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.
St. Louis hosted the NCAA Final Four Mens' Basketball Championships at the Jones Dome and as local luck would have it the University of Illinois was one of the four teams. Also in town were Michigan State, North Carolina, and Louisville. The excitement in this area was over the moon that weekend.
As the practice sessions were free and open to the public, I went over to see the Illini practice and absorb some of the atmosphere. That year Illinois celebrated its 100th year of men's basketball and had one of their most successful teams in school history, starting the season at 29-0 and holding the number one ranking for 15 straight weeks. Ohio State gave them their first loss of the season on the last game of the regular season before heading into conference tournament play, but still ended up Big Ten Conference Champions. They went on to win the conference tournament, regional finals and ended up at the Final Four.
They beat Louisville in the semi-finals and then lost a heartbreaker to North Carolina in the Championship game, 70-75.
Of local interest during that weekend, the team delayed their trip into downtown to spend a couple of hours bowling and they chose the Camelot Bowl in Collinsville where, as I recall, they thrilled the surprised local bowlers by signing nearly anything put in front of them.
That was a fantastic weekend for St. Louis and hard to believe its been ten years.
The country was still in a post 9-11 patriotic frame of mind as you can see by the entrance to the Jones Dome.
Coach Bruce Weber with the Illinois in 2005, now at Kansas State
We have the best students here at Concordia Seminary, they can and will do anything. Such a great work ethic. Yesterday 3 or 4 of them wrestled a huge cross they made out of timbers from campus trees which had been cut down and planed, into a deep hole they dug. They then secured the cross so that nothing will take it down.
What part of the world would be directly below you? This map is kind of cool, put in a place name and one map shows the name and the other map shows what is directly below you. I put in St. Louis and its direct opposite is the middle of the Indian Ocean.
So last night Dale preached the second of two midweek Lenten services at Holy Cross in Collinsville and then headed back to the seminary around 8:30. It was dark and it was raining. I asked him if he had been able to see the lane lines in St. Louis on Highway 40/64 and immediately he began describing the lack of visible lines and the difficulty knowing which lane he was in. Plus he mentioned that a number of highway lights were not on making things worse.
All this to make anyone else who has to drive back and forth from the Polar Street Bridge to at least Kingshighway or Skinker, be wary and alert.
I'd like to suggest a moratorium on manufacturers using those nylon zip cable ties to hold their products to packaging or holding various parts of their products together. I mean, really? The ties are tightened so close to the product it is nearly impossible to free it without damage. Here's one example of something I bought at Crate and Barrel last week.
Measuring spoons hooked together with a zip tie and absolutely no room between it and the spoons to scissor it off. I'm going to have to find a sharp utility knife and somehow slice it off without scratching the metal. This is ridiculous. Zip ties also hook children's toys to boxes, my new Go Pro camera and its various accessories had myriad ties, and on and on. Please stop this.
My mind has officially been blown. Believe it or not the NCAA has a set of rules for any organization or group, for profit or non profit, which has planned a NCAA basketball watching party. And we think it's only government which has its big brother act in everything we do. Let's define organization first. It could be anything from a local community group like the Chamber of Commerce to individual churches.
Here is one example of how crazy these rules are and how powerful the NCAA is or thinks it is. If your church's youth group is planning to gather to watch the games: "Promotion of the event is limited to those affiliated with the organization. For example, if a church conducts a viewing party, it is able to promote within its own publications (e.g., church bulletin) to the congregation. However, any website promotion is prohibited."
So the group can't promote the event on the church's website or even Facebook?
Groups which might want to have a fun time and raise a bit of money for their projects and charge for the sale of food? Nope. Cannot do. Members can bring in their own food, but if the party is at say, the American Legion or Rec Club, they can't charge for their food.
There are more rules, but it is almost too much. Hypocrisy ratings given for each rule from WTOP in DC.
It's either really a sick idea of fun, or it's people with no awareness at all. There is a New York fund raising thing going on called "Bowling for abortion access". Each person involved is asking for money for the local abortion access fund.
Once again I have to drive over to Collinsville for a dentist appointment during morning rush hour in a pouring rain on a highway where it's impossible to see the lane lines. I'm really dreading this trip after the one two weeks ago. I could wait til it gets a bit lighter, but that means taking a chance on a traffic jam and being late for the appointment.
Nothing like a broken tooth to make you actually want to get to the dentist.
The Travel Channel has had a popular food program called Bizarre Foods where host Andrew Zimmerman goes to places and eats food most of us wouldn't really consider food. Now he has a spinoff program named Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations in which he focuses on foods that are not so much Bizarre as unique to various locales.
On another note, bizarre is one of those words I have a hard time spelling, if the word bizarre wasn't in the title of the program, I probably would have googled it. I tend to want to spell it 'bizaare'. Same with the word souvenirs. Can't ever get this right without google doing the work for me.
First it was raccoons with the isolated possum and/or groundhog/neighbor's cat which we trapped endlessly for several years in Collinsville. We have the opinion we may have ended the raccoon run, but now we've a couple of groundhogs making themselves home in our yard.
I saw one walking down the driveway last week and when he saw me he ducked under our next door neighbors' deck. But today while working in the yard I came across two freshly dug deep/big holes which can only mean...groundhogs.
You can see the hole and all the kicked back dirt.
Over the years popular cleaning items, sanitary items or other seemingly benign paper products have come with warnings not to flush down the toilet because they can get caught in the drain and cause back-ups. No one wants toilet back-ups. Most of the time we are taught not to flush any other product besides toilet paper or Kleenex since they are made to fall apart. Not so sure about Kleenex, however. If you have a bad cold and keep using tissues and tossing them in the toilet, there's like to be a future clog.
Now it's Wet Wipes which are causing toilet problems. These wipes are used by every new mother, mothers with small children, people who clean countertops with the bleach kind and those who use the germ killing wipes. "They're a tiny miracle of materials science, maintaining structural integrity no matter barbeque sauce or baby...stuff they have to clean up."
These indestructible wipes are combining with other materials (grease, etc) and forming what some call a super knot of grossness down in the sewers. New York sanitary sewer department has spent 18 million dollars the past five years dealing with wipes problems and London workers had to deal with a 15 ton ball they called the "fatberg".
Do not flush, toss. This is why home stores sell bathroom waste cans.
Clayton is holding their annual electronic recycling event today and tomorrow in Shaw Park. The recyclers will take about anything that plugs in or has a battery, not to mention old lawn mowers etc. However, many companies which provide this service will not take the older CRT tvi's which are the kind with the fat backs. Clayton's event will take them but will charge 15-20 dollars to do so.
Collinsville's recycling company will not take the CRT's at all during their monthly electronic recyling days. So this weekend we're going to hand over some money in order to get rid of the two we still have in order not to be stuck with them when the time comes that no one will take them money or not.