Sunday, November 30, 2008

Okay I got tagged---so now I'm "IT"

My blogging buddy Wayne tagged me, and I don't wish to be a drag on the party, so will play the game----

First I gotta give ya the rules of the game and they are as follows. (don't get tensed up, the rules are simple and easy to follow)

1. Identify the party that tagged you, and leave a link to their blog page, and before you post your response, post these rules on your blog . (what?? you don't know how to create a link? let me know will try and teach ya how to do that)

2. Now share seven (7) random/weird facts about yourself.

3. Tag seven (7) others, and create links to each of their blogs

4. Now having complied with the three rules up above, your almost done, all thats left to be done is to go to each of the persons you tagged, and alert them that you have tagged them by leaving a comment on their blogs.

(okay I have identified who tagged me, made a link to his page, so now I gotta put up seven wierd facts about myself----hmm this could take some time---I need a few people---actually what I need is a beer----BRB)   okaaaay here we go-----

1. I get uptight with people who ask me for my opinion of something and then after I give it,
proceed to disagree with me, and argue about it.

2. Start cooking something only to find I don't have all the ingredients necessary to finish the
job. (in my case like Denny Crane---I blame it on the "mad cow")

3.  I have a propensity to view both sides of a given topic, that is to weigh the pros and cons, and in doing so end up unable to state with any sincerity my own opinions---which I think makes me come off as being a person without convictions.-----a neutral nebisher (bah humbug)

4.  I like parties, but hate crowds

5.  I like feeling my life is moving to accomplish whatever goals I have in mind---and thusly I get very uptight when I find myself faced with indecisive moments, example, right now know I will be moving in the monthes ahead, but at this point in time, do not know where, do not know what to keep, or sell or give away, and the clock is ticking------(but I know in time this will ultimately come to a conclusion----eventurally, but til then---yuk!!

6.  It irritates the hell out of me hearing advertisments promoting this is or that credit card telling you the more you spend the more you save --(for each 100 dollars you charge we will give you 2.00 back or similiar fuzzy thinking)

7.  I am not a good listener---people start to talk, and even before they are finished my mind had leaped ahead and I interrupt them with my response before they finish, only to find had I waited and listened properly that my response was incorrect, or at best merely underlining what they were saying all along.  A most annoying trait I have been unable to break.

Alright, enough about this old dude-----so who am I going to tag?? (hey where did everyone go??), and the winners are:  hmmm, I think I will not tag anyone---but (big grin on my face) anybody wanna volunteer?   I double dare ya ! (lol)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Day After, The Day after Thanksgiving 2008

Greetings From Matilija---
My apologies for not posting sooner, but I went heavy into the turkey and was in the inevitable "Turkey Lethargic Haze" that one can not avoid from such acts of gluttony. (I plead guilty, as I don't get such great food at home!!) The gathering was terrific, and aside from eating way more than I should have, spent several most pleasant hours mingling with ALL my nieces and nephews, their wives and husbands, their children and the children's children, and a number of family friends. If this family gets much bigger, we will have to start renting out restaurants or social halls for these todo's. (lol)

I took over a dozen pics , which I had planned to bore you all to death with posting them, but a few moments ago, I loaded them into the old "puter" and alas and alack, most of them came out blurry and are not fit to be printed. The lesson the old dude here now has learned is to review each pic as taken, delete the ones not fit to be printed, and take new ones at the time (sigh).

The gathering was held at my Niece Melanie's home in Redlands. When feeding a mob of 35 or so, it was not a formal sit down, but served Buffet style, and as at all our family gatherings, it was not possible to get a portion of everything offered on one's plate, one was forced to go back for seconds to complete one's sampling of all the offerings----and this was before the desserts came forth!! (lol)----unfortunately it was all superb, and my compliments to the cook(s), and a "Hats off" to you Mel for all the effort you put forth in making it such a great day.

Here are a few of the pics that I did manage to salvage, this first one is a pic of the entrance hall to Melanie's, and gives you a modest idea of how wonderfully decorated it was for the occasion.  I just hope the click make bigger thingy works.

The rest of the pics that follow are of my family the nieces, nephews, wives and husbands etc etc etc.

Bill (Our Host) with friends

Here's my Niece Gabriel (who lives in Phoenix) and yeah thats me, hamming it up for the camera

My Niece Tish
Jennifer, my Nephew Eric's wife, and Patrick, my Niece Gabriel's husband Patrick
I'm afraid all the other pics came out badly, due to the lack of camera savvy on my part, and hope at the Christmas gathering at Edward's (my oldest Nephew) in Corona that I achieve much better results.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day Eve

Met with mylawyer and got alot of my unknowns resolved, and I must say I am feeling alot more optomistic about what the future portends. Looking forward to spending time with my family, and eating waaay to much, but then who can say no to good cooking right? (lol) The weather even appears (at least as I write this) to be cooperating and the rains are ending , so the drive out to Redlands (about 80 miles) should be less stressful, hopefully all those leaving town for the weekend will leave today or tonight.

Tonight I will eat "light" as I wanna show up "hungry" for the good stuff (I'm thinking Onion soup, with grilled cheese sandwhich, okay maybe two sandwhiches.

Tonights evening entertainment will be the next six episodes of the continuing saga of "Its always Sunny in Philadelphia". (compliments of Netflix)

Guess thats it for now sportsfans---you all have a great Thanksgiving, and I will hope to have some pics to share with ya on Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Quiz

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your blog friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do. Just copy this entire post and paste into a new post on your blog. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then tag 5 people to post this on their blog. How simple can it get!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  Wrapping paper here
2. Real tree or artificial?   Real trees are of course very nice, but---artificial is less of a fire hazard, and easier to dismantle when the holidays are over.
3. When do you put up the tree?   Three weeks before Christmas
4. When do you take the tree down?   The day after New Years
5. Do you like eggnog? --Yes, but only acouple of glasses, its to rich to enjoy drinking more than that.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?   Guess looking back, would say it was a Kodac Brownie camera, which I received at the age of 9.
7. Hardest person to buy for?   Jerry, aka LP (little prince) He would never give me a hint--and no matter what I got him---he would tell me it was great.
8. Easiest person to buy for?   The Pool Man, He was always glad to get a bottle of Jack Daniels
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.   Actually have two of em, one for the living room a second one for the Den.----and also a large santa riding a tricycle which goes on the dining room table as a center piece
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail cards, cept this year may not -----not really in the mood this year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?   A Soap On A Rope, from my brother when I was 10, which I saved and gave back to him the following Xmas, and he gave it back to me the following xmas, and we did that for over a half a century----(talk about family xmas traditions!!)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?   White Christmas
13. Better to give or receive?  As a child receiving is the big deal, as an adult much more enjoy giving gifts.
14. Favorite Christmas Food?   Gosh so many, but if I have to pick one---would opt for sugar cookies cut in the shape of stars, santa clauses and elves., but then I got this thing about good chocolate fudge Brownies too.
15. Favorite Christmas tradition? My personal favorite tradition is spending Christmas day with my family, I have only missed spending xmas with them twice in my life, and those were the two most miserable xmas holidays I've had.
16. Colored lights on the tree or all clear?   Traditionalist here, has to be all colored, all one color is to trendy.
17. Favorite Christmas song?   White Christmas, the original Bing Crosby rendition, as sang in the Movie of the same name.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?   Always go to wherever the family is gathering, Last year it was at Pete & Judi's home on Shogon Mtn, ---this year its to be in Corona at the home of my eldest Nephew Edward and his lovely wife Sherri---I got high hopes of winning the family "Gil-Olympics" (lol)
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen , and of course Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?   Star.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning?   When the families children were little it would be Xmas morning, but as they became teenagers we, opened gifts xmas eve.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? ---The total emphasis on buying material things, stores advertising xmas even before Halloween, and clerks afraid to wish any one Merry Christmas, forced  to make it a neutral Happy Holidays.
23. Favorite Ornament theme or color?   Christmas is predominently green, red, and white
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?   Slices of Hot Hickory Smoked Ham. Mashed potatoes, and all the fixins.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Well there are a number of items----and I will be submitting my letter to Santa after Thanksgiving. (stay posted sportsfans)

     OKAY have answered with my answers and guess I need to tag a few fun souls ----okay, how about Alexi, Tish, Helene, Dots and Matt.  (you all have a nice Thanksgiving ya all)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Every year we go through this cycle here in Los Angles. We get hit by forrest fires and we all stay glued to our TV's to watch the conflagation and worry about our family and friends who live in areas near the fire. Last year I worried about my Nephew Eric, with the fire in the Poway area, also at the same time Judi and my Nephew Peter were under evacuation orders with the fire near Fallbrook (the town of fallbrook was almost evacuated), Tish was inundated with heavy atmospheric smoke and ash from the fires near her place. So far this year have not had quite that much worry, although for a time I worried about my oldest Nephew Edward as he lives in Corona, and they had a large fire near them.

Now the fires our out, but we now get the rain, if its heavy, we will get mudslides off the burned hillsides, and much feverish sandbagging is going on in those affected areas. and once again we will be given live coverage of those disasters. It is truly not my favorite time of year here in my area. Hopefully the rain will come slow and light, and the dry ground will absorb it, without turning into walls of mud running down the hillsides . Time will tell------.

Tonights dinner menu will NOT be Red beans with Rice casserole---

Hi sportsfans, old dude checking in here, with an update on tonights dinner menu.  It had been planned to be a Casserole made with redbeansW/rice, and browned hamburger---but due to the ineptness of the cook, the hamburger did not get defrosted in time.  (I had a long talk with the chef about that----(sigh), and I think he now understands he must pay more attention to details, no excuses allowed..  Anyway after he got done sulking about that, a new menu was put in place.

So in lieu of the above planned dinner, tonight we will feast on a nice macaroni and cheese casserole and a tossed salad. and maybe tomorrow night we will go for the redbeans, hamburger, rice topped with extra sharp cheddar cheese.----unless the cook screws up again that is.

Had coffee with friends this morning, and made a trip to the library to renew some books I had yet to finish reading. (am into the works by Christopher Reich).  Lots of international spy intrigue----good escapist fare.  Tonight of course will be watching "Chuck" and "Boston Legal"----I like a certain amount of absurdity in my intertainment.  Neither of these two programs require any deep thought on my part, yet they amuse me.

Tuesday, (thats tomorrow right?) I must remember to pick up my dry cleaning, outherwise will have to stay home on thanksgiving, which will lead to my demise as my family would kill me if I don't show up.---and then on Wednesday I have a meeting with the Lawyers---thats gotta be a real nerve-wrack.----anyway thats as far into the future that I can plan at the moment.
(dear readers, thanks for all the kind words, cards and blog comments--Like Dana says on her blogs, you CAN meet good people via the internet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Laid Back--but not comotose

I was asked what I had planned for this weekend, and I kinda didn't know quite how to describe this weekend. Having pondered the question some, and now the weekend is about over, I guess I have to say I had no plans for the weekend, and as such it was THAT kind of weekend. The highlight of the weekend so far has been my tackling the concept of making French toast, something I had never done before---so with wild abandon, I dragged out the old Betty Crocker and got the recipe, big deal, called for eggs and milk, and day old bread---no real surprise there, in that I have eaten French toast since I was a mini-kid.

Anyway I had all the ingredients in the old larder, and gave it a shot, and the end product was pretty good, not great---not bad, I like to think my first attempt came out closer to my grandmothers French toast than the forgettable fried bread most coffee shops put out. Next time it will be better, will do the powdered sugar bit , maybe add a touch of cinnamon. That was last night (Saturday)

Now today (Sunday), allowed myself to sleep in til 8:15am, got up made coffee, took a nice long hot shower, and have played on my blog page here ,did Missy's "99" challenge, (see next post down from this one), played with the stereo in the living room and settled on a country western station, ----drank a glass of milk mixed with dark chocolate Instant breakfast, cleaned out the LP's car, in preparation to giving it to a charity, ----walked around the backyard and came across a damp spot, that shouldn't be damp and now suspect I might have a plumbing leak with the outside plumbing to the back yard sprinkler and pool systems---(sigh), am ignoring it for the moment, but will have to check it out in a few days, after thanksgiving, unless it becomes more serious between now and then.

I have an appointment with my lawyer for 11/26, and hopefully can get started on resolving all the legalities of things----the terms of the LP's will are such that I have to survive him by 30 days, before anything can be legally concluded or initiated. Til then I just mope around, trying to come to grips with what has to be, and try and get things clear in my head of what I want to do with the rest of my life------right now I can't even decide what I will have for dinner tonight (lol).

Later tonight will watch some television, and be back in bed by 11:30pm---one more day gone. I don't have any plans for Monday, aside from having Coffee with my friend Midge, and oh yeah a trip to the library to return books, which I haven't read, can't seem to focus on anything long enough -----to many balls up in the air, my mind seems to have about a 30 second attention span, then takes off on another topic.

Sorry about this rambling post---allowed me to kill another 30 minutes---maybe later I will actually come up with something more interesting.


Okay, not having a life, and all this time hanging on my hands,  I will play the game, and identify my experiences from the list of 99 (Thanks Missy)

(Things I have done are in Blue)

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis - on a stick!

10.Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - by the sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked -

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching - those amazing orcas!

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Caught a fish

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating  (caught em, cleaned em and fried em--Rainbow Trout)

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, November 22, 2008

FLY DUMBO FLY----nooooo wait!!!

Having just made a post of the oldest still useful item in the house, my mind has kinda lingered on that "Starving Student" era of my life, and my mind set during those days, and comparing it with the mind set of the last 20 years of my life, and then looking forward to the future, and attempting to bring to focus how my life might go---in that suddenly I find myself being once again a solitary man.

It strikes me that in the last couple of weeks since LP's passing on, that I have to come to grips with the fact that every minute of everyday is all mine to use, I can come and go as the mood strikes, meal times are whenever and wherever I care to make them----it, at the moment anyway, boggling my mind---don't laugh, but I kinda am identifying with that baby bird standing bravely at the edge of his nest, flapping my wings----but not sure yet.!! (lol)

Time will of course resolve all the many questions that I am now having to deal with, Keep this, dispose of that, move---and if so where, what is affordable, etc, etc, etc.----and of course the overall overiding question----what do I want to do with the rest of my life?? I have no definitive answers at this moment---the old dude's mind is truly Boggled---I need more data, need lots and lots of data---knowledge is power----(sigh).



A few days ago one of my friends here in the bloggosphere posted a article with a picture of something that they had had for a good number of years and still had on display in their home today, and kinda issued a challenge to others to post about the oldest thing in their houses that were still in use. This is my reply to the challenge.---

The year was 1956, September to be more exact.  It was during my "Starving Student" period.  I was a Sophmore at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colorado (Go Buffs!!).  I and a friend of mine, who I had met the year before when we both lived in the on campus Dorm Houseing, had opted to rent an apartment and live off campus (this showed how daring and sophisticated we were).  In anycase we needed to furnish the place and make it compatible to our needs, mainly build a desk, put some posters on the wall for ambiance etc.

The desk we constructed was made from a plain panel door, with four study metal legs on the four corners, to allow it to be desk height, One side of the desk was my area, the other half was my roomates. in the center of this (mentally picture the dividing line between the two halves, we decided we could make use of a place to keep all the various writing emplements students use, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, paperclips etc, etc, etc., and so we went out looking for something to put all that crap in to sit on the desk.

In our search we found a hole in the wall 'antique' (aka junk) store, and in that store for the PHEEnomenal price of $1.00 (an outragous waste of money by a starving student) we acquired the needed accommodation to our desk/study station., a large china bowl-----the rest as they say is history.

Here is a pic of that very same bowl, as it currently is displayed in my house today (2008), you may have to enlarge the pic, but there it is on the top shelf on the right hand side---
To give you a better perspective of what this little pot looks like, here is a close up (as you can see its full of potpourri at the moment)---
  , so-o-o-o thats the oldest thing I have had for some lengthy period of time, and still make use of.  I look forward to reading what others might post.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today sports fans the old dude successfully performed a great performance of "Fluff N Fold", if it had been formally judged, I like to think I would have scored a 8.5 (out of a perfect 10 possible), ---it wasn't my fault the first washer coin intake jammed on me necessitating taking the clothes out of the washer and going to another machine, and if anything I should have been scored higher in that it was a more difficult maneuver than a basic straight in and out machine load, but I digress. (it should be noted the owner of the machine refunded the coins I had started to put in before the jam)

In any case I finished the necessary fluffing and folding and returned to the palace, put the laundry away, and grabbing a fresh cup of coffee from the dependable coffee dispenser I operate in the kitchen, have sat down to my computer to peruse my friends blogs, do some commenting and then to review how my own modest inputs were received, and "YOWZER"!!! FIRST THING I NOTICED, was that I had a new follower to my blog-------(and YES Virgina there IS a Santa Clause)----which kinda just makes my day. MY humblest thank you to the new person following my blog. Makes this a Red Letter day in MY book.

One small step for the bloggersphere, one giant leap for the Old dude----(life is good).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday 11/19/08---in summary

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I would give today a 4. The weather was most excellent, the temp in the mid 80's, clear and sunny. My garden crew was here early and did their mow and blow thing, and put out my trash cans for pickup. I had my morning coffee and the last of Tish's great muffins on the patio for breakfast.

Later I went out and got my haircut for Thanksgiving, should look great in a week, (won't have that raw fresh cut look to it). I re-discovered the big stereo console in the living room and have found a nice radio station playing my music of the 60's and 70's, bringing back a rush of my single bar hopping days , ----what a wild era that was.

Tonight I will have a thick sliced ham steak dinner, with mashed potatoes, and corn---and will watch the last six episodes of "Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia" (Season 1&2 on disc from Netflix---3hrs running time)---no commercials, no interruptions---and what the heck will have a package of jolly time popcorn to go with it.

Tomorrow is "Fluff n Fold" time-----(sigh)(lol)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beef Stew

I have to much time on my hands right now---so opted to cook a meal from scratch, to kill the time, and not to mention do something to balance the old budget. (now only if somebody would get the cook in balance somewhat mutters---)

So I made use of the standard chunks of beef round, coated in flower and a splash of Lemon pepper, browned on all sides in a couple tablespoons of canola oil, and to that added water, chopped up celery (2 stocks), and a couple big carrots cut into bite sized pieces, two potatoes cut into pieces and a can of whole tomatoes. I also added about a quarter teaspoon of Lee&Perrins worchestire sauce.--- put lid on and simmer for about two or three hours, add small can of peas during the last 10 minutes-----good with hot rolls or thick slices of French bread.

Monday, November 17, 2008

--Inquiring minds need to know----

I have been a miss in not acknowledging a few important favors that have been done for me of late, and so I must take the time to address my negligence. Since I lost my companion of many years---I have been flooded with condolences, cards and people stopping bye, neighbors having me over for dinners, and bringing me cupcakes and all. So in no particular sequence allow me to verbalize my gratefulness. To My neighbors Nick and Helen Pappas, thank you ever so for the beautiful flowers. To Smitty and Virgina Smith, thank you for having me across the street for Dinner , it was delicious. (and so were the leftovers you sent me home with). My thank you too, to my other Neighbors Jane and Brian, for your kind words and for the most tasty Cupcakes, made for a most pleasant late night snack while watching TV alone---which I guess I will eventually get accostumed to--(sigh).

I must too, acknowledge those members of the family---Melanie who drove the 75 miles from Redlands to my house to assist me with the Forrest lawn arrangements,and who also brought med a quart of great chili ---(I'd like the recipe if you would be so kind ??), and of course I also need to mention my other Niece Tish, who drove up from Irvine some 60 miles, to be with me in those first number of hours, dealing with the 911 people, the police, and calling Forrest lawn to come -----, and who came back a couple days later to take me to Lunch and brought me a dozen of her famous tasty muffins----I am allowing myself a couple muffins a day with my morning coffee-----PHEEnomenal!!

No doubt there are others I should speak of who have been here for me when I needed support, which I haven't mentioned here-----and I will be giving you my thanks in the very near future.


--The Next Day----TADAAAA!!!

Monday, the day after the Gardner and House Keeper have done there thing----gone, all my dust balls are gone, I can see my foot prints in the knap of the carpet, my tables all shine, the house permeates with furniture polish odors etc, etc. and the back yard is once again something to be proud of------and here's the proof ( a few before and after shots for ya, along with a pic of Lolo and his Wife-----

Before Pruning:

Lolo at work:
and heres how it looks right now: (yeahhhh!!)
-------and here below are the hard workers that keep my yard looking great and my house sans dust balls.----Heliodoro Silva (aka Lolo) and his lovely wife Maria.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

House Cleaning Time

Well its that time of the month again---the time of the month when one calls in the professionals and spends the day staying out of their way---like I have cleaned the place as best I can (meaning as much as I am going to), and now its time for a professional house keeper.

Actually what is happening here is, that its that time of the year again (happens about every three monthes), when we, oops now I (sigh), need to have the hedges in the back yard all nicely trimmed, and as it happens, Lolo, (my gardener), has a wife that does house keeping, and so both will be here today. One working inside, the other outside---with me staying out of their way and  I will also make lunch for the three of us.

Todays lunch will be Egg Salad Sandwhiches, Potato chips, and Coke Cola's (all compliments of Ralph's Deli).


Saturday, November 15, 2008


As you no doubt are hearing in the news , California is burning again. Every year we have fire season, and you have to wonder why people continue to build in the canyons and hard to get to places. For those of you wondering, I am not located close to any of the fires currently raging, the closest is the Sylmar fire and its 30 miles from me, in North Los Angeles---although I am getting the smoke and some ash fall from it.

I feel very sympathetic to those families that have lost their houses, especially at this time of the year. Not that there is ever a good time of the year to have your house burned down.

I must also salute the hard working firemen, out on the lines , fighting the fires, and saving so many homes that could well have gone up in smoke had it not been for the heroic efforts of the firemen, the water dropping planes and helicopters. Unfortunately we are also getting high Santa Ana winds, (a hot dry wind ) blowing through the canyons and its almost impossible to stop the fire under those conditions, usually the winds die down at night.

FORAGING TIME---(sometimes called saturday)

Some people live to eat, while others just eat to live-----the difference between these types is how many trips to the supermarket they make in a given week. I use to think the difference between these type of people was in how much weight they were toting around, but I have learned as I got older that is not a good means of measuring as some people can put on weight just by watching others eat, while some can lose weight even as hey eat---(I HATE those people).

I have perused the larder here at the Palace, and well its getting kinda bleak---I'm over stocked on Arrowhead water, paper towels and Tomato Sauce----and out of everything else-----this last week or so has been kinda surreal-----but now I have to get back on the horse and---well at least venture forth and get some food in the house---its SUPERMARKET TIME!!

For the last couple decades I have gone to the store shopping for two----but now I only have to shop for just one------I am sitting here thinking about making a list and it occurs to me that I consciously have to remember now not to over buy foodstuffs that have a limited shelf life, (IE;, lettuce and other perishables)---and it occurs to me to that now when I cook a meal, I need to only prepare half of my recipes, unless of course I want to create a ton of left overs, which then reminds me of one of Erma Bombecks remarks---leftovers are okay, it takes a week to make garbage!!

I am sure all of you have in your hours of waiting in line to check out of the grocery store observed those individuals ahead of you in line, that are buying the small individual servings of soups, and frozen entrees, maybe a small piece of fruit and 27 cans of cat food----I am determined not to become one of those sad lonely people. I will buy in bulk, and learn how to make use of freezer bags, and keep the place stocked so should the occasion arise, I can whip up a dinner for 4-6 people, and I am determined to not lean on frozen entrees for the bulk of my meals, but to cook up good healthy meals from scratch---like what the heck I can burn meat with the best of em when I apply myself.(LOL)

OKAAAY, I'm glad we had this little talk, yeahh its gonna be okay----I can do it, I CAN go to the store and all I need to do is maintain some semblence of sanity and not over buy---I mean even if the price is right, not gonna buy 25 pound sack of potatoes----ten pounds is enough right?

LOOKOUT RALPH'S---ready or not, here comes the old Dude!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Sun Sinks In The West---again

I have no idea why I titled this post as I have---me thinks it has to do with my acknowledging my place in the scheme of things----kinda reminding me that I am just here temporarily---and life goes on, whether I want it to or not---watching the sun set, signifying the end of yet another day, in spite of me and my doings---well keeps a guy kinda humble ya know what I mean?

The sun sinking in the west does make the question of what will I cook for dinner a bit more important, kinda running outta time on answering that question---yeah, yeah I know its fashionable to eat late----but I hate waking up with heartburn caused by eating late and going to bed to soon afterwards. Okay, with my back to the wall and not feeling all that industrious, I have decided tonight's gourmet selection will be ---(wait for it)-----(insert trumpet fanfare here )---Spaghetti with Classico Florentine Spinach & Cheese sauce-----wow, gone!!, my headache is gone!! (meal planning can really put the pressure on a guy)

Tonight's movie will be the old classic "Pajama Game", with John Rait and Doris Day and Eddie Foy Jr.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I was reviewing my blog roll and catching up on current postings and came across Sadie's current post, where she confessed to having an addiction to salted nuts, cashews to be more specific.----so as that post rattled away in my head, I am thinking ---hmmmm, I got this big jar of almonds, and all those cold O'Douls in the fridge, and will be watching a movie tonight and----, well Sadie, what good are addictions if you can't feed em once in awhile----eeeeeeeehawwwww!!!!

FLUFF N FOLD and margaritas too

Well some parts of my routine are still in place---Thursday is still "Fluff N Fold" day, and we did that and returned to the empty palace by 9am. We then put the laundry away, made the bed, washed our cereal bowl and coffee mug, ---decided the window over the kitchen sink needed cleaning so got out the paper towels and Windex and killed about 10 more minutes doing that.

then toyed around on the computer and reviewed blogs and current postings, and left comments where I found something worth saying---otherwise I am guilty of lurking.

Finally around 11:30am, my niece Tish arrived and brought with her a dozen home made muffins for me, and we chit chatted about nothing and everything, and then headed out to the local El Torito's for lunch.. A good friend of ours Midge Lebell joined us for lunch----and over margaritas and tostadas we had a most congenial time.

Now its 3pm , Tish just left to drive home (an hours drive on the freeway, if she beats rush hour, if not add at least another 20-30 minutes transit time. Tish brought me the Sweatshirt from Duke University my Nephew Eric and his Wife got me while at an IBM business conference, held near the University. (I was originally suppose to take possession of the sweatshirt at a birthday party Tish threw for another Uncle in the family , but I was unable to attend , having to deal with Jerry and unable to be gone that long.)

I am now thinking I will take a small nap, and sleep off the margaritas and then all I will have to do is figure out if I am watching TV, a Netflix movie, or a movie off the wall from the house collection. So many hard decisions to make -------I'm exhausted (lol)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

--and the winners are----??

It occurrs to me that in the bloggosphere, if one spends sufficient time and effort to develope one's page, that one acquires a steady circle of fun fellow readers and it is not unusual to from time to time recieve awards from them. These awards are intended to be compliments and as such should be put on ones' page with pride, not to mention acknowledgment of who awarded it to me. If you look at my page you will see two such awards now, the Proximade Award, given to me by Wayne John, and the "Proud Old Dude Blogger" which came from my blogger friend Sue.

The nature of these awards frequently, is such, that one is requested to pass them on to others we deem worthy of receiving them , in the case of the "Proximade" award, I am expected to pass it on to five worthy souls. I will reference these good people below.

First allow me to give you some explanation of the purpose of the "Proximade"----one creates one's blog and one makes posts to it---over the course of time, one receives comments and develops regular readers, and via reading each others pages and exchanging comments one grows "closer" to these people, ---so via blogging one moves into closer proximity to some individuals than one might not otherwise have come into contact with----and acknowledging this "friendship", this proximity---one earns a "proximade".

I hereby award the following people the "Proximade Award", and request that they in turn pass it on to five other worthy readers of their blog. Missy, Sue, Alexi, Matt and Dana

(Note: should you already be fortunate to have received a "Proximade", consider the receipt of another as a reconfirmation of your worthiness (lol)-----

Wednesday 11/12/08

We are having an unseasonably warm spell , with the temps hitting the 90's predicted for this weekend, about 85 here today, clear and sunny. I will spend the better part of the daylight hours turning this and that sprinkler system on and off, and by sundown will have the entire grounds watered. I will break up that boring regiment with a sandwich for lunch---going for the ever popular Peanut butter and Jelly creation. (will put it on whole wheat bread and call it healthy and nutritious)---once you have lived your allotted threescore and ten---one shouldn't have to deal with frustrations of having to watch diets-----, and besides, Peanut Butter N Jelly sandwich's don't require having a complete set of teeth.

I will kill the afternoon watching movie from the old tape collection and in the evening, after dinner, will watch the one from Netflix (a double header no less). The Movie from the wall will be "Bull Durham" with Kevin Costner, and the one from Netflix will be "The Browning Version", starring Albert Finney.

Dinner will consist of a Marie Calendar entree--Teriyaki Chicken------the jury is still out regarding whether I will indulge in late night treat of a dish of ice cream or not----(Its plain vanilla bean flavor---eatable, but nothing to go crazy over.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday 11/10/08

I ventured out today. I was up at the crack of dawn, and made it to Coffee with my normal group of people (here to fore referred to as SOCDS (The Sherman Oaks Coffee and Debating Society), where I endured all the compulsory comments that friends and acquaintances offer to one suffering in the situation I am in----we went on to resolve all the worlds more immediate problems and concerns, just in case the man calls and asks for our advice---(yeahh that will happen!!)

Then I sallied forth to the local Kaiser Hospital to pick up a prescription I had phoned in early last week but only now in a position to pick up---fortunately I took my last pill last night so picking up the refill today was timely. I also walked over to the adjoining building in the hospital complex and got my annual free flue shot---I don't know why I do that, been doing it for a good number of years but have never got the flu---but then what do ya expect when its free right? I then drove to the other side of the valley here (20 miles), and deposited some checks in my credit union, then 20 miles back to the barn here, stopping on the way to drop off books due at the library and pick up a couple new mystery novels to kill time with---as nothing I can do til I get the required official death certificates----which won't happen til later in the month approximately 11/21, and arrived back home only to find Forrest Lawn Mortuary had called, seemed a form had not been given to me to be signed---and rather than drive to Glendale to sign the silly form, I drove the 3 miles to Kinko's (next door to where I had been earlier for coffee), then called Forrest Lawn had them fax the forms, signed them and faxed them back----and came home.

A friend of Jerry and I, stopped bye and offered his condolences, and now I am alone again, its 4pm----way to early for dinner, nothing on TV, to late to take a nap----whats the proper response time to mail thank you notes? I have this list I am creating ----?? 2 days, 3 days??

I watched two movies from Netflix yesterday----mailed then off today, replacements will be here by friday----have two more still here at home to watch, -------have no idea what I will do tomorrow, nothing mandatory anyway, maybe I will sleep to noon----naw!! I think tomorrow I will make up a list of things I need to do-----change the utilities to my name, and stuff like that----

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No Peace for the wicked--

I guess the old saw is true, "no peace for the wicked"----right now I want to step off Life's merry-go-round, and kinda take stock of things, but----the sun keeps coming up in the east no matter what, life marches on and round and round we go.

I have a hundred questions that need answers and I seem to be in some kind of cruel slow motion dream/nightmare---nothing happens til one is granted official death certificates , at least nothing of any legal and/or financial significance. I have been advised formally that it will be approximately two weeks before I get official death certificates for Jerry. At which time I can begin the necessary legal and financial closures that need to be made. Perhaps this is best, that I have this two week period in which to adjust to my new reality, to come to grips with what appears to be the rest of my life-----my mind flies in a hundred directions, only to loop back and maybe five minutes has past-----two weeks of this and I might truly be somewhat insane.

I must say my family consisting of all six of my Nieces and Nephews , their wives and children have rushed to my side---I am not alone , and I am truly grateful for that. My neighbors too have been most understanding and supportive, and I would be totally amiss if I did not acknowledge all the kind comments and words you my readers and blog friends have given me. You have my most humble thank you for all you have given me.

In that I can't do anything for a couple weeks, I find I now have a zillion hours a day to kill, and nothing to do but stare out the window and let my mind spin in futile frustration regarding all the things needing to be done but which can't be started yet, and I am not even sure yet what priority to assign all the many tasks needing done---where does one begin, where does one start? (Please dear readers do not think I am asking you for answers, truly I am not, I am just airing my dazed mind, ---thinking out loud---my questions are rhetorical---(sigh))

Life goes on, bills need to be paid, meals have to be eaten, gardens tended---I washed the dishes last night, one plate, one set of flatware, One small baking dish, one pan-----The house is now so so quiet, so empty---no one to fetch things for, no one to worry about, I'm free to come and go as I please---I don't want to stay in, and I don't want to go out-----a few more minutes have clicked off the clock----later, will endeavor to post something more cheerful later---

Saturday, November 8, 2008


We try to play our lives, prepare for whatever life brings us, but still when it happens, one can not really plan on just how one will react to the challenge------In my my case----I'm taking a "Time Out"----I need a day or so to ----fall back and regroup, and then I will be ready to resume the challenge of life.  As such I will not be posting anything for the duration of this time out---but I should be back and plugged in I would now think in 3 or four more days, maybe sooner---time will tell.

If the above all sounds kinda mysterious, allow me to explain.  Thursday I lost my significant other of the last 18years.  Jerry (previously referred to humorously in my postings as "The LP" which is shorthand for "the Little Prince"),  had been seriously ill for the last couple years dealing withn the progressive threat of Emphysema, a battle which he finally lost.  This does not come as a great surprise, one knew it was coming but still I was not ready for it---but now I have to deal with it---so excuse me if take a time out, and I'll put myself back in the game in a few days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sex and the Single Blogger

Matt,  as those who follow his blog  ("That Tears It--) is about to lay a post on us newbies informing us of the use of optimized search phrases and keywords in increasing ones traffic to our blogs. All that fancy language boils down to what most Madison avenue PR types have known since hector was a pup-----SEX sells.

The key of course is how to have a sexy blog, but at the same time, have a blog that doesn't have to come with xxx rating warning . A blog your parents and friends can read, and not go away with the impression your some kind of sex maniac wannabee. This social stigmata has to be avoided at all costs. Being an adult male, a single adult male mind you, and living in a house, in the middle of suburbia-----one is very careful about how one relates to children when they are around---first rule is---avoid all children not accompanied by a parent. Mothers are mostly paranoid about who is hovering around their offspring. (and its perfectly understandable that they well should be, if they are any kind of good mother at all) I am getting off track, this is about blogging, but I needed an example of how inappropriate conduct in public can quickly get you labelled incorrectly and socially stigmatized.

First we need to define what is "Sexy" as compare to what is just blatant appeal to sleaze and porn. In this definition of the word "Sexy" it doesn't always pertain to raw sex, but to a look of excitement , mystery, and overall positive appeal. So having said that, I would say outright nudity presentations are not good, unless in the pure sense of classical art---if your not sure what that means, best to avoid nudity in your blog altogether. Anglo-Saxon language usage is as a rule pretty sleazy and shows a lack of vocabulary----like I am not a total prude, but there is a time and place to use it---and a little of it goes a long,long way---is anybody listening to me Damnit? (lol). Nobody really misses it when reading blogs, so if your not using Anglo-Saxon words, good for you.

The application of colorful illustrations to underline ones conversational points is always kinda "sexy"---but many people do not have digital cameras, or the imagination to use them in conjunction with their blogging posts. (this is an area I know I am weak in , and endeavor to improve). There are accessible libraries of free pics one can visit and download from, I bet any number of you readers can name such services?.( and no, I am not speaking of the tawdry xxx crap that is all to easily accessed---ask any kid age 12 or older).

Finally, the ability to "turn a phrase", or make use of double meaning words or phrases is something one needs to monitor when blogging. What might to you seem innocent enough, and humorous, may to many of your readers come across as being a "potty mouth", and one can quickly get tagged with that social stigma one really doesn't want. To avoid that pitfall, one should use such double meaning phrases minimally---and in a manner that is clearly meant to be humorous, and not mistaken for a remark meant to be taken seriously. Being a single man, with a rapier wit, (well I THINK SO!), I am much aware of how things can get said , and interpreted on the basis of "oh well he is a single guy and you know how they are---", ---be careful out there people its a jungle!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lurkers are Losers

It is kinda hard to post something everyday, to keep one's blog page from just laying there and collecting dust, and I am sure all of you reading this agree. Now what do ya think of those people, who just flit from one blog to another read the posts, and jump to the next one, never leaving a comment good bad or even indifferent----they suck up your posts and give nothing in return---makes a guy feel kinda "used" know what I mean?

How does one know if one has been totally "LURKED OVER" you ask, its simple enough. Most all bloggers have site counters running on their blog, telling them how many people have visited their page, how long they stayed on average, and how many posts (pages) they looked at. So look at your site counter and see how many came to your page---now look at how many comments ya got---if ya got 40 visitors say for example, did you receive 40 comments?? If not then you are the victim of Lurkers-----you have been "LURKED OVER".

So what can one do about defending one's blog, how does one fight back against blatant attacks by these lurker losers? The answer is, one could go into the blog analytics and track down the ip addresses of these socially inept creatures, and expose them to the world by name---but then that would require you to sink to their level, and make you as bad as they are. All one can do is continue to post---ignore the lurkers, and take ones satisfaction in those that take the time to leave a comment, even if its a simple one word input like "cool", or "bummer" ---at least they left you with an opinion, confirmed that your blog IS indeed being read, that your not wasting your time. and as such these people deserve a shot at you having a read of their blogs and returning the favor-----its only fair and the decent thing to do.

Lurkers are losers---lower than pond scum in my book---don't be a Lurker, don't be a loser.

Tuesday--Election Day 2008

Well its been like forever that we have been bombarded with all the rhetoric of political commentary, but today brings it all to an end, at least for a little while.  It appears that the turnout will be a record in the number of voters actually voting, but unfortunately with the record turnout willcome a landslide of legal lawsuits protesting this or that precincts votes, how votes were counted, etc, etc, etc.  Further, the election will be so close in so many states, that it will not surprize me if it will be days before we learn who wins, and it could easily be tossed into the supreme court for a final decision----time will tell.

In anycase the winner, be it liberal leftist Obama, or "Hurray for the USA" McCain---neither will have anything close to a mandate for his programs.  The congress dominated by the liberal democrats for the last two years has done zilch,unless passing the biggest deficit budget  in history counts as an accomplishment  They are already in discussion and planning for more federal handouts to the poor , the ignorant and the lazy, all eagerlyh awaiting "Obama's crowning, and learn how much he will be spreading around.  The liberal leftist congress has stonewalled any possibility of making the bush tax cuts permenent--so automatically taxes will go up in 2009, taking more from those americans producing and "distributing it around" to those that aren't.

I am trying to imagine how things might go, if when the all the votes are counted, the legal beagles have had their say, and its determined McCain is the winner------I wonder if the major networks that have been so openly biased in Obama's favor will  change their ways and get back in synch with the people?  Most likely however this is not going to happen, but-----whoever gets elected will know they are being watched and judged.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Normally, if normal can ever be applied to me, I would have gone out and done My weekly shopping yesterday . (saturday), but in a fit of rebellion I allowed myself to procrastinate and put it off----well NOW I no longer have that luxury---am down to to cans of beer, so gonna HAVE to go out and get provisions, so might as well go to the damn supermarket as well.

I remember as a kid, grocery stores use to be kinda neat. everyone smiled and seemed to know each others names, I can even remember buying cambells cream of tomato soup, five cans for a $1.00, and (laugh) I well remember, when the family moved to California (home of happy cows), and I got sent to the store to get a quart of milk, came back home told my mom the store was out of milk, got sent back to the store , and subsequently learned that milk was sold in those funny waxed boxes, rather than the clear round glass bottles I had always seen it sold in!! (live and learn right?).  I read someplace , that in Europe,  milk and cream is sold in pyramind shaped containers that keeps them fresh longer?? does anyone know anything about that?

Then after the big war, WW II, the grocery stores expanded into what we now call the supermarkets, where nobody knows your name, everyone is in a hurry, nobody smiles while shopping anymore---except the masochist's.  The supermarkets are vast football field sized offerings of everything in the way of food and household items known to mankind.  The stores offer not only a cornicopia of food stuffs, they also have toys, Bar-B-Q gear, lawn furniture, T-shirts, socks, Throw rugs, dishes, silverware, knives, razors and blades (I remember when one had to go to the Drugstore for those).

In the old days one went to the store and bought tomatoes and fruit when they were in season .  Now we import food all year round  from just about every country in the world.  You want tomatoes today---you have to decide between about 8 different varieties.  Coffee, oh my look at all the different brands and flavors to choose from, then one has to decide if one wants whole bean or ground.  At my local Ralph's, if one would like to buy some soup---Ralphs has about 30 feet of soups to choose from---(but they never seem to have campbells Cream of Asperagas in stock??).  The point being shopping is no longer any fun, its a real pain in the rear end.----well do have to admit its kinda fun to crawl through the produce dept, and check out all the wild foreign  lettuces, and beans and mushroooms and stuff ----not that I would eat any of it mind ya.

Anyway, today I will go to the supermarket, get my weeks worth of food (and oh yeah razor blades), I want to pick up some flour tortillias, am gonna make a stab at making them Egg burritos Judi mentioned earlier in one of her comments on my page----maybe with luck she'll post the whole recipe??  (hint hint). 

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Its cold rainy day , and I am just not in the mood. I'm overy 21 , (oooh boy am I over 21), and I don't have to if I don't wanna, and ---I DON'T WANNA!!---THEREFORE!!---I will go shopping at the supermarket tomorrow. Its not like we don't have vittles to eat in the house, I got sufficient beer to carry me over til tomorrow, so will stay in where its warm and dry and continue to work on my blog here . Tonight I will give the LP swedish meatballs for dinner, compliments of Marie Calendar----that means dishes cleanup will be quick and easy, and we have four movies to pick from to watch from netflix---I will let the LP pick the movie to watch (I hope he selects the james bond movie, "Casino Royale" I feel like a good escapish adventure film tonight.


It took me the better part of an hour, only because I am slow and ignorant of html coding methodologies---and I didn't want to screw up what I had already had in the way of a blog. However , with a tight stomach, and careful typing I followed the instructions and it seems I have successfully resized my original mimima blogger template and reconfigured it to a three column style, from the original two column template I had begun my blogging with some 7 monthes ago.

In my quest of new stuff, I stumbled across a good blogging tips site, and found the instructions to make this change. Instructions are available for a number of the templates, so for those of you wanting to make a change heres the blog to go to-----> Blogger Tips

For those 0f you who are regular readers of my page, you will notice I have made some deletions of widgets , this was due to the fact that in resizing my columns, the width of my sidebars was reduced to 150px , and as such some of the widgets I had been using no longer fit.(the price one pays to have three columns) However I much prefer this three column layout over the two column one I had been making use of.

So now that I have two sidebars now to play with---I will be busy experimenting and adding and substracting stuff as I learn----hope you readers will like the changes and additions. keep them cards and letters coming------(lol)