Thursday, May 14, 2009

Madsen bicycles

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

I've become very into hacking things together lately, and hope to get on some DIY projects soon.
In the meantime, I'm lusting over this bike.

Before then, I might try this:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Now that ALL of Oklahoma's other problems have been solved...

I must have missed it, but our state legislators must have fixed all our other problems. Crumbling, deficient bridges? Fixed. Overcrowded jails, crippling rural poverty, racism, lack of funding for education... fixed. Our environment, in great shape, brilliant!

I never got the memo as to when they managed to nail down and address all the ills that plague our state, but they must have. Because, today to my e-mail inbox, came this:

OKLAHOMA CITY –Oklahoma students may now say the pledge of allegiance in class everyday under legislation by state Rep. Lewis Moore.

House Bill 2189 requires the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited in a classroom each school day. Previously students were simply authorized to recite the Pledge..

“I feel strongly about this bill and how it will strengthen our culture and country’s traditions by honoring the importance of the U.S. flag and our nation,” said Moore, R-Arcadia. “It’s an oath of loyalty and respect to this country.”

The bill also asks that instruction in the history and etiquette relating to the U.S. Flag be given in each grade annually.

"It is appropriate to honor our country's flag and know how to show respect for our symbol of sacrifice and freedom,” said Moore.

House Bill 2189 passed the House Common Education Committee this week and now proceeds to the House floor.

Wait - you mean students were never banned from saying it? So this bill really does nothing. Except buy Moore some cheap votes.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A warm day equals a bike ride

The thing about Tulsa is that we have a trail network. In fact, we have a really excellent trail network.

In theory, Katie and I could bicycle all the way from our home in Sand Springs to Broken Arrow or Bixby on bicycle trails. Viewing the Indian Nation Council of Governments master plan, within a few years, no point in Tulsa will be more than two miles from a biking trail.

While planning for light rail and public transit plods along, it's good to remember there's already a massive system of zero-emission, unlimited mpg transport available.

So, we took advantage of a nice day recently by going on a 11.5 mile bike ride down Riverparks, from midtown Tulsa to Jenks and back, on a warm and windy day. I took along my flip cam to get some video as we rode.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to prepare for an ice storm

So Oklahoma is apparently due another ice storm. This is not welcome news.

If you were around at all last year, you'll remember that we had an ice storm in Dec. 2007. This was not fun. We had no power for the better part of a week - some areas for more than two weeks - and downed limbs clogged the landscape.

That was apparently practice. We're gonna get another. The good news is, I remember what it was like during the last storm. No lights, no heat, no food. So Katie and I went to Wal-Mart today to stock up ahead of the storm. So did everybody else, apparently.

Somewhere back in our newspaper files, I have a wonderful shot of people loading up on "essentials" ahead of some impending winter weather. In the foreground are two people headed to their truck, a case of Bud Light in each hand of both.

Same kind of deal today. People were buying batteries, flashlights, candles, canned food, water bottles, and, yes, Bud Light.

Wal-Mart is many things. It is not a dumb corporation. They know what's what. That's why, ahead of this ice storm, Wal-Mart had near the front batteries, canned food, and mountains of cases of beer. That's how you know bad weather's on the way.

So Katie and I bought our allotment of non-perishable food (but no beer), and a pitcher for water for the fridge. I think we're ready should the grid go down.
Then again, maybe not. We'll find out Monday night.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I can't wait for spring

My wife and I went to a stormspotting class in Sand Springs Thursday night, Jan. 22.

This was a free course offered by the National Weather Service, and given by meteorologist Ed Calienese. I'd been to two before, but thought this was important to go, because this would be Katie's first time.

See, she's from Pennsylvania, up near Philadelphia, so tornadoes aren't really her thing. I tried to equate just what it's like for us with this equation: Tornadoes are to Okies as Phillie people are to... snow.

That was wrong.

But anyway, the idea was to get a refresher course for me, and an introduction course for her on just what a springtime is like for Oklahoma.

Frankly, this should be a required thing for any emergency worker, as well as a simplified version required for all school students.

So, that's why I can't wait for spring. Twisters. I love 'em.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Road Trip

Today Katie and I made a road trip down the Mother Road - Route 66.

Tomes have been written about Route 66, all the way back to the Grapes of Wrath, of course, and more recently, Cars.

Along the way we stopped in to a winery that was built in an old Catholic Church. I think I'd like to live in a building like that some way.

I fell in love with the towns out there. I really could see myself living in some artistic little hippie place like that, or maybe just off in the woods somewhere.

I must say, I'm intrigued about Guthrie. I think I should like to go back there.