October 31, 2007

Halloween @ Worlds of Fun

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Saw this at Worlds of Fun. I haven't cross-referenced it completely but I'm almost sure this image comes from Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The image is a digital blow up. You can see the pixelation.
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October 30, 2007

Worlds of Fun

Halloween time is a good time to take your first trip to Worlds of Fun. Prosoco, Inc., my wife's employer, had their biannual company picnic at the amusement park last Saturday. This is your typical mid size midwestern city park of exhilarating rides and various ways to blow your money.

Lucy will not get on any of the rides. That's fine. If she doesn't want to, that's her business. And I'm not a big huge fan of roller coasters or tilt-a-whirls myself, but if we're going to drive 49 miles to Worlds of Fun, I think we might as well take advantage of what the company is paying for. But I don't want to leave Lucy on the ground, and riding a roller coaster by oneself for some reason is unsatisfying.

Like I said, I think the activity is fun. Mike, however, lives for this shit.

Mike is a coworker of Lucy and is a big fan of roller coasters. I've noticed with these types of folks (I've run into them before), that they don't get into carnival rides in general. They are usually just into roller coasters. Grissom on CSI is into roller coasters. The other rides are just something else to do before they take their next coaster ride. And these people drive clear across the country, just to ride roller coasters.

Naturally, I asked Mike about the best roller coaster he's been on. He proceeded to tell me about the Millennium Force in Sandusky, OH ("It's a mile long"), and another in St Louis and another at Six Flags Over Texas.

So, I had found my riding partner. We first did the Boomerang, which in truth is a fairly simplistic little gravity based spin around, but the line wasn't too long. Then we did the Mamba. I love that name -- a serpent. I like too how all the big rollers have a distinctive name. The Mamba was pretty hot. I followed Mike to the back of the train. He said that's the place "because you get a little air," meaning that as you descend, your butt lifts out of the seat a few inches. This is indeed a sexy sensation. You think your buns are just going to keep on lifting, and they would, but of course you're contained by the bar they park over your seat.

When we were slowly ascending, I saw in the distance red and blue railings and Mike said, "That's The Patriot." So that was our next appointed stop. The Patriot isn't a roller coaster in the classic sense, but it's pretty darn cool nonetheless. The way it works, the seats are hung from a pipe so your legs dangle. And when they send you through the ride at high speed your seat spins such that you find yourself flailing about such that you are actually upside down at various moments. Quite an adrenaline-pumper.

Worlds of Fun is quite a nice park all the way around. Lots of trees and a few streams of water so that it's not all concrete and plastic the way most amusement parks are. The place was all decked out for Halloween and had various goonies and goblins and vampires running around in costume. I'll be putting up photos on flickr in the coming days.

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October 28, 2007

Metaphysical Shadows

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October 27, 2007

Nothing Happened

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October 26, 2007

American Gods

Shadow is a shadow indeed. His character stealthily glides through Neil Gaiman's tale of Gods and their desperate attempts to remain relevant; all having been brought to America by her immigrants of every possible genealogy and from every place in the world. But at the center is Shadow, a soon-to-be paroled convict who doesn't want anything other than to get back to his wife Laura. But then there's a complication with that, and though it happens early in the story, I don't want to drop any spoilers. This complication leads, either directly or indirectly, to his encounter with Wednesday, and man does the shit get weird after that. The Gods start showing up left and right, and they ride a carousel, and they the pluck the moon out of sky for him, and they beat him up, and...you get the idea.

American Gods is not a horror story and I hate to draw this comparison, but it is unavoidable: Gaiman's story reads like a good Stephen King novel. I couldn't help but think of the book King did with Peter Straub: The Talisman. Back before 1985 or so I read most of Steve's stuff and I happen to think he's an excellent storyteller. But I digress.

This is a great read. Neil must've done a helluvalotta research into all these obscure deities that he discusses, all having taken human form and surviving as such in the Land of the Free. You get backstory on how several of the Gods were brought to America.

A primary vehicle that Gaiman rides on here, is the premise that Gods don't make man, man makes Gods. By believing in, and sacrificing too, a God of man's imagining, man gives the God form and life. The God lives only if he or she or it is alive in the minds and hearts of people, its strength deriving from exactly how much of that belief still exists. Here we have Horus, Ibis, Anubis, Legba from Africa, Anansi, Odin, Loki, Eostre, and many others. And they're all portrayed as humans with quirky personalities. However, the allegory comes in with the emergence of the new Gods on the horizon: Technology, Media, Agency etc.

There's a battle brewing. The new Gods want to get rid of the Old Ones. And somehow Shadow, our Everyman, lands right in the middle of it. His role is essential, he just doesn't know why or what it is.

I'd like to get back to writing for this blog, and not so much photos. Hopefully this will help break that ice. The comments still don't work.

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Reflection, Mannequin, and Lace (Red)

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October 24, 2007

Side Perspective

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Wild Man Vintage

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October 23, 2007

Mannequin Legs

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October 20, 2007

Java Break

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October 19, 2007

Life Flight Eagle

This chopper is apparently based at Children's Mercy Hospital in KC. Note
the illustrations.
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October 18, 2007

Big Birds

.soaring over Clinton Lake.
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October 17, 2007

Wrens on the Fence

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Wrens on the Backyard Fence

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October 11, 2007

K 68 reflection

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K 68 Sunset

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Heading west toward Ottawa, KS. Returning from the Mulberry Mountain Harvest
Music Festival.
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October 09, 2007

Mulberry Fields Forever

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Art by Lucy

My wife drew this Saturday afternoon. Notice the butterflies in the lower righthand corner of the picture. Check the second photo from this set.
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This is from their afternoon set.
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Campground Band

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October 06, 2007

The Wayword Sons

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Cone in the Light

One of the members of Big Smith, suggested that this looked like a condom for the Michelin Man. This was synchronous because I had just finished reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Readers of that book will relate. Here's to Bibendum.
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The Ice Cream Cone

This white pagoda looking thing, which advertises an ice cream vendor, poked up almost right in the middle of everything at Mulberry Mountain. Surreal. I have been seeing this in my dreams.
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Mulberry Snoozer

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October 04, 2007

Dirtfoot @ The Chompdown

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Saturday Morning @ Mulberry Mountain

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Railroad Earth Crowd Shot

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The Codetalkers

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October 03, 2007

Make Bongs Not Bombs

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Vince Herman

Vince, shown here jamming with Blue Turtle Seduction, also acted as emcee for the weekend festival. I could take him or leave him as an emcee, but I suppose he did no harm.
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Blue Turtle Seduction 2 w/ Vince Herman

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Blue Turtle Seduction 1 w/ Vince Herman

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Hula Hoopist

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October 01, 2007

Mulberry Shadows

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A backlit soft drink.
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This is a view of the mountain from the stage area.
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Mulberry Stage

We think this stage is great. It's permanent, rather than the portable jobs you see at these festivals.
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My-Tea Kind 2

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