Skywatch Friday – Up or Out

With the weather warming up I have been flying the drone a bit. I don’t go very high and I don’t let it go very far. I look at youtube videos that show the pilots getting way up in the air, higher than the office towers in downtown Tulsa, or flying across lakes or going across farmer’s fields and such. I’m not into that. If I can’t see it then I am not happy and I darn sure don’t fly it where if it falls I couldn’t legally and safely walk over and get it. Makes me nerd but hey, these little things are expensive but they are marvelous. With the GPS built in they can hold their position in even a pretty good breeze.

So I am still mainly in the elevator mode. I send it straight up and then look around. I have practiced a little bit doing turns. It’s hard to do smoothly.

And here is a shot of the moon from a few days ago. The night was not too cool and the skies were clear, so I took the shot. So its not a full moon but I still like it.

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And you know, even overcast skies are skies. Here’s a nice tree at Lafortune Park.

I took the kid back to college the other day. On the way back I took a small detour down Route 66 for some geocaches. I love Route 66. It’s part of my heritage from I was a kid and teenager in Arizona and New Mexico. I looked for five caches and found five!! So time to call it good.

I found a cache at this funky cemetery in Bristow, Oklahoma. It had this odd tower. Steps leading up to an office. Not a chapel. In fact more of store room. Below is a garage. I love funky stuff like this.

I have hundreds of photographs of this building in Tulsa. Boston Avenue Methodist Church. An art deco design and is just beautiful. We were members when we first moved to town and it is even more beautiful on the inside. It was built in the late 1920’s just in time for the depression. The members had to fight like crazy to keep it, otherwise somebody was going to convert it to a movie theater.

And back at home. Early in the morning with the sun peaking over the fence. We have a couple of yappy dogs and so I go out with them in the mornings to keep them from barking otherwise I have a new neighbor that comes barging over pounding on our door, enraged about the dogs barking. So I go out to hush them early in the morning. They love updating their BarkBook status with the other dogs in the neighborhood.

Is everybody staying safe? We are trying to but it is kind of difficult right now as the Governor has opened up the state and simultaneously ordered the state health department to hide the data from the citizens. That happened about three weeks ago. What I can piece together from the data that is available is that new cases which had been declining have plateaued and may be increasing. Who knows!! Anyway, we are vaccinated and are isolating.

Take care everybody!! I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the fun.

Our World – Legends of the Sky!!

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I went on a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park today this cool, windy, overcast day. And found some graffiti. I don’t anybody minds this kind of graffiti.

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It looks like somebody’s little brother or sister did some of their own.

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Found some reflections in a pond.

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Somebody is missing a shoe? Is it one of the Legends?

I love all the apps that link to my running watch. Sorry.

And just before my walk I was at a shopping center admiring the blooms and finding a geocache.

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Earlier I was checking out the daffodils at Woodward Park. They are up and very pretty. They need sun to bring out the full brilliance though.

Even earlier than that, Lizzie the kitten was making friends with the Easter Bunny.

Yesterday I hauled Logan back to his college. We’ll see him in a couple weeks.

I hope everybody is doing well this week!! I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Weekend Reflections – The End of the Trail

End of the Trail

The End of the Trail is a monumental sculpture by James Earle Fraser and is the entry hall centerpiece at the fabulous National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

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The sculpture over the years as come to mean all sorts of things by all sorts of people. The museum has a short video that has one take on it.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections

Skywatch Friday – Quadruple Threat Week

Coming Through the Rye
Coming Through the Rye by Frederic Remington
at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Coming Through the Rye shows four horseman in high spirits galloping into town to have a great time. It might be indicative of this week.

Back Yard Skies

First off, this year’s switch to Daylight Savings Time is throwing me off. How can that be? I am retired, I don’t generally have to be anywhere, why is it bothering me. Well it is.

Second, I got my bicycle back. Some guy ran head on to me with his bicycle back in September and it took a while for everything to get healed up and so I took my bike in to get it fixed. Picked it up after a week and went on a test run on the RiverParks and fell down during a botched dismount. No problems, just embarrassment.

And the weather! I went to fetch the kid Wednesday and the skies look a little threatening. Beautiful but threatening. Fortunately all that happened was the wind blew and the rain fell. Welcome to Spring in Oklahoma. It was the aftermath of the storm that dumped so much snow on Colorado.

And then Saint Patrick’s Day. We do our celebrating at home. Saint Paddy’s day used to be huge!! Now its just another day. At least you don’t see as much crappy green beer as one used to find.

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And then the kid!! He’s a great guy and he’s about to drive me crazy. Zoom meetings in his pj’s, massive software downloads to upgrade his various gaming devices. Ahhhh!! Glad to have him around though. Really. He’s going back Sunday.

How is your week going!!

Our World – Springing in the Rain

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It was a wet soggy day here in eastern Oklahoma on Sunday. I felt the need to go take some photos so I loaded up my camera and drone and in search of photos to take. I found these trees blooming at the Tulsa’s Woodward Park. I love the blooms, don’t tell me what they are because I was too lazy to wander over and look at the labels under each tree.

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Next I got a few minutes of non-rain at the RiverParks. It was wet and soggy and the Arkansas River was up quite a bit.

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Got this glimpse of a guy doing what I should have been doing, running on trails. Maybe next time.

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Instead, here is me standing on the trail, in the rain. If I’d of waited a couple of hours, the sun would have been out. Kind of reminds of an old joke but I’ll spare you.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday today. Come join in!!

And a musical interlude, with Gene Kelly, Singing the Rain. I couldn’t find “Drone Piloting in the Rain.”

Shadow Shot Sunday – Spring Forward Edition

Tree Shadows

A shadow from a few weeks ago in our neighborhood park.

Cabin Life - Shadows on the Deck

From our cabin last Spring when Heather and spent a Covid safe weekend in the woods of Southeast Oklahoma.

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And three years ago, me and bike shot by my cheap gopro clone, bad white balance and all. Hoping to get my bike back from the shop soon to make more shadowy shots.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday 2

End of the Week Thoughts

I went to the library Thursday to get a new book. “A Time for Mercy” by John Grisham. I’m only in it for a hundred pages or so but I love it so far. Amazing how on some books, even the ones I like, reading is slow and laborious and others one just flies through it.

While at the library I noticed the little symbolic sailboat was flying a pirate flag. Surprised nobody has said anything about it. The flag was flying the pirate flag so I took a video of it. I used the Hyperspektiv App on my iphone. I got lots and lots of photo and video apps and I use them quite a bit.

Rascal going to the groomer

I took the superdogs Abby and Rascal (above ) to the pet groomer. Oh they hate it. Look at that look on Rascal’s face.

Here’s our Lizzy, the kitten. I know she is not a kitten any longer but that is what we call her and she hates being held but she loves being petted. I petted her when she was laying on the back of the sofa and she ended up crossways. Silly cat!!

Hey I know that I have gone on and on about my jury duty and the case and all that. The other side of the story was that we had really long lunch breaks and so I was eating good. Above is some brisket pho from a new place downtown. Talk about good, and hydrating.

Another day I went to an old favorite and had their prime rib sandwich and tabouli. Marvelous. We got paid $20 per day for duty so I pretty much ate it all up.

I’ve been flying my drone. Here’s an overhead shot of our back yard.

And another shot. Only 8 seconds long. If you watch to the end you get to see the bald spot on my head as I look down at the controls.

So that is pretty much it for what is going on with me.

Skywatch Friday – Thunder Rolls Edition

We got our March weather going on, cold and windy one day, hot and windy the next.

With every once in a while a windy glorious day.

Wind is just a fact of life in Oklahoma. Good for flying kites, bad for flying drones.

Grass Fire

Also bad for grass fires in the spring before the prairie turns green.

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As I mentioned on the Skywatch Friday page, the family of the Ree Drummond, of Pioneer Woman fame, is going through a tragedy. Ms. Drummond’s husband and his nephew had a head on collision while driving fire trucks battling a blaze on their property. The husband refused treatment but the nephew is suffering severe injuries. I’ve never met them but we watch their television show. I know people who know the family and they all say that what you see on the media is just what the family is, genuine. Anyway, my prayers go out to the family.

Oil Prices in March 2021

And a little editorial here. Lots of people are wondering if the recent rise in gasoline prices are related to our present President’s executive orders. I don’t think it. Above is a chart of oil prices over the last year. When the economy tanked in March of 2020 due to the Pandemic, the price of oil cratered as well. In fact on one glorious, hopefully never to be repeated day, oil prices were negative. Since then the price has rebounded, mainly due to the economy recovering. It doesn’t have anything to do with who is president, it has more to do with the economy and what kind of mood OPEC is in.

And now a musical interlude. This deal with the Pioneer Woman reminded me of what I love about Oklahoma. I’ve lived here for about thirty five years and yes, it has problems but the people are big hearted, generous and welcoming. It made me think of Garth Brooks. He reminds me so many Oklahomans I have met. Very down to earth. So here is one of his songs.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Spring Updates

Where I work out the most has reopened, again. They closed last March, reopened in May or so, and then closed again on short notice right before Thanksgiving and have now opened again.

My wife is an exercise instructor who works at two other places and so I was able to get a half price membership at the Y. I love the Y, its great but it is kind of a mob scene. So I’m glad the other place opened up. I’ve been a member since 1992.

Looking out the windows of the Yoga Studio. March is shaping up to be a beautiful month.

I finally took my old beat up bike to the repair shop on Tuesday. My last ride was in September when some guy took a turn too fast and crashed right into me. Hurt like all get out. Nothing serious I got checked out for concussion and spine and came out fine. It hurt to go hiking or running though so I took it easy and now I can run and hike all I want with no pain. My bike was probably okay but I wanted them to check it out for me.

Have you heard about the “My Heritage” App. It is a genealogy app but what is really cool is their “Deep Nostalgia” function that animates faces. It is meant for us to upload a photo of old great aunt Bessie so you can see what her animated face looks like. Heck with is what I say, I don’t even have a great aunt Bessie. So I uploaded a bas relief sculpture of Sussana Wesley, the mother of the great Methodists, Charles and John and animated her face. I was beginning to have some great fun with the app and it came to a screeching halt at 3 uploads. Turns out that is all you get with the base membership. You want more than that, it is about $199 per year or something like that. So, so much for Deep Nostalgia for me. I didn’t really see any other apps that did similar things.

Anyways, try the app out on your great aunt Bessie, if you have one that is. I might be asking if anybody can recommend a denomination for me if the Methodists boot me out. Wouldn’t blame them a bit. I started out life as a Lutheran. Maybe I could animate Martin Luther’s face. He always seems so stern.

Now a musical interlude with the great Diane Schuur

I got a new computer a few months ago and a lot of my itunes music didn’t carry over so I have been ripping cds again and falling in love with a lot of them including Diann Schurr. Remember her? Back in the 80’s she was scooping up Grammys like crazy. She is still making music. Her voice is so pure and clear. She has perfect pitch and vocal tone. She is also blind and she is amazing.

And now a report from the world of crime her in Tulsa.

An update to something I discussed last week, I was a potential juror in a first degree murder case but didn’t get selected for the jury. After I was dismissed I did a little research and it was bad. I know murder cases are bad to begin with but the defendant is very young and a huge list of arrests and incarcerations. Anyway, they had the trial and you can read about it here. The guy was found guilty and the jury recommended life without parole plus potentially another thirty five years.

Our World – Geocaching at Lake Keystone

Saturday afternoon my wife went to visit her friends and I drove out to Lake Keystone, northwest of Tulsa to find five geocaches that I had noticed earlier

The place I was going to was an almost island on the lake called Appalachia Bay. Little did I know that it was a designated area for dirt bikes and All Terrain Vehicles.

The guy at the gate good naturedly said you better be careful these guys will run you over. So I said okay then. Cost me $5 to get access.

It was like a Mad Max movie. The vehicles going this way and that way and making a heck of a racket. I just stayed out of their way. You have to look real close at the photo above. There is some deer hidden in there. Just steps away from one of the trails. I don’t know how they stand it. I saw two other groups of deer during my outing. I guess they get used to the racket.

After I got used to the racket, I had a pretty good time. The woods were clear so I was able to bushwhack without too much difficulty. Many of the trails were deeply rutted and so I avoided those in case someone came over a hill or around a corner too fast. People were pretty good natured and courteous toward me.

There were five caches. The smileys are ones I found, the frownie is one I didn’t find, the green one I saw but it was up in a tree and I was not in a climbing mood.

Above is a video of one my finds.

And above in another one of my finds.

And my relive app video showing the route from the first cache to the others and then back to the parking lot.

I had a good time. I didn’t know that dirt bikes and ATVs had designated areas. My attitude was that I was in their territory so I watched out for myself. Not a place I would recommend for a peaceful hike. I’m told that it is actually quite nice during the week. If you like geocaches that you can hike to I strongly recommend this but don’t go on the weekend.

I am linking to Our World Tuesday.