Tag Archives: olathe

Received August 3rd- Aug. 9th

Jeanne’s Library Mail project keeps growing, it seems. There’s talk in the Johnson County Library System of taking it on the road to exhibit in the other branches of the system after it finishes in the branch where she works nights. Cool idea she had with this. Jack

Library Mail Art 2014

Four cards came in the mail this week! This colorful card is from Sheila Wright, in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.


IMG_4546Thank you, Sheila!

The next three cards came from Sara Grob in Flauwil, Switzerland. Sara is one of my pen friends, and I have always admired her creativity.
Here’s her second:
IMG_4549IMG_4550And the third:
IMG_4551IMG_4552Many thanks, Sara!

We still have until August 29th to accept your submissions for the exhibit, so if you have something you’d like to contribute, send it along! (Check the About page for guidelines.) Also, if you’ve mailed something and not seen it on this page, leave me a comment and I’ll double check to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Thanks again, and I hope you have a creative week!

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Graduation March

Hi readers.  Monday after Physical Therapy they stood me in front of a Happy Graduation banner, gave me a diploma and card signed by all the nurse-ladies, put a mortarboard hat on me and took a picure.  Then they played Graduation March and I went around the room shaking hands while all the old codgers on machines cheered and waved on their various machines.

So the VA paid-for session of my return to physical perfection is done.

I’ve paid for another month use of the Olathe Community Center machines because I’m not 17 years old again yet.

Some of the guys who’ve been using the medical center facility a long time who’d been through similar cardiac situations to mine said they kept improving a while after the first physical therapy, is the reason I’m still hopeful it’s going to improve more despite congestive heart failure.  But they also said, every one I discussed it with, that there’s a plateau that comes somewhere afterward, and things don’t get better from then on.  It becomes a matter of maintaining, holding what you’ve got.

So I’m hoping the plateau for me will involve an ejection factor a bit higher than the 10-15% the VA and private cardiologists measured before therapy.  I need to be able to go out in the world and climb over fences, trespass onto forbidden places.  I need to be able to walk down to the grocery store somewhere and back with a bag of groceries inside each arm.

Or at least I need to be able to walk around the streets somewhere pusing a shopping cart with my belongings in it without tiring myself out too terribly.  Some things in life a person just hates to give up the prospects for.

But phase one is done.  Sorry if you didn’t get your invitation but graduation was never a sure thing.  Even during the final weeks, even the next-to-the-last session the fast six minute measured distance walk took the wind out of my sails.

I’m going to miss all those old guys.  Especially the ones doing post-graduate work hanging around because they didn’t have a courthouse square to hang around in playing dominoes and spitting tobacco.  They’re paying a dear price to go there and can’t even spit.

Old Jules


Olathe Free Concert in the Park – Brody Buster opens for Paul Thorn

Brody Buster One Manning opening for Paul Thorn

Brody Buster One Manning opening for Paul Thorn


Paul Thorn Band

Paul Thorn Band

Hi readers.  When Jeanne’s oldest son, Kenneth, called around 6pm last night Hydrox and I were wondering whether to pester Shiva all evening.

Kenneth:  There’s a concert down at the Olathe Park tonight.  We were wondering whether you’d care to go.

Me:  Does the Pope crap in the woods?

And so it happened.  Kenneth, Andrew, Hailey [Kenneth’s daughter] and I drifted down and got a parking spot about a quarter-to-half mile from the park.  And with a rest stop or two and a bit of heavy breathing, I spang walked down there for a bit of toe tapping and grinning.

Brody Buster – Guy’s a bull-goose harmonica player.  Does a middling fine Creedence Clearwater Revival song or three as a stand-alone.

Paul Thorn Band – Reminds me in some ways of Leon Redbone.  Reminds me in some other ways of early Jesse Winchester.

Heck of an enjoyable evening.  Now that global warming went on coffee break it was comfy enough so all us people in shorts were wondering whether it was worth a walk back to the car for a jacket.

hailey july 2014

Hailey ended up wrapped in that blanket sticking the plastic light sticks out waving them around in the dark.  Me, I figured it was going to be better struggling back to the car in cool night rather than crawling back on all fours in regular old honest late-July heat.

Turned out both bands were sufficiently good to distract everyone from global warming or a hair cool for the choice of clothing.  Got them waving their arms around and clapping instead of talking about the polar bears dying off and Antarctica either melting or not melting.

An evening well spent.  Physical therapy performs wonders.  I never thought I’d be able to do something of that sort again.

Old Jules


Wasting your life on something important instead of trivialities

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Once it became obvious the Olathe Medical Center Cardiac Physical Therapy folks weren’t opening the doors on Independence Day, I knew I was in trouble.  Felt the pressure building, depression setting in.  Scurried around searching under things for anti-depressant drugs, then remembered I’ve never had any of those.

Hell, here the colonies declare themselves free to select their own masters instead of the British ones who’d been turning up their noses for so long, and the hired help start wanting holidays to celebrate having a different set of masters. 

And here my old ticker I’m trying to persuade to kick up the ejection to, say, 20% instead of 10%-and-some-change is whining and complaining that I’m not lifting a finger to help it along.   Heart muscle giving winks and nods to the defibrillator, whispering to the lungs and arteries that I’m a lazy, no-good-for-nuthun slacker wastrel.

Obviously I couldn’t sit still for that.  If I’m ever going to climb any more mountains, if I’m going to find the Lost Adams Diggings, damn me, I’m going to have to do physical therapy whether the hospital is shut down, or whether the whole bunch is out there eating hot dogs and popping fireworks.

So I joined the Olathe Community Center gym for a month.  Went down there early this morning, walked around acting like real people, mounted a walking machine and walked the hell out of things.  Wandered over to the weight machines and humped my upper body a while whoopteedoo.  Walked around the track looking down on pee-filled hot tubs and swimming pools, looking out windows into the parking lot, at pictures hung on the walls. 

Sagged to my knees and breathed a while, telling the bastards who were asking if I was okay to mind their own damned business.  Piss me off.

Feeling pretty groovy, all things considered.

Old Jules

Community ‘Personalities’

Hi readers.  This town where Jeanne lives and I currently reside on her couch gave me a strange arrangement of ponderings yesterday.  I knew my physical therapy at the hospital will be fading in July.  By coincidence the Olathe Community Center is opening, and I’d heard it would include exercise machines, etc.

By golly I don’t ignore coincidence.  Figured I could buzz over there three times a week as long as I’m here, work out, maybe connect with local seniors to play some chess, chew the fat, exchange low sodium recipes.  Old guys did those things on the Courthouse lawn when I was a kid, playing dominoes and spitting tobacco.  A piece of getting old.

To my surprise, that new Olathe Community Center is a bastion of healthiness, classes on Zombi or somesuch dancing, Yoga, big TV screens people can watch while stationary biking.  A room full of water capable of being peed into from everywhere within 100 yards any direction.  Maybe a hundred walking machines, weight machines, and combinations of all three.

And for kids?  Wow.  Two story water slide indoors with signs saying they don’t want heart patients [me] using it.  Piss on them.  I’ll use that thing if I want to.

Because in that entire enormous structure there is not one, not one single item specifically intended to be used by the elderly.  Not one ping-pong table, for that matter, to allow fast action small area activities, either.

I’d been casually searching for some while for a Senior Citizen Center in Olathe.  There ain’t one, even though the senior population here’s quite large.  Closed down a couple of years ago when the city sold the building, never reopened somewhere else.

Fairly strange.  A rich, rich, how you say, affluent community here with a large area of old, low-income houses in the older part of town inhabited by lower middle class non-upwardly mobile working-class scum and senior citizens.  And that new community center forgot they exist.

Hell, every tiny community everywhere has a Senior Citizen Center, or failing that, a pantheon of senior activities incorporated into the local community center.  Andrews, Texas, out on the high plains desert has a big one.  Half deserted towns all over Texas and New Mexico dying of thirst and hunger have one thing left functioning:  Senior Citizen Centers.

And this beautiful old farming community that’s become the home of thousands of high-income soccer and tennis playing SUV driving tofu eating Kansas Citians during the past 20 to 30 years has the singular distinction of having nothing of the sort.

Jeanne’s jobs are over in the neighborhood of Lenexa. Another grown-over KC bedroom community.  And when she got tired of my berating Olathe regarding the new Community Center and the implied attitude toward senior citizens she took me over there.  They’ve got a center about the size of one in Zuni, New Mexico, or Andrews, Texas.  About the size of each of the three in Kerrville, Texas.

Fine people over there in Lenexa.  We got there around noon, just looking around.  Maybe fifty people hanging around in there chewing the fat.  A lady running the place came up, introduced herself, showed us around.  Full of enthusiasm, got more programs going on than you could shake a stick at.  Even computers, computer instruction.

I asked about chess.  “We don’t have a chess program, but we can!  You can be the first one to get it started!”  Turns out they have a couple of exercise machines, too.  ping-pong table’s next door at the ‘regular people [read upwardly mobile SUV driving, tofu eating] living in Lenexa. 

Well, they ain’t new, and they ain’t as close as the brand spanking new shiny Olathe Community Center full of water sports and rosy-cheeked mamas with healthy white kids screaming their heads off.  But if I’m around here a while and decide to do anything senior citizen-wise, I have a feeling I’ll either try out Lenexa or go another few miles out and do it in a place where they still have real people driving 15-year-old pickups.

If such places still exist. 

Might even swing over into Missouri, where they remember what Jayhawk meant back when it actually meant something.  Lots of little towns over that way still no further than this from the VA Medical Center.  I’m betting they have senior citizen centers, too.

Not to say it’s a big item for me.  I honestly don’t like senior citizens all that much.  Too opinionated, though not as bad as younger people.  But old folks tend to be fairly obnoxious, on the whole.  I don’t blame Olathe Parks and Recreation Department for trying to forget they exist.  Old bastards need to check in at the Emergency Room down at the City Morgue.

 Old Jules

I’ll call your walking machine and raise you a bicycle

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’m sure those nurses down at physical therapy intend the best.  I’ve no doubt when they hector me about the settings on those machines they only have my best interest at heart.  But I still try to cheat and occasionally succeed, steal a few MPH, or a couple of minutes than they said was okay.  But my time’s running out with them anyway.

I’ve got to find some other exercize, might buy a membership at the new community center here, though it’s a tight squeeze in the dollars department.  And yesterday Jeanne’s son, Mike, was over, said he had a Raleigh mountain bike sitting over there not being used. 

So I briefly borrowed the one he was riding, took it up the block to the blind school, or deaf school, whatever, and back.  Just a block, and I was breathing hard, but not too hard when I returned.  Defibrillator didn’t kick me in the chest.  And I didn’t fall off the damned thing.

So I’m going to borrow that bike from him if he’ll loan it to me.  Begin riding it around Olathe, Georgia, Kansas, whereever this place is, dodging automobiles, shaking my fist at drivers who want to share a piece of the road.  Shouting threats and curses.

There are plenty of places I might be able to go to in this town that I was reluctant to try to walk because I run out of steam after a block or two.  But a bicycle!  A hotdiggedydamn Raleigh bicycle with about 90 gears on it, that’s a different herd of sheep entirely.

Gonna be a man about town.  A man to be reckoned with. 

Old Jules

Return of the neighborhood church

Olathe Community Theater Association - one block east, currently  the eastern extremity of my attempts to walk somewhere.  Easternmost bastion of artsy fartsyism from where I live and breathe.

Olathe Community Theater Association today. But for half-cenury it was a neighborhood Presbyterian Church serving an area of seemingly small town neighborhoods.



Rebirth of the neighborhood church.

temple3 lao buddhist assn

Eastern Churches have always had a slightly different twist visually.

Eastern Churches have always had a slightly different twist visually.

temple6 lao buddhist assn

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a  read.

Heck, I don’t know what else to day.

Old Jules

Physical therapy

This thing's going to need some repairs before anyone can use it again.  Trying to get it airtight enough to do any good in outer space ought to be a full time job for someone.

This thing’s going to need some repairs before anyone can use it again. Trying to get it airtight enough to do any good in outer space ought to be a full time job for someone.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

This area abounds with covered wagons, plows, cultivators, the occasional intercontinental missiles and a few of the people who used them, coveted them, wore them down to a small frazzle, or just sneaked around admiring them when they were shiny and new.  The automobiles get pretty fair physical therapy, but a lot of it just sits rusting in decorative positions in parks, front yards and displayed in unlikely places.

VA Medical Center surprised me by deciding I ought to get some physical therapy they’re too far away to provide.  They’re paying for a few weeks of me going to the Olathe Medical Center for it.  Had my first run at it last week on the day I wasn’t having something done to my goozle.  It was a surprising display of a lot of really old bastards walking around panting and generally being a lot more friendly to one another than they’d probably spent their lives being to other people.

Most appeared to be the sort I smile and speak to when I  meet their eyes in a grocery store or on the street, and they turn their heads away as an alternative to acknowledging I exist.  I sometimes carry the conversation further with, “Don’t you dare say hi to me!  No telling what I’d do back.”

But down there at physical therapy you’re more likely to meet again soon, him on the electric walking machine next to my stationary bicycle.  Snobbing a person off who’s there for a stay in close proximity could lead to all manner of long time discomfort.

So I smiles perlightly and says hi, [first to do it mostly] and while we each try to make something inside us perform better, we discuss weighty matters involving.  That’s right.  Involving.

Involving things our opinions don’t have anymore influence on than they ever did on anything else.  Mostly the weather.

Old Jules


Garmin Land of Oz Marathoneers terrorizing innocent cats

Tail-end Charlies.  Some of these folks were costumed as tin men, lions, witches etc.  These were the fun runners only  in for 3 and 6 k.

Tail-end Charlies. Some of these folks were costumed as tin men, lions, witches etc. These were the fun runners only in for 3 and 6 k.

Hi readers.

Hydrox bolted through the door and hid under a cabinet, should have tipped me something innocent was happening.  Instead I figured the cops had me surrounded, scrambled around trying to remember where I could find a firearm, shoot it out with them.  All my life I’ve wanted to yell, “Come and and get me, coppers!” and a second glance at Hydrox told me the great day had arrived.

Bastards.  Turned out it was the Garmin Marathon, Half-Marathon and 6 K running events coming down Loula Street holding up traffic, upsetting dogs and terrorizing innocent cats.  Garmin.  The people who’ve completely screwed up the minds of 21st Century humanity by allowing the citizenry to find its way home whether they deserved to or not.  Without regard for whether home wanted them back.

Young zoned-out minds trapped inside cell phones, unable to read maps and confused by  the words, north, south, east and west, being led around by a sexy female voice telling them to turn right at their own driveways.

Garmin.  Land of Oz Marathon.  An apology to evolution.

Old Jules