Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I did not get back to my blog as soon as I thought I would.  I was reminded tonight that I had not posted anything in a while.

Humanist Sunday will be coming up next Sunday.  Steve Nunn will be giving the talk.  I need to plan the remainder of the service.  I will try to do that tomorrow.

Tonight we watched a movie here at the house.  We saw "The Distinguished Gentleman" -- a comedy starring Eddie Murphy.

We have been going to the Case Community Center to do our walking this week.  Their track is elevated above the basketball court.

Today was another scorcher, with the temperature reaching above 100.  Hot weather will be around for a while, says the weatherman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Events of the day

I am typing this blog on a laptop which we bought just this week.  It will take some getting used to.

At noon, I was at the Tulsa office of Rep. John Sullivan.  I expected a large crowd to be there as we (Tulsa Move On) presented petitions asking the Congressman to support efforts to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case.  However, we had a poor showing.  Only three people were there: myself and two others.  There were only 303 signatures on the petition.  That was another negative, in my opinion.  If I were running the show (which I'm not), I would insist on having at least a thousand signatures and a representative group of at least six.  As it was, we had racial diversity (one black; two white), but we were all up in years.  I was probably the oldest of the three.  We also had gender diversity (one female; two males).  I felt we made a weak showing.  I did not know what to expect, but we can call it a learning experience.

We spoke with one of Sullivan's office workers.  Sullivan was in DC.  The worker seemed a bit concerned about the Republican primary, which will be held later this month.  We chatted for about 15 minutes and then left.

I next went to Saied's Music Company.  I looked through much of the piano duet music.  They had much that was new since I had last been in the store.  I bought three books of duets: "Jazz, Rags, & Blues for Two," "American Portraits," and "Dances for Two" by Catherine Rollin.  In all -- a dozen new pieces.

There's more to tell, but it's now time for bed.  I will continue tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Movie: The Singularity is Near (trailer)

I am glad this movie has been made.  If you saw Transcendent Man, you will want to see this movie also.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back from Bartlesville

We made a trip to Bartlesville Friday morning.  We got up early and was in Bartlesville by 10:00 am.  We took a tour of the Foster Mansion, also known as the La Quinta Mansion on the campus of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (formerly Bartlesville Wesleyan University).
The view above is of the entrance to the mansion, with the doors being behind the camera.  The ceilings are painted.  In this view you can see in the background the area where the luncheon was held.  The luncheon was called "A Symphony of Flavors" in keeping with the theme of OKMozart.  OWU is small, but they have a beautiful campus with Spanish style architecture.  Oilman H. V. Foster (1875-1939) built the La Quinta Mansion.  He was but 64 years old when he died of pneumonia in San Diego.  (Same age as I am presently.)  Were he living today, his condition could have been treated.  Despite his millions of dollars from oil revenues, science had not yet come up with penicillin.

That afternoon at the high school we heard a string quintet perform for about an hour.  After that we went to Dink's Barbeque.  That's a great place.  We spent that night in a motel.  Next morning, we heard Susan Herndon sing and play the guitar.  Then it was a jazz trio from Austin, TX.  The young woman at the piano could really improvise.  Next, we heard the Council Oak Men's Chorale (of Tulsa).  Among the songs they sang were "Stand by Me," "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?"  As an encore they sang "Dancing Queen."  The group is made up of about 20 men.  Later that evening we heard Virginia Campbell sing and play the piano.  She played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," among many other pieces.

Around noon we had lunch at "2 Sisters," and for dinner that evening we had turkey sandwiches in the concert hall.  This morning we left early, stopping for breakfast at Eggbert's in Bartlesville.

We got back to Tulsa in time for the Sunday service at Church of the Restoration.  The theme for the service this morning was Father's Day.  There were about 15 people present.  At 1 pm, the Humanist meeting started.  Today our guest was John Olson.  John is a Democrat running for Congress in the First District.

When we got back to the house, my topsy-turvy planters were full of ripe cherry tomatoes.  I picked about 60 tomatoes. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A visit with the optomitrist

Yesterday I had another practice session with Gail.  We are planning on playing "Original Rags" by Scott Joplin at the next Humanist Sunday service, which will be on July 1.

In the afternoon, I went to my optomitrist to have my vision checked.  I had noticed in the last few months that my distance vision was not as sharp as it used to be.  I have cataracts in both eyes.  It is not something that causes me any problem usually.  When Dr. Riggins told me about the cararacts back in 2010, I didn't know anything was out of the usual.  She sent me to Tulsa, but the clinic in Tulsa will not operate unless you complain.  Since I didn't complain, they didn't operate.

I learned yesterday that my vision has changed since I was in to see Dr. Riggins last November.  I got a new prescription for eyeglasses.  I went to Eye Mart that afternoon to get fitted for glasses.  I will pick up the glasses today.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This weekend

Friday evening we went to the Flag Day gathering sponsored by the Tulsa County Democratic Party.  The event was held at the Jazz Depot.  The Jazz Depot was formerly the Union Station in Tulsa.  It's right by the main line between Springfield and OKC.  There were two speakers at the event: Eric Proctor and Michael Wallis.  Proctor represents District 77 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Wallis is a well-known writer and storyteller who has won several awards for his writing.

Hamburgers and hot dogs, along with potato salad and beans, were served at the event.  A few items were actioned off to raise money for the Party.  A female singer who played guitar entertained during the event.  We parked the car at OSU-Tulsa and walked from there.  We walked past the Oneok Field as a game was about to start and then on over to the Jazz Depot.

The next day, Saturday, I went to the headquarters of John Olson.  Olson is running for the first district Congressional seat presently held by John Sullivan.  We were given some instruction about registering people to vote, and from there were went in pairs to locations where people were gathered and asked them if they were registered to vote.  If not, we offered to sign them up to vote.  Keith McCartney was there.  Keith and I went to the Brady District where the Tulsa Tough Bicycle Race started.  We parked close to Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  From there Keith and I rode in Keith's car to the location of the race.  We noticed that it sounded as if something was dragging from Keith's car.  After we parked, we looked under the car and saw that something under the engine had come loose and was dragging on the pavement.  Keith gave me his clipboard and left shortly after we had arrived.  I spent about an hour talking to several people at the event.  Most said they were already registered to vote.  However, I was able to register five people who were not registered.  I haven't heard how the others with the campaign faired.  It was a hot day, and I was getting thirsty.  I walked back to my car and phoned the campaign manager.  She was in a restaurant on Cherry St.  I drove over and gave her the registration forms.

Today is Sunday.  I went to church this morning.  The topic of the talk this morning was "Juneteenth."  That is June 19th, 1865.  The date that slaves in Texas learned that they were now free.  The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863.  But keep in mind there was no radio or television in those days.  Few slaves could read a newspaper.  Word did not get around quickly.  The last slaves were not freed until June 19, 1865.  The date became known as Juneteenth.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Chautauqua in Tulsa

The annual Chautauqua performances are this week in Tulsa.  The venue is once again under the big tent on the campus of OSU-Tulsa.  We have been to two of the five performances so far.  On opening night we saw an actor portray Jack Warner, the movie mogul.  We went again tonight (the third night) and watched an actor portray Bob Hope.

Attendance is down this year as compared to earlier Chautauquas.  There were many empty seats. 

One note of interest to nature lovers.  On Tuesday night as the performer was speaking, a fox trotted from right to left behind the speaker as he spoke.  Several people noticed the fox, and the speaker must have wondered what was going on.  Perhaps someone told him about the fox after the performance was over.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Minister makes major transition

Here is the story of a minister who was helped by The Clergy Project.  What is The Clergy Project?  You can read (or listen) about it here:


Monday, June 04, 2012

Frog portrait

Here is a small frog.  He surfaced after I watered this topsy-turvy tomato plant.  The same thing happened last year.  What is it with topsy-turvy plants and frogs?  Let me hear from you if you have had a similar experience.

Inside a cafe in Leslie, AR

We had lunch at this small restaurant in Leslie, Arkansas, population less than 700.  At one time Leslie was much larger: around 10,000.  The railroad was key to the economic prosperity.  We stopped in Leslie to search for a cache.  The old depot is still in Leslie.

From the auditorium at OFC

 These photos were taken in the main auditorium at the Ozark Folk Center

Scenes from the Ozark Folk Center

 The Cobb brothers were the daytime musicians on the day we went through the village.  The daytime musicians change each day.  They perform several times during the day at the central location in the village.
This picture was taken at one of the evening performances in the large auditorium at the Ozarks Folk Center.  All of the instruments used have to be acoustic, and all the music has to have been written prior to January 1, 1941.  The mission of the OFC is to preserve the ways of the Ozarks culture from years gone by.

Scenes from the Ozark Folk Center

 In the left side of this picture you can see a portion of one of the many buildings housing a craftsperson.  In the center background is an old structure that reflects the housing of people from this area more than a century ago.
This woman is working inside the pottery shop


This is a view inside the knifemaker's shop.


Here is the broommaker at the Ozark Folk Center.  In the background you can see his assistant.

Recent events

On Saturday I attended a Move Om meeting at the Agora Coffee House.  A regional coordinator was present, and she spoke about efforts to overturn the Citizens United decision which the Spreme Court handed down in 2010.  This decision opened the floodgates allowing unlimited corporate money to be spent in elections.  We decided to contact each national level politician from Oklahoma to find out where they stand on a Constitutional Amendment to, in essence, overturn this decision.

Later that evening, we had a showing of the film Koch Brothers Exposed at Church of the Restoration.  There were about 15 in attendance at this event.  We later talked about the problem of the corrupting influence of money in elections.

The next day, I spoke at Church of the Restoration.  Gail and I played the special music.  We played Dvorak's Slavic Dance No. 8.  My topic was "Robert Reich and the American Economy."  There were about 15 people present this Sunday.

Today Gail came over and we practiced piano duets.  We are leaning toward playing "Original Rags" by Scott Joplin at the next Humanist Sunday.

Humanist Sunday Speakers

June: Dan Nerren

July: Steve Nunn

August: Larry Roth

September: Will Poire

October: Larry Roth

November: Dan Nerren

December: Will Poire