Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Do you need groceries the day after Thanksgiving? Not everyone does, but if you do go today. I went for a couple of things this morning and the check out man told me the day after Thanksgiving is the slowest day of the year in the grocery business.
Here's map showing the most google searched Thanksgiving food by state. Saw this yesterday but was busy with our real food prep. It's interesting how different and sometimes how weird these food searches are and to think many are doing it makes it more curious. For instance, the most frequent food search for Missouri was Green Rice Casserole. Seriously? In Colorado, Nevada and Idaho, it was Frog Eye Salad. Click to enlarge.
Looking throught the Thursday Personal Tech page in the New York Times this morning there was a new vacuum cleaner highlighted-the Dyson Motorhead. This looks rather like a sort of weed whacker for inside the house. The motor up near the top handle connected to a pole which connects to the suction head. The story described this new vacuum as "a light-weight, hand-held,vacuum cleaner that is nearly as powerful as a full size, plug in model. Though it looks like a space age laser gun, there's nothing better at cleaning up."
Now I was intrigued. This is a rechargeable vac so that is a cause for concern, but it seems as though battery drain isn't really an issue as reviews say it will do a whole house before it needs recharging. It looks small so I naively gave some thought about maybe getting one. Then I saw the price. $549.
No way I'd pay that much for a vacuum and one that needs charging at that. And while it may do the whole house, the fill canister looks very small which means stopping too often to empty it. If you live in an apartment, don't have a dog or kids, this might be fine, not for me though. There are stores which have it on sale online right now, but it's still too much. I'd rather spend money on other things.
The draft language would require restaurants and grocery chains with more than 20 locations that devote more than half of their floor space to selling food to list the number of calories in each item of food they prepare.
The nation’s eateries are faced with the costly prospect of having to calculate the number of calories in the various meals they serve. The problem is not every meal or every ingredient is fixed in the same way which means, even steak could have various calorie counts depending on what was ordered.
But restaurants and grocery stores are concerned they’ll be required to recount the number of calories in a meal every time they tinker with a recipe, which they say would be nearly impossible to do considering the endless number of food combinations they sell.
This is just one of the many many regulations coming from the president in the coming days. In fact 3415 new regulations are coming or have been already released.
I got to thinking this morning about tomorrow's Thanksgiving meal and it occurred to me that when there are 3 boys 8 and under, it is possible they aren't going to be loving the more adult dishes. So I did a Google search on "Thanksgiving foods for kids" and most of what came up were desserts. Cupcakes, cookies made to look like turkeys, yadda yadda. Not much help.
In the end I added fruit and some non-Thanksgiving sides like mini hot dogs and maybe macaroni if I have time to fix it.
I have very few words about the horror that was Ferguson and South St. Louis last night. It kept me up, the images of ferocious fast all encompassing fires. But one image has stayed with me and maybe says all that needs to be said this morning. It is a picture of Ferguson small business owner, Natalie DeBose who owns Natalie's Cakes and More which she opened on June 29th. Previously to this she sold her cakes at flea markets to save up money to get her own shop.
After the August riots and upheaval, she was often interviewed by local news stations as she described her struggle to keep her business open. Then came last night and her store front window was smashed.
Just don't burn my shop down, she pleaded, Don't destroy it.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding what might happen after the Ferguson grand jury decision is handed down, every agency is in "cover all bases" mode. This is what the United States Postal Service has done to our campus mailbox.
This is to prevent a bomb being dropped into the collection box. I mean, seriously? Who really believes someone is going to find this campus of all places and drop a bomb in our mailbox?
Downtown Clayton is filled with tv news trucks, the streets are filled with out of town reporters. For the past week or so the Ferguson story has become a media event kept alive by local and national reporters who just won't let this go.
This morning I saw a story relating the news that several national cable anchors have talked with officer Darren Wilson. "Just to feel him out about sitting down for and interview". This surprised me, I had the idea he was well hidden and not to be found.
Also, this strikes me as typical of reporters, but scary on some levels. Anderson Cooper of CNN said, ""I'd also like to interview the grand jury." Grand jury members are supposed to remain anonymous, both for the potential future trials, but for their own safey. It just figures that some news people will not stop until they find out where these people live and camp out on the front lawn.
I actually believe these out of town media people really want to see riots after whatever decision is made by the jury. Because of the media's agitating, way too many organizations, schools, businesses, local governments have gone over the top in preparing for the worst.
An FYI for anyone who was unsure of how many jurors make up a grand jury in Missouri and how many of those members it takes to make a decision. I include myself in that "anyone" because of all the information that has come out of the Ferguson story, I've never seen this question answered. My question was, does the grand jury decision have to be unanimous? If not, what number makes the decision binding?
There are 12 members and it takes 9 to make an official decision or true bill as it is called. They could come back with a no bill meaning no charges or one of two other charges:
Voluntary manslaughter which is knowingly causing death under a sudden passion with adequate cause (an assault on the officer). Or, second degree murder-knowingly causing death.
If a grand jury does not bring charges the federal attorney general could bring charges to a federal grand jury if he decides that an important federal interest was not vindicated by the state prosecution.
So there you have it. The issue I see is that a grand jury looks at all the facts in the case and is not working for one side or the other "to win".
The Post Dispatch has a supplement in the weekend paper with many gift ideas. Sometimes these ideas are a bit off the wall, kind of like making stuff up just to fill the pages. This idea is one of those.
A gold hanging flame crown featuring gold keys and clips to hang your favorite photos.
If you're on Twitter, you should be following KSDK weather guy, Chester Lampkin. He is up to the minute with weather information as well as local sports, news and other things. He is a consistent tweeter and one who keeps in touch with his readers. If you send him something, he'll retweet it. He'll reply. All around good guy doing Twitter right. Anyway, this morning someone in St. Louis tweeted him this question:
"Will it be an uncomfortable 61 degrees today or just awkward with the rain?" I think the person meant 'comfortable' not uncomfortable, but Chester answered:
"Uncomfortable is subjective."
Oh, and he later noted, today is the warmest we've been in 11 days.
Tonight the Missouri Botanical Garden will open its second annual Garden Glow mile and a half walk through Christmas lights. It looks amazing. The KSDK video report shows how absolutely gorgeous this must be. I'd love to see this, just don't know if we can fit the time in when tickets are still available.
It is a bit pricey for families, however. 16 dollars for adults, 10 for kids. If you're a member it will be 12 dollars for adults, 6 for kids.
November 22 to December 18 the Glow is open from 5:30 to 9:30
December 19-January 3 open nightly except for December 24, 25, and January 31.
Interesting piece of beer history: In 1963, Alfred (Freddy) Heineken of the Heineken beer company, took a trip to a small island in the Caribbean and was taken aback by all the beer bottles littering the beaches. The island was mostly impoverished with little in the way of building materials or good ways of throwing things away so he came with the idea of making his green beer bottles in the shape of a brick with interlocking bottoms. He believed small, one room, "shacks" could be made of all these spent bottles.
In the end it was not a workable idea, but one which has captivated many architects since then who drew up prototypes. Green building before it was cool. This link has lots of cool photos of Heineken bottles used in buildings things.
The Washington DC city council approved an ordinance which includes a fine for residents and businesses who do not shovel the snow in front of their properties. Frankly, I've always found it odd that people with homes fronted by a public sidewalk did not clear their walks and even more surprising have been local business which did not do this.
Often the reason for neglecting the shoveling stems from the belief that there is a law somewhere which states that if you don't shovel the walk and someone falls, you aren't liable because the snow is an act of nature. But if you do shovel and don't get it completely cleared and someone falls you are liable because you've messed with nature.
A couple of years ago I did some checking and found that theory to be wrong, there is no law about shoveling or not shoveling. It's just the right thing to do if you are at all physically able. Oddly, the Clayton neighborhood we're in has many more homes who do not shovel than do and is also an area where people walk frequently. Grade school kids go to and fro from grade school and middle school, Wash U students walk through to get to Kaldi's, people with dogs have to get them out. So when snow hits, forget about walking safely.
This ordinance may be difficult to enforce fairly. Officials will have to get a complaint or actually see an issue. Some will be fined others won't.
Here is a story on the Worst Toys for Kids 2014 put out by group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H for short.
Most of the toys on this year's hazardous list have some sort of injury possibility built in, such as the Bottle Rocket Party game. Pretty obvious. The one toy on the list which surprises me is the colored Hedgehog plush stuffed animal. No story I can find tells exactly why this sort of innocuous looking stuffed animal is dangerous.
Maybe the green fur falls out and can choke a child, I don't know.