19 September 2018

Trivia, Aviation, Soccer, and Scale Models

One week ago tonight (12 September), I was at Element Restaurant and Lounge (https://www.elementstl.com/) in south St. Louis for their weekly Tenacious Trivia. I went there with others from the Single in the City Meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/STLSingleInTheCity/). There were some real challenging questions posed, and even a trivia ace like myself had a tough time with it, but it was fun and a great time for our group.

After work the next night, I was at Creve Coeur Airport (http://crevecoeurairport.com/) for this month's Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/) meeting. We had a presentation on the history of Trans World Airlines (TWA), followed by a talk by a former TWA Lockheed L-1011 pilot on his experiences with the aircraft. A fine time was had by all.

Friday (14 September), I came home from work to find in my mail a certificate from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) (https://nfpw.org/). It was the Third Place award in this year's NFPW Communication Contest for my press release issued last December on behalf of IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) when they made a donation to Toys for Tots. That release was entered in this contest because it took First Place in that category at this year's Communication Contest by the Missouri Professional Communications (MPC) (http://www.mpc-nfpw.org/cpsiteframepage.lasso?-token.lpuserref=113815.113118), an affiliate of the NFPW. This was the first time I received national recognition for my professional work, so of course I am most proud of this honor.

Sunday afternoon (16 September), I was at World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/SOCCERPARK) to referee three youth matches. I worked two under-13 girls middles around a line on an under-15 girls match--all with the heat index reaching 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Our refereeing crew had water breaks midway through each half of these matches, yet I had cramps in my calves during the second half of the last match. Still, the matches worked out well for us.

After work Tuesday (18 September), I was at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) for this month's IPMS/Gateway meeting. This featured a recap on our recent Invitational model contest and swap meet, and our Modeler of the Year Contest, with the Special Category of "To the Rescue." I didn't enter in that category, but I did enter one model each in the Miscellaneous and Aircraft categories. They both earned Second Place honors. It was a good night, including having several new members at our meeting.

Off work today, I had my annual checkup with my new doctor. It went well, and--though there were a few minor issues I can work on--I am in overall very good health.


10 September 2018

Big Weekend with IPMS/Gateway and Saint Louis FC

Early Saturday morning (8 September), I was at the Holiday Inn St. Louis SW--Route 66 (https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/st-louis/stlsw/hoteldetail/events-facilities#) in Sunset Hills, Missouri for this year's IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) Invitational model contest and vendor swap meet. This 13th edition of our show was held on a rainy day--it had been raining heavily since the night before--but it was nice and dry inside the hotel. I helped to get the admissions desk ready to go and assisted some vendors in helping find where they were to be situated before the show opened to the public at 9:00 am.

Regina Morris--wife of our club's Marion Morris--and I took the admission and contest registration charges from the public. I asked these people where they heard of our show, and where they were from; this information was kept for survey purposes. It was quite a stream of visitors we had, especially in the first our we were open.

I did briefly venture into the ballroom where the contest, vendor, and raffle areas were to check on things and to enter a model I finished that morning. I also visited the breakout room, where the children's Make & Take model building session took place.

After grabbing a bit of lunch from the hotel's vendor in the nearby atrium, I went into the contest room for the judges' meeting. I was paired with another judge and we judged the Figure Entries. It was challenging for us to go over the entries in the three subcategories, but we were able to select the top three models in each subcategory, plus the best Figure Model of the show. I joined with other judges in selecting the Judges' Grand Award for the Best in Show--which was the Figure model.

I also had a chance to briefly look at the kits being raffled off; proceeds from this are going to the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program in Metro St. Louis (https://bridgeton-mo.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx). I also browsed a bit among the vendors; however, I had neither the time nor inclination to shop from them.

Around 3:00 pm, the contest results were announced and trophies were presented. The sole model I entered--a 1:144 scale Vostok Rocket--was the only entry in the Real Space subcategory of Space & Science Fiction, so it took First Place. It may not have been the best model by far in that category, but I was happy with the win nevertheless.

Afterward, I helped to clean up and pack my things before leaving the hotel. Overall, it was a great show, judging from the feedback from attendees.

After coming home and bringing in my things, I changed clothes and headed to World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/SOCCERPARK) for that night's United Soccer League (https://www.uslsoccer.com/) match between Saint Louis FC (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) and Reno 1868 FC. I joined in the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) tailgate before the match, then we marched into cheer on the home side. We ended up happy, as Saint Louis FC ran out 1-0 winners. The team serenaded us after the match, as they do when they win. With only six matches remaining and the team just outside of playoff position, points are precious to Saint Louis FC. They are on the road for two matches this week.

The next day (9 September), 15 IPMS/Gateway members and guests attended the club's annual picnic, held at Deer Creek Park in Maplewood, Missouri (https://www.cityofmaplewood.com/79/Maplewood-Local-Parks). We talked about our show the day before, other modeling topics, and other matters. IPMS/Gateway President Chris Merseal cooked burgers and bratwursts on the barbecue grill, the club provided beverages (beer, soda, and water), and attendees brought side dishes. (I brought some cookies I bought at the store on the way over.)

We found out that our show was attended by 234 persons (including two Adult Building Course students on complementary tickets), and the contest had 253 entries from 59 contestants. Merseal said these were average figures for our show. Our survey showed that 11 of those attendees heard about our show from the segment we did the week before on "Fox 2 News in the Morning" on KTVI (https://fox2now.com/). We'll be back at the Holiday Inn St. Louis SW--Route 66 for our next Invitational on 14 September 2019.

Back to work today, and a usually busy Monday. Things did go well, though.


05 September 2018

Labor Day Weekend 2018

Up early Saturday morning (1 September), I turned to KTVI Channel 2 (https://fox2now.com/), for two of my IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) colleagues, Bill Wagner and Rick Keasey, were appearing on "Fox 2 News in the Morning." There, they and the anchorman talked about scale modeling, our club, our Invitational this Saturday (8 September), and our raffle there to benefit Toys for Tots (https://bridgeton-mo.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx). It was an approximately four minute segment, and I thought it went great. It will be interesting to see how many people come to the show based on that segment.

Then, I went to work at the rental branch that morning. We had some business from people wanting vehicles for the Labor Day Weekend, but it wasn't too busy, and I was able to leave just after closing time at 1:00 pm. Usually, I would be there until close to 2 pm on a Saturday, staying to help clean up vehicles on our lot.

After grabbing lunch at Jet's Pizza (http://jetspizza.com/) in Ballwin, I came home to relax. Later, I ran off flyers for the IPMS/Gateway Invitational, which I took to both Checkered Flag Hobby Center (https://checkeredflaghobby.com/) and Schaefer's Hobby Shop (http://schaeferhobby.com/).

Late Sunday morning, I was at World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/soccerpark) to referee matches at the Gallagher Friendlies youth tournament (https://slsgsoccer.demosphere-secure.com/tournaments/gallagher-friendlies). I worked three under-12 matches, including the middle on the first one of the set. They went well, despite the heat (we took water breaks midway through each half of these matches). They were fun matches to do.

Monday (3 September), the Labor Day holiday, I went to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis' Central West End for the final day of its annual Greek Festival (http://www.opastl.com/). It's always a great time, and this was no exception. I got a nice lunch--shish-kababs and rice pilaf--and then enjoyed watching Greek dancers perform. I also toured the sanctuary while a priest talked about the Orthodox Church and this congregation. It was a most interesting presentation. After a dessert of loukoumades, I headed home.

Back to work yesterday, it was quite a busy day, thanks to all the returns off the holiday weekend. We got things handed well, tough, and I was on my way home by 6:20 pm.

Off work today, I did some work on a model I am working on for the contest this Saturday. I went to the show venue, the Holiday Inn St. Louis SW--Route 66 (https://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/st-louis/stlsw/hoteldetail?qAdlt=1&qBrs=6c.hi.ex.rs.ic.cp.in.sb.cw.cv.ul.vn.ki.va.sp.nd.ct&qChld=0&qFRA=1&qGRM=0&qIta=99504425&qPSt=0&qRRSrt=rt&qRef=df&qRms=1&qRpn=1&qRpp=20&qSHp=1&qSmP=3&qSrt=sBR&qWch=0&srb_u=1&icdv=99504425&dp=true&cid=28784&glat=SEAR&setPMCookies=true). I took some photos of the exterior and interior, and peeked into the ballroom where our show will be held. Also, I am getting my laundry done.


31 August 2018

Heading into Labor Day Weekend

This past week was quite busy at work. Besides the usual traffic from repair shops and business travelers, we had customers getting their vehicles for Labor Day Weekend. The end of this week was lighter than usual for a Friday, as many customers already had their rental vehicles for the holiday weekend. I'll be working tomorrow (Saturday) morning at the branch, then we're closed on Monday.

After work Tuesday (28 August), it was off to Bill Wagner's house for this month's IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) (https://www.facebook.com/IPMSGateway/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel) business meeting. We discussed final plans for our Invitational model contest and swap meet next Saturday (8 September). This show will be at the Holiday Inn St. Louis SW--Route 66 (https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/st-louis/stlsw/hoteldetail/events-facilities#) in Sunset Hills. I outlined plans to produce and distribute a special issue of our club's newsletter, The Arch Scaler News, to go out to our members this week, spotlighting the Invitational and the club picnic the next day (9 September).

On my off day Wednesday, I worked on that newsletter--a four-page item, instead of the normal 10-page documents--and sent a proof copy to the board members for their feedback. I also got my laundry done and got some needed rest.

After getting a couple of corrections from the board members, I made the few minute changes needed before sending this newsletter out to our members early this morning.

Tomorrow morning, at approximately 7:25 am Central Time (1325 GMT), two IPMS/Gateway members will appear on "Fox 2 News in the Morning" on KTVI, Channel 2 in St. Louis (https://fox2now.com/). They will talk about our club, our show, and the raffle at that show, which raises funds for the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program (https://bridgeton-mo.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx) in Metro St. Louis.

Relaxing at home now. Watching "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" on DVD. Funny.


26 August 2018

Hot Times with Saint Louis FC and the Festival of Nations

It was quite busy the latter part of this past week at the rental branch, including on Saturday morning (25 August). After work and grabbing a bit of lunch at Quik Trip (https://www.quiktrip.com/), I shopped for work shoes at Walmart (https://www.walmart.com/).

I came home to rest a bit, then headed to World Wide Technology Soccer Park (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/SOCCERPARK) for that night's Saint Louis FC (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) match against Tulsa Roughnecks FC. The St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) tailgate that night featured a barbecue dinner from Sugarfire Smoke House (https://sugarfiresmokehouse.com/) and beer from Kirkwood Station Brewing Co. (http://www.kirkwoodstationbrewing.com/). Funds raised by donations went to the St. Louis Area Foodbank (http://stlfoodbank.org/).

About 30 minutes from kickoff, the St. Louligans marched into Toyota Stadium for the match. A 1-0 loss away to Fresno FC a week before had snapped Saint Louis FC's four-match win streak. This night, the home side started a new streak as Saint Louis FC ran out 3-2 winners. The hosts scored twice early in the first half before Tulsa pulled one back. Saint Louis put the game out of reach in the second half before Tulsa got one in the waning seconds. This win was Saint Louis FC's 10th of the season--a new club record. They currently stand in 7th place in the Western Conference of the United Soccer League (https://www.uslsoccer.com/)--one place about the last playoff spot--with nine matches to go.

This morning, I went to Tower Grove Park (https://www.towergrovepark.org/) in south St. Louis for the Festival of Nations (http://festivalofnationsstl.org/), an annual multicultural fair. This is presented by the International Institute of St. Louis (https://www.iistl.org/), an organization that welcomes immigrants to St. Louis. I stopped by the Viva Brasil STL (https://www.vivabrasilstl.org/) booth and stayed there for about an hour, chatting with volunteers and guests. Then, I got some lunch from a Filipino food booth.

I then checked in at the volunteer booth and--after receiving my volunteer t-shirt--went to the festival merchandise booth. I worked there for about 2 1/4 hours, helping sell festival t-shirts, mugs, water cups, and cookbooks. It was very hot today, with heat indices topping 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Things went well and I got a bottle of water after my shift. I walked the grounds a bit--including a return to the Viva Brasil STL booth--before walking back to my car and going home.