Archive for January 2013

Boogie Woogie Twins

January 20, 2013

For your listening enjoyment.

Stuff you can’t get in California

January 19, 2013

I’m enjoying my life in California, don’t get me wrong. But there are some things that are not to be found.

Here’s my current list.

1. Cape Cod potato chips. There are some decent substitutes of “kettle cooked” chips. I believe that one can buy them online. I believe that the minimum order is six bags. Of course, shipping not included.

2. Pepperidge Farms Bread. One of my favorite breads is PF’s deli swirl rye. It’s a swirl combination of dark and light ryes. No substitute found out here yet.

3. Dunkin Donuts. One can buy ground DD coffee in the grocery store (but not decaf) and no DD restaurants. Closest substitute is Starbuck’s. I just read today that DD is expanding into SoCal again. WooHoo! STarbucks doesn’t have decaf. One of the local grocery stores has a Starbuck’s in the store and the grocery carts have a place for your cup. Cool.

4. Drive-up windows. Well they do have drive thru’s for MacDonalds, In’n’Out, etc. But not for Starbucks or any other coffee shop. You’d think that in LA where the car is king there’d be a drive thru window for coffee. Go figure.

Here are things that associate with New England that one can get in LA.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Sam Adams Beer

One more thing. We are looking for a place to buy baclava. Anyone know of a Greek bakery in the San Pedro area?


Five Months Gone

January 14, 2013

Okay, it’s been 5 months now that we’ve been in California. Time for an update. As you know, we are living with Paula’s mother in her three bedroom condo. So far so good. WW-III has not broken out yet. More on this later.

First thing that I’ve noticed is that everything out here seems to cost more. Here’s a few examples. I bought gasoline this morning. I paid $3.75 per gallon and I thought that was a pretty good price considering. Two months ago I saw one gas station charging $4.75. Food is expensive too. Large of Skippy Peanut Butter was $6.50 and I paid $4.00 back in MA. Movie prices seem to be competitive. Last movie we saw (Lincoln) was $5 for Senior ticket.

I always look forward to the times that we can go out without Mary K in tow. Tonight while Mary K is off to her historical society meeting (often called the hysterical society) we will be going to the movies. We’ll be seeing “Silver Linings Playbook”. We watched to Golden Globes last night. We have a lot of movies to see before the Oscars. Some were added to our Netflix queue, some still playing in theaters.

The weather has been pleasant. We are in a sort of rainy season for SoCal. We are very happy to have no snow. I seem to be always fighting MaryK on the thermostat. I try to leave it at 72. Given a chance she will push it up to 78. I came home from lodge last week and the condo felt like a sauna. She is always complaining about the cold. Matter of fact, all of the locals here complain about the cold weather (ie. 48). This past sunday, the parking lot at church was almost empty. 45 was a bit too cold for many folks to leave their homes. The weather for the last few days has been clear and cold (45). We can see the mountains to the east of LA quite clearly. Usually all we can see is the refineries in San Pedro.

I still feel like a foreigner here. To Paula she has come home. She seems to be always meeting someone that she went to high school at San Pedro HS. Just yesterday, we were at the grocery store. At the meat counter, the lady who was waiting on us, said “Don’t I know you?”. Turns out the lady and Paula went to high school together.

We usually go to church most sundays. We go to Ocean View Baptist Church. I didn’t really get a say in the choice of churches. This is the church that Mike & Theresa and Mary K go to. It was the same church that Paula went to back before she moved East to meet me thirty-five years ago. It’s a bit conservative for my choice. I really miss Rev Katherine and First Congo in Billerica. I haven’t dared to bring up the issue of accepting LGBT into the church. i would probably be expelled as a heretic. Sigh.

One of the daily challenges of living with Mary K is keeping track of her stuff. She is constantly losing her cell phone, her address book, or her keys. Things either fall into the black hole of her purse or get buried under the pile of paper at her seat on the couch. I am constantly trying to show her how to do things on her phone from listening to voice mail or using speed dial.

A while ago, I loaded her phone with speed dial entries for myself, Paula and Mike. Then I wrote the numbers on a piece of tape attached to the rear of the phone. Once we asked her why she didn’t call, she said I couldn’t find your phone number. I explained as simply as I could. Push the number corresponding to who you are trying to reach and hold for 5 seconds. So she pushes the number on the tape. Argggggh!

It’s a takes a constant effort to keep track of her calendar. We try to get her to write her dates on the calendar on the kitchen. She’s getting better at it but room for improvement. We try to get her to leave her important things (phone, keys, address book) in the same place.

Her short term memory is very bad. We will tell her something that is going on one day and need to repeat several days in a row until it settles in. Not a problem on her long term memory. If I had a nickel for every time she has told us the story of her days as a public health nurse in Palos Verdes, I would be rich.

We have hit the road running in Blue Lodge and OES. I play the piano on occasion for OES and Lodge. Right now I am the fill-in. Last Friday, I was scheduled to play at Alpha Star Chapter in Lomita. Meeting was to start at 7:30pm. I started playing to warm up at about 7:10. However, the heat wasn’t working so they moved the meeting to banquet hall which was closer to the kitchen. Easiest $25 I ever made. Still had fun. Lodge is one place where I can get some peace and quiet away from Mary.

Paula tries to go with her for her doctor’s appointments to make sure that all of the relevant information gets to the doctor. We haven’t managed to convince her she should have a primary care doctor. “Why do I need that?” she says. I’m not sick. Except some times she is sick. Intestinal issues, colds come on and get serious if not attended to.

One last thing. Paula and I are taking Mary K to see “Shen Yun 2013” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in LA. Birthday present. so to speak. I’ll do a review after the event.


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Pedro

Addendum to Do Not Disturb

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year.

One more thing related to “Do Not Disturb”. You can automate the Do Not Disturb function. (Pointed out to me by one of my faithful blog readers.)

Go to the “Settings” App again.

Tap the “Notifications” button.

Then, tap the “Do Not Disturb” Button.

Swipe the “Scheduled” switch to “On”.

Then adjust the “From” time and “To” times to the times that you don’t want to receive calls.

There that was easy.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Pedro, CA