Wonder Woman

Posted July 7, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Films, Reviews

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Wonder WomanLast night was date night. We hired a baby sitter for Mary and went to see “Wonder Woman“. The cost for our baby sitter was three times as much as the price to see the movie. Here’s a link to the official trailer.

The movie stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as the dashing pilot/spy Steve Trevor. The film was directed by Patty Jenkins. It is interesting that the film was directed by a woman. And she is the first woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million.

Okay, first and foremost this movie was about a half hour longer than it needed to be. Run time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Butt getting sore and beginning to wonder when the big finale scene is going to start.

So here’s the basic story. Trevor’s plane crashes into the sea off the coast of Amazon Island and Diana saves him from certain death by drowning. Steve Trevor tells Diana about the war that is raging in the outside world. The war is WWI of course. Interestingly, the comic book version, the war is WW2. The first battle is between the Amazons and the Germans who are chasing Trevor on Amazon Island. Seeing as this is a PG-13, movie there is little blood spilled. Soldiers get shot but don’t seem to bleed very much.

There’s an amusing scene early in the movie where Steve is recovering from his wounds in a hot tub somewhere on the island. Then Steve gets out of the tub and stands there buck naked in all his glory for Diana to see. The look on her face says that she has probably never seen a naked man before. Oh my… Luckily for the kiddies present, the scene is back lit and you can’t actually see Trevor’s (ahem) equipment.

So Amazon Island is located somewhere off the coast of Italy or maybe Greece. Think warm blue Caribbean waters. So Princess Diana begins to discover her super powers. And then Steve persuades her to go with him back to England. The two of them find a small fishing boat and set sail for England.

So the pair arrive in London after a brief voyage. Steve helps Diana get some new clothes that would meet the approval of the Londoners of the era. Anyways, to make a long story short, the pair manage to make it to the battlefield in France where Wonder Woman proceeds to kick serious ass. The film has some real nasty German baddies that get their comeuppance. And finally, we get to the finale battle between Wonder Woman and the evil lord Ares. And of course, you know who wins that battle.

Overall, it was a fun film though a little bit on the long side. We stopped at KFC’s drive thru to pick up some fried chicken for our dinner. Going out to an actual restaurant would be nice, but tick tock.

 

Mary

Posted July 5, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Family, Mary

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Time for an update on Mary. It’s been a while and I have some stories to tell. First overall, she is doing fine. Though it seems that all she does is eat, sleep and go to the toilet. I had told Paula a cruder version of that statement. But this is a PG blog.

We’ve managed to get her to go to church a couple of times so far this summer, but not without serious nagging.

So this morning, I was in charge. Paula was off doing something at Assistance League and she left me in charge. So I get Mary up and offer her breakfast. I give her the usual oatmeal and blueberries with cream on top. So she eats about 75% of it and asks me to put the rest in the refrigerator. I tell her no I wouldn’t. Just finish it, I tell her. It takes up valuable space in the frig. and you won’t eat it anyway, because you are up only for breakfast and dinner. I don’t think anyone ever told her no before. So she finished it toddled off to brush her teeth and went back to bed.

Here’s another morning story. First, she has trouble differentiating between morning and evening. So she was eating her oatmeal and I hand to her meds to take. I fill up her water glass. Can I have some wine please.  No, you can’t have any wine with breakfast. If I drink water, I have to go to the toilet she says. That’s a good thing I tell her. I give her one glass of wine a day with her dinner. This was the second time I got that request from her. Rule #1, no wine with breakfast. I’m not sure anyone ever said “No” to her before me.

She has complained about not getting enough exercise. We would be glad to take her for a walk. I tell her that she needs to get up out of bed and come out of her room and tell us that she would like to go for a walk. That hasn’t happened.

So this elder care stuff is beginning to suck the life out of me. We were watching “CBS Sunday Morning” last night. (Ah, the joys of DVR’s). They were doing a piece on the Grand Canyon. So I was telling Paula, I would sure like to go there one of these days. She agreed with me. That won’t be happening any time soon.

The thing is that any travel means that we need to arrange 24/7 care givers for her. That gets expensive. Care givers get about $22 per hour with OT over 9 hours. Do the math. We already are doing a trip up to Sacramento in August. And we did a trip back to Mass. in May. Oh Lord, I need a vacation.

One more thing and then I will STFU. We just got a notice that our condo HOA is doing termite extermination in August. That means for a weekend in August we must be out of our condo three days and stay in a hotel with Mary. Not looking forward to that.

Travelling with Mary is a giant PITA. At first, we thought of taking her to Las Vegas. But that won’t work, she wouldn’t do well with a four hour drive. Last time we did that (3 years ago) she complained about the ugliness of the Mojave Desert. Not doing that again.

Staying with relatives won’t work. Our son doesn’t have the room. His life is crazy enough with out having three extra guests. I’ll try and find a suite somewhere local that will be comfortable for three days. We have to go to a meeting in July that will explain all the things that we need to do to get ready. UGH!

I Blog

Posted June 30, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Blogging, Family, Internet

Tags: ,

joe-paula-2016Okay, I’ve had various ideas for this post kicking around in my pea sized brain for a while now. I wanted to explain to my readers why I do this (ie. blog).

I started blogging about five years ago at about the time that Paula and I had decided to retire and move from Massachusetts to California to live with her aging mother.

I felt that I had a story to tell and that if I didn’t do it then the story wouldn’t get told. I didn’t feel that I had the writing chops to write my autobiography and I wouldn’t be getting some famous biographer to step up to the plate and do it. So blogging was it then. One spends a lifetime filling your brain with stories and information. Then when you get old and senile it all leaks out and falls on the floor to be forgotten. I didn’t want that to happen to me.

I’ve seen that first hand in Mary. She remembers almost nothing about her life. Paula’s Dad, Harold took a ton of pictures but most have the pictures have no information on the back. We’re left guessing who was in the picture and where it was taken and why it might be important.

I thought about doing it on Facebook, but Facebook seemed to be too limited on what I could write and many of my friends and family don’t do Facebook, but they will read an email from me. (By the way, you can get Word Press to automatically email my latest post to you). WordPress has Window apps and iPhone and iPad apps. Pretty sure they have apps for Android too.

So one fine day in the spring of 2012, I created an account on WordPress. Next, create a blog. The name that I picked was “Calherewecome“. It’s a sort of a play on the old song “California, Here I Come”. WordPress is pretty much free. Only thing I have to pay for is the internet domain registration for calherewecome.org

As of today, I have written 448  posts that are read by about 125 people. This is post #449. Some of my readers are friends and family, but many are people that I have never met. Some of those people are also bloggers and I often read and follow their blogs.

So what do I write about? I write about that which interests me. I write about family especially my aging mother-in-law Mary. I write about books that I’ve read and movies we’ve seen. Mary’s brother Jack who lives in Louisiana, faithfully reads all of my blog posts.

I write about technology. I spent almost all of my working life doing IT support for DEC, Compaq, HP and IBM. Many older folks call their adult children for PC technical support. In my family, they call me.

I also keep a private journal on Evernote. This where I put all of my private stuff that is inappropriate to publish on the blog. Evernote is a great app. There is a journaling app that I used on iOS called vJournal that works with Evernote. I use Evernote for filing all of the documents and statements that we receive. I have a recipe folder. Paula will ask me to look up a recipe while we are wandering through the grocery store. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Here’s the iPad link and here’s the iPhone link to the iTunes app store. You’ll have to figure out the Android link yourself.

That’s about it for now. Thank you to all my faithful readers.

TTFN

Joe

 

My Rules for Answering Calls

Posted June 26, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: iPhone, Technology

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download (1)Is it just me or are the number of robo-calls greatly increasing. I think that they are. So, my little effort in my corner of the world, I will be implementing the following rules with respect to getting me to answer my phone:

  1. First and foremost, if my caller-id screen says “NO Caller-ID” I will not answer the call, EVER. Furthermore, if you manage to leave a message in my voice mail, I will not respond. Delete before listening. If you don’t have the common decency to let me know who you are, I don’t feel the urge to answer the phone or call you back. I pay AT&T a huge amount of money every month. It is for my convenience, not yours.
  2. If your phone number comes up in my caller-id screen but your name is not in my iPhone’s contact DB, I will not answer. Leave a message and I will get back to you. If you are pitching some vacation or money saving offer, don’t bother with the message, I won’t be calling back. I promise to add you name and number into my contact DB.
  3. Actually, rather than a voice mail, I would rather you send me a text message. Voice mail is so last century. If my dentist can figure out how to use text messaging, so can you.

Oh, by the way, we finally got a land line, but you can’t have the number. We got it just to allow us to reach our caregivers while we are traveling. The number is unlisted. If the phone rings, I don’t answer it.

I keep hearing that robo-callers are going direct to voice mail. I haven’t seen that yet. If that happens I might just let my voice mailbox fill up so noone can leave any voice mails.

One last thing. If you are calling me from an east coast area code (eg. 978 or 781) and you call me 8:00 AM east coast time, I won’t answer. I live in the LA area where there is a three hour time difference. Do the math. CVS was doing that to us for a while before with Rx refill reminders. CVS fixed the problem. They send SMS reminders now.

TTFN

Joe

iPhone 10th Birthday

Posted June 26, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone

Tags: , ,

downloadHappy birthday to the iPhone. It has been 10 years since the introduction of the iPhone 3.

I wasn’t on board at the beginning. Back in 2007, I had some kind of Blackberry. I don’t remember the exact model. I got my first iPhone (a 3GS) in 2009. I bought it not long after we had flown to LA to attend Paula’s father’s funeral. Our friend Andrea had a new iPhone. I got to play with it for a few minutes. From that moment on, I have been hooked.

So then I got an iPhone 6 Plus. Paula then got my old 4S and the 5S went to my sister-in-law Mary in Hingham.

This spring, Paula upgraded to an iPhone 7. Paula liked the improved battery life on her 7 and a bigger, brighter screen. For once, she has a newer phone than me. I am waiting for the next generation iPhone that is expected to be announced in September.

Oh and by the way, we have two iPad’s. Paula has an iPad Mini and I have a 12″ iPad PRO.

One of the reasons, that we have stuck with all iPhones is that app data is consistent across all devices. In particular, contact data and calendar data. And it makes my job of keeping the devices working smoothly much easier.

The Last Supper

Posted June 25, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Art, Bible, History

Tags: , , ,

So today at church, our minister was talking about the gospel of John, chapter 14. Chapter 14 contains much of the detail leading up to the last supper. While he was talking he had a picture projected of the “Last Supper” up on the overhead screen. So that got me thinking. Sometimes, when Jacques preaches, my mind begins to wander. Today was no different. I started thinking about the paintings of the “Last Supper”.

So I pull out my trusty iPhone and switch from the Bible app to the Google app. (Our church has excellent WiFi by the way.) I did a search on the term “last supper paintings”. I was first trying to find out who painted the particular version of the painting up on the screen. Couldn’t find it. I found one that sort of looked similar but had some slight differences.

Suffice it to say, there has been a ton of stuff done on the “Last Supper”. The first painting to come to mind was the one by Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” it seems was the prototype that all others are compared.

Última_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5

Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” was painted between 1495-1498. It is not in very good condition. It was done as a mural at the Convent of Santa Maria del Grazie in Milan. For more story about the Da Vinci work go to the Wiki page. Da Vinci’s work has suffered from environmental issues.

Here’s another image of a work done in oil by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli in 1520 that is a lot clearer.

Giampietrino-Last-Supper-ca-1520

So we all know that Jesus is seated in center of the table, we all get that. The disciples are seated in groups of three (allusions to the Holy Trinity, of course). Supposedly, Jesus has just told them that someone would betray him.

The first three on the left are surprised. They are Bartholomew, James and Andrew.

Second group of three includes Judas Iscariot, Peter and John. Judas looks like he has his bag of silver in his hand. Judas (dressed in green and blue) is looking withdrawn.

Next group of three include Thomas, James the Greater and Phillip. Thomas is clearly upset.

Last group of three are Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot. Matthew and Jude Thaddeus seem to be looking to Simon asking for more information.

There also was a suggestion towards the end of the article that the effeminate person on Jesus’ right was Mary Magdeline, Suggested by author Dan Brown and others, and disputed by other art historians. Hmmm, interesting.

This is about the point that I get an elbow from Paula and gives me the look. ( I should be paying attention to Pastor Jacques). Hey, at least I wasn’t looking at Facebook.

Interesting stuff. Go read the wiki article. You won’t regret it.

Mary’s of the Bible

Posted June 16, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Bible, Family

Tags: ,
Harold_Copping_Jesus_at_the_home_of_Martha_and_Mary_400

Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary by Harold Copping, depicting the scene from Luke 10

So this past Wednesday, we were discussing the Gospel of John chapter 12. The first few lines of the chapter tell of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive oil. The oil was supposedly worth 300 denarii which was the equivalent of a year’s wages.

So I ask Pastor Jacques, which Mary is this? I’m confused. Jacques didn’t answer my question. To get the answer, I had to go to Wikipedia,

It seems that this is Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus. I feel sometime that I need a score card to keep track of all the Mary’s mentioned in the Bible.  Here’s the link to the article on the Mary’s of the Bible.

So the article states that there are six different Mary’s mentioned in the Gospels. They are:

  • Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Mary of Bethany (sister of Lazarus)
  • Mary of Clopus (John 19:25, present at crucifixion)
  • Mary, mother of James
  • Mary, mother of James the younger

It seems that Mary was quite a popular name for Palestine Jews at the time of Jesus. Indeed, Mary once was the most popular girl’s name in the US. It led the list of girl’s names from the 1920’s until the 1960’s when the name Lisa took over the top spot. The Social Security Administration has a web site with the list of most popular names. In 2016 the name Mary isn’t even in the top 100. Here’s the pointer to the Social Security web site on baby names.

One more Mary story and then I’ll be done for tonight. Some of you might know this but many do not. My wife’s first name is Mary and she has always gone by her middle name. There were many Mary’s in her family (almost as confusing as the Bible). Paula (don’t call her Mary) once told me the story of her mother jokingly accusing her of having two sons to avoid naming a girl child Mary.