Monday, January 31, 2022

Semi-HOT Last Day Of January Lucy Park Walk

On this final day of the 2022 version of January I went on an almost hot walk at Lucy Park, after a downtown library visit.

When I began the park stroll the temperature 69. By time I made it back to my vehicle's air-conditioning, the temperature was 74.

Back in my old zone of Western Washington, a 74 degree day, in Summer, would be considered almost unbearably HOT.

There were a few disc golfing groups doing the disc golfing thing. And one solo disc golfer, he being the one you see in black heading toward the big tree. Along with the disc golfers there were a couple clusters of pecan pickers.

Tomorrow is currently scheduled to be semi-HOT for the first day of February.

And then on Wednesday we go into the deep freeze, down to almost zero....

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Post Bob's Buddhist Temple Of The Golden Dome Lucy Park Meditation

After the mid-morning Sunday service at Bob's Buddhist Temple of the Golden Dome I drove another mile north, to Lucy Park, to have a meditative commune with nature by fast walking the backwoods section of the park.

The temperature was in the 60s. No wind blowing. Dozens of disc golfers disc golfing, and others doing other things, like skateboarding and roller blading.

This summer-like weather ends tomorrow with a cold front arriving from the north, with winds blowing 40 mph. And then in the following days of the new week the temperature plummets to only a few degrees above zero.

With heavy snow a possibility.

I am not in the mood for any sort of repeat of last winter's deep freeze causing the Texas grid to meltdown for days...

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Saturday Warm Temperature With Low Tide on Lake Wichita

With the outer world warmed to an almost balmy temperature nearing 70, it was to Lake Wichita Park I went today to commune with nature and acquire endorphins via aerobic stimulation.

As you see, via the above photo documentation, the tide was out today on Lake Wichita, exposing a muddy beach. It is unlikely there are any clams to dig on the exposed mudflats.

With the sun shining bright through a clear blue sky, the Shadow of the Lake Wichita Thin Man was quite dark today.

As you can see, the Shadow is clad only in t-shirt and shorts, on this final Saturday of the 2022 version of January. So far this is seeming to be a mild winter. We have a little less than two thirds of winter left to make it through.

Snow is in the forecast a couple days from now.

Turning around from the lakeside view we are looking up the steep slope of Mount Wichita.

If Mount Wichita is covered with sufficient snow in a couple days we may see cross country skiers schussing their way up and down the mountain. There is no chair lift or rope tow to take skiers to the summit of Mount Wichita.

One would think there would be some sort of mechanical conveyance to take people to the summit of the only mountain for miles; a chair lift, rope tow, tram, or just a staircase.

As it is, those ruts you see on the trail up the mountain make for treacherous mountain climbing...

Thursday, January 27, 2022

January 27 With Google Remembering My First Mountain Bike


On this day, January 27, for the first time since Google has been emailing me supposed memories of a specific day, I actually either remember all the memories, or know what I am looking at, which is a supposed memory.

I don't know why Google makes the photo look so distorted, because the original was not at all distorted, but at the upper left you are looking across Lake Meridian, in Kent, at Mount Rainier. I was staying at Clancy and Fancy's and soon after they left for their daily package delivering duties they called to tell me the Mountain was out and looking good. So, I walked down the hill to Lake Meridian, taking photos and shooting video. I will see if I can find the actual photo I took that day.

In the upper right that is my dad and me, standing in front of the wreck of the Peter Iredale, in Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon coast.

Immediately below the wreck of the Peter Iredale is Big Tex in the Texas State Fair, in Dallas. This photo would have been taken in October, during the fair, not January.

Below Big Tex that would be me on my first mountain bike. And to the left of that is another photo of me on my first mountain bike.

And here is the actual photo of Mount Rainier, which Google badly distorted...

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Escape To Lucy Park Safe Away From Winnie The Whiner

I had not been to Lucy Park for several days, and so, today, the last Wednesday of the 2022 version of January, I drove a few miles north to do some fast walking and yoga with the twisted Lucy Park trees.

It was two degrees above freezing upon arrival at Lucy Park. Little wind blowing. Mostly blue sky. This is scheduled to change as the hour of today pass by, eventually the blue sky will get cloudy, with frozen white stuff falling to the ground.

Hopefully not in blizzard mode.

I did not commune with nature yesterday. If I remember correctly the reason was it was too cold and windy to venture out.

I was in grave need of mood elevating endorphins today, what with it being the second day in a row I have been dealing with ongoing whining from the entity we will call Winnie the Whiner.

Yesterday Winnie the Whiner put a photo, on Facebook, of her hand. When I first saw that picture I thought I was looking at an extra large spring roll.

And then I made the horrific mistake of saying when I first saw this photo I thought it was an extra large, super stuffed spring roll.

Winnie the Whiner then took extreme umbrage, claiming I was saying her hand looks like a fat spring roll.

No matter how times I explained that I had said nothing about how her hand looks, that what I had said was that when I first saw the photo I thought I was looking at an extra large spring roll, it did not matter, Winnie the Whiner just kept on whining.

I really wish I was so blessed to have so little to worry about that I could spend energy whining about someone saying a photo of my hand looked like a plump spring roll.

Such whining is so unseemly, vexing and perplexing...

P.S. I shall share in this blogging venue any subsequent Winnie the Whiner's whining about plump spring rolls.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tale Of Two Cities Turning Fort Worth Into Vancouver Of The South

I saw that which you see screen capped here, this morning in the Seattle Times online version.

My initial reaction was, what? Another tunnel under downtown Seattle. And this one is that deep?

And then I read the article about the new Seattle tunnel, and that article put me in mind of something I have ruminated on multiple times previously, that being how things get done so differently in a town wearing its Big City Pants, compared to how things slowly sort of get done, in a town like Fort Worth, Texas, a town which definitely does not wear Big City Pants.

Fort Worth has been trying to build something called the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision for most of this century. 

In 2014, that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle began trying to build three simple little bridges over dry land. Those bridges took seven years to build. Meanwhile, in Seattle, at the same time Fort Worth started trying to build three bridges over dry land, a transit tunnel began to be bored under Seattle. That tunnel was finished and being used years before Fort Worth finished those three simple bridges.

The Seattle tunnel project was fully funding before boring began. Fort Worth's ongoing Boondoggle languished for years, awaiting federal funds to pay for it. Funds which did not arrive, even with Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, motivated to secure those funds by hiring her son to be Executive Director of the project.

The federal funding finally got approved due to the infrastructure bill which Granger voted against.

The Trinity River Vision was touted as a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme. Even though it was in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century, due to flood control levees already in place.

From the start I have not understood why, if this was actually a vitally needed flood control project, combined with an economic development scheme, why did Fort Worth not vote to fund the project themselves, such as what happens in other parts of America? 

The third paragraph of this Rolling in the deep: Sound Transit’s downtown Seattle tunnel would bring riders 145 feet below the street article showcases what I mean about how things get done in a town wearing its Big City Pants, as compared to a town which relies on federal welfare, even for something supposedly vitally needed.

The aforementioned third paragraph...

That new 3.3-mile central-city tunnel would be the core of the regional $54 billion ST3 program voters passed in 2016, to build 62 miles of light rail in three counties, plus commute-train and bus capacity, serving three-quarters of a million daily trips.

Imagine that, voters voting to pass a $54 billion program. The price tag for Fort Worth's ongoing Boondoggle is a little over $1 billion. The recent federal handout is only $403 million. 

Fort Worth could not find a way to come up with $403 million on its own? For this vitally needed flood control? Allowing this supposedly vitally needed flood control to go un-done for over two decades, after announcing the plan?

You reading this in modern America may be amused when I tell you that when this public works project was announced, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sunday edition touted it with a HUGE banner front page headline...


I remember when I saw this headline thinking to myself what fresh nonsense is this? Never imagining the nonsense would become as ridiculously nonsensical as it has turned out to be...

Monday, January 24, 2022

After Decades Work Is Supposedly To Begin On Fort Worth's Panther Island Boondoggle


Is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram really trying to sell propaganda that work on Fort Worth's imaginary island is about to begin?

About to begin?

I recollect that that which has become America's Biggest Dumbest Boondoggle began, decades ago, around the start of the new century.

And now, after all this time, the Star-Telegram is saying work is about to begin and asking when it can be expected to be done?

The Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District recently got a chunk of the infrastructure bill which recently passed. Something like $403 million, approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.


Did that needed feasibility study get done and showed that this supposed flood control economic development scheme was feasible and within the normal scope of an Army Corps of Engineers project?

How does the Army Corps of Engineers explain this flood control project in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century, while other areas of Tarrant County have had deadly, property damaging floods?

And what becomes of J.D. Granger now? He was hired, years ago, as Executive Director of the Trinity River Vision, so as to give his mother, Congresswoman Kay Granger, motivation to secure federal funding for Fort Worth's ridiculous Boondoggle.

Kay Granger failed to deliver. And voted "NO" on the infrastructure bill.

J.D. Granger has been paid will over a million bucks, plus perks, and other benefits, during the course of this project which has limped along for years.

Does anyone actually know what J.D. Granger has done all these years which has warranted paying him over a million dollars?

And now that J.D. Granger has zero use as a motivation for his mother to seek federal funding, isn't it time to remove J.D. from this project?

The absurdity of an unqualified person being hired to oversee a public works project has been painfully obvious for years. Just about anytime J.D. Granger has said anything in the press or elsewhere it was apparent he was in way over his head.

I expect the next chapter in this ongoing Boondoggle to be something along the line of digging the diversion channel being far more complicated than originally thought, thus needing more money. 

And that when the cement lined flood diversion ditch is dug under the three bridges which took seven years to build, that the digging is going to cause a catastrophic failure of one of the bridges... 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday At Sikes Lake Not Boating, Canoeing Or Kayaking Without Approval

On this 4th Sunday of the new year of 2022, with the outer world heated in the 50s, and with little wind blowing, I drove to Sikes Lake this morning to commune with nature and the geese flocks.

I have never seen anyone boating, canoeing or kayaking on Sikes Lake.

Or swimming.

I assume the swimming ban must have something to do with the possible toxicity of the possibly polluted water. That and the lake is so shallow in some spots that swimming might not be doable.

But why no boating, canoeing or kayaking?

Have people asked for university approval of boating, canoeing or kayaking and been denied?

It would seem like turning Sikes Lake into more of a recreational asset would be a good thing for the university, and the town.

I have read previously that Sikes Lake needs to be dredged again. The last time Sikes Lake was dredged, that which was dredged, was hauled to Lake Wichita Park where the mud was turned into what some call Mount Wichita, but which is also known as Murphy's Hill.

Methinks it would be a real good thing to dredge Sikes Lake again, and make another mountain in Lake Wichita , creating a mini-mountaiin range. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Back To Lucy Park After 14 Degrees This Morning

The temperature got way down to 14 degrees above zero last night.

By the time I exited my abode to head to Lucy Park, an hour before noon, it was nearly 18 degrees warmer, hovering near the freeze point.

I did not go out in it yesterday. Too overcast, windy and cold. 

Today blue sky has returned, the air is barely moving, so there was only that freezing temperature to deal with. 

In a rare circumstance I layered on the right amount of layers today to stay warm. It was so pleasant my cheeks are back hurting again from too much smiling, which you see photo documented here, standing on the Lucy Park suspension bridge over the wild waters of the Wichita River.

Disc golfing must be fun. Even on an icy day like today there was disc golfing happening at Lucy Park.

The above is one of my favorite Lucy Park scenes. All the naked trees. Twisted into weird shapes.

Reminds me of when I do yoga...

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Linda Lou's Successful Shipment Of Cougar Gold Cheese

For over a month Linda Lou has been trying to send me three pounds of Cougar Gold Cheese.

Delivery was finally successful yesterday. Which you see photo documented above.

And the long wait was well worth it.

Best cheese ever.

As long as we can remember, Linda Lou and I have been extra sharp cheese aficionados. By the time we were 16, with cars and driver's licenses, we would drive north to the nearest Hickory Farms, in Bellingham, to shamelessly indulge in the Hickory Farms extra sharp cheese samples.

Cougar Gold is a product of Washington State University. WSU is known for its agricultural and research programs, producing well educated farmers, which may explain why Washington is the source of so much of the farm and orchard products, feeding America and the world.

I am almost 100% certain Cougar Gold Cheese is not so named due to being a product of one of those WSU research programs, somehow milking actual Cougars on some sort of Cougar farm.

The WSU mascot is a Cougar.

Of the feline cat sort...

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Look At My Google Memories From January 18

Again Google perplexes me with an email with a look back at my memories from a specific day. As in today, January 18.

Today I made sure I remembered one of the memories. On the right, in the middle, that would be the Shadow of the Sikes Lake Thin Man, today, walking around Sikes Lake. 

I deleted Google's memory from today, at that location, and added the memory I actually remember. As you can see, the Sikes Lake Thin Man is in shorts today and a t-shirt.


A bit breezy, but warm.

In those other memories I think the top two are from Tyler Lake State Park, in East Texas. I was out there to ride that park's well regarded mountain bike trails.

Those top two photos are not phone selfies. Such had not yet been invented by that point in time. Those two photos would have been taken with my Casio digital camera with its swivel lens feature which let you swivel the lens to aim it at ones face to take what is now known as a selfie.

I do not remember if the Casio had a video screen. It must have, or how would one have managed to so accurately aimed the camera?

I think the lower left photo was also taken in Tyler Lake State Park, with that water being Tyler Lake.

On the lower right, that is Grandma Jones. I do not know why I would be having a memory of Grandma Jones on January 18.

Changing the subject to another of today's memories.

UPS delivered a big box of WSU Cougar Cheese a few minutes ago. I have yet to open the box. I will let you know what I find in the box tomorrow.

I didn't know anyone made cheese from cougar milk...

Monday, January 17, 2022

Back To Lucy Park For Peaceful Retreat From Certified Harpie

Yes, it was back to Lucy Park today for another pleasantly temperatured windless walk amongst the trees. Looking at this photo documentation one would think no one but me was in Lucy Park. That impression would be wrong. Lots of disc golfers today. And pecan pickers.

I took the paved trail you see above to once again walk through the isolated, undeveloped back 40 of Lucy Park.

I like the peaceful solitude, particularly after this morning's bout with a certified harpie.

There are some big trees in Lucy Park. They look so stark, naked, without their leaf covering.

 Above we have now reached the aforementioned Lucy Park back 40. This part of the park totally floods when the Wichita River decides to flow an excessive amount of water.

Changing the subject to something completely different. When I got back to my home zone and woke up my computer I saw Facebook was open, with a notification telling me a date has been set for next summer's class reunion. 

July 23, 2022.

I was hoping this might happen in August. I don't know if I'm going to make it up north in July...

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Warm Enough Sunday For Lucy Park With No Snakes

Yesterday, the third Saturday of the new year of 2022, the outer world was barely above freezing, with wind gusts as fast as 50mph, during the time frame when I do my regularly scheduled outdoor activity.

And so I opted to stay indoors yesterday, til I could take being housebound not longer, so in the early evening I braved the blustery wind to go to Walmart.

Today, the third Sunday of the new year of 2022 the air was heated to above freezing, with nary a breeze of wind blowing, so I layered on some outerwear to make my way to Lucy Park to do some fast walking.

As you can see via the photo of my happy face I was quite pleased to be outside under the bright blue sky. After about a mile of fast walking I was getting too warm, and so the hood came off, the jacket was unzipped and the gloves were stuck in a pocket.

Today I walked the undeveloped back 40 of Lucy Park. Come Spring all those trees turn green, as does the ground, turning the view you see below into more of a lush jungle than its current state.

This area of Lucy Park is where I saw the biggest snake I have seen since being in Wichita Falls. It was at least five feet long. I don't know where the snakes go when the air turns frigid. I do know the cold-blooded monsters can not resume slithering until the temperature gets much warmer.

A fellow Washingtonian who moved to Oklahoma about the same time I moved to Texas learned first hand where some snakes go when it gets cold outside. Their first winter in Oklahoma they were shocked to find they had snakes living in their attic. This was learned when they saw a large snake slithering up a drainpipe to enter a hole into the attic.

Some green remains in some of the trees in Lucy Park. I thought this tall bald tree paired with a tree still green was interestingly unique.

The weather tomorrow should be as conducive as today's for outdoor activity. I need to amp up my aerobic activity in order to lose 20 pounds by the time I run the Amazing Race and fly up to Washington for a reunion...

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Balmy Nature Communing In Lucy Park Giving Waterfall Directions

Even though my cheeks are still hurting from doing too much smiling, I found the energy to make my way to Lucy Park on this second Friday of the new 2022 year.

The Google Fit app on my phone calculated I only walked 3.45 miles today. In what Google Fit's time keeping calls Move Minutes, I moved for 57 minutes. I think that works out to being almost 3.45 miles per hour.

That is the beautiful, majestic Wichita River behind me. This location is a couple miles from the location where the actual falls once existed which gave Wichita Falls its name. The artificial Wichita Falls, which was built because locals tired of visitors asking where Wichita Falls was located, is located about a half mile from where I am at the above location.

Today I was asked if I could point out how to get to the falls. This has happened before, more than once.

I can see where locals tired of having to explain there was no waterfall in Wichita Falls, and so a fake waterfall was made.

There is plenty of signage in Lucy Park pointing the direction to the falls, but I guess it is easier to ask someone who looks like a local. And my friendly smiley countenance renders me harmlessly approachable.

The air was heated to somewhere in the 70s again, for today's nature communing. I managed to be dressed properly for the weather condition. Cargo shorts and a t-shirt. In January....

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Multiple New Sikes Lake Hoodoos With McNutty Video Calls

With the temperature a balmy 70 some degrees, with zero wind blowing, I was back in shorts and t-shirt for a walk around Sikes Lake.

And I stupidly wore that hat you see me smiling  below in the photo documentation.

My cheeks are still hurting from smiling so much. 

Multiple new Hoodoo Cairns have sprouted in the Sikes Lake zone, including the three causing me to smile, behind me.

Soon after taking the Hoodoo picture I removed the hat, before it totally overheated me.

A better look at those three Hoodoos without me blocking the view.

And then there were the above two Hoodoos. These sprouted up behind a cyclone fence near the dam which blocks the creek which provides the water which makes Sikes Lake a lake.

Total change of subject.

Anyone else have anyone you know who frequently causes your Facebook to light up with a video chat request? I have this happen fairly regularly. It is always the same perpetrator. And she always claims it to be an accident.

When it happens I have no clue how to answer the call, even if I wanted to. I see the cameral light turn on on the laptop. And then, just as quickly as the call pops up, it goes away.

For identification purposes we will call the perpetrator of these multiple video chat instances McNutty. Because such seems a fitting name for someone who does the same thing over and over and over again, and then claims it was an accident.

I think McNutty just wants to hear my sweet voice and see my sweet smiling face.

And she always seems to make these video chat calls when I am in my yoga attire doing my morning yoga routine...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Cheeks Hurt From Too Much Lucy Park Smiling

It was back to Lucy Park, on this second Wednesday of the new year, for a strong dose of endorphin happiness causing a bout of smiling like a loony gigglemugger, as you can clearly see photo documented.

In the photo I am swaying and smiling on the suspension bridge on which one can exit Lucy Park by crossing over the Wichita River.

The river water was clear enough today that I could see the river bottom.

But, I saw no fish. Or Water Moccasins.

There must be fish in this river, because I have seen fishermen fishing for fish at this location.
I was once again over dressed for today's mega-walk. Little wind was blowing and the temperature was in the high 50s. So, I soon lost the hooded sweatshirt you see overheating me above.

A couple months ago I mentioned to someone, was it nephew Jason? I don't remember. Anyway, I mentioned that I did not think I would have the stamina to endure a day at Disneyland or four days in Las Vegas, two locations where one finds oneself doing an exhausting amount of walking.

But now, after ramping up the walking for a couple months, I think I am now in training for going to Disneyland, or a long weekend in Vegas. Give it a couple more months of this heavy duty hiking and Disneyland and Vegas will be a breeze.

I do not know how well I would handle the buffets of Vegas. I am out of training for buffets. I can not remember when last I over ate at a buffet...

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Wichita Bluffs Nature Area Naturally Communing With Nature

Today, with the temperature well above freezing, and little wind blowing, I took myself to the Wichita Bluffs Nature Area to do some nature communing via fast hiking on semi-steep bluffs.

It has been awhile since I have hiked the bluffs, what with Lucy Park becoming my preferred walking venue. The Wichita Bluffs Nature Area is the first location in Wichita Falls where I found a Hoodoo Cairn rock formation had formed.

Since then I have seen Hoodoo Cairns appear at other locations. Such as Sikes Lake.

And today I found Hoohoo Cairns at several locations as I hiked the Circle Trail through the Wichita Bluffs Nature Area.

The most unusual being the pair of Hoodoo Cairns you see above, with the one on the left looking like a balancing rock one might find in a Utah national park.

Yesterday I took photos with my digital camera for the first time in a long time. I'd taken to only using my phone to take photos. I said, if I remembered, that today I would take photos from the same location using both devices, to see if one or the other took better pictures.

Below are the results...

The photo on the left is from the Canon digital camera. On the right was taken with the phone.

The first composite picture was taken standing at the highest point on the Wichita Bluffs, looking east, across the Wichita River, at the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls.

The digital camera's colors are more saturated, whilst the phone's color of the sky looks more realistically blue. 

In the next composite the cameras were aimed at one of those aforementioned Hoodoo Cairns.

Again, the digital camera's colors look more saturated, with the phone camera, on the right, again making the sky look more accurately the color it actually was.

So, in conclusion, I think I have concluded that it doesn't really matter. Both take perfectly okay photos. I think I will stick with the phone. It is less bulky and is vastly more multi-purposeful...

Monday, January 10, 2022

Beautiful Second Monday Of The New Year At Lucy Park

Back to Lucy Park today to fast walk the multi-mile big loop.

With the air about 10 degrees above freezing, with almost no wind blowing, this made for a pleasant bout of endorphin acquisition.

From the above photo documentation it would appear I was alone in Lucy Park today. That appearance is deceiving.

Today I took photos with the digital camera I took photos with before switching to using the phone camera. I wanted to see if the digital camera took better pictures. Near as I can tell, I can tell little difference.

However, the digital camera did take an accurate photo of this bucolic view of the Wichita River. I do not know if the phone would do as well.

Tomorrow I shall try to remember to take photos of the same location with both photo taking devices and settle this issue once and for all...

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sunday Eskimo Mode In Chilly Windy Lucy Park

Yesterday I was sweltering in a tropical heat wave, or so it seemed, at 80 some degrees.

Today, on this second Sunday of the new year, I was back feeling like an Eskimo in tundra country, with the temperature above freezing, but with a strong wind blowing gusts faster than 40mph, making the wind chill feel way below freezing.

Even so, I layered on several layers and once again made my way to Lucy Park to do some nature communing.

That would make that me, smiling like an empty headed gigglemugger, above. I was looking across the Wichita River, to the bank opposite Lucy Park. The wind has stripped the brush of any remaining view inhibiting foliage, thus rendering a clearer view across the river.

That clearer view allowed me to see the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail, which runs alongside the river for part of the trail.

I have had no desire to ride this mountain bike trail because the parts I have seen look a tad treacherous.

And I am not just talking about Alligator Alley.

That strip of brown you see in the middle of the photo documentation is a narrow bridge spanning a narrow gorge above the raging rapids of the Wichita River. It would seem that it would be easy to find oneself having an accident which ends up in the river. 

The Wee-Chi-Tah Trail is a one-way deal, with directional signage hoping to keep riders going in the right direction, not running into each other at locations like that aforementioned narrow bridge...

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Saturday's Shadow Of One-Armed Thin Man Walks Lucy Park

You are looking at the Shadow of the One-Armed Lucy Park Thin Man here.

On this second Saturday of the new year of 2022, with the temperature soaring into the 70s, after a brief stop at the Wichita Falls Public Library, I was off to Lucy Park for some much needed nature communing.

I soon found I was over dress in long pants. And shed the top sweater covering for a more temperature appropriate t-shirt, to have myself a mighty windy walk.

Yesterday for the first time in a couple years I did not exit my abode.

Not only was it way too cold, I was not feeling well.

I think I may have contracted an extremely mild version of COVID due to extremely limited contact with the extremely contagious McNutty Tribe, most of whom are currently going through their second or third COVID bout, including the matriarch of the McNutty Tribe, Madame McNutty, who is a constant carrier of a variety of contagious contagions.

Today, with it being the first pleasantly temperature day of the new year, I saw a lot of New Year's Resolutionists trying to lose weight via vertical movement. One guy was the most awkward jogger I've ever seen. It almost put my back out just looking at him bouncing along. 

In the above photo we are looking north, on the Circle Trail, adjacent to the Wichita River.

You can see the Lucy Park Japanese Pagoda in the distance. What you can't see is the group of people who appeared to be trying to figure out what the pagoda is doing at this location, with that figuring becoming apparent when I got within earshot. 

Apparently, because a semi-elderly lady, who appeared to be about my age, asked me if I knew the story behind the pagoda. I told her I have been trying to get an answer to that question ever since my first visit to Lucy Park.

It felt good to be out and about and feeling way better today. Tomorrow it gets cold again. I hope not to contract a new McNutty ailment...

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Sikes Senter Sent Me Mall Walking Today

With the outer world chilled to 25 degrees, with a strong wind chill factor causing the temperature to feel like 10 degrees, I did not feel like going to any of my regular outdoor locations to get some endorphins via aerobic stimulation.

So, I drove to what is called Sikes Senter. A mall. When I first saw Sikes Senter, years ago, I wondered how it could come to be that someone thought it clever to be alliterative, rather than simply call the mall Sikes Mall. Or Sikes Center Mall. Or just Sikes Center.

Years ago when a new mall came to my old home state, in the town of Tukwila, a suburb of Seattle, it was called Southcenter. At the time Southcenter was the biggest mall in the state. I don't know if that is still the case. What I do know is, if way back when that mall was named, if it was announced the name was South Senter, such would have been mocked til the name was changed.

I was over dressed for walking the over heated Sikes Senter. But I got in enough mileage to get those endorphins.

As you can see, via the above photo documentation, Sikes Senter was not too busy this morning. Half the people I did see were fellow mall walkers.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer. I think I will bundle up and brace myself to walk outside, tomorrow. The day after that, or is it two days after that? A heat wave arrives, again, heating into the 70s...

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Exiting Lucy Park To Wee-Chi-Tah Trail & Alligator Alley

On this morning's long Lucy Park bout of fast walking I exited the park via the suspension bridge suspended over the Wichita River. That is the suspension bridge crossing the river to Lucy Park, you see above.

When one crosses the river one soon comes to the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail. The one and only mountain bike trail in town. I have not rolled my bike's wheels on this trail. I have hiked some of it. If I remember right the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail is around 12 miles long, making a loop. I think. 

I know the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail is a challenging trail, with some locations having bypasses to avoid a tricky section.

Today I walked as far as the Alligator Alley section of the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail. Due to the temperature being no where near warm, I was in no danger of a hostile over-sized, cold-blooded lizard trying to eat me.

I believe the black diamond on the above sign indicates the Alligator Alley section of trail is one requiring an advanced skill level. I used to have a fairly advanced skill level for mountain biking, but years of not honing that skill have rendered me wary of anything requiring an advanced skill level.

Have I made mention of Google Fit before? I don't remember. A couple weeks ago I installed the Google Fit app on my phone. One gets it from the Google Play Store. For free.

Google Fit tracks how many minutes you move, how many miles you move, how many calories you burn, and other stuff. Such as keeping an activity log.

You input your age, weight, height and gender, which I guess is sufficient info to calculate calories burned.

I have tested the mileage and move minutes and it is accurate. For example, it is 1.1 miles around Sikes Lake. Google Fit gets that right.

I estimate if I keep up the current pace by the end of this month I will no longer be morbidly obese...

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Walking Lucy Park Before Mashing Yukon Gold At Home

As you can clearly see, I was able to get my phone's Elsie Hotpepper patented selfie filter to work again, after weeks of frustration.

I have decided one of my new year's resolutions must be to be an even more repetitive creature of repeating habits.

And so it was back to Lucy Park today to do a few miles of fast walking with the naked forest of trees.

Today is the last semi-warm day for a few days. A new Arctic Blast is blowing in tomorrow, chilling the air down to well below freezing. Although, this time, I don't think snow is on the menu.

Speaking of the menu. Today for lunch I used the Instant Pot to make the best mashed potatoes I've ever managed to make. I don't know if it was the Instant Pot that made the spuds so good, or that the spuds were buttery Yukon Golds.

Another look at the forest of naked trees, without my face obstructing the view.

In a couple months the above scene will look like a lush green jungle, with the trees full of chirping birds.

Today I watched several squirrels high up in a tall tree, chasing each other from branch to branch. I do not recollect ever seeing this behavior before, so far above the ground. Looked dangerous, but the squirrels looked quite acrobatically talented.

Heard from Aunt Alice this morning, currently stuck on a hill in Eastern Washington, near Tonasket, due to over a foot of snow rendering motorized movement impossible.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Duchess of Appomattox, Madame McNutty, was not stuck in that massive snow caused freeway backup on Virginia's I-95 yesterday.

Winter is only a couple weeks old. Seems like people all over the country are already tired of it...

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Return Of Temperature Way Above Freezing Is A Mood Elevator

On this 3rd day of the new year the outer world warmed up enough that I was able to venture outside without taking extraordinary measures, such as yesterday's backalava, with excessive long underwear.

After a quick trip to the library I continued on to Lucy Park for some fast walking nature communing.

I tried to take a sour dour selfie, but could not muster my usual sour dourness due to being under a bright blue sky with the holiday season fading into history.

And tomorrow we hit a high of almost 70. This current bout of Winter did not last too long.

Another look, without me in it, of the Circle Trail meandering through Lucy Park next to the Wichita River.

That bit of brownish green in the center of the above photo is the aforementioned Wichita River. That slash of white to the right of the brownish green is some shaded remaining snow, waiting to be melted.

My New Year's Resolution so far remain on track. Those being to eat even healthier, get even more exercise, lose even more weight and to visit Washington this Summer...

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Backalava Enabled Sub-Freezing Sikes Lake Walk With Snow

Today, on this second day of the new year, with a strong wind blowing, causing the freezing temperature to feel like 3 degrees above zero, I installed multi layers and then ventured to Sikes Lake to walk around for a few miles.

This was the first time I have kept warm with the backalava you see me hiding in above. This is a type of headgear many Middle Eastern terrorist types wear. So, I left my Uzi at home so as not to scare anyone.

There were only four other people braving the cold whilst I was out in it. Usually, at the start of a new year, one sees a lot of people meaning well with their New Year's Resolution, til the resolve wears off in about a week, and the numbers drop.

Yesterday, as in New Year's Day, I was surprised at how many people were out and about at Lucy Park, seeming true to the usual New Year's Resolution burst of soon to fade activity.

But, it was above freezing yesterday. Overnight an Arctic Blast blew in, with snow. We are currently scheduled to warm up into the 60s in a couple days.

In the meantime my furnace seems to be running nonstop...

Sunday Snow Below Freezing In Wichita Falls

Looking out on the outer world this second morning of the new year, above is what I saw.

Some snow blew in overnight.

A week ago today we were sweltering with summer-like temperatures. And now we are freezing at well below 32 degrees.

Below is a screen shot from my phone this morning..

It would appear we have a few days to go of being cold before a little warmth returns.

I may put on a few layers of outerwear, topped off with a balaclava, and go for a snowy walk later this morning when it should only be a couple degrees below freezing...

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year Next Year From Seattle's Macklemore & Madame McNutty

Madame McNutty Facebook messaged me the link to a New Year's Eve Macklemore video of a song titled Next Year.

The video takes place in part of Seattle's Pioneer Square.

Next Year is an upbeat optimistic song about the year that begins today. I rather liked it. You can watch and listen to it via the YouTube video below....