Archive for the ‘General’ Category

China Roundup

Well, we’re unwillingly back to school today. We have the Festival Concert on Wednesday with both HS Bands, the MS Band, the HS choirs, & SWECC’s band. Friday is State Large Group Contest.

No rest.

I just wanted to post some final observations.  All of the posts from China will be updated during the week as I am able to post pictures here. My phone seemed unwilling to cooperate in that department while we were there.

Our Guides

Our guides, handlers, caretakers, and I think we all hope that after awhile, friends, were absolutely fantastic.


Bus 1 (my bus) had Zhudan, who went by the “American” name of Jessica. Bus 2 (Martz’s) had Mr. Le and Chatty Kathy.

All were well-versed in the English language and used it to give us every tidbit of information about the history and culture of every place we visited.

Simply put, they were amazing.


Water from the tap is a no-no there…including for them. Their filtration/treatment facilities have not kept pace with the waste being produced from increased manufacturing. This means bottled water at all times.

As for meals, you were given one tiny juice glass of beverage as well as hot tea. A refill would cost you 5 Yuan (about $0.75). I started taking my own drink into the restaurants.


Good. Plentiful. Not much really strange except for the one night with the entire chicken (head, feet, and everything else) cooked and on a plate. Do I need to go to a Chinese restaurant anytime soon?

No. And I mean that sincerely.

Every meal was served on a “lazy susan”. Well, every meal except for breakfast, which was buffet style.

The food got better as we went along. The worst meal, and by that I mean the only one that was less than good in my opinion, was the lunch on the first day. It was a buffet of questionable quality. I believe I referred to it as their version of a Hometown Buffet. I don’t think I was too far off the mark with that.


The hotels were of high quality, although everyone preferred the newly built Grand Noble in Xi’an of the SuperHouse International in Beijing. The basic consensus was to take the showers in Beijing and put them in the Grand Noble’s building and rooms.

I concur wholeheartedly.

Whatever the preference, they were great places to stay…well, mainly crash into unconsciousness. We were two to a room where we would normally be four. Wake up calls were already established, hotel workers were helpful, and the buffet breakfasts were good to great.


Crazy. The buses were your typical charter style buses. We weren’t ever on them for more than an hour. Those hours were interesting, though. From the  information being fed to us by our guides to the time spent watching the buses, cars, scooters, and bikes navigate the streets of Beijing and Xi’an, we were never left for entertainment.

Again, posts will be updated with pics as the week goes along.  If I think of more, I will update each post. You will know by the [Updated: Date] at the beginning of the section.

Until next time…

Divided Loyalties – Man U vs KC Wizards

Wow.  Where do I begin?  How about a quick comment about what a good time I had before I get to the game.

We arrived as soon as the parking lot was opened.  It was a good thing since:


We enjoyed ourselves with some tailgating with some friends.  Afterward, we avoided sitting in traffic by simply breaking out the food & chairs again and having a dinner of leftovers until everything cleared. Read the rest of this entry »

Why soccer?

I am sitting here watching the Major  League Soccer (MLS) final realizing I have been watching more soccer over the last year.  I have been mainly watching the KC Wizards (the home team), Manchester United in the English Premiere League, and the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) and others in the World Cup Qualifiers. Read the rest of this entry »

What happened to openness?

There is currently a huge uproar over President Obama addressing the nation’s students on September 8th.  It seems to me most of the concern is spilling over from people’s concerns, fears, or other feelings about the state and future of healthcare in the country.

I am not wanting to get into the healthcare debate here.  That would be pointless.  It seems everyone’s minds are made up one way or the other.  No, my concern is what happened the civility and openness of debate and education. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favorite Apps

I got the iPhone planning on it being a useful tool.  I didn’t realize how useful and anti-time management it would be.  I also planned on not spending ANY money on apps.  While I haven’t bought many, I have gotten some as I have found them more useful than their free versions.  My favorites?


  • Facebook
  • Tweetdeck


  • WordPress
  • JAM! (Joomla administration)*
  • BlogPress


  • CalenGoo (Google Calendar interface)*
  • Maps
  • Cleartune (tuner)*
  • Metronome
  • Shazam
  • PhoneFlicks (Netflix account)
  • Concerts
  • Yelp
  • OpenTable


  • Sudoku
  • Cross Light (crossword puzzles)


  • Pro RSS
  • NYTimes
  • Huff Post
  • iSoccer
  • NPR News (simply amazing)
  • KC Star

I have more, but these are the ones I use the most.  Those marked with an asterisk were paid for.

What are your favorites?


Scrapbook Photos10/2/11
Man U VisitNew Grill 2009

Thanks for visiting my site. Posts have been infrequent, but should become more regular in the upcoming weeks.