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.
I keep thinking and re-thinking my bracket picks this morning. I certainly was influenced by college basketball experts when I chose Gonzaga as the eventual winner. Headlines like this put me over the edge: "Gonzaga is going to win it all and other big, bold Tournament predictions."
But today I don't know and have until 11 to change my mind.
Here's some trivia. Gonzaga is a private Catholic University named after a 1500's young man from a wealthy princely family who became a Jesuit and eventually was made a saint. When a plague struck Rome in 1591 Saint Aloysius Gonzaga stayed with the sick, nursing patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease himself and died 3 months later. He is now the patron saint of Catholic youth and teen-agers.
March 15th-made famous by William Shakespeare in his play, Julius Caesar. "Beware the Ides of March" words spoken to the emperor by a fortune teller as he headed for the Roman Capitol and ultimately his death at the hands of Brutus and a couple of others.
Since Shakespeare wrote those words the 15th March is thought of as a cursed day. In reality it was not originally so. "Kalends, Nones and Ides were ancient markers used to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides simply referred to the first full moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th. In fact, the Ides of March once signified the new year, which meant celebrations and rejoicing."
Oddly Julius Caesar was the one who changed the traditional new year from March 15 to January, two years before he was killed.
While we were at a conference in Phoenix last week one of the organizations which had a booth was the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs program and they brought at least 6 of their dogs. I have to tell you, this was my favorite place to be. Those dogs are so gorgeous and kind it's hard not to be sucked in by them.
These dogs do amazing work, being taken into so many sad and tragic situations. I'm so glad our church body has this program. In Phoenix there were 2500 people in attendance and these dogs had crowds around them the entire time.
KSDK shared a story on the death of Judge Wapner who presided over the television show, The People's Court for over a decade beginning in the 1980's. In 1989 a survey was taken which asked "who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court" and only 9 percent of respondents knew the answer was William Rehnquist but 54 percent knew who Wapner was.
This is supposed to be shocking but in reality, Supreme Court Justices are so rarely in the news that most Americans do not have them on the forefront of their minds like they would tv stars and sports stars about whom they hear or see every day. When Trump recently announced his candidate for the vacant court position one of the cable news reporters wondered aloud how many of us could name all 8 current judges. Dale and I took up the challenge and I confess we had some hesitation on reciting all 8. We got stymied by the name of the newest judge, Elena Kagen and Stephen Breyer. Eventually we got them all without looking them up, but it wasn't easy mainly because they aren't in the news all that often.
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.
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.
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.
The St. Louis local news was quite thrilled this morning as they announced that we made the list of the Best cities to live in the United States. Yesterday we learned that Kruta Bakery in Collinsville made the top ten list of the best bakeries in Illinois which was really exciting to see and so well deserved. What's always annoyed me was the lack of interest in this metro east bakery by St. Louis food writers. But thankfully people doing statewide checking realized the gem Collinsville has.
Anyway. With that story in mind I was interested in the new city living list, believing that the excitement from the Fox2 news people meant St. Louis got some good press. But in the end, the U.S. News and World Report story has St. Louis as number 65 on the list of best cities to live in America. We're 65! Austin is number 1 and the rest of the top 5 are Denver, San Jose, Washington D.C, and Fayetteville Arkansas.
Seriously, we're number 65 and Arkansas has a number 5? Many western US cities are high on the list.