We are in the fat part of summer now. It is very hot and humid outside so I’ve been spending more time than I am used to inside.
My trusty iphone crapped out on me. I took it to one of those phone doctor places and I think they did a good job trying to get it back to life. In the end they said it would require a new mother board and they suggested that I get another one. They removed all the new parts they put in it and just charged me not much for the labor involved, which is fair in my book. I just wanted to make sure that I needed one. So I bought an updated model just like it with 256Gb of memory. I have lots of apps, music, and photos. So I got the new phone and I am back in business.
I have been doing more running and walking since the pandemic started. I have been eating a lot more as well so I am kind of balanced out.
Here’s Lizzie the kitten showing me how to cope with all the stress.
I’m still learning this whole retirement thing. One thing is trying to figure out how to structure my day.
So after over 40 years of getting up early during the week and hurrying to get my exercise, breakfast, and newspaper reading in, I started going to bed a little bit later so I could watch Stephen Colbert and waking up later and doing my coffee drinking, breakfast eating, and newspaper reading.
And that was fine the problem was exercising. It’s summer in Oklahoma and as usual it is hot. So by the time I got done with the preliminaries it would be like 11 am. So I’d go do my thing, run at Turkey Mountain or on the river or whatever.
So today is like, okay Colbert is not the funny without an audience. I like to read more than watch television and I hate to say it but I may be a natural early riser. So today I got up and went to Lafortune Park and run/walked my three miles and then went to the gym and used their hot water and towels to clean up.
So I am going to try this a little while. I think it might work out until the weather changes. It’s kind of like my friends that go on mission trips to Tanzania. One thing they love is that when you are over there, when it gets dark you go to bed, and you get out of bed when the sun comes up. They love the simplicity, among a bunch of other things.
And talk about simplicity. My antique Iphone crapped out on me. I tried everything I could do and ended up taking it to one of those store front phone doctor places. Wish me well. Just to have some thing I went to Target and bought a $20 burner and 30 minutes worth of time. Just talk and text, no internet, no nothing. Remember those days? Don’t you worry though I’ll be back in business in two days with either my antique or a brand new one.
On the pandemic side it kind of looks like due to a lack of interest in doing anything about it by our national and state leadership, it is skyrocketing. New cases per day in Oklahoma have gone up by a factor of eight since early June.
So I’ll be socially distancing and isolating for the foreseeable future. What about you? How are you doing?
Earlier this week I ventured out to Turkey Mountain for a little three mile run. Or rather I ran a mile and my knee started twinging I than I mainly walked. Basically I had the whole place to myself.
Turkey Mountain is an Urban Wilderness nestled right up to the City of Tulsa so yep, it’s got three sets of powerlines on it. Two in parallel going north and south and one set going east and west. So my photos have them included. It is what it is.
I love all the trees on Turkey Mountain. This one is spreading out.
I’ve been scanning old photos. This one is from a cruise Heather and I took back in 1992 I think. We went on a cruise form Miami and made various stops. I don’t remember where this stop was but I love the sky and the water. Let me know if you recognize it from some of your travels. Right now I am scanning photos still in the envelopes, not in an album.
I’ve been scanning old photos. I’ve been running a long time and found a couple pics from the 1990’s.
Here I am at the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin in 1997 I think. It was my second marathon. The first was the year before in Oklahoma City, the Jim Thorpe Marathon. Me and about 45 other people ran three times around Lake Overholser. No water stops, no traffic control, no nothing. I finished in five hours and two minutes, or so my faulty memory tells me. A year later in Madison I finished in Five hours and one minute. So I should have kept on going!! But I decided not to run any more marathons.
Some things haven’t changed over the years. A thermal blanket and a bottle of water. And I still run with perfect posture.
Here is a more recent photo. I’d kill to have a photograph of me running where it looks like I am running. I kind of look like a guy in a hurry to get to a donut shop. I love running but I have never been all that good at it.
Summer is here and I am retired and I am spending a lot of time outside including lots of time running and riding my bicycle on the RiverParks Trails here in Tulsa.
The trails are on both the east and west bank and stretch for miles. I love them especially for biking because there are no street or road crossings. I hate riding my bike on the road.
Anyway, a perk of being retired, I can pretty much go to the river whenever I feel like it.
I’ve been scanning old photos. Here is a scene from a cruise that Heather and I took in the 90’s. I think the ship on the left was ours. It had a bar up on the smoke stack at the back of the vessel. We spent a lot of time up there.
And this is me in La Jolla, California during a vacation to the area back in the 90’s. We loved it there. Too many people though and I think that has gotten worse.
And this is Heather way back when. We were doing social distancing from the critters in the background.
It’s a 1360 acre preserve out in the middle of nowhere. It is one of the last remnants of the Cross Timbers and is very rugged and contains trees 300 to 400 years old.
It is administered by the City of Sand Springs and they strictly limit the times available for hiking. This summer they have both Saturday and Sunday times. Check the link for the schedule.
This was my fourth visit and Heather’s first. It has very good hiking trails including a short section that is suitable for use for powered wheelchairs. I love that feature and hopefully more preserves will have loops for people who cannot walk themselves.
We got started kind of late but most of the trail was shaded. It was too far into the day to see any deer or other critters.
It was a great getaway. Many of the trees are spectacular.
We’ll be back!!
And now back to the real world.
New cases in Oklahoma and Tulsa are spiking up rapidly. The Health Department said that you cannot point at any particular thing except for the general opening up of the economy. Many here in Tulsa are dreading a national politician’s rally coming next weekend.
So I spent a long time in the natural gas business and was around lots of pipelines, big ones, small ones, short ones, long ones, brand new ones, ones that were a lot older than I am. These were used for natural gas, propane, butane, gasoline, crude oil, fresh water, waste water, and what I called blood, guts, and feathers, where everything was mixed together and sent down the line.
Never until now have I seen one used to make music.
Last Saturday I ventured out to Oxley Nature Center’s North Woods area. Oxley is pretty popular but most people stay close to the main unit which is a couple miles away from the North Woods. I have been hiking it for years and I love it because I hardly ever see anybody.
The trail was dry for the most part but I got to one section where it looked like I might be up to my knees. I backed out and went via a different route. I don’t mind getting my boots muddy but I hate walking in deep water where I cannot see the bottom.
Much of the trail is in a “tree tunnel” where one is shaded from the hot sun. I love looking up through the ceiling of the tunnel.
Much of the trail is raised and its a good thing.
I saw a ton of frogs. The bigger ones would squeak like a dog toy while they were jumping. That kept startling me for some reason. I was thinking that I had stepped on them. I loved this guy. He was up periscope and not jumpy. During my outing I saw one rat snake, a deer, and tons of birds and squirrels. I was really out a little late for the wildlife. And as usual, I didn’t see any other people.
So above is the route. Kind of short I know but just right on a hot day.
A good time was had by all. I used lots of deet but I did manage to bring four ticks home with me! I had to enlist my son to pull one off my back. Pro Tip: my MIL told me that Blue Dawn dishwashing detergent will cause the ticks to let loose. It has to be blue, not pink. Guess what, she was right!!
The Gathering Place is Tulsa’s relatively new riverside park. Like lots of other such facilities during this pandemic it has been shut down. They partially opened in late May and I went in one morning to check it out. The paths through the park and the bicycle and scooter pump tracks are open but all the buildings and play areas are still for closed for the present.
There were hardly any people there. I saw a total of maybe seven or eight people in the brief time I was there, plus a few staff members.
I had somewhere to go or I might have spent some time in one of these rocking chairs. That’s what us old retired guys do, right?
The vegetation in and around the park is kind of all natural. There are some large grassy lawns but the rest is wildflowers and other ground cover designed for low maintenance and less watering. I have a friend who lived close to the park and her yard became overrun with rats and mice, and snakes who eat them. The park was saying don’t worry, it’s all good. My friend moved and I think the park is trying to be more neighborhood friendly. It doesn’t seem quite so “jungley” any longer.
I have lots of photos of the play structures so this time I spent some time photographing the wildflowers and plants. Didn’t see any rats or snakes I am glad to report. I Id’d the plants by taking photos of the screen with my inaturalist app. If I am wrong let me know!!
I’ve been following the Covid-19 status pretty closely here in Oklahoma. New cases plunged for a while but seem to be inching back up. Deaths and hospitalizations seem to be in a holding pattern for now. June 1 marks further opening in the state and I hope that new cases don’t spike up.
Just finished Camino Winds by John Grisham. Talk about a novel written by a writer than has all sorts of literary items already punched. It is a mystery/crime novel involving an author, an island literay bookstore, and mystery readers who help solve the crime. It has a hurricanes, murders, murders during a hurricane, the goofy local cops, the snooty fbi guys and gals, hit men and women, wild gymnastic sex (only referred to not described thank goodness.) And drinking, lots of of lots of alcohol. Don’t try and drink along with the characters, you will not finish the book! Speaking only for a friend of course.
I give this book five stars out of five. Check it out.