May 1 2014

Taqueria Monarca

Taqueria Monarca is a food truck found on the 2400 block of Holmes street in Kansas City, Missouri weekdays at lunchtime. They serve tacos, burritos, tostadas and other Mexican food with your choice of meats including steak, beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, tripe, and tongue.

I have tied their tacos, which are very good, but I normally get their tostada, which is only $3 and is usually enough food for me. I highly recommend the asada tostada.

Link to their Facebook page.

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Jul 15 2013

Overheard: 70 yr old male

“Down in interior Mexico it’s no more dangerous than driving in Kansas City at night.” –missionary to Mexico, who was saying that as a positive thing

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Mar 16 2013

Kansas City Snow Update

For years I have publicly criticized Kansas City and Jackson County for doing a poor/inadequate/shoddy job of clearing snow from their streets and roads, especially when smaller and poorer Lafayette County could seem to get theirs cleared. I make no apologies for that.

However, when I went to work last Wednesday it was Lafayette whose roads were abominably snow-plowed and Jackson whose roads were cleared. Once I reached Independence, the roads were so clear that I-70 looked like it had recently gotten a bit of rain, and not several inches of snow. Awesome job guys.

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Oct 16 2012

Photo: garage door

This is a garage door near 43rd and Main in downtown Kansas City. Unfortunately this is the first thing Chiefs’ defense sees on their way to work.

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Feb 14 2012

Review: Cajun Cabin food truck

As you probably know, I like to try new food, even when its served from a truck. As I was on my way out to get a gyro, I saw the Cajun Cabin truck. They serve what you would expect from a cajun food joint: gumbo, beans and rice, and jambalaya. I had seen them before, but I’m not usually anxious to buy something I know I can make well.

As I passed the truck, I noticed that they offered free samples. The guy gave me a little 1oz cup with a tiny spoon. One bite and I was hooked. I had the sausage and  chicken jambalaya, and it was amazing.While it didn’t need it at all, it was extra awesome with some Frank’s RedHot.

If you happen to be on Hospital Hill (24th & Holmes) between 11am and 2pm most weekdays (check their schedule), I highly recommend them. You can catch them online at

Update: check their Facebook page for the most accurate schedule.

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Oct 3 2011

Free Wallpaper: Cupric


I shot this on the inside, exterior sill of the Western Auto building in downtown Kansas City.

Cupric  is available in 1600 x 1200. Just right click and Save As (Windows) or Option-Click (Mac).




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Apr 2 2010

Free Wallpaper: Undertaker 1997

In 1997 I went with my friends The Celt, his wife (Mrs. Celt), Tony, and Stickler to my first rasslin’ event: WWF Monday Night Raw is War on October 6 in Kansas City, Missouri. The previous day had been pretty eventful, with the Kane and the Hell in a Cell match making their first appearances in St. Louis, and wrestler Brian Pillman passing away in his hotel room.

The Undertaker was by far my favorite wrestler. I mean, he’s scary, he wears all black: it was pretty clear he looked up to me, so I had to go to support my biggest fan.

I had brought my Pentax K-1000, several rolls of 400 and 800 speed film, and a telephoto lens I borrowed from Mrs. Auggie. Before they started the show, all of the wrestlers came out on the entrance ramp while they tolled the bell for Pillman. All except the Undertaker.

Anyway, the show that night was great, and we had awesome seats. I took a lot of pix, pushing the film as far as I thought I could get away with. I also found out what they do in the stadium at a live event while they are airing the commercial breaks on TV: absolutely nothing.

We saw some great matches, but I was still kind of bummed that the Undertaker hadn’t been there. Finally, the show was over, the lights dimmed, and people started going home. We waited around a little bit just in case there was something else, and they started taking the aprons off the ring that said ‘RAW is WAR.’ Underneath was another set of ring aprons that said ‘Shotgun Saturday Night.’ It turns out they tape it after the live Monday night broadcast (sorry to spoil it for ya).

The final match was scheduled for a one hour time limit: Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart vs. the Undertaker.

I had about eight frames of my last roll of film left, and I got this shot:

Undertaker 1997 is available in 1600 x 1200 (standard) and 1440 x 900 (wide). Just right click and Save As (Windows) or Option-Click (Mac).

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Mar 20 2010

Vintage photo of MadMania’s founder, c. 2002

Spring 2002, a long time ago.

I was out of work–me and everyone else but two people from my old job were laid off right before Christmas.

I’m standing in downtown Kansas City. The photo is super-grainy because we are using a 1.2 megapixel Kodak I got from the aforementioned job. The camera was as big as a medium-size hardback, and just as heavy.

I don’t know what’s in my jacket pocket there, but it’s probably clove cigarettes. I had started smoking right before Christmas; Heather and I couldn’t afford to get each other a real present, but she insisted I at least get something.

Besides, the tobacconist’s was right next door to the toy store.

I grew the massive goatee during that time, and I finally trimmed it a few months after I started my current job. The long, tangly hair stayed for another 6 years.

It’s pure Providence I got hired at all: in addition to the hair and the goatee, I wore all black to the HR interview.

I wasn’t teaching Sunday School yet–that was still another year off, and so was giving up cigarettes.

The taste for cloves still lingers, though; I put them in pie filling, French Toast, and every autumn and winter I make hot spiced cider.

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Jan 17 2010

Snowy, blowy

In the book of The Princess Bride, the giant Fezzik attempts to overcome a moment of cognitive dissonance upon seeing the Man in Black leaving the cliffs where he had fought a duel with Inigo. Fezzik couldn’t explain to Vizzini (inconceivable!) the idea that Inigo could have ever been beaten, so he rationalizes something to the effect that Inigo, had not in fact, been beaten, but had beaten the Man in Black and then taken his opponent’s clothes and dressed up as him.

And gained 50 pounds.

Point is, I am still trying to figure out how Lafayette County can get the interstate clean just hours after a snow, but the larger, wealthier Jackson County cannot. It must not be that Jackson does a poor job, but it instead must be that both counties don’t receive equal amounts of snow, but Jackson actually receives approximately 65 times what Lafayette receives.

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Oct 17 2009

Alms for the poor

Back in the 60s my grampa, my dad, and my uncle used to drive to Kansas City to stay in an apartment and work all week, then drive back home to southern Missouri on the weekends. Dad said when they got back to the apartment, my uncle would get out an old can and say, in his most pitiful voice:

“Alms, alms for the poor!”

Dad and Grampa would laugh and throw change in his can.

Dad said they thought it was pretty funny–until the end of the month when my uncle had an extra $20.

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