Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tonight I Have A Mom & Dad In Klamath Falls And A Sister Stuck In Twin Falls With A Vehicular Malfunction

In the picture you are looking at what is known as a mountain. This mountain is near Klamath Falls, Oregon.

My mom called me tonight from Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Mom and dad left the Phoenix zone Saturday morning to begin a trek north to a wedding in Tacoma.

It had been indicated to me, by my mom, that they would be traveling at a slower pace than they are traveling, what with them already being in Klamath Falls.

I was a bit concerned about my mom and dad driving across long stretches of desert with this record breaking heat wave happening. A vehicular breakdown when the temperature is super HOT can quickly become very problematic.

All my siblings, who do not currently live in Washington, are currently on the road, heading north for that aforementioned wedding.

Mom told me my sister, also heading north from the Phoenix zone, with my nephew CJ as her chauffeur, has had one of those dreaded vehicular breakdowns, currently stuck in Twin Falls, Idaho, awaiting a mechanical repair.

The last time I drove back to Washington, early August of 2001, my last night before arriving in Seattle was spent in Twin Falls.

It is 2,200 miles, give or take a mile or two, from my location in Texas to Seattle. This sounds like a long distance, but it really isn't. First night of that trip north was spent in Pueblo, Colorado, second night in Twin Falls, with arrival in Seattle the next afternoon.

After my mom called I let my cousin Freddy, in Bend, know that his aunt and uncle had made it to Klamath Falls and would be arriving in Bend around noon tomorrow. I am hoping that when my Aunt Mike sees her sister, that being my mom, that Aunt Mike has a Notebook moment and recognizes my mom.

Mom said she'll call me tomorrow to let me know how the visit with Aunt Mike went.

Gar The Texan Takes One More Step Towards Breaking Mickey Rooney's Multiple Marriage Record

I am not the most attentive Facebooker on the planet. Which causes me to miss Facebook notices.

It has been several years now where I have not understood why Facebook has not fallen off the Internet map, like MySpace did, with Facebook replaced by something better.

It seems to me that entities such as Google and Microsoft should be working on replacing Facebook with something better.

Anyway.

Today I learned that Facebook is now being used to issue Wedding Invites, doing away with the time honored method of mailing of an invite requesting a RSVP.

It was from Gar the Texan that I received my most recent wedding invite. I clicked on the "Maybe" I will attend option on the invite.

Gar the Texan is calling his latest nuptial event "Doomsday."

I can sort of imagine why Doomsday is the current Gar the Texan wedding theme. Likely, it being Doomsday has something to do with the fact that Gar the Texan is trying to beat Mickey Rooney's number of marriages record.

I have never met the first Mrs. Gar the Texan, she being the mother of his big brood of replicants, who have now made Gar the Texan into Gar the Texan Grandpa.

I have met some of the subsequent Mrs. Gar the Texans, such as the followup to the original, she being an El Paso girl with a neurological disorder that caused her to vibrate like one of those old Motel 6 beds after you inserted a quarter in the vibrating device.

The Vibrator was followed by the Very Big Girl. She being an heiress worth a million or 20. Gar the Texan thought he'd be happy married to the Very Big Rich Girl, with her letting him play video games all day, til he found out she also expected him to perform traditional husbandly duties when the sun went down.

The Very Big Girl was followed by the German. When I first met the German my skin literally crawled. She did not speak with a German accent that reminded me of Heidi Klum or Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. Gar the Texan's German spoke with a German accent that reminded me that Eva Braun married Adolf Hitler the day before he shot himself.

When Gar the Texan let it be known that he intended to marry the German I was very conflicted. I thought, should I verbalize what I thought about him marrying a German decades younger than himself who could barely speak English? Or not share that I thought this was a HUGE mistake.

I opted to keep my opinion to myself.

Gar the Texan was soon divorced from the German after she put him through a living hell of Goosestepping and Sauerkraut.

And now, it is on to wife #5, or is it #6? I don't know for sure.

The latest incoming wife appears to be more age appropriate. She is an American. An American who I believe is from Idaho. The land of really famous spuds. This bodes well. I hope.....

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The SB Depot Dud Had Me Happy To Be Back With My Regular Saturday Gateway Park Town Talk Rut

In the picture you are looking at my handlebars above a cliff above the Trinity River in Gateway Park.

Last Saturday, from this same location, I said that today I was going to break free of my Saturday Gateway Park Town Talk rut and go instead to SB Depot in Arlington.

Well.

I had to be in Arlington yesterday. Which made it make sense to go to SB Depot, then, since I was in the neighborhood.

Last week, after I mentioned I was going to go to SB Depot today, Stenotrophomonas told me I would like the SB Depot cooler much more than the Town Talk cooler.

I somehow construed what Stenotrophomonas told me to mean I would like SB Depot better than Town Talk.

However, I'd barely driven on to the SB Depot parking lot when I decided this place was a dud. A big DUD.

It was coming up on noon and there were only a couple cars in the parking lot. Inside the store was a ghost town. The touted International Food Court was empty of anyone from any nation. The sole checkout person appeared to be napping.

And then I found the SB Depot cooler and got what Stenotrophomonas meant. This cooler was so big all of Town Talk could fit inside. However, the SB Depot cooler was mostly empty and what was in there was nothing I wanted.

I quickly left SB Depot and continued on to Cho Saigon and then ALDI.

Now, back to today. I had myself a really fine time biking the Gateway Park mountain bike trail. The trails are in great shape, which enabled some high speed pedaling.

And then it was on to Town Talk to cool off in Town Talk's tiny cooler.

I filled an entire shopping cart at Town Talk today. That has never happened before. I got Pineapples, Oranges, Asparagus, Mangoes, Romaine Lettuce, Yellow Peppers, Avocados, Green Beans, Rainier Cherries from Wenatchee, dozens of Tyson All Natural Chicken Legs and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

I guess I am okay with my Saturday Town Talk rut. I do enjoy it. And since there really are so few things I enjoy, I suppose I should just be happy to stay in my familiar rut....

CBS TV Is Covering The Olivergate Scandal Reporting The Tarrant Regional Water District GM Is In Hot Water

Unlike the inept, non-local newspaper of record, known as the disgraced Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the local CBS TV News is covering the TRWD Olivergate Scandal.

Yesterday's CBS coverage of the scandal was titled "Tarrant Regional Water District GM In Hot Water".

An excerpt from the online version of the CBS TV coverage of the TRWD Olivergate Scandal...

There are allegations of confrontations and threats at the agency that provides water to nearly two million North Texans.

The newest board member of the Tarrant Regional Water District said her request for documents related to district emails, real estate records and payment records, was met instead with a heated lecture from the district’s general manager Jim Oliver.

“He said if you want records as a board member, you come through me,” Kelleher said, pounding on her chest to show how she said Oliver emphasized his words. “I thought ‘wow’.”

You can watch the interview with Mary Kelleher by going to CBSDFW.COM where you will hear Mary Kelleher describe the bullying of Jim Oliver.

Yesterday's blogging about the TRWD Olivergate Scandal brought a very appropo comment from Guelma...

Guelma has left a new comment on your post "The TRWD Olivergate Scandal Takes Another Scandalous Turn With Denials, Lies & Cover-Ups":

This part of the world seems to have more than its fair share of what has been called bullycrats, public servants who somehow think they are rulers of the "we the people" who pay their salaries and other perks. Time to keep twisting this Oliver and then flush him down the river. 

I agree with Guelma, the Oliver Twisting must continue until this bullycrat is flushed down the river....

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Call From My Mom Had Me Hunting For My WSU Cougar Bobblehead From My Aunt Mike

My mom called me a couple minutes ago to let me know they are heading north in the morning, heading to Tacoma for a wedding, with a stop in Bend, Oregon, on the way.

The stop in Bend is to see my Aunt Mike, my mom's baby sister, who we were all shocked to learn, this past year, has Alzheimer's.

Aunt Mike has always been the healthiest, most robust of my aunts and uncles.

And the funniest.

Aunt Mike ran marathons. I remember being at Gasworks Park, in Seattle, in the early 1990s, in a heavy rain, to watch Aunt Mike complete a marathon the day before the I-90 floating bridge sank.

I last saw Aunt Mike on August 11 of 2001, at my mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. I drove solo, back to Washington, for this, with no one but my two oldest nephews knowing I was coming.

No one knows I am coming north for this latest family event. Because, I don't think I am.

I'd mentioned to my mom, previously, that my cousin Kurt, he being Aunt Mike's only kid, told me Aunt Mike still likes going to McDonald's.

So, mom told me she had a cute McDonald's Bobblehead for Aunt Mike.

I then told mom I still had a Washington State University Cougars Bobblehead that Aunt Mike gave me decades ago, when she went to WSU.

That Cougar Bobblehead went with me when I went to college, and has followed me all the places I have gone since, including Texas.

After I got off the phone, with my mom, I went hunting for my Aunt Mike Cougar Bobblehead. I found it, Googled McDonald's Bobbleheads and took the picture you see above.

It is going to be interesting to see if Aunt Mike recognizes my mom. This will be the first time since Aunt Mike has had Alzheimer's that she will be being visited by someone who she has known as long as she has had a memory.

The TRWD Olivergate Scandal Takes Another Scandalous Turn With Denials, Lies & Cover-Ups


UPDATE: Sorry to confuse. No, this headline did not actually appear in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Everyone knows the Fort Worth Star-Telegram does not cover news of the TRWD Olivergate Scandal type of real news....

On Wednesday I blogged about a letter newly elected TRWD board member, Mary Kelleher, sent to TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver, in What Is TRWD General Manager Jim Oliver Afraid Will Be Exposed With Full TRWD Transparency?

In part that letter from Mary Kelleher said, “I take very seriously my responsibilities as an elected official and I expect that my attempts to provide the necessary oversight in the future will not be met with raised voice, chest-pounding, disrespect, and other behavior unacceptable for a public servant, let alone the senior executive of the TRWD.”

Rather than man up and own his bad behavior, Jim Oliver opted to use the Nixon-style Lie, Deny and Cover-up method of dealing with a scandal.

Most of us know how well that worked out for Richard Nixon. Apparently Jim Oliver missed that history lesson. I suspect Jim Oliver will meet the same fate as Richard Nixon.

Via TRWD spokesman, Chad Lorance, Jim Oliver strained credibility with the following....

Ms. Kelleher, accompanied by two unidentified males, appeared unannounced at the District offices on June 21 and requested numerous documents from staff, including some that were confidential in nature. The release of those confidential documents by the district’s staff would have violated provisions of the Texas Government Code."

Chad Lorance continued the obfuscating spin by claiming all requests for information must be reviewed by general counsel for compliance with all laws, with the information requests made only to the TRWD Imperial Dictator, I mean, General Manager, Jim Oliver, adding that “Staff members confirmed that Mr. Oliver did not raise his voice during that discussion."

So, are we to believe that an elected TRWD board member can not examine TRWD documents without Jim Oliver's approval and a review by a lawyer? And there is some Texas Government Code which codifies this bizarre practice?

When Mary Kelleher made her document review request on June 21, why did TRWD employee, Nancy King, accept Mary Kelleher's document review requests, telling Mary Kelleher to return that afternoon,  at which time Nancy King would provide the available documents?

Apparently Nancy King had not been advised of the tight security that controls TRWD documents and filters their release through the command of the Imperial Dictator, TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver.

As for Jim Oliver's claim that TRWD staff members, in the office at the time of his tirade, confirm he did not raise his voice. Well, I can not help but wonder what the result of a lie detector test would be, hooked up to Jim Oliver, or those staff members who were deaf to Oliver's yelling. Or used to hearing it. Or intimidated and bullied by this bureaucratic tyrant.

In other words, if Jim Oliver's judgement was so bad that he gave himself permission to try and intimidate Mary Kelleher with a hysterical tantrum, imagine how he must treat staffers who are not elected officials? Let alone elected officials elected with the most votes in TRWD election history.....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Over 100 For The First Time In 2013 In North Texas

I don't know when, today, the outer world furnace heated to over 100 for the first time this year in North Texas.

I did not notice we'd gone over 100 til some time after 5 in the afternoon.

I did notice that the air-conditioner has been working hard this afternoon to maintain the artificial chill.

Tomorrow I have business to attend to in Arlington, none of which will be out in the HEAT, except for the walks from an air-conditioned vehicle to an air-condition building.

I think tomorrow's super HOT Friday will have swimming as my only endorphin inducing aerobic activity for the day. Unless I change my mind....

Fort Worth 4th Of July Presented By TRWD While Being Produced By The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle


I still have not located any sort of "construction" timeline for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. I blogged about this a few days ago after I discovered the Skagit River Vision in my little old hometown of Mount Vernon had an actual project timeline for its legitimate flood control/economic development project.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle seems to have lost sight of whatever its vision was, well over a decade ago, when this boondoggle was foisted on Fort Worth with no messy input from something like a public vote.

And now, in 2013, what do we see when we look at the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

The world's premiere urban wakeboard park, the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, a lame music venue that is called Panther Island Pavilion, a restaurant that is outside of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's area where the vision was supposed to be seen.

And, let us not forget the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

With next Thursday's floating coinciding with the 4th of July, which, apparently, gave the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and perpetual frat party boy, J.D. Granger, the idea to have a really big party.

The Tarrant Regional Water District and the Trinity River Vision Authority appear to be really pleased to be putting on this 4th of July event.

Promotional material proudly states, as you can see above, "Presented By TRWD, Produced By Trinity River Vision Authority."

So, far no flood control has been produced by the TRV Boondoggle. And the economic development that is supposedly supposed to be part of the TRV Boondoggle seem to be rather sketchy operations.

As in, has anyone read any followup articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram letting us know how the Cowtown Wakepark is faring financially? And if the Coyote Drive-In having the 100s of vehicles show up, nightly, to watch movies, as was touted in the pre-opening propaganda?

Back when the original TRV Boondoggle was announced, with its signature bridges, lake, riverwalk, canals, and assorted other good things, no one could have imagined that over a decade later there would be so little to see, or that what there was to see would have nothing to do with what was  originally touted as being the Trinity River Vision.

Early on I thought this would be yet one more embarrassing Fort Worth boondoggle. My imagination is not sufficiently imaginative to have imagined how big a boondoggle and how embarrassingly bad the Trinity River Vision would actually turn out to be.

And there is still more to come.

Like the un-needed flood diversion channel with its 3 un-needed non-signature bridges.....

Walking In Arlington With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Thinking About A Self-Important Martinet Raging Psychotic Nonsense

With it not quite 100 degrees I thought it seemed to be a good idea to go for a refreshing walk with the Village Creek Natural Historical Area Indian Ghosts today in the shade of big oak trees.

As you can see via the photo evidence, the Village Creek Blue Bayou is no longer blue. It is now the Village Creek Green Bayou.

Speaking of the temperature.

And who isn't?

Earlier today, after I blogged about today's North Texas HEAT, Steve A, currently vacationing up north, commented on the North Texas HEAT,  letting me know it is going to be hot today in the Pacific Northwest, with hot there being in the high 80s in Seattle and 68 for the high in Ocean Shores, which is Steve A's location today, enjoying the cool breezes blowing in from the Pacific.

Whilst walking today I was pondering the mystery of DeepTex2013, that being the person who emailed me a copy of the letter Mary Kelleher sent to the TRWD's General Manager, Jim Oliver. I blogged about this letter in a blogging titled What Is TRWD General Manager Jim Oliver Afraid Will Be Exposed With Full TRWD Transparency?

Apparently very few people were in possession of this letter and those few people were very surprised and not a little disoriented to see it show up on a blog.

During the course of my pondering, whilst walking, thinking about the bad behavior of Jim Oliver brought to mind Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, which I finished reading yesterday. There is a scene in that book where one of the partisans is trying to get a dispatch to a general and finds himself thwarted, temporarily, by a self-important martinet, raging psychotic nonsense.

I really don't think self-important martinets, prone to raging psychotic nonsense, should be employed by a public agency, let alone paid over $300,000 a year.

That is what I concluded during today's walk with the Indian Ghosts.

Apparently A Very HOT Day Is Expected Across North Texas On Friday

My computer based weather monitoring device was flashing red when I woke up my computer this morning.

Flashing red with a "SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT."

Below is that SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT, all of it shouted in capital letters...

...A VERY HOT DAY EXPECTED ACROSS NORTH TEXAS ON FRIDAY...

A STRONG UPPER RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BE CENTERED FROM TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA WEST TO THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES. WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE GENERALLY LIGHT AHEAD OF A WEAK COLD FRONT EXPECTED INTO NORTH TEXAS FRIDAY NIGHT. AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES FRIDAY ARE EXPECTED TO SOAR TO BETWEEN 99 AND 102 DEGREES ACROSS EASTERN NORTH TEXAS AND BETWEEN 103 AND 107 DEGREES ACROSS WESTERN NORTH TEXAS. THOUGH HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL BE LOWER ACROSS THE EAST...HIGHER HUMIDITY LEVELS MAY PUSH HEAT INDICES BRIEFLY TO AROUND 105 DEGREES. WHILE THE HUMIDITY WILL BE LOWER ACROSS THE WEST...THE ACTUAL HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL BE OPPRESSIVELY HOT.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS NOW IF YOU ARE WORKING OR PLANNING TO SPEND EXTENDED AMOUNTS OF TIME OUTSIDE FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. WHEN POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR LATER DURING THE EVENING HOURS. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER OR WATER-BASED FLUIDS. AVOID CARBONATED DRINKS...ESPECIALLY ALCOHOL.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Semi-Full Moon Squirrel Lunacy While I Swim Waiting To Get 100 Degrees HOT

I have not felt quite right the past couple days, I think because my pool was not doable due to an electrical malfunction rendering the water filtering system useless.

With the pool back doable this morning I had myself a really fine time getting some much needed water borne endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

We are barely past a big full moon, with that big full moon appearing to be only slightly less than full, early this morning, soon after the arrival of the sun.

I don't know if it is full moon lunacy that accounts for the behavior, but this morning something has 5 or 6 squirrels acting very squirrelly whilst I was swimming. The squirrels were doing some extreme limb leaping, odd fence climbing and noisy chattering.

I think the air was already heated to the low 80s when I got in water this morning. The water felt heated to a similar temperature. According to the current temperature predictions the pool water is about to get a lot HOTTER.


The above indicates that today will hit 100,  tomorrow 104, 104 again on Friday, with that 104 earning a HOT graphic, with Saturday chilling to only 98, but also earning itself, inexplicably so, one of those HOT graphics.

I got the above temperature info from the Star-Telegram, which might explain the inexplicable-ness of the 98 degree HOT graphic.

At least we can take some comfort in the Air Quality being only Moderately Bad.

What Is TRWD General Manager Jim Oliver Afraid Will Be Exposed With Full TRWD Transparency?

Captain Clean, during the recent Tarrant Regional Water District Board Member Election, promised to do some TRWD Flushing if any of Captain Clean's candidates were elected to the board.

Well, Mary Kelleher was elected. Elected with the most votes any candidate has ever received in a TRWD Board Election.

Mary Kelleher has been busy making good on her campaign promises regarding transparency and open meetings and accountability.

To that end, Mary Kelleher on Friday, June 21, went to TRWD headquarters to request documents to review.

This perfectly legitimate request for documents to review, in Mary Kelleher's capacity as an elected member of the TRWD Board of Directors, quickly spun out of control, with the out of control part of the spin provided by TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver, which lead Mary Kelleher to send Jim Oliver a letter, a copy of which I have received, part of which had Mary Kelleher telling Jim Oliver the following...

As requested by Ms. King, I did come back in the afternoon. Instead of being provided the documents, I was confronted by you, and you proceeded to yell at me while beating on your chest and declaring that all future requests be made to you. As a result, despite Ms. King's promise of the documents, I still have not been able to see any of the documents I requested.

You were noticeably frustrated and angry with my attempts to obtain documents that would shed light on what happens at the TRWD. Please understand that was what I was elected to do and I have a legal right to review such documents. I take very seriously my responsibilities as an elected official, and I expect that my attempts to provide the necessary oversight in the future will not be met with raised voice, chest-pounding,
disrespect, and other behavior unacceptable for a public servant, let alone the senior executive member of the TRWD. It has come to my attention that you have been similarly inappropriate in your email correspondence with John Basham. See, e.g.. Exhibit A, attached. In light of these repeated outbursts, in my view, the District should consider whether it is appropriate for you to continue in your current position and/or whether you should be required to take anger management training.

You can read the entire letter, including the above referenced Jim Oliver inappropriate correspondence with John Basham, by clicking here.

I can not help but wonder, given the reasonableness of Mary Kelleher's request to review TRWD documents, with that request causing such an uncalled for, unprofessional, inappropriate, hysterical reaction from the TRWD General Manager, what it is that Jim Oliver is so afraid will be exposed if full transparency sheds bright light on the years of closed door dealings of the Tarrant Regional Water District Board....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Flintstone Picnic At Fort Worth's Mallard Cove Park With No Ducks

Well, just as I thought I would, yesterday, after I discovered nearby Mallard Cove Park, today I returned to pedal my tires on the paved trails that meander around Mallard Cove.

I am almost 100% certain that a Mallard is a duck. But, I saw no ducks of any kind in Mallard Cove Park today.

Or any other bird.

I read, whilst Googling for Mallard Cove Park info,  that this park is a birders paradise. Maybe early Summer is the wrong time of the year for birds to be in residence.

I did see numerous GAS PIPELINE WARNING signs in Mallard Cove Park. Which led me to wonder if Fort Worth has the world's highest number of gas pipeline warning signs in its parks.

My favorite thing I found in Mallard Cove Park was in the shade of the Mallard Cove Grove of trees. Below is that favorite thing.


A Flintstone style picnic table. There needs to be a Flintstone style fire pit installed near the Flintstone style picnic table to render this a perfect Flintstone picnic spot.


Above you are looking at duck-free Mallard Cove. This view is a short distance north of the Flintstone picnic table area.

The area under the shade of the Mallard Cove Grove was significantly cooler than being under the sun on the paved trail. This would be a serene spot to while away a HOT summer afternoon.

Apparently J.D. Granger Delivers To Or For The River Without Floating In It

Yesterday I blogged about the Lone Granger and Nepotism.

Someone named Anonymous commented on that Lone Granger and Nepotism blogging with the following...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Lone Granger Wonders About Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Nepotism":

The latest Rockin' The River pics are out and The Lone Granger appears in pic 56 of 156.

He's sporting eye glasses in the photo and doesn't look like he gets in the water.

Pics here: http://www.dfw.com/2013/06/21/804604/pics-062013-rockin-the-river.html

I tortured myself by scrolling through 55 photos of scantily clad people enjoying the pure, crystal clear water of the Trinity River before I got to photo #56 to find two guys sporting eye glasses, neither of whom look as if he may be getting in the water.

I am going to go way out on a limb here and make a guess that J.D. Granger is the guy sporting eye glasses on the right. I am making this guess because the guy on the right is wearing a t-shirt that says either "I DELIVER FOR THE RIVER" or "I DELIVER TO THE RIVER."

Since J.D. Granger has delivered hundreds upon hundreds of sacrificial floaters to the Trinity River, methinks it would be he who would be wearing a t-shirt touting this incredible accomplishment.

J.D. Granger Working On His Beer Gut
Now, regarding it appearing that J.D. is not prepared to get in the water, I can not help but wonder if, during the course of all the Thursdays when hundreds upon hundreds of people have enjoyed the pristine waters of the Trinity River in the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats, has J.D. Granger not joined the throngs he has delivered to the river, even once?

Is J.D. shy about exposing his beer gut to the unforgiving eyes of the numerous cameras documenting the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

Even if J.D. is shy about exposing his beer gut I still think it would behoove him to show a good example and deliver himself to the river.

At least once.

Bowling With Spencer Jack Jones One Must Score Ones Weight Or Better

Apparently, according to documentation emailed to me this morning, Spencer Jack has taken up the extreme sport of bowling.

According to Spencer Jack's dad...

Spencer pauses only once for a camera opportunity. His trick in completing 8 full games in less than 90 minutes: use two balls, so he doesn't have to wait for the ball return device to fetch his first "tossed" ball! This kid is Brilliant! 

As Spencer Jack continues his journey across the American cultural landscape I can not help but wonder what is next.

Karoke?


The scoreboard, above, is a bit blurry, but it appears that Spencer Jones' score, on the left, is 68, while Spencer's Dad, on the right, is a big X.

Regarding the bowling scores Spencer Jack's dad had this to say...

A bowler should always be able to bowl his own weight! Spencer exceeded such, with a game average of close to 100. His dad and "girl friend's" average score proved this theory true, with the 3 game average being a 118 and 185, respectively!  

A bowler should always be able to bowl his own weight? I'm expected to bowl 310? I thought 300 was the top number of points one could get in a single game of bowling.

I don't believe I have ever seen one of the ball rolling assistant devices, previously, that Spencer Jack appears to be using to assist in his accelerated bowling game.

If I remember right the last time I bowled was with Spencer Jack's cousin, my nephew Jeremy. I believe this occurred the first time I drove back home after the move to Texas. I remember my back was aching and bowling caused the pain to be excruciating. That and I got three strikes in a row. But, even with three strikes my score got nowhere near my weight.

Below is video of Spencer Jack bowling, taken by his favorite girl friend, Brittney...

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Exercised CAUTION While Walking With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts Today Before Finding Mallard Cove Park

Soon after walking from the Village Creek Natural Historical Area parking lot I came upon "CAUTION" tape blocking off access to several picnic tables.

I do not believe it was the picnic tables that one needed to be cautious about. I think the danger may have been coming from the big dead tree you see rising above "CAUTION" in the picture.

If it is the dead tree presenting the need for caution, why not simply knock it down before it falls on an innocent picnicker? Instead of marking off the area with what looks like crime scene tape.

Other than being advised to exercise CAUTION it was an uneventful walk with the Indian Ghosts today.

Upon leaving my abode I found my route via John T. White Road reduced to one lane. So, I opted to take Randol Mill Road back to my abode.

I have driven Randol Mill Road countless times without noticing the park sign I saw today.

Mallard Cove Park.

I followed the Mallard Cove Park signs til I arrived at the entry to Mallard Cove Park. This appears to be a new park, which would explain why I'd not noticed it before. I could see multiple paved trails from the parking lot, curving down a slope towards the Trinity River.

I suspect I will be rolling my bike tires on these newly discovered trails soon. As in, likely tomorrow.

Yesterday I mentioned that my pool was suffering an electrical malfunction. The electrician showed up this morning and got the electricity back electrifying, which has the pumps back pumping and me back swimming, maybe later this afternoon, but tomorrow morning for certain.

The Lone Granger Wonders About Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Nepotism

This morning an incoming blog comment amused me...

The Lone Granger has left a new comment on your post "The Skagit River Vision Has Me Freshly Perplexed Regarding The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle":

Is the son of Mount Vernon's Representative in Congress running the Skagit River Vision? Or do you have ethical rules regarding nepotism up north?

That is the Lone Granger, above. I do not know if the Native American with the Lone Granger, above, is the Apache historic ground blesser employed by J.D. Granger when he needs a new erection blessed.

To answer the Lone Granger's question, I don't know if there are any ethical rules regarding nepotism, up north. What I do know is there is a surplus of common sense up north that prevents something outrageous, like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's nepotistic appointment of Congresswoman Kay Granger's unqualified son to run a public works boondoggle that the public has never voted for.

The thing is, I would hazard to guess that the vast majority of those who live in the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Zone could not tell you what nepotism is, or why it is considered wrong in civilized parts of the world or how hiring J.D. Granger to manage the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is a classic example of nepotism.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Hot First Sunday Of Summer Tandy Hills Hike With A Collapsed Bamboo Tepee

In the picture you are standing atop Mount Tandy, looking west at the 4 soaring skyscrapers that dominate the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

My swimming pool is out of commission due to an electrical problem which has the filtering pump not filtering. And so a heavy dose of chemicals had to poured into the water, lest the water turn an unfortunate shade of slimy green.

I have seen how quickly this can happen when we are at the HOT time of the year, when the pool water at my previous abode turned slimy green when the filtering pump went awry.

An electrician arrives tomorrow to try and figure out what caused the short circuit that shut down everything electrical associated with the pool.

With no pool, the Tandy Hills was rendered my source of endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation today.

Three days in to Summer and we have yet to have a 100 degree day at my location in Texas, but the Tandy Hills were plenty warm today, though more than a dozen degrees shy of 100.

Today I was shocked to walk in to the Bamboo Tepee Grove to find that the Bamboo Tepee has collapsed to the ground.


The mystery of why someone hauled about a dozen bamboo poles to the heart of the Tandy Hills and then constructed a Bamboo Tepee has never been solved.

The Bamboo Tepee stood for several years, seemingly impervious to the elements, surviving wind, rain, hail, snow and extreme heat and cold.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Red Tape Did Not Keep My Bike From The Edge Of A Gateway Park Cliff Today

The "DANGER" red tape is no longer blocking access to pedaling off a cliff in Gateway Park, I learned today after a mile or two of pedaling.

So, I was able to push my handlebars right to the edge of the precipice, where they may have been in "DANGER" of falling into the slimy green looking body of water below.

Just two days ago, on Thursday, dozens upon dozens of brave souls floated in that water to have themselves a Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float with J.D.Granger and his Panther Island Pavilion party animals.

The Trinity River moves so slow I don't know if the water those Thursday floaters floated in has flowed downstream far enough to yet be at the location under my handlebars.

Except for a near collision with a guy pedaling a skinny tire bike, today's Gateway Park bike ride was mostly uneventful.

My regular Saturday treasure hunt at Town Talk was also mostly uneventful. I got a couple cartons of cherry tomatoes, some yellow peppers, two cases of yogurt, with one of them being the Siggi brand of Greek yogurt with the flavor being Acai Mixed Berry. I have no idea what Acai Mixed Berry means. I also got a gallon of non-homogenized organic whole milk. The huge chunks of butterfat in this milk make for an interesting drinking experience.

I've decided to shake up my usual rut next Saturday, and not go to Town Talk. I have another destination in mind for my next Saturday treasure hunting. In Arlington. A place called SB Depot, which I have not been to.

Messing With My Little Sister Finding A Bigger Crazy Sister Behind Her

Last night, on Facebook, via the Fort Worth Connie D,  I saw what you see on the left.

It amused me, due to the fact that it happened to be true, regarding my personal sister sibling situation.

Because if you mess with my little sister there is both a bigger sister and a crazy sister behind her, with the crazy one being the one you really don't wanna mess with.

By mess with, I mean be in the same room, or state, with.

There were multiple comments to Connie D's crazy sister thing, but the first two were the most amusing ones, what with Nina saying that in her family the sentiment expressed is not the case, because the baby sister would rip you apart.

While Holly said her sister would have sold her to Gypsies had the opportunity presented itself.

Now, my own baby sister would not rip me apart, except in an argument, because she's a lawyer, and that is what they do.

However, the crazy sister, well, at various points in time I am sure she would have sold any one of her siblings to Gypsies if she got the chance.

This morning I found out that my crazy sister has been removed from Facebook. I have no idea what type craziness one does to get oneself removed from Facebook.

Friday, June 21, 2013

You Need A Criminal Background Check To Get A Ticket To Dealey Plaza For The 50th JFK Assassination Event In Dallas

Until this morning, on the upcoming date of Friday, November 22, 2013, I had planned on riding the TRE to Dallas to go to Dealey Plaza for the events surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Assassination.

This morning incoming information caused me to change my mind about taking the train to Dallas in November.

I attended the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination. That day, in Dealey Plaza, was one of the most memorable events I have ever experienced.

Ten years ago I did not take the train to Dallas. I drove. Parking at Pioneer Plaza, then walking to Dealey Plaza.

The event for the 40th Anniversary had a sort of spontaneous, reverent, celebratory feel to it. The 40th occurred 2 years after 9/11, so security was clearly in evidence, including helicopters overhead and SWAT type teams on the ground.

So, why have I decided not to go to Dallas for the 50th?

At a news conference at the Sixth Floor Museum the mayor of Dallas, Michael Rawlings, said that given the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and the recent Boston Marathon bombings, security is a high priority.

So, unlike 10 years ago, when I guess security was not such a high priority, one needs a ticket to be in Dealey Plaza on November 22.

Dallas Police Chief Charles Cato said police will conduct full criminal background checks on all people requesting tickets. People can request up to two tickets and each person listed in a single request will be screened.

You request a ticket online where "for security purposes, you will be asked to enter a valid driver’s license/state issued ID number or passport number or social security number on your request form. Two forms of ID are required on the form."

Tickets are picked randomly, with those picked being notified, I assume by email, on or about October 1, 2013.

The tickets do  not get mailed to the lucky random drawing winners. You have to pick up the tickets, in person, at the American Airlines Center, on the day of the event, from 7am til 10am. Each person attending MUST present photo ID, with information that matches the ticket form, when picking up tickets. For security reasons, no tickets can be released without a photo ID. Acceptable photo identification includes driver’s license, state issued ID, school ID or passport.

I can just imagine how much fun it will be for people to line up at the AA Center waiting their turn to get their tickets. And then to make your way to Dealey Plaza where I assume you get to wait in another line and likely go through an airport like screening device, whilst presenting your ticket.

I don't think JFK would be happy with this. I'm thinking JFK would likely be wondering why Dallas was not more overboard about security the last time he was in town.

Blaming this on the Boston Bombing seems totally bogus. That occurred far too recently to have had an input into these elaborate measures, such as setting up a website titled The 50th Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy.

Why not just do what was done for the 40th? Close off several streets, have a large police presence, and let all who want to attend be able to do so. Apparently video screens will be set up, such as at American Airlines Center and other satellite locations, where those without tickets can watch what is going on in Dealey Plaza.

Methinks Dallas is likely going to take some National and International flack over this plan for the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Below is the video I made of the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Skagit River Vision Has Me Freshly Perplexed Regarding The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

No. In the image on the left you are not looking at an artist's rendering of what Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle will look like if it ever becomes anything anyone can see.

What you are looking at is an artist's rendering of what my old hometown of Mount Vernon's Skagit River Vision, known as the Downtown Mount Vernon Flood Protection and Revitalization Project, will look like when Phase II of the Skagit River Vision, which had its groundbreaking ceremony this past Saturday, is completed by Fall of 2014.

In an extremely significant difference between the Skagit River Vision and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, the Skagit River Vision includes public restrooms, of the modern plumbing sort, not the outhouse sort favored by Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Unlike when some minor aspect of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has a ground breaking ceremony, such as what was recently held for the future site of the Major Ripley Allen Arnold Monument and the John V. McMilllan Plaza, I don't believe any historic ground blessing from a local Native American took place in Mount Vernon, even though there are three tribal nations in the Skagit Valley, those being the Swinomish, the Skagit and the Samish.

The Skagit River Vision appears to have what is known as a construction timeline.

Phase I was completed in October of 2010. Phase II is now under way, and includes a floodwall engineered to protect historic downtown Mount Vernon, 1,650 linear feet of floodwall, 24-ft wide riverwalk and trail connections to the regional trail system and 30,000 square foot Public Riverfront Park.

Imagine that, a River Vision that includes an actual much needed flood control project.

Twice in the 1990s I joined the throngs sandbagging downtown Mount Vernon in the middle of the night. The Trinity River has gone into flood mode several times since I've been in Texas. I don't recollect there ever being a call out for sandbagging help in the downtown Fort Worth Trinity River Vision Boondoggle zone where millions are proposed to be spent to prevent floods where no flood has happened for over a half a century.

Meanwhile, I have read, more than once, of sandbagging operations in Fort Worth's next door neighbor town of Haltom City. But, the Tarrant Regional Water District has no vision for Haltom City that might mitigate flooding.

Phase III of the Skagit River Vision gets under way in 2014. It includes more floodwall, a section of earthen levee, more riverwalk and trail connections to the regional trail system.

How come there is no timeline for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? Or is there and I've not heard of it? No timeline has ever shown up in any of the TRV Boondoggle's quarterly propaganda mailings.

I've blogged about my perplexation regarding the apparent lack of a TRV Boondoggle timeline previously, in a blogging titled Can Anyone Find A Timeline Schedule Of Construction For The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Can you imagine how the locals might have reacted if in, I don't know, let's say 2006, the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle propaganda shared a timeline that showed in 2010 the world's premiere urban wakeboard lake would open, in 2011 a restaurant would open, in 2012 Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats  would start up on the Trinity River in some make believe thing called Panther Island Pavilion, which would make Fort Worth into a world class music venue and in 2013 the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century would open?

Would not this information, in a 2006 timeline, have made the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle into the laughingstock, with the locals, which it richly deserves to be?

If the TRV Boondoggle published a project timeline in 2013, what would we see? We know about the non-signature bridges that are supposedly going to be under construction, soon, across the un-needed flood control diversion channel. What will we be seeing in 2015? The world's biggest trampoline park? Another restaurant? A paintball park? The longest go-kart track in the world?

So, really, what is the timeline for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? What phase of this un-needed flood control project are we at now? Does anyone know? The TRV Boondoggle is well over a decade old now. Should there not be something more to see in the vision than a wakeboard lake, a restaurant, inner tubes floating, a lame music venue, a drive-in movie theater and a lot of property taken by abusing eminent domain?

Is there any sort of concise project description of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle of the sort that describes the Skagit River Vision? Such as.....

The Downtown Mount Vernon Flood Protection and Revitalization Project will protect Mount Vernon's historic downtown from flooding with FEMA certified flood protection and serve to revitalize the historic downtown area. The project will remove the downtown from the FEMA 100-year base flood elevation and will release pent up economic opportunities that are so important to our region. The project is the key component of the comprehensive downtown redevelopment plan that is being used to guide public and private investments over the next 20 years. The Project, which features a river promenade, trail system and public riverfront park, is being done in three phases.

Below is an artist's rendering video of the Skagit River Vision. Does such a video exist of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? Mount Vernon has a population of around 30,000. Fort Worth has a population approaching 800,000. How is it that Mount Vernon appears to be wearing big city britches whilst Fort Worth is still in knee pants? It is very perplexing....

A Village Creek Natural Historical Area Green Snake Standoff With Overcooked Chicken

My walk on the wild side with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area was not impeded, today, by flash floods.

Rather than raging water my path was blocked by a long, skinny green snake with a propitiatory attitude that had it giving itself permission to not feel as if it needed to get out of my way.

Eventually the snake standoff ended and the Indian Ghosts and I were able to continue walking.

And then an unsettling thing happened.

Once again, just like a week or two ago, I remembered I'd forgotten to turn off my chicken cooking oven. Just like the last time, I called Miss Puerto Rico to ask if she could go turn off the oven. Just like the last time, the call went to voice mail. The last time Miss Puerto Rico got the voice mail message and called back to tell me the chicken was saved.

This time, no call back came by the time I reached my vehicle. It was a speed limit pushing rush back to the potentially burning chicken.

Tragedy averted. I made it back in time to get the chicken out of the oven before it was totally ruined.

I think I need a new oven with a timer that turns the oven off.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gateway Park's Muddy Mountain Bike Trails Had Me Pedaling On Pavement Before Getting A Town Talk Chill

The outer world was dark and foreboding when I exited my abode a short while before noon, to drive to Gateway Park to get myself some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation via sitting atop two fast spinning wheels rolling over a mountain bike trail.

That plan was quickly aborted, about 10 feet on to the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association Trail, when I found my bike tires sloshing through thick mud.

Rolling over paved trails was the back up plan. I soon rolled past the memorial to Gateway Park's most recent drowning victim, and the boarded up boardwalk eyesores, soon exiting Gateway Park on to the Trinity Trails.

In the picture above you are on top of the bridge one crosses to exit Gateway Park to the Trinity Trails. As you can see, the photo documents that dark and foreboding thing I mentioned a few paragraphs ago.

In the center of the picture, that slash of white is Trinity Falls. I am almost 100% this is not a natural water fall, but the result of the most easterly Fort Worth impoundment of the Trinity River as it flows past the levee controlled zone to the non-levee-ed section of the river that passes through Gateway Park.

I am finding the humidity to be a bit more oppressive than I remember humidity being in past humid times. The ultra humidity does not much impact my early morning swim, but does impact midday aerobic activity.

As long as I am pedaling fast the wind chill keeps me adequately cooled.

But, when I stop, as when I stop to do some hydrating, or the two minutes it takes to get the bike secured and turn on the engine and the A/C, I quickly over heat.

Today I had not planned on going to Town Talk, but since Town Talk was so close and I was so HOT, the Town Talk walk-in cooler sounded like a real good idea.

And so it was.

That and I got myself a case of Orange Juice, BBQ Pork, Cornish Game Hens and a big bag of Bleu Cheese among one or two other things.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Walking Around Fosdick Lake Thinking About Flying To A Washington Wedding While Mary Kelleher Draws A Cheering Crowd To A TRWD Board Meeting

Fosdick Lake was looking mono-chromatic and swan-less when I took a walk on the Oakland Lake Park paved trail that surrounds Fosdick Lake, today.

Lightning struck and thunder boomed around 4 this morning.

No lightning struck or thunder boomed, within my eye or earshot, whilst walking today.

I tried to get my sister, who lives in Arizona, to walk around Fosdick Lake with me today. But she was not available.

As I walked around Fosdick Lake, among the things I was pondering, was the fact that this upcoming July 6 there is a wedding happening in Tacoma that will be the biggest relative event involving my relatives since a relative event in the form of a Family Reunion, way back on July 26, 2002.

I am being very conflicted about making my way north for this relative event. On the one hand going to this particular wedding appeals to me. On the other hand, well, at times like this I wish I did not live 2,200 miles from the Western Washington zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Another event I was pondering, as I walked around Fosdick Lake, hearing crickets chirping, was this morning's swearing in of Mary Kelleher as the newly elected member of the Tarrant Regional Water District Board.

I did not attend this event, even though I sort of remember, vaguely, being invited to, but my sources tell me that it was standing room only for the swearing in ceremony in the TRWD meeting room.

When the first two newly re-elected board members were sworn in, no one clapped, you could hear the crickets chirping on the nearby Trinity River.

When Mary was sworn in, the crickets stopped chirping, while everyone in the room clapped, except, I assume, Marty Leonard, Jim Lane, J.D. Granger, and the two newly re-elected board members.

Just as I was typing about Mary getting sworn in, incoming email, from one of the above mentioned sources, pointed me to an article about today's TRWD swearing in ceremony, by Jeff Prince, in FW Weekly, titled Mary Kelleher Sworn In As New Blood On Water Board which said, in part....

There weren’t enough parking spaces for the cars outside, and there weren’t enough chairs for the people inside. Board members appeared a bit surprised to see a full house at this morning’s meeting.

Read the FW Weekly article and you may get the idea that a new day has dawned in Fort Worth.

It is a good thing when a new day dawns....

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crossing Arlington's Flash Flooding Village Creek Is Not A Good Idea

Optimistic optimist that I be, even though rain fell in copious amounts this morning, resulting in flash flood alerts, around noon I drove to the western entry to Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, expecting the parking lot off Dottie Lynn Parkway to be open.

Instead I found a closed gate with a "Closed Due To Flooding" sign.

So, just like I did a week or two ago, I drove to the Interlochen side of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

In the picture above you are looking at the view from whence I was parked in Interlochen. I could see water flooding over the dam bridge, which meant there would be no shady walking with the Village Creek Indian Ghosts, unless I decided to try and cross the flooding bridge.

Watch the video below to see if I made it across the raging torrent.



After enjoying the salubrious benefits coming from all the negative ions shooting into the air from the broiling Village Creek water, I walked for a mile or two on the Bob Findlay Linear Park Trail and then decided I was not liking the ultra high humidity, so, it was off to Walmart to get some groceries in extremely cool air-conditioned comfort.

There was very little water flash flooding in Walmart, though the Lawn Whisperer made have had a few things to whisper about in the area surrounding Walmart.

The 3rd Monday Of June Dawns Stormy In North Texas

In the picture you are outside, standing on my patio, overlooking the swimming pool below. I believe those odd blobs in the foreground are big raindrops, due to the fact that, at the time I stepped outside, my camera was under its Popabrella, due to a downpour pouring down.

When I exited my abode, to go swimming, this morning around 7, a strong wind was blowing. A noisy strong wind.

By the time I got to the pool zone drops of wet began to dot the ground.

I was not long in the pool when the power went poof, rendering the pool's fountain and waterfall silent. The silence was pleasantly eerie.

And then the rain went into downpour mode. I was having myself a really fine time, swimming in the rain.

And then I saw a flash of light. The power came back on, along with the fountain and waterfall. Eerie silence had been replaced by the noisy splashing of multitudes of swollen raindrops. Another flash of light and I counted 7 seconds before the boom.

The flash was to the west of me. Then there was a flash to the south of me. Still 7 seconds distant. Then a flash to the east of me. Still 7 seconds distant. Then a flash to the north of me, this one only 3 seconds distant, bringing a very loud boom.

Soon the flashes started growing brighter and more frequent, with the booms louder. A total surround sound storm.

I decided to err on the side of caution and exit the pool,  even though it is at a low spot, surrounded by trees which I assume would be the first choice lightning would make for a strike if it was striking in my location.

As you can see below, via the data graphic from my computer based weather monitoring device,  it is cold. Only 68 degrees, with the Wind Chill Factor making it feel even colder at 63. Brrrr.


Is someone making a typo error when they type "AREAL" I wondered when I saw the above FLOOD ADVISORY".

As you can see, stormy weather is in store for today and tomorrow at my location on the planet.

I suppose around noon I will find out if Village Creek is flooding again, with the Village Creek Natural Historical Area closed. If it is open I think I will have myself a humid walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt their former hometown.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day From Texas To All My Relative Fathers

Around noon, whilst doing hill hiking on the Tandy Hills, I made my annual Happy Father's Day call to my dear ol' dad.

No answer.

So, I left my dad a Happy Father's Day message on the answering machine.

And in this blogging venue I'm wishing a Happy Father's Day to all my other relative Father's.

That would be Spencer Jack's dad, my nephew, Jason, plus Spencer Jack's dad's dad, my brother, Jake, plus my nephew's CJ & JR's dad, he being my favorite brother-in-law, Jack.

I think that covers all my close relative Fathers.

Dark Clouds Over Fort Worth's Dickensian Debtor's Prison

There was a dark cloud hanging over the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, this Father's Day Sunday in Texas, when I got myself some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation via hill hiking in the Tandy Hills Sauna Steam Bath.

By dark cloud hanging over Fort Worth, I am referring to the dark cloud in the picture, not the one I read about in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an article titled Is Fort Worth too tough on traffic offenders?

Too rough? That seems to be an understatement.

Apparently Fort Worth is running a totally idiotic Dickensian Debtor's Prison, throwing victims into squalid conditions, incarcerated while the victim's traffic violation fine is wiped out, credited at $338.45 per day of incarceration.

According to the Star-Telegram, the people of Fort Worth, via their inept city government, are spending $248 per inmate to incarcerate the victims in an out of town jail. The article did not indicate if this $248 per inmate is the per day cost, or the average cost, factoring the total paid, by Fort Worth, of $5.96 million per year, for the out of town jail, divided by the number of victims incarcerated, which, apparently, is around 24,000 hapless Fort Worthers per year.

Isn't there something in the U.S. Constitution that indicates that cruel and unusual punishment is a bad thing?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Today I Ran Into Fowl Play In Quanah Parker Park While Unable To Prevent Theft By Removing My Property

On my way to Town Talk this 3rd Saturday of June, I parked in the Quanah Parker Park parking lot to have myself a leisurely stroll under a cloudy sky which was blocking direct solar ray heating.

Before I got to the Quanah Parker Park parking lot, barely past the entry to Quanah Parker Park, on the left road shoulder, there was a big, dead dog.

Really big.

The big dead dog looked like it might be a St. Bernard. It was bloated, looking as if it was asleep, with its big head resting on its paws. Turkey vultures scurried as I drove past.

I called 911 to report the scene of Fowl Play. (Get it? Turkey Vultures. Fowl.)

When I parked at the Quanah Parker Park parking lot I made note of a sign I'd not made note of previously. The sign, in part, said, "PREVENT THEFT - Remove All Property from Your Vehicle - REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY DIAL 911."

Which is why I dialed 911 to report the Fowl Play.

When I read I was advised to remove all property from my vehicle, I was very perplexed, as in, where was I supposed to put the stuff I removed from my vehicle? I saw no lockable temporary storage units near the Quanah Parker Park parking lot.

It would not be possible to carry, walking with me, all that is in my vehicle. Among the property I haul around in my vehicle is a bike, tire pump, roller blades, snow chains, tool chest, ice chest and a big bag of golf balls, in addition to stuff I am likely not remembering.

After I was done being perplexing by this sign, not knowing what I should do with the property in my vehicle, I decided to walk on the wild side and take a huge risk by going on a walk without taking all my stuff with me.

Soon my attention was diverted by the scene you see below.


Acres of one type of wildflower, the name of which I do not know, a short distance from the Quanah Parker Park parking lot. Maybe Fort Worth's leading horticulturist, CatsPaw, can identify this sort of bee-like looking bloom.

I had myself a very relaxing Quanah Parker Park walk. I think I may have overdone the mountain biking yesterday, and, maybe, the swimming this morning. Hence I was feeling a bit over-exercised by the time the noon time frame rolled around.

Town Talk was busier than the Saturday norm today. Today's treasure hunting resulted in 2 bags of Clementine Oranges, 6 Orange Peppers, 3 bags of Bagels, 2 cases of Noosa Yogurt, one Strawberry-Rhubarb, the other Raspberry and a lot of Chicken Legs, plus other stuff I'm not remembering right now.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Today I Was Cautioned To Use Caution In River Legacy Park To Not Step On Anything Active

Those are my handlebars in front of a CAUTION sign that I came upon today before rolling my wheels on the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails.

Under the shouted CAUTION, the sign warns "In Spring & Summer animals are more active. Watch Your Step. Stay on Trails."

It is difficult to watch ones step when ones step is on a bike pedal.

It has been a couple months since I have biked the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails. These trails  cover a few more miles and are a bit more exhausting than the more sedate Gateway Park mountain bike trails I have been pedaling of late.

The only Spring & Summer activated animals I saw today were some humans, some squirrels and one harmless skinny green snake. I exercised extreme CAUTION and stepped on none of these critters.

Even though the outer world temperature was  in the 90 zone, with humidity making it feel hotter, zipping along on wheels creates quite a refreshing wind chill factor. Til one stops pedaling.

This morning's pool dip was not quite as refreshing, with the outer world chilled to the mid 70s and the pool warmer than the air.

Well, I see 3 urgent messages have arrived from Elsie Hotpepper that I must go attend to.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Enjoying The HOT 102 Degree Tandy Hills Sauna Steam Bath

In the picture you are midway down Mount Tandy, looking west across a Texas prairie at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

What you can not see in the picture is it is hot, very HOT.

The actual temperature is not all that HOT, at 89 degrees, but as it so often does, the humidity has the outer world feeling hotter than the thermometer indicates.

As in, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device, right now while it is a relatively chilly 89 degrees, it feels like 102.


Whilst doing some strenuous, windless hill hiking, it felt HOTTER than 102 to me.

Today marks the first time in 2013 I felt the salubrious benefit of getting my endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation in a sauna steambath. Don't knock this activity til you try it, because once you get past the fact of being an ultra sweaty HOT mess, it feels real good.

Before I left my abode to do some hill hiking the plumber arrived to do some upgrading to my shower. The upgrade was done upon my return. The upgrade is quite an improvement. I am totally cooled down now.

The pool was less refreshing than my shower, this morning. This will only become more so as we approach the ultra HOT days of summer.

As I did my HOT hiking I had cause to ponder how and why it is that some people end up so brittle and humorless as they get older, rather than becoming more easy going, with a well developed sense of humor.

This type thing perplexes me. And no, I am not talking about you....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Today There Were Fewer Signs Of Danger In Gateway Park With Snakes

Last Saturday I saw a Sign of Danger at Gateway Park at the  location you are looking at on the left.

Today, at that location, that particular DANGER sign was gone, so I was able to take a picture of my handlebars overlooking the currently green, and running a lot of water, due to recent rain, Trinity River.

DANGER signs still block the other locations, with red tape, that I came upon last Saturday.

Today there was no DANGER sign to warn me that I was about to roll over a snake with a diamond pattern to its snakeskin.

I spotted the snake in sufficient time to avoid hitting it. Though this snake had a diamond pattern, it was not a Diamondback Rattlesnake. Those have big heads and very noticeable rattles, which the snake tends to shake when a human on, or off, wheels gets too close.

Due to the temperature being in the 90 zone, snake mobility is much faster than when the air is in the chilly 70  zone. Which means the snake slithered out of sight before I could get my camera aimed at it.

Speaking of the temperature, and who isn't? The temperature of the water in the pool has warmed up significantly in the past couple days. A week more of this near 100 degree HEAT and getting in the pool will start to be not as refreshing as one would like a dip in the pool to be.

You always hear people asking if a pool is a heated pool. No one ever asks if it is a cooled pool. A cooled pool would be a much bigger asset in Texas than a heated pool. In summer.

Every year there is a standard article in many North Texas news purveyor publications, advising people that it is not possible to add enough ice to ones pool to bring the temperature down to a noticeable degree of chill. Apparently there have been incidents where a Texan will order up a dump truck load of ice to be dumped into a pool, to find out that this was not such a good idea after all.

I noticed this morning that we have reached that time of the year where cold tap water is no longer very cold.  But makes for very refreshing showers, which I think I'll avail myself of, right now....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This Time The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Made A Fool Of Itself Over Policing Graduation Speeches

Something seems to have gone seriously awry at the fast failing Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Today the Star-Telegram hit a new low of journalistic ineptitude.

In an editorial titled Why graduation speeches might need policing the Star-Telegram went into full anti-freedom of speech propaganda mode over the ongoing controversy that erupted after a Joshua High School official stupidly cut the mic of their Valedictorian speaker, Remington Reimer, because he deviated from their pre-approved script.

To buttress their pro-censorship position the Star-Telegram quoted a speech by a professional baseballer and manager named Ozzie Guillen, in which Guillen said, “Man oh man, did you little [expletive deleted] pick the wrong time to graduate. For those of you lucky enough to get jobs, maybe half of you work at [expletive deleted] Popeye’s Chicken, and the other half get your [expletive deleted] blown off in Afghanistan.”

Trouble is, this Guillen guy never said this. The quote came from a satirical website called The Heckler.

Eventually the Star-Telegram re-edited the editorial to take out the part that made the paper seem like its run by idiots and then proceeded to be even more idiotic.

Of course, only the online version could be re-edited, the print version is still out there, for the few people who still buy this really sad excuse for a newspaper.

So,  what do the clever people at the Star-Telegram do when re-editing their embarrassing editorial?

They make up imaginary things a high school valedictorian might say to upset an unsuspecting crowd.

I am not making this up. I will copy and paste the current version of the Star-Telegram editorial in its entirety, before they re-edit it again to remove the latest idiocy. Before we get the new re-edited editorial, we have two Star-Telegram disclaimers, then the new re-edited editorial...

Editors note: This story has been modified from its original version. 

Correction:  A quote in the Tuesday editorial “Why graduation speeches might need policing,” attributed to former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie GuillĂ©n, was created by the writers of a satirical website. Its inclusion in the editorial was an error.

Here’s why public school administrators review graduation speeches beforehand:

“I had an abortion my junior year. Let me tell you what that was like.”

“This school did its best to suppress my ability to think critically, but it failed. As soon as I leave here, I’m going to find a way to blow up the system.”

“You want prayer in public schools? I say what they need is anarchy, the more the better. Legalize pot so we can sell it on campus.”

“Heil, Hitler. Viva Castro. Marx is my hero.”

How might an unsuspecting crowd react to hearing any of those remarks from a high school valedictorian?

On Thursday, when Joshua High School valedictorian Remington Reimer veered off the comments administrators had approved for him, school officials turned off the microphone — just as they had warned him, the salutatorian and historian that they would if anyone went off-script.

The episode has generated plenty of buzz because of suggestions that Reimer was censored for speaking about his faith. But video shows that the sound system actually went off when he said, “Yesterday, I was threatened to have my mike turned off. …”

That, school officials said, wasn’t in his approved speech and triggered their response.

Indeed, the graduation ended with a prayer, which underscored that Reimer’s invoking God wasn’t the issue. Still, the U.S. Naval Academy appointee seems to have made the free-speech statement he wanted.

The Supreme Court has said that students don’t lose their free-speech rights at the schoolhouse gate but also that officials need leeway to maintain order not just in classrooms but also at school-sponsored events. Texas law also recognizes this and gives school officials authority to set boundaries besides time limits.

If they exercise it awkwardly and video circulates stirring up debate about First Amendment values, that’s actually healthy for free speech.

Has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram lost all its editors? How did that last sentence make it to being published?  I can not be the only one reading this who finds it ironic that the Star-Telegram is opining about something being healthy for free speech.

All those suggestions of horrific things a valedictorian might say, that supposedly justifies ham-handed censorship, have any incidents such as these actually occurred?

What happened at a Joshua High School graduation that has made that school's officials distrust the judgement of their top 3 students?

And if a valedictorian did say any or all of those stupid things, which the Star-Telegram is using as examples, what would be the result? Mass upset in the unsuspecting crowd?  Or befuddled giggling?

It is rather amusing that the Star-Telegram, in its editorial, says "The episode has generated plenty of buzz because of suggestions that Reimer was censored for speaking about his faith. But video shows that the sound system actually went off when he said, “Yesterday, I was threatened to have my mike turned off.”"

It was the idiotic Star-Telegram, itself, that, for days following the episode, had an article about it with the headline being something like "Joshua Valedictorian's Mic Turned Off For Faith Remarks."

On Facebook, as the truth of the matter came out, the Star-Telegram's own Bud Kennedy was sharing the actual facts, but, apparently, did not relay those facts to the Star-Telegram.

The line in the editorial that says, "Here’s why public school administrators review graduation speeches beforehand" is also odd. This implies that this is a universal practice, rather than an isolated case of one school's administration's malpracticing of a dubious policy.

When I was in high school the graduation speeches were reviewed ahead of time by an advisor, so as to help the speaker give a good speech. There was no threat that if the student went off script the mic plug would be pulled.

I think this Remington Reimer kid showed way more mature common sense than the nincompoops who censored him. He did not like being told that if he did not stick to the approved script the mic would go dead.

Being told such a thing would have greatly annoyed me, because  I would be altering and tinkering with a speech right up the moment I gave it. If I was told I could not do that, I would likely have said I'm not giving the valedictorian speech and let my reason for refusing be known by contacting the local newspaper of record.

Except here in the Fort Worth zone there isn't an actual real newspaper of record of the normal daily sort.

We do have Fort Worth Weekly though. How much worse would Fort Worth be off if it did not have Fort Worth Weekly? I shudder to wonder.....

I Am Shocked To Learn Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion Is Not An Amazing Outdoor Music Venue

No, you are not looking at an artist's rendering of what the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion music venue will look like after J.D. Granger and his collaborators' mix of initiatives and ambitious goals turn Fort Worth into a live music capital.

The water you are looking at in the picture is not the Trinity River. It is the Columbia River. Which would make the music venue The Gorge Amphitheatre, in George, Washington.

Just minutes ago I came upon an article in CNN online, titled 8 amazing outdoor music venues,

I was sure that Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion would be on the list, remembering that we learned in a blogging titled The Propaganda Panther Rocks Tonight With J.D. Granger's Big Dose Of Hubris that, according to J.D. Granger, the Panther Island Pavilion music venue's “Backdrop is crazy. You’re right in the middle of an urban environment, but you’ve got waterfront [access] — it’s a very unique thing.

How is it that J.D. Granger remains the Executive Director of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, one can not help but wonder?

Looking at the CNN list of 8 amazing outdoor music venues we have Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York,  Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, Millennium Park in Chicago, The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Gendarmenmarkt Square in Berlin and Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I am shocked.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Panther Island Pavilion is not on this particular list of 8 of the world's amazing outdoor music venues. This leads me to think that CNN is not a reliable source of information regarding amazing outdoor music venues....