Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwing Back Thursday To Clancy Learning To Walk

A couple days ago I found myself needing to use a thumb drive to transfer files from my old laptop to my new laptop.

We need not discuss why the thumb drive means of transfer was needed.

One of the file transfer sessions involved transferring photos. I copied every photo folder I found on the old laptop on to the thumb drive. And then on to the new laptop.

When Picassa sorted out the incoming new photos and I looked at that which was sorted I found all sorts of photos I'd forgotten I had, such as that which you see here.

These photos were in a folder named Nancy. Nancy was the birth name of my oldest sister. That would be Baby Nancy above, in the assisted seating device, with me on the left side of the photo and Spencer Jack's grandpa, Jake, on the right.

As we progress through the Nancy photos we see her eventually learn to stand on her own two feet. Along with photo documentation of the first, and one of the few, times, Nancy was ever caught wearing a dress.

Since Nancy was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, I am guessing most of these photos were taken in our house on what became known as College Way, across from what became known as Skagit Valley College. Under construction whilst we lived across the street.

More than thirty years later I built a house a few miles to the east of that aforementioned home location on the south side of College Way.

Below, as you can see, Nancy still needs assistance when sitting. Here it was my job to try and hold her upright.

Nancy won a Skagit Valley Herald Beautiful Baby Contest when she was a beautiful baby. Below you see one of the rare instances where Nancy is smiling. I do not know if I have, among my photos, the photo which won Nancy the Beautiful Baby Contest. The regular photo positions of my brother and me are reversed in the below photo.

Below is the first know instance of Nancy being photographed sitting without assistance. My brother and I are once again reversed from our regular photo positions.

We all labored laboriously trying to teach Nancy to walk. Below you see an example of that.

Above you see our dad giving it a try, attempting to keep Nancy vertical and walking. Isn't Spencer Jack's grandpa a cute little guy in this picture?

I can not tell what Washington beach we are on here where my brother and I are able to balance on driftwood, whilst Nancy still required mobility assistance.

Above is somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, would be my best guess.

Below is the first known photo documentation of Nancy on her own, vertical, with only minimal reliance on her big brother for stability.

And look at that outfit Nancy is wearing. A dress of some sort, with shiny black shoes. And a bonnet.

I have not seen Nancy in almost a decade. When I last saw Nancy, way back at some point in time in the previous decade, she was her usual charming self, hosting a family get together at a Skagit Valley park, where I got to meet Spencer Jack for the first time.

Since then, sister Nancy changed her name to Clancy and married Fancy on a beach somewhere on the Hood Canal, in an elaborate ceremony to which I was not invited.

I have seen photos of the Fancy Clancy wedding ceremony. The wedding dresses were such as I had not seen before. Stylish hoodies advertising something called Dungeness Crab Lager, if I remember correctly.

I wonder what other long forgotten photos I am going to find as I peruse Picassa.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tandy Hills Prairie Sky Star Party In Sick City

I miss little about Sick City. Mostly I am relieved to no longer breathe the polluted atmosphere which hovers over Fort Worth, in more ways than one.

This morning incoming from Don Young put me in mind of the one thing I do miss about Sick City.

The Tandy Hills.

I like this Prairie Sky Star Party concept. I think if I were still in the neighborhood this would be one Tandy Hills event I could see myself attending.

Details from the Don of the Tandy Hills, Don Young....

Fort Worth Astronomical Society's Moving to Tandy Hills Natural Area Monthly Star Party

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area is hosting the Fort Worth Astronomical Society

Tandy Hills Prairie Sky/Star Party: Astronomy - Community Engagement

After many years at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, the well-attended, monthly public star parties presented by the Fort Worth Astronomical Society (FWAS) have moved to Tandy Hills Natural Area.

Established in 1949, FWAS is one of the first adult amateur astronomy clubs formed in the country and one of the largest with more than 200 active members. Members will have several telescopes set up at Tandy Hills for viewing the night sky.

Free & open to the public. All ages welcome.

Second Saturday of every month beginning, July 9th, dark-thirty

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why Is Fort Worth A Sick City?

Of late I have referred to the Texas town I used to live in, Fort Worth, as Sick City.

Sick City, to me, seems to be a much more apropos, modern nickname, for this town than its last century nickname.


Recently, well, yesterday, someone named Anonymous asked me why Fort Worth is Sick City....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Downtown Fort Worth Construction Frenzy Hits Imaginary New High":

Since you have moved out of town you seem to have gotten even more pointed with your critiques of Fort Worth. Sick City is catchy. But why are you now referring to the former Cowtown as Sick City? 


It is multiple things I never saw in a city til I moved to Fort Worth which led me to conclude Fort Worth is a Sick City.

Eminent domain abuse is one. Both Fort Worth and its surrounding county of Tarrant are guilty of this sick trait.

Fort Worth used eminent domain abuse to remove hundreds of people from the Ripley Arnold complex so that Radio Shack could build a corporate headquarters which soon  failed. America's Biggest Boondoggle and it myopic Trinity River Vision have taken multiple businesses by eminent domain, in an abusive way, which has not left the victims whole.

Sick City.

Another disgusting property abuse example came when 133 Fort Worth apartment units and three homes were given 30 day eviction notices due to the criminal machinations of a Dallas developer who was speculating that the land the Parkview Village Apartments sat on would greatly increase in value if America's Biggest Boondoggle ever came to actual fruition. I do not know by what means these 30 day eviction notices were generated. But, I do know that Fort Worth and Tarrant County has a totally corrupt justice of the peace court, which acts as a Kangaroo Court, issuing evictions, at property owner's behest, no matter what property owner illegality evidence a tenant victim might show the pseudo judge who rules in this corrupt Kangaroo Court.

We blogged about this in Betsy Price's Tarnished Golden Rule of Pseudo Compassionate Service and Fort Worth Shrugs Its Shoulders While Hundreds Of Citizens Are Given 30 Day Eviction Notices and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price Has No Comment About 30 Day Evictions Of 100s In Her Town.

Sick City.

A Fort Worth neighborhood is terrorized by a golf course's collapsing wall. Despite plea after plea after plea after plea the city and its mayor turn a deaf ear to the plight of these Fort Worth residents. This was blogged about in Why Is Fort Worth's Best Public Servant Ignoring The Pulte Wall Of Shame?

Sick City.

It was discovered natural gas could be extracted from the Barnett Shale using a new method called fracking. Fort Worth's city government formed a corrupt partnership with Chesapeake Energy and others, allowing thousands of holes to be poked in Fort Worth's ground, then fracked, disrupting the peace of neighborhoods and the health of residents. No other of America's a big cities allowed such a calamity in such a large scale as what was done to Fort Worth.

Sick City.

Over and over again Fort Worth grants concessions of various sorts to various entities who indicate they will come to town if Fort Worth grants them that which they ask for. So, Cabela's gets all sorts of breaks, tells Fort Worth Cabela's will be the biggest tourist attraction in Texas. Fort Worth falls for the con job, unlike other towns elsewhere. Cabela's gets built, does not live up to its promises, builds more Cabela's in Texas. While Fort Worth, once again, ends up with metaphoric egg on its face.

Sick City.

Fort Worth and Tarrant County have corrupt judges and corrupt court rooms. Probate courts steal the wealth of hapless elderly residents. No overseeing government entity intervenes. The cowed people of Fort Worth don't demand something be done. Fort Worth Weekly prints exposes exposing the corruption. The Star-Telegram stays silent. Eventually one elderly victim got some of her money back.

Sick City.

Steve Doeung fights Chesapeake Energy over the plan to lay a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under the street he lives on named Carter Avenue. The cases ends up in court in front of a judge named Sprinkle, with Steve Doeung up against two Chesapeake lawyers. The judge ruled in a way which baffled and outraged the packed courtroom. Like I said, corrupt judges and corrupt court rooms.

Sick City.

Around the turn of the century a bizarre, supposed combo economic development flood prevention plan, gets foisted on the Fort Worth public, without a public vote approving this project, which, if implemented, would have a great impact on the city of Fort Worth. Yet the people were not allowed to vote on this project. The project dawdled along. After a few years, in order to hopefully secure federal earmark money, Congresswoman Kay Granger's totally unqualified son, J.D., was put in charge of this project, which eventually became known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, as the years passed and little was accomplished in building this supposedly vitally needed economic development flood prevention project. Which would seem to indicate the plan was not all that vital. And, if it were actually vitally needed, would you put someone like J.D. Granger in charge of it?

Sick City.

J.D. Granger deserves two Sick City entries. So, with the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, aka, America's Biggest Boondoggle, boondoggling along in slow motion, due to the lack of funds, perpetual Frat Boy, J.D., helped foist on Fort Worth events like Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the polluted Trinity River. The old Tandy Subway maintenance building was turned into a Beer Hall called The Shack. A small stage was built, which was then monickered Panther Island Pavilion.  Polluted floating events held at this location are said to take place at Panther Island Pavilion at Panther Island. Where there is no island and no actual pavilion.

Sick City.

For decades Fort Worth confused its few out of town downtown visitors with signs pointing to Sundance Square, when  there was no square in downtown Fort Worth. Most tourists who asked where Sundance Square was were pointed to the parking lots adjacent to a big mural representing the Chisholm Trail. A couple years ago an actual square was built on those parking lots. A small square, which in the tradition of Fort Worth parks, has no modern public restroom facilities, unlike squares in other downtowns across the planet. And this square was goofily named Sundance Square Plaza.

Sick City.

And speaking of Fort Worth parks. It deserves a separate mention that the majority of Fort Worth city parks have no running water and no modern restroom facilities. But, plenty of outhouses.

Sick City.

Downtown Fort Worth has nice wide sidewalks. Leave downtown Fort Worth and drive around the town's eastern, northern and southeastern neighborhoods and eventually you will be treated to the sight of a mom trying to push a stroller up a hill where a dirt path has been worn, where a sidewalk should be available. Most Fort Worth streets have no sidewalks. You reading this in modern towns in America may find this hard to believe, but it is true, appalling and true.

Sick City.

Most cities in America indulge in this thing called urban planning. You know, looking forward to where development is expected, building infrastructure, like roads and drainage ahead of building shopping centers and housing developments. Fort Worth does it backwards. Drive to north Fort Worth and witness the mess of traffic woes around the newly opened Buc-ee's. Did this development just drop out of the sky on Fort Worth with no warning? Other towns pay the price for Fort Worth's slaphazzard way off growing. Towns like Haltom City, downstream from Fort Worth sprawl. Sprawl which sprawled without taking into account controlling drainage. So, killer flash floods now flush out residents downstream. Much needed flood control is ignored, while America's Biggest Boondoggle's bogus flood control project boondoggles along.

Sick City.

I could go on and on. And usually do. But, I think I've given you a good idea as to why I think Fort Worth's nickname for the 21st century should be....


Monday, June 27, 2016

Downtown Fort Worth Construction Frenzy Hits Imaginary New High

In addition to this blogging being yet the latest iteration of our popular bloggings about items we read in west coast online news sources, usually the Seattle Times, that one would not expect to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something happening in the environs of Fort Worth, this blogging is also about reality as opposed to the ignorant blatherings of ill-educated, ill-informed right wing nut job types.

Like Rush Limbaugh and his college dropout ilk.

But, before I get to that.

In all the years I lived in Fort Worth I never saw a single new skyscraper scrape the sky.

I did see some corporate sweetheart deals come to town. Like when Radio Shack convinced the easily bamboozled town into giving concessions, abusing eminent domain and other shenanigans to build the hapless corporation a new headquarters in downtown Fort Worth, which the corporation could not afford and soon lost.

Out of that embarrassing deal downtown Fort Worth lost acres of free parking and the world's shortest free subway. Both of which, pre-Radio Shack debacle, made visiting downtown Fort Worth an easy experience. Which is not the case, post Radio Shack debacle.

Fort Worth is the largest city in America without a single downtown department or grocery store, let alone a vertical mall. Downtown Fort Worth has relatively few downtown residents, per capita, compared to other big city downtowns.

Yet the locals don't ask why their downtown is so moribund. As in what is wrong with this sick city? Maybe most don't realize their downtown is so moribund and their city so sick. Maybe most don't ever visit other towns. I don't know what the explanation is.

It has been going on well over a century where an out of towner will visit downtown Fort Worth to be stunned over how sleepy it is, including a Dallas reporter reportedly stunned to find a panther sleeping on the courthouse steps.

Meanwhile, up north, in my old home zone, the big city is Seattle.

Excerpt from the Seattle Times Downtown construction frenzy hits new high article...

The building boom sweeping downtown Seattle is hard to miss, between the jostling cranes, giant holes in the ground and construction crews closing down streets. But new data show just how intense things have gotten — and how much more is still yet to come.

There are currently 65 major buildings under construction across downtown, South Lake Union and surrounding neighborhoods, more than at any point since the figures were first tracked in 2005, the Downtown Seattle Association said in a new report. The previous midyear high was 50 buildings under construction in 2014 and 49 last year.

“There is a ton of development on all fronts,” said Don Blakeney, a vice president for the downtown group.

And the frenzy isn’t set to end anytime soon: Most of the structures will take until next year to finish, and there are dozens more in the pipeline set to start in the next year and a half.

After a record-setting 2015 for new homes downtown, there are still even more on tap for this year and the next — 8,661 in all downtown, more than the entire city of San Francisco has added in the last three years. Altogether, by the time current projects are done, downtown Seattle will have added 44 percent more housing units than it had at the start of the decade.

“It’s a sign of the times that people want to live close to where they work, and have access to the things that are available in a major city,” Blakeney said.

Office buildings are still booming, too: 5.7 million square feet of it is under construction, down a little from last year but double the amount from three years ago.

More than one-third of the offices under construction is for Amazon.

The downtown group says the internet behemoth is on pace to occupy 12 million square feet of office space by the time current projects are finished. That’s the equivalent of eight Columbia Centers, the tallest building in Seattle at 76 stories.

But other companies are expanding their presence here, too, including Facebook, Expedia and Google.

Can you imagine a similar article in the Star-Telegram describing the current state of Fort Worth?

Me either.

Office space for Amazon the equivalent of eight Columbia Centers? Columbia Center is a Seattle skyscraper about twice as tall as any Fort Worth scraper.

Might I add that, unlike Fort Worth, the Facebook, Expedia, Google and Amazon building projects all came to be without Seattle giving those corporations tax breaks or abusing eminent domain, or any of the other pitiful, pathetic things Fort Worth does to try to attract a suitor to its extremely unattractive town.

Changing the subject to those under educated right wing nut jobs I mentioned above.

Back when Seattle voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, within about a week right wing falsehood purveyors started up the lie that four Seattle restaurants had already closed due to the wage increase. When legitimate, non-Breitbart,  non-Fox type media pointed out that the $15 hour minimum wage had not yet gone into effect and was to be phased in over several years, and that no restaurants had closed due to the wage increase, the right wing nut jobs sort of did a collective "never mind".

For awhile.

Then after six months, give or take a month or two, someone in the right wing nut-o-sphere cranked out the same already disputed Seattle restaurants going under due to the new minimum wage lie, including that chief spewer of ignorant nonsense, Rush Limbaugh.

Now, let's talk reality. Seattle raised the minimum wage to $15. It is not at that level yet. Yet Seattle is booming. 65 major buildings under construction downtown. Most to be completed by next year, with many in the pipeline preparing to start construction.

8,661 new homes in downtown Seattle this year.

Clearly raising the minimum wage has had a disastrous effect on the Seattle economy. (That's ironic sarcasm, to be clear, for any nimrod reading this)

Maybe Fort Worth should try a baby step. Raise the minimum wage to $10 over three years. Maybe that would be just the catalyst to cause a new skyscraper to get built in the next decade. And maybe a few downtown residential buildings. Maybe even a department store.

Imagine that.

Downtown Fort Worth with a department store.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunny Wichita Falls Walk Around Sikes Lake With Art & Mona Lisa

Anticipating incoming thunderstorms, on this final Sunday of June I decided to take a walk, a short distance from my abode, where I've not walked before.

That being a walk around Sikes  Lake.

Sikes Lake is at the south end of Midwestern State University. I think the lake may be part of the campus, due a sign you will see later in this blogging.

I have not lived so close to a university since decades ago when I lived in Ellensburg, Washington, a slight distance north of the Central Washington University campus.

I was a bit non-plussed when I saw the above sign at the outdoor entry door to the aquatics center. But, mistakes happen, even on at a university full of people in the process of getting educated. Or as MSU might say "proces of getting educated."

The Sikes Lakes paved trail takes one past the Wichita Falls Museum of Art, where one sees multiple pieces of outdoor sculpture installations, along with the covered pavilion you see below.

I believe concerts and lectures take place at this pavilion location. It appears to be a real pavilion, unlike a Fort Worth style imaginary pavilion. I do not believe any Rockin' the Lake Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats take place at this location in Sikes Lake.

Above you see a couple examples of the aforementioned outdoor sculptures. The one in the foreground is titled "Screen Sculpture #49 Painted Steel".

The Sikes Lake Trail has one of those ubiquitous Mustang installations one sees all over Wichita Falls. I had no way to tell if this particular Mustang and her baby were part of the Museum's outdoor art, or not. I do know I have never seen Mona Lisa displayed on a horse's right rear leg before.

Multiple signs warn against swimming in Sikes Lake. And no kayaking or canoeing without prior MSU approval. Why no swimming? Lake too shallow? Polluted? Why does kayaking require MSU approval?

I have no clue.

Freedom loving Texans are so much more restrictive with their rules than I was used to in the free spirited progressive liberal minded state of Washington.

I saw four covered picnic gazebo type installations as I walked around the lake. Three of them with  a water fountain, such as the one you see above.

How is it that Wichita Falls has figured out how to deliver drinking water to remote locations around a lake? While a much bigger city, such as Fort Worth, can not figure out how to deliver such? Or how to install, in its parks, restroom facilities of the modern, non-outhouse variety?

Wichita Falls seems to have a real sense of civic pride, grounded in reality, unlike that Texas town from which I recently escaped. Wichita Fallers seems to realize their town has some problem areas in need of work, with the town actively addressing those areas, rather than pretending the problems don't exist, such as was the case in that delusional town from which I recently escaped....

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wichita Falls Floral Heights Gold Dome Leads Me To Possible Turkey Trot

A week or so ago I mentioned I might get around to blogging about a Gold Dome I came upon whilst driving the streets of Wichita Falls.

Apparently this is the day I get around to blogging about the Gold Dome.

Soon after taking this photo of the Gold Dome, hovering above a couple buildings which have seen better days, I turned a corner to learn the Gold Dome sits atop the Floral Heights Methodist Church.

I was not expecting the Gold Dome to sit atop a Methodist Church. I figured it might sit atop a mosque. Which would have been interesting. The Methodist Church under the Gold Dome is a mish mash of architectural styles, including a church entry with multiple tall columns which looked more like a courthouse than a church.

A short distance past the church I began seeing signage indicating I was in the Floral Heights Historical Neighborhood.

It's been multiple days and I have yet to learn why this neighborhood is named Floral Heights or why it is historical.

I did learn the neighborhood has a Historical Floral Heights Neighborhood Facebook page. But on that page I was only able to learn the Floral Heights Neighborhood has a lot of dog issues, garage sales, and community events, like turkey trots.

But nothing about why the neighborhood is named such or why it is historical.

And now I have the added mystery of figuring out what a turkey trot is.

The learning process is never ending....

Friday, June 24, 2016

If You Are Well Born You Find The Trinity To Be Disgusting

Now, I found that which you see here to be a bit amusing. Some people's sense of humor and sarcasm is evolved to such a higher level than mine.

One of my Facebook friends who I do not know and have never met, named Christine Welborn, shared someone named Chris Putnam's post,

Chris Putnam had commented "Hope everyone enjoyed the Panther Island tubing event last night! You might want to see your doctor today."

To which Christine Welborn commented "The Trinity is disgusting. You won't see me getting in it."

As you can see, I then commented the following...

"The Trinity is no different than the water you drink. You are a water bigot. To prove the water was safe, J.D. Granger drank a glass of Trinity River water as it flowed by his imaginary pavilion and island before the river was opened to floaters on Thursday. I assume reports that J.D. Granger is now hospitalized to be simply vicious unfounded rumor...."

Then someone named Claudia Kenngott Bevill responded to what I had said with what I previously referred to as a sense of humor and sarcasm evolved to a much higher level than mine....

Claudia Kenngott Bevill How stupid can one be! I drink purified water, but you can go ahead and drink the sewer water if you like it!

Methinks this Claudia gal must be a real hoot. I wish she was one of my Facebook friends who I have never met and don't actually know....

Communing With Nature In The Wichita Falls Lucy Park Shade

No, that is not the Trinity River you are looking at here, looking inviting as it flows through Fort Worth.

What you are looking at here is the Wichita River as it flows through Lucy Park in Wichita Falls, a town about 130 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

In flood mode the Wichita River turns a cool Utah redrock color that I like. In non-flood mode the Wichita River turns the color you see here. Still murky, but somewhat clear, in that I could see a fish or two or three.

And you have to admit, the Wichita River and its riverbank is scenic. Note the total absence of litter.

Unlike the Trinity River as it sludges through Fort Worth.

I make note of remarkably less litter in Wichita Falls than that which regularly appalled me in messy Fort Worth.

I don't think I mentioned it but yesterday I got my aerobically induced endorphins via mountain climbing on Mount Wichita. The novelty of mountain climbing on Mount Wichita is starting to wear off. It is almost too aerobic. And unlike a place like Fort Worth's Tandy Hills, there is not a lot of trail variation.

Sticking with our comparing Wichita Falls to Fort Worth theme. An item such as you see below I have never seen in a Fort Worth park.

No. It's not some sort of high tech modern restroom facility with running water. What it is is an exercise station. I have come across this type installation in Lucy Park and in Lake Wichita Park, near Mount Wichita.

The exercise device you see on the right is the only one I can sort of do. You sit on the bench and then push forward on the bars, with the strength of your arms lifting the seat up. In other words, the fatter you are the more difficult this is to do.

Which basically is true of all things.

Which may explain why I am unable to manage even one pull up on the pull up bar part of this exercise installation. Or one parallel dip.

Even though the temperature was somewhere in the 90s zone I had myself a mighty fine time today communing with nature in Lucy Park. Plenty of trees provide plenty of shade. And a good cooling wind was blowing.

A lot of kids were enjoying the Lucy Park pool. Next to the pool another large group of kids was engaging in some sort of activity at the Lucy Park log cabin.

Again comparing Wichita Falls to Fort Worth. I never saw Wichita Falls type park activity in any of the Fort Worth parks I visited over the years.

What is wrong with Fort Worth? Why are there not more people asking that question and demanding answers? There is no reason Fort Worth can not become a modern American city. Except for its inept leadership and backwards ways of getting things done, whilst propagandizing the opposite to be the truth....

Was Proper Trinity Testing Done Before Thursday's Rockin' The Sewage Happy Hour?

I think I have already mentioned earlier this week that a raw sewage carrying pipeline burst, sending a flood of untreated water into a creek which flows into the Trinity River a short distance upstream from the downtown Fort Worth location where America's Biggest Boondoggle hosts Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at an imaginary pavilion near an imaginary island.

Spokesman for The Boondoggle claimed the raw sewage had been contained prior to posing a threat to the Trinity River and to those choosing to float in that dirty river. It was also claimed that testing indicated the water was safe, with that testing taking place prior to The Boondoggle's inaugural floating beer party of the year.


In an article this morning in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, titled Fort Worth pumps water out of Mary’s Creek after sewage spill we learn....

On Thursday, the city was collecting samples from the creek and from the Trinity River, which connects to the creek just west of Southwest Boulevard/Texas 183, Gugliuzza said.

The samples’ bacteria levels will be tested, and the results won’t be ready for a day or two, Gugliuzza said. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was notified Wednesday.

People “definitely” need to stay out of the creek until further notice, Gugliuzza said.

The spill was not expected to affect drinking water, authorities said, but residents with private water wells within a half-mile of the spill site should boil or distill water before using it until further notice.

So, the Star-Telegram is reporting that on Thursday samples were collected from the Trinity River, to be tested, with those test results ready in a day or two.

So, how was it The Boondoggle was able to claim testing indicated the Trinity River water was free of dangerous pathogens, and thus safe to float in, that same Thursday the samples were taken, if the results of the testing were not available for a day or two after the scheduled floating beer party?

Like I think I have mentioned before, something just ain't right about Fort Worth.

It's like the town has the backwards mentality of an undeveloped small Southern town of a few thousand, instead of the mentality of a modern city of around 800,000.

Fort Worth is definitely the most un-sanitary town in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex mess. Fort Worth is the only town in the D/FW zone with multiple city parks with no running water and no modern restroom facilities of the non-outhouse variety.

A town being okay with having parks without modern restrooms, without a place to wash ones hands after using an outhouse, fits right in with a town having a mentality that it is okay to sponsor a water event in river water downstream from a raw sewage spill.

Now, I do not generalize to suggest that all the citizens of Fort Worth are okay with having their city parks so far behind modern times. Or having floating parties in the Trinity River. I am sure the majority of Fort Worth citizens would like to see their town modernized to a level at least matching other towns in their shared metropolitan zone.

Modernized like Haltom City, Keller, Watauga, North Richland Hills, Arlington, Grapevine, Dallas, well you get the drift.

Just this past Wednesday I enjoyed a pleasant picnic, under a shelter at Capp Smith Park in Watauga. The covered picnic area was connected to a modern restroom. Drinking fountains and running water were also near the covered picnic shelter.

What a concept.

I can not imagine a 21st century American city, other than Fort Worth, hosting embarrassing floating beer parties, with music, in water commonly believed to be dirty and polluted, let alone hosting such a thing after a big raw sewage spill  occurred a short distance upstream.

Fort Worth is badly led by bad leaders. I don't know why this is the case, but it is. No other large American city opened itself up to being poked by thousands of holes in the ground to be fracked with pollutants, along with other associated post poking pollutants damaging the life quality of its citizens.

It is a bit symbolic of Fort Worth's backwardness that at the site of the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats you will also find no modern restrooms. Just a couple outhouses encased in cement enclosures. Methinks most modern American town's sense of civic pride would have the people of that town feeling a bit embarrassed to have permanent outhouses installed at what The Boondoggle propaganda claims is the premiere urban waterfront music venue in Texas.

I know, gag worthy and again embarrassing.

Fort Worth can and should and deserves to do better. The Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network, also known as the 7th Street Gang, needs to get the boot, with Fort Worth getting replacement leadership which truly represents all the people of Fort Worth, improving all areas of the city for all the people of the city.

As it is, Fort Worth just keeps falling further and further behind the rest of America, and its own suburbs.

Like I said, embarrassing....

Thursday, June 23, 2016

America's Biggest Boondoggle Rockin' The Raw Sewage Spill Happy Hour Inner Tube Float

Incoming couple of screencaps from, I assume, Facebook, from Elsie Hotpepper.

Recently I learned of a massive pipe break which was dumping a HUGE volume of untreated sewage into a creek which runs into the Clear Fork of the Trinity River a short distance upstream from the location where America's Biggest Boondoggle holds its Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at an imaginary pavilion near an imaginary island near downtown Fort Worth.

The Boondoggle has been touting that floating in the Trinity River is no different than floating in the water you drink, since the water the floaters float in flows from the Benbrook and Lake Worth reservoirs.

The Boondoggle spokespeople, in their various propaganda venues, claim the reason the Trinity River is the murky muddy color of flowing feces is that the river has a clay river bottom, unlike the river bottoms further south in Texas where the water runs clear, with thousands of tubers.

The Lake Worth reservoir, in addition to being known for being good drinking water, of late has been more known for its alligator infestation.

The TRWD and The Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, claim that the raw sewage was somehow magically stopped before any of the voluminous spill made its way the short distance to the Trinity.

The TRWD has one sane board director member, Mary Kelleher.

This is what Mary Kelleher had to say about the absurdity of The Boondoggle going ahead with tonight's fetid float in the Trinity....

For the record, as a director on the TRWD board, I asked TRWD administration to cancel the event tonight just in case the waste made it's way into the Trinity.  I was told the FW officials in charge of clean up assured TRWD the waste had been captured and  did not enter the Trinity. I was also told the Trinity was tested Tuesday and showed the water to be safe. 

I personally disagree with the TRWD's decision to encourage the public to float in the Trinity after a significant spill of sewage upstream.

This month there has been a Flesh Eating Bacteria outbreak on the Texas Gulf Coast. Pathogens in water can be dangerous, even in places where one might assume the water to be safe, like salt water churned by waves.

Most Fort Worth locals would never consider getting wet in the Trinity River.

Why would anyone with any semblance of common sense get in that river days after a massive raw sewage leak occurred a short distance upstream? Why would any responsible public agency sign on with encouraging people to get in a river after such an incident?

Beyond bizarre, beyond perplexing. I am so glad I no longer live in Fort Worth. Something just ain't right about that town....

Vote For Spencer Jack To Make America Great Again Instead Of His Grandma Cindy

Now this is interesting.

Ever since my Favorite Nephew Jason took My Favorite Great Nephew, Spencer Jack, to a Trump Rally at the Lynden Fairgrounds in my old home state, nine year old Spencer is thinking he is old enough to run for president.

Just like Trump, Spencer Jack doesn't understand how the process actually works. He's only nine years old, after all.

Unlike Trump, Spencer Jack is able to speak in complete sentences using polysyllabic words, so it is understandable that Spencer Jack would hear Trump's meaningless word salad way of talking and think I can do better than that.

Apparently after Spencer Jack told his grandma, she being my Favorite Ex-Sister-in-Law, Cindy, that he was running for president, Cindy told Spencer Jack that she was running too.

Again, apparently, this caused Spencer Jack to make the campaign poster you see above, in which Spencer admonishes voters not to vote for Cindy, but to vote for Spencer, because a vote for Spencer will make America great again.

Just one more indication of the profound effect Donald J. Trump has had on the American presidential election process...

Why Has Regional Council Not Warned 5 Tarrant County Towns They Are Growing Too Fast?

I saw that which you see here, yesterday morning, via the Seattle Times, prior to the long drive from Wichita Falls to the D/FW Metroplex mess.

This would fit in with our popular series about things we see in online west coast news sources which we would not expect to see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reporting about a similar thing in the environs of Tarrant County.

Can you imagine "Regional council warns 5 Tarrant County towns they're growing too fast"?

Me neither.

This came to mind yesterday whilst I was heading back to the northwest. Well, Wichita Falls.

When I first moved to Texas it was to a little town called Haslet, to a ten acre ranch. It seemed very rural, even though Fort Worth was across the street where the mailbox was  located.

The puny skyline of downtown Fort Worth could be seen way in the distance to the south. The nearest grocery store was in Keller, several miles to the east, reached via a bumpy pot holed road hyberbolically named Golden Triangle Boulevard.

Now, in what seems just a few years later, what was once rural is now an urban mess of bad planning.

New houses fill the horizon. Multiple shopping areas, including the sprawling Alliance Town Center, and whatever the shopping area is named on the west side of I-35, across from Alliance Town Center.

Why does Fort Worth and Tarrant County allow construction to take place before adequate infrastructure is in place? Like adequate roads? Adequate drainage?


Heading west on Tarrant Parkway. Much of Tarrant Parkway is a multi-lane boulevard. Has been for years. And then you drive over I-35, drive past that other shopping zone, with a Costco, the name of which I do not know, to find Tarrant Parkway carrying a lot of traffic, but then reduced to only one lane going each direction.

You then come to a stop sign at US 81 Service Road, servicing I-287, the freeway one is hoping to get on to head northwest, back to Wichita Falls.

You then come to another stop sign, at Harmon Road. I remember when Harmon Road was a pleasant country drive. Now, where Harmon Road intersects US 81 Service Road you come to a poorly designed roundabout which causes traffic to back up on  US 81 hoping for a break in the Harmon Road traffic, so you can make your way around the traffic circle.

Eventually I was able to make my way half way around the Harmon Road traffic circle to continue on on US 81 Service Road. No sign pointed out where the entry was to I-287. Suddenly you come to what looks like a beat up driveway, veering on to the I-287 freeway, with US 81 Service Road continuing on for a few feet before ending in a big traffic barrier wall.

Can we shout together "THAT SOUNDS DANGEROUS"?

This is just one example. Don't get me started on the road mess around Buc-ee's a few miles north. How muy estupido to approve all this development without coordinating it with the infrastructure.

It is all this badly planned development in north Tarrant County which has led to deadly flash flooding in locations downstream, like Haltom City. You cover thousands of acres of land with buildings and asphalt, where previously open prairie absorbed precipitation, without mitigating the water flow with proper drainage systems, well, you've got a mega-disaster waiting to happen.

Meanwhile, up in my old home zone, 5 towns get warned they are growing too fast.....

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In Arlington Today At Mount Viridian Causing Elsie Hotpepper To Laugh Out Loud

No, that is not Mount Wichita in Wichita Falls you are looking at here, with trucks hauling in fresh dirt to add to the mountain's elevation.

What you are looking at here is Mount Viridian, in Arlington, as viewed from River Legacy Park.

I was in River Legacy Park gazing at Mount Viridian today during one of multiple stops during my once a month return to the Dallas/ Fort Worth zone.

I was done mountain gazing and sitting at a picnic table in the shade when I woke up my phone to see I had not un-muted it and that I had a few of those text message type messages.

One was from Elsie Hotpepper telling me that this morning I had caused her a rare outbreak of laughing out loud.

I texted back asking what was laughable. And that I was currently in Arlington looking at Mount Viridian.

Elsie Hotpepper texted back making several inquiries about various issues including the perplexing question of asking why I was at the DUMP and asking why she was not informed I was going to be in town so that a lunch could be scheduled..

I texted Elsie back that if she ever read my blog she would have read I was heading to D/FW on Wednesday.

Elsie then made up some convoluted excuse about not being able to read lately.

I don't like going to lunch, anyway, but, I do do coffee.

I think the last time I went to lunch was way back in February with Elsie Hotpepper and Mary K. I ended up having a severe choking bout. It was traumatic. I have yet to fully recover.

Anonymous Takes Me To America's Biggest Boondoggle's Airfield Falls Trailhead Embarrassment


The TRWD's Airfield Falls Trailhead project is not yet completed?

After so many years?

I learned this from someone named Anonymous who yesterday anonymously made a blog comment to a blogging which I blogged yesterday....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Breathing Free While Dallas/Fort Worth Has A Level Orange Ozone Action Day":

Fort Worth's beautiful Airfield Falls Trailhead.

Contractor hired to complete Airfield Falls Trailhead

The story is a little old. You must have missed it with your big move north and all. I'm still not seeing the C-9 sculpture that is supposed to be a feature of the Airfield Falls. 

In its quarterly propaganda publication America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision, has touted this Airfield Falls Trailhead being under construction among its meager accomplishments.

The Boondoggle being involved with this project, in cahoots with its parent Boondoggler, the TRWD, may explain why this million dollar plus project has languished like other aspects of the vitally needed flood control and economic project, which must not actually be vitally needed, or what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle would have been put to a public vote with funds raised the way public works projects are funded in more progressive, advanced, modern democratic parts of America, with the project finished years ago, with Fort Worth enjoying the benefits of this supposedly vitally needed flood control and economic development project.

Now that above paragraph is one horrendously long run on sentence.

And another thing. I've not read anything about The Boondoggle's bridge construction. The last news I read about those infamous non-signature little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island was construction had to be halted due to a serious design flaw.

When the design flaw and bridge building stall was announced part of the story was it would take about a month to fix the problem and continue building those unique V shaped piers.

Its months later. What is the current status of The Boondoggle's four year bridge building plan? Stalled like the Airfield Falls Trailhead?

And, what is the current status of The Boondoggle's Wakeboard Park? You know, that little pond where a mechanical device towed a few people an hour around a pond, which no one figured out was not much of a feasible business model, due to the small number of paying customers possible. As in I think only four wakeboarders could wakeboard at a time. I don't know how long a wakeboard session might be. Let's say it is as short as ten minutes. That would allow, at most, 24 wakeboarders per hour. I'm sure the sessions were longer than ten minutes.

Can you imagine Disney signing on to a Disneyland ride which could only handle 24 riders an hour?

The Cowtown Wakepark seemed, to me, doomed to fail. Even though J.D. Granger embarrassingly touted it as being a really great thing, making this popular sport available to the people of Fort Worth longing to get towed around a pond of dirty water.

So, anyone know the current status of The Boondoggle's bridges and Cowtown Wakepark?

J.D. Granger been fired yet?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Breathing Free While Dallas/Fort Worth Has A Level Orange Ozone Action Day

Today my previous Texas location is having itself a Level Orange Ozone Action Day.

My current location is about 120 miles northwest of my old location.

Apparently 120 miles is distant enough to escape the extreme pollution that pollutes the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

I am looking out my computer room window, right now, at a horizon which has no haze.

Clear blue sky.

I have now been out of the D/FW Metro Mess for almost two months.

Long enough to make note of some interesting changes.

When I lived in Western Washington I never had any allergy woes. Or breathing woes. After my exile to Texas I soon developed various breathing woes. As in clogged up nasal passages which soon had me using nasal spray addictively.

I also had several bouts of extreme allergic reaction to allergens, like pollen blowing in from Hill Country.

And then there's the D/FW dust.

I have a glass topped coffee table that made the move from Washington. At my location in Washington that glass topped coffee table never got dust covered. Soon upon arriving in Texas I found that I was constantly removing the coating of dirty dust from that glass.

I figured my Washington location must have been dust free due to its negative ionizer air filter.

Well, that same glass covered coffee table is at my new location in Wichita Falls. And it is totally dust free after being here almost two months.

Same thing with the water here. At my previous Texas location something in the water was always making a scale like coating. The stainless steel kitchen sink was a challenge to keep shiny. Same with the shower curtain.

Here the water does not leave behind any sort of residue. What are the water treaters doing different here in Wichita Falls which has the water being so much, I don't know, cleaner?

I don't think the D/FW zone is a healthy place to be living, for a number or reasons. That may be true of many highly populated urban zones.

But, I think D/FW, and Fort Worth in particular, may be much worse than the urban norm. Fort Worth is the only large city in the world which has allowed fracking on a massive scale. Fracking puts all sorts of bad stuff in the air. Lots of dust due to trucks. Lots of noise when drilling. Lots of chemicals during the fracking. Lots of air pollutants when the gas is extracted.

Too bad there is not some sort of environmental protection agency monitoring the air we breathe and stopping the worst of the polluters from polluting...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flat Tire Fix Takes Me To Site Of Former Lake Wichita Pavilion

No, that is not me looking tired and disgusted at Lake Wichita's version of Lake Travis' Hippie Hollow.

What you are actually looking at is me at the former site of the Lake Wichita Pavilion.

From nearby informational signage...

The Lake Wichita Pavilion, built in 1909-10 featured a cafe and skating rink on the first floor and a dance hall on the second floor. It burned down in 1955. Pilings from the Pavilion's pier can be seen in the water in front of you.

In my case that should be changed to "seen in the water behind you".

As you can see there is not much wave action on the lake, because little wind is blowing on this first summer day of 2016.

The summer solstice started off annoying for me. Soon after the arrival of the sun I looked out my kitchen window to see that my mechanized means of transport had developed a flat tire overnight. About an hour later I had the tire removed and the spare installed. I then drove to a tire repair place where a few minutes later the spare was back in its usual location.

I have to drive back to the Dallas/Fort Worth mess this week. Inflated tires are a requisite for that drive.

I forgot to slather on sun screen today. Or spray bug repellent. I did not get any bug bites. It is too soon to tell if I got sunburned. As you can see, all this sun I am exposed to has turned me back into being blonde. With freckles...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day Part Two: McDonald's In Pink

The wonders of the modern world really are a wonder at times.

Around noon I texted my dad with a "Happy Father's Day Pa!"

To which my dad quickly texted back "Thanks!"

Then a short while ago Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, texted me the photo you see here, with the text saying....

Just received incoming photo of your father from my father. Apparently they are having Sunday Father's Day brunch at McDonalds.

Who does the color coordinating of my mom and dad's outfits? My dad? Maybe mom can still make out colors through her degenerated macular.

Who would a thunk, 20 years ago, that electronic communicating would evolve such as it has. My brother snaps a picture of mom and dad in an Arizona McDonalds, then sends the photo, via his phone to his eldest son, who still lives in Washington, who then sends the photo to my dad's eldest son, who still lives in Texas.

All done without those vexing long distance type phone charges of now ancient times.

During Spencer Jack and his dad's recent trek though Yellowstone and the Lewis and Clark Caverns the boys documented what they were doing via texting photos and videos.

Years ago when I was on a roadtrip I would buy these things called postcards. Then, at night, settled in in a motel room or campsite, I'd entertain myself writing long-winded messages on those postcards  and find a place to mail them the next morning.

That seems so primitive now.

Usually I would have returned home before anyone received one of my postcards.

Happy Father's Day To My Dad

That would be my dad you are looking at here, way back decades ago in the previous century.

That adorable baby, who looks to be only a few months old, would be me.

I am assuming this photo opportunity took place in Eugene, Oregon, which was the town I was born in.

Or maybe this photo was taken up north, in Lynden, Washington, on my first visit to see my grandparental units.

I suspect I was older when the first of many trips to Lynden took place. I don't think I'd met my maternal grandparental units before the below photo was sent to my Grandma and Grandpa Porter.

As far back as my memory goes I remember being told that when Grandpa Porter saw the above photo he wired money to Eugene telling my mom and dad to get that boy some clothes.

I do not remember, for sure, when the last time was where all my dad's children were at the same place at the same time. It may have been when the below photo was taken.

This was in my sister in the middle's backyard in Kent, Washington, where we were assembled for mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary, which is August 6, but as always seems to happen for mom and dad's significant number wedding anniversary parties, the party takes place on August 11.

My birthday.

At this particular 50th wedding anniversary I was not expected to attend. But I solo drove from Texas, with only Spencer Jack's dad and his uncle knowing I was heading north. Since I was not expected, but arrived anyway, a hurried makeshift birthday card was cobbled together and given to me. I recollect saying something like "Is this all I get? No presents?"

Hard to believe, this coming August 11 it will be 15 years since the above photo was taken. Grandma Vera, sitting next to my mom, is no longer with us. Nor are several others who were there that day. Like my mom's little sister, Aunt Mike. And my dad's little brother, Uncle Mel. And longtime family friend, Glen Youngren.

I have no idea why my little sister, Michele, now the mother of David, Theo and Ruby, appears to be taller than any of her siblings, because she is not.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day to my Dad and all the other Dad's out there....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Water Is Awesome In Fort Worth Along With Other Childish Nonsense

Just got a text message from Elsie Hotpepper, first line...

And here it goes again....


Billboard off I-30 before downtown Fort Worth, with the billboard having a website address...

I went to the Water is Awesome website to find myself appalled to quickly learn it is yet one more bizarre money wasting production of the TRWD, also known as the Tarrant Region Water District.

Also known as the parent of America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision.

Is Water is Awesome replacing the very embarrassing Lawn Whisperer waste of money?

I realized a couple days ago that I will no longer be getting the slick quarterly propaganda pieces from America's Biggest Boondoggle touting imaginary progress in their mostly imaginary project.

Who convinces those in charge at the TRWD that an advertising campaign of this sort has any justifiable impact on the way people use water?

Or is this latest money waster just another example of the TRWD's funneling of funds to entities associated with the good ol' boy and girl network which runs Fort Worth?

The town I am currently in, Wichita Falls, went through a five year drought trauma which severely affected this town. Since I have been here I have not seen a single billboard telling me things like water is awesome or about some guy whispering to a lawn.

I have read articles about ongoing efforts in this town regarding its water supply, but no childish propaganda type nonsense, such as what is so frequent in Fort Worth.

Gold Dome & Historical Marker Lead Me To Wichita Bluff Nature Area

Ever since I have been in Wichita Falls my regular Saturday commune with nature location has been Lucy Park.

This latest Saturday became a Lucy Park exception.

Instead I took myself on a drive on streets I'd not been on yet. This took me by a Texas State Historical Marker oddly stuck in someone's yard. Of course I had to stop and see what was historical. More on that in a subsequent blogging, if I get around to it.

Soon after learning some local history a golden dome came into view. I stopped to take a picture. Maybe I will get around to showing you that in a subsequent blogging. Soon after taking the golden dome picture I drove by the domed building to see it was the Floral Heights United Methodist Church.

I drove past the church to soon learn I was driving in the Floral Heights neighborhood. This was to be the second instance of the day driving on a brick street. What is it with Texas towns and brick streets?

Eventually I came to a road with which I was familiar. Seymour. Seymour is the road which leads to Lucy Park. Had I taken a right turn I would  have been aimed at Lucy Park. Instead I took a left which soon had me driving by the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

I saw several cars parked in the WBNA parking lot, causing me to think maybe the new park's construction was complete, so I entered the Natural Area.

Upon arrival I could see that a "KEEP OUT CONSTRUCTION AREA" fence was in the location I saw it on my first visit. But, the fence was knocked down and I saw a lady walking towards me in the distance. So I walked past the KEEP OUT sign laying on the ground.

When the lady got close enough we did the requisite howdy and then I asked if the park was open. She said she figured the KEEP OUT did not apply today because no construction work was going on.

I continued on. Soon I came to new paved trail, destined to become part of the Wichita Falls Circle Trail.

My picture taking skills are limited, so I was unable to capture what I actually saw in the above photo. The paved trail makes a curve. To the right of that curve is a steep drop off.  I am assuming some sort of protective guard rail type thing will need to be installed. But where? Like I said, it is a steep drop off right at the edge of the trail.

A short distance later the entire scope of what is being built at this location came into view.

In the above photo I am standing at the edge of the aforementioned steep drop off looking east across a deep ravine. At the other side of the ravine you can see a completed section of the Circle Trail, leading to the also aforementioned Lucy Park. I am guessing that is some sort of bridge footing, surrounded by water, at the bottom of the ravine.

Making a 180 degree turn from the steep drop I saw what you see below.

I am guessing this will be a picnic shelter. Wichita Falls' parks do a good job making sure there are plenty of covered picnic areas, unlike another Texas town I was appalled by for way too many reasons for way too long.

I'm thinking the Wichita Bluff Nature Area is going to be my favorite commune with nature go to place when it is completed. This park will give Wichita Falls a park with trails going up and down what passes for hills at this location on the planet. Well, I guess we call the hills here bluffs.

Rather scenic bluffs.

I was able to get a fairly good idea of how the trail is being laid out to traverse the ravine. I also saw trails, other than the Circle Trail, in the formative stage, such as what you can sort of see in the middle of the above picture, forms laid out on the ground.

I don't know if the Wichita Bluff Nature Area has the potential to be a Tandy Hills Natural Area type experience, with miles of trails meandering about. Even though the Wichita Bluff Nature Area is not yet open it is already more "developed" than the Tandy Hills Natural Area. And judging by what I saw today, already getting more visitors.

Wichita Fallers seem to me to be a much more active brand of Texan than the lethargic sorts which seemed to populate most of the Texas town I previously lived in.

I have yet to to climb Mount Wichita with myself being the sole climber. More often than not I never saw another human whilst hiking Fort Worth's Tandy Hills.

If something like the Tandy Hills existed in the Wichita Falls zone, judging by the activity level I have witnessed here, the hills would be filled with the sound of people enjoying themselves.

I suspect when it opens it is going to be quickly realized that the Wichita Bluff Nature Area parking lot is not big enough. There are maybe 30 parking stalls. Today when I was there 6 of those stalls were parked on. The Tandy Hills has no parking lot, because, well, there really is no need for such a thing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Spencer Jack Takes His Dad Spelunking In Montana's Lewis & Clark Caverns

Incoming email from Spencer Jack and his dad from Montana.

Message in email...

FUD - Spencer loved your uncle recommended cave outing. As did your aging nephew.

We are ending our road trip this evening in Bozeman.

Will call you sometime in the near future to tell you about our trip.

Ttyl, FNJ

The cave to which FNJ refers are the Lewis and Clark Caverns in Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park in the great state of Montana.

I first spelunked in these caverns decades ago. At that point in time a narrow gauge train took spelunkers to a steep vertical tram which delivered the spelunkers to the cavern entry. Years later I was back and dismayed to find the train and tram no longer existed, and that to tour the caverns one now had to take a long hike, following the tour guide, to the cavern entry.

Judging from the first picture, above, I am guessing the train and tram have not returned, and that a long hike still takes spelunkers to the cavern entry.

Spencer Jack appears cheered up and recovered from the likely long hike to the entry to the caverns.

Lewis and Clark Caverns were the first such thing I ever experienced. In later years I found myself in multiple other caverns, such as Carlsbad in New Mexico, and Lehman Cave in Nevada, and Wind Cave in South Dakota.

But, Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana remain my favorite. It may be the Beaver Slide which has left this cavern etched in my memory. I am guessing the above picture was taken either before or after Spencer Jack slid the Beaver Slide.

Yeah, it appears that Spencer Jack had himself a mighty fine time visiting the stalagmites and stalactites that live in the Lewis and Clark Caverns.

Flying Hot With Throngs Of Wichita Mountain Climbers

Today, about a half hour before noon, I was back on Mount Wichita for the first time since a bout of daily deluging rendered mountain climbing too muddy at this mostly mountain-free part of the planet.

The temperature whilst I was mountain climbing was barely into the 90s, with the high humidity making that temperature really feel like it was about 10 degrees warmer.

I  was not alone on the mountain today. A large number of people were enjoying the relatively cool weather, including the young lady you see on the summit of Mount Wichita.

That is not a jet flying above the young lady on the summit. That is a large Styrofoam model airplane which she hauled to the mountain top.

I somehow managed to snap the photo just as the plane was launched. About a second later the plane crashed, unable to glide, even though a strong wind blew.

I did not stay around for subsequent launch attempts.

Due to a strong wind blowing I was not assaulted by hordes of biting insects.

The biting insects woe seems to have abated in the past couple weeks. Only twice since I was savagely attacked on Mount Wichita by multiple types of biters have I felt the need to use the Cutter bug repellent I bought the day of the attack.

In the second photo you can see some of the other mountain climbers climbing Mount Wichita today.

These mountain climbers climbed well before the summit turned into an airplane launch pad.

There is a plan afoot to dredge Lake Wichita. Currently the lake is quite shallow, I think 7 feet deep on average, due to decades of silt accumulation.

I hope when the lake is dredged that that which is dredged is piled up next to Mount Wichita in several piles, creating the Wichita Mountain range.

I think this could become a prime attraction. Done right maybe even mountain bike trails could be built.

A couple weeks ago I learned that it was the dredging of Sikes Lake which was the source of the material which materialized as Mount Wichita.

Sikes Lake is a short distance from my abode. I've not yet learned why the new mountain was not built near Sikes Lake instead of several miles away at Lake Wichita.

Sikes Lake is sort of part of Midwestern State University. There is a trail around the lake. The trail goes by a museum with multiple outdoor art installations.

I drove in the road on the east side of the lake last week to find myself dealing with the biggest flock of roadblocking geese I have ever encountered. The trail around Sikes Lake goes through the geese infestation. My encounters with geese have usually not gone well, but I must be brave, soon, and jog around Sikes Lake.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spencer Jack Stalked By Yellowstone Buffalo

Checking email this morning I found multiple emails from Spencer Jack and his dad with multiple pictures of Spencer Jack in Yellowstone.

Including a video of Spencer Jack being stalked by a big buffalo, well, big bison is the word Spencer Jack used for the big beast chasing him.

When I watched the video I did not know what I was looking at because it was upside down. So I upside righted it in Windows Movie Maker and then YouTubed it.

You can watch that video below.

That is not Spencer Jack behind the wheel of a 1965 Mustang Fastback talking to a bear.

That is me behind the wheel of my first car, acquired when I was a junior in high school. That car took me to a lot of places all over the west.

On this particular trip to Yellowstone at some point I saw the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. That is one spectacular  canyon, I said. And then said, let's continue south and go see the more well known Grand Canyon. Before arriving at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon we checked out Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon. Lots of canyons on that particular roadtrip. Knew nothing about Bryce or Zion at the time. And so that was great fun discovering those two national parks, almost topped by seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.

It has been a few decades since I've seen the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, but I am fairly certain that is what is behind Spencer Jack in the picture below.

I am also fairly certain that Spencer Jack and his dad won't be heading south on this trip to go see the other Grand Canyon.

I have not been to Yellowstone since the year before wildfires burned a large area of the park back late in the previous century.

Are there still a lot of bears allowed in Yellowstone? On our first family vacation roadtrip to Yellowstone, a long time ago, we saw dozens upon dozens of bears.

Below you can watch Spencer Jack and his dad being chased by a buffalo....