...on subjects that interest me, including but not limited to Tulsa, technology, politics, religion, and life.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Yesterday I woke up to find that 129th had been heavily sanded. Better than the day before, but still treacherous to drivers as cars seemed to bounce back and forth between the ruts in the road. This morning I awoke to see the roads actually getting plowed.
Technorati Tags: ice
129th East Ave
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 9:41 AM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
This morning I watched channel 6 to catch the weather before I headed to work. There was a report from Harvard and Pine close to Clinton Middle school. The reporter was standing on Harvard and it looked almost completely clear, a result, he said, of thousands of hours of overtime. I talked to a friend who lives close to Mid Town and he said the roads were also pretty good. Another friend of mine who lives in Broken Arrow says his streets are perfectly clear, but as soon as you hit Tulsa they are covered in ice. Garnett, 31st and 129th are all in bad shape. Overtime notwithstanding, the roads in East Tulsa suck hard!
Technorati Tags: ice
129th East Ave
Monday, January 15, 2007
Its day three of the Midwest Ice storm of 2007. We are fortunate to still have power, unlike the tens of thousands in Oklahoma and Missouri who have been hit much harder than we were here in Tulsa. I spoke to a friend of mine in Springfield Missouri, who compared his town to a war zone. “It looks like someone took a machine gun and shot up all the trees!” My friend was without power for about 2 days. Fortunately, he was one of the lucky few whose power was restored this morning.
Coincidently my furnace broke down today. Fortunately for me my neighbor is a general contractor and he helped me diagnose the problem. It turned out to be a ten dollar part so I fixed it my self. Being without heat for only an hour helped me realize how blessed I am. I’ve spent the last 3 days inside with my kids playing and having fun. It could have been so much worse; instead it was more like a little vacation from the ordinary.
Technorati Tags: ice
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I've just received my coffee roaster! Within 15 minutes of opening the box, I had freshly roasted coffee, and it smells sublime. However, agony of agonies, I can't ground and drink my first cup for a few hours. The beans need time to rest. I'm making a video of the entire process so be on the look out for that.
Technorati Tags: coffee
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Last Night I attended my very first TPS School Board meeting. I decided to go for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the four-year-old will go to school next year. I feel like I need to be involved in her education and that includes knowing what is going on at TPS. Secondly, I learned, through Tulsa Chiggers, that the board was planning to vote on a resolution that would limit charter schools in Tulsa.
Since following TPS is relatively new to me, I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum and just blog on what I saw. (Our Tulsa World has video)
Mr. Livingood (District 7) gave his reasoning for writing the resolution. Essentially, he felt that because the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits the legislature from enacting local or special laws, the Okalahoma Charter School Act is therefore unconstitutional because it only pertains to certain school districts. He suggested that because he took an oath to uphold the State Constitution, every time the school board approved or renewed a charter school he was breaking his oath, despite the fact that no court has found this law unconstitutional
I took note of two speakers the first was Barbara Gamble, the Dean of Students at Dove Science Academy.
...We are grateful for the opportunity to work within your district of choice…We urge the board of education and TPS administration to take further serious action to finalize the dispute over the charter school act. It will be nice for all parties concerned in this matter to put this behind them and to continue with their business of education. We feel this matter has been sufficiently discussed in the venue and should be sent to the Oklahoma Legislature and perhaps to the Supreme Court.Second was Harold Roberts, development director for Deborah Brown Community School.
Delivering a negative message the public on a yearly basis before New Year enrollment confuses parents’ decision making which affects our business. This approach demoralizes the faculty and parents of our students.
We are still a proud part of the charter school movement in Oklahoma and are committed to bring innovative tools to education.
...This resolution is no more that a ploy to deter new charter school applicants and force a court showdown on state charter school law.Oma Jean Copeland (District 2) pointed out that the law is constitutional until proven otherwise. “How can we in good conscience preempt the Supreme Court and the legislature?” She called for the board to vote against the resolution.
The normal course of action by most public bodies who find themselves unclear of public law, is ask for a legal opinion from the state attorney general. If he finds a defect in the law, he notifies the legislature and they usually cure the problem
For this board to impose these restrictions on charter schools creates a climate for confrontation and to be disruptive to the education of hundreds of children.
Lana Turner-Addison (District 3) voiced her concerns about the charter act but suggested that until the legislature or the courts act, their hands are tied. She called the resolution a renegade approach calling on the board to operate with in the current law.
Bobbie Gray (District 4) pointed out that the board has begged the legislature to act, and that passing the resolution would force the issue. She wanted to make it clear that the board supported the charter schools that we have and were proud of their progress. Her stance was that for the benefit of the entire state, the law needed to be changed; and that this would help make it happen.
Ruth Ann Fate (District 6), suggested that voting yes on the resolution gave TPS time to have the law fixed with out closing down any of the current schools.
Cathy Newsome (District 5) echoed some of Livingood’s comments about the law being unconstitutional and supported the resolution.
After all the discussion the resolution passed 4 to 3, Gary Percefull (District 1), Copeland, and Turner-Addison voted no.
I tend to disagree with the board’s decision last night. I think Oma Jean Copeland and Lana Turner-Addison were spot on. Perhaps the law is flawed but it is not for the TPS board to act outside of the Oklahoma Courts and Legislature.
I supposed I should have always been interested in what happens at TPS, but now that I have school age children it seems to hit home a lot more. I’ll continue to keep my eye on the goings on down there and share with you anytime I find out something interesting.
Technorati Tags: Tulsa Public Schools
Saturday, January 06, 2007
A few days ago I upgraded to the new version of Blogger. In order to benefit from some of the new features, I had to upgrade to an entirely new template. I've tried to make the new template look as much like the old one as possible. I'll probably continue to tweak it for a few more days, either until I'm satisfied with the results, or get board and move on to something else.
Technorati Tags: Blogger
The inventor of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando has just died. Wow, I love Ramen Noodles; they have been a favorite lunch time meal of mine for almost 30 years. Of course was not until Ando’s death that I realized that instant noodles even had an inventor. All this time I thought they were an ancient Chinese secret.
Technorati Tags: Momofuku Ando
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 10:26 AM
Friday, January 05, 2007
I'm so excited about my new coffee roaster I can hardly stand it. I went cheap on the shipping so I have to wait until the 10th (est delivery date) before I can dive into home roasting. I know you are all on the eadge of your seats just like me to know where my Fresh Roast Plus 8 Coffee Bean Roaster is on its long trek from Middleton WI, to Tulsa OK, so I'll keep this map updated.
Technorati Tags: coffee
Fresh Roast Plus 8
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Over the years, I’ve steadily become more and more of a coffee snob. First I started grinding my own beans. Instead of using a fancy eclectic grinder I only use a hand crank burr mill. Then I moved on to the kind of beans I bought, I quickly realized that there was a great difference in the quality of different coffees. When I could afford it (I was in college at the time of this revelation) I’d purchase the highest quality beans I could find at my local coffee shop.
At some point I started to be concerned with the method of brewing I decided that drip makers with cone filters were best, next I decided that only gold cone filters should be used. A few years later I determined that percolated coffee was better than drip coffee and for a while I only brewed with my percolator. However that method had some draw backs and when my percolator finally broke, I broke down and went back to a drip maker.
Now I’ve discovered the French Press (press pot). I’m so impressed with the French Press that I put my coffee maker in storage. I’m thoroughly convinced that this is the best way to prepare a regular cup of joe. Having experienced some of the best coffee I’ve ever made it would seem that I should be content. However, after reading through some coffee forums I have recently become enthralled with the idea of roasting my own beans.
Yes, home roasting. I just ordered a home coffee roaster and some green coffee beans. When it arrives, in addition to making coffee as hard and complicated as possible, hopefully I’ll have finally achieved the pinnacle of the perfect cup of coffee.
Technorati Tags: coffee
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I’m listening to John Smaligo on KFAQ talking about the county’s involvement in the river plan. He suggested that there should be a county wide tax and for river development and county coordination. Wow, I think Commissioner Smaligo is really missing the mark. What is the matter with Tulsa that it can’t develop its own river? Why do we need some monolithic county sales tax for river development? Jenks has proven that river development does not require a huge tax. This flies in the face of the call for simpler county government and I think Smaligo is headed down the wrong track.
Technorati Tags: John Smaligo
Monday, January 01, 2007
I just saw the Oklahoma Centennial floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade on HGTV. The first one, A Unique History, won the Extraordinaire award for the most spectacular float.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary of statehood, Oklahoma shares its history with depictions of a gigantic Native American chief's headdress (more American Indian tribes are located there than anywhere in the U.S.), flowing waters (the state has more miles of water shoreline than the east and west coasts combined), a lasso-twirling cowboy (could that be Oklahoma native Will Rogers?), a huge American bison, an oil well, cowboy boots with the centennial logo and a grove of Redbuds (the state tree). The 70-foot-long float is pulled by an eight-horse team of black and white Express Clydesdales.And the second one was Oklahoma Rising.
The surrey with a fringe on top at the front is made of rice, strawflower and carnation petals. The headdress features everlasting, black seaweed, pampas grass, chrysanthemums, pinto beans and split peas. The cowboy's boots are adorned with flaxseed, statice and rice, with silverleaf buckles. And the oil well gushes with rice, silverleaf and seaweed.
"Oklahoma Rising" celebrates the centennial of the state of Oklahoma in 2007. The float is part of a year-long celebration that includes special events and activities designed to promote the birthday of the state and its incredible spirit, long history and bright future of its rich traditions, cultures and people.The surprise was a rocket man with a rocket pack! He flew out of a present and around the float before he ran out of fuel and landed…
An invitation to this historical event is represented as an open gift displaying the 100th birthday celebration, welcoming visitors and state residents to the gala festivities. The 23-foot-tall cake is iced with carnations and roses. Gift packages are decorated in swirling ribbons of chrysanthemums, oncidium orchids, dendrobium orchids and safflower. O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is spelled out in five- to ten-foot-tall letters of orange Mirage roses framed in white carnations. A lush floral carpet of 50,000 Charlotte roses and red gerbera frames garden steps created with coconut flakes and ironed cornhusk. One special package is opened at the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards during the parade to unveil an exciting surprise for parade viewers.
Both were really cool. Good job guys.
Technorati Tags: Oklahoma
When I was a kid my parents used to trick me into going to bed at 11:00 on New Years Eve. The Ball would drop in New York, we would yell, “Happy New Year!” Then my parents would send me to bed none the wiser that I had not actually rung in the New Year. I was embarrassing old before I realized what my horrible parents had been doing to me.
Now that I have kids of my own, it doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea. In fact, for the past couple of years, I’ve been doing the exact same thing to the four-year-old. 11:00 rolls around, the ball drops, and we all say, “Happy New Year!” Then I say, “Well, its way past your bed time…Happy New Year and good night.” Hey, good ideas are where you find them!
Happy New Year!
Technorati Tags: parenting