This is a commercial that has begun to appear on TV lately. The Chickasaw tribe has been putting a lot of money into this city through many projects.
Every time I turn on the radio here in Oklahoma City I am confused because there is another station on the air. Being an amateur (HAM) radio operator, I tend to think that we are having a tropospheric episode bringing in distant station but my ears are not fooling me. It appears that our local stations are experimenting with creating HD1, HD2 and HD3 stations that are rebroadcasting their stations on low power stations around the metro area. One of the highest profile stations to do this recently was KRXO 107.7. They have taken their high power classic rock station and turned it into a new sports station called The Franchise. They have taken their classic rock station and moved it over to 107.7 HD2 and simulcasting it over on the analog 104.5 on a much lower signal.
It looks like they now have an HD3 station called Generation Now 96.5 playing hit music. This is another low power station that does cover the metro pretty good considering its lower power. They play the same type of music as KRAV-FM in Tulsa so it was only natural that I would think we had Tulsa booming in this morning. Also I’ve noticed a couple new stations on 92.1 and 92.9. The 92.1 seems to be simulcasting KRMP Heart and Soul on AM 1140. The 92.9 station is simulcasting KEBC, the comedy station on 1560 AM. In each of these cases, the stations are owned by the same company, Tyler Media.
I like the new additions and hope they last. I am really liking the new 96.5 station. I live out in the far eastern part of the metro and still able to receive all of these stations in the cars and in the house. Since I live so far on the East side, I get many of the Tulsa stations as well so the FM band is completely filled. I sure wish car manufacturers would start installing HD radios stock so that people will get use to the extra stations. I also wish that portable and home stereos would come with them stock. I’ve run across people that have no clue what HD radio is. I will scroll across the band and document what is available as I have time.
The FM radio band is a constant, ever changing place so putting up a list of all stations becomes obsolete nearly as soon as you do it. Also you have to deal with low power stations all around the metro giving you a false impression. You may be hearing a powerful station on one side of town and be weak on the other side. Once you get to the other side of town you hear a whole list of other stations that are weak on my side. It is a good thing that I find this sort of thing interesting or I would get frustrated making these lists .
I spent many years in the Air Force and over my lifetime been to 24 states and six countries. With all the great places that I’ve seen, there is no place like home. I would never want to live anywhere but Oklahoma City. I’ve experienced much of what this video speaks of first hand and know what a great place it is. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve run into people that thought we were still living in The Grapes of Wrath or still living in the cowboy days. Of course in some cases they are making a swipe at the wide spread conservative values that we are fortunate enough to still have. To some, they see our values as being backward and to them, I am happy with that. I have been very fortunate to witness what a turnaround our city has had considering what it use to be. Now if we can just end this multiyear drought, we’ll have our paradise back.
About four years ago I went through South Oklahoma City and took many pictures of how that side of town was being over-run with graffiti and gang symbols. I Posted a blog about it on January 2, 2009 and since then, it has been commented on more than any other post. Since it focused on Mexican gangs, Gran Bario Central (GBC) and Southside Locos, it quickly turned into a racial discussion. Maybe I should not have mentioned the obvious in this story because they don’t like being singled out. What I was trying to do was explain what the symbols meant but I guess I made it sound like I was attacking Mexicans. For the record, anyone that really knows me, also knows that I am not against Mexicans and in fact have always admired their culture and happy they are here in my home town. My mom was born in Southern New Mexico and so I’ve always had a soft spot for Mexican culture because my family is immersed in it.
That is not the point of this post. The strange behavior that I’ve noticed is that many of those that complain about my “so called attacks” are actively searching the Internet for comments about their “joke” of a gang. They are all a bunch of punks that have no purpose in life but to go around destroying other people’s property and then call people racist when they point it out. My web site has some pretty interesting statistics that show what terms the people were searching for when they came across my four year old post. Probably the most searched for terms are “Oklahoma City Gangs”, “GBC”, “Southside Locos” and “OKC gangs”. This is the strange behavior that I am talking about. Clearly these guys are so consumed with themselves that they sit around searching for anything about them. I am not sure what they are expecting to find since society usually frowns on anything gang related. Once they find something about themselves, which is usually negative, they log in and post insults, threats, etc. toward each other and then toward me.
For the record, I put that post from 2009 in private status so that it cannot be seen. It seems like over the last four years, someone will stumble on it and then read through the hundreds of comments and feel the need to respond to about 20 or so of them before moving on. A week or so will go by and we go through this all over again. They usually lash out at other gangs and say how they rule the area and the other gangs are cornbread, Doritos or something along that line. Then they focus on me and call me a racist. Whatever… I say, if they want to tell the world how important they are, then get their own blog. They are really easy to do and then you have your own moderation authority. These people are obviously pretty talented because some of the graffiti is pretty good. After getting a dozen or so of these messages the other night, I decided to mark that post private so that it will not be a point of contention. I hope that the decent Mexican citizens of this city will recognize that they are welcome here and that people do not hate them. The complaint is not against Mexicans but rather against vandalism. Just last night, I drove 20 miles to SW 29th Street just to get some dinner from one of those taco trucks at SW 29th and Kentucky. I did this because I love the food and the people are very friendly. These are the people that deserve good things and should not be grouped together with those that are destroying other people’s property. If you are one of those, then thank you for what you contribute to our city. Your culture, friendliness and an environment that makes people feel welcome. If my previous post came across as though I was bashing on you, then I am sorry because that was not my intent. I only hope that some of those that have been posting on the previous post will stumble on this one as well. If you are a decent member of society, then your race is not an issue. Also, this has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. I am not against immigration but rather against criminals that destroy other people’s property whether it be white, Chinese, or whatever. A person’s origin is not the issue but rather the behavior.
We have been very fortunate over the last few years to have an economy that has been very strong despite the national economy struggling the way it has. I’ve heard stories that one of the reasons that we have not been hit as hard as a lot of places in the United States is because in the 1980′s we were hit bad when the oil prices dropped. There were a lot of people that were hurt at that point and moved away. I read that since we were hit so bad in the 1980′s that our local businesses, banks, etc were a lot more conservative in their investing. They did not take as many risks this time around putting us at as much risk as we were last time. I have also read that our housing industry has had similar results due to the same conservative business practices. Whatever it has been, it has worked because our local economy is still doing very well. Our population has been growing at a steady rate for nearly two decades. It has not been too excessive too fast but steady. In 2000 we reached a new threshold of 500,000 people reaching 506,129. The metro area also hit a major milestone that year surpassing 1,000,000 people topping out at 1,083,346 people. In 2010 the city population reached 579,999 people according to the US Census numbers. The metro area reached 1,252,987.
Each year the Census does a population estimate and I am not sure what the criteria is used but every July they tell what the estimate was for the previous year in non official census years. In 2011 Oklahoma City reached a population of 591,967, an increase of 11,968 people over last year. The metro area population increased to 1,278,053, an increase of 25,066 over last year. If we were to continue at that growth level, the population should have reached a new milestone of 600,000 in 2012 with an actual population of 603,935 and a new metro area population of 1,303,119. If we were to continue at that growth through 2020 you could see the population reaching 700,000 with a metro area population of 1.5 million. These numbers can be shown as below…
2011…591,967 metro area 1,278,053 (Actually known)
2012…603,935 metro area 1,303,119 (Will be shown in July)
2013…615,903 metro area 1,328,185
2014…627,871 metro area 1,353,251
2015…639,839 metro area 1,378,317
2016…651,807 metro area 1,403,383
2017…663,775 metro area 1,428,449
2018…675,743 metro area 1,453,515
2019…687,711 metro area 1,478,581
2020…699,679 metro area 1, 503,647
2021…711,647 metro area 1,528,653
Of course these numbers could decrease over time but they could also increase. I am seeing all sorts of stories in the New York Times, Forbes, etc about how our economy is doing so well and the cost of living is so much lower than the rest of the country. As a citizen here, I am biased but I really like living here. I am hopeful that the economy will continue to flourish and improve even more. Unless the population has slowed over last year our population should have topped 600,000 this year and the metro should have topped 1.3 million. All signs that I’ve been reading about indicate that population growth has been increasing. It is a great time to live in OKC and the future also looks to be even better.
I took this screenshot of the National Weather Service’s web site in Norman, Oklahoma. We in Oklahoma are use to having bizarre weather because it is always changing and full of extremes and this year is no different. As you can see this year we were in drought most of the year and continue to be that way to this day. Also you can see Oklahoma City tied the hottest temperature ever recorded on August 3rd with 113 degrees. We had 52 tornadoes in the month of April and a lot of hail storms in May. This year ends being the warmest year ever recorded considering the over night low temperatures factored in with the highs. This is hard to believe considering last year we had 63 days at or above 100 degrees. This shows that we had the driest May through November ever recorded as well. Those that have lived here in OKC the last two years can tell you that it has been so hot and so dry for so long that it is getting really really old. Our lakes are drying out and we have been under a burn ban more than we have not been over the last two years. We’ve had forest fires, grass fires.
If all this news is not bad enough, we celebrated our 99th homicide a couple days ago not counting the suburbs. As my coworker always says, if we get one more homicide, we’ll get a set of steak knives. That will be the second highest number of homicides ever recorded with 1979 being the highest at 102. We still have about 12 hours to break the record. I have confidence in our local gangs. You can do it! I know it is crazy but despite our economy booming this year the homicides have been up 39 from last year. We have been very fortunate to have such a good economy considering the rest of the country doing so bad. We are very optimistic things will continue to improve.
On October 29, 2011 the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma had their annual National Weather Festival at the National Weather Center. Wheew! That is a mouth full! Each year they open up the center to the public to allow people to see the technology that is used to forecast weather. As you may know, the Norman center is also home to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). Since Oklahoma is a geographical Mecca for severe weather, it only makes sense that the government would place this center here. In the picture above you can see the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) as seen from the hall way looking through the glass.
In this photo you can see the entrance to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). If my memory is correct, this was on the second floor. There were hundreds of people there when I was there to see the tools used to forecast the weather. With such a large gathering, it would only make sense that many of the local weather personalities would be there to see the people as well.
In this photo you can see KOCO Channel 5’s Chief Meteorologist Rick Mitchell.
This KOCO Channel 5 Meteorologist Damon Lane. Both he and Rick Mitchell were greeting people and taking pictures with them. They were very nice and were open to discuss anything.
In this photo you can see KFOR Channel 4 Meteorologist Troy Christenson posing with my wife Sunday and my brother Michael. He too was very personable and friendly.
This picture shows the outside of the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. If you are unsure where Norman is, it is a suburb and part of the Oklahoma City metro area about 20 miles South of downtown Oklahoma City. It is actually on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.
There was a very large collection of storm chasing teams posing with their vehicles in the front of the building. Many of them were very impressive and this KWTV Channel 9 Storm Tracker SUV was one of them. As an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator myself, I wanted to point out the ham call sign WX5RAD on the rear of this SUV. His call sign takes advantage of weather codes. WX is the morse code sign for weather. RAD is for radar. The 5 is what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designates for this part of the United States.
This black van is an official National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) vehicle that is used to chase severe storms as you can see from the various measuring devices on top.
As you can see, I am a big fan of severe weather and ham radio. Growing up in this part of the country, chasing storms is almost a contact sport . All of the local television stations are in direct competition for the viewers eyes. The coverage is solid so that is why there are not many people killed during severe weather. Rarely does this weather catch people off guard. In this part of the country, if you are caught off guard, then you are not paying attention at all.
I just wanted to try to catch up on some of the things that have been going on in my extended absence. This event was one of the things that I did go to an took many photos but never took the time to post online until now. I will try to post a few more things that have been going on in this absence.
The Oklahoma City skyline has been changing for the last two years with the construction of this 850 foot Devon Energy Center. The building it only 50 floors but is much taller than the number of floors would suggest. I took this picture last night, November 19, 2011. I have been hoping that the windows would be fully installed by the end of the year but obviously that is not going to happen. I usually take a Christmas picture each year so that we can see the Christmas lights and crosses as shown below.
This picture was taken in December 2008. The new Devon Energy Center would be shown on the right side of this picture if it were in there to see. In the day time shot below, you can see the building at an earlier stage on the right hand side.
This picture was taken July 17, 2011 so you can see the change. Obviously this bottom picture does not show the 50th floor or the crown on the top. It does illustrate the change from before and after. In the last couple of years, I have not taken as many pictures as I had been because our lifestyle has changed. As you can see, this is only the second post in the month of November and it is the 20th of the month. I love taking pictures but just do not have the time that it takes to be into it as much as I like. Thanks for your patience on my slow posting.