Tag Archives: Tulsa

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.

Skywatch Friday – Winter Sunset

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So Wednesday evening after work I decided to go chase a geocache that was recently planted in Owen Park which is about a mile or so northwest of my office. It has been bitterly cold lately but the temps were up to the low 40’s and there was still lots of light so off I went.

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Owen Park may be the oldest park in Tulsa, in the oldest part of town. I love it because it has lots of old school rock walls and steps and other things that are way to dangerous to be built today. So it took me a little bit to find it climbing up and down and all around. Rocks like this really drive the GPSr devices we use crazy because of all the multipath noise.  But hey, I was having fun. I even got a call from my wife while I was looking at we chatted a little bit. While chatting I spotted a good place for the hide and after the call was over sure enough there it was. Number 1493.

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On the way back to the care I took this snap with my cell phone. No clouds or color in the sky but I loved the little skim of ice on part of the pond, and the reflections of the trees. So no filters or cropping or anything like that on this post.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Weather Deliverance!!

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The weather finally broke and the sun came out and the sky was almost springlike. After our extended cold spell I never realized how warm 36 degrees could feel so warm.

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Before hand we had day after day of this, and this is at the end of the day!! Ever hear of Lake Effect Snow? One morning we had “Refinery Effect Snow” the condensation from the cooling towers caused snow on the west side of downtown.

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We are finally getting some clouds,  the days are getting longer. We are a long ways from Spring but I am getting hopeful.

What is going on where you live?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Our World – Thoughts on a Turkey Mountain Ramble

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I have run by this a bunch of times and never noticed it. A big trunk with several wraps of barbed wire. Turkey Mountain used to have farms on it and was an active oilfield back in the day.

Sunday morning I went for a walk on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. There was a running group that was leaving at 8 am but I didn’t join them. I have not run since I injured myself during the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. Since then I have been walking, cycling, rowing, walking, elliptical machining and a lot of resistance training. I still don’t feel like I should be running. My knees are popping a lot and I don’t know if I will ever run again. (sniff??)

Turkey Mountain Wire fence

This was a wire fence, almost decorative starting from the tree in the first pic. In fact, if you go back and look at the first pic you will see that it is this fence that is imprinted in the tree trunk! It makes me wonder if there was a house here at one time. Turkey Mountain has a history, and a lot of ghosts. I can sense the ghosts when I run here at twilight. Again something I never saw before. Maybe walking and hiking will give me a new perspective on things?

So I have been thinking about why I started running in the first place. I started running a little late in life. I am not a natural athlete.  I was 37 years old and had found out that my cholesterol was sky high and my cholesterol ratio was terrible. The exercise guy I consulted said that running was the most bang for the buck. So I started running and really never stopped. I entered races and eventually ran a couple of marathons and a whole bunch of half marathon and 15 to 25k races and countless 5 to 10K’s. I loved the hopeless feeling of being 5 miles from the finish and exhausted and then somehow making it to the finish. I didn’t care that I finished 57th out of 62 in my age group. Finishing was the goal, and I always finished, one way or the other.

Turkey Mountain pumpjack base

A base for an oil well pumpjack from way back. There was a geocache here that I never could find and it is no longer active.

So that was then, and this is now. I can see me hiking instead of running the trails. I can see my biking a lot more. If you can’t do what you want, do what you can. So my doctor says “… your tread is running a little thin.” So I am going to save my tread for hiking and maybe the occasional trotting 5K. I’ll be on my bicycle a lot more and in the gym a lot more. Taking care of my tread.

Turkey Mountain Tree

I collect trees. Here is one on Turkey Mountain. It seems a little here and there and perhaps unstable? Do you know unstable trees? Do they make you nervous? This one makes me nervous.

I can deal with it. Circumstances change, you have to change with them. My goal is to be as active as I can for as long as I can, however I can.

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Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness and is maintained mainly by volunteer labor. It is not groomed like a city park. The trails are kept clear. Many of them by people showing up with their hand saws and power saws and cleaning things up on their own initiative. The cuttings are tossed to the side. They are not hauled off. So the woods show the cumulative effect of windstorms, ice storms, and tornadoes. We vounteers pick up the trash but leave the organic material to rot on its own. It works. No way could anybody afford to come clean everything up. The people who love Turkey Mountain don’t want them to do so. I’ve had friends say, “It is so icky up there, why don’t they clean it up.” And I would never tell them but my thought is, “Turkey Mountain is not for you maybe?”

The ironic thing is that all this running didn’t do crap for my cholesterol levels. It lowered it by about 10%. Now drugs, drugs knocked my LDL’s in the butt. At $7.50 for a month’s worth, I am sticking with that. Of course, with statin drugs, deaths from heart attacks are cut but total mortality doesn’t change!! Huh!! Yep, true fact. I am going to continue taking them anyway. In the long term, the mortality rate is 100%!! You can’t argue with that.

What about you? Are you having any changes lately?

I’m 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!!

Shadow Shot Sunday – Shadows on Philbrook Museum’s Patio

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I went to Philbrook Museum of Art earlier this week at lunch. We have a membership there, courtesy of the world’s best MIL so I can pop in when ever I want. Anyway I breezed through the galleries and went outside but didn’t go tour the gardens since I was short of time so I took this photo of the chairs and tables on the patio.

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I ran a half marathon back in November and caught these shadows in the early morning sun.

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My employer rebuilt their plaza area in front of the building and now it is a really nice space. They have a large ramada and a bunch of chairs and tables that make for interesting shadows.

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This is from back in warmer weather. I was running on the Arkansas River trails here in Tulsa and got passed by a couple of bicyclists so I snapped their pic and caught a shadow selfie.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday