Posted in Sabbatical

Sabbatical Update: bicycle vignette

The work of simplification is never done. Keep dropping items until the balance allows forward progress and try to not pick up too many items until the momentum can handle them.

Rain slowed down the outdoor house projects this week. The staining of the deck is caught in mid-stream with the flowing water delaying completion.

That same rain is giving momentum to the growing of the corn. Whether that is soon enough to fill out the ears, or whether they are already fated to be barren, we will have to see.

It can’t please everyone.

On Sunday I worked an extra shift to cover for someone, and got caught in a torrential downpour getting to my work location. Under an awning I talked to another worker, in a different department. when I mentioned having arrived by car, and my wife on the way home mentioned this storm coming our way, he mentioned having arrived himself by bicycle.

To which I gave him a high five. And told him about biking to work at my previous job. He agreed that trying to stay dry in the rain isn’t worth it on a bike. If you keep the outside water off, you sweat up enough inside water to make it worse. Best to get wet and change into dry at the other end.

Just enjoy and accept it.  You can bike through the rain. You can bundle up and bike through the cold. When it is both wet and cold — that’s the one that’s the rub.


Posted in Fitness

Fitness update: no pattern

Well this week was a mixed medley of various outings.

There were runs and jogs with cooling walks. There was biking with long brakes for reading. The Viking came about because I realized my legs are cramping from the unbalanced use are the muscles caused by only running and not biking. Doing more activity DID help them.

But none of them were programmed/planned for length or intensity.

One of the runs was a very enjoyable in the rain on/off wetness before the sun type.

So how well does randomness work in a fitness program. Can it be maintained as a planned routine.

Okay, enough time for the humor. But randomness can play some part in a routine, but random is hard to maintain as a consistent feature — because it is no longer random.


Posted in Music

#293: The Lord’s My Shepherd

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

Today’s hymn is a duet mixup, where we alternate solos and switch-up duets. It is the sort of things the educated and musically literate might do of an evening while creating their own entertainment for themselves. Not perfection, but pleasantry and camaraderie and enjoyment is the goal and the win. Passive audience to the professional performer, especially in a church setting, is a definite loss.


The Lord’s my Shepherd — I’ll not want;

He makes me down to lie

In pastures green — He leadeth me

The quiet waters by.


My soul He doth restore again,

And me to walk doth make

Within the paths of righteousness,

E’en for His own name’s sake.


Yea, tho I walk thru death’s dalk vale,

Yet will I fear no ill,

For Thou art with me, and Thy rod

And staff me comfort still.


My table Thou hast furnished

In presence of my foes,

My head Thou dost with oil anoint,

And my cup overflows.


Goodness and mercy all my life

Shall surely follow me,

And in God’s house forevermore

My dwelling place shall be.



Posted in Reviews

Nordic Chaser: first ride

Hard to believe that the Friday was the first time that I rode the new ride for 2018 at Worlds of Fun — The Nordic Chaser.

But I have been watching it all season.  When it was first announced, the pictures made it look like a kiddie ride. So why was it in the Scandinavia Section replacing the Finnish Fling in its retirement?

Yet the first time I saw it run, I could tell it wasn’t a kiddie ride. The obvious speed, for one thing, marked it as something deceptively unique.

The description in the parks announcement described it thus:

New for 2018
On Nordic Chaser, guests of all ages will board mini ships that rotate speedily around a circuit. The ride captures the imagination as guests experience the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. The ride will be placed in the park’s Scandinavia themed area.

“The new Nordic Chaser ride will allow parents and children the opportunity to make lasting memories together,” said Tony Carovillano, general manager, Worlds of Fun. “We strive to provide new and exciting changes at Worlds of Fun every year, and look forward to having more families experience every aspect we have to offer at the park.”

So today I rode it, with the other three members of my family —  two cars, two people per car.

For me, in effect it has much of the impact of the Scrambler, though without the whip-lash ending effect. It has a certain affinity, to me, to the Prowler, whether the effect is continuous, as it goes through modest variations and modulations.

It has the same up and down of terrain effect like the Matterhorn-style amusement park ride, but doesn’t have the carousel-type enclosure.

The centripedal/centrifugal forces ensure that with two passengers the inner one is flung against the outer, to crush or smush the person — a fun thing for kids and a fanciful romantic opportunity for the more mature inclined.

Above are stock photos related to the ride.  I didn’t mar the ride experience by trying to take pictures of my own.







Posted in Events

A Look Ahead … Royal Wedding

Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

July 28 — Royal Wedding and Bridal Show at Kansas City Renaissance Festival

The Royal Wedding & Bridal Show

Free to the Public & Vendors

Guest RSVP ♥ Vendor Form

The Wedding

His Majesty, King Henry VIII to wed Lady Catherine Parr at 11:45am in the Wildwood of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. The wedding will be followed by a simple reception in The White Stag.

The Show

Let our Royal Couple inspire you to take that next step with your special love! Visit the variety of vendors who have gathered together at this Royal Event to provide couples with inspiration and ideas for turning their dreams into reality.

July 29 — Rehearsals continue for Madrigalia Bar Nonne.

This isn’t an open to the public thing, but interested singers are always welcome to come and join rehearsals, and see if they might want to try out for this select group of period a capella musical performers. Rehearsals continue most Sundays through August, and then the group sings daily at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival at its grounds in Bonner Springs. Anyone interested in joining a rehearsal or the group, drop me a line and I will get you the necessary contact information.  I have been singing with this group since 1999.

July 27  -Aug 2 — Hairspray at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes, with intermission

Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon, Hairspray takes you back to 1962 Baltimore, as 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a big girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair!) change the world…and still have time to win the boy she loves?

This mega-hit is piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and enough deliriously tuneful songs to fill a nonstop platter-party. It’s the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As The New York Times says, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray. It’s irresistible!”

Contains adult language and subject matter.


Hairspray has been adapted for a variety of mediums, including a live televised version in 2016. It’s one of Broadway’s biggest hits, but parents should be cognizant that the stage version differs from the mainstream adaptations. We encourage patrons to use the notes below to help decide if the performance is right for themselves, their children and other patrons. The show contains:

Show content includes:

  • Slang/name-calling
  • Sensitive topics including race and segregation
  • Sexual innuendo and teenage pregnancy
  • Insensitivity toward body weight

August 11  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For August it is The Light Between Oceans, a first novel by M. L. Stedman. See the following blurb:

Newly-wed WWII veteran Tom Sherburne takes the position of lighthouse keeper on a remote coastal Australian island with his wife in order to regain a sense of peace and stability.
After wife Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a still-birth; the couple’s life together is set in turmoil as Isabel discovers a yawl containing a dead man and a crying infant washed on shore after a gale. Moral and ethical decisions, individually, and as a couple, confront them as a decision is made to keep the baby as their own.


August 14-19 — Love Never Dies at Kansas City Starlight Tbeatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes, with intermission

The ultimate love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows The Phantom of the Opera, one of the most successful musicals of all time that has been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and won over 50 international awards.

The year is 1907. It is 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House, and he has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. While he has finally found a place for his music to soar in this new, electrically charged world, the Phantom has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Her marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling, and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul and their young son, Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them.

Love Never Dies is a dazzling new production that takes audiences on a thrilling roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Be seduced by the beautiful, sometimes magical and poetic, sometimes joyful and, occasionally, melancholic score.

Contains adult subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 12+.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission

There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission

Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.


 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 201– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

Posted in Music

#292: Surely Goodness and Mercy (Late post for Wednesday)

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


A pilgrim was I, and a wand’ring,

In the cold night of sin I did roam,

When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me,

And now I am on my way home.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days, all the days of my life;

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days, all the days of my life.

(add to final chorus)

And I shall swell in the house of the Lord forever,

And I shall feast at the table spread for me;

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days, all the days of my life,

All the days of my life.


He restoreth my soul when I’m weary,

He giveth me strength day by day;

He leads me beside the still waters,

He guards me each step of the way.



When I walk thru the dark lonesome valley,

My Savior will walk with me there;

And safely His great hand will lead me

To the mansions He’s gone to prepare.