Monday, August 29, 2005


Mondays only serve to remind you of how great it is to have Saturday and Sunday off.
Mondays are way too far away from Saturdays. The other side of that coin is that Saturdays are way the hell too close to Mondays.

Sorry, I had to vent.

It just makes me feel better.

Yep today is a Monday. I hate them. But, not as much as Wednesdays. Things always seem to go wrong on Wednesdays and time runs in weird ways as well. Basically all the laws of the Universe break down on a Wednesday. This is why I will be petitioning to have Wednesday removed from the week. Okay this will have the sad side effect of shortening the week to 6 days and the working week to 4 days but I think we are better off without Wednesdays.

Now before people get upset and accuse me of simply being a Wednesday hater, I am not keen on Mondays either.

Mondays screw-up your weekend by ending it. Now I am not going to try and get Mondays removed from the week, that would be silly, as I will have already removed Wednesdays. What I want is for Monday to be renamed Sodaday.

There are two good reasons for choosing to change Monday to Sodaday. The first is that I am sure I can get some sponsorship for the idea from large soft drinks companies. Secondly the rule seems to be that weekend days start with a ‘S’ so Sodaday will be a part of the weekend reducing the working week to 3 days.

This will make finding a decent personal-work life balance a lot easier to achieve, don’t you think?

So, I hate Monday’s. Every Monday. Whether it is sunny or overcast or raining or snowing.
But today, I feel different. Why? Because a hurricane, a hurricane that this country has not seen the likes of since 1992’s Andrew’s, has blown through the southern part of this country. A hurricane that has already killed people, and will probably kill more and cause millions and millions dollars worth of damage to the entire southern region.

Yesterday, the mayor of New Orleans got on the television and asked the country to pray for them.

I think we’re all praying for you New Orleans. And Biloxi. And Baton Rouge. And Mobile. And for anyone and everyone affected by this natural phenomenon that reminds us that we are not in charge…Mother Nature is.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

My Twins

My twins are getting bigger every day, and older. And as they are growing older, they can now speak in complex (for a three-year old anyway) sentences. This has given them new ways of communicating with me and with each other (though the latter was never a problem – gotta love twin language). It's interesting to hear the thoughts running through their heads that were previously unknown to us. Now, instead of just bouncing around in their head, they say it…and sometimes, what they say can be an absolute doozy. The other day, while my wife, the girls and I were in the SUV (I know, but at least it’s not a minivan), one of them said, out of the blue: ‘daddy laid a big turd.’

Ooookayyyy. Where that I came from, I have no idea, but there it was…out in the open.

(Now, some of you may be asking where a three-year old learned the word ‘turd’ from. That, sad to say, is my fault. During potty training one day, after one of them had successfully ‘gone potty’ in the toilet, I told her she had laid a big turd. Before I could stop myself from saying the word – they had it memorized and it has been in both of their lexicons ever since. They never remember the words you want them to remember, but they certainly do remember the ones you don’t want them to heat, much less remember, instantaneously.)

The other day, while I was busy getting ready for work and trying to help my wife get them ready for daycare, I told one of them to please hurry up because we have to leave soon. One of them responded by saying: "Drink your coffee, daddy."

It escaped me at that time, but I then realized that I had just been ‘sassed’ and put in my place…by a three year old.


I’ve always been a bit of a smart-ass (people who know me that read this column are saying to themselves: A BIT???), and my wife had really been hoping that our daughters would not inherit that trait from me.

Evidently, no such luck.

They are well on their way to becoming ‘world-class smart-asses’ like their father.

Better that than a Republican.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Know Your Heritage

It’s genealogy time today at the blog.

Both of my paternal grand parents emigrated from Spain in the early part of the last century. I am not certain of the birthplace of my abuela (grandmother), however I believe she was born near Piedras Blancas in 1896 and immigrated to this country through Ellis Island around 1910. Family lore has it that they financed the trip after winning the National Lottery.

My abuela’s maiden name was Maria Gonzalez, and after landing at Ellis Island the family moved to and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Around 1915 she married her first husband Enrique Menendez, a world-class soccer player. They had four children who He died of Tuberculosis in 1925.

My abuelo (grandfather), Florentino Fermin Muñiz, was born In Piedras Blancas in 1892 and immigrated to this country sometime around 1908. The manner in which my abuelo entered this country is not entirely clear, some say that he came via Cuba; others say he may have come via Ellis Island. He and his brother Dan, who came over around 1906, settled in Mannington, West Virginia. I have heard many stories from my aunts and my father about visiting relatives in the Mannington area.

While my abuelo’s route from West Virginia to Illinois is not entirely clear, he eventually settled in Fairmont City, Illinois which is located across the river from St. Louis. Many Spaniards settled in and around Fairmont City in order to work at American Zinc Plant. My abuelo married my abuela around 1928 in East St. Louis.

My abuelo was the first Union President that represented the workers of the American Zinc plant in Fairmont City.

Why am I telling you this? Because your family and its heritage is something to be cherished and remembered and taught to your children, your children’s children, and so on down the line.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

St. Louis Cardinals

My rant today may be, at times, a little negative. But it’s a subject that is close to my heart and I thought I had to voice my opinion.

This year marks the end of two significant and historical eras in St Louis, the end of Busch Memorial Stadium, and the end of the St Louis Cardinals’ relationship with radio “powerhouse” KMOX. Quite a few people are upset, even angry, that both of these events transpired over the course of the last two/three years. I, for all intents and purposes, am not.

How can you ask that?

How can you say you don’t care?

I do care. I have been a devout Cardinal fan for my entire life, as long as I can remember. But I also know that the world of sports, especially in this day and age, is a business. For this blog, I will concentrate on baseball as a business venture and as an entertainment venue.

To brag a little, I have a superior business acumen. Because of that I recognize that baseball is, in the end, a business.

Am I sad and/or upset that they are razing Busch Stadium? Absolutely! I am very sad. So sad I made sure that I took my three-year old twin daughters to a game this year so I can say, and they can say, that they attended a Cardinals game during the last season of Busch.

But it’s a business. They (the Cardinals owners) have to remain competitive, on the field and off. They have to field a baseball team that can win games and, ultimately, the World Series, they also have to be competitive off the field. Sky boxes, shops, restaurants/cafes, kid-friendly attractions, all of these things are needed in this day and age in order to be attractive to families and individuals, both financially and aesthetically.

So to answer your questions dear readers, yes, I am sad and disconcerted that they are razing Busch. I am solaced though in the fact that I have – A. Been to (many, many) games at Busch. B. Have attended a World Series game at Busch (Game 4 in 2004 and hopefully one this year). C. Have taken my daughters to a game at Busch. D. Will make a pilgrimage to St Louis from the Chicago south-suburbs to see them implode it. E. That the Cardinals are trying to go out of Busch in a blaze of glory and winning.

Will the new stadium be as nice as Busch? No one can say until they actually finish it and a game is played there.

Last month, the Cardinals decided to end their 52-year relationship with KMOX and will now have their radio broadcasts provided by KTRS. As part of the deal, the Cardinals are buying 50% of the radio station, and a majority of the station’s programming will revolve around the team.

Experts and pundits that the one big detriment to the switch is that KTRS has a much weaker signal, especially at night, than KMOX. KTRS is (rying to alleviate that by making arrangements with other radio stations to simulcast KTRS’s coverage of the games. KTRS has already made arrangements with WSMI in Litchfield, Illinois to provide wider coverage in that state, and they are looking to add to their 110-station network so that they can cover areas in the Midwest that had relied on KMOX for their broadcast.

Am I sad or upset that they are “abandoning” KMOX? Yes. But again, this is a business. The Yankees (who I despise more than the Cubs) have their own radio station, as do a few other select teams. That way the team has more power and control over what the station does and what their programming is.

A Broadcasting Historian says the move by the Cardinals could be “incredibly stupid.”

Spoken like someone who has not grasped the concept that today’s brand of baseball is not like yesteryears brand of baseball, when all you had to worry about was winning. It’s a business now, and like any business; you have to do what is best for your company’s bottom line. If you don’t, then the company will lose money, which in baseball terms would make it harder to field a winning team. When a team starts to lose, fan attendance starts to drop. When attendance drops, changes start to happen more dramatically. The most dramatic change – change of ownership and moving.

Just ask the Montreal/Puerto Rico Expos, aka, Washington Nationals.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


While I know twins are somewhat rare, how infuriatingly annoying is it when a complete stranger in the middle of the street or in the middle of a store will ask you if your children are twins…seriously, I’m asking all parents of twins/triplets/quads, etc.

I know for me, it is maddening beyond belief. I know some people are, quite frankly, idiots, and may not be able to grasp the concept of two children looking the exact same, but everyone asking, come on.

I don’t want to go off on a tirade, but if you are walking down the street or walking in a store and see two children who look absolutely alike, common sense should tell you that they may be twins. But, if you are not sure, do you really have to ask? Is it really your business if they are twins or not? My opinion (and really, this is only my opinion – though I know other parents of twins who feel the same way) it is not. Why do you think that you have the right to ask if they are twins? Is the fact of not knowing if these children are twins going to alter your life in any way, shape or form? If you do not find out if these children are twins, are you going to be unable to sleep at night or get through your day? I highly doubt it.

So next time dear reader, when you are walking down the street (but really – who does that anymore), or are walking in the grocery or department store and see two kids who look like they are twins – tell yourself that they probably are.

Just don’t ask the parents.

In the immortal words of fellow ranter Dennis Miller: of course that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.