Saturday, January 30, 2010
It's probably sold at foreclosure now, and is likely to be torn down by any buyers but the story behind it is interesting and can make you think about liberty and property rights and all that. Seems as if the man who bought it had a little trouble with the city codes enforcers, who rode him for not having his house painted properly. So he painted it this lovely purple color, except for one wall, because he ran out of purple paint. That wall is red. He and his wife painted flowers on the house. Apparently there was no Home Owner's Association, because no one came running about the color. The city couldn't do anything; their directive was just to paint the house. The city told him his wooden privacy fence was too high. He took a chain saw and cut off the offending footage. The city b**ched about his lawn, his yard, and his cars. He probably did just enough to keep from being fined to the end of his paycheck, just enough to keep from being on first name basis with the judges in the city's Housing Court.
According to the man's son, whose interview is in the link, the man was a Vietnam vet who had some struggles with what we now call PSTD. Yet he was able to raise a family--his son seems very balanced--and have a good stable long term relationship. He and his girlfriend both passed within just a year or two of each other, and in that time period, mortgage payments were not being made and the house reverted to the VA. I just had a look at the area using google map and the google street thing. When looking from the street, all you can see is the trees and the purple privacy fence--you can barely make out the house. The satellite view reveals a not very tidy back yard, with large objects in the yard. I noted a particularly tidy house and lawn just to the south; I imaged this person going bonkers looking at the purple house with the messy yard.
It can be a difficult balance between the desires of the community to have everything "just so", and the right to self expression and the use of one's own private property. This house was so well known that it was used as a directional land mark by those living in the neighborhood. It was tolerated, barely, by the neighbors and city. (If there had been a HOA, it would have been a different deal--just read some of the comments on the lovely listing site.) The funny thing is that in a way, people like a little quirky in their life. I'm sure that some of the neighbors were amused and not at all put out, while some others were just fit to be tied.
I myself would not mind a purple house in my neighborhood. My across the street neighbor has dark purple trim on her white house; a few snickered and made negative remarks, but I love it, a nice change from the browns that often dominate. Just keep it neat and reasonably tidy, and I'm happy. Besides it will be a cold day in Hell before I rat someone out about a house problem. I think I'd be more likely to snitch on a murderer then to tattletale to the city about something related to the condition of a neighbor's house. It just seems so minor in the scheme of things. Meth houses and dope dens not tolerated; a car in the driveway under repair, a trailer parked next to the driveway, a bush overgrown, toys in the yard, trash put out early (but no trash left out in a pile, that's a different ballgame because of vermin), maybe an extra cat or dog--odds are, if someone's complaining, it ain't me.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Some of the raw materials for kits: soaps, soap dishes, baggies of band-aids.
Making the band-aid baggies, trying to assemble useful sizes of band-aids, not those tiny ones!
The raw material of a hygiene kit: most of these items will go in a kit, except for the toothbrush holder. The kits have a very specific recipe. Shipping overseas means that every i must be dotted and every t crossed, so the kits have to be pretty uniform in content.
Finished kits, double bagged in strong zip lock freezer bags, ready to be put in shipping boxes.
A Heart to Heart employee does the final check and seals the boxes for shipping.
More donated hygiene kits that will be readied for shipping in the coming days.
Here's Heart to Heart's founder, Dr. Gary Morsch, in Haiti.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
What would you have been thinking as you waited in your truck at the side road to turn, or were walking somewhere? Also, note the cloud of dust from the buildings across the road. My personal opinion is that earthquakes are the most terrifying of natural disasters.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
At about 4:53 pm CST, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the country of Haiti, followed by several stiff aftershocks. The quake was centered quite close to the capitol city, Port-au-Prince. Haiti is in the Caribbean on the west side of the island of Hispanola. The country is very poor, and the infrastructure strength is questionable. There have been issues of corruption in inspecting buildings in Haiti. Most electricity and communication is down as well, so news is sporadic, plus it is after dark when the quake struck. There could be quite a loss of life in Haiti.
The Church of the Nazarene in Haiti has been holding district assemblies for its 11 districts this week. General Superintendent J.K. Warrick flew into Haiti Tuesday afternoon for those assemblies. Communication with personnel in Haiti has been difficult due to phone lines being down, but Warrick was able to get a text message out from the Nazarene Seminary campus in Petion-ville, outside of Port-au-Prince, to say he and other church leaders on campus are safe.
What is not known is the full extent of loss of life or property damage beyond the campus walls. Bill Dawson, French Field Strategy coordinator, Emailed the Caribbean Communications Office to say the situation "is grave and urgent."
"There are many injured all over the city," said Dawson. "Major buildings, three and four stories, are down. ... Neighbors who work for the United Nations report many injured, people carrying wounded through the streets."
Here is a first hand report from someone on the ground, from Fox News.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Your observant Observer, who does not make a habit of wandering around yapping on the phone or texting, spotted this vehicle at the local Chick-Fil-A this past August. Those are manufacturer's tags from Michigan on the car; obviously someone had the privilege of driving/testing the new ride for Ford (plus PR; note web address on bumper).
Surveillance video shows her on a rampage at the McDonald's at Linwood and Main. Police said she caused $3,000 in damages at the restaurant because she was unhappy with her meal.
Now police said she's also wanted for questioning in an aggravated assault and a series of burglaries in south Kansas City.
"Since that time we've gotten her identified, but she isn't in custody so if anyone knows where she is, they can give us a call, and let us know where she is," Rich Lockhart with Kansas City Police said.
If you can help police find the woman, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Here is the perfect type of Black news story that the world wide media loves: A Black person acting a fool. I predict that this video will be all over the national press soon. Therefore, I am reaching out to the lady in this video. Please surrender to me because you are about to be famous. All the local press has covered your story and the KCMO police chief put you on his blog. Bloggers are joking on you. The crime that you are apart of is not a big beef. Beef, McDonalds. I made a funny! Anyway, you will be treated like you are a terrorist by the time this hits the world wide press. So just calm down realize that this is going to get huge. So, just pick up the phone and call me. I will help you tell your side of the story to the press before I help you surrender to the cops. I am pretty sure the clerk did something to upset you that had nothing to do with food. Do the right thing and surrender. Just call me. For others who read this blog peep this video and if you know her tell her to call me or give me a tip about her.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Yes, we've visited the history of EMS before. I gave you a link to the report on accidental death and disability, and I introduced you to Freedom House. We'll link up to those posts here so you can go to them easily.
In this video there is a reference to the Hyatt Regency sky walk disaster here in Kansas City, MO. That event, in 1981, taxed the then rather haphazard EMS system of this city to the max. It was that memory that stood behind the eventual formation of the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust, MAST. MAST, along with Johnson County Med-Act on the Kansas side, eventually provided some of the best, most cutting edge EMS in the country, with cardiac arrest save rates and response times in the top 10 of the nation. Now we are coming full circle, barring further political maneuvers, MAST will cease to exist and the EMS service will be merged into the Kansas City Fire Department.
I became involved in EMS in 1976 in Vermont. Back then, we made our own backboards, out of sturdy wood, stain/paint and finish. I was trained in CPR with some of the newest standards. We had a proper federally funded Type I ambulance. That service, which was established in 1968, still exists today, with dedicated volunteers, and provides ambulance service for at least four towns. Vermont now has state wide 911 service, and considerable effort was made to give every occupied dwelling a street or house number. Many of the towns have established FAST squads, or organized their fire department to go to scenes quickly, and provide care before the ambulance gets there. This service has provided care to two of my relatives, and I am proud to have been a part of this organization. We were part of the vanguard. While in college in PA, I worked BLS level transport ambulance, and later became a part of a volunteer unit trying to revolutionize the EMS care in our Main Line suburban township. I also was a CPR instructor. While I was there, our unit transitioned to a ALS or advanced life support unit. When I left, the service was still trying to convince the police department that we were a far better choice then the back of a paddy wagon.
Now, I am an RN, who finds the ER to be my favorite type of nursing. One of the gaps in the video, besides its lack of recognition for Freedom House, is its neglect to mention the Emergency Nurses Association. ER nurses are a special breed!
Looking at this video, and looking back, I am both amazed and gratified to have played a small part in encouraging and being involved in the development of prehospital care and treatment of the sick and injured in this country.