Monday, September 30, 2013

It's nuts!

How can these nitwits
Do this to the voters? It’s
Absolutely nuts!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend stuff

Margaret came by yesterday and spent the night. It was good to see her, and she brought some lovely green beans and tomatoes. We're always glad to get the produce. We ate dinner with friends last night - Margaret got here in time to go with us. It was an easy meal of meatloaf and baked potatoes, so not a problem - and Margaret's known them for a while, too.

We went over to see Allan this afternoon. John's been going most days to walk with him, but I haven't seen him. It was good to get a chance to get back in touch with him - even though I hate seeing him so weak. He has his second chemo treatment this coming Friday. It’s tough stuff to deal with, but he’s fighting.

Lots of stuff coming up for the week - should be a busy one.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Saturday in September

A quiet weekend,
Margaret came, dinner at
Carol and Stephen’s.
Otherwise, it was
Football, football, football, and
Even more football.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dental visits

I spent most of the morning in various dental offices. My regular dentist started on my tooth (back upper left), with the numbing and drilling, etc. Then he stopped and got another x-ray to be sure about the amount of decay. After reviewing the film, he said that there was more decay than he had hoped, and that it was going to call for a crown or maybe a root canal or just to lose the tooth. I had thought about this before, and decided that if those were my options, I was just going to lose the tooth. I told him that since it was a back tooth, and I was 77 years old, that I had decided earlier that I would just have it removed. He agreed, and sent me to the oral surgeon in an adjoining building.

I saw the surgeon and got a brief oral exam and conversation. My appointment is for ten days, and he'll do it with a light anesthesia. John will need to come with me to drive, but it sounds fairly straightforward. And so it goes.


The America's Cup

A few weeks ago, John started watching the preliminary qualifying races for the America’s Cup. New Zealand boat won the opportunity to challenge the defending champion, the US boat. And I got sucked in to watch it, too.

This race is actually a series of races, with the winner being the first one to win nine races. The boats are incredible catamarans, with crews of about a dozen men. There are two very tall “sails”, and they look like no sailboat you’ve ever seen before.

As the races went on, it seemed like New Zealand was giving the US sailing lessons. And soon New Zealand was ahead 8-1. Obviously, the Kiwis were quickly going to put the Yanks out of their misery. But then amazing things started to happen. The US started to win races.

Every day the Yanks got better and better, and kept winning. Tuesday, New Zealand was ahead 8-6 at the start of the day. Wind conditions were such that they were able to run both races, and by the end of the day, the boats were tied at 8 to 8.

So today, there was only one race - the one for all the marbles. And amazingly, the US won it, going away. New Zealand was never even close. What an exciting come-from-WAY-behind win.

Nobody’s ever paid much attention to the America’s Cup, but that will certainly change - if this type of competition and coverage continues. Just wait until next year.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Book Week (22-28 September)

I mentioned Banned Book Week a few days ago.  Today, Bev Sykes posted her blog on Banned Book Week on her blog, Airy Persiflage.  She, as always, hits the nail right on the head.  I'm going to quote her today (Thanks, Bev!).
This is "Read a Banned Book" Week (Sept. 22-28), an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.  It focuses on efforts across the country to remove certain books from libraries and schools because some people find them offensive.

Who are these people and don't they have anything better to do?  A list of America's most surprising banned books include such books as "The Diary of Anne Frank," for sexually explicit passages, and in 1983 the Alabama State Textbook Committee banned it because it was "a real downer."

A specific illustrated book of "Little Red Riding Hood" was banned because the young girl is shown carrying wine in her basket of goodies for Grandma and rather than seeing the message that children should not talk to strangers, school officials in Culver City, CA saw the book's message as "alcohol is yummy."   The LA Times reported that "After reviewing the award-winning book from the state-recommended reading list for first-graders, Culver City Unified School District officials concluded that its message conflicted with the anti-drug and -alcohol theme they promote in the classroom."

"Hansel and Gretel" was banned because it "gives witches a bad name."

In 1952, "Charlotte's Web" was banned in Kansas because it was felt that humans are the highest level of God's creation and so any book featuring talking animals must be the work of the devil.  They felt it was sacrilegious and disrespectful of God.

And who would ever think that "Where's Waldo" would appear on a banned book list, but it does.  It was banned in Michigan and New York because there was "a sunbathing woman suffering a wardrobe malfunction the size of a pinhead in a corner of one of Martin Hanford's drawings."

Who is so dedicated to smut eradication that they would examine every page of a Waldo book to find something objectionable, and ban a book based on such a teeny tiny drawing.

The top banned children's book in the last decade is a book called "The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys," deemed inappropriate and banned in 21 school libraries in Texas, following a 2010 complaint by the father of an 8 year old who was shocked that his son could see this book. (I wonder if this Dad has taught his young son how to shoot a gun...?)

Even the dictionary is not free from complaint. School administrators in Alaska have banned both the American Heritage Dictionary and the Merriam Webster dictionary in schools and libraries for its "objectionable" entries — particularly slang words, including "bed," "knocker," and "balls."

I checked the list of books that are frequently challenged or banned.   They include books like "The Great Gatsby," "Catcher in the Rye," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Grapes of Wrath," "Beloved," "Of Mice and Men," "Farewell to Arms," "Gone with the Wind," "Call of the Wild," "Lord of the Rings," "Sophie's Choice," "Brave New World," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Sun Also Rises," and a host of others.  (You can read the reasons why these books were banned here.)
I feel positively wicked...I think I have read every single one of those books.
Do yourself a favor and flout a banned book this week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The usual Monday chaos, but....

Mondays are chaotic - lots going on every morning, and then bridge in the afternoon.

But, I did have some cards today.  I was in the winning pair in each progression (although it doesn't necessarily follow that I was high for the day).  And we have found a group that plays duplicate and I think we're going to give it a try.  We shall see....

p.s.  This is not one of my hands - just a bridge hand from google images.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rainy Saturday in Fall

First rain this month. Gray
All day. It made for a good
Day for football, naps.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Born Loser

We're often in the funny papers, but some days we get nailed more than others.  This is The Born Loser from yesterday (9-19-13).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Banned Book Week coming up

Addendum: To the title of last night’s entry “Supremely happy people”, I intended to add “(whatever that might be)”. Thanks, Harriet, for calling it to my attention.


Next week is one of my favorite weeks - Banned Book Week! Click here or here for a couple of web pages about the event.

And even better, perhaps serendipitously, our Friends of the Library is having its fall book sale next week. Good timing, I think.


Fountain outside the Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla, CA


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Supremely happy people

Today, the Huffington Post had an article about 21 habits of “Supremely Happy People”. I think I’d worry about anybody who claimed to be “supremely happy”, but I thought the points were worth repeating. The Huffington Post elaborates a little on each one, so Click Here if you want to read more.

The Habits of Supremely Happy People

1. They surround themselves with other happy people.

2. They smile when they mean it.

3. They cultivate resilience.

4. They try to be happy.

5. They are mindful of the good.

6. They appreciate simple pleasures.

7. They devote some of their time to giving.

8. They let themselves lose track of time. (And sometimes they can’t help it.)

9. They nix the small talk for deeper conversation.

10. They spend money on other people.

11. They make a point to listen.

12. They uphold in-person connections.

13. They look on the bright side.

14. They value a good mixtape.

15. They unplug.

16. They get spiritual.

17. They make exercise a priority.

18. They go outside.

19. They spend some time on the pillow.

20. They laugh out loud.

21. They walk the walk.
An anvil cloud over San Diego from Point Loma.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another fun Tuesday

What a fun day today! My semi-annual teeth cleaning was first this morning. I always like how my teeth feel, so that wasn‘t so bad. But I hate it when the dentist comes in to check, is behind me looking at the x-rays, and says "Uh-oh, there's a boo-boo". I can't remember the last time I had a cavity, but.... At least it's a small one, and he hopes he can just put in a filling. So that's my fun event scheduled for next week.

And then, I went to Aldi, WalMart, and put gas in the car. That pretty much took me to lunchtime. And spending the rest of the day babying my sore back. So much for Tuesday!


From Point Loma, San Diego

Saturday, September 14, 2013

More Meme - Part Three (minus a few) (from Sunday Stealing)

Most daring Dare you have ever done?

I don’t do dares.

When is the last time you did something you knew was wrong?
Last year when I fell down.

What was on your mind most today?
How nice the weather was today.

Have a best friend?
Yes. John - and several very close women friends

If you were upset, who’ s the first person you would go to?

When was the last time someone yelled at you?
This afternoon - I yelled at myself.

What have you done today, so far?
Cooked supper and made apple pie enchiladas for dessert.

What did last weekend consist of?
I can’t remember.

What are you listening to?
There is football on the TV, but I’m not really listening

Who were you last in a car with?

Have you ever been called cute?
Maybe, when I was a baby.

Describe how you feel right now in one word:

Has anybody ever told you that you talk too fast?
Of course.

Did you have fun yesterday?

Do you like to cuddle?

Do you think someone is thinking about you?
Probably not

Are you stubborn?

Is there a friend, boyfriend/ girlfriend, or ex that you will never forget?
Yes, some of each.

Thinking back, are there people you have no idea why you hung out with?
I don’t really remember back in school, but in recent years, I don’t “hang out” with people I have no use for.

How’s your heart?
Compared to the rest of me, it’s great.

Are you easily amused?
Yes, and I laugh easily, too

Do you speak more than 2 languages?
I speak English fairly well, and I speak Southern. I know a smattering of Spanish and French, but don’t “speak” either.

Are you doing anything tonight?
Answering meme questions while John watches football.

Is there a person of the same sex who means a lot to you?
Lots of them.

Is your hair naturally straight?
It used to be naturally curly, now it’s pretty straight.

What happened at 10:00 am?
I was doing my computer stuff.

What were you doing at ten last night?
Getting ready to watch a rerun of Blue Bloods.

Have you made someone happy today?
It was a pretty good supper, so I guess John was happy.

Think it’s disgusting when girls get really wasted?
I don't like it when anybody gets really wasted.

When you are home alone do you still close the door when you shower?

Belated pictures

Here are the pictures I promised you yesterday:

(This one is the front of the camper van - a Scarab)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sensuous Steel pictures

This exhibit is only up until Sunday, 15 September 2014.  Maybe it'll show up somewhere else.  I apologize for not having the names of these automobiles.  They are all rare models - sometimes the only one made.  Some of these photos are John's, some are mine.

For some reason, this program is not allowing me to put more than one photo up tonight.  I'll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A super day

We took a quick trip to Nashville today to an exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Missy went with us, and we met Jean for lunch at the Gerst House (our usual choice for lunch when we go to Nashville).

This terrific exhibit is called Sensual Steel. It’s an assortment of rare art deco vehicles, polished, lit, and displayed to a fare-thee-well. We took pictures, and I’ll post some as soon as we get them into the computer and do some editing.

All in all - a super day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A busy week

It's a relatively busy week this time.  Yesterday was an all-day thing.  After the usual morning at the Y, I had an appointment with the orthopedist for my shoulder - regular scheduled one.  I've been having some pain and just have thought things weren't quite right.  He says that things aren't great with it, that the bone still isn't forming up the way it should optimally.  He said I might need a revision of the implant at some point, but it's way too early to be talking about that.  I'm to go back in 6 months, or earlier if there's much more pain or some other problem.  So not the best, but not awful, either.  Oh, well...

At bridge, we found that John was high the last time we played before we went to CA.  He had thought that would be the case.  And, if anything, he had much better cards yesterday.  He had almost 10,000 points for the afternoon - with 3000 points the last round.  Amazing.  He was so pleased. 

I had several errands to run this morning, as well as going to Aldi and WalMart.  I was exhausted when I got home about 11.  That ended up in a lot of inaction the rest of the day.  Tomorrow, we're going to a special exhibit of Art Deco cars at the Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville.  Just going for the day, and should be home by suppertime. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

Victor Victoria

The concert we saw at the Hollywood Bowl reminded me of the movie, Victor Victoria (1982). The first half of the program was about the movies of Blake Edwards and music by Henry Mancini. The music was played by the LA Philharmonic, conducted by John Williams, and narrated by Julie Andrews.

Tonight, we got our DVD of the movie and watched it again. It is fabulous! The performances are great; the music is great; the sets, costumes, lighting, choreography -everything is great!

We decided to watch the “commentary” extra after the movie. It seems to be basically a replay of the movie with voiceover comments by Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards. This adds a fascinating inside look at the movie and its making. We didn’t finish it tonight, but will continue it tomorrow afternoon.

Make a point to watch (or rewatch) this movie.



Sunday, September 08, 2013

Be still my heart!

Sunday excitement!
Waffles, sausage, bacon and
Laundry. Then football.

Shoreline, Point Loma, San Diego

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Saturday meeting

I didn’t post last night - just couldn’t come up with much to say. I think I may not post every day for a while - depending on how the spirit moves me.

We only got out of the house once today - to a meeting at the Library for the Friends of the Library. This was the second “strategic planning session” for the FOL, attended by staff, members of the Friends, and “community stakeholders”. I guess John and I fell into the “community stakeholder” category, although I was on the Council of the FOL for a 3-year term a few years ago. We decided the term referred to people who supported the Library and the FOL, but weren’t directly connected to it.

Anyway, we participated, although I don’t know how much we actually contributed. We are interested in seeing the Library prosper, but don’t want to be involved in any organization. Our days of direct organization involvement are over, even though we support the aims and goals.

All libraries are going through tough times right now, trying to cope with the “digital evolution”, as our young, vibrant director puts it. She’s gathered a new young staff, and from what we can see, they are doing a great job in dragging this old library kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. We support them all the way.


The huge old fig tree outside the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Quiet day

Massage always great
To begin a quiet day.
Lovely weather, too.
Two roses in Alison and Joe’s yard.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


It's tough to get back into the routine, but it's a start. 

It did feel good to get back into the pool this morning.  Even the exercise class felt pretty good.  The massage I have scheduled for tomorrow will feel pretty good, too.
I'm very skeptical about our going into Syria - being opposed to war in general.  Chris Hayes said it quite well this evening.  Check it out for a reasonable argument against our involvement.

Another lovely photo from Alison's yard.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

What we laughingly call "normal"

A day of getting back to “normal” got an unusual when I slept until after 10 a.m. I can’t remember ever doing that - guess I needed it.

Then the real world intruded when I went to Aldi and WalMart. I had to do something about the empty refrigerator and pantry.

The held mail was delivered and got sorted. Tomorrow, we’ll get back on our exercise routine.

And so normalcy begins….

From Alison’s yard

Monday, September 02, 2013

Southern California

Our trip to California was terrific. We went to spend some time with Ann & Al near LA, with a side trip to visit Alison & Joe in San Diego. And we had added benefits of getting to see all the nieces and nephews, too. Lots of talking and good eats and trip planning were added to the mix.

Highlights included getting to see the space shuttle Endeavour at the LA Science Center,

And a visit to the LA County Natural History museum.

When we went to San Diego, we picked up Alison (enjoying her yard)

and went to dinner at a Japanese place at Balboa Park, and then stayed for a wonderful organ concert. We met with the great Cap’n Poolie - getting to visit with her for the second time. What a treat she is! I’m sorry that the only picture of her I took was too blurry to save.

The next day we went back to Balboa Park and went through the Botanical Garden and the Timken Art Museum, then to the Museum of Natural History. After lunch, we drove out to Point Loma,

before going back to the motel to nap, then to dinner with Alison & Joe.

On our way back to Torrance, we stopped at the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla. What a great facility that is! We wanted to go to the art museum, but it was closed. The sculpture outside was special, though.

Also, heading north, we stopped at the Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. It was great, and one of the few missions that Ann & Al had not visited.

We spent the rest of our visit talking and playing bridge.

We got home about 9:30 Sunday night. The plane was a little late leaving LA, but no problems in flight. We were late enough getting to Atlanta that we missed our scheduled shuttle. There was enough space on the next one, though, so we weren’t too late getting home.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the routine - especially getting to the grocery store and restocking the empty larder.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Home again

We're home from California - a great trip, visiting with great people.  I'll write more tomorrow.