Archive for September 2020

Another Deep Dive

September 19, 2020

Last week I spent about three days scanning three boxes of slides. Paula’s Dad was always taking pictures, mostly as color 35mm slides. This batch was about 350 slides taken (best I can tell taken in the 1950’s and some in the 1970’s

I have decided to post about a dozen or so. These pictures were of Mt Lassen National Park and other mountains in California and the west. Click or tap on each picture to see the detail.

Harold worked as a high school teacher of biology in Long Beach. In the summer, he worked as a park ranger at Mt Lassen National Park. The Stanley family would head north on the day after school closed for the summer in June. There was no one happier than Harold heading north to Lassen in the summer.

Here’s what the area looked like in June. There was much snow left. The cabin was at Summit Lake where they would live for the summer.

Fixing the Leak in the Drain (part 2)

September 16, 2020

Plumbers were here today to work on the drain. The plan was to replace the main drain pipe from the unit 301 on the third floor down to our unit 101.

The plumbers were from Radisic Plumbing in San Pedro. They did a good job including laying down drop cloths.

Next step will be to repair the holes in the wall and get a new mirror.

Here are my pictures:

Fixing Leak in the Drain (part 1)

September 14, 2020

So back in February, we started seeing a leak in our bathroom. The leak was flowing down from the unit above us. Whenever they used one of their sinks, water would flow down from our ceiling.

Then we had the Covid-19 pandemic, so all work pretty much came to a halt. We got the neighbors above us to stop using the sink, so no more water. That was a temporary fix.

Our management company agreed to pay for the work. The problem is inside their walls.

So today, two men came to remove the mirror so that the plumbers could get behind the wall to look at the drain pipes and fix where it is leaking.

Needless to say, the mirror was very securely attached to the wall. They managed to break the mirror.

So now I don’t have to worry about damaging the mirror. It was put in the dumpster. Management company owes us a new mirror.

The plumbers come on Wednesday. We’ll see what happens then. Stay tuned.

California Wildfires

September 10, 2020
California Wildfire Map as of 9-9-2020

Click here to get Wildfire APP. It’s free.

As many of you know, my wife and I live in California. California is on fire. This is one of the worst fire seasons ever. The fires are leading the National news almost every night. It will be some time (if ever) before we see any significant rains, Pray for rain.

That being said, we are safe. We live in an area south of Los Angeles called San Pedro. Look at the fire map that I’ve posted. You don’t see San Pedro on that map, but it is just south of LA.

Starship Troopers

September 10, 2020

Last night we decided to watch a film that was dropping off of Netflix at the end of the month. The film was “Starship Troopers” starring Neil Patrick Harris, Casper Von Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meger and Jake Busey. Directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Usually, the Times does a piece about the movies that are aging out of streaming services to allow you a chance to watch before they are dropped. Here’s a quote from Wednesday’s New York Times (on 9/9/2020):

An astonishing (embarrassing, frankly) number of film critics blew the call entirely on Paul Verhoeven’s adaptation of the 1959 novel by Robert A. Heinlein, dismissing it as a dopey sci-fi-action-monster mess while missing its pointed indictments of “patriotic” militarism and government authoritarianism (and mainstream cinema’s frequent carrying of those messages). In retrospect, Verhoeven couldn’t have made his intentions clearer: From the flag-waving propaganda sequences to the purposefully plastic acting, this is political satire with real teeth.

If you want to watch this on Netflix, do it before Sept 30. Else see it on Amazon Prime for $4.

So here are few of my comments:

  • There are no ugly people in this film. The guys are hunks and the gals are beauties. Everyone is beautiful. I suppose this is a general rule on this type of movie.
  • The giant bugs are great. I don’t know who did the special effects, but I loved the bugs.
  • None of the good guys ever run out of ammo. Another general rule for shoot’em up films. James Bond doesn’t run out of ammo either.
  • I wonder if any of the veterans who managed to survive would have PTSD. The film ends before you see any of the survivors heading home.
  • There’s a great bit where the head bug gets his nose out (I guess it’s a nose) and sucks the brains out of one of the troopers. Delightfully icky.

We loved the film. It was so outrageously bad. It made it worth watching.

Streaming Video

September 9, 2020

There seems to be more and more choices for streaming video. Plenty of companies trying to persuade you to sign up for your $7-$10 a month. I thought I would take a few minutes to write about the streamers that we have chosen.

First here are the ones that I like and intend to keep. Then I will tell you about the services that I will likely drop.

Netflix

Back in the day, Netflix rented movies on DVD’s. Remember DVD’s? We still have a DVD player and a few DVD’s, but we haven’t turned it on in over a year. They switched to the streaming opertion in 2007.

Lots of quality content. They seem to be ruling the Emmy awards these days. One show that we like has been “Schitt’s Creek”. This is a comedy about a family that lost all of their considerable fortune and forced to move to the podunk town of Schitt’s Creek. It’s a sort of reverse Beverly Hillbillies. Developed and starring Eugene Levy. Very funny.

We recently watched “Fiddler on the Roof”. Seems to be plenty of quality material.

HBO

HBO seems to be the grand dame of streaming. They been around for a long long time. Recently they have been going through some churnwith name changes. First it was HBO Go, HBO Now then HBO Max. Confusing.

So best I can tell that “HBO Max” is all of the streaming and HBO on the cable outlet for $15/month or maybe it’s $12/month. It’s very confusing.

We usually watch “Last Week Tonightwith John Oliver.

The other series we usually watch is “Real Time with Bill Maher“.

Disney+

We first got this channel a few month ago in order to see “Hamilton”. Hamilton was the hook. We had tickets to see the show in Los Angeles in June, but that got cancelled. Sigh. So we have watched Hamilton three times.

There seems to be plenty of other shows and movies to watch. We recently watched “Annie” (see my post on Annie) and a few other movies.

Amazon Prime

We watch a fair amount of movies on Amazon Prime/ Mostly, when we can’t find it on Netflix or Disney. Most of the good/recent movies show up here to rent, generally for $4 or $5. Rental is for 30 days, then once you start watching it, you have to finish the movie in 3 days. Some movies can be purchased for about $15.

It seems that when the theaters closed, much of the newly released films showed up for rent on Amazon Prime.

CBS – All Access

Here we watch a lot of our favorite CBS shows without ads. We watch Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS Sunday Morning and sometimes the national news. Also, they have a funny show called “Tooning in the News” Cartoon characters give their spin on the news. Very funny.

Peacock

This is the NBC equivalent of CBS – All Access. I cancelled within a week. No support for ROKU. They couldn’t come to terms with ROKU. I am not going to watch stuff on my iPad instead of my 43” flat screen TV. Enough said.

Apex

We got this a few months ago for a show a few months ago. Haven’t watch anything recently. I’ll be dropping it soon. Not worth the $7/month.

Acorn

Heard about this from our friend in San Diego. Mostly British TV. Will try it when I get a chance. It’s $7 / month.

Fiddler on the Roof

September 2, 2020
Fiddler on the Roof Poster

We watched another musical last night. This time it was “Fiddler on the Roof” on Netflix. The movie stars Topol, Norma Crane and Leonard Frey. It was released in 1971 following the successful run on Broadway.

The film is a bit on the long side (3 hours). We watched act I on the first night and Act II on the second night.

This is the story of Tevke, a poor Jewish man who lives in a small house in the town of Anatevka in pre-revolutionary Russia. Tevke lives with his wife of 25 years and his five adult daughters. Here is the storyline from IMDB.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jews and Orthodox Christians live in the little village of Anatevka in the pre-revolutionary Russia of the Czars. Among the traditions of the Jewish community, the matchmaker arranges the match and the father approves it. The milkman Reb Tevye is a poor man that has been married for twenty-five years with Golde and they have five daughters. When the local matchmaker Yente arranges the match between his older daughter Tzeitel and the old widow butcher Lazar Wolf, Tevye agrees with the wedding. However Tzeitel is in love with the poor tailor Motel Kamzoil and they ask permission to Tevye to get married that he accepts to please his daughter. Then his second daughter Hodel (Michele Marsh) and the revolutionary student Perchik decide to marry each other and Tevye is forced to accept. When Perchik is arrested by the Czar troops and sent to Siberia, Hodel decides to leave her family and homeland and travel to Siberia to be with her beloved Perchik….

So why is Tevke playing his fiddle up on the roof of his house. It is not exactly explained, but my idea is that where else is Tevke going to get some peace and quiet in a house (a small house, at that) of a wife and 5 adult daughters.

So the music was written by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Hamock. The 1971 film won 3 Oscars (Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Music). The original Broadway Production ran for a record setting 3,642 shows starting in 1964. Click here for the complete Wikipedia article. That Broadway run was finally broken by Grease.

SPOILER ALERT

In the end all of the Jews of Anetvka are told to sell there homes and get out. The small community is broken up. They all go off in different directions. Some to New York, Some to Chicago, Some to Jerusalem. A very sad ending but one feels the hope of starting a new era.

1SE – 1 Second Everyday for August

September 1, 2020

Here it is (runs about 1 minute.)