This is the Tulsa US Bankruptcy Court building. I don’t know what it is, maybe it is the oil moguls but we have always had lots of bankruptcies here in Tulsa. The mottled reflections is from a high rise across the street. Yep, you guessed it, Samson Resources, a local oil company is just now coming out of bankruptcy.
I have taken lots of pictures of this building. I’ve been told by some of my instagram “friends” that when they take photographs that sometimes the guards come out and shoo them off and tell them that it is illegal to take photographs of Federal buildings. Yeah right, like maybe in Russia. Notice how tough I talk? I’d stick my camera in my pocket and move on. But I would be back. I’ve been told by church goers that it is illegal to take photos of a church without a members permission. (I said I had a members permission, they said who?, I said that they didn’t give their name.) I’ve been told by security guards at the OSU Osteopathic Hospital that it was a federal crime to take a photo of a hospital because of HIPAA. Yeah, sure buddy. Lots of security guard stupidity going on in the world out there is what I say.
This is the front of our library in downtown Tulsa.
And a perfect pattern in the gardens of one of our museums.
Another shot from the building I work to the west with a sunset and the Arkansas River. I am moving this week from the fifth floor at work to the sixteenth floor so I walk a few steps over to the west window to see the Arkansas River out to the west. I started out in engineering years ago and after years of hopping back and forth between the engineering, operations, and commercial roles I am back in an engineering role for the first time in a dozen years. And so I am back upstairs.
I’m also getting geared up. The safety regs require safety boots while out on location. So I now have some company paid composite toe boots (lighter and more insulating than the old steel toe boots that I tossed into the Goodwill box when I last left engineering) and I ordered some FR’s (Fire resistant clothing) for use while in our facilities. I work in the natural gas industry) My employer provides a generous allowance to buy such items. I’m okay with all things safety including wearing uncomfortable clothes. When I was in operations management way back when my worst nightmare was that one of my 55 guys got hurt. The second nightmare would be having to call their spouse, girlfriend, or parent and telling them the news. Luckily that never happened. Safety for employees and the general public has gotten more serious and effective since and that is a wonderful thing.
I will only be in the field occasionally. Guys and gals that work out there a lot wear hazardous gas monitors also. I visited a competitors plant a couple weeks ago and I was one of the few that didn’t have such a device. The plant manager said, okay Alan, if you see us run, I would suggest that you run also. I thought that was hilarious.
So, life and works goes on!! How are things with you.
Recently I stopped in Fort Reno just west of Oklahoma City. Fort Reno has a long history. It was initially built in 1875 for the US Cavalry to monitor the Southern Cheyenne and Southern Arapahoe Indians in the area. As time went on and the Indian Wars subsided the post was converted to an Army Remount Facility operated by the Army Quartermaster Corps with the purpose of breeding, raising, and training horses and mules for the military. It held that function until 1947 along with a brief interlude as a prisoner of war facility during World War II. The property is now administered by the US Department of Agriculture as an Agricultural Research Station.
I love the many old buildings. Many of which are restored. Above is an old Officer’s Quarters. It looks in good shape on the outside. I wonder what life was like back in day living out in the middle of nowhere.
One of the original mule barns that it is being restored.
I love the cemetery located a quarter mile or so from the rest of the post. Lots of old graves here, many marked, “unknown” , a few soldiers who died during the Indian wars and lots of employees and family from the Remount Station days.
In a walled off section of the cemetery are graves of German and Italian soldiers who were prisoners of war during World War II. They didn’t all die here. Oklahoma had several POW camps and after the war the men who died were all disinterred and brought to Fort Reno.
The Italian soldiers were all buried together and somebody keeps their graves decorated. A few of the men have been disinterred by the families and the remains returned to Italy.
This is the most famous POW buried at Fort Reno. Johannes Kunze was a member of Rommel’s Afrika Corps and was taken prisoner in north Africa and sent to Oklahoma. He turned into an informant for the Americans and was found out and brutally murdered by his fellow prisoners. The Americans picked out five prisoners and charged them with murder. They stood trial, defended by an Army picked civilian attorney who had never practiced criminal law. The Army prosecutor was Leon Jaworski who later found fame as the Special Prosecutor during the Watergate scandals. Of course the five Germans were found guilty and were hung by the Army at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas right after the war ended. I posted about this last year. I just love stuff like this.
Speaking of Prisoners of War. The Germans built this chapel at the Fort during WWII. You can rent it for a wedding or other occasion. I think that would be cool.Check on how to do it here.
I just read “The Old Man” by Thomas Perry. Perry is one of my brain candy authors, full of manly men doing manly stuff and all very competent, always prepared, and always know just what to do in any situation especially those where swift, violent action is required. Unlike some of us who are lost and befuddled and hope everything turns out.
Meet Dan Chase, about my age, a retired old fart in Vermont. He has a house, a car, two dogs, and a past. A long time ago in Libya he was a US intelligence agent who got involved in a cash payoff that went badly and he got framed of taking a money, but he was really innocent. So he had to go undercover with a false identity and hide. So he a bugout kit with cash, several sets of identity papers, guns, ammo, and knives. Thirty five years go by and nothing happens and then some people from his past show up and he goes on the run.
So it is a wild ride with some twists and turns and unexpected as he dodges and weaves trying to stay alive.
Another rock solid escapist thriller read from Thomas Perry.
It’s brand new and I got my copy free from the Tulsa Public Library. Saved some bucks I tell ya. I’m a big library fan.
Saturday morning I dropped the kid off at his Improv class and I drove to Turkey Mountain and hobbled around a bit. I say hobbled because for about a month now running has been very painful and I can’t hardly go up or down stairs. That is frustrating because I generally take stairs when I can and always walk up and down escalators. Now, walking up is painful but doable, walking down is out of the question. Things are getting better but not quick enough to suit me. I know patience is required so I am walking a lot and doing the elliptical machine thing. On Wednesday nights I run very short distances in between long walking interludes. So anyway back to Turkey Mountain. I have found almost all the non-micro sized geocaches there so I went for a couple I hadn’t found yet. The first one was close to a homeless camp that now looks abandoned. (It sure is a mess!!!!) This cache was easy to find. See up in the tree?
I read the description and guess what, climbing apparatus is required. While I am not doing it at all climbing gear or not. Unfortunately I can’t log it unless I sign the log inside. No partial credit allowed. Oh well. I was glad to find it. The next time we have a clean up on Turkey Mountain we’ll need to clean up the dude’s camp. Plus there is another one, that may be occupied, about a hundred yards north. It needs to go as well.
The next cache I found, or didn’t find, was also up in a tree. And this one, maybe, just maybe? But no, it is on a steep slope and remote and if I slipped or fell I would be in a world of hurt especially by myself. I could get this one with a ladder. I have a light portable ladder that I have packed into woods to retrieve caches safely and this might be one of them. Later.
I wandered around some more and found this. It is a bicycle jump across a ravine. I love the “Caution Gap” signs. They are probably needed because as you can see if you are on this side and tearing down the hill on your bicycle you are not going to see that it is not a bridge it is a jump. How does one do this for the first time? I guess you start out by not being as chicken as I am. You can also see that the structure has more problems than the gap. The first few boards are missing. See that bypass off to the right with the small bridge. That is more my speed.
I have yet to take my bicycle to Turkey Mountain. I have seen some bicyclists do incredible things. Like bend their wheels out of round or their frames and they have to carry their bikes two miles to the parking lot. I have also seen other guys go up and down hillsides that I thought were pretty much vertical. One day I saw a couple of mountain unicyclers tearing down the hill on the knobby tired unicycles. They are long poles they were using like skiers use ski poles but still, it was amazing.
Anyway, I had a great walk out in the woods on a beautiful chilly breezy, sunny January day. So, mission accomplished.
The sky during a recent blustery day on Tulsa’s industrial west side. I love the bare trees, the blue sky, and the clouds. I even love the “trash to energy plant” on the lower left side of the photo with the two smokestacks.
Tulsa’s Howard Park right on Route 66 in the city’s gritty industrial west side has a brand spanking new monument consisting of three big sculpted pillars of Indiana Limestone by Utah artist Patrick Sullivan.
The pillars depict Tulsa sights like Cain’s Ballroom, art deco architecture, the energy, aviation, and railroad industries and Native American heritage.
I love stuff like this. This monument is here to stay. An F5 tornado may topple them but they are not going anywhere.
I went running one warm winter afternoon not long ago. It was getting late afternoon and for some reason the river was way down. I have seen it lower. One time I walked almost clear across it. The bottom is hard rock with deep crevices. There is a lot of old construction and oilfield debris. There is also a lot of fish in the remaining pools. I have seen them while crossing the bridges. Here is a video made of the river back in 2014 when the river was low and running clear. It shows among other types of fish a shovel nosed sturgeon which was unexpected.
I am really taken with the idea of all that life taken place hidden in a river running through a big city.
I found a Greyhound bus in downtown Tulsa last week at the bus station. Nobody any it but it looked ready to go. It is fully up to date it looks like with handicapped access, power, wifi,and reclining seats. Other than that, I am not sure that buses have changed much over the years. I would bet that of the features listed, only the reclining seats worked. I have never rode in too many buses but a lot of stuff didn’t work. Stuff like the restroom, the air conditioning, or even the bus itself. Anybody else spend some time on the side of a road in a broke down bus??
My longest bus trip was from Albuquerque to Mexico City in 1971 as part of a High School trip. I don’t think we rode Greyhound but it was a long ways. The crow flies distance is 1172 miles. I’d add a couple hundred at least for the roads. I don’t remember much about it except it was fun. We got broke down a couple times. I wish I had a decent camera back then. I remember the small towns were pretty cool. Mexico City was great. The highlight was the pyramids at Teotihucan. They were spectacular.
So who rides the bus lines these days? I guess people who have a lot of time and not much money. To visit my Dad in Idaho would take two days and 23 hours but cost only about $200 one way or less than half what it cost to fly and be there in 6 hours, including layovers. I think it would be a miserable journey though.
I got on good ole youtube to look at old bus commercials. Back in the 60’s they showed people dressed up in suits and ties and nice dresses to travel on the bus. Kind of like flying used to be.
I checked out a new shopping center in downtown Tulsa last week. It takes up a fraction of a city block and is constructed of thirty nine shipping containers. The containers were actual containers used in international commerce for the last ten years. Or at least that is what their website claims. It is called the Boxyard and I love it.
I was kind of semi aware of it and knew that it was built kind of quickly so I was expecting something kind of rough but to my surprise it looks very cool and the design is very attractive. It just opened a couple months ago but they already have several businesses open.
It is laid out on two levels centered on a plaza on the first level. They packed a lot of potential businesses in a relatively small space. They have spaces for both retail and food and beverage businesses. I’m intrigued by the whole thing because of its use of recycled shipping containers and the idea of a “micro” shopping area. Tulsa’s downtown is pretty frothy right now with new businesses popping up and people investing in renovating old buildings.
It has been a remarkable transition. When I first showed up in Tulsa twenty five years ago there was very little going on downtown. No restaurants, no bars, no retail, no nothing. Now there are lots of such businesses and there are lots of people living downtown and I think an active downtown is good for the whole city.
There is this gigantic “OPEN” sign you can see through the glass of this space for a bar on the second level. I’m looking foward to it actually being open during warm weather. Maybe Heather and I can have a beer up here on this patio of this remarkable space.