Saturday, December 31, 2016

Try To Find Me Tomorrow When Manly Men & Wild Women Hike Tandy Hills

  • The Following Message is the Official 2016 Manly Man & Wild Women Announcement from the MM & WW Hike Organizers....
It's a new year and a new you. Time once again to test your mettle by participating in the... 7th Annual Manly Men Wild Women Hike the Hills There's nothing complicated about it. Just show up at Tandy Hills Natural Area, the coolest green space in the inner city, and enjoy the great out-of-doors. Our goal is to hike border-to border-to-border-to-border, tracing the steel cable that defines the 160 acre boundary. Your rewards include but are not restricted to:
  1. You will lose at least 2 pounds. (They don't call it Tandy HILLS for nothing!)
  2. See sections of the park known only to a few hawks and a couple of scrawny coyotes.
  3. Celebrate the 56th anniversary of the coolest park in Fort Worth.
  4. It won't kill you but will make you stronger (for the upcoming Brush Bash*)
  5. Work up a good appetite for lunch
Who: Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area

What: Manly Men & Wild Women Hike. All ages welcome. Leashed dogs welcome. (No wimps, please.)

When: January 1, 2017 10:00 am (allow 1-1.5 hours for hike)

Where: Tandy Hills Natural Area, 3400 View Street

Why: For the fun and glory of it.

Bring: Water, snack, camera, hiking boots, hat.

RSVP: > > > to Don Young ASAP.

Amazing how time flies by so fast. Seems like only yesterday I hiked the first Manly Men & Wild Women hike. And now tomorrow the 7th iteration of such takes place.

I blogged about that first Manly Man & Wild Women Hike way back when it took place on January 2, 2010 in a blogging titled Tandy Hills Hiking With Wild Women, Manly Men, The Queen Of Wink & Princess Annie.

Way back in 2010 the Queen of Wink still occupied her royal throne, with Queen in waiting, Princess Annie, still installed the Wink palace.

At some point in time, post 2010, a palace coup removed the Queen from her Wink throne. Princess Annie then abdicated and fled the palace, seeking temporary refuge with a former King of Wink.

Recent reports indicate the former Princess has returned to the former palace. No further details are known.....

Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking For A Missing Golf Ball On My Way To The Texas Caribbean

Around noon of the Eve of New Year's Eve I opted to exit my abode to head north on the Circle Trail.

It had been a day or two since I had attended to my endorphin needs.

I was not long into today's breezy jog when I saw that which you see here, a scene I have seen previously.

A golfer at the bottom of the slope which leads from Weeks Golf Course to the sometimes raging waters of Holliday Creek.

Are these golfers hunting for a golf ball which has gone missing? Is this done because it is best to find the missing ball so as to continue ones golfing without suffering some sort of point penalty?

Or are golf balls so expensive that one is willing to risk falling into a creek in order to retrieve a valuable ball?

I suppose if I had bought that Golfing for Dummies book I might find the answers to these probing golf questions.

Anyway, I did not linger long enough to determine if the missing golf ball was successfully located.

I continued on my windblown way til I entered the Caribbean part of my neighborhood via Barbados, continuing on to Antigua and then back to Barbados til I left the Caribbean. I have yet to find Cuba during my Caribbean traipses. One would think the biggest island in the Caribbean would be included.

I saw on this morning's weather menu that we are currently scheduled to return to a deep freeze the first week of the new year. I hope that forecast changes. I am not a fan of the Texas version of a deep freeze. Particularly if ice is involved.

Currently no Ice Storm is on the local weather menu...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Spencer Jack's Grandpa's Million Dollar Christmas

Yesterday my phone made its incoming text message noise whilst I was in Arlington's River Legacy Park.

The message was from Spencer Jack's grandpa, also known as my little brother, Jake.

I was unable to open and read the message, with the phone telling me something about a network error.

This morning I remembered to text my little brother mentioning the message with the network error and my inability to see or read the message.

A few minutes later that which you see above arrived on my phone. I assume this is that which generated the network error message, though that was not made clear.

When I got the image off the phone I saw that it was Spencer Jack's Christmas present for his grandpa. A Gift Certificate for One Million Dollars redeemable at the Fidalgo-Drive In in the Washington port city of Anacortes.

I have mentioned the Fidalgo Drive-In multiple times on this blog, and in a more detailed way on my Washington blog, in bloggings such as...

The Fidalgo Drive-In Has The Best Hamburger In Anacortes and Spencer Jack & Your Hometown Fidalgo Drive-In Family Restaurant in Anacortes Washington and Spencer Jack's Fidalgo Drive-In Hamburger Voted Best in Anacortes.

I copied and pasted the two above paragraphs from the latest blogging in which I mentioned the Fidalgo-Drive-In, with that blogging titled Text From Linda Leads To Fidalgo Drive-In Root Beer Float

Regarding Spencer Jack's Million Dollar Gift Certificate, I was unable to legibly make out much of that which was in the card Spencer Jack made for his grandpa.

Near as I can tell part of the card said....

Merry Christmas,

I hope Santa didn't mix up your present from me like he did with my dad.

Love Spencer

I may have gotten the gist of that totally wrong. I ran the image through every photo filter I could think of that resides on this computer, to no avail regarding being able to read anything clearly on the card.

I wonder if I were in Washington at the same time as my little brother if he could take me to the Fidalgo-Drive-In for a cheeseburger and blackberry milkshake and charge it to his Million Dollar Gift Certificate? I hope so. It gives me something to look forward to.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mountain Passing With Spencer Jack On The Trinity River

Well. I have had myself a day. It started around midnight when suddenly my horizontal slumber device went into total systems failure mode.

I will spare relaying the gory details.

Suffice to say by the time the sun began to leave today I had already installed a new bed.

I suppose you are wondering what that Winter Wonderland is that you are looking at here.

I'll get to that.

But first I need mention that after a night of extremely troubled sleeping woes I may have been a bit unrested, but reliable person that I am, I stayed with an agreed plan to act as chauffeur for a driving challenged individual, ferrying said individual to various locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Metropolitan Mess.

During the course of transiting from Wichita Falls to D/FW I did not pass through the scenic Winter Wonderland you see above. I'll get to that later.

But first the, uh, scenic wonder I saw up close today in Arlington.

The Trinity River looking clearer and cleaner than I have ever seen it look. The river was flowing with an almost inviting shade of green which I might have been tempted to get wet in if the temperature had been much higher than today's rather warm 80s.

Above you are looking at the River Legacy Park trail bridge across the Trinity, which connects the south and north sides of the park.

A few hours later I was leaving the D/FW mess when my phone made its incoming text message noise, whilst I was getting gassed in Decatur. Among that which was coming was the picture you see at the top.

Today, apparently, judging by the photo evidence, Spencer Jack took his dad over Stevens Pass to Eastern Washington, to the Alpine tourist town of Leavenworth, and then over another mountain pass named Blewett, to go to Ellensburg, home to Central Washington University, where I and Spencer Jack's dad, and his mom, matriculated.

That is Stevens Pass I believe we are looking at above, well, not the actual pass, which is the summit, but a look at the road one drives when one crosses Stevens Pass. This is extremely adventurous driving in winter. Avalanches are known to be quite a problem.

Then again, I may be wrong, that may be a look at Snoqulamie Pass, also known as Interstate 90. If that is the case, Spencer Jack went to Central before driving over Blewetts Pass to Leavenworth, and then possibly returning home over Stevens Pass. Going west over Stevens Pass in winter can be a bit scary. There is this section on the west side of the pass that can show up in my nightmares, even though I have not driven it this century.

In the next photo Spencer Jack is in Leavenworth. This I know without a doubt.

Leavenworth is a themed tourist town the likes of which one will not find in the state I am currently in.


Due, partly, to the absence of these things called snow covered mountains.

Leavenworth is fun year around. I think the last time I was in Leavenworth was in 2001, August of.

Leavenworth in winter is a special type of fun. Miles of cross country ski trails are in the town. I remember one October, late in the last century, Spencer Jack's Favorite Uncle Joey and I somehow ended up in Leavenworth late on a Saturday night during Octoberfest. It was memorable.

And then we come to my Alma Mater. Central Washington University.

I wonder if the Walnut North Apartments still exist. Those were my abode during my time at CWU.

Spencer Jack is already looking like he is ready for college.

It is currently early in the evening. I am extremely tired. That new bed is looking inviting. I am almost 100% certain it will survive tonight without catastrophic failure. Then again, I have been known to be wrong a time or two....

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Heading South On The Wichita Falls Circle Trail Finding Sidewalks With No Boondoggles

Yesterday I opted to head north on the Circle Trail after leaving the relative comfort of my abode.

Today I opted to head south on the Circle Trail after leaving the relative comfort of my abode.

Tomorrow I will be opting to head neither south or north on the Circle Trail after leaving the relative comfort of my abode.

Tomorrow I will be heading southeast after I leave the relative comfort of my abode.

I do not currently know how far southeast I will be heading tomorrow. Multiple variables are yet to be determined.

Regarding today's walk south on the Circle Trail. As you can see, this section of the circle is very straight, heading towards Kemp Boulevard and Lake Wichita Dam.

I did not make it to the dam today.

Instead I opted to route through a neighborhood to the west, leaving the Circle Trail to walk on a Wichita Falls novelty called sidewalks, which I rarely had available to me when I walked in the primitive Texas burg which calls itself Fort Worth.

Fort Worth should send some sort of task force to Wichita Falls to find out how Wichita Falls manages to have roads with sidewalks on both sides of the street, and parks with modern restroom facilities, with nary a primitive outhouse to be found.

And no embarrassing Boondoggles run by the unqualified son of a local corrupt politician....

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holliday Creek Walk Along The Circle Trail

Hope y'all are having yourselves a mighty fine merry day after Christmas.

Warm air and blue sky has returned to my location on the planet.

A week ago today I super fast walked in sub-freezing air to Lake Wichita Dam.

I have had a hitch in my get-a-long, to varying degrees, ever since last Monday's super fast frigid walk.

Today I decided to take my aching self on a walk along the Circle Trail. That would be a view of that walk you are looking at here, looking north. That stream of water surrounded by freeze burned grass is Holliday Creek.

I do not know why Holliday Creek is spelled with two l's, unlike the Happy Holiday version of the word. I assume the creek is named after some guy whose last name was Holliday, with two l's.

On the east, or right side of Holliday Creek, in this view, is the Weeks Golf Course. I saw multiple golfers tooling about in their golf carts, enjoying the return of reasonable weather.

Going on a slow leisurely walk seems to have had an abating effect on my get-a-long's hitch. I suppose I should, or could, take myself some ibuprofen. But, I do not like taking potent painkillers....

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Spencer Jack Takes His Dad White Christmas Sledding In My Old Neighborhood

Spencer Jack and his dad texted me a few minutes ago from Eaglemont in my old home zone of Mount Vernon in the almost always Evergreen State of Washington.

After the incoming Spencer Jack text message an incoming phone call arrived from Spencer Jack of the old-fashioned talk mode.

During the course of that phone call, for the first time ever, Spencer Jack Merry Christmas-ed me, and I he.

Prior to finding sled worthy hills at Eaglemont, Spencer Jack took his dad to my exact old home location at 1114 Pawnee Lane. Spencer is standing in front of my mailbox. My house is up the cul-de-sac on the left, barely visible.

The short Pawnee Lane cul-de-sac becomes a sledding mecca during those rare times there is enough snow to warrant such. I remember one winter where we were snowbound for well over a week. No vehicles. The hills in my neighborhood became alive with sliding merriment well into the night.

However, as you can see, sliding was not doable on Pawnee Lane this particular Christmas.

Eaglemont is a golf course country club type deal up the hill from Pawnee Lane. Very steep hills. When I first learned to mountain bike it was the Eaglemont hills which got me in shape for Moab and Slickrock.

Spencer sent me two videos. For some reason I could not view and edit them, this time, via my usual method. I just got a blank black screen. So, I was unable to morph the two videos into one. But, they are short and you can use your own ample imagination to morph the videos....

Spencer Jack Is Having Himself A Rare Skagit White Christmas

I mentioned earlier that whilst I was wind walking around Sikes Lake I got an incoming text message from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason.

That text message included the photo you see here, along with a screen cap from Seattle's KOMO TV showing Santa in the midst of delivering, according to KOMO, seven billion presents.

Looking past Spencer Jack's Christmas tree, through the window, the outer world appears to be white. And I'm not just talking about the white vehicle.

The text in the message confirms that outer world being white thing...

FUD---Santa arrived here some time last night while I was sleeping.

I am now waiting on FNSJ to arrive.

As you know, he maintains two residences here in Mount Vernon, one on the Skagit flat farmland and one on the hill. His home on the hill is enjoying a white Christmass this morning. The snow which arrived two days ago and has stuck around providing white Christmas.

FNSJ has asked that I take him to the Eaglemont area today to do some Christmas snow sledding.

I don't recall the last time we had a White Christmas in the Skagit Valley.

Hope Santa found you at your new residence. Have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Just as I was about to hit the publish button on this blogging a new incoming text message arrived from Spencer Jack and his dad. This one included sledding video to be YouTubed and then added to a blogging.

Extreme Christmas Deflation Prior To Windy Wichita Falls Walking At Sikes Lake

For Christmas illustrative blogging purposes my plan today, prior to walking around Sikes Lakes, was to journey a slight distance further north on Taft Boulevard to photo document, in daylight, the biggest display I have ever seen of Christmas inflatables.


Due to this bout of extreme weather we are currently weathering, that biggest display of Christmas inflatables is currently deflated, I assume so as to prevent the wind from blowing Santa and his friends into the next county.

I will try and remember to return when the inflatables are once again full of air, before they leave when the new year arrives.

The way back south to Sikes Lake takes me by the parking lot for the Polar Express.

The Polar Express consists of multiple trams which haul Polar Expressers on an after dark journey through a winter wonderland of Christmas lights the likes of which I have seldom, if ever, seen.

I must remember to try and photo document that which the Polar Express sees before the lights disappear for the year.

By the time I got to Sikes Lake the wind was in full gusty mode. I saw one person step out of his vehicle to instantly find his baseball cap airborne at high velocity. I wish it had occurred to me to get out my camera and video document that guy's chase of his windblown cap.

I was not long into walking into the gale when my phone made its patented incoming text message noise. It was Spencer Jack's dad with a snowy Christmas message with photos.

After reading the text message I re-inserted the phone into its pocket and took my camera out of its pocket and put it in video mode. That video is viewable below. The wind is very loud, drowning out my commenting, for the most part.....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thick Fog From Texas To Washington With Ice & Snow

This morning I blogged about my foggy outlook on the outer world in A Very Foggy Merry Christmas Eve Morning.

A couple hours later my phone made its incoming text message noise.

The text message noise was coming from Spencer Jack and his dad, with the following message...

Thick fog, with ice and snow, here today too.

Along with the picture you see here.

The "too" part of this message is a bit erroneous, due to the fact that the fog I was trying to see through this morning contained no ice or snow.

In the picture it appears Spencer Jack is driving his dad north on the I-5 freeway, about to exit to Highway 20, in my old hometown of Burlington.

If it were not foggy, to the right, you would be seeing what would be called a "mountain" in Texas, but is just known as Burlington Hill in the Skagit Valley, a location from which one can see actual mountains no matter which direction one looks.

Speaking of fog (and who isn't?) the fog has now lifted at my location.

What you are looking at above is the same view from my computer room window we had a foggy out look from this morning, with the sky now clear, with no mountains to be seen.

Actually the dirt hill known as Mount Wichita is about two miles in the distance, to the right. Also known as to the southwest. However, Mount Wichita does not reach a high enough elevation to render it visible from two miles away.

A Very Foggy Merry Christmas Eve Morning

Living close to the ocean it is no surprise when the sun arrives for the day to find that a pea soup fog has rolled in, rendering visibility only a couple hundred foggy feet in the distance.

Such is the case at my location on the planet on this Christmas Eve Morning of the Year 2016.

The view you see here is via my computer room window, looking at a car slowly plowing its way through the fog, heading north on Taft Boulevard in the port city of Wichita Falls, Texas.

I am almost 100% certain no ships are currently sailing on the nearby body of water known as Lake Wichita. I am not totally 100% certain this lack of sailing ships has anything to do with this morning's pea soup fog.

I do not know when, or if, today's Christmas Eve fog is scheduled to lift. I do know today's temperature is scheduled to be somewhere in the 60s.

Fog or not, I intend to have myself a mighty fine very Merry Christmas Eve, and I hope yours is mighty fine too.....

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fast Fudge Free Caribbean Tour Before Circle Trailing Home

Yesterday events conspired to prevent me from acquiring my daily prescription dose of endorphins gained the natural method via aerobic activity.

In the past couple days the mail person has delivered three packages which contained cookies and one which contained fudge.

Lots of fudge.

I am not used to consuming large quantities of nutritionally bereft buttery sugar products.

By this morning I was almost totally recovered from overdosing on sugar. I won't make the same mistake today.

And already today I have acquired by daily prescription dose of endorphins. Acquired via moving fast in bipedal mode through my Caribbean neighborhood, going from Barbados to Haiti to Grenada and then back to my abode via the non-Caribbean Circle Trail.

That is the Circle Trail you see above, via a photo taken a few minutes ago, looking north at a cold trail and a stormy sky.

Thunderstorms and rain and relatively high temperatures nearing 80 are on the menu for Christmas at my location.

Nothing like a few bolts of lightning and thunder booms to get a person totally in the Christmas spirit....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

First Day Of Winter Attacked By An Old Lady In ALDI

This particular blog title is inspired by the new fake news fake headline ethic. Except in this case the headline title is sort of accurate.

Changing the subject from this blogging's title.

That is Google's First Day of Winter greeting from today you are looking at here. When one clicks its play button snowflakes begin to fall.

That's all. Click and snowflakes fall.

The Arctic Blast has retreated from my location, rendering the outer world less winter-like than it was a day or two ago.

Right now the outer world temperature is approaching 60.

Almost balmy.

I think I may have had my first encounter with a Trump empowered nincompoop today.

I was in line at ALDI.

A store where the line moves fast.  Sort of the antithesis of the Walmart line waiting experience.

I was waiting for the lady ahead of me to move forward, so I could push my cart forward, and thus easily unload onto the conveyor belt, when the borderline elderly lady behind me aggressively tapped me on the shoulder and officiously informed me I could begin unloading my cart now.

I told the overbearing busy body that I was waiting til there was more room. She then informed me there was plenty of room.

I ignored the lady, and then when I was able to easily unload the few items I was buying, I did so, After which I stuck one of the marking sticks on the conveyor belt. After which the officious lady thanked me.

I am not sure, but I suspect the look I gave this lady likely would be characterized as glaring, with me hoping my non-verbal communicating communicated something appropriate that indicated I thought her to be an overbearing officious moron.

As I wheeled away I heard this lady lecturing the checkout person about something. I suspect this lady is one of those who goes through her day having one idiotic confrontation after another, and considers such behavior to be normal.

So, that has been my first day of winter so far....

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Don't Think Spencer Jack's UPS Bobblehead Voted For Trump

I think, if I remember right, that yesterday I mentioned that whilst I was walking towards Lake Wichita my phone made its incoming text message noise.

When I got to a safe place I took the phone out of its pocket to find that the text message was from Spencer Jack's dad, and included the photo you see here.

I saved the photo attachment but somehow, in my high technology ineptness, deleted the text of the message.

Near as I can recall, and keep in mind I was outside in bright sunlight with a temperature well below freezing, but near as I can remember the message was something along the line of....

Aunts Clancy and Fancy sent Spencer a Xmas package to the wrong address. Don't know if Grandma and Grandpa helped with the address info. The Xmas package included that which you see here, a life size UPS Bobblehead which Clancy and Fancy apparently had made for themselves as some sort of morphed combination of their memorable likenesses. And then, apparently the morphed combination was extremely photoshopped, hence this UPS Bobblehead appears to have only one chin.

Hope you're having a good Monday and that those Electors do the right thing and not vote for that narcissistic, sociopathic madman.

Well, it is now Tuesday and now we know those Electors did the wrong thing in not doing their duty regarding the intended purpose of the Electoral College, that being that that institution is the failsafe the Founders added to the Constitution as a final defense against a populist madman becoming president.

I found a couple incoming Christmas packages in the mail yesterday. But no UPS Bobblehead from Clancy and Fancy.....

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Frozen Lake Wichita Walk With UPS Bobbleheads

The temperature in the outer world at my location has not been above freezing for a couple days. If I remember right, and sometimes I do, the temperature was 14 this morning when I woke up my temperature monitoring device.

An hour before noon I decided to layer on several layers of outerwear so as to warmly venture out into the frigidity for a fast walk to Lake Wichita.

I was surprised when Holliday Creek came into view to see that the creek was frozen.

Holliday Creek was not running much water when the Deep Freeze arrived, hence the ability to freeze.

After I saw the creek was frozen I thought that maybe Lake Wichita might have turned into a giant ice rink.

But, when the lake came into view I could see no ice, not even on the shoreline.

As you can see, above, Lake Wichita looks like it is frozen, with nary a single wave rippling its surface.

That bump you see at the west end of Lake Wichita is Mount Wichita. When last I saw Mount Wichita the mountain was still green. But it appears this Arctic Blast has killed all the mountain's vegetation, rendering it a brown lump of a bump.

Whilst I was heading towards Lake Wichita my phone made its incoming text message noise a couple time. When I arrived on the Lake Wichita floating dock I removed the phone from its pocket and saw the messages were from Spencer Jack's dad.

I am still processing the message from Spencer Jack's dad. A UPS bobblehead is involved. I have not yet decided if this bobblehead is something I want to mention in the blog venue.

In the meantime, it is time for lunch. Mexican themed today. Sour cream chicken and bean baked enchiladas...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Arctic Blasts Into Texas Colder Than Predicted

The Arctic Blast blasted in colder than the predictors predicted it would this Sunday before Christmas.

10 degrees.

With the wind making those 10 degrees feel like 4 degrees below zero.

That is cold.

Real cold.

All the faucets in my abode are currently in prevent frozen pipes drip mode.

I suspect there are currently a lot of faucets dripping all over America.

Except in Florida and Hawaii.

Relief from this iceberg is supposed to arrive within 48 hours.

Just in time for this visitor from the Far North I got myself a new highly insulated jacket from Costco.

I have yet to test this highly insulated jacket at the current temperature level. I suspect it will do a mighty fine job of keeping me warm.

If not, I shall make sure when I am in the outer world today that there is never much distance between me and a warm interior space....

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Spencer Jack Drives His Pickup To Frozen Padilla Bay

At some point in time between the morning hour of eleven and noon I layered on the outerwear to venture out to go to ALDI to stock up on vittles in anticipation of being icebound due to the incoming blast of cold from the Arctic.

Heading north on Taft Boulevard my phone made its incoming text message noise.

Eventually I  found myself stopped at a long red light at the intersection of  Maplewood and Kemp. So I took the phone out of its pocket location to quickly see, before the light turned green, that the incoming text message was from Spencer Jack and his dad.

Two photos were included with the one line of text which said...

Brutally cold, with ice, on Padilla Bay.

Ice on Padilla Bay? Padilla Bay is saltwater. The temperature has to get mighty cold to freeze saltwater.

Above Spencer Jack is waving at us from his new pickup, with the aforementioned icy Padilla Bay behind him.

Below is the second photo, one which shows the ice forming on the shore of Padilla Bay.

That smoke  you see rising on the other side of Padilla Bay is rising from the oil refineries on Marsh's Point.

Washington has no oil wells.

However, these big boats called Supertankers haul Alaskan oil to Marsh's Point, where it is turned into usable  products, like gasoline. Currently coal is also being brought to Marsh's Point, but not by Supertankers. The coal arrives via trains. Many of the locals in Western Washington have not been happy about those coal trains.

Spencer Jack waving at us from Padilla Bay reminds me of the fact that it was at Padilla Bay I first met Spencer Jack. At Bay View State Park, in early August of 2008. Bay View State Park is on the east side of Padilla Bay.

Below is the YouTube video I made of the day I met Spencer Jack for the first time. I suspect Spencer Jack does not remember this....

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cowtown Crude Finds Bud Kennedy Smiling Under A Trump Baseball Cap

Blog comment from Cowtown Crude this morning mentioning Trump and the Dallas/Fort Worth zones #1 Food Expert....

Cowtown Crude has left a new comment on your post "Wichita Falls Born Rex Tillerson Secretary Of State In Trump's Clown Cabinet":

Here's a link to a pic of your favorite Star-Telegram food reporter sporting a Trump ball cap.

The link to a pic linked to a Star-Telegram photo of the Star-Telegram's star reporter, Bud Kennedy sporting a baseball cap.

I could not make out what was written on the cap whilst looking at the original image. But I was fairly certain the cap said nothing like "Make America Great Again", which is what I thought was on all Trump caps.

So, I cropped and enlarged the image so as to make out what was written on the cap which Mr. Kennedy is sporting.

All  I could make out was "TRUMP 2014".

With the baseball cap referencing TRUMP and the year 2014 methinks this photo predates the point in time when our national nightmare began with Trump descending from his tower to inform the masses he was running for president with a platform calling for the Mexicans to pay for a wall he was going to build on America's southern border, among other loony ideas.

I am almost 100% certain the Star-Telegram's star reporter did not vote for Donald Trump and I have idea why he is so gleefully sporting this baseball cap....

Happy Birthday To Little Miss Linda

Miss Linda on the left, me on the right
Other than my relatives I am fairly certain the person on the planet I have known longer than anyone else is Miss Linda R from the Great State of Washington.

I do not remember, for sure, when first I made Miss Linda's acquaintance. Likely it was at Sunday School, prior to beginning first grade at Roosevelt Elementary.

Miss Linda and I attended our first 14 years of school together. Eight years of grade school, four years of high school. And the first two years of college.

Today is the annual celebration of the day Miss Linda turned 29.

I believe the photo you see here is the oldest photo documentation of myself and a very young Miss Linda. I am guessing we are attired in our Sunday finery for our weekly bout of Sunday School.

I have no idea what Miss Linda  has planned for today's birthday celebration. When we were in high school Miss Linda's Fondue Parties were epic, with an invitation a highly coveted thing to receive.

Currently Miss Linda is residing in the town I resided in prior to moving to Texas. That being Mount Vernon, Washington. Miss Linda's abode is about two blocks from Spencer Jack's abode.

I do not know if Spencer Jack has been invited to this year's Miss Linda Birthday Celebration....

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freezing Around The Circle Trail In Wichita Falls

In this photo you are looking at what 32 degrees looks like, currently, at my location on the planet, heading north on the Circle Trail which meanders around Wichita Falls.

I did not repeat the mistake I made the last time I ventured out for an endorphin inducing bout of aerobic activity, with that mistake being insufficient outerwear.

This morning I dug my long underwear out of its hiding place, along with ski gloves and a ski jacket.

Tomorrow, if the weather predictors are predicting correctly, I will not need long underwear to be comfortable outdoors.

Tomorrow a south wind is supposed to blow, a warm south wind with the potential to heat up the outer world to nearly 80 degrees.

At some point in time, late Friday, or early Saturday, that south wind will cease, replaced by a cold wind from the north, causing the temperature to plummet dozens of degrees, with the latest prediction being 12 degrees, Saturday, at my location.

I wonder if my insulated ski pants are hiding in here somewhere?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wichita Falls Born Rex Tillerson Secretary Of State In Trump's Clown Cabinet

Last night an incoming text message from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, had me wondering why he thought I was moving back to Washington the first month of the new year...

Are you moving to Washington in January?

I texted back indicating I was unaware of any current plan to move back to my old home state of Washington, additionally asking what prompted the question, to which Spencer Jack's dad texted back with...

I just learned an elderly white male from Wichita Falls, Texas will serve as Trump's Secretary of State.

To which I texted back with, yes, but the appointment is tentative, so please don't tell anyone til it gets confirmed. To which Jason texted back with...

I won't leak any national security info. I am hoping you will be able to keep your private email account, so Spencer and I can reach you if needed...

I did not know, until last night, that one of Trump's Clown Cabinet was from Wichita Falls, let alone that it was the Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson, who Trump had picked to be Secretary of State, apparently due to the former Wichita Fallers history of dealing with Trump's BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Does Rex Tillerson now replace Dr. Phil as the most famous person to have come from Wichita Falls?

I suppose time will tell.

Rex must get confirmed first before he can do something notorious which outdoes the notoriety of Dr. Phil....

Freezing Wichita Falls Losing 60 Degrees On Saturday

Apparently my location on the planet, well north of being deep in the heart of Texas, is once again scheduled to go in to DEEP FREEZE mode.

A predicted high of 73 on Friday, then losing 60 degrees, for a low of 13 on Saturday.


That small number of degrees is among the lowest I have ever been  chilled to. If my memory is serving me correctly, and sometimes it does, the lowest temperature I have ever been chilled to was a minus 27 in the Eastern Washington town of Ellensburg, where I was matriculating at Central Washington University.

Minus 27.

That's 27 degrees below zero.

At that extreme temperature I recollect having to walk to school, due to no wheeled conveyances being operational. I recollect big icicles forming on the ski mask I used to cover all but my eyes and the two nostrils of my head zone.

If the forecast is correct we are heading towards two days where the temperature does not get above freezing. That means the faucets must be left dripping, the furnace must be left heating and other precautions must be taken so as to avoid breaking pipes.

I have experienced a freeze causing pipes to burst. It ain't pretty. Such a disaster happened the first time a deep freeze hit my new house in Mount Vernon. The pipe burst announced itself with an explosive bang.

I hope not to be hearing a similar explosive bang in the coming days....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ruby & Theo People's Pool Party Birthday With Big Brother David

Yester morning I texted or emailed two thirds of my sisters to remind them that yesterday was our dad's birthday. Not that they actually needed to be reminded of such a thing.

My littlest sister, the one who lives in Tacoma, emailed back saying...

I figured I’d call on my way home from work.  We celebrated the twins’ birthday last night with a pool party.  Photo evidence attached.

I looked at the photo evidence and emailed back asking where this pool was located, along with asking a couple other questions in a couple followup emails. Following is a compilation of the replies....

The pool is in Tacoma's Hilltop zone.  It just opened a few months ago. In the spraypad pic, Ruby is on the far right and Theo is on the left in blue trunks looking at the camera with his tough guy face.  

David had fun too. And the pool has a current channel, like a lazy river, that is really fun. You feel like you are swimming super fast. And there is a lily pad thing to try to cross – Kristin didn’t make it very far.

Twins actual birthday is 12/17 and they are turning 6!!!!! David turned 8 in September. The lily pad thing is all the rage – Great Wolf Lodge has one too – but I’ve never tried it. I’ve seen 3 adults attempt this one and all 3 ended up in the drink. 

I made a composite image of several of the incoming pics, the result of which is what you see at the top. That is David in the middle, Ruby on the right, with Theo on the left.

Turns out the new pool is part of the Tacoma city park system. It is called The People's Pool.

The town I lived in before moving to Wichita Falls, Fort Worth, has several old closed public pools. Fort Worth has a population of around 800,000, with few places to cool off in the summer heat, hence foolish people floating on inner tubes in the polluted Trinity River thinking they are having a mighty fine time Rockin' the River while drinking beer and listening to loud music.

The population of Tacoma is around 200,000, a quarter the size of Fort Worth. Yet somehow Tacoma has multiple parks with modern facilities, including one of the biggest urban parks in the world, Point Defiance Park.

And I have never seen a street in Tacoma which did not have sidewalks on both sides of the street, often with a landscaped median between the sidewalk and the street.

And don't get me started on the Tacoma waterfront compared to Fort Worth's. Tacoma's waterfront water is crystal clear, but you probably would not want to drink beer while having a Rockin' the Water Happy Hour Inner Tube Float in it.

Too cold.

That and you would be sharing the water with creatures like salmon, seals, otters, orcas, octupi and crabs.

Just as I was typing this I got an incoming text message from David, Theo and Ruby's Aunt Jackie, who also is one of my sisters, telling me she and my Favorite Brother-in-Law, Jack are on vacation, meeting the aforementioned David, Theo and Ruby in Disneyland this coming weekend for the twin's Mickey Mouse Happy Birthday Party.

How come I never get invited to any of these birthday parties? My birthday presents were considered epic back when my original four nephews were David, Theo and Ruby's age.

Speaking of nephews, also just got a text message with photos from Spencer Jack's dad. Skagit snow photos. Must plug the phone in to the computer and look at that snow.....

Monday, December 12, 2016

Incoming Cold Report From The PNW

Incoming to my phone from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, with the snow photo you see here from WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation).

Text message accompanying photo...

FUD - Nice blog today about your dear ole dad.

The rest of your relatives are ice cold frozen in the PNW right now.

Some snow showers this morning here in the Skagit zone.   Most are concentrated in Whatcom County.

Heading down to the Phoenix suburbs is starting to sound appetizing.

Stay warm, FNJ

Yesterday my location was heated to almost 70. So I was out and about with no additional upper outerwear needed than a t-shirt. This morning dipped again below freezing, so I was back in flannel to venture out to ALDI.

I do not know if the Phoenix zone is reliably warm this time of year. It is likely, though, that the Phoenix zone is warmer than Jason's location in the PNW and warmer than my location in what is known locally as Texoma.

Happy Birthday To My Dear Ol' Dad

Today is my dad's birthday.

The first photo you see here was taken in Arizona back in March of 2012, in a cafe in the town, if I remember right, named Superior. I do recollect, for certain, I had a very good cheeseburger at this cafe. That is not my mom sitting across from dad.  That is my favorite nephew's Christopher and Jeremy's mom, Jackie. Mom is hidden behind dad.

This would be the most recent photo I have taken of my dad. Let's go back in time and look at some other pictures of my dear ol' dad....

I do not know what dad is carrying in that bucket as he exits. He may be heading out to pick beans. I suspect this location is near Sumas, near the Canadian border in Whatcom County in Washington.

Dad's high school graduation photo. My dad was a basketball star at Nooksack High School. Dad passed on his athletic gifts to some of his children. But not me.

My dad looks like he is being a model in his graduation photo.

And then a few years after that graduation photo was taken, after a stint in the army, stationed in France, dad returned home to meet up with my mom in New York City and eventually make their way back to the west coast were eventually I was born.

That is me being a happy baby above, with my dad. This would have been in Eugene, Oregon, that being the location where I and my little brother, Spencer Jack's grandpa, Jake, were born.

Me and dad. I have no idea where this is, but I would guess it is somewhere in Oregon. A few months after the above photo was taken someone new entered the pictures.

That someone new was my little brother Jake, later to become the proud papa of Jason and Joey and grandpa of Spencer Jack. Who took this picture? I have no idea. It may have been taken during a trip north from Oregon, to Lynden, to visit our grandmas.

Again, I am guessing the below picture of dad playing with me and my brother was in Eugene, Oregon. That would be me on the left.  Little brother Jake was always a frisky little devil.

Below mom is holding Jake, likely to curtail that friskiness I previously mentioned.

We had a Radio Flyer wagon. I have long retained the memory of a Radio Flyer wagon but never knew it was a reality til I came across this photo proof. Many miles were rolled in that wagon. I recollect having fun pulling it. And pushing it with little brother Jake on board and steering.

Below we appear to be on a Washington State Ferry. Enjoying the Washington State Ferry system is something that is passed on from generation to generation in my family. For instance, Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew Jason, built replicas of the entire Washington State Ferry system. That is a lot of boats.

Eventually the bliss of our family consisting of just mom and dad and me and my brother came to an end with the addition of a sister.

Above dad is holding that aforementioned sister, named Nancy. As you can see, Nancy was a handful, and continues to be.

And then apparently one sister was not enough. Another was added.

I am fairly certain above we are at Ocean Shores on the Washington Pacific coast. Dad is holding our latest little sister, Jackie, who later became the mom of my favorite nephews Christopher and Jeremy.

Ironically, I have no photo of dad holding my third sister, in a photo with all her siblings. That third sister was the most exciting event of all the incoming new siblings. I do not remember the arrival of my brother or my first sister. I do remember the arrival of sister Jackie. It was a big, exciting deal.

But the arrival of my littlest sister, Michele, that was an epic big deal. I was in high school when that occurred. I remember the morning Michele was born, I called the hospital to find out if it had happened yet. There was a crowd around me as I called. I got the news and shouted out "It's a girl!" There was a reaction which had the person on the other end of the call telling mom it sounded like I was calling from an assembly of a lot of people.

Over the years I have lost count of the number of times I have been told I grew up in a Leave it to Beaver Father Knows Best Ozzie and Harriet type upbringing. I recollect Elsie Hotpepper saying such to me and me indicating I had no idea what she was talking about.

But now I get it. It's true. Way too many are not so fortunate to have a mom and dad doing the mom and dad job as good as my mom  and dad did.

Happy Birthday Pa!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trinity River Vision May Become Reality After Massive Water Bill

I saw that which you see here, this morning, on the front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram online.

So, the Star-Telegram apparently thinks that the Trinity River Vision COULD become a reality after Congress passes a massive water bill.


After boondoggling along for most of this century the Trinity River Vision could possibly maybe become a reality?

Does that mean that, even with the infusion of about a half billion dollars of federal money, that that which has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle may still not become a reality.

Not become a reality after wasting how much money? After abusing eminent domain to take how much property and disrupt how many lives?

Has anyone noticed if The Boondoggle is yet back working on its V Piers, the construction of which was halted way back last March, due to design errors?

Has the Star-Telegram made any real effort to find out what the actual reason for the stalled bridge construction is?

How many extra millions of dollars have been doled out to those employed by the Trinity River Vision Authority due to this project going on and on year after year, with little to show for the effort?

After all these years of Boondoggling is J.D. Granger now nearing retirement age? Will J.D.'s mother live long enough to see this vision become anything anyone can see?

And can anyone with any actual understanding of engineering explain to me how those V Piers are supposed to be able to support a bridge deck?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cold Caribbean Wichita Falls Walk Not Available In Fort Worth

This second Saturday morning of December the weather outside is frightful, but even so I decided to layer on the winter outerwear, including ski gloves, and venture out into the icy wind hoping to have an endorphin inducing bout of aerobic fast walking.

Whilst walking north, with the wind coming up from behind, the frigid breeze did not vex me too much.

Then I got to the Circle Trail and headed back south, directly into the icy wind. This caused me to go into borderline jog mode to get as quickly as I could to a warm, wind free place.

The first part of my walk route today was on one of the paved alleys which meander all over my Caribbean themed neighborhood. The paved alleys make for pleasant vehicle free walking.

Wichita Falls has many modern amenities which were sadly lacking in the previous Texas town I lived in.

Fort Worth.

A day or two ago it occurred to me that Fort Worth's chronically absurd misrepresenting of itself goes all the way back to the town's naming.

There never was a fort in Fort Worth. It was a camp.

Camp Worth.

Camp Worth might actually be a more apropos name for Fort Worth, what with the town having the modern world's highest per capita number of outhouses, including most city parks not featuring modern facilities, or running water.

But, plenty of outhouses, some installed in very odd locations.

Another modern amenity I enjoy in Wichita Falls which is sadly, dangerously, frequently lacking in Fort Worth, is sidewalks. You know, those narrow paved trails which run along the side of roads so as to facilitate the safe transit of pedestrians.

Below you are looking at the point where the paved alley I walked today meets Haiti Drive.

As you can see, both sides of Haiti Drive have sidewalks. At this particular juncture I take a right and walk the sidewalk til I reach Weeks Park Lane, then walk that road's sidewalk to the south, past a couple houses, where I take a left and walk across the street to the Circle Trail which takes me back to my warm abode.

During my incarceration in Fort Worth I never did figure out why the town was so backwards. Did most of Fort Worth's citizens never venture to another American town, not even Fort Worth suburbs like Haltom City, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Dallas or others, to see that modern American towns have streets with sidewalks and parks with modern restrooms, with running water available?

The Fort Worth conundrum is very perplexing.

But, in the town's defense, I must say it is the impressive host to America's Biggest Boondoggle, currently stuck unable to figure out how to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island....

Friday, December 9, 2016

Way Too Much Wind Chill On The Mount Wichita Summit

Well, I made it to the summit of Mount Wichita today.

In the abstract it seemed like a good idea to go mountain climbing.

However, the reality of such turned out to be not such a good idea.

When I drove to the base of Mount Wichita, around 11 this morning, the temperature was hovering around 35. The wind blowing supposedly made that 35 feel like the low 20s.

When I reached the summit of Mount Wichita the howling gale penetrated my windbreaker as if I had nothing breaking the wind at all.

I quickly made my way back to ground level and then  just as quickly made it back to the warm comfort of my vehicle.

The picture I took from the Mount Wichita summit sort of captures what a forbidding cold location this was today.

If I attempt mountain climbing again during this period of Big Chills I will likely do so attired as if I was going skiing. Or maybe just wait til HEAT returns....

Incoming Washington Snow Reports From Spencer Jack & Miss Linda

Incoming text and photo this morning to my phone from my old home zone of Mount Vernon in the Skagit Valley.

Text accompanying the photo....

Spencer Jack woke my up this morning to report overnight Skagit snow.

That appears to be quite a few inches of snow. Enough to cover the grass.

When I saw the "16" on Spencer Jack's Christmas lawn decoration it took me a second or two or three to guess what "16" referred to.

I am guessing Spencer Jack is counting down the days until Christmas.

Just as I stuck the period on the above sentence the phone once again  made its incoming text message noise. I figured it was likely from Elsie Hotpepper due to the fact I had text messaged the Hotpepper a couple minutes ago. But, the message was not from that particular Hotpepper, it was from the Washington Hotpepper known as Little Miss Linda, with that message's text telling me....

Brrrrrrr....from Mount Vernon.

Along with the Brrrrr, Miss Linda including a photo of the snow outside her domicile.

That does look very Brrrrrrr.

If the snow sticks the Mount Vernon zone has multiple great sledding hills. My old neighborhood in far east Mount Vernon was a mecca for sledding.

Meanwhile, at my current location on the planet the outer world is cold enough to support falling flakes of snow, if clouds were present to produce such a thing. We are hovering right at the freezing point, currently.

I think I will do some frigid mountain climbing today. I am assuming Mount Wichita is not slippery....

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trouble Acclimating To This Texas Arctic Blast

Apparently I am not reacting well to suddenly being stuck in a deep freeze.

I am assuming the headache that began aching in the middle of last night, which has continued through the day, then continuing on after the sun has set, has been caused by the sudden loss of 40 degrees.

I tried the comfort food route to breaking the cold spell, barbecuing chicken, making extremely sharp cheesy macaroni and cheese, along with my signature salad, cranberry Waldorf.

To no avail.

By late afternoon I found myself sitting forlornly looking at the brightly lit view you see above. As I sat I could feel cold creeping in through the big window behind me. At least I imagined such.

I heard on the radio a few minutes ago that by the weekend we are scheduled to get back some of those 40 degrees we lost in the last 24 hours, with the outer world possibly heated into the 60s.

Tomorrow, while it is still freezing, I may take myself to Mount Wichita to see what mountain climbing is like at this location in sub-freezing weather. I do not think the mountain will be too slippery....