Archive for June 2017

I Blog

June 30, 2017

joe-paula-2016Okay, I’ve had various ideas for this post kicking around in my pea sized brain for a while now. I wanted to explain to my readers why I do this (ie. blog).

I started blogging about five years ago at about the time that Paula and I had decided to retire and move from Massachusetts to California to live with her aging mother.

I felt that I had a story to tell and that if I didn’t do it then the story wouldn’t get told. I didn’t feel that I had the writing chops to write my autobiography and I wouldn’t be getting some famous biographer to step up to the plate and do it. So blogging was it then. One spends a lifetime filling your brain with stories and information. Then when you get old and senile it all leaks out and falls on the floor to be forgotten. I didn’t want that to happen to me.

I’ve seen that first hand in Mary. She remembers almost nothing about her life. Paula’s Dad, Harold took a ton of pictures but most have the pictures have no information on the back. We’re left guessing who was in the picture and where it was taken and why it might be important.

I thought about doing it on Facebook, but Facebook seemed to be too limited on what I could write and many of my friends and family don’t do Facebook, but they will read an email from me. (By the way, you can get Word Press to automatically email my latest post to you). WordPress has Window apps and iPhone and iPad apps. Pretty sure they have apps for Android too.

So one fine day in the spring of 2012, I created an account on WordPress. Next, create a blog. The name that I picked was “Calherewecome“. It’s a sort of a play on the old song “California, Here I Come”. WordPress is pretty much free. Only thing I have to pay for is the internet domain registration for calherewecome.org

As of today, I have written 448  posts that are read by about 125 people. This is post #449. Some of my readers are friends and family, but many are people that I have never met. Some of those people are also bloggers and I often read and follow their blogs.

So what do I write about? I write about that which interests me. I write about family especially my aging mother-in-law Mary. I write about books that I’ve read and movies we’ve seen. Mary’s brother Jack who lives in Louisiana, faithfully reads all of my blog posts.

I write about technology. I spent almost all of my working life doing IT support for DEC, Compaq, HP and IBM. Many older folks call their adult children for PC technical support. In my family, they call me.

I also keep a private journal on Evernote. This where I put all of my private stuff that is inappropriate to publish on the blog. Evernote is a great app. There is a journaling app that I used on iOS called vJournal that works with Evernote. I use Evernote for filing all of the documents and statements that we receive. I have a recipe folder. Paula will ask me to look up a recipe while we are wandering through the grocery store. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Here’s the iPad link and here’s the iPhone link to the iTunes app store. You’ll have to figure out the Android link yourself.

That’s about it for now. Thank you to all my faithful readers.

TTFN

Joe

 

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My Rules for Answering Calls

June 26, 2017

download (1)Is it just me or are the number of robo-calls greatly increasing. I think that they are. So, my little effort in my corner of the world, I will be implementing the following rules with respect to getting me to answer my phone:

  1. First and foremost, if my caller-id screen says “NO Caller-ID” I will not answer the call, EVER. Furthermore, if you manage to leave a message in my voice mail, I will not respond. Delete before listening. If you don’t have the common decency to let me know who you are, I don’t feel the urge to answer the phone or call you back. I pay AT&T a huge amount of money every month. It is for my convenience, not yours.
  2. If your phone number comes up in my caller-id screen but your name is not in my iPhone’s contact DB, I will not answer. Leave a message and I will get back to you. If you are pitching some vacation or money saving offer, don’t bother with the message, I won’t be calling back. I promise to add you name and number into my contact DB.
  3. Actually, rather than a voice mail, I would rather you send me a text message. Voice mail is so last century. If my dentist can figure out how to use text messaging, so can you.

Oh, by the way, we finally got a land line, but you can’t have the number. We got it just to allow us to reach our caregivers while we are traveling. The number is unlisted. If the phone rings, I don’t answer it.

I keep hearing that robo-callers are going direct to voice mail. I haven’t seen that yet. If that happens I might just let my voice mailbox fill up so noone can leave any voice mails.

One last thing. If you are calling me from an east coast area code (eg. 978 or 781) and you call me 8:00 AM east coast time, I won’t answer. I live in the LA area where there is a three hour time difference. Do the math. CVS was doing that to us for a while before with Rx refill reminders. CVS fixed the problem. They send SMS reminders now.

TTFN

Joe

iPhone 10th Birthday

June 26, 2017

downloadHappy birthday to the iPhone. It has been 10 years since the introduction of the iPhone 3.

I wasn’t on board at the beginning. Back in 2007, I had some kind of Blackberry. I don’t remember the exact model. I got my first iPhone (a 3GS) in 2009. I bought it not long after we had flown to LA to attend Paula’s father’s funeral. Our friend Andrea had a new iPhone. I got to play with it for a few minutes. From that moment on, I have been hooked.

So then I got an iPhone 6 Plus. Paula then got my old 4S and the 5S went to my sister-in-law Mary in Hingham.

This spring, Paula upgraded to an iPhone 7. Paula liked the improved battery life on her 7 and a bigger, brighter screen. For once, she has a newer phone than me. I am waiting for the next generation iPhone that is expected to be announced in September.

Oh and by the way, we have two iPad’s. Paula has an iPad Mini and I have a 12″ iPad PRO.

One of the reasons, that we have stuck with all iPhones is that app data is consistent across all devices. In particular, contact data and calendar data. And it makes my job of keeping the devices working smoothly much easier.

The Last Supper

June 25, 2017

So today at church, our minister was talking about the gospel of John, chapter 14. Chapter 14 contains much of the detail leading up to the last supper. While he was talking he had a picture projected of the “Last Supper” up on the overhead screen. So that got me thinking. Sometimes, when Jacques preaches, my mind begins to wander. Today was no different. I started thinking about the paintings of the “Last Supper”.

So I pull out my trusty iPhone and switch from the Bible app to the Google app. (Our church has excellent WiFi by the way.) I did a search on the term “last supper paintings”. I was first trying to find out who painted the particular version of the painting up on the screen. Couldn’t find it. I found one that sort of looked similar but had some slight differences.

Suffice it to say, there has been a ton of stuff done on the “Last Supper”. The first painting to come to mind was the one by Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” it seems was the prototype that all others are compared.

Última_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5

Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” was painted between 1495-1498. It is not in very good condition. It was done as a mural at the Convent of Santa Maria del Grazie in Milan. For more story about the Da Vinci work go to the Wiki page. Da Vinci’s work has suffered from environmental issues.

Here’s another image of a work done in oil by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli in 1520 that is a lot clearer.

Giampietrino-Last-Supper-ca-1520

So we all know that Jesus is seated in center of the table, we all get that. The disciples are seated in groups of three (allusions to the Holy Trinity, of course). Supposedly, Jesus has just told them that someone would betray him.

The first three on the left are surprised. They are Bartholomew, James and Andrew.

Second group of three includes Judas Iscariot, Peter and John. Judas looks like he has his bag of silver in his hand. Judas (dressed in green and blue) is looking withdrawn.

Next group of three include Thomas, James the Greater and Phillip. Thomas is clearly upset.

Last group of three are Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot. Matthew and Jude Thaddeus seem to be looking to Simon asking for more information.

There also was a suggestion towards the end of the article that the effeminate person on Jesus’ right was Mary Magdeline, Suggested by author Dan Brown and others, and disputed by other art historians. Hmmm, interesting.

This is about the point that I get an elbow from Paula and gives me the look. ( I should be paying attention to Pastor Jacques). Hey, at least I wasn’t looking at Facebook.

Interesting stuff. Go read the wiki article. You won’t regret it.

Mary’s of the Bible

June 16, 2017
Harold_Copping_Jesus_at_the_home_of_Martha_and_Mary_400

Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary by Harold Copping, depicting the scene from Luke 10

So this past Wednesday, we were discussing the Gospel of John chapter 12. The first few lines of the chapter tell of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive oil. The oil was supposedly worth 300 denarii which was the equivalent of a year’s wages.

So I ask Pastor Jacques, which Mary is this? I’m confused. Jacques didn’t answer my question. To get the answer, I had to go to Wikipedia,

It seems that this is Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus. I feel sometime that I need a score card to keep track of all the Mary’s mentioned in the Bible.  Here’s the link to the article on the Mary’s of the Bible.

So the article states that there are six different Mary’s mentioned in the Gospels. They are:

  • Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Mary of Bethany (sister of Lazarus)
  • Mary of Clopus (John 19:25, present at crucifixion)
  • Mary, mother of James
  • Mary, mother of James the younger

It seems that Mary was quite a popular name for Palestine Jews at the time of Jesus. Indeed, Mary once was the most popular girl’s name in the US. It led the list of girl’s names from the 1920’s until the 1960’s when the name Lisa took over the top spot. The Social Security Administration has a web site with the list of most popular names. In 2016 the name Mary isn’t even in the top 100. Here’s the pointer to the Social Security web site on baby names.

One more Mary story and then I’ll be done for tonight. Some of you might know this but many do not. My wife’s first name is Mary and she has always gone by her middle name. There were many Mary’s in her family (almost as confusing as the Bible). Paula (don’t call her Mary) once told me the story of her mother jokingly accusing her of having two sons to avoid naming a girl child Mary.

Early Fathers’ Day

June 11, 2017

Admiral RistyToday is not Fathers’ Day. That’s actually next Sunday. But we decided to jump the gun and go visit the Admiral Risty in Rancho Palos Verde and celebrate today. We figured that restaurants would be less busy (which it was) than next Sunday. Here’s the pointer to the YELP review.

The Admiral Risty has a view to die for of the Pacific Ocean. It was a bit gloomy today. Our table had an excellent view.

Price is a bit more than our usual diner fare on Sundays but it was worth it. I had eggs benedict on a dungeness crab cake. Very tasty. I was thinking about having a Bloody Mary, but decided to pass.

Mike and Theresa were on board with the plan. Even Mary liked the plan, though I’m not sure how much she understood what we were planning on doing.

We told Mary that if she wanted to go to the Admiral Risty for brunch, she would have to get up and go to church. We also promised visits to the grand kids that she loves to see. So finally, we got Mary loaded in the Jeep and off we went. We even found an HP parking place at church.

So our reservation was at 1 pm, which was a little bit late but worked out okay. Pastor Jacques’ sermon was on the Gospel of John, Chapter 12. The service ran on to Noon (start time was 10:30 am). Once Jacques gets started there’s no stopping once he has a full wind in his sails. But, we still had plenty of time to get to our brunch date.

Jacques can’t afford to run long at the 9 am service. Got to get every one out in time for the arriving 10:30 folks.

We had all of the singing (no dancing). Jacques did a baptism of a ten(ish) year old boy. After the baptism was done the kid started swimming laps in the baptism pool. What a hoot and caught on video, too.

All done and back home. Time for a nap.

TTFN

Joe

 

Mary

June 8, 2017

Time for an update.  Mary was up bright and early at about 9 am. For her, this is early. She was all dressed and ready to go somewhere, I’m just wasn’t quite sure where. We had no appointments for her today.

Paula was scheduled to work at the Assistance League in San Pedro. She was going to be there from about 10 am to 3ish. I was just going to be hanging out. I had work to do on my computer transcribing scores for my music app. So at about 2:30, I hear the noise of her walker. Her walker has a distinctive noise from the feet. It is kind of like belling a cat.

So I come out to the living room and there she still all dressed with her purse in her hand. Where’s Paula, she asks me? She’s not here she’s at the Asst League. So the door was open and she was just about to go out to try and catch up with Paula.

So we have two problems. She is hearing voices that are telling her to do things. Second, we fear that she is going to start wandering. Now she doesn’t move all that fast, but…

So we have a couple of possible solutions. First, we start using the baby monitor 24/7. I might be in the other room and not hear getting up and heading for the door. Second, replace the lock on the door to one that has a key on the inside as well as the outside. We figure that might slow her down a bit. The baby monitor is audio only. We’ve had it now for a couple of years. She hasn’t a clue that it’s there.

Overall though, she is a little bit slower and a lot weaker and a lot more frail. She doesn’t care to watch the evening news anymore. She will read the newspaper at least twice, once in the morning and again in the evening.We tend to wake her up for breakfast and dinner. Sometimes, she is confused as to whether it is morning or night.

The other night when we got back from OES, she wanted to put her walker into the closet. Paula tells her, no that walker is always. Our fear is that she might try going to the bathroom without the walker and falling. Another fall will likely kill her.

She has told us that she needs to get some exercise. We tell her you need to take the first step and get out of bed. Then we can take you out for a walk around courtyard. But that hasn’t happened.

She still goes with us to OES meetings but steadfastly refuses to go to any church activities. We just don’t understand why. She says that it is the dizziness in the morning, but she’ll go to her hair salon appointment in the morning. We’re going to try to get Pastor Jacques to come visit her sometime soon. At any rate, Paula goes to church on Sunday, I go to Bible study on Wednesday. As always, she is always happy to see the great-grandkids.

TTFN

Joe