Our World – Tulsa’s Downtown Churches

Tulsa is unique for having thriving downtown churches unlike many big cities where they are jt barely hanging on. Here are three of them and a bon photo.

This is one of my favorite churches, the Catholic Holy Family Cathedral with its unual three spires. This year it is 105 years old.

Right down the street is the First Christian Church of Tulsa with its unual tiled roof. It looks a little Middle Eastern to me.

And my favorite, the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on the very southern end of downtown. An zig zag art-deco masterpiece designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. It was barely finished when the Depression hit and church legend has it that the leading members had to work like crazy to keep it from being foreclosed and turned into a movie theater.

This is the bon photo. It is not of a church. It is the underside of the 21st street bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa. I caught it in the afternoon late enough to be lighted by the sun to the northwest (to the right roughly) and early enough where the light had some intensity to it. And I helped along a little with a Topaz Studio filter. It kind of looks like the inside of cathedral doesn’t it? Oh throw me a bone somebody!

There are several other very active vital churches downtown with interesting buildings. I’ll be posting about those later, maybe. I don’t plan my posts much.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Come join in!!

The RQ 4 Global Hawk Surveillance Drone

Airmen from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., welcome the first RQ-4 Global Hawk to the base May 26, 2011. The arrival marked the beginning of a new era of remotely piloted aircraft at the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar)

The big news last week was Iran shooting down an American Drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Our government claims that it was flying in international airspace and Iran says it was in their airspace. Subsequently our President authorized and then cancelled a retaliatory strike against Iran. I wasn’t paying too much attention the drone itself until I read in the news that it cost $190 million (other sources are saying $220 million), and it had a wingspan bigger than that of the Boeing 747 airliner (that turned out to be an untrue claim.)

Photo posted to Flickr Commons by San Diego Air and Space Meum

So ing my friend Mr. Google I checked the plane out. It has a wingspan of 130 feet according this Air Force Fact Sheet and has achieved a flight time of 34 hours. It is cram packed with all sorts of surveillance and electronics gear and has no offensive capability. They can fly at 60,000 feet at a leisurely 310 knots and were considered hard to down with anti-aircraft missiles but not impossible.

Photo posted to Flickr Commons by San Diego Air and Space Meum

We have had them operational since 2011 and we have about 30 or so in our fleet. (Or at least we did until last week.)

So anyway, I am glad that our President called off the strike although it kind of puts in a weak position now. Beyond that though I found out about this amazing aircraft that gives some amazing capability. I’d love to be able to see one of these airplanes in real life.

Interestingly, according to this Wired article, Iran has attacked American drones before caing one to crash in Yemen and the other escaped. They were the MQ-9 Reaper Drones which according the Air Force are designed for dynamic execution attacks and surveillance. In 2011 Iran downed an RQ 170 Sentinel Surveillance Drone. According the Wired article, Iran reverse engineered the Sentinel and deployed their own version which doesn’t make me too happy.

9/80 Update

For the last several years I get every other Friday off. Over the course of two weeks I work nine days for 80 hours. I love it. I got criticized by a former boss for actually taking the day off. It was like huh??

So this Friday, Heather had to go teach an exercise class so I went to get the oil changed in my car. Afterward i went looking for a geocache in this neighborhood park which made me a little nervo becae it said “residents only” and then after I went across the bridge it looked like I would have to walk across the fringes of peoples back yards to reach the cache. So, as we say in the energy indtry, I plugged and abandoned that plan. I like geocaching away from people, not in their back yards.

Heather and I went to a yin yoga class at our gym. It was great. The instructor had fold our bodies in pretzels. At least it felt that way. I have very stiff hamstrings and the instructor had me do the modified pretzel. We did the dragon, the pigeon, the swan, and a few others. I have hit yoga pretty hard this year. I think this was my 18th class this year. I may not be able to do the full bore pretzel pose but I am a lot more flexible. Not that anybody but me can tell. It was the International Day of Yoga today, did you know that. It is also the Summer Solstice. Opportunities for all sorts of pagan worship!!

Everybody got home and we decided to go eat lunch at Torchy’s Tacos. Son Logan is kind of like me. He loves lunch!! I haven’t missed lunch in a long time. If I ever do, worry about me. He had a burrito, Heather had one taco and I had two. I love their brisket taco and I tried their ahi tuna taco. Not bad for raw fish is what I say. I don’t have to worry about people stealing bites of it from me.

Next to Trader Joes where I got very sad news. They are not selling my beloved pumpernickel pretzels any longer. They said they lost their supplier. Sad is what I have to say. I found some Skyhook Wine. Telling young engineers to get a skyhook lined up is a long favored gentle hazing by older people to younger people in the energy biness. Along with getting a stripe of paint and other things. All in good fun. We don’t do hazing any longer. Probably for the best. I will say that Trader Joes is not where I go when I want to spend twenty bucks on a bottle of wine. Nope, I’m a two buck chuck guy all the way. Even if it is more than two bucks these days.

That is Heather’s hands picking out tomatoes and Dotson Produce in Bixby. There is a meme in facebook that says “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato” (by Lewis Gizzard) These are not home grown but slice those babies up, put some salt and pepper on them, parmesan if you are feeling fancy, and what you have is pure heaven. I dare you to think an unpleasant thought while eating them.

And that is about it. Pretty exciting huh? Great day off is what I say.

Skywatch Friday – on the River

I am loving the big blue skies and the white fluffy clouds we are temporarily having. I say temporary becae it clouds up and rains quite a bit these days.

The Arkansas River is still high but within its banks and it is muddy as a soaked cow pasture.

I love the big cottonwoods on the river. Even if some of them are suffering from storm damage.

Almost all the River Parks trails are open now. They had a big sinkhole to fill in and repave here. There is still considerable work to be done getting the lights going again and fixing the plumbing at the restrooms. There was considerable damage to the river banks and they are trying to figure out how to rebuild and stabilize them.

So that’s the latest with the sky situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How they looking where you live?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Drawing Inspiration from Jason Lee

Tulsa’s Philbrook Meum of Art is putting on an exhibition of over 150 photographs by Jason Lee. I’d never heard of him before and he got famo as a skateboarder way back when, and then got into movies, and for the last decade and a half has developed quite a reputation as photographer ing vario film formats.

Philbrook commissioned him to do a series of photographs on Tulsa and Oklahoma. They are his vision of Tulsa and Oklahoma. So when I went to check them out recently I was like, well, okay. His vision is kind of bleak and a lot of shows the disparity between the haves and the havenots here. There a shots of dilapidated buildings with the high rises of corporate Tulsa in the background for example.

There isn’t like one single work that is a showstopper. Its not that kind of exhibition. I think you have to look at the whole work in its entirety. From that vantage the show is outstanding. The thing that really inspired me is that I sensed a confident photographer going about his biness shooting photographs of vario scenes based on his instincts.

So, inspired by him, I am trying to figure out what my vision of Oklahoma is and make it more right brained than my analytical side. I found these images of vario bison in a rural area of Tulsa. I kind of like them even though I had to park in the driveway of the property and jt as I finished up since big loud dog showed up acting like he wanted to bite a piece of my leg off.

They are colorful, what they mean about Oklahoma, I haven’t figured that out yet. I am jt going with it.

What do you think?

I drove on out of Tulsa into the countryside and came across this Turkey Vulture. I didn’t bother him one bit.

Across the road was a mainline block valve for some sort of liquids pipeline. It needs a little work I think.

So anyway, if you are in the Tulsa area go check out the Jason Lee exhibit at the downtown branch of Philbrook.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Back to the Trails

Wednesday night I went for a little run on Turkey Mountain for the first time in months. With all the rains and storms we have had and life in general, I jt haven’t made it for a long time. Today was glorio though, cool and dry and as you can see the skies were spectacular.

I love those big fluffy clouds. We have not had them for a long time.

See that grass, I am not crouching down in the grass I am standing up. We have had lots of rain and the ground is still soaked. At home I haven’t even taken the winterization off our sprinkler system.

The trails were nice, especially this dappled section.

There is ually not much color this time of year but I saw a little bit on my outing. This pink bloom for one.

And this yellow flower.

And even a random leaf on the trail had some color to it.

I walked/ran about three miles and I loved it. I had forgotten how relaxing and meditative being out in the woods can be.

What about you? What do you do to relax?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

ABC Wednesday – W is for …

Wagon Wheel – where son Logan ed to take his horseback riding lessons.

Wanted Posters – nope, my photo is not up there.

Warship – the S Missouri now anchored at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese surrendered on her deck ending World War II. She was brought out of mothballs and refurbished during the Reagan administration. My brother had the honor of being on the crew when she was christened in San Francisco back then. Hopefully she will have a long retirement in Hawaii.

Water Towers – I love the Hot, Cold, and Warm towers in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

and Wife!! Here is mine at the grocery store.

And Will Rogers Birthplace – near Oolagah, Oklahoma northeast of Tulsa a ways. One of those great little landmarks that is definitely worth seeing if you happen to visit northeast Oklahoma.

I am linking with ABC Wednesday – come join the fun!!

Our World – Riding in a Tulsa Tough Grand Fondo

I was so excited becae my number 251 is a prime number. I love prime numbers.

Tulsa has a bicycling event called Tulsa Tough sponsored by a local hospital. It started out kind of small and has grown considerably. It consists of three days of criterium racing and a couple days of Grand Fondo’s and a Townie Ride. Criterium is racing around and around in a closed loop of a mile or two or three and the most famo of those is Cry Baby Hill on the Riverparks. The Fondos are longer distance rides from Tulsa to the boonies and back of at least 32 and miles on Saturday and Sunday. The Townie Ride is a free community event jt a few miles long.

The view from the parking at lot at 6:30 am.

I’ve always been a spectator at Cry Baby Hill but this year I went for something different. I signed up for the shortest of the Grand Fondo rides on Sunday. Thirty two miles. I had never rode a bike that far and thought about waiting until next year but I am kind of that age where it is wise not to be putting off stuff like that. You know what I mean?

So I signed up and did some training on some hilly routes near out hoe and I was as ready as I ever was going to be.

I got there early in the morning and got the bike ready and went to the starting line and waited. I am a slow rider and so I always get to the back, jt like my running races!!

And I got left in the dt. It didn’t bother me. I jt kept going at my pace and pretty soon I passed a few people.

So back of the packers made for a congenial group of nodding acquaintance as we passed each other, and got passed.

The race organizers had lots of SAG vehicles to help riders with flats, or first aid, or haul them back to the starting line if they can’t finish the race.

At about mile 10 or so we had a rest stop. Lots to eat and drink. Our son, the banana nazi, forbids bananas in our hoe so I had my fill of bananas here, and water. Bananas are the perfect food for running or riding, lots of carbos and electrolytes. They also had gatorade, picklejuice, pickles, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches and all sorts of other stuff including fireball shots. I didn’t imbibe. I’d of had to stop every mile or so if you know what I mean. I’m not going to spell it out for you.

Right across the road is a view of Holmes Peak which I have run up to a bunch of times during vario Post Oak Lodge Trail Runs over the years. I am glad I didn’t have to ride my bike up to the top. I know that you folks from places that actually have mountains are in hysterics about our “Mount” but hey it is harder than it looks so get over yourselves.

So then we went north. We wound through some beautiful back country with birds singing and water flowing in the streams and it was very nice. It reminded me of some early morning summer hikes in Oxley Nature Center. You totally miss it in a car.

And then it started raining which wasn’t quite as much fun but I was wearing tech gear and the temperature was not too low so it was tolerable. My gopro clone camera ran out of juice so that is the last photo I got. I didn’t really feel like stopping and take pics with the phone becae it was raining.

So everything was pretty cool until about three miles from the finish. I misread a sign and took off through the core of downtown instead of continuing straight to the west side of the Arkansas River. So I wandered through the core part of downtown Tulsa thinking, wow this is kind of a by route for a big race. There were the purple race markers but now I know it was for the Townie Ride scheduled in the afternoon. Then I got to the Midland Valley Trail and it’s oh wow, this isn’t right.

So I could have backtracked but I was tired. So I jt headed back to my car. I thought briefly about a 0.6 mile jaunt to the beginning of the finish line but that would have been cheating even though I would have ended up with more mileage than the official distance. And I was still tired and it was still raining, and I would have jt had double back where I was and I would have an official finish and it would have been fraudulent. Nobody would know, except I always tell the truth on my blog and so you guys/gals/X’s would know!! Do you believe me? Serioly?

So I had an official timed start and a DNF. I hope that you are not too ashamed of me. Tell you the truth, I am not ashamed. If I had gone to the finish and got an official time then I would have to explain. And as a veteran of over 40 years in indtry I always tell the youngins that if you are having to explain, then you are in trouble. Jt tell it like it was is my motto.

So tell me, do you always tell the truth on your blog?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, where everybody always tells the truth, at least most of the time.

Skywatch Friday – First June 2019 Edition

This is a shot of the electrical transmission substation at Keystone Dam. I don’t know a thing about such facilities but it looks a little old to me. I look at the Dam’s stat every day and they haven’t generated any electricity in the few weeks I have been checking up on them.

Heather and I went to the Jimmy Buffett Concert here in Tulsa earlier this week. He put on a great show. Not only was the mic good but they displayed huge high definition video of ocean, beach, and sky scenes on the backdrop behind the band. It was kind of mesermerizing. We love the beach and are headed there later this summer as part of our family vacation.

This is from my sister’s property near Colorado Springs during our recent trip there. Colorado never fails for great skies. Check out Ellen’s blog and check out her and hband Irv’s brand new fifth wheel camper.

This is a scene from the the Tour de Tulsa that I did a few weeks ago before all the rain and floods. It was only a 20 mile or so ride. I have another ride coming up Sunday for Tulsa Tough. It is going to be 32 hilly miles. I hope that I am up for it. The furthest I have ridden on my back is 25 and I was okay after it. I’ve learned that on these rides many people don’t really bt a gut, they take it leisurely. That will be me. I am one of the few people who ride them ing a big heavy hybrid bike instead of one of the sleek ones. I need one with a big wide seat to, well you know, match my big wide seat. So wish me luck.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

ABC Wednesday – “V” is for …

V is for Vacuum Tube Tester – found this one in a history meum!! I remember when all the drug stores and hardware stores had them.

V is for venomo snakes!! Nope, I am out of here with the snakes.

V is for Vienna Saages. I ate a bunch of them years ago. I haven’t head any for decades and intend to keep it that way.

V is for Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs. They make great pets and are pretty good with kids. No I do not want one.

V is for violin. This is Woody Guthrie’s. He took it to sea with him when he was with the Merchant Marine during WWII. His boats got sunk a few times but he and this violin survived.

Come check out other V’s at ABC Wednesday