16 April 2015

Keeping Busy and Awake; Twins Arive

Last Sunday night (12 April), I was at the Eclipse Restaurant of the Moonrise Hotel, located in the Delmar Loop area of University City, Missouri. I joined others from the St. Louis Space Frontier Meetup Group in celebrating Yuri's Night, commemorating Yuri Gagarin being the first human in space on that date in 1961. We enjoyed a nice dinner and played a game of spaceflight trivia before doing upstairs to the open-air lounge on the roof. We had good weather and enjoyed seeing the sights of the Loop.

I was at work earlier than usual the next morning, to help the branch get a jump start on a busy day. This whole week has kept us hopping, with much demand for our vehicles from customers getting their vehicles repaired from the previous week's hail storm. We have a handle on the situation and have gotten through the week just fine.

All this work and thinking about many things have been making it hard for me to sleep enough this week. I was very for this off day today, so I can catch up with some rest. I also got some materials for my hobby workbench. In recent days, I also did some trials with my new airbrush, including spraying some distilled water through it today so I can get a better feel for the airbrush. It looks like this will work out great for me.

Last night, got the great news that my brother Doug and his wife Helen are now parents of twin boys. I texted my congratulations to Doug. The boys and mother are doing well.

Off to this month's Missouri Aviation Historical Society meeting tonight at Creve Coeur Airport, where they will try again to celebrate the history of the Curtiss C-46 Commando. (Computer problems postponed the program from last month.) More at moavhist.org.


12 April 2015

Easter, Family, Hail, Erik Larson, and Soccer

This past week was quite eventful, to say the least. I celebrated Easter last Sunday (5 April), and went to the airport with my mom that afternoon to pick up my brother Brian and his children, Rowan and Fischer. They flew in from New York for a few days here. It was great seeing them and seeing how much Brian's two children have grown since I last saw them about 3 years ago. My mom saw them more, since I was at work much of the time they were here.

After flexing out of work on Tuesday afternoon (7 April), I cast my vote in the municipal election, then met with Mom, Brian and the children at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. I enjoyed a concrete there with them (they had visited the City Museum earlier that day), and then I came by CRM Hobbies to pick up an airbrush I ordered a few days before.

The next morning at work, the morning sky turned dark and we got hit by some hail the size of marbles, followed by thunderstorms. There was only one vehicle on our lot, so we put it in the cleaning bay right away; however, a couple of others returned by customers did sustain hail damage needing repair. Not many of our vehicles got hit, but we're working hard to make sure our customers are taken care of. This week promises to be most busy for us.

After work Wednesday night, I drove to The Heights in Richmond Heights for this month's St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) meeting. The meeting for this group of local authors and publishers featured a presentation on editing. (One of the presenters was Janette Lonsdale, a content strategist I have known for some time and for who I have performed some proofreading work.) It was very interesting and confirmed much of what I try to tell people skeptical of my services. You can find out more about the SLPA on their website: http://www.stlouispublishers.org/

Off work Thursday (9 April), I traveled to St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood to join Mom, Brian and the kids for some playtime and lunch before Brian and the children caught their flight back to New York. Rowan and Fischer said their goodbyes to me. I think all three had a good time in St. Louis.

That night, I drove to the Ethical Society of St. Louis in Ladue for a lecture and book signing by best-selling author Erik Larson. I have read three of his earlier works--"Isaac's Storm," "The Devil in the White City," and "In the Garden of Beasts." Larson was talking that night about his just-released book "Dead Wake," about the final Atlantic crossing of the British ocean liner Lusitania 100 years ago next month. His informative and witty lecture was attended by about 300 people (my guess), followed by a question-and-answer session and the signing of his book. Larson signed my copy of "Dead Wake" and I left the building. He's one of my favorite authors for his great knack of writing history books that read like novels, and that tell me something about people and events I thought I knew. You can read more about Larson and his books here: http://eriklarsonbooks.com/

Last night, I was at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton for Saint Louis FC's home opener, vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds. After walking around the stadium, I settled in my seat to watch the match. It ended a 1-1 draw, before a full house. I was so happy to walk out of the stadium, knowing we have pro soccer (football) back in St. Louis. For more on this team, visit their website: http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index

This morning, I was back at the Soccer Park to serve as assistant referee for a Midwest Development League under 15 boys match. It was a rather intense contest between St. Louis Scott Gallagher--Missouri and Sockers FC Chicago, which ended in a scoreless draw. I felt pretty good, despite not having much sleep the night before and not having worked a match at this level for some time.