Archive for the ‘San Pedro’ category

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May 25, 2017

I’m just beginning to unwind from our whirl wind trip to Massachusetts. We visited many friends and family over a six day trip. Weather was very nice. We had a great trip. I even saw a thunder and lightning storm. Luckily I didn’t have to go out and drive in the storm. Don’t see that very much out west here.

Many of our friends said to us “Welcome Home”. But here’s the thing. I have spent most of my life living in Mass., including 36 years in Billerica. We have been living in San Pedro now for almost 5 years. Mass. doesn’t feel like home anymore. San Pedro is our home now and it feels like home to me.

Will we ever move back? Don’t know. Probably not. I don’t like moving. We’ll be back again next May.

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Paula’s Bike

March 16, 2017

So back in 2012 when Paula and I moved to California, one of the things that got shipped was Paula’s bike. Shortly after we arrived we took the bike to a local bike shop to get it tuned up and to buy a lock. The condo association forbids storing bikes on your patio deck. They provide bike racks in several places in the garage in the basement of the building.

So we got a lock and secured the bike to the rack. We placed the lock through the rear wheel. Our thinking was that if we secured the front wheel, then a thief could just take the whole bike minus the front wheel.

So a couple of months went by and sure enough someone stole the front wheel. We never got around to buying another wheel so the bike just sat there with out a front wheel. And then not much later someone decided that they needed a seat more than we did. So now we had a bike minus front wheel and seat. Sigh.

So fast forward to today. I go down to the garage to get in my Jeep (or as my grandson Jonathan calls it “the Jeep truck”. So now the bike frame is gone. All that is left is the rear wheel securely attached to the bike rack. I think I will leave the wheel there as a subtle warning to folks planning to secure their bike there.

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Tuesday Night

September 21, 2016

In the past, Tuesday nights were family nights. We would have our son and his family over for dinner. But now that the school year has started, doing dinner on Tuesday night became a problem. They needed to get our grandson Jonathan to bed by a decent hour so that he would get a full night’s sleep. School starts at 8:30 AM. and that meant we couldn’t do Tuesday dinner and get done early enough so that Jonathan could be in bed by 7:00 PM.

So, Paula and I suddenly had a free night. So I could go to my Shrine Club meeting with the guys. And Paula could go have dinner with the ladies. My meeting was with the Beach Cities Shrine Club at the Whale and Ale in San Pedro. The ladies were meeting at Trani’s, also in San Pedro.

So, if Mary was going to eat, she had to go with Paula. I heard from Paula that the service was none to good at Trani’s. We were getting text messages from some of the ladies that they hadn’t been served by 8:00 PM. By that time we were pretty much done.

So I had Fish and Chips at the Whale and Ale. This is one of their signature dishes. Very tasty. I had a “Dirty Martini” to wash it down. I need to do a blog post on various martini variations. So to make it short, a “Dirty Martini” is two parts gin, one part dry vermouth and an ounce of olive juice. I think I prefer a Martini straight up.

So I was home well before Paula hit the road. I used my “Find My iPhone” app to show me when Paula was coming home. So I asked her how things went. Terrible she says. She asked her mother if she had a good time. Mary says, “No, it was terrible”.

Apparently, Mary didn’t recognize anyone at the table except Paula. Even though she should have recognized at least half of the ladies at the table. This event made it clear to us that Mary’s dementia is getting much worse. We will most likely not take her to events like this in the future. No fun for us and no fun for Mary. In addition, she is having more and more difficulty in carrying on a conversation.

Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

July 29, 2015

Today is Wednesday. Typically on Wednesday we go to Bible study at Ocean View Baptist Church. Today, it was not to be. We started off a bit late because Mary had a rough night. Paula was trying to get her settled back into bed. She had been up most of the night with runs to the bathroom.

So we got on the road at about 9:58. It takes about 10 minutes for us to get down to 19th Street in San Pedro. So we get to 19th Street and find the street blocked off for a LA Water and Power crew replacing a power pole. We tried going around the block. Still no access to the parking lot. Oh well, let’s try plan B.

Paula wanted to drive by the harbor and so we headed in that direction. So we headed down 19th Street and turned left on to Meyler. So we are doing a little sight seeing. We come to the Richard Henry Dana Middle School on Meyler. A lot of places in San Pedro are named after Richard Henry Dana. Of course, this is one of the schools that Paula attended. So we find the front door open and we go inside. There are two tiled painting on either side of the entrance and Paula was wondering if they were still there. Indeed they are, though not quite what she remembered. Here are a couple of pictures.

  

The “Pilgrim” was the name of the first ship that Dana had sailed on from Massachusetts to California. Of course, you might remember that Dana was famous for writing his memoir “Two Years Before the Mast”. Paula both read it a few years ago during one of our trips to Pedro. It’s worth reading, here’s the Kindle link on Amazon. This is the link to the free version. There are several versions available. Most less than $5.

Here’s the thing. Richard Henry Dana didn’t care much for San Pedro. Once he got here he tried mightily to get back to Cambridge. Getting back to where he started was none to easy. He evenutally got on a ship heading that way and returned to Cambridge where he attended what became Harvard Law School. He ended up specializing in maritime law. He was truly the seaman’s friend. That probably was one of the reasons that he is immortalized in San Pedro. Here’s the link to the Wikipedia article.

So the morning wasn’t quite done yet. We headed up Meyler and stopped at “Joseph’s Bakery”. This is a fine little hole the wall in San Pedro. There wasn’t much left at 10:45 am. We bought a couple of croissants and some cookies and then headed for Starbuck’s for coffee. Not much to the place, but the baked goods are mighty tasty. They open at 5 am. Get there early if you want a good selection. Here’s the Yelp entry.

TTFN

Joe

RIP Bob Ciriello

July 22, 2015

Bob CierelloOn Tuesday, Paula and I attended a memorial service for Bob Ciriello. Bob was one of Harold’s friends and contemporaries. They taught high school together in Long Beach many years ago. We tried to encourage Mary to attend but she would have none of it. It seems lately that she really doesn’t like to going to funerals, wakes and memorial services. So Paula and I end up paying our respects for her.

Paula tells stories of her father and Bob making wine in Bob’s garage.I only met Bob once or twice probably during one of our visits west thirty years ago. Here’s the obit in the Daily Breeze.

The memorial service was a small affair that was held at the South Bay Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes Peninsula. There was a string quartet that played before and after the service. The location was next to the Koy pond. Here are a few pictures that I took. It sort of reminded me of the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. One of these days we will have to go back and spend some more time there.

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One of the last pieces that the quartet played was a traditional Shaker tune called “Simple Gifts”. Here is a performance by Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss for you listening pleasure. I have also downloaded the sheet music from Musicnotes.com for my iPad. So my OES and Lodge friends will be hearing it soon.

S.S. Lane Victory

June 26, 2015

2015-06-26 13.56.30Paula and I were feeling kind of bored this morning. We were all caught up on our errands. Nothing on our OES or Assistance League calendars. And, Mary didn’t have anything on her agenda. Seeing as we didn’t just want to just hang out. We decided to take a ride down to the harbor and take a tour of the SS Lane Victory. The Lane Victory was holding a grand celebration of the 70th anniversary of her launch at the end of WWII

The Lane Victory is one of only six remaining Victory class cargo ships built during WWII. There were over 5000 victory ships built during the war The Victory ship design was based on the earlier Liberty ship. The Victory ship had a larger engine and slighttly larger cargo capacity. Faster speed allowed them to better evade German U-Boats. Victory ships could do about 14-16 knots while Liberty ships only about 10 knots.
 We had a personal tour done by Art Morrison. .Mr Morrison is one of the few remaining veterans of the US Merchant Marine and served during WWII. He did pretty good for a 90 year old man going up and down the steep steps.

We started with a tour of crew quarters, then officers’ quarters then up to the bridge. There were a few modern devices add to the bridge (eg. ship-to-shore radio). Here’s the views from the bridge.

 
  
  

Then we headed down to the number 2 hold. The hold is set up as a mini-museum with four Jeeps, a steam engine, a torpedo and a mine plus a ton of other memorabilia.

  
  

Here are a few more outside views.

   
     Finally, we finished our tour with a hamburger, chips and a beer that was being served as part of the anniversary celebration.

The Moving Wall

May 23, 2015

This morning, Paula and I visited an exhibit at Green Hills Cemetery called “The Moving Wall“. The Moving Wall is a half sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. It is intended for those do not have the resources and/or ability to visit the Memorial in Washington DC. It will be in Rancho Palos Verdes at Green Hills until May 25. Go to the web site to find out more about the Wall and the its schedule.

I have never visited the memorial in Washington. Visiting Washington is not high on my bucket list. So this is the next best thing. There were only a few people viewing the Moving Wall. I thought there would be more on Memorial Day weekend.

I can only imaging how the full size wall looks. I just looked at the number of names in awe. I never served in the Vietnam. During that time, I was getting pretty fed up with our leaders with respect to the lies that they were telling. Looking at the wall you get a feel about how big a number 58,000 is. And that it represents the brave men and women who died for a really, really bad idea.

The wall is sitting at the top of a hill at Green Hills, with a spectacular view of the Los Angeles harbor. What a shame that some of those service men and women are not here to enjoy the view.

For my friends in the LA area, drop by the Green Hills Cemetary to see the wall.

Here are some of my pictures.

   
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