Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I rode my bike into work today and made a frightening discovery...

Geology and the study of geothermal dynamics is a curious and facinating topic. The mysteries of the Earth's crust and its movements are still largely an enigma, but science can at the very least observe and to a relatively small degree predict those movements. Like the weather however such movements fall within the bounds of chaos theory and cannot be accurately predicted beyond a reasonable amount of time into the future; billions upon billions of microscopic particle interactions beyond our comprehension see to that.

Now you may be thinking to yourself... 'Get to the point.' Well my friends the point very simply is this: the hills of Kansas City are rising! It has been three months about since I ended my Summer long stretch of consistently commuting to work on my bike; in that time based upon my rough estimation which in turn is based upon performance comparisons of today's ride with my last, the hills of Kansas City have risen in height and steepness by no less than 20-30%. This amount of change in such a radically small amount of time (in geological terms) is virtually unheard of... and THAT is what scared me the most. This change HAS in fact been unheard of... no mention of these upheavals nor the unfelt but most assuredly occuring seismic events have made their way onto the evening news or into local newspapers.

The only possible explanation is COVER UP!

The United States Geologic Survey is infamous for its cover-ups. Google it for yourself. There is big money in hiding the fact that a killer earthquake is about to wipe out a town. Insurance companies for one are eager to avoid having to pay out on numerous brand new earth quake policies such as would surely happen if people were aware that Kansas City has recently had so much seismic activity we are experiencing a visible shift in our landscape.

The New Madrid fault was long thought to be the nearest geo-threat to the Midwest, but we are sitting on a number of ancient, supposedly inactive fault lines. It is clear to me now that the city itself must be involved in the cover up due to the lack of visible damage to asphalt, bridges, etc. Now that I think of it though, there do seem to be larger numbers of city street workers about lately... most likely under the guise of fixing winter pot holes; a perfect cover. Prepare yourselves... this tectonic terror is being hidden from view by unscrupulous bureaucrats no doubt, but the clock on my desk does not lie. It took me a full 15 minutes longer to ride to work than it should have and there is absolutely no other explanation...

...unless I am just out of shape.

Friday, December 19, 2008


The holidays have once again got me reminiscing about Christmases long long ago and childhood in general. In my excitement to see my kids' faces when they wake up next Thursday morning I recall all of the fond memories I had of this time of year at their age. To be honest my fondest memories are of time spent at my Grandparents'... not that I didn't have a good time with my immediate family, but the Kennicutt Grandparents established many seasonal traditions which I miss.

First of all they were exceptionally brave in that they would have ALL of the grandkids spend the night several times a year (7 cousins in all and sometimes 1 additional '3rd cousin'). During this time of year we would always get together for the Christmas cookie weekend. Grandma Kennicutt would set us up at her huge dinning room table with a wad of sugar cookie dough, a bowl of flour, some wax paper, rolling pin, various cookie cutters and an array of cookie decorations. She'd let us make whatever we wanted... and she'd never stifle our creativity by saying things like "Michael you can't make that 3-D Jabba the Hut cookie sculpture because it will never cook through". She would stick it in the oven regardless and we'd see what came out.

Another seasonal tradition was to spend New Year's Eve there and that was always a blast! She would make homemade taffy and we'd all have a taffy pull (man that stuff was sooo good; just pure sugar more or less with some molasses and a few other tasty ingredients). After we pulled the taffy to the right consistency she'd arrange it on the cookie sheet and bake it. Good stuff. Then of course they'd bust out the party hats, champagne glasses and noise makers and we'd watch Dick Clark do the countdown.

Food traditions at Grandma's... She made the best "TV Snacks" you've ever tasted and that was always the first thing we would ask for when we walked through the front door. It was basically a chex mix with some cheerios and pretzels, basted with her special worcestershire sauce and seasoning mix then baked and finally put into popcorn tins or Folgers cans. My grandfather used Folgers cans for everything.

For breakfast she would make what she called jesse cakes and these were another thing we looked forward to. She'd roll out some homemade biscuit dough, cover it with liberal amounts of butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and I can't recall what else, then she'd roll it up into about a 2-3" thick roll, cut the roll into inch thick slices and then bake them flat on a cookie sheet until golden brown. Aaaaaaaaaah... jesse cakes. Oh yeah and that was the wakeup call my Grandpa would get us up to. "JEEEEEEEEESSE CAKES!!!" We needed no further prodding to get out of bed.

Entertainment at the Grandparents was abundant and diverse. Mostly we were allowed free reign of the house and the grounds extending to the property lines and just beyond (they lived right next to a 7-11). Grandpa would let us go down to the dungeon and use his tools when we got a little older (they had an old stone wall foundation so it was dubbed the dungeon.)

The drill press fling was great fun until we got caught and summarily shut down. What you do is use a small piece of 2x4... lower the drill press into the wood... let go and duck. The spinning wood would fly off the press at high velocity in a random horizontal direction. Also we liked to use the grinder with nails for a spark show... that also got shut down when my cousin got a hot iron filing in the eye. She was ok but had a scratched cornea for a few weeks until it healed. There was the 20' tire swing which never got old. It was a huge Uniroyal tractor tire laid flat and attached to a branch by a chain at least 20' tall, attached to the chain by four chains meeting in the center and the tire hung about a foot and a half off the ground. The tire was big enough for 4 little kids to sit in and swing or spin until we were all completely nauseated. My older brother came up with 'Operation Wedding Day' which was exceptionally fun when the older kids would let us join in. We would tie a bunch of used pop cans to a string, sneak into the 7-11 parking lot and select a victim... then run back to the house and covertly watch the car drive out of the lot with some 'just married' cans dangling from their bumper. We never got caught doing that but got to watch some very irate drivers get out of the car a half block down the road and cuss loudly.

Yeah those were good times. Both of them have since passed away and I grieve somewhat because I don't know whether either accepted Christ before their lives ended, but I do know that my Grandfather at least heard the gospel more than once and heard it fully on his death bed. I guess this has turned into a rather melancholy post... but the memories are still quite good ones.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An epiphony of the palate...

Since my doctor erroneously told me I had high blood pressure a couple months ago I have been backing off on my coffee drinking (basically going from about 2 cups every day to only drinking coffee at church on Tuesdays and Sundays). Turns out I had what they call "white coat" hypertension which means my blood pressure only goes up when I visit a doctor which I take to mean that I shouldn't go to doctors anymore because high blood pressure is obviously unhealthy.

So getting on with my point...

I haven't had a cup of coffee since Sunday morning and as I was feeling a bit drowsy at the office this afternoon I curtailed my walpolling activities, sallied forth and infiltrated Broadway Cafe's place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some caffeinated comestibles. As I was sipping my Colombian house blend black as it was served, I suddenly noticed something I can't recall ever noticing before... a subtle 'fruitiness' as it were in the taste centers of my brain. A very slight sour/sweet emerging from the bitter to produce a similar effect to swallowing a mouthful of citrusy fruit juice... but only in the background of the general sensation I am used to when drinking coffee. This happened halfway through the cup and I spent the latter half of said beverage exploring this sensation whilst enjoying it at the same time.

I must confess I have entertained the notion on occasion that all of my coffee house fanatic friends were just fantasizing that they could discern all of these bewilderingly complex varieties of tastes within a simple sip of java... but now I am not so sure. I now see the possibility that I was merely blind to the hidden world of coffee goodness. I feel now like the blind man of the Gospels who was partially healed and said "I see men as trees walking". I think with a little more effort and conscious awareness on my part I may actually 'get there' some day in the near future.

My thanks to those who have spurred me on in this endeavor of appreciating the bean.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

So I missed my 1 year blogaversary

...But only by a day. So in honor of this not-at-all momentous event I am reposting my greatest creation: Jedi Master Soddyr Wyre. This short film has received numerous awards in my mind and has enjoyed incredible poplularity on the Internet with an astonishing 103 hits in less that a year. Critically acclaimed as the ony film with a credit run 2 times longer than the film itself... I give you... this: