I bypass my running shoes and head straight for a hot shower. At 48 degrees, it's pretty cold in Los Angeles. A beautiful day in South Dakota perhaps, but L.A. practically closes schools if it dips below 50 degrees. Besides, I have to get to the office early to prep for the trip.
5:30 a.m. PERSONAL WEATHER REPORT Downstairs, my wife Sonya is enjoying her coffee and reading the paper. Without putting it down, she asks if I packed my heavy coat. "It's 20 degrees in St. Louis, and it looks like it's going to snow," she announces from behind the paper.
Before I can ask where my coat is, she says, "It's in the guest room closet on the right-hand side in a black hanging bag. Near the sewing machine." I was going to say I knew that, but she drops the newspaper far enough to smile over it, as if to say, "Don't even go there."
I grab my coat but can't find the gloves. Oh, well. I'll only need the coat in St. Louis.
6:00 a.m. THE KIDS' BEDROOM Both girls are sound asleep. Alyssa, the 9-year-old, rolls over in a sleepy stretch when I say goodbye. Seven-year-old Renee wakes up just enough to ask where I'm going, how long I will be gone, and why hadn't I told her before? A real chip off the ol' block, this one. Then she asks me to bring her a present. Chip off the ol' block, all right.
6:30 a.m. CONFERENCE CALL Blaine Decker, executive VP at my company, Radio Unica Network, gives me some good feedback on my presentation scheduled for tomorrow morning. Radio Unica President Jose Cancela will meet me at the St. Louis airport. The plan is to review the pres-
esentation together over dinner. After the meeting, Jose will head back to the Miami headquarters and I'll go on to Dallas and Phoenix solo.