Category Archives: Tulsa

The Secret to Selling a Million Dollar Home – Tulsa Parade of Homes 2017

Let me guess, you have a little cash saved up, you have some investors that believe in you, and you want to make some money. You want to make it quick!! And you want to do it by building and selling houses but you don’t want to mess around with little houses. You want to sell big houses. After it is a lot easier to build one million dollar house and sell it than four quarter million dollar houses, right?

Well I like the way you think and so I am going to tell you what the most important thing in building and selling big houses is. I am going to do it for free, because that is the kind of guy II am.

_DSC0102

Wait!! you say, I know all about that. The most important thing is the kitchen!! Well you know, kitchens are very important. They really are. People gravitate toward the kitchen because that is where the heart of the house is, right. So focus on the kitchen, make everything high end. Right!!

_DSC0106

And the higher end the better. Get some brass on those fixtures. That’ll do it.

Sorry, no it won’t. For a lot of people, the kitchen is where the beer is. Sorry to burst your bubble.

_DSC0100

Or maybe you think. Dazzle with stuff like gigantic ceiling fans that look like those that powered the NASA wind tunnels. Oh yeah, those are nice but you are putting me to sleep.

_DSC0098

Or you say, nice fireplaces, beautiful wood floors, Yeah, well everybody has those.

_DSC0097

Or you say swimming pools, with hot tubs!!! I say Yawn. Who uses their swimming pool after three months?

_DSC0094

Hey, you think it is about wine cellars?? Yeah, wine cellars. And I say, wine is made to drink, not sit in its own room.

_DSC0090

Or look you might tell me, bold design in the kitchen!!

_DSC0091

And the bedroom!!! And I ask who is going to dust all that? And who is going to repaint it when they tired of your bold design. I was tired when I saw it.

_DSC0089

Or technology you tell me. Great big refrigerators!! That’s the ticket. Let me tell you about refrigherators. Most people with a life have whatever refrigerator they own clear full. If they own a small refrigerator, it is full. If they own a big refrigerator, it is full also. If you want a bigger refrigerator, that means that you haven’t cleaned yours out recently. Clean it out, and then you will have lots of room. There, I have saved you a fortune. Thank me in the comments.

_DSC0087

Or you might say, nice outdoor spaces is what people want!! And I say, why. I had a guy I used to work with tell me that when he was a kid people pooped outside and ate inside. No they poop inside and eat outdoors. You tell me sense that makes? Especially in big houses.

_DSC0080

Or you might say, Movie rooms!!! I am will put in big movie rooms. And I say, seriously? who lives like that. Most people I know watch television and movies in their living rooms. Most “movie rooms” are upstairs. Away from the beer. So if I want another cold one I have to walk downstairs and to the kitchen and rummage through the supersize fridge and then trudge back upstairs. For that I am going to pay a million bucks? Nope,not me.

_DSC0078

You say, this is Oklahoma, tornado alley, A safe room, that is the ticket!! And I would say that now you are getting closer. How embarrassing to die in a tornado in your million dollar McMansion because you don’t have  a safe room. Good call I will say to you.

_DSC0077

And don’t get into the fancy bathroom fixtures. Yawn, you are boring me. And just how am I supposed to keep it clean anyway.

_DSC0071

Or how about fancy translucent garage doors!! I am really going to sleep now. Who cares?????

_DSC0064

Or fancy scroll work on the front door? Oh yeah, great idea genius, give me a solid wood or steel door with a peep hole any day.

_DSC0057

Or how about swoopy elegant stairways you tell me!!?? Oh yeah sure I say. Let me tell you about million dollar plus houses. They all have higher ceilings which means that your stairs are longer.  Don’t whine at me about it, the more money you spend, the more stairs you get to climb. If I have the cash for such a huge house, it is going to be one story.

I can tell you are not getting it so let me explain it to you with three letters.

_DSC0070

Sex sells and you do that in the bathroom with gigantic multi-person tubs designed for recreational bathing.

_DSC0076

Are you seeing what I mean? Are you hearing what I am saying?

_DSC0092

Like this, a two person shower.

_DSC0093

Or tubs right in front of windows with a spotlight.

_DSC0095

Or frosted glass for the shy ones.

_DSC0103

Or a big old giant picture window!! Opening onto a sloping lawn. I think this tub comes with diving board, trapeze, and pole options. For the more adventurous.

Are you getting it now? I think you are.  I won’t charge you a thing.

Apologies to the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. This week is their Parade of Homes. Go check them out. Lots of beautiful homes on display.

Tulsa Tough 2017 – River Parks Criterium and CryBaby Hill

_DSC0009

This past weekend was the annual Tulsa Tough bicycle racing festival. A collection of bicycle races and other events over the course of three days. The popular events are the Crit Races or Criterium Races which are races over a relatively short loop with multiple laps. The first two crit races are close to downtown and Sunday is the day for the River Parks Criterium which features a loop that includes a steep hill and a very sharp turn onto Riverside Drive coming off the hill.

_DSC0976

Tulsa Tough also has longer road races, called Gran Fondos, and for posers like me they have a short Townie Ride. I was going to do it this year but maybe next!!

_DSC0015

I attended the River Parks Criterium again. For fans it is like two different races. Down on Riverside drive there is a long straightaway and corporate hospitality tents and everything is very calm and sedate.

_DSC0913

Above shows the high speed sharp turn off the hill back onto Riverside. Lots of crashes happen here as the riders are bunched up, turning, and braking to get back on the long straightaway.

_DSC0010

This tent is close to the sharp turn onto Riverside. The bags of mulch are to protect the riders who lose control of their bikes and crash into the tent. See the Red Cross flag at the far right. I was standing there when one of the medics told me. “Hey Dude, do what you want but we put the medic tent for a reason, when they lose control off the hill they land right here, so if you stay, be alert.” So I moved.

Riverside Drive is where the Starting Line is and everybody stays pretty mellow.

_DSC0939

At the top of the hill on the other section of the course is Crybaby Hill. The course is a relatively narrow residential street and and this where things get interesting. The races are going all out to get up the hill and the fans are there yelling at them and ringing cowbells and having a good time. There have enough people that they have the people in the referee shirts above who are charged with keeping a lane open for the racers. “Minding the Gap” they call it.

_DSC0936

I always get there kind of early and leave kind of early so I’ve never seen the party in full tilt. When I’m there you have people getting warmed up for the party.

_DSC0943

The racers are working very hard though. They come from all over the US and overseas to compete. The popularity of the event is growing rapidly and it really is a Tulsa happening. Especially Crybaby Hill.  Below is a short video of the racers coming through. I would be good for one loop but these guys and gals do it over and over.

I’ll be back next year!!

Sunday Afternoon at the Oklahoma Aquarium

_DSC0766

The Gas Company had their annual Employee Appreciation Day Sunday afternoon at the Oklahoma Aquarium in the Tulsa suburb of Jenks. We hadn’t been in years and we love the aquarium and so we signed up and off we went.

_DSC0761

The Aquarium has a dazzling variety of fish, everything from mud colored Oklahoma natives to colorful exotics from the tropics.

_DSC0750

They have a great shark tank. It is a great tank but exceedingly difficult for a hack like me to get a decent photograph. The tank is dark and the observation area is a tunnel through the tank and it is dark but mesmerizing. It is kind of hard to take a picture of dark mesmerization. If I were a photographer that would be no problem but I’m not there yet. So I give you this tiny yellow fish instead. What kind of fish is it you ask? I just got through telling you, a tiny yellow fish.

_DSC0764

The star of the show is a green sea turtle in its brand new exhibit. Such a huge creature moving gracefully through the water. This is a great addition to the Aquarium.

Anyway we checked out the fish, said hello to some coworkers, ate our beans, potato salad, hot dogs, and hamburgers and left. A great afternoon.

Greyhound Bus Lines – “Leave the Driving to Us”

DSCN7508

I found a Greyhound bus in downtown Tulsa last week at the bus station. Nobody any it but it looked ready to go. It is fully up to date it looks like with handicapped access, power, wifi,and reclining seats. Other than that, I am not sure that buses have changed much over the years. I would bet that of the features listed, only the reclining seats worked. I have never rode in too many buses but a lot of stuff didn’t work. Stuff like the restroom, the air conditioning, or even the bus itself. Anybody else spend some time on the side of a road in a broke down bus??

DSCN7507

My longest bus trip was from Albuquerque to Mexico City in 1971 as part of a High School trip. I don’t think we rode Greyhound but it was a long ways. The crow flies distance is 1172 miles. I’d add a couple hundred at least for the roads. I don’t remember much about it except it was fun. We got broke down a couple times. I wish I had a decent camera back then. I remember the small towns were pretty cool. Mexico City was great.  The highlight was the pyramids at Teotihucan. They were spectacular.

DSCN7506

So who rides the bus lines these days? I guess people who have a lot of time and not much money. To visit my Dad in Idaho would take two days and 23 hours but cost only about $200 one way or less than half what it cost to fly and be there in 6 hours, including layovers. I think it would be a miserable journey though.

I got on good ole youtube to look at old bus commercials. Back in the 60’s they showed people dressed up in suits and ties and nice dresses to travel on the bus. Kind of like flying used to be.

Things have sure changed.

Downtown Fall Foliage

IMAG1623

A lot of trees have lost their leaves and a lot still have their leaves on in like a last second burst of glory. I found this tree just south of downtown earlier this week. I loved the view underneat the leaves with the sun shining through.

IMAG1632

The same tree a few minutes later across the street and it has a decided more reddish appearance. What’s the deal!!??

Black Friday 2016 at the Tulsa Zoo

IMAG1601

I don’t know about you but we really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year (we do every year) we had a lot smaller group than usual but we did just fine. Uncle Bob drove up from Corpus Christi and the world’s greatest MIL hosted the dinner. We enjoyed fine food and fellowship most of the day.

_DSC0501

The next day is the notorious Black Friday where everybody gets up terribly early and stands in line to trample their fellow humans to get half price televisions and laptops and such. Not us, we slept in. We had a guy trip to the Tulsa Zoo. No standing in lines there, easy parking, and friendly people!! I hope you enjoyed your shopping, we enjoyed our nonshopping.

_DSC0502

The first critter we ran into was this grizzly. He doesn’t look too happy in there all by himself.

_DSC0509

Next was this rattlesnake all coiled up and ready to strike. I don’t know much about rattlesnakes but I’m wondering if this is kind of an old guy judging by his filmy eyes. He might just be confused. I do geocaching and trail running and am always concerned about running into snakes. It seems we have more copperheads than rattlesnakes but I’m cautious nonetheless.

_DSC0522

And an American Bald Eagle. They sure do look noble.

_DSC0526

And a pair of American Albino Alligators. This dude is in serious need of some orthodontics.

_DSC0530

And a Scarlet Ibis.

_DSC0538

And a pic of son.

_DSC0539

And a Golden Headed Lion Tamarin. He doesn’t look happy either.

_DSC0550

And the flamingos are always cool and elegant.

_DSC0555

The Rhino was up and doing this thing.

_DSC0556

And the giraffes were reaching for their lunch.

_DSC0567

And the elephants were having their meal as well.

_DSC0569

I tried to see if the Zoo wanted this guy for the chimp exhibit. Nope, he eats too much he says.

There is a big construction project going on at the zoo. The Tulsa Zoo Lost Kingdom is going to be a huge addition with enhanced habitat for many of the critters. It is going to be finished sometime next year.

A good time was had by all. We celebrated Brother Bob’s birthday and so we had another excuse to eat well!!

I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving and a pleasant Black Friday. We sure did.

 

Dia De Muertes (Day of the Dead) at Tulsa’s Living Arts

_DSC0297

November 1st I got a kitchen pass from Heather and headed out to Living Arts in the Brady District to check out their Day of the Dead celebration. I first went two years ago and I thought it was wonderful.  Dia De Muertos (Dia De Los Muertos is a back translation from English I read) is a day where people in Mexico honor and remember their relatives and close friends who have died.

_DSC0295

Often the dead are remembered via Ofrendas (Offerings) which are altars built to honor the dead person. It may have photographs of the deceased or possessions and often contain favorite foods or beverages and if it is a child, a toy. Living Arts in their “Altared Spaces” Exhbit displayed Ofrendas made by people for their loved ones. In fact they solicit the public to put up Ofrendas.

_DSC0298

Some were for people who had a long life and many children and grand children.

_DSC0299

And others were for people who passed away way too young.

_DSC0302

They were all works of art.

_DSC0304

The Ofrenda above is for those people who died while trying to cross the border.

_DSC0315

I love the concept of honoring lost ones with an Ofrenda.

_DSC0328

Living Arts also had murals painted just for the event. I love them for their humorous macabre riff.

_DSC0327

Dancing skeletons

_DSC0324

Here is one in honor of dogs. Our dogs just don’t live long enough if you ask me.

_DSC0320

The murals are beautiful. Even the ones with gas meters in front of them.

_DSC0350

There was dance also. Ballet Folklorico Sol Azteca of Tulsa put on a great performance of folk dances.

_DSC0357

The costumes were colorful

_DSC0361

And the dancers were lively

_DSC0374

It was beautiful and I had a front row seat for some reason.

_DSC0388

aa

_DSC0392

And there was all sorts of other things going on. Food vendors, crafts, other performers. You can bet that I’ll be back next year!

Arkansas River Reflections

Rowers on Arkansas River - Topaz Adjust

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.

Walking to the Gym

DSCN6727

My old gym went out of business a few months ago. And so I rejoined a gym that I used to belong to until seven years ago. The gym is run by a Methodist church and just like a Methodist Church they still had me on their files and gave me my original member number back. When members show up you have to fill out the log, name, member number, time, and planned activity. We Methodists are fiends for documentation;

DSCN6729

Anyways its about a 3/4 mile walk from the office. I have noticed the past couple months that our homeless people are increasingly sitting down and laying down on the sidewalks. Just the left of the photo above there was a guy sitting down on the sidewalk blocking everything but about a foot wide strip of concrete. I walked right past him and he asked me how I was doing, Great! I said, and you? He was doing great also. I felt like saying, then get your butt off the sidewalk dude.

So what is up with sprawling on the sidewalks?

DSCN6730

Hey I crossed the street and come to Cathedral Square which is actually a City of Tulsa park. I love the fountain.

DSCN6731

And it has the fanciest wrought iron benches in town.

DSCN6732

And I came to my favorite tree. Sometimes I feel as old as it looks.

So, what did you do today?