• Message in a Sputnik

    A recent article on a forum based in the Russian city of Yaroslavl attracted my attention. It talks about a time capsule that was sealed in 1960 to be opened 50 years later during the 1,000th birthday of the city.

    August 21,1960. Time Capsule Dedication Ceremony at the Stadium
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  • Pothole: In Memoriam

    Only five months after first being reported on this blog the famous Kansas City pothole is no longer with us.

    Over its short but storied life this pothole brought joy and adventure to children, small animals and many drivers, as well as plenty of material for no less than 5 posts on this blog.

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  • Kansas: As Red As You Think It Is

    Recently through the magic of Facebook an article came to my attention. Bruised Kansas by Jeffrey Ann Goudie laments the transformation of the State of Kansas from a state on the forefront of racial equality and “proud history of women in politics” to a state where Governor Brownback autocratically imposes his “boilerplate political agenda”.

    The only thing missing was one of those before and after photos that get passed around on the internet.

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    When I read the article, I kept thinking that the author must not be living in the same Kansas I live in; one can argue that Johnson County, KS is not representative of the entire state, but I am fairly familiar with a large part of it, having driven thousands of miles on my semi-frequent road trips to familiarize myself with the state where I made my home for the past 20 years. During that time I have met many Kansans, had candid conversations with countless acquaintances and coworkers not necessarily constrained by Codes of Business Conduct and unnecessary politeness, so I have a pretty good idea about the people I am surrounded with in my daily life, and, boy, is this state RED.

    I’d be the first one to defend Kansas for being unfairly maligned, but not because the criticism and stereotyping is misplaced, but because, in most cases, it’s coming from places that are no better and not much further along on the scale of progress. I will never stop saying that people of Kansas are some of the most kind, helpful, compassionate people I’ve ever met. But boy, is this state RED.

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  • Where The Buffalo (Used To) Roam

    Cue the State Song of Kansas

    Were buffalo used to roam there is now the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway where no one roams anymore, just an occasional car with passengers who didn’t find anything better to do on a gloomy Sunday. Scenic Byway officially starts at Ft.Leavenworth, passes through Atchison, twists and turns through Troy and stops right before the Nebraska border at White Cloud – a place still recovering from the housing bubble of 1929.

    White Cloud is home to the 4-State lookout – a place where you can see Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska at the same time.

    Panoramic view from the lookout can be seen here.
    Miss Teen Kansas lives here (at least until 2010):

    White Cloud was voted the best place to dispose of a dead body:

    Just don’t forget to “dispose of all head and guts” and leave the work area clean for the next person.

    North of the White Cloud you will find an Indian Casino adorned by the symbols of past glory: Eagle Feathers, Eagle without feathers and an unfinished tepee:

    At the casino zombie-looking white people are sitting in the clouds of smoke, mistakenly hoping they can fool the Indians again. Instead, their money is financing the modern-day tepees.

    On the way back you can cross the river, drive past the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge,and return home via I-29.

    Overall, this is a pretty nice weekend trip, but it will probably look more picturesque during the spring and summer months. There is a lot more to be seen in Atchison and there is a 10-mile auto route around the Refuge.

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  • Old Photos:Lenin Is Still Dead

    I used to be better at remembering useless dates, I blame the atrophy of my memory on the iPhone. It’s the iPhone’s fault that I am posting this photo three days late. Vladimir Illyich Lenin died on January 21,1924.

    People waiting in sub-zero weather to visit Mausoleum Tomb of Lenin & Stalin. ©Time Carl Mydans

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