Author Archives: Alan Bates

Skywatch Friday – Tulsa for Tesla Edition

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Tulsa has been buzzing since word came out that Tesla, the electric car manufacturer is considering either Tulsa or Austin, Texas as the site for its Cybertruck manufacturing plant. Our city fathers have jumped into high gear to try to land the plant, including painting a Tesla logo tshirt on the Golden Driller at the fairgrounds.

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It would be a boon for the city. I’m good with it even though I know that in this day and age its pretty much a shakedown to get the local and state governments to put up as much free infrastructure, deferred taxes, training and other expenses as possible. That’s the world we live in though.

Even if we don’t get it, its been a lot of fun. Above is a short video put together by local Tesla drivers convoying their cars through various Tulsa landmarks.

How is your week going?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Camino Winds by John Grisham

Just finished Camino Winds by John Grisham. Talk about a novel written by a writer than has all sorts of literary items already punched. It is a mystery/crime novel involving an author, an island literay bookstore, and mystery readers who help solve the crime. It has a hurricanes, murders, murders during a hurricane, the goofy local cops, the snooty fbi guys and gals, hit men and women, wild gymnastic sex (only referred to not described thank goodness.) And drinking, lots of of lots of alcohol. Don’t try and drink along with the characters, you will not finish the book! Speaking only for a friend of course.

I give this book five stars out of five. Check it out.

Our World Tuesday – Field of Heroes

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This Memorial Day I went to Centennial Park in Tulsa right across the street from VFW Local 577. They were sponsoring a “Field of Heroes” in the Park consisting of 402 pairs of boots and ID tags for American Military Members who died while serving their country.

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This is the second year they did this. Eventually they would like to reach 13,000 pairs of boots.

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It’s a sobering sight, both the array of boots and looking at the individual tags and photos of the service members. They are all so young.

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There are lots of remembrances for our military but it never seems like enough.

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It’s good to remember all who fell to preserve our country.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

LaCorona Vida #8 – Heather’s Flowers

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Zinnias

My wife is an exercise instructor at several different health clubs in Tulsa. It’s a part time gig right? Except she spends a lot of time at home putting together her routines and figuring out choreography. Music is important her and she doesn’t hardly ever use the same routine twice or resort to generic music as some instructors do.

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Petunia

All the health clubs have closed during the pandemic and so she had some time on her hands and so she launched back into gardening. She is a certified Oklahoma State University Master Gardener and used to be active doing that but motherhood and the exercise instructor career took most of her time.

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So she went at it hard this spring. Buying soil to rebuild the beds and an bunch of plants. Gardening is hard work. Me I love the result. I help out carrying the heavy stuff.

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Lantana

So now we have all these beautiful plants to look at.

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Beebalm

I didn’t photograph the right plants but she has got a butterfly garden going. We’ve only seen a couple so far.

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Indian Blanket

Does anybody out there not love flowers? I think it may be an international language.

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Petunia

I don’t know the names of all these. I’ll get her to help me out when she has time.

What they hay, you could help me out also if you felt led to do so.

Skywatch Friday – The Skies of May

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Went downtown the other day and brought home personal stuff from the office. The office has been closed since the middle of March and won’t open, at the earliest until the end of June. The only people working there are a cleaning staff and a security guard. Plus our pipeline control people which is staffed 24 hours a day. They have spread those folks all over the building to avoid cross contamination in case Covid-19 gets somebody sick.

I realized that yes, I am going to miss the job and the people, and I am really going to miss downtown. Weather permitting, I walked a mile to 3 miles every day at noon and poked into every square inch. I’ll be checking out from time to time. On weekends, when parking is free, cuz I am cheap.

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Lots of nice evenings as the sun sets in the back yard.

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Watching the weather. I love weather watching. Everybody in Oklahoma stays aware of the weather and watches the skies this time of year. We are all very conversant with terms like hook echos and such as that.

Lots of walks in the neighborhood for our dog Rascal. He kind of walks us is how it works. He routes us by all his friends.

Our tubby little kitten, Lizzy is wondering why everybody is around all the time. It interferes with her napping. She’s appropriated this basket that Heather was going to use as a centerpiece on our coffee table. So I guess that Lizzie is the centerpiece. It is peaceful to me watching a cat in deep sleep.

The greenbelt from our back yard. I fly the drone straight up mainly. I don’t really want to fly over other people’s property. So I send it straight up and use it like a periscope.

So Oklahoma is gradually opening up. Heather and I went to our favorite tap room and had a couple beers in their outside area, maintaining extreme social distancing from everybody else. The gyms Heather teaches are opening up as well and they are communicating protocols for staff and members. Myself, since I am in a high risk group I am holding off going to a gym until July. I’ll be playing it by ear.

What have you been up to?

I am linking up to Skywatch Friday

Our World – Restlessness

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Mr. Squirrel politely telling me that the bird feeder is empgy
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Mr. Cardinal, singing away, looking for love I guess. Don’t ask me why he is looking at me.
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Astronaut Mural in Downtown Tulsa
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This mural of music legend, Leon Russell, on the other side of the building may be my favorite mural not just in Tulsa but anywhere.
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The Blue Door, lots of photographers use it as a backdrop.
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Nearby shrine
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Echinacea Flowers aka Purple Coneflowers at Woodward Park
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More flowers at Woodward Park

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Rainy Weather

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Earlier this week we had some more threatening weather. It was more threat than anything else and I waited until the clouds passed and the wind died down and launched my drone.

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I am still in periscope mode where I send it straight up over the back yard and then rotate it. No fancy flying or maneuvers yet.

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I haven’t crashed it or run into trees or power lines yet. A couple of the blades are a little worn for some reason. You can tell by the pitch of the motors plus I get a warning to land it immediately.

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It got too windy so I landed and took this photo with my phone.

I hope everybody is doing well. I’ve been working from home for two months now. Tomorrow, Friday, is my last day “at work.” I am retiring after 43 years. I’ve enjoyed the energy business and I liked the people that I work with but its now off to new challenges!! I’ll have plenty to do.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

LaCoronaVida #7 – (Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Still WFH (“Working From Home”) for now, since the middle of March!!

I am retiring, my last day “at work” is this Friday, then I am “on vacation” till the end of the month.

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ONEOK Gift

I got a surprise delivery today. A nice box full of snacks and a nice photo book.

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I really appreciate it. And the box could double as an urn when the situation occurs. Well it could!!!! Might have to put the ashes in a sack so they don’t sift through the cracks in the box. – Hey I’m just being practical. Really, it did come as a total surprise. I have really been blessed in my career. Forty three years in the energy industry and never got laid off. That is unheard of these days. And especially during this downturn most energy people are getting cardboard boxes instead of nice gift boxes.

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You sure do miss out on the company gossip while WFH. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Been spending a lot of time watching the wildlife in the back yard.

And I’ve been charting the Oklahoma Covid-19 Stats. I have a new graph from Apple showing their mobility index for Oklahoma with early January being equal to 100. It shows us Okies slowing way down after the lockdown and now we are faunching at the bit and are just as busy as we were before. I am dreading what that might mean.

What have you been up to?

Our World – Birds on the Back Fence

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American Robin

My wife Heather has been taking advantage of the this isolation to revamp our back yard and add bird feeders and such. So we are getting a lot more birds than we used to. Plus we have more time to sit out and watch them.

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Mourning Dove

So its kind of fun. We have lots of squirrels also helping themselves to the feeders. I don’t care as long as they stay out of the attic.

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White Crowned Sparrow (I think)

So I am consulting inaturalist on some of the critters. I don’t have the patience to be a birder but I’ll do it opportunistically.

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On a different note, we spent some time with Heather’s Mom yesterday celebrating Mothers Day. A good time was had by all. We got food from a local restaurant and so nobody had to cook!!

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And I got a little drone time in as the clouds come rolling in. Check in later this week on my Skywatch Friday post for the images I captured.

I am linking up with Our World Tuesday

LaCoronaVida #6

I’ve been trying out my new pair of running shoes by actually running in them. I still consider myself a runner even though I have been walking the past couple years.

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So I am doing the run/walk thing and it is working for me. I am not winded doing it, my leg muscles are out of shape. So I run for a while, and then walk until I feel like trotting again. Going about 2 miles in the neighborhood streets and averaging about 14 to 15 minutes per mile. Pretty slow I know but I am working up.

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The golf courses are open and that is good to see. If any outdoor sport could be safe it would be golf, with a few rules changes.

My updated Covid 19 stats for Oklahoma. I am using Google’s “Slides” app. Their equivalent to Powerpoint. I am trying to figure out if I should do the Office 365 thing and get Powerpoint, Excel, Word, and Access. I love the software but the cheapest plan is $70 per year. I kind of like free and as long as free meets my needs then I’ll keep using it. What do you think?

Back to the data. The governor kept telling us that as long as new infections continued their decline he would enter phase two of the reopening and as you can see, new infections are not declining so he has new metrics to go by. Typical politician move.

How are things where you live?