Author Archives: Alan Bates

Shadow Shot Sunday – Turkey Mountain and Town Shadows

On Turkey Mountain late one afternoon on a beautiful sunny day.

At the Slide Vale at Tulsa’s Gathering Place early one morning.

Downtown Tulsa. The city is letting restaurants use the parking spaces in front of their businesses to make “parklets” for outside seating. Great idea in these pandemic days.

I’m linking with ShadowShot Sunday

Weekend Reflections – Renaissance Brewery

My wife and I had a bunch of errands to do yesterday that took us all over Tulsa. We rewarded ourselves with a trip to Renaissance Brewing. A brewery we haven’t been to in a couple years.

A photo of the brewing equipment through glass. Kind of hard to tell what is what.

First up for me was the Gamma Ray IPA. A full 16 ounce pour of a solid, very drinkable beer.

And then second was the Dragonsbreath ale. A smaller pour (that’s okay!) brewed with fiery serrano peppers. It was very spicy and very sippable.

So we had a good time in the brewery off by ourselves in the corner, socially distancing. We are loving the brewing scene in Tulsa. There are lots of good places with great beer.

Check out Weekend Reflections

Hello Autumn!

Finally got cooler weather. Time for a pinion fire and adult beverages on the patio.

My Tiki enjoyed the company.

My brother had surgery early this week. Because he lives in a long term care facility under lockdown I had not seen him since March. So the upside of his surgery was that I got to spend many hours with him in his room. That was nice but it got cut short. Tulsa is running out of hospital rooms because of our Governor’s refusal to address the pandemic so brother got kicked out a couple days early. He’s in good hands though, the place he lives has skilled nursing facility so he’ll spend some time there recovering.

In the meantime the Tulsa area is having some great Fall colors on display. I love it.

I did another geocaching Adventure Labs outing, this one at Tulsa’s Gathering Place park. I thought I had been over square inch of it and knew all there was about the park. Turned out I was wrong, I found out several things I didn’t know before. I had the whole place to myself.

For example this is the Reading Tree. It was the first attraction at the park and Reading Partners sponsored readings there for thousands of kids before the park opened. One of the challenges for the Adventure Lab was to find out what corporation sponsored the physical facility. That was a problem because they were asking people to please stay off the grass. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who thought the request didn’t apply to him so I called the park office and asked them and they told me. Don’t tell anybody I cheated though, okay? I’m not going to say just in case you want to do the Adventure Labs outing.

So we finished the floors at our house and are waiting on the painters to start next week. We have been shopping for new light fixtures. In my new office I am going to get rid of the ceiling fan and put in just a light fixture. What do you think of these?

So after my brother got booted out of the hospital I was a little blue since I don’t know when I am going to see him again so I went on a walk on Turkey Mountain. That always cheers me up. I am working on a geocaching type thing for Black Friday on the mountain. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition is sponsoring it in an effort to get people into nature. Anyway I got about 12 to 14 temporary caches that we will be planting along a trail. More on that later.

So I’ve had a busy week, how about you? I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Our World – The Outsiders House Museum and Locations

I went on a little tour of Tulsa Saturday. It was a tour of a movie locations for “The Outsiders” based on the coming of age novel by S.E. Hinton. The movie was shot in Tulsa in 1983 by Francis Ford Coppola and several rising young stars in it including, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, and Patrick Swayze.

I went to several places including “The Outsiders House” where many of the scenes were shot. It is in a rough neighborhood that now appears on the upswing. The house had gone through some rough times since the filming and was about to be demolished when rapper Danny Boy O’Connor purchased it in 2016. The house was gutted and rebuilt with a lot of help of volunteers. It is now a museum and is pretty cool.

The inside has been restored and there is a lot of memorabilia on display. It’s kind of like walking through an old house, because it is an old house.

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I also went to Will Rogers High School where some of the scenes were shot. It is a beautiful old Art Deco school. My wife and I attended a concert there several years ago and the interior is gorgeous.

Another scene was shot at the Circle Theater. Excuse the terrible photo. It is still in service but is now kind of art movie type venue.

And the Admiral Twin Drive-in which is still in use. It burned down several years ago and was rebuilt.

In times past I have been to other Outsiders Locations. This is a gas station in the suburb of Perry north of town and across the street…

Is another location used in the movie.

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And this is Boston Avenue Church in downtown Tulsa. An exterior shot of this was made as a hospital.

So I had a lot of fun on my little tour. It was actually a type of geocache called an Adventure Lab where one has to travel to the various sites and answer a question about the site, while at the site (it uses your phone’s gps to keep you from cheating.)

Here’s a site that lists more locations. They have screenshots from the movie along with current day shots.

Do you like to visit old movie locations?

Check out Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – The Moon and More

Full Moon Blue Moon Halloween Moon

This was the Halloween Full Moon. A blue moon because it was the second full moon of the the month. I love full moons. Did you have any trick or treaters. We didn’t on purpose because of the pandemic. We shut out lights off. Felt strange but we did it. There were still lots of kids out and about Halloweek Night.

I’ve been going back and forth a little bit when taking the kid to and from his university. I always try and and jump off the interstate for short segments on Route 66. It’s been years since I have done that. I found this bank in Chandler, Oklahoma that had all these old signs in their parking lot. I love stuff like this.

All sorts of signs scattered here, there, and everywhere. Sign me up!!

Near the town of Davenport I came across these pumpjacks. These are not used to pump oil. They are on gas wells and the wells produce so much water that if it wasn’t pumped off it wouldn’t allow the gas to produce. It’s called a Hunton dewatering project. Hunton is the name of the formation.

Across the road from the pumpjacks was a cemetery where I went geocaching. It was getting late in the day and I loved this view of the fence and the trees. I love cemeteries.

I found this gravestone. I loved this, God bless Jimmie Clark. He sounds like a great guy. Just what I needed during this election vote counting and pandemic angst going on.

What are doing to keep your sanity during these trying times?

Check out Skywatch Friday

Adventure Lab Geocaching at Tulsa’s Woodward Park

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I am into geocaching where I search for hidden “caches” hidden by other people (and I have hidden a bunch also.) It’s a worldwide game with millions of caches in almost ever country. (Check out geocaching.com for more information.) An essential feature is that there is a container that is hidden. Well, that is not appropriate in a lot of places. Geocaching.com has added a new twist to the game that doesn’t require a hidden physical object to find.

I love Fall color and fallen leaves.

They have started something called “Adventure Labs” where one goes to particular places learns something about the place and answers a question. It is on a smartphone app that uses the GPS functionality of the phone to make sure that you are at the right place. Learn more Adventure Labs by clicking the hyperlink.

Dappled Sunlight is the Bomb

There are several Adventure Lab geocaches in Tulsa right now. The first one I attempted was at Woodward Park. A very old and very beautiful park in mid-Town Tulsa loaded with features such as gardens, ponds, a rose garden, Tulsa Garden Center, and so on. There are five steps to completing the cache. None of which are shown here lest I spoil someone’s experience. Attempting the lab cache I got to see all these sights though.

Woodward Park was built back in the 20’s I love the stone steps. I am sure that each violate hundreds of safety rules. I will tell you when they are wet they are as slippery as ice.

It took about an hour to complete the five steps. I could have done it quicker but it’s not a race, and I was in it for the experience. You have to be within a certain distance before it will let you see what the question is for a given area and your answer has to be exact. It was fun. I already knew the answers to most of the question and I learned some new stuff as well. There are conventional caches and this Adventure Lab cache both at the park now.

Last Blooms at the Tulsa Garden Center

So this is my nerd finding for the week. I was just glad to get out of the house after baby sitting contractors for two weeks!!

I am linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – Trees and Skies

We are lucky here in northeast Oklahoma. Central and western Oklahoma had a devastating ice storm this past few days. Lots of trees and powerlines down. Our son is in a small college in that area and he is dealing with being out of power for the first time in his life. Here in Tulsa we just had cold rain. Lots of it!!

Before that happened though we had overcast skies. Sometimes you have to go with the sky you have. The tree above looks to me like dancing tree with lots of lacey arms.

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Here’s another dancing tree. Not quite as extravagant as the first tree.

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And here is just plain overcast sky in kind of a layer cake composition.

I’m still hanging out at the house with flooring contractors. They guys are really good and are such true craftsman but I am ready for them to go to their next job so we can start to put our house back together. Of course, next Monday we got painters coming!! Fun, fun, fun.

I hope that you have a great weekend. I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Our World – Geocaching Fall Fest

This past weekend was the annual Fall Fest for the Tulsa Area Geocachers (“TAG”) at Lake Bixhoma. Usually it is a multi day affair with camping and catered meals but this year it was an abbreviated one day affair. No camping, bring your own food, etc. I was busy with flooring and wall repair contractors so I was very late getting out there.

So here is proof that I can be social. I’m on the far left with two other geocachers. Yep, there was a cache on that dock.

In addition to meeting people, the big thing at Fall Fest is all the temporary geocacaches that people put out. There are typically dozens of them. I only saw a few. You will never see caches like this “in the wild” because they would be muggled in no time. (Muggles are people who are not geocachers, muggling is vandalism by muggles.)

Many of them involve puzzles or riddles to solve. Me and another guy had worked on this one for a while and the young man showed up and solved it in no time.

This was a pinball type cache where you had to notice numbers that were revealed as the ball fell down to solve a code.

And there were some water caches you could use a kayak to go find it. It was cold so I declined.

And then you had some more straightforward ones that even I could find.

I didn’t join the big group, I said hello to a few people and then found a trail around the lake. Social Distancing!

It was cold and overcast but still pretty in my book.

Bits of Fall Color were present. And then I went home!!

LJ the Cat, and Rascal enjoying the new floors

Come to find out that while I was off at the lake, the flooring guys knocked off early and my wife reclaimed our living room and master bedroom. We had been living upstairs during the time they were working downstairs and it was nice to have a couple rooms back. Our dogs and cats were highly stressed and they were glad to have Saturday afternoon and Sunday without being locked up with all the banging and other noises going on.

Abby loves the contractors. They give her belly rubs in the morning and evening but she slept almost all day Sunday.

Lizzie camped out in the master bedroom.

That’s about it this weekend.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

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.