Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our first house

Lately, Stephanie and I have been doing some major house hunting. We feel now is the time to get into the housing market. We keep searching for that perfect house. I have been talking with my parents about things we need to look for in buying a home for a small family.

30 years ago, my parents were doing the same thing, trying to find that first home with their first newborn son. I vaguely remember that home. It was in a good area of St. Louis named Creve Coeur. It was off of a major street and close to my father’s work, which could be considered a good or bad thing. We lived there for just about six years before we moved to where they still live to this day in Kirkwood.

The crazy thing is, I still remember some great memories of the house in Creve Coeur. I remember the neighbors right next door to us that had a basketball hoop. I remember I would go over there at times and they would give me some of the sugary breakfast items that my folks tried to avoid giving me. They had two boys who were much older than me. The husband passed away a few years after we moved away. My mom still talks to the wife from time to time.

There were not a lot of kids right at my age in the neighborhood. So after schools we be exploring in the backyard or, going across the street. There was an elderly couple that lived there. Several days a week, I would come home from school and go over there for Goldfish, 7 up and Jeopardy. We kept in touch from time to time after we left and sadly, when I was in the 4th grade, she passed away. I remember attending her 37funeral and waiting for my folks in the rain to pick me up at school. It was one of the first funerals I had attended. My grandfather passed away after I turned seven; however, my dad was the only one who could attend the services in New Orleans.

I drove by my first house about 8 weeks ago. Not much has changed on the street, other than the people. I remember the neighbors and how they influenced me. Crazy to think that in only living there six years and it being my first home, that I still remember those people and memories. It makes me smile to remember them. The more I look at it, the more I see that your house can be a great house. It could have all the great features you could ever want and more; however, if you have no one around you to support the house, what is it really worth? I will always remember that house; but, I will remember the memories and people much, much clearer.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh LeBron, What happened?

So last Thursday I sat at home with my wife and soon to be four month year old baby boy and just sat back and relaxed. Had a nice dinner and had some good family time. And then I nearly lost my dinner watching the special on ESPN called “The Decision.”

I do not know LeBron James but I must say this: This is one very self absorbed individual. He has a one hour “special” to let the world know how rough this summer has been on him and his family and he wants to move past all of this. I am not exactly sure what moving past all this was since teams and cities were foaming at the mouth to throw MILLIONS of dollars at him. Yeah, sounds rough to me too LeBron. I COMPLETELY understand what you are going through. I mean, the house we are trying to afford and pay off medical bills for brain surgery and a ten pound baby pushed out naturally. Seriously, I get it LeBron.

Then twenty five minutes in he makes his choice for Miami. He ahs to team up with other stars to win a championship. Talk about the definition of NOT being a leader but a follower. He is joining a “dream team” so that he can win the big one. That is what makes you a better basketball player or a better man: FOLLOW someone that has won WITHOUT you.

Then it got even more interesting. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner made a comment to get the situation moved in a whole other direction! You can read the whole letter here, but to summarize: LeBron, I hope you never win anything ever you traitor. The Jesse Jackson got involved.

Sigh. I have never liked Jesse Jackson. Everything is about race and he sticks his egocentric “thoughts” in the middle of EVERYTHING and this is what we get (Jesse Jackson rant.) Just an FYI: Actual slaves did not get a $15 million/YEAR salary! I’m just saying.

In the end, we have a heart broken town, a bitter owner, an activist who claims this bitter owner is a racist and a talented player who is now a follower.

I have to admit I watched it for 30 minutes and then turned it off. You can see a re-creation of the interview here. Thanks to Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd for the recreation. At least enjoy this video.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The River City Rascals-Those were the days

Work was quite busy yesterday, especially when the we had a major water issue at the hotel. We got it all resolved thanks to an amazing staff of people around me.

As the day winded down and carpet blowers were makingRascals Days2 their way out of the hotel, I went to a local restaurant to meet up with a friend and former “associate” from my days at the River City Rascals. For those of us who have worked in minor league baseball, you are more than just 8 hour of day acquaintances. You spend 16 hours a day together during the season and you develop friendships that last no matter where you end up at later down the road. These were not associates. These were friends.

We sat down and were going through stories that were making us laugh as well as stories that were making us reflect upon people who were part of our group who are no longer with us. We kept on telling stories as we left and hung out in the parking lot afterwards going on and on about the times we shared.

We talked about the campouts that were out on the field, the times we played Golden Tee after games in what used to be the arcade and also asked about the friends we had not caught up with in years.

Even after the season, we all still would hang out and enjoy the down time. We talked about how playing Tiger Woods golf until late at night and of course many upon many of James Bond night with someone always getting the missile launcher and blowing up his own teammates.

Since I left the Rascals in early 2005, not one work experience has ever been the same.  That means nothing against the three companies I have worked for since; however, it is something I do not want to replace, but just to remember with fond memories. It took me a few years to realize that but the experiences I have had are not something to be replaced. The associates I have worked with and have worked for are different, but not in a bad way, just different.

I can remember a story about each of those staff members. I will never look at baseball the same since working there. I will also not look at Thanksgiving Day parades the same. I am excited I can go back to the ballpark there as a fan now and support the franchise that supported me for four seasons.

Great memories.

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