Batman Fanboy Steals Telescope from Hobby Lobby…

It looks like a local thief is going to get a great view of the upcoming solar eclipse!*

Earlier this week, Oklahoma City police released surveillance footage of a Batman fanboy who confidently stole a telescope from a Hobby Lobby because America is awesome. As a homage to the campy Batman TV show of the 1960s, we’re going to name the villain Telescopeus. He’ll make a great Ogle Madness 13-seed next spring.

Here are the details of the crime via KOKH:

Oklahoma’s roads and bridges are making a comeback…

Before it was cool to complain about man-made earthquakes, the education funding crisis, botched executions, mass incarceration, opioid epidemic and all the other fun bad stuff affecting our state, the number one thing to gripe about in Oklahoma was the disastrous condition of our roads and bridges.

According to News 9, that long-standing issue is finally being resolved.

Oklahoma’s Bridges Are Getting Better

Newly released data show the number of structurally deficient bridges in Oklahoma and across the nation has gone down.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association says the number of structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. has been reduced by 24.5 percent since 2007. Federal bridge data shows Oklahoma has seen one of the biggest decreases in the last 10 years.

Currently, Oklahoma has 3,460 structurally deficient bridges, which is 15 percent of the total bridges in the state. That percentage is the 8th most in the country. In 2007, Oklahoma had 5,928 structurally deficient bridges. That’s a 41.6 percent change in the right direction over that time, the 8th biggest negative percentage change in the nation.

Wow. We only have 3,460 structurally deficient bridges!? That’s awesome! Who’s ready for a scenic road trip across our state’s derelict back-roads to celebrate!

Actually, I can think of one person who isn’t ready. That would be the person who drives this car:

Bob Stoops is enjoying retirement…

When Bob Stoops unexpectedly stepped down as the OU head football coach a few months ago, a wide range of rumors that were probably started by bitter OSU fans began to circulate around the Ogle Mole Network. They ranged from the morbid (He only has a few years to live) to the sultry (He became friends with 20-something coed and is now trying to rectify his marriage) to the bizarre (He wants to pursue a career as a late night comedian or talk show host).

Well, thanks to this Instagram photo that D.L. Hughley posted last night, I guess we know which rumor is true:

TLO Travelogues: Is Austin still weird?

It’s pretty easy to get a crowd of Okies to agree that Texas is a garbage state. Sure, we may not be the hottest spot in the nation either, but our pride won’t allow us to enjoy ourselves when we’re south of the Red River. Most of the big cities seem to be choking nightmare of Seussian highways, flanked by chain restaurants and Home Depots. And the majority of the rural areas are as boring as anywhere in Oklahoma.

Austin, however, has always stood as an oasis in a giant, conservative desert. Famous for its music scene, there’s always a good show to take in. The bar culture is light-years ahead of anything in Oklahoma, not to mention fantastic coffee and food that permeates every block.

I’ve been visiting regularly for nearly fifteen years, and while I love it, the city has changed so much in that time (and drastically moreso for the lifelong natives). The once-affordable center of the city has been taken over by yuppies who can afford to price out the previous denizens. The once barren and sketchy areas downtown have been springing up with massive apartments and condominiums for the wealthy.

This last weekend, I visited Austin to find out if it still lived up to its citywide mission to keep itself weird. These days, I’m not sure what makes a place ‘weird,’ nor whether Austin has maintained that vibe. I can say, however, that it can be described as cute, stylish, and hella chill.

The drive down Friday was very smooth. There’s a game you can play on any southbound drive down I-35 that I like to call “Where Will We Be Stuck For An Hour In Texas Traffic?” Luckily, there were very few slowdowns, and the one major blockage, we were able to avoid with the help of a handy Pike Pass. The air conditioner in my buddy’s Honda Element was out, so we had no patience for standstill traffic in that Texas heat.

7 better places to build a new Braum’s…

It’s been a month since news leaked that Braum’s wants to destroy the Donnay Building on Classen Circle to make way for a new ice cream and dairy store location that nobody asked for, so I guess we should provide an update on things.

Last week, Braum’s sent a letter to the city requesting to push back a hearing that would decide if the ice cream moguls have the free rein to demolish and clear the land. They requested the delay so they can throw a “community meeting” to discuss the plans and insincerely pretend to care about residents concerns. There’s no word yet if they’re going to give away free ice cream and/or 1/3-pound… errr…. 1/4-pound burgers.

Here are the details via NewsOK.com:

Consideration of an application by Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Stores to rezone the Donnay Building at Classen Circle for demolition is being delayed one month as the company prepares to host a community meeting about the proposed new store.

The block, bordered by Classen Circle, Military Avenue and NW 50, is home to Classen Grill, Charlie’s Records and the Hi-Lo Club. The building historically is best known as the site of The Patio Grill, which is now The Drunken Fry. The building, built in 1948, also has apartments on the upper floors.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the Oklahoma City Planning Department, attorney David Box requested the hearing scheduled for Aug. 24 be delayed to Sept. 28.

Box and representatives of Braum’s declined to comment.

The request to rezone the one residential lot on the block is the only potential challenge to the site being cleared for a new Braum’s; the remainder of the property is zoned for commercial use and it is not in a design review district.

Yep, Braum’s retained David Box. That’s a shrewd move. He knows a thing or two about wanting to demolish beloved local buildings to make way for boring, lifeless chains.*

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m not a fan of the Braum’s plan. I think even the Braum’s girl would agree that razing a charming, culturally significant building that’s home to several well-known and established businesses to build another unhealthy fast food restaurant is a bad idea. Not only do we have plenty of poorly managed fast food restaurants to choose from already, but there are better locations to build a new Braum’s instead.

Here’s a list of seven of them. They are all located within minutes of Classen Circle:

1. Discount Tire (2701 Northwest Expy, Oklahoma City, OK 73112)

Distance from Classen Circle: 1.8 miles

Okay, they still haven’t finished construction on the new Discount Tire that’s being built where the Charcoal Oven was located, but why get lost in technicalities? The former home of one of Oklahoma’s most iconic burger places would be a great fit for a Braum’s, and with construction on Discount Tire still not completed, it will lower Braum’s demolition costs.

2. Braum’s – 4020 N Pennsylvania Ave (39th and Penn)