17 March 2018

A Trip to Kansas City and Soccer on TV at the Bar

Early last Saturday (10 March), I was on the road to Kansas City. I arrived in mid-morning at the First Church of the Nazarene, venue of KC CON, a model contest co-sponsored by IPMS/Great Plains (http://ipmsgreatplains.org/) and KC AMPS (http://kcamps.org/). I brought four models to enter in the contest. Neither won an award; the competition in their respective categories was too strong. I did help judge the automotive entries, and my team had some real good entries to look over.

I had better luck in the raffles, run by both clubs. I won two kits and a pin vise. I also shopped around the vendor room, buying one kit. Additionally, I brought flyers for the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) show in September and picked up flyers for upcoming shows in the region.

After the show, I drove to Q39 (https://q39kc.com/) in Overland Park, Kansas for dinner with my friend and former Enterprise Rent-A-Car (https://www.enterprise.com/en/home.html) colleague Meggie Snipes (nee Goeke) and her husband, Cody. We got caught up on things and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at this barbecue restaurant. I had the Certified Angus Beef brisket, with slaw and beans on the side, and it was delicious. I also shared in an appetizer of spiced onion straws. The three of us had a great evening, and we promised to keep in touch. Then, I began the trip home, arriving late that night.

It was a good thing I came home when I did, because we got a bit of snow the next morning. Approximately 2 inches (5 cm) of snow fell Sunday morning; however, because the ground was warm, the snow soon melted. At least having some mid-March snow was different.

It was back to work Monday morning (12 March), and it was busy as usual, but the day went well. That night, when I came home from work, I found my Saint Louis FC (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) season ticket package. It had my ticket booklet, parking ticket booklet, coupon for refreshments at an upcoming match, and my 2018 season ticket member scarf.

The work week went well, and my off day Thursday (15 March) was nice. I finished up the March edition of the IPMS/Gateway newsletter, The Arch Scaler News, and sent it out on Thursday afternoon. Our next meeting is this Tuesday night at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/).

After a fairly busy Friday at the rental branch, it was off to Kirkwood Station Brewing Company (http://www.kirkwoodstationbrewing.com/), where I joined the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) in watching Saint Louis FC's season opening match at Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. I enjoyed a dinner of The Engineer burger, with a side of pub chips, all washed down with Ale Fleur One. We saw the match on the TV screens around the bar, and cheered our team on. After giving up a goal well into the 2nd half, Saint Louis equalized off a corner kick and earned a 1-1 draw. We would have preferred a win, but a draw on the road wasn't bad.

I met two of the team's management team--Chief Executive Officer Jim Kavanaugh and Chief Financial Officer Tom Strunk--at the watch party, where they mingled with the crowd. I also picked up the 2018 St. Louiligans scarf I had ordered. All in all, a good night.

Today is St. Patrick's Day. I had thought about going to one of the parades in St. Louis today, but decided I was too tired and not in a great mood, so I just stayed home and watched TV.

Erin go Bragh!


08 March 2018

More Soccer and Work

Late Sunday morning (4 March), I was back at World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/soccerpark) for Saint Louis FC's (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) second pre-season match of the weekend against FC Denver. I joined the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) in a tailgate before we marched into Toyota Stadium for the match. Just like the previous day's match, Saint Louis FC had much more class than their opponents, running out 5-0 winners this day. FC Denver's goalkeeper did his best to keep his side in the match with his saves, but it was too much for him and his teammates in the end.

Before the match, I chipped into the St. Louligans' raffle for an FC Denver warm-up jersey. I didn't win, but the visitors sure did: St. Louligans' tailgate raffles and donations yielded $1000 for FC Denver's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (https://www.ussoccer.com/lamar-hunt-us-open-cup) campaign this season.

Back to work Monday morning at the branch, and it was a busy one as usual. We all pitched in and got the job done well.

Right after work, I drove to Hollywood Casino (http://www.hollywoodcasinostlouis.com/) in Maryland Heights for Saint Louis FC's Meet the Team event at 99 Hops House. I joined with other season ticket holders and with corporate sponsors to meet the 2018 squad. They payers and coaches were introduced to the crowd, the 2018 uniforms were modeled by some players, and the crowd was addressed by a few players, head coach Anthony Pulis, and assistant coach Tim Leonard. There was complimentary beer and food for the crowd, and the new home jersey was available for sale. I had to guy one, and did. It's a hunter green color, darker than the kelly green shirt used in the previous two seasons. I do like it a lot and will be proud to wear it to matches.

By the way, Saint Louis FC plays its final pre-season match this Saturday in Evansville, Indiana against defending USL (https://www.uslsoccer.com/) Cup Champion Louisville City FC. Oh, Louisville, we hate you!

After another full day of work on Tuesday (6 March), I drove to Mark Twain Hobby Center (https://www.hobby1.com) in St. Charles for this month's Mark Twain Model Club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1908352139489409/) meeting. I plugged IPMS/Gateway's (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) contest in September, and then took in a very nice demo on car model finishing. I won an aircraft kit in the raffle held after the demo.

Yesterday at work alternated between busy and quiet, ending in an extended session getting some dropped vehicles to bring back to the branch and cleaning them up so they would be ready for the next morning. Earlier that day, I picked up a customer in Wildwood and we struck up quite a conversation on the drive to the branch. This woman had been an editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and was now doing some other work. I mentioned my background and she was very interested in my story. Just after arriving at the branch, I gave this woman my networking card, in case she ran into anyone who could help in my job search. I added to the card the site for this blog; she mentioned that she wanted to check it out.

On my off day today, I did my laundry and got my contest entries ready for this Saturday's KC CON (http://www.ipmsgreatplains.org/KCCon2018.aspx) show in Kansas City. I will enter four of my models in this contest, and I typed out the registration forms from the show's website, to save time when I get to the show. I also had some IPMS/Gateway show flyers run off to take with me to KC CON. I also got the car washed and bought a couple of items for my model workbench.


03 March 2018

Into March with Soccer, Work, and Basketball

I was at the new Creve Coeur Park Soccer Complex (http://www.slysa.org/creve-coeur) last Sunday afternoon (25 February) to officiate three under 14 girls matches. It was my first time at the facility, which opened up earlier that month. My three matches went well--including my middle in the first match. I think this complex will do very nicely for the St. Louis area youth soccer community.

Back at work Monday morning, and it was real busy. Many vehicles and customers passed through our branch that day, but my colleagues and I were able to keep things going well. It was much of the same the next day.

After work Tuesday night (27 February), it was off to Chaifetz Arena (http://www.thechaifetzarena.com/) for the first round Atlantic 10 Conference (http://www.atlantic10.com/) women's basketball game between Saint Louis University (http://www.slubillikens.com/) and the University of Massachusetts. I arrived just before the opening tip, and helped cheer on the Billikens to a 70-64 come from behind win over the visiting Minutewomen. This enabled SLU to advance to the A10 quarterfinals in Richmond, Virginia against Duquesne. They won that game last night; however, they lost the semifinal today to St. Joseph's. It was an up-and-town season for the Billikens, but I think overall their program is on the right track. After the game, I patted the belly of the Billiken outside of Chaifetz Arena.

I had a rather busy (much of the time) Wednesday at work, then it was my off day on Thursday. On the latter day, I did my laundry, and I put together a public relations work samples portfolio onto a PowerPoint presentation. I plan to look it over and make adjustments as necessary to it, before finalizing it and getting ready for sending it to prospective employers. I also plan to do similar portfolios for my writing and editing work by the end of March.

Friday (2 March) at work, I found our from our assistant manager Miranda (who ran the branch this week while manager Cory was off) that our branch's customer service score in February was very high. Just a small notch below next month, but still good enough for us to have breakfast bought for us in the coming month by our area management. It was rather busy that day, but we got done earlier that night than usual.

I ran some errands this morning before coming home for lunch and to watch the SLU vs St. Joseph's women's basketball game on TV. Then, I drove to World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/soccerpark) for a pre-season match between Saint Louis FC (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) and FC Denver (http://fcdenver.org/). I joined in the tailgate with the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) before the match, then marched into Toyota Stadium with them to watch the match. Our group had a lot of fun, especially as Saint Louis FC won the match, 8-0. Both teams play again tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

Relaxing at home now.


24 February 2018

Soccer, Scale Modeling, and Rain

I refereed soccer and futsal last Sunday (18 February). First, I didn't realize I had soccer games that day, and I need a reminder call to tell me. I quickly got dressed and arrived at the Lou Fusz Soccer Complex (https://loufuszsoccer.com/facilities/) in Maryland Heights, where I was in the middle for a under 14 match. It was a bit challenging, but it ended well. I was supposed to have worked another match after that, but neither team showed up and it wasn't on the league's schedule. That meant I was able to get to C4 (http://www.c4stl.com/) in Town and Country for the final night of the futsal season. My first match of four--all high school boys--was not held, as neither team showed up. My partner and I waited until the next game time arrived, and then we did the three other matches. They were all tense at times, bur all of them ended up well.

Back at work Monday morning, it was busy as usual, but nothing the branch staff could not handle. Home after work, I finished work on a car model for the next night's IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) meeting.

After work on Tuesday (20 February), I was off to Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) for the IPMS/Gateway (https://www.facebook.com/IPMSGateway/) meeting. It was raining a lot that day and night, and that cut into the meeting's attendance. Our first contest for Modeler of the Year was held; per tradition, it was an Out of the Box Contest (no modifications to the kit, and kit instructions to accompany the entry). My car model--a 1:32 scale 1957 Chevrolet convertible--was one of 27 entries in this contest. (This was a lower number of entries, due as I said to the rain-reduced attendance.) I didn't place in the Automotive category, but at least I earned 2 points--one for entering in the category, and one for entering in the Special Category (Out of the Box).

We also had a vote on the revised Constitution and By-Laws (C&BL) for the club, which passed overwhelmingly. Overall, a good night.

It rained off and on Wednesday, as my branch mates and I kept busy with our duties.

Off on Thursday, UI went to the Oakville License Office (http://dor.mo.gov/offloc/index.php?category=&locationString=63129) to renew my Corolla's state registration. My documentation was in order, and I received a two-year renewal in return for my money. After that, I chilled out at home. I split my TV time that day and in the past few days between the Winter Olympics, which end this weekend, and old movies and TV shows.

Another Friday at work was busy towards the end, but we all pitched in and got it done.

Today, I went to Worldwide Technology Soccer Park (http://www.saintlouisfc.com/SOCCERPARK) in Fenton for Saint Louis FC's (http://www.saintlouisfc.com/) pre-season match against SIU-Edwardsville. I first joined the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) for their tailgate in the parking lot before we marched into Toyota Stadium for the match. About 30 minutes before the match, rain started pouring down and it never let up the whole afternoon. I was with some of the St. Louligans in our usual spot in Section 8 for the first half, but retired to the covered plaza near the west stand for the rest of the match. Saint Louis FC won the first of the 75-mionute matches 4-1; after that, I left to get warm and dry. (With the second mini-match included, Saint Louis FC won 7-1.)

After the match, I went to Starbucks in Valley Park (https://www.starbucks.com/store-locator/store/17458/hwy-141-i-44-922-south-meramec-station-rd-valley-park-mo-630882) to get a nice hot coffee drink and to relax before heading home. There, I got out of my wet clothes.


18 February 2018

Another Newsletter to Press; Passing Inspection

Monday mornings at our branch are most busy, and last Monday (12 February) was no exception. There were quite a lot of vehicles to clean up and some customers to pick up and drop off. At least the weather was nice for this time of year and everything worked out for the best.

Early this past week, I was busy putting together this month's issue of The Arch Scaler News, newsletter of IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/). Despite a few slight glitches regarding illustrations while assembling the newsletter, it all came together by Thursday morning (15 February). I printed out the handful of newsletters to our members who only get it by US Mail, then sent the remainder via email. (For the latter, I also sent the proposed revision to the Constitution and By-Laws, which is up for vote at the meeting.)

Valentine's Day on Wednesday was just another day for me. I did wish my female friends a Happy Valentine's Day, and wished everyone a happy day, whether they had a loved one or not.

The work week went well. Friday afternoon, I spent about 90 minutes at our Ballwin branch. I was filling in for their vehicle service agent, who was ill. I cleaned a few cars and picked up a customer until one of their agents arrived to do the rest of the day. I then went back to Ellisville for the remainder of the day.

I was back on the workbench late in the week, trying to finish a model or two for this Tuesday's Out of the Box Contest at the IPMS/Gateway meeting. One of them has been more problematic and I won't get that one done in time, but the other should be ready for Tuesday night.

Thursday morning, I took my car back to Jiffy Lube (https://www.jiffylube.com/) in Concord Village to get the state emissions inspection done. This time, their system was working perfectly well and tested my Corolla, which passed. The manager there did not charge me for both the safety and emissions inspections, due to their computer glitch, which was very generous of them. I'll be able to renew the Corolla's registration later this coming week.

Yesterday, I woke up to light snow falling on the ground. It melted later that day, as it warmed up. Yes, the weather has been up and down a lot in recent days, which does not do my sinuses any favors.

I'm off to referee futsal at C4 tonight.