Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Odessa's own Stonehenge!

As promised, our World Tour of the Permian Basin continues with pictures of Odessa's own Stonehenge on the campus of the University of Texas at the Permian Basin!

Here's a little History of Stonehenge, and some of the Geology as well as some of the Art and Architecture further down, if you can read that little bitty print. Maybe save the picture then enlarge on your computer if you like.

It's really a nice structure and I think they tried to make it look like Stonehenge does now, but of course the stones in Odessa still aren't as aged as the ones in England. This arch is probably about 20 feet tall and is just huge! I wish I had had the kids with me, that way they could have posed with it to give a little perspective on how large these stones really are.

(This view here is through where the Heel stone shadow would go during the summer solstice.)

If you look directly in the center of this picture to the right, you can see the day-glow orange of the Home Depot and I think if you look to the far left of the picture you can just make out the Golden Arches. You couldn't mistake this Stonehenge for the one in England, that's for sure!

I think this Odessa Stonehenge would have been a much better experiment for the geologists, astronomers and anthropologists if they had created it to replicate what the English Stonehenge looked like when it was just completed. Just having this big brand new "ruin" out in the middle of a field, is just kind of odd. But, enjoy the pictures anyway, and if you ever are in Odessa, go by the UTPB campus and take a look. It's still an impressive work of architecture that can be enjoyed by all for years to come.

This last picture on the bottom shows the view from the Heel Stone, where on the Summer Solstice, it's shadow will stretch across the steet, through the gateway, and end up on the altar (the brightest, lightest colored stone) in the middle.

I don't know if Druids show up here at the Summer or Winter Solstices like they do in England, but since they engineered it to do exactly the same thing here in Odessa like Stonehenge does in England, I guess if they find themselves on this side of the world at that time of year...well, ya never know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Need a new Job or Career?

Then come to wonderful, little Rankin in Upton County! Our Sheriff's Office would like a few more good men and women, our Mayor just resigned, and our Hospital District is driving out our one and only doctor. OH THE DRAMA!

Let's see, with the Sheriff's Office, the county is having a hard time matching the amount of money that the oil field companies are paying, so some of our Deputies don't stay Deputies very long. The oil field money is just too tempting! So, even if you don't want to go into law enforcement, there is lots of money to be made working for the oil companies, not just on rigs, but driving tanker trucks, supply trucks, etc., or just if you can service any type of equipment used for any of the above, then Rankin is the place for you.

Or maybe you like politics! Regarding our Mayor, well, the election was just a few months ago , so you would have thought she just wouldn't have run if she wasn't going to complete her next 4 year term. But, she did run, and her opponenent only lost by 19 votes, so now we just have a Mayor Pro Tem until they can get a new election set-up, whenever that will be.

Or maybe you work in the Medical Field? Our poor Doctor, he's one of the best doctor's I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with and because of certain people playing politics and just wanting to throw their power around, he is going to leave. He is such a good Doctor that he hasn't even officially left yet, but has already had many job offers from the surrounding communities. So, it looks like since we won't have a doctor, our hospital may end up closing, which in the end, since some of the poeple playing the politics will then be out of the job, it's going to come back and bite them in the butt. I don't think they actually thought that far in advance, but it's perfectly logical, no doctor, no hospital doctor, and no hospital=no hospital staff. So, maybe we might be accepting applications for a new doctor (hopefully not) or for new hospital staff. Personally, I think hospital staff and Administrators are a dime a dozen, GREAT Doctors are PRICELESS!

They had the Hospital Board Meeting last night regarding the above issue and my favorite station, NEWS WEST 9, was there, so they had a story about it on the news last night, with a link HERE. And for the record, our doctor is a recovering alcoholic, is monitored by the State and does EVERYTHING he is supposed to by law to maintain his license. There are probably thousands of doctors in the state who are also considered recovering alcoholics or even drug addicts and I'm sure they don't have to put up with as much in their communities as our poor doctor does here. Like I said earlier, it's just Small TOWN POLITICS!

Oh, something else-would you like to start your own business? Rankin has an Economic Development Board who would love to give out money to people to start new businesses, but I never even knew they existed until a few months ago, and I've lived here just over 3 1/2 years. Never heard of it! But, maybe that's part of why the mayor is resigning, maybe with some new blood running the town, we'll get some new ideas and maybe someone can work out some new things to get people to come to Rankin.

Speaking of new businesses, there is a farm in the upper northeast part of the county, closer to Midland actually, that is going to have a BIG fall festival. This is the debut year for Fiddlesticks Farms and I always thought that this area would be a great place for some type of Daytrip or "Weekend Getaway" spot for a lot of the people in the big cities around here and I'm so glad that someone finally read my mind! Especially now with gas so much, people are looking for places that are closer to home where they can go and have fun for a day or weekend.

Believe me, I love Rankin, and I see so much potential in my little town and it's such a shame that there are some people who are so stuck in their ways and who like to play politics that it makes it impossible for the community to prosper. If things keep going how they are, this little town will just turn into another West Texas Ghost Town, and since I've bought a house here and my kids are going to the wonderful school that's here. I don't want to see that happen!

To finish on an upbeat, I have my next ADD Dr. appointment tomorrow, so to continue my little series of Odd things out here in the middle of big fields, I'll get some pictures of Odessa's own Stone Henge! Like angie's spot mentioned in her comment on my post Midland's Own Part of China!, if you can't get to China, or England for that matter, come on out to West Texas, we've got something for everyone!

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