Ah, it’s like I said: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

— Quark, speaking the final line of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

The third Star Trek series, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” is now on Netflix Instant Queue.  I don’t want to dwell on the series or the franchise as a whole, but I do want to say that I’m looking forward to re-watching the series.  I have seen all of “Next Generation” and all of “Voyager” twice (or more…) when they’ve been in re-runs over the years, but “DS9,” for some reason, hasn’t been re-played as often since it left television 12 years ago.  At the time, I didn’t like “DS9” as much because, especially in the latter half of the series, they moved to more of a “serial plotline” structure where each episode tied into subsequent episodes.  Back then, I didn’t like it, but now, in the wake of excellent shows like “Lost” and “Battlestar Galactica,” I think I may appreciate “DS9” more than I did.  Today, it seems like practically every drama on television is doing it.  As my Mom always says, “everything goes back to Star Trek”…

Nay, the real reason this post exists is because we visited St. Louis this past weekend.  As has been mentioned before, Brooke has been living down there four days a week while Meg and I have been in Iowa, only seeing each other on weekends.  This past Thursday, however, I went down to speak with a potential employer at Washington University.  No details to write on that front yet, but hopefully it’ll pan out in the near future.

As part of the visit, I decided to stay down there through Sunday (with Meg, of course), getting a chance to see some people that I haven’t seen in awhile.  Meg and I went by SLU on Friday morning, then I went out to lunch with some friends from there.  We went apple picking on Friday afternoon (more on that in another post) with other friends, and then had dinner with them Friday night.  We checked out a potential place to live (assuming I get this job soon…) on Saturday, then went out to dinner with Brooke’s family on Saturday night.  And finally, we went to our old church, Webster Hills, on Sunday morning.

And that brings us to the apropos quote from above: the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Things at SLU had definitely changed a bit.  Some new construction, some new faces.  Dr. Westfall will be retiring sometime late next year, so more changes are definitely in store for my old department.  New progress on research that has carried on in my absence, which is the way of things.

Oh, and in news where change isn’t so good, it seems like every light on Kingshighway now has a “Photo Enforced” sign on it.  Very bad.  I’ll be doing my best to avoid those shenanigans.

At church on Sunday, though, in many ways, it’s like we’d never left.  They did an acoustic “service in the round” where all the folks in the congregation were in a circle surrounding the altar area (this was our idea a few years ago, for the record).  The music was mostly stuff we knew, but there was a newer one we hadn’t heard before.  They also interspersed Bible verse readings between the verses of some of the songs: a nice addition.  There weren’t many new faces there, but there were quite a few people there we hadn’t seen in a long time, so that was excellent.  Basically, being there felt like “home” again.

I guess this separation of our family is just getting to me.  While I don’t mind moving forward with life, getting to do “bigger and better things,” in many ways, I just want to go back to the life we had when we lived in St. Louis: just with a baby along this time.  We ate out on the patio in Soulard on Friday for lunch and all I could think of was how I missed living down there.  It was a spectacular day, after all, and with the leaves starting to change color, it made me wish I could walk home rather than have to drive 5 hours to get to my real house.

It will be interesting to look back on our time in Iowa in 12 years like I’m looking back on “DS9,” whether I will dislike it because of our most recent experience(s), or whether I will grow to appreciate it more.  Right now, though, to continue the analogy, I just want to go back to “The Next Generation:” I was happy with it.

What to do, what to do…..

We’ve been trying to see and do the things we haven’t seen and done yet in the St. Louis area in the next couple of months, as you can see from some of the pictures on the sidebar, since we’ll hopefully be leaving next spring. We’ve been to the Botanical Gardens, revisited the zoo, eaten at Broadway Oyster Bar, and plan to go to Cahokia Mounds and a Blues game. What else should we make sure to do, for all you St. Louisans (or those of you who have been here and been touristy!)???

Happy Birthday To Me…

Car Window......BustedSo…..I woke up Saturday morning to my driver’s side windows both being smashed out.  Our cars are always parked on the street, so it’s really not all that surprising, but not how I expected to spend my Saturday morning.  So, I made the police report, settled everything with the insurance company, and have new windows, but this morning I had to drive to Chesterfield to have an estimate made of the damages to the inside from the glass and rain.  As far as I know, the punks (or “knuckleheads” according to the officer who took my report) have been apprehended and are being charged with breaking the windows out of multiple cars.

As far as this blog goes, my plan is to try to update more frequently since I feel like I consume an awful lot of internet information without putting anything back out there, so I’m trying to even out my kharma a little. And I needed another good reason to purchase our Nikon D60 and this seemed like a good enough one!  Comment often and enjoy!

Another Mardi Gras down…

Mardi Gras went off without a hitch, for the most part… I’ve put up some pictures on Picasa of the event, for those that are interested.

In summary, Kristen, Jake, Sarah, Ben and I went down to the parade and saw some pretty neat floats…and LOTS of people (shown above). The weather was in the 30s F, but since the sun was out, it actually felt pretty good out there! We ended up having a little less than 40 people come by our place after the parade was done…Brooke’s jambalaya didn’t last long! Most people were gone by 4:00, allowing me to fall asleep by 6:00, then wake up again to finish “Monk” and “Psych” with the wife later.

Overall, it was a good day! Lots of clean-up had to be done on Sunday after church, but oh well…it’s only once a year… 🙂

It’s that time again…

Mardi Gras is this weekend, Saturday, February 21, in Soulard. More information can be found at the Soulard Mardi Gras website, with regards to parking and events. As we have for the past few years, we’re making our house available for warming and bathrooms (as the only other options are port-a-potties spread around the neighborhood), as well as Brooke’s jambalaya.

In years past, people will usually come by after the parade (so, after 12:30?) and leave by 2:30 or 3:00. You’re welcome to come by anytime, of course, but that’s when the largest group is there! If you want it to feel like a party…which it isn’t…just sayin’… A lot of people leave Soulard by 6:00, but there are events (concerts?) that go into the evening, if anyone’s interested…no big headliners this year though, it seems.

The weather is supposed to be a high of 34 F with a chance of snow in the early morning. That temperature will probably keep some folks away – last year (weather in the 50s F?) brought all kinds of people out, but two years ago, when it was in the upper 20s F, the numbers were down in the 60,000 range…last year, though, it was closer to 500,000 (so far as I can find…).

Should be a good time! Let me know (somehow) if you plan on being down here so we can watch for you!

What goes around, comes around…

I credit the headline to the wife, for the record…and for the following reason…

While I was at work on Sunday afternoon, Brooke called to tell me about a little adventure the dog had… The front door hasn’t been sealing all the way and, apparently, when I left, it didn’t seal very well… Brooke was in the kitchen for about 10 minutes and, after entering the living room again, noticed the door was open…and the cat was laying at the bottom of the stairs! So, after grabbing the cat (relatively easy compared with what he usually does when he escapes), she noticed that the dog was nowhere to be seen. She walked around the block(s) where we usually walk her and, again, no Edie.

Well, thankfully, when she returned, there was a message on the answering machine from a few nice ladies that had capture the puppy. Apparently, they were driving down to Soulard for a few drinks before the Super Bowl and saw a random dog crossing Russell Ave. right by the Bastille (across from Joanie’s Pizza). They opened the door and she hopped right in! After looking at her tag, they called the phone number and left the message, so Brooke met them and picked up the dog (offering to buy them a beer, of course, but they said that they hoped someone would do the same for them if their dog had gotten loose!).

Needless to say, we’re being much more careful about checking the front door when we aren’t downstairs to keep an eye on the animals.

Anyway, I got home today around 4:30 pm to see Brooke out on the street with Edie for her afternoon walk…with another dog (a Red Coonhound, apparently). This one was loose, but very friendly and was being very nice to Edie, despite her typical whining. So, Brooke looked on the tag and saw the address and phone number (over off Lemp Ave, across I-55!). I called the number and a young woman answered, saying “Charlie’s never gone that far, before!” Anyway, she came over promptly (I had gone inside to get Charlie a rawhide to entertain him until his Momma arrived) and said “thank you” multiple times.

As the great Alanis Morissette once said: “Isn’t it ironic…dontcha think?”?


Nothing too special going on recently, but I’ve been keeping pretty busy…

1). Work has been going pretty well, recently. I’ve been getting lots of useful data, but I’m still waiting on an important piece before submitting my first paper for publication. I don’t really know which journal I want to submit it to yet, either, but that will partially depend on this last piece of the puzzle. Regardless, the data I’ve been obtaining in the last few week has actually been somewhat exciting, so it makes things interesting for me!

2). I got Super Smash Bros. Brawl last weekend and have been playing it mostly incessantly since I unwrapped it. The game is crazy addictive, lemme tell ya… I’m only about a quarter of the way through the single-player portion of the game, as I’ve been dabbling in the Event modes, Classic mode and on-line games trying to unlock characters and levels. If you’ve got a code for me, shoot me an e-mail or something so you can beat me up with Peach! 😛

3). Grounded was last night, and I think this was our 7th one or so. We’ve been having a great deal of fun with it, but it’d still be nice to see more people coming out (third Saturday of every month!). I recently got all the advertising materials from my sister so now I can start editing some things myself. As such, I added a new section to the Grounded site that has photos, wallpapers (I’m still working on those) and, more importantly, music. So yes, you can stream music recorded from monthly Grounded events from your own computer. w00t!

4). We’ll be heading to Columbia for Easter this year… We are supposed to play for the Good Friday service here in St. Louis first so we won’t hit town until Saturday morning. Otherwise, we’ll be at church Saturday night at St. Andrew’s, as per usual, and then hang out with the immediate and extended family on Easter Sunday. Hopefully giant radioactive rabbits don’t crash the party

I guess that’s about it. Tomorrow is St. Patty’s Day, so Dr. Westfall, the chairman of our department at school, always has a huge party (complete with dancers…he has to install a wood floor in the basement for them every year…) and it’ll take up the entirety of my day. Heck of a way to spend a Monday, I say… 😛

Sling Wing!!!

Ok, when we were kids, we played with these contraptions, thanks to my Uncle Bob’s brother.  They’re called Sling Wings and until a few weeks ago, I thought everybody had them, but apparently, they weren’t that well known outside of the Poor family.  Anyway, Mom found one in the garage and brought it to me when Rachel came to visit this weekend, so we headed to the park with the dog to show Andy how real kids have fun…here are the results of this outing:11.JPG


If you look closely, you can see it in flight (it’s yellow…with red, blue, and silver stickers, in case you were wondering).


Me, imitating the Sling Wing.


Rachel.  You use a rubber band to shoot the styrofoam piece like a sling shot.


Andy gives it a try.


Something was funny…


I shot myself and bled…I’m cool like that!


Last, but not least, Edie.

I’ll now take orders…I’m sure Bob will give me the patent…you know you all want some!!

Ranting and raving…

So yeah, Brooke and I have been having some “issues” with our air conditioning unit. Perhaps we weren’t nicer to it earlier in the year…I dunno… Either way, it is being rather uncooperative…

A few weeks ago, we noticed that the air being pushed around wasn’t all that cold… I walked outside and saw that the A/C unit wasn’t even on, but the fan inside still was. We came to find out that it, apparently, had tripped the breaker. The A/C guy (that our landlords promptly called in) said that the A/C unit itself was fine, but it was probably pulling too much current for the 20 A circuit installed in the breaker – we should put in a 30 A circuit instead (like the clothes dryer has).

So, we didn’t have any problems again, really, until this past weekend. On Sunday, we had this happen two times or so, and then another two times overnight (once around 2:00 am and then Brooke had to trip it again when she got up at 7:30 am). We called BSB (our landlords) again and they sent out an A/C person (who said the same thing as the last guy), and an electrician was called out. This person switched out the 20 A circuit for the 30 A and it worked just peachy keen…

…until about 6:00 pm. I was about to go outside and get picked up by Brooke to go to dinner when I noticed it was getting warmer again in the apartment, and again, the fan was still running. This time, however, the breaker wasn’t tripped. I went downstairs to the A/C unit and the thing was running (i.e. you could feel it vibrating as it normally would…), but the fan in the unit itself wasn’t spinning. It was also rather hot to touch (as compared with the A/C unit next to it for the apartment below us). I turned off the system and went to dinner, came back a few hours later, and turned it back on – it worked again!

…but then the same thing happened a little later, so we just left the A/C off all night. We pulled the futon mattress downstairs and turned some fans on us, but the humidity didn’t make sleeping easy. I think I got 4 hours of sleep, but Brooke fared a bit better…

So yeah, now I’m at work (which is air conditioned, thankfully…) awaiting a call from BSB again to tell me what they’re going to do. Edie and Sam are still at home, and I’ve got water and fans turned onto their typical sleeping areas to hopefully keep them as comfortable as possible.

It’s just Murphy’s Law, I guess, that the A/C would go out during the hottest week of the year. I guess it’s better than the power outage last year, when we didn’t even have fans to cool us down or keep the refrigerator/freezer running, but still…it’s damned uncomfortable to sleep in!

Hopefully something gets worked out shortly…otherwise, I think we’ll go nuts…and/or more nuts than we already are…

Update #1: As of 3:00 pm on Wednesday, BSB has decided to spring for a new A/C unit for us. The guy came back today multiple times, and on the third time, found problems with the motor and fan. Hopefully, the new unit will be installed tomorrow or Friday at the absolute latest.

Update #2: Our new A/C unit was installed today (Thursday), and it’s taking forever to cool our place down from 105 F to 80 F…but it’s a start… At least we get TV and internet again!

People are stupid…

Now, I get confused sometimes. Like. I see a plane and think it’s a boat. Occasionally, I mistake cows for iguanas…

…but rarely do I mistake beagles for dachshunds

It has happened four times now when walking Edie. Twice to Brooke, twice for me (all of mine this week…). “Look at the wiener dog!” is the usual exclamation… Never “dachshund,” specifically…simply “wiener dog.”

Now, I realize Edie has some brown and black coloring in her. And floppy ears. And, because there’s some bassett hound in her, she’s perhaps slightly longer than your typical beagle. But in no way does she at all resemble a dachshund.

Just wanted to clear that up…