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!
The drought is over. I was doing so well with blogging and posting photos. But, I went M.I.A. for a bit. Not really missing just not writing. Went out to Los Angeles for a couple of days. The weather was perfect and the scenery was amazing. I was able to take some photos while I was there. I was staying in Hollywood and it is true what they say about homeless people being everywhere. I did enjoy the area though. Interesting people all around and so much to see.
The huge irony of the entire trip was the place I visited where the most interesting people were and the most action was I didn’t take one photo. Venice Beach is a street photographers dream, and I didn’t feel like taking any photographs while I was there. I was too busy enjoying it all and taking everything in. But that just gives me more reason to get back and visit. The longer I am away from LA the more I want to get back to visit. That is usually how it happens though. I go somewhere and can’t wait to get back home. As soon as I get back home, I can’t wait to get back to where I just visited. I’m sure it will always be like that.
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!
Whenever I am in Kansas City I try to make it to the Nelson-Atkins museum. The first time I went was around 20 years ago. I knew it was a good museum because it had a Van Gogh. Outside of that, I really didn’t know a lot of the artists. But I always appreciated the fine art that was inside. But….
fast forward a couple of years. I began to realize that this museum has so many masterpieces and has some of the best artists works. Plus the best thing is on the weekends… it is free! Where else can you walk in and see works of arts from Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Monet, Andy Warhol, Dorthea Lange, Jackson Pollack and Cezanne… all for free! If you haven’t ever been go! If you have… then do yourself a favor and go again.
About 6 months ago I put together a photography zine. Many photography zines such as Hamburger Eyes keep me inspired and wanting to get out and take photos. More people are making zines but I noticed not very many people in Wichita had. I love having a printed photo or photobook in my hands. They look so much better than online or on social media. I always wanted to create a zine of my own so I did. You can still grab one here….
I have been thinking of what my next zine will be. The theme, the photos, how I want to lay it out. I would like to have something done and off to the printer by the end of March. Let the fun of finding photos and working on the layout begin! Of course I will give updates on how it is going and when the next issue will be available.
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!
Just a couple mile past Minneapolis, Kansas you will find Rock City. It is a bit strange to see all those rock formations in the middle of a field. Even though they are just big rock formations, you find yourself spending quite a long time looking at them. Also I had to go and look and each individual one. They are all similar, but each one has its own distinct character. The price is 3 dollars, but half of them are located before the gift shop so you can park your car and enjoy them without having to pay. Also take a lunch and half a picnic! There are plenty of tables to sit and take in all the scenery!
I have not shot pool in easily 10 years. But somehow I found myself out and about shooting pool. Got in some photos on an artist I have seen perform around town named Wody. We talked music, Wichita and hip-hop. I had passed by the place we went to hundreds of times. Crazy how you can see something, pass by it and not think twice about it. So it was cool to finally go in. Needless to say I was horrible at playing pool.
I have been going through some of my old photos. Looking at the hip-hop events, shows and people who attended around Wichita. Some are still with us, some aren’t. Feel very blessed to have been at the shows and events. Even more grateful that I was able to document them. So many times we have experiences and I hear people say, “I wish I would have taken a photo.” Well let me tell you, I try to make sure I take photos. You never know who might be there and who you might run into. So make sure and snap a photo or two next time you are out.
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.
Every time I drive across town on the highway I look up. As I drive under a overpass I am looking for a quote. It says, “The Journey IS The Reward - Anonymous”. Such a true comment. But why does it hit so close to home for me? I think that for so long I wasn’t paying attention. Overlooking what is most important… which is the journey. The journey called life. I started taking more time to sit back and focus on being in the moment. Not about the past or the future, but about now. I see so many people passing through life, but not taking time to enjoy it. We run the race, run the race, run the race… then at the end of life we realize, there is no race. Over the years I have passed under that quote and thought about it a hundred times. It took me awhile, but now I finally understand. It is all about the journey.
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.