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.
The Continuing Resolution passed by the senate last week and handed over to the House contains 20 billion dollars more in spending than the spending caps agreed upon by the nonpartisan Budget Control Act. Included in this CR are unnecessary items such as these:
Thirty five wine projects, such as funding for 10 grants to support wine tasting including wine trail smartphone apps to help “navigate to the next winery.”
Four Christmas tree initiatives, including support to promote Virginia Christmas trees, to shear Michigan Christmas trees, and training seminars on best practices for exporting Christmas trees
The “USA Pear Road Show” to China, a federally funded trip to Asia to advertise American pears.
Social media for apples
Radio advertisements about New Jersey blueberries
Two promotional campaigns to promote strawberries
Funding for the Organizing Maple Weekend in Massachusetts which includes a recipe contest
Funding for a YouTube video promoting proper handling of watermelon (Georgia Watermelon Association)
Funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of “Snooki,” a robot bird that impersonates a female sage grouse to examine the importance of courtship tactics of males.
Funding for an NSF grant that studies Americans’ attitudes towards the U.S. Senate filibuster
NSF grant to SiteJabber.com, a new website to rate the trustworthiness of other websites
NSF grant funding to EcoATM, a company commercializing an “ATM” to give out cash in exchange for old cell phones and other electronics
NSF grant paying for participants’ expenses to attend an annual snowmobile competition in Michigan through 2015
NSF grant paying for meditation and self-reflection for math, science, and engineering majors
Four-year NSF grant that funds displays along the six Indianapolis waterways, used to display paintings about Indianapolis’s water system.
The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences is funding “Puppets Take Long Island,” a puppet festival at a Long Island New York children’s museum.
This shutdown talk is nothing new, it seems like we've had this debate and angst every year for at least 5 years. Will it happen this time, I don't know, but it wouldn't even be an issue if Congress and especially the senate would have passed a budget. The senate hasn't even brought a budget to the floor for at least 4 years.
Here's a list of the other years when a shutdown occurred and how long each lasted.
But here we go into the Christmas shopping season with all kinds of stories and ads about the toys kids will want and we will buy. The question will be do we get toys that make all kinds of noise or toys that have a million pieces?
Men's clothing company Jos. A. Bank is beating the pants off the Men's Warehouse for customer sales and the question as to why is answered in a Business Insider column.
"Both retailers market to men who want to look current, but can't afford to shop at Nordstrom. Both face similar challenges in getting cash-strapped customers to go shopping.
So what does Jos. A. Bank have that Men's Wearhouse doesn't?
Those infamous "buy one, get seven free" sales."
While I'm not sure most men would shop at Nordstrom for clothing if they could afford it, it is true that Jos. A. Bank's 'free' extras are tempting. Plus, the stores are nice with good comfortable lighting and great ways of displaying the items. The stores have a classy appearance. Men's Warehouse is white walls, white floors, overbright white lighting and displays whch don't have as much appeal.
Yes, Jos. A. Bank is tricking men shoppers a bit with their free items but the overall experience is much better. And hey, if you need a new suit, why not come home with 'free' sweaters, shirts etc. Dale gets his suits there and it's nice to add the other things because his shopping days are few and far between. Get him to get things while he's there.
I recently learned our area just got a GFS store, Gordon Food Service. I haven't been in yet but it sounds like it is similar to a Sam's or Costco without the membership fees. And without all the other bric a brac like tv's and clothes. It's all food or food serving dishes. Large quantities for parties or big families. The large sizes aren't what we use but I'd like to check it out just the same. The new one is on Laclede in Maplewood.
Also I did not know that Hardee's now has Mexican food they call the Red Burrito featuring nachos, taco's burritos etc. From what I've heard it's pretty good and may give Taco Bell a run. And if you have a group, Hardee's will deliver and set up. Who knew?
I'm looking for a reason not to cook tonight even though I am of the opinion my cooking is much better than heating up frozen meals. I could be wrong about that since I have not ever been told this. I try to get on the "Trader Joe's has such great frozen meals" bandwagon but each time I've tried one thing or other it hasn't seemed all that satisfying. Frozen vegetables, yes, the meals, so so.
The best prepared meals in St. Louis are at Straubs if you don't want to cook and don't want a frozen meal or carry out.
I made the mistake of going into Whole Foods yesterday along with the entire population of this part of St. Louis County. The store is not big enough for all those people at one time, what a nightmare dodging those wee carts in narrow aisles. I heard they carried a good chocolate ice cream made in Wisconsin and wanted to try it since St. Louis is no longer able to get my favorite Haagen Dazs Dark Chocolate. The Brentwood store did not have it. I accosted the St. Louis Haagen Dazs distributor two weeks ago about the dark chocolate and he claimed the company was probably not making it anymore. Well that's not true, I told him it was still on the website and available in other cities I've been to. Actually I believe he just doesn't want to bother with too many flavors anymore and decided to eliminate the DC from St. Louis. He's nice enough and said he'd look into it, but I still believe what flavors come to his area are his decision.
I know what he looks like and will find him again. :)
Dale's coming back Chicago and if I knew he could find dry ice, I'd have him bring some DC Haagen Dazs from there.
Now's the time to get at your lawn. It's amazing to look at the Popular Mechanics site because you might expect to see stories on, well, mechanical things like car engines and stuff. But PM is a wealth of information on all sorts of things including lawn care. Take some time on the lawn now and next spring you'll be amazed at how good it looks.
It's become a tradition that Ferdie takes part in the Scottish breed dog parade at the annual Scottish Games in Forest Park. Let me just add this: Forest Park is bursting at the seams with people and cars on this last Saturday in September. Every venue is packed. We meandered through lines of cars both parked and looking for parking til we got to the big field next to the Davis Tennis Court complex. Lucky to find a place to park on one of the roads just behind the entrance to the Games.
It is also very sunny and quite warm today and the area of the park we were in had no shade so by the time we headed for home, poor Ferdie was really really hot. But it was fun.
Just so you know it was Scottish
But there were lots of Scottish dogs.
These 4 are nieces and nephews of Lola, the Bearded Collie we walk with every morning.
Whoops, almost forgot the birds of prey part. This was one gorgeous Eagle.
And look! There's Mark and Andrew from the seminary. They came for the day and to help Kirt's committee break down everything at the end of the day.
These are Kirt's dogs, Mac and Fiona. Kirt works at the seminary and is also one of the chairmen of the Scottish games.
There's Kirt on the left with his dogs and next to him is one of our local neighbors, Dave with his Cairne Terrier, Uma.
This is Kirt's wife, Doreen. She was the announcer for the dog breeds and did a great job with a very Scottish accent.
Now I don't know what kind of dog this is, but her name is Princess Anne and in real life she never gets to go outside because there are a lot of hawks in her neighborhood and they're afraid she'd be carried off. Also, the owner told me Anne never lets anyone take a picture of her face. Heh.
Some of the Goldens. Ferdie was starting to show how hot he was.
Once again the St. Louis Cardinals are in the playoffs and once again they were left behind in the preseason predictions by sports writers. Sports Illustrated didn't even have them picked to make the playoffs back in the spring. SI foresaw the Washington Nationals playing the Tampa Bay Rays in this fall's World Series.
You'd think they'd know better by now, the Cards may not be in the World Series but somehow or other they make the playoffs more often than not.
It was interesting to watch local news reporters interview fans coming out of Busch last night. One couple was asked if they planned to celebrate when they got home. The wife said, "Well, I think we're just going to go to bed." Heh.
This is the first division title for the Cards since 2009 and the local news people are making a big deal out of this as if 2009 was decades ago. What's really worth noting is the Pirates. If they make the wild card slot it will be their first playoff series since 1992.