My Attempts At Tilt-Shift Photography

Thanks to the phone app “Snapseed”, I was able to take scenes I took from the airplane and apply the “Tilt-Shift” option. What is tilt-shift photography? Well, according to Wikipedia: Tilt-shift photography is the use of camera movements on small-and … Continue reading

The Devil Farts In My Face Once Again


Ah, air travel. The dream of the human race for thousands of years and made a reality in 1903. And yet, more than a hundred years later, is now seen as so commonplace as to bitch about it at every opportunity instead of marveling, like Louis CK talked about on Conan O’Brien, that we are sitting on a seat flying through their air. We are in a chair in the air.

And yet…..I can’t help but get stressed out and worried when flights are missed, like yesterday. I should have realized something would go wrong simply because I had only 45 minutes to board my next flight home to Kansas City from Detroit (I was coming from Ithaca, New York). The plane was a few minutes late getting into Ithaca. OK, not a problem. Not a problem until we sopped on the tarmac near the gate (but not AT it) so they could de-frost the plane. Then we were in the air, horray! Don’t cheer quite yet, E. Because when we were finally in Detroit airspace, we had to circle it for a half-hour before landing! To make a long story short, not only did I miss my connecting flight but I had also missed another flight I could have gone on by ten minutes!

To make a long day short, they gave me a voucher for a hotel room at Best Western in Detroit (or, technically, Romulus, Michigan) and  a food voucher—for $7. I could have gotten more but I wasn’t that hungry and only got something at Einstein Bros.

So I’m now sitting at the gate and everything SEEMS to be going well. See, the problem was is that I was happy and bragged about being able to get first class (somehow) for the flight that was supposed to be yesterday. Instead I get the seat right behind First Class (which sucks because you have to take your table out from the arm rest) and it’s an aisle seat! Maybe I can get someone to switch with me, but I doubt it. Would you give up your window seat?

As Blackadder said in the second series, “Percy, the devil farts in my face once again.”

Edited to Add: The plane was on time and went smoothly (and the guy next to me even changed seats so I could sit by the window!). Except when I got home to KC they had lost my luggage. I’m not sure “lost” is correct, it just came in very, very late. My back hurt too much to stay in the giant line for the Baggage Service, so I came back the next morning to find my luggage amongst dozens of others.

The Dead Mall

dead mall photo

In honor of December 21st, aka the day we are supposed to die, I thought I’d write about something that is dead. Well, almost.

North of the mighty, muddy Missouri River in Kansas City lies a virtually dead mall. It is called Metro North Mall and although it had a once illustrious and packed life, now it’s at the point where five people in the building around opening time is seen as packed.

The mall has roughly six stores (and one anchor store) open as of December of 2012. I say “as of” because who knows when the end will come, like another past dead mall north of the river–Antioch Mall (that mall was torn down).

Not all malls in Kansas City and the surrounding suburbs are vacant. Oak Park Mall still does really well, for instance.

Metro North Mall opened in September of 1976. It was the only enclosed mall north of the river, when “north of the river” meant nothing was around. Back then Barry Rd. was almost a backwoods two-lane road. Businesses only started cropping up around the 1990s and that’s when Barry Rd. was expanded to four lane road. It had 125 stores with two anchor stores (JC Penney and Montgomery Wards, I believe). It boasted a 1980s style center court with four balloons that went up and down. They are still there.


The death of the mall happened gradually. The movie theater (the first theater I went to when I moved to Kansas City. We saw “The Cable Guy”) closed in 1997. Montgomery Wards in 2001. JC Penneys and Dillards in 2008. MC Sporting Goods in 2009. Then other stores began closing quickly. Now Metro North only has about six stores and one anchor store, Macy’s. Macy’s is the only store that does really well.

The other stores that I can name off the top of my head are Topsy’s, Bath & Body Works, GNC, Kay Jewelers, and the Wig Shoppe.


As you can see from the faux-wood paneling, and the font, the Wig Shoppe has probably been there since the mall opened. I don’t know who is buying so many wigs that this shop is still able to be open, but it must be doing something right. Maybe the owner is really rich and is able to keep the store open without any financial pitfalls.

So that’s what an almost abandoned mall looks like. The only people who really come around are elderly walkers and parents who let their kids run around the empty floor.

But as long as the Wig Shoppe is open, Metro North Mall isn’t going anywhere.