The Beard at Six Months

When I interviewed at Utah State back in October, it seemed like things had gone pretty well, and I was kind of confident I’d get a job offer. So I figured I could be done interviewing and, relatedly, done having to shave. This launched me on a magical journey in which I continued to not shave (or use a trimmer) for the next six months. So here’s an FAQ for some reason. Do people…
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“Western Oklahoma’s State Park Treasures” Don’t Take Long to See

As this site continues its fast descent into a straight-up travel slide-show, I post this. This was based on an article on some Oklahoma tourism website (here). I just went to the five that seemed most interesting and reasonably close-by (i.e., not to the panhandle because it’s too far, and I’d already been to that one anyway), but, still, took less than a day. Most of that time was spent driving between the parks….
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Fort Scott and Bleeding Southeastern Kansas

On the way back from the greater Kansas City area, I stopped in Fort Scott, Kan. because there was a fort there. Do I really need to explain myself? Yes? Fine. Because there was a fort there, whatever. This was like in October or something. It was a cool fort, and everyone that ever drives by Fort Scott should probably stop and check it out. It’s been months now, though, so I…
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What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part III: Copper Mountain

The drive from Monarch to Frisco and Copper Mountain was the most intense 104-mile drive of my life. It took three hours. During the trip I probably saw about five total miles of bare pavement, the rest was all ice-encrusted. I’ve been living in Oklahoma for the last three years; this was not an environment for which I’ve had a lot of recent experience. My goal for most of the drive was…
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What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part II: Taos and Monarch

From the greater Phoenix area, I headed back the way I came, up that one highway that probably has a number toward Holbrook. It was still pretty: Although it also spat snow somewhere in those mountains, a true harbinger of the two weeks to come. Which is good, since I cannot abide a false harbinger. I spent New Year’s Eve sleeping at an Air B&B place. It was like a casita at…
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What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part I: Arizona

Now that I’ve accepted a new job starting next summer, it’s my stated goal to minimize the amount of time I spend in Oklahoma. Sorry, Oklahoma. To that end, though, I spent most of the winter break in Other States. First up: I’m not sure which state I should list as first. I got in my Jeep in Oklahoma at 6:00 in the morning on 12/23. It was unusually rainy. It turns…
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The Earth Was Once a Garden Place, But Now It’s Just Missouri

A few weekends ago headed the 5.5 hours up I-35 to Independence, Mo. to check out church history sites. The best part was the barbecue place and the prayer for peace at the RLDS temple of division. Here are some photos and random, related (?) discussion. So that’s the RLDS (Community of Christ) temple in Independence. On the fun side, I happened to be there for the daily, 1 PM Prayer for Peace in…
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Oklahoma Used to Have a National Park and I Visited What Was Left of It

Because it’s what I do. Platt National Park (?!), which apparently was still a national park through 1976. Surprisingly, I don’t remember seeing anything in the paper about its dissolution into the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (I think it’s an NRA) back when I was 4. Was a voracious newshound back in the pre-K days. Anyway, it’s pleasant. It’s not exactly Yellowstone. I mean, *way* less traffic. I think it was supposed…
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2004 Nissan Titan XE 4×4, 2004-2016: In Memoriam

Not sure it’s a sad day necessarily, but it’s the end of an era either way. Sold my 2004 Nissan Titan. Had owned it for 12 years and it was a pretty vital part of my life for most of that time. 2004. I bought the truck in June 2004, the first year the Nissan Titan was in production. It may well have been one of the first few thousand off the assembly…
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I Went to Costa Rica This Summer; It Wasn’t That Great, but Here Are Some Photos

At first it seemed like it would be a cheap, easy way to see whether I could be a productive person while spending time in a foreign country. Then the car rental got involved ($80/day, most of which is revealed once you get there), then it turns out there’s not really all that much to do there and the Internet is sometimes flaky. Also, my Spanish isn’t very good. But anyway. Here…
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