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28 March 2015

Soccer, Work, Meetings, and Early Spring Weather

Last Sunday afternoon (22 March) found me at Fox High School in Arnold, refereeing youth soccer games. Of the three matches (under 13-14 boys and girls), I did two middles. (One of the crew mates was new and didn't have any middles.) They went well.

Back to work on Monday morning, and we were hit with many returned vehicles, mostly from renters back from spring break with their families. We got though that and our week was good, overall. We marked the departure of our branch manager and his replacement coming in on Friday.

I flexed out of work Tuesday afternoon (24 March) and came home. That night, I attended the IPMS/Gateway business meeting, hosted by Bill Wagner in Oakville. We planned the April meetings and discussed some other club business.

My off day Thursday included some shopping at CRM Hobbies, where I bought some casting material for model parts. I have a missing part on a kit I'm working on, but these materials should fix that. Late that afternoon, I was at the St. Louis Community College/HEC-TV office building in Bridgeton for the Missouri Aviation Historical Society business meeting. We discussed some society business and went over the upcoming issue of the newsletter, Middle Marker, which is due out next month. I should be getting copy for it to edit soon.

Worked this morning at the car rental firm, and it was a busy time, but we got it done. After work, I had lunch and did a bit of shopping. Enjoyed a pleasant day today, cool yet sunny. We had up and down weather this week, which started warm and sunny, then had cloudy and cool days, with rain and even a bit of snow early Friday.


21 March 2015

Busy Days Gotten Through

After work last Friday night (13 March), I joined others from the STL Food Lovers Meetup group at Dressel's Pub in St. Louis' Central West End. It was a good night, despite some rainy weather outside, and I enjoyed a good dinner and conversation. After dinner, I walked a block south to Left Bank Books, where I browsed for awhile before walking back to my car and driving home.

I worked at the car rental branch the next morning, then was home to relax. One day later (15 March), I was at Fox High School in Arnold to referee three youth soccer (football) matches. I worked the middle on the first and third matches, both under 13 girls. The first one was a scoreless draw; the last match of the day was decided by a single goal scored at the death.

Back at work Monday, and things have been doing well there of late. The new assistant manager told me this past week how much me and the other car prep person there are appreciated by the staff, and I was heartened by his kind words.

Tuesday night (17 March), right after work, I was at the IPMS/Gateway meeting at Calvary Presbyterian Church. We had our Out of the Box Contest, delayed from February, and it drew 43 entries--including three from me. I helped judged the contest in categories I was not entered in. Although I did not win any places in the contest, I was happy to have entered. More on the club here: After the meeting, I edited a few last minute items for the Spring issue of Naturally Autistic magazine, which comes out next month. More info at

On my off day Thursday, I had a visit with my dentist for a routine check-up. It was fine, with no further problems. That night, at Creve Coeur Airport for the Missouri Aviation Historical Society meeting. We were supposed to have a video presentation on the Curtiss C-46 Commando, but a computer glitch presented that from happening. So, we'll try it again next month. The society's website is

This morning, I was at The Heights for the Missouri Professional Communicators (MPC) monthly meeting. This had a seminar on social media marketing, with three presenters talking about how to employ social media in your business. It was rather informative, with some material I was already familiar with and others I was not. I found this to be time well spent. MPC is on the web at: http://


12 March 2015

In Like a Lion...

Not having a computer for a couple of days and an altered work schedule that week sure played havoc with my blogging. That was the case last week. Anyway, on to this week's post.

A late winter snowstorm and some really cold weather to end February and begin March altered my plans that weekend. A social event in Kirkwood on 28 February was called off, as was soccer games I was to have refereed in Arnold the next day. Back at work on that Monday (2 March), we all at the car rental branch pulled together and got our vehicles cleaned up and ready for our customers. I was off that Tuesday--rather than on Thursday as usual--just for that week, to help with staffing. That day, I took my computer in for a tune up, which ended up taking two days. The technician needed to reinstall an ethernet connection, clear away some malware from the system, and update some software and drivers. I got it back Wednesday night.

I also got my hair cut on Tuesday and dyed the gray out as best as possible. That night, only two of us were at the IPMS/St. Louis meeting in St. Charles, so it was very brief, to say the least.

Thursday night (5 March) after work, I was dining at Aya Sofia, a Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant in south St. Louis. I joined others from the Ethnic Restaurant Fans Meetup group for a nice dinner. We also had a nice floor show, courtesy of a belly dancer.

At home the following Saturday, I co-hosted this month's edition of Writer's Block from ANCA Radio Shows, Autistic People. Host Tim Pylypiuk and I discussed the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy and continued our discussion from last month on adaptations. You can check out the show here:

After the show, I joined several others from Saint Louis Area Sippers Meetup group at Kitchen House Coffee in midtown St. Louis. We took advantage of the nice weather to sit outside, enjoying our beverages and each other's company.

Early the next morning (8 March), I was at Fox High School in Arnold to referee some youth soccer games. I had the middle on an under 14 boys' match, which was chippy at times (I cautioned one player for a bit of rough play), but it ended well. The day didn't start off so well, as I forgot my uniform shirts. I got home to get them and came back just a few minutes into the first game. (I club linesmen held my spot until then.) Fortunately, the games went off well overall.

Back to regular work days, I flexed out Tuesday afternoon (10 March), which gave me time at home to do some work on a model kit I should have done by next week's IPMS/Gateway meeting. Also, I edited some more articles for the upcoming issue of Naturally Autistic magazine. You can find out more on the magazine and organization here:


26 February 2015

Doing Good Amid Some Cold, Snowy Weather

It was movie night one week ago (19 Feb.) at the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's meeting at Creve Coeur Airport. Some 45 of us braved the bone-chilling temperatures outside to see the 1975 movie "The Great Waldo Pepper." That film starred Robert Redford as a barnstorming pilot in the 1920s. The cold temperatures prevented the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum at Creve Coeur from rolling out a Standard aircraft that was used in the filming of the that movie. It was fun--I had not seen the movie in several years--and all attending enjoyed themselves.

Despite the cold, things have gone rather well at the car rental branch. Business has been good and I have been doing my part to keep the customers satisfied. Our assistant manager will be leaving our branch after tomorrow to go to another St. Louis area branch, so I wish her all the best.

The cold and snow on the ground forced cancellation of soccer games I was to officiate on Sunday afternoon (22 Feb.), but I was able to instead go to Incredible Pizza in Concord Village for the St. Louis Shyness and Social Anxiety Meetup Group. There were two others in the group there and we talked a bit while enjoying a buffet lunch at the family-friendly place. It was fine, although talking with the others was a bit awkward for me. Still, it was a nice time at a place I had not been to before.

I flexed into work late Tuesday morning (24 Feb.), since I'm working this Saturday morning. After work, I was at Del Miller's house in south St. Louis County for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. We had a fairly brief meeting, as there was little business for us to discuss. We also spent time in Miller's basement workshop admiring his kit collection and hearing his stories.

On my off day today, I did my laundry and cleared out a bunch of emails from my computer. Back to work tomorrow--it will be chilly!


19 February 2015

A Lonely Valentine's Day, plus Snow and Cold

I worked last Saturday morning (14 February) at the car rental branch, then was home that day. Nothing special, as I had nobody special to celebrate Valentine's Day in person with. I did send my greetings to a friend who is out of town.

The next night found me at Creve Coeur Racquet Club refereeing youth futsal matches. These were my first games in two months, but I did fine. My partner and I had three games scheduled, but the last one was not played as one team did not show up. Good thing; I got home while it was just snowing slightly. By the time I set off for work the next morning, we had about one inch (2.5 cm) of snow on the ground. That slowed my drive into work, but once there I got right down to business and we got things taken care of well. By the Monday night, we had about 3 inches (7.6 cm) of snow. Fortunately, it was dry snow, which is easier to brush off cars.

The temperatures went well below freezing Monday night and into Tuesday. The weather was the reason IPMS/Gateway cancelled their meeting that night. I had worked the past few nights finishing up a couple of models to enter in the Out of the Box Contest, which will be held next month.

After a freezing day at work yesterday (18 Feb.), I really enjoyed dinner at Hot Wok Cafe in Chesterfield, Missouri, a Chinese restaurant. I was there with others from the St. Louis Friends and other meetup groups for a Chinese Dinner to celebrate the Year of the Goat, which began today. It was a good meal--King Ching Chicken was the entree--that warmed me up, along with some good company. You can check out the restaurant for yourself; their website is

Off work today, I edited a few short articles for the Spring issue of Naturally Autistic magazine. They are going to semi-annual issues this year, after having been an annual since its start in 2010. You can find out more on the organization and the magazine on its website:

I'm off to tonight's meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (MAHS). They are screening the 1975 movie "The Great Waldo Pepper" tonight. Should be fun. By the way, last Thursday night, I assumed my volunteer duties as copy editor of Middle Marker, the quarterly newsletter of the Society. For more on MAHS, go to


12 February 2015

Another Year Older; A Brazilian Feast

Last Saturday (7 Feb.) was my birthday. It was a low-key celebration at home with my Mom, as I opened a few presents (including a new bed robe, a model kit, and a book. At noon, I co-hosted Writer's Block, the monthly online radio show from ANCA Radio Shows--Autistic People. Host Tim Pylypiuk and I discussed adaptations (such as from book to movie), and the challenges writers and editor have with them. It went well and you can listen to it here:

After the show, Mom and I went to Crusoe's Restaurant in Oakville for lunch. I had a coupon for several dollars off an entree from there. We had a good lunch and returned home.

The next night, after a rather quiet weekend (apart from working on a couple of model kits), I was at Yemanja Brasil Restaurante in St. Louis' Benton Park neighborhood. I joined 10 others from the Ethnic Restaurant Fans Meetup group for the Yemanja Day Celebration. (Yemanja is the Queen of the Ocean in the Umbanda religion in Brazil, which combines African traditions with Roman Catholicism, Spiritism, and Indigenous American beliefs.) We enjoyed a four-course dinner from a menu for the night. I started with a Cocktail de CamerĂ£o appetizer (which featured rock shrimp), followed by Salada de Bacalhau (shredded cod and vegetables on a bed of lettuce), an entree of Caldeirada do Mar (a kind of fish stew), and completed with Pudim de Chocolate (a flan dish) for dessert. I drank a Cadillac Caipirinha before and during this dinner, then had a cup of hot coffee with and after dessert. All in all, a very good dinner and some wonderful conversation. I highly recommend Yemanja Brasil Restaurante. You can visit their website for more info:

Back to work Monday and things have been going well at our branch. Plenty of business to keep us humming. After work Monday, I was at the Grand Glaize Branch of the St. Louis County Library for the monthly soccer referee clinic. We had a presentation on the evolution of the Laws of the Game, which I found interesting, followed by discussion of the correct decisions in several game situations.

Took care of my laundry today and got in some painting on one of my models. I'm getting close to finishing them for this Tuesday's IPMS/Gateway meeting, which will have the Out of the Box Contest--the first of four contests in 2015 towards Modeler of the Year. More info on the club here:

I'm going to a planning meeting tonight. Will tell you more in my next post.