Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Duck Walk Around Fosdick Lake In Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park

The Fosdick ducks who live in Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park seemed to be in a better mood than the norm today.

Lots of melodious quacking.

I think the Fosdick ducks, also known as Fosducks, were happy due to enjoying the respite from  the HEAT, with the sun blocked by clouds which were producing what felt to me like a fine drizzle drizzling down on a west coast Pacific Ocean beach.

I can't remember when I last experienced drizzle on a Pacific coast beach. In 2004, August of, I drove to Ocean Shores, on the Washington coast, with no clouds and no drizzle. The last drizzle on the Pacific coast may pre-date the move to Texas, as in a pre-move drive down the coast with a stay in Seaside in Oregon. I vaguely recollect waking up to fog and drizzle.

Currently, early in the afternoon of the last day of July the outer world at my location is being chilled to only 78 degrees. I have my windows open. I have never had my windows open in Texas on the last day of July.

Below is a video of the Fosducks on the Run..........

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Walk In Arlington With A Village Creek Cicada Before Biking With The Indian Ghosts

No, that is not an artist's rendering of what Fubbo the Hut would look like as an insect.

What that is, I think, is a cicada who has finished his mating duties and so, with nothing left to do, died.

I can see where maybe the patterns of the textiles which make up the cicadas clothing may have been an inspiration for Indian garb.

I like the color scheme. I would wear it.

I came upon this cicada corpse today in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, near the overlook which looks over the formerly Blue Bayou which is now green and brown.

There were several cicada corpses in the pool with me this morning. I prefer the cicadas to be alive and making their distinctive cicada mating calls, rather than swimming lifelessly with me.

After I took several pictures of the cicada corpse, motion in the corner of my left eye caught my attention. Looking left I saw what appeared to be a cicada in its death throes.

I switched the camera to video mode and stealthily made my way to the BIG bug. By the time I got to the cicada it was no longer moving, so I used my cicada prompting stick to try and prompt some action.

The cicada prompting stick worked, the resulting action is documented in the YouTube video below.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Maxine Had Me Breaking Skagit Which Has Me Looking For Tarrant Breaking

A couple days ago I asked Maxine a couple questions about my old home zone of  Skagit County. One question was about Pilchuck Falls which had been in the news in late June due to the loss of a Skagit Search & Rescue rescuer named JB Bryson who was lost along with one of a pair of hikers who had fallen near Pilchuck Falls.

The other question I asked Maxine had to do with my being perplexed as to why kids where no longer allowed to pick Skagit Valley berries, while tons of the world's best berries went to waste.

Maxine answered my two questions, with the first answer about the Pilchuck Falls incident, rendered poignant when it turned out JB Bryson was a Sedro Woolley High School classmate of Maxine's.

In her email reply Maxine pointed me to a Skagit County Facebook page I'd not heard of called Breaking Skagit. I checked out the Breaking Skagit Facebook page to quickly find out the breaking part of the name referred to breaking news.

On the Skagit Breaking Facebook page I saw that there is also a Skagit Breaking website.

Both the Skagit Breaking Facebook page and the website seem to me to be extremely well done. This had me curious as to who was behind Skagit Breaking. That curiosity led me to Skagit Breaking About Us page where I eventually found the names of the Skagit Breaking creators, none of whom I knew.

The About Us statement states that they are not a "News" site,  right after saying, "We provide  scanner traffic from our local Police, Fire and EMS airwaves. I enjoy off beat news, and in addition to local news, we also post  odd news stories from around the globe."

I read that Skagit Breaking was not a "News" site just as I was wondering to myself how is it little Skagit County, population of 118,222, manages to have more than one real newspaper, whilst the county I currently live in, Tarrant County, with a population of 1.88 million, has nothing that I know of like Skagit Breaking. Or the Skagit Valley Herald.

Maybe some of the small towns in Tarrant County have real newspapers that I've not seen. Is there a Haltom City Town Crier (other than Layla Caraway)? A North Richland Hills Harbinger? A Keller Knocker?

Prior to Maxine telling me about the incredible memorial event that took place in Sedro Woolley for JB Bryson, another Sedro Woolley-ite, Betty Jo Bouvier, mentioned being amazed and impressed by the size and scope of the memorial.

Read the Breaking Skagit article about the JB Bryson memorial event and notice the good writing, the detailed article and wonder to yourself why it is you never read such a thing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

If only I knew how to make websites I'd make a BREAKING NEWS TARRANT COUNTY website....

Monday, July 28, 2014

A HOT Tandy Hills Hike With Twin Hoodoos & No Flooding

With rain in the forecast I decided today was a good day to return to the Tandy Hills for the first time since rain muddied my local world earlier in the month.

A breeze blew providing some wind chilling, but not a lot of wind chilling. In other words I got hot, real HOT.

Both the North and South Forks of Tandy Creek were dry today, with no flooding due to a broken pipeline like I had to ford on my last visit.

However, it appeared the South Fork crossing has been pretty much wiped out by flash flooding, either of the Mother Nature sort, or the broken pipeline sort. You can see video of the current Tandy Creek South Fork crossing below.

Above those are not Twin Hoodoos sitting on a Big Rock at Tandy Hills Hoodoo Central at the north end of the View Street Trail. I came upon the Twin Hoodoos slightly northeast of the area known as the Bamboo Tepee Grove.

As usual, there was a new Hoodoo at Hoodoo Central, a much plumper, stubbier Hoodoo than the tall, skinny Hoodoo I saw on the first day of July.

Today's Hoodoo at Hoodoo Central sort of looks like a sculpture of a fat human with a big round head wearing a cowboy hat.

I have known a human or two, sans the cowboy hat part, who could have been the sculptor's model.

I used  my old camera to take video and photos today. The new camera is vexing me. Very complicated. These things really should be designed for those of us with simple minds and short attention spans.

Months ago I got a new oven, with all digital controls. Even ovens have been rendered difficult with digital controls. Though, once I got used to it I like the digital oven controls.

Way back in February I finally got a smart phone. The smart phone made me feel real stupid for a few days. And then that feeling faded. Now I'm a texting maniac and watch TV on the phone. Watching TV on the smart phone seems sort of stupid, but it actually works quite well.

Anyway, below is video where you walk with me across the washed out crossing of the South Fork of Tandy Creek...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Arlington On A Village Creek Bike Ride With An Indian Ghost Sighting On The Last Sunday Of July

Yesterday a benefactor benefacted me with a new Sony camcorder camera.

I find the older I get the more averse I am to learning something new, or figuring out something new.

This new camera apparently does all sorts of cool things, like it takes 3D photos. However, apparently one needs something called a 3D TV to view the 3D photos. I don't have a 3D TV. I don't think I want a 3D TV, even if a benefactor benefacted me a 3D TV.

This new camera shoots HD video and has a windscreen setting, unlike my Canon camera which I've been using to make videos of late and which can get annoyingly noisy with the wind.

Today I took  the new camera to Arlington, to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to check in on the Indian Ghosts. That and Sunday is a fun day to go to this location. Usually it is quite busy. However, I'm thinking today's almost empty parking lot indicated a lot of people do not like communing with nature and Indian Ghosts when the temperature gets into the 100 degree zone.

A couple days ago the Queen of Assumption, Miss Julie, asked me how it was I communicated with the Indian Ghosts. Did I see them? Talk to them? Listen to them? I told the Q of A to watch video of my most recent Indian Ghost visit and she would hear them sounding a lot like the aforementioned wind.

Today I used the new camera to take a picture of the Village Creek Green Bayou. Currently, more accurately, the Village Creek Green & Brown Bayou. When I got the photos off the new camera I soon saw it had even cooler capabilities than I thought possible.

Though my eye did not see it, the new camera was able to capture a Village Creek Indian Ghost hovering over the formerly Blue Bayou.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perplexed By Caution In Fort Worth's Gateway Park Before Town Talking

With the temperature nearing 100 it was HOT enough today for me to return to Gateway Park to roll my wheels on the mountain bike trails for the first time since we got rained on and muddied here in usually quite dry North Texas.

On Thursday when I drove past Riscky's BBQ in the Fort Worth Stockyards I saw that misters had been added to the outdoor eating zone.

I don't think I've been to Riscky's BBQ in the Stockyards since way back in January of 2009, with my mom and dad. My parental units thought it too cold at that point in time to eat our ribs in Riscky's outdoor eating zone.

Today I was thinking a mister or two along the Gateway Park mountain bike trail would be a good  thing.

In the photo my handlebars are at my favorite Saturday pre-Town Talk photo op location, perched perilously at the edge of a cliff above the beautiful green Trinity River. At this location the trail takes a right, away from the cliff. But there is no directional signage pointing the way. Today I saw a lot of tire tracks not taking the right, instead rolling their wheels along the edge of the cliff. I imagine this has resulted in a temporarily terrorized biker or two.

I found a spot to stick my bike off that trail and got out my camera to take a video walk along the cliff's edge. You can watch that below if you don't suffer from acrophobia.

I saw something else today which puzzled me. That which puzzled me you can see below.

In the area pictured above in the past couple months the brush along the cliff's edge was removed, for the most part, and the mountain bike trail was moved away from the cliff about 30 feet. At this location the mountain bike trail was not at the cliff's edge, like the location of my favorite photo op.

The yellow caution tape cautioning people to be cautious extended a much longer distance than what you see in the picture. So, why the caution tape at this location?  Did someone walk off the edge of the cliff?

It's a bit perplexing.

After having myself a mighty fine time in Mother Nature's natural sauna I was off to Town Talk where I found big packs of all natural chicken legs, pineapples, romaine lettuce, pomegranate ginseng soda, brown rice, flour tortillas, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, cherries from my old home state, Wenatchee Washington, to be precise, and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Biking With The Indian Ghosts Pondering No Good Deed Going Unpunished If Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

That's the pool and hot tub view from my patio prison cell you are looking at on the left.

That view is currently scheduled to change this coming October, with a new view north, rather than this old view south.

I was up not long after the sun this morning, with a long swim before a short breakfast.

After several hours of fussing with HTML code type aggravation I felt the Village Creek Indian Ghosts calling me. And so I was off to Arlington to roll my wheels in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Whilst fussing with HTML code type aggravation I listen to the radio. Lately I've been listening to something called The Bert Show. The Bert Show can be amusing. This morning Bert was going on about how the cliche "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" makes no sense to him.

However, I get the meaning of that cliche because I have experienced the experience of doing a good deed and then having the person for whom the good deed was done turn into an ungrateful miscreant.

Bert got me thinking about another cliche, that being "Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder." In my experience that cliche would be more accurate if it were "In Some Cases Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder."

For me, in some cases, absence has turned into an unexpected blessing. Like getting rid of an eyesore you didn't realize was making your eyes sore, til you no longer have to see it......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Big Ed's Botanic Garden Birthday With Uncle Julio & The Search For Imaginary Bridges Over Nothing

In the picture you are looking at Big Ed in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden. I do not know about what Big Ed is talking to the group of shaded kids.

Big Ed and I had been at Uncle Julio's on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth for Big Ed's annual happy birthday Mexican food pigout

After overeating at the annual happy birthday Mexican food pigout I felt the need to be vertical.

The Botanic Gardens is a nearby location with a lot of shade where it is possible to be vertical and moving and not get too overheated after overeating.

Fort Worth's Botanic Garden is the best such thing I have ever seen. As in it is actually something in Fort Worth which might cause other towns to be green with envy, if such a thing was something any town, other than Fort Worth, actually was able to be.

I was impressed by the Botanic Garden the first time I walked through them well over a decade ago, and have been freshly impressed on every return, including today. The boardwalk through the trees, which was added a few years ago, was a good heat shade today, which a lot of people were enjoying.

As I walked around the Botanic Garden I was on the lookout for Miss Julie, to no avail. Miss Julie is an expert grammarian who taught me how to whence and hence properly and who spends a lot of time in the Botanic Garden.

After giving up the search for Miss Julie it was off to the eminent domain abuse zone of the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle to see if I could find the three non-signature bridges being built over the imaginary flood diversion channel.

I saw nothing which looked like construction. I did see what was left after the destruction of all the property which was taken by abusing the legitimate concept of taking private property for the public good, you know, things like highways, hospitals, schools.

I did a quick drop-in at Cowtown Wakepark and a saw two guys wakeboarding. Basically this was the only activity I was able to find today of something going on in the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle.

Below is a 360 degree video look at one little section of Fort Worth's Botanic Garden....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Star-Telegram Columnist's Sexist Remark Has Mary Kelleher Calling For Accountability




Fort Worth, Texas, July 23, 2014–Tarrant Regional Water District Director Mary Kelleher is responding to the increasing outcry over Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy's sexist comment against her in a public exchange on a social media account. Mr. Kennedy while speaking on the subject of the Tarrant Regional Water District elections stated, "Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men."
Director Kelleher says she was saddened and appalled by his statement. “When a woman, such as myself, devotes so much personal time and effort to give back to the community, it truly sickens me there are still men like Mr. Kennedy in the media who think so little of what all women accomplish." Kelleher went on to say, "It's now clear that in Mr. Kennedy's mind no woman could gain a position of power, authority, or respect on their own. It appears he’s insinuating the election of a woman must be the result of stupidity by the voters.” She continued, “I’m amazed someone with these views can work for a major newspaper and on one of the most respected television newscasts in the United States."

Kelleher urges the Star-Telegram and content partner WFAA, where Kennedy regularly discusses Texas politics, to act swiftly. "I just can't see a public media company with shareholders allowing someone with this kind of incredibly sexist view of women to remain on staff. " If neither the Star-Telegram nor WFAA act, says Kelleher, "I'm sure those of us who buy and read the Star-Telegram or watch WFAA can quickly change our habits including those who advertise with these companies."

Director Kelleher went on to say, “I’m sure that both McClatchy and Belo Corporation, as professional news organizations will do the right thing for all women who have worked so hard to get to a position of equal respect with men."


Director Kelleher was elected by the largest number of votes in the history of the Tarrant Regional Water District, at just under 9,000 people voting for her. The District oversees flood control and water supply for the area. Aside from her duties as a director of the Tarrant Regional Water District, Kelleher also works full-time with troubled youth in Tarrant County and maintains a working farm on the east side of Fort Worth with her husband.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Unfair Untrue Irresponsible Editorial Attack On Mary Kelleher

I did not see until today a bizarre editorial in yesterday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The bizarre editorial is titled Tarrant Regional Water District should appoint two members to their current positions but, despite the title the editorial is basically yet one more journalistically unethical, wrongheaded, irresponsible slap at Mary Kelleher.

A Star-Telegram reader named Aaron Harris pretty much hit the bull's eye with his comment regarding this bizarre editorial.

From the Aaron Harris comment's last paragraph I learned I am not alone in knowing Fort Worth has a serious problem due to its lack of a real daily newspaper covering local issues in a fair and unbiased  and responsible manner.

You can read the bizarre Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial by clicking the link above. You can read the Aaron Harris comment in its entirety below....

Very well done on presenting one side, the incumbent board's side. Now let's address some of the things you fail to mention or disclose, and always will, because it doesn't fit your narrative:

First: You call Mary an obstructionist....last I checked one vote in 5 can not obstruct anything. But since you made the accusation. can the editorial board please name me ONE thing Mary has successfully obstructed during her year on the board? And how was she able to do so with only one vote? Words have meanings and I'll eagerly await simply ONE thing she has obstructed. 

Second: You state Kellerher has bombarded the district with open records request. Really? How many is bombarded? When did asking for information become a bad thing? You failed to mention that numerous State Representatives have also requested information from the board and so far have received NOTHING. I think not releasing information qualifies as obstructionist, that title should go to the remaining board, not Mary. 

Third: You state: "Their terms expired in May" but act like that is no big deal. The Texas Appellate court stated their terms expired. The law does not allow for an appointment of an EXPIRED term, only of an UN EXPIRED term. But let's not let the law get in the way. 

Fourth: Kellerher was censured...yes. She was censured cause she dares to vote differently from the rest who simply rubber stamp whatever comes before them. In their eyes having a differing opinion and vote is grounds for censure. Read the censure, that is what it boils down to. 

Fifth: You suggest that simply appointing Leonard and Lane would solve the "petty squabbles". You know what else would... disclosing the information Mary, 4 state reps and voters are asking for. It's not that hard. I also find it interesting that because Mary took money from a donor she can't possibly be thinking for herself, rather a tool of the donor. So I presume you make the same judgement of the others on the board right? Are they simply tools of the contractors who do business with the TRWD given that is where most of their donations come from? 

Lastly - this is exactly the kind of piece that leaves Ft Worth once again pondering when we might get a decent paper in this town. One that can look beyond its little downtown club and cover local issues fairly. This editorial is simply garbage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spencer Jack And Girl Friend Brittney's Home Away From Home At An Unknown Location

What you are looking at on the left arrived in my email inbox last night. I did not see it til this morning.

All the text in the email said was "Our Home Away From Home."

I think I can deduce, from the photo evidence, that Spencer Jack is camping with his favorite girl friend, Brittney, and his dad.

My best guess, due to the somewhat primitive look of the campsite, is that Spencer Jack is camping somewhere in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. That forest covers a large area, with dozens of campgrounds.

I am pretty much 100% certain that Spencer Jack did not take his camping entourage to Eastern Washington, due to the fact that that side of the Cascade Mountains is currently burning with the largest wildfire in Washington state history.

Over 300,000 acres.

Tootsie Tonasket is daily reporting extreme smoke at her location in Eastern Washington in the Okanogan Valley.

It pleases me to learn that my favorite nephew, Jason, is continuing the family camping tradition. When I was a  kid we pretty much went camping somewhere every weekend of summer.

My favorite camping location was in Eastern Washington.

Sun Lakes State Park.

At my current location in Texas I can drive hundreds of miles in any direction with the scenery and climate not changing all that much.

As a kid, going from Western Washington to Eastern Washington, it seemed like the other side of the mountains was a totally different world, what with Western Washington being a marine climate conducive to growing all things green, including moss, while Eastern Washington is pretty much a desert, for the most part.

A desert which is largely irrigated and thus also grows green things.

I wonder if Spencer Jack has taken his dad and Brittney to Sun Lakes yet? I recollect once driving over to Sun Lakes with my sister and favorite nephews, Chris and Jeremy, to surprise favorite nephews, Jason and Joey, who were pseudo camping in a cabin. That does not seem all that long ago, but it was.....

Escaping The Humidity Via Bike Enabled Wind Chilling In Arlington's Interlochen

I was unable to get humidity relief via the swimming method this morning because the pool is getting a shock treatment. It takes about a day for the pool to get over being shocked.

To get myself some outdoor wind chilling I used the rolling my wheels method.

That's bike wheels, not motorized vehicle wheels with windows down and A/C at full blast.

The wind is cooling whilst pedaling, til one stops for a water break or a photo op.

That is one of the Interlochen fountains you are seeing spouting above. I  took that photo then put the camera in video mode and did a 360 spin around to give you a better idea of what this part of the planet looks like than what can be conveyed by a single photo.

Tacoma's Connie D asked me today when I am coming to Tacoma. That  is a good question.

When am I going to Tacoma? Or Washington. It has been almost 6 years since I have been to the far north. When I left  that location, way back on August 20 of 2008, I said it'd likely be 20 years til I returned.

Anyway, below is the aforementioned video, YouTubized.....

Monday, July 21, 2014

Perplexed By The Star-Telegram's Dallas Boogey Man Fixation Along With Why Bud Kennedy Thinks Mary Kelleher Got Elected

Saturday, July 19, 2014, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an article titled Dallas businessman donated more than $235,000 to Tarrant Regional Water District candidates.

The first four paragraphs of the article....

In a 2011 letter to the Tarrant Regional Water District, Dallas businessman Monty Bennett vowed to “vigorously fight” a TRWD pipeline from going across his East Texas ranch.

The latest TRWD campaign finance reports show he is continuing to back up that pledge with his checkbook.

Bennett, chairman and chief executive of Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality Trust and Ashford Hospitality Prime, has contributed more than $235,000 to board member Mary Kelleher and two other candidates.

Bennett, who has sued the water district and fought eminent domain proceedings, has tried to compel the water district to reroute the $2.3 billion integrated pipeline around his East Texas ranch in Henderson County. The pipeline is designed to bring more water for Tarrant Regional and the city of Dallas. TRWD has said rerouting the pipeline would cost $6 million to $8 million.

Over and over and over again the Star-Telegram brings up the fact that Monty Bennett made large contributions to TRWD candidates trying to oust existing TRWD board members.

Why is the fact that Monty Bennett primarily does his business in Dallas at all relevant? Why must the specter of a Dallas Boogey Man be raised?

Mr. Bennett did not want a pipeline crossing his property. Apparently he has the resources to fight eminent domain and make contributions to candidates. Why does the Star-Telegram attempt to scandalize this, particularly when there are so many things about the Tarrant Regional Water District board's various shenanigans which the Star-Telegram ignores?

Where can I read that in depth Star-Telegram investigation into how it was that Kay Granger's unqualified son, J.D., was hired by the TRWD to run the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle?

I learned that the Star-Telegram had once again brought up the Dallas Boogey Man via Facebook, from Bud Kennedy.

When I used to be a hard copy subscriber to the Star-Telegram Bud Kennedy was one of their columnists. The Star-Telegram has cut way back on its staff. I don't know at what level of activity Bud Kennedy is still employed by the Star-Telegram, but he seems to have quite an active career on Facebook, diligently monitoring multiple threads, deleting comments, scolding commenters for being off-topic.

So, regarding the Bud Kennedy Facebook post that was about the latest Star-Telegram Dallas Boogey Man article, Bud Kennedy made a comment in response to one of his "Friends" comments which is most unfortunate. That is a screencap of the exchange above. I'll copy the exchange verbatim below...

Stuart Langley: Politicians taking money from vested interests? Oh my, when did that start happening? It seems this knock comes along every time that Mary tries to hold the board accountable to the public. 

Could the Star-Telegram please explain why the board continually fights (with the tax payers money Mary's efforts to see TRWD records?) Is there a good reason why these should be kept from an elected board member? And why shouldn't the public be upset when the board can skip an election when the public has been clamoring for years for more public accountability?

I guess those are tough and embarrassing questions. Lets try one more course of the "Dallas Businessman donates..."

Bud Kennedy: Stuart Langley, please review editorials on the topic. The Star-Telegram has criticized the board's records handling. More than a dozen local agencies skipped elections for a year under a state law changing the dates. The public has not clamored for anything. Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men. One man could not buy the election.

Oh, this is not going to go well, Bud Kennedy claiming "Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men."

Mary Kelleher got more votes than any other TRWD board candidate has ever received.

I know the name might make one think she is not a woman, but I am almost 100% certain TRWD board member, Marty Leonard, is indeed a woman. And has been the only woman on the ballot. And yet has not received votes at the number level of Mary Kelleher.

Is Bud Kennedy's Mary only won because she's a woman assertion what is known as a sexist remark? I don't know. What I do know is this remark seems to me to be a very wrongheaded, inappropriate thing to be saying.

Is an apology forthcoming....

A 105 Degree HOT Walk Around Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake

In the picture you are standing on the bridge over the very dry Fosdick Falls, looking southeast across Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park.

Swimming this morning, early, was quite refreshing. Walking around Fosdick Lake, not so much.

While the temperature whilst walking was a relatively cool 89 degrees, the extreme humidity had that 89 degrees really feeling like 105, which you can see documented via the graphic I gleaned from my computer based temperature monitoring device.

A slightly cooling breeze blew across Fosdick Dam, providing a momentary bit of heat relief which lasted only whilst I was on the dam.

As you can see below, via the aforementioned gleaned graphic our brief bout of frigid temperatures is over, likely not to return til fall returns.

I made a HOT video in the shade while standing on the west side of Fosdick Lake. Some ducks seemed to think I was there to give them something tasty to eat.

Speaking of something tasty to eat, it is time I make myself some lunch...

Searching For Local Oddballs Like Those In David Byrne's True Stories About Texas

On the left you are looking at a screen cap of a YouTube video of the intro to David Bryne's movie, True Stories.

True Stories is the best movie I've seen about Texas. And the funniest. With the best music.

In the intro you will hear reference made to the wiping out of the Caddo Confederacy.

Indians who were members of tribes which were in the Caddo Confederacy are some of the Indian Ghosts I am often mentioning walking with in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Below is part of the Google description of True Stories which one sees when one Googles "David Byrne True Stories"....

Director David Byrne (of Talking Heads) takes an outside-looking-in glance at Texas and Texans in True Stories. Casting himself as the protagonist/narrator, Byrne adopts what he thinks is standard western garb and drives his red convertible into the small town of Virgil. Here he observes the town's preparations for celebrating Texas' sesquicentennial, taking time out to introduce us to several of the local oddballs.

I have never met any local oddballs in Texas like the local oddballs in True Stories. I wish I'd meet some funny local oddballs.

Below is the aforementioned YouTube video.........

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Next To Last Sunday Of July Trying To Not Let The Door Hit Me Where The Good Lord Split Me

On the left you are looking at a screen cap of my blog from January 12, 2008.

The "America's Team" blogging was my 16th blog post.

In the picture in the screencap I am laying on the floor of my living room, reading the Seattle P-I, with my cat  Hortense reading the paper with me.

Hortense moved to Texas in November of 1998. Hortense made the move by flying. I made the move by surface transport. Hortense had a stroke and died before the turn of the century and is buried in a pasture in Haslet, a little burg at the far north end of Fort Worth.

Now, why in the world am I bringing up this blogging from way back when, now, you may be wondering.

Well, this morning this particular blogging generated a blog comment from someone named Matt. I found Matt's comment to be quite amusing. I used to get these Matt type comments quite frequently, but, in recent years, not so much.

First the Matt comment and them some more commenting from me.

Matt has left a new comment on your post "America's Team":

Let me get this straight: You think everything is just oh so much better up in Seattle, yet YOU went out of YOUR way to move down HERE in Texas, Fort Worth no less. I was wondering where all this influx of rude drivers and rude customer service workers were coming from. Should've known it was trash talking blowhards from up north. Nobody held a gun to your head and told you that you had to move here. If you hate it so much, then get the hell out, and don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

I read the above and wondered to what Matt was reacting. I was a bit surprised to click the link to learn Matt was reacting to a blogging from over six years ago.

I read the post and was further perplexed. Not that I have not compared this or that in my Pacific Northwest experience to something in my Texas experience, or some aspect of Seattle to some aspect of Fort Worth. I recollect maybe saying things like in Seattle when something is called a square, such as Pioneer Square, there actually is a square, while, until recently, in Fort Worth you can call something a square, such as a collection of parking lots known as Sundance Square, where there is no actual square. And then when Fort Worth finally adds a square to Sundance Square it is goofily named Sundance Square Plaza.

I don't  know why Seattle does not follow the Fort Worth lead and rename Pioneer Square as Pioneer Square Plaza, other than that being goofy and likely the object of ridicule.

The blog post to which Matt commented was pretty much making fun of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I did not realize til reading this post from 2008 that I'd been engaging in that sport for so long.

The only comparison between Fort Worth and Seattle in the blog post were the following sentences in the first paragraph....

When I lived in Washington my morning paper was the Seattle P-I. In Fort Worth it is the Star-Telegram. To be blunt and to the point, Washington has a much higher high school graduation rate, much higher number of college graduates, Seattle leads the nation in number of book readers and I'll just say that the quality of the P-I reflects the quality of its readers. And so does the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Okay, the above may be ever so slightly rude. But everything I opined is true.

The Seattle P-I or Seattle Times could not get away with verbiage along the line that this that or the other thing in Seattle was making the rest of the world green with envy. Until a few years ago this type verbiage was chronic in the Star-Telegram.

Eventually I made a webpage of examples of the unfortunate Star-Telegram verbiage and titled it Green With Envy.

How does Matt know that no one held a gun to my head and told me I had to move to Texas? Because that is exactly how I came to be here, well, the gun part may be a slight exaggeration.....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Trinity River Vision Committee's Sane Correspondence About The Boondoggle

Friday night in my email inbox I found several PDFs, part of one you see screencapped on the left.

The PDFs were documents from Don Woodard's Committee of Correspondence, that being, according to several of the documents, a Committee with Malice Toward None, with Charity for All.

The subject that was being discussed in the documents is the extremely controversial Fort Worth pseudo public works project known at the Trinity River Panther Island Vision, or simply "The Boondoggle".

Reading through Don Woodard's words of wisdom regarding the forlorn TRPIVB, and the comments, got me thinking a thing or two.

First the thing or two I was thinking and then some of the comments.

One of the issues which vex a lot of people regarding this shady vision boondoggle is the fact that this public works project has never been voted on by the public, hence it is not funded fully, hence there is no project timeline, hence oddball things like building bridges to nowhere over an imaginary flood diversion channel.

I remember soon after my arrival in Texas, late in the last century, learning of the Dallas version of the Trinity River Vision. Soon thereafter I recollect being astonished by a HUGE headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram proclaiming "TRINITY UPTOWN TO TURN FORT WORTH INTO VANCOUVER OF THE SOUTH."

Being a Pacific Northwest boy who frequented Vancouver, when I lived in the vicinity, I was totally baffled.

As in what could Fort Worth possibly do that would be like anything in Vancouver? Build an amazing Chinatown, like Vancouver's? Build an amazing Skytrain like Vancouver's? Build an amazing downtown park like Vancouver's Stanley Park? I was totally bumpuzzled.

And then I read it was a version of Vancouver's False Creek development that Fort Worth was going to copy.

False Creek?

I remember trying to remember what False Creek was. Was that the area renovated by Expo 86? Or were we talking about Granville Island? I had no idea. I still don't.

The claim that this project was going to turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South was quickly dropped. This was before I had learned to not trust what I read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Well before the Star-Telegram claimed an ultra lame little food court type deal called the Santa Fe Rail Market was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and public markets in Europe.

The Santa Fe Rail Market mistake quickly failed. I expected the Trinity Uptown/Trinity River Vision/Panther Island debacle to meet the same fate.

And yet this project to nowhere keeps on chugging along, with no end in sight and little to show for over a decade of looking for a vision.

This got me thinking of other public works projects that have come to be in the same time frame as Fort Worth's supposedly vitally important flood control project which seems to have the urgency of repairing a dripping faucet.

In 2010 construction began in the Grapevine zone of the D/FW Connector, an over $1 billion project which rebuilt the junction of several freeways. The project was open to traffic in 2014.

The Chisholm Trail Parkway began constructing a tollway from Fort Worth to Cleburne, also in 2010. That project cost $1.4 billion and also opened to traffic in 2014.

Part of the Dallas Trinity River Vision, an actual signature bridge called the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, began getting built in 2007, opened in 2012 and cost $93 million.

In Arlington the Dallas Cowboy Stadium destruction and construction got underway in 2006 and opened to football in 2009 at a cost of $1.1 billion.

And then we have the Trinity River Vision, now renamed the Panther Island Vision, rightly known by many as simply "The Boondoggle" never voted on by the public, not fully funded, no project timeline, foisted on the Fort Worth public on a bogus premise, that being that it was needed for flood control, to control floods where no flood has flooded for well over a half a century, due to massive levees built in the 1950s to contain a flood in the downtown Fort worth zone.

Very perplexing.

And now for some of the comments from the Committee of Correspondence.....

Don Woodard said--- From stealthy step to stealthy step the boondoggle's promoters have refused to put the issue to a public vote. Some in authority smile and say, "That ship has sailed!" What if the White Star owners of the unsinkable Titanic had called her back as she was clearing the port at South Hampton?

Which had Stan Hiett saying--- Call back the ship.

And Carl R. Sanders saying--- Don, you are right! It is time to blur the Trinity vision, turning it into a bad memory which came from a bad idea, promulgated by the Supreme Court which corrupted the Constitutional concept of eminent domain. It should be stopped, buried and smoothed over as well as we can, limiting our economic loss to a minimum.

While William Wright said--- There is little doubt in my mind that one of the principal beneficiaries has been and will be Kay Granger. She has already profited from campaign contributions to get this snowball rolling and by securing a sinecure for her son, who has scant qualifications to head an enterprise of this magnitude. Rest assured she will reap huge rewards for many years if she is successful in logrolling congress for the money to complete this behemoth.

Winston Barney opined--- The bright side for you and me is that we'll both be gone before it ever comes to fruition. As for my children, they don't live in Tarrant County. I firmly believe that the word "boondoggle" is far too inappropriate for this serious level of public deception. "Scam", "rip-off", "swindle", and "con" all seem more befitting.

Which had Mike Braun commenting--- Slick new bridges?!? It's all about Fort Worth keeping up with Dallas, don't you understand? I'm laughing out loud at this fantasy: " A higher and more constant water level would be created with a HYDRAULIC DAM at the north edge of the project and a 33-acre urban lake would be formed." You clodhoppers need to go and ask the city of Waco about its low-water dam fiasco on the Brazos River over the last three decades. NOTE: Hydraulics and a dirty river - whether it's the Brazos or the Trinity  - don't get along very well. And how 'bout this lie?  [The urban waterfront will generate] "more than $600 million in economic activity the first decade alone."  LIE, LIE, LIE. The so-called "economic activity" will demand and be rewarded by tax abatement's and refunds, decreasing the city's tax base again and again, which will require the net difference to be paid by the homeowner/taxpayer, 'cause we're the last line.

And finally, from Jack Raskopf,  regarding the civic efforts of Don Woodard--- Thanks so much Don, for all the good work you are doing on behalf of all of us. I wish your themes on these totally wasteful projects would be projected to every individual citizen-voter... and powerful enough to make them protest. I think you are making some headway. Enough? Who knows. Thanks again.

There you have it. How in the world does this bizarre boondoggle continue to boggle on with no adult intervention????

Finding No Indian Ghosts In Fort Worth's Quanah Parker Park Before Treasure Hunting At Town Talk

No, that is not one of my regular Saturday pre-Town Talk locations you are looking at on the left.

There is a good reason this location looks very similar to my favorite photo op in on Gateway Park's mountain bike trail, because the location we are looking at here is just a mile or two east of Gateway Park.

In other words, in the picture you are at the Quanah  Parker Park overlook looking over the Trinity River.

Due to recent deluging I opted out of rolling my wheels over what would likely be mud in Gateway Park. A quiet walk in Quanah Parker Park seemed to be just what the doctor prescribed.

I don't know if any Indian Ghosts haunt Quanah Parker Park. The location of this park, as far as I know, has nothing to do with being the site of a battle or a massacre.

Years ago I edited the Wikipedia article about Quanah Parker in the section about memorials to Quanah Parker. I added Quanah Parker Park in Fort Worth and Parker County in Texas. I later learned that Parker County is not named after Quanah, but is instead named after one of Quanah's uncles. I  do not know if that particular uncle is one of Quanah's mother, Cynthia Ann's, brothers.

Cynthia Ann was kidnapped by raiding Comanches and in a sort of Patty Hearst type deal of a different century, ended up joining the tribe, then marrying the Comanche chief, Peta Nocona, after which she birthed Quanah and Quanah's little sister, Prairie Flower. Eventually Cynthia Ann And Prairie Flower were captured by Americans and returned to what the Americans thought to be civilization. Both died soon thereafter, with Quanah never seeing his mom or little sister ever again.

I just checked the Quanah Parker Wikipedia article and am pleased to see someone fixed my Parker County mistake.

After enjoying the chilling fall-like temperature for a suitable duration I was off to Town Talk where I got a lot of fresh broccoli, onions, extra sharp cheese, corn tortillas, brown rice, celery, tomatoes and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

And right now I am off to have myself a salubrious lunch, part of which will be consisting of broccoli.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding Fungus With Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts While Walking Across The Dam Bridge With Litter

No, that is not a piece of Chihuly glass art you are looking at on the left.

What that is is a piece of Mother Nature art you are looking at, sprouting from a log in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

I assume this is a fungus of some sort feeding on the fallen log.

I like the color of this fungus. I want a t-shirt this color.

With the temperature barely above 60, or barely below 70, and with gusts of wind blowing, thus creating that dreaded wind chill effect, I feared I might soon be shivering when I went walking with the Indian Ghosts.

That fear turned out to be totally unfounded. While I did not get HOT, I also did not get cold and ended up having myself a mighty fine time enjoying the fall like temporary respite from summer.

I heard via the radio, on the drive to Arlington, that we should be returning to the 100 degree zone in a couple days, along with high humidity.

In the meantime, walk with me across the Village Creek Dam Bridge.........

Shivering This Morning With A Record Breaking Texas Low Of 66

The last time it was this cold on this date at my current location was way back in the last century, in 1945, with this morning being one degree cooler than that day in 1945, thus breaking the record.

Before getting horizontal last night I made sure the A/C was turned off. But I left the ceiling fan spinning.

At some point in the middle of the night I woke up feeling icily cold, as if the A/C was on and set way too low. I then turned the ceiling fan off and got some relief from the chill without having to resort to firing up the furnace.

The pool was way warmer than the air this morning.

Normally my attire is minimalist this time of year whilst sitting in front of my computer screen. Currently I am covered top and bottom, all the way to the ultra top, with my usually only in winter wool cap installed.

And still I shiver.

I have not been this cold this time of year since I spent a miserable month in Washington, July 20 til August 20, 2008. I shivered pretty much that entire month, and not entirely just from being way too cold.

I recollect flying out of Love Field in a Sunday afternoon with the air heated to something like 107. I landed in Seattle and exited the airport to the outdoor air to find it cooled to something like our Texas air is cooled to today, as in in the 60s.

This just ain't normal to go from 101 a couple days ago to only 34 degrees above freezing.

I do not know what I am going to do for my regularly scheduled bout of outdoor endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation today. Maybe I will see if Village Creek went into flash flood mode, closing the park entrance. I could use a thing or two from ALDI....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jim Lane And His TRWD Cronies Cast Phony Stones At Mary Kelleher While Ignoring Their Own Real Wrongdoing

A couple minutes ago a Press Release from Mary Kelleher showed up in my email inbox.

Two days ago Mary Kelleher released to the press the news that she would not be attending TRWD board meetings until the board complies with a judge's ruling regarding releasing public documents to the public.

You can read that Press Release by going to TRWD BOARD IGNORES JUDGE’S ORDER: Director Kelleher To Not Attend Meetings Until Board Complies.

Reading today's Press Release from Mary Kelleher I am guessing some unfair, unfounded flack has been thrown her way by one or more of her fellow board members.....

Press Release

July 17, 2014
Fort Worth, Texas

Sadly, the TRWD and Director Jim Lane seem to be more concerned about anything and everything other than their own abuses of power such as spending $18 million for a worthless superfund site that will cost millions to remediate for a boondoggle of project disguised as flood control which abuses eminent domain for economic development.

My in-kind contributions went to lawyers I needed to assist me in my request for records, to defend my right to express my individual board opinions, and to protect me against TRWD attacks.
I don’t have the bank roll the TRWD does and I gladly accept contributions from anyone who shares my passion for transparency and accountability.

Mary Kelleher
TRWD Board Member

Dodging Deluges While Hunting Tea Bobbers At Walmart & Target

In the stormy view on the left you are sitting with me in the driver's seat, looking west over the steering wheel at a stormy sky and a wet Target parking lot.

Apparently I mis-read the weather menu. I thought rain, along with thunder, was scheduled to arrive from the west sometime after midnight tonight.

Instead, soon after I was done getting wet in the pool this morning, drippage from above began to drop.

The drippage has pretty much been dropping ever since.

With all my hiking and biking locations rendered wet I opted to go to Walmart to hunt for Mary Ann's friend, Ginger, and a new tea bobber thing to make Ginger tea in.

I was able to find Ginger at Walmart but the only tea bobber thing Walmart had was the same type one which malfunctioned when last I bobbed it.

So, I went across the street, well, freeway, to Target to continue my tea bobber thing search.

I could not find a tea bobber thing at Target.

When a Target employed deduced I was looking for something she was of no use when I said I was looking for a tea bobber thing.

Tea bobber thing is likely not the correct name for that which I sought.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Not Rolling Over A Mallard Cove Cactus Patch While Texting About West Texas Roughnecks With The Queen Of Wink

Today I decided to use my motorized vehicular transport device to take my non-motorized transport device to Mallard Cove Park to roll my two in-line wheels for a few miles.

In the picture, as you can see, my handlebars have screeched to a halt before running into a huge cactus patch.

My handlebars, well, actually it is the brakes and the wheels which do the screeching, screeched to a halt multiple times today, pretty much every time I came to a sit down shade opportunity.

Multiple times my phone made its incoming text message noise, hence the use of the sit down shade opportunities, in order to get my phone out of its safe keeping container, that being the black bag you see attached to the handlebars.

The multiple text messages were from the Queen of Wink regarding a Gar the Texan-like West Texas Neanderthal who had been engaging in a one-sided sinkhole-like Facebook debate over the history of fracking.

I say one-sided debate because I think it was only the West Texas Neanderthal who was in the debate, with the Queen of Wink and me having realized we were not qualified to engage in this debate, due to the fact that we are not beer swilling, tobacco chewing, gun toting, rough neck workers in the oil drilling industry.

Anyway, this brief respite from the HEAT is being mighty fine. Only 71 degrees this morning when I went swimming. This made the pool seem disturbingly as if it was a heated pool. Currently, coming up on the middle of the afternoon, the air outside is only 88 degrees. This cool state is scheduled to disappear tomorrow, with incoming humidity delivered by potentially heavy rain. And thunder booms.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TRWD BOARD IGNORES JUDGE’S ORDER: Director Kelleher To Not Attend Meetings Until Board Complies

A few minutes ago interesting email arrived in my inbox from Mary Kelleher. TRWD Board judicial defiance has resulted in a serious consequence.

The press release in its entirety....

Director Kelleher To Not Attend Meetings Until Board Complies

No Legal Quorum Without Kelleher

Fort Worth, Texas — July 15, 2014

On February 27, 2014 United States District Judge Reed Charles O’Connor handed down a ruling regarding a suit brought by citizens concerned with TRWD board members violating the Texas Constitution by extending their terms to five years. The Federal Court’s ruling stated in part: "Accordingly, the Court finds, from the text of the pertinent authority, that the Texas Legislature did not intend the TRWD to call an election this year but did intend Section 49.105 to address the interim period between the expiration of Lane and Leonard’s terms and the election in May 2015. Because Section 49.105 states vacancies will be filled by appointment,” In contradiction of this Federal Court ruling, the TRWD ;board has taken no action to address the terms of Jim Lane and Marty Leonard which ;expired in May. In spite of their expiration Lane and Leonard continue to serve, vote, and attend executive session.

Director Mary Kelleher stated, "I represent the people and do what I believe is in their best interest. But how do I explain that if I attend board meetings knowing that two of the board members' terms have expired and there has been no attempt made by the board to appoint successors I would be violating Judge O'Connor's order? I have respect for the law and this is a real conflict for me. "

Director Kelleher went on to say, “This behavior could have serious consequences. By allowing unqualified (unelected or appointed) people (Leonard & Lane) to vote and participate in executive sessions the remaining members of the board could be violating the law and once again, be betraying the public trust.” says Kelleher. "I remain ready, willing, and able to faithfully represent the people of Tarrant County once the board agrees to address this issue."

A Temperature Tour Of Four Towns: Fort Worth, Mount Vernon, Phoenix & Tonasket

Well, the cold front blew in to town just as predicted, which has been very refreshing, yet for some reason my air-conditioner still feels the need to cool the air.

Tomorrow is predicted to be even chillier, with a high of 89, then on Thursday I am thinking I won't be running my A/C, what with the outer world being naturally cooled to a high of only 80.


I thought it'd be interesting, well, interesting to me, to check in on the temperatures right at this point in time, coming up on 7 in the evening, Central Time, at some of my favorite locations, where some of my favorite people live.

While I am being heated to 92 right now, in my old hometown of Mount Vernon, Spencer Jack and my favorite nephew, Jason, are being cooled to a pleasant 81 degrees.

In Phoenix, where it should be over 100 degrees, it is only 95, with lightning and flash floods. I hope my mom and dad, sister, brother-in-law and favorite nephews, CJ and JR are keeping dry. I would include my brother and sister-in-law in my keep dry hope, but they are currently not in Arizona.

And then we have the temperature winner, Miss Alice, also known as Tootsie Tonasket, overheated at 103. On the map below you don't see Tonasket. You do see Seattle and Spokane. Well, Tonasket is located in the middle between Washington's two biggest towns, only up near the Canadian border.

So, there you have it, a temperature tour where we basically learned it is pretty much HOT all over the place....

Walking With Arlington's Indian Ghosts Spooking The Village Creek Turtle Tribe

I figured yesterday's 101 degree downpours may have rendered the Tandy Hills and Gateway Park a bit muddy, so today for my regularly prescribed bout of vertical aerobic activity I opted to walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

As you can see Village Creek is nowhere near flash flood mode, though I could tell via the fresh collection of litter behind the dam bridge that yesterday's rain had raised the creek level for awhile.

Prior to getting to the location you see above I tried to take video of the easily spooked Village Creek turtle tribe. I had to abort that attempt because the turtles jumped off their home log before I focused on them.

Later I made a second attempt to video the turtle tribe. This time they were not easily spooked. In fact, I had to resort to somewhat desperate measures to get them off the log, which you can see, and hear, via the video below....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Feeling Like 106 In Fort Worth But Looking Much Younger

Yesterday the local official temperature monitoring monitor monitored a temperature which hit 100 for the first this year in Fort Worth and environs.

Yesterday my computer and phone temperature monitoring devices did not indicate we'd  hit the 100 mark.

That has changed today, with my computer based temperature monitoring device telling me we are being heated to 101, with those 101 degrees really feeling like 106.

That's HOT.

My old home zone is also having a heat wave, on both sides of the mountains, with the east side of the mountains, as in east of the Cascade mountain range, the temperature being hotter than I am in Texas, with Tootsie Tonasket reporting sweltering at 104 yesterday.

Tootsie Tonasket's air-conditioner is currently not working up to its usual cooling capacity.

Eastern Washington is different from Western Washington in many ways, one of those ways is most people in Eastern Washington have homes cooled by air-conditioning, while most in Western Washington don't.

Western Washingtonians, such as Sampson and Delilah, in Kent.

Kent is a suburb, southeast of Seattle. Sampson and Delilah spent the day yesterday cooling in their neighbors above ground emergency pool. And then with the interior of their house too HOT, Sampson and Delilah spent the night in their RV, which has air-conditioning.

Sampson and Delilah have vowed to have their house converted to being air-conditioned by the time next summer's short heat wave hits Western Washington.

You always hear a lot of Western Washingtonians make that  "I am getting air-conditioning" vow, and then three days later when the heat wave causes a cooling mass of marine air to blow in from the Pacific, the HOT misery is quickly forgotten.

Til the next time.

With The Temperature Nearing 100 I Took A Cooling Walk Around Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake's Fishermen

I have been overdoing the exercise thing a bit of late, maybe, so today I decided to take an easy walk around Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park

When I arrived at Oakland Lake Park and exited my motorized means of transport my phone based temperature monitoring app indicated the temperature was only 95, yet somehow the fisherman you see here felt the need to cool off by sitting in the lake.

The breeze blowing off the lake is actually quite cooling, along with the built-in Fosdick Fountain cooling mister, both of which amount to creating a wind chill type effect which has the real feel of the temperature seeming to feel way below 95.

None of my temperature monitoring devices indicated anything special happened yesterday. But, this morning I read that yesterday the National Weather Service had measured our first 100 degree day of the year.

Apparently a cold front is heading our way, dropping the temperature into the chilly 80s by tomorrow.

I will believe that when I start to shiver.

In the video below you get a more active look at the Fosdick fishermen, along with a look at the Fosdick Fountain...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Wheel Rolling River Legacy Park With Fun Town Slow Pokes & Turtle Traffic Jams

I biked Arlington's River Legacy Park's mountain bike trails today, along with a lot of other wheel rollers.

In the picture on the left I have stopped for a hydration break at a trail junction. Usually at this location I opt to go left on the North Loop. Today I opted to take the bypass to the right.

Rather than riding all the loops today I decided to bypass the loops that are not all that much fun and re-loop the loops that are fun.

In the open zone of the Prairie Loop, where the trail is not very treacherous, I steered single-handed for a short distance whilst my other hand held the camera. In the video I mention having spent some time stuck behind a slow poke. At the point where the video ends a trio of new slow pokes passed me as I put the camera back in its protective cover.

The lack of rain has large sections of the trails cracking into pieces.  Those pieces make for an increased chance of suddenly losing control. It has been awhile since I've had a bike wreck. I'm due for one.

I had no problems today with a speed demon coming up behind me. Today I had multiple incidents where I found myself behind a slow poke, or a group of slow pokes, like the aforementioned trio consisting of two guys and a girl. I was an unnoticed 4th for quite some time,  listening to them chatter. Then one of them noticed me, apologized for holding me up and let me by.

About a mile later I was at the entry to Fun Town, contemplating the fact that I have yet to find the courage to enter  Fun Town, even after I was told by a pair of reliable sources that Fun Town really is a fun town, and without expert level difficulty, for the most part. It is the red arrow, meaning experts only, entry option to Fun Town which causes me hesitation. It is virtually vertical.

So, I'm standing there, hydrating and thinking about my Fun Town cowardice when suddenly the aforementioned trio of slow pokes showed up, rolling fast, with the two guys zipping down that vertical Fun Town entry, whilst the girl opted for the more sedate blue arrow entry.

Even with a demonstration of Fun Town's doability, I still opted out and continued on my way.

A couple miles later I was zipping along at high speed, made a tight corner, than had to slam the brakes. A dad with three kids were blocking the trail. The dad apologized for blocking the trail. I asked what they were looking at, which had one of the kids  moving out of the way of a BIG turtle, so I could see it.

Soon additional bikers showed up and halted. What's going on one asked. I said we have a wildlife in danger situation with a HUGE reptile blocking the trail. And none of us is brave enough to lift the turtle off the trail and send it on its way back towards the river.

So, this very muscular, heavily tattooed lady in colorful mountain bike regalia said something like clear the way, I'll take care of the problem. She proceeded to pick up the turtle and not too gently send it on its way.

All in all I had myself a mighty fine time rolling my wheels today....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rolling Along Arlington's Village Creek With Indian Ghosts Picking Up Litter & Copperheads While Overlooking The Green Bayou

With today being Saturday, weather permitting, usually I end up at Town Talk after hiking up and down some Tandy Hills or rolling my wheels in Gateway Park.

Well, yesterday I Tandy Hill hiked and the day before I rolled in Gateway Park.

Today I opened my food cooling device to see I needed some vittles that I usually acquire at ALDI.

So, I decided to go biking with the Indian Ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Above that would be my bike's handlebars next to a picnic table over looking the Village Creek Green Bayou Overlook.

Below you can walk with me to the Green Bayou Overlook via video.

Today's bike ride began with a little drama. As a young lady rolled towards me I could see she was a bit agitated. She stopped me due to thinking she needed to warn me that a large copperhead snake was slithering on the trail a short distance ahead of me.

I thanked her for the warning, then continued with my rolling. I saw no snake.

Earlier in the month I had a snake encounter on the middle of the Village Creek dam bridge.

Today on the dam bridge a man and woman were using a long pole with a gripper on its end to grip some of the litter that has piled up behind the dam bridge. I'd  never seen that happen before. The pair had filled a pair of large garbage bags with litter.

Since I have been in Texas I have rarely seen anyone but myself pick up litter. And today it happened twice.

As I exited the Albertsons parking lot to turn on to Boca Raton Boulevard I saw a woman picking up some of that litter I mentioned a couple days ago that was littering the route I walk to Albertsons. The woman seemed to be selective about the litter she was selecting, as in it seemed from what I saw that it was cans and bottles which were being selected.

In the below video, in addition to my James Earl Jones-like narration, you can hear cicadas make their jungle drum noise. Is there anyone who does not like the singing cicadas?

Water Returns After Drying Up In Dalworthington Gardens Pappy Elkins Lake No Thanks To XTO Energy

Last night I got around to reading this week's Fort Worth Weekly.

This week's Fort Worth Weekly cover story is about a subject about which I have had some in person experience, and about which I have blogged multiple times.

That subject is the XTO Energy gas drilling site on the shores of Pappy Elkins Lake in Dalworthington Gardens.

The cover article is titled DRYING UP IN DWG with a sub-title of Water and facts have a way of getting lost in Dalworthington Gardens.

The "facts have a way of getting lost" part of the title and the fact that one key fact was not factual, according to what I saw with my own eyes last month, is a bit ironic.

The drying up referred to in the title is in reference to the claim that Pappy Elkins lake had shrunk from being a lake to being a puddle.


Friday, June 27 I was in Arlington, walking around Veterans Park. An extremely loud noise was coming from the direction of the XTO Energy site by Pappy Elkins Lake. So, after I was done walking I drove to Pappy Elkins Lake to the site of the XTO Energy site to turn off my engine and listen.

No noise.

And Pappy Elkins Lake looked no different than the first time I saw it way back on Sunday, October 24, 2010.

I assume the heavy rains last month re-filled Pappy Elkins Lake

Many Dalworthington Gardens locals believed the missing water was due to XTO Energy sucking the water out of the lake to frack its well. Well, wells.

The FW Weekly article claims there have been 11 wells drilled at the Pappy Elkins location. How is that even possible? I recollect the original drilling and a followup appearance of the drilling rig, just like what happened when Chesapeake Energy moved into two locations in my neighborhood.

Those who blame XTO Energy for a host of woes, including missing water, formed an organization calling itself Pappy Elkins Restoration Group, aka, PERG.

Among the many things which upset PERG is the apparent fact that when the permission was first granted to poke a hole in the ground beside Pappy Elkins Lake XTO Energy said they would not be asking to use the lake's water. Then after the hole was drilled XTO changed its mind and asked DWG's city government for a water sucking permit, with the expected approval of TCEQ.

Permission was granted to remove 3.2 millions gallons for the first well. By 2010 XTO Energy claims to have used 10.8 million gallons to frack three wells.

I do not do well at math, but if by 2014 there have been 11 wells drilled at this site does this mean that over 33 million gallons of water have been used to do the fracking?

On the left you are looking at the first XTO Energy Pappy Elkins drilling operation, with the tower hovering above the apartment complex to the east of Veterans Park.

I remember when I first saw this I was appalled, because it looked as if this was right amongst the apartments, which is what led me to find out where it actually was. That had me walking through the apartment complex, which had me meeting some upset residents, which I then wrote about in a blogging titled Finding Wildscapes Under A Barnett Shale Drilling Operation In Pappy Elkins Park In Dalworthington Garden.

If you go to the Finding Wildscapes link above you will see what the XTO Energy Pappy Elkins site looked like back in 2010. At that point in time, adjacent to the drilling tower was a Dalworthington Gardens Wildscape garden. That garden is now totally gone, covered over by the XTO operation.

The FW Weekly article makes mention of other things that don't match what I have seen. For instance mention is made of a baseball field and park on the north side of the lake, which the city allowed XTO to take over to install wastewater storage tanks. Back in 2010 I did not notice a baseball field or park and in June I did not notice any storage tanks.

Then again, at that point in time I had no reason to look for storage tanks or a missing baseball field.

I used Google Earth to do a closeup flyover of the site and could not find anything which looked like an old baseball field or storage tanks. I'm not suggesting FW Weekly made a mistake, I'm just saying I never saw these things, just like I never saw the lake looking like a puddle.

Mention is also made of a nearby school. I do not know where that nearby school is. I have not seen it.

In the Fort Worth Weekly article there is absolutely no mention made of the residences closest to the XTO Energy Pappy Elkins drilling operation, that being the apartment complex I previously mentioned.

Why in the world did Dalworthington Gardens allow drilling to take place at this location? No wonder the locals are upset and have PERGed.

11 wells drilled at that location? Can anyone make sense of that for me?