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Tulsa Jingle Bell Run 2022 5K

Dallas Cowboys Santa Cap, Heated Vest, and downtown Tulsa in the Background.

Last Saturday I ran the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell 5K in Tulsa. It is a fund raiser with races in almost all the bigger cities.

You can tell we have drouth going on. The Arkansas River is way down.

Back when I used to run a lot the Jingle Bell Run was a must do. They had the best tshirts!! Big thick shirts with bold graphics. I think the fastest 5K I ever ran was during Jingle Bell Run. I think the temperature was 9 degrees F. I was motivated!!

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Fall Color!!

Years ago, they used to have the run adjacent to a large inside space so you could stay inside where it was warm and when you finished you could go inside and warm up.

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None of that nowadays! The race started in a big open field with a cold wind bearing down direct from the north pole.

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All the slow folks, like me, are bundled up.

Don’t feel sorry for me though. I volunteered to run the race and brought my heated vest that Heather got me for Christmas last year.

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More Fall Color

It worked great. Not only does it warm the body but it also warms your neck and has heated pockets!! So I was warm.

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The route went right by the Route 66 Neon Sign Park.

In fact as the race went on, I turned the heating elements on my vest off.

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Crossing the Arkansas River looking south.

The race went up and down the Arkansas River using the River Parks trail system. I am up for a fast walk up and down the riverparks. I always see something new there.

I finished out of the money but I got a very nice participation medal. I don’t know exactly how I finished in relation to others in my age group for some reason they don’t have a link to the timing company on their web page. I’ve sent an email asking about it.

And the tee shirt. Still a very nice, thick tee shirt.

So I walked the whole way. Nowdays my fast walking pace is only a bit slower than my trotting pace so I just took it easy. Enjoyed myself immensely. I’ll be back next year.

Backyard Bonanza 5K, 12.5K, and 25K Trail Races.

This past Sunday a bunch of trailrunners and walkers congregated at the Herman and Kaiser YMCA on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain to run the Backyard Bonanza series of races (5K, 12.5K, and 25K). It kind of takes the place of the old Turkey n Taturs races that took place at the Y a few years ago. This race was created and operated by RunnersWorld Racing. Runners World was involved in the Turkey n Tatur Races as well. This is not the biggest race in town but it is lots of fun. I think this is the second year of the race and I think they had a 30% growth in participants from last year. It takes time to build up a race.

Just as I got there, the 12.5K and 25K contestants were were getting pre-race instructions. Pretty simple really, follow the pink ribbons, don’t cross the yellow ribbons, be nice to other people on the mountain cuz the course is still open to the public, have fun. With the Turkey n Taturs races I did the 8K a bunch of times and the 25K once. I have also cooked hamburgers maybe three times, and helped out at the aid station once or twice. This year I did the 5K event.

So stationed myself at the first turn of the race and got a video of the “peloton” of runners/walkers. And then I waited a half hour or so for the 5K to start.

I started at the back of the pack as usual and pretty much just power walked up the hills on the outward bound part of the course. We ran legacy trails on this segment, pretty hard up and downs.

And then things flattened out a little bit and I found I could trot pretty well without much difficulty. I can’t tell how long it has been since I could run.

We ran on a segment of new trail that was unfamiliar to me. I could have sworn that I have been on all the new trails except the downhill bicycle only Zingo but I was wrong. Not the first time I’ve been wrong.

We ran into what I call the cloverleaf. It is kind of a mix master where you end up running in a bunch of different directions. If you scroll down you will see it on the route maps at the lower left hand (southwest corner of the maps). Still flat and I was still trotting. I ended up doing negative splits and the final mile was 15 minutes, 30 seconds which is close to my “peak” when I ran a lot.

So at the finish, they had bottle openers instead of medals. Suited me fine. Medals have taken over the races and lots of people covet them.

They also had freshly made pancakes. Sign me up for a pancake anytime. They had pumpkin butter to put on them in addition to syrup. That was delicious.

And finished off with a silver bullet on the terrace of the Lodge. The Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA is deluxe. The powers that be had been gathering donations for some time and when they had to shut down for covid they hired some contractors and got to work and they had a brand new facility when the reopened. In fact they had a race on opening day in June, 2021 and I participated in it.

And of course the tee shirt was deluxe.

I ended up winning my age group!! So that was nice even though I was the only one in my age group.

So this race was the whole package. I’ll be back!

Facility 5 stars (out of 5)
Course 5 stars
Markings 5 stars
Food and Drink 5 stars
TShirt 5 stars
Fellow contestants 5 stars
Awards 5 stars

As you can tell I liked the race.

Gulf Coast Beach Wildlife

I’m running late on all my posts. Life has been busy lately which is a great thing!! I’m not a fan of being busy busy busy but I am a fan of enjoying life and spending time outdoors instead of glued to a computer. So these are wildlife pics from our trip to Orange Beach, Alabama a few weeks

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We saw several great blue herons. This one started out on the beach in front of our condo and it slowly walked to the barrier dune in front of our condo. It looked like he was following a lizard or something. We thought he was going to dart down and grab the lizard and eat but he never did. He flew down the beach after a while. We have these herons in Oklahoma and they hardly ever move a muscle unless they are spooked off. (By the way, if I miss an ID feel free to let me know. I welcome corrections.)

This is a different heron hanging out by the beach. We encountered standing next to somebody surf fishing. One guy said that the bird was his best buddy. Waiting for a treat.

This guy/gal was hunkered down in the grass at a state park.

Even in October, there were lots of sea gulls.

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I’m not sure what this one is but there were lots of them as well, and other birds.

One day we ventured off to Pensacola and walked on the pier. There was this brown pelican there. I think it is a teenager as it was kind of small and some downy feathers. It didn’t move much. A couple of nearby fishermen would toss it something every now and then.

We had a great time on the beach. We had enough warm weather for four days of laying on the beach and we found something to do the other days. We love talking walks on the beach and we did plenty of that.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out. Lots of good photobloggers link up there.

Shadowy Bleachers

I went for a little hike the other day at a local park. I noticed a little used trail and decided to see where it went. It turns out that it went to some property owned by a local private school. The property was not posted and there were no students or anybody else out and about so I explored some more and found their football field. You can tell it is not a big school. It is a school with a very good reputation. I’ve met the headmaster and he is a fellow geocacher.

Have you been exploring lately?

I’m linking up with Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Check it out, join in!!

Family Hike on the Mountain

Last week my sister, Ellen, and her husband, Irv, came down from Colorado to visit us.

While here we joined our brother Bob at his residence. Management was throwing an Oktoberfest, food, drink, desert, entertainment! We were all up for that.

Music was provided by a local accordion band. I didn’t even know that accordion bands were a thing. These folks were great. They all played together, you know, like they were a band! It was jam packed with residents and guests and I think everyone had a good time.

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The next day I showed off Turkey Mountain. They were very polite. They live on some acreage where they have a front row seat to Pikes Peak at 14,114 feet. Turkey Mountain is 804 feet. They did not snicker, not even once!! Hey you know, we in Tulsa are proud of 804 foot tall hill. We can call it a mountain if we want.

Irv is a fellow geocacher and he found one on the moutain.

Ellen made friends with Sasquatch.

We went by Pepsi Lake. They didn’t ask why the ponds on the Turkey Mountain hill are called lakes. I don’t know!!

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We ended up going about 4.5 miles or so. I was worn out.

We had a really good visit.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in the fun!!

2022 National Arabian Horse Show

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My sister and her husband were in town recently to visit and attend the National Arabian Horse Show here in Tulsa. She and he were heavily involved in youth horse judging community in Colorado Springs and attended the horse show regularly for several years.

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Heather and I attended the final night of the show with them and the show was amazing. Beautiful Arabian horses being ridden by people that know what they are doing. They had several different classes or style of riding.

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The horses are gorgeous, groomed beautifully. The riders are dressed very well also. They ride their horses around the ring in various trots, walks, canters and hand gallops all the while scrutinized by a team of judges.

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The audience is raucous during the competition cheering their favorites on loudly during the competition and judging. They also cheered the winners loudly. Great sportsmanship, not a boo heard the entire evening.

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The horses have a distinctive gait. I’m told that they have to be trained to do it as it doesn’t come naturally.

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Hopefully we can attend next year. It had been 2013 and 2014 when we last made the show.

Links to the 2013 and 2014 shows

AI Generated Images – The New Frontier?

AI Pumpkins
Ghostly Pumpkins – AI Generated
AI warship
Warships headed to sea AI Generated

I was reading a short article in Wired magazine about Artificial Intelligence generated images. There are programs out there that have learned gazillions of photographs and their captions and will take text prompts to generate images. This has caused lots of anger among digital artists. So of course I had to try it.

It looks like almost all of these image generators are very robust and won’t run on a laptop. So being cheap I found a website “FreeImageGenerator.Com” that will do the job for you. You enter a prompt and it generates an image that you can use however you like. It will even polish your text prompt for you to make it better. It generates png images and you are limited to 15 per hour or something like that.

So I tried various things and got various results. The two images above were the ones I liked the best. I have to say that I find the technology absolutely fascinating. I have no idea about it’s affect on the art world. But you know you cannot put toothpaste back in the tube. I suspect that artists will be fine. They will end up using such tools that leave the rest of us way behind.

Have you ever heard of AI generated Art? Have you tried it out? What do you think.

Tulsa State Fair Skywatch

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I like to go to the Tulsa State Fair every year. I only spend about a couple hours.

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All I do basically is take photographs.

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As you can tell I like Ferris Wheels.

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And I love this two story merry go round. They have had it for years.

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Some of the ride parts are amusing, or scary. If I was a kid this would scare me to death. I don’t ride any of the rides. Nope, not a ride person.

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At least this guy is smiling. Not for me though.

And I like taking photos of the food stands. I love this faux corner brick pizza place. Nope, not going to touch it.

Not tempted by Chicken City either. I love the design though.

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Another Chicken place.

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You know, I don’t even know what a funnel cake is. Nor do I want to find out. I generally get a corn dog. Kind of hard to mess that up. I only get one corn dog per year.

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I like all the 4H and FFA projects on display. Someone restored this beautiful tractor.

So at the end of my 2.5 mile wibble wobble of the Tulsa State Fair I found the German Beer tent and had me a wheat beer, or two. Later on I got a corn dog.

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For a more traditional skywatch photo, here is a crescent moon from a week or so ago.

Thanks for sticking with me. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Keep Your Eye on the Road and Your Hands Upon the Wheel..

Another week where I don’t have much in the way of Skywatch Photos. Amond other things I have been riding with Logan so he can get his drivers license soon. He’s doing pretty well. We’ve done lots of country roads and today we did some heavily tracked streets and soon we’ll get him on the freeway.

I stole the idea for the blog title from my cousin Patty who commented with the song lyric on facebook. I thought it was ZZ Top who sang the song. Nope, it was the Doors, Roadhouse Blues. I knew that. Or at least I used to know it when I had more brain cells. Anyway, who knew the Doors had solid driving advice?

A powerline on Turkey Mountain passing over the Monarch Waystation.

And I found cool wagon at a mall with a strange name here in Tulsa. It’s the mini-Mall. What!?

Hurricane Ian is pictured from the International Space Station
NASA Photo, click to see the terms of use.

And this is Hurricane Ian on September 26 as seen from the International Space Station. I think literally somebody shot the scene through a window with their Nikon D5. I’m thinking about all the victims from the Caribbean, including Cuba, and the Florida. Lots of destruction the past few days.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out, join in!!

Michael Buble in Tulsa.

Heather and I had our 33rd Anniversary the other day. We didn’t feel like celebrating much because our dog Rascal was not doing very well at all and we ended up putting him to sleep the next day. So things were not very happy at our house. Last night though we went to the Michael Buble concert here in Tulsa.

We’re glad we went. We love the guy and he always puts on a great show. This was the fourth time we’ve seen him. He sings an updated “Great American Songbook,” standards from people like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and others. One of my favorite songs is, “I’m Feeling Good.”

Another favorite is “Home.”

Over the years, he has mellowed quite a bit. He used to have kind of a bad boy persona and his shows could be quite raunchy. He’s now married and has four children and seems to be quite the family man but he still looks has that playful smile.

And we were happy. That is about as smiling as it gets for me. We had a good time.