Archive for February 2017

La La Land

February 26, 2017

Date night last night. We arranged for a sitter for Mary. A night out can get expensive. We spent $60 for the sitter, $30 for movie tickets and $35 for take out Chinese food.

So we went to see La La Land. This film has been nominated for 14 Oscars. We wanted to see this film before the Oscars were telecast this evening. The film stars Ryan Gossling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring young actress. The movie tells the story of Mia’s accidental Meeting of Sebastian. They fall in love then sing and dance around LA. They seem to have found some of the most photogenic spots in Hollywood and Los Angeles.

So you think that is a boy meets girl, then they get married and live happily ever after. Think again. They discover that they have competing visions of what their future life is going to be like. Sebastian gets an offer to tour with a jazz band. Mia doesn’t/can’t want to go on tour with him and disrupt her vision of acting.  I won’t say more, because that would give away the plot.

So the music and dancing are superb. Ryan Gosling did an outstanding job on jazz piano. According to IMDB, no CGi or hand doubles were used in the performance. The outdoor dance scenes are done at some of the most outstanding LA locales. I think that I will add a couple of them to visit. One scene was at the Griffith Observatory, beautiful view. Read the Wiki list for the many films that used this beautiful locale. I told Paula that I was adding this to my bucket list. Need to drive up there one of these days. Of course, I think I’ll skip visiting the location for the opening scene on the LA freeways. Been there, done that.

I told Paula that some day I would get a nice convertable like the one the Sebastian drove in the film. She says, you going to tell your dermatologist? Maybe some day. Maybe I’ll have the top down at night.

After the movie was over, we stopped to pickup Chinese takeout at Peter’s Place Chinese Restaurant in Torrance. We would have loved to sit and linger over dinner, but the clock was ticking on our “baby sitter”. Peter’s Place is a small family run Chinese restaurant. It came recommended by my daughter-in-law Theresa. The restaurant was at capacity. Good sign on a Saturday night. So we ordered Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp with Cashews, and a Noodle dish. All very tasty. The Kung Pao Chicken  had lots of those little hot peppers. My goodness, they will set you free. 

So after 20 minutes we left with our bag of food and headed home. We paid our sitter and sat down for a fine Chinese dinner.

John 3:16

February 23, 2017

So our church here in San Pedro is working on the Gospel of John this year.  We generally do about half a chapter per week. This week we were discussing the second half of chapter 3 in the Gospel of John.

So during the discussion, the question came up, “Why is it that John 3:16 seems to be the most oft quoted verse in the Bible?”

We see it on signs behind home plate at baseball games. We see it spray painted on subway cars. We see it on the eye black on football players (e.g. Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow)

I mean nobody ever quotes Exodus 20:1-17 (Ten Commandments) or Matthew 22:35-40 (Two greatest commandments.)

Nobody ever points out the text from the Sermon on the Mount.

So I have a couple of questions for you. What is the strangest place that you have seen the John 3:16 quote posted? And the second question: Why is it so prevalent? Is it that we as a culture can’t handle more than one verse at a time? Inquiring minds want to know.


February 14, 2017

Well, this is getting crazier and crazier. On the second Tuesday of every month, the Assistance League holds it monthly meeting and luncheon. Paula asked Mary if she wanted to go, she said yes. Okay, make it so, number 1.

We made an appointment for Mary to get her hair done at 0830. Mary generally has a tough time for early morning appointments. Last month Mary decided at the last minute that she was too dizzy to go, but that was then, this is now.

So the plan was for Paula to drop her off at 0830, then I would pick her up at 1000 and take her to the Asst League club house. Paula would come out and get her and then I would be free to do whatever.

So Mary gets up by herself at 0730 and we get her breakfast. At 0815, she says she is too dizzy to go and she goes back to bed. Okay, then we cancel the hair appt.

Then Paula jumps into the shower. When she is done at 0900, Mary calls to her. Mary says she feels better and she is ready to go. Of course, she is still in her pajamas. Tick, tock. No, we say, we cancelled your hair appointment. Paula says maybe I can run a brush through your hair. No that won’t do she says. Maybe Joe can take me, she says. No, Joe has already made other plans.

Paula will drop by the hair salon and pay her hair person for the broken appt. I hear that this happens a lot at this salon. They have a lot of senior clients.

So I am off to get the oil changed on the Jeep and then a hair cut. Starbuck’s is next to the barber shop. How convenient.

Needless to say, this won’t happen next month.




February 5, 2017

One of the true joys of our lives are our grandkids. Jonathan (5) and Sarah (2) were over to visit yesterday. We were watching them while Mike and Theresa an afternoon for a nice lunch. The kids are quite used to seeing us. No tears when Mom and Dad left the premises. 

While the parents were gone, Paula had the kids help her make Valentine cookies. The recipe was a basic sugar cookie recipe. So Paula has a few cut outs in shapes of bows and hearts. After cookies were baked, the kids got to put the icing on them. Always fun to watch the artists at work.

So once the cookies were done it was play time. The picture show the collection of toys that the kids have stored at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. One of these days we will have to get rid of some of the toys that they no longer play with.

So Mike and Theresa got back at about 3:30 pm. Time to start working on dinner. We had roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and baked carrots. Cookies (of course) and ice cream for dessert. Always fun to have the family for dinner. Mary always loves seeing the kids.

Today (Sunday) we persuaded Mary to go to church. This was the first time in about three months. We promised her that we would do brunch at “The Admiral Risty” in Palos Verdes to celebrate her 93rd birthday. We told her no church, no Admiral Risty. The bait worked.

Super bowl Sunday seemed like a good day to go to the restauarant. Lots of open tables. Not nearly as crazy as Easter or Mother’s Day

The Admiral Risty has a great view and great food. I made the reservation using the “Open Table” app while sitting in the pew at church. I had a seafood omelet. Ate half, the rest will be for tomorrow’s breakfast.


February 3, 2017

And the beat goes on. Mary’s confusion ramps up a notch. On Tuesday we urged her to go to Bible Study on Wednesday. But when Wednesday arrived, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. Then Paula told me the story that evening of how she got up from her day long nap and told Paula that she was ready to go to Church. This was at 8 PM.

She is having great trouble distinguishing between morning and evening. She will get up in the evening and say “Good Morning” to me. It’s dark out, mind you. We try to encourage her to look at the clues of the time of day. Is it dark out? Is it light out? She mostly doesn’t get it. Same problem with the day of the week. I tried to get her to look at the header on the newspaper. She doesn’t do it even on Sunday when the top of the comics says in big bold letters “SUNDAY BREEZE”.

So last night, I was at Lodge. One of the few days that I get to be out without Mary. So Mary was talking to Paula. Apparently the subject got to be on dying. She usually doesn’t want to talk to me about dying. But for some reason, she was in the mood to be talking about death and dying. Paula asked her where she wanted to be buried and did she want an OES Funeral service. Paula gave her some options. She asked her if she would want to buried back in Kansas? Apparently not.

That’s just as well. The cost and logistics about doing that would be a big deal. She wasn’t sure about the OES service. Doesn’t matter, she’s getting an OES service whether she wants one or not. She did say that she would be fine with the Green Hill Cemetery would be fine. Okay, no problem. She wanted to know where Harold was buried. Ah, Paula told her, Harold was cremated and his ashes are in the office next to my computer. Ashes will be buried with her. We’re not ones for having ashes sitting on the shelf.

So tomorrow, she gets her hair done. Then we need to go see a notary to get the papers signed to transfer the ownership of her Prius to us. I’ve been putting this off for a long time. Need to get done before she dies. Everything gets harder after she’s gone.

Grocery shopping while she’s under the dryer. Watch the grandkids on Saturday afternoon. Paula will be making cookies with the kids while parents go on a date. Dinner for everyone Saturday evening.



Santa Ana’s

February 1, 2017

This a story about a weather pattern in Southern California called the Santa Ana winds. This story is primarily for my readers who don’t live in the greater Los Angeles area. This is when the winds are blowing out of the east north-east. This happens when there is a high pressure system parked over Washington State or Oregon. In a high pressure system, the winds blow clockwise around the system (in the northern hemisphere).

That means for the folks in our neck of the woods, the winds are blowing out of the East Northeast over the Mojave Desert.  The Mojave is between LA and Las Vegas. When this happens in the summer it can be brutally hot and windy.

When it happens this time of the year, it means the rain stops and we get clear dry winds. Temps the last couple of days have been the low 70’s.

The winds also blow all of the smog out to sea. That means visibility is greatly improved. One can see the mountains east and north of LA. The picture above is the view from our Masonic Lodge in San Pedro. If you look closely, you can see the snow capped mountains.

Oh one more thing, we’ve been getting a lot of rain lately out here. That means all of the brown grass has turned into green grass. Green is beautiful!