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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.


05 February 2015

Of a Sweet Tooth and Snow

After a good week of hard work at the car rental branch, I was in downtown Maplewood, Missouri last Saturday (31 January) for the city's second annual Sweet Tooth Tour. This was a walking tour of 14 food merchants in Maplewood. I was with 10 others from the STL Food Lovers Meetup group and we had a wonderful time. In just over two hours, we visited all 14 establishments and enjoyed samples of chocolate, cake, pie, donut, cookie, beer, tea and coffee. We even did a bit of shopping at one or two places. A great time was had by all.

At home most of the rest of the weekend, I did some work on a couple of models I should have completed to enter at the Out of the Box contest at the IPMS/Gateway meeting on 17 February. I did also watch the Super Bowl on Sunday--mostly for the commercials, but also for some of the game action. It was exciting up to the end, but I was disappointed that Seattle lost.

Back at work on Monday (2 February), things continued to go well for our branch. Yesterday afternoon, we had to deal with sleet, then a bit of snow. That did make my work a bit more difficult, as I had to scrape ice and snow off vehicle windows before driving them--even on our lot--and had to be real careful when taking a customer back to his house and coming back late in the day. Fortunately, all went well.

I drove from work to Mark Twain Hobby Center in St. Charles on Tuesday for the IPMS/St. Louis meeting. The four of us there talked some scale modeling, as well as movies, and we discussed ideas to grow our meeting attendance and membership. More on this club here:

This Saturday is not only my birthday, but (thanks to trading a work shift with a colleague who requested it) also when I next co-host Writer's Block, the monthly online radio show from ANCA Radio Shows, Autistic People, streamed over Host Tim Pylypiuk and I will be on live at noon, Central Time (10 am, Pacific Time; 1800 hours GMT) for the hour-long program, which will be archived for download later on Saturday. I hope you can listen in. Details here: and


29 January 2015

Good Weather Times Won't Last

We've had some very mild, and even unseasonably warm, weather of late. However, it looks like it will be snowy from this Saturday night. Best to enjoy the good weather while I can.

My mouth is fine after that tooth extraction of the previous week. Still getting used to no tooth in that space in my mouth, but I'll persevere.

Work has been good. I've been doing my part to keep things going great at our branch. That included work this past Saturday morning (24 January).

After work Tuesday night (27 January), I was at Marion Morris' house in Maplewood for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. We got the next month's general and business meetings planned, and discussed some other club business. A rather productive meeting, I think.

Got in a bit of proofreading work Wednesday after work, as I proofread a two-page newsletter a friend was editing. It looked good and I let her know right away.

On my off day from work today, I typed up and distributed the minutes from Tuesday's meeting, and also finished writing and sending to The Arch Scaler News (IPMS/Gateway's newsletter) an article for publication.

This weekend should be real interesting, even before the snow fall hits. More on that next time.


22 January 2015

One Less Tooth to Chew With

Last Thursday night (15 January) found me at Creve Coeur Airport for the first Missouri Aviation Historical Society (MAHS) meeting of 2015. This event celebrated the 40th anniversary this month and next of record time-to-climb flights made by the St. Louis-built Streak Eagle, a modified McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle fighter. Several engineers involved in this effort were present, and we saw a documentary film about the Streak Eagle's record setting flights. A most interesting meeting. More info on the MAHS website:

Saturday afternoon saw a pair of Meetups for me. First, I was at Cafe Ventana in midtown St. Louis for the Saint Louis Area Sippers meetup. About 10 of us gathered for coffee and conversation, and that went very nicely. I met some people from our last Meetup earlier in the month and a few new people. A good time was had by all.

From Cafe Ventana, I drove to Panera Bread Co. in St. Louis Hills for the first get-together of the Multilingual Americans Meetup. There were four of us there and we discussed our experiences learning other languages. (I mentioned my recently starting to learn Portuguese; the group leader said one person who did not make this event knows that language and would be a good learning partner for me.) It was very nice and I look forward to getting together with them soon.

After working Monday morning (19 January), I drove to St. Louis County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Sunset Hills for a tooth extraction--mine. One of the lower teeth on the left side of my mouth had its root go bad and the dentist could not save it, so he recommended this practice. I was in and out in about one hour, from check in to departure. It went really well and I did have some swelling and pain the next couple of days, but I was well enough to drive to get some prescriptions (for antibiotics and painkillers) filled on the way home. The dentist performing the surgery noticed my Enterprise shirt and he said he has rented from our Chesterfield branch and been very satisfied with our service. It was good to know I was in good hands! (I did pass the dentist's comments to the manager of the Chesterfield branch, who I know well.)

Back to work late the next morning, I got through the work day without any ill effects. I did stick with soft food, so I had a couple of milk shakes on the way in to work and some chili for lunch yesterday. I should be fine now with harder food, although I will need to keep the space where that tooth was cleaned well.

Tuesday night, I went straight from work to Calvary Presbyterian Church for the IPMS/Gateway meeting, which was our annual Swap & Sell and Kit Auction. Several members had their wares (kits and related items) for sale, and I bought something each from three of them. We then had our annual auction of kits and related items donated by club members, with proceeds going to club activities. There were about 60 people at that meeting--January meetings are highly attended due to the Swap & Sell--and included five first-time people. More info on this club here:

Off work today, I typed up the minutes from the IPMS/Gateway meeting and sent those to the board members. I also got out my resume and began to make a few tweaks, in anticipation of career opportunities that come my way.