Category Archives: Personal

A Nice Story

Every now and then I see something in the news that restores my faith in humanity.
This nice story about adoption, and what makes a family is one of those.

Why Family Adopted a Grown Man

Southwest Airlines

We’re flying to Denver to visit some friends, and on a nice direct Southwest flight.

I really do like flying Southwest. The entertaining way that their flight attendants have of giving the safety briefings is really clever. Like a good television commercial (think Jack-In-The-Box) you wind up paying attention because it’s funny.


Flat Tire

Linda had a flat tire on her MINI today.


Loading onto the flatbed for the trip to Tire Pro.


Favorite Robert A. Heinlein Books


These are all novels..  RAH was a terrific short-story writer.  That list will take longer to compile…

Presented in rough order of my rating (within each grouping).
Classic Heinlein:
Glory Road
The Door Into Summer
The Puppet Masters
Methuselah’s Children
Double Star
These are probably considered some of his “Juveniles”, but all of his stuff is readable by adults (and especially by adults who are still young at heart!):
Have Space Suit-Will Travel
Citizen Of The Galaxy
Star Beast, The
Tunnel in the Sky
The Rolling Stones
New Heinlein:

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Stranger In A Strange Land (not the “uncut” version)
Time Enough For Love  (after Methusula’s Children)
JOB: A Comedy of Justice
AVOID these unless you just have to read all his books, or you are stranded on a desert island:
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
The Number of the Beast
Farnham’s Freehold
I Will Fear No Evil
To Sail Beyond The Sunset



Wow, I am really not good at keeping this blog updated!

Now that our big cruise is four months behind us, I’m going to try and post a few scattered thoughts about it.

Manhattan camera stores in the islands
pool sloshing
ice sculpture
wrong side of road, right side for steering wheel
bought socks
luggage gorillas
mask defog with stuff living in it
Hertz Neverlost
Hand sanitizer
Orient Beach

Impromptu Zoo Visit


Linda heard about a “Zoo Garage Sale”, which we (Don. Linda, Alex and Elizabeth) attended. It was interesting, but not really fruitful. I did buy a neat Moose candle thingee.

We then wandered through the zoo a bit, although it was pretty cool and Alex had not brought a coat. This was my first outing with our new Nikon D50 dSLR, and I took a lot of pictures of bears and penguins.

Truck-Stop Breakfast


Last Saturday, the St. Louis MINI Club had a Truck-Stop Breakfast  Run.  About 13 MINI Coopers met up for a 25-mile run through some twisty back roads, ending up at the old Diamonds for breakfast.

Breakfast was good, and the drive was fun, if a bit slower than usual due to the driveway-like road we were on for much of the trip!

Here is a brief photo album of the adventure.

Dog Park


Well, here we are on the way to the dog park about a week ago (Feb. 26th to be exact).

The dogs look anxious.

Here’s a shot I tried to take of Fable standing behind me in the MINI Cooper.:


So Long Suncoast


This Saturday we discovered that apparently all of the Suncoast (and Sam Goody) stores in St. Louis are closing.  This means that places like the West County Mall and Chesterfield Mall no longer have a place you can go to browse for DVDs and CDs.  Okay, sure, I bet Sears has a selection, but really…

Okay, I know it’s just a store in the mall that sells DVDs for essentially list price.  Nonetheless its closing truly saddens me.  I think I’m really mourning yet another nail in the coffin of the shopping mall as an interesting place to be.

I’ve always liked shopping malls.  At the risk of sounding shallow or materialistic some of my fondest memories of childhood are going to the mall with my mom.  In those days, the mall had all kind of cool things – toy stores, hobby stores that sold things like chemicals and test tubes, and of course book stores.

If this sounds like an old-guy rant on the good old days, and how civilization/kids/music/sports/food was so much better back then then that junk we have today, well, so be it.

I’ve been lamenting for years how the interesting stores seem to be vanishing at the malls, and the trend continues.  In a few years, unless buying clothes is your major thrill, there will be little point in going to the mall.

As evidence, here’s an off-the-cuff list of neat stores that we’ve lost from local malls in sem-recent memory:
The Warner Brothers Store
The Nature Company
Rand McNally
Camelot Music
B. Dalton (as a small in-mall store)
FAO Schwarz
KB Toys

I know I’m missing at least a few bookstores.  Sure, we have huge stores now (Borders, B. Dalton), and that’s nice in a way, but it’s much more of a monoculture now, and that’s never a good thing.

End of old-guy rant.

Interesting Links #1

Just a brief entry to mention some interesting websites I’ve come across lately (okay, lately might mean in the last 6 months…)

This is an interesting (if occasionally juvenile) manifesto on video gaming.  I agree with most of the points made therein.

The strandbeest is just really, really odd.

Some though-provoking stuff on careers, jobs and work (these words may or may not be synonymous in reality).

Need a way to get to a human from a voice-mail system?  Check this site out.

Looking for a new underground lair from which to hatch your nefarious plans?  I’d start looking here (the Bathstone Quarries):,,2087-1849406,00.html

If that’s on the wrong side of the ocean, this one might be suitable:

My friend Tim always thought that this was the future, as far back as 1981.  Technology has just about caught up with his vision:

Any of you who might be screenwriters might be interested in this software, especially as it works on the Mac as well as that other slightly more popular platform.