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26 December 2013

A Merry Christmas 2013

Last Friday (20 Dec.) marked my one year anniversary with the car rental firm, and the branch manager gave me the one-year review all employees get. He gave very glowing marks on my performance, to which I had very little to add. I was most pleased to hear his comments and even more happy with the job I'm doing.

After work Friday, I had a rather quiet weekend, getting ready for Christmas. I did finish my holiday shopping that weekend, sent out some Christmas cards, and attended a party Sunday afternoon (22 Dec.) at HandleBar, a restaurant and bar in St. Louis' Grove neighborhood. This party was for the Friends around the world Meetup group, which consisted mostly of exchange students doing internships here. The Meetup groups' organizer is Dayna O'Brien (nee Fredlund), who was a Mehlville classmate of mine. Dayna and I didn't know each other well then, but we had a nice catching-up chat at this party. I also got to chat with many of the other guests there, who came from countries as far flung as China, India, Latvia, Romania, the Philippines, France, Uzbekistan, and Mexico.

Work went fine this past week, although the very cold weather (especially in the mornings) did make it a bit of a challenge. Myself and my colleagues had to warm up the engines and turn up the defrosters so the windows could be scraped clear of ice. We had a bit of a Christmas party on Monday, with several colleagues bringing in items for lunch. Tuesday (24 Dec.) was a light day after the morning rush. The office closed at 3 pm that day, but the manager let me out around 11:45 am. I attended church service that night with my parents.

Christmas morning, my parents and I opened up a few presents under the tree. I received four DVDs--"A Fish Called Wanda," "The Last Waltz," "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie," and "The Ten Commandments." Very nice additions to my DVD collection. I also got a new blue long sleeve soccer referee uniform shirt, plus a blue fleece USSF referee jacket, which I find a very nice addition to my wardrobe. Our family's friend Cindy Strohm came over with the turkey dinner that we ate late that afternoon.

Off work today, and it's been rather quiet for me. Just been around the house, watching Barclays Premier League matches on TV. Back to work tomorrow.

I hope my fellow Christians had a very Merry Christmas, and that my African-American friends have a very Happy Kwanzaa. Later.

19 December 2013

Bittersweet Road Trip to Emporia and Back

After work last Friday night (13 Dec.), I got a rental car (Hyundai Sonata) from the branch and drove to Columbia, Missouri on the first leg of my weekend road trip. There was freezing rain when I started out from St. Louis, but it was snowing by the time I got into central Missouri. Fortunately, the car handled well that night and throughout the whole weekend. Arriving in Columbia, I filled the fuel tank and got a hotel room for the night.

The next morning--after breakfast in the hotel restaurant, packing, and settling my bill--I set off for Emporia, Kansas. I arrived at Talal Khelifi's residence just before noon, and we were very happy to see each other at last. We spent some time at Talal's place, watching reruns of "My Name is Earl" streamed onto his TV from Netflix, and getting to know each other better. He took me on a short trip around Emporia before taking me to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. Over lunch, I gave Talal a small gift and a copy of my year-end newsletter, and also gave him a copy of the gift and newsletter for him to send to his sister Alia when he can.

Talal drove me back to his place and we chatted for awhile, until he got a phone call with terrible news. He told me a friend of his got hit by a car out of town and he needed to go see him. I understood and started to head back to St. Louis. (Before leaving Emporia, I stopped by the William Allen White House.) Before leaving, Talal said he would make this up to me. On the way home, Talal sent me a text saying his friend died of her injuries. It cast a pall of me on the rest of the drive home. I arrived in St. Louis that night, and returned the car to Enterprise the next day. (I had my Corolla parked there, and I drove that home.) I also spent Sunday getting some IPMS/Gateway flyers copied and dropped off at three area hobby shops.

Work this past week has been going well, and we said goodbye Monday (16 Dec.) to assistant manager Spencer, who is transferred to our Chesterfield branch. Tuesday night after work, I went to Calvary Presbyterian Church to set up the fellowship hall there for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. Final nominations and voting for 2014 club officers were held, and I had no opposition for secretary. We also had our annual recognition contest, where we had to guess the subjects of kit box art. I did very well, getting 24 of the 30 images correct--this may be the highest score of the night. I also got lucky in the annual big raffle of kits, winning one of the British Valentine tank from World War II.

On my off day today, I got a bit of shopping done (though not for my one brother and my parents for Christmas). Back to work tomorrow.

Later.

12 December 2013

Cold Week, and Preparing for a Road Trip

It got real cold this week in St. Louis. Freezing temperatures, including a low of 6 degrees F (-14 degrees C) last night. It has barely been over freezing this week. That's not fun when one is outside cleaning cars, as I have been doing. Work has been good so far this week. I'll be patronizing my employer this weekend, when I rent from them for my road trip to Emporia, Kansas. I'll head out right after work tomorrow, stop overnight on the way, and arrive in Emporia on Saturday, returning to St. Louis Sunday night. I'll let you know how that trip goes in my next post here.

Monday night (9 Dec.), I was at Firehouse Bar & Grill in Mehlville for the annual Eastern Missouri Soccer Referee Association Christmas Party. I had a nice time there, socializing with my colleagues and having some refreshments.

Today, I was at the Missouri History Museum for the monthly News at Noon program presented by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. This month's program was a panel discussion about this week's merger of St. Louis Public Radio (90.7 FM KWMU) and the St. Louis Beacon. It was rather interesting to hear how these news outlets are joining forces.

Later.

08 December 2013

Time Offline, Cold, and Snow

A week ago Friday (29 Nov.), I went right after work to the Market at Cheshire Inn in Clayton, Missouri, the St. Louis INFJ Meetup group was there for a social, where we got the chance to know others in the group and find out what we wanted our group to do in the near future. A good time in a nice place. (By the way, INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgement. It's a personality type, according to the MBTI instrument for measuring people's personalities.)

Last Sunday morning (1 Dec.), despite my lingering tendonitis and the after effects of a recent chest cold, I ran the soccer referee fitness test at Vianney High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. I did fine in the first element, the series of 40-meter sprints to be run in 10 seconds or better. (I ran four; we had six attempts total.) Then, it was the interval run around the track. Each lap consisted of a 150-meter run done in 45 seconds, a 50-meter walk in 45 seconds, another 150-meter run in 45 seconds, and another 50-meter walk in 45 seconds. For my age and referee grade, I had to do six laps, which I did--just. By the last two laps, I was feeling it in my legs (not having been able to do much running lately), but I passed and that was the important part. This was the first year we did this fitness test, and we were all learning on it, but all of us there that day did pass.

After a full work day Monday, I was at Baida, a Moroccan restaurant on South Grand in St. Louis for the Dine Out on a Dime Meetup. This was my first time at this restaurant and with Moroccan cuisine and it was interesting. We had about 20 people there from our group and all enjoyed themselves. I had a Tanjin, a stew-like dish with meet (beef in this case), some vegetables and spices. Very tasty.

I worked a partial day on Tuesday (3 Dec.), since I worked yesterday morning, and ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting at Thornhill Branch Library. A very low turnout meant no elections for club officers as planned. We may be changing to another meeting site next month.

Work has been good, although being outside working in the sub-freezing weather late this past week has been a challenge. I layered up my clothing to help cope, and learned to keep the cleaning sprays inside as much as possible, to keep the nozzles from freezing up. It's been going well at our branch lately. We did get a bit of sleet on Thursday and snow the next day--up to 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

This past Wednesday, our house's Internet and TV connection was lost. Checking with AT&T U-verse customer service, we needed a new gateway device, which we got the next day. However, after hooking it up, we still did not get any signal, so a technician came by on Friday afternoon and got it straightened out. That's why this blog post is running late. Plus, I had to go through hundreds of emails that I could not access for the time I was offline. Things are back to normal now.

Later.

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

The last weekend of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) saw me watch a pair of movies, using the passes I earned for working volunteer shifts earlier in SLIFF. I was at Webster University's Moore Auditorium on Saturday (23 Nov.) for a screening of the 1924 classic "Greed," with live music by a small orchestra. I had seen the movie on cable a few years ago, but was real impressed by this presentation. The next night, at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Illinois, I attended a screening of "Something in the Water," a documentary about the St. Louis classic rock scene from the late 1960s to early 1980s. Very nice film, I thought. I was invited to SLIFF's closing night awards ceremony that night in midtown St. Louis, but I decided not to, since I had to be up early the next morning for work. (You can get a festival wrap, including award winners, at www.cinemastlouis.org.)

Before the Sunday night movie, I was at the St. Louis Art Museum for a Introverts Meetup. Only two of us showed up (six had said yes), which was a disappointment, but we had a fine time browsing some of the exhibits. This was first visit to the museum in over three decades. I then went to the Central West End, where I had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant there, before going on to the Wildey.

Auto rental vehicle prep work went rather well, with yesterday in particular a bit busy due to the the holiday today. Late Monday afternoon, the area manager stopped by to give me a company jacket and beanie, which I like very much and find very practical due to the cold weather here of late. I'm back at it tomorrow morning.

I was at the monthly soccer referee clinic Monday night (25 Nov.), and the monthly IPMS/Gateway business meeting the next night. I went from work to both events, with a short stop for supper both times.

Today is Thanksgiving Day and it was very nice. My brother Rick came to town last night with his wife Melissa and son Alex. They, my parents and I were joined for dinner tonight by Melissa's cousin Oliver Block, his wife Astrid and their two kids Turkey and all the trimmings were very well prepared and served. I hope my fellow Americans had something to be thankful for today and a good holiday.

Later.

23 November 2013

Battling a Cold During a Busy Week

Late the week of 15 November, I caught a cold, which was not pleasant. I got over the drippy nose fairly quickly, but the coughing now and then has persisted. It did put only a minor crimp into my volunteer efforts the first weekend of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). The late afternoon and evening of Sat., 16 Nov. found me at Washington University's Brown Hall, where they showed a couple of documentaries: "Tales from the Organ Trade" and "The Undocumented." I stayed in the lobby, so I would not give anyone else in the theater my cold. Both films were well received.

The next night found me at Webster University's Moore Auditorium, where a pair of family-friendly films were screened. The first was "The Blue Tiger," a Czech live action film with a bit of animation added in. It told of two kids who conjured up a blue tiger to save their parents' botanical garden from a mayor's demolition plans. This was followed by an animated French film, "The Day of the Crows." It was about a boy who grew up in a forest who discovers much in a nearby town and helps his father deal with tragic memories. I was able to sit in the theater for both movies (I was well enough to do so), and enjoyed both of them.

Before my Sunday shift at SLIFF, I was in a packed Shameless Grounds in Benton Park for the Sex Positive St. Louis discussion on casual sex. About 50 people attended and although I could only stay for about an hour before heading to Webster U., I found it a very interesting talk, with plenty of opinions put forth by the host and several attendees.

I started my full time vehicle service work for the car rental firm this past Monday (18 Nov.), and welcomed Drew, our new branch manager. Things went well, although the cold and wet conditions much of the week did not do my health any favors. A few of our customers I talked to while driving them do and from the branch were very happy that I am now a full time employee, with the benefits that go with that status. I'll be working four full days a week; every third week, I'll work a half weekday and a Saturday morning with three full days.

Straight from work on Tuesday (19 Nov.), I got the fellowship hall at Calvary Presbyterian Church set up for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. We had our final Modeler of the Year contest of 2013 (which I helped judge), final nominations and voting for the Bob Stroup Award, first nominations for 2014 club officers, and a build night. Busy time.

The next night, I drove from work to Vetta Sports Club in Cottleville, Missouri for the soccer referee in-service recertification clinic. I took in the presentation (in progress) of points of emphasis for referees, and volunteered to do a pre-game talk with my assistant referees to show my colleagues how to do an effective pre-game. All I need now for my 2014 badge is to take and pass my fitness test, which I will do on 1 Dec. Wish me luck!

The off-day from work Thursday (21 Nov.) was most welcome. That night, I was at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema for SLIFF volunteering. I was able to see two films that night, starting with the documentary "Tim's Vermeer." it told of Texas-based video equipment inventor Tim Jemison's attempt to recreate a painting by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. A most riveting tale and greatly received by the audience. I then saw the feature "The Jewish Cardinal," from France. That's a fact-based story about Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who becomes Archbishop of Paris in 1981 and has to deal with his dual identify when mediating a dispute when Carmelite nuns set up a convent at Auschwitz. I found that film very interesting.

Back at work yesterday and it was rather slow for a Friday, for the most part. It was OK by me.

Later.

14 November 2013

Good News About My Job & My Foot

My weekend started off well, after a busy Friday at the car rental branch. On Saturday (9 Nov.), I drove in the morning to Columbia, Missouri to attend TigerCon 2013, a scale model contest hosted by the Central Missouri Scale Modelers. The show was held at Hickman High School and I had company from four others from IPMS/Gateway who separately made the trip. It was a nice show, a little thin in some categories and in vendors. I helped judge several categories I was not entered in, and came away with third place for one of my entries (a J-10 fighter in Out of the Box--Military). The other four from Gateway also took home at least one award.

The drive home was made a bit more challenging by a toothache, which got so bad I called my dentist. He agreed to see me the next morning at his office, where he worked to clean out the tooth and stabilize it. He did say I will need a root canal on that tooth in the next few weeks. I was most grateful to him for coming in on a Sunday morning to do this.

Later that Sunday (10 Nov.), I was at the Autism-Aspergers Meetup at the Maryland Heights Community Center, where they had a presentation on body language and voice tone. It was rather interesting, although it was hard to comprehend some of this material at times.

After a full day of work Monday, I drove to St. Louis Futsal Academy in St. Charles for a futsal referee recertification clinic. Having provided proof I passed the written test and paid for registration, I received my new futsal referee badge for 2014. The referees there were given a rundown on the league setup for this season, points of emphasis, and some on-court training in officiating signals and mechanics. I followed along as best I could with the boot on my right foot due to tendonitis.

Speaking of the boot, it came off the next morning at the podiatrist's office during a follow-up visit. He examined my foot and said it was getting better, although concerned that long-term I would need surgery to clean out the Achilles tendon. Now, I am wearing a wrap bandage over my foot, and can ease back into workouts soon. That is such good news; I have been chomping at the bit to get back to walking and running, aiming towards getting back to refereeing soon.

There was nothing unlucky for me about Wednesday the 13th. The area manager for the car rental firm called me late that morning to offer me the full time vehicle service position I recently applied for, which I immediately accepted. He added that the position, which was to be at the Manchester branch, would instead be at Ellisville, so I would not be going anywhere. This will start on Monday (18 Nov.), and my colleagues at Ellisville were so happy for me. (They didn't want to see me leave their branch.) Getting this level of position (with the benefits associated with full time status) is a big help for me.

I'm working this Saturday morning, then its volunteering Sat. and Sun. at the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF), which began tonight. Looking forward to this event. More info at www.cinemastlouis.org.

Later.

07 November 2013

Good Work and Socializing; Almost SLIFF Showtime

Last Saturday (2 Nov.), I worked that morning at the car rental branch, and things went very well. Overall, these past few days at the branch have been good--kept me busy enough, even with the boot I'm earning over the sore right heel due to tendonitis. This past week, I had an issue resolved that prevented me from entering my times into the computer system for a few days. This should make it much easier with getting my times recorded and getting paid as a result.

Saturday night found me at Kakao Chocolate in Maplewood, Missouri for the St. Louis Singles Meetup, which had a chocolate and wine tasting party there. It was very nice, with about 15 of us there sampling fine chocolates made on the premises and sharing bottles of wine we brought in. I found out much more about chocolate than what I knew going into this event, and I found it very a very happy night.

The next afternoon (3 Nov.), I joined with five others at Dave & Buster's in Maryland Heights, Missouri for the Introverts Meeting Friends Meetup. We came on a comparatively quiet afternoon, which allowed us to better get to know each other through conversation. As with the St. Louis Singles Meetup the night before, I am looking forward to more gatherings with this Meetup group.

I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting last Tuesday night (5 Nov.) at the Thornhill Branch, St. Louis County Library. Five of us were there as we talked modeling topics for a while. That day--and today--were off days for me from work, so I got some personal business done.

This afternoon, I took and passed the online futsal referee exam. There will be a recertification clinic for futsal refereeing this Monday night in St. Charles. As soon as I get over this tendonitis, I look forward to getting back out on the pitch. Futsal season starts early next month.

Tonight, I was at the Tivoli Theatre in the Delmar Loop area of University City, Mo. for the volunteer orientation for the 2014 Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF), which runs 14-24 November at several St. Louis area venues. I'm working three shifts at the festival, helping patrons with information and providing them with programs and ballots for some of the films being screened. Many narrative, documentary feature, and short subject films from around the world will be screened at this festival. More information at www.cinemastlouis.org.

Later.

31 October 2013

Good News on the Foot; Halloween Fun

After a rather routine few days of work with the car rental firm and a relaxing weekend at home, I saw the podiatrist on Tuesday morning (29 October). He confirmed with me the results of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) done of my right foot one week before. The podiatrist said there was no bone fracture or pulled tendon as first feared, but instead I have tendonitis. He told me rest, keeping my foot in the boot as much as possible, occasional icing down of the heel, and anti-inflammatory medicine should help, and asked me to come back in two weeks. I'm glad it's not a fracture, or I'd be laid up for much longer.

That night, I did a favor for my parents and picked up our neighbors, Rick and Diane Holtz, who were returning to town from a vacation in Australia. I med them at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport after their flight arrived from Los Angeles. We got their luggage and I drove the Holtzes back home, which they greatly appreciated me doing.

I was off work today, but was invited in for their Halloween party. The branch took as its theme the 1980 movie "Caddyshack," and the office was decorated with quotes from the movie. We dressed up as characters from the film--I played a golfer, our manager was the groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray's character), one of the management trainees came as a gopher, another was Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight's character), and the rest were fellow golfers. We had snacks laid out and customers could try to put a ball into a cup for a discount on a vehicle rental. It was fun.

My parents and I welcomed a few trick-or-treaters from the neighborhood tonight. We had some treats for these kids, which they (and a few parents that accompanied them) appreciated.

Later.

24 October 2013

A More Pleasant Footnote; Talking Scale Modeling to Cub Scouts

Last Thursday night (17 Oct.), I attended the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's monthly meeting at Creve Coeur Airport. They screened the 1953 aviation drama "Island in the Sky," which starred John Wayne. It's quite a good film and we enjoyed seeing it. Back to work the next two days at the car rental firm (just in the morning on Saturday). The society meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. More info at www.moavhist.org.

After attending church on Sunday morning (20 Oct.) and lunch at home, I was at Shameless Grounds in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis for a discussion program. The Sex Positive St. Louis (SEX+TL) Meetup group had a discussion on sexual compatibility, which I found rather interesting.

Work has been going well this week. Off on Tuesday (22 Oct.), I was at Cedar Imaging in south St. Louis County for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan on my right foot. It was my first time getting an MRI done and I had to lay still for about 30 minutes while the machine scanned my foot. The technician said it went real well and the results were forwarded to my Podiatrist. Yesterday, while I was at work, the podiatrist's office left a message on my home phone saying that the MRI showed no bone break or tendon tear. The office added it was likely tendonitis, but wanted to schedule a follow up appointment with me on this. That appointment is this Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Tuesday night, I was at Rockport Heights Elementary School in Arnold, Missouri with two of my IPMS/Gateway colleagues. We were there for the meeting of Cub Scout Pack 962, who asked us to give a presentation on scale modeling and our club. We showed off some of our models, a few kits, and some modeling tools as we explained to these Cub Scouts and their parents what our hobby is about. Club literature was also passed out to the kids and their parents, and the kids and the pack leaders really seemed to enjoy our talk. Efforts like this should help gain new members for our club. Our website is: http://ipms-gateway.com.

Last night, after work, I was at Marion Morris' house for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. We planned next month's general and business meetings and discussed a bit of club business, as well as followed the start of the World Series between the Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. The Sox took advantage of some fielding errors to beat the Cardinals 8-1, with game 2 tonight in Boston. Go Cardinals!

This morning, I took my Corolla into Weiss Toyota Scion for an 80,000-mile check up. The car is in great shape, the service adviser told me, and the tires were rotated.

Later.

17 October 2013

Hobbling Along

With my fractured heel bone in a boot, I am forced to cancel my soccer refereeing assignments for the rest of this month and I may be out until well into November. It's rather frustrating, as I would rather be out doing games, but what I can I do? I will just have to carry on.

Last Sunday afternoon (13 Oct.), I was in Maryland Heights attending a Meetup of the Autism STL group. It was an introduction meeting, with a discussion about physical behavior. About 15 people attended this event.

Work has been going well and my colleagues have been considerate of my condition.

Tuesday night (15 Oct.), I set up and helped run the IPMS/Gateway meeting, which included a demonstration of airbrushing. I found it very informative. We also had our monthly beauty contest for "Model of the Month." Tonight, I'm going to the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's monthly meeting at Creve Coeur Airport.

Later.

10 October 2013

My Sore Heel Gets the Boot

Work at the car rental branch continues to go well, with my pulling a full day shift last Friday (4 Oct.) and the next morning. After coming home from work Saturday, I changed clothes and headed to the St. Louis County Library Headquarters in Frontenac for the STL Aspies Meetup. We had a very low attendance this time--only 6--which was likely due to the fact that a big science fiction convention was in town that weekend and several from our group were going to that event. After a brief discussion, our group headed to nearby Panera Bread Co. for snacks.

After that snack time, I drove to the Lou Fusz Complex in Maryland Heights to officiate youth soccer. Despite some intermittent rain, my crew got our three games in. I started the set with the middle on an under 12 girls' match. My sore heel held up pretty good after that. The next morning (6 Oct.) found me at the SLYSA Complex in St. Charles for two more games, both on the line. They went well and I greatly appreciated the somewhat soft grass surface of that field.

After working Monday, I was at a podiatrist's office Tuesday morning (8 Oct.). The doctor examined my right heel, and had x-rays done on it, and told me he believed I had a stress fracture of the heel bone. He wasn't 100 percent certain, and ordered an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) on that foot. In the meantime, he prescribed an anti-inflammation medicine, recommended I rest that heel as much as possible (putting some ice on that area as needed), and gave me a boot to wear that would stabilize the heel. It's awkward to move about, but I am not feeling any pain in that heel. Following the podiatrist office visit, I met my parents for lunch at The Olive Garden in Concord Village.

Back to work the next morning, I was able to fulfill my job duties, although slowed down a bit. My supervisors did what they could to not overburden me with work, which I appreciated. That night, I flipped the TV channels to watch the Cardinals and the Blues playing at home at the same time. The Cardinals won the deciding game of the National League Division Series over the Pittsburgh Pirates, advancing to the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Blues, meanwhile, scored a last-minute goal to beat the arch rivals and defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. So, a win-win for St. Louis that night.

This morning, I was to have had that MRI done. However, when I arrived at the facility, the receptionist said my insurance company had not approved the procedure due to a pre-existing condition. She apologized for someone not calling me yesterday to let me know of this development, and said she would contact me in the next few days when she hears back either way from the insurance company. Back home, I got my laundry done and chatted online with some friends.

Later.

03 October 2013

Afternoon at a Movie, Evening at a Soccer Match

After work on Friday (27 Sept.), I had soccer refereeing assignments in Maryland Heights last weekend. I was at the Scott Gallagher complex Saturday late afternoon and early evening for three games, and at the Lou Fusz complex late Sunday afternoon to early evening. The games generally went well, but in one of Sunday's games, I had to send off a player just before halftime for his handball on his team's goal line that prevented an opponent's shot from scoring. After getting home that night, I had to file a report with the league on the incident. I believe that player will have to serve a one-game suspension for the red card. Fortunately, the coaches were OK after I explained the situation.

After a busy Monday at the car rental place, I grabbed a bit of dinner before heading to the Grand Glaize Branch of the St. Louis County Library for the monthly soccer referee meeting. There, we had a discussion of what assessors look for from referees and assistant referees. A fine program that night.

Tuesday afternoon (1 Oct.), I went to the cinema in Arnold to see "Rush," the new film directed by Ron Howard about Formula 1 racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the mid-1970s. A terrific movie and one I highly recommend seeing. Great acting, photography, editing, and special effects all come together here. That night, I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting at the Thornhill Branch, St. Louis County Library, but only one other member showed up. A rather short meeting resulted.

Last night, after working at the car rental firm, I headed to the Saint Louis University campus to watch the 22nd ranked Billikens men's soccer team play No. 4 Creighton. It was a cracking good game, with the Billikens winning 1-0 on an early 2nd half goal. That goal came not long after SLU was reduced to 10 men when a Billikens player got his second yellow card of the match. Quite an effort and a big win for SLU. Good crowd, too (just over 3000 in attendance).

Off work today, so I took care of a bit of personal business. Back to work tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday morning, and soccer games this weekend.

Later.

26 September 2013

Passing the Maintenance Assessment, and Hosting the Business Meeting

Last Friday (20 Sept.), I worked my shift at the car rental firm, then drove from Ellisville (after a change of clothes) to Basso, an Italian restaurant and bar at the Cheshire Inn in Clayton. Basso was the venue for Stress Free Fridays, and it was my first time at this revolving happy hour in a few weeks. (This was mostly due to my work schedule and the distance to the Stress Free Fridays venues.) I had a nice time there, seeing a few people I had not seen in while, and making a connection with a web designer who was there with a mutual friend. I also enjoyed a very nice pizza, washed down with a couple of beers.

The next day, I worked in the morning at the car rental branch, then came home to change and went to the Lou Fusz Complex to officiate soccer games. The three under-12 girls' matches I worked went well.

Sunday afternoon (22 Sept.) found me at the SLYSA Complex for two matches. The first one was an under-18 women's match I was refereeing to get in my annual maintenance assessment. The assessor arrived from another field on the complex just before kickoff, but took in enough of my pre-game with my assistant referees. The match went well; it was rather exciting and competitive, ending up a 1-0 win for the home side. The assessor gave my high marks overall for my performance in the immediate post-match conversation and in the written report he sent me the next day. Glad to have this done, and to be one step closer to getting recertified for the new year. The under-12 girls' match I was assistant referee on was a easy one by comparison.

Back to work Monday and Wednesday at the car rental branch, where we welcomed a new management trainee from another local branch. She'll do real well here, I think. On my off day Tuesday (24 Sept.), I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist in two weeks to have him check out my sore heel, which has been bothering me in recent weeks. I also shopped for soda, beer, and snacks for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting I hosted last night (25 Sept.). As the club president was out of town, I as club vice president ran the meeting, in which we decided on the program for the October general meeting and discussed other club business. More info on our club at http://ipms-gateway.com.

Earlier tonight, I went to Foam Coffee + Beer in south St. Louis for a happy hour. It was celebrating the third anniversary of Sex Positive St. Louis, a group promoting health sexuality here. The happy hour was nice and the venue (this was my first time here) was interesting.

Back to work tomorrow morning. Later.

19 September 2013

The 2013 IPMS Gateway Invitational is a Success

After putting in a Friday (13 Sept.) shift at the car rental branch, I got home to make final preps for the 2013 IPMS Gateway to the West Invitational. I finished a 1:144 scale DC-4 in American Airlines colors to be included in the club display there. Up early the next morning, I packed up my things and headed to the show's venue, the Holiday Inn Route 66 in Sunset Hills, Missouri. I helped with final set up of the show, and then served as one of the admissions people in the morning. I took money from the attendees (both show admission and contest registration fees) and gave each attendee a wristband so they could go out and return without paying again. After a brief lunch at the desk, I worked as a contest judge, helping judge armor entries. That was a real challenge, as there were some very good armor entries in our contest. However, the judging team I was on got it done and the contest results were announced from just before 3 pm.

Our show--the first time at this venue--was a great success, with a strong attendance, happy vendors, and raves about the venue. We'll be back there next year. Save the date: 13 Sept. 2014. You can get a wrap of the show, plus photos of the models, here: http://www.ipms-gateway.com/Gateway2013.html

I had to pass on the club picnic the next day, as I was refereeing youth soccer games in Maryland Heights. The three games (under 14s) were OK.

Back to work Monday (16 Sept.) at the car rental branch, with the usually hectic Monday morning rush. I worked again two days later, and will tomorrow (Friday) and this Saturday morning.

Tuesday night (17 Sept.), I got the fellowship hall at Calvary Presbyterian Church ready for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. As our president was away, I ran the meeting, which had a wrap of our Invitational, a build night, a quarterly model contest, and a slideshow from this year's IPMS/USA National Convention.

Tonight, I'm off to the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's monthly meeting at Creve Coeur Airport. More info at their website: http://moavhist.org/

Later.

12 September 2013

Rain, Work, and a Model Show to Prepare For

Last Saturday night (7 Sept.), I refereed three youth soccer matches at Lou Fusz Complex in Maryland Heights, Missouri. These were all under-12s, and they went well, with no real problems encountered. The next morning, I was at the SLYSA Complex in St. Charles, Missouri for a four-game set, but when I arrived, I found that the two morning games were called off due to the rain that was falling and lightning in the vicinity. I stayed for about an hour, shooting the breeze with colleagues, when we got word that all games that day were called off.

So, a downer, but at least I could get some stuff done at home. For one, I painted an aircraft model I'm finishing for this Saturday's IPMS Gateway to the West Invitational. It's a 1:144 scale DC-4 in American Airlines colors., and the model will go to the club's 1:144 scale aircraft display at the show. I got the decals on today and will have final assembly (such as landing gears) done tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to the show, at the Holiday Inn Route 66 (formerly the Viking) in Sunset Hills, Missouri. Show info at http://www.ipms-gateway.com/Gateway2013.html. Hope to see you there!

Back to work Monday and Tuesday at the car rental location. A new vehicle prep person joined us this week, and I'll be changing my work shifts next week to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (from Monday, Tuesday, and Friday), plus every other Saturday morning. Rather calm after a frantic Monday morning, but it's been fine.

Yesterday (11 September), my first off day this week, I got the oil changed on my Corolla, deposited a couple of checks, and had a lunch date in downtown St. Louis. I had a light lunch with Leslie, a gal I met last month at the make 'n take IPMS/Gateway ran at the All-American Hot Rod Show at Gateway Motorsports Park. Leslie and I chatted together for nearly an hour, and we had a wonderful time. Looks like we'll be meeting in person again soon. Stay tuned.

Last night, I refereed two under-13 boys' games at Sportport in Maryland Heights, Missouri. They went well, although I did have to work hard in my middle to keep it under control in the second half. Fortunately, it ended well and I was quite happy with my job that night.

My next post will include my report on the IPMS/Gateway show. Later.

07 September 2013

Getting Through a Hot Labor Day Weekend on the Pitch

Last weekend was a hot one, with temperatures going up into the 90s F, and the heat indices (heat plus humidity) up towards 100 degrees F. Not a good one to be outside, yet I was. Last Saturday (31 Aug.), I worked that morning at the car rental place, getting vehicles prepped for rental and taking customers to and from our branch. After a brief stop at home after work, I was at the SLYSA Complex in St. Charles for my first three game assignments in the Gallagher Friendlies tournament. I worked three matches, with my middle in the first one, an under-18 girls match. The match times for this tournament were reduced (no more an 35 minute halves), and we called water breaks midway through each half. The games went well and my colleagues and I stayed hydrated. Our last game was cut short by lightning in the vicinity; both teams' coaches did not want to wait 30 minutes to resume play.

I was back at the SLYSA Complex the next day (1 Sept.) for three more games in this tournament. They went well, although I was feeling it in my legs during the last game of the set. I started to cramp up in my calves, and I feared I might not be able to finish the game, but fortunately the cramps did not persist and I got through the game fine. (I was dealing with a sore heel all weekend long, which did slow me down a bit, and a sore stubbed toe on Sunday.) After both days' games, I made sure to drink plenty of water, and this did help as I did not feel any cramps on Sunday night.

Monday (2 Sept.)--the Labor Day Holiday here in the USA--I spent at home, recovering from the weekend. I didn't feel like going out that day. It was a day off from work--the car rental place was closed.

Back to work on Tuesday (3 Sept.), with a busy morning due to all the returns from the weekend, plus a few folks needing rentals that day. After work, I was at the Thornhill Branch Library in Creve Coeur to run the IPMS/St. Louis meeting. Only two others attended; I believe this was due to the holiday the day before. I did give a talk on World War II Soviet aircraft colors and markings, which was well received by those in attendance.

Off work Wednesday, I got some personal stuff done, as well as edited items for the upcoming issue of Naturally Autistic Magazine. Back at work Thursday at the car rental firm, I also worked Friday and this morning. Usually, I don't do back-to-back Saturdays, but I am this time because I will be off next Saturday (14 Sept.) for the IPMS Gateway Invitational at the Holiday Inn Route 66 in Sunset Hills, Missouri. Looking forward to this show. I should have a model done in time for the club display there. More show info at http://www.ipms-gateway.com/Gateway2013.html. Hope to see you there!

I'm refereeing games tonight and tomorrow. Talk to you soon.

Later.

29 August 2013

Helping Make a World of Difference

Last weekend saw me at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis working as a volunteer with the Festival of Nations. This is an annual multicultural festival presented by the International Institute of St. Louis, an organization which helps immigrants settle into this area. Late Saturday afternoon (24 August), I helped at a drinks booth, taking money and passing out beverages: soda, beer, water, and margaritas. We had plenty of business in that booth, and I'm sure the other booths did as well. The next day (25 Augus), I helped staff an information booth, assisting attendees with finding their way around the festival grounds. It was great to be of help to the organization, and I enjoyed my free time before the shifts. I checked out the music, dancing, and food booths (I had Brazilian on Saturday and Turkish on Sunday), as well as craft booths and booths from various organizations. Overall, a great time.

Working hard despite the heat, with temperatures topping 90 degrees F this week. Work as the car rental firm is going nicely, as we added a new vehicle service agent to help take some load off of me. Also been editing and proofreading from home, including proofreading a procedures manual for a friend and editing articles for the upcoming issue of Naturally Autistic magazine.

Yesterday (28 August), an off day from work, I was at the dentist for a routine visit. No real problems noted, my teeth were cleaned, and I'm good for another six months. I got some flyers for the IPMS/Gateway Invitational out to three area hobby shops later that day. The show is Sat., 14 Sept. (two weeks from this Saturday). Details at http://ipms-gateway.com.

Speaking of IPMS/Gateway, I was at the club's business meeting in Arnold, Missouri last night. We discussed the Invitational and other club business, and planned next month's club general and business meetings.

I wish my fellow Americans a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.

Later.

22 August 2013

A New Season Begins, and More Hard Work

Last weekend, the fall youth soccer season began, and I was back on the pitch refereeing. Great to be back on the pitch and doing what I really enjoy doing. Last Saturday (17 August), I was at the Lou Fusz Complex in Maryland Heights for three matches late that afternoon and early that night. They went well, including a under-12 boys' match I worked in the middle. No real hassles, except for one rather inexperienced team's rookie mistakes (throw in violations and goal kicks not clearing the penalty area).

Right after the game, I headed for downtown St. Louis to check in as a volunteer for the Moonlight Ramble bicycle ride. This event--the 50th--has thousands of cyclists traveling through St. Louis in the middle of the night. I was sent to a sport in Forest Park to serve as a road marshal (making sure the cyclists are following the right path and there is no traffic interference). I got on station at 11 pm, and the first cyclists appeared just after 1 am. For the better part of the next hour, there were thousands of cyclists passing through, with several expressing their thanks for me being there. I usually replied: "My pleasure!" While this was going on, I also had a AAA roadside assistance person working on my battery, which I ran down while sitting in my car. I was able to get a replacement battery installed and was able to start my car with no problem.

After a bit of sleep at home, I was at the Scott Gallagher Complex in Maryland Heights for three more matches. I had a middle in under-13 girls that was rather excited late in the match with a player going down hurt after colliding with the opposing goalkeeper, and a penalty kick on a foul a few minutes later. Still, the game ended well, so I'm happy. Not so happy, though, was the muggy weather, which caused me to have leg cramps.

Work has been going well at the car rental firm, with me adding some work hours this week. Yesterday, I applied online for a full time position with the firm as a technical writer. Will keep you posted on that application's status. (Thanks to a friend who found the opening and passed that on to me.)

Back to soccer refereeing: Last Monday night (19 Aug.), I attended the monthly soccer referee clinic, which had a discussion of recent game situations and tips for effective refereeing. The next might, IPMS/Gateway met at Calvary Presbyterian Church. We had a good turnout for the Model of the Month "beauty contest" (31 model entries), plus discussion about what contest judges look for in models.

Later.

15 August 2013

Getting My Kicks, and Seeing an Old Friend

It's been unseasonably mild here in Metro St. Louis this week. The low temperatures were into the upper 50s F and the highs were in the mid-to-upper 70s F. Those temperatures will start to pick up to more seasonably normal temperatures in the coming days, but I'll enjoy these days while I can.

Last Saturday (10 Aug.), I was at the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis for the friendly between Real Madrid and Inter. Kevin, my colleague from work, and I took Metrolink from Brentwood to the dome, which was much better than driving to the dome and parking. We were among 54,000+ spectators (a record for a soccer match in Missouri) to see Real win 3-0. The Spanish side soon showed its great class against their opponents. Overall, it was a good day.

The next day found me at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois, where a hot rod show was taking place. I was there with two IPMS/Gateway colleagues to run a make and take for the kids, as we did with earlier shows at the raceway. It was a lower turnout for this make and take, but we had some happy kids and their parents when they had their model cars done.

Work has been well. Kept busy with getting vehicles cleaned and ferried, and with picking up and dropping off customers. I switched shifts with a colleague, so I was off Tuesday and worked yesterday (Wednesday, 14 Aug.). Tuesday morning, I was at a law office in Clayton for this month's Yellow Tie networking event. It went well, and I got to talk to a few new people and saw a few familiar people. Still hoping to work out some connections to better help me find full time work.

That afternoon, I took and passed the online recertification test for soccer refereeing. Out of 50 questions in the multiple choice test, I only missed one. I also ran that afternoon, getting tuned up for the start of the youth soccer season this Saturday. I have games on Saturday and Sunday, part of a busy weekend for me. (More on that in my next post.)

Last night, I was at the Kirkwood Station Brewing Co. for some socializing with an old friend I had not seen in person since 1986. Stacy (Alcorn) Davenport was my classmate at Saint Louis University, and previously graduated from Oakville High School. She now lives in England with her husband and their twin sons. Stacy's visiting her parents in this area and she was at Kirkwood Station for live music and to see some friends in town. We caught up with each other's lives and I got to meet some of Stacy's friends who were there. Overall, it was a great time and the evening was a success. (It didn't start out that well for me: Leaving work, I locked my keys into the car and feared I would not be able to get my duplicate key from home. Fortunately, a colleague was able to jimmy the lock and my evening was saved.)

Later.


09 August 2013

Into August 2013

July ended with a happy hour a week ago Wednesday (31 July) at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, Missouri. It was the first event of a new Meetup group, SoCo Social Club (as in South St. Louis County). It was quite nice, just getting to know each other a bit, and hopefully I can go to more such Meetups with them. Also had a good glass of beer brewed on the premises.

I worked the first two and a half days of August at the car rental branch. (I traded shifts with a colleague to work that Thursday 1 August). Last Friday, I added a black bow tie (clip-on type) to my work attire, to go with the men at the branch who were starting to wear bow ties with their suits on Fridays. It got a good response and I wanted to do so today, but forgot about it with other things on my mind early this morning. Overall, work has been good of late.

A week ago Thursday night (1 Aug.), I was at the Northwest Branch of the Jefferson County Library in High Ridge, Missouri. There, I placed a few of my scale models in the display case in the lobby for a display IPMS/Gateway is doing this month. I also had some club flyers and brochures and flyers for the Invitational next month put up in the display case. We have about 30 models in the display. Looks good.

Speaking of models, I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting last Tuesday night (6 August) at Thornhill Branch, St. Louis County Library. A snafu at the library meant we weren't in our regular meeting room, but we did use the auditorium, so the night wasn't a total loss.

Yesterday (8 Aug.) found me at the Missouri History Museum for the monthly News at Noon program presented by the St. Louis Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists. This month's panel discussion was about covering the Great Flood of 1993, with a reporter and two photographers who covered this disaster for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I found the discussion of how and why this story was covered, and how it would be handled today, very fascinating.

Tomorrow, I'm at the Edward Jones Dome for the Real Madrid-Inter friendly. A report on that match in my next post.

Later.

31 July 2013

A Night (at Someone's House) at the Movies

Work continues to go well at the auto rental branch. Plenty of business coming our way--vacationers, business customers, people with vehicles in the shop needing a loaner. I've been working hard to help our branch fulfill these customers by getting vehicles cleaned and ready to rent, and to pick up and drop off customers between their pick up points (homes, businesses, repair shops) and the branch. No complaints about my performing these duties, really.

I'm really liking my work with this firm and want to move up in the organization towards a career position in corporate communications. I received a few tips on that last night while attending a networking event at Webster University. One of my fellow job seekers made a couple of suggestions for me, and I started putting that to practice this afternoon. We'll see how this goes.

Last Saturday night (27 July), I want to a house in the Overland area of St. Louis County. It was for the STL Screeners Meetup group and about 10 of us were there to watch a movie being screen by our host in her backyard. (She had a large screen set up and projected the movie via a BluRay player. There were five movies for us to select from, and the majority vote went to "Phantom," a 2013 thriller starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny. The movie was pretty good and we all seemed to enjoy each other's company on a pleasant night.

After work on Monday (29 July), I attended the monthly soccer referee in-service clinic. We heard about the law change for this coming season (a clarification on the offisde law), and took in a video quiz on offside situations. Also, we heard about the new assignment setup for our youth leagues this season (which begins on 17 August). Looking forward to getting back onto the pitch and officiating matches.

I'm off to a happy hour tonight in Maplewood. I'll let you know how that goes in my next post here.

Later.

25 July 2013

A Slight, Welcome Chill, and Chiling Out With Make & Take

This week has been good in the weather department, I think. After having highs in the 90s F over the weekend, we've been down to the 80s for the highs the past few days. I could get used to this.

One week ago tonight (18 July) found me at Creve Coeur Airport for the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's monthly meeting. The program this month was celebrating the 65th anniversary of the first fight of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, a parasite fighter that did not enter production. A slide presentation, film, and a wind tunnel model of the XF-85 were featured, along with a look back from a McDonnell engineer involved in the program.

After working Friday among the cars at the car rental firm, I was having fun around cars at Fun Ford Weekend last Saturday and Sunday at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. It was a promotion for Ford's current vehicles as well as a showcase for people displaying their customized Ford vehicles. I was with other Gateway Chapter International Plastic Modelers' Society (IPMS) members both days running a make and take for the kids. For two hours each day, youngsters were able to assemble a car model (a 2010 Mustang GT Convertible was the kit), which snapped together (no glue needed). I and other IPMS/Gateway members there assisted the young modelers and their parents as needed, and the kids got to take their completed models home when done. It was a lot of fun and we had about 100 kids over the weekend taking part in this.

After Saturday's make and take, I bought a new cable for my cell phone charger (the one that came with it had shorted out), and went to the Delmar Loop. There, I joined with five others in the Midtown Minglers Meetup group to see the movie "Girl Most Likely" at the Tivoli. It was an OK movie, I thought. After the show, we walked to Thai Country Kitchen, a restaurant near the Tivoli, for dinner. My first time there, and I had a nice meal.

Last night, I was at Doug Barton's home in Foristell, Missouri for the monthly IPMS/Gateway business meeting. We planned out the August meeting and discussed other club business, including our Invitational contest and swap meet on Sat., 14 September. Details at http://ipms-gateway.com.

Later.

17 July 2013

Hot Times

It's still plenty hot here in St. Louis of late. Temperatures were hitting the mid-90s F with heat indices topping 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Best to stay in an air-conditioned space as much as possible.

Work is still going well at the car rental firm, although the hot weather does make me sweat a lot (and make me drink plenty of water). I did work last Saturday morning (13 July) and that was fine. That afternoon, I was at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters in Frontenac for the STL Aspies Meetup group meeting. We had about 12 people there, including at least two first-time visitors. We discussed how our lives were going and touched about the group's direction in the near future. Several of us then went to nearby Panera Bread for supper.

The previous night (12 July), I was to have met up with people from another Meetup group in Maplewood, during the town's Let Them Eat Art festival. However, I could not find my group at the appointed time and place and I left that place about about 30 minutes. Then, I cruised the festival for awhile before going home. A real letdown.

Last night (16 July), right after work, I was at Calvary Presbyterian Church for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. This meeting featured the annual Slam Fest, where participants had two hours to assemble and finish a model. I and nine others did so and our works were judged by the attendees, with the top three vote getters earning gift certificates. I didn't place with my entry--a 1:72 scale F4F-3 Wildcat--but I gave it a good shot. I'll be with the club this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park for Fun Ford Weekend. We're doing a Make & Take there. More on that in my next post here.

This afternoon, I got the two front tires on my Corolla replaced, as both had badly worn treads. I had the tires replaced, along with balancing and alignment, all done within an hour at a reasonable price. That's one less thing for me to worry about.

Later.

11 July 2013

Answering the Summons (to Jury Duty)

Last Friday (5 July) found me back to work after the Independence Day holiday of the day before. Work is still going well, although being outside when it feels like 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) is no fun.

On Saturday (6 July), I co-hosted Writer's Block, a monthly program of Naturally Autistic Radio. On the show, host Tim Pylypiuk and I discussed religious writings, and issues of trust among writers. The show went rather well, I thought. Back with a new episode on Sat., 3 August.

I hit the sand on Sunday afternoon, playing sand volleyball at New Ballwin Park in Ballwin, Missouri. It was a meetup of the St. Louis Friends Meetup Group. There were 12 of us there and we all played on the sand court, although the sand was rather hot (I had socklets on, which helped). Despite the heat and the attention of some Canada Geese who briefly interrupted a game, we had a wonderful time and will get together later this month in Arnold, Mo. to play.

Monday morning (8 July), I answered a summons to jury duty at the St. Louis County Circuit Court in Clayton. Arriving by 8:30 am, I checked in and sat in the room with about 300 others. During the morning, three groups of about 48 people each were called by name to be prospective jurors in a case being heard that day. However, my name was not on any of those call ups. We broke for lunch at noon, I walking to Chipotle for my meal and World News for a couple of magazines to read over lunch. Arriving back at the courthouse by 1:30, I and the others were there for about an hour when a court official told us we would not be needed that day or the next. With that, we left the courthouse, with myself heading into work for the rest of that day. At least I did my duty as a citizen of the county.

Last night, I was at the Dorsett Inn, a restaurant and bar in Maryland Heights, Mo. for the Firstsite STL Meetup. It's a new Meetup group of singles. We were there for karaoke night. I and a couple of others in the group had the courage to sing. For me, I did two songs: the Frank Sinatra classic "Summer Wind" and Billy Joel's hit "Big Shot." I had not done karaoke in a decade, but it was fine.

This afternoon, I was the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis' Forest Park for this month's News at Noon discussion, presented by the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Today's program was a discussion of legal issues involving news organizations and social media, with two media law attorneys and a newspaper writer on the panel. I briefly chatted afterward with one acquaintance, Janette Lonsdale, an editor for whom I've done some proofreading of content. I also ran into Lucy Knapp, who I worked with four years ago on a temp proofreading assignment. She's now publisher of Women's Journals in St. Louis.

Later.

04 July 2013

Rather Pleasant This Fourth of July 2013

I'm at home now, writing to this blog, on this Independence Day. My parents and I chilled out at home today. None of us were in the mood to take in a parade or festival. Besides, I have to go to work early tomorrow morning.

Speaking of work, things are going well at the car rental branch. When I left work this past Tuesday (2 July), we had plenty of vehicles available for rental, which is good timing due to the holiday weekend. Our productivity was perhaps helped by the rather cooler weather this past week, compared to the week before. I'll take it.

A week ago last last Wednesday night (26 June) found me at Brad and Julie Vaughn's house for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. Our July meeting and other business was planned and discussed. I hope to get some flyers for our 14 September show out to some area hobby shops in the coming days. I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting last Tuesday night (2 July), and solicited ideas from the membership on how to improve our meetings. Hope to get some good ideas soon.

I'm back on the internet radio this Saturday at 12:00 pm Central Time (10 am Pacific Time; 1700 hrs GMT). That's right, it's a new edition of Writer's Block from Naturally Autistic Radio. This month, host Tim Pylypiuk and I will discuss religious storytelling in the first half, and trust in the second. You can join in the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/autistic-people-. The show will be archived for download soon after airing, in case you missed it live or want to hear it again. Hope you can tune in.

Later.

25 June 2013

Hot, Stormy, and Busy

Work at the car rental firm has been going well of late. Been rather busy, with some extra efforts necessary to cover customer traffic at our location, but we've gotten through this stage and our heads stay high. Bit of a challenge with the weather lately--yesterday, the temperature hit 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), with the heat index (temperature plus humidity) hitting 100 degrees F (38 degrees F). I made sure to drink plenty of water and to stay inside as much as possible.

The last two Saturdays have been stormy for me in the weather department. On Saturday 15 June, I was at Creve Coeur Lake Park in Maryland Heights for a singles beach party. It was OK until the rain came (hard), crowding everyone into the shelter. That made it real hard for me to find someone to talk with (not that it was easy to start with), so I left the party when the rain eased up.

Last Saturday (22 June), I was at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois for the Super Chevy Show, a car show. I was there with others from IPMS/Gateway to put on the Make & Take modeling event for youngsters. We had about 100 kids over the two days (Saturday and Sunday), and I really had fun with that. After our shift on Saturday, the rains came down hard with strong winds and a bit of hail to boot. (The latter must have been fun for those entering their cars in the display contest!) The heavy rain flooded some road I was to have passed through on the way home, so I had to find an alternate route to get back home that day.

Speaking of IPMS/Gateway, I had finished my 1964 1/2 Mustang Convertible early last week in time to enter it in the Same Kit Contest at our meeting one week ago (18 June). Mine was one of eight entries in the contest, which was judged by vote of the meeting attendees. Mine didn't win, but I was happy with getting this done. The club is going well of late.

I can mention this now, but my brother Doug got married in Hawaii earlier this month. He and Helen tied the knot on the beach on one of the islands. That means my three younger brothers are all married now. I wonder when my time to walk down the aisle will come?

Later.


13 June 2013

The Heat is On (In More Ways Than One)

Summer officially does not arrive until 21 June (one week from tomorrow), but it sure feels like it here. Hot and humid, with temperatures just topping 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), with heat indices approaching 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) when you factor in the humidity. Looks like some stormy weather hits here this weekend, which should cool the temperature down a bit.

One week ago tonight (6 June), I was at Shameless Grounds, a coffee house in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis. The Sex Positive St. Louis Meetup Group met there for a healthy body workshop, with two women presenting info on nutrition and promoting a line of healthy foods. I tried a sample of some of their products, and they were good, but I don't think they would be easy for me to obtain (store location and price). Still, some food for thought.

Worked at the auto rental facility on Friday (7 June), and this past Monday and Tuesday (10 and 11 June). Business is going real good--plenty of customers wanting to rent vehicles from us, be it for vacation or business trips, or as temporary vehicles while their vehicles are being serviced.

Lately, I've been at work on a small car--one in 1:25 scale. It's a model of a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang Convertible that I'm working to finish by this Tuesday's IPMS/Gateway meeting to enter in the Same Kit Contest. Several club members besides myself signed on to build this kit, so it should be interesting to see how the contest turns out. The pressure is on for me to get this model done in time. I'm painting the model in colors I picked out at CRM Hobbies last Saturday.

Two nights ago, I was with the Sex Positive St. Louis Meetup Group again, this time for a men's only discussion of intimate matters. It was a rather interesting discussion, although I had so little to contribute to it. Plus, I was rather tired from having worked that day and then going straight to the meetup in south St. Louis.

Yesterday morning, I had my Corolla in for scheduled maintenance at Weiss Toyota Scion in south St. Louis County. Among other things, they cleaned and adjusted the rear brakes, changed the antifreeze, brake, and transmission fluids, and tuned up the air conditioning system. Got a lot of needed work done to the car and it should run great for many miles to come.

Back to work tomorrow morning, and I will be able to wear shorts to work. The manager told me on Tuesday that, in hot weather, I could wear khaki shorts instead of trousers. Earlier tonight, I found a nice pair of shorts I can wear to work and will have those on when I report to work in the morning.

Later.

05 June 2013

Busy at Work, and Getting Together with Other Aspies

The week of 27 May was a busy one for me at work. The auto rental branch was closed on that Memorial Day (27 May), then I was working all four weekdays that followed (full days that Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, the first half of the day on Thursday), plus Saturday morning. Plenty of business for us that week, and this week so far. This past Monday (3 June) was a very busy one, as was the following morning, before it eased up yesterday afternoon. I'm back in on Friday.

Besides work, there was the IPMS/Gateway business meeting on 29 May, at CRM Hobbies in south St. Louis. We crowded around a table in the lobby to plan the June general and business meetings and discuss other club business. This past Monday, I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting at Thornhill Branch Library. Only one other member showed up. We met on Monday rather than the standard Tuesday as the meeting room wasn't available to us on Tuesday, which cut into the crowd.

Last Saturday afternoon (1 June), I was at the County Library Headquarters in Frontenac to attend the STL Aspies Meetup. There were about 16 of us, all diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, getting together and getting to know each other. It was my first time with this group since last December. (They had a couple of meetups in the meantime, but I wasn't able to make those.) After the meeting, many of us went to the nearby Panera Bread Co. for dinner. There, I chatted with the Meetup's organizer, who suggested I look into doing monthly podcasts talking with fellow Aspies and therapists. I said I was interested and he promised to get info to me.

Later.

27 May 2013

Watching Soccer and a Good Week at Work

Today, I'm pausing to remember those American warriors who fell in the line of duty. Although Memorial Day is the end of a three-day weekend that unofficially kicks off summer, let's not forget why this day is special.

A week ago Saturday night (18 May), I arrived at the Soccer Park to work two games. Calling the assignor when the third person on our crew didn't show, I found out: 1. the person would not arrive, so we needed to get a club linesman for the match, and 2. the second game was cancelled. Fortunately, the first game was no problem. The next morning, I worked three games, also at Soccer Park, and dealt with hot weather by the last contest. (It felt at least 100 degrees F on the artificial turf field.) Thus ended the Premier League spring season, and I'm off until this summer, when we start the season off again.

Work at the auto rental facility has been going well. A new employee started out at the branch last Monday (20 May), doing vehicle service duties like me. She's new to this duty, but not to the firm: She'd been working part time at another branch for about a year, so she knows the company drill. It's good to have someone to help out, especially on those peak times.

After work Monday, I was at the Bridgeton Trails Library for the monthly soccer referee in-service clinic, but it was cut short due to the threat of hail in the area. I drove out of the storm's path to ride it out until I went home later that night.

Tuesday night, right after work, I helped get the Fellowship Hall at Calvary Presbyterian Church opened up for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. It was a build night and a quarterly contest for Modeler of the Year. Since I didn't have any contest entries, I volunteered to help judge the contest. Some very nice entries in the contest.

Thursday night (23 May), right after work, I headed to Busch Stadium for the soccer friendly between English clubs Chelsea and Manchester City. I was fortunate to get a ticket thanks to my brother Doug, who bought it from a ticket reseller. (The game sold out minutes after tickets went on sale in March.) It was a nice night and a rather entertaining match, as Manchester City rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Chelsea 4-3.

Saturday afternoon (25 May) started at O.B. Clark's in Brentwoood, where I joined other soccer fans to watch the UEFA Champions League Final on TV. This was another entertaining match, as Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1. Afterward, I drove to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Town and Country for the St. Louis County Greek Fest. I took into Greek music and dance, crafts and souvenirs, and food. A real fine time I had there.

Yesterday, after watching the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 on TV (two of my favorite auto races), I drove to Frontier Park in St. Charles for the Missouri River Irish Fest. It was pretty nice, taking in the music, drink, crafts and souvenirs there. I also walked to nearby Main Street to window shop.

Off work today (the auto rental firm is closed on Memorial Day), but back at it tomorrow morning.

Later.

18 May 2013

Busy Week!

Nice to have some time to post this item on my blog today. I'm refereeing youth soccer tonight and tomorrow morning-early afternoon.

This past week was a busy one for me at work. My vehicle service work at the car rental firm ran for all days and hours this week. Yes, I pulled full work days (10 hours, with one hour for lunch) Monday through Friday, plus just over four hours this morning. I got though that week with my determination and effort. Overall, things are going well at our branch. We're adding a new vehicle service person starting this Monday, so I'll show that person the ropes. That would help take quite a work load off me. However, my bank account won't complain about this past week.

Last weekend (11-12 May), I had soccer games I officiated, and it was a busy weekend as well. Last Saturday, I had four small sided games (three 8v8 contests, then a 9v9 match) at the Soccer Park. The two referees I worked with had done games earlier that day, so they asked me to do the middle on all four matches. I was scheduled just for two middles, but I did get through all four in the middle and the games went fine. The next afternoon, at St. Louis U. High, I had three under 14 boys games. I worked the middle in the first match, which went pretty good, then ran lines on the others. By the time the final match was played, I was ready to be done--that's how tired I was from that weekend's games.

Yes, I remembered Mom on Mother's Day last Sunday (12 May), and on her birthday today, and remembered Dad on his birthday last Tuesday (14 May). You could say my parents were born 16 years and 4 days apart.

Later.

11 May 2013

Pretty Good Week

I'm off refereeing youth soccer later today, but wanted to dash off this post. A rather quiet week, dodging some rain during parts of this past week. Nothing severe, though. Work at the auto rental firm has been fine. Looks like I may be getting some added work hours next week, due to some personnel shifts. I'll learn more on that matter this Monday.

After work last Tuesday (7 May), I was at the Thornhill Branch Library in Creve Coeur for the IPMS/St. Louis meeting. We chatted about hobby news and rumors, and admired two nice models brought in by club members.

Last night, I joined my parents for dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill by South County Center. We had a very enjoyable dinner there. It's Mother's Day dinner two days early, what with the rush the restaurants will have tomorrow, plus I'm refereeing games tomorrow afternoon. Sunday starts a big week for my parents, with birthdays coming up for Dad (Tuesday, 14 May), and for Mom (Sat., 18 May).

Later.

04 May 2013

Sunny and Hot, then Wet and Cold

It was a busy, but fine week of work. I was working at the car rental branch on Monday (29 April), Tuesday (30 April), Thursday (2 May), plus the first half of Friday (3 May) and this morning. Early in the week, it was sunny and unseasonably warm, with temperatures hitting the high 70s F on Tuesday afternoon; however, it rained hard yesterday and temperatures only reached the 40s F. Still, we did good and satisfied many customers.

After work Monday, I was at the Bridgeton Trails Library for the monthly soccer referee in-service clinic in its new venue (changed from the Grand Glaize Library). Just a few referees showed up for the presentation on referee personality.

Wednesday (1 May), my off day from work, I was at Jefferson Barracks for the dedication of the POW-MIA Museum next to the National Guard base. This museum--located in an old house on the grounds--is dedicated to American troops who were Prisoners of War (POWs) and Missing in Action (MIA) in our conflicts over the years. IPMS/Gateway was present with a display of models of World War II US and German aircraft and German anti-aircraft guns. These models were presented as the museum was originally honoring POWs of World War II. Honored guests at the dedication were American POWs held at Stalag XVII-B, a German camp in Austria, during World War II. These survivors were holding their final reunion in St. Louis this past week. The model display was very well received by the museum's director, who asked us to help with models for upcoming presentations at the museum. We would be most honored to do so.

After work Friday afternoon, I stopped by Crown Vision Center in Concord Village to pick up my new eyeglasses. I ordered them a week before, after my eyes were examined by an optometrist on the premises. It's taking just a bit to get used to the new glasses (they are no-line bifocals), but they look great on me. Plus, I won't have to take off my glasses when I'm reading something, as I was doing with my previous glasses.

Later.

28 April 2013

Off the Mobile Grid (For a Few Days)

A week ago Saturday (20 May), after working that morning at the car rental branch, I refereed youth soccer that night at the Soccer Park. I was on the lines for two Midwest Development League boys matches, which went well. The next day, I worked three league matches at the Soccer Park. My middle was in an under 15 boys match which got a bit interesting (I had to issue four yellow cards), but ended well.

Work this past week was good at the car rental branch; however, while cleaning a vehicle early last Tuesday morning (23 April), I misplaced by cell phone. It was later found by a customer, whose vehicle my phone fell into. I got my phone back last Friday afternoon (26 April), to my considerable relief. (I contacted the cell phone provider last Wednesday to suspend phone service, then reactivated it on Friday afternoon after I got it back.)

Last Wednesday night (24 April) found me at tom Bogacki's house in south St. Louis for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. Normally we meet on the fourth Tuesdays to discuss business; however, one of our officers (now an Arnold City Councilman) has a Arnold city meeting on those Tuesdays, so we're moving the business meetings to accommodate him. We got the May meeting planned and other club business discussed.

Last Thursday night (25 April), after work, I volunteered as a cashier on the first day of the 64th annual Greater St. Louis Book Fair, held in the Macy's garage at West County Center. Thousands of donated used books, records, videos, maps, and sheet music were for sale, with proceeds benefitting area literacy and nursery programs. The first night was a preview night, in which people paid $10 to get first dibs. The rest of this fair (which ended today) was free to attend. I was a cashier Thursday night and was kept busy by the crowds. Although I had to get a supervisor to help a few times when I pressed the wrong key on the register, the night went well overall. Last night, I was a volunteer in the information desk, although I had light traffic there. This was my second year as a volunteer (I worked this event last year), and was really glad to do it.

Last Friday (26 April)--before I got my phone back--I got the oil changed on my Corolla and got my eyes checked by the optometrist. Then, I ordered new glasses, which I should get within the next two weeks.

Later.

19 April 2013

Happy 50th Anniversary, Parents

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted here, but I was real busy with work and family recently. I'll do my best to bring you all up to speed.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sat., 6 April. That weekend, my three younger brothers--Rick, Brian, and Doug--came to town, Brian accompanied by his son Fischer and Doug by his fiancee Helen. I co-hosted Writer's Block that Saturday on Naturally Autistic Radio, and that night went to a house in Alton with the STL Screeners Meetup group to watch the 1972 movie "Cabaret" on DVD. The next morning, I refereed boys' soccer games at the Soccer Park in Fenton.

After work on Monday the 8th, I drove to Bartolino's South in south St. Louis County for my parents' anniversary dinner. In a private room, my parents, brothers, and close family friends celebrated Mom & Dad's 50 years as wife and husband. It was a great night for all. The next night, I joined my brothers and Helen at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals game vs. the Cincinnati Reds. Wonderful time there.

I worked all days that week at the car rental firm, as our other vehicle service agent was on vacation. Thus, I worked Monday through Friday (10 hours each day), plus the following Saturday morning (4 1/4 hours). Lots of work done, but I got it done and my paycheck will be rather richer. Plus, I think this impressed my supervisors with how much I like working there.

I refereed tournament soccer games last weekend at the Soccer Park, including a final in under 13 boys on Sunday afternoon. (That was an added game to my schedule; the referee scheduled to work that match didn't show up.) Overall, the games went fine.

Back to my regular work schedule this past week (3 days a week). Tuesday night (16 April), I went straight from work to Calvary Presbyterian Church, opening the place up for the IPMS/Gateway meeting that night.

Wednesday (17 April), I checked into several optical stores on eye exams and eyeglasses--both of which I really need. I made a decision based on my research and have an eye exam scheduled for next Friday (26 April).

I'm working at the car rental firm tomorrow (Saturday) morning, and refereeing soccer Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Before I go, next weekend I'm a volunteer at the Greater St. Louis Book Fair, held 25-28 April at West County Center in Town and Country, Mo. It's a used book/magazine, record/video sale, with proceeds going to Nursery Foundation of Greater St. Louis and to local literacy programs. I'm working on Thu., 25 April and Sat., 27 April. Hope to see you there. More info at www.stlouisbookfair.org.

Later.





06 April 2013

Nice Nights on the Town

After a busy half day at the car rental firm last Friday (29 Mar.), I was in west St. Louis for Stress Free Fridays. Specifically, that week's happy hour was at Troy's Jazz Gallery, a jazz club and bar. I had a nice time there socializing some and listening to a fine performance of jazz. Since I had to work the next morning, I had to leave fairly early, but it was time well spent.

The next day (30 Mar.), I worked a morning shift at the car rental firm, came home to change, then was at the Scott Gallagher Complex for a pair of girls soccer games. I ran lines on these under 14 matches, which were played in the rain part of the time. No problems with the artificial turf, but I did get a bit wet. The games went well, then I had dinner at the Trainwreck Saloon in West Port Plaza.

Last Monday (1 Apr.) found me at work. I'm now pulling three full days a week, plus every other Saturday. Mondays are usually busy at the firm, and this week was no exception. Still, it's nice to have a stable schedule for work. The next day (2 Apr.), I took time off from work to get a cavity filled by the dentist. That work--after more extensive dental work done two weeks before--means my mouth's in good shape for a good while. Right after work Tuesday, I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting in Creve Coeur.

Wednesday night (2 Apr.), after an off day from work, I was at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar in Kirkwood for the Midtown Mingles Meetup group. About nine of us were there and we had a great time socializing, and munching on tapas dishes. It was my first time in that place and with tapas, and I liked it a lot. Very fine bunch of people to socialize with.

Back to work Thursday (4 Apr.), then off the next day. Early last night, I picked up Rick from the airport. He and my two other brothers will be in town this weekend to help my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It's a great milestone to reach in this age.

I'm co-hosting Writer's Block later today (10 am PT/Noon CT); here's a link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/autistic-people-/2013/04/06/writers-block-10am-pstradio-drama-11am-pst.

Later.

28 March 2013

After the Snow, Spring (I Hope)

After the big snowfall last Sunday (24 Mar.)--approximately 12 inches (30.5 cm) fell--it was an interesting start to the work week. I was at the auto rental firm branch early on Monday helping remove snow from the vehicles' windows and dealing with a reduced maneuvering space on our lot due to the snow piles. It was most hectic in business to start that day, but we got through it fine. I also worked Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and having a better time of things as the snow melted.(Is spring really here?) Also on Wednesday, I received my 90-day review from my supervisor and it was very positive. My reliability, hard work, sociability with colleagues, and customer service were cited. Just a bit to work on improving in traffic management, but they are most happy to have me, as I as most happy to be there.

I was in north St. Louis County last night (27 Mar.) for a get together of the Sex Positive St. Louis Meetup, where there was a demonstration of kinky sex items and techniques. I didn't have much interest in this, so I left after about an hour.

I was off work today, and spent some of that time getting my computer tuned up. The technician at Office Depot added memory to my computer, giving it double the previous memory, which is already helping it run faster. Also, he got rid of a few old files, so this computer should be running much smoother from now on.

Back to work tomorrow morning, and I have games on Saturday afternoon-evening. Plus, Easter this Sunday.

Later.

24 March 2013

It's Snowing (This Late in March)!

Quite a day here in St. Louis. Since mid-morning, we've had snow falling all day. It looks like we will get up to 6 inches (15.2 cm) by the time this storm ends tonight. My soccer games for late this afternoon have been called off (no repeat of the USA-Costa Rica match last Friday night in Denver), and it will be quite a cleanup job at the car rental firm tomorrow morning.

Speaking of that firm, work has been pretty good of late. Been rather busy, so I'm not sitting around a lot, which is good. I'd rather be busy. It makes the day go faster and I feel more of a sense of worth. A week ago yesterday (16 Mar.), I took a safe driving course at the firm's request, to ensure I would have a good driving record. The four-hour course went well.

That weekend, I officiated games on the Saturday (16 Mar.) and Sunday (17 Mar.). The three games Saturday went well, with no real hitches. The Sunday games were played in the rain (on artificial turf), which really felt cold. The second game was cut short due to lightning in the vicinity. Other than that, no major incidents in those matches.

I was at the dentist's office last Tuesday afternoon (19 Feb.) to get some filings put in and a gap caused by a tooth partially breaking loose filled. I was in the chair for over 1 1/2 hours, but glad to get this taken care of that day. I have an appointment early next month to follow up on this and to fill in one more cavity, and that should take care of things with my teeth.

That night, IPMS/Gateway met at Calvary Presbyterian Church. We had a good turnout for the meeting, which included a demo on seam filling. I had the fellowship hall prepared beforehand and cleaned up afterward.

The next day (20 Mar.), I had to deal with diarrhea at work. I was able to finish up my work schedule and come home, but I had a flight touch of stomach flu that afternoon. Fortunately, I was off the next day and was able to rest up and return for work that Friday morning. Thursday night (21 Mar.) found me at the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's meeting at Creve Coeur Airport, where the 1970 movie "Airport" was screened. I hadn't seen that film in a few years, but I liked it.

Later.



15 March 2013

Good Week at Work

I'm off today, but I worked the four previous days (Mon., 11 March through Thu., 14 March) at the car rental firm. This included an all-day session on Monday, plus half days the other three days. Fortunately, there was plenty to do, between cleaning and prepping rental vehicles, picking up and dropping off customers, and getting vehicles to and from our satellite locations. I could have done without the cold weather much of this week, but at least the work days went well.

Earlier today, I watched on TV the Saint Louis University Billikens win their first game in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. SLU beat Charlotte 72-55 in the quarterfinals today, and play in tomorrow's semifinal against the Butler-LaSalle winner. Go Billikens!

Later.

10 March 2013

Drawing Blood and Blowing the Whistle

I'm pretty much recovered now from the loss of an hour early this morning with the switch to Daylight Savings Time.

A week ago Thursday (28 Feb.), I was at the Missouri Aviation Historical Society meeting at Creve Coeur Airport, where I took in an interesting presentation on the history of aircraft instruments. I also turned in my article with photos for the society's newsletter. No firm idea when the article will run, though.

The following Saturday (2 March), I co-hosted the monthly program Writer's Block from Naturally Autistic Radio, which is streamed through blogtalkradio.com. Host Tim Pylypiuk and I talked about the writing behind video games--rather out of my depth, but I did my best to go along. We'll have a new episode on Sat., 6 April at 10 am pacific Time (12 pm Central Time; 1800 hrs GMT). I was at the Scott Gallagher Complex in Maryland Heights the next day (3 Mar.) to officiate under 14 boys' soccer games. I was scheduled to run lines on both games, but I was asked to referee the second match, which I did. The games went fine and I really didn't feel as fusty as I feared in my first outdoor matches since last November.

Busy week of work this past week, including pulling in all-day shifts (with a lunch break) on two days. We're had a change in personnel in my branch, so the manager is trying to figure out for myself and my colleagues our schedules. Still, I don't mind the work; a few extra hours means a few extra dollars in my account.

Last Wednesday morning (6 Mar.), I went to a lab to have some blood drawn for tests ordered by my doctor the week before. I don't know the results yet, but I did not have any ill effects from the test.

Yesterday (9 Mar.), after working at the car rental branch that morning, I was at The World Cafe in south St. Louis for the Human Sexuality and Relationships in the 21st Century (HSR21) Meetup. They had a discussion focused on answering questions about sexuality. I could only stay about an hour, as I had to get home and get ready for work that night. At the Soccer Park, I officiated three boys under 12 8v8 games (including one middle). All games went well.

This afternoon, I attended the visitation for Steven Hunsicker, Sr., who died three days ago. His son Steve was my Saint Louis University classmate, and the elder Hunsicker was my dad's colleague at Southwestern Bell Telephone. Steve was very happy to see me and others from our SLU days who came to express their condolences.

Later.

27 February 2013

Futsal, Meetups, Work, and Checkup

Last Saturday night (23 Feb.), I refereed three high school boys futsal matches at Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis. The games went well, and were a good end for me to the winter futsal season. I'm back outdoors this Sunday.

The next day found me taking in a pair of Meetups. First was the International Festival at the Maryland Heights Centre, with the Saint Louis Friends Meetup. We took in ethnic food, music and dance, and crafts from several ethnic groups in the area. It was nice, a smaller-scale version of the Festival of Nations every August in St. Louis. That night, I was in Maplewood with several other STL Screeners members watching the Oscars on TV. We shared out opinions of the show, the host, and the Oscar winners. Guessing correctly on one of the categories in the pre-ceremony pool earned me a gift bag that included candy and a DVD.

Back to work on Monday (25 Feb.), and I pulled a full day. (The supervisor asked me late last week if I would, and I said I could.) A bit frantic at times, with plenty of vehicles to prep and customers to pick up or drop off. Somehow, I got through all that OK. Then, I was at Grand Glaize Library for the monthly soccer referee clinic, where I took in presentations on "Why do referees make mistakes" and "Pre-game for assistant referees." Always informative and several referees comments on their experiences (good and bad) in these areas.

On my day off, I wrote an article that is to go into Missouri Aviation Historical Society's newsletter. I'll let you know more once this article is published. I hope to turn that in, with the photos I took two months ago of the subject, to the newsletter editor at the MAHS meeting tomorrow (Thursday) night. I was at the IPMS/Gateway business meeting that night at Marion Morris' house, to plan the March meetings and to discuss our Invitational in September.

Work today was fine. It wasn't too busy, but it sure was depressing to see the snow coming down under the gray sky. I'm glad it's not accumulating; that would be a considerable problem. After getting off work today, I went to a doctor by St. Anthony's Medical Center for a checkup. It went fine; the doctor examined me and said I was in good shape, his assistant cleared out some wax in one ear, and the doctor prescribed some pain reliever for my sore knees. He also asked me to get some blood work done soon, which I plan to do early next week.

I should be co-hosting Writer's Block from Naturally Autistic Radio this Saturday (2 Mar.) at noon Central Time (10 am Pacific Time; 1800 GMT). I haven't received the script yet; I'll send my hosting partner a reminder in a moment. Anyway, I hope you can tune in (live or the archive); details at www.naturallyautistic.com/radio-show.

Later.