Turkey Bowl XIV

The Turkeybowl franchise was started back in 2001 here in St Louis. For many years the venue was Francis Park while many of the participants lived in or near the city limits of St Louis proper. But as the years have flown by and the players and their families moved out of the city, the venue shifted. The Elks softball field (Arnold/Imperial) held the event for a couple of years and most recently Fenton Park softball fields have hosted the event.

This year’s event is less than 7 days away and the weather may be decent but in Missouri you just never know. After all it did just snow a few days ago and this weekend projects to be 60 degrees. Ah the craziness. In previous years, the weather has ranged from frosty to downright balmy for late November. Within the last few years we probably saw one of the more challenging weather scenarios with light drizzle, flurries and wind gusts that put the meddle of the players and the spectators to the test. But the Turkeybowl family always does whatever it takes to make the event a fun and heart warming tradition.

From the origins as a flackle (flag-tackle) football game on Thanksgiving with occasional local TV coverage, the Turkeybowl tradition has grown to a very impressive and satisfying event that combines our love of football and also embraces the theme of the season which is giving thanks and giving back to those in need during the cold and sometimes bleak holiday season for those struggling.

In last eleven years I have experienced Turkeybowl as a member of the Lager Slugger family, Joe Ritrovato the backbone and the Godfather of our Lager Slugger group has spearheaded looking for a needy family or families to help out during this season of giving. Each player who agrees to play donates $20 to pay for a jersey for their respective team (typically either gold or blue as those are the Lager Slugger softball team’s colors – as determined by a live draft). But from there the players and their families donate gift cards, new toys, clothes and a myriad of other items including getting items signed by players for the St Louis Rams to silent auction off and those funds also go to the family or families we choose to lend a helping hand to in their time of need with Christmas upcoming. In past years, the group has raised thousands of dollars and put countless smiles on children’s faces who otherwise might not have had much to smile about for Christmas. Our group has helped victims of fire, family tragedy and students of teachers within the group who’s family just plain has struggled.

The football show we put on for a couple hours generally from 9:30am until a little before noon is nothing for the highlight shows most times but the superstar effort our group shows in humanity and compassion is nothing short of spectacular. While we may not be the buzz of social media or the sports networks or the spotlight segment on our local news – this group is top notch in having heart – to reference the movie The Replacements with Coach McGinty played by Gene Hackman.

So very proud to be a Lager Slugger.

As soon as Turkeybowl is over and everyone packs up and starts heading to their family gatherings I know there is a smile on my face just from being able call this group my family and knowing these are good people. Love you guys. Happy Thanksgiving and see you for a turkey leg with White Castle trimmings and those Fruit Roll Ups.

Peace Lager Slugger Nation.

Having a degree in the workplace and work search


Good day and Happy Monday (or one of the other 6 weekly options depending upon when you are finding this bit of text groupings).

A topic I have debated with friends and colleagues over the years is about having or not having a college degree. Associates, bachelors, masters, doctorates, exalted ruler of the universe, cult leader and there are others I’m sure. The reason the topic is even a discussion point is that I often find myself keeping tabs on the job market. After going through a company outsource in 2009 that resulted in me and everyone in my department losing our jobs and then again this year with a new company going through the outsource I survived the cuts but almost three dozen of my co-workers were not so fortunate (they called it insourcing as they hired staff overseas to be actual company employees but at about one-third of the cost to the company).

So with an eye on similar skills and job titles through websites like LinkedIn.com and Indeed.com I have been browsing job postings quite a bit along with reaching out to some recruiters I have had success with in the past. Some companies seem to be a little more flexible and value work experience in lieu of college credits. The reason why this is important to me is…I do not have a college degree. No degree at all. I went to college about 20 years ago and took all the usual supporting classes for any general degree: English, history, technical math, weight training, business writing, and whatever else that went with my associates path towards an electronics major and later computers before I lost interest in school and left to focus on working and not be a student anymore.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against people being students or having the time, focus and resources to pursue degrees and enrich themselves with concepts and ideas and knowledge that my brain would just lose like a picture on an Etch-A-Sketch held by a four year old child hopped up on chocolate milk, sugar cookies and three king sized Twix candy bars. The world needs people who can absorb medical terms and conditions and logically overlay that 10,000 times. Same for computer programmers and electronics designers (I need my Google, damn it!) and a zillion other vital professions that support today’s ridiculously fast technology dependent world.

But steering this back to how it applies to myself, like I said I do not have a degree. However, I have worked in and around the credit-finance arena for roughly 20 years and each stop along the way I have had to learn new computer systems, new filing systems, varying jargon, an array of reports, how to set up meetings, how to delegate workflow, how to fire someone for no reason other than the company could not afford them, and a million other checklist items that each company teaches you once you agree to what they are willing to offer in a paycheck and benefits in exchange for your skill set, education and experience. Most of the job opportunities I am pursuing are more mid range in scope. Not entry level but not senior management either. Front line credit analyst which is more along the lines of customer service with research base flavored with negotiator (read good communicator and problem solver).

As I look for the perfect job that will rope in all that I have to offer I have a few less corners to look in as their job postings require a bachelors degree (they don’t even care if the degree is in the same field of expertise – you can be a classical music major applying for an accounting position – as long as you have that piece of paper its good to go). I understand part of the rationale of requiring a degree – its to reduce the response for smaller human resources departments. If you have a posting that will apply to a skill set that is plentiful in a job market you will get instantly inundated with responses from everyone who has ever opened a spreadsheet. So I get that they are hedging their bets and in the process may get a higher quality of response that they can whittle down faster.

Alas I am still diligent in my searching and ultimately I think what has worked in the past will most likely prevail again this time. Networking. Getting opportunities from people I know through softball or I have worked directly with in the past and know my work ethic. There have been many times I’ve had a previous co-worker that I may not have clicked with or was not buddy buddy with who contacts me out of the blue after they have moved to a new company to relay an opportunity that might be a fit for me. Not to mention the co-workers whom I have clicked with and developed a good relationship with who also keep me at the forefront when they learn of something position knowing my situation is tenuous.

So the search for tomorrow (that might be an old daytime soap reference) goes on. Happy Monday to all with red Swingline staplers and nine different bosses to please. I’ll not jump to any conclusions about your preference to subscribe to the magazine Vibe or not. Hold on, PC Load Letter…WTF does that mean?

Peace and warmth.

Dragons 2 and snowfall


Sitting at home on a Saturday night around 5:30pm watching the new Dragons film while Mother Nature tests her snow making process and reading about the MLB supposed All-star team getting no hit in Japan.

Have to say I’m impressed with the Dragons 2 so far. Good musical score. Cool looking dragons. Some fun humor.

Dragons seem to have alot in common with dogs. Rub their bellies and they are your best friend for life. Also apparently they can track other dragons by scent. Cool, cool.

Toothless is a cute arse dragon.

Have a great weekend everyone…



Today is the 11th day of the 11th month – I briefly thought about setting a timer for when it was 11:11am but forgot so I will have to remember in 10 hours (its a little after 1pm CST). I could cheat and say its almost 11:11am on the left coast (West Coast, home of my softball buddy Becca’s parents) but I will not cheapen this post! 😉

Above is a really cool picture of the St Louis night skyline and I wanted an excuse to post it so the french word for here it is!

Have a great and tranquil week.


Hand Sanitizer


Its goopy and has little suspended pellets inside it. Anti-germ? Perhaps. Stinky and yucky feeling? Definitively.

I do not like lotions or other items necessary due to germs and dry skin that seem to accompany the cold weather seasons. Yes I am a whiner. Deal with it or unlearn how to read.

I didn’t see Tom Hanks (born in 1956, July 9th for the record) when he was on the island in Castaway talking to Wilson – demanding hand sanitizer! No! He was too busy growing a beard, eating raw fish and checking out the logistics of suicide by hanging. But I do bet he would have killed for a nice fleece blanket or jacket to wrap himself in at night for some warmth and comfort – especially during the rainy season when he was trapped in that rock enclosure for protection from the elements. I bet his fingers and fingernails were pretty grimy. In that extreme situation – he could actually probably have benefited from the hand sanitizer but only minimally. Mostly to give him something better to smell than himself. Him and Gilligan both. Stink prevention. Otherwise its fru-fru nonsense!

OK rant over. Watch Castaway. Good flick. Do it with butter covered fingers from eating popcorn by the handfuls. Beverage choice is up to your discretion. But you will probably be thirsty from all the popcorn so get that squared away. And have ice cubes in your drink so towards the end of the movie you can nod in agreement when Tom Hanks speaks in reverent tones about missing ice in his drink.

Happy Thursday y’all (unless you have untaught yourself to read). Otherwise it will look like this: sfgsx jdgi8u&%f9assgdf9bfd uhsv@ufartsb9nu fgdjsf~#duhy fgdsjf6$jerkfo pugd0 sgiw0elw dicksfs0 sdos|dospius9as xspewpewqq ??!!

Peace out.

Tribute to Jeff Foxworthy … and FGL

KCFoxworthy1OK so i a fit of boredom I thought…when is Jeff Foxworthy’s birthday? Turns out it is September 6th – he’s 56 years old. Then I started thinking of his funny standup material…I know that goes back a long ways…but thought of his Red Neck jokes and it made me think of Florida Georgia Line for some reason. My mind does not always follow a linear path. Just roll with it. Here are a few things that occurred to me:

If you have more than one song that mentions a lift kit…you might be Florida Georgia Line.

If every other song has another artist featured…you might be Florida Georgia Line.

If you make up words to rhyme with other made up words in your songs…you might be Florida Georgia Line.

If the name of your group references a geographical boundary between two states…you might be Florida Georgia Line.

Enjoy your Hump Day!