09 September 2016

Labor Day Weekend with Japanese and Greeks

The end of last week went well for me at work on Friday (2 September) and Saturday morning. After work on Saturday, I came home to rest. I just chilled out at home that day and night.

The next day (4 September) found me at the Missouri Botanical Garden (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/) for their 40th annual Japanese Festival. It was quite a few years since I last attended this event, but I am glad I went--even if alone. After a sushi lunch from Drunken Fish (http://www.drunkenfish.com/home), I began walking the Garden's grounds. I browsed among the various vendors--clothing, food, bonsai plants, and other Japanese items--and took in the Japanese Garden, Seiwa-en (garden of pure, clear harmony and peace). I also took in a performance of Japanese drum-based music performed by St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. I did buy from a vendor a Japanese headband of the kind used by kamikaze (divine wind) suicide pilots in World War II. I thought it looked nice on my head.

Work was closed on Monday (5 September) for the Labor Day holiday, and I spent part of it at the 99th annual Greek Festival held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.sngoc.org/) in St. Louis' Central West End. I grabbed lunch--an authentic gyro sandwich and a spanakopita (filo dough filled with spinach and cheese)--before watching some Greek folk dancing performed on the stage by the young people of the church. I also browsed among the souvenir stands before leaving the festival. Another nice time, albeit alone.

Back to work on Tuesday, which felt like Monday. It was one very busy morning at our branch, with all the returns from the holiday weekend. However, we got through all that fine.

After work that day, I drove to Mark Twain Hobby Center (https://www.hobby1.com/) in St. Charles. The scale modeling group formerly known as IPMS/St. Louis was meeting, and I found out that it was renamed the Mark Twain Hobby Club. There was a nice crowd there--about 15 people--and I presented an update about tomorrow's IPMS/Gateway contest (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/invite2016.html) in Sunset Hills. We had a show and tell of current projects and recently completed models (I brought in three models in progress), plus a demo on using Bare Metal Foil as trim on models. I have to hand it to Chris Morosko and Brett Avants for restarting this club, and I plan to stay with it.

It was appropriate that, after work Wednesday (7 September), I was at my Portuguese class at St. Louis Community College at Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/MC/) on Brazilian Independence Day. Priscila, our instructor from Viva Brasil Association of St. Louis (http://www.e.vivabrasilstl.org/home), acknowledged that holiday before going into that night's lesson.

Yesterday was a busy off day from work for me. I started by getting a dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (https://www.krispykreme.com/), which I then took to the Enterprise branch in Brentwood. I was honoring a promise made to Hannah, when she left Ellisville to become Brentwood's assistant manager, that I would bring some doughnuts to her branch. Alex, the manager (who I also worked with when he was at Ellisville), and Hannah greatly appreciated my gesture and were very happy to see me.

After a short stay, I then headed to Weiss Toyota (http://www.weisstoyota.com/) in south St. Louis County, where I had the front passenger airbag inflator replaced per a major recall of such items. This was free of charge to me. The service advisor then said I should get the front brake pads replaced, the brake fluid exchanged, and the windshield wiper blades replaced. I told him to do it, and it was done. It cost me about $370 for the job, but it would have been $42 more if not for a coupon they happened to have that week on brake pad replacement.

This morning, I stopped by Krispy Kreme to buy a dozen doughnuts for my colleagues in Ellisville before going into work. It was a soggy morning--much rain since the night before--and work was fairly show until late this afternoon, when it got very busy. We got it all done, though. As usual, the doughnuts were much appreciated by the Ellisville staff, which included Kory, back to us after several months at the Airport location. (Miranda just started work at the Airport a few days ago, transferring from Ellisville.)

Now to relax before a big day tomorrow--the IPMS/Gateway contest, then Brasil Day in midtown St. Louis (http://www.brasildaystl.com/). More on those events, plus Sunday's IPMS/Gateway picnic, in my next post.