Author Archives: yogisd7_wp

Skywatch Friday – A Cloudy Day at the Beach

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Even the rainy overcast days at the beach are interesting with the big vistas. This particular day featured fast moving showers moving through the area. I suscribe to the “hear it, fear it, see it, flee it” school of lightning. So I am not going to venture out during a rainstorm but I’ll sure take photos of those that do.

I am fascinated how the water changes color with the sky. Sometimes the water is blue, other times green, and still others grey. We stayed at the beach for a week and had no reason to turn on the television even when it was rained.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

The Secret to Selling a Million Dollar Home – Tulsa Parade of Homes 2017

Let me guess, you have a little cash saved up, you have some investors that believe in you, and you want to make some money. You want to make it quick!! And you want to do it by building and selling houses but you don’t want to mess around with little houses. You want to sell big houses. After it is a lot easier to build one million dollar house and sell it than four quarter million dollar houses, right?

Well I like the way you think and so I am going to tell you what the most important thing in building and selling big houses is. I am going to do it for free, because that is the kind of guy II am.

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Wait!! you say, I know all about that. The most important thing is the kitchen!! Well you know, kitchens are very important. They really are. People gravitate toward the kitchen because that is where the heart of the house is, right. So focus on the kitchen, make everything high end. Right!!

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And the higher end the better. Get some brass on those fixtures. That’ll do it.

Sorry, no it won’t. For a lot of people, the kitchen is where the beer is. Sorry to burst your bubble.

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Or maybe you think. Dazzle with stuff like gigantic ceiling fans that look like those that powered the NASA wind tunnels. Oh yeah, those are nice but you are putting me to sleep.

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Or you say, nice fireplaces, beautiful wood floors, Yeah, well everybody has those.

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Or you say swimming pools, with hot tubs!!! I say Yawn. Who uses their swimming pool after three months?

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Hey, you think it is about wine cellars?? Yeah, wine cellars. And I say, wine is made to drink, not sit in its own room.

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Or look you might tell me, bold design in the kitchen!!

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And the bedroom!!! And I ask who is going to dust all that? And who is going to repaint it when they tired of your bold design. I was tired when I saw it.

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Or technology you tell me. Great big refrigerators!! That’s the ticket. Let me tell you about refrigherators. Most people with a life have whatever refrigerator they own clear full. If they own a small refrigerator, it is full. If they own a big refrigerator, it is full also. If you want a bigger refrigerator, that means that you haven’t cleaned yours out recently. Clean it out, and then you will have lots of room. There, I have saved you a fortune. Thank me in the comments.

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Or you might say, nice outdoor spaces is what people want!! And I say, why. I had a guy I used to work with tell me that when he was a kid people pooped outside and ate inside. No they poop inside and eat outdoors. You tell me sense that makes? Especially in big houses.

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Or you might say, Movie rooms!!! I am will put in big movie rooms. And I say, seriously? who lives like that. Most people I know watch television and movies in their living rooms. Most “movie rooms” are upstairs. Away from the beer. So if I want another cold one I have to walk downstairs and to the kitchen and rummage through the supersize fridge and then trudge back upstairs. For that I am going to pay a million bucks? Nope,not me.

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You say, this is Oklahoma, tornado alley, A safe room, that is the ticket!! And I would say that now you are getting closer. How embarrassing to die in a tornado in your million dollar McMansion because you don’t have  a safe room. Good call I will say to you.

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And don’t get into the fancy bathroom fixtures. Yawn, you are boring me. And just how am I supposed to keep it clean anyway.

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Or how about fancy translucent garage doors!! I am really going to sleep now. Who cares?????

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Or fancy scroll work on the front door? Oh yeah, great idea genius, give me a solid wood or steel door with a peep hole any day.

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Or how about swoopy elegant stairways you tell me!!?? Oh yeah sure I say. Let me tell you about million dollar plus houses. They all have higher ceilings which means that your stairs are longer.  Don’t whine at me about it, the more money you spend, the more stairs you get to climb. If I have the cash for such a huge house, it is going to be one story.

I can tell you are not getting it so let me explain it to you with three letters.

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Sex sells and you do that in the bathroom with gigantic multi-person tubs designed for recreational bathing.

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Are you seeing what I mean? Are you hearing what I am saying?

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Like this, a two person shower.

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Or tubs right in front of windows with a spotlight.

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Or frosted glass for the shy ones.

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Or a big old giant picture window!! Opening onto a sloping lawn. I think this tub comes with diving board, trapeze, and pole options. For the more adventurous.

Are you getting it now? I think you are.  I won’t charge you a thing.

Apologies to the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. This week is their Parade of Homes. Go check them out. Lots of beautiful homes on display.

Happy Father’s Day Dad

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Another Father’s Day and I am blessed to still have my Father. He lives a thousand miles away but I think about him all the time. He is my personal hero. Dad is getting better at the group selfie thing.

Mazatzal Mountains - Arizona - Early 1960's

He grew up in the plains of South Dakota but somehow became a Forest Ranger with the US Forest Service.

Easter - Coyote, New Mexico

We lived in some really out of the way places. This was Coyote, New Mexico. In case you are wondering, I am the good looking kid. It has been years since my brother and I have held hands like that. It may be a few years before it happens again.

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He fought forest fires for a living.

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And suffered from the same photography frustrations as I do now. Left to right I think that is me, sister Ellen, and brother Bob.

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Dad was always student of history. We took a journey to Fort Sill, Oklahoma several years ago and found Geronimo’s grave in a very out of the way place on a very cold day in November.

#tbt Smokey Bear dot com posted this photo today on their Facebook site today. It shows me and my father in 1957 at the Pecos Ranger Station in New Mexico. My dad was the district ranger at the time. #ForestService #1950's #NewMexico

Here is a publicity still by the Forest Service with him and me and my Smokey Bear on the Santa Fe National Forest. I am still waiting for the royalty check.

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Here is Mom and Dad in Ireland back in the 80’s. They had lots of fun together.

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This is Dad with my sister Ellen, brother Bob, and me at a church reunion in Payson, Arizona.

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Dad even tried a little geocaching, here with me and sister Ellen. Mainly trying to be a good sport more than a love for the sport. He was always a good sport.

He has slowed down a little bit but is still sharp as a tack and is still living life.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you.

Skywatch Friday – Lifeguard Tower

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Orange Beach, Alabama

Why are lifeguard towers so darn cool? Most places I have been I have hardly ever see lifeguards in them. They are very beachy though like this example from our recent vacation to the Gulf Coast of Alabama. We had pretty good weather and great skies while we are there and a pretty good time.

Skywatch Friday

Tulsa Tough 2017 – River Parks Criterium and CryBaby Hill

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This past weekend was the annual Tulsa Tough bicycle racing festival. A collection of bicycle races and other events over the course of three days. The popular events are the Crit Races or Criterium Races which are races over a relatively short loop with multiple laps. The first two crit races are close to downtown and Sunday is the day for the River Parks Criterium which features a loop that includes a steep hill and a very sharp turn onto Riverside Drive coming off the hill.

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Tulsa Tough also has longer road races, called Gran Fondos, and for posers like me they have a short Townie Ride. I was going to do it this year but maybe next!!

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I attended the River Parks Criterium again. For fans it is like two different races. Down on Riverside drive there is a long straightaway and corporate hospitality tents and everything is very calm and sedate.

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Above shows the high speed sharp turn off the hill back onto Riverside. Lots of crashes happen here as the riders are bunched up, turning, and braking to get back on the long straightaway.

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This tent is close to the sharp turn onto Riverside. The bags of mulch are to protect the riders who lose control of their bikes and crash into the tent. See the Red Cross flag at the far right. I was standing there when one of the medics told me. “Hey Dude, do what you want but we put the medic tent for a reason, when they lose control off the hill they land right here, so if you stay, be alert.” So I moved.

Riverside Drive is where the Starting Line is and everybody stays pretty mellow.

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At the top of the hill on the other section of the course is Crybaby Hill. The course is a relatively narrow residential street and and this where things get interesting. The races are going all out to get up the hill and the fans are there yelling at them and ringing cowbells and having a good time. There have enough people that they have the people in the referee shirts above who are charged with keeping a lane open for the racers. “Minding the Gap” they call it.

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I always get there kind of early and leave kind of early so I’ve never seen the party in full tilt. When I’m there you have people getting warmed up for the party.

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The racers are working very hard though. They come from all over the US and overseas to compete. The popularity of the event is growing rapidly and it really is a Tulsa happening. Especially Crybaby Hill.  Below is a short video of the racers coming through. I would be good for one loop but these guys and gals do it over and over.

I’ll be back next year!!

My World – Cheech Marin’s Chicano Art Collection at Philbrook Museum

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Friday was my day off and I went to Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum to check out the recently opened exhibition of a selection of Cheech Marin’s collection of Chicano Art.  Marin is of course half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Who knew that he had a world famous collection of Chicano Art?

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Tirando Rollo (I Love You) by Gaspar Enriquez

It is amazing. A wide variety of styles of both established and new artists. They were all new to me. I had never seen an exhibition dedicated to Chicano art before.

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If La Virgen Returned by Pablo Andres Cristi

Many of the works are political or religious in nature and they all express strong emotions such as the above work by Cristi reflecting his feeling that the Catholic Church has hurt his people more than helped.

I have not heard the word “Chicano” used very much in decades. Growing up in New Mexico it was a common term and seemed interchangeable with Mexican-American with connotations of cultural pride. I don’t know why I haven’t heard it in Oklahoma especially since there is quite a bit of Hispanic cultural influence here. From my brief survey on the internet the term is still controversial and not everybody considers in a positive light.

I found the art to be remarkable and very good and succeeded maybe in enlarging my world a little bit. The exhibition recently opened and will be a Philbrook until early September. Check the Philbrook link  for deatails.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Summertime in the City

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Summer is here and we have already had our vacation so we are grinding it out.  Logan is taking summer college classes downtown. He missed his bus the other day so he got to sit in my cubicle and read.

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I took a class earlier this week on Leadership Training. It was held at a hotel and the swimming pool was next to the meeting rooms. We should have brought our suits.

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Coming back from vacation in Alabama we found a decent liquor store with a knowledgeable clerk who gave me tips on all sorts of local and regional brews we don’t get in Oklahoma. This is a Key Lime Pie Gose.  Gose beers are kind of sour and salty and they are just the thing in the summer. This one was great.

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I wore my hydration pack for the first time for my weekly run on Turkey Mountain. I can carry 1.5 liters of water instead of just 750 ml that I can carry in my water bottle plus a lot easier to carry. You have to watch your balance though climbing up rock faces. Too easy to lean backwards too much. The pack doesn’t make me any faster but I can run farther and not be so wiped out at the end of the run.

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Logan is getting a few more weeks of job skills training at Goodwill Industries. They have a pretty decent program for kids on the Autism Spectrum. Next up they will help him find a job.  And then they provide job coaching. We are grateful for the support.

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I won a $25 Goodwill store gift certificate at a Goodwill event just before we went on vacation. What do I buy at Goodwill? They surprised me with their collection of inexpensive books. So I got a box of books!! Which I will recycle through my account at used book store here in town that basically costs me a dollar when I exchange like for like quality of books. Sometimes I think I am extraordinarily cheap. Maybe but I like making a game out of it also.

What to do the rest of the summer. On the list are

  • Visiting my sister, Ellen who has started work in Yellowstone Park as a seasonal worker for a vendor. Check the link for her blog. She is making the most of her time there.
  • Going to see my Dad in Idaho.
  • We were talking that we have not been to New Mexico in a while. The green chiles are calling me

How about you, what do you have on your plate?

Oh yes, the latest Microsoft Windows upgrade has slowed my machine down tremendously. I thought I might have to get a new one but I am trying a huge increase in RAM from Crucial dot com. I am going from 2 gb to 16 gb at pretty reasonable cost. If it works. I’ll let you know. It should be here in a couple weeks. I can’t hardly run photoshop any longer.

Skywatch Friday – Arkansas River Run

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I went on a run after work Monday. I saw a lot of stuff like the scene above with the daytime moon. I love daytime moons.

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I saw a bunch of geese all swimming in one direction like they were zombies. I thought they flew north instead of paddling north.

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I saw a bridal shoot going on in the middle of the river.

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I saw another runner checking out the shoot.

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And some bicyclist zoomed on past me. Zooming past me is not hard. I like my shadow selfie.

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I passed the golden dome of the Greek Orthodox Church.

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I went across a bridge where there were a bunch of locks. I knew that it was just a matter of time before this tradition hit town.

Four slow miles in the 90 degrees heat.

I’m linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Abundant Life Building – former Oral Roberts Ministry Headquarters

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On my evening run I passed this big ugly hulk just south of downtown. It is the Abundant Life building that was built in the mid 1950’s by Oral Roberts as headquarters for his ministry. The building has been abandoned for many years now. It was last used as an office by Southwestern Bell in the 1980s. More information can be found at the Historic Tulsa and Abandoned Oklahoma sites. Abandoned Oklahoma has some shots of the interior including the marble entryway.

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The building is strange because it has no windows. It has changed hands several times and plans are announced for redeveloping it. I just cannot see how that would work for such a big ugly building with no windows. I hate to see old buildings torn down but it seems that options are few for this structure.

Wonder Woman – Rise of the Warrior, with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine

Sunday night the family’s last official act of vacation was going to the movies to see the latest Wonder Woman flick.  And it is fabulous. Gal Gadot has the title role and she is perfect. Sweet when she has to be, glamorous during a gala, and and fierce when fighting the bad guys or sticking up for the little people. Chris Pine plays British spy, Steve Trevor.

What is the story you ask? Diana is cavorting about with the other Amazons on their own island when somehow Trevor’s plane that he stole from the Germans (World War I) comes crashing into the sea followed by a German ship and boatloads of troops. The Amazons fight off the Germans and find out about World War I for the first time. Diana takes off, against orders, with Trevor to go back to London to report to the authorities, except she doesn’t really want to follow procedure, she wants to go to the front and fight bad guys.

So a battle ensures between the forces of good and evil and you will just have to go see for yourself which side won. This was a very satisfying movie to watch and as a rule I’m not a big fan of super hero movies. They spend a good amount of time developing character and the back story and the chemistry between Pine and Gadot is great.  I highly recommend the film. Also, everybody keeps their clothes on,  and the fighting scenes are not gory.

Check out the movie web site, games, more trailers, and lots of other good stuff.