Posts Tagged “Oklahoma”

The Benefits of Having That Pioneer Spirit and Self Reliance

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By Larry Oscar

Well, here we are well into another year. We have a lot more people now that have moved to our lake in Northeastern Oklahoma, and they have come from all parts of the nation and all walks of life. They have brought with them their customs and the local culture from whence they came.

Some of them have found it hard to adjust to our frontier way of life. Oklahoma is just a bit over 100 years old . We have our own way of doing things and our own outlook on life. For the most part we are individual self-reliant people who want to be left alone. The pioneer spirit and that culture of freedom rings true for all Native American people. And in Oklahoma that is our native culture.

That is one reason we see things so different than many of the other more populous states. One thing we are not very good at is following the crowd. We are independent thinkers. Which is one reason we are slower to adopt change. It is also why we don’t suffer the problems that other states get themselves into.

The common sense of the people in Oklahoma is without question. “Look before you leap “ has been a very common practice among our people. It is for that reason we are not in the financial trouble many states are in. We are leaders in many other ways. While we are a heavy oil and gas producing state we are also the third leading producer of wind powered energy.

Our state also has an abundance of lakes and water resources. That is often a shock to those who live in coastal states. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “Where do you sail in Oklahoma?” In fact, the Catalina Nationals will be held this summer on Lake Fort Gibson for the second time. I travelled in 48 of our 50 states in my travels. During all of those travels I found no other state that had a better quality of life than we do here in Oklahoma.

One thing that has made Oklahoma a great place to live is our work ethic. We have always been a people that has a “can do” attitude. A strong work ethic and family oriented value system has been a hallmark of the Oklahoma people. My grandfather, Earnest A. Hetherington, owned a farm just west of Cushing, Oklahoma. He fathered and raised 8 children in the middle of the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

Yet he never took a single dime of government handout money. It was a matter of pride with him. Compare that with today’s new millennial generation of over emotional whiners and complainers. There is a stark contrast to be made here. It is my belief that the move to a dependant society in our country is due in large part to single parent families.

It was my father that told me to “suck it up, nobody owes you a thing.” If I had been raised only by my mother I would have grown up thinking that we were all just going to dance in the daises and sing kumbaya. The ethics parents pass on to their children does matter. In a world that is growing more emotional and intolerant of others beliefs you can expect change agents to cause a higher degree of social upheaval. Our close link to the values of our forefathers has kept the people of Oklahoma more grounded in reality than other states.

Regardless of the situation you can count on Oklahomans to survive. We have survived floods, tornados, droughts, fires, and even a losing season at OU in our past, and we are still standing tall. So bring on 2019, hoist a few beers, grit your teeth, and hang on.

(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)

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Show Me a Cat, or a Woman, That Will Fetch a Paper

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Cats are very controversial animals.

It’s amazing how cats can bring out the worst in some people. For some strange reason cats are not a “neutral” animal. Everyone seems to have a definite opinion of cats. They are either liked or intensely disliked. You could see a yak walking down the street and when someone said “Hey look there goes a yak” the response would be a shrug of the shoulders and a comment like “so what, yaks are yaks.”

However, you can see a cat cross the street and make the comment “Look a cat,” and someone will almost always respond with a death threat for the cat. There are many articles written about why people hate cats and almost all are written by cat lovers. They all seem to miss the point and many attribute the dislike of cats to some primal “fear of cats.”

Fear could not be further from the truth. Most cat haters derive their dislike of cats from experience with them. Cats are not very trainable. You never see a duck hunter going out with his retriever cat to bag some mallards. You never see a fetch cat get the morning newspaper, or see a sign that says “Beware Watch Cat.”

Cats have an attitude. They are demanding and tend to ignore any command you give them. Come to think of it, so do most wives.

On the other hand a friend of mine says they are just stupid and don’t have the capacity for learning commands and spoken words like dogs do.

Cats don’t like water and most humans do. This may have something to do with it. You can always take a dog out boating. Dogs love to swim and play in the water. Cats on the other hand, almost never bathe. They sit around and lick themselves. I’m sorry, licking yourself is no substitute for a good soaking bath.  John S. Nichols said, “Cats aren’t clean, they’re just covered with cat spit.”

On top of that, they cough up large slimy hair balls. You would think that cats would learn that eating your own hair makes you barf, but no,they keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.  Sort of like politicians.

Women seem to like cats more than men do. Maybe they have more in common with cats than with dogs. After all, I don’t know of any women who are good at fetching a downed bird.

Dogs are very grateful animals. They will wag their tail to show satisfaction and they will eat just about anything you give them. Cats are no where near as amiable.

Cats wag their tail to show you they are annoyed, and they quite often turn down  the same food they just ate four hours ago. Cats are not reliable sniffers. This may be the reason you never see an officer walking around an airport with his drug sniffing cat. Cats get away with more.

If the cat took a dump on your wife’s favorite rug it would be no problem. You would hear comments like “poor thing, you must be feeling bad.”

But if you just happen to spill some barbeque sauce or beer on the same rug all hell would break loose. Just what is it about these worthless cats that deserves this special treatment? Cats are just not very smart. A cat will whine and want to go outside on a cold raw day only to whine and want back inside 10 minutes later. Then in an hour or less the stupid cat will forget how raw and cold it was and want back outside again.

In my opinion cats bring out the empathy in most right-brained people. Cats, being basically worthless, bring out an unconscious empathy for such a stupid creature. A lot of people are also like that. Not all cats are cast from the same mold. Some cats have an identity crisis and even think they are dogs.

There is no greater cat hater than a cat that thinks it’s a dog, sort of like reformed smokers. Now don’t get me wrong. Not all cats are worthless. Some cats are very good mousers and ratters. Outdoor cats are preferred by most ranchers and farmers for that very reason. I guess most of us guys can learn to tolerate

 Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.


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Feds Issue Exemption for Carriers Helping with Oklahoma Tornado Destruction

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IMG_5935Darrell L. Ruban, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Field Administrator, declared a regional emergency as of 10 a.m. EDT, May 21, 2013, for the state of Oklahoma following the May 20 tornado that cut a wide swath of destruction through the town of Moore and surrounding areas.

The declaration provides broad regulatory exemptions to CFR Parts 390-399 for truck carriers and operators providing emergency relief materials and services to Oklahoma customers. Drivers for motor carriers operating under the declaration must obtain and keep a copy of the declaration in their possession. Carriers, drivers and vehicles currently under an out-of-service order are not eligible for the exemption.

The declaration will be in effect “for the duration of the emergency or 15 days (June 5, 2013), whichever is less.”

In reply, refer to: MC-EFS-SV


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A Look at “Oblama,” “Libtards,” and Oklahoma Values

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More and more often you here the phrase “you just can’t make this stuff up.” Funny, most of the time it’s in regard to something from Washington.   Just when you think the world can’t get any more crazy…… it invariably does. It seems like the entire world has lost all common sense and irrational behavior is now the new norm.

Lliving in Oklahoma, and having my ancestry go back to before the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run, it is easy to see why we think very differently than much of the rest of the nation.  Oklahoma Territory was settled by a diverse set of fiercely independent people. They range from native American tribes, outlaws, oil barons, farmers, coal miners, cattle ranchers, and even bootleggers.  The makeup of our state is not a socially unified group of people.

If you walk up to a native Oklahoman and tell him “we are all in this together,” you will more often than not get a frown, and a reply that lets you know that they will be the judge of who and whom they are “in this together with” and not you.

We are individuals in Oklahoma, and not members of some group of human lemmings like they are in other states. If you have moved here from the “Left Coast” or “Taxachusetts,” you will quickly learn that we don’t appreciate socialists.   In fact, you may get invited to return from whence you came!

There is such a thing as “Oklahoma Values” and most Oklahomans will take up arms to defend them, including me. Here are some of our Oklahoma values:

1. You must stand on your own two feet! Nobody “owes” you anything. Your success in life depends on your decisions and your behavior.   It’s nobody’s  fault but your own.    Got that “Oblama!”

2. We “give”…We don’t “give back”!   As Oklahomans we have worked hard to get where we are in life. When you “libtards” ask us to “give back” you are marginalizing our accomplishments in life. We didn’t get where we are by being “lucky” or “fortunate.” The vast majority of Oklahomans got where we are by hard work and being willing to take a business risk. If you want us to donate our time and money you better just ask us to “give.”   Don’t insult our individual accomplishments by asking us to “give back.”

3.  Never blame your parents!  Your parents only have you for about 18 years.  And by the time you reach 13, you won’t listen to anything they have to say anyway, so take responsibility for your own life and your own actions. You won’t find 40-year-old Oklahomans blaming their parents.

4. We shoot guns!  Oklahoma is a land of the outdoors. We fish, hunt, camp out, hike, and we love things that explode and make noise. If you come from a part of the country where you have never been exposed to firearms, don’t bring your anti-gun mentality to Oklahoma. We are proud of our western heritage and WE SHOOT GUNS!

5. No whining!  Oklahomans are not whiners. Good and bad things happen in life.  That’s just the way it is so learn to live with it. You will have good and bad times.  We lived through the dust bowl, WWII, and the Great Depression all at once.  The woosies among us left for California.  I could write a book on that.

6.  The government can roll it up into a nice tight ball and put it where the sun never shines!  Oklahomans don’t want a nanny state government.  We will take care of our own and ourselves. Whiz on the government.  We are a free people who will live free or die.  Don’t bring your big government mentality into our state. You will find that Democrats and Republicans in our state consider themselves as Oklahomans and brothers first.  We Oklahomans stand together, and we will determine how we live and not some all powerful dictator from Washington. 

The list of Oklahoma values is much longer than the six listed above, and any native Oklahoman will be happy to expound on the full list if asked.  Oh…one more Oklahoma value. We like burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fried chicken, and 32oz soft drinks.  Got that New York? — By Larry Oscar

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Central USA Loading Opportunities

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Truckers wanting to find a load in the mid-west for delivery to the West Coast in order to take advantage of attractive eastbound produce rates are finding it difficult.  Even when a load is obtained, the westbound freight rates are horribly low.

Obtaining produce loads in the Central USA somewhere between the Canadian and Mexican borders isn’t necessarily easy, but here’s some of the best opportunities.

Watermelons may not be your favorite items for hauling, particularly if you’re stuck alongside some field waiting for enough product to be harvested to fill your trailer.  Additionally unloading charges are something you have to be keenly aware of, because they can be pretty darn steep, especially if the melons are loaded in bulk, and not in bins placed on pallets.

Watermelons shipments are occuring everywhere from South Texas, to Western Oklahoma, the bootheel of Southeastern Missouri, and from Southwest Indiana and Southeastern Illinois.

Mississippi is still shipping sweet potatoes, although loadings out of Louisiana are pretty done for the season.

In Michigan, blueberry shipments are gearing up, joining a number of vegetables which are already available.

Missouri watermelons are grossing – about $1500 to Atlanta.

Mississippi sweet potatoes, about $1200 to Atlanta.

Texas watermelons, about $1400 to Oklahoma City.

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Some Top Choices are Watermelon, Cherries and Tomatoes

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This is the most fun time of the year buy fresh produce, unless of course you are growing your own.  Home grown tomatoes can’t be beat.  Eat ’em like apples!

Here in Oklahoma for only a few weeks, we savor our Porter peaches, grown around the small town of Porter, OK on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line.  Nothing compares!  Wish I could say the same for peaches coming from both coasts.  Their quality has been all over the board this summer.  Some has been juicy and sweet, while others have been dry and tastless.

The same goes for strawberries, although they have been disappointing more often than not.

The pleasant surprises for me in the produce departments this summer has been the seedless watermelons, and the bing cherries – both from California and Washington state.  The melons and cherries have been reasonably priced and the quality has been quite good.  Watermelons are now coming out of areas such as the bootheel of Missouri as well as Illinois and Indiana.

Kiwifruit has been a great buy for months.  I pick it up regularly at three for a dollar.  It hasn’t mattered whether it has been from California, Mexico, Chile, etc.  It has all been good….Another excellent buy are avocados!  I have had them from both California and Mexico recently.  They are great in salads.  I also love to spread them on crackers and have with a glass of red wine.


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Oklahoma is Building New Weigh Stations

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My home state of Oklahoma just opened the first of eight new weigh stations April 27th and was very proud of the fact it nailed its first overweight big rig within an hour of its opening.  State officials would only say the truck was significantly over the 80,000-pound gross vehicle weight limit at the new $11 million port of entry, located  just south of the Kansas-Oklahoma state line on I-35.  Oklahoma officials also are very excited that the next new weigh station will be opening soon on I-40, in Western Oklahoma just east of the Texas state line.  This weigh station will “only” cost $8.7 million.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and other Okie bureaucrats are very excited and can’t wait to get the all eight new port of entries in operation and start racking in the dough.  Afterall, it’s going to take a lot of fines to cover those millions and millions of dollars to build these weigh stations.  These new facilities also will be equipped with a lot high tech equipment ranging from weigh-in-motion that weighs big rigs at highway speeds (at least on I-35); license plate readers; automatic checks of truck registration and safety rating, among many other features.

Oklahoma officials cite the need for replacing 50-year-old existing weigh stations to protect the state’s investment in highways, bridges and city streets, as well as making the roads safer for motorists.

These are fine, good and honorable goals.  Let’s just make sure these are the true goals, and that they are not tempted to start issuing fines, and putting truckers out-of-service for less than honorable reasons.  We all know, safety inspectors can be very picky and cause a lot of problems for drivers, even for minor infractions.  I’m not saying this will happen, but when there’s bills to be paid to help justify these new ports of entry, one never knows.



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