Posted in Events, Family, Reviews, Uncategorized

Worlds of Fun: Park Denizens converse

Today’s post is about something that happened a week ago at Worlds of Fun. I went in the evening to grab supper and some entertainment, while avoiding the excessive, for me, atmosphere of the Halloween Haunt’s Overlord’s Awakening.

The current trick is to drive in through the secondary entrance — the Oceans of Fun parking lot side — and walk in to the places we want to go.  It neatly avoids the sound buildup to the Overlord’s Awakening, along with the crowds waiting to see it. All that sound is projected out towards the main parking lot, and doesn’t bother much in the rest of the park.

It doesn’t avoid the fog from the stage fog machines, but even that can be worked around, to some extent.

Anyway, back to last Saturday. I parked, got scanned by security, season pass confirmed by admissions, and walked over to the BattleCreek Barbecue. The Barbecue must have had a busy day, because there didn’t seem to be a lot left.  The animated menu sign still had rotating images for the Brisket Sandwich, Pork Sandwich, and BBQ Nachos meal deals.  But the static menu screen only showed Pork Sandwich and BBQ Nachos. Which meant what I thought it did. When I got up to the register they confirmed that they were OUT OF BRISKET.

So I ordered the Pork Sandwich with side and looked over the dining area, which was mostly empty. It also had mostly tables that hadn’t yet been wiped down after their last use, obviously so.  Which is how I ended up as a single person sitting at one of the largest circular tables, meant to seat six.  It was the table that looked the cleanest (though also in need of being cleaned). And for the same reason I chose it, another single-dining patron asked if she could sit there across from me, which I agreed to.

And thus the chance meeting of two strangers turned into a conversation of two park denizens discussing their experiences about the park, and their general satisfaction of their season passes, all season dining plans, etc.

It was a pleasure to discuss the park with someone else who spent much of the summer there with her kids, and discuss the benefits that variously accrued to the plans. She hadn’t heard about the Platinum Passes, which grant access to any park in the Cedar Fair network, I learned more from her about the fast passes. Both of us are very curious about the new and  upcoming WinterFest season that runs the end of November and through December.

I have been an interested participant and observer over the past few years, as the park has developed and integrated, and become more of a definite social setting for the local and regional community. We are generally pleased with its role and participation within the Cedar Fair Network, and that organizations definite commitment to amusement parks and the communities that they reside in.

While my family is not big on the Halloween Haunt, our visits there this fall just confirm to us what a good thing and boon it is to the area to have such an attraction in place; just as my walk through Planet Snoopy today — though no longer a parent of kids of the age Planet Snoopy is intended for — that this children’s area of the park is another thriving blessing to the area. My kids enjoyed it when it was Camp Snoopy, and I am glad other kids are still enjoying it as Planet Snoopy. We were able to go into the store inside Planet Snoopy and see the banner from the grand opening on  May 28, 2011 — and still find all four of our names there, part of the history of the park.

Posted in Events

A Look Ahead …

Here are the events coming up that we will be having something to do with, though not in every facet mentioned in the below writeups:


The Great Pumpkin Fest

Join us at Worlds of Fun for the ultimate fall festival – The Great Pumpkin Fest! This family-friendly event is all treats and no tricks and features special Halloween-themed activities for kids plus PEANUTS-themed rides and attractions in Planet Snoopy!

Halloween Haunt

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. All new in 2017, the Skeleton Crew brings a high-flying cirque-style show of talented acrobats with a team of skeletons to shock witnesses with electrifying acrobatic performances. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of 13 Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights from September 16 through October 29.

Wine & Romance Delight

Wine & Romance Delight – September 30 & October 1

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Indulge your sweet tooth this weekend at our Wine & Romance Delight! Participate in one of our many sweet events held all weekend including a Chocolate and Mead tasting.

Three Legged Race

Test your endurance as a couple while racing to the finish line! Held daily at 10:45am near the Washing Well Stage.

Wedding of the Century


Celebrate love! Witness couples renew their wedding vows or exchange them for the first time! The Wedding of the Century will be held Saturday on the Joust Track at 12:00pm.


Couple Water Balloon Toss

Calling all couples! Join us for the FREE Couple Water Balloon Toss held daily at 12:45pm. Located at the Washing Well Stage.

Costume Contest

Showcase your best garb in this week’s FREE costume contest! Held daily at 1:15pm at the Washing Well Stage.

Red Wine Sausage Eating Competition

Join us for a FREE Red Wine Sausage Eating Competition to see which couple can finish their bowl the fastest. Located at the Washing Well Stage at 2:45pm daily.

Newlywed Game

Test your knowledge! How well do you know your significant other? Find out at the FREE Newlywed Game! Held daily at 3:00pm at the Washing Well Stage.

Mr. Renaissance

Are you Prince Charming? Enter our handsome man contest at the Washing Well Stage! Held daily at 4:00pm.

Longest Kiss Competition

Held daily at the Washing Well Stage at 5:00pm!


Driving Miss Daisy

Sept. 27, 2017 – Nov. 26, 2017

New Theatre Restaurant

Daisy, a wealthy, acerbic widow, has wrecked another car. Her son decides she needs a chauffeur and hires an unemployed black man named Hoke. Daisy and Hoke dislike each other initially but over the course of 25 years, the two grow to become very dear friends. This funny, joyful play won the Pulitzer Prize and the film adaptation won four Oscars, including Best Picture.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized

#231: Jesus Saves!

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


We have heard the joyful sound – Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Spread the tidings all around – Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Bear the news to ev’ry land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves;

Onward ‘tis our Lord’s command – Jesus saves! Jesus saves!


Waft it on the rolling tide — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Tell to sinners far and wide — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing, ye islands of the sea! Echoe back, ye ocean caves!

Earth shall keep her jubilee — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!


Sing above the battle strife — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

By His death and endless life — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing it softly thru the gloom, When the hearth for mercy craves;

Sing in triumph o’er the tomb — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!


Give the winds a mighty voice — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Let the nations now rejoice — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Shout salvation full and free, Highest hills and deepest caves;

This our song of victory — Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Posted in Fitness, Social Issues

One sidewalk done (almost); now how about another …

Getting in and out of where I live has been a little more interesting the past couple of months. They did a lot of utility work on Winn Road and now are just about finished putting in the sidewalk that made all the utility (mostly for storm-sewer drains) work necessary. All that seems to be left to me is the landscaping around the sidewalk (unless they actually repave the entire street — with all the potholes — which have gotten worse because of the construction equipment — I think it really needs it).

So now I am going to put it my plug, again for the other sidewalk that means as much to me, and one that would need less utility work.

A few years ago there was a big project on Chouteau Trafficway between North Kansas City (as the southern end of the zone) and I-35 (on the northern end of the zone). It was broadened and turned into a park-like boulevard. All the old, cramped businesses along that stretch were given good money (I presume) and relocated. Our favorite donut place, Donut King, moved into North Kansas City (loss of tax revenue for Kansas City) ontor Armour Road/Route 210.

But donuts isn’t the reason for my sidewalk request.  This stretch of Chouteau Trafficway has two main sub-units: Parvin Road splits it in two near the middle. North of it it is much broader and parklike. south of it is is park-developed but not as elaborately. Parvin also divides the neighborhoods that have access to Chouteau trafficway.

There are several streets given access to Chouteau to the North of Parvin, most of them on the East side. A stream runs along the west side of that part of Chouteau, limiting access there to one street. But the access to Chouteau by the neighborhoods is basically the same before as after the development.

The same cannot be said of Chouteau south of Parvin. The stream crosses to the east side of Chouteau when it goes under Parvin, and there was, and still is, one road, a dead-end, accessing Chouteau from the East. To the west, there were two streets with access prior: one near Parvin that was the entrance/exit for an apartment complex, and 34th terrace, that did a wicked twist to come down a hill. They entirely eliminated 34th terrace, and not the apartment complex entrance can only be entered going south and exited to the south.

Along the crazy hill where they eliminated the 34th Terrace access, there had been a motor pool for some sort of construction equipment. They eliminate it, cut off the street, and tried to landscape the slope, but it never grew grass, just eroded. Apparently the soil was contaminated by the equipment enough that it resisted all attempts to grow grass.

So this spring they brought in piles of dirt, and left them there, until they had wild, moderately sparse, tufts of grass all over them. In just the past couple of weeks they broke those piles up and re-sloped the hillside again, replacing all the dirt that had eroded away. I was wondering what they expected to do to get grass to grow.  Last Friday I discovered that they took rolls of sod and covered the whole thing that way.

I guess they expect the sod to root itself in the short growing season we have left and continue to grow next spring.  Me, I’m wondering how long the soil beneath the soil they spread will work its magic up into the soil they added and knock this grass out.  That’s just the perverse part of me, of course. Hopefully the grass grows.

So, how does this connect to a sidewalk? Well, when they put in the new parklands along the trafficway, and cut out 34th Terrace, they created a great place to use, and then eliminated all access to anyone who lives to the South of Parvin and West of Chouteau. Parklands that would be great and safe for walking.  All they need to do is put a comparatively short sidewalk across that now-sodded hill from Cleveland Street, somewhere between 34th Terrace and 35th street, to the sidewalk along Chouteau. Simple, and all of a sudden a large neighborhood is granted access.

But apparently no one with influence or authority to make a decision is thinking of this.  And I don’t know our city power structure to know which departments do what, or how to talk to anyone who can make a difference. So, I guess I need to find out.


Posted in Music

#230: Saved, Saved!

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


I’ve found a Friend who is all to me,

His love is ever true;

I love to tell how He lifted me

And what His grace can do for you.


Saved (I’m saved) by His pow’r divine,

Saved (I’m saved) to new life sublime!

Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,

For I’m saved, saved, saved!


He saves me from ev’ry sin and harm,

Secures my soul each day;

I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm –

I know He’ll guide me all the way.



When poor and needy and all alone,

In love He said to me,

“Come unto me and I’ll lead you home

To live with me eternally.”


Posted in Social Issues

Bike Lane as the trash lane

Today’s post is possibly a sort of hodgepodge of images and reflections, rather than a really structured logic.

Slightly over a year ago I gave myself a note for a blog post item: Wooden  pallet in middle of bike lane on Chouteau bridge. I had been riding across the Chouteau bridge, using one of the two bike/pedestrian lanes (Yes, one on each side — luxury), when I had to pause to make sure I could get around the wooden pallet that was sitting in the lane.

What truck or other vehicle had just happen to spew a wooden pallet, I never did know, it was all conjecture. But that pallet was perhaps the largest and oddest object I had ever found as litter in a bike lane.

Speaking of litter, There is a bike lane downtown near the River Market, on Cherry Street between Third and Fifth streets.  It usually has sand down the out half of it, and for half the distance it has a seam that splits it into two slightly different levels (a definite hazard for a cyclist). A week or so ago, someone was mowing the grass next to the road, between it and the raised viaduct for Oak Street/Route /Heart of America Bridge.

The grass was tall, and despite the heavy duty power of the mover, it still threw a lot of heavy grass over the bike lane, hiding it totally from view. The unique and relevant point is that the tall grass being mowed had also housed a significant amount of trash that people had thrown out  while passing by. This trash was added to the grass occluding the bike lane.

I would have been more put out by this flagrant elimination of the bike lane, except for two things: 1) the person mowing stopped to let me go by (no grass being blown at me), and 2) the next day the lane was actually clear. I’m not sure by what means, but they had picked up both the grass and the trash. The lane was clearer that it usually was — though the seam and uneven levels still remained.

Returning my focus back to the Chouteau Bridge area, I  will note that there is an in-traffic bike lane directly after Chouteau Trafficway crosses the bridge.  When you ride you bike you have two lanes to your left headed north, the bike lane, and a turning lane to your right. The structure of lanes is similar heading south. You ride with larger-than-you motorized vehicles on both sides of you.

But the important item is that this section of road is poured concrete, and the seam for the various large blocks of concrete goes right down the center of where they painted the bicycle lane. These seams always create a slight difference in pavement levels, and such differences create a hazard for bicycles — especially when these level differences follow the direction of motion for the bicycle. How they managed to put a seam in the concrete down the center of the bicycle lane going both north and south is a marvel of misapplied engineering.

The best example of level differences is back downtown, from River Market to Crown Center — The recessed rails for the Downtown Kansas City Streetcar. They even have signs for those in a couple of sports warning cyclists about the potential for getting a wheel stuck in them and spilling. One section of Third Street with the rails has a separate bike line on the same side that the Streetcar uses so there is a safe lane for the bike to ride on.  The other direction the bicycle doesn’t get its own lane, I presume because there is no rail to protect from.

Yet I have seen Google recommend routes where the cyclist would have to ride down the street right down the middle between the pair of recessed rails.  Google doesn’t accurately pick up all the hazards.

I could come up with more examples, but as with most things ubiquitous, since so many of the bike lanes are trash lanes, you tend to not notice the specifics and they begin to blend together. But hopefully these few examples give a good enough impression of the sort of obstacles and treatment cyclists get, even when the terrain is allegedly designed to be in their favor.

Posted in Family

Summer Tour: Birthday Bash

Earlier this summer I did a series of posts on our family tour of several Cedar Fair Parks.  That family vacation was bounded by two other non-Cedar Fair events. The first was Liberty Con, which I have posted about.  The second is my Mother’s birthday bash.

Mom is celebrating a significant birthday mile stone today, and since we couldn’t all get together with her today, we decided to celebrate by getting together during the summer just outside of Buffalo. So her three children, all spouses and grandchildren, along with my dad’s sole surviving sibling and some of her children and grandchildren (my cousins), gathered on a Thursday-Saturday.

My foursome started the day in Mid-Pennsylvania and came up the Route 15/I-99 corridor. We happened to be passing through when mom and my sister were still getting ready to leave the Corning area. Work had caught my sister with a question, so she went up to Coopers Plains to assist, even though it wasn’t absolutely required.


And thus our paths crossed, as we met them for the above picture, then went to Dunkin’ Donuts in Gang Mills before heading on up to Buffalo via similar GPS-guided routes.

The three out-of-towner families stayed at the same Holiday-Inn Express (note: we liked all the Holiday Inn Expresses we stayed at — weren’t impressed by Days Inns), and the management got all our rooms on the same floor across and next to each other for easier confabbing.

Thursday evening was a time of settling in for the children/siblings and playing of board games. We had supper at a local famous Buffalo wing place

Duff's Famous Wings

— Duff’s Famous Wings.  After all, how could we travel all this way to Buffalo and not have some “authentic” Buffalo wings. The eldest grandson went for the hottest of wings, while me and the youngest grandchild took mild, which was quite good.

Friday morning we went back and forth between several options. Rain had fallen, and was threatening, so we opted not to do a naval ship tour thing, since we didn’t want to get caught in the rain for the outside elements.  Which was probably just as well. It would have taken more time and energy than we probably wanted to spend.

Instead we toured the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. Buffalo was the site of the Pan-American exposition in 1901, and President William McKinley was shot there. As VP, Roosevelt came to town, was assured McKinley was recovering, left, and when McKinley actually passed, rushed back to Buffalo, where he was sworn is as president.

The Inaugural site was in the home of the prominent citizen who hosted Roosevelt on both his visit, and in whose study he was sworn in. Since our family has always been fascinated by Teddy Roosevelt, it was a natural pick for us.

The exhibit had a lot of footage on the Pan-American Exhibition, which was rather interesting to get the flavor of the time, and their view of the future, some almost science fiction quality.

It also included historical narration of the assassination and inauguration, and an interactive screen where one played at making presidential decisions that became headlines in a hypothetical newspaper.


We did lunch at the food court of the Galleria Mall, which was quite an active place.


But the real capstone of the reunion was when we got together with all the cousins for dinner at the Olive Tree.  It was a family run Greek-American Restaurant with wonderful color and flavor.  We got to chat a long time with my Aunt Olive, Cousin Roger and his family, and Roger presented us all with copies of audio disks that his father, my Uncle Bill, had recorded back in the 1960s of my Grandfather Lightfoot reminiscing about his life on the farm and on the railroad.

The big Buffalo, or whatever it is, that everyone is posed next to at the top of this column is a very colorful mascot outside the Olive Tree. We were all leaving when I mentioned I needed to get a picture of it, and so we all came over and had our group shot.

So now, here is a collage of pictures of the dinner: