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.:: daily thoughts views opinions outlooks postures feelings rants loves glissades
impaires memories oddities observations nonsense vision viewpoint since 1998 ::.

.:: Friday, October 30th ::.

~ 11:06 AM ~

"...Ooo, see the fire is sweepin' our very street today
Burns like a red, coal carpet, mad dog, lost its way...."

Another rainy day in Saint Louis. Ellis and I would like to get out for a walk. My plans for today are to paint. Neale and I will review tomorrow, which should be the end of the process.

Last night, we worked on chokes in the mount position. While working with one partner, I was bucked off and my right shoulder is stiff this morning. Back to RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Later, I had my first attempt at kick boxing sparing. Like most first attempts, it did not go exceedingly well. I had a slightly bloodied nose after one round. Also, this morning a bruise developed around my right eye. After the sparing I felt great though. The workout is great. I just need more practice.

Retail Me Not
tucked in
I Put a Spell on You

.:: Tuesday, October 27th ::.

~ 11:35 PM ~


Neale is working very hard on a case. Her wrist is not cooperating. She is seeing a plastic surgeon next week.

Despite returning to my workout and painting in the basement, I was tired enough to get a good night sleep. I woke up after midnight and could not get back to sleep. By daybreak, I had to take the day off. I worked at home, which was productive. I felt good in the evening and was able to return to Krav. Very glad to be back to it.

Painting should be done on Friday. I can move back to the normal setup on the weekend. However, I want to find a better location for the treadmill. I will have the time to resort the space so we already have a plan.

I started the crust on Sunday and bake the pie on Monday. It was a good take on Chicago deep dish. I went with a mozz, Match Meat Italian Sausage, and tomato sauce pie. Of course, I have enough for several days of leftovers and pizza is good hot or cold to me.

Pay It Green

.:: Sunday, October 25th ::.

~ 03:55 PM ~

"...get on with it..."

Happy Birthday Mom!

Nothing but painting left to do on the project. Neale finished her bit today. Yesterday, we bought stain.

I spent a few hours today cleaning the home. Ceiling fans even got a wipe down. Currently, I am watching the Bears get embarrassed in the Nati.

Yesterday, I was up early despite the opportunity to sleep late on a Saturday. We went to breakfast at First Watch and then for a walk. Costco, Home Depot, and Target got more of my money. Our Costco added self check out but we had several items. Neale requested a squash soup for dinner and later I made a slow cooker black bean soup.

On Friday, I had to meet a Ebay buyer at the Train Station in Kirkwood. As I am selling my remaining glass carboys, he bought one for wine making and lives in Saint Louis. The other carboys were just listed. After the exchange, I went to Global Market.

Since it is National Pizza Month and Vegan Week started as well, I am making a very large deep dish pizza.

As it was midterm week at work, I took the last week off from the Soloflex. I like to rest every 8 weeks. But, since my ankle swelled after fight class I missed Krav for two weeks. I kicked a guy's elbow with my recovering ankle. It has gotten much better with the rest.

Cool Tools

.:: Sunday, October 18th ::.

~ 12:22 PM ~

"...zoning...focus...could not..."

Yesterday, we worked our home project and we are almost done. Today, I am painting. The painting should be done this week. Carpet was installed on Friday. The installers each separately said our home was 'cozy'. The second time felt like they were told to tell home owners that statement. One guy noticed my ankle so we talked about kick boxing a little.

The bruise on my ankle is feeling better. I walked with Ellis yesterday. I should be back to Krav on Tuesday.

Not sure why CBS is airing the Vikings/Ravens over the Giants game. I am pulling for the Saints.

Neale is at work. She went shopping yesterday and bought clothes that fit. She is shrinking.

After working on the home project, I went to Friar Tuck's for brewing grains and to Schnuck's for water. When I walked into the store, an officer had a woman in handcuffs walking out. She had a bad day. I found a pumpkin and water for brewing. The pumpkin was a great example of a medium pumpkin. I almost felt bad that I had to gut it and roasted it for brewing. Schlafly's Pumpkin beer was enjoyed while brewing. It should be ready by Thanksgiving.

18 days until my birthday. I have my eye on a Leatherman multitool and a backup hard drive.

There was a passing interest in making my own corndogs but it did not materialize yet. But, I had the dogs, which is rare as salt troubles me. Yesterday, I was in the mood for a hot dog but had no buns. So, I made whole wheat rolls and buns for sandwiches. I really don't understand why people fear or loathe baking. The stuff from your oven is usually much better than mass market store products.

Neale has her last visit to her skin cancer docs tomorrow. Seeing the eye doctor as well. I saw the eye doctor on Wednesday and there was a change. Getting new glasses in January when we can purchase them tax free.

Not letting the 5K bug leave me yet. Thinking about doing a Turkey Day run. Purchased Under Armour heat shorts as the top works so well for cold weather. Neale and Ellis will walk it.

Can Kate of Jon & Kate Plus adopt Ballon Boy since his parents will do jail time?

Red Hill Mining Town
chili tamarind paste
Mother Load Cookies
veg eats

.:: Monday, October 12th ::.

~ 09:53 PM ~

"...Rex Ryan Defense..."

My alarm rang at 7:45AM but I gave myself another five minutes, which became 20 as I dozed only to have another dream. The dream was about students not showing up to class. Eventually, they did.

I woke Neale but she needed another hour so Ellis and I played quietly and I made my morning beverages. Buckwheat pancakes with carob chips sounded good so I made those for breakfast. Agave syrup over the top. Tasty.

Neale awoke at 10AM and we got ready for the day. I started grading while she finished prepping. At 12:30PM we headed for lunch at Mekong, which is having 1/2 price entrees during October. Food was good but not better than Pho Grand.

The visit to the doctor for Neale's stitch removal went well. She was great patient. Next week, she has the skin graft stitches removed. I am back at the same place on Wednesday for an eye check-up. They run this office well. It is quick and efficient.

We walked in the late afternoon, I used the Soloflex, and checking out MNF. Neale is using the DVR.

steam rice

.:: Sunday, October 11th ::.

~ 09:02 PM ~

"...Winslow's Home for lunch?..."

I awoke before 6AM for the 5K but waited for the alarm. Ellis was fed and I made my usual morning breakfast shake (V8 followed by soy milk, kelp, wheat germ, golden flax seeds, flax oil, Spirulina, and pro powder). Then, I made a homemade energy gel (brown rice syrup, organic carob chips, raw agave, & shake of Kosher salt) and poured a travel mug full of Toddy coffee. The sun had not risen yet when I left Webster and it was daybreak by Delmar. Check-in opened with AC/DC's "Back in Black" blasting on the PA (the DJ was lacking in skills I later learned). I picked up my tag and they had not yet found safety pins (which I called paper clips before coffee was finished). I went back to the car until 7:40 and jogged to the start. After stretching only 10 runners arrived at the start so I thought my chances to win my age group finally occurred. But, the rest of the runners/walkers did not check the map and did travel the distance from the rally point. We started a little after 8AM and the course advanced to Delmar. I felt great to the first mile and the second was very good. However, the cold weather and swollen ankle kept me from pushing it until the last 3/4 of a mile. I finished in the upper 26 mins., which was not my plan but I finished strong. There were not place awards or attendance awards. Last 5K of the year? ...maybe not.

I stopped at Starbucks for coffee after sitting in the cold for an hour and a half (walkers took an hour, tallying 30 mins.). The server noticed my number and applauded my efforts. She had a friend suffering from meso and was not doing so with insurance.

Neale was up when I cam home and we got ready. Then, my parents arrived for brunch/lunch at First Watch. We had a great time with them this weekend.

Neale and I went to Walgreen's in the afternoon after our walk. We were discussing a professional issue for me in the parking at Walgreen's for five minutes after parking. We are both educated and stubborn people. We had a respectable discussion of each side of the issue and I noticed a woman in a minivan two spots away to the right staring at us. I waved at her. She continued to unblinkingly stare at use. What is the point of staring after you have been spotted? Stubborn? Clueless? Unaware that people can have debates despite yelling? How about mind your own business?

I painted the sleeping area and Neale noticed she likes that family of "cocoa coffee" colors. I know all to well. Someday I will paint a wall red.

Ellis captures over the weekend:

e bars
e gel

.:: Friday, October 9th ::.

~ 06:44 PM ~

"...creative side..."

I spent the morning working on my online class. Then, Neale needed me to perform my caregiver duties. Since it was raining, we held off on walking. She started working as well. The garbage guys came to pick up what we left in the garage. Before they arrived I took old materials out of the garage overhead storage area. They worked quick and then I swept the garage. Finally, Neale's car is back in its space. We are very close to having everything back to normal.

Ellis and I walked. I picked up Neale's dinner, made pizza, and I need to workout.

Tomorrow, my parents are visiting. My Dad and I will replace the garage door. Neale will be glad to see the old one go away.


.:: Tuesday, October 6th ::.

~ 06:13 PM ~


Neale had her surgery yesterday. She is doing well. There is pain but the Tylenol is helping. Changing the dressing was the most trouble. However, she was able to get out of the house tonight as she is with Debbie currently.

Krav class tonight. Kick sparing on Thursday.

No home improvement tonight. Taking a break.

social approach

.:: Sunday, October 4th ::.

~ 02:28 PM ~

"...eight man front..."

We replaced the trim yesterday. Great improvement and psychologically, there is a more finished look to the project. Also, there are doors hung with door knobs. Neale painted the closet doors and they are almost done.

Currently, I am watching the Bears. Also, the NFL RedZone HD option is great. So far, that is free.

After the game, I need to visit Straub's as I am making a wild mushroom truffle risotto with roasted edamame. Also, if there are good pears, I am making a spiced pear dessert.

Earlier, I cleaned and I am considering mopping the floor. Since it was the spring when I lasted check the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, I did the checks. Ellis hated that part of the day. All is well with the fire safety.

My hiking plate arrived and like my cup, I will paint the bottom black. I should weigh the pack.

The grass needs to be cut and my pepper plants have given their all. It is time to close the growing season in our backyard.

On Wednesday, I bottled my second Oktoberfest brew and assembled my Better Bottle. I should rack my IPA to secondary and add oak. The Better Bottle does not look like it really is 6 gallons but I have not tested it either.

With the Best of Saint Louis list coming from RFT, I asked Neale to pick up Black Thorn pizza on the way home Friday night. Great pizza. Still partial to Pi though.

Best of St. Louis
Winslow's Home

.:: Tuesday, September 29th ::.

~ 10:32 PM ~

"...head south..."

Neale told me that her coworker, Kelly, mentioned how Busta Rhymes personal DJ died from Krav Maga injuries. I am proud to announce my training place is very safe and not a threat. They were glad to see me back after my two week hiatus. I wrapped my wounds and only had one moment of pain during fight class at the end when we working kick defense. I held my own during warm-ups despite no heavy aerobic exercise for the last two weeks. After two hours, I was not wiped from the exertion. Neale stated it was because I am in shape and I reminded her that staying active means being regularly active as round is a shape I do not want.

Next 5K: Miles for Meso


.:: Monday, September 28th ::.

~ 10:25 PM ~

"...secondaries throughout his career..."

Second coat of prime is on the walls. Actual paint coming soon. We are looking for a dumpster to move the old carpet and work trash. Neale has carpet scheduled before Oktoberfest. I can move the basement back in on that day. Working again on Thursday. Maybe Friday but definitely Saturday.

I have a hike planned for Friday and Sunday since my leg is healed. I am staple free. Looks red and ugly but skin is holding together. Back to Krav tomorrow. I will wrap it but if my kicks are correct I should not bother the area. Repacked on

Went to work today. Made flyers. I tried to pick up my rain barrel but the place closed. Oddly enough I ran into Stacy outside the Alton Assessor Office. She was at our place for the Labor Day party. Talked some and moved on.

Got an oil change. I read the paper "Travel" section and decided to give back to Lou Fusz. Since I was alone, I cleaned up the waiting area. I made sure I was unnoticed as it would be strange for a customer to tidy up the area. But, I needed an oil change and my 15K tire rotation.

Picked up a MSR fuel bottle at the Alpine Shop and okra for my gumbo at Global Market. When I think gumbo, I need okra and file powder. The gumbo started with an oven roux (4 ounces King Arthur AP flour, 4 ounces oil in Corning Ware @350 for 90 mins.), which was a touch south of brick red but delicious. I used the trinity (onion, bell pepper, & celery) with okra and Indian eggplants. They are my favorite eggplants right now as their size yields a firm flesh. I have not purchased an Italian eggplant in quite some time. Neale tasted the gumbo and approved. Served over brown rice. Using a different recipe for the rice. There is leftover okra so fried okra is coming soon.

Walked with Ellis. I worked out on the Soloflex. Watched Ken Burns' National Parks while doing chest day.

Racked Oktoberfest #2 to plastic bottling bucket. Very tasty with the coriander seed and orange peel add.

Repacked my expedition pack. Just need food and it is done. Weighing it tomorrow. Then, I will see where I can cut weight. It is 'light' at this point by my standards. Camp towel arriving soon.

Hang Gliding on the "Southern Cross" Winter Trip.

Try the Wine
Gender & Military

.:: Friday, September 25th ::.

~ 11:24 AM ~


Last night, we went to Llywelyn's for dinner and to toast Arthur. They did not have the anniversary Guinness but regular draft is fine for me. Their special was mixed greens with avocado. I could have only done a better job making a salad myself.

There is a performance on campus I need to attend. I have dinner prepared as I made vegan tamales, which are cooling the fridge for my return.

If the weather holds, Erin Bode is performing this weekend. I have not seen heard her perform in a few weeks.

Leg wounds are looking much better. Staples come out Sunday night.

Saturday could be my first attempt at a Pumpkin Ale. All my Better Bottle parts are not together yet.

Passion Pit Seaweed

.:: Monday, September 21st ::.

~ 09:00 PM ~


Thought about eggplant paprikash for lunch but switch my attention to empanadas since it is Hispanic Heritage Month.

Neale visited her doctor for the mole issue. Surgery is on October 5th. When she came back home, we visited Costco and Target. Neale was looking for lotion with SPF. We realized the south county Target sells liquor, wine and beer while searching for V8. She walked Ellis and I mowed the yard as it needed it badly. It is getting darker earlier so by 7PM I was looking hard to see where I did not weed whip. The lawn patch came in great and looks strong.

My sleeping bag arrived and I packed it using one of my compression bags. I just need the stove and food. Pack feels good. Once the stove and food is pack I will consider what to cut to drop weight. I have a local area overnight area hike planned before the official first long range overnight. After our Oktoberfest party, I am considering weekends for the long range overnight.

Probably adding another prime coat tomorrow.

Them Crooked Vultures
High School

.:: Sunday, September 20th ::.

~ 01:31 PM ~

"...break the plane..."

Yesterday, we worked on our stairs and they are much improved. Less creaks is excellent. Then, in the afternoon, we made it to Webster's Jazz Fest, which featured the Soulard Blues Band. I prefer Alvin Jett and the Phat Noisz Blues Band. The rain was light and spotty. The Webster U. Faculty Jazz Band came on after 6 and the rain got worse. If the faculty band was any good, we could have stayed huddled under the umbrella but they were not. Plus, we were hungry so we picked Robust for dinner. Neale had pork tenderloin, which she order cooked until no pink remained and I had the house salad. Their hummus was excellent. Great to see downtown Webster packed despite the weather. Also, a few hot air balloons drifted by as well.

Planned to mow the lawn but it was raining and it is not looking better for the ballgame.

Neale had brunch with her grandfather and went to the mall. Both of us having lost a few pounds need new clothes.

Picked up my camp stove, a Brunton and a Wenzel sleeping bag. My expedition pack arrived this week and I am doing a test pack this afternoon. I would try setting up my tent but it is moist outside.

I finished in the Top 30 at Strides 4 Kids. In the Top 20 for men. That does not seem right.

My leg is feeling fine and looking much better. Everyone is saying that staples hurt when they are removed. I don't mean to sound like "an Internet tough guy" but the cuts itself did not hurt and the repair was not that bad in the ER. I was actually embarrassed by the whole situation.

Thanks Schlafly
Stone Brew

.:: Wednesday, September 16th ::.

~ 01:34 PM ~

"...hey, was that Big Foot?..."

Worked on the home improvement project yesterday. We installed new closet doors, which had to be cut twice each to match the space. Looks great. Waiting for the carpet estimator right now and wanting to start my workout.

Last night, I planned to rack the second Oktoberfest brew to secondary. I filled the glass carboy in the bathtub liked I have done hundreds of times before and lifted the carboy while standing in the bathtub. The carry strap broke. The carboy shattered and I got a few cuts. Neale was on the phone at the time and I called for her to turn on the bathroom light as I was standing in a pile of glass. Three scratches and two cuts on my right shin. We headed to the ER, which was not busy. Two scratches can be covered with Band Aids, one with a Steri-Strip and 16 staples for the cuts. Pain is not bad and it was mostly embarrassing. I can keep it elevated while at the home PC but I am walking for exercise for two days. I hope by Friday I can ride my bike. Running is out for awhile but the staples should be out in 10-14 days. They actually pull out with a small tool. Overall, no beer was damaged or lost and I am switching to plastic carboys. The carry strap is unlike the other three I have used in the past. I have not had the strap for more than 3 years.

Ballon Race

.:: Tuesday, September 15th ::.

~ 06:34 AM ~

"...look like the sky and you taste like rain..."

I realized that over the weekend I managed to bike, hike, or run each day. Last night, I took a night off from exercise and painted in the basement. First coat of prime is on the walls. Should have the rest of the area primed by the weekend. Carpet estimate on Wednesday.

Pi is opening a Kirkwood location. They are in the previous "Two Nice Guys" location.

Back Country

.:: Monday, September 14th ::.

~ 01:14 AM ~

"...what about you?..."

Green Rock hike pictures are up.

Mountain House

.:: Sunday, September 13th ::.

~ 10:15 AM ~

"...who would you start?..."

I purchase a long range expedition backpack for overnight backpacking hikes. I have a hike planned in southwest Missouri for the fall. My tent and sleeping pad arrived. Still looking for a sleeping bag. I am purchasing all of this equipment as 'lightly used' or 'new but affordable'. A Kelty bag or Sierra Designs sleeping bag would be nice but let's not go broke just to take a walk in the woods. Very good products are available without the expense.

Yesterday, we did home improvement and worked on doors. Our bath tub is also getting repaired as a seal broke and water had become an issue. It should be done today.

On Saturday morning, I ran a 5K in Tower Grove. did a great job. It was the 2nd Annual race for them but they worked it well. Money goes to a good cause and med students from SLU run the organization. I had a good time that was consistent with my previous race. With more road work, I could have improved my 25 min. 50 sec. time. However, I was working on the house, doing Krav, and biking mostly. I am in good shape but running for prep for a race I think is best. My legs need to develop and condition to the shock that you don't get sanding or kicking a bag. I plan to do the race in the future. It was smooth running until 2.5 mile mark.

Last night, we had dinner at Aya Sofia and visited the Clayton Art Show. Like most people at an art show, we leave empty handed but saw some great work and the people watching is excellent. I saw my first 60+ woman in ripped jeans. Then, we stopped at Lumière Place to gamble with money that was not our money. I made it on a side project at work, which is a disposable source.

awesome natural phenomena
epic portions
tested on animals

.:: Tuesday, September 8th ::.

~ 06:38 PM ~

"...don't say too much..."

Labor Day pictures are up.

tonight's today

.:: Monday, September 7th ::.

~ 05:48 PM ~

"...reinforce your cover..."

Finished mudding on Saturday and we sanded today. Next, we will prime and work on the stairs. We have to share the stairs next weekend with another installer so we cannot remove them entirely as planned. We will have the stairs demoed and installed in the same day though. We are adding a toe kick to protect the walls.

After sanding and applying a little more mud, we were done. It was a quick 3 hours. Then, Ellis and I went for a walk. I also was able to workout. With the 5K coming up next weekend, I need to run at the track. I have gotten a few miles in on the treadmill.

Our Open House went well. Plenty of people showed and people had a good time. Pictures posted soon.


.:: Friday, September 4th ::.

~ 10:40 PM ~

" know they put a spell on you..."

Busy day. Yard work, errands, and working in my basement. One of my tasks today was looking at the backyard faucet assembly, which takes a real twist of the handle to close. I found out it is a freeze proof faucet assembly and I will purchase a new one tomorrow.

If I am still in the mood for it, I am trying a recipe that baffles me. Grilled pizza. Damn you Bobby Flay as he planted this seed years ago.

white teeth
Quirky Quipper
Not an LOL cat

.:: Thursday, September 3rd ::.

~ 11:15 PM ~

"...couldn't love you more..."

Two Reds: I picked a vine ripened tomato from my plants. Probably to be last seen in a salad. The second red was my towel after fight class. I was dropping my right hand when jabbing and Eddie tagged me. Twice. Guess who will stop dropping their right?

Neale visited Sarah. All is good and getting better.

Our bath tub has a minor problem. We contacted the installer and we should have satisfaction soon.

I read this dog story and it turns out to be fiction. Great story but not true.


.:: Wednesday, September 2nd ::.

~ 12:17 PM ~


I was not fully awake when I made my morning V8 and used too much Blair's Death Rain powder. I hope I only do that once.

Last night, Neale went to a jewelry class that focused on reusing existing jewelry and transforming it into new pieces. She used an earring that lost its match and it became a necklace.

Fight was just what I needed last night. Krav was in the parking lot as we needed a wall for practice.

My doctor has determined that I am young and healthy man. I cleared for another year.

Hike Mark Twain

Photo from our 2007 Dog Swim. More on our photos page.



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