Books

Posted March 21, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Books

Tags:

Eric Idle Cover ShotSo what is everyone reading these days? Currently, I am reading Eric Idle’s biography. (Actually titled: “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiogtaphy“. This is the story of Eric Idle’s very interesting life from Monty Python to Spamalot and much more.

So I discovered this book after seeing Eric Idle’s appearance on the Stephen Colbert show. Interesting book, but that’s not what this post is really about.

Michele Obama Cover ShotI recently finished Michele Obama’s autobiography titled, “Becoming“. This is another interesting autobiography.

I tend to read a lot. I often get books to read ideas from appearances of authors on late night television. The problem is that I can’t keep up with the many books that I discover.

When I learn of a new book that I might want to read, I download the Kindle sample to my Apple iPad Kindle App. Right now, I have about a dozen books that I have downloaded waiting for me to start reading them. If I continue to watch late night TV, my unread list is just going to get longer. Oh, well.

So in no particular order here is my list of books waiting to be read by me.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing” By Delia Owens. I saw a piece on CBS Sunday Morning about this book. Interview with the author, etc. Sounds interesting. It’s been on the NY Times Best Seller list for a while now.
  • Wild Bill: The True Story of the Frontier’s First Gunfighter” by Tom Glavin. I forget where I saw this mentioned. I read the sample. Seems interesting.
  • HOME (The Portal Series, Book 3): An Alternative History” by Richard Bowker. Okay, this is a shameless plug. Rich is my brother who happens to be an author. This book will start shipping on April 2. While you’re waiting you can go back and read books 1 and 2.

  • Yeshiva Girl” by Rachel Mankowitz. This is a story of a fifteen year old Jewish girl from Long Island. This is also another shameless plug. Rachel writes a blog titled: “Rachelmankowitz” It’s worth taking a look.
  • Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly. This is a crime novel. I have read many of Mr. Connelly’s crime fiction books. Most of the stories are located in the LA area. Main character is Det. Harry Bosch. It’s a pleasant change from all of the non-fiction books that I read.
  • Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents” by Pete Souza. Pete Souza was Barack Obama’s chief photographer. Souza probably spent more time than anyone else following President Obama.

Okay, one final thought. The more popular the book is it seems that the price is higher. Pete Souza’s book is $15.99 and Crawdad is $12.99. The only bargain in the list is Rich Bowker’ book at $6.99. Yeshiva Girl is sorta free, being that it’s included with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. It seems that the more popular a book is the more that Amazon charges.

Spring Forward

Posted March 11, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Rants, Technology

Tags:

Okay, last night I turned our clocks forward an hour. Well that’s not quite true. Some of our clocks (or devices with clocks) auto-magically turn forward on their own.

So our cell phones, iPads, DVR did it all on their own. Even my new Nissan adjusted its clock without me needing to get out the owner’s manual to find out to adjust the clock. Even my clock radio that I have had for many years has a “DST” button that moves the time ahead or back an hour.

I had to manually adjust the microwave, range and two clocks in our living room. Also, I had to adjust Mary’s wrist watch. Truth be told she wouldn’t know the difference if I left it alone. She wears the watch all the time but never looks at it.

I have to be careful with the clock on top of the piano [pictured below]. The battery has a tendency to become dislodged causing the clock to stop.

Paula will need to do the clock in her Prius. This Prius is ten years old. Probably newer models have figured out to to do the magic.

So here’s what bothers me. I hear that politicians are thinking about making us have DST all year round. Now what would I do, to adjust the magic algorithm that makes my phone magically jump forward an hour on the 2nd Sunday in March and back some time in October.

There I feel better. Rant is all done.

TTFN

joe

Spring Time in San Pedro

Posted March 9, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Pictures, San Pedro

Tags:

I decide that today that I needed to do photo tour of San Pedro to see the Spring wild flower blooms. Paula didn’t need me at home, so I was free for a couple of hours. This is a few of the pictures that I took. My apologies to my friends back east, who are still feeling the effects of Winter.

First set of pictures is of an area called San Pedro Hill near 9th & Western. The ground is not stable enough to support construction, so the wild flowers can grow. By summer time, this area will be a golden brown, but right now it very green.

 

Then, I continued south-bound on Western and turned right onto 25th Street. This area is subject to many landslides, so the wildflowers grow unbothered. One of the areas that has a park is called Abalone Cove. Here are the pictures:

 

And finally, I headed east on 25th Street and headed to an overlook on Gaffey street with a great view of LA Harbor. It was a great day for the the sail boats.

Picture taking done. Now to stop the store for some laundry detergent. The Girl Scouts were outside selling their wares. Got a box of cookies. Not on my shopping list.

Finally, got a Venti iced coffee at Starbucks. Day is done. [BTW All picture were taken with my iPhone 8 plus.]

1 Second Everyday – February 2019

Posted March 1, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

Tags: , ,

Here we go with another 1SE for the month of February. Takes about a minute to watch.

Car Chases 101

Posted February 22, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: California, Los Angeles, Television

Tags: , , ,

Out here in LA we have a curious phenomenon on our local evening news. Most nights we watch the local news on KTLA. We record on our DVR the hour long local news then we record the National news.

So every once in a while, the local news stations start following a car chase on the freeway from their news chopper. Last night was one of those nights. All you can see is the red lights from the perp’s car and the LA Highway Patrol in pursuit. Most of the time the chase continues until either the perp runs out of gas or gets into a crash. Seeing that is dark, you can’t even see it.

So that’s all they do for the entire broadcast. No local weather, no sports, nothing. It’s not just KTLA. other channels do the same thing. Don’t the stations have anything else to report on than a car chase?

I don’t remember Boston TV stations doing similar foolishness.

I usually give them 5 minutes and then switch the channel to something interesting.

1 Second Everyday – January

Posted January 31, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

Tags: ,

Here is my 1SE for the month of January.

Green Book

Posted January 24, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Films, Music, Reviews

Tags: , , , , ,

Last night was “Date Night” again. This time we went to see “Green Book” at the AMC theater in Torrance. What a great film! This time we didn’t even have to pay for a sitter for Mary because our friend Roberta was visiting us and offered to watch Mary for the evening. We have been try to catch up on seeing all of the Oscar-nominated films this year. We never get to see all of the films, especially since the academy expanded the Best Picture nominees to 10 films.

Green Book stars Virgo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Also, the actual green book was the star of the film. It is the story of a booklet called the “Negro Motorists Green Book” that was used by black people traveling in the South during the “Jim Crow” era. The book was published from 1936 until 1966 by Victor Green, a mailman in the NYC area. [Click here for more information from Wikipedia.] The book was intended to help Black motorists find lodging and accommodations while traveling.

So back to the movie. Mahershala plays the part of a black classical pianist (Dr Don Shirley) who hires Mortensen (Tony Lip) to be driver for a concert tour through the Deep South. The movie details their journey.

Tony Lip was an Italian-American who worked as a bouncer at the Copa-Cobana Club in NYC. So Tony had lost his job at the Copa when the club had closed for renovations. Then, Dr Don Shirley hires Tony Lip as his driver and assistant. Tony would be constantly getting Dr Don out of trouble.

So they started their tour through the south in this a beautiful baby blue 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVilles. What a beautiful car.

Also, I loved the music from the film. Dr Don Shirley leads a trio with a piano, cello and bass fiddle. When we got home I logged in to iTunes and bought the sound track album right away. [Click here for iTunes and here for Amazon.]

So finally, we stopped for dinner on the way home. A lot of times we feel we need to get home right away since we are paying for our sitter by the hour. Most of the time we will get take-out food. (Perhaps, KFC, burgers, Chinese, etc.) This time we decided to stop at Taxco Mexican restaurant around the corner from our condo. Paula and I both had a delicious margarita and some Mexican food. Very tasty. [Click here for the Yelp entry]