If “Kia” is the sound a hamster makes while being sodomized, AARP is the sound a dog makes when it’s fooling around with a tennis ball and accidentally swallows it. Just a thought. Anyway, I got some physical snail mail from AARP today, and I was so relieved. I haven’t heard from them in three days, and I was worried sick. Mainly, because even though it’s just 2023, we mustn’t drop the ball on our goal of receiving one ton of AARP mail in my lifetime. There are trees out there, clogging the environment, that need to be utilized, to realize their fate, as it were.

I kid AARP. They do serve a purpose, and a good one, for the most part, but I don’t understand why all the physical mail. And did you know there is no way to make them stop? OK. If you die, but it still takes awhile, and it’s not unusual to go to any cemetery and see a fairly sizable stack of AARP envelopes piled up by the newer headstones.

Then I thought, maybe since they are targeting retired people (hence the name) they think that all old, retired people don’t know about the Internet and still relish seeing mail in the box every morning when they trudge through the snow out to the gate by the highway. I see a fundamental flaw in their reasoning, since, let’s see, people who turn 55 today and begin receiving their AARP mail were born back in 1968 and were still teenagers when the Internet was invented by that Gore guy. AARP marketing department seems to be operating on an old model.

I know I’m being curmudgeonly, as is my wont. I can easily imagine my counterpart back in the 1790s bitching about how AARP keeps sending a messenger on horseback by the house to yell out their latest insurance offerings, when Ben Franklin invented the post office quite awhile before. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

So, half a ton of paper so far. Fingers crossed.


Yesterday the AFC Championship playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals was played at G.E.H.A. Stadium in Kansas City MO. The Chiefs won.

To all my friends on the West Coast in California and Oregon, and my friends on the East Coast–NYC, DC, etc., I would like to say, you know that vast area, the hollowed out area between the West Coast and the East Coast? The one you might have glimpsed out the airplane window some time in the middle of your flight? Well, think of all the inconsequential cities that lie in that zone, and know that for one glorious, shining moment, Kansas City was less inconsequential than Cincinnati.

Of course it was a really close game, but not, as we are not too proud to admit to ever having, an “ugly win.” That was earlier.


1.) I am not a big football fan, but I admit this was fun to watch. Because we won.

2.) G.E.H.A. Stadium, for those of you who may have wondered, is pronounced: “Gee Ee Aich Aiee Stadium,” and not “Geehaw.” I can only speculate that the Government Health Employees Association insisted that everyone pronounce it that way as part of their agreement when they negotiated the name change in the first place. It’s unfortunate. However, the old moniker, “Arrowhead Stadium” was contributing in a small way to the probably unintentional degradation of the image of Indigenous Americans.

3.) Many fans still chanted that ridiculous fake “Indian chant” and did the “tomahawk chop,” but it was encouraging that many more did not.

4.) I miss baseball.


This picture was taken this morning from the stairwell on the 30th floor of my apartment building, in downtown Kansas City. It would be fun to live on this floor and have this view all the time, but, alas, I’m much lower down. The image in the header for this blog is a somewhat distorted version of the view that I do have.

I was looking more or less directly to the east for this shot, which, here, is away from the heart of downtown. Out of curiosity I tried to determine how far away the horizon is at this elevation, and I think it’s about seven miles away. There is a ridge, the Blue Ridge, that defines the horizon from here, and as the Earth is indeed spherical anyway, this is all you get.

I will not identify every building in the picture, nor could I, but the sort of rounded, light colored building close to the center of the picture is the Federal Courthouse. To it’s left, and a little beyond, you can see a brown, cubicle shaped building with lots of windows. It is arguably the ugliest building in Kansas City, and is the building I used to work in back when SBC and the AT&T owned and occupied it. I dislike this building intensely.

I call the building ugly. I read that the real term for its architectural style seems to be “Brutalist.” I scoff. An architect I ran into awhile back said the style was “Aztec.” This makes more sense, as the Pontiac Aztek is arguably the ugliest car ever made, if you don’t count the Edsel, lending a certain symmetry to the notion.

On the left side of the picture you can see a slight bend of the Missouri River. It is flowing left-to-right in the picture, toward the horizon, as it heads toward the Mississippi River which is 240 miles from here as the crow flies.


My short time in Tucson, AZ, taught me to respect the quail mothers who had to work so hard to keep track of all the little chill’ins. Due to other wildlife, the attrition rate was high enough as it is. I couldn’t know, but chances are this mother started out with closer to a dozen chicks. Few of these little guys will make it.

Flashback Friday

Exactly one year ago today I wrote a post in my other blog at Obvious at first is that the weather was the same. Which of course makes sense as Earth’s orbit is relatively stable, tilt of the Earth and all that.

I was going to paste the old post into this one, but after I described the weather, it mostly devolved into a political rant, although mild, something which I have foresworn since then. Last year’s political rant is sort of like yesterday’s weather report–of interest to no one. It tickles me when I look at Google News and see in their list of links an article about some weather event from the day before. I mean, if I had a bird cage, and if Internet news was less porous, perhaps I would find a use for such an article.

So, to sum up, I’m not all that hep on flashbacks, at least until I resolve to write more interesting posts on a Friday, more suitable for dredging up a year later, and this ain’t it.

Another Day Dawns

I haven’t seen the sun in several days. Today is like the others. Outside, the air temperature floats just above the freezing point. It’s the kind of day where the sun on your face, were it there, would make the difference. Or the lack of wind. But, as I look out onto my courtyard, it looks breezy, and the sky is a mottled gray. I can only see buildings, from my vantage point here on the fifth floor, and maybe just a polygonal patch of sky. Gray. Gray of sky, gray of concrete, old bricks. The tiles on the patio are wet, as if it was raining a while ago, but maybe not right now.

Not much to say at the moment. I’ve been thinking about politics and AI–artificial intelligence. Maybe they’re alike. I don’t think much of either, at any rate. I will never get my mind around politics and the motivations of politicians, but my thinking on AI has begun to slowly evolve, to begin to move like the the giant steel wheels of a sluggish steam powered locomotive struggling to pull itself out of the station. Maybe later. If it hasn’t become a runaway train.

Just wanted to give the blog a little jog, a little impetus, like a playground merry-go-round, just to keep it going, somewhere between unmoving and spinning ’til you puke. And I’m filling time while I empty this coffee mug in preparation for standing up and walking to breakfast out there in the gray morning.

The City Diner

This might only be considered an advertisement for the City Diner if I knew you would ever be around these parts, which in every case I can conjure up is very unlikely. It sits on the edge of downtown and you might say is a well-kept secret. At least outside a certain radius. I’m surprised by the number of people who are familiar with downtown Kansas City but have never heard of the City Diner.

At any rate, I know about it, and the resident biochemist and myself frequent the place. The people are friendly and unpretentious, the kitchen is well run, the food good, and the black and white checkerboard pattern floor is sufficiently clean if not pristine. They also have a cool car license plate collection in the back room and I believe every state is represented, including some territories.

It so happens that Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) submits for the word of the day, door, and so we’ll cover that base and point out that in the picture below, the door to the utility room adjacent to the rear dining area of the City Diner is left open, yet it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s nice to know they have cleaning supplies.

You are all my friends, so if you come to town, I’ll buy you a coke.


That is, Stream Of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt is to use the phrase, “once upon a time,” leaving the whole thing pretty wide open.


“So there’s a sump pump in the basement,” the realtor said. She was thirty years old and had a figure like a model and a face to match, which was surrounded by a halo of big red hair, like a TV weather-girl.
“But first, some history. Once upon a time a family of four–Carl Jung’s archetypal family, you might say, a mother, father, studious son, clownish, jester son, or June, Ward, Wally, Beaver–lived in this house,” she said.
“One spring afternoon Father and mother went to the store in the family’s only car, a 19-something something-or-other, and left the boys at home so they could do their homework. Studious son sat at the kitchen table and worked on his math while clown-like son returned to the basement with his hacksaw to work on his extracurricular project involving cherry bombs and one-inch copper tubing.
“Father and mother returned from the store carrying two grocery bags. They saw studious son working away on his math and praised him for his studiousness. ‘We should celebrate having such good children,’ he said, and pulled a bottle of Champagne from one of the grocery sacks. He pulled the cork and there was a loud pop.
“Too loud, actually, and strangely stereophonic in nature. It was followed by repeated, rhythmic clumping sounds as jester-son ascended the basement stairs to the kitchen. He burst in. ‘We’re gonna need a bigger sump pump!’ he declared.”
The prospective buyers, a young couple, she pregnant, he staid in his gray suit, and a toddler son (who had been quietly reading a brochure for ARS MATHEMATICA) all nodded in unison.
“Stop,” said mother. “You had me at ‘sump pump.’ We’ll take it.”
The svelte, big red haired realtor frowned. “But I haven’t shown you the granite counter tops.”

Flat Earth

I watched a documentary that was mostly about this guy who believed the earth was flat rather than a globe. He believed it resembled a dish covered with a low, curved dome, which was the heavens, where all the stars and the sun and moon moved around in cryptic paths. He was very confident that he was correct in his belief, and seemed like an intelligent, reasonable guy.

It was interesting that in starting with this belief, you would have to throw out many scientific observations as large conspiracies. Obviously, there could not have been a moon landing such as the one NASA seemed to accomplish, for example.. And probably best to simply ignore as unresolvable conspiracies if not mass insanity the many measurements and distances involved with lots of celestial objects, and . . . well . . . most technology around us in the modern world.

Anyway, as I watched this show, it seemed a pretty easy exercise to debunk everything this guy claimed was true. But in thinking about it, I realized that in my particular reality, my universe, so to speak, I could function perfectly even if I thought the Earth was flat. Earth’s spherical nature and its movements around the sun, as well as the movements of the moon around the earth, have pretty much zero effect on anything I might do.

There is literally no reason to argue with a flat Earther, I decided. It just doesn’t matter. In a way, we all might be better off if we regarded the earth as flat and the heavens as a flat, curved dome overhead. That notion is already baked into our psyches over millions of years of evolution; the flat earth picture of the world is exactly how a little child would think of it, if indeed he needed or wanted to think about it in the first place. It is probably how chimps think of it. And they’re fine.

A Brief Musical Interlude

“The Quenching of the Nova”

Once while driving west on I-80 through Utah, I found myself being chased by a bunch of Mormons in a lime green, ’79 Chevy Nova. I finally lost them at the Great Salt Lake when their car started smoking and abruptly veered off right into the water. A billowing cloud of steam arose even as the image of it shrunk in my rear view mirror.

And now: