Second to last Okiedoke post

Today I take a big step toward accomplishing one of two major goals I set for myself decades ago as a young buck. That step is to idle this blog. And it’s not a step I take lightly, for I’ve enjoyed my time as an “Okie blogger”. I feel Okiedoke had a good run of almost six years, officially launching on July 4th, 2003. Although I will concede the effort, and quality, were lacking the past couple of years.

This blog has always been about me. Indeed, it has been argued that everything a person does in life is to make themselves feel better. When I sacrifice my time volunteering for some civic duty, it makes me feel better about myself. When I put a check in the mail to some organization, I am a little more comfortable while snacking in my air conditioned living room watching pictures of people suffering on TV. When I draw attention to others in the Oklahoma blogosphere, I too, gain from the exposure.

And Okiedoke has received more than its share of exposure. Who would’ve thought that a mis-educated, grammatically challenged smart-ass like me could produce an Oklahoma oriented blog that folks would notice? And return to. For the record:

  • Okiedoke has used three different types of software to manage content: WebAPP, b2, and, since July 2004, WordPress.
  • Blog traffic peaked in 2007 with 130,000 page views a month.
  • Noted in “foreign” newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post. And covered in local newspapers ranging from dailies like The Oklahoman to weeklies like the Oklahoma Gazette.
  • Featured in Oklahoma Magazine and Oklahoma Today.
  • Exposure in television media including KWTV, KOCO, and NBC. (One of my photos on this blog was sold to NBC News and featured in a prime time broadcast.)
  • Originated the Okie Blog Awards.
  • Conducted the state’s first Sexiest Power Women contest.
  • Organized the first Okie Blogger Round-up.
  • Publicly embarrassed myself 1,362 times. (That I know of.)

Yep, this blog has had its moments. But it’s time to put ‘Okiedoke Mike’ to rest and move on to a new adventure in writing, my remaining goal in life, to author a book. It’s a project that I’ve kept in the back of my mind for decades, and for just as long, have been accumulating information about. The proper inspiration has finally kicked in and as I dig through the boxes of musty archives, my mind seems to be tuned for approaching this monumental task. For while I realize the task ahead is daunting, it doesn’t feel that way right now. Because, like this blog, I’ll be writing this book for me. Not for money, or fame, but for the selfishness of writing something of which the creation is its own reward. And if it sells one copy or a million, I will be satisfied. OK, OK, I’ll be more satisfied if it sells a million. But not a million times more.

Which brings me to my upcoming last post. That post will be in true Okiedoke style, with a bit of truth, sarcasm, and frutility that this blog represents. It will also peek into my book project and open a personal past that I have largely kept hidden from my blog persona.

While I appreciate any well wishes from readers, comments here are disabled so as to eliminate any site management. I can always be reached at the email address in the upper right of the page.

Here’s to all fellow Okies, especially those who contribute to Oklahoma’s true grassroots media, the Oklahoma blogosphere.

To my readers, thanks for your patronage, and best wishes.

Mike

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Drawing the Motmot and more

Little Axe blogger, Debby Cotter Kaspari, took her little 3″ X 5″ sketch book to the Panamanian jungle.

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Rufous Motmot by D. Kaspari

As a dedicated field artist she uses her signature gesture drawings, field notes and camera to accentuate the rhythms and movements of her animal, plant and landscape subjects. Most of her work is done on paper, either in graphite and pastel, pen and ink, or watercolor; acrylic on board or canvas is used as well.

See more sketch book pages here.
See her website here.

Posted in Culture | 2 Comments

Oklahomans can pass on turnpike PikePass

Uh

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will stop issuing automatic violations for failure to pay tolls until the agency can match its records with Tax Commission records new license plate numbers.

Wouldn’t it make sense to just suspend automatic violations without announcing it? It’s kind of like Wal-Mart publicizing that they have turned off their security systems.

And don’t blame the “Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force”.

The members of the task force are:

Senator Clark Jolley, Co-Chair
Representative Ken Miller, Co-Chair
Senator Charles Wyrick
Representative Randy Terrill
Ms. Andrea Collum
Ms. Staci Foresee

The task force was supported administratively by the staff of the State Senate with assistance from the Tax Commission, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Tourism and Recreation.

After all, they only had since Nov. 6, 2007 to think about this.

Posted in News, Okie money | Comments Off

Not worth the paper it’s printed on

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But to be fair, it is pretty nice paper.

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And I’m not even Republican

I’ve been known to criticize my congressman a bit here on this blog. It really isn’t personal. And for anyone who may think otherwise, perhaps this invitation I received in today’s mail will convince you:

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But what can I get for the man who has everything?

Contributions are limited to $2,400 per person …

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Images to reflect Oklahoma democracy

News aggregator Topix is advertising a new feature:

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Sounds like fun, however I don’t think any of these photos will be getting many votes from Okies. Come to think of it, it would be kind of like voting for a candidate in many state elections.

Actually, the Oklahoma photos are here. Ones like this guy explaining how there’s no reason for folks to worry about the swine flu  little piggy H1N1 virus.

And you’d better hurry. Considering the origination of these photos, I have a feeling this Topix feature won’t be around long.

Posted in Culture | Comments Off

White is cool with Obama

Call me a racist, but when we started to build our home 25 years ago, I thought I’d be more comfortable living with whites rather than darks. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against darkies. It’s just that I thought, in this part of the country, it would be better to live as a good ol’ whitey. And I’m not ashamed to admit I still feel that way. To my surprise, so does President Obama.

US wants to paint the world white

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday the Obama administration wanted to paint roofs an energy-reflecting white, as he took part in a climate change symposium in London.

Yep, we have a honky roof. Well, actually it’s more like a cracker. Perhaps I should explain.

My Okie roof
We built our house in three sections, two of which have slab like roof construction which result in vaulted style ceilings. The outer surface consists of conventional white fiberglass/asphalt shingles over roofing felt and plywood attached to 2X10 rafters. (These are actual 2X10′s salvaged from an old warehouse.)
Approximately 1.5 inches below that a radiant barrier is attached between the rafters similar to the photo at right. Then comes the fiberglass batts. A layer of 4 mil polyethylene is used as a vapor barrier. The area between the plywood and radiant barrier is vented by soffit and ridge vents. This roof section is about 18 years old.

Another, older, roof section is similarly constructed except that it uses shallow cathedral trusses and the radiant barrier is 1/8 inch thick laminated paper with foil on both sides.

White shingle valuation
First of all, it should be noted that white fiberglass/asphalt shingles are only marginally cooler in direct sun than darker colored shingles. The difference is much less than that of a white and black metal surface such as a car body. Good ventilation is likely a greater cooling factor than the color of the shingles. However, I feel even a 10-15 degree cooler roof slightly helps with not only energy costs, but also roof sheathing degradation. The latter is of special concern due to the heat reflected by the radiant barrier.

No way around it, white shingles are just plain uglier than dark shingles. While few people ever see our house in the woods, this fact could affect resale value for urban and suburban homes. Conversely, white shingles do usually cost less.

All in all, for the vast majority of Okies with composition roofs, we’d probably save more energy, and money, with white roofs on our cars than on our homes. Now, metal roofs are another story:

  • Black acrylic paint: 142deg. F
  • Galvanized steel: 138deg. F
  • Red acrylic paint: 106deg. F
  • Light green acrylic paint: 104deg. F
  • White acrylic paint: 74deg. F
  • Hyper white” acrylic paint : 65deg. F
Posted in Editorials, News | Comments Off

DUI checkpoint not adding up

Every once in a while a DUI checkpoint is set up here in Little Axe. They have been located just off of Hwy 9 on 156th St. Police were there again this Memorial Day weekend, Sunday from 5pm – 9pm.

Officers stopped all motorists traveling north and south bound on NE 156th, evaluating a total of 653 vehicles. Charges filed as a result of the checkpoint were;

1 Driving Under the influence (DUI)

1 Driving Under Revocation

And chances are if it was an elected official that got the DUI, he will get off anyway.

Now I’m all for getting impaired drivers off the road, but I question whether the resources used to conduct the operation might be used more effectively in other ways.

Officers working on the checkpoint were working extra duty with funding coming from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the 2M2L grant. The Norman Police Department is aware of the importance of keeping intoxicated drivers off the roadways this holiday weekend. Norman officers sacrificed their personal holiday plans with their families and decided to work extra duty to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers and ensure safe roadways for the community.

Based on my experience of traveling Hwy 9 within Norman for three decades, I’d bet dollars to donuts that utilizing those officers in normal traffic patrol along that highway from between 11pm and 3am on a Friday or Saturday night would reap greater results in not only DUI’s, but also license, insurance, and driving violations.

And the 2M2L grants? 2M2L is a statewide initiative focused on reducing and preventing underage drinking. Their money is likely better spent on funding a different type of compliance check:

… a tool used by law enforcement to identify alcohol retailers that sell alcohol to underage youth.

Posted in Editorials, Okie crime | 3 Comments

Small Monument, Big Debt

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How automakers can reduce repairs

So, President Obama wants to see a “leaner, meaner” GM and Chrysler.

Something like Nissan, maybe.

Listening to Car Talk last week, I heard Tom and Ray comment on how they were unable to obtain a part to repair the fuel system on a seven year old Nissan. Nissan said the part was no longer available and they weren’t making any more. Now that is lean and mean! And smart! Not only will a company show better repair records when there are no parts to fix them, it also takes the guess work out of deciding whether to repair your car or junk it.

Posted in General, News | 2 Comments