28 October 2011

2011-10-28, And why is it that we don't live in Austin (TX)?

AustinNightSkyline.jpg (560×373):

Ah, remind me again why we don't live in Austin.  http://bit.ly/u8AMBX
Pretty fancy insane asylum they have there: http://bit.ly/uGiXGN .
I do have a mild allergy to burt orange, I suppose.  http://bit.ly/tEunku . 
Wow. Take a look a this, though. Where's I-35 and which way is south?  http://bit.ly/td7ArP .
Umm, maybe back northwest a little into Hill Country?  http://bit.ly/u0QGtg .
Wonder how much of it is left?  http://bit.ly/sTvAYq
Zilker Park's Botanical Gardens aren't bad, though:  http://bit.ly/vi6fiI .

[in reply to Keith's "loved Austin" comment ...]

Chuck Oates 
That's pretty much what I hear from the Totco Drilling Instrumentation people, too. (Having been headquartered in Norman for quite a while in the '80s, they're now M-D Totco in Cedar Park, TX after several corporate buy-outs and a stint in Hell-on-the-Bayou, a.k.a.: Houston.) Carri was pretty impressed with the availability of vegetarian/vegan fare in Austin's groceries and restaurants, as well as the fact that she drove by three Montessori schools every time she drove anywhere in town. Sedimentation of UT grads for decades in Austin must have done the same thing for Austin that OU grads did for Norman, only much more-so.

I actively looked for work down there when it became obvious that the oil field was going to crash (again!) in 1985, but never could come up with anything, despite the drug and medical equipment manufacturers there. The medical equipment manufacturers finally came to me, in the form of Organon Teknika Corp. in OKC a few years later. That job kept me here for 15 years more, and left me here when I didn't wanna go to St. Louis with 'em when bioMérieux (bee-oh-marry-YOUR) bought out OTC in 2002 and consolidated it with their Missouri facility in 2003.

I don't know how serious any of us are about moving. The sticking point is that spouse Sue has lived in central Oklahoma all her life and has a taproot here that goes clear through to the Indian Ocean on the other side. If you have to live in Oklahoma, Norman's decidedly the place, unless you wanna live among the monied, elite, highly open-minded ("don't you dare put a mosque in *our* town") folks in Edmond or maybe Jenks up by Tulsa. It would probably take what Carri calls a Post-It note from God (having the house blown away by a tornado, etc.) to actually open up the possibility.

Stranger things have happened. I'd have never imagined I could get back into the teaching business after an almost-30 year hiatus (I spent '76-'77 as a TA in the EE and Computer Science School at OU), but the bioMérieux move to St. Louis opened up that opportunity--at what turned out to be tremendous financial and health care security costs, but so far, still very much worth it. Another big medical problem before Medicare or some other comprehensive health care option becomes available might change that, though. ("Don't get sick; if you do, die quickly" isn't a very helpful option!)

I guess for the moment, it's gonna continue to be "We make our plans, and God chuckles." :^)

25 October 2011

2011-10-25, Eleven Reasons to Vote for the Tea Party

From the Facebook site, The Liberal Light.

Oops! Koch Brother-funded Study Confirms Climate Data

Sometimes even research funded by the climate ostriches (head-in-the-sand deniers) can't manage to distort the facts.

Al's Journal : Koch Brother funded Study Confirms Climate Data:

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Winds of Change: Offshore Turbines More Powerful than First Nuclear Plant

Blow, wind, blow!

Winds of Change: Offshore Turbines More Powerful than First Nuclear Plant - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International:

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2011-10-25, Solar Panels in Cold Places?

Photovoltaic panels (solar panels) in Antarctica?  Well, there's potential .


2011-10-24, Northern Lights in the South

Saw a red tinge in the western sky above the trees at my house at around 10:45 p.m. in Norman, but by the time I got to the west end of Main Street (where ya can kinda-sorta see the western sky), it was fade-to-dark-gray time. :^( Back at the house it's dark gray again now (11:30 p.m.) I'm not sure if what I saw was a tinge of Northern Lights or a tinge of response to suggestion. %^S
We've been getting a lot of phone calls tonight about a red sky. I just thought a lot of people had been drinking, but it turns out that red glow is the Aurora Borealis! Apparently this is being observed throughout a large part of the southern United States. It is being caused by a massive burst of solar energy coming from, well, the sun. Let me know if you saw a red sky tonight.--Rick
 ·  ·  · 15 hours ago

2011-10-25, Blogs Moved and Deleted, Amy Dancin' on YouTube

My Google-hosted blog, "From Sentinel Ridge ..." is now at http://profoates.blogspot.com/ . It was previously at chuxstuff.blogspot.com.

Also, Cox Communications informs me that my Cox-hosted blog, http://members.cox.net/chuxstuff/ , along with all of Cox's web hosting, is going away on December 5, 2011. The content of the Cox blog will eventually re-appear on www.chuckoates.com .
 ·  ·  · 5 hours ago

2011-10-25, More Steve Jobs Cartoons

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Thought for the day: "Love Thy Neighbor"

  • My distinct impression growing up was that Jesus was a very inclusive and forgiving person (inviting Zacchaeus the tax collector to have a meal with him, inviting those who are without guilt to cast the first stone, etc.) Some of the people who now purport to follow Jesus under the label "Christian" are anything but inclusive and forgiving. Sad.
  • A bit of tolerance certainly wouldn't hurt any of us, either.

How to Order "Love Thy Neighbor" t-shirts by The Christian Left - The Christian Left Blog:

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24 October 2011

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes

The deserving rich have the tables tilted deeply in their direction, but are trying to convince everyone that they are being soaked.  Let's make it official: bullsh*t!

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes:

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20 October 2011

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Hall of Records

Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota, finally has a much-reduced version of his Hall of Records behind the giant Mt. Rushmore carvings.

The repository, finally created in 1998, contains a number of United States historical documents on 16 porcelain enamel panels encased in a titanium vault. These panels, it's hoped, will explain the purpose and history of the mountain memorial, its country, its presidents, its carvings, and its sculptor to archaeologists tens or hundreds of thousands of years in the future--something of a note in a huge bottle.

For more info., see http://bit.ly/n1Awr6 , http://1.usa.gov/p77n4K ,http://bit.ly/qNabzW , and http://bit.ly/rfHMyj .

For pictures, see

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17 October 2011

2011-10-15, 30th Birthdays for Carri and Dustin

The kids both turn 30. ^.^
My how time flies when you're having fun!

12 October 2011

How to Speak Texan — One Man's Blog

Yet more Texan-isms ...

How to Speak Texan — One Man's Blog:

The article above is in addition to the ones already on chuckoates.com, namely:

Obesity Proportional Circle Map

The map available through the link below shows, by state, what percentage of the population is obese, overweight, and normal. The diameter of the circles is proportional to the population of the state (big population, big circles). The proportion of obese citizens nation-wide is astounding.

Proportional+Circle+Map.png (640×440):

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Akzo Nobel transfers Organon Teknika's diagnostics business to bioMérieux | Cision Wire

July 2001. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Akzo Nobel transfers Organon Teknika's diagnostics business to bioMérieux | Cision Wire:

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06 October 2011

Welcome to Smithsonian!

Some good promotional material from the Smithsonian Institution:

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05 October 2011

Climate Deniers Champion Persecution, Not Proof : NWF View

Upset the apple carts of the vested interests and your fate is the same in any century, the twenty-first, the seventeenth, or the first. For the moment, apparently prosecution and persecution of climate scientists will have to suffice, but can a renewed Inquisition be far behind?

Let's hope the Inquisitors don't roast--on Earth!

Climate Deniers Champion Persecution, Not Proof : NWF View:

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2011-10-03, SNOMNH Visit on Freebie Monday

A visit to Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on Freebie Monday, Chuck Oates's Picasa Web Album

2011-10-03, SNOMNH Visit on Freebie Monday - Chuck Oates - Picasa Web Albums:

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03 October 2011

American Indian Cultural Center and Museum News 2011 (Q3)

Work on Oklahoma City's American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) continues, despite a funding cutoff by the Oklahoma Legislature.

 ·  ·  · 27 minutes ago

    • Chuck Oates Have a look at the site near the intersection of I-35 and I-40. When completed, this will be a tourist attractor, both for planned visits and for spur-of-the-moment visits by the many passers-by travelling these two major interstate highways. (The funding cutoff was, as Oklahoma's legislative decisions often are, penny wise and pound foolish.)
      27 minutes ago · 

    • Chuck Oates The anticipated 2015 opening will be delayed at least one year, but commercial development may help save the project. Certainly, support from Oklahoma's two previous governors will help stir up interest and funding. See http://www.aiccm.org/commercial-development .

      The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum and the complementary commercialdevelopment are projected to draw 425,000 visitors annually to the 210-acre project development. The number of non-local annual visitors is estimated to be 250,000. Regional, national and international visitation retail ...

      22 minutes ago ·  · 

    • Chuck Oates Donate to the AICCM project:http://www.aiccm.org/donation-opportunities .

      Donation to American Indian Cultural Center and Museum Capital Campaign goes to support the construction of a 125,000 square foot Museum and Cultural Center, three outdoor spaces and an operating endowment.