St. Louis’ mile of creativity

I have yet to see the St. Louis Graffiti Wall located on Wharf Street south of the Arch but that will change in the next few weeks. I’ve got to see it.

The Graffiti Wall has been around for a while but I never really thought of it as a must-see attraction. In yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I saw two photos mentioning it and the photos were enough to make me want to see more.

Open Studios STL was celebrating St. Louis artists and art in general so they invited more than 140 graffiti artists from around the country to give the wall a refresh. Here’s the article that also has a link to a slideshow of some of the work in progress: (

More impressive, though, is this YouTube video ( that takes you for a ride, traveling along the wall where you can view the Graffiti Wall in its entirety. It takes several minutes to view and they do some weird camera angles that almost made me dizzy while watching it. Still, it’s amazing.

Well, at least some parts of it are. I think recently some graffiti lovers have taken to grafitti-ing the graffiti and the net effect becomes kind of junky. But there are also startling pieces of illustration and a wide variety of styles that make me want to take an hour or so to view the art. Because it is art.

And the talents of the many contributors have created something that, though you can’t call it a masterpiece, is at least a definite tribute to – well, that’s hard to say. Pop culture? The underground? The underbelly?

Graffiti artists have always had a bad rap – and for good reason – they’re defacing property that isn’t theirs to deface. But this is different. This is a graffiti wall that comes with the public’s blessing and it’s another sign that St. Louis really does support the arts.

I have always loved to paint on large canvasses. Having an entire wall to create something would be both amazing and a major challenge. I don’t think I could go at the pace of some of these maestros and I’ve never really experimented with painting with a spray can though I know it’s not too different than the airbrush work I used to do.

For now, I’m happy to be an observer.

I plan on having my ipod with me when I walk the mile. Music and art just naturally go together. I might also have a spray can or two with me when I go. Maybe I’ll paint a Billiken (which would be my own rendition of Kilroy was here) or re-create the Yes logo which I used to draw on all my notebooks back in high school. (I’m a huge fan of Roger Dean!)

So check out the YouTube video and if the art moves you, go see it in person.

Hopefully, it will be worth the price of admission.

Golf for life

If you don’t golf, don’t bother reading this. If you do golf, maybe you’ll understand.

Golf is a timeless game. My dad is 87 and though he hasn’t been out on the links yet this year, he’s still hoping that he will. He played quite a few times last year but his stamina isn’t what it used to be. Still, you don’t see too many 87-year-olds out doing any other type of sporting activity other than merely walking.

My dad got me playing golf at an early age. I proposed to Chris on a golf course. (She beat me all three times we played on our honeymoon.) My brother, the Father, is an absolute golf fanatic who plays every Thursday, weather permitting and often, even when the weather doesn’t permit. Late this afternoon, Tom Jr. and Michael went out and played nine holes while Chris and I watched the Traveler’s Championship on TV. So you could say that the golf gene is somewhat dominant in our family.

I was going to do a post yesterday morning when I returned from playing 18 holes but it was too nice a day to spend holed up typing away on my mac. With the Cardinals in a rain delay, I thought now would be an ideal time to espouse on the simple joys and frustrations of this game.

I teed off yesterday a few minutes after 6 am. My attempts to talk any of my friends into a round failed so I went out as a single and finished my round in a little over two hours. It was a gorgeous morning and when you tee off that early, you sometimes have the course to yourself – that’s how it was yesterday. The sun was shining and the golf gods were looking upon me favorably – my first shot of the day found the center of the fairway, about 260 yards out and I followed that up with a perfect 6-iron that landed about eight feet from the pin. I knew it was going to be a good day.

Turns out, the round was like most of my other rounds – some good shots, a few great ones and some blatant stupidity tossed in to remind me that I’ll never really be a great golfer. But that’s okay.

I love to play. Any time. Anywhere.

And though no one will ever think of me as a really good golfer, I’m okay with that. I’m good enough for me.

Golf is a lot like life. I love to be in the game. I know there will be some good times, some memorable moments (not all of them good ones) and I’ll certainly have to endure some bad along the way as well. But I won’t give up. And I’ll always believe that my next shot, might just be my best shot I’ve ever had – but I won’t be surprised when it isn’t.

People who don’t play golf don’t understand the fascination. It’s a frustrating, time-consuming and expensive game.

Then again, there’s something almost magical about being able to say, “See this little ball? I’m going to hit it into that little hole in the ground that’s 440 yards away and I’ll bet I can do that in four swings or less.”

In theory, that doesn’t really sound like all that much fun.

In reality, there aren’t too many things I’d rather do.

Golf fires me up. I know I’m fortunate that I have a wife and family who understand my obsession. I’m even more fortunate that they enjoy playing as well.

Like my dad, I hope I’m still teeing it up well into my eighties but that’s not even worth contemplating. I’m playing in a scramble tomorrow and there’s no need to look any further ahead than that.

Golf for life? I sure hope so.


Global raining

I looked at the 10-day forecast this evening and for once, there’s no rain in our immediate future. It’s about time.

This has been one of the rainiest starts to the summer that I can remember and it got me wondering what the global warming folks would have to say about this, especially since we just endured one of our coldest, dreariest springs in I don’t know how many years. Global warming experts would attribute that to climate change. So would I. We get climate change about once a week here in St. Louis.

I went googling in search of scientific evidence that these recent bouts of heavy rain are due to global warming and there certainly seems to be a correlation. At least according to the Union of Concerned Scientists there is.

According to one of their articles, “Climate change increases the probability of some types of weather. Recent heavy rains and flooding are consistent with a warming planet and such events are expected to become more common over time.”

That was written in 2010. They went on to say that “as average temperatures in regions across the country have gone up, more rain has fallen during the heaviest downpours. Very heavy precipitation events, defined as the heaviest one percent, now drop 67 percent more precipitation in the Northeast, 31 percent more in the Midwest and 15 percent more in the Great Plains than they did 50 years ago.”

We got hit by a heavy yesterday afternoon.

That’s good news for companies like Woodard and The Flood Team that are great at cleaning up water damage and bad news for just about everyone else.

And whether this weather pattern is caused by global warming or it’s just another freak of nature, I’ll be happy to put up with heat and humidity over the next few days in the hopes that drier times are ahead.

There are lawns to be mowed, ball games that need to be made up and more golf rounds that need to be played.

I don’t disagree that there isn’t global warming. And I think it might be causing all this global raining.

All I know is that I’m tired of seeing our local weather folks at all hours of the day with their non-stop coverage. We need a good stretch of nothing going on for a week or two. That’ll quiet ’em down.





Back to da’ blog

My humble apologies to all my blog followers who may have been wondering why I haven’t been posting the past few weeks. (Or did you not even notice?)

The combination of work, summer and more work has robbed me of my blog time. I had a post written a few days ago but it went into the delete file after re-considering the subject matter.

One of my frustrations I’ve had with this blog is my inability to build a following. Not posting anything isn’t going to do very much to grow my base. Then again, maybe absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

In this case, I kind of doubt it.

Nonetheless, I definitely plan on returning to the blogosphere and I promise to do my absolute best to inform, entertain and hopefully be at least a bit thought-provoking.

So stay tuned.

And like Forrest Gump said, “Well that’s all I got to say about that.”


Trending: Nursery rhymes in advertising

There once was a copywriter who didn’t know what to do, so he fell back on that old nursery rhyme of the Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe.

In the last year, I’ve now seen 4 different TV commercials playing off this nursery rhyme. I don’t remember the first one I saw but the remnants of the idea are somewhere in the recesses of my brain. I know it involved a mother who was being interviewed about her busy ‘shoehold’ – it was tough to keep track of everyone. What the commercial was for, I honestly don’t remember but it popped into my head again this past week after seeing three completely different “lived in a shoe” TV commercials for three completely different products.

The weakest of the bunch was for the Samsung Galaxy S4 ( In this one, the shoe is merely a backdrop – we never get to go inside. Instead, we here the son lamenting about his old lady and how they live in a shoe. It’s a weak effort and as far as commecials go, it’s day after recall has got to be pathetic. Whoever created it … you’re fired.

Then there’s Direct TV. Here we have a truly charming commercial about the fact that now you can watch Direct TV anywhere in the house (or your shoe that’s overrun with children) on any device. (

This spot has great story appeal. It opens with a man surrounded by kids as he’s trying to tune in to a basketball game (there’s no way he could be the father unless he’s a very fertile polygamist). He stumbles out of the living room, through the kitchen that’s filled with kids, up the stairs, enters a room, locks the door for a little solitude in the loo and out pop more children – so he takes his ipad out onto the roof of his shoe where he can finally enjoy his game (doesn’t he know he only needs to tune in to the last two minutes of the 4th quarter?) It’s a well-done commercial and does a good job of making its point but it seems to stand all by itself in the Direct TV commercial world. The familiar announcer from the “Don’t end up in a roadside ditch” campaign is gone and it makes me wonder what’s next in the Direct TV world.

Then there’s Adidas with their “Quick Aint Fair” commercial. ( This one features the voiceover of A$AP Rocky – (don’t worry, I never heard of him before this, either). Of the four living in a shoe commercials, this is by far the funkiest and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend clicking on the link. Even if you don’t like basketball or rap, it’s still eminently watchable and how can you not like a commercial with the copy line, “Yo, wass up in that shoe?”

So all these “Living in a shoe” commercials got me wondering if copywriters have been exploring other nursery rhymes for their next TV spots. Maybe Adidas should follow up their latest commercial with Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick, Jack goes dunkin way above the candlestick. Or will Old Spice jump on the nursery rhyme bandwagon with Rub A Dub Dub? Little Bo Peep could do a lot better job tracking her sheep if she were a part of a 4G network – (isn’t it about time we moved on to 5G, anyway?) Lowe’s could show how they lent a hand to “This is the house that Jack built.”

There are so many possibilities.

People always say there are no new ideas, just re-combining old ones into new spin-offs.

So here’s the challenge. Send me your idea for the best product tie-in with any nursery rhyme.

If I get more than ten submissions, I’ll post them all and we’ll have a contest to see who came up with the best nursery rhyme commercial concept.

The winner will get the fame and fortune of being mentioned in this blog and a Gift Certificate to something still TBD.

Your odds of winning are probably about one in ten.


Have fun. You’ll quickly discover why everyone thinks it’s easy to be a copywriter.