Author Archives: Alan Bates

If You Show Me Yours, I Will Show You Mine!

I have an instagram account with yogiab as my handle. I generally post only one or two images per day. Many of the images migrate either to or from this blog. I follow several hundred accounts. If you have an instagram account please give me a follow, I’ll follow you back. I am really into interaction and appreciate others who interact as well. If you follow me and don’t like what you see, just unfollow or mute me. I’m a big boy and will survive. I already follow several fellow bloggers.

There’s an App called “Top Nine” which will find your nine most popular images on instagram for 2019. Here’s mine!

Top Nine Instagram Images 2019

So starting on the top left and working like a book, left to right, and down to the next row..

First is crane from one of the many construction projects going on in Tulsa these days. My most popular post. I have no idea why.

Next, is a sunset over the Arkansas River. I took the photo from my office building. I have taken hundreds of such photos. I will miss the vantage point when I retire at the end of April 2020.

Third, is a photo of the Arkansas River underneath the 22nd street bridge during our flooding last summer. It was toward the end of the day and so the golden light along with the very muddy water created some nice lighting. The flooding caused some misery for thousands of people in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

The next photo, middle row on the left, is from me and Heather’s thirty year anniversary trip to southeast Oklahoma at Beaver’s Bend State Park. Southeast Oklahoma is one of the best kept secrets around. If you are thinking of flat land and cows, you will be surprised at the mountains, clear running rivers, deep forests, and lakes in what is called “Little Dixie.”

Next is Mount Moran as seen over the Snake River in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. A magical place that I have been seeing all my life and never get tired of. Heather and I went there this past October.

The third photo on the middle row is the famous Moulton Barn on Mormon Row, also on the Grand Teton National Park. This may be the most famous barn in the world.

The next photo, the leftmost on the third row is from a business outing I took to northwest Oklahoma. I stopped and snapped a photo of it and posted it several years ago. The yellow plants are a canola field. Canola is a lot more popular since they changed the name from rapeseed several years ago. I posted the photo again this year as part of Jason Lee show at the Philbrook museum. This photo was selected for exhibition in the exhibit and you can see it until the end of next week at the downtown Philbrook here in Tulsa. It is hanging right next to another entry of mine also. Just bragging on myself I know.

The next photo is Tulsa’s beautiful Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. An art deco masterpiece designed by Bruce Goff. It may be the most beautiful building I have ever seen. I probably have hundreds of photos that I have taken of it.

And lastly is a moon shot. I have a Canon SuperZoom camera that I use for the moon. I hold it in my hand and shoot on auto. I had messed with fstops, tripods, and such for years and then I saw a youtube video where they said to just fill the viewfinder with the moon and let the camera’s auto settings figure out the rest. And you know, it works.

Anyways, try out instagram and give me a follow. I love viewing other people’s images.

Skywatch Friday – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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From our trip last October to Jackson. We spent most days hiking but one day was too bitterly cold for that so we did other things including visiting the fabulous National Museum of Wildlife Art overlooking the Elk Refuge. Filled with great art, most of in the warm building but I loved these pieces out on a patio overlooking the valley. There are no bad views in Jackson Hole.

Come join us at Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Tulsa’s Winterfest

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Today at noon I went for a little stroll in downtown Tulsa over to the Arvest Winterfest area. I guess that might be the city Christmas tree except you know we can’t have city owned Christmas trees.

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They put up a temporary ice rink and have food trucks and hot chocolate. At night. Nobody was around at noon.

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They even have a Zamboni to smooth out the ice.

And a full moon, almost

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Waxing Gibbous 99%.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Flint and Steel 5K Trail Race at New Life Ranch

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The Chapel at New Life Ranch

About a week ago my racing friend Paula messaged me asking if I was going to run the Flint and Steel Trail Run. I had never heard of it but thanks to my buddy Mr. Google I found out that it was a fund raiser for New Life Ranch, a summer camp 80 miles east of Tulsa in Ozarks. So I signed up for the 5K race and Saturday made my way over there.

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The Awards

The temp was 33 degrees as I left Tulsa and kept getting colder and colder until I got to the camp down in the Flint Valley where it was a brisk 27F. I was a little underdressed but as the sun came up, the wind quit and although the temperature didn’t change much it felt a lot warmer.

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The medals.

So I ran with Paula, and her friend Misti, and her husband. When I say run, well I guess we walked. Sorry, I walk most of my races these days. Hope I didn’t burst your bubble.

There were two other races going on, which is typical for trail runs. A 10K and 25K with staggered starts and we run on each others courses quite a bit so you have to pay attention to the ribbon colors. We managed to stay on the right trail, which is an accomplishment for me given that I got off course on two races this year.

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Some of the many horses at New Life who ignored me.

And we took lots of photos.

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Beautiful Flint Creek

Flint Creek, an incredibly beautiful, clear running creek runs through the property. I had no idea that Oklahoma had such a pretty creek. The water quality in the area is under threat because of “chicken houses” put up by farmers in the area where they raise hundreds of thousands of chickens and the associated runoff and odors. After seeing the creek I can understand why area residents are concerned. The state has a very muddled response, meaning that they are doing nothing.

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I love reflections

A good time was had by all. A great course, great shirt, and medal, a nice grilled chicken sandwich lunch afterwards. So I give this race five stars out of five. I was also first in my age group of the race. It be very rude to ask me how many were in my age group, because I would have to report that I was the only one that showed up, just think of the hundreds of thousands that could have raced but did not.

I’ll be back!

Come join the fun at Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Visions of the Wolf River

Wolf River Trail

During my recent stay in the Memphis area I went on a walk along the Wolf River. I loved the scene above even though it is kind of ordinary. I think I loved it for the possibilities.

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I fired up my Topaz Glow app. It is always good for looking at possibility. This is the “Dizzy” filter back off a lot. It kind of gives an otherworldly feel. Something that makes me think something is not right.

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So I fired up some other filters, This is a full on 100% Neon Sign filter. Something is definitely not right here but I love it.

Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!

A Thankful Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving 2019 is going to be a little different. I’ve been blessed my whole life that Thanksgiving has always been special. Sometimes it has been with lots of people and happy noises and other times quiet. In recent years it has been on the smaller side of things.

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These two, the world’s greatest MIL and my wife get all the food going. Except I smoke the chicken, turkey, ribs or whatever. That’s a hard job. The hardest part is to not drink so much beer that you forget what you are doing.

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And Logan, the brains of the bunch, or so he says.

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This lady, my partner in life. The one who keeps me going. Heather is the uber networker. She knows everybody, if she doesn’t know the right person, she knows who to call. She can gather information and resources like nobody’s business.

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This year, brother Bob has fallen ill. Runner of 26 marathons and numerous lesser distances and probably the toughest person I know, by far, has a serious illness where he can’t walk a foot without support. I think he is going to be okay but it is going to take some time. My sister and I are trying to figure it out all out. Bob has been a part of our Thanksgiving for years. He loves good food and we are the place for that.

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So this year Bob and I are having a branch Thanksgiving at his hospital in Memphis. Don’t feel sorry for me, yes I will miss everybody but I am thankful that I have my brother. I am thankful for all the hospitals, nurses, nurses aides, cleaning people, food service techs, and doctors who have a part in getting him to where he is now. Many of those people will be working on Thanksgiving, away from their families, ministering to people like my brother. He’s had a lot of tough therapy and despite his losses and despite the hard therapy, he never complains, he just takes it as it comes.

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I am also thankful for his co-workers and friends. Bob is now a Navy civilian employee and most of his coworkers are ex-military as well. There is a fierce loyalty and concern there that I don’t think lifelong civilians can really know.

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And my sister, Ellen, fellow blogger, retired IT executive, seasonal Yellowstone Park Ranger, and all around great person who always seems to know what to do. She spent three weeks with Bob and left a few days ago to get some R&R and spend some with her family.

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So yes, Thanksgiving will be a little different this year but I think that I have more to be thankful for than ever.

I hope you and your families have a great Thanksgiving. Lets remember those who have to work or otherwise cannot spend their days with family.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out!!

Our World – Walking in Memphis

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I’m in Memphis this week, Sunday I went for a short walk. Memphis seems to have walking-biking-running-whatever trails everywhere. Nice ones with trees, and not very many hills.

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A beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon.

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Despite the signs warning not too, I kind of veered off the trails and bushwhacked for a short while.

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I was hunting a geocache and I found it. It was actually laying on the ground and I put it up where I thought it was supposed to be.

My thirty minute walk was nice. And I found a song for you. Memphis is a music city.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday – come join in!