Friday, April 1, 2011


Hey everyone! Come on out tomorrow to the inaugural 2WalksforYou walk at the Riverwest walk. This is the station that I chase for--great bunch of folks!!
I will be there walking and it starts at 11:00AM! See you there!!
This is the station that I chase for--great bunch of folks!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am a storm chaser...

I stand in front of my truck, feel the warm, moist wind at my back. I gaze at the ominous looking clouds off to my west. I see heavy rain off to my northwest and then look to the left of the rain shaft. I see a wall of white cascading to the ground. Hail shaft. I wonder if there are golfballs or something larger falling from it. My eyes are delighted to see a single, long cloud that looks to be feeding into the monstrosity, a Beaver’s Tail. Then, to the left of the hail shaft, I see a pronounced lowering of the cloud base-my excitement escalates as I snap picture after picture of this beast. This lowering looks to be rotating with condensation clouds rising upwards into it. Lightning strikes very near to me-I jerk back from my tripod and hunker down as the crash of the thunder surrounds me. The wind at my back grows stronger now, to about 35-40 miles per hour! I see dust and dirt being absorbed into this “inflow” as I watch the wall cloud spin away. Suddenly, a bowl-shaped cloud drops down from this twisting mass of black clouds. I take my eyes off of the funnel and take in the whole storm. The anvil is high in the sky. The whole storm looks alive as it churns across the western Oklahoma prairie. I see what weather geeks call the overshooting top, a mass of cauliflower looking clouds sprouting out of the top of the storm. I gotta get closer. I explore my road options and head west, drawn magically by some force that I cannot describe towards the heart of the beast.

As I get closer to the wall cloud, I hear a ping….ping…hail! As the pings grow into loud crashing thumps, I think briefly of my vehicle and hope that it will survive what is about to happen. Suddenly the hail stops and I get out and view the beast. The inflow is stronger; it is hard to keep my balance now. The wall cloud has now been trying to let down a funnel-it is about ½ way to the ground as I see swirls of freshly plowed dirt beneath the now thinning funnel. TORNADO! I shout as I snap photo after photo. I watch nature’s most violent and most beautiful spectacle dance across the farmland. The tornado grows to a large “elephant trunk” as it spins perilously close to this farmhouse. I pray for the people that may be in the house as the now large and violent tornado misses the house and plows into the hillside, shredding many trees. I have to reposition north and east to continue to view the behemoth.

I drive parallel to the track of the tornado, feeling as if I am racing it. The “tube” continues to grow larger and larger, now it is a “wedge”. A wedge is defined as a tornado that is wider than it is tall. You can just imagine it must have been a mile wide at this time! As I get ahead of it, I stop for more shots. I suddenly see swirling clouds directly above me-I realize that I am under the mesocyclone! The “meso” has grown to two or three miles across and is churning rapidly. I realize that I am in trouble! I peer around and see the obvious wedge and see another tornado! Satellite tornadoes! I see another, and another! I gotta get out of here! The wedge grows to larger than a mile across and I race east to get away! My heart is pounding; adrenaline is rushing as the engine in my truck screams, fishtailing in the dirt roads, jumping over railroad tracks. Suddenly I see a satellite tornado cross the road right in front of me! I slam on the brakes, sliding to a stop. Heart racing, I wonder why I do this. I drive east another ½ mile or so. Whew! That was close! As I watch the storm roll on, the satellite tornadoes disappear and the wedge begins to “rope out”. I gaze with wonder at the dying storm. The tornado then disappears after dancing on the field as it shrank into nonexistence. The beauty, the wonder, the excitement, the fierceness all in one bundle.

I am a storm chaser

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Resolutions.....

Hey check out my weight loss blog here.
As far as weather & photography, haven't had much time to peruse the models, but all indications are that we are in for a major arctic outbreak starting Sunday. Here comes the COLD!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas gifts....

This is from Chuck Swindoll's website....great devotional!!

It's not too late to give some things away this Christmas. Not just on Christmas Day, but during the days after December 25. We could call these daily gifts "our Christmas projects." Maybe one per day from now 'til the end of the year. Here are thirty-two suggestions. Take your choice.

• Mend a quarrel.

• Seek out a forgotten friend.

• Dismiss suspicion.

• Write a long-overdue love note.

• Hug someone tightly and whisper, "I love you so."

• Forgive an enemy.

• Be gentle and patient with an angry person.

• Express appreciation.

• Gladden the heart of a child.

• Find the time to keep a promise.

• Make or bake something for someone else. Anonymously.

• Release a grudge.

• Listen.

• Speak kindly to a stranger.

• Enter into another's sorrow.

• Smile. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.

• Take a walk with a friend.

• Kneel down and pat a dog.

• Read a poem or two to your mate or friend.

• Lessen your demands on others.

• Play some beautiful music during supper.

• Apologize if you were wrong.

• Talk together with the television off.

• Treat someone to an ice-cream cone.

• Do the dishes for the family.

• Pray for someone who helped you when you hurt.

• Fix breakfast for someone on Saturday morning.

• Give a soft answer even though you feel strong.

• Encourage an older person.

• Point out one thing you appreciate most about someone you work with or live near.

• Offer to baby-sit for a weary mother.

• Give your teacher a break—be especially cooperative.

Let's make Christmas one long, extended gift of ourselves to others. Unselfishly. Without announcement. Or obligation. Or reservation. Or hypocrisy.

That is Christianity, isn't it?

Excerpted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Copyright © 1983 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Believing in something....

A week ago I heard that the Rogers County Youth Services emergency shelter may close. My heart immediately sank. As I fought back tears, I asked why? The reply was "money". Well, lack of, that is. Let me give you a bit of background...

I came to know RCYS about 5 years ago when I was manning a booth at our local fair. New Life Baptist Church had a booth and we gave out drinks, Bibles, a handshake, prayer, or whatever we could do. A young man walked up and I struck up a conversation. As we talked, I found out that he was a resident of a local youth shelter. He said that he was concerned about where he would go if he were to die, and I had the awesome privilege of leading him to the Lord. I asked if he would like me to visit, and that was the beginning of my work with the shelter. I asked to be able to come up weekly, and was welcomed. I met so many kids that really needed a helping hand, and needed a touch from the Lord. I have prayed with countless kids up there, and had the honor of delivering groceries, supplies, and even a freezer that was donated by a person in our church! It is such a delight to see the look in these kids' eyes when they get Christmas gifts from perfect strangers! Michelle and I even took a young man in for Christmas a few years ago that had no family to spend it with. Much to his delight, he even had presents under the tree Christmas morning! I could write all night about the stories of kids that have been residents at the shelter but I need to tell you how we can stop this tragedy from happening.

You see, the recession that we have been in the past few years has taken its toll on state funding. RCYS is one of the last few shelters left in this part of the state and they are in imminent danger of closing down permanently. Most others haven't survived the budget cuts. Well, my friends, I say that the buck stops here! What if all the shelters were to close? Where would the kids go then? To the streets to do whatever they can to get by. Some examples would be selling dope, prostitution, and human trafficking. They would go down paths that would lead to sure failure and utter destruction. Are we going to stand by and let this happen? I say NO!! We cannot. I know that there are many people that have money that they can donate to the cause. All donations are tax-deductible. I gave a donation yesterday. Will you consider giving to this very worthy cause??

You can give a donation online HERE

We will be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 18th in Claremore. I will update with a location & time as I finalize plans. Come on out and support RCYS!!

I believe in RCYS. I believe in youth, they are tomorrow's city leaders, police chiefs, firemen, senators, mayors, business leaders, farmers, shelter workers, and even future Presidents. I believe in their future, will you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Storm Chasing....and a small Spotter Network rant

Went out for a chase Friday evening and I was rewarded with one of the most intense lightning shows that I have ever seen. I drove up US 169 into Coffeyville Ks, then over to Independence to Moline where I shot the tower that you see below. I then proceeded west toward Udall and Belle Plain. Bailed south just before the storm hit Belle Plain and damaged some buildings and uprooted many trees! I shot the "moon shot" below just north of the Wellington Airport. Then decided to roll south to a developing "tail end Charlie" that Lanny Dean and Chad Berryhill were on just south of the Oklahoma/Kansas border, near the town of Braman.

Got to Braman, and met up with Chad & Lanny while they were shooting lightning. I ran up to Lanny's van, set up the tripod, clicked the shutter on my Rebel XSI, and BOOM! Lanny and I captured the nice bolt that illuminated the Tahoe (below). We sat there shooting for all of 5 minutes and I started to feel raindrops. We decide to go back towards Braman and get off the dirt road when the rain started coming sideways at the truck. I was about 1/8 mile behind Lanny as the rain and wind became ferocious. I soon lost them in the mess and thought to myself "am I in a stinkin' tornado?" The wind buffeted the Tahoe and I wondered if I should stop or keep rolling trying to get south of the wind. The wind wasn't terrible, I estimated it about 60-65 MPH, but I kept wondering if that was it or was stronger winds coming? After about 5 minutes of white knuckle driving on a dirt road that was quickly turning to slime, the rain and wind let up, but not before turning directions. Was it a tornado? I don't think so. But it was a scary moment. I caught up with Lanny near Braman and we discussed what we just drove through, we were all a bit nervous as we started to hear sirens growing louder. A fire truck, ambulance, and no less that 6 Kay County sheriffs whizzed by and entered I-35 heading south. We wondered, what happened?

Lanny busied himself reporting our observance on Spotter Network(55-65MPH wind just NW of Braman), which was quickly flagged-probably by some kid wannabe chaser that has NO experience in the field. We later found out that the sirens were responding to a pickup truck that was blown off the interstate about 1 mile south of our location. There was a minor injury to a child, transported to a local hospital. Verified report? I think so....BTW, Spotter Network has become useless--people that may have a personal grudge or inexperienced "kids" can jump in and flag valid report that was verified by witnesses and law enforcement. This report did not make it into the official LSR probably because of two factors, the inappropriate flagging of Lanny's report and the fact that the Norman boys were asleep and didn't warn on the storm. We actually saw and photographed a persistent rotating wall cloud on the tail end of the storm. Rant

We found another county road just outside of town and pulled off to shoot more lightning. Boy were we in for a show!! This is where the top pic came from. Spectacular light show provided by ma nature! Sorry about the watermark, if you would like to purchase a picture, contact me but I will not give those away thank you. All in all, a great chase. 10 hours in the truck, storms initiated in my target area, did not see any tornadoes, but was treated to the coolest light show that I have ever seen! It was great to meet up with Lanny & Chad as well. Two of the best guys in storm chasing! BTW...check out Chad's new website-- .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramblings...and a couple of pics....

Here's a couple of shots from one of this season's tours.

I just realized that I haven't blogged in a while. (Sorry mom & Heidi). It seems like Facebook has taken over in the "what's going on" area. Instead of searching blogs, I just log on and walla, all my friends are there. So is there use for a blog anymore? Dunno, but I like to ramble on more than 420 characters at a time sometimes...
Just want to give you an update on my tour company that I am proud to be co-owners of, Extreme Chase Tours. We are already booking tours for 2011 and I am excited about the upcoming season. We had such a successful 2010 season and Lanny and I am stoked about 2011! If you have been thinking about booking with us I would suggest stroll on over to and take a peek at our schedule.

In other news, stay tuned for a major announcement about a three day revival that I am excited to be able to preach in Fort Gibson next month!

....and the boat is running well! Have had it out many times at Oologah this year!