This past weekend I helped build a Butterfly Garden on Turkey Mountain. It was part of an annual event called Monarchs on the Mountain. This year, for safety, it was scattered all over town. Families could reserve a time spot to help with the garden. It was great seeing all the little kids excited about digging and planting stuff.
I helped taking out the bermuda grass. I was sore all over at the end of my not very long shift. Anyway, we ended planting a lot of plants. They lady leading the effort was great. She told the children that this was their garden now so come check on it. One child asked if they could add to it and was told, yes, just make sure the plant is native to Oklahoma because we don’t water, fertilize or spray these plants so they have be hardy enough to survive on their own.
We are getting a little of the fire haze from California. My heart goes out to the residents there. What a nightmare.
I’ve been riding my bicycle up and down the trails on the RiverParks. No road crossings!!
Fire Station number 9 here in Tulsa is sponsoring this geocache. It’s a gadget cache which means that it is easy to find and hard to get into to sign the log. This one requires tools, but it provides the tools, so first you have to figure out how to get the tools, and then what to do with them then. I loved it.
As part of a solving a geocaching puzzle I had the opportunity to view some of the famous people buried at Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. It was really kind of interesting so who was buried there.
Firsts up is Roy Clark. Those of a certain age, remember him in the television weekly comedy music show Hee Haw back in the 70’s. He was a great performer and projected a warmth while performing. He had hits on both the country and pop charts and was known as a great musician. He didn’t grow up in Tulsa but he called Tulsa home.
And then Bob Wills, the godfather of everything musical in Tulsa and a co-founder of country swing music.
He played for years at Cain’s Ballroom here in Tulsa which is still a music hall with quite a full schedule. His ghost is said to reside there.
Leon Russell had the most elaborate monument and had coins, rocks, and other mementos from his fans on the front. (Roy Clark had coins on the back ledge of his monument for some reason.) He was active for over 60 years. Elton John called him a mentor. He was enrolled in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He played with Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, and others he is a legend.
Underneath one of the benches at his grave site sits a hat like the ones he used to wear.
And Sam Kinison. He was one mixed up dude. Lots of talent and very outrageous. Watch the following video at your own risk!
Strangely enough he started out in life as a Pentecostal Preacher and had to quit because he wasn’t making enough money. He went into comedy and got several big breaks.
Oral Roberts, the father of the “Name it, Claim it” Prosperity Gospel is buried in a common grave next to his wife.
He might be the most recognized preacher in history. He was an innovator in several fronts, with his prosperity gospel, tele-evangelism, and was founder of Oral Roberts University which is still going on although they separated from the family years ago. He was a character.
His life and ministry is still a conundrum to me. On the one hand he appears to have been a bit of a huckster. On the other hand, his University has done a lot of good. He was colorful, I’ll give you that.
And so that concludes my tour of the Cemetery. I love cemeteries. I google names on the tombstones and you would be surprised how much information is available. For instance I saw a gravestone for a man and wife and it just had birth dates and no end dates. I googled the names and found out that yes, they died but are buried in another cemetery. I am not going to name them because it happened pretty recently and I think I am friends with one of their offspring. So what’s the deal, why would somebody order a double gravestone in advance of the need and have it installed?
This last guy is my favorite. Waymon Tisdale was a basketball player who played at the University of Oklahoma and later in the NBA. He quit basketball after twelve years in the NBA to concentrate on his first love, music. He played bass guitar in a smooth jazz band that he led. My wife and I used to go to a Jazz Festival here in Tulsa where Tisdale frequently played and he radiated such a friendliness and warmth from the stage and was totally approachable and well grounded.
He and his family lived in a house not far from where we lived at the time. In fact I would go running by his house in the early morning and it was pretty cool. They had young kids and a huge play area for them. It was nice but not superstar gazillionaire nice. His diagnosis with cancer and subsequent early death was a huge tragedy. I still don’t get how somebody so alive can be so dead.
Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to be so long but here it is. It could have been longer, especially if I had elaborated on some of the more entertaining tales of Oral Roberts.
We had a full moon just before Christmas. Usually known as the Cold Moon. I found a new name that I like, “Moon Before Yule.” It was bright, silvery, and beautiful here in Oklahoma.
Also just before Christmas we had dinner with some friends and then went to Tulsa’s superb Gathering Place to check out the Christmas lights. We missed the lights but just walking through the place is great. Aboveis the Williams Lodge.
I’m continuing my geocaching trying to get to 2000 before year end 2019. I am finding myself in very out of the way places like the remote cemetery above where my only company was a few deer. We had a standoff for literally a minute or two with them and standing motionless until, I was like, okay you win and waved my arms and off they ran.
My brother drove over from Tennessee for Christmas and we are having a good visit and sharing Christmas with him. Its always nice to have family and consider ourselves blessed that we can be together.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!
We had our first snow of the season on Monday, the 12th. According to Oklahoma lore that means we will have twelve snows this year. That kind of depresses me a little bit. I find nothing romantic about snow at all.
Things got cold and that is a good thing. I have revved my geocaching lately and I love cold weather. All the snakes and bugs are no longer a problem and the brush dies back. I have about 1574 caches found over the last 14 years. I want to get to 2000 in a year. What is geocaching you ask? It is basically a game where people hid containers out in the world with paper log books (caches) using GPS receivers to determine the coordinates and then they post those coordinates on geocaching.com and other people go find them and sign the paper cache and log on to the cache’s page and log again there. Check out geocaching.com or a post geocaching 101 I made several years ago.
I find it a lot of fun and very challenging. Geocaches are everywhere.
Here is a map of geocaches within a few miles of our home. The yellow smilies are ones I found. The green boxes are the caches I haven’t found the few blue frowns are ones I looked for and did not find. The question marks are mystery caches where a puzzle hast to be solved to find the cache. I have hidden 32 caches myself. I think there are about three million in the world now.
Anyway, that is what I am up to. What are you up to these days?
After a long winter of short days and featureless skies we are having lots of skywatchable skies these days. The longer warmer days means that I am outside more and we are having a little weather and unfortunately the many grass fires in western Oklahoma adds a tinge to the air here in northeast Oklahoma.
On the advice of my doctor I have quit running and am riding my bike a lot. So far over 200 miles this year. (I am not bragging, I know several bikers who more than that on a weekend.) Most of the time when I am riding I have my Go Pro clone camera working. I alternate rides between video and stills.
It is very low fidelity with medioce specs but I don’t mind.
Another bicycle selfie. I always try and save one from each ride.
Anyway I am sure enjoying being outside in the fresh air. And some of the trails allow me see some rural Oklahoma scenes. I posted this photo in Instagram. Speaking of which, if you are an instagrammer consider following me. I’ll follow back. My handle is @yogiab. You can see a little of my feed in the right sidebar.
I took this with my cell phone. I spent some time trying to make it look better but you sometimes you just have to go with the plain version. Not that it is a great or even good photograph, I just like the contrast during the golden hour between the building and darker sky.
I even had a geocaching opportunity on one of my rides. I didn’t find it but I found this cool “Posted, Keep Out Signs. I don’t know why the sign is so high in the air. I have a feeling that if I could figure out how to get up to the sign, that is where the cache might be. I know the guy that hid it and he is evil. I didn’t spend too much time looking for it I needed to get back to my car before dark.
How about you, is the weather changing good or bad for your Skywatching?
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.
It took me to this little “social trail” on the river.
Which led to this little wild and wooly hobo trail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well we are running behind schedule on Christmas this year. This is the tree. Heather put on the Topper just to keep me from putting on the Dallas Cowboy Star. I strung the lights. Oh well, we have a lot going on in our family right now. Believe me. Buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about it. Buy me three or four and you will hear all of it but you will have to drive me home.
Oh well, what keeps it fun is that Lizzie the kitten is enjoying the dickens out of Christmas.
And at work, the Large Projects Group that I work in has a tree. It was a woman engineer that raised the cash from us deadbeat men engineers and bought ornaments and the tree. I think she did a great job. I love all the construction equipment ornaments.
On a cold windy day last week I went for some noon time geocaching out on this remote lake. I froze my butt off and didn’t find the cache but I loved the hunt. In case you need to dispose of a body, I found a couple really good spots!!
Son Logan is working at a Neighborhood Walmart these days. He is proud of his job and seems to be doing well. We went by there the other day (he wasn’t working) to get a few things and then all the customers were ordered to evacuate immediately, so we did. And I fulfilled my blogger journalistic duty by taking a photo of the fire engine and fulfilled my artistic duty by using prisma to pretty it up a little bit. I don’t think there was any property damage nor was anybody hurt.
So that is what is new with me, what is new with you?
My wife’s cousin’s wife, Cheri Lou took this photo at the ranch in western Oklahoma. I love the rolling hills, grassy rangelands, and the big skies out there. The people are great also.
Where we live in northeastern Oklahoma is more forest land and a lot wetter. Son Logan and I went on a little jaunt at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. Lots of wildlife in Oxley. Lots of water also and it is right underneath the main approaches to our local airport and is right next to the police gun range so it can get kind of noisy but I love it.
There are several sizeable lakes and ponds and it is known as a good birding site. I love birds but I don’t have the patience to put in the work.
Here you go, any photoblogger worth his salt has the obligatory first red leaf of Autumn. I think this might be my first red leaf ever.
This gave me a start! Don’t worry, it is a rubber snake placed near a geocache. At least I think it was near a geocache. I looked for it and didn’t find it. I lifted a rock and found me a real snake. Just a tiny little garter snake but I decided, enough is enough.
Saturday I had some time so I went looking for some urban caches in Tulsa. Found one near the Saba Grotto. I think it has some relation to the Masons. There were a few instagram pics with Saba Grotto. it looks like a big man cave. They have a pretty active facebook page and they seem to have all sorts of benefits and events. Who would have thought? Stuff like that intrigues me. People don’t seem to join clubs any longer. They belong to “affinity groups” where they do people who have similar interests but is a lot looser. Anyway, one reason I love geocaching is that I find new places and learn new things.
Another cache I found was on a freeway interchange. Talk about hiding something in plain sight. Lots of cars whizzing by while I figured out where the cache was.
I am still training for the Tulsa Run 15K the last weekend of this month. Last week I ran 9 miles after work and I actually felt pretty good. Cooler weather and a hydration vest works wonders. I had already signed up for the race and went ahead and signed up for the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. This weekend I am running 11 miles on Sunday morning. At least that is my plan. Check back later. Plans change.
A side benefit is running is the opportunity to take photographs. A great deal of my running (and a great deal of my photos) are along the Arkansas River. Tulsa really is a beautiful town. Of course I love the gritty west side of Tulsa where all the industry and refineries are.
In the Fall the skies get a lot more interesting. This is a sunset photo looking east with my back to the sun.
I’ll finish up with a selfie with a combuster at a waste treatment plant on the river. I was halfway on my nine mile run and I was really happy with how good I felt. Cooler weather, a hydration vest, and Metallica on the earbuds works wonders. That is about as big a smile as you will ever get out of me.
My last post was about a wedding we went to, this is about the day after.
I wake up earlier than everybody else and sure I drink coffee and read the paper but I like to get outside and I didn’t feel like running so I went geocaching.
A simple type geocache is a skirtlifter. Located on the skirt on a parking lot light. There were two close to our hotel so off I went to find them.
The caches have little paper logs that you sign to prove that you were there and also a separate web page that you “log” to show the world that you found it. Check out geocaching.com for more info.
Some of the containers are pretty small. Plus under one of the caches I spotted a black widow spider.
Who would of thought that high rise apartments in Oklahoma City would be around enough to need renovation.
You are saying, “Hey this a Skywatch post, where is the sky?” Right here, behind this architectual gem. I don’t know whether this is mid century modern or Googie or what but I think it is beautiful. It is also empty, but seems well cared for. I love those arches with the cables. I am thinking this used to be a bank.
This is the back side of what I think is a bank. I don’t know about you, but I really think they should install more lighting. Eleven lights is just not enough.
And this building is a special place. This is Founders Tower and there is a restaurant at the top that rotates and that is where Heather and I had our first date back in the 80’s. It was called the Eagles Nest then and now it is called 3sixty restaurant and bar. We had a great time. Or at least I did.
It is also and office building. The oil and gas industry at a certain level is almost a barter economy. You have geologists, landmen, and reservoir engineers who will work for an interest in a well rather than cash. Lots of those guys used to have offices here. That was back in the day when you could drill a vertical Redfork well in the Anadarko basin for “only” $1.5 million. Nobody does that any more. Now to drill and frack a horizontal Woodford Shale, or STACK, or SCOOP or other shale well is going to cost you $10 million. I have had customers with a straight face tell me about “pilot projects” with seventy such wells.
The technology invoved used to be almost generic but now the players keep their secrets very closely held. I am out of the game a little bit now but I wonder how the barter economy has survived. As Alan Jackson says, “the big money has come to town” or something like that.
And then back to the hotel. Notice the pedestrian friendly streets in Oklahoma City. I’ve always loved Oklahoma City for its pioneering boom and bust attitude.