Monday, April 27, 2009

"Burning Down The Mtn" Happy Birthday Judi

Well here it is people, my 500th post, and I am honored to make this post dedicated to my Blog sponsor, Judi----and help commemorate her 50th year, and her Great Birthday Party. (you might want to click on the pics to make em bigger as you go)

As you all have read on Judi's blog, something over 55 people RSVP'ed, and then there were a few others who also decided to come, at one point I counted over 60 people, (not including the band) in attendance. The weather was clear and sunny, but with the wind twas a touch on the cool side, but it sure didn't cool down the party none.

The party was held at Pete and Judi's beautiful home on top of Shogo Mtn, and if one looks past the activities in the pics, you can get an idea of the views available from their house. Here's a pic taken early in the Party, the band has arrived and is setting up-----

This is the front of Judi's home, notice the wide cross-hatching inlaid stone of their front deck----faboulous! (one is looking north in the pic)

---and here we have the Host of the party getting into the swing of things, and oooh there's Judi, with a long time friend from back in school days (I was introduced but have forgotten all the names, met to many last night)

In the above pic, as you can see the band has started to play, and here we have my lovely niece Tish, (Pete's Sister), being twirled around the floor by Big Dave Shelton, (Tish Pete, and my other nieces and nephews all grew up with Dave, and his younger brother Roger)
Food was served in the big open garage, and I neglected to get the information on who catered the party, but I can tell you the food was most tasty, and I considered myself lucky to leave the party with a plate to take home (Thanks Judi).

Looking West, we have those that were not dancing,but enjoying the food and drink and the portable fire pit on the other end of the front of the house., and then finally, in closing,  I just had to include a pic of Me and my Nephew Eric's wife Jennifer, who was wishing me a happy birthday (which is the day after Judi's).
I finally faded fromn the party some four hours of partying, and am pleased to report tha old blue got the old dude home in one piece.  I will let Judi give you all the neat details of the party------especially her surprise to find JOYCE (her mom) there for the party.  I am hoping to get together with Joyce and Judi and Pete, later and perhaps check out the casino action down they're way.    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDI!!  (AND I MEAN IT TOO)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A NICE TUESDAY THING (and this is post 499)

Perhaps maybe it was the start I was born under, you know the one, yeah that lil dim one, about three klicks to the left and down a bit from THAT bright one---yeah that one----anyway good things seem to happen to me on Tuesday's----today for example. Lo and behold, about mid morning, I get interrupted from watching my money grow (its Tuesday and yes it is growing), by the doorbell, and lo and behold its the Apartment complex's repair crew, here to fix my Patio door and mesh screen------something I have been waiting for for some number of weeks. Anyway, now I got me a whisper quiet patio door that slides open and closed with just one finger, and I am pleased to report that the day on the Market was most comforting as well.----now as the sun slowly sinks in the west (as it is prone to do), I find myself in eager anticipation of perusing the on-line cable guide to see what is on for entertainment for this Tuesday night. (lol)

This as it turns out is my 499th post since I first started blogging, in April 2008---tomorrow will be my first blogging anniversary-----but not sure just when I will make the momentous post, lets see I, maybe I will save that and post about Judi's big birthday bash being held this coming Sunday------after all it twas she who turned me on to blogging, so would be kind of fitting----time will tell.

LIVE BY PROCRASTINATION----die by Procrastination---NO WAITTTT!!

Where does the time go, I mean like I knew my license had to be renewed by my birthday, knew that when I first moved here to Temecula, (did the legal change of address via the Autoclub), but had plenty of time to find and do the DMV thing, so no hurry on that-----well hello, yesterday (04/20), decided I had procrastinated long enough, and best to call and make an appointment at the Local DMV, and get my license renewed-----only one problem with that----the earliest appointment I could get would  have been May 4th, about a week after my current licensed expired----(NOT GOOD!!)  I had put it off for to long----so-o-o, I had only one choice---drive to the DMV, and get in line and DO IT!!

To make this long story short (I know to late again---sigh), it only took just under two hours,  the first 30 minutes was inching up the line to get into the DMV proper, 40 more minutes waiting to be called to one of the 16 windows to  initiate getting my license extended,  and of course they took my money right there and then----and over the next 50 minutes, I got my new pic taken (in my panic to get to the DMV I had forgotten I had forgotten to shave that morning---so gonna have that pic to look at for the next five years ).  also got fingerprinted (electronically, so no  dirty ink to wipe off) and of course had to take the written test----18 questions that would determine if I got my license  renewed, ---18 questions that would determine if old blue would get to roam, or be  padlocked in his stall for gowd knows how long----PRESSURE!!

I havn't read the DMV drivers manual for gosh, maybe 30plus years,  -----I went through the questions and made checkmarks where I thought it was proper------and then waited for five minutes, as my test sheet was scored------as it was being tallied, I in a low, but tense voice  told they young lady doing the tallying, that I was about to start bleeding around my eyes, waiting to know if Ihad passed or failed-----she gave a kinda grunt (my heart sank), but then she cooly remarked, "no  problem you only missed two, and your allowed to miss three---you passed, your new license will be in the mail in acouple three weeks----OOOOH Yeah!!! LIFE IS GOOD.

Temecula----WINE COUNTRY

This Sunday last, my niece Tish, stopped by for a visit. We did lunch at Texas Lil's, in "Old Town Temecula), and then on an unseasonably warm day (100 degrees plus), we drove old blue out to visit some of the many Wineries located just east of Temecula.
The wineries love hosting crowds, most all selling "Tasting tickets" for approximately $10.00, which entitles you to have a taste (one ounce servings) of any six wines that particular winery produces. All of them have nice garden, patio's, in which to enjoy your tastings, AND, you get to keep the winery engraved glass. In the late afternoons, many have live music, and its all quite enjoyable. I managed to take a few pictures during the day----am not noted for my photography but perhaps with practice---??-----will endeavor to get better at it!)
This first pic is of the sign in the public parking lot to the entrance to the Mount Palomar Winery, the vivacious women next to the sign is my Niece Tish (WARNING: she's a Taurean by nature and by birth)

Here is a pic of Tish, and Jennifer, the amiable, and knowledgable hostess that serves us our samples, (did I mention you get to keep your glass?)
Another shot of the the gift shop area of the Palomar Winery, sorry about it being so dark---we had a lovely time knocking back the six samples we each were allowed, and we opted to move on to the next Winery, just down the road about two miles, called Windsor Creek Winery and here is the entrance to the Winery.I think it was about then I kinda griped that I never ever got MY pic taken, so, ya see the three tiered fountain on the hill in the center of the pic----well Tish took my pic there----aint I gorgous?(lol)we did an  additional sampling of six more wines (each), ending with the Windsor Wineries well reknown  Almond Champagne (comes with a piece of chocolate) and is oooooooh sooooooooo goooooood!!).   There are at least another dozen or so wineries to visit, so its gonna be a busy summer.  OH I learned later that the Parking lot of the Windsor Winerery is where one goes to watch the launching of the Hot Air Balloons (thats an early morning 6:30am adventure)----it is on my list of things to do!!  Anyway we made it back to Margaritaville (aka my apartment) took us all of ten minutes----here below is a pic of the wine glasses we were given---

Friday, April 17, 2009


Nobody warned me, but then I should have known-----well I know now!! My mistake was simple enough in hindsight, but still perhaps my telling the tale, will help some other soul avoid the nightmare.

The stock market closes here at 1Pm, and today the gods of finance were gentle with me and I felt a certain okay with the world. In this euphoric mood, I decided I should go to the grocery story, and stock up on victuals, seeing as I appeared to be able to afford them. So after doing my normal sum up of the days stock market, washed my coffee cup and cereal bowl, and fruit juice glass, spent some time making up a grocery list and headed out to the local market. It was 3PM, on a Friday-----as I entered the big grocery (its name is not relevant, as I am sure all supermarkets are the same in regards to the tale of horror I am about to relate.

I parked old blue in the back of the big parking lot hopefully to avoid any door dings, and hiked the quarter mile to the actual store, grabbing a cart, still not aware of what was to be, and pushed my way into the store proper, I got maybe 15 feet into the store, I remember hearing the automatic "in" doors whooshing closed behind me----as my eyes took in the fact that every other shopper in the store had at least two kids in tow, and a third either in their arms or in a stroller-----only then did it strike home----school was out, moms picking up their kids from school were now shopping for the dinner to be served at 5pm when the fathers came home!!!

As if to underline the hell I had unconsciously, voluntarily put myself in, a wall of sound hit me, the cacophony of tired, cranky mothers screaming at their kids, who in turn were doing their best bits at getting mom to buy them the candy, crackers, cookies and toys they just had to have. Some throwing hissy fits, others just plain loud caterwauling, yet others off their leashes had started an impromptu game of tag through the isles, others playing hide and go seek, (the store was huge enough to do that).

My reaction to finding myself in the 3rd level of Dante's inferno, was to make an immediate break for the "Out door", on the other side of the checkout counters----noting that there had to be between six and 10 tired cranky mothers and accompanying sticky fingered children in every line. A stubborn gene kicked alive in me and buddied up with a now blooming gene of Masochism, and I found myself trying to actually gather up my list of needed groceries, as wave after wave of screams from mothers, and resulting screams of protest echoed from the children, washed over me------thank god I had no need to buy crackers, cookies or candy, allowing me to avoid those areas of peak disaster.

It seemed liked days and days before my body shaking I was able to clear the checkout stand and in a daze hit the outside, only then horrified to find tears in my eyes, followed immediately with relief, it was only tears and not blood. I don't quite recall arriving back home, or putting the groceries away----I do know however that I failed to get three items that were on my list---and to the best of my knowledge, I didn't run over any kids with my shopping cart.

I have made a vow---I will never, never, ever go grocery shopping in the afternoons after school has been let out-----better yet, I will do my shopping between 7-9am on Sundays. If I can't get my shopping done then---will just have to pay the price of eating out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I awoke at my normal hour of 7am, to find the day would be clear and sunny, albeit a bit cooler than the normal for this time of year 67 degrees F. It would be a good day for the Tax Protest demonstration scheduled to be held down at the "Duck Pond" park, here in Temecula. I had heard of this public protest from my Nephew Edward, who had come across it on-line, and so I had promised to meet him there along with his wife and grandchildren. We figured perhaps about 100 people would show up, if any at all.

To my surprise, when I drove to the corner of Rancho California and Ynes blvds, (the protest was to be done on the Southeast corner of the park, near the big pond ), there was no parking to be found, and the intersection, all four corners were thick crowds of people waving tax protest signs of all kinds of descriptions. Cars moving through the intersection were all honking loudly like mad, in support of the demonstrators, who sent up great cheers , and waved their signs with more vigor. I finally found a parking place acouple blocks away and walked back, using my cell phone to finally Locate my Nephew and his people , where we listened to a series of political speakers , all denouncing , the wild government spending, the ill defended borders of our country, and a number of other political issues.

It was all good to see the large turnout , I estimate there had to be close to 3,000 people at the demonstration , and it was quite a grand lil "Tea Party", and I was glad I went. I did manage to take a couple pics, but failed to get pics of some of the better protest signs. I did see one that I got only a quick glimpse of that read, "You can't cure STUPID--but you CAN VOTE THEM OUT". I thought it captured the mood of the crowd---like the line from the Movie "Network"----we are mad as hell and we aren't gonna take it anymore"
Anyway here are the few pics I took of the milling crowd, such as they are----:


I played the games at the Casino, and the Casino won!!----I got home around 1:30am. It was the old story---I arrived at the Indian gambling resort of Pechanga, sometime shortly after 7pm, and was happily engaged with a nice lil quarter machine fifteen minutes later. ---By 7:30pm, I was up by 35 bucks---did I quit, no way-------by 8:15 pm, I was back to being even for the adventure---did I quit, ---nope!!-----over the next four hours it was just a slow up and down, mostly down night. We learned a few things however. 1) play the nickle machines and not the Quarter eating machines, ---learned to know the layout of the casino better, what with jumping around looking for "THE RIGHT MACHINE" (which still eludes me damnit!!) , and I learned that drinks are not free to the slot players----a bottle of Bud light costs $3.50 each----plus tip. My bar total expense last night came to $14.00---plus tips---as for the gambling loss???---we don't care to talk about that--------so don't even think about asking me. However, all in all I found the evening fun, and a nice diversion, and will no doubt do it again in the future---I think I have an opening in late march of 2010.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Boy's Night Out

Well today I have suffered through, a cloudy overcast day, took some lumps on the Stock Market (nothing severe, just didn't make any money today.), guess its somewhat unreasonable to expect the market to go up every day!!----(two steps forward, one step back is acceptable however).
In the afternoon, I went out and got my monthly haircut, and then decided since I was out, to have an early Dinner at Mimi's. A meatloaf sandwich, made with ciabatta bread, side of fries, and decaf coffee. Then stopped at Trader Joe's and picked up a few items for the home Larder, and returned to my Apartment.
Spent a couple hours researching and analyzing the Financial shenanigans of the day, in preparation of the market opening tomorrow.
Just looked at the TV on-line guide, and determined there is nothing worth spending any time watching, and I don't feel like curling up with a good book. (I have three currently checked out from the fabulous Temecula Library (the new one, not the old one). and the evening's entertainment looks bleak-----BUT WAIT!!! I got options, and so-o-o, I have decided to go out and spend the evening at our local Casino------will most likely lose some money, but what the heck, might just win too------as I am often prone to say-----"Time will tell"!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

THE DAY AFTER (not the movie)

     Yesterday of course was Easter Sunday, which this year was held at my niece Melanie's beautiful home in Redlands. Unfortunately, due to poor planning (as if one actually plans these things) I had come down with a good cold. Not feeling at all perky, or my normal self, I went through the motions, smiling and participating in the consumption of all the home cooked foods, and finally had to make my excuses and headed back home here in Temecula. I mention the cold as its my excuse for not taking more pics of the occassion, but here are the few I did manage to take below.
     Even with my cold I have to say the food was scrumptious, the ham so good, the turkey so tender and moist, the greenbean casserole cooked just right, the mashed potatoes were nice and buttery (Ya did good tish), but I think from all the comments from many of the others, the one big hit of all the foods served, was the Macaroni&Cheese that you made Melani---twas fantastic, as you no doubt know as there were no leftovers of that.
     As my priveledged position in the family of Uncle Extrordinaire--I was of course only allowed to leave if I took home leftover ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, and a cup of flan (good Flan Jen, lip smacking good) ----so won't have to go to the grocery store til later in the week.
     I just got off the Phone, and am pleased to report Uncle Bob got home without incident, and he really appreciates having somebody drive and lead him back from the house to the freeway. (He got lost driving to the house, and in all fairness, unless your familiar with the territory it is rather complexed finding one's way up the hill to the house, lots of small lil lanes, twisting turns, leftsf and rights------) I also got home without incident, made all the right (and left) turns without getting lost----next time I come up won't need a google map to find my way.  The pics below were all taken on the patio of Melanies home in Redlands

The picture above is my Nephew Edward's wife Sherri, and their daughter (my grand-niece) Rhonda.
The picture below is my Niece Melanie (the hostess of the gathering), and my Nephew Eric's wife Jennifer.
And this last picture is again Jennifer, Melanie (sitting) and the other uncle in the family, Uncle Bob, who got lost on the way to the party, but finally, by asking directions from some local bicycle-ists, finally found the place.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tomorrow Will Be Easter---here are some helpful instructions

     I must first confess this post is a direct steal from an E-mailing my niece Tish sent me, and in that I am bored out of my skull with this cold I seemed to have glommed onto, thought I would put it in this post----if your not into cute----you may not want to go any further than this-----


1. First, well ah, find a baby:

2. Second, be sure that the object you found was

Indeed a baby by employing classic sniffing techniques.
3. Next you will need to flatten the baby before actually beginning the

Hugging process.

4. The 'paw slide'

Simply slide paws around baby and prepare for possible close-up.
5.. Finally, if a camera is present, you will need to execute

The difficult and patented 'hug, smile, and lean' so as to

Achieve the best photo quality.
If you don't pass this along, a dog

will pee on your computer!

Then its Saturday

I somehow stumbled through the long, long day yesterday, don't ask me what I did----like hello, between reading a book, playing my SimCity4 game, staring at the TV---I do recall ordering an "On Demand" movie ----Highschool Musical #3----found it excessively cute, and was mad at myself for spending the $ 4.99 for it. Then too, I found an old movie going on one of the movie channels, the old but still good, "Captain Blood", with Errol Flynn, and Basil Rathbone.
Some time late in the afternoon yesterday I realized I was coming down with a Cold/Sinus thingy, my eyes were watering, my head felt stuffed to the point of having a headache, and was sneezing alot,  so I started taking asperins, and I couldn't quite remember the old saw, --is it "Feed a fever, starve a cold"? or the otherway around??---its of no real importance, as I was hungry so I stuffed myself, made Tortilla's, stuffed with Cheeze and salsa, and a large bowl of cream of tomato soup---almost had a major disaster however, at one point had to sneeze , and almost sneezed into my bowl of soup------on my light beige carpets and white walls that would have been the end of the world -----fortunately I was able to catch myself.
Today, the pressure on my sinuses seems somewhat less, but my nose is running like the spring runoff of the missippi-----I am hoping my tomorrow morning that I will be up and about and feeling good enough to go to the family Easter convention (I mean even Uncle Bob, who is 81years old is driving the 75 miles to Mel's place in Redlands)----on the otherhand I don't want to give everyone else my cold-----time will tell.
OH, OH!!? Question of the day: How heavy is a Brick of Cheese?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dreary Friday

Today is Good Friday, and in honor of the religious Holiday, the Stock Market is closed. As a result of that I find myself with an extra six (count em) hours to fill. Also I awoke this morning to look out the window at a dull grey overcast day, that can't decide if it is going to rain or not.----so here I am at my 'puter' bored, and without direction-----like I said ----its a Dreary Friday.
I thought maybe I might pop out and treat myself to a late breakfast, but I had no appetite to spend the money. I thought maybe I could use the time to re-organize my kitchen cabinets, into a more efficient layout, but can't work up any enthusiasm for that project, so will live with the way its organized now----besides, have now adapted to where I know where things are in the kitchen, albeit in the wrong places, least I know where they are.
As I sit here I here the odd booming and rumblings from the other side of the mountain, which tells me the boys at Camp Pendleton are staging live ammo exercises. (Marines Rule!!)
I suppose I could use the time to give the apartment a good dusting and vacuuming----oh thrill!!
I could do laundry----but its not Thursday and besides doing the laundry here at home is just not the same fun as it was when going to the good old "fluff n fold" palace. (sigh), course too its just to damn efficient doing it here at home---no challenge.
Rats!, it just occurred to me that it being "Good Friday", there won't be any mail today either, course too, won't have to sift through all the junk mail, and throw-a-way crap that we all get.
Judi, (my Nephew Peter's wife), sent me her recipe for a great chicken/chili casserole, which calls for cheese, but am struggling to determine just how much cheese. I asked for that info, and the answer I got was ---half a brick??, which leaves me with the question of ---and how big is a brick of cheese? Like are we talking a pound, five pounds??? Is there some standard code that I am not aware of----like everyone knows how big a brick of cheese is, can I go to the store and ask for a brick of cheese and get some standard weight of cheese? (calm down old dude, your getting hysterical!!) sigh---well that's another thing I can put off to another day, I don't have all the other ingredients needed yet anyway---but not knowing how much cheese, no point in going to the store anyway.
I met my new Doctor last Wednesday, Dr. Fuertes, who seems congenial enough, easy to talk to, and he efficiently set me up with an appointment with a new Urologist Doctor, so that I can continue to monitor my on-going enlarged prostrate condition, the bad thing is, I have to go all the way up to Riverside to see the Urologist, but then I also have to go up to Riverside to get my eyes checked, (its been two years, so am definitely needing to do that), but as you know, it will be impossible to get an eye appointment the same day as my Urology appointment, so guess old blue is gonna get a chance to make some fun gallops to and from Riverside (about 35 miles one way)
Wow, looks like I have managed to kill a good 30 minutes putting this post up---now what am I suppose to do with the other extra 5 1/2 hours?? Guess I will go make a pot of coffee, its gonna be a long day------------

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Road Trip Redux

OKAYYY! As those that follow this blog know, Tuesday (yesterday), Blue and I took a road trip----Galloping up to Sherman oaks, (my old stomping grounds), to spend some time with friends there, but primarily to give one friend a nice sendoff back to her home in Ohio. Old blue sure enjoyed the long gallop, and I have to say so did I (found a radio station playing all the good old stuff from the 70's and 80's to listen to, while I let old blue have his wild romp)

Once there I indulged in all the repartee that friends throw at each other, and embibed in a number of cold refreshments, and a ton of fingerfood, cheeses, crackers, shrimps and dips, and then we all headed out to the local Marie Callendars, for some good food, and more drinks. All in all it was a most satisfactory time.

Here are some pics of those attending, (somehow Steve managed to avoid having his picture taken at this gathering, but I pulled up one from an earlier time to add to this post.:
Margarite (From Ohio)

Midge and Kathleen

On Top is Steve, and on the last pic is James, and the little doggie is named "killer", (just kidding) her name is Maggie, and then finally there is one more pic----of yours truly, (Pic taken by James---thanks James)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Enough With The Doom And Gloom People

     I for one, am getting really ticked off with the constant bombardment of all the doom and gloom statistics being thrown at us by the TV talking heads, the newspapers, and radio broadcasts.  Actually what really bugs me is the bias in the reporting of facts and the negative spin being put on them.
     The Unemployment rate is now (nationally) 8.1 percent-----great headlines how 650,000 jobs were lost in the month of March.  (no mention of how many jobs were created)  no mention of the fact that if 8.1 percent are unemployed, that that means 91.9% ARE EMPLOYED.   Yes things are tough right now, and excesses in the economy are being wrung out.  Gone are the days when realestate increased in price 20-25% a year.  Gone are the days when anybody with a smile could be handed a zillion dollar loan to go out and buy a new home or a bigger home----we are going back to a more realistic level where one is required to put down more like 20% , and then make enough income to support the resulting monthly loan payment.---but again I am getting off my point.
     The majority of people still get up and go to work everyday, people still buy clothes and necessities, the sun still comes up in the East and sets in the West.  People are still taking vacations, eating out, going to the theaters, etc, etc, etc.------things are NOT as bad as the press reports, you have but to l.ook around and see for yourself----the world is not ending , not even with the Democrats in office. (sorry the devil made me say that)


This coming Tuesday, I plan on meeting up with some of my friends back in the old territory from which I just recently moved away from. So-o-o Old Blue and I are making a road trip, back to Sherman Oaks. It will be the longest trip to date that old
Blue and I have taken, but then I know old Blue loves to run, so it will be a good one.
The purpose of the trip is to meet with my old friends, and have dinner, and say goodbye to Margaret, who actually lives in Ohio, who has been out here visiting with her friends and taking care of some business, and who will be leaving to go back to Ohio in a few more days.
It will be a great afternoon, and it will also give me a chance to show off old Blue. and afterwards, then me and Blue will romp back to the home barn here in Temecula. (will endeavor to remember to take my camera, and give ya all an update when I get back)