Wednesday, August 20, 2014



                               Theodore Roosevelt

     There are so many things that are happening today that you have to stop and sometimes ask 'can you believe this'?  We are so busy reading things on our I pads, computers, and other electronic stuff that I don't even know what it is.  And on the other side of the world a bunch of crazed people living in the 8th Century are killing men, women, and children and blowing up historic sites.  They are threatening to come to America and bring their Jihad with them.
     Just how far apart are the things of reality in this world?  It pushes the edge of sanity to believe that we set here feeding the world and the world wants to come kill us.  Of course the red neck response is that 'it is about time to play cowboys and towel heads.  The Christian response is to turn the cheek. And the presidents response is to negotiate.
      There are a lot of Christians who are so involved with criticizing other Christians that I don't think they realize that there are so many dying for their faith worldwide.  The Pope even says that fighting in Iraq to save the Christian community is justified.
     Can anyone stick their head in the sand any longer and not acknowledge an invasion on our southern borders.  The cameras show us kids and the law enforcement on the ground, that talks even when given gag orders from Washington, are apprehending 18 to 30 year olds from the mid east and other countries all over the world.
     Why is it that when I see pictures of Africa, Asia, and other third world countries on the TV that all I see is starving and hopelessness?  But when I look at travel pictures and photographers pictures of huge houses, mansions, palaces, and tremendous wealth from the same places.
      Why are so much of the online crime coming at us are coming from those same places?  And if I get any more proposals from women totally unsolicited from Ghana, Nigeria, Russia, and other places I am shooting my computer.
      Just when you think it is weird enough there is a group in Oklahoma City that is renting the Civic Center to have a Black Mass.  Yes this is a Mass to worship Satan.  They say they have to let them do it because of the First Amendment.  Then I think I will rent it afterward for a Koran burning and see if the same protections exist.
      I am going to pull the covers over my head and start back to talking about missing Mo's Hamburgers in Beaver because they needed to retire and the three meat BBQ plate I found at a Coffee shop in Towanda named Hebrews.

Monday, August 11, 2014


                                           Phil Donahue

      The line between genius and insanity is a fine one.  Robin Williams walked that line all his life.  As close to the great comics of the past as our generation has produced.
     Normally I am not a celebrity watcher and what goes on in Hollywood is nothing near reality for me.  I never understood how people in the news could be such a point of interest for so many people.
      It is not that I am humorless or beyond being entertained.  There are many entertainers that I have wanted to meet and many that I know.  I guess that I separate the performance from the reality, and many people don't. 
     I admire the true talents who can bring a crowd to the edge of their seats and then walk down the street and remain a genuine person who understands that the role is left on stage.
     The problems with great success is that there is always the need to achieve greater success.  Always continuing the role, it is so easy to take yourself seriously and have real pressure in your life from non real things.
      Talent is a gift and what each person does with it is something that is hard to define.  Try as I might I cannot get the fingers to walk the neck of an instrument and get what I want.  I would give anything for that, but have to deal with what I have.  Very seldom does the talent come without hours of practice.
     What a shame that Mr. Williams had the demons that plague many talented geniuses.  Those who have the demons fighting over whatever they have can relate to what he went through.  To come to the point of taking your own life leaves no winners at all.
     Perceptions are awful when pain is involved.  The loss of a loved one to suicide is one thing that haunts.  Death is a normal part of life and it is hard enough to contend with.  Suicide takes a part out of the heart that never heals.
     There is no answer now.  No chance to change, contend, or grow.  It is not that I cannot understand what he may have gone through the devils are plentiful in the world and very few have not been affected by them.
     I don't get to the movies often and so most are on the TV.  I felt that the true talent of Robin Williams was over shadowed by those who wanted to use his talent in ways they thought best and not let him seek his true roles.  In the comedian is a streak of drama and I felt that his best work was THE FISHER KING.  Robins use of his style in a tragic and dark story of insanity I thought was the best I have ever seen.  His character had you laughing and crying at the same time.
     That movie was a box office flop and not acclaimed by the movie establishment that still feels a comedian is not up to dramatic standards.  His series of sitcoms over the years were not successes either.  Who knows what lead up to the end.
     What I can say is what I would expect from his character from GOOD MORNING VIETNAM. 

Monday, August 4, 2014



     In the research of the history of our main Kansas highways none can be more frustrating than the Interstate that was never built.  I call it the 'Politician's interstate'.
      Back in the early 1990's there was a 'major' movement to design and build the last major interstate corridor through the country.  Ninety percent of the original intent for the interstate system was built.  Whether it was loss of interest, cost, or incompetence has never been established, there are many view points.  The central corridor between I-40 and I-70 was never built.
      When the DOT decided to explore the project it started out as I-66.  The idea being going straight across the country more or less paralleling the old Highway 66 route.  Known as the Transcontinental Interstate 66 Proposal its idea was created and promoted in Wichita.  Business people saw it as a means of bringing more business and traffic into the area.
      Using the fabled number '66' the highway was to start at Fresno California and end in Delaware.  The only part of I-66 that actually exists runs from Washington DC to Somerset Kentucky.
      The chairman of the national committee to build I-66 was Mayor Bob Knight from Wichita.  One full time city employee was put on the task Mr. Glen Dockery.  His statement on the highway was "I'm going to get this damn road built".
      The total project would have been 1700 miles in length.  The western part of the project would have been mostly new road carved through the west and the studies for environmental standards extreme cost rendered that portion untenable.
      East of Wichita the road would be following established corridors with upgrades to interstate status.  In the end the feasibility study came back cancelling the perceived need for the road.
      So the alternative to I-66 became I-400.  Early on the 400 corridor was routed on existing highways.  Many of the construction projects done on the route were actually part of upgrades that would have happened without the re designation of the number.
      For a cost around 52K signs were made and the I-400 corridor was created.  Many of the websites and highway critics just characterize I-400 as a joke.  West of Wichita the process of building the upgrades have been done on small increments and each section is dependent on the funding from the Legislature which fluctuates wildly with the politics of the day.
      The design and planning for I-400 around Kingman past Pratt has had people scratching their heads for years.  The worst route at the highest cost has been the only option actually considered.  The building through the Kingman Wildlife Area and the multiple crossings of the Ninnescah River has never struck anyone as real logical.  Two miles either direction would have avoided all of it, plus some huge costs.
      As changing needs arise there are bits and pieces that will be built.  Highways are due for re-routing most notable US-54 around Wichita on the Northwest bypass covering the K-96, I-235, US 154 route from Goddard to Eldorado.
      There are many more things and stories about highways in Kansas that I may take up in the future.  At some time I will tell the story of the International Trade Corridor.