Monday, March 31, 2014

Rolling My Wheels Through A Gateway Park Carpet Of Green Serenaded By A Bird Symphony

I drove my handlebars back to Gateway Park today to have myself a mighty fine time rolling my wheels on the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association's mountain bike trail.

As you can see, via the carpet of green, spring is really starting to get sprung, although wildflowers continue to be in scarce supply at my location in North Texas.

However, yesterday I did see a few bluebonnets coloring up a little bit of the Tandy Hills. I'd intended to photo document yesterday's bluebonnet sighting, but I got distracted by the discovery of proliferating Hoodoos.

I don't know if the temperature is yet sufficiently warm enough that I need to be on the lookout for slithering reptiles, as in snakes in the grass, when I'm  stopped in a lush location like you see in the picture.

In a month or two I think my level of snake wariness will be amped up if I am still opting to roll my wheels at this location.

Today something had the bird population chirping a symphony. It was non-stop. Like Mother Nature was playing a Sounds of Nature CD featuring birds.

This morning I had either my 5th or 6th swim of the year in the no longer too cool pool. My hot tub hydrotherapy sessions have been of much shorter duration of late. In other words, I think swimming season has arrived for those of us who do not require our swimming water to be heated to an un-naturally warm temperature...

Apparently I Am Usually Of Medium Intelligence But I Actually Have Less Than Half A Brain Advertorially Speaking

A couple days ago, after reading the latest edition of Fort Worth Weekly, I mentioned that I was a bit appalled at some rather ridiculous verbiage I read in the usually reliably not ridiculous Fort Worth Weekly.

I mentioned this in a blogging titled Today I Learned Fort Worth Has Been A Model For Other Cities Its Size & Larger.

The verbiage which I thought to be rather ridiculous was...

"Fort Worth has been a model for other cities its size and larger for the last several years and coupled with the growing local food movement, Fort Worth has been ranked as the most livable city in the United States."

I think anyone who has been to both Fort Worth and any of the other cities in America, Fort Worth's size or larger, can figure out what I thought was rather ridiculous.


Someone calling him or herself Anonymous, who apparently usually thinks me to be at least of medium intelligence, thought I did not have half a brain after reading what I wrote about that which I thought to be rather ridiculous. Anonymous expressed his or her opinion in a  blog comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Today I Learned Fort Worth Has Been A Model For Other Cities Its Size & Larger":

Durango, you are usually as least medium in intelligence, but here you've dropped a bit. This is an ADVERTORIAL. What that means is that ALL COPY is written either by the advertisers or for them. So choose your criticism of the media better. This is meaningless fluff that media like the FW Weekly throws out there. Anyone with half a brain knows it means nothing. To criticize this ADVERTORIAL is the same as criticizing an ad for a restaurant that says they have really great food and you should come to eat there. Get it? 

Above you see the cover of the publication in question, with the words "Eats 2014 Annual Local Food Guide". Also on the cover, clearly readable in red and white, is "Fort Worth Weekly" indicating this to be a Fort Worth Weekly publication, billed as a guide to local food.

So, this really was not a guide to local food? But instead some sort of advertisement revenue generator?

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

Though I must admit I was a bit perplexed by the part of the NOSH on THIS "advertorial" which went on about the growing local food movement. There really is not a lot of agricultural production in the local zone.

To the left is the entirety of the part of the publication which contained the verbiage I thought to be ridiculous. Note that this verbiage appears above the Fort Worth Weekly editorial publisher info that appears in, well, Fort Worth Weekly.

The paragraph which contains the ridiculous verbiage is written as if it is words coming from Fort Worth Weekly. Not some advertiser's shill.

This is not an Advertorial.

For Anonymous to suggest this verbiage is not to be taken serious, that it is no different than a restaurant ad that touts itself as having really great food, is well, I'm thinking Anonymous is sort of exhibiting less than low intelligence, representative of the thinking of someone with less than half a brain, to use the charming Anonymous type vitriol.

And would the Anonymous restaurant analogy not be more apt if Anonymous had said the Fort Worth Weekly advertorial verbiage was no different than a restaurant ad saying said restaurant was a model for other restaurants of its same size and larger and that the restaurant has been ranked as the best in America?

Wikipedia has an interesting article which may enlighten Anonymous as to what an Advertorial actually is. One paragraph from that article might be slightly instructive...

Advertorials differ from traditional advertisements in that they are designed to look like the articles that appear in the publication. Most publications will not accept advertisements that look exactly like stories from the newspaper or magazine they are appearing in. The differences may be subtle, and disclaimers—such as the word "advertisement"—may or may not appear. Sometimes terms describing the advertorial such as a "special promotional feature" or "special advertising section" are used. The tone of the advertorials is usually closer to that of a press release than of an objective news story.

So, there you go, that's the take from me, a person with half a brain, barely functioning with medium intelligence, on this serious subject....

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finding New Hoodoos On The Tandy Hills While Hearing From Betty Jo Bouvier About The Oso Landslide

I think other than on a Prairie Fest day today I saw more people on the Tandy Hills than I ever recollect seeing before.

Among those people was a pair of twin young ladies lamenting that they wish they'd arrived earlier, due to thinking it was too HOT at that point in time. I told them I was not HOT and suggested that they might be cooler if they copied me and also went topless. They said they would consider my suggestion.

Barely 70 degrees is not too HOT at this location on the planet.

A pair of guys said they were feeling sort of lost. I told them not to worry, they'd find their way back to civilization.

And then there was the mom and dad and young daughter combo I came upon in the main Tandy Hills Hoodoo zone.

The mom and daughter of the trio was having fun constructing the new Hoodoo you see above in the foreground.

That is the latest iteration of the original Tandy Hills Hoodoo you see behind the new Hoodoo, at the end of the trail at the crest of the hill.

Continuing on, on one of the trails which heads uphill from the Tandy Bamboo Tepee Grove, another new Hoodoo has sprouted. That would be the other new Hoodoo below.

I wonder how many Hoodoos now stand on the Tandy Hills? I suspect I have not discovered all of them.

Changing the subject from a potential rock slide to an actual rock slide.

I heard from Washingtonian Betty Jo Bouvier this morning. Betty Jo is one of the Wild Women Of Woolley, which indicates Betty Jo lives in the Skagit Valley in the town of Sedro Woolley. Sedro Woolley is close to the town I grew up in, Burlington, and close to the town I lived in before I moved to Texas, Mount Vernon, which also makes Sedro Woolley close to the Oso Landslide disaster.

Betty Jo mentioned the Oso Landslide disaster in a way both personal and interesting. I will copy, in part, what Betty Jo had to say.......

"I am sure you read about the huge slide in Oso. That is beyond horrible. Did you happen to read about the little girl spear heading a cause to support the families and workers??? She is my former neighbor, a 10 year old girl. The whole family is behind the cause. They have 5 kids and home school. They were all down at Walmart yesterday collecting donations and $$. I brought them all hot cocoa. When I went to buy it at Starbucks, the lady started to ring it up (over $30) and then she said,..."it is on me."  How nice!!! (that is after she knew I was taking it to the people at Walmart)..."

Betty Jo Bouvier, one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest people I have ever known.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Near Head-On Collision In Gateway Park Before Going To Town Talk

What with today being Saturday and what with none of the predicted rain falling in anywhere near copious amounts, at my location, I opted to have myself a mighty fine time mountain biking on the Gateway Park mountain bike trails today, prior to my regularly scheduled Saturday treasure hunt at Town Talk.

A large number of others also thought today was a fine day to roll their wheels in Gateway Park, with one of those rollers rolling the wrong way, causing a near crash, as I hit the brakes.

Methinks it would behoove the Gateway Park trail makers to install some directional arrows pointing the correct way for bikes to travel on the one-way, single track Gateway Park trails.

In the past couple weeks Fort Worth park maintenance people have been cutting back a lot of brush. At the location where my handlebars are, pre-brush cut, to the right was a solid wall of brush, blocking the view of the road and paved trail.  Now at this location both sides of the trail have been de-nuded of brush, thus making a  more thrilling ride as one rolls on the trail near the edge of the cliff which terminates in the Trinity River.

A lot of brush has been cut, but not removed. Instead the brush has been piled up in big piles, covering long sections of the paved trail at the brush cut location. Maybe the brush piles are in preparation for a big multi-bonfire event.

For a month now Saturday's at Town Talk have been a busy zoo. But, not today. I don't know what accounts for the difference. Weather related? Town Talker opting to enjoy the nice weather rather than going treasure hunting?

Today the most unusual thing I got at Town Talk was a rabbit food product, as in the biggest, most deep orange colored carrots I've ever seen. Also got other rabbit food in the form of broccoli and lettuce. Plus 5 pounds of shrimp, flatbread, jalapeno bacon, bleu cheese and other stuff I am forgetting right now.

And speaking of right now, right now I am off to Fry's to see if I can find a PA-1750-04 a/c adapter. It has been a long time since I've been to Fry's. I hope I have myself a mighty fine time there....

Friday, March 28, 2014

Enjoying The Emerald Fosdick Isle Of Fort Worth Texas

That emerald green you see carpeting the ground is yet one more sign that the long cold Texas winter is finally fading into history.

At the top of the mass of emerald green, in the middle, you can see one man walking.

What is that one man walking on?

Fosdick Dam.

That being the feat of engineering that holds back Fosdick Creek creating the Fosdick Lake Reservoir in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park.

I do not know why big trees sprout from this earthen dam. I do know that standing beneath this dam is a bit less scary than standing beneath Hoover Dam.

The warm cloudy final Wednesday of March had a lot of people walking and playing in Oakland Lake Park today.

Currently, a couple hours after walking around Fosdick Lake, the clouds have grown thicker and are dropping a few drops. Thunderstorming is on the menu. I will believe Mother Nature is serving up a Thunderstorm today when I hear the booming.

In the meantime, I am on the hunt for a replacement A/C adapter for a Toshiba Satellite Laptop.  It is proving to be a difficult hunt.

Today I Learned Fort Worth Has Been A Model For Other Cities Its Size & Larger

I got around to getting this week's Fort Worth Weekly this morning.

I was not long into thumbing through this week's Weekly when I came upon some verbiage which seemed to me to be totally Fort Worth Weekly un-worthy, as in something I would more expect to see in the propagandizing, Chamber of Commerce-ish, hyperbolizing Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In this week's Fort Worth Weekly "Eats Annual Food Guide" the guide starts up with the intro you see photo-snatched here, with the intro titled "NOSH on THIS..."


Let me just copy the first sentence, with that first sentence being the one that contains the odd propaganda....

"Fort Worth has been a model for other cities its size and larger for the last several years and coupled with the growing local food movement, Fort Worth has been ranked as the most livable city in the United States."

You reading this in other cities in America must be sitting there in wonderment.

First off, what are these other cities Fort Worth's size and larger which have used anything in Fort Worth as a model for their own towns?

I hear crickets chirping.

There are several cities in Texas larger than Fort Worth, as in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Any of those towns using Fort Worth as model for anything? Is San Antonio now having Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the San Antonio River? Is Dallas abusing eminent domain to take dozens of property owner's property for a public works project the public has never voted on?

How about outside of Texas? What town the size of Fort Worth or bigger has modeled anything in their town after anything in Fort Worth? Well, Chicago does dye a river green every St. Patrick's Day. But I think Chicago was doing that well before Fort Worth's goofy former mayor, Mike Moncrief, tried to dye the Trinity River purple.

Fort Worth has been ranked as the most livable city in the United States? That has happened one time, one time only, and it was not ranked the most livable, it was ranked in the top ten of the most livable cities in America, ranked by a Washington, D.C. lobbying group which was interested in promoting the urban village concept, with Fort Worth being the only one of the ten towns named which took the "award" serious, holding a city wide celebration for the bogus award.

I really do not understand why Fort Worth media, as in the Star-Telegram or Fort Worth Weekly, feels the need to propagandize in this manner with such blatantly foolish puffery.

I have lived in a town which was named best in the nation by a legit entity. That town did not go into a spasm of self congratulation, even though CNN showed up to show the rest of the world the Best Small Town in America.

A few weeks ago another bogus entity, something called something like Livability, ranked Fort Worth's downtown as being the best in America, causing an awful lot of perplexed head scratching. The other towns on the list were equally puzzling. Fort Worth Weekly's take on this "award" was more grounded in reality than this week's embarrassing puffery, with Fort Worth Weekly's article saying something like it was like being named Best in an Ugly Baby Contest.

Anyway, I certainly am not suggesting that Fort Worth is not a perfectly fine town, a fine town with many fine attributes. But best at anything? That is just ridiculous. Where does this need to self-aggrandize come from? Some have suggested it comes from a massive civic inferiority complex caused in part by being paired with Dallas.

I do not know what the explanation is for this type propaganda spewage. What I do know is it is embarrassing and really needs to stop.....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Having Myself A Mighty Fine Time Stuck Behind A Fort Worth Truck Blockade

I opted not to go biking or hiking anywhere today, unless one counts wandering the aisles of Target as constituting a hike.

I don't think I wandered the Target aisles at a high enough speed to reach any level of aerobic benefit, because I did not perceive any endorphins being generated.

I opted out of going to any of my regular hiking biking locations because the weather is being a bit inclement.

That and I had myself a mighty fine time during my morning hot tub hydrotherapy session and multiple semi-cool pool dips.

In the picture above the sky does not look to be stormy. That is the view through my windshield. The view via the rear view mirror was looking stormy.

At the location above I found myself stuck in an unwanted roadblock. You are looking west on John T. White Road, where it crosses I-820. The truck and trailer combo was having a hard time making a turn, driving up on the median.

And then a Fort Worth cop showed up.

It took two green light cycles before the truck driver was able to get his truck to go where he wanted it to. Where he wanted to go turned out to need a U-Turn, heading back east on John T. White Road.

I thought a U-Turn was a no-no at this location.

But, apparently, blocking traffic, driving up on a median and making a U-Turn where U-Turns are a no-no is not a ticket worthy offense, like, for instance, driving too slow, in a traffic-free neighborhood, without clicking ones seat belt.

The Fort Worth cop simply continued heading west, ignoring the traffic blocking truck driver who was heading east.

Eventually I successfully made it past the stoplight....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Talking About The Oso Landslide I Learned My Mom's Washington Memory Is Better Than Mine

A couple days ago my mom called, apparently erroneously thinking I'd not called in a sufficiently recent time frame.

During the course of talking to my mom the subject of the Oso Landslide in our old home state of Washington came up.

At the point in time where my mom and I were talking about the Oso Landslide it was only a couple days old and at the point in time the fatality numbers had not reached the dozen point, nor had the projected number of fatalities reached the current projected number of well over 100.

When I first learned of the Oso Landslide, the day it happened, I thought the name sounded familiar and thought it was one of the small towns one drives through on Highway 2 when one heads over Stevens Pass to Eastern Washington. I was erroneous.

Mom told me she thought Oso was on the Stillaguamish River, upriver from Arlington. I said to mom, isn't the Stillaguamish the river that runs beside Highway 2 on the west side of Stevens Pass? Mom told me she thought that was the Skykomish River. That then had me confused as to whence the Snoqualmie River flows from and to.

I lamented with mom that after 15 years of being away from Washington,  I am losing memory of places and routes and, apparently, rivers. Mom told me it gets worse when one gets older.

After I got off the phone I opened up my Microsoft Map program to quickly learn my mom was right regarding river locations. So, even though mom claims the memory woes get worse as one gets older, mom remembered better than me the river locations in question.

I was more than a little surprised to see where Oso is actually located, as in how close it is to my old abode in Mount Vernon, as in only about 22 miles distant, as you can see via the screen cap above, with the thick black line drawing the route from my house to Oso.

I think the last time I took this particular route was with nephew Joey. We had gone mountain biking at a location the name of which I can not remember, then drove east to Lake Cavanaugh, then over the logging road mountain pass that eventually drops down into the Stillaguamish River Valley and the little town of Oso.

This Oso Landslide is by far the worst natural disaster to hit the Pacific Northwest since Mount St. Helens erupted over 30 years ago. If the worst case scenario turns out to be accurate, the Oso Landslide will result in more fatalities, by far, than the Mount St. Helens eruption.

I need to use Google Earth to do some virtual driving in Washington. I am totally drawing a blank as to the route I would have taken, multiple times, to Granite Falls and the Mountain Loop Highway, with that loop being looped a lot of times, hiking, mountain biking and cross country skiing. And yet I can not remember the route from I-5 to Granite Falls. If I remember right the Mountain Loop Highway loop goes from Darrington back to Arlington via Highway 530, passing Oso a short distance from Darrington.

I need to spend a month in Washington doing some road tripping.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Visiting Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts Before Biking Through A Forest Of Tires

I am guessing no one can guess where my handlebars are in the picture on the left.

Well, if you guessed Texas, that would be correct. The Dallas/Fort Worth zone, as a guess, would also be correct. Arlington would also be a correct guess.

But, I don't think anyone could guess the actual specific location of my handlebars because I am not actually certain where they are.

Except I know the handlebars are in the Texas town of Arlington. When I began rolling my wheels today I started from the western parking lot of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, which the whole world knows is in Arlington, Texas.

I had not attired myself adequately to prevent the wind chill from chilling me once I began rolling my wheels at high speed. So, when I got to the area of the Village Creek Blue Bayou I opted to pedal south, over the big open grassy area which is sometimes used a  soccer field. This leads to an area which is wooded on both sides of the trail, eventually coming to the scene you see below.

Above you are looking at only a fraction of the tires which have taken up residence at this location. Why do so  many Texas city parks serve as refuges for used tires?

I pedaled on past the Forest of Tires, eventually coming to the big open field you see above, in the photo at the top. In that photo I had reached Division Street, turned my bike around to face north, to take the photo of the big open field.

Is this big open field and the Forest of Tires part of the Village Creek Natural Historical Area? I have no idea. I do know as I pedaled south I saw no sign telling me I was leaving the Natural Area and entering the Forest of Tires Area.

I also no longer felt the presence of the Village Creek Indian ghosts.....

Monday, March 24, 2014

Information Architect Shout Out About 2014 Prairie Fest Saturday April 26

On Saturday an information architect / visual storyteller named Jen emailed me nicely asking me if I would shout about the upcoming Prairie Fest.

I don't think I attended last year's Prairie Fest. I think the last time I attended a Prairie Fest was 2012's part one of that year's three part Prairie Fest.

Would that make it the 2011 Prairie Fest when I helped man a booth with a leggy ex-waitress and Granny Grassroots?

I enjoyed manning a booth at that particular Prairie Fest, that is til the White Knight and his assistant, Robin, showed up and insisted we dismantle and leave early, wreaking all sorts of havoc.

Anyway, below is what the information architect wanted me to shout out about......

Hello there Durango. Love your blog. Give Prairie Fest a shout out? Thanks!!

Who: Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area (FOTHNA)

What: The 9th annual Prairie Fest is a free outdoor festival celebrating the natural world. A FW Weekly Best Outdoor Cultural Event winner, the family-friendly, solar-powered event is Saturday, April 26, 2014, 11am to sunset, rain or shine.  Along with arts, entertainment, and tasty local food and beverages, you'll find prairie wildflower tours, storytellers and science hikes on rolling hills - while spontaneous happenings inside the Prairie Circle of 50 exhibitors feature services and products for sustainable living.

Where: Tandy Hills Natural Area, 3400 View Street, Fort Worth, TX 76103

When: Saturday April 26th, 11am - Sundown

Why: To bring your local Prairie to the People!

More Info:

A New Tandy Hills Hoodoo With A Crow Mad At A Bobcat & Pesky Flies

Well. The Tandy Hills Hoodoo has under gone yet one more remodelling, taking on a different shape than the shape I saw last Friday.

A new shape and it appears a new Hoodoo is sprouting to the north of the main Hoodoo.

After I photo documented the new Hoodoo I found myself suddenly confronted by a very upset crow, making extremely loud crow cawing noises.

A few seconds later I saw what had the crow so upset.

A bobcat suddenly leapt out from the trail which leads to the Hoodoo from the west.

The bobcat saw me and did a quick u-turn, running back from whence it came. I followed, hoping to take a picture, but the bobcat was long gone.

I think today was the first time I've had a bobcat encounter on the Tandy Hills. I may be forgetting one.

I had other wildlife encounters today on the Tandy Hills, with those wildlife encounters being extremely annoying.

I do not recollect ever being bugged by bugs on the Tandy Hills.

Til today.

It was being like a mild version of a late summer high country hike in the North Cascades, where biting deer flies can make hiking miserable, unless one douses oneself in bug spray.

I don't know if it was biting flies which I found myself repeatedly swatting. I do know they looked like a small version of a deer fly. And I don't believe I suffered any bites.

I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but my location in North Texas is way less buggy than my old location in Western Washington. I don't believe I have had a single mosquito bite since I have been in Texas. I never went a summer in Washington without a mosquito bite. My last mosquito bite occurred  the last time I was in Washington, in Tacoma, summer of 2008.

If this fly infestation continues to be a pest on the Tandy Hills I think I may be cutting back on my hill hiking.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Walking With Arlington's Indian Ghosts Perplexed By Litter Mudslides & Kissing A Leggy Ex-Waitress

Today I had myself a mighty fine time taking a Sunday walk with the Indian ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Soon after the Sunday sun arrived, lighting through a cloudy sky, I had a long hot tub hydrotherapy session combined with a long bout in the not too cool pool.

Decades ago I knew a nurse who was known as The Fat Lady. The Fat Lady had a thing about hugging trees. I remember being in Olympic National Park with The Fat Lady with her hugging the biggest tree in the world of some particular type. Was it cedar? I don't remember. I do remember the Fat Lady would only hug a very small part of that particular tree's circumference. The tree hugging sent The Fat Lady into some sort of religious like reverie that was sort of creepy to be an eye witness to.

So, today, with The Fat Lady in mind, I came upon the tree you see above. I think it is an oak. I gave the oak a hug.

I'd like to say I felt the spirit of an Indian ghost pass through me as I hugged the oak. But, I felt nothing.

Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, emailed me this morning regarding the massive mudslide that slid down in my old home state of Washington, destroying several homes and killing several people.

More on mudslides below, but first I have to point out the "mudslide" I came upon today in the Village Creek Not So Natural Historical Area. That to which I refer you can see below.

How can a little rain wash this much debris into Village Creek? I am almost 100% certain that Village Creek flows out of the Lake Arlington reservoir. A short distance away. How can this much litter  accumulate in such a short distance?

Continuing with the mudslide subject.

In the same batch of email as the one from Jason regarding the Washington mudslide there was a blog comment from someone named Bulletholes mentioning a Texas mudslide.....

Bulletholes has left a new comment on your post "Illuminating Luminarias in Fort Worth": 

I started working there as a busboy in May of 1975, the day after I graduated High School. I ended up Head Chef a few years later.

Every time the millionaire owner would fly in from California I would tease him that he out to know better than to build a California restaurant on the side of a Texas hill. And he'd laugh at me. Then two years later, I came in one morning after it had been raining for days, got my cup of coffee, went over to the window to look at downtown before starting work (which I did every day) and I got to the window, looked down and the patios were covered up in a mudslde and half the hill was gone.

I just had to laugh.

Somewhere, there is a leggy ex-waitress with a branding iron in the shape of a heart I pulled off the wall. If you see her say hello, kiss her once for me.

The restaurant to which Bulletholes refers used to exist on the west side of the Tandy Hills, at the north end of Ben Street. The first time I was in Fort Worth was in August of 1980. At that point in time I stayed at what was then a Ramada Inn on the north side of I-30 and Beach Street, a short distance from the aforementioned restaurant. I remember seeing that restaurant back then and thinking it looked to be an interesting location. By the time I moved to Texas the restaurant had become an abandoned ruin, but was still standing. Then at some point in time, after that, the remains were razed to the ground, leaving only the cement foundation.

As for kissing a leggy ex-waitress. The only leggy ex-waitress I can think of is Elsie Hotpepper. But, Elsie is unbranded.

Speaking of Elsie Hotpepper, and who isn't? Today whilst walking with the Indian ghosts Elsie Hotpepper texted me with the cryptic message "No Comment?"

I had no idea what "No Comment?" meant so I texted back, verbalizing my perplexation. This turned into multiple textings back and forth. Each time the text noise happened I'd have to sit down at a picnic table or bench in order to text back a reply.

My needing to sit down in order to text a message had me wondering how and why there has been a problem with people texting whilst driving. I don't see how it would be possible to fumble out a message on a phone whilst driving.

At my location I have seen none of the rain that was predicted to be falling this weekend. Nor have I heard a single clap of the predicted thunder. The only part of the weather prediction that has come true is the temperature has been dialed back down to the chilly zone.

I am looking forward to that time of the year when the temperature is reliably, predictably, HOT....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

No Thunderstorm Impeded Biking Gateway Park Today Before Town Talking

Apparently I misunderstood the forecast for today's weather. I thought that more than once I heard that thunderstorms were scheduled to rumble in some time after midnight, along with rain.

With an electric wet forecast I figured I would not be swimming or getting any hot tub hydrotherapy this morning, let alone a bike ride in the noon time frame.

I figured wrong. No thunder, no rain, at least so far, coming up on two hours past noon.

So, this morning I was able to have my second long swim of the new year, and then later, a long bike ride on the Gateway Park mountain bike trails.

At one point whilst rolling my wheels today I stopped at a point high above the Trinity River and saw the view you see above. I thought the giant twig stuck in the middle of the river was interesting. How did it get there?

And then I found myself being perplexed by the water rolling down the river.

Where does all this water come from, what with very little rain falling on North Texas, what with the upriver reservoirs  pretty much drained almost dry.

There are no mountains with snowpacks in Texas, melting, and flowing water into rivers.

So, why is there so much water still flowing in the Trinity River?

Anyway, I had myself a mighty fine time bike riding today. I have to say, the Gateway Park mountain bike trails are very well designed. Who figures out where to make a trail like this? The Gateway Park trails are more challenging to me than the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails that I roll on. I stay off the challenging River Legacy Park trails that are beyond my biking ability, like the EKG loop and Fun Town.

Maybe I should give EKG and Fun Town a try. How much harder than the Gateway Park trails can they be I can't help but wonder. Part of the Gateway Park trails could be called Fun Town, because, well, it's fun. Like a twisting and turning roller coaster ride of sharp ups and downs.

I had a successful Treasure Hunt at Town Talk today. Two bags of California mandarins, dozens of Tyson all natural chicken legs, broccoli, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, prickly pear syrup, whole grain Belgian waffles and transmission fluid.

I am fairly certain the transmission fluid is not edible....

Seeing Blooming Daffodils Has Me Wondering Where The Texas Bluebonnets Have Gone

I saw what you see on the left on my old hometown newspaper online this morning.

Daffodils blooming. Lots of daffodils.

Apparently spring sprang on schedule in my old home zone, with the Skagit Valley in multi-color mode with acres upon acres of fields of daffodils, tulips and other bloomers.

Meanwhile, at my location in Texas, where spring has also sprung, we are currently over two-thirds through the month of March, with nary a colorful wildflower to be seen.

Where have all the bluebonnets gone?

Friday, March 21, 2014

On The Tandy Hills With A Growing Hoodoo Plus Mysterious X's

I could not determine, for certain, if today's Tandy Hills Hoodoo was the same Hoodoo I saw on Wednesday, or a newly rebuilt Hoodoo.

I could tell, for certain, that additional rocks had been added at the base of the Hoodoo, perhaps for future Hoodoo construction when the current Hoodoo collapses.

I wonder if whoever it is who is doing the Hoodoo is going to do a Hoodoo construction demonstration at the Prairie Fest  next month? I suspect this would draw a crowd watching the precarious balancing act that results in a Tandy Hills Hoodoo.

The Tandy Hills Hoodoo was not the only work of art or mystery or combo of both I came upon today whilst doing my high speed hill hiking, photo documented below.

The weather is near perfect for hiking today. I  doubt I will be doing any hill hiking tomorrow, what with the current weather menu having thunder booming in some time after midnight, along with rain.

I saw one other hiker today. A young German brunette in very short shorts. I am fairly certain this young German brunette was not one of Gar the Texan's ex-wives. For one thing, this young German spoke fairly easy to understand English.

Below is one of the new art installations I came upon today on the Tandy Hills. A re-imagining of the Tandy Bamboo Tepee, laying on the ground in the Bamboo Tepee Grove.

The mystery of how these sticks of bamboo came to reside in the heart of the Tandy Hills has never been solved.

I came upon a big white X marking a spot in three locations today.

The first big white X I came upon, you see above, on the Tandy Escarpment above Tandy Falls. The other two big white X's were at other locations along the Tandy Highway. And then I came upon the inexplicable white marking below, also on the Tandy Highway..

Is the above supposed to represent a pair of eyes? Or another part of the human anatomy which comes in pairs? In addition to the big white X's, and whatever that is above, big dots of white were also marking spots along the trails.

Yet one more Tandy Hills mystery.

And then we have the scene below.

Once a year a  group of prairie aficionados get together and spend a day doing what they call 'bashing brush' on the Tandy Hills. Above you see the result of this year's brush bashing.

An area of the hills is selected and then de-nuded of anything that is not native to a Texas prairie as it existed pre-human  interference.

Or maybe it is pre-Texan human interference.

I doubt the pre-Texan Indian population introduced a lot of non-native vegetation to the pristine prairie they called home before they got their eviction notices from the incoming Texans....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today I Felt Introvertish Watching The Village Creek Turtles Welcoming Spring Celebration While Texting Elsie Hotpepper

Apparently the Village Creek Natural Historical Area turtles got the memo that today Spring began, and so the turtles were out of the water having themselves a mighty fine time basking in the springtime sunshine.

I have rarely seen turtles in the Village Creek Blue Bayou. Usually dozens of them hang out on logs further upstream.

But today there were about a dozen turtles in the Blue Bayou, lolly gagging in the sun, totally impervious to me observing them, unlike the usual excessive nervousness with which the Village Creek turtles greet me, as opposed to the non-nervous, extrovertish Fosdick Lake turtles, who at times almost act as if they are waiting to get petted.

I had no idea extrovertish is not a word til I typed it and saw extrovertish get red flagged. Well, it should be a word. As should introvertish be a word.

Used in a sentence...

Elsie Hotpepper is very extrovertish, while I am extremely introvertish, which is why I have myself such a fine time when I go saloon hopping with Elsie Hotpepper and is also why I engage in that saloon hopping behavior so seldom.

Anyway, today marked the first time in a long time I've rolled my wheels through the Village Creek zone without wind being an issue. I do not like wind being an issue when I roll my non-mechanized wheels.

Speaking of Elsie Hotpepper (and who isn't?).

Elsie was the first person I observed up close being a texting maniac on her cell phone. I recollect being at a public meeting type event and being amazed as I watched Elsie clack her phone keyboard at high speed sending text messages to someone on the other side of the room.

And now, just seconds ago, I found myself suddenly realizing that I'd become a text messaging maniac as I sat here exchanging text messages with the aforementioned Elsie Hotpepper.

Progress comes slowly to me, but eventually I catch up. Even if I am a decade behind.....

Hot Tub Hydrotherapy Prior To Today's Springing Of The Vernal Equinox

As you can see, via the view from my patio overlook on the outer world, with just a few minutes left in Winter, my hot tub is back full of water and thus providing me much needed hot tub hydrotherapy, of which I availed myself early this morning whilst Winter was still providing a wintry chill.

The hot tub back being hot afforded three semi-lengthy bouts in the still sort of cool pool.

My previously semi-aching arthritic joints are really feeling the benefits of this morning's hydrotherapy. My joints are feeling so good I think I will take them on a bike ride today with the Indian ghosts who haunt Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

If my sources are correct, and they usually are, we may have already reached the Vernal Equinox, or will soon, like within the hour, beginning the period where the sun is ever higher in the sky til it reaches the Summer Solstice part of the cycle to begin its long Fall back to Winter.

With the arrival of Spring we should soon see the regularly scheduled arrival of wildflowers, with that arrival being the most colorful time of the year in Texas.

I saw one outbreak of wildflowers on the Tandy Hills yesterday, but they were not colorful enough to motivate me to photo document them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Tandy Hills Hoodoo Eiffel Tower Homage Looking At The Best Downtown In America & France

The latest iteration of the constantly iterating Tandy Hills Hoodoo looks to me, sort of,  to be a rocky version of the Eiffel Tower, that being a tall metal structure in a town called Paris in a country called France.

More on Paris and the Eiffel Tower in a bit.

This latest Tandy Hills Hoodoo appears to be the most precarious one yet.

And the tallest.

I wonder if Superglue is being used to help facilitate Hoodoo stability?

I did not make note of whether or not it was a record, but yesterday the temperature as measured at the official temperature measuring station at D/FW Airport measured the air to be heated to 87 degrees.

At my old home location in the state of Washington, 87 degrees  is considered quite HOT. Here in Texas, not so much.

However, I figured those 87 degrees would have heated my swimming pool back to being doable after its recent chilling. I figured wrong. Overnight the temperature plummeted 40 degrees, apparently quickly chilling the water in the pool.  I lasted about 10 minutes before deciding to abort.

My hot tub is finally repaired and is in the process of being refilled. So, I will be able to have myself a much needed hot tub hydrotherapy session tomorrow morning.

This is not my hot tub getting refilled you are looking at on the left. What you are looking at is Tandy Falls roaring over the Tandy Escarpment.

Due to the volume of water flowing over the Tandy Escarpment, today crossing over the rapids required a long leap of maybe four feet.

Continuing on past Tandy Falls I headed west up the trail that leads to the Hoodoo you see above.

Looking west from the Hoodoo I had my first look at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth since I, and the rest of America and the world, learned that an extensive scientific study had determined that Fort Worth has the Best Downtown in America.

It has long puzzled me why the wonder which is downtown Fort Worth seemed to not be on America's radar screen, what with what anyone could clearly see is a one of a kind, extremely unique innovative downtown, the likes of which really exists nowhere else.


Above I mentioned I would mention more about the Eiffel Tower later.

Well, later is now.

Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw photos of Spencer Jack's dad, he being my favorite nephew, Jason, and Spencer Jack's grandma, she being my favorite ex-sister-in-law, Cindy, on a plane, flying where, I did not know.

I thought the plane photos might have been from last month when Spencer Jack flew his dad, uncle Joey and grandma to Disneyland.

However, this morning  I did my daily check on Facebook to see that Jason and his mom had flown to Paris. That would be Jason standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in the picture.

Paris is a town in France. A highly regarded town. I do not know if a scientific study has determined that Paris is the Fort Worth of France, with Paris having the Best Downtown in France.

I do know one thing for certain. When summer comes to Paris, the Seine River Vision does not hold Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats on the Seine River, because that would be tres gauche.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finding Excess Endorphins On Fort Worth's Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trails

On the left you are looking at my handlebars pointing at a rolling river of mud known as the Trinity River, as seen from the mountain bike trail in Fort Worth's Gateway Park on this next to last day of  the first bout of Winter of 2014, currently not scheduled to return til December 21.

Gateway Park was heated to 68 degrees when I rolled my wheels there in the noon time frame. Now, three hours later, we have hit 81 at my location on the planet.

The pool was too cool for too long of a pool bout this morning. Tomorrow morning the pool should be more doable.

My hot tub is still in repair mode. So, I am really beginning to feel the bad effects of not getting my regular hot tub hydrotherapy session.

However, today's mountain bike ride sort of overdosed me on endorphins. Though the trails were almost completely dried up from Saturday's deluge, the rain made the trails a bit soft, hence harder to pedal, hence the excessive endorphins and getting a bit winded a time or two.

Tomorrow I'm thinking some fast hill hiking on the Tandy Hills should be on the menu. I like to check on the Tandy Hills Hoodoos at least  once a week...

Monday, March 17, 2014

America Is In Deep Trouble If Fort Worth Is The Best Downtown In America

On the left you are looking at a screen cap from the website of an entity which calls itself Livability. The specific screen cap is from a webpage sharing with the world the Top 10 Best Downtowns 2014.

It really should not come as a shock to anyone that after Livability's extensive scientific investigation it was determined that Fort Worth, Texas has the Best Downtown in America.

Even though this news really should shock no one there seems to be sort of a collective huh? among those who have been to downtown Fort Worth.

And the downtowns of other American towns.

I first learned Fort Worth is America's Best Downtown when Elsie Hotpepper sent me a link to an article in Fort Worth Weekly titled Downtown Fort Worth Is America’s Best. Fort Worth Weekly took a sort of tongue and cheek approach to this surprising accolade, listing in order the other Top Ten Downtowns in America, as in #2 Providence, (Rhode Island), followed by Indianapolis, Provo, Alexandria, (Virginia), Frederick, (Maryland), Fort Lauderdale, Bellingham, (Washington), Eugene, (Oregon) and Birmingham, (Alabama).

Yeah, I know nothing of several of those towns, either. Except I was born in Eugene and lived several years in Bellingham, both, in my opinion, with much more lively downtowns than Fort Worth's.

Fort Worth Weekly opined that "This is like winning first place in an ugly baby contest." And advises, "So, eat our dust, Eugene, OR!"

I suspect whoever wrote that Eugene should eat Fort Worth's dust has never been to Eugene. Eugene has a downtown with these things called stores, very pedestrian friendly, with sidewalks lining streets all over town.

So, how does this Livability thing explain the inexplicable? I shall quote from their website...

But numbers alone can’t tell you what makes a downtown great. For that you need to see the skylines, hear the street sounds and talk to people who've been there. We took a look, talked with our well-traveled staff and made our picks.

It takes decades of careful planning, political alignments and dedication to create downtowns that attract new residents and visitors. We gave considerable weight to population growth and the ratio of residents to jobs in a downtown area because urban center experts suggest these are the most telling signs of how a downtown is doing.

"The way to have a really vibrant downtown is to have residents there who can support the businesses and provide that life on the street to make the area seem more lively and safer," says Sheila Grant, editor of Downtown Idea Exchange and Downtown Promotion Reporter. "We think they are the most vital part of the city. They give everyone in the outlying areas a sense of community and heritage."

Skylines? Fort Worth has a recognizable skyline? Livability talked with their well-traveled staff to make their picks? Their staff traveled to Fort Worth and still thought it to be the Best Downtown in America?

The ratio of residents to jobs in a downtown area?

Did no one on Livability's well traveled staff notice how few people populated the streets of downtown Fort Worth? Did they not notice there is not a single grocery store in downtown Fort Worth? Did they not notice there is not a single department store in downtown Fort Worth?

As recently as the day after Thanksgiving of 2013 I wandered the streets of downtown Fort Worth to document how lifeless it was on the busiest shopping day of the year. The best downtown in America is a ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year?

And then there is this paragraph...

"The way to have a really vibrant downtown is to have residents there who can support the businesses and provide that life on the street to make the area seem more lively and safer," says Sheila Grant, editor of Downtown Idea Exchange and Downtown Promotion Reporter. "We think they are the most vital part of the city. They give everyone in the outlying areas a sense of community and heritage."

Oy vey. How does Ms. Grant explain how it is that if downtown Fort Worth has all these residents making the downtown lively and safe, why do all those downtown residents not have access to a downtown grocery store?

A sense of heritage? Oy vey, again. The Best Downtown in America has a boarded up eyesore on the north end of its downtown, called Heritage Park. Did those well traveled Livability staff people not notice this?

And then there is what the Livability article had to say, specifically, about the Best Downtown in America...

A collection of 13 parks provide residents, visitors and downtown workers with spots to soak in some sunshine, eat lunch and unwind. The city's 35-block entertainment and shopping district, Sundance Square, attracts millions of visitors and national attention for its innovative design.

Innovative design? What innovative design? Really, I'm not just being snarky here, I am totally baffled.

A collection of 13 parks in the downtown Fort Worth zone? Is Heritage Park counted among the 13?

Shopping district? If this is a shopping district why is it a ghost town on the day after Thanksgiving?

Attracts millions of visitors? Millions? This count must come from the same mysterious calculator which calculated that the Cabela's sporting goods store in North Fort Worth would draw millions of visitors making it the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

I can not help but wonder, will Fort Worth be having a city wide celebration celebrating being the Best Downtown in America, such as what happened when a D.C. lobbying group put Fort Worth on some Top Ten Most Livable City list, a list more sophisticated towns, like Tacoma, knew was bogus, politely thanking the lobbying group, but having no city wide celebration.

This is all very perplexing....

Today I Got Myself Stocked With Asian Goods From Saigon Cho In Arlington's Chinatown

No, that is not the Fosdick Fountain in Fosdick Lake in Oakland Lake Park in Fort Worth you are looking at here.

This body of water and its fountain is located in Veterans Park in Arlington.

I stopped at Veterans Park for a short walking commune with nature before continuing on to Arlington's Chinatown to go get myself some much needed Asian grocery supplies at my favorite Asian grocery store, Saigon Cho.

Or is it Cho Saigon? One would think I could remember.

Today I got a lot of bottled sauces, including fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chili sauce.  In addition to a lot of sauce I got a big bottle of siracha. Oh, I think that is a sauce too. A really hot sauce. I also got a big bottle of sesame oil, a big bag of vermicelli rice noodles, garlic and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

So, I am now well stocked with Asian sauces, which tomorrow will render cashew chicken over those aforementioned rice noodles. But, right now, enchiladas are baking in the oven. Apparently I am very multi-cultural, spanning the globe for the various cuisines which spew from my kitchen.

The lunch bell is gonging. Talk to you later.....

Sunday, March 16, 2014

An Extremely Cold Walk Around Fort Worth's Fosdick Lake On The Last Sunday Of 2014's Winter

Fosdick Fountain in Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park
Once again cold has creeped south from the north and once again I found myself at one of my outdoor recreational locations without sufficient outwear to keep some semblance of warm.

This morning when I went swimming the outer world was only 10 degrees cooler than the morning before, when I had myself a nice long swim.

Yesterday's deluging added a couple inches of previously frozen water to the pool.

I did not have myself a nice long swim this morning.

As the minutes of those morning marched on towards noon the temperature continued to drop. A strong wind blows, at times gustily. Currently a few minutes after my return to interior comfort I see the outer world is now chilled to 44 with a 26 mile per hour wind making it really feel like 33. I thought it really felt more like 23 when I was out in it.

You can sort of tell the wind is blowing Fosdick Fountain's water to the south, in the picture above.

I only saw one other person foolish enough to be out in this frigidity today, that being a properly attired jogging woman jogging across Fosdick Dam as I tried to make a 360 degree video. I did not like the result of my attempt to make a 360 degree video using a phone, so you won't be seeing it.

We start to warm up again tomorrow. I don't think I will be making a swim attempt in the morning though. The first day of Spring arrives on Thursday. I hope with the arrival of Spring we can put this Arctic madness behind us...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

An Aborted Gateway Park Bike Ride Before Treasure Hunting At Town Talk

On the left you are looking out my computer room window through a pane of glass dripping water from today's eagerly anticipated downpour which tardily arrived a short while before four on this Ides of March Saturday afternoon.

A few minutes ago I saw my computer based weather monitoring device turn red, so I clicked it and learned that currently we are being advised to watch for a severe thunderstorm.

A few seconds after getting the watch for a severe thunderstorm notification I heard my first boom of thunder. As of right now, that one clap is the only clap I have heard so far.

Prior to the predicted precipitation precipitating I was preparing to go for my second swim of the day. That particular preparation has now been aborted. My second aborted plan of the day.

Computer Based Weather Information
Around noon when I left my abode to drive my mechanized mobile device to Gateway Park to pedal my non-mechanized mobile device on the mountain bike trail drops of rain were moistening the windshield. The rain was not falling anywhere close to downpour mode, but nonetheless I assumed it might whilst finding myself on a dirt trail turning into mud.

So, I aborted today's mountain bike ride and continued on to Town Talk.

As it turned out, during the time frame allotted for a bike ride the rain never fell in amounts copious enough to have ruined a pleasant bike ride.

I guess I did what is known as erring on the side of caution. Better that than have bike tires with three inches of clay-like mud stuck to them.

Town Talk treasure hunting was a success today. Orange peppers, a big box of frozen shrimp, dozens of bananas, jalapeno bacon, chick peas, rice and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

Unlike the past three Saturdays, today Town Talk was not suffering from a jammed parking lot and long checkout lines.

Just got a text message from Elsie Hotpepper asking if I want to go see a Dud and a Prince tonight. I have no idea what this means, except that somehow wildcatting is involved....

The Ides Of March Did Not Have Me Being Beware Of Swimming This Morning

To the left you are looking at the March 15 Saturday morning view from my patio, looking at my swimming pool and currently dry hot tub.

As you can see, my part of the planet is being overcast today.

Somewhere at some point in time I recollect being warned that one really should be wary of the 15th day of March. If I remember right the exact warning is "Beware the Ides of March".

Is the word "Ides" Latin for middle? I have no idea. Latin for 15th?

Anyway, so far today this Ides of March day has been the best of the new year of 2014.

Why has this been the best day of the new year, you ask?

Well, this morning, with the outer world getting no chillier overnight than the 60s, I was able to have myself my first long swim of the new year.

The result of this first long swim of the new year is I am feeling real good. As in really good.

Yesterday morning I tried to stay immersed in the then too cool pool. I bailed after about a minute. This morning I experienced absolutely no bailing impulse.

I suspect a hydrologist, if that is the correct term for one who is knowledgeable about water, would be able to calculate how quickly a mass of water gains or loses heat when exposed to a particular temperature over a particular time frame. This morning the water felt to be about the same temperature as the air, which at that point in time, according to my phone, was 62 degrees.

If the weather predictors prediction for today is correct that Ides of March warning to be wary may be appropo, what with the forecast for today being downpours, thunderstorms, hail and possible tornadoes.

I can not remember the last time I heard the tornado sirens blaring, except for their semi-regular Wednesday noon test blarings.

Texas weather has grown so atypical of the norm that I sort of forgot that we are currently in the tornado season time of the year.

I am hoping to roll my wheels on the Gateway Park mountain bike trails before the rain arrives, followed by my regularly scheduled Saturday Town Talk treasure hunt.

I am hoping to find egg rolls at Town Talk today, to go with the cashew chicken stir fry I'm planning on making for lunch.

In the meantime I guess I shall err on the side of caution and Beware of the Ides of March....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Today I Found A Leaning Tower Of Pisa Hoodoo On The Tandy Hills

I am not certain if today's Tandy Hills Hoodoo is the same Hoodoo I saw on Wednesday. It seems as if the the Wednesday Hoodoo was skinnier, without that big block of rock in its midsection.

Today the Tandy Hills Hoodoo was slightly leaning, a Leaning Tower of Pisa Hoodoo.

I will not be back on the Tandy Hills tomorrow for my semi-regular Saturday Hill and Hoodoo inspection.

If Saturday's predicted rain and thunderstorms do not arrive I will be rolling my wheels on the Gateway Park mountain bike trails tomorrow, prior to my regularly scheduled Saturday Town Talk treasure hunting.

The temperature was perfect, in the low 60s, today for some high speed hill hiking. I saw only one other person indulging in endorphin acquisition today.

My hot tub is still out of commission. This morning I tried to get myself some hydrotherapy via the pool, but it was too cool for hydrotherapy of a duration long enough to have the hoped for salubrious effect.

I must cut this blogging short. I just got a text message telling me I need to check out something to do with the Texas Supreme Court.....

Will The Courts Rule The TRWD Board Election Must Proceed As Scheduled?

On the left you are looking at snippet of a guy named Craig Bickley's Facebook page. Apparently Craig Bickley and a lady named Melissa McDougall are running for director positions on the Tarrant Regional Water District Board.

Is this pair running to replace the pearls clutching dowager, Marty Leonard, and the lawyer, Jim Lane? I don't know, since the upcoming TRWD Board Election is in some sort of state of legal limbo due to a couple lawsuits being heard in a couple places, one being outside of Texas, that being the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans, with the other being heard by the Texas Supreme Court.

If your source of local news is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram you likely do not know that one of the lawsuits is being heard, today, by the Texas Supreme Court, regarding the TRWD's bizarre arbitrary decision to not hold an election on its regularly scheduled date, and instead to simply add a year to the terms of the aforementioned Marty Leonard and Jim Lane.

You can peruse some details of the pending lawsuits on the Star-Telegraph blog. Please note that is Star-Telegraph, not Star-Telegram. You can read about the Texas Supreme Court Agreeing to Hear the TRWD Election Case and in a previous Star-Telegraph blogging you can read about the case being heard by the 5th Circuit in New Orleans in the blog post Going to the Big Show.

I rather like this Craig Bickley guy, just judging by the snippet of text I gleaned from his Facebook page...

Great morning talking with the hard working precinct chairs of the Tarrant County Republican Party Executive Committee. They were excited to hear that Melissa and I are working to bring some "adult supervision" to the TRWD and couldn't wait to help us out.

In fact, after the meeting I had many folks come up to tell me of more TRWD corruption that they had experienced. This campaign is going to be won by getting the word out. It is a battle of expression vs suppression and I firmly believe that the voters are ready to have their views heard and their money handled responsibly.

Vote Craig Bickley and Melissa McDougall

Adult supervision of the TRWD? Does this mean if Bickely and McDougall get elected that Jim Oliver will finally get the boot? And that Mary Kelleher will finally have access  to the TRWD's public documents she has been requesting to see for months, if Bickley and McDougall win this battle of expression vs. suppression?

With the Texas Supreme Court case which is being heard today, I have no confidence justice and common sense will prevail. Not til this case gets heard outside of Texas.....

UPDATE: I have been informed that the Texas Supreme Court is not hearing the TRWD election case today, Friday, March 14, 2014, rather that the TRWD was given 48 hours to respond to the lawsuit, with that 48 hours ending Friday, March 14, 2014.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In Arlington Rolling My Bike Wheels Past Indian Ghosts Searching For Steep Hills

My Handlebars Pointing At An Interlochen Canal
Yesterday I was remembering biking the paved golf cart trail at Eaglemont in my old home zone of Mount Vernon and lamenting the lack of steep hills to roll my wheels up and down at my present location in mostly flat Texas.


Today I rolled my mechanized wheels to Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area to roll my non-mechanized wheels with the Indian ghosts who haunt this location.

I got to the VCNHA, removed my bike from the transport device and whilst pumping up the tires and adjusting the front brake cable I remembered I was near some rare steep Texas hills.

So, I pedaled to the exit from the Indian ghost zone to the Interlochen neighborhood.

One of the exits from the Interlochen neighborhood is a road called Crowley. That is a steep road that in the past has caused me to go into breathing hard oxygen debt mode. Which is a good thing.

I have not pedaled Crowley Road in this decade. In the prior decade I would reach the summit of Crowley Road then take a right on a road which led to a big development of new homes. The last I was in this location a few homes were finished, with dozens more under construction.

The road to all this construction was extremely steep, causing a fast descent with the need to be in the lowest gear and switch back and forth across the road to make the ascent.


Today I took the right on to the steep road to find it is now blocked by a security gate. So, I did not get to have the Eaglemont-like steep experience I was hoping for.

Even so, I had myself a mighty fine time rolling my wheels today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today I Found A New Hoodoo Has Risen On The Tandy Hills

Due to the fact that wind was blowing in from the north, at high velocity, I was surprised  when I headed west up the trail from currently dry Tandy Falls to see a new Hoodoo standing up strongly against the gusts.

This new Hoodoo is extremely well constructed, with little rocks acting as braces to stabilize the bigger rocks, hence the still standing, I suspect.

Yesterday the high, termperature-wise, was 86 at my location. This morning that 86 degrees had shrunk to 46, a forty degree loss overnight.

At 46 degrees this morning one might think I had myself a nice hot tub hydrotherapy session. One would have thought wrong if one thought that. The tub was not hot because there was no water in it. Repairs need to be made to a seal, so the water has left the tub. For how long, I do not know.

This time last year, as in by the time Daylight Savings Time arrived, a third of the way into March, I was regularly getting my morning hydrotherapy session, without excess heat, in the pool.

I tried the pool this morning, what with the hot tub not available. I did not last long with the pool still too cool to facilitate a salubrious hydrotherapy session.

On the left you are looking at the close up view of the latest Tandy Hills Hoodoo.

The close up view is not close enough for you to see the intricate feat of engineering which has gone into constructing this precarious Hoodoo tower.

Has anyone happened upon the constructor of the Tandy Hills Hoodoos when he or she is in construction mode?

Golfing With Spencer Jack At Eaglemont Has Me Lamenting Time Flying

This morning upon doing my daily Facebook check the first thing I saw was a picture of Spencer Jack driving a golf cart, with his dad, my favorite nephew Jason, as his passenger.

I am almost 100% certain this golf cart driving was taking place at the Eaglemont Golf Course & Country Club in my old hometown of Mount Vernon.

Eaglemont was built in the 1990s. My home in Mount Vernon was in a place called East Thunderbird on a lane called Pawnee, a short distance north of Eaglemont.

Eaglemont was being built soon after I got my first mountain bike, in 1995. The golf course was built first, with miles of paved golf cart trails, going over extremely hilly terrain, the likes of which I do not have available to me at my location in Texas.

Just to get to Eaglemont was a pedal up an extremely steep road. The Eaglemont paved golf trail is sort of like a roller coaster to bike, with the long downhill back to my abode the fun, fast payoff at the end.

After multiple times of myself having a mighty fine time biking the Eaglemont golf course I had my nephews, Jason and his little brother,Joey, have their dad, my brother, Jake, haul their bikes over to my place so me and my nephews could pedal the Eaglemont trails.

I think Jason was maybe 13 or 14 when he and Joey biked Eaglemont with me. Six or seven years older than Spencer Jack's current age.

Additionally, what has me lamenting the rapid passage of time is the fact that within a few years of biking the Eaglemont golf trail Jason opened his first restaurant.

At Eaglemont. The Eaglemont Pavilion.

In April of 2006 I was at the Eaglemont Pavilion for Jason's wedding reception. I later made a video of that event to add to an Eaglemont Pavilion website I made for Jason. You can watch that video below, where you will see Jason and Spencer Jack's mom (and me if you are real eagle-eyed).

At some point in time after 2006 Jason sold the Eaglemont Pavilion to open the Fidalgo Drive-In in Anacortes.  You can go here to like the Fidalgo Drive-In on Facebook.

And now it is 2014 and Spencer Jack is seven years old driving his dad on the Eaglemont Golf Course golf cart trail.

Meanwhile I am in Texas, way older than seven years old, about to go hiking on a sad substitute for the Eaglemont Golf Course, that being the rocky slopes of the Tandy Hills....


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Staying Out Of Fun Town In River Legacy Park Along With A Lot Of Spring Breaking School Kids

I have not yet adjusted to the return of Daylight Savings Time.

This morning I was vertical well before 6am, well before the sun arrived. Soon after the sun arrived I ventured into the outer world to have my regularly scheduled hot tub hydrotherapy session.

Before 11 this morning I took off to River Legacy Park and a couple other destinations. Just a regular day, and yet I somehow am an hour later than is the Standard Time norm.

Very perplexing.

Due to children getting a temporary Spring Break break from their school incarceration, River Legacy Park was very busy today. I've never seen so many kids having fun playing on the River Legacy jungle tree house installation as were having a mighty fine time today.

The mountain bike trail also had an inordinate number of people walking the trails, with kids. Plus a lot of guys, like me, biking the trails, with no kids.

In the picture above my handlebars are aimed at the sign which points the way to FUN TOWN. An arrow does the pointing, with the word "EXPERT" to the right of the arrow. A red skull and crossbones on the sign gives further warning of the danger that lies ahead in FUN TOWN.

I stay out of FUN TOWN, because I am no expert when it comes to navigating treacherous mountain bike trails of the steep, almost vertical, drop sort.

Currently the outer world at my location is one degree shy of 80. Seems like just a day or two ago we were freezing. North Texas needs to import an ocean to help moderate these tiresome wild temperature swings.

I am trying to get myself physically fit. A daunting challenge at my advanced age. I think tomorrow I may haul my carcass over the Tandy Hills again.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Beautiful Spring Break Day On The Tandy Hills With Random Acts Of Vandalism

Today on the Tandy Hills I found the remains of a fallen Hoodoo.

I do not know if the Hoodoo fell from vandalism or from an act of Mother Nature. I suspect the latter is the cause.

The wind has been blowing hard since my last visit to the Tandy Hills, over a week ago, wind blowing so hard I imagine any existing Hoodoo was quickly toppled.

On the route of my high speed hill hiking today I did come upon another formerly vertical Tandy Hills installation which was now horizontal and rather obviously the act of a random act of vandalistic violence.

I refer to what which you see below.

A sign, formerly stuck in the ground, advising people to not molest the Tandy Hills wildlife, has been yanked out of the ground and laid to rest.

I'm thinking new signage is needed advising people that it is against the law to molest the do not molest the wildlife signs.

Other than the random acts of vandalism, what a beautiful day on the Tandy Hills. I was not alone enjoying the hills today. I ran into two guys with three dogs. Another group of three guys who looked as if they were trying out to to play Jesus in a movie, with one dog. Plus a family group of several kids, parental units and a pair of big dogs.

Spring is in the air, along with Spring Break, which I think must explain why I've been seeing so many kids out loose, when usually they are incarcerated in school.

I Virtually Attended Spencer Jack's 7th Birthday Party

Though I was invited with plenty of time to arrange attending, if Concorde supersonic jets still existed and flew from D/FW to Seattle, I did not make it to my Great Nephew Spencer Jack's 7th Birthday Party.

I did get to sort of virtually attend Spencer Jack's Birthday Party via text  message documentation sent from Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite Nephew Jason.

In the text message photo documentation you see here we are seeing Spencer Jack after opening the birthday card sent by his great grand parental units, my mom and dad.

Among the top ten reasons I wish I was still living in the Pacific Northwest is that I think I would have myself a mighty fine time being a great uncle with Spencer Jack.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Daylight Savings Time Had Me Finding A Yellow White Wildflower Blooming In Gateway Park

Today I decided to repeat last Sunday's venture in the outer world by returning to Gateway Park to roll my wheels over that location's mountain bike trails.

A surprise surprised me at the entry to the mountain bike trail.

That surprise would be the big yellow and white wildflower you see in front on the FWMBA TRAIL sign.

FWMBA is the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association.

The big yellow and while wildflower surprised me due to the fact that it has been well below freezing of late where these flowers are sprouting.

Back in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, in the state called Washington, there is a flower that is commercially grown called a daffodil, which resembles this yellow and white wildflower blooming in Gateway Park.

In March and April many acres of the Skagit Valley flatlands are covered with daffodils. And other flowers. Like tulips. At the flower sprouting time of the year one will also see daffodils and tulips blooming in all sorts of landscaped locations in addition to the commercial bulb farmer fields.

Changing the subject from daffodils to something else.

I really do not like Daylight Savings Time. I think Texas and the rest of America should follow the lead of the part of Arizona which is south of the Grand Canyon and stay on Standard Time all year long.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Watching A Fosdick Fish Get Caught Before Finding Applewood Smoked Bleu Cheese

When the time of day arrived for my regularly scheduled Saturday Tandy Hills high speed hill hiking precipitation was starting to precipitate.

I did not like the idea of being on some remote Tandy Hills hill to find myself getting rained on in downpour mode, so I opted instead to go to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake, which is where I saw this trio of Fosdick fishermen fishing.

The Fosdick fisherman on the left had some sort of fish hooked. I did not see a successful reeling in of whatever it was which got hooked.

At Oakland Lake Park rain was not a problem. It was the cold and the wind which was vexing me. So, rather than doing some fast walking I did some fast stair climbing, hoping that would warm me up.

It did not.

This morning I had a pleasant hot tub hydrotherapy session with two dips in the too cool pool to cool off from the too hot hot tub. I don't know why I don't get cold during this early morning activity, with the majority of my skin exposed, while I get cold in the middle of the day when very little skin is exposed.

It is perplexing.

I am thinking I may be re-thinking my regular Saturday visit to Town Talk.

Today was the third extremely busy Saturday at Town Talk in a row, with an overflowing parking lot and long checkout lines.

I think maybe Town Talk needs to think about moving to a bigger building with a bigger parking lot.

Today the only unique thing I found at Town Talk was applewood smoked bleu cheese. I like bleu cheese. I don't know if I am going to like bleu cheese that has been smoked.

All this smoked bleu cheese talk has reminded me I've not had lunch and that I am hungry. Must go take care of that problem now....

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fifth Circuit Agrees to Hear Appeal Regarding Suit Against the Tarrant Regional Water District

A few minutes ago I got email from someone who prefers to be Anonymous who I will refer to as EH.

The cryptic message in the email said "I was told to get this to you."

"This" refers to an attached document in docx format, titled "03 07 14 Fifth Circuit Appeal Release".

I used Google Drive to open the document to learn that the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals has granted a hearing request concerning the suit against the Tarrant Regional Water District.

The TRWD Board has been trying to extend the terms of its elected members beyond the maximum four year term allowed by the Texas Constitution by refusing to hold elections in 2014.

That is the document in screen cap form you see above. You can click it to enlarge and read. I was unable to convert the .docx document into text easily copied into another editable format, such as this blog, or even a simple text editor. The formatted document you see above, when copied, turns into a mess of double spaces that would take way too long to render back to the readable form you see above.

Two potential TRWD Board candidates are mentioned in this press release, Melissa McDougall and Craig Bickley.

The two potential TRWD Board candidates are quoted in the document sort of summing up the issue of the TRWD's election thuggering....

We continue to have faith that the voters and taxpayers of Tarrant County will be heard,” said Melissa McDougall. Craig Bickley added, “We must band together to end the cronyism, corruption and irresponsible spending, eminent domain abuse, secret meetings and no-bid contracts.”