Posted in Fitness

Fitness Update: Making the Miles

Well, this is the week where one month ends and another begins. I have been working on three fitness activity targets all year. Only one of them has been definitively on target — bicycle miles.

And now, with the lull in cycling due to the vacation earlier in July, I am just making the miles today, and just barely. But I made the 1750 miles for 7 months to make the 3000 miles.

I’ve done some swimming at Oceans of Fun, but I need to get back to running, at least this fall, when the weather gets cooler. My schedule might be clearing up allowing more personal life around responsibilities. We will see.

Posted in Music

#214: Verily, Verily

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


O what a Savior that He died for me!

From condemnation He hath made me free;

“He that believeth on the Son”, saith He,

“Hath everlasting life.”


“Verily, verily, I say unto you —

Verily verily,” message ever new;

“He that believeth on the Son”, ’tis true,

Hath everlasting life.”


All my iniquities on Him were laid,

All my indebtedness by Him was paid;

All who believe on Him, the Lord hath said,

Have everlasting life.



Tho poor and needy, I can trust my Lord,

Tho weak and sinful I believe His ord;

O glad message! ev’ry child of God

“Hath everlasting life.”



Tho all unworthy, yet I will not doubt,

For him that cometh He ill not cast out;

“He that believeth”, O the good news shout,

“Hath everlasting life!”


Posted in Events, Reviews

Cedar Fair Parks Tour: Cedar Point

Cedar Point: Mecca of the Cedar Fair park system.  Everyone needs to make a pilgrimage there at least once in a lifetime.


We arrived in Sandusky on Tuesday evening, and after checking into our motel and unpacking, took a quick run out to the park to get a lay of the land – and have some supper.

This wasn’t our first trip to Cedar Point, but it had been several years. So we wanted to see what was different.


We cased the rollercoasters and the lines. We read the signs and discovered that many of the roller coasters didn’t allow you to carry anything, you had to have someone else hold onto things, or rent the lockers that were available for a couple of buck per couple of hours nearby.


We also had the one really bad service for a Cedar Fair employee during our trip. There was no line for the Wicked Twister, so we ran up to get on the ride. When we got there we stepped into our cars and pulled down the restraints. They buckle an odd way to any other coaster I have met – on the side.  Took me a moment to figure mine out.  One member of our party couldn’t get it to go on, so I thought the associate came over to help get the buckle to fasten. But all he said, over and over again, was “the buckle has to be fastened.” At first I thought that meant he was going to help fasten, then I thought maybe there was something wrong with the strap on that seat, so I asked if the person needed to change seats. I finally figured out that the person’s size was wrong and wouldn’t allow the seat strap to fasten, so they were unable to ride the ride – period.  But it was very confusing, perplexing, and somewhat embarrassing for the person to merely say “the buckle has to be fastened” rather than explain what was going on. It was totally unhelpful, confusing, and distracting, as well as delaying the other people wanting to ride.  If he had only spoken to me and answered my questions, instead of repeating the same line over and over, we could have resolved it amicably and quickly.  But by that point, once I figured it out, and the member of our party had to leave the ride, I didn’t want to ride it anymore easier, his demeanor and lack of responsiveness had so changed my mood.

So that was the last ride we tried to get on that night, and instead headed to supper.


Pink’s was a nice place to eat. Their hot dogs were good. I am not sure if they would be as great as the hype says, I think the celebrity and reputation makes the hot dogs “taste better” than they are. Not so well advertised, but just as good, were their burgers.


We got to the park around opening on Wednesday morning. Cedar Point is designed around midways. You enter the gates and go through the Main Midway to get to the other midways. Our first ride was the Sky Ride that took us down through the main midway, and then we started dispersing for rides.

I think we dispersed more as a group at Cedar Point than at any of the other parks.  The first focus for many of us was what roller coasters we could get on. Even at opening the ValRavn was longer than we wanted to wait for. So we bounced from one to another looking for good lines.

Others of us enjoyed riding the train, walking the midways, seeing the various sites.  We ended up going to Frontier Town, where many of us enjoyed lunch at the Frontier Inn (they had an excellent Buffalo Chicken Sandwich) after touring the Cedar Fair Museum, and seeing these Solar Powered Trash Cans that made no sense to us.


In our previous visits the lines to the Top Thrill Dragster and other roller coasters had been too long to get on.  But several of our party (not me) enjoyed the Top Thrill this time.  If I had gotten to it in the morning I would have tried it, but by the afternoon I was in a different mood.

While we rode many coasters, my one disappointment was the Maverick. I remembered it fondly from our last visit, but it was never running when we were anywhere nearby that day to ride it and reminisce.


We also missed the boat ride through the swamp that they had the last time but is now no longer there.  It seems that the entrance to their dinosaur exhibit took over that spot. Our hope is that they get back to having another water ride experience.

One of the things that was neat to see, on the midways, were the street shows.  There was a Bluegrass festival in frontier town, and on the main midway we came across a Mardi Gras themed float. I am not sure which Midway we were on when we saw some acrobats rehearsing some moves for a show – obviously rehearsing because there was no sound and they weren’t in any special outfits.  But it was neat to see them doing their practice loops.

We were always looking for the special things to eat that we couldn’t get back home.  So I tried the shrimp on the midway. What I missed out on trying was what Betsy had for dinner – the Cheese on a Stick. If I get back again, that is what I need to remember to have.

Some of the other parks had “local fare” restaurants in the park. Cedar Point didn’t have anything like that – because its local fare is carney fare, and they had several good items, like the cheese on a stick, that are worth the experience.


Cedar Fair is land locked, but it is also perhaps the most intense, packed, extensive park in that way. It is hard to describe the full experience in the way it grabs and pulls you in so many directions – like a carnival does.

We enjoyed and had a full day without having a chance to get out to their water park – which is still a separate park from the main amusement park. Cedar Point Shores sounds impressive, and we need to get back sometime to experience it.

Posted in Reviews

Something Rotten: It Smells

Today’s post is a review of Something Rotten, playing July 25-30 at Kansas City’s Starlight Theater.

This is the first Starlight experience in awhile that I have nothing to comment on besides the show.  The rest of the experience was suitable and without incident.

Let me start by saying this play is worth seeing — once.

There are a lot of cute moments in this play. If they didn’t spoil it by the perpetual sexual innuendos that are so overt that they almost cease being innuendos it would have been even better. These lend a certain sort of high-schoolish  immaturity to the musical, an attempt to appear adult that proves oneself even more juvenile instead.

There is a number about halfway through the first act, A Musical, that was good enough, and got the sort of ovation, that a show should end on. It was almost a pity that the show didn’t end at this point.

There is a main plotline, and then there is a secondary plot about the romance of Nigel and Portia. Unfortunately, the secondary plot is more engaging and satisfying than the primary plot. I Love the Way, a song about poetry and art and lovers, is a gorgeous piece as well.

My final main complaint is about an entire character in the show: William Shakespeare. They play him up as a rock star, and have him dressed like a medieval rock star, with rock music, and all the affectations. Now, a similar sort of attempt is done in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where Pharaoh is turned into Elvis — “The King”. Except the use of Elvis blends better into the fabric of Dreamcoat better than Shakespeare does into Rotten. Shakespeare is oversold in this musical. He drags down the plot, and every scene he is in.

There are other nice songs in the repertoire — Right Hand Man and its reprises comes to mind — but they aren’t able to overcome the other elements I have described, the infantile fixation on sex and the lack of empathy for the main plot line.

I’m sure my perspective does not agree with a lot of people. So, go see the show — once so you can say you have seen it — and tell me whether you agree or disagree with my analysis.


NOTE: Here is the “usual” Thursday update for the Cedar Fair All Season Dining Plan

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 360
Total Retail $3,767.33
Average Price Per Meal $1.38
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 352
Total Retail $397.50
Average Price Per Drink $0.08
Posted in Music

#213: The Light of the World is Jesus

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


The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin —

The Light of the world is Jesus;

Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in —

The Light of the world is Jesus.


Come to the Light, ’tis shining for thee!

Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;

Once I was blind, but now I can see —

The Light of the world is Jesus.


No darkness have we who in Jesus abide —

The Light of the world is Jesus

The Light of the world is Jesus;

We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide —

The Light of the world is Jesus.



Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes —

The Light of the world is Jesus;

Go wash at His bidding and light will arise —

The Light of the world is Jesus.



No need of the sunlight in heaven, we’re told —

The Light of that world is Jesus;

The Lamb is the Light in the City of Gold —

The Light of that world is Jesus.



Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized

Electric outages; Electric street cars

Okay, power outage of 42 hours ended yesterday evening, and so my plan for another installment of the Cedar Fair tour is being delayed.

Instead, a short commentary on some of my recent electrical experiences.

First, our power outage. Started at 10:20 p.m. Saturday, and ended around 4:20 p.m. Monday.  42 hours without power.

During that time all we were able to do was to call the KCPL emergency line to report/confirm they had our outage on their list, and then go to the online outage map to see the status of our outage.

The latter requires having power and internet access. For those of without smart phones we don’t do social media when we don’t have power, and we don’t surf the internet either. So that was of limited utility.

Now back east, where I grew up. when you call the line, they give you a status update with an estimate of the time it will take to take care of your outage.  Something KCPL should consider.

Also, the amount of outages and time it takes to cure them, from my individual perspective, see longer and more frequent than I remember growing up in the country back east. I wonder how well rated KCPL is for the maintenance of their lines and the speed of their repairs, as well as the ability to resist storm damage.

Second, a couple of experiences with the electric streetcars in downtown KC.

I was riding my bicycle into work along 5th street Monday morning and saw some men doing maintenance along the streetcar’s tracks. They were taking what amounts to a (perhaps slightly stiffer-than-normal) household broom and sweeping the groove of the tracks out. Really? all this neat track requires individual physical labor for people to sweep the tracks? And they weren’t watching where they were sweeping either; nearly got a faceful of dust, would have if I had been a couple of seconds later.

And second was the intersection at Third and Grand. I was waiting Monday afternoon on Third Street headed east. The light was red; north-south traffic had the right-of-way and completed its cycle. Then their light went red; Third street should get the green.  But the streetcar is waiting there, and rings its bell; all the directions go red as the streetcar passes through.

Once the streetcar goes through, the light cycle starts again — but it begins, always begins, with the north-south traffic. Third street always has to wait.  It just isn’t fair.  The street car hinders my ability to get home.

Posted in Uncategorized

Fitness Update: Powerless

Okay, how does one keep fit while the temperatures are over 100 and the electricity is out?

Okay, that is only 2 days out of the past week. But those days delayed my writing of this blog.

They also got us to do more swimming at Oceans of Fun. Or at least floating. Staying fit is also staying cool and hydrated.

So I got bike miles in for work, no running in the heat, but enough swimming/wading.


Posted in Music

#212: Nothing But the Blood

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


What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of  Jesus;

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


For my pardon this I see — Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

For my cleansing, this my plea — Nothing but the blood of Jesus.



Nothing can for sin atone — Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Naught of good that I have done — Nothing but the blood of Jesus.



This is all my hope and peace — Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness — Nothing but the blood of Jesus.



Posted in Events, Reviews

Cedar Fair Parks Tour: Michigan’s Adventure

Michigan’s Adventure was perhaps the nicest park, as a total package, to be able to go to and enjoy in one day.  Not that it had any points that were specifically better than any of the other parks, but it was put together in such an easy and enjoyable way.


But I am going to start my write-up for the park with something unique to our experience. We got into Muskegeon and checked into our motel with the intention of heading to the park for supper, only to discover that one of our platinum passes was missing. No search would find it. So we called the park and left a message about how we could resolve the missing pass issue.

Then we went to the park and those of us with passes went through security and the gate to guest relations desk, where a very helpful associate listened to our story, downloaded the Worlds of Fun Database to confirm the missing passholder’s pass, then let them into the park with the rest of.  They weren’t able to give us something with the meal-plan attached, so all of us decided what we could get for supper that we could split between all of us.


The next day we went to the park and went into the season pass and group sales area and got the season pass replaced for the $15 fee, and were in the park.  Between when we left the motel until after we got the pass replaced, we had three calls checking on us and our pass situation and how we could help.  It was a concrete example of the helpfulness of Cedar Fair employees that we found all along the trip.

And so now on to the day at Michigan’s Adventure.

The park is arranged in a squarish circle around a central lake, with the entry gate at the lower left corner. If you go along the bottom of the park there are two streets of rides that end at two large wooden coasters and the train station. If you go along the left side of the lake, you go up a street of coasters, and then past the water park entrance before turning to the right along the lake to another row of rides that end in a coaster, the Great Rapids water ride and another train station.  There is no way to walk all the way around the center lake. The two train stations  connect the right side of the park.

We started up the left side of the park, going in a clockwise direction hitting the coasters. The Big Dipper was closed so Zack’s Zoomer was our first ride, followed by the Corkscrew.  The Zoomer was an excellent start, and the Corscrew was amazing for how short it was. It didn’t send you through numerous turns, but just enough for a thrill, and then you could get on it again, or to another ride, without feeling the need of any break.

We worked our way around the circle to the Thunderhawk, caught the train and then hit the Wildcat and Shivering Timbers. We finished that side with a ride on the Mad Mouse, the premier “mouse trap” type roller coaster of our park tour, and one of the things we most remembered from our previous trip o Michigan’s Adventure.


We scattered for lunch, and then I went back to the car for the swim bags and we rendezvous at the water park where we reserved a locker, changed and did the water park rides.

Most of the water rides are within the water park area, but the river raft ride, the Grand Rapids, was outside it on the top side of the lake.  For the part of the park near the gate you need shirt, shoes and shorts, but for the top side of the lake, you can wear swimsuits and shoes. So we went up to the Grand Rapids and experienced its short but intense water rapids ride (The Grand Rapids was the second thing I remembered from our previous visit to the park and was looking forward to riding.  It did not disappoint).


Returning to the water park, we enjoyed a little more leisure before returning to street clothes, having supper, and exiting the park, a full day of enjoyment under us.

I see my description is a little shorter and more streamlined than some of my previous park descriptions. I don’t want anyone to think that means the park was less impressive. As I said at the beginning, if anything, it make one of the more memorable impressions on us, as a whole.  At the other parks one might remember a specific ride, or two, to the exclusion of all else.  Michigan’s Adventure, while memorable for the rides I specifically mentioned, was equally as memorable for the entire experience. It is a gem of a park, with a gem of a staff.