Archive for the ‘Family’ category

Bacon

December 10, 2017

Today I was with my family eating breakfast after church at one of our favorite places called the “Pacific Diner” in San Pedro. By now, all of the wait staff generally know that I will be ordering Bacon and Eggs.

So several months ago, I was sitting next to my grandson Jonathan. So, he asked me what was on my plate, pointing at the bacon. That’s bacon, I tell him. Would you like a taste? Yes, he says. From that day forward, Mike would have to order a side of bacon for the kids.

So fast forward to today. Jonathan has an omelet of some kind with bacon. So I tell him how men eat bacon. You don’t eat it with a fork and knife. You can pick it up with your fingers if you like but that is not ideal.

I show him how to pick up a half slice of toast, add some jelly and put the bacon on the toast and then fold in half. Tastes great.

So Paula asks me why men always eat bacon on toast like that. I tell her that’s because it’s the right way to eat bacon. Gotta teach young lads early.

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My Christmas Letter

December 9, 2017

2017-12-09 14.34.33Every year at this time I write a Christmas letter to 130 of my nearest and dearest friends. I started doing it about 20 years ago. My in-laws (Harold and Mary) had sent out Christmas letters to all of their friends for many years. That’s where I got the idea.

I was tired of just sending out a card that we just signed and threw in the mailbox. I knew I wasn’t possible to write a long individual letter to every one of our friends and relations. That wasn’t going to happen.

One year I tried sending the letter only be email. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out. Many people didn’t have email. It just felt better sending a written letter on a piece of paper. I still send a few letters by email, but it’s only as a last resort like when I don’t have an updated, valid postal address.

So every year the process starts anew. I begin to review the list. Who do I add? Who do I remove? I need to remove the spouses that have passed during the year. I keep the list as a group on my Apple. This year I made sure that every one got a full 9 digit zip code.

Then I ordered paper and envelopes from Amazon. I checked to see if I have enough address labels. So now I have some paper and envelopes left over. Hopefully I can find the stuff next November.

On the day after Thanksgiving, I start writing the letter. My goal is to fill 2 pages with the stories of our year. What did we do? Where did we go? How’s everyone doing?

Then I pick a few pictures to add to the letter. Obligatory pictures of us, our grand kids are added.

I usually have to shrink the font size down a bit in order to fit the letter on two pages. This year I ended up with size 11 font.

Finally after numerous final edits by Paula and I, the letter goes to print. Oh I need to check the ink status on my printer. I ordered a package of color ink from HP. but didn’t need it.

Time to print. First, I did the labels. Last year I got a new app from the app store that does a real good job printing labels. The app is called “Label Printer” by Richard McKenna. I think that he has a version for Android. One can add addresses directly from the contact database. Really does a good job.

Then I print the letter. I have a duplex printer but I find that I can do it faster if I do the front page, then after that is done, do the back page.

Then fold and stuff envelopes. Paula usually wants to write a personal note to some of our friends, so I cull those out for her.

Finally, I seal and stamp. On Monday, I take them to the PO.

TTFN

Joe

Mary

October 21, 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to notice the changes when you are together day by day. When you see someone after being apart for a month or two, you notice the changes in a person.

Mary seems to be just a little bit weaker and a little bit slower day by day. Her memory is getting incrementally getting worse. We can tell her something, and five minutes later having the same conversation.

A couple of weeks ago, we had to be out of our condo for the entire day from 8 am to 5 pm for X-rays to be done on the building structure. Told Mary and told her again. Finally we showed her the piece of paper with the notice on it. She began to get it.

All in all, she did pretty good. We went out to a local diner and had breakfast and then to her hair appointment. We then spent the afternoon at our son’s place playing with the grandkids. Mary always likes to see the little ones.

Today, we all went to a park in Torrence to celebrate Jonathan and Sarah’s birthdays (Sept and Oct). We got a handicap parking spot so there wasn’t much of a walk. Mary loves to see all the little ones running around and riding their bikes. We brought a couple of camp chairs for our comfort. So she got some sunshine and fresh air. It was a good day.

IPhone 8 plus

October 21, 2017

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been neglectful. Time to get going again. 

I upgraded my phone from an iPhone 6 Plus to an iPhone 8 Plus about three weeks ago. I had the 6 plus for about three years, so time to upgrade. I didn’t feel like waiting another month to get the iPhone X. The new phone has 256Gb which means more tunes than I will ever load on to it. Here are the features that I particularly like:

  • Wireless Charging – Apple isn’t selling  a wireless charger yet, but you can get one from Amazon for about $16. Just take the phone out of your pocket and drop it onto the charger. Neat. I’m sure that Apple will come up with one for more money.  Also, it works fine with the phone installed in its case.
  • Camera – Much improved camera. It has two lenses. You can change from wide to tele with the touch of your finger. It also has some interesting controls. It has a “Portrait” mode that allows changing the lighting ambiance. Here is a picture of Paula that I took today shown with the different portrait choices. It can do a black and white portrait. In this case it brightens the face and blurs the background. Kind of cool. 
  • Another feature added was “Do Not Disturb” mode. This actually is a feature of iOS 11. So if you have iOS 6 or 7 all you have to do is upgrade. The phone detects that you are moving and it sends a stock reply to an incoming text message. Message says something like “I’m driving, I will get back to you later”. You can disable it but this is a good thing. Helps prevent distracted driving. You can also customize the message.
  • IPhone 8 and 8 plus is same form factor as the 6 and 6 plus or 7 and 7 plus. That means that you don’t need to buy a new case. I just popped my 6 plus out of the case and put the 8 plus in.  I mean you can buy a new one if you want, but why throw money around.
  • The back of the 8 is made of glass. This is done partially to allow the wireless charging. But it looks cool nevertheless. Too bad one doesn’t see it because of the case. Too much money to run the risk of running around naked (the phone that is, not me.)
  • One of things that I don’t like about it is that Apple removed the headphone jack. (That actually happened in the iPhone 7.) Apple wants you to buy their Bluetooth ear buds. Too pricey and too easy to lose. The headphones that come with it have a lightning plug. You can either listen to head phones or charge but not both at the same time. The phone comes with an adapter so that you can use your old headphones.
  • Of course, the innards are all better and faster (not necessarily cheaper). More memory of course.

A Few More Hours…

August 14, 2017

img_5185Time to pack up. We are first going to hit the breakfast buffet, then finish packing. Check out time is noon. We get back into our condo at 5 pm, so we have a few hours to kill before we get home.

Paula will be working at the Asst League gift shop. We will probably get Mary a couch upstairs in one of the offices. I will find an office to do computer stuff.

Well, we got checked out of the hotel. Junior manager came to our room to load up all our belongings and we headed out to the parking lot. Nice guy, he wouldn’t take a tip.

Now hanging at the Asst League. Found out the WiFi password so I can go online. Got Mary settled down on the couch in the president’s office. Now to wait until 5 pm to get back into our condo unit.

Overall, the Double Tree in SP was very nice. Only down side was the WiFi was a little bit dicey. Everything else was 5 stars (out of 5). If anyone is looking for a place to stay when you visit San Pedro, this would be a good choice.

So tomorrow, we need to do grocery shopping and arrange for someone to look at our dryer.

TTFN

Joe

 

At the Double Tree

August 13, 2017

My day is going much better than yesterday. Mary is feeling better. We decided to skip the OES fashion show and just hang out here at the Double Tree in San Pedro.

We try to not overload Mary with activities. So today we went to the hotel restaurant for a late breakfast. Mary and Paula shared an English muffin and a fruit plate. I had bacon and eggs. Very tasty.

The picture is the view from the rear of the hotel lobby. Some of the rooms have this view, unfortunately ours does not. I once owned a boat, a lot smaller than these yachts. Rich man toys. Not me. 

We all had naps this afternoon which makes us all much more pleasant to be around.

The service at the Double Tree is so much better than our stay at the Best Western in Roseville. We have been to parties and functions at this Double Tree before but this is the first time that we have actually stayed here.

I watched the end of the Red Sox-Yankees game on my iPad. Red Sox won 10-5. Woohoo!

Sunday

Paula is off to church. Mary laying in bed. As soon as house keeping stops by, I will get her up and head to the cafe for breakfast. The hotel has loaned us a wheelchair but last time we went to lobby she managed to walk up and back again. Waiting for the morning fog to burn off.

TTFN

Joe

The Adventure continues…

August 12, 2017

Had our first night at the luxurious DoubleTree in San Pedro. Everyone slept pretty good. Hotel loaned us a wheel chair for Mary so she didn’t have to walk all the way to the room.

Last night was a problem. We decided to have dinner at the Green Onion Mexican Restaurant in San Pedro. Been a while since we’ve had Mexican fare. I dropped Paula and Mary at the door then parked the car. Had to wait for 10 minutes for a table. Got seated then ordered drinks, marguerites all around. Very tasty.

At this point Mary decides that she needs to go to the ladies’. I was told what to order for them. I delayed as long as I could than ordered (including a second marguerite for me.)

10 minutes later food arrives at our table. No sign of Mary and Paula. Another 10-15 minutes go by before they get back from the loo. Mary looking pale and out of it. She had trouble standing up straight. You could blow her over with a breath. Mary not hungry, hardly eats any of her meal. I tell her we can’t take it with us, no place to store.

After the meal completed, get in the car. We ask her “Do you want us to take you to the hospital?” (Just what we need a Friday night at the ER.) Tell us what your symptoms are? So eventually we decided to not do ER and back to the hotel. 

Got her into PJ’s and into bed. Left the bathroom light on for her. She slept through the night. Got her up this morning, made her some instant oatmeal. Reading yesterday’s newspaper.

Today, Paula will be taking her to a fashion show sponsored by one of the local OES chapters. I am free. Woo-Hoo!