Friday, June 29, 2012

Dashboard Pizza: Cooking in the car on a hot day

(ABOVE: Minuteman Pizza Parlor in Sand Springs tried cooking a pizza on a dashboard. How did it fare? The yummy results are pictured below.)

Does the inside of your car feel like oven on a hot day? Is it hot enough for you to actually cook food? Minuteman Pizza Parlor in Sand Springs decided to put the idea to the test-- dashboard pizza!

Here's what they did:

They placed a fresh 10" cheese pizza in an aluminum foil tray. The pizza and tray were then set in direct sunlight on a van's dashboard. They aimed the front windshield toward the sun during peak heating of the afternoon. Then they shut the doors and walked away, letting the van heat up on its own.

The results? The pizza slowly cooked to a crisp after three hours-- it worked!

The cheese melted under the sun, and the pizza dough baked into a somewhat crispy crust.

Based on experiments that I've done in the past, I estimate the temperature of the pizza tray reached 150-170 degrees! The rubber/plastic composite dashboard is usually the hottest surface in your vehicle, especially if exposed to direct sunlight. (Random thought... I wonder what the van smells like now?)

How did the pizza taste? Jessy Lawley ate the cooked pizza below... pretty good!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tulsa Tough 2012: Street party + bicycle racing

(ABOVE: Fast women! Ladies racing in the Friday night downtown races)

The Tulsa Tough is three days of professional bicycle racing and tour rides centered around downtown Tulsa. The annual event is held during early June on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tulsa Tough has quickly grown into a huge event with big crowds and a festive atmosphere Personally, it's my favorite event in Tulsa!

The huge attendance figures this year were the largest yet. The growth of corporate sponsorships= improvements each year to enhance the experience for cycles and fans-- this is a first class event.

Professional cyclists race through downtown and Riverside Drive courses Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The more casual (and open to regular cyclists) tour rides take place Saturday and Sunday morning.

My wife and I attended the Friday night pro races, and then I cycled in the Sunday morning "Grand Fondo."

The Friday Night races are a must see. Even if you know or care nothing about cycling you will love it!

Tulsa Tough begins with the "McNellie's group Blue Dome Criterium". It's a fast-paced experience which will take your breath away.

The best professional cyclists in the country race at speeds over 30mph in a tightly-packed clump. The cyclists ride a closed course along the city streets of downtown Tulsa under the lights. Fans, many with a beverage in hand gather around the track.

A huge outdoor TV broadcasts the event with "play by play" provided by nationally renown commentators.

Children enjoy the event too. It's fun to lean in close to the track to be blown back by the gust of the wind from the bikes-- the peloton, or clump of bicycles is so intense that they create their own wind. Smiles all around!

I really enjoy Sunday's racing too, maybe the most. These races zoom along a section of Riverside Drive.

Many folks sit under the trees and along the hills to enjoy the day. I also witnessed several bike crashes. (If you get some thrill out of watching bicycles crash, then this event is for you!)

The Sunday race features a short, but steep climb up "Crybaby Hill"-- this is cool to watch.

Local crazies come out, some dressed in silly stuff, to encourage or whatever the cyclists. The crowd is huge, clever and fun-- quite a spectacle!

The Tulsa Tough... first class event. Make sure it's on your stuff to do list!

(BELOW: I rode with Team Lee's in the more casual Saturday and Sunday morning rides.)

Location:Downtown Tulsa

Friday, June 1, 2012

Home Run for the Homeless

(ABOVE: Channel 2's Taft Price, Liz Bryant and myself are pretending to look like real ball players before the game.)

"Home Run for the Homeless" is an annual benefit softball game featuring alleged local TV news celebrities vs the local radio personalities. This was my first year to play.

The game is played downtown at ONEOK field, home of the Tulsa Drillers. Admission is a $5 donation and free for children.

The purpose of the game is to raise money for the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. The Day Center specializes in helping homeless people "get back on their feet" so they can become self-sufficient. It offers programs and operates 24 hours a day.

(ABOVE: Liz and me with Julie Chin! Though Julie has "retired" from tv news, expect to continue seeing her all over town.)

Each local TV station volunteers familiar faces to play in the softball game. For this year's game, Taft Price, Liz Bryant and myself represented Channel 2. Al Jerkens, Jason Shackelford, Justin Wilfon and Russ McCaskey and others have played in recent years too.

The radio team was well represented as I recognized a personality from nearly each local radio station. This included my friend Kevin Ward from the 97.1 "the Sports Animal" who pitched. Their "ringer" was former TU quarterback Paul Smith . (Paul also works for 97.1FM, "the Sports Animal.")

In the broadcast booth, Phil and Brent from KMOD along with Roy D. Mercer provided humor at the players' expense.

Probably the highlight of the fun is helping and watching the kids run the bases during the middle of the game! (BELOW PIC)

As far as the actual game, the TV team stopped a losing streak to the radio folks with a 10-1 victory. Our defense played really, really well. Even a few double plays!

I did ok on the night too. I got a hit in every at bat, and defensively, I didn't make any errors at shortstop. (I blame not shaving for my good performance...)

Weather-wise, conditions were perfect with a temperature near 70 degrees, low humidity and not much wind.

Nearly $10,000 was raised for the Day Center. No one got hurt, and everyone had a good time.-- hope to be back next year! :)

Thanks for reading. George

(BELOW: Here is the view from the field. The Tulsa Drillers get nice views of downtown when they play.)