Monday, February 28, 2005

SLUser again

I went to SLU last week for the rebel reunion. It was the crews form the U News, KSLU, Student Government and other organizations. I managed the college radio station for a couple of years and had quite a few friends from there. My chum Elliott Ruther performed there and I helped him get a show at Lemmons the night before. Both shows went very well. Crickett even played his cd on her show Etiquette of Violence. Pretty cool. I noticed quite a few changes around the University. First off there was a new student center. A pretty sweet one too. But the reunion was held in a place called "Wackadoos". I nearly didn't go on the name. I can imagine some white piece of bread in their 40s who does copy writing for the Marriott corporation thinking of a hip name for the on campus college sports bar chain. The name doesn't have to be good, but it doesn't have to be awful either. I guess I could say it has a timeless awful name.

The guy I worked for, Phil Lyons, is busting his ass and doing a rather good job with too few resources, but that was typical at SLU. He has soldiered his way up under Biondi Martial Law. That is the way we did it at the radio station. But we were the rebels. The students are supposed to be.

It was the mid 90s, not that long ago and we were the last student organization to get a computer. To show our frustration we took a broken old tv and and a broken old type writer and put it on top. We put a sign on it and kept it in front of the office and it read "KSLU Computer".


I noticed that the kids have different tastes these days. First they have access to liquor on campus, a simple concept that is so very smart for some many reasons. Supervised social adjustment, no driving. I noticed they drink only the candy liquors. Vodkas, rums and puckers. Only two of the brown liquors. And they served Bud. I did notice, and props to STL Brewery for bulldogging into SLU, they served Schlafly. Nice touch.


I also noticed this above the mailboxes. There were flat screen tvs playing commercials on a loop. The commercial was pushing the army. Interesting. I wonder who is getting paid for this? In KSLU I talked to the new Music Director Grace. She reminds me of the many KSLU Music Directors from the day, especially Megan Wurth. It looks like they are on the ball.It is good to see that things are still going ahead. They got real computers now!


I also noticed they framed many of the posters we had in KSLU back in the day. We had gotten a poster from the Reverend Horton Heat and hung it in the offices. Then someone put names underneath each member. John Kavanaugh, aka Skavanaw was the Reverend, I was uh, the other guy and we put Nancy Madness as the long hair. She was an older woman who was a student who lived in State Apartments. She was funny.

It was good to see the peeps. Funny. Hard to put into words.

Sidewalk Shrine


Here is a shrine I saw as I strolled down the street in the neighborhood. It reminded me of the spontaneous shrines I would see all over Mexico. It was a basement window beneath a porch and it is lit up at night. Very cool.

The Mayor


Derron got his own pair of gloves. He has been working hard at the gym. Derron adopted the nickname "The Mayor" after meeting Slay at the Mayor's Xmas Party. Derron picked up some Panda AC gloves so we had to change the name on gloves, so he had put his name right on the tips. Just so you know who he is right before he knocks you out.

27 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

That is three days of proper servings.

I have been doing okay in my Lenten sacrifices. I have cheated a bit with the white flour. I did eat fried fish, but I haven't really done any significant white flour. I haven't been drinking any booze either. On the whole it has been relatively easy.

I have avoided the sugar with one exception. Sugar is my real weakness. I had a particularly weak moment. I was at a friends and his roommate made fresh chocolate chip cookies. I lost it. I ate a cookie. Okay, cookies. But I have been eating so many fruits and vegetables I have been craving the thick hearty goodness of cookies. I guess I will be serving some extra time in purgatory or something. They were so good. Sinful.

But the hardest part of Lent is what I am trying to take in. I am trying to eat the government suggested 9 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. I bought a juicer to help. This is hard. Really hard. I already felt I ate a lot of fruit and a fair amount of vegetables. Five or six servings of vegetables and four or five servings of fruit. Even with the juicer this is hard. My house smells like if a vegetable had an ass. Hopefully I will get used to it. I am still suspicious that this is healthy. I think the fruit and vegetable lobby has gotten a hold of the food pyramid. Hey, the fruit lobby got us to jump Guatemala. Bananas. I must say I am conflicted about this for I love fruit so much. I am not sure I buy "No Blood for Fruit Juice." I might just defend my right to imported fruit. I am so bad.

So my father has given up red meat for lent. He has done pretty good. Then again he let me eat meat at lunch with him last Friday. My father should be a lawyer. I later said it was his fault and he then told me "I was going to tell you, but I realized you didn't remember therefore you did not commit a sin." I looked at him and told him "Thanks a lot. Is this extra purgatory time or am I going to burn?" We laughed.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Washington This Week and Sunburning

"Can we do our jobs if we are threatened with jail?"

What the hell was that? Talk about a show stopper. This was a title of one of the topics being featured on Washington This Week last Sunday. The topic was of some journalists. They are getting arrested. The boring Sunday morning ones too. Give me a break. The most boring of news shows have reporters who are getting jacked up by our government.

I have been watching the Sunday morning news shows for years. My favorite has been the McLaughlin Group. I occasionally watch the others, but that is one of my favorites. It is funnier than the others. It is sort of the rowdy Sunday morning show. I have been able to watch them online. Of course the late start time, 11:30 am really gives it that extra push in my viewing habits. I have been taping it for a while now.

I remember when I was a kid and watching the McLaughlin group outside my parents house suntanning, correct that, sunburning watching a beat up little black and white TV that I brought out into the backyard. I was trying to get a suntan. I was about twelve. Six or seventh grade I guess. I felt using no suntan lotion was the best way to get a suntan. Get that first good burn in. Jezus. What was I thinking? First I was outside tanning but in reality I was outside burning. Then I went to the effort of getting an extension cord putting TV on a table outside so I could watch the McLaughlin Group. I guess I was tanning because I felt I was accomplishing something. I was only twelve so I didn't really care if I was tan or not, but the fact I could sit on my ass, watch the McLaughlin Group and say I did something, even if it was tanning was a sign of progress. Or so I thought. There is nothing active or progressive about suntanning.

What did I get out of this past episode other than finding out that the boring Sunday news guys are getting jacked up by the Feds?

This Negroponte guy sounds like a soldier. Listen to the way the President talks about him. And that is just the first glance official tip. Dig deeper and there is plenty more.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fight Weekend

Here are some shots of the kids from last weekend's Henry Armstrong Diamond Gloves Tournament at Cherokee Rec. We had three champs and one runner up.


Here is a shot of Derron "the Mayor" Moore in his corner with Coach Roberto. Derron scored a decision victory in his first fight and lost a narrow decision in the title bout against a kid who had won the Ringside Tournament and Golden Gloves last year. Derron was very impressive for his experience. He is learning quite a bit.

There were about 70 or so fights over the weekend. It was hectic. They used both corners of the ring and did one minute rounds with the kids taking breaks in the corners while the other kids boxed. It was odd. Derron's younger brother Demetrius "The Navigator" Johnson won in his 63 lb weight class in an impressive decision. His brother commented, "you box better here than at the gym!" That is true because he is the smallest at our gym and he rarely gets to box someone his own size.


Here is a picture of Montrell Washington right before his victory to win the tournament. Motrell stopped his opponent in the second round. His right hand shuddered his opponent. Montrell's older brothers all came down to check out his victories. I could see the smiles on all the faces from the sharp enthusiasm from victory. Montrell lost a close bout in his debut at the Hoosierweight and was rather upset by it, but that is how you learn. He sought redemption in the squared circle and earned it with hard work.


Here is a picture of Lorenzo "Technical" Taylor right before his bout. He looked very very slick with great head movement and counter punching abilities. As you might notice there is a trend going on with the kids. A couple of them have adopted sharp hats. They got them on their own. I think I might give them one of my old hats. Lorenzo insisted on going into the ring wearing the hat. We had to remind him that it was mandatory to wear headgear and the hat wouldn't fit on his headgear. You might also notice he is wearing a Rick James t-shirt. He pointed it out to me proudly and I complimented him. I loved the shirt. The kid was wearing a Rick James shirt, he has a gold grill and a fedora. That kid has more style than any other kid on the northside. At the Spinks fight he wore a new pair of Air Force Ones and a knit cap with ear covers on it. He was strutting around like he was the hottest thing around. And he was.

Lorenzo gave me a copy of his New Testement to hold on to while he boxed. I gave him my scapular to wear around his ankle while he boxed. I used to put scapulars around my ankles and wrists when I boxed. I felt it gave me the power of the counter-reformation with every counter-punch. And the scapular worked for Lorenzo too. I think they need to add on to the guarantee you get on the scrap of paper that put in the scapular packets that says "saves the wearer from the eternal flames of Hell" with a new addition "and the power to knock suckers out."


Here is a shot of Kenny Loehr(on the left) from 12th and Park. He had received an award for 50 years of service in boxing. He has coached some of the top fighters and worked with kids for nearly his entire life. He is the Cus D'Mato of Saint Louis. He is a cool fella. He shoots straight and says it like it is. In boxing he is a real good guy. He told me Saint Louis and boxing needs more guys like me and the crew at the Panda. We sometimes go to 12th and Park to spar.

This shot was from the Saturday afternoon Smoker at the SBAC. A smoker is an old term that meant amateur bouts for the adults to watch and smoke and drink. All the champs came in town for this honor. As a side note Ricki Lane from Cherokee Rec fought Tyrone Chapman from 12th and Park again. They had fought on my Hoosierweight Cards. They have fought some of the best fights at Hoosierweight. They are the fights where everyone stops and just watches the ferocity and skill. This time Ricki Lane won. These are two of the toughest and baddest kids in town. They are both very very cool too. Kenny coaches Ty too.

Creepy Clowns


Here is a shot of Andrew Cutraro. The clown. He along with Dilip dressed up like a clowns last weekend. Needless to say Andy looks like a creepy clown. The shot was taken in front of the pawn shop on Grand. The shot below is of the items in the window they won't sell me.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Nelly vs. Chingy

So I was watching some late night TV as I worked on my 'puter. Chingy was on there singing. The song sounded absurd and crude, and then I remembered how much I liked Van Halen as a kid. Then it all made sense. I love Chingy. Actually, if I were judging for real, I pick Nelly. He is so smooth.

"Are Chingy and Nelly going to fight tomorrow?"

That is one of the questions one of the kids asked me the day before the Spinks fight. Bruce. I was a bit confused. Why would Nelly and Chingy be fighting anyway? I don't understand. The kids tell me Chingy and Nelly don't get along. Huh? I asked them "How do you know this?"

"Look at the picture! They are going to box! Are they going to fight tomorrow?"

I looked over and Bruce is showing me an illustration in the American newspaper. There is a drawing of Nelly and Chingy under the Arch with boxing gloves. I laughed.

"So that is why you think they don't get along? It is a picture. I am sure it will be fine between Nelly and Chingy. Although I would pay to watch that fight."

So I thought about it. They are obviously getting along, for if they had a real problem they would start knocking, and if they did, the best place would be in the ring. So Nelly, Chingy- you guys might want to back up that smack and get into the gym. My money is on Nelly. Look at that entourage! Besides, Chingy is so scrawny compared to Nelly. He looked like he was going to fall over with that platinum necklace encrusted with rocks. Then again, Nelly is a bleeder. He always has that band aid on his pretty boy cheek.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blogtime and broken things

My blog broke, but Ran Mano and Dan Pinkard rescued me. Thanks fellas. However, all my pix got broke too, and I haven't had time to fix'm yet. I will try to soon. It may take a bit.

I am in the middle of some business that is going to take me away from blogging for a bit, so I might only be posting once or twice a week. It is a good release for me, but I have been stretching my time too much and been unable to get enough work done, and I don't have the luxury of getting to it tomorrow. So until I get past the first phase of this project I am going to be not as attentive on the blog.

Also- if you want to know about the Fish Fry, let me know and I will pass along the info. I have given up white flour, sugar, all booze and corn chips. I like to use my Catholic guilt toward positive ends.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Movies and the French

Everyone keeps asking me if I have seen Million Dollar Baby. I guess I want to see it, but honestly I go to a boxing gym every day and my drive is low to see a boxing movie, even one that looks good. I haven't had much time, and I wanted to see one movie if I got a chance, and I got that chance.

I went to go see Hotel Rwanda earlier today. I wish everyone would go see this movie. I got about halfway through a book on the subject, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. It was too depressing. I wish President Bush would see this movie. Now that genocide happened under the watch of Bill Clinton. Clinton was asked in an interview if he had any regrets while in office. He answered without pause. He said "Rwanda". He knew he dropped the ball in Rwanda.

It is happening again in Sudan. Colin Powell calls it genocide and we do...nothing. We are dropping the ball again. When Bush was asked what he regrets about his first four years in office? Nothing.

The UN is a fraud. They did nothing in Rwanda. They had a guilt complex and are doing war tribunals. Cute. And now this is happening in Sudan and they are sitting by. France, oh yes, the French. People keep saying they are going to leave the US to go to France because they are so peaceful for opposing the war in Iraq. Don't kid yourself. The French are a fraud too. The French supplied the Rwandan Army. And they had deals with Iraqis. France opposes sanctions against Sudan. We all play our games. The US is no better. We play ball with dictatorships such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and more. We, the US, only talk and use "diplomacy" as an excuse in humanitarian crisis. And the UN does a report. And people still die every day. This wouldn't be happening if it were in western Europe. It was said by the UN General who was in Rwanda that it would take about 44,000 troops to end this violence in Sudan. Shame. We are being shamed. What is Bush going to do about this? He should see the movie. I wonder what he would say.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cruising and Gravois boycott

I started up my car yesterday and cut through the alley. My 429 engine was revving a bit higher for the choke was still running. I then passed the T in the alley and an old man yelled at me to slow down. It startled me, for I wasn't expecting it. I looked down at my speedometer and I was going about 11-12 mph. Not all that fast, but fast enough. I then started to notice how fast I have been driving. I caught myself that night driving 40 in a 30. Why am I in such a rush? Is it that I have been more hurried lately? I need to slow down. Maybe it is the hot rod engine in the new T-Bird. Yeah, but I prefer to cruise. I do, but I can't cruise if I am flying through alleys like Starsky and Hutch. I need to stop driving so fast. I need to get back to the leisurely cruising lifestyle.

Gravois is ugly. Just ugly. It is wide like an interstate highway. It is eight lanes at Jefferson. They call it the Hoosier Highway for a reason, and it is not just because it transports hoosiers. It is a highway, and I have an aversion to urban highways. There are only two redeeming structures on it. Saint Francis and the Southside National Bank. It has a mix of relatively cheap buildings compared the competition when it comes to roadways. I am going to take more elegant streets. I need to class up my surroundings. I prefer Magnolia. Cherokee. Sidney. Wyoming. Russell. Russell is a sexy street. I even prefer blown out streets like Jefferson. It is just more interesting. Gravois? Gravois is like a rusty blade that cuts across the southside. They need to narrow the street to make it more intimate.

Moral Decay and Media Watch

The national broadcast corporate news seems to be turning into more of an entertainment show than a news program. I am too young to be turning into a pissy old man already. I think it is turning into entertainment news.

I just watched the news and they had a piece on about the moral decay in our country and how the networks and the football league have changed the Super Bowl halftime show and commercials in response to America's outrage about this.

When I think about this, I can only think that we have moral decay in our country since we started. Our country was founded on all sorts of moral decay. We have written into our constitution inequities in our equality as people. But the outrage in our country about... a nipple. I wish I could be outraged by something as simple as a nipple. Sure nipples can get me all wound up, distracted, embarrassed, goofy, excited but no, not outraged. I would be far more outraged by true moral decay. Nipples are not the problem. They are a distraction. And it works. I do get distracted when I see nipples.

So just when I think the news is news again, Peter Jennings is going to do some sort of special report on UFOs. UFOs. Special Report. Then they do a story on the comic strip Cathy. That annoying comic strip Cathy is getting married. And this is news. The news has become entertainment. I am not going crazy.

And to further prove this odd twist in the news, there was one other piece on NBC. It was the NBC Fleecing of America pieces. They did one on how the military conducted a study for 25 grand on teleporting. Like on Star Trek. And they interviewed the military officers. The report came back that it is highly unlikely that the technology will be available in the foreseeable future. So the story does not end there. They interview William Shatner. Why? I guess cuz he did it on Star Trek. Or it was a product placement for priceline. I am imagining if a local TV station did a story on this they would wind up at the local comic book store to interview the comic book geeks about teleporting. That would be entertainment.

I wish the news was really this simple. And I am now thinking of nipples more often.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Fish

Yes, the Fish is back for the Lenten season. Mardi Gras has passed us and we must now suffer according to the old books. So no more pleasure, and more fish and beer! Not exactly punishing, but that is about as tough as it gets.

This week we will be meeting at Holy Family, one of the many Parishes that Arch Bishop Burke wants to shut down. It has one of the more jovial and youthful Fish dinners in town. They even hire a secondary police officer. The kids love it so much they get rowdy outside. The dessert selection is tops and they serve the beer in pitchers. The top guy priest is a cool fella, in fact he used to be a bartender. He is hustlin' to keep that place open. The lines are long, so be sure to grab a beer while in line.

So in order to show our support, please show up at 5 or 5:30 over on Humphrey west of Grand by about four blocks. They serve fish until 7, so don't be too late.

Here are directions

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Condoleeza throws down

Our new Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said this yesterday out in Brussells about Iran:

"Iranians Must stop all activities that might produce nuclear weapons...

Otherwise the International Atomic Energy Agency would have to seek UN sanctions..

I am quite clear and I believe that everyone is telling the Iranians that they are going to have to live up to their international obligations or next steps are in the offing and I think everybody understands what next steps mean.

In fact the IAEA statutes would suggest that Iran has to be referred to the UN security council.

The US had no deadline and no timeline for action."


Does this mean we are going to send in inspectors?

Now the President had a much simpler message:

"Don't develop a nuclear weapon."

While the President doesn't seem to have a handle on words and complex phrases, at least he is not vaguely subtle.

I wonder who is going to pay for this invasion. I guess we will need to gear up for North Korea too. Ooops, what is that? They already got the bomb? How did that happen? Asleep at the wheel, and that all can't be pinned on Bush and the Republicans, but they are clearly in charge now.

Do you think they will take another IOU for this new war? The President has now spent money like a drunken sailor on shore leave*" Geez, can the Chinese kick in some bucks or something? Don't they know it is important that we invade Iran too? Wait a second, they got the bomb too. Damn. The stuff hit the streets pretty hard.

There is now a Republican President and a Republican Congress. They are supposedly the party of fiscal restraint. Smaller government. What happened?

Oh, they never were really. Not for a long, long time. Think about it. The New Deal might as well be 100 years ago, for it was almost 100 years ago. Hey, the Great Society was nearly 50 years ago. But since these eras it has changed. Republicans can no longer point to Democrats for out of control spending. Our current deficit is rising at the fastest rate since LBJ. Now LBJ tried to do the guns and butter campaign, and that is essentially what we are doing now.

It might seem that we are cutting our budget for programs are being cut, but we are not really addressing the real cause of the deficit. We are playing games with government programs. We have not reduced spending. This war is costing us through the nose. We are not bringing in the proper amount of revenue to operate. We are borrowing. A lot. A lot more than we are willing to give up. We may have cut partisan programs over the past four years but it has not addressed the deficit. Some may say we need to cut things such as foreign aid and social programs. Those don't cost us much at all. Most people would assume that the foreign aid is 20% of our budget, when in reality it accounts for less than 1%. Social programs are tiny compared to what we spend on the war. Even if we eliminated foreign aid it would just be a drop in the bucket.

Things have changed in the parties and they way they truly practice their fiscal policies. LBJ spent money on the military just as heartily as he did domestically. The classic guns and butter. Now we graduate on to Nixon, Ford and Carter with rising government presence past toward Reagan.

During Reagan the economy then began to surge. There were problems, bad ones, sure, but money was moving. But we continued to spend as a government. Spent more than we took in. Way more. For twelve years through Bush. Then Clinton came to office. The money had stalled at the end of George Herbert Walker Bush. Then it began to move again under Clinton. Rather robust too. Not without problems too. Some bad ones. But the money was moving. But Clinton took this record deficit and did something the Republicans never could do. He balanced the budget and kept a robust economy moving. Without additional taxes. We were the possibly the most solvent and stable in 50 or more years.

Then came the wars under George W. We now are in to this war that is costing us a lot in the callous terms of financial measures. We are already paying dearly with the young men and women that are dying every day, more than the invasion.

But we cannot afford another war. Who is going to pay for it? We cannot borrow any more money or the economy will totally go into the tank. We only have so long to pay it back. The world is not as fascinated by America as it was in the 80s. China is the new dog and SE Asia is a much more vast market than Japan ever was. The rest of the world is starting to move and we don't have their backing. We can borrow from ourselves to get into some more wars, but are we going to make that sacrifice? I doubt the Republicans can pull a tax hike, put controls on the economy and the other measures that a true war economy demands. But we cannot continue our new guns and butter program by spending like crazy and getting into new wars unless we get the world's backing. And we already blew that politically a while ago.

It will be interesting to see if we actually back up our talk and demand that we send in inspectors to Iran. We can't get into North Korea. We can't do anything right now, and I will be interested to see how they pull it off if they try.

*Quote John McCain about Washington's spending 11-30-03

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Representin'


My Panda AC crew representin' at the fights last Friday after a good showing.


Here is a pic of Montrell squaring off in the ring.

Catlicks, Poles and Papists in the news

Wow, that old man the Pope is really a fighter. Jeez, I mean how sick is the guy as he continues to croak out the window at the people? I knew the Polish are fighters, but he is brining a new dynamic to his persona. He continues on living somehow. I got to give the guy credit where credit is due.

Holy Polish Sausage, they covered the Saint Stans deal on the CBS national news. Pretty interesting. Now Archbishop Burke looks like even more of a stooge. CBS presented another fairly balanced deal and all, but it can't help him from looking like a stooge. They interviewed both sides with blunt words quoted and spewed facts. It is just the facts that mess up that story for Burke. The church would be fools for kicking out for such truly faithful Catholics that kept Saint Stans alive. Saint Stans would be fools for accepting the offer by Burke. Burke is shutting down Saint Francis. The cathedral of the south side, the beautiful steeple church at California and Gravois. If they were independent, we would be able to not only keep that open, but also to provide valuable services to the rapidly growing influx of Mexican immigrants to Cherokee neighborhood. But the archdiocese really doesn't make enough money on that church. There is not enough to squeeze. Instead of having two churches that provide Spanish mass and services to Spanish speakers on the south side, we cut it down to one and the one further away at Saint Cecelia's. What happened to compassion? What happened to supporting young families in need? And these are young Catholic families. A young Catholic community. What happened to trying to grow the church? Or is it about money? Oh yeah, I forgot. Good move by Saint Stans. What do you need the archdiocese for? What are they providing? They have no problem shutting down a church when it doesn't pay enough tribute.

Of course, what do I care? He is just the reason that keeps the fish fry tradition alive and gives out a special dispensation on Saint Paddy's day to allow me to drink during Lent. I got what I want. Okay, maybe not. Wait a sec, now that I am looking, there is more than just one thing that I see wrong here...uh oh, this is going to take a bit.

I have a crucifix tattooed on my arm. I remember this wank jumped all over my back at one of the presidential meetups last year about this time at Kitchen K. This guy saw my scapular I wear around my neck and asked me about it. I told him it "kept me safe from the flames of Hell" as I smiled. He then got all pissy and threw a hissy fit. He started going off on Catholics and religion. I gave him a smile and let him vent. Still makes him a wanker. He told me how harmful the Catholic Church has done and how I am supporting the wrong thing. I was born Catholic. My family all are practicing Catholic. Inclusiveness goes a lot further. Inclusiveness means including people that are not necessarily consistent. It means finding the common issues where we can work together. We can get a lot further by supporting progressive Catholics. There is a lot in Catholicism that is very very progressive. The church came out against the war. The church is big in social justice, probably the leading edge of social justice activism. The church did a lot to knock out communism. The church is flawed too, but that is the easy part to see. We need to support reform, not jump to hate. This wanker is doing a lot of damage to the common cause by hatin' so easily.

AMDG

Monday, February 07, 2005

Rich Watts the Picture Man


Yes, I have characters that come to my fights, and this is one of them. This is Rich Watts. I don't know what he does, but he takes pictures at the fights around town. He sort of gets his way in and gets his way, kind of like a Beetle Bob. He is starting to get really out there. He is only in his late 50s and he appears to be, uh, much more mature than that. He has pix from 30-40 years ago of some great fights around town and the nation. I have one of his Ali pix on my wall. He has started to really come into his own over the past year or two. He has a mix of old man/hip hop style, note the vest, stylin' glasses, chain wallet, flopping dentures, the rolled up pants, black socks, the headphones, old man shoes and finally the mohawk. He comes in with his walker and insists on getting a ringside space. And as Beetle Bob, he gets what he wants. So he also has pictures of women he calls hoochie mommas. It is something else. The man calls me about every other week.

Here is Demetrius in a bad spot. He had to punch his way out. Smart kid.

Bringing in the ring at Soulard Gym


Here is the crew bringing in the ring at the gym in Soulard. I had my fights at the Soulard Market Gym last week. It was beautiful. I will write more later. This scene of bringing in the ring was quite amusing. They had to bring the ring in through the window with a rope. I will get a recap of the weekend soon. I am still recovering. I also need to write about the State of the Union, Donnybrook slam on the RFT, how Gravois is ugly and more.

Kid play at the cleaners


This is a cute toy piano at the cleaners on Hampton, next to my barbershop at the South Hampton Barbershop. The cleaners are great, they called me when they found some money in one of my pockets. When I walked in I noticed this old kid toy piano up on a table. It was the only thing in the waiting room and looked so perfect. It worked perfect.

Friendly game of cards


Here is a shot of a game of cards. It did not appear from the casual distance like it was high stakes for they were using coins, but I did overhear that someone had cleared a significant sum in winnings in a sitting.

These are good guys. I don't really play, especially not with them. They would eat me for lunch.

African Meal at African Restaurant


I had a meal the other day at a Somali restaurant over across from the SSNB. The name of the place is simple. African Restaurant. I had gone before and they were totally unprepared to serve food, and they were not much more prepared this time- no menu and I was probably the first non-Somalian to eat there, but they at least did bring me something to eat this time. It was fairly good, but not the best food I have had. It was interesting. The chicken was tasty, they had "Italian" noodles that were eh, good rice, some sort of fatty rib tips with great seasoning, a not so good salad. It was 8 bucks which was too much in my book considering there was no menu and non existent service. The charm only goes so far.

The wood steering wheel and Respect


The wood steering wheel for my 71 Thunderbird. I sold my Merc in December and I picked up a new car, this 71 Thunderbird. This will be the second oldest car I have owned. I had a 67 Plymoth Valient about fifteen years ago, but the Cady is a 72, and most the other cars and bikes have been mid 70s. I have always wanted a car with a wood steering wheel. My dad used to have a 70 Pontiac GTO and it had a wood steering wheel. That wood steering wheel was fire. Fire is a new word I am incorporating into my vocabulary that I picked up from the kids. The new bird, or Bird with a beak, is the second Ford product I have owned. I am really branching out. I am still very interested in getting a Pontiac or a Lincoln. I think I may sell this bird later in the spring and pick up a late 70s Mark series Lincoln or perhaps a Grand Prix. Those are just hot. I need to get a picture up of this T-Bird. It is an interesting looking ride. It looks like an arch villian car. I should be robbing banks now.

Speaking of which, I think Clayton is the worst and most dangerous neighborhood in town. If I use the same logic that many use, this would be very true. I just closed on a loan for a business deal I am working on, and the title company I was collecting my money from went into receivership and is now being investigated for fraud. Great. This is a lot of money. A lot. These dirtbags have stolen far more from me than any sort of petty crime I have been a victim of. Now if I put the same standards in terms of monetary damage, this is thirty times worse than when I got my car stolen out in Kirkwood. Legitimized theft is what these guys do. I am going to get it worked out, but not without a whole lot of bulldog on my end.

I was talkin' with a young fella I know last week, I will call him Cappy, and he was complimenting me on my work with the kids. Yeah yeah, it is good. They are good kids and it is not that hard. Then he started going an odd direction. Then moves his head to the left and right to look over his shoulders "I mean, you know with black kids it is either they are going to become good or they are going to be bad."

I don't respond.

"It is great what you do with the kids, but often the black kids don't show respect. It is like the military. You either have good black guys, or bad black guys. If the military still gave out discipline it would be good for all of them."

I still don't respond. I want to listen.

"You still have them at an age where they can become good."

I don't say anything. These kids are not exactly on the road to hell. They are very smart. They just need a few of the right opportunities, exposed to good people, and a few good nudges and proper backing and they wil be fine. But it is not like they are just one thing or another. I wonder if Cappy knows a lot of kids.

"My wife, it is not like she was mugged by an Irish guy twice."

No response. I can only think to myself about how I have just been robbed. I can guarantee it wasn't a black guy. And then I think about the old "good n" and "bad n" terms. I would rather hear it from the guy. What classic statements. These are kids. Is Cappy a good white guy, or a bad white guy? Is it that simple? What makes someone good?

I remember one half time coach coming in the first night a jumping the kids for nothing when he came in. Sort of like a drill sargeant on the first day, but he was entering a class of experienced soldiers. He was being old school I guess. The kids show me mad respect. I earned it. They also tease me too, and I tease them. They say "Steve, your breath is triflin'!" And we all laugh. I say to one kid in particular "I can't understand a thing you said, you sound like a squeaky mouse!" And we all laugh.

I show them the same respect, but I also very much know they are kids too and show them the proper respect that one should give kids. I don't kid myself either. I don't have any false visions of kids. That half time coach hasn't won any respect from the kids, and after the way he treated them, I don't demand that the kids treat him with any more respect than is proper for an adult. The half time coach will have to earn the respect that a coach has. The half time coach hasn't been back.

Respect is a two way street.

I need to write a bit about some fella from west county who was trying to get his "woman" out of the Spinks fight and nearly started a brawl for he was feeling uncomfortable. Geez.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I am popular

So the kids are reading my blog. I saw Lorenzo yesterday and he told me he looked me up on the internet and found my website. Lorenzo is one of my fighters. He is the young man who told an associate that "Steve knows everybody" after handing this random guy who knew me a flyer. I figure he wanted to find out more on me. That was a bit of a surprise.

Lorenzo said my blog was funny. Really funny. I am very flattered. My blog is entertainment for a 14 year old. Lorenzo has a gold grill and has the word "REN" braided into his hair. He has slick skills in the ring and rhymes with ease. And he thinks my blog is funny. Wow. Lorenzo read a good deal of my blog. Lorenzo is a funny kid. He is a smart kid too. All the kids are smarter than you might think.

I was listening to KWMU today and they were discussing the sale of the Post. They speculated on younger people and how they can get them to read the paper. They said they have short attention spans. So the hosts of Saint Louis on the air wondered how the Post could gain younger readers. I wonder how many editors have talked to kids like Lorenzo lately. I know the Post used to have a program to have kids sell the paper on street corners. I benefited from that program. I don't see that many carriers doing it anymore. Then again, I think the PD bought out all the carriers. It would behoove them to try to start that up again. As George said at the market "I love the kids! They are my future customers!" So simple, yet the practice eludes many. Good relevant interesting writing can get kids to get the kids in the habit of reading the paper. Employees make great future customers too. I am proof. I wonder if Lea Syndicate will get it.

So Lorenzo wanted me to write about him in my blog. He also wanted me to post his picture. I don't have a picture of him, other than the mugshot we put in his registration book. So Lorenzo, here is the piece I wrote. Hopefully he will submit a rhyme to me so I can post it on the site.