Monthly Archives: May 2017

Exhausted–the good kind

When I left Russell at 6 am. yesterday morning, I had no idea it would be a day like it turned out to be.

The plan was after my time at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty, I would go over to Zona Rosa. I had no idea whether or not I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings there, or go immediately to Minsky’s.

I didn’t make it to Minsky’s.

Not because I didn’t want to go. I was feeling bad for not going over there to see Lindsay and Tara.

There were people who grabbed my attention–three of whom I had no earthly idea I would see yesterday.

I arrived at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa at 3:30. I asked Robb what his plans were, and he said he and Dawn would try to be there by 5:30. I told him I didn’t know how long I could hold on there before getting the itch to cross Barry Road.

I ate at Liberty, so I wasn’t eating at Zona Rosa. No Buffalo Wild Wings twice in a day. That’s a new rule for me. There were times where I’d eat twice at B-Dubs Zona Rosa the same day. Not anymore. The food isn’t that great. With Minsky’s and Outback right there, why bother with B-Dubs again?

Just before 5, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was Molly.

I knew she would be working tomorrow from 11 to 5, but her arrival was a pleasant surprise. I told Robb I would stay for awhile. I could see Lindsay and Tara later.

Robb and Dawn got there at 5:30. I thought we’d be there for an hour and half to two hours, then I’d cross Barry Road.

When Robb posted his high score in Countdown, he got a Facebook comment from an ex-Buffalo Wild Wings employee stating she and another ex-employee would be arriving around 8:30.

The ex-employee: Shannon Swanson. Her accomplice: Lisa Toebben.


Shannon was in town from Chicago. Lisa is trying to balance her 18-month old son, Liam, and prepare for her October wedding in St. Louis.

Robb and Dawn could not stay that long. They left at 8:30. I was still there, and I also ran into another trivia pal, Bob (ARROWHEAD), who has been going through a tough time as of late, following the death of his mother last month. His mother was 99 and lived a full life, something I can only hope for.

Shannon and Lisa didn’t arrive at 8:30. They weren’t there at 9. Morgan asked me why I was still there at that late hour, and I revealed it. She was quite surprised as well.

It wouldn’t be the first time I would see a former Buffalo Wild Wings sweetheart this month.

Elizabeth Psenski was in town last week. I saw her twice. Of course she had to hug me more than a few times. Now I have to go to Colorado Springs to see her.

Shannon and Lisa arrived at 9:30. They sat next to me at the bar and visited with Molly, Trey and all the employees they knew, plus a few guests they recognized. We talked about Liam, about a guy Shannon is seeing, and other things going on. I didn’t divulge much about myself, but I promised I would send a message about what’s been going on in my sessions with Crista.

Shannon and Lisa were the ones who pushed me to get help in late 2014. They kept on me about it. They were not going to put up with me the way I was going, which was straight down the toilet. And to be honest, they should not have put up with me in that state. Fortunately they prevailed upon me, and Dr. Custer got me referred, which led to me seeing Crista.

I hated leaving at 10:50, but I finally did. I used the excuse I was an “old man”, although I wasn’t fooling Lisa, since I’m sure Jeff has had many sleepless nights. Eleven and a half hours at two Buffalo Wild Wings. That was plenty. At least it was good.

After picking up a steak at Outback–I hadn’t eaten since 2:15–I stopped in at Minsky’s to say hello to Lindsay and Tara. I promised I’d be back later today.

The best thing other than seeing Larry, Robb, Dawn, Molly, Shannon and Lisa? My contacts did not irritate me, even though I wore them 19 hours.

It’s now a little after 1 a.m. I’m not yawning, but I am weary. A happy weary.

Today looks stormy. As long as I can get to Barry Road without much trouble. I’m sure it will be soaked when I drive from B-Dubs to Minsky’s, which makes me worry a bit about some maniac causing an accident.

I’ve seen more rain this year than I have since moving to Kansas. People can stop complaining about a drought. Then again, they’d better not waste water, because if the drought returns, there will be hell to pay.

I AIN’T MISSING YOU, state track and field

As I have mentioned in my previous two posts, today is the first of two days of the Kansas State High School Activities Association track and field state championship meet. 

The KSHSAA bills the meet as the largest track and field meet in the nation. As far as size goes, it probably is, with between 3,300 and 3,400 athletes competing on any given weekend. 

The KSHSAA home page calls it “The greatest track meet in the nation. Period.”

I call bullshit on the KSHSAA. 

It is a confusing clusterfuck. There is way too much going on at the same time, and trying to figure out who is competing where and at what time requires a degree in advanced calculus. 

The KSHSAA has too many classes. There should not be six. However, the administrators who run KSHSAA schools are gutless cowards who want to maximize the championship opportunities for their school. 

There are 355 schools. Five classes is PLENTY. I’m sorry if the schools in Olathe, Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley and Wichita don’t win championships nearly as often. Six classes makes winning a champiosnhip in Kansas not as special as in a state which has its schools spread equally among the classes. 

Five classes would relieve some of the confusion that accompanies the state meet, but not that much. 

I do not understand for the life of me why the KSHSAA INSISTS that all six classifications compete at the same time on Saturday? Friday’s session is split between the small schools (1A, 2A, 3A) and large schools (4A, 5A, 6A), with one going in the morning and one in the afternoon. That is bad enough. The field events are an unholy mess with one class. With three? Horrendous. With SIX? INSANITY–that’s putting it mildly. 

I HATE THE FORMAT. I hate it! 

Why can’t one class at a time compete? It would not be that hard to complete in two days. 

Instead, the KSHSAA put all six classes on display at once, driving those in the media who have to cover the meet absolutely batty.

I had so many complaints when I covered the meet about how I didn’t get so-and-so. I wanted to scream at them “YOU TRY COVERING THIS MEET YOURSELF!” I cannot be in more than one place at one time. I cannot cover four different people if all of them are in different events at once. I would like to see some of the complainers try it. 

It’s bad enough the meet is mass chaos. 

It’s even worse that the media there to cover the event are treated so poorly. 

The officials at Wichita State get a power trip by telling photographers and reporters to move out of the way. I understand there needs to be room for the athletes, but what, we can’t do our job just because some person wants to flex his or her muscle and make our lives miserable? 

No reserved parking. That means arriving at Cessna Stadium before sunrise unless you want to park in Derby (okay, not that far, but at least one mile from the stadium) and walk in very hot weather. Try doing it with camera equipment and a computer. Try doing it with camera equipment and a computer after running around for five, six, up to 11 hours chasing everything and anything just so some grandmother doesn’t use every four-letter word in the book to describe your effort–or lack thereof, at least as they see it. 

As bad as I felt about no reserved parking, I felt even worse for Tad Felts, who covered the meet for over 50 years for various radio stations before retiring a few years ago, and for Dick Boyd, the Norton Telegram wrier who has been with that paper since 1970, and before that, worked for other papers along the US 36 corridor. By not having reserved parking, KSHSAA made these two senior citizens trudge with equipment quite a long way. That stinks. 

When I covered high school championship events, there was almost always resrved parking. I didn’t always have it at the Superdome for the football championships, but I could park right next to the press entrance and be in my seat in a much shorter time than it takes to walk from the parking lot at Koch Arena to the front gate of Cessna Stadium.

The parking issue has angered me so much through the years I feel like speaking my mind to the KSHSAA Executive Board. I’m contemplating it. 

The Wichita State folks aren’t the friendliest. They aren’t fond of the media, whom they think are conspiring with Kansas and Kansas State to deny their basketball team coverage in the first place.

Cessna Stadium itself is a joke. The track was replaced 15 years ago, but the stadium itself is a dump. Not a damn thing has been done to the stadium itself since the Shockers dropped football in early 1987. The stadium was built in 1969, and not much has changed. Why the hell does Kapaun Mount Carmel continue to play homes games there? The grass field is dangerous. 

I don’t miss that place. Not one bit. I’m sorry. 

Friday on another track, part 2

I’ve been at Buffalo Wild Wings too long. I just forgot to change a trivia answer and got zero points. Oh well. It happens. It would have angered me so much when I was playing trivia in past years, but now, it’s a reminder I have to stay on my toes. It is easy to get distracted with all the electronic gadgets. 

I’m leaving the restaurant in Liberty just before 3. Time to drive west on Missouri Highway 152 to the Zona Rosa area. Whether I go to Buffalo Wild Wings there or to Minsky’s is up in the air. 

I don’t care where I am today. I’m glad I am not at Wichita State University covering the Kansas State High School Activities Association state track and field championships. I have nothing against the athletes. Nothing against the coaches. Nothing against the spectators. 

I’m especially glad I’m not covering this year. It is hot and humid, much more so than it has been in recent years on this date. It isn’t as hot as it was the first time I covered the meet in 2006, but it’s bad enough. 

My beef lies with the KSHSAA itself, Wichita State’s athletic department, and the officials who run the meet. I’ll get into that in another post. 

The only sad thing is I’m missing Caitlyn’s final high school event. She and her teamamtes on Norton’s 4×100-meter relay qualified for the final, but the 4×400 relay was eliminated in the prelims. Caitlyn’s final race is tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll be in Kansas City. I feel bad for her. I’ve abandoned her this track seaosn, and I wouldn’t blame her, or anyone else in her family, if they told me to get bent. 

It’s about time to leave. I’m ready to go because some asshole at the bar keeps going out to smoke his cancer sticks and he smells worse than my feces. I HATE CIGARETTES. PERIOD. HATE THEM. HATE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING ON EARTH. 

Friday on another track

I was up at 4:45 this morning. By 6 am., I was in my car and driving.

Unlike past years, I was not driving from the Wichita Marriott on North Webb Road to Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium. I was simply driving from Russell to Kansas City for a long weekend. I need to see those I know in town, play some trivia and eat some good food. And I need to do it before it gets unbearably hot and humid.

I don’t have much desire to come to Kansas City this summer, especially when it gets to be as miserable as I remember Louisiana. Nothing can be as oppressive as a Louisiana summer (okay, it can be), but I don’t want to feel like that again. Hot and less humid in western Kansas is terrible enough.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association track and field championships are today and tomorrow at WSU. I covered the meet 10 consecutive years from 2006-15, but I have not set foot on campus since. I am so glad I am  not covering that meet anymore, but that’s another blog post.

I checked in to the Fairfield Inn Liberty just before 10 a.m. I couldn’t believe I got the message that my room was ready before I left Russell. Usually, it isn’t until the afternoon when the room is ready, which means I go to Buffalo Wild Wings to kill time, then check in. This time, the check in is first, meaning all my crap is out of the car, and I can relax.

I’m staying in Clay County this time instead of the Fairfield near the airport in Platte County. Figured a change of scenery would be good, at least for a  few days. The good news is Price Chopper and Zaxby’s are very close just off Interstate 35. Outback is a still a ways, but the way they’ve been burning my steaks as of late, maybe I’ll skip.

I’m going to Buffalo Wild Wings Liberty in a little bit. Hopefully Larry is there so we can play trivia and go over the news and sports of the world. I have to make my way the Zona Rosa area sooner or later. Minsky’s with Lindsay and Tara?  Definitely. Buffalo Wild Wings? Don’t know. Tori is still on vacation (in New Orleans, no less). I know I’ll be there tomorrow with Molly.

I stayed up a little later last night than I would have liked, because I wanted to see the end of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh NHL game. The Penguins won 3-2 in the second overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they play the Nashville Predators starting Monday. Guess who I will be rooting for? HINT: Not the team Carrie Underwood likes.

The Cavaliers won last night to advance to the NBA Finals vs. the Warriors. I still won’t watch.

Hibernation needs to end

I apologize for going Howard Hughes AGAIN. I swear I am alive. It’s just been some very rough patches as of late. 

I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire. But that isn’t an excuse for not posting. 

More to come…

Bad start to May

This has not been the best week for me. I’ve had worse, but this one has been downright dreadful at times. 

It wasn’t so bad until 3:30 Monday.

That’s when Interstate 70 westbound in Topeka came to a dead stop. DEAD STOP. As in an elevated parking lot. 

About a mile west of the Kansas state capitol, everything screeched to a halt. And from what I could gather, the traffic was stopped all the way to the junction with I-470 a mile west of Wannamker Road, and then the backup continued into Wabaunsee County. 

I wasn’t about to sit in a parking lot for a very long time. I had to find a way to get off the damn interstate and turn around. However, the nearest exit was over a mile away. Then a trooper threatened to ticket me for ‘not staying in the lane’. What the FUCK? There were only two fucking lanes of traffic, and neither was moving. As tempting as it was to get on the shoulder to find the exit, I wasn’t going to risk it. The trooper was looking to arreast someone. 

I finally found my way out of the parking lot. I had to double back seven miles to return to the Kansas Turnpike, then divert southwest all the way to WICHITA. I could have gotten off at Emporia and taken US 50 to Newton, but I had no desire to go on the two-laners. None. 

It took four and a half hours to divert from Topeka to Wichtia and finally arrive in Russell. Somehow I made it wihtout stopping. I was beat. Really beat.

I should not have been surprised I-70 came to a standstill in Topeka. First, the interstate through downtown Topeka is ridiculoulsy narrow, and there is no room whatsoever for expansion. Whomever designed it that way was truly stupid. Second, traffic in almost every capital city I’ve been through in the US is horrible. The roll call: Baton Rouge, Topeka, Oklahoma City, Austin, Jackson, Montgomery, Columbia, Tallahassee, Lincoln, Nashville, and of course, Atlanta. 

The exception: Frankfort. Breezed right by on I-64 leaving Lexington. Going in wasn’t bad, either, save for the normal rush hour of state employees leaving work on the day I arrived in Kntucky.  

Tuesday was a torture day of work. Wednesday was more of the same, but I was also groggy as hell because I took seroquel to sleep better. 

Then I find out Wednesday Norton is coming to Russell’s track meet tomorrow. I really had no desire to go to a track meet. None. Now Peggy is trying to guilt me into going. UGH. 

I took seroquel again last night. Couldn’t get going until after 1. Finally I made it out. Drove to Salina for trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings. But now I’ll be thinking about that track meet tomorrow on the drive back to Russell and then when I get home. Sleep will be tough tonight. 

Russell has had more rain in the first four months of 2017 than it normally has in a full year. This summer will be the worst for mosquitoes I have witnessed in Kansas. Nothing, though, will ever be as miserable as Louisiana summers. I don’t miss my native state most of the year for that reason.