Out and About Around Dallas

Ms. Cinnamon had the afternoon off, so we set off on a mini road trip. The weather was gorgeous and there wasn’t anything else I particularly wanted to see, so she just drove.

We headed out first to the Ray Hubbard reservoir area, where her son’s family lives. It’s a giant man-made lake used for recreation. The communities along the shore appeal to young upwardly mobile families.

Next, we drove the President George Bush Turnpike. Even a quick query on my phone didn’t satisfactorily answer how the toll structure works, although it is clear that your license plate is photographed and you get a bill in the mail.

We then stopped at her son-in-law’s recycling business, where I learned quite a bit about how recycling works and got a tour of the facility. The baler is really cool! I do find stuff like this fascinating, so this was absolutely a highlight of the day, with no sarcasm! He collects all sorts of things and showed off some small thick plastic bags of which he had dozens of boxes on a pallet. I mused that they would be great for scooping the litter box and I suddenly found myself the owner of a full 1,000 count box! I scoop two to three times a day, so that’s a year’s supply!

The visit done, Ms. Cinnamon took me to the Urban Reserve neighbourhood, filled with modern sustainable homes. It’s a lovely project, but those homes are just not my style.

Finally, she took me to another neighbourhood to show off a house she loves and we passed the very ornate Dallas Buddhist Center.

It was a lovely afternoon. I love getting chauffeured around!

A Fun Afternoon at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas

Undeterred by the pouring rain, Ms. Cinnamon and I headed out for the afternoon. I asked if she wanted to have lunch out and she suggested Vietnamese, which was exactly what I had in mind. So we headed over to the Bistro B.

The restaurant has a crazy huge and overwhelming menu. I decided that we didn’t have all day and that I wanted vermicelli, chicken, and lemongrass, which I found as a number 113. Ms. Cinnamon ordered the same thing.

The ginormous meal of fresh salad, noodles, meat, and a side of fish sauce looked lovely and tasted pretty good, but it was nowhere near lemongrassy enough for me. There was just a hint of it in some bites, but for a meal labeled lemongrass, it wasn’t enough. So I questioned the server and he offered to take back our food, but we refused since there was nothing wrong with it and we didn’t want to have to wait for them to make something new.

Well, he came back minutes later with a small plate heaped with more lemongrass and sautéd onions! And guess what he told us? That the chef purposely toned it down because the dish is too flavourful for most of the folks who come to the restaurant! Now, what we were served was not bland in the least, but the added lemongrass really made it shine. Yu-um!

Sated, Ms. Cinnamon and I headed out to tour the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, which is new in Dallas. I took a picture of the exterior when I was out the other day. It was almost 2:30 when we arrived and the museum closes at 5:00. Well, we had just enough time to see everything, but would have really needed another hour or two!

This is a very hands on museum with a lot of fun activities. From the lobby, you get a dizzying escalator ride straight up to the fourth floor dinosaurs and space exhibits, and then you work your way down.

The museum is great for kids and the kid at heart. My favourite exhibit was up in the fourth floor mezzanine birds exhibit where you put on 3D glasses and get to soar like a bird. The effect is remarkable as you get to swoop, dive, and fly by moving your body. This photo gallery gives a small sample of the exhibits. At $15, the museum isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck!

We stopped at the Central Market, a super fancy grocery store, on the way home to grab something quick and easy for dinner. I got a few groceries and then spent some time in the deli area trying to decide what I was in the mood for. The sushi very tempting, but I went with my first instinct, which was to have a mixed Mediterranean plate with hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, cucumber and tomato salad, and lots of other good stuff where you pay by the weight of your container. Yum!

It was really cold today (I doubt we hit 50F), but at least the sky has cleared.

Hot Water Problems… Because I’m a Moron

Ah, FHU! They are wonderful. They mean I can keep my fresh water tank filled, use my hot water heater, and take showers at home! I should be a content RVer this week.

Well, except that the hot water has been tepid at best. I’ve still had to heat water on the stove to do dishes. Dang, why can’t things work?! I’ve already replaced the circuit board on my water heater. What more does it want?!

I was very warm last night, so I decided that a tepid shower at home would suit me just fine. I went to turn on the water only to discover that both knobs were fully open.

Yup, I did what so many people warned me about, ‘turned off’ my shower using the cut off in my new shower head rather than using the knobs! This meant the hot water was getting sent to the wrong location!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my water heater and I am going to look for a waterproof, “Hey, idiot! I know you had a nice massage, but have you REALLY turned off the water?!” sign for my shower door. 😀

Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas

Visiting the site of a tragedy always makes it feel more real. I felt so closely connected to Jackie Kennedy’s day of horror while I toured the site of JFK’s assassination yesterday.

The Dealey Plaza site is very small and the grassy knoll absolutely unremarkable. I wouldn’t have given it a second glance while driving past had Ms. Cinnamon not pointed it out to me.

I’ve had for the longest time my own theories about the events of November 22nd, 1963 and thought that a visit to the site would answer many questions. In actual fact, I am left with more. The most important one is why? If we can answer that, then the who becomes self-evident.

The only thing that I am certain of now that I have stood on the infamous sixth floor and looked down is that a military sniper could have easily taken that first shot. Therefore, I believe I am correct that there was someone besides Oswald up there. One of the fingerprints up there has been tied to Marshall Wallace, who could have made that shot. This supports the LBJ had it done theory.

Another point raised by Ms. Cinnamon is that Jackie was heard yelling, “Oh my God, they shot Jack.” Not, “Jack’s been shot” or something along those lines, but they. There had been some open hostility about JFK’s visit to Dallas, so she might have been using ‘they’ to represent those groups. But there is material to be declassified in 2017 that purportedly proves that Jackie thought LJB was in on the assassination. Hmm.

The second shot couldn’t have come from the sixth floor, but would have been easy to make from the fence on the grassy knoll. Never mind how quickly the Warren Commission went with the idiotic lone gunman whacko with a magic military grade bullet theory. I believe in the two trained military snipers in two different locations to make sure they got him theory.

The efforts to resuscitate JFK by expanding the throat wound into a tracheotomy make it difficult to know for sure if that wound was caused by a bullet exiting (ie. came from the book depository) or by the bullet entering (ie. came from the grassy knoll). More recent analysis makes a case for it being an entry wound, but we likely will never know for sure.

The Sixth Floor Museum, which does not allow photography, is quite good as long as you take everything with a grain of salt. It is very sanitized and the audio guide format does not encourage any form of discussion. There is a movement to boycott the Sixth Floor Museum, but a visit is useful and the information is well presented. There is some acknowledgement of various conspiracy theories, but we always get back to the lone gunman Oswald in his sniper’s nest theory.

The motorcade route must be looked at with suspicion. It is a very tight and awkward turn from Houston onto Elm, so the motorcade slowed to a crawl, which awarded a perfect opportunity to shoot from the sixth floor. Why wasn’t the shot made while the motorcade was coming down Houston, which would have afforded a straight, can’t possibly miss him, shot? Well, there was that other sniper on the grassy knoll. They had to work practically in tandem. Had the shot been taken on Houston, the motorcade would have likely continued down Houston rather than turning onto Elm into the path of the grassy knoll shooter and the assassination could have failed. Croft got a picture of the view down Houston from the seventh floor but there was no such access yesterday.

Finally, the big questions, why Oswald and what was Jack Ruby’s real role in all of this?

As I said, more questions than answers were provided to me yesterday. But seeing the site really made the sequence of events clear in my mind. Sniper one on the sixth floor took the first shot, which was the cue for sniper two on the grassy knoll to take the second shot. Who hired the snipers is less certain. Certainly, the Warren Commission is a joke and an insult.

A Day in Dallas With a Local Guide

Once again, I am super grateful to have a local guide!

Ms. Cinnamon has lived in Dallas all her life, so she took me on a tour of her city today, from seedy west Dallas to the Turtle Creek district with its huge mansions. There was really too much info for my memory to do justice to it!

Before heading to Dealey Plaza, we went for lunch at EatZi‘s, an upscale European-market type place where you can find just about anything you could want to eat or drink. She chose a few salads and I zeroed in on the sushi! This place was awesome! Tip: try all the samples so that you’ll be a little full and less tempted to try one of everything! 😀

I’ll write about our afternoon at Dealey Plaza in another post. Once I’d had my fill of that, we walked around downtown a little bit and checked out the new Perot Museum of Science of Nature, but we were too close to the end of the day, so we’ll go later this week.

We drove around some more after and finished our day off with dinner at the Highland Park Cafeteria, a Dallas institution serving homestyle cooking. I enjoyed my chicken and sides. The portions were ginormous and I have leftovers for tomorrow!

Dallas doesn’t feel like a giant metropolis. The only city I can think of that comes close to it is Chicago, another city of neighbourhoods with a compact downtown core. Only Dallas is about 1/10th the size! Dallas has a lot of green spaces (that wilt and brown in warm weather), does not allow pandhandlers, and has lots of arts and culture.

I was sad to say goodbye to palm trees in San Antonio, but lo and behold, and to Ms. Cinnamon’s surprise, we saw a few today!

Tomorrow, I will post about Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository.