Tag Archives: Tulsa

Last Skywatch Post of April 2018 – Osage Prairie Trail

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Last week I took my bicycle up north of Tulsa to the “Osage Prairie Trail” a rails to trail project  that starts in north Tulsa and goes to Skiatook, way out in the country. I started in Sperry and went about five miles north to Sperry. The trail is deluxe, asphalt paved and well maintained.

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I got some geocaching in on the way. How do you like my stylish outfit? I found that garish yellow top at Walmart for about seven bucks. Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it cuz I like it just great! Along with my mismatched socks. Where’s the law that says your socks have to match? There isn’t one, I already checked!

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I love this bridge across Bird Creek.

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I got to Skiatook and everybody in town was taking an exercise class.  I felt like jumping in myself but they were just finishing up. I love community stuff like that. Except community sounds like communism. We don’t like communism here in Oklahoma, so I am glad I didn’t join this communistic exercise program. People need to be in there own homes watching Fox News and checking you know who’s twitter feed. Not out in the sun getting skin cancer and getting to know your possibly leftist, immigrant, non gun owning  neighbors.

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Enough about politcs. How about some cows? These are my wife’s cousin’s herd out in western Oklahoma. I love the calves especially. I always name one of them “Little Brisket.”

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I went riding along the Arkansas River after work earlier this week during a pretty day. I am loving riding my bike this Spring!!

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And it is Azalea season here in Tulsa. Here is a house in midtown that I just love. Look at the blooms, and the windows.

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And I have a volunteer gig with the city of Tulsa picking up “litter on a stick” signs. I’ve picked up 17 so far. Within days of getting trained, me and my fellow 61 volunteers picked up over 500 trash signs off city rights of way. I’m all official now. I have a city ID Badge with my photo on it and some “cop gloves” to help protect from sabotaged signs. (Not yet in Tulsa but apparently in other cities the people who have put out litter on a stick signs have superglued razor blades to the wire frames.” The gloves will come in handy for geocaching also. On my bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail I went looking for a cache called something like “In the hole” and I found the hole in the tree and as I went to inspect it, a snake slithered out! So as we say in the energy biz, I plugged and abandoned that cache, figuratively. I am just glad that I didn’t stick my hand in there, even though the slithery critter did not appear to be poisonous.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Sunday Morning at the Tulsa Zoo

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We had a rainy cold weekend here in Tulsa. Heather was out of town and Logan was at his job and I wanted to get outside but the trails at Turkey Mountain are always a muddy mess after rain. I had recently been to a lot of my favorite haunts, Woodward Park, the Botannic Gardens, Oxley Nature Center, so I went to the Tulsa Zoo hoping that it wouldn’t be too rainy. And I lucked out, after a night of rain, it pretty much quit for the day by the time I got there.

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This grizzly bear was kind of sad. It is beautiful. Look at that fur. It looks like it has been groomed. (I don’t know whether it is a he or a she.)

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Breakfast though appears to be a sack of salad. I’d be nosing around in it myself thinking, “Are you kidding me!!”

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Now, I’ve been to the classes and did the reading. Zoo staff take the diets of the critters very seriously  and make sure to give them what they need. Grizzly sure looks depressed about it.

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I found this critter. I had never seen it before. It is not a cute little kitty, it is a wild animal. Too bad my pic of its plaque is indecipherable!!

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They have several bald eagles there. They always look so noble.

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And the children’s zoo. Goats, goats at a children’s zoo are pains in the butt.  They are cute but will steal the zoo map out of your back pocket in a heartbeat, and eat it.

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A good zoo, and Tulsa has an excellent zoo, has great grounds to match, or complement the critters they harbor.

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I found me a lizard, an iguana maybe, with a sardonic smile.

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And some sort of ape with a sour outlook, but beautiful fur.

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And I believe that this is a “Golden headed lion tamarin” and I think it is beautiful.

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A lion looking very regal.

I loved my couple hours at the zoo. It was overcast and cold and that kept everybody away, which suited me. Just me, the staff, and the critters.

If you want to visit the Tulsa Zoo check out their website for all the info. They even have Zoo Yoga Thursdays at 6 pm. I’m interested, what about you?

Trail Pics

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A trio I encountered at a park in Sand Springs taking a walk.

I have a Go Pro Clone action camera that I can mount on the handlebars of my bicycle. It has various modes. It has a video loop mode where it takes three minutes of video, stores it does three more minutes until it runs out of battery. Or I can still pics at any interval you set. I have been experimenting with both modes. Video is a pain in the butt because of the huge files you end up with long upload and download times and a definite problem of separating the wheat from the chaff. Stills are a lot easier. You end up with a huge amount of them but you can just delete the ones you don’t like which for me is literally about 95% of them on the first pass and then about 80% of the remainder get deleted on a second pass review.  I now use about a 20 second delay between pics now. In an hour ride that is about 180 photos. Typically I keep about five to ten. The rest get deleted. Thank goodness for digital photos!!

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I love the sense of distance in this. I love feeling a long ways from where I need to be. Except when things go wrong. Two years ago on this trail one of my tires blew out and I had to go pick up the kid in an hour. I hid the bike. Called a cab (cuz there was no Uber out in the boonies), took the cab to where my car was, drove the car back to the trail and retrieved the bike and then went to pick up the kid. Thank goodness for cell phones is what I say!!

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I like the photos of people out on the trail, like this couple. You can tell by their body language that they like each other.

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This poor lady was all over the trail and I don’t think she heard my “on your left” so I went very slowly around her way to the right. My heart really went out to her. She looks like she might be housing insecure. I think she has a long ways to go but I don’t think she is enjoying it. I am no so called “bleeding heart liberal” but our decreasing compassion for people who are down on their luck is a real problem. I hope she found a safe place to stay that night.

Our World Tuesday – 2018 Tulsa Auto Show

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Friday afternoon, I hooked up with one of my friends and we made our way to the Tulsa Auto Show at Expo Square.  The show features lots of new cars and has quite a few older cars. This year the hit of the show was the 1939 GM Futurliner that I posted about a couple days ago. Hit the link to go to that post if you wish. I am of two minds about cars. I love the technology, safety features, and durability of new cars but I love the styling of the old cars. Having said that, old cars of any type are a pain in the rear to own without major upgrades.  Changing spark plugs, condenser, and coil the time, checking the timing was a major pain. Flooding out whenever you splashed through water was terrible. I hate older cars. I love the newer cars. Except they all look alike.

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So we looked at all the cars but I took photos mainly of the older cars. Especially the Ford Thunderbirds. I don’t think there are that many more beautiful cars than the mid 1950’s Thunderbirds. They styling, the colors!!

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But like I said before. I don’t want to own one. Hey, you have one and want to loan it to me for a day on a nice sunny day. Sure, I will take you up on it. But I will return it and drive back home in my old Kia Soul. (All is Well, With My Soul, as the hymn goes.)

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Not just the tbirds, most of the cars had nice streamline, swoopy styling and many unique paint jobs.

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And some had chrome everywhere. I love a lot of chrome.

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So I admit, I took photos of almost all the old cars and hardly any of the new cars. The new cars all look like Toyotas anyway.

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I love this two tone paint.

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Here is an oldster.

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Here is an ugly older car. it looks like an upside down bathtub.

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Here is something unique. It looks like a gangster car. You can tell I am not a real car guy. My friend was and knew what all the cars were and he told me but I am an old guy and it was in one ear and out the other. If the cars have window tags I generally take photos of those for later reference. No window tags though. So you are on your own identifying these.

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Now this, this is a Pierce Arrow. Love, love, love this car. I highly recommend that you buy one, and let me borrow it from time to time.

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It has got one of the prettiest hood ornaments ever. The Tulsa Route 66 Marathon passes out replicas for their race models. I am a proud owner of one of them.

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How about one of these. What child of the late 50’s and 60’s didn’t get hauled around in a station wagon.  Nine or ten kids would fit in these, some laying down in the back. It is a wonder we didn’t all die.

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Here is a new car I found. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It has a 707 horsepower engine and brakes to match. Its kind of sad. When it first come out a few years ago and was on display it was mobbed by guys looking at it. Of course, their were young women in short skirts and high heels answering questions. Now, you got guys with clipboards wanting to answer your questions, at least when they look up from their cell phones and happen to notice you. I felt like asking them where the women with high heels were but didn’t want to get all swarmed up in the me too movement.

So that’s a wrap on this years Tulsa Auto Show!!

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – 1500th Geocaching Found

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Tuesday at noon I was signed up to go to a “Lunch and Learn” at work. That is where a vendor agrees to buy us engineers lunch if we agree to listen to their sales spiel. However, it was such a nice day, I ditched the lunch and learn and decided to go look for a new geocache named “RiverCache” right on the banks of the Arkansas River. So I drove down there and went walking along the river using the geocaching app on my cell phone to guide me.

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It took me to this little “social trail” on the river.

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Which led to this little wild and wooly hobo trail.

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After about fifteen minutes of looking here, there, and everywhere I found it!! Actually the photo is not the actual cache. To be fair to other finders and the owners of the cache I am using a photo from another cache I found years ago. The one I found on Tuesday was a lot smaller than this.

I found my first cache on Valentines Day 2004 so I have been at it for over 14 years. I only find a few dozen a year now but I still love it. Check out geocaching.com to get more information about the sport.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday 

Tulsa Sign Abatement Training

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I got up early Saturday morning and attended volunteer training put on the by City of Tulsa for those citizens who want to help the city control temporary signs on city streets. Tulsa has regulations for such signs and they are wanting help for the one city employee who does that. That guy was the one doing the training and he was very engaging during his two hour talk.

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They don’t really want volunteers pulling signs such as these. They may or may not be legal as it is possible that they could have a permit plus there is a due process where business owners can appeal. They want us volunteers solving problems not creating them. So if we have questions we are to take a photo of the sign and send it to the city employee and he will deal with it. We are not engage business owners or individuals, leave that up to city employees.

They also do not want us messing with signs inside neighborhoods. The main emphasis is going to be the “litter on a stick” signs on main thoroughfares not associated with nearby businesses. You have seen those signs advertising lawn mowing, leaf raking, and such. He talked about signs posted near schools advertising “Now hiring students” with no business name or description just a phone number. He said sometimes those are entries into human trafficking for witless teenagers.

He also emphasized discretion, so please don’t pull signs posted by people who have lost pets and other such things. “If in doubt, leave it out” is to be our motto. And he talked about political signs. Close to election time lots of candidates will be putting their little crap signs out on the rights of way and medians. He said we can pull those but we can’t just pull them for candidates we don’t like, we have to pull everybody’s signs.

So anyway the next step is that we pass the background check and get issued city ID’s, reflective vests, gloves,  and then we get to start. So I am king of looking forward to helping clean up our city of “litter on sticks.” In the meantime I am driving Heather crazy as we drive the city streets. I am saying that’s legal, legal, not legal, etc

Bike Ride on the River Video

I have not run since November last year when my doctor advised that I limit myself to just 5K’s and other short runs. He told me that my “tread was thin” and to take it easy. So I have walked a lot but not run. Instead I am riding my bicycle a lot more. At least once a week if the weather is halfway decent.

Here is a video I made of a recent ride up and down the Arkansas River here in Tulsa. A distance of about 15.5 miles. The entire ride probably took about an hour and a half but my off brand gopro ran out of juice so I probably got about 10 miles in. I edited it down to about 6 minutes and you can speed it up even further by hitting the gear looking “settings” icon on the lower right corner of the video, clicking “speed” and you should be able to double the speed and halve the time.

Video is a lot different from photo files. Mainly in the size of the files you use and how long it takes to upload. I record the videos in 3 minute segments in my off brand go pro and then splice them together with iMovie on my cell phone. It takes a while to move the files from the camera to the phone, and then from the phone to YouTube. I am figuring out that speeding up the video speed earlier in the process can speed things up. IMovie can only speed it up by two. I’m experimenting with an app called Splice that can speed it up by a factor of six. Not all videos need to be speeded up but I am trying to create a time lapse effect.

Anyways I know watching six minute video is painful so of course bail out anytime. If you have any helpful hints that would be great.

Our World Tuesday – Nature Photography Class – Spring 2018 – Chapter One

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I am all excited!! I did a one day Nature Photography class by Tulsa Community College.  We met early in the morning and then headed off to several venues, the Linnaeus Gardens, Tulsa Garden Center, Tulsa Botanic Gardens, and Oxley Nature Center.

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So the over a dozen of us, clicked and snapped away and we walked, and walked. My little garmin wrist device tells me that I walked 7.76 miles today. I believe it. My dogs are barking, you know what I mean. I do trail running, and this was about the same except I had a camera and was clicking happily away.

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This is at Wooward Park, before the class really even started. So what do you like best, pink tulips in front, with yellow in back?

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Or the other way around? Without cars in the background. Ignore the cars in the background.

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Or how about the Redbud Trees.

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How about some ancient stone steps.

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At Oxley, do you like the little snake my fellow students found?

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Or do you like the bigger snake a few hundred yards away. They said, don’t worry, no triangular head, and the eyes are round so it is not venomous. Like I even cared. Who is going to get close enough to snakes to figure out the roundness of its eyes?

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I forget where this is from. It is pretty is all I know.

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I love this also. No idea what it is.

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Anyway, the more I learn about this photography thing, the more ignorant I get. I am firmy entrenched into manual mode, and metering the photos and all that but the complicated things get me. Like the above. Sunny on one side, shady on the other, overeposed on one side, under on the other. Who you going to call? Nobody, suck it up big guy, figure it out.

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Or focus on the blossoms. The yin and the yang. Big picture, small picture. I am so confused.

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Here is a redbud up close.

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Linnaeus Gardens

How about a flag reflection. The reflection looks okay, but the sky is blown out.  No editing done anywhere on this post by the way.  Haha you say, we could tell that.

That is all for now. I took over 200 photos and I store them all in cloud and it is painfully slow to get them there. I used to store them on an external hard drive. Big, huge mistake. It cratered.

I really enjoyed the class. Kudos to my fellow students who really got into it, the various venues, who welcomed us with welcome arms and the instructors, Larry and Natalie who spent a considerable amount of time scheduling us into the various places, and led us around making sure that everybody had a fun time. I’ll be taking more classes from them again.

I am calling this Chapter One because I have so many photos to upload and don’t want to  wait until they are all uploaded before I post something. Call me impatient.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

 

Kehinde Wiley’s new Painting at Philbrook

Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV, 2016-2017 by Kehinde Wiley

I was running around at lunch Thursday and decided to pop in to the Philbrook Museum to check out their new acquisition of Kehinde Wiley’s “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV.” I’ve seen several photographs of it but you know, with paintings you really have to be be there.

The painting is huge. It takes up a whole wall. It shows a black man in a modern urban camo outfit atop a horse in a classic pose, complete with a sword. The rest of the painting could have come from a few hundred years ago. It is obvious that the painter is skilled and I didn’t have the “Are you kidding me” reaction I get sometimes with modern art. Wiley has been chosen to paint President Obama’s portrait to be unveiled this year.

The subject in the painting is very engaging. He is kind of half glancing at the room and that has changes the tone from your usual painting. And the painting’s colors are vivid and the paint seems so fresh it sparkles.  It is a striking work.  And yet I worry about how this work will age. Will it still be on display in 50 years or will it be stuck in storage somewhere. I know it is modern art, and nobody knows how modern art is going to “age.” So I am glad that they went got this instead of something “safer.”

I highly recommend that you check this painting out for yourself. Like I said it is a very striking work of art.