Friday, May 31, 2013

Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey Has Some Big Fish To Fry With His Grandpa & Great-Grandpa

A few minutes ago I did my daily checking in on that fad whose time to fade is past its due date, Facebook, to see that Spencer Jack's favorite Uncle, Joey, had caught a big halibut.

Catching big fish in Washington waters of various sorts, as in rivers and saltwater, apparently is hardwired into the Jones' genes. However, I did not catch this trait, as I've never much enjoyed fishing. Being out on Puget Sound in a boat, yes, that I like, but not fishing.

In the fish collage above you have 3 generations holding a big fish. On the left is my Grandpa, Spencer Jack's Great-Great Grandpa, Cornelius, known as Neil and Cornie. In the middle is Spencer Jack's Great-Grandpa, my Dad, Jack. And on the right is Spencer Jack's Uncle, my Nephew Joey.

My Grandpa is holding a big sturgeon he caught in the Nooksack River. The Nooksack is the first river you come to in Western Washington when you head south from the Canadian border.

My Dad is holding a 187 pound, over 6 foot long, halibut, caught using his Dad's, my Grandpa's, 35 year old pole. I remember that pole. It was big. I wonder if it still exists? If it does, Joey should have it.

Joey is also holding a halibut. Joey's halibut does not appear to be 6 feet long, and since Joey is holding the halibut with one hand I suspect it does not weigh anywhere near the monster his Grandpa caught.

Below is the newspaper clipping, with the story of my Dad catching the halibut, with the help of my Mom  and my Grandma's husband, who I knew as Mr. Lee and my baby sister knew as Grandpa Lee.

Entering Veterans Park's Wildscape Entrance Hunting For Fort Worth's Favorite Pearls Clutching Dowager Heiress's Missing Recount

In the picture you are looking at one of the Wildscape Entrances in Arlington's Veterans Park.

I had to be in Pantego this morning, so I thought, since I was in the neighborhood, I'd have myself a humid walk.

Early this morning, when I accessed the outer world to walk to the body of water where I do my daily swimming, the humidity was causing a strange dew-like thing to happen, which sort of seemed like an extremely light misty invisible fog.

Speaking of invisible fog, I am getting confusing messages regarding what I thought was a recount of the votes in the recent (May 11) Tarrant Regional Water District Board election.

A couple days ago I blogged A Thank You Has Me Wondering Who Is Overseeing The Impartiality And Accountability Of Marty Leonard.

That blog post generated a comment from someone named Anonymous, I then commented on the comment from Anonymous, which had Anonymous commenting on my comment. Below are the 3 comments....

Anonymous said...
Durango Texas,
You did not read very carefully, "Pol Adv by Marty Leonard" means she paid for the cards herself. Also, the Pearl Clutching Dowager Heiress is not overseeing and has nothing to do with the recount.

Durango said...
"Pol Adv by Marty Leonard" would seem to only indicate she authored the Adv. If it said "Pol Adv Paid for by Marty Leonard" that would clearly indicate she used her own funds. I was told be a fairly reliable source that Marty Leonard was going to be the TRWD Board's participant in the recount.

Anonymous said...
Better check the reliability of your sources before you comment.

I asked my reliable source about the Anonymous claim that "the Pearl Clutching Dowager Heiress is not overseeing and has nothing to do with the recount."

My reliable source then sent me a lot of information about this serious subject, including the following paragraph...

In the event of a dispute on whether to count a ballot, an observer’s role is nominal.  Should such a dispute arise, a recount committee member may submit an affidavit stating that legal votes were not counted or that illegal votes were counted.  The affidavit must be submitted to the recount coordinator (Marty Leonard).  Leonard would then have the discretion to order a recount of the disputed ballots.

The above paragraph was part of what seemed to me to be a rather legalistic document that seemed to me to be legit.

And so it goes. Texas election rules confuse and perplex me....

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Walking With Indian Ghosts, Bobcats & Ticks To The Village Creek Green Bayou

Very early this morning I had myself a very refreshing long swim in a not too cool pool.

In the noon time frame I had myself a not too cool walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Not too cool, as in the hot and humid type of not too cool.

The Village Creek Blue Bayou  has turned into the Village Creek Green Bayou, as you can see in the picture, all green, no blue, not even in the sky.

As I was walking across the Village Creek Dam Bridge, on my way to the Green Bayou, I met two guys carrying fishing gear. I asked if they'd caught a lot of fish. One of the guys then told me that they did not even get a line in the water, because before that could happen they found that they were getting ticked off by ticks.

I got ticked off by a tick, years ago, camping somewhere near Mount Baker, the precise location lost to my failing memory. That particular tick ticked me in an extremely sensitive area. The pain was intense, so intense I dropped my drawers without warning to my fellow campers.

One of my fellow campers had tick experience. Or so she claimed. Next thing I knew a lit match was heating the tick to tick it off enough that it would release its grip. This worked. Relief was instant.  I quickly re-installed my dropped drawers.

The two guys I met today who got ticked off enough by ticks that they decided not to cast their lines, must have caught the ticks before they struck, I assume, because the two guys did not evidence being in any recent pain.

The stray dog that was living near the VCNHA parking lot was gone today. Once again, near that location, a large bobcat crossed the trail ahead of me. I think the stray dog was too big to have found itself bobcat food. At least I hope that's the case.

Last night's storm knocked out power at my location for an hour or so. The power came back on right about the time the sun set for the evening.  Power goes out way too often at my location. Rarely does it go out across the street, where Albertsons and other stores are.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Last Wednesday Of May In Texas Brings Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

My computer based weather monitoring device started blinking RED about the same time the outer world at my location suddenly became very windy, followed by a short downpour and a few thunder booms.

The storm burst did not last too long. I think the short storm burst may have been a prequel with a longer storm burst arriving soon.

Just heard a new boom.

Below is the Severe Thunderstorm Warning from the National Weather Service...









Today I Could Not Wake Up The Fosdick Lake Lone White Swan

It has been several days since I last visited Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park in East Fort Worth.

The Lone White Swan who took up Fosdick Lake residence several weeks ago is still in the same spot, along with the Lone White Swan's entourage of ducks.

Today the Lone White Swan did not wake up from its slumber when I stood nearby snapping pictures. The ducks were equally sleepy.

I hope the Lone White Swan and the ducks aren't ailing from eating fish they caught in Fosdick Lake.

A Thank You Has Me Wondering Who Is Overseeing The Impartiality And Accountability Of Marty Leonard

This morning, in my mailbox, I found a note from Fort Worth's favorite Pearls Clutching Dowager Heiress, Marty Leonard, thanking me for helping re-elect Vic Henderson and Jack Stevens to the Tarrant Regional Water District Board.

Apparently Marty Leonard feels that these are honorable and experienced men whose election will bring about a continuing focus on water supply for Tarrant County.

Marty Leonard also let me know that my vote made a difference.

I guess it did.

Because I did not vote for Marty Leonard's honorable men, I voted for the honorable, experienced Mary Kelleher, who got the most votes in the recent election.

I wonder why Marty Leonard made no mention of her new fellow board member?

Did Marty Leonard pay for this 'Thank You" note with her own funds? If not, whose?

I have not heard how the recount of the vote that re-elected the honorable and experienced Henderson and Stevens is going.

Marty Leonard is overseeing the impartiality and accountability of the recount for the TRWD Board.

Who is overseeing the impartiality and accountability of Marty Leonard I can not help but wonder?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Can Anyone Find A Timeline Schedule Of Construction For The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

No, in the picture you are not looking at an artist's rendering of what downtown Fort Worth will look like if the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle ever builds the little lake, long ago promised, that many of the locals have taken to calling Pond Granger.

No, that ferry is not floating on Pond Granger, it is floating on Elliott Bay, in Seattle.

Elliott Bay is a natural body of water, part of Puget Sound, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean. It is not the result of a public works project run amok, that the public was not allowed to vote for.

This past week public works projects have been on my mind. Ever since the I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapsed in my old hometown zone of Burlington and Mount Vernon.

The building of the American Interstate System was one of the biggest public works projects in the history of the world. One would think there would be extensive records of its building, timelines, photos, all sorts of documentation.

But, there aren't.

Which brings me to the time line time table of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Is there one?

Back when the TRV Boondoggle began, well over a decade ago, wakeboard parks, happy hour inner tube floats, drive-in movie theaters and music venues were not part of the vision that I saw. I do sort of recollect mention being made of restaurants being part of the waterfront attractions. I don't quite see how the TRV Boondoggle's Woodshed Smokehouse fits that bill, what with it being upstream from the Trinity Uptown zone.

Whenever I bike through Gateway Park I see the massive collection of Orwellian signage from the TRV Boondoggle touting the Gateway Park Master Plan.

What is the time table for the Gateway Park Master Plan? Is there one?

Trying to get info about the building of I-5 in Washington led me to the Washington State Department of Transportation website, which led me to some Washington projects, with time tables, that brought the TRV Boondoggle, with its non-time tables, to mind.

The Seattle zone has 3 public works projects underway that dwarf the TRV Boondoggle, both in scope and cost.

This summer the world's biggest tunnel boring machine will begin digging a tunnel under downtown Seattle for a new roadway to replace the earthquake damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct. Estimated cost, $4.25 billion. Completion date, 2015.

One of the floating bridges over Lake Washington is in dire need of replacement. This is now taking place, with the new bridge scheduled to be open in 2014. Estimated cost for the new bridge and other improvements, related to the bridge, $4.65 billion.

The other public works project underway in the Seattle zone are extensions to the Link Light Rail system. The various links have various completion dates. I don't know what the estimated cost is of the various new Link Light Rail routes, except for the fact that the number is in the billions and the public voted on the projects.

So, why is it that there is ZERO time line time table info for the extremely important, totally bogus, flood prevention economic development project known as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

What can we expect to see from the TRV Boondoggle in 2015? A bowling alley? Roller rink? World's biggest collection of outdoor trampolines? When is Pond Granger scheduled to be filled with water? When is the scheduled completion date of the 3 ordinary non-signature bridges over the un-needed flood diversion channel?

Speaking of that, when is the scheduled completion date of the un-needed flood diversion channel?

Why is there no time table for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? Does it have anything to do with the project being underfunded?

Does it not seem that the public has the right to know a completion date for various projects of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? Even though the public did not vote for the Boondoggle?

The Day After Memorial Day Betty Jo Bouvier Took Me On A Trip To The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial

This morning, the day after Memorial Day, Betty Jo Bouvier remembered to email me a memorable link to a website that is The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

You click on a state, this brings up a list of the towns in the state which had at least one Vietnam War Casualty.

You then click on the Veteran's name to find a surprising amount of info is provided.

I knew of only one Vietnam War Casualty.

Dennis Linnell.

Dennis graduated from Burlington-Edison High School, but his Home of Record is listed as Mount Vernon. I first looked at the Burlington list, expecting to find Dennis Linnell, there was only one name listed and it was not he.

At the top of the Persons from Washington page it says "The name you seek may not be under the city you expect." Which is why I looked in Mount Vernon and found Dennis.

When you click on the PFC DENNIS RICHARD LINNELL link below is what you see...

Clicking on full profile brings up....

From the above we learn that Dennis Linnell began his tour of duty in Vietnam on August, 17, 1970 and was killed less than 3 months later, on November 11, 1970.  Dennis was only 20 years old.

Clicking on the link in the sentence "DENNIS R LINNELL is on the Wall at Panel W6, Line 52", brings up a photo of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, with Dennis R Linnell highlighted to facilitate finding the name...

Included is a rubbing from the Vietnam Memorial Wall of Dennis R Linnell...

Rubbing? Is this done by placing a sheet of paper over the name and then running a pencil back and forth?

I believe there are over 50,000 names memorialized on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. An amazing amount of effort has gone into making this Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tomorrow Marty Leonard Will Be Clutching Her Pearls Overseeing The TRWD Board Election Recount

Message from BNKer, John Basham regarding the TRWD Election Recount starting tomorrow.

Apparently TRWD Board Member, Marty Leonard, will be anxiously clutching her pearls whilst overseeing the impartiality and accountability of the recount.

Below is what Mr. Basham had to say about tomorrow's  recount and related issues....


Okay, so I've paid my $14,000 to the TRWD, put together a group of lawyers and "observers", and I'm preparing for tomorrow's beginning to the recount.

Funny thing.... The TRWD must designate a "Recount Coordinator" to oversee the impartiality and accountability of the recount.... and that person is...drumroll... Marty Leonard...

Oh, well.... There will be 5 counting tables with 3 "counters" at each table recounting the ballots by hand (starting of course with the paper ballots, which I'm told is well over half)...

Then every candidate who is on the ballot is allowed to designate ONE person to each of the three counters at each table.... (good thing we ran as a three slate team)....

So we will start this process tomorrow morning at 9am in the warehouse of the Elections Department.... And will count until no later than  6pm.... this repeats daily until all ballots are counted or I call it off.

But not to worry.... If I still don't pick up the 90 votes needed in recount I can always run next year..... errr oh wait.... Charlie Geren steps in and changes the play (it's a sneak).... He has MOVED next year's election to 2015!

Yep, it's true, and the Governor just signed it.... Such is life in the cesspool of Fort Worth politics.

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day.

Warmest Regards,


A Memorable Memorial Day Mountain Bike Ride In Fort Worth's Gateway Park

I had myself a memorable Memorial Day bike ride today on the Gateway Park mountain bike trail.

The bike ride was memorable because I don't ever  remember seeing so many people biking on this trail as I saw today.

And many of the mountain bikers were little tyke mountain bikers. Little tykes, as in little kids of the 4 or 5 years old variety.

As you can see via the view over my handlebars of the Trinity River and the cloudy sky above the river, Memorial Day in North Texas is not a clear blue sky day.

It is only 80 degrees in the outer world at my location, which really is not all that hot. Yet I keep turning the dial on the A/C cooler and cooler. Ceiling fans spinning, A/C running, minimal clothing and yet I am still uncomfortably warm.

I have not heard from Spencer Jack's dad or Uncle Joey today with an update into their ongoing search for proof that the Federal Highway Administration National Bridge Inventory Database information about the recently collapsed Skagit River I-5 Bridge is erroneous. Yesterday Spencer Jack's dad had a run in with law enforcement when he got too close to the collapse in an early morning evidence search.

I have blogged about this serious issue a couple times on my Washington blog.....

The Collapsed I-5 Skagit River Bridge Was Built in the 1960s not 1955 and My Nephews Jason & Joey Continue to Try to Find Out When the Collapsed I-5 Skagit River Bridge Was Actually Built.

I just got incoming info via email from BNKer John Basham about the recount of the votes cast in the recent Tarrant Regional Water District Board Election.  Apparently a current TRWD board member, the Self-Entitled Dowager Heiress Marty Leonard will be busy clutching her pearls whilst overseeing the recount for the TRWD.

I shall hit the publish button on this blogging and then blog about the recount....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Littered Walk With Village Creek Indian Ghosts, Lizards & Lost Dogs

This last Sunday of May I had myself a hot, humid walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Today I found myself additionally haunted by the pile of litter piled up behind the Village Creek Dam Bridge.

Why do so many people who live in this part of the planet release so much litter to the outer world to be disposed of by Mother Nature's flushing system?

It really does not seem all that difficult, to me, to dispose of things, like empty cans and bottles, in a way that renders it unlikely that a can or bottle will somehow end up in a Texas stream of water that flows into the Trinity River and then makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

On a more pleasant note, today on the Village Creek Blue Bayou overlook there was a cute yellow lizard practicing yoga poses.

Above you are looking at the aforementioned yoga practicing yellow lizard in the Cobra Position. The lizard  did not seem to much care that I was visiting real close. It winked at me a couple times.

Why is it I find reptiles of the snake variety totally creepy, while I think reptiles of the lizard variety are cute?

On a sadder note...

Several days ago, the last time I walked with the Indian Ghosts, at the picnic area one comes to as soon as you leave the parking lot, there was a dog, with no human nearby. The dog at that point in time seemed both nervous and sort of needy. Like he was hoping I was going to take him home.

Today I walked into the picnic area to see someone had left a bowl of water next to a bowl of dog food. I sat at a picnic table and started making where are you doggy noises.

After about a minute of making where are you doggy noises the dog showed  up. He walked to about 15 feet from me and then stood and stared. After a couple minutes of staring he partially sat down, still staring at  me. After a couple more minutes he laid on the cement, resting his head on his front legs while still staring at me.

I talked to the dog for a few minutes. After awhile the pleading staring got on my nerves, so I left.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Quanah Parker Park Mantis & Snake Encounter With Wenatchee Cherries At Town Talk

Today, this last Saturday of May, I parked at the Quanah Parker Park parking lot to commune with nature before making my weekly treasure hunting trek to Town Talk.

Quanah Parker Park was blooming a lot of wildflowers today.

There were the ubiquitous Indian Blankets and others whose names I do not know, such as the pink tulip-like wildflower you see in the picture.

I briefly knew a woman once who had a Hello Kitty pink color fixation. I saw this wildflower pink patch and thought of that particular person.

Today whilst walking the Quanah Parker Park paved trail I had myself a snake encounter. The snake was a high speed slitherer, so I had no chance to get a picture before it disappeared.

My other wildlife encounter was with a Praying Mantis. Or is it Preying Mantis? Whatever the correct name these have to be the oddest insects in the world of insects. For some reason at the moment I spotted the Mantis I did not feel like disturbing it by taking a picture.  Maybe that reluctance was partly due to not wanting to get all that close to the thing whilst take a picture in macro mode. Or maybe I did not want to intrude upon its praying. Or preying.

At Town Talk today I found myself Tillamook white extra sharp cheddar cheese, some really good mangoes, acorn and hubbard squash, plums and cherries from this place in the state of Washington called Wenatchee.

Wenatchee sounds more like an Indian name than Quanah Parker  does.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey Safely Crosses One Of The Remaining Skagit River Bridges To Possibly Visit Betty Jo Bouvier In Sedro-Woolley

Apparently Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey needed to get to the north side of the Skagit River. With crossing the river on Interstate 5 currently not doable, Joey took Skagit River Alternative Route 2 to cross the river.

Joey recorded his safe crossing of the river and then emailed me with the video documentation of his successful river crossing.

It has been a few years since I have used this particular bridge to cross the Skagit River. This is known as the Sedro-Woolley Skagit River Bridge.

Joey lives in Clear Lake, a little town situated on a clear lake, a mile or two south of the Sedro-Woolley Skagit River Bridge.

Betty Jo Bouvier lives in Sedro-Woolley and is currently home on a long Memorial Day weekend. I do not know if Joey was driving to Sedro-Woolley to visit Betty Jo Bouvier.

Today's Bike Ride Had Me Thinking About Riding Fort Worth's Light Rail Public Transit All The Way To Panther Island Pavilion

I took my two wheel bi-pedal transport mode to Trinity Park today to have myself some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

I can not think of a nicer Fort Worth park than Trinity Park. I know it is the only Fort Worth park with a statue of Mark Twain. And I think it may also be a rare Fort Worth park with modern restroom facilities.

Though, now that you are making me think about this I don't know if I have actually seen Trinity Park's modern restroom facility or why I think they exist.

Fort Worth's light rail public transit runs through Trinity Park, hauling people back and forth across the Trinity River between Trinity Park and the Fort Worth Zoo.

As I watched the Fort Worth light rail public transit pass by it appeared to me that the train was running at full capacity.

With the Fort Worth light rail pubic transit running at full capacity methinks maybe additional trains need to be added to the system. And maybe extend the line all the way into the heart of Fort Worth's fabled Cultural District and all the way to Fort Worth's fabled music venue, Panther Island Pavilion.....

This Morning I Woke Up To Shocking Bridge Collapse News From Washington

Spencer Jack's Dad With Collapsed I-5 Bridge
This morning when I woke up my computer, among the incoming email I saw two from Spencer Jack's dad, that being my nephew Jason, and one from Connie D, that being the Fort Worth Connie D, not the Tacoma version.

The subject line in the Connie D email was "Did you see this?" I clicked on the link in the email and was more than a little surprised by what I saw.

But the details were a bit sketchy (MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) Authorities say there were no fatalities when an Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed. The Thursday evening bridge failure dumped vehicles and people into the water), so I was not totally sure exactly what I was looking at.

Go Skagit On-Line's Bridge Collapse on I-5 Info

There are several bridges over rivers on Interstate 5 north of Seattle. The MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) part of the article had me thinking this could not possibly be the I-5 bridge between Mount Vernon and Burlington. Could it?

Then I opened Spencer Jack's dad's email to see the picture above to realize it was the I-5 bridge in my old hometowns of Mount Vernon and Burlington that collapsed.

I remember when that bridge was built. If that bridge is old enough to have such a failure, for no apparent reason, like an earthquake, well, America, methinks our infrastructure really is in trouble.

UPDATE: I later learned the bridge collapse was caused by a truck with too wide a load hitting the bridge trusses, which was a known vulnerability of an outdated bridge design.

Losing the I-5 bridge is going to make for some Skagit Valley traffic nightmares til it gets fixed. In Mount Vernon there are now only two bridges across the river, with one taking you to West Mount Vernon, with a long detour to get yourself back to I-5.

The other remaining bridge across the river in Mount Vernon is a short distance to the east of I-5, with it being a new bridge built this century to replace the old bridge on Highway 99, that being the highway that I-5 replaced. If I remember right, the new Highway 99 bridge is 4 lanes wide. I think I've only been over it once.

Fort Worth locals reading this, whose only river they've ever seen is named Trinity, in the pictures you are looking at a full size river, not a big-sized creek. At the location where the bridge collapsed the Skagit River is contained by dikes that are not nearly as massive as the levees that keep the Trinity River from going over its banks as it passes past downtown Fort Worth.

You can safely eat any fish you catch in the Skagit River. But, apparently, you do not want to be standing in the shade of a Skagit River bridge when you do your fishing.

UPDATE: After blogging this morning I checked my phone to see that last night I had voice mails about the bridge collapse, including one from Spencer Jack's dad and one from my mom telling me to turn on CNN.

Then I checked in on Facebook to see what some of my friends up in the Skagit Valley had to say about the I-5 debacle...

Martin is the first husband of one of my best friends from high school. Martin is a Skagit Valley farmer and best selling author. Martin is a bit profane, so please excuse his extremely foul language...

And then there was this first hand account of the Skagit Valley's bridge collapse traffic woes from one of my best friends from high school, Bev....

And this from one of my friends from high school, Bruce....

To those reading this in Texas who are unfamiliar with such things, in the photo above, that bluish item under the clouds, in the background, is known as a mountain. Well, actually, a Cascade Mountains foothill. If I remember right this particular "hill" is called Cultus Mountain.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fishing In Fosdick Lake While Hunting Endorphins With A White Swan

Wednesday was a day with zero endorphins peacefully calming me after a bout of aerobic stimulation.

Thursday started out with a bout of pool based aerobic stimulation and its resultant endorphins.

The noon time frame had me getting myself some more endorphins via aerobic stimulation acquired via fast walking around Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

The fisherman you see in the picture perplexed me.  Did he gain greater fish access by putting on a pair of hip boots and wading out 3 feet from shore?

And why do people bother trying to catch fish in Fosdick  Lake, what with all the warning signs letting you know you don't want to be eating fish you catch in this lake?

The Fosdick Swan was still in residence, at the same location I saw the Fosdick  Swans days ago. Today the Fosdick Swan seemed to have lost his duck followers, replaced by a flock of doves. Along with the little bird, you see sitting next to the Fosdick Swan, who seems to have adopted the Fosdick Swan as a parental figure.

The Fosdick Swan has some kind benefactors, well at least one. I watched a lady scatter food on the ground near the White Swan, after which the White Swan awkwardly waddled to the food source to do some eating.

Swans look very graceful whilst floating on water. On ground swans do not look so graceful.

I did not think rain was in the forecast for the noon time frame today. However, some precipitation precipitated whilst  I was doing my fast walking. The precipitation precipitating felt real good, a nice antidote to the oppressive humidity.

Ennui Has Me In Its Evil Grip

I do not know why the picture of the view from my patio looks  so dark. Does my camera have some sort of sensor that detects  my mood? Maybe I accidentally put the camera on the bad mood setting, causing the picture to look moody.

I was able to go swimming this morning for the first time in 2 days, but the pool is still about a foot short of being full. It takes a long time for one garden hose to fill a big pool.

Yesterday I did not realize I had not done my usual daily blogging thing til I started getting emails and blog comments asking if I was okay. Or still alive.

I think Elsie Hotpepper was the first to inquire about my well being, which sort of confused me because I thought I'd done something at Elsie Hotpepper's request that very morning. But, I may be a day off in correctly remembering when I'd done something at Elsie Hotpepper's request.

Yesterday morning, (or was it the day before?), I found myself consumed with a bad case of ennui.

The ennui bout may have been precipitated by the fact that it seems I have gone days without my regular aerobically induced endorphin stimulation.

There have been a variety of causal factors that have caused my endorphin shortage. Bad weather, a waterless pool, a doctor visit.

Combine the endorphin shortage with a sort of sense of doom, some doom sense tornado related, some doom sense due to feeling that too much of the world, locally, nationally, globally, is totally nuts, and I find myself coming down with a bad case of ennui.

I'll probably get over it.....

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Am Now In Tornado Watch Mode With All My Hatches Battened Down

My computer based weather monitoring device is telling me to be in "TORNADO WATCH" mode.

A minute ago I learned via my TV based weather monitoring device that the predicted storm is now entering the D/FW Metroplex and will be at my location in about 25 minutes.

Rain is already falling. The wind has grown stronger. The sky is getting darker.

All my hatches are battened down.

A Vote Recount Keeps Mary Kelleher From Joining The TRWD Board Today

I was so looking forward to watching Mary Kelleher  be sworn in this morning to be a member of the Tarrant Regional Water District Board, followed by lunch with Fort Worth's favorite self-entitled, pearls clutching dowager heiress, Marty Leonard.

As so often happens when I look forward to something, something goes wrong.

The Tarrant County Elections Office is recounting the votes cast in the May 11 TRWD Board election.

The swearing in of Mary Kelleher is postponed until the election results are validated.

I have heard of multiple impropriety allegations which may be why the recount has been ordered.

I have heard there are provisional and military ballots which were not counted. I don't know what a provisional ballot is. I assume a military ballot is a vote cast by someone in the military.

I have heard there was some dubious behaviors at a couple of the polling places. I don't have any idea if those dubious behaviors are one of the reasons for the recount.

I have also heard that there were some shenanigans at the Tarrant County Elections Office the day of the election that may have created some concern as to the accuracy of the original vote count.

If I remember right John Basham was 92 votes short of unseating one of the incumbents. I will not be shocked if this recount results in that incumbent being unseated, with John Basham joining Mary Kelleher as a newcomer to the TRWD Board.

Monday's Deadly Oklahoma Tornado Reminded Me Of Ma McMeganoodle's Oklahoma Tornado

This next to last Tuesday of May of 2013 got off to a bad start with my pool not being doable due to the water needing to be lowered to repair a light.

And then we have the distressing news from a few miles north, in the Oklahoma City zone, of yesterday's monstrous killer tornado.

Today the storm predictors are predicting North Texas will be having a few thunderstorms, along with downpours, large hail, damaging winds and possibly a tornado.

Currently none of the above predicted calamities is occurring.

Regarding yesterday's Oklahoma tornado. Way back late in the last century, when I moved to Texas, one of my best friends from Washington moved to Oklahoma, to the town of Ada. Soon upon my arrival in Texas I drove up to Ada to visit Ma McMeganoodle (real name altered due to shyness issues).

Ma McMeganoodle arrived in Oklahoma soon after a massive killer tornado did massive damage in the same area as yesterday's tornado. The McMeganoodle clan checked out the damage, which left Ma McMeganoodle pretty much totally freaked out at the idea she and her family were now living in Tornado Alley.

Ma McMeganoodle was convinced their #1 priority had to be building a tornado proof storm cellar.

A couple years go by and what happens? A tornado strikes down a very short distance from the McMeganoodle home, eventually heading right up the McMeganoodle driveway before the twister decided to take a turn before hitting the McMeganoodle home.

So, what does Ma McMeganoodle do while this tornado rapidly approaches?  Does she get in the storm cellar? No. Because no storm cellar was built. Does Ma McMeganoodle get in an interior closet? Or a bathtub? No.

Ma McMeganoodle stays outside, taking pictures of the tornado. I later webpaged those photos, along with pictures taken later of the aftermath, in a webpage titled Tornado Touchdown in Ada Oklahoma.

Ma McMeganoodle and family, left Oklahoma in 2008,  moving back to the Skagit Valley of Washington, an area which is fairly reliably tornado free.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two Nephews And A Niece In Danger From A Tacoma Tiger

A few minutes ago I was surprised to find myself looking at photo documentation of my nephews, David & Theo and niece, Ruby, having a close encounter with a tiger.

Years ago I had a mostly undeserved reputation for putting my Nephews in Danger. This was pre-Internet, thus pre-websites, pre-blogging, and yet I remember some sort of computer produced production titled Nephews in Danger. If I remember right, when the Internet came along I did eventually webpage Nephews in Danger.

I do not remember ever putting my nephews in a dangerous situation involving a tiger.

There was a Nephews in Danger incident, or two, where the nephew in danger agreed to not tell his parental units the details of a particular incident.

I remember one nephew in danger incident that I still have nightmares about every once in awhile. It was late October, nephew Joey and I decided it sounded like fun to hike up Sauk Mountain. This is an easy hike accessed from the Skagit Valley, about 30 miles upriver from our home zone of Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The drive to the Sauk Mountain trailhead is a twisting turning series of switchbacks and other mountain road type fun. The temperature was below freezing. There were some patches of ice on the road, but we easily got to the trailhead and started our hike.

The hike to the top of Sauk Mountain is mostly long switchbacks, going back and forth, gaining elevation. The higher we climbed the more ice covered the trail. I remember telling Joey we had to be real careful, and that if we slipped, try and enjoy the slide down the mountain, while trying to stop the slide.

As we neared the top of the mountain the solid ice became problematic. That may have been the point when I realized the extent to which I had put my nephew in danger.

And then it began to snow. Hard. Real hard.

I told Joey we needed to head down the mountain as quickly as possible, but slow enough to not slip.

Visibility diminished as the snow increased in volume. As the elevation got lower the trail became less icy. At the end of the switchbacks we pretty much ran back to my motorized vehicular transport, which, if I remember right, was a Mazda pickup.

Joey and I were a bit cold, under dressed in shorts and t-shirts. I recollect shivering while waiting for the vehicle's heating system to heat up.

I remember Joey's teeth clattering as he said that this was the most fun thing we've ever done.

The last time I saw nephew Joey was early August of 2008. At Bay View State Park, on Padilla Bay, in Skagit County. Joey's mother was there. The subject of the Sauk Mountain Nephews in Danger incident came up that day, but after Joey's mother left.

Last year I was surprised to open an email to find photo documentation from Joey's mom, she being my favorite ex-sister-in-law, with the photos documenting Joey's mom's hike to the top of Sauk Mountain!

I figured enough time had passed, statute of limitations type thing, that it was okay for me to suggest to Joey's mom that she ask Joey about the last time he and I hiked to the top of Sauk Mountain.

I don't know if Joey's mom asked Joey about hiking to the top of Sauk Mountain. I know when such an incident has been revealed in the past, I was usually the recipient of a very heartfelt scolding. But, like I already suggested, I think the statute of limitations has run out on this incident.

Now, I must try and find out who is responsible for putting David, Theo and Ruby in Danger with a Tiger....

Hiking With The Indian Blankets Blanketing The Windy Tandy Hills

What you are looking at in the picture is what is known as an Indian Blanket Wildflower.

I know this is an Indian Blanket Wildflower because renowned Fort Worth Horticulturist, CatsPaw, told me so on Friday after I mentioned in a blog post that one particular wildflower seemed to be obliterating all others in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Wildflower Area.

Today I was back on the Tandy Hills for the first time in about a week, if I'm remembering correctly. The amount of wildflowers doing their annual wildflower blooming duty has greatly diminished since my last visit.

And, just like in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, on the hills of the Tandy Hills Natural Area, Indian Blankets seemed to be putting on the most abundant display.

The Indian Blankets you see above were in a patch near the summit of Mount Tandy. These may be my new favorite Texas Wildflower.

Changing the subject from wildflowers to my favorite subject, that being the weather.

I have grown tired of the non stop wind. There were whitecaps on the pool when I went swimming this morning. I was tempted to get my surfboard out of the closet.

Changing the subject again, this time from too much wind to something far more disturbing.

I found out this morning that Elsie Hotpepper has made it safely back to Texas. That is a relief. However, Elsie is wanting me to join her tomorrow is some sort of gang related activity that makes me a bit nervous....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Fun Sunday Fort Worth Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Bike Tour

Yesterday I blogged about a bizarre bit of propaganda that touted something being called Panther Island Pavilion as a revolutionary game changer that is changing the face of music in Fort Worth and the world beyond, with this Panther Island Pavilion music venue being a huge attraction that will put Fort Worth on the music map.

I read this propaganda and wondered to myself if it were possible that the totally nondescript Rockin' the River location, which I'd checked out previously, could possibly have morphed into something special, since I last looked at it.

So, I decided to take myself, and my bike, on a Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour on this next to last Sunday of May. I drove to Trinity Park, via the 7th Street bridge, whose new arches, I must say, look cool. This will be a good-looking bridge, when completed, methinks.

Let the Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour begin.

The photo at the top is part of the downtown Fort Worth campus of Tarrant County College. This part of the college was supposed to be larger, with part of it on the opposite side of the Trinity River. After millions of dollars in cost over runs it was decided to spend millions more to turn the defunct Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters into the main campus of the downtown Fort Worth campus of Tarrant County College.

You are looking at the former Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters, that became a college, below.

Fort Worth's Boondoggles sort of feed on each other, at times. Radio Shack's Corporate Headquarters, that Radio Shack could not afford, and soon had to sell, came about with a land grab via eminent domain. From the Radio Shack Boondoggle Fort Worth lost acres of free parking, which, for decades, had made access to downtown an easy pleasant experience, because along with the free parking there was the world's shortest subway line to take you from the free parking to the heart of downtown Fort Worth. And the subway ride was also free. The Radio Shack Boondoggle clearly did lasting damage to downtown Fort Worth. I think of that anytime I need to park in downtown Fort Worth.

Well, let's leave those Fort Worth Boondoggles behind and visit some Trinity River Vision Boondoggles.

Below we are looking at the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River. This is also the location of the Trinity River Vision's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. This is the area described in the propaganda article I blogged about yesterday, with the below paragraph...

Over the past two years, Panther Island Pavilion, a 40-acre space tucked away underneath Henderson Street just outside downtown, has risen from a barren patch of real estate you might not even notice on your jog along the Trinity Trails to become a focal point not only for civic planners with an eye on tomorrow, but for the city and state’s music industry.

Impressive isn't it? Actually, in person, this is a mess. J.D. Granger references new and improved music stages. But, what I saw today, was the stage I'd seen previously, is now missing, replaced by the two blue outhouses you see  at the center of the picture. The stage on the right has been altered since I last saw it.

A couple lifeguard perches have been added. The sign on the lifeguard perch says it is "A PRODUCT OF THE  TRINITY RIVER VISION."


The sign also advises "SWIM AT OWN RISK."  If a floater runs into trouble does the lifeguard shout that you are swimming at your own risk?

That is a Panther Island Pavilion cement encased outhouse you are looking at above. The stage we saw in the previous two pictures is in the background.

I think the MMG should be changed to OMG.

J.D. Granger is planning on having thousands of people attend music events that will turn Fort Worth into the live music capital  of the world. All those people? And only a few outhouses? Outhouses? Is there any other big city in America with so many outhouses near its downtown core?

Continuing on with the Trinity River Vision part of our Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour. Next stop, Coyote Drive-In.

I was hoping to be impressed by the Coyote Drive-In. I was hoping to see a well designed, landscaped, attractive modern looking take on a drive-in, something that reminded me of the long gone Skagit Drive-In of my long ago youth.

The word that quickly came to mind when I saw the Coyote Drive-In was TACKY. The cyclone fence topped by 3 strands of barbed wire is one example. The parking lot had  not been resurfaced from the days when its facing bankruptcy owner sold it to the Tarrant Regional Water District. I saw no landscaping. A fence made of worn looking boards surrounds the area where the movie watchers park. The entry to the drive-in, where you pass on to the property to get in line to buy your ticket is, well, missing a Welcome to Coyote Drive-In sign, or any other type signage. Maybe it was there and I missed seeing it.

The Coyote Drive-In has the look of something built on the cheap, the extremely cheap. Totally aesthetically unappealing. Which makes it a perfect pairing with the Panther Island Pavilion.

Leaving the Coyote Drive-In our next stop on the Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour is the world's premiere urban wakeboarding venue, Cowtown Wakepark.

I must say, of the three Trinity River Vision Boondoggle up and running operations, Cowtown Wakepark is looking the best. The last time I saw Cowtown Wakepark it was a littered, overgrown mess. Today there were 4 guys wakeboarding at the same time. Several people were watching. The thing that totally surprised me is how clean the water looked. It is a totally different color than the Trinity River which you can see at the same time you are looking at the Wakepark lake.

What is making the Wakepark lake look so clean? There is no apparent filtration system. There are no aerating fountains. The water looked so good I thought to myself the TRV Boondoggle should lose this Cowtown Wakepark thing and turn this into a swimming lake.

On thing I forgot to mention and forgot to take pictures of, because I was focused on pedaling into a very strong wind, was at the Panther Island Pavilion location a couple of the old subway stations had signage attached of the "STAGE 3", "STAGE 4" sort. Can these possibly be some of the "new" stages J.D. Granger references in the bizarre propaganda article in If that is the case I guess it is sort of admirable that J.D. is re-purposing something lost due to the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters Boondoggle.

Yeah, it is really clear to me, that J.D. Granger's vision for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is leading Fort Worth to a very special future, a music, drive-in and wakeboard mecca for all the world to come and enjoy...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Propaganda Panther Rocks Tonight With J.D. Granger's Big Dose Of Hubris

I think I may have mentioned previously that after I  moved to Texas I became a fan of propaganda. I'd never really had the opportunity to witness hyperbolic propaganda up close and in person before, til Texas.

I tell you, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and its step-child,, could have taught the old Soviet Union and Pravda, a thing or two about making their citizens think they are living in Paradise on Earth.

The Soviet Union was able to fool the Soviet people for a long long time, in part, by controlling what the people knew of the world outside the Soviet Union. Controlling what their people knew of the rest of the world became increasingly difficult for the Soviets, and eventually impossible.

When I first experienced Star-Telegram propaganda I was totally perplexed, with me thinking is propagandizing this stuff based on knowing the majority of its readers have not been out of the Soviet Union, I mean, Fort Worth?

For example, soon after my arrival in Texas, the Star-Telegram acted as a cheerleader for a public works project called the Santa Fe Rail Market, touting it as modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and public markets in Europe. And that it would be the first public market in Texas.

This, to me, set a very high bar, but, at that point in time, I was open minded, did not realize the extent to which the Star-Telegram will actually out and out lie to its readers. When I visited the Santa Fe Rail Market soon after it opened, I was appalled to find it bore no resemblance to Pike Place. It was more like a really sad food court, with shops, one might find in a bad mall in a small town.

And it was not even the first public market in Fort Worth, let alone Texas!

And then there was the propaganda the Star-Telegram foisted in its readers regarding the Cabela's sporting goods store. Over and over again, in article after article, the Star-Telegram told its readers that this sporting goods store would be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

Within 6 months of opening, not only was the Fort Worth Cabela's not only not the #1 tourist attraction in Texas, it was not the only Cabela's in Texas, and eventually the Fort Worth Cabela's was not even the only Cabela's in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Have you read a mea culpa in the Star-Telegram regarding their part in the Cabela's scam?

And then there is the Trinity River Vision. When the Star-Telegram first brought this vision to its reader's attention a huge headline announced that this project would turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

Vancouver of the South? I remember thinking has no one working on the Star-Telegram been to either of the northern Vancouvers? Nothing could possibly be done to Fort Worth to make it even remotely resemble one of the Vancouvers of the north. Both Vancouvers have big rivers rolling through town that dwarf the Trinity River ditch, with the Washington Vancouver rolling the Columbia and the British Columbia Vancouver rolling the Fraser. The B.C. Vancouver is in one of the most scenic city settings in the world. Surrounded by water, with mountains.

The original vision of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle conjured images of canals, of riverwalks, of a big lake. The original vision made no mention of wakeboard parks, inner tubing happy hour parties, drive-in movie theaters or restaurants.

But, now in 2013, over a decade since this bizarre project was foisted on the public, who had no voting say in the matter, all we can see of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is the Cowtown Wakepark, Coyote Drive-In, Woodshed Smokehouse and Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at Panther Island.

Panther Island brings us back to At the top you are looking at the cover of this week's ink edition of

The propaganda starts on the cover with the headline "The Panther rocks tonight" with a sub-headline of "A barren patch of earth along the Trinity River has become Fort Worth's unlikely music mecca. We chart the rise of Panther Island Pavilion."

The above propaganda leads to the feature article in this week's, titled "The rise of Panther Island Pavilion."

First off,  pavilion seems a rather grandiose term to use to describe the nondescript bandshells being touted.

Panther Island? But, there is no island. That's fine. With propaganda you just make up stuff. It is sort of like how there really is no vision in the Trinity River Vision.

Where "Panther Island" sits, un-surrounded by water,  is at the confluence of the West and Clear forks of the Trinity River. That being the location of what the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle claimed would be a lake of over 30 acres, later shrunk to a pond a third that size. Is what is being called "Panther Island" to be an actual island if the envisioned pond is something someone may actually one day see?

Now, let's start at the beginning of The rise of Panther Island Pavilion and look at some of the choice pieces of propaganda....

The asphalt teems with tents serving craft-brewed beers in 2-ounce plastic cups, and two stages featuring a panoply of indie-rock acts hum with energy well into the night. A few yards beyond the chain-link fence surrounding the city’s inaugural Untapped Festival, the Trinity River flows past, its calm waters absorbing and reflecting the rays of the setting sun.

Stop and take it all in. This is what Fort Worth’s future looks like.

That is, if J.D. Granger and the Trinity River Vision Authority have anything to say about it.

Fort Worth's future looks like a beer soaked music festival if J.D. Granger has anything to say about it?

Over the past two years, Panther Island Pavilion, a 40-acre space tucked away underneath Henderson Street just outside downtown, has risen from a barren patch of real estate you might not even notice on your jog along the Trinity Trails to become a focal point not only for civic planners with an eye on tomorrow, but for the city and state’s music industry.

“The backdrop is crazy,” says Granger, the TRVA’s executive director. “You’re right in the middle of an urban environment, but you’ve got waterfront [access] — it’s a very unique thing.”

Panther Island Pavilion has become a focal point for civic planners and the Fort Worth and Texas music industry? Why not just say it will become the #1 tourist attraction in Texas? Like Cabela's? J.D. thinks this backdrop is crazy? Well, something sure seems crazy. You're right in an urban setting where you have waterfront access, which is very unique? Unlike New York City, Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, San Antonio and many many other cities across America, and with their waterfront access not being a slow moving, polluted, un-natural, small, little known river.

The TRVA’s stated mission is “to connect every neighborhood in the city to the Trinity River corridor,” and through a mix of initiatives and ambitious goals, Granger and his collaborators just might help make Fort Worth a live-music capital in the process.

I am a little confused. Has making Fort Worth a live-music capital, whatever that is, now been added to the TRVA's stated mission?

There’s no question that Fort Worth stands poised, creatively, on the verge of a musical renaissance, with multiple bands achieving success at home and beyond the Tarrant County line.

Really? There is no question? Oodles of Fort Worth bands stand poised for success beyond the Tarrant County line! Maybe all the way to Dallas County? Are we sure there is no question as to how near we are to this verge of a musical renaissance? Will this have a cool name, like in the 90s when the Seattle sound became known as Grunge?

The venue’s rise began innocently enough, two years ago. It was conceived as part of the decade long Trinity River Vision, a plan meant to tie Fort Worth to the Trinity River, revitalizing the waterway with an urban infrastructure and amenities appealing to the “creative class” (a socioeconomic designation popularized by author Richard Florida).

So this Panther Island venue's rise was conceived as part of the TRV Boondoggle? At what TRVA or TRWD Board meeting was this plan approved? Can the public read the minutes of the meeting when this decision was made to add making Fort Worth a music mecca to the Trinity River Vision's mission? Richard Florida? Methinks Richard Florida would gag to have his name associated with Fort Worth's macabre vision of urban re-generation gone awry, with wakeboard parks, drive-ins and inner tube floats. With music.

Panther Island Pavilion, so nicknamed by local writer Kevin Buchanan in a 2007 post on his urban growth-focused website (a recent server mishap has temporarily waylaid the site), became, along with Tim Love’s Woodshed restaurant, a way for Granger to show the TRVA board and the city at large how urban planning could jump-start growth along the Trinity.

Well now, we finally find out the reason behind the Woodshed Smokehouse being added to the Trinity River Vision. J.D. Granger has been using Panther Island Pavilion and Tim Love's restaurant to show us how urban planning could jump-start growth along the river. And people thought J.D. Granger was totally unqualified for this job, while he has actually been being a Machiavellian clever boy showing us how the grandiosely named Panther Island Pavilion and a restaurant can do some jump starting of some growth along the Trinity.

“It’s always been planned that [Trinity Uptown] would be an exciting urban lifestyle,” Granger says. “People expect more in an urban environment. We have a blank slate down there, so let’s make sure and create the character ahead of time, be unapologetic about it. If you don’t like the character, this is not the place for you to live.”

When the city’s noise ordinance was revised in early 2012, a special exception was made for the area containing Panther Island Pavilion (it’s right there on page 10 of the Jan. 23 presentation to the City Council: “Large venue in Trinity Uptown”). Granger calls it “the most liberal noise ordinance” in Fort Worth, and it was made with the intention of attracting more and larger events to the space.

So, what I'm understanding J.D. to be saying is if you don't like loud noise this is not the place for you to live. J.D. thinks that he has created something special about which he should be unapologetic? I would like to suggest maybe being embarrassed about that which has been "created" might be more appropriate.

Indeed, an argument can be made that none of the recent flurry of activity along or near the Trinity River — the just-opened Coyote Drive-In (see sidebar), for example, or the Clearfork Food Park — would be possible without projects like Panther Island Pavilion paving the way.

Panther Island Pavilion somehow led to the Coyote Drive-In and a food truck park? Is Vegas taking odds on how long it is til the first drive-in in America in the 21st century goes out of business?

Okay, you get the idea. Totally absurd propaganda. Read the The rise of Panther Island Pavilion for even more absurdity, such as....

“Do I plan to be in the music business forever? No,” Granger says. “We go to a cool business model, turn it over to a concessionaire and let them go. That will be the biggest struggle over the next couple years: Do we go ahead and go to a national model, or can we maintain the character of Fort Worth and keep some real grit? That’ll be a tough one.”

A national model? Model of what? Real grit is the character of Fort Worth?

If I remember right I believe I have mentioned before that the word "hubris" often comes to mind when I am appalled by the propaganda spewed in the Fort Worth zone by entities like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Trinity River Vision Authority & Tarrant Regional Water District Board....

Hubris: Extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

Mountain Biking In Gateway Park Thinking About Rockin' The Green Trinity River With Fuji Apples

I took my handlebars to Gateway Park, this next to last Saturday of May, to pedal my wheels on the mountain bike trail.

I had already had myself a good bout of endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation, early this morning, via swimming.

At the morning swim point in time the air in the outer world, at my location, was heated to around 77 degrees. Which felt to be about the same temperature as the water in the pool.

The air in the outer world, at my location, is now heated to 89 degrees. I suspect by the time the sun leaves for the day we will have had the hottest day of the year, so far.

Hot and humid. The humidity is being a bit oppressive.

It is almost that time of the year when thousands of locals hit the Trinity River in inner tubes to have some fun rockin' the river in the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

More on Rockin' the River later, if I can muster the energy.

Today the Trinity River was looking a bit green, as if it had not yet recovered from being dyed for St. Patrick's Day.

What with the ongoing drought and low reservoirs, is there sufficient water to float the thousands of inner tubers hoping to Rock the River?

I pedaled twice around the Gateway Park mountain bike trail and then headed to Town Talk for my regularly scheduled Saturday treasure hunt.

Today's best treasure is personal size organic watermelons, only a buck each. Had one for lunch. Best watermelon ever. Also got a big bag of Fuji  apples, imported from this state called Washington. And 2 cases of yogurt made from soy, one lemon, one peach, only a buck for a case of 12.

Former Fort Worther, current Washingtonian living in the Tacoma zone, MKB, is currently visiting her old home state, down in the New Braunfels zone, doing some tubing in crystal clear river water. I don't know why MKB did not come to her old home town to do some tubing in the Trinity River, which has turned crystal clear, except for some green bouts, since MKB lived in town....

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Obliteration Of The Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Texas Bluebonnets

I prefer my Wildflower Areas to have a variety of wildflowers in a variety of colors.

My wildflower preference was not in play today at the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Wildflower Areas on either side of Village Creek, which you can see documented in the photo.

A predominately orange, with a smattering of yellow, wildflower has taken over the Wildflower Area, muting the pink evening primroses and obliterating the struggling Texas bluebonnets.

Isn't there a law on the Texas books making it a felony to obliterate Texas bluebonnets?

Speaking of obliterating Texas bluebonnets, I was about to issue a BOLO for Elsie Hotpepper, who went missing yesterday. But, Elsie surfaced this morning, to let me know she has left Texas.  Something to do with federal litigation, I think. Whatever that means. The message was very cryptic.

I am almost 100% that Elsie Hotpepper has not found herself in hotwater with the Obama IRS goon squads that target right wing nut groups, because I am almost 100% certain Elsie Hotpepper is not a right wing nut.

Changing the subject from Elsie Hotpepper to my favorite subject, that being the weather.

My computer based weather monitoring device is indicating the humidity is only 76%. But, it feels like a  100% humid wet blanket in the outer world.

It was so humid when I went swimming this morning that my sunglasses fogged up. I think that was caused by the humidity.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Deadly Texas Tornado Caused Non-Gas Related Call To My Mom & Dad

As I sit here looking at my computer monitor we are coming up on 4 in the afternoon of the day after a killer tornado wreaked havoc a few miles southwest of my location.

As you can see, via looking at the sky above the turquoise body of water I see when I look out my south facing windows, no dangerous clouds appear to be presenting any sort of dire threat at this current point in time.

The sky above still appeared to be a bit threatening when I went swimming in that turquoise body of water early this morning.

At my location last night's storm consisted of some noisy thunder, some rain in downpour mode and a burst or two of wind. No tornado sirens were heard.

Due to it being a rough night, last night, I was not in the mood to drive anywhere to get myself some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation. Instead I walked to Albertsons because I needed vinegar.

On the way back from Albertsons I reached for my phone to call my mom and dad because they always think I may have been twisted aloft whenever they hear tornadoes have struck the D/FW zone.

As I pulled my phone out of its pocket it started singing its incoming call song. I thought it was likely my mom calling, but I was wrong. It was Connie D. The Tacoma version of Connie D., not the Fort Worth version.

I sat at a picnic table and had a long talk with Connie D. We had some much needed itinerary discussing to do regarding my upcoming visit to the Pacific Northwest.

After Connie D. was done with me I finally called my mom and dad. Mom answered.  Mom always answers. I don't think mom lets dad answer the phone.

They'd consulted maps trying to figure out where the deadly Granbury tornado area was in relation to my location.

During the course of talking to my mom mom  asked if I'd been invited to a wedding taking place this coming July 6. I said I had not heard of any wedding. Mom then told me the details of this wedding. I then told mom I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that I have not been invited to this.

Well, I was unnecessarily shocked. Just minutes ago I got email from the member of the wedding party to whom I am related, informing me of the event, asking if I want to go, saying "I can send you a real invite if you are interested.  Lemme know. I know how you love family events, so I thought I’d give you fair warning instead of just sending it."

I do love a family event. Let's see, the last family event I went to of the wedding sort was way back in April of 2006. That went well, sort of, but eventually went totally off the rails due to the absurdly obnoxious antics of the relative some of us now call BS.

I can't help but wonder if BS will be at this wedding? I suspect not. I have said previously I will never subject myself to BS again, not ever, if I can help it. And usually I can....

An Incoming Sign Request For A Spencer Jack Addendum To The Jason & Joey Playground

Last night there was incoming email, subject line: Sign Request, from Spencer Jack's dad, my most elderly nephew, Jason....

Uncle Durango,

Your favorite brother confirmed my thoughts on the origin of this newly hung sign. It was in fact my FUD who made this for me and my brother years ago. Perhaps in the early 1980s. The sign has been carefully stored for years and just recently rehung for all to see. Over the long winter, Spencer Jack, Joseph (aka Uncle Joe)converted my once carport into a lego playroom. This is virtually a small lego city which highlights model lego based trains, and an encompassing lego monorail, similar in scale to a real one found 70 miles south of here. I am requesting a new uncle made sign, one that includes Spencer Jack's name.

Below is the above mentioned lego city with a monorail....

As for the "The Jason & Joseph Playground" sign.

Yes, my favorite brother is correct. I did make that sign. There was a Christmas a few decades back when I had fun with my router making signs which became that year's Christmas presents.

I do not remember what became of the router. I know it did not make the move to Texas. Even if the router did make the move to Texas, I do not have a workshop zone like I had in Washington, that made it easy to make stuff out of wood.

The Jason & Joseph Playground sign must have been made soon after "Joseph" was born, before "Joseph" became always known as Joey. Or Joe. I do not recollect anyone ever referring to Joey as Joseph.

Other than me on this antique sign.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Water Board Waves Continue To Wash Over The TRWD

This week's Fort Worth Weekly's Static column, Water Board Waves, annoyed me.

More accurately, it was not the Static column that annoyed me, it was the quotes from a TRWD Board member, Jack Stevens, quoted in the column, that annoyed me.

Just this morning I was telling one of the Water Boarders, I won't say which one, that "just judging from the words I've read them utter, 3 of your co-boarders are not the sharpest knives in the drawer."

And now, later on the same day that I opined what I opined above about 3 of the Water Boarders, one of them, the aforementioned Jack Stevens, shows up in FW Weekly saying the stupid type stuff that led me to opine that these are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Below are the parts of the Static Water Board Waves column containing Jack Stevens' words of wisdom...

Incumbent Jack Stevens said the BNK campaign spouted “misinformation and lies” that led to the unseating of longtime board vice president Hal Sparks III. “The water board has lost a very knowledgeable person that has given twentysomething years,” he said.

Stevens said he hopes Kelleher can work with the four incumbents. “She is probably a pretty good person,” he said. "However, if Kelleher believes the agenda espoused by BNK," he said, there is “probably going to be a problem.”

She has a sharp learning curve,” Stevens said. “She’ll be welcome when she contributes productively.”

If she comes with the BNK mindset, she’s probably going to have a rude awakening,” he said. “She’s going to find out everything she’s been told is misinformation and not the truth.”

She's probably a pretty good person? Which would seem to mean there is some chance she is not a good person?

If Mary Kelleher has an agenda that is counter to the Stevens/Water Board agenda there is going to be a problem? Is this some sort of ham-handed threat?

Mary Kelleher will be welcome when she contributes productively? So, until Mary Kelleher contributes to the TRWD Board in a way that is determined to be productive, she will not be welcome on the TRWD Board? Did the voters not just elect Mary Kelleher in a record breaking landslide? Is it not the voters who have welcomed Mary Kelleher to the TRWD Board?

Mary Kelleher is going to find out all that she believes is misinformation and not the truth? And what would those bits of misinformation be that are not the truth? Little things like the TRWD Board has operated like its own little private fiefdom. Rescuing friends from bankruptcy with TRWD public funds? Being part of building the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, which everyone knows is important for flood control and maintaining a supply of quality water?

Two paragraphs in the Static column are a better retort to this Stevens guy's buffoonery than anything I might say....

The two camps probably have different ideas about what “productive” means at this point. Kelleher wants to make the water district and the board as transparent as possible. She’s new to politics, but she’s an old hand at fighting for her rights. She battled gas drillers and city officials over flooding at her ranch. She’ll bring that same mentality to the water board, she said.

“It was a great day for citizens,” she said. “For so many years people felt like they didn’t have a voice in the Tarrant Regional Water District. Now they do. They have me.”

Methinks it is not Mary Kelleher who is in for a rude awakening......