Inside the Okie Blog Awards

September 27th, 2007


Votes for the 3rd Annual Okie Blog Awards have been tabulated and the results safely encrypted, awaiting official announcement at the Okie Blogger Round-up in Tulsa October 6.

Dissecting the OBAs

The Okie Blog Awards were created for the purpose of showcasing well-known and lesser-known Oklahoma blogs, and this year’s Awards were again well received with more blogs being nominated than ever. Thirty-six blogs made the final nomination list for the first time. To date, the 2007 Okie Blog Awards website has received more than 2,000 page views, hopefully opening up many Oklahoma blogs to new visitors.

Yet, not everyone was happy. It should surprise no one that most complaints had to do with politics.

2 okiefunks and no Mark Shannon. This ‘contest’ is trivial and meaningless!

And one Okie blogger lamented:

The Okie blog awards are conducted by liberals, dominated by liberals and (shocking) won by liberals.

Unfortunately all of the “awards” in the world won’t make their lies into truth or their hatred into votes for Democrats. But it does make them feel important and authoritative.

Small fish in an even smaller pond… or in this case, glass bowl.

Those weren’t the only complaints. I also received a few suggestions to change some Award categories and/or add to them. One of the suggesters thought the Best Political Blog category should consist of two sub-categories of Best Right and Best Left. While I kind of like the idea, my own sympathies lie toward more non-partisan political blogs, so a third, moderate/non-partisan sub-category would then be in order. Being a simple guy, I thought better of it. However, I have decided to also announce the runner-up blog in each category this year. One reason being that the top two finishers under Best Political Blog have always consisted of both a conservative and liberal blog. Another reason is the slight differences in votes received by the top finishers in many categories. (I had to break a tie in one category.)

Since there are no secret ballots, I avoid revealing too much detail about the results. The method of voting by email proves to be a successful way to prevent ballot stuffing and unqualified voters. Only four ballots (out of 97) were disqualified this year. It should be noted that very few votes came from bloggers using software other than Blogger, WordPress, or Movable Type.

Not all ballots contained votes in every category. Of the approximately 700 votes, the most popular categories for voting were Best Overall and Best Family blogs. Gender of voters was equally divided. (I’m not sure about political persuasion.)

While I do my best to protect the integrity of the Okie Blog Awards, the objective is to have fun while strengthening the Oklahoma blogosphere for liberals, conservatives, and non-partisans alike.

Happy blogging and thanks for your support.

Frosty pro-choice as long as it’s only two

September 26th, 2007

Dart: To Frosty Troy of The Oklahoma Observer for his support of Oklahoma voters having only two parties on the ballot. Frosty says a third candidate might screw up a close race between a Democrat and a Republican. Yeah, that would be terrible. And imagine what might happen if neither a Democrat or Republican was elected; I like to.

Last judgment day for Okie bloggers

September 26th, 2007

Glossy Oklahoma weather wanted

September 26th, 2007

Oklahoma’s favorite Climatological Surveyors are holding a photo contest.

Here are the rules (there aren’t many):

The photo must have been taken in Oklahoma. It must be appropriate for us to display it in the office, and of sufficient resolution to be enlarged.

Here’s how to enter:

Send us a copy (digital or printed) of your photo.

Digital: ticker@mesonet.org … we’ll pass it along

Printed: Oklahoma Climatological Survey
c/o Oklahoma Photo Contest
120 David L Boren Blvd, Suite 2900
Norman, OK 73072

Oh yeah, there’s a prize too.

And as for my entry? After almost three decades as an Okie, this is still the most unusual Oklahoma weather phenomenon I’ve seen to date:

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Mr. Dixon definitely deserves a place on the wall of Oklahoma’s new National Weather Center!

GM-UAW agreement to further boost U.S. drug use

September 26th, 2007

So, the big national strike is over and everyone should be happy:

Stockholders

GM rose 7% after the company settled a strike by reaching a deal on its health care benefits venture with its main union.

General Motors

GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, in a statement, said this negotiation was “one of the most complex and difficult” in the history of the GM-UAW relationship, but said the deal paves the way for the automaker to significantly improve its competitiveness.

And the UAW

“We successfully resolved a lot of issues,” International UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said shortly after 4 a.m. today, surrounded by his top national negotiators, at a news conference in downtown Detroit.

“We feel very good about this tentative agreement.”

“We got the job-security guarantees we were looking for,”

The only people left to please are the workers affected by the agreement and who must approve it.

“All we know is that we’re back to work,” said Mark Cole, 42, a pipefitter with 11 years seniority at a GM assembly plant in Detroit. “That part sounds good.”

But some UAW members harbor doubt:

Gettelfinger turned to Cal Rapson, UAW Vice-President in charge of the GM department and asked him if he wanted to say anything. Rapson sat on his hands and shook his head “no”. I have never seen a more abominable lack of leadership. Rapson put 73,000 workers out on the street and he had nothing to say to them? Rapson should be taken off the job, denied Workers Comp, and placed on extended disability for loss of backbone.

Still others have no doubt:

In 1980 GM employed over 350,000 UAW members. That number has fallen to 73,000. Every UAW contract with GM since 1980 has guaranteed job security. You can bet your paycheck we won’t bet on a stalking horse named Job Security.

Besides GM shedding it’s retiree health care liability by establishing a UAW monitored trust fund called VEBA…

… Gettelfinger said projections showed that it [VEBA] would be solvent for at least 80 years.

… the tentative agreement is expected to include:

• No wage increases.

• A $3,000 signing bonus for workers.

• A two-tier wage and benefits scale for new hires.

• A second-tier of compensation for jobs that GM and the UAW agreed are “non-core” production jobs. This is expected to include many positions in which workers do not have their hands on a vehicle in the assembly process.

• A targeted special attrition program that the automaker expects to offer to relieve the pain of wage reductions for workers currently assigned to jobs defined as “non-core” in the tentative deal.

• The possibility of the automaker maintaining the same level of its U.S. manufacturing workforce.

And that last item is about the best any American manufacturing worker can hope for any more; to maintain. Luckily, the pharmaceutical companies have plenty of solutions.

Taking stock in UAW talk

September 24th, 2007

There was a time, not long ago, that contract negotiations between the UAW and General Motors was a big deal. With the UAW being one of the most powerful and progressive labor unions in the country, compensation for many working Americans were favorably impacted by the outcome of each agreement. These days, not so much.

GM faces strike deadline

The United Auto Workers union set a firm Monday morning deadline to reach a contract with General Motors Corp and threatened to send 73,000 GM factory workers on strike if no deal is reached.

The strike deadline raised the stakes in the closely watched labor talks after a weekend of bargaining brought the two sides close to a historic cost-cutting deal for the automaker.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger postures:

“We’re shocked and disappointed that General Motors has failed to recognize and appreciate what our membership has contributed during the past four years

“This is not an idle threat,” he said. “A strike deadline is not meant for show. But it is possible that this will be a long night with a handshake at the end of it.”

What this tough talk says to me is that the UAW will be making major concessions in this agreement and therefore needs to put on a fighting face before bringing such a contract to the membership for approval.

How sure am I of an agreement heavily favoring GM and gaining membership approval? Well, I still have that $20 GM stock from March of last year.

Then again, I’m still holding Syntroleum, too.

Bank of Oklahoma poses threat

September 23rd, 2007

Some folks may be suspicious of a Tulsan who likes to spend time in San Francisco. Others may simply be wary of any oil and financial industry baron that increases his wealth by billions of dollars per year.

2005 = $4.4 billion
2006 = $8.5 billion
2007 = $11 billion – 26th richest in U.S.
– Forbes

Of course I’m referring to George Kaiser, the state’s richest man and one influential Okie! His grip on the natural gas industry is becoming so potent that it may not be long before Americans will have to pay him royalties just to fart.

But, me being a propane user, what concerns me most is one of Kaiser’s controlling interests; that of BOK Financial.

… parent to Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of Texas, Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of Arkansas, Colorado State Bank, Bank of Kansas City, and Bank of Arizona …

Specifically, it’s a threat of powerhouse Bank of Oklahoma that I want to alert you to.

Bank of Oklahoma is the largest full-service bank in our original market and is the leader in consumer and commercial banking, including small and middle market business lending.

Folks trust Bank of Oklahoma. And that is the problem.

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Don’t trust the above email. And don’t trust the web page shown below: (http://oklahomas.110mb.com/connect/BOO.htm)

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Since I had to find out about this scam from a European company, I trust BOK will soon inform their customers via email, or at least with an insert in their gas bill.

And if you think George Kaiser owes me something for protecting his customers, please tell him so.

Rank Oklahoma political blogs

September 21st, 2007

I see where some bloggers are touting their ranking among the most influential political blogs in Oklahoma.

Rank Blog

1 TPD Blog
2 The Lost Ogle
3 Oklahoma Political News Service
4 My Tulsa World Blog
5 SoonerThought
6 The McCarville Report Online
7 The Red Dirt Political Report
8 Oklahomily the Blog
9 Living On Tulsa Time
10 Okiedoke – Vintage Okie opinion
11 Stan Geiger
12 BatesLine
13 meeciteewurkor
14 Bounded Rationality
15 blue oklahoma
16 Satellite Sky
17 Speaker Cargill’s Blog
18 MedBlogged
19 OKLAHOMA OpinionsViewsOK.comOkieLife.com
20 Sidebar Blog: Law and Disorder, Okie Style

BNN’s Oklahoma Blogosphere Influence Rating combines a variety of data sets to determine which blogs are most powerfully influencing the direction of the Oklahoma political blogosphere.

I don’t know what concerns me most: that Okiedoke has any political influence at all, or that a Tulsa Police Department Blog has the greatest.

When wine reviews stink

September 21st, 2007

One reason I stopped doing wine reviews is that the terminology used often results in me sounding like a pompous idiot. It’s not sounding like an idiot that bothers me so much, it’s the pompous part I can do without. For instance, there’s only so many catchy phrases a person can use without being downright silly.

I found a beautifully clear ruby colored wine with a nose reminiscent of an Oklahoma blackjack stand on a cool, damp Oklahoma morning…

I happen to live in a wooded area containing plenty of blackjack trees and spend many a morning among them. Let me tell ya, if I ever open a bottle of Merlot that smells like damp blackjack, it’s going back to where I got it. Now, a wet post oak aroma….

Okie bloggers unite!

September 20th, 2007

Just got off the phone with Kim, manager of the Cherry Street Hideaway Pizza in Tulsa. Apparently, she knows very little about Oklahoma blogs, because she has offered her private dining room to host a gathering of Okie bloggers. Kim promises good food, beer, wine and free wi-fi.

Award winning Hideaway Pizza lays claim to having the oldest pizza establishment in Oklahoma and is rated #14 among Tulsa restaurants by Yahoo Travel. Any place rated above #14 would never have us, lest their ranking be threatened.

Okie Blogger Round-up
October 6
4pm – 6pm

Okie Blog Awards ceremony at 5pm

– CORRECTION –
The Cherry Street Hideaway Pizza location is on East 51st 15th Street. 😕 MAP

Hideaway Pizza
1419 E 15th St
Tulsa (918 582 4777)

Hope to see you there!

Notice – the private dining area is limited to 60 people. But it would be neat to take over the whole restaurant.