Category Archives: Pondering

A Bike Ride and Second Thoughts about Computer Designed Buildings


Last Friday I took the day off and Heather and I went for a bike ride on Tulsa’s Arkansas River Trails. Of course I had to take the selfie before we took off. Notice that the strap that holds the helmet on my head also packs up my double chins pretty well.


This is a YogiCam shot showing Heather on the right and a showoff zooming by with no hands on the handlebars. What do you think about guys like that. Personally I’m mad I can’t do it. Of course I’ve never tried it either.


Ripping by the University Club apartments. I should have slowed down and took a better picture they are semi-famous. It was the first building ever designed with a computer. It did two years of calculations in 24 minutes. I don’t where we went wrong personally but things have gone the other way around. For example with PowerPoint you can take you days to put together a presentation that should take only an hour to put together. We’ve lost our way somewhere. The other thing that it is famous for is that a former resident is serving 25 years for pushing her husband out a window from their 17 story apartment. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t say much for computer designed buildings is what I think.



Here are some other apartments further up the river. No murders here that I know about.


And then we headed back to the car so we could go pick up the kid at school.

Have you been on a bike ride lately? You don’t live in a computer designed building do you? With a volatile spouse? On a high floor? Poor you.

Pondering a Murder in Dallas


I was in Dallas on business last week. One afternoon I wandered over to Dealy Plaza where President John F. Kennedy was murdered 51 years ago. The last time I was there was in 1983 close to the 20th anniversary of the assassination. Even then it seemed like old history. Not much has changed since then. The Texas School Book Depository is now a museum.


You can see where the shooter set up on the sixth floor. I didn’t visit the museum. It wasn’t open when I was there but I wouldn’t have visited it anyway.


And last year a new memorial was set up with an excerpt from a speech Kennedy was going to give later in the day.


And somebody has taped a couple X’s near where the shots hit.


Tourists dash out there to get pics of themselves with the X’s and run off before the Dallas traffic runs by.


A block or so away one of the most banal memorials I have ever seen, a cenotaph that honors President Kennedy. It was designed by Philip Johnson and was originally supposed to be marble but somebody made the decision to use precast concrete instead. I didn’t like the memorial last time I visited and I still don’t like it. 


I remember the day he was murdered. I was just an elementary school student in Price, Utah and I didn’t understand why it happened but I sensed that the whole world had changed. I’m getting pretty old now and I still don’t understand why he was killed and I still feel that somehow the world changed that day. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pondering the Mysteries of New Years


You know the whole New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day thing has always just confused me. I mean it follows Christmas. You know the season of good will and cheer and generosity and all that. Just loaded with gingerbread men and hot chocolate and decorations and snow and the whole bit. We go through all that then we open up our presents on Christmas and then you know what happens. Sure you do.


The kids all get whiny and “Is all that I got?” and their parents who got dragged out of their beds at 5 am are all tired and cranky. Somebody has got to leave the tree party to make breakfast and then start on the Christmas meal. You know something is wrong then.


And the next day many people load up all the stuff they got and return it. Me, I’ve never returned anything in my life if it fit, or if it was a short sleeve dress shirt and tie. I mean that is just so exhausting.

Gingerbread Men by Heather

And then there is this tension about the Christmas tree and decorations. Gotta get rid of it, gotta get rid of it. You know what I mean. Suddenly we are sick of Christmas. It’s gotta go. Plus, we have to figure what to do about New Year’s Eve. Are we going to a party, where? Plus resolutions. I have never made a resolution in my life. I have carefully cultivated my bad habits most of life. Why would I get rid of them?


Researching the origins of New Years on the web gives a confusing story of changing calendars, conniving kings, evil emperors and other such stuff. The web is No Help!! Sorry Al Gore. You need to look into that. I mean since you invented the web and all.


Well, I’ve thought about it long and hard and I have the answer to what New Year’s is all about. 


It’s a wake up call that is what it is. It is a cold water in the face or maybe for some of us a cold slap in the face. Or a shot of ice cold vodka or a jigger of hot sauce. It is time to wake up! What am I talking about?


I am talking about two things. First Christmas is like being a drugs. All that eggnog, and candy canes, and soft twinkling lights plus whipping out the credit card. It’s bad for your brain folks. It is like crack cocaine. New Year’s forces you to realize, wow, what did I do, how am I going to pay for all that crap I bought? How am I going to lose all this weight I gained?


Second thing is that oh wow, I’m another year older and nothing much has really changed. Not only am I older, I’m fatter, slower, balder, and a little dumber. Oh no, I need to get myself back into shape.


So there you go folks. New Year’s is a slap in the face to wake up! You get one last day off and then off to your cubicle you go. You got credit cards to pay off. You have just got to start eating right. Go ahead, take a break, watch some football. Enjoy it because you have a long hard cold winter ahead of you and a long time until Memorial Day. And for goodness sake get the tree and lights down as soon as you can!

Got it, enjoy!!

If you have made it this far, I wish you and your family and friends a Happy New Year!

Pondering the Spirit of Christmas

(Wreaths are one of my favorite decorations, and they include lights and candles, so much the better.)

Christmas is a very complicated thing I think. We celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas but everybody agrees that he was not born on Christmas. What is up with that?

(One of our several Nativity Scenes, we are keeping all of them!)

Then the whole Nativity Scene thing. We’ve seen it a zillion times. You know, the baby Jesus, Mary Joseph, the various critters, shepherds, and the three Wise Men. It makes a great scene but that is not the way it happened. Not according to my Bible at least. My Bible doesn’t specify the number of Wise Men and it doesn’t say that they appeared at a manger. They appeared at a house and worshipped a young boy, not a baby.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be snide or act superior. I’m a Christian and I love nativity scenes, we have more than one and I believe in the virgin Birth and that Christ is my savior. I’m not trying to change the way you celebrate Christmas. My point is that Christmas is more than a religious holiday.

(Christmas trees on the Riverparks. I love’em.)

What else is Christmas? Lets see, lots of decorations, Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf , concerts, holidays, egg nog, hot chocolate!! Oh yes, I love all that also.

(Brian Setzer Orchestra. Wow, what a Christmas show. My first ever rockabilly Christmas.)

And don’t forget gifts. It is fun to give gifts and it is fun to receive them. 

SuperPizzaBoy's First Christmas
(Logan’s first Christmas. I love those little arms and legs and big smiles)

Nothing like watching a baby or a young one enjoy Christmas. Nothing like watching a loved one open up a special present you got just for him or her. Hey, and I won’t lie, I love receiving presents. I really do. I freely admit it. Do I feel bad for those who are not as blessed as me and my family? Yes, I feel horrible about it. What do I do about it? Not much I’m afraid, Angle Tree gifts and some money in various pots and kettles and such. We can all do much better I think. 


I like the little things about Christmas like the ranch owner who made a wreath out of rope, spray paint, and a bow and put it on a fence out in the middle of nowhere. I just love things like this. It is a gift to me and others from somebody. We don’t know each other but they gave us something out of the blue.

Bricktown Christmas Tree
(Warehouse district in Oklahoma City)

I watch secular Christmas movies like Home Alone and others where they talk the “The Spirit of Christmas.” That always confuses me, what is the Spirit of Christmas. Maybe it is grace. Being kind to each other, even total strangers, in small acts and large. I think it is at the very roots of Christianity. I think though that Christmas has enough room in it for others besides Christians. It better, for there is a lot going on at Christmas that doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity.

So, what do you think the Spirit of Christmas is about?