Our World – Drawing Inspiration from Jason Lee

Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art is putting on an exhibition of over 150 photographs by Jason Lee. I’d never heard of him before and he got famous as a skateboarder way back when, and then got into movies, and for the last decade and a half has developed quite a reputation as photographer using various film formats.

Philbrook commissioned him to do a series of photographs on Tulsa and Oklahoma. They are his vision of Tulsa and Oklahoma. So when I went to check them out recently I was like, well, okay. His vision is kind of bleak and a lot of shows the disparity between the haves and the havenots here. There a shots of dilapidated buildings with the high rises of corporate Tulsa in the background for example.

There isn’t like one single work that is a showstopper. Its not that kind of exhibition. I think you have to look at the whole work in its entirety. From that vantage the show is outstanding. The thing that really inspired me is that I sensed a confident photographer going about his business shooting photographs of various scenes based on his instincts.

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So, inspired by him, I am trying to figure out what my vision of Oklahoma is and make it more right brained than my analytical side. I found these images of various bison in a rural area of Tulsa. I kind of like them even though I had to park in the driveway of the property and just as I finished up since big loud dog showed up acting like he wanted to bite a piece of my leg off.

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They are colorful, what they mean about Oklahoma, I haven’t figured that out yet. I am just going with it.

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What do you think?

Turkey Vulture Osage County

I drove on out of Tulsa into the countryside and came across this Turkey Vulture. I didn’t bother him one bit.

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Across the road was a mainline block valve for some sort of liquids pipeline. It needs a little work I think.

So anyway, if you are in the Tulsa area go check out the Jason Lee exhibit at the downtown branch of Philbrook.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Back to the Trails

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Wednesday night I went for a little run on Turkey Mountain for the first time in months. With all the rains and storms we have had and life in general, I just haven’t made it for a long time. Today was glorious though, cool and dry and as you can see the skies were spectacular.

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I love those big fluffy clouds. We have not had them for a long time.

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See that grass, I am not crouching down in the grass I am standing up. We have had lots of rain and the ground is still soaked. At home I haven’t even taken the winterization off our sprinkler system.

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The trails were nice, especially this dappled section.

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There is usually not much color this time of year but I saw a little bit on my outing. This pink bloom for one.

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And this yellow flower.

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And even a random leaf on the trail had some color to it.

I walked/ran about three miles and I loved it. I had forgotten how relaxing and meditative being out in the woods can be.

What about you? What do you do to relax?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

ABC Wednesday – W is for …

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Wagon Wheel – where son Logan used to take his horseback riding lessons.

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Wanted Posters – nope, my photo is not up there.

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Warship – the USS Missouri now anchored at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese surrendered on her deck ending World War II. She was brought out of mothballs and refurbished during the Reagan administration. My brother had the honor of being on the crew when she was christened in San Francisco back then. Hopefully she will have a long retirement in Hawaii.

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Water Towers – I love the Hot, Cold, and Warm towers in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

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and Wife!! Here is mine at the grocery store.

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And Will Rogers Birthplace – near Oolagah, Oklahoma northeast of Tulsa a ways. One of those great little landmarks that is definitely worth seeing if you happen to visit northeast Oklahoma.

I am linking with ABC Wednesday – come join the fun!!

Our World – Riding in a Tulsa Tough Grand Fondo

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I was so excited because my number 251 is a prime number. I love prime numbers.

Tulsa has a bicycling event called Tulsa Tough sponsored by a local hospital. It started out kind of small and has grown considerably. It consists of three days of criterium racing and a couple days of Grand Fondo’s and a Townie Ride. Criterium is racing around and around in a closed loop of a mile or two or three and the most famous of those is Cry Baby Hill on the Riverparks. The Fondos are longer distance rides from Tulsa to the boonies and back of at least 32 and miles on Saturday and Sunday. The Townie Ride is a free community event just a few miles long.

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The view from the parking at lot at 6:30 am.

I’ve always been a spectator at Cry Baby Hill but this year I went for something different. I signed up for the shortest of the Grand Fondo rides on Sunday. Thirty two miles. I had never rode a bike that far and thought about waiting until next year but I am kind of that age where it is wise not to be putting off stuff like that. You know what I mean?

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So I signed up and did some training on some hilly routes near out house and I was as ready as I ever was going to be.

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I got there early in the morning and got the bike ready and went to the starting line and waited. I am a slow rider and so I always get to the back, just like my running races!!

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And I got left in the dust. It didn’t bother me. I just kept going at my pace and pretty soon I passed a few people.

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So us back of the packers made for a congenial group of nodding acquaintance as we passed each other, and got passed.

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The race organizers had lots of SAG vehicles to help riders with flats, or first aid, or haul them back to the starting line if they can’t finish the race.

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At about mile 10 or so we had a rest stop. Lots to eat and drink. Our son, the banana nazi, forbids bananas in our house so I had my fill of bananas here, and water. Bananas are the perfect food for running or riding, lots of carbos and electrolytes. They also had gatorade, picklejuice, pickles, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches and all sorts of other stuff including fireball shots. I didn’t imbibe. I’d of had to stop every mile or so if you know what I mean. I’m not going to spell it out for you.

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Right across the road is a view of Holmes Peak which I have run up to a bunch of times during various Post Oak Lodge Trail Runs over the years. I am glad I didn’t have to ride my bike up to the top. I know that you folks from places that actually have mountains are in hysterics about our “Mount” but hey it is harder than it looks so get over yourselves.

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So then we went north. We wound through some beautiful back country with birds singing and water flowing in the streams and it was very nice. It reminded me of some early morning summer hikes in Oxley Nature Center. You totally miss it in a car.

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And then it started raining which wasn’t quite as much fun but I was wearing tech gear and the temperature was not too low so it was tolerable. My gopro clone camera ran out of juice so that is the last photo I got. I didn’t really feel like stopping and take pics with the phone because it was raining.

So everything was pretty cool until about three miles from the finish. I misread a sign and took off through the core of downtown instead of continuing straight to the west side of the Arkansas River. So I wandered through the core part of downtown Tulsa thinking, wow this is kind of a busy route for a big race. There were the purple race markers but now I know it was for the Townie Ride scheduled in the afternoon. Then I got to the Midland Valley Trail and it’s oh wow, this isn’t right.

So I could have backtracked but I was tired. So I just headed back to my car. I thought briefly about a 0.6 mile jaunt to the beginning of the finish line but that would have been cheating even though I would have ended up with more mileage than the official distance. And I was still tired and it was still raining, and I would have just had double back where I was and I would have an official finish and it would have been fraudulent. Nobody would know, except I always tell the truth on my blog and so you guys/gals/X’s would know!! Do you believe me? Seriously?

So I had an official timed start and a DNF. I hope that you are not too ashamed of me. Tell you the truth, I am not ashamed. If I had gone to the finish and got an official time then I would have to explain. And as a veteran of over 40 years in industry I always tell the youngins that if you are having to explain, then you are in trouble. Just tell it like it was is my motto.

So tell me, do you always tell the truth on your blog?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, where everybody always tells the truth, at least most of the time.

Skywatch Friday – First June 2019 Edition

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This is a shot of the electrical transmission substation at Keystone Dam. I don’t know a thing about such facilities but it looks a little old to me. I look at the Dam’s status every day and they haven’t generated any electricity in the few weeks I have been checking up on them.

Heather and I went to the Jimmy Buffett Concert here in Tulsa earlier this week. He put on a great show. Not only was the music good but they displayed huge high definition video of ocean, beach, and sky scenes on the backdrop behind the band. It was kind of mesermerizing. We love the beach and are headed there later this summer as part of our family vacation.

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This is from my sister’s property near Colorado Springs during our recent trip there. Colorado never fails for great skies. Check out Ellen’s blog and check out her and husband Irv’s brand new fifth wheel camper.

Your de Tulsa

This is a scene from the the Tour de Tulsa that I did a few weeks ago before all the rain and floods. It was only a 20 mile or so ride. I have another ride coming up Sunday for Tulsa Tough. It is going to be 32 hilly miles. I hope that I am up for it. The furthest I have ridden on my back is 25 and I was okay after it. I’ve learned that on these rides many people don’t really bust a gut, they take it leisurely. That will be me. I am one of the few people who ride them using a big heavy hybrid bike instead of one of the sleek ones. I need one with a big wide seat to, well you know, match my big wide seat. So wish me luck.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

ABC Wednesday – “V” is for …

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V is for Vacuum Tube Tester – found this one in a history museum!! I remember when all the drug stores and hardware stores had them.

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V is for venomous snakes!! Nope, I am out of here with the snakes.

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V is for Vienna Sausages. I ate a bunch of them years ago. I haven’t head any for decades and intend to keep it that way.

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V is for Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs. They make great pets and are pretty good with kids. No I do not want one.

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V is for violin. This is Woody Guthrie’s. He took it to sea with him when he was with the Merchant Marine during WWII. His boats got sunk a few times but he and this violin survived.

Come check out other V’s at ABC Wednesday

2019 Broken Arrow Chalk it Up Art Festival

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Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.

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The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.

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They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.

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They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.

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Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.

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So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.

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I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.

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And Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller.

Here is a link to my last visit to Chalk it Up seven years ago.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

The Flooding Winds Down in Tulsa

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Keystone dam on Friday, flowing 195,000 cu ft per sec through the gates.

The waters of the Arkansas River in the Tulsa area are rapidly falling. The waters flowing into Keystone Dam above the city declined rapidly which gave room for the Army Corps of Engineers to start closing the big Tainter gates and reduce the water drastically.

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Close up of the Tainter Gates controlling the flow out of the dam.

The peak flow was 275,000 cubic feet per second, now is down to 120,000 which is high but low enough that the river is back in its banks.

Downstream of Tulsa things are still bad, Muskogee still has a lot of flooding, and it is even worse in Arkansas where a major levee has been breached.

The images above and below are screen shots from a Corps web site. People had them open on their screens all day, refreshing and posting what the latest inflow and outflow numbers were.

I think that this has been a wake up call for the whole community. Personally, I thought with a big dam upstream that a major flood was pretty much impossible. Well, it is possible and we were lucky that the levees held and that the rains held off. With the climate change we are experiencing I am wondering if we are going to see these occurrences more often.

The local paper, the Tulsa World, produced the video above and the links I reference below.

An oil and gas producer who had tanks flooded mishandled the situation and ended up in hot water. Read about it here.

The waters are lower and residents are starting to return to their homes.

The Tulsa World also has a listing of handy phone numbers and internet links that might be helpful.

Skywatch Friday – to the Moon and Beyond

I don’t have a theme for this post besides the Sky. So here goes!

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This is the last full moon that we had a couple weeks ago. I love the Native American names for the various moons. This one is known as the Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon, or the Flower Moon.

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I shot this with an HDR camera on my phone while stopped at a light. It may be overdone a little but I kind of like it.

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This is from one of my bicycling outings.

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This is a sky over a stripper oil well near a city park in north Tulsa.

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Our local AA Minor League baseball, the Tulsa Drillers schedules day games during the week. This year I took a few hours of vacation, bought me a ticket and went to see them. There is nothing like daytime baseball. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

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Another sight from biking, this one along the Arkansas River. With the flooding the RiverParks are closed now. Who knows how much damage they sustained.

I hope you have a great week!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

ABC Wednesday – “U” is for Unions to Submarines

I don’t have a whole lot of “U” tags but here goes with what I found.

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U is for United States Flag!!! Here is our flag along with a bunch of others snapping in the breeze at a local high school.

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U is also for University Club Apartments here in Tulsa. It is the eight tallest building in Tulsa!! Okay, that is not impressive but it is also the first building in the US designed with a computer. Read about it in Wikileaks.

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U is for Union Picketers!! For a long time we had these guys picketing a job downtown. Now, here is where this gets complicated. These are not carpenters or any other tradesmen or actual union members. These are homeless people recruited by a union to picket. I guess that the actual union members couldn’t be bothered. I explain it all here if you are interested. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with unions.

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U is for the USS Batfish, a World War II era submarine now on display in Muskogee and available for tours. Son and I have done it and it is very cool. Interesting story is that it is now refloated. During the floods the past week, it floated and broke the chains holding it and the community had to work together to keep it from floating away. Read about it here, and there is a video.

So that is all I have for U’s! Go check out others at ABC Wednesday