Monday, November 19, 2018

Madeleine Monday


As mentioned, we took the tyke to the seasonal skating rink in Kiener Plaza on Saturday. There was one under the Arch last year that had a synthetic surface - don't know if this was the same. Ellie didn't care.

I don't know if she will have the chance to really learn to skate. Her mother could do it years ago but seems to have lost the touch. Neither Mrs. C or I can do it at all. So Ellie still uses the double-blade shoes and started off with this sled thing. She ditched the sled after a while and just hung on the rail. She claimed later that she was zooming around. We did not disillusion her.           


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Municipal Tree


The holiday season in St. Louis officially began yesterday with an event in Kiener Plaza. The temporary ice rink opened and we took Ellie down for a spin (more about which tomorrow). The city's Christmas tree was illuminated after dark. The kid thought it was pretty cool.              

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Tucker and Market



A major intersection downtown. Three of the four visible buildings are courthouses.The one on the left with the vertical stripes is the St. Louis University School of Law (me, J.D. 1974). The school was on the main campus three miles west when I was there. A few years ago the university bought a plain, vacant office building and completely rebuilt the interior. Now the law school is near the courthouses.

I think law schools have become a bit of a scam. SLU, a mid-level school, costs $41,000 a year (three year program). Jobs are becoming more scarce and there is a good chance that, in time, artificial intelligence systems will eliminate the need for many of us.         

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Vision Thing


At the end of his years as vice president, George H. W. Bush was planning to run for president. People challenged his ability to see the big picture on issues facing the country. Someone suggested he take a couple of days off to figure out his position. "Oh," Bush scoffed, "the vision thing." The comment stuck with him.

So, another monumental statue at the Soldiers Memorial with a noble but vague theme. Reminds me of the fact that I've worn glasses since second grade.           

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Courage


I need to pay more attention to the beautifully restored Soldiers Memorial downtown. It opened 80 years ago as a World War I monument, eventually included later wars, but in time got pretty run down. A group raised $30 million to bring it back to its original state and add additional exhibition space. It was so crowded on re-opening day that I'll have to come back to see it all.

Four of these big sculptures flank the north and south entrances. The word courage is thrown around a lot but sometimes I wonder what it really means. Maybe it's a high tolerance for risk.       

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Patriots


People and objects at the Veterans Day parade, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Some readers will recall that Samuel Johnson, author of the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, said that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I suppose there are different kinds of it.
     




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Shriners


Entertainment at the Veterans Day Parade. These guys always show up at our major parades like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day. They are Shriners, an extension of the Masons. All Shriners are Masons but not all Masons are Shriners (see https://www.shrinersinternational.org/Shriners/MasonShriners/Masons). The order does good work, supporting special hospitals for children throughout the country, even if they are a little, um, off kilter.

Shriners adopt a bunch of Arabic themes - they have not shared the mysterious reasons with me - but wear a fez, which is, of course, not Arabian. (Interesting history at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fez .) They like to clown around. The crowd goes wild, if there is one.