Catching up to 57

I turn 57 years young tomorrow and I can’t quite figure out how I got here.

As they say, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Actually, I’ve enjoyed each and every day – well, almost.

Those that know me well would be quick to remind me of many things I’d just as soon forget. But I’m not here to talk about the past. Those crazy high school days. Those crazy Mizzou days. Those crazy early days in my advertising career when I was ready to set the world on fire. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Then came love, then came marriage, then came Tommy in the baby carriage and a new journey was underway. Equally crazy but in a different way.

An always moving, ever-changing family dynamic. One kid. Two kids. Three kids. We’ve watched our kids grow and evolve and they are still evolving, still discovering who they are and what they’re all about.

As are we. I am blessed to have Chris in my life – first introduced to me by my brother, the Father. It was the one and only set-up Frank ever set me up with. Home run.

And now, going on 22 years later, the adventure continues.

We don’t know what’s coming our way in life. Nobody really does.

You can plan and think about the future but reality can smack you right in the face at any time and change everything.

I’ve seen that happen to so many people – in so many different ways.

Yet if you keep the faith, if you believe you’re truly here on this earth for some reason and though we may never know exactly what it is, if you just keep on pushing on, doing your best every day to be your best and in the end, you’re going to be all right. Because the end is just the beginning.

So as I roll into my 58th year, I’m fired up to create some great communications this year. I still haven’t made my way into Communication Arts – but I fully intend to be there soon. Tom Jr. has got me painting again and that’s a good thing. My most recent work in progress is on display here and yes, it needs a lot of work.

I got a hole-in-one this year so I can cross that off my list but I’ve yet to shoot par. Maybe in 2015.

The key thing is to continue to challenge yourself to get better, to be a better person, to do more things for people.

If anyone wants me to volunteer for anything, give me a shout. I’d love to help if I can.

I told Tom Jr. in an email today that I had Pink Floyd on the brain today …

“So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.”

Yes, these are things you think on the eve of your 57th birthday.

I can hardly wait until I start humming the Beatles tune, “When I’m 64.”

Time has already proven, it will be here before I know it.

Rams win?

I was all prepared to blast the St. Louis Rams this evening.

I was ready to talk about how the Edward Jones Dome had more Denver fans than Rams supporters and how their orange jerseys clashed against all the ugly empty purple seats.

I was fully expecting to see the legendary Peyton Manning blitz the Rams for maybe four or five TDs and I was confident we’d still have plenty of the afternoon left once we departed with the Rams down by 21 mid-way through the 3rd quarter.

Well, there was no 3rd quarter exit and I won’t be blasting the Rams for today’s performance (but there still were more Denver fans in the Dome than Rams fans which is really sad).

The Rams played a great game of football today. There were no stupid penalties. They made several key third down conversions. They had a few big plays with some dazzling catches and some bone-crunching hits. They managed to get two key interceptions off of Peyton who seemed off his game and far from legendary today. And Greg the Leg was perfect with his attempts.

It was stunning. Perplexing. And it made you wish that we could have won at least two of those earlier games where we had the lead in the fourth quarter and then gave it away.

We’ve been co-season ticket holders since the Rams second year. We’ve seen way more bad football than good and when you actually see a good game, it reminds you how much more fun the games are when you actually leave the premises having seen a victory instead of another bitter defeat.

Maybe there is hope for this team. Maybe they could actually win back-to-back games and come home with a chance to get to .500 against a bad Oakland team.

Maybe it they can manage to win next week in San Diego, when they return, the Dome will be filled with way more Rams fans than Raiders fanatics (Oakland is a long way to travel to watch a bad football team and the Raiders are actually considerably worse than the Rams).

Maybe the Rams will go on a tear, win out the rest of the games this season to finish at 10-6 and the Dome will once again be filled, even those top-ier seats in the end zones that have been empty all season long. And Stan will share in the love by signing a long-term deal that will keep the Rams here in St. Louis yet still make him more than enough money to keep even a billionaire happy.

Well, probably not.

But for now, I’ll live in the present, enjoying a weekend where the Tigers won a big game that keeps them in the SEC race, the Mizzou basketball program won at least one game under new head coach Kim Anderson, the Billikids notched their first W of the year and the Rams pulled the upset of the day by knocking off the mighty Broncos.


Yep, that’s why they play the games.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled commercials

Election night has come and gone and that means all the political garbage commercials are gone as well.

Good riddance.

I’ll be the first to admit that my TV viewing habits are both predictable and abysmal. When I get home from work, we like to catch the evening national news and generally that rolls into the local news at 6 before we sit down to dinner.

During election season, the local news is wall-to-wall political mud-slinging. Everybody is wrong for America. All these politicians are ready to fight for what’s right.

Fight. Fight. Fight. That’s what politics is – one big, never-ending fight.

I guess all the anti-screaming Mike Bost commercials that Bill Enyart ran failed to make an impression. Mike got elected. (Maybe everyone in Illinois believed Mike was a better fighter than Bill.)

Meanwhile, Jill Schupp and her cast of angry looking women triumphed over Jay Ashcroft.

Tom Schweich was running some TV commercials for the hotly contested state auditor contest. It wasn’t until I read up on him a bit that I found out he was essentially running almost unopposed. But his commercials did peak enough interest in meĀ  that I actually looked him up. It was only then that I discovered Tom’s true passion – collecting rare coins as well as autographs and memorabilia of historical figures and Hollywood stars. Who knew that our state auditor recently snagged a rare Greta Garbo autograph?

I sure didn’t. But I do now.

I’m sure had he been in a bitter battle for his position that his opponent would have come out slinging at the mere thought of him spending his precious time collecting signatures from dead people. Scandal!

I don’t know how you can fix political advertising. You just have to live with it. Or better yet, completely tune it out.

But just like advertising for Christmas, the ads seem to be coming at us earlier and earlier.

Before we know it, it’ll be election season again and the onslaught will return.

In the meantime, it’s good to know that all our newly elected officials are now fighting on our behalf.

Go get ’em. And if you happen to run across Tom Schweich, ask him for his autograph. I’m sure he’d be flattered.