• Things You Probably Never Heard Of: Eurovision 2009

    In the country where the “World Series” usually include such world powers as New York and Arizona, it’s no wonder that a musical competition in Europe is not front page news. I feel it’s my duty to inform those of you who haven’t heard the news that this year’s Eurovision 2009 was won by a Russian-born singer representing Norway.

    I actually had more fun watching the compilation of all the winners in the previous 50 years where many songs sounded very familiar.

    While you may want to take a look at poodle-looking Celine Dion somehow representing Switzerland, I like the following song from 1975 a lot better.

  • Nothing Still Rhymes With Minneapolis

    We only had one full day in Minneapolis so we had to make it count. Getting around the Twin Cities is easy, even considering horribly confusing twin I35 highways. On any highway you will probably find yourself to be the fastest driver in the city – the rest of the population competes in out-slowing each other and driving under the speed limit without actually coming to a complete stop.

    From the beautiful downtown Minneapolis…

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  • Happy New Year!

    So we made it another year, which went by so fast it didn’t even pause for the end of the world. Apparently I have a habit of writing nostalgic retrospective posts around this time of the year, and this being the fifth year of this here blog they are all starting to look the same; even the photos have been posted before. I’ll be brief for a change.

    Here I stand in 1976, barely 7 years old, not knowing that even 36 years later this is the biggest and the only beard I will ever have. I don’t even know what 36 years feels like. I can’t yet say to my friend “I’ve known you for 39 years.”, or “It’s been 15 years since we talked face-to-face.” I guess that’s why I am smiling.

    Odessa, Ukraine. 1976

    On January 1st, I will wake up after 2 hours of sleep, with a headache and a hangover and my only New Year Resolution will be not to do this ever again; I know that’s not going to stick.

    I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope you are better at Resolutions than I am and everything you wish for comes true. And if we find ourselves at the bottom o a fiscal or whatever else cliff, I hope there is a lot of alcohol down there.

    And now we dance – Kola Beldy – I will take you to the tundra:

  • Another One Bites The Asbestos Dust

    Previously: World’s Most Expensive Billboard and How Many Years Can A Building Exist…

    I can’t say I have any nostalgic feelings for this Stein Mart building currently being demolished on the Northeast corner of 95th St. and Quivira, or its previous tenant Shepler’s Western Wear. I can’t recall buying anything at the former and even entering the latter. By a strange coincidence both stores still remain at the same intersection. I don’t know what the unusual shape of the building was supposed to represent and did it look as forward-thinking and futuristic in the late 1970’s as it looks outdated today. Apparently the design wasn’t unique – a twin of this building may be still surviving in San Antonio.

    *the next 2 photos depict the San Antonio building, I wasn’t able to find anything on the Overland Park location.

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  • Old Photos: Vintage Kansas City

    On my rare visit to Barnes and Noble, a store that encourages consumer to buy books online, I discovered a new batch of books containing vintage photos of Kansas City and other nearby places of interest. While I admire the effort to collect and annotate enough historic photos for a book, I don’t see myself paying over $20 for one of them. I am afraid many of these will be read at the coffee shop upstairs.

    Luckily there are plenty of old photos online to entertain a cheap person like myself and even some books that can be read and downloaded for free. For example, check out A Birthday Book Of Kansas City 1821-1921 by Charles Phelps Cushing (obviously you should do it at work). The following photos and captions are taken from this book.

    Kansas City

    The Past and Present, on this block there is one of the newest and one of the oldest buildings in Kansas City. At Tenth Street and Grand Ave. arises the frame of the new Federal Bank Building. The oldest church building still in church use in Kansas City is the Catholic Church of St.Peter and St.Paul. southwest corner of Ninth and McGee streets. Sarvent

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