An Okie blog that deserves special attention

March 31st, 2007

I don’t often criticize Okie blogs here on Okiedoke (glass houses and stones, ya know), but every once in a while, one pops out so much it almost pokes you in the eye. Random News From Oklahoma City is a very active group blog with nearly 600 posts this month alone.

At first, it didn’t seem too bad; a little strong on the Google Ads for my taste, but at least they were designed well for maximum clickability. And I don’t hold it against a blogger to advertise, especially when the blog is cranking out 20 posts a day on Oklahoma news.

But then I starting reading the posts:

Elias Hudson wrote: I came across this post today…
[short blurb]
Would anyone care to comment on this?
Posted by chester645 at 4:57 AM
_____________

I read this article on “oklahoma city” but I can’t remember where
[short blurb]
I would like to know your thoughts?

Contributed by Mark Norton
Posted by chester645 at 3:29 AM
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I found this article and thought I would pass it along
[short blurb]

Contributed by Milton Hampton
Posted by chester645 at 2:01 AM
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This article is about “oklahoma city”
[short blurb]

Contributed by Eugene
Posted by chester645 at 1:04 AM
_____________

I read this article on “oklahoma city” but I can’t remember where
[short blurb]
I would like to know your thoughts?

Contributed by Adrian Alexander
Posted by chester645 at 10:17 PM
_____________

I read this article on “oklahoma city” but I can’t remember where
[short blurb]
I would like to know your thoughts?

Contributed by Luther Morrow
Posted by chester645 at 7:07 PM
_____________

Either the blog has a very strict editorial style, or it is a fairly decent splog.

I read an article on splogs before, but can’t remember where.

But I would like to know your thoughts?

Time for Okies to break out the big guns

March 29th, 2007

When I first came to Oklahoma in the 1970s, two things struck me right away: all the gun racks with guns in pickup trucks, and the drivers of those pickup trucks waving at me like I knew them.

I still get waved at quite a bit nowadays driving in rural areas. In fact, I often wave first. But I don’t notice the gun racks anymore. They’re disappearing! As far as I can tell, it’s still legal to use them.

1289.7. Firearms in vehicles. Any person,
except a convicted felon, may transport in a
motor vehicle a rifle, shotgun or pistol, open and
unloaded, at any time. For purposes of this
section “open” means the firearm is transported
in plain view, in a case designed for carrying
firearms, which case is wholly or partially visible,
in a gun rack mounted in the vehicle, in an
exterior locked compartment or a trunk of a
vehicle.

Accordingly, drivers of pickup trucks and SUV’s, or other vehicles without a trunk, shouldn’t be carrying any guns not in “plain view”. That is, unless the gun owner has a permit to conceal a handgun.

And I assume that’s what happened with the guns I don’t see anymore. It’s probably not so much that fewer Okies are packin’ heat these days, but that today’s weapons of choice are smaller and under cover.

There is no doubt that handguns are a problem in Oklahoma. Their threat ranks up there with automobiles.

Firearm deaths are the second leading cause of injury deaths in Oklahoma behind motor vehicle crashes. Firearms account for 1 out of every 4 Oklahomans who die from an injury.

Handguns are used in 60-70% of firearm deaths. That figures to about 1 of every 6 Okies that die from an injury, do so at the barrel of a pistol. Of course, Okies were getting especially wild back in the early 90’s.

In 1995, Oklahoma was facing its eighth straight year of a rise in violent crimes — an increase of 50.8 percent since 1986

Then things changed. State lawmakers reacted by arming citizens with the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, which made it easier for people to hide a handgun on them after Jan, 1, 1996. Two years later, the total firearm death rate decreased 17%; 48% among blacks. Rates of most crime categories generally declined until 2004. Then they started edging back up. Incidents of robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft rose in 2005.

Applications for concealed weapon permits have dropped off. Most Okies that want, and are able, to obtain a permit have already done so. With crime rates no longer easing, perhaps it’s time to move to the next step. Since citizens carrying small, concealed weapons are beneficial to law and order, imagine if folks could also carry their handguns out in the open. After all, if a criminal is deterred by the chance of someone having a gun, wouldn’t actually knowing a potential victim was armed be an even bigger deterrent? Think about it. If you were going to assault someone, would you go after the guy with a 45 on his hip or the person who may or may not have a gun?

Besides, my .357 magnum revolver is to big to easily conceal. I tried one time and was extremely embarrassed; three women approached me asking, “Is that a handgun, or are you just happy to see me?”

Not to mention how cool I look with a leather holster strapped against my thighs.

Quick quiz on Oklahoma gun laws.

Selling Okiedoke

March 28th, 2007

Google’s done something to this blog. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s got to be something equivalent to receiving a higher credit rating. Over the past few weeks, visitor traffic from Google search referrals has soared. (Of course, when I say ‘soar’, you have to remember that I’m no eagle here. I soar with the songbirds. Or maybe the scavengers.)

In any case, visits to Okiedoke have seen a slow increase over the years. During the last election season, about 800 visits a day were recorded. That number dropped some after November but rebounded fully be February. (A visit is defined as a unique IP accessing a page, or pages, within an hour. Therefore, it’s possible to have multiple visits per unique visitor, assuming that some of the unique IPs are logged with more than an hour between requests.) March is averaging 1000 visits a day so far, with 1300 yesterday alone. Today’s figure looks to exceed that amount due to a surge of search referrals for the term “Chinese MG”. Total referrals from search engines are now about 60% of all visits to Okiedoke.

It seems posts from this blog are appearing higher in Google search results for all kinds of terms. Don’t ask me why. I tried finding out using this: Why improvement in Google ranking of Okiedoke? The top two results link to this blog!

I guess I should be excited, but there’s something unsatisfying about gaining visitors that will likely be disappointed when they arrive and, to top it off, most of them not even Okies. It’s almost enough to make a guy put up some Google advertisements. Hey, I wonder if that would improve my blog ranking?

Word power cubed

March 28th, 2007

I’m not sure if 14 year old Trent Brownen is a nerd or not, but let me just say that his favorite word is tesseract.

An eighth-grader from Minco today won the Oklahoma State Championship in the fifth annual Reader’s Digest National Word Power Challenge, America’s premier vocabulary competition. Trent Brownen, a student at Minco Middle School, will join the top winners from all 50 states to battle for the national title and $50,000 in college scholarships at the 2007 National Championship in Orlando, Florida, May 14-15.

And if you don’t know what tesseract means, look it up yourself. I had to. Or, if you just want to play with one.

Okies scorned with a smile

March 28th, 2007

Jane Smiley is an accomplished writer living in California and regarded highly by many of America’s intellectual elite. Ms. Smiley feels strongly about global warming, yet, don’t confuse her with those compassionate unthinking liberal types.

Back in 2004, when Bush seemed to win the Presidential election for the first time, I made a vow. It was that in future years, if I happened to see an elderly homeless person holding out his hat, I would lean down and ask him who he voted for in 2004. If he said “Bush”, I planned to step over him and walk on.

Her logic is so simple, even us simple-minded Okies can understand it.

In this same vein, I plan not to lift a finger to help the State of Oklahoma if Senator Inhofe continues to reject global warming in the sorts of rude terms that he used with Al Gore last week.

I would remind Ms. Smiley of the many thousands of Okies who have voted against Sen. Inhofe and the thousands more who disagree with his position on global warming, but she obviously doesn’t care. She explains:

In a democracy, the citizens are responsible. In the end, they can only plead that they were ignorant or misled or lied to or tricked for a few years. After that, it is their responsibility to get a clue and get rid of the officials who have been misleading them, or lying to them, or tricking them, and also the ones who are as dumb as a bag of hammers, as Senator Inhofe repeatedly reveals himself to be. All wounds, in a democracy, are ultimately self-inflicted.

Which brings us back to President Bush’s re-election. Since Americans had four years to get a clue about George the Younger, and still returned him to office, Ms. Smiley’s attitude could apply to all Americans – don’t lift a finger for anybody, other than the middle one. And especially if it’s for Oklahomans. After all, a bunch of them voted for not only George Bush, but Jim Inhofe too!

Defining SUVs

March 21st, 2007

ITLnet Blog alerts us to an interesting free program, WordWeb:

WordWeb is a quick and powerful international English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links.

Unfortunately, I can’t use it.

You may use the program free of charge indefinitely only if

* You take at most 4 flights (2 return flights) in any 12 month period
* AND you do not own or regularly drive an SUV (sports utility vehicle).

Since we are some of the few people who take their SUV off pavement every time it’s driven, and even occasionally use 4 wheel drive, I’ll have to forget about the software.

But first let’s look at the licensing logic of this British software company. Compare my SUV-sized vehicle carbon foot print with that of an English compact car.

Our SUV –
Driven 5,040 miles in previous 12 months
5,040 miles at 17 mpg avg. = 296 gallons of gas burned per year

2008 Bentley Continental GT
Driven 5,040 miles per year
5,040 miles X 14 mpg avg. = 360 U.S. gallons of gas burned per year

Totals =
Us SUV drivin’ Okies – 296 gallons of gas
Them uppity limeys – 360 gallons of gas

Gore faces Inhofe

March 21st, 2007

Environmentalists are anxiously awaiting today’s appearance of former Vice President Al Gore before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The question on everyone’s mind seems to be if Gore will be able to stand up to 15 minutes of questioning from perhaps the world’s foremost authority on the hoax of global warming. That’s right… Oklahoma’s own Sen. James Inhofe will be there. And he won’t let Gore blow any smoke up his ass!

Personally, I think Gore can hold his own against Inhofe, but some pro-atmosphere people are worried. They understand Inhofe and respect him.

Sen. James Inhofe is a paranoid, belligerent, unrepentant party-hack fruit loop of the old school. He is, however, well-rehearsed. He’s firing with an intellectual BB gun, but he knows how to work that little pump-action stock like a kid on Christmas morning. He can get quite a few shots off in 15 minutes.

Gore will need to get around the red herrings and half-truths with some grace, without getting dragged into the technoscientific weeds…

Technoscientific weeds? Is that what they call it now? Whatever. All I know is that Gore better have his boots on. And pull them up.

This is not spam

March 21st, 2007

Pardon the unusual gap in blog posts here. I’ve got a bunch of interesting and funny things to say, but I’m trying to improve Okiedoke’s blog quality ranking as per Google’s blog search patent application.

The frequency at which new posts are added to the blog document may be a negative indication of the quality of that blog document.

That makes sense. Quality takes time, so an extended length between blog posts would imply more thought was taken to create them. That’s the easy part in making Okiedoke a quality blog according to Google guidelines. But then they throw a curve:

The content of the posts in the blog document may be a negative indication of the quality of that blog document.

I figure the best I can do with that is not to talk about my erectile dysfunction.

Oh yes, tags are supposed to help also.

Tags: Google, makes sense, Okiedoke, interesting and funny things to say, quality blog, the best, not talk about erectile dysfunction.

Okie round-up

March 17th, 2007

Big Ass Belle battles with the guilt of grandsons.
Oklahomeless gets combative and kind of likes it.
Sidebar Blog: Law and Disorder, Okie Style.
Ethan Brown helps to color websites.
Oklahoma Women’s Network lists the best and worst state economies for women.
dogscatskidslife updates on the latest pet food recall.
Ruff Draft springs a question of life.
Dan has something to say about stinkin’ pear trees. And apologizes for it.
McCarville Report plays the gadfly on the wall.
dustbury goes on about blogevity.
Oddities Abound offers a lesson in preparing invitations.

When Okies go bad

March 16th, 2007

In Enid:
Folks learned not to screw with the fire chief. When the chief told his department’s apparatus committee on Monday that he wanted a map of bridges with weight limits, and didn’t have it by Wednesday, he responded.

A portion of West Randolph could be closed for up to six months after a bridge collapsed Wednesday night after a city fire truck drove over it.

“There is a sign on each side of the bridge that says 13 tons, and we drove over it with a 75,000-pound truck,” said Enid Fire Chief Phil Clover.

The bridge costs about $250,000 more than a map.

In McAlester:

The U.S. attorney’s office has filed a motion to quash a subpoena served on FBI Agent Gary Graff in connection with a civil suit filed by former state Sen. Gene Stipe.

A federal attorney is arguing that Graff’s testimony might “conflict with an ongoing criminal investigation”.

I could understand if the agent’s testimony would hamper the investigation, but why would it conflict with it?

In Dewey:
Sara Evans found herself in an awkward position when she awakened naked with a man who she said had raped her.

… she “felt weird and thought that she had been drugged.” At that time she reportedly moved out of the residence that she had been sharing with the alleged perpetrator.

Police later learned that Evans had been allegedly keeping contact with the man that she had accused of the sexual assault via cell phone. Police also received a report that Evans had moved back in with the man.

Sara is out of jail on a $2,500 bond.

In Owasso:
The crime rate has dropped 18%.

I don’t have a reason as to why,” Chief Dan Yancey said.

Here is one possibility:

Suspect may be posing as FBI agent in Owasso

Hey, whatever works.

In Claremore:
A ruly mob gathered at the community center to find out about getting a grand jury to investigate the county judicial system.

Those in attendance had their own reasons for wanting to aid in the request, including what some called “unnecessary” run-ins with law enforcement and the court system.

Rumors were that a similar protest was being held in the county jail by some folks who have had “necessary” run-ins with law enforcement and the court system.

In Cushing:

Brandon M. Thompson, 26, was arrested at 12:08 p.m. for allegedly having no driver’s license

That should probably read: Someone resembling Brandon M. Thompson, allegedly 26, was allegedly arrested at or around 12:08 p.m. for allegedly having no driver’s license.

In Luther:
With the trash dumpsters overflowing at the city ball fields from people dumping construction materials and furniture in them, city officials had to take action.

The Town of Luther unanimously approved to replace the 2-yard dumpster with 3-yard dumpsters.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

After some disagreement, a sign saying “No alcoholic beverages,” was approved

It’s kind of surprising Luther won’t let folks throw away their alcoholic beverages. At least there was disagreement about it.

In McCurtain County:
Justice was considerably slowed when no one knew the definition of “quick”.

If you don’t know what that means, you’re in good company: The case sent even some local lawyers back to study the statutes.

Outside the hearing of the jury last week, Special District Judge Gary Brock and attorneys for both sides went over Oklahoma law concerning the killing of the unborn.

Turns out that a “quick child” is a fetus less than 24 weeks that can wiggle.