Category Archives: Family

Monday Meanderings

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I have sad news, Apple is not making any more Ipod Nanos. I have three of them including two of the type above with 32 gig of memory. It holds thousands of songs and I use them every single day. I have a brand new iPhone with 128 gigs and I got a bunch of music on it. In fact I have every song I own on it but I love the micro size of the nano and its simplified interface compared to the IPhone. The only drawback is that it is so small. That is why I have two of the above models. I lost and then found the first one.

I have also gone through three Ipod Touches. My first one didn’t have a camera and when I found out about Instagram I had to get a Touch with a camera. I wore that one out. Yep, the buttons wouldn’t work on it at all. I am now on my third. I think they are wonderful devices. All the benefits an none of the costs of an IPhone. Of course I have an Iphone now also. And an Ipad. I love Apple products. They should love me. Apple has made a lot of money off me when I think about it.

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I love the sign above. 20% off the Ten Commandments. What a deal. Take off your least favorite two commandments and don’t worry about them.  What a deal!!

Wagon Wheel Lake - Turkey Mountain

It has been a long hot summer and I am totally acclimated now. I ran seven miles on Turkey Mountain, after work, last week and it didn’t bother me despite the mid 90 degree heat. I started running the mountain with a hydration pack last year and it makes all the difference in the world. It is a backpack with a 1.5 liter water bladder with it so I can stay hydrated while I run. I recommend it highly.

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One reason I need to run. I love the Chili and toasted, buttered, french bread that I can get at downtown’s Take2 Restaurant. I am guestimating about 1400 calories. My seven miles were probably 1050 calories. So I’m losing the war!!! But I’m enjoying the battle. You know what I think. You cannot enjoy eating and craft beer and lose weight. You know what a good diet would be? Take a bite or a swig and if it tastes good spit it out. You will be skinny as a rail and miserable in no time.

How about you? What have you been up to lately?

Monday Meandering in the Heat

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Son likes to shop for used video games at a place named Vintage Stock. They have several stores in the Tulsa area. They sell not only video games but new and used DVD movies and CD’s. I don’t mind the place, they know Logan and treat him well and I like to head over to Sun and Ski and look at all the outdoor gear and bicycles that I can’t afford. They treat me well also. Anyways, it is in the biggest strip mall in the universe and I like to walk the long ways around instead of shortcutting across a parking lot. Mainly because I don’t like getting run over by wild drives in a parking lot that would do a football stadium proud. (Hold on, there is a point to all this) Anyway in amongst the many empty storefronts (courtesy of online retailers such as Amazon) there are some real businesses including a Japanese restaurant named Shoguns that has decorated their storefront.

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Another view of Shogun’s storefront. I like it when a business does more than absolutely necessary.

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Son went to a friend’s birthday party so Heather and I had a little us time at a local restaurant. Us time is important.

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I’m still sampling beers that I bought in Alabama from our vacation a couple months ago in Alabama.

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Our family likes to go to lots of movies. Theaters now have lifesize displays that encourage one to take pictures of family an friends to post on Instagram and Facebook. Free advertising except the displays are huge and complicated and I’m sure they are expensive. The movie pictured above isn’t going to be out until late this year. The green part of me wonders what happens to the cardboard display. Do they recycle it or do they put it in the dumpster out back. I love the new theaters in town that have the reclining seats. No better way to beat the heat than going to the movies in my book.

Happy Father’s Day Dad

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Another Father’s Day and I am blessed to still have my Father. He lives a thousand miles away but I think about him all the time. He is my personal hero. Dad is getting better at the group selfie thing.

Mazatzal Mountains - Arizona - Early 1960's

He grew up in the plains of South Dakota but somehow became a Forest Ranger with the US Forest Service.

Easter - Coyote, New Mexico

We lived in some really out of the way places. This was Coyote, New Mexico. In case you are wondering, I am the good looking kid. It has been years since my brother and I have held hands like that. It may be a few years before it happens again.

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He fought forest fires for a living.

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And suffered from the same photography frustrations as I do now. Left to right I think that is me, sister Ellen, and brother Bob.

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Dad was always student of history. We took a journey to Fort Sill, Oklahoma several years ago and found Geronimo’s grave in a very out of the way place on a very cold day in November.

#tbt Smokey Bear dot com posted this photo today on their Facebook site today. It shows me and my father in 1957 at the Pecos Ranger Station in New Mexico. My dad was the district ranger at the time. #ForestService #1950's #NewMexico

Here is a publicity still by the Forest Service with him and me and my Smokey Bear on the Santa Fe National Forest. I am still waiting for the royalty check.

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Here is Mom and Dad in Ireland back in the 80’s. They had lots of fun together.

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This is Dad with my sister Ellen, brother Bob, and me at a church reunion in Payson, Arizona.

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Dad even tried a little geocaching, here with me and sister Ellen. Mainly trying to be a good sport more than a love for the sport. He was always a good sport.

He has slowed down a little bit but is still sharp as a tack and is still living life.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you.

Summertime in the City

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Summer is here and we have already had our vacation so we are grinding it out.  Logan is taking summer college classes downtown. He missed his bus the other day so he got to sit in my cubicle and read.

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I took a class earlier this week on Leadership Training. It was held at a hotel and the swimming pool was next to the meeting rooms. We should have brought our suits.

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Coming back from vacation in Alabama we found a decent liquor store with a knowledgeable clerk who gave me tips on all sorts of local and regional brews we don’t get in Oklahoma. This is a Key Lime Pie Gose.  Gose beers are kind of sour and salty and they are just the thing in the summer. This one was great.

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I wore my hydration pack for the first time for my weekly run on Turkey Mountain. I can carry 1.5 liters of water instead of just 750 ml that I can carry in my water bottle plus a lot easier to carry. You have to watch your balance though climbing up rock faces. Too easy to lean backwards too much. The pack doesn’t make me any faster but I can run farther and not be so wiped out at the end of the run.

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Logan is getting a few more weeks of job skills training at Goodwill Industries. They have a pretty decent program for kids on the Autism Spectrum. Next up they will help him find a job.  And then they provide job coaching. We are grateful for the support.

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I won a $25 Goodwill store gift certificate at a Goodwill event just before we went on vacation. What do I buy at Goodwill? They surprised me with their collection of inexpensive books. So I got a box of books!! Which I will recycle through my account at used book store here in town that basically costs me a dollar when I exchange like for like quality of books. Sometimes I think I am extraordinarily cheap. Maybe but I like making a game out of it also.

What to do the rest of the summer. On the list are

  • Visiting my sister, Ellen who has started work in Yellowstone Park as a seasonal worker for a vendor. Check the link for her blog. She is making the most of her time there.
  • Going to see my Dad in Idaho.
  • We were talking that we have not been to New Mexico in a while. The green chiles are calling me

How about you, what do you have on your plate?

Oh yes, the latest Microsoft Windows upgrade has slowed my machine down tremendously. I thought I might have to get a new one but I am trying a huge increase in RAM from Crucial dot com. I am going from 2 gb to 16 gb at pretty reasonable cost. If it works. I’ll let you know. It should be here in a couple weeks. I can’t hardly run photoshop any longer.

Life’s a Beach – In the Air, on the Ground, and in the Water

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Heather and Logan went on their parasailing adventure the other day. I didn’t go, the pics were taken by a boat hand.

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Up

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And then way up there!

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Before coming down for a little shark dip, and then the credit card went though and they went up again.

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While they were up there, I went to the beautiful Gulf State Park’s Backwoods Trail.

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And found some geocaches. No snakes, no bug bites (thanks DEET), but a few thorn scratches.

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Heather and I have taken several long beach walks along the Gulf underneath everchanging skies.

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And I have been crushing beers in the surf. That is what us guys do, we crush our beers. We have found some decent beer here finally. Alabama is a bigger beer wasteland than Oklahoma.

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And I found me a friend at the fishing pier at Gulf Shores. I’m not much of birdwatcher except for the big ones like this Brown Pelican.

Today, we are going on a Segway nature tour of the Gulf State Park. I’ll give you a report later.

Life’s a Beach – Birthday Edition

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Logan started his birthday on the beach, reading.

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It ended up raining and so the planned parasailing got put off for another day. We ended up doing a little shopping and running errands and such.

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He wanted dinner at Shipp’s Harbor, a nice restaurant that we all loved.

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It is in a marina. I love marinas. Looking at the different kinds of boats and seeing if I can tell which ones get used and which ones never get taken out.

We went to see a movie, “The Fate of the Furious”, part of the Fast and Furious franchise. It had some great scenes filmed in Havana with old cars and such. It also had a luscious Charlize Theron as a bad girl trying to steal nuclear launch codes. She commandeers a bunch of cars to go into driverless mode to attack the convoy that has the launch codes. Great scene.

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We also had birthday cake of course.

And so a great day was had by all.

Y’all Namaste’ – Life is a Beach – Redneck Riviera Edition

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Our first full day on the beach. Yoga!!! we didn’t join, we didn’t have the tops for it.

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We went on a family walk. We are going to celebrate his 19th while on this trip.  He is a regular beach bum. We used to go to South Padre Island for our vacations. Lots of Hispanic people would be there with their music on boom boxes. He’d really shake his diapered booty to rhythm, the young girls really loved dancing with him. He doesn’t really like reminiscing about stuff like that.

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Here’s Heather busting some moves.

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He’ll aways be our baby boy, even though he towers over both of us.

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Heather needed another bathing suit so we first we tried a beach place, and then this high end place with this fish fountain.

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And some nice condos right on the water.

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Later we went back to the condo, and with the kid walked down to our favorite beach bar, Florabama, right on the Alabama-Florida line. Quite a place this is, several different bars, inside and outside, we ate lunch and had a bushwhacker and headed back to the condo. Too many people.

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We got back and I took my little waterproof camera out in water. A wave happened by and knocked my prescription sunglasses off my face and into the water. I felt them hit my leg but I couldn’t find them. The way the current was going, they are probably washed up in Cuba by now. Oh well.

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We grilled burgers, and had dinner al fresco on the balcony.

A good time is being had by all. Today, the kid and his mom are going parasailing. I’m going to get some clip on sunglasses from Walgreens, geocaching, and have a beer at the marina where the parasailing is, and read some.

Namaste’ Yall

Family Life – The Kid is Mowing and Driving

Logan is growing up every day. Last year he graduated from high school, this year he finished his first year in college.

He has been mowing the yard for a few years now. He is getting better at it. He has figured out that it is not much fun. He hasn’t figured out that when you are mowing, nobody is messing with you. He is doing pretty good but left unattended he wants to go creative on his mowing pattern which would be okay if he got all the grass mowed. So he has some “mowhawks” I have to clean up. That’s okay by me. Making progress is the thing.

He got his Driving Learners Permit late last week. Sunday afternoon, after mowing and getting cleaned up we went to a local parking lot so he could drive around it very slooooowwwwly. This is going to work best if we go at his pace and so I imagine we will be doing parking lots turns for a while until he is ready to get on the road. We also regular driving lessons set for the near future. I think he is ready to learn how to drive.

Life is moving from one milestone to another and we are getting there.

Easter at Nana’s House

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This is Nana, the world’s great MIL. We had Easter dinner at her house this year.

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And this is Nana’s daughter, my wife.

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And Logan, the kid, the big kid.

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We had quite the spread. You can tell we are really heavy drinkers.

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And after dinner, while everybody else is working I am snooping around. These are Heather’s cowboy boots from she was just a toddler. Her grandfather had a ranch you see. No matter, if you live in Oklahoma you have cowboy boots even if you hardly know what a horse looks like. Next the boots is a photo of our son Logan on a horse.

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And this is Nana’s mother’s Easter hat. Nana wouldn’t model it for me. When I was a kid, all the women had Easter hats, and gloves, and white shoes. The little girls had little muffs and me and my brother Bob had bow ties.

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Yep that’s us, rocking the bow ties. Better than muffs but still torture. In case you were wondering, I’m the good looking guy.

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Back to Nana’s mother. These are her Iris’s that Nana transplanted from the family home in western Oklahoma. I love these flowers.

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And this is Nana’s father’s saddle and hat. I love this old family stuff.

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And here is our family photograph. We hope you had a great Easter with family and friends because we sure did.

Spring Break Trip to Idaho

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This Spring Break all three of us flew up to Idaho to visit Dad and see how he is doing. And we took a couple of selfies while we were there. Those are big broad smiles above for Dad and I.

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Our trip started out very stressful. We had a late flight out of Tulsa and then a nice connection to Denver so it was like hop, step, jump. That went away with a call from United who said that our flight from Tulsa was going to be delayed an hour so we would miss our connection and they had routed us through Dallas and Salt Lake City via American and Delta instead but we would have to hustle to the airport to get that started. So talk about a mad rush that didn’t quit. We sped to the airport and got checked into American just tin time, then flew to Dallas and changed terminals and endured some hassling from the gate crew about our carry on luggage but who led us board when they figured out that because American and Delta have severed all intercompany ties that indeed they couldn’t check a bag through to our final destination. Then to Salt Lake City where we arrived we spanned the the longest length of the airport and then into Idaho, way past our bedtime.

I don’t know about you but I hate flying. I hate the airlines, all of them. The people who work for the airlines though in general try their best to make things work for their customers.

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While in Idaho, we took Dad shopping.

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Note the teenage angst before work starts.

And we (Heather)  rearranged Dad’s apartment.

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Heather is a championship furniture re-aranger. Dad wanted to be able to see who is coming in the front door. So we’ll give this a try.

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We had a little bit of fun.  We went for a walk on the Snake River trails.  About five minutes after I snapped the photo above, son while running sprained his ankle and banged up his knee. Oh well. It was a nice five minutes.

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Our flight back was a lot more relaxing. We had a long layover in Denver but we had a leisurely dinner and enjoyed a lot of great people watching.

So that was our Spring Break. How was yours?