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.
According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security which combined data from the most recent FBI reports, population data and its own research, these are the 50 safest cities in Illinois and Missouri.
In Illinois, Waterloo is the safest and in Missouri Greenwood holds the top spot. You have to scroll down the page for each state's link in order to see the entire 50 charted in one spot.
I love being outside, I'm outside 70 percent of each day, but just like being mindful of bed bugs in hotel rooms I'm subconsciously tracking the possibility of having a tick land on me. Or more likely, having a tick land on Ferdie.
So with that in mind, here is an article with advice on how to keep ticks off of you. As for dogs, they make stuff to help with that.
Spray essential oils on your clothing, oils like Lavender, Lemongrass, Pennygrass (no idea what this is), Eucalyptus, and plain old lemon. These oils or sprays smell ok to us, but ticks and mosquitoes and black flies don't like them. Supposedly.
However, when I read "oil" I wonder what oil would do to clothing.
For several years there have been bed bug stories in the news and it is very true that these things can show up anywhere and are nasty creatures. Various stories tell us that if you're in a hotel room which has them they can make there way to your suitcase and you can bring them home. Then if you're like Dale who comes home from a trip and lays his suitcase on the bed to unpack, bed bugs can circulate on your own bed.
Am I paranoid? Maybe, but honestly when I see his suitcase on the bed after a trip I quickly move it off and away. We've never had this issue, but why take a chance. The story at the link gives advice for checking for bedbugs when you come into your hotel room. Most of this I can't imagine doing.
"Put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter the hotel room.
"Bed bugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture, even inside walls so the bathroom is usually a the safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters."
Also and here's where things get tricky: "Check the sheets, mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs. Look for dark, rust colored spots and exoskeletons - the casings the bugs leave behind. Don't forget to look at the head of the bed and in, around and behind the headboard, too.
Be sure to lift and check under the mattress, too. While this room was clear it's important to take action if you do find anything suspicious."
Lift the mattress! I just can't see myself doing this, but I confess I do check the sheets much to Dale's laughter. Bud bed bugs aren't funny at all.
I was kind of excited yesterday morning to see a mattress on I-64-40. After following Y-98 traffic reporter, Lance Hildebrand's nearly daily totals of how many mattresses and ladders hit local highways I finally saw one. I was driving to Collinsville for church and all of a sudden there was a mattress curled up between Jefferson and Market, half in the right lane and half bunched up against the concrete shoulder barrier.
Seeing one in real time brings home how dangerous this really is for other drivers when things like this are hauled around without being properly secured.
Here's an unusual thing at a fairly new Walmart. About a year or so ago a new Walmart opened on Watson Road in Shrewsbury. It's a nice store, pretty typical of that company except for one thing. There is only one entrance/exit door and it is located on the far right side of the building as you look at it. At the other end there's a fence around the garden center which will probably be open once the planting season starts up but for now there is only one way in and one way out.
Most Walmarts have two main doors plus a seasonal garden center door, Collinsville has three. Here's the thing about the Shrewsbury Walmart. Because everyone wants to park as close to the door as possible, all the parking spaces on that side of the lot are taken, then the middle part of the lot fills up and then a later shopper is stuck on the far left. This means you park on the left, walk all the way over to the right to get into the store and if what you want to buy is at the far left of the store you walk back through the store all the way left. Then the check out lines are on the right so you walk back that way again. Head out the door and you're walking to your car all the way back in the other direction.
It's sort of mind boggling that this store only has one door on the far right. I've had to go to this particular store a couple of times lately and found this rather unbelievable compared to the other Walmarts. It's not life altering but it is a bit of a pain and I wonder if the construction company who built this store made a mistake reading the plans and just didn't add the middle door and then it was too late to change it.
The only question I have is why we need this day. I mean, seriously except for the frozen food department where do you get a corn dog except at state fairs and carnivals?
Speaking of hot dogs...There's a hot dog place in St. Louis with stores in Benton Park, The Hill and at the Pageant Theater in U-City which really makes the best use of social media to promote their daily hot dog creations. And when I say creations, I mean over the top ways of doing hot dogs. Here's a link to Steve's Hot dogs which has photos of some of his menu items. Every day he has a special and it's always something else.
He does a great business due in part to great tasting dogs and toppings as well as his clever advertising. Here is a picture he placed on Twitter boosting today's special dog, the Storm Trooper topped with Rotini Alfredo, bacon, crunchy onion, Parmesan.
Gone will be the thimble, the boot and the wheelbarrow. Added will be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a rubber ducky and a penguin. All I can say is wow. Certainly a thimble is probably an old fashioned item not very recognizable to younger people in this day and age. But seriously, a rubber ducky? The Scottie dog, top hat, roadster car, cat, and battleship tokens will return.
Congressman Ben Sasse, a very funny guy, wrote on Twitter, "Have you ever known anyone who willingly took the thimble?"
If you play monopoly here is the complete set of tokens you'll see in the new game packages.