Time for a bunch of random thoughts on the Monday preceding Christmas.
-How eerie is it to drive past the new stadium and see that big, rubble-filled hole in the ground that used to be Busch Stadium? As I was driving home from the hockey game Saturday night, I drove by on the south side of the Pavillion hotel and looked south into the construction dust that was illuminated by the lights on the new stadium. I got goose bumps. Very strange, and very cool at the same time.
-I've always thought one of the weaknesses in the whole scheme of things at KTRS radio is the lack of a clearly defined marketing plan. Many combinations of peronnel that have been on the air there since 1996 have been capable of taking the station to a dominant position in the market if only there were a professional effort put into advertising what the station offered. It's always amazed this little punkin' head how people in the advertising and communications business expect people to spend their ad budgets with their station, but have no clue about budgeting for, and creating, strong ad campaigns of their own. Duh?
-It seemed to me that the President made a rather strong attempt to connect with those who question the Iraq war policies of the administration in last night's address. His usual mechanical and distant delivery was replaced with a more personable and caring approach that should help him. He obviously has received some different coaching since his approval numbers dipped. I also think he's right when he says he can't say when we're going to pull out until the time is right. A pitcher doesn't tell the batter what pitch is coming.
-This will be the first Christmas that my oldest son spends away from our home. He has accepted a full-time position in Colorado ski country that will require him to work through the holiday season. It will be strange. And it makes me feel old.
-I will miss John Spencer. I've always thought he was a teriffic actor. His portayal of Leo McGarry on "West Wing" was, in my humble opinion, brilliant. It will be very interesting to see how the producers of that show deal with his loss. It looked as though he was destined for several more years as the Vice President to Jimmy Smits' character Matthew Santos, who observers expect to win the presidency in the current story line.
-The current battle over whether to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" is very amusing. I think most intelligent folks understand when each is appropriate. Christians shouldn't force Christmas down anyone's throat. But, at the same time, shouldn't be castigated for wishing someone a Merry Christmas at the wrong moment. Just because you're thoughtful enough to say "Happy Holidays" doesn't mean you're dissing Christianity, does it?
-I'm a little less than "jumping-up-and-down-excited" about the latest group rumored to be trying to buy the Blues. MattlinPatterson Global Advisors, from what I've been able to find out on the internet, is a group of people that specializes in taking over a company, infusing cash and different strategies, and then when the company is profitable again, selling their shares at an enormous profit. More than once I've seen the company referred to as "vulture investors". Interesting term. Kind of makes me wonder if they'd be in it for the love of hockey and/or St. Louis. They may be just what the doctor ordered, but I need to know more about the actual people who might run things.