May 3, 2008

Greensburg tornado

'Green'ing of Spring
Greensburg, Kansas was leveled a year ago tomorow by one of the strongest tornadoes on record. A monster that was nearly a mile wide leveled ~95% of the town of 1500 people leaving few standing buildings.

Greensburg's claim to fame was its location near one of the best meteorite sites in the world and also the largest hand dug well. The town now has a new claim to fame, a green community in which the world can look up to in the ever changing world of global climate change and scarce resources. Locals have been encouraged to build green and purchase energy saving appliances and to use alternative energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. Some people, and I feel their pain, want things to get rebuilt as fast as possible so some semblance of a life can begin.

The Early Show has been in Greensburg this week documenting the the advances the town has made from that devastating night a year ago. They have had the National Champion KU Jayhawks on the show, and have had several surprises for the town. I applaud the show for documenting all facets of life and doing it in a positive manner. They really have adopted the town and I hope will continue to come back and document the progress the town has made. One such progress though may be mired in controversy...Graduation

Some people may have heard of the Westboro Baptist Church and its inflaming pastor Fred Phelps. The church is known for protesting at soldiers funerals and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. It has been announced that Phelps plans to protest the arrival of President Bush, who is giving the commencement speech to the graduating class of Greensburg High School. Accourding to the Kiowa County Signal, "The group is best known for picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers in line with a belief that God has been using the war in Iraq to kill American military personnel to show contempt for a nation and military that has allegedly become overly accommodating to and sympathetic of gay/lesbian concerns." This, by all accounts of the definition is a radically religious group no different of the Taliban. Extreme assertion, yes, but the stuff that this group chants at a fallen soldiers funeral is a shame and they themselves should be made to serve on the front lines.

To protest in the town on a day of celebration, after all that it has gone through, shows how low this group really is. Its a shame on the state as a hole and the Christian faith to have these "righteous" people doing such horribly despicable things. Congrats to those who have overcome the adversity before them and I commend the graduating class for pulling through in times of adversity. May the future be bright, happy, and exciting as you prepare for your next chapter in your life!

The top picture is of Greensburg (taken via satellite) prior to the May 4th tornado. The middle picture is of the tornado that struck Greensburg, at its widest it was a mile wide. The last picture is a of Greensburg after the tornado (taken via satellite) showing the mass destruction.

May 2, 2008

Calie Gets a new 'Grillz'

Today the new grill for the MINI came in. I had been obsessing over the MINI forums and decided that I wanted to spice up the front end a little bit and start the process of removing the chrome on the car. I bought the John Cooper Works (JCW) and installed it this evening. I also bought a "belt line blackout" kit which replaces the chrome line that separates the top and bottom of the car. Overall it was an easy modification and really changes the look. With the tinted windows, Calie looks more squat than ever.

This is the original grille

This is the new black honeycomb JCW Grille

I also debadged Calie, meaning I took off the "Cooper" logo off the rear of the car. It gives good symmetry and I plan on placing it somewhere else in the near future

This is the original Rear

Rear Debadged

Blacked out beltline, new grille, and stormy skies

May 1, 2008

May Day!

Happy May Day. Nothing for Just work no play.

April 30, 2008

Let the Mods begin...

Today Calie (the MINI) got new 'sunglasses. I had been wanting to start doing modifications on the MINI and decided the first would be to tint the windows. Being here in "The Rouge" the summer sun is already out and force, combine that with the simulated leather in the car, can make for some hot rear ends. I decided go to a local shop that was recommended by the MINI dealership.

I went to Auto Images here in "The Rouge" and was happy with the tint job, though the total package was not that desirable. The lady at the help desk was slightly dry and hard to get any information out of her. Then there is the fact that they left my car soaked after the tint job. I had water streaks on EVERYTHING in the car, which really put a sour taste in my mouth.

I know that tinting takes time and liquids, but at least clean up afterwards, is that that hard to ask? Oh well, I love the look and the car is so much cooler now. I did 35% (its the percent of light transmitted into the car) and its dark, but not crazy dark. Did the sunroof in 20% and it is a nice touch. More mods to follow soon...wahoo. Top picture is prior to tinting and the bottom picture is after the tint. Its hard to take pictures of window tint I have found

April 29, 2008

Another Track and Field let down...

I have finally got caught back up again so please see the updates if you have not yet.
April 22nd: Earth Day
April 23rd: McDonalds gets a fashion McMakeover
April 24th: Conservation Reserve Program
April 25th: Money is time, Time is Money
April 26th: "Signs of Health (This is a good one!)
April 27th: Power Outage Fun
April 28th: Spider Man, Spider Man

Now on to today...

Asafa Powell out till June
Another track and field let down for the short term. World 100m record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica will miss most of this summers early races because of a pulled pectoral muscle. Sprinters are an interesting group, and you can see my take on it here, in which I talk about the retirement of Maurice Greene. Asafa Powell has been plagued with injuries of late, but has had a couple of really great runs.

Powell first lowered the world record to 9.77 seconds a few years back and last year broke it again at 9.74. However in the world championships he had his rear handed to him by U.S. Sprinter Tyson Gay. Marquee races between the two have not happened since Osaka last summer and it appears that both Gay and Powell are making sure that Beijing has a great 100m build up. There is no doubt that NBC will broadcast Gay's and Powell's every move up to the point of the pair getting into the blocks in the finals, and in a piece of made-for-tv greatness, the action will break to a commercial. The worlds shortest spectacle gets the greatest amount of coverage of track and field.

If Americans can watch 300 laps of NASCAR, surely coverage of a distance event like steeplechase is of equal value. Just as most of those who watch NASCAR to see wrecks, much more painful wrecks have occurred recently in the steeplechase. See picture at right...

Remember as life hands you hurdles be sure to jump, its not nearly as painful as running into them;-)

Asafa Powell Breaking World 100m Record

You seriously have to love foreign announcers. I have NO clue what the guy in the video is saying but I'm excited. For what...I don't know but man, such passion.

April 28, 2008

Crazy Monday

Spider Man Spider Man...
Today's post is totally out of left field, but it was something that I could not pass up on. Kwags showed me this today and I could not believe my eyes. I'm partial to tattoos as long as there's some 'taste' to them. When I say taste I mean that certain body types, lifestyles, and personalities just allow for such a wonderful variety of artwork.
This particular Spider Man tattoo is amazing for its use of color and shading to really pull the look of the tattoo together. Amazing ink work...the artist is awesome. But...seriously, what was this guy thinking? Jump to the link to see his arms and legs. What a great Monday. Cheers!

April 27, 2008

Power Outage

Today was totally uneventful. It rained off and on here in "The Rouge" so I messed around with photoshop adding "modifications" to Calie. That really was my day, oh yea, the usual laundry and vacuuming but how much fun is that, let alone interesting. Anyways at around 9pm cst the power decides to go out...wahoo. I break out the candles, finish dinner and decide to have some fun photography fun. So I made my apartment have a ghost that was a slash of light. Nothing fancy, just playing around. Oh well, another week, another pay check!