Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

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.

Annie

August 26, 2020
Kathy Bates, Victor Garner and Alicia Morton

We decided a couple of days ago to start watching some musicals on TV. So last night, we watched “Annie” on Disney +. There seems to be plenty of musicals available either on Netflix or Disney+. Also, there are some on Amazon, but I usually avoid Amazon because they typically charge $4 to watch.

I couldn’t find an IMDB entry for the 1999 version which is weird. I did find an extensive article in Wickipedia. Clicke here for more than you would ever want to know about “Little Orphan Annie”. The reason there was know IMDB for this version might be that is was made for TV.

There have been several movies made on Annie. First one was in 1982. Next one in 1999/ And one in 2014. We watched the 1999 version on Disney.

In the 1999 version, Annie is played by Alicia Morton. Daddy Warbucks played by Victor Garner and Kathy Bates played the evil Mrs Hannigan.

So the movie(s) Annie is based (of course) on the smash Broadway show of the same name. The Broadway show first premiered in 1977 and was based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. It initially ran for about 6 years and won numerous awards. There have been numerous revivals and touring shows over the years.

And finally a little bit about the comic strip. First published in 1924 by Harold Gray. Gray died in 1964 but the strip continued until 2010.

Finally, here is a sample of the comic strip art work.

Ben Hur

June 3, 2020

So last week Ben Hur was mentioned at our weekly Bible study as an example of adult adoption. We were discussing the idea of Jesus being the adopted son of Joseph, a carpenter in Nazareth.

So we decided to watch the movie “Ben Hur” this week. The movie was released in early 1960. It is the story of Judah Ben Hur. The film runs about 3 hr and 45 minutes, so we decided to watch it over two days. Indeed there is an intermission half way. You don’t see that in films anymore. So we watched it in two sessions.

The movie is available to rent/buy from Amazon Prime streaming video. Click here for the Amazon Prime site.

“Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars, including Best Actor, Best Actor and Best Director. The movie stars Charlotte Heston, Jack Hawkins and Stephen Boyd. The movie was directed by William Wyler.

The movie starts with a parade of Romans bringing the new Roman governor to Judea. As Judah is watching from the rooftop, a tile is dislodged and falls right by the governor. Then the soldiers rush in and take Judah prisoner and send him to off to row in one of the Roman galleys.

So the galley sinks in a battle. So Judah manages to save Quintus Arrius, the captain of the galley. After they are rescued from the sea, Quintus Arrius repays Judah with his adoption.

The movie has several allusions to Jesus. The film is set in Judea. Judah Ben Hur is given water to drink by Jesus during his forced march to the fleet of galleys where he was put to work as a galley slave. Once again, he encounters Jesus during Jesus’ crucifixion march up Golgotha hill. This time Judah is the one providing water to the fallen Jesus.

In the end section of the movie Judah Ben Hur is seen searching for his Mother and sister. He finds her living in a leper colony not far from Judea. He brings her home where he cares for her and she is cured. Not clear how she is cured, perhaps a miracle. Click here to learn more about leprosy.

So we are watching many movies during the pandemic. Next up are “Dirty Dancing” and “Footloose” (Paula’s request). These are two of Paula’s faves.

Friday

April 17, 2020

It seems that I have missed a couple of days. I just didn’t have much to say. It seems though that people are having trouble remembering what day it is. It it wasn’t for my iPad and iPhone I wouldn’t know either.

So let’s begin. I went out to Albertson’s for a few things. We had run out of milk. Paula had been drinking milk some evenings instead of wine. I was also going to try and find some TP.

Here’s my list:

  • Milk
  • Tangelos
  • TP
  • Kleenex
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Box of white wine

Got the milk. Bought two half gallons of 1%. Got the TP. I had been told by Dan that they put out the TP first thing in the AM. Then when it’s gone, it’s gone. Going earlier improved your chances. So I scored a 6 pack of rolls. No choice. You get whatever they’ve got. Got the tangelos.

No on the Kleenex, hand soap or H2O2. Got the wine. Plenty of booze. Beer and wine are not in short supply.

So I finished the book about crossword puzzles. I am in awe of some of the people that are stars on the crossword puzzle tournament. I started reading “True Grit” by Charles Portis. This is the basis for the John Wayne movie of the same name. So far the movie is pretty faithful to the book. By the way, the kindle version was only $2. Such a deal.

On another subject, masks. Masks are required for visits to the grocery store. When we shopped on Tuesday, I wore a home made mask. Today I used a folded bandanna.

What many folks don’t realize the masks are intended to keep you from spreading your germs. Not for protecting you from getting someone else’s germs. Ie. Coughing in the vicinity of another person.

The first mask had problems in that it redirected my exhaling on to my eye glasses causing the glasses to fog. I also had trouble sipping my iced coffee.

Today, my bandanna was less problematic in that regard. Besides, when not in the immediate vicinity of other people, I let the bandanna slip a bit. I will be happy when we are done with the mask requirement, PITA.

By the way, the grocery store was not very crowded.

Later,

Joe

Onward

March 11, 2020

On Monday, Paula was working at the Assistance League Gift shop and I decided that I would go to the movies rather than sit at home surfing the web. So we discussed what movies that she would like to see when we go to the movies together. So I decided to see Disney/Pixar’s new movie called “Onward” Rated PG.

Weekday matinees are dirt cheap. I paid more for popcorn than I paid for my ticket. Monday’s price was $6. The theater was pretty much empty. There was a young family with two kids. First kid was about 3 and the second was a baby in a stroller.

The film runs about 1 hr 40 minutes which is about the maximum a child can manage. The story is about two teen age elves go on a quest to see if there is any more magic in the world.

So it is the 16th birthday for the younger elf named Ian. He is given a magic wand for his birthday that will allow him to regenerate his dead father for 24 hours. So the wand only works for regenerating his father’s lower half (from his waist to his shoes).

So Ian, his older brother Barley and the half-father go on a quest to find the magic jewel that will complete the magic that will allow Ian to meet with his father. Barley owns a beat up old van that has seen its better days.

Okay, that’s enough. If I wrote any more it would give away any of the film’s surprises. This wasn’t the best Pixar film that I’ve ever seen. I would give it about a 4 stars (out of 10). But, it was worth $6.

I will probably do this again next week when Paula is busy at Assistance League. Maybe I’ll go see one of the scary pics like perhaps the Invisible Man.

So as always, the links that I’ve provided take you to IMDB.COM

Little Women

January 31, 2020

Little WomenLast night Paula and I went to see “Little Women” at the movies. We went to the 5 pm show so that restaurants might be open after the show. Besides, 10 pm is way past my bedtime.

It would have been helpful if sometime in my life I had managed to read the novel Little Women. It would help me understand all the characters what they were about.

So in case you haven’t ever read Little Women, let me explain some of the basics. The story is about four young ladies in the March family living with their mother in Concord, MA. Their father is off acting as a pastor in the civil war. (I didn’t quite understand this until he appears late in the film.)

The story is told by Jo March (played by Saoirse Ronan). She tells the story as she writes her novel about she and her sisters and how the are determined to live their life on their own terms.

So the four sisters (Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth) are living with their mother (played by Laura Dern. They live in a small brown house in Concord, MA. The house still exists and is available for tours. I had some trouble keeping the four girls straight. Reading the book beforehand would have helped immensely. One last thing, if you haven’t read the book and aren’t intending to, go read the synopsis in Wikipedia.

So our goal is to try to see all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the Oscars are awarded. So we’ve seen 1917, The Irishman (actually Paula only saw half, I saw the whole thing on Netflix), The Two Popes (once again Paula didn’t care about seeing this one, I’ve seen it on Netflix spread over a couple of days), Ford v Ferrari. Probably won’t see the Joker or Jo Jo Rabbit. We will probably see “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” next week on Amazon Prime.

In other upcoming movies there is “The Call of the Wild” starring Harrison Ford due for release on Feb 21. Paula and I are interested in seeing this. I’ve even started reading the book. This is based on the book of the same name by Jack London. The promo banner at the theater kind of had us hooked.

Call of the Wild

 

Christmas Letters

December 6, 2019

About ten years ago, I was frustrated at the lack of information shared in our Christmas cards. So, I decided to start writing a Christmas letter.

Every year I send out a Christmas letter about 120isth of our friends. At one time, my list numbered upwards of 200 people on my list. So I tried to pare it down to a manageable number, This year, my list is about 120 people. So figuring at 120 addresses, I come up with about $60 in postage.

I try to hand out copies to people that I see during the Christmas season. 20 copies means I save $10.

So, I start working on my letter in October. I absolutely need to keep the letter at two pages printed on both sides. I try to include recent pictures of our family.

One year, I tried sending my letter mostly by email. I was not pleased with the feeling. I felt it was important for our friends to receive a piece of paper in the mail and not another piece of email. There are still a few people that get the email version, but the number is low.

So in October, I print out my first version. Then I pass it by my editor (Paula) for comments. By the time I get to December, I have gone through several editing passes.

In parallel, I start workin on my address list. I use an app on my iPad that generates my address labels. I check for major faux pas like sending to a couple where one of the couple has passed away. I check for correct addresses. Invariably, mail comes back with “addresses not found” on it.

Once the final copy is approved by my editor, I start printing. Invariably, I have to go to Costco to get more ink cartridges. I always seem to run out of ink in December.

So order the paper and envelopes. This year I have Santa and his reindeer. Attach labels then start folding and stuffing envelopes.

This year I have about 20 envelopes for local hand delivery for folks that I see regularly at church and lodge.

There are some envelopes that Paula wants to write a personal note. Go to the post office and buy stamps and they are on their way

1SE for August 2019

September 2, 2019

Without further ado, here is my 1 Second Every Day video for the month of August.

It starts with a picture of Paula’s Dad on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Enjoy,

Joe

A Place for Mom

April 1, 2019

We have decided to start the search for a facility to care for Mary. Paula and I are just running out of gas. We are running out of patience.

We need to be constantly vigilant as to what she is doing and needs to do. She remembers our name (most of the time). For instance, if we were to ask her to do two things. eg. brush teeth, come back out and sit at the table, she would only remember the first task.

With our trip planned to Boston in May and my knee surgery in June, we felt that now was the time to get her into skilled nursing facility that specializes in “memory care”.

We found a placement service aptly named “A Place for Mom” that has been helping us find such a place. The service is free to us. The placement fees are paid by the skilled nursing facilities. There is also an iPhone app. Search for “A Place for Mom” in the app store. BTW, it gets good grades from YELP.

So far we have visited a couple of sites for our consideration. The first one was nice but had a couple of problems. First, it was too far. It is located in Hermosa Beach, which is a 30-40 minute drive up the 110 freeway for us. Price was also a bit high for our taste. It starts with a base price of about $5000 and then adds on fees for meds and other related services.

We figured that our bottom line would be around $7500.

Second one we visited is in Long Beach. This is a bit closer. Probably about 15 minutes. The building was once an office building that had been refurbished into a nursing facility. They made an offer that we might not be able to refuse. They offered first two months for $95 (Mary’s age). The fee is normally a flat fee of $6100. No add-ons. We had lunch with the Memory Care director. Food was very tasty.

Here are a few pictures:

We put a $500 deposit on this place. We have one more place to visit on Tuesday. We’ll see. We should know our path forward by end of next week. We still need to tell Mary about our plans and take her for a tour. Then schedule moving people to move her stuff.

Happy Birthday Neil

September 3, 2018

Today is our son Neil’s 36th birthday. We didn’t get to spend any time with him. Perhaps, we can get together in the next month or two. Neil lives in Salt Lake City with his lovely wife Laura.

So we went to church this morning. After church, we all went to the Pacific Diner for brunch. This is one of our favorite places for Sunday brunch. The diner is on Pacific Ave at 38th street. Always good food.

Here is a picture that we took of the rest of the family.

The little rascal in the right side of the picture is our grandson Jonathan. All together four generations sitting at the table.