Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Crooks

The RFT is now having anonymous sources for their stories. They are protecting some criminal named Dave who has no respect for property. This guy says he breaks into buildings for recreation to witness the forgotten history of these beautiful abandoned structures. The courts really need to start throwing those reporters like Rose Martelli in the klink for protecting these criminals. This source "Dave", not his real name, must be a real dirtbag. This is almost as bad as the Washington Post and their "Deep Throat" source.

Police Chase

There was an interesting story in the Post-Dispatch on private cars that look like Police cars. I found this interesting on many levels. I have looked at many old cop cars and motorcycles from police auctions. I nearly bought a police Chips style KZ about ten years ago. I had purchased an 83 Impala with the police package back in high school. It was promptly stolen in front of my folk's house a few weeks later. I used to own the same leather jacket that the Chicago PD motorcycle cops wore. I own a silver and black half shell helmet that looks like a state trooper lid. I am sure you get the idea. I like the cop style.

About ten or so years ago I was on my 83 1100 super sport, a hot old Honda motorbike, riding home after fueling up at the gas station on Gravois and Grand. I was late at night, I was heading home to my crib on Humphrey and I was only traveling a few blocks home. I didn't even buckle my half shell helmet on for this short trip. I slowly cruised up Grand Ave and looked over on Utah and noticed a car stopped slowly rolling from the west. It stopped short and the passengers gave me the eye. I gave them the eye right back. I was slowly rolling with my right foot slung over my rear pegs and my left foot slung under my other peg. I was being way too leisurely about my riding.

I didn't think anything of it until the car swung behind me and got right on my tail. I was about a block from my alley by the old Vietnam Cafe gangster hangout and I took a right turn heading east. The car followed me into the alley. I hit the throttle. I didn't know what was going on, but this was not good. I didn't have my helmet on properly; my jacket was not zipped up. There was a high likelihood that I would get into a wreck trying to evade this clown. I spun out of the alley onto Arkansas and gunned it on each street zig zagging until I was over on Connecticut by Roosevelt. I had gotten far enough in front of the car that I was going to buckle my helmet. I was going to head over to Schnucks for it was the only public place open that time of night.

I looked behind me to see if the car was still in pursuit. I then noticed that this little Chevy had a small dashboard police light. I was relieved. I was short of breath from nerves. But I should have been skeptical in retrospect. I immediately put my hands up in the air as I straddled on the bike and waited for it to be over. A plainclothes told me to get off the bike and he did the pat down. I was apologizing repeatedly, but again, in retrospect I don't think I had enough proof it was a cop. It wound up being a cop, but I wanted to believe it was a cop too. A crappy little chevy celebrity with a dashboard light, a plainclothes guy with a shield on his belt chasing me through an alley is just not a good idea. It wasn't even a full size caprice with a teardrop or anything. The cop was cool about everything and assured me it was okay. He handled it professionally. I then was made to stand in front of the car to be identified. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I did as was instructed. He told me I matched the description. There was a woman in the car who had been raped and they were looking for the perp. I was just trying to absorb everything that had happened in the previous two minutes. There was a crowd of people forming around us. I was scared and then disgusted by what had happened to the woman. I instinctually apologized to the woman. Probably not a good thing to say if I had gotten really jammed up. I was apologizing not on anything that I had done, but out of consolation. I was not thinking clearly.

The cop cleared me. I asked him if I was in the wrong by running. He smiled and said no.

This whole incident could have gone very very wrong in many ways. I could have wrecked. I could have been locked up. It could have been not a cop quite easily.

There was an instance in the past couple of months where I guy was locked up for raping a woman back in the 80s and was recently released for the DNA did not match up. He was completely exonerated. He was fingered by the woman immediately after she reported the crime. It happened on the near north side. The cops had come over and were taking the report and she pointed at this man when he was walking by the house. That is all he did. He walked by the house. The woman fingered him. It was not him. His family was with him during the time of the alleged crime. He maintained his innocence all along. And now it is 20 years later.

Exempt

Apparently amateur boxing is exempt from the amusement tax. I told Jimmie Howell about this and that is what he told me. Jimmie runs the North County Boxing Club and has been doing pro and am shows for 25 years. He said that the amateur is exempt from this city taxes and we should not have to pay, for no one that runs amateur boxing pays this tax. Of course now it is hardly going to be a breeze to get it back.

George Bush quote

Friday, May 27, 2005

I am losing it again

I can no longer sing. I am back to squeaking and whispers. I really got to do something about this.

Pinch

I should try being like the Cardinals. The big business got out of paying the amusement tax. I am getting pinched now to pay this tax for the fights. So far I am down quite a bit trying to keep this gym going and now the city wants a cut. The Cardinals don't pay that tax anymore, so I don't see why I have to. But you see I am a good citizen, so I will. Perhaps I will try to get a bill passed in the Board of Alderman like that ran through for the Cardinals tax freebie.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Funny


This is from one of my favorite comic strips. They have now revealed how I abuse the English language.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Get yer stinkin' paws off me you damn dirty ape!!


I can talk I can talk I can talk I CAN SING!!

I had laryngitis somethin' fierce yesterday. I couldn't talk at all. People were callin' me Stevie Whispers. Some people would only speak back to me in a whisper. I couldn't even hold a conversation with my whisper to several people for they were laughing too hard at me. Andy nearly cried he was laughin' so hard. It was pretty funny. It would be really funny if I could only whisper permanently.

The cause of the condition? I don't know. Too much workin', stress and not enough sleep is what the people told me. Stress? Please... I don't stress none! I am easy like a Sunday mornin'.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Real Deal

I have always been a fan of Alan Greenspan. I always found it interesting the different economic dynamics of the new world America leading the world. The News Hour did an amazing piece on John Kenneth Galbraith who recently had a biography written about his work. The interview might only be online for a day. Galbraith is a capitalist with a keen eye for the governments role in terms of defecit spending during lean times, and reigning in a too hot economy. He was highly critical of the big government expansion during Reagan through the Bush and Bush coupled with crippling defecit spending. Galbraith and Roosevelt are often credited in saving capitalism. They did. Look at what was going on around the world at the time.

The man is in his 90s and is one sharp fella. I hope to be that sharp when I get to that age. He recently got sick and is in the hospital, but in the interview he is still very aware of what is going on.

From Colonel Hackworth

A friend passed this along to me. They are a set of Life Lessons from the late Colonel Hackworth. As I read this, I discovered that many of these directives I have long followed. And there are a few others I need to focus on.
===

- Strive to do small things well.

- Be a doer and a self-starter - aggressiveness and initiative are two most admired qualities in a leader - but you must also put your feet up and think.

- Strive through self-improvement through constant self-evaluation.

- Never be satisfied. Ask of any project, "How can it be done better?"

- Don't overinspect and oversupervise. Allow your leaders to make mistakes in training, so they can profit from the errors and not make them in combat.

- Keep the troops informed; telling them "what, how, and why" builds their confidence.

- The harder the training, the more troops will brag.

- Enthusiasm, fairness, and moral and physical courage - four of the most important aspects of leadership.

- Showmanship - a vital technique of leadership.

- The ability to speak and write well - two essential tools of leadership.

- There is a salient difference between profanity and obscenity; while a leader employs profanity (tempered with discretion), he never uses obscenities.

- Have consideration for others.

- Yelling detracts from your dignity; take men aside to counsel them.

- Understand and use judgment; know when to stop fighting for something you believe is right. Discuss and argue your point of view until a decision is made, and then support the decision wholeheartedly.

- Stay ahead of your boss.

These are the traits of good leaders in any field. Sadly, the people who live up to them are few and far between. But when you find a person who has these qualities, you will follow them gladly and with pride.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Lawn Mullet

I pulled this from the archive. I wrote this a few years back. I am now reformed and perfect in every way according to all laws, ordinances and codes.
==
Yes. It is true.

I just mowed the zoisya in my front lawn for the third time this year. The front is short and acceptable by society. The scrubby dutch neighbors that literally scrub the oil stains off the street in front of their house have been keeping their eye on this southsider's lawn. I have been lax, but I just keep mowing the front lawn.

But the back is another story. It is like a wild unfettered party. I have yet to even take the mower into the back yard. The grass is up to my knees in some parts of the back yard. It is fun, loose and wild. Yes, the lawn where I first captured the Hoosierweight Belt has gone all wild.

Short in the front, long in the back.

Business up front, party in the back.

But I don't take it too crazy and let it loose in the front. I don't want to become something that will cause problems with everybody. But the back yard, that is another story.

Long live the short-long! I suggest all of South City to let this trend os the zoisya lawn mullet take hold. We will be proud of our south city sho-loe.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Circus is Coming!


The Circus is coming in a couple of weeks. The Carson and Barnes Circus. I am thinking of going to the circus.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dwight Eisenhower

A friend passed along this
quote from Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954
.

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

RIP David H. Hackworth

I had been given a book by a good friend recently. It is called the Vietnam Primer written by David Hackworth. He told me it was a book made for me. I think like a soldier. I am not a soldier, but a citizen soldier. I didn't read it. But I started to put the connections together. I had read about David Hackworth. I didn't connect it to the book Burt had given me. Hackworth exposed that the soldiers in Iraq were not properly equipped. This made big news. He is considered one of the great soldiers that came out of Vietnam. He served five tours in the shit. He taught the Americans how to fight over there. And to win. But he knew it was a losing war and wasn't afraid to say so. He has quite a story and speaks the truth. The Pentagon hates him for he questions them.

I should write about when I looked into joining the military in high school. I met with the recruiters. The first war in Iraq was just about to begin.

We are now have a great loss with such an honest and caring soldier. He died last week of cancer. I wish we had more like'm.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hoosierweight Memorial Day Weekend

Greetings fight fans-

The next Hoosierweight Fights are back in Dogtown, held on Memorial Day Weekend, Sunday May 29th. JackSons' Restaurant will be hosting the fights outdoors in the large parking lot outside. A great lineup of fighters awaits for this late afternoon affair of music, drinks and boxing.

There are several different admission options- there is General Admission which is free-but to get the really good seats: sign up for the Platinum VIP tix which include ringside seats, a three course meal catered by JackSon's, premium cocktails, and Schlafly Beer. Tickets are $75 a head and come in tables of 10. Then there are VIP tickets which include a meal and Schlafly Beer for $50 a phead, and then there is the Beer Table which include Schlafly Beer and peanuts for $35 a head. Tickets can be had through JackSons' at 6655 Manchester Road 314-645-4904 or through the Royale at 3132 South Kingshighway.

The day begins with music at 2pm and the fight time is at 4:30pm.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I need to buy me some rubber soled shoes

So I walked home again last night. Way fun.

I was wearing an old pair of Florsheims with rubber soles. They are wearing through. I use them to work in. A couple of years ago I started wearing leather soled shoes regularly. I was uneasy about this, because I always wanted to be wearing something that if I needed to book or jump over a fence. The leather had me slipping around on the pavement and was no good in unexpected perilous situations. Granted I don't get into many of these kinds of situations, but hey, you never know.

A friend of mine Andy told me it makes much more sense for a guy like me to wear leather soled shoes.

He said "Steve, you don't need to run. You just walk."

That makes sense. I don't need to run. All I really need to do is walk anyway. Just stroll. The shoes are very comfortable and I was able to get used to the slipping, and I even enjoyed it. I try to take good care of my shoes by shining them regularly and having them resoled when they need it. They hold up well and treat me right.

But I have been taking more shortcuts lately. I have been going down embankments with wild shrubbery. I have been walking over railroad trestles. I have been climbing down walls. Walking through burnt out buildings. I don't really run, I never really was a runner, but I do have need for more versatile shoes. I can still wear nice rubber soled shoes. I can always clean them if they get dirty from climbing on top of an abandoned dump truck. Besides, people think I am undercover when I wear rubber soled shoes. And when they see me wear leather soled shoes they think I am a gangster. I would rather people think the former.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Train Tracks

I walked home last night. I usually walk a mixture of alleys, streets and shortcuts. I went heavy on the shortcut last night around 3am. I was up late at the business studying for my food safety handling course. I jumped up to the railroad tracks and sort of navigated my way home. I walked a similar route back today. The tracks I walked has the beautiful overpass just north of Fyler on Kingshighway. You can see the faded painted signs on it. It is rarely used. As I jumped up to the tracks I could see the economic bustle of the past, and the adjusment of the economies of today. There is a huge tool and dye operation. There are assembly plants. The rocks along the tracks are large and I had to take care on how I walked on this unlit path. The area is absolutely pedestrian unfriendly. It only regards commerce and business in the design. But I can easily adapt my foot travel in this setting. The buildings are all adjusted to the tracks. They bend with them. They are built around them, not unlike suburban areas are built around highways, or cities businesses had located around rivers back in the day. You can still hear the pressing and hissing of machines. It reminds me of a scene from a movie Dead Man, when the main character during the mid-late 1800s rolls into a western industrializing boom town of Machine to report for a job. The town is rough, brutally honest and blunt. He walks into a early developing steel factory, back when this was an experimental business. Men walk around like robots, unaffected by the intruder. They are on a job. They are all business. No time to worry about other's business.

I feel this time and place in our history as I walk down the tracks, across old buildings and peer through the windows of the shuttered factories. Many are still operating. I passed by one, with a manager who was on a little industrial electric drive scooter who was passing across a small public street that was going from one complex to another. He nodded his head in greeting as a manager should. I can hear the machines clamping in the large rooms. I see graffitti on walls hidden from public viewing, industrial waste of scrap iron, barrels and wood. The lush spring grass and plants are healthy, wild and tall. It is so very beautiful and real.

I love beautiful parkways and walkways, but I find such raw routes even more revealing of who we are as a society, a people and our history and development.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Suburban City

I was cruising on the west side of south city going over to the new Cafe Ivanhoe for Mother's Day. I don't like to take main thorougfares or highways, so I usually take the slow ride through the street.

It is so country out that way. The streets feel more suburban. There are intersections with no stop signs. I kind of like it. Actually it is not really that suburban at all. When I was a kid in Chicago, for part of the time we lived off of Division blocks from the border of the West Side at Cicero. It was kind of like U City, but not the part with the super super fancy houses. In this area there were a lot of streets and alleys. I love alleys. Kids lived in the alleys. We controlled the alleys. The funny thing is that we lived in a dense neighborhood and did not have stop signs at many intersections in any of the directions. It was odd when I went back on the train every summer and noticed this trait.

I have noticed in the particularly dead areas near the old Pruitt Igoe there are a few intersections with no stop signs either. It is so suburban.

I wish we had the roundabouts in Saint Louis. We have a handful, but most are just those ghetto barriers oushed together with some plants in them and they don't use yield signs, but stop signs.

Speaking of ghetto barriers, we need to get rid of those things. Knock those ugly things out, and use better traffic calming to open up the neighborhoods. Put in and improve the pedestrian paths and put in decent bike paths. We cut too much off right now with all these barriers. They were well intentioned, but that was the past.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Respect and gin

Joe Edwards bought me a drink. I was at the Pageant the other night and took a break to visit with Eric King at the Halo. The bar was empty, with the exception of Joe who gestured that I should sit by him. He told Eric that he was buying my drink. I was honored.

I ordered gin. I like gin. I always say that because I thought it made me feel like I want to fight. But I figured out, it doesn't make me want to fight, it just makes me feel like I was just in a fight. The feeling gin gave me was like I had been punched in the gut. I still love gin.

So Joe has been to the fights before and has lauded them to me personally about how great they are for this town and how unique they are. He complimented me again on all of the boxing. I thanked him for the drink and told him of my endeavors at the Panda AC and at the evolving Royale. We discussed the businesses we are in and how they work. Very cool. Small gestures mean a lot.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Kickin' Oxen


There was an interesting series in the Post-Dispatch recently. It was on Vietnam. There has been a lot of press about China over the past few years, and now that boom has taken hold in Vietnam. I have been wanting to got to a commie country before all the changes go down and go later to see all the changes. I find it interesting and disturbing at the same time.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo was cancelled. The big celebration on Cherokee was to happen yesterday. Word only hit the streets last Tuesday. What a joke.

I was, at one point, on one of the boards for the Cinco de Mayo about four or five years ago. It was a mess. It was very political, very unstable and there was more than one board. I didn't stick around.

It is a shame that it is not going to get pulled off. The guy from the street dept was very very supportive and went out of his way to work with the whole thing to get it ready when I was involved. There were a lot of problems, but there is a great need to have this celebration on Cherokee. It is the sign that this is the center of the Mexican American community in Saint Louis. Now with Saint Francis shutting down their Spanish Mass and ministry, this is not a good sign at all. Business is starting to pop on Cherokee, the music regularly rolls at the Casa Loma and there is a hispanic clinic Grace Hill, but the pop needs to happen across the board so there is no doubt where and what is happening.