Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Today I Avoided Being Mugged By Visiting The Indian Ghosts With No Running Water In Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area

Shortly after 11 this morning I exited my abode to drive to Mallard Cove Park to visit the ducks and roll my bike wheels at high speed for enough miles to get myself a good dose of aerobic stimulation and the resulting endorphins.

On my way to the ducks, heading east on Randol Mill Road, a couple Fort Worth cops passed me at high speed, without their sirens blaring. I've watched enough cop shows to know this means they are trying to intercept a crime in progress and don't want the perps to know they are on their way.

The cops continued east as I headed north on the dead end road that ends at the entry to Mallard Cove Park.

The Mallard Cove Park parking lot is a bit isolated. I have seldom seen any other vehicles there. As I was about to unlock my bike a beat up car drove to the dead end and then turned into the parking lot. The two males in the beat up car did not look like they were there to get any exercise.

The driver backed his car into a parking spot, the position one assumes if one wants to get away as quickly as possible. I could see the pair in the car were watching me. I decided it was not a good idea to get my bike out of the vehicle and put my wallet, phone and camera in the bike bag in front of prying eyes.

I decided I'd opt to be cautious and quickly made my exit, heading to the location I'd been on Sunday, Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area, which is about three miles from the duck zone.

So, that would be a photo of a Village Creek Natural Historical Area location you see above. One of the multiple areas in this park with multiple picnic tables and a big elevated fire pit.

In all the years I have been visiting the Indian Ghosts who haunt their former Village Creek home I have never seen anyone picnicking at the above location. I have never seen any of the fire pits burning anything.

So, why is this picnic area so seldom used I am sure you are asking yourself? Well, I really don't know the answer, for sure, but I can speculate.

Do you like taking your kids to a park for a picnic when the park has no running water or restroom facilities?

I don't have any kids, but I know I don't like taking myself to a park for a picnic when the park has no running water. The lack of restrooms is less bothersome to me.

Unlike Fort Worth's, most of Arlington's parks, which I have visited, do have running water and restrooms, if they have picnic tables.

In other parts of America do the states mandate that parks must have modern amenities, for health and sanitation reasons?

Texas does excellent freeway rest areas, clearly indicating Texas is not behind the rest of America in that amenity.

Parks in Texas towns like Grapevine and Southlake and Keller and others have modern amenities.

It seems to me that it is just common sense if you are going to have picnic tables in a park, with fire pits, that you should have modern amenities, like running water.

Unless ones goal is to go for an undeveloped third world type experience in ones parks....

The Dallas Observer Suggests You Get Drunk & Roll Down The Grassy Knoll Yelling Al Qaeda Did It

In a mysterious coincidence, during the final week of September, both Fort Worth Weekly and the Dallas Observer issue their highly anticipated Best of the Year issues.

Best of the Year, as in this that or the other thing is the Best of 2014.

I'd not seen a Dallas Observer Best of the Year edition til this year's version.

I've long thought the Fort Worth Weekly Best of the Year version has some goofy elements, but then figure it's a big issue which takes a lot of effort to produce, hence some goofy elements are to be expected.

The most goofy element I have found in the Dallas Observer Best of 2014 edition is in the section the online version calls Arts & Entertainment, which the print version calls Nightlife & Music.

Just having different names for this section is a bit goofy, but the goofy element to which I refer I screencapped above and copy for your reading pleasure below...

Best Spot to Be Drunk and Yell at Tourists Dallas 2014 - Grassy Knoll

Now that Dallas has marked the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder, the city is moving on from the tragedy. It's time to acknowledge that the Grassy Knoll is a great spot to hide in and yell at people. The most elevated point at Dallas' knoll has an excellent view of tourists below, all of whom appear very interested to hear any Dallas factoids, personal revelations or conspiracy theories shouted at them from above. For people intent on yelling at tourists all night, showing up drunk tends to yield more creative results, such as the ever popular "Al Qaeda did it!" Other fun knoll-related activities include just silently sitting and not yelling at people and rolling down the hill.

I am sure whoever decides such things at the Dallas Observer thought the above was the height of hilarity. I don't know what people in parts of America, other than Dallas and Texas, might think about the idea that the Dallas Observer thinks getting drunk and hollering at tourists from the Grassy Knoll is a fun activity, and perfectly appropriate, what with it being over a half century since JFK was murdered at this location.

For some reason yelling "Al Qaeda did it" seems a bit juvenile to me. And would anyone actually laugh at that?

As for rolling down the hill known as the Grassy Knoll. I  recollect way back late in the last century seeing Dealey Plaza for the first time. When I figured out where the Grassy Knoll was at Dealey Plaza I recollect being surprised because it really is not much of a geographic feature. Labeling it as a Grassy Knoll seemed like an exaggeration, as does referring to this little knob as a hill.

Go to my Dealey Plaza webpage and you will see a photo of the little knob known as the Grassy Knoll, which the Dallas Observer thinks is a fun hill to roll down, drunkenly, whilst yelling that Al Qaeda did it....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Boardwalking In Fort Worth's Gateway Park Hunting For Endorphins & Copperheads

Yes, you guessed right, my bike is back in Gateway Park.

If you guessed that my bike is at the boarded up Boardwalk one finds on the east side of the park you would also be right about that.

I was in need of an overdose of endorphins to counteract a foul mood that had be-fouled me. Swimming did not provide a sufficient dose, hence the unscheduled drive west to Gateway Park.

I rolled twice around the entire mountain bike trail, well the part that is on the north/west side of the river. I do not venture across the scary bridge that crosses the Trinity River to reach the trails on that side of the river. Last week a couple of bikers told me that a large section of those trails are like the EKG section of the River Legacy Park trails. EKG is too much for me. That and I got myself lost just walking in the EKG section.

After I was done with the mountain bike trails I rolled the paved trail to the site of Gateway Park's second boarded up Boardwalk, to find myself surprised to find it not as boarded up as in times previous. And with no warning signs. Or trail closed signs. No signs at all.

And so I walked the partially boarded up Boardwalk as best I could. The video of this walk is processing at this very moment.

Prior to walking the Boardwalk I had myself a copperhead encounter. I mention the copperhead encounter in the video. A copperhead encounter is always good for some adrenalin stimulation which seems to enhance the endorphin production.

But, even with a big dose of adrenalin and endorphins I am still in a foul mood. You can hear how grumpy I am when you listen to the video below....

Looking At Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridges & Fort Worth's Three Bridges Over Nothing

Last month when Spencer Jack sent me a picture of himself and his dad crossing the Golden Gate Bridge it got me thinking and blogging Wondering Why It Will Take Fort Worth Longer To Build 3 Puny Bridges Over Nothing Than It Took To Build The Golden Gate Bridge.

I have yet to hear any sort of explanation as to why it is projected to take four years to build three puny Bridges Over Nothing in Fort Worth when way back early in the last century San Francisco managed to build a big bridge over water in four years.

Yesterday I was looking for a picture for a blogging about Penitentiary Hollow in Lake Mineral Wells State Park when I came upon pictures I'd forgotten I'd taken back in 2005 of the new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge under construction, along with pictures taken in 2008 of the completed bridge.

This got me wondering how long it took to build the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

It did not take long to learn construction began on October 4, 2002, with the bridge open to traffic on July 15, 2007, about four years, nine months later.

Reading the Wikipedia article about the three Tacoma Narrows Bridges I came upon a couple interesting contrasts between the new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge project and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges Over Nothing.

As in, in 1998 voters in the Washington counties affected by the need for a new bridge across the Narrows approved a measure to create a second Narrows bridge. Then following that vote came protests and court battles, with construction finally beginning in 2002.

Now, could the reason the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges Over Nothing are being built in slow motion have anything to do with the fact that nothing to do with the Boondoggle has been voted on  by the public? And thus not funded in the way public works projects are usually funded.

And where are the protests and court battles initiated by locals disturbed by various aspects of the Boondoggle? Where is the court case brought by someone appalled at the nepotism involved in hiring a local Congresswoman's unqualified son to be the Executive Director of the Boondoggle, to motivate that Congresswoman to help fund the Boondoggle with earmarked pork, which has never materialized, due to changing times, hence the stalled, slow motion Boondoggle?

The unqualified Executive Director of the Boondoggle has claimed that building the Three Bridges Over Nothing will save money and facilitate ease of construction by not building them over that pesky un-needed flood diversion channel and its shallow water.

Why has no one called foul on this claim? When the fact of the matter is the bridges are being built over nothing because there is no money to build the un-needed flood diversion channel.

The new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge was built over water. Deep water. Deep water which moves fast when the tide changes. The total length of the new Tacoma bridge is 5,400 feet. On average the bridge deck is 187.5 feet above the tidal changing water below.

I don't know why the Tacoma bridge builders did not think to make their construction job easier by draining the Tacoma Narrows before doing any bridge building. They should have consulted Fort Worth's premiere project engineer, J.D. Granger, for advice on how to best build a bridge over water.

Below is a picture I took in early August of 2008, looking north at Tacoma's twin suspension bridges.


I was taken to this location to a fish and chips joint the name of which I do not remember. I do remember it was very good fish and chips. With the fish being cod, not catfish, which passes for being seafood at my current location on the planet.

Do you think if the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing actually get built they will be as visually interesting as the Tacoma bridges? And why does Tacoma not refer to their bridges as being signature bridges and iconic? Because they sort of are.....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wheel Rolling Along Arlington's Village Creek With The Indian Ghosts Out Of Town

Those are my handlebars parked on the paved trail in the Village Creek Natural Historical Area. I stopped at this location hoping I would be able to get a good picture of all the leaves that are falling and have fallen since the arrival of fall.

I was not very successful in getting a good picture of the fallen and falling leaves.

As I was taking the picture I looked up to see what I thought was a guy walking a pair of small ponies. Upon closer inspection the pair of small ponies turned out to be a pair of big dogs.

I had no interaction with the Village Creek Indian Ghosts today. They must be out of town at their annual Harvest Moon Powwow.

If you were that one person who read my blogging from yesterday where I mentioned I arrived at Gateway Park yesterday and quickly found out that I was unable to roll my wheels over the mountain bike trails, due to a front tire flat, well, I guess you can likely intuit that the flat is fixed, hence today's Sunday wheel rolling.

Later this afternoon I will be going over to Miss Puerto Rico's for a rare visit. But, before that I just received an urgent request from Elsie Hotpepper which requires my immediate un-distracted attention. I guess I will take care of that right now....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Feeling Flat Had Me At Town Talk Early Finding Lobster Bisque

That would be the front tire of my bike you are looking at, sitting on the patio overlooking the swimming pool where I had myself a mighty fine time this morning.

After that mighty fine time early this morning the time following that has not been so fine.

Around 11 this morning I rolled my mechanized wheels to Gateway Park hoping to roll my human mechanized wheels a couple loops around the mountain bike trail.

All was going well until I discovered the aforementioned front tire was flat.

One would think I would keep a patch kit on the bike, or in the bike transporting vehicle, but I never remember to do so. Maybe I will remember after this incident.

So, with the bike ride aborted by a flat I was off to Town Talk much earlier than the Saturday norm. I had no problem finding a parking spot at Town Talk today, unlike recent Saturdays.

Today my Town Talk treasure hunting yieldied a big bag of apples from Yakima. Yakima is a town in Eastern Washington. In addition to the apples I got a package of 100% pure beef hamburger patties, flour tortillas, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, red onions, organic milk, smoked sausage and lobster bisque.

I have had lobster a time or two, but never in its bisque format.

I guess I will go fix a flat now....

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is Fort Worth's The Best Small Downtown In America?

Yesterday after I saw a full page advertisement in this week's Fort Worth Weekly touting Fort Worth's downtown as being the Top Downtown in America I opined my disdain for this absurdest propaganda.

When I opined my disdain I was thinking that this propaganda had to do with the recent award Fort Worth shared with Wichita Falls which the local propaganda distortionists touted as indicating Fort Worth had America's best downtown when the award was for Fort Worth's new downtown plaza, with the award given after Sundance Square submitted the plaza for consideration, with that submission being full of ridiculous propaganda which the Pinnacle Award awarders must not have investigated for veracity before awarding the award.

After I blogged my disdain for this Top Downtown in America ad someone named Anonymous commented...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "To Experience America's Top Downtown Go To Fort Worth Weekly":

The ad claims "Fort Worth has the #1 downtown in America, according to livability.com..."

That is a lie.

No I'm almost certain they are correct. Downtown Fort Worth was chosen the #1 downtown in America by Livability.com.

http://livability.com/best-places/top-10/best-downtowns/10-best-downtowns/2014/fort-worth

The pinnacle award for Sundance Square Plaza is a separate award from a different organization. It seems like Fort Worth is always winning one these meaningless awards and, of course, bragging about winning them.

I found the comment from Anonymous to be disturbing for a very disturbing reason, with that reason being I think my memory may be failing.

Why do I think my memory may be failing? Well. I clicked on the link in the comment from Anonymous, and quickly found myself thinking that that which I was reading seemed very familiar. Particularly when I read that two of the other towns on this Top Ten Best Downtowns list were Eugene, Oregon and Bellingham, Washington.

I thought to myself, did I blog about this? I thought it seemed likely I would have, what with Eugene being where I was born and having lived in Bellingham. So, I entered "Bellingham" into the search window on the blog and quickly found out that I did blog about this, back on Monday March 17, 2014, in a blogging titled America Is In Deep Trouble If Fort Worth Is The Best Downtown In America.

I am thinking I promptly forgot about this ludicrous Top Downtown deal due to the ludicrousness of it, I mean, just read what towns followed Fort Worth on the rest of the Top Ten list--- Providence, Rhode Island, Indianapolis, Indiana, Provo, Utah, Alexandria, Virginia, Frederick, Maryland, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Bellingham, Washington, Eugene, Oregon, Birmingham, Alabama.

At the time I don't know why I did not investigate Livability.com. I have now done so and found out how Fort Worth could end up on such a list when better known downtowns in America are not on the list, you know, towns like New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston or Seattle.

The Wikipedia article about Livability.com cleared it up for me in its first paragraph....

Livability.com is a website that ranks America’s most livable small and mid-sized cities. The website includes demographic information, statistics, articles, photography and video that summarize the quality of life in cities, including information about schools, neighborhoods, local restaurants and cultural events. The website’s content is anchored by original photography shot by Journal Communications Inc. staff photographers. The site also provides moving tools and tips, do-it-yourself project help and home and garden advice.

So, I guess I was right after all when I opined it was false advertising to advertise Fort Worth's as the Top Downtown in America, according to Livability.com, when truthful advertising would have said "America's Top Mid-Sized Downtown", with the blurb at the bottom of the ad truthfully edited to say "Fort Worth has the #1 mid-sized downtown in America, according to livability.com....."

I don't understand how Fort Worth can be considered mid-sized. Fort Worth is a big city, population wise. Why would Fort Worth be on a list with much smaller towns like Bellingham and Eugene? This makes no sense.

Does Fort Worth still have that semi-pro Cats baseball team playing in La Grave Field? I recollect finding it bizarre that a big city like Fort Worth had a semi-pro baseball team playing in a very minor league with teams from little towns a fraction the size of Fort Worth.

Why does Fort Worth not play in the Big Leagues, both in baseball and when it comes to competing for these important Top Ten in America type lists? And shouldn't someone let the good folks at livability.com know that Fort Worth is not a mid-sized city? Fort Worth's currently population is 792,727.

Bellingham's population is 82,234. Eugene's population is 157,986. Both are small, mid-sized towns.

Bellingham, Eugene and Fort Worth's are the only downtowns on the Livability list which I have visited. My ranking would be Eugene at #1 due to being so pedestrian friendly. Bellingham at #2 due to being a bigger, more lively, more attractive downtown than Fort Worth's, even though Bellingham is a fraction of the size of Fort Worth.

I'd rank Fort Worth a distant third, due to its downtown having embarrassing eyesores like the boarded up Heritage Park, along with no downtown department or grocery stores, both of which exist in the downtowns of Eugene and Bellingham....

2014 Mesothelioma Awareness Day


Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. I was made aware of Mesothelioma Awareness Day a couple weeks ago via an email asking me to help raise awareness about Mesothelioma. The email was from Cameron and Heather Von St. James.

Mesothelioma is rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium. Mesothelium is a fancy word for the protective lining which covers the internal organs of the body.

The prognosis for those who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma is bleak. Heather Von St. James is a Mesothelioma survivor. You can listen to Heather tell you about her winning battle against Mesothelioma in the video below.

Exposure to asbestos is the primary causal agent for Mesothelioma. Heather was exposed to asbestos when she was a kid, before the danger of asbestos exposure was common knowledge.

Asbestos began being mined and used commercially in the late 19th century. Use of the mineral greatly increased during World War II, exposing, since the early 1940s, millions of Americans to asbestos danger.

It is now known that breathing in asbestos fibers is extremely hazardous to human health. And yet asbestos continues to be mined, with 2 million tons mined world wide in 2009. Russia produces about half the world's asbestos, followed by China, Brazil, Kazakhstan.

Canada closed its last two asbestos mines in 2011.

The dire severity of asbestos related diseases, including Mesothelioma, combined with the extremely widespread use of asbestos, along with it continued long term use, even after the dangers were known, has brought about asbestos litigation which has become the most expensive mass tort case ever in the U.S.

Approximately 100,000 Americans have died or are currently terminally ill from asbestos exposure related to ship building. Thousands of tons of asbestos were used in World War II ships. Some 4.3 million shipyard workers were exposed to asbestos during the war. For every thousand of those shipyard workers fourteen died from Mesothelioma.

In this century, when New York City's World Trade Center towers were knocked down, lower Manhattan was blanketed with the dust of debris, with asbestos among the combustible materials in the debris. Breathing in the 9/11 dust is thought to be the cause of the high cancer death rate among emergency workers since 9/11. Thousands of others who were exposed to that day's dust are thought to be at risk.

With today being Mesothelioma Awareness Day, beware of the continued danger caused by asbestos.

Go here to learn about Asbestos sites in Texas. Go here to learn about Asbestos sites in Fort Worth, including information about medical and legal help.

Watch the video below to hear Heather Von St. James testimony to the fact that one can be a Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor....

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Multiple Towers On The Tandy Hills Today With Men Hanging From Above

Towers shall be the theme for today's visit to the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

On the left we are looking west across an old wagon trail which heads west from the summit of Mount Tandy towards a lone tower sticking up above the horizon, with that lone tower being one of the few skyscrapers which make up the stunning skyline of beautiful Downtown Fort Worth.

Also known as the Top Downtown in America by some local fact distortionistas.

Today's hill hiking was the coolest in a long time. Cool in the temperature sense of the word.

The outer world was chilled to the low 60s when I went swimming early this morning. The low 60s was cooler than the temperature of the water, which made for a very refreshing time in the pool.

The temperature had only risen about 20 degrees by the time I drove myself to the summit of Mount Tandy, hence the cool hiking.

For months now every time I drive to the summit of Mount Tandy there is a crew there working on the Tandy Tower, also known as the Fort Worth Space Needle.

Today was no exception.

As I walked past the Tandy Tower I heard shouting, but could not see who was doing the shouting.

Then about half way down Mount Tandy I looked back at the tower to see a guy hanging from a rope, halfway up the tower. And then another guy came into view. I got the camera out and zoomed in for the photo you see above.

I have no idea what these two guys are doing to the Tandy Tower, but I do know watching them activated my usually dormant acrophobia.

Soon after I started getting dizzy from being too high I came upon the towering Hoodoo you see below.


The above Hoodoo appears to be well engineered with a solid, substantial foundation. That was not the case with the second towering Hoodoo I came upon today.

The below Hoodoo tower was towering at Hoodoo Central at the north end of the trail that leads to the Tandy Hills from View Street. I think we could call this one the Leaning Hoodoo Tower of Tandy.


I suspect it will not be long before the Leaning Hoodoo Tower of Tandy finds itself horizontal.

To Experience America's Top Downtown Go To Fort Worth Weekly's Best Of 2014 Edition

Yesterday I picked up this week's Fort Worth Weekly, the eagerly anticipated Best of 2014 edition.

I did not get around to looking at the eagerly anticipated Best of 2014 edition of Fort Worth Weekly til this morning.

It only took flipping the cover to the first page to aggravate me.

You are looking at the aggravation on the left. A full page advertisement from the entity known as Sundance Square.

I know there is often little truth in advertising, but this un-truthful advertisement is downright embarrassing. I know that Fort Worth Weekly likes its advertising revenue, but, really, this ad is totally shameless.

The ad claims "Fort Worth has the #1 downtown in America, according to livability.com..."

That is a lie.

Livability.com did not designate Fort Worth's as the #1 downtown in America. I blogged the facts about this ridiculous propaganda previously in a blogging titled Elsie Hotpepper Helped Me Learn How Fort Worth Became The Top Downtown In America.

Why does Fort Worth Weekly go along with this false advertising I can not help but wonder?

Than again, maybe I don't need to spend all that much time wondering, what with the following propaganda gem from Fort Worth Weekly itself in the "On the Town" section of its Best of 2014 edition....
The few readers who participated in the Best of 2014 voting voted Lightcatcher Winery and Bistro as the place to Take a First Date.

While the Critic's, meaning the Fort Worth Weekly staff, chose Coyote Drive-in as the place to Take a First Date.

Part of the Critic's Choice explanation for their choice says "Situated at the scenic Panther Island Pavilion, the outdoor theater serves tasty food and beverages..."

Okay, let's just ignore the fact that what used to be known as Trinity Bottoms has been renamed Panther Island, by the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, even though there is no island, and it is highly likely there never will be anything one could stretch their imagination far enough to call an island.

There also is no pavilion on the imaginary island. A blogging from a few weeks ago titled The Futile Search For The Missing Pavilion, Island & Panther At Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion elaborated on the fact there is no pavilion at Panther Island Pavilion.

Now, let's get back to what those Fort Worth Weekly Critic's had to say.....

Coyote Drive-in "Situated at the scenic Panther Island Pavilion"?

The area that is known as Panther Island Pavilion is at the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River, that being the location of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

I do not know anyone whose imagination is so imaginative that they would see this location as being scenic.

The oddest part of what the Fort Worth Critic's had to say about the Coyote Drive-in being situated in the scenic Panther Island Pavilion is not the scenic part, it is the fact that the Coyote Drive-in is no where near the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River and that which is being called Panther Island Pavilion.

Well, you get what you pay for. Fort Worth Weekly is free.....