Saturday, December 20, 2008

Introduction to our hometown

I got married

Since we left: I got married to Katie.
Nov. 8, 2008. We got married. Now we are living in Sand Springs, out in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is good because I know it. Katie does not, however, so she's trying to get used to it.
Sorry for the delay but we are still getting used to each other. We were in bed by 9 p.m. last night...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Date night + football night = Fun night

Tonight my wife and I went to the TU football game, followed by a trip to Hideaway pizza and the world's worst waiter (but God bless his heart, he was sweet, cute, and tried hard), and watching OU destroy #2 Texas Tech 65-21.

Good night so far.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Begin the countdown to Philly

In one week, I will be sitting in my hotel room in Warrington, PA, preparing for my Nov. 8 wedding to Katie.

We're within a week of the big event. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just a nice bike ride on a nice fall day

Today I took a brief bike ride out my front door and through downtown Sand Springs. Just decided to take a few moments and get out on one of the most beautiful days in recent memory.

I also timed myself: One minute, 45 seconds from front door of home to front door of office.

Here's some sights from along the way.


The Sand Springs Museum:



The statue of Charles Page on the Triangle:


Another view of the Museum, including the Clock:


And one good-looking vet's office:

Powell endorses Obama



Just thought I'd share...

Friday, October 17, 2008

States I've been. This is cool.

State's I've been to (airport transfers don't count)
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com


I could count Michigan, but all I did was change planes. And I only spent a day in California, just inside Death Valley, but since feet were on ground, I'm counting it.

Click the link, see where you've been.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A long absence, explained

OK, so I've been gone a while. To all the... um... well, possible faithful reader of this blog (there's got to be one out of 6 billion), I'm sorry.

Here's why: I moved. Yippee. I am now in the wonderful town of Sand Springs, and now just one minute - less than one minute, actually, from work. So this is beautiful. I can live the house at 7:59 a.m., and get to work at 8. I love it.

Most of my absence was packing, moving, unpacking, some fixing up of hte house, etc. I think that's all settled down now, and it's time to get it set up and ready to be a home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

World: Terrll's campaign used funds to buy OU tickets

Mr. Mexican-hater is in a bit of trouble here, after we find out that he used campaign funds to buy... OU tickets.

Now granted, OSU tickets would have been a serious judgment lapse, but still, OU tix probably aren't what non-Mexican people donated to his campaign for.

Linky

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poll shake up

Sooners go to no. 2 in the AP poll after trouncing Washington yesterday. Except for special teams coverage, the Sooners looked rock solid.

USC's no. 1 because, well... that's where people think they belong. I'm a little surprised at the next three: Georgia, Florida, Missouri. I would have gone Missouri, Florida, Georgia.

Mizzou looks fearsome.

100th post

The following will be a compendium of my all-time best 99 posts so far:










. Thanks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Inhofe at it again

Oklahoma's biggest embarrassment, after "Hinder," is at it again.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, Republican, is running smear commercials against Andrew Rice, the most promising Democratic challenger to face the far-right idealogue in years.

In the spots, which I first noticed here Saturday (Sept. 13), Inhofe ties Rice to every hated liberal cause out there (equal rights... and so on). In short, all Inhofe has to run on is the three G's -- God, Guns, and Gays. That's it. He's done nothing for the good of Oklahoma that couldn't have been done by anybody else.

I can't find the commercials on YouTube yet, but enjoy this from the DSCC.



And please, vote Rice.

It's just that kind of bar

I'm pretty sure I've been here: The Square Bar in West Chester, PA.
Anyway, Pennsylvania just passed an indoor smoking ban, including bars. To celebrate / protest / carcinogize, the bar held a "Smoke off"

"It's so stupid," he said. "If everyone quit smoking, do you know how much our taxes would go up? So many of our taxes are funded by cigarette sales. We'd quit, and everyone would bitch and want us to keep smoking."

Devenny said he planned to stay out all night to enjoy his last indoor puffs.

"Will I call out of work tomorrow?" he said. "Maybe. It's just not right."

The Square Bar (Daily Local News)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Watching Jenks Union

Overtime heartbreaker

Jenks went to overtime against Union, but couldn't hold on, losing 24-17. Ah well, just a game. Good game.

Missed field goal with 00 seconds left!

Are you freaking kidding me?! Union tried a field goal from 30 yards out with 1 second left on the board to win it 17-17.... and hit the upright and bounced back!
This puppy's going to overtime.

Tied up

The two-point attempt good. Jenks kicked it out of the end zone, Union starts on their own 20. Whoever has the ball last will win.


Crazy game!

Yep, that's Jenks/Union. With about 2 minutes to go, from seemingly insurmountable odds, Jenks comes roaring back, scoring a late touchdown. They're down 17-15, still needing points. They've got to go for a two-point conversion.

Driving

Near the end of the third, Jenks is driving. We're down 17-3, but that's still a lot of time, totally achievable.

Ugh

As halftime nears, this is not going well.
This is live blogging? Meh.

OK, nothing yet

Still no score for Jenks, but this time it was an excellent punt return that gave them good field position.

For starters


OK, so it didn't start too good. Union jumped to an early 14-0 lead, and it looked like Jenks couldn't tackle. But a horrendous punt by Union gave Jenks great field position, on about the Union 20.

Other names for the Union Redskins

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

48.6 pounds lost

So I went to the gym to get weighed this afternoon. I started seriously working out in May, but had decided to lose weight back in January. That's when (Jan. 2, I think), I stepped on the scales and registered a 234. I was heartbroken. And fat.

Today though? 185.4 pounds.

I've lost 48.6 pounds this year. I couldn't believe it.

I'm so close to my goal. Gotta admit, that helps kick the motivation into high gear.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Broken Arrow's new badge fail

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, spent $60,000 on a massive "rebranding" campaign to in some effort to build their image. Whatever.
Their image is a city that blows 60K on some stupid corporate logo, like it's from a company named "Innova" or something.
I think it looks like an eyelash over the sun.

Broken Arrow's logo used to be a broken arrow. Makes sense, right. Now it's just an arrow.

Anyway, cops got their new badges today. I think they look like $8.00 / Hour rent-a-cop badges.

College football week 2: What we learned

1. That Ohio State continues its long, proud tradition of being completely overrated.
Hopefully they won't make it to a BCS championship game this year.

2. That East Carolina is actually pretty good.
Not that they didn't look good beating VaTech, but that could have well been a fluke. Now, ramming it down the throat of 8th-ranked West Virginia? That ain't no fluke. That's a good ball team.

3. Oklahoma can have a bad quarter... and still recover
It was still too sloppy and scary to let Cincy get that close so early.

4. Michigan can have a decent season.
By "Decent" I mean six or more wins.

5. Notre Dame... ah Notre Dame
How's that multi-year contract looking for you, NBC?

And last? PAC-10 officials STILL can not officiate
That totally bogus "excessive celebration" call cost an innocent kid, and his team, a well-deserved win. They screwed over Big 12 OU a couple of years ago... and now they screwed over one of their own. Talk about fail officiating.

Ah.... Fall



Last night: High school football. What we learned:
My Flip does well in low-light, but not so much with zoom. Charles Page lost to a pretty good Enid team, but shows promise with QB Deaton and their big lineman Bowie. The season looks promising.

Also, Broken Arrow beat Union for the first time ever*. I went to Jenks so of course hate Union, and was ambiguous to Broken Arrow. Still, I had sort of hoped Union would be undefeated going into the Jenks matchup. Not that the rivalry is diminished any

Today: OU is playing in a no-huddle spread. It's weird to see, but they're very fast and scary good on offense and defense. As long as Sam Bradford doesn't get a concussion this year, our season looks golden.

Also, I learned Bradford isn't that great of a blocker.




* Not "ever" really, but in nine years. The kids playing now weren't any older than 9 last time BA won.

Friday night lights



I made it out with Flip video camera in hand for the Charles Page High School Sandites' season-opener at home against visiting Enid Plainsmen.

This was the first year for our paper to have a video camera for football, so I was anxious to try everything I could with the shooting.

Frankly, it's amazing what a $140 camera and some pre-installed movie editing software on an iMac can accomplish. And I haven't even really begun to play with the features on the editing software. I have a lot to learn about the camera work though, but I think I'm getting better.

But back to the important stuff: CPHS lost, but it was a pretty decent game.

The evening also served to remind me just how much I can't wait to get back into Sand Springs, and our little house there. It's going to be fun being married and starting a family in that town.

Bah

No fear. None 'tall.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Friday football blitz

This Friday marks the start of the high school football season in Oklahoma. And for reporters in small towns, that means football coverage goes into overtime.

I love football, and like reporting, so this is going to be a good time for me.

This is also the first year with video capability, so I'll try to hit a couple of games a night to post.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh Internet, how I missed you. Let us never fight again

OK, I just got back from about five days of housesitting without an Internet connection. It was odd to say the least. I felt very disconnected from the world, like I was missing something. The first night, at least.

By the second night, I was starting to enjoy it. It was like a mini-vacation.

Now I'm starting to think that I could do it if I had to -- live without communication. Perhaps even without power. Yes, yes, my log-cabin plans are progressing along nicely.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The all-American family


Seriously. Look at this: A family that really loves each other. Did you see how little Malia and Sasha were genuinely happy to see their Daddy? They almost hugged the video screen when Barack popped up. Then the whole "Hi Daddy!" and "What city are you in?" I mean. Cute cute cute.

I guess the thing is you can tell a lot about the character of a man by what kind of daddy he is. And judging by the reaction of his kids, Barack is a good dad.

Elections are about more than that, but this was a great moment.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Epic crane fail



This happened at the Warehouse Market in Sand Springs Friday night. The crane was trying to lift an air conditioning unit to the top of the grocery store, when it over extended and fell over.

The crane driver appeared distraught. I would be too. I know that feeling. I've crunched very expensive things at work before myself. That would explain why spent a while chain smoking before kneeling down behind a pickup truck and puking. I know I would have.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The new Sand Springs community center


Left to right: Me, Astronaut Bill Pogue, and Globetrotter Marques Haynes.

Last night was pretty interesting. A group of folks got invited to see the new Sand Springs Community Center prior to the September grand opening. The center's almost done, and looks really, really nice inside. Most of it is standard government officework -- nothing too fancy, but nice. Good carpet, standard desks, etc. But the lobby is really neat. There's a giant skylight and mobile made up of different-colored fabrics.

The gym is huge, with a state-of-the-art athletic floor. Up above the gym floor is an elevated walking track. Connecting the two is a stairwell inside a silo. The silo is, once again, translucent.

The centerpiece of the whole building is a mural of famous Sand Springs people. Charles Page, Bill Pogue, Bennie "The Wizard" Osborne, and Marques Haynes.

Osborne was a famous drag racer. Page founded the town. Haynes was a Globetrotter and the world's greatest dribbler. Pogue was the astronaut, and flew on Skylab 4.

Some people griped because there were no women on the mural. I can see that point. But also, as far as living Sand Springs legend (aside from Page), this was the only choice.

Here are some pictures of the whole shebang, including one of the first looks inside the center.

The mural in the lobby

The silo stairwell

The gym floor

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Katie's visit

My fiancee came in from the Philly area last weekend to visit me. She came in on a 105-degree weekend, which was pretty neat except that the heat wasn't so great.

We had a wonderful time, visiting Sand Springs, seeing our house,





Our highlight was the Oklahoma City Redhawks baseball game, where we got to see some morons from New Jersey get thrown out. The guys annoyed the entire section by acting like tools, so we all applauded when they got kicked out by the OKC PD. :)



Katie and I are two of the voices on there making fun of them, but you can also hear a lot of the other fans. Note the applause when they leave.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Excessive Heat" warning

First time I've seen this. The whole area is under an "Excessive Heat Warning." What that means is that it's going to be hot.

From KTUL


Yep. It's going to be hot. Fortunately, my heat-phobic sweetieKatie doesn't land until Thursday. When it's only going to be 98.

Here's some tips to stay cool during the heat:
Don't f'ing go outside. Stay in. If you do go out, make sure it's either "just for beer," or "right into the pool."
That is all for this public service announcement.

F'ing hot.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One day, 17 miles, $0 in gas

So I've gotten interested in the two mile challenge. Basically, according to this site, 40 percent of all urban driving is done within two miles of your home.

Think about it: 40 percent. Nearly half of your gas is burned up within a two-mile radius of your own house. I used the site. The house we're moving into has almost everything you need within two miles: Grocery store, liquor store, um... what else do you need?

The house I live in now isn't quite so lucky (for example, I'm about 18 miles from my job at the moment). But I am about 1.1 miles from Wal-Mart. Although I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart, having groceries and supplies so close is convenient for someone who doesn't want to burn gas.

This morning I took the bike out for a 15-mile ride. I didn't start out early enough -- it was brutally hot, but fortunately I took my Camelbak Mule, so I didn't get dehydrated or run any sort of overheating risk. Also, there was plenty of shade along the trail, and the breeze was going pretty good.

This afternoon I went to Wal-Mart for some lunch stuff. That made 17 miles today, most for exercise, but some for utilities.

I like the idea of human-powered transportation. It's free (once you buy the bike), and good exercise. The more you use it, the easier it gets.

Next up: I want to swap out my knobbies for some road tires, and finish my mt bike conversion to a touring/hybrid/street monster. I have some good panniers, but would really like some grocery bag panniers. Those you can take right into the store in lieu of shopping bags: save sme plastic and hook the entire thing right onto your bike when you're done. My panniers now only fit one grocery bag at a time, and aren't easy to take inside.

-- Dustin

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brent Rinehart is a loon

For evidence, check out his horrific li'l comic book (yes, comic book) he drew to get himself re-elected.

Please. Read through. It's painfully hilarious.

http://downloads.newsok.com/documents/rinehartcartoon.pdf

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For a good dog

We lost Katie the doberman Monday morning. She got too sick, a liver problem, and had to be put down. It was sad to do, but she suffered so much over the weekend, just laying there, not eating, and could only drink if we fed her water from a turkey baster.

We all went in Monday morning to tell her goodbye and let her know, one last time that she was and always will be a good dog.

I made this video as a kind of tribute. She was only about four... she should have had another 10 years. I'd give a lot for one more day. I never realized just how much while she was here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sand Springs Criterium

Today was the 2nd Annual Sand Springs Criterium.



This is one of my newbie attempts at video shooting / editing / production / voiceover. Be kind. :)

It was pretty neat to see. I love the town, and hope to see it as a sort of outdoor / fitness / green mecca in the future.

On another note, I cracked open one of Nuyaka Creek's bottles today -- peach mist wine. Yum. Drank it all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cleaning out memories

My mom is selling her house, so I spent a good part of today cleaning out the garage. Among items I found:

* A bunch of He-Man action figures.
* A bunch of GI Joes
* A giant box of unfinished model airplanes.
* A finished model of the Starship Enterprise (apparently the only model I ever completed)
* A handful of Atari games.
* About a dozen mix tapes I made in high school.
* All my school records.
* My football helmet from sixth grade tackle.
* Empty Prince Albert tobacco cans (these are a mystery -- I don't know anyone in my family who used it.)
* And other assorted E-bayable goodness.

It was a little sad though, clearing out all the things from my childhood. I'll never be a kid again, and soon that house will no longer be ours.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bad day

Not feeling like much of a human being today. I sort of feel like the worst person in the world... one of those times when I really feel like disappearing for a while.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm voting Republican -- Here's why:

Exciting clothes-drying news

My sis bought a clothesline! One of those retractable reel-type ones: You screw the reel to a wall, and can pull it out across the way to a post or whatever.

This is good news for me, because it means we'll run the dryer less, and can save electricity, reduce our carbon footprint, and simplify some.

I'm definitely de-prioritizing having a clothes dryer in whatever house I buy. Might be worth it for quickie jobs, but otherwise, when you think about it, they're not really necessary.
Plus, as it is, you can save about a hundred bucks a year by not using one.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Old Letters

I went to my mom's house today to clean out the closet of what used to be my room, as she's about to move.

Way deep in the back, I found an old shoebox. Inside, letters. Hundreds of letters.

They were from college friends, mostly, as well as a few high school acquaintances. I'd like to say I had a bunch from old flames, but not really. Mostly just people I might have tried to have a spark for.

Anyway, as anybody who's ever cleaned out a closet before knows, it completely killed any productivity looking through these letters. Most are about 10 years old, which makes sense. That's about when the Internet and e-mail went universal.

I miss letters. Most of them are hand-written. Still in envelopes, and dated. Because they're not instantaneous, more goes into each one. Most are several pages, filled with details both great and minute. Each one is like a little time capsule of who I was and who the sender was at the time. Letters are more personal than just plain old e-mail. I think I'll take some time tonight to pound out a few. Of course, my handwriting is atrocious, but I do have my handy ol' Hermes 3000 manual typewriter. I think Courier, slightly uneven font is what my handwriting looks like in my head.

P.S. I have a letter from a friend of a friend, who played the cello and who I fell in love with for a few hours one hot summer night 10 years ago. Stamped across the back of the envelope, it says "Promise you'll never forget me. Ever."
I come close. I did for a while. I wonder if I will eventually permanently, or if I'm supposed to? It's a reminder of how people come into and out of your life, and you'd better enjoy the moment while you've got it. Thank God I found at least one person who will always be there with me, and whom I will never forget.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why don't more people know about Guy Clark?

And why isn't he played more?

Modern day radio infuriates me, but that's another rant.

Let's just chill with this heartfelt, beautiful, and really moving song. Reminds me of that grandpa we all had at one time or another. :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

More storms

Tornadoes passed by us again. There's been a lot of them -- even for around here -- this year.

I usually don't get scared by twisters, but it sucks when it's at night, because you don't know where they are.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Strangest request ever

Yesterday at the paper, an older gentlemen came in and asked me a question: "Do you have any photographs of the outside of the high school?"

I thought surely we did, but after some searching, found out I didn't. Told him I was sorry, but no. Why?

Well, he was a retired janitor from the high school, and wants a photo etching of it on his headstone.

What could I do? I told him give me a couple of hours, went out, and shot some exterior shots. I printed one out I thought he'd like. He seemed pretty pleased with it.

Talk about pressure. When you're making a photograph that's going to go on a headstone, you want to do it right. That's permanent right there.

We get all kinds of odd requests, but this was up there. That's life in a small-town paper.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fiancee visit

So Katie came down. It was a wonderful weekend of hiking, camping, baseball, brisket, and wine. :)



Katie’s memorial day backpack, baseball, fun weekend

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Inhofe's history of dirty tricks

Andrew Rice has a tough road ahead...

We all knew Jim Inhofe had a long history of dirty tricks. I was surprised at how dirty and disengenious they were.

http://www.tulsatvmemories.com/inhofeog.html

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tonight's musical mood is:

Dan Seals. I'm actually in a really good mood tonight, but still I felt like watching this, one of the saddest songs I know.

As a p.s., the video is exactly how I imagined the video would look before I ever saw it.

Madness: A one-year-old's birthday party

Video by my Flip.

Viking kittens!

\\Evil viking kittens!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Softball game

Nothing better than a softball game where none of the players are really sure what's going on. Usually I get to see that when the cops play the firefighters for charity. This time, though, it's actual 9 year-olds with 9-year-old ability.

I had more fun with the Flip camera.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New toy

So we got a new toy at work. The flip video camera.
http://www.theflip.com/products.shtml

It's a super-cheap, yet very simple and quite good flash-based video camera. About 119 bucks will get you 60 minutes of good pc-quality footage.

Here's one I did this morning:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Leader, follow, or get out of the way

We had an "all editors" meeting at our main corporate headquarters today. I was a bit concerned about this at first -- usually those mean bad news. I came in expecting layoffs or selling of papers.

Several weeks ago, corporate decided to discontinue a smaller paper. The Tulsa County News is going bye-bye, which is sad to me. It was always a cute little paper, but had really been struggling. So I thought maybe my own would disappear.

Instead, we got a mixed bag of news.

For starters, our size of paper is reducing -- the actual physical paper, not staff or anything. We're trimming down to about a tabloid format (slightly narrower and taller).

I'm old-school in many ways, and always thought a little bit "less" of smaller papers. I was in love with the old broadsheet size. I'm not entirely traditionalist -- I did some exciting things with graphics and so on. But I always loved the broadsheet size.

So that's changing. What's that mean? Well, we're getting a complete redesign. Complete. We are actually getting a full-bore page designer, which means it's not just me doing it. Which means I get to write more, and focus on writing, which is exciting, no matter how much I love designing.

This also means we get software and hardware upgrades, which I've been pushing for for a long time. We'll get new computers, and an upgrade from QuarkXpress to InDesign. We also get NewsEditPro, which should make web updates and editing seamless.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm a man! I'm... 30

Just came across this really interesting story from ESPN.

Remember Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy's rant from last season?
If not, watch the rant of the century now:



Anyway, it turns out that there may be a little bit more than was previously speculated on.

Read away.

Link

This is why I'm an OU fan, not OSU. Coach Bob Stoops doesn't have any of what we humans call "emotions," except for a slight annoyance at the press.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Back from pre-cana

Spent a nice weekend with my lovely bride-to-be up in Glenside, Pennsylvania (right outside Philadelphia). I went up for Pre-Cana, which is a course required to be married in a Catholic church.

The session involved registration, a free dinner with beer, and a couple of hours of talks and then some group sessions.

Then on Saturday, a long 160-something question Scantron test (first time I took one of those since college), and another six hours of counseling and group sessions.

It was worthwhile, I felt. We talked about a lot of stuff that was useful, and it certainly drove home the fact that I'm getting married. For reals. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Be out east a while

Heading out to Philly area for a while. Pre-Cana and some other wedding-related stuff, along with a few other fun destinations. Be back April 8. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

US Sen Jim Inhofe to switch parties.




UPSTATE VERMONT (AP) -- U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla), famous for his hardline conservative stances on issues ranging from global warming to welfare to foreign policy, has announced plans to switch to the Green Party.

The announcement came after the senator became separated from his NAFTA advisory committee group while touring the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory. The tour was part of a fact-finding mission concerning a new dairy treaty with Canada, aides to the senator report. Inhofe was not found until several hours after the joint Senate-House bus had left. A security officer closing the plant down found the 71-year-old senator barefoot in Jerry Greenfield's office, reading the ice cream maven's literature.

"It was at that point that the senator slowly came to the realization that he was wrong all these years," said Inhofe's new press secretary and musical adviser, Trey Anastasio. "Like really, really wrong, man."

Inhofe then renounced his conservative ideals, and decided to devote the rest of his career toward Green ideals, Anastasio said. Inhofe immediately sold his house and moved into a smaller, carbon-neutral cabin on the Oklahoma / Arkansas border. He is also pushing for the Capitol building to either convert to off-grid solar power, or only operate during daylight hours, with the window shades open, Anastasio added. Another acceptable alternative was to hold Senate business outside "on nice days," he said.

"After all these years, the blinders came off from my eyes," Inhofe told reporters while sitting cross-legged under a tree on the Washington mall. "I devoted my life to fighting what I saw as a creeping liberal threat upon America -- Communists, gays, evolution, environmentalists, and the weather channel. Now I know, though, that we should all be free to be, like..."

Inhofe did not finish his thought, becoming distracted by a close-flying butterfly.


"We should all try to be more like that butterfly," Inhofe added. He did not clarify to reporters what that statement meant.

Republican senators insist that they are not concerned about the shift in balance Inhofe's defection to the Green Party may mean.

"I think it's just a phase, really," said Republican presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.). "He'll grow out of it the first time he has to ride a bicycle to the senate building in the driving rain."

One senator, though, was more concerned.

"I'm really fearful about this, said Dr. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) "Jim just hasn't been the same. All he does is sit in his office with the door closed, listening to Phish and blogging.

"I also don't know when's the last time he washed his hair," Coburn added.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Going green gone easy




Our paper had a special section devoted to homebuilding last week. I kind of thought I ought to go beyond the norm, and took a look at the House of the Lifted Lorax, which is run in part by Emily.

They live sustainably there, growing much of what they eat, living organically, using as little power as possible. They even have solar panels on the roof.

The article is here.

It was a pretty enjoyable experience, and I learned a great deal about taking small steps to live with a smaller footprint.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Easter shots



Taken March 21, 2008 in front of the First Presbyterian Church in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Good Friday


Happy Good Friday and Easter, everyone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RIP Arthur C. Clark, Dec. 16, 1917 -- March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke died. The man gave us radar, and communications satellites. He gave me more.

I remember those summer days, as a child on break from school. We'd go hide inside the airconditioning of our public library. I would spend all day in there, piling up books and books and books. Then, in fifth grade, I came across one with a dark blue cover, portraying a starry sky over some alien world. I was intrigued.

The book was "The Songs of Distant Earth." It was by Arthur C. Clarke. I opened it. I read. I was enthralled.

Here was a man who managed the task of grounding his stories in the hardest of science and newtonian phsyics... and the most fantastical reaches of imagination. He imagined the impossible yet plausible: Exploding suns, great "seedships" carrying the treasures of humanity, ranging from King Tut's burial mask to our very DNA, to far out worlds, proto-intelligence on alien worlds, and most of all the incomprehensible notions of distance and time in outer space.

Next trip to the library, I got everything by Clarke I could. 2001, of course. Also his short story collections, 2010, the Rama series. Every one transported me away, and saved me from a stifling hot summer and kept my mind racing to the impossible and beyond.

There was a power there -- the power of the written word. He spoke to me through the decades and across the oceans. He pounded out his stories on an old manual typewriter, yet they spoke of the sleekest of starships and the grandest frontiers of humanity's possibilities.

It's probably not an exaggeration to say that I am a writer because of Clarke. He made me who I am, and he gave the world, and all beyond it, to a 11-year-old boy.

Rest in Peace, my friend. You will be missed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Storm rolling through

Getting lots of good flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. Spring is finally here!

Radar looks like they'll slide by to the south. Oh well, makes for a good show, at any rate.


Jim Inhofe's greatest hits

1. The Weather Channel Conspiracy:



2. Jim thinks he's still running the show:

Andrew Rice for Senate -- He's not Jim Inhofe

I'm going to personally endorse Andrew Rice for the U.S. Senate.

The primary factor in this is that he's not Jim Inhofe, the vaguely reptilian far-right fringe senator (supposedly) representing us in the Senate. Just in case not being Jim Inhofe is not enough to garner your vote, here's Rice's web page and his stand on the issues.

Andrew Rice campaign web page

That should do it. Seems like a reasonable guy, no? Not like Inhofe, who claims the Clintons arranged to have the propeller fly off his airplane while he was in it.

Or his claim that the Weather Channel invented global warming.

So please. Vote for Rice. He will be good for Oklahoma. And he's not Inhofe.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The bachelor life

So I'm alone again. For the night anyway. This is Spring Break for Broken Arrow schools, so my niece and my sister will be gone for the rest of the week, after tomorrow.

So I'm alone, and will have the house all to myself all this week.

I was looking forward to it. Watching what I wanted, eating what and when I wanted, laying around and drinking beer.

But it's not fun like it used to be.

I spent a good portion of my adult life living by myself. Liked it. I could do whatever, and had plenty of time alone with my thoughts. I was a loner and thought I always would be.

Today though it's different. Instead of being alone, I am just lonely.

I'm looking forward to being married to Katie and having someone else (specifically her) to share my life with. I realize now just how bad it's going to be if she goes out of town to visit her sisters or on a business trip or something. I wouldn't know what to do with myself, other than stare at the walls.

I guess I became too domesticated.

I am going to marry Katie, and her love is the best thing I could ever have. I'm praying to God I don't ruin it and fail like I do everything else. Please God let me get this one thing right.

I don't want to be alone any more.

Down with the quarry -- my part

For the past several years, the city of Sand Springs, and its residents, have been fighting against a proposed quarry operation. Some guy wants to put in a big giant limestone rock quarry inside city limits.

The city adopted a "Special Use Permit" system to handle big proposals like this. What the SUP means is that "i"s are dotted and "t"s are crossed, and everybody gets a say before making their decision. So we had a hearing late last year and early this year. Three hearings, in fact. And a vote of the planning commission. And an appeal to the city council. And a vote by the city council.

The quarry was voted down, based on the interest of the public good and the burden on the city, not to mention the negative environmental impact, and strain put on the city's infrastructure.

Naturally, the landowner is appealing to the courts.

So here's where I sort of get involved. I've been against this quarry since the beginning. We're done plundering the earth, and especially so within the city limits, and within a half-mile radius of several neighborhoods, a college, and an old folks' home.

So editorially, my paper (i.e. me) has been against the quarry since the start. After the final decision of the council and the appeal to the courts, I wrote a column basically urging the landowner to drop the appeal.

Our state senator, who lives not far from the proposed quarry site, clipped out my column, made copies of it, and handed it out to all the other state senators.

The column was attached to a bill she wrote with our state representative that would let cities control the number of times they could choose to hear a quarry proposal.

The bill passed unanimously in the senate, is headed to the house, and expected to pass there. Likely the governor will sign it.

And we will be rid of this quarry threat.

And I could say I had a small part in it. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

An ode to storms

Ah spring is almost here again. Today we saw one of the first warm days of the year, and this was also only the second day with an extra hour of sunlight.

The best news, though, comes later this week, as we're due for some real Okie spring thunderstorms. I mean, real ones.

The best storms always come when it's a little warm outside. That extra temperature and high humidity really help build up the energy. In terms of static electricity, it turns up the energy knob to "11."

The best storms are tall, towering, well-defined thunderheads. Cumulonimubs clouds.

Then they start flashing lightning. And the sky turns green. And the wind blows. And the hair on the back of your neck stands up.

And then all hell opens up and the lightning and thunder and rain and hell burst forth.

Anybody who's never seen a plains thunderstorm is really missing out. They're the greatest ones of all.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring on ahead little bunny, spring

First things first, I was thrilled to find out I had the house to myself tonight. As you may or may not know, I've been living with my sister to help watch her daughter.

Well, tonight for varying reasons I had the home to myself.
So I went to the store and bought some gin, tonic, and limes.

Tonight is "Spring Forward." Change 'em clocks.

I would be more concerned about it if I hadn't been drinking eight gin and tonics.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Well, looks like I dodged that bullet

File this one under "Unanswered prayers are a good thing."

I never told anybody, but back in the summer, I applied for a job in the Tulsa World's Community World. The Community World is a Wednesday insert of hyperlocal news -- the kind of thing you'd find in any smaller community paper. So-and-so wins pie bake-off, so-and-so has unusual hobby, that kind of thing. Feature stories and small government reporting, basically.

I felt, if I may be so brash, that I was exceptionally qualified. I interviewed. It went well. I thought for sure I was going to get the job.

And then, I didn't. And I was majorly bummed. I thought I was going to be stuck in the same rut forever, and felt like I was missing out on bigger and better things.

And then, today, there's this: Community World ceases publishing.
All the writers were laid off without notice Yesterday morning. Had until the end of the day to clear out their desks.

And me? I still have a job.

I guess I dodged a bullet.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bar portraits

These are while waiting for the Oklahoma Press Association awards to begin.

Me:


Waitress and bloody mary:


Me and another editor:


Oh, and by the way, who's the best columnist, feature writer, and page designer in the state (among small papers, anyway?): That guy on the left, that's who!

-30-

I turned 30 today.

In newspaperspeak, 30 is the end. It's what signals that a story is over. The last of it. Finito.

For me, it's promising, though. This is the year I'm going to get married to the love of my life.

Still, it's somewhat sad to note that the 20s are over. It was a good decade. First drink, first real girlfriend, first travel abroad, first road trip out west, first time backpacking, first time in Montana... all this happened in the 20s. They were fun, tough, challenging, and mostly poverty-stricken. I ate a lot of Ramen in my 20s.

Now it's the end.

-30-

What's next?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The weight

OK, so as far as weight goes, I was in pretty bad shape.
I didn't used to be. I used to have a physical job that kept me moving, and kept me pretty happy and trim. Also I was actually showing muscles.

Then I got the office job. And the job that kept me from eating healthy or exercising. Long story short (and this is embarrassing to say) I needed to lose 66 pounds. I chose 66, even though 65 would be fine, just because it looked cool.

I'm actually off to a good start. Have been bringing my lunch to work every day, and jogging most nights. In two weeks' time, I've lost six pounds. So, only 60 more to go. If I keep up the rate I'm going, that's just five more months. Maybe by June I'll be in good shape. Just in time to hit the beach.... er... lake.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

long time

So, haven't updated in a while. Procrastinating too much seems to be my forte in life.

Anyway, just been busy with work and thinking about wedding stuff and budgeting and taxes...

Nine months to wedding day. Four weeks and some days until Katie's here again. :)

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