May 23, 2008

5/23/08 Kansas City, MO - USA

Well, more rain today. Go figure. Decided to give the apartment a good cleaning so I won't have to worry about it at the last minute. And sent an email to Mike in Australia updating him in the wheel 'problem' I'm dealing with. He commented that either I'm too strong or those steroids are taking effect - how else could I break a rear hub. [smile]

To get ready for Mongolia, I've been following a lot of personal blogs of current and future Peace Corps volunteers. So, every morning I check each blog to see if there are any new journal entries. Takes a lot of time and some days, there are no new entries. But today, one blogger, Travis (who leaves for the Peace Corps Mongolia next week) at Advance Humanity, wrote about Google Reader, which keeps track of all your blog subscriptions and can tell you if any have been updated. So, instead of checking twenty different bookmarks, I can just check in one place. Very cool.

My brother Tom didn't need me to work today after all. So, after cleaning the apartment up a bit, spent most of the day shopping, sort of. Didn't really buy what I needed but got a few things narrowed down. I did decide not to make the 'waterproof camera case' as I was running into sewing problems. I still think it should be possible but maybe next time. Instead I bought a very low-profile Wenger 'Sherpa' camera case. Wenger are the folks that make Swiss Army Knives. I will wrap the camera up in silnylon inside the case in the event of rain.

As always, stopped off at Minsky's for a bite to eat. Zeb, Kim and Rachel were waiting tables, and guess who should walk in but ex-waitresses Katy and April. All my favorite people there at the same time. The only one missing was Donna, but she refuses to get her picture taken anyway. [Just kidding Donna] A nice little reunion. You might think it odd, but I've been going there so long, I'm more like family than a customer. I consider them all good friends.

Rachel, Kim, April, Katy & Zeb: servers extraordinaire

Made a quick stop after lunch at Prydes Old Westport where I ran into Annie. Believe it or not, she's a friend I met on my cross-country bike trip back in 2001, but not here in Kansas City. Her family owned a small bar/restaurant in Matfield Green, Kansas. When we got to talking back then, we were both shocked that we lived blocks from each other back in KC. Seems I run into her every time just before I leave on another adventure. It was good to see her and Annie told me she had just gotten married. Congrats to her. I said that if I stayed in one place long enough, I might try that marriage stuff. [smile]

Had some journal/sketchbooks made at Kinkos, then decided I really needed to get out on the bike even though it still looked like it could rain some more. I'm tired of being inside both the apartment and the car. I live for fresh air. It didn't rain, so when I got back home from riding down to the Plaza, I decided to get a run in too.

I've been listening to a lot of music on the internet lately, which comes in a variety of formats. There's streaming audio from radio stations all over the USA and the world, internet only radio stations, and more recently audio showcases (my description). Some of you might have heard of Pandora, but another good one is Last.FM. They each have their good and bad points. Pandora is nice in that it keeps a running list of what you've listened to. Which is a great feature if your are recording. But Last.FM lets you listen to music by tags, plus you can look at a complete song history of an artist and listen to a lot of full tracks. Navigating the site can be a bit confusing at times, but well worth the work to uncover a musical gem or two.

15 days to go, can it be true!