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May 27th, 2003

I had a hell of a weekend:

Saturday:
-Spent $50 to develop six rolls of film, with about two interesting pictures in the bunch
-Hid in the basement

Sunday:
-Played video games
-Went on a road trip with Tandra and found a cool little pizza place in Mulvane
-went biking with Miah and crashed real big
-left Miah's $250 tripod on the side of the road
-used the car to shoot a 16 foot piece of siding down the street
-got chased by someone
-ran out of gas

Monday:
-went on a photography road trip with Gianna
-drove along a railroad maintenance road
-found a train derailment
-found another train derailment
-took pictures of collapidated* buildings and abandoned houses
-saw deer and a coyote
-removed ticks from myself

Now for the unabridged version, which I will not place behind an lj-cut because if you care about me, you will read it:

Saturday
I was in an absolutely horrid mood Saturday and I didn't want to associate with anyone, so I spent most of the day holed up in the basement hiding from the world and playing Midnight Club 2. Before that though, we went to the grocery store to pick up the pictures I'd dropped off to be developed. They actually printed most of the shots, so that's a bonus, but I didn't get the 2 for 1 deal I thought I was getting, so I got raped for $50 to pick them up. Then, as if that weren't enough, there were two pictures worth posting in the whole bunch. I got a bunch of okay fireworks shots, but nothing particularly outstanding. If nothing else, I have a good idea of what to do next time.

Tandra was really nice and understanding with me and tried to make sure I wasn't bothered that day. She's wonderful to have around.

Sunday
The day started out with more video games as Tandra left to go do whatever it was she had to do. Then she picked me up and took me out to show me some abandoned buildings she had seen the day before. Turns out they weren't entirely abandoned - they were being used for storage, and one looked like it might be a mechanic's garage. Behind those though there was a building which had burned quite a few years ago. That was kind of interesting. After that we just drove around out south of Wichita. We wandered into Mulvane looking for a little mom & pop place to eat and found this little pizza place. They had free soft drinks on Sundays, and SUPER cheap food. I had a six-topping personal pizza that was big enough for me to have to take a slice home, and Tandra had spaghetti with four pieces of garlic bread, and our whole bill was under seven bucks. Pretty damn good if you ask me, and the food was really good.

After that we picked up the kids from their grandma's house and dropped them off with their dad for the rest of the weekend. We went home to relax for a few minutes, and then Miah came to pick me up. His Charger is so big that we fit both of our mountain bikes in the back of the car and still had enough trunk space for two tripods and three camera bags. We were able to take the bikes in and out of the car just using the open windows, without even opening the doors. We went down to Derby to ride, since a friend of Miah's was in town from Tulsa and staying there. (Derby is a suburb of Wichita.) This meant we were riding on territory that was unfamiliar to me. We rode for a couple hours and found a couple cool spots to session. On the way back, we were riding through parking lots. It was dark and evidently my depth perception is a bit off in the dark. I saw ahead of me a little transition between two lots consisting of a curb and some big rocks. I had to get up some speed to get over that stuff into the next parking lot. What I didn't realize was that the next parking lot was about a four foot drop from the curb. I heard Miah yelling "BIG HILL! BIG HILL!" just as the bike dropped out from under me and the ground was no longer near me. Apparently I threw my hands up like I was in a roller coaster, although I don't remember that. Somehow I managed to not land on my bike, I rolled out of it, and came out with a couple scratches and a bruise. I am really lucky I wasn't injured any more than that. I kept laughing about that all night, amazed that I wasn't hurt more than I was. I landed on my digital camera and my cell phone, but both were in my pocket and the camera was in its little fake leather pouch. I think my thigh absorbed most of the energy (I have a sore, stiff, bruise deep in the muscle), and the only damage was the clip that holds my phone got a bit scratched up. Pretty amazing.

After that we decided to get some pictures of the Charger backfiring, since Miah is probably going to sell it today. Some girl is offering him 5 grand more than he owes on it, so he can't really pass that up. We took it out and set it up with both Miah's camera and mine, and the video camera. We made the car go BANG a few times and then decided to take off. Of course we didn't realize we had left Miah's tripod standing there on the side of the road. Nice. So we go looking for a less populated area where Miah can smoke the tires a bit and get some burnout pictures, when we come across a tunnel. We took some video going through there where Miah made the car backfire REALLY LOUDLY. I swear that bang echoed for a full four or five seconds. It was great. Then we found a sixteen foot piece of siding in the road, so Miah pulled onto it and gunned it. The siding went shooting down the road (a side street, so no traffic) and actually glided up onto the grass. It was so funny I made him pull around and do it again, and I video taped it from outside the car. This street that we were on is populated by a bunch of office parks and stuff, so on Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend, it was pretty vacant. However it's also the kind of place that's likely to have private security. Some guy in a car pulled onto the street we were on and parked pretty suspiciously, so we decided to get gone. As we did, the car pulled out and looked like it was chasing us. We took off down some curvy streets and finally lost the guy. I have no idea who he was or whether he was actually chasing us, but we didn't want to take any chances.

Then I realized that it was a quarter till one, and I needed to get home. I told Miah and we started heading home. He talked me into stopping one more quick time to try to get burnout pictures. When we did, we realized we only had one tripod. Of course this meant no burnout pictures as we had to haul ass back to where we last had the tripod, hoping it was still there. The whole time Miah had his fingers crossed and I think he even prayed to god at some point, for which I made fun of him. We finally got there and the tripod was still there, all set up and ready to go. By this time I was late getting home, so we decided to just quickly do the burnout pictures right there and get finished. I set up the video camera and my camera. Miah couldn't get the wheels to keep spinning, even though he was taching it all the way up and just slamming it into drive with the brakes to the floor. It was running really poorly and that was making him really nervous. We packed up our shit and left, and the car was hesitating and idling and almost dying, until finally it did die as we were cruising through a parking lot. Obviously this is not good because we've just been abusing the car and Miah is supposed to sell it in three days. He managed to get it started again and we made it another half block or so before it died on us and we had to pull down a side street.

We raised the hood and Miah loosened the hose that feeds the fuel filter. He tried to start it and two little blurps of gasoline came out, then nothing. Miah had been all worried that he'd jumped a tooth on the timing chain or blown a valve or some other thing to make the car worthless and he was really stressed. So we called Jenny, his gf, at two in the morning, and had her bring us some gasoline, hoping like hell that's what was wrong with it. When the car finally started again and idled smoothly like it was supposed to, Miah was once again relieved. He probably said "Thank the stars" about a hundred times. So we filled up and I finally got home at about 2:15.

So I was ready to crash into bed because I've got a road trip planned for tomorrow with Gianna and I'm supposed to be getting up around 8. But nooooo, my day wasn't over yet. Tandra had some friends over whose car died right in front of our house, and somehow it was suddenly our job to take them home. Of course they lived on opposite sides of town from each other. So I finally got to sleep at about 3:30.

Monday
Monday morning I got up at 9:00, both due to my alarm clock and to Gianna calling me. I grabbed the photo equipment and headed out the door. We loaded up in her Jeep Liberty and hit the road. First we found one of those maintenance roads that the railroad people use, the ones that go right alongside a railroad. You know, the ones that say NO TRESPASSING. We drove along one of those for about half an hour. I had to jump out and open three or four gates and let Gianna drive through and then close them behind her. We also found a couple cool spots for Kansas-y photos. We came across a real highway and took that, and shortly we found (accidentally) the site of a derailment that happened last week. It was pretty amazing - huge train locomotives on their sides and burned up with holes in them and stuff. We weren't the only people there taking photos. If you want to see what they looked like, go to www.railpictures.net and look up keyword 'nickhp'. I'll post mine whenever I get them processed.

Then we went on to another derailment site that had happened about a week earlier - straight line winds knocked the train over. It spilled some kind of chemical and they had to evacuate the area for a while. We got pictures of the car that leaked. Not nearly as interesting a site though - it was mostly cleaned up and looked more like a construction site than anything else.

After that we just wandered around Kansas, going through small towns and investigating collapidated* buildings and taking pictures. It was a good day. I shot two and a half rolls of film which I'll obviously post when I get them.

One place we went was Neosho Falls. It's a town that was flooded twice and after the second time, most people just abandoned it. People still live there now that there's a lake with a dam upstream, but there are some collapidated, burned out, flooded out, abandoned shells of buildings. The most interesting is the concrete shell of the old school, which was cool. I (hopefully) got some good shots there.

* Collapidated - word I accidentally made up yesterday

The two pictures worth posting:


Taken at the River Festival's opening event, the Sundown Parade.


Taken in Jenny's driveway.

And I haven't even started the post about today! And Christ, do I have stuff to talk about from today.
LJ is full of mass suckage today. Fast servers my ass.

I'm about to show you all my ass. Meaning, the ugliest part of me. My life is so white trash jerry springer dramatic right now. I hate it.

big old white trash rantCollapse )

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JESUS CHRIST

INTERWEB BAAAAAAD!!!