Skywatch Friday –

December 2019

I don’t have very many new Skywatch Photos this week. I have been baby sitting contractors in our house for over a week now on our new floors. I think they are a trustworthy crew for sure but things come up from time to time where a decision needs to be made and its just best if either Heather or I are there to talk it over with the guys. So the photo above is from last year when I was still running in the evening on the RiverParks trails here in Tulsa. I am retired this year so I don’t go running at night any longer. I can go run during the day. The photos are not near as good though.

I have an engineer friend who is in North Dakota right now working. He snaps pretty good photos but he is not on the internet at all except as a lurker. So he texts me photos and and edit them. This is a drilling rig at sunrise. You can tell it’s pretty much winter already in North Dakota. I think winter starts on July 5th up there and ends on the following July 3rd. Not too many rigs running up there right now.

Here’s another photo from Josh. These rigs are not drilling, they are “stacked” in the drilling contractor’s yard waiting for energy prices to go up. (And they will).

Black Lives Matter Mural - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Switching gears, I was able to get out of the house briefly yesterday. I went up to Tulsa’s Greenwood area and snapped a photo of Tulsa’s new “Black Lives Matter” mural. We had a mural painted on a street this past summer. I think a lot of people would like to have kept it but it became hard for the city because other people said they wanted to have their own street murals as well. The city put out a call for organizations to take over the street so the city could deed it to them but nobody wanted to so the city removed the mural. This new mural is a commissioned work on private property so its all good.

I think the way things work in Tulsa, eventually there will be another street mural and it will all be done legally and without liability to the city.

Switch gears again on you. We got some of the floor down. It’s like a 3rd generation laminate and the pieces lock together tight. It’s very laborious to install but it should last a good long time.

And one of those things that came up with the flooring guys. They told us about some wood rot underneath or big window. So we got to fix it. Not a big job but an important one. We hired a guy we’ve known since he was about six or seven years old. He is a contractor now. He works on everything from movie sets to our little job. Very precise, very careful and does neat work. It’s amazing watching kids grow up to be great adults.

Hey everybody, be safe and have a great weekend!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Remodeling Etc

Lots going on at our house these days. We are doing a “refresh” new floors and pant mainly. Last week the tile demo guy showed up and wow, what a mess and what hard work!! One guy showed up and worked from morning until night with no breaks.

First he had to take all the tile up and then the “grinding” where he ground the mortar off the floor. Noisy and dusty. And guess what he had to stop halfway through the second day because his wife was having a baby. So he was gone that day, missed the next day and showed back up the day after that. We wouldn’t have minded if he took a few more days off. I am sure that he has no benefits and no time off. We really do live in separate worlds in the USA. Those of us that have benefits and time off live one way and millions don’t have that. That being said, I am in awe of the guys work ethic.

The noise was huge! Our two dogs and cats are traumatized. I am as well.

So Saturday while that was going on we had a garage sale. We are really trying to declutter drastically and change the way we do things. We even sold our Christmas Trees. We got rid of almost everything in the garage. We met a lot of people. I met one of our neighbors. She was from Vietnam. She came first then over the years she brought seven of her brothers and sisters over (all legal! she said). They all live within a couple blocks of each other. They all showed up and chatted and bought some of our stuff. Really nice people. Our world is changing before our eyes.

Except nobody wanted Heather’s Windsor Bears. Anyway, it was great but stressful. Meanwhile the tile guy completed his work so Heather and I dusted, swept, dusted, and vacuumed for hours. The grinding made everything gritty despite the fans in the doors and the open windows, and the plastic sheeting covering everything. (Our air conditioning guy said to not run the A/C or heating to avoid damage so we didn’t but the weather was cool) I think that we’ll be working on the cleanup for a while. So this week, new tile, new laminate!!

So Sunday was a regroup day. I went geocaching and had a lot of fun going down the lonely trails and abandoned roads.

I even found a geocache in a dog park featuring this statue. What kind of dog is this to you? It looks to me kind of like a gorilla, but what do I know?

So how has your week been?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – RiverParks Trails

We’ve been pretty busy getting ready for a house refresh, new floors, paint, and a few other things. Wednesday afternoon I had some time so I headed over to Tulsa’s RiverParks trails for some walking and geoaching. It is staying warm but the trees are starting to change color.

I went looking for a gadget geocache. A geocache that may be easy to find but difficult or tricky to open up and sign the paper log. If you don’t sign the log, then just spotting it doesn’t count for anything. This is one where I figured out the secret.

I figured it out and went walking to another one. It was really pretty.

Here is a view across the Arkansas River to Turkey Mountain. I spend a lot of time there.

Anyway, I had a great time on the river today.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Blue Duck – Outlaw

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I am an active geocacher. (Check what geocaching is here and here.) It is a scavenger hunt using a GPS device (or the gps function of your smart phone) to find objects hidden in the world by other people. To me it is an interesting combination of the physical world with the online realm with a significant social component. I have hidden over twenty caches and have found close to 1800 in the years I have been doing it.

Often geocachers use the game to bring attention to significant spaces such as works of art, special outdoor areas, and historical items. I noticed that somebody had placed a cache close to Tulsa with a reference to Blue Duck’s grave site. That immediately got my attention. The Blue Duck I was thinking about was the character in Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” series of books. So I went to find the cache and see the grave site.

I didn’t find the cache but I found the grave of Bluford Duck. Born in 1858 into the Cherokee tribe he was already an outlaw in the 1870’s in Oklahoma Territory, cattle rustling, bank robbing, and horse stealing was his trade. In 1884 he and two of his compadres killed a farmer named Samuel Wyrich for no reason. Duck was apprehended and sentenced to die by hanging by the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker, of Forth Smith, Arkansas. His sentence was later commuted to Life in prison. He got tuberculosis in prison and was released and died soon thereafter in 1895 and buried in this humble cemetery in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa.

Besides being a “notorious outlaw” (are not all old west outlaws, “notorious”), Duck’s claim to fame was being romantically involved with Belle Starr, another “notorious outlaw.”

And here are the love birds. (Note the manacles on Duck’s wrists.) You can tell he is an outlaw because he is wearing a black hat. He is an attractive looking guy though. Starr though looks a little rough in my opinion. (I’d of never told her that to her face you understand. Notorious outlaws are a little twitchy about stuff like that.)

Larry McMurty’s character, Blue Duck, has no relation to the Cherokee Blue Duck besides being “notorious outlaws.” McMurty’s Blue Duck is combined Mexican and Comanche descent and killed a lot more than one person. From what I read, there is no evidence that McMurtry even knew about the Oklahoma Blue Duck. But hey, he might have. Blue Duck is a great name for an outlaw especially the notorious kind.

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I love finding stuff like this that helps make history more real. My favorite is from a German POW’s grave at Fort Reno, Oklahoma that I just randomly googled and found out he, Johannes Kunze, was murdered by his fellow POWs for being a snitch. The Germans were prosecuted for the crime during the war by Leon Jaworski, who later led the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Read the post here.

Have you ever found the grave of somebody who is “almost famous.”

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Come check it out!

Skywatch Friday – Through the Canopy

Harvest Moon - October 2020

We had a big bright full Harvest Moon last week during a clear night. We are going to have another full moon on October 31st. It will be a Blue Moon since it is the second full moon of the month.

My Skywatch photos this week are through trees. We have had some beautiful weather lately. Warm days, cool nights and the skies have been very clear. I went on a couple hikes in the woods this week and I loved the sun shining through through the trees. Nothing better than dappled shade and blue skies peaking through the limbs.

Couple that with a lot of the brush dying back already and it made for some great forest views.

I came out of my dentist’s office on Wednesday and saw this scene. I enhanced with the my new favorite app, Art Card.

I went geocaching in the afternoon and found this huge cottonwood tree just beginning to turn its colors against a very blue sky.

I am thankful for the great weather that we are having lately here in Oklahoma. Typically our Autumn lasts a good long time. I think I have mentioned before we have had several Thanksgiving meals outside.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

I have been reading some pretty heavy stuff and this looked like a good beach read and it is. It is not any sort of light fluff even though it is set on Nantucket Island where the Levin family spends their summers in the matriarch’s house. They have gathered there for decades.

Against a backdrop of beaches, tennis lessons, and romance are some hard things. The grandson is in the army fighting in Vietnam. His sisters who range from early teenagers to adults in their 20’s are having problems. The younger ones are maybe growing up a little too fast. The Mom and Dad are not getting along and Mom is really liking her gin and tonics maybe a little too much. Grandmother is in denial about everything. And so the story moves forward.

It was fun that the book was set in 1969 when the country was going through so many changes and it references a lot of things I remember vividly. Senator Edward Kennedy scandal at Chappaquiddick where he left a young woman to drown and never called the police, the moon landing, Woodstock, hippies, marijuana. I was only 14 then and it was all pretty amazing and I was stuck in the little burg of Eagar, Arizona up in the White Mountains.

I loved this book. The characters are real and so re their problems. Yes, they kind of work through what is going on but not everything is tied up at the end of the book. Just like real life. This is my first book by Elin Hilderbrand and will not be my last.

October – Out and About

My first pumpkin photo of the season at Lowe’s Hardware of all places.

This is a phone booth that has been in downtown Tulsa for years. There is no phone in it but there is a sign that says it came from Liverpool, England and that likely one of the Beatles may have used it. Yep, sure. There is a geocache in it though.

I went to Tulsa’s Woodward Park to walk around a little. I found this vantage point looking up some stone steps to a long forgotten memorial to William Shakespeare.

I walked up there and saw three blooms laying on the ground so I put them up and took a photo with a Polaroid App on my phone. Here’s to you William!!

Downtown I saw this cool sign, with sign language. I love the explosion of murals in Tulsa and elsewhere.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday and Ruby Tuesday.

Weekend Reflections – Cairns and Geese on the Arkansas River

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Back when I worked, I used to go running on the Arkansas River Trails in Tulsa after work on Wednesday nights. Wednesday seemed to be when the free spirits showed to also enjoy the evening. Hula hoops, slack lines, juggling, hammocks, music, and marijuana prevailed. The atmosphere was chill. One time when the water was low some of the free spirits showed up and displayed their rock balancing skills. They were amazing. I took a bunch of pics, this is the one I like the best, some geese came by at sunset to check out the rock art. So this is right out of the phone, no filters, and not even any cropping or levelling.

I’m linking to Weekend Reflections. Come check it out.

Skywatch Friday – October is Here!

We have a pretty good vantage of the sky at our home. Here it is looking west. No need sometimes to drive places for Skywatch photos.

And here is a netted sky at one of those fancy multi level golf driving ranges. Never been although it sounds like fun.

This is a sculpture of a bison that I photographed at a low angle through the glass. It is called Guardians of the Plains and is on the turnpike in Sapulpa, just west of Tulsa.

This is a short video of a geocache hunt at a car museum in Tulsa. That is supposed to be a huge gasoline pump.

One day recently we had the swirly winds and funny clouds indicative of atmospheric disturbances which in Oklahoma means tornadoes. We didn’t have tornadoes. I used the Hyperspektiv app to kind of give an idea of the atmosphere.

I went out for a bike ride the other day. One of the best days of the year, sunny and cool, about 68F and hardly any wind. It was perfect. About ten minutes after this photo was taken I had a head on collision with another bicyclist who veered right into me. Luckily I had seen that he was a little jittery and had put on the brakes and tried to go to the right to avoid him but he panicked at the last second steered right into me.

We both ended up on the ground, I hit my head pretty hard on the pavement but I was wearing my helmet. The other guy landed on a guard rail with his ribs and was in bad shape and his bike was all mangled. Several people stopped to help and we went to a nearby parking lot. A buddy of his came and got him and his bike and Heather came and got me. My bike is okay. People rib me about how heavy, old fashioned and slow it is but it suffered no damage at all that I can see. I am going to have my bicycle shop check it and my helmet out to ensure there is no damage.

I went to our Bone and Joint Urgent care and got some xrays and checked out by a doctor and prescribed some meds. I can’t drive or drink alcohol while on them. So I just have a sore back is all, and a gouge in my hip where my handlebars got torqued into me when the guy hit my wheel. I hope the other guy is okay. He was hurting when he left the scene.

So if you ride a bike, wear your helmet. I hit the ground pretty hard with my head and I didn’t have a concussion. The other guy was wearing his helmet as well. I am thankful also for all the people that stopped to stop and help us.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday – come check it out.