• Behind the Iron Curtain: March 5, 1953

    The day when Stalin’s life ended became a day of new beginnings for millions of people. People rotting in labor camps, people forced to resettle, people who never met their parents, people who went to bed every night fearing arrests.
    Here is what it looked like in 1953:

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  • Kansas Roadtrips: Prairie Dogs of Hutchinson

    There are exactly three things to do in Hutchinson, unless you count going to the mall as a thing to do – Cosmosphere, Kansas Underground Salt Museum and watching the prairie dogs. Both museums are excellent, probably among the best in Midwest, but it’s the prairie dogs who put everything in perspective.

    Prairie dogs represent the eternity.

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  • Old Photos: Window Shopping

    These photos show how stores used to advertise goods and services but the most interesting thing is prices.
    As always all photos are linked to their large versions.

    People shopping in an auto parts store in Lebanon, KS.	February 1957

    People shopping in an auto parts store in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Sign on window advertising a variety of services available in	Kansas City, MO. August 1945

    Sign on window advertising a variety of services available in Kansas City, MO. August 1945

    Sen. Edward V. Longs law office is maintained in Bowling Green, MO. May 1967

    Sen. Edward V. Long's law office is maintained in Bowling Green, MO. May 1967

    Sign on liquor store encouraging customers to buy quantity in Kansas City, MO. August 1945

    Sign on liquor store encouraging customers to buy quantity in Kansas City, MO. August 1945

    Nowadays even XO has to pay more than 75 cents for his haircut.

    A man waiting in a barber shop for a haircut in Lebanon, KS.	February 1957

    A man waiting in a barber shop for a haircut in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Carton of cigarettes for $2.25.

    Teenage girls drinking milkshakes at a local restaurant in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Teenage girls drinking milkshakes at a local restaurant in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Notice – old-timey cereal boxes on the top shelf.

    Enos A. Axtell (R), a candidate for office, standing with his family in the grocery store owned by his parents in Kansas City, MO. July 1946

    Enos A. Axtell (R), a candidate for office, standing with his family in the grocery store owned by his parents in Kansas City, MO. July 1946

    A man buying a greeting card from a drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    A man buying a greeting card from a drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    A man waits for customers at a counter in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    A man waits for customers at a counter in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Men standing on in front of a local drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Men standing on in front of a local drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Sa-Tan-Ic Laxative Compound in the bottom right.

    Medicines for sale at a local drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Medicines for sale at a local drugstore in Lebanon, KS. February 1957

    Next week, your grandma in a bathtub! Stay tuned.

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  • Vitamin S

    Starting in 1954 the Sugar Information, Inc. published ads in the  Life Magazine and others promoting the health and weight-loss benefits of sugar. Of course in the 1950’s the sugar was delicious, healthy and local, not the corporate white death we have to eat today. Girls used it for an energy boost during a long school day; women used it for dieting so they can look good on the beach; men used it for penis enlargement …well, ads didn’t actually mention men so no one knows what they used it for.

    I want that America back. Free of disgusting diet drinks and sugar-free Jell-O. Where sugar slimmed you down instead of making you fat. Where sugar cured diabetes and cancer. Where you could eat a teaspoon of sugar to keep you from getting hungry between other teaspoons of sugar. I want this awesome America back.

    That’s why I will be voting for Ron Paul in November even if he is not on the ballot and I am not registered to vote.

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  • What I Did This Weekend

    May, you may want to skip this one.

    Sunday’s weather cooperated and, as I as was anticipating, we were on the way to Lawrence to attend Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships. Last year we attended this festival just looking for something to do (for free) and we liked it so much that this year we were actually planning on going. There was a pretty good-sized crowd, unlike the other notable music event, proving again that location matters. The festival had two stages where competitors and performers such as O’Shea Sisters and DeLancey Trio took turns entertaining the public. We spent around 3 hours listening to the music, wandering around and taking some photos and videos. Most of these have heads and other parts of people who decided to park their fat obnoxious asses in front of me, so I forever have memories of these inconsiderate morons. Click on the cover to see the rest of the photos.

    KS State Fiddling and Picking Championships 2008

    Another unexpected and pleasant surprise was waiting for us in downtown Lawrence where The Lawrence Busker Festival was taking place. My daughter and I are big fans of buskers, although until yesterday I didn’t know that they were referring to themselves as “buskers”. I always thought it was “street performers” or whatever. There were quite a few of them – magicians, jugglers, musicians – and downtown Lawrence was alive with crowds. We didn’t leave Lawrence until after 5, after eating at Rudy’s Pizza and finishing with Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream.
    And that, May, is what I did this weekend.

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