Archive for the ‘Personal Story’ Category

I tied Barack Obama in the New Hampshire Primary

Friday, February 12th, 2016

The New Hampshire Primary was this week.  America made steps to being made great again, and New Hampshire felt the Bern.  However, got his first vote to be the next president of the United States (New Hampshire Primary Results here, screenshot below)


I tied Barack Obama, Scott Walker, Tom Brady, and Frank Underwood.   As a political scientist, I am confident my support is rooted in my fiscally conservative and socially liberal policy positions…either that or someone in Hillsborough really likes Captain America.

During all of this,  I was at a watch party at SLU ~ where I briefly got on the TVs (Jump to 2:40 in clip below).  So overall, big night for Steve.


Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Yesterday, I received the following email in my inbox.


You see until a year ago, I had been driving the car that I learned on: my mother’s 1997 Honda Accord.


The car’s original license plate was 743 EWA, and my family affectionately referred to it as EWA.


I drove EWA to high school, prom, and even back for my 10 year High School Reunion.  EWA took many notable journeys, and on each of these, a Billiken proudly bobbled in the back watching where I have been…


and saw many parts of the country…


EWA was a great car.  Being born in 1997, she theoretically was old enough to drive herself and just old enough to vote, but she was tired.  Most recent riders in EWA may recall her failed air conditioner – a problem compounded by a failing passenger side window – and fading paint.  In my last month in Nashville, someone actually tried to steal EWA and when hearing this story, multiple friends responded “Why would they try to steal your car?”

While tired, EWA had enough in her to get me back to Missouri (with a nail in the tire at that), but when EWA and I returned to our home state, Missouri’s automobile inspection said EWA’s time was up, as there was a sizable (and quite audible) hole in EWA’s exhaust.  With this I needed to find a replacement for EWA.  I fortunately found a worthy successor to EWA, a 2013 Honda Civic.


and with a 2013 Civic replacing a 1997 Accord, I named her….


As can be seen above, EWA Jr. also proudly displays a Billiken.   She has, already, driven me to see Billikens play and will have many new experiences, such as chauffeuring my nephew to the zoo.  Before we said good-bye to EWA, we were sure that the two cars had an opportunity to meet in the driveway where EWA spent most of her life.


Ultimately it was sad to see EWA go…..


… but she was a great car that I will reminisce proudly about when talking about your “first car.”


Twenty Year Change in Taboo

Friday, November 27th, 2015

As regular readers know, there is a very important tradition in my family.  The Taboo Championship Cup.  The Cup has sat proudly in my office for the last year, and with Thanksgiving, it was time for the men’s team to defend their title.   However for the first time in the history of the cup…we changed the game.  We made the jump from Taboo © 1989 to Taboo © 2009.   In making this twenty year leap, words such as “VCR” have been replaced by references to “Twilight,” but the heart of the game is the same.  Grandchildren still perform the necessary Yoga pose to score a point and (somehow) consider the opposite of a pancake to be a waffle.

Even with this change, the men reclaimed their title, winning 54-49.  Josh (the Yoga poser of this year) proudly holds the cup.

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and the women again served with dignityunnamed

However, as a family, we all shook hands after the match and came together for a victory tunnel to celebrate our time honored tradition.


Three Birthdays are Better than One

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

A week ago, I turned 31 – and I had three pretty darn good celebrations. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I thought I would share a few.

First, a friend and colleague of mine happens to have a birthday five days prior to mine (he is a leap year baby). We got a group together to go bowling then drink at my place after. To summarize the evening, here is my colleague the next morning.


Second, on my birthday, I had lunch with my Mom, then attended the Billiken game that evening. The Billikens lost, but I made an appearance on the scoreboard for the first time probably since college.


Third, my aunt has a birthday four days after mine, so we decided to have a joint celebration for myself, my aunt, a cousin, and cousin’s boyfriend. A couple of years ago at Thanksgiving a joke was made about taking Steve to “Pizza Church” (a pizza place once owned by a church). Well, the land of Holy Pizza is a place to behold.

First, there is song

Then, there is cookie cake


Then, there are fantastic ways for Grandmothers/Aunts to win tickets


And fantastic giant crane games to win bouncy balls with your mother


To make your father very happy


And we somehow didn’t get pictures of the nun (unaffiliated with Pizza Church) in bumper cars!

Overall, pretty darn good birthday back in St. Louis.  Thanks to everyone for making it a great week!


Different Location: Typical Result

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The Browns, Hemans, Morices, Rogers and Rineharts took Turkey Day to a new location this year: my aunt and uncle’s lake house in St. Charles.  Still had the Turkey, still had the stuffing, and most importantly, still had the annual Taboo Championship competition.  This year, there was no controversial counting of points by nuns.  And the men rightfully reclaimed their Taboo Title.


The women, however, were in good spirits…and served pie with dignity.


Taboo Championship 2013: 61*

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

In the annual Men versus Women Taboo Championship – The women have now Three-Peated.


As can be seen above, I think it safe to say that Jenna is the Tim of the Women’s team in terms of excitement (or at least takes after her father).

This year’s match was much closer than last’s.  By tradition, scorekeeping was done by Pius – a nun.  Going into the final turn, this lady of the cloth reported that the men were down 61 – 54 and needed 7 to tie or 8 to win.  I was up for the final turn and got the needed 7, making the game 61-61.  We had the first tie in Taboo Championship cup history and were befuddled of what to do (and more importantly questioning Who would serve pie?)

A midst the confusion, the sister scorekeeper spoke up and said that she had made an error, and the men only had 60.  This caused a minor uproar among the men’s team – but Jeff calmed us down (and wanted to eat) – so for the third year in a row Jeff cut, Jim plopped on the whip cream, and the rest of the men served with dignity (as we always do).

As the unofficial captain of the Men’s team, I am still taking this loss somewhat hard.  However, I am encouraged by the prospects we have in our farm system.


I mean, look at all those cards on the ground.


10th Year of the Taboo Championship Cup

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

The Flowers, Rogers, Hemans, Morices, and Browns convened yesterday to battle for the Taboo Championship Cup (oh…and I suppose to be thankful and eat turkey). It was the 10th year of the cup (but as Emily points out, the battle has been going on for much longer).

It was women versus men, and the women defended their title. I can’t even deny it. The men got clobbered, so they served cobbler. And in honor of the competition, there is now a “prize” for the losers.

A Taboo Pie Server.

And the women took home the cup for the second year in a row…

…and the men served pie.