Thursday, February 28, 2019

Toast & Jam With Mary Kelleher And A Fort Worth Prince

Now this is gonna be in the isn't that a strange coincidence category.

Earlier today I had reason to look for a long ago blog post from way back in 2014, looking for photo documentation of J.D. Granger with his children holding embarrassing, inappropriate signs.

I found that and then noticed two blog comments I had long forgotten, both mentioning someone named Jeff Prince.

I do not remember the incident, but, apparently I spoke to this Jeff Prince person. Following is one of the two comments mentioning Jeff Prince...

Bob has left a new comment on your post "Today We Learn How TRWD Nepotism Can Lead To Tacky Cheesy Signs":

The great Jeff Prince is a reader of your blog? Wow, he must really enjoy keeping up with your daily schedules and weather reports.

I read a comment like the one from Bob and wonder why Bob himself keeps up with my daily schedules and weather reports, since knowing such makes obvious Bob must regularly read this blog and thus able to make such an apropos comment.

Okay, avoiding the daily schedule and weather reports and back to the aforementioned coincidence.

So, a couple hours after reading the blog post and comments about Jeff Prince I get a new comment to a blog post from a couple days ago, also mentioning Jeff Prince...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Huge No Moat Transparency Accountability Reward Re-Electing Mary Kelleher":

Mary Kelleher and Fort Worth Weekly's Jeff Prince singing Proud Mary for Prince's Toast & Jam piece. 


The above was seen via FW Weekly's Toast & Jam, which I assume must be a new feature which has arrived since I lost access to Fort Worth's closest thing to a real newspaper.

In the video you get a look at Mary Kelleher's farm. I had a look at Mary Kelleher's farm a few years ago. I ended up with an ostrich egg from the visit. I had no idea Miss Mary is so melodious til I listened to her duet with the legendary Jeff Prince.

Best duet chemistry since Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hot & Cold Drive To DFW With Possible Fort Worth Outhouse Invasion

What a delightful day my monthly drive to and back from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Zone has been, so far.

Temperature barely above freezing exiting Wichita Falls at 8 this morning. Dense drizzly clouds severely diminishing visibility.

Temperature above 60 on DFW arrival, and when exiting for the regularly scheduled restroom break prior to reaching the regular final destination.

That regularly scheduled restroom break takes place at a park called Whites Branch Park.

One comes to the entry to this park soon after Western Center Boulevard changes its name to Watauga Road.

I do not know why the name switches from the pretentious boulevard nomenclature to the more accurate road nomenclature.

When I think of a boulevard I think of a broad road, with multiple lanes, a landscaped median, landscaping on both sides of the boulevard, along with sidewalks. Such does not describe White Center Boulevard. Or Watauga Road.

But, calling it a road works.

Whites Branch Park I have long thought was in Haltom City. Not Watauga. Not in Fort Worth. I do not know why I thought Whites Branch Park is in Haltom City. It probably is in Haltom City, but today I had reason to wonder.

With that wondering caused by an outhouse of the Fort Worth city park signature type sitting on the parking lot near the restrooms which have previously been functional, and unlocked. Which is what you see photo documented above.

I do not make use of outhouses when I am in an urban modern American location. And so it was on to Fuel City, which is for certain in Haltom City and which has no outhouses but does have modern facilities. And tacos.

So, with that unseemly outhouse stuck on a park's parking lot, is it the sad reality that Whites Branch Park is actually in Fort Worth? Maybe Fort Worth made one of its storied annexing moves and took over this park, thus its diminished quality.


The drive back to Wichita Falls started with the temperature being near 70 when exiting WinCo. And then when I stopped to get gas in Decatur, an hour, and 30 miles north, later, the temperature had dropped to 36. With wind and drizzle.

A few dozen miles more, somewhere northwest of Bowie, the temperature dropped below freezing. The windshield wipers soon began having sweeping woes due to ice freezing on the windshield. Switching the interior heat higher and in defrost mode soon somewhat abated that windshield wiper woe.

A few miles from Wichita Falls the temperature dropped to 29. And road signs warned of "Ice Removal Equipment Ahead". Or some such thing. I never saw any ice getting removed by any equipment by the time I parked under my ice-free carport roof.

And, one more thing.

I was non-plussed when I realized I would be away from a TV whilst Michael Cohen testified today. I did read his opening statement before departing.

I tried to get the hearing on the radio, but I only found one station which seemed to be covering it, and that was a hate speech radio station, with the hate speecher being a right wing nut job idiot from the town I used to live in. Mount Vernon, Washington. Glenn Beck. I thought he had been taken off the air due to mental health issues.

I got a couple phone calls from west coasters whilst in DFW today. Both were surprised I was not in front of a TV watching the spectacle. Both thought Cohen came across credible, that the Republicans were embarrassing themselves. And that hopefully this marks the point when finally Trump is toast. I suspect that hope is in vain. I also hope I am wrong...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Huge No Moat Transparency Accountability Reward Re-Electing Mary Kelleher

That which you see here arrived on my phone last night, sent by the Hotpepper Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

There was no text accompanying that which you see here, other than two of those emoticon things which I usually am unable to tell what is being emoted. As was the case in this case.

I am assuming what we see here is a political advertisement which arrived in the mailboxes of those few who are allowed to vote in a Tarrant Regional Water District board election.

Apparently there was a drawing to determine ballot placement, and Gary Moates came in last place, as in, as the advertisement advises us, at "THE BOTTOM OF THE TRWD BOARD CANDIDATES".

I do not know what to think of the line which says "JUST THINK OF "MOATS" AROUND PANTHER ISLAND AND GO TO THE BOTTOM..."

Moats in olden times were water barriers around castles, filled with disgustingly dirty water, thus providing a barrier against those who wanted to storm the castle.

So, in this instance are we being advised to think voting for this Moates guy will somehow affect the moat around the industrial wasteland known as Panther Island? That being an imaginary island which may one day have a cement lined ditch filled with polluted Trinity River water, and thus, surrounding that industrial wasteland with water.

I do not think any of those who built castles surrounded by a moat thought the moat turned their castle into an island.

So, is this Gary Moates guy in favor of continuing with that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision? Or is he in favor of literally draining the moat and firing J.D. Granger?

And what has become of the biggest Texas investigation ever conducted into election fraud, triggered in part by the bizarre results the last time TRWD board members, Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, ran for re-election?

The recent revelations of Republican election fraud in a North Carolina district seemed to be from the same playbook as the Tarrant County election fraud allegations.

There is someone else on the May 4 TRWD board election ballot.

Mary Kelleher.

I saw this WANTED poster wanting Mary Kelleher this morning on Facebook.

The Mary Kelleher poster does not explicitly indicate if she is in favor of pulling the plug on America's Biggest Boondoggle, and firing J.D. Granger.

But, I think we can assume with the reference to "TRANSPARENCY" and "ACCOUNTABILITY" that neither the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, or J.D. Granger could survive either transparency or accountability...

Monday, February 25, 2019

Missing Aslan From Wichita Falls Caribbean Neighborhood

This last Monday of February the outer world was warm enough to warrant a bike ride without needing multiple layers of outer wear.

And so I had myself a mighty fine time rolling down the Circle Trail, rolling around Sikes Lake, rolling through the MSU campus, along with rolling through the Wichita Falls version of Beverly Hills.

The past week I have noticed at various locations when I am out and about posters posted on various posts.

Today I finally stopped my rolling at one of those posts with a posted poster.

For 20 days ASLAN pronounced AZ-LYNN has been missing.

I do not know if all those posters I have been seeing have been about Aslan.

If not, are we having some sort of dognapping epidemic in Wichita Falls?

This above poster was posted on the Circle Trail near where Haiti Drive meets the road which runs alongside the Circle Trail. According to the poster Aslan's residence is on Tobago Drive, a short distance west, as in the next road one comes to on Haiti after one passes Barbados.

I have yet to learn why this neighborhood is Caribbean themed with its road names.

This Aslan poster had a poignant line near the bottom, above the phone numbers, "Missed by his Mommy and his Grandma (who is gravely ill).

I have no way of knowing if Mommy and Grandma are Aslan's birth mother and grandma, or if we are talking about his human Mommy and Grandma.

I suspect the latter...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Under Reported Explosive Growth In Fort Worth Star-Telegram Propaganda

 At the end of last year, if I remember correctly, I think I told Elsie Hotpepper that one of my few New Year Resolutions was to let go of pointing out the obvious regarding J.D. Granger and the epic incompetence  which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, and to also cease with making fun of Fort Worth and the town's non-existent newspaper of record known as the Star-Telegram, which of late some wags have taken to calling the Star-Telesham.

And then I see something in the Star-Telegram, like you see here, and my New Year Resolution melts away due to an appalled reaction to the severe stupidity of the propaganda I am reading in this pitiful newspaper.

Now, I have been asked a time or two by people I know from my previous life on the west coast if Fort Worth is really as bad as I make it out to be. And why does it vex me so?

I do have some really good answers to that question, but for now, in this blog post, let's just look at this State of Fort Worth is good; here’s one way to make it better article as an egregious example of this pseudo newspaper's bizarre tendency to act as some sort of Chamber of Commerce propaganda spewer.

You can click the link to read the entire piece of propaganda, but for example purposes let us just look at the first few paragraphs...

State of Fort Worth is good; here’s one way to make it better

Fort Worth’s explosive growth — near the top nationally — means plenty of transplants who could share stories of dysfunctional, even incompetent political leadership and underperforming communities where they used to live.

An entirely different picture emerged Tuesday at the State of the City luncheon hosted by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Aside from a far-reaching onstage interview of Mayor Betsy Price touching on both the city’s accomplishments and challenges, the Chamber highlighted four of Fort Worth’s most dynamic small businesses.

Fittingly enough for a flourishing city, the top emerging business, 6th Avenue Homes, was also named “Grand Forte,” as Small Business of the Year.

Witnessing the energy and enthusiasm of the audience for 6th Avenue Homes — as well as other winners Silver Creek Materials (manufacturing/distribution), Tribe Alive (consumer/retail) and Elements of Architecture Inc. (professional services) — was a reminder of what really makes this city go: a bold, passionate, business community risking everything to fulfill folks’ basic needs and wants, and maybe a few audacious dreams.

Fort Worth's explosive growth? Near the top of the nation? With newcomers sharing stories of the woeful towns from whence they came? Escaping other towns with a dysfunctional, incompetent leadership of underperforming communities?

Star-Telegram could you please name these other towns which are even more dysfunctional with even more incompetent leadership leading communities even more underperforming than Fort Worth?

I was once a newcomer to Fort Worth. And my reaction almost from the start was that I had no idea there were places of the big city sort so backwards, so poorly developed, so delusional, so in dire need of help in America.

I knew there were pockets of poverty in America, obviously. I knew some towns were more dynamic than others. But I did not know there were cities like Fort Worth.

A modern American city without a real newspaper, where most of the town's few city parks lack modern facilities such as restrooms and running water. But, plenty of outhouses. Where most of the city streets lack sidewalks. Where the downtown is a ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year, due to few restaurants, few downtown residents and zero grocery or department stores. Where a town of over 800,000 population has no public pools.

A town with a park celebrating the town's heritage, ironically called Heritage Park, sitting at the north end of the downtown, across from the county courthouse, blighted as a boarded up, cyclone fenced, barb wired eyesore which has been closed now for a decade.

If you could still get into Heritage Park you would have a bird's eye view of the most bizarre public works project currently not working in all of America. The Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more often referred to as America's Biggest Boondoggle, or, simply The Boondoggle.

So, Star-Telegram, take off your propaganda blindfold and look around your own town if you want to find stories of dysfunctional incompetent political leadership and an underperforming community.

Start with showing your few readers the ridiculous propaganda installation on the Star-Telegram building's ground floor. Then send a reporter to tour the vast areas of Fort Worth in dire need of improved flood control, actual needed flood control, not imaginary not needed flood control such as you can find detailed in that bizarre mess cluttering up your ground floor.

I almost forgot to make mention of that one way to make Fort Worth better, which is referenced in this article's State of Fort Worth is good; here’s one way to make it better headline.

You will think I am making this up, read the article and you will see I am not.

So, what is that one way to make Fort Worth better?

Well, that one way to make Fort Worth better is to aim to get all third-graders reading at grade level by 2025.

Oh, yes, that will be a sure fix for all which ails Fort Worth...

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Golfing Lake Wichita Dam To Rock and Roll Windy Lake Wichita

Last night, whilst watching my one hour of TV allotment, during the entire hour a wind warning message scrolled across the screen, interrupted every few screen crosses by being replaced with a warning graphic in the upper left corner.

I find this type TV weather warning far less annoying, and far more useful, than the Weather Drama Queen nonsense I used to be subjected to on DFW TV whenever weather got a little dicey.

So, around noon I decided to ignore some of the warnings and drove my motorized means of motion to Lake Wichita Dam, where I hoped to see big waves breaking across the lake.

Above you are looking at the face of the earthen Lake Wichita Dam. I do not recollect having shown this view before. The humans you see on the dam are golfing in the wind on the new Disc Golf Course which has been installed at this location since my last visit.

And below you are looking at one of those new Disc Golf installations. And whitecaps on Lake Wichita. The waves do not look quite ready for a surfboard.

I thought video of the walk down to the floating dock might be fun. I figured the wind would be so noisy my pithy commentary would not be able to be heard. So, from the top of the dam all the way to the floating dock I had my camera in video mode.

When I got the video off the camera and onto the computer I quickly saw I wanted to edit out all but the part where I get near the dock and begin getting pummeled by wind and waves.

However, the new version of Windows does not have the easy to use Windows Movie Maker of the quality level I was used to easily using. The video editing program which comes with Windows 10 was able to trim out what which I did not want. But I could not then figure out how to save what remained.


And Googling for help was no help, other than pointing me to the Microsoft Store where I was able to download the new version of Movie Maker made for Windows 10.

However, I was also unable to figure out how to get the new Movie Maker to trim that which I did not want.

Again. Frustrating. It used to be so easy.

So, I uploaded the whole video to YouTube. Then I tried out the new YouTube Studio and its video editing. I was once again easily able to trim the excess, but was again unable to figure out how to save the result.

Which leaves us with the entire windy noisy video. At about the 54 second mark you come to what I was actually trying to use, and lose all which came before that mark.

When I am out on the floating dock you can actually hear me over the wind. Mostly because I think I was sort of screaming in shock at the rocking and rolling and getting splashed by incoming waves...

Friday, February 22, 2019

Great Google Work On No Policy Violations With Other Nonsense

This week has seen a few things I've not seen before showing up in my email inbox.

The first one was from Google AdSense.

The subject line in that email was instantly disturbing...

Your AdSense Publisher Policy Violation Report for pub-7334641582664711 on Feb 17, 2019

That was just the subject line. The message in the email was a long one, and had me thinking I had committed some sort of egregious crime, well, violation.

It took some link clicking in the email message to figure out the "violation" was on a long ago blog post titled Clothing Optional Hippie Hollow Nude Beach in Austin.

I looked at that ancient blog post, and saw that the only thing which I thought might possibly be objected to was the selfie photo of myself minimally attired. But that seemed totally tasteful, to me.

So, I then clicked the option which allowed me to ask that this "violation" be reviewed, because I believed there to be no problem of the violation sort.

The response to that request told me the review could take up to ten days, and that ad serving to that page would continue whilst it was being reviewed.

In less than 24 hours, as in the next morning, I got another email from Google AdSense telling me that the review of my violation had been completed, and to click a link for more information.

I did so, clicked the link and came to a webpage on which all that was written was....

Keep up the great work

You have no policy violations

Oh my, putting me through this stressful nightmare, and then to be found innocent. What a relief.

And then there was the following email, which you see screen capped above, with the actual email including the partial screen cap of the blog post in question...


Please Remove Post from 2012

Hi Durango,

While I do not find your post offensive the comments are not accurate and I have a career outside American Idol now so I would like it if you could please remove this from your site. 


Johnny Keyser

Many Viewers Not Happy With The Unexplained Dismissal Of Johnny Keyser


So, I clicked on the link to read the blog post which was written so long ago I had no memory of it, til reminded by re-reading it. Is Google still indexing this blog post? Does it show up if one Googles "Johnny Keyser"?

Just a second, I will go find out...

Well, I went many pages deep without the Many Viewers Not Happy With The Unexplained Dismissal Of Johnny Keyser showing up.

Reading the blog post and the comments I can see why Mr. Keyser did not find the post offensive. But, I don't see what is so inaccurate about any of the comments. And comments are just that, comments, as in someone's opinion. Not necessarily factual.

I can't fathom why someone would be motivated to go to the bother of emailing about this, let alone requesting someone go to the effort of removing a blog post.

Trouble is, I have not logged into the Google account from which that particular blog post sprang in several years. I would gladly delete this post if it took zero effort to do so, even if I do not see any reason to do so...

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

CBS Austin Being Captain Obvious About Us First-Born Children

I did not realize this was not already a well documented scientific fact regarding us first-born children.

Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule.

Is Donald Trump the oldest of his siblings?

We know Donald Trump Jr. is the oldest of his siblings And definitely an exception to that first-born being smarter concept.

Tiffany is the only brains in the Trump family. And she is fourth born of the known children of Donald Trump.

But, if you wanna get technical, Tiffany is the first-born of the second wife of Donald Trump Jr.'s father...

Another Semi-Cold Texas Holliday Walk One Month Before Spring Arrives

One more month and this winter misery should be fading into history.

Next month my return from Arizona is currently scheduled to happen the day before spring arrives.

This morning Spencer Jack's primary paternal parental unit text messaged me that his Arizona information sources were telling him that our relatives currently located in the Grand Canyon state were experiencing a snow event.

I heard via the TV this morning that Las Vegas was being blanketed by a rare snowstorm, as was most of the desert in which Las Vegas is located.

I have received no accounts from any of the Arizona relatives that the Valley of the Sun is currently in Valley of the Snow mode.

About an hour before noon today I made the mistake of installing too many layers of the clothing sort to go on a walk in what I had erroneously thought was a near freezing temperature. I soon found myself doing some unzipping.

As you can see above via the photo I took this morning, looking north, green is slowly replacing brown at my location on the planet. By the time I return from Arizona all that you see above should be green.

Looking into the Holliday Creek Canyon I was surprised to see less water flowing in Holliday Creek than I remember any time previous. And that water is running clear, not the usual muddy.

Arizona nephews Christopher and Jeremy's primary maternal parental unit called me yesterday. From that call I learned I can look forward to the Saturday after I arrive when all the relatives, and others, who I would like to see, will be at one location, including, I think, the cutest cat I have ever seen, Munchie.

From yesterday's call I also learned that while the flight to Arizona may not be bumpy, the ride once I arrive may be...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Wichita Bluff Ghost Bikes Ruins Cow

On this 2019 version of President's Day I decided to use my mechanized movement device to roll myself to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

I did this in order to engage in another bout of intense training for next month's possibly brutal hike to the summit of Arizona's Camelback Mountain.

Near the new Circle Trail parking lot one parks at to give one access to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area from the east I saw that which you see here.

A collection of what looks like "Ghost Bikes" suspended on a short bluff.

The above photo does not show all the ghost bikes. The below photo does show all the ghost bikes...

Speaking of spooky things.

Today was the first time I had another look at the ruins one sees from the Circle Trail in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area since I made mention of the ruins last year, well, a couple months ago, in December.

I blogged about these ruins in Wichita Bluff Nature Area Look At Mysterious Construction, verbalizing my puzzlement as to what this was. My favorite Texas Historian, who goes by the name of CatsPaw, was equally curious and soon found some answers to the mystery.

I also posed the question on the Wichita Falls Rants & Rave Facebook page and got a lot more answers, including one from a fireman who helped put out the blaze when that which you see above caught fire and was destroyed.

I do not think I ever got around to blogging about what I found out about this Wichita Falls relic. If I remember right I got bogged down with other issues. And now a couple months have gone by and I don't remember the details, such as the name of the famous oilman who built this place, and then abandoned it.

Today it looked like a vehicle was on the property, and some orange cone type markers were added to what was seen in December. And a solo cow grazing.

As I was taking photos an elderly passerby passed by and asked if I was taking a photo of the horse. I did not feel there was any legitimate reason to correct the elderly gentleman's animal identification...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sikes Lake Biking With Flock Of Seagulls Henry & Ralph

What with the temperature barely above freezing this morning when I considered the idea of going on a bike ride on this third Sunday of February I decided today would be a good day to stay inside in a temperature controlled environment.

And then, about an hour before noon, whilst looking for something else, I came upon my ski gloves which I did not remember had made it to my current North Texas location.

And so, what with super insulated gloves now available, I decided to layer on the layers and take myself on a bike ride.

Turned out I was overly layered.

Blue sky, a temperature a dozen degrees above freezing, almost zero breeze, and add in a little exercise and by the time I made it to Sikes Lake I found myself switching out the ski gloves for my regular bike gloves, then removing two layers of hoodie, and unzipping the windbreaker.

Lately the geese at Sikes Lake seem to have gone somewhere other than their regular home. I have read rumors about geese invading the small town of Iowa Park, located a short distance northwest of Wichita Falls. And upon hearing this wondering if this is where the Sikes Lake goose flocks had migrated.

Today there were a few more geese than my last lake visit. But the seagull population has soared. In the above photo documentation you are seeing on a few of the flock of seagulls. Me stopping to take a picture sent most of them into panic mode, from which they quickly recovered to return to roosting position.

Why so many seagulls at Sikes Lake? I've seen nary a gull ever at nearby Lake Wichita. Shouldn't seagulls be somewhat near, you know, a sea? As in saltwater. The nearest such wet thing is hundreds of miles distant, that being the Gulf of Mexico.

Anyway, I ended up having myself a mighty fine time rolling my bike wheels. Eventually I made my way back to the Circle Trail and soon thereafter my phone made its incoming text message noise. I stopped at the first swinging bench I came to so as to dismount the bike and see what the message was.

The text message was from my favorite Jason and Joey nephew's dad, who also is my little brother.

The text in the message...

"Henry is hugging Ralph. Henry's Dad also hugged Ralph when he was a little boy."

I tried to read this message in bright sun, and was not able to accurately do so til I got back to an interior space. Bright light and the small version of the attached photo also did not become clear til I got it off the phone and onto a bigger screen.

Henry's dad is the aforementioned Joey nephew. I have no memory of this Ralph character who is being hugged by Henry. The older I get the more I seem to forget.

I do not know if Henry (and his dad) will by joining his cousin, Spencer Jack, and uncle Jason next month for the hiking expedition up Camelback Mountain. My best guess is this is unlikely....

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Frigid Saturday Lucy Park Walk Suspended Above Clear Wichita River

The temperature this third Saturday of February was a degree above freezing when it seemed to me to be a good idea to join the throngs of other frigid air aficionados for an ultra brisk walk in the Wichita Falls scenic zone known as Lucy Park.

The first photo you see here was taken after I successfully crossed the swinging suspension bridge suspended over the waterway known as the Wichita River.

As you can see, no leaves remain in trees, but a little green colors up the base of the leaf less tree you see here.

The above view is from the north side of the river, this is the location of an RV Park, visitors park parking, and a mountain bike trail. I am parked on the opposite side of the river, by the Lucy Park log cabin and swimming pool. That white sign above the entry to the bridge indicates the bridge can only accommodate 20 people at a time. 

I really can not imagine 20 people swinging on this suspension bridge at the same time. It would seem multiple calamities might ensue.

Now that you are making me think about it, following 20 people across this bridge might be fun, greatly adding to the element of possible danger.

Above we are in the middle of the bridge. See that twisted cable looping around the cable which suspends the deck of the bridge? Note that this loop has rusted halfway through. Adding some additional danger to that danger element which makes crossing this bridge such an adventure.

Til today I had not seen the Wichita River looking like it is above. Not muddy, not a reddish/brown color which always reminds me of Utah redrock.

Today the Wichita River water was clear!

This had me trying to see fish having themselves a pleasant clear water swim. But, I saw none.

Due to the recent lack of precipitation rendering the off pavement Lucy Park trails dry, rather than the more usual muddy status one finds this time of year, today I hiked far off the paved trail, deep into the leaf less woods.

At one point I found myself walking by the State of Texas Visitors Center on the opposite side of the river. Seeing that indicated to me I had walked a long ways.

Soon thereafter I came to that which you see above.

Remains of another suspension bridge? I don't know. It appeared to be the ruins of some sort of mechanism for moving something across the river.

When today's walk came to its termination point I heard myself remarking that this was the best outdoor excursion I have had in a long time.

But, I am ready for freezing temperatures to go away now, not to return til next winter...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Camelback Prep Via Climbing Mount Wichita

In Texas in one week I experience what used to be an entire year's worth of Washington weather.

As in a few days ago my North Texas location was cold, cloudy, wet, foggy, icy.

In other words, a typical Western Washington winter day.

Then yesterday the sky turned blue and the temperature neared 80.

In other words, a typical Western Washington summer day.

And now, one day later, the outer world is being fall or spring like, if one were in Western Washington, with the temperature closer to freezing than 80.

Next month I am scheduled to hike with Spencer Jack and his dad to the summit of Camelback Mountain. I do not know if Camelback Mountain is in Phoenix or Scottsdale. Or if both towns share a piece of the mountain.

The hike to the summit of Camelback is not an easy hike. Many fail to make it to the top. Helicopter rescues frequently occur.

Such as what happened when some of Spencer Jack's aunts and his grandpa attempted to conquer Camelback.

So, in order to stack fate in my favor, today I decided I probably should amp up my mountain climbing readiness. And so I rolled my mechanized wheels to the base of my closest mountain and hiked, twice, to the summit of Mount Wichita.

The halfway to the Mount Wichita summit view is what you see above.

I was joined by a couple other mountain climbers. None of us came even remotely close to needing a helicopter rescue...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day Olympia Snow Report Not From Elsie Hotpepper

Early this Thursday afternoon, as I was enjoying my lunch time Valentine's Day concoction of baked deconstructed turkey pot pie, using whole wheat spaghetti noodles rather than pie crust, with all the usual pot pie stuff mixed in, my phone made its semi-regular incoming text message noise.

I figured it was Elsie Hotpepper replying to my most recent pithy text message about Elsie's potential Trump boy relationship, which I had sent seconds before, between bites of that aforementioned deconstructed turkey pot pie.

But, it was not Elsie Hotpepper.

The fresh incoming text message, with two attached photos, was from one of David, Theo and Ruby's maternal parental units, sent from Olympia.

Well, I am assuming such, since the photos were of Olympia, with the only text in the message being "Snolympia" in the first message with "So Much Snow" being the text in the second message.

I knew the snow has been busy melting the last 24 hours, or so. Apparently the melting has progressed enough that my little sister was able to make it to Olympia to do her investigating of complaints of judicial and prosecutorial abuse complaints.

Why does Texas not have such an office investigating these type complaints? I have eye witnessed two Tarrant County judges who definitely should not be judging anything or anyone. One a Tea Party ignoramus, the other seemingly senile.

I digress.

I do not know if Olympia was covered with the most snow of any of the Puget Sound towns during the recent bout of too much snow.

Olympia is at the far south end of Puget Sound, close to mountains of the Rainier sort, and others.

While the Puget Sound zone melts, at my location in North Texas, we are no where near melting, as in currently the temperature is more than 40 degrees above freezing, possibly hitting 80 or more today.

With this return to the outdoors being semi-balmy, I was able to actually enjoy riding my bike for the first time in days without the need for multiple layers of outer wear, including two layers of gloves.

I gave my mom a pre-Valentine's Day call last night.

During that call I learned Spencer Jack's cousin, Henry, has flown to Montana, while Henry's dad,  Spencer Jack's uncle Joey, has floated somewhere on a boat so as to catch some salmon.

The weirdest thing I learned from talking to mom was that Spencer Jack's grandpa's sister's new RV is falling apart. My sources previously told me that now falling apart RV cost about a quarter million $ when bought a couple years ago. Mom says the residents are living in the RV, at the repair shop, whilst attempts are made to stop it from continuing to fall apart.

I told Spencer Jack's dad about the new RV which is falling apart, requiring hospitalization, which had Spencer Jack's dad speculating that perhaps grandma misunderstood, and that it was the RV residents who were falling apart and needing special care.

Spencer Jack's dad's supposition almost makes more sense. How does a new RV fall apart? I know nothing about such things...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tacoma Thaw Keeps David, Theo & Ruby School Free Another Day

Today's Wednesday morning look at the Tacoma backyard of David, Theo and Ruby documents the fact that the Big Thaw has greatly reduced the level of whiteness at their location.

In addition to the photo there was the following text message...

"Aaaaaaaggggghhhh School is closed again today!!!!"

School closed would seem to indicate another play day for David, Theo and Ruby, and their playmates also known as parental units.

Wet snow is not quite as fun to play with as fresh frozen snow.

In others news from Pacific Northwesterners whose news I track, yesterday I learned Linda Lou is escaping the current Pacific Northwest record breaking snow events by flying to New Orleans where she will be staying a couple days in the French Quarter before boarding a ship which will sail her to the Grand Caymans, where the temperature is currently 84 degrees, and some Mexico location I am not currently remembering, which will likely be equally warm.

Warm and free of any possible chance of snow. Unless some freak occurrence happens, such as the blizzard that snowed Maui yesterday...

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Happy Birthday Little Sister Jackie; Princess Update

On the morning of this day, over half a century ago, my two oldest siblings and I sat on the curb of the south side of Fairhaven Avenue in Burlington, Washington.

The street we lived on was one block to the south, on Washington Avenue.

On the side opposite of Fairhaven Avenue, from the curb on which we sat, was what was at that point in time, before later being turned into an apartment building, our town's hospital.

And in that hospital, somewhere on an upper floor we looked for our dad to appear at a window. We did not know which window, on which floor, just that the window would be on an upper floor.

It is not easy to try and put into words, all these years later, how excited we were sitting there, waiting.

I do not remember if it was me or my brother who spotted dad first. But, I do remember how happy we were to see dad holding our new baby sister at that window so we could see her for the first time.

All these years later I have not til now wondered why us kids were not just allowed in the hospital to see our new sister.

Our new baby sister was named after a politician's wife who was an extremely popular First Lady of the United States at the time. I never thought if it til now, but Jackie's baby sister also has the same first name as an extremely popular First Lady of the United States, however, Michele was born years before that particular First Lady became one. If Michele had been named after who was First Lady when she was born she would be Thelma, with a nickname of Pat.

I almost forgot to mention, in that photo at the top Jackie is holding her kitty baby she named Pebbles. Pebbles was our first cat.

What follows is several photos of my little Jackie sister with her older siblings, years before Thelma Michele joined the family...

Above Jackie looks to be just a few months old. Maybe older than a few months, due to the fact it appears to be summer. We are standing in our front yard, and that would be me holding Jackie.

That would be Spencer Jack's grandpa Jake to the left of Jackie, which makes me the guy on the right. This may have been a first day of school photo.

I do not remember wearing a jacket and tie at this young age. Were we heading to Sunday School? I do not know. Doesn't Jackie look cute in her little dress?

Again we look to be dressed up to go somewhere special. I have no idea where that might be. I do now it was a rare occasion for my sisters to be in a dress, particularly the older sister.

Again, in the front yard, the camera aimed west, and us kids dressed up nicely. Maybe we were heading north to Lynden to visit the grandma's.

This is the earliest known photo documentation of Jackie in sports attire. I don't believe she was in her own little league uniform. I suspect we had dressed Jackie in brother Jake's little league attire.

The last photo is from several years after all those previous photos. In this one that is dad on the left, with me in the middle, and Jackie sitting next to me. We are at the San Juan Capistrano Mission looking for swallows. We toured this mission between visits to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Hollywood, whilst camping at San Clemente State Park, next to the Nixon's California home.

Happy Birthday, Jackie. See you in a few weeks!


An hour or so after publishing the above an UPDATE came to my phone from Arizona. with the text in the message saying, "Princess Jackie's Happy Birthday Breakfast at Denny's."

At first I thought this message came from the birthday girl. thinking the attached photo was one of those selfie deals. However, upon closer perusal I realized the photo and text message were from Jackie's little brother, Spencer Jack's grandpa, Jake. I did not understand the "Princess" part of the message until I got the photo off my phone and saw that which you see below...

Look At Latest Round Of Washington Winter Weather Mayhem While Ruby Sleds

That which you see here is screencap capped from this Tuesday morning's Seattle Times online  front page top of the fold headline.

Throughout the day, yesterday, I was receiving incoming photos, text messages and phone calls from the Pacific Northwest with first hand descriptions of the ongoing Snow Apocalypse currently vexing several million Washingtonians who are not used to dealing with this level of winter weather mayhem.

In the photo you are looking at a cross country skier skiing on the beach in West Seattle, sking by a pair of snow sculptures which look to me to be a sea lion on the right, and an orca on the left, with the Seattle skyline faded by snowflakes in the background.

What follows is three photos from Tacoma, followed by video of my favorite Ruby niece sledding down a hill in Wright Park.

Above is the first snow photo received yesterday from Tacoma. The view is looking northwest across M Street from a second floor window of David, Theo and Ruby's abode. Snow fell all day long yesterday in the south Puget Sound zone. The snow let up a bit in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, thus allowing Linda Lou to make an emergency trek across the Skagit River, from Mount Vernon to Burlington, to stock up on survival items at Costco.

And here we see Ruby holding her sliding device whilst attired in what looks like a colorful terrorist's uniform. You can see those aforementioned flakes falling.

I do not know if that is David or Theo sitting on the snow beside Ruby and a frozen Wright Park pond.

Tacoma's Queen V reported this morning that last night when the snow falling temporarily turned to rain she put on her best waterproof footwear and ventured out to check her neighborhood street drains to make sure water was able to flow down them, unblocked by ice. Blocked drains can make for bad street flooding.

And now that promised video of Ruby sledding down a Wright Park hill whilst being pummeled by incoming big snowflakes...

Monday, February 11, 2019

David, Theo & Ruby Escaping Washington Snow Going To Arizona With Their Favorite Uncle

Fresh incoming snow photo documentation arrived this morning from Tacoma and Mount Vernon.

The Tacoma photo is a Monday morning look at David, Theo and Ruby's backyard, with the text message saying...

"This morning, with more expected..."

I wish I was currently in Tacoma. I suspect I would be having myself a mighty fine time playing in the snow with a pair of twins and their big brother.

Two days ago Spencer Jack's dad who goes by the name of Jason called.

During the course of that call Jason seemed fairly certain that information was credible which he had been told by his dad, who is also known as Spencer Jack's grandpa and my brother, Jake, with that information being that David, Theo, Ruby and their parental units were going to be arriving in Arizona the same time I am.

I did not know for sure if this was one of Jason's elaborate instances of tricking his favorite uncle into believing something erroneous, or not.

And then, yesterday, I called Jason's grandma. I was not going to bring up what Jason had told me, figuring if it were true that even with mom's somewhat dicey memory, she would remember to make mention of this.

And she did.

So, when I am in Arizona I am hoping I get to have myself a mighty fine time with David, Theo and Ruby. There is a park at the north end of Dobson Road, at the location of the Chicago Cubs replica of Wrigley Field, with the most elaborate kid's playground I have ever seen.

Each time I've eye witnessed this park I have said it sure would be fun to play there with David, Theo and Ruby. I mentioned this to mom and she remembered us wheeling her around this park when I was there in October, and agreed it would be fun to take the kids there.

Mom also agreed it would be fun to drive the kids to the summit of South Mountain. Their parental units would need to stay home for that adventure, as there is not sufficient seating for them.

Jason is not yet sure if he and Spencer Jack will be joining all of us in Arizona next month. Last night mom was the most upbeat I have heard her in a long time, looking forward to the prospect of all her children being at the same location for the first time in years.

To make that complete it would require that Spencer Jack's uncle Joey fly down with Henry and aunt Monique, neither of whom most of us have yet met. Jason told me in that recent call that Henry is a super happy baby, laughing and smiling all the time. Henry's dad was like that when he was Henry's size, maintaining that pleasant disposition to the present day.

I don't know if I want to be the one to tell mom, but all her children may not be in Arizona next month. This morning Jason sent me that which you see below to my phone.

With the text in the message saying "It looks like Aunt Clancy and Fancy might be back in the Pacific Northwest, and not in Arizona..."

I do not know how Jason manages to keep up on so much and do such a good job of it or who his information sources are, but this time Jason may be wrong...

No Snow Angels Sledding Tacoma's Wright Park With David, Theo & Ruby

The Snowpocalypse Snowmageddon has yet to let up in my old home zone of the Puget Sound Western Washington part of the world.

This may already be record breaking in number of days in a row of the ground being covered with frozen white water.

I do not believe the depth of the accumulation has yet set a record. I was not living in Washington at the time, but I believe back at some point in time during the Roaring 20s, or maybe it was during the decade previous to the Roaring 20s, a snow accumulation well over a foot brought most everything to a halt in the lowlands of Western Washington.

A couple days ago after I mentioned the deepest snow I ever experienced in the Washington lowlands was back in the 1990s, my favorite Jason nephew then precisely informed me that that deep snow happened in December of 1995. And that at that point in time it was also the deepest he had seen until December of 2008 when Western Washington was buried in over a foot of snow. Jason suggested since this happened after my exile to Texas I was not aware of it.

I almost forgot to mention, in the above photo my favorite David, Theo and Ruby nephews and niece are standing with their snow sliding devices in Tacoma's Wright Park.

I miss parks with natural sled worthy hills.

And then on Facebook this morning I saw the below sign with useful information.

I do not remember if Allen is an actual town in Skagit County. I do remember the area known as Allen is located northwest of Burlington, south of Edison.

I also remember my favorite mom got a job being a secretary at the soon to open Allen Elementary.

And then a couple days later mom had me drive her somewhere, and on the way mom informed me I was going to be having a new baby brother or sister, and what with this incoming blessing the secretary at Allen Elementary thing was not gonna happen.

A few days later Spencer Jack's grandpa was the next sibling to be told a new baby was on the way. Weeks later, maybe a month, the last sibling got the news. She did not take the news well, in fact she insisted this was not going to happen, losing her spot as baby of the family.

A few months later we poured cement for a patio in the backyard. We had been to California and Hollywood the previous summer, where we had been impressed with the names and handprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater. And so each of us replicated the same with our names and handprints in the fresh cement.

By then we had already agreed on the name for our new baby sibling. If the incoming was a boy he would be known as Joey. If the incoming was a girl she would be Michele. And so, using a doll's hand, a handprint was pressed into the cement, and I scratched in "Joey or Michele".

Michele is David, Theo and Ruby's mom. We had to wait until Jason had a brother to have a Joey in the family.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Tacoma Snow With Spencer Jack 747 Flight To Highway 99 Tunnel & Pike Place Snowman

Incoming new Snowmageddon photo documentation from my old Washington home zone, specifically Tacoma and Seattle

Three photos from Tacoma in incoming email this morning.

Text in that email...

Went sledding with some friends then played in the snow at the kid's school. I took the pic of the water beyond the swings because if you zoom in, you can whitecaps. The sun is out now but the wind is still biting. Other pic is just how the roads look. Main roads are pretty slushy but our streets are still white. When it freezes tonight, it’s gonna get slick!

I could see the aforementioned whitecaps in the above photo when I viewed the photo full sized, but not so much in the cropped shrunken version. That body of water is a southern section of Puget Sound known as Commencement Bay.

When I first saw the above photo all I saw was Ruby sledding down a hill. Then I opened the photo  full sized and realized that was Ruby's brother, David, on the left, and twin, Theo, on the right, trudging back up the hill for another sledding run. I may have the brothers reversed, with it actually being Theo on the left, with David on the right. Or that may be a pair of the sledding friends referenced in the email.

And above we are looking at M Street, in front of David, Theo and Ruby's Tacoma abode.

And next we are standing on David, Theo and Ruby's front porch, looking out at their snow covered front yard and an equally snow covered M Street.

The current forecast for Western Washington, sent to me last night by David, Theo and Ruby's cousin, Jason, indicates the snow is not leaving anytime soon, with more expected to arrive, along with what melts during the day, re-freezing at night, rendering driving continually hazardous.

And speaking of Jason, now let's go to Seattle, with Spencer Jack.

Last week, between snowstorms, on Tuesday, Spencer Jack took his dad to Seattle, to Boeing Field, to the Museum of Flight, hoping to explore the first 747, which is now on display, marking it being a half century since that plane took its first flight over Puget Sound. Spencer Jack and Jason arrived at 10 in the morning, with their 747 tickets having a noon boarding time. However, incoming snow grounded that boarding, resulting in Spencer Jack and Jason being given raincheck tickets for a future snow-free boarding.

Leaving Boeing Field and the Flight Museum, Spencer Jack suggested, since they were in the neighborhood, that the drive back north be via the Highway 99 Tunnel, which had opened the day before.

So, I now have my first first hand account of driving through the new tunnel. Jason's take on it is that the tunnel is brightly lit, with LEDs, that he was surprised at how the tunnel seemed to slope noticeably downhill after entering, then made a not toodetectable curve before re-emerging at ground level near the Space Needle.

All in all, by Jason's account, compared to going the same distance via the now closed Alaskan Way Viaduct, the new tunnel is a boring way to cross downtown Seattle, with nothing to see but the tunnel. Whilst driving the Alaskan Way Viaduct gave one an elevated view of Elliott Bay, ferry boats, cruise ships, the downtown skyline and more. But, it was acknowledged that despite its many attributes the Alaskan Way Viaduct was a noisy, dangerous eyesore that needed to go.

After exiting the new tunnel Spencer Jack thought it a good idea to head back south to the heart of downtown Seattle, to Pike Place Market.

Above we see Spencer Jack standing by a rare downtown Seattle Pike Place Market sight. With that rare sight being a snowman standing at the location famous for flying fish, well, flying salmon tossed by fish vendors.

If I have my bearings right, and my memory is working somewhat accurately, Spencer Jack is looking at the location of the original Starbucks, a short distance to the east.

No snow at my current location way north of being deep in the heart of Texas. Just drizzle and cold air. I grow tired of cold air...

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Tacoma Snow Does Not Close Any Texas Pot Store

I saw this on Facebook via Tacoma's Queen V and thought to myself, self, this is an interesting variation of the theme of things I see about something on the west coast which one would not see in the imaginary free-spirited freedom loving state of Texas, where buying and selling marijuana is a crime, where in some areas it is illegal to sell beverages which contain alcohol, where casinos are not allowed, except for a couple small locations where the Indians were not chased out of Texas.

The Puget Sound's Snow Apocalypse has caused all sorts of problems affecting all sorts of businesses, including, as Queen V verbalizes it, "The pot store down the street..."

Queen V's pot store has a snow related sign which says...

No business like snow business
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - (TBD)

I do not think Queen V's neighborhood pot store closing due to snow will be a problem for her, what with Queen V being extremely creative and as such she likely grows her own supply of this popular herb, rather than rely on a nearby pot purveyor...

Puget Sound Snow Apocalypse Hits Tacoma & Mount Vernon As Predicted

Last night whilst talking to Linda Lou I was informed snow was falling so copiously in Linda Lou's vicinity she could no longer see Little Mountain, that being the little mountain which hovers southeast over Linda Lou's Hillcrest neighborhood in Mount Vernon.

Linda Lou's Mount Vernon abode is a short distance from Spencer Jack's Mount Vernon abode. I did not receive a snow update from Spencer Jack this morning.

But I did receive a snow update from Spencer Jack's cousins, David, Theo and Ruby.

That would be that aforementioned trio standing on M Street in front of their Tacoma abode that you are looking at above.

And that which you are seeing below is the backyard of David, Theo and Ruby's Tacoma abode, currently with an extremely white color scheme.

My most recent successful barbecuing operation took place on the above deck, via the BBQ appliance you see on the far lower left, way back in the summer of 2008. My most recent barbecuing operation was a failure, a few months ago, in Arizona. I had flame issues.

Seeing all this snow in my old home zone reminded me of a similar snow event, back at some point in the 1990s. I do not remember the specific year. I do remember the snow fell in an amount I had not previously witnessed in the lowlands of the Puget Sound.

Up north, in Whatcom County, that being the county north of Skagit County, abutting Canada and influenced by a different weather pattern, well, just a few miles north, such as the 40 miles to Lynden in Whatcom County, which is also lowland country, but out of the warming influence of Puget Sound, snow could pile up in HUGE drifts, something I eye witnessed many times of the years, going back as far as my memory goes.

But, that Skagit County snow in the 1990s was something I had not experienced before in the area known as Puget Sound's banana belt. I was snowbound for about a week. My cul-de-sac, and the other hills in the neighborhood became a sledding, skiing mecca, way into the night, benefit of bright street lighting.

The snowy photo of David, Theo and Ruby's backyard sent me searching for photos I knew were somewhere on this computer of my Mount Vernon Thunderbird Pawnee snow covered backyard patio. Well, actually there was no backyard of the grassy yard sort. Just a big deck and a lot of trees.

That is a picnic table sitting atop a deck you see covered with snow. You can not tell it because of the pile of snow, but the deck has three levels, all obliterated in white.

And now we are looking at the Pawnee Lane front of the house, above the carport patio. Part of this patio was covered with skylights, but snow still drifted in, covering the BBQ, which is under one of those lumps of white.

I do not miss this type winter event. Such quickly grows old. I remember when the big thaw came it resulted in several of my drainpipes breaking loose, along with ice clogged drains making it difficult for the flat roofs to drain the melting snow.

I suspect I will be receiving more snow documentation from Washington as this frigid next week continues to shiver...