Author Archives: Alan Bates

Skywatch Friday – The Return of Rascal

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Tuesday morning the sun was coming up in the neighborhood and so I grabbed a leaf and occluded the sun with it. I am an arty kind of guy you know. Especially the easy kind of art like this. I don’t think of it as being lazy, I think it is being efficient.

Cache Valley Topaz Studio HDR

On my way out of the neighborhood I stopped at the greenbelt and snapped another pic of the sunrise.? The greenbelt starts close to our back fence and loops around to the road I am stood on to take this photo.

Sunday night during our front that moved through with strong winds and icy temperatures we noticed that our Pomeranian, Rascal had disappeared. Further notice showed that our gate to the greenbelt had blown open with the wind. So I was walking in the pitch dark with a flashlight yelling “Rascal” over and over. Heather had started in a different direction doing the same thing.?

Rascal the #pomeranian #dogs #dogsoninstagram #igersok

I left the greenbelt and was looking for the dog on a street when Heather picked me up and dropped me off at the house so I could enlist social media to help. I put together a facebook post and sent it off and then a similar?สล็อตออนไลน์ มือถือNextDoor? post. It was pretty amazing. We started getting responses right away and it turns out that Rascal had walked up to a couple putting up Christmas Tree lights and they took him in and posted something on facebook that somebody else reposted on next door and then somebody else let me know about the other post, and we were re-united fairly quickly which was kind of amazing because I thought we had lost him for good. Say what you want about Social Media but I like it and it does have its uses.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

An Afternoon at Woolaroc

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Elk right at the entrance. He acted a little aloof.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I took brother Bob from Tennessee and my son Logan to Woolaroc about an hour north of Tulsa. Woolaroc is a combined wildlife preserve and art museum that used to be the retreat of Frank Philips, the founder of Phillips Petroleum. It is fabulous and is literally out in the middle of nowhere but worth it to get there. Check on the link above and it will tell you all about how to get there, hours, and everything else you need to know.

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A bison chilling out on a warm November afternoon

On our drive in a bunch of bison were leaving. I don’t know if they knew something we didn’t.

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The museum was all decked out for Christmas. That is Frank Phillips’ statue next to the tree. I told Logan to go see if any of those wrapped packages had my name on it, but he doesn’t listen to me any more. I don’t blame him.

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Lots of great art in the museum. “The Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneaux is one of my favorites depicting? the forced removal of Native Americans from the southeast USA to Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. ?

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In addition to art there is some historical memorabilia of Phillips Petroleum and the energy industry in general.?

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And then we wandered over to the barn to look at the critters there. My favorite was this shy miniature horse.?

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And then over to the Lodge where Frank entertained his cronies. Lots of stories about high stakes poker with oil leases and even companies won and lost during the course of an evening.

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On the way out of town I got a shot of Bob in front of this 66 sign. Bob turned 66 the day before.

By the way, the building behind the sign is the Price Tower, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only high rise designed by Wright, that actually got built. Read more about it here.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Brother Bob’s Birthday – Celebrating 66 on Route 66

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The great photographer of the family tells them, you guys stand here and I will go across the street. Well, that? didn’t work out well.

Brother Bob came over from Tennessee to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. His birthday is right around that? time as well and he was talking about Turning 66 on Route 66. That sounded good to me so on Black Friday we including son Logan went on a phototour

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So I moved in closer, and no sign of the Meadow Gold sign and what’s worse is that I cut off their feet!

We went to a few Route 66 sites in Tulsa.

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Okay, I will take this at Cyrus Avery Plaza. Note how Logan towers over his uncle.
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Poor guys, I cut off their feet again.
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The eternal debate, stand together? or flank the sculpture? I don’t know.
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On to Route 66 Village in west Tulsa. A gigantic locomotive on display there. Logan is taller than the wheels! I can still take him though. I just hope I don’t have to prove it some day.

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In front of the train. Not too bad. Not too good. It is what it is.

Bob Birthday Collage 2 2018

So Bob, Logan, and I had our #OptOutside black Friday on a stretch of Route 66 in Tulsa. We also ate some Chili Cheese Coney Dogs and ventured to the Philbrook Museum of Art to kind of balance things out. Later on? some birthday cake.?

Thanksgiving 2018

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Nana and Heather

We had a small group for Thanksgiving this year. Just me, my wife, Heather, her Mom, Nana, and my brother Bob who drove over from Tennessee. We Nana’s two bratty dogs and reclusive cat. We left our three bratty mutts and two spoiled cats at home. Yes, we are bad critter parents.

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Logan

It was low key. Nana did most of the cooking except for the chicken and ribs. I smoked them the day before. We had lots to eat.

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Brother Bob

I went to bed Wednesday night not feeling well and it got worse before it got better later the next morning.?

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Fiona doing her best grin. Didn’t work, no ribs or chicken for her!!

Brother Bob and I watched a lot of football. We saw Chicago beat the Detroit Lions and then later on we watched the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins. You know I wasn’t a hundred percent because I did not have one beer during the game, or all day for that matter.

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I’m a geocacher and so while on a gas run I found a cache. You have to be sneaky like this if you want to be a geocacher. I have almost 1600 and I am trying to get to 2000 before the end of 2019. So I have to be sneaky. By the way the cache above is a special type called a skirt lifter because they are hidden under the skirts of parking lot lights.

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I eventually felt good enough to have two or three “half glasses” of wine. You know a half glass doesn’t really count right?

Anyway, it was low key but we were together and that made it great!!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well.

I was very grateful for my family today.?

November Skywatch

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We have had a lot of cool days with blue skies lately and I have spent as much time as I can outdoors. Above is a tree that has already lost all of its leaves at Tulsa’s Mohawk Park.

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In a more forested part of the park there are a lot more leaves, and a lot less bugs and snakes than just a month ago.

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Some more blue sky from a lunchtime excursion into a slot canyon at Chandler Park.

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And some leaves and blue sky at Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. 

Have a Great Thanksgiving Day!! And spend some time outside if you can.  

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

I Don’t Need that Kind of Negativity

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Friday morning I was getting coffee and I noticed the old abandoned Oral Roberts Ministries building just south of downtown Tulsa. It used to be called the Abundant Life Building. It has another owner now and they have not done anything and it just keeps getting seedier and seedier looking.?

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Friday at noon found me scrambling over these rocks looking for a geocache in the slot canyons of Chandler Park.? I didn’t find it but I had a good time. This time of year is when I like look for caches like this because the snakes are dormant.?

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This tree with Fall Color charmed deep in the canyon I was in. I am always amazed at how life seeks to survive.

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On a little outing on Saturday I came upon this gravestone. I like gravestones with a personal touch.

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Near one of Tulsa’s latest big box shopping centers I come upon this hidden pond.? I love little things like this in an urban area. Nature is never too far away. We trip and stumble and she’ll? take over.

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Turn 180 degrees from the pond and I see this. An SUV from Idaho struck strangely on a Uhaul car cradle. I still don’t know how it ended up like this. It looks like it had been there a while. I ventured up and looked in the windows halfway expecting a body but nope. It looks like it has been there for a while. Sometimes it is amazing how many out of the way places there are even in the big city. Where stuff happens away from prying eyes.

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I wandered a short distance away to a hardware store where I saw these snowblowers on display. You know, I don’t need this kind of negativity here in Oklahoma.?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

สล็อตออนไลน์ มือถือSkywatch Friday – First Snow of the Winter

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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. 

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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.

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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?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost) by Karl Unnasch at Philbrook

Philbrook Cabin
Have you ever seen a cabin shingled in tshirts? Neither have I until now. 

I suscribe to Philbrook Museum‘s instagram feed and for weeks they have been posting images of a new “Installation” in the gardens at Philbrook of a 19th century cabin shingled with plasticized clothes and a fireplace made out of books. So I have been muttering to myself this whole time, “What are they up to now??? a cabin shingled with t shirts???” Them crazy artist types at it again.?

Philbrook Cabin
Have I ever told you that I love stained glass? Well I do.

So I ventured over there last week. We have a family membership thanks to Nana, the world’s greatest MIL. So I can check on those artist types whenever I want.

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Genius move, turning the page side out on the books. Plus, just so you know, that it is a fake fire.

And yep, it is true. Philbrook has built a cabin out in the back 40 of their acreage and it has plastisized tshirts for shingles on the roof, and chinking in the logs, along with some LED lights. And a fireplace made out of books.

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I love the impression of light coming through the walls.

And they have some beautiful stained glass windows and some great many lights in the ceiling made out of found glass. 
And you know  what it all works. It was a dark, overcast day outside but inside it was bright and sunny and just plain wonderful. My iphone pics do not do it justice. It was a very bright happy place. Light was coming  in everywhere but the floor!!

The artist behind all this is Karl Unnasch, who specializes in stained glass and all things considered with light. 

This whole”Installation” thing is something new to me and it seems that Philbrook is doing more of these. They seem to be temporary and not meant to last forever and you know somehow it works for me. So I guess that I approve of this cabin and what the artist types are up to.

This installation is called “Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost)” If you know what that means, please let us know. Or at least let me know since everybody but me seems to think it makes perfect sense.

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I love the soft colors filtering through the plastisized tshirts and the found glass lights in the ceiling.

Check out Philbrook’s web site.? ?They got all sorts of info on hours and what they are doing, which is considerable. You know they have two sites now, right?

It I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – Autumn Skies

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I love Autumn, what can I say. I took this photo at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa.? I love this kind of stuff.?

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I was at Gilcrease to see their latest exhibition “Albert Bierstadt – Witness to a Changing West.” If you are a fan of western art then you need to come see this show. The above painting is my favorite of the show, “The Buffalo Trail.”?

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And this was a backdrop showing the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska. So a rare selfie for you. Not that I did you a favor did I.

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I feel bad so this is a photograph of the Tallgrass Prairie that I took myself years ago.

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And with the resumption of standard time, I am starting to take photos of the sky from the office building where I work. I’ve taken lots and lots of pics from here looking off to the northwest. That is the Arkansas River in the distance. Sorry for all the reflections.

I am linking with Skywach Friday

A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

Heather and I went to see A Star is Born recently. It is a really good movie. Guess what, Bradley Cooper can sing, he rocks and he does it really well. And, Lady Gaga can act. And as a bonus they have great chemistry together.? Cooper also directed and produced the movie. I have no idea how that much talent ends up being concentrated in just one person.

You can check the link above for a synopsis but basically Cooper plays an aging rocker, Jack, who sees this young chick singer with an amazing voice, Ally,? in a dive bar. Sparks fly, he helps her with her career and it zooms off to the stars, while his career, rocket charged by too much booze and pills heads downward quickly.

On the way though we get quite a ride. Lady Gaga of course can really sing, and she does some Pop diva songs in the movie but I have really like her recent album where she plays a lot slower, less produced songs that are really good. I think the sound track to this movie is something I would consider buying.

Supposedly this is the third or fourth version of this movie and I can’t tell you how this stands in relation to others because I didn’t see them!

I give this film four stars out of four or five out of five or however else you want to rate it. Go see it, you won’t be disappointed.