Sine I haven’t had posted a long form post in a month and a half, I’ll just get to the point. Continue reading Fast forward
The first week of 2016 has not exactly gone as planned.
Wednesday morning at a quarter after midnight, I attempted to walk down the driveway. Problem was, the snow has gotten so compacted it did turn to ice. After about two steps, I twisted my left foot, landed on my ass, and sent my phone flying.
For those that don’t know, I was adopted at birth. Recently, I decided to look into my biological family.
For me, it didn’t take that long. Armed with my biological mother’s name, I did a facebook search. It came back with results indicating that I had a “friend in common.”
I’ve added some photos from a little train-watching trip near Quenemo. Continue reading Website updates: 11/12/12
The bad news… I haven’t made a new post to this blog in a while.
The good news… I’ve at least found something to do (and get paid for it). It’s a contract job involving a computer and printer deployment for various offices in Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.
Those trips have also netted me some road trip opportunities.
So, I’m coming into town to do my last minute shopping. I also brought my camera, just in case I saw a train on the Union Pacific line just north of Lawrence. I did see a train, and I stopped at Laptad’s corner to catch it. That’s when I did something stupid…. I locked the car… with the keys in it… and left my cell phone at home.
I waited a little while and caught another train, then I walked to a nearby house. No one answered the door. I did catch another train, as well as a car pulling into a nearby buisness. That buisness just happened to be Bulldog Tow.
So I walked in and explained that I left my keys in the car just up the road. The person at the front desk had a driver take me back to the car, contacted AAA on my behalf, and opened her up. As he was working on the van, another train arrived. I took a picture of that train, while the Bulldog rep took care of the paperwork and went on his way back to HQ. I procceded to town, bought the presents, and went over to Grandma’s to wrap them.
I guarantee that I’ll be seeing more trains on Christmas Day. I agreed to open the Santa Fe Station for the Eastbound Amtrak train.
The new signs for US 24 and US 40 are now beginning to make their
appearance on I-70. I manged to get a few shots of the old signs in place
alongside their new counterpoints, PLUS the new END! of US 73 at the
Also:some shots of the new Lone Elm Road bridges, as well as new railroad
bridges and Clearview in Olathe
And, on a personal note, my cousins Carl, Sam, Bethany, and Cyrus:
A recent set of comments on a spirit squad related email list reminded me of events that happened 10 years ago this month that brought controversy to the KU spirit squad.
In December of 1998, the KU Athletics department decreed that the spirit squads would not be allowed to participate in Nationals. However, the Dance team captain had already made the necessary arrangements to participate at the the ’99 UDA nationals, which by then were about a month away. The elected to ignore the embargo and proceeded as planned, which was publicly posted in the local newspaper. Reaction from the squad was extremely negative. Many of the cheerleaders quit in protest, reducing that squad to 12 by the end of February.
The mother of one of the squad members was nice enough to contact me that Saturday night to let me know how they did. I was also able to greet them when they returned to KCI.
The dance team was also moved from the floor into a reserved section in the south bleachers. Some of the squad believed it was because they were concealing advertising banners for the local phone company. Toward the end of the season, rumors also persisted that the the south bleachers were going to be turned from student seating to reserved seating.
In the end, the coaching staff was dismissed, and the 99-00 dance squad was reduced from two squads of 12 to one squad of 10, with an alternate. The athletic department also sponsored an student support organization called the HAWK club, of which I was a participant. The south bleachers remained student seating, and in fact, the HAWK club was encouraging its members to sit in those south seats. The dance squad was returned to its two squad lineup for the 02-03 season, however, the original name “Crimson Girls” was retired. The new name, “Rock Chalk Dancers,” was introduced in 2004. The squad still anchors the south bleachers while the game is underway, and I doubt they will be moved back to the floor anytime soon.
I didn’t mind the name change, partially because the athletics had been promoting the use of blue over crimson, and because I knew there were male dancers out there. In fact, I have a couple of them in my family. I’m also fine with the south end bleachers; that move may have actually saved them from being turned into reserved seating.
I haven’t been in contact with the squad personally since the fall of ’03, but thanks to Facebook, I have re-established contact with many of the members of the past squads, including the 98-99 squad. Among that squad, a couple of them are still dancing. I’ve also got a nurse and a dentist. Some are married, a few have kids of their own.
The following is a letter I wrote 10 years ago, which was published in the Lawrence Journal-World on February 2, 1999. The letter also notes that Kansas high school cheerleaders and dance teams cannot participate in nationals. As of 2009, this is still the case. However, they can participate in contests where the site is no more than 500 road-miles from the border (this limit in 1999 was 150)
To the Editor,
Among the worlds of business, academia, and sports, there is one common goal: the pursuit of excellence.
Recently, the KU Athletic Department decided that the cheerleaders and Crimson Girls should not be allowed to compete in nationals. Since the spirit squads were willing to raise their own funds, money is not the problem. Therefore, the only plausible reason I could think of is the Athletic Department simply does not want them to go.
When it comes to similar spirit groups on the high school level, the Kansas State High School Activities Association is among the most restrictive associations in the country. The Lawrence High and Free State High pom squads and cheerleaders have been invited to national competitions similar to the ones KU have been attending several times. Because of the rules of the KSHSAA, they have not been allowed to go. In addition, the KSHSAA does not allow groups attending summer camps under their name to be ranked, whereas other camps rank their participants on a regular basis. This leads me to believe that the KSHSAA believes that spirit groups should not be competing, a mentality which I suspect has spread to the KU athletic department.
Why should the Crimson Girls and the pom squads and cheerleaders of Lawrence be allowed to compete? By competing, they have a brass ring to reach for. If a team succeeds and reaches that ring, they become the mark of excellence. If they try and dont quite make it, they would have my utmost respect for reaching for the top. Not reaching for the top, not really competing, means they have no real passion for what they do and would settle for mediocrity.
The Athletic Department and the KSHSAA, whether intentionally or not, are promoting mediocrity by disallowing the spirit squads under their control the opportunity to compete against their peers with little or no reason. Their actions are not good for the students that these organizations are representing because it takes away from their spirit and passion for cheering. Without that passion, their support for the teams they cheer on would be weaker, and that would take away the atmosphere the spirit squads bring to the game they attend.
On the return portion of my recent roadtrip, I cranked up my iPod. Here’s what was playing.
|The Girl’s Gone Wild||Travis Tritt||My Honky Tonk History||Country||11/23/08 03:23 PM|
|When Somebody Loves You||Alan Jackson||When Somebody Loves You||Country||11/23/08 03:27 PM|
|Waitin’ On A Woman||Brad Paisley & Andy Griffith||Play [Brad Paisley]||Country||11/23/08 03:32 PM|
|That Was Yesterday||Foreigner||Agent Provocateur||Rock||11/23/08 03:36 PM|
|Hong Kong Blues||Junior Brown||Semi Crazy||Country||11/23/08 03:40 PM|
|It’s Only A Paper Moon||James Darren||This One’s From The Heart||Easy Listening||11/23/08 03:42 PM|
|I’ve Been Better||Brad Paisley||Who Needs Pictures||Country||11/23/08 03:46 PM|
|East Bound And Down||Jerry Reed||Trucker’s Jukebox [Compilation Album]||Country||11/23/08 03:49 PM|
|Waiting for a Girl Like You||Foreigner||4||Rock||11/23/08 03:54 PM|
|Something Happened on the Way to Heaven||Phil Collins||…But Seriously||Rock||11/23/08 03:59 PM|
|Walk Like an Egyptian||The Bangles||Different Light||Rock||11/23/08 04:02 PM|
|Big Ball’s in Cowtown||George Strait/Ray Benson||A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys
[Dance Version Remix] [Asleep at the Wheel]
|Country||11/23/08 04:07 PM|
|Mainstreet||Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band||Night Moves||Rock||11/23/08 04:11 PM|
|Phantom 309||Boxcar Willie||Trucker’s Jukebox [Compilation Album]||Country||11/23/08 04:15 PM|
|The Best Thing That I Had Goin’||Brad Paisley||Mud On The Tires||Country||11/23/08 04:19 PM|
|I Know a Wall When I See One||Toby Keith||How Do You Like Me Now?!||Country||11/23/08 04:22 PM|
|Morning Train||Sheena Easton||Totally 80’s (Disc 2) [Compilation Album]||Rock||11/23/08 04:25 PM|
|Leave Him Out of This||Steve Wariner||I Am Ready||Country||11/23/08 04:29 PM|
|If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)||George Strait||If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)||Country||11/23/08 04:32 PM|
|Old Blue Chair||Kenny Chesney||When the Sun Goes Down||Country||11/23/08 04:35 PM|
|Somebody||Bryan Adams||Reckless||Rock||11/23/08 04:40 PM|
|Right Here Right Now||Jesus Jones||Doubt||Rock||11/23/08 04:43 PM|
|The Harry Shuffle [Instrumental]||Steve Wariner||Two Teardrops||Country||11/23/08 04:45 PM|
|El Tejano||Cowboy Troy||Loco Motive||Country||11/23/08 04:48 PM|
|Won’t Let You Down||Keith Urban||Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing||Country||11/23/08 04:52 PM|
|Do You Believe in Love||Huey Lewis & the News||Picture This||Rock||11/23/08 04:55 PM|
|American Daughters||Sarah Buxton||Almost My Record||Country||11/23/08 04:59 PM|
|I’ll Be Coming Back For More||T.G. Sheppard||3/4 Lonely||Country||11/23/08 05:02 PM|
|There Ya Go||Alan Jackson||What I Do||Country||11/23/08 05:05 PM|
|Relax||Frankie Goes to Hollywood||Welcome to the Pleasuredome||Rock||11/23/08 05:09 PM|
|I Go to Extremes||Billy Joel||Storm Front||Rock||11/23/08 05:13 PM|
|The Search Is Over||Survivor||Vital Signs||Rock||11/23/08 05:17 PM|
|Dream Walkin’||Toby Keith||Dream Walkin’||Country||11/23/08 05:22 PM|
|The Letter||The Box Tops||The Letter/Neon Rainbow||Rock||11/23/08 05:24 PM|
|Into the Groove||Madonna||Like a Virgin||Rock||11/23/08 05:28 PM|
|That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be||Carly Simon||Carly Simon||Rock||11/23/08 05:32 PM|
Reporting tonight from the Comfort Inn in Westminster:
Day 1: Set up jump
No pictures, just a tired roadgeek setting up the second day. My little cousin Bethany had a birthday party Sunday afternoon, so I knew I was going to have a late start in. I decided upon Salina as my intermediate stop. From the party in Perry, it was Bridge Rd. (old 24) to US 24, then 24 west to the Oakland Expressway (K-4), then the Oakland to I-70.
Day 2: Salina – Denver
* I started with a bowl of Cherrios and several glasses of Juice, then I fueled up at Bosselman’s (where the gas prices on the LED sign were, in a word, ackward) then headed south on Ninth to Wal-Mart, to pick up some
drinks, a cooler, Ice, and a few more odds and ends.
* From Wally World, I headed north on I-135. When I got to I-70, I elected to continue north on US 81, picking up the names of the exits from K-143 to K-106 at Minneapolis. I continued on the four-lane expressway to US 24
* I took 24 west to K-181, passing through Simpson, Asherville, and Cawker City before turning North.
* I took 181 North to catch its north end at US 36
* I took 36 west to Phillipsburg, where I caught US 183 and took it south to K-9. From there, I followed K-9 west, stopping at Speed and observing the junction with US 283 before catching the end of K-9 at K-123.
* K-123’s southern end isn’t that far away from K-9. The junction with K-23 is a T, in which K-23 traffic heading north has to turn left to proceed north on K-23, or turn right and go north on K-123. There are also “TO K-9” markers as appropriate for the intersection.
*I continued on K-23 to the US 83/K-383 Junction, where we have a “double end”
* I took 83 south and west to US 24, where I passed through Colby before heading to Goodland. After lunch and a time change (set my clocks for the mountain time zone), I took I-70 west to Kananado, where I swung off and took K-267 over to the State line, where I had notice a big “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign. I forgot my tripod, so I posed my vehicle against the sign (yes, it was that big, as you can see in the pictures)
* I followed the frontage road/old US 24 to Burlington, where I hooked back up with I-70, and from there, it was I-70 all the way to Denver, then up I-270 and US 36 to Sheridan, where you’ll find the aforementioned Comfort Inn.
NEW COUNTIES: Mitchell, Osborne, Smith, Phillips, Norton, Decatur (just barely), and Sheridan.