Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 8, On the Way Home

We had a great visit and now we are on the way home.  From Seoul to Tokyo to San Francisco to Houston to Tulsa, 26 hours in all.  I am posting this in San Francisco a bit more than half way home... There's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 7, Winding Down

We have had a nice week and have done what we wanted to do.  We have spent time with family, seen some sights and done some shopping.  Today was spent winding down and getting our ducks in a row for the trip back.  The snow over the last two days has cast a pretty blanket of white over the view from our hotel window.  Susan took the photo.  Paul took us all to the Navy Club for dinner tonight and we have hugged everyone goodbye.  He will pick us up early tomorrow morning and take us to the airport.  It has been fun but we are ready to go home.  

See More Wordless Wednesday Here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 6, Korean War Museum

Entrance to the Korean War Museum looking outward.

The snow which began yesterday continued today, not heavy but steady.   Paul took us to the Korean War Museum where we were out of the snow.  We expected to see exhibits on the recent Korean war of the 1950s but learned that Korea has been the corridor for Asian wars since recorded history began.  We spent an afternoon there and I took lots of photos.  If I had to pick the one thing I found most interesting it would be the "turtle" boat.

The Geobukseon was invented in 1592 by Korean Admiral Yi Sun-Shin.  it was built of heavy timbers and could be moved by oars as well as sails.  It had canons all the way around so it could engage the enemy on all sides.  What made it so effective was its armored cover which protected the ship like a turtle shell.  The heavy timbers were covered with iron plates, each of which had a sharp metal spike at the center.  It not only protected the ship from canon fire but made it very difficult to

board by combatants without impaling themselves on the spikes.  This design permitted the Geobukseon to position itself in the center of a group of enemy ships and fire on them in all directions.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 5, Shinjang Shopping Mall

Seoul is an enormous city with a population of 25 million.  We wanted to take back a few souvenirs for our grandchildren.  Paul took us to a shopping area near Osan Air Base.  This is the sort of place that I recall from the time I served a tour in Korea with the U.S. Army 45 years ago in 1964-65.  We had a good time tramping around looking at things, and ate some good Korean Bulgogi, but didn't buy anything.  Instead we went into Osan and shopped the Base Exchange where we found what we were looking for at a better price.  We let the Air Force do the haggling for us.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 4, A Quiet Day

We enjoyed a quiet Sunday with the family.  Getting all four of these busy people together was a challenge.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 3, Meet our Grandchildren

Autumn is 5 going on 17 and full of non-stop creative energy.  Grant is two and already chattering like a magpie.  They keep Paul and Beth busy but get along well with each other and are fun to be around.  Noisy fun to be sure, but they are really sweet kids.  We are looking forward to enjoying them all week.  We had a wonderful Christmas day and hope you did the same.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 2, Los Angeles to Seoul

 We chased the sun all day from Los Angeles to Tokyo and approached Narita airport just at sunset.  We have crossed the international date line and it is the evening of Christmas Eve. After another inspection by airport security we resumed our flight to Inchon airport in Seoul where we went through Korean customs and were met by Susan's son Paul.  He took us to the hotel where he had made reservations for us.   By the time we reached the hotel it was early on Christmas morning.  We collapsed with the intention of sleeping late.  Tomorrow is Christmas spent with Paul, his wife Beth and the 2 grand children we have not seen for over 2 years.  It will be a merry Christmas.

More SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Korea - Day 1, Tulsa to Los Angeles

We left Tulsa at 4:45 PM, flew to Houston for a 4 hour lay over then on to Los Angeles arriving at 2:00 AM California time or 4:00 AM Tulsa time.  Took a shuttle to a Holiday Inn and will get some sleep.  The flight out of Los Angeles leaves at 11:10 AM for Seoul, South Korea.  Good Night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - An Early Christmas

We are going to Seoul to visit Susan's son Paul for Christmas so had an early celebration with Sue's daughter Jennifer, her husband Jeff and our grandkids Molly and Will.  They both got what they most wanted for Christmas, Molly a guitar and Willy an automatic Nerf Blaster.  Sue cooked a nice pot roast and we enjoyed an early Christmas dinner.  I will post as I can during our trip to South Korea.

See More Wordless Wednesday Here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Visit With Santa

After I retired from 30 years with American Airlines I did 6 seasons as Santa at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.  Thousands of kids passed across Santa's knees.  It was fun.  Last Saturday I got to be Santa again for the annual Christmas party for kids in the New Hope Ministry.  

Judy and a few of the elves say thank you to Santa.

Some of you know that I have been part of the Kairos Prison Ministry for the past dozen years or so and am sensitive to the difficulties of families who have a parent in prison.  My friend Judy Gann is an Episcopal Deacon who heads the New Hope Ministry.  Their focus is on young children who have a parent who is incarcerated.  Statistically these kids have a high probability of incarceration later in life.  

Mrs Claus serves as photographer and all around Santa's helper.

New Hope started out  in about 1995 as a little summer camp staffed by Judy and a few volunteers for about a dozen children with a parent in prison.  The program grew to serve more kids with more activities.  Now New Hope serves children aged 5 through 17 by providing school-based and community-based after school programs; weekend retreats; holiday gatherings, monthly family social events and residential summer camps.

In December they enjoy a Christmas party with games, food, and a visit with Santa for over 100 children.  This was my 3rd year to do Santa for them and I can tell you that these kids are as sweet a bunch of youngsters as you could wish for. Merry Christmas!

See more Ruby Tuesdays

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Bridges - Pedestrian Bridge, Tulsa Riverpark

Tulsa's Pedestrian Bridge connects the east and west banks of the Arkansas River.

Interior of Pedestrian Bridge from east looking west.

The former Midland Valley Railroad trestle crossing the Arkansas just south of the 21st Street bridge was builtt in 1930 and was converted to a pedestrian bridge in 1976. This allows foot and bicycle traffic to cross to running and bicycling paths on both sides of the river.  Wading in the river channel is allowed, but fishing piers on the south face of the Pedestrian Bridge offer a safe location during high water flows in the river.  The river yields catfish and carp but others try their hand at the striped bass which have been introduced into the Arkansas River.

See more Sunday Bridges

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Christmas Lights

Click to enlarge

In Tulsa, as in cities large and small all over America, Lights are strung to celebrate the Holidays.  Sue and I drove around last night and took photographs of some of the decorations.  It was hard to pick out a few from so many to share with you. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  God bless us, every one.

More Weekend Reflections

Friday, December 17, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Purple Sky

North on OK 64 toward Bixby.

 More SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Gnarly Old Tree

Maybe it is an Ent.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday -- Black and white horse

A black and white horse standing in winter pasture

See More Wordless Wednesday Here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Bridges - Muskogee County Bridge

Old bridge in Muskogee Country west of Taft, Oklahoma.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Terrace at Pedestrian Bridge

Looking South towards the Pedestrian Bridge.

Looking North away from the Bridge.  The terrace at the Pedestrian Bridge over the Arkansas River last spring.  We had a lot of rain and the river was about as full as it gets.  The mist gave everything a soft look and made the reflections interesting.  (I took this last May.)
More Weekend Reflections

Friday, December 10, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Fat Black Cows

Just south of Haskell the land near the Arkansas River is flat and rich.  Here it is giving pasture to some fine Black Angus cattle.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sepia Scenes - The Jamesville Bar

The Jamesville Bar on the old Taft Road may have been a swinging place at some time in the past but it is boarded up now.  I would guess it started out as a garage and gas station and may have passed through several metamorphoses before reaching its present life. We assume it has seen better days.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - First Church of Christ, Scientist

Front doors to First Church of Christ, Scientist, downtown Tulsa.  East face.

                         West face.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Little Red Coupe

This nifty little coupe is often seen on the southeast corner of 29th and Harvard.