Thursday, December 30, 2004

Live from New Orleans

We're now on Bourbon Street at Chateau Sonesta - having spread the wealth to the French Market by purchasing things we'll never use, and trinkets for friends - who will thank us and toss them in the back of a drawer.

We're headed out to take more pictures and will post them here as we get them. We'll be careful to screen out the boring ones, and ones that are too personal to share. (there are SOO many transvestites in this city!)

Monday, December 27, 2004


I have no creative thoughts today. It appears I will be writing one of those "here's what I did today" entries, so I should apologize in advance.

The day started with a trip to the car dealership to have the tires rotated and balanced. The excitement of the trip was palpable. Then a quick stop at Lowe's to get light bulbs, a self-coiling hose (to water the atrium) and a new toilet flush handle. WOW! I did witness a hit-n-run accident in the parking lot and provided a description of the vehicle to authorities. My heart nearly exploded from the stimulus.

I continued home, where a list titled "things to do before vacation" awaited me. I couldn't WAIT to dig right in! Obviously the list included changing light bulbs, watering the atrium and fixing the toilet. Good thing I am in complete and total control of my emotions.

Afterward, I met up with Tawnya and Danny for late lunch at TGIFriday, then saw the movie "Meet the Fockers." It was irritating in spots, and much like my day, fairly predictable. Then we dropped Danny at a friends to spend the night, came home and watched the Rams beat the Eagles on MNF, which was fairly shocking. We hit the hot tub for a few minutes, then retired for the night.

I have no idea how I was able to function today, considering the furious ado. I just hope things slow down soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Day 2004

It's a sunny, beautiful day on Christmas morning here in St. Louis. Most of our TRADITIONAL Christmas celebration is over, we opened gifts and had the Christmas morning activities with the kids yesterday. It's amazing how Christmas seems like a race against "the others." (the kids' other parents) Ah, a subject for a different blog.

Afterward, we began our day of driving, with the first stop at Tawnya's parents for feasting and opening more presents. It turned out to be a great stop, my sister and brother-in-law got me a half-pint of Jack Daniels, which we quickly opened and passed around. It was "gone in 60 seconds."

We left at around 3:30 and dropped our son Danny off at Dan's. (one of "the others") Then it was on to Columbia to drop Courtney off at her Mom's and drove to Warsaw to take my Mom home. We covered almost 600 miles in 10 hours, with only one small delay... a run-in with a Pettis county highway patrol officer who graciously issued us nothing more than a Merry Christmas, and wishes for a safe SLOWER trip. We finally got home at about 1 am and lapsed into a coma until 9 this morning.

Our Christmas day is starting with a fire in the hearth room, a good breakfast/coffee and watching the travel channel for ideas. Soon we'll call family and spread merriment, then go to Rick & Robins for food and drinks. Tonight we'll head to the chinese restaurant and pig out with Gary, Mike & Paula.

Side note: during dinner, Dr. Mike and I will plan our next idea to make a million, which we'll later agree would never work anyway.

I'm hoping that I can spend the wee hours of the morning as Christmas passes, in the backyard under the stars with my wife and some hot chocolate. I'm sure we'll talk about how next year maybe WE can have the kids on Christmas... about how next years gifts will be more creative and less expensive... and we'll probably lament about how Christmas has been distorted into a barely recognizable ghost of its former self.

Then we'll toast and go to bed.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, whoever and wherever you are... and may you have a blessed 2005!

A purrrrfect holiday...

Meowwy Christmas! Posted by Hello


Things pop into my mind and I seldom have control of when or why. Having said that...

I'm in the business of words... so I wonder what the most uttered words on Christmas day might be here in America. Would it be MERRY CHRISTMAS, or GOOD MORNING? I'd say THANK YOU is right up there, probably at number two. I believe the number one most uttered phrase on Christmas morning is probably "I didn't know."

"I didn't know what size to get you."
"I didn't know if green was your color."
"I didn't know if you'd really like an oil painting of deer mating."
"I didn't know if you were still collecting statuettes of Donald Trump."

I'll bet if you really think about it, I DIDN'T KNOW is probably Christmas mornings most articulated phrase.

"I didn't know if Sam was getting you the matching fishnet hose to go with this leather thong."

I'm glad I got to the bottom of that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Does Santa have tits?

I'm wrapping. I have finished my Christmas shopping. I am elated, I am tired, I am relieved!

During my show today, we discussed the sex of Santa. Oh sure, most assume he's a "he." "He" is not. He couldn't be.

This is my spin on why, based loosely on an editorial I read once:

First, has a man ever chosen a gift more than a couple of days before Christmas? Of course not. He waits until nothing remains except Pocket Fishermen, Cap Snafflers and a smattering of medium-size shirts. (gee, could this be why most gifts from a man have to be exchanged?) Evidence: Santa=woman

Then there's the whole "stopping and asking for directions" thing. Do you think for one minute that Santa could get to all those chimneys without getting lost once? And if Santa WERE a man, I guarantee he'd still be driving around looking for addresses on Valentine's Day. So obviously Santa is stopping and asking the gas station attendant when in doubt. Fortunately for Santa, the only gas station open on Christmas eve night is being manned by Elvis - and they have a mutual secrecy "clause." (har har, get it?) Evidence: Santa=woman

And how about the whole "reindeer" thing? If Santa WERE male, those deer would be gutted, field dressed and hung by their hind legs before departing the North Pole! And I'm pretty certain at least one of the racks would be headed via Fed Ex to a taxidermist for mounting. Evidence: Santa=woman

A few other reasons Santa must be a woman -

  • Men never answer mail, nor do they read it.
  • Men wouldn't be caught dead hanging with red-and-green-dressed midgets, it would be too much of a blow to their masculinity.
  • The phrase HO HO HO would NEVER be his trademark, it practically guarantees he'll never get laid.
  • It would be difficult to imagine a man being okay with the "bowl full of jelly" comparison.
  • A stocking never crossed a man's mind without having a female leg in it... why would Santa be any different?

Last, but not least... being in charge of Christmas would require serious commitment. Overwhelming predominance of evidence: Santa=woman

I'm glad we finally know the truth. I can now get back to wrapping my wife's new jerky machine.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Fear and Lasagna

St. Louis Rams suck.

I was forced to rise at a ridiculously early hour this morning after staying up a little too late the night before. Tawnya worked into the wee hours, making dessert for the girls in her Bunko group... she's hosting a party tonight for twenty players... and I tried to keep her company, but I forced myself into bed prematurely to avoid the morning headache which accompanies lack of sleep.

My wife is serving homemade lasagna, salad, dinner rolls... and dream pie & fudge for dessert. And of course, I can't have any. "It's for the girls!"

So the boys and I will head to Frailey's to watch Monday night football and drink beers. And I won't bring her any.

Mom's here visiting for the week, so we're telling stories and catching up. I was just thinking about fears our parents instill in us, as I was handing her a particularly robust pair of scissors. I began thinking about how long she terrorized me by making me believe I could possibly fall on a pair, driving them deep into my own chest... even though I haven't fallen in that manner since I was - oh, 6. As if somehow my wrist would encounter a strange centrifugal force and turn at just the right moment (called the "shear instant") and become a deadly dagger of death. An inadvertent self-serve bayonet.

Remember Mom telling you how it is dangerous to lick the peanut butter knife? Again, as if you could find a way to fall face-first directly onto it, driving it deep into your skull via your PB&J hole... causing severe life-threatening esophageal lacerations.

Deadly, horrifying pseudo-SWORDS, those butter knives.

Talk about irrational mother-imposed fear.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Travel and Elvis

Bright sunshine this morning, but a cold front moves through St. Louis tomorrow and will leave us in the low teens to single-digits. Some friends suggested that we all get out of town right after Christmas, around the 28th, and head to... someplace warm. I checked the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico... and there are no flights available. Period.

So the next idea was to drive somewhere warm. I looked into Destin, but the highs during that time are supposed to be only in the low 50's... so the cold weather is headed way south that week. No part of Florida will be warm except Miami, but flights are 3 times normal rate.

I checked into New Orleans, but weather there will be 50s daytime, 20s at night. There are Caribbean cruises available, but Rick's not a big fan of boats... and again the problem is, the cost of a flight to the port is twice the cost of the cruise itself.

So we may be destined to stay here and rough it out. Did I mention I hate cold weather?

I was reading the news about the sale of Elvis Presley Enterprises. It includes movie and music rights, rights to his image and likeness, the land across the street from Graceland, the planes... basically the business and all his professional accomplishments. It was all sold by his daughter Lisa Marie for a mere 100 million dollars! A pittance, considering it's a cash generator - 45 million EACH YEAR. What was she thinking? Gosh, I hope Elvis really is dead. I'd hate to know he was witnessing the selling off of his accomplishments and fame for the basic equivalent of beer and cigarette money. At least she's retained a place to drink and smoke them away - she keeps Graceland and the 13 acres it sits on.

Hey, maybe we'll go to Memphis! Gambling and ribs can go a long way toward feeling warm.

I still haven't set the tree up, but it's happening today, no excuses. Then, tonight I'll finish my Christmas shopping. We have hell-week coming, Monday night Tawnya is hosting a bunko party. Twenty giggling, dice rolling, gossiping women will take over my living room and disrupt my spiritual "center." Thursday we host another holiday party with friends and family at 5 that evening. (the entire week I be busy in the recording studio, and I'm doing the morning show on the Bull Monday thru Thursday) Friday we'll celebrate Christmas with Tawnya's family, then drive the kids to their "other" parents' houses. (two hours in opposite directions) Finally, Christmas day we'll get a break.

God REST ye merry gentlemen.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hospitals, Christmas & the Chinese

I haven't posted for a couple of days, I've had my hands quite full.

Tuesday morning started as usual, made coffee and opened my laptop to start scouring the news sites to find out what happened overnight. A few minutes later I'm feeling this pain in my right jaw and right-upper back below my shoulder blade. Hmmm... that feels weird. Generally, if it's your heart it will be in the left side of your body, so I wasn't particularly worried, but decided to call my doctor anyway. He sent me right to the ER...

...which of course screwed up my entire day.

I'm only 40 and in relatively decent shape - so I knew it was nothing big. I went through a battery of tests and x-rays. All tests were perfectly normal, the x-ray showed nothing. They scheduled me for a stress test, just to make sure. After thinking about it, it appears it was a sore gum/tooth and indigestion. Jesus what a waste of the day. The good news is, I got to find out for sure that I was heart-healthy, always a nice thing to know.

After the hectic day at the hospital, we had our traditional yearly Sam's Steakhouse dinner with our friends Debbie and Tim. Ironic, after being tested for heart-related problems I figured it was time for a 24-ounce porterhouse, baked potato and salad. (the salad cancels out the steak, so it's okay... right?) It was fun catching up with Debbie & Tim, the last time we saw them was earlier this year when Tawnya organized a trip to New Orleans for my 40th birthday. It was great, 10 people went for 4 days and we got really wasted. (shocking pictures below, scroll down) It's become a tradition among a circle of our friends to celebrate my birthday somewhere out of town. My 39th was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Another favorite tradition of mine - every Christmas night we have a late dinner at a Chinese restaurant. We always celebrate the holiday on Christmas EVE, which leaves our entire Christmas day open to do whatever we want. Pretty cool actually... the Chinese don't celebrate Christmas, and since it's harder to find an open restaurant on Christmas night than lettuce in Kirstie Alley's digestive tract, you always have a good amount of company. And generally there's a vibe in the room, sort of a "thank goodness Christmas is over" camraderie.

Strange, I ALREADY feel that vibe at my house.

So it's Wednesday, and I told myself I'd have the Christmas tree up last Sunday. It's still in the box, but... the box is out of storage and sitting in the middle of the family room! Such PROGRESS! Hopefully, sometime before the 24th, I'll open the box and assemble its contents.

New Orleans Birthday Trip Pics!

I am sofa king hammered (slur the words together to get the meaning) Posted by Hello

Now demz sum gooood looookin' wiminz! Cathy and Tawnya Posted by Hello

The crew on night TWO - before leaving the hotel Posted by Hello

Dah BOYZ at Margaritaville Cafe Posted by Hello

Tawnya and me looking all "hatty" and shit Posted by Hello

A couple of half-baked's sucking something off of a half-shell - Debbie and me Posted by Hello

Cafe Du Monde's famous coffee & beignets Posted by Hello

The beautiful end to day one (and the beginning of NIGHT one!) Posted by Hello

SHE'S married to ME?!? Posted by Hello

Can you say "designated driver?" Posted by Hello

A rest stop somewhere in Arkansas seemed to be a good photo op Posted by Hello

The roadtrip to New Orleans featured a really bright, full moon! Posted by Hello

Monday, December 13, 2004


Spent a fair amount of time in the hot tub tonight and happened to notice a larger-than-usual number of meteors. I thought maybe it was because there is a new moon, so it was darker than usual. Turns out that tonight is the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, and I would have missed it completely had it not been for the need to take a quick tub.

I spent an hour on the air at the Bull today, sounded like crap but got used to the studio. I will be working every weekday through Christmas eve now, filling in for vacations. Also had lunch with the old crew at Emmis, it was good catching up.

As you can tell, I don't have a lot to talk about today - but I'm happy Scott Peterson got what he deserves. His cold, calculating manner left no room for doubt as to what he had coming to him.

Talk to you tomorrow morning over coffee.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Parent... or criminal???

This is ridiculous.

Click to read the story, but the gist is... a parent with a troubled teen apparently violated privacy laws by listening to a conversation on an extention - during which she discovered the teen was complicit in a purse-snatching... or at least knew who the perpetrator was. Since the information was obtained via "illegal" eavesdropping, it is inadmissible.

Give me a break. Since when does your child have privacy rights when using YOUR phone? I don't get it.


It's hard to know what our men and women are going through overseas. Pictures are only a snapshot in time, but when you string them together you can begin to get the story. My friend Mike Anderson linked this on his website - that is how I found it. Click here and enjoy.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Living life?

Something popped out of my mouth the other day which struck me as an idea for a country song. A friend of mine I hadn't seen in a while asked me how I'd been. I said "Oh, I'm livin' life."

I thought for a second, then said, "Actually life's living me."

It's the old live-to-work or work-to-live thing I guess. But I like my phrase better. And next time life's living you, kindly remind life who's the boss.

And remember to never, ever try to convince yourself you could write a country song.

What a day

I helped my brother Ron move today, and made him promise to not move again for at least 15 years. Partly because I'll be 55 then, and in no shape to help! The new house is great, huge basement with a big fully stocked oak bar. The rest is pretty fuzzy... I think there are bedrooms, a kitchen, etc, etc... but I really only remember the important part.

The weekend started by attending a cheery Christmas gathering with a buddy at his gym. It's always fun to watch people at a gym - that sort of atmosphere brings out the most primal of instincts in humans. I was watching the looks that girls give each other when they feel their territory has been invaded. Simply priceless. Fortunately, there was beer and it was a good time.

Then got up at 7-ish this morning and headed to meet the guys and help Ron move. My forearms and lower back are aching tonight. There were lots of stairs and two truckloads of stuff - and it was one of the BIG trucks. I just got home and am going to soak for a while in the hot tub to stop the soreness. I feel really old on days like this.

I'm still not the least bit in the Christmas spirit. I'm hoping that setting up the tree will help, I'm planning to accomplish this tomorrow. We have a great tree and it usually does the trick. I'll put Bing Crosby and Andy Williams on the stereo and maybe get some eggnog. I can't believe the family has allowed me to put off tree-decorating this long. Fascinating, could it be I'm not the only one NOT in the mood yet?

Thursday, December 09, 2004


My post subject from this morning was space. It only makes sense that this one is about time.

Einstein once said, "time, no matter how persistent, is only an illusion." (he also once said "which way to the restroom?" but I digress)

I'm lying in bed with the laptop and... it seems like I just climbed OUT of this bed. Yet, it was 16 hours ago. I work from home, so I don't have a commute or a fixed workday. But recently, and for about 5 months, I took an outside job for 4 hours a day every afternoon. During that period, time really slowed down. My daily routine went as such:

Get up at about 7, do the bathroom stuff, throw on shorts/t-shirt, have breakfast and coffee, head into the recording studio, work until around 12:30, shower, dress AGAIN, drive through a fast-food place for lunch (which was eaten on the commute) get downtown at 1:55 for a 2 o'clock show. At 6, drive home.

It was actually TWO workdays in one. Get up, prepare for work, GO to work, finish... then prepare for work, GO to work, finish, drive home. I don't need to point out the negatives of that scenario, but the positive is that each day seemed like two. And considering how time flies as you get older, that was a good thing!

Now that I've come to my senses and ended my binary career configuration, time is FLYING by again. Part of the reason - I love my job. I'm a voice over artist and it's a blast... and as they say, time flies when you're having fun.

So how can I solve the problem and decelerate my day? My only recourse, as I see it, is to take regular breaks to do something I hate.

A short list of possibilities:

  • Watch shopping channel for 1 hour
  • Rake leaves and put them in my pants
  • Scratch chalkboard with fingernails
  • Mall shopping with Ernest Borgnine
  • Pick up dog poop from yard with hands tied behind my back
  • Assault my own skull with a blunt instrument until I lose consciousness, wake up, repeat

Maybe I could spend time watching water come to a boil or counting marbles in a jar. I do have a frustratingly large box of christmas lights to untangle, THAT should slow the day down a bit. Hmmm.

Okay, maybe I need to stop thinking about it and just accept life's brutally fast tempo. It was, after all, Einstein who said:

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

Space...the final.... uh... ah, never mind

Thursday and I have a good, positive attitude going today. Tawnya had a "procedure" yesterday that took her out of commission for the day, but it was good to be able to fluff her pillow and take care of her. (although she didn't require much) She always takes great care of me, sick or not. Sometimes I think I will never be able to pay her back for the things she does.

As for my previous post of the moon picture... isn't astronomy a great thing? (trying not to appear a geek, here) I have a neat telescope I keep telling myself I need to start using. I want to get one of those outside portable fireplaces, some marshmallows and my telescope one night and have fun with the kids. My telescope isn't one of the little ones, it has a computer with it that will turn the scope to whatever star you click on. Too bad it doesn't have auto-focus, I have a hell of a time getting it focused in.

Here is an interesting site if you're into space stuff. It's NASA's "Picture of the Day." (which is where I got that moon picture) It changes daily, so check back. It's always something interesting, and it always puts me in my place! haha!

Enough about space. I need breakfast and a shower. I'll write more later.

This week an interesting phenomenon occurred... but it was just because of the angle, it's not like "celestial bodies coming together." Jupiter crossed behind the Moon, and this picture was snapped. You can see the quarter-crescent of lighted moon, (bottom half) the rest of the moon which was not lighted, then Jupiter above, with some of its own moons. Pretty awesome thing. Makes me feel small and insignificant. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Goodbye old label, ye have served us well

The new Bud Light bottle has spurred a debate these days. Many are already missing the old-school metallic silver and red labels that, for decades, have adorned the world's most popular brew. You know, the ones that hardly ever peel correctly without error. Sure, they're easy to get started, but then the gummy under-layer won't release smoothly, leaving a sticky white partial label, which can only speak to the integrity of the paper used.

So by now you know, for me it's not the design, style or logo. But how it peels.

I will tell you, peeling the new label is a far more bewildering task. Although it always comes off in one piece (haven't torn one yet) getting it started is a real challenge. You'll be tempted to cheat and use the twist-off top or a pocket knife -- don't insult me. Any label-peeling purist knows better. The persevering drinker will use legal methods such as a fingernail... or when nobody's looking, a tooth. (legal, but you look goofy as hell) Be diligent, the patient peeler will be rewarded for their assiduousness. You'll eventually snag a corner, and it's all downhill from there.

At this point, we must consider the possible uses for the freshly peeled label. Years ago, I would have been satisfied with USE NUMBER ONE... to stack them to the side in hopes that the old "sex coupon" line might work with an unwitting female passer-by.

Hmm, wonder why that never worked...

Well, anyway. Another favorite application, USE NUMBER TWO, for the peeled document is to invert it. This serves two purposes. One, you always know which beer is yours. Two, (and far more fun) it makes the bartender or waitress at least consider the possibility that the bottle actually came from the brewery that way, a victim of some freak assembly line capsizing accident.

My friend Gary always flips his label. I never asked him why.


It rained a lot last night - just a few more degrees and it could have been a nice big snow. I am decidedly against winter. I am much more comfortable poolside with a book at 95 degrees. But the winter does have a certain allure.

Here's a favorite poem of mine by Frost, called "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening."

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Posted by Hello

Monday, December 06, 2004

MMMM, pie

Picture of the day: My friend Mike baked this pie last summer, 4th of July I think. I don't remember if we ever ate any of it, it would almost be a sin. Funny comment from my friend Jim: "Geez, must be an old pie, there were only 5 states." Posted by Hello


Then happy Hanukah in advance! My friend JD shared this and I got a good laugh. Turn your volume up a little to enjoy.

Happy Hanukah!

Big Ol' Empty Bed

When I learned that my wife will be staying at her mom's tonight, I got a guilty, giddy feeling. You know the one. I beat myself up for having that giddy feeling while taking a quiet soak in the hot tub with background music by Bob Seger. I had a really cold Bud Light and a stout Cuban cigar while watching the clouds race across the sky. There must be some fast upper winds tonight.

Then I dried off and hit the fridge. I ate about half a jar of sliced grapefruit with a little sugar on it, and a peanut butter sandwich. Washed it down with two pints of ice cold milk. The Gods of the Frigidaire must be smiling on me tonight, the whole thing was a near-religious experience. I'm not sure how citric acid, peanuts and dairy do together, so I'm sure it will trigger a gastro-chemical reaction at about bedtime. But for now, I'm good.

If my wife were home tonight, she'd surely remind me how unhealthy it is to eat after 8, how much cholesterol peanut butter has, and how Wonder bread contains no real nutrients. Probably more things I can't think of now. But hey. She's gone.

Hell, it's only 1 am. There's still some week-old meatloaf in there, some leftover breakfast potatoes, the rest of that jar of grapefruit, and some spicy polish sausage. And about a half-gallon of 33 degree fresh milk left. I might just go all-in.

I wonder if I could talk my wife into one more night with her mom.

I wish I had some Spam.

MSNBC - Aaron bothered by Bonds' testimony

Interesting story on MSNBC - Legendary major leaguer Hank Aaron is bothered by Barry Bonds' recent testimony regarding steroids. Bonds is another in a series of recent sports disappointments, which makes me want to only support high school and little league teams.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


It's a quiet night, T is still at her moms. The Rams actually won one, of course it was against the 49'ers who are 1-11 now. I'm watching the rain fall in the backyard. The pool guy just had to drain about 2 feet of water out of the pool, we've gotten so much rain this fall that the pool was completely full under the tarp.

I'm headed to the tread mill, I am on a mission to lose 25 pounds by February 1. I talked to a personal trainer last week and am thinking about going that route. I don't feel good about being this heavy. When I graduated HS I was 6'2" and weighed 143. I never want to be that thin again, but it would be nice to be under 200.

I am not feeling very deep this week so all my posts have been "this is what is happening today." Boring shit. So in an effort to move to more heavy subjects... I am listening to comedian Lewis Black. Funny shit. Laughing my ass off! Gotta go enjoy it, I'll be deep some other time.

The Sunday Morning Ritual

Your basic winter-ish blah day, a little sun but mostly clouds and a high today of 52. Nothing special. Tawnya, Jim, Ryan and I will head to the IHOP for pancakes and last-minute catching up. Their plane leaves at 3:45 today and then T is headed to her parents to take care of her Mom this afternoon/evening. I'll be trying to hold down the couch and watching football. The Rams and 49ers. We'll lose.

More later, we're out the door.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Picture of the day: Boys 'n' their stogies! This is my friend Gary and me on a cruise to South America last winter. The cigar club on board was first class. The guys on this couch are not.Posted by Hello

Touristy stuff

Such a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. It's hard to think that Winter is here and any old day we could get dumped on.

Jim and Ryan got in last night at 8:20, I called Ryan's cell phone as we pulled up to the airport and they were just coming out. What timing! We ended up hitting Kreiger's sports bar for a bite, then headed out to a place called Stovall's, a little country music joint in the woods. A small group of friends had gathered there, so we joined them for some beers and dancing. Then came home and crashed. Slept until 8 this morning, got up and made coffee. Tawnya made breakfast for all of us. Now we'll head out to be tourists today. It's weird, St. Louis isn't a real tourist destination but there are actually lots of things to do/see. I figure I'll take them to the brewery, the arch and Kimmswick. Jim suggested we book a trip to Hawaii as a group and that sounds really good. Perfect time of year for it. Last time we were out there was when we got married in Maui in 2000.

Tawnya's mom was feeling strange the other night so they took her to the hospital. Turns out she had 80 percent blockage in the right side, so they put in a stint. She's feeling better, but is diabetic and is bleeding a little so they'll keep her one extra day. It's amazing how opening up a blockage makes your whole world look better... I've talked several people who had the procedure.

I'd better change clothes and get ready to hit the road. Lots of things to see today, then Tawnya has to work tonight. Maybe I'll feed our guests a nice steak tonight at Tucker's. What's that noise, is it my arteries slamming shut?!?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Can you answer this...

A question just to see if people really navigate to this blog and actually read contents:

In a song by Fred Knoblock called "Why Not Me," what are the names of the three friends mentioned? (one didn't show for the wedding because of a golf game) Just leave it in the "comments" field if you know the answer. Why am I asking this? I truly don't know. Just wondering if someone will have the energy to google search the lyrics and post the answer. I need a life.

Just got a call that Jim & Ryan will be late, their flight was changed so they had to transfer to another airline. They'll be here a couple of hours later than we expected, but that's okay. I'll take them on a tour of the brewery tomorrow, and then a trip up in the arch. The usual St. Louis crap. Got a nice call from my Mom a few minutes ago, she's been feeling under the weather and I tried to cheer her up a little. She's stuck in the unfriendly confines of Warsaw, MO and there are very few things to keep her busy there. I'm hoping I can find her a place to live close by this Spring. I think she felt better when we got off the phone. She sounded more "up." She's awesome.

Done with work today, time to clean up the bar and stock the fridge with weekend beer. I'm working up a powerful thirst just thinking about it.


Forgive, I've had a few to drink.

Went to a place called Robata's of Japan steak house and enjoyed dinner and drinks. It was a holiday party thrown by American Express investments, so we went and got the best chef in the place. I must say the restaurant has gone down hill since I first came to town. They need to clean, replace carpet and further upgrade, but we had a blast and the chef (Vince) was great! Went with our friends Rick & Robin. (Robin is Tawnya's real estate partner and Rick is our investment guy) We finished the night off with a tequila shot and felt like we could have partied later, but were home by 10:45 pm. Sat in the hottub for about an hour and now am thinking of hitting the bed.

So on to my subject. T and I had a long chat tonight about whether we believe in forever. Of course SHE does, women usually do. I'm more reticent regarding the concept. My take is, it's sort of like a job, a project, etc. If you just look at your long term goal (in this case being married forever) it will be harder to make it happen. If you take one day at a time and figure that today will be another successful married day, you'll be more likely to succeed. Before you know it, another week, a month, a year goes by and you haven't really thought about "forever," but you're on your way to it. I think long-term "expectations" can damage your chances of achievement.

Is this too clinical? Am I overthinking? I'm not a believer in fairy tales. But then, I've been involved in two marriages that did not work, and while both have taught me much... perhaps they have taken wind out of my sails.

So I hope that the fine breeze I've found continues.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Jennings is a LOSER

Ken Jennings lost on Jeopardy. 2.5 million in winnings, out of which he will owe 1.04 million to the Feds and Utah, his home state. The irony... he lost on a question about H&R Block!

Now 40 percent of his winnings will go toward a school system that he doesn't use and a tax system full of waste and inefficiency. Which "after taxes" leaves him 60 percent. Of course don't forget, another HUGE part of the amount remaining will go toward property tax on a new home he'll probably buy, sales tax on a car or two, sales tax on anything else he buys with it... and then of course eventual capital gains tax, an inheritance tax, and finally an estate, gift and generation-skipping tax, aka DEATH tax.

Am I the only person who has such a negative attitude toward such a cool victory by this guy? I am a realist (many would call me cynical) and I tend to weigh things before celebrating. This tax system needs overhauling in a big way.

I LOVE the idea of a flat national sales tax, with exempt cards for those who need them. If we all paid 12 percent at the register, when making a car payment, when filling up the tank, when paying your utility bill... what a great world this would be! Shit, think of the implications. Drug dealers, "under the table" income people, prostitutes, war lords, those who host BUNKO parties fer Christsake... would pay taxes. There obviously would be separate rules for corporations, businesses, et al. But how simple it would be.

Agency day, I have a recording session today for US Expedition. Their holiday commercial will air on several national channels, which is exciting. Then, I need to spend part of the day picking up dog shit. Regis has made himself quite a "debris-field" in the front yard. There is no tactful way of picking up shit, really. A friend suggested rubber gloves - and I'm thinking "does this guy really think you use your HANDS to pick up shit?" I have one of those handy gadgets that looks like a piece of construction equipment. Pick up the turd, drop it in the bag, no muss, no fuss. But you still look like an idiot doing it... so I'll have to pick a time when most of the neighbors are gone. I'd say about 2:30 this afternoon.

Did you know there are companies out there who specialize in the disposal of the canine calling card? They are professional perveyors of poop, sanitizers of shit, disposers of dysentary. Evacuators of the coiled perfume snake. And then they BILL you for it.

I love this country.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Fun stuff I stumbled across. The Seinfeld dictionary. I watched the Seinfeld story on NBC the other night and found it fascinating. A show borne of such a simple idea can be so incredibly popular - it inspires me to keep looking for my niche.

By the way, as my old friend Steve pointed out... the Seinfeld dictionary is missing some important terms such as, "master of my domain" and "sponge-worthy." Such gaffes actually makes the dictionary nearly worthless. Nearly. But still worth a look.

New month, new fun

Coffee and sunshine this morning. Nothing like it! Haven't seen the sun in days and I was beginning to question its existence.

Another late night, we celebrated a birthday last night with Dr. Mike and Paula, friends from O'Fallon, MO. Paula turned 27, so we went to Vivian's Vinyard in St. Charles for some amazing food. Margarita turned out to be the drink of the night. Had portabella 'shrooms, shrimp and wings for appetizers, and I ended up having the filet maison - a 10 ounce filet with some kind of cream sauce. Great place if you're ever in the St. Charles area on 2nd street. Afterward, we took a trip to a place called Duschene Bar for more cocktails and a few games of pool. It was a good time.

On the way home, we passed a bunch of emergency vehicles parked on the top of a levee near Spirit of St. Louis airport and above it all hovered a helicopter with search lights. We had no idea what was going on, but we figured it was a manhunt of some kind. Turned out, they were searching for a plane crash site, after a small commuter jet disappeared off the radar screen shortly after take-off.

Coffee is so much better fresh ground. 8 O'clock is best but any fresh ground is better than the stuff in a can.

Better head into the recording studio. I have a bunch of projects to get out today, lots of clients getting ready for Christmas.

Bah humbug.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dah Bull

Rain falling but the coffee tastes good and I'm in a reasonably good mood today. Despite the Rams embarrassing loss last night on MNF! I don't think we'll win consistently again until major changes are made. Mike Martz is a brilliant offensive coordinator but a poor "coach."

I'm headed downtown today for lunch with a couple of friends. I'm going to start working vacation fill-in shifts for a country radio station called the BULL soon. Sometimes I like the idea of still being in radio, sometimes I just want to stay on the sidelines and do voice over stuff, where I've found my niche and been successful. (despite myself!)

We sat around last night and watched the game, then broke away when it was obvious we were going to lose - and watched TIVO'd Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal. Love those shows, but I can't decide if television is getting better or worse. The reality thing was COMPLETELY lost on me, I enjoyed the first SURVIVOR and a little of MTV's REAL WORLD, but reality TV is anything but... so they lost me almost from the start. I didn't get to bed until 1:30, but of COURSE I didn't go right to sleep. Watched TIVO'd Dennis Miller, and he's starting to irritate me with his blind following of all things Bush. Not that I don't support George W. Bush, but Miller refuses to even admit the Iraq mistakes. Too bad, he's starting to lose one of the only 100-thousand or so viewers he has.

So anyway, it was almost 2:30 when I finally dozed off. The phone rang at 8:00 this morning to get my day started. I GOTTA stop staying up so late, I need to catch up on sleep. But I can't seem to just put down the book or shut off the tube and close my eyes. I don't think it's insomnia but I'm not real sure why it's so hard for me lately.

More later, need to get the day started.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Rain and Politics

Another day of rain - the sun was out for about 10 minutes yesterday and it looks like Wednesday before we see it again. Rain today, tonight, tomorrow... and tomorrow night maybe snow. Well shit!

Just engaging in a debate on a political message board. Some people amaze me - those who only know talking points or what their church teaches. Free thinkers are sometimes hard to find. My political beliefs are somewhere in the "middle", I'm a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. (pardon the oversimplification for conversations sake) And I believe MOST Americans are somewhere in the middle. The wings of the political parties (Hollywood on one end, Jerry Falwell on the other) represent a small minority of our countrymen. Yet those wingers are constantly touted as examples by their opposing parties. Liberals say conservatives are racist religious haters, and conservatives say Michael Moore is a shining example of the Democratic party. And because of that, the perception of our country beyond our borders is inaccurate. We're not war mongers, but we'll protect ourselves. We're not fiscally irresponsible, but we're not greedy. We are a Christian founded and valued society, but we don't (and shouldn't) impose those beliefs on our citizens. We share more of our wealth with those in need than any other country on Earth. So how did we get such a bad rap??

We need friends in the world, but our extreme political discourse paints a pretty ugly picture of who we are. Political rhetoric is at an all-time high and the world is watching. Every time I turn on a political talk show, whether left or right-leaning, my bull-shit meter pegs.

Okay, enough about politics. Into the studio now for several recording sessions. Meantime the rain falls. And falls.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Another 5-hour night. I need to get caught up on sleep, and apparently holiday weekends are NOT the time to do it.

We generally have lots of company at our house and this weekend was no exception. Next weekend won't be either, although I'm not complaining. My brother's ex-girlfriend was our guest this weekend. If it sounds strange, it isn't... she and my wife have remained friends so she visits from Jefferson City every month or two. Next weekend we have friends in town from Traverse City, Michigan. Great friends I met on a business trip to San Diego one time. We laughed our asses off about the stupidest things - and really irritated some of the people at the pool at the Hotel del Coronado. Then it was off to bother the animals at the San Diego Zoo with singer/songwriter Matraca Berg. I had ridden a jet ski all afternoon with my friend Matt Corbin - and we had been jumping the wake of an aircraft carrier that was leaving the bay. (never underestimate the wake created by a freakin' aircraft carrier) My legs were like noodles after the ride and about 18 additional margaritas. Later, walking up a slight incline at the zoo my legs just gave out and I fell on my ass. My thanks to Corbin and Jim & Ryan the Michigan friends for the laughter and pointing. Assholes.

The good news is, the Rams are playing on Monday night this week... so I can put off the pain of another loss for an extra day. Martz and the Rams just suck this year. 5-5 with no relief in sight. He's ignored the special teams and let the defense rot away under the new coaching of the Arizona Cardinals former defensive coach. HUH!?!?!?!?!

There is a really bright burning ball in the sky and some of the St. Louis natives are scared this morning. We've seen it before, but it's been a week or two. I'm going to make some breakfast now, the kids are hungry.

Borrowed Political Humor

A cowboy was herding cattle in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses, YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

The cowboy looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing heard and calmly answers, "Sure. Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer,connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he the feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of his data via an email and after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out a full color, 150 page report on his hi-tech, miniturized HP Laser Jet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1586 cows and calves."

"That's right, so I guess you can take one of my calves," says the cowboy. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car. Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?" The young man thinks about it for a second and then agrees.

"You're a Political consultant" says the cowboy.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don't know anything about my business.

"Now...give me back my dog."

Saturday, November 27, 2004

National Treasure & stuff

Saw National Treasure the other night, was a good movie. It's a reality stretch, but most really good movies are. Great story line. So tonight was a movie night with just the kids and me. I tried to talk them into something else, but they REALLY wanted to see N-T. I relented. It was actually better the second time - I caught more of the nuance.

I was just reading about the Reno flight cancellations due to an 18-inch snow. Reminds me of a Thanksgiving ski trip to Tahoe 7 years ago this week. It was incredibly cold but what a great time. Skied (sp?) at Heavenly Valley... and it was. I'm a rookie on skis, I can do green slopes and sometimes the easy blues. I tried the really LONG skis the first time down the slope and discovered I was not ready for those. Spent most of the first trip down on my ass.

Had an hour or so earlier to ponder parenthood... my daughter is here now, and odd weekends. (her Mom lives in Columbia, MO) As much as I try to teach her, it's odd how much I learn from HER. For instance - parents who befriend their kids do them a disservice - and I see it often with other parents. It's natural to want to be their friend so they'll tell you what's going on. But if they think of you as a friend, the first time you challenge them the friendship is harmed. You CAN parent in a friendly way and exhibit some of the qualities of a friend... but a child has many friends - they only have 2 parents. Obviously as Courtney matures there is GREAT opportunity for friendship, it's an important progression. What 30 year old wants an authority figure for a parent???

More tomorrow. Not bad for the first day, but I'll try to discuss more interesting topics in the future!

Winter days are great for naps - even Regis thinks so! Posted by Hello

The COLD pool and patio Posted by Hello

Day one...

With all the talk of blogging, I had to do it. I consider myself up-to-date regarding new things, and frankly... a daily/weekly journalistic release is something I need.

The snow is gone, but we got hit pretty good.

After scouring some of the other blogs on the 'net, I've decided what I want and DON'T want to do with mine. I don't want it to be one long boring political rant, I don't want it to be a play-by-play of my wife and my sex life. (have you SEEN some of these blogs?!?) I want it to be something my family can read, a place to blow off steam, and a place to begin recording my life.

It's amazing that I've traveled so many places, done so many things, yet have little recollection of much of it. Only when someone jogs a memory... I can say "hey, I've been there!" So I figure recording some of the boring day to day thoughts, prognostications and anecdotes will occasionally produce a keeper. And someday I will write a book of the story of my life and include those "keepers."

Anyway, this is the start. Hopefully I'll have time to keep it up. Like many projects, I figure I will get a quick start... then my new-found energy will wane.

Oh well.