a message from jeterville...
take me back
While I was driving to my daughter's volleyball match yesterday the cell phone rang. It was my daughter telling me that the game had been scheduled wrong and it was today instead. Oh well, I just shifted gears and went back home -- after stopping at the school to notify my wife about the change. She'd already been there for a few minutes and had found out on her own. However, she had to wait there though to tell her Mom and Dad who were also on their way. It all kind of worked out OK though because my son was concerned about getting to eat before soccer practice because immediately after practice he and my wife go to their weekly Citizen Academy at the local Pierce County Sheriff precinct from 7-9:30 PM. Plus, my brother wanted to go to my daughter's volleyball match, but couldn't unless the game was today. He was quite pleased when I told him about the change and will be there this afternoon. On top of that, my wife's Mom was not feeling well so she couldn't make it to yesterday's match. She believes that she will be feeling better today so that she can make it. This is truly one of those situations where the cloud does indeed have a silver lining. This morning though, I'm not so certain. After hopping into my car and starting the engine I turned on the headlights to find that one was burned out. I always keep a spare on hand just in case this happens, but a job that normally takes -- like -- 2 minutes ended up taking about 15. Most of the delay was caused by the fact that I didn't want to get my work clothes dirty, but some of it was due to the fact that that stupid bulb did NOT want to come out!
After I was done my hands were filthy, but my clothes were still clean! I had to get back in the house to wash my hands though and the whole thing made me about 10 minutes late for work instead of my usual 10 minutes early. 15 of the minutes of the 20 minute time swing were because of the headlight and the other 5 was due to the difference in traffic volume that just a 15 minute delay will cause -- even on a Friday.
I suppose I should look at this optimistically because the only bad thing that really happened was the light bulb burning out. Yah -- I had a bit of struggle switching the old bulb for the new one without breaking it or touching the new lamp (it's a halogen) but I did manage to do it without getting my work clothes dirty. Plus, the fact that I had another headlight on hand was a plus. Driving around here with only 1 is not a good idea. However, I hope that this initial "incident" isn't a sign of things to come today. It sure would be nice to have a nice quiet Friday.
What do you think?
Talk about BUSY!!! WOW!
I must apologize to those that actually visit and read my message on a regular basis, but the last 2 weeks have been extremely FULL and I don't see a break coming for a couple more. SO in the interest of getting on track I'll spare you the BS and get straight to it!
First off, I'd like to welcome the two *new* folks that added my site to their 'favorites' list! I look forward to your return visits. Secondly, I have a confession to make -- Saint Louis was a great city! I TOTALLY misjudged it and should have known better! We had a blast, even though the conference was pretty much mediocre. Let me tell you a little bit about my trip -- and YES, I did find adventure in St. Louis...
Saturday 9/30/2000 -- We left Sea-Tac 45 minutes late, but when I got on the plane I didn't care too much. You see, my assigned seat was a window on the '2' seat side of the MD-83 in the first row after first class -- meaning I could stretch my legs out as far as I wanted and STILL couldn't touch the seat in front of me!!!
On top of that, I was seated next to one of the friendliest traveling companions I'd ever had -- a very nice young lady that grew up in Seattle and was heading to Nashville to visit her boyfriend after spending a couple days with her family in Seattle. Her name was Renata and she works as a flight attendant for a commuter airline based in Chicago. She had just graduated from college in May 2000 and was posturing herself for Law School at NYU in two years -- very ambitious and admirable.
It didn't take us long to get 'chatty' and we didn't stop until we landed in St. Louis. We learned an aweful lot about each other in 3 1/2 hours discussing everything from family to school to philosophy to relationships. It turned out that we had very similar ideas about almost everything -- and we hit it off big time! In fact, one guy from our group that sat across the aisle from us ribbed me later for disturbing him. While we were recapping our flight over dinner, he told the group that he had tried to sleep, but every time that he nearly dozed off "Jeter and his little girlfriend would start laughing and woke me!" I accused him of being jealous and he said "You're right!" As were all my travleing companions!
After touching down in Saint Louis, Renata and I told each other just how much we enjoyed talking and wished each other good luck. We never exchanged business cards or e-mail addresses or anything. It was just one of those great 'slice of life' moments that I'll remember for the rest of my life. The whole thing kind of reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry meets that girl and the plane and they end up partying the whole flight. I only say this because of how jealous my 5 traveling companions were about my luck in traveling companions -- kind of like how Elaine was so upset at Jerry after their flight in that episode.
The flight in was definitely the highlight of the trip for me, but here are a couple more events that highlighted our day of arrival.
-- The crazy National Car Rental bus driver that nearly took out one of their rental cars while weaving through the crowded lot at about 40 miles per hour.
-- A major traffic jam around the Transworld Dome after a college football game that kept us from getting to our hotel until about 9:00 PM local time -- nearly 3 hours after we landed.
-- Witnessing a police chase the wrong way up a one way street.
-- Nearly getting side-swiped by a Clydesdale pulling a taxi on the waterfront.
-- Two bikers making a left turn in front of us against a red light. After seeing this, Mark was convinced that lights in St. Louis merely provided a suggestion to motorists, and really didn't mean anything. This theory was re-confirmed all week every time we tried to cross a street.
Sunday 10/1/2000 - We got up early to register for the conference and attend our 'Academy' sessions, but found that two of them had been canceled -- including mine. That was all the coaxing I needed to sprint to the concierge desk and inquire about tickets to the Cards-Reds game. Well, I managed to get two great seats to the sold out regular season finale from a 'ticket broker', so Mark and I walked the two blocks to Busch Stadium to enjoy the game. The Cards fans were great fun and it turned out to be a gorgeous day! In fact, it was unseasonably warm the whole time we were in town -- mid 80s up until the last day when it rained.
After watching the Cards beat Griffey and the Reds 6-2, we went back and the whole group went for steak at Dierdorf and Hart's steakhouse -- which was pretty darn good.
Monday 10/2/2000 through Wednesday 10/4/2000 - Most of these 3 days were consumed by the conference, however we did find some time to relax and see the sights of the Gateway City. Here are the highlights:
-- The giftshop of the International Bowling Museum and Cardinal's Hall of Fame is right across the street from Busch Stadium. A few of us went there to get Christine some bowling related 'gifts' for covering for Mark while he was gone. The employee that rung up our purchses was one of the slowest guys I'd ever seen. He kind of fit right in there in St. Louis though, where everything moved much slower than Seattle. For instance, anytime you went out for dinner you could pretty much count on at least a 2 hour ordeal.
-- The Gateway Arch and Jefferson Expansion Museum, which was very cool! In fact, the museum was one of the best U.S. historical museums I'd ever seen! It covered the entire journey of Lewis and Clark in detail. Plus, the view from the arch was cool, although the lack of mountains was extremely disturbing. The highlight though had to be the mode of transport to the top of the arch -- where 8 - 4 foot diameter tuna cans with 5 seats in each slowly took us upward inside either 'leg' of the arch on a modified ferris wheel transport mechanism. The canisters were very cramped and had no air conditioning, so if you had 4 heavy breathers trapped with you it got very stuffy in the 5 minutes it took to get to the top. One of our group wondered how long it would be before McDonald's convinced St. Louis that they should build an adjecent arch and paint them both yellow. We didn't think that this was too far fetched, as a McDonald's restaurant occupied a huge paddle wheel boat on the Mississippi River right near the base of the arch.
-- The fountains and parks on the Mall that lead from the arch through the entire city made very nice urban gathering spots. In fact, many of the rallies for the Cardinals and Rams were held there during our stay. This town REALLY loves it's sports! They even had red water running in their fountains to celebrate the Cardinals reaching the National League playoffs.
-- We also spent a considerable amount of time in the sports bar in the hotel watching the Mariner's beat Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons!
-- After the close of the conference on Wedensday afternoon, we decided to walk to Hooters in Union Station -- an old railroad station coverted to a mall -- for chicken wings. The walk was nice and we were able to view some of Saint Louis's magnificent architecture. Plus, Union Station turned out to be a very nice, multi-level mall with cobblestone walkways and a wonderful ambience. Oh yah, and Hooters wasn't bad either! Craig bought a shirt and had all the girls sign it for him -- this seemed to make his trip.
Thursday 10/5/2000 - We got up early and had a breakfast meeting to recap the conference. Concensus was that it was merely mediocre due to the heavy contraversy over the maturity of CATIA V5. After that, we checked out and headed for a tour of the F18 final assembly area at the St. Louis Boeing plant. The tour also included a stop at the AV8 (Harrier) restoration line as well as the manufacturing facility. The tour was enlightening and fun, but by the time it was done everyone seemed to be focused on getting home. After killing most of the 2 hour delay in the bar watching the St. Louis Cardinals dispatch the Atlanta Braves, we climbed aboard the 757 for home. The flight was a bit more than4 hours and wasn't nearly as exciting as the flight in -- although we did get to see Shanghai Noon after getting our 'wonderful' airline snack.
When I got out front at Sea-Tac with my luggage, Pam was waiting and she whisked me home after a very pleasant visit to St. Louis, Missouri.
Pictures are in development now and I'll add some when I get them back -- OK?
Well, well. Fall is in full swing and we're all so happy -- right??? I am!!! I love Fall and the rain, and the falling leaves, and the hot cider, and just darn near everything about it!!! So I'm in my element, on top of my game and rarin' to go. And how are you???
Now, I know this message is a couple days early, but you know, why put off 'til Sunday what you can do today? Actually, I will be out of town for a very short time -- starting tomorrow morning -- and wanted to be sure that I didn't leave you hanging 'til I got back. Of course I'll tell you all about my trip upon my return, but I haven't even left yet so stop hasslin' me! JEEZ!
In case you were wondering, I am going to St. Louis for a conference. Pretty exciting huh? My hotel is three blocks from Busch Stadium, one block from the Mighty Mississippi and *directly* across the river from that gigantic arch thingy. You know, it's not an arch at all. It's really a complete oval, except one-half is buried below ground!!! Yah right! And the Alamo has a basement!!! It does, just ask Pee Wee!
It should be fun though as I've never been to St. Louis -- home to Rams, Cardinals, Blues, Duff, I mean Budweiser Beer (mmmmm. beer...), BIGFOOT 4x4 Inc. (har, har...) and The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame (snicker...) -- and with all these WONDERFUL attractions, I can't for the life of me figure out why I've never felt compelled to go there on my own dollar!!! It's a mystery...
Anyway, from the time my plane leaves the ground, until the minute it lands me safely back in Seattle I'll be pursuing adventure! If I happen to find any I'll tell you when I get back -- OK? I'm thinking it could easily happen at the Bowling Museum -- wonder if they have Moses' bowling sandals on display -- whaddya think??? I hear he had a 220 average and never, ever missed on the beer frame!!!
Don't worry, I'll be back soon! In the meantime, have a great weekend!