Archive for January 2020

Little Women

January 31, 2020

Little WomenLast night Paula and I went to see “Little Women” at the movies. We went to the 5 pm show so that restaurants might be open after the show. Besides, 10 pm is way past my bedtime.

It would have been helpful if sometime in my life I had managed to read the novel Little Women. It would help me understand all the characters what they were about.

So in case you haven’t ever read Little Women, let me explain some of the basics. The story is about four young ladies in the March family living with their mother in Concord, MA. Their father is off acting as a pastor in the civil war. (I didn’t quite understand this until he appears late in the film.)

The story is told by Jo March (played by Saoirse Ronan). She tells the story as she writes her novel about she and her sisters and how the are determined to live their life on their own terms.

So the four sisters (Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth) are living with their mother (played by Laura Dern. They live in a small brown house in Concord, MA. The house still exists and is available for tours. I had some trouble keeping the four girls straight. Reading the book beforehand would have helped immensely. One last thing, if you haven’t read the book and aren’t intending to, go read the synopsis in Wikipedia.

So our goal is to try to see all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the Oscars are awarded. So we’ve seen 1917, The Irishman (actually Paula only saw half, I saw the whole thing on Netflix), The Two Popes (once again Paula didn’t care about seeing this one, I’ve seen it on Netflix spread over a couple of days), Ford v Ferrari. Probably won’t see the Joker or Jo Jo Rabbit. We will probably see “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” next week on Amazon Prime.

In other upcoming movies there is “The Call of the Wild” starring Harrison Ford due for release on Feb 21. Paula and I are interested in seeing this. I’ve even started reading the book. This is based on the book of the same name by Jack London. The promo banner at the theater kind of had us hooked.

Call of the Wild

 

1SE for January 2020

January 31, 2020

Here is my 1 Second Everyday for the month of January.

Star Trek: Picard

January 26, 2020

Last night we decided to watch the new Star Trek series called “Star Trek: Picard” streaming on CBS All Access. This is a new 11 episode Star Trek series that manages to bring Patrick Stewart back as Jean Luc-Picard. I’m a little bit uncertain on how this will manage to succeed since CBS All Access has a ways to go to get to all the Netflix eyeballs.

So episode #1 shows Picard in his winery in the south of France along with his pit bull named “#1”. Oh so very cute. He seems to having dreams of himself playing chess with Commander Data played by Brent Spiner.

picard 1

He then meets a woman named “Dahj” who it seems needs his help and thus he is drawn back into the Star Trek world. It seems that Dahj is related to Data, a daughter maybe. One is not quite sure.

We were watching it on our ROKU box. I had trouble getting the audio, so I had to turn on the subtitles. It might be better on my iPad or laptop. On my cable TV box I have an audio streaming device connected so that I can hear the audio with my hearing aids. When I switch to the Roku box I don’t get the audio.

It was only recently that I had added “CBS All Access” to my streaming video apps.

So there will be a new episode every Thursday. I guess I can wait.

1917

January 25, 2020
1917 (2019)

Thursday was movie night. This time we went to see “1917“. 1917 is the story of two British soldiers in WW1 who have been given the task of delivering a message to another infantry unit across enemy territory. The message is intended to save the unit from an enemy trap.

The film was written and directed by Sam Mendes.

There are two things that stand out for this film.

First is the set design. Truly impressive. One really believes that you are in the trenches of WW1.

Second thing (or maybe first) is the cinematography. The movie is shot using a technique called “One Shot”. You never lose sight of the two main characters as they make their dangerous journey across the no mans’ land to get to their final destination. In order to do the one shot they had to rehearse for about six months before they could begin shooting. Click here for a Wikipedia entry on One Shot Cinematography

The film has been nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Directing. We saw the movie at The Terraces in Rancho Palos Verdes. Tickets on Tuesday and Thursday are $5. We went to a 5 pm showing so that we could go out to dinner after the show. It seems that most of the restaurants in this area close at 9 pm on weeknights. Go see this film, it’s worth it.

The Nook – San Pedro

January 19, 2020

After church, we usually go out for Brunch. Most times, Mike and his family join us, but they were visiting another church in La Habra. We thought we might have to go over to Long Beach to see Paula’s Mom but found out that she was okay.

So we decided to take the opportunity to try a new restaurant called “The Nook” formerly known as the Gaffey Street Diner. The Nook is located at 247 N Gaffey Street. We had stopped eating at the Gaffey Street Diner because of service and quality issues. We had been mostly sending our Sunday morning business to the Pacific Diner.

There is an additional “Nook” restaurant in Torrance at 2169 Pacific Coast Hwy.

So we gave it a try. The interior had been completely redone with new wallpaper and new booths and tables. The wall paper is sort of a stylized view of Los Angeles, San Pedro and Long Beach. Kind of neat.

So service was pretty good. The place was about 1/3 full which thought was pretty good for Sunday at 1pm. We sat at a table for two and ordered coffee and water. Most of the time I order bacon and eggs. So often that our usual waitress calls me “Bacon and Eggs”. But today, I decided to try their tuna melt. Paula ordered the Eggs Benedict.

Paula asked for the fruit cup instead of home fries, but she forgot to tell the waitress “no cantelope or melon”. When I get the tuna melt, I usually only eat half and take the rest home for lunch on Monday.

One final thing. They managed to find an artist to do a mural on the side of the building next to the parking lot. Their logo is a smiling fried egg. Kind of cute. The old mural was of Guy Fieri from a review done by him for his food network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” a long time ago.

Today

January 9, 2020

Well. Paula working at Assistance League today and I didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t feel like hanging out at home all day, so I decided to go out and do something.

First, a stop at the local Starbuck’s for an iced coffee. Brought my iPad. Finished work on previous blog post then did a couple of crossword puzzles. NY Times puzzle was nasty. Once that was done, I headed out.

I decided to take a ride down to South Shores to see the view. Would I be able to see Catalina Island. I could but just barely. Not the clearest day in a while.

I drove south on Western. All clogged up with construction work. Turned right on 25th Street and headed for Rancho Palos Verdes. Paula’s Mom once had a condo down here back when I first met her with a view of Catalina (when one could see it.)

I continued until I reached the famous Wayfarer’s Chapel I took a few pictures. The sun wasn’t at an optimum angle, but took a few pictures.

One of the things that the Wayfarer Chapel is famous for are glam Hollywood weddings. The one wedding that comes to mind is Jane Mansfield/Mickey Hargitay in 1958. Takes some time to visit all of the Jane Mansfield memorabilia. Man, she was hot. Click here for some of the pictures

So, I was done with the Wayfarer. Headed back whence I came and stopped at one of the pullouts to stop and enjoy the view of the Trump Golf course.

View of Catalina Island

Amazon and Self-Checkout

January 9, 2020

I decided to write about several things that were not big enough to take up an entire blog post, but that I wanted to get out there.

Amazon Returns

Did you ever have something that you bought from Amazon but you wanted to return? I turns out that Amazon has made it wicked easy to return stuff. No questions asked.

Here’s how. Go your orders section in the Amazon App. Select the item that you want to return. You can take the item to Kohl’s or a UPS store. The clerk will scan the bar code on your phone. Print out a label and a receipt. Then clerk pastes the label on the package. Then throws to package into the bin.

That’s it. You’re done. You get a refund, instantly. By the way, it’s free.

Self-Service Checkout

I hate self-service checkout. Someone once said, “If I wanted to do self checkout, I would shop at Amazon”. Yeah, I get it. But I like shopping at Amazon for most things.

The only things I tend to not buy at Amazon are things that I need to see and feel it in person. Like, say furniture.

I like Amazon because I can find stuff. I was looking for a few things at Target. I was just wandering the housewares department and never found what I was looking for.

I would prefer that the grocery stores hire enough people to staff all of the checkout lanes.