Friday, March 7, 2014
The interesting comment on my Washington blog came from a Texas woman calling herself Techsas Woman.
I was a little surprised that Techsas Woman said that she finds some of my remarks towards Texas and Texans to be awfully stinging.
Awfully stinging? Me?
Anyway, below is the comment from Techsas Woman...
Techsas Woman has left a new comment on your post "The Skagit Valley's Big Rock With Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy & The Nookachamp Star Child Falling From The Sky":
I was so happy to find your blog, as I have a Texas / Mt. Vernon connection, too, though from the other side. My Texan daughter moved to Mt. Vernon three years ago. My husband and I made our first visit two years ago and found the beauty to be astonishing - the San Juan Islands, Deception Pass, Snoqualmie Falls ...breathtaking! (The second thing we found astonishing was the number of ex-patriot Texans we ran into up there.) While I find some of your remarks towards Texas and Texans to be awfully stinging, I'm so pleased to find great travel commentary for the area. We're heading back in late June with hopes to head up towards Mt. Baker and also make a trip to Vancouver.
In addition to Mount Baker and one of the Vancouvers of the North, methinks Techsas Woman should maybe consider adding visits to Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and the Washington Coast, plus Mount St. Helens to her June itinerary. Because those locations are very scenic....
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I seem to have some trouble gauging the right amount of clothes to be wearing to keep myself non-chilly in this chilly Texas climate.
I think maybe my internal temperature monitoring controls may be in malfunction mode.
For some reason I am able to exit the interior world in the morning, wearing only a swimming suit, to have a hot tub hydrotherapy session, with, this morning, a couple cooling dips in the cool pool and never get cold, chilly or shivering.
But today, wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, I got real cold rolling my bike wheels. A strong wind added to the windchill caused by pedaling fast, with the only relief coming when the wind was coming from behind me.
I cut the bike ride short.
Changing the subject to something else.
This morning I was very pleased to find myself passing an Elsie Hotpepper texting test. Elsie Hotpepper has a very strict school marm nature about her, which is one of the reasons I was so pleased to pass the Elsie Hotpepper texting test.
I think my Puerto Rican cat sitting duty ends tomorrow. I need to confirm that.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Walking With My Sister & Arlington's Village Creek Indian Ghosts Perusing A Book About Texas From My Favorite Aunt Arlene
I took no pictures of the Indian ghosts today, or anything else in the Natural Historic Area, due to the fact that taking a picture would have distracted me from talking to my sister.
Before Talking with my sister and walking with the Indian ghosts I found a parcel in my mailbox from my favorite Aunt Arlene.
I opened the parcel to find the book you see above, titled...
THE WAY WE WERE
Nostalgic Images of the Lone Star State
My favorite Aunt Arlene has traveled around Texas. Inside the book post-it notes were added making note of places she'd been that are depicted in the book.
The rest of the bookmark my aunt used to write me a letter, part of which said, "I bought this book figuring I could send it to you when I was finished perusing it, seeing that you are the one and only Texan I know."
Apparently my aunt is unaware of the Texas state law regarding being a Texan, where to be a Texan one has to be born in Texas or live in Texas for four decades and then pass the Texas Citizen test and get sworn in as a citizen while reciting the Texas Pledge of Allegiance whilst holding ones hand over ones heart.
One the backside of the bookmark letter my aunt closed with words of wisdom....
"Keep Happy. Keep Cycling. Keep Curious. Keep Healthy."
Well, I did not go cycling today, figured I'd give the trails one more day to dry out. However I did go recycling today, which I am sure my aunt would approve of....
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
That tall thing in the background is the Fort Worth Space Needle, also known as Tandy Tower, sitting atop the summit of Mount Tandy, also in Fort Worth, Texas.
I had myself a brisk slightly below freezing hot tub hydrotherapy session this morning.
To be clear, it was the air which was below freezing, not the hot tub.
In the noon time frame the outer world had heated above freezing to an extent which allowed for a pleasant walk around Fosdick Lake without the need for excessive layers of outerwear.
I am hoping this latest bout of icy air from the Arctic is the last bout for this current winter.
By the end of March usually the outer world starts getting pleasantly warm, along with wildflowers coloring up that which is usually a bit bland.
Has this demented schizophrenic manic-depressive bi-polar weather messed up the coming spring? Will there be any wildflowers this year?
How many times can a tree be tricked into spouting buds only to have them frozen before the tree just gives up and waits til next year to turn green again?
Monday, March 3, 2014
Checking On Tasha The Terrorist Cat While Visiting The Tacoma Connie D Before Plugging The Lost & Found Thriftique
I layered on multi-layers, including two hoodies, to venture into the outer world to attend to my cat sitting duty around noon.
Earlier, as in early this morning, I ventured out into the outer world without multi-layers and hoodies to go have myself a much needed hot tub hydrotherapy session.
Getting to the hot tub was a tad adventurous, but well worth the icy risk, once I found myself immersed in heat with the temperature of the water being 95, while the temperature of the air was 14, with the wind blowing at sufficient speed to make that air really feel like it was about 11 degrees below zero.
At the present moment the time is well past noon, in the mid-afternoon time of the day, with the wind finally having ceased its howling routine.
Yesterday's incoming ice and extreme cold somehow managed to freeze the sliding door to my patio shut solid. That has never happened before. By the time I got back from checking in on Tasha the Terrorist Cat the sliding door to my patio was back sliding.
While I was with the aforementioned cat my phone lit up due to an incoming call from the Tacoma Connie D.
I like how with my new phone I can add a photo of a person on the contact list. And then when that person calls that photo fills up the screen.
Connie D, along with another Tacoma beauty, named Andrea, operate a store called Lost & Found Thriftique in Tacoma's Stadium District, which is the north end of downtown Tacoma. I don't know if Connie D's store is so named due to its close proximity to the Stadium District Thriftway.
If you are visiting Tacoma and you want to shop in Connie D's store it is located at 118 Tacoma Avenue North. You can find more store info, including photos of that which you can buy, on the Lost & Found Thriftique Facebook page.
Connie D today asked me to do a blog plug of her store, again. I don't remember doing such a plug before, likely an age-related memory issue. Give it six months and I will likely forget about today's blog's store plug.
I am planning on being in Tacoma, soon, and will be spending some time in Connie D's store. Connie D has already agreed to let me do so. And I will be allowed to talk to the customers.
I can not remember the last time I had myself a really fine time pretending to be a proprietor of a Tacoma store....
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Minus 6 degrees. Brrrrr.
There have been several bouts of freezing rain today, more so than I have ever experienced before.
The most lacerating bout of freezing rain happened soon upon leaving my abode for the second time today, with the second time being a return to Miss Puerto Rico's because I forgot to leave her faucets dripping.
This afternoon the U.S. National Weather Service updated its earlier WINTER STORM WARNING and added a new warning in the form of a WIND CHILL ADVISORY, which you can read below...
....WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM CST MONDAY...
* LOCATION...THIS STATEMENT IS FOR THE COUNTIES OF GRAYSON... DENTON...COLLIN...TARRANT...DALLAS...ROCKWALL...KAUFMAN... JOHNSON...AND ELLIS.
* TIMING...TEMPERATURES ARE ALREADY WELL BELOW FREEZING AND LIGHT ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS EVENING.
* ACCUMULATION...A TRACE TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION IS FORECAST. ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH OF SLEET ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS EVENING.
* MAIN IMPACT...LIGHT FREEZING RAIN WILL COAT BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES WITH A GLAZE OF ICE. ANY SLEET ACCUMULATIONS WILL LEAD TO SLICK SPOTS ON ALL ROADWAYS. TRAVEL WILL BECOME HAZARDOUS THIS AFTERNOON.
* WIND CHILL VALUES...WIND CHILL VALUES OF 0 TO -5 DEGREES ARE LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.
* OTHER IMPACTS...TEMPERATURES WILL FALL INTO THE TEENS TONIGHT. ANY WATER ON AREA ROADWAYS WILL LIKELY FREEZE AT THESE TEMPERATURES MAKING FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET...AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE COLD MAY RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS...WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.
When is Global Warming scheduled to arrive at this location on the planet one can not help but wonder?
At that point in time frozen water particulates, small in size, was blowing down from above, like frozen fog, with a slight coat of white coloring the rooftops.
About 15 minutes after this picture was taken I left Miss Puerto Rico's to head east to Albertsons to find that the frozen fog had morphed into vicious high speed pellets off ice that hurt like getting plugged by a BB gun.
Leaving Albertsons I found that the frozen high speed BBs had greatly increased in number and in the viciousness of their attack.
I don't know why I left my abode un-attired in any sort of hoodie type device, wearing only a baseball cap, leaving my neck exposed to incoming frozen bullets.
An hour later the frozen fallout has greatly abated, leaving the ground covered in white. I suspect extreme slipperiness will soon arrive, what with the ground having been recently warmed by 80 degree air, it can hold out for a short while against the freeze, melting some of the incoming ice.
But, when the freeze takes the upper hand all that is wet will become frozen and slippery.
I doubt I will leave my abode again until relief arrives...
However, with precipitation doing its predicted precipitating and with the temperature having done its predicted plummet from being in the 80s to below freezing and with the wind blowing in from the north making 30 degrees really feel like 13, I decided to opt out of getting hot tubbed and instead remain in interior mode where the big chill has yet to penetrate the insulation.
The freeze arrived earlier than had been predicted. Yesterday the ice had been predicted to arrive around noon in the D/FW zone. Yesterday the predicted low was 17. This morning that low has been adjusted to 12 degrees, with that vexing northern wind making it really feel like -9.
Minus nine degrees? That is way too cold.
I am hoping jalapeno bacon for breakfast will provide some salubrious warmth....
Saturday, March 1, 2014
This latest resurrection of the Tandy Hills Hoodoo is the most complicated, delicately balanced Hoodoo I have seen yet.
I suspect this latest Hoodoo will not survive tomorrow's predicted incoming freezing thunderstorm.
The air was heated to just a degree or two below 80 when I did my hill hiking today. Hot enough to require hiking in sans shirt mode.
Absolutely perfect hiking conditions, weather-wise and trail-wise. And yet I saw only one other human today hiking the Tandy Hills.
And that only other human I saw today hiking the Tandy Hills, I brought with me.
If a semi-natural area like the Tandy Hills were located 4 miles west of downtown Seattle, well, it'd be underwater, but if Puget Sound did not exist those Seattle hills would be teeming with healthy humans enjoying the outer world being heated to summer-like temperatures on the first day of March.
It is bewildering to me why more locals do not avail themselves of experiencing the Tandy Hills on a day like today. Do a lot of locals think the Tandy Hills are unsafe for some unfathomable, to me, reason?
In addition to the resurrected Tandy Hills Hoodoo today I came upon a pair of rock constructions I'd not previously seen.
The above rock formation sort of looks like a meerkat is standing in the center of a circle of rocks. But, that is not a meerkat, it is a long skinny piece of rock stuck vertical in to the ground.
I have no idea what the work of rock art below is depicting. In person it looked like maybe it was supposed to be a face, with the two vertical sticks on the left and right sides being earrings. Maybe?
So many art installations on the Tandy Hills and so few people viewing the works of art.
Moving on it was on to Town Talk. Once again way too busy, with a parking lot run out of spaces and long lines at all the checkouts. Methinks Town Talk may be needing to expand. I know of a large empty former Kroger that would make a very convenient Town Talk location.
I found some interesting stuff today at Town Talk. Prickly pear syrup was one interesting item. Will this be good on waffles? I found a big, 6.5 pound can of Pacific Northwest purple plums, all natural, no sugar, canned in Salem, Oregon. Got a big block of something called Dubliner cheese, imported from a place called Ireland, plus a whole, all-natural, chicken, spinach & herbs tortilla wraps and a couple packages of minimally processed, no artificial ingredients, no preservatives uncured smoked jalapeno bacon made from pork raised without antibiotics or growth hormones.
Jalapeno bacon? By tomorrow morning l'll likely know if jalapeno bacon is a good thing, or not....
On Friday the high got to 84. Today, the first day of the 3rd month of 2014, the high is predicted to again get in the 80s.
And then tomorrow, Sunday, we are back in the deep freeze with a low of 19.
Sub-freezing with lightning.
Are all these cycles of HOT & COLD wreaking havoc with confused plants?
With thunder likely clapping in the morning I suspect Sunday will not see a repeat of this morning's hot tub hydrotherapy session and its accompanying duo dips in the slightly cool pool. Nor will there be a Sunday repeat of last Sunday's Gateway Park mountain bike ride.
But, today will see some high speed hiking on the Tandy Hills before treasure hunting at Town Talk.
Below is the National Weather Service's latest winter weather advice.....
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 9 PM CST SUNDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING RAIN...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 9 PM CST SUNDAY.
* LOCATION...THIS STATEMENT IS FOR THE COUNTIES OF YOUNG...JACK... PALO PINTO...PARKER...TARRANT...DALLAS...ROCKWALL...KAUFMAN AND VAN ZANDT.
* TIMING...RAIN WILL CHANGE OVER TO FREEZING RAIN AS TEMPERATURES DROP BELOW FREEZING DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL DROP BELOW FREEZING SUNDAY MORNING OVER NORTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE ADVISORY AREA...AROUND MIDDAY SUNDAY OVER THE METROPLEX...AND SUNDAY AFTERNOON OVER EASTERN PARTS OF THE AREA.
* ACCUMULATION...A TRACE TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION IS FORECAST.
* MAIN IMPACT...LIGHT FREEZING RAIN WILL COAT BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES WITH A GLAZE OF ICE. TRAVEL MAY BECOME HAZARDOUS.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF WINTER PRECIPITATION MAY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND PLAN ON SOME TRAVEL DELAYS.