Tag Archives: Kansas
(Thread photo is of a Kodak Pocket No. 1 – circa 1927. My youngest daughter, Julia, has her grandfather’s example hanging on her family room wall. It is non-functional, unfortunately.)
This is being written on Thursday morning, from the comfort of an office chair, but when you read this column, I will be out in the wild with my daughter on a photo expedition to the wilderness of Western Wichita. The best time for landscape photos – and most others – is early morning or late night when the shadows and light are softer.
I am looking forward to spending some time with Dee, pursuing our mutual love of fine photography. Taking a great picture is a pleasure, especially if the experience can be shared. We will be heading out about 6:30 AM, an hour before sunrise, to be able to set up and wait for the perfect light. Thanks to the technology of digital photography, our “mistakes” can easily be forgiven and we won’t have to worry about having enough film with us.
I began my fascination with photography in the old days, with a 35mm Minolta rangefinder. Soon after, I graduated to a SLR. It took a while, but I belatedly went digital. I still shoot like a film photographer, but I appreciate the flexibility of digital. Now, I carry a King’s ransom of photography gear with me – no excuses for poor work these days!
In the real old days, Ansel Adams shot with a huge view camera with 8 x 10 sheet film and massive lenses. Every shot was a pricey event and there was little room for error. Today, I real off six or eight shots of the same scene to get my pix. Adam’s most famous photo, “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome,” was a three shot wonder, each shot with a different filter, when Ansel was just 25 years old. Today, I won’t be shooting a similar picture – no mountains in Kansas – but I can take as many shots as I want, with all the effects I could imagine, without taking my Canon DSLR off the tripod.
Photography is my passion. I can’t sing. I can’t play an instrument. I can’t draw. Photography is my creative outlet.
Fnord paints rocks. Wicked is a writer. Free is addicted to Southern Rock. We all need a place of our own to express ourselves to remain remotely (?) sane. What is your passion?
William Stephenson Clark
(Photos will be published Monday.)
Unless Sam Brownback gets caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy, he will Kansas’ next Governor, and all of us may come to regret it. Sam makes no bones about his “faith” and he has every intention of imposing that philosophy on the rest of Kansas.
Sam doesn’t believe in abortion – under any circumstances. That’s right. No abortions, no exceptions. That means no abortions even in cases of rape, incest, the viability of the fetus, the health or even the life of the mother. Let that sink in for a moment – even if a fourteen year old gets raped and is impregnated, Sam doesn’t want her to have the option of having an abortion. Even if the prospective mother is likely to die if she carries the fetus to term, Sam doesn’t want her to have the option of having an abortion. The same goes for cases where there is no signs of life from the fetus or if it is severely deformed or even brain-dead.
Sam also believes in the so-called “Fair Tax.” I used the term “so-called” because it is anything but fair. Under the “Fair Tax” program, lower-income people would see an immediate increase in tax rates of a monumental proportion. One of the numbers I have seen tossed about is 22%, that is, everyone would pay that tax rate with no deductions. Pretty good deal, right? Then, of course, the higher income tax payers would see a reduction in rates as much as 13% points, from about 35% to the previously mentioned 22%.
Sam has a lot of great ideas for Kansas – eliminating corporate taxes and drastically reducing regulations, especially those that affect the environment. “Protecting families” is another of Sam’s pet projects. Presumably that means taking what few rights they have away from gays and lesbians. Sam also says that he is going to create jobs for Kansans. Why he hasn’t done that yet is a mystery, never to be solved.
So, just when you think that Kansas could not be any worse off, along comes Sam.
Thank God for I-70.
William Stephenson Clark
It has been said, many times, sometimes at great volume, that Wichita drivers are the worst on the planet. There are days that I tend to agree.
I took a short trip down Seneca to 31st Street a short time ago, within the last hour or so. During that two mile drive, I twice had to slam on my brakes to avoid vehicles pulling out in from of me, one of which was a large truck. On two more occasions during the same drive, I observed people putting on their turn signals – in the middle of the turn they were making. I once watched a man texting as he drove. He was riding a motorcycle.
If it isn’t the high speed lunatics, it’s the “how slow can you go” morons.
Obviously, there are tragic results to bad driving, but I would rather not dwell on that, nor the obvious problem of impaired drivers. We have enough simpletons on the roads to make a simple trip to the grocery store into an adventure, with throwing those topics into the mix.
As many of you know, I rode motorcycles for many a year. As a confirmed biker, I rapidly learn from the beginning that a cyclist’s only friend on the road is himself. The “other guy” ain’t gonna look out for you, so you damned well better look out for yourself.
Many long-term bikers, myself included, develop a sixth sense of self-preservation and to use a motorcycle’s inherent superior braking, acceleration and maneuverability to keep themselves alive with the shiny side up.
Unfortunately, most folks don’t drive like a seasoned motorcyclist, they drive with little understanding of “defensive driving” and awareness of the potential consequences of even a momentary lack of attention.
If I could just teach Wichita drivers a few things they would be:
Traffic signs and signals are not “suggestions.”
It really isn’t a crime to use your turn signals.
The speed limit is the “maximum” allowed, not the “minimum.”
Store parking lots are not the place to practice your bumper car skills.
Wichita drivers may not truly be the worst on the planet – Chicago drivers hold that “honor” – but they are truly bad.
So what is it with Wichita drivers?
William Stephenson Clark
What makes it more special? We’re not being made fun of!
If you spend a couple of days exploring Wichita, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll run into the Berlin Wall.
As I prepared for a short stay there, I learned that at least two substantial slabs of the Cold War relic are prominently displayed in and near the city.
Continue reading here.
An emcompassing, the inclusion of all things of matter.
Went on a job interview yesterday, looks like I maybe getting back into security.
Law enforcement seems to think I am older then I think I am.
And no one else seems interested in a 52 y.o. who piddle his younger year away and had not decided what he wanted to be when he grew up….. I really need to decided that one of these days!
Kristof offers that Costa Rica ranks highest among the happiest countries in the world. The beautiful coasts may have something to do with this. Also, Costa Rica in 1949 disbanded their army and started devoting money to education.
Costa Ricans rank high on any of the methods employed to measure such variables as happiness. See Kristof’s editorial here.
Honestly, if I had to choose between spending next week in Kansas or Costa Rica, I don’t believe the decision would be at all difficult for me.
In this fine book, Thomas Frank goes to lengths to figure our what being a “conservative” means in Kansas. His main premise is that due to social conservative attitudes in Kansas, our voters get convinced to support the Republican party, even though this is in conflict with our economic interests.
I believe that when Kansans are calling themselves “conservative” they are not usually thinking of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. But, if I’m correct, what exactly do they have in mind? Please help bloggers…
I hesitated to post this so soon aftwe fnord’s excellent Kennedy post [I will see if I can back date it], but on North Oliver a little south of 29th Street North, yesterday, I saw an Armadillo who had been on the unfortunate receiving end of some contact with a motor vehicle. I had heard that Armadillos were showing up in Kansas, but this one was the first one I’d seen ino our state.
I wonder if them showing up here is in some way a reflection of global warming? What do you bloggers think?
An interesting bit of trivia, all Armadillo litters of babies are made up identical quadruplets. This is supposed to be some sort of selective advantage, though I am not recalling what that was. Anyone else know?
A bit of advice I’ve heard: it is a good idea to not drive over an Armadillo if you can avoid it. They jump up and can really wreak havic on a car’s undercarriage.
In this RED state, the Prairie P&P bloggers are like a gentle breeze, a refreshing rain, a dose of sanity! 😉
What are you doing to stay cool?
The last day in July in Kansas often means nothing is very green anymore. Usually lack of rain and lots of wind have made our state brownish by now. Not this year! Everything is still green, and although we’ve had some stretches of hot weather, we’ve also had many pleasant and cooler days.
What’s going on with everyone this last day of July?
Kansas was the 34th state admitted to the union on January 29, 1861.
Population: 2,688,418 (2000 – US census report that comes out every 10 years. Largest Cities: Wichita, Kansas City, Overland Park, Topeka. Major Industries: Aircraft Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Education. Geographic Size: 82,282 square miles–ranked 15th in geographic size. Geographic Center of Continental US: Near Lebanon in Smith County. And, (drumroll!) one of the reddest of the red states where Republicans don’t even have to show up to be elected!
Any Todd Fans out there? I can’t hear you! ~sekanblogger
The $787 billion stimulus is not nearly enough – Paul Krugman, professor of economics at Princeton University and Nobel Prize winner.