Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The only way I can win at the work pool is if UCLA goes all the way.....which is a pretty fair possibility.....even then, I can only get second place or a tie for second.
Still..........Go Uclans......................

I came across a page of stuff I wrote back in Jan. of '99. Don't recall if it was all from my head, but it looks like it.
Here it be..............

**There will always be someone richer and poorer than you. That much is certain. So just accept where you are, with the hope that God's will leads you to what you will need.

**Life never stays constant. Always, it will change. You will never be disappointed.

**However, love can be the only constant. Through it all, love stays. Through good and bad, true love stays.

**Having faith doesn't mean that things will not go wrong, and you will not sometimes fall down.
But having faith gives you the strength to get up. Again. And again.

**What is essential is invisible to the eye. Still, keep looking for that essence.

**When things go well, enjoy them. Don't worry that it can't last. Truly, it can't.
So don't spoil it by worry. When things go poorly, endure them. Don't worry that it will never end. Truly, it will. Time has proven that all things come to pass. Good and Evil.

**When you think you can't, then don't think. Just do. Reason cannot answer every ill. Go to God, who is above reason, and gives answers to your heart.

Friday, March 24, 2006


My bracket is still looking pretty good. Worst case, I can lose 26 games total. Chances are, I'll do better than that...UCLA and Texas gave me quite a scare last night.
We got to go out to lunch today, bought some light fixtures and paint to fix up the crib, went downtown to see THE NEW BUSCH STADIUM.
It is going to be very different. I still loved the architecture of the old stadium. In its heyday, it was state of the art, with the continuous arched roof to match the Arch down on the riverfront.
The new ballyard will be more open, and hopefully more fan friendly. It would be like a furnace on some nights at the old place, and at a day game, you just couldn't sit in the sun.....
Casey Stengel, at the first All-Star game played there, was asked what he thought about the new stadium.
"Well, it holds the heat well", he said, in his own inimitable style.
The new park will feature open areas in the outfield, with more straight up seating. So we shall see.
Of course, the only way I'll go is if someone gives me a free ticket. Prices were increased again. Can you imagine that......
And ticket brokers have bought up a ton of ducats, to sell at premium prices. Sounds like a legalized form of scalping, if you ask me.
Opening day is April 10....
Go Redbirds!!

Monday, March 20, 2006


Well, today I start spring break. Sunday we had a great party for my daughters little Petey's first birthday, and everyone had a nice time. He is a sweetheart.
The wife and I had lots of plans for this week....lunches, maybe some painting and spucing up the homestead, try some golf, go downtown.....alas, she comes down with an infection, sick all night, ER all day....poor darlin' was so sick.
Doing well now, thank God.
So much for plans.
As luck would have it, tomorrow we may get the first significant snowy morning on a day when I already have the day off. It doesn't count as a snow day if its in spring break.
Waste of good bad weather.
How are your March Madness brackets coming along? With all the upsets and Cinderella teams, most peoples are probably pretty messed up. I won't know how I'm doing until we get back to school next week. I won the pool last year....pure luck, I know....still, hope is in the air, just like that desperation three-pointer at the buzzer.
Just read the book "Hoop Dreams" about two Chicago kids from the Cabrini neighborhood who make it out of poverty to college hoop success going very different routes....makes me look at the kids on the court in a deeper way, wondering how they got to where they are, what their personal stories are...how much struggle they have in their lives.....how many will go on to future hoop success....
Very few will make the big paydays of the NBA, but some go on to play in Europe or other pro leagues. Still, for most, their college career is all they have.
Hope they get that degree.
By the way.......I got UCLA winning it all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Here is the latest column from the Suburban Journals of St. Louis. More on this theme in days to come.

(How is your Lent coming along?)

March, 2006

When we come to the point in our lives when we are called “middle aged,” so many factors come into play. In the past, I’ve touched on some of these, such as being in the “sandwich generation”, seeing kids growing up, some still at home, and elderly parents in a state of decline. The stressors of this time in our lives can be very real.
So on a serious note, I wanted to mention something about mid-life crisis.
It can be something more than wanting a new car, changing jobs, or trying to run to the mailbox without getting winded. For women, menopause is a real physical phenomenon, carrying along with it many emotional side effects. It has been well-documented, fairly well-treated, and is becoming better understood as more and more women are entering that phase of life.
A less-well documented and treated issue is the condition of male menopause.
Men from the ages of 40 to 60 can find themselves coming into life situations that may take a toll on them, even if they are not knowing it or acknowledging it.
Coming to the middle of life knowing that they may not be rich like they thought they would be by now, having a failed or less than fulfilling marriage, coming to the end of their working lives, facing retirement years and wondering if they will have enough money to make it for the next 20 years or so. The loss of youthful vigor, so closely connected to “maleness”. Troubles with children. Will I be healthy enough to enjoy my “golden years”, and not be Grampa Crabby at family gatherings?
These are only a few of the many things that can affect a man as he heads into mid-life.
Recent studies show that about 40% of all men in the 40 to 60 age range fall into some level of depression. The problem with this is that many men deny this, under the need to “be strong, fight through it, it’s just a phase.” Hey, Dr. Phil says we need to just “get over it”.
This needs to change.
Unfortunately, when we say “mental health”, we are conditioned in our society to think “crazy”. This can put road blocks in the way of people who would otherwise seek help. Why is it okay to take of one’s own physical health with diets and workout plans, golf and jogging, but when it comes to the health of the emotions, which so much controls the physical, it has to be done quietly, or not at all?
We see anxiety and depression in children, in teens, in young adults, in senior citizens. Why is it any surprise that it exists in middle-agers as well? Sure we may have more money than ever, be finally seeing our kids growing up to be great adults, have met some levels of success in our chosen careers. But sometimes life’s crazy twists can hit us in a different way, knock us for a loop, when we least expect it.
So it should be no less right to take the steps to improve your emotional well-being than to drop 15 pounds if you’re overweight. No less okay to talk to a professional counselor to help you over life’s humps than to workout 4 days a week for 30 minutes to improve your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Sometimes it takes more than putting a smile on your face, or crossing over to the sunny side of the street. More than prayer and acceptance and forgiveness, all good elements in the plan for emotional healing, but not the whole thing.
Sometimes it takes pro to help you get through it all.
So, seek help where it may be found. Use your employee assistance program, see a clergyman, contact family services available through religious and public agencies.
Don’t be afraid to get the help you need. For the sake of your loved ones. For your own sake.
Hard as it may be to take this step, it may be the most important one you take in your

Monday, March 13, 2006


We just were missed by the massive weather system that came through the midwest this weekend.....thanks be to God for sparing us....but may He also give strength and courage to those who lost loved ones, property and their livelihoods. It is amazing what water, wind and hail can do to change lives.
Just another example of...you never know.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


You may know a precocious little one......... one of your own, a friends, a grandchild. Here is a short piece about one whom I have the privelege of knowing.



Little Clara loved the park. It was just down the block from her new house, a bungalow on the north side. It wasn’t a very big park, but it had swings and birdies, and that was what Clara liked. Plus, the train that brought her daddy home from work every day came right by the park. So Clara and her mommy would wait there for the big train to roll by. Then she and mommy would walk home with her daddy.

Clara was little, but she was very smart. One day when she and her daddy walked to the park, Clara didn’t want to swing. She didn’t want to watch the birdies. And she didn’t want to wait for the train. She wanted to keep walking. Her daddy was not sure just where his daughter wanted to go. He was with her today because her mommy had just had a new baby, a brother named Peter. So daddy was staying home to help out, and to take Clara to the park.
Well, Clara had her mind made up that they were going to keep walking. So daddy held her tiny hand (she was almost two years old, but she was very petite) and they continued to walk. They went to the end of the path in the park. Then they went on to the sidewalk. Then, to daddy’s surprise, they continued up the small hill and over the train tracks!

Daddy was smiling, wondering where in the world his little child in her pink coat and pink hat with the tassels and ear flaps was taking him.

Down the short hill and into the downtown area, past the newspaper stand and turning onto the main street they went.
Clara stopped, and daddy looked down. Her shoe needed to be tied. So he tied her shoe, and then they continued to walk along the downtown sidewalk.
Clara was looking into the windows of the shops as they passed them.
Finally, she stopped outside one of the shops. It was the bakery that she and her parents had taken her to before.
So this is where she wanted to go, thought an amazed daddy!
Inside the shop, as daddy bought coffee and some donuts, the gentle lady behind the counter gave Clara three cookies for free.
And just like that, Clara reached up for her daddy’s hand. Holding the precious bag of cookies, they made their way back home. Past the newspaper stand, up the small hill, over the train tracks, and through the park her little legs went with a purpose. Daddy realized then and there that here was a person who made up her mind and did something about it.

A lot like her mommy, he mused.

When they came home, and she had taken off her pink coat and pink hat with the tassels on it, Clara took her bag of cookies to her mommy.
She carefully opened the bag. Reaching in, Clara handed one to her mommy.

Then, to the surprise of both her parents, she offered the next cookie to her new baby brother, nestled in her mommy’s arms.

Petey, being only a week old, couldn’t enjoy the generous gift of his big sister. But as sure as it is that this story will be told to him many times over, that is how sure we are that love comes in many forms.

Sometimes it's just the simple sharing of a cookie.