Friday, January 25, 2013


Can you believe it's been a month since Christmas?
Since all the sweets and gifts, lights and ornaments?
We enjoyed a great holiday in the traditional sense- family and friends, gingerbread houses and cookies, Plaza lights in KC and the Walnut Room in Chicago. The glow remains long after the tree was put away and the last cookies consumed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Birds on a Wire

A beautiful early morning sky on a cold January morning, birds lined up on the wires.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Battle of the Bean

This past Saturday we ran the Battle of the Bean 5K in Leawood, Kansas. This was a great race for a few reasons- first off, the charity was Happy Bottoms, which provides diapers for KC-area babies and toddlers in need. Until I read about Happy Bottoms in the newspaper a few months ago I wasn't aware that WIC and other similar welfare programs don't cover diapers. It was great to see the huge pile of donated diapers on race morning! Second, the theme was coffee vs. cocoa, so there was plenty of Roasterie Coffee post-race and all runners got both Christopher Elbow chocolates and a scoop of Foo's Frozen Custard. Basically, this is a trinity of local Kansas City deliciousness. In addition to race t-shirts we received mugs- even though I ran for Team Coffee, I used mine for a big cup of hot cocoa on Sunday afternoon. The course was through a well-manicured suburban neighborhood, not the most thrilling scenery, but a pleasant course on a chilly January morning. Joe came in about six minutes before me at 30 minutes, and I finished in 36 minutes (the clock time in the photo wasn't my time through the chute- which was done in waves). Not my greatest time, but not too bad for post-holiday middle of winter either.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starting anew

It's been one month since the Newtown massacre. 

The post that I wrote on that horrific afternoon has attracted a good deal of attention. It has been re-posted to people's Facebook walls, found in Google searches, and brought more traffic to this blog than any other single post I have written in the past seven years. I usually have a few readers a day, a few hundred a month. I had nearly 500 readers in the two weeks after Newtown. Even this week the Newtown post had 21 page reads. These aren't people who come to the blog, but who specifically click on that post.

In light of this, I have found it difficult to post something else. All our holiday fun, winter play, baking Christmas cookies, all of that seemed so shallow in light of the loss of life in Connecticut. 

I decided today that it is time to start anew. The terrible violence of that day is not something we should move on from. It is not something we should forget. We all must continue to fight against the NRA as a powerful lobby that advocates for the economic interests of gun manufacturers. We must fight to ban military-style assault weapons for the civilian population. We must fight to ban large capacity clips. There are simply no rational reasons for the civilian population to have these things. There are plenty of historical and Constitutional precedents for banning items that were previously legal. 

Two groups that are working to this end are One Million Moms 4 Gun Control and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Over 800 people have died from gun violence since Newtown. Over eight hundred. We have a firearm homicide rate in this country that is nearly twenty times that of other wealthy countries. This has nothing to do with mental health (people are mentally ill in other countries), violence in the media (Japan has violence in popular culture and virtually zero gun violence), or fortifying our schools (Columbine had armed guards, as did the second VA Tech, and the Ft. Hood shooter was surrounded by armed military). Our extremely high rate of gun homicide is simply related to our lax gun laws and the prevalence of firearms in our society. It is time to take action. To stand up. To have our voices heard. To take back our country from the militarization of the civilian population.

For now, I'll be returning to my usual banter of random art, politics, travel, and food. Gun violence is something that has long concerned me, so I'll keep posting when something of interest comes up. The above photo is a close-up of the winter white flowers I bought at the grocery this evening. Something pure and crisp to brighten the chilly days of January.