Category Archives: Family

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?

Wizard World Tulsa

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Logan and his friend Q trying out some of the games.

Sunday Logan and I traveled downtown to see WizardWorld Tulsa. A popular culture event. Popular culture in this case goes toward superhero movies, videogame characters, cartoon characters, and so on.

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A car from same famous Zombie movie that I didn’t see.

I find it fascinating although I miss most of the cultural references.

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Cool little Jurassic Park Jeep.

I gravitate toward the cars. I get cars. Mot of them anyway. Many of the cars you could sit in them and get your photo taken. No thanks. No way my face adds anything to the car.

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Remember back to the future? Remember the Delorean?

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And the Ghost Busters car. We watched the new Ghost Busters on video this weekend.

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A big reason that people go to a Comic-Con is to Cosplay, or dress up as your character. To see and be seen and get your photo taken. I have trouble walking up and asking somebody if I could take their pic.

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I told Logan that next year we need to Cos-Play. I think I’ll show up as Walter White, the chemistry teacher gone meth cook from Breaking Bad. I love that guy. Talk about pure evil. Logan said he is just going to get a mask.

The Tulsa World has a photo gallery with some of the Cos Play costumes.

This is our third year to attend Wizard World. Check out our 2014 and 2016 visits.

My Life in the Service by Matthew Maloney

My Life in the Service

My Life in the Service is the story of my Uncle Matt, a pharmacist from Idaho who served his country in the Army during World War II. He kept a diary during that time and the book is a transcription of his diary. I did some of it, my Dad did the rest and the husband of my cousin in California made it into a book (and I think that he did a great job). I think I first started transcribing the book in middle 1980’s and the book just came out in print just recentlly.

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Most of the entries were very brief and reflected a life in the Army of hurry up and wait, endless inspections, the waxing an waning of military discipline. He was a pharmacist, not an infantryman so he dispensed medicine and was always in the rear echelon. Still he sailed on a troop ship (the USS Susan B. Anthony which sunk by a mine in the English Channel during the invasion of Normany – no lives were lost) from New York to Algiers in 1943 and then while on land experienced air raids. (Nowhere in the book does he describe his life being in danger).

He spent time not only in north Africa but Italy and France. He seemed like he had a lot of free time. He and his buddies were always catching rides to go visit cities and see the sites. He tried to climb up Pompei but it was erupting and raining down hot stones on him and he retreated. He visited Naples, Rome, and various cities in France. He ate great dinners, drank a lot of beer, went to dances and the opera.

He took a lot of pictures, many of which are in the book. He took pictures of his buddies, German and Italian prisoners, the Eiffel Tower, cathedrals, mountains, meadows, and anything else that piqued his interest. Film was hard to get in wartime so he used a lot of paper film and developed it himself. His curiosity about the world and his desire to sample as much of it as he could comes through in the book. His diary started when he went in the Army and ended when he got out, a period of July 7, 1942 to September 8,1945.

I remember Matt as one of the world’s great guys. He was a lifelong bachelor and was a partner in a pharmacy in Jackson, Wyoming from the 1940’s to his death in mid 1970’s. If you were a visitor to Jackson during this period you probably went to his store. It was Jackson Drug Company, right on the square in downtown. He lived in an apartment upstairs, right down the hall from the local draft board. Our family visited him quite a bit back then, back before the Jackson became a home for the beautiful people.

The local paper, the Tulsa World, has been featuring once a week or so survivors of the war and telling their stories. It has been a favorite part of the paper for me, reading the stories of these young men and women who entered the war with an attitude that they had a job to do. Uncle Matt’s experience reads similarly. A reflection of a different time in our country when attitudes were different.

Arkansas River Reflections

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View from the west bank of the Arkansas River here in Tulsa of some rowers in the late afternoon last Tuesday. Tulsa has an active rowing community and I see them often out on the river practicing. It looks very hard work to me.

Logan is in production on the play he is in at Clark Youth Theater, “Romeo and Juliet Live From the Underworld.” This is a musical version and … “Romeo and Juliet awake in the after life, confused and unaware of their deaths. With the help of those in the Underworld, the lovers watch as the events of their lives replay before them, eventually making peace with the choices that led to their demise.” The play is very different and I am glad that I saw it twice as I did not understand at all what was going on the first time.

It takes a little to get an ear for Shakespeare especially when done to rap rhymes in Iambic Pentameter. The kids are doing a great job. There are some really talented and accomplished actors among the teenagers. Logan has a small part and does really well with it.

Anyway that is it for now.

Weekend Update

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Too Early!!!! We saw this last night in a department store. ugh

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Heather and I ate at a new brew pub in town Elgin Park in the Brady District. Oklahoma is slowly digging out of the dungeon of liquor laws in the country. Brew pubs are one benefit. It was just the two of us and we ordered a medium pizza. That is the biggest medium pizza I have ever seen.

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After the beer and pizza we went down to the river and walked (I actually waddled) a few yards and encountered these ladies doing an exercise class with drum sticks. I think Heather said it is called “Pound.” It looked very high impact. We got exhausted sitting on the picnic table just watching them. Heather is taking a class all day Sunday on how to be a BollyX instructor. What happened to jumping jacks and pushups is what I say. We took a water exercise class together Friday at our gym. It was fun!

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Earlier Saturday I went for a run on the river. I’m trying to get ready for the Tulsa Run 15K in the end of October and I’m trying to not to aggravate a sore knee. Poor me. This is what I call hidden cove on the river. I think it is actually a boat ramp for the police and fire department. Nobody seems to know about it but me, and now you. Don’t tell, okay? Oh by the way, across the river there is my much beloved Turkey Mountain.

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And speaking of not noticing. I have been running the Tulsa River Trails for 24 years now and yesterday and just noticed this for the first time near the rugby fields. I swear I have never seen this thing before. What’s up, with me? It looks kind of amateurish and not some early day remnant to me.

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And hey, we had a Harvest Moon this week. Woopee. And a lunar eclipse. I didn’t bother to stay up and see it.

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And our refurbished library which has been undergoing a renovation for three years is going to open at the end of September. Meanwhile it has a brand new Starbucks that has opened early. Supposedly it is the first Starbucks in a public library in the US. That’s great, what would be greater would be a locally owned coffee shop.

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I went to Philbrook last week. Lots of people there so I took some photos.

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I also went geocaching in Mohawk Park one day last week. I love these old picnic pavilions.

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I only looked for and found one geocache. This one kind of had a geobeacon leading me to it. I think I had some sort of divine guidance on where it was located.

Anyway, that is it.

River Parks Ride with Heather

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Heather and I went on a bike ride today on Tulsa’s wonderful River Parks trails along the Arkansas River.

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We started on the east bank and went north a ways. (“A ways” is how we say things in Oklahoma, just so you know.)

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That was about a mile and then we went across the west bank across our brand spanking new pedestrian bridge with emergency call stations every 50 yards or so.

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And then headed down south past the PSO Tulsa Power Station.

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Not as many people on the west side of the river compared to the east side. It is a lot more remote with fewer access points.

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Heather kept the pace up even though she said she said her legs were dead. She teaches Zumba classes a few times a week. I’d be dead myself.

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I injured myself in a Labor Day run but I guess that I’m cured. My knee doesn’t hurt at all any more. Don’t tell Heather or I’ll have to vacuum or mow the yard or something. Can you keep a secret? Yeah, well I can’t either.

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Anyway, we got about 15.5 miles. My garmin shows a half mile less but I didn’t get it started until we started the ride.

You know, I think a 15 mile plus or minus is a good ride. So we celebrated by going to a frozen yogurt place. And then home to watch the Cowboys lose to the Giants. Heather cleaned house because she didn’t know about my miraculously cured knee that you promised you wouldn’t tell her about.

So, what did you do Sunday afternoon.

Weekly Roundup

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Lots has been happening lately. Wednesday and Thursday was the annual meeting of the Natural Gas and Energy Association of Oklahoma (“NGEAO”) at the Hard Rock Casino near Tulsa. I always have a great time connecting with old friends and coworkers. They have had it at the Cherokee Tribe owned casino for a number of years now and they do a great job hosting it but the cigarette smoke on the way to the convention center about kills me. The convention center is smoke free and doesn’t cause any problems but I will be hacking for a week. Why does smoking and gambling go together?

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And I have been watching with interest all the commotion with the Dakota Access Pipeline up in the Dakotas. Something about that pipeline has a bunch of our Indian Tribes upset. A judge cleared the way for the pipeline to proceed on Friday but the Obama administration immediately halted construction pending further review. I think that is the wise thing to do personally. Lots and lots of issues to sort out. Meantime, every day that the project is delayed results in ten more unit trains hauling the oil. Why some people think that trains are less polluting and more safe than pipelines really puzzles me. Also, how come we suddenly don’t like pipelines crossing rivers?

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This is an out of date map of major pipelines in the United States. There are literally hundreds of pipelines crossing thousands of rivers, creeks, lakes etc from one end of the country to the other. Why is Dakota Access so special? Funny thing is that the tribe took no interest in the pipeline and declined to participate in meetings until construction started. Oh well.

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Heather and I had our 27th Anniversary this week. Twenty seven years is a long time. We went out to a nice place to eat and earlier saw a really bawdy and funny movie,”Bad Moms.” More on the movie later.

So what have you been up to?