Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Pleasant New Year's Eve Hunt For Next Year's Christmas Tree On The Tandy Hills

I Found Next Year's Xmas Tree Today On
The Tandy Hills
Today was the first time I've been back on the Tandy Hills since the news broke about the Godfather Don Gang's Tandy Hills Christmas Tree Caper.

I'd not paid any attention to the Tandy Hills Christmas tree crop, til today. I was surprised how many good Christmas tree candidates there are invading the natural prairie.

When the news of the Tandy Hills Christmas Tree Caper broke, one person suggested that it might be a good idea to sell the trees to locals. Godfather Don could mark the trees suitable for harvesting and oversee their logging.

I bet you could get $50 per tree, or more. The funds raised could go to Natural Area improvements, and planting more invasive Christmas tree species, so there are plenty to harvest each year.

I don't know if it is still done, because it sort of competes with all the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Farms, but back when I lived in Washington you could get a Christmas tree cutting permit from the National Park Service. Specific areas on National Forest land, in the Cascades, would be designated for Christmas tree harvesting.

It was a lot of fun going Christmas Tree Hunting in the mountains. Usually snow was part of the fun. Going Christmas Tree Hunting on the Tandy Hills would be a very poor substitute, but it's still better than no place to go Christmas Tree Hunting.

The last day of the year is being a beauty. Hiking the hills today was so good.

We are currently being heated to 72 degrees in the outer world at my location on the planet.

Up Late The Last Morning Of 2011 Thinking About Not Ringing In The New Year & Pro Bono Nutcases

You can not glean the fact, via the view from my primary viewing portal on the world, that I am up long after the arrival of the sun on this last morning of the year 2011.

The sky is completely blue in my view this morning, reflected in the bluish tint of the picture.

Since this is the last morning of 2011 that would seem to mean this evening is New Year's Eve.

I am not a big fan of making any sort of big deal out of New Year's Eve.

The last time I did make a big deal out of New Year's Eve was at the turn of the century. I went to downtown Fort Worth's celebration of the incoming year 2000. That is over 10 years ago, so my memory of that night is a bit fuzzy. But, I think I had fun.

Changing the subject from New Year's Eve to crazy people.

The first couple of my years in Texas I participated in a thing called a newsgroup, on this thing called USENET, for people in the D/FW zone. This was sort of like a primitive version of Facebook. It was on this newsgroup I met people like Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast and Gar the Texan.

And others.

Including a person calling himself Sonny Pro Bono. Sonny Pro Bono's deal was to try and provoke people. He was very inappropriate and rude. And not even remotely funny. Eventually Sonny Pro Bono's bad behavior escalated to the point where he had a face to face confrontation that resulted in Sonny Pro Bono getting beat up by a guy whose wife Sonny Pro Bono had insulted.

During the time frame of doing blogging I've never had any Sonny Pro Bono type commenting nutcases. Til lately. I don't have any understanding of this type odd behavior. I do find it amusing, but not even remotely in the way intended by the one providing the amusement.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thinking Of Swimming In Village Creek's Blue Lagoon While Talking To My Mom & Being Amused By An Anonymous Troll

The Blue Lagoon Of Village Creek
I got gas on my way to walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

Because I got gas, my one longtime reader may remember that, when I get gas, I call my mom and tell her how much it cost.

A week ago today I got gas, called my mom, and talked whilst walking with the Village Creek Indian Ghosts.

It was on that phone call I learned a box of Christmas cookies was heading my way. So, in addition to telling my mom I got gas, I thanked mom for the cookies. Mom said my dad does most of the cookie cooking, with my mom closely directing. I figured as much due to observing their raspberry jam operation in Tacoma in August of 2008.

Changing the subject from cookies to the temperature. It is currently 68 degrees in the outer world at my location. Today it almost felt warm enough to take a dip in that inviting Blue Lagoon of Village Creek, that you see in the above photo.

I hope that photo is not too dark for you to appreciate anything about it.

Which changes the subject from the temperature and Blue Lagoons to an anonymous comment troll.

For several weeks now someone calling him or herself Anonymous has been making strange, somewhat aggressive comments, that then generate other comments. This anonymous person really is a gift that keeps on giving.

The latest comment from Anonymous was again about the extremely serious dark photo issue and my hypersensitivity to having any criticism directed at my dark photos....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "My Mom & Dad Christmas Cookies Finally Arrived Along With Dark Photo Complaints":

Durango, I must say I agree with Anonymous about your much too dark photo. Furthermore, it does not become you to be so dismissive and critical of the comments made by a reader. I have noticed that you often deal this way with any criticism, however small. I have also noticed that you yourself tend, in your blog, to be quite critical of many and various people…asking lots of questions, generally subjecting those people to scrutiny and innuendo, and being quite sarcastic at times. Yet you yourself are intolerant of having a reader question or criticize something about your blog. I find that odd. Now go eat another cookie. 

Well, the instruction to go eat another cookie was amusing. Which seems to indicate that there is some possibility that Anonymous is not totally devoid of a functioning sense of humor. The comments made regarding the Anonymous Troll comment are also amusing. I particularly liked Bubba Lover's comment....

Bubba Lover said...
Durango, I don't think it likely that among the folks who read your blog there would be two people making an anonymous comment saying that a picture was too dark. I think it is the same anonymous person making these type anonymous comments. On the post with that picture the comment asked what your reason was for posting it, as if you must have some reason for posting a picture. You said the picture was the late afternoon view from a balcony, looking north. Since you were looking north the sun would have been behind you, which is what caused the dark shadows. I agree with you that it is very odd that anyone would go to the bother of complaining about that picture, and brightening it in Photoshop and then saying they still didn't see any particular reason for posting it. Where is the rule book that says you need a reason for anything on your own personal blog? Like I said, very odd, and very unlikely that two different anonymous people would comment about this.

I also liked a person calling him or herself Durango Lover's comment commenting on Bubba Lover's comment....

Durango Lover said...
I agree with Bubba Lover. I think this is the same Anonymous person who has been making strange comments for weeks. Criticizing your TV viewing choices and other things in a very ham handed overbearing way. I've been reading your blog for years. This anonymous person is about the only person making comments that I remember you making fun of. On your blog when you make obversations about various issues it is never about something like the quality of a photo. It is usually about something like the Granger foibles, Chesapeake, floating with feces in the Trinity River. That type stuff. You seem to me to handle everything with a healthy sense of humor and a clever knack for sarcasm. This anonymous person seems to be missing a sense of humor. The line about you being intolerant of having a reader question or criticize something on your blog was particularly ironic. You come across as a very tolerant open minded person, while this anonymous person comes across as very intolerant and hypercritical about nonsense. I think this person is obsessed with you and is projecting their own attributes on to you.

You might want to consider not printing anymore of this anonymous person's comments. Doing so is feeding a troll. Except I do get that you find the comments funny due to the absurdity factor, so I doubt you will stop printing them.

The Shadow Of The Thin Man On The Dark Morning Of New Year's Eve Eve Wondering About Monkeys

That's the shadow of the not going skinny dipping thin man on the next to last morning of 2011.

If this morning is the next to last morning of 2011 that would make this the morning of New Year's Eve eve.

It is 48 degrees, currently, in the outer world at my location.

Yesterday I believe the air in the outer world at my location was being heated to the low 60s. I may test if going for a dip in the pool is doable this morning.

Changing the subject from one primate to another.

Yesterday I was shocked to learn that, up til December 24, Cheetah the Chimpanzee from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies was still alive, til he died, at 80 years old on Christmas Eve.

This morning I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that the chimp who died a week ago today was likely not the famous movie star. Though those who reported Cheetah's passing seemed to believe they'd been taking care of the famous movie monkey.

Is a chimpanzee a monkey? After I typed the last word in the above sentence I realized I did not know if the word "monkey" applies to all primate, or if  "monkey" is a specific specie of primate.

I think I will go find something else to wonder about now and forget about monkeys.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Mom & Dad Christmas Cookies Finally Arrived Along With Dark Photo Complaints

Christmas Cookies From Arizona
Last Friday my mom told me a box of Christmas cookies was on its way to me.

That day I told my mom about another box of Christmas cookies that had arrived that were inedible.

Those particular Christmas cookies remain uneaten.

I had about given up on the box of cookies from my mom & dad, figuring they'd gotten lost or purloined in transit.

But, they arrived today. There are two variations of my favorite in the box. Both involve raspberries and almond paste. It's a Dutch thing.

As you might guess from the cover of the box, they came from Arizona, the Phoenix suburb of Sun Lake, to be precise.

Changing the subject from Christmas cookies to Anonymous comments.

One of the Anonymous comments that caught my attention today did so by being interesting, the other by being odd.

The interesting Anonymous comment had to do with Don Young's Tandy Hills Christmas Tree caper....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Don Young Clears Up The Controversy Over His Tandy Hills Christmas Tree Cutting": 

Chesapeake owns the land east of the park.

So, is this Anonymous commenter suggesting that the Don Young Gang got their Christmas tree from Chesapeake Energy land adjacent to the Tandy Hills Natural Area? If so, I have no clue whether this makes the caper more, or less, capricious.

And then there was the odd Anonymous comment. It is of the sort that makes me wonder why someone would go to the Anonymous bother....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Afternoon View From Miss Puerto Rico's Thinking About Learning The Afghan Language Pashto & Turkey Soup":

This photo is too dark for me to appreciate anything about it. What was your reason for posting it? Actually, I used Photo Shop on it and improved its contrast and brightness enough to be able to make out a few things, and still I don't see any particular reason for its posting. Could you shed some light on it? 

Why would someone Anonymous go to the bother of asking why I would post a picture of the late afternoon, shadowy view from a balcony? Let alone look for anything to appreciate in the picture. And then in that quest to find anything to appreciate, go to the bother of brightening the photo in Photoshop.

That is just really weird.

I need to go eat a cookie now.

The Last Thursday Of 2011 Hiking The Wilderness Area Where I Live With Homeless People & Beef Stroganoff

Fort Worth Water Tank
Today I decided to do something radically different.

The radical difference consisted of going on a walk without going on a drive to get to a place to walk.

This turned out to be much more adventurous than I anticipated it would be.

I left my abode, headed east and then south through the Albertsons parking lot. Then walked west on Bridge Street past some fast food joints.

Crossed the street to Krogers where I got sour cream for the Beef Stroganoff I'm making for lunch.

Left Krogers, heading south, up a hill, back to Bridge Street, then headed west towards Fort Worth's East Regional Library.

My plan was to walk the trail that I've noticed, for years, that is under a power line/utility right of way that a road leads to just to the west of the big Fort Worth water tank you see in the picture.

All was going well, walking under the power lines, til I came to an area where water was leaking in amounts copious enough to make for a muddy passage.

A lot of heavy equipment work had rutted up the area under the power lines. I saw drilling equipment. I could not figure out what the nature of the heavy equipment's project was.

The trail grew continually more difficult. Soon I was going cross country. No trail. At one point I had to jump a ditch that was running water. That wrenched my shoulder, somehow. The pain was bad, but quickly abated.

Eventually I came to a spot where heavy equipment had run over the land, making a sort of a trail, which, ironically. took me back to Krogers.

In the open field due north of Krogers I saw a big pile of garbage which caused me to mutter to myself about some Texans and their garbage disposal methods.

I was in mid-mutter when a guy popped out of the garbage and headed towards me. It was a young guy, looked to be in his 20s, maybe older. The garbage was his shelter. It'd been awhile since I'd seen a homeless person. I had no idea there were homeless people living so close to the place I call home.

If I was a nicer guy than I am I'd probably bring the homeless guy some Beef Stroganoff.

It was really good.

Beef Stroganoff is my favorite thing I learned to make during my stay in Moscow.

The Last Thursday Of 2011 In Mourning Over The Unexpected Death Of Cheetah The Chimpanzee

The pool view via the bars of my patio prison cell makes the pool look good for pooling. But it is way too cool to pool on this early morning of the last Thursday of 2011.

I've been expecting a box of cookies from the kitchen of my mom and dad. I check the mail each day and find no box. I think it is about time to give up hope and realize someone purloined my cookies.

Changing the subject from missing cookies to shocking dead celebrity news.

I was surprised to learn this morning that until December 24 Cheetah the world's most famous chimpanzee was still alive. Cheetah, Tarzan and Jane's sidekick from the most popular of the Tarzan movies, filmed way back in the 1930s, died the day before Christmas from kidney failure.

Cheetah was 80 years old.

I don't know if Cheetah married and had children. That information was not included in the obituary.

Cheetah lived out his final years in and old folks home for monkeys in Palm Harbor, Florida called the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary.

Will Cheetah's be the last celebrity death of the year? Will Cheetah be included in the "In Memory" part of next year's Academy Awards? I guess time will answer these important questions.

I wish I could say I am going swimming now, but I can't.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Afternoon View From Miss Puerto Rico's Thinking About Learning The Afghan Language Pashto & Turkey Soup

You are looking at the late Wednesday afternoon view from Miss Puerto Rico's balcony, looking north,.

I was over at Miss Puerto Rico's to deliver a pot of turkey soup and to check out what was needed to hang her new big TV.

Today I did not go on my regular daily salubrious aerobic walk in the noon time frame because of a doctor's appointment in Hurst.

Sometime around 4 I left my abode to head to Quanah Parker Park and Town Talk. As I began driving I called Miss C. McP. I've been trying to get Miss C. McP on the phone for weeks. Today I succeeded.

Miss C McP talked to me all the way to Quanah Parker Park and my hour walk in Quanah Parker Park and then on to Town Talk when I terminated the talking.

There was a surprising number of people walking in Quanah Parker Park today. Methinks the park improvements have been a good thing.

Back to Miss C. McP. She was exiled, along with her family, to Oklahoma, the same month I was exiled to Texas. In 2008, Miss C McP and family moved back to the Skagit Valley in Washington, thus ending their Oklahoma exile.

The first time I went up to visit the McP's in Ada, Oklahoma, their little girl was 12. Their oldest boy was 17 and a senior in high school. Now the little girl has graduated from the University of Washington, with some sort of Oceanography degree and is working for NOAA on a research ship in the Atlantic.

Miss McP's oldest son went to the University of Oklahoma, where he got married. Then joined the army, served 2 or 3 tours in Iraq, is now back in the states in training to be a Delta Special Forces guy, or something like that, part of which is learning the Afghan language, Pashto, which he apparently has become fluent in.

And Miss McP's oldest now has 4 kids.

All of this made me feel old. And that I have been in Texas a long time.

Up Early The Last Wednesday Of 2011 Thinking About Tolls, Trolls & Christmas Tree Capers

I stepped outside to get a look at the early morning of the last Wednesday of 2011 to feel a wind blowing air chilled to 35 degrees.

Another morning with no morning swim.

Changing the subject from not swimming to tolls.

This morning I read that in a day or two an automatic toll system is going to go into effect, charging vehicles to cross the 520 Floating Bridge from the Seattle side of Lake Washington to the Redmond side.

When that Floating Bridge first opened a toll was charged until the cost of the bridge was paid off. This did not take too long, and then it was free to cross.

The new toll being charged to cross the 520 Floating Bridge will help pay for the replacement bridge, set to open in 2014. Over $1 billion of the over $4 billion cost of the 520 Floating Bridge project is expected to be paid by the tolls.

This had me thinking. How bizarre. In the Seattle zone a toll on a Floating Bridge is going to generate more money than the entire current projected cost of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Methinks maybe some money could be raised to help pay for the TRV Boondoggle by charging a toll to cross the non-signature bridges that will span the Boondoggle's un-needed flood diversion channel.

Changing the subject again from tolls to the Christmas Tree Caper.

Someone calling him or herself Anonymous made an interesting anonymous comment about what s/he calls a "Clumsy Christmas Tree Caper"....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Don Young Clears Up The Controversy Over His Tandy Hills Christmas Tree Cutting": 

I think most people believe that Don Young is generally a Force for Good in the Tandy Hills. Even as the author of one of the sarcastic comments about his clumsy Christmas tree caper, I don't doubt his fondness for the park. But posting that picture on the Tandy Hills Facebook page was magnificently, hyper-egotistically, dumb - and I think it provides sufficient excuse for any amount of nose-tweaking which therefore results. You can't post a picture of yourself dragging a freshly killed Christmas tree across a publicly-owned nature preserve and expect an avalanche of warm fuzzies in return. Fortunately, here on the intertubes, any deed, good or bad, seldom goes unpunished.

Wanna cull trees? Fine - do it in an official, managed, boring way, preferably without enjoying it at all. Don't gather up the kids, grab an axe and go traipsing into a public park looking to murder an evergreen for Christmas. And especially, for Santa's sake, don't post evidence. 

Methinks "Clumsy Christmas Tree Caper" has a much better ring to it than "Tandy Xmas Treegate Scandal." Adding "gate" to a scandal has been done to death.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don Young Clears Up The Controversy Over His Tandy Hills Christmas Tree Cutting

Don Young & His Christmas Tree Cutters Dragging
A Tree Across Non-Tandy Hills Natural Area Prairie
The missing Don Young feedback regarding Christmas tree harvesting on the Tandy Hills has been found....

Don Young has left a new comment on your post "Godfather Don Young Leads Three Generations Harvesting Christmas Trees From Fort Worth's Tandy Hills Nature Preserve":

FYI--Nowhere in my FB post do I say the tree came from Tandy Hills Natural Area. In fact, it came from private property adjacent to the park. Short-lived trees like Junipers, Ash and Privet are the main plants that are taking over the grasslands. During Brush Bash we remove many of them but we never remove Oaks, Elms or other long life trees and certainly not Yucca or any other native non-woody species. The guy on FB doesn't want ANYTHING removed but experts agree that unless we remove the trash trees there will be no prairie left at Tandy Hills. 


I don't think anyone could be faulted for assuming this controversial Christmas tree was cut from the Tandy Hills Natural Area, since the news of its cutting was on the Tandy Hills Natural Area Facebook page.

Along with a pair of photos which appeared to show a Christmas tree being drug across an open prairie zone of the Tandy Hills.

Who owns this private land adjacent to the Tandy Hills Natural Area from whence this Christmas tree was allegedly cut? Was permission to cut a tree asked of the owner before the Young Gang arrived with their axes?

Next time I'm on the Tandy Hills I'll try and follow the trail of the dragged tree to see if I can document where it was killed.

Or not.

Standing Under Fosdic Lake Mistletoe Wondering About Godfather Don's Missing Feedback Regarding The Tandy Treegate Scandal

Fosdic Lake Mistletoe
I have not been feeling my usual energetic self for several days now.

I do not like not feeling like my usual energetic self.

I just got back from taking my un-energetic self to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake. I thought this type activity might revive me.

It didn't.

Now that the leaves have left the trees in Oakland Lake Park it is easy to see clumps of mistletoe.

That is what you see in the picture, a closeup look at mistletoe growing on a tree that has toppled over.

Previous to finding mistletoe on the ground I stood under mistletoe growing on a tree, waiting to get kissed. After about 5 minutes with no kiss, I continued on my walk.

Previous to leaving my abode I got email from Don Young regarding what is being called, by some, the Tandy Treegate Scandal, subject line, "my feedback missing."

Body of email: "Did you get my feedback on the Christmas tree issue?"

I have not seen any incoming feedback comments regarding this issue from Godfather Don. All blog comments come to me in email form, both the spam and the real comments.

I have learned lately that comments, made via an i-Phone, I do not get. According to Elsie Hotpepper. Though, with Elsie Hotpepper, I suspect it may be user error.

The Last Tuesday Of 2011 Dawns Bright Blue In Texas

The view through my primary viewing portal on the outer world is a bit blurry this last Tuesday morning of 2011 due to a thin coat of condensation brought about by the almost freezing temperature.

A completely blue sky is all I can see above me on this 27th day of the last month of what will soon be last year.

I am in extremely dire need of some aerobic, endorphin inducing stimulation. I do not know where I am going to get this much needed stimulation.

Maybe I'll try and do some logging on the Tandy Hills today. I hear that has become a popular sport.

The Grapevine Santa Mass Murder story is in every one of the online news sources I check every morning. When that sad story first was news to me it was on FOX News online. That version had the murders occurring in Dallas. Yet one more instance of how much of the rest of the world views this metro zone as being Dallas, rather than dozens of town all conglomerated together in one big urban mess.

I wish I could say I am going swimming now. But I can't.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Walking Over The Pantego Flood Channel Thinking About The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Replacing J.D. Granger With Jerry Jones

The City Of Pantego Flood Diversion Channel
No, that is not Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Unneeded Flood Diversion Channel you're looking at in the picture.

I believe we are years away from seeing  the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Unneeded Flood Diversion Channel.

I may be wrong, because I often am, but I think at least one of the non-signature bridges, that will span the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Unneeded Flood Diversion Channel, is currently early in its construction phase.

I don't quite understand why, if it so needed to protect Fort Worth from a killer flood, the construction of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is so incredibly slow.

I know how some of the locals love it when I compare something in Fort Worth to something in Seattle. But, I just need to mention that in Seattle there is an over $4 billion project underway to replace a floating bridge, among other things. This project is slated to be completed by 2014. This isn't a non-signature bridge that is being built. It will be the longest floating bridge in the world.

I suppose public works projects get done faster in a place like Washington because the funding does not rely on a local congresswoman's earmarking. Motivated to be helpful because the project gives her son a job for which he has no qualifications.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle should fire J.D. Granger and hire someone else with no experience. I think Jerry Jones would be an excellent replacement for J.D.

Jerry Jones got the new Dallas Cowboys stadium built in just a few years. That stadium cost quite a bit more than the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's current projected cost of still being under a billion dollars.

Jerry Jones is really good at abusing eminent domain to take citizen's property from them. That skill could come in handy.

Changing the subject from Jerry Jones and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle to the flood diversion channel picture at the top.

That particular flood channel runs through the City of Pantego. That particular picture was taken from a bridge across the channel in Pantego's Bicentennial Park.

Pantego's Bicentennial Park is a very well done little park. As you wander along the paved trails you pass many clever statues. I'm calling them statues, but I think there is likely a better name for the various artworks that are installed all over the park.

The Final Monday Of 2011 Dawns Blue & Bloated

As you can see via the view through the bars of my patio prison cell, the day after Christmas is starting off as a very dark blue Monday.

The last Monday in the year 2011.

In another 6 days a new year will start.


The year the world ends if you are one of those morons who attach meaning to the end of the Mayan calendar.

I ate way too much yesterday. I have decided I will no longer overeat. It is wasteful and leaves me feeling way too uncomfortable for way too many hours.

I do not know how fat people do it.

Day after day of eating way too much is what one must do, I think, to reach the size of some of the behemoths I have known personally, or see, regularly, in Wal-Mart.

It is currently 8 degrees above freezing in the outer world at my location. My swimming pool is back in usable mode. I wish I was back, myself, in swimming pool usable mode, but I seem to have developed an inhibiting dislike of getting cold.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Godfather Don Young Leads Three Generations Harvesting Christmas Trees From Fort Worth's Tandy Hills Nature Preserve

Several hours ago I got an email from an unknown, to me, emailer, asking me what I thought about the Godfather of the Tandy Hills, Don Young, cutting Christmas trees on the Tandy Hills.

Since I knew of no Christmas trees on the Tandy Hills I thought the emailer was just an anonymous trouble maker trying to make trouble.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I logged in to Facebook, to chastise Tootsie Tonasket for poking me, to see Facebook postings from the Tandy Hills Natural Area Facebook page documenting, in more than one photo, the Don Young Gang removing a Christmas tree from the Tandy Hills, with the caption under one of the photos saying, "Three generations bringing home the Christmas tree to Young home."

Apparently the Tandy Hills Christmas trees are Junipers. Not exactly a highly prized specie of tree as far as Christmas trees go.

A minor brouhaha of comments has erupted following the Facebook revelation that the Tandy Hills is now a Christmas tree hunting ground.

Most of those commenting seem to be of the opinion that Don Young & his Gang are not Christmas tree poachers, but were instead doing some timely thinning of an invasive specie that is not native to the Texas prairie.

What I am wondering is how does one determine what is, or is not, native to the Texas prairie?

I've long had my eye on yucca roots and prickly pear cactus growing on the Tandy Hills. But I've been told they are native to the Texas prairie. And thus are not to be harvested.

I also would not mind harvesting some poles from the Tandy Hills bamboo thicket. I really don't believe bamboo is native to the Texas prairie.

Merry Christmas To A Fort Worth Native Exiled To Washington Who Hates It There

Sick From Organic Food
Tacoma non-native, MBK, put this on Facebook yesterday.

I found it amusing.

Particularly the "This is SO Seattle. I hate it here" part.

MBK is a Fort Worth native, exiled to Washington, living in Tacoma.

I am a Skagit Valley native, exiled to Texas, living in Fort Worth.

Yesterday when I was at Town Talk I had intended to take a picture for MBK, because she misses Town Talk. There is nothing in Tacoma like Town Talk.

I think MBK dislikes living in Washington way more than I dislike living in Texas.

I would never say I hate it here.

I'm sure MBK does not hate everything about living in Washington.

I suspect, due to all the cooking she does, that MBK likes the variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood she finds in Washington.

For example, it is way easier than it is in Texas to find blackberries in Washington. And they are free for the picking.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to MBK and I hope being a Christmas caregiver is not exhausting her too much.

And, speaking of smoking Hookah. Just last night Tootsie Tonasket was talking about opening a Hookah Lounge in her town in Eastern Washington. Tootsie Tonasket will having nothing to do with that weed stuff, however, except for medical purposes to treat her painful sciatica.

It Is A Merry Christmas Morning Of A Wonderful Anonymous Life In Texas

Merry Christmas morning to the outer world.

I do not know if any of the predicted possible snow fell on my location on Christmas Eve. There does appear to be dampness on the ground. But it is not frozen dampness, due to the fact that it is currently 40 degrees.

I was shocked this morning to learn that neither the Dallas Cowboys or Seattle Seahawks got their Christmas wish to win a game yesterday to get into the NFL playoffs. What a tragedy. I thought they'd be playing each other in the Super Bowl.

Changing the subject from football to it being a wonderful life.

This morning I got a comment from someone calling him or herself Anonymous in which Anonymous informed me I've had a George Baileyesque impact on his or her life. Anonymous does not indicate if this has been a good or bad impact. Below is the Anonymous comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Princess Annie Shoveling Snow On Christmas Eve After A Blizzard Blankets Wink": 


For the past few years, I've had a new tradition. One that I actually enjoy. I'll explain.

Each Xmas Eve I watch the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life." What a great flick. I always enjoy hearing George Bailey's line: "If it hadn't been for me, everyone would be a little better off..." (this is of course before his guardian angel interrupts him and reminds Mr. Bailey of his importance in this world ((something he overlooks))). have had a huge impact in my life and I think Christmas time is a good time to sit and reflect on that. So thanks. As I don't need a guardian angel to remind me of this, just this movie once a year! And the fun memories.

Merry Christmas. Hope Santa was kind to you this year! 

Who is Anonymous? I can't help but wonder.

Several suspects come to mind, depending on if I'm thinking the impact was good. Or bad.

I guess I"m gonna go with it must be J.D. Granger who is Anonymous. Yeah, I'm sure that's it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Princess Annie Shoveling Snow On Christmas Eve After A Blizzard Blankets Wink

Princess Annie
 Trying To Clear A Path In Snowbound Wink
A blizzard of snow has descended upon West Texas and the Realm of Wink.

Throughout the day, the Queen of Wink has been documenting the ongoing snowstorm that has blanketed her realm in a thick coat of frozen white stuff.

Things have gotten so snowbound that the Queen of Wink had no one else beside Princess Annie to assign snow shoveling duty to.

North Central Texas is seeing nothing like the Wink Blizzard blowing in on us, so far, this Christmas Eve.

A cold rain dripped here in the noon time frame, which discouraged me from going on my daily, doctor prescribed, walk. I was in no mood to walk under a bumbershoot in an icy rain.

So, instead I went to the Beach Street Super Wal-Mart to play Dodge Humans With A Grocery Cart.

The Beach Street Super Wal-Mart does not attract as many super-sized humans to dodge as my neighborhood Eastchase Super Wal-Mart, where I regularly experience aisles blocked by plus-sized humans riding the electric carts that Wal-Mart provides for those unable to walk. Or unwilling.

Well. It is time for my annual Christmas Eve party to begin. I'll talk to you in the morning, late, because I'll likely be sleeping in past the arrival of the Christmas morning sun.

The Morning Of Christmas Eve With No Snow & Christmas Present Desperadoes In Fort Worth

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the outer world on this morning of Christmas Eve I see nothing white in frozen flake form falling to the ground.

If anything white in frozen flake form did fall to the ground, at this point in time, it would quickly melt, due to the fact that currently, at my location, the outer world is being heated to a relatively balmy 39 degrees.

My swimming venue is back at full pool, with new lights making the water glow bright at night.

I don't think I will go swimming this morning.

One of the more disturbing news items I read online this morning happened here in Fort Worth.

Desperadoes broke into a Fort Worth home, where an 11 year old boy was home alone with his dog, a Chihuahua. The thieving desperadoes shoved the boy and his dog into a closet and then proceeded to empty the house of its Christmas presents and other valuables.

The thieves left behind one of the Christmas presents, Dallas Cowboys slippers, which prompted the perceptive 11 year old boy to say, "I guess they don't like the Cowboys."

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Chilly Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts While Talking To My Mom About Burned Russian Tea Cakes & Gas Along With Incoming Possible Snow

Dreary Village Creek On Christmas Eve Eve
I had myself a very chilly walk with the Indian Ghosts that inhabit the Village Creek Natural Historical Area today.

As you can see, via the view of Village Creek, gray is the dominant color for today in this formerly totally parched part of the planet.

The grayish white snow clouds that are hovering above Village Creek is scheduled to begin delivering precipitation tomorrow, on Christmas Eve.

Some parts of North Texas will likely see snow, while other parts of North Texas, like where I am, will, maybe, see snow mixed with rain.

My primary weather information provider provided me a Special Weather Statement a few minutes ago...


The Weather Outside May Get Frighful
But Inside It is Just Delightful



I don't know why the Weather Statement makers feel the need to shout their statement in CAPITAL letters.

Changing the subject from my favorite one to gas.

On the way to Village Creek I got gas. So, like I always do when I get gas, I called my mom to tell her I got gas and how much it cost. Apparently gas in Phoenix is still over $3 a gallon.

Weather-wise, Phoenix is also being cold, with snow in the high country that surrounds the Valley of the Sun making it so mom and dad are currently limited on where they can drive.

A couple days ago I mentioned getting a box of inedible Christmas cookies in the mail. I lamented not getting Christmas cookies from my mom anymore, due to mom not baking Christmas cookies anymore, due to her bad eyesight due to macular degeneration.


I was wrong. I don't know why I've not had any of my mom's Christmas cookies shipped to me, in what seems like years. But, mom told me a box of Christmas cookies was heading my way.

I mentioned the inedible Christmas cookies and the faux Russian Tea Cakes that tasted like rotten bananas, that I had to spit out. My mom told me she'd made some Russian Tea Cakes, but did not send me any because they were slightly burned. I told my mom that her slightly burned Christmas cookies would be more edible that the aforementioned box of inedible Christmas cookies.

I don't know why I had myself convinced my mom no longer baked Christmas cookies. The last time I was in Phoenix, at mom and dad's in Sun Lake, I was surprised my mom had made an apple crisp and, despite impaired eyesight, had dished up the apple crisp, with ice cream.

And, I had witnessed, with my own eyes, my mom and dad being a pair of canning machines the last time I was in Tacoma, watching them work for hours making raspberry jam.

In the jam making operation my dad is the eyes while my mom gives directions. I suppose the cookie baking is done in the same way.

So, I guess if you want to get technical about it, it was my dad who burned the Russian Tea Cakes. He likely caught a lot of grief over this.

The Morning Of The 4th Friday Of December Ashamed About Corrupting The Morals Of People

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell on the morning of Christmas Eve eve, I see a swimming pool being refilled and a sky that appears to be full of clouds, possibly in preparation for Christmas Eve's possible falling snowflakes.

Currently, in the outer world, possibly in preparation for those possible snowflakes, the air is being chilled, with the chill level at this point in time being 36 degrees.

Changing the subject from my favorite one to bingo.

I do not believe I have previously mentioned on this blog that the Paradise Center has moved to a new location. And that the Paradise Center is now licensed to operate a charity bingo game in the big bingo hall next to their new location on Camp Bowie Boulevard.

So, with that being said I was a bit surprised at a very earnest comment this morning from a concerned Christian named Anonymous......

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Trying To Hike The Muddy Trails Of The Tandy Hills While Being Confused By My Closed-Head Injury": 

Y'all are helping to promote gambling and corrupting the morals of people, esp. them mentally ill people with that paradise cult you seem to be so supportive of. Then again closed head injury and mental illness ain't that much different, is it? No self respecting Christian would help promote or participate in such sinful activity as Bingo, conducted in their dirty smoke filled cramped dens they call bingo halls. Shame on you. 

I don't think it was very Christian of Anonymous to make fun of my closed-head injury in this manner. Or to refer to the Paradise Center as a cult.

But, I am sure, like all good Christians, that Anonymous means well, even though he seems to be a tool of the Devil.

This is the point in the morning where I used to say I was going swimming now. I don't know when I am ever going to be able to say that again.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It Is Now Official That The Dallas Cowboys Are Not America's Team Because The Green Bay Packers Are

ESPN's Skip Bayless, Lomas Brown & Rob Parker debate
The Poll That Determined The Packers Are
"America's Team" Not The Dallas Cowboys
A few minutes ago I got an email from one of my regular emailers with the subject line, "Did you cause this?"

A link in the email went to an article in the Fort Worth Business Press titled Poll: Cowboys no longer ‘America’s Team’

I don't see how I could cause the Dallas Cowboys to no longer be America's Team.

However, I long ago did opine that the idea that the Dallas Cowboys were America's Team was a local delusion.

Several years ago, back when the Dallas Cowboys and the City of Arlington were abusing eminent domain to take homes, apartments and businesses to build Jerry Jones a new football stadium, I did add a page to my Eyes on Texas website on the subject of this delusion titled AMERICA'S TEAM: THE DALLAS COWBOYS?

Apparently something called Public Policy Polling took a survey and discovered that the Green Bay Packers are the most popular team in the National Football League, which, apparently, makes the Green Bay Packers America's Team.

The same survey revealed that not only are the Dallas Cowboys not America's most popular team, they are America's least favorite team, with 22 % of those surveyed picking Dallas as the worst.

The Packers were seen positively by 57 % of those surveyed, with only 13% having a negative opinion.

While the Dallas Cowboys were seen negatively by 41 %, with 29 % having a positive opinion.

In the ESPN online coverage of this serious issue you can watch a video where some talking heads discuss why it is that Dallas is not America's Team, along with one of the talking heads verbalizing how upset he is over this shocking fall from grace by the Dallas Cowboys.

What I am wondering is why is it no national polling entity had not put an end to the silly Dallas Cowboys being America's Team conceit a long time ago?

Waiting On A Turkey Walking Around Fosdic Lake Thinking About My Relative Weight Gain & The Wounded Knee Massacre

Duck Hunting Is Not Allowed On Fosdic Lake
Before my thawed too early turkey was scheduled to be pulled out of the oven I drove to Oakland Lake Park to escape the heat of the kitchen by walking around Fosdic Lake.

That would be Fosdic Lake in the picture, looking very blue, peaceful and serene. With a large number of ducks and geese making a formidable flotilla of loud quackers.

That tall skinny thing in the left side of the background is the Mount Tandy Tower, also known as the Fort Wort Space Needle.

It has been a long time since I have parked at the base of the Fort Worth Space Needle in order to hike the Tandy Hills.

Due to being unable to go swimming, for a variety of reasons, and due to being unable to hike the Tandy Hills, for only one reason, that being the trails are too muddy, I find myself quickly putting on weight.

I think it is my Dutch genetics that cause me to be able to put on weight real fast. All the Dutch people I know are easy weight gainers. Now that you are making me think about it, pretty much the only Dutch people I know are relatives. So this easy weight gain thing might not be something all people of Dutch descent are blessed with.

On July 22 of 2012 it will be 10 years since I flew up to Washington, to the fairgrounds in the town of Lynden, about 5 miles south of the Canadian border, for the biggest family reunion of my Dutch relatives since my great great grandpa and grandma sailed from Amsterdam to New York City in 1889.

1889 is one year before the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota ended the Indian Wars, which is one of the reasons I am so judgmental regarding how you Americans, prior to my relatives landing on the continent, treated the Native Americans, because my ancestors had no part in it.

I have been to the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. It is an eerie location.There is a big sign telling what happened there, from the Lakota Sioux point of view.

There are no Native Americans left in Arlington to put up a sign in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to tell what happened there, courtesy of the Texans, to the Indians that called the Village Creek area home.

Happy Winter Solstice From That Thing Of Beauty Known As The Tandy Hills

In Spring The Tandy Hills Come Alive With Color
This morning I got an email from the Godfather of the Tandy Hills, Don Young, thanking me a mil to "Please consider a mention of the positive accomplishments of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area in your end-of-year coverage."

I did not know til I got this email that I was going to be doing any end of the year coverage.

The details contained in Godfather Don's email are below, minus the photos, except for the photo, you see above, of wildflowers coloring up the Tandy Hills...

Tandy Hills Natural Area is one of the few surviving examples of native, Fort Worth landscape. It is an important part of our history and heritage. 

Working closely with the City of Fort Worth, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area are committed to year-round stewardship of this irreplaceable treasure.

As a member of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area (FOTHNA) you help insure that Tandy Hills survives and thrives. Your membership is, indeed, a thing of beauty.

It supports important Conservation and Restoration Efforts, like Education Outreach Programs for hundreds of FWISD school kids and full enactment of the Master Plan, so that everyone can better enjoy and appreciate the Tandy Hills.

Your 2012 membership comes with a variety of perks that make great gifts, for you or a friend. Check them out here.

Happy Winter Solstice from Tandy Hills!

Don Young

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area

P.O. Box 470041
Fort Worth, TX 76147

Winter Has Barely Begun And Already Snow Is In The Forecast For North Texas On Christmas Eve

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell, on this 4th Thursday of the last month of 2011, I see stars twinkling over head, which would seem to indicate, so far, that there are no clouds available to block the soon to arrive rays of the sun.

Currently it is 41 degrees in the outer world.

On the radio, yesterday, I heard the shocking news, confirmed this morning, via online weather prognosticators, that there is a chance that snow may fall on this formerly totally parched part of the planet, on Christmas Eve.

Currently the weather prognosticators are prognosticating no chance of snow making for a White Christmas on Sunday.

If I recollect correctly we have had an unpredicted White Christmas in North Texas, a time or two, since I have been in exile here.

I do not recollect ever having a White Christmas during all my years of living in Washington. Unless you count driving up in the mountains on Christmas to play in the snow.

Speaking of Winter. My calendar claims today is the Winter Solstice. I always thought that occurred on Day 21 of December, not Day 22. I read in two online locations this morning that Winter began yesterday. So, methinks my calendar is erroneous.

I think I will celebrate the slow return of the sun by cooking a turkey today. When I pulled the turkey out of the freezer on Monday I was thinking in Thanksgiving mode, as in, having it thawed to cook on Thursday. This is just one more example of the living hell I go through courtesy of my closed-head injury.

Speaking of which, a closed-head injury is a real thing, I learned yesterday, via Google, not something made up by a certified nutjob.

I wish I could say I am going swimming now. But I can't. For more reasons than one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking Up Gar The Texan In My Thesaurus To Learn He Is Still Horoscoping In Astro World

I don't know why, exactly, but when Alma, the Songbird of the Texas Gulf Coast, sent me this particular dinosaur picture, this morning, it reminded me of Gar the Texan.

Is it because "Gar" rhymes with "Saur"?

I have no idea.

Was it something to do with some of Gar the Texan's thinking being a bit pre-historic? Well, more accurately, historically ignorant.

Again, I don't know.

I'd not checked in on Gar the Texan via his blog in quite some time. He is a blogging maniac, which makes it a bit exhausting to keep up with all of Gar the Texan's seemingly endless ramblings.

Gar the Texan is a deeply religious individual. He is a solid believer in Astrology. He can go on and on, ad nauseam, about the particulars of someone's sign.

To be perfectly honest about this Gar the Texan and Astrology thing, it is just a bit embarrassing, with him being so earnest about it, like a horoscopical version of a bible thumping proselytizer, only with Gar the Texan trying to convert those he ministers to to his Nancy Reagan Astrological World View.

So, I checked Gar the Texan's blog today for the first time in months. I was not too shocked to see that Gar the Texan's latest blogging's title is "Science."

In Gar the Texan's mind, Astrology is Science. And so it made sense that this latest Gar the Texan blogging was about Astrology.

The most interesting paragraph in the lengthy blogging is...

"I believe in Astrology.  I've discovered through scientific methodology that by talking to people, I can easily and correctly predict their astrological signs 8.3333% of the time."

Well, that actually is an impressive success rate, correctly guessing the correct astrological sign 1 out of every 12 times.

I tell you, the boy is an under appreciated Idiot Savant.

Trying To Hike The Muddy Trails Of The Tandy Hills While Being Confused By My Closed-Head Injury

The Stunning Skyline Of Beautiful Downtown Fort Worth
I quickly figured out I was premature in my return to the post-deluge Tandy Hills today, when I found too much standing water and sections of muddy trail.

So, I got my salubrious hill hiking in using the cross country over the prairie mode. That worked out well.

Looking at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth today it appeared to have shrunk from the last time I viewed that particular row of massive skyscrapers.

I got back from the Tandy Hills and woke up my computer to see that Elsie Hotpepper had taken umbrage at me being anonymously picked on due to my erratic behavior caused by the lingering effects of the closed-head injury I suffered years ago when I fell, head first, off a ladder, in a barn, in Mount Vernon, in Washington.

I have a bit of a headache right now, due, I think, to an incident this morning that is sort of embarrassing, and which I don't care to detail.

Speaking of embarrassing, I am embarrassed to admit I goofed up on going to the Paradise Center Christmas Party. I had fully intended to do so. The Paradise Center invited me weeks ago. But, somehow I had it in my closed-head injury head that the party was on Friday. I learned, via Facebook, this morning, that I was erroneous.

The Paradise Center Christmas Party is taking place right now.

I need a social secretary to keep track of these type things. It is too much to expect me to keep track of such things on my own, what with that aforementioned, closed-head injury.

Speaking of which, does anyone know what a closed-head injury is, who could enlighten me? I suppose I could Google for the info. But, that'd require remembering to do so.

I Am A Rather Fascinating Fantasy Love Interest With A Closed-Head Injury Who Watches Drivel On TV

The Jerk
Last Friday I blogged about the news that Tim Love apparently owns Fort Worth, according to fellow celebrity chef, Hugh Acheson.

That blogging generated an odd comment from someone calling him or herself Anonymous.

That Anonymous comment generated a couple other comments, one of which opined that the original Anonymous was a jerk.

I can understand why someone might opine that that original Anonymous was a jerk.

Last night I got an additional comment from that original Anonymous. Anonymous made many interesting "points" in this new comment, but first s/he made it clear that s/he was "not a jerk."

And then s/he proceeded to spew the same type verbiage that caused a comment maker to make the original comment that the original Anonymous was a jerk.

This is last night's Anonymous comment........

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "On Top Chef Texas This Week We Learned That Tim Love Owns Fort Worth & Loves Tequila": 

I am not a jerk, just discriminating tastes as to tv I've watched since 50's childhood and seen the growth or lack therewith. Who of the two (maybe three) of you have ever watched "The Wire?" Hollywood is becoming more like old hackneyed network tv and good tv is becoming more like what Hollywood used to deliver when character development, nuance, social commentary/justice meant for an experience. Durango watches drivel. Housewives acting badly and badly staged, laughable, artificial faux relationships. Probably because he's too cheap to pay for anything else; 

I suspect, like me, you are women, who find Durango rather fascinating and why you so quickly rise to any perceived threat to your fantasy single man love interest. I, on the other hand, ponder he may have a closed-head injury, which explains his veering from the mundane to the profound.... or one cagey SOB pandering to an audience. I can get weather reports elsewhere, like a boring mother-in-law.

Now you can explore those possibilities or remain a chorus of spring peeper frogs.

Well. I feel like I've got my first stalker since the Tacoma Enormity known as Fubbo was caught repeatedly stalking me. Somehow Anonymous knows what I watch on TV and that what I watch is drivel. And that I am too cheap to pay for anything but drivel. And that I suffer from something called a closed-head injury which causes me to be mundane, like a boring mother-in-law.

What a jerk.

In this comment Anonymous is also claiming to be a woman who is fascinated by me and my drivel. My team of forensic blog comment analyzers is 99.5% certain that this Anonymous commenter is a man, not a woman.

How is Anonymous able to opine about the Bravo TV show drivel I watch, like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, saying it is badly staged, featuring fake relationships, among other things, unless s/he has watched the drivel?

"Hollywood is becoming more like old hackneyed network TV, while "good" TV is becoming like what Hollywood used to deliver?"

I love it when sophisticated intellectuals share their vastly superior understanding of serious issues, like TV, with badly educated, unsophisticated, attracted to drivel, people like me.

Spring Peeper Frog
I don't get why Anonymous even looks at my blog if it vexes him/her so much? I can't imagine making such strangely judgmental comments over something as innocuous as someone's blog.

I have to admit I find it a bit disturbing that Anonymous finds me rather fascinating, along with this fascination causing love interest fantasies.

I had to Google "Spring Pepper Frogs" to learn what they are.

I really don't like it when highly educated sophisticates, like Anonymous, toss out references to things that lesser minds, like mine, with my closed-head injury, can not understand, without using Google.

The 3rd Wednesday Of December Thinking About Fort Worth's Drunk Drivers & Fat People Floating On Ferries In Washington

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the outer world this 3rd Wednesday of the last month of 2011, one day before the start of Winter, it is not too shocking to see what appears to be possible frost on the window.

Not shocking because at the point in time when I looked out the window it was 30 degrees. With the arrival of the sun the outer world has been heated to a balmier 33.

Speaking of the weather, I got an amusingly ridiculous comment, last night, to a blogging from last week, from someone named Anonymous who seems to be obsessed with what s/he perceives to be my weather reports. I think I'll turn that comment into its own blogging, due its wealth of amusing mockworthiness.

Changing the subject to Fort Worth's ongoing attempts to break into any of those ubiquitous Top Ten type lists.

This morning I learned that Fort Worth's plan to increase the number of drunk drivers on its streets via programs like the Trinity River Vision's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats, has paid off.

Fort Worth has broken into the Top Ten in a survey of cities with the most Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) citations. San Diego is #1, with the next big city to the north, Los Angeles, coming in in the #2 most drunk spot.

Changing the subject from too much drunk driving, in Fort Worth, to too many FAT people riding the Washington State Ferry fleet.

Apparently the American Obesity Epidemic has forced the Coast Guard to change the passenger capacity of Washington Ferries.

The former Coast Guard calculations were based on the average passenger weighing in the 140 - 160 pound zone. In 2011 the average passenger weighs 185.

So, a ferry, like the Yakima, which formerly had a 2,000 passenger capacity, has been reduced to 1,783.

Washington currently has the highest obesity percentage of the West Coast states. It is no where near the Texas level of obesity, but still, Washington has gotten a lot FATTER since I moved to Texas. I do not believe there is any causal relationship.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Veterans Park In Arlington Enjoying The Vast Wide Open Space

In the picture you are looking west, towards Fort Worth, from atop a hill in Veterans Park, in Arlington, at what appears to be a vast expanse of open land.

Appearances can be deceiving.

Veterans Park is near the center of the vast Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that is home to somewhere around 6 million people.

6 million people is more than live in the entire state of Washington, crammed into a metro area, in Texas, about the size of Puerto Rico.

All of which is what makes seeing what appears to be such a vast expanse of open space seem surprising.

The walk around Veterans Park was slightly chilly today. There were not too many people out and about in the park. Actually, the only people I saw were some disc golfers. And groundskeeper Willie.

The 3rd Tuesday Of December Dawns Rain-Free With A Ticket To Fly Out Of Texas

Looking at the picture of the view from my secondary viewing platform on the outer world one might intuit that the sun has arrived, due to the seemingly blue sky, on this 3rd Tuesday of the last month of 2011.

One would be intuiting incorrectly. It was very dark when I stepped outside to take a picture. The blue sky comes courtesy of the filter setting on the camera that somehow illuminates the darkness.

The pool is not looking its usual turquoise self because it is currently lacking its usual level of water, due to being partially drained so a light can be replaced.

When I took the above picture darkness still prevailed. Now, a half hour or two later the sun has arrived and has revealed that the sky appears to be void of any clouds and is as blue as the picture above.

I read no reports this morning of any flash flooding caused by yesterday's downpours.

Changing the subject from rain to something else.

I got a Southwest Airlines gift card last night via a Christmas Party at Springcreek Barbecue in Bedford. I guess this means I need to fly somewhere. Flying Southwest means going to Love Field in Dallas. Not nearly as convenient as the short drive to D/FW International Airport.

Changing the subject back to my favorite.

It is only 45 degrees this morning. Even if the pool was full, I would not be going swimming this morning.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trapped In Wal-Mart By A Downpour Before Gagging On A Bad Christmas Cookie

The Weather Outside Was Frightful,
While Christmas Cookies Were Not Delightful
Sometime around 4 this afternoon I journeyed to my Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

For those of you who do not live in a zone with Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets, they are different than a regular Wal-Mart.

Much smaller, basically a grocery store without all the other junk Wal-Mart sells at its big stores.

All was fine, rain-wise, on my short drive to WMNM. But when I went to exit the store the sky was in full downpour mode.

I waited for the downpour to let up, along with a throng of other like minded sorts who were averse to getting wet.

After about 10 minutes of waiting I gave up on it letting up and made a run for it. My exposure was maybe 20 seconds. I was totally drenched by the time I closed the door on my motorized vehicular transport.

Upon my return to my abode I found the mailman had delivered a box from Washington. When the box was opened a collection of Christmas cookies was found inside.

Before my mom's eyesight went bad, due to macular degeneration, mom was a Christmas cookie cooking maniac. My mom made all sorts of really good cookies, candies and pastries. Like Dutch Raspberry Almond Tarts. Almond Bars. Fudge. All sorts of tasty treats, including Russian Tea Cookies.

When I lived in Washington every Christmas my mom would deliver a big box of her Christmas baked goods. After I moved to Texas I'd get a big box mailed to me, before Christmas, with a few hundred thousand calories inside. Until mom's baking slowed up.

Today's box did not come from my mom. Upon opening the box I saw what looked like Russian Tea  Cookies. Anticipating my mom's type of deliciousness I took a bite. That is all I took. It was not a Russian Tea  Cookie. It was some banana flavored ball of hard dough. Maybe it got roughed up in transit.

Don't worry about me hurting the feelings of the baker. The baker does not read my blog. And, if you want to get technical about it, the cookies weren't actually sent to me. It was more a thing where I had to forward the cookies to the proper recipient, who then opened the box, thus exposing me to the fraudulent Russian Tea Cookie that made me gag.

And reminded me of how good my mom's Christmas goodies used to be.

Walking Around Fort Worth's Emerald Isle Of Fosdic Lake After Seeing A Police Standoff With A Gunman & Helicopters

The Emerald Isle Of Fosdic Lake
Looking at that lushly green grass one might think I was in Ireland taking a walk on the Emerald Isle.

One would be wrong.

I was in Fort Worth taking a walk on the paved trail that winds around Fosdic Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

I remember awhile back when Betty Jo Bouvier saw my pictures of Texas being green and asked if it was really that green here. Betty Jo is located in Western Washington in the Evergreen State.

The last time I was in the Evergreen State was summer of 2008. At that point in time Western Washington was not being very green, except for the Evergreen trees. Western Washington was in drought mode, and thus browner than Texas at that point in time.

Washington calling itself the Evergreen State is a bit misleading. The east side of the Cascade Mountains, as in Eastern Washington, is mostly only green where irrigation provides water. Other than that Eastern Washington is browner than my location in Texas ever gets.

Changing the subject to my local neighborhood gunman incident.

A few minutes prior to exiting my above to head to Fosdic Lake I heard on the radio that there was a police standoff with a gunman at something called Texas Health Center near East Loop 820 and Randol Mill Road.

Yikes, I thought, that's right by where I live.

When I exited my abode and got a view of the sky I saw 3 helicopters hovering above. I assumed they were police helicopters.

Gunman Standoff At Texas Health Center
I drove down to Randol Mill, then took a right turn and then drove south on the 820 frontage road. On the other side of the freeway, at the Health Center, I saw a lot of police activity, cop cars with lights flashing, two news crews and a lot of people milling about.

Apparently a man walked into a doctor's office and aimed a gun at the office's employees. Then the police showed up, which had the guy with the gun threatening to shoot them and then himself.

Before anything bad could happen the police tasered the gunman and took him into custody.

Why were 3 helicopters in the air part of this operation, I could not help but wonder? Isn't it rather expensive to keep 3 helicopters hovering over head? What could helicopters do to help resolve this type situation?

Changing the subject from possible shootouts to my favorite one.

Rain has been falling ever since I finished walking around Fosdic Lake a couple hours ago. And the temperature has shot up to a relatively balmy 61. So far no thunder has been heard by my ears.