Archive for January 2014

High Noon

January 30, 2014

Last night we watched the movie “High Noon” on Netflix. High Noon starred Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Gary Cooper plays a retiring Marshall who is faced with meeting a bad guy from his past who has been released from prison. So the story starts with Cooper’s character getting married to Grace Kelly’s character on a Sunday morning.

High Noon (1952) Poster

Then he is told by the railroad station guy that the bad guy is coming on the noon train to meet up with his old gang. Of course, none of the cowards in the town are brave enough to help. Half the town is in the saloon, the other half in the church. So it’s only Gary Cooper and his bride to take on the four bad guys.

You’d expect Gary Cooper to face the four in the street, head to head. But no, he’s brave but not stupid. He picks them off one by one in the alleys and barns. Lloyd Bridges plays the Deputy Marshall who also won’t help.

Also starring in the movie are Harry Morgan (from MASH and Dragnet fame), Lloyd Bridges and Lon Chaney. Gary Cooper won the Best Actor Oscar for the film in 1953.

So what got us watching High Noon? That’s the real story here. I was looking for “Western” music to play at our LA Harbor Lodge meetings. That’s “Western” music, not “Country and Western” music. That lead me to several TV Westerns and Movie Westerns. Some movie themes don’t work so well when done on a piano. They only work well for a full orchestra.

So that led me to the theme from “High Noon”, written by the great Dimitri Tiomkin and lyrics by Ned Washington. Tiomkin and Washington won Oscars for Best Song and Best Score. It works well for piano. So I downloaded the lead sheet score from Musicnotes.com.

Here are the lyrics from High Noon.

Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’,
On this, our wedding day.
Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’,
Wait; wait alone.
I do not know what fate awaits me.
I only know I must be brave.
For I must face a man who hates me,
Or lie a coward, a craven coward;
Or lie a coward in my grave. 

Oh, to be torn ‘twixt love an’ duty.
S’posin’ I lose my fair-haired beauty.
Look at that big hand move along,
Nearing high noon. 

He made a vow while in state prison:
Vowed it would be my life for his an’,
I’m not afraid of death but, oh, what shall I do,
If you leave me? 

Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’:
You made that promise as a bride.
Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’.
Although you’re grievin’, don’t think of leavin’,
Now that I need you by my side. 

Wait along, (Wait along.)
Wait along.
Wait along. (Wait along, wait along, wait along, wait along.) 

I particularly like the second verse “He made a vow while in state prison, Vowed it would be my life or his an”.

Finally, here is the link to the theme “High Noon” sung by Tex Ritter.

To the members of LA Harbor Lodge, you will be hearing “High Noon” at our next meetings.

TTFN,

Joe
 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Snacks for Jonathan

January 26, 2014

So I was sitting next to my grandson Jonathan this morning after church. We were having a lunch for a family that is moving to Colorado. By the way, Jonathan is two. Jonathan usually can depend on Grandpa giving some good snacks to eat. First, I gave him some potato chips. potato-chips-fd-md     So far so good. Then, I offered some Cheetos. Cheetos   Big problem. He pushed them away. Maybe they looked too much like carrots or something. Next time I’ll go back to the old standby, Goldfish. goldfishAnyways, eventually we got to dessert. Chocolate cake, now you’re talking. By the way, Mary K went to church today. Pastor Jacques gave her a shout-out. Mary K was beaming from ear to ear.

TTFN,

Joe

Happy Birthday

January 25, 2014

Friday was Mary’s 90th birthday. She started the day with visits from her Occupational and Physical Therapists (OT and PT). The OT worked with her on getting her shirt on over the injured shoulder and sitting and standing without using her cane. The PT worked with her on her exercises. Mary is seeing improvement in her ability to move her fingers.

After the OT and PT left, we had lunch with our friend Heather from church. She brought her a small arrangement of white roses.

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After lunch, we all took a short nap. Then at 5 PM, Pastor Rich Freeman stopped by for a short visit. He brought some group pictures from a couple of their trips together to Ireland and Turkey/Greece. She insisted on getting dressed up for Pastor Rich’s visit. The visit with Pastor Rich just made her day. Mary was just beaming with joy. Note, the UC Davis sweat shirt on Pastor Rich.

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Mary and Pastor Rich

Then at 6PM Mike and family arrived for dinner of Chili and fresh bread. I got out a fresh bowl of Goldfish for Jonathan. As soon as he saw the Goldfish, he went and pushed his highchair over to the table. His way of saying that he was hungry and I really like Goldfish.

One of our neighbors stopped by to visit. Susan has two Chihuahuas. The two dogs were quite shy. Jonathan didn’t quite know what to do with the chihuahuas. I doubt that he has ever seen dogs quite that small.

Mike and Theresa brought an Oreo ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. Another food that Jonathan likes. Mary had room for cake too.

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Everyone loves an ice cream cake

So eventually Mike, Theresa and Jonathan left. We sat down to watch the evening news. Then off to bed. We expect Saturday to be a much quieter day.

TTFN,

Joe

Update on Mary

January 19, 2014

Time for an update on Mary. It’s been a crazy week. I have sent a few folks email updates but I thought I could do a more complete story by writing it once here for everyone to read.

Mary had her shoulder surgery this past Monday. The surgery is called “Reverse Shoulder Replacement“. See the link for more than you ever wanted to know. Apparently there was enough damage to the head of the humerus that it warranted doing the shoulder replacement. The doctor said that if no surgery done, then it would heal but it probably wouldn’t be very useful. Here’s a typical X-ray of a reverse shoulder replacement.

Mary went through the surgery with flying colors. Paula had taken her to the hospital at zero dark thirty. I remained at our condo for our housekeeper to do her work. (She comes every other Monday, and this past monday was her day).

So once Alicia left, I was going to the hospital to visit. Not so fast bucko, dead battery. So I called AAA. They came in under 15 minutes. These days the AAA truck carries replacement batteries with them in the truck. So I had the old battery replaced in under 15 minutes. $99 plus tax and I am on my way. The battery in the jeep was original equipment, six years and 100K miles.

So while Mary was recuperating in the hospital, Paula and I had a date night. We went to see “American Hustle”, then dinner at local Mexican restaurant.

Then on Wednesday, Mary was discharged from the hospital. We got her home and settled in. I think she was happy to be home. Pastor Jacques from Ocean View Baptist Church came to visit Mary that evening.

So for the past few days she has been resting and sleeping a lot. She gets up for meals. Sometimes she will watch the news on TV. Last night at about 6PM, she had a craving for a hamburger. So off I go to the In’n’Out drive thru for a burger and fries (no cheese, no onion). I guess she hasn’t lost her taste.

Ever since her fall on 12/22, she seems so much more frail. It’s like someone flipped a switch and all is gone. One of the home health aides came to talk with us on Saturday. We brought her up to speed on Mary’s recent health history. Probably starting physical therapy at home pretty soon.

Followup with the surgeon next Thursday. She now has got religion about using her cane. Even with the cane, we have to be very cautious. We had a near miss last night. While heading for her seat on the couch, she stumbled and almost fell. Luckily, Paula was there to catch her. Another fall this time would be catastrophic.

We feel that we can’t leave her alone for the time being. So that means finding someone to sit for us.

So when our children were little we had to find a baby sitter so that we could go out and have some time together alone. Now here we are decades later with the same problem. Is there a word for someone you use for watching over your frail parent? Baby-sitting doesn’t feel right, perhaps grandma-sitting or elder-sitting?

TTFN

Joe

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Oyster

January 11, 2014

I found out about a new ebook service by the name of “Oyster“. It purports to be the “Netflix” of eBooks. Here’s the concept. For the price of $9.95 per month, you get access to an unlimited number of books to read. It starts with a 30 day free trial, then they bill your credit card $9.95 every month.

So what the heck, I thought I would give it a try. I signed up for the free trial. Of course you have to give them a credit card number to establish your account. So far so good.

The web site advertises apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod. No Android. So far so good. I don’t think you can read book from the PC web applet. You can browse and add books to your reading list. To read you need to go to your iPhone or iPad. Not a big problem but something to consider.

You can search for books or authors from the iPad or iPhone app. Sorry Richard Bowker, your books aren’t available.

So I browsed their collection. There certainly isn’t anything available from current books from any best-seller lists. Most of the material is at least a few years old if not more. They do have some classics available. I got several hits for “Charles Dickens” and “F Scott Fitzgerald”.

So the $64,000 question is. Is it worth it? For me, probably not.

Cons:

  • The books that I download, can’t be viewed on Paula’s Kindle.
  • You can’t read on a laptop.
  • You would have to read at least 3 or more books per month to compete with Amazon. I started reading a book from 2010 by Dennis Lehane that sells for $7.59 on Kindle. Charles Dickens books on Amazon are either free or $1 – $3.
  • Scrolling on the apps are up-down rather than left-right. Perhaps this is a nit. It’s just my personal preference for reading eBooks. No option to change.
  • No note taking or book-marking features.

Pros:

  • Actually I’m having trouble thinking of any. Perhaps if the price were a tad lower, like $4.50 per month.

So I will finish the book that I started (Dennis LeHane’s “A Drink Before the War”) then cancel.

Apps, Apps, Apps

January 2, 2014

I thought I would write about my favorite apps that I use on both my iPhone and iPad this past year. These are the apps that I use most every day. So in no particular order. The hyper links in each section will take you to the appropriate iTunes App Store location.
 
 Waze
 
 Waze is a GPS app for iPhone and iPad. Though I use it primarily with my iPhone. Waze uses the internet to provide real-time traffic updates. The only major drawback is that it needs a network connection to provide routing information. This happened to us last fall up in Kern County, CA which is in the middle of nowhere. The app is free that is to say it is supported by ads. When you pull up to a traffic light, it will let you know where a nearby business is.
 
 Evernote
 
 Evernote is more than just a note taking app. It is an total environment. The app itself is free, however you can get Evernote Pro for $5 per month or $45 per year that provides additional features like syncing with the cloud.
 
 There are Evernote apps for iPhone, iPad, PC, and Mac. So with syncing to the cloud you can seemlessly move a note from iPhone to PC, for example.
 
 There are many companion apps that integrate with Evernote. Recipe app called “Food” for managing recipes and restaurants. Sketch for doing drawings. There is a journaling app for keeping a daily journal.
 
 You can create multiple notebooks. You can create tags for easy search and retrieval. There is also a handy email connection that allows one to forward an email to your Evernote account on the network. There is an web clipping for all of the major web browsers.
 
 Crosswords
 
 Where would I be without access to crosswords. There are several crossword apps available, but my favorite is Crosswords by Standalone, Inc. It provides many free subscriptions to quality crossword providers. You can also get subscriptions (for a fee) to NY Times. Difficulty levels range from easy to very difficult.
 
 Dropbox
 
 Dropbox is cloud storage. I use it to store all of important files that I don’t want to lose. I use it for storing pictures, insurance files, financial documents, and sheet music files and much much more. Files get automatically stored in the cloud including pictures taken with your iCamera. If I recall correctly you get either 5 or 10 Gb for free. I get 100 Gb for $10 per month. There are dropbox apps for iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android.
 
 ForScore
 
 ForScore is my music score management app. When I got my first iPad, I just used a PDF app for keeping my sheet music PDF files. I then discovered “Forscore”. I upload each PDF file from Dropbox. Then I add composer info, tags, genre (eg. pop, country, classical, etc.), key signature.
 
 I can create set lists for songs that I typically play during various parts of lodge meetings.
 
 ForScore is only available on iPad. Sorry Android fans.
 
 GroceryIQ
 
 GroceryIQ is a shopping list app. It’s free, which is to say that it is ad supported. It is available for iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. It allows you to sync shopping lists between devices. You can scan barcodes in order to add items to your list. Only downside is you can’t scan is store brands.
 
 You can customize the app for each store’s aisles so that items appear in the proper order that you might find them in each store. It’s real handy to add items to the PC app and then have them available on the iPhone version.
 
 My only complaint is that when you add items for one store, and then go to a different store it is difficult to changer all of the items to the different store.
 
 PWsafe
 
 PWsafe is an encrypted Pass Word Safe. Today it is very difficult to remember all of one’s passwords to a multitude of web sites. This app makes it easy and secure. You can secure with a password safe database on Dropbox. All you need to remember is the password to the Password safe. I must have usernames and passwords for over one hundred different sites. None of the passwords are the same. Apps for iPad, iPhone, PC and MAC. App is free, except for feature to sync with Dropbox.
 
 BlogPress
 
 BlogPress is the app that use to write my blog posts. This post was written using BlogPress. It connects to my account on WordPress. It works for me. Drafts can be stored online and later edited on the PC App.
 
 That’s about it for now. Maybe later I’ll do a post on apps that I despise. But for now this is my list of favorite apps.
 
 TTFN,
 
 Joe
 
 
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad