Archive for October 2015

Getty Museum

October 30, 2015

Our friend Andrea flew down from Sacramento for the weekend so that we could visit the Getty Museum in LA. Our primary goal was to see the Hellenistic Sculpture exhibit. Photography not allowed in the exhibit, so best I could do is take a picture of the poster. 

  
Admission was free. Only had to pay $15 for parking. What a bargain. 

The museum is located just off the 405 north of LAX in the Santa Monica mountains. This is some prime real estate with views to die for.  So you park in the garage and take free shuttle to the center. The center has free WiFi and is probably the fastest public WiFi I’ve ever seen. 

  

We went on a tour of the sculpture exhibit with a very knowledgable docent. The tour was free too. Here is a link to the Getty web site that many pictures of the sculptures. I expect that link will come down soon after the exhibit closes on Sunday. So go surf the Getty images on their web site while you can. 

Here are some pictures of the architecture and the grand views. 

   
    

   

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Memories

October 18, 2015

Yesterday, I was sitting with Mary as she ate some lunch. Paula was off doing a silent retreat with the ladies of Ocean View Baptist. So I asked Mary if she would like to go for a walk. We have a nice sheltered courtyard that is nice and flat. Excellent for Mary’s walks. So Mary asks me if she could use her walker instead of her cane. Sure, I say. And I go get the walker. Maybe we will take a trip to a store that sells walkers or other durable medical equipment to find one that might fit her needs.

Now the walker has been sitting in her room gathering dust since we returned from SLC last year after her hip surgery. Over the past couple of weeks, Mary has had a couple of close calls with respect to falls. One happened at church where someone was close by to catch her before she went down. Sometimes, she just gets dizzy and if she doesn’t have something or someone to hold on to, she will fall.

Maybe she is beginning to recognize this and is willing to try the walker again. So we got into a discussion on how she got the walker. She sort of remembered the PT staff giving it to her before she checked out of the hospital. Here’s where it gets fuzzy. She doesn’t remember how she got from the hospital in SLC to our home in San Pedro. So she doesn’t remember that Paula and I flew up to SLC, picked her up, boarded the plane together and flew home, When I told her that we were with her, she gives me a look that says “that’s crazy talk”.

There was another occasion in May of 2013 where Paula took her to her high school reunion in Wichita, KS. I had begged off. I had been to one of these shindigs before and I would rather have my teeth pulled without Novocaine. Of course, you can’t get a non-stop flight from LAX to Wichita. You have to stop somewhere. Trying to explain this to Mary is like trying to explain it to a five year old. So remember this trip was before the hip surgery and shoulder surgery. So one fine day, we are talking with Mary and she mentions that she would like to go back to Kansas. We did, we tell her. When? she says.

So her memory is fading. Everything that happened over the past 4 years is becoming more and more blurry. She remembers some people from her past, but not everyone. There is no logic to it. She remembers stuff from 20 years ago. Short term memory is getting iffy too. Sometimes she will ask what the agenda is for today? I will explain what’s going on and ten minutes later she’ll ask the same question all over again. She doesn’t have any trouble remembering who we are but can’t remember or process what I said ten minutes ago.

So enough. Time for a change of pace. Here a video of “Memories” from the musical “Cats” for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Haggen’s Revisited

October 12, 2015

Haggens SignI had to do some grocery shopping today. Over the past few weeks we have pretty much switched over to shopping at “Ralph’s” but today I thought I would go back to Haggen’s to see how they’re doing as the chain works it’s way through bankruptcy court. Plus I thought I would like to say good bye to many of the people who work there who we have seen over the past few years.

I know that today is a holiday (Columbus Day) but still the store looked bleak. My first stop was Starbuck’s to get my grande iced coffee, no sweetener, leave room for cream. The Starbuck’s here is different because they remember our names and know pretty much what we will be ordering. Sometimes, I throw them  curve ball and ask for a venti (ie. large). We chatted a bit about the situation. They told us that the Starbuck’s on Western would cease operations on 10/24 or 10/31.

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I talked with my meat guy. Same sad story. I think he will land on his feet. He said that he already has a job in the meat dept. at Costco. So, I took the liberty of taking some pictures. First picture is of the meat department. Right now the display is barely half full. It will get worse. My meat guy said no more supply after next week, then everything goes on sale. Then on to the bread aisle. Not much there to speak of. Most of the local suppliers have stopped doing business with Haggen’s for fear of not getting paid. Can’t say that I blame them.

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On some of the aisles, they are trying to mask the lack of product. A mile wide and one inch deep. Here’s the soda aisle. At any rate, there in the final stages of shutting down or get bought by a competitor. Final date for closing will be 11/24. We’ll see how it turns out.

Jet Propulsion Labratory

October 10, 2015

JPL CampusLast week our son Mike told us that JPL would be holding an open house this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). So we thought that sounds like fun. Maybe we should take a ride up to Pasadena and see what’s happening at JPL. So I checked out JPL’s web site for directions and information. It was a straight shot up the 110 to Pasadena.

The web site recommended to get an early start as parking would be a challenge. Well we didn’t get much of an early start. We finally got going at about 10 AM.

It turns out that not only was JPL having a big event, there was a big soccer game between USA and Mexico at the Rose bowl. Not good.

So we got into the JPL neighborhood and found a traffic jam of biblical proportions. Cars parked on side streets. One gate was closed to traffic. Signage was poor. So after about an hour of poking around the Pasadena neighborhood, we decided to give up. The rent was due on the morning’s coffee and no bathrooms in sight.

So JPL can put hardware onto Mars and send spacecraft to Pluto, but has trouble managing traffic. So we turned around and reprogrammed our GPS for home with intermediate stops at the Happy Diner in San Pedro and Trader Joe’s supermarket.

So, in lieu of a personal account of the open house. Here a few facts and pictures culled from Wikipedia and JPL’s web site.

First, here is the Wikipedia entry for JPL. And here is the link to JPL’s web site. Go check them out. There are a lot of neat pictures.

Curiosity Rover

Curiosity Rover

JPL has been responsible for several projects related to Mars. One of the recent projects was a launched in 2011 and landed on Mars in 2012. This picture is Rover’s selfie. Here’s the wiki link.

While I’m thinking about it, go see Matt Damon’s new film titled “The Martian”. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about the book. Here’s the link to the IMDB entry.

So that’s about it. Maybe we’ll get up there next year, Pasadena that is not Mars.

That’s Not Funny

October 5, 2015

So last night, Paula, Mary and I sat down after dinner to watch SNL’s first episode of the  2015 season. As always, it was recorded from the previous night. I don’t remember the last time that I was up that late to watch TV.

So the episode opens with Taran Killam doing his impression of Donald Trump along with Cicely Strong doing an impression of Melania Trump (the current Mrs. T). Okay, I thought it was pretty funny. Paula did too, but Mary not a single tee-hee. Mary sat through most of the episode and didn’t laugh once. I’m not so sure that she knows who Donald Trump and/or why they were mocking him.

Paula says that Mary never had much of a sense of humor. But now whatever sense of humor there was is long gone. Part of the problem is that she doesn’t remember much from what she reads in the newspaper.

So the next skit worth noting is the one where Hillary Clinton has a cameo appearance. Kate McKinnon does her send up of Hillary. Hillary plays a bar tender in an Irish Pub. The scene has Hillary talking with her long time assistant Huma played by Cicely Strong. Even Darrell Hammond has a chance to do his Bill Clinton impersonation. Funny, but Mary didn’t get it..

It’s going to be a fun season for SNL.

Oh and one more thing. Today, Paula and I were doing our grocery shopping. As we were in line at the check-out, the man in front of me (white middle age graying) was commenting to me about the headline in the National Enquirer that stated the Hillary had cancer and would be dead in six months. You believe that, I ask? Maybe, he says. You’d vote for Trump I ask? We need a business manager in the White House. He walked away before I could ask him perhaps a good business manager might be a good thing. Some times I just don’t understand what people see in Trump.

Kaiser Part II

October 5, 2015

It sucks to get old. Let me repeat that. It sucks to get old. Every time I turn around something stops working right.

So this is an update to my saga with Kaiser. I finally got in touch with the sleep study people. Perhaps someone cleared the voice mails out of the system. Good news is that I have an appointment for a new sleep study, bad news it is on Nov 3.

After a few years, I am learning the tricks to deal with them. If one needs an appointment for a sick visit on any given day, call at 7:00 am and ask for an appointment with you  personal care doc. They hold his/her schedule clear to allow same day appointments. They are pretty good at answering emails within a day or so. Sometimes from the doctor, sometimes from his nurse.

I needed to do that last week to get him to look at my ankle swelling. My ankle edema has been under control with drugs the past few years, but has gotten noticeably worse of the last two weeks.

So I get in to see my doctor. Sends me for more blood tests and chest x-ray, His concern was for congestive heart failure. Tests showed no CGF. That’s good news. So Doctor suggests upping the dose of Furosimide to 120 mg/day. We’ll see how that works out.