Return From Texas Exile

Derek, Bryson, and Sarah

Derek, Bryson, and Sarah

Perhaps the title of my post is somewhat over done but to me it seems like Derek, Sarah, and Bryson have been in exile. However, the part that says return is right on. Yes, Derek, Sarah, and Bryson are returning to Utah. Derek has found work in Salt Lake City and the family will be here by Memorial Day.

When Jill heard the news she was just ecstatic. Jill is not an emotional women (sounds contradictory, I know) but this once she was a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ all over the house. You could not find a happier woman in all of creation.

I am just glad it has finally happened, a lot sooner than I supposed. I admit the last month I have been praying every morning for them to return. Why am I then surprised when prayers are answered? Lack of faith I suppose.

One thing is known for sure. We won’t be letting them get away so easily the next time, if there ever is a next time.

Welcome home!

Photograph by Adelaide

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Caption Competition #7

Bryson and Kangaroo

Bryson and Kangaroo

This photograph of Bryson was taken in March at the Fort Worth Zoo. I know it’s a jungle out there but don’t be timid — jump right in and see if your caption can captivate us.

Adelaide with chocolate bar

Adelaide with a Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bar

The first prize (Kaysville and environs only) is a Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut 3.5 oz milk chocolate bar. I will pick a caption judge later. Remember, anyone can submit a caption and win first place but only locals will be awarded the prize.

I remember watching advertisements on television in England in the 1970s that used the theme “Everyone’s a Fruit and Nut-case.” Below is a 1975 United Kingdom advertisement featuring a number of Fruit and Nut-cases.

Facebook readers, if you cannot see the video click here.

Previous Caption Winners

1. Sean
2. Ken
3. Sean
4. Janay
5. Shauna
6. Connie

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Bryson at Galveston Beach

Last month we caught up with Bryson getting ready to go to Galveston Beach. Byrson is the author of the famous tour guide book Bryson Picture Book of Fort Worth Water Gardens and so we asked him to pass on a few tips for the first time beachgoer.

Galveston Beach

Hello there! My name is Bryson and I will be showing you around Galveston Beach. But before going it is important to get a good breakfast. Once you start playing in all that sand you might just want to stay there all day.

Galveston Beach

Here we are at Galveston Beach. It is virtually deserted today as it is a little cold. You know Galveston attracts 5.4 million visitors a year so we are lucky that most of them are not at the beach today.

Galveston Beach

Sand and sea, sea and sand. Find yourself a spot away from the crowds, which should be easy to do today, and I will tell you a little about Galveston.

Galveston Beach

Much of Galveston's economy is centered in the tourism, health care, financial, and shipping industries. Shipping involves ships, as you can see. The Port of Galveston covers 850 acres of port facilities.

Galveston Beach

There is plenty to do at the beach. You can watch the birds hunt for food...

Galveston Beach

...or you can collect some seashells...

Galveston Beach

...or splash in the sea like Grandma.

Galveston Beach

But if you really want to have fun, you'll grab your spade and follow me.

Galveston Beach

With your shovels and buckets you are ready to start building. Fill up your bucket with sand and turn it over.

Galveston Beach

Like magic you will have a sand castle. Make it as big as you want, there is plenty of building material. You can never use it all up. Building sand castles is very popular with more than 516 billion constructed every year around the world.

Galveston Beach

To finish up build yourself a moat to keep out the heathen hordes. Well, enjoy the beach, I have to go find my Mom and Dad before they get into mischief. And who knows what Grandpa is up to.

I caught up with my Mom and Dad, they were just taking pictures with the Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop along with Grandma and Grandpa. They never did build a sand castle.
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Cowboys Stadium Tour

Cowboys Stadium tickets

Sarah has Cowboys Stadium tickets

Why is Sarah smiling? Because she has Cowboys Stadium Tour tickets. One each for Derek and herself and her parents. Bryson gets to go in free. Tours of Cowboys Stadium allow fans behind-the-scenes access to several areas including the Cowboys Locker Room, Cheerleaders Locker Room, Playing Field, Private Clubs, Media Interview Room and other areas.

Cowboys Stadium big screen

The center-hung video display board is the largest high-definition television screen in the world

Cowboys Stadium Jill and Bryson

Jill and Bryson watch the big screen

Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys’ home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity.

Cowboys Stadium football

A football in the ceiling

Cowboys Stadium encouraging words

Some words of encouragement

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world’s largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Cowboys Stadium Derek Jill Bryson Sarah

Derek, Jill, Bryson, and Sarah, on their way to visit the private suites

Cowboys Stadium private suite

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson would be enjoying the game in luxury, if there was one

Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS. Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing.

Cowboys Stadium Tony Romo locker

Bryson and Derek by Tony Romo's locker

Cowboys Stadium cheerleaders lockers

Bryson at the cheerleaders lockers

A pair of nearly 300 ft-tall arches spans the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end. The new stadium also includes more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more, offering fans viewing options that extend beyond the action on the field and a center-hung video display board that is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

Cowboys Stadium at the 10

Bryson makes it to the 10

Cowboys Stadium at the end zone

Jill, Bryson, Sarah, Derek, and Rick are in the end zone

The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium Tom Landry

Tom Landry, head coach 1960 to 1988, career record 270 - 178 - 6, Super Bowl Champions 1971 and 1977

Photos by Rickety. Text by Wikipedia.
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Kaysville Snow

Bryson shoveling snow
With all the snow lately it has been a lot of work to keep the driveway and sidewalk clear. Fortunately there is still good help available. My grandson Bryson was happy to assist me in clearing the sidewalk. Being from Texas he doesn’t see much snow but that didn’t stop him from digging right in.
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Caption Competition

I can think of some captions for this photograph of my grandchildren Aurora and Bryson. But I will leave it up to you. I will update this post with the winning captions. There are no prizes but your wit and intelligence will have an opportunity to shine.

Photo: Mike Willoughby


As judges, mine and Jill’s captions were excluded. Thank you all for the excellent captions.

First — Alright, I put the batteries in, now what? Sean
Second — Bryson: What do you mean she has more teeth than I do? Melissa
Third — What’d you just call me, woman?! Mark
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Bryson Crawls to First Place at Davis County Fair

Friday found me at the Davis County Fair with my two grandchildren Bryson and Aurora. Adelaide entered Aurora in the baby contest as did Sarah with Bryson. No winners there. Sarah then entered Bryson in the crawling race. That was much more fun, at least for the adults. Bryson had to crawl across a stage towards his mother in a race with three other babies. Here are the photographs recording the event. The light and distance was confusing for the camera (or maybe for the photographer) so the pictures are not that great a quality. Click on the photographs for a larger image.

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

Bryson, in the yellow, looks over at the competition.

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

They’re off! Bryson takes an early lead.

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

Bryson is stalled and cries for help. No worries, the other competitors are stuck at the start.

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

Miss pink can’t get her engine in gear but blue and brown stripes has raced way ahead.
Sarah waves her cell phone in an effort to get Bryson to come to her.
Bryson hits the turbo charger and heads for the cell phone.

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

It is a photo-finish as Bryson storms in to take the checkered flag (and the cell phone).

Bryson competes at the Davis County Fair

The winner! But the champion is more interested in the cell phone.

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Webcam Crawling

Bryson webcam crawling

Bryson webcam crawling

The webcam is a marvelous device. Our webcam is regularly in use as we communicate with Sarah in Keller, Texas. This had me wondering when and where the first webcam was used.

The First Webcam

The Trojan Room coffee pot was the inspiration for the world’s first webcam installed on a local network in 1991. The coffee pot was located in the so-called Trojan Room within the old Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The webcam was created to help people working in other parts of the building avoid pointless trips to the coffee room by providing, on the user’s desktop computer, a live 128×128 grayscale picture of the state of the coffee pot. On August 22, 2001, the camera was finally switched off.

Faraway Grandchild

Today we saw Bryson crawling for the first time over the webcam. That was a marvelous sight. Jill heavily praised Bryson, which brings a smile to his face. This elicits more praise from Jill which brings forth another smile from Bryson. I rather think this would continue all day long if not for Sarah saying, “OK, time to go.” And this is another great thing about the webcam. Because it is so easy to break off a conversation it makes it easier to start one, knowing you can sign off in an instant.

With five children it was rather inevitable that at least one would move away. On the bright side it did give me a reason to travel. Jill doesn’t need a reason to travel. She will go anywhere, any time, except to go to the kitchen to get me a snack — I have to do that myself. All I need now is a webcam on the chips so that I can cut down on wasted trips.

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Bryson Picture Book of Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Bryson, Your Guide

Are you all set for an adventure? Today we will be going into Fort Worth to tour the Water Gardens. You will need to stick close to me so that you won’t get lost. I will be your guide. Call me Bryson.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

A Cooling Oasis in the Concrete Jungle

We are headed to the south end of downtown Fort Worth. Next to the Fort Worth Convention Center are the 4.3 acres of the Water Gardens, built in 1974. It was designed by New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and was dedicated to the City of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter Foundation. Now stay close, Fort Worth can get messy.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Hungry Work

Being a guide in the city is hungry work. After Gerber Bananas this Sirloin Burger Combo from Jack In The Box is my favorite meal. I was planning on showing you the zoo afterwards but there are so many people headed there that the traffic is horrible. Now eat up and we will be on our way.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Fort Worth Water Gardens

This is a good sign, there’s not many people in the park so maybe we’ll be able to dip our feet in the cool water. The people here are my assistants, Jill and Rick. They are also my grandparents visiting from Utah. It’s as well that they are with me or they would really get lost. Grandpa says he checks his GPS but all it does is talk incoherently back to him. Annoying.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Active Pool

The first of three pools is the active pool that you see here. The water cascades 38 feet down the terraces and steps into the pool at the bottom.

As we roam about the park be sure to notice the over 500 species of plants and trees.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo


The active pool was originally built for people to be able to walk down the terraced steps and experience the water tumbling around them. It was closed to the public after four people died there on June 16, 2004. Two children and one adult tried to save a child that had gone swimming in the pool. All were drowned. The water was unusually deep due to a recirculating pump malfunction and heavy rains.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Step into My Pool

The park was reopened in March 4, 2007 after being made safer by reducing the depth of the main pool from 9 feet to 2 feet. I’ll have my assistant Jill lead the way down the steps. It is quite safe now. There is just enough room to get past those people coming up, especially if you are my size.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Pool

This is a pretty sight as all the water flows into the pool. Did you know that part of the film Logan’s Run was filmed here in the active pool in 1976? The pool is also featured briefly at the end of the 1979 television adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven. Before my time of course.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Vents

Here is a close up of one of the vents that discharges water into the pool. I’m tempted to cool my feet but we need to move on.

By the way the coordinates at the Water Gardens are 32°44′52″ North 97°19′36″ West.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo


This is a great place to take photographs. The cascading water makes a great backdrop. I like how there is enough moving water to give a great effect but not too much spray that moisture gets in my camera. For this photograph of yours truly I had my Mom lift me up.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Quiet Pool

Here you will experience the sensations of growing bigger and smaller. I can only grow bigger. The small stairway leading to the pool will make you feel bigger than your surroundings. After entering the pool area, you will suddenly feel smaller; any objects of human scale have been removed, giving you the feeling that you have suddenly entered a giant’s house.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Trough

This trough that my feet are in is 650 feet long and releases 450 gallons of water a minute down the 22 foot high wall and into a moat at the bottom.

If you are going to put your feet in the trough I recommend that you have your mother hold you.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Aerated Pool

The pool is a visual illusion, giving you the impression that you can walk across the pool on tiles made of spraying water. I don’t recommend that you try it. The nozzles spray at the same height as the walkway, without spraying you, so that the water collapses on itself, looking ultimately like panels. The pool is 40 feet below ground with 40 nozzles spraying 871 gallons of water per minute.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Mountain

The mountain is designed to give you the sense of the real thing. Its twenty inch steps cascade into one another, creating the sensation of mountainous topography. The mountain rises twenty feet off the ground.

Now listen up, if you fall off of this mountain it will feel like the real thing.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

High On The Mountain Top

At the top you can wave to all the world. That’s my grandma looking up at us.

You know it is interesting that the mountain is 20 feet high using 20 inch steps. The aerated pool is 40 feet below ground level and has 40 nozzles. I’m 5 months old and it’s been 5 hours since I last ate. Let’s move!

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Stage

Sit down for a few minutes on the grass. Good. I have been pleased to be your guide today around this interesting park where 19,000 gallons of water flow every minute through 10 miles of pipe and flows past seven miles of retaining walls. Now that you have your feet wet you can go exploring Texas by yourself. And remember — If it’s big, It came from Texas!

The Book

You’ve just read the blog post Bryson Picture Book of Fort Worth Water Gardens. How about the real picture book Fort Worth Water Gardens by Bryson Moss? No need to buy one, the book is exactly the same as the blog post. Lulu is my publisher. Click on my nose to get a high resolution version of me (1.5 MB).

Water Gardens Video

Some have asked for video of the Water Gardens. One would think my book would be quite sufficient. Really, the young people today are very demanding.

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