Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trip report - ACBL's NABC Nationals in St. Louis

My father and I just spent 6 days in St. Louis playing duplicate bridge, had a great time, thought my few readers would like a trip report. 

We stayed at the Chase Park Plaza, it was cheaper then staying in the hotels next to America's Center, where the games took place.  It is a grand hotel, near the Central West End, and Forest Park.  Recommended, at least at the price I paid.

Restaurants in St. Louis we tried, after researching on the internet -
Pappy's Smokehouse - great BBQ, go early.  You can get steak fries, but they aren't on the menu.  Hard to imagine that 17th Street and Bandana's can't be as good, but they aren't close.  We got there at 11:25 and waited for 20 minutes.  At 11:45, the line was over an hour!
Brinco's Mexican - next to Pappy's.  Very good and reasonably priced.
Brasserie - Central West End.  Lower end French.  The salad with poached egg and onion soup were great.  The floating island dessert is just too much.  Recommended.  Take me and let me pay would be my advice. :)
Pi Pizza - Central West End.  Thin crust was pretty good, but not world class.  Would try thick before I started going somewhere else.  Good salad.  Quatro's is better.
Tortillaria Mex - Central West End.  Not as good at Brinco's, but in that trendy date neighborhood.  Food is OK+.
Mango - Downtown.  Very good Peruvian food.  We ate lunch there 4 times and really enjoyed it.  Lunch was $50, so kind of pricy.

It is amazing what a great tool is for finding restaurants.  My results are much better then using the concierge at a fancy hotel.

We played a bunch of games, came away with 15 gold and/or red points.  We learned a lot, found there are things you can do in the club games, that the better players at the nationals punish you for... Oops!  :)

I'm sure we will do it again, it was fun.

What I have been listening to lately - The Avett Brothers

I have tickets to see them in Nashville on May 18th.  Looking forward to it.  I like how they switch the lead singers, seamless switching back and forth, higher and lower.  Reminds me of "The Band."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1 in 3 Counties dying off?

Here is the article.  I guess if you are against population gain, this is good news?  Might be time to forget about tourism, and try to get more immigrants to move to Southern Illinois?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Is Quinn trying to do the right thing on the SIU BOT?

We have read letters from the Poshard supporters, we have read about the SIUC results.  I have been asking myself, is Quinn trying to do the right thing?  Let's review -

  • By almost any metric, if we are judging SIU's performance, almost all of the upper-level SIU administrators should be fired.
  • The reason Poshard wasn't fired a couple of years ago was that he engineered a political event, with the help of the Blagojevich appointed BOT members.
I appears to me that the BOT has been a political boy's club, and not a body that serves the best interests of SIU, for many years.  The political coup they pulled, didn't solve any problems, or help the university.  If I was on the BOT, you can bet that Poshard would have been fired by now.  How can you do as badly as he has done, and keep that job?

Don't know Quinn, don't know his motivation, but replacing the political members of the BOT with people who might put SIU first, before petty Illinois politics seems right to me.  They are on terms, there is nothing that says they have to be reappointed.

What do you think?  Should Poshard be fired?  Is Quinn trying to do the right thing?  Feel free to comment anonymously.