Category Archives: Tulsa

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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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They were all works of art.

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

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

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

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Dancing skeletons

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

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

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

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The costumes were colorful

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And the dancers were lively

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

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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

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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.

Walking to the Gym

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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;

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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?

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

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And it has the fanciest wrought iron benches in town.

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

So, what did you do today?

Hit and Run – Downtown Tulsa

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I was taking a noontime stroll Thursday on 7th Street, not too far from the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Tulsa when I heard some yelling behind me. I turned around and I saw this guy, looked to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s running toward me chased my two other guys. They were yelling at me to stop him!! I had no intention of doing any such thing and wouldn’t know how anyways. Then appearing out of nowhere was a police car that passed within a few feet of me, and then stopped. The lead guy running basically run into the car and the policeman was out of car in a flash and told the guy, “Back up!!” And then “Turn around and puts your hands together behind your back!” I was impressed, the cop wasn’t yelling but he definitely had his command voice going really well. I thought he was doing his job in a very professional manner.

This was all happening within five feet of me which I decided was too close so I started walking on and I stopped and turned a couple times to see what was going on and I noticed the cop studying me really hard but I guess that I didn’t look like a criminal or anything so besides the middle level bureaucrat that I am so I just kept walking on, wondering, “What did the guy do?” I had wanted to take some photos of what was going but the cop had his hands full and I didn’t want to be a distraction to his task at hand.

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So I walked a block west until 7th street diagonals into 6th street and I saw all sorts of firetrucks, fire rescue trucks, sheriff’s deputies, and policemen right near the county courthouse so I meandered down there and got up on the plaza of the adjacent police headquarters building and asked some ladies who were there also supervising the action what happened. They said a guy in a car ran into a truck and then took off on foot. So I’m guessing that was the dude the policeman caught a few minutes earlier.

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Despite all the emergency vehicles there, I didn’t see any ambulances so I am hoping that nobody was seriously injured. There hasn’t been anything on the news either.

My theory is that the great majority of criminals are just not very smart. It takes a real dummy though to take off on foot from an area with the highest concentration of law enforcement officers in the city.

Anyways that is the most exciting thing that has happened to me all week. What about you?