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Saturday, April 30, 2011


A lucky shot I got the other evening on the way home.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Quindaro & Whatnot

We rode to run errands, but Corinna wanted me to see the overlook from Quindaro Township, where many escaped slaves found what passed for freedom at the time.

I guess after Western University quit being a school, the site was used to build a nursing home that was so quickly condemned, it conjures the adjective 'Soviet.'

We rode out to what used to be a video store. These days it's a photography studio, but we weren't looking for either, rather for a produce stand that's apparently not open for the season yet.

On the way to get seeds for the garden, I spotted a cute antique store, the 'Cheep Guy,' near an equally awkwardly named Chinese takeout called 'Nice Food.'

Then we hit a day old bread shop and headed back east.

Ended up with a trip to Bonito Michoacan for groceries to make liver & onions. Corinna made this dish a few weeks ago using a technique I think of as Dump & Stir. For all the effort I put out, what she terms 'Cheffery,' I don't think mine turned out any better.

My liver & onions was hot and spicy, thanks to a bit of African Bird, but I can't claim it was any better.

On the way to get the liver, I stopped to take pictures of another mural.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bottoms Up

After the Three O'Clock ride, as we rode around downtown taking pictures and whatnot, a set of circumstances called us to Margarita-ville.

First of all, though, the light was fantastic. We were having a bit of beer we picked up on the Three O'Clock.

Anyway, as we wound our way back home, looking for Margarita ingredients, we stopped at what turned out to be a heavily fortified liquor store. Behind the bandit barrier there were hundreds of bottles of booze, and while I found a cut-rate tequila the guy behind the glass wall didn't think they had any triple sec. I'm like, There's 1200 bottles back there, what do you mean no triple sec?

But his English and my Spanish couldn't meet and we ended up getting triple sec at another liquor store. And when I went to get limes from a little tienda, they didn't have margarita salt. So that was another stop.

And I thought it'd make a great alley cat race, do a cocktail themed one where people enter Margarita, Martini, Long Island Iced Tea, etc. categories and have to buy each ingredient in a different city or zip code.

Then when they finish there could be a mixology contest to see who mixes the best drink in each category, so everybody wins.

I think this name was already taken, but I thought we could start in the West Bottoms and end up by Observation Park and call it 'Bottoms Up.'

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Makes Me Proud...

I gave Melissa a couple of decals I'd made, and she gushed about how she'd have to think about where to put them.

Then I noticed where she had decided to place one of them, on the head set of her bike. I felt so proud when I saw she was riding a genuine Duck Soup.

I gave a Duck Soup spoke card to a stranger, but he had to have the concept of a spoke card explained to him so I don't know that I'll ever see him tooling up Broadway sporting my handiwork.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Three O'Clock Somewhere...

Two weeks in a row I managed to make the 3:00 ride from YJ's. What a fun group, I wish I could make it more often.

I've marveled more than once that God made Corinna and me, that this was exactly how He chose to speak to me when all else failed.

But I was also struck by how Jevon and his girlfriend were two peas from the same factory-second pod. I picture someone wishing they could just meet a fast cyclist who disdains helmets and even cycling gloves; who smokes hand-rolled cigarettes and thinks it's funny when they get trash-juice on their hoodie.

That's not a slam. Before I met the Poet Laureate, I'd have been bitterly jealous of a couple like this, thinking why can't I find another freak from my show?

Having gotten a couple more Three O'Clock rides in, I can't say I recommend a concussion and broken fingers immediately before one.

We saw kayakers off Kaw Point.

Also at Kaw Point, we saw a guy fishing, and after he hauled an enormous bass to shore, I thought he was about to throw it back. I always think Don't do it! I never catch much when I try to fish, and the idea of throwing something back that would be worth eating seems like buying a drink for a woman and not sticking around to chat her up.

But no, he was adding this fish to a stringer and heading for home. Four hours, he said, and he had caught more fish in weight than I have in my entire life. Maybe I'm giving away the location of a great fishing spot, but if I ever decide to try snagging my lures on a river bank again, I think I'll try Kaw Point.

We visited the Worldwide Ultraglobal International Top Secret Superheadquarters, too.

I found a foot. Well, part of a foot, in a curious pile of dumping. Arlo Guthrie's bit about how we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of garbage, well, at the bottom of this half ton was a busted up printed circuit board, a plastic half foot with gnarly toenails and varicose veins, and Polaroid pictures from a wedding.

It's funny, when we rolled into certain parking lots, the rent-a-cops went on high alert even though we were just passing through to a public park. I'm not sure what they were afraid we would do, exactly, but they weren't going to let us out of their sight.

I saw a sign I wanted to take a picture of and peeled off to do so, and one other rider followed me and as I looked over my shoulder, I saw a Keystone Kops moment in which the goombah in the security car didn't know which way to go.

I'll grant you, we're an unaccountable looking lot, but surely it's obvious that we're benign. Right?

The Poet Laureate and I actually extended the ride into the Magic Hour and beyond.

We got fantastic photographs, made more private security personnel feel needed, were mistaken for cops (there's a paranoia symptom for you), and I don't know what-all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breakfast of Champ-eens

I think I've eaten more fresh fruit since October than in the past ten years combined. I'm pretty good about vegetables, but fresh mango, pineapple, passion fruit, etc., I just don't seem to find those antioxidant-laden bombs on my own.

A different story when the Poet Laureate cooks breakfast, of course.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I pass this joint on a regular basis these days, it was one of my favorite places to take dates back in high school.

Of course, back then I had little income but it was all disposable. We had to stop there to drop a birthday present off on our way to the Three O'Clock Ride, and I took advantage of the opportunity to shoot some signage.

Scribulous Wesport

Riding in to work from Corinna's last Friday morning, I stopped to take some pics of (yet more) of Scribe's legal walls. I really enjoy him.

I got these pics right before it started raining and I had to put the camera in a dry-sack.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Ahem. I've been battling the entropy here at my house lately with renewed fervor, but I'm afraid I suffered a setback.

I was doing my taxes and grilling burgers for the honyocks, and I guess those leaves I didn't get out of the driveway last fall were pretty dry...

I smelled someone burning leaves and heard the crackling sounds of a camp fire. But it wasn't a camp fire, it was my driveway.

I got the hose on it, but still. I guess I'm glad that, in the anti-entropy process, I moved Daisy into the garage the other day.

The conflagration consumed one of the wheels on my 15-year-old Weber kettle, something tells me it's high time to find another grill. And get rid of this one. City-wide garage sale day is coming up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Poetry for Personal Power @ UMKC

I blogged more when I had a lot less to blog about, I think.

The writing is good therapy, but here I realize I went to one of Corinna's poetry events a couple weeks back, took over 300 photos and forgot to share any of it.

It was a real treat because it was in town, so I could attend without committing to a half-week long bike tour, and Sara Glass was headlining.

Sara is one of the most talented performers I've ever seen, someone who can just instantly command a room. Funny to boot.

Which can be a real breath of fresh air. I like some of the edgier poets, but at some events I've felt shouted at to the point of fatigue. It's the problem I have with a lot of punk rock, if it's all rage, the rage loses its impact.

As I say, I took over 300 pics but most of them are shit. The windows and stage lights back-lit the poets badly, and Sara is hard to photograph anyway because she never stops moving. I should probably delete a few hundred photos of her I've taken at a few shows now, they're all blurry (and noisy from cranking the ISO, in vain, to compensate).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Waiter, There's Some B!#@&?*t in My Drink!

I'm told I have a really long life line, but isn't that the safest thing to tell someone when you read their palm? Even people who don't seem to have much to live for have a hell of a survival instinct, so it's always going to be welcome news. And if you're wrong, who is coming to complain?

When I asked this of the palm reader, I got a dirty look. Not the good kind, either.

Before she read several palms, John's new girlfriend asked me if I was a Virgo. Nope, I'm a Leo, I said. Born on September 12.

But that makes you a Virgo, she insisted.

If she were right, I'd agree with her. Leo was in the sun on September 12, 1969, it's not my fault astrologers haven't updated their sun signs in 5,000 years. Of course, according to her, this argument only proves what a total Virgo I am.

In fairness, she got a lot right. More than I gave her credit for, because really, is she reading my palm or my personality? My profligate romantic life as a teen, the 'early health event' that caused me to change my lifestyle... Well, I'm pretty sure all teenage boys are basically an erect penis with the idea of a human being attached to it. And my heart attack at 32 did get me working out like a fiend for about six months. Then I sat around, drank too much, and ate a lot of fried food for six years before I actually did doodly squat about my lifestyle.

While she was reading our palms and predicting our romantic destinies, John pointed out that she was dragging her cuff in my margarita. I said something like, Careful, you'll get psychic bullshit in my cocktail. At which point she threatened to go on strike, it's not like anyone was paying for her insights.

It was fun. I want to introduce her to Robert the Psychic sometime. They can compare notes about what a skeptical jerk I am.

I rode from work to the Trek Store, something that I thought of doing last year but couldn't quite get my mind around. Bicycles as transportation seem so impractical to American eyes. Yet somehow it made sense in my former world to put my bike on my car and drive to a place I had no other reason to be, ride in a circle back to the car and then drive home. Even if that meant riding a similar distance to what it would have taken to just ride from the office to my house.

But bike advocates seem whack even to people who love to ride (me anyway). It's no good telling people they'll save the planet or give BP something to cry about, they'll only join in if they find out how much fun we're having.