More Rowers on the Arkansas River

Arkansas River Rowers Header

I’m cheating today. My post is a photograph that is also my new header photo. I captured it last Tuesday during my weekly after work run. Unlike most photographs I haven’t done anything to it besides cropping. I’m afraid to mess with it. I love the light and shadows on the bridge and the reflection of columns in the water and the different textures of the water. Sometimes it is best to live things alone.

We had a terrible tragedy last week here in Tulsa. A black man, Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer. The whole thing sucks. Crutcher was killed for no good reason and the police officer by all accounts was competent. So now she is charged with manslaughter and Crutcher is dead. Things are kind of chill right now but there is a lot of tension in the air.  And on social media the idiots on both sides are taunting and insulting each other. Oh bother.

So what is up where you live?

My Life in the Service by Matthew Maloney

My Life in the Service

My Life in the Service is the story of my Uncle Matt, a pharmacist from Idaho who served his country in the Army during World War II. He kept a diary during that time and the book is a transcription of his diary. I did some of it, my Dad did the rest and the husband of my cousin in California made it into a book (and I think that he did a great job). I think I first started transcribing the book in middle 1980’s and the book just came out in print just recentlly.

Matthew Maloney at Chateau d'lf

Most of the entries were very brief and reflected a life in the Army of hurry up and wait, endless inspections, the waxing an waning of military discipline. He was a pharmacist, not an infantryman so he dispensed medicine and was always in the rear echelon. Still he sailed on a troop ship (the USS Susan B. Anthony which sunk by a mine in the English Channel during the invasion of Normany – no lives were lost) from New York to Algiers in 1943 and then while on land experienced air raids. (Nowhere in the book does he describe his life being in danger).

He spent time not only in north Africa but Italy and France. He seemed like he had a lot of free time. He and his buddies were always catching rides to go visit cities and see the sites. He tried to climb up Pompei but it was erupting and raining down hot stones on him and he retreated. He visited Naples, Rome, and various cities in France. He ate great dinners, drank a lot of beer, went to dances and the opera.

He took a lot of pictures, many of which are in the book. He took pictures of his buddies, German and Italian prisoners, the Eiffel Tower, cathedrals, mountains, meadows, and anything else that piqued his interest. Film was hard to get in wartime so he used a lot of paper film and developed it himself. His curiosity about the world and his desire to sample as much of it as he could comes through in the book. His diary started when he went in the Army and ended when he got out, a period of July 7, 1942 to September 8,1945.

I remember Matt as one of the world’s great guys. He was a lifelong bachelor and was a partner in a pharmacy in Jackson, Wyoming from the 1940’s to his death in mid 1970’s. If you were a visitor to Jackson during this period you probably went to his store. It was Jackson Drug Company, right on the square in downtown. He lived in an apartment upstairs, right down the hall from the local draft board. Our family visited him quite a bit back then, back before the Jackson became a home for the beautiful people.

The local paper, the Tulsa World, has been featuring once a week or so survivors of the war and telling their stories. It has been a favorite part of the paper for me, reading the stories of these young men and women who entered the war with an attitude that they had a job to do. Uncle Matt’s experience reads similarly. A reflection of a different time in our country when attitudes were different.

Arkansas River Reflections

Rowers on Arkansas River - Topaz Adjust

View from the west bank of the Arkansas River here in Tulsa of some rowers in the late afternoon last Tuesday. Tulsa has an active rowing community and I see them often out on the river practicing. It looks very hard work to me.

Logan is in production on the play he is in at Clark Youth Theater, “Romeo and Juliet Live From the Underworld.” This is a musical version and … “Romeo and Juliet awake in the after life, confused and unaware of their deaths. With the help of those in the Underworld, the lovers watch as the events of their lives replay before them, eventually making peace with the choices that led to their demise.” The play is very different and I am glad that I saw it twice as I did not understand at all what was going on the first time.

It takes a little to get an ear for Shakespeare especially when done to rap rhymes in Iambic Pentameter. The kids are doing a great job. There are some really talented and accomplished actors among the teenagers. Logan has a small part and does really well with it.

Anyway that is it for now.

Skywatch Friday – Arkansas River Sunset

Arkansas River Sunset 2

Tuesday night I made a run late in the day on the Arkansas River Trail right off downtown here in Tulsa. I was able to get this shot above of a sunset. Pretty soon my evening runs will be in pitch dark but now I’m enjoying the earlier sunset and slightly cooler weather.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Walking to the Gym

DSCN6727

My old gym went out of business a few months ago. And so I rejoined a gym that I used to belong to until seven years ago. The gym is run by a Methodist church and just like a Methodist Church they still had me on their files and gave me my original member number back. When members show up you have to fill out the log, name, member number, time, and planned activity. We Methodists are fiends for documentation;

DSCN6729

Anyways its about a 3/4 mile walk from the office. I have noticed the past couple months that our homeless people are increasingly sitting down and laying down on the sidewalks. Just the left of the photo above there was a guy sitting down on the sidewalk blocking everything but about a foot wide strip of concrete. I walked right past him and he asked me how I was doing, Great! I said, and you? He was doing great also. I felt like saying, then get your butt off the sidewalk dude.

So what is up with sprawling on the sidewalks?

DSCN6730

Hey I crossed the street and come to Cathedral Square which is actually a City of Tulsa park. I love the fountain.

DSCN6731

And it has the fanciest wrought iron benches in town.

DSCN6732

And I came to my favorite tree. Sometimes I feel as old as it looks.

So, what did you do today?

Weekend Update

Noooooo!!!!

Too Early!!!! We saw this last night in a department store. ugh

IMAG1391

Heather and I ate at a new brew pub in town Elgin Park in the Brady District. Oklahoma is slowly digging out of the dungeon of liquor laws in the country. Brew pubs are one benefit. It was just the two of us and we ordered a medium pizza. That is the biggest medium pizza I have ever seen.

DSCN6722

After the beer and pizza we went down to the river and walked (I actually waddled) a few yards and encountered these ladies doing an exercise class with drum sticks. I think Heather said it is called “Pound.” It looked very high impact. We got exhausted sitting on the picnic table just watching them. Heather is taking a class all day Sunday on how to be a BollyX instructor. What happened to jumping jacks and pushups is what I say. We took a water exercise class together Friday at our gym. It was fun!

DSCN6719

Earlier Saturday I went for a run on the river. I’m trying to get ready for the Tulsa Run 15K in the end of October and I’m trying to not to aggravate a sore knee. Poor me. This is what I call hidden cove on the river. I think it is actually a boat ramp for the police and fire department. Nobody seems to know about it but me, and now you. Don’t tell, okay? Oh by the way, across the river there is my much beloved Turkey Mountain.

DSCN6713

And speaking of not noticing. I have been running the Tulsa River Trails for 24 years now and yesterday and just noticed this for the first time near the rugby fields. I swear I have never seen this thing before. What’s up, with me? It looks kind of amateurish and not some early day remnant to me.

Untitled

And hey, we had a Harvest Moon this week. Woopee. And a lunar eclipse. I didn’t bother to stay up and see it.

Untitled

And our refurbished library which has been undergoing a renovation for three years is going to open at the end of September. Meanwhile it has a brand new Starbucks that has opened early. Supposedly it is the first Starbucks in a public library in the US. That’s great, what would be greater would be a locally owned coffee shop.

Untitled

I went to Philbrook last week. Lots of people there so I took some photos.

FSCN6690

I also went geocaching in Mohawk Park one day last week. I love these old picnic pavilions.

DSCN6686

I only looked for and found one geocache. This one kind of had a geobeacon leading me to it. I think I had some sort of divine guidance on where it was located.

Anyway, that is it.

Strava Heat Maps of Turkey Mountain and Downtown

I wear a Garmin GPS enabled watch while running. It is kind of magical. I turn it on when I start running and turn it off when I’m done. While I’m running it is feeding my phone via a blue tooth link all sorts of information like where I am such. At the end of the run I can get on the web and see all the statistics and a map on a service linked to Garmin called Strava. I always thought it was kind of cool. Like below is a map of my run this morning where I trotted up and down the Arkansas River for four or so miles.

You know what is cooler. Seeing a view of a particular area with a bunch of runs superimposed to see if a pattern emerges. That is called a heat map. Generally the various services want extra money for that but I found a web site that does it for free. I am really into free. Jonathan O’Keefe has a free service for generating heat maps. The following is what it generated for my runs on Turkey Mountain.  So you can tell I pretty much have Turkey Mountain covered.

heat-map-turkey-mountain

And here is my heat map for downtown Tulsa. I have it pretty much covered also.

heat-map-downtown

Anyways, I love little gizmos like this.

Turkey Mountain Skywatch – Eastern Sky at Sunset

Turkey Mountain Skywatch 2 - Topaz

This is a cell phone photo from the lower yellow trail on Turkey Mountain looking roughly northeast across the Arkansas River across south Tulsa. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes the best view at sunset is not towards the sun. I love how the river is reflecting some of the pink in the sky.

Summer is rapidly coming to a close. The temperatures are a bit lower, the humidity is much less, and the mornings are very nice.  Autumn is my favorite season in Tulsa.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

River Parks Ride with Heather

2016_0910_130210_001

Heather and I went on a bike ride today on Tulsa’s wonderful River Parks trails along the Arkansas River.

2016_0910_131155_030

We started on the east bank and went north a ways. (“A ways” is how we say things in Oklahoma, just so you know.)

2016_0910_131436_038

That was about a mile and then we went across the west bank across our brand spanking new pedestrian bridge with emergency call stations every 50 yards or so.

2016_0910_133103_087

And then headed down south past the PSO Tulsa Power Station.

2016_0910_133505_099

Not as many people on the west side of the river compared to the east side. It is a lot more remote with fewer access points.

2016_0910_140037_175

Heather kept the pace up even though she said she said her legs were dead. She teaches Zumba classes a few times a week. I’d be dead myself.

2016_0910_140820_198

I injured myself in a Labor Day run but I guess that I’m cured. My knee doesn’t hurt at all any more. Don’t tell Heather or I’ll have to vacuum or mow the yard or something. Can you keep a secret? Yeah, well I can’t either.

2016_0910_144456_307

Anyway, we got about 15.5 miles. My garmin shows a half mile less but I didn’t get it started until we started the ride.

You know, I think a 15 mile plus or minus is a good ride. So we celebrated by going to a frozen yogurt place. And then home to watch the Cowboys lose to the Giants. Heather cleaned house because she didn’t know about my miraculously cured knee that you promised you wouldn’t tell her about.

So, what did you do Sunday afternoon.

Weekly Roundup

VIDEO0015

Lots has been happening lately. Wednesday and Thursday was the annual meeting of the Natural Gas and Energy Association of Oklahoma (“NGEAO”) at the Hard Rock Casino near Tulsa. I always have a great time connecting with old friends and coworkers. They have had it at the Cherokee Tribe owned casino for a number of years now and they do a great job hosting it but the cigarette smoke on the way to the convention center about kills me. The convention center is smoke free and doesn’t cause any problems but I will be hacking for a week. Why does smoking and gambling go together?

DSCN6639

And I have been watching with interest all the commotion with the Dakota Access Pipeline up in the Dakotas. Something about that pipeline has a bunch of our Indian Tribes upset. A judge cleared the way for the pipeline to proceed on Friday but the Obama administration immediately halted construction pending further review. I think that is the wise thing to do personally. Lots and lots of issues to sort out. Meantime, every day that the project is delayed results in ten more unit trains hauling the oil. Why some people think that trains are less polluting and more safe than pipelines really puzzles me. Also, how come we suddenly don’t like pipelines crossing rivers?

pipeline-map

This is an out of date map of major pipelines in the United States. There are literally hundreds of pipelines crossing thousands of rivers, creeks, lakes etc from one end of the country to the other. Why is Dakota Access so special? Funny thing is that the tribe took no interest in the pipeline and declined to participate in meetings until construction started. Oh well.

IMAG1380

Heather and I had our 27th Anniversary this week. Twenty seven years is a long time. We went out to a nice place to eat and earlier saw a really bawdy and funny movie,”Bad Moms.” More on the movie later.

So what have you been up to?