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Showing posts from August, 2008

Black Duck Bay trail system?

Recently while once again hiking the Goose Creek Trail, I made my way to the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge, on the Hog Island side of the Houston Ship Channel. While enjoying the expansive and elevated view, I looked downward and what isn’t apparent to motorists, is a winding dirt road. On the opposite side of the bridge, the road splits and envelopes two giant retaining ponds.

By the way, folks repeatedly ask me about my safety and the legality of walking across the Fred Hartman Bridge and I tell them the truth; it is scary to have cars going past you at seventy-plus miles per hour, with no place to avoid being ran over, but perfectly legal to walk across the bridge. You can’t park on the bridge, but you can ride a bike or hike across it. I'm willing to take my chances up there, but use your own best judgment.

Seeing the road below the bridge, I thought how wonderful this would be for Exxon-Mobil to open it for jogging and cycling. It is a beautiful ready-made trail, mea…

What in the world was that noise?

The recent heavy rains have caused an explosion of wildlife in the back forty, or in our case, the back seventy acres. It sounds like what I imagine the boy Tarzan experienced when he first realized his parents had passed away and he was truly on his own. The cacophony of strange noises coming from the water-laden and swampy woods is almost frightening!

I know that sounds like an exaggeration and maybe it is, but case in point, my bride and I were sitting on the patio the other night when suddenly we heard what sounded like a cross between a woman screaming in terror/a banshee with rabies/a piece of cloth being viciously ripped apart/someone violently gagging and it all ended with a “who?” – I think.

My lady said, with a start “What in the world was that noise”? Now normally, I have an answer or a piece of wisdom to impart on almost any occasion or subject, but this time I was stymied. Then out of the deepest recesses of my mind, I remembered hearing this bird call years ago and was…

Danger is my Middle Name

I was slap dab in the middle of one of the biggest adventures of my young life. I had no idea living could be this exciting and each day after school brought more drama than the previous. Not being a stranger to dangerous undertakings and being of sound mind and body, I welcomed the day's challenge. I guess you could say I was anxious to get on with it.

The year was 1970, I was seventeen and thanks to my sister I discovered J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and epic trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". These 4 books collectively were about 1500 pages and were a reading obstacle the size of the Great Wall of China in my young mind. However, as all readers of thick books learn, if it's worth reading, it is probably going to end all too soon.

Down the street from my home was an abandoned two-story house with overgrown shrubbery and deep fluffy buffalo grass. On the other side of the hedge row, it was totally private and removed from all but street noise and al…

America and the Olympic Spirit

Friday night millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the 29th Olympiad/2008 Olympic Games opening ceremony. I was right there with them, as to me, this is true athletics. I hardly watch professional sports, I confess, but when the Olympics are in progress, I am all eyes and ears. My youngest brother, Bruno, is a past torch-bearer.

Unbelievable and jaw-dropping was used by television co-host Bob Costas to describe the 300 million dollar opening ceremony. Using tens of thousands of unpaid Communist volunteers in incredible (and almost scary) unison the Chinese sent the world a message that they are unified enough to take on the world and this point was driven-in a thousand fold. Seventy-five thousand fold to be roughly exact and the Chinese government had the tough job of culling-out the other four million who wanted the unpaid tedious voluntary jobs.

In a stadium built for this initial purpose we saw a technological demonstration unmatched in size, cost and splendor th…

Sweating the Goose Creek Trail

I tell folks I ain’t built for speed, but I can still lift heavy stuff, providing I get under it and get a good grip. Actually, this is only partly true, as these days I realize I have little to prove by exhibiting past Herculean effort and never having had a hernia, I figure there is no sense in getting one now. The speed part is totally true, as I have stubby legs and a corpulent girth.

My brutish, but fairly common body build is good for endurance though and this is where I shine, so to speak. It serves me well when I do the stuff I like to do, like hike, stroll, jog, or tote heavy stuff.

Friday morning, I looked out the kitchen window and having watched the weather report the day before, I knew we were heading into another hot and humid Texas day. Male cicadas calling out to each other filled the air and even though I could hear the steady hum of air registers in my air-conditioned home, the tree-crawling bugs trill reminded me of just how much I love to be out in the heat of ou…