Mt. Rushmore

028a.jpgMt. Rushmore is typically a kids’ vacation.  However, neither of us made the trip when we were kids.  So, we decided this was the year.

The mountain is beautiful and worth the trip.  The walking path provides several unique views of the mountain.

We also visited Old Faithful.  It is still blowing off steam every hour.  The lodges surrounding Old Faithful provide a comfortable place to watch the excitement. While in Yellowstone Park we saw a black bear, a moose and a lot of bison. 

We also visited three state capitol buildings: North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.  That makes 17 state capitols for me.

While watching a gun fight in Cheyenne, the constable threatened to hang me for not dressing in western attire.  Fortunately, the judge decided hanging tourists is not good for business.  So they gave me a cowboy hat, which I wore the rest of the day.

On these hot days, one of the highlights of the trip was throwing a snowball. Here are a few pictures: mountains, state capitols.
Rick on Wednesday 04 July 2012 - 18:02:14

 Earthquake

The strongest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma occurred Saturday, November 5 about 11 pm.  I had just turned out the light when I heard what sounded like a large limb falling on the roof.  Then, I heard a scratching sound on the roof, as if the limb was sliding down.  Next was the sound of thunder.  About that time the bed started to sway.  Then, the rafters creaked as though a strong wind was blowing.  Finally, the mirrors in the headboard started rattling.  News reports say the quake lasted 30-45 seconds.  On Sunday I looked around the yard but did not find a limb.  However, the many twigs and leaves on the roof did slide toward the eves, leaving the upper half of the roof clean.
Rick on Sunday 06 November 2011 - 21:54:30

 Big 5

2l2a.jpgTeddy Roosevelt identified Africa’s five most dangerous animals to hunt.  On Saturday, August 20, our group saw all five of these animals, three different times, while at Kruger Park.  Most of them walked into the road near our vehicle.  On an evening drive we saw three different leopards.  One got up, yawned, stretched, and walked across the road while we watched.  A male and female lion got up from some rocks, walked through the grass right out into the road then turned around and walked back into the grass.  One elephant was about 20 feet from the car eating.  He was hardly bothered by our presents.  Two rhinos were walking down the road when we came up behind them.  Our encounters with water buffalos were a little less dramatic, but we did see them.  Wow!  What a day!  Here are 11 pictures.  Here are 26 pictures.
Rick on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 19:19:44

 Parliamentary Seminar

Southern Africa Nazarene University hosted a three hour forum on parliamentary government and elections in the US and Swaziland.  My co-presenters were current Member of Parliament Nonhlanhla Dlamini and former Member of Parliament Vulindlela Msibi.  This link is to a press release issued in Swaziland by SANU.
Rick on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 18:47:24

 Swazi Parliament

zswazi_009a.jpgThe Swaziland Parliament held a special joint session while I was there. I got to sit in the gallery. It seemed a lot like Oklahoma. As the session began someone raised a point of order about not having a copy of the bill on his desk. Then someone else raised a point of order that a quorum was not present. After about 30 minutes the joint session was dismissed for lack of a quorum. At first they were only one person short of a quorum and he was holding a press conference in the building. When the second count occurred several members had left. There was discussion about sending the police to retrieve them. Apparently, that has never been done in Swaziland. The Highway Patrol was sent to retrieve House members in Oklahoma in 2010.
Rick on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 18:40:24

 African Government Meetings

099a.jpgWhile in southern Africa I met with insurance regulators in both South Africa and Swaziland. I met Jo Ann Ferreira, the legislative liaison for the South African insurance department. In Swaziland I met Sandile Dlamini, the registrar of insurance. We discussed the policy making process, their interaction with parliament and their policy relationship with the companies. In addition, I visited the American Embassy in Johannesburg.
Rick on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 18:32:51

 OID Summer Intern

jasmine.jpgJasmine Johnson is interning at OID this summer.  She is a law student at Hofstra.  Much of her work is with the legal division.  However, she spent some time with me meeting legislators.  Jasmine found the OID internship page within half an hour of it being posted.
Rick on Friday 05 August 2011 - 20:32:55

 Daily Oklahoman

dok_watermelon.jpgThe Rush Springs Watermelon Festival brought watermelon to the Capitol.  Apparently I was enjoying it too much, because the Oklahoman snapped a picture and put it on the front page.  Students of media know that only weird stuff makes the news.  And, there I am!
Rick on Thursday 04 August 2011 - 20:08:55

 Banner Photo Descriptions

New descriptions of the banner photos have now been posted.  Click on the photo to see the explanations.
Rick on Saturday 23 April 2011 - 21:37:35

 New OID Intern

thumb_karla2.jpgMeet Karla Torres, an intern from OSU-OKC.  Karla spends several afternoons per week in the Capitol working with me.  She is learning to track bills and follow the legislative process.  She is a quick study, full of enthusiasm and a technology whiz.  Just what I need for these hectic days.
Rick on Monday 07 March 2011 - 18:28:55

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