Posted in Social Issues

Native Dress vs. Western Dress

This post is based on eclectic observation and little research, so people with greater knowledge and observation are encouraged to explain and comment on how my observations are incorrect, and why these false impressions, if false indeed they are, , permeate themselves within our culture.

The observations I am talking about are those for clothing styles between the west and other cultures. The Western business suit became the norm for business attire the world around – or at least it did until the West itself got into classic casual business dress.

And much of the world has also seemed to adopt our casual clothes – jeans and the like. Jeans and T-shirts can be found everywhere around the wold these days. Everyone is wearing them.

Well, not everyone. There are many conservative places and cultures (subcultures when they live in the West but keep themselves separate) that don’t allow their women to wear Western clothes.

And that last sentence is really where my thinking began. It seems the men who won’t let their women wear western clothes, have no problems wearing western clothes themselves. That is my point to ponder. Where are the cultural clothes, the native dress, for these men. Why must the women stay enshrouded and preserve the culture, while the men acculturate in their clothes?

The irony is it is portrayed as the men making or encouraging their women to stay in native dress, while not doing so themselves.

I will admit, much of the native dress is quite becoming for the women, at least the stuff that isn’t the all-enshrouding stuff meant to mask that they are women, or totally hide their presence. I personally feel it is good for men to dress like men and women like women.  That statement isn’t as limiting as it sounds — when you realize how the styles for both have changed over the years.

For instance, a regency romance my wife was reading recently talked about the men in it, and how one guy was good looking, but just didn’t have the right legs for the skin tight pants that was the fashion for men those days. Today it is women who wear such tight pants — “yoga pants”.

So, now that I’ve stirred the waters, some please tell me where I’ve been culturally naive and unobservant where clothes and fashions are concerned.

Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Family, Reviews

Weekend Events: AUMC book sale

Thursday — time for another forward look at the weekend — along with a backward glance at the previous weekend.

Well the first event is for all those who enjoy a good read. The annual  book sale of the Avondale United Methodist Church is going on from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday April 29-30 at the church, 3101 NE Winn Road, Kansas City, MO 64117.

Second item of note is the BBQ and Brew festival at Worlds of Fun. This is the second of three weekends of the festival. As someone uninterested in beer, I still find myself toying with participating — if only to sample the food pairings. As the website notes:

Chef Kevin’s sample size BBQ Menu includes Grilled Shrimp, BBQ Chicken and Waffles, Smoked BBQ Pork, Smoked Ribs, BBQ Spiced Chicken Wings and Bananas Foster.

I find myself fascinated by the food choices — for a season passholder the price is only $20. The offsetting items are, is there enough food to make it worth $20, and why pay $20 to sample that food when we already have a the season dining plan? Time will tell what we actually do.

One event currently planned, if weather and lines hold, is for myself and the son to do the RipCord this Sunday. I like to do it once a year (or every other, at least), and I have a specific reason for choosing this Sunday. I might explain more about that afterwards.

Posted in Music

#87: Joy to the World!

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

This is a favorite Christmas Hymn, but it is really a hymn of the second, triumphal coming, not the virgin birth. Note the words carefully.


Joy to the world! the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,

An heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing, And

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.


Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Now thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders of His love.


Posted in Politics

Importance of the “loyal opposition”

(Note: this is a highly speculative, opinionated opinion, with a minimal amount of actual knowledge of the events in question.)

The big political news of yesterday was the pact between Cruz and Kasich to try and stop Trump. All the scrolling on the TV screens I saw had Trump blasting (when doesn’t he blast) Cruz and Kasich. He called them “pitiful” and said they were “whiney”. But to me it seemed like he was whining that they wouldn’t play the game by his rules, but by the ones actually in place.

The posters I noticed from the Trump rallies had the slogan to “make America great again.” And while I am very patriotic, the thought running through my mind was “we don’t need to be great that way again, just like Germany didn’t need to be great again the way Hitler made her great.” We also don’t need a bombastic leader like Trump, just like Germany didn’t need Hitler.

Now, I’m not trying to make out that Trump is a Hitler. For one thing, he grew up too privileged to know the sort of street brawling life that Hitler learned. He isn’t capable of that sort of violence, though he could engender followers capable of that sort of violence. I’m rather more concerned with the civilized sort of solutions he could come up with for those who disagree with him.

Because the one thing I don’t see in his economics, politics, or psychology, is the concept of the “loyal opposition”.

The term “loyal opposition” is usually used more in parliamentary systems than in our presidential one, but the concept is equally applicable. The idea is that the opposition, the party out of power, is yet still loyal to the government, or the crown even in its opposition. There is a respect between parties, with the knowledge that who is in and who is out could flip back and forth — that being in power isn’t a guaranteed steady-state.

This is something Trump seems incapable of. Cruz and Kasich are well aware of the need to respect the opponent. Trump seems more willing to crush the opposition.

Posted in Fitness

Fitness Update: Extending the run

This week set another point goal for the Misfit Shine. As long as I keep increasing my training for the potential half-marathon, that day of the week sets another record. This week I went up to 8.5 miles. I continued to keep up with the same pace of 6 mph that I have set for all the prior long runs.

That brings me to 27 total runs 5K or longer.

I also swam twice, bringing total yardage up to 26,100 yards for the year.

Cycling miles also increased, to a total of 1046. I passed the 1,000 mile mark that was my goal for the end of April.


Posted in Music

#86: Away in a Manger

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


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;

The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,

The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.


The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;

I love Thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky,

And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.


Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.


Posted in Family

Sometimes it just takes the right motivation …

Rocky, our dog, has a fetish for bicycles. Every time he sees a bicycle he gets excited. Perhaps that is because he hopes to get to go on a run with the bicycle.

We have a Walky Dog attachment for my bicycle which we picked up from The Dog Outdoors. It enables me to fully control the bicycle while Rocky trots alongside stretching his legs to their fullest.

But much of the time he is more interested in sniffing than running. Not today.

We took him out with two bicycles. My son rode ahead on the bicycle we picked up for him last week, and Rocky wanted to chase him the whole way. It was a great excursion. His usual average speed of 6 to 7 mph came off with an 8.9 today.

I think we should try this more often.



Posted in Reviews

Festival opens this weekend at WOF

Last weekend was opening for Worlds of Fun. The weather was ideal and the crowds were substantial — or so it seemed to this season passholder.

As I mentioned last week, we didn’t go to the sneak peak on Friday — we went to the kickoff for the corporate challenge instead. Nor did we make gate opening on Saturday. A choral choir competition at Liberty North took the involvement of the youngest and tallest member of the household.

So there were lines at both the rides and food booths by the time we arrived at the park in the afternoon. Being as line-averse as we are, we didn’t enter any of the rides, and chose the shortest of the food lines. That ended up being the Pizza Piere and a new food vendor — Santa Fe Street Tacos (which took the place of Gyro Express).

When we returned in the evening the lines were short enough to have Panda Express for supper. But we bailed from our attempt to ride the Ferris Wheel — the attendant loaded so slow that we didn’t know when we would get on.

Sunday we only got to the park once, and again didn’t get onto a ride. When we came in the evening we were fortunate to find a short line at Chickie’s & Pete’s just before they closed the doors for the evening. But they hadn’t planned their supplies right — they ran out of the white sauce dip for our sandwiches and fries.

Such was our first weekend. This coming weekend is the beginning of a festival that we aren’t interested in, but which I will mention. Their second annual All American Barbeque & Brew Festival. It runs three weekends, through May 8. It combines various local brews with Chef Kevin’s sample size BBQ Menu of Grilled Shrimp, BBQ Chicken and Waffles, Smoked BBQ Pork, Smoked Ribs, BBQ Spiced Chicken Wings and Bananas Foster. If we didn’t already have a food plan paid for, the festival would be worth it just for the food, even skipping the brews.