A Blast of the Past #102: Hannibal


On the way back from our meeting with family in Ohio, and tour of the parks, we stopped to see some sights in Hannibal.  We always prefer going across Missouri on Route 36 (eventually Interstate I-72?) through Hannibal rather than I-70 to St. Louis.

For the first time, for me and the kids, not sure about Betsy, we toured the Mark Twain caves, or whatever they were called.  It was a fun tour, but as Betsy pointed out, they talked about it as if everything had actually happened, instead of being stories that Mark Twain made up based on the caves.

So here are our pictures:


Before we did Hannibal, we also hit a campground in Indiana where we took some neat photos, so here they are:

A Look Ahead …


This week’s look ahead has four items, including glance ahead teasers …


AUMC — Vacation Bible School


Avondale United Methodist Church Invites Families to Rome: Paul and the Underground Church

[Kansas City, MO] A summer family event called Rome: Paul and the Underground Church will be hosted at Avondale United Methodist Church. Families step back in time at Rome, exploring the life of the apostle Paul and the underground church. Kids and adults participate in a memorable Bible-times marketplace, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, dig in to Roman eats, visit Paul while he’s under house arrest, and collect Bible Memory Makers to remind them of God’s Word. Each day concludes at Extollo—a time of upbeat worship that gets everyone involved.

Kids and adults at Rome will join The Missouri United Methodist Conference in the “Water for Haiti” project—a project that provides water filters to families in Haiti. With this service opportunity, families’ donations will change the lives of other families across the globe by helping provide them with safe drinking water.

Rome will begin on Friday, June 23, with supper at 6:00 p.m. and conclude at 8:30.  Saturday, June 24, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  Sunday, June 25, 9:30-Noon. For more information, call 816-452-3518.

Please register both adults and children using forms located in the foyer or by calling the church office.  We encourage parents and grandparents to accompany children as we learn about Paul’s Rome.  All church members of any age are welcome to attend with or without children!

Worlds of Fun

The big events coming up all relate to a week from now, with Celebrate America on the July 4th weekend, and Family Reunion Days and a Military Day all packed into the July 4th celebrations.

KCCC Tug of War

This week, the final week of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge, has been the swim meet, the penultimate competition,  since Monday night.  Tonight is the final event: freestyle — both 50 individual and 200 relay.

Saturday is the ultimate event — the tug-of-war.  I might even be doing it again  for my company this year, for the second time.  We are still trying to put together our team. Event itself starts 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Longview Lake Swim Beach.

Teaser — Liberty Con

And finally the real look ahead teaser.  More to come next week:

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#203: Whosoever Will


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


“Whosoever heareth” — shot, shot the sound!

Spread the blessed tidings all the world around;

Tell the joyful news wherever man is found:

“Whosoever will may come”.


“Whosoever will, whosoever will!”

Send the proclamation over vale and hill;

‘Tis a loving Father calls the wand’rer home —

“Whosoever will may come.”


Whosoever cometh need not delay,

Now the door is open — enter while you may;

Jesus is the true, the only Living Way:

“Whosoever will may come”.



“Whosoever will” — the promise is secure,

“Whosoever will” forever must endure;

“Whosoever will” — ’tis life forever more:

“Whosoever will may come”.


Food — With a Lack of Personality


Today I want to discuss a feature of the food plan at Worlds of Fun that has been overlooked this year.

For the previous two years, the foods section of WOF has had a face and a personality: Kevin Williams, executive chef. He gave color and was a presence at the BBQ & Brew Festival, and all the other events that WOF sponsored. He also gave shape and meaning to the food service, and the various meal plans.

But there is a new execituve chef this year. I saw him once at the Battlecreek Barbecue when he was talking to someone else in the line and mentioned the fact. At that time I intended to say hello, but something intervened and I didn’t get to speak to him. Since then, though I have been at the park nearly daily, I haven’t managed to see him around. There is no personality, no presence.

With that lack of personality is a certain lack of direction and cohesion. Almost everyone I have talked to in the foods services has been cheerful and pleasant, but that hasn’t prevented some confusion and contradiction from one person to the next, even one supervisor to the next.

For example, I specifically asked about whether Turkey Legs were on the dining plan at Battlecreek Barbecue when the season started. I was told that they were. Yet recently they said they are not.

Likewise, at G’rilla Grill, we were told originally that we could only get a plain hot dog, or a corn dog, yet now we are told everything on the menu is available, including the brauts.

And then there is the Chicken Shack, which I still don’t know where it is on or not.

I went to guest relations this past week, and they shared what they had gotten from food services, which is supposed to be official, but I still don’t know for sure whether it is or not.

The plan just needs more explanation, and the food services just needs more presence and personality again.

The individual stores have presence and pleasant services, though some of them need to be more efficient. But there is no overarching sense to things this year, as there was in past years.

Fitness Update: Kansas City Corporate Challenge Triathlon


Yesterday was the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Triathlon. We had a lot of rain the night before, and the night before that. We almost wondered if it might be canceled. But it wasn’t. The day dawned cool and damp.

They modified the route. The bicycles went backwards upon their course, and the running was at the foot of the dam instead of across the top of it.

Here is a video compilation of my time on the course:

It seems like I did close to my times from last year, but last we was slightly better, overall, than this year, though which segments were better altered from year to year. See the stats below:

2016 2017
Swim 12:21 12:12
Transition 2 4:22 3:39
Bike 34:10 38:08
Transition 2 2:46 3:12
Run 28:10 29:32
Total 1:21:46 1:23:40

Those numbers are from the company that supported the timer chips that were used. We won’t know the KCCC stats for places and divisions until later this week when they go up on the KCCC website.

Other stats I was able to get from the chip website was that I was 20 out of 39 swimmers for my age group, passing 11 swimmers and being passed by 4. I did notice that I swam the breast stroke, and yet was gaining on or passing several swimmers. The hard part of the swim was having them not see me and keep on pushing me sideways or bat at me while I tried to get a clear path along the course and to the goal.

It also said I was 28 out of 39 bikers for my age group, passing 12 bikers and getting passed by 9. I seemed to pass a lot more bikers than that, but many of them were from the younger age brackets that started in the heats ahead of me. My age bracket was the final heat that started.

It also said I was 27 out of 39 runners for my age group, passing 8 runners and being passed by 3. Here was were I felt the best. On the last leg of the course, I would find myself being passed by a 50-something, then pass a 20-something, a 30-something, a 40-something, a 50-something, then get passed by another 50-something. My age bracket seemed to do a good job of passing people from younger age brackets.

When the KCCC stats get put up, I will add an update for how I did based on the KCCC divisions.




#202: In Times Like These


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


In times like these you need a Savior,

In times like these you need an anchor;

Be very sure, be very sure

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!


This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;

This Rock is Jesus, The only One!

(verse 1 and 2) Be very sure, be very sure

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

(verse 3) I’m very sure, I’m very sure

My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!


In times like these you need the Bible,

In times like these O be not idle;

Be very sure, be very sure

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!



In times like these I have a Savior,

In times like these I have an anchor;

I’m very sure, I’m very sure

My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!



Some (un)official attractions at Worlds of Fun


When I started to write this post, I intended to add a map to illustrate where the items I will talk about are located. But when I went to Google Maps I noticed that the new changes to the Worlds of Fun entrance are not on there. And the Worlds of Fun official site uses Google Maps, so they don’t have anything on their website I can find to point out the specific items I want to. So instead I will describe it in words.

If you enter the park through the new entry gates, and cross the new International Plaza, there is a bridge between the Grand Carousel and Pizzo Pizza that takes you into the Asia section of the park. If you look into a pool on the on the Viking Voyager side.

For the past few years, as we have passed over the bridge, we have taken time to pause and watch the pool. We first started watching it after one of us noticed a turtle swimming. After that, we have paused from time to time to see how many turtles are swimming.

This year, we didn’t spot any turtles to start out with, but in the past week we spotted turtles and even this past week tadpoles developing legs into frogs.

Today the effects of last night’s rain were in evidence, the pool was murky, water cloudy, and we could see more leaves and twigs had been swept into the pool. But the tadpoles were still swimming around, what few we could see.

If you go further into the park, into Asia, there is another pond in the middle of the circle formed by Panda Express, the Bamboozler, The RipCord and the CocaCola refresh station. Two years ago there were Koi fish in there you could watch and feed. Last year there were no fish. There were none this year when the season began, but when we saw fish food in the quarter coin food dispenser, we knew and expected that the fish were back. Which they are.

It isn’t just the rides, or the food. It is the ambiance of the park that makes the park experience what it is. In other places I have written about food, rides, even the use of music and sound. But today, I’m focusing on the more natural, and living portions of the park.

So, if you have a moment, between the rides, and the food, and the music, take a moment to enjoy a quieter moment, and watch the fish (official) or turtles (unofficial), part of what makes Worlds of Fun what it is.