Category Archives: Photography

Mission Secondary Objective #8 Achieved!

Kansas City has many great old buildings downtown that have been restored to fantastic condition, so I made a conscious decision to look for someplace unique. We’ve stayed at plenty of Marriotts and Sheratons and Crown Plazas and so on, and there’s a lovely Marriott right next to the convention center and next to where we stayed. But we went for unique and stayed at the Hotel Phillips, a 20-story hotel build in 1931 and recently restored by Hilton.

It’s freaking gorgeous!

From the outside, the brickwork is exquisite.

Plenty of big glass skyscrapers around, but also plenty of stunning old brick buildings. (Don’t these people ever worry about earthquakes?)

The lobby is marble and polished wood and brass, all decked out for Christmas.

There’s a second-story mezzanine that’s full of more comfy chairs and quiet spots.

The double staircase is Art Deco made of wrought iron and dark wood and nickel filigree.

Then there’s that statue overlooking it all. (By the way, the building is on the National Historic Register.)

When I win the lottery and design my own 20,000 square foot mansion, I want THIS in the main foyer!

“The Goddess of The Dawn” was created in 1931 by Kansas City sculptor Jorgen Dryer.

If you get a chance to stay at the Phillips in KC, take it!!


Filed under Art, Entertainment, Photography, Travel

Mission Secondary Objective #7 Achieved!

One thing I loved about this trip was our ability to be flexible & take advantage of opportunities that came up.

For example, I didn’t know that Kansas City had a great theater which hosted a series of touring Broadway plays and other productions. I most certainly didn’t know that it was only three blocks from our hotel. And until we got there and checked in, I didn’t know that for five days only, while we were there, it was showing a play we had wanted to see for years.

Once again, serendipity reared its ugly head!!


“The Book of Mormon” was a ton of fun, if decidedly NOT for the easily offended!


The KC Music Center theater is a great venue!


Filed under Art, Entertainment, Photography, Travel

Mission Secondary Objective #6 Achieved!

Kansas City boasts a world-class art museum. I spent several hours there, could have spent several days! (More pictures, etc, when I get settled after the new year.)

It’s free (except for parking) and I highly recommend it!

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Filed under Art, Photography, Travel

No Context For You – December 17th


There’s a lot of darkness out there.

The lights in the darkness might be growing smaller, getting blurrier, fading into the distance.

But they’re not going away.

Keep focusing on the light and working toward reaching it.

“We love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

We need the dark to see the stars. There can be beauty there. But the beauty is in the contrast, in the new wonders revealed, not in the overwhelming of everything in darkness.

Balance. We have to make it happen. And in times of great darkness, we need to hold onto the lights.

Even the small, faint, receding, blurry ones.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Photography

Tree Fred

Faithful readers will remember that at the old house we had all sorts of California alligator lizards living in the yard. We named them all “Fred.” (Pictures here, here, here, here, here, and so on.)

When we first moved to the new house in May, I was delighted to see some living in the yard here, some of which were “Freds” and some of which were “Bubbas”. It has however been weeks since I’ve seen of of our reptilian yard dwellers. I was starting to get worried.

Today it was warm and sunny and while doing dishes I noticed the large “Tree Fred” out sunning himself (herself? how does one tell?) on the trunk.

When I first came out Tree Fred scurried and hid.

But patience is a virtue and he came back out.

I was moving very slowly so as not to spook him. (And I had my big, 300mm telephoto lens.)

Tree Fred kept a close eye on me, but allowed a few photos from about ten feet away.

I was happy to see that the birds & other critters haven’t eaten all of the lizards! Circle of life and all of that, but I like having Freds and Bubbas in the yard!

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Filed under Critters, Photography

Kids These Days!

“Can I bring my kids to the Wing Christmas Party?”

“Sure! It’s a family event! Why not?”

“Wait, what?”

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Filed under CAF, Critters, Photography

No Context For You – December 11th

What color is chrome?

Is there a chrome Crayon?

It’s sort of grey, or silver-ish, but with lots of white highlights.

I probably should have learned that it all of those art courses I took decades ago, huh?

A dark month, December. The days get shorter, the nights get longer, the temperatures drop, the winds howl, the rains arrive.

Is it any wonder that at the solstice we celebrate, no matter the religious or cultural justification?

Do we think we can frighten the night and the cold away with frantic noises and celebration? Do we as an “enlightened” people simply recognize the results of axial tilt and recognize the circumstantial passing of a defined point in the calliope of Newtonian mechanics? Or does it even matter?

We’ve made it through 11/12ths of this 2018 ordeal. Let us gather our strength to finish strong and bravely meet 2019 head on.

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Filed under Art, Photography