Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Oklahoma City

As some of the readers of this journal already know, my employer shipped
me off to Oklahoma City for a week of training as an outside technician.
That's right, climb the pole, hook up the phone line, run it to the
house--. Fortunately, that's not my new "real" job, but my contingency
assignment in case there is a strike. So, now I know how to splice and
install optical fiber to a premises, as well as regular copper
facilities to a house. I met some really fine people from all over the
county there for training as I was, and our instructors were very
experienced men with a great fund of knowledge and experience to share.

Travelling on short notice, and via company preferred carriers, I ended
up going down to Oklahoma City via Dallas on American Airlines. American
would not have been my first choice, but I have to say they were pretty
good in the important ways--i.e., getting there. My flight out of
Milwaukee left 40 minutes late due to Mitchell Field needing to finish
clearing the runways after Sunday morning's snow. However, they did not
spare the kerosene, and we touched down in Dallas only fifteen minutes
behind schedule, which gave me plenty of time to make my connection and
even snatch some food from a hotel restaurant. The flight to Oklahoma
City left only a couple of minutes late, and flew at maximum speed all
the way to Oklahoma City for the sake of people making other
connections. Fortunately, it was good flying weather both days I
traveled. Coming home though St. Louis was no problem. One significant
downside was that the seats in the Embraer commuter jet that is used on
a lot of American's shorter hops are really hard--. Oh, well---I got
there and back in one piece, and that's what counts.

I didn't really see much of Oklahoma City. Both the training facility
and the hotel I was staying at were near the airport, which is on the
outskirts of town, although there were some interesting things to note.
For one, go into ANY business, and someone there will greet you as soon
as you are spotted. This includes chains like McDonalds and Walgreens. I
was a bit unnerved when I went into the nearby McD's at 6:30AM and got
hailed with a hearty "Hi, there! How are you today?" from the woman at
the counter as soon as I stepped in the door.

Since I was doing hands on training days and logging in to keep up with
regular work at night, I didn't see too much else than restaurants. I
must say that while Extended Stay America is a bit on the low-end as
"suite" hotels go, it was clean as far as I could see, and their
wireless internet (access $4.95 for the extent of your stay) was easy to
hook up to and worked like a champ, as did the Compac laptop I've had
for a couple years but not used that much heretofore. Other than that, I
hadn't considered the logistics of sleeping in the same room as your
full-size refrigerator (the ESA rooms are more of a "studio" than a
suite) but figured out I could essentially turn it off at night. The
walls were thin, but thankfully most of the time other people were quiet
or out.

If you are eating in Oklahoma City, I can recommend the pork ribs at
Earl's Rib Palace (several locations), although my fries with that were
a tad underdone, baked beans spicier than I like, and peach cobbler
disappointingly bland. Excellent sushi and tempura can be had at Shiki
Japanese restaurant (right next door to my local Earl's) and they also
do tappanyaki for those who might prefer that. I also partook of a very
good and very extensive Chinese buffet at Golden Palace BBQ restaurant.

A "Sonic Drive-In" has recently opened near us, and we were bemused to
find that people had been waiting an hour in line to get in and order,
such was the interest. There was one not far from my hotel, and I tried
it, it being no busier than any of the other fast food joints
thereabouts. The food was alright--decent burger, nothing to write home
about, a decent but not amazing chocolate malt. French fries seem to be
chronically underdone in Oklahoma, and they don't tend to offer you
ketchup or salt along with them, either. Odd.

The one thing I did get to that was a bit of an attraction was the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. It was easy to get to,
being right off one of the freeways, but be warned, Google Maps are not
reliable in this case--. It is a large new facility and very nice. A
great many of the exhibits are Western-themed artworks as distinguished
from historical artifacts, but there are some of those as well. I went
particularly to see the exhibition of Victorian firearms, which was
nice, though of course all-American, and a bit small. However, right
next door to that was the "Western performers" exhibit, which displayed
guns, gun leather, tack, and costumes used or owned by everyone from Tom
Mix to Tom Selleck with (of course) a special shrine to John Wayne. The
other exhibit I concentrated on was the Western Town, which is rather
like the "Streets of Old Milwaukee" we have here. There was a livery
stable, saddler, freight office, newspaper, general store, church, bank,
the obligatory Western jail, and a couple other buildings I can't
recall. Most of them you can walk into, but that means the exhibits are
a bit sparsely "dressed" (in the sense of set dressings) and there are
no mannequins, so it's pretty much of a ghost town. There are sound
recordings that liven things up a bit, but kind of add to the ghost
effect, since they come out of the air with no bodies to do the

The Museum has an extensive shop featuring Western and American Indian
artwork, jewelry, music, and books. I found a book for myself and a nice
ring as a keepsake for Georgie, at very reasonable prices. If you are in
Oklahoma City for any length of time, I would recommend the Cowboy
Museum to you.
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded