Monday, February 29, 2016

No Need For Thousands Of Texas Military Personnel To Conduct Frack Quake Exercise

This blogging falls into the category of bloggings about something I read in a west coast online news source that I likely would not be reading in any of my local Texas online news sources.

That which you see here was in the Seattle Times this morning.

That is a lot of emergency and military personnel conducting a megaquake exercise.

Is 6,000 a bigger number than the number of Jade Helm invaders who freaked out Texas governor Abbott?

There has been a lot of concern of late in the Pacific Northwest over the potential megaquake that the Cascadia Fault could cause if it makes a move.

When I lived in the Pacific Northwest I was shaken by many earthquakes. I have not been shaken by any of the Texas Frack Quakes that unsettle those who have been shaken in Texas.

The Frack Quakes perplex me. I have never read of anyone commenting how noisy a Frack Quake is. Just reports of minor damage.

All the earthquakes I have experienced have been incredibly loud. There was a period during the 1990's when my Mount Vernon abode was shaken by a lot of earthquakes, epicentered at Big Lake, a few miles east. These quakes ranged in the 2 to 3 Richter Scale level. About the same as the Texas Frack Quakes.

I was watching TV when the worst of the Big Lake Quakes struck with a boom and a roar. My windows flexed. The tall fir trees swayed violently. A loud cracking noise came from the kitchen. When the quake stopped shaking I walked to my kitchen to find the tile floor now had a crack running the length of the kitchen.

I think the Texas Frack Quakes must not be as violent as an ordinary Mother Nature Quake caused by a fault line moving. If the Texas Frack Quakes were that violent I think people would be a lot more upset about it.

The last time the Cascadia Fault made a big move was a long time ago, in the 1700's if I am remembering correctly. Prior to the Pacific Northwest being invaded by incoming Americans. That long ago quake caused a big tsunami to cross the Pacific, all the way to Japan.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Locked Out After Sunday Walk With Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts

Since today is the last Sunday of February I did today what I often do on the last Sunday of February. I drove  to Arlington to go walking with the Indian Ghosts who haunt the Village Creek Natural Historical Area they used to call home.

There were a lot of people walking and biking with the Indian Ghosts today, enjoying the balmy temperature in the 70s. Last year about this time we were enjoying a bout of snow and ice.

The paved trail you are looking at above is at the north end of the VCNHA, as it exits to the Interlochen neighborhood and becomes the Bob Findlay Linear Park Trail. During the last major flood event, around Thanksgiving of last year, I think Village Creek flooded than I've seen it previously flood, but I did not witness that flood event. Just the aftermath. That is the dried mud residue of the flood you see at the side of the trail, high above the creek..

Village Creek is running a lot of water, still, from the most recent bout of minor drippage, as you can see below via the dam bridge which exits the Historical Area.

Why aren't generators installed to harness this energy? Probably because usually it is more of trickle than a hydro force.

When I left the Indian Ghosts behind I dropped in on ALDI, because I needed coffee.

Soon thereafter I was back at my abode. When I stuck in the metal device which slides the deadbolt out of locked position, facilitating opening the door, it was quickly apparent the lock was broken, as in the key just spun around without engaging.

All other means of entry are dead bolted from the inside, with no key openers. The windows are all locked.

So, I quickly called a door opening specialist. She arrived, tools in hand, about a half hour later. A few minutes later the door was open and I was making lunch. I asked the door opening specialist if she'd like a burger. The answer was in the affirmative, with the works, sharp cheese, onion, pickle, bacon, lettuce and tomato. With oven-baked fries.

The new lock and key are quite nice.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Roller Coaster Bus Ride To See A Panther & JFK

Yesterday I rode four Fort Worth buses to transit from my abode to downtown Fort Worth and back.

Whilst walking the mean streets of downtown Fort Worth I came upon two points of interest I'd not seen previously. Both visible from Main Street, that being the road which runs from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Fort Worth loves its panthers, so  much so that the town has named an imaginary island Panther Island.

The panther you see above rests on the plaza in front of the Tarrant County Tax Office. I believe this to be near the actual location where long ago a Dallas reporter reported that Fort Worth was so lifeless he saw a panther taking a nap on the courthouse steps. Or something like that.

After I was done visiting the napping panther I headed south on Main Street. Directly north of the Convention Center I saw what you see below.

A memorial marking the location of the last speech John F. Kennedy gave prior to heading east to Dallas on that unfortunate day over half a century ago.

Soon after leaving JFK I was caught up in the Trump Mob milling at the south end of the Convention Center.

I lasted about 15 minutes in the Trump Mob and then walk back to the Transit Center to get on what is known as a Spur bus to go east to another Transit Center to get on another bus.

I don't understand why so many Texans have an aversion to using public transit. Yes, the ride is not as smooth as a car or pickup. Yes, the seats could be more comfortable. Yes, it takes longer to get to ones destination.  But, once you are there you don't have to find a parking spot.

To put oneself in the mindset to enjoy riding the Fort Worth buses think of Fort Worth as a big theme park and you are riding a theme park ride.

If you have experienced getting seasick, or find roller coasters to be a not fun thing, well, then, maybe riding the Fort Worth buses would not be something you'd want to do. If you have back problems or are easily nauseated by jerky motion you probably wouldn't like the ride you get on a Fort Worth bus.

The Fort Worth bus system now has a smart phone app you can use as your boarding pass. I have no clue how this works, but I saw several people use that method to get onboard.

The last time I roller coastered to downtown Fort Worth was back in March of 2012, almost four years ago. Apparently about every four years I ride a Fort Worth bus. It probably takes that long for the memory to fade enough to make it seem like a good idea to use the Fort Worth bus method of transit again....

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Few Minutes With The Trump Circus In Downtown Fort Worth

Every few years I find myself once again in Adventure Mode and thus decide to ride a Fort Worth T Roller Coaster Bus to Downtown Fort Worth.

In the picture I am on the left side of the bus, looking at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth as we pull into the Downtown Transit Center.

I needed to go to the Tarrant County Tax Office. The directions on the Tarrant County Tax Office website said they were located at 100 E. Weatherford, which to me meant the Tax Office was in the County Courthouse.

So, I get to the Courthouse, go through security that is about the same as getting on a plane, including almost losing my baggy pants when my belt set off the alarm. Then, after going through that living hell I quickly learned the Tax Office was not located in that building, but in the new building on the south side of Weatherford.

Where one did not have to go through airport like security to enter.

My business at the Tax Office was quickly concluded. So, I head south on Main Street, heading to the Convention Center, to see the Donald Trump madness. The throngs walking to see The Donald were a colorful lot. I saw two or three Trump RVs, like you see here.

Multiple vendors were selling a variety of Trump paraphernalia, such as t-shirts, buttons, flags, banners and other stuff. To my surprise people were buying this stuff.

Was that Ted Nugent being interviewed in front of one of the sellers of Trump-ware? I don't know. But the guy was spouting some idiotic nonsense as I stood listening the length of time it took to take a picture. Something about Trump would take control of Congress. What did that mean, I wondered? Like how Hitler took over the Reichstag?

A lot of attention was being paid to a group protesting the nasty stuff Trump has said about our Mexican friends south of the border. They were loud, with a lot of cameras aimed at them.

Before getting to the location where people were entering the Convention Center I came upon a rather scary looking bearded guy waving a big poster which only said something like Info Wars. He shouted as people walked  by. To me he shouted "I am from Arkansas and I am here to tell you the Clintons ruined my state."

All in all the entire scene seemed somehow surreal and somehow carnival like, with a hint of being a mob.

I arrived at the Trump location about 11am, an hour before the scheduled appearance of The Donald. I was in no mood to wait around for an hour, particular since the event was taking place in a meeting hall with no seating, if my understanding was correct. And it sometimes is.

So, I left all the crazies behind and soon hopped aboard a bus heading east.....

The Tale Of Two Town's Stupid White Water Feature's Faulty Visions

This morning my blog subject assignment taskmaster, Elsie Hotpepper, informed me "You must blog about this. I can't wait to read what you have to say about it."


The this to which Elsie Hotpepper referred was an article in the Dallas Observer titled DEMISE OF STUPID WHITE WATER FEATURE IS A CALL TO TAKE BACK OUR RIVER. by the Dallas Observer's observer of the nonsense which goes on in Dallas, Jim Schutze.

Jim Schutze is amusing and makes so much sense the powers that be in Dallas really should pay attention.

I thought I'd already blogged about the subject of the Stupid White Water Feature (SWWF) in Dallas. So, I was a little confused as to why Elsie Hotpepper thought I should blog about this subject again.

That is a screen cap, you see here, of the previous blogging about what Jim Schutze refers to as the SWWF, a blogging titled This Trinity River Whitewater Rapids Plan Would Have Filled Dallas Potholes.

Okay, reading my previous blogging about the SWWF and the latest Dallas Observer posting about this subject I see, I think, why Elsie Hotpepper thought I might want to opine, maybe.

Both Dallas and Fort Worth have Trinity River Vision projects. In both towns the name of the vision morphs with the passing years.

The current version of the Fort Worth vision's name is Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision. Which many locals simply refer to as The Boondoggle.

I don't know what Dallas is currently calling its Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Dallas has more to show for its Boondoggle than Fort Worth does. Dallas has completed one actual signature bridge, with another under construction. Fort Worth's Boondoggle currently has one little, non-signature bridge under construction over dry land. The Dallas bridges are being built over water, as in over the Trinity River.

Some day, if the money can be found to dig it, a ditch will be dug under Fort Worth's bridges, with Trinity River water diverted into the ditch, creating a fake island, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to the fake island, which America's Biggest Boondoggle has already named Panther Island, even though there is no island. And probably never will be.

Unlike Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, the people of Dallas actually were allowed to vote on that town's river vision, with a bond issue passing way back late in the last century, prior to my move to Texas.

I heard about the Dallas Trinity River Vision soon after I arrived in Texas. And then one Sunday morning, early in this century, I was startled by a HUGE banner headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, boldly proclaiming Trinity River Uptown to Turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

What fresh demented nonsense is this, I remember wondering? Reading the breathless article I remember wondering if anyone on the Star-Telegram staff had actually been to Vancouver and realized how ludicrous this Vancouver of the South claim was.

This incident of Star-Telegram nonsense occurred soon after the Santa Fe Rail Market debacle where the Star-Telegram, also breathlessly, had been promoting an embarrassing, lame, little food court type thing as the first public market in Texas, modeled after public markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market.

When I saw how pathetic the Santa Fe Rail Market was, the idea that the Star-Telegram would mislead its few readers so outrageously greatly annoyed me. Not only was this not the first public market in Texas, it was not even the first public market in Fort Worth. Had no one on the Star-Telegram staff been to the Dallas Farmers Market? A market which every one of my visitors from the Pacific Northwest has opined reminds them of Pike Place.

Back to the Dallas Observer SWWF article.

So, there's been a brouhaha brewing in Dallas due to the SWWF, this bizarre thing the Dallas Trinity River Vision Boondoggle  installed in the Trinity River to make a white water rapids thrill for the few people in Dallas interested in floating a kayak a short distance over a fake rapids in a polluted river.

Well, it quickly became obvious the SWWF was stupid due to being so dangerous it was deemed unsafe. Only a few million bucks were spent building this theme park attraction, which no one could use.

A few years went by with the SWWF blocking navigation on the Trinity River. The Army Corps of Engineers then came to town, all upset that Dallas had broken a long standing law which forbade such obstructions on a navigable river.

I had no idea til reading such that the Trinity River was considered to be navigable. Just a few miles upstream from Dallas, in Fort Worth, navigation on the Trinity River is not possible due to obstructions placed in the river by the same Army Corps of Engineers which is being all cranky over the Dallas SWWF obstruction. In Fort Worth there are multiple dam-like structures on the river, causing mini-reservoirs and crossings for the Trinity Trail.

If a boat floater made it past the little dams, further upstream, on the West Fork, the boater would find their boat trip halted by the Lake Worth Dam blocking the Trinity River. A person floating their boat on the Clear Fork would soon find their journey ended by the Lake Benbrook Dam.

I would think the bigger issue with the Dallas SWWF on the Trinity is not that it impedes the flow of boat traffic, but that it is a dangerous hazard which serves no purpose.

I long ago opined about thinking it to be so bizarre how Fort Worth basically copied Dallas with Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision, but foisting it on the public, with no public debate, no vote, just a done deal, an ever changing vision which has gone from turning Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South to being the world's premiere waterfront music venue for inner tube floating beer parties in a polluted river, the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, an ice skating rink, a beer brewery, countless festivals, an embarrassing work of kinetic art costing almost a million bucks and one little bridge under construction, with celebrating taking place because that bridge's wooden V-pier forms were finally under construction.

Unlike Dallas, Fort Worth has no Jim Schultze pointing out the various Fort Worth absurdities. I think Jim Schultze should expand his observation area to the west, to include Fort Worth, where he will find a rich treasure trove of incredible nonsense.

In other words, while the Dallas Trinity River Vision may be a mess, the Fort Worth Trinity River Vision hired the unqualified son of a local congresswoman, J.D. Granger, to be the Executive Director of the Fort Worth Vision, hoping that this would motivate his mama to secure some pork barrel earmarks to pay for what has become a bizarre boondoggle with little accomplished in a project which has spanned most of this century.

So far the Fort Worth version of a Trinity River Vision is not seeing any white water rapids.

However, due to the Fort Worth Vision's penchant for copying the Dallas Vision, as much as possible (except Fort Worth lost its three signature bridges) the Fort Worth Vision still includes a kayak white water rapids feature. You can see that illustrated in propaganda signage The Boondoggle long ago installed in Fort Worth's Gateway Park, where, currently, The Boondoggle is removing dirt from what will be Gateway Park West, which is where I believe The Boondoggle's white water rapids will be located.

I do not think the Army Corps of Engineers is going to be able to object to the Fort Worth SWWF due to the fact, like I already mentioned, navigation on the Trinity River in Fort Worth has already been impeded by the Army Corps of Engineers....

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Looking At Skagit Valley Signs Of Spring Waiting For Texas Wildflowers

Yesterday I looked northwest from my current location and lamented the bland scenery my eyes were seeing. The only colors being the blue of the sky and the green of scrub brush.

This morning, on Facebook, I saw the scenic scene you see here, with the text under the photo saying "Signs of Spring in the Skagit Valley this morning!"

The yellow color you see are  flowers called daffodils. Apparently an early arrival of Spring has the Skagit Flats springing alive with color.

Soon the daffodils will be joined by huge fields of tulips in multiple colors, along with other flowers springing from bulbs, like irises, flags, dahlias and likely others I am not remembering right now.

In a month or two the month long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival happens all over the valley, bringing in around a million Tulip Tourists from all over the world. These are real tourists,  not the imaginary type tourists the Fort Worth tourist counters count. You know, counting as a tourist someone visiting Fort Worth from a nearby town, like Arlington.

Yesterday I also found myself lamenting the sad state of hills at my current location where little mounds of earth are called hills, like my neighborhood Woodhaven Hills.

If you look beyond the daffodils in the above photo you will see a couple actual hills. At my current location if such a hill existed I am guessing it would be called a mountain.

I don't remember if I have seen the Skagit Valley Tulips this century. I think the only time I have been back to the Skagit Valley in Spring was in April of 2006 for Spencer Jack's dad's first wedding. I know I only saw the Skagit Flats from a distance, zipping north on I-5, to Burlington for the wedding, then Mount Vernon for the wedding reception, and then back south, well after dark.

When I lived in the Skagit Valley I usually found the Tulip Festival to be an annoyance, particularly when I lived in West Mount Vernon, which was greatly impacted by all the tourists.

Bad traffic jams.

I know the Tulip Traffic problem has been somewhat mitigated in multiple ways, like signage directing people off the freeway prior to the main Mount Vernon/Burlington exits. And getting people to leave their cars in mall parking lots to hop aboard a Tulip Bus to take the Tulip Tour. And spreading the tourists out to new locations, like Tulip Town and events in the various towns in the Skagit Valley.

Last year, or the year before, I recollect reading about some ranch land up near Denton where someone had planted a big field of tulips, hoping people would come to view them and buy bulbs. I remember wondering at the time how a field of tulips would survive in Texas, what with the weather extremes.

In a month, give or take a week or two, Texas will be rivaling the Skagit Valley, color-wise, when the wildflowers put on their annual show. Is there a Wildflower Festival somewhere in Texas? If not, there should be.....

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Looking Northwest At A Flat Hill Thinking About Seeing Trump & Hillary With A Chile Relleno & Cancer

This last Wednesday of 2016's version of February, from my perch about twenty feet above ground level, looking northwest over the Woodhaven Hills, feeling pensive.

I don't remember how I verbalized it, but in some form my New Years Resolution for 2016 was to end my exile in Texas and return to the Pacific Northwest.

Looking at the Woodhaven Hills is a good representative of the lack of scenic scenery at my current location on the planet. To call the slight rises to the west of my location "hills" seems to be some sort of insult to all the actual hills that elevate other locations on the planet.

Two months in to 2016 and I have made zero progress towards actualizing my New Years Resolution.

The other thing that has me feeling morose is all the people I know who are at various stages of battling cancer. One just started the fight, one is at the terminal end of the fight, two are in the middle of the fight.

I learned this morning via esteemed Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and connoisseur of good food, Bud Kennedy, that Donald Trump will be holding one of his Nuremberg Rally type events around noon on Friday at the Fort Worth Convention Center. I am thinking that this might be amusing to attend.

It is hard to believe it was so long ago, but around this time, eight years ago, I went to the Fort Worth Stockyards for My Date With Hillary. I successfully got past the gauntlet of security, due to security not realizing the old stockyard pens, and the boardwalk above them, gave direct access to the front of the line of the thousands waiting the see Mrs. Clinton.

That was a memorable day. I think that was the last time I had myself a chile relleno at Esperanza's. I will miss chile rellenos at Esperanza's when I move back to Washington. But, apparently not too much, if it has been eight years since I have enjoyed that delicacy.....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fighting My Way Through A Stormy Texas Tuesday To Early Vote

On this bleak, dreary, rainy final Tuesday of February I did my civic duty to do some dark very early Early Voting, as you can see via the "I Voted" sticker stuck to my reading glasses.

I tried to do the Early Voting thing last Friday at the East Regional Library. But that location no longer was available. So, it was back to the place I had long done the Early Voting thing, the Handley Community Center.

When I last Early Voted, at the aforementioned East Regional Library, I was not asked for photo identification. I was required to show photo I.D. today. I indicated I thought requiring such had been ruled illegal. I was told that that ruling had not yet been made.

I think the reason I was not  asked for photo I.D. the last time I Early Voted was due to the fact that those precinct workers were very sleepy. They had trouble finding my name on the roll. By the time my name was finally found we were all old friends, thus forgetting to ask to see my I.D., I assume.

Anyway, I'd not voted in a primary since 2008, so I forgot that one must indicate if one wanted the Republican or Democrat ballot. So, I did not get to vote for Donald Trump, just to do my little bit to muck things up.

With Early Voting out of the way, I now await the worsening of the ongoing storm. Below you are looking at the stormy view, minutes ago, from my patio overlook view of the world.

The temperature was 54 when I made my way to Handley to vote. The temperature has now fallen to 48. The temperature is scheduled to continue to fall, with strong winds scheduled to blow hard this afternoon. Along with some possibly thunder booming.

After being able to swim the past couple days I thought maybe this winter madness was over for the year. Clearly I thought wrong.....

Monday, February 22, 2016

Is There Any Doubt Fort Worth Is Still A Great City?

This blogging falls into the category of bloggings about something I read via a west coast online news source which is something I would not likely be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In this instance the article was in the Seattle Times, titled Is Seattle still a great city? Checklist reflects doubts.

Can you picture an article headline in the Star-Telegram asking Is Fort Worth still a great city? Checklist reflects doubts?

The Star-Telegram is not known for doing any sort of civic self reflection of the open and honest sort.

So, this opinion piece in the Seattle Times was inspired by The Atlantic Monthly's James Fallows who flew all over America noting the ways American life is changing. In the course of doing so Fallows made note of some common civic themes which set apart rising cities and towns, with those places being "where things seemed to work."

The following is Fallows' Checklist of Eleven items he made note of, in bold, followed by what the Seattle Times opinionizer had to say about what Fallows said, followed by what I had to say about the same item, only my focus is on Fort Worth......

1. “Divisive national politics seem a distant concern.” Fallows found that the more national hot-button topics “came into local discussions, the worse shape the town was in.” Uh oh.

Well, Seattle does seems to get itself on the national radar screen, causing debate, over issues like raising the minimum wage to $15. I do not recollect any Fort Worth local discussion about anything being reflected in the national political debate.

2. “It’s easy to answer the question ‘who makes this town go?’ " Fallows found great places have easily identifiable civic engines. So who is the juice around here? No elected official, that’s for sure. Amazon is a rain forest of money but could not care less about the city’s affairs. So who? If I had to pick who runs Seattle right now, I would say “developers.” Is that a good thing?

What makes Fort Worth go? I have no clue if Fort Worth is actually going anywhere. Locally it is widely believed that the good ol' boy and girl network of long entrenched locals are behind whatever does happen in Fort Worth.

3. “Public-private partnerships are real.” We definitely have these, especially if you count subsidized sports stadiums.

Do things Fort Worth does like giving sweetheart deals to sporting goods stores and corporate headquarters count as a public-private partnership?

4. “People know the civic story.” By this he means, do we agree on a common identity? When I first got here in 1985, Seattle was still the jet city, or a striving middle-class city set in natural splendor. What is Seattle today? City of the rich and the homeless, still set in natural splendor? Silicon Valley North? Seattle’s story is being rewritten so fast the citizenry can’t be expected to know it.

I have no idea what Fort Worth's civic story might be. It may be sort of sadly summed up by the park celebrating Fort Worth's heritage, in downtown Fort Worth, that boarded up eyesore known as Heritage Park. Fort Worth bills itself, locally, as Where The West Begins. I have thought this odd ever since I first heard it. Thinking that St. Louis, Missouri, would seem to be the town to more accurately make such a claim, what with Gateway Arch and all those wagon trains heading west in the 1800s.

5. “It has a downtown.” This is what I mean about our changing story. Seattle’s so boomy we have downtowns. The main downtown is there, while another downtown springs up in South Lake Union. Only there’s no there-there yet to our sterile new downtown. I advise visitors to go to the miraculous Pike Place Market and call it good.

Well, Fort Worth does have a downtown. A perfectly nice little downtown. I don't think anyone would refer to Fort Worth or its downtown as being boomy.

6. “Near a research university.” Check plus for us. We have the second-largest research school in the nation. My only beef is we don’t always recognize the jewel we have, so we don’t support it as we should. We also ought to be creating new universities.

I am fairly certain Fort Worth has a research school. I vaguely recollect one of the reasons I ended up in Texas had to do with some sort of research being done at UNT, that's University of North Texas, for non-locals reading this.

7. “Has, and cares about, a community college.” These two-year colleges are the great equalizer of the new economy, Fallows argues. We’ve definitely got ’em. How much we care, measured in the form of consistent state support, is again an open question.

Is Tarrant County College a two year college? I don't know. I do know there are several campuses of TCC, including two in downtown Fort Worth, with one of the campuses being in the defunct Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters.

8. “Has unusual K-12 schools.” He means like high-school engineering academies or schools for the performing arts. We have some foreign-language immersion K-5s, but Seattle should be embarrassed by our lack of creativity. No Science and Tech High here. Even Tukwila has Aviation High School.

Fort Worth's schools are in bad shape, that I do know. Whether the town has any unusual K-12 schools I do not know.

9. “Makes itself open.” Meaning, it tries to be inclusive, to draw in outsiders. Give Seattle’s civic leaders credit for effort, what with the affordable housing push and other attempts at making future Seattle not only an enclave for the rich.

Well, Fort Worth is definitely not an enclave for the rich, that's for sure. A lot of what happens in Fort Worth comes about in non-transparent ways, then foisted on the public. The Trinity River Vision, aka America's Biggest Boondoggle, comes to mind.

10. “Has big plans.” We’ve got Mount Rainier-sized plans. Execution is another matter.

Well, Fort Worth definitely shares that big plans/poor execution problem with Seattle. Again, America's Biggest Boondoggle comes to mind. Has the world's biggest tunnel boring machine, Bertha, started up boring again? Or is it still stalled while the cause of giant sinkholes is investigated? Fort Worth's plan execution problems come from lack of funds, hence the slow motion Trinity River Vision which has been boondoggling along for most of this century, with little to show for the effort.

11. “Has craft breweries.” Check plus-plus for us! Fallows believes craft breweries are some sort of urban signpost of extended entrepreneurial activity. I don’t know about that, but the beer around here is fantastic.

When I first moved to Texas I made note of the fact that there were no craft breweries of the sort which had proliferated on the west coast like espresso stands. Trends take awhile to move from the two coasts to the hinterlands. One of the Trinity River Vision's operations is to promote craft beer consumption, including having a craft brewery open on The Boondoggle's imaginary island, called Panther Island Brewing.

So, there you go.

Does Fort Worth join Seattle in falling short of greatness, according to the Fallows criteria? Or not? I have no idea....

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Winter 2016 Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Quarterly Propaganda Update

This morning I was pleased to open my mailbox to find the eagerly anticipated quarterly UPDATE from America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Vision Authority.

Every three months The Boondoggle mails out a slick piece of propaganda, which, for the most part, repeats what the previous quarterly update updated us about.

With America's Biggest Boondoggle's extremely slow motion construction it  is understandable that there is not a lot to report that is actual new information in each quarterly UPDATE.

What is not understandable is why does America's Biggest Boondoggle waste money on producing and mailing these embarrassing pieces of propaganda? Every three months.

The big news in the Winter 2016 UPDATE is pictured on the cover of the propaganda. Two pages of the UPDATE tell us that "On the morning of December 10, 2015, Fort Worth's newest piece of public art, Wind Roundabout, was celebrated with a formal dedication ceremony."

Formal? As opposed to an ordinary informal dedication ceremony? What made this ceremony formal I can not help wondering?

Below is one of the two pages under the title ART BECOMES THE CENTER OF ATTENTION.

I don't know why, but I found the first sentence of the second paragraph about the Wind Roundabout to be amusing....

This type of artwork is known as a kinetic sculpture because it incorporates movement.

If The Boondoggle thinks the public is so dumb it needs kinetic defined, don't you think the word "incorporates" might also need clarification?

In the page above about the Wind Roundabout we see Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in front of the kinetic sculpture apparently lecturing those she is speaking to about the importance of art in our community.

No mention is made in The Boondoggle's propaganda of the fact that they spent almost a million bucks for that ridiculous looking piece of aluminum.

The page below is from the two page section of the propaganda titled GATEWAY PARK MOVING FORWARD. Part of this was news to me, that being the part below.

I have not noticed dirt being moved on the west side of Beach Street. The current version of Gateway Park is due east of Beach Street. According to the propaganda "the Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of moving 1.4 million cubic yards of dirt, making way for flood protection and future recreational enhancements."

Flood protection? This area does not flood. Big levees the Army Corps of Engineers built over a half century ago keep this area dry when the Trinity goes rogue.

In the view above you are looking west. That is the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth you see in the distance. Those little things you see sticking up are Fort Worth's skyscrapers.

The below piece of propaganda titled THIS SUPERMODEL IS TURNING HEADS had me once again wondering why there is not more local complaining that this type nonsense must stop and those responsible for it removed.

Next to the SUPERMODEL title we learn "TRVA's newly-updated and interactive scale model of the Panther Island project has beauty AND the brains to match!

Who writes this embarrassing propaganda?

The first paragraph is another doozy...

"Once a majority of the bypass channel, street and canal right-of-ways had been purchased, the scale model in TRVA's Education Center needed updating in  order to more accurately represent the completed Panther Island project."

Completed? America's Biggest Boondoggle has completed NOTHING. Not a thing, after Boondoggling along for most of this century. Right-of-ways purchased? No mention made of The Boondoggle's wanton abuse of eminent domain to take property.

This interactive map, which lights up to highlight selected areas is located in something called the TRVA's Education Center. How many other public works projects in America have Education Centers? I believe this is located on the ground floor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram building.

How much money has The Boondoggle wasted on its Education Center and this new interactive map? Why does The Boondoggle need an Education Center? In addition to the quarterly propaganda UPDATES. Don't these important UPDATES do enough educating?

No quarterly UPDATE from America's Biggest Boondoggle is complete without mention being made of all the wonders that have taken place, and will take place, at Panther Island Pavilion. You know, the world's premiere urban waterfront inner tubing music venue where there is no island or pavilion. And where occasionally events have to be canceled due to the e.coli levels in the Trinity River being too high.

The above propaganda tells us that last year's Oktoberfest had 10,000 patrons from more than 235 cities from 31 states. And this data was acquired how?

As always alcohol consumption plays a big part in America's Biggest Boondoggle quarterly UPDATES. We learn about upcoming PIP events like the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, Oktoberfest, in September, with beer wench stein carrying, whatever that is.

The Boondoggle's propaganda wishes HAPPY BEERTHDAY to Panther Island Brewing, telling us this brewery has won an award, while sitting on Panther Island (where there is no island) with a fantastic view of the Downtown skyline, telling us to come grab a beer and check out Fort Worth's hottest brewery.

And people ask me why I call this type nonsense propaganda.....

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The First Good Swim Of The Year On The Third Saturday Of February

Yesterday's high was 81 degrees at my location. This morning when I woke up my temperature monitoring device I saw the outer world was chilled to only 62 degrees.

I figured the balmy temperatures should have the pool doable.

I figured right, and so had my first long swim this morning in the now not too cool pool.

Minutes ago I snapped the mid-afternoon view of the aforementioned pool you see here. As you can see it is currently being lit by a bright sun, with that sun currently heating the outer world at my location to 79 degrees.

I suspect I will be back in the pool tomorrow morning, unless the predicted Sunday thunderstorm is in full booming mode.

I read this morning that January in North Texas was the warmest, by far, since records have been kept. I know this winter has been the warmest since I've been in Texas. A few days where the temperature got below freezing. No ice storms. No snow.

This coming spring and summer should be interesting, weather-wise. I may feel the need to head north and west for relief....

Friday, February 19, 2016

Early Texas Voting At Fort Worth Library Thwarted Today Before Up Close Inspection Of New Art

The last time Texas had an election I was pleasantly surprised to see that my neighborhood East Regional Library had been added as an Early Voting location, obviating the need for the long drive to Handley to do some Early Voting.

So, today I decided to have myself a leisurely stroll to the East Regional Library to do some Early Voting. I knew the library was closed on Fridays, but figured that would not affect Early Voting.

However, upon arrival at the library parking lot I soon discovered that the two cars parked there were not early voters, because there was no Early Voting happening.

I arrived at the library right at noon, a timing which must never have happened before, because as I was looking at the plaque you see above, the Clock Tower bell began gonging, loudly, followed by a selection of religious greatest hits, like Amazing Grace, which I continued hearing long after I was a distance distant.

Til reading the Clock Tower plaque, you see above, I had no idea the Clock Tower had been presented  by the Citizens of East Fort Worth, with it being a project symbolizing the pride Eastsiders have in their neighborhood, what with it being the Gateway to the City where the West begins.

Let us continue on today's walk to another item of interest.

Lately whilst driving on Bridge Street I have noticed new art installations.

Back, late last year, when many locals were stunned at the revelation of a pseudo work of kinetic art which looked like a stylized, modernized trash can, at the center of the first of America's Biggest Boondoggle's traffic roundabouts under construction, and costing nearly a million bucks, we also learned that the city would be soon installing art on power boxes, with would beautify the apparent eyesores which I had never noticed prior to the apparent eyesores getting covered with art.

The below example I walked by today at the northwest corner of the intersection of Bridge and Bridgewood Streets.

A longhorn in a field of bluebonnets. It does catch ones eye as one drives, or walks, by. As one drives west on Bridge Street one sees many iterations of these works of art, depicting various themes, with most appearing to be somehow Texas related, though not as obvious as what you see above.

I don't know how much these works of art have cost the city. I would guess the price is no where near the almost million bucks the aluminum salute to trash cans cost.

It will be interesting to see how long these colorful pieces of plastic wrap last in the HOT Texas sun, which is starting to arrive, even now, prior to the blistering ULTRA HEAT of Summer.

I guess I will need to make that long laborious drive to Handley to do my Early Voting duty. But not today, that will need to wait til next week....

Are Elsie Hotpepper And I Attending The Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Trailblazer Awards?

Way back in December of last year I got an email from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. asking if I have blazed any trails lately, while informing me they wanted to recognize my contributions to Downtown Fort Worth.

I blogged about this in Downtown Fort Worth Wants To Recognize My Trailblazing Contributions.

Elsie Hotpepper was tasked with filling out the form which came with the email in which my multiple contributions to Downtown Fort Worth were to be detailed.

I forgot about this important document, which Elsie Hotpepper was tasked with filling out, til this morning when I got another email from the Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. people reminding me of the upcoming Trailblazer Awards event taking place March 8 in the Ballroom of the Omni Hotel.

I have received no notification from the Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. people as to the current status of recognizing my multiple contributions to Downtown Fort Worth with a coveted Trailblazer Award.

Elsie Hotpepper was also tasked with securing tickets to the Trailblazer Awards. I am suspecting Elsie Hotpepper has failed to follow through on both of these tasks with which she was tasked....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Keeping Tricycle Speed Under The Mount Vernon Speed Limit

I saw what you see here this morning on the Skagit Breaking News Facebook page and found it to be amusing.

Skagit is the county I lived in before moving to Texas. Mount Vernon is the town I lived in before moving to Texas.

In the picture a little boy on a tricycle is perusing the speed limit sign, likely wondering how in the world is he supposed to know how fast he is going when his trike is not equipped with a speedometer.

The part of the sign I found to be amusing  is the information attached below the ENTERING MOUNT VERNON SPEED LIMIT 25 ENFORCED notice...


In all my years of driving in the Skagit Valley I never got a single speeding ticket. I was only a couple weeks into my exile in Texas when I got a speeding ticket, due to a speed trap in Southlake.

Coming from Washington I was unfamiliar with the concept of the speed limit on a road going up and down, with a cop hiding in the speed limit down zone so as to trap alleged speeders.

At my current location on the three mile drive to Walmart, on John T. White Road, if I am remembering right the speed limit changes three times. Heading west on Randol Mill Road towards Town Talk, same thing.

I guess due to most Texans not knowing this is not normal no one makes a fuss to put an end to all the speed limit churning.

Speaking of driving in Texas. I must say, last night's late night drive to D/FW airport was totally painless, due to the well done upgrade to I-121. When construction was underway it was difficult to estimate how long the drive to the airport would take. Last night it took about 15 minutes.

The only construction annoyance in the drive to the airport is at the airport itself, with Terminal E being a bit of a challenge due to the construction upgrade. Last week after, delivering Miss Puerto Rico to Terminal E, upon leaving, I hit the biggest pothole I ever plowed through. Last night the exit from Terminal E was via a different route, and I found no dreaded potholes.

I intend to drive nowhere today....

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Postponed Airport Pickup Had Me Seeing New Scenery In Arlington's River Legacy Park

Last night I thought a change of plans had me driving to the airport this morning to pick up Miss Puerto Rico. By morning that plan had changed. More on that later.

I had myself a mighty stressful morning, so by the time the noon timeframe arrived I was in the mood for a relaxing contemplative walk. But, was in no mood to walk with Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts.

Instead I went to Arlington's River Legacy Park, where the ghost haunting is kept to a minimum.

I'd not been to River Legacy Park since the Thanksgiving Flood. More on that later. But first I must mention that which you see above.

The River Legacy Park Pavilion.

This morning Elsie Hotpepper pointed me to an article about America's Biggest Boondoggle's V Piers being almost ready for their closeup with cement. Seems like it's been months since a fuss was made over those silly V Piers' wooden forms appearing, providing evidence that after a decade or so in the making something was rising from the ground due to the efforts of J.D. Granger and the slow motion Trinity River Vision Project.

I don't remember if it was in that article to which Elsie Hotpepper pointed me, or somewhere else, but somewhere this morning I read mention made of Panther Island and Panther Island Pavilion.

Panther Island is what The Boondoggle calls the imaginary island The Boondoggle is going to connect the Fort Worth mainland to, via those three bridges being built over dry land, currently consisting of some wooden V Pier forms.

So, today when I saw the River Legacy Park Pavilion I thought I should take a photo of it for those who don't know what an actual pavilion looks like. Have you seen anything like this in the area The Boondoggle refers to as Panther Island Pavilion? You know, where The Boondoggle has its Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats when the e.coli level is low enough to make floating in the Trinity River semi-safe.

Back to River Legacy Park and the Thanksgiving Flood. I visited River Legacy Park soon after the floods of last spring. No damage in evidence after that flood. Today I walked a few miles, from the south side of the Trinity River to the north side. I saw views of the river I'd never seen, in all the years I've enjoyed this park.

I soon realized what had caused the new views.

The Thanksgiving Flood tore away at the river's banks, causing big chunks of earth, with trees and shrubs and other foliage, to break away and fall into the river, bringing the brink closer to the paved trail and opening up expansive views, such as above.

Above you can see some of the yellow mesh fencing which has been put in place as a temporary barrier to keep people from falling over the new brink.

When I got to the bridge which takes walkers, jogger, bikers and bladers across the Trinity to the north side I could tell the river had risen high enough to deposit mud on the bridge. I believe this is the first time that has happened since that bridge opened earlier this century.

The flood left some damage in its wake, but, overall, I think Mother Nature has made some major improvements in the River Legacy Park scenic experience.

Changing the subject from Mother Nature to aborted trips to the airport.

I went to bed thinking Miss Puerto Rico was leaving the island around 4 this morning, arriving in Fort Lauderdale around 7,  and being back at D/FW around half past 9.

By morning my phone had multiple confusing messages. One of those messages said "come get me, i miss my babies."


Did that mean Miss PR was already back in Texas, waiting at the airport? I checked the flight status online. Nothing had changed. Arrival in D/FW still when I expected.

But, then I was getting more confusing text messages, arriving while Miss Puerto Rico was  supposedly in the air, unable to use her phone. Several confusions later I figured out she was still in Florida. More messages later I learned that the plane got in from Aguadilla, PR too late for those on board to catch the flight leaving for Texas.

So, Miss Puerto Rico has been stuck in Florida since this morning. The next flight out is half past 8, arrival at D/FW a little before 11 tonight.

Weeks ago when Miss Puerto Rico told me she'd booked a flight on Spirit Airlines I reminded her of how upset she'd been at her previous experience with that airline, where she vowed to never fly them again. Maybe after this experience the lesson will remain learned.

Does Anyone Know What We Are Saving The Stockyards From?

There is a Fort Worth effort afoot to Save the Stockyards.

This effort afoot has a Facebook page appropriately titled Save Our Stockyards.

What is it the Stockards are being saved from?

I'm not sure.

All I know for sure is the City of Fort Worth, in cahoots with a California based developer, is wanting to do some developing in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District zone.

I've never been able to get a clear, consistent answer to what these developing plans entail, as in what is proposed to be removed, and where will all this development be taking place?

I have been told that the actual Stockyards are to be removed. I find this real hard to believe, as the actual Stockyards, the old pens with a boardwalk crossing the length above the pens is the most unique part of the Stockyards.

I've long thought the Stockyards sort of turns its back on the part of the place I think is the most unique. The access from Exchange Avenue is a bit tricky to find. You go through a revolving gate which is adjacent to where the Fort Worth Herd spends most of their time. Or you can access actual Stockyards from the north, to the east of Billy Bob's.

Above we are on the aforementioned boardwalk above the actual Stockyards, looking south at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

Are the above actual Stockyards part of what is proposed to be removed? If so, count me on board the Save the Stockyards bandwagon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tandy Hills Mascot Olive The Prairie Dog Missing Again

This morning I got multiple confusing text messages from someone for whom English is not her first language.

Amongst those messages I got a confusing text message from someone for whom the Texas variant of English is her first language.

To which I replied something like good gawd is no one speaking understandable English to me today?

The message from the speaker of the Texas variant of English said "the prairie dog is missing again."

I had no  idea what that meant, and said so via the reply I already mentioned.

The speaker of the Texas variant of English then clarified that the prairie dog she was talking about was Olive the Prairie Dog, the Mascot of the Tandy Hills.

How has this happened again? The last time Olive the Prairie Dog went missing it turned into a big deal, with Olive the Prairie Dog posters posted all over, including some big sign versions.

I gleaned the photo of Olive the Prairie Dog from her paternal parental figure, Don Young's Facebook page. You can go there is you have any information about Olive.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Presidential Presidents Day Walk Around Fosdick Lake Debating Feeding Ducks

What with it being Presidents Day today I decided to go to the nearest location I know of which I think of as presidential.

That being Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park, for a walk around Fosdick Lake.

Don't ask me why I think of this location as being very presidential. A fortune cookie said I would utter a nonsensical sentence today, so I got that out of the way with that first sentence.

A lot of people were enjoying the ultra pleasant Presidents Day temperature at Oakland Lake Park, including the group of Fosduck feeders you see above. I was on the east side of the lake when I saw this group at the base of the Fosdick Steps on the west side of the lake. I zoomed in for the photo, with my steady hand rendering semi-good results.

Speaking of Presidents.

Last night I watched Saturday's Republican Presidential Debate whilst over at Miss Puerto Rico's. I'd set the DVR to record the circus the day before. Til last night I'd not made it through an entire Republican Presidential Debate during this current election debacle.

But, what happened in South Carolina on Saturday was an embarrassing train wreck that I could not quit watching. A monumental embarrassing entertaining train wreck.

How could the party of Lincoln, Grant, McKinley, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush the First have devolved into such a mess of nincompoops running for President?

Last night Trump looked so orange. And I'd never noticed Marco Rubio's huge ears before. They looked like wings to me. Was this just because I was watching on an extra big screen? Ben Carson has written a book about the U.S. Constitution? But does not know that that document spells out how a new Supreme Court Justice is appointed? Jeb Bush whining about Trump picking on his family was funny, what with the back and forth between the two which then erupted.

I'd not witnessed a debate so out of control before. Is the Republican Party toast? It seems that might be the case, at least in its current version.....

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sending Valentines Day Jeep Pictures To Puerto Rico

This morning when I woke up my phone I saw an urgent text message from Miss Puerto Rico.

I think I have previously mentioned that Miss Puerto is currently visiting her home island and has left me with the task of cat sitting her babies, Coco and Belly Baby.

The text message asked me to take a picture of Miss Puerto Rico's Jeep.

Miss Puerto Rico took with her pictures of the babies, but not her Jeep. The reason for the picture of the Jeep request was because Miss Puerto Rico's dad wanted to see what the Jeep looked like. Today was the last day Miss PR will see her dad on this trip home, attending her dad's Valentines Day party in the Veterans residential place he now lives in.

So, that has been my exciting Valentines Day, taking Jeep pictures, sending them to Puerto Rico and altering Inwesco images. Don't ask, you don't need to know.....

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Almost HOT Enough To Resume A Regular Swim Schedule

The pool is looking doable on this second Saturday day before Valentines Day in February.

However, looking doable does not make the pool doable, unless it is a chilling experience one is looking for.

Currently the outer world is heated to only 63 degrees at my location. Overnight was in the 40s. I think I need about five days in a row nearing 80 to make the pool pleasantly doable.

Past years the pool becomes doable in early March. I'm guessing with all this global warming we've got going on that the pool becoming doable will be happening earlier than any other year in recorded history.

This particular Saturday has me pondering all the habits I seem to have broken. It's Saturday and going to Town Talk  did not cross my mind. Nor did doing some hill hiking on the Tandy Hills. I can't remember the last time I hiked the Tandy Hills. I know I have not hill hiked since the most recent clear cutting removed foliage from a swath of the hills.

Now that you've got me thinking about it I'm wondering if a rare late afternoon hill hike on the Hills of Tandy might be a mighty fine thing.

Well, nix that idea. Just remembered I have something we will called the Inwesco PDF Nightmare to figure out.....

Friday, February 12, 2016

Abraham Lincoln's And My Sister Jackie's Happy February 12 Birthday

On this day, February 12, over two centuries ago, Abraham Lincoln was born.

On this day, February 12, far less than two centuries ago, my Favorite Sister Jackie was born, later to become the mama of my Favorite Nephews Christopher and Jeremy.

To celebrate Abe's and my sister's birthday I was going to go to River Legacy Park in Arlington to have myself a peaceful, contemplative walk.

But, when the time came to go walking I opted for a shorter drive and instead went to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington to walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt that location.

Village Creek is currently looking very peaceful, with the water running so clear it looks almost clean enough to swim in, if one has no aversion to snapping turtles, water moccasins and sharp-toothed garfish.

Last Saturday someone told me they found what I write to be amusing. I said I had no idea I was amusing and verbalized my fear that this new found information would make me self-conscious regarding whether or not I was being amusing.

Ever since this amusing revelation I have been experiencing what I think is some version of what is known as writer's block.

I am on Day Five of Cat Sitting Duty. Miss Puerto Rico checks in several  times a day to make sure I am doing my duty. Last night when I went to check on the Babies I could  not find Coco. Belly Baby was in her regular spot on Miss Puerto Rico's bed, but Coco was hidden from me.

I do not know if Coco was playing a cat game with me, moving to various hiding locations, or what.

But, it took around a half hour before I finally located the little devil, on the bed, right next to Belly Baby, but hidden under a sheet. I am almost 100% certain that that cat was not there when I first discovered her to be missing.

I have not checked in on the meow-ers today. I supposed I should do so.....

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Culinary Adventure Cracking A Giant Goose Egg

What you are looking at here is what I found inside one of the giant goose eggs I found in a mailbox on Monday.

One egg covering half a frying pan.

Cracking a goose egg is not as easy as cracking open a regular run of the mill chicken egg.

A hatchet would have come in handy, but eventually I whacked the goose egg hard enough on the side of the frying pan to crack the egg open.

And now you are wondering what a fried goose egg tastes like.

Well, if you have ever had yourself a fried chicken egg you have a fairly good idea of what a fried goose egg tastes like....

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Walking With Ghosts In Arlington In The Old Caddoan Confederacy

That serene body of water you are looking at here is located in Arlington, Texas.

The body of water is known as Village Creek. Village Creek is so named because of the large Village of Native Americans which thrived in this area until early Texans used a primitive form of eminent domain to take the land away from its rightful owners.

The Village at Village Creek was made up of multiple tribes, bound together in what was known as the Caddo Confederacy.

The Tribes in the Caddoan Confederacy were agrarian. Which means they grew crops. Items like corn and squash. The Caddoan Confederacy extended to the east to what is now known as Louisiana.

The Comanche tribe was headquartered to the west and north. The Comanche were not an agrarian tribe. The Comanche often made raids into Caddoan Confederacy territory.

That is our local history lesson for today.

Today I had myself a mighty fine peaceful walk with the Indian Ghosts who haunt this location. And now it is time to fire up the wok and make some stir fry.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

60 Sunny Degrees Is No Big Deal In Texas In February Unlike The Chilly Northwest

I saw that which you see here this morning via the Seattle Times and thought it to be a variant of our popular series of bloggings about something read in a west coast online news source that I would likely not be reading in any local Texas news source.

As in, up north, in Western Washington, the outer world being heated to 60 degrees is not the chilly norm.

While at my location in Texas the outer world being heated to 60, or above, in February, is no big deal.

However, currently, this second Tuesday of February the outer world at my location is a somewhat chilly 43 degrees, heading to a predicted high in the 60s, with predicted highs in the 70s for a few of the days to follow today.

There are a couple other things in that photo I screen capped from the Seattle Times that I do not see at my currently location.

The obvious thing I don't see in Texas is that big mountain in the background. That would be Mount Rainier. I can not tell if the body of water is Lake Washington or Puget Sound.

My best guess is the body of water is Lake Washington, with that body of water being a less obvious thing that I can not find at my current location. That being a clean body of water in which one can catch salmon, and other fish, with the salmon, and other fish, being safe to eat.

And no one would think a person nuts if that person had themselves a Rockin' the Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Float in Lake Washington.

I just realized, people would think a person was nuts if they went Rockin' that Lake in February when the temperature was only 60.....

Monday, February 8, 2016

Taking Miss Puerto Rico To The Airport Getting Goose Eggs On The Way

This morning I was informed that if I gave the go ahead a designated mailbox on Randol Mill Road would have some Goose Eggs installed in it.

Around one I picked up Miss Puerto Rico to deliver her to Terminal E at D/FW International.

When I did not go the regular way to get on the freeway Miss Puerto Rico said nothing. When I crossed the freeway, on Randol Mill Road, without getting on the freeway, Miss Puerto Rico said nothing.

Soon Miss Puerto Rico was seeing a lot of cows and saying look at all those cows. It was around then I was to learn that after two decades of living in the neighborhood Miss Puerto had never driven down Randol Mill Road east of I-820. She had no idea she was living so close to farms with cattle and horses.

Then came the fun part. Just as Miss Puerto Rico was pointing out one particular farm house and its critters I pulled into that farm house's driveway, put the vehicle in park, walked over to the mailbox and extracted two boxes and then got back in the vehicle.

What's going on? asked Miss Puerto Rico. It's just a contraband pickup said I. No big deal. I need to check and make sure all is in order. So I opened a box and pulled out a giant Goose Egg.

Miss Puerto Rico seemed to be a bit befuddled for a bit. I don't think Miss Puerto Rico is familiar with farms, because she was fixated on the electric fence warning signs, asking what goes on there that they have an electrified fence. You've never touched an electric fence? asked I. It just gives a little buzz, to keep the cows from escaping.

Soon after I turned north on to Precinct Line Road Miss Puerto Rico got out her phone so as to take a photo of a Goose Egg. Precinct Line Road is very bumpy, so this was not working out too well, with Miss Puerto Rico holding a Goose Egg in one hand whilst trying to take a picture with the other hand.

So, I hit the brakes, came to a stop, took the Goose Egg from Miss Puerto Rico, which is when she took the photo you see above.

Prior to Miss Puerto Rico texting me the above photo whilst she waits to board her plane I was back home and took the photo you see below of two giant Goose Eggs surrounded my a dozen mini-goose eggs, which were also in the mailbox.

Terminal E is currently a construction mess. I hit the worst pothole I've ever hit soon after dropping off Miss Puerto Rico. I'm surprised that pothole jolt did not result in scrambled Goose Eggs.

My Favorite Nephew Jason Takes Me Back To The Grand Canyon

Last week Spencer Jack's great grandma told me that Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, was flying south to Phoenix to go on a roadtrip with Spencer Jack's grandpa, my Favorite Brother Jake, to the Grand Canyon.

Photo documentation of Jason at the Grand Canyon began arriving yesterday.

I looked at the picture of Jason pointing to the Grand Canyon and then looked to my left to see a  picture of myself at a different location on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

That would be the picture to which I refer below.

I have not been to the Grand Canyon since 1994. Two visits in one year.

The first 1994 Grand Canyon visit took place on 1994's New Years Day. That visit was to the South Rim. It was freezing, with the Bright Angel Trail to the Colorado not hikeable due to a thick covering of ice.

Years prior to that 1994 Grand Canyon visit I hiked the Bright Angel Trail all the way to the Colorado. Brutal hike. Most hikes one goes up, then down. Hiking the Grand Canyon, the easy part, going down, comes first. And then the hard hike back to the top. The sun set before reaching the top.

Like I said. Brutal.

My second 1994 visit to the Grand Canyon was in October, to stay in a log cabin on the North Rim. A blizzard blew in overnight. It was a bit jarring to have gone from very warm houseboating on the Colorado River via Lake Powell, to a day later shivering in a blizzard.

We arrived at the Grand Canyon after the sun set. A third of my travel companions had never seen the Grand Canyon. We assumed it would be available to be seen in the morning. But in the morning the photo below shows all that could be seen of the Grand Canyon.

We were told that what we were not seeing was very rare. The North Rim closes in winter, due to too much snow. Usually the snow arrives after the park is closed for the season, hence us getting stuck in a blizzard being a rare treat. It was kind of fun, I have to admit.

I have never seen a warning sign in Arizona like this one below that Jason is showing us.

Of the critters on that list, when I've been in Arizona, I have only seen lizards and spiders, with those spiders being in the form of tarantulas.

I suspect Jason had himself a mighty fine time seeing the Grand Canyon. Jason is returning to Arizona in a month or two, with Spencer Jack. I suspect Spencer Jack is likely going to get to see the Grand Canyon on that visit.

If Jason was a bit shocked at how overly developed the South Rim is, I know I was, well, it's a couple hundred mile drive to get the nine miles to the North Rim, with the North Rim not overly developed. No multiple hotels. No mall. No HUGE crowds.