28 November 2015

The Balloon Goes Up on Thanksgiving 2015

Work at the car rental branch has been going well, with the increased traffic going out for the Thanksgiving holiday. We said goodbye to Alex as he left our branch to become assistant branch at the Lambert Airport location, and we welcomed Liz back to our branch as our new manager. (She had been assistant manager in Ellisville before going to the Airport earlier this year.)

The weather last weekend did cause some concern. Enough for the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (http://moavhist.org/) to cancel a member's holiday lunch last Saturday afternoon (21 November) at Creve Coeur Airport. I did make the most of the day, though, going to lunch at Noodles & Company in Chesterfield (http://www.noodles.com/Chesterfield) and getting a coffee and dessert at The Wolf Public House in Ballwin (https://www.facebook.com/TheWolfPublicHouse).

That night found me at Worldwide Technology Soccer Park (http://saintlouisfc.com/soccerpark) in Fenton for a town hall meeting bringing together the management of Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) with members of the St. Louigans (http://stlouligans.com/), the supporter group. It was a very nice program, with the STL FC management talking about this past season and looking ahead to 2016, plus taking questions regarding the club and the game experience. I asked about the Pub2Park shuttle bus service, and was told there were no changes anticipated to it in the coming season. It was especially nice chatting with two of STL FC's management team, Chief Executive Officer Jim Kavanaugh and Chief Financial Officer Tom Strunk, who I both knew from Saint Louis University when they played for the Billikens. Kavanaugh and Strunk also hold those titles with Worldwide Technology, Inc. (https://www2.wwt.com/), an information technology integrator.

I was back at Worldwide Technology Soccer Park the next morning to referee soccer games. It was the last Sunday of the Fall youth season and I worked three small-sided (8v8) matches. Yours truly was in the middle for the first and third matches of the set--my first this fall. It was fine, despite a bit of concern over not having done any games in several months. Futsal will start next month.

My mom left town on Monday to spent the week with my brother Rick in Charleston, South Carolina. I carried on at home. After flexing out of work Tuesday afternoon (24 November), I took care of some personal business, then was at Del Miller's house in Sappington for the IPMS/Gateway business meeting. That went well and we got the December meetings planned.

After work Wednesday night, I was along Cherokee Street in south St. Louis volunteering at the Condom Crawl, a program put on by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-st-louis-region-southwest-missouri). Along with a few other volunteers, I passed out safe sex kits to people in the bars and shops along Cherokee Street. It was a nice thing to do and it was appreciated by those we met.

The next morning found me in downtown St. Louis for the Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade (http://www.christmasinstlouis.org/thanksgiving-day-parade/). I was there as a balloon handler, invited by our family friend Kit Weis (nee Maxwell), a 1985 Mehlville High graduate. She's a financial advisor with Edward Jones (https://www.edwardjones.com/index.html?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=edward+jones&utm_campaign=Brand_Exact), who sponsored the Kermit the Frog balloon in this parade. I and others handled Kermit, while Kit and some others took charge of the balloon depicting Animal of the Muppets. It was a challenge with the wind kicking up at times, but we got through the parade route very well.

That night, Kit and her husband Dan invited me to their house in Oakville for Thanksgiving dinner. I happy accepted, as I would have otherwise been alone that day and night. It was a very nice dinner with turkey and the trimmings. I joined Kit, Dan, their three children, Kit's mother and step-father, Dan's mom, and Kit's brother Rob, who got along famously with me. It was a very nice time and I greatly appreciated the time I spent with them.

Back at work yesterday and this morning, and things are doing well. I stopped by CRM Hobbies (http://www.crmhobbies.com/) in south St. Louis this afternoon to pick up an airbrush hose and regulator I ordered. I got them hooked up tonight, although with some connection difficulties that necessitated a return visit to CRM for a connector. Now I look to resume working on some scale models soon.