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.
This gist of this story in the P-D is "Here’s the hard truth about home remodeling: You’ll probably never recoup the money you spend." Beyond this the reporting expands on how little a homeowner will see in return on a remodel investment and that we should remodel for ourselves rather than remodeling in the belief that we'll get it it back if we sell.
I don't argue that remodeling sees a total return on investment, but this article almost seems to lean toward telling homeowners not to bother. The thing about remodeling or redoing parts of a home is that more than likely it will make the home more sellable. If you need or want to put your home on the market it has a better chance of selling than one which did not upgrade a bath or kitchen provided it wasn't overdone for the area.
On Friday afternoon a few seminary students sat ouside with us for a bit to enjoy the nice sunshine. One of the students is from Southern Africa and he brought along a bottle of Amarula which is a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. The fruit is about the size of lemons or oval plums.
The Amarula is mostly a dessert drink Christian told us and while creamy like Bailey's, it is very fruity tasting.
The best part of his story, though, was what happens when the fruit ripens and drops to the ground. It seems the fruit will ferment if left on the ground and this fermented fruit attracts elephants and monkeys who love it. That's why the stock photo of a Marula tree has an elephant standing underneath it. Christians said the elephants and monkeys will walk right into your yard to eat the fruit. What a great image. And fun to learn something new.
Mild temperatures have blanketed most of the country this weekend and the weather people in many cities have this as their headline. Around here people will be outside all day long, walking dogs or walking themselves. It's great!
Also to put a crown on the weekend, Kruta Bakery has apple fritters today and believe me, you've never had an apple fritter like they make. If you're in Collinsville you have to get over there and try one.
John Kerry brought 60's singer James Taylor to France with him this week to try and make amends for the US not being at the Paris world wide unity march. He had Taylor sing, "You've Got a Friend". The Huffington Post headlined this ridiculousness this way: "John Kerry Decides the Best Way to Apologize to France is to have James Taylor Perform."
Also as he left for Paris he told reporters he wanted to give a big hug to the French people.
Weird stuff. A Glitter website company thought they would have some fun by offering their readers a chance to get back at their enemies (!) by sending them an enevelope filled with glitter which would spill out all over the place when opened.
Now, the people behind this bad idea is calling it quits because he received way too many requests for this. The company launched on Monday and was quickly overwhelmed with orders and suspended accepting new orders on Wednesday. Wow. In two days he got over 2000 orders which he called, "Way too many." and had to give it up. But fear not all you people with enemies, this website spawned several others doing the same thing.
An eye-opener for this man suddenly realizing lots of people hate other people or have those they consider enemies.
What's the traditional journalism mantra? Who What Why When Where and How? The famous 5 W's and an H questions which need to be answered when reporting stories.
I thought about this when I came across a report from WTOP in DC about a huge watermain break on KIng Street, a major arterial road in Alexandria Virginia, a city from which flow many many Washington workers. King Street also has a Metro Station used by many taking the train into work. Here's the photo WTOP put up on the watermain break.
Really beautiful if this were a fountain in the city square. The report went like this: "This is the watermain break in the middle of King Street, the road will not be open anytime soon. Please be patient." WTOP was quoting a police department spokesman. One of the replies to this report was from someone who asked, "Where on King Street?"
Ah! One of the five W's left out of the story and the most important W to morning commuters. I noticed that since this story first popped up, others have come along with an amendment adding exactly where this is, probably in answer to the original question. But they did not feel the need to answer this person in the same place he asked the question which is odd..
Crime seems to really be on the upswing all over St. Louis lately and while I'd hoped this was just my imagination, the facts are that it is. Last night 4 people shot to death in various parts of the area including the manager of the Drury Inn on Hampton and 44. This place at the north entrance to The Hill also holds Bartolino's restaurant, a place we go to many times a year and a place where some of our seminary visitors/lecturers/etc stay while in town. It's not a spot where you expect bad crime. But last night just showed us no place is safe right now.
What can be done about all this, is there any way at all to slow it down? It's become widespread enough that I'd guess many of us are choosing to stay home more often than going out at night. Our local Schnucks on Clayton Road in Richmond Heights but across the street from Clayton is always busy. The parking lot is half filled by 9 each morning and by noon you have to circle around to find a spot to park and it continues the rest of the day. But that hasn't stopped crime, crime you just wouldn't foresee in this place, in these crowds, but it has. The bank inside the store has been robbed any number of times and a woman was held up in the parking lot. So Richmond Heights has a policeman inside the store every day.
It's unsettling and we should all be totally aware of our surroundings all times of the day.
Update: Now I read there are shootings on Tucker at Chouteau downtown. This is in the daylight of morning. The criminals are so emboldened it's beyond unsettling.