Downton Abbey: A New Era

Posted June 9, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Movies, Reviews

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Last night, Paula and I went to the movies to see “Downton Abbey: A New Era” at the AMC theater in Torrance. We had previously seen all of the many episodes on PBS. So, we pretty much new what to expect.

We were also thinking of seeing the new “Top Gun” movie with Tom Cruise and all of the fighter pilots. We figured that Downton is probably at the end of its theater run, while Top Gun might be running a while longer.

The producers managed to get all of the actors for the main characters to return to do the movie sequel. Often times, actors seem to be busy with other projects and don’t have the time (or interest) to do the sequel. We went to a 4:15PM show on a Wednesday afternoon. I think there was about 6 people total in the theater. The parking lot was pretty much empty, too. We decided to do the early show so that restaurants would still be open when we finished the movie. Movie finished up about 6:30PM.

Okay, now for the SPOILER ALERT. Lord Grantham finds out that the family is due to inherit a nice villa in the south of France. So everyone heads down to France for some fun. Lord Grantham finds a picture of a young Violet Grantham which causes much consternation among the family.

We did dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in San Pedro called “Crazy Fish”. I had my usual Fish Tacos and Paula had a Salmon bowl. We each had a glass of white wine. At the beginning of the pandemic, the owners had set up an outdoor eating area. They have kept the area in operation. Nice to sit outside with a light cool breeze.

We would rate it about 7.5 out of 10 stars. Worth seeing, though one might want to wait until it hits the streaming market.

1 Second Everyday for May 2022

Posted May 31, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

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Mother’s Day

Posted May 6, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Family

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So today we went up to Mary’s grave site to put some flowers on her grave. The site has a beautiful view. It is so peaceful to stand there and watch the world flow by.

We never could get Mary to give us any input on where she would like to be buried. So we were left with figuring it out for her. We could not get any input on what she would have liked to have for a funeral service. The only thing that she asked was to have Harold’s ashes interred with her, which we did.

We will be spending Mother’s Day here with our D-I-L and our grandkids. We will be doing a Mother’s Day brunch. Always nice to see the kids.

YouBreakIfix

Posted May 3, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Reviews

Tags: , , ,

So on April 7, I took my laptop to youbreakifix to get it repaired. The case had split open. It seems that the battery was failing.

YoubreakIfix repair site was recommended by HP. Bad recommendation. (in my case this store was in Torrance CA

I received a message from them that they would need to order a replacement battery. Should be received within a week. That was almost a month ago. I try calling to get status. They don’t answer their phone and the voice mailbox is always full. No email listed to ask for status.

I will be needing my laptop for a trip we will be taking this month. So, I bought a new one from HP. I couldn’t wait any longer

So today, I went there to try to get back my laptop. There were about five people ahead of me in line to talk with the sales guy. Most seemed to be having problems with their phones. So he refused to go find my laptop. He said come back tomorrow.

I finally got to talk with the guy behind the counter. He scanned my receipt, he had non answer. When I complained about not answering the phone, he said he didn’t have time to answer the phone.

He was the only person working there today. Apparently, two people called in sick today. Probably sick of working for youbreakifix.

So, bottom line , if you are having a problem with your phone, PC or Mac, DO NOT GO TO YOUBREAKIFIX.

1 Second Everyday for April 2022

Posted May 1, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day

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West Side Story

Posted April 27, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Films

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Last night Paula and I watched the new “West Side Story” on streaming video. Here are some of my thoughts. Generally, we enjoyed the film, the music, the dancing. Though it was a little bit long (2.5 hours)

So to fill in everyone who has not either seen the original film or broadway show, this is this story of two gangs of New York City around the mid to late 50’s. The groups are the Jets and the Sharks. The Sharks are the Puerto Ricans and the Jets are the white kids. They don’t like each other.

So Tony (who is Italian/American meets Maria (Puerto Rican) at a dance. They fall in love. The things get ugly in a hurry.

The film was directed by Steven Spielberg. Tony was played by Ansel Elgort. Maria was played by Rachel Elgort.

Ariana DeBose (Anita) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

I was amazed all of the 50 something cars they managed to show in the film. It felt like going back in time.

Several actors who appeared in the 1961 version of West Side Story had roles in the remake including Rita Moreno, Harvey Evans and David Bean.

It was a fun film to watch, especially the opening where they show a bunch of gang members milling about then break into a beautifully choreographed dance number. Boy, those kids sure could dance.

Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Ocean View

Posted April 3, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Los Angeles, San Pedro

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Today is Sunday and as usual we go to church at Ocean View Baptist Church. This is a post not about the church but about the view. It’s been pretty much overcast this week.

On a good day, one can see the mountains. Not today. One can barely see the harbor. If you look carefully, you can see ships anchored out side the harbor waiting to be unloaded.

I have been told by a friend that works at the port, that the Port of Los Angeles had been parking the ships out of sight from the shore to make it look like the backup is easing.

1SE for March 2022

Posted April 1, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Uncategorized

Coda

Posted March 26, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Films

Tags: , , ,

In the prelude to the Oscars, we are trying to catch up on our movie viewing. Last night we watched the movie “Coda” starring Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Emilia Jones as Ruby.

Click image for IMDB article

The film has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur) and Best Adapted Screenplay. “Coda” is an acronym that stands for “Child of Deaf Adults”.

We watched the film on Apple+ screening service. It also started out in theaters. Never got around to seeing it in the theater.

This is the story of a deaf family who are fishermen in Gloucester, Ma. The mother and father are both deaf as well as their teenage son. They also have a teenage daughter named Ruby who has normal hearing. Ruby acts an ASL translator for the rest of family.

The movie is about the conflict that develops when the daughter (Ruby) wants to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston. She has discovered that she has a singing talent. So she is torn between staying at home to work with her deaf parents and going away to school in Boston to develop her musical talents.

We enjoyed the film. I don’t think it will win any of the Oscars that it was nominated for but that’s not my call.

I had a couple of technical issues with the film. The sub-titles were too small (with no way to make them larger). And whenever they showed the screen of a phone, it was hard and almost impossible to read the text on the phone. Blame that on Apple+.

Update: Coda won Best Picture last night at the Oscars. Wow!!

109 Anawan Ave

Posted March 17, 2022 by joebowker
Categories: Boston, Family

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So, as I reflect on my brother’s passing this week, I was thinking about our time together. When we were all teenagers, we lived on 109 Anawan Ave in West Roxbury. With the help of Zillow I was able to see pictures of the house where we spent our teenage years.

We went from a house in Brighton that seemed to be getting more crowded by the day. So in our new house we all had our own bedrooms. We had a den upstairs where we could watch TV. There was a large dining room and formal living room on the first floor.

So here is the picture that I found on Zillow:

109 Anawan Ave, West Roxbury, MA

It looks remarkably well renovated. The listing says 4 bathrooms. When we lived there, there was but 1.5 baths. In my minds eye I tried to figure out where the new owners put all the new bathrooms.

My Mom and Dad’s room was on the second floor on the right-front. My room was in the back on the right side. Stan’s bedroom was on the third floor. His benefit was that my Mom and Dad didn’t want to go up there very much. The down side was the third floor got pretty hot in the summer. No AC in those days.

Stan had a pretty much private domain on the third floor. But, I used a room on the third floor for my ham radio station. My Mom wouldn’t there either for fear of getting electrocuted. She wouldn’t go in my room either, same reason.

Stan would stash cans of beer up there with no fear of getting caught. Downside was it was warm beer. Having a refrigerator up there would have been a huge tell.

On the first floor, left-front was the formal living room. We had a grand piano there. Eventually, we inherited a second upright piano that was stashed in the entry-way on the right.

I think that my Mom eventually sold the place circa 1975. My Dad died in 1968 and all the kids had moved on. Too much house for one person.

Our neighbors to the left were the O’Briens. Frank O’Brien was a mechanical engineering professor at MIT. He was the person who persuaded me to study electrical engineering.

The neighbors to our right were Dr and Mrs Wood. Anne Wood was a speech therapist like my mother. Nice people.

Another benefit was the house was on a bus route that ran to Green St. Station on the Orange Line (MBTA). We could all walk out of the house in the morning and get on the MBTA bus to school in Dorchester.

So Zillow says the value is set at $1.5 million. It recently sold in 2021 for about $1.3 mil. I don’t remember how much Mom and Dad paid for it but it wasn’t anywhere close to six figures. Unfortunately, Zillow doesn’t have any interior pictures. Click here for the Zillow link: