Tag Archives: Our World Tuesday

Our World – The USS Batfish, Oklahoma’s WWII Submarine

DSCN8606

Logan and I ventured down to the town of Muskogee, Oklahoma to look at the USS Batfish. A World War II United States Navy Submarine that is on display there. The Batfish has a distinguished war record highlighted by sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76 hour period. You can read about the history of the Batfish and its war record here.

DSCN8602

The thing about submarines is how cramped they are even though they look big on the outside. They are a war machine after all designed to sink other ships and so everything is secondary to that. Above Logan is standing next to the diesel engines that powered the vessel. I know a little bit about those engines. They are Fairbanks Morse engines and they pack a lot of power in a small space. They have two crankshafts and each power cylinder has two pistons. The crankshafts are linked together.

DSCN8586

Above is an illustration of how it works. I know about them because when pollution regulations really started hitting the energy industry in the 1970’s, somebody figured out that you buy these engines  and derated the horsepower , then the the NOx emissions were very low. So a lot of old submarine engines powered natural gas compressors until manufacturers developed the technology to make new engines very low emitters of NOx. The thing I always wondered about was that the Fairbanks Morse engines were notorious for being VERY LOUD. I don’t know how the submariners could stand it.  (Sorry for the digression)

DSCN8601

I don’t think my 6’3″ son should sign up for the submarine service.

DSCN8597

The vessel is packed with dials, gauges, valves, and all sorts of gadgets. The sub is open and there are very few “don’t touch” signs.

DSCN8600

The sleeping areas are very small. These are triple bunks with very little room. They had cots over the torpedoes. They only had enough beds for half the crew. The crew had to share beds. Yuck.

DSCN8599

All the areas had double duty, dining table, game table, conference table.

AlDSCN8593

Not too many toilets either and they were not that easy to operate.

DSCN8587

The USS Batfish is part of the Muskogee War Memorial Park and they have a nice little museum and other information. Before you visit check out their facebook page to make sure they are open. There is a small admission charge. The place is run by volunteers who really have a passion for the submarine.

How did a submarine come to be placed in Oklahoma The Wikipedia entry for the submarine has the backstory. The submarine was placed on six barges and towed from the Mississippi River to Muskogee on the McLellen Kerr Navigation System, a 445 mile long water way with multiple locks and dams that has made Tulsa’s Port of Catoosa the most inland seaport in the country.

We had a good time and spent a couple of hours and I “found” a virtual geocache placed in the submarine.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Glass by Dale Chihuly at the Crystal Bridges Museum

_DSC0134

This past Sunday the family loaded up and ventured over into Bentonville, Arkansas to see the Dale Chihuly glass art exhibition hosted by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

_DSC0136

Chihuly’s art is amazing. Blown glass with all sorts of colors made into all sorts of shapes. Big pieces, little pieces, everything.

_DSC0131

As good as the art is, the presentation is also special. The setting, the lighting, everything is perfect. Not only the glass but the shadows and the reflections are part of the installation.

_DSC0122

All sorts of designs are his hallmark.

_DSC0137

They had some of his paintings on display along with three videos of him in action. His painting technique fascinated me. This isn’t some guy with a beret dabbing at a canvas. He paints directly from the tubes in big bold strokes. He drips paint from buckets, it is all very physical. They had videos of the glass being blown. Big burly guys struggling with the big pieces trying to get the color and shapes right. This is very muscular art.

_DSC0189

The exhibition has two parts “Chihuly in the Gallery”  and “Chihuly in the Forest.” The piece above seemed to hover in mid air and seemed alive as it shimmered in the sun. It reminded me of something from a Stephen King story. This piece contains over a thousand individual pieces.

_DSC0187

The art seemed a part of the forest, the woods and the glass complimenting each other.

_DSC0190

Once a week or so they have a nightime exhibit. I think that would be spectacular.

_DSC0196

I love this boat.

_DSC0204

And these two pieces.

_DSC0211

And not far away were two fawns. That is cool. I don’t know where mom was. They were in a safe spot.

_DSC0212

Afterwards we drifted in the town square of Bentonville to eat and came across Sam Walton’s first store and museum.

_DSC0213

They had an old time soda fountain with ice cream at 99 cents a scoop. Not a bad finish to a great road trip.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

My World – Cheech Marin’s Chicano Art Collection at Philbrook Museum

_DSC0899

Friday was my day off and I went to Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum to check out the recently opened exhibition of a selection of Cheech Marin’s collection of Chicano Art.  Marin is of course half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Who knew that he had a world famous collection of Chicano Art?

_DSC0905

Tirando Rollo (I Love You) by Gaspar Enriquez

It is amazing. A wide variety of styles of both established and new artists. They were all new to me. I had never seen an exhibition dedicated to Chicano art before.

_DSC0901

If La Virgen Returned by Pablo Andres Cristi

Many of the works are political or religious in nature and they all express strong emotions such as the above work by Cristi reflecting his feeling that the Catholic Church has hurt his people more than helped.

I have not heard the word “Chicano” used very much in decades. Growing up in New Mexico it was a common term and seemed interchangeable with Mexican-American with connotations of cultural pride. I don’t know why I haven’t heard it in Oklahoma especially since there is quite a bit of Hispanic cultural influence here. From my brief survey on the internet the term is still controversial and not everybody considers in a positive light.

I found the art to be remarkable and very good and succeeded maybe in enlarging my world a little bit. The exhibition recently opened and will be a Philbrook until early September. Check the Philbrook link  for deatails.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

The Kid Bows Out and Other Happenings this Weekend

_DSC0788

Last Friday was Logan’s last performance with the Laughing Matter Teen Improv Group at the Clark Youth Theater here in Tulsa. He is aging out of the program. Heather and were trying to figure out how long he has been with the program. We think that it has been about eleven years but we are not sure. What kind of crappy parents are we anyway??

_DSC0779

He’s really enjoyed it and it has been fun watching the other kids grow up also. We are going to miss it. He hasn’t really started looking at what’s available for him now in the community but we’ll keep you posted. He just finished his first year of college and did very well. His mother and I are pleased.

_DSC0786

The kids have really blossomed. Maybe they blossomed too much. They are an independent bunch and I think that is a good thing.

IMAG0077

Saturday morning we did our cat rescue gig at the the Petsmart in Broken Arrow. We have gotten kind of fond of the cats and are happy that they all eventually get adopted.

IMAG0082

There were three new ones Saturday morning. The one above is a male that got caught in a fence and some asshat shot him with a bb gun. He’s a sweetie but he is a little traumatized by his new surroundings. He’ll make somebody a great cat.

IMAG0083

After the cat gig Heather and Logan went home and I went geocaching. I’ll post in detail about it later but I bushwahacked for 0.3 miles through the woods alongside the Verdigris River looking for a geocache. All told I spent two hours  on that gig and didn’t find it. Three ticks found me though! The cache above is one I found later. I guess that I can find them if they are painted pink and have yellow caution tape so that I don’t trip over it. Yep, I love geocaching whether I find them or not.

20170506-220826-1

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy II later on. Heather and Logan loved it, and me I was just confused. Still am. We did build a fire in the patio and chill out for a bit afterward though.

IMAG0087

Sunday was a work day at the house. Logan and I mowed the yard. Heather “amended” the soil. I got my chainsaw down and cut down a volunteer tree in the greenbelt behind the fence. We got a lot done, heathen pagans that we have turned into.

IMAG0088

Later on we went to Nana’s house (Nana is the world’s greatest MIL) and grilled burgers and chilled. That’s Nana’s dog Reba above. She is my model for chilling.

And that’s a wrap on the weekend. How was yours?

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

First Bike Ride of the Year

My employer had a few events during Earth Week and one of them was a presention from a couple people from the The Tulsa Hub (check them out, they do lots of good stuff. They are trying to change lives through bicycling) about basic maintenance on bicycles. I’ve had mine for a few years now and have not done anything so I paid attention and even asked a few questions about several things especially, chain maintenance. I’ve had my bike for several years now and have not done anything besides air up the tires since. So I went to the store and bought the degreaser and the chain oil and got some rags and cleaned and oiled both my bike and Heather’s. Last Sunday I decided to go out for a ride. Heather couldn’t go so I went by myself.

DSCN8136

We live within a mile of a part of Tulsa’s extensive bike path system so I rode my bike from the house over there and made my way east to the Liberty Trail in Broken Arrow paralleling the Creek Turnpike Extension. The Liberty Trail passes very close to my MIL’s house and I have walked over to her house about three times so far. It’s about seven miles so it is not a bad walk at all. One of these days Heather and I will ride our bikes to her house.

IMAG0038

I only stopped to rest once on my leg out. I liked this tree and I liked the water fountain. A miscalculation on my part was not enough water. I brought a water bottle but I thought there was more water available along the path than what there turned out to be. I have a hydration pack that holds 1.5 liters. I might bring that, in addition to a bigger water bottle next time I ride this route.

IMAG0041

And here is a shadow selifie of me at the halfway point. Tired and thirsty.

DSCN8145

I did a little more sightseeing on the way back. I stopped to take a photo of the horse. He (I guess it is a he) walked up to me seeming pretty friendly. He let me rub his nose for a little bit.

DSCN8143

Nice horse but I had to go.

IMAG0045

And I saw this little thing out in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea what it is about. There are lots of roadside memorials in Tulsa in memory of people who died in car accidents but they generally have some information about who the person is.

IMAG0047

Stopped near the end to take this photo. I have taken this shot many times but what I liked about this was that the sun was low enough that the reflections actually illuminated the bottom of the bridge.  Yeah, sorry, I like stuff like that.

Anyway, I got home very tired and thirsty. Just shy of 25 miles. Not bad for an old guy who hasn’t ridden since September. Time to rehydrate with a couple craft beers and a gallon or two of water.

I am linking with “Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Half and Half Run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center and Lake Yahola

DSCN8082

For my weekly Wednesday after work run I changed things up a little bit. Instead of going to Turkey Mountain with its rocks, roots, and hills I headed out to the best kept secret trails in Tulsa, the Northwoods trails at Oxley Nature Center and then extend it by running around one of Tulsa’s raw water supply sources, Lake Yahola.

DSCN8081

The Norhwoods trails are not used very much. They don’t even have a parking lot. You just park on the side of the road. I hardly ever see anybody else on them. And there is a chance of seeing deer. I haven’t seen a deer on Turkey Mountain in a long time. The thing about Oxley is that there are very few rocks and no hills. My legs were a little sore and I wanted some distance but I couldn’t face going up and down the hills of Turkey Mountain.

DSCN8086

I did find an old snag that toppled across the trail. A real trail runner would have leaped across it without slowing down. Then there are guys like me who deal with in a different manner.

DSCN8088

There is quite network of trails in the North Woods section but they only add up to 3 miles and they loop around on each other so if you miss a turn it is no big deal.

DSCN8090

So I took the Oxbow lake Trail to get to Lake Yahola.

DSCN8091

And here it is. See the little specs to the left of center on the far shore? That is the high rises of downtown Tulsa just a few miles away.

DSCN8093

I turned to the right and started running on the chat gravel path. I didn’t bring my trail shoes and the gravel was hurting my feet and the grassy part was too soft for really good running. What a cry baby I am!!! I was running into the wind also but I was having the time of my life. I come upon about a dozen fishermen scattered around the lake. There is something peaceful about fishing and watching fishermen.

DSCN8103

About two thirds of the way around the lake I come upon the city water treatment plant. I love infrastructure stuff like this.

DSCN8105

Back close to the main trail at the Oxbow Lakes.

DSCN8106

Fuzzy pic of me with the lake. Do you like my socks?

DSCN8108

Back down to the road. I love how the trees tunnel over the trail. I love running here when there is strong winds because the trees just plain stop the wind and it is neat because you can hear the wind howling through the tops of the trees. I love stuff like that.

Got my run in. Almost six miles at a leisurely pace. Oh well, it is what it is.

I’m linking with “Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Various

DSCN7856

I don’t really have a theme this week. Is that in itself a theme, having no theme? Bigger minds than mine are going to have to figure that one out. Anyway at lunch one day this week I was wandering around the south edge of downtown Tulsa trying to figure out where to replace a geocache of mine that got hijacked when the tree that it was stuck in got cleaned up. The old timey apartment building above is one of the few buildings left standing. It is marooned all by itself and it look kind of funny, and creepy also. Not as creepy as old guys wandering by and taking pictures of it right.

IMAG1874

Here is an old back alley nearby. Lots of homeless people and wierdos hang out there now. When we moved to town twenty five years ago there were a lot of derelict bars and apartment houses here. Now there is nothing. I did find a place for a new geocache placement. I don’t know what is up with the 2-1/2 pound barbell weights on the lower left hand corner. If you need a couple I can show you right where they are.

IMAG1875

I accidentally shot myself while trying to look at the LED screen of my camera. Remember back in the old days with film. You didn’t have to worry about looking at the screen. Film was so expensive (and continues to be so expensive) that nobody wasted money on selfies. Now it is all just electrons photons and they are still free. That is,  until the Oklahoma legislature figures out a way to tax them. Then no more selfies, right.

FSCN7859

Moving from urban blight to Spring. The redbuds out. I think the Redbud trees are the prettiest thing there is. The buds just don’t last long enough.

DSCN7855

One of  the last sunset pics from the office until next Fall. With Daylight Savings Time, I’m not sticking around until the sun sets.

IMAG1872

With my new role at work I go out to “The Field” a lot in western Oklahoma. This is what the field looks like. I miss the huge wide open skies out west. I work for a natural gas pipeline company. I get a lot of satisfaction out of job helping keeping the lights, heat, and air conditioning on for people.

DSCN7861

And then this weekend, we help Logan take care of the cats up for adoption at one of the local pet stores. They sure are starved for attention and affection. I think they get lonely locked up in there spaces all the time. We let them out and Logan plays with them while Heather and I clean out the cat boxes, clean the spaces, put in fresh food and water.  We do it once or twice a month early Saturday morning before the place opens. All four of our critters were adopted. I’m a big fan of adopting animals.

Anyways that is it this week. I’m linking with Our World Tuesday with this post.

Our World Tuesday – The Daffodils and More at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

_DSC0446

I went out to the Tulsa Botanic Garden and checked out their daffodils. I know that I’ve already posted about daffodils but is it okay if I do two this year? There is a slippery slope factor here for sure because what would stop me from posting three times about these flowers? Anway, they have planted 101,475 bulbs of “Brushstrokes” with art-deco inspired styling. (i am not sure what that means.)

_DSC0443

I didn’t count them all but I believe that are telling the truth. The math nerd in me is trying to figure out how long it took to plant these bulbs. There are 86,400 seconds in a day so maybe one guy worked like crazy and got it done a little more than a day. But then, the engineer side of me is wondering who would be bringing the bulbs to him? How many people would that take, and how many bulbs in a truck load. What I come up with was that it took a bunch of people a lot of time to plant all those bulbs. Pretty impressive calculations huh? Told you that I was a math nerd. Check my work if you must. See what you come up with.

_DSC0449

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Post Oak Challenge Quarter Marathon

The Post Oak Challenge is a series of races of various lengths over three days. Lots of people “Double” or “Triple” meaning that they run two or three of the races. That is awesome, and I am not at the level of awesomeness. This year I ran the Quarter Marathon on Sunday morning.  The races are held at Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa. It is a really nice, well run place, and they are great hosts for the race.

DSCN7740

Don’t know why but the first thing I did after getting out my car is to check out the resorts one golf hole.

DSCN7745

And then go over to the pond and take a few pics. The Lodge is located in the Osage Hills and I think the area is beautiful.

DSCN7747

And then I waddled over to the starting line and go to see the Half Marathon start. The thing I like about trail races is its lower stress level. Everybody is pretty relaxed and there is no pushing and shoving at the start.

IMAG1850

And then I walked into the nearby lodge and planted myself in a chair in front of the fireplace. It was cold outside. I wasn’t going to warm up. I figured I will have six and half miles to get warmed up.

DSCN7748

And here we are at the start, and off we went.

DSCN7763

Every year the route is different. There are lots of trails to pick from. This year we looped in close to the lodge for a few miles before heading out.

DSCN7761

My fellow runners come in all shapes, sizes, species.

DSCN7760

The route alternated twisty turny, rocky intervals with long straight stretches.

DSCN7771

We went up “Holmes Peak” the highest point in Tulsa County. My friends in Colorado and other mountainous areas are probably much amused by our “peak.” They can laugh all they want. That peak kicked my butt.

DSCN7773

After my butt kicking, I got a pretty good view. That is downtown Tulsa way over yonder, home of high rises that don’t look so high from here.

DSCN7776

I get passed a lot in races. Men, women, children,  they all blaze right past me.

DSCN7769

I always enjoy running by the zip line towers.

DSCN7777

I like “tree tunnels” like this.

DSCN7750

There were lots of rocks on this course. I am wary of rocks cuz I don’t like falling. I stumbled a few times on this race but didn’t fall.

My camera’s battery gave out so that is it.

IMAG1851

After the race I made it back to the lodge. Got my two designated beers all at once along with some fritos and a brat. I chatted a little with my friend Rick who was Logan’s Cub Scout Den Leader way back when and is still one of the nicest guys you would ever care to meet.

And then home.

Our World Tuesday

And here is my run, complete with all sorts of metrics.

Our World Tuesday – Darryl Starbird’s National Rod and Custom Car Show – 2017

The Darryl Starbird Car Show is a must see for me. I like car shows of all kinds but the Starbird Show is special because it is for custom built and modified cars. In this day and age where the cheapest and most expensive cars all pretty much look like Toyotas it is nice to see custom built cars. Apparently there used to be twenty-one Starbird shows a year but they have dwindled down to just this one in Tulsa. People don’t work on cars like they used to do. When I was a kid there were lots of car guys out there, modifying engines, transmissions, and suspensions and the bodies. Cars are too computerized these days and emissions regulations strict (which is a good thing).

_DSC0278

1970 Plymouth

These cars are like works of art to me. The ideas are born in somebody’s mind and carried out, sometimes they take years of  trial and error to reach final form. Sometimes they don’t ever get to final form.

_DSC0269

1964 Thunderbird

_DSC0273

1981 Cadillac- I am thinking this may be a low rider or a derivative. It has machinery to jack the car way up and down.  They were big in New Mexico when I lived there. Years ago, our family went back and in old town Albuquerque a bunch of cars showed up and drove around slowly honking their horns and rocking the cars up and down and making them tilt side to side. It was quite a show.

_DSC0275

_DSC0282

Ultra sleek and streamlined. I love the wheels and the clean lines. I also loved how they went with a different finish with the engine than the expected chrome.

_DSC0283

 

_DSC0293

1932 Ford Coupe – I love the modified old cars also.

_DSC0299

1932 Ford Coupe – I love the paint job on this creation.

_DSC0303

1960 Corvette – You just can’t beat a corvette, they have stayed ahead of the curve for years.

_DSC0304

Alright car guys what is this. Is this eight carburetors, or a supercharged engine. I’m so ignorant. It is a very manly looking engine is what I think.

_DSC0314

1970 Chevy – How about this? I love the low ride, and the boat.

_DSC0332

How about this hippie lovemobile??

_DSC0333

Here is a VW Camper. My wife’s family had one when she was a child.

_DSC0334

Cool interior.

_DSC0391

How about another hippiemobile.

_DSC0335

Another VW hippie surfmobile.

_DSC0355

1949 Ford – Another manly engine.

_DSC0356

1925 Model T

_DSC0359

 

_DSC0398

And I’ll finish up with this rat rod. I love the saw being used as a headliner over the front window, the backwards doors, and the most obviously phallic hood ornament. Not that it has a hood.

So another year down for the Starbird Car Show.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday