Tag Archives: Our World Tuesday

Our World – 2018 Keystone Ancient Forest 5K

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I went to a road race Saturday morning. It was cold and I hate being cold so I dressed warm. Note the oilfield Carhartt coat and the fire resistant pants. Don’t laugh at me. I was warm!!

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There is a new race in the Tulsa area, the Keystone Ancient Forest 5K/10K at a nature preserve with that name about 15 minutes west of Downtown. The preserve is pretty cool because it has trees that although small and scrawny are several hundred years old. You can read more about it on its  Nature Conservancy site. It is a special place and due to manpower and budget restrictions it is only open a couple times a month or so. The proceeds from the race all went back to the preserve.

This is the first year they have held a race and even though the scheduled start of the race before dark they had over 140 people signed up (at least I think that is what was said during the pre-race briefing.)

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The scheduled start was 7 am but it was dark so they delayed it about 15 minutes plus it gave some stragglers time to get their packet pin their numbers on.  So they started the race and everybody ran away from me. Don’t feel sorry for me, I was able to walk through the woods all by myself in the early morning. Even though it was 18F. The course started out with a half mile or of asphalt then, gravel, then dirt.

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The course went downhill and then uphill via series switchbacks. A nice easy, wide, rock and root free trail. I liked it anyway (just kidding) the trail is in great shape.

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At the far end of the loop, we had some nice views of Keystone Lake.

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Much of the return loop was on a fire trail turned into a trail recently.

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Found me a natural gas pipeline running through the area. It looks like it has been there a while.

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I loved the pattern in the sky after a while.

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They had a water stop that we hit both going and coming. I grabbed a bottle and it was nice. The water was partially frozen!! Kind of a surprise at first. Also, in keeping with the ethic of the preserve there were not discarded water bottles. I think everybody did like I did. Drink the water,and hold the bottle until I went back by and through the bottle and cap into the trash can.

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And the final stretch commingled with the 10k runners  to the finish. I think I came in dead last which was my goal. I don’t think anybody enjoyed the event more than I did.

 

I was pretty pleased with my knee. For a long time it hurt to up or down the slightest inclines and I couldn’t walk very far without things hurting. I had no problems so I am going to continue the twice a week leg workouts, and continue with the stationary bike and elliptical machine and walk at noon. I don’t feel ready to run yet but I think I might start running a little bit in March. I’m just taking it slow.

 

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Kudos to those who organized and worked the race. Everything was perfect. They even had Starbucks Coffee for us at the finish and Panera pastries, and a big roaring fire!! The course was well marked, they had a fire rescue crew out on an ATV checking on everybody, and a decent tee shirt. And of course thank you to the Race Director and all the volunteers that got out there at dark thirty to get everything ready for the runners, and thanks to TATUR Racing  who timedthe event and my fellow racers.

The race is for a great cause. I’ll be back next year. Maybe I will be able to run it?

What have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday!

Our World – First Hike of 2018 on Turkey Mountain

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Son Logan and I went on a hike on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Wilderness Area last Friday. It was cold to start but sunny.  The sunny part of it made for some great shadows.

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I’m still recovering from my knee injury so I picked an easy trail. The upper yellow trail from the south to north. When I run I like to take this route to start because it is a slight downhill the whole way and I feel like areal runner. No running this time but it was still pretty easy.

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We found us a tree. Turkey Mountain is full of trees. There is plenty for everybody so if you come here feel free to claim one. Please leave it though. Take all the pictures you want and visit anytime!

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The upper yellow trail passes some moonscape type terrain.

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We also found an old oil well. Turkey Mountain used to have lots of wells back in the day and there are reminders around everywhere.

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We also found this shelter made of branches. It is at the highest point on Turkey Mountain. I am not sure who used it. I doubt it was a homeless person. The surrounding area had no trash or debris at all. Most homeless camps are pretty messy. Plus most homeless camps are near places where they can get water and food. This place is a pretty arduous hike for a homeless person. So it is a mystery to me. I have a feeling somebody came up and camped here. In my evening runs on the mountain I have seen several people leaving the parking lot with camping gear. Camping is forbidden but I am not the camping police is my motto.

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By the time we got back to the parking lot, it was a lot warmer. Plus if the hike is downhill all the out, then it is uphill all the way back. Plus I decided to pick a little tougher trail with more rocks.  We were ready to get home and down some cold water.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, come join the party!!

Our World – New Year’s Eve at Oxley Nature Center

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New Year’s Eve morning I decided I wanted to go on a little hike. I’m in recovery for an injury and my doctor told me to walk or run on level surfaces. Running is not happening right now but I am walking more and it doesn’t get any more level than Oxley Nature Center in north Tulsa. It was cold, in the low twenties, and there was a stiff breeze. Look at the flags standing at attention. Notice the empty parking lot! I had the whole place to myself.

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I am not afraid of the cold. After years of running in the winter in all kinds of weather, I have the right gear to wear in cold weather. It is a balancing act dressing for the cold. Too little clothes and you die from the cold. Too many clothes and you overheat and sweat and possibly freeze. Also, avoid cotton!! Cotton kills in cold weather. Wear tech fabrics close to your skin. They wick the moisture away and breathe. The other thing about cold windy weather is I like to hike in the woods. It cuts the wind a lot. There are some parts of Oxley where you can hear the wind howling in the tree tops but it is calm at ground level.

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Another reason to hike at Oxley, in the woods is the deer. They have deer there and I see at least one almost every time I go. I saw this dude when I walked into a water pipeline right of way. He had a group of four or so does he was bossing. So he stood and kept watch giving me the stinkeye while his harem left.

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Then he gave me one last glare and left.

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I walked on and had to backtrack when I came upon a frozen over trail. Hadn’t seen that at Oxley before.

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Lots and lots of deer tracks.

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I got to Lake Yahola and observed this dude from one of the blinds they have set up. Does anybody know what this guy is? I am wondering if it is an American White Pelican.

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Hiking further on I found these deer. There were about four of them. I had a devil of a time being the newbie, picture taker that I am. I had to take the lens of autofocus and focus manually but there was a lot of glare so I had to shield the viewfinder while focusing. I’m sure it looked pretty hilarious. As you can see, I didn’t quite get the focus right.

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And then yet another group. There was the big dude letting me know he was watching me and then he left and then mom and a teenager showed up.  They kind of strolled past. In the background you can see another deer grazing. It was part of another group of four or five.

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And got to the other side. This was pretty close to my car. I got in the car and while I was messing around with my gear and getting a drink a security car came by and checked me out.

Time to stop for some hot chocolate at Quik Trip, head home and check on the Dallas Cowboys in the game against Philidelphia. Dallas won but it was very ugly.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

2017 Tulsa Zoo Run 10K Race – Our World Tuesday

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Nice healthy double chin there!!

Saturday I ventured to Tulsa’s beautiful Mohawk Park to run in the Tulsa Zoo Run 10K. They also had a fun run and a 5K going on. I am increasing my mileage right now getting ready for the Tulsa Run 15K at the end of the month and I have my sights set on the Route 66 Half Marathon coming up in November.

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The Zoo run benefits the Tulsa Zoo and has a bunch of sponsors.

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It was kind of rainy and cloudy Saturday morning and the sun broke through just before the race started so we didn’t have to start in the rain. Mohawk is nice because it there are no hills so it easy to run hard.

We took off, I started as always toward the back and it took me about 30 seconds or so to get to the start line. The race kind of kicked my butt a little bit. I ran the whole way and I was under a lot of stress. The Kilometers seemed all kinds of spread out but I got into a rhythm after a while. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready for the race to end when it did.!!

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This is a good race. The course was well marked and there was enough room for everybody. The first two loops just had one water stop and they had run out of water by the time I came around the second loop but they had two or three more water stops on the last couple miles to the finish line, so no complaint there.

At the finish they had medals. I don’t give a flip about medals but lots of people expect them, and they had them. They had lots of water and they had a plethora of food options from many of the sponsors. So that was good. No beer, but they had good coffee, which is a good tradeoff. They had lots and lots of stuff for the kids like facepainting and games. And of course you finish in the zoo so you get that for free!! I don’t know about you but I love zoos and Tulsa’s is great.

Plus the tshirts are nice and they had plenty of them. The only thing was the race timing. They published no results at the venue. They just said to check online. Well it has been over 24 hours and all I know is what my time was (and I knew that when I pushed the button on my watch when I finished.) No age group information or anything else. So I don’t know if that is due to what the Zoo wanted or the limitations of the timing company but this is totally unacceptable. This is the first race I have ever been to  where they didn’t at least print out the results and tape them up.  Sorry if I am stepping on toes, but that is the way I see it. So with no race results, there was no awards ceremony so I didn’t find out who the old guys were that buzzed past me nor the young kids who lapped me during the loops. Not having an awards ceremony is a gap.

So, race experience, course, preparation, water, food, tshirt, and fun? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check!! Timing, half a check. It is a great race, and I’ll be back. Hopefully they will square way the timing issues. If not, I’ll still be back!

A race like this doesn’t get done without a lot of work by a lot of people. Thank you to the Zoo and their staff, the many sponsors, the army of volunteers who helped with parking, the water stops, all the food, and managing the course, the Tulsa Police Department, and anybody else associated with the race, including my fellow participants who made it fun.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday!

Tulsa’s 2017 Corndog Challenge 5K Race – Our World Tuesday

Friday night, on a whim, I decided to run the Corndog Challenge 5K at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. How could I resist, you HAD to drink a mimosa, eat an apple dumpling, and a chicken and waffle during the race. I mean it was MANDATORY!!! How could I resist? For those that could resist that had the Corndog Classic 5K run at the same time on the same course, and at the same cost.

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So I ventured out to the Fairgrounds early to pick up my packet and all that.

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I noticed that TATUR Racing was timing the race. Now there are lots of good timing outfits out there, but TATUR is the best as far as I am concerned. Brian Hoover and his crew always do a great job and go above and beyond in order to make sure that the races are great. They not only time races they produce events also.

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Waiting for the race to start I checked out the Golden Driller. Tulsa has the Driller and the gigantic praying hands (some say healing hands) at Oral Roberts University. Maybe somebody should have a Praying Hands 5K? The ORU campus is big enough and hilly enough that there could be an interesting course.

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I looked at the bounce houses they had set up and wondered what the heck. Boys on left, girls on right? Any boy went to the prince house is smart. That is where all the girls are going to be. You have to think outside the box is my motto.

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And of course being a corndog race they had a corndog stand. I love the visuals of fair food but don’t like the food. Except of course corndogs. I have one per year. This year I am having two, one at this race, and one at the fair.

So anyways they got everybody together at the start line and gave the instructions and we sang the national anthem. Nobody took a knee, and then the gun sounded and off we went.

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As advertised we looped around the fairgrounds and at some point we had the apple dumpling served to us, and then the mimosa’s (above photo) and finally the mini version of chicken and waffle. I could handle all of it but it was kind of hot and humid and I was huffing and puffing and I had to work at getting the chicken and waffle down, but I did it. It was toward the end and the course along with the heat and humidity had pretty much kicked my butt.

And I finished, vertically, with dignity. I finished fourth out of six in my age group.

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I gulped down some water, and then drank more water, and then drank the complimentary adult malted beverage, and then ate a corn dog. It was kind of rich so I only ate about two thirds of it.

I was kind of doubtful that they could put a 5K race at the fairgrounds but what do I know!! They did it, and it was fun and challenging.

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And a nice t shirt. It wasn’t this wrinkled when they gave it to me. I forgot to take a picture of it yesterday so today I dug it out of the laundry and took a photo of it. Full disclosure is my middle name!! Me and Donald Trump Junior are alike that way.

So I give the race 5 stars out of five. Great course, great timing, fun, entertainment, well organized, lots of volunteers, food, beverages, and a shirt. Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. I think everybody had a great time. Plus did I tell you that we all got a free ticket to the State Fair that is happening later this month. Yep, we did.

Thank you to the organizers who put on the race, the volunteers who worked like dogs behind the scenes to make sure everything was perfect, and the army of volunteers who showed up the day of the race to hand out the food and drink, and water on the course and cheer everybody on, and kudos to the runners who showed up. The proceeds from the race are going to the Tulsa Area United Way and Food for Kids. Also, thank you to the sponsors of the race. A lot of work by a lot of people go into these races and I appreciate them all.

I’ll be back again next year!!

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Eagle Rock USA at the Museum of Idaho

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Idaho Falls, Idaho is home to the Museum of Idaho which has evolved into a first rate facility that is able to host traveling exhibits and employs a professional staff. Presently they are hosting an exhibit called Space that chronicles the past and speculates on the future of our exploration of Space.  Our family went to the museum and paid our entrance and we toured the traveling exhibit and enjoyed it very much. What we were really interested in though was in the older part of the museum where idaho history is featured and where a replica western town called “Eagle Rock USA is located.” Eagle Rock you see is the original name for Idaho Falls.

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Eagle Rock is special to us because they guy responsible for designing most of it and building much of it was my father. He and my mother retired in 1983 and moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Idaho Falls. I don’t know how Dad got involved in the museum but he did and I know that his volunteer gig building Eagle Rock, along with other volunteers and at times county jail trustees became his second job. I have photos somewhere, but don’t know where they are of the facility under construction.

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He not only helped design and build it he also solicited donations of period furniture and fittings for the various “businesses” featured at Eagle Rock, such as the dentist office, lawyers office, carpenter, and blacksmith and general store. Dad donated a bunch of stuff that he had. The sleeping bag above, used to be his when he worked for the Forest Service. It was very warm, with the canvas outer and everything. My brother Bob and I used it from time to time for our Boy Scout camping trips way back when.

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That’s Dad’s tag on it.

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The Rex Rooms of Idaho Falls was also where the lonely men of Idaho Falls were able to find comfort and companionship, if you know what you mean. Several people didn’t really like its inclusion in Eagle Rock USA but it stayed.

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Here is the Sheriff’s office, complete with jail. I meant to take a photo or several showing the overall setup of Eagle Rock USA but I neglected to do so. Sorry about that.

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Carpenter’s Shop

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And dentist. I’m old enough that I dentists had setups like this when I was a kid.

The museum has a nice plaque with my Dad’s name on it. So it was nice to see something that he did that survives him.

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I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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All sorts of designs are his hallmark.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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I love this boat.

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And these two pieces.

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

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

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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

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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?

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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.

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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

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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??

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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