Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday and Tuesday

Monday morning J and I went walking at the nearby fitness center.  Normally, on a Monday morning Gail and I have piano duet practice together, but Gail had an appointment with her oncologist this morning.  As we were driving home, I got a call from Gail who had just arrived home from her appointment.  I hurried home and vacuumed the living room and mopped the kitchen and dining room.  Then I took a shower and got dressed.  Gail had received a good report from her doctor.  She has been cancer free for over a year now.

This morning, we went to the copy shop and made copies of some insurance papers.  Next we drove to the post office and mailed the papers.  Then we paid a city utilities bill.  I took a nap, and then we walked the Katy trail for two miles.  I have reached 368 miles miles walking this year, thereby reaching my goal of a average of a mile a day.  After the walk, we went in to the May's Drug Store and I got a flu shot for this season.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Election question

Given the choice of voting for a Christian or a Mormon, which candidate do you vote for?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Recent and coming events

On Thursday, Oct. 18, I met at Restoration with Larry R., Marilyn, and Gail for the first session of our study of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.  We had a good discussion, which lasted just over an hour.  Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the church.  One thing I learned from the first session was that in the 1600s some colonists got so hungry that they dug up corpses and ate them. 

Today we had the HAT meeting at the Genealogy Center on Harvard.  I read a poem by my favorite poet, Philip Appleman.  It is titled "Hymn of Praise to the Intelligent Designer." We have moved the meetings back to the Genealogy Center by popular demand.  We had about ten people there today.  HAT will continue to fill the pulpit at Restoration on the first Sunday of each month.  I will be the speaker in November.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bill Doolin, deceased

This photo was taken of the outlaw Bill Doolin following his death.

Daily activities

I gave an interview this afternoon with a reporter from Urban Tulsa Weekly.  We met at the Coffee House on Cherry St.  We talked about 25 minutes.  He is doing an article on the growth of atheism in Tulsa.  He said the article will appear either in November or December.
Gail came over for about an hour and a quarter starting at 3:00 pm.  We practiced the piece we will be playing on Humanist Sunday in November.  We also played a few other pieces.  Next Monday Gail has an appointment with her oncologist.  We plan to practice on another day.
Next, we took Ayla to her piano lesson.   We took Ayla home with us and later went to Braum’s for dinner.  Then we took her home.

Vacation, part 10

The pictures show the Ingalls Hotel in Ingalls, Oklahoma.  It is the site of the biggest shootout in the southwest.  It was here that Bill Doolin of the Dalton Gang was involved in a shootout with a law officer in 1893.  E. D. Nix, a U.S.Marshall, learned that Doolin was at this location and sent a deputy and a posse of 13 men to capture him.  As things turned out, three marshalls were killed.  Two bystanders were killed.  Three of the gang members were wounded.  Arkansas Tom Jones was wounded and captured.  Doolin was wounded but shot and killed Richard Speed, a deputy marshall.  Doolin was later shot and killed in Oklahoma.  Ingalls is about ten miles to the east of Stillwater.

Vacation, part 9

Look at the structure in the top picture.  Can you guess what the purpose of this tall building is?  Hint: It is located behind the fire station.  Firefighters would hang their hoses from this building to let them dry out before storing them on the fire trucks.  The picture below the top one shows a performer inside the Blue Belle Saloon playing and singing.  How about the third picture?  Looks like a cedar tree, right?  What you are looking at in this picture is a geocache hidden in the cedar tree.  The last picture is a close up of the tree showing two camoed containers about the size of a 35mm film canister.  The log was inside the first container.  I'm guessing trade items were in the second.  I signed the log and replaced it in the container.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A double dose of Sunday

Today I went to church twice.  My first visit was at All Souls Unitarian Church on Peoria Ave. for the 8:30 service.  They now have three services on Sunday: a Humanist, a Contemporary, and a Traditional.  The music was fantastic.  Rick Fortner played jazz piano, accompanied by a saxophonist.  Marvin’s topic this morning dealt with his recent visit to Romania, specifically Transylvania.  He was part of a group of people taking a tour of the area.  As they went by a school they noticed a sign that said something to the effect that the Unitarian church operated the school.  They decided to step inside for a visit, which resulted in the group being invited to return the next day and address the school children.
They were asked about where they would be going next.  Upon telling the group, they were warned about what to expect.  They were told the people in that country could not be trusted, to be careful and cautious.  However, once they got there, the people seemed okay.  However, before they moved on, they were once again warned about the people in the next country.  This seemed to happen repeatedly.  Each group of people was warning about the people in the next country.  But once the tour reached the next country, they found the people there just as trustworthy as people in the last country.
It seems that people are naturally suspicious of differences – all kinds of differences -- differences in race, ethnicity, and religion.  Why do we have the tendency to think the worse about people who are different from us?  Marvin then said that few people ever learn how parochial their beliefs are.  We grow up just believing the religion of our parents is the one, correct, true religion. 
Ask yourself this question: How much does my religion differ from the religion of my parents?  If it differs not very much or not at all, were you just lucky to be born into a family with correct beliefs?  Almost everyone thinks so, be they Islamic, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Adventist, Primitive Baptist, Northern Baptist, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian,  Lutheran, Christian Science, etc .  There are literally thousands of denominations, and each believer thinks that he or she has the truth when it comes to religion. 
Few people ever realize that they were indoctrinated with the beliefs they hold to be true from the cradle onward..
Moving along, after the service at All Souls ended, I headed north on Peoria and stopped in at Gateway Market and bought potato salad for Second Helping, an after- the- service meal at Restoration.  Today our minister spoke.  I played the piano, since the regular pianist had to be elsewhere today.  There were about 15 people there today.  During the RE period, Mary read a paragraph which resonated with me.  I asked if I could make a copy of what she just read.  She handed it to me and five other people asked if I could make them a copy also.  Here is the statement:
It is very easy to pretend to understand what one does not understand.  Often the degree to which we oppose a thing marks the degree to which we do not understand it.  Sometimes we use our opposition to an idea to cover our own ignorance.  We express our dislike for things, sometimes for people, when we do not understand the things we pretend to dislike; when we do not know the people for whom we have the antagonism.
Following the service we had our Second Helping in the Congregation Life room.

Vacation, part 7

Just outside the Blue Belle Bar we met a man giving free rides in his horse-drawn wagon.  So we hitched a ride with him.  The third picture shows the violin shop of a man who had closed up fo0r the day so he could attend the International Oklahoma Bluegrass Festival.  At bottom is a close-up of the door to his business.  The sign reads, "Gone Fiddlin.'"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vacation, part 6

The four pictures above were taken inside the Blue Belle Bar, which is a block to the west of the Pollard.  For two years the actor Tom Mix worked as a bartender here.  Notice the stained glass above the doorway in the second picture.  Another impressive metal ceiing is shown in the third picture.  The waitresses were dressed in period costumes, as you can see in the fourth picture.

Vacation, part 5

The picture at the top shows the metal ceiling in the breakfast room at the Pollard Inn.  This kind of ceiling is found in other buildings dating back to the first decade of the twentieth century.  The next photo was taken in out room at the Pollard Inn.  The ceiling was very high.  Notice the distance from the ceiling fan up to the ceiling.  I would guess the ceilings were 16 to 20 feet above the floor.  The next photo shows our car parked in front of the Pollard Inn.  The Pollard Theater is where the green awning is.  Above the awning are the rooms of the Pollard Inn.  The three windows with the curtains open is where we stayed.  The breakfast room is to the left (on the corner).  The last photo in this series was taken inside a store that sold a hodge-podge of things, including deer heads.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mainstream Baptist: Robin Meyers on the Attempt to Repeal Affirmative Action in Oklahoma

Mainstream Baptist: Robin Meyers on the Attempt to Repeal Affirmative Action in Oklahoma

Vacation, part 4

The top picture was taken from our room at The Pollard Inn looking down on our car.  The next picture shows the view looking southwest out a window.  We were on the second floor of the inn.  The third picture shows the flowers which were in our room.  Not shown is the box of chocolate candy and the bottle of apple cider.  The last picture shows the grand piano in the breakfast room.  It actually works and was in tune.  I sat at the keyboard and played for a bit.  This building was at one time a bank.  Notice the vault behind the piano.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vacation, part 3

The two pictures above show something called Gravitram 2.  This is one exhibit that I remember from previous visits to the museum.  Two separate devices lift steel balls the size of a large marble to the top and release them.  The balls then travel to the bottom my means of gravity.  Along the way they pass through switches and gates which affect their speed and direction of travel.  It is facinating to watch the balls as they travel to the bottom.  Sometimes the balls go so fast you can barely see them.  Other times a ball may get delayed by having to wait on another ball before proceeding.

While in OKC we stayed at the Best Western on Santa Fe in north OKC.  The hotel has a restaurant inside where we enjoyed a catfish dinner that evening.  Also staying at the hotel was a black vocal group.  We caught just a bit of the group singing gospel music as they were about to go out to a concert.

The next morning we packed up and headed toward Guthrie.  Along the way I saw a music store.  I had to go inside and see what they had.  They had a good selection of sheet music.  I bought four books of music.  The store is comparble to Saied's in Tulsa. 

When we arrived in Guthrie, we noticed the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival was about to start.  We bought tickets for that day and went inside the grounds.  In the picture above, you see a group of five musicians.  It seemed as if it was about to rain, but it never did that day.

Vacation, part 2

Here are four more pictures I took during my recent trip to the Science Museum in Oklahoma City.  The top picture shows a play area for children.  This must be a tree house to top all tree houses.

There is an area in the museum dedicated to space exploration.  The next picture shows a space capsule painted orange and white.  As to the words "F 6 Adios MF,"  I don't have a clue about that.

Next picture shows a rocket engine which is used to lift rockets into space.  To get some idea of its size, look are the artwork hanging on the wall at the center left.

The last picture shows the planets Saturn and Jupiter as models.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vacation, part 1

 We got up last Wednesday morning, went to Braum's for a sausage and egg biscuit, and then got on the turnpike for Oklahoma City.  We drove directly to the Science Museum, formerly called the Omniplex.  We had visited the Omniplex several years ago.  It was completely transformed from the way it used to be.  Many of the exhibits have changed from the past.
The picture above was taken from the cafeteria inside the building looking out a window at a garden.  If you look carefully, you can see the reflection of my fingers and the camera.  The picture below, taken from the same spot, shows the back wall of the museum and a greenhouse.

 The picture above is of a railway coach.  How did they get that in the building, I wonder?  The picture below is of the rogue's gallery.  Shown are four notorious outlaws:  Pretty Boy Floyd from Sallisaw, Machine Gun Kelly from Tulsa, and Bonnie Parker and Cylde Barrow, better known as Bonnie and Clyde, who while not from Oklahoma, terrorized many Oklahomans, especially citizens of Commerce, Miami, and Joplin, Mo.  They were stopped by a hail of bullets in northern Louisiana in 1934.  They are buried in Dallas, Texas. 
I think it was last year that we went by the grave site of Ma Barker and her sons who are buried not far from Vinita, just to the east of a small community called Welsh.  Only one of the graves has a stone; the others have only paper tags.
There is a lot to see in the Science Museum in Oklahoma City.  We saw the planetarium show, a physics demonstration, and an IMAX film title "Tornado Alley."  The film was quite impressive shown on the big screen.  You get the feeling you are close to a tornado.

More to come later.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Frank Schaeffer quoted

The whole unwashed mob that is now the "Republican Party" -- a theocracy movement dedicated to imperial world domination, greed and gated communities, all in the name of a half-baked "Jesus" serving "his" masters on Wall Street who hate the rubes who vote for their bought and paid for "family values" candidates -- is struggling in the grip of their collective God-delusion. Or they are pretending to share that delusion even if they believe in none of it so they can stay in good with the mostly evangelical fact-deprived "Tea Party" crowd.
They don't want gay people to marry in case God doesn't like it. They don't want peace in the Middle East in case it screws up God's timetable for his "return." They don't want to believe our President is a "Real American" because he's black and he's the "wrong sort" of Christian. They won't believe that global warming is real because the two groups they hate and fear most -- scientists and the US government -- say it is. They believe in a vengeful retributive nasty god who will send everyone not like them to hell.

Back from vacation

We were away on vacation last week.  I took a lot of pictures and will post some as soon as I can get around to it. 

We went to Oklahoma City and then on to Guthrie.  I will go into some detail next time I post.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Oklahoma Knowledge: Science and Nature

Here is the sixth and final quiz over Oklahoma Knowledge.  I have taken the questions from the book Oklahoma Trivia by Ernie Couch.

1.  Situated near Tulsa, what was the first sizeable oil deposit discovered and developed in the state?

2.  In 1929, what oil company acquired the Marland Refining Company in Ponca City?

3.  In the south central part of the state, what mountain group covers an area approximately 20 by 60 miles?

4.  What Oklahoma town is known as "The Pipeline Crossroads fo the World"?

5.  Where was astronaut Gordon Cooper born?

6.  What lake serves as a water supply for Norman, Midwest City, and Del City?

(Scroll down for answers)

1.  Glenn Pool Field

2.  Continential Oil Company (Conoco)

3.  Arbuckle Mountains

4.  Cushing

5.  Shawnee

6.  Thunderbird