Saturday, March 15, 2008

Live at Hack Day!

OK, maybe not exactly live per se, but pretty close. I'm here at Hack Day, and we have two other people besides myself.

Jay Hannah came down all the way from Omaha.
John Benson is the only lawyer/web developer I've ever met. Apparently he specializes in electronic discovery, something I'd never heard of before today. He's also involved in getting a hacker space started in KC, which I think would be really awesome.

So we're here at Nighthawks Coffeehouse, under the watchful eye of a pretty girl who I think is the owner's missus. :)

I will edit this post throughout the day as needed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tony, where are you?

Tony's Kansas City isn't coming up for me. Is something wrong?

Where am I going to get my rants about Funkhouser interspersed with bits of T & A? Where am I going to get commenters calling Tony a "racist tool"? Where am I going to get rants about Union Station? WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

I'm sure I speak for the entire Kansas City blogging community when I say that this is a dark time in our history. We anxiously await TKC's return while giving no thought to the awful, terrible alternative.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fire in historic Richmond, MO

In Richmond, MO stood the Hughes and Wasson bank building. In 1867, this building was the site of a bank robbery and triple homicide in 1867, supposedly1 perpretrated by the famous outlaw Jesse James. Eleven years later, a tornado ripped through downtown Richmond, levelling buildings left and right, but leaving the Hughes and Wasson Bank building, the same one that Jesse James had supposedly robbed, untouched. It is believed that the building was constructed sometime before the Civil War. Sadly, all that history came to an end today as a fire destroyed this historic building and an adjacent building.

According to Richmond Assistant Fire Chief Mark Sowder, the fire began in the rear of the first floor of the building, which was housing "The Cleaners Etc.", a dry cleaning business operated by Michael Baker. The fire rapidly spread to the thankfully unoccupied apartments on the second floor, and the adjacent building. This building was to be the new offices of Misti McKenzie, LPN, and Ray Smith, LMT. According to the Kansas City Star's article, Ms. McKenzie has planned to open a deep tissue massage business. The building was being renovated by Dan Ball, owner of Highland Home-Right LLC Real Estate Inspection, a job that had begun this past October.

Officer Michael Estes of the Richmond Police Department would not comment on whether foul play was involved, saying it was "too soon to tell".

Thankfully, there were no injuries reported as a result of this fire, according to Ray county Ambulance paramedic Jamie Davidson. The Richmond Fire Department were first on the scene, but were later assisted by fire crews from Excelsior Springs Fire Department and Lexington Fire & Rescue.

1 There is some debate on whether or not Jesse James was actually involved in this robbery. When I spoke with Ms. McKenzie, she certainly seemed convinced of it.

I'll post pictures tomorrow; I took several. As for why I'm reporting on this: I heard about this fire in the area, and decided that I'd go photograph it. A bit of random amateur journalism, but then again, isn't that what blogging is all about? :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

MFM News!

Update from the folks at The Million Fag March, which is coming up at the end of this month. The event now has a host! Jack Jett, who hosts the show QueerEdge with Sandra Bernhardt. His show airs in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and is also available over the Internet. This is a big step for the MFM - it's gone from just a Kansas City area thing to a potentially international thing! So my sincerest congratulations to all the folks behind the MFM, and I'll see you March 30. Readers, I hope to see you there as well.

For more details, see this post in the MFM Blog.

Hack Day has a wiki!

I know I promised pictures from my ride, but Flickr is being shitty to me and won't let me upload.

I posted about Hack Day to the local Perl Mongers list. Somehow, news of this reached a fellow in Omaha by the name of Jay Hannah, and he was kind enough to start a wiki for the event.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It was a beautiful day for a ride

Yesterday got up past 50° F. I didn't have anything to do besides walk a friend's dog and an interview in Corporate Woods (where I heard an interesting anecdote I'll post about later) at 16:00. So I decided to get up off my ass, tear myself away from Mr. Do! and Neo Mr. Do! (I &heart; MAME) and put some miles under me on my motorcycle.

I needed to run by the post office on 63rd, and the dog I was walking was near Loose Park, so I decided to go south. I hit 71 Highway after the post office with the thought that I might go down near Longview Community College - my wife's attending LCC right now, and I've been wanting to just meander around that area for a while. But then I saw the sign for Bannister Road, and the allure of The Dead Mall was too powerful to resist.

I got off 71 highway and on to Bannister Road, hoping to find something interesting along the way. And I did, a bit - I passed right by the ginormous walled city that is the Federal Complex. I didn't think the guard at the gate would take too kindly to "It looked neat, and I wanted to have a look around" as a reason for being there (though I did successfully use that once at an air force base) so I regretfully passed on by.

Next I came to the Valero station at Lydia and Bannister. This looked promising; it looked a bit undeveloped past the gas station, and there were some pleasant curves to the road. Eagerly, I turned down Lydia only to find "Lindenwoods", a depressingly suburban subdivision. I tooled around there for a good ten minutes, trying to find my way out without retracing my steps (because where's the fun in that?). Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful.

By this point I had decided that all I could expect if I continued west was more urban sprawl, so I decided to turn around and head east along Bannister. Eventually, I came to Blue River Road. I seemed to recall that I had been down this way in the car at one point, and had always meant to try Blue river Road on two wheels. I figured now was as good a time as any, and turned down Blue River Road. Good choice.

Blue River Road must be scenic as hell in the spring and summer. There were trees arching over the road almost the entire way, along with those peculiar rock faces I only see in this area. At one point (just a bit south of Martha Truman Road) I saw a frozen waterfall that I just had to get a picture of.

Blue River Road is curvy, but not to the degree that it's lots of fun unless you're doing a pretty consistent 60-70 miles per hour (and I definitely was not.) That said, I did manage to find a couple of curves that I got a good lean angle on. With the reasonably pleasant weather, it was a nice bit of riding. Unfortunately, it ended all too soon - Blue River Road isn't more than a couple of miles long.

Pictures to come in the next post.