Posted in Uncategorized

Fyre Fyre

Today is day two of the Kansas City Renaissance Faire.  It is also my second day this year singing with Madrigalia Bar Nonne at the Festival. So as a teaser here are a few clips of us singing yesterday.  These clips were caught by anachronistic spy devices from the modern era during live performances. The sound was captured from odd locations, with all the accompanying odd background noises. What always amazes me is how well we project through all that white noise going on, at whatever volume levels.

So listen, enjoy, and maybe come out and here us live, and get us in full color.

Fyre Fyre

Ascendit Deus

Agnus Dei

See What a Maze of Error

Come Away Sweet Love

Four Arms

Posted in Uncategorized

Flutes A Bec

Flute A Bec 01Today’s column is later than usual. Technical issues.

I spent today at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, both listening to musical performances and providing them.  I also had my video camera in spy mode to capture some of the footage. Since I was in performer attire, I couldn’t be seen to be obviously operating modern equipment I shouldn’t know anything about as a resident of the Renaissance.

Today’s blog is going to feature the group “Flutes A Bec”. I became acquainted with this group 3 or more years ago. They come out usually one weekend of the festival to showcase their recorder ensemble. It is made up of Channing Horner, his wife Louise (both professors emeritus of Foreign Languages at Northwest Missouri State University), their two daughters and another professor at Northwest Missouri State University. I became acquainted with them because they tended in past years to share a stage with us, and we share some of the same repertoire, and would thus sing, or play, an occasional song as part of the other group’s performance slot.

This year the Horners’ 50th wedding anniversary was this weekend, so they had a lot of other guests, and family, out during the festival, and were performing on a new stage: the Duxbury Wine Bar Patio. The stage was new, in the sense that the Bar Patio had been extended (doubled) with some new wood decking. The only problem was they didn’t add any seating yet, so people walking by who stopped to listen didn’t stay long.

My group, Madrigalia Bar Nonne, had been scheduled at the Patio a few years ago, while it was still a smaller, more crowded deck. We found it a fun place to sing, but the Patio overlooks two other performance stages, places where dramatic stories and sword fights take place, with lots of yelling and cheering, which makes it interesting when you are singing or playing less boisterous music.

I managed to get the following clips of the Flutes A Bec in performance.  You can hear a lot of that background noise in some of the clips, but you can also hear how well the flutes themselves project, and cut through the ambient noise. During one of the clips you may even catch sounds of the royal parade passing by below the stage.

Flute A Bec 02

 

(Note: Apologies for any inaccuracies or vague references to people or places.  All of this information was compiled from memory and fragmentary sources.  It is amazing what facts you don’t discuss with someone to learn about them when you meet them through a different common interest.)

Posted in Uncategorized

Come to the White Stag Inn

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Today I read a blog by one of my favorite authors (which, being a favorite, really means I need to find more time to read more of her works) plugging Labor Day Weekend ebook sales of hers and other independently published (“Indie”) authors. Since I was struggling for a theme for my blog today, it helped solve my dilemma. I’ll do my own plug, just not for books.

Come to the White Stag Inn this weekend (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) to hear Madrigalia Bar Nonne perform. We have half-hour sets at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Where is the White Stag Inn? At the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

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The Kansas City Renaissance Festival opens this weekend for its season of seven weekends, including two Mondays (Labor Day and Columbus Day). Madrigalia Bar Nonne will be there performing 4 half hour sets each of the 16 days — usually 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. For opening weekend we perform at the White Stag Inn for three sets, and then close at 4 p.m. at the Gallows Stage (plenty of good puns about closing at the gallows — but I’m not going there).

Stage schedules are subject to change from weekend to weekend.  We might be at the White Stag Inn all seven weekends, or we might be in a lot of places.  The weekend program can usually be trusted to locate us.

Posted in Social Issues

Fun helping others

Okay, so this isn’t the big social issue about helping others, helping others in need, being the good Samaritan, the good neighbor.  Just a little plug for my online game, and the fact that it is set up in certain areas to encourage working together, as teams, and helping each other out.  And sometimes when you are helping someone else out, you get to see them earn an advancement or a reward. Like the player I did tonight. Seemed like it took forever to complete that building we were in, but when it was done he got a new gag.

So here are a few screenshots from Toontown Rewritten.  The first from tonight, others from other times. All of them for the characters belonging to others that I helped achieve new levels:

ttr-screenshot-Wed-Aug-27-23-15-19-2014-70363ttr-screenshot-Fri-Aug-01-20-56-56-2014-199978 ttr-screenshot-Fri-Aug-01-22-30-38-2014-76525 ttr-screenshot-Sat-Aug-09-16-07-09-2014-263571 ttr-screenshot-Sat-Aug-09-16-07-20-2014-263831 ttr-screenshot-Thu-Jun-19-21-19-04-2014-49061 ttr-screenshot-Thu-Jun-19-22-21-14-2014-38382

Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Church, Family, Travel

Be Careful Little Ones How You Drive

Sunday was a day that some might say had curious omens for us.

As mentioned in previous blog, Sunday we traveled to Wilderness Retreat and Development Center to attend our son’s baptism during Avondale United Methodist Church’s Worship in the Wilderness weekend.

This is what we saw when we pulled out our driveway:

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The neighbors down the street had just moved in during the past week, and this U-Haul van had been parked down the street on the side Saturday night when we came home. We weren’t sure where they were driving it between Saturday night and Sunday morning to get it turned and stuck over the side of the road like this. But we didn’t go down the road to get out of the neighborhood Sunday morning.

When we got on I-35 to head north, just north of Liberty we ran across this:

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The picture of the semi doesn’t do it justice (we took it on the way back — at 70 mph). It was crumpled and bent sort of accordion-like. The accident that caused  it occurred the afternoon before (see this blog for other ways this accident affected other church-attendees for the weekend), so it didn’t affect our progress, but it was the second vehicle we saw in odd circumstance.

A few miles up the road we saw a horse-trailer on the side of the road, between Kearney and Holt.  That seemed to be a simple flat tire being changed. That vehicle we expected to be back on the road soon.

Finally, between Lawson and the camp itself, we were slowed by a police car that first sped past us, then stopped on the side of the road where the shoulder got very low, grassy and wide before hitting the treeline. As were crept past the police car we saw the reason — another car slid off the side of the road and into/against the tree line.  It looked to have occurred at least the night before — so why the police officer coming now? We did not know the answer to that.

But 4 separate incidents certainly instilled a sense of caution in our driving.

Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Church, Social Issues

Another use of water at Camp Wilderness

Besides the baptisms I wrote about yesterday, there was another use of water at Camp Wilderness this weekend, one with a smaller depth of tradition but currently part of a larger publicity campaign. Two people from the church used the time to complete the ALS challenge, and pass it on to other people.

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Mark Whittaker, Youth and Communications Director, took the challenge, quite willingly, as you can tell if you follow this link to the (upside down) video posted on the church’s Facebook page. As Mark noted on his Facebook page:

 

I’m not sure why this video is upside down and if I can figure out how to fix it, I’ll repost. Anyway … I was inspired by two former youth at Avondale United Methodist Churchwho also serve as camp counselors at Wilderness Retreat and Development Center(Anna and Aaron)and that’s why I chose to do the ‪#‎IceBucketChallengeForALS‬ duringWorship in the Wilderness. It’s also why my challenge is to those that got me into Youth Ministry nearly 20 years ago: Amy Rosine Underwood, Ken & Michelle Fritsch, and Rev. Lora Mattenlee Cunningham. My youth group is making a donation to ALS plus AUMC (celebrating 100 years) raised funds for the church camp, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

My challenge also goes out to anyone reading this text or (attempting) to watch this video.

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Elizabeth Boman, lay leader, also took the challenge. She was quite game for it, though in a more “I’ll get back at the person who challenged me” tone.

That is about all I will say on the ALS at this time, except to encourage people to follow along with the comments each of them posts about their experiences.

 

Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Church, Family, Music

Baptism at Camp Wilderness

This weekend was Avondale United Methodist Church’s annual “Worship it the Wilderness” weekend, where the church sponsored a campout at the Wilderness Retreat and Conference Center, and had its Sunday worship service at the campground. It was also when they chose to do the immersion baptism of the three members of this year’s 100th anniversary confirmation class that had yet to be baptized.  My son Nathan was one of the three.

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The youth group, which included many of the confirmands and all of the baptismal candidates, gave the sermon for the service in the form of a skit — on the story of the paralytic man whose friends tore open the roof of a house to let him down into the presence of Jesus. In the picture above you see Nathan as the paralytic who has just been healed, and his friends standing around watching in amazement.

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That was followed by a potluck meal at the pavilion, and then an adjournment down to the lake for the Baptism, where Ronin Dmittri Dare, Jonathan David “Nathan” Lightfoot and Savannah Kya Louann Lindsay were baptized. They went in order of age, which meant Nathan went first.

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Each one was “dunked” and then came out of the water to be prayed over by the laying on of hands by family and mentors.

Music, of course, was an important part of the service, both before and after the actual baptism. Songs sung included “Shall We Gather at the Lake,” “Creator of the Water”, God Claims You” and Because He Lives.”

After the singing and praying, the service was done, and additional recreation followed.  Since the youth were by the lake, swimming ensued. The baptismal candidates, being already wet, led the way.

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(Upcoming related blogs: ALS challenges at Camp Wilderness and the Accident Gauntlet.)

Posted in Uncategorized

The Saga of the “Towels That Do Not Fold Themselves”

Today My Son is being baptized at Camp Wilderness, a Methodist camp in Lawson, Mo. Today’s blog isn’t about that (maybe tomorrow’s), but it will feature him as an example of something

All of us have things that we put off. Things we do not like to do. For some it is a longer list that others. Even for those who are good about not putting things off, there are things that get differed.

My son, Nathan, is responsible for sorting the clothes and folding the towels. He’s reasonably good on the sorting the clothes, but not so good on the folding the towels.  Somewhere along the way he got his sister conned into the “helping him” on a regular basis with the towel folding, to the point where I think the two of them tend to think that folding the towels is her task, when it is actually his. She ends up folding the towels while he sorts other laundry, and it “seems” equal.

Well, today there was a load of towels to sort, actually loads to sort, with us down to none in the linen closet, and his sister is working on a school writing assignment (at least we think she is working on it, though she toggles a lot when we come over to see how she is going on it on her school MacBook Air), so that leaves the boy without his usual assistance in folding towels.

She usually washes the dishes and the boy dries and puts away. Since she is working on the paper Betsy has been washing, with Nathan drying, catching up on the dishes the kids managed not to wash during the week. And every time he is putting away dishes I go over, look in the laundry room, and find myself “amazed” at the “towels that do not fold themselves.”  In fact, my most recent attempt was to say “Nathan, let me present to you — The Towels That Do Not Fold Themselves.” At least I got his humorous wry expression on that one, instead of the scowl. But I didn’t get folded towels — right away anyway.

It took a few more sections of playing “Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure” on his 3DS before he started folding towels while playing the game. And it took a lot of coming over to tell us things he was thinking about while he was folding. But they actually got done!

Posted in Family, Fitness, Reviews, Travel

Dining for a Dollar a Day

I got an e-mail on Thursday with the below offer in it:

2015 Season Passes On Sale Now

IT’S HERE…our lowest price of the year!Purchase your Worlds of Fun 2015 Season Pass and enjoy:

LOWEST PRICE FOR 2015
just $94.50 or 9 easy payments of $10.50*


UNLIMITED ACCESS
to the park any time you want in 2015


ADD ALL SEASON DINING
for just $85.50 or
9 easy payments of $9.50
(eligible for Easy Pay if purchased in the same transaction with your 2015 Season Pass)

I got the e-mail because our family signed up for the e-mails, and we have been season pass holders at Worlds of Fun since 2001. So we look for these each year to plan the purchase of our passes for the next year.  But I was waiting for the e-mail this year especially because I was curious if they would say anything about the All Season Dining.
We had seen notices at the park this year about All Season Dining, and had been quite tempted to try it. But it took a long time to see and be sure of all the details, and we hadn’t planned for the extra expense — which was $72 per person this year.  So we didn’t end up doing it.
And I also kept on wondering if I was missing anything. What fine print haven’t I read about this.  $72 to get lunch and dinner every day you come to the park for the season? How do they plan to make money off this?
The plan is good to use at 7 locations — 2 in Oceans of Fun and the other 5 in Worlds of Fun. It includes one entrée with side for lunch, and one entrée with side for dinner. Meals have to be separated by 2 hours. No drinks are included. (They recommend purchasing the souvenir drink cup and qualifying for the $0.99 refills.)
Now I think I have an idea: they expect to make their money when people come in, eat, and purchase the drinks for the day. People who buy the plan probably don’t spend a lot of money there usually, so they hope to encourage them to buy food, and especially drinks, to pull in more revenue. That and the people who buy it expecting to use it a lot but end up not using it.
On the other hand, I have been figuring out how to get the best benefit out of it, if we renew and add the dining plan, thus my “Dining for a Dollar a Day” title. Here is my take: The park is open daily from end of may to mid-August. That is 30 days each for June and July, and lets say another 20 days for May and August. That is 80 days. Add in weekends in April, May, September and October, another 15 weekend or 30 days, and you have about 110 days. If you manage to make it to the park for 86 of those days, you have dined for $1 a day.
So here is the strategy: Every weekend the park is open, we dine out — at the park. On Sunday we know where we are going for Sunday dinner. We figure it out right and we can have both lunch and dinner on some days — for $1 a day, $0.50 per meal. We don’t purchase drinks — plenty of drinking fountains around. Two months in the summer of virtually no grocery shopping. Since we live 5 miles from the park it wouldn’t be driving any further than going out to dinner would be much of the time — we travel much further to get to some restaurants.
Of course, the menu is more limited than a lot of restaurants.  See the below:
Vittle Griddle

Vittle Griddle
Entree Options                       Side Options
Cheeseburger                              Fries
Bacon Cheeseburger                 Cookies
Chicken BLT                                 Applesauce
Chicken Tenders (3)
Chicken Nuggets(5)
All Beef Hotdog

Calypso Cafe

Calypso Cafe
Entree Options                       Side Options
Cheeseburger                              Fries
Bacon Cheeseburger                 Cookies
Chicken BLT                                 Applesauce
Chicken Tenders (3)
Chicken Nuggets(5)
All Beef Hotdog

Coasters Drive-In

Coasters Drive-In
Entree Options                       Side Options
Cheeseburger                              Fries
Bacon Cheeseburger                 Cookies
Chicken BLT                                 Applesauce
Chicken Tenders (3)                   Onion Rings
Chicken Nuggets(5)

Pizzo Pizza

Pizzo Pizza
Entree Options                                   Side Options
1 Slice of Cheese Pizza                        2 Bread Sticks
1 Slice of Pepperoni Pizza                   Side Salad
2nd Slice of Pizza
Cookies

Pizza Pier

Pizza Pier
Entree Options                                   Side Options
1 Slice of Cheese Pizza                        2 Bread Sticks
1 Slice of Pepperoni Pizza                   Side Salad
2nd Slice of Pizza
Cookies

Beach Bites

Beach Bites
Entree Options                                   Side Options
1 Slice of Cheese Pizza                        2 Bread Sticks
1 Slice of Pepperoni Pizza                   Side Salad
2nd Slice of Pizza
Cookies

Battle Creek Barbeque

Battle Creek Barbeque
Entree Options                              Side Options
Brisket Sandwich                               Fries
Pulled Pork Sandwich                      Baked Beans
Pulled Chicken Sandwich               Cole Slaw
Smoked Turkey Sandwich               Cookies
So is the experience worthwhile? Two months of straight dining plan dining — for $1 a day?
Posted in Uncategorized

KC Ren Fest Media Day

Thursday was Media Day at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.  I’m not exactly sure what media it is the day for, but as a featured singing group of the Festival, Madrigalia Bar Nonne sends a group out to Media Day each year, to give people the flavor of the fair. This year, as usual, we sent a set of seasoned singers, along with our new singers. This gives the new singers a chance to tour the grounds and get a feel for what it is like to sing out-of-doors and a capella at the same time.

Of course the Media Day has been scheduled and planned for weeks. But what couldn’t be planned was the weather. We haven’t had much extreme heat this summer, but last night was the hottest night of the summer so far, with a heat advisory lasting until 8 p.m. tonight. A perfect night to dress up in Renaissance garb. It was interesting seeing the whole court there in full regalia, and our own group — women in hoop skirts, men in doublets and hose — all of us covered from wrist to neck to ankle.  Sweat flowed profusely.

The guests seemed to enjoy the show despite the heat.  We found various spots around the central area and sang short sets of songs, even getting a main stage right before our dinner break. Ofttimes we were on one side of the thoroughfare singing while the Gypsies danced and gyrated on a stage on the other side. Needless to say our metre and styles were not complementary. More people seemed to watch the gypsies than us, of course.

Unlike other years, they got the people through the entertainment, and the food lines, and the court dismissed everyone, before it got dark. I think that was planned, but with the heat, it also worked out better.