Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fine art

There are at least three ways something can become valuable over time.

1) Desirable and plentiful in it's day, scarce today.
2) Misunderstood (or undesirable) in it's day, therefore scarce, and desirable today.
3) Desirable, but scarce, then and now.

Which is this? I don't know, but good black velvet paintings by popular artists are now bringing close to five figures in the "art" market. This one by noted painter Tang Lao, dated '69, is probably not in that category, but well worth the $20 I spent for it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The world's largest . .

I visited a friend who works in a Federal building in South KC last week. They have fairly strict security there; metal detectors and bright florescent "VISITOR" badges; etc. As I was leaving I handed the badge over to the front desk guard who slapped it onto this big ball of badges. "Tell me there's a soccer ball under all those." I said. "No," he said. "We've been saving them for a little over two years now." He let me pick it up, and it's HEAVY!

Like I said at the start of this blog, adventure is where you find it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

30 years ago . .

I shot this at the Rolling Magic Skate Park in Overland Park soon after it opened c.1979. I sold this image to the park and they used it in their print advertising. The management had me provide a liability waiver before they would allow me to shoot inside the park. I was there every week that summer.

Rolling Magic lasted only a couple of years before insurance costs forced it to close. There's nothing left of it today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Arturo Fuente
Gran Reserva Natural Sungrown

Although I was a regular cigar smoker many years ago, I am admittedly a novice once again. But novices buy cigars, too, right? So here goes . .

A. Fuente is the featured producer for the next Outlaw Cigar Co. Party April 25, so I figured a mid-level offering from Fuente would be a good baseline sample.

Contents: Dominican binder and filler
Wrapper: Natural Ecuadorian Sungrown
Size: Impereial Corona 6.5 x 46
Purchased From: Outlaw Cigar Co.
Price: $6.00
Smoke Time: 1.5 hours

Nice appearance, although the wrapper was a little course and veiny. Solidly packed and uniform. Encouraging, pungent scent. Cold draw was tight, but imparted sweet, aged tobacco flavors.

First Third
Smooth, creamy and mild. Voluminous smoke! Uneven burn developed. Ash fell off at one inch. No spiciness or identifiable flavor profile to speak of. Mild body.

Second Third
Started a bit bitter. Uneven burn persisted requiring a touch-up. One-inch ash length also persisted. Aroma is sweet and pungent, but flavor is still largely non-existant with only occasional hints of moist cardboard. By the end of this third the burn started to self-correct and a bit of spiciness began to come forward. The ash began to hang on longer. May have been a plug in the middle. Progressed to medium body.

Final Third
No surprises; still not much in terms of flavor, still voluminous smoke. Spice makes a retreat and bitterness increases. I find late in this third that the band was actually holding the wrapper together (not good).

A fairly uninteresting cigar. Mostly smooth, tons of smoke with nice aroma but certainly not twice as good as some sticks half the price.

Time for a beer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is this the face of a "Dangerous Building"??

According to news reports (begin skepticism now) this building, known to locals as "The Chateau" at Brooklyn and Minnie in the Pendleton Heights neighborhood of Northeast KCMO, was in grave danger of collapse. So THE CITY issued a demo order, and demo began yesterday. Reports said that the inner floors had fallen through leaving unsupported walls to hold up the roof.

I don't know. Do you see floors, inner walls and a staircase, or is it just me? Personally, I've been inside far worse.

And if this National-Register-listed building was SOO dangerous, why is it that only ONE worker is wearing a hardhat?

To see what this building looked like just before demolition started, visit Hyperblogal's Blog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Round 'em up!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Yesterday I went for my first walk of the season in Mount Washington Cemetery. I do this as often as I can. I have a route that is roughly 3.8 miles and takes me about an hour. It's not for the inexperienced! There are altitude changes of several hundred feet; long, slow climbs and steep decents, and vice versa. Good, and good for you, though.

It's not quite as beautiful now as it will be later in the Spring, so start walking now and you'll be ready when it is!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What R U Lookin' At?

I really like the wax security guard in the lobby of the newly-renovated Missouri Bank downtown. And they now have a "green room" for meetings!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rocky Patel at The Outlaw Cigar Co.

Today my wife and I, and our friend Hyperblogal, went to the The Outlaw Cigar Co. party featuring cigar-maker Rocky Patel. There I am above with the man himself! (Photo by Hyperblogal.)

The event was also a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project featuring a motorcycle ride from three different locations, all converging on The Outlaw Cigar Co.

Easily hundreds, possibly thousands of people turned out for the event and were treated to a 300lb roast pig, BBQ sausages, free beer (and other beverages) and snacks.

And of course, Rocky signed the pig!

Wonderful cigars, good people (even ran into some friends we hadn't seen in a while) and a GREAT cause!

Friday, March 20, 2009

30 years ago . .

I hope to make this a weekly feature; proof that given enough time, any clear photo can become interesting if not historically significant.

I've been doing this for a LONG time, it seems. This is SW High School, Kansas City, MO, c. 1979. I do know who the kid is in the distance. Do you?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Opportunities . .

We were dog-sitting for my Dad and Step-Mom for the last couple of days. Nuf said.

This is also a good opportunity to remind everybody of the upcoming Outlaw Cigar party with Rocky Patel this Saturday. It's going to be HUGE!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You opened it!

How's this for an opening post? I have a rule when I'm photographing existing conditions in an old building; I must open ONE refrigerator. You never know what you'll find! Rust, mold, bugs and mice, severed head? (Still waiting for the severed head.)

Adventure is where you find it!

Welcome to my blog.