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.
A story yesterday which reported that Missouri lawmakers are considering a proposal to update state driver’s licensing procedures to comply with federal law. It's about time. Missouri travelers will have to have this updated drivers license to board airplanes beginning in 2018 so our legislators need to get with the program. This state has dragged its feet on this issue for reasons that make sense only to them.
Opponents believe there are privacy concerns over a provision requiring states to keep license holders’ personal information. I guess forcing people to bring a passport in lieu of compliant drivers license does not affect privacy? Come on you guys, get the licenses up to date like all the other states.
I'm flying today and it would be such a hassle if we needed a special type of drivers license.
Today, light rain or no rain, the huge old Oak in our back yard is coming down. It has become messy, losing limbs and it is right over the main power lines. Ameren is here to drop the line until they're done which means no power for some time today. The tree bucket truck barely squeezed through.
I've come to really like the Urban Chestnut beers after avoiding them for some time. Maybe I overlooked them because they come in such large bottles (22 ounces) and are sold either by single bottles or 4 packs unlike most beers in 6 packs. But this beer is really good.
Came across a product I've never heard of with its company ad on one of my web surfing pages. The Active Aqua Round Air Stone and a picture of something I tried to imagine using or even what it was supposed to do. At first I thought it had something to do with outdoor fish ponds which we have several of here on the campus. Kind of like filters.
I looked it up and although I was sort of close, it has nothing to do with ponds. Instead the stone is designed to add air to hydroponic growing systems. The micropore design energizes the growing solution as it aerates and circulates nutrients. Air stones will extend the life of your nutrient solution, help keep roots healthy, and promote exceptional growth.
Ok. We don't have a hydroponic system for growing plants here but we've long wanted one. We have the perfect place for indoor, hydroponic growth of vegetables and herbs, but we've been told "don't even think about it." Or words to that effect.
So if you come across this product you'll know what it is.
From the Riverfront Times, 20 Tiny Restaurants You Should Have Tried By Now. The first one on the list is Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium which is 2 minutes from the Seminary campus on Big Bend near the entrance to Highway 40/64. I'd agree completely with the greatness of this place and it is very tiny. It isn't the kind of place you get your order and then sit down to eat unless it's summer and the outside tables are in place. But the food is fantastic.
Many of the others we've never been to or even heard of, especially Milque Toast which serves up all kinds of things on...toast. Seedz is on Rosebury just off Demun and the seminary often gives them many of our herbs for their vegan dishes in the growing season.
The East-Rite Diner is on the list! That's been around forever, know for their Slingers.
And many more on the list worthy of trying. But as per usual, no places from the Metro East.
Y98's Lance Hilldebrand's tally of ladders and mattresses landing on St Louis highways is now: Ladders 27 Mattresses 20.
But today he reports that a lawnmower is sitting in the westbound lanes of I-70 near the Blanchette Bridge. I can't even imagine what it must be like to driving along during the morning rush hour and come across a lawnmower.
I guess there may be an added item to his weekly tallies now.
Here is a bit of short range forecasting of the economy/spending trends/job opportunities coming in the next decade. "You've probably got more of a chance walking dogs for a living than teaching kids in the coming decade's labor market." This is due to the aging of baby-boomers who are and will be, retiring and wanting to shower their money and attention on their pets."
The outlays on education will lag, though, as the potential student population comprising five- to 24-year-olds grows very slowly due to the downsized, post-Millennial Generation Z.
So the large baby boomer population is getting older, looking to have someone else do their home repairs, yard work, etc and will eat in more often than the younger generation who like to eat out. Also they won't be buying clothing like younger people do.
The large numbers of baby boomers v the smaller numbers of the coming adults will mean something different in spending and job types. This has probably long been true with changes every decade or two.
I will say, thought, that these characteristics of aging baby boomers is probably spot on.
An article by Leslie Barker in the Dallas Morning News asks the question: "What's germier than a toilet seat?" And you may be surprised to learn that toilet seats are the least of our problems where germs are concerned. Here is the list of items we handle on a daily basis which are really germy.
Smart Phone (or dumb phone)
iPad and other tablets
Kitchen faucet handles
Washer load of underwear
Pet food dish
The best advice from this story to keep the germs from making you sick is to wash your hands frequently and add 20 extra seconds to the hand washing. This should reduce your risk of contracting colds, flu or intestinal problems by 40 percent.
I'll confess to being an obsessive hand washer and I never use a kitchen sponge or even a dish rag or dish towel. Paper towels are always at hand in the kitchen and I use and dispose of them all day long.
The seminary campus always has a pair of hawks who sit way up high on the radio tower or camouflaged in trees. They will sit quietly until they see some prey and then swoop down on it. At the moment there are young hawks in a nest somewhere, we are fairly certain the nest in up in a tall pine behind the Sieck classroom building. But the parent hawks range around the entire campus looking for the best meals to feed the young. And squirrels and normal birds and rabbits are high on their list. We have very few rabbits around right now which tells us they've been eaten. The blue jays and other birds are aware of what's going on and they spend a good part of the day absolutely screaming in rage when a hawk is near. The squirrels, on the other hand, are always plentiful and are fairly easy for a hawk to catch. Which means the squirrel numbers are diminishing.
Nature isn't always pretty.
Yesterday Dale and I were standing on our driveway when all of a sudden a huge hawk flew out from under the small overhang above our back kitchen door. He swooped over our heads and ended up in the tree across the street where he sat and scared a smaller bird who refused to leave that tree and screamed and screamed. I have to give that small bird credit for courage, he was most likely protecting his own family.
As it happened I had my camera with me because we'd just come back from an event at the library. And, this morning as I went out to take a picture of the back door overhang, that same hawk shot out from under there just as I walked outside. I think I'll be using the front door for a while.
And even more disconcerting, as I walked to take a picture I almost stumbled over the carcass of a squirrel who'd been eaten and picked almost clean except for the fur and bones. That hawk is busy. This is gross, but here it is.
Founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede Linguest who received a land grant from the king of France. He and his 13 year old scout, Auguste Chouteau, chose this site as a fur trading post. Those two names are certainly still very prominent today.
KSDK posted two photos yesterday in recognition of this birthday and they are both absolutely gorgeous pictures. Sadly the name of the photographer or photographers are not mentioned, they deserve it.
Earlier this morning KMOX's Brett Blume had a story which announced that today Schnuck's would begin its new home delivery system, partnering with Instacart. You order online and the groceries are brought to your house.
Whoops. A couple of hours later Fox2Now's Lisa Hart Tweeted: " ATTN: STL Shopper: Grocery deliveries unavailable today on Instacart due to overwhelming number of orders. Adding Staff, updating hourly.
Is it surprising how many people seem to want their groceries delivered and not have to go to the store?
In the food world, nothing ever stays the same. What was thought to be true nutritionally suddenly becomes not so great. And so we find a story today telling us that "These Health Foods May Be Bad For You."
Each health food we've seen promoted over the past few years is accompanied by a picture and an explanation as to its badness. We've been conned. Maybe. The item which surprised me was the wheat bread, long touted as being much better for you than white bread. But it seems many bread sellers are claiming a wheat bread when it's actually white bread with added fiber.
Smoothies are bad because they only give you an immediate boost but don't keep you full very long. You're better off eating real food the article says.
I learned something new this morning and it will make reading online news stories so much easier. Most news websites are just cluttered with ads, some moving, some slowly covering the screen, in the middle of a story, on the sides of the story, just way too much stuff going on. The New York Times Tech writer explained how to rid yourself of all this clutter, so simple. It makes me wonder why I didn't know this before. Maybe it's news to you too.
You can do this on a computer or an iPad or phone. When you open a news site to a story you want to read it may look like this.
A story with ads on the side and in the middle. So if you look in the address bar on the top of the page, over on the right is an icon of what looks like an open book. Click that and the story comes up as "reader view" with just the story and all the other stuff gone. This is on the computer.
You can see the book icon a bit better now, it's in red to show it's being used. Click these photos to see better if you want. Now on the iPad or Apple Safari, there is not a little open book to click but 4 horizontal lines on the left of the top address bar.
Click on those little lines and you get all the ads and other stuff taken away and leaves you with just the story.
Click the back arrow when you're done and you will return to the main page. I feel freed up. Maybe I'm late to the game here, but I'd bet many others haven't paid attention to this either.
If you paid any attention at all to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, even merely looking at story headlines, you'd have known that Mia was supposed to do an agility course and muffed it up big time before a large press audience.
"She starts off admirably with the first few obstacles, but then distractions come into play.
The turf suddenly smells too interesting to ignore. Mia's handler gets her back on track after a little coaxing.
At the weave poles, Mia decides to pull over and thank her handler for helping her earlier and then does a little bit of grooming. She snaps out of her cleaning regimen as the crowd roars with laughter."
Her trip through the course was called, "Delightfully entertaining."
Mia's distraction kind of fits how many of us feel as we debate even turning on the news or even trying to concentrate on daily life knowing things have gotten primal scream crazy.
This is a question I ask every year. I even tweet at Westminster-#WKCDogShow and never get an answer back. Well, finally someone else thought to find an answer to this question. I mean, seriously? A Golden Retriever has never won? Labradors get only cursory looks? Great Pyrenees? Nope.
So what's the deal here? Why so many very small dogs get to win. Or Poodles trimmed up like a joke? Last night the last group to be judged was the herding group and judging by the loud extended applause, they were fan favorites. But the announcer told the tv audience that only once in all the decades (141 years) has a herding dog received Best in Show.
Watch tonight and the first group will be the Working Group which includes a Golden and the cheering for that dog will top about any other, but the judge will ignore. I hope I'm wrong this time. At least put one into the final group.
So when I saw this story I read it to find out what the deal is.
"Ask anyone who has a golden retriever or a Lab or dachshund, and it just doesn't seem fair. Because when it comes to those breeds, they wind up in the Westminster doghouse. Same for Dalmatians and Chihuahuas, complete underdogs.
Some say they're too common. As in, it would be hard for any of the 65 goldens entered this year to stand out. Rather, the ribbon is more likely to go a pert wire fox terrier (14 wins) or a perfectly coifed poodle (nine wins)."
Too popular!? And that's about all the author of this piece could come up with to explain the absence of wonderful dogs in favor of gussied up, teased up, or tiny enough to hold in the palm of your hand.
Some say the German Shepherd who was a big favorite last year and is back again, has a good chance to win overall. He did get out of his group and make the finals. But so did a miniature poodle. And speaking of that. One judge explained how they decide on winners of groups and one item was how that dog fits the standard for that breed. Well. Tell me how a Poodle which originally a water dog, tracker and herder. How does that fit a standard which now has a poodle cut and fluffed so very unnaturally?
Last September it was announced that Ted Drewes received an award for being the World's Best Ice Cream. I honestly don't remember hearing about this back then, but yesterday a big trophy arrived from Ireland and was given to Ted Drewes himself. Now this award is being given a lot of play in our local media and folks........
Something singularly unattractive has happened to us as a country and a people. This past election season brought out the worst in us and the availability of social media to make our feelings known all the time about everything, has now seeped into even the most innocuous of subjects, like Ted Drewes.
Social media commentary anger and self righteous condemnations, is now part of a story on ice cream and frozen custard. For crying out loud people, you don't have to be angry or argue about every single thing. The comments to the Drewes award story yesterday on Fox2 Facebook page and other places was a perfect picture of our life together these days. But now I can't find this story, either Fox 2 took it down because of the comments or Facebook has moved it somewhere else along the line.
The worst is, though, you'll probably be able to see the same kind of comments on this story on other news sites. It's Ice Cream! It's Frozen Custard! It shouldn't be another source to feed our worst instincts.