Charity Work & Traveling To Norman! (OK) “DAY 201” – 1/21/11

January 23, 2011 - 2:00 pm - (OK) “DAY 201” - Week 29 - State 27

Sorry that I’m behind again but I have been so busy since Friday that I just haven’t had any time to get to my laptop.  And, currently I’m writing from Houston, Texas where I’m sitting on a friends couch (Scott) with his son Blitz about to watch the Green Bay vs Chicago playoff game.

It’s crazy because Scott isn’t home yet and it’s just me and Blitz watching football (Scott’s sister is here).  Anyway, that wasn’t the crazy part, the crazy part is..  I’m sitting here trying to write while Blitz is talking to me about football and the games that are about to be played today.

Now, I’m so behind (writing) that I’m not really paying attention to who I’m talking to but I am having a conversation.  The reason I mention this is because I felt like I was talking football with a grown up and then I asked Blitz how old he was.  He’s 6! LOL  This kid knows his football! 🙂

Anyway, back to Friday.  Huh? This is first time I’m confused about what I did.  It’s only two days ago but after my Saturday (I did a lot), I”m kinda fuzzy about my Friday.  I’ll just do the best I can.

Leaving The Cherokee Inn (Tulsa)
I do remember this part, I had charity work at the Salvation Army at 12:30 pm and since my room didn’t have Wi-Fi, I got up and checked out before noon and then went to McDonald’s so I could get on my computer.

McDonald’s
While I was surfing through some stuff on the computer and uploading pictures, I met Mike and Dusty who were sitting next to me.  Mike was was a real nice guy as he wished me well on my journey.  Nice meeting both of you! 🙂  Before I knew it, it was 12:15 pm and I had to leave so I got to charity work on time.

Salvation Army
I arrived at the Salvation Army close to 12:30 and after signing in, I was ready to work in the kitchen for a lunch shift. F.Y.I.- I was suppose to work here yesterday but because of the snow storm, they were closed, so that’s why I’m here today.

Anyway, I knew today was gonna be a busy shift because as I was walking in, there was already a line of people waiting outside (in the cold) for a meal.  It still amazes me how in every city there is this many people who are struggling.  Man, the economy is bad! 🙁

Kitchen Work
I walked into kitchen and after washing up and putting on an apron, I was immediately put to work.  I’m not sure who was in charge because everybody there was helpful, but I think one these two people (pic to right, forgot their names) was in charge.

Anyway, today, I was working with Tonell and C.J. on the line serving food.  C.J. was serving the rice and beans, Tonell was serving the veggies, and I was serving the dessert and bread.  Nice!  A well oiled machine! 😉

During the course of the hour and half we worked together, we must have served over 150 meals.  I thought it was busy but the guys told me it was actually a slow day because of the weather.

I don’t mean to reiterate this but every time I do charity work, I become more aware of how bad it is for some people in the country.  I used to think that most people eating at a soup kitchen were drug addicts and whatnot, but the truth is... most people that walk through this line... look just like you and me!  Unreal! 🙁

It was 2 pm when we stopped serving and since we kept the line clean while we were working, there wasn’t much cleaning to do when we were done.  So I said my good-bye’s and left for my next stop which is Norman, Oklahoma.

Traveling- Tulsa to Norman
I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going in Norman but I knew there was a casino there (Riverwind), so my plan was to travel there and then see where I could stay. (I knew I couldn’t stay at Riverwind because I called ahead and they were completely sold out.)

The reason I”m going to Norman is because that’s where the University of Oklahoma is and their men’s basketball team has a home game tomorrow at 12:30 pm. (I don’t have a ticket yet but like that matters.) 😉

Anyway, the drive from Tulsa to Norman is just over 2 1/2  hours and to get there, I have pass through Oklahoma City (OK City is 25 miles north of Norman).  I mention this because it wasn’t until this moment (5 pm Friday) that I realized that Oklahoma City has a pro basketball team (The Thunder).  Huh? 🙂

Since I was driving, I called my friend from Florida (Pat) and asked him to see if the Thunder had a home game tonight or this weekend.  After looking on the internet for me, he told me that they did and get this... their playing the New York Knicks (Sat. night)!  This trip is amazing!

F.Y.I. - The Knicks are my favorite NBA team and I have watched them consistently for the past 25 years!  Yes, even the past the 8 years where they have been horrible!  And yes, even the past 3 years when they have been really horrible! 😉

Now, with this knowledge, I have to somehow get to that game Saturday night at 7 pm.  None-the-less, I was still headed to Norman today so I kept driving south the extra 30 miles.

Riverwind Casino
I got to the Riverwind and even though they were sold out, I still checked the front desk to see if they could do something for me.  I wound up taking with a real nice guy, but after explaining to me that their was some country music concert tonight in the Casino, I got the answer I expected.  No Dogs Allowed! (Peanuts reference)

Finding A Place To Stay
Since I was shut out of the Riverwind, I had to find another place to stay in Norman.  Remember, I’m going to the basketball tomorrow at 12:30 pm.  So, I searched through my GPS until I found the cheapest place that was close.  That place was the Thunderbird Lodge ($49 a night).

Thunderbird Lodge
Even though the lady working the front desk was nice, this place was a rat trap!  This may have been the worst hotel I have stayed in on this trip.  And, all I really judge and judge loosely at that, is the cleanliness.  The pillow cases were dirty, the carpet was ripped, and the bathroom was nasty.  Still... home sweet home! LOL

Riverwind Casino
After settling in my room, I went to the Riverwind Casino for the night to play poker.  This casino is nice and has a pretty good size poker room although their moving it to another part of the casino shortly.

Poker
Instead of playing NL, I decided to play 3-6 limit poker.  I did this to ensure I wouldn’t loose a lot of money (at most a $100).  And... all I really wanted to win was my room money back ($56 with tax).

During the course of playing poker, I met two real cool guys (Andy, Geoff) who were seated right next to me.  After talking with them for awhile, I found out they too were going to the OU game on Saturday.

Although they live in Oklahoma City now, they are both from Colorado so they are going to the game to see the Buffalos, not the Sooners.  Anyway, I asked them if they had an extra ticket and they said they didn’t, but we still exchanged numbers so I could hang out with them during the game. Nice!

F.Y.I. - Geoff works for the Thunder in marketing and said he would try to find me a ticket for the game on Saturday night.  That’s super cool even if it doesn’t work out.  Thank you!

Oh yeah, I was playing poker.  Since it was a low-limit game, I played in a ton of hands and by the time I left the room at 3 am, I was up $40 plus the food I ate.  Not bad! 😉

The Rest Of My Night
The dirty rat trap I was staying in was just 2 miles from the casino, so I got back there in a flash and went to bed as fast as I could because I had a long day ahead of me tomorrow.  

Tomorrow, I plan on going to a OU game at 12:30pm and then to Oklahoma City (30  miles north) for the Thunder/Knicks game at 7 pm (no tickets for either).

Not to mention, I have nowhere to stay tomorrow night and I want to be in Houston, Texas by Sunday to watch football with an old friend from Arizona (Scott B.).  Whew! That’s it.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. DAD says:

    Well as usual I’m days ahead of the readers.
    Let’s just say, Oklahoma is a great state. I spent time in Lawton Oklahoma back in the late 1960’s.
    Oh by the way, Congrats on STEELERS victory.
    Who would have thought you and the Steelers would be in Dallas at the same time !!!! ” Go Steelers “

  2. Casey says:

    OK Thunder if that is your real name? Clay Bennet you’re a punk. GO Supersonics!!!!!!

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