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Archive for the ‘Dodge’ Category

Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal

 

scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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BTK spent some time here – Broadview Hotel

Well now! Staying at the Broadview would be a hollow experience if one made no attempt to follow up on the Ghost story. Clarence as an entity is well known around there.

By all descriptions Clarence seems harmless enough, but as with any place thats haunted, it seems that a one-off paranormal situation is the exception not the norm. Some have felt cold patches in their rooms, others shaking at the doors. A disembodied voice – a small child, is sometimes heard in the halls at night. Apparently Clarence likes messing with the phone – endless dialing down to the front desk from such and such a room, but when the staff go up to investigate, there is nobody there. The lady who ran the tour told us that sometimes orbs appear on people’s pictures.

I wonder if some places are more conducive to paranormal activity than others? I have long been interested in the lay-line theory. I know from a few examinations in Ontario where I have accompanied the highly acclaimed paranormal investigator – Patrick Cross that paranormal entities seldom occur in ones. In Burlington – Patrick’s place of residence, the very streets are oozing spirits – here a poltergeist, there a moving statue and of course the infamous tree – posessed of an evil energy – I myself almost came “acropper” at that dismal spot, but thats another story.

Lay lines, you have to wonder, they supposedly stretch between places of cultural and religious significance – threads quite plainly seen by some, only felt by others. Witchita is dead-smack center of the continent, a veritable power house of culture and religious worship. Odd though it might seem, BTK was some kind of church elder at Wichita’s Christ Luthern Church and he is known to have spent time in the Broadview Hotel. Not being an expert in lay line divination, I wonder what a dowser would find in the plains around the city.

This picture above is the bar in the Broadview Hotel – a beautiful tin ceiling’d space with stained glass and plenty of pints of my new favorite beer – “Amber Bok”. The Flapper tour that takes residents down to the basement starts in the bar – led by the lady on the left in the red dress.

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Staying at the Jibacoa – Caving in Matanzas

P1010096, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I think it might be that one evil green eye that led me on beyond the tourist designated tunnels of the Cuevas de Bellamar. I had been given permission to go further by our guide who was an avid caver himself. I still intend to produce an article for a magazine or something about the experience – in fact I have it produced already. Toronto Star had initially suggested that they would be interested in seeing something on Cuba’s caves but that fell through.

As you can see by my wrist band I was at that time resident at one of the Island’s many tourist resorts (Jibacoa). We had picked a quiet place half way between Havana and Varadero – it was beautiful, but the food – Wow, you cant begin to imagine the spagehetti paste filth they served and called it food -stay away from the fish as well, but conversely, some stuff was still edible. The people, now they were great!

Anyway, here I am sweating off the beer from the night before and wading along in tunnels that were just incredible. More pictures to follow soon – please excusee the lack of caving gear, my exploration was kind of winging it, the guide had lent me his little pocket light.

I should be getting back to my essay, I’m supposed to be writing something on health and safety legislation – I’m doing a course in Conestoga taught by a MOL inspector. Pulled off a pretty decent mark on my test – you might remember that I mentioned avoiding it by blogging about my last trip to Dodge. I’m heading back to Kansas for a health and safety conference in Janurary.

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Kansas – where the wind always blows

P1020289, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

There is always a wind in Kansas. Wichita is said to be one of the worst places to fly into on a summer afternoon in tornado season. My boss told a funny story (not so funny for him) of one such experience that left a whole plane full of men screaming like babies. Pilot comes on the intercom – “WHOOEE, what-da-ya-think of that” Needless to say nobody was too impressed but the pilot seemed to be having a great time. Lesson is that if flying into Wichita in mid-summer, do so in the early morning.

Anyway, here is how the luggage issue ended up…

I finally reached the airport (by phone) and they explained that I should have filled out a lost luggage claim. I told them that I had done so with the only people that I could find. Apparently they were new employees and had not done it right so I was now screwed. I called back later in the day for a second opinion and was told that my luggage had arrived on the same plane and so I was now unable to have it delivered as that was against their policy. Point is, it wasn’t on the carosel – thats no good to me.

I finally retrieved my luggage as I was leaving on Friday morning – just in time to put the clothes that I had bought from Walmart into it, re-tag it and pop it on the plane for Atlanta (My transfer before Toronto).

On the goodside – everyone at Dodge was very helpful, had a good long talk with the lady at the front desk of the Holiday Inn who was excited by the impending arrival of the casino in Dodge – she likes “Texas holdem”, but admits that with the casino comes the crime and social problems also.

Picture is where I stayed – at the Holiday Inn Express. They serve a pretty decent breakfast and we watched news of the election with a room full of hunters (Turkey or pheasant I think). People were pretty polarized in their views according to their level of affluence.

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I am supposed to be studying for a test instead of blogging (Occupational Health and Safety – (Connestoga College)

P1020275, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

As mentioned in the previous post, I had found myself wandering around before the sun came up. Not much to see in Dodge at that time but there was a certan something that made the place so atmospheric. I could hear the train’s horn long before it came. Looking down the tracks you could see the light approaching from many miles away. Considering the flatness of the terrain I suppose its kind of normal. Anyway it took about 15 minutes from first appearance to arrival and as the trian sped by it was a shocking blast of sound and movement – afterwards, silence again, somewhere off in the dark I could hear a horse neighing and down the tracks… red tail lights as the train roared on through the plains. Continuing on to “Boothill” not much seemed to be going on there either at that time in the morning.

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If the airport guy’s boss reads this you should fire him!

P1020295, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

You might wonder why I would choose to blog so desolate a picture – well in truth, it matched my mood this past Tuesday morning. I have been away for the past week on business in Dodge – Kansas. People at the airpot thought it quite funny that I did not specify Dodge – Kansas in my inquiries “Thares all sorrrts of Dodges” I was told.

It all began when my luggage did not come out on the carosel with everyone elses. I waited for around 20 minutes with several other mournfull passengers and then went to the North Western ticket counter. It took about 5 minutes before the rep choose to notice me and then when I explained my situation he said – go back and check, its probably there. I headed off full of optimism, but in glancing back I saw him dashing for the door – heading home. I knew I’d just been had. Obviously nothing had changed at the carousel and when I got back to the counter there was nobody there.

It took about half an hour before I managed to catch the attention of somebody who was coming from a door behind the counter and he said my luggage would likely be coming on another plane. The fellow recorded my details and off I went – said they would deliver it when it arrived (two and a half hours to Dodge? Thats a long way, but not uncommon)That night I phoned and they still had not found my luggage.

The following morning, still wearing the same stinking shirt I went for a walk at about 4 AM. I was feeling pretty downhearted, suspecting that I would likely have to re-equip myself at Wallmart. In our town (Guelph) I was a vocal opponent of that establishment – now here I was in Kansas having to eat my words – its pretty well the only place I could find to shop in Dodge – maybe theres other places, but that was all I knew about. Fortunately my boss was very generous with his time and the Holiday Inn were fantastic in their efforts to help – they gave me a free razor and the lady at the counter offered to find me some jeans.

This picture was beside the railway tracks, it was kind of neat in a way, I was the only one that seemed to be up at that time, besides the cattle trucks storming down “Wyatt Erpp” the main road through Dodge. For a small town in the middle of absolutly nowhere it had an interesting kind of flavor – middle America, its quite different from where I come from – people are very hospitable but the scenery is pretty grim. Passed through a town on the way from Wichita that had been entirely obliterated by a1.6 kilometer wide tornado. It killed 9 people and the town was wiped off the map. Twisted trees everywhere, a stairway went up to nowhere and a smashed -up mobile home beside the road – thats it, thats Greensburgh.

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