I went hiking the other day and found this tree with all the branches on one side. It looks a little ghostly to me actually. And of course I liked the blue sky.
New Year’s Eve morning I decided I wanted to go on a little hike. I’m in recovery for an injury and my doctor told me to walk or run on level surfaces. Running is not happening right now but I am walking more and it doesn’t get any more level than Oxley Nature Center in north Tulsa. It was cold, in the low twenties, and there was a stiff breeze. Look at the flags standing at attention. Notice the empty parking lot! I had the whole place to myself.
I am not afraid of the cold. After years of running in the winter in all kinds of weather, I have the right gear to wear in cold weather. It is a balancing act dressing for the cold. Too little clothes and you die from the cold. Too many clothes and you overheat and sweat and possibly freeze. Also, avoid cotton!! Cotton kills in cold weather. Wear tech fabrics close to your skin. They wick the moisture away and breathe. The other thing about cold windy weather is I like to hike in the woods. It cuts the wind a lot. There are some parts of Oxley where you can hear the wind howling in the tree tops but it is calm at ground level.
Another reason to hike at Oxley, in the woods is the deer. They have deer there and I see at least one almost every time I go. I saw this dude when I walked into a water pipeline right of way. He had a group of four or so does he was bossing. So he stood and kept watch giving me the stinkeye while his harem left.
Then he gave me one last glare and left.
I walked on and had to backtrack when I came upon a frozen over trail. Hadn’t seen that at Oxley before.
Lots and lots of deer tracks.
I got to Lake Yahola and observed this dude from one of the blinds they have set up. Does anybody know what this guy is? I am wondering if it is an American White Pelican.
Hiking further on I found these deer. There were about four of them. I had a devil of a time being the newbie, picture taker that I am. I had to take the lens of autofocus and focus manually but there was a lot of glare so I had to shield the viewfinder while focusing. I’m sure it looked pretty hilarious. As you can see, I didn’t quite get the focus right.
And then yet another group. There was the big dude letting me know he was watching me and then he left and then mom and a teenager showed up. They kind of strolled past. In the background you can see another deer grazing. It was part of another group of four or five.
And got to the other side. This was pretty close to my car. I got in the car and while I was messing around with my gear and getting a drink a security car came by and checked me out.
Time to stop for some hot chocolate at Quik Trip, head home and check on the Dallas Cowboys in the game against Philidelphia. Dallas won but it was very ugly.
I’m linking with Our World Tuesday
Downsizing is a fun little movie. It is a kind of a science fiction, environmental, romance kind of movie. Matt Damon plays Paul Safranek a man with once bright prospects who is now an under achiever, compared to his peers. He and his wife try and buy a new house but they just plain don’t make enough money to qualify.
This is against a background of a well developed technology of molecular downsizing which is being promoted as the environmentally responsible thing to do. Paul and his wife to check it out and are wowed by how much their limited dollars will stretch if they downsize and live in a dedicated town. They decide to go ahead and do it.
The movie doesn’t get good reviews but I thought it was interesting. Downsizing is just another way of migrating from where you are to where you think the grass is greener. Americans have been doing it for years. In the movie, the environmental impact thing is played up but to the characters greed is the driving force. The opportunity to live in gigantic doll houses that cost a song is the allure. But you know, every paradise has its problems.
People move into their big houses but they don’t want to clean them. Whats the point of having a huge house if you have to clean it yourself? So guess what? there are downsized people who need the money who will clean your house. Where they live is not as not as nice as your house. So we have an immediate underclass.
I don’t want to get all political on anybody but it struck me that many of us would be happy with paradise. We wouldn’t want to emigrate, or downsize just to live in the same kind of house as what we have. We want an upgrade. And we will want to hire somebody to clean it for us.
So I liked the movie. There is a lot more to it than what I am saying but I don’t want to spoil it for you. There is a flurry of sexual language to the end that I think is totally uncalled for. Just letting you know. I think Matt Damon does a good job. Like I said the movie is getting mediocre reviews but I think it is worth watching.
Heather and I went to see “The Shape of Water“, a movie set in a mysterious defense lab somewhere in the USA during the early 1960’s. Sally Hawkins plays Elisa Esposito, a lonely young woman who cleans and mops in the lab. This is basically a science fiction type, action, adventure, spy, fantasy, romantic movie. It involves a water monster caught in the Amazon River and hauled to the lab and subject to abuse. I am not going to spoil it for you. It is a Beauty and the Beast movie and has a satisfying conclusion. Sally Hawkins does a great job, Michael Shannon plays a great old school security officer, Octavia Spencer, from Hidden Figures, does well as Elisa’s work buddy.
I loved it but keep the kiddos at home. It has, in my mind, purely gratuitous sexual and full frontal nude scenes which gives me pause in recommending it, but it is still a good movie.
The weather has been terrible. We had a little bit of snow, not much. I am cheating with this December 2014 photo of the snow in our neighborhood.
We had a pretty good Christmas with the world’s greatest MIL, Nana, and them I am to the left, then Heather, then Logan then my brother Bob on the right. I liked the way this photo turned out although my professional photographer friends are groaning. The white balance, the busyness, all the water bottles, blah blah blah. I like it is all I’m saying.
Ginger, the always freezing dachsund spent a lot of time in her bed with a fleece throw. She is wants to move to Mexico, or Spain, or some place warm all year round.
And the Lizzie the kitten during her Christmas afternoon nap. She goes either 100 miles or an hour or is sleeping, with stops for eating. I don’t think she is going to get very big but look at them huge jack rabbit legs. What is up with that? She is not a hold me kitty but I love how she is interested in everybody and anything. and never loses her cool. We adopted her from our Vet. She was thrown out of a car window at a Hobby Lobby here in Tulsa when she was very little.
My favorite gift. Heather got me some skull socks. She knows that I love the Day of the Dead holiday. I love these almost as much as my Psychobunny socks. I have Psychobunny pajamas and a hat also. Don’t you judge me!!
I hope you had a great Christmas!!
It’s Christmas Eve and things are kind of slowing down a little bit. The shopping is basically done for both the gifts and cooking. We are going to have time to enjoy each other’s company.
My brother joined us yesterday. He had a grueling drive through some driving rain and he was exhausted when he got here.
Son Logan has been working the 3 pm to 8 pm shift for several nights at the grocery store. He was also tired. He went to bed early. He has a few days off over the holidays which is great. He needs the rest. In the midst of all this he finished his finals. The boy who hates math made a B in his pre-calculus class. He is done with his math requirement. He didn’t get my math genes but he got his singing genes from his mother’s side.
We spent some time with Heather’s mother yesterday and will be going back today. She has three trees up for Christmas. I love this in particular. It is a country theme and has a wood stove that has been in her family a long time. It is not connected and that is okay, it just sits there looking great.
We had a little bit of snow yesterday and it was cold enough and overcast enough it persisted all day. Something about snow is calming.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!!
We finally had some rain today. Not a whole lot and it brought some cold weather along but things were getting very dry.
Logan is doing well with his new job at a grocery store. He worked in the deli for a while and is now working maintenance and appears to be doing well. He is getting all growns up it seems. I took him to a medical lab for some blood work and he checked himself in.
I love taking photographs of refineries and other industrial stuff. I read that in Japan indusrial tourism is a thing. They call it Kojo Moe. People try and visit factories and other industrial facilities. I can understand that. I think I would have a hard time getting the other two in the family to join me.
We are having a little bit of a toned down Christmas this year. We have had lots of distractions but I am taking a few days off and my brother is driving in to visit. We’ll eat good and maybe watch a movie or two. My main problem with Christmas is that I can’t turn it off as fast as many people can. I always want to stay on the vibe for a week or so. Lots of people seem to be done with it the day after. Too quick for me. I love the time between Christmas and New Years.
Here is a crowd scene in western Oklahoman. Tough looking but nothing like Tulsa shoppers on a shopping rampage.
And here’s security, a guard donkey keeping the bad guys at bay.
Here is my happy spot. Not this Christmas but maybe future??
I’m linking at Skywatch Friday come join us.
The Cold Moon from earlier this month amped up a little bit with a Flickr filter. I love seeing and taking shots of the moon. Some filters are more than a distraction, this one actually makes the moon look a little three dimensional.
This is a file photo from a few years ago taken off my front yard at the sunset. I love a little color in the sky. This kind of color is short lived. I have found out that one has to act in a a minute or so or it all turns to gray.
I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Take a sky photo, post it on your blog and link it to Skywatch Friday. We never close.
Well we are running behind schedule on Christmas this year. This is the tree. Heather put on the Topper just to keep me from putting on the Dallas Cowboy Star. I strung the lights. Oh well, we have a lot going on in our family right now. Believe me. Buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about it. Buy me three or four and you will hear all of it but you will have to drive me home.
Oh well, what keeps it fun is that Lizzie the kitten is enjoying the dickens out of Christmas.
And at work, the Large Projects Group that I work in has a tree. It was a woman engineer that raised the cash from us deadbeat men engineers and bought ornaments and the tree. I think she did a great job. I love all the construction equipment ornaments.
On a cold windy day last week I went for some noon time geocaching out on this remote lake. I froze my butt off and didn’t find the cache but I loved the hunt. In case you need to dispose of a body, I found a couple really good spots!!
Son Logan is working at a Neighborhood Walmart these days. He is proud of his job and seems to be doing well. We went by there the other day (he wasn’t working) to get a few things and then all the customers were ordered to evacuate immediately, so we did. And I fulfilled my blogger journalistic duty by taking a photo of the fire engine and fulfilled my artistic duty by using prisma to pretty it up a little bit. I don’t think there was any property damage nor was anybody hurt.
So that is what is new with me, what is new with you?