Goodbye, Bella

3 years, 2 months…the longest amount of time I have ever owned a car…

277,000 miles…9 states…many towns visited…4 places of residence…billions and billions of dead bugs and animals…

The purchase of my 2009 Impala was not overly researched or planned out. My Cobalt was “repossessed” at midnight on a Sunday/Monday, and I had the Impala by 11am that Monday morning. When your life is driving and you don’t have a car, well…you have to hustle. The last generation of Impalas have a horrible resale value due to their extensive numbers in fleets, so you can get a year-old one for about half its original price. And it’s a good car…a damn good car…the best car I have ever owned. It was roomy and fast and got good gas mileage…qualities that do not always go together in a delivery vehicle. I named her Isabella, and called her Bella for short…this had nothing to do with freaking Twilight.

As business has grown and diversified this year, I have literally outgrown the car. I’m glad I was good at Tetris as a kid, because trying to put 50-65 boxes in the car could be a real challenge. And some days, it simply didn’t happen. The Mrs. and I owned a cargo van for several months, but we needed a cargo shuttle that could also haul people and get better gas mileage. After a couple months of false attempts and debate, we pulled the trigger and traded the Impala in today for a new minivan (photos soon).

I don’t know what will become of Bella…she’ll be sold to an auction house probably. Hopefully they will be amazed at her good shape for being a 5-year-old car with 320,000 miles. And hopefully she will drive 320,000 more miles.

Perhaps I shouldn’t get emotional over a car…but I don’t give a shit. I love that car and will miss it dearly. But it is time to move forward.

2013-12-20 13.25.59 2013-12-20 13.26.17

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Reboot

Hey gang!

So after many years, I decided to part ways with my former hosting company. Unfortunately, for reasons of which I’m not totally sure, I was unable to import the old blog over to the new server. HOWEVER…thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive, almost all the old posts have been preserved and I will begin importing them over here soon.

More to come…

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Thank you

Wow…where to start here…

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes…

Thank you for all the wonderful gifts and money…

Thank you to Bonnie, Gary and Vickie for handling the financial end of things…

Thank you to all that attended…we sincerely apologize for not being able to have more of you join us.

Thank you to Erin, Kelly, Brian and Tim for being part of our special day…

And thank you to Michelle for making me the happiest man alive.

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Freeman Bosley, Sr.: Genius

Freeman Bosley, Sr. is a long-time St. Louis Alderman, and was recently re-elected to another 4-year term. He ran for Mayor in the mid 80s, and his son (Freeman Bosley, Jr.) was the first African-American Mayor of St. Louis, elected in 1993. I have never cared much for either of them, but the elder Bosley did something this week that both disgusted and inspired me.

I’ll let the Nick Pistor from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch lay this out (story):

Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. says he “dug as deep as he could” to pay for his daughter’s college education.

So the longtime city politician sent an unusual letter to friends and supporters, asking them to provide $14,274 he says is the outstanding balance of his daughter’s upcoming bill at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

“Although the help from scholarships and grants has paid for nearly twenty-five thousand dollars, the remaining balance is still a challenge,” Bosley wrote in the undated letter obtained this week by the Post-Dispatch.

Bosley asked for the checks to be made out to St. Xavier University and mailed to an address in the 3200 block of University Street.

Bosley, a Democrat, appeared indignant when first asked about the letter on Wednesday morning. He told a reporter that he didn’t use any city resources and was just asking for money from friends. The letter wasn’t sent on city stationery or campaign letterhead.

You can also view the actual letter sent out when you read the full story.

After this letter made news…national news…Alderman Bosley decided against this latest campaign (story):

Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. says he will return any donations received in response to a fundraising letter he sent to solicit help paying for his daughter’s college tuition.

“I won’t even open the damn envelope, if that’s what it is,” Bosley said Thursday. “I’ll just send it back.”

Bosley came under fire Wednesday after the Post-Dispatch reported he had written a letter seeking donations from “friends and supporters” to pay the $14,274 he says is the outstanding balance of his daughter’s upcoming bill at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

“Since you made such a stink out of it, I’ll return any money,” Bosley told a reporter, adding that he had not yet received a donation. “You really have blown that thing well out of proportion. I did nothing wrong.”

Let me tell you how I interpreted the initial letter:

“I decided to send my daughter to an expensive high school, and now she’s going to a private university. Rather than live within my means or teach her a lesson in finances, I’d like my friends to pay for it.”

Is he or his daughter aware of student loans? Or all the websites and guides out there that point out the ridiculous amounts of scholarships and grants available? Or did they consider one of the great public universities in this country? Or even a great private school close to home like SLU or Wash U? One where she could live at home?

He may have done nothing wrong politically, but…wow…and this guy was just re-elected in March…

But the good Alderman has inspired me…he has inspired me to shoot for the stars…and I will do so right now.

We want to send Kiddo to a private school…because he deserves it. But we simply can’t afford it right now. Would you be willing to sponsor and support our darling boy? Please contact me for a mailing address.

;-)

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June 21, 2013

Sometimes you’re moving along in life, and things seem to be going well…then you run into a brick wall. You’re shaken up, your life is totally changed and you’re badly hurt. But then you begin to recover…and your life becomes better than it was before…much better.

As many of you know, I moved permanently to Kansas City in December 2010, having been here on business off and on since July. A few months after I moved here, I met Michelle…at a really obnoxious bar in the Power & Light District. I wasn’t even looking at her in “that way” until my friend Troy broached the subject. We went on a date 2 days later and have been together ever since.

These years in Kansas City have been the greatest of my life thus far, with a lot of that due to Michelle in my life. She is the greatest woman in the world, and I am very lucked and blessed to have her. And I am now something that I never wanted to be or thought I would be–a parent. Alex is a great kid, and I love him as if I helped create him myself. And I love being a parent.

If I could, I would give Michelle the wedding of her dreams…but we are realistic people that don’t want to spend a fortune and/or take on debt. So we’ve talked about having a simple wedding for some time now…and now the time has come.

I am pleased to announce that Michelle and I will be getting married on Friday June 21st. It will be a small simple ceremony with just a few family members and friends. However, my hope is to have gatherings in both Kansas City and St. Louis to celebrate this ridiculously awesome union in the coming months. I hope to see you there!

I love you Michelle…and I can’t wait to make you my blushing bride. :-*

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22 Things Happy People Do Differently

Someone posted this list over at The Cellar, and I’ve seen it in a couple of other spots as well. I try to do these things as much as possible, though it’s easier said than done. Maybe it will help you too.

1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

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So long, Stan

I knew this day would come, especially with his failing health…but it doesn’t hurt any less…

Stanley Frank Musial, born in Donora, Pennsylvania on November 21, 1920…spent 22 years with the St. Louis Cardinals as an outfielder and first baseman…24 All-Star selections…3630 hits…475 home runs…a .331 lifetime batting average…

Clearly, he was one of the greatest ballplayers to ever play the game. But he transcended that…

If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in St. Louis, you have learned about Stan Musial. You revere him…you have met friends outside Busch Stadium by the Musial statue…you have seen the crowd go apeshit on Opening Day at Busch Stadium as he is announced…you’ve seen him break out his harmonica for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”…

I had the honor of meeting him as a kid…he was an owner of Red Bird Lanes, a bowling alley in South City where I bowled in a league. I got a trophy for Most Improved Bowler during our league one year…he presented me the trophy and I got to shake his hand. I think I have his autograph somewhere among my belongings…

Stan Musial was larger than life, yet more human than most folks. Cardinal Nation will be in mourning for some time…Opening Day is almost here, and Busch Stadium will simply not feel right for a bit. But the Cardinal greats in Baseball Heaven will be watching over Baseball Heaven…and the Cardinals will delight the masses for another year…

So long, Stan…you truly were “The Man.”

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Tinfoil Theatre

Barack Obama has employed Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o to distract Americans. He’s installing himself as dictator for life earlier than planned because his Kenyan mother and father are about to reveal that Sandy Hook was a hoax.

Thank God the government can’t hear my thoughts with this new hat…

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Am I getting old…or smart…or both?

I used to be able to throw down some alcohol, mainly beer. There would be weekends in high school (yeah, my friends and I started early) where I would down 3 40-ounce bottles of beer in a night. That’s the equivalent of 10 beers. Then there was the period where I was pretty much drunk every night for almost 4 months…at age 21.

I’ve slowed down and become much more responsible since those days…there are times now where I go months without drinking. But here and there, I like to live it up. Last night was one of those nights.

Michelle and I went out with some friends last night…we had a DD, so I decided I was gonna drink hard. And I did…6 25-ounce beers over the course of 6 hours…12 1/2 beers. Wow…

Fortunately, I do not/did not have a classic hangover. I was drunk, but probably more tired than anything. But I definitely felt off when I got up…and still do.

I enjoy beer and wine and other spirits…I enjoy the actual taste of what I drink. And I do like a nice tidy buzz. But I just can’t drink like I did last night anymore…it’s not good for me physically or mentally. I had some cottonmouth this morning and felt worn out, but didn’t feel too bad physically. Mentally though, I just felt really off-kilter…still do, though feeling better now than I did when I got up 4 hours ago.

Above all, I don’t like the feeling of losing control as I get less sober…I was fairly well-behaved last night, but still. Besides…I’m probably more ridiculous sober than when drinking. ;-)

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Let’s simplify things

This post started as an idea a few weeks ago…maybe sooner. I’ve been trying to find the right words for the last few days…I wanted to strike “an appropriate tone.” But…well, read the title of this blog post.

I have one simple goal in 2013…to simplify my life: finances, relationships, health, etc. I am 37 years old…I have a wonderful fiancée…an awesome son…a great family and friends. But I am fucking sick of dealing with unnecessary nonsense bullshit!

I’ve always prided myself on keeping one foot in the mainstream and the opposite hand holding a freak flag. That’s not going to change, but a streamlining is needed, and it starts now. I’m sure I will confuse some and piss off others…I already do that though, so no change there. But I have to do what is best for me and for my family.

Talk is cheap…but the actions I take this year will far outshine any words I’m putting in this post right now.

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