Tag Archives: Our World Tuesday

Visiting the USS Alabama

We are on vacation this week down on the Alabama Gulf Coast. We decided to stop on the way and check out the USS Alabama. A World War II era battleship now permanently docked at Mobile Bay as part of Museum honoring the ship, its crew and other ships and aircraft.

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My brother served on the a sister to the Alabama, the USS Missouri which was brought back to life and refitted during the Reagan years. The Missouri is now part of a museum and is anchored right next to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. I got on the deck of the Missouri during its christening ceremony in San Francisco but of course they were not letting civilians below decks. So I was interested in what the ship was like. Brother Bob said that space was extremely tight.

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And he wasn’t kidding. The passageways are narrow, and the steps are steep. It was hot and muggy and although the ship is well ventilated and has some air conditioned places, most are not and so we cut the tour a little short. I would love to go back when the weather is milder and explore more.

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They have an Air museum in the same complex that was interesting. All sorts of displays of old airplanes. They also had a display on the lives of the Vietnam POWs. Those men are true heroes.

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They had some outside displays as well, an SR 71 Blackbird spy plane, a Boeing B52D Stratofortress Bomber along with tanks, and personnel carriers. And if you are into geocaching, there is a virtual geocache on site.

The museum is right off Interstate 10 just east of downtown Mobile, on the other side of the tunnel under the bay.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Sunday Morning Hike on Turkey Mountain

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Sunday morning I let my heathen pagan self run loose and decided to go on a hike on Turkey Mountain. Nobody was there!! I started from the lower parking lot and and after soaking myself with DEET headed up the hill. After I got to the upper parking lot I went on a modified Snake Trail route.

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Turkey Mountain was a rowdy place back in the day. Whisky stills, oilwells, farms and ranches. There are still remnants of houses and oilwells there. This is the remnants of a oilwell. A pump jack sat on the foundation closest to us and the motor running it was in the back. There are no longer any operating oil wells on the Mountain.

Turkey Mountain Leaf Detail Topaz

I was looking for color and I found these leaves turning color.

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Sorry for the fuzzy photo. Using the online wildflower id at discoverlife.org the nearest match was “Asiatic Dayflower.” Don’t know if I believe it or not. What do you think?

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The Snake Trail crosses this creek and then loops back across it again. This is in the vicinity of the last time I saw deer on Turkey Mountain. Sometimes when I am there late in the day when it is dark I can hear deer off down the creek. I guess it is deer, either that or a Sasquatch maybe.

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I have no idea, but I like the photo. Some sort of cluster of flowers I found.

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Black Eye Susan’s anybody?

I went a little over three miles and was exhausted. It was cool and overcast when I started but got hot and extremely humid before I was done. Like a dummy I didn’t bring any water. But hey, I had my Church on the Mountain. Congregation of one. We didn’t sing, we pondered, prayed and expressed gratitude for the many blessings that God gives us.

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Our World – The Taste of Summer

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I am not a vegetarian by any means but in the summertime I love fresh produce and fruit. The Tulsa suburb of Bixby used to be known for their truck farms and fresh produce. Will guess what the the flat lands with rich soil that make it suitable for farming is also loved by developers for building thousands of houses in nice subdivisions. So the truck and grass farms are rapidly disappearing but some of the produce places live on supplied from areas further away or even Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia.

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From a recent visit, some fresh peaches from Porter, Oklahoma.

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Local vine ripened tomatoes.

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From left to right, fresh green beans, new potatoes, corn on the cob and okra.

Luckily I’m married to a woman who knows what to do with fresh produce. We eat well all sorts of produce all summer long. Green beans and new potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, orkra, corn on the cob (and chowder), various peppers, marinated cucumbers and onion, and zucchini. Sign me up!! Not to mention peaches, plums, blue berries, blackberries, cherries and other fruit.

How about you? Do you have access to fresh fruit and vegetables? Do you like them?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa’s Downtown Churches

Tulsa is unique for having thriving downtown churches unlike many big cities where they are just barely hanging on. Here are three of them and a bonus photo.

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This is one of my favorite churches, the Catholic Holy Family Cathedral with its unusual three spires. This year it is 105 years old.

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Right down the street is the First Christian Church of Tulsa with its unusual tiled roof. It looks a little Middle Eastern to me.

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And my favorite, the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on the very southern end of downtown. An zig zag art-deco masterpiece designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. It was barely finished when the Depression hit and church legend has it that the leading members had to work like crazy to keep it from being foreclosed and turned into a movie theater.

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This is the bonus photo. It is not of a church. It is the underside of the 21st street bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa. I caught it in the afternoon late enough to be lighted by the sun to the northwest (to the right roughly) and early enough where the light had some intensity to it. And I helped along a little with a Topaz Studio filter. It kind of looks like the inside of cathedral doesn’t it? Oh throw me a bone somebody!

There are several other very active vital churches downtown with interesting buildings. I’ll be posting about those later, maybe. I don’t plan my posts much.

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Our World – Drawing Inspiration from Jason Lee

Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art is putting on an exhibition of over 150 photographs by Jason Lee. I’d never heard of him before and he got famous as a skateboarder way back when, and then got into movies, and for the last decade and a half has developed quite a reputation as photographer using various film formats.

Philbrook commissioned him to do a series of photographs on Tulsa and Oklahoma. They are his vision of Tulsa and Oklahoma. So when I went to check them out recently I was like, well, okay. His vision is kind of bleak and a lot of shows the disparity between the haves and the havenots here. There a shots of dilapidated buildings with the high rises of corporate Tulsa in the background for example.

There isn’t like one single work that is a showstopper. Its not that kind of exhibition. I think you have to look at the whole work in its entirety. From that vantage the show is outstanding. The thing that really inspired me is that I sensed a confident photographer going about his business shooting photographs of various scenes based on his instincts.

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So, inspired by him, I am trying to figure out what my vision of Oklahoma is and make it more right brained than my analytical side. I found these images of various bison in a rural area of Tulsa. I kind of like them even though I had to park in the driveway of the property and just as I finished up since big loud dog showed up acting like he wanted to bite a piece of my leg off.

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They are colorful, what they mean about Oklahoma, I haven’t figured that out yet. I am just going with it.

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What do you think?

Turkey Vulture Osage County

I drove on out of Tulsa into the countryside and came across this Turkey Vulture. I didn’t bother him one bit.

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Across the road was a mainline block valve for some sort of liquids pipeline. It needs a little work I think.

So anyway, if you are in the Tulsa area go check out the Jason Lee exhibit at the downtown branch of Philbrook.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Riding in a Tulsa Tough Grand Fondo

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I was so excited because my number 251 is a prime number. I love prime numbers.

Tulsa has a bicycling event called Tulsa Tough sponsored by a local hospital. It started out kind of small and has grown considerably. It consists of three days of criterium racing and a couple days of Grand Fondo’s and a Townie Ride. Criterium is racing around and around in a closed loop of a mile or two or three and the most famous of those is Cry Baby Hill on the Riverparks. The Fondos are longer distance rides from Tulsa to the boonies and back of at least 32 and miles on Saturday and Sunday. The Townie Ride is a free community event just a few miles long.

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The view from the parking at lot at 6:30 am.

I’ve always been a spectator at Cry Baby Hill but this year I went for something different. I signed up for the shortest of the Grand Fondo rides on Sunday. Thirty two miles. I had never rode a bike that far and thought about waiting until next year but I am kind of that age where it is wise not to be putting off stuff like that. You know what I mean?

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So I signed up and did some training on some hilly routes near out house and I was as ready as I ever was going to be.

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I got there early in the morning and got the bike ready and went to the starting line and waited. I am a slow rider and so I always get to the back, just like my running races!!

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And I got left in the dust. It didn’t bother me. I just kept going at my pace and pretty soon I passed a few people.

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So us back of the packers made for a congenial group of nodding acquaintance as we passed each other, and got passed.

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The race organizers had lots of SAG vehicles to help riders with flats, or first aid, or haul them back to the starting line if they can’t finish the race.

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At about mile 10 or so we had a rest stop. Lots to eat and drink. Our son, the banana nazi, forbids bananas in our house so I had my fill of bananas here, and water. Bananas are the perfect food for running or riding, lots of carbos and electrolytes. They also had gatorade, picklejuice, pickles, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches and all sorts of other stuff including fireball shots. I didn’t imbibe. I’d of had to stop every mile or so if you know what I mean. I’m not going to spell it out for you.

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Right across the road is a view of Holmes Peak which I have run up to a bunch of times during various Post Oak Lodge Trail Runs over the years. I am glad I didn’t have to ride my bike up to the top. I know that you folks from places that actually have mountains are in hysterics about our “Mount” but hey it is harder than it looks so get over yourselves.

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So then we went north. We wound through some beautiful back country with birds singing and water flowing in the streams and it was very nice. It reminded me of some early morning summer hikes in Oxley Nature Center. You totally miss it in a car.

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And then it started raining which wasn’t quite as much fun but I was wearing tech gear and the temperature was not too low so it was tolerable. My gopro clone camera ran out of juice so that is the last photo I got. I didn’t really feel like stopping and take pics with the phone because it was raining.

So everything was pretty cool until about three miles from the finish. I misread a sign and took off through the core of downtown instead of continuing straight to the west side of the Arkansas River. So I wandered through the core part of downtown Tulsa thinking, wow this is kind of a busy route for a big race. There were the purple race markers but now I know it was for the Townie Ride scheduled in the afternoon. Then I got to the Midland Valley Trail and it’s oh wow, this isn’t right.

So I could have backtracked but I was tired. So I just headed back to my car. I thought briefly about a 0.6 mile jaunt to the beginning of the finish line but that would have been cheating even though I would have ended up with more mileage than the official distance. And I was still tired and it was still raining, and I would have just had double back where I was and I would have an official finish and it would have been fraudulent. Nobody would know, except I always tell the truth on my blog and so you guys/gals/X’s would know!! Do you believe me? Seriously?

So I had an official timed start and a DNF. I hope that you are not too ashamed of me. Tell you the truth, I am not ashamed. If I had gone to the finish and got an official time then I would have to explain. And as a veteran of over 40 years in industry I always tell the youngins that if you are having to explain, then you are in trouble. Just tell it like it was is my motto.

So tell me, do you always tell the truth on your blog?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, where everybody always tells the truth, at least most of the time.

2019 Broken Arrow Chalk it Up Art Festival

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Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.

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The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.

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They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.

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They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.

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Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.

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So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.

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I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.

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And Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller.

Here is a link to my last visit to Chalk it Up seven years ago.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa Oklahoma Flooding – 2019

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We went to Colorado last week and while we were gone, it flooded in our home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our home is high and dry but not everybody is so lucky.

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I take pains not to be a problem and so I didn’t visit where people’s houses were flooded. I took a couple trips to the RiverParks area of Tulsa, a strip of public park along both sides of the Arkansas River as it flows through town.

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In 27 years of living here I have only seen the trail covered for a 50ft section or so once or twice. Now, whole section of the trail are under water and the water is a foot or two higher than what is shown in these photos.

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These are newer photos from Sunday when son and I visited the northern section of the RiverParks. The water is even deeper now and is expected to get worse over the next week or so as it continues to rain in the Arkansas River watershed.

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Check out the Tulsa World site for more photographs of the flooding.

The Arkansas River is flowing swiftly. It now reminds of me the Snake River in Idaho which also moves swiftly.

So what is happening? The Arkansas River gathers water from a huge area. The basin in drains ranges from Leadville and Colorado Springs, Colorado and almost to Santa Fe, New Mexico to Tulsa. It all funnels through Keystone dame above Tulsa a few miles and it is way over flood stage behind the dam.

And to add insult to injury, we have had tornadoes. We spent Saturday night in our desigated safe room, our downstairs guest bathroom, with our cats and dogs in crates and we three humans holding flashlights and our cell phones waiting for the all clear. Our son said at one point that it was all a roll of the dice! Yep that is right son.

We are lucky though. The tornado passed about a mile south of us and our house is high and dry. So we are blessed but are remembering those who are not so fortunate as us.

Here is a link to a live infographic by US Army Corps of Engineers for the Keystone Dam showing lake levels, inflows, outflows, and other data.

I am linking with OurWorld Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa’s Woodward Park

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Saturday, my wife Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Woodward Park. I wanted to check out the Azaleas. That’s Heather above with her hands on her hips like she is ready to do something. She is always ready to pitch in!

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The Azaleas were nice but not like last year but we loved it anyway. Above is a photo using my lensball. It is a spherical piece of glass that I keep in my car. It sure makes for nice photos, once I learned how to use it. One trick is that most of my photos with are inverted since it inverts the scene in front of it.

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Here is a two tone photo of Azaleas in the shade. I have learned how to do manual exposure and blah, blah, blah with my camera but I forgot to set the white balance to shade and it is hard (for me) to correct for that after the fact. Oh well, I’ll take it anyway.

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The Linnaeus Demonstration Gardens at Woodward Park had a butterfly garden. Heather had her notebook out and was making notes. I think we might have one in the near future.

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Woodward Park had some iris’s also. I love them!!

We saw lots of flowers, and stopped and chatted with a couple from out of town who asked about what to see in Tulsa. A great time was had by all!!

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