Welcome to Winter 9

The ninth year for the Welcome to Winter 9 skate contest came and went so smoothly that if you weren't in the know, you just did not know. No whining, no fights, no parents abusing young officials. In short - real civil for an "unorganized sport". It was wonderful to see the skaters tearing up the indoor park, having a good time doing it AND being civil to each other in the process. Three cheers for skateboarders. Three cheers for event sponsor and organizer Tiki Room, and all other corporate skateboard company type sponsors.
Here are some photos to let you know what you missed if you did, and to remind you of what you saw if you were there.


Noel with a fistfull of dollars, the man never leaves home without his roll.


Nosin' it


This dude ripped hard and fast all day


2pac - always last off the course


Hittin' the rail


Sarah M over the stairs, she took second place in the 13 and under


Mikey T took first in the Best Trick Contest

More pics at my flickr site.


Religion Rears Its Ugly Head.Again.

From MSNBC this headline:

Kansas education board downplays evolution
State school board OKs standards casting doubt on Darwin

Once again Kansas is rushing forward to push religion ahead of knowledge, and has

"approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution."

Who are they? Who do these people think they are? Are they all evolutionary scientists who have become disgruntled with the status quo? Have these scientists taken it upon themselves to call into question, challenging of course with evidence and documentation to support their position, the theory of evolution. Or are they something else all together?
I will go with the something else answer, as I investigated the Kansas State Department of Education website, found the board information and read the published biographies of the members who voted in favor of approving these new science standards. From what I read it appeared to me that there was nary an evolutionary scientist among them.
Here is what I found:

Mrs. Kathy Martin

Kathy belongs to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Clay Center

Mr. Kenneth Willard

He is active in his church, and school and community organizations.

Mr. John W. Bacon

John earned his Bachelor's degree in accounting from Mid- America Nazarene University in 1985 and is now self-employed as a certified public accountant.

Mrs. Iris Van Meter

Iris graduated from Kentucky Mountain Bible College in 1956 with a degree in Christian Education. She worked in broadcasting for several years as a radio announcer and control operator. Iris was a minister's wife for over 30 years and held many offices in the church and community.
She has been a Republican precinct committeewoman in Neosho County for several years and has been an active supporter of the Republican Party.

Mrs. Connie Morris

Her autobiography, From the Darkness: One Woman'’s Rise to Nobility, has been published by Huntington House Publishers. The book is Connie'’s story of recovery through Christ from incest, rape, domestic violence, substance abuse, and poverty during her early years in the Appalachian Mountains region.

Dr. Steve E. Abrams

He is a former board member of Family Life Services and is a member of First Baptist Church in Arkansas City.

Also from the article:

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

Thank goodness for that gem. Won't that make the job of a scientist that much easier, not having to search for these so called "natural explanations". No more head scratching, no more thinking! No "natural explanation" required! Perhaps now the Flying Spaghetti Monster will get the recognition and standing it deserves, and will be taught alongside Darwin in Kansas Schools.

It is vital we all pay closer attention to, and take an active role in the democratic process at all levels if we don't want to make public schools nothing more than an extension of religious institutions.

Keep it where it belongs, preach to the converted.


Life Hacks

Always being somewhat reluctant to part with a whole pile of money for most articles of clothing, I am a frequenter of the local Value Village. For the uninitiated among you, at Value Village the discriminating shopper will find all manner of second hand clothing, books, housewares, and bric-a-brac. Don't have much use for the bric-a-brac or the used houseware items, but I always have room in my closet for an obscure t-shirt or two. Then one day I decided to look for shirts with the express intent of hacking their corporate messages with messages of my own.

Here are the results:



These two fun alterations of these "shadverts" (shirts as advertising - you heard it here first) were fun, the reaction has been favourable, and I will keep this up as a weird kind of subversive recreational word gymnastics.

And just the other day I saw a bumper sticker on a car that made me laugh. I had my camera with me and hurriedly snapped a pic ...


Here's hoping the cops aren't paying attention to bumper stickers, at least for the sake of the driver of this car.

Don't You Just Love Fall?

Took a walk on a beautiful fall day, and had my camera along. Just thought I would share some of the sights I took in on a gorgeous calm fall day.


Looking West off the Bridge in Les Sherman Park, those in the know will understand this is near a certain contentious location.


Looking East off the same bridge.


This is my street, close to my home.


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... oh just a plane.


Tree and sky, not much more to say.


Kind of a cheat, this was taken at Wascana Trails in 2004, but it was taken in the fall.

And a wasp nest we found ...


and closer ...


and closer still ...


Way more colorful than just green, too bad it is so short lived with the blanket of white coldness coming next.