Friday, January 30, 2015

Texas A & M is saving your cup of Premium Coffee

Imagine waking up without a really great cup of coffee; instead, a chicory substitute; and while your brain reminisce back to happy memories of tasty coffee, you peruse the morning news in a desperate search for news on a new tastier substitute coffee?

Well, that isn’t going to happen, even though the rust fungus is threatening  the best coffee plants in the world and our cup of coffee is endangered from climate change.

I was tooling around the Internet today on the Texas Tribune and was startled- I was attracted to an ad for Texas A&M which is quite compelling linkbait, I must add.

I saw the image and had to investigate.

This quite effective ad caught my eye as as I perused the Texas Tribune site today.

So I am sharing my angst over the threat  of global warming on my favorite beverage; and conversely, my appreciation for the academic warriors that will save coffee for us. You may not know that Texas A & M started out as  the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in the 19th century. ref. wiki

Incidentally, there will be many more battles to protect plants and ag from the changing climate.

And, of course, it needs mentioning that while many millions of us would whine about drinking bad coffee substitutes; the people who depend on coffee production for a living, are invested in this issue much more seriously than us. It is how they put food on the table and roofs over the heads of their families.

Here is a short quote succinctly laying out the coffee challenge

coffee rust disease epidemic that devastated the region to the tune of $1 billion in the harvest season of late 2012 alone. Through funding from the global coffee industry and USAID, Texas A&M University System’s World Coffee Research in the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture…

Here is the Aggie page on the challenge  to save premium coffee.

One other issue to settle here.

Texas has great Universities. There is a great deal of rivalry between these universities. I have seen Texas A&M as the butt of many cartoons.

An example of an aggie joke.  Not funny at all. Unless you have a sense of humor. Cows, agriculture udders, cracked me up. Yet, still not appropriate at all.

This must end. They are saving our coffee.

Oh, and I hope you watched the video and figured that not only the coffee in Central America is endangered… if not,

follow these dots

climate change, fungus spores, westerlies and easterlies and air circulation all over the world… coffee plants endangered everywhere.

Leave any comments below. And remember, no more rude cartoons about Texas A&M. Mardi Gras at A&M. that was a bit funny.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

You just might enjoy helping restore the Tandy Hills Natural area

For years, Don Young and friends have been working to build a prairie in the Tandy Hills. The area has been civilized for a century before and had been abandoned for decades before events played out and Don Young gathered his strength and shred his vision for a prairie on the Tandy Hills.
Here is a map to the Tandy Hills Natural Area. You can access the Tandy hills from View street or on the east edge through a neighboring property.  The southeast corner also has an entry point on Meadowbrook but poor parking for your car. You can ride the bus. Bus 21 goes by on Oakland just a couple blocks east, every 30 minutes and bus 22 on meadowbrook is just a block south of View Street or right on the southeast entry point. The entry point on Meadowbrook is not in the Tandy Hills natural area, but it does have a hiking trail into Tandy Hills.

You might have seen my post about two types of Texans building wealth; well, the extractors have taken advantage of the Tandy hills for decades. You can find more than one rusted out car hulk over an embankment; but at least one of these has resulted in a great Halloween tale by Don Young.

Roofers trying to save a few bucks on tipping fees have sneaked into various parts of the Tandy hills to dump their loads of old asphalt shingles; there are big and small tires around; but those days are past, and so the builders, working over time, working year by year, are slowly reclaiming the Hills into a Prairie.

Now I don't want to leave the impression that this place is a mess. You have to know where to look to see the work of the extractors. Tandy Hills is a great place to hike and look at wild flowers. Each season has a new story to write on the Tandy Hills.

Tandy Hills Natural Area is a great place to hike, stroll,
walk the dog, and listen to the critters...

This has entailed several  years of  brush bashing. The wrong type of brush- invasive brush is removed so that the prairie grasses and wild flowers can take hold.

Come out and help create a new legacy at
Tandy Hills Natural Area.

So come on out to the brush bash this Saturday, the 31st. Now, if by chance you ran across this after the 31st; well there is always another project being planned; and Tandy Hills can use all the friends it can get.

You will get some exercise and you will meet some interesting people. And you will be part of a legacy building project for the future. Someday your grandkids will come out with you and you can regale them with tales of brush clearing and grass seeding.

This weeks project is wild oats and blue stem grass reseeding in the cleared area.

You can read the fascinating story about the grass
seed on their Facebook page

All this information is told in much more detail with great pictures also; so check out the Facebook page for

the Tandy Hills Natural area

and  the Brick bash.

And, you also saw a link above to the website. Here is the link to the Friends of the Tandy Hills website

What have you to add?

There are two types of people building wealth in Texas

There are two types of Texans out there trying to build wealth. One set are the extractors. They see Texas as a bottomless well of fossil fuel to exploit and our Texas habitat as a bottomless pit into which you can cast off anything: spill oil here and there; leak off gas wellhead gases any old time, and be cavalier about fracking waste water. The extractors have a frame of mind there will always be enough water because you can afford to pay more for it… and too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? plants love it!

They equate the money they can make as good for Texas; the higher the profits, the higher the income generated, the better off Texas is. They are like gamblers who always add up their winning and never track their losses. The extractors inextricably link what is good for their wallets right now with what is best for Texas. They feel that they are building the “Texas Miracle” and that unnecessary worry about fracking issues, or air quality issues, or concern about legacy trees, are an endangerment to making money. I am taking words out of Governor Greg Abbott’s mouth.

We will return to the extractors in a bit, but we need to understand the people who are working to make Texas a richer and wealthier home by working to protect Texas’ water and air and environment. This 2nd group of Texans figure that the true wealth and prosperity in Texas is inextricable from the value created by beautiful vistas, unpolluted by haze from burning fossil fuels; and by natural landscapes, verdant and thriving; and from access to safe clean water and air that does not make Texans sick or sicker.

Here is a video with Texans working to build the intrinsic wealth and vitality of Texas for future generations. They certainly are not putting any money in their own pockets doing this. but they are enjoying themselves because they have a vision of a verdant and beautiful Texas. As you watch this video you will see the intersection of the extractors and the intervention of the builders, and what they are building for future generations.

And so you might think that preserving beautiful vistas or keeping clean water is an esoteric subject, but it comes down to real dollars and cents. People will venture out to these grasslands and marvel at the natural beauty, year after year, century after century, and motels and bed and breakfasts will accommodate these visitors and these visitors, drawn by the natural beauty, will support the small business owners that cater to them. This is economic growth that is good for communities, and sustainable into the future.

Compare that to the vistas in Midland, TX where extraction is the core economic activity. Now, lets get this straight. Oil has been really good for the World. And there are spaces where oil extraction makes great sense. Midland is a perfect place for it.
There is a long history of oil extraction in Midland. Some wells are played out. Pumpjacks work to lift the remnants of liquid gold to the surface. Someday, they will be gone and MIdland will have a new economy and a museum dedicated to oil drilling and extraction. 
There is space in Texas for both extractors and builders. We just need a caretaking spirit to achieve minimum environmental impact. We are not getting that from the extractors. We are not getting that from the state regulating agencies.

Doesn’t make it not the right thing to do.

And, when the last oil plays out: please understand the era of oil in Midland will be a brief part of Midland’s history- the builders will return to Midland, and the oil derricks will be taken down and the oil patches cleaned up and the soils restored. All at a cost not from the pocket of the extractors. But it will happen anyway.

I am sure a few derricks will be enshrined; there will be an oil history museum for sure. Midland soils will be cleaned of hydrocarbon spils, and the broken glass from 10 million broken beer and whiskey bottles will be raked up and Midland will build a new legacy and the hydrocarbons will evaporate and the smell of gas and oil will fade away.

And Midland will prosper with economic activities built around the creativity of people building sustainable assets and wealth.

Lets take a lesson from our own Trinity River.

The forks of the Trinity river right here in Fort Worth are a great example. This river has been a convenient dumping place for over a century, and because it was a dumping ground we turned our backs to it, ditched it to get it out of the way.

We have turned our backs on a valuable resource. I know of one business in Fort Worth that is even a bit focused on the river and that is the Woodshed Smokehouse.

Now imagine a pristine river, devoid of trash, not polluted with feces, not filled with tires and detritus of people in a hurry. And imagine the exotic animal life and fish life that would flourish there. And people would journey to Fort Worth and Dallas to fish, to observe the wildlife and spend money.

The Trinity River is an economic asset if we do more building. We have to stop the extracting first. We have to decide to catalog the points of pollution and clean them up and then support the river as an asset rather than just a nuisance.

Did you miss the Trinity River Images controversy?

There was a recent controversy in Fort Worth surrounding a photo exhibit of the Trinity River. The  exhibit, called  “Meet Me at the Trinity,” ws  created by Terry Evans, a renowned landscape photographer brought in by the Amon Carter Museum of American Arts for a fresh perspective.on the Trinity. Some were shocked by her images.,, but the images told a vivid story of a Trinity river ditched, a river ignored, a river abused.  Bud Kennedy handled the story with eloquence in the Star Telegram.

Many people were upset to see real images of the river rather than touched up and soft focus: magical photos to put the best light on things. but we really do need to start with reality. Anywhere else and you are making stuff up.

We need builders. And to start building you need to deal with reality. Imagine what we can do together. More places to live focused right on the river, more convenient points to watch the wildlife, more restaurants and coffee shops that overlook its banks. People would want to live in homes and apartments and stay in hotels that gave the best proximity to the river.

That Trinity river would be a sustainable and vibrant economic zone for the area into perpetuity. It only takes a few extractive maneuvers to make a few bucks and taint the river from that time forward.

We need builders.

Investing in a clean river makes economic sense. Investing in the river makes for a stronger community. Rather than be separated from and turned away from… a clean and natural Trinity river would be an economic legacy that would support many small businesses and provide many more opportunities. It really is dollars and sense. There is an opportunity cost involved when expediency creates damage to natural assets like the Trinity river.

But we have trouble counting what is important. We can figure out the cost of actually having to dispose of an old car vs. pushing it off a cliff into the environment.

So the legacy of Texas will be written around the activities of the extractors and the builders. Which do you want to be?
What are you going to do about it?

When you feel like jumping in and helping protect our wild spaces; there are ample opportunities to get your hands dirty, have a spiritual experience, and make some great new friends.

The Lone Star Sierra Club would welcome your support. The Greater  Fort Worth Sierra Club has plenty of outings to and projects that can use your help. The Dallas Sierra Club might be a good fit depending on your location or your predilections.

You can join the Friends of the Tandy Hills Natural Area. They have a lot of fun building for a future where the prairie again takes a hold in North Texas. They have projects going on there on a regular basis.

You help is certainly needed to raise a voice and protect the Great Trinity forest from the marauders, and the insensitive and mistake prone- city of Dallas government. Here are more details of the struggle for the vitality of the Great Trinity Forest in this article from the Dallas News.

The wild in North Texas needs your support. The lovers of concrete and manicured lawns are running rampant.

Feel free to add your thoughts here.

Do you feel secure trusting these people with your life?

So Bud Kennedy broke the disquieting news about American Airlines confiscating a dangerous pen when someone tried to carry it on the airplane. Check out Buds tweet - he has a photo of the pen...

Bud Kennedy - Pens made from bullet casings. RT @DLoesch This is what @AmericanAir says is too dangerous to fly with; confiscated.

This is quite disquieting in at least two ways.

There is a concept called functional fixedness. Daniel Pinker tells a great story in his mind games quiz –   I will use Daniel’s words to illustrate the idea.

Imagine a movie called “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which the heroine bludgeons the victim with a frozen leg of lamb. She then cooks the lamb and feeds it to the police, who are searching her house for a baseball bat, which they think is the murder weapon. The fact that the police never considered the leg of lamb as a weapon is a perfect example of:

Take the test you can get one right- right off…

Remember when terrorists walked onto jets with boxcutters? Everyone assumed they were working in the shipping department. It would have been a real stretch if someone in security had imagined the possibilities about to unfold. But next time? We want bright eyed  and  imaginative security people who are able to see the capabilities of materials not just their traditional role.

Here, instead, the inspector sees a shell casing and equates the danger of guns and bullets to a re-engineered casing. This is really a problem with fixedness. Fixedness to the point of pretty damn dumb.

So if this person cannot separate a dimenbodied bullet from a real bullet in a gun, how can him or her possibly imagine something functionally innocent but that can be used in a perfidious function? Not much hope there. And it does not bode well for a collaborative brain function. There was no sign of that in this security debacle.

And the problem gets even more troubling.

Think about the people who wrote the job description for airplane safety inspectors. Who do you think they selected for? Policing skills? Law and order types? I figure they would be judgemental types, rigid thinkers.

Maybe I am reaching a bit, but who would be the best to figure out what and why people are bringing stuff onto an airplane? Someone curious. Someone a bit mischievous. Someone with an active imagination that does not keep every item in its place.

I dare say, I am stretching a point beyond the facts I know. But my prima facie evidence is… they took the pen. I would imagine there have been thousands of innocent items confiscated that are near stupid.

We need to see this stunt as a serious security issue.
What do we have to do to find a smart spot at this key intersection point to board planes. Otherwise, we will be plagued by continued confiscation of innocent stuff- maybe not this blatant, but still denoting a security problem that we are not matching wits well with the conjuring evil brain.

Does this pen look more dangerous than a school ruler? It is not. Is this pen more dangerous than a rolled up magazine? no.
Is this pen more dangerous than any other pen? It actually looks more fragile.

Mixed into this problem is the hubris and arrogance of power.

Give someone total power and they are able to act with impunity- stupid or not. So lets call them out on this, and maybe they will wise up. They need to understand there is a price for stupid. Lets let them know we are not happy. The twitter tag was @americanair but the TSA has to be in the mix. Who has exhibited more arrogance and hubris that the TSA?

Did this take place here at DFW International Airport? We send planes out of here with full tanks for far destinations all the time.  Lets insist there be changes. Search for pens confiscated on Google. . Other pens have been confiscated with no reasonable or consistent rational. Let’s insist it stop.

What do you think?

Some daft Texans and some great ones to celebrate

A funny thing happened on Facebook today. Bud Kennedy tweeted about Ted Nugent endorsing Rick Perry for 2016.

Bud tweeted this morsel to his FB fan club.
Oh, brother, this is a gem

And amid the din of people agonizing over this prospect, which is funny enough, one commenter suggested that "These days, Perry is one of the reasons we shudder when someone ask where were (sp) from."
After I quit Laughing. I sparked up some thoughts of my own.

There are not a lot of bland but functional folks in Texas politics. Instead, we are blessed with world class dopes. My personal antidote to this stain is to remember we also have exceptional people who stand out by their actions not their antics.

Dr. Brantley is an exemplary example. He lived his faith to serve in Africa and stood fast as the mission became a life and death fight against Ebola.

Dr. Brantley acted on his faith and stood tall and, in doing so,
wrote a new chapter in the book of Texas heroes.

And we have brave public servants like Judge Clay Jenkins who stood up for kids on the border and stood up to help with the family of Thomas Eric Duncan, our Ebola patient from Liberia.

These great Texans stood fast, did what was right and ignored the carping and fear mongering from the Texans at the other end of the room.

And we have so many stalwart nonprofits in Texas and the hard working volunteers that make them work. Volunteers and professionals who do their best to help people in need; in complete contrast to the political leaders of Texas who offer ideological platitudes.

So when people from out of state, grimace when they hear I am in Texas, I laugh and then add a few thoughts on the great Texans we share, and are proud of; and that makes the difference. It also helps to visualize a future with a whole herd of Texas stooges in retirement.

Share your thoughts below.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Politicians do such a great job protecting their contributors.

In the waning days of 2013 legislative session bills were moving along to aid the nascent craft brewing industry in Texas. This was the perfect time for powerful beer distributors working with Senator Corona from Dallas to slip in a provision that required breweries to grant exclusive rights to a distributor for selling beer to retailers and bars in a particular territory. The new law prevents the brewery from charging for those distribution rights,  but once the distributor has acquired the rights- they can sell them to another distributor. This is a nifty way to remove millions in potential income from  small Texas brewers and redirect that opportunity into to pockets of the distributors.

I will go so far as to suggest there are political contributions involved here somewhere. I also know there was and is an attorney involved who is ready to obfuscate; ready to  make this sound quite beneficial to Texans. But this doesn't sound or smell like "free market" economics to me.

This little story is from a great write up  by Edward Brown in the Fort worth Weekly. He provides many more juicy details and, like a good reporter gives every involved party a chance to respond to the story.

Here Edward Brown puts the issues succinctly.
State Sen. John Carona of Dallas added the provision to Senate Bill 639 at the behest of Wholesale Distributors of Texas at the last hour of a lengthy negotiation session in March 2013. Others involved in the negotiating process said they felt they had to accept that provision in order to get helpful legislation passed.

It is essential that we read stories like this; understand who is dissembling and why; and who is avoiding responding, and hold them accountable. It is hazardous times in America, when reporters and journalists struggle to make a living; and the lobbyist and the politicians, feeding at the troughs of the wealthy and powerful, are flourishing. This is not sustainable. We cannot perpetuate this kind of activity and have effective and fair  representative government. We are headed for a plutocracy, rather more a kleptocracy- at a steady glide path.

That is a clear case of using legislation to aid a special interest- at least in my eyes. And some day, small brewers in Texas will ante up and be able to play hard ball with other interests; but it really is too bad that power is bought and sold in Texas, and by no means- just Texas; by having the money to get it done.

And is this the most egregious case of catering to special interests in 2013? Most likely not. That is part of the problem. This issue is banal and boring, yet so dangerous. Then you add up all of them, and we should feel threatened.

And who needs influence but has none?

Kids and moms have few advocates in Austin. Teachers don't get nearly as much support as the need; in fact, their interests are constantly atacked by special interests with the money to bring to bear for their own special interests which hinder and hurt public school.

So how do we change this?

We need to pay attention and give due respect to the newspapers and the reporters who are nosing around in this arcane and opaque world of influence. And that is easier to say than to actually get done.

We do, as citizens of Texas, have to stop accepting assaults on our interests. Using the words of Dr. Jef Hood, we have to become "maladjusted to injustice' This type of activity has to be found intolerable.

We need a line drawn in the sand, and we need to watch the line with regular attention. And we need to squawk when it is crossed. Politicians, in the end, have to have the votes from the people. We pay attention and they will pay attention.

We, who read articles like this, and understand the implications, and understand the importance of changing where we are heading; and understand that all the other pseudo emergencies pale as you take a longer view; must speak up and pay attention, and draw attention. We must help people see the trends and the ultimate consequences of those trends.  Close attention is essential. We must support and empower the journalists involved and the publishers who support them.

I guess one small step is to champion good journalism like this piece by Edward Brown. Why don’t you read it and share it, and think about the forces at work. This is not championing of FREEDOM. This is not championing of free markets. No instead,  FREEDOM and FREE MARKETS are used in a word "shell game" to cover up and obfuscate what is actually done. The results help special interests but  damage the interests of Texans, and hinder competition and fair play and free markets in Texas.

Politicians follow the political winds like a reed tossed in the breeze. We shine the light and illuminate what they do, and they will scramble for cover. When they cannot find cover, they will do differently or retire from public service.  We can make it much more hazardous to be so blatantly disrespectful of the public interest. Lets support journalists and publishers and watchdogs and every sheep dog paying attention, and we can change the trends. We can take back state government.

Leave your thoughts and suggestions below.

Maybe the ZEST FEST fits for you this Weekend

Maybe the ZEST FEST fits for you this Weekend
Do you enjoy eating? Do you enjoy the adventure of zesty new taste sensations from chefs and aspiring chefs from all over the country?
Well, you need to be at this weekend's ZEST FEST at the Irving convention center. It starts today ,; then runs through Saturday and Sunday. More details below.

What is so special about ZEST FEST?
What are you letting yourself in for?

All this week chefs and cooks have been completing in the Fiery Food Challenge for the coveted for Golden Chile Award - one of only " two “fiery” food awards that stand out in the United States."  They have come from all over to test their cooking skills.They must be good. These same cooks are preparing the food you will be eating when you arrive. Now that sounds like a golden opportunity for some taste bits.

Quoting from their site:
The Fiery Food Challenge is a competition that invites hot, “really hot”, spicy and zesty foods and fiery food-related products to be submitted by those folks vying for the...
Three days of judging take place. There are two sessions daily so the judges’ mouths do not get burned out at the end of the day! There are some really, really spicy products introduced! The zesty and the fiery are mixed up so there is a variety...
Do you really trust a bunch preordained judges about tasty food?

Well, Saturday, you can have your say. You can take part in the the People’s Preference Awards and add your own expert opinion. And maybe, you just might decide that you can make tastier food than what you are testing; and in that case, you can reconnoiter the competition and come back next year and teach these folks a lesson in hot tasty food.

So lets relax and think about the food.
All the way from Wyoming with tasty bits. Looking a little tired from either a long trip or a long day. Or too much hot food.

You get to sample wide varieties of food items. The creations of cooks from all over the place. The genius creations of creative cooks and maybe even a few travesties.

There is hot food. As hot as you can stand. If you want to test for hot. But this experience is beyond hot. Your food experience here is what you make it. Choose well.

Lots of food to try. Keep an eye on the explorer ahead of
you for reactions to heat; but parse with discretion
any opinions. What do they know?

Food items may be too hot, hot and tasty,  zesty and tasty, or just hot.and tasty or not.
You are not going to like everything, because humans are different.

And I hope that the level of hotness is carefully labeled. We perceive hotness differently too. It is not a matter of being tough. Some have Neanderthal tastebuds with only a narrow set of taste receptors who can stand really hot food, and others of us are more evolved with quite extensive sets of taste receptors and hot food can be too hot.

There are a variety of beverages to enjoy. And there are the too hot aid stations around. More on tips to handle too hot in a bit. There are, and I hope I am not making this up... a variety of cold desserty things to cool the palate and succor those among the crowd that are not that into hot! hot! hot!

Always know where the first aid stations are. More safety tips below.
There is much more to attract than just the food. Other people will be there; a big crowd, and big crowds always supply lots of people for visual entertainment. There will be people running towards aid stations. You will hear gasping and screaming. People might even faint. It should be entertaining. be prepared to help someone overcome by vapors near you.

You can also watch and quiz celebrity chefs
The main stage celebrity cooking demonstrations allow guests to ask questions and get tips from the region’s most renowned chefs. Top chefs returning this year include Jon Bonnell, of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Buffalo Brothers, and Eddie Deen. - from the Zest Fest we...
There are First Aid Stations for TOO HOT

Whatever your level of tolerance for hot, do know that there are burn out aid stations around the premises.

Safety tips for dealing with too hot

Hotness in food is related to special oils that react with taste buds and most other parts of you body with a feeling of hot. The key word is oils. These oils can sit on a tastebud and keep ringing your alarm bells until you dilute and wash off the hot. Water cannot wash them off. Oil and water do not mix. Water just dances on by. You need a cooling agent that has oil in it like whole milk. Milk fat can make a big difference in cooling off your mouth. Butter works too. Scope out the milk fat sources available or bring your own.

sidenote: A private note to other low hot food tolerance people

Here is a secret to better tolerating hot food. Do you too, know people that think tolerating hot food means they are tough; OR your intolerance to hot makes you a puny weakling? Yes, these people exist and please don't tell them they just have dumb taste buds because they are already compensating for something... so don't mess with them.

But you do have an opportunity to cloak your receptiveness to hotness. Drink the milk first, or eat buttery cookies, or figure out a butter laden safety kit where you can put butter fat on your tongue before you have to explore the hot food. This can also save you when you don't know how hot- hot is going to be.

See, that is a fun game too- "Oh this is not hot! try this!" Been there, been tortured by that, too many times. Maybe, this is just an issue for me and I am just venting here. But this little tip can come in really handy because there is delicious hot food out there; not overpowering hot; but near the edge hot and if you keeping eating the tasty food; the hot builds up on you, until you feel like you are ready to spontaneously combust. This distracts from the tasty adventure. You can head this sensation off, or at least mitigate the effects, by the creative use of buttery first aid- up front.

OK, end of sidenote. That ran a bit long

The event starts Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday. More specifically, Friday, January 24th from 1pm to 7pm, as well as Saturday, January 25th from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday, January 26th from 10am to 5pm.

Tickets are approximately $15 plus you can add on the roast pork and rib dinner on Saturday. All your ticket buying options can be seen online or you can get tickets at the door. I suggest you not get caught standing in line as hoards walk by briskly heading in the direction of the fabulous food smells. You can buy tickets online and walk by all the people standing in line at the event

The event takes place at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas at 500 W Las Colinas Blvd in Irving, TX

More info at

Lets Talk about Getting There

You can drive and park at the event or you can take the train. This is a great chance to let someone else be responsible for getting you there and back.

The Irving Convention center sits right next to the DART convention Center station- right on the orange line.

Coming in from the west- on the TRE train, you will make your transfer at Centrepoint and catch the orange train.
f you come in from the west you are crossing the zone boundary between tre and DART and so you get stuck for an extra large fee. This will require a regional pass which could be as much as $10.

The nascent efforts in the area to support mass transit pale in comparison to the homage paid to cars and concrete; and so sane strategic thought about the efficacy of mass transit in the 21st century is a few years behind other large and small cities all over the world.

You can get more info by

ringing up DART
knocking on the door at TRE

So have fun. Take pictures. Share them. And be nice to people with sensitive taste buds. I will not apologize for picking on cars.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who is ready for a night under the stars with S'mores

Who is in the mood for s'mores? I must be hungry because that word is really resonating with my brain right now.
The Friends of O.S. Gray will also be making s'mores, hot chocolate and roasting hot dogs. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, flashlights and blankets, coats and gloves to keep warm! Come out and join the Star Party in the Park.

So what is going on here?

There is a star gazing party this weekend- Saturday evening, the 24th of January, if the weather is willing- the alt plan is detailed below... Every intrepid soul is to gather at
WHAT: Star Party in the Park
WHEN: Jan. 24, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 PM
WHERE: O.S. Gray Natural Area | 2021 W. Abram Street, Arlington TX

You will not see the Orion constellation in January in
Texas. Come back this summer.

The attractions, besides the food bits, are the wild woods in the dark with nymphs and fairies and your friends. And some story telling astronomers from the Fort Worth Astronomy Club. According to the author of Naturally Fun - Gary Packan, you get to chat with brilliant astronomers and they will let you look at stars through their telescopes.

There will be a line for the scopes and there is always a line hog. Feel free to bring your own binoculars and telescopes and be ready to hear titilatting stories about constellations and stars and such.

Don't let them get started talking about astrophysics and dark matter and big bang theories... stories about Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler and Plutarch's arcs would be cool though...

I bet they are spellbinding folks. I recommend this event with high excitement. Still have s'mores on my mind... and roast weenies.

Here is how Gary Packan presents the offer

 Join us and enjoy some stargazing with The Friends of O.S. Gray Natural Area. Come and try out a variety of telescopes, look at visible planets, constellations, stars and chat with brilliant astronomers from Fort Worth Astronomical Society about astronomy and their equipment.

While we like modern amenities, we have lost our access to darkness at night. Urban lights wash out  our view of the stars. A trip into the deep woods is the more perfect place to find the darkness for best star gazing. In fact, you might be shocked at the number of stars you see; being too used to your filtered view of the heavens.

A note or two about the O S Gray Natural Area...

Here is a glimpse. Image swiped 
from Green Source DFW

O.S. Gray was a guy obsessed with Pecan Trees. We are blessed by people driven by passion who create for the ages. The nursery that he operated for more than 50 years was saved from concrete and progress; and today, we are blessed with a 20 acre patch of the natural world ensconced right in the urban landscape of Arlington, TX. I am sure there are lots of Pecan trees here and I am sure there is a large community of fat squirrels who live here.

Gary Packan has a great description of the O S Gray natural area here. 

So come on out. Get a bit to eat; bring some friends, make some new friends, and enjoy a night out in the quiet of the woods with nothing louder than the hushed voices of other travelers to the stars.
Dress warm.

More info wanted?


What if the weather does not cooperate?

OK,  here is the alternate plan if the weather does not work- clouds don't work, so rain is out of the question... The event will be postponed. The event will be rescheduled at a time announced on Friends of O S Gray Star Gazing Event  Facebook page.  Join the event and keep in touch or you will miss the stars and s'mores, the  fairies and the nymphs, the astronomers and fellow voyagers.

S'mores in an emergency - a post script

Now, here is how to make s'mores in an emergency. Find your emergency stock of fat marshmallows, find your box of graham crackers and remember your safe word for your human partner, who keeps you out of the supply of emergency chocolate stocks.

Collect all the necessary ingredients and then find your fire source. You need to plan your fire source will ahead. Things can get a bit iffy, if you are desperate for fire when the time for emergency s'mores arrives.

Open barbecues work, gas ranges work, electric stove top burners work...

If you have to build a fire on the back deck- make sure it is concrete. make sure you are aware that it will leave a burn mark, and that you need a variety of kindling and firewood to construct a fire.

Make sure have proper tooling for heating marshmallows; 2nd grade forks work, but you need something to grip the fork and allow you to extend your distance from the fire source, or at least from the heat transferred through the fork handle.

You will want to avoid forks with plastic handles- the smell will not be pretty and the melted plastic will be unsightly in the future.

You are set. You are ready for any s'more construction emergency. Let me know how it goes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Meander through some Texas History on MLK day

I was meandering through things local to North Texas yesterday; did a traipse into Kentucky for an interesting experience with Dr. Martin Luther King ,and then buzzed back to North Texas. The traipse left me with the impression that things are getting better even as bigotry and fear seem in inexhaustible supply.

I was checking  up on Historic Fort Worth in their ongoing efforts to save historic structures in North Texas. Theirs is a lonely and frustrating effort and they could use some help.

sidenote - Fort Worth has some buildings of character worth saving. Once they're gone, they're gone.They don't build them like they used to. Today you get bland commercial structures identical to others on  street corners  in any city in America. No character. No history. Just one more ugly copy. Check out some old structures worth saving

I bumped into the ELLIS PECAN BUILDING at 1012 N. Main street. It was built by the Ku Klux Klan Klavern No. 101, one of the larger Klaverns in Texas in 1920. Aa mysterious fire burned it down and it was rebuilt in 1924.

Here is the point. The Ku Klux Klan was popular enough in North Texas that they felt they needed a beautiful structure that would hold 4000 people. Then good news. The Klan lost popularity by 1931 and had to sell the building. It became the Ellis Pecan building in 1946.

Here is a snippet snoop of the building from an image swiped
from Mike Nichols at Hometown by Handlebar.

I knew I also needed feedback from Hometown by Handlebar. I knew Mike Nichols would have his own take on such an historically significant building. Catch his drift and his really great images here.

Moving on...
And then on the third Monday of each January  we celebrate the life of the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There was a great post in the Friends of Justice blog- as the guest blogger- a Dr. Jeff Hood, tells the story of the visit of Rev Dr. King Jr. to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1961 and the role his knowledge of this history played in helping him come to his own personal terms and his developing a "maladjustment to injustice". A maladjustment to justice is the inability to be inured or adjust to injustices around you.

This is a malady we all need. Check it out.   The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood now works as the Minister of Social Justice for the social justice ministry of the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas, the largest LGBT church in the world.

So this inspiring story was juxtapositioned against a sad story out of Garland, Texas  where a big crowd of bigots- misinformed , lacking empathy, lacking understanding:  protested against a group of American Muslims meeting at a conference- called “Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate. They were meeting in a Garland ISD building.

A glimpse of an unknown number of Garland protesters upset with an Islamic conference meeting in a Garland ISD building.

Quoting from an NBC DFW video- a man was willing to stand up and say in public -
"We're here to stand up for the American way of life from a faction of people who are trying to destroy us,"

The protesters held signs saying “You are not Americans. Don’t fly our flag,”

Protesters were also unhappy that the Garland Independent School District had allowed the gathering to use a district building.

A spokesperson for the Garland ISD set the record straight. Quoting again from the NBC DFW report again
"This is one of several cultural and religious-based groups and events that we have there at the center,” Chris Moore, Garland ISD spokesperson told NBC DFW on Friday. “And we’re going to keep that open to them. This is a non-discriminatory facility.”

There was good news. There were hot tempers but no violence reported.

So thank you for joining me on the retelling of my meander; starting with a building constructed by the Ku Klux Klan Klavern No. 101 in 1920; moving on thru the struggles of blacks in America to find racial justice and a sense of peace and harmony with the culture; and then on to a battle against religious bigotry in Garland.

That is almost 100 years of history in North Texas.  We started with a Klan Klavern big and prosperous enough to support a large public auditorium. This means the Klan was a player in the local institutions of the time; The Klan was embedded into the culture. Then to 2015, the bigots are standing on the street corner and the public institutions are on the side of peace and harmony.

The tenor of the times has changed. The side of truth and light and empathy and understanding is winning  The fight is not nearly done.

I have high hopes that a lot of bigots will soon have some new experiences that help them understand that we are all human, with hopes and dreams and fears and prejudices; but we have more in common than we think, and we have much more power to change the world for the better- more prosperity- more opportunity- when we work together.

People have really big brains. All it takes is a little brain virus that contradicts the years of myths and hate that one learns at home. How can we help people broaden their experiences?

Any thoughts? Add them below. We will be returning to the theme of new learning experience later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Greg Abbott says People acting as a Community are Collectivists

Greg Abbott has taken aim at “collectivist” big cities in Texas for infringing property rights and endangering the ‘Texas Miracle’
Stephen Young writing in the Dallas Observer has a great piece about Abbott’s complaining that big cities are threatening to turn the state’s economic miracle into a nightmare.

Greg Abbott makes me nervous and i hope he makes you nervous too. He has been speaking out on his concerns that local citizens watching out for their local cities are drafting local laws

  • impacting fracking rights,
  • creating a 5 cent charge for plastic shopping bags to try to keep them out of the waste stream and out of trees, and
  • regulating how landowners must consider legacy trees not just cutting trees down willy nilly…

Greg Abbott sees these actions by local communities as a grave threat to the state’s well-being. Here are a couple choice quotes.

“My vision is one where individual liberties are not bound by city limit signs,” Abbott said. “I will insist on protecting unlimited liberty to ensure that Texas will continue to grow and prosper.”

“Now think about it — few things are more important in Texas than private property rights. Yet some cities are telling citizens that you don’t own some of the things on your own property that you have bought and purchased and owned for a long time. Things like trees. This is a form of collectivism,” he said.
Collectivists acting right here in North Texas. Better keep an
eye on them. Of course, they are actually sweet kids
helping pick up[ trash along the Trinity river; but I needed
some levity, and so I settled for a lame joke.

We have small portions of majestic redwoods and sequoia forests protected in National Parks that would be long gone to barrel staves and whaling ships unless our forebears, in their “collectivist” wisdom, fought long and hard and prevailed over those who were trumpeting individual property rights.

In every age, there are those who are focused on short term goals with their vision limited by making money. Our governor is one of them and this kind of attitude is on the ascendancy in Texas because these types of people are whom we are electing to office.

You can hug a big sequoia today- be careful and don’t get a sliver- because people fought for the collective interest vs the land barons of the time toprotect them. photo credit: National Geographic

There really is no rational alternative to regulating human behavior for the general benefit of the community . The use of the phrase “insist on protecting unlimited liberty” is absurd.

A lesson from chickens.

Why chickens? why not? This same story could be recreated around any number of issues, but chickens it is. Once upon a time everyone had chickens running around the yard. As communities grew, and cities became more dense, laws were passed to control the raising of chickens. Yes, chickens were regulated by government. Your chicken rights were restricted..

This was necessary as cities grew, and people lived in closer quarters, and any particular family’s chicken population increased and the smell of chickens began to permeate the neighborhood and people got tired of roosters as the morning wake up call.

Now, many will cry, you are regulating people from owning chickens? Well, there is a point when you do not want your neighbor adding to their chicken population. 500 maybe, how about a million chickens? We need rules to create good neighbors and clean neighborhoods. The issue can be effective government and fair regulation, but not “protecting unlimited liberty”

Smart regulation is good for business.

And just imagine the hit to the national economy over the last century, if Americans did not have the national parks to visit and enjoy. Whole local communities depend on these national treasures for a living. They are a national treasure. Greg Abbott would have been as mad as a wet cat if he were there and lost the fight to save the sequoias for the future. He would have been fixated  on all those special interest friends who had been depending on him. He would have been livid over the economic loss.  I wonder what he would have called his opponents?

The many acres of concrete infesting the North Texas area attest to a time when poor decisions were made about sprawl and parking. We did not see this as a problem then, but we see way too much concrete paving in areas of Fort Worth, and Euless and Dallas.

We must be alert to issues which impact the livability of the city. The trees we protect today, will bless us in our old age when we are out with grand children. We will not make perfect decisions now, but we sure do not need to turn back the clock to an age when property rights prevailed over all other considerations.

Who is raising the cry about personal freedom being infringed?

Well, the instigators must be special interests and their toady minions. There are people with money that would like to move next to you and put in a million chickens. They have the money and resources to move miles away and live in an airtight home, and they feel that privilege is something that is provided by the market. If you cannot afford to move, well it is your own fault.

99% of us need to understand that this idea does not work for us and, if we don’t gather an effective perspective here, we will accumulate the nasty results of unlimited freedom. Maybe not today, maybe your neighbors first, but the impacts accumulate. Have you ever known a gambler that only added up his winnings? You would think the casino would ask them to leave, but the casino does just fine because it understands math.

Special interests are ready to take advantage of communities because they only add up the bucks that go in their pockets, and dollars spent to keep water clean, to keep air clean, to protect legacy trees: that is , to protect the public interest are a cost to them.

But what about the commulative cost to our cities and our communities? How do you account for those costs? Well, you don’t- if you think through your wallet. What costs? Those  are not real costs. there is plenty of fresh air, plenty of fresh clean water, plenty of legacy trees, there is no problem and certainly no costs. We, the 99%, must learn to do the math, because we get to live with the problems left behind.

We need smart regulation. We need clean air. We need clean water. Saving bucks at the expense of the public good in the guise of freedom is not acceptable.

In a modern society, we have to watch out for the neighbors in the struggle between individual property rights and the community. We need fair systems to protect individuals. We must be wise in the implementation of regulations. But we must  allow communities- the cities of Texas- the leeway for providing  the most humane balance tween individual rights and the community interest for the protection, prosperity and pleasure of all the people- not just the individual.

Vision and Leadership required.

We must stand vigilant against stupid ideas bolstered by false framing. We don’t have to choose between the “Texas Miracle” and legacy trees OR the “Texas Miracle” and clean water and air” these are not mutually incompatible. We can have both and those who would say otherwise, want to exchange our clean air, and or clean water and our legacy trees and our uncluttered outdoors for their few more cents of short term profit.

Let take a moment to beat up on the collectivists who created the modern sanitation system.

Once upon a time the outhouse was invented and every homestead had one. Then the septic system was invented and improved things a bit. When modern municipal plumbing was created- a “collectivist” effort- public health was greatly improved.

Modern sanitary systems are taken for granted today but their development stopped cholera and typhoid fever outbreaks which killed millions. When modern plumbing began to penetrate the local communities, as local governments planned and implemented the modern utility system, property rights of the individual were infringed, and we collectively decided that property owners would give an easement for utilities, and- outhouses and septic systems were banned in cities.

We take for granted the public efforts over the decades to collectively create a safe public space for people and children. Every step taken, intruded on the property rights of individuals.

There were those who saw these sanitary developments as an infringement on their personal freedom- as a waste of the taxpayers money- as something that they should not have to pay for. These people moved out of town and back into a more comfortable setting. I would suggest that many of these people migrated to Texas, but I don’t want to be rude.

In modern times, this battle against the common interests of citizens is in the ascendancy because Texas has elected a governor that thinks personal property rights trump the community interest. He is wrong and his supporters are wrong.

The rest of us much watch this bunch like community policemen keeping an eye on the known criminal element. We cannot let them finesse, or filter the ability of local cities to promote the general welfare in cities. We need  tell the governor to mind his own business and to leave the freedom of cities, the freedom of local communities to determine for themselves what is best for them, uninfringed.

Who has a thought to add? We need to rouse the neighbors. We have a problem. We must act now.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our Myths about Poor People cost America Economic Growth

There is a great article in the Washington Post relating to rich people's attitudes about poor people. Check it out.  This is a mythology that hurts poor people; but not only poor  people, but the rest  of us also.  It is  self-defeating.

Interesting infographic on our attitudes about poor people.
We do ourselves financial injury with such myths.

There are many theories on how this attitude forms. TED- I hope you ar a fan of TED , their catch phrase is "ideas worth spreading "- well, TED has a great video that details what psychologists have learned through experimentation about people and money. You will enjoy this video.

Now I am not meaning to beat up or blame rich people for their attitudes. I would much rather see some calm reflection and understand that changing our attitudes about the poor is good for all of us. We are all in this together.

IThe sense of all Americans being in something together because we need all hands is an attitude we learn deeply when we are all fully engaged in a great endeavor like World War II. A "band of brothers" fits well here. In the trenches, on the invasion beach,  in a fox hole: all are a great impetus to understand that we all are  in this together- that we all depend on each other.

I would like us to rekindle a sense of how we are all in this together and that we are all better off when we show consideration for each of us. This is the simple concept of paying it forward, on a national scale.

This attitude about poor people certainly helps make it harder for poor people to get the help they need to transcend their conditions, but it hurts the entire nation as a whole. The myth that poor people sit on the couch and just suck up benefits, and have it easy; costs us all in several ways. Lets explore some of them.

When we are not producing at full employment, when all Americans that want work cannot find work, or find work that pays them a living wage; America is not as rich as it should be, our economy is not growing as fast as it should.

Now we should all understand this in our local economy. We want small businesses and local service companies busy building and repairing and remodeling buildings and we want them hiring extra workers.  We are hurt by this mythology right here in north Texas.

On a national scale, when we operate below full employment; the day we are eclipsed as the world's leader and the world's leading economy is getting closer.

When Americans are not working as much as they would like, they are not buying all the products and services that entrepreneurs would like to sell them. Imagine how much stronger the economy would be; more products and services sold and entrepreneurs would be doing much better with stronger consumer demand.

Poor people cannot afford  a lot of goods and services that entrepreneurs would like to provide. The great engine of our economy runs on consumer spending. By creating more opportunity, and by the money generated; creating more demand for goods; we all do better.

There are an unknown number of unintended consequences that are exacerbated by this mythology about poor people.

Great talent that is raised in less than optimal ways- not enough food in the house, or not enough attention because the parents are distracted by stress, by medical needs, by mental illness brought on my stress- a hundred thousand ways that can cause gifted young talent to be negated, to be squandered, to be destroyed, to be bent out of kilter... and we all suffer for this.

Who knows what kind of art and music or literature is lost to us because gifted talent was not nurtured. Who knows what kind of mischief comes from great minds that  turned towards the darkness to find a chance for opportunity. We all lose here. We all lose when talent is squandered.

When people have more money and fewer financial worries, mothers and fathers can spend more time getting out with their kids, getting involved in the community, having the money to spend for clothes, for car tires, for cars, to adopt canst and dogs, for socializing, for traveling, for entertainment...

These are all good. When people feel wealthier, they are more generous and kind...

We never know when we can be in trouble and need help. Needing help is not eliminated by wealth at all.  Dire circumstances can be a car accident.  It can be a flat tire.  It can be a smushed cell phone. a medical issue, or an encounter with ruffians; and you need allies. When people are doing better, they feel more robust, feel like they are in better control, and feel more resourceful. They are ready to step forward and contribute- even take risks.

There are millions of people with medical problems- dealing with pain, dealing with ill health, dealing with mental illness. If we were able to put attitudes about people needing help away; if we were abble to set aside attitudes about how people have brought their problems down on their own heads; if we had a more generous spirit as a nation; we would band together in common resolve and help solve these problems and all be better off spiritually and more secure.

Human difficulties are not caused by people sitting on couches but a lot of people sitting on couches have an issue which helped put them there.

We do not know, we cannot know, the issues of people until we get to know them and understand them; and them maybe, we will see things differently.

We will be better off when we can shed our hard hearted attitudes about people., as individuals and as a nation. We will all be better off.

At the heart of this hard heartedness as a nation is the wrong-headed idea poor people are lazy and not helping themselves- not taking personal responsibility and getting a whole basket of government goodies to just sit. This attitude is wrong. It is a stereotype. It is a caricature created in our own minds built around mythology. This attitude does us all harm. Because we are all in this together. We gain from the shared experience or we suffer from the consequences.

Each of us needs to test this attitude in ourselves. We need to get out and volunteer and meet good people that are different than us. No telling what we might learn. No telling what interesting new paths might develop.

We need to come to a common understanding of what our issues are in this country. And the first step forward is a more accurate ability to see and sense reality. We will be better off as a nation for it.

What do you think? Add you thoughts below. Have I missed something?  Remember, we are all in this together.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Why Can't We Err on the Side of Caution for Veterans?

Update: Good news! On the 3rd of February, 2015 the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act was passed. Here is a video by the IAVA in response.

It has already been 2 weeks since Senator Coburn stood up and stopped a unanimous resolution vote in the last session of the Senate for 2014 to stop the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (H.R. 5059).

Clay Hunt participated in a Team Rubicon mission in Haiti  after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Team Rubicon was created by two retired marines in direct response to the earthquake.

sidenote: You need to know about Clay Hunt
He was a lad from Houston, Texas. He fought in Iraq. He appeared  on a public service announcement to support veterans and veteran's issues. But he had his own burdens. He suffered from post traumatic stress and survivor's guilt. Several buddies had been killed in Iraq. He committed suicide in  2011. Here is the story of Clay Hunt  as told on 60 Minutes

The bill sponsored by the IAVA - Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans of America had several innovative ideas to help returning wounded veterans with mental issues. Innovative ideas intended  to break the continuing tragedy of veterans committing suicide. 22 or 23 every day committing suicide. Not even counting those more creative with their self destructive urges...

But, the penny pinching Senator Coburn from Oklahoma- a deficit hawk- when he feels like it- smelled a possibility of 22 million dollars of new Federal spending over a 5 years mind you- with no offsets. And they wanted this fancy website too...

Senator Coburn tried to explain his objections. Here is  Sen Coburn's’ explanation for his objection to the legislation. It is instructive to read it.

I don’t know how you rationalize an attitude like this for wounded veterans. Both of these wars were fought off budget with no concern for deficit spending- no talk of offsets. And now, when veterans are desparate for help, we start penny pinching? The mind reels.

The IAVA gave an eloquent and impassioned response to Senator Coburn. Read the  eloquent response by the IAVA.

Caring for veterans is not a partisan issue, but they are surely neglected. Why are paying for defense and preparing for war given a much higher priority than caring for wounded warriors who must cope with pain and disorientation and stress as they try to adjust; try to find healing and peace?

This potential 22 million dollar budget busting item is dwarfed in just the allocation for the advanced fighter that is built right here in Fort Worth- the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

We have already spent nearly 400 billion dollars on these planes- and I am not even going to jump on and knock them- this plane has had its troubles; but the technology is being invented as the planes are built. There have been glitches. The F-35 has been grounded several times for defects.

Why are we paying so much for advanced fighters? Is the world bristling with hostile countries building advanced fighters? Are we in an arms race? Well, no; but we error on the side of caution to make sure we have the most powerful military in the world. Several times over .

But the key point right here, is why cannot we error on the side of veterans? 

Why not do whatever we can to help them as quickly as possible- with innovative ideas. We are losing them everyday- 22 more.  23 more. Why do we not error on the side of caution for them? Why do we parse resources watching every nickel? If you understand this, let me know.

With the draft gone now, just a small subset of American families are touched personally by wars. They do not have powerful lobbyists and multi-billion dollar budgets for buying influence on capitol hill. Veterans depend on each other, their families and Americans like you and I to watch out for them.

In perspective, the “fast track” process was being used to pass the legislation and any senator could object and stop the bill. Senator Coburn is retiring this session. He leave with ths legacy around his neck.

In 2015, the regular senate process will be followed. Let's hope the new Congress will vote on it and pass it. There are high hopes. The house passed the bill unanimously. It would have passed the Senate, ostensibly, if Sen coburn had not objected. It is expected to pass easily. But this in Congress.

And what about the veterans who might have been saved? Which families will suffer because the right kind of resources were NOT added at the precise time where they could have made a difference?

And I leave you with the question. Why can't we- on a regular basis, err on the side of caution for veterans?

Let’s make sure this legislation is not forgotten and gets passed quickly. we have lives to save. It is the least we can do for our wounded warriors. All we have to do is pay attention and demand action.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

So Who is Going to the First Saturday Drum Circle?

It is a new year, and time to try something new. We all get set in our habits and our thinking framework- some of us more than others- but new things stimulate us- stimulate our brains and no telling what kind of interesting people you might meet.

We are so lucky to live in North Texas. We are blessed with unique levels of eccentricity here, you just have to look behind and through the haze of banality as background noise.

I swiped this from the Groovy Goods site. No pictures could be found from any First Saturday Drum Circle event. That means... something. What happens at a Drum circle stays at the Drum circle. apologies to Vegas.

So you need to go to the 1st Saturday Drum Circle - One Love!
Come out and dance, drum, juggle, spin and hoop...or just enjoy the sights and sounds at this FREE, family-friendly event!

The dancers of Wild Sky Tribal will entertain & amaze. Hieid will lead a Drummer Dancer Workshop from 6PM-7PM. Wear your rasta colors & get an entry for some cool door prizes!

If there is any rain, or if temperatures will be under 50 degrees during the event, we will be indoors. FIRE SPINNERS & HOOPERS, the front parking spaces will be cleared, and we'll mic the sounds of the drums outside for you with our PA system! So, come on out & have some FUN!

Complimentary beverages. Bring a chair if you have one! And help us spread the word by sharing & inviting your friends & family - the more the merrier!

This is right next door just about everyone in the DFW. It is in South Arlington at  Groovy Goods  which is located at 3415 S Cooper St
Arlington, Texas. Any questions- you can give them a call at (817) 468-2029.

Starts at 7 PM,
Ends at 10,
Unless you find
a newfound friend.

Call some friends and create a car pool. Understand that the carpool rather cramps the possibilities for after 10 PM, but just go with the flow.

It might even be possible to take mass transit and have a party on the way- some day. That is a cruel joke on my part. I apologize

If you have any suggestions, or information, or questions- just add them below.