Lent

Posted February 16, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Religion

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LentAs many of you know yesterday we observed Valentine’s Day, but also we observe Lent. Now the church that I belong to does not observe Lent (or Ash Wednesday). So I was at my weekly Bible study meeting on Wednesday and I asked our pastor, what gives? How come and why not?

Now I would expect our pastor to know this stuff but unfortunately he didn’t have a clue. At first, he said that he thought it was Catholic/Protestant thing. To which, I answered that I knew many Protestant churches that observed Lent. Anything else? Alas, he had nothing.

Sigh. So it seems that I would have to find out the answer myself. So, I asked my number one spiritual adviser, Google. It seems that Google had a ton of answers on the subject.

So Google tells me that most Protestant churches do indeed observe Lent and Ash Wednesday. The main exception is the Baptists. The Baptists come from a Calvinist/reformation background and as such got rid of all church holy days. The only exception that was kept was Easter and Christmas.

The only other (Christian) religious sects that do not observe Lent are the Amish and the Mennonites.

And while we’re on the subject of Lent, let’s talk about meatless Fridays. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family in the 1950’s .and 1960’s. We not only did we not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, we observed that practice the entire rest of the year. I got so used to fish on Fridays, I got to liking it. My Dad would cod-fish cakes on Friday for breakfast. They were so good.

Here is an interesting article that goes in depth about the issue of Lent and repentance.

The Post

Posted February 9, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: History, Movies, Reviews

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The-PostDate night tonight. We went out to see “The Post“. This is a film about the Washington Post’s handling what became known as the “Pentagon Papers”. The movie stars Meryl Streep as Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post.

Anytime I see Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks I expect that I will be seeing great performances. I was not disappointed this evening.

The movie is set in Washington in 1971. Daniel Ellsburg had stolen the pages that documented failures of the Vietnam war in a document that became known as the “Pentagon Papers“.  I have provided a link to the Wiki pages on the Pentagon Papers. The Nixon White house tried to block the publication but the case was heard by the US Supreme Court. And the rest is history.

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I loved the set decoration on the film. Where’d they get all of the dial telephones and the pay phones. I felt like I was going back in time. One really gets the feeling that you are in newspaper news room. Presses and Linotype machines too. Reminds me of a tour I took of the Boston Globe facility on Morrisey Blvd. in Dorchester when I was in high school. Only thing missing was the smell of machine oil and ink.

The film ends with the break-in of the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington.

Stopped at KFC for some chicken take-out.

Good film. Go see it.

Joe

Pea Soup

Posted February 6, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Recipes

Tags: ,

2018-02-06 10.42.21One of my favorite soups is pea soup. It is so easy to make. I cook it in our crock pot that we received as a gift long, long time ago.  This is one of the recipes that Mary will gobble down. Don’t have to nag at her to eat her dinner.

One other thing, related to crock pots. We found that Reynolds makes “crock pot liners”. Makes cleanup easy. You can find them in the food storage section in the super market.

I’ve heard of some new fangled thing called an “Insta-Pot”. Supposedly a combination of crock pot and  pressure cooker. One of these days I might get one but Paula will most certainly ask me “Where are you going to put it?”. So for now, no insta-pot. My crock pot is the old fashioned kind. Indeed, I’ve had it for about 40 years.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bag of dried split peas
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 carton of chicken broth (usually 32 oz.)
  •  8 oz of chopped ham. (our supermarket sells chopped ham conveniently packaged all cut up ready to throw in the pot). Alternately, use a ham bone left over from cooking a ham shoulder.

Add all of the vegetables to the crock pot. Rinse the split peas in a colander. Add the peas to the pot. And then add the ham.

2018-02-06 17.20.02Add the chicken broth. Turn on the crock pot on high and cook for 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally.

If you go the ham bone route, remove the bone about 45 minutes before serving. Scrape all of the remaining ham meat off of the bone. It should scrape off quite easily.

Check the fluid level about a half hour before serving. If the soup seems a bit thick, you may want to add more water to the stew. I usually have to add about 8 oz. of water.

Mary

Posted February 2, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Mary

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Well, as you all know, we celebrated Mary’s 94th birthday last week. So, today was the time to pay the piper. It was time for Mary’s annual physical.

So a couple of weeks ago, Paula scheduled her physical with her primary care doc. Dr T. had put in all the orders for blood work and urine sample a few weeks ago. Paula took her up to his office a couple of weeks ago to have her bloods drawn. The appointment was for 10 am this morning.

So the good news is that Mary is doing just fine. All blood work was in normal ranges. Her cholesterol is low and without any statin drugs, either. She just hasn’t been sick. We made sure that she got her flu shot a couple of months ago. Have you had your flu shot? Not too late. If we can keep her from falling, she probably will live to be a 100.

2018-02-02 10.00.18So while Mary and Paula were at doctor’s office, I decided to go to Starbuck’s for an iced coffee. Picked it up at the store and found a nice table outside.

The sun was shining. The temp outside was about 70 with a nice light breeze. Not very crowded. A lot of times the place is loaded with people sitting in front of their laptops and coffee. Not today. The place was almost empty.

So I started working on the NY Times crossword puzzle. It was surprisingly easy for a Friday. Finished it in about 15 minutes. Then, I read some of the current book that I am reading (“Darkest Hour”) about Winston Churchill. So at 11 am it was time to head home.

We’ll all be going to lodge tonight for casual dinner with our lodge friends.

TTFN

Joe

1 Second Every Day – January 2018

Posted February 1, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: 1SE, Apple, apps, Blogging, Family

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Okay, this past month I started using a new app call “1 Second Everyday“. Click here for the pointer in the Apple App Store. And here’s the Android version. I upload 1 or 2 pictures every day and it produces a mashup video displaying each picture for about second. It is sort of a video diary, kinda sorta.

So every day, I push myself to take one or two pictures every day. I took pictures of people we met and places that we went. I took pictures of the baristas at Starbucks. I took picture in the supermarket. I have family pictures including our very cute grand kids.

Sometimes, I have to push myself to take a picture. I try to answer the question, “What did I do today?”.

It feels like monthly is the right size for the video (both in time and file size. Maybe in December I will do a whopper of a lookback.

Here is the video for January 2018. So sit back and enjoy.

 

 

Darkest Hour

Posted January 28, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Books, Movies, Reviews

Tags: , ,

Darkest HourLast week we went to see the movie “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Of course, we had to get a sitter for Mary. It was good to get out with her.

I enjoyed the film, but the theater had the audio turned up a bit too loud. That made the audio a bit mushy and you combine that with the English accents one gets trouble understanding what’s going on. It seems that a lot of theaters run the audio loud on films (in this case it was an AMC theater.)

The timeline for the story is May 1940 starting with the sacking of Neville Chamberlain.  And carrying Great Britain through the days of exploring the idea of a negotiated peace with Hitler.

I was subliminally comparing the portrayal of Churchill in this film with the performance of John Lithgow as Churchill in the Netflix series “The Crown”. Both were fine performances but I kind of liked Lithgow just a bit more.

Interesting to read IMDB on the costuming and makeup for Gary Oldman. Another bit of trivia, film had a budget of $30,000 for cigars. They used about 400 cigars during the filming. Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning from smoking the cigars.

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Anthony McCarten. Indeed, Anthony McCarten also wrote the screen play. I’ve just started reading the book. I think I would have been better off if I had read the book first. I wouldn’t have felt so confused at times during the film.

Oh, for fine dining, we ate at Denny’s. The film was about 2 hours long, so all the restaurants hadn’t closed for the evening when we pulled in.

Here’s a bit of information that I learned. The restaurants on the west side of Western Ave are in Rancho Palos Verdes. And as such, they are required to close at 9:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the Denny’s that we went to is open all night.

Mary

Posted January 28, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Aging, Family, Mary, Uncategorized

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I am overdue for a post on Mary. So here we go. This week Mary celebrated her 94th birthday. We managed to persuade her to go to Senior Bible Study at Ocean View.

Side note: We have managed to get her to Sunday services for the past few weeks. First occasion was to see Jonathan perform with the kids Christmas Cantata, then to see Theresa in the adult cantata. Trying to get her in the habit of going to church again.

She hadn’t been going to the Bible study for quite a time now. We had told her that the people there missed her and encouraged her to return. I told her that Betty Walker would be getting her a cake and we would all sing “Happy Birthday” to her.

So we were continually trying to figure out what her problem was with going to Bible Study on Wednesday and services on Sunday. I think that I finally figured it out. She didn’t want anyone to see her all decrepit and walking with the aid of a walker. I told her that several people there used walkers and canes. She wasn’t the only one that was a having trouble with walking stability. It seems to help if there is a reason to go.

So we continued with the celebration this week. Mike and his family came over for dinner on Friday. We got another cake from a local bakery for the occasion. We ordered a banana/whipped cream cake from Amalfitano’s Bakery in San Pedro (a family favorite). It was very tasty.2018-01-26 20.10.20