Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Walking Around Fosdic Lake Thinking About Occupying A Woodshed While Being On Fire Due To Uncensored Skinny Dipping

Earlier today I said I thought I'd be going to the Tandy Hills for my endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

But, I changed my mind and went to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake instead.

As you can see, Fosdic Lake is looking very serene today. And white puffy clouds are floating under the bright blue sky.

It does not appear to me that enough clouds are going to assemble today to deliver the predicted rain.

Looking at my computer based weather information device I see the prediction for rain has been removed from today and moved to Friday.

As you can see, it is currently 73 degrees at my location on the planet. I have my windows open. Last year, at this point in time, I had my furnace running and was wearing multiple layers of outerwear.

If the forecast holds, there will be no need for weather shielding tents at tomorrow's Occupy The Woodshed Protest on the banks of the Trinity River.

I got my TV Blog on fire for the first time in a long time. I figured there would be a lot of Googling for the uncensored version of last night's skinny dipping on ABC's The Bachelor. I figured right.

The TV Blog is currently getting more visitors every 20 minutes than Gar the Texan's Random Ramblings gets in a year.

I just threw that Gar the Texan remark in there to test if Gar the Texan's claim to read all of my bloggings is true.

The Last Day Of The First Month Of 2012 Has Already Arrived

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at the dawn of the last day of the first month of 2012 you can see that we are under a pre-rain cloud cover.

What you can not see is the outer world at my location is currently heated to a relatively balmy 59 degrees.

At this point in time a year ago, in the days leading up to the Super Bowl debacle in Arlington, we were freezing and covered with ice on this part of the planet.

If the predicted rain does not arrive by the noon time frame I plan to return to the Tandy Hills for the first time in over a week.

Due to a lot of unexpected interruptions, yesterday, I did not make it to any location where I could get myself some much needed endorphins. Today, even if I have to walk at high speed in Wal-Mart, I am going to get myself some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Should Storage Unit Facilities In Tarrant County Be Allowed To Rent To Medical Marijuana Growing Operations & Open Indian Casinos?

Every once in awhile I see something that starkly contrasts big differences between my current location in Tarrant County, in Texas, in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, and my old location in Skagit County, in Washington, a couple thousand miles from the Buckle of the Bible Belt.

As in, this past week my old home zone's hometown newspaper, the Skagit Valley Herald, has been running a poll asking if storage unit facilities in Skagit County should be allowed to rent to medical marijuana growing operations.

Recently one of the towns in Skagit County, Sedro Woolley, that's where Betty Jo Bouvier lives, approved a medical marijuana processing facility.

Texas has not legalized medical marijuana, let alone allowing facilities to process the medicine.

I don't recollect it even coming up as an issue, the idea of Texas legalizing medical marijuana.

I can not imagine there being a poll in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram asking readers if they approve of the idea of allowing medical marijuana to be grown in storage unit facilities.

It is a really interesting experience to go from living in one of the progressive, liberal areas of America to an area that is not quite as progressive and liberal.

Skagit County has two large casino complexes, complete with hotels. Native American tribes operate these casinos. When I lived in Washington, my favorite seafood buffet was at the Swinomish Casino, with my favorite all around buffet being at the Skagit Valley Casino Resort.

The above is one of two large casino resort complexes in Skagit County.

The population of Skagit County is 116,901. The population of Tarrant County is 1,809,034.

Both casino complexes in Skagit County built large hotels without milking any city for funding help. Fort Worth had to ask for funding help to build a hotel for its seldom used (for conventions) convention center.

Skagit County has Native American tribes in residence in addition to the Skagit and Swinomish. The Samish Indian Nation is another proud Skagit County tribe.

When the Texans arrived in Texas they needed Lebensraum. And so the Native Americans, who were living in Texas, were either exterminated or run out of the territory. There are a couple very small Indian Reservations remaining in Texas.

The teeny Kickapoo Reservation, down on the Rio Grande, by Eagle Pass, actually has a little casino, the Lucky Eagle Casino.

When Anglos moved into the Western Washington zone, there were some adjustments between the existing tribes and the incoming new white tribes. For the most part the adjustment was peacefully made. Well, there was that nasty Yakima War. But that was on the east side of the mountains, not the Puget Sound zone.

One of the chiefs of one of the Pacific Northwest Tribal Nations, the Duwamish, was named Sealth. Chief Sealth was born in 1780 and died on June 7, 1866. Chief Sealth was revered by his people and by the incoming white settlers whom he befriended.

A small settlement grew on the banks of Puget Sound. That settlement was named after Chief Sealth.

In 1890, a group of Seattle pioneers, led by Arthur Armstrong Denny, set up a monument over Chief Sealth's grave, with the inscription "SEATTLE Chief of the Suqampsh and Allied Tribes, Died June 7, 1866. The Firm Friend of the Whites, and for Him the City of Seattle was Named by Its Founders"

Now that is how you treat your Native Americans. In my humble opinion. And from such treatment, good karma flows to this day. Again. In my humble opinion.

Occupy Woodshed Smokehouse Wednesday To Protest Million Dollar Giveaway

TRIP To Occupy Woodshed Smokehouse
Last month my favorite aunt asked me if I'd participated in any of the various Texas occupy operations.

I told my aunt that Fort Worth's occupying petered out with about 9 people participating at the height of the occupation.

Last night I got email from my scheduler telling me to mark my calendar because I had plans on Wednesday.

This is what my scheduler told me my plans were...

Time for OWS! Occupy Wood Shed! We're "Occupying" the front of The Woodshed Smokehouse on Wed, February 1st! We'll meet out there starting at 4:30...The TRV GAVE almost $1Million to this restaurant with barely anything in return. No competitive bids. No personal guarantees. Just gave them your $$! Instead of working on fixing our water problems, they just keep thieving from us!! EVERYBODY who helps us 'occupy' gets a free TRIP T-SHIRT!! (No camping required... We'll break up after a while and head to Pappa's for some real BBQ!!)

Demonstrations and protests make me really nervous. I've never been part of an occupation, but I suspect an occupation will make me as nervous, if not more, than does a demonstration or protest.

With the 100s of OWS Occupiers occupying and yelling protest chants I worry how Tim Love might react.

What if Tim Love sends out his phalanx of cutting knife wielding Chef Goons?

My one longtime reader may remember that last month we learned that Tim Love owns Fort Worth.

I can not imagine Tim Love standing idly by while his new Woodshed Smokehouse is sort of Occupied. And let us not forget, Tim Love is tightly allied with J.D. Granger, who happens to be Tim Love's benefactor who so kindly gifted him, like a Mafia Don, with the Woodshed  Smokehouse.

Who knows what legions of goons J.D. Granger might be able to summon, if the opening of his, I mean, Tim Love's, new restaurant is occupied by 100s of protesting malcontents?

It is all very worrisome.

You can read more about this worrisome occupation on Facebook.

Up Late Monday Morning With Pullulating Perplexation Over The Important Issue Of The Dallas Cowboys Being America's Team

I was up way past my regular bedtime Sunday night, for multiple reasons. This has me up way past my regular up time on this last Monday of the first month of 2012. Which you can likely intuit from the semi-bright view from my primary viewing portal on the outer world.

January has disappeared at an unseemly rapid pace. I'm feeling like I'm in a time machine with the controls accidentally set to fast forward.

Today is my mom's birthday. I must remember to call, even though I do not need to fill my gas tank today.

Last night I learned I am expected to participate in an "Occupy" event in Fort Worth. I have not been to a rare Fort Worth protest since a couple years ago on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse.

I have long made note of the fact that few protests take place in Fort Worth. This has long seemed such a contrast with what I used to experience in protest-prone Seattle. We recently learned that Seattle is far more literate than Fort Worth. Perhaps part of that is understanding citizen's First Amendment right to free speech and to peacefully assemble.

For those whose time spent in the Fort Worth School District's schools did not expose them to the United States Constitution, the First Amendment....

Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

Speaking of free speech. Yesterday I mentioned that the Sunday edition of the Star-Telegram had an embarrassing article on the serious issue of the Dallas Cowboys alleged continuing status of being America's Team.

The Monday edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram elaborated on this extremely important issue in an article titled "Are the Cowboys still America's Team?" With the below screencap being the link to the article from the Star-Telegram's front page.

The Dallas Cowboys earned the "America's Team" moniker in 1978? Back when Jimmy Carter was President? 34 years ago? By this type logic Jimmy Carter is still America's President.

There are a lot of embarrassing elements in today's Star-Telegram article about this important America's Team issue, with, maybe, the most embarrassing paragraph being...

"And so don't accept impostors or substitutes. Don't consign the nickname to the trash, or put it in the freezer or hide it in a drawer beneath the old socks. The Cowboys, Staubach said, are still America's Team. And America's quarterback is right. Yes, amid dubious poll results and pullulating flapdoodle and perennial piffle, America's Team still stands out."

So, now we have someone anointed as America's quarterback anointing the Dallas Cowboys as America's Team?

I still have not seen any mention made in the Star-Telegram of the fact that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's flood control project's first completed project, the Cowtown Wakepark, was severely damaged in the first flood of the Trinity River since its completion.

I have learned, from Steve A, what "pullulating" means...

"To breed or otherwise increase rapidly or abundantly."

To use in a sentence...

The ridiculousness of much of the Fort Worth Star-Telegam's content seems to be pullulating at an alarmingly rate.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Walking From Interlochen Through The Mud To Get To The Village Creek Indian Ghosts

This Is Not The Village Creek Hydro Dam
If I remember correctly, earlier today I indicated that walking with the Indian Ghosts of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area would be my walking option today, if the parking lot flood gates were open.


The flood gates were still closed at the westside parking lot on Dottie Lynn Parkway.

So I drove to the eastside of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, in the Interlochen Neighborhood of Arlington.

Interlochen is so named because there are several canals, giving a lot of houses waterfront property. I do not know if these canals were the result of Arlington's Village Creek Vision. I do know that the project that resulted in Interlochen was not a boondoggle, unlike some other area canal projects.

Rather than being a boondoggle, Interlochen won design awards for its instigator, Bob Findlay. And Bob Findlay Linear Park is named after him. Bob Findlay Linear Park begins where the Village Creek Natural Historical Area paved trail exits Village Creek into the Interlochen Neighborhood.

The eastside gate was also blocking entry to the former location of one of America's biggest Indian Villages. But the eastside gate is easy to get around. The mud, is not quite as easy to get around. I was not the only person I saw being a scoflaw, but I was the only one I saw who slipped on the mud.

In the picture you are looking east, across Village Creek Dam/Bridge #2, looking at the Interlochen Neighborhood in the background.

Judging by the highwater mark left by the mud and debris, Village Creek flooded more than I would have guessed it would from the 4 inches, give or take, that fell during the recent deluge.

Yesterday, when I saw the Trinity River, it appeared to have receded back to pre-flood mode. Village Creek was still flowing above the norm.

It is not time for lunch. Spaghetti.

The Final Sunday Of January 2012 Amused By America's Delusional Team The Dallas Cowboys

Looking through the bars of my patio prison cell from my secondary viewing portal on the outer world you can see the sun begin to rise above the aquamarine pool on this final Sunday of the first month of 2012.

Day 29 of January is dawning cold. As in a single degree above freezing. The temperature predictors are predicting that eventually the outer world at my location will heat up to 62 degrees.

I think I will go for a walk with the Indian Ghosts that haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area today. If the park closed due to flooding blockage has been lifted.

I still have not seen any mention made in Fort Worth's failing supposed newspaper of record, the propaganda purveyor called the Star-Telegram, of the fact that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's flood control project has had its first completed project, Cowtown Wakepark, seriously damaged by the first flood to hit the Trinity River since it's completion.

Maybe I missed the article about this inconsequential piece of ironic news in the Star-Telegram.

However, this morning the Star-Telegram did report on the serious issue of whether or not the Dallas Cowboys are still America's Team.

As I understand this serious issue, long ago the Dallas Cowboys had a successful football team for a few years. During this long ago period of success, some sort of NFL documentary was produced in which someone made the remark that the Dallas Cowboys are America's Team.

I have now lived long enough in this attention starved part of the planet to understand how many of the locals grasp onto anything here being given such an accolade and hold onto to it no matter how ridiculous it becomes, or no matter how much evidence accumulates that indicates America does not think the Dallas Cowboys are America's Team.

In the Star-Telegram article this morning is the following....

"They'll insist that the Dallas Cowboys, who have borne the nickname for more than 30 years, are no longer America's Team. But, of course, such arguments, which seem to come around every other football season or so and to be pullulating this year because of a recent poll, are 24-karat flapdoodle, sterling nonsense, pure piffle. The Cowboys are America's Team forever."

I have absolutely no idea what the word "pullulating" means. But, see what I mean about the local's attitude, as projected via the Star-Telegram, regarding this serious America's Team issue?

You reading this in other parts of America, than this ill-served, news-wise, zone, are you giggling? I bet you did not know that the Dallas Cowboys are America's Team forever, due to some such reference in some long ago documentary.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fort Worth Has Plenty To Be Proud Of Other Than Falsely Claiming To Have The World's First Indoor Rodeo

Earlier today I blogged about how we in Fort Worth take great pride in allegedly having the world's first indoor rodeo.

Today, in the noon time frame, on my way to Town Talk, I took a walk in the newly re-opened, flood-free, Quanah Parker Park.

In Quanah Parker Park benches have been installed underneath the newly installed solar-powered dim lighting. I am sure it is with great pride that Fort Worth makes its name part of these benches.

I saw the light coming from the Quanah Parker Park solar lights Friday before last, on my way to not finding the Paradise Center Camp Bowie Bingo. Not a lot of light shines down on that bench, after dark, courtesy of solar-powered light.

Earlier today, after I blogged about Fort Worth taking great false pride in the bogus belief that Fort Worth has the world's first indoor rodeo I pondered what, if anything, in my opinion, Fort Worth might be legitimately proud of.


I like the Fort Worth Stockyards. I think the Fort Worth Stockyards are something Fort Worth can legitimately take pride in. I also think the city should work harder at making the Stockyards more attractive. Though, I must say, the Stockyards have greatly improved, appearance-wise, since I first saw the Stockyards, late in the last century.

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is something Fort Worth might be legitimately be proud of. Though not many Fort Worth citizens visit the nature preserve. And it is absurd that a city with delusional pretenses of being a World Class City, charges an entry fee to this park.

In downtown Fort Worth I like the Water Gardens. The Water Gardens seem to be a fairly unique downtown feature. I used to like downtown Fort Worth's Heritage Park until it turned into a boarded up eyesore.

Last, but not least, of the things Fort Worth might rightly take pride in, in my humble opinion, is the Tandy Hills Natural Area. I know of no other city in America which has acres of natural prairie so close to its downtown center.


A city that prides itself on allegedly having the world's first indoor rodeo, well, that is just embarrassing, again, in my very humble opinion.

Why Does Fort Worth Pride Itself On Having The World's First Indoor Rodeo?

I had been told that, due to finally realizing how embarrassingly dumb it sounded, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had dropped its patented Fort Worth makes other towns "Green With Envy," due to something in Fort Worth, about which no one outside of Fort Worth is actually envious, or even knows about, verbiage.

The Star-Telegram had a few variations of its patented "Green With Envy" verbiage.

For instance, the Star-Telegram might say something like, the Trinity River Vision's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats are the Envy of the Nation.

It was always a mystery to me how the Star-Telegram determined that towns far and wide were Green with Envy over something to do with Fort Worth or how the Star-Telegram determined that something in Fort Worth was the Envy of the Nation.

And now, this morning, a fresh Star-Telegram verbiage mystery.

The subject is the world's first indoor rodeo. Apparently Fort Worth has been harboring the delusion that Fort Worth brought the world its first indoor rodeo.

In a caption, on this morning's front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, under a photo of Fort Worth's indoor rodeo is this verbiage....

"Fort Worth prides itself on having the world's first indoor rodeo in 1918, but a city in Kansas begs to differ."

And then in the article about this extremely important subject...

"...lots of people, especially Fort Worth boosters and Western history buffs, see the issue as more than bragging rights over a historical footnote."

How is it determined that a city prides itself about something to do with that city?

Bragging rights? People in Fort Worth brag about allegedly having the world's first indoor rodeo?

Is this "prides itself" and "bragging rights" concept a Texas thing? Or a function of a massive civic inferiority complex?

I can not imagine reading in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Seattle prides itself on having the world's first Starbucks. Or a town in Minnesota is claiming bragging rights to the world's first indoor mall, while Seattle has long prided itself on having the world's first indoor mall with Northgate.

I doubt such embarrassing verbiage could make it past a Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor. And likely the writer of such embarrassingly dumb verbiage would be fired.

I imagine back when Fort Worth's indoor rodeo opened, with the claim of being the world's first, little attempt was made to verify if this was true.

This was way back in 1918. Fort Worth would have been even more of a backwater than it is now. I imagine back in 1918 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram spewed way bigger whoppers than the 2012 version does.

But let's just look at some of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's distorted exaggerations from this century.

The Star-Telegram repeatedly breathlessly reported that a new sporting goods store in Forth Worth, Cabelas, would be the biggest tourist attraction in Texas, thus worthy of the tax breaks the city was giving the store.

Within about a year the Fort Worth Cabelas was not even the only Cabelas in Texas, what with the opening of a Cabelas in Buda, down by Austin. And now the Fort Worth Cabelas is not even the only Cabelas in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, what with a second D/FW Cabelas now open in the North Dallas suburb of Allen.

Have you read a single word in the Star-Telegram acknowledging how outrageously that newspaper mis-represented Cabelas in Fort Worth?

Another example is the long defunct Fort Worth Santa Fe Rail Market. A very lame sort of food court, trumpeted by the Star-Telegram as being the first Public Market in Texas, and that it was modeled after Public Markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Not only was the Santa Fe Rail Market not the first Public Market in Texas, it was not even the first Public Market in Fort Worth. The first Public Market in Fort Worth has a state historical marker designating its significance.

After the predictable failure of the Santa Fe Rail Market did the Fort Worth Star-Telegram do any sort of responsible post-mortem mea culpa type reportage? Not that I noticed.

And now, this morning, the Star-Telegram has Fort Worth bursting with pride due to thinking it had the world's first indoor rodeo.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram should list all the things Fort Worth prides itself on.

Like being the only city in the world to have happy hour inner tube floats in a feces infested polluted river.

Like priding itself on being the city with the fewest skyscrapers of any city in America with a population over 500,000.

Like taking pride in the fact that Fort Worth has the lowest mileage of sidewalks along side its mileage of roads of any city in America with a population over 500,000.

Like taking pride in the fact that Fort Worth's downtown is the only downtown in America of a town over 500,000 population, without a department or grocery store. (little Oliver's Fine Foods does not count}

Like the bragging rights a town gets when it has more drill holes poked in it than any other city in the world, in the world's biggest experiment in urban drilling. That is really something Fort Worth can pride itself on that makes towns far and wide Green with Envy....

The Final Saturday Of The First Month Of 2012 Dawns Late In Texas

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the outer world, on this final Saturday of the first month of 2012, due to how brightly lit the outer world appears to be, you might guess I opened my primary viewing portal's sun-blocking device after the arrival of the sun this morning.

You would have guessed right.

I was up way later Friday night than is my norm.

This has me up way later Saturday morning than is my norm.

I prefer to be operating in norm mode rather than not in norm mode.

I was under the impression that the temperature predictors had predicted it would be freezing this morning, as in 32 degrees. However, my computer-based temperature monitoring device is indicating it is 39 degrees.

I only know of 4 things in store for me on this last Saturday of January of 2012. Blogging, working on a website, an aerobic walk at a, currently, undetermined location and going to Town Talk.

It will be a full and tiring day and I will not be going swimming this morning.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Breezy, Balmy Walk Around Fosdic Lake With The Ducks

Fosdic Lake Blue Lagoon With Ducks
Today I returned to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake for the first time since our recent deluges.

I don't know why there were no big waves, with whitecaps, on Fosdic Lake. At noon it was so windy I had to hold on to my hat during the course of more than one extremely blustery gust.

It is currently 63 degrees in the outer world at my location. I was overheating, so I have opened the window in my computer room. A nice cooling breeze is now cooling me.

I think I have said it before, but that never stops me from repeating myself. I do not ever recollect opening my windows in Texas during previous years during the Winter months of December and January. So far, this winter, there have been multiple instances of having my windows open.

By this time last year we'd been in the Deep Freeze, with frozen water material on the ground, at least once, leading up to the Super Bowl Week of Blizzards, Ice Storms and Snow.

Too bad the Super Bowl is not in Cowboys Stadium this year. It would have left a much better impression. Assuming no Jerry Jones Seating Scandal Debacle, along with the balmy weather.

The Last Friday Of The First Month Of 2012 Wondering Why Texas Towns Are Not More Literate

Looking out my primary viewing portal, on this last Friday of the first month of 2012, it appears to be very dark, this morning, in the outer world, with my swimming pool the brightest thing to be seen.

I am very pleased, this morning, to find that all the symptoms of an incoming cold, that I have been experiencing the last 48 hours, have abated. No headache, no sneezing, no stinging watery eyes.

I heard from Stenotrophomonas this morning, with a Tandy Hills Report, telling me that the heavy rains of the past couple days have predictably washed out the recently installed creek crossings and that on Thursday, around 4 in the afternoon, the Tandy Highway was a raging river, with some of the liquid provided by overflowing sanitary sewers, adding a special perfume to the water, as it flowed over the roaring Tandy Falls.

I forgot to watch last night's CNN Republican Debate. It re-ran at 10, so I set the DVR to record it, in case the morning news indicated I'd missed anything entertaining. The morning news indicated that, predictably, Newt and Mitt continued their cat fighting. With Newt ending up seeming subdued. A subdued Newt sounds depressing.

Speaking of depressing. This morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on the shocking news that in a literacy ranking of America's Top 75 cities, of Texas towns, Austin was the only Texas town not to rank in the bottom half of America's most literate cities with a population of 250,000, or more.

Even though Seattle ranked #1 in various aspects of this literacy survey there was no mention made this morning, that I saw, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, No article saying that towns far and wide are Green with Envy due to Seattle's literacy ranking.

I wonder if there is some correlation between a town's literacy level and a town's newspaper's tendency to use embarrassing verbiage like " Green with Envy  ?"

I was surprised that the Star-Telegram printed the following, which is unusually accurate and not the usual phony, chamber of commerce boosterism, based on delusional nonsense, that the Star-Telegram is prone to....

"Quality tends to be associated with quality, and highly literate cities often rank high in other quality of life metrics: Cities ranked in the top 10 most literate tend to offer the most active singles' scenes (Boston, Seattle, Washington and Atlanta), are safer (Minneapolis, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Cincinnati), more walkable (Seattle, Washington, D.C., Portland, Boston and Denver), and healthier (Washington, D.C., and Denver)."

Perhaps Fort Worth should send out a task force to these other towns and find out what it is they are doing different than Fort Worth that makes them actual top notch cities, rather than make believe wannabes.

I've got a big hint for you. None of those top-ranked towns have any projects going on as goofy as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. None of those top-ranked towns would instigate a big public works program without the public voting on it.


How can you have the public vote on public works projects, in a town, where, apparently, way too many people are illiterate?

I'm guessing there is a correlation between level of literacy and a town's mileage of roads without sidewalks.

I doubt any of the highly literate towns would get away with allowing gas drilling companies to take over their town and poke thousands of holes in the ground.

Most-literate cities

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Seattle
3. Minneapolis
4. Atlanta
5. Boston
6. Pittsburgh
7. Cincinnati
8. St. Louis
9. San Francisco
10. Denver
22. Austin
46. Plano
51. Dallas
54. Fort Worth
60. Houston
64. Arlington
66. San Antonio
73. El Paso

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Feeling Sick With Coffins, Baseball & Waterfalls At Arlington's Veterans Park

My Veterans Park Baseball
I do not remember being sick, yet, this century. If I have, I have lost all memory of it. No cold, no flu, no nothing.

And then yesterday I started randomly sneezing. I attributed this to being out in the rain. And maybe chemicals enhancing my local air, courtesy of the recent Chesapeake Energy well hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking.

Prior to the bouts of sneezing I had been having a couple days of itchy burning watery eyes.

And then this morning I woke up with a headache. My head has been aching, my eyes watering and my nose sneezing all day long.

Veterans Park Memorial With Coffins
Around noon I decided to treat my symptoms by going to Veterans Park, in Arlington and then ALDI in Pantego.

You can almost tell by the shadow of the waving flag that stands above the soldier who stands guard over the Veterans Park Memorial that is was windy today.

Does anyone, but me, think it a bit odd to have two coffins laying on the ground in front of bricks memorializing fallen Soldiers and Veterans, as part of the memorial?

I have never seen such a thing before, anywhere. Not that I've seen all that many of these type memorials.

I forgot to mention, soon upon arrival at Veterans Park I found a white ball laying on the ground. I picked it up and took it with me, throwing it in the air and catching it as I walked. I was feeling quite coordinated.

Veterans Park Falls
Veterans Park was a bit on the wet side, today, recovering from the first big rainstorm of 2012. Rain ended very early today, with blue sky returning to North Texas by noon.

Part of the trail through the Veterans Park Xeriscape was covered by a rampaging Veterans Park Creek, roaring over Veterans Park Falls.

I like feeling the earth tremble from a big waterfall, and getting soaked from the mist.

Changing the subject from Veterans Park, and catching a ball, back to being sick.

The only place I have been in the past week, where I was in close quarters with a lot of potential virus carriers, has been Town Talk. And Wal-Mart. I could not find Paradise Center Camp Bowie Bingo on Friday, or I would have had to add bingo to the suspect list.

I am medicating myself, currently, with medicinal tea laced with lemon juice. I'm sure it will cure me by morning.

Rain Continues On The Final Thursday Of The 1st Month Of 2012 On The Flooded Fort Worth Cowtown Wakepark

I did not realize until I stepped outside to take a picture through the bars of my patio prison cell that it is still raining on this morning of the last Thursday of the first month of 2012.

The weather predictors have predicted rain throughout today. Which explains why it is still raining.

Yesterday I mentioned that the Trinity River flood has inundated the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's first completed project, that being the much needed, community requested, World's #1 Urban Wakeboard facility, the Cowtown Wakepark.

I saw no mention made this morning in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram regarding the flood damage done to Cowtown Wakepark.

The Currently Flooded  Cowtown Wakepark
However, the Star-Telegraph sent one of its reporters out to check on the flooded Cowtown Wakepark to take some pictures. You can see those pictures in a Star-Telegraph blogging titled "Wanna Wakeboard?"

Maybe the Cowtown Wakepark was designed to easily handle being flooded, which may explain why it looks so shoddy.

I am beginning to suffer the pains that result from no aerobic stimulation. Today I will need to get myself some endorphins, even if I have to acquire them under a bumbershoot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bertrand Russell Got Me Thinking About Some Texas Fools & Fanatics

I just finished blogging about being perplexed by a problem in my part of the world, a problem which I think is caused by way too many fools and fanatics being way too certain that their foolish fanatical ideas, like the Trinity River Vision, make sense, when I logged into Facebook to find that a member of my favorite Fort Worth band, Triggerfish, had posted this amusing quote from Bertrand Russell.

That being...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Has Invaded Fort Worth's Eastside Regional Library With A Go Gateway Propaganda Billboard

Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Billboard In
Fort Worth Eastside Regional Library
Today all my endorphin inducing aerobically stimulating walking venues were compromised, to varying degrees, due to the unnatural amount of water that has fallen from the sky in the past 24 hours.

I assume the Village Creek Natural Historical Area is closed due to Village Creek flooding. The Trinity River is flooding, which has closed Quanah Parker Park and the Beach Street entry to Gateway Park. I could have gone to Oakland Lake Park and walked around Fosdic Lake under a bumbershoot, but I was in no mood for that.

So, with me in dire need of reading material, I decided to opt out of walking stimulation and instead go to the Eastside Regional Library and then Town Talk.

Imagine how appalled I was to be minding my own business, whilst book hunting, to find myself suddenly visually assaulted by an enormous chunk of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Propaganda, plopped right in the open in the library, where impressionable young minds could have their vision of the future, forever warped, in disappointment, when this Vision Boondoggle meets its inevitable blind alley end.

On the Billboard, the map of the new "Gateway Park" shows it extending all the way east of the Trinity River, to Oakland Boulevard, with skate parks, soccer fields, softball fields and I don't know what else, atop what is now the humped up remains of a waste disposal site which regularly spews flames.

The text on the "Go Gateway" sign says.........

An exciting component of the Trinity River Vision is Gateway Park in Fort Worth's east side. The 1.000 acre park will be filled with community requested recreational amenities, such as a public skate park, an outdoor amphitheater and 15 miles of additional trails. Major strides will be made in restoring the park's natural ecosystem, including the planting of over 80,000 native oak and pecan trees. This massive effort will fuel development around the park and connect east and southeast neighborhoods to the Trinity River corridor.

Where do I start?

Community requested amenities? Really? By what means and when did the community request these amenities? Was it in that bond election that approved this project?

The Gateway Park part of the TRV Boondoggle only came to be when the TRV had to add on the un-needed flood diversion channel in order to get federal funds. Then to make the un-needed flood diversion channel work, a large area of wetlands was needed to absorb the accelerated flood waters. This then affected the existing Gateway Park, so it had to be added to the Vision, including the planting of J.D. Granger's 80,000 Magic Trees, a subject we have discussed previously.

The Trinity Trail Dam Bridge
 By Gateway Park Underwater Today
What is happening today is very interesting, flood-wise. Today is the first time the Trinity River has gone into rogue flood mode since the remnants of Hurricane Hermine dumped a lot of rain on North Texas.

All the wonderful Trinity River Vision Boondoggle flood control elements, like the Magic Trees, are years from protecting Fort Worth from a flood event, like today.

If those flood control elements ever do become a reality, which is highly unlikely, what becomes of places downriver, like Quanah Parker Park? Quanah Parker Park is also in Fort Worth.

And why is this huge Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Propaganda Billboard sitting in a public library? Where impressionable young minds, not wise to the wily ways of propaganda, will leave the library with Trinity River Vision visions of Sugar Plum Fairies, Dancing Lollipops, Magic Trees and other things which will likely never happen, planted in their innocent young minds by that nefarious purveyor of nonsense and fairy tales, J.D. Granger.

Why is the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle spending so much public money on propaganda signage? Why are they working so hard to sell their vision? It is not like they are making their case due to an upcoming election where the project will be voted on.

Really, what is the point of sticking a billboard like this, touting so many ridiculous claims, in a public library?

It is all very very perplexing.

The Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Is Flooding Including The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Cowtown Wakepark

In the picture you are looking at an overhead view of the flooding that was blocking my way to my pool zone this morning.

Over 4 inches of rain has fallen on the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex during the current storm, which seems to have finally ceased, with the constant rain, in the last couple minutes.

I did not know that we are currently in flood mode til I read it on one of this area's few reliable news sources, that being the Star Telegraph.

Please note, this was not a typo, I meant to type Star-Telegraph, not Star-Telegram.

In a blogging posted in the Star-Telegraph, only minutes ago, titled "Fort Worth Flooding" I learned that not only are the usual suspects, like Haltom City, under water, but an object I suspected would be under water the first time we had a flood, is also under water.

Yes. The world's premiere urban wakeboard park, Cowtown Wakepark, the first project completed by the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle bogus flood control project, is under water.

I wonder how much damage the flood will do to the Cowtown Wakepark's cheap looking construction? And how much it will cost to fix the flood damage? Or has someone already figured out that Cowtown Wakepark is the first failure, of likely many, of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

If it was not a lot of bother I'd drive west to check out the flooded Cowtown Wakepark and take some pictures.

The Final Wednesday Of The 1st Month Of 2012 Is Stormy In Texas After Last Night's State Of The Union Address

Looking at the dark outer world through my primary viewing portal, past the bars of my patio prison cell, you can tell the sun has not yet arrived on this last Wednesday of the 1st month of 2012, Day 25 of January.

What you can not tell is it raining.

Rain began falling around 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Rain has continued to precipitate ever since. At times in copious amounts.

Thunder has been booming since soon after the arrival of the rain. The booming has continued, off and on, since the rain began.

At my location I have had 3 bone jarring, building shaking, very close lightning strikes.

I do not know if this means the Great Texas Drought is over. I doubt that it is.

Changing the subject from my favorite subject to something else.

I found myself self surprised to not be displeased by last night's State of the Union Address. This was one of the few times I have watched Obama give a speech, since he became president, when I did not, at some point, think to myself, this is not very presidential.

Last night's speech was quite a contrast from the last time Obama gave a speech to a joint session of Congress, that being his embarrassing "pass this jobs bill now" speech, that seemed to indicate he had no clue how the legislative process works.

Last night's speech was so good, as was Obama's acting presidential, that I had a glimmer of thinking he could actually be re-elected. Previous to last night I really thought he had no chance.

I still don't know how well Obama will hold up to  Newt Gingrich's proposed 3 hour Lincoln-Douglass style debates, should Newt get the Republican nomination.

I just heard thunder boom, again, in the midst of yet one more downpour.

I am not going swimming this morning.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Sky Darkens Over Mount Tandy With Incoming Rain Before Tonight's Late State Of The Union Address

Looking west today, at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth,, from high atop Mount Tandy, in the noon time frame, the sky was dark, as if building to rain.

That buildup is now coming to fruition, a couple hours later.

I may need to close my computer room window if the rains starts being blown by wind.

Currently the wet stuff is falling completely vertical, due to there being no wind, hence no wetness is being blown inside my abode.

Today may have been the last time I will be hiking on the Tandy Hills this first month of the new year.

Tonight used to be one of my favorite nights of the year, before I became old and jaded.

The president's annual State of the Union Address used to seem like watching history, like political theater.

Tonight it will likely seem more like the State of Dis-Union Address. It likely will not be pretty.

On to the subject of another thing I've not adjusted to during all these years I've been exiled in Texas.

Few national events, except for disasters or tragedies or both, are carried live, nationally. The ones I can think of are football games, like the Super Bowl, and other sporting type events, except for the Olympics, for the most part.

Then there is the Academy Awards Show, broadcast live.

And the annual State of the Union Address.

Carried live nationally means if it starts at 9 Eastern time it starts at 6 Pacific time. I was used to the Academy Awards starting at 6 and being over well before midnight.. The Super Bowl starting at 3 and also being over well before midnight. And the State of the Union Address starting at 7, also over well before midnight.

I have sort of gotten used to prime time starting at 7 in the Central time zone. Sort of. Local news coming on at 10 still seems odd.

But, I have learned to adjust. I really had no choice.

It does confuse me sometimes when I'm on the west coast. For instance, I may be staying with someone who makes a point of watching Survivor. 7 o'clock rolls along and I find myself interrupting to say, "it's past 7, I thought you wanted to watch Survivor?"

I then get reminded, in a dismissive tone, that I've forgotten, again, that I am on Pacific time.

Damn, partially age-related Adult Attention Deficit Disorder disorder.

Up Late The 4th Tuesday Of 2012 After Republican Debating & Too Much PDFing

Looking closely out at the outer world from my primary viewing portal on this next to the last Tuesday of the first month of 2012, you might guess I am up after the arrival of the sun on this 4th Tuesday of January.

You would be guessing right.

I was up real late last night, well past midnight, obsessed with the complex task of extracting text from a complex PDF document. Eventually I got the task completed and was able to go to bed and get some much needed sleep, much needed because Monday was a very exhausting day.

I am continuing to have a problem with something irritating my vision orbs to the extent that Artificial Tears are required to abate the irritation. I have no idea what irritant is in the air that is irritating my eyes.

The only variable that I know of is in the past week Chesapeake Energy has hydraulically fractured the Barnett Shale at my local neighborhood Fort Chesapeake.

Speaking of Big Brother Chesapeake. My favorite hole pokers have announced they are drastically reducing their hole poking into the Barnett Shale, due to the price of natural gas being at such a low level.

What did Chesapeake Energy think was going to happen to the price of natural gas when the supply was greatly increased by all those new holes poked into the ground all over America? Isn't that covered in Economics 101?

Speaking of Economics. I did not make it all the way through last night's 2 hour Republican Debate. The DVR recorded it, so I can watch the last 45 minutes later.

What I concluded from last night's debate is the more I see of Mitt Romney the less I like him. To me he comes across an an unctuous car salesmen with a tendency towards making low blows, always with a smile on his face. The more I listen to Newt Gingrich the more I like him. Same with Ron Paul. He amuses me. Rick Santorum annoys me and I don't quite know why.

Changing the subject from the ridiculous to my favorite one, the weather.

It is currently 44 degrees in the outer world at my location, heading to a high of 58, today, with rain predicted for today and the following two days. Like I said before, I will believe that when I get wet from something falling from the sky.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Little Horse House On The Tandy Hills Prairie With Diesel Trucks

Late, yesterday, Sunday, afternoon, I walked to the approximate location you see in today's picture to take a picture of the stunning, dust covered, skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

Today, when I returned, I was pleased to see the sky is now dust-free. And that the Mount Tandy Shrine has had a house added for the Mount Tandy Trojan Horse to stable in.

After taking a picture of the dust-free sky and the new Mount Tandy Shrine Installation, I continued down the south trail towards the Tandy Highway.

Part way down the trail I started hearing loud engine noises. Soon a humongous piece of heavy equipment was seen zipping quickly south on the Tandy Highway. When I reached the Tandy Highway I headed north, the opposite direction the piece of heavy equipment was zipping.

Soon I heard the noise of another incoming vehicle. This one was a big white pick-up. My one longtime reader knows how I feel about big white pick-ups. The driver of the big white pick-up saw me and slowed up. I got off the road and let the driver peacefully pass. Both the driver and passenger waved at me.

For the next couple hundred feet I got to enjoy the bliss of sucking in diesel fumes. And then the air was non-perfumed again.

I had no further direct contact with any mechanical devices inside the Tandy Hills Natural Area, unless you count, as a mechanical device contact, hearing the loud communications, via squawky walkie-talkie type communicators, of pipeline workers, who I did not see.

It is currently only 56 degrees. But, once again, I have my windows open. I did not turn on the furnace this morning. I don't know why it was hot in here, til I opened the windows, but it was.

I do not recollect ever opening my windows in December and January in years previous in Texas. This does not bode well for the coming HOT time of the year. Which starts in a little over a month.

Chesapeake Energy Propaganda Says With Great Progress Comes Great Responsibilty

Any of us living in the Tarrant County zone of the Barnett Shale who may have wondered what it may have been like to live in a world of the sort envisioned by George Orwell, or what it might have been like to live in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, places where the state controlled the media and thus had free reign to spew whatever ridiculous propaganda the regime felt like spewing, can wonder no more.

Welcome to the Orwellian World of Fort Worth, Texas.

Orwell's Big Brother, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany used a lot of slogans to make their propaganda points.

In Fort Worth we have a shadow government run by Chesapeake Energy. For years now Chesapeake Energy has been spewing propaganda, in addition to air pollution. The Chesapeake Energy slogans show up on Fort Worth buses, billboards, newspaper ads, TV ads and bus stop benches.

Chesapeake Energy is now calling the Barnett Shale "Buried Treasure" and hosting "The Party In Fort Worth" for Fort Worth's elite to celebrate the Buried Treasure that is making many of the elite wealthy while making others in Fort Worth, and beyond, sick.

Some examples of Chesapeake Energy's Orwellian propaganda slogans are...

"Let's get behind the Barnett"

"Thanks Barnett Shale for our Strong Economy"

"Friends of Barnett Shale"

"Barnett Shale Helps Our Schools"

Well, it sure has been fairly well documented that Fort Worth's schools can use some help. It has been years now Chesapeake Energy has been helping. Any improvement?

What has freshly annoyed me regarding the Chesapeake Energy propaganda is this morning it interfered with my fast peruse of Chesapeake Energy's propaganda partner, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

An annoying ad curled over the top of the front page, from "the Barnett Powering Progress."


Great responsibility? Like when Chesapeake Energy responsibly tried to force a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under Fort Worth's Carter Avenue, and was only stopped from doing this due to an extremely rare citizen's protest against this outrageously irresponsible assault on a neighborhood?

This morning's propaganda does not specifically attribute it to Chesapeake Energy. The Nazis did not always trumpeted their messages as being from Hitler either. Like the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign, upon entry to Auschwitz, did not say "Arbeit Macht Frei Sagen Adolf Hitler."

But, who else would pay for this annoying ad but Chesapeake Energy and it cohorts in poking holes in the ground all over Fort Worth and Tarrant County?

The 23rd Day Of 2012 With Artificial Tears Washing The Dust From My Eyes In Texas

Looking closely through the bars of my patio prison cell on this next to last Monday of the first month of 2012, you can not tell if this 23rd Day of the New Year is cloudy, or cold, at my location on the planet.

But, due to the wonders of modern technology, using my computer based weather monitoring device, I can tell you it is currently 41 degrees, partly cloudy and heading to a high of 62 today, at my current location in North Texas.

At my former location, Mount Vernon, Washington, it is currently 39 degrees and raining. It rains a lot at my former location. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow at my current location. I'll believe it when it gets me wet.

I don't know if more dust storming is in our forecast for today. Last night my eyes were being badly irritated. I had to seek out my Artificial Tears Lubricated Eye Drops to stop the irritation. I am experiencing similar, albeit, not as irritating irritation this morning. But not to the point I have reached for the Eye Drops.

Changing subjects from my favorite one to something else.

This week Mr. President gives his State of the Union address.

In years gone by I used to look forward to this event. I don't know when, exactly, I ceased finding this something I enjoyed, rather than endured. I think it was likely some time during the George W. Bush years. Obama's State of the Union addresses have been really bad, in my jaded opinion.

I am a big fan of soaring rhetoric. I am not a big fan of plodding rhetoric that causes me a wince reflex.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Viewing Beautiful Dusty Downtown Fort Worth From On Top Of Mount Tandy

Downtown Fort Worth With A Dust Cover
From my abode none of my viewing portals afford me a very good panoramic distant view.

CatsPaw the Skywatcher warned me of an incoming Dust Storm earlier this afternoon.

By late afternoon I decided to go see if I could see some dust.

When I reached the point where I had a view of the sky I saw nothing that said Dust Storm to me.

So, I decided to drive to the top of my local hill for a better view. From the top of the hill, turning right on to Bridge Street, I could see that the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth was looking a bit stricken.

I continued on to the top of Mount Tandy, which is where I took the Dust Storm hazy picture of the aforementioned stunning skyline.

By the time I got back to my computer, CatsPaw the Skywatcher was telling me that the dust cloud was supposed to pass to the northwest of Fort Worth. The sky looked dusty any direction I looked.

I decided, since I was already on Mount Tandy, and since I really do not get enough exercise, to take a quick  trip down Mount Tandy's northside, then take the Tandy Highway to the south trail which ascends to the top of Mount Tandy.

Part way down Mount Tandy's northside I was startled by something I have only rarely seen on the Tandy Hills. As in a really good-looking young lady. The last time I was in this location, with a young lady, was with the Queen of Wink, when were making our escape from the Manly Men Wild Women Hike a couple years ago.

I could tell I startled the good-looking young lady. She stopped and was reining in her two dogs. I let out one of my ultra friendly totally Texasified  howdies to put the young lady at ease. I then asked if the dogs were as dangerous as they looked. She told me they were sweet dogs.

The dogs then proceeded to run to me and lick me. I do not like being licked by strange dogs.

What happened next appalled me.

When the young lady passed me she took off running, not jogging, not walking at a fast pace, but running, up what may be the steepest hill on the Tandy Hills. I had to help the Queen of Wink up this hill when the steepness caused her a mild case of the vapors.

So, seeing this example of extreme fitness in action it made me feel like a fat slug as I waddled the rest of the way back to my vehicular transport.

I probably should shut my windows due to all this dust. But it feels good having the windows open. So, open they shall remain, dust be damned.

A Sunday Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Coming Across Evidence Of A Gun Battle

Bullet Casings From A Possible Village Creek Shootout
I just got an incoming warning from my fellow weather obsessor, CatsPaw the Skywatcher, telling me I should make haste to get in my daily visit to the Tandy Hills because a massive duststorm is heading our way.

I was already safely back in my duststorm-free abode when I received CatsPaw the Skywatcher's warning.

I did not go to the Tandy Hills today. Instead I went to my semi-regular place to go, on Sundays, for my daily endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation, that being to Village Creek Natural Historical Area, to walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the place where they were mass murdered, years ago, by incoming Texans acting in an early version of AVATAR, only in this early version the natives lose and the invaders take their paradise.

I found something slightly disturbing a short distance down the trail that leads from Village Creek Natural Historical Area's westside parking lot off Dottie Lynn Parkway.

The slightly disturbing thing I found was the collection of bullet cartridge casings you see in the pictures above

Closeup Of A Village Creek Bullet Casing
I am not even remotely a gun nut, so I have no idea if the name for these bullet remains is actually cartridge casings. All I know about guns and bullets I know from watching cops shows on TV.

I could not read what was imprinted on the bottom of the casings til I got back to my abode and took a picture.

From all the crime procedural TV shows I watch I know the info printed somewhere on some part of a bullet is critical to solving the crime.

These casings say "FEDERAL AUTO 45."

Does this mean this was an FBI Federal operation that left all these bullet casings?

I looked around for other evidence of a raging gunfight and found none.

Switching the subject from Village Creek gun battles back to the weather.

When I was getting ready to leave my abode to head to Village Creek I glanced at my computer based temperature monitoring device to be shocked to see it was now 37.


Serene Village Creek
But, it was 45 when I woke up the computer heading to a high in the 70s. Where is this chill coming from?

I almost had the second leg of a long pair of pants on when I remembered I'd switched the temperature being monitored to Mount Vernon. I switched it back to Fort Worth, saw it was 61 and took off my pants.

It is now 75, apparently with a massive wall of dust in storm form heading this way.

I had an extremely pleasant walk in the serenity that surrounds Village Creek. The Indian Ghosts maintain a nice sanctuary. There were many other people also enjoying the Village Creek Indian Ghost Sanctuary today.

I think I shall leave my abode now and see if I can see this incoming duststorm CatsPaw the Skywatcher has warned me about.

At Chesapeake Energy's Party In Fort Worth You Must Attend Attired Like A Pirate Or A Cocktail

Elsie Hotpepper and I are looking forward to next month's Chesapeake Energy "The Party In Fort Worth" where the Fort Worth elite meet and greet to raise money to raise awareness in the rest of the nation about Fort Worth being the Best City in the World.

Individual tickets have now SOLD OUT. Which is not surprising as the Individual tickets only cost $200.

Sponsor Tables have also sold out.

1200 -1300 guests are expected at Chesapeake's Pirate Party.

I did not know until Elsie and I received our informational packets that specific attire was required.

As you can see via the screencap from The Party in Fort Worth website, where it says...

Attire: Pirates of the Caribbean style costumes, or cocktail

Or cocktail? Is that thrown in just to make sure J.D. Granger shows up? So he can come as a Martini rather than Blackbeard or Jean Lafitte?

Is J.D's mom going to be attired like a pirate wench, like the ones the pirates chase in Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean? Will Betsy price also be a pirate wench?

Is The Party in Fort Worth going to be televised so the 748,922 who are not among the Fort Worth elite can watch all the pirate fun?

After all, the party is taking place in a public facility, the Fort Worth Convention Center, which the non-elite did help pay for.

Maybe the 748,922 Fort Worth non-elites should descend on the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 25 and crash the party. That would fit in well with the pirate theme....

Betty Jo Bouvier Says Hello Handsome My Name Is Rose

Betty Jo Bouvier has been on a quest to cure me of my pessimistic outlook on existence.

In other words, to improve my attitude.

Or something like that.

A couple weeks ago Betty Jo sent me the story of The Last Cab Ride.

A couple days ago Betty Jo sent me the story of a college girl named Rose. So far I detect no change in my basic attitude....

Hello  Handsome My name Is Rose 

The  first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged  us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look  around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned  around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a  smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome.  My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you  may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in  college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She  jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and  have a couple of kids....'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was  curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge  at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education  and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked  to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three  months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always  mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom  and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose  became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.  She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon  her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the  end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet  I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped  up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she  dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and  a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said,  'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey  is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just  tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat  and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old  because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to  staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh  and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose  your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around  who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge  difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are  nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one  productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am  eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do  anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older.  That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by  always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The  elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for  things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with  regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing  'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics  and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose  finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in  tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never  too late to be all you can possibly be.

Read All About It In The Fort Worth Star-Telegram How Parents At Fort Worth Stock Show Use Many Ways To Transport Children

Last night I blogged about how appalled I am regarding the embarrassingly bad state of Fort Worth sidewalks, with this sad sidewalk situation not being worthy of a World Class City that makes the rest of the World Green With Envy.

Fort Worth does not have what most city's in America have, that being a major newspaper of record that acts as the community's watchdog.

What Fort Worth has is this pseudo newspaper that calls itself the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but should more accurately be called the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Pravda-Like Star-Telegram.

This morning Elsie Hotpepper sent me a link to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about parents pushing their kids, in strollers, around the Fort Worth Stock Show.

For those of you not in Fort Worth, who don't know what the Fort Worth Stock Show is, it is basically a county fair held in the middle of winter.

My blogging about Fort Worth's sidewalks, yesterday, was prompted due to having seen a mom struggling to push a stroller up a Fort Worth hill, alongside a road with no sidewalks.

You will read not a word in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the sad state of Fort Worth's sidewalks, but you can read the following article from this morning's Star-Telegram, which is clearly illustrative of how ridiculous this sad excuse for a newspaper is....

Parents at Fort Worth Stock Show use many ways to transport children

Look around the Stock Show, and you are likely to see a stroller. Or a hundred.

For most parents, the stroller reigns supreme as the best way to move kiddos.

Val McCorkle wondered Saturday whether she could squeeze her family's double stroller between a stall and a man shearing a sheep. Her children, 3 and 18 months, seemed oblivious. "We take this pretty much everywhere," McCorkle said while holding the hand of her third child, 4. "The walking would be too much for the kids."

Other parents appear to have ditched strollers for wagons, leashes, slings and carriers. Amber Topley carried her 7-month-old daughter in a moss green Moby wrap.

"With a stroller, you have to be so careful maneuvering," Topley said. "With the sling, she's attached to me. It's much easier."

Topley's other two children, 3 and 5, rested on a bench, tired from using the most old-fashioned means of movement: their legs.

-- Sarah Bahari

The Next To Last Sunday Of 2012 Dawns Cloudy & Frost-Free In Texas

Today is already the next to last Sunday morning of the first month of the New Year.

Looking out my primary viewing portal on the outer world on this 22nd Day of 2012, after the arrival of the sun, you might be able to tell that there is a layer of clouds between my location on the planet and that aforementioned sun.

Due to the lack of condensation on the primary viewing portal's window panes. you might also guess that this morning, unlike yester morning, it is not freezing.

We are already heated to 50 degrees this morning, heading to a high of 69, if the temperature predictors prediction is correct. Those same weather predictors are also advising that it will be windy today. I am never quite sure why we need this advice.

Meanwhile up in my old home zone it is also windy, but their weather predictors make it sound more dire with the words HIGH WIND WARNING.

Below are the 5 Day Forecasts for my new home zone and my old home zone. The new home zone first, then the old home zone. Looking at those forecasts which would be your home zone choice?????

Unfortunately, I don't think I'd be going swimming this morning no matter which of my home zones I was currently located in.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Seeing A Struggling Mom Has Made Me Cranky About Fort Worth's Sidewalks To Nowhere & Its Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

About an hour ago I took a walk to take a picture of a sidewalk. Well, more accurately, I took a walk to take a picture of the lack of a sidewalk.

Last night, when I as returning from my aborted attempt to play bingo at Paradise Center Camp Bowie Bingo, at about 7:30, well after dark, I was driving north on Bridgewood Drive, almost back to my abode, when I saw young mom pushing a stroller, with two kids in the stroller, up the hill you see in the picture.

In the past couple months a lot of roadwork has been done to Bridgewood Drive, for no reason apparent to my eyes. That roadwork did not include installing sidewalks along the un-sidewalked sections of Bridgewood Drive.

But, that roadwork did totally rough up the well worn pedestrian dirt paths on both sides of the road, making the paths bumpy.

That mom I saw last night was struggling hard, I assume trying to push her kids to the Krogers at the top of the hill, to get groceries.

In addition to the rough path, the street was poorly lit, very dark. I assume a street light, or two, may be out. Would not be the first time.

Why is there not some sort of mandate, a law of some sort, making it required, for safety's sake, to have sidewalks alongside roads in heavily populated areas?

Every other city, with which I am familiar, besides Fort Worth, installs sidewalks along their roads, I assume due to common sense being in sufficient supply in those towns. Maybe the Fort Worth Oligarchy could send out a task force to others towns, towns that have figured out how to install sidewalks alongside their streets, and discover how this is done.

I know I have gotten on the Sidewalk Bandwagon before. This is because this really bugs me.

Another aspect of Fort Worth's sidewalks, that being the sidwalks that do exist, that bugs me, is they are, for the most part, so narrow.

On most sidewalks in Fort Worth, two super-sized Texans, coming towards each other, could not pass with out one or the other, or both, stepping off the narrow sidewalk.

How can a city be so blind that it can have a vision wasting millions of dollars to build a river diversion channel that is not needed, a little lake that will cause giggles, non-signature bridges to nowhere and whatever else it is that is currently being seen by the myopic Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, when its city sidewalks, or lack of, are something one might expect to see in a town in a Third World country?

How many Fort Worth natives have taken a look at the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's first completed project? That being the world's premiere wakeboard lake called Cowtown Wakepark? If that operation is the quality level that the Trinity River Vision sees as acceptable, well, the portent is not good.

Cowtown Wakepark looks tacky. Everything about it looks tacky and cheap. And what happens to Cowtown Wakepark the next time the Trinity River goes into flood mode? Wipeout?

Back to the lack of sidewalks. How can any self-respecting town, particularly one prone to ridiculous delusions of grandeur of the sort Fort Worth is prone to, maintain those ridiculous delusions when the town is so lacking in something as basic as sidewalks, that a mother of two has to push her kid's stroller on a bumpy dirt path to get to a grocery store?

Where this mom was pushing that stroller is not an area with few people. It is a densely populated area of Fort Worth.

Where is the vision for the rest of Fort Worth? The part not seen by the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Seeing New Signs Of Tandy Hills Renewal Along With Town Talk Cuties, Cabbage & Newts

The Freshly Re-Painted Tandy Hills Sign
Since I am a creature of repetitive habit and since today is Saturday, that means I went to Town Talk today.

The Tandy Hills were once again my choice of location to get myself some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

Since I was going to Town Talk I chose the View Street parking location, rather than the top of Mount Tandy.

Arriving on View Street I was pleased to see the Tandy Hills-Stratford Parks sign has been re-painted and restored to legibility. As long as I have seen the Tandy Hills I have seen this sign faded.

What looks like an antennae sticking up from the top of the right side of the sign is actually the Fort Worth Space Needle atop the aforementioned Mount Tandy.

What a difference one day makes in Texas, weather-wise. Yesterday I hiked the Tandy Hills in shorts with no shirt. And got HOT. By this morning it was freezing, warmed to 41, when I did my hill hiking. So, I had on long pants, two layers of shirts, a hat and a windbreaker.

If the temperature predictors have predicted correctly, today will reach a high of only 51. But tomorrow we will be heated up, again, into the high 70s.

I have not turned on my furnace today. And right now I have my computer room window open, even though it is only 49 degrees out there in the outer world at my location.

Today, at Town Talk, for the second time ever, I had to use a grocery cart, rather than just carry a basket. It was the bags of Cuties oranges for only a buck that required the grocery cart. That and some really big cabbage. And some butternut squash. Everything else I got could have fit into my usual handheld basket.

On my way back from my aborted trip, last night, to play Paradise Center Camp Bowie Bingo, as I drove down the hill that leads to my abode I saw something that really bothers me. I think I will take a walk in awhile to photo document what bothered me and then blog about it.

Tonight should be entertaining television viewing, hopefully entertaining due to watching Newt upset Mitt in South Carolina. Even more entertaining would be Ron Paul upsetting Newt and Mitt. Rick Santorum upsetting anyone would not be as entertaining. At least to me.