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.
If you believe this article in the Riverfront Times and not what you see each night on House Hunters, moving into tiny houses is becoming rather popular with young adults. In St. Louis Jesse Wright, her boyfriend and young son will soon be living in a 190 square foot house.
"All the principals of happiness are broken into only having the amount of stuff you can handle," Wright tells Daily RFT. "I've gotten used to having fewer things. Our kitchen is down to 100 most useful objects." Building a tiny house is the best way Wright can think of to own her home without giving in to the dark side of the American dream -- the mortgage. The average tiny house costs $20,000, she says.
And the tiny house movement (yes there is a tiny house movement) has become an ecological and economic cause nationwide attracting people who want to have smaller carbon footprints, spend more time outdoors or live in a home that's not tied to just one place. There's even a dating website for tiny housers.
I've seen these places on HGTV, but even though I can identify with downsizing, being crammed into a house that is basically the size of an average bedroom has no appeal.
Wrigley Field opened. What a difference a century makes. 100 years ago the owners built and paid for the ballpark. Now owners strong arm cities into paying for them.
Here's an early Wrigley/Cubs photo from when they actually had a real cub.
Before Wrigley was built around Clark, Waveland, Sheffield and Addison Avenues, that property was a Lutheran Seminary. It was originally purchased in 1851 by developer William Sheffield but somehow got into the hands of a Lutheran minister named William Passavant. In 1874, St. Mark's Lutheran Church had been constructed on the land. The small chapel served as the birthplace of the seminary until the school opened officially on Oct. 1, 1891, with six students.
As the seminary grew, so did the neighborhood.
"I get the impression it was pretty bucolic when the seminary opened, yet grew up and became a little too busy, noisy and dirty in the ensuing years," said Stuart Shea, author of the just-released "Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines.".
In 1909, the seminary bought adjoining land to give itself a buffer from the encroaching neighborhood. That brought the property to 8 acres, according to "Passavant's Vision: A History of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1891-1951," by Marjory R. Weng. But it didn't solve the problem, and the seminary vacated the property in 1910, moving to Maywood and later merging with other seminaries to form the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, which is now on East 55th Street.
Wrigley Field was originally named Weeghman Park and was built for a short lived 3rd professional baseball league team named the Whales.
The Whales' first game there was April 23, 1914. And even then, the presence of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary was felt.
"There's a picture of the ballpark in the opener in 1914," Hartig said, "and beyond left field you see some of (the seminary buildings) on the property. There was a guy (on) the property, and he had time left on his lease. They were going to wait for the lease to expire. But when the season opened, there was something like nine home runs in the first three games.
"They decided the park was too small. So they checked the lease and saw it didn't say anything about a porch. So they took the back porch off the house and moved the fence back, right to his house."
The Cubs moved into Weeghman Park 2 years later in 1916 which is when the real bear cub appeared on the field.
There's something about the onset of warmer weather that brings out crazy and bad behavior.
The car break-in guys are back at it, smashing car windows and stealing whatever they can grab. This morning 2 of these hit at least 3 fitness center parking lots in south St. Louis city, leaving a trail of broken glass from Kingshighway to Hampton. Get used to it St Louis, smash and grabs are a part of the season around here.
A Wentzville man and his 13 year old son were pulled over on I-70 early Saturday evening because police saw the car swerving and drifting from lane to lane. When the officer approaced the car he found that the driver was the boy and the father was double the legal limit drunk. He obviously knew he was too drunk to drive, but too drunk to realize the boy had never driven before much less on an interstate.
It's early in the warm season, but it's not cool enough to leave a dog unattended in a car while you run errands or visit the zoo as one family did yesterday. Someone noticed the panting dog and called the police and Humane Society which rescued the poor thing. Don't leave your dogs in a car nowadays. Or a child for that matter, cars heat up very fast.
What else happens these days? We forget bikers are out, walkers are out, cars are out and if the stars are aligned in a certain way, these things all collide. Be watchful
Portland Oregon is always ranked at number one or close to number one when studies are done on America's Greenest cities. "Portland's earnest focus on embracing nature and eating local has earned its reputation as one of the greenest cities in America. From recycling to carpooling to LEED-certified buildings, Portland's efforts should make other cities hang their heads in shame.
Oregon's largest city uses 20 percent more renewable energy than the national average; it was one of the first cities to ban plastic bags. Info graphic at the link.
However it does appear as though Portland wastes a lot of water. Officials there plan to flush out 38 million gallons of water after a kid was thought to have peed into the city's water reservoir. 3 years ago the city drained another reservoir of 8 million gallons after a man peed in it. But here's the thing. Portland's water supply reservoirs are not covered and strange things end up in Portland’s water supply all the time, with minimal risk or impact to users. Birds poop in it, small animals swim in it, pollen blows into it and on and on.
How about this? Cover the water reservoirs as the EPA recommends.
Where will these 38 million gallons of water go? Into the sewer drains. The city's water administrator said the city has plenty of water and draining the 38 million gallons won't interrupt service or strain supply. It's easy to replace those 38 million gallons of water," Shaff said. "We're not in the arid Southwest; we're not in drought-stricken parts of Texas or Oklahoma."
Portland may be the greenest city in America, but in this case they're all wet.
Last week the Collinsville city council voted to purchase the old post office property across from city hall in order to construct a parking lot. The building will be demolished. This is one of those projects that in the end, is a good idea. Collinsville's downtown has made a comeback with lots of people spending time in the various eating places. But there are only so many places to park along the street.
When a city has parking available the more likely people will come out to events than they would if they figured finding a place to park will be just too hard. Maplewood is about to have their Taste of Maplewood, a cool event featuring many of the newish places which have opened in that city. But after considering the difficulty that parking will bring, we'll probably just skip it. How and where to park is a big consideration when deciding on where to go.
Parking is important to the continuing vitality of a downtown and it's good Collinsville took the bull by the horns and went ahead with this plan.
Today is Earth Day and among the many environmental stories appearing in the news is this one from Urban Review on downtown St. Louis rain gardens.
"The newly rebuilt North Tucker Boulevard has numerous rain gardens, but unfortunately many are like the one shown above — not able to function as designed because too much mulch blocks the water."
Rain gardens are like sponges, bowl shaped beds with flat sides which keep rain runoff from getting into basements or overloading storm drains. The bottom of these beds are filled with loose soil and a variety of plants which absorb water and allow slow drainage. Rain Gardens are especially good to have in low lying areas of backyards which tend to pool up after a rain.
What's interesting in the Urban Review comment is how many of these small gardens have been added to the streets in downtown St. Louis. They not only soften the harshness of the streets, sidewalks and curbs but they serve a good purpose. Unfortunately it seems that city workers have done what many landscape people do and that is over do the mulch. Mulch certainly has its benefits, it makes things look neater but also holds in soil moisture and keeps out weeds. But, when it's piled up too high and thick, water slides off or can't get down into the soil which negates the purpose.
Taking care of the landscape and water runoff is a good thing, just don't pile the mulch higher and deeper.
There's a conversation going on around the web this morning about how creepy many folks see the Easter Bunny who is always a fixture at the White House Easter Egg Roll the Monday after Easter. Frankly I don't see anything creepy about him or her and certainly the costume is no more cartoonish than Fredbird or any other sporting mascot.
A 75-year-old Maryland woman died after cleaning her home.
Officials say the woman was cleaning her bathroom at her home at the Lake Haven Trailer Park on Sunday, when she mixed a cleaning product that may have had ammonia in it with bleach, a combination which can create toxic vapors.
The first two days, most Typepad blog users were understanding about the Denial of Service attack on the hosting company. But when it happened again on Sunday and again this morning, tempers are getting short. It seems as though they haven't been able to fix this attack once and for all, either that or they keep gettting hit over and over. At any rate we're back up again, just a matter of how long.
They are not calling it a hacking, but an attack since bloggers info is not being taken. You can read Typepad's Twitter feed from the past few days to see how they explain or don't explain what's going on and the status of thing.s
Wow. Typepad blogs were down again most of last night and today as the hosting company was the target of a second Denial of Service attack. Hopefully that is the end of this sort of thing. It wasn't individual blogs which were affected, but the company which serves as the way to get them online.
Anyway, here is a quick look at how the family spent part of Easter.
Katie and Charlie were at home in DC with Drew and Jake.
Saturday Drew got to dye the eggs...outside. Then this morning they put on their ties for church.
Little guys getting bigger everyday.
The the St. Louis half of the family met up at Lizzie and Darren's church this morning where we got to see Darren's parents who were in town from Texas.
Then back to our house for an Easter egg hunt and lunch.
Christian took my camera and snapped a bunch of pictures, this is one of them.
The boys were ready to go after the eggs, but had to wait until we gave the signal
And the big furry guy.
This is the funniest toy ever, a half chicken half rabbit who dances to music, first the Easter Parade and then the Chicken Dance. hilarious.
And what would a spring day be without bubbles
Any special celebration goes better with a Kruta cake, this one an Easter Ribbon cake.
Yes, that cake was a hit.
And then one more photo op before heading home for naps. hahahahaha naps...
And a stop at the STL250 seminary cake, one of the most photographed objects on the campus.
Later in the afternoon, Dale went out into the yard to continue working on this year's project, a stone seating area. I have to say he's done a great job.
And that's about it except for just sitting on the 2/3's finished stone work and talking with people who came walking through on this beautiful day and evening.
This is the most incomprehensible article on ok drinking, problem drinking and binge drinking that you'll read today. Contradictions galore. Here's the first sentence:
"The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has established that one-in-six Americans binge drinks, but basically everyone else who drinks is, can be, or will become a problem drinker." This is refuted by a n alcohol expert doctor with the World Health Organization who noted that drinking a bottle of wine a day isn't bad for you. But....after that statement it gets confusing.
The doctor believes drinking only becomes harmful when people consume more than around 13 units a day—most bottles of wine contain 10. "The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining - however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say.
Then the CDC's definition of a binge drinker: a binge drinker is someone who consumes five or more drinks (men), or four or more drinks (women), on one occasion lasting 2-3 hours. But they consider you a "problem drinker" if you consume 15 or more drinks on average (men), or eight or more drinks on average (women), per week. Which means if you have a few glasses of wine regularly, you're probably a problem drinker in their judgey eyes.
I haven't had any wine tonight but I'm not making sense of this at all.
According to information put out by Typepad, the blog hosting company, they were the victim of a hacking attack during the night which kept most blogs from loading for a good part of the morning. I am happy to see things are back up.
Here's a view of what has happened to the homes along Vandalia in Collinsville due to IDOT's expanding of the road. As we were heading to Carisilos for dinner after Maundy Thursday church, I drove and Dale took these pictures while sitting through several long red light jams.
The real sugar Mexican Coke tastes so much better than the regular Coke made with corn syrup, but until today (!) we had to buy them singly. We aren't members of Sam's club where they can be bought by the case. But today as I was walking down the international food aisle in Schnucks, look what I found!
Well yes there is and it will be paying Paul Krugman 25,000 a month to “play a modest role in our public events” and “contribute to the build-up” of a new “inequality initiative.” It is not clear, and neither CUNY nor Krugman was able to explain, what “contribute to the build-up” entails.
"You will not be expected to teach or supervise students,” the letter from CUNY informs Professor Krugman."