Cold Weather Biking

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Okay, today’s blog isn’t fitness, but it relates to cycling.

Wednesday was first snow — all quarter inch of it. And of course the temperature dropped. So by morning it was into the teens.

Thus I got out all my wraps. Double layered legs and jackets, ear muffs, balaclava, hood, helmet, gloves.

I also tried out my new shoe covers. They slide over the sneakers to cut the breeze. And they actually worked quite well. The feet stayed warm. What got cool was the gap between the top of the socks and where the jeans didn’t quite meet.

The roads, of course, were clear. The only exception was the Heart of America Bridge. The bicycle/passenger lane was criss/crossed with patches of snowy ice. Whenever they clear the driving lane they always manage to clutter up the bicycle pathway.

With such a cold morning, it was interesting that I wasn’t the only cycle out on the streets. One passed me on Wyandotte as it crossed the intersection of 6th street and turned the wrong way up the street  and started using the sidewalk.

That wasn’t the only bike I saw. When I parked at work, there was a bicycle track in the snow, and when I left at night there was another bicycle there in the rack. So the cold weather didn’t deter all of us.

#148: Will Jesus Find Us Watching?

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

When Jesus comes to reward His servants,

Whether it be noon or night,

Faithful to Him will He find us watching,

With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

CHORUS

O can we say we are ready brother?

Ready for the soul’S bright home?

Say, will He find you and me still watching,

Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

2

If at the dawn of the early morning

He shall call us one by one,

When to the Lord we restore our talents,

Will He answer thee — “Well done”?

CHORUS

3

Have we been true to the trust He left us?

Do we seek to do our best?

If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,

We shall have a glorious rest.

CHORUS

4

Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching,

In His glory they shall share;

If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,

Will He find us watching there?

CHORUS

Where to dine

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When you are staying in an area you don’t know, and you don’t know exactly what you feel like eating, it can sometimes be hard to decide where to go to eat. So if you aren’t careful you go to someplace safe and eat something ordinary and known. That either means a comfort food, or something that is sustenance but not especially satisfying.

We were in Excelsior Springs last night with just that dilemma. Here is a list of things that I looked at (Which one of these would you choose):

Eighty-Eight at The Elms
401 Regent St.
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
816-630-5500

American Midwest fare with seasonal and locally procured ingredients; hearth-baked breads and tarts, spit-roasted meals, pasta and more. Local coffee, beer and wine. Read More

Mill Inn Restaurant
415 St. Louis Ave.
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
816-637-8008

A family-owned restaurant since 1967, the Mill Inn offers daily specials, breakfast anytime and carry-out. Traditional home-style fare. Sunday buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ray’s Lunch & Diner
231 E. Broadway
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
816-637-3432
Famous for its hamburgers and chili, Ray’s Diner is a quaint breakfast and lunch gathering sport for locals and offers visitors a unique vintage lunch counter atmosphere and cuisine. Lunch specials.

Ventana Gourmet Grill
117 W. Broadway
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
816-630-8600
Upscale, casual dining in a restored historic storefront downtown, Ventana has been

featured in the “Home in the Northland” and on KCPT’s “Check Please!” Restaurant features full menu and bar selections. Party room available for special occasions.

Fitness Update: Fitbit Flex 2

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Well, last week I ran two 5Ks on the street, and then 1.25 miles on the treadmill. I got myself up to a 7:30 minute miles, or a speed of 7.5 miles per hour. Now if I can just figure out how to translate that pace in my mind onto the street, to do a better pace for my running and not be so relaxed.

I also made my November mileage goal on my bicycle — 2751 miles. I was riding the bicycle over to Cycle City for winter maintenance on Thursday when the bike chain broke halfway there. But I got it there with a car pickup and then left it for pickup this Tuesday when I get back into town from my weekend vacation.

No swimming. Still need to get that into the schedule.

But I did pick up a Fitbit Flex 2. So far I’m getting used to it. Still haven’t seen it autorecognize an activity. Once I get used to it hopefully I will see how the swimming settings on it work.

I am also starting a new running schedule this week. The fitness center at work is helping me with a training program for the Progress Series of races I will be doing in 2017: the mile in January, 5K in February, 10K in March, and half marathon in April. We will see how I get all these increments worked into my routine. There is a lot more detail than my current goal sheet of just running 5Ks when I get the chance. Trying to speed up my mile, etc. takes greater planning.

 

#147: There’ll Be No Dark Valley

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes;

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes

To gather His loved ones home.

REFRAIN

To gather His loved ones home (safe home;)

To gather His loved ones home; (safe home;)

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes

To gather His loved ones home.

2

There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,

There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes;

But a glorious morrow when Jesus comes

To gather His loved ones home.

REFRAIN

3

There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes,

There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes;

But a blessed reaping when Jesus comes

To gather his loved ones home.

REFRAIN

4

There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes,

There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes;

And a joyful meeting when Jesus comes

To gather His loved ones home.

REFRAIN

Trump-Carrier Deal

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One of the fun things about posting on this topic is that I know so few facts and can make a lot of conjecture on it.

But whether I apply them right or not, based on whether I know the facts correctly or not, the principles I am bringing up are still the principles I think should be applied.

And those are that the Trump-Carrier deal is an example of Crony Capitalism. The government is making specific deals with specific individuals, instead of making laws that apply equally to all people and companies. The government is playing favorites, choosing winners and losers.

This, of course, is exactly what our government has been doing all along. All the green energy grants from the current democratic administration is just one example of that, with the caveat that half of those still managed to lose even with the government choosing them as winners (when the government can’t make you win, something’s REALLY wrong).

So I was all ready to decry crony capitalism, and then I looked and found this story where Sarah Palin, one of my favorite political figures (I would have vored for her for president, like I didn’t vote for Trump, even though she did make what I consider the mistake of endorsing Trump. That said, she was the smart one to realize he was the candidate that could win, so I have to credit her back again.) is warning that the deal creates the danger of Crony Capitalism.

This is rather brave of her (she’s never lacked courage), to disagree with Trump after endorsing him, and with the potential of a Cabinet position in his administration still in the offing. Palin knows how to play on the team (considering how well she worked with McCain despite their differences), but she also is unafraid to speak out.

My only disagreement with her comments (as stated in the article), is that this is already crony capitalism. This doesn’t mean I don’t want these jobs saved. But Palin is right, we want a level playing field, not special conditions choosing winners and loser. We unfortunately have to do some of this today, with how unlevel the field is and all the deals currently in place, but there has to be a way to back down from this and stop playing favorites.

The one positive in this crony capitalism, is that at least Trump is actually saving jobs, instead of choosing a winner that still goes bankrupt while padding the pockets of the people who run away from the failing company, as in the green energy deals.

So cheer the saving of these jobs, but know that this isn’t the way we want it to happen, and we need to stop this cycle where the government chooses winners.

A Blast of the Past #73: The Zoo

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Here is one of our trips to the Kansas City Zoo. We have made several trips to the zoo over the years, usually getting one annual trip in, with an occasional missed year.  Here is one of the earlier trips, captured in pictures.  It is always interesting to see how both the kids and the zoo have changed.