Archive for May 2015


May 29, 2015

Today is Friday and that generally means an appointment for Mary at Rose’s Hair Salon in San Pedro. So I helped Mary walk down to the elevator and then into the Prius. She seems to always need someone holding her arm when she walks. The dizziness is not getting any better.

I took her to the YMCA on Tuesday. She did her time on the tread mill and exercise bike.

We will probably be going to Mariner’s night at LA Harbor Lodge tonight. That means that we don’t have to cook tonight.

Memory is gone. She still remembers our names, but she couldn’t remember our grandson Jonathan’s name or how old he is.

We keep on keeping on.


May 25, 2015

Time for another update on Mary. Overall, she is well, but she continues a long slow decline.

She survived our trip to Boston last week with the help of care givers from CarenetLA. We arrived at LAX on last Tuesday. We took Mary to Bible Study on Wednesday.

It seems that she is moving even slower than in the past. She seems to always need to hold on to one of us. She is suffering more and more with dizziness.

A couple of days ago I asked her what she would like for breakfast. She says I’d like a waffle. I told her no waffles to day. Choices were toast or cereal. If you want a waffle, you will need to get it at Gaffey Street Diner on Sunday. So we got her some frozen waffles to try. We’ll see how that goes.

Her memory is also fading. On Friday evening, we were eating dinner at our dining room table. Mary asks us if we were going anywhere on Saturday. We told her that Paula and I were going grocery shopping and that she had nothing on her schedule. The thing that was very odd, was that she asked the same question two more times over the next 30 minutes.

We took her with us to church on Sunday at Ocean View. She seemed to do well. We went out for brunch afterwards to one of our favorite spots, Gaffey Street Diner.
Last update, I promised pictures.

Here are a couple taken at Gaffey Street.


The Moving Wall

May 23, 2015

This morning, Paula and I visited an exhibit at Green Hills Cemetery called “The Moving Wall“. The Moving Wall is a half sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. It is intended for those do not have the resources and/or ability to visit the Memorial in Washington DC. It will be in Rancho Palos Verdes at Green Hills until May 25. Go to the web site to find out more about the Wall and the its schedule.

I have never visited the memorial in Washington. Visiting Washington is not high on my bucket list. So this is the next best thing. There were only a few people viewing the Moving Wall. I thought there would be more on Memorial Day weekend.

I can only imaging how the full size wall looks. I just looked at the number of names in awe. I never served in the Vietnam. During that time, I was getting pretty fed up with our leaders with respect to the lies that they were telling. Looking at the wall you get a feel about how big a number 58,000 is. And that it represents the brave men and women who died for a really, really bad idea.

The wall is sitting at the top of a hill at Green Hills, with a spectacular view of the Los Angeles harbor. What a shame that some of those service men and women are not here to enjoy the view.

For my friends in the LA area, drop by the Green Hills Cemetary to see the wall.

Here are some of my pictures.

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Trip Report

May 21, 2015

Back in the day when I would travel on business, I would be required to write a trip report. So continuing in that vein, here is my report from out trip to Boston.

First thing that I noticed was how green everything was. We get used to the drought of LA. Not only did I see the green with my eyes, I saw it with my nose. Not long after we had landed I started sniffling and sneezing from the tree pollen. We saw a coating of green on our car. Car rental was on Budget, which is the same as Avis. No problems with the rental. Filled with gas before we headed to Logan

Rental car was a KIA Sportage. Rental cars are a great way to try out cars before you buy. I won’t be buying a KIA anytime soon. Killed myself trying to get into the damn thing. I can safely cross that off my list, even though it really wasn’t on it to begin with.

Paula and I arrived last Wednesday at 0615 on the Red-eye from LAX. The last couple of years we have had to do the redeye because Paula had things she had to do on Tuesday and I had to be in Boston on Wednesday. So that meant taking the redeye. We’ve found that we can fly first class for not much more than flying coach. When one flys coach the airlines these days keep nickel and diming you such that for a little bit more you can fly first class and have bigger seats and be treated like human beings.

So we met up with the OES Hall Committee at the Cracker Barrel in Tewksbury for Breakfast. Once that was done we headed over to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium to start setting up. Once that was done, we headed up to the Wyndham in Andover to wait for our room to be ready. We got to our room by about 1230 which was pretty good considering that we might have had to wait until 1500. We got a few hours sleep and then got up for our first banquet.

On Thursday went to visit with our friend Candee in Billerica, then headed back up to Lowell for opening session of OES Grand Chapter. Drove by our house on Dyer Street. The front lawn still looks shitty. I guess the new owners haven’t gotten around to re-seeding the lawn.

Finished Grand Chapter on Sunday. Then went to visit our friends at First Congregational Church of Billerica. Then we headed down to Hingham to visit with my brother and his wife in Hingham. Had a lovely dinner with Rich and Mary, then back to Andover.

On Monday, we headed up to Nashua to visit with some friends from Chelmsford Pediatrics. Saw our friend Kathy and her daughter Audrey. Checked out of the Wyndham and headed to Boston. We decided to stay at the Airport Hilton on Monday night before our early flight on Tuesday. Dropped off out luggage then :I took the car back to the rental place. The Hilton shuttle picked me up right quick.

The Hilton was not cheap, but worth it seeing as our flight left BOS at 0800 on Tuesday. We had a fine dinner. I had a cup of Clam Chowder and a Lobster roll. I won’t be having any lobster for quite a while.

Got up at 0500. Showered and dressed and out the door at 0615, Checked in and through security in plenty of time. Didn’t have to take off my shoes or take my laptop out of the bag. TSA seems to be getting better at doing the security screen.

Outbound flight was on American Airlines which was okay. Return flight was on Delta. Major problem was Terminal 5 at LAX is still under construction. The place is a mess. Bathrooms are crowded and messy. Avoid Terminal 5 at all costs for the next year or three. LAX arrival seems to be always a zoo. We have to look at doing the trip from Long Beach next time.

Arrived in LA pretty much on time. We had to hire a limo service to take us back to San Pedro. Worked out okay but cost us a lot more than it would have if Theresa or Mike could have picked us up. Theresa would be free. Limo about $100.

Time to unpack and do laundry. Picked up BBQ chicken, potato salad and cole slaw from Haggens (nee Albertson’s) for dinner.

All done. Time to sleep.

Books That I Never Finished

May 5, 2015

So, I’ve read blog posts describing books that people have read. Sometimes the titles are like “Books I Read Last Year”. So I thought I’d write the books that for whatever reason I haven’t managed to finish. Having books on my Kindle makes it all too easy to amass books. If these were real printed books, I would have stacks of books piled up to the ceiling.So here in no particular order is my list.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

I got most of the way through Book One. I foolishly bought the entire five book set on Kindle, all 4000 odd pages of it. One would need a companion book to keep track of the various characters and the related mayhem. Paula and I watched most of season one on HBO. HBO is doing season five right now. Maybe we’ll get to it one of these years. I come to believe that one can watch any episode and know that there is going to be someone getting skewered with a sword and someone having sex with some wench.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This time I only bought the first volume of the series. We’ve been watching the series on PBS. Sometimes I wonder if the authors get paid by word count or in the case of the physical book, by the pound. Once again the minutia is killing me. I am trying to keep up with many people that Thomas Cromwell interacts with. I haven’t quite given up on the read. But I’m getting to close to dumping into the bit bucket.

Eternity’s End (Star Rigger Universe) by Jeffrey Carver

This is a science fiction book. I occasionally read some science fiction. I bought this on the recommendation of by brother (the writer). Sorry Richard.  I think my biggest problem with the book was that this title is book six in a series. I was getting confused as to what a “star rigger” was and how the main character was jumping around the universe. I began to lose my way about half way through. Maybe one of these days I will go back to book one.

Speaker for the Dead (Book 2 of The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card

I enjoyed (and finished) Book 1 (Ender’s Game). So when I discovered that Orson Scott Card had done a five volume series, I thought I would give it a try. I just sort of got lost. Time travel will do that to you. Luckily I didn’t buy the entire quintet.

Ulysses by James Joyce

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “Ulysses”. I barely got out of the first 50 pages without getting totally lost. There was a reason why I majored in Electrical Engineering and not English Lit. It reminds me of my freshman year at Northeastern University where we were required to read “Crime and Punishment” for an English for Engineers course. We (the engineers) didn’t want to be there, neither did the instructor. Our “Crime” was that we were engineers and our “Punishment” was we had to spend a summer reading and discussing this crap. The instructor was probably a grad student majoring in English Lit and drew the short straw. Of course, one can down load the Kindle version for free. Still costs too much.

No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt by Doris Kearns Goodwin

I like reading Doris Goodwin, but sometimes she just goes too deep. I got about half way through when I just got bogged down in way too much detail. David McCullough is another history author that I read from time to time. He can also get bogged down in minutia from time to time.

Victoria: A Life by A. N. Wilson

Last but not least, I want to talk about Victoria. I actually haven’t read it, but have thought about getting it. The problem is that the price for the Kindle version is still way too high. When it first came out, it was $29.99. Now it is down to $18.99. Are you kidding me, $19 for a tome on Queen Victoria. I hate paying any more than $10 for a Kindle edition. Sometimes I will go a little bit higher for a name brand author like Stephen King. But $30, that’s nuts. I suppose it’s better than getting sleeping pills.