Category Archives: Tulsa

Tulsa’s “Top of the Town 2018” – Exploring Tulsa’s Notable Buildings

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Thursday night Heather and I attended a fund raiser “Top of the Town” in downtown Tulsa benefiting  the Community Service Council of Tulsa, a social services organization

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So you pay some money, you get a wrist band, and you get access to some cool buildings downtown that are not public. So we got to see some really neat rooftop patios, and a deluxe apartment and other spaces. They had some kind of either drink or food or both at each place.

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This is the old Petroleum Club. It went defunct years ago and now some internet based company ripped out the flooring, ceilings, wall coverings, put in some funky lights and miles of tables. Cool, trendy, yes and I think a comment on where our society and culture is going. Things are changing, whether we want them to or not is what I say.

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We got to go into somebody’s private apartment in another building. I fell in love with the place. I loved this cozy space in the corner with the big windows. We have three dogs though who are thoroughly spoiled and like going outside a bunch to do their business and give the neighbors a good barking. And books, the people that live there are readers, reading decent books.

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And from the living space you open a big double door into an office suite. How nice is that!! I don’t know though, that may not be enough space.

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One of the neat things about Top of the Town is that from one party you could see the other parties going on. We attended all of them, except for the VIP venue. I heard it wasn’t that good. sniff, sniff.

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And here is another one attended.

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And yet another.

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And got to photograph and see some great buildings from the oil capital days.

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And here is the Mayo Hotel with its beautiful terra cotta details and the big neon sign. I love that sign but it is hard to get a decent pic of it.

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And one of my favorites, actually a little bit out of downtown. Bruce Goff’s magnificent Boston Avenue Church in all its art deco glory.

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We enjoyed music at several venues.

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We ended up at the 110 West Seventh Street building, everybody calls it the Oxy Building or the Cities Service building. I worked in the building up until 19 years ago. The top floor was out of date back then, and they haven’t changed a thing!

We had a great time!!

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Riding the Osage Prairie Trail and Checking out Movie Locations

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Earlier this week, I took my bicycle up to Skiatook, Oklahoma and rode about ten miles of the Osage Prairie Trail. It is on the roadbed of the now defunct Midland Valley Railroad. Being an old railroad, the grades are very easy and the route very straight. I love it though because you ride through old farm and ranch country away from the roads. Sometimes I see deer and other wildlife and always lots of birds. The other night there were lots of birds, no deer, but a couple of snakes crossing the roadway. Hmm, a thought just popped into my head. How come snakes always go across trails and never along trails? Let me know if you have the answer. Okay I’ll get back on track.

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The trail goes right through the town of Sperry. So what you say?

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This is what. This a former shooting location for the movie “The Outsiders” based on S.E. Hinton’s book of the same name. A coming of age novel set in Tulsa in the late 50’s-early 60’s. It was shot in Tulsa back in the early 1980’s. I don’t think it is used for anything these days. Check the image here.

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Right across the street is another shooting location for the film.

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So much for Hollywood. A little further along I come across this scene of a workover rig on an old well well. The rig has been up for quite a while and I am not actually sure they are working on it. Most activities in the oil field go on pretty much 24 hours a day. The way oil and gas wells are, if you lose a day’s production, you don’t make it up until the back end of the of well’s life which could be years away because you can’t double up to make up so producers end up being pretty demanding with their service providers. Speaking as a service provider.

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The trail has several grade crossings of local roads. Best to slow down before you get there so you don’t get run over. That would ruin my whole day. I don’t know about you.

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I passed a big group of people walking on the track. I love that kind of stuff. You know, getting out and actually talking to each other and exercising. Great stuff.

Relive ‘Biking the Osage Prairie Trail’

A video of my little almost 20 mile jaunt.  Be thinking about me Saturday. I am participating in my first biking event. A 24 mile race. I expect to finish dead last in my big heavy cruiser bike. My goal is finishing.

Sunday Morning at the Tulsa Zoo

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We had a rainy cold weekend here in Tulsa. Heather was out of town and Logan was at his job and I wanted to get outside but the trails at Turkey Mountain are always a muddy mess after rain. I had recently been to a lot of my favorite haunts, Woodward Park, the Botannic Gardens, Oxley Nature Center, so I went to the Tulsa Zoo hoping that it wouldn’t be too rainy. And I lucked out, after a night of rain, it pretty much quit for the day by the time I got there.

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This grizzly bear was kind of sad. It is beautiful. Look at that fur. It looks like it has been groomed. (I don’t know whether it is a he or a she.)

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Breakfast though appears to be a sack of salad. I’d be nosing around in it myself thinking, “Are you kidding me!!”

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Now, I’ve been to the classes and did the reading. Zoo staff take the diets of the critters very seriously  and make sure to give them what they need. Grizzly sure looks depressed about it.

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I found this critter. I had never seen it before. It is not a cute little kitty, it is a wild animal. Too bad my pic of its plaque is indecipherable!!

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They have several bald eagles there. They always look so noble.

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And the children’s zoo. Goats, goats at a children’s zoo are pains in the butt.  They are cute but will steal the zoo map out of your back pocket in a heartbeat, and eat it.

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A good zoo, and Tulsa has an excellent zoo, has great grounds to match, or complement the critters they harbor.

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I found me a lizard, an iguana maybe, with a sardonic smile.

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And some sort of ape with a sour outlook, but beautiful fur.

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And I believe that this is a “Golden headed lion tamarin” and I think it is beautiful.

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A lion looking very regal.

I loved my couple hours at the zoo. It was overcast and cold and that kept everybody away, which suited me. Just me, the staff, and the critters.

If you want to visit the Tulsa Zoo check out their website for all the info. They even have Zoo Yoga Thursdays at 6 pm. I’m interested, what about you?

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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Like this, a two person shower.

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Or tubs right in front of windows with a spotlight.

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Or frosted glass for the shy ones.

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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

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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”

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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??

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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And a Scarlet Ibis.

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And a pic of son.

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

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And the flamingos are always cool and elegant.

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The Rhino was up and doing this thing.

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And the giraffes were reaching for their lunch.

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And the elephants were having their meal as well.

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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.