Crazy for its Oklahoma City Thunder, that is.
And if for some reason you’ve been out of town — say, on another planet — and haven’t seen or heard about it, there’s a real love between the city and the team. That can make for a very successful marriage.
Oklahoma City went wild for this team before it even knew for sure it would be here. The city was hoping that the support it showed for the hurricane-displaced New Orleans Hornets would translate to a permanent home for a team. There was some disappointment when the Hornets eventually returned to New Orleans, but there was a feeling that the effort to get a team here would be successful.
Even before the negotiations between Clay Bennett and the Seattle SuperSonics ownership got serious, Oklahoma City knew it was a good fit.
Even before the sale, before the NBA approved the move, before the team had a name, it was forming a relationship.
In fact, if you will remember, fans got in on the naming. They welcomed this team with open arms — and pocketbooks, buying up seats and other team-related items.
They filled those seats as a young team stepped onto the court for the first time and continued to do so as the Thunder gained maturity and began its drive to the upper level of the league.
In a short time, the Thunder has made a mark in this prestigious professional league. Let’s hope that will continue for many years to come.
The city has shown it can, does and will support bigtime sports. See for yourself what it means to those in the Thunder organization to have that kind of support. Go to http://knowit.newsok/kevin-durant and read, watch and hear what the players say.
This is the kind of crazy that can benefit all of us.
Have you ever thought about how much different things would be if we didn’t have cell phones?
I’m from a generation that can remember how it was before we did. Surprisingly, we made it just fine. I hear that generations before mine handled things just as well.
Of course, those of those eras didn’t know what they were missing, because it hadn’t been invented.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is a wonderful thing. Development, inovation and invention can make life much easier. They also can entertain us.
Cell phones are among the best technological advancements. They enable us to make contact with others faster and more efficiently than many other forms of communication. The uses of cell phones are increasing daily (if not sooner), as is the number of those using them.
If you want to see just how great cell phone usage is, do as I did.
While sitting inside my vehicle in a pharmacy parking lot, waiting on a family member, I decided to count of vehicles that passed by in which the driver or a passenger was using a cell phone.
With a traffic signal at a major intersection only half a block away, it wasn’t difficult to see them because the vehicles were slowing down for the light, or to turn.
I missed those driving by in the first five minutes or so because I hadn’t intended to count cars. But in the 20 minutes I DID count, there were 27 of 63 vehicles with a cell phone in use inside. Of those, 14 vehicles were being driven by someone using a phone. And four appeared to be texting.
I based that on thumbs moving around the phone that was not near the ear or mouth as it would be if it were a phone conversation.
In three vehicles, both the driver and someone else inside were talking on the phone, presumably not to each other.
Of the “texters,” two were able to proceed on their way without hampering the flow of traffic, but one sat at a dead stop as the signal light turned green, and one changed lanes in front of a pickup and got a reminder horn honk.
Got my attention, for sure, just as it had the pickup driver.
Somehow, I don’t think he was impressed with new technology. I could almost count on that.
“Your tank should be at least half full.”
Ever hear that one? Do you do that?
Well, apparently, the high price of gasoline has resulted in fewer people doing so.
My pal Chuck Mai at AAA Oklahoma says his organization has had seen a marked increase in the number of requests for fuel delivery.
“During the first three months of this year, Oklahoma’s average pump price for self-serve regular shot up 55 cents per gallon, a jump of almost 19 percent,” he said. “At the same time, first quarter calls to AAA from Oklahoma members who ran out of fuel rose 13 percent compared to 2010.”
AAA responded to 1,053 service calls during the first quarter of this year from drivers saying they were out of fuel, compared to 931 during that same time period of last year.
Chuck says: “It appears more and more of us are betting that gas prices will come down before time for that next fill-up. Sometimes we cut it too close. But letting your vehicle regularly run on an almost-empty tank can cause even more wallet damage.”
That damage can come from many sides, both for you and your vehicle.
Chuck reminds motorists that driving consistently on a near-empty tank can cause sediment in the tank to clog the fuel pump or related components. In addition, he says, the fuel pump could overheat and fail.
AAA has these suggestions:
* Don’t let your fuel level dip below less than a quarter of a tank.
* Don’t touch or pump the gas pedal repeatedly when tying to start a vehicle that has run out of gas.
* Drive as fuel efficiently as possible by adopting a gentler driving style, slowing down, and avoiding slamming on the brakes or accelerating suddenly.
You can check gas prices station-by-station by using AAA’s free Fuel Price Finder online at AAA.com. Click on Fuel News & Tools in the AAA News & Safety section.
The price at the pump can change rapidly, so be prepared.
I recently left my house to pick up a prescription at a nearby pharmacy. I noticed the price at the pump of a station on the corner across from the pharmacy was 5 cents higher per gallon than the night before.
But after a 10-minute stop inside the store, I passed the same station en route home and noticed the price had increased another 7 cents, just in the time I had been at the pharmacy.
That afternoon, the same station had dropped the price back 2 cents. But the next day, it was up another 3 cents. That’s when my frustration and anger set in.
And by the way, I’m told that’s damaging to my system.
You can learn more about the gas prices, vehicle maintenance and learning to remain calm by going to http://knowit.newsok.com/buying-a-car-oklahoma, http://knowit.newsok.com/money-oklahoma and http://knowit.newsok.com/mental-health-oklahoma.
Volkswagen’s signature vehicle for 73 years is changing changes. The company has announced the Beetle will have a different look and better features. Hopes are that the changes will spiff up Volkswagen’s sales in the U.S. … triple them, in fact.
These days, a vehicle that can deliver more gas mileage, comfort, an attractive appearance and a reasonable price stands a chance of doing well. That’s the goal.
This will be the first significant modification to the Beetle since the late 1990s, when a former Oklahoma boy, J Mays of the small town of Maysville (named for his distant ancestors), got involved.
Volkswagen sales had fallen in the U.S. after a peak in 1962, some 30 years after the Beetle first was developed by Nazi Germany. In fact, Volkswagen ceased sales of the Beetle here in 1979. But Mays gave the car and the company a rebirth with the New Beetle design and it rolled on.
The effort was successful, as was Mays, who was hired as the youngest chief of design for any U.S. automaker when Ford hired him away and he promptly reached the winner’s circle again with a redesigned Ford Thunderbird.
Now, the Beetle may have another victory in sight.
The new design includes a few cosmetic features that certainly will draw attention. There is a flatter roof, narrower windows, a crease along the side and “a less bulbous shape,” auto design critics say.
Don’t expect the new version to look like Herbie the “Love Bug” of Walt Disney movie fame. This one has a smoother, more modern appearance.
How well will it be received? That’s yet to be seen. But with a navigation system, a larger trunk, better lighting and a fancier interior, it’s sure to get some attention.
The Mays New Beetle was popular with women in their 50s and 60s, car experts noted, but the latest Beetle has been getting good reviews from male focus groups. One reason is that the 170 hp, 2.5-liter engine has been upgraded and there now is a 200 hp, turbocharged gas engine, as well as a diesel engine which has a rating of 40 miles per gallon.
We’ll see how the new Beetle (as opposed to the New Beetle of Mays) sells. It may be a winner, or it may fall in line behind the high-volume sales machine, such as the Toyota Corolla, the Jetta, the Passat, or other sedans.
Now if they had just left that built-in flower base on the dash …
See more on the new Beetle at http://knowit.newsok.com/buying-a-car-oklahoma
It’s the 50th anniversary of Pampers, the disposable diapers that changed the world … or, at least, several million baby bottoms.
When Proctor & Gamble, in 1961, presented its new-model disposable, it made life easier for those who wanted an alternative to the cloth diaper.
I won’t go into detail, but if you’ve ever had to handle one, you know all about the sight, smell and other factors. And besides being “unloaded,” they have to be cleaned thoroughly and correctly before they can be used again. Otherwise, the baby — and you — are in for an uncomfortable and unpleasant next round.
The disposable, which some have written empowered mothers (dads, too) by giving them more freedom, could be changed quickly and then discarded.
I referred to P&G’s “new-model disposable” from 1961. In 1958, the company tried a plastic pant and pad version. It didn’t go well. Other companies had tried to make throwaways even earlier, say, the 1930s. They weren’t very successful.
The biggest problem with the P&G style was that it was uncomfortably hot when the outside temperature rose. But there was another issue.
The 1961 P&G, one-piece style was accepted, but consumers complained about its price (about 10 cents per item). Seems hard to believe, huh? After some refitting, the price was dropped to about 6 cents each.
Cost is still a concern today (and obviously it’s more than 6 cents per diaper), but so is danger to the environment, according to those who regulate or observe ecological issues regularly. A government report said more than 1 percent of total garbage found in U.S. landfills is made up of disposable diapers.
In the past 20 years, I read, cloth diapers have made a comeback. I find that interesting. I never knew they were gone. Based on what I have seen and heard from those I know who have babies in the household, it’s still about even as to how many use which.
It’s a matter of choice. All parents get to make it. I know we did (and we used both, by the way). I know some people who just can’t handle the wet or dirty cloth diaper. And they say that bucket for the damp, fresh-rinsed ones leave an unmistakable aroma in the house, even with a deodorizing tablet. But I know others who have trouble with the disposables.
Everybody has to make their own decision after considering the options, so the debate continues.
Take a look at the story in http://knowit.newsok.com/parenting-oklahoma and maybe it will help you make your decision.
Five or so alcoholic drinks nearly every day is no biggie, nearly half (45 percent) of the teens interviewed said in a new study announced this week.
The study, released Wednesday by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, also showed upward trends in marijuana and Ecstasy use among young people in grades 9 through 12.
But it did find that the percentage of teens having a drink in the past month is down. It was at 35 percent last year, as compared to 50 percent in 1998.
So what do you think their average age was when they had their first drink”
The answer is 14.
Some 68 percent said they had consumed alcohol at some point in their young lives. Of those, a fourth of them had their first drink when they were 12 or younger.
Peer pressure has a lot to do with it. It always has had. According to the study, the top reasons the teen gave for drinking were because it is fun and because they didn’t want to be left out.
But we all know other factors, such as vulnerability, contribute pressure.
The main things are to support them and get them help.
Learn more about this and other dangers for our youth at http://knowit.newsok.com/addiction-oklahoma and you’ll see what’s happening and what can be done.
There’s some news on the Interstate 40 front today that should make a lot of people happy. Well, eventually.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation put out this advisory this morning:
“The left lanes of east- and westbound I-40 at Morgan Road are now open. Beginning today, the right lane of westbound I-40 will be closed between Council Road and Sara Road and, beginning Thursday, the right lane of eastbound I-40 will be closed in the same location. Both lane closures will continue through June as part of the Morgan Road interchange reconstruction project.”
Actually, that’s a couple of “good news” bits from ODOT.
First, there are improvements around the I-40 and Morgan Road location that readers have described as anything from a bottleneck to a death trap. Having driven through there many times myself, I can recall when it definitely fit the “bottleneck” category. Even truckers have tossed in their 2 cents worth many times on this one, and some of them were from other states.
As for any other descriptions, they might have been earned, at least at some point.
Then, there is the continuing refurbishing of I-40 west. Unfortunately, there has to be a little pain and suffering before the cure arrives. Motorists will have to endure lane closings and be prepared for other necessary inconveniences while the repairs are being made.
But think of how much better it will be when the work is completed.
Many readers have written that all of I-40 west needs work. A like number have said the same about I-40 eastbound between the metro and Arkansas.
There has been work to improve both sides, though it is not finished. Meanwhile, enjoy what has been done thus far.
“Everything is more expensive now.”
I remember hearing that from family and other adults when I was (much) younger.
Then, it was my turn.
“Everything costs so much more now,” I remember telling our son, over and over.
Now, it’s his turn.
He’s trying to teach two teenagers and a soon-to-be about cost.
The cycle continues … and so do the cost increases.
Fairly regularly, I get emails, letters, or calls from someone that include “remember whens.”
“Remember when a Coke cost a nickel?”
No, but I remember when it was a dime.
“Remember when a comic book was 10 cents?”
“Remember when you could get a cheeseburger for a quarter?”
Actually, I remember some for 15 cents.
“Remember when gas was 38 cents a gallon?”
You might not believe this, but I remember gas wars when it got below 20 cents a gallon.”
“Remember when you could get a 45 record for a buck”
Had several of those. Records, that is.
“Remember when the Tooth Fairy left a quarter?”
Now there’s one I hadn’t thought of for a while. So I asked a few people I know, all with small children, what the kind fairy was leaving under the pillow these days. The average was $1, but sometimes she gave as little as 50 cents and sometimes as much as $5.
Sounded like a little pork barrel issue to me … playing favorites.
Then, I thought about it. So how far will $1 get you these days?
Unless you go to one of those stores specializing in $1 items, not much. And remember, you still have to pay tax on your purchase.
Maybe you should just get a small bottle of water, drive to a park, and enjoy the fresh air.
Or, on second thought, sit out on the porch with a glass of water and just think.
If you want some advice on how to save money, how to manage money, or what you can do to spend money wisely, take a look at http://knowit.newsok.com/money-oklahoma and see what the experts, as well as other wage-earners like you, have to say.