Work this week has been good, and plenty busy. Quite a few customers came from the car repair shops in our branch's area, and we scrambled at times to get vehicles ready for them, but all our customers were taken care of in good order. We also welcomed Andrew, the new vehicle service agent, who will be working part time at our branch. The early indication is that he will be a good addition to us.
After a very busy Monday (5 December) at the branch, I went to Firehouse Pub & Grill (http://www.firehousebarandgrillstl.com/) in Mehlville for the annual Eastern Missouri Soccer Referee Association (EMSRA) Christmas party. It was nice seeing my colleagues and enjoying a nice buffet dinner, but I was so tired from work (and from a traffic jam on the way to the party) that I left for home after awhile.
I flexed out of work Tuesday afternoon, then visited four nearby branches with cookies for the staff and my annual newsletter for several friends and close acquaintances at those branches. They appreciated the goodwill gesture I was providing. After dinner at home, I went to St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (http://www.stlcc.edu/FP/) for the annual soccer referee recertification clinic. We sat through an overview of Law changes now in effect, plus reviewing procedures for dealing with concussions by players and seeing video clips of game situations that referees should be on the watch for in their matches. We also got some tips on dealing with unruly fans in youth matches. After all that, and having previously providing proof of registration payment and passing online tests, we each received our new 2017 referee badges.
It was a full day of work Wednesday (7 December), with my reading about the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor during lunch. After work, I was at St. Louis Community College-Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/MC/) for my Beginning Portuguese class. Our class had more practice on pronouns and on tenses. The class ends this Wednesday night. I may go for the Phase III class after the first of next month.
My off day Thursday included visiting five branches in mid, north, and west St. Louis County bearing cookies for their staffs and newsletters for friends and acquaintances. Just as with Tuesday's visits, my presence and gifts were well received. I also did a bit of shopping at the Boeing Store (https://www.boeingstore.com/) in Hazelwood.
That night, I drove to the Deer Run Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library (http://www.youranswerplace.org/deer-run-branch) in O'Fallon, Missouri. I joined three of my IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) colleagues in running a make 'n take model building session for children. This was the fourth of seven make 'n takes being held at St. Charles County libraries from mid-November to late this month. We had 25 attendees this night--children and their parents. The children were given a snap-together scale model kit (either a car or aircraft) to assemble, with parents there to help where they can. My club mates and I went around helping the children with these kits, which they got to take home when assembled. Best of all, there was no charge to these families; IPMS/Gateway donated the kits and their members the time.
I worked at the branch yesterday morning (10 December), then went to the Kathryn Linnemann Branch (http://www.youranswerplace.org/kathryn-linnemann-branch) in St. Charles for another make 'n take. This event drew 34 children and their parents, plus myself and three other IPMS/Gateway members. (One member present at all of these make 'n takes is Mark Carroll, who organized this series.) My experience in scale modeling came in handy, as I was needed a few times to help with problems a few children had with their kits. Overall, however, it was a another triumph for us, as the club got much great feedback from attendees.
Last night was at home, as I watched the MLS Cup match on TV. I was happy that Seattle Sounders won on penalty kicks over Toronto FC, as I was pulling for Seattle. (Having relatives in the Puget Sound area gave me a dog in this fight.)
I'm looking forward to this Friday night, as my brother Brian will be drumming for Melissa Etheridge (http://www.melissaetheridge.com/) when she performs at River City Casino & Hotel (https://www.rivercity.com/entertainment/concerts-and-events/melissa-etheridge-and-holiday-trio/) in Lemay.