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04 February 2016

Party Time with Colleagues; February Begins

We at the rental branch had a good day of work last Friday (29 January). I welcomed our latest employee, Leah, who looks like she'll be another great asset to our branch. The next night, many of my colleagues gathered at Budweiser Brew House at Ballpark Village ( in downtown St. Louis for a company party. It was a very nice social get together, with complementary finger foods and drinks along with socializing with colleagues and their significant others (where applicable). It was nice meeting with colleagues from our branch and others, including from former Ellisville colleagues now elsewhere. I had a very nice time there.

The only snag occurred when getting out of the parking lot, when I had to cover the remaining $1 in parking charges. (We got a voucher for three hours of free parking, and I left just past three hours from arriving.) First one charge card, then my debit card was used, but neither could be read by the machine at the exit, despite the parking attendant's best efforts. Finally, another charge card I had did the trick and I was able to depart for home.

Spent some time over the weekend working on a couple of model kits, which I hope to have done by the IPMS/Gateway ( meeting on 16 February. Both models should be entered in the Out of the Box Contest that night. (That means no modifications to the kit parts.) Tuesday night (2 February), I hosted the IPMS/Gateway business meeting meeting, which was pushed back by one week due to the general meeting being rescheduled for the previous Tuesday. Those in attendance planned the February meetings and discussed some other club business. It went very well.

Work this past week has been good as February got underway. The weather had been unseasonably warm early in the week, with high temperatures nearing 60 degrees F (16 degrees C), but chilling below freezing from midweek. it will be chilly early tomorrow, but warming up as the day progresses.

This morning, I got my car's license plates renewed for two more years, after showing required papers and making payment at the license bureau in Oakville. I also got my laundry done, took care of a few financial matters, and fixed a support for my bed. I can rest easier now.


28 January 2016

Presenting to a Friend; Keeping Hopping at Work

Last Thursday night (21 January), I was at the first 2016 meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (MoAHS) (, which was held at Creve Coeur Airport ( in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The meeting featured a look ahead to 2016, with several organizations MoAHS is affiliated with making presentations. These included: the St. Louis Science Center (, The Aero Experience (, the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum (, Creve Coeur Airport and the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum (, the Space Museum in Bonne Terre (, and the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show and STEM Expo ( That airshow will be at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri on 14-15 May 2016.

Before all these presentations, I made a presentation on behalf of MoAHS to my friend Linsey Daman (, who is Assistant Aerospace Education Officer for St. Louis Composite Squadron #1, Civil Air Patrol ( Her unit was sponsoring her MoAHS membership and I presented Linsey with a certificate for her honorary military membership. She and her mom arrived in the Creve Coeur Airport parking lot right behind me and we walked into the meeting room together. I introduced her to some of the MoAHS officers and Linsey was happy to be receive this honor from our society. MoAHS looks forward to her presence and to working with her CAP unit in the coming months. Linsey has her own blog: The next MoAHS meeting is Thu., 18 February at 7:00 pm at Creve Coeur Airport.

Work has been going well at the car rental branch in the past few days. I was in the branch on Saturday morning (23 January) and it was a very busy 4+ hours there for myself and the two management people on duty. We all pitched in and got it all done. Our parking lot was jammed with vehicles on Monday morning, but we got through the day just fine and our lot thinned out a lot by the end of business Tuesday.

After work that Tuesday night (26 January), I made it to Calvary Presbyterian Church ( in Mehlville for the IPMS/Gateway ( meeting, which was postponed by one week due to inclement weather. It was the club's annual Swap & Sell and Kit Auction. The former allowed members to sell or trade model kits and related items (decals, tools, publications, etc.) The latter was an auction of kits donated by club members, with proceeds going to the club for selected activities over the coming year. There was a large crowd (over 50 people) there, including three first-time attendees.

On my off day from work today, I brought my Corolla to the nearest Jiffy Lube ( for its annual state safety and emissions inspections. It passed both, so I have a document to submit for my car's license renewal due next month. I also got the car washed and fueled today.


21 January 2016

Real Cold with Some Snow

The end of last week went well. Work on Friday (15 January) went well. I brought some doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (, as I usually do every other Friday. My co-workers greatly appreciate my gesture and it gives them a treat to help with getting through the day.

I also remembered my friend in Cuiaba, Brazil, Eliana, on her birthday that day. We are in contact just about every day via WhatsApp (, and she is a very special friend to me.

I made a trip that Saturday morning (16 May) to a branch of First Bank ( in south St. Louis for a bit of IPMS/Gateway ( business. As the club's vice president this year, I needed to get my signature registered with the bank holding our account, so that I am authorized to sign checks as needed. After that bit of business was done, I headed to CRM Hobbies ( to do a bit of shopping. After browsing awhile and seeing some of the new items for sale, I bought a couple of decal sheets for model kits I have that I hope to build in the coming year.

It got real cold over the past weekend, with temperatures getting down to 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C). On Tuesday afternoon (19 January), before I flexed out of work, it started to snow. We got about 2 inches (5.1 cm) by early the next morning. Due to the anticipated snowfall, myself and the rest of the IPMS/Gateway board decided that afternoon to postpone our general meeting by one week. That meeting--which features our annual Swap & Sell, and Kit Auction--will be held this coming Tuesday night (26 January). We made this decision out of consideration for the safety of our members traveling to and from the meeting.

I spent some time that night working on the new issue of Middle Marker, the journal of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society ( It's a bit of a process, laying out on the computer when I'm trying to get more comfortable with this process. I should have some of it done to show to the society's board at tonight's meeting at Creve Coeur Airport (


14 January 2016

Down and Up Temperatures This Week

We had ourselves a cold start to this past week, with temperatures below freezing. It got down to 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C) on Monday morning (11 January), which meant I had to bundle up for work. Being outside and in the cleaning bay much of the time, I felt the chill. I certainly welcomed the times when I was in the office or in a warm vehicle.

Despite the conditions, we at the rental branch got our customers taken care of in good order. We are in good spirits and putting in our utmost efforts every day.

After a real cold start yesterday, the temperatures warmed up to reach 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). It had reached that level today, under a clear sky. I'll try to get out a bit later today.

I was doing my laundry this morning and will be doing some editing work later today.


10 January 2016

Back on the Online Radio and Into 2016

A week ago yesterday (2 January), I co-hosted Writer's Block, from ANCA Radio. Host Tim Pylypiuk and I discussed Miguel de Cervantes' classic novel "Don Quixote" and its influence on Western literature. The program--followed by Radio Drama--can be accessed here:

After the show and lunch at home, I headed to the Church of the Immacolata ( in Richmond Heights, Missouri. There, I took in the 7th Annual Mary McDermott 3rd Grade Basketball Tournament for boys and girls Catholic Youth Council (CYC) teams. This tournament was a fund raiser for a new hybrid cardiac catheterization suite being set up at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital ( This unit will be named for Mary McDermott, an Immacolata parish member and student who died at age 24 in December of 2008. I am friends with Mary's father, graphic designer and soccer commentator Bill McDermott (, and I saw Bill at the tournament. Funds were raised through admissions, concessions, and a silent auction of memorabilia. I was very happy to help out this cause in at least a small way.

Back at work last Monday (4 January), I did my part to keep out rental branch going great. We said goodbye to Hannah this past week, as she transferred to the Airport location, and welcomed Alex from the Airport to Ellisville.

After flexing out of work on Tuesday afternoon, I started work on the new issue of Middle Marker, journal of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society ( I spent some time going over the tutorials for InDesign, the software for laying out the publication, and got going. I am anticipating getting this done by next Thursday, when the Society next meets. I worked on it some more on my off day Thursday (7 January).

Friday saw a change in our TV service at home. After about 5 1/2 years using AT&T U-verse, my mom and I switched to DirecTV ( Mom found they had a better package for the money than U-verse. We made sure our televisions were hooked up and running properly, and we could find the many channels available to us. Our voice and Internet remain the same.

While working at the branch yesterday morning, it started to rain, then snow. We got a nice temporary coverage of snow on the ground, but it would not last. The ground was too warm, so the snow melted early that afternoon. It wasn't too comfortable being outside in any case, but my colleagues and I got things taken care of in good order.

After work yesterday, I headed to Kitchen House Coffee ( in St. Louis' Tower Grove East neighborhood for the Saint Louis Singles Group 40+ Meetup. There were four others there at the coffee house--more had reserved, but several backed out due to weather concerns. We did have a fine time enjoying coffee and scones, produced locally. (The facility is an extension of an urban farm, with chickens in the back.) This Meetup group can be found here:

Last night was cold and windy, with the temperature early this morning reaching 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C). Fortunately, the heater in my room was operating well.

Tonight will find me at the IPMS/Gateway banquet in Oakville. Details on that event in my next post.


01 January 2016

A Wet End to 2015

We got a lot of rain in St. Louis since last weekend. At least 8 inches (20.3 cm) of rain fell the previous weekend. That caused rivers to rise and flooding to occur. The upshot for our rental branch has been that busy Manchester Road became even more crowded, as westbound traffic diverted around the flooded portions of I-44 spilled onto our street. That made it a longer drive for customer pick ups and drop offs, and for just going down the street to put fuel into the vehicle.

The flood waters also altered my commute, as the I-44 and Route 141 interchange was flooded. This made my trip to and from work longer each way. Wednesday night (30 December) was especially bad, as I-55 was blocked due to Meramce River flooding. I had to drive down I-255 all the way to Telegraph Road to get home.

At least the weather is dry for the next few days and the flood seems to have crested, so it should get better in the coming days. There was slight seepage of water into the basement of our house, but no real damage.

Last night (31 December), I was home with Mom, watching TV while the last hours of 2015 ticked away. At midnight, we stepped out onto the front porch to make some noise for a minute in welcoming the new year of 2016. After waking up this morning, we just stayed around the house, going out to Culver's ( in Mehlville for lunch.

Tomorrow morning (2 January), I co-host the first Writer's Block of 2016 with Tim Pylypiuk on Blog Talk Radio ( We'll talk about Miguel de Cervantes' classic story Don Quixote. The show airs live at Noon, Central Time (10 am, Pacific Time; 1800 GMT), and will be immediately archived for reairing from 2 pm, Central Time. I hope you can tune in.

Best wishes to everyone in the New Year. May we all find peace, happiness, and success.


28 December 2015

Christmas 2015

Back at work a week ago (21 December), my colleagues and I busied ourselves to getting our customers taken care of as Christmas approached that week. We had plenty of business in the days before the holiday. I flexed out Tuesday afternoon, as I would work the following Saturday. (More on that later.)

I got the last of the gifts wrapped and put under the tree at home. During that time, though, I came down with a chest cold, which did not feel well. I was able to take some medicine, which helped, but which left me somewhat fatigued. Still, I managed to press on with work and life, and trying to get into the Christmas spirit.

Off work on Christmas Eve, I attended a service at Calvary Presbyterian Church ( It was moving and very nice.

The next morning, my mom and I went to our living room, where the Christmas tree was set up, and opened our presents. I gave mom--on behalf of my brothers--an electric knife, which she needed. I received some clothing from mom--including a sweater, lounge pants, casual shirt, and athletic-leisure shirt. I also received a gift card from Rick for Barnes & Noble (, in lieu of a book he mailed me that disappeared in transit. Mom and I relaxed at home during the day.

The next morning (26 December), I worked at the rental branch. It proved less busy than expected, due to the rain that was falling. A number of reservations were cancelled due to weather concerns. We got through the morning well, but driving home, some flooding at the I-44/Highway 141 interchange slowed my trip. I had planned to attend a movie that afternoon in St. Charles County with a Meetup group, but bowed out due to weather and driving concerns, plus my lingering chest cold.

That day's mail included two more gifts from Rick to me. One is the DVD "JFK;" the other is the book "To Hell and Back" Europe 1914-1949" by Ian Kershaw. Rick thanked me for the book I sent him, and for the St. Louis Cardinals onesie I sent to her daughter--and my goddaughter--Kate.

I basically chilled out this past weekend, trying to save my strength for the week ahead. I was at work today and it was not as busy as normal for a Monday, due to the rainy weather, but things went well nevertheless.