Here is Lizzie the Christmas Cat. She loves laying under her tree in our living room. She is kind of cranky right now because there are now presents under the tree.
I’m recycling this photo from a couple weeks ago. Santa water skiing on a lake in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
This is my brother’s Christmas tree in his apartment at assisted living. Please be thinking of him. He got a breakthrough infection of Covid despite being triple vaccinated. He has had the monoclonal antibody treatment and is recovering. The center has quarantined the residents to their room right now because of the Covid surge. He is a former marathon runner and he had been doing virtual 5Ks in his walker up and down the hall of the center. So no more of that. I’ll be able to go see him tomorrow.
This was a scene from Bentonville, Arkanasas in November. Kids just kind of make Christmas.
And a drone shot of our house decorations.
My MIL has great decorations. I love how she does the cast iron stove in her front entry.
Some people go to Turkey Mountain and decorate trees there. They do go and take the decorations down.
One of the project managers at my former employer had a pipeline construction Christmas tree. She added to the decorations every year. She and the rest of my former coworkers are still working remotely, since March of 2020.
My wife’s gingerbread cookies are always a hit!
One of the nice things about working downtown was checking out all the decorations in the various office buildings.
Oops!! I forgot, this a Skywatch Friday post!!! Here is a sky from the Bakken Oilfield of the North Dakota. My friend Josh took this photo and I am stealing it.
I hope everybody has a great Christmas. Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!
They have been doing this for years and it is free and quite the show. The lights are spread out all over the campus. They also have really good pedestrian flow compared to previous years and that is important in these pandemic times.
There is no charge and there is a very chill vibe going on.
There are milliions of lights, and reflections of those lights all over the place.
It’s a Christian organization and of course Christmas is a big deal in Christianity, celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
There is certainly a lot of joy on the Rhema Campus.
The kid is home, we are tired of being locked down so we headed to a local theater and saw Spider-Man: No Way Home. Heather and Logan love the Spider-Man movies. I go along and enjoy them but I can’t keep track of all the characters and all the actors who play Spiderman, and there are lots of them plus the whole series of movies is embedded in the “Marvel Universe.” Yep, well okay!
That being said, this is a great movie. It is hard to write about the movie without spoiling it for people. Let me just say that I loved it. It has a number of twists and turns in it. The action is intense and so is the acting. Read the IMDB writeup if you must.
I give it five stars out of five. I’d go watch it again.
A few weeks ago after dropping Logan off at college I revisited the small Oklahoma ghost town of Cogar. It’s claim to fame is that a scene from the 1988 Movie Rainman was filmed here at a local gas station. The film stars Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. I can’t believe that it has been 33 years!!
The gas station is still standing, kind of, and it looks like a brand new sign is up. Cogar has become somewhat of a mecca for bloggers, instagrammers, and camera bugs. Abandoned stuff is big these days.
Logan is out of college now so I may never visit this place again.
In other news this week, Heather had a birthday, so the three of us celebrated with a hike among the venomous snakes of Turkey Mountain. We didn’t see any. I always get the feeling though they could see us.
And closing with a drone shot up over my back yard.
After our son graduated last Friday we decided to go see Chickasha’s Festival of Light at a local park. We have been hearing about it for years so this was our chance.
It was fun. Lots of lights and stuff to do. The vibe was mellow. We loved it.
Our favorite lights was this Santa skiiing behind a reindeer driven motorboat.
The had a cool bridge covered with lights going over the pond.
It was a great place to take photos.
There was another area covered with colored lights, another fun photo op.
Yep I know, I need a haircut. Coming up this Friday.
In downtown Chickasha, not part of the Festival is this crate. It has a 40 foot tall leg lamp like the one in the movie Christmas Story. It is a tethered inflatable balloon and it was grounded Friday night because of high winds. We were disappointed. I found this youtube video that shows it.
We had a good time in Chickasha. Logan has graduated and I doubt we will ever be back. Oh well.
Our son, Logan graduated from college last Friday. Heather and I drove down to Chickasha and found him chillaxing with a frappucino in one of the lounges.
He got cleaned up and ready for the ceremony. It was actually a banquet for the December graduates but they had caps and gowns and got awarded their diploma covers. It was kind of funny because they had a disclaimer that just because you went through the ceremony doesn’t necessarily mean that you met the requirements for graduation. You see Friday was the last day of classes also so if one celebrated too early you may not get anything to put in your diploma folder.
Here is Logan with Sean, the program director who oversaw the students who had autism. The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is the only place in the state with a program for people on the spectrum where they can get a fully accredited degree instead of a certificate. More programs are coming but right now USAO is the only degree program in the state. If you are interested, it is called the Neil-Wint Center for Neurodiversity. Click the link for more info. One takes regular classes and does all the work that other students do.
Here is Logan with his sweet fellow student Erin. My heart goes out to these graduates. Talk about being through the wringer with Covid and a pivot to online classes and putting up with protocols and all that. The world is changing.
Here is a video taken by Seann of Logan getting called up to get his degree. One of the benefits of a small college. The academic advisors for each student introduced the student individually. I love it. When I graduated from the University of New Mexico way back when all several thousand of us got a wave of the hand. Here, Logan’s advisor, came and sat down with us during the dinner.
And here is Mom and Dad with Logan. Yes, I know my hair is a fright!! I am getting it cut this coming Friday.
And another pic of the graduate.
The next morning, the party is over. Clean out his dorm room and check out. Our SUV was cram full!!
And a final photo with Heather and Logan.
What’s next? He is applying for jobs in the Tulsa area. He is a great writer and a hard worker.
My wife and I went to Tulsa’s swanky Utica Square shopping center the other day. She really likes the Athleta store there. As an exercise instructor she lives in workout gear and Athleta’s stuff is great. So while she was shopping for her Christmas gifts from me to her I took my phone out and did some exploring.
I found this cool clock. Who uses a clock to tell time any more? We all have phones and stare at them all day long.
Found this sculpture of a little girl reading. I love to see young people reading. I volunteer with Reading Partners and tutor a girl in reading for an hour a week. She’s really a hard worker and stays engaged the whole hour. Unlike some of my generation, I see lots of hope in the future generations. If you are interested check the link see if they have a program in your area.
Right across the street from Utica Square is the Temple Israel Synagogue. I have long loved their bas relief of the Ten Commandments. I shot the photo from the shopping center’s parking garage to get a little elevation.
I also love their 3D Menorah. For the longest time I thought it was just a cool modern sculpture. Well duh, it’s a Menorah I found out on their web site.
Also across the street from the center is this cool office building. I love it’s design including the arches on the ground floor and all the balconies. It looks like it belongs on a coast somewhere.
Found this dolled up wooden sculpture next to a day spa.
So that’s it for the shopping center. You get the picture. I went drone flying earlier.
So here’s a sunset from 40 meters over my back yard. Somebody in one of my drone groups on facebook said that they were tired of sunset photos. Suck it up buddy, here’s another one is my response.
Sunday evening I attended a stakeholder meeting on Turkey Mountain with the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and others to get a tour of the new trail they are building and get our feedback. Previously I had paralleled the trail this time we actually got to walk on it.
It’s going to be a bi-directional multi-use trail for bikers, runners and walkers. It is nice and wide and after seeing it I think it will work well.
For bicyclists they have a “Choose your adventure” options where you can take jumps if you want to or bypass them.
A huge difference from the existing trails is the extensive work they are doing to cut down on water erosion. They are following the land contours and the trail is side sloped one to two degrees to encourage water running perpendicular to the trail than down it. They are also taking the rocks they find and putting them downhill from the trail to help contain the dirt.
They have some great banked turns.
Here is an action shot of me (on the right) stolen from a friend’s facebook post. Hopefully he won’t sue me.
We came to end of the construction. They only have about a half mile or less to finish this segment. This is the first mile out of 13 or 14 miles in phase one of five phases.
They hope to open this in the next few weeks. I think it will be epic. They asked each one of us what we liked and what our concerns are. Everybody loves the trail, the main concern is minimizing conflicts between bicyclists and walker/runners. This trail will be the fastest bicycling trail on the mountain when it is completed and will be popular with the jumps and steep banks. The Riverparks Authority is planning on a lot of mitigation measures such as making sure that the turns have clear sight lines and education measures so everybody understands who has the right of way (people on foot do) and encourage mutual courtesy.
So we are pretty excited about our new trails. There are other changes coming as well. They might be having the first prescribed burn. That will help a lot getting rid of non-native species and clearing out the understory.