Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Home Town

Views of my home town - St. Louis, MO - from the top of the Gateway Arch. This was the girls first trip to the top. We're tired today, but enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with our grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yes, the US Supreme Court can make mistakes...

...such as the infamous Dred Scott Case. I'm taking my kids to the Old Courthouse in St. Louis this morning. There is hope that justice can prevail in this country and that hideous decisions like Roe v. Wade can be overturned. Pray for our country, especially that we don't confuse real civil rights issues like the right to life with fake civil rights issues like the right to homosexual "marriage".

Monday, November 24, 2008


This turned out weird. The sky was blue in the original.

Anyway, this is what I daydream about while driving across Kansas.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What's the best thing to come out of Kansas?

I-70! hahahahaha

But seriously folks, here's a quick description of what we'll be seeing along the way during our road trip to St. Louis tonight and tomorrow:

Coming from Colorado, I-70 enters flat plains in Kansas. This portion of I-70 was the first segment to start being paved and to be completed in the interstate system. It is given the nickname "Main Street of Kansas" as the interstate extends from the Western border to the Eastern border covering 424 miles (682 km) and passing through most of the state's principal cities in the process.

I-70 crossing on the Lewis & Clark Viaduct over the Kansas River from Kansas to Missouri in Kansas City.

In Salina, I-70 intersects with I-135, the longest "spur" route in the Interstate system[5], forming the latter's northern terminus.

In Topeka, I-70 intersects I-470, twice. At the eastern intersection, the Kansas Turnpike merges, making I-70 into a toll road. This is one of only two sections of I-70 that are tolled. (The other is part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.) I-70 carries this designation from Topeka to Bonner Springs, the eastern terminus of the turnpike. There is also a third child route in Topeka, I-335, which runs from I-470 south to meet up with I-35 in the Flint Hills town of Emporia. Just past the Bonner Springs Toll Plaza I-70 crosses I-435 for the first time, which allows travelers to bypass the downtown traffic via I-435, which encircles the Kansas City metropolitan area. Further down the highway in Kansas City, Kansas, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) before the 18th Street Expressway, I-70 is intersected again by another child route. This route, I-635, runs from I-35 at its southern terminus up to I-29, just about 5 miles (8.0 km) across the Missouri river, at its northern terminus. From I-635 to just past the 7th Street (US 169) exit, I-70 runs adjacent BNSF's Argentine Yard, one of the largest rail yards n the United States. Here I-670 (also designated "Alternate 70" on some signs) diverges, providing a more direct route that rejoins I-70 proper a few miles east in Missouri. The highway passes over the former stockyards and rail yard when it crosses the Kansas River on the Lewis & Clark Viaduct into downtown Kansas City, Missouri.


Interstate 70 in Saline County, Missouri

After crossing the Lewis & Clark Viaduct, I-70 enters Missouri. It encounters a loop of freeways, called the Alphabet Loop, which contains I-70 as well as I-35, I-670, U.S. 24, U.S. 40, U.S. 71, and U.S. 169. In the southern part of this loop, I-670 cuts directly through the downtown while I-70 bypasses the taller buildings a few blocks north near the Missouri River. Westbound I-670 is also designated Alternate I-70 making this the only permanent "alternate" interstate in the country. Most of the interstates in this loop are in their second mile, so all exits (no matter the which interstate carries the road) are numbered 2 and suffixed with every letter of the alphabet except I, O and Z.

The section of I-70 in Downtown Kansas City is approximately the southern city limits of "City of Kansas" when it was incorporated in 1853. The first two auto bridges in Missouri mark the city's original boundaries with the Broadway Bridge (Kansas City) (U.S. Route 169) being the west boundary while the Heart of America Bridge (Route 9) is the east boundary. Another intersection of note is the second traverse of I-435. This is primarily notable because it immediately precedes the Truman Sports Complex (home of both Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium) and also because the entrance ramps from I-435 northbound onto I-70 eastbound also serve as the exit ramps from I-70 into the Truman Sports Complex parking lots. This section of the Interstate is marked as the "George Brett Super Highway", named after the Kansas City Royals third baseman who played the entirety of his career (1977-1993) at "The K". The last interstate intersection in the immediate Kansas City metro area is with I-470 in Independence.

I-70 in downtown St. Louis, photo taken from the Gateway Arch.

After passing Kansas City, I-70 traverses the length of Missouri, west to east. It passes through the largest city between Kansas City and St. Louis, Columbia, which is about halfway between the two major cities, and the home of the University of Missouri. The terrain is rolling with some hills and bluffs near rivers. I-70 also crosses the Missouri River twice (as did the original US 40)--at Rocheport, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Columbia, and at St. Charles, about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of St. Louis. Most of the highway on this stretch is four-lane. Various proposals have been made to widen it (at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion) including turning it into a toll road.[6] I-70 eventually gets into the St. Louis metro area and U.S. Route 40 splits to the south, along with U.S. Route 61, which does not have a concurrency with I-70. The intersecting road will be upgraded to Interstate standards because of the upgrade to Interstate 64.[7] After this interchange, I-70 intersects two child routes, I-270 and I-170. I-70 then heads into the city limits of St. Louis, designated "The Mark McGwire Highway" after the Cardinals former first baseman (1997-2001), who hit 70 home runs in 1998 to break the single season record set by Roger Maris in 1961, allowing the number 70 to take on greater significance in St. Louis. It continues south to intersect with I-64, U.S. 40, and I-55, which then become concurrent as they head east to cross the Mississippi River on the Poplar Street Bridge.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What does the obsessive skier dream about?

This is the kind of stuff the obsessive skier dreams about. SKI magazine's November 2008 issue has a lengthy article about James Bond and skiing. Looks like a good read, but I gotta be honest, I just wanted to see the pictures. Click here for a slideshow of 007's greatest moments on snow. And don't forget to read the captions for a laugh or two.

Remember that one opening chase scene with Bond on skis who then ditched into the crevasse, took off on his snowmobile, and after it wrecked, he boarded away on only the snowmobile's ski? The dude has skills.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Pastors

This hits a little close to home. Thanks to Thabiti for leading me to this one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Imitation: The Highest Form of Praise

When we overlook the wrongs of others, we are imitating God's extraordinary forgiveness toward us: "The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities." (Psalm 103:8-10)

Since God does not deal harshly with us when we sin, we should be willing to treat others in a similar fashion.

Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 82

Food for Thought from PeaceMeal 11.19.08

I have many comical memories of my grandmother sheepishly wandering around the house. We would ask, "What are you looking for, Grandma?" She was too good-hearted to lie, which led ultimately to her confessing that she had lost her eyeglasses once again. Everyone would help her look, but it wasn't too hard. Usually, they were in plain sight--right under her nose--or one time on her nose as she was actually wearing them while looking for them!

She always giggled when someone pointed them out to her, "I knew I'd find them right where I left them. I just couldn't remember where that was." We excused this behavior, saying that she had simply "overlooked" her spectacles.

Is that what comes to mind when you read Proverbs 19:11, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."?

Some of you may think that "overlooking" is practically the same as being blind, ignoring something, or carelessly failing to notice. Actually, overlooking is not a passive thing at all; it's really quite the opposite. In fact, it is intentional and takes courage.

Biblically speaking, to "overlook" means to "forgive," and when we do that, we are imitating God. We might change the old cliché, "Imitation is the highest form of flattery" to "Imitation is the highest form of praise."

--- Randy E. Williams (Copyright 2008)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A New James Herriott in Western Colorado

Check out this touching photo-essay from The High Country News.

Rather read it yourself than wait for the slow HCN video download? Click here.

Oscars Party 2009 Charity Poll - Round 2

Which of these charities would you most like to see supported by the Oscars Party 2009?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oscars Party 2009 Charity Poll

Which charity would you most like to see supported by the Oscars Party 2009?

What you can get me for Christmas...

I've always wanted to go heli-skiing, but alas, the obsessive skier has never been...I think these guys sell gift cards:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blog-Fast Now Underway

After having posted at least once a day during the month of October, I am now attempting a blog-fast. I plan to return to blogging on November 10th. Pray that during these 9 days I would use the time I normally spend blogging to pray and read the Bible and grow closer to God. Thanks!