Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beak 'em

This photograph sums up a lot about what I love about Kansas. This is a photo of the University of Kansas student section during a basketball home game in Lawrence Kansas, where KU played their rivals from the University of Missouri (located in Columbia, MO, once home to pro-slavery agitators who organized Quantrill's raid and burned Lawrence in 1863.) The students are holding up an image of a famous mural of John Brown, abolitionist freedom fighter, with Brown's bible replaced with the NCAA tournament trophy. Awesome. Lawrence reminds me a lot of Santa Cruz, except the beach is replaced with basketball. The KU men's team has just advanced to the elite eight bracket in the NCAA tournament, and Eastern Kansas has gone Jayhawk crazy. So lately, as is true for nearly everyone in a 50 mile radius, Ive been watching a lot of basketball. Next game is tomorrow. Beak 'em, Hawks! photo via cklablog

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home-brewed substance

Tom and I bottled my very first batch of home brew last night. It certianly smells like beer, but thats all I know at this point. I messed up the recipe a bit so its going to be "lighter" than intended, but it will be beer, and it might even be alcoholic. I'll let you know in two weeks. The fish and the frog are certainly interested, it appears.

Also, Tom's a wiz with the bottle capper, turns out!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is This It Turns 10

This has nothing to do with Kansas or history (at least not really) but I find it worth noting that this album turns 10 years old in October. It came out when I was 14, and I remember listening to it on my CD player at the YMCA, the summer before High School, thinking about how cool I was that I liked a band like The Strokes. Well, that WAS super cool of me, because this album is amazing and is still the first one I play in my car when you can roll your windows down again in the Spring, like I did last Friday (though not today, it's snowing here again. Ridiculous.)

Also, Ive only ever had one copy of this CD. Can we discuss how responsible I am for keeping and caring for a single CD for nearly 10 years? I find this notable, and I add it to my extensive list of examples of how I am really good at not losing or breaking things.

Is This It is one of those albums that I know every word of every song. The same is true for Paul Simon's Graceland, but that is all I can think of. Maybe Van Morrison's Moondance, maybe Music From Big Pink, but the longer I make this list the more "old fogey" is gets so Im going to stop. Oh, and probably a lot of musicals I like to think I dont know the words to. Like Pippin.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I know him!

Comanche, the loan survivor of Custer's Last Stand, as pictured in 1876. He currently
resides in the lobby of the University of Kansas Natural History Museum

I came across this pretty remarkable collection of pictures today on the photo blog of the Denver Post while browsing teh internets, and I thought I'd share. These photos capture the frontier West in a way I've never really seen in photographs.

In addition to some beautifully haunting photos of reservation life for Native Americans, this collection also features a glamour shot of the young stud above, Comanche, my second favorite stuffed horse.* You, too, can visit with this horse/war hero in Lawrence, Kansas, in the lobby of the Natural History Museum on the KU campus. He still looks great.

*My favorite stuffed horse is, of course, Trigger.

Photo via the Denver Post plog, via the Library of Congress.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thomas Hart Benton

Yesterday, Tom surprised me with a trip to tour the home of Thomas Hart Benton, a famous Missouri artist. He was known for his murals and historical scenes. I have seen his work at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the Harry Truman Library (you can see his mural of the library entrance three posts down on the June 21, 2009 update,) and I am a big fan. Plus, home tours are my most favorite type of historical site. Homes of yesteryear! The best. Here are some shots of the Benton home and T.H.B.'s studio.

This was a really neat tour, I recommend it. It reminded me a lot of the state historic site homes in Monterey, California. Monterey's state park actually is a series of restored homes and buildings that represent eras of California history, starting with Monterey as the main port of the Spanish-occupied territory. NEAT.

My favorite home tour of all time, just in case you ever find yourself in Flagstaff, Arizona, is of the Riordan Mansion. Lumber barons really know how to build a great house. Flagstaff is a great town, which I learned when I stayed there one night during my road trip to Kansas City, nearly two years ago.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


So I promised pictures from the 4th of July, and I am here to deliver. Here you go. July 4th, 2009:

Yes, they allow children to drive tractors here.

That's a lot of construction paper

The only way a parade can start in the Midwest

Worth the wait, right? Now, how about the next year! I mean, why not. July 4th, 2010:

Same parade, different side of the street.

Tom was there, and loving it. Lots of fire trucks that year.

As you can see, a lot has happened since I last posted to this blog 1 year and 8 months ago. Ive attended at least 2 parades, probably more (actually, a lot more.) Also, as represented in the title, I moved across the state line from Kansas City, Missouri to Prairie Village, Kansas. I'll explain in a later post why I did this. Its better on this side.

Ok, thats a pretty good start. To get us all caught up, here is a picture from February, 2011.