Archive for the ‘California’ category

Fire!

November 10, 2018

We are in the fire season right now. Bill Patzert (climatologist) once said that there are four seasons in California, drought, fire, rain and mudslides. Right now we are in “fire season”. The above seasons, it seems are not of the same length. It seems that we have been in “fire season” for a long time.

These seasons are a vicious cycle. First comes the fire, which burns away all of the scrub grass, then comes the rain which creates mud (and slides) and finally drought. And then, we start all over again. Rainy season is generally accepted will start some time in January.

The most recent fire is called the “Woolsey Fire” which is currently burning about 70,000 acres in an area north of Malibu in LA and Ventura counties. At our home in San Pedro, we get a small scent of burning wood when the wind is blowing out of the north. We are not in any danger right now.

You know that you live in California, when you have an app on your phone that shows the current fire “map”. By the way, the app is free. Here’s the current fire map of California. Note, the two red dots just north of LA. These are the two fires that are near us.

Here are a few pictures:

Evacuation from Malibu

Second Tuesday

October 9, 2018

Okay, today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that the ladies at the Assistance League of San Pedro/South Bay are having their monthly luncheon meeting. Go to hyperlink to learn more about the Assistance League. Both Paula and Mary are members and usually attend. Paula runs the Chapter Relations Committee and she needs to be there early. Getting there early means that she gets prime parking. This is important because Mary can’t walk too far.2018-10-09 09.04.19.jpg

So we got up bright and early, had breakfast and hit the shower. We got Mary up, fed and dressed. Mary needs help getting dressed these days (that’s Paula’s job). At 9:00 AM, I walk Mary down to the elevator and wait for Paula to drive around to pick Mary up. So I load Mary into the Prius and off they go.

One of the nice things about our condo is that it’s all on one level. No stairs. That wasn’t an issue when Mary bought the property, but it is now. There is an elevator that takes us down to the garage. Mary doesn’t handle stairs very well anymore. We need to always be keenly aware of handicap accessibility. Another fall would probably kill her.

That means that I am free for the next four hours. So I headed to Albertson’s to do some grocery shopping. First thing, I head to the Starbuck’s and order my usual venti iced coffee.  I also order a pumpkin scone. The barista tells me that they were out of “venti” cups so she had to give the larger cup. Twist my arm I tell her. I sit down at one of the small tables and sip my coffee and check the news on my iPhone. Ah, life is good.

So the first thing that the Barista asks me is “Where’s Paula?”. She’s at a meeting with her mother, I tell her.  I’m flying solo today. The butcher and checkout lady ask me the same question, “Where’s Paula?”

So, i finish my shopping and head home. I unload all the groceries and sit down for a quiet lunch. Now, I finish this blog post and it’s time for Red Sox baseball.

 

Annenberg Space for Photography

September 7, 2018

Paula and I had a day off from caring for Mary on Friday. We arranged for a sitter then we headed north to Century City to the Annenberg Space for Photography. Annenberg has been having an display called “Not an Ostrich” that ends this weekend. Admission and parking was free. All we had to pay was our fee to Dawn to take care of Mary.

Dawn took Mary to get her hair done at “The Mane Place”. Then got her her usual chocolate shake. Mary was a happy camper.

So Century City is up near Hollywood. It is home to several TV and movie studios including Fox Studios and Sony Studios. One can tell that it’s a movie studio because it occupies an entire city block and the buildings are about 50 feet high with absolutely no windows. Usually there is a guarded fancy gate near the middle.

So we arrived at noon in the parking garage under the building where we found out that the museum was closed until 2 pm for a private showing. Boo-Hoo! So we stayed anyway and went to have some lunch. There were several lunch places with various cuisines (Mexican, Chinese, Burgers, etc.). So we had a slow quiet lunch and hung out for a while waiting for 2 pm. The area outside the building had lots of chairs and places to sit and watch people go by.

So the museum had a small set of the huge collection at the Library of Congress in Washington DC covering from the Civil War to the present. One can browse the collection online at http://loc.gov/pictures

Here is a sampler (a very small sampler) of some of the pictures. There was a wide variety of American.

Day’s Inn by Wyndham – Novato, CA

August 21, 2018

On sunday, we got back from our trip up north for the Grand Ruth reception. We stayed in a “Day’s Inn by Wyndham” in Novato, CA. Novato, CA is north of San Francisco. Here are my thoughts on the hotel. I think that this place was bought by Wyndham and that by adding the “Wyndham” tag to the name one would think you were getting a nicer hotel. Day’s Inn is still a dump with or without the “By Wyndham” tag.

This is a fairly old facility. Probably built in the 1980’s. The building has two levels, street level and a second level up a flight of stairs. No rooms available on the street level  so we had to schlep all of our stuff up the stairs. Of course, there was no elevator(s). I need to be sure of the location of the rooms and whether or not they have an elevator. Perhaps, it might work if I were to ask for HP accessible. We could have had a first floor room but that room didn’t have a fridge/microwave. We felt fridge/microwave was more important.

 

Room was quite small. Two straight back chairs, no comfy chair. Bathroom was very small with hardly any shelf space to put our personal kits (cosmetics and shave).

Bed was okay. I’ve slept on better.

Room had a nice view. Deer came down from the hills to graze at dusk.

2018-08-17 19.21.04

They had breakfast served but we didn’t take advantage. We brought our own snacks and cooler with milk and drinks.

The room had free WiFi but very slow. Only 2 Mbps download speed. If you want faster, it’ll cost you $10 /day.

Next time, I need to be more careful when booking a motel room.

So here is my checklist:

  1. HP accessible?
  2. Adequate WiFi speeds and free.
  3. Elevator if room is above 1st floor.
  4. Check YELP reviews.
  5. Restaurant(s) within walking distance?
  6. Review with Paula.

Ramona

August 5, 2018

So today we were about to start for home from our visit to Escondido, CA for the Grand Organist Reception last night. So we wanted to do something more than just head back up the freeway to LA. We decided to take a side trip up to the small town of Ramona, CA up in the NE corner of San Diego County.

So our friend Roberta suggested we head up to Ramona. This is a small town up in the middle of nowhere. We had a nice scenic drive. By this time of year, most everything is brown. So we got there in fine time. Stopped for gas and Paula went for a walk. She found a Masonic Lodge, then we drove around and we found a second lodge. Two lodges in town. I’m impressed.

 

 

So here’s some info on Ramona. Seems to have many businesses. There was a Dunkin Donuts!. Don’t even have one in San Pedro. Also had a Starbucks, Albertsons and gas stations. I filled up the Nissan. Seems like the mileage is running about 30 mpg.

So I said to Paula, “I think there was a song written about “Ramona”. So I did a search on YouTube and found a couple of ditties from back in the day. Here are the links.

First is a song by Bob Dylan named “Ramona

Next was a song by David Whitfield also called “Ramona“. Released in 1961.

And finally, “Ramona” by Louis Armstrong.

Abbreviations

June 25, 2018

The other day I received a comment asking what “TTFN” stood for? So I thought I would do a post on abbreviations that I commonly use.

Winnie_the_Pooh_and_the_Blustery_Day_posterTTFN stands for Ta Ta For Now. The phrase first appeared on British radio back in the 1940’s. It also appears several “Winnie the Pooh” episodes spoken by “Tigger”. Here is the wikipedia entry.

Here is another pointer to all things about “Winnie the Pooh“. And stuff on IMDB.

Okay, that’s enough on TTFN. Here are some other abbreviations:

  • SP = San Pedro (Community south of Los Angeles)
  • RPV = Rancho Palos Verdes (West of SP)
  • LB = Long Beach
  • SB = South Bay (several LA communities around LA Harbor, SP, RPV, LB, Torrance, Harbor City, Lomita, etc.)

 

Comedy and Magic Club

April 27, 2018

Comedy and Magic outsideLast night was date night again. This time our OES Chapter was doing a fund raiser night at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA. So, our sitter for Mary arrived at about 5:30 and off we went for dinner and a show. [For you East Coast folks, Hermosa Beach is about half way between LAX and San Pedro]

We arrived and got one of the last parking spaces on the roof and got in line to enter the club. Doors opened at about 6:30 and we got prime seats right up next to the stage.

We proceeded to order drinks and dinner. Paula had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and I had Chardonnay. We should have just ordered appetizers. We had way too much food for the two of us to eat.

The club holds about 100-150 seats. Tables are small but not uncomfortably so. Food service was decent, though a bit pricey. There was a requirement that everyone buy at least two items on the menu. Fair enough.

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM Studios - September 30, 2015The headliner last night was Paul Reiser, best known for his appearances in “Mad About You” and more recently in “Stranger Things“.

He did a couple of very funny bits. One was about a dead goat on the beach and the discussion he had with his wife about how said goat came to be there. That led into more discussion about conversations with ones significant other. Very funny.

There were also three warm-up acts. The names of which escape me. Luckily for me I found a scrap of paper in my pocket that listed the performers.

  1. Keon Polee
  2. Michael Palascak
  3. Alonzo Bodden
  4. John Carney (magic)

While we were waiting for the show to start, they were running a slide show of the many artists that had appeared at the venue. Alas, many of the stars pictured there were dead. There were pictures of Robin Williams, George Carlin and many more gone too soon.

They also have displays of comic trivia on display, costumes and the like, some recent and some not so recent.

Apparently, Jay Leno does a regular gig there on occasional Sundays. That might be worth going to see.

Seems like we spent a small fortune including sitter for Mary, dinner and show, but it was worth it. We’ll probably do it again. Maybe one of the days when Jay Leno is performing.