Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Winter is definitely here

This morning, we were sitting at 68 degrees and kind of cloudy.

Now, it is 30, raining, turning freezing, and about to get much worse. This part of Oklahoma's looking at something between 4 and 8 inches of snow, mixed with ice and such.


Weather like this makes me want to cave up in my house, with a bunch of food and DVDs, and my trusty Internet connection, and not come out for a few days.

Unfortunately, people are going to start crashing and catching fire and such, so I'll have to get out and work those.

So, everybody in the world, do me this favor: Don't drive or do anything stupid.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GoodWill Reading

I went to Goodwill (not sure of those are nationwide... it's a sort of thrift store that benefits disabled people) the other day for some books.

I don't like thrift stores generally, because they all seem to have that same smell. After much reflection and searching, I think I narrowed it down to what it is: Despair mixed with Loss of Dignity.

But, at Goodwill, they do have plenty of good, cheap books. I got several, including "Farewell to Arms," "East of Eden" (No, I don't live and die by what Oprah says -- I just like Steinbeck), "Route 66," a history of the highway by Michael Wallis, and a translation of "The Odyssey."

I decided to read the Odyssey first. The translation looked pretty good: nice, easy reading, good flow. But - and this is the big mistake - I read the introduction first. As usual, this introduction was written by some professor who lives and dies by some obscure subject.

Here's what ticked me off: He goes on and on and on about the histoircal setting, origins of the story, etc., and then he diverts to problems with the story. He talks about how some problems of uncharacteristic action by some of the regulars point to it being not by Homer. He give plenty of examples, five total. I read the introduction, and think "Wow, those do seem like pretty egregious examples. Those'll jump right out at me now."

I don't care about that claim. What I do care about is this line: "Three points must be made. 1. No one ever notices these problems except when they are pointed out..."

Well then, thanks for pointing them out.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Statehood day

Ninety-ninth birthdays don’t come along all that often, so what excuse would I have for missing one? Especially if it’s the 99th birthday of the entire state of Oklahoma?

This past weekend marked the kickoff of the state’s year-long centennial celebration. To get things started properly, a giant fireworks and multimedia show was held in downtown Tulsa.
A guidebook I read dismissed Tulsa’s downtown as “dowdy.” I, personally, think that the guidebook writer had smoked some really wicked crack.

Tulsa’s downtown boomed with the discovery and exploitation of various oil fields around the area. That made millionaires of men, and fueled the growth of the city on the Arkansas.
Much of that growth came in the golden age of art deco architecture. Oil, money, pride and ego all combined to build some truly wonderful skyscrapers in downtown Tulsa, which serve as brilliant reminders of the art deco era. Even churches got into the act, with Boston Avenue United Methodist Church standing on the far eastern end of downtown as an eye-catching delight. The church looks like something of a cross between the Emerald City in “Wizard of Oz,” and the city from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.”

Anyway, back to the point, under a chilly sky, lasers, fireworks, and music helped light the candle for the state’s birthday party. All the cold was made more tolerable, by the way, with the help of a monstrous cup of QuikTrip Chai Latte.