Thunder Road

From the middle of April when the Meteorologist in the different Local stations begin to talk about the need to be prepared for severe weather. Personally, I stay with News9 with David Payne and his staff of meteorologist and Storm trackers. They are a committed group of people that work hard to keep the viewing audience informed. Val and Amy Castor are some of the bravest trackers out their and they have experience that makes them a vital part of the weather team. His new Truck is a custom rig that is basically a moving weather station with all the different equipment and computers. While it is an asset, he (Val) has a unique voice that. When he see’s a rotation in the clouds his adrenalin kicks in and it cause his vocal pitch to go higher and when he see’s one on the ground he is at a pitch of extreme Alarm. By that I mean, in my opinion, he is excited yet very concerned to get the word out and help save lives. I want to give the owners of KWTV 9, The Griffin family, a huge thank you. They have put together a great team in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. They have provided their team with the State-of-the-Art equipment and has given the chief Meteorologists’ the go ahead to go wall to wall with the coverage. It is important to them to help keep the people safe. I have recently seen some memes on social media depicting David Payne Pointing to the Storm trackers video that is projected on the Green wall the he stands in front of saying “Look right here, a  tornado on the ground” and behind him in a photo-shopped add-in of a Women with thick gasses bending over as if to be trying to see what he is pointing at. It is supposed to be humor and a satire of how David gets excited when they get a shot of a tornado. Yes, in Oklahoma it is funny to watch and listen to them as they are covering storms, But I would rather watch their so called “humorous” antics then to be caught unaware of a dangerous situation. You come to realize that it is Dead Serious reporting and they are trying to keep us safe and prepared. They do not go Wall-To-Wall unless it is a serious threat. Yesterday, May 25th,2019, they were on air almost all day with chaser traveling all over the state, he had been warning us for a few days that the system of storms approaching us were a threat to produce Large Hail, Damaging winds and the possibility of tornadoes. Unfortunately, at 10:28 PM El Reno was hit with a Tornado that damaged several mobile homes and destroyed a small Motel. It was only on the ground for a few minutes and only for approximately 2.5 miles, but at least 2 people lost their lives and 16 or more people were injured. That same system then dropped another Tornado in Oklahoma City which went through The UPTOWN and Paseo districts cause damage. The Paseo District is hosting “The Paseo Arts Festival” and one of the restaurants had a Patio full of Patrons enjoying the festival, the management was watching the continuous coverage and a manager informed all the patrons to move inside and guided them to the basement of the establishment. That saved lives and prevented injuries. It caused minimal damage and the festival will go on. At the time of my creating this post those are the numbers. Garth Brooks had a hit Song “Thunder Road” I thank him for the title. Oklahoma has been called “Tornado Alley” and we are just leaving the month where we have the most Tornado’s, but the danger doesn’t end on May 31st.  With the weather system that is in place and all the factors are taking into consideration (i.e. Movement of the Jet stream, Moisture coming up from the Gulf) we will more than likely continue to have more severe weather.  That same pattern happens every year some years worse than others. The weather this year has been resupplying the state with copious amounts of precipitation, so much so that we are having flooding all over the state. This “Memorial Day “weekend, we are thankful for those that have died in service of our country, in the defense of our freedom. We must also pray for those that suffered a loss yesterday from the weather. We continue to Pray for those that are involved in the search and rescue efforts on going in El Reno. I hope that all that take the time to read this will continue to pray for all of us. God Bless Oklahoma, and God Bless America!

Welcome To Spring

April Showers bring May Flowers… This is the rhyme we learned in grade school. Yes it is that time of year. Here in Oklahoma we love to see the spring except for the Pollen, Severe Weather, Hail Tornadoes… Wait, this is a positive post! Nature sometimes brings us a surprise in the weather patterns. This year we watched several systems come in lined up one after the other bringing artic air and freezing temperatures and a very cold winter. The positive take from this is we had a very hard freeze that will helped in the reduction of insects and pest. It also will help with the weeds. When March roared in with a snow storm, again weather systems lined up this time a mix of winter weather and rain. We had a very wet March. Was this bad? In Oklahoma, No. We really needed the moisture. We are heading into April and as I type this post we have a line of heavy thunderstorms heading into the state. Some may have severe weather with strong winds, Hail and maybe tornadoes. Still not a bad thing as western Oklahoma is going to receive much needed moisture. I have learned over the years that I will not put out my tender plants until Easter has past as in Oklahoma at least we have one last freeze around easter. It goes along with what the famous Oklahoma Humorist Will Rogers said. “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma just wait a minute, It will change.” Thank you Will Rogers, a truer statement could not have been made.

Christmas Decorations outdoors in Oklahoma – Continued

After Thanksgiving my Post about “Christmas Yard Decorations in Oklahoma” was mainly about how I loved to decorate for christmas each year and promised to bring pictures of my process back to you. What  a difference a few days make. After waiting for the weather to cooperate and then cleaning out the front yard of the leaves of a Neighboring Oak tree, the set up began. The thought process was to be creative yet not outrageously Luminous that would cause the ISS (International Space Station) take notice

Beginning with a Blank Canvas
Of course Santa and the gifts are the centerpiece
Off course we must add the Christmas Trees
Add the Snowman Solar globes and the Lighted garland with Net lighting behind large Tree and of course  Candy Canes  at its base. Setting the Projectors in the foreground.

Gives the final picture.

Now while it is not a  professional display, it is my way of saying “Merry Christmas” to all from our family

Mid-Term Election Mania

The American public is inundated with the most horrible rhetoric I have experienced in my 40+ years of voting. In the national side how can you believe a party that is obstructionist and viciously attacked members of the opposing party in the press And have members that have called for violence / harassment of members of the opposition party. All politicians make campaign promises to the people that vote. Some promises can never be kept, some are kept, some are attempted but fail because they don’t get the support from both sides.

  1. At the state level I have watched an interesting set of issues. Mostly about education funding. I MUST STATE I SUPPORT EDUCATION, having said that, there are points that I take issue with. Calling for a strike by the OEA, was effective, to a point. The legislature, too little too late, took the Teachers, seriously and made progress toward fixing the issues. The teachers did get a raise and some funding for the classroom was restored. Where I begin to disagree was when the OEA leader continued to say it’s not enough. And basically continued to bargain in bad faith. “Bad faith how can you say that”? You may ask.
    She continued her criticism of what was offered and when it was met, she changed the goal.
    She lied to the public claiming she had a consensus of the Union membership, yet numerous members were never asked for their input.
    She gave the perception that she wold hold the legislature hostage until all demands were met by continuing to strike. That is nothing short of extortion!

Was education fixed? Not completely, it was started down the path to a better system.

Should they Strike again this year? My personal opinion is No. this election will change the makeup of the state government.

How do we fix the problem? That is a subject for another. Daily Dose of Common Sense!

Strike 3 and They’re OUT!

I admire the teaching profession, it takes a special person to desire to help another person learn and truly be concerned when they see the difficulty a child has in grasping the concept. Some of the best teachers have discovered a way to make learning fun. In the state of Oklahoma, teachers have been underpaid for many years. They have utilized their First Amendment right to march on the capital for education reform improvement in the education system and now for an increase in teachers’ pay. While I agree totally that they need an increase in salary both in starting salary for a new teacher as well as an increase in salary and benefits for our veteran teachers, I do not believe that continuing with plans for a walk out after the legislature has finally worked and done their job to fund a raise is appropriate. To have the president of the OEA publicly state that the demands given the legislature were not all met, gives the impression that they are more interested in getting their way than performing their duty. I will reiterate that I am not against raising the pay of those that are educators. The politicians in the legislature of the state of Oklahoma have for the past 40 years failed to do what they were elected to do. It’s been the last three sessions, with a decrease in revenue leaving a large hole in the budget and requiring cutbacks from all services they continue to spin their wheels and pass laws dealing with driving in the left lane, texting while driving, while procrastinating on fixing the fiscal problems. This is totally unacceptable. The legislature for the state of Oklahoma needs to use “A Daily Dose of Common Sense” when prioritizing their approach to legislation. Band-Aids and duct tape to fix recurring problems are also unacceptable. I asked that the teachers use that same “Dose of Common Sense” and accept the increase that is being worked on and not walk out if it passes. Politics today has become a haven for special interest groups. While our representatives tend to listen to these groups, they should be listening to the masses that elected them. This is not an uncommon problem in both state and federal legislators. It is time to get political parties and political agendas out of our government. Elected officials need to serve the people that elected them, not the PAC’s that funded their campaign. To be fiscally responsible and the funding of our education system reforms in all areas of the system must be addressed. Duplication and wasteful spending must be eliminated. Raises two elected officials should cease until those officials efficiently fix the problems with the state budget. We now enter the wait and see phase of the threatened walkout. Should the salary increase that is currently being worked on pass, it wouldn’t be ethical to continue with the Strike. Should they decide to continue with the walkout/strike, it would give the impression that they are just like all the other special interest groups. They would be more interested in getting what they want over the needs of all the people. Of course, this is just my humble opinion.

Open Letter to the Oklahoma State Legislature

Today is March 24th and the State Legislature has failed to appropriately address the Financial situation of our State. The educators are demanding a pay Raise, the state employees are demanding a pay raise. The state infrastructure is in dire need of repair. Roads Bridges and Highways are deteriorating to a questionable state of safety.  I will stop with the Doom and Gloom.

First, I want it to be know that I do not expect the government to “FIX” everything and supply us with all our needs. What I do expect from our elected officials, also known as “Public Servants”, is to serve the Public and be consistently efficient. What were the Priorities of this session?  As I see it the following should have been done in order.

  1. Balance the Budget for FY 2018 and FY 2019. The “How” is the hard part. With a decrease in revenue that has caused a huge shortfall for the past 2 years, it is irresponsible to continue to think that cutting the budget is the only way to fix the issue. It would more prudent to eliminate waste in the government. That would solve part of the problem but not all.  To put everything back (referring to crucial services) and fully fund the necessary programs, there must be a dramatic increase in revenue. This must be done judiciously with prudence and care. Raising Personal State Income Tax is not an option. Raising State sales Tax is not a great option but may be needed. What other revenue sources are there? Gross Production Tax Would hit our largest source of revenue. That is the problem with a single source economy. We need to seek more industry and make it more diverse. While the increasing of taxes would be contradictory if we were able to increase the tax base we could Lower Personal Income Tax or even become a “No Personal Income Tax” state. That would put more money in the consumers pocket and make the state more enticing to new industries. Alternative energy is a hot market and incentives to bring more into the state would also increase the base corporately.
  2. Clean up the Department of Human Services: reduce the amount of fraud of state services. Complete the reduction of welfare dependency that was started. Stop paying benefits to undocumented aliens. Enforce the laws as written!
  3. Reform the corrections system to cut down overcrowding and work diligently to enforce the current laws.
  4. Current Laws need to be reviewed and excessive regulation can impede progress. Have Law’s that are duplicate are impractical and redundant. Example; trying to regulate common sense are impractical. Making it illegal to texted and drive is already covered by the Law of “Failure to devote full time and attention”. The latter could be used for the wide abuse by anyone that is doing something other than paying attention to driving. i.e.: eating while driving, texting while driving talking on cell phone while driving, putting on makeup, shaving, reading a book, newspaper or anything else while driving. As I said common sense. I think the most important fact is that we need to enforce what is already on the books. Reduce the confusion by not attempting to legislate common sense. “Slower traffic keep right is an excellent example of correctly making the driver aware that driving below the speed limit in the left lane is not legal. Why make it necessary to make signs saying, “Do Not Impede Traffic in The Left Lane”.

These are just some examples of Prioritizing and using common sense to legislate and run the government. That would be in an ideal world. The biggest stumbling block is Politics. Democrats, republican, independent, Tea Party. Are labels just as Liberal and Conservative. Who cares about what party gets credit when the Body does what is best for the people not just some people but all people.  Enforcing the Laws that are on the books efficiently and fairly.

Just a thought Oklahoma