Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fighting Off Vicious Attacks In Wichita Falls

Til today it had been awhile since I attempted one of those selfie things. I don't think I was being a grumpy as I look. Then again, I was a bit grumpy.

Why grumpy?

Well, lately I have been under attack.

A couple days ago I was viciously attacked by swarms of biting insects of various types whilst climbing Mount Wichita.

Yesterday I got no salubrious mood enhancing aerobic stimulation and the endorphins that result from such stimulation.

After getting bugged on Wichita Mountain I bought myself some Cutter bug spray to use if I ever return to that mountain once the multiple bug bumps and the resultant itching subsides.

Day after day the weather prognosticators for this location predict thunderstorms. Til today these seem to take place in the middle of the night. Around noon I decided to test if it is safe to go jogging on the Circle Trail which circulates by my front door without being tormented by swarms of biting bugs.

Well, the jogging went well. Til a couple miles in rain started to drip. Thunder rolled in from a long ways distant, with no lightning flashing seen due to that distance thing. But, I turned around and headed back to my under cover zone.

I did not make it back before the rain went into downpour mode and the thunder moved closer.

About ten minutes before the rain started dripping is when I took the grumpy picture above.

As for bug bites. By the time I got out of the outdoors I found I had been bitten several times, but not nearly as bad as that last bout on Wichita Mountain.

I would have thought this would be a bug-free zone, what with the five years of extreme drought. One would think the insect population would have died off. But I have had more bug bites in one month at this new Texas location than all the previous Texas years combined.

I am still liking this new location though.....

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day With Cousin Scott In Vietnam

Memorial Day, the start of the Summer season, even though Summer does not arrive for a few more weeks.

I erroneously thought Memorial Day was the day we remembered relatives and friends who had passed away. And that Veterans Day was the day we remembered those who served in America's military.

When I saw multiple people posting Memorial Day homages to fallen soldiers, and those who served, I felt compelled to point out that Veterans Day was the day for that type homaging.

But, before doing so I Googled "Memorial Day" to learn I was wrong, as I often am.

This morning my cousin Scott's daughter Olivia posted the photo of her dad you see above. My cousin Scott then commented with...

"i was probably 20 when this was taken. sitting in the office in saigon and maybe listening to anti-war music my uncle gerry sent me..."

I don't know why, but my cousin Scott refuses to use capital letters.

I also don't  know why cousin Scott and his sister, cousin  Linda, insist on calling our youngest uncle, Uncle Jerry, when Uncle Jerry is known only as Uncle Mooch by my side of the family, and since my side of the family is more numerous I think our naming conventions should be the standard.

Then again, it is true that Uncle Mooch's wife, Jane, rather strongly objected the first time she heard Mooch's nephews and nieces call him Uncle Mooch. Jane relented when it was explained the Uncle Mooch name derived from a Disney character we liked, named Moochie.

I remember it being a big deal when cousin Scott returned to the states from one of his Vietnam tours. I recollect one memorable Thanksgiving, if I remember right, with it being a big deal that Scott was home.

I remember when Uncle Mooch was shipped out for military duty. I remember it being a tearful departure with Grandma Jones (Anglification of Slotemaker) and all of us at Sea-Tac, back in the good ol' pre-terrorist days when you could bid someone farewell right at the gate.

I think Uncle Mooch was in the Air Force. But on the ground, somewhere in the Middle East. Turkey maybe? Or was that Uncle Mel? I know Uncle Mel was stationed in Turkey during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Anyway, I hope y'all had yourselves a very memorable Memorial Day....

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Walking Over The Wichita River On The Old Ohio Street Bridge

Yesterday I took myself to the Wichita Falls Farmers Market for the first, and likely only time. Suffice to say I bought nothing. I was hoping for a Dallas Farmers Market or Pike Place type experience.

Instead I got a slightly better than Fort Worth Farmers Market experience.

After spending a couple minutes at the Farmers Market I walked around downtown for a bit. Long enough to see that downtown Wichita Falls is in the midst of being re-vitalized, with a lot of re-vitalizing needing to take place.

Last week I visited the nearby Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture. It's nearby but on the other side of the tracks and the Wichita River from the location of the Farmers Market. After visiting the Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture last week I read somewhere that near that sculpture is a trail entry for the well regarded Wee-Chi-Tah Trail, thought, by some, to be the best mountain bike trail in Texas.

On my first visit I saw nothing which looked like a trail near the sculpture. So, since I was in the neighborhood I returned for a second look. This time I think I may have found the trail, but due to it being muddy the trail did not appear to have been rolled on recently.

Looking for the trail took me on a bridge I mentioned the first time I blogged about this location. You can watch video of yesterday's bridge walk below.

In the video I indicate I am wary of walking all the way across the bridge. However, after I finished the video I opted to walk all the way across due to curiosity regarding something I saw at the far end of the bridge. What I saw turned out to be the historical marker you see above.

From that historical marker I learned this river crossing is known at the Ohio Street Bridge, opened to traffic on July 4, 1886. A second span was added in 1911. In 1972 the bridge was closed to traffic and the older span demolished.

The Circle Trail, which circulates all over Wichita Falls, circulates under what remains of the Ohio Street Bridge. The Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture is on the north side of the river. I wonder why a side spur off the Circular Trail does not take bikers and walkers across the river to the sculpture? Currently the Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture is a bit isolated from the downtown zone.

Below you can walk on the Ohio Street Bridge with me and get a good look at the extremely colorful, totally litter free Wichita River....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wichita Falls World's Littlest Skyscraper Con Job vs. Fort Worth's Con Jobs

The middle arrow on the sign you see here points the direction to what is known as the World's Littlest Skyscraper.

To find this skyscraper I did not need directional signage because I had already found it a week or so ago. But, at that point in time I did not stop for a close up look because I did not have my camera with me, other than my phone camera.

That and I knew I was going to be visiting the Wichita Falls Farmers Market today, with that market being next door to the World's Littlest Skyscraper.

Before we look at the skyscraper, regarding that blue directional sign. This type signage is installed all over Wichita Falls. The signage is very useful. More on that in a subsequent blogging.

Above is another example of the blue signage one finds all over Wichita Falls. This particular signage seemed a bit unnecessary. What else could this structure be but the World's Littlest Skyscraper?

The tale of how this little skyscraper came to be in an amusing story. Wikipedia does a good job of telling the tale in its World's Littlest Skyscraper entry.

Short version: Wichita Falls was in the midst of an oil boom, needing office space. A con man, some think was a Yankee, conned several local businessmen into putting up the money to build an office tower. The investors approved of the building's blueprints. Construction began, apparently with none of the investors, or any other Wichita Fallers, noticing the foundation was very small.

Not noticing the foundation was small goes along with also not noticing that the blueprints showed the skyscraper's dimensions in inches, not feet, showing 480 inches in height, not 480 feet. When the investors realized they'd been swindled they sued, but a judge ruled the deal was not a swindle due to the fact that the approved blueprints showed a building the small size of the building which was actually built.

The swindle and the little skyscraper was a big embarrassment to the Wichita Falls locals, at the time. But, eventually enough time passed that that lemon was turned into the lemonade it is today.

I think it speaks well of the people of Wichita Falls that they fessed up to something that's a bit embarrassing and eventually embrace it as part of their shared history.

I used to live in another Texas town which was prone to swindles and con man cons. The people of that town never seemed to fess up to the fact that something turned out to be a bit embarrassing. Then again, the embarrassments weren't really the fault of the people. Rather the embarrassments were brought to the locals by the Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network which runs the town in what is known as The Fort Worth Way.

During my time of being stuck in that town I saw the town swindled by a con job from a sporting goods store, convincing the local rubes in charge that this sporting goods store would be the #1 Tourist Attraction in Texas, drawing incredible numbers of tourists. All sorts of tax breaks and concessions were given to this store to land Fort Worth this imaginary prize.

Soon it was obvious that that sporting goods store was not going to be the #1 Tourist Attraction in Texas, it was not even the only iteration of that store in Texas, with another one opening by Austin a short time later. And then another opened in the D/FW Metro zone. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram never fessed up to their part in foisting this con on the town. Nor did the city government and the Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network which controls the city government.

And then there was the Santa Fe Rail Market, touted by that Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network and its mouthpiece, the Star-Telegram, as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place and Public Markets in Europe. And that it was to be the first Public Market in Texas. This con job and its accompanying propaganda was so embarrassing to witness and so obviously grounded in pure ignorant idiocy that I made several webpages documenting the nonsense. You can find all that documentation by clicking on Santa Fe Rail Market.

And then there is Fort Worth's biggest con job littlest skyscraper type foolishness, an ongoing embarrassment known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, or, more commonly, as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

My awareness of this embarrassment was brought to me like so many Fort Worth embarrassments, by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. On a Sunday morning early this century I recollect being startled by a big banner front page headline proclaiming something like "Trinity Uptown To Make Fort Worth the Vancouver of the South".

I recollect thinking how could anything possibly make Fort Worth be anything like Vancouver.

Mountains, big bodies of saltwater, a world's fair, a big Chinatown? What? I recollect wondering if any of these fools had actually been to Vancouver and thus realize how ludicrous it was to make such a claim.

This was followed not too long later by the equally bizarre assertion that a little lame food court type thing was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place, with me again wondering if any of these fools had actually been to Pike Place.

I wonder if America's Biggest Boondoggle will one day be like the World's Littlest Skyscraper in Wichita Falls, with unfinished bridges being some sort of tourist attraction and a historical marker explaining that the bridges were part of an ill-fated plan to connect Fort Worth's mainland to an imaginary island....

Friday, May 27, 2016

Burlington's Maiben Park Upgrade Has Me Wondering Anew Why Fort Worth Is So Backwards

A couple days ago Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, emailed me an email with the subject line "Spencer Jack may be on a zip line through Burlington's city park in the future".

All that was in the body of the email was a link to an article in Skagit County Breaking Community News titled Safety Improvements Continue at Maiben Park.

Maiben Park is one of the city parks in the town I grew up in, Burlington, Washington. Maiben Park is across the street from our home location on Washington Avenue.

About a year ago a still unsolved murder took place in Maiben Park. This set in motion a community effort to make the park safer.

Community meetings have been taking place to solicit input from the public. Three paragraphs from the article about this effort...

Burlington, Washington– Burlington Community Leaders having been holding community meetings and asking  residents for input on some big changes that are coming to Maiben Park in the next year.

Some of the upcoming changes include improved L.E.D Lighting, Security Cameras, a separate play area for 2-5 year old children, an expanded  play area for 5-12 year old children that includes a zip line, new park benches, Free Wifi, parking epansions,  new restrooms with shelter and security options, picnic tables, and a new splash pad. Some of the items that will stay the same are the trees and bike jumps, among other things.

In the latest community meeting, which was held on Wednesday May 11th, officials shared  some digital copies of two of the new park diagrams that are now being considered.  The layouts are very similar with the position of the restroom building at different angles as the only major difference between the two options.

What a difference between the town I grew up in and the town I recently escaped from, Fort Worth, Texas.

Fort Worth has a bizarre pseudo public works project which has been dawdling along for most of this century, known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision, or more commonly, as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Every three months America's Biggest Boondoggle mails out a slick propaganda production.

For years, each quarter, those propaganda productions tell the easily duped that The Boondoggle's Vision of the Gateway Park Master Plan includes over 90 user requested amenities.

Signage at Gateway Park's Fort Woof also mentions these 90 user requested amenities. For years I have been asking who these users are and what was the mechanism by which they made these amenity requests.

All I have heard is crickets chirping.

I think growing up in a little town like Burlington, population then somewhere around 3,000, now somewhere around 8,000, and then seeing a big city, like Fort Worth, up close, with a population around 100 times bigger than Burlington, yet so backwards by comparison, is what has long perplexed me about Fort Worth, trying to figure out why the town is so backwards and lacking in so many ways. Like the miles of roads without sidewalks. And parks without modern restrooms.

Decades ago, when I was a kid, playing in Maiben Park, the park had modern restroom facilities and running water for the park's picnickers.

I think, if I remember right, I have verbalized a time or two how appalling I have long found the fact that most of Fort Worth's city parks do not have modern restrooms or running water.

How is it not some sort of universal health code violation to have city parks with picnic tables with no running water to wash ones hands?

As part of the Maiben Park upgrade the park is getting new restrooms. And free wi-fi. Free wi-fi is not a concept alien to Texans. On Wednesday I was in the Texas Star park in Euless, connected to that park's wi-fi.

The towns surrounding Fort Worth have multiple parks with modern amenities. I really don't understand why there is not some sort of Fort Worth sense of civic embarrassment that the town is so backwards with its outdated parks which belong in another century.

Or a Third World country....

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wichita Falls Prairie Dogs Lead Me To The Historical Mystery Of Zenobia Trimble

A couple weeks ago when I first visited the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town in Kiwanis Park I was perplexed about something I found there.

A cemetery.

Kiwanis Park includes Lakeview Cemetery.

Now, I guess that would not seem all that unusual, except for the fact that directly across the street, on the south side of Southwestern Boulevard is another cemetery. A big one called Rosemont.

So, on my last play date with the Prairie Dogs I decided to check out Lakeview Cemetery. I have long found wandering around an old cemetery to be interesting. I got this trait from my Grandma Jones.

Clever epitaphs and elaborate headstones were popular long ago. The best examples of this I have ever come across is in the Roslyn Cemetery in Roslyn, Washington. This is the town the CBS show Northern Exposure was filmed in. The Roslyn Cemetery is divided into something like 30 different sections, based on race, ethnicity and country of origin.

Among the interesting headstones I found in the Lakeview Cemetery is the one you see above for Mary Washington. She died in 1998 at 107 years old.

As I wandered among the headstones I started to think that Lakeview Cemetery might be an African-American burial ground. It was the names which made me think this. An awful lot of Beulahs.

So, when I was back at my computer I Googled Lakeview Cemetery Wichita Falls and found the following entry about Lakeview Cemetery on the City of Wichita Falls website....

Lakeview Cemetery is an 11.5 acre facility with 2250 burials since it opened in 1927.

In 1927 the City of Wichita Falls purchased 80 acres of land on the south side of town and designated 11.5 acres as Lakeview Cemetery. The remainder has become Kiwanis Park. 

Lakeview is well known for the African American community leaders who are interred there. Some of the most prominent are Zenobia Trimble, who has a Texas historical marker placed on her grave; Otis C. Polk Jr.; and C.E. and Gwendolyn Jackson. One of Wichita Falls’ longest lived citizens, Mary Washington, is buried there. She lived to be 107.

I am assuming Lakeview Cemetery is a relic from the age of segregation. I did not see any recent headstones.

As for Lakeview Cemetery having had 2250 burials since opening, well, most of those burials must have been without grave marking headstones, because I did not see anywhere near that number of grave markers.

Next time I play with the Prairie Dogs I must try and find the Zenobia Trimble gravesite and its Texas historical marker to find out why Zenobia Trimble is of historial interest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Picnicking In Haltom City Without Elsie Hotpepper Or Amon Carter

I have long done my best to emulate my favorite Fort Worth historical figure.

Amon Carter.

When Amon Carter had the distasteful task of needing to venture all the way to Dallas he packed a lunch to take with him, so as not to leave any more money, than need be, in that evil town to the east of Fort Worth.

Now that I have exiled myself from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, on those rare occasions when I return, like today, I pack a lunch.

Today on my way out of the Metroplex mess I stopped at Whites Branch Park in Haltom City for a pseudo picnic.

Whites Branch Park should be named Ally Collins Park, but I digress.

I would never stop in a Fort Worth park for a pseudo picnic, due to most Fort Worth parks missing an essential picnic element that I deem necessary for a modern era picnic experience.

Can you spot what this little Haltom City park has which most Fort Worth parks lack?

If you spotted running water in the form of a fountain, you are very observant.

This little park in Haltom City also has modern restroom facilities with modern indoor plumbing. An amenity also lacking in most Fort Worth city parks.

Elsie Hotpepper texted me whilst I was picnicking in Haltom City, with geographic information.  I had harbored the delusion that Elsie Hotpepper was joining me on this picnic, but that was not to be, to my great  disappointment....

I Had Myself A BUC-EE World Famous Restroom Experience Today

A couple weeks ago en route from Wichita Falls to East Fort Worth I opted to exit 287 to 114 to take a different route than that which I'd been on way too many times, of late.

That route turned out to be a mistake, which I repeated today when I needed to be in Euless, which made the 114 route to 121, then south to Euless seem the sensible way to go.

It wasn't.

Anyway, when I went this route a couple weeks ago, at the point where 114 intersected with 35W, I was surprised to see the biggest bank of gas pumps I had ever seen. With no gas getting pumped. But due to all the cars parked around this location I figured it was open, but for some reason not pumping gas.

I figured wrong. BUC-EE's is the name of the place. Apparently a Southern institution I'd never heard of or experienced.

Til today.

Between the time of seeing BUC-EE's a couple weeks ago, in what turned out to be its under construction phase, I learned BUC-EE's is well known for its amazing restroom facilities.

I had not been amazed by a restroom facility since December 27, 1994 when I visited the palatial Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. Or was it in Whittier? I don't remember.

Since I first saw BUC-EE's its Grand Opening happened, and is still happening. So, today I joined the throngs pumping gas at one of the BUC-EE gas pumps. And then went inside.

I was not expecting the humongous beehive of activity or vast store of goods and food when I walked through the entry to BUC-EE's.

At the center of the store I came to a food preparation area with a rather astounding array of vittles.

One ordered ones vittles at a touch screen kiosk. I went through the motions of acting like I was ordering something. I touched the screen. A plethora of options came up. I chose Sandwiches. Then Fish Sandwich. I think the base fee was $6.99. Then add-on options were offered. I touched bacon, then jalapeno, then tomato, then extra fish. With each touch the cost was adjusted til I'd made myself a Fish Sandwich costing something like $10.99, plus tax.

I then walked away.

I think I saw the future of the fast food ordering experience today.

And then I found the entry to the BUC-EE's Restrooms.

As you can see, the RESTROOMS sign informs us they are World Famous!

Well, I certainly was impressed.

HUGE is a word that came to mind. Each, uh, station, gave its user a sense of privacy I'd not seen in such a facility before. And everything was automated. All one had to do for oneself was handle ones zipper or buttons.

I also dropped in on Miss Puerto Rico today, to see the babies and pick up some mail, and some other stuff.

The drive between Wichita Falls and the Metroplex seems shorter each time I drive it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Visit To Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town Ends With A Mama Dog Scolding

For my daily communing with nature today I decided to return to my neighborhood Prairie Dog Town and its Dog Town suburbs.

Soon upon turning onto the road which leads to the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town I came upon multiple Prairie Dog Puppies playing in the road.

By the time I got my camera pointed out the windshield all but the two Puppies you see here remained on the road, whilst the others had retreated back to the protection of their Mama.

We will see that Mama later in a photo and via video.

But first I got photo evidence of why the Wichita Falls Prairie Dogs seem to be so tolerant of their human visitors.

The above lady was with her kids, tossing food to the Prairie Dogs. I asked what she was throwing at them. Carrots was the answer. She said they eat just about anything. If you look closely you can see that the burrow receiving carrots is near some playground equipment. Let's look closer at that.

Prairie Dogs have built a Prairie Dog Town suburb quite close to the ladder which leads to a curving slide.

Another Prairie Dog Town suburb has been built near a row of swings. Clearly the Prairie Dogs like to live near where their human friends play.

Below is the aforementioned Prairie Dog Mama and a couple of her babies.

I got too close to the babies and their Mama, which had Mama scolding me and sort of waving her upper arms at me as she stood up. I think the scolding may have been Prairie Dog barking. You can see this incident in the video below, along with a look at the wall which surrounds Prairie Dog Town...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Night Of Thunder Booming Downpours In Wichita Falls

What a night. Rain began dripping, slightly, around three this morning. Soon that rain turned into a downpour accompanied by non-stop thunder, for hours.

Multiple lightning strikes so close the flash and boom were simultaneous.

When morning dawned I looked out to see my abode surrounded by water, a virtual moat. I need wading boots to get to my vehicle.

In the picture you are looking at the stormy view through my kitchen window.

The deluging has abated, somewhat. Have not heard thunder boom for about a half hour. This storm has tapered off a couple times, only to come roaring back.

There will be no climbing Mount Wichita today....

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Waist Deep Comanche River Crossing Gives Texas Town Its Name

Wichita Falls.

Previously we learned how the Falls part of this Texas town's name came to be. That being that way back in the 1800s, when Wichita Falls came to be a town, there was a short drop of about three feet in the Wichita River which the locals thought was a waterfall, which a flood destroyed before the 1800s became the 1900s.

Hence the Falls part of the name, even though there soon was no falls, til a new artificial waterfall was made late in the 1900s.

I assumed that the Wichita part of the Wichita Falls name was an Indian tribe, long forgotten, not etched into the collective memory like the more well known Comanche or Apache or Navajo.

Well, I assumed wrong.

When one drives or walks around Wichita Falls, no matter where one is in the town, one sees directional signage which is very well done and very useful. I will make further mention of this in a subsequent blogging in the near future.

As one nears the downtown Wichita Falls zone the directional signage starts to have Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture on the list of what one is being pointed towards.

A couple days ago I followed the Wee-Chi-Tah directions and eventually found what you see above.

A sculpture.

To get to the Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture one is directed to cross the Wichita River, out of downtown, to what appears to be a past its prime industrial area.

Eventually the signs get one to a parking lot from whence one walks a short paved trail to the Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture, overlooking the Wichita River.

One then learns that this sculpture is one of the biggest in America honoring our Native Americans. The sculpture depicts a Comanche family crossing the Wichita River.

This Comanche family crossing the river is based on a Comanche legend, from whence Wichita Falls derives its full name.

A Comanche squaw, her child, a pair of Comanche braves, their horses and one colt were wanting to cross the river. The squaw wades out into the river to test its depth, then hollers back that the water is waist deep, a concept which when expressed in Comanche is "we-chi-tah."

The Wee-Chi-Tah sculpture depicts all aspects of this Comanche legend.

But, I must point out that that Comanche squaw must have been testing the river's depth during a drought period, because if she was testing its depth on a day like today she would find the water way deeper than waist deep.

I wonder what the Comanche word is for "water too deep"? Had this Comanche crossing of long ago been made when the water was deep the town would likely not be Wichita Falls....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wichita Bluff Was Not Ready So I Counted Benches At Lucy Park

When I left my abode today in the noon time frame it was my intention to do some communing with nature at a new location on this first blue sky day in several days.

Since they were on my way to my intended destination I dropped into their town to see if the Wichita Falls Prairie Dogs were receiving visitors.

They were.

Leaving the Prairie Dogs I turned right where I usually turn left to climb Mount Wichita, and headed north to find the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.


When I reached the nice new entry to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area with its equally nice and new parking lot it was soon obvious that this was an under construction work in progress. I came to this conclusion when I saw the trail you see above was blocked with a fence and a sign which said something like "For Your Safety Proceed No Further Construction Work In Progress." I could see some buildings under construction. Likely modern restroom facilities and picnic pavilions, since those seem to be the norm in all Wichita Falls parks, just like such is the norm in most modern American towns.

So, with communing with nature at the Wichita Bluff Nature Area not available I continued northeast a short distance to Lucy Park where I had myself a mighty fine time along with a lot of other people.

The Wichita River is running a bit more water, due to recent deluging, than when I last walked beside it. The color of the water in the Wichita River reminds me of Utah's redrock zone. I rather like it. I did not see a single piece of litter floating in the river, unlike another Texas river I can think of named Trinity.

The redrock river color would not seem to be conducive to fishing, yet I saw several guys with poles angling over the water.

Way back in 2005 I was at a party at the next door neighbor of Samson and Deliah in Kent, Washington. I liked the color scheme in the neighbor's house. It reminded me of Utah. Sort of like the Wichita River color scheme you see above, Redrock orange, green, tan, brown. All that is missing is a dash of muted turquoise.

I have mentioned before that all the Wichita Falls parks I have been to have had a lot of benches. Many of the rocking sort. Along the paved trails which run all over town there are a lot of benches. And drinking fountains.

Below is an example of one of the swinging benches, strategically placed under the shade of a tree.

At one point later in my walk around Lucy Park I stood in one spot and counted 17 benches as I made a 360 degree scan of the horizon. I tried to get a photo of the plethora of benches but that did not turn out well.

World traveler, Mr. Galtex, travels the world seeking out comfortable benches and then has Mrs. Galtex snap a photo of him sitting on his latest bench discovery. Mr. Galtex would have himself a field day in the Wichita Falls parks. With no need to use his passport....

Visiting The Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town

About a mile north of Mount Wichita in Lake Wichita Park and about two miles west of my abode's location west of Wichita Falls' Weeks Park there is a Prairie Dog Town in what is called Kiwanis Park.

I first visited the Prairie Dogs on Tuesday, after a night of heavy rain. At that point in time the Prairie Dogs were in full frolic mode, as if celebrating that the night of heavy rain and thunder was over.

Two days ago I visited the Prairie Dogs a second time to find  nary a Prairie Dog anywhere to be seen. The weather on that day was misty and foggy. Methinks Prairie Dogs are averse to any form of precipitation.

Today, with the return of blue sky, on my third visit with my neighborhood Prairie Dogs they were in full frolic mode, seeming to be having themselves a mighty fine time.

I think the Wichita Falls Prairie Dogs get a lot of friendly human visitors.  The Prairie Dogs acted way less finicky than turtles and ducks I have visited in other Texas parks.

There is a thick enclosure around Central Prairie Dog Town. I assume this installed to try and keep some control over the size of the town.

However, somehow some  adventurous Prairie Dogs with a pioneering spirit have migrated out of the enclosure and have established multiple suburbs, some a couple hundred feet from downtown Prairie Dog Town.

I have always found Prairie Dogs to be real cute and cuddly. Sort of the American version of Meerkats, which I also find cute and cuddly.  Many of the Prairie Dogs in town today appeared to be puppies. Lots of little dogs.

Below is a short video I shot today of frolicking Prairie Dogs. The Prairie Dogs you will see in this video are some of the pioneer Prairie Dogs, building new towns outside of the incorporated Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town....

Friday, May 20, 2016

Today We Learn Mount Wichita Is A Growing Dirt Hill With A Facebook Page

Yesterday I mentioned asking a pair of college students who were walking near the base of Mount Wichita if they knew how that mountain came to be.

They knew not.

I did not mention the pair are students at Midwestern State University, the college a couple blocks north of my abode.

This morning I did some Googling attempting to get an answer to that vexing Mount Wichita question.

Previous attempts to Google such were not successful. Today's attempt was successful, using the search term "Lake Wichita Park Hill". My first blog post about this subject shows up on the results, and when one looks at images of the Lake Wichita Park Hill, my first photo I took of the mountain, I mean, hill, is the first on the list.

From the aforementioned Midwestern State University's online school newspaper, in an article from way back on October 8, 2013 I read the following....

Residents visit the park for its running trail, dog park, disc golf course and a mound of dirt unofficially named Mt. Murphy after Jack Murphy, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

“The hill started about 15 years ago,” Murphy said. “It came as a suggestion when deciding how to use the excavated dirt from the bottom of Sikes Lake.”

Murphy said the hill is 83 feet tall right now. He said the plan is to build it up to 100 feet and turn it into a local attraction with perhaps a spiraling trail going up and a metal structure on top.

So, almost three  years ago that which I call Mount Wichita was only 83 feet tall? With a plan to eventually grow the mountain another 17 feet?

Well, Mount Wichita, I mean, Mount Murphy, seems way taller than 100 feet to me. I don't think a 100 foot elevation gain would be as aerobically stimulating as is the climb to the summit of Mount Wichita.

Yes, I am sticking with the Mount Wichita name. Mount Murphy just does not work for me.

After learning how Mount Wichita came to be I saw the search results also included a Facebook page dedicated to Mount Wichita.

Except on the Facebook page Mount Wichita is called The Dirt Hill.

Reading the plethora of comments on the The Dirt Hill Facebook page I learned I am not the only one who finds the climb to the summit to be extremely aerobically stimulating.

Dredging is part of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Plan. Methinks it would be a good plan to take that which is dredged and make a couple more mountains, so as to then have the Wichita Mountains. I think a Wichita Mountain Range would make for a very good tourist attraction.

Another part of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Plan is to make a sandy beach near the base of Mount Wichita.

A mountain range with a beach. Seems like a good plan to me....

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Visit To Mount Wichita Leads Me To Visit A Dam Spillway With Water Fountains

Due to excessive rain I knew Mount Wichita would be Mount Muddy today and hence, not climbable.

But, around noon I drove to Mount Wichita anyway to have myself a walk in the mist, mist which today in Wichita Falls has been like a stereotypical winter day in the Western Washington zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Whilst walking around Mount Wichita I came upon a pair of college students who were engaged in a conversation about water moccasins.

I was not interested in snakes, but I did interrupt the snake discussion to ask if they knew the story behind what created Mount Wichita. They did not know. I then asked if they were in Wichita Falls during the five year drought.

They were.

I asked how low did Lake Wichita get during the drought. The guy of the pair told me it shrunk way back til it was just a little puddle. He got out his phone and showed me pictures of the shrunk lake.

He then said if he remembered right there was a lot of informational signage about the lake at the dam's spillway. I asked how to get there. He told me. By his directions I realized the spillway was closer to my abode than Mount Wichita. So, I left the mountain and headed to the dam spillway.

That would be the Lake Wichita dam spillway you see above, with water spilling over the spillway. Above that is the only informational signage I found, informing about the Lake Wichita Pavilion which used to exist over the lake at this location.

Via the sign I learned Lake Wichita was completed in 1901. Eventually the Lake Wichita recreation area included a hotel, vacation cottages, baseball fields, a swimming pool inside a circular building with a carousel plus the Lake Wichita Pavilion which included a cafe, skating rink and a dance hall. The pavilion burned down in 1955, with all that remains being piers sticking out of the lake which we will see in a moment.

But first I must make mention of something in the second photo above. Near the information sign is that water fountain you see in the foreground.  I have seen several water fountains along the Wichita Falls trails. Quite a nice modern big city type amenity.

Continuing on, let's walk to the top of the dam.

As you can see a paved biking, jogging, walking roller blading trail has been installed on top of the dam. This trail extends all over Wichita Falls, including running right by my new abode.

If you look at the above photo closely you can see the aforementioned Mount Wichita in the distance, on the left.

Let's continue on to the dock we see below.

As you walk to the floating dock you can also see the aforementioned Mount Wichita in the distance. The bridge one walks across to get to the dock provided some pleasing rocking motion.

Looking south from the dock we see the aforementioned remains of the Lake Wichita Pavilion.

Do I need to mention that the Lake Wichita Pavilion appears to have been a real pavilion, unlike the imaginary pavilion America's Biggest Boondoggle has foisted off on the hapless citizens of another Texas town, called Fort Worth?

Currently Wichita Falls is in the process of building a new boardwalk type deal over the lake at this location, with a real pavilion eventually added. I suspect this will all be completed long before anyone sees anything worth seeing in Fort Worth's Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision.

From the dock I zoomed in for a foggy across the pond look at Mount Wichita, looking like a snow-free mini version of Washington's Mount Rainier.

That concludes today's look at the scenery of Wichita Falls.

I have yet to find anything here that I don't like or am appalled by.

Well, the roads in some of the parks could use some upgrading. The road to the parking lot at Mount Wichita is a bit jarring with the bumps and potholes.

Why Are There No Real Housewives Of Fort Worth With Elsie Hotpepper?

Even though I am now headquartered about 120 miles northwest of Fort Worth I see no reason not to continue the popular series of bloggings about items read in west coast online news sources which I can't imagine reading in a Fort Worth news source regarding something in Fort Worth.

I don't remember if I got this example from the Seattle Times or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

I have no idea what SIFF is, but can you imagine something in Fort Worth called SIFF featuring Fort Worth-centered movies though history?

Sleepless in Fort Worth?

A movie titled Sleepy in Fort Worth might be doable, featuring a famous panther napping in the sleepy town's mostly moribund downtown.

Can you imagine a movie industry magazine indicating Fort Worth to be among the best places to make movies?

I can't either.

Me actually thinks Hollywood is missing out on some rich material.

Like the Fort Worth Stockyards.

There is no other city in the world which has a twice daily cattle herd of longhorns ramrodded down a city street by cowboys and cowgirls.

Is there any other city in the world which encourages hordes of locals to float in a polluted river while drinking beer and listening to music at an imaginary island with an imaginary pavilion?

A Seinfeld type TV show would have a field day of material in Fort Worth. Mayors like downtown gun shooting Moncrief and pedal pushing Betsy Price. Embarrassments like J.D. Granger. And his mama. A plethora of corrupt courts and corrupt court officials. Epic eminent domain abuse. Businesses bragging about having indoor plumbing. City parks without indoor plumbing.

Fort Worth really is a one of a kind American city which Hollywood really needs to take a look at for some fresh material.

Currently Bravo TV is running a new Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Dallas. Bravo missed an opportunity for some good TV by not going 30 miles west to Where the West Begins to show America and the world The Real Housewives of Fort Worth.

Elsie Hotpepper would make for a great Bethenny Frankel of the South....

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday Lightning Spread A Ground Current At My Electric Location On The Planet

In the dark hours before the dawn of this past Tuesday morning thunder rolled over and around my location.

At one point lightning struck at the same time I was jolted by a concussive jolt of thunder. One of the loudest jolts of concussive thunder I had ever been concussed by.

Moving forward.

Minutes ago I got an email telling me that the Facebooker who sometimes goes by the name of Layla Caraway had tagged me.

When this tagged me type thing happens it always causes me a moment of wondering what fresh hell is this going to be.

So, I go to Facebook and click on the tagged me link to see that which you see here.

A little blurb from the National Weather Service informing that "Lightning struck the green of the 15th hole at Champions Course at Weeks Park in Wichita Falls, TX, early Tuesday morning. Lightning spreads out along the ground in something called "ground current"."

What Miss Caraway does not know is that my new abode abuts Weeks Park and the Champions Golf Course. I look out my windows and can see golfers. Usually. But not right now because we are being a bit damp at this location, with the ground and grounds a bit saturated.

I suspect that that extremely loud boom and thunder boom I was jolted by on Tuesday was the one which made all those current fissures you see in the photo above.

In Wichita Falls Finding Hidden Treasure Under A Mexican Puppet

Last weekend I hauled to my new abode the rest of my stuff which had been quarantined in Fort Worth.

I ended up leaving less in Fort Worth than I had originally intended.

Such as what you see here. I had figured I really did not need to haul this to yet one more location. I think this was among what originally came from Washington way back late in the last century.

The man you see standing in front of the woven basket is a Mexican puppet I got in Algodones, Mexico, I think in 1998.

For the transit from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls I stuck some stuff in the woven basket.

Upon installing the woven basket and the Mexican puppet in its new location, in my bedroom, I removed the extra stuff I'd stuffed in the basket in Fort Worth and discovered underneath the stuff was a silk-like sarong thing from Bali which Singapore's Wee Cheng had shipped to me whilst I still lived in Washington.

I took out the silk-like sarong thing to find myself being surprised to find a treasure trove of photos I had forgotten existed, including photos of my house in Mount Vernon under construction.

We won't be looking at those construction photos here, instead we will be looking at a couple things which both surprised me and sort of appalled me.

First up, below we are looking at the Goober Twins, Big Ed and Bigger Wally. This picture was taken at my abode in Mount Vernon, Washington, sometime, I would estimate, in the early 1990s.

It isn't just Big Ed and Bigger Wally which are surprising and appalling me in this picture. It's the picture between Big Ed and Bigger Wally.

As I sat in my new humongous bulbous green chair looking at the treasure trove of pictures I looked up on the wall to my right to see that which you see below.

The same picture hanging on my new wall which hung on my old wall in Mount Vernon. This meant this picture got hauled to Haslet, Texas, than a couple years later to Fort Worth and now to Wichita Falls. It is not like I have some sort of fond attachment to this wall hanging, so why am I hanging on to it and transporting it thousands of miles?

A couple minutes later among the treasure trove of newly found photos I found the one you see below. That is the living room of my house in Mount Vernon, looking sort of northeast out a bank of windows.

If it were daylight you would be seeing tall fir trees a few feet from the windows.

This location is where I experienced some of my most un-nerving earthquake experiences, back in the 1990s when a localized cluster of quakes epicentered at Big Lake a couple miles to the east. These were only 3 something Richter scale earthquakes at their shakiest. But due to being so close the shaking was severe. One of the quakes cracked my tile kitchen floor.

The scariest of these quakes occurred whilst I was sitting on the couch in the living room watching TV. The quake hit with a loud boom and roar. The windows flexed like they were going to burst. And the fir trees swayed violently.

In the below photo make note of the chair in the far corner and the pillow sitting next to it.

I saw that which you see in the above photo and then looked to the left from the vantage point of that aforementioned humongous bulbous green chair and saw what you see below.

That chair and pillow made the same multi-thousand mile journey as that picture above, ending up in Wichita Falls. The pillow is paired with a matching afghan. In the picture you can see another afghan pillow combo which also made it to Wichita Falls.

My Grandma Vera was an afghan making maniac. I think I had six of them with me on my trek to Texas. I believe three of the Grandma Vera afghans were transported to Miss Martha's during the moving mayhem. One may be at Miss Puerto Rico's.

I can understand hauling my Grandma Vera afghans with me, what with there being a sentimental value attached. But that chair? I bought a pair of those decades ago at Dania Furniture in Seattle. The pair made it to Texas. I delivered one of them to the Paradise Center in Fort Worth when myself and CatsPaw had our one and only visit to the Paradise Center.

If I ever leave Wichita Falls, and I am fairly sure one day I will, I won't be taking that chair or wall hanging with me. Just the afghans....

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Long Wichita Falls Night Of Thunder & Hail

Looking out my bedroom window this morning, well after the sun arrived, I was pleased to see my main means of vehicular transport made it through the hellacious night of lightning strikes, hail and rain which kept me awake for hours, hence the post-dawn wakeup.

My usual walking route to that aforementioned means of vehicular transport is currently flooded, necessitating a detour to get mobile.

I likely won't attempt getting mobile until the rain stops dripping. That dripping rain is why the photo looks a bit foggy.

I had planned to go to the Wichita Farmers Market in downtown Wichita Falls today. I have been hearing good things about this Farmers Market. I suspect this Farmers Market is not going to be an embarrassing dud like the little Farmers Market in my previous ultra craptacular corrupt town of residence.

Wichita Falls seems to operate at a much higher quality level than that town I used to live in. All the parks I have visited have modern facilities, including running water.

I likely will not be attempting to climb to the summit of Mount Wichita today. I suspect currently Mount Wichita could be re-named Mud Mountain.

Last night brought the third major storm since my arrival at my new location, with last night's thunderstorm being one of the longest and loudest I have experienced since being n Texas.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Morning Blues Mount Wichita Climb

Friday I climbed to the summit of Mount Wichita a record breaking six times.

Today I returned to Mount Wichita for the first time since Friday, after an exhausting weekend of driving way too many miles and doing way too much, to find myself with the strength to only make two Mount Wichita ascents.

As you can sort of see, looking over the steering wheel at the aforementioned Lake Wichita, the sky is a bit stormy.

Day after day the forecast has been for thunderstorms and rain. I have seen or heard neither. Everywhere I ventured this weekend was dry, rain-wise.

I think I am some sort of recovery mode. Chicken and macaroni and cheese should help with that, right about now....

Friday, May 13, 2016

Back On Mount Wichita Learning A Texas Persimmon Can Produce Blackberries

I was back on Mount Wichita today for the third day in a row. Today I managed to make it up and down to the summit five times.

Along the Circle Trail as it circulates through Lake Wichita Park there are several informational type signs with little factoid blurbs, like the one you see here.

I took a picture of this particular sign, which is stuck  in the ground between Mount Wichita and Lake Wichita because the sign has an  eagle's eye view of Mount Wichita on it.

With no explanation as to why Mount Wichita is on this sign, or how the mountain came to be. A mini-volcano? A pile of dirt dredged from the lake? One would think the sign would have some information about the mountain directly to the north.

Instead the sign informs us that the Texas persimmon can produce black berries.

I thought only a blackberry bush produced black berries.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Three Times Today To The Summit Of Mount Wichita

I decided to go mountain climbing again today, what with Mount Wichita being so close to my abode.

In two days I've seen more people climbing Mount Wichita than I usually saw in a month of hiking the Tandy Hills.

In the first picture you are looking down a western slope of Mount Wichita at what appeared to be a senior citizen carefully making his way down the steep slope.

Yesterday I managed climbing to the summit of Mount Wichita twice. Today I managed to do so thrice.

Methinks if I keep up with this new mountain climbing regimen eventually I am going to get in good shape.

Apparently summer is HOTTER at my new location than my previous location. Wichita Falls holds the Texas record for most consecutive days over 100 degrees. If I remember right the record is 100 days in a row over 100.

When I was making my final descent I saw what I assumed to be a dad with his son walking towards Mount Wichita.

As I watched the pair begin their ascent I remarked that I don't think that little guy is going to be able to make it. But, he managed to get about halfway to the summit before his dad picked him up to continue the climb. The photo above manages to convey how steep the climb up Mount Wichita is.

When they reached the summit I zoomed to the maximum to take the photo above.

The climb down Mount Wichita is far more treacherous than the ascent. I stayed long enough to see the dad and son begin the hike back to ground level, with the boy back on his feet. I did not stay long enough to see if dad had to pick up the kid part way down the mountain.

I should be feeling good what with all this new type aerobic stimulation and the endorphins such stimulation causes....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Are Alligators Preparing To Invade Fort Worth's Imaginary Island?

I saw this this morning, on Facebook, brought to my attention by Elsie Hotpepper and her Doppleganger.

So, alligators are being seen enjoying Lake Worth again. Isn't this sort of a regular occurrence?

With the reptiles visiting Lake Worth from their home in the marshes of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, where one sees signs warning visitors not to disturb the gators.

The Facebook poster, Libby Barker Willis, is suggesting that perhaps Panther Island should be renamed Alligator Island.

That same suggestion cropped up last year when an alligator showed up in the area where the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats take place.

I don't know how a gator could get from Lake Worth to the Rockin' the River zone, what with the Lake Worth dam seeming to be a bit of a water transit impediment.

Changing the subject ever so slightly.

I really think America's Biggest Boondoggle needs to stop with the Panther Island nonsense. There is no island. There may never be an island. And even if the un-needed flood diversion ditch is ever dug and filled with water, the area currently being called Panther Island still won't be a real island.

Fort Worth has a history of misnaming things. Like for decades confusing the town's few tourists by calling its downtown Sundance Square, where there was no square, til a couple years ago when a little plaza was built where parking lots used to be. With those parking lots being what many people long thought were Sundance Square.

And now we have The Boondoggle nonsense. Re-branding that hapless slow motion "project" over and over again. Trinity Uptown. Central City.  Trinity River Vision. With Panther Island being the latest. And then slapping that absurd Panther Island nomenclature on all sorts of things, like Panther Island Pavilion.

Where there is no Pavilion. Or island.

Currently I am in Wichita Falls. I'm liking Wichita Falls. Pretty much each day I've been here I see something which impresses me, which I never saw in Fort Worth.

Yesterday as I drove to Walmart, driving by the park nearest my abode, about two blocks distant, it being a park with a big pond and regular park facilities, had dozens of kids fishing in the pond. I read this morning this was some sort of after school program.

The signage all over Wichita Falls is very well done and useful, and so far I have not had the signs point me to something which does not exist, like a square, an island or a pavilion that can't be found.

Wichita Falls did have a serious problem with misnaming something and confusing tourists. This problem went on for about a century. I'll let Wikipedia explain via a paragraph in its Wichita Falls article....

A flood in 1886 destroyed the original falls on the Wichita River for which the city was named. After nearly 100 years of visitors wanting to visit the nonexistent falls, the city built an artificial waterfall beside the river in Lucy Park. The recreated falls are 54 ft (16 m) high and recirculate at 3,500 gallons per minute. They are visible to south-bound traffic on Interstate 44.

I visited Wichita Falls in Lucy Park on Saturday. I was impressed.

Harrowing Hike To The Summit Of Mount Wichita

Yesterday whilst walking around Lake Wichita Park I was sort of shocked to suddenly have what looked like a mountain replica come into view.

Today I went back to Lake Wichita Park with the intention of hiking up and down the mountain 10 times, gave or take a time or two.

On my first two visits to Lake Wichita Park I had not ventured, via vehicle, to the southern end of the park. Today I did so and found  multiple park facilities at the base of Mount Wichita, including a large parking lot, picnic pavilion and a tire pump station for the many bikers biking the Circle Trail.

Upon arrival at the Mount Wichita parking lot I saw two guys at the top of the mountain, and another running towards the summit.

Within a couple minutes I was walking around the base of Mount Wichita and saw another guy at the top and another running to the summit. You can see both as little spots in the below photo.

Multiple trails, six or seven, maybe, take hikers to the summit of Mount Wichita. I did not think to count the trails. I walked all the way around the mountain and then opted to run to the summit on the trail you see below.


I could not even manage to run halfway before hyperventilating began. Mount Wichita is much taller than it appears. And the trails are much steeper than they appear.

Way steeper than any of the trails I used to hike in the Tandy Hills.

It is a bit ironic that on Saturday I asked a sweet young thing at a Texas Travel Center kiosk if there were any hills to hike in any of the Wichita Falls parks. With the sweet young thing indicating no such thing existed.

And then yesterday I found Mount Wichita.

And today I discovered the hike to the summit is far more challenging than any trail I hiked in the D/FW Metroplex zone.

Til today I had some concern that my hiking muscles might atrophy in this hill challenged zone of Texas. To discover the most strenuous hiking location than I've had since I lived in Washington, and to discover it is closer to my new abode  than the Tandy Hills were to my old abode, well, it is all just too fortuitous.

Below you are on the summit of Mount Wichita, looking northeast at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls.

The summit of Mount Wichita was flatter and covered more area than I expected.

When I saw the Please Use Caution When Climbing Hill sign, that you see above, I thought to myself that that caution seemed a bit ridiculous, with it not crossing my mind that I would soon find myself being very cautious when on Mount Wichita.

One does not need to be too cautious on the climb up the mountain. It is the descent where caution is required. As in the trails are way steeper than they look from the base of the mountain. One slip and a bad rolling fall could be the result.

I drove to Mount Wichita anticipating going up and down many times, replicating the hiking workout I used to get on the Tandy Hills.

Well, it took me about ten minutes to get my breath back after the first ascent. Then upon heading back down I quickly realized going down the steep trail was  also heavy duty exercise. I made it to the base, thought about it a second or two, then turned around and headed back to the summit. Walking this time, not running.

Next time I will try to make three ascents. Maybe....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hiking Around Lake Wichita Finding The Wichita Hill

On Saturday when I was in Lucy Park I asked a young lady who was womaning an information booth for the Texas Travel Center if there were any hill hiking options in the Wichita Falls zone.

She looked sort of pained and apologetic when she told me the topography is flat far into the distance.

I asked because when I moved to the D/FW zone late in the last century I thought that zone was flat far into the distance. I soon had that erroneous notion corrected with the discovery of the Cedar Hills in Cedar Hills State Park in the south of Dallas area.

Eventually I moved to far east Fort Worth and a few years later I discovered the Tandy Hills were practically in my back yard. I don't think I ever returned to the Cedar Hills after I discovered the Tandy Hills.

Today I drove to Lake Wichita Park. A closer destination than any of my park destination choices in the Fort Worth/Arlington zone, except for Mallard Cove Park and Quanah Parker Park.

I knew the Circle Trail which circles Wichita Falls circulated through Lake Wichita Park, so I figured I would find myself some trails to venture on in that park.

I parked at the first parking option when I got to Lake Wichita Park. An upaved trail exited that parking lot. The trail followed what looked like swamp. Eventually I got to what looked like a lake. At that point the trail became paved. I later realized this was the Circle Trail. Soon the Circle Trail passed by another lake.

At that point I had a small lake to my north and my south. I figured both could not be Lake Wichita.

Soon the Lake Wichita mystery would be solved, along with being pleased to find the Wichita Falls version of a Tandy Hill, which you can experience with me in the video below....

The Latest Chapter In The Tim Love Woodshed Smokehouse Scandal

The latest chapter in the Woodshed Smokehouse scandal confuses me because I can sort of see Tim Love's side of the argument.

Four years ago Tim Love got a sweetheart deal from America's Biggest Boondoggle, partnering with Mr. Love to build a restaurant on Tarrant Regional Water District land.

You know, land that is supposedly owned by the public.

If I remember right, as part of the sweetheart, no bidding competition deal, Tim Love pays a part of the restaurant's take to The Boondoggle.

The Boondoggle sees this Love operation as some sort of concession deal, like food vendors at the airport, and thus should not have to pay any property tax.

But, this year the Tarrant Appraisal District decided that the Woodshed Smokehouse is more of a private operation than a public one, so they sent Tim Love a property tax bill.

Tim Love says that dozens upon dozens upon dozens of Trinity Trail users are free to take a break from the trail, for free, sitting at one of the restaurant's outdoor tables.

I recollect doing this myself, four years ago, when the Woodshed opened, joining a group protesting the sweetheart no-bid deal The Boondoggle gave Tim Love. That protest also confused me, because several of the protesters protested by ordering food and drinks from the entity they were protesting.

Methinks this entire Woodshed Smokehouse scandal could be put to rest by The Boondoggle selling the Woodshed and the property on which it sits to Tim Love.

Tim Love would likely not be willing to pay what the property is worth, with the property then being sold to whoever was willing to pay the asking price.

Or have a bidding deal where whoever was willing to pay the most above the asking price gets to take possession of the Woodshed Smokehouse....

Monday, May 9, 2016

Solving The Mystery Of The Wichita Falls Horses Of Many Colors

Soon upon my arrival in Wichita Falls I saw a horse which caused me to wonder why a funeral home would have a Horse of Many Colors sitting by its entry.

Soon thereafter I saw another Horse of Many Colors. And then another. And another.

I have now lost track of how many of what I thought were Wichita Falls Horses of Many Colors I have seen.

This morning I came upon the Horse of Many Colors you see above as I walked to the entry to the Market Street grocery store, which my local adviser advised me was the best grocery store in Wichita Falls.

Soon upon entering Market Street I realized it was the same as Market Street in Colleyville. I vaguely recollect when the Market Street opened in Colleyville that part of the story was the store was based in Wichita Falls. Or was it Amarillo?

Anyway, a few days into being in Wichita Falls I realized the Horses of Many Colors were actually Mustangs of Many Colors.

The university which is a couple blocks north of my new abode is Midwestern State University.

I believe the MSU mascot is a Mustang. There is a statue on the MSU campus of a group of Mustangs.

Are all these Mustangs of Many Colors a city-wide thing like when Seattle did the same thing with Pigs of Many Colors back in the previous decade? Many towns back earlier in this century did a similar thing.

I recollect Dallas tried it with Pegasus statues.

If I remember right that particular Dallas effort did not go well.

Tacoma had Salmon of Many Colors all over Tacoma, as late as 2008.

Anyway, I'm having myself a mighty fine time adjusting to a new town. And last night I got to experience my first Wichita Falls Thunderstorm. The booming did not last long. But a lot of water dropped.