Friday, January 31, 2014

Fort Worth's Pancake Pig Picks Seattle Seahawks To Win Super Bowl

Today I learned who is going to win Sunday's Super Bowl Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos game.

I learned this via Fort Worth's porcine pigskin prognosticator named Pancake

Pancake is a potbellied pig currently residing at the world renowned Fort Worth Zoo.

Pancake has an 80% success rate at  picking Super Bowl winners, correctly picking the winner in 4 out of 5 games.

Pancake picks the Super Bowl outcome via a highly evolved food bowl choice method.

According to the Pancake biography the pig is only 3 years old. So, how, I can not help but wonder, has Pancake managed to prognosticate 5 Super Bowls?

You can go to the Dallas News and watch Pancake pick the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl.

Now that I know who is going to win I really see no reason to watch on Sunday.....

Today I Looked For Brush To Bash At Tomorrow's 6th Annual Tandy Hills Brush Bash

Yesterday the outer world at my location was chilled to sub-freezing. Today, on this last day of the first month of 2014, the outer world at my location is being heated to almost 40 degrees above freezing.

And so I thought it a good idea to toss the long johns and put on my hiking shorts to go have myself a mighty fine time inducing endorphins with some fast hill hiking.

In the picture you are looking at a fallen tree which has been obstructing the trail which leads from Tandy Falls, west, to the location of the former Tandy Hills Hoodoo, for months now.

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 1, 2014, the 6th Annual Tandy Hills Brush Bash takes place from 9 am til 2 pm. You can find the Brush Bashers via View Street. If you want to Brush Bash among the things you might want to bring are gloves, sturdy shoes, a sun-blocking hat, water, lunch, tarps and a small wagon or wheel barrow. There will be coffee and tea available to keep you caffeinated.

I do not know if the above trail blocking log is scheduled to be bashed. I suspect not.

Continuing on with today's hill hiking.

At one point I was hiking down a hill when I heard loud noises coming from the direction of a creek bed. The noises were too loud to be a foraging bird or squirrel.  As I got closer to the creek bed the noises grew louder. I readied my whacking stick and prepared to defend myself against a possible mountain lion, bobcat or rabid road runner.

And then a pair of humans popped out on the trail. A young lady and an older gentleman. Dad and daughter? Grand-dad and Grand-daughter? I didn't ask. I just howdy-ed them and continued on my way.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Birthday To My Mom On An Extremely Breezy Next To Last Day Of January In Texas

That is my mom you are seeing in the picture. I am fairly certain the body of water behind my mom is the Pacific Ocean.

However, that body of water could be the Atlantic Ocean, with the photo taken when my mom and dad had their first long roadtrip, back before they were blessed with multiple offspring.

Today is my mom's happy birthday. I must remember to call.

You can sort of tell that my mom is bracing against a strong wind.

I just returned from a walk in the outer world at my current location and found myself bracing against a strong, cold wind. With no ocean visible. Plenty of fog-like dust though.

I am almost 100% certain I will be seeing my mom and dad soon. Maybe in March. My last visit to Arizona was in March. That seemed to be a not too hot not too cold time of year in the Phoenix zone. Due to my relative allergic woes I will need to wait til the dreaded BS-LS allergen has blown north from Arizona before I land in that state.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Emergency TRWD Board Meeting Attempts To Boot Board Director Mary Kelleher

I stepped away from my computer for only an hour and returned to find multiple emails telling me that a fresh eruption of madness is erupting in Fort Worth. Well, at the Tarrant Regional Water District Board Meeting in Fort Worth.

What have these people done that is so bad that they are going to such extreme measures to try and keep it covered up? Will the Star-Telegram report this latest TRWD Board arrogant act?

Fort Worth 4pm January 29, 2014:


In a hastily called emergency TRWD Board Meeting at 3pm today... The TRWD board voted to have Director Mary Kelleher removed from executive sessions.


As you know she filed a suit two weeks ago seeking TRWD documents and data in her role as a Director. The TRWD board and management have continued to withhold the requested information since her landslide election last May.

Director Kellher also requested, in the court filing, depositions from TRWD GM Jim Oliver, TRWD Records Director Nancy King, and TRWD Board President Vic Henderson.

The board decided to vote Director Kelleher out of executive session so they may secretly discuss hiring a special counsel to defend against the records release to Director Kelleher. The management and board also want to keep from giving depositions under oath on why they continue obstructing Director Kelleher's job.

Today PDFing Syndrome Sent Me Up Fort Worth's Stairway To Heaven In Oakland Lake Park

On the left you are looking at Fort Worth's Stairway to Heaven, leading skyward from the west bank of Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

My search for Oakland Lake remains futile, after something like six years of searching.

I did not have my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning. The sub-freezing temperature was too sub for my delicate temperature sensibility.

By mid-morning I was suffering from a mild case of a misery known as Too Much PDFing Syndrome, so I took a break to go visit the Fosducks and do some high speed stairway climbing to a strain sufficient to aerobically induce natural endorphin sedation.

The flock of Fosducks was very odd today.

The Fosducks were split into two flocks. One flock was in tight formation circling the Fosdick Fountain. A larger flock huddled near the east bank of Fosdick Lake, going in the water, en masse, upon my arrival.

Above you can see the aforementioned east bank Fosduck flotilla escaping from me. As this occurred something very odd happened. As in a cacophony of bird-like tweeting bearing no resemblance to the quacking noise ducks are supposed to make. I heard nary a quack.

Perhaps the extreme cold does something to a duck's quack box, causing the noise made to turn high-pitched.

Anyway, I had myself a mighty fine time walking with the tweeting Fosducks today.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Escaping PDFs By Taking An Un-Natural Walk With Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts

I had myself a sub-freezing hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning which proved to be more therapeutic than is the norm. If I remember right the outer world was heated to 21 degrees at that point in time.

After the hydrotherapy session my thinking synapses had themselves a tiring workout, thanks to 28 PDFs I had delivered to me yesterday. 28 PDFs that need to be converted in to 28 web pages. And then the 28 web pages have to be converted back into 28 PDFs, then added to an existing catalog of PDFs before being stuck on a thumbdrive, all due to be done before a Trade Show next month in Houston.

If Elsie Hotpepper is reading this Elsie is likely empathizing with my degree of pain due to Elsie knowing better than anyone my extreme aversion to PDFs.

So, needing a break from the PDFs, combined with the fact I'd not visited the Village Creek Indian ghosts in what seems like a long time, combined with the fact I needed milk, a product easily acquired near where the Indian ghosts do their haunting, at ALDI, I drove to Arlington to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to have myself a mighty fine time enjoying the mighty brisk air.

I may have wondered about it before, but today it seemed like a fresh wonderment when I wondered  why this particular Arlington park has the word "Natural" attached to it.

The "Historical" part of the name, that I get, due to the fact that this park was the location of one of the largest Indian villages in North America, before incoming Texans used a primitive version of eminent domain abuse to evict the inhabitants.

But why "Natural"?

In the above photo you can see two things which are not "Natural". That being the paved trail and the power line poles. A large swatch of the "Natural" area is taken up by power lines. Power lines are not all that "Natural". Or so it seems to me.

There are other un-natural things in this "Natural" area.  Such as big cement blocks sticking out of the ground in a couple locations which vent some way too natural odors from the sewer pipeline which runs under the "Natural" area.

Then there is the Village Creek Blue Bayou overlook. I like the overlook, but it is not very "Natural" what with being made with some sort of plastic product made to look like wood.

Anyway, I enjoy my walks in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, even though some of what I see is not very "Natural".

And now it is time for lunch. Pizza. From ALDI.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Last Monday Of January Blows Cold In North Texas With Extreme Mountain Cedar Tree Pollen Allergic Misery

It was not freezing this morning when I had myself a last Monday morning of January hot tub hydrotherapy session. But the temperature was 33, with an extremely speedy wind making the temperature really feel as if it was frozen way below freezing.

Nonetheless I had myself a mighty fine, albeit breezy, time hydrotherapy-izing. I had some soreness from Sunday's overdoing of the high speed hill hiking on the Tandy Hills which seemed to be quickly abated by the hydrotherapy.

When I woke my computer up this morning I quickly found that some websites were having issues. Facebook was one. Another was the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

An hour or two later the misbehaving websites were back working and so I was able to learn, via AccuWeather, accessed from the Star-Telegram, that the Pollen Counters have returned the Pollen Level to EXTREME. No mention was made of the EXTREME level being caused by the dreaded Texas Hill County Mountain Cedar, but I assume that is the Tree Pollen culprit being referenced.

With the dreaded Tree Pollen level back being EXTREME, after a three day break, I, so far, am not having a return to the EXTREME respiratory woes which began about a week ago today. I suspect my relief may be short lived, which is the norm for any relief that manages to come my way.

Looking at the picture above, looking west through the metal spears which, for the most part, keep malicious forces from penetrating my security zone, you can not tell how windy that wind is blowing out there. I had a ski band ear covering device installed, plus two hoodies, long underwear, several top layers under the two hoodies. And still cut short my neighborhood inspection due to excessive shivering.

Relief from the cold is scheduled to arrive in a couple days, followed by relief from the EXTREME Tree Pollen a couple days after the cold leaves town.

I must try and remember where I put my extra blankets. Tonight the low is supposedly going to get quite low, as in the teens  low, so I'll likely need some extra blanketing. Or three dogs.....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sampson & Delilah Turned Me Into A Homesick Melancholy Baby Today

This Sunday afternoon has me feeling like a Melancholy Baby.

Sort of homesick.

Yesterday I was told that Sampson and Delilah were taking a roadtrip this weekend. This morning I learned the destination of the roadtrip was the Swinomish Casino and Lodge in my old hometown zone of the Skagit Valley.

Sampson and Delilah posted a couple photos today, on Facebook, taken from their location in the Swinomish Casino Lodge and Resort's RV Park, which I have swiped, without permission.

In the first photo you are looking northeast, towards the Cascade Mountain foothills, with the Mount Baker volcano being that white thing sticking up on the middle left side of the picture. The water you see is saltwater. Padilla Bay if my memory is correct.

Make note of how clear the air appears to be. I miss clear air, that smells good. Fellow Washington exile, Steve A, has asked, more than once, regarding all the tree covered mountains and hills of Washington, pertaining to the Cedar Fever Texas woe, "What makes Mountain Cedar pollen worse than Western Red Cedar pollen?" It is a perplexing question.

In the next purloined Sampson and Delilah picture we are looking slightly northwest at a couple of the islands sticking out of the bay. I don't remember if that is still Padilla Bay. There are a lot of named bays in the Puget Sound zone. My memory is starting to fail regarding Washington geography. Is this considered the Straits of Juan de Fuca, north of Puget Sound? I can't remember where Puget Sound ends and the next named body of water starts up, let alone its name.

The Swinomish Casino was about 15 miles from my abode in Mount Vernon. To the left in the above picture, which is west, in another 10 miles, or so, you come to Anacortes. Anacortes is the town where Spencer Jack's dad, my nephew Jason, has a restaurant called the Fidalgo Drive-In.

Speaking of Spencer Jack's dad. One of the reasons I am feeling a bit melancholy is I got email from my nephew this morning telling me he was thinking of burning up some frequent flier miles by coming to Texas in early February. Spencer Jack's dad was last in Texas nine years ago, way before there was a Spencer Jack. I am appalled that that is nine years ago. Time flies. I felt bad explaining this was a not a good time to come to Texas.

Looking at these Sampson and Delilah pictures has me thinking how extremely different Skagit County is from the county I am currently in, Tarrant County in Texas.

As you can see, via just a small glimpse, Skagit County has some rather scenic natural water features. Tarrant County has some man made lakes, a polluted river, creeks prone to flash flooding and a bizarre plan to make a fake lake and build an unneeded flood diversion channel.

Speaking of channels. There is a marina at the Swinomish Casino. There is also a channel. Called the Swinomish Channel. I believe the Swinomish Channel is manmade. I know it is a connection between two bays and that the scenic tourist town of La Conner is on the channel.

The total population of Skagit County is 118,222. The total population of Tarrant County is 1,809,034. The total area of Skagit County is 1,920 square miles. The total area of Tarrant County is 897 square miles.

So, Skagit County is more than twice the size of Tarrant County, with a population less than one-fifteenth the population of Tarrant County.

And yet, all of Skagit County is served by public transit, known as Skagit Transit.

From the Skagit Transit website, this blurb....

"Our goal is to provide high quality public transportation that meets the needs of the citizens of Skagit County at the least cost to the taxpayer contributing to the county's economy and quality of life."

How come it is no ones goal to provide high quality public transportation that meets the needs of the citizens of Tarrant County I am sitting here wondering? And somehow it is someone's extremely goofy goal to provide the citizens of Tarrant County a Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, which no one has voted for?

Another stark difference between Skagit County and Tarrant County is the existence of casino resorts. There are two. In addition to the already mentioned Swinomish Tribe's operation the Skagit Tribe has the Skagit Valley Casino Resort.

Whilst living in Skagit County I would visit the Skagit Tribe's casino more frequently than the Swinomish Tribe's Why? Nothing to do with gambling. It was the Skagit's buffet, usually at lunch, that I frequented. However, for seafood, the Swinomish Casino's Two Salmon Cafe was my favorite. So good. With pan-fried oysters just like mom used to make. And no catfish, ever.

I purloined the below image from the Swinomish Tribe's website about the aforementioned Two Salmon Seafood Buffet.

Before the Washington Tribes won their battle with the state over casinos it was a novelty for me to go to Nevada, usually Reno. It seemed so exotic, all those noisy slot machines. It took awhile for the Washington Casinos to get to being totally Nevada-like.

Unlike Texas, Washington did not use a primitive form of eminent domain to evict its Tribes. There was some hostility, early on, but for the most part relations between the natives and the newcomers were fairly cordial. Hence the name of Washington's biggest town being Seattle, after Chief Seattle, well, Sealth. It is why a lot of Washington place names are native based.

Unlike Texas, Washington has multiple Indian Reservations. During the 60s and 70s and 80s the Tribes got themselves some good legal help that helped them win court battles against the state, over and over again, over things like fishing rights. And their rights to a high degree of sovereignty on their tribal lands. And to open casinos.

The income from the Tribe's casinos  has noticeably improved conditions on the tribal lands. I remember when the Swinomish Reservation was an extremely impoverished, depressing thing to see, back decades ago in the previous century. That extremely impoverished depressing thing to see no longer exists in 2014.

I really think I need to move back to a progressive, liberal, well-educated location. I must try and figure out how to make that happen.....

Reading Cryptic Hieroglyphics On The Martian Surface Of The Tandy Hills With A Lower Cedar Fever

On the left you are looking at the old wagon train trail which heads west to where the west is alleged to have begun, at a trio of the skyscrapers which make up the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

I had had myself such a mighty fine time hill hiking yesterday that I decided to try for might fine time hill hiking part II today.

Turns out this was the right thing to do because I did have myself a mighty fine hill hiking time today.

My primary reason for returning to the hills today was because I wanted to enjoy the outer world in semi-balmy temperature mode before frigidity returns to North Texas tomorrow.

I was not alone hiking the hills today. I had myself an interesting conversation with a lady hill hiker of well-seasoned vintage. We both lamented the allergy woes which are currently causing lament across a wide swath of Texas.

Today the Pollen Predictors had predicted a drastic decrease in the amount of the dreaded Cedar Pollen and its resultant Cedar Fever plaguing this part of the planet. I do seem to be experiencing noticeable improvement in my air intake system.

The lady hill hiker of well-seasoned vintage told me she heard that the return to cold, tomorrow, would also bring with it a fresh increase in pollen allergens.

Today I had a longer bout of hill hiking than is the norm. Over an hour with eight hills climbed at fast speed. Doing this is very aerobic, though I can get a bit winded by the time I reach a hill summit, due to that vexing, aforementioned, allergy woe.

I made a big loop over the Tandy Hills, starting on the summit of Mount Tandy, crossing the Tandy Escarpment past Tandy Falls, then up the trail which leads to the View Street trail and the Fallen Hoodoo.

Just a short distance from the Fallen Hoodoo I came upon the first instance of the white chalk trail markings I mentioned yesterday.

I do not know what the above cryptic hieroglyphics mean. The one on the right points west at a big E. The one on the left points south at a big T.

I went the big E direction and headed west.

I have never noticed it before, but in some of my photos of the Tandy Hills the topography bears a remarkable resemblance to photos the Mars Rover has sent back of the Martian surface, except for the white hieroglyphics.

I don't think I will return to Mars, I mean, the Tandy Hills, tomorrow. I think I will take a cool tour of my neighborhood instead, a neighborhood which does not look like modern day Mars, but which probably looks like Mars looked when it was still in industrial wasteland mode before becoming a planet devoid of living organisms.....

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In Fort Worth Learning Why Austin's Cedar Fever Makes Me Sick

I finally have a name for that which has vexed my breathing apparatus this past week.

Cedar Fever.

I learned this via Mrs. Galtex via a posting and link on Facebook.

Mr. and Mrs. Galtex returned to D/FW on Wednesday from one of their frequent Portugal visits.

This is what Mrs. Galtex had to say, in part, about their return to Texas...

"Mr. G is not doing too well right now, as the cedar pollen count was sky high on Wed when we flew back to Texas. He immediately started sneezing and sniffing once we landed at DFW and went outside."

Mr. and Mrs. Galtex moved from Austin to the North Texas zone of Fort Worth to escape the dreaded annual Cedar Fever attack.

The link Mrs. Galtex Facebooked went to Jeffee Palmer's Now and Thenadays blog to a blog post titled  Austin Makes Me Sick!!! which gave me a lot of info I lacked about this Cedar Fever from which I have been suffering.

Below is a blurb from Austin Makes Me Sick!!! Read the blurb then click the link to read the rest of the story about this living hell known as Cedar Fever....

The number one reason not to live in Austin is CEDAR, specifically the pollen that cedar trees produce resulting in the truly abominable cedar fever. “Cedar is juniperus ashei,” allergist Dr. Eric Schultz told a local television reporter recently, “It’s one of the worst allergens, or most potent allergens on the planet. Here in central Texas it’s rampant, especially in Austin.”

You might think I’m talking about a runny nose or some sneezes here and there. Again, you’d be wrong. It’s far beyond that.  For weeks you can be plagued by sore throat, amazing phlegm production, a nose that won’t stop running, watery, itchy eyes, intermittent sneezing attacks, and ultimately a hacking cough. 

White Arrows On The Tandy Hills Point Me To A New Hoodoo Before Going To Town Talk

On Monday I shivered my way through a frigid Tandy Hills hike, not adequately attired for the extreme cold.

Today, the final Saturday of the first month of 2014, I returned to the Tandy Hills adequately attired in shorts and t-shirt.

Adequately attired I still managed to get quite warm with the high speed hill hiking, what with the temperature being nowhere near freezing, more like 30 degrees above freezing.

For the first time in a long time I parked on View Street and hiked the west side of the View Street trail. I soon came upon an arrow on the ground made from a white chalk substance.

The white arrow was soon followed by big white chalk dots. By the time I came to the second arrow it occurred to me that I was likely on the marked path of the recent Manly Men Wild Women hike.

I was pleased to find all the west side trails to be in better shape than I'd ever experienced them. And for the first time I managed to not need to backtrack after a trail petered out. This discovery today greatly increases my hiking range when I'm on the Tandy Hills.

In addition to finding new trails to hike I found a new Tandy Hills Hoodoo. That is the new Hoodoo that you see above. This new Hoodoo is in a more isolated location than the Hoodoo at the north end of the View Street trail which has been destroyed and resurrected several times.

Soon after finding the new Hoodoo I came upon that which you see below which looked to be a Hoodoo in the making, with what looked to be a stick cross sticking out of the pre-Hoodoo rubble.

I guess it is fairly obvious that I had myself a mighty fine time hiking the Tandy Hills today. And then it was on to my regularly scheduled Saturday visit to Town Talk.

I had some good yogurt luck at Town Talk today. Got a case of Chobani black cherry and a case of Cascade Fresh marionberry, hubcap-sized whole wheat tortillas, a giant bag of cabbage already chopped up for cole slaw, two bags containing a total of 24 whole wheat hamburger buns, six big avocados and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fort Worth Weekly's Late To Class & Off To Court!

It seems like every month or two Fort Worth Weekly will publish a story about something taking place  in Texas on a scale matched by no other state in the union which is so appallingly, obviously wrong, that my reaction to the information is to think that this is so bad that FW Weekly shining a light on it will surely bring a swift fix.

I can be such a naive optimist.

This week's Fort Worth Weekly expose by Peter Gorman needs to be read all over Texas. And the rest of America.

The article of which I speak is titled Late to Class? Off to Court!

Below are the first two paragraphs. Read them and then go to FW Weekly to read the rest of Late to Class? Off to Court!....

When high school sophomore Brandon Jefferson’s parents split up and his mother’s rheumatoid arthritis worsened to the point that she couldn’t get out of bed, Brandon took on the job of getting his two younger brothers to school. That chore often made him late getting to his own classes at Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland and later at North Mesquite High School and Mesquite Academy, both in the Mesquite school district. No big deal, right? Just explain that you were doing what you had to for your family, and that would be that.

Not in Texas. Instead of being applauded for stepping up, Brandon soon found himself at one of five special truancy courts set up in Dallas County. For his first offense, he was forgiven, but during his junior year he had to continue to help with his brothers and racked up five more appearances at the court for being late to school, each one representing 10 late days — and fines totaling $2,400. He ended up with five Class C misdemeanor convictions on his record, was sentenced to community service, and had his driver’s license suspended. Losing the license meant losing his fast food job, and without his job he had no way to pay his fines. His mother, living on about $700 disability monthly, couldn’t help much, nor could his father.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tandy Hills Hoodoo III Has Been Destroyed With A New Hoodoo Rising From The Ruins

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to make an extremely frigid return to the Tandy Hills today to discover that Tandy Hills Hoodoo III has collapsed.

A forensic examination of the area surrounding the collapsed Hoodoo revealed no clear clues as to what brought about this latest Tandy Hills Hoodoo's demise.

There was a wire hanger leaning on the Hoodoo ruins which seemed a bit out of place.

Slightly to the southwest of the collapsed Hoodoo a new Hoodoo has risen, it being a baby-sized Hoodoo that you can see in the photo above, on the upper left side of the Hoodoo III ruins.

The outer world temperature had dropped to below freezing by the time I drove to the top of Mount Tandy. A strong wind made the outer world temperature really feel as if it was way below freezing. I had not attired myself in sufficient layers of outer wear for the outer world's cold condition, I quickly discovered upon my vehicular exit.

The low tonight is currently scheduled to get as low as 17. This North Texas winter habit of being in the 70s to 80s one day and then sub-freezing and then back in the 70s to 80s again, over and over again, really does where on a delicate person's nerves.....

A Quick Recovery From Allergic Misery Has Me Heading Towards Fort Worth's Tandy Hills

In the picture you are looking through the bars of my patio prison cell at the hot tub where this morning I had myself a mighty fine hydrotherapy session.

Having a myself a mighty fine hydrotherapy session would seem to indicate that I am feeling much better, with my allergic woes no longer making me so woefully miserable.

For today and tomorrow the Pollen Level Predictors had predicted that the Pollen Level would be EXTREME.

However, by early evening, yesterday, I found myself suddenly feeling much less plugged up.

I do not remember such a quick turnaround from a woeful misery since early in the last decade of the last century when for about two weeks I thought I was right on the edge of being a flu fatality, when I woke up one morning to find myself back feeling totally okay.

I remember that flu recovery morning as if it were yesterday. I had not eaten much for two weeks, had lost a lot of weight. The recovery morning I phoned my favorite feeding crew and arranged to drive 30 miles north, to Bellingham, to the Dickinson's Buffet, that being the location of the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had the pleasure of being pleased by.

This latest recovery morning I won't be driving up to Bellingham to a buffet, or anywhere else for a buffet. Although allergic woes do do some appetite stifling, it only lasted for a couple days, not long enough to require a buffet to make up for lost calories.

With this latest temperature drop to barely above freezing I am thinking I would greatly enjoy doing some fast hill hiking on the Tandy Hills today.

So it is written, so will it be.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mary Kelleher Takes Legal Action To Obtain TRWD Documents

This morning in the Star Telegraph (please note that is Star Telegraph, not Star-Telegram) blog I was surprised to learn that Tarrant Regional Water District Board member, Mary Kelleher, has still not been able to view TRWD documents which she requested access to soon after assuming office.

In the Star Telegraph blog post titled The records belong to THE PEOPLE, part of what we learn is...

Tarrant Regional Water District Board Member Mary Kelleher has begun legal action in her continuing effort to obtain documents detailing business operations at the agency.

Kelleher has filed a petition in district court in Tarrant County seeking to depose key TRWD officials and force them to turn over an extensive list of documents.

How can a public agency stonewall one of its board member's request to view agency documents?

I have no idea what documents Mary Kelleher is wanting to see.

I long ago opined that the TRWD Board documents that I would be curious to read would be the discussions with took place which lead to the hiring of an assistant Tarrant County district attorney named J.D. Granger to be Executive Director of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle....

Suffering From Extreme Texas Tree Pollen Pollution Waiting For Relief On Sunday

According to the AccuWeather graphic above the stifling pollen pollution is going in to Extreme mode tomorrow and Friday, before reverting back to Very High on Saturday, followed by relief on Sunday when the pollen pollution is scheduled to be Moderate.

I am  currently being drugged  every four hours with a little white pill containing something called Chlorpheniramine Maleate. This particular anti-histamine seems to have somewhat abated my respiratory woes.

I did not have myself a mighty fine time last night when it was time to get horizontal. I tossed and turned til way past 3 in the morning. Eventually I successfully passed out for an hour or two.

The outer world was freezing when the time arrived for my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning. I skipped the hydrotherapy again.

What I am currently wondering is how come when I lived in Western Washington, a location where there is a lot more foliage of a much wider variety, than my location in Texas, I had no allergy woes?

It's very perplexing.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Am Being Allergically Mr. Miserable Today In Texas

I did not have myself a hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning.

An extremely intuitive person might intuit from this minimal amount of information that I am not having myself a mighty fine time today.

That intuitive person's intuition would be correct.

I am being Mr. Miserable today.

Allergically miserable.

I thought a walk in the cool air might make me breathe easier. It did not. It was during this futile walk I walked by the hot tub and snapped  the photo you see above.

My breathing function deteriorated throughout the day, yesterday. By the time of the day when the sun does its daily setting I drove myself to Walmart in search of allergy meds. There were a lot of fellow sufferers seeking relief. We all agreed that whatever it is that is making us miserable had arrived in the past 24 hours.

My most horrific allergic misery occurred in October of 2012. So far, this January of 2014 allergic misery is not being as miserable as the 2012 misery.

My current misery includes a headache, stuffed up nasal tubes, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing along with an overall grumpiness that is the only part of this misery that I am sort of enjoying.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Is The Tandy Hills Thin Man Suffering From Mountain Cedar Pollen Air Pollution?

On the left you are looking at the Shadow of the Tandy Hills Thin Man on this 3rd Monday of 2014, also known as Martin Luther King Day.

I had myself a mighty fine Martin Luther King Day time with an hour, give or take a minute or two, of high speed hill hiking.

Today after the high speed hill hiking had me feeling good due to the aerobic stimulation stimulating endorphins I wondered to myself why some pharmaceutical company doesn't come up with an endorphin pill. I think it would be a big seller, but the FDA would likely prohibit its sale due to it being more addictive than heroin.

A couple days ago I read that the then low level of pollen pollution in the air was about to end with the arrival of Mountain Cedar pollen blowing in from the south.

Mountain Cedar pollen blowing in from the south?

Where are these mountains, south of my location, from whence (sorry Miss Julie) this Mountain Cedar pollen blows?

I do not know if it is Mountain Cedar pollen which is the culprit, but some culprit has got my breathing system in allergy mode, stuffed up bad. The high speed hill hiking and its resultant heavy breathing temporarily abated the stuffiness, but now it has returned.

I think I need to move back to a location more suited for my respiratory architecture, that being the evergreen-scented air of the Pacific Northwest, with its naturally moisturized, naturally saline-ized air blowing in from the Pacific.

If I still had a house to move back to in Washington I think I'd move back tomorrow, what with how I am feeling at this particular moment....

Apparently The Seattle Seahawks & Their 12th Man Make A Nice Super Bowl Villain

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's sports columnist, Gil Lebreton wrote a column that showed up in this morning's Star-Telegram, titled Seahawks make a nice Super Bowl villain that I found amusing.

Part of what Lebreton had to say about the Seahawk villains....

Ladies and gentlemen, the Seattle Seahawks.

Most dislikable Super Bowl team ever?

A cheerleader head coach. That “12th Man” thing, clearly stolen from Aggieland. Five drug suspensions since 2011, and a sixth that was overturned on a wimpy technicality.

And in the early minutes following Sunday’s victory in the NFC title game, there was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, the first postgame FOX interview ever to bite the head off a live bat.

The Seahawks also won’t have their notorious homefield advantage in the Meadowlands. Let me suggest that without the constant din of their home crowd — their so-called “12th Man” — the Seahawks on a neutral field would have lost either of their two final games. So there’s that.

Just as every Super Bowl needs someone to embrace (Manning), it also needs a villain.

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for Richard Sherman and the Seahawks.

Well. Where do I start?

Every Super Bowl needs someone to embrace? And a villain? I did not know this. Who got embraced at last year's Super Bowl? Who was the villain?

Most dislikable Super Bowl team ever? Is dislikable a word? My spell checker is flagging dislikable as a non-word.

The 12th Man thing was clearly stolen from Aggieland? Didn't Aggieland embarrass itself with a lawsuit claiming Aggie ownership of the 12th Man concept? Didn't Aggieland learn from that lawsuit that the 12th Man concept is not unique to a relatively unknown Texas agriculture college?

I do agree that Seattle is totally overdoing the 12th Man thing. Does it not occur to anyone that giving your home team some sort of advantage by making so much noise it triggers earthquakes, while discombobulating your opponent, is sort of like admitting your team is not good enough on its own? That the team needs the constant din of a roaring crowd, like an additional 12th, player, to help the team win.

However, that rambunctious Seattle Seahawk crowd does make for an energetic lively scene, quite different from what one sees inside the Dallas Cowboy stadium during a Dallas Cowboy game.

The Seattle stadium itself seems to add a colorful element lacking in the Dallas Cowboy stadium.

Is it better designed lighting in the Seattle stadium that explains the difference?

Does the difference come from being an open stadium looking out on the skyline of downtown Seattle? While the Dallas Cowboy stadium looks out on nothing. Well, there is that Super Walmart.

Is it the "warm" feeling of the Seahawk blue color scheme, represented well by the ESPN graphic you see here, that makes the Seattle Seahawk stadium seem so much more appealing, to my eyes, than the sterile, bright silver and gray look of the Dallas Cowboy stadium?

Anyway, I guess I am betting on Denver to beat Seattle to win this year's Super Bowl, what with Seattle not having its 12th Man in the Meadowlands stadium.....

Yesterday Spencer Jack Was The 12th Boy On The Ferry Yakima Not Watching The Seattle Seahawks Win Again

Sunday afternoon Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason,  I-phoned me a photo from onboard a Washington State ferry heading to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

The message in the email said, "Spencer Jack supporting his Seahawks on the ferry Yakima, not in Yakima."

The reference to Yakima refers to a Yakima related photo Spencer Jack's dad also emailed me on Sunday, which I blogged about in The Yakima Fans From The Palm Springs Of Washington Are Among The Seattle Seahawk's 12th Men.

I learned about the Sunday boat trip earlier in the day, in a earlier email in which Spencer Jack's dad said, "Spencer, our girl friend, Brittney, and I are boycotting the game, and scheduled to start at 3:30 PST, by boarding the 3:20 sailing out of Anacortes. We will be spending the night in Friday Harbor, as the little rascal does not have school on MLK day, that being tomorrow."

After Spencer Jack's dad read the aforementioned blog post that mentioned Yakima and the Seattle Seahawk's 12 Man thing, Spencer Jack's dad emailed the following...

"I will be glad when this Seahawk mayhem is over. It's really beginning to be a bit much. I have refused to watch the news all week, as it's all they can talk about."

Well, with Sunday night's football game's result, Spencer Jack's dad is going to have to endure at least two more weeks of the incessant Seahawking. More on that in a following blogging due to an amusing item I read in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Yakima Fans From The Palm Springs Of Washington Are Among The Seattle Seahawk's 12th Men

In this morning's email inbox there was an email from Spencer Jack's papa, he being my favorite nephew, Jason, with the email message being "I found this photo amusing. I thought you might as well."

The photo to which Spencer Jack's papa refers is that which you see to the left.

I find two things to be amusing in the photo. One being the claim made on the billboard, with the other being all the people engaging in a support the Seattle Seahawks demonstration.

That "Welcome to Yakima The Palm Springs of Washington" billboard went up well before I moved to Texas.

As far as I know the only thing Yakima has in common with Palm Springs is both are in a desert climate where temperatures can get quite hot.

Unless it has been added since I moved to Texas there is no Yakima Tram taking people to the top of any of the hills you see in the photo.

I remember way back when I first made note of how goofy I thought the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle was, after first learning of the TRV Boondoggle in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a front page article with a HUGE headline that said something like "Trinity Uptown To Turn Fort Worth Into The Vancouver of the South."

This was around the same time the Star-Telegram was propaganda-izing that an extremely lame food court-like development called the Santa Fe Rail Market was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market, public markets in Europe and would be the first public market in Texas.

Was the Santa Fe Rail Market propaganda the instance when I learned one can not trust what one reads in the Star-Telegram? I don't remember.

The Star-Telegram's turning Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South propaganda was quickly dropped,  I assume because someone who had actually been to Vancouver pointed out how ridiculous such a claim was, as in even more ridiculous than suggesting that Yakima is the Palm Springs of Washington.

Changing the subject to the other thing amusing in the photo.

That being the phenomenon of the Pacific Northwest going totally gaga over the Seattle Seahawks current run to the 2014 Super Bowl, which they are one win away from, with going to the Super Bowl requiring beating the San Francisco 49ers today in Seattle.

I completely understand fans getting all caught up with their team having a successful year. I remember when the Pacific Northwest went nuts during the 1990s, I think it was 1995, when the Mariners were doing real well in the playoffs. I recollect going to one of those games in the Kingdome. I recollect that when a game was being broadcast you would hear it everywhere. Drive to Safeway, with the game on the car radio, get to Safeway, walk inside to find the game blaring loud.

The Seattle Seahawks have this 12th Man fixation, which near as I can tell means the fans are the 12th Man on the team. This 12th Man thing has been going on for years. The 12th Man thing existed when I still lived in the Pacific Northwest. If I remember right the NFL had to make some new penalty rule to deal with the problem of the fans making too much noise in the Kingdome rendering the opposing team unable to hear the play being called.

The fans in CenturyLink Field during a Seattle Seahawk game rarely sit down, and rarely quit yelling and stomping.  This has lead to a couple Guinness World Records for stadium noise. And has triggered a couple earthquakes.

I would think the earthquakes might be an indicator that maybe the Seattle Seahawk's fans need to dial the enthusiasm back a notch  or two.

Perhaps opting for some medium zone between the current hysterical 12th Man Seahawk fan frenzy and the funereal mausoleum-like effect that seems to be the mood much of the time during a Dallas Cowboy game in their new stadium, where the fans do not appear to be much engaged in the game, directly, and instead seem to spend the game looking upward at one of the world's biggest TV screens.

And on another Dallas Cowboy/Seattle Seahawk football coverage note. I watched the last Dallas Cowboy loss of the season. I lost track of how many times we were shown Jerry Jones in his luxury booth. Not once during either of the two Seattle Seahawk games I've watched this year have we been shown owner Paul Allen in his luxury booth.

If you watch today's Seattle vs. San Francisco game note how frequently the crowd is shown, often in closeup. Why does this rarely occur during a Cowboy game in their new stadium? Bad stadium design? Lifeless fans? Or did I just catch the Cowboy fans on a bad day?

I will be watching the aforementioned Seahawk game closely today, looking for my favorite nephew Christopher, aka CJ, who flew up from Phoenix yesterday to be one of the 12th Men today.....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Did I Find A Rocky Hoodoo Homage To The Eiffel Tower Today On Fort Worth's Tandy Hills?

It is a miracle. The Tandy Hills Hoodoo has been resurrected once again. That would make this 3rd Saturday of 2014's Hoodoo erection, Tandy Hills Hoodoo III.

To my critical eyes this latest Tandy Hills Hoodoo is the most impressive feat of rock engineering yet.

Was the builder going for a rock homage to the Eiffel Tower in Paris?

Or  is this a rocky tribute to a plump legged woman with bumpy bosoms ?

Speaking of a plump legged woman with bumpy bosoms. I had myself an encounter with one, today, along with her three less plump and bumpy cohorts and their three snarly dogs.

Four humans and three dogs may be the biggest non-Prairie Fest group of people I have ever seen on the Tandy Hills.

There is something currently in the air which is causing me periodic sneezing episodes. And irritating my eyes. The dust in the air as I drove by the gigantic Chesapeake Energy operation on Randol Mill Road, on my way to Town Talk, made the air that I breathe worse.

Speaking of Town Talk, I did not have a lot of treasure hunting luck today. I was hoping to find some more Soyrizo. But it was all gone. I got some colby cheese, carrots, orange and yellow peppers, yogurt, whole wheat tortillas and a big bag or Tostito tortilla chips for tomorrow's Seattle Seahawk pre-Super Bowl game party.

Other than the breathing bad air issue I am feeling mighty fine, overdosed on endorphins due to my new found ability to easily run up the Tandy Hills. Very aerobically stimulating.

Time to consume food. The lunch gong just sounded....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yahooing Before Abdominizing On Fort Worth's Tandy Hills

I doubt if my one longtime blog reader can guess where I am standing in the picture.

Behind me, about three times taller than me, is the Mount Tandy Tower, also known as the Fort Worth Space Needle.

With this added information you should be able to guess that I am standing on top of one of the Tandy Hills, on this mighty fine 3rd Friday of 2014.

I opted to do some Tandy Hill hiking today so as to avail myself of Vitamin D acquisition via exposing my epidermis to bright sunlight, in addition to getting myself a good dose of endorphins via aerobic stimulation.

I was late in getting to the hills today.

This morning, pre-noon, I was talking to my Arizona sister when incoming email informed me I needed to make a change to a website. That soon turned into a time sucker with me being unable to connect to the website's server via FTP. It's a Yahoo issue. Why would anyone have their website on Yahoo servers?

My sister told me my favorite  nephew Christopher, aka CJ, is flying up to Seattle on Saturday to attend the Seattle Seahawk pre-Super Bowl game on Sunday. And then flying back to Phoenix after the game.

A couple days ago I asked Betty Jo Bouvier if she had attended a game yet in the new Seahawk Stadium. She had not. But, her neighbor had, telling Betty Jo that he would never attend again, because even though you pay for a seat you are not allowed to sit down because everyone in the stadium stands up yelling the entire game.

CJ's mom, aka my sister, told me today that she'd been to one game in the new Seahawk CenturyLink Stadium. She was able to set down because she was watching from the McDonald's luxury booth.

I have attended only one NFL game, years ago, in the now long gone Kingdome. I hated it. I was so far up in the stands the players were little figures running around in the distance. This was before the invention of giant TV screens, so basically there was nothing to watch.

I attended a Seattle Mariners game in the Kingdome a couple of times, with one of those times being enjoyable. For the same reason my sister liked her one time being in the new Seahawk Stadium. I was in the Kingdome's McDonald's luxury booth. I thought that luxury booth was quite luxurious. I understand the new luxury booth in the new stadium is even more luxurious.

Changing the subject from sports to something else.

I had myself a good hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning. Lately I wake up a bit sore in my mid-section. The hot tub hydrotherapy alleviates the soreness.

Why am I sore in my mid-section you are wondering but are too polite to ask.

Well, apparently someone, who I will not identify, thought my mid-section had grown too flabby and so this un-identified person Christmas gifted me with an Abdominizer device. I ignored the Abdominizer device for a week or two, miffed as I was that someone would give me such a thing.

And then I started doing some abdominizing. The abdominizing has gone on now for about three weeks. My aforementioned mid-section area, also known as ones core, constantly feels like it has been excessively exercised. I'd not made note of any great change, except for the soreness, and then a couple days ago someone rudely, out of the blue, blurted out, "Why do you suddenly have a six pack?"

I had no idea what was meant by "six pack" so I Googled the phrase to find a lot of beer advertisements.

Anyway, I think maybe I need to back off a bit on the Abdominizer, even though the constant soreness, while being a bit of a pain, also sort of feels good. It's very perplexing....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Watching American Idol In Austin Wondering Why Fort Worth Gets Left Out

That is Harry Connick Jr. holding an immigrant from Pakistan, currently residing in the Texas town called Houston, holding the Pakistani American in Austin, in the season premiere of the latest iteration of America's pop star generating factory called American Idol.

I, along with millions of others, bailed on last year's American Idol. I don't know who won.

The combo of Mr. Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban being this year's judges made for a vastly improved American Idol viewing experience, so far.

Harry Connick Jr. is very amusing. Jennifer Lopez reminds me of another Puerto Rican, Miss Puerto Rico, sweet-natured and very easy on the eyes. And Keith Urban is just about my favorite Australian.

So, the auditions started off in Boston and then moved to Austin. Keith Urban wore a "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt to help with the "Keep Austin Weird" movement.

The capital of Texas is a very attractive town, looks good on TV. I've visited Austin several times since I have been in Texas. Austin sort of reminds me of Seattle, sort of.

So, watching American Idol in Austin last night got me wondering why in the world the American Idol auditions have never come to Fort Worth.

If I remember right the American Idol auditions have come to Dallas, previously. The American Idol auditions have been to towns all over America, to all the major west coast towns, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. American Idol has been all over the east coast, as well. And all over the hinterlands, to places like New Orleans and Memphis and Chicago.

So, why in the world has American Idol never come to Fort Worth? Is not the biggest American Idol winner of all time, Kelly Clarkson, sort of a hometown girl?

Do the American Idol producers not know that Fort Worth is currently internationally renowned as a music venue, what with having one of the world's foremost waterfront music venues in the form of Panther Island Pavilion, located on the scenic, crystal clear Trinity River?

I am fairly certain Fort Worth must have a venue where American Idol auditions could be held. Maybe in that flying saucer looking building that is part of the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Usually the judges sit in a spot with a window behind them looking out on a scene that represents the town they are in. In Fort Worth this might be a bit difficult......

On The 3rd Thursday Of 2014 Walking Around Fosdick Lake Thinking About Moving To A Scottsdale Condo Tower

If you are guessing you are looking at the backside of Fosdick Lake Dam in Oakland Lake Park in Fort Worth, Texas, you would be guessing correctly.

Fosdick Dam is reputed by some, well, by me, to be the world's most eco-friendly dam, what with all those trees you see growing out of the dam.

Yester morning I skipped my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session. I don't remember why I skipped. It may have been temperature related.

This morning I did not skip my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session.

After feeling full of salubriousity after the hot tub hydrotherapy I called my mom and dad. Mom answered the call, which is the norm. I had called yesterday and got the answering machine. I asked my mom where they'd gone to when I called yesterday. My mom did not remember.

Mom told me my favorite nephew Chris, aka CJ, he being my oldest Arizona nephew, sold his house in Tempe and has moved to a condo tower in downtown Scottsdale. Downtown Scottsdale would be an extremely nice place to live. I can not think of a D/FW Metroplex equivalent. The closest I can come, in Texas, is San Antonio, if there were a condo tower on the River Walk.

The walk around Fosdick Lake bears some resemblance to San Antonio's River Walk, what with both involving water.

As you can see, the Fosdick ducks enjoy swimming around the Fosdick Fountain. I do not recollect previously seeing as many ducks as I saw today on Fosdick Lake. A whole lotta quacking going on.

I saw multiple instances of the blue harbinger of spring you see below, sprouting from the Oakland Lake Park grass.

I wonder if renowned Fort Worth horticulturist, CatsPaw, can identify this blue beauty?

All in all, I am having myself a mighty fine time on this 3rd Thursday of 2014.....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The University of Southern California Attempt To Institute Initiatives & Referendums In Texas

Ever since my first exposure to a Texas election I wondered why there was always so little to vote on.

No Initiatives.

No Referendums.

No Propositions.

I do remember when Arlington used eminent domain abuse to take the land to build a new Dallas Cowboy Stadium on and that the voters in Arlington were allowed to vote to tax themselves to help pay for part of that particular Jerry Jones monument to bad taste.

Spending most of my years living on the west coast I thought the democratic process of Initiatives and Referendums were a universal practice in democracies.

I recollect more than once being in California during an election period and being amazed at the number of ballot issues generating signage all over the state. Same with Washington, to a lesser degree.

In Washington a motivated citizen can initiate getting an Initiative on the ballot if that motivated citizen can get the required numbers of voter signatures on a properly worded petition. This type thing can occur at the city, county and state level.

I recollect back in the 1990s a Seattle taxi driver got enough signatures put a Proposition before the Seattle voters to tax themselves a $1 billion to build an extension of the Seattle Monorail.  The voters approved this measure. After that voter approval other Seattle voters caused 4 or 5 followup Monorail votes which eventually killed that particular project.

The Seattle Monorail votes are a good example of how democracy works in democratic parts of the world.

This Seattle Monorail vote type thing, being stored in my memory bank, is why I find things like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle to be so bizarre. Bizarre because the public has never been allowed to vote on this pseudo public works project.

A week or so ago, in a blogging title Miss Anonymous Suggests I Brave The Outer World Frigidity To Skate On Thin Ice I mentioned this Initiative type issue, saying...

Speaking of Panther Island. Is there any mechanism in this non-democratic part of America for a voter to use a petition to get an issue on a ballot?

That question brought a comment with an answer....

Blogger Steve A said...
Texas does not have Initiatives or Referendums. The Republican Party supported getting this, but have gotten strangely silent on the whole subject as they gained power. Maybe it'll get "hot" again if Wendy Davis became governor. See this link.

That link from Steve A goes to an interesting website, based in the aforementioned California, which details the long history of the struggle to institute democracy in Texas in the form of legalizing the Initiative & Referendum process.

Below is the history of the I & R struggle in Texas.....


Initiative & Referendum Institute
at the University of Southern California 

The founders of the Texas initiative and referendum movement were two ministers: Rev. A. B. Francisco of Milano and Rev. B. F. Foster of Galveston. Also important in Texas I & R leadership before 1900 was Judge Thomas B. King of Stephenville, county judge of Erath County.

The movement was slow to catch on in Texas. By 1912 Congressman (later U.S. Senator) Morris Shepard had declared himself in favor of I & R; in 1913 the legislature passed a bill allowing I & R as an option for home rule cities and a state constitutional amendment providing for statewide I & R.

The latter amendment would have required more petition signatures to put an initiative on the ballot than were needed in any other state: 20 percent of the number of ballots cast in the previous election. When the amendment was put on the ballot for voter approval in 1914, voters rejected it, to the delight of I & R advocates, who believed that they could get the legislature to pass a better version. They were unable to do so.

After a hiatus of more than half a century, Texans' interest in getting statewide I & R was revived when Californians approved their electrifying Proposition 13 tax cut initiative in 1978. Leading the movement was Republican State Senator Walter Mengden of Houston, who had pushed unsuccessfully for I & R at the state's 1974 constitutional convention and in the legislature until his retirement in 1982. Within a month of the California vote, Governor Dolph Briscoe and gubernatorial candidate William Clements had announced their support for statewide I & R.

Clements reiterated his commitment once elected, telling the legislature on 25 May 1979: "I have made it absolutely clear to everyone that if I do not get I & R passed, I will call a special session." But Clements failed to keep his promise. Leading the opposition was the Houston lobbyist James K. Nance, whose law firm represented such major corporate clients as Union Carbide, DuPont, Houston Power and Light, Pennzoil, and United Texas Gas Transmission.

In 1980 the state's Republicans put an I & R measure on their May 2 statewide primary election ballot, and party members endorsed it by a seven to one margin. Initiative advocates lost a strong ally when Senator Mengden retired, however, and the effort for statewide I & R seemed to be running out of steam. Nevertheless, Texas Republicans put the I & R question on their primary ballot again on May 6, 1982, and party voters favored it by a five to one margin.

However, when George W. Bush was elected Governor in 1994, he allowed the state’s Republican Party to remove the pro I & R plank from the Party’s platform and replace it with an anti I & R platform. This change effectively ended any chances of I & R being adopted in the state for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, state I & R activist Mike Ford – founder of the group Initiative for Texas – has pledged to continue the fight. His group has been instrumental in educating the citizens of Texas about the importance of the I & R process.

Texans For Government Transparency File Federal Lawsuit Against Tarrant Regional Water District

Incoming email from Mr. JAB informing me that "We filed the Federal lawsuit against TRWD this morning." The email came with two PDFs attached, with one of those PDFs being the Texans for Government Transparency Press Release, converted from PDF to text, which you can read below....

January 15, 2014

Citizens File Lawsuit Against
 Tarrant Regional Water District and Board
Cite Unconstitutional Practices in Election Process

(Fort Worth, Texas) ‐ Four concerned Tarrant County citizens have taken action against the Tarrant Regional Water District and its Board of Directors in regard to the unlawful extension of term limits. The Board is attempting to extend the terms of its elected Directors beyond the maximum four‐year term allowed by the Texas Constitution by refusing to hold elections in 2014.

“I filed this lawsuit because the Board has gone too far this time. They have a long history of unethical behavior and the fact is they are violating the Texas Constitution,” said Rev. Kyev P. Tatum, Sr.

The Tarrant Regional Water District Board (TRWD) currently includes elected‐officials Victor W. Henderson, Jack Stevens, Marty Leonard, Jim Lane and Mary Kelleher. Ms. Kelleher is not implicated in the actions giving rise to the lawsuit and has publically stated the TRWD is constitutionally required to hold an election in 2014.

The lawsuit contends that “Article XVI, Section 30 of the Texas Constitution plainly and unambiguously provides that no TRWD Director may serve a term in excess of four years. Thus, an election must be held at the end of each term, or the term limitation is rendered meaningless.”

The timing of the lawsuit is imperative due to the upcoming Uniform Election Date on May 10, 2014. At this time, the four‐year terms of Jim Lane and Marty Leonard will expire. According to Texas Election Code § 3.005(c)(2), February 28, 2014 is the last day to order an election on the Uniform Election Date on May 10, 2014 and the last date a candidate for TRWD may apply for a place on the ballot. The candidate filing period opens on January 29, 2014, a mere 14 days from now.

“It’s really quite simple. The ending of a term requires an election and TRWD’s refusal to call a required election deprives the Plaintiffs of their constitutional right to vote,” said attorney Matt Rinaldi. “The TRWD’s position is dangerous precedent. They can’t refuse to hold an election and establish an indefinite term for Directors any more than Congress can refuse to hold a presidential election to establish an indefinite term for the President,” continued Rinaldi.

“The right to vote is a fundamental political right. I’m doing this to protect the interests of all residents,taxpayers and voters of Tarrant County,” said Rev. Tatum, Sr.

Reverend Tatum is a member of Texans for Government Transparency, a watch‐dog group of volunteers dedicated to making government transparent and more efficient. The organization is an established non‐partisan group with broad support from concerned citizens whose priority in Ft. Worth is to clean up the water in the Trinity River.

Texans for Government Transparency is a non-profit human rights organization focused on bringing transparency and accountability to government, while protecting the privacy and civil rights of the citizens of Texas.

Texans for Government Transparency
8551 Boat Club Road Suite 121
Fort Worth, Texas 76179-3674

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Plus The World's Biggest Non-Mechanized Parade Is This Week

I was in Albertsons yesterday evening and came upon the poster you see on the left. This was the first I realized that the annual Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo time of the year is here again.

In the time flies department it seems like only yesterday I was convinced I was going to make it to the 2013 Stock Show Parade.

However, I did not make it.

I do not remember what events, if any, conspired to keep me from getting myself to downtown Fort Worth to watch the Stock Show Parade.

I have seen many extremely well done parades since I have been in Texas. The Stock Show Parade may be my favorite. I have watched this particular parade twice.

I think the thing I like about the Stock Show Parade is the fact that it is totally non-mechanized, billing itself as the biggest non-mechanized parade in the world.

I have no idea if it is true that the Fort Worth Stock Show Parade is the biggest non-mechanized parade in the world, used to, as I am, to not blindly trusting Texas propaganda.

How have I managed to miss any pre Fort Worth Stock Show promoting til last night's poster discovery?

The Stock Show starts up in only three days, on January 17, with the Stock Show Parade taking place the day after the opening, Saturday, January 18.

I have no current urge to haul myself to downtown Fort Worth on Saturday to watch the Stock Show Parade for the third time.

I have until February 8 to haul myself to Fort Worth's Cultural District to the location of the Stock Show & Rodeo, to make my second visit to that event, but, I currently have no strong current urge to do that either.

Currently all my urges are at a very low ebb....

A Mighty Fine Hike On The Tandy Hills On The 2nd Tuesday Of 2014

In the picture you are high atop Mount Tandy, in the Tandy Hills Natural Area, looking across the wagon train trail which heads west towards Where the West Allegedly Begins, at part of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

I had not been on the Tandy Hills since Mother Nature's last Friday natural moisturizing event.

Today on the Tandy Hills there was no sign that any natural moisturizing had recently taken place, which you can clearly see via the parched landscape you are looking at in the picture.

I must say, I had myself a mighty fine time doing some mighty fast hill hiking today. Definitely my best hill hiking of 2014.

I do not remember when I've seen the Tandy Hills in such perfect condition, trail-wise, as today. Scenery-wise, well, it's a bit brown, definitely not the scenic wonderland which will occur in a couple months when the hills become alive with the color of wildflowers.

I started off the day with my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session. With the outer world chilled, this morning, to 37 degrees, I opted to not engage in any cool dips in the too cool pool.

I look forward to that day which will arrive in a couple months when I will again be able to get my daily hydrotherapy in the no longer cool pool....

Monday, January 13, 2014

Looking At A Blue Bayou Overlook Thinking About Chorizo Salivary Glands, Lymph Nodes & Fat

Usually when I am overlooking the Village Creek Natural Historical Area's Blue Bayou Overlook I am standing on the Overlook overlooking the Blue Bayou.

Today I opted for a different view of the Blue Bayou, looking north whilst standing on the paved trail looking at the Blue Bayou Overlook and the Blue Bayou it overlooks.

The temperature in the outer world at my location is once again being quite pleasant. Not yet as high as yesterday's 70 degrees of pleasantness, but still, quite pleasant.

Yesterday's high in the 70s warmed up my still cool pool enough to facilitate my longest pool dips of the new year, this morning, taking two cool pool breaks from my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy.

Changing the subject from hydrotherapy to lunch.

On Saturday, at Town Talk, I got myself a product called Soyrizo. Today I made Soyrizo Burritos for lunch. Opening the Soyrizo package I was advised to read the info on the flip side of the label. I was just a bit appalled by part of what I read....

SOYRIZO is a tasty Mexican Sausage called Chorizo. Instead of using the traditional salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat, SOYRIZO is meatless, made with healthy NON GMO soy beans, without the fat and calories of Beef or Pork Chorizo.

Yikes! The Pork Chorizo I have been buying at Town Talk, for months now, was made from salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat? The Town Talk Pork Chorizo did not seem all that fat. And the list of ingredients only indicated the meat was pork, no mention made of what particular pork parts.


I have to say, the Soyrizo was a tastier Chorizo than the Town Talk Pork Chorizo. I'd buy it again. I likely will not be buying the Town Talk Pork Chorizo anymore, unless I am able to determine it is not made from salivary glands and lymph nodes.

Yes, I'm a picky eater.....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Advocates Do Not Want A Texas Ban On The Gassing Of Rattlesnakes

Vendor With Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Wares
Fairly frequently I get an email asking me about my rattlesnake products. More often than not the inquiry comes from the UK or Germany.

Usually it is a rattlesnake rattle or skin that the inquirer is seeking.

The inquirer inquires because they search for rattlesnake info and that search brings them to my webpage about my one and only visit to the annual Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

That webpage usually comes up at the top, or nearly so, in info searches, hence the inquiries based on the false assumption that I have something to do with rattlesnakes.

I routinely politely explain that my only connection to rattlesnakes is having webpaged my one and only visit to the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

Last year some guy from Europe, who heads some protect the endangered wildlife group, somehow came to the conclusion that I was some sort of advocate for the mass murder of rattlesnakes. He sent me a lot of very earnest information before I was able to make him understand I am not a mass murder of rattlesnakes advocate.

Today I was emailed information about the fact that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is currently holding meetings around Texas seeking input regarding the concept of banning the use of gasoline fumes to force rattlesnakes from their homes and into transports which bring them to a rattlesnake slaughterhouse, like the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

The Sweetwater Rattlesnake Rounduppers are already reacting to this threat to this snake murdering practice, which many consider to be barbaric, by opining about all the good the Roundup does for Sweetwater. Raising money, feeding people, buying them Christmas gifts, giving bikes to eight good students.

What I find amazing is the fact that year after year after year, for over six decades, the rattlesnakes breed in numbers prolific enough to support this annual Roundup in the Sweetwater neighborhood.

If there was not an annual Roundup and murder of Sweetwater area rattlesnakes would the area be over run by rattlesnakes?

Below is the video I made of my one and only visit to the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. This was the first video I ever made, hence the odd opening credits part. I'd only come into possession of the camcorder which shot this video about two weeks before driving the 200 miles west to Sweetwater.

This is the first video I ever YouTubed and it has had more views than any of my other YouTube videos.  And the most comments. The comments are not pretty, for the most part. Very angry, very profane comments.

The 2nd Sunday Of 2014 Blows Warm In Texas While I Think About Lesser Fort Worth

Can you tell by looking past the metal spears which help make my security fence, at the cloth material stuck on top of poles, that the air is currently being rapidly moved at my location on the planet?

As in, a strong, warm wind is blowing in from the south.

Warm as in it is currently 70 degrees, heading for a high which is predicted to be hotter than 70.

Temperatures in the 70s are considered a HEAT wave back at my former location in the Great Pacific Northwest.

I rather enjoyed watching last night's Seattle Seahawk game, what with the wind gusts blowing rain horizontal. That was not your stereotypical Seattle rain.

Way back in the 1960s a guy named Emmett Watson, he being a beloved columnist with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times, founded an organization called Lesser Seattle. Mr. Watson and others had been appalled at the influx of tourists that followed the success of the Seattle World's Fair, with most of those tourists visiting during summer, when the stereotypical rains do not fall, reporting back home that all they saw in Seattle was clear blue sky.

Members of Lesser Seattle were instructed to mention rain in any communication with people from other parts of the planet. Eventually Lesser Seattle failed, with modern day Seattle, in summer, being a crowded with tourists theme park.

So, last night's blustery telecast from Seattle would have made Emmett Watson very happy.

I wonder if someone like, well, let us use the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy, would ever come up with something called Lesser Fort Worth to discourage tourists from crowding Fort Worth?

What would Lesser Fort Worth tell people in other parts of the planet to make them think Fort Worth is not a place they would want to visit?

Spout off about Fort Worth's rain?

No? Fort Worth does not have a reputation for being a rainy city.

What does Fort Worth have a national, or international reputation for?

I'm waiting?

Any answers?

I hear crickets chirping.

World capital of eminent domain abuse?

I don't think that would scare off tourists.

World capital of urban natural gas drilling?

That might do it.

Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at an imaginary island in a polluted river?

Yes, that might scare away some tourists....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The 2nd Saturday Of 2014 At Quanah Parker Park Before Town Talking

On the left you are looking west at the scenic Trinity River as it flows by Quanah Parker Park on this 2nd Saturday of 2014.

I parked on the Quanah Parker Park parking lot on my way to go treasure hunting at Town Talk to have myself a mighty fine walk in near perfect conditions, along with a lot of other people enjoying a mighty fine walk in near perfect conditions.

Currently the time is a few minutes past three. Before leaving for Quanah Parker Park I found out that today's Seattle Seahawks/New Orleans Saints football game starts in less than a half an hour. My DVR is set to record the game, thus allowing commercial and pointless blather fast forwarding ability when I get around to watching the latest edition of the Seattle Seahawks current Super Bowl quest, starting around 5.

Town Talk was extremely busy today, with long checkout lines. I find standing in the Town Talk checkout lines to be amusing, plus, though the line may look long, it moves quickly.

Today I got two bags of Fuji apples, grown in my old home zone of Washington, shipped from Yakima in Eastern Washington, to be precise. The most novel thing I got today was organic chorizo made from soy. In addition to the apples and chorizo I got a big bag of cole slaw fixin's in the form of already shredded cabbage and carrots. Also multi-grain tortillas and other stuff I am forgetting right now.

Today marks the 394th visit to Town Talk that I have made without running into Miss MLK or Miss MKB. Someday I expect this streak to end....

The Return Of Blue Sky To Texas Has Me In A Good Mood Looking Forward To Some Seahawk Football

As you can see, via the 2nd Saturday of 2014 view of my still cool pool, blue sky has returned to North Texas, with the full retreat of both the ultra cool Polar Vortex and its followup, the not so cool Pacific Northwest storm system which brought the densest fog I've seen since I have been in Texas, followed by some mighty fine ocean type drizzle. And a little rain.

This morning I returned to my hot tub for a much needed hydrotherapy session along with two cooling dips in the cool pool.

Judging by the good mood I am currently in I am thinking I had been suffering from a bad SAD bout, with the Seasonally Affected Disorder disordering me due to way too much gray and way too little blue.

This morning's hydrotherapy under a bright blue sky seems to have totally un-SADenned me.

Today is my regularly scheduled day for Town Talk treasure hunting. I don't know which of my many hiking locations I might avail myself of prior to hiking. I suspect it will be a walk around Fosdick Lake.

A few minutes ago Betty Jo Bouvier reminded me that there is a Seattle Seahawk road to the Super Bowl game today. Currently I do not know when  the game is scheduled to commence. I suspect I can easily find out.

I do know that today's game is being played in Seattle. I have watched two football games this year. One Seahawk game and the last Dallas Cowboy game of the season.

I noticed several differences between the two games and their venues. One is the Seattle fans are so noisy, at that game I was watching, they once again broke the Guinness World Record for stadium noise, along with triggering an earthquake. Meanwhile at times the fans watching the Cowboy game sort of had the affect of attending a funeral.

I think bad stadium design may have something to do with the Cowboy stadium seeming muted, while the open air Seahawk stadium does not seem muted. It would seem the closed sardine can design of the Cowboy stadium, and the much larger crowd, would cause the stadium noise to be a lot louder than the Seattle noise.

Another thing I noticed whilst watching the two games is the Seattle setting is right downtown, with the north end of the stadium open to the Seattle skyline, while coverage of a Cowboys game has to cut 20 miles east to Dallas to get any sort of skyline view, what with the view surrounding the Cowboy stadium being a lot of parking lots, another ballpark, a Super Walmart, pawn shops, fast food joints and a run down motel, or two.

Dallas and the Dallas Cowboys would have been so much better off had they built the new stadium in Dallas, at Fair Park, it seems to me.

That and rather than let Jerry Jones and his family travel the world looking for stadium ideas, instead design a state of the art stadium more suited for North Texas, rather than a futuristic outpost on Mars.....