Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Back To Mudless Lucy Park Colored Orange

It was back to Lucy Park today, on this final Tuesday of the 2022 version of November.

As you can see, there is nary a cloud in the bright blue sky.

As you can also see, the trees are finally doing their fall orange color duty, for the most part.

I tentatively walked the Lucy Park backwoods zone today. I say tentatively because I needed to be on the lookout for mud caused by the day long deluge a few days ago.

I have had two serious mud incidents in the Lucy Park backwoods zone. Once on my bike where the mud stuck so thick to the tires that they had trouble rolling. And one time walking where I suddenly found myself a couple inches taller due to the glue-like mud which had stuck to my soles.

But, I had no mud issues today. The outer world being heated into the 70s may have dried up the mud.

It was pleasant to be back in shorts and t-shirt today. Felt like a stereotypical summer day I decades ago regularly experienced in my old Pacific Northwest home zone. Tomorrow is scheduled to be another warm day, and then we chill again to freezing...

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Honolulu Thanksgiving Santa With Spencer Jack & Jason

Three photos in my email box this last Sunday morning of the 2022 version of November. With the photos there was the following explanatory text...

Hello FUD --

Spencer and I kept checking our mailbox and phones for a Turkey invite. 

After no such luck, we moved southwest to our favorite winter destination.

Talked to Santa today. He said he would 'consider' moving me off the naughty list.    

Watched the best Xmas parade last night with half of the island.  Lots of marching bands all playing Christmas tunes.  

So that's good.

Hope you are doing well, staying safe, healthy and warm in TX.

I think you would love it here. We sure do. Maybe someday you can join us.


For those not familiar with what the initials FUD and FNJ represent, FUD is Favorite Uncle Durango, FNJ is Favorite Nephew Jason. I have two FNJs, with the second being FNJ1s little brother, Joey, aka FNJ2.

It sure would be fun to be in Hawaii with FNJ and his replica, Spencer Jack. I think that rock formation behind Jason in the above photo is known as Diamond Head, the remains of a long dormant volcano.

And here we see Spencer Jack trying to stay out of the sun so as to avoid getting suntanned. 

My current location is somewhat looking like the scenery in these three photos from Hawaii, in that blue sky has returned after yesterday's day long gray sky with constant dripping.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Rain Flooding Post-Thanksgiving Saturday In Texas

Looking out my bedroom window on the dawn of the day after the day after Thanksgiving, which is also known as Saturday, the outer world at my location is drenched from hours of rain.

The exit from my abode is currently flooded.

If I want to use my mechanized means of motion it will entail taking a circuitous route to get to the vehicle, unless I want to put on hip waders to walk dry through the moat.

The dripping is scheduled to drip all day long, so there will be no outer world walking today, unless it is under an umbrella.

It has been a couple days since I have walked in any of my favorite walking venues, unless one counts Walmart as such.

Yesterday, Black Friday, I ventured to the nearby Walmart expecting it to be super busy.

It wasn't.

But there were a lot of Black Friday deals clogging the aisles.

One of which was a combo cooking device in the form of an air fryer, rotisserie, dehydrator.

My air fryer died a few weeks ago. I've been missing it. And so, I got that Black Friday air fryer, rotisserie, dehydrator from Walmart yesterday.

Today's wet weather is reminding me of a stereotypical fall winter type day in my old home zone of Western Washington, where today snow is on the Pacific Northwest weather menu, in the mountains, and possibly in the Puget Sound lowlands.

I am hoping my current location makes it through the cold months with zero snow. 

What I hope for usually does not happen.

Usually, the opposite of what I hope for happens.

So, my location will likely get buried in a blizzard with near zero temperatures...

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Blue Bayou Of Sikes Lake With Roller Bladers And Thawing Turkey

The Blue Bayou of Sikes Lake was looking extra scenic today, under a bright blue sky, no wind, and the temperature in the 60s.

A higher number than the norm were enjoying the perfectly pleasant outer world.

Walkers, joggers, baby carriage pushers, bikes and I was passed by two roller bladers.

I seldom see roller bladers.

Has roller blading fallen off as an activity across the country?

Or did roller blading just never catch on in Wichita Falls?

One would think roller blading would be popular here, what with there being excellent paved trails, and, other than the Circle Trail through the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, not many ups and downs to navigate.

With the temperature being slightly warm, I must remember to check the state of thawing of the turkey I have stowed outside in a cooler. I shall go do that right now while I am thinking of it...

Monday, November 21, 2022

Pleasant Leaf Carpeted Lucy Park Walk With Turkey

With the outer world temperature above 50, four days before Thanksgiving, I had myself a salubrious commune with nature at Lucy Park.

I did not venture into the Lucy Park backwoods zone. Instead I stayed on paved trails, when I could see them. A carpet of fallen leaves covered the trail in many locations. 

I found a 12 pound turkey yesterday. Prior to that I had only found turkeys way bigger than I wanted. As in 20 pounds or bigger.

The turkey is currently thawing in a cooler, outside on the patio deck.

The turkey is not going to be roasted on Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving I'm making butterflied shrimp and haddock chowder. The turkey is going to get roasted the day before Thanksgiving. Assuming, of course, it has successfully thawed.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Shivering Shadow Of The Lucy Park One-Armed Thin Man Skiing Mount Baker

It was to Lucy Park I ventured today to join the throngs enjoying the Big Chill.

There are still a lot of leaves in the trees, but many have fallen, as you can see via the Shadow of the Lucy Park Thin Man.

One would think that between the night after night of freezing temperatures, paired with a howling strong wind, that all the leaves would have left the trees by now.

I would not want to be in upstate New York right now.

Snow flurries had been predicted for my area, overnight, but there was nothing white on the ground visible when the sun arrived to do its daily illumination duty.

In my old home zone the Mount Baker Ski Area has enough snow on the ground to open. Some sort of bagpipe ceremony marked the start of the first chair lift of the skiing season.

Here is a screen cap of part of the Mount Baker Ski Area website's home page.

I have not been skiing this century. By the 1990s I was cross country skiing, which is a free thing to do, where skiing at a location like Mount Baker you pay to ride the chair lifts. And I was surprised to see you pay way more than I remember paying, long ago.

A blurb from the Mount Baker Ski Area website with lift price info...

Daily lift ticket prices will be reduced for today and Sunday to $74.07 U.S. for Adults, Youth will be $46.53, Child $31.48, and Seniors $62.27. (prices do not include 8.0% WA State sales tax)

Yikes! That is the reduced price for today and Sunday. I did not see what the non-reduced price was.

What I do know for certain is I will not be doing any skiing any time soon...

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Walk Around Sikes Lake With Endangered Roofers

It was to Sikes Lake I ventured this morning, for a walk around the lake. When I got to the west end of the lake I was appalled to see what you see above.

Multiple roofers, I counted five, there may have been more, on top of the Hilton Homewood Suites. 

High up on a steep roof, with no safety measures evident.

OSHA would not be pleased. 

When I stopped walking, to take a photo, a passerby noted that what the roofers were doing was illegal.

The recent rain must have leaked into the Hilton. A large area to the right of the view in the photo had had the roofing torn off, awaiting replacement before the next rain falls.

The current long range forecast shows no rain til a week from today, as in next Thursday rain showers are expected...

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wichita Bluff Nature Area Baby Hoodoo Hatchings

 Another chilly clear blue-sky day at my North Texas location. Today I went bluff hiking on the Circle Trail through the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

About halfway to the bluff summit I came upon the natural rock formation you see above.

I call these natural rock formations Hoodoo Cairns.

There appear to be two full-size adult Hoodoo Cairns, with an infant Hoodoo Cairn on the left side of the closest Hoodoo. That closest one must be the mama Hoodoo, looking ready to have another Hoodoo baby, with the taller papa Hoodoo stands behind pregnant mama and the baby.

I returned to my abode, super hungry today, after the strenuous bluff hiking.

I was glad to see the chef had made BBQ pulled pork, mashed sweet potatoes and spinach... 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Blue Tuesday Nature Communing At Lucy Park

A clear blue sky has returned to my location, after Monday's all day long gray with hours of rain dropping.

So, it was back to Lucy Park I drove this morning for some nature communing. But, not in the Lucy Park backwoods zone, due going off paved trail would likely be muddy in places.

As you can see, via looking at the Lucy Park suspension bridge across the Wichita River, there is some color in some of the leaves.

But, a couple nights of freezing temperatures has not resulted in a lot of leaves turning color on their way to their eventual descent to the ground.

Some of the trees have already lost most of their leaves, such as the almost naked tree you see here.

It was 39 degrees when I began nature communing. 42 degrees now, a little past noon.

I need to go on a search to find my long underwear. I fear I am going to be needing all the help I can find to keep warm the next several months...

Monday, November 14, 2022

Rain Driven Walmart Fast Walking

Rain began dripping this Monday morning soon after the sun began its regular illumination duty. It is now past noon and the dripping continues.

So, today, my daily doctor ordered fast walking could not take place in one of my regular outdoor venues, so it was to Walmart I drove for some fast grocery cart pushing on the aisles of Walmart.

That would be the Walmart parking lot you are looking at through my vehicle's water covered windshield.

Currently the temperature is 39 degrees Fahrenheit. A few degrees colder and we'd be looking at snow.

I do not want to be looking at snow...

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Chilly Lucy Park Backwoods Hike While Seattle Seahawks Lose Another Game In Germany

On this second Sunday of the 2022 version of November, it was back to Lucy Park I went to commune with nature in the Lucy Park backwoods zone.

Today was my first post-freeze outdoor outing. We have been below freezing two nights in a row. Even so, most of the leaves in most of the trees are refusing to turn off the green, before eventually falling to the ground.

Due to there being no need to worry about stepping on a snake, one can now safely go off trail to meander among the trees.

I thought I was going to be watching the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football in Munich, Germany, this morning. I thought NBC was broadcasting the game all over the country. I thought wrong. Madame McNutty, in Virginia, was also disappointed to find NBC in Virginia was not broadcasting the game.

Did a lot of Germans fill that Munich stadium to get to watch the Seahawks lose? Were ticket prices at the American level?

Eventually I may get answers to these probing questions...

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Freezing In Formerly HOT Texas

The Big Chill arrived, as predicted, overnight, making last night the first night in a long time I sought refuge under cover of blankets.

The above is a screenshot from my phone, taken when I woke the phone up this morning.

A day or two ago we were heated into the 80s at my location in the formerly HOT North Texas.

This current cold snap is currently forecast to last a couple weeks.

Friday, November 11, 2022

We Are Freezing In North Texas

The outer world today was too cold to motivate me to drive to any of my regular walking locations. So, instead of doing that I layered on a few layers of outerwear and wandered out of my abode to the Circle Trail.

Which would make that me shivering, whilst smiling at you, whilst standing on the aforementioned Circle Trail. 

You are looking north in this view. That gulley you see to the right of the Circle Trail is Holliday Creek. Currently mostly dried up.

The temperature was 39 degrees when I stepped outside at 11am. With the wind blowing steady at 24 mph, with gusts to 40 mph, making those 39 degrees really feel like 26 degrees.

Seems like just yesterday the outer world was heated into the 80s, because just yesterday the outer world was heated into the 80s. By late afternoon I quit resisting turning on the A/C.

This can not be healthy to go from HOT to cold like this....

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Cloudy Walk With Ducks & Geese At Sikes Lake

With rain and thunder in the forecast today, with a pleasant temperature in the 70s, it was to Sikes Lake I ventured today to commune with nature and the flocks of geese and ducks.

The first freeze of the season is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. A freeze should greatly amp up the coloring and falling of the leaves off the trees. 

That is the Sikes Lake Green Bayou you are looking at above. As you can see the leaves are already doing some color changing, ahead of that first freeze.

The Sikes Lake Green Bayou is at the west end of the lake, which would indicate we are looking west from the west end bridge across the lake.

Continuing on to the north end of Sikes Lake, a large flock of ducks greeted me, some in panic mode, taking to flight, others lined up like they were waiting to vote.

I am not in the mood for freezing temperatures. 

Linda Lou called me last night, from Mount Vernon, in my old home zone of Washington and told me snow had arrived, not in the lowlands of Puget Sound, yet, but the foothills and mountains already have a deep coating of snow.

Foothills and mountains with a deep coating of snow is something I do not get to see at my current flatland location....

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Colorful Lucy Park Backwoods River Walk

It was back to the Lucy Park backwoods I ventured today on the second Wednesday of the 2022 version of November.

As you can clearly see, fall is now falling a lot of leaves. That is the Wichita River, flowing by, currently in fall mode, color coordinating with the fallen leaves.

Yesterday, I worried today would be depressing, that the Red Tsunami predicted by way too many had happened.

Instead, the results of the mid-terms were better than most expected for the Democrats.

Listening to the Rush Limbaugh replacements, whilst walking, spewing their right wing nutjob nonsense, was particularly amusing today. Yesterday they were already celebrating what they were sure was going to be an historically awesome Red Tsunami, breaking all previous mid-term records.

And they were looking forward to seeing what they call "lib" tears, on CNN and MSNBC.

It is satisfying when nutjobs get a comeuppance.

The current forecast has the temperature dropping to freezing in a couple days. That should knock all the leaves from the trees...

Monday, November 7, 2022

Beto For Governor Yard Sign Theft Results In Armed Gun Threat

Saw that which you see here, this morning, on Facebook. One of my Facebook friends had her Beto for Governor sign stolen from her yard. Stolen by a neighbor, who slashed and sprayed the sign before installing it in his yard.

This is what my Facebook friend said about this troubling incident....

"Someone in my neighborhood, stole my Beto sign. They slashed it in 2, spray painted on it and stuck it in their own yard. I knew it was my sign because I had fixed the stand yesterday. I went to confront the person-my neighbor, and he pulled a gun on me. Stay safe y’all."

I sure hope the Republicans get their richly deserved comeuppance tomorrow, and not the Red Tsunami the Republicans seemed to think is about to hit us tomorrow...

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Perfect Sunny Sunday At Lucy Park

On this first sunny Sunday of the 2022 version of November, I joined the throngs of other nature lovers at Lucy Park, for some high-speed endorphin acquisition.

The photo documentation is from the backwoods part of Lucy Park. This is not where the throngs go, hence it is peaceful. And there are no flying discs one must be aware of.

In the above view the dirt path is heading north.

The temperature today was about as perfect as it can get.

72 degrees.

Back in shorts and t-shirt after yesterday's chilly return to long pants and long-sleeved flannel shirt.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Saturday Sikes Lake Walk Under Sky Scrubbed Clear

Yesterday North Texas was pummeled by the strongest storm to pummel in quite a while. No tornadoes touched down near my location, but tornadoes did do some touching down in other areas.

My location saw a couple hours of high-speed wind, angry looking clouds dropping some drippage, along with a few thunderclaps.

And now, today, Saturday, the first Saturday of the 2022 version of November, there is not a cloud in the clear blue sky.

So, it was to Sikes Lake I went today for some fast walking, along with a lot of other fast walkers enjoying the freshly scrubbed air and a temperature barely in the 50s.

In the photo above you are looking northwest, across the calm waters of Sikes Lake.

Friday, November 4, 2022

You Know You Are From Anacortes When You See Mount Baker Looking Big

Saw that which you see here, on Facebook's You know you're from Anacortes when...page, this 4th morning of the 2022 version of November. 

The text above the photo...

I’m in Anacortes for a short stay and couldn’t resist capturing a heron that I saw on the roof of our boathouse at Anacortes Marina. I loved the snow-covered view of Mount Baker in the background. For my photography friends, this is a single frame, not a composite, and taken from the top of the boat ramp, not a drone.

Anacortes is Skagit County's second biggest city, with county seat, Mount Vernon, being the largest city in Skagit County.

Mount Baker is one of Washington's five volcanoes. Often one can see steamy exhaust coming from Mount Baker's crater. If you hike close enough to the crater you can smell the sulphureous odor the volcano emits. It is the same smell one frequently smells at various hot spring zone of Yellowstone National Park.

From my old home in Mount Vernon I could see Mount Baker during the time of year leaves were not in the trees, blocking the view.

From my current abode no matter what window I look out I see nothing scenic.

In Anacortes you can hop aboard a Washington State Ferry and float to the San Juan Islands, or to Victoria, in British Columbia, in Canada.

I never ferry floated to Victoria from Anacortes. I twice floated to Victoria, from Seattle, via the Princess Marguerite.

I do not know how far it is from my current location to find a ferry boat. Maybe Galveston...

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Quest To Find Fort Worth's Most Iconic Skyscraper

No, that which you see here is not the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Wichita Falls, population 102,988. What you see here is the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, population 935,508.

This morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram asks the following question regarding the skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.
This question appeared in an article titled POLL: What is Fort Worth’s most iconic skyscraper? These 6 are the city’s tallest.

The article in its entirety...

When you think about Fort Worth’s skyline, is there one tower that is most iconic? These are the six tallest buildings in downtown (well, technically seven, but we’re counting the City Center’s sister towers as one). Which best represents Fort Worth? The concrete Brutalism of Burnett Plaza, the city’s tallest building? Maybe the sleek glass Modernism of the newer high rises?

Methinks the Star-Telegram might need to familiarize itself with what iconic means....

Definition of iconic
1 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon. 2a : widely recognized and well-established an iconic brand name. b : widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence an iconic writer a region's iconic wines.

The only thing in Fort Worth which comes remotely close to being iconic is the Fort Worth Stockyards sign.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Today I Voted The New-Fangled Texas Paper Ballot Method

I voted this morning, and got my shirt stamped, indicating such.

Voting in Texas is so much more involved and entertaining than the type voting I was used to whilst living in Washington.

I do not remember what the year was when last I voted at a polling place in Washington. It would have been some point in time in the 1980s. By the 1990s I was voting via the mail-in ballot method. I do not know if Washington still has polling stations on election day, or if it is all mail-in ballots now.

In Oregon you are automatically registered to vote when you turn 18. You have to opt out if you do not want to be mailed a mail-in ballot.

If I remember right, the first time I voted in Texas it was the Bush/Gore general election year of 2000. Again, if I remember right, at that point in time you cast your votes by punching holes in a paper ballot.

I do not think Texas had early voting back in 2000. I remember it was a long long line.

The last several times voting in Texas has been via electronic machines. You entered a code via spinning a dial, then kept spinning that dial to make your voting selections. It seemed very video gamish. And sort of confusing to us elderly folks.

But, now, today, once again, a totally new way of voting. 

First off, in Texas you have to show your voter registration card, and a photo I.D., then scribble your name on a touch screen. You then go to the next station where you are given a blank paper ballot and your ballot code. 

My ballot code today was 53435. I'm looking at it right now.

You then go to the next station, where you do the actual voting. You enter the code, via touch screen. Which then instructs you to insert the blank ballot into the printer. When proper insertion is detected, you begin voting, via touch screen.

When you are satisfied with your choices, you touch a button that causes the printer to print your ballot. You then take your printed ballot to another machine, where you insert the ballot into another insertion point, which sucks in the ballot and the screen tells you that you have successfully voted.

You are then given the "I VOTED" stamp.

I asked what the purpose was of this more convoluted process.

So as to have a paper ballot record of each voter's voting.


So, some states in America, like Oregon and Washington, just mail voters their ballot, with the voter either returning the ballot by mail or dropping the ballot in a ballot drop-box.

Whilst another state, Texas, uses an entirely different, more complicated method.

Today, some of it seemed totally pointless. Like the signing your name on the touch screen. The stylus used to do so did not render it possible to make even a remotely legible signature. I watched the guy ahead of me do his signature and thought he must not know how to write. And then it was my turn and I saw it was not possible to make a legible signature. So, what was the point of the signature?

And now I wait a week to see if anyone I voted for won...