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19 August 2016

A Downer Match; A Pleasant Stroll

Some hours after working at the car rental branch last Saturday (13 August), I drove to Smugala's Pizza Pub in Sunset Hills (http://smugalas.com/smugalassunsethills) for a beer at the bar before catching the Pub2Park bus. The bus took me and other fans to World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton for the Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against Sacramento Republic FC. I hung out at the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) tailgate in the parking lot, then marched with them into the stadium. There wasn't much to cheer about, though, as Sacramento scored four goals in the first 16 minutes of the match en route to a 4-3 win. Disappointing for sure.

I spent some time Sunday getting word out to the local online events calendars about the IPMS/Gateway show (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/invite2016.html) coming up on 10 September. These include listings on stltoday.com (http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/calendar/#/details/IPMS-Gateway-Model-Contest-and-Swap-Meet/2687902/2016-09-10T09) and timesnewspapers.com (http://www.timesnewspapers.com/calendar-82812.114137-Gateway-Chapter-IPMS-Model-Contest-and-Swap-Meet.html). Additionally, I posted a press release on the show on stltoday.com (http://interact.stltoday.com/pr/non-profits/PR081416112526958). Hopefully, these and other promotion efforts will pay off in good attendance at the show.

I flexed out of work Tuesday afternoon (16 August) and rested up at home before going to Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) for the IPMS/Gateway meeting (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/). We had a good turnout of models for the Beauty Contest, and a contest judging demo was held. There were four first-time visitors to the meeting, and I greeted each one with a complementary file stick.

Work has been going well this week. My colleague Hannah interviewed on Tuesday for the assistant manager position at the Brentwood branch. She found out on Thursday and will start there sometime next week. I am very happy for her. Hannah's a real go getter for the firm and a very nice person.

Off work Thursday (18 August), I spent about two hours in the morning with my friend Linsey Daman (http://cacstlouis.com/index.html) at her house in Eureka. We took a stroll together up and down her street as we talked about each other and what we liked to do. It was a most pleasant stroll, if a bit warm out. After seeing a counselor and shopping at a newsstand, I came home to rest a bit and eat. That night, I was at the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/) meeting at Creve Coeur Airport (http://www.crevecoeurairport.com/). (Linsey Daman was there, too.) That night's program looked back at the F-15 Eagle ASAT (Anti-Satellite Missile) program in the 1980s. I also plugged the IPMS/Gateway show next month.

After a pretty busy day at work today, I busy weekend awaits. More on that in my next post.

Later.


11 August 2016

Meetup, Picnic, and Work

Last Saturday afternoon (6 August), I was at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters in Ladue (http://www.slcl.org/content/headquarters) for the STL Aspies Meetup (https://www.meetup.com/STL-Aspies/). I ran the meeting, in which the six attendees talked about themselves, how they are coping with having Asperger's Syndrome, and how they are moving forward. After this meetup, most of us headed to Saint Louis Bread Company (https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html) at Plaza Frontenac for a snack and talk.

The next day found me at Greentree Park (http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/content/City-Departments/1830/greentree-park.aspx) in Kirkwood for a picnic thrown by Viva Brasil St. Louis (http://www.e.vivabrasilstl.org/home) for those who volunteered at their Festa Junina in June. It was a pot luck supper, including some Brazilian cuisine, along with beer, soda, and water. I got to meet others in the organization, and I was presented with a thank you letter for my help at the Festa Junina. They were very pleased to hear I have a friend in Cuiaba, Brazil who has stirred my interest in Brazil, and that I will take a introductory Portuguese language course starting later this month at St. Louis Community College at Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/mc/). Viva Brasil St. Louis provides the instructors for this and other Portuguese language classes offered by the college. This is a wonderful group and I look forward to working more with them at future events.

Back to work Monday (8 August) at the rental branch, and plenty to keep us busy. I flexed out Tuesday afternoon, as I will be working this Saturday morning. The weather is heating up some this week, with temperatures approaching 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) and heat indices topping 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Good thing the fans are up and running in the wash bay; they make it much more tolerable in there on hot days.

I've been following the Olympics from Rio (https://www.rio2016.com/en) and find myself not only cheering on the USA athletes and teams, but also those from Brazil. It might be quite tough on me when USA and Brazil teams meet up in these games. In that case, may the better teams win.

Later.




06 August 2016

Plenty of Alcohol and Soccer

A week ago this afternoon (30 July), I was at Sugar Creek Winery (http://www.sugarcreekwines.com/) in Defiance, Missouri. This was for a 30th birthday party for my friend and former Enterprise Rent-A-Car (https://www.enterprise.com/en/home.html) colleague Sarah Dixon. She's now working for Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits (http://www.southernglazers.com/), a drinks wholesaler. I was very happy to see Sarah and to meet some of her party guests (Southern Glazer's colleagues, friends, relatives). It was a nice time and I sampled several wines from Sugar Creek. There was also snacks--cheese, crackers, salami, chips--to munch on. Sarah and I got caught up on things. It was a very nice time.

After coming home late that afternoon, I drove to Smugala's Pizza Pub (http://smugalas.com/smugalassunsethills) in Sunset Hills for a beer before catching the Pub2Park shuttle bus for Worldwide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton and that night's Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against OKC Energy FC. The match ended 0-0, although Saint Louis FC had some good chances to score. It was fun, cheering along with the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) and consuming another beer there.

Late the next morning (31 July), I drove to Craft Beer Cellar Clayton (http://clayton.craftbeercellar.com/) for a beer tasting party, part of St. Louis Craft Beer Week. I went to this event as part of the Single in the City Meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/STLSingleInTheCity/), and there were about eight of us there. Many craft breweries from Metro St. Louis and elsewhere set up tables inside and in front of the shop and offered samples of their beers. About eight breweries would be present for a two-hour shift, then they would be replaced by others, so attendees could try out many beers. I sampled 20 beers during my time there--by far the most different beers I tasted in one place at one time. (Our group organizer, Britt, suggested downloading the Untapped app to my phone, which I did and used to track and rate the beers I tasted.) In between tasting sessions, I chatted with other group members gathered just outside Craft Beer Cellar, and also grabbed lunch at the neighboring Posh Nosh Delicatessen (http://poshnoshdeli.com/). (It was a Reuben and it was very good!)

Back to work Monday and business kept me plenty busy at the rental branch. Our assistant manager Cayla returned to work Monday after over a month due to a recent car accident. She was doing fine, though with one wrist still in a cast. Our new branch manager, Justin, reported in on Wednesday (3 August) and we all got used to him and his management style. It should work out very well, though. Yesterday marked our intern Collin's last day, as he is headed back to Saint Louis University for his senior year.

After work Wednesday, I dashed over to Worldwide Technology Soccer Park for Saint Louis FC's match against Swope Park Rangers. Heading from the parking lot, I was in a panic when I realized I had lost my ticket, which I had in my one pocket all day. I ended up getting a general reserve ticket, which was in the far corner from where I usually sit, but I did get to see the match. After giving up a first half goal due to a defensive lapse, Saint Louis FC leveled it from the penalty spot in the second half and the match ended up drawn at 1.

Off work Thursday, I interviewed with The Creative Group (https://www.roberthalf.com/st-louis/creative-marketing), a marketing and creative staffing agency in downtown St. Louis. A recruiter there found out more on my background and what I'm seeking and said she'd keep me posted on any job openings I would be suited for in that field. I wore coat and tie for that interview and for some time after that, to get me used to this professional attire. (I dress much more casually in my current work!) That afternoon, I delivered some IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) club and show flyers at CRM Hobbies (http://www.crmhobbies.com/), which had run out on these flyers.

After work yesterday, I drove home for dinner with mom and watching the Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (https://www.olympic.org/). It was quite a spectacle. Chatting the other day on WhatsApp with my friend Eliana Roversi in Cuiaba, Brazil, she wished we were in Rio taking in the games. I told Eliana I would love that.

Speaking of friends, I recently touched base with my friend from Saint Louis University, Alison Madden, who I knew from The University News (student newspaper) and from her being in Kappa Phi Beta sorority that held switches with my Delta Sigma Phi brothers. Alison's now living in the San Francisco Bay area of California, where she performs legal work. I am very happy for her and--judging from her photos on Facebook--she still looks great.

I help run the STL Aspies Meetup later today. More on that in my next post.

Later.





29 July 2016

Transitions at Work; Dinner with a Group

After a relaxing weekend at home, it was back to work for me this past Monday (25 July). It was warm and humid, though not as bad as it was the previous two weeks. Tuesday marked the last day for Liz as our branch manager, as she is taking over the branch at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Area employees gathered at Double D Karaoke (http://doubledstl.com) in Brentwood after work on Tuesday to celebrate. I could only stay briefly, as I had to drive down to Bill Wagner's house in Oakville for the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) business meeting. Liz appreciated my stopping by, though. The IPMS/Gateway board planned our August general and business meetings, and discussed other club business.

Wednesday (27 July), I started to contact some recruiters about help in finding career opportunities in marketing communications and publishing. Hope to get some action going soon in that area. Any assistance that you can give me in this regard is much appreciated.

Off work Thursday, I got my hair cut at Great Clips (http://www.greatclips.com/) in Tenholder Plaza in Mehlville. The stylist did such a good job getting about two months' growth of hair cut from my head. I bought some hair color on the way home and applied it myself, covering my gray hairs.

After a personal appointment, I shopped a bit at CRM Hobbies (http://www.crmhobbies.com/) in south St. Louis, buying two bottles of paint for models I'm working on now.

That night, I was at Yemanja Brasil Restorante (http://www.brazildining.com/) in south St. Louis' Benton Park neighborhood for dinner with the Ethnic Restaurant Fans Meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Ethnic-Restaurant-Fans/). Approximately 12 of us attended, and it was my third visit to this restaurant. Yemanja is one of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis and the experience did not disappoint. After an appetizer of Empanadas de Bife and a cup of soup, I did into the main course: Xin Xim de Galinha, a spicy chicken dish. Dessert was Pudim de Coco, mainly bread pudding, all washed down with a Caipirinha cocktail and water. A great time was had by all at this dinner, and I highly recommend both Yemanja and Ethnic Restaurant Fans.

Today at work, an electrician came by in the morning to install two oscillating fans in the wash bay. When the fans were up and running, they blew plenty of cool air inside the bay, which made conditions much more tolerable. It was challenging at times to get vehicles parked on our crowded lot, but things got taken care of in good order. By the way, a new manager reports to our branch next week.

Relaxing at home now, but an interesting weekend awaits. More on that in my next post.

Later.





23 July 2016

The Heat is (Still) On

This past week saw a heat wave hit the St. Louis area. Daytime highs reached at least 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), with heat indices getting up towards 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). It's not fun to be outside or in the wash bay at work, so I stayed inside the air conditioned lobby as much as possible, drinking as much water or thirst quencher as I can. Fortunately, I am fine, though tired at the end of the work day.

I flexed out Tuesday afternoon (19 July), and came home to chill out (literally). That night, I helped run the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) meeting at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/). We had a good turnout for our beauty contest, plus a nice demo on attaching windshields and other clear parts to models. All of us attending stayed cool inside Calvary's Fellowship Hall.

After taking care of some personal affairs on my off day Thursday (21 July), I drove to Creve Coeur Airport (http://www.crevecoeurairport.com/) for this month's meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/). This meeting featured a tribute to former McDonnell Aircraft lead test pilot Bob Little, including the debut of two new documentaries on him. One was about Little's life and career, which included service in the US Army Air Forces during World War II, and the McDonnell aircraft he piloted on its first flights (F2H Banshee, F3H Demon, F-101 Voodoo, and F4H [later F-4] Phantom II). The documentary climaxed with Little's meeting last May with Col. Ronald "Elvis" King, the last USAF F-4 pilot at the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show and STEM Expo. A second video screened for us was an extended version of the interview with Little and King. The Bob Little documentary began airing today on HEC-TV (http://www.hectv.org/watch/hec-tv-live/legendary-wwii-and-test-pilot-bob-little/24325/).

Jacqui Poor, the Society's vice president, produced the Little program for HEC-TV, and she was helping screen the program for our meeting. Because of that, I was asked to man the membership table in her place, and I made sure attendees signed in and also accepted some membership forms (both new and renewal memberships), plus directing members to their name tags on the nearby table. We had a very good turnout at the meeting, despite the heat outside. (Due to that heat, the Society asked Little--who's in his early 90s--to stay home; we'll have him at a later meeting.)

Yesterday, my high school and church friend Susan Shrum appeared on KHOU TV's program "Good Day Houston." She has lived in Houston for some years now and helps run a casual dining restaurant there, Happy Fatz (http://happyfatz.com/). Today is National Hot Dog Day and Susan and her colleague Rebecca Hernandez Sanders showed off their hot dogs and desserts to the host. The segment video is here: http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/celebrate-national-hot-dog-today-07222016/279768573

I worked at the rental branch this morning. It was a busy one, but we got our customers taken care of with our usual dispatch. Our manager Liz will be leaving after this Tuesday, as she has been promoted to manager our Cape Girardeau branch. Best wishes to you, Liz, and thank you for your service at Ellisville.

Chilling out at home, then brazing the heat to attend tonight's Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. More on that in my next post.

Later.

The Heat is (Still) On

This past week saw a heat wave hit the St. Louis area. Daytime highs reached at least 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), with heat indices getting up towards 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). It's not fun to be outside or in the wash bay at work, so I stayed inside the air conditioned lobby as much as possible, drinking as much water or thirst quencher as I can. Fortunately, I am fine, though tired at the end of the work day.

I flexed out Tuesday afternoon (19 July), and came home to chill out (literally). That night, I helped run the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) meeting at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/). We had a good turnout for our beauty contest, plus a nice demo on attaching windshields and other clear parts to models. All of us attending stayed cool inside Calvary's Fellowship Hall.

After taking care of some personal affairs on my off day Thursday (21 July), I drove to Creve Coeur Airport (http://www.crevecoeurairport.com/) for this month's meeting of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/). This meeting featured a tribute to former McDonnell Aircraft lead test pilot Bob Little, including the debut of two new documentaries on him. One was about Little's life and career, which included service in the US Army Air Forces during World War II, and the McDonnell aircraft he piloted on its first flights (F2H Banshee, F3H Demon, F-101 Voodoo, and F4H [later F-4] Phantom II). The documentary climaxed with Little's meeting last May with Col. Ronald "Elvis" King, the last USAF F-4 pilot at the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show and STEM Expo. A second video screened for us was an extended version of the interview with Little and King. The Bob Little documentary began airing today on HEC-TV (http://www.hectv.org/watch/hec-tv-live/legendary-wwii-and-test-pilot-bob-little/24325/).

Jacqui Poor, the Society's vice president, produced the Little program for HEC-TV, and she was helping screen the program for our meeting. Because of that, I was asked to man the membership table in her place, and I made sure attendees signed in and also accepted some membership forms (both new and renewal memberships), plus directing members to their name tags on the nearby table. We had a very good turnout at the meeting, despite the heat outside. (Due to that heat, the Society asked Little--who's in his early 90s--to stay home; we'll have him at a later meeting.)

Yesterday, my high school and church friend Susan Shrum appeared on KHOU TV's program "Good Day Houston." She has lived in Houston for some years now and helps run a casual dining restaurant there, Happy Fatz (http://happyfatz.com/). Today is National Hot Dog Day and Susan and her colleague Rebecca Hernandez Sanders showed off their hot dogs and desserts to the host. The segment video is here: http://www.khou.com/entertainment/television/programs/great-day-houston/celebrate-national-hot-dog-today-07222016/279768573

I worked at the rental branch this morning. It was a busy one, but we got our customers taken care of with our usual dispatch. Our manager Liz will be leaving after this Tuesday, as she has been promoted to manager our Cape Girardeau branch. Best wishes to you, Liz, and thank you for your service at Ellisville.

Chilling out at home, then brazing the heat to attend tonight's Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. More on that in my next post.

Later.

17 July 2016

In Print; In the Dark

I worked at the rental car branch a week ago yesterday (9 July), and it went well. Not real busy. I grabbed some lunch after work, and washed my car at Martian Car Wash (http://www.martiancarwash.com/) in Ellisville. The place opened up a few weeks ago. They did a great job cleaning my Corolla, and was a good value for the money.

Resting at home last Sunday afternoon, I got a pleasant surprise in my email. The long-delayed, long-awaited latest issue of Middle Marker, journal of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/) arrived. It was the first issue put out in two years, and included my story I wrote then about Charles Morley, a Missouri airman killed during the Vietnam War. My article told of Morley's story, including how his F-4 was shot down over Laos one night in 1970 and he and his crewmate were listed as Missing in Action. The remains were found in Laos 25 years later and Morley was buried with full military honors. The story also included some photos of Morley and of an F-4 displayed at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Station that is painted like Morley's plane. (Two of my photos are included in the article.) I am very happy to see this issue of Middle Marker out at last, and for my work to appear in print. I am hoping to write more articles for this journal in the coming years.

Work went well this past week, although it got very interesting on Wednesday afternoon (13 July). A thunderstorm with high winds blew through the Metropolitan St. Louis area. Power went out at our branch for about three hours, so we had to resort to using tablet computers to process rental transactions (thank goodness for tablets!), cell phones for communications, and flashlights for seeing in darkened areas of the lobby. The power was restored just as we were closing for the day.

However, power also went out at my house, and my mom and I were left in the dark until late Friday afternoon. We had to resort to candles, flashlights, battery operated devices (radios, cell phones, and tablets), and not moving around much at home due to the heat. Ameren (https://www.ameren.com/) reported that over 100,000 metro area residents were without power, and the last were not restored until today.

Fortunately, power was restored at my doctor's office on Thursday morning, when I went for my annual examination. I am in very good health overall, with no problems apart from lingering tendonitis in my one heel. I should get some blood work done in the coming week or two.

Friday morning (15 July), I brought in some doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (https://www.krispykreme.com/) for my colleagues, and they greatly appreciated the gesture. My branch mates look forward to my bringing in doughnuts on every other Friday morning, which coincides with pay day.

Yesterday starting with catching up on my laundry, then I was at Caleco's Bar & Grill (http://www.calecos.com/Calecos%20Downtown.htm) in Downtown St. Louis for lunch with the St. Louis Historic Sites Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/St-L-Historic-Buildings-Meetup/). About 19 of us got together for a fine lunch. It was my first time at Caleco's in Downtown, and enjoyed meeting with the group, which had come off touring some Downtown landmarks.

On the way home from that lunch, I stopped by Crown Vision Center (http://www.crownvisioncenter.com/) in Tesson Ferry to pick up my new glasses. They fit great and I can see great with them on.

After time at home including dinner, I drove to Stone Spiral Coffee and Curios (http://www.stonespiralcoffee.com/) in Maplewood for the StL Tea Club Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/StL-Tea-Club-Meetup/). About ten of us attended and we enjoyed sampling several teas while we conversed about tea and other things. It was a most pleasant outing.

Home today, I attended service at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) this morning, then rested at home this afternoon.

Later.