Friday, March 31, 2006

Busted now fixed

So there is something screwy with the blog. I think I just fixed it. But in general if you are viewing through Internet Explorer, try firefox. Firefox is way better.

So until then, these are links to the last couple of posts:
Also- I will post about this later, but we are in competition for some grant funding at Washington University. We have been going through a selection process for a while now. It went from 70 to 14 and now down to two. We went in yesterday and I gave a two minute elevator pitch in front of a board of about 25 or so people. I was very nervous. I don't know if I have ever been that nervous before. My hands were shaking. It was unlike me. Even in rough end of my business I don't get that. It wasn't a bad feeling, I was just nervous. Everything we have worked on was going to be focused on two minutes of what I had to say. In or out.

We got in to the finalist category. We are down to the final two for the Youth Bridge Program. It is a rather elaborate deal that I will go into later. This could possibly mean some very great things for the Panda AC youth program. With the addition of Winston "Buddy" Shaw and pending grant start up funding, this could be a really great way to give more positive pathways to opportunity to a lot of at risk kids. The program we have is working, and it is really great to see it working. We are able to give these kids credible options. The mentors from Wash U have been stepping up. We have just started a new partnership with Claver Works which is helping in job training/placement, skill training and financial education. In fact, I just hired another kid, Little Sam. He helps us set up the house for the night. Everyone at the Royale loves him. He is a real go getter. I just hope we can get the foundation for the Panda so we are no longer month to month.

After being announced as a finalist, I had to give the pitch again to an entire auditorium. That was much easier. No more shaking. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fantastic new joint and old old post

I went to quite possibly the most glam coffee shop in the midwest. There is a joint called Caffe Milano on Gravois near Morganford that looks like a hip cafe at a hip airport in Europe. It is stunning. They dropped a lot of cash into the place. It really is something else. I was in after the Fish Fry at Saint Stephens. It was the most beautiful people of the southside coming in as a start for their weekend. People were walking up and down the street to other cafes. People were really dressed up. It looked like a European model convention. There was a really nice diversity in the ages, but everyone was definitely thoughtful in their wardrobe. They had flat screen TVs with Euro Dance Party on. Far more hip than what I am used to. For more hip than Wash Ave, the "Grove" or any of that scene. I met the owner, Yato, and spoke to him for a while. He has quite a few places around. This is the real deal. He did the place up right in his own style. Check the site for more pictures.

Also, here is an old post when I made my first attempt at blogging back 2002. I accidentally found the post when trying to access my blogger, and went to a lost unknown account. I started blogging back in the summer of 2004. There was only one post on the 2002 blog and this was it:

I was at the crazy eights trivia Saturday at the Grand Oak Hill Community Center. Much fun with this interesting and somewhat rowdy crews of triva competitors. I was selling 50/50 and sat down at one of the tables to take a break. The table was stacked w/ jovial trivia experts from the Bonasch posse to the Conn Street Crew. There was a good neighbor guide on the table w/ none other than Jenny Florida's picture on the front. Jenny was sitting at this table of experts. I paged through the booklet, checking out what it means to be a good neighbor. There was a lot of standard stuff about property maintenance and such. There was stuff in there about having your animals vaccinated. There was something in there about outdoor storage. I noticed that my father would be in violation of the outdoor wood storage if he lived in the city. It never knew that wood caused rat infestation. We had bunnies in the wood pile once. Against our wishes, the dog wound up taking care of that "problem". Poor bunnies. I also noticed that you are not supposed to have more than four animals per household. I heard of this before, but never thought of it cuz I don't own any animals that I know of. I wound up chatting w/ the people at the table for a bit about neighborliness.

During the break I went outside the doors along the railing to talk to a crew of boys. I had worked w/ a couple of them before. They were all excited to be out. They were at the age to talk big game and had no problem doing so. They asked about my car. They asked about Percy Green, the guy who I took them to meet. They asked about the bike. They just wanted to talk. To do something. Anything. Attention. Earlier, they had asked one of the people there for something to drink and were told to scoot along. I noticed that they were obviously bored and decided to give them some of that attention they desired. I went out and the kids got excited that someone was paying attention to them. I asked them what they were up to. They kept jumping around and
talking excitedly. They asked for something to drink again. I decided to get them a drink, against the wishes of one of the people that asked them to scoot. Perhaps I did the wrong thing, but I was bored too and I was enjoying hanging out and conversing w/ the kids. I grabbed them some lemonade. They could see me coming with the cups. They started to jump around all excited and calling me all sorts of unusual complimentary names as I came through the door. I think they were complimentary, but I have been called far worse names that I understood. I kind of like the term O.G.(original gangsta). The kids also used a verbally indefinable descriptive term of Shizzn-insert word here. I told each kid "you are welcome" in the kindly way to remind them to say thank you, which they did. It kind of gave them a gentle shock to pull that courtesy out, but it did come out. I learned that trick from my moms. The kids already said thanks to me with their odd language of compliments, but all I did was remind them of the more formal, "proper" and simple way to say thanks. But the kids were so excited they wanted to say more than a regular thank you. They wanted to high five, knock fists and call me O.G., the man, the shizznit etc. Same thing really. I then told the kids to not rat me out to the lady for bringing them a drink against her wishes. I also told them to "treat her right". They were cool w/ this, but I knew a reminder certainly did not hurt. Then one of the kids, Randy, started talking game again. Randy said something ambiguous about the lady and her husband. There was a guy standing behind us who took offense at this. It was her husband. Uh oh. He was peeved indeed. It was hard to say if the kid was insulting or not, but it certainly was inappropriate. I asked the kid a favor. I went up to Randy and asked him to apologize.

He shot a sorry across to him. I slowly went next to the kid and told him softly "It ain't no big deal. Just go over there and say you are sorry to him like a man." He was being shy and slowly walked over. He softly said sorry and hurried back to his place on the railing over by me. I then told Randy softly "that wasn't so bad. You know you got to treat the lady right. She takes care of you. And that means you gotta treat her friends right too." The husband still appeared a bit peeved for he slammed the door shut when one of the kids, Travis, tried to go inside himself. Travis was already a bit jumpy and this put him into a bit of shock. But as boys are, he was crafty. He played it cool. He went around back to find a way in. And he did. And Travis came out triumphantly through the front door with one of the head guys at the center holding a tray of chips. After the kids dove into the chips and making a mess one of the more astute kids asked for a broom. Randy wanted to sweep up the front of center. I went in and got it for him and they did sweep up, but not without a lot of conversation on how to do so and who was going to do it. This was quite amusing. But the front was clean, or as clean as wound up kids sweep on a Saturday
night. I asked the kids what they were up to later that night. They started talking big game again, so in other words they had no definite plans. I then headed back in to do 50/50. I hope the kids stayed out of too much trouble. I hope the husband or the lady wasn't upset with me either.

Later on I went to a get together in south city of some interesting folks. The inhabitant had a most interesting decorated place. Almost like a movie set, w/ characters and all. A very interesting party. He also had some very interesting dogs and cats. They were some odd beautiful mix breeds. Very healthy looking. He makes them their food w/ fresh chicken and such. These animals eat better than most humans.

He loves the animals quite a bit. They are fairly well behaved, especially considering that there was a crowd of people. He spoke of how he walks the dogs all the time. They looked lean and happy. I then started counting. One, two, three, four...four dogs. One, two, three...three cats. Uh, oh. He is breaking the law or at least being a bad neighbor. I can't remember if the booklet said if it was the law or just being a bad neighbor. Is it my duty as a good citizen to notify Saint Louis' finest of this lawbreaker?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Splenda is the new methadone

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Lent is not easy. We all have our coping mechanisms. Better off with the unknown risks of sucralose than the proven negative effect of sugar. And my sweet love of sugar. Why must you make it so difficult to live without you?

Sunday Television

Sunday has come around and by habit I turn on Channel 9 to watch the McLaughlin Group. A great discussion from the digestion of the week's news, happenings and more. But I think they replaced Channel 9 with some sort of home shopping network. I think they may have some time share that every three weeks they give a week to this alarmed sounding home shopping network. Thank goodness I can regularly watch an un-preempted McLaughlin Group online.

So I begin to peruse the other stations and I settle to get the stuff straight from C-span. It was hotter than Spike TV. There was a forum called Vietnam and the Presidency: White House Perspectives made up of very interesting people: The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Theodore Sorenson,
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Jimmy Carter,
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Alexander Haig,
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Henry Kissinger and a few other institutional types. Brian Williams of NBC sort of hosted this panel which was being held at the JFK Library. It was rather intersting. Everyone seemed relatively calm and collected. But for more than a few moments, Kissinger, while still relatively well spoken, did have more than some uneasy moments. He seemed on his heels when he was pressed to admit if the US had made any mistakes in Vietnam. He got through it, and I wish there was streaming archive or transcripts. Sorenson seemed conflicted, but frank and calm. It was still sad. The talk reminded me of the frank speech of Robert McNamara on the Fog of War.

There was a discussion with this bunch about Vietnam and the Iraq war. It was very interesting, for these are the real players from much of the Vietnam War. I know of these guys through history classes, books and such. Most of these policies and decisions were made well before I was born. To see that these guys, who still are all pretty sharp, speak about this comparison in a forum is amazing. The closest I have heard in this context is at a Great Issues or something, but those are not as revealing. This was telling and actually very hot. I think the candidates vying for the Presidency in 2008 would be well served in studying what happened and what these guys speak when approaching the office of the Presidency. We are in a very tight spot, and Iraq, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, nukes in Iran and North Korea and overall terrorism is not going to go away with the election of another President. We will inherit a hot situation internationally that cannot be ignored. We will be living with the consequenses of our decisions for decades regardless, so we must adjust smartly so we can keep our heads up, stay ahead and sharpen our competetive edge. We need to get back to leading the world instead of trying to run the world.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

William J. Burns International Detective Agency

I was reading up on a fellow site and I noticed a familiar sign. Ecoabsence asks "where one can find this sign?" I know where. In my dining room. I requisitioned the item from the old Michigan Theater in Carondelet after a self guided tour with some fellow patriots. It was torn down about five or so years ago.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Interesting letter from a story

There was a relatively interesting story in the Saint Louis American last week. It was about the celebration of Black History Month at Hazelwood Central Middle School. It was in the Entertainment section.

What was even more interesting was the letter published in response from a Jerry Kirkwood from all the way out in Los Angeles. He went to Hazelwood School District in 1972. Funny how such a seemingly innocuous story can elicit such an eye-opening response. I remember when things were more like this. It hits pretty hard to how things have been for a long time. It is nice to see when we make some marked progress. Things have been changing a bit for the better after all. We still can and need to do so much more.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Why the Jesuits deserve a free drink

There was an interesting story in the Christian Science Monitor about Roberto Guevara, a Jesuit Priest who says Mass in the slums of Mexico. Guevara's actions are far more important than just saying Mass. It is real dedication.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Funny picture

So I had this picture on my desktop. Jamie Toon was working on the laptop last night and had some fun with it and left it on the screen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And now a word from our sponsor

Don't worry, I am starting a restaurant blog soon, so there will be no regular commercial programming, but until then I need to spread the word. Despite the commercial nature, the text might really be of some interest.
The Royale Food and Spirits
3132 South Kingshighway at Arsenal
South Saint Louis

I The Royale is proud to announce its first annual Saint Patrick's Day breakfast and post Saint Pat's hair of the dog brunch and the Detroit Steel Shuttle

Royale Washer Leagues

I The Royale is proud to announce its first annual Saint Patrick's Day breakfast and post Saint Pat's hair of the dog brunch and the Detroit Steel Shuttle

We are hosting a traditional Irish Breakfast starting at 8am and go all day for the narrow back workingmen and workingwomen who are required to show up to the job regardless of the blessed status of this day. The hearty breakfast will be offered on Saint Patrick's Day at 8am through the day and the day after Saint Patrick's day for our Hair of the Dog Brunch at 11:30am through Saturday day. We will be providing a Lenten meat free option for those who do not recognize the Archbishop's powers to grant a special dispensation to exempt the Catholics of Saint Louis from the laws of Lent.

There will also be the music of Eileen Gannon and friends who will be performing a group session from 12:30-3pm.

There will be readings of Irish literature throughout the day. We still have extra slots open for the Irish literature readings. Meal and drink are included for recitations, so please contact us now to schedule a public reading. And please remember, one free drink per visit to all Jesuits with proper ID at all times of the year round.

Please keep in mind that the Royale will be offering personal rides to the parade in Dogtown. Rides in the Lincoln or Caprice will be from 11-11:45 so space and time is limited. Rides to Dogtown are free. The return party shuttle will charge a fee of $1.65 and pick up every thirty minutes on Manchester at Hampton. A transfer party shuttle will be necessary at Kingshighway and Manchester for an additional 35 cents and be available for pickup every twenty minutes and will drop you off at Arsenal and Kingshighway. The return shuttles have bike racks in the front. Don't forget, the personal shuttle to Dogtown in the morning will be a luxury choice between the beautiful Lincoln Mark V or the sleek Chevrolet Caprice Classic and space is limited. And remember during rush hour, the Kingshighway return party shuttle will likely require you to stand and hold on tight.

So in the wee spry hours of morn of Saint Patrick's Day the Royale will be serving up the finest daylong repast consisting of the following cuisine:

The J.J.:
Portrait of a Scone
A traditional scone served with a Bailey's Irish Cream butter

Scrambled eggs, black & white blood bangers, grilled tomato and garlic with a choice of sides:
Corned beef, cabbage, potato hash
Cod cakes
Cabbage and potato hash

Drown your Sorrows Finish
An Irish stout oatmeal cookie

The Yeats:
A Drinking Song
A stout soup with potatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery, and onions

Everlasting Course
Your choice of a main dish:
Grilled cod drizzled in an Irish whiskey reduction
Two potato skins stuffed with corned beef and cabbage
Rotini of grilled vegetables stuffed with cabbage, onions and goat cheese

All main dishes will be served with mashed potatoes and Irish soda bread

Final Verse
An Irish stout oatmeal cookie

All meals are 15 dollars and include a choice of Guinness Stout, Murphy's Stout and Wexford Irish Cream Ale.

Lunch items also available for general lunch

II Washer Leagues

The Royale is ready to announce the spring and summer Royale Washer Leagues. Teams are forming now to compete on the southside's finest washer field.

This spring the Royale Courtyard will include outdoor grilling every evening of the finest meats and non meat treats in town, full bar service, drink and food specials and early evening spins in the beautiful outdoor confines.

Please contact Tim for more information on the league at 565-3066 or at

Check this out

The President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf has his own website. It is slick too. Funny information.

The last book he read was Leaders by Richard Nixon.

I am not sure what to make of this.

I have a fun post half written from the Fish Fry last Friday and some more, but I haven't had much time for I have been a bit swamped. I hope to get to it by the end of the week.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Saint Matt's Fish

Friday is for fish
why must you be so tasty
well fed Jesuits

The Fish is popular this year. Crowds were heavy for opening Friday at Saint Joan of Arc.

This week we travel to the Ville to Saint Matthew's Church on 2715 North Sarah, between MLK and Natural Bridge in Ville. This is a mighty fine Church that does a lot of work in the neighborhood.

Many people arrive early and others tend to go late. Either way most of the crew gets there after 5. I know not of the menu, but I would gather to say that fish and mac'n cheese is likely to be on the menu. I certainly hope there is something to quench the thirst of my grandmother. I don't know if Cush will make it down, but she certainly complains when you can't get a real drink with your meal. I hope she does come, she would love the company.

Keep on fish'n,


Monday, March 06, 2006

Empire Sandwich Shop

My girl Sheri let me know that the Empire Sandwich Shop on Cherokee is falling down and is going to be formally torn down tomorrow morn at 8:30am.

Reality Now

Ed Bishop has had some interesting guests on his radio show on KDHX. I just listened to the podcast on the director, Eugene Jarecki of the documentary Why We Fight. It has just gotten into the theater. I can't wait to see it. It is at the Tivoli. I hope to get a second to breathe this week and go see the movie.

Bishop also just interviewed Andrew Ivers the editor of the U News at SLU. I love student newspapers. They are so raw. Rough. Pure. Straight. Ivers is a smart guy. He just got a full ride scholarship from BC. Bishop really has taken a good start to his show on KDHX.

Cash Money and Thrown Fruit

I rode my bike over to Mangia. It was late. Midnight. Maybe later. I got out of the house for a break. I cut through the alleys and hit Juniata and pedaled against the one way street. It was quiet and I was the only thing on the road. Up ahead, on the north side of the 4200 block I noticed a guy walking on the street side of the cars posting stick up notes on each window. I was unsure what that was all about. I slowed up to get a better look and sort of startled the guy. He looked like he might be a little off. Maybe a bit slow. I coasted past him and took a left on Bent and cut back west through the alley between Arsenal and Juniata. I wanted to see exactly what was going on.

As I redirected back heading east on Juniata and I stopped to see what he was sticking on the car windows. They were blue post it notes with a simple message:

New Year

If you have an extra 8 - 12 hours per week and
desire to earn an extra $800 - $1,000 a month,

Contact: Mark At: 314-839-xxxx

Flexible Hours - No Experience Necessary - Will Train

I looked down the street and the guy was already east of Bent. I pedaled down further and rolled back up on this guy. I coasted to a stop and startled the guy again.

"So tell me, how can I earn extra cash?"

He was startled for a second. He looked a bit scared. But he recomposed himself and responded "Well you will have to call and find out?"

Good answer, considering the situation. So I press him.

"So can't you tell me how I am supposed to earn this cash? I want to know now."

He seemed skittish. I think there was something wrong with him. Not bad scary, but he just seemed slow and misguided in his enthusiasm. It was getting closer to becoming sad.

I started coasting away and shook my head and sort of just spoke out.

"That seems awful sketchy. Doesn't sound like on the up and up."

I made it down to the Mange and locked up and settled down at the end of the bar with the newspapers. Clara was bartending and held aside a late night bowl of tasty whole wheat pasta and vegetables. I perused the classifieds section for cars.

Paul Stark came down and we talked about him doing a matinee record spin that would be set up for people to bring their families. I figure I could do it in the afternoon on the weekend.

During this discussion all of a sudden a young man started to belt out some Alice in Chains. Oh. It was loud. I was having a nice conversation and all of a sudden this booming vocal recreation of "Them Bones". Oh it was bad.

I started to talk again. Then a few minutes later, boom!! This voice. Commanding the room. All I wanted to do was have a conversation. Again it happens.

It was tough. So I asked Clara for a piece of rotten fruit. Someone needed to do something. So she asks me if I am serious. She gets a lemon that had a few strips of lemon rind removed. I hold it.

Then he sings again. That was it. I throw this lemon and I peg this guy from across the bar. Smack, right in his chest, almost his neck. Right on the edge of his T-Shirt that was emblazoned with a Public Enemy logo.

The noise stops. I fixed it. Paul smiles, I smile. Clara laughs. Then Paul looks over across the room. The guy who was singing was giving me a serious stink eye.

"Uh oh."

I give Paul a look. The guy looked pissed.

I smile, wave and give the guy a peace sign. Then he walks over. Crap.

He looks right at me. He does not look happy.

"Hey my man, sorry about that, but it was the noise! It was driving me crazy! Your vocals were driving me nuts."

He sort of laid into me for a moment.

"Serious man, your singing, it was driving me crazy. I had to make it stop somehow."

He then smiled and laughed. He proceeded to shake my hand. He then wanted to shoot the shit. I wasn't really interested in that. I just wanted to talk to Paul. But I figured I deserved this. He was a relatively pleasant guy and all, but dang, I just don't like hearing Alice in Chains belted out in coversation level discussion.

He then started to sing again right to me. Loud. I deserved every bit of it. I shouldn't throw fruit at people and not expect reciprocity. I put my head down on the bar and covered my ears with the guy standing right next to me singing at the top of his lungs. Finally Paul Smith came over and told the guy to save it for open mic night. Thank you Paul.

The guy wound up shaking my hand and apologizing. Clara said I am the only guy who could throw fruit at someone and they would apologize to me. Yeah, I am just like Cheney that way. But he wasn't being assaulted by a bad rendition of Alice in Chains.

Maybe we should change the bill for the loud cars. The violators should have fruit thrown at them in the city parks on Sunday afternoons. We could have picnics and throw whatever food we didn't eat and perhaps some rotten fruit. That is a law I would get behind. I could live with the consequence of my actions if I were to be in violation.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Did I miss something?

I am sure this thing is not going to pass, right? Sometimes I forget where I live. I am so detached from rural Missouri. I wonder what is going on out there?

12:28 AM CST on Friday, March 3, 2006
By John Mills, News 4

Missouri legislators in Jefferson City considered a bill that would name Christianity the state's official "majority" religion.

House Concurrent Resolution 13 has is pending in the state

Many Missouri residents had not heard about the bill until Thursday.

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-defamation league, along with other watch- groups, began a letter writing and email campaign to stop the resolution.

The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs.

The resolution also recognizes that, "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, "justified recognition."

State representative David Sater of Cassville in southwestern Missouri, sponsored the resolution, but he has refused to talk about it on camera or over the phone.

KMOV also contacted Gov. Matt Blunt's office to see where he stands on the resolution, but he has yet to respond.

Sugar is the new nicotine

I just went to Walgreens to buy a few things. I commented to the clerk "It looks like you sell a lot of smokes here."

I pointed out the glass huge cases holding packs of cigarettes behind the cashier. She looked back at it and said "Yes we do. Cigarettes and candy. People love candy."

It is so true. People do love candy. I love candy.