Posted April 18, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Corona

Tags: ,

We seem to be sleeping later every day. Paula and I got up almost 9 am. So i was pretty much doing my usual crosswords, jigsaws and reading. “True Grit” is going pretty quickly.

The story is told by Mattie, a 14 year old girl whose father was murdered. So she is on a mission to find and punish the murderer. She hires Rooster Cogburn to help in the capture of the man. Rooster Cogburn is a US Deputy Marshal (this is the character played by John Wayne in the movie. Also, john Wayne received an Academy Award for his performance. Glen Campbell also co-starred.)

Enough on that. We noticed some water leaking out of our furnace/AC unit. Found that the water was coming from a gallon of emergency drinking water that we had purchased a while ago. It seems some junk was sitting on top of the plastic gallon and sprung a leak.

So we pulled out the gallon of water and put it in the sink. So in the process of drying up the spot where the water was, it seemed that it was an excellent time to get rid of some of the junk that had been stashed there over the years.

So I suggested to Paula that I get a shopping cart from down in the garage and load it up with junk that we no longer use or need.

We found some old floor tiles 2 packages of 5 tiles each. They didn’t match any of the flooring in our unit. Why did Mary save them? Beats me. Gone. There was an old step ladder that we haven’t ever used. Gone. We found about four umbrellas. Gone. None of which seemed to work very well.

I don’t understand why there were so many umbrellas stashed away. I hardly ever rains in SoCal. As it is, we have 2 or 3 umbrellas in the back of the Nissan.

So I loaded up the cart and took it down to throw in the dumpster. Much better.

By the time we get to the end of this confinement, we ought to have this joint clean as a whistle.

Stay safe,



Posted April 17, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Books, Corona, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

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.



First Flight

Posted April 15, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Flying

Tags: , ,

Does everyone remember the first time that you stepped foot onto an airliner? My first flight was on either a Boeing 727 or similar 2 engine jet with my brother Rich. We were going to Baltimore to go to one of our cousins wedding. I think it was late 60’s give or take. It was Allegheny Airlines.

I also remember the first time that I flew in a single engine plane with a friend who had gotten her private pilot’s license. I was hooked. I would go on to get my private pilot’s license in 1973. First solo flight at Olive Branch Airport in Mississippi.

Yesterday, Paula found a postcard that was given to her on the occasion of her first flight. Mary was going to a nursing conference in Chicago circa 1954. Mary took Paula along on the first leg of the journey from Long Beach Airport to LAX. Seems a bit silly to take a flight from LGB to LAX. But Paula remembers it well. Of course everyone dressed up in their Sunday best clothes. None of this jeans and tee shirts for travellers.

They flew on a United Airlines Convair-340. The 340 was built specifically for United and replaced the Convair-240. The Convair series was designed to replace the DC3. The Convair was pressurized and had a nose landing gear instead of the tail dragger of the DC3. Pressurization meant that it could fly above 10,000 ft. Click here for additional detail. More than you could ever want to know.

The back of the post card says it could fly at almost 300 mph and pressurized for passenger comfort. The 340 could carry 44 people in comfort. This one of the last planes driven with cylinder type engines.


Posted April 14, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Corona

Tags: , ,

So today is our day to go out and do our grocery shopping. But first, we had to meet Paula’s pusher (I mean her Avon Lady). Paula had ordered a bunch of stuff to make her more beautiful. Then she wondered out loud. “Why am I putting on lipstick when noone can see it under my mask?”. Good question.

Today, we were required to wear face masks. I really hate the mask. The one that I got is too tight and it causes me to sniffle. Plus, I can’t drink my iced coffee. And, the elastic over my ears hurt. I can’t wear the mask and wear my hearing aids at the same time. One or the other but not both. So I have trouble hearing Paula. Next time I will go back to the bandanna.

So it’s been six days since we went out to do grocery shopping. Store is pretty much the same. Some shelves empty, some fully stocked. They seem to be catching up with some of the can goods/soups.

Fresh fruit and vegetable doing fine. So too are the meat department. We got some fish, some chicken and some ground beef to do meat loaf.

Still no TP. We did get a package of napkins though. They’re trying to get people to go one way in each aisle with signs like this:

Good luck with that.

While we were waiting in the line for the checkout, I ordered take-out from Crazy Fish. Crazy Fish is a local restaurant that specializes in selling fish. Go figure. Paula ordered Asian Salad with broiled Salmon. I had my usual fish tacos. Don’t laugh. They are pretty tasty. You can have your choice of broiled fish or broiled breaded fish. Support your local businesses.

We chatted with our friend Dan in the dairy section. He is hanging in there it’s a tough job.


Posted April 13, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Corona


Well this is getting old. Two more weeks until May 1 and even then probably unlikely that we will be set free.

This morning was our day to have our cleaning lady (Alicia) come to clean for us. We struggled with the decision of should we cancel. Alicia is a Mexican lady who cleans for us every other Monday. She has been cleaning for us since we arrived here in San Pedro in 2012. She was originally hired by Mary before we arrived.

We decided to not cancel. She probably needs the money and we could use her to clean our bathrooms and kitchen. She comes every other Monday at 8 AM. Cleans for about 2.5 hours.

Next topic: Blizzard of 1978. Paula found these pictures of the day after the blizzard. Pictures have already been posted on Facebook. This is the story behind the pictures.

In February 1978, I was working for Digital Equipment Corp in the Mill in Maynard, MA. My job was to code disk diagnostics for VAX computers. On the day of the storm, I was work at 8 AM. Then at 9 AM, my boss told everyone to go home lest we get stuck for the next few days.

My job was in Maynard, MA. Paula was living with two roommates in an apartment in Brookline. And I was living in a house in Newton.

So just before I left my office, I called my then girl friend Paula. (At that point in our relationship, we had been dating for about four months.) Paula’s roommate Joan answered and told me that Paula had worked night shift and was sleeping. Wake her up I told Joan. Tell her that if she wants to see me for the next few days…

I told Paula that I would be in front of her apartment building in about 30 minutes to pick her up. And so it was, I picked her up and spent the next few days happily snowed in. Paula didn’t need to go to work for about 3-4 days.

The pictures are of us digging out my car from 3-4 feet of snow.


Posted April 12, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Books, Corona

Tags: , ,

Another day, another…Just more crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles and reading. We watched the Easter Service for Oceanview Baptist online and talked with our son Neil and his wife on the phone. That’s about it.

Cloudy today but no rain so far.

So I thought I would write about the books that I am reading. I have 3 or 4 that I am working on.

I was reading a book by Paul Klugman. Paul is a columnist for the New York Times and usually writes about Economics. The book is titled “Arguing with Zombies“. I got the book for free from the LA Public Library. Libraries have started lending ebooks now. They download the book to your Kindle reader. You get the book for three weeks before it gets deleted.

If the book is on a best seller list, you will have to wait. The app puts you on the hold list. Just like a conventional library.

So I got about half way through the book before the time ran out. I was having trouble remembering stuff about various things like monetary policy and the like.

At the same time, I have been reading a book titled, “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For” by Charlotte Alter. This is a book about a new generation of political leaders that are up and coming in US Congress. I bought this book, not from the library.

Next up is a book titled, “Thinking Inside the Box” by Adrienne Raphel. This is a history of crossword puzzles. Also, it includes an interview with Will Shortz, the editor for the NY Times crossword. Lots of interesting history.

That’s enough for now. Stay safe and hang in there. This won’t last forever (I hope)




Posted April 11, 2020 by joebowker
Categories: Corona

Tags: , ,

No recipes today. Not my turn.

The rain has stopped and the sun is shining. Still, a bit chilly (57F). But, that doesn’t matter much, because we’re not going anywhere today.

It’s painful to see the gas prices under $3 a gallon knowing full well that you’re not going anywhere. I don’t remember when I last bought gas. Maybe a month ago.

One of the effects of the pandemic is clean air and empty freeways. Here is a picture of downtown Los Angeles taken yesterday.

Los Angeles 4-11-2020

Paula is continuing her deep dive into the picture archives. Here are a couple of pictures from a 1987ish visit to Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

All Aboard!