Stuart Castle Missouri

Missouri’s most famous and infamous castle, Stuart Castle in Eureka, Missouri, has fallen into bankruptcy and is now for sale. The castle was built by the eccentric Dr. Stuart Wallace as a gesture to his wife, surrounding and expanding a large, old farmhouse with stone. The interior was renovated in the 90’s to the tune of over 1 million dollars by a Dr. Naresh Misir and has now fallen into bankruptcy.

It’s a stunning property set on a bluff overlooking the Meramac River and contains an eccentric, amazing, and sometimes creepy interior. My wife grew up in the area and was friends with the daughter of the original owner, often visiting and playing on the property (before the 90’s renovation).

Suffice it to say it’s sale has sparked the imagination of the wife and I, not to mention our kids, so we’ve made plans to take a look at it this weekend! It’s a complete and total deviation from any kind of life plan the wife and I have discussed about our future or our kids future….but, did I mention it was a castle? Oh, and it has a BBQ porch. Yes, you read that correctly. It has a dedicated porch to barbecuing. Now that is my kind of castle.

Here is a nice set of photos only a year old from stlmag.com.

The barbecue porch at Stuart Castle. Not big enough to cook a whole pig, but it will have to suffice.

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Missed and Found; Maynard James Keenan, Star Wars: Machete Order

Welcome to our new series ‘Missed and Found’ where we reveal music and other media that we just totally missed or ignored but have now (re)discovered for your listening pleasure. My first admission is a big one, Maynard James Keenan, originally with Tool, then A Perfect Circle, and currently, Puscifer (not to mention his various roles as music producer and yes, wine maker).

Close friends of mine have been trying to get me to listen to Keenan’s music since Tool but he only came on my radar when I picked the Puscifer album “C” is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here).  The best way I can describe Puscifer is ‘progressive trip-hop alternative rock’. Anyway, I love most all the Puscifer library but have honestly been getting a little burnt out on the songs.  Keenan has a great sounding voice so I thought I’d (finally) see what I’ve been missing all this time and picked up Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle, and well, it’s now on my everyday rotation and I owe everyone who suggested Keenan a beer…here’s the seventh track, The Outsider:

Warning: non-Star Wars fan geeks may want to skip this…. but another bit of media goodness I’ve missed recently is this blogpost about what order to watch the much hated/beloved Star Wars movie Episodes.  I was staunchly in the Release Order camp but I’m convinced with this Machete Order argument is the way forward. I definitely plan to introduce my kids to the remainder of the movies they haven’t watched in the Machete Order (they’ve seen Episode IV & V so far), though they have also watched the first season of The Clone Wars and have somehow gained the knowledge that Annakin is Luke’s father from friends at school.

I was ruing the day when I would have to sit through Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace with them, but now I feel like I finally have the solution I’ve been looking for…

Penny4NASA

Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks above about the importance of a well funded space program and has helped start a petition, called Penny4NASA, which

was created for the express purpose of organizing peoples around the nation to call for the increase of NASA’s annual budget to a vast, yet comparably minuscule, penny on the taxpayer dollar. Or in other words 1% of the total.

As someone who grew up with the Space Shuttle and Hubble Telescope programs and voraciously consumed any and all astronomy and science fiction information I could get my hands or eyes on, I can’t applaud Mr. Tyson’s effort enough. Not to mention as a kid I fully expected to be able to take a trip to Mars or at least the Moon by the time I was an adult.  I’ll forgive the no flying cars or teleportation devices yet, but dammit, I WANT MY TRIP TO THE MOON. So please, sign the petition and if you are so inclined, send a quick email to your Congressperson.

 

Meet Chewie

Say hello to our newest family member and our second german shepherd, Chewbacca (that’s him in the forefront). We recently rescued Chewie with the help of the Serendipity German Shepherd Dog Rescue the same as we did last spring with his older sister, Ellie (darker one in the background). I can’t recommend using a rescue service enough for whatever breed you favor. Working with Rachel at Serendipity we were able to find two perfect dogs for each other and our family – happily ever after unless you’re an inanimate object within the reach of Chewie.

Chewie will be two years old in December and lives up to the name my two daughters picked out for him.  He’s big (80lbs so far) and he loves to come up to you and lean in for a pet and hopefully a snuggle and may start talking to you if you don’t (he actually sounds remarkably close to the real Chewbacca sometimes). During the day he prefers to chill in our backyard with a shoe or slipper, but really anything within reach that has our smell on it will do – a dustpan, yard clippers, tarps, old christmas lights left on a bush.

We’ll be enrolling in some training classes soon, but for now a friend of ours has let us borrow Training Your German Shepherd by Dan Rice, DVM. There is a newer edition available than the one we have, it can be found at Amazon.

Just chillin' in the moviesac

Awesome Spring is Even More Awesome

Spring is early and warm in St. Louis, the kids are starting baseball practice, the Blues are cruising into the playoffs, my back has mostly recovered, and the first Actionsuitiversary is tomorrow. What could possibly make this spring more awesome you ask?  Well, the second season of Game of Thrones is just around the corner. HBO has released this excellent review of the first season and preview of the second through the eyes of the actors, writers, and producers.