Friday, December 21, 2007

Pedaljets Tonight

Pedaljets man Mike Allmayer told me that tonight's gig at the Brick in Kansas City will be the last for a while. Get down there and see them. Lori Wray's band Hyperopia opens at 10pm and and Honeywagon plays after.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Check This Gig

Here's the lineup for The Kansas City Voices' annual reading in Lawrence, co-hosted by Coal City Review. It's at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at Aimee's Coffee House, 1025 Massachusetts and features Brian Daldorph, Beth Schultz, Lisa McBride, Serena Allison Hearne, Matt Porubsky, and Lora Reiter, and myself. I'll be reading a short story I wrote called Except For Patches. Music will be provided by Iain Ellis. Admission is free. Come early. Seating is limited.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

I am thankful for many things this year: my family, my health, and my friends. I am also thankful for people that read this web log including you. Thank you. I have a feeling we could all fit into the corner booth at Denny's, but I am thankful just the same.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Second KU Football Post

I suppose 100 years from now when my great grandchildren find record of this web log in the National Internet Archives, available on micro wafer or 8-track tape, they'll wonder why I didn't write more about the biggest football game in 100 years between KU and MU coming up this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. I don't want to be a bandwagon gomer but I am excited.

Both teams feature a spread offense and I can't help but wonder how the cooler weather forecasted for this weekend will effect the passing game. Advantage KU since they have a stronger running game. My prediction: KU 35 MU 32.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pedaljets Play

A nice conversation with the Pedaljets, appearing at 10pm this Saturday at the Replay in Lawrence along with the Hearers and Hyperopia.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remember the Bug Juice?

Check out Camp Zoe Memories, a nostalgic rant through the summer camp experience, for campers and staffers of the fabled Missouri sleep-away camp, circa 1929 - 1986.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Olde Hip-Eye

I drove to Lawrence last night for Matthew Moore's 54th birthday party. He fixed up a barn in the woods north of town. It's north of the Teepee Junction in Jefferson County. Matthew Moore, AKA the Olde Hip-Eye, welcomed us with a hello in his trademark booming voice as I parked my car.

My friend Rob Loud and I arrived with some extra ice and a small gift - a photo poster of concert ticket stubs taken by Corky Carrel. There was hot curry stew, spiral cut ham and kegs of Free State beer. I saw a million stars in the sky and the milky way cut a misty swath through it all . A six piece country band complete with slide guitar and fiddle played inside the barn and Darrell Lea sat in on electric guitar for a few numbers.

I chatted with Andy Timmons and John Cutler about local music and old times at the bonfire. John mentioned that he was once in a band that opened for Green Day at the Outhouse. I reminded him about the Pedaljets gig tonight at the Record Bar. He said he was playing with The Kelihans at Kyle's Tap Room, but planned to swing by after his show. Then he busted out a brand new mandolin and played "The Girl From Ipanema". Not to be outdone, Andy Timmons, longtime Crossing bartender, and former proprietor of the Hambonery shop on Massachusetts street, reeled off a somewhat Leon Redbone-ish rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" on acoustic guitar.

We reminisced about the fact its been 20 years since the River City Reunion with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Faithful, Husker Du and others. A bonfire comrade remarked that Mark Kaplan was the guy who shot film and video footage for a documentary that never got made. I don't know Mark Kaplan but I'd love to see the completed project.

The next thing I knew it was 12:30 in the morning. We thanked Matthew for his hospitality and I drove back to Overland Park with Rob, where a teenage driver missed a turn and drove into the fish pond by my house. Authorities towed her car out of the wetness as I turned into the sub-division. Police strobe lights bounced off the facades of neighboring houses. What a night.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My first KU football post

Here's a nice video blog re-cap of Saturday's KU/Nebraska football game in case you missed it from the Kansas City Star. This isn't a typical sports program highlight reel with all the touchdowns and big runs, but the reporter does a nice job conveying the pertinent points, namely all the records KU broke in their big victory against the Cornhuskers. One not so nice thing about the video blog on the KC Star website - it continues to play other stories after the KU story finishes. I think you'll figure out when the Jayhawk story is over.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Diet Hope and Soap on a Rope. Which One Will Drop First?

I'm re-dedicating myself to weight loss starting today. I hope that by mentioning it here I will remain accountable. My starting weight is 186 lbs and I want to get down to 175 lbs by the end of the year.

I'm going to make better snack choices, like raisins and rice cakes, instead of chips and ice cream. I plan on walking more often.

Ask me how my diet is going if you see me on the street, and if you catch me in a Taco Bell, please slap me with a chalupa and escort me to the door.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Promoting My New Short Story

My latest short story, Except For Patches, appears in the 2007 issue of Kansas City Voices, an annual periodical of prose and poetry.

Except for Patches is the story of Perry, a teenager having a bad day. He's losing battles on many fronts: home, school, the neighborhood. He's got swollen knuckles, a fat lip, and no bag of weed, and the party hasn't started, and then there's the bit about the six pack rings and the slot car track. But I'm giving too much away, except for Patches. Look for it in the 2007 issue of Kansas City Voices at area bookstores now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Long Live the Unicorn

I don't consider purchasing many movies on DVD, but I might consider this one.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hyperopia Plays Lawrence

Hyperopia opens for The Effigies tomorrow (Friday) at the Jackpot Saloon in Lawrence, KS. You may recall that Hyperopia features Lori Wray (Von Bulows) with Steve Eddy (Micronotz, Cryin' Out Loud), Steve Dahlberg (Ricky Dean Sinatra, Cryin' Out Loud), and Kirk Larson (Random Aztech, Cryin' Out Loud). All these veterans have played Lawrence many times, but this is their first appearance as Hyperopia in the river city. Go see them!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dr. Research was right about Global Warming

Bell Telephone produced a series of science programs in the late 1950s (for television, I think) that were later shown in classrooms around the country like mine (circa 1979) in the Shawnee Mission district. The star of the series was Dr. Frank Baxter, aka Dr. Research. Here he is, with a guy who looks a lot like the Night Stalker Darren McGavin, talking about global warming. This is one example why the fims endured as long as they did. The makers had their science shite together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Embarrassment Video (with Smoking Vocals)

Here's the Embarrassment doing Wellsville at the Flatiron building in Wichita in 1981.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Get Smart! Again

Much has been written and said about Lawrence's two kingpin alternative bands of the 1980s, (Mortal) Micronotz and Pedaljets. That's not to say that there weren't other bands - like Get Smart!. The post-punk trio developed a Kansas following in the early eighties and departed for Chicago before I arrived in Lawrence in the fall of 1983. We knew they aspired to bigger things and it was not a surprise when they landed a record deal and releashed an album (Action Reaction) in 1984. Get Smart! toured that year and appeared in Lawrence no less than twice. They headlined the 1984 version of Day on the Green Hill, an outdoor show that also featured Rick Frydman, Todd Newman, and the Pedaljets. Lisa, Frank, and Mark returned to Lawrence that fall for a SUA-sponsored free concert, so there were no "big time" hard feelings among the local scenesters that I was aware of. If anything, Get Smart's Lawrence fan base outside of the KJHK staff dwindled due to natural college-related attrition. Still, they released another album in 1986, Swimming With Sharks.

Love the Internets: Their catalog is available in portable mp3 format here. Try They Walk In Pairs or Berlin On The Plains.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Halloween Time - Centron Style

Thanks to visitor Jason for posting a link to the "Scum of the Earth" halloween party flyer from 1985 on my post about the time the Residents played Lawrence. And while you're checking that out, stop by Jason's web log, Scar Stuff that features tons of Halloween fun including two versions of a Centron film about Halloween Safety. One even features young Jason himself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Makin' Copies with the Plastics

Check out this KJHK station ID for the Plastics, the Japanese Devo, or the Japanese B-52s, whichever you prefer. Here they are from 1980, from YouTube of course:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hyperopia in Concert

I wanted to post a quick note before I went to bed to say Hyperopia was wonderful at the Record Bar in Kansas City tonight. In case you don't know, the band features Lori Wray (formerly of Minneapolis, and Lawrence before that, think Von Bulows) and drummer Steve Eddy, formerly of the Micronotz, plus Steve Dahlberg (of Ricky Dean Sinatra fame) and Kirk Larson (ex-Random Aztec). They played for about an hour as the opening band and threw in a bevy of originals including my current fave "Last Goodbye". The show ended with a spirited cover of the Embarrassment's "D-Rings". I'll be tired tomorrow at work, but I'm glad I saw the band. Thanks!
More Good news: They play again in Lawrence on October 19th at the Jackpot Saloon.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

For Your Ears Only - 2007

Plan to attend the annual Audio Reader media sale at the Douglas County Fairgrounds September 21st and 22nd. My advice: pay the cover charge and go Friday night. You'll get first crack at all the good stuff.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The New Phonebooks Are Here! The New Phonebooks Are Here!

Not really. But I woke up early and caught the lunar eclipse this morning. I stepped out in my backyard in my underwear to get a better vantage point. It looked like a dim bulb with reddish-brown highlights in the western sky. It was quite eerie. The eastern sky was full of stars. I walked inside and put the coffee on. Later, the moon sank behind the trees in my neighborhood by the time it reached full blush. I think I'll put some pants on and head into the office. One blush is enough for today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

All Hail Sergio!

MAD magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragones at the San Diego Comic Con International.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You've Got to Catch 5

There is an ideal notion of the 1970s that was offered in promotional material but never realized by most of us. It took a top-notch local news team like the one at WEWS in Cleveland to achieve the level of 70s nirvana described in song and imagery here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Faces Change

Stimulate your brain's facial recognition center with this Hollywood starlet morphing video. How many faces do you recognize? It reminds of "Cry" from Godley and Creme, but with better-looking models.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Small Film, Large Funny

Former K.U. classmate Jeff Drake offers us The Ladder Party. Cheers.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cheesy Anchorman Generator

My anchorname is Walter St. John. Take The Cheesy Anchorman Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Travel Update

I'm in Virginia today with the family. It's our summer vacation. We spent yesterday on the mall in Washington, D.C. where the weather was mild and breezy. Our day began at the White House at 8:30. On the way over from the hotel, our Pakistani cab driver shared his philosophy and family. He was quite enthusiastic about his views, to the point where he overshot our destination by a block so he could finish his thought.
The White House tour was the shortest of the day, a self-guided look at a few of the "public rooms" on the first floor including the East Room, the Blue Room, and the Vermeil Room, which used to be the billiard room. The kids were underwhelmed, but it was cool to see some of the presidential portraits.
We walked to the natural history museum and waited outside about 30 minutes for it to open at 10am. It was worth it. They've got some cool exhibits including the Hope Diamond. In fact, they have an extensive section on minerals and gems. It included a display of Herkimer Diamonds, aka black diamonds, from Herkimer county, NY, where my mom's mom's folks hail from. We checked out the mammals and the dinosaurs. This was the kid's favorite stop.
We worked our way east along the north side of the mall, cut through a sculpture garden, and entered the dimly lit confines of the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution are on display. No flash photos please.
After lunch at the hotel, we walked to the Capitol, where a congressional intern guided us through some of the sites like the Rotunda, the hall of statues, the crypt, and a Senate debate on the war in Iraq. Mrs. Jones liked that part.
We ended our day by catching the 5:06 commuter train out to the suburbs where the brother-in-law collected us.
Today: miniature golf.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Remembering Root Boy Slim

Root Boy Slim, AKA the Lenny Bruce of the Blues, died on this day in 1993. I didn't know much about the man. He was another oddball in a stable of unique performers that had albums in the stacks at KJHK. Learn more about him at his Wikipedia entry. He and his band did a novelty blues song called "My Inflatable Doll" that garnered air play, especially from Rob Leichter and Mike Chitwood during their "What's Your Problem" show in 1984. It was a collegiate favorite with lines like "She whispered, 'your the first', just before she burst". Good clean fun.

I'm not sure where Root Boy will be remembered in the cavernous Pantheon of alternative music. Somebody edited his page to associate his Wikipedia entry with "Frat Rock", and that's a bummer. Oddly, the Frat Rock link doesn't have a wikipedia page associated with it. Cowards!

When I think of Frat Rock I think of Hootie and the Blowfish and The Smithereens. Then again I didn't spend much time in fraternity houses so I don't know what groups characterized their listening preferences more than other bands , but I'll bet it included Spin Doctors and Jesus Jones. I visted a friend at the SAE house once in 1982 and one of the brothers walked around with an inflatable doll. There's probably a connection.

I purchased an inflatable doll in 1995 - strictly for business purposes (Hey, I got a receipt!). We did a radio gag at KFKF in the aftermath of Hugh Grant's prostitution arrest where I parked myself in a station van (with the inflated love doll) and gave clues to my location during the morning show (I was in parked behind the Ranchmart Theatres here in Johnson County, KS). The first person who found me got a prize pack that may have included the doll. If not, I'm sure we donated it to charity.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do You Care: Son of Carmack

Most Kansas Citians my age (40 and up) remember local TV reporter Stan Carmack. But do you care that his son John became a giant in the video game world and is now competing for the X prize?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Bug Man

Esau Formusoh is my bug man. He comes twice a year for the silverfish and the spiders. He monitors our place for termites. I highly recommend him. We don't have termites and the silverfish and spiders are rare visitors these days. He helped my mom get rid of a huge colony of ants in her attic and I told my friend Tony about him after bees appeared in Tony's basement. He also earned a Ph.d in bugs. I guess that makes him Dr. bug man. I call him Esau to tell you the truth.
My bug man is getting popular. His picture was in the Lawrence Journal-World today.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Pedaljets Return

This post is long overdue. The Pedaljets were one of two top local bands in Lawrence during my college years (1983-1988, with the other being the Micronotz). All hail The Pedaljets myspace page complete with songs, a concert video from a reunion gig earlier this year, and a video collage of mementos.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yesterday in Lawrence

The Jones family visited the KU Natural History Museum yesterday. I hadn't been in Dyche Hall in 19 years. The place is elderly and the taxidermy appeared well-worn, but the Bug Town exhibit and the live snakes were hits with my crew. We dug the dinosaur fossils too.
I wandered down a back hallway and stumbled upon a locked door that led to the ichthyology department offices. I peered through the door's thin window. The hallway looked dusty and forlorn. But there were lots of fish posters on the walls and office doors.
My son remarked that people walked more in Lawrence and declared that he wished he lived there as we parked the car in the new lot next to the student union. He asked why we didn't walk when we prepared to motor downtown for lunch. It was a beautiful day. I told him the walk down Mount Oread is splendid. The walk back might tax him.
We ate lunch at Tellers where my daughter had a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. We saw four sorority girls in matching black cocktail dresses drinking bloody marys. At one point three of them ran out into the street and hugged a young man in an untucked button down shirt, ball cap, and flip flops. They shouted "Logan" and made much drama and fanfare about spying him from the restaurant window. He declined their offer for a bloody mary. Afterall, it was 1:30 in the afternoon and he wasn't wearing a cocktail dress.
We paid our tab and hit the sidewalk. A missed Kodak moment: A young man, perhaps homeless, held a cardboard sign that read: Ninjas killed my family, need money for Karate lessons.
I saw my old friend Art Hadley having lunch among the throngs of visitors. He reminded me I invariably ran into somebody I knew when we used to go out in Lawrence with the Audio Reader gang in the late 80s. Odd but strangely satisfying that I ran into the man who remembered that about me and he shared that bit of trivia with my family. Normally you have to wait until your funeral to hear those quirky little anecdotes. Not in Lawrence. It beat the hell out of Oak Park mall.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fun (or at least a few minutes) with Math

Attention all aspiring savants and rain-people - Behold the Doomsday Algorithm.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ode to Kansas Highway 10

There's a fascinating little stretch of highway between Kansas City and Lawrence called K-10. Johnson county sons and daughters who enrolled at K.U. were acquainted with the divided roadway that connected the southwest side of Lawrence with the outskirts of Olathe and Overland Park. It may surprise you that the 45 minute ride inspired a number of musical efforts. Chuck Mead's band The Homestead Grays sang about 285 Desoto, a highway exit back in the 1980s that has since disappeared. A few years later, a local band went one better when they named themselves after a similar sign on K-10, henceforth known as Kill Creek. Ditto for The Eudoras, who adopted the name of an entire town six miles east of Lawrence on the well travelled roadway. Most recently, Lawrence/Kansas City trio OK Jones released a song called, well, K-10.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Love the Hawks

They Jayhawks lost today. It was hard to watch. I bit my hat. But what a season. They won more than 30 times, clinched the conference and the conference tourney title. Came back twice from double digits to defeat Texas. And they won three games in the big dance. That's much better than no wins at all. I'm spoiled like most KU fans, but I can't complain about this season. It was great. (Wished it was better, like the previous 19 years), but I'll take it. Thank you.

Friday, March 23, 2007

50 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest college basketball games in history. Story by Tom Keegan.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

April 2nd: Birthday Alert

A college professor steeped in the media arts once remarked, "If you threw a party and didn't send out invitations, would you expect anyone to show up?" Professors are always steeped in something; pipe tobacco, tweed jackets, or Socratic irony, if you're lucky.

This bearded lecture hall veteran used the analogy to point out the importance of advertising or perhaps underscore a fundamental flaw in my social skills. I owned a pickup truck so I was good with keg transport, but not as handy with the invitations.

And so it is with birthdays, especially mine. I have to advertise to get a return on my special day. Oh, Mrs. Jones always comes through with a kiss and a gift. And Mom, God bless her, is quick with homemade chocolate cake, hand delivered. Grandma sends a card with a generous check, and Dad phones with recollections of waiting in the hospital with sweaty palms for the joyous news, it's a boy! Cigars were lit, people smoked everywhere in 1965, backs were slapped, and relatives drove in from farm and field to get a look at my freshly pressed mug.

Touting your own birthday as an adult is a cagey affair. You gotta weave it into conversation subtly. Force the birthday comment and one seems desperate, as the boy who sacked my groceries last night at Price Chopper reminded me. But if you're too proud to mention it, if you put your friends to the test by keeping mum, your birthday passes unnoticed, much like Arbor Day. Nobody stays home from work, but somewhere a tree is planted in your honor.

This year I'm setting aside any pride I had left before I started this web log and I'm letting you know in advance, it's three weeks and five days until my 42nd birthday. Submit those vacation requests soon, I understand tree planting takes the better part of an afternoon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A.P. Posts Correction

I know you'll be relieved that the Associated Press issued a correction to their report about the K.U. / Texas basketball game yesterday. Thank you. Good night.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Durant's Ankle and Other Basketball Myths

My son and I drove to Lawrence and watched K.U. win against Texas at Allen Field House today, 90 - 86. I might write more about our fantastic trip later (Thanks, Kurt W), but I wanted to correct some inaccurate reporting by ESPN and the Associated Press here.

I scratched my head after I turned on the TV tonight and ESPN reported that the game turned when Texas star Kevin Durant twisted his ankle in the second half. (K.U. trailed by as many as 16 points earlier in the game) I blew it off to a producer trying to create extra drama, as if the game needed it.

I think ESPN got their bad information from the Associated Press. Here's a quote from their article posted on USA

Kansas put together a 24-7 run after he got hurt, taking a 59-58 lead on Wright's basket.
The score was actually K.U. 71 Texas 65 when Durant limped off the court and went to the locker room, presumably to get his ankle taped. Our come back was already under way. The same AP article contradicted itself later, albeit this time with correct information:
Kansas was ahead 71-65 when Durant left the game, and held an 81-72 lead when he returned at the 7:19 mark.

That's more like it. This was a great K.U. victory and Texas was a worthy foe, but let's not take away from the excellent Jayhawk second half by linking Durant's injury to K.U.'s run.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Earlier I linked to the Embarrassment doing a cover of Funtime at YouTube. Now here's Iggy Pop and David Bowie doing that song on the Dinah Shore daytime talk show. Thanks to the Embarrassment Discussion Group for both links.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Keep the Axles Spinning Easy

The cub scout pinewood derby fanfare is over and I can finally unbutton my woodcrafting collar and loosen my proverbial toolshoop tie. You see, I'm not a handy guy. I admit this to you but not to my seven year-old son, Skyler. He's in that stage where he thinks I'm somewhere between Jesus and Boog Powell. While Boog Powell never walked on water he was pretty handy on the baseball diamond, though his record in cub scout car races is unknown.
The boy and I bought the official kit, fashioned the classic wedge shape, attached weights to bring it up to the five ounce limit, and lubricated the axles. I fretted about the wheels. Those wheels did not roll straight on our kitchen floor. They did not rest level on our countertop. Girly requests for time and attention from the family females were rebuffed while wheels were leveled and straightened.

One wheel didn't touch the ground every time I made necessary adjustments - a violation. I tired different axle approaches: tapping in from the side, pounding in from the bottom, all with the same result. I realized there were too many variables. I glued in the back wheels without a road test and waited a day to add the front wheels to the mix. That helped my sanity if nothing else.

Skyler painted the car. I visualized a Jackson Pollock drip masterpiece, but we goofed when we dripped multiple colors before the first one dried. They mixed together on their own when we weren't looking. Pollock cub-scout blue and yellow drip car turned space green car. Skyler added star and planet stickers and we glued extra weight on top. I lubed the axles with the sanctioned graphite dust, turned it in, heaved a sigh of relief and smiled all the way to the car. This was uncharted water for me, the son of a psychologist, where household tools weren't in the garage, but were kept in the file cabinet; ink blots and cartoons of deer holding enema bags. I shit you not!

Race night got underway after work Friday and I told my son that I didn't know if we'd finish first, but we wouldn't finish last. We stood in the cafetorium at the local Middle School and recited the pledge of allegiance before racing night commenced. We finished first and second place in our qualifying heats. Our grade level featured sixteen racers and we didn't medal, but we were competitive.

The 2nd half of the evening was open pack racing, all ages against each other. 60 cars competed for the pack trophy and a chance to compete at a future district race. The green space machine qualified for the quarter finals and then the semi-finals with some fortunate matchups and solid performances. We didn't advance to district but we finished in a tie for 8th place out of 60 cars and that was pretty good considering I'm the son of the man with the inkblots in the garage. The deer with the enema bag retired.

I trotted out the Desiderata speech about there being those who were greater and lesser than you in many of life's trials in the minivan on the way home. Don't know if that sunk in. We only lived five minutes away from the race site.

P.S. Our neighbor won the whole thing and I must say he also has the best lawn too. I hope they win district. Good Luck. Maybe this summer I'll trade him some ink blots for tips on keeping the axles spinning easy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

More Embarrassment Video

My favorite all-time band doing Funtime. Thanks to the Embo discussion group at yahoo for this youtube link. And after you're doing viewing it, check out the iggy pop/david bowie version from the Dinah Shore show. It will be over on the related links tab on the right hand pane.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Trivia Alert for 1-24-07

I will appear on the Wednesday edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire on GSN. The original ABC broadcast aired 12/13/00. See if I make it into the hot seat with Regis. Airs at 7pm central time. Check your local cable listings.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Do You Care?

You may recall the name Archibald "Moonlight" Graham from the 1989 film Field of Dreams. He was the guy who appeared in one inning of one major league game and was portrayed by Frank Whaley (as young Archie) and Burt Lancaster (as Doc Graham). But do you care that he was a real person?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Have a Sinus Deal

My face is dry and leathery. The skin under my nose is red and flaky from the onslaught of mucus and wind I faced on the way here. I need a tissue. Still, I'm thrilled to be your server at the Brass Keg Bottom. Thanks for coming this evening. Our special: Fried Butterfly Shimp. It's leapin', lovin', kisses you never got - until tonight. Prepared with Canola oil and served on a bed of Uncle Ben's. $8.95 with a salad and a baked potato.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Grade School Full Circle

The Jones family visted Stanley Elementary open house tonight. We walked among the art projects and gold-star papers, talked with smiling teachers, now younger than me. I spied a familiar face in the midst of this bustling elementary complex. Jeff Paschal and I attended Roeland Park elementary school, Old Mission Junior High, and Shawnee Mission North during the same era. We discovered that we're nearly neighbors out here on the edge of the metroplex. He's a year older than me, but was a classmate during my second grade year when they split the class, half 2nd graders and half 3rd graders. I had not seen him since the 20th anniversay reunion of the North state championship baseball team five years ago. That was a fluke too. My boss invited me to an after work rocket sauce sampling at the same bar where the team gathered that night.
Back at Stanley elementary, we chatted and I mentioned that I bowl at Mission Bowl with another Roeland Park alum, Kurt Westhoff. It must be Jeff Paschal week. He told me he saw Kurt yesterday. I'll bet Reagan was President the last time he saw us both in the same week. Maybe I'll see him again soon. He was quite the Mission bowl junior bowler and we can always use another rock tosser.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Langston Hughes in Lawrence

I'd like to see more props for Langston Hughes in relation to his Lawrence, KS roots. So does Denise Low, Kansas' next poet laureate. Check this brief chat transcript from The Lawrence Journal-World.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tonight at Mission Bowl - A fashion show

Tonight we bowled after a three week layoff. and split, no pun intended, our match with a team where a few of the bowlers wear loose-fitting pants. Sometimes these garments are akin to sweat pants, other nights they resemble pajama pants. It's not what I'd pick to roll the urethane rock. I am forced to wear my work slacks since I drive to the lanes directly from the office. These drawers are also not what I'd pick given a choice. I think Levis are good. Some guys like to wear shorts, even during the winter months. Most choices are driven by a desire for a free range of motion, but I believe the jammie pants are too relaxed for public interaction. I think I was influenced by the Seinfeld episode where Jerry chides George for wearing sweats in public, like he gave up on life.
The truth is that the bowling alley is no place for style. Wear whatever floats your bowling bag. My guidelines: cover all bellies and butt cracks. Anything else is lagniappe. This also applies to all waitresses at Applebees, Red Lobster, and/or the Outback Steakhouse. If God shaped you like the Michelin Man, low-rise jeans and bare midriff tops will not help increase tips. The exception is the Olive Garden. Let it all hang out and keep the bread sticks comin' baby! I'm the guy in the corner booth sporting cotton pajama pants and bowling shoes. Bon appetit and good scoring.

Friday, January 05, 2007

One week down in January

The first week of January flew past in a flash. I've been busy at work and I also finished my new short story (uh, not at work, but here at home). I polished it each evening, looked for adverbs to remove, and typos that needed fixing. I took out the almosts and justs and maybes. Now its done and I'm real happy with it. For awhile last year, I wasn't sure I'd ever get it finished.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I'm Excited

I finished writing a new short story last night. Now the rewriting begins as does 2007. I resolve to do more writing and rewriting in the coming year. I am grateful for my health and my family and for the three people who visit this web log. I raise a cup of kindness (AKA scotch) to you.