Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Walk Around The Industrial Wasteland I Call Home

With the return of blue sky, and its attendant temporary banishment of gray, I decided that the mighty fine swim I had myself this morning in the pool which is being unnaturally warm for this one day before November time of the year, did not provide sufficient endorphin stimulation, so I opted to take myself on a noontime walking tour through the Industrial Wasteland I call home.

The above is what is known as a run-on sentence. Run-on sentences are considered bad form because they tend to be confusing. Since I like being confusing, run-on sentences appeal to me.

Back to the subject of today's walk around the neighborhood.

Today I walked around the super-sized block, which surrounds my abode, before reaching the Albertsons point of the walk, which is the usual destination on my regular walks around the neighborhood.

In the view in the photo above you are looking southwest, with the 820 freeway behind you, gazing across my neighborhood Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Drilling Industrial Wasteland site at the aforementioned Albertsons and its surrounding strip mall.

Attractive, isn't it?

I am almost 100% certain that that water you see puddled in the foreground of the photo is not fracking fluid that has burbled to the surface.

I am almost 100% certain that that particular puddle was caused by the rain that fell yesterday.

But one can never be quite sure what it is you see puddled at this particular location on the planet...

Happy Halloween With Little Dean & The Mermaid

It being Halloween I felt compelled to share this ultra cute photo of Little Dean, the Pirate and his little sister, Autumn the Mermaid.

If Little Dean the Pirate and Autumn the Mermaid knock on your door tonight you better have a real good treat to give them.

Or risk the tricky wrath of a Pirate and a Mermaid....

No Scary Weather For Halloween In North Texas

The weather predictor's predictions for yesterday at my location on the planet pretty much did not play out as predicted.

I was almost 100% certain we were in for some BIG storming yesterday, what with the forecast of t-storms, damaging winds, large hail and possible tornadoes.

Yesterday I saw no flashes of lightning, heard no thunder booms, saw no downpours, saw no hail bouncing on the ground, experienced no damaging winds and did not hear the tornado sirens blaring.

What I did see yesterday was a Pacific Northwest type mild rain, with a few moments of going from mild to light, with the dripping lasting a couple hours.

Reading the local news this morning I saw no mention of flash floods or any storm related news.

So, did this predicted storm miss all of North Texas?

I do not recollect in times past in Texas the weather predictors missing the mark as frequently as what seems to be happening of late. Is this a function of the changing weather patterns with the old model for the old weather patterns no longer being predictably reliable?

And now blue sky has returned, hours ahead of its predicted return, which portends well for the Halloween trick or treaters tonight....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Boycotting Toll Roads In Texas & Washington

In the picture you are not looking at an artists's rendering of a mob protesting the proposed toll on one of the bridges that may cross the un-needed flood diversion channel which is part of Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

What you are looking at in the picture is actually a protest from last weekend which occurred on the Interstate 90 floating bridge which crosses Lake Washington in Washington.

The state wants to turn this floating bridge into a toll bridge to help finance the billions of dollars worth of road construction projects taking place in Washington. I do not remember there ever being a toll on this bridge, not the current one, or the one that sank while the new one was being built.

I do remember there was a toll on the other floating bridge which crosses Lake Washington, which was lifted after enough was collected to pay for the bridge. That 520 bridge, north of the 90 bridge, is currently being replaced as part of multi-billion dollar highway construction project.

Meanwhile in Texas, down in the Austin zone, citizens with Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) started up a boycott of the Texas State Highway 130 toll road. That boycott has proved successful with traffic levels so low that it has caused a Moody's downgrade with a warning of a default if the concession company does not get more traffic on the road or restructure its debt.

Also in Texas, in my neighborhood, a big road construction project is underway, that being the I-820/I-121 upgrade, part of which is a toll road. I have not heard about any planned boycotts.

One of the many things I like about the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone is the ease of driving, compared to driving in the Seattle/Tacoma Western Washington Metroplex zone.

In D/FW if one finds oneself in a traffic jam there are usually multiple alternative routes, often just a multi-lane frontage road will suffice.

In the Seattle/Tacoma Western Washington Metroplex zone there are these things called hills and mountains and lakes and oceans and multiple rivers which can make getting around a traffic jam a bit challenging. I remember the last time, July 21, 2002, that I drove north from Kent, south of Seattle, to Ferndale,  near the Canadian border, a distance of about 130 miles, it took me 6 hours due to traffic jam after traffic jam, with no alternative ways north.

I had not experienced a toll road til I moved to Texas. The first time was when I drove up to Oklahoma to visit a fellow Pacific Northwest transplant in Ada. At one point I found myself needing to throw quarters in a big funnel thing so I could drive a couple dozen miles on what I think was called the Chickasaw Turnpike.

My other toll road experience in Texas was down in Houston. It was bizarre. I needed to get from the north end of town to the south end. I looked at a map and it appeared that a road I think was called the Sam Houston Tollway looked to be the the efficient route. This tollway had you paying a new toll every few miles. Like I said, bizarre.

I just remembered another toll road experience, also up in Oklahoma. This time in Tulsa. I accidentally got on a toll road where you did not pay the toll til you exited. I got off at the first exit. The toll taker felt my pain and let me return to Tulsa without paying the toll.

I think I like the idea of freeways much better than the tollway concept.....

The Day Before Halloween In Texas Promises To Be Stormy With Thunderstorms & Possible Tornadoes

I am vertical this day before Halloween, last Wednesday of October, before the arrival of the sun and its daily dawning of light on my part of the planet.

So far no precipitation has precipitated at my location, near as I can tell.

That balmy 77 degrees should make for a pleasant pool time this morning, even if I don't get to go swimming in the rain.

The rest of the forecast for today looks to be a bit adventurous. Thunderstorms, with some of those being severe, windy, downpours, large balls of hail and maybe a tornado.

I am still 20 minutes away from the scheduled arrival of the sun and its attempt to light up the outer world through what I suspect is a thick layer of clouds.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Facebook & AT & T Need To Be Regulated Better & Stopped From Sending Unrequested Text Messages

Yesterday I got the text message you see on the left. I did not open it til today.

Why did I open it today?

Well, I was having a pleasant conversation with a pleasant person when my phone made its annoying new text message noise.

I looked at the phone and saw it was a text message which said...

"Sheila (friends with Chris) also commented on Chris's status."

The rest of the text message was Sheila's comment on Chris's Facebook status.

What fresh hell is this I sat and wondered? The pleasant person I was conversing with then told me that yesterday she got the text message I also got yesterday, but did not open til today.

That is the text message you see above, informing me that Facebook SMS is now on. And that I'll be getting updates about friends on Facebook. And that I can make it stop by replying stop.

And so I stopped this annoying thing by replying stop.

Now, why did this start happening without me asking for this? A couple days ago I got a text message from AT & T telling me that my account from bankrupt Hawk Electronics had been transferred to AT & T.

The only way Facebook has my phone number is through AT & T.

How is this legal to start sending unrequested text messages? I don't do much texting. I am still on a phone plan where I pay for each incoming and outgoing text message. Needless to say, I will not be paying for these Facebook text messages.

And does this mean that comments I have been making on Facebook have been being sent to people who have AT & T accounts?

This is an abominable outrage and something really should be done to fix it.

And Facebook really needs to go the way of MySpace....

Having Myself A Mighty Fine Time Not Biking On A Golden Brown Trail

No, that is not me, pedaling on a trail rendered golden brown by freshly fallen leaves.

The person pedaling in the photo has two tires which are not flat. I still have not gotten around to de-flatting my rear tire.

My injured foot was feeling a lot better today. So much better that when I walked to the pool this morning to have myself a mighty fine swim I totally forgot to limp, because I felt no pain.

The outer world was heated to 71 degrees when I had myself that aforementioned mighty fine swim. There was no need this morning for a hot tub retreat to curb any shivering.

I suspect the same will be true for the coming few days, if the weather predictors are correct with their predicting.

If the weather predictors are correct regarding their precipitation predicting I will likely be having myself a swimming in the rain mighty fine time tomorrow morning.

I forgot to mention, it was to Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area I took my slight limp for a walk with the Indian ghosts who haunt this part of the planet where they used to live in peace before the Texans issued their eviction notices.

I am hearing an electronic beep which indicates it is time for a mighty fine lunch. Chorizo, pizza and salad.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sundance Square Plaza Opens Friday Under Teflon Umbrellas In Downtown Fort Worth

On the left is a scanned image of a full page ad I saw this morning in this week's Fort Worth Weekly.

The ad is very clever. Near as I can tell, two things are being advertised.

Sundance Square and Sundance Square Plaza.

The ad has 15 lines, starting at the top, each line gets shorter til the last line is only 4 words.


The last line says THIS IS THE PLACE TO...

And directly below THIS IS THE PLACE TO... we see that that place is SUNDANCE SQUARE.

Those who are familiar with other towns and their public squares may be thinking that Sundance Square is one of those type public squares. One would be wrong thinking that. What Sundance Square is is the downtown Fort Worth collection of parking lots, restaurants, hotels, galleries, clubs and stores, covering a multi-block area.

Well, having signs pointing to something called Sundance Square confused many of the millions of tourists who visit downtown Fort Worth, with those tourists perplexedly inquiring where Sundance Square is as they are standing in one of the parking lots they just parked in, finding themselves being told they are in Sundance Square, then continuing to be perplexed as they ask "So, this parking lot is Sundance Square?" to be told that no, it is not just this parking lot.

The powers that be who came up with the Sundance Square idea decided it was time to alleviate the tourist confusion and get downtown Fort Worth an actual public square, so the locals could point those millions of tourists to an actual Sundance Square.

Only, well, we've got a problem. Those powers that be somehow thought it a good idea to name Fort Worth's new downtown square SUNDANCE SQUARE PLAZA.

So now tourists can ask where Sundance Square is to be told it is all around you, and then when further inquiring as to why there is no square in Sundance Square to be told that for that you need to find Sundance Square Plaza.

Sundance Square Plaza has its Grand Opening with a three day celebration starting this Friday, November 1. Sundance Square has its own website touting the wonders of what will be happening at Sundance Square Plaza in Sundance Square. That is a screencap of the Sundance Square website below.

A blurb from the website about Sundance Square Plaza and its Grand Opening celebration...

Join us for the Opening Celebration of the highly anticipated Sundance Square Plaza, November 1-3. Come and go during this weekend celebration. Enjoy music and fun while taking in the new sights of the 36-foot Teflon umbrellas and the 216 jet water feature. See the wave wall and much more! Enjoy this 55,000 square foot space, bookended by two new beautiful buildings: The Westbrook and the Commerce Building will be sure to impress. This Sundance Square Plaza is the new heart of downtown Fort Worth. Come celebrate with us!

I am so looking forward to seeing those Teflon umbrellas....

Limping To Home Depot Had Me Thinking About My Old Home In Mount Vernon & Hortense

That is my neighborhood Home Depot you are looking at in the photo. The Home Depot is across the street from the Albertsons I think I've mentioned previously.

The last time I did some hill hiking on the Tandy Hills I had a little tripping action which did not vex me much at the time. Then the next morning my left foot was in pain mode when walked upon.

I may have had a sleep walking incident which acerbated whatever got twisted by the Tandy tripping. The evidence of a sleep walking incident are a bruise on the right side of both my knees and another bruise on my left arm. I have no conscious memory of anything happening that would be bruising to these 3 locations.

This morning when I walked to the pool I stepped on a rock, right on the spot on my left foot that is in pain. This seems to have made matters worse.

So, I think I may be toning down any strenuous walking til this foot thing goes away, hence the leisurely walk to my neighborhood Home Depot today.

I had not been in a Home Depot or any of that type store in years. I used to get stuff in Home Depot type places frequently. My only reason for going to Home Depot today was to check out BBQs. My sister who lived in Tacoma that last time I saw her, over 5 years ago, who is currently living in Chicago, last I heard, had the best propane BBQ I'd ever used. It had something special about its design which made for a real BBQ taste, unlike other propane BBQs I've used.

After looking at the Home Depot BBQs I limped around the store. This got me feeling like Rip Van Winkle. The last time I bought any new appliance type stuff was way back in 1985 for the new house I built in Mount Vernon. Back then almond was the popular color. So, everything in my kitchen was almond, including the countertop and the cabinets.

I saw nothing almond in Home Depot today. Most of the refrigerators were stainless steel, as were most of the ovens and dishwashers. I saw two white refrigerators.

Anyway, looking at stuff in Home Depot had me thinking back in time, which had me feeling nostalgic and then a little depressed and then a little homesick. I knew I had photos of my old home in Mount Vernon hidden somewhere on this computer. Eventually I found them.

Below I take you back in time, to Washington, in the last century.....

Above you are looking at the deck which was above the carport. This is where my BBQ was located. The BBQ is the round red thing in the center forefront. I had a nice garden on this roof deck. Three big blueberry bushes, a strawberry bed, big pots for tomatoes and an herb planter where I always grew way more basil than I could use.

Now we are looking the opposite direction, from under the awning that covered part of the roof top deck. I used to spend a lot of time at this location lollygagging on a hammock.

That is my nephew Christopher running on the rock path that surrounds the house. I was on the second level roof to take this picture. The house had flat roofs with easy access to the top roof via a door. The rocks were hauled, via pickup, from a spot further east in the Skagit Valley called Day Creek. Looking at all the rocks in the picture and realizing that this shows only one small area of them and further realizing it was me who arranged them, well, it seems like a long time ago and I don't remember it being tiring hauling all those rocks.

Above we are on the deck in the backyard, well, there actually was no backyard of the grass growing lawn sort. Above that red door you can see part of the aforementioned door which gave access to the roof. Entering that red door the kitchen is on the left, the living room on the right.

Two things I remember about those windows on the right. There was a period of time when a number of earthquakes took place, low on the Richter scale, but centered just a few miles to the east. I'd be sitting in the living room, watching TV, and an earthquake would hit with the windows flexing in a way I did not know could happen without breaking.

The other thing I remember about those windows was one Spring a demented robin flew into the window, hour after hour, day after day. The demented robin would sit on a bush and decide to attack its reflection in the window. It was very annoying. I don't recollect, for sure, how this problem was solved. A BB gun may have been involved. Or maybe my cat, Hortense, took care of it. She really hated that window bashing robin.

In the above view we are just outside that red door, on the backyard deck. That white stuff is snow. This picture was taken at the start of what became the deepest snowfall I ever experienced in the Skagit lowlands zone.

Above you are looking at the same view, after the snow finished piling up. This was fun for about 2 days. And then it got old. I cross country skied to get groceries. Driving was not possible from my location. My house was on a steep cul-de-sac, which became a sledding mecca when enough snow made that possible. That winter wonderland aspect was sort of fun. When the BIG THAW came it caused all sorts of problems. Drain pipes broke, a water pipe burst in the basement. It was a mess, a real big mess.

That is the aforementioned Hortense, sitting in her favorite chair. Hortense made the move to Texas. She was about 20 years old at the time. To get to Texas Hortense had to be sedated, placed in a carrying container and then in a plane to fly to D/FW. Hortense died about a year after the move to Texas and is buried in horse corral at a ranch in Haslet.

Whilst in Mount Vernon Hortense shared my laying on the floor, drinking coffee and reading the Seattle Post-Intelligencer habit.

Hortense was one smart cat. She loved Tender Vittles. I had a little car deal, pulled by a rope. I'd say to Hortense "car ride" to which she'd get in the car and I'd pull her around. After which she knew she'd get a handful of Tender Vittles. I remember Hortense doing this trick for my grandma to grandma's amazed amusement.

Hortense did not use a litter box. She would let you know when she needed to go outside. One time I did not get back home til way later than expected and Hortense, desperate to void, drug a newspaper on to the tiled section of the downstairs bathroom and proceeded to do her business.

When I was gone for an extended period, as in weeks, Hortense lived outside in her own little heated house on the roof deck. Whenever Hortense was outside, when I returned, from either a long trip or just gone for the day, she somehow knew I was heading up the cul-de-sac, which had her running to be right at the driveway entry where she did this log stretching ritual and then would walk slowly to the carport while I drove in behind her.

I was mountain biking in Tyler State Park when Hortense had a stroke and died. Hortense seldom went outside after the move to Texas. She had a litter box for the first time. The horses in the pasture made Hortense very nervous. The last time I saw Hortense I was surprised to look out the window to see Hortense standing by the fence, looking at one of the horses. Then I watched as she came to my door and made her let me in noise. She had never done this before. How did she know where that door went? And that I was on the other side?

Hortense walked in and sat on the floor for about an hour while I did computer stuff. Then she walked to the door that led to the rest of the house and meowed her demand that that door be opened. I shut the door as Hortense left, which was the last time I saw Hortense. The next day I returned to a pair of sobbers informing of the passing of Hortense.

Hortense lived a long, charmed life.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Looking At A Stormy Sky While Navigating Texas Freeway Construction Thinking About A Relatively Annoying Problem

On this last Sunday of October, in the photo on the left, you are looking south through the security fence which protects me from intruders.

I have never seen an attempting intruder impaled on one of those spikes.

I have seen an attempting intruder get his baggy pants impaled on one of those spikes, rendering him stuck long enough for law enforcement to arrive.

Those dark menacing clouds that those spikes are pointing towards look as if they could produce lightning bolts.

Last night's lightning bolts, after dark, struck very close and were very loud. Along with a heavy downpour which did not last long.

Is the Great Texas Drought coming to an end? I hope so.

This morning I drove up to Hurst. I knew my usual Precinct Line exit was not available due to the old overpass being demolished this weekend. The highway construction engineering that is taking place along the current 820/121 mess is an  interesting wonder to behold. How many people does it take to figure out how to make all that confusion work?

Getting to Hurst was easy. Leaving Hurst, via getting back on the freeway, was a fun adventure. Due to the old overpass and old freeway section being removed, the new temporary entry to the freeway was a navigating feat that seemed sort of like playing a video game.

When I first moved to Texas the new 820/121 mixmaster was under construction. Within a short time after my arrival that new mixmaster was completed. And now that new mixmaster is being all mixed up again with all this new construction. Will this also last only 12 years before it  needs to be even bigger?

Changing the subject from freeway construction to a relatively annoying problem.

The past few days I have been making myself depressed thinking about how to deal with a relatively annoying problem. I am torn between directly dealing with the relatively annoying problem  or just continuing to ignore it. Dealing with the relatively annoying problem opens a potential can of worms which might not solve anything or make the relatively annoying problem worse.

I really do not like being vexed by relatively annoying problems....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Hiking In Tandy Hills Bastard Cabbage With Indian Princesses, Fashion Models And A Baby

On this final Saturday of October I was back on the Tandy Hills walking in a field of what Fort Worth's renowned horticulturist, CatsPaw, has identified as Bastard Cabbage.

CatsPaw did not tell me if Bastard Cabbage was suitable for Cole Slaw, so  rather than be experimental I got a couple heads of regular cabbage at my regular Saturday Town Talk Treasure Hunt.

There were more than the norm number of people enjoying the pleasant late October weather, pre the predicted incoming thunderstorm.

The first group I came upon was a mom and dad with two kids, one a baby, being photographed by two photographers who looked like fashion models in hot pants.

Then I came up a pair who looked to be of Indian descent, as in Native American, in what sort of looked like a modern take on native garb, looking like a pair of Indian Princesses.

And then there was a guy who said he was lost. I came upon him in the grove where the Tandy Bamboo Tepee used to stand. The guy asked me if I had a map of the trails. I asked him if he'd seen the trail markers. He had. I told him he was at the heart of the hills and pointed him on the right way back to civilization.

I am very much enjoying being back doing a lot of hill hiking. I've not gotten around to fixing my bike's flat,  so mountain biking at Gateway Park is currently not doable.

For the past couple months I have been on the Elsie Hotpepper Extreme Diet & Fitness Routine. I did not realize the extent to which Elsie Hotpepper regimen had altered me til I discovered I can stride up the Tandy Hills much faster than before I subjected myself to the Elsie Hotpepper Extreme Diet & Fitness Routine.

Going swimming in the morning is not part of the Elsie Hotpepper regimen, but I do so anyway, creature of habit that I be. This morning's swimming went well. The temperature average of the past 24 hours has been well over 50 degrees, which renders the pool about the same temperature as a Western Washington lake in Summer.

Speaking of Western Washington, I almost forgot to add my Saturday Town Talk details for Fort Worth native, MLK, currently suffering an extended exile in Western Washington.

Today, at Town Talk, in addition to the aforementioned cabbage, I got myself my usual rabbit feed in the form of various types of lettuce, plus carrots. I also got a big chunk of jalapeno jack cheese, chorizo, chicken fried steak, big flour tortillas, a case  of Noosa mango yogurt and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Running A Stop Sign In Richland Hills Texas Will Get You Strip Searched & Jailed

Richland Hills is a town in Texas whose southern boundary is a short distance from my location in East Fort Worth.

Richland Hills is a dry town, while Fort Worth is soaking wet.

Which is the reason why a short distance from my abode there are several liquor stores selling liquids to people from Richland Hills.

This morning I learned something about Richland Hills that totally disgusted me.

Remember how back during the days of the Evil Empire, known as the Soviet Union, we'd hear horror stories about the KGB knocking on someone's door and hauling innocents off to the Gulag? How America would shout about the need for freedom, for liberty, for human rights, for all people?

In Richland Hills, this past August, a woman named Sarah Boaz was ticketed for not stopping at a Richland Hills stop sign. Sarah Boaz did not take care of this ticket in the accelerated timely fashion required in Richland Hills.

Wednesday morning Sarah Boaz was leaving her home to drive to her job when she was met by the Richland Hills City Marshal with a bench warrant for her arrest.

The Richland Hills City Marshal then handcuffed Sarah Boaz and stuck her in the back of his police cruiser to be hauled off to the Richland Hills Gulag, I mean, jail, where Sarah Boaz was ordered, by a female officer, to remove all her clothes, to stand against a wall and to not make any moves that might be interpreted as being aggressive.

So, this is what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has come to in some parts of America?

Handcuffed and strip searched because you did not stop at a stop sign and did not make the extortion payment in due time?

A bench warrant?

Doesn't that mean a judge had to sign off on this arrest?

So, how many people with ZERO common sense do we have in positions of authority in Richland Hills, other than the 3 we already know about, but whose names we do not yet know, those being the arresting marshal, the police officer doing the strip search and the judge issuing the arrest warrant?

Could not a case be made, you know, by a lawyer, that Sarah Boaz was the victim of a crime? Strip searched? Handcuffed? For a 60 day old traffic ticket?

Would it not be poetic justice for the judge, marshal and strip searching cop to have warrants issued for their arrests for their crimes against the person of Sarah Boaz,  with that trio handcuffed, hauled to jail and strip searched?

To read more about the Sarah Boaz Richland Hills abuse case go to the DFW CBS website and read their Woman Endures Strip Search & Jail Time For Overdue Ticket article and watch video of their coverage of this outrageous incident.

Hiking On The Tandy Hills Thinking About Rotating On Top Of Fort Worth's Panther Island Tower

That is the Tandy Tower, also known as the Fort Worth Space Needle, soaring hundreds of feet into a clear blue sky on this final Friday of October.

The Tandy Tower sits atop Mount Tandy, due east of the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

No, there is no rotating restaurant atop the Tandy Tower. For that you'll need to drive about 30 miles east, to Dallas, and take an elevator to the top of Reunion Tower.

I have been at the base of Reunion Tower a time or two but never felt an urge to ride to the top. The only other tower of that type I have been to the top of is Seattle's Space Needle.

The elevator ride to the top of the Space Needle is fun. But, I've always thought it did not seem all that high up, at the observation deck level, with all that much better a view than other elevated locations in the Seattle zone.

The observation level of the Seattle Space Needle has an outside walkway which goes all around the Needle. I don't know if there is an outdoor observation area at the top of Reunion Tower.

I wonder, what with its tendency to copy what has been done elsewhere, why the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has not added a tall tower to that clouded vision?

It could be called Panther Island Tower.

Tim Love could have a rotating restaurant at the top, giving diners a moving 360 degree view of the wonder that is Panther Island, along with the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, and the un-needed flood diversion channel and signature bridges which cross it, along with equally stunning views of the Trinity River and the throngs of people who have inner tubing happy hours in that river during the hot days of Summer.

A tall tower could give Fort Worth that iconic type image it currently lacks, that when people see a photo of it, they know it is Fort Worth.

I am sure, now that I have suggested it, J.D. Granger will get right on this Panther Island Tower idea.....

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today I Walked With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts & Learned The Bastard Cabbage Hangs Out With The Maximillian Sunflower

In the picture you are looking at a pair of trees in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area. The last time I was at this location that orange and white traffic cone was sitting where it was still sitting today.

Today a red and white mark has shown up on the tree on the right. This particular tree appears to be dead and is leaning on its friend to the left. I suspect the traffic cone and the red bulls eye have something to do with this dead tree being slated for extraction.

Today's walk with the Village Creek Indian ghosts was rather sedate. I had myself a bout of insomnia last night, waking up before 4 am, hence the feeling sedated.

I was in the pool this morning before the sun arrived to begin its daily lighting duty. It has been a long time since I've had myself a pre-dawn swim.

Yesterday the outer world at my location got itself heated into the 80s, with the low this morning being 56. This made for a pleasant swim this morning without the need for a retreat to the hot tub.

When I got back to my abode and woke up my computer I saw that renowned Fort Worth horticulturist, CatsPaw, had identified some Tandy Hills wildflowers that I made mention of a couple days ago in a blogging titled An October Hike In The Colorfully Lush Tandy Hills Jungle in which I wrote...

"Hundreds of these yellow blooms are busy blooming on the Tandy Hills. These flowers look like the result of a liaison between a sunflower and a dandelion. Perhaps renowned Fort Worth horticulturist, CatsPaw, can identify this yellow flower and the other yellow flowers in the picture below".

Part of CatsPaw's memorable comments, as to the identity of the wildflowers in question....

The annual Bastard Cabbage often hangs out with the Maximilian Sunflower. Which may raise the question - "Who's your daddy?" 

CatsPaw is a good detective, in addition to being a renowned horticulturist. I've not had the pleasure of CatsPaw's company since she and I visited the Paradise Center.  I wish CatsPaw would use her renowned detective skills to find out what has happened with the Paradise Center.

Boring Bertha Got Me Wondering Again About The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Project Schedule Timeline

This morning whilst perusing various news websites I came upon two articles which eventually had me thinking about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

In today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer there is an article titled Seattle Tunneling Machine Digs Out Of Launch Pit.

The tunneling machine has been nicknamed Bertha, after a long ago Seattle mayor. Why? I do not know. Bertha the Mayor was way before my time on the planet. Did Bertha the Mayor like to dig?

In part the article in the P-I said.....

"Bertha," the massive tunnel boring machine, is expected to spend the next 14 months drilling a two-mile tunnel to replace the 60-year-old Alaskan Way Viaduct. The world's largest tunnel boring machine is creating a tunnel nearly 58 feet in diameter as part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double deck highway along the downtown Seattle waterfront.

Reading that it is going to take Bertha 14 months to bore this tunnel had me wondering what the timeline schedule is for the entire project. More on that further  down.

The other article that had me thinking about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle was in my old hometown of Mount Vernon's online news source called Go Skagit. In part the Go Skagit article said....

MOUNT VERNON — The second phase of the downtown floodwall project, designed to revitalize Mount Vernon’s economy as well as provide better flood protection from the Skagit River, will move along this week with installation of conduit for the lighting system. The parking lot west of Main Street is still being graded, and contractors will pour sidewalk and curbing in the parking lot this week. Floodwall foundation construction will continue for the next few weeks. The project is on schedule to be done by September 2014.

So, Mount Vernon's Skagit River Vision is scheduled to be completed by next September, and is actually a needed flood control project which will result in revitalizing Mount Vernon's economy.

Back to Bertha.

Reading that Bertha had finally bored her way out of her launching pit had me wondering how long it will be before cars are using that new tunnel to get under Seattle. Googling brought me to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website where I saw that you can follow the progress of Bertha through multiple  stages til its completion.

At the WSDOT website I also found a Project Schedule section where I read the following and saw the project timeline you see below the text....


The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program is led by WSDOT in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, King County, the City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle. It includes more than 20 projects that will work together to reshape the SR 99 corridor.

Construction on the first project started in 2008, when crews stabilized four viaduct columns that settled following the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. Since then, more than a dozen projects have been completed, with several more in progress or set to break ground soon. The below timeline includes major accomplishments along the road to viaduct replacement.

Since 2008 more than a dozen projects have been completed? With more in progress or ready to break ground? And from the above timeline I learn by late 2015 the new tunnel will be open for traffic.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has been boondoggling for well over a decade. Has anyone seen any sort of timeline schedule of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle of the sort you see above of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project?

After well over a decade of the TRV Boondoggle what do we see? The Cowtown Wakepark, the Woodshed Smokehouse, The Coyote Drive-In, an incoming ice rink, happy hour inner tube floating at a venue preposterously called Panther Island Pavilion, a lot of destruction due to eminent domain abuse and no construction of the much needed flood control project that will save Fort Worth from the flood control levees that have done their job for over a half a century.


And why is there no project schedule timeline for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Supposedly 3 bridges to nowhere will soon be being constructed over the yet to be constructed, or funded, un-needed flood diversion channel.


Oh, I already said that. Never mind.....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talking To My Mom Pondering A Fort Worth Weekly String Of Pearls Disaster In Waiting

Today being Wednesday, this is the day I sometimes remember to walk to Albertsons to get this week's Fort Worth Weekly, which I did remember to do today.

I was going to sit outside at my picnic table and read this week's FW Weekly, but I called my mom first. That call went long enough for the shade to disappear. I decided to postpone reading this week's FW Weekly.

Last week's Fort Worth Weekly's cover article was a bit bizarre, with it being a propaganda puff piece titled "String of Pearls" with a sub-title of "Fort Worth's award-winning Trinity bridges connect trails, neighborhoods and history".

Anyone at all familiar with the topography of Fort Worth knows there are no great chasms requiring great feats of bridge engineering to span the chasms.

The award winning bridge is this little pedestrian bridge that is very pedestrian called the Phyllis J. Tilley Bridge. A blurb from the FW Weekly article about the Tilley bridge and the new 7th Street Bridge.....

Less than a mile to the north, the graceful curve of the 13-month-old Phyllis J. Tilley Bridge is the first long bridge in North America combining a steel arch and stress “ribbon.” In April the Tilley bridge received the Eminent Conceptor Award, the highest honor for engineering excellence bestowed by the Texas branch of the American Council of Engineering Companies. The bridge also received a gold medal in the group’s structural systems category.

Another few hundred yards down-stream, the newly opened $23 million Seventh Street Bridge is the world’s first precast-concrete network arch bridge. It’s noteworthy both for being Texas-designed and completed on budget and a month early.

I was surprised when I first crossed the Tilley Bridge. Surprised by what looked to be shoddy construction. The photo of this bridge in the FW Weekly was taken at night, with the shoddiness still visible in the dark. Or are crooked handrails part of the design? That is the FW Weekly Tilley Bridge photo below. Does this look like an award winning bridge to you?

You may be wondering about the blue color of this bridge. Below is FW Weekly's explanation...

After dark, LED lights illuminate the underside of the bridge casting a soothing blue glow across the understory and the water surface. It’s an eye-pleaser both day and night.

Eye-pleaser? Soothing?

Someone named Tony made what seemed to me to be an accurate comment about this particular FW Weekly cover article....

Tony October 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm
With the exception of the historic bridge in the park, who is giving these bridges awards? None of them are even remotely spectacular. They look like just what they are...plain ole bridges.

Did the Fort Worth Star-Telegram somehow takeover Fort Worth Weekly the week this Chamber of Commerce propaganda puffery was published?

This week Fort Worth Weekly appears to be back doing what it usually does, investigative journalism, as you can see by looking at this week's FW Weekly's cover with the cover article titled "DISASTER IN WAITING" with a sub-title of "Beneath North Texas' water-supply lakes run pipelines full of tarry danger".

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today I Found A Hoodoo Sprouted On Fort Worth's Tandy Hills

No, that is not a hoodoo in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park you are looking at.

What you are looking at is a man made hoodoo in Fort Worth's Tandy Hills Natural Area, located at the point where the View Street Trail junctions with the trail which leads to Tandy Falls.

I may have been lost in my thoughts yesterday when I walked by this location, but I really don't see how I could have missed noticing this.

Seeing this man made hoodoo caused me to think of the recent incident of hoodoo vandalism in the aforementioned Goblin Valley State Park, which had me wondering if those idiot Boy Scout leaders who knocked the rock over had been brought to justice yet.

So, when I got back to a computer I Googled to learn, via the Wikipedia article about Goblin Valley State Park, the following...

"In October 2013 three Boy Scout leaders who had been camping in the area with a Church of Latter Day Saints group decided to intentionally knock over a hoodoo. The Scout leaders recorded the illegal act and posted it on social media. Dave Hall and Glenn Taylor were subsequently dismissed from their leadership roles within the Boy Scouts of America."

Utah's redrock zones are just about my favorite part of the planet that I have visited. Something about redrock just makes me feel good. I remember the first time I saw redrock. I was heading south on Utah Highway 89, turned east on Highway 12 and soon came upon a sign informing me I was heading toward Red Canyon. A few minutes after that I saw why it was called Red Canyon.


Not knowing that I was going to be seeing a lot of redrock  in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, I stopped and took a lot of pictures. On film. Digital had not yet been invented.

I wonder how long the Tandy Hills Hoodoo will last before falling victim to a rogue Boy Scout troop. Or the wind?

Monday, October 21, 2013

An October Hike In The Colorfully Lush Tandy Hills Jungle

I had not noticed this particular view you are seeing in the picture on the left, til today, that being a solo skyscraper rising from the Tandy Hills jungle.

Is there any other town in America with a population over a half million with a big chunk of wilderness so close to its downtown?

I  would guess not.

With two thirds of October gone, along with a third of Fall, shouldn't the lush green of the Tandy Hills be turning into Autumn colors?

Additionally perplexing is the volume of wildflowers currently coloring up the Tandy Hills landscape. I do not remember this in Octobers past. And why are the Tandy Hills being so green whilst the Great Texas Drought continues? By the end of the Summer of 2012 the Tandy Hills were showing the effects of the drought, with a lot of foliage in death throes.

But now, in  the Fall of 2013 the hills are alive with color, such as what you see below.

Hundreds of these yellow blooms are busy blooming on the Tandy Hills. These flowers look like the result of a liaison between a sunflower and a dandelion. Perhaps renowned Fort Worth horticulturist, CatsPaw, can identify this yellow flower and the other yellow flowers in the picture below.

The yellow sunflower dandelions share a color scheme, and growing space, with a much smaller yellow flower which is currently carpeting large sections of the Tandy Hills.

The temperature conditions are currently perfect for some hill hiking. Not too hot, not too cold.

I wish I could say the same for my swimming pool.  But the temperature conditions are currently not perfect. As in too cold. But, I managed to have myself a bracing swim this morning of short, but vigorous, duration.

In incoming email I just got a Travelocity fare alert for Phoenix. Roundtrip for only $110. How can that be?

My mom wants me to come to Phoenix in December. Is this fare alert one of those omen things telling me to book a flight? Even though I have a very very strong relative reason not to want to go to Phoenix in December.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The 3rd Sunday Of October Getting Negatively Ionized In Fort Worth

I did not feel like rolling my motorized wheels anywhere this 3rd Sunday of October to get myself some aerobically induced endorphins.

With the temperature now being no where near 100 degrees it once again becomes feasible to go on an extended walk in my mostly shade-free neighborhood.

So, I walked to the scenic wonder which is my neighborhood greenbelt, where there is no shade, but there are tall towers supporting power lines.

I think walking under the buzzing power lines may provide some negative ionizing, along with the internally generated endorphins, both of which had me feeling mighty fine by the time I got to Albertsons to get this week's ink edition of and a bunch of cilantro.

Is 'bunch' the word one uses to describe a collection of cilantro sprigs? Sounds right to me. Now I'm wondering about that 'sprigs' word. Suddenly I am filled with doubt. This feeling likely will not last long.

Swimming did not go well this morning. At that point in time the air was chilled to only 8 degrees above freezing. The water did not feel much warmer than the air. I did a couple laps in the pool then retreated to the hot tub, then back in the pool for a couple laps, then back in the hot tub. I think I did this vicious cycle 5 times. It was very refreshing.

Well, enough of that cold talk, it's time for lunch. Scalloped spuds with ham and cheese wraps, well, ham and cheese rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla. Is that a wrap? I know it's not a bunch....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Surprised Today To Find A Mysterious Fountain Spouting On Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake

Today as I rolled my motorized transport into a parking slot in Oakland Lake Park I looked out at Fosdick Lake to see something that totally surprised and bum puzzled me.

A fountain.

I walked around Fosdick Lake on Wednesday. At that point in time there was no sign of a fountain being constructed.

Today walking around Fosdick Lake I saw nothing that indicated any construction project had taken place, which somehow ran a pipeline out into Fosdick Lake, allowing a fountain to spout.

Has the Fosdick Fountain always existed? And for some reason someone somewhere opted to turn on the fountain?

Is this fountain intended to spout enough aerated water that the result is a much cleaner Fosdick Lake?

As you can see below, the Fosdick Fountain spouts from a black ring that is above the Fosdick Lake surface.

The above black ring, which is now spouting water, has not been visible during all the times I have walked around Fosdick Lake, in all my previous walkarounds.

Does anyone have an explanation? Fountains do not just sit dormant for years and then spout to life. They are mechanical devices that require maintenance.

There were a lot of Fosdickers walking around Fosdick Lake today, many of them taking pictures of the mysterious fountain. All I spoke to were as perplexed as I regarding the sudden Fosdick Lake fountain appearance.

I was pleased that yesterday's rain caused me to opt out of my regularly scheduled Gateway Park Saturday visit. For all I know the mysterious Fosdick Fountain only makes an appearance once a decade and today I happened to be there to see it. I will not be shocked to see the Fosdick Fountain no longer spouting by the next time I walk around Fosdick Lake.

Since it is Saturday I did do my regular visit to Town Talk, even though Town Talk was more distant today than when I am at Gateway Park.

I got a lot of rabbit food in the form of lettuce and carrots today. Do rabbits eat tomatoes? I got tomatoes too. And extra sharp cheddar cheese. And bratwurst. And a case of Noosa brand mango yogurt.

That's it, MLK, for your weekly vicarious visit to Town Talk...

Friday, October 18, 2013

On This 3rd Friday Of October A Storm Is Brewing With Fort Worth Suing Chesapeake Energy

In the picture you are looking south, on the secure side of the dire looking security fence that protects me from intruders most of the time.

As you can see, this 3rd Friday of October has some storm potential at my location on the planet.

When I had my early morning swim early this morning the sky was mostly blue, with a few clouds zipping by, blowing in to town from the south.

Speaking of blowing in to town.

A few years ago Chesapeake Energy blew in to Fort Worth, full of hot air, spewing propaganda, making all sorts of deals, promising all sorts of riches to all sorts of people.

Well, the times have changed. Chesapeake Energy is currently being sued by various people and entities. Today I learned the City of Fort Worth has joined the suing Chesapeake Energy crowd. I learned about this when Elsie Hotpepper pointed me to an article in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The article makes no mention of the role the Star-Telegram has played over the years in acting like a cheerleader in support of all the holes being poked into Fort Worth and all the fracking that went into those holes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Walking With My Sister & The Village Creek Indian Ghosts While A Bearded Lady Lost Someone

I got gas on my way to walk with the Indian ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, so I called my mom, like I usually do when I get gas.

The phone rang a dozen times til it got to my dad's rhyming message.

This was twice this week my mom and dad have not been home when I called. I figured my mom's recovery from knee surgery had progressed enough that getting out of the house was back being the daily norm.

So, I called my sister who lives a few miles from mom and dad and learned this morning the parental units were at a doctor's appointment.

I had myself a mighty fine walk with my sister, til my phone exploded in my ear due to the battery running out of juice. This seems to happen just about every time I talk to my sister.

In the picture above you are looking at the location I was at when my phone exploded. Sitting on a picnic table top.

After my phone exploded I exited this picnic table area to find myself being approached by a bearded lady with a phone to her ear, asking me if she could ask me something. I indicated she could ask me something, which had her asking me if I'd seen a woman with a shaved head, that they'd just arrived at the parking lot to go on a run, with the woman with the shaved head vanishing.

I told the bearded lady that I'd not seen anyone fitting the description, because I had not. I'd come across a cute older couple holding hands as they walked and a couple other people.

The incident with the bearded lady was very strange. There really is no way someone could quickly vanish at this location.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wearing Long Pants To Walk Across Fosdick Falls Feeling The Earth Move

Earlier today I heard on the radio that an earthquake shook the ground south of Dallas in the past 24 hours.

When I exited my motorized transport today at Oakland Lake Park I thought I felt the earth move.

I am almost 100% certain that the movement I thought I felt was not an earthquake.

I am also almost 100% certain that the movement I thought I felt was not caused by the water falling over Fosdick Falls.

As you can see, above, it does not appear that there is enough water falling over Fosdick Falls to cause any earth tremors.

Despite the imaginary shaky ground I had myself a mighty fine walk around Fosdick Lake. The temperature was barely in the 50s. I was in long pants.

Wearing long pants makes me feel so grownup....

Starting To Feel SAD Looking Out My Window In Texas

Looking out my computer room window, this morning, the view is a bit foggy due to the extreme temperature differential between the outer world, which is chilled to 54 degrees, and my inner world, which is significantly warmer.

Looking out the window you can see the turquoise of the pool through the fog.

I had myself another swimming in the rain experience this morning.

Two mornings in a row of swimming in the rain has me ready for the return of blue sky.

A few more days of this Pacific Northwest stereotypical winter type gray, drippy weather and I'll start getting SAD, as in Seasonally Affected Disorder.

Speaking of the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday, or the day before, Spencer Jack's grandma sent me a couple photos from the top of a location called Big Rock. Big Rock is located about 2 miles east of where my abode was located in Mount Vernon, Washington.

The little town of Mount Vernon has two rather simply named protuberances. Big Rock and Little Mountain. Little Mountain is taller than Big Rock, as in Little Mountain is tall enough that there is a hang glider launch at the top of Little Mountain.

I have no idea where the nearest hang glider launch is at my current location. Colorado?

Compared to my current location Mount Vernon is way hillier. I did not have to drive anywhere to get in some hill hiking when I lived in Mount Vernon. All I had to do was walk out my front door.

I blogged about Big Rock on my Washington blog in a blogging titled The Skagit Valley's Big Rock With Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy & The Nookachamp Star Child Falling From The Sky.

I wonder why I never got SAD when I lived in Washington......

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rare Texas Raindrops Dropping On My Windshield On Mount Tandy

Those are rare Texas raindrops you are looking at in the picture.

Those rare Texas raindrops were dropping on my windshield.

The location of those rare Texas raindrops dropping on my windshield is on top of Mount Tandy, looking west at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, currently with a very dark cloud hanging over it.

By black cloud I am not being metaphorical, referring to something like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, by black cloud I am being literal,  referring to the black cloud you see in the picture, hovering over downtown Fort Worth.

My intention when I left  my abode was to go walk around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park, with my mom. But, as I headed west the weather became increasingly dire, so I drove to the nearby summit of Mount Tandy for a stormy wet photo op.

I did not feel like bumbershooting around Fosdick Lake, with one hand on the umbrella and one on my phone, because I don't think I am coordinated to do such a thing.

So, I called my mom on my retreat back to my dry abode. No answer.

The incoming storm has dropped the temperature into the mid 60s.  The temperature was in the mid 70s when I had myself a mighty fine swim this morning. The forecasters are currently forecasting that we are heading to lows in the 40s in the coming days.

I miss Global  Warming....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Swimming In The Rain On Columbus Day In Texas

My swimming in the rain wish came true this second Monday morning of October.

Today is that day that comes around once a year when we celebrate Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas in 1492 to begin the multi-century takeover of North, Central and South America from those who already called these lands home.

I do not know how I will be celebrating this celebrated holiday today.

I do know there will likely be no outdoor activity of the walking, hiking or biking sort.

Rain is on the menu for today and tomorrow, falling in possible copious amounts, at times, hence flash flood warnings.

On top of the copious amounts of rain falling lightning is also predicted to start striking at some point in time today.

So far today I have not seen a bolt  of lightning, nor heard a boom of thunder.

And the rain, so far, has seemed semi-copious....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Chesapeake Energy Mark Of 6699 Is Upon My Neighorhood

Returning to my abode this morning I saw that my neighborhood Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas Pad Site has installed a new sign I had not noticed before.

The new sign towers above the gas pad site, which makes it sort of noticeable, which sort of indicates to me that it is a newly installed sign.

Then again, I am often not a very observant person, so maybe this sign has been sticking up in the air for a while now and I only noticed it today due to the troubled background of a stormy sky.

Due to the storminess mentioned in the above paragraph today I opted out of driving anywhere to get some exercise via walking or hiking.

Biking is not an option today due to yesterday's flat tire still being flat.

So, I took a walk to my Chesapeake neighbor's location to snap a picture of the new sign. And the stormy gray sky.

So far not a lot of rain has fallen at my location. I was looking forward to swimming in the rain this morning, due to the forecast seeming to predict that precipitation would be precipitating today. But I had a dry swim, except for the water in the pool.

Isn't the number 6699 sort of dire sounding? Almost biblically dire? Like Chesapeake is doing the devil's work, drilling holes deep into the devil's lair, then shooting chemicals into those holes to break up the shale, causing gas to be ejected.

Yes, sounds like the devil's work....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The 2nd Saturday Of October With Computer Woes, Rusty Nails, Broken Pumps & Pomegranate Yogurt

This second Saturday of October started off fine with a pleasant swim of long duration. The water temperature has increased significantly from the jolt of cold it received a week ago.

So far, today, the predicted jolt of rain has not arrived at my location.

I did get a jolt of computer woes this morning. To fix the woes I tried "System Restore" for the first time. This returns the computer to a previous state, prior to the woes.

Well, restoring the system did not work the way I hoped it would. So, I restored back to the original state.

After restoring the computer to its original state I clicked on Google Chrome to find myself being told files were missing and I needed to re-install Chrome.

I tried to fix the Chrome woe without re-installing, but gave up on that, eventually, and did the re-install, which went fast and worked out fine.

After getting Chrome back working and my computer back behaving, it was time for my Saturday pre-Town Talk mountain bike ride to my regularly scheduled photo-op in Gateway Park.

The bike ride was going fine and then suddenly the rear tire lost all its air. I hopped off the bike and quickly found that the rusty nail you see above had pierced through the tire at an angle, making two puncture wounds.

I was about as far from my vehicular transport as I could be, so it was a long hot roll back to functioning wheels. I tried to pump up the tube, thinking maybe the self-sealing slime would clog the holes, like it successfully did a couple weeks ago when I ran over a mesquite thorn at Mallard Cove Park.

But, the holes were so big I was unable to get any pressure in the tire.

And then the pump broke.

What dire woe was happening next I sat and wondered? Was Town Talk going to be another woe?

No, Town Talk turned out to be woe-free. I got a case of pomegranate yogurt, ham, smoked turkey, vidalia sweet onions, jalapeno cheddar tortillas and other stuff I'm not remembering right now.

All this food talk is making me hungry. Time for lunch....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Walking With Indian Ghosts To The Village Creek Yellow Flower Bayou

Yesterday, if I remember right, my only walking exercise was walking to Albertsons to get this week's FW Weekly.

Yesterday, in addition to that short Albertsons walk I also had myself a mighty fine early morning time in the cool pool getting a good dose of endorphins, some of which may have been attained via the shivering method.

I had myself a fine time this morning, also, in the less cool pool.

Today I augmented my pool time with some endorphin inducing walking with the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Indian ghosts. Along with a number of live humans.

As you can see above, the former Village Creek Blue Bayou has morphed into the Village Creek Yellow Flower Bayou.

I don't know if this sudden sprouting of yellow flowers in the formerly blue bayou is a function of the ongoing drought, or what. I do know I've not seen yellow flowers in this location before. I also do not know what type yellow flowers these are. Perhaps Fort Worth's renowned horticulturist, CatsPaw, can identify them.

Speaking of the ongoing Great Texas Drought. The next couple days some rain is predicted to fall.

A deluge would be a good thing, though a drought ending deluge is not in the forecast. I suspect if rain does fall, it will be of the light sort, not the drenching Texas downpour sort I learned to like early in my Texas exile before I learned flash floods are not a good thing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Anonymous Wondering If Kay Granger Loses Her Job Will Mama's Boy J.D. Lose His?

This morning someone named Anonymous commented on a blogging from yesterday.

The commenter asked what seemed to me to be an interesting question about Kay Granger and her boy, J.D....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Texas Story About Wendy Davis For Governor Has Me slightly Optimistic": 

If the Great Republican Purge of 2014 comes to pass and Kay Granger loses her seat in Congress do you think mama's boy JD will be able to keep his job at the Trinity River Vision?

One really can not help but wonder if a Democrat replaces Kay Granger, in what many think will be the Great Republican Purge of 2014, will the Tarrant Regional Water District Board and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle keep J.D. Granger in their employ as pseudo-project  director if his mama is no longer in a position to hopefully, some day, direct more federal dollars to the TRV Boondoggle?

One can not help but wonder what the current state of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle might be if a qualified person had been hired as the Executive Director. Would we have seen happy hour inner tube floats in a polluted river? Would we have seen the world's premiere urban wakeboard park? Would we have seen the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century? Would we see an ice rink?

I am currently reading A TRAGIC LEGACY: How a GOOD vs. EVIL Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency by Glenn Greenwald.

This morning a little blurb in that book struck me as applicable to the Tarrant Regional Water District Board and the TRV Boondoggle...

"As the American founders well understood, transparent government is critical for detecting errors, uncovering corruption, and ensuring accountability, while political leaders who operate in the dark, wielding vast powers with little oversight, virtually always conceal their mistakes and act to maximize their own interests rather than the country's."

Substitute "county's" for "country's" and the above paragraph could be talking about the TRWD and the TRVB.

If I remember right I have wondered previously if there is a record of the meetings that took place which resulted in J.D. Granger being offered the job of Executive Director of the TRV Boondoggle.

I also can not help but wonder, if there are no records of the meetings which took place which resulted in J.D. Granger being offered the job of Executive Director of the TRV Boondoggle, why are there no records?

What with that transparency in government ethic and the Texas Open Meetings concept.

Early on in Mary Kelleher's term as a new board member of the TRWD she requested access to some TRWD documents. This request was met with stonewalling of an extreme nature in the form of dictatorial dictates issued by TRWD employee Jim Oliver.

What is Jim Oliver trying to hide was my reaction to learning of his ham-handed censoring tactic.

Jim Oliver's roadblocking was soon made official by the other TRWD board members when they actually voted to not allow any member access to any documents unless all the board members agree to grant access.

Again, I wondered, what are these people trying to cover up?

Very perplexing.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Chilly Wednesday Roll Through The Gateway Park Jungle Thinking About Liposuction & Cheeseburgers

On this second Wednesday of October my handlebars rolled themselves to their semi-regular photo op location on the Gateway Park mountain bike trail at a location high above a cliff high above the green Trinity River.

Bike riding in chilly temperatures, without over heating every time I stop, is being enjoyable.

Swimming in chilly temperatures is not being quite as enjoyable as the chilly bike riding.

However, this morning the water in the pool felt warmer than the air, which is why I think I quickly got acclimated to the cold and had  myself a mighty fine swim just as the sun showed up to make its currently feeble attempt to heat up the outer world at my location.

Changing the subject.

Of late I have been aware that I have lost weight.

I was not making any particular attempt to lose weight. This just happens sometimes, I think due to an imbalance between calories burned via exercise and calories ingesting via eating. Well, that is sort of obvious. But, it's not so obvious when it happens when one is not trying to shrink.

The last time I went into personal body size recession mode started in May of 2006 and continued through August of 2008. During that period of time I shrank by over 35 pounds. I was skinny.

From August of 2008 til a couple months ago I regained those lost 35 pounds, plus added a few extra. I told myself it was all muscle. Til the last 5 or 6 pounds got layered on I was able to maintain that self-delusion.

Regarding the issue of gaining weight, I am a bit concerned about Elsie Hotpepper and her imaginary weight gain. Elsie is harboring the delusion that she has morphed from her former svelte super model size to being a bloated balloon.

Just a couple days ago liposuction and gastric bypass surgery entered into the Elsie Hotpepper weight loss discussion.

I can not imagine getting liposuction or having a surgery to alter my digestive system. It seems as if it would just be way simpler to increase the number of calories burned and decrease the number of calories eaten. It really is not rocket science.

Since last week I have been trying to stabilize the weight loss.

Hamburgers loaded with cheese and bacon seem to help....

A Texas Story About Wendy Davis For Governor Has Me Slightly Optimistic

I really would not want to have the Republican label attached to me these days.

Even though it is the Democrats whose party symbol is the donkey, in modern day, 2013 America, it is the Republicans who seem to be the party of asses, of the dumb sort.

If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, like I do, to be amused regarding how delusional someone can become whilst blathering whilst inside an insulated bubble, you will have found yourself perplexed more than a time or two by Mr. Limbaugh railing on about how our current president, Obama, is destroying America.

On purpose.

With the Affordable Care Act.

While Mr. Limbaugh, stuck in his bubble, never has had any problem with anything Mr. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush-league, actually did, which actually did do serious damage to America.

Damage which Mr. Obama has had some success in un-doing.

And now we are coming up upon the 2014 mid-term elections. That wondrous time between presidential elections when the electorate can register its approval or disapproval regarding what has gone on the previous 2 years.

I have no record of successful prognostication, but, even so, I am going on record, on this seldom read blog, with the opinion that the 2014 mid-term elections are going to result in a purge of Republicans to a level which renders the party of Lincoln the first major American political party rendered dead in well over a century.

As for the Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas campaign ad, above. I also think Texas is going to surprise the rest of America by going blue in 2014.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hiking On The Tandy Hills With Wildflowers & Rock Monuments

I do not remember how long it has been since I've driven to the summit of Mount Tandy to have myself a real fine time hiking the Tandy Hills.

A couple months would be my best estimate.

I sort of expected to see fall foliage in full fall mode today on the hills, but instead I was surprised to see few leaves changing color.

I was also surprised to see a variety of wildflowers. I do not remember seeing so much green and so much color at this point in time years previous. Likely it is my bad memory which accounts for this.

As you can see, above, via the view from the summit of Mount Tandy, looking west at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, green is still the predominant color on this section of the North Texas prairie.

As previously mentioned there are currently a variety of wildflowers adding color to the predominant green, as evidenced below.

I was not the only Tandy Hill hiker today. As I stood on the top of one hill,  zooming in take a picture of the various shades of green, I was surprised to see someone waving back at me.

Before I found myself being waved at I found the below rock monument, constructed at the top of the trail which leads from Tandy Falls, at that trail's intersection with the View Street Trail.

Who built this rock monument? And why? It appeared designed to provide shelter for small critters with its cave-like design.

Speaking of critters, the below critter related sign has been added to the Tandy Hills since I last hiked the hills.

The sign reads almost like a bible verse.


Years ago I helped a Fort Worth cop pursue, capture and collect a horse which had been running wild on the Tandy Hills. Eventually we managed to get the horse into a corral near the tower on top of Mount Tandy.

I think maybe this wild horse capture type deal was not the type thing this sign is directed at.

What with this rare Tandy Hills hiking and a refreshingly cool swim this morning I am feeling well exercised with a plentiful supply of aerobically induced endorphins elevating my mood to an extremely happy place.