Fast forward 

Sine I haven’t had posted a long form post in a month and a half, I’ll just get to the point. 

  • I returned to work on February 1, having been shifted to the day shift. At the same time I returned, one of my co-workers had to take a medical absence. I was put in his role, which also happened to be the role I started out in at this job — he went on vacation after my first day there. 
  • The Lawrence Model Railroad Club has its train show on February 20.  Because of my broken foot, I was not as much help as I was in the past. Our HO scale layout returned after a three year absence with a new passenger terminal. Attendance was up from last year, and the club intends to be back in 2017. 
  • I was cleared to start walking on the 23rd. They told me to remain on crutches for two weeks before trying to do full weight bearing. I still used the knee walker a bit during those two weeks. Afterwards, I started using a cane. At my appointment today, they want me to start walking in regular shoes (i.e., without the orthopedic boot) for brief periods, gradually working my way up to where I no longer need the boot. As of now, they have not suggested that I need to have formal physical therapy sessions. 
  • While my sister could not make it to the Lawrence train show, it just so happened that there was another, larger show two weeks later. Although she was thinking that there would be a scheduling conflict, it turned out that she could bring her son and nephew. I met up with her at the show. It also happened to be the last time I used the knee walker extensively.  The next day, I started using the cane around the house.

Not so graceful on the ice

The first week of 2016 has not exactly gone as planned.

Wednesday morning at a quarter after midnight, I attempted to walk down the driveway. Problem was, the snow has gotten so compacted it did turn to ice. After about two steps, I twisted my left foot, landed on my ass, and sent my phone flying. 

Although the foot was in pain, I put some ice on it for a while, watched some DVR’d TV, then went to bed.

Wednesday morning, it was still hurting. To make sure I didn’t screw up my foot, I elected to visit the local urgent care clinic. An examination and x-ray later, I found out that I broke my foot. They put a splint on it, prescribed me some medication for pain, and referred me to the local orthopedic center. Thankfully, the orthopedic center was able to get me in Thursday morning.

Unfortunately, they were not able to do anything more than the urgent care center did. They recommended surgery, and referred me to another orthopedic Center in Kansas City.I received a call back from the Kansas City center this morning, and I have an appointment Monday afternoon at 2:15.

Until my foot gets fixed, I’m kind of stuck. I’m not supposed to put any weight on my broken foot (and believe me, I can tell when I’m putting weight on it) and again around the house with a pair of wooden crutches.

As for the phone that got sent flying in the accident, it landed in the path of my dad’s truck.  Its screen got smashed. Between the smashed screen and the fact that it’s been more than 24 months since I last replaced my phone, I decided to replace my phone while I was still in town after my Thursday appointment. I elected to go with a 16 GB iPhone 6, with a white front, along with a red-orange Otter Box to distinguish it from my dad’s phone.

The first thing I did with my new phone was post a Facebook status: “Took care of my shows a phone. Now just need to take care of my shattered leg.”

Meeting my second family

For those that don’t know, I was adopted at birth. Recently, I decided to look into my biological family.

For me, it didn’t take that long. Armed with my biological mother’s name, I did a facebook search. It came back with results indicating that I had a “friend in common.”

The common link, in this case, turned out to be my sister, who had first friended me some time ago. A couple days later, I told Lynley I was adopted. It turns out that she had always known that she had an older brother, and that she was excited to meet me.

I finally met Lynley a couple of weeks ago, one on one at Johnny’s


After the first meeting, Lynley invited me to the family Christmas party. I indicated that I might connect to some of my family members over facebook. A couple of days later, I got a friend request from my other sister, Ashley, who was equally as eager to finally meet me.

Fast forward to yesterday, where I met the rest of the crew. First, a couple pictures of me with Ashley and Lynley.


Website updates: 11/12/12

[EDIT 1/1/16 – my photos have been moved to flickr]

I’ve added some photos from a little train-watching trip near Quenemo.


I also have some photos from Election Day of the new Cable Median Barrier on K-10:

And some new signs on I-435 approaching the Triangle with a blank spot for and I-49 shield.

On the Creative writing front, I’ve finished my second NCIS-themed Story: “Tooth and Nail.” For my Fan Fiction page, I’ve split it into two parts.

Part 1, Part 2

Running Behind….

The bad news… I haven’t made a new post to this blog in a while.

The good news… I’ve at least found something to do (and get paid for it). It’s a contract job involving a computer and printer deployment for various offices in Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.

Those trips have also netted me some road trip opportunities.

Time to get ready for the show


Yesterday, I had this section, or module, of the Lawrence Model Railroad clubs HO scale layout pulled from storage. I had decorated this module for the past few years, along with, to some extent, the adjacent corner module.

This year, the club has plans to refurbish and make better use of the corner. I had no objections, since the club owns these modules, and I figured it would be an improvement to the layout as a whole.

There were no other plans for this module this year, this I asked for the module so I could refurbish it.

I dont plan on any radical changes, but I had done a hurry up type of scenicing in the past. I want to improve the quality of the scenery. I have the tools and the time.

Christmas Eve Adventure…

So, I’m coming into town to do my last minute shopping. I also brought my camera, just in case I saw a train on the Union Pacific line just north of Lawrence. I did see a train, and I stopped at Laptad’s corner to catch it. That’s when I did something stupid…. I locked the car… with the keys in it… and left my cell phone at home.

I waited a little while and caught another train, then I walked to a nearby house. No one answered the door. I did catch another train, as well as a car pulling into a nearby buisness. That buisness just happened to be Bulldog Tow.

So I walked in and explained that I left my keys in the car just up the road. The person at the front desk had a driver take me back to the car, contacted AAA on my behalf, and opened her up. As he was working on the van, another train arrived. I took a picture of that train, while the Bulldog rep took care of the paperwork and went on his way back to HQ. I procceded to town, bought the presents, and went over to Grandma’s to wrap them.

I guarantee that I’ll be seeing more trains on Christmas Day. I agreed to open the Santa Fe Station for the Eastbound Amtrak train.

Signs of Change

The new signs for US 24 and US 40 are now beginning to make their
appearance on I-70. I manged to get a few shots of the old signs in place
alongside their new counterpoints, PLUS the new END! of US 73 at the
Bonner Springs.


Also:some shots of the new Lone Elm Road bridges, as well as new railroad
bridges and Clearview in Olathe


And, on a personal note, my cousins Carl, Sam, Bethany, and Cyrus:

Politics and spirit… a reminder of events 10 years ago

A recent set of comments on a spirit squad related email list reminded me of events that happened 10 years ago this month that brought controversy to the KU spirit squad.

In December of 1998, the KU Athletics department decreed that the spirit squads would not be allowed to participate in Nationals. However, the Dance team captain had already made the necessary arrangements to participate at the the ’99 UDA nationals, which by then were about a month away. The elected to ignore the embargo and proceeded as planned, which was publicly posted in the local newspaper. Reaction from the squad was extremely negative. Many of the cheerleaders quit in protest, reducing that squad to 12 by the end of February.

The mother of one of the squad members was nice enough to contact me that Saturday night to let me know how they did. I was also able to greet them when they returned to KCI.

The dance team was also moved from the floor into a reserved section in the south bleachers. Some of the squad believed it was because they were concealing advertising banners for the local phone company. Toward the end of the season, rumors also persisted that the the south bleachers were going to be turned from student seating to reserved seating.

In the end, the coaching staff was dismissed, and the 99-00 dance squad was reduced from two squads of 12 to one squad of 10, with an alternate. The athletic department also sponsored an student support organization called the HAWK club, of which I was a participant. The south bleachers remained student seating, and in fact, the HAWK club was encouraging its members to sit in those south seats. The dance squad was returned to its two squad lineup for the 02-03 season, however, the original name “Crimson Girls” was retired. The new name, “Rock Chalk Dancers,” was introduced in 2004. The squad still anchors the south bleachers while the game is underway, and I doubt they will be moved back to the floor anytime soon.

I didn’t mind the name change, partially because the athletics had been promoting the use of blue over crimson, and because I knew there were male dancers out there. In fact, I have a couple of them in my family. I’m also fine with the south end bleachers; that move may have actually saved them from being turned into reserved seating.

I haven’t been in contact with the squad personally since the fall of ’03, but thanks to Facebook, I have re-established contact with many of the members of the past squads, including the 98-99 squad. Among that squad, a couple of them are still dancing. I’ve also got a nurse and a dentist. Some are married, a few have kids of their own.

The following is a letter I wrote 10 years ago, which was published in the Lawrence Journal-World on February 2, 1999. The letter also notes that Kansas high school cheerleaders and dance teams cannot participate in nationals. As of 2009, this is still the case. However, they can participate in contests where the site is no more than 500 road-miles from the border (this limit in 1999 was 150)

To the Editor,

Among the worlds of business, academia, and sports, there is one common goal: the pursuit of excellence.

Recently, the KU Athletic Department decided that the cheerleaders and Crimson Girls should not be allowed to compete in nationals. Since the spirit squads were willing to raise their own funds, money is not the problem. Therefore, the only plausible reason I could think of is the Athletic Department simply does not want them to go.

When it comes to similar spirit groups on the high school level, the Kansas State High School Activities Association is among the most restrictive associations in the country. The Lawrence High and Free State High pom squads and cheerleaders have been invited to national competitions similar to the ones KU have been attending several times. Because of the rules of the KSHSAA, they have not been allowed to go. In addition, the KSHSAA does not allow groups attending summer camps under their name to be ranked, whereas other camps rank their participants on a regular basis. This leads me to believe that the KSHSAA believes that spirit groups should not be competing, a mentality which I suspect has spread to the KU athletic department.

Why should the Crimson Girls and the pom squads and cheerleaders of Lawrence be allowed to compete? By competing, they have a brass ring to reach for. If a team succeeds and reaches that ring, they become the mark of excellence. If they try and dont quite make it, they would have my utmost respect for reaching for the top. Not reaching for the top, not really competing, means they have no real passion for what they do and would settle for mediocrity.

The Athletic Department and the KSHSAA, whether intentionally or not, are promoting mediocrity by disallowing the spirit squads under their control the opportunity to compete against their peers with little or no reason. Their actions are not good for the students that these organizations are representing because it takes away from their spirit and passion for cheering. Without that passion, their support for the teams they cheer on would be weaker, and that would take away the atmosphere the spirit squads bring to the game they attend.

Richie Kennedy

Road Songs….

On the return portion of my recent roadtrip, I cranked up my iPod. Here’s what was playing.

Song Artist Album Genre Timestamp
The Girl’s Gone Wild Travis Tritt My Honky Tonk History Country 11/23/08 03:23 PM
When Somebody Loves You Alan Jackson When Somebody Loves You Country 11/23/08 03:27 PM
Waitin’ On A Woman Brad Paisley & Andy Griffith Play [Brad Paisley] Country 11/23/08 03:32 PM
That Was Yesterday Foreigner Agent Provocateur Rock 11/23/08 03:36 PM
Hong Kong Blues Junior Brown Semi Crazy Country 11/23/08 03:40 PM
It’s Only A Paper Moon James Darren This One’s From The Heart Easy Listening 11/23/08 03:42 PM
I’ve Been Better Brad Paisley Who Needs Pictures Country 11/23/08 03:46 PM
East Bound And Down Jerry Reed Trucker’s Jukebox [Compilation Album] Country 11/23/08 03:49 PM
Waiting for a Girl Like You Foreigner 4 Rock 11/23/08 03:54 PM
Something Happened on the Way to Heaven Phil Collins …But Seriously Rock 11/23/08 03:59 PM
Walk Like an Egyptian The Bangles Different Light Rock 11/23/08 04:02 PM
Big Ball’s in Cowtown George Strait/Ray Benson A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys
[Dance Version Remix] [Asleep at the Wheel]
Country 11/23/08 04:07 PM
Mainstreet Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band Night Moves Rock 11/23/08 04:11 PM
Phantom 309 Boxcar Willie Trucker’s Jukebox [Compilation Album] Country 11/23/08 04:15 PM
The Best Thing That I Had Goin’ Brad Paisley Mud On The Tires Country 11/23/08 04:19 PM
I Know a Wall When I See One Toby Keith How Do You Like Me Now?! Country 11/23/08 04:22 PM
Morning Train Sheena Easton Totally 80’s (Disc 2) [Compilation Album] Rock 11/23/08 04:25 PM
Leave Him Out of This Steve Wariner I Am Ready Country 11/23/08 04:29 PM
If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’) George Strait If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’) Country 11/23/08 04:32 PM
Old Blue Chair Kenny Chesney When the Sun Goes Down Country 11/23/08 04:35 PM
Somebody Bryan Adams Reckless Rock 11/23/08 04:40 PM
Right Here Right Now Jesus Jones Doubt Rock 11/23/08 04:43 PM
The Harry Shuffle [Instrumental] Steve Wariner Two Teardrops Country 11/23/08 04:45 PM
El Tejano Cowboy Troy Loco Motive Country 11/23/08 04:48 PM
Won’t Let You Down Keith Urban Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing Country 11/23/08 04:52 PM
Do You Believe in Love Huey Lewis & the News Picture This Rock 11/23/08 04:55 PM
American Daughters Sarah Buxton Almost My Record Country 11/23/08 04:59 PM
I’ll Be Coming Back For More T.G. Sheppard 3/4 Lonely Country 11/23/08 05:02 PM
There Ya Go Alan Jackson What I Do Country 11/23/08 05:05 PM
Relax Frankie Goes to Hollywood Welcome to the Pleasuredome Rock 11/23/08 05:09 PM
I Go to Extremes Billy Joel Storm Front Rock 11/23/08 05:13 PM
The Search Is Over Survivor Vital Signs Rock 11/23/08 05:17 PM
Dream Walkin’ Toby Keith Dream Walkin’ Country 11/23/08 05:22 PM
The Letter The Box Tops The Letter/Neon Rainbow Rock 11/23/08 05:24 PM
Into the Groove Madonna Like a Virgin Rock 11/23/08 05:28 PM
That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be Carly Simon Carly Simon Rock 11/23/08 05:32 PM