Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

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.

Mary

January 28, 2018

I am overdue for a post on Mary. So here we go. This week Mary celebrated her 94th birthday. We managed to persuade her to go to Senior Bible Study at Ocean View.

Side note: We have managed to get her to Sunday services for the past few weeks. First occasion was to see Jonathan perform with the kids Christmas Cantata, then to see Theresa in the adult cantata. Trying to get her in the habit of going to church again.

She hadn’t been going to the Bible study for quite a time now. We had told her that the people there missed her and encouraged her to return. I told her that Betty Walker would be getting her a cake and we would all sing “Happy Birthday” to her.

So we were continually trying to figure out what her problem was with going to Bible Study on Wednesday and services on Sunday. I think that I finally figured it out. She didn’t want anyone to see her all decrepit and walking with the aid of a walker. I told her that several people there used walkers and canes. She wasn’t the only one that was a having trouble with walking stability. It seems to help if there is a reason to go.

So we continued with the celebration this week. Mike and his family came over for dinner on Friday. We got another cake from a local bakery for the occasion. We ordered a banana/whipped cream cake from Amalfitano’s Bakery in San Pedro (a family favorite). It was very tasty.2018-01-26 20.10.20

The 11th Commandment

March 8, 2017

So the Old Testament has 10 commandments as delivered to Moses in Deuterotomy 5.

Deuteronomy 5:1-5 ESV

[1] And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. [2] The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. [3] Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. [4] The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, [5] while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said: …

And so forth and so on.

And in the New Testament it is written,

Matthew 22:34-40 ESV

[34] But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. [35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. [36] “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” [37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [40] On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So I propose an 11th commandment that incorporates all of the above. It works for all religions including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists. Do this and we can all get along better.  I doubt that I am the first person to say this but it is worth repeating.

Don’t be an asshole!

Nuff’ said.


Hamilton

January 1, 2017

Well I finally finished reading “Hamilton”. I had been reading it off and on since this past June. That was a long hard slog. The book runs a total of 800 pages. Though, the main part of the biography runs only 730 pages. It’s a good read and worthy of your time to read.hamilton

So where do I start? I learned so much that I never knew. Here is an excerpt from the blurb on Amazon:

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party…

Here are a few things that I learned (more than I ever learned in HS History):

  • Hamilton was an illegitimate child born on the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean.
  • Republicans and Federalists despised each other. Much like political parties today. Maybe even more so.
  • The duel that ended Hamilton’s life occurred in New Jersey, because New York state had outlawed dueling. Although New Jersey was in the process of outlawing it too.
  • Both Hamilton and Burr were carried across the East River by (separate) row boats at the crack of dawn to avoid detection by local authorities.
  • Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury (under George Washington)
  • He fought in the Revolutionary War.

So much more. You can read the Wikipedia entry here. But don’t let that stop you from reading the whole book (click here for the Kindle copy)