Saturday, February 21, 2009

Five Things

-I'm pulling for Skip Schumaker to be able to pull off the transition to second base. He seems like the kind of athlete who could make it happen...and the kind of person who will give it his best shot. If he does it effectively, The Birds, when healthy, will sport a very formidable lineup. It would give them their best chance to compete for another championship. Even without Schumaker's fliperoo, they'll be OK if Chris Carpenter is able to stay healthy and the closer situation is settled down effectively early in the season.

-Keep your eyes on the Blues over the next week or so. It will be very interesting to watch how they handle things as we approach the March 4th trade deadline. Being only 5 points behind the 8th place team in the Western Conference (as I write), and with several teams either tied with them or between them and a playoff spot, its how they do in the next 3 or 4 games that might determine whether John Davidson, Larry Pleau and company will be in a buy or sell mode. People like Keith Tkachuk, Dan Hinote, Manny Legace and a few others could easily be moved if it appears that the playoff spot is out of reach. The interesting part is that with so many young stars ready in the wings to claim spots on next year's roster, it would be silly to hold on to some guys if you can get anything in return in a deal. The temptation will be great to stock up on some more draft picks.

-I was infuriated to read about the woman who ran the disgusting puppy mill in southwest Missouri at which 208 dogs were seized the other day. There needs to be stricter punishment for people who try to make money on the backs of helpless animals. These dogs were all but being tortured in the living conditions they had. The woman was apprarently even feeding some of the puppies (alive or dead?) to a tiger she also had in her compound. I pray that A) somebody writes and passes a law with teeth that will put an end to this stuff, and B) there's a special place in Hell for the sub-humans who use dogs in this way.

-Which brings me to my next topic. Maria Keena (my co-host on KMOX on weekend mornings) and I were chatting off the air this morning about some of the stories in the news. We wondered if there are any honest people left in the world? There was the puppy mill lady...investment schemes to bilk clients (i.e. Bernie Madoff and others)...Roland Burris/Rod Blagojevich...the many culprits in the mortgage crisis. And that's non-violent crime stuff. It all makes one wonder if conducting a life with dignity and honor has completely gone out of style. Whatever happened to an honest day's wages for an honest day's work? Too much like work I guess...which is maybe too hard to find with the current economy.

-I haven't mentioned it here before, but wife Barb has been thrilled with the response since she opened up her own dog-grooming shop at the Bellson Animal Hospital in Columbia, IL in January. Business at The Doggie Stylist at Bellson has been building steadily without even much promotion. Of course, some of that has to do with the fact she's located on the lower level at a very successful veterinary clinic. But there's also been considerable word-of-mouth business as well. I know one thing. If you have a dog that needs grooming on a regular basis and live in or somewhat close to Columbia (Waterloo, Millstadt, Red Bud, South County, Dupo etc.) where it makes geographical sense, you could not do better for a groomer than Barb. I watched her work with a dog the other day when I had some free time. And she has the most gentle, loving manner with these animals that you can imagine. It's obvious she enjoys (even though some subjects are a little difficult) her new career and the relationship she has with each and every canine customer. She kinda likes the humans that come in too. If you're interested, check out the website we've put up for her at

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