I often wonder why there are not more monuments around Wichita. I would think that there would be more, but there isn’t. Come to think of it there really isn’t that many statues. A handful in the downtown area. Outside of that, nothing. Maybe that is what it is. Most of the monuments and statues are in a 1 1/2 miles radius. Maybe to get people out and about and in different parts of the city there should be some put up in places that people don’t normally go to. It might give them a reason to go or at least be a sort of monument treasure hunt for people who come in town. Maybe one day.
So far this year I would have to say out of all the money I have spent that my zoo membership has been the best bang for my buck. For starters if my wife and I go 3 times in one year we have made our money back. I always like going to the zoo but at the price of general admission I didn’t make it but once a year tops. But now with a membership we can go, walk around and enjoy the zoo. If we only want to see the elephants, then we just see the elephants. There isn’t as much of a rush to get everything in at one time to get our moneys worth.
But what I like most is it gives me something to do when there is nothing going on. On a boring Sunday afternoon with nothing going on the zoo will always be there to keep me entertained. Plus the people watching is as interesting as the animal watching. That is the on place in Wichita that I can say that. I do always feel a bit of nostalgia whenever I go. My first job as a teenager was at the zoo. I think about my time working there and all the fun behind the scenes things that most people never see while walking around. So you might see me walking around the zoo a lot more often. Plus they have the best popcorn ever!
When I was younger I remember going to parades on St. Patrick’s Day. They would go down Main Street through the middle of downtown Wichita. It would be one of those events that we would have a field trip for in elementary school. But as I got older the less I heard of it. That is until a couple years ago. Some friends were telling me about a St. Patrick’s Day parade that went through the neighborhood of Delano.
I figured what the hell, I will check it out. When I arrived I noticed quite a few people walking toward the Delano district with green on. I figured it would be a good crowd. But when I got there the numbers for the parade were so much higher than I expected. Easily 5,000 people. Which is a damn good turn out!
Today will mark the fourth year that I will be attending the St. Patrick’s Parade in Delano. It has became a bit of an annual tradition for me now. It is so nice to see people turn out for the St. Patrick’s Day parade again. Just don’t forget to wear your green!
Flying…. It used to be one of my biggest fears. I hated it. Studies have sown that 1 in 3 Americans are either anxious about flying or have a fear of flying. I hated everything about it. Walking in the airport. Waiting in line and going through TSA. Sitting and waiting at the gate. The lines that form and all the craziness while boarding the plane. Taking off, and most of all the turbulence. It got so bad that I used to get panic attacks on the plane! It always started with a shortness of breath. Then sweating and a feeling of being cramp in. Within 5 or 10 minutes I would pass out.
But recently, something has changed. I started to let go. Not worry about the plane crashing or being so high. Not thinking about being cramped in a small space for so long. But the more I started thinking about flying the more I felt better about it. Last year in 2018 the FAA handled over 15,000,000 flights! The FAA oversaw 43,000 flights every day! That is just in the United States! I damn near have better odds and winning a million dollar lottery than getting in a place crash.
I have came to enjoy flying. Or at least enjoy it more than I used to. Whenever I get a window seat I find myself taking photos out the window and enjoying being detached from everything for a couple hours. I still hate TSA though.
Last night I went to check out Metallica play at Intrust Bank Arena. I can say without a doubt that this was the best live show I have ever seen. As I was watching them I started to think about the show, the presentation and technical aspect of it. Also what made it the best show I have seen. Lets start with the music. When you go to a show and hear hit after hit after hit it does something to you. It makes you appreciate the band you are seeing even more. The fact that, not only have they lasted so long and have a huge catalog of music, but also that they are still make hits! Amazing when you really think about it. What stood out to me more than anything was the technical aspect of the show. The stage lighting and pyrotechnics was on point. But the sound was second to none! You can tell they have spent years perfecting how they want to sound. The sound was loud without being drowning. The drums you could feel in your chest but also had a pop and snap to them. The real stand out of the show was when the music stopped. I can see why this band has such a huge following and has sold out shows for 30 years. I sat and watched James Hetfield not just thank but talk to everyone as if he really knew them. Took time to say that he knows how hard everyone works and how hard they make their money. So it was Metallica’s job to put on a show worthy of them spending their hard earned money. I have never heard that at a hip-hop show. And I started thinking, 30 years from now how many hip-hop artists will be in Intrust Bank Arena thanking a sold out crowd of almost 16,000 for spending their hard earned money. Not too many.
I had the day off from work. Not for anything special, but for President’s Day. Up until 10 years ago President’s Day was just another day. This is the first job I have had that gives me the day off. Which quite frankly, I could do without. Every year it is too cold to get out and do anything. Plus, President’s Day is one of those weird holidays that only government workers and bank employees have off. Unfortunately I don’t have friends who work at either so I am usually stuck alone trying to fill the day with something that will keep my attention. Most museums are closed on Mondays and lets face it, there isn’t a long list of things to go do and see in this town. I spend the day pacing around the house, looking for something to do. I have never been able to sit in a house all day. The only time I do that is when I am sick, which is even rare. Even on the coldest, snowiest and iciest of days I will get out to go to the store or visit family. So having a Monday in February off is more of a curse than a gift. But I made the most of the day, and yes… I got out of the house. Spent some time writing and a hot mocha and Fairmount Coffee. The drinks are good, the people are nice and even the droopy flowers still had some smell to them. All in all, it was a pretty good day off. But, I am ready to get back t work!
At the beginning of the year I had a goal. To average one roll of film every day. That means I am trying to shoot 365 rolls of film this year! So far I am up to about 23 rolls. Which is great, but I am falling behind. The hardest part is during the week. Much of time is spent in a radio studio or production room. So getting out is the hard part. Luckily I got out some over the weekend and was able to shoot some rolls. I will say when it gets warmer I am able to get in a lot more shooting. So for this early in the year I am doing pretty good. Here are some photos I took recently.
Every now and then I come across someone or something that I have to get a photo of. Something so out fo the ordinary that I know I will never see it happen again. That happened two me in 2014. I was walking around downtown Wichita during Riverfest. I turned and saw the Wichita State University mascot Wu Shock. It normally wouldn’t be out of the norm, but what caught me off guard was a guy sitting next to him. He was having a full on conversation with Wu Shock. Only problem is Wu Shock doesn’t talk. The guy was just talking and talking. Asking questions that were yes or no, but questions like, “How is your day going?” “What time did you get here?” Somehow they had a connection. It was pretty awesome to watch.
After hearing so much about Game Of Thrones I finally watched the series. I must admit, the show is amazing. But once the dragons showed up in the series I started thinking. How cool would it be if dragons were real!? Just imagine looking up in the sky and seeing an animal the size of an airplane soaring through the skies. But then so many questions come up. Would they be wild or could you tame them and raise them as pets? Where would they live? Could they last and survive in cold weather climates? Then, I also had to take in consideration the fire breathing. Would it be a good thing to have an animal that could incinerate an entire building in one breath? Probably not. I could see dragons being used in wars and to hurt people. And don’t they hoard gold and riches? So, maybe it is good that dragons aren’t real. I am sure somewhere a scientist is trying to cross a lizard with a bird to create one. Who knows? Maybe someday there will be one.
Went out a couple nights ago to the latest venue in town call The Wave. Saw the Nappy Roots perform. It is always nice to get out and check out the shows around town. Always felt it was important to go and support. I remember the days when there weren’t many places you could go to hear hip-hop much less see a show. Grateful to see more shows and more variety around the town. The turnout looked great and the vibes all totally positive from everyone. I spent most of my time hanging out in the back watching the crowd. I tend to do that more and more. It is interesting to see what type of crowd comes out to a show. Looking froward to the next hip-hop show there!
While I was sitting at home sick with the flu bored out of my mind I decided to start watching Game Of Thrones. Sure beat what was in daytime television. So far, so good. Takes me back to all the times going to the renaissance fairs growing up. I still go! Never dressed up though. Doubt I ever will. Never say never though!
Developed some more film over the past couple of days. The first roll isn’t too bad! Looking forward to scanning some more film over the weekend. I have had many questions about developing film. It is a lot easier than one might think. The first experience I had with developing film was in middle school. I was lucky enough to be in the year book class. SO we got to go around and shoot all the photographs for the year book. I can’t remember what type of camera we had or even the film we used. But it was so cool walking around photographing everyone. The next time I set foot in a darkroom was years later when I went to college. Every Mass Communications major had to take photography. I am working now on getting a darkroom together. I have an enlarger and have told myself that I will start making prints this year! The sooner…. the better.
This year I am making an effort to go to more local hip-hop shows. I went to a couple last year, but I see more and more that they are happening and getting larger crowds. I think back 20 years ago and how cool it is to see an entire new generation throwing their own shows and creating music. But recently I feel this energy around the town. I can’t quit put my finger on it but it is an energy I haven’t felt in quite a bit. All the pieces are coming together for some special events this year. I am already hearing about some great shows on the horizon. I took some photos at the concerts and parties when I was younger but not near enough. Around 2014 I made sure to take a camera with me whenever I went to a show. This time around, I want to make sure to document everything!