Monday, July 28, 2014

A HOT Tandy Hills Hike With Twin Hoodoos & No Flooding

With rain in the forecast I decided today was a good day to return to the Tandy Hills for the first time since rain muddied my local world earlier in the month.

A breeze blew providing some wind chilling, but not a lot of wind chilling. In other words I got hot, real HOT.

Both the North and South Forks of Tandy Creek were dry today, with no flooding due to a broken pipeline like I had to ford on my last visit.

However, it appeared the South Fork crossing has been pretty much wiped out by flash flooding, either of the Mother Nature sort, or the broken pipeline sort. You can see video of the current Tandy Creek South Fork crossing below.

Above those are not Twin Hoodoos sitting on a Big Rock at Tandy Hills Hoodoo Central at the north end of the View Street Trail. I came upon the Twin Hoodoos slightly northeast of the area known as the Bamboo Tepee Grove.

As usual, there was a new Hoodoo at Hoodoo Central, a much plumper, stubbier Hoodoo than the tall, skinny Hoodoo I saw on the first day of July.

Today's Hoodoo at Hoodoo Central sort of looks like a sculpture of a fat human with a big round head wearing a cowboy hat.

I have known a human or two, sans the cowboy hat part, who could have been the sculptor's model.

I used  my old camera to take video and photos today. The new camera is vexing me. Very complicated. These things really should be designed for those of us with simple minds and short attention spans.

Months ago I got a new oven, with all digital controls. Even ovens have been rendered difficult with digital controls. Though, once I got used to it I like the digital oven controls.

Way back in February I finally got a smart phone. The smart phone made me feel real stupid for a few days. And then that feeling faded. Now I'm a texting maniac and watch TV on the phone. Watching TV on the smart phone seems sort of stupid, but it actually works quite well.

Anyway, below is video where you walk with me across the washed out crossing of the South Fork of Tandy Creek...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Arlington On A Village Creek Bike Ride With An Indian Ghost Sighting On The Last Sunday Of July

Yesterday a benefactor benefacted me with a new Sony camcorder camera.

I find the older I get the more averse I am to learning something new, or figuring out something new.

This new camera apparently does all sorts of cool things, like it takes 3D photos. However, apparently one needs something called a 3D TV to view the 3D photos. I don't have a 3D TV. I don't think I want a 3D TV, even if a benefactor benefacted me a 3D TV.

This new camera shoots HD video and has a windscreen setting, unlike my Canon camera which I've been using to make videos of late and which can get annoyingly noisy with the wind.

Today I took  the new camera to Arlington, to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area to check in on the Indian Ghosts. That and Sunday is a fun day to go to this location. Usually it is quite busy. However, I'm thinking today's almost empty parking lot indicated a lot of people do not like communing with nature and Indian Ghosts when the temperature gets into the 100 degree zone.

A couple days ago the Queen of Assumption, Miss Julie, asked me how it was I communicated with the Indian Ghosts. Did I see them? Talk to them? Listen to them? I told the Q of A to watch video of my most recent Indian Ghost visit and she would hear them sounding a lot like the aforementioned wind.

Today I used the new camera to take a picture of the Village Creek Green Bayou. Currently, more accurately, the Village Creek Green & Brown Bayou. When I got the photos off the new camera I soon saw it had even cooler capabilities than I thought possible.

Though my eye did not see it, the new camera was able to capture a Village Creek Indian Ghost hovering over the formerly Blue Bayou.

Spooky.....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perplexed By Caution In Fort Worth's Gateway Park Before Town Talking

With the temperature nearing 100 it was HOT enough today for me to return to Gateway Park to roll my wheels on the mountain bike trails for the first time since we got rained on and muddied here in usually quite dry North Texas.

On Thursday when I drove past Riscky's BBQ in the Fort Worth Stockyards I saw that misters had been added to the outdoor eating zone.

I don't think I've been to Riscky's BBQ in the Stockyards since way back in January of 2009, with my mom and dad. My parental units thought it too cold at that point in time to eat our ribs in Riscky's outdoor eating zone.

Today I was thinking a mister or two along the Gateway Park mountain bike trail would be a good  thing.

In the photo my handlebars are at my favorite Saturday pre-Town Talk photo op location, perched perilously at the edge of a cliff above the beautiful green Trinity River. At this location the trail takes a right, away from the cliff. But there is no directional signage pointing the way. Today I saw a lot of tire tracks not taking the right, instead rolling their wheels along the edge of the cliff. I imagine this has resulted in a temporarily terrorized biker or two.

I found a spot to stick my bike off that trail and got out my camera to take a video walk along the cliff's edge. You can watch that below if you don't suffer from acrophobia.

I saw something else today which puzzled me. That which puzzled me you can see below.


In the area pictured above in the past couple months the brush along the cliff's edge was removed, for the most part, and the mountain bike trail was moved away from the cliff about 30 feet. At this location the mountain bike trail was not at the cliff's edge, like the location of my favorite photo op.

The yellow caution tape cautioning people to be cautious extended a much longer distance than what you see in the picture. So, why the caution tape at this location?  Did someone walk off the edge of the cliff?

It's a bit perplexing.

After having myself a mighty fine time in Mother Nature's natural sauna I was off to Town Talk where I found big packs of all natural chicken legs, pineapples, romaine lettuce, pomegranate ginseng soda, brown rice, flour tortillas, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, cherries from my old home state, Wenatchee Washington, to be precise, and other stuff I am not remembering right now.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Biking With The Indian Ghosts Pondering No Good Deed Going Unpunished If Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

That's the pool and hot tub view from my patio prison cell you are looking at on the left.

That view is currently scheduled to change this coming October, with a new view north, rather than this old view south.

I was up not long after the sun this morning, with a long swim before a short breakfast.

After several hours of fussing with HTML code type aggravation I felt the Village Creek Indian Ghosts calling me. And so I was off to Arlington to roll my wheels in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

Whilst fussing with HTML code type aggravation I listen to the radio. Lately I've been listening to something called The Bert Show. The Bert Show can be amusing. This morning Bert was going on about how the cliche "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" makes no sense to him.

However, I get the meaning of that cliche because I have experienced the experience of doing a good deed and then having the person for whom the good deed was done turn into an ungrateful miscreant.

Bert got me thinking about another cliche, that being "Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder." In my experience that cliche would be more accurate if it were "In Some Cases Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder."

For me, in some cases, absence has turned into an unexpected blessing. Like getting rid of an eyesore you didn't realize was making your eyes sore, til you no longer have to see it......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Big Ed's Botanic Garden Birthday With Uncle Julio & The Search For Imaginary Bridges Over Nothing

In the picture you are looking at Big Ed in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden. I do not know about what Big Ed is talking to the group of shaded kids.

Big Ed and I had been at Uncle Julio's on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth for Big Ed's annual happy birthday Mexican food pigout

After overeating at the annual happy birthday Mexican food pigout I felt the need to be vertical.

The Botanic Gardens is a nearby location with a lot of shade where it is possible to be vertical and moving and not get too overheated after overeating.

Fort Worth's Botanic Garden is the best such thing I have ever seen. As in it is actually something in Fort Worth which might cause other towns to be green with envy, if such a thing was something any town, other than Fort Worth, actually was able to be.

I was impressed by the Botanic Garden the first time I walked through them well over a decade ago, and have been freshly impressed on every return, including today. The boardwalk through the trees, which was added a few years ago, was a good heat shade today, which a lot of people were enjoying.

As I walked around the Botanic Garden I was on the lookout for Miss Julie, to no avail. Miss Julie is an expert grammarian who taught me how to whence and hence properly and who spends a lot of time in the Botanic Garden.

After giving up the search for Miss Julie it was off to the eminent domain abuse zone of the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle to see if I could find the three non-signature bridges being built over the imaginary flood diversion channel.

I saw nothing which looked like construction. I did see what was left after the destruction of all the property which was taken by abusing the legitimate concept of taking private property for the public good, you know, things like highways, hospitals, schools.

I did a quick drop-in at Cowtown Wakepark and a saw two guys wakeboarding. Basically this was the only activity I was able to find today of something going on in the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle.

Below is a 360 degree video look at one little section of Fort Worth's Botanic Garden....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Star-Telegram Columnist's Sexist Remark Has Mary Kelleher Calling For Accountability

PRESS RELEASE

STAR-TELEGRAM COLUMNIST POSTS SEXIST REMARK
 ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT ELECTED OFFICIAL

TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DISTRICT DIRECTOR MARY KELLEHER
 CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Fort Worth, Texas, July 23, 2014–Tarrant Regional Water District Director Mary Kelleher is responding to the increasing outcry over Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy's sexist comment against her in a public exchange on a social media account. Mr. Kennedy while speaking on the subject of the Tarrant Regional Water District elections stated, "Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men."
Director Kelleher says she was saddened and appalled by his statement. “When a woman, such as myself, devotes so much personal time and effort to give back to the community, it truly sickens me there are still men like Mr. Kennedy in the media who think so little of what all women accomplish." Kelleher went on to say, "It's now clear that in Mr. Kennedy's mind no woman could gain a position of power, authority, or respect on their own. It appears he’s insinuating the election of a woman must be the result of stupidity by the voters.” She continued, “I’m amazed someone with these views can work for a major newspaper and on one of the most respected television newscasts in the United States."

Kelleher urges the Star-Telegram and content partner WFAA, where Kennedy regularly discusses Texas politics, to act swiftly. "I just can't see a public media company with shareholders allowing someone with this kind of incredibly sexist view of women to remain on staff. " If neither the Star-Telegram nor WFAA act, says Kelleher, "I'm sure those of us who buy and read the Star-Telegram or watch WFAA can quickly change our habits including those who advertise with these companies."

Director Kelleher went on to say, “I’m sure that both McClatchy and Belo Corporation, as professional news organizations will do the right thing for all women who have worked so hard to get to a position of equal respect with men."

ABOUT MARY KELLEHER:

Director Kelleher was elected by the largest number of votes in the history of the Tarrant Regional Water District, at just under 9,000 people voting for her. The District oversees flood control and water supply for the area. Aside from her duties as a director of the Tarrant Regional Water District, Kelleher also works full-time with troubled youth in Tarrant County and maintains a working farm on the east side of Fort Worth with her husband.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Unfair Untrue Irresponsible Editorial Attack On Mary Kelleher

I did not see until today a bizarre editorial in yesterday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The bizarre editorial is titled Tarrant Regional Water District should appoint two members to their current positions but, despite the title the editorial is basically yet one more journalistically unethical, wrongheaded, irresponsible slap at Mary Kelleher.

A Star-Telegram reader named Aaron Harris pretty much hit the bull's eye with his comment regarding this bizarre editorial.

From the Aaron Harris comment's last paragraph I learned I am not alone in knowing Fort Worth has a serious problem due to its lack of a real daily newspaper covering local issues in a fair and unbiased  and responsible manner.

You can read the bizarre Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial by clicking the link above. You can read the Aaron Harris comment in its entirety below....

Very well done on presenting one side, the incumbent board's side. Now let's address some of the things you fail to mention or disclose, and always will, because it doesn't fit your narrative:

First: You call Mary an obstructionist....last I checked one vote in 5 can not obstruct anything. But since you made the accusation. can the editorial board please name me ONE thing Mary has successfully obstructed during her year on the board? And how was she able to do so with only one vote? Words have meanings and I'll eagerly await simply ONE thing she has obstructed. 

Second: You state Kellerher has bombarded the district with open records request. Really? How many is bombarded? When did asking for information become a bad thing? You failed to mention that numerous State Representatives have also requested information from the board and so far have received NOTHING. I think not releasing information qualifies as obstructionist, that title should go to the remaining board, not Mary. 

Third: You state: "Their terms expired in May" but act like that is no big deal. The Texas Appellate court stated their terms expired. The law does not allow for an appointment of an EXPIRED term, only of an UN EXPIRED term. But let's not let the law get in the way. 

Fourth: Kellerher was censured...yes. She was censured cause she dares to vote differently from the rest who simply rubber stamp whatever comes before them. In their eyes having a differing opinion and vote is grounds for censure. Read the censure, that is what it boils down to. 

Fifth: You suggest that simply appointing Leonard and Lane would solve the "petty squabbles". You know what else would... disclosing the information Mary, 4 state reps and voters are asking for. It's not that hard. I also find it interesting that because Mary took money from a donor she can't possibly be thinking for herself, rather a tool of the donor. So I presume you make the same judgement of the others on the board right? Are they simply tools of the contractors who do business with the TRWD given that is where most of their donations come from? 

Lastly - this is exactly the kind of piece that leaves Ft Worth once again pondering when we might get a decent paper in this town. One that can look beyond its little downtown club and cover local issues fairly. This editorial is simply garbage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spencer Jack And Girl Friend Brittney's Home Away From Home At An Unknown Location

What you are looking at on the left arrived in my email inbox last night. I did not see it til this morning.

All the text in the email said was "Our Home Away From Home."

I think I can deduce, from the photo evidence, that Spencer Jack is camping with his favorite girl friend, Brittney, and his dad.

My best guess, due to the somewhat primitive look of the campsite, is that Spencer Jack is camping somewhere in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. That forest covers a large area, with dozens of campgrounds.

I am pretty much 100% certain that Spencer Jack did not take his camping entourage to Eastern Washington, due to the fact that that side of the Cascade Mountains is currently burning with the largest wildfire in Washington state history.

Over 300,000 acres.

Tootsie Tonasket is daily reporting extreme smoke at her location in Eastern Washington in the Okanogan Valley.

It pleases me to learn that my favorite nephew, Jason, is continuing the family camping tradition. When I was a  kid we pretty much went camping somewhere every weekend of summer.

My favorite camping location was in Eastern Washington.

Sun Lakes State Park.

At my current location in Texas I can drive hundreds of miles in any direction with the scenery and climate not changing all that much.

As a kid, going from Western Washington to Eastern Washington, it seemed like the other side of the mountains was a totally different world, what with Western Washington being a marine climate conducive to growing all things green, including moss, while Eastern Washington is pretty much a desert, for the most part.

A desert which is largely irrigated and thus also grows green things.

I wonder if Spencer Jack has taken his dad and Brittney to Sun Lakes yet? I recollect once driving over to Sun Lakes with my sister and favorite nephews, Chris and Jeremy, to surprise favorite nephews, Jason and Joey, who were pseudo camping in a cabin. That does not seem all that long ago, but it was.....

Escaping The Humidity Via Bike Enabled Wind Chilling In Arlington's Interlochen

I was unable to get humidity relief via the swimming method this morning because the pool is getting a shock treatment. It takes about a day for the pool to get over being shocked.

To get myself some outdoor wind chilling I used the rolling my wheels method.

That's bike wheels, not motorized vehicle wheels with windows down and A/C at full blast.

The wind is cooling whilst pedaling, til one stops for a water break or a photo op.

That is one of the Interlochen fountains you are seeing spouting above. I  took that photo then put the camera in video mode and did a 360 spin around to give you a better idea of what this part of the planet looks like than what can be conveyed by a single photo.

Tacoma's Connie D asked me today when I am coming to Tacoma. That  is a good question.

When am I going to Tacoma? Or Washington. It has been almost 6 years since I have been to the far north. When I left  that location, way back on August 20 of 2008, I said it'd likely be 20 years til I returned.

Anyway, below is the aforementioned video, YouTubized.....

Monday, July 21, 2014

Perplexed By The Star-Telegram's Dallas Boogey Man Fixation Along With Why Bud Kennedy Thinks Mary Kelleher Got Elected

Saturday, July 19, 2014, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an article titled Dallas businessman donated more than $235,000 to Tarrant Regional Water District candidates.

The first four paragraphs of the article....

In a 2011 letter to the Tarrant Regional Water District, Dallas businessman Monty Bennett vowed to “vigorously fight” a TRWD pipeline from going across his East Texas ranch.

The latest TRWD campaign finance reports show he is continuing to back up that pledge with his checkbook.

Bennett, chairman and chief executive of Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality Trust and Ashford Hospitality Prime, has contributed more than $235,000 to board member Mary Kelleher and two other candidates.

Bennett, who has sued the water district and fought eminent domain proceedings, has tried to compel the water district to reroute the $2.3 billion integrated pipeline around his East Texas ranch in Henderson County. The pipeline is designed to bring more water for Tarrant Regional and the city of Dallas. TRWD has said rerouting the pipeline would cost $6 million to $8 million.

Over and over and over again the Star-Telegram brings up the fact that Monty Bennett made large contributions to TRWD candidates trying to oust existing TRWD board members.

Why is the fact that Monty Bennett primarily does his business in Dallas at all relevant? Why must the specter of a Dallas Boogey Man be raised?

Mr. Bennett did not want a pipeline crossing his property. Apparently he has the resources to fight eminent domain and make contributions to candidates. Why does the Star-Telegram attempt to scandalize this, particularly when there are so many things about the Tarrant Regional Water District board's various shenanigans which the Star-Telegram ignores?

Where can I read that in depth Star-Telegram investigation into how it was that Kay Granger's unqualified son, J.D., was hired by the TRWD to run the Trinity River Panther Island Vision Boondoggle?

I learned that the Star-Telegram had once again brought up the Dallas Boogey Man via Facebook, from Bud Kennedy.

When I used to be a hard copy subscriber to the Star-Telegram Bud Kennedy was one of their columnists. The Star-Telegram has cut way back on its staff. I don't know at what level of activity Bud Kennedy is still employed by the Star-Telegram, but he seems to have quite an active career on Facebook, diligently monitoring multiple threads, deleting comments, scolding commenters for being off-topic.

So, regarding the Bud Kennedy Facebook post that was about the latest Star-Telegram Dallas Boogey Man article, Bud Kennedy made a comment in response to one of his "Friends" comments which is most unfortunate. That is a screencap of the exchange above. I'll copy the exchange verbatim below...

Stuart Langley: Politicians taking money from vested interests? Oh my, when did that start happening? It seems this knock comes along every time that Mary tries to hold the board accountable to the public. 

Could the Star-Telegram please explain why the board continually fights (with the tax payers money Mary's efforts to see TRWD records?) Is there a good reason why these should be kept from an elected board member? And why shouldn't the public be upset when the board can skip an election when the public has been clamoring for years for more public accountability?

I guess those are tough and embarrassing questions. Lets try one more course of the "Dallas Businessman donates..."

Bud Kennedy: Stuart Langley, please review editorials on the topic. The Star-Telegram has criticized the board's records handling. More than a dozen local agencies skipped elections for a year under a state law changing the dates. The public has not clamored for anything. Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men. One man could not buy the election.

Oh, this is not going to go well, Bud Kennedy claiming "Kelleher was the only challenger elected last time and only because she was the only woman on a ballot with 7 men."

Mary Kelleher got more votes than any other TRWD board candidate has ever received.

I know the name might make one think she is not a woman, but I am almost 100% certain TRWD board member, Marty Leonard, is indeed a woman. And has been the only woman on the ballot. And yet has not received votes at the number level of Mary Kelleher.

Is Bud Kennedy's Mary only won because she's a woman assertion what is known as a sexist remark? I don't know. What I do know is this remark seems to me to be a very wrongheaded, inappropriate thing to be saying.

Is an apology forthcoming....