Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gearing up

Ride for Heroes

On Saturday morning (Mar 31) I rode in the "Ride for Heroes" bike ride out at Aledo. Aledo is a small suburb between Fort Worth and Weatherford on the Tarrant - Parker County line. The ride benefitted the fire departments of Aledo and its neighboring towns of Hudson Oaks and Willow Park. The organizers offered several routes, varying in length from 8 to about 75 miles. I signed up for the 40 mile course, which ended up being the farthest I've ridden at one time since last October. My legs were pretty tired by the time it was over, especially since the route had lots of hills, and there was a steady wind from the west. It was a great day to ride, though... we had sunny skies, cool temeratures (50s & 60s) and some nice north Texas scenery. See below...

Near the west shore of Lake Weatherford

Riders enjoyed lots of views of wildflowers in bloom

well-posted directions

On Sunday, I went back and drove along part of the route to snap a few photos that I missed during Saturday's ride. There were a few nice spots that I missed getting a photo of due to cruising along at 20 or 25 mph on my bike and not having the camera ready!

a scenic view west of Aledo along the "Ride for Heroes" course

approaching Wright Cemetery northeast of Weatherford

Also on Sunday, I caught a UP eastbound coming in from Sweetwater.
UP eastbound stacks at Preble. April 1, 2007

Logos like this one make stack trains fun to watch...

As I had hoped, Saturday's bike ride was helpful in improving my motivation to get out and ride... with a 40-mile ride behind me, it was easier to get out and ride on Monday and Tuesday. I guess maybe I'll have a decent 2007 season after all.

A "Texas" scene - seen during a bike ride north of Saginaw

Don't mess with Billy Joe

The Associated Press reported a few days ago that Billy Joe Shaver shot a man outside a bar down in Lorena on Saturday night. Apparently the guy was drunk and approached Shaver while brandishing a knife. Acting in self defense, Shaver shot the guy in the face. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. I just have one thing to say... how cool, how "country" -- TEXAS "country" -- is that? Not only has Billy Joe lost fingers in a milling accident, endured turbulent marriages, battled alcohol and drugs, busted his ass in Nashville to become one of country music's most respected songwriters, NOW he has shot a guy. I'll bet you my next paycheck you'll never see Kenny Chesney or Keith Urban making the headlines for doing that.

Shaver later surrendered to authorities, was jailed, and then posted bail for his release. It'll be interesting to see how all of this shapes up. If nothing else, the experience might give him some subject material for a couple of songs on the next album...
Why I like Galloway
You might or might not be familiar with the rantings of Randy Galloway, a Metroplex-area sports radio talk show host and longtime sports columnist (first with the Dallas Morning News, now with the Ft Worth Star-Telegram). I skim his columns once or twice a week, usually during football season to see what kind of shots he's taking at Jerry Jones, Terrell Owens (they're such easy targets), and the rest of Cowboy nation.

But his recent column on the subject of the removal of the "Ameriquest" name from a certain sports venue here in Tarrant County reminded me that I should by no means ignore his grumblings during baseball season. Galloway, an outspoken opponent of the Rangers organization's ties with Ameriquest, especially with regard to the naming rights to the Ballpark in Arlington, wrote the following:

"Armed with heavy-duty blow torches and a noisy jackhammer, a couple of construction workers were doing the work of the Lord last week. They totally demolished that atrocious 'bell' that hung huge over left field for the last three seasons. For the home opener on Friday afternoon, 101 seats will occupy the space that formerly represented corporate crap."

Galloway has never been one to pull any punches (come on Randy, tell us what you REALLY think!) but the use of terms like "the work of the Lord" and "corporate crap" in the above example serve to illustrate just how strongly he believes in what he writes. For sheer entertainment value, you could do a lot worse than a Galloway column.

At any rate, if the Rangers ever again become too cozy with a questionable corporate partner, I hope that we fans can count on Galloway to be there to steer them back in the direction of good judgment . Now, about that 0-3 start...
Vacation time again
K and I will be leaving on a trip soon to celebrate our anniversary. I don't want to give away all the details, but it's someplace warm and tropical. If we remember to come back home, you'll be able to read a report here in a couple weeks. Until then... Aloha, baby!
np: "King of the Hill" syndicated rerun

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