Archive for the ‘Reviews’ category

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.

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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.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

July 26, 2018

WeAnt-Mandnesday was date night again. This time we went to see “Ant-Man and the Wasp” at the Regal Cinema in PV. Regal Cinema is a place that has replaced all of their seats with big comfy reclining seats that are so very comfy. We had a couple of passes that we received last month for a billing SNAFU.

So we got ourselves a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water and sat down about a dozen trailers before the actual movie started.

So Ant-Man and Wasp are part of the Marvel Comics universe where they fight evil and crime. So the movie stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp. So somehow, Ant-Man and Wasp are joining forces to fight some serious bad guys. It doesn’t hurt things that Evangeline Lilly is so easy on the eyes.

The movie also has Michael Douglas starring as the senior scientist who has developed all of the technology that can turn our heroes into micro versions of themselves. Douglas has aged well. He runs some sort of lab that manages all of action. Lots of flashing lights and bells & whistles. They manage to miniaturize the whole lab building with some sort of remote and pick it up like a piece of carry-on luggage. The movie was great for all of the special effects.

It was a fun movie. I didn’t quite figure out why the bad guys were bad. But it doesn’t matter. They have some serious chase scenes in downtown San Francisco. How did the producers get permission to film that part. It kind of reminded me of  Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” which also had good guy McQueen chasing bad guys in downtown San Francisco. Watch this trailer from Bullitt. Serious car chase in San Francisco.

Sex and the City

July 1, 2018

Sex and the CitySo last night I decided to start watching some old episodes of “Sex and the City” starring Sarah Jessica Parker et al.  Sex and the City first appeared in 1998 on HBO.

The series explored the sex lives of four unmarried young ladies in New York City. The first episode that I watched explored the ladies experience with dating younger men in their 20’s. Then, I watched the pilot episode.

One of the things that caught my eye was the set dressing. There were no cell phones, only land-lines. Sarah got up in the morning and had herself a cigarette. When was the last time that you saw an actor in a movie or TV show smoke a cigarette? It was interesting  to see the differences. Wherever they go for fun, there is smoking, a lot of smoking. At bars and nightclubs, there is smoking.

So the point of the story is that Sarah writes a column about sex for a New York City newspaper. Occasionally, we see her typing out her column on her computer. The computer was some laptop of a certain vintage. (Ie. Old and clunky) I thought she might be seen actually using a typewriter, but that was not the case. Hard to tell what brand it was though, but certainly not thin and sleek like today’s models. And, definitely not an Apple device. Nowadays, it seems that Apple has cornered the market on product placement.

Solo

June 24, 2018

SoloLast  night was date night. We went out to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at the Regal theater in Rancho Palos Verdes. Paula liked it. I  had mixed emotions about it. It had lots of shooting and blasting. It had a new Han Solo and a new love interest. It had a new wookie and a new Lando Calrissian. It seems that all of the characters from the original were introduced. They seemed to be in some sort of battle for some contraband or something. I never quite figured it out. Just a lot of loud mayhem.

So the film was directed by Ron Howard. Howard sure has a large body of work.  He sure has grown since his days as “Opie”.

Woody Harrelson had a big part in the movie. When I first saw him in the movie, I thought. to myself, is he still working? First saw Woody in “Cheers” back in 1982. I had to ask Google, “How old is Woody Harrelson?”. The answer: “57”. Pretty good action for an old guy.

2018-06-23 20.27.51So we saw the film in the “Regal Cinema” in RPV. This theater is equipped with big, comfy recliners. Ticket price a bit more than the regular ticket prices, but worth it. If one pushes the seat all the way back one might fall asleep. Though, not likely with all the shooting and fire works.

One other thing about Regal. I had purchased tickets in error for Friday rather than Saturday. I talked with manager and he gave us two coupons for a future show.

Another thing. The theater seemed to run the audio real loud. To my mind, too loud. It makes a lot of the dialog muddy. My hearing aids don’t help. In fact, they make it worse. Luckily for this film, one doesn’t need to catch all of the dialog.

Picked up chicken at KFC on the way home. Didn’t taste very good. Hate to spend big money at a restaurant when I know it will probably taste like crap. Took it home. Had a glass of wine. To bed.

King Tut

May 28, 2018

2018-05-28 10.58.34Today we went downtown to the California Science Center to see the King Tut exhibit. Mike & Theresa got the tickets. We all loaded into Mike’s Honda Minivan and headed off to see King Tut.

We got Dawn to come and watch over Mary while we were gone. We left at 9:00 am expecting traffic, but no traffic to speak of so we arrived ahead of schedule.

Our tickets were for 10:30, so we had to hang out for about a 1/2 hour before we all could get into the exhibit.

So the tomb of Tutenkhamun was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The tomb was pretty much undisturbed for 3,000 years. Here’s the wiki article about Tut.

Jonathan was trying to get his head around how old King Tut was. He couldn’t quite get his head around 3000 years old. So we compared it to Old Testament Bible stories like Noah and the like. Okay, he got it.

Here are some more pics.

After we finished the exhibit, we did lunch at the “Bombay Tandori” Restaurant on PCH in Torrance. We got there in time to do the buffet. We all hadn’t had Indian cuisine for a long time. Very tasty and not too expensive

Dodge Challenger

May 22, 2018

Just got back from out trip to Boston. As in the past, we rented a car. So I made a reservation with Avis/Budget Rent-a-Car for a Ford Escape. Why can’t Avis give me what I ask for? So this year they give us a Dodge Challenger. Not even close.

There once would have been a time that I would have loved to drive (or own) a car like a Dodge Challenger, but that shipped sailed a long time ago.

We are thinking about buying a new car pretty soon. Renting a car that is similar to what you  are looking for in a new car is a good way to get a good feel about the car. You get a better feel than a 10 minute test drive.

 

The first thing notices about the car is the sound of the exhaust. It has a deep throaty roar to it that makes you want to step on the gas and go fast. It has lots of power.

The only thing that bugs me is the controls for things like headlights, radio, AC, etc. Before I drive out of the rental car garage, I try to figure out all of the stuff I need to drive, like how to turn on headlights, how to turn on AC, etc.

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Most of the new cars have a setup like this with app buttons and interface to one’s smart phone, which is great. But it takes me time to get used to is. I can connect to my phone and play music from my iPhone. I don’t have to find a suitable radio station. This car did have “CarPlay” which is the Apple interface. I believe that there is a similar system for Android phones.

The steering wheel has more buttons than you can shake a stick at for cruise control, audio functions, make a phone call which is great but it takes a bit of getting used to.

And another thing that takes a getting used to is the “Start” button. Apparently, the put the key into the lock and turning is long gone. Step on the brake  and push “Start”. It will start as long as the key fob is somewhere in the car. Leave the key in your pocket, that way you won’t forget it.

Maybe next time I will try Hertz to see if they can give me the car that I request. Sigh.

Oh and by the way, I filled it up before I turned it in on Monday. What a pleasant surprise to buy gas for under $3 a gallon again. Haven’t seen that in California for a long time.

Isle of Dogs

May 2, 2018

Last night was date night again. Our friend Roberta was visiting from San Diego and promised that she would sit with Mary so that Paula and I could have a night out at the movies. So Tuesday is $5 night at AMC theaters and Mother in law sitting free. You can’t do better than that. We paid more for the popcorn and bottle of spring water than we did for the tickets.

Isle of DogsSo we decided to go see “The Isle of Dogs“. This is a Japanese animated film that tells the story of dogs that had been exiled from the city of Megasaki to trash island. So, apparently Mayor Kobayashi is a cat lover and has ordered all dogs exiled to Trash Island.

The film tells the story of a boy who is search of his dog. So the boy (Atari) is aided by a pack of five dogs that together run into many obstacles along the way.

So the people spoke Japanese with subtitles, but the dogs all spoke English.

The film is PG13 for some violent images. Just because the film is animated, doesn’t mean it is suitable for children.

I was unimpressed. I would give it about 2 out of 5 stars. I would have been upset if we had paid full price. It was mercifully short (1 hr 41 min.)

chops and salsaDinner was at Taxco Mexican restaurant just around the corner at Western and Capitol. Excellent food as always. We both had Margaritas to wash down the food. Very tasty.

They had an excellent spicy salsa to go with the chips.