Rainy Days And Renee

Enough said!


During my life, I have met a number of famous people. The first happened when I was a student taking a  class in advertising layout and art direction at Washington University. One of our major projects was to write and design a television commercial for the Regional Commerce And Growth Association. As luck would have it, my commercial was one of the three finalists. And it would be taped using talent from the local TV station. My talent would be the actor who played a cowboy named Texas Bruce in one of my favorite childhood after school TV shows.  I overlooked the fact that I had watched that show about 10-years earlier. And when the actor walked into the studio without his cowboy hat, boots and six shooters, my heart sunk to see an older gentleman who needed his gun belt to just hold his pants up. I didn’t say a word to him.

Years later I was in New York City recording some radio commercials, and on my way back to the hotel I stopped into the Mysterious Bookshop to pick up a copy of a Donald Westlake mystery that had just been released. I asked the clerk where I could find it, and he pointed across the store to a table. I walked over and picked up the book and said to a man standing by the table looking at the books, ” I hope it’s better than the last one.”  He replied, “So do I.” A that point I realized that he was the author. I was so embarrassed I didn’t even ask him to autograph it. When I got back to the hotel I discovered that he had already signed it.

Working in advertising, writing and producing TV spots I met other personalities, and I learned not to be awed by them. They were doing a job that technically I had hired them to do.

So yesterday, I walked into Barnes and Noble and who did I run into?


And what did I say?

“Num, num, crunch!  Num, num, crunch!”


It’s amazing!  All the wonderful sights you can discover just walking down the street in the city in the summer!DSC00391







Had a bit of internet problems this week. While West Walnut Manor is not located in the immediate area where this week’s protests and rioting have been occurring, my internet provider’s substation is located across the street from all the action. And it was hacked by that group called Anonymous.  As a result, the signal from all six local TV stations were reduced to silent static. Also the internet connection was reduced to donkey cart speed. While it took them two days to get the local stations back, it took a little longer to get the speed back. So I just took a couple of days off for an internet vacation.

For better or worse, I’m back again. And today was the monthly get-together with the Castaways’ Lunch Bunch … a group of former co-workers who get together on a somewhat irregular basis to dine and gab.  Today we went to THE HILL for a bit of Italian soul food.

The HILL is a great place for doing a bit of Tourist Trekking. It has a lot of homes dating back to the Italian immigration to the city over a century ago.DSC00380

And a lot of statues in the yards.  A few silver painted goddesses …DSC00381


And a lot of saints!DSC00382

And occasionally, you might find a business  with some classic Act Deco ornamentation.DSC00379

Today, our eatery was a classic Italian restaurant known for it giant fishbowls of beer.DSC00383

That’s a fishbowl over the entrance. You’ll  also notice one of the SAINT LOUIS 250 BIRTHDAY CAKES  on the sidewalk, too. This one was designed by one of the ladies in our lunch-group.DSC00386

Here’s the backside …DSC00387

Hey, the lunch and chit-chat was good, too. I had my usual Italian restaurant order … cod-fish with fries with slaw on the side.

On my way home, I discovered two more architectural highlights in the neighborhood.DSC00388

A soda company of yesteryear.DSC00390

And O’CONNELL’S PUB in one of Saint Louis’ classic red brick buildings that dates back to 1905. And yes, it was a tavern back then, too.


Just a quick update to let you know that West Walnut Manor was not a part of the protests, rioting and looting in the Saint Louis area last night and this morning. Personally, I feel that excessive media coverage and on-sceen instant observations of unqualified news readers did much to incite the situation. I mean, how many times do you have to ask a unrully crowd “Do you think this situation will turn into a riot or looting?” before some fools say, “Hey, let’s riot and loot!”


And I was able to capture it with my camera …Moon1

Failed to find any funny little moon men though!


If you asked me to describe the weather we’ve been having this week, I could reply in three words …


We have been having rain every day since Tuesday … with an accumulation of over FIVE INCHES. And according to the 10:00 late news on Saturday, we’re stuck with this weather through Tuesday. So Renee and I have been spending most of our time indoors.DSC00358

Yes, Renee has been perfecting her afternoon  nap on my bed with her pillow. And a couple of afternoons she even allowed me to share my bed with her for a brief nap, too. I got to use my own pillow.

Today, I really wasn’t in a real nap mood. So I decided to clean thing up on my desk while she napped.

First, I decided to see what I had been squirreling away in the little red velvet box that lives next to the phone.DSC00360

First there was this box of  tic tacs that were the most recent addition.DSC00361

They were supposed to be SUMMER ICE POP  flavor. I tried one of each of the three color tics and/or tacs and I have no idea what the flavors were. I doubt if I’ll try again.

Next, I discovered this …DSC00367

It was a gift card I received from someone for some occasion that I can remember. But I must have liked the card because I put it in the little red box. But maybe I put it there because I didn’t redeem it?

Next, there was this photo of my high school graduation.DSC00369That’s my mother, me, my paternal grandmother and my father.  Also, if you look closely …DSC00370

You’ll see my seven-year old little brother making like Kilroy behind the front porch.

Also in the box there’s SPIKE and SPOT…DSC00371

They moved into the box because there was no longer any steel or iron in the room to which they could cling. Alas, progress and the advance of plastic and aluminum.

And last, but not least … the little red box also serves as a home for …DSC00359


You might think that he’s just an origami raccoon, but that’s just a disguise.

He really is a daemon, who hasn’t visited in a while!

For some reason, this post is starting to sound like another episode of Toy Story.


This week, share a texture found in an unexpected place. It could be made of natural materials or with man-made objects. For more information go here.




(Click on the photo to see all the textures.)

Does anyone (besides myself) think the remains of this tree resembles the decapitated head of the Big Bad Wolf? Which was why I photographed it in the first place this week.


ME … Sailor Bob


What kid born during WWII didn’t have a sailor suit? My favorite uncle, namesake and godfather had just joined the navy.Three Sailors001

He was just a teen when I was born. So I was like a little brother to his big brother.

2 bobs001


This was the day I brought Mlle. Renee home and she is holding the first toy she ever owned.

She had been rescued on the streets of the city when she was six months old  by the Missouri Humane Society. They performed surgery on her and nursed her back to health. I was there the first day they put her up for adoption. When she saw me, she said I had to take her home with me. I did, and they gave her the Hershey Boy to take home, too.

dagwoodsandwich I also just realized that August is NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH. And while I don’t want to go through the hassle of creating and eating a different sandwich for each day of the month, I did want to do something to honor the month. I also didn’t have a slice of bread in the house. So, since it was also Throw Back Thursday, I decided to make something I would have enjoyed when I was a kid. So, I whipped up a quick batch of my flakey biscuits and got out my Grandmother’s Throw Back cookie cutter  and made a pan of chicken shaped biscuits to serve as my bread.DSC00347

And I created a chicken shaped PBJ&M for my lunch.DSC00348

That’s peanut butter, strawberry jam and melted marshmallow …

On a chicken shaped biscuit with two mini-PEEPs on the side.


I even was able to make a pan of irregular-shaped regular biscuits that should last me a couple of days.

I guessed you probably realized that it has been raining all night and day so far.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 307 other followers