Thursday, December 29, 2005

Not everyone likes Santa



Some kids are scared of the jolly old man. If you think this is Parke and Ben, you had better look again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Real Live Preacher

The Preacher has been excellent lately. Don't miss his latest thought provoking essay.

Alert!

On a routine perusal of Jeanne's website I noticed that her CD is now available on I-Tunes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Not so Random Dylan . . .

"When I was in Missouri they would not let me be.
I had to leave there in a hurry. I only saw what they let me see."

Monday, December 26, 2005

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Shelly finally made it home today. The girls sure were missing their Momma. There is no better medicine than having a two-year old curled up in your lap.

Shelly's still recovering. She probably won't make it back to school for the first week. But she's definitely getting better. Yesterday I didn't think she'd be able to come home today.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. Have a good new year!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Emergency Appendectomy for Mrs. Seamhead

I just wanted to let everyone know that Shelly had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday evening. She made it through the surgery ok, but Roger says she won't be released from the hospital until Saturday. Thus, she and the girls will have to forgo their annual Christmas pilgrimage to Wisconsin.

Please everyone keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

random Dylan lyric of the day (hour? minute?)

Cadillac ... good car to drive after a war

A Christmas Tale

Here's a Christmas Tale to warm your hearts on a cold day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Top Things Boz & Tammie Should Do Before Baby

Those of us with kids know that once kids arrive, life changes in many facets. I thought we could provide a tip list of things The Miller's should do before Baby Boz gets here either in preparation for or because they may not get to do certain things again for a long long time. I'll start and then you can add to the list.

1. Sleep (I am almost ready to volunteer at a sleep clinic just so I can get some sleep)
2. Go Out to Dinner and Movie (there's a reason that show is on TV for people who don't go out)
3. Get Help (Line up some people (i.e. family) to help the first week or two you are home. Buy or make some comfort food frozen meals like lasagna pans, etc that you can heat up in the oven.)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

WIZARD OF BOZ

Tom and Tammy, we haven't heard from you lately. How about an update. Your days of quiet, peaceful dinners, restful nights, and sleeping late are almost over.





You'll have your hands full!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why the Cards are still the best team in the NL


Because he plays for the birds..........


.......and they don't.

CURE FOR THE WINTERTIME BLUES







Lake Springfield in winter. You can't beat it.

HUH?

Our Fake Drilling Debate

G.F. Will or G.F. Swill?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Just call me Jeffrey CASH

OK, I refuse to admit that the amazing, fantastic, wonderful film "Walk the Line" had anything to do with it, but when I saw the beautiful black Taylor 610ce on Ebay, it was love at first sight.

I don't usually go for colored guitars. I like a beautiful wood tones. I don't even want a pick guard fowling up a high-end slice of sitka spruce or Koa or some other beautiful wood. Still, I did like this "Johnny Cash-esque" guitar - and I'm pretty freaking excited to finally own a taylor guitar, with is sort of like owning...oh, I don't know, a really good softball glove as opposed to any piece of leather that will catch a ball.

I've wanted a Taylor for a long time (five years +/-), but the high price tags alway scared me away. Luckily I found this one for less than half of the price of the same model brand new. Also, I think my sister getting her SECOND beautiful Taylor guitar sort of forced my hand.

So, no pot stirring, no huge news, just wanted to share my good news.

Oh, and Walk the Line really is a fine film. I liked it better than "Ray," and I think that Juaguin Phoenix and Reese W. both did a fantastic job.

I expect Phoenix to be right next to Phillip Seymore Hoffman (Capote) in the Oscar line-up. Capote is a great movie also. A bit slow in places, but Hoffman just nails it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

1,001 and counting

This one is for you Andy B. You called for a debatable topic...here it is.

At 12:01 PT, Stanley "Tookie" Williams will be given a lethal injection after being denied clemency by the Governator. Despite his claims that he did not commit the killings, he was convicted of the 'execution style' slaying of three individuals.

His supporters request for a stay of execution has primarily been based on the argument that he should be allowed to continue his anti-gang work. Whichever side of the capital punishment fence you fall on, this is a weak argument. His supporters are using a non-legal argument to try and rectify a legal situation. But I guess if the normal arguments haven't been working, sometimes you have to try a new approach.

Andy, consider the pot stirred...now the fun begins.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The hot stove is fired up...

The KC Star is reporting that the Royals are planning on trading Jeremy Affeldt and Mike MacDougal for Anna Benson and a player to be named. Rumor has it that player may even be Kris Benson.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Going to Disney Land!

Amy and I are taking the kids to Disney this next summer. Anyone been there? Any advice? On the way we plan to stop at Daytona for a day and check out the NASCAR attractions.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Yawn, Things Sure Are Slow


Hey, How about some more posts on this blog?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

All is well on Harper Hill

It has been a while since I have posted but I wanted to let everyone know how Cody's "procedure" went. The doctors call it a procedure like it is a simple thing they do everyday. I am sure they do this everyday and are very good at it, but this is my child and it was really scary. Anyway everything went extremely well. We got to Cardinal Glennon at 7:30am, they asked all the questions and prepped him. They took him into the Cath Lab (which was a new word to me before this) at about 10:30. The cardiac nurse that we met at our first visit to the cardiologist gave me an extension number for the cath lab if I felt the need to call and check how things were going, I did not call, the last thing I wanted to do was interrupt. They told us it would take 2-3 hours, it only took about 1 1/2. The nurse called 3 times to let us know where they were at in the procedure and that things were going well. Finally she called to let us know they were finished and would be taking him to recovery. The doctor wanted to meet with us to show the ultrasound video they took to document the procedure. During this meeting he told us the hole in Cody's heart was about twice as big as first suspected (19mm or about 3/4 inch or the size of a nickel). The right side of his heart is also enlarged about twice the size it should be. He explained to us that the pressure in a normal heart measures at 3 or 4, Cody's pressure in the right side of his heart measured at 15 but immediately dropped to 12 when the device was put into place. They told us that the pressure and the size of his heart will continue to come down. He has to take it easy for about 3 weeks then he can resume light activity. After 6 months he will be able to play summer league baseball and will be ready for football again next school year. Other than a sore throat from the ultrasound camera they put in he is doing fine. As scary as this "procedure" was for all of us, I thank God the doctors took this simple heart murmur that he has had from birth seriously. Without sounding overly dramatic we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that this hole was found and that it was able to be taken care of, that the surgeon was knowledgable and talented. I'm thankful for everyone who prayed for him and for the support we felt from everyone. I know this post is getting long but I want to point out one more thing...how great everyone was at Cardinal Glennon. I hope that the families of the sick children who have to spend time there all have the great experience we had. Everyone from the doctors and nurses to the cafeteria workers were so friendly and caring to the kids and the parents. All of these people have incredible hearts.

misti

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey





We took Wade to the circus and splurged on front row tickets. It was cool to have front row, but for the circus I think even the cheap seats would be good as you'd be more level with the highwire acts and still have a good view of the 3 rings looking down.

We asked Wade what his favorite part was and he said "All" which is good because I wondered if he was enjoying it or was overwhelmed by it. I think it was a little of both. He slept for 2.5 hrs afterwards so the lights, action, and noise wore him out. It was pretty loud. The circus has changed from just an organ grinder and his monkey. It's pretty technotronic now. I'm still singing "We want..we want.... WILSON!!! Everybody! We want we want...Wilson!!!" (to the tune of Queen's We will, We will ROCK YOU!). This is in reference to "Crazy Wilson". I'd have to say he probably is one crazy S.O.B. He was part of the high wire act. And, he also did a pretty unique solo act on a human gerbil cage that rotated 2 stories in the air while he ran on the outside of it. Then, he would free fall through the air down onto it as it rotated. I can't describe it well enough in writing.

There were lots of clowns, chinese acrobats, a token midget (vertically challenged person?), young girls in glittery costumes, magic, lions & lion tamer, dancing wild mustangs directed by the lovely lady in the tight fitting outfit, the whole works.

At the end of the show, they brought out a metal caged sphere where 3 motocyclers rode around inside at the same time while criss-crossing each other and going upside down. The thing looked about 10-15 ft in diameter. It was pretty tight. So, they brought in Crazy Wilson to be the 4th rider in the sphere. After zipping around with the others for a while, he left the cage and they created "Double the Danger" as "Crazy Wilson's Sister" climbed into the sphere and the motorcyclers rode circles around her as they removed 2 parts of the top of the sphere. So, they're in there buzzing circles around this glitzy dressed circus gal with half the sphere in tact. I think the music was roaring the whole time. It was pretty cool. I thought I saw her flinch once and her hand move. Upon reviewing the photo, I realized the riders were giving her high fives every time they passed. Wow, she didn't flinch at all! There was just even more danger than I realized!!!

Here's a trivia question for you. How much do you think a bag of cotton candy went for at this event? It was sold with a souvenir clown's top hat made of a felt-like paper decorated sort of patriotic with stars, etc. Saying it was very inexpensive material is probably overstating the quality. This is the only way you could buy cotton candy, with the hat.
Did you guess 10 cents? No, that was great-grandpa's price when he was a boy. $5? $7 for today's inflation? No. If you guessed $9, then you are correct. That's right, $9. I actually laughed at the lady as I handed her my $10 spot and thought to myself, this is today's way of ripping you off at the circus. After all, you do expect to be ripped off to an extent at the circus, that's part of it and you go in knowingly. I had to buy it, because I promised Wade for 2 days before that we would have some. If you think of it, it's no worse than paying $9 for a beer at the game these days and he still has cotton candy for the next 3 days. I guess it was just the principle that they KNEW they were hosing me so bad and so did I. That made the cotton candy leave a bitter taste in my mouth. But hey, it was all worth it.

Step Right Up and See the Show Before the Tent Comes Down!! (We want....we want.....WILSON!!) Crazy Wilson is seen in the tight rope photo. He's the one in front dressed in blue. He wore yellow in the hamster act and an evil knevil like outfit in the motorcycle stunt.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Palindrome

I just got done watching the movie "Palindrome" that Jeff was talking about quite a few post ago, and thought it was great. It's very disturbing, and makes you go "what the?", but that's exactly what I expected having seen his other movies. It's the kind of movie that will have you thinking about it long after you're done watching it.

If any of you have seen it, I would like to know what you think.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

You can NOT try me on my cell phone

Know how people in the work world like to leave a message on their voicemail stating, "leave a message here or try me on my cell phone"? Well, maybe not anymore. In case you guys haven't heard, you might want to sign up for the No Call List on this one. As you know, I work for a technology company that builds equipment for cell phone towers and this message came around to us at work:


"I'm sure all of you already know about this and have done something about it, but around the first of December, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888/382-1222. It is the National Do No Call list and it will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for 5 years. You can also go here to register your cell phone number.

Pass this on to all your friends. "

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ain't Science Grand??

Researchers have found out something that we have known for years...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Cupcake Killer

This is Abby at the birthday party. I feel Abby and I have a special bond. I can tell by the way she orders me around when we play.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Twisted Sisters

Here's another picture from our weekend at the Daw Mansion. Lexi and Willa had a fine time together. They even made money helping Aimee around the house.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tangled Up In Blue

What a weekend the Phillips family had at the Daw mansion. The food was wonderful. There was a lot for the kids to do. They let me win beer at golf. They let my wife win cash at poker. We highly recommend it for a November Vacation Hotspot.

Seriously, it was a blast. A big thanks to do the Daws for having us. We might try to do it all over again on the Saturday after Thanksgiving if anyone is interested. There will probably be poker for sure. The golf, of course, is at the mercy of the fall weather.

And let me tell you, no one knows fun like Isa does.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Isa

This weekend Seamheads family came in to town to celebrate birthdays with their family. They stayed the night with us. I just thought I'd let the rest of you know how it went...it was a lot of fun:

It started Saturday. Lou, Dave, and Seamhead played golf at 12:00 while I went to my daughter's soccer game. I met them on the course at about 1:30 while they were on the 8th hole. We went to the 1st hole and played 18. Finishing the last hole at the last possible moment, barely able to see the hole as darkness was upon us. We scrambled. Lou and Myself winning the first nine and Seamhead and Dave winning the second nine. Logo balls were exchanged. A rematch is in order.

Saturday night we played some hold'em, the four of us plus Misti, Amy, and Shelly. Our plan (the guys') worked to a tee. We all ran out of chips leaving the 3 ladies to battle it out for the win. We hope that this sacrifice will entice the ladies to play again. Shelly was the eventual winner. Congrats Shelly!

The second game had Dave, Shelly, Roger, and myself playing...and, after many head to head hands with seamhead, I came out the winner.

But the hightlight of the weekend for me was seeing Isa. The last time I saw her she was in the pumpkin seat. Now she's walking and talking, and, my favorite,..............smiling!!!

I took a bunch of pictures of the kids this week. I'll leave it to seamhead to post whatever he'd like since it's his kid(s)...but the pressure is on 'cause some of my pictures of Isa should win awards!!!....I'll send them to you early this week Seamhead.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Concerns

I talked to Sweet Lou the other night. He filled me in on a situation that some of you may have heard about. Lou and Misti's son Cody will be undergoing an operation to repair a hole in his heart on November 22nd. Lou said the Doctor makes it sound routine. They will go in through a vein in the leg and plug the hole with a piece of wire mesh shaped like the plug in a piggy bank. Eventually, the heart tissue will grow around the mesh and completely repair the hole.

Keep Sweet Lou and Misti in your thoughts and prayers.

Pluto...is it a planet???

This week has brought us a lot of new discoveries in the world of space. The first is the discovery that Pluto has three moons, not just one, as previously thought. It's closest moon, Charon, is the one that we knew about before. It's roughly half the size of Pluto and it orbits around Pluto's poles, as opposed to the equator like moons around other planets.

But the raging debate is this....Is Pluto a planet? It seems that recently there's been several other worlds discovered much farther out in space that also orbit our sun. The most recent is known to be more than twice the size of pluto!!! The link above discusses several options as to whether or not Pluto should remain classified as a planet or not. The three major choices seem to be: 1) Reclassify Pluto as a Kuiper Belt object. It's orbit is inclined at 17 degrees, it's too small, and being called a planet just doesn't do the other planets justice. 2) Keep Pluto as a planet, but all other objects discovered are considered Kuiper Belt objects. 3) Since Pluto is socially accepted as a planet, it seems a logical progression to say that all other objects discovered that are bigger than Pluto are planets too.

I'm sure there are other ideas out there too. What do you think? Is Pluto a planet?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ask the good Doctor, a new feature of Musings...or not.

Dr. RWP,

I know you've been admonished in the past for giving out free medical advice. Pay no attention. Others are just jealous of your medical expertise. (Sorry Dr. Sarah, just a joke!) :-)

So, this coworker of mine was in a fender bender last night while on the job and in a rental car. Col. Public Schools made her go to the urgent care center (yeah! worker's comp) where she was poked, prodded, X-rayed, and generally checked over by the nice folks over at University Hospital.

They pronounced her healthy (well, as healthy as she was before the accident, which is not TOO healthy as she as a bad cold). Even though she hasn't any muscular pain - at least none that she's told me about - the Dr. prescribed her muscle relaxers. What kind of hoo-ha is this??

So, here is my MAIN question. Oh, and I might invite Rocky, Esq., to also feel free to jump on in at this point. Every once in a while I have a pretty painful muscle spasm in the greater shoulder and neck area. I would like for *Jayne to fill her prescription (which she doesn't want at all) and give, or sell, those little blue monkeys to me.

Is this morally, legally, or otherwise wrong??

Sincerely,

Spasming out in mid-MO.

*Name changed to protect identity and possible future lawsuits for dealing pharmaceuticals w/out a liscence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Frank Hits the Sauce??

As many of you may have figured out by now, I'm no sports head. I like the excitement of occasionally being at a live sporting event, or actually playing a sport, but can't fathom the drive to continually watch sports, play "fantasy" sports, learn stats, etc., etc., or the need to perpetuate the same old tired crap that was once innovative, but is now expected, played, boring (think: tearing down goal posts, shooting champaigne all over the damn place, pouring gatoraide over the coach's head).

BUT, there is one thing that I passionately love, which is 100% tied to and all about sports. And that is the musings of Frank DeFord, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated, and Wednesday morning commentator on NPR. I PLAN MY MORNINGS around Frank Deford on Wednesdays (he's usually on for about a 5 minute rambling from approximately 7:45 - 7:50 a.m. - probably on again from 8:45 - 8:50, as that is how NPR sort of works).

You can learn all about frank here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=2100422

I think so much of Frank that I actually bought and read one of his novels, "An American Summer". (Thankfully, it was more of a coming of age story than a sports story). It was really good! I was surprised.

So, do all of you sportsheads already know about Frank? If you don't then I invite you to check him out either in print or on the air. I've been listening to him for 3-4 years, and I've not been dissapointed once, except maybe...

...this morning, as I was listening to Frank make funny commentary on how the players/owners/fans feel about dress codes in the NBA (you can find this story on the NPR website), I noticed that Frank sounded a bit innebriated!! He was slurring words, and his voice had a thick, dull sound at times. Hmmmmmmm.......could have been an anurism in progress - I hope not!

Anyway, I'd never noticed this before. I wonder if ol' frank had a few scotch-n-waters before rolling the tape...?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hollah!! (five dollah).

I've finished my first CD project (all done in my home "studio"). After approximately 70+ hours of work, I'm pretty happy with it, overall. I have some pretty powerfull recording equipment - I probably haven't even scratched the surface of what it can really do.

I played a great gig last week and took about 13 of the CDs with me and sold out of them at $5 each. (that's a buck a song since there are 5 cuts).

The thing I really like about them is that they are sweet looking! My neighbor, Mike, is not only a good friend, but also professor of art at Columbia College. He did all the graphics, layout, etc. Looks frickin-A sweet, babies.

So, we are producing them "in-house" and don't have a big stockpile, but I'll be happy to get one to interested parties. Not sure how, but if you want one I'll get it to you.

I'm now starting to explore the idea of going into a studio.

Monday, October 24, 2005

DAMMIT!!!

I watched the World Series until the start of the 7th inning, feeling as if I was watching the 15th mile of a marathon. That damn Lance Berkman and Willie Tavarez getting key hits again, giving me flashbacks to the NLCS. The only thing missing was a really bad call by the umpires. Realizing I would never last until the end of the game and disheartened by the uninspiring play of the White Sox, I gave up. I just now looked at the sports scores and damn if I didn't miss three great innings of baseball. Another ding-dong given up by Lidge - what a shame. I bet it doesn't go past 5 games. The stros have a chance with Oswalt on the hill but that's it. Just like last year, the American League champ is on a roll (won 13 of their last 14 I think).

I wish the Cards had arms in their bullpen like the Sox have. I looked up Brian Giles' career OBP - .413. Not too shabby. I wouldn't mind having him and Eckstein in front of Pujols, Edmonds and Rolen.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Could you imagine!!!

This was something that caught my eye in the science news! Could you imagine the end of the light bulb! Could you imagine it becoming obsolete?


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Potted Meat

I have turned on a feature designed to fight Spam in the comments. From now on when you comment you'll be asked to verify some letters that you'll see on the screen. This will slow down automated Spam comments like we have seen in our comments. If you have a problem, just shoot me an email.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Somewhere in this Favored Land

Now we have an entire winter to speculate on the moves the Cards need to make. What do they need to do? Walker is gone. Will Reggie be gone too? Will they bid on the services of Brian Giles?

What about the bullpen? Ray King's tirade ensures the exit that his poor performance made probable. The Reyes injury really was a big problem in the postseason. Tavarez just isn't as depenable as Reyes.

The real problem is when you play a team with three starters like Oswalt, Clemens, and Pettite in a short series you can't make any mistakes. You have to stay within a run to enable the offense to try to manufacture runs. When you're down three you can't give away outs to get one run. That's what happened to them Wednesday night. When they had two on nobody out they couldn't bunt the runners over and try to scratch out a couple runs.

There was no room for error against these Astros. The Cards didn't play error free and they lost. What can they do to improve for next year?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Take your mind off it

If you need a little help getting past the mourning stage, get over to Paul's blog and enter his new contest. You won't want to miss this contest. Get your entries in now!

Bad Dreams

I woke up this morning on this cloudy rainy day with my head in a fog. Had a bad dream last night that the Cardinals were in the post-season NLCS, but played like they did in last year's World Series. And then, these ghosts were dressed like umpires who kept making bad calls just to taunt and piss the birds off because they knew there was nothing the birds could do. And then, Satan showed up in the form of Roy Oswalt and kept throwing fire balls right through the Card's bats. The Card's felt like they had bats in their hands, but the ball went right through them like they were invisible. The devil boys on the Astro's bench kept high-fiving each other before the game even ended to spite the Cards. And, worst when it was over, people were ripping apart Busch Stadium because this giant black ball was swinging methodically on a huge pendulum that was being pushed slowly up next to the stadium as if it might destroy it. Real Man Larry Walker even cried in the dream after the devil boy Astro's won the game.

Somebody call Charlie Daniels and see if we can get the fiddler named Johnny to pitch for us next year.

What time does the Cards game start tonight?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

That's a Winner!!!

Wow!! How many of you saw it? No lying! How many of you went to bed?? Tell the truth . . . It was awesome!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Joyless in Mudville

Ever since Howdy blogged October baseball the Cardinals have played horribly. Tonight the frustration seemed to boil over. Edmonds cannot lose control there. That was a huge at bat.

Do they have a miracle in them this postseason?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Good Day

Today, I escaped from the ranks of the unemployed. About three o'clock this afternoon I received a call offering me a position at the very medical center where my pathologist brother toils away his weekdays. Indeed, it's the job the Shelly and I desired the most. Another prayer answered.

Also today, I found myself mentioned on Andy's blog. It's always a good feeling to be remembered by your friends. In his blog, Andy muses about when a person has the right to speak for someone whose experience he does not share. For instance, I could offer my opinion about the quality of a certain hair stylist, but my opinion wouldn't have much weight. Certainly I wouldn't want Andy making statements on behalf of bald men.

But some people have no voice. Someone needs to speak for them. Someone needs to hear their voices even when they are just a whisper. So, Andy, I would say one needs to do more than presume to speak for others. One needs to seek out their whispers and amplify them.

1980 Something

The year was 1980 something. Someone sneaks a bottle of whiskey on a choir trip. It was either Districts or Show Choir. There were hotels. Whitworth finds out of course and expresses extreme disappointment and delivers a severe tongue lashing back in class at BHS. Who was the culprit? There are 2 possibilities of suspects I recall....Bob Connell or Sweet Lou....although, they could be innocent. The details are fuzzy and I don't recall. How did Whitty find out? Was it obvious or did one of the girls rat out the boot-legger? I remember Jamie McCollum and I steamed our room up so much that the entire room had fog layered half way from the ceiling to the floor. Same trip or different? I can't recall.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hostile Takeover??

Howdy, should you and I just revert to e-mailing back and forth, or do you want to stage a hostile takeover of this blog. I mean, no ones really using it besides us, so I'm pretty sure no one would even notice...
==
I'm pretty unhappy about the lack of good music and other stuff going on in st. Louis on the weekend of the 15. I know of a lot of places I love to eat in St. L., but I appreciated the suggestions. I want to take the family to Fitz's sometime. I have some friends who go there with their kids everytime they're in St. Louis.

Have you ever eaten at Pho Grand? It's a vietnamese place on South Grand - just south of the east end of Tower Grove Park. It was a really cool, sort of dirty hole in the wall when I was teaching in St. Louis and it had (and still has) the best vietnamese food you'll find. Since then it moved a couple of doors down and is now a very elegant, almost swanky restaurant. BUT, the prices (as of last time I was there) have hardly changed in the last 15 years. You can still eat for under $10, including dessert. It's crazy good. I love it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Lou's Lucky Break

On Sat night in St. Louis, there is a show telivised live from Harrah's Hotel and Casino called Harrah's Lucky Break. It's a season long show of Karaoke singers who are judged by DJ's from 3 radio stations. Each night a winner is selected to move on through the competition. Each judge scores each contestant with a score card of 1-7 so 21 is the highest score possible. And, each judge also has an air horn if the contestant is so bad they can't take it...sort of like The Gong Show in that sense. In general, you see your avg. Karaoke wannabees on stage. But, the top contenders do have some pretty good talent and win some good prizes.

I believe Lou could give the best of the best a run for their money and would love to see him enter the next competition. If he did, I would be there to support him and I think it would be a great event for all of us to see. Worst case, even if the judges were blinded to his talent, it would be a fun gathering event for all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Geez, You're Fat as Hell"

At LouFest 2005, Boz told me this was the classic line that I threw out at a TBC about 3 yrs ago within 30 secs of seeing Seamhead for the first time after years. And, then at LouFest, Boz was able to turn it and use it deservedly on me, Fat Howdy. Now that pregnancy is over, I'm working a plan to transform back into Skinnier Howdy. Just thought you should know for those of you who were shocked as I myself was at my own girth. I've been making Rene Zellwiger look skinny in Cold Mountain. I'm down 8 lbs since you all saw me last and working for 30 or so more.

Boz--you will gain as you share the next several months with your wife. Nearly impossible to avoid. I wonder what Fat Boz will look like. We already know he's Phat Boz. But, Fat Boz might be pretty good.

Going to the Card's game tonight if the rain holds off! 4 more regular season at Busch! Go Cards!

It's Howdy Doodie time!

Has anyone besides me noticed a lack of "republicanism" on our fair blog lately? It's like we lost our right wing, and it ain't easy to fly thataway.

It could be due to the absence of one Mr. Howdy. I can't for the life of me figure out what he must be doing that is taking up all of his time!

So, Howdy, I do believe it's time for ***dum-ta-da-DUUUMMMMM*** "BABY UPDATE".

I can only assume that adjusted sleeping patterns are beginning to feel more normal, and feedings, changings (doodie patrol), etc., are moving along at the normal rate. I would also assume that you are quite a bit busier than you were prior to the arrival of Master Christopher Mark.

So, what do you have to say for yourself??

Monday, September 26, 2005

Presidential Briefing

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.

He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the president exclaims. "That's terrible!"
His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands.

Finally, president looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

Weekly Movie Review

I know many of the reader here at Musings like to check out a movie every now and then. Unlike the movies I have reviewed on my own site, this one is more tame and more thought provoking. Many of you might have already seen it, but if you haven't please check it out. Possibly a good discusson will follow.

The movie is "Crash". For those who haven't checked it out, the plot revolves around a group of strangers that have their lives intertwined by a few random acts. Most of the acts aren't what you would call "positive". Some scenes will piss you off and some might make you shed a tear. However, as a whole the movie was pretty thought provoking (at least to me).

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you all think? If you haven't seen it, go rent it. It's worth 112 minutes of your life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

RITA

Add sea salt on the rim and mix with Tequila, that's one big Marga--RITA coming in.

New Orleans population 1.3M. Houston pop is 5.2M. Lots of people to get out of the Galveston Bay area.

Who ever would have thought two major hurricanes this close together? Is it global warning or have the terrorists learned how to manipulate the weather as a weapon? Cyclical changes in the earth or Revelations prophecy? Perhaps civilization has not heeded the lessons of the likes of Pompeii.

Galveston Island--1980 something. 86? Show Choir in some convention center? Kiwanis convention of 8-10K attendance. An Astro's game? Seamhead, Jaga, RWP or SweetLou may recall this. I think I have a photo of Seamhead on the field somewhere.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A Truely Inspirational Selfless Act

I had to share this story. The author will remain nameless. But after reading it, I think you'll understand why I had to share it. It's an extraordinary piece of literature inspired by a truely selfless act. Here's what that person wrote:

The following is a true story.

This morning seemed like any other morning. I was in front of TBHS welcoming students to another day of instruction. I had just approved a note from a student for an absence on Friday and asked another student about the upcoming district baseball tournament, when my peripheral vision detected a small, strange movement on the ground and to my left.

I directed my attention toward what turned out to be an averaged-sized toad who found himself on the sidewalk next to a retaining wall in the midst of heavy morning foot-traffic. He was probing the wall; looking for a crevice or crack into which he might escape. The oncoming rush of 1600 students ready to begin their final full week of the year made the next few seconds all the more urgent.

The danger to a small creature in a heavy traffic area on a campus like ours is two-fold. First, the random foot-fall of a hurried student could injure, maim, or kill such an animal in a split second. Second, some degenerate teenagers would revel in the opportunity to grab this creature and throw him against the wall, or worse, secure him in their back pack to transport home for who knows what tortuous endeavor.

Acting quickly and without regard for my personal well-being, I moved my own body into the path of the oncoming student traffic. As I stooped down to corral the wild beast, I gestured calmly to the flow of students with my right hand, quietly indicating that they should not travel through the area which I had secured for toad extraction. Adding to the already explosive situation, one sophomore girl who saw the distressed amphibian yelled "EEEwwwwww," as she moved passed.

Maintaining my laser-like focus, I gently scooped the toad into my left hand and covered it with my right, protecting the toad from its own instinctive urge to leap from my hands and back into the oncoming rush of students. As the toad micturated in my hand, I paused for a moment to reflect upon the irony of our arrangement: me acting selflessly to save a toad from the threat of certain death, gently preventing the toad from foolishly leaving the safety of my grasp; and for my trouble, I get a handful of toad urine.

Getting back to my task, I considered the options nearby for toad relocation, and I must tell you that it did not look good. To the north and east, we were bordered by several acres of asphalt parking lot. To the south and west, sidewallks and the high school building. I thought for a moment of dropping him down the storm water drain (functional, but gross), or placing him in a small flower bed next to the building (pretty, but not much room). I knew that neither of those locations could serve as permanent habitat for my charge. I remembered the grassy area on the south east side of the high school; a mixture of trees, grass, and shrubs, I knew it would provide the perfect blend of sun, shade, and moisture for this toad to thrive.

I released the toad at about 7:35 this morning. I haven't seen him since, but I hope that he finds his new home safe and comfortable. I hope this tale of the selfless action of one man may inspire you to great things this day.

And remember to wash your hands after reading this email.

Peace.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Generation

And now for something completely different ... the Millers are expecting. More specifically, Tammy is expecting. Boz is respecting. Both of us are exuberating. Since we found out, we've purchased a recliner, Tylenol, and some onesies. More investments ahead.

Date of family expansion tentatively set for March 4, 2006. March Madness.

Kudos to anyone who caught the foreshadowing in one of my previous posts. No, not the bit about partial-birth abortion. The "Three Is A Magic Number" reference. Paulie must've read me, cuz he performed the whole damn song. Thanks Violent Farmer! Wanna be a Godfather?

Judge John Roberts

He's a lawyer. He's a judge. He's about to become the next Supreme Court Chief Justice. That ought to evoke some opinions from the Musings crowd in the political/legal category of discussion.

I watched some of the Senate testimony. He appeared to me to be very forthright, honest, and decisive in his answers in acknowledging he is committed to the rule of law.

Compare that with Dianne Feinstein:

``I don't know what I'm going to do,'' said Feinstein, who said his testimony showed ``this very cautious, very precise man, young, obviously with staying power. ... I'm convinced you will be there, God willing, for 40 years. And that even concerns me more because it means that my vote means more.''

Feinstein voted to confirm Roberts for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She voted for him once, but isn't sure what she will do now? Isn't a cautious, precise person the kind of person you want for a Chief Justice? She is "concerned more" that her vote means "more"? As if he might only be able to serve 20yrs, her vote would mean less? Where is the confidence and decisiveness of this elected official who represents the State of California and is influencing our nation one way or the other with her vote?

Anyway, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Have at the response comments.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Movie Chat

Hey, I saw a great movie last night. I knew that everyone in the house except for me had homework, so I got something just for myself and watched it on the laptop with my phat studio headphones.

The movie was "Downfall" and it was all about the last few weeks in Hitler's bunker. It was a little hard to keep all the charcters straight as this general and that general, etc., kept coming in and out. I knew about half the names of the real life characters, but of course the German army was pretty damn top heavy by the end. The guy who played Hitler did a fantastic job and really gave life to how demented and delusional the man was at the end, and almost all of the major characters were rounded out so that you could also see so much humanity (which just made them seem all the more twisted by nationalistic ideology and blind heteronomy).

There were several interesting side stories as well, such as one about a young boy (12 +/-) who is just itching to fight, against the will of his father - obviously a veteran who has lost an arm and realized the futility of the German cause; the Russians were inching ever closer to the middle of Berlin and shelling the crap out of everything the whole time.

There are some hard scenes, mostly due to emotional content and not to gruesome images. It's pretty difficult to watch Frau Goeble kill her children with poison instead of letting them grow up "in a world with out National Socialism." It's pretty troubling to watch Herr Goeble (or Goering?) and Hitler, at different times, talk about the fact that they could care less what happens to the German citizens, and then show emotion for idiotic, nationalistic reasons, or because a dog is dying.

It was extremely interesting to see the two factions of Hitlers officers - those who had come to the realization that all was lost, the Fuhrer was losing control, and the best thing would be to stop the madness and save lives, and those who were of the "we fight to the last bullet and then use the last bullet on ourselves" camp.

Anyway, I highly recommend this movie, which I think is especially important at a time when this country is tipping a bit too far toward nationalism and imperialism. I hope we've learned some lessons since then, but I doubt it. I think every generation hopes they've learned lessons from the past, but history tells us we're not quite that bright.

It's really all summed up in the Planet of the Apes series of movies, but that's another story...

Oh, BTW, the movie is in German w/English subtitles, but that actually makes it 100 Xs better. (There's nothing like a good Hitler Rant in German!!)

Oh, one more thing for all to muse....The movie focuses a great deal around one of Hitler's personal secretaries, whom he treats very tenderly and very well. Actually, the movie opens and closes with a short interview with the actual woman. Several times in the movie, as the women in the bunker are talking about trying to get out of harms way, they mention that they want to get through to the American lines (the definately do NOT want to be captured by the Russians). I wonder if that feeling is still out there in the world, that even if we're fighting against a country our fighting forces will still respect the sanctity of non-combative/innocent human life...?

Our recent actions seem to not uphold that fact, if it ever really was true to begin with.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Speechalist

This may not be new, but it was new to me and one of the funnier videos out there.

The Speechalist

"My Neck Hurts!"

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd share this story. It turned out to be the craziest thing I've seen in my coaching career, but maybe you had to be there:

It happened about a week and a half ago. One of my football players was injured in a tackling drill. I personally didn't see it happen since we were separated by position and I didn't coach his. My assistant called me over since the kid was in a lot of pain. He said that his neck hurts. Now, if there's one thing I've learned, saying "neck" on a football field is similar to saying "bomb" on an airplane. We immediately (as we would for many injuries that could be serious) put a call in to the parents. In nicer words, I tell them that their son is Injured and should probably be looked at by a doctor. Long story short, the parents eventually tell us to go ahead and call an ambulance and that they would be up there as soon as possible.

My two assistants stayed at the side of the kid while I took the rest of the team (the other 65 kids) to another part of the field and resumed some sort of practice to keep them busy. Minutes later, I hear the sirens of a fire truck. As most of you know, the fire department is right across the street from the football field. This didn’t surprise me, since I knew that the EMT’s often came from there. About the same time they arrived, so did Mom. I jogged back over to see what was going on. Now at this point, with a parent and a medical professional there, that pretty much puts us out of the picture. So from here on out, the 6 coaches and 130 football players on sight (us and the eighth grade) were simply spectators. So were the 50-75 or so parents that frequently sit in their lawn chairs and watch the practice, especially during the last half when they’re all getting off work and come early to watch and pick up their kids.

Now this kid is lying there, fully moving all parts of his body except the shoulder and neck area. Typical questions were asked like, “Did he ever loose consciousness?....NO “How was he hit?”…not hard, just seemed to fall on it wrong (the kid that hit him was half his size). This is when I hear the EMT say, “I think we need to immediately air evac. Him to Children’s Hospital!” I’m thinking, “Holy shit!” But who am I to question? I figure that she must feel or know something that I don’t.

By now, 3 police cars have shown up to see what’s going on. The ambulance also arrives.

Of course, this brings mom to tears. Embarrassed, she asked me for $5 since she didn’t have enough gas in her car to make it. We take up a larger collection (since $5 will only get you to Wentzville and back nowadays) and give this poor lady some money.

By now our Principal and 2 assistant Superintendents that were still around also show up. And the board member, who was there to pick up his son told me that his beeper went off with the information as well.

Now let me pause and review. We have: a Fire truck, 3 police cars, an ambulance, a principle, 2 assistant superintendents, and a board member all come to a sight that already has a couple hundred parents and kids......Now the helicopter arrives, straps the kid up and takes him away.

I didn’t think much about the decision until a Doctor (who will remain nameless), who also heard about it from another source, told me later that evening that it was a surprising decision since we had an X-Ray machine less than 2 miles away, and they could easily have airlifted him from there should it be shown to be serious.

Needless to say, even my wife heard that a kid “broke his neck” before I even got home from practice that evening (about an hour after it happened). Arriving at school the next day, the first 3 kids I see I overhear saying that some kid broke his neck.

It was a crazy experience…maybe you had to be there.

The good news is….The kid himself called me about 9pm that night saying that he was ok and would be back at school the next day. He wore one of those foam neck braces for the rest of the week and was back playing football a couple days ago. One week after the incident occurred.

I wonder how good Mom's insurance is? The helicopter is a $6000. bill. Plus the Ambulance cost another $800 or so just to show up. She can keep the gas money

Friday, September 09, 2005

Homeland Security

After reviewing the strategies outlined on the Homeland Security website including those within the 152 page National Incident Management System (NIMS) document and the National Response Plan documents, what we have been suggesting is true. Govt failed in their stated mission to react to the Katrina disaster at all levels, local (mayor), state (governor), and federal (fema & homeland security). Their own stated words in these documents and their inability to execute on them are the proof. Take some time to become familiar with their plans in the event you may ever need their assistance in your own situation. Here is a partial excerpt from the National Response Plan:

Emphasis on Local Response
* The Plan identifies police, fire, public health and medical, emergency management, and other personnel as responsible for incident management at the local level.
* The Plan enables incident response to be handled at the lowest possible organizational and jurisdictional level.
* The Plan ensures the seamless integration of the federal government when an incident exceeds local or state capabilities.
* Timely Federal Response to Catastrophic Incidents
* The Plan identifies catastrophic incidents as high-impact, low-probability incidents, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks that result in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.
* The Plan provides the means to swiftly deliver federal support in response to catastrophic incidents.


Multi-agency Coordination Structure
The Plan identifies police, fire, public health and medical, emergency management, and other personnel as responsible for incident management at the local level.
The Plan enables incident response to be handled at the lowest possible organizational and jurisdictional level.
The Plan ensures the seamless integration of the federal government when an incident exceeds local or state capabilities.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Outsider views/insider views

You know how horrible it looks on TV when you see "that nation full of crazy palestinians" throwing rocks at "that nation full of aggresive Isrialites".

I would imagine that if you lived there, you would know that YES, that happens, and it's probably pretty easy to get out of the way most of the time. I would imagine that if you lived there you would have neighbors you cared about, children that went to school, jobs to go to, etc. Life would be hard, perhaps, but it would not be 100% of the time shooting, bombs going off, etc.

I have heard the same thing from many ex-patriots and persons who live abroad - you cannot judge other countries by the 4 second snippits that we call "news". The cameras only role when something exiting, frightening, etc., is happening.

This is how it has been with Katrina, as well. The poor and minorities of New Orleans have been show screaming, crying, looting, shooting, etc. It's much more enticing cinema than showing those who have helped, those feeding their families, looking for neighbors, etc.

Lania's cousin Michael stayed at his house the entire time, in fact he's still there and has been joined by his mother and sister (who had taken refuge in Dallas with relatives). It is a total mess, but their house didn't flood too badly. He is disgusted by what has been shown reported by the media. His experience in Orleans Parish has been one of people helping each other, maybe taking what then need from stores, but mostly just hunkering down. He's spent a lot of time at the corner bar, where the proprietor has been feeding anyone with an empty stomach for more than a week (they've had gas and water the whole time, but no electricity). I guess they're eating a lot of beans or something!

Oh, and as far as the "cavelry" goes, two days ago - TWO FUCKING DAYS AGO - was the very first time that Michael saw an armed forces vehicle in his neighborhood. That is more than a week. That's a bad response, even by third world standards.

The person that we are most worried about is Lania's cousin Joey, the oldest of the three. He is a head nurse in a New Orleans hospital emergency room. He's also part of a first response emergency team. Because of that, he and many of the staff of the hospital have been on "lock-down" status since BEFORE the storm hit. The last I heard of him, he had broken down on the phone and begged his mother (also a nurse) not to come back to the city, but officials are calling for all health care workers to return.

Joey's situation sounds like a nightmare. All medical supplies ran out early last week. Food and water tightly rationed. Dead bodies floating around the hospital. Every person, patient and medical staff, have been pushed to the limit of their endurance. I'm not sure if they have been relieved yet or not. God, I hope so. His wife was in a similar situation in another hospital - I haven't heard about her ordeal yet.

I guess what I really want to say is that the media have an agenda, and unless you really find a truthful source, believe half of what you hear and almost nothing of what you see. (I do NOT mean to say that the situation is not a nightmare, but just that the amount of crazies are far outnumbered by the amount of people doing their best in an impossible situation).

Michael gave us a website that broadcast truth about what is happening in N.O., but I forgot to bring it to work. I'll see if I can share that info later.

WWJD?

Yesterday I got an e-mail from MoveOn.org. You may be a raging Republican and hate these folks, but this was a non-partisan plea for housing for the victims of Katrina.

Here's the thing: initially, Lania and I thought we were going to be housing her cousin's daughter, Taylor, for an unspecified period of time. BTW, Lania's aunt and 3 cousins live in New Orleans. More on that later.

Now, it looks like that will probably not happen. We were gearing up to have Taylor with us for months. That felt pretty big - I've met this child, but don't really know her well. Last night Lania came in and we pretty seriously discussed hosting strangers. We thought about it from all angles: Joel, having recently been liberated to his own "space" in our basement bedroom, would have to move back upstairs; I would lose my practice/recording studio (fancy name for joel's old bedroom); our entire family routine - just getting set for the new school year - would be interupted; the website cautions that we would be ultimately responsible for letting strangers into our house (what about the safety of our kids, our posessions, etc.).

It is a horrible thing to feel like we're turning our backs on people in need. If these people don't have a place to sleep and we don't give them our sofa or an extra bed, are we making any real progress from last week when thousands were trapped in hellish places like the convention center? Didn't we, as a society, let them down then, also?

I don't know if we're ready to make a decision on this. If you have space, you might think about it.

Monday, September 05, 2005

"Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater . . ."


In 2003 and 2004, the Bush Administration cut the funding for the levees that protect the city of New Orleans. Now, I've already heard the Bush apologists claim that any administration would have done the same considering the economic pressures. So, I'm gonna pretend that 100% of all presidential administrations would play Russian roulette with an American city that happens to be our largest sea port, because, you know, we wouldn't want to run up massive budget deficits.

Once you've cut the funding for the levees it seems to me the least you could do would be to be ready to act when the inevitable hurricane smashes into New Orleans. George Bush told the nation that no one could have predicted the damage the hurricane would do. Of course that's not true.

Readers of National Geographic knew of this scenario. The Army Corps of Engineers knew of this scenario. In fact this scenario was well known. For goodness sake, the National Weather Service knew exactly what would happen when Katrina hit.

So, FEMA took advantage of the two days from when Katrina turned category IV and when she hit the coast? That was not the case. Of course FEMA has been neutered by the Bush administration and is run by an incompetent. Michael Brown's main job for eleven years was the commissioner of judges for the international Arabian Horse Association. And he was forced to resign from that job.

And so the horror show continued. The director of homeland security was unaware that thousands of people where at the convention center until NPR told him. I guess he had no TV. The head of FEMA couldn't understand why people hadn't evacuated when the order to evacuate had been given.

And thousands of people died. While I think Kanye West was wrong, I don't think his comments were absurd at all. Certainly the Bush Administration, the State of Louisiana, and the City of New Orleans didn't leave these people behind because they were black. They did it because they were poor. They didn't feel it was necessary to waste time planning for a contingency that only affected the poorest and most vulnerable of their constituents. Kanye West was understandably confused because most of the poor people in New Orleans are black.

So we have demonstrated once again the lack of compassion of the Bush administration. Just like NCLB, just like the Iraq War, just like the giveaway energy policy, and just like the Medicare bill, we see the poor paying the way for the people in power.

As Keith Olbermann points out, this administration won reelection by running around this country claiming the other side couldn't protect them. Meanwhile, they left New Orleans and her most vulnerable population unprotected.

Disaster Preparedness

Never has there been a natural disaster of this magnitude. Storms, specifically hurricanes, have come and gone before. When a city is built on on the coastline beneath sea level and encircled by man-made walls, it seems this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Disaster Recovery planners predicted long ago what would happen to the city if the walls were overcome with water. It just seems the odds were so long, they thought they may never have to really deal with it. And, after the storm passed through, they breathed a sigh of relief thinking the worst was over. Then came the break in the walls and the flooding. I believe they were then trying to grasp with the enormity of it all and how to start getting help in.

Should the people who did not leave be blamed? No, many of them had no means to leave. Many have been through storms before and ridden them out fine which may have presented a false sense of security for them creating a willingness to stay. I saw "an expert" on The Weather Channel saying "Everyone should get out, this will be like nothing we've ever seen". I would venture to guess that most of the people who stayed didn't even have the means to see The Weather Channel. And, this warning was only 2 days before it happened. Do I blame the government for the disaster recovery efforts? In totality, no. There are certain plans like knowing that 20,000 people in the Superdome without adequate food, water, and other necessities would not work. I don't know how you could supply the facility in short enough time (say 2 days to impact) to support all these people to the extent we in America would have expected. I remember thinking, "They are shoving 10K+ people in the Superdome....what if it doesn't hold? You've got 10K+ people in one place at risk". But, the only way to prevent this would have been to evacuate the entire city in advance. What would we Americans have said if we would have relocated all of these people to other cities and the storm passed without flooding the city? While having no human lives lost would be worth it, when do we decide what the trigger is for 100% evacuation in each storm? There are at least 10 more Tropical Storms predicted for this year alone. Should we evacuate everyone to other cities in advance in every instance? What if it had only been Category 2 vs. 4? Should we evacuate then?

Certainly more needs to be done for the future planning of disasters as we definitely should have been in at least trying to get survivors out sooner while we assessed long term recovery. But, it is not the President's fault. If you saw Kayne West's comments, I found them absurd. This isn't about race, it's about American people who are suffering and it's about our preparedness for this type of event in general. I hope those that are finger pointing are also stepping up, reaching in, and directly helping out beyond just inciting anger. People should and will be accountable. Now is the time to come together. United We Stand as Travis says on his blog. Let's help save the people of New Orleans and help them rebuild their lives. Meantime, pray we don't have another disaster hit in the midst of this one. And, let's make sure we know what to do in preparation for future disasters.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blog Ghost Town

"Like, let's get out of here Scoob! This Blog is a Ghost Town! Zoinks!!!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy at Home and Delivery Details

Thanks to Seamhead for posting the pics. As you can tell from the family hospital photo, we are all very happy since the time this wonderful event occurred and things have started to settle in at home.

On Aug 15th, we checked into St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis at 7:30 a.m. Michelle was 5 days past due so it was time to help the baby into the world through modern medicine. By, 9 am, Michelle was being induced into labor with Pitossin, an inducement drug via an IV. Sometime between 11:30 and 1:00pm her water broke. It was interesting because it was brown which we both thought was odd. The brown was because the baby had passed his meconium in utero (he pooped inside the womb). Turns out this is fairly common in baby's past due, greater than 40 weeks of pregnancy since the baby is more mature. There are a number of other reasons this can occur and the risk factor is that the baby could possibly aspirate the meconium (breathe it into the lungs). So, the doc started her on an Amnioinfusion which is basically pumping saline back into the amniotic sac in order to dilute the meconium in the fluid reducing the amount that may be inhaled/ingested.

So, that was factor one. Next came the fact that everytime Michelle had a contraction the baby's heart rate would drop. Based on past experience with Wade's delivery, I knew right away that this baby's cord was wrapped around his neck too. The stronger the contraction, the further the heart rate drop. Having the Amnioinfusion helps this complication too as it tends to provide some cushioning between the wrapped cord and the neck. I learned this with Wade's delivery. At this point, they kept Michelle laying on one side which gave even more relief from constriction. When they put an oxygen mask on her, I again was not shocked given similarities with Wade. I recalled that they would not be giving ME any oxygen so I would just have to tough it out.

Somewhere in this timeline the Epidural came into play. The same Chinese Anesthesiologist who gave her an Epidural when she delivered Wade entered the room. I prayed this nurse would not accidentally bump the bed while this guy inserted the needle like Wade's nurse did last time. I also prayed this guy would not say "Oh, big girl, broad shoulders" again like he did 3 years ago since it was my hand she was holding while he did his work. So, although she cried when he inserted the needle in her back, the contraction pain soon left her lower extremities and she was more comfortable. And, my pointer finger that she gripped like a white knuckle roller coaster handle bar is fully functional for typing today.

So, everything started moving along, contractions higher on the charts, intensity building. Everthing happening faster. And, like last time, suddenly it seemed without warning, she's being told to Push! Reach Back and Push Again! It seemed like this only happened about 10 times and the Nurse says "I better not take it any further without the doctor being here". The nurse claims she does all the work and the doc makes the $. So, the doc comes literally running in and says, "Oh, you really did need me here now". With one more push, out comes the head and because of the meconium in the fluid, they start suctioning the baby's lungs through the nose and check his larynx for any signs of meconium aspiration. I think this happened immediately after the doc had quickly unwrapped the twice wrapped umbilical cord from the baby's neck

Next they deliver the baby the rest of the way with a few more pushes, take him to a table for a quick checkover once more and then hand him off to mom. "His name is Christopher Mark Howdeshell" she announces. They've both been doing great ever since. He eats, poops, and sleeps in that order and has been since day one...even before day one it seems with the delivery experience.

My job during this whole thing? Keep small amounts of water in a cup for Mom. Provide fingers for Mom to death grip. Status the family. And, try not to get any video shots that Mom would find undesirable included in the filming of the event. It's been easier for me ever since then too as she gets up and feeds him through the night since contrary to what you might think, I am not equipped to do so. Wade has adusted well and only tossed a pack of diapers at Christopher's head on day 1 at home. But, he missed. He really enjoys being a big brother and continues to affectionately call the baby by the nickname "Boom Boom" which he gave him months before he was born. This is his special thing even though he knows Christopher's real name.

So, that's the scoop. And, unless we decide to adopt in the future, we have probably completed our family additions. We're very lucky to have two wonderful boys and couldn't be more happy. Thanks for all of your thoughts and well wishes. Hope you all can meet these boys soon.

Christopher Mark Arrives


Christopher Mark was born 8/15/05 at 4:35pm weighing in at 8lbs 1oz and a "height" of 21 inches. Mark says everyone is adjusting well at home.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Howdy

Has anyone heard any news from the Howdys? I've received inquiries. We've assumed that his uncharacteristic silence was due to the new addition in his family. If you've heard anything leave the news in the comments.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cards Win!


On Saturday, August 13, Roy, Rochelle, Mom and I made the pilgrimage to Wrigley Field to watch our Cardinals do battle with the small bears. After enduring a three hour rain delay, we watched a fine ballgame. Chris Carpenter pitched a complete game. Albert Pujols homered, and the Cards won 5-2.

The highlight of the game for us, however, came on a Pujols foul ball. We were sitting behind the plate, a little to the right, when Pujols fouled one back. It looked like it would land 10 or 20 rows behind us at first, but the prevailing winds at Wrigley took over.

As it came down it drifted slowly toward us, until it came down in the row behind us. I saw it the whole way and could have made a play if I had stepped on my mother. Roy almost had a play on it and claims he would have caught it if he'd brought his glove.

The ladies behind is knocked it down and it was rolling around when Roy reached down to snag it. The lady behind us smacked him across the side of his back and made a remark about stealing her ball.

The day became a little surreal when the husbands returned, and the ladies related their tale of the stolen ball. One of the men made several provocative remarks. We made a few return remarks. You didn't expect Rochelle, Mom, and me to be quiet did you?

One of the women said something about stealing the ball from her eight-year old. Roy said he was going to sell it on E-Bay. Not really. I wish he'd said that, but he said his seven-year old would enjoy the ball.

Of course, being Cub fans they had to leave early. The loquacious husband made a departing crack, "I hope you enjoy the ball."

And let me tell you, we will enjoy the ball. Willa and Parke were thrilled to see it. Roy's plan is to take it to spring training next year and get Albert to autograph it.

To be fair, on our other trip to a Cards game at Wrigley we were treated wonderfully in spite of all our Cardinal regalia. So we won't draw any lasting conclusions from this trip.

No Anonymous posting... ??

Rog, might I suggest that you rig this sucker so that there is no anonymous posting/replying allowed? It's bumming me out to have to wade through the spam to get to the "meat".

J

Look on Paulie's blog

I put a message about Jeanne and I playing on the air in Chicago. The link to listen/stream it live:

www.wluw.org

we'll be on tomorrow (saturday) @ 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

So . . . .

Does everyone remeber exactly what they were doing the last time the Royals won a baseball game? It was so long ago.

I will have a real post soon. As soon as my brother emails me a picture from our Wrigley Field outing. We have a good story to tell.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Brush with umm . . .

Everyone rush over to Paul's blog and check out his brush with ummm, fame I guess. Or maybe he found his long lost brother. Either way, you'll see some 'Big Ass Heads' over there.

Howdy's Ziggy

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was able to write a cartoon for The New Yorker and Peterman recognized it as a knock off of a Ziggy ?

Well I've discovered and am self-reporting that I inadvertently pulled an Elaine with my She's Your Cousin song. I had orignally titled it "Kissing Cousins" on my draft version.

Seems it was an Elvis knockoff.

Original thought is difficult to acheive. Someone has probably thought that before. As a matter of fact after self-realization of my Ziggy-like experience, I did not think that this would turn into a post that could in anyway turn toward religion. However, I did a Google Search on original thought and it takes you into originations of original thought .

Ever think we would have been better off living a mindless existence? Too deep of thinking for a Friday. I'll just try not to pull anymore Ziggy's.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Crime and Punishment?

As if baseball didn't have enough troubles...

Kenny Rogers, who physically assaulted a cameraman who (from all reports I've read) was quietly doing his job, was reinstated from his 20-game suspension. This wasn't a run-in during the heat of a game. He attacked, walked away, CAME BACK and attacked again. Then for good measure, he went after the cameraman a third time when he put the camera back on his shoulder. The arbitrator felt as if Rogers had served his time and should not have been suspended for 20 games. I always suspected that Bud Selig had no power...this confirms it.

At the same time, a frustrated DJ sounded off on the sad state of the Giants (gee, I wonder what he'd say about the Royals). He exercised his right to voice his opinion (he should have stayed away from the word 'Caribbean'...he may have gotten away with it). He was promptly called 'a messenger of Satan' by manager Felipe Alou. He chose to make fun of that on the air and was fired, along with the program director and morning show producer.

So let me see if I have this straight...a player can physically attack another person and is punished, but his penalty is reduced, a manager can call someone a 'messenger of Satan' without any recourse, but a radio DJ and others lose their jobs for making fun of being called Satan.

This sounds peculiarly like a government-run operation...or maybe it is.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Support Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is holding vigil in Crawford, Texas. She has Vietnam Vets standing with her. Sheehan would like to speak with the President about the Downing Street Memos. Sheehan's son Casey died in Iraq on April 4, 2004.

It's a painful thing to realize your son was a pawn in someone else's game. It's painful to discover the war that took him was pre-planned, boxed up, marketed and served to Americans like the latest, greatest ground beef sandwich a red and yellow clown could dream up.

It will only get worse as the talk radio screamers and the Fox talk shows start to devour her as the latest traitor in their great 'War on Terra.'

Eventually they'll arrest her. They'll say she's a threat to national security.

Meanwhile, our great protectors will continue on, outing CIA agents for political vengeance, ignoring elected bodies that don't fall in line, and promoting torture.

I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise

The Great Compromise - John Prine

Monday, August 08, 2005

St. Louis Blues Hockey Player Sighting

My wife, son, and I took a late Sunday afternoon trip to the St. Louis Art Museum to see the Arms and Armor display (read Knights) as Wade is big time into Knights and Squires thanks to the Franklin the Turtle book called Franklin and the Green Knight.

Afterwards, we strolled around the fountains in front of the Art Museum and throughout Forest Park. The fountains have been restored to how they looked during the 1904 World's Fair and are very pretty. We made our way down to the Boat House to have a burgers and hot dogs at the outdoor grill and also heard a 3 man band named S.O.L. Anyone ever hear of them? The music was fitting for the mixed crowd. This is a pretty good day in St. Louis if you're looking for a relaxing inexpensive getaway. It's all free except the food. It was $17 for two Fitz's root beers, 2 cheeseburgers (1/3 lb) and a jumbo hot dog. There is also a nicer restaraunt there, but always a very long wait list. Of course, you could always pack a picnic lunch for free. And, if you're daring, you can pay a small fee and take out either a long oar boat or paddle boat. But, be forewarned, the long oar boat is a workout. We've done that on a previous trip.

Anyway, while at the Boat House, I spotted Blues hockey player Jamal Mayers. He too was out with a pregnant significant other and he was enjoying a brew with a couple who appeared to be his in-laws. Pretty much a regular guy just like me except his group went in the nice restaraunt for dinner. Oh yeah, and he plays for the Blues.

(Blues player sighting written for M.D. Forest Park day in review for the ladies who should have their man take them there. The guys might even like it too. We should play golf there someday....anybody ever played that course at Forest Park?)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Steroids

So what do you guys think about the whole Palmeiro deal? I know you baseball fans don't like to talk much about it, but I was really wanting your thoughts. Does this make Canseco seem a little more believable?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Feeling Melon-Cloney?

First there was Dolly the sheep. Now, South Korean doctors have cloned a dog. This is unique because it is the first cloned dog and dogs are exceptionally difficult to clone. There were actually two clones of the original specimen but one pup died from pneumonia within 6 weeks of birth. Some argue that the clone of an original specimen is somewhat weaker, flawed, mutated, or degenerated compared to the original.

So what of this this carbon copy? Notice the glasses indicating weaker vision of the clone. And, a mutation of growth near the "chin-al" area can be noted.

And, they said the first human has yet to be cloned! (well, maybe that's still true)

Melon-Cloning--Ethical or Not? What say you?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

After Midnight




Yessir, some of you might have missed SweetLou's costume change complete with the slogan for Lou&Mistifest '06. And just look at Howdy - he started practicing for next year as soon as the crowd dispersed. Funny thing is I never saw him grope the pole once while he was practicing. Lou, tell him he's doing it all wrong!

Thank You!!!!!!!

Misti and I would like to thank everyone for coming out to our place last Saturday. We had a GREAT time seeing and visiting with everyone again. We hope everyone else had as much fun as we did. Special thanks to Myron for setting up the golf, Roger, Jeff , and Paul for the incredible music, and everyone for the tasty side dishes.

Roger has made the suggestion this become an annual event and we are seriously considering it. Hopefully we will have cooler weather next time. Once again thank you.

Sweetlou

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Two Hangmen

The original is by Mason Proffitt, a 60's country-rock kinda band:

As I rode in to Tombstone on my horse his name was Mac
I saw what I'll relate to you goin' on behind my back
It seems the folks were up in arms, a man now had to die
For believin' things that didn't fit the laws they set aside

The man's name was "I'm a Freak", the best that I could see
He was the executioner, a hangman just like me
I guess that he'd seen loopholes from workin' with his rope
He'd hung the wrong man many times, so now he turned to hope

He talked to all the people from his scaffold in the square
He told them of the things he found, but they didn't seem to care
He said the laws were obsolete, a change they should demand
But the people only walked away, he couldn't understand

The marshall's name was "Uncle Sam", he said he'd right this wrong
He'd make the hangman shut his mouth if it took him all year long
He finally arrested Freak and then he sent for me
To hang a fellow hangman from a fellow hangman's tree

It didn't take them long to try him in their court of law
He was guilty then of thinkin', a crime much worse than all
They sentenced him to die, so his seed of thought can't spread
And infect the little children, that's what the law had said

So the hangin' day came round, and he walked up to the noose
I pulled the lever but before he fell, I cut him loose
They called it all conspiracy, and then I had to die
So to close our mouths and kill our minds, they hung us side by side

And now we're two hangmen hangin' from a tree
That don't bother me at all
We're two hangmen hangin' from a tree
That don't bother me at all (repeat ad nauseum)

Good new tunes!

Well, I just received a copy of Jeanne's new CD in the mail. I'm really proud of her! And it sounds great. It amazes me how much time, emotion, sweat, (and cash) she poured into this project. The CD insert itself, and the jewel case artwork are beautiful. Mostly photos of jeanne, and areas around chicago. All photography done by Brett, and he also did all the layout work. It's good be be married to a computer whiz, I suppose. If you take the insert out and unfold it all the way it's about 2 feet long, and has a great photo of the chicago skyline on one side, and a photo of a long country road on the other side, both with lyrics and aknowledgements superimposed on top of the photos. Very nice. I don't know how one takes a 2 foot foto of the chicago skyline, but it looks great.

In other great tune news, I am - at this moment - rocking out to the Les Dudek CD that Lou and Misti picked up for me on their honeymoon. This cat can play guitar and has lent his talent to the Alman Bros and Cher, amongst others, over the year. Excellent and has that classic rock feel.

Lloyd relates a story he heard from Les that goes something like this: Les was both Cher's lover and her axe slinger. After those relationships went south he was playing for Stevie Nicks. She propositioned him and he turned her down because he'd already been with "the world's greatest diva." So I guess his reasoning was "why play around in the minor leagues".

Well, it's clear that Les did a few too many mind altering drugs in his younger days and that left him with a severely impaired sense of judgment.

Still, he plays a mean guitar.

If you're interested in picking up Jeanne's CD, see her website. Look for her in the links on the right side of this page. I think she gives lots of options of where to find it, or I guess you could just write to her.

Cheers.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

LouFest 2005!


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LouFest '05 was a definite success! Thanks to Lou and Misti for all their hard work putting it together...not just for the party but for all the hard work the weeks before building the Rec room. I think you win the Trojan Pride Award for sure.

The weekend for a lot of us started that morning with 18 holes of championship golf. It was Lou, Neil, Ozzy, & Jeff VS Me, Rog, Roy, and Paul In a winner take all 4-man golf scramble. We finished the 18 holes totally tied. We then played a three hole playoff starting at hole 16. Again we ended up tied. So we went back to 16 and played sudden death. First team to win a hole wins the match. It went to the 18th. I’m proud to say that I stuck a 105 yard downhill shot damn near in the hole. In fact, the ball mark was a part of the hole! The ball wound up inches from the cup and we birdied. It still didn’t ensure victory, as I was sure they would somehow sink their birdie putts. As it turns out they didn’t and we won. It was nearly impossible to brag since it took 24 holes to decide the winner and we were all hot and very tired. Logo balls were exchanged.

The evening was a great time. We got to see a lot of guys we haven’t seen in a long time. It also reminded me how musically talented a lot of the guys are (my talents ended on the 18th hole). You had (in no certain order):

Jeff, who sang a very memorable song about siblings that I would love for my daughters to hear when they are old enough to understand it (the one with the cat on the back). Jeff also is extremely talented at the harmonica and can sing and play the guitar. He teamed up with several others for some great music.

Lou & Neil, who have great voices sang several songs using the karaoke (did I spell that right?) machine. He even teased us with the Pole!

Howdy, did a little karaoke, played some harmonica, strummed the guitar, and sang some duets with just about everyone.

Roger who sang many songs with and without Jeff, and of course plays a legendary guitar, has entertained many parties over the years. Rog, I still say there’s some words to the Lloyd song that are missing. I remember hearing at Warrensburg back in college about him chewing up your “Ball signed by Musial.” It used to be my favorite line! Never the less, it’s a great song that will live for ever, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s about the Lou we know.

Roy, who I’ve never heard sing before (that I can remember), even took up the guitar and sang some songs!

And Paul, who sings some of the most touching love songs you’ll ever hear, literally brings a tear to my eye every time I hear him. I wouldn’t know but, people who write music often say that they are inspired by events that happen in their own lives and put their experiences in their music. It’s amazing what Paul had to do to get that ride with the truck driver to get to torso girl! Yes, I know it was two different songs, but I’m beginning to connect the dots! Must’ve been the same girl who was drunk and turned him down in the bar for the guy with size 12 shoes. I wonder if Paul really has a picture of this girl above his bed?

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Big Party

We returned from Warrensburg again yesterday after putting in some work on the house. We are plumb tuckered out, but we're excited about the approaching festival at Lou's Place. I'm sure the fierce golf competition will be adequately balanced with the fellowship and camaraderie that Saturday night will bring.

I hear last minute rehearsals going on as you read this. I'm sure more than one attendee will be hitting some golf balls at the range tomorrow. Everyone gearing up for some fun.

Of course, I didn't start this post without a point. My point, as it is so often, is to gloat. After the grand festivities on Saturday, Roy, Sarah, Shelly and I will be heading to the Cards/Cubs game at Busch on Sunday.

What a great weeknd we have on tap!