same thing. It was cleaner and less drunks than at an out-door music festival and those are held everywhere and hosted by major Cities. And people bring kids to those too. Thats a parenting issue. People shouldn't comment when they don't know what they are talking about. I give them a thumbs-up for trying to educate the people of Fort Worth about the river.

Up Early On Another HOT Wednesday In Texas

Unlike yesterday, today, on the 24th Day of August, I am up well before the sun looking through the bars of my patio prison cell wondering how I can escape this incarceration of my own making.

Yesterday I woke up to find various body parts in full ache mode. This morning those aches have abated.

Yesterday my swimming pool was in shock, so I was unable to go for my regular early morning swim. I will make up for that this morning.

Yesterday it was no great surprise that North Texas found itself heated to over 100 degrees HOT. Again. This morning my zone's outer world is already heated to 85.7, heading to a scheduled high of 104. Again.

Meanwhile, right now up north in my old home zone of Mount Vernon, Washington, the Pacific Northwest natural air-conditioning is chilling the Skagit Valley outer world to 54.7, about 30 degrees cooler than my un-natural air-conditioning is chilling my inner world.

It is time to go swimming now before it gets any hotter. I shall ponder my plot to move back to the Northwest whilst I swim.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Walking With The Snakes & Vultures Today At Village Creek Natural Area

I stopped at Village Creek Natural Historic Area today. Again. On my way to Pantego around noon.

Today the Village Creek focus seemed to be more on the natural than the historic.

I saw my first snake of the year, if my memory is serving me correctly. A little green snake sunning itself on the HOT pavement.

In years previous I have seen Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Water Moccasins and Rattlesnakes in the Village Creek Natural Area. But ever since a really bad flood a year or two ago the Village Creek Natural Wildlife has gone missing for the most part.

I would imagine a bad flood is hard on snakes.

I see way fewer armadilloes in the Village Creek Natural Area, too.

Today I saw the vulture you see in the picture, feasting on what appeared to be a wild hog or an armadillo.

Vultures make me nervous. Several circled above me acting like they were wondering if my head was a big egg to crack.

Til I was away from the vultures I waved my snake whacking stick overhead to discourage any vulture sneak attacks on my head zone.

Heading north on Bowen, from Pantego, I saw traffic was stopped by the railroad crossing indicating a train was soon to be passing. I waited about 5 minutes. No train. Long backup. I turned around and headed another route.

A few miles west I was back in Fort Worth, trying again to cross the tracks to find the railroad crossing blocked. Drivers were acting very frustrated. One by one we took our turn going around the malfunction.

I think I've read somewhere that Arlington is the biggest town in America that can be cut in two by a train. Or a train crossing malfunction.

It seems very wasteful to stop the flow of traffic in this manner. Particularly due to what appeared to be a major malfunction.

Up Late August 23 Grateful There Is No Drought In North Texas So Chesapeake Energy Can Remove All The Water It Needs From The Trinity River

I was up past midnight last night. I am rarely up past midnight.

Being up past midnight had me up after the sun, looking out my primary viewing portal on the world on this 23rd Day of August, with the 23rd Day of this HOT month being the next to last Tuesday before August becomes September.

I don't know how HOT we got yesterday, as measured at the official temperature measuring station at D/FW Airport. I suspect it was over 100. Again.

Currently this morning is relatively chilly at only 83.1, heading to a scheduled hight today of 104.

One of the worst North Texas droughts in history along with the HOTTEST summer in North Texas history has miraculously not caused a water shortage. I know this because the City of Fort Worth is letting Chesapeake Energy stick water sucking pipes in the Trinity River, running those pipes full of water to a Barnett Shale Natural Gas Drilling Site adjacent to Fort Worth's Trinity Park.

Water sucked out of the Trinity River, then mixed with sand and chemicals and then injected into a well never again re-enters the water cycle. Unless by accident. And when that happens it is a very very bad thing.

Regarding this Trinity River water sucking during a drought, Don Young sent out an email last night regarding a TV news report on this issue on CBS 11.

Below is what Mr. Young had to say........

My recent report on the industrialization of Trinity Park got the desired media reaction. Jason Allen of CBS 11 DFW is doing a report tonight at 10 PM.

Appropriately, it came on another Level Orange air quality warning day in Dirty Ol' Town.

Jason's angle will probably focus on the millions of gallons of water used to frack this single Chesapeake well during the worst drought in Texas history*. I encouraged him to see the whole picture of what it means to industrialize much of Fort Worth and North Texas.

I met Jason at the park to find the fracking job in full swing. The smell of diesel fuel filled the air even upwind of the pad-site. Two Fort Worth Police cars, not usually seen in the vicinity, were parked nearby. hmmm. Tanker trucks full of sand and toxic fracking chemicals were lined up. Fracking equipment was spewing smoke and dust. (Remember, this is a high-end neighborhood. The world renown Kimbell and Modern Art Museums are  about 3 blocks away.)

Question from Jason: What about the water? The drilling industry and its enablers, including City of FW officials, claim they use less water than say, Miller Brewing, another local industry.

Fact: The water Miller uses eventually goes back to the water cycle to make more beer, or whatever. The water used by Chesapeake is permanently removed from the water cycle and buried underground forever, due to it's extreme toxicity. Big difference.

There's a reason I call Fort Worth, Dirty Ol' Town.


* Based on daily average temperature.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday In Texas Braving The Dangers Of A Low Water Crossing & Elsie Hotpepper

I've been having trouble this particular Monday recovering from my latest lost weekend.

My energy level was at a very very low ebb. And then Elsie Hotpepper tasked me with some very difficult tasks that wore down what little energy reserves I had in reserve.

So, around noon I did what I do when I need to rejuvenate. I took off for the outer world, leaving air-conditioned comfort behind.

Today I felt like walking a trail shaded by big oak trees. The closest destination to meet that need is Village Creek Natural Historic Area, about 3 miles distant from my abode.

It is not being very HOT today. It is only 101.4, currently, at a little past 4. It was only 95.7 when I left my chilled zone today. Fall arrives on September 23. You can almost feel the chilling winds of Fall already blowing along with all the falling leaves, suffering from the lack of water.

The sign you see in the picture above struck me as semi-amusing today. Warning of the DANGER of a LOW WATER CROSSING. It is more like a NO WATER CROSSING. The sign always warns that the crossing can be SLIPPERY WHEN WET. Like that ever happens in these parched parts of the planet.

I have mastered the art of taking a picture using the Village Creek Trail funhouse mirror. It is very nice of the Arlington Parks People to put this mirror at this particular random location on the trail for this particular purpose.

The sun is currently being slightly blocked from hitting my primary viewing portal on the world by some big clouds.

Looking at the current prediction from the Weather Underground they are saying there is 0% chance of precipitation. However, earlier today, I heard, on the radio, that a Thunderstorm was a possibility on the menu for today.

I am currently drinking green tea, made in a sun tea pot that spent a day sitting in the sun on the patio. Drinking green tea is just one of many really healthy things I am doing to try and re-gain my former healthiness. How many fruity soy-based smoothies can a person drink before they crack from all that goodness? I guess I'll find out.

The Shadow Of The Thin Man On Hurricane Watch In Dry HOT Texas

As you can see via the Shadow of the Skinny Dipping Thin Man I am up well before the sun on this next to last Monday of August, Day 22 of this very HOT month.

Currently we are heated to 85.4, heading to a high of 104. Sunday was the first day in awhile that set no temperature records in North Texas.

Maybe the worst of the HEAT is over and a cooling trend is on the way.

The first hurricane of the year, Irene, is heading west and may eventually bring some moisture to these parched parts of the planet.

While I wait for Irene to get me wet I think I'll go get wet that glowing blue thing you see in the picture.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Burlington Washington's Public Library in a 8,388 Population Town

The building you see in the picture is the public library in Burlington, Washington.

I lived in Burlington, Washington from when I was around 5 years old til I was 19. Or 20.

My mom and dad remained in Burlington til sometime in the 1990s. Our house was about a block from the public library. But not the one in the picture. The library in the picture replaced the library that replaced the library where I first checked out a book when I was 5 or 6 years old.

The librarian in that old library was the mother of the librarian in Burlington's new public library.

That is the new Burlington library's librarian in the picture. Her name is Janice Jackson Burwash. She is married to famed Burlington author, Martin Burwash, who's latest best seller, Vis Major, is slated to become a major motion picture.

The population of Burlington, according to the 2010 census, is 8,388. That is about 3 times bigger than when I lived in Burlington. The town I live in now, Fort Worth, Texas, is about 84 times bigger than Burlington, with Fort Worth's population of over 700,000

Burlington keeps its public library open every day of the week, except Sunday. Fort Worth keeps a more erratic public library schedule.

Watch the video below to get an idea of the size of little Burlington's public libary compared to big Fort Worth's public libraries.

To be fair, little Burlington is a bit of a boomtown compared to Fort Worth. The population may be small, but the town has a big mall, an outlet center, a car selling complex, called I-5 Auto World, a Costco and a Krispy Kreme, along with most of the other fixtures you find in bigger towns, like K-Mart, Target and all the fast food suspects.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Burlington went into boomtown mode, the Wall Street Journal cited Burlington as one of the fastest-growing and best investment opportunities of American small towns.

Burlington's population soars during business hours. As in a lot of people come to town to shop. The number of people in Burlington during business hours is many times bigger than the town's population. I imagine if Fort Worth somehow managed to attract 5 or 6 times the town's population to town, maybe Fort Worth could afford a better library system, open more days and longer hours.

In the video below you will see Janice and the Burlington Public Library. I have not seen Janice in person since April of 2006, when she played the organ at my nephew's wedding. In Burlington....

Shrinking Fosdic Lake Revealing Previously Hidden Secrets

I remember some time in the recent past when water was cut off to the Trinity River, as it flowed through Fort Worth. I assume this was for some maintenance thing.

When the Trinity River went dry it revealed a secret. Stolen vehicles that had been sunk in the river.

I was reminded of this today whilst walking around Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

The volume of water in Fosdic Lake continues to recede, revealing heretofore unseen beaches, mudflats, litter. And today a previously submerged shopping cart.

Fosdic Lake is quite a distance from the nearest store where one might purloin a shopping cart.

The newly revealed shopping cart was at lake edge, midway across Fosdic Dam.

I wonder what other treasures will be showing up as the water in Fosdic Lake grows shallower and shallower?

Cars? Missing persons? Chemically contaminated mud?

Another Sunny Sunday In Texas With More Record Breaking Temperatures

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at a glowing blue swimming pool on the August 21 Sunday dawn of yet one more HOT morning in Texas.

Currently the outer world is being heated to 84.5 degrees in my location.

Yesterday set yet one more temperature record, with August 20 being the hottest ever, at 107 degrees, as measured at the official measuring station at D/FW Airport.

The overnight lows have been being record breaking highs. This has resulted in an average 2011 summer temperature of 83.8, averaging the highs and lows, thus far, this summer.

The average of 83.8, so far, makes the summer of 2011 the HOTTEST summer ever recorded in the D/FW zone.

Which makes it the HOTTEST summer I have ever lived through. By far.

Which has me thinking it is time to go cool off in the pool.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hiking On The Tandy Hills Thinking About Outrage Fatigue Caused By Chesapeake Energy Drilling Next To Fort Worth's Trinity Park

I recollect saying I was not going to do any Tandy Hills hill hiking til the temperature dropped out of the 100 degree range.

But, today I was in the mood for Tandy Hills solitude. Of a short duration. So, I parked on View Street and hiked the trail on to the hills from the View Street park.

I went up and down no hills on the Tandy Hills today and I did not overheat, even though the air was heated to a bit over 100.

I saw an odd thing on the trail today. That being the wooden pallet you see in the picture. Why would anyone haul a wooden pallet to this location? Is it a new Tandy Hills Guerrilla Art Installation?

Speaking of strange things in Fort Worth parks. A few minutes ago I was logged into Facebook. There I saw Gail Galtex make an interesting comment that gave name to a syndrome I suffer from.

Outrage Fatigue.

I think I am burned out from Outrage Fatigue.

This is what Gail Galtex said....

This is a disgrace. I have outrage fatigue over so many things, but obviously still have some left. Trinity Park is a jewel and I can't believe our city 'leaders' are allowing this to happen.

What is the disgrace to which GG refers? Well, earlier today I got an email from Don Young. It was the info in Don Young's email to which GG is referring.

Below is Don Young's message that added to Gail Galtex's (and my) Outrage Fatigue...

In late 2009, Chesapeake Energy managed to get waivers for a controversial gas well in the heart of Fort Worth's high-end commercial district. The site is just two blocks from the world-class Cultural District museums and the fancy, new 7th Street corridor.

Trinity Park, the crown jewel of the Fort Worth parks system, is right next door to the pad-site, a mere 225' away. This old-growth forest of Pecan, Oak and Elm trees is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Just a short distance from the pad-site is the ever-popular duck pond, miniature train, playgrounds and hike/bike trails that attract families and children. The Trinity River flows nearby, along the perimeter.

Now, in the middle of a record-breaking drought and with the blessing of the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council,  Chesapeake is preparing to frack the well with water from the river. As of last week, they began ramming water-sucking pipes through the park... right next to the duck pond... and playgrounds... where children play.

Brother, can you spare some outrage?

Well, I have plenty of outrage. I think I can spare some. Where should I send it?

A HOT 3rd Saturday Of August With Continuing Record Breaking HEAT Making Me HOT

The sun has arrived this morning of the 3rd Saturday of August, Day 20, already heated to 87.4 degrees, heading to a scheduled high of 108.

Yesterday's high of 107 broke the record for that day, set in 194.

Yesterday was Day 53 of 100 degrees or higher in 2011, as measured by the official measuring station at D/FW Airport.

53 days of 100 or more is the 3rd most days of 100 or more in a given year in North Texas. On Tuesday we should reach the #2 record of 56.

The year with the most 100 degree days was that infamously HOT year of 1980, with 69 days of 100 or higher.

All  this HOT talk has made me HOT. Which means it is time to go for my morning swim and cool down.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Fort Worth Lawn Whisperer Needs To Talk To Fosdic Creek

You are looking at Fosdic Creek in the picture. With water flowing. This is the second time in recent weeks that milky water has been seen flowing through Fosdic Creek into Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

Water is supposedly very precious in these drought parched parts of the planet. We get a lot of admonishments not to waste water, with messages often delivered by a man calling himself the Lawn Whisperer.

I have no idea how many lawns could have been watered by the water leaking into Fosdic Lake today.

Changing the subject from nutjobs whispering to lawns to my decrepit, rapidly aging body. I think I may have overdone it this morning in the pool. I seem to be in body ache mode, particularly in the mid-section zone. I'm sure I will recover.

Changing the subject again. A few minutes ago Elsie Hotpepper sent me a long email with a lot of text and pictures, asking me if I could translate it into legible English. I tried, really I did, but I quickly realized I was not sufficiently skilled to complete this particular Hotpepper task.

I do not remember ever failing to complete a Hotpepper task before, so now I'm feeling just a little depressed.

I'm sure I'll recover from that too....

Fort Worth Resident Survey Shows Satisfaction Regarding City Services With 93% Agreeing Dallas Is Their Ideal City

The Fort Worth, Texas, Official Web Site Home Page is home to some very interesting information.

If the Internet had existed back when the Soviet Union was in its propaganda spewing heyday, I imagine the Moscow, Russia Official Web Site Home Page would have been very much like Fort Worth's.

In the City News section of the Fort Worth, Texas, Official Web Site Home Page we learn that "Resident survey shows satisfaction with City services."

A few paragraphs about this "Resident survey".....

Fort Worth registered high marks in an annual survey that measures residents’ feelings about municipal services. Residents ranked the City highest for having a clean and attractive city and ensuring a strong economic base, and lowest for improving roads and public transportation.

In April, ORC International, a global market research firm with offices across the U.S., surveyed a random sample of 1,614 Fort Worth residents age 18 and older. At least 200 surveys were completed in each City Council district.

Ninety-five percent of respondents said the overall quality of life in Fort Worth meets or exceeds their expectations, and 93 percent agree that Fort Worth is close to their ideal city.

Fort Worth residents feel that the overall quality of City services meets or exceeds their expectations, and 79 percent feel the city is headed in the right direction.

On a scale of five stars, 73 percent of residents rated the City as four stars or better. Only 11 percent of cities rate five stars, ORC International reported.

It is clear that Fort Worth residents feel that the No. 1 strategic goal should be to ensure a strong economic base, a reflection of the nation’s current economic state and overall concerns about the economy. Twenty-nine percent of respondents ranked “having a strong economic base” as the most important goal. Also important were “being the nation’s safest city” (21 percent) and “improving roads and public transportation” (18 percent).

95% said the quality of life in Fort Worth met or exceeded their expectations? With 93% agreeing that Fort Worth is close to their ideal city?

As in Fort Worth is close to their ideal city of Dallas? Dallas is considered the ideal city by 93% of the Fort Worth people surveyed? Well, I sort of do understand that. Dallas is a very attractive city, with an iconic skyline and some nice attractions, like Fair Park and the Dallas Farmers Market.

Even though there are some nice locations in Dallas, Fort Worth has my favorite attraction in the D/FW Metroplex, that being the Fort Worth Stockyards.

In the survey, 18% thought Fort Worth needed to improve its roads and public transportation.

The Dallas transportation infrastructure is likely another reason why 93% of the Fort Worth people surveyed opined that Fort Worth was close to their ideal city, because Dallas has all those miles of DART train tracks, that you can now ride all the way to Denton. Fort Worth has a TRE train that you can ride to Dallas to connect to the DART trains.

I wonder how much the City of Fort Worth paid for this rather absurd survey? Enough to buy a library book or two? Fill a pothole or two?