Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday Madness

So another week has passed. The schedule for the coming week looks hectic --- an every-minute-counts kinda week. That always makes me want to take a nap. Thank goodness for good coffee and good friends/family to make it all worthwhile. Looking forward to some travel with Glen. DisneyWorld, Little Havana, Everglades, and Key West. The dogs are barking/playing outside again. A disturbing sound, if you don't know the context. Looking forward to the "little" one outgrowing some of that behavior. Went to dinner with Rob and Dave Saturday night. Enjoyable food and talk. I did notice that the waitress was much more pleasant and attentive. Hmmmm. Could it be we will get better service if we drag to dashing young men along with us on our restaurant visits (at least when we get waited on by females...perhaps it would be advantageous). By the way, David treated! Ah, the new delights of twenty-something nephews!My mom got the news of colon cancer. Sigh. She'll have surgery next week sometime. "It's early," claims the Dr. I find that of comfort. Day by day. She's a great lady.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Chill, blogophiles; you're not the first to do what you're doing

This article suggests blogs are the 21st century version of Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense; Martin Luther's Theses nailed to the door, etc.

Of course, the medium is not the message. But it is an interesting article in this morning's USA Today.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Weekend Restaurant

We ate at a new restaurant this weekend. That's always fun for me. We ate at Morel's French Steakhouse at The Grove in Los Angeles. Price was grander than we expected, but well worth it. The specialty is dry-aged beef and the fromage bar (cheese to please!). We had Humboldt Fog, a yummy cheddar, and a buttery soft one. Enjoyed them all. I like to learn about all the cheeses and taste them. I'll never be a wine tasting enthusiast, but bring on the cheese. My petit filet was fabulous. The waiter was awesome. We all shared a chocolate souffle. Very good --- not too sweet. The meal, as many grand meals do, lasted over 2 hours -- providing time for random, relaxed conversation. Another premium benefit to a grand meal shared with others. We went with new friends from our church. I enjoy going to The Grove on Fairfax and Third. I visit once a month after a home visit with students in the Beverly Hills/Hollywood/Culver City/Los Angeles corner.

Last night, I was working at the desk in our kitchen/family room. The dogs were inside with me. Sam kept nudging me with his nose and a terrycloth face cloth (toy) in his mouth. So, I grabbed it and we tugged back and forth. The chair I was in is a typical office chair with wheels. You guessed it! Sam gave me rides across the family room floor. The rug was removed to be replaced, so the bare floor makes quite a track. He's a strong tugger -- I just held on to the other end of the cloth and he'd pull me in the chair, following along as he backed up. I had fun and just laughed.

Troubled Town

Helicopters circle in the air nearby. News stations are covering the latest shooting about 2 miles from here. Two men have been shot. That's all they know so far. I'm not even sure if the victims survived.

It's troubling because it is so close. A young Subway worker was shot and killed about a month ago within the same radius from our home. Someone else was shot at the alternative high school within the last few weeks within this loop. Several years ago a former neighbor boy was killed while his friend was playing with a gun at home, less than a mile from here.

So what is troubling? Guns trouble me. No apologies to the NRA. Violence is troubling. Random violence is more troubling. And the frequency is troubling. The reality of it all going down locally is troubling. I live in a decent urban neighborhood. I love so much about it. The news can wake me up to the dark side that coexists in our area -- all areas. God's providencial power holds me, and I don't feel personal fear. For that I am grateful.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A cold week in Chicago

Looks like I am going to enjoy some winter weather. Chicago: January 23-28

Click for Chicago, Illinois Forecast

Friday, January 21, 2005


Beth and I saw Sideways last weekend. Both characters are very familiar to me. Their relationship and its obvious limitations is one I have experienced since high school. Beth tells me that for some men their relationship with other men is less limited then I have experienced. Here is to those men who rise above that.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I just wrote a long post on the movie Sideways and how it made me think about male friendships. It got lost when I tried to post it. All disappeared. Oh well, probably best. On a positive note, Brianna is really learning the dance moves. Very impressive. I will have to take more pictures and share those experiences with you all.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Gamble House Tour

Today, with Jeff and Erika, Cindi and I toured the historic Gamble House in Pasadena with all of its grandeur and arts and crafts style.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Sunshine -- Finally!

Rob and I have conversed in the past about how we enjoy variety in weather, and that sometimes it can get monotanous in SoCal...sunny all day all clouds (except for the smog haze). Well, I've certainly had my need for rain fulfilled. I decided I'd just say it was a wet snow. Since I miss snow at this time of year, and under the street lights at night it resembles wet snowfall. Dec. 27th - Jan. 10th = 15.9 inches of rain...a record breaker. And now it is sunny here from my second story office looking to the north, with puffy white clouds billowing just above the hills. Ah!

The dogs are outside . Samson was the first to announce dry land, in true Ark fashion. He burst indoors this morning, after a visit to the back yard, with a fern branch in his teeth. Not an olive branch, and a bit early for Palm Sunday.

The kitchen and bathroom floor had dark pathways of tiny working ants this morning. Ugh. That bugs me (pardon the pun). They made it to the top of the stove this trip, so our housekeeping has improved as of today. They are persistent at getting inside in search of dry ground and a snack. Ashley typically eats anything off the floor. Ants are where she draws the line. Bummer. I could use the help.

I'll be driving north for a homeschool appointment today. I am anticipating a grand vista of clean air, delightful clouds, and an awesome view of the neighboring mountain range with white caps. Another benefit of being out of the traditional classroom.

Steve - I am really enjoying the photos. Thanks. Loved the raft picture.
Dave and Rob - got a land line yet?
Garth - happy "5th" birthday.
Beth & Audrey - survive that rainy day schedule! It will pass.

Monday, January 10, 2005

This book looks interesting

Did you happen to see Jim Wallis on any of the news shows during the election? He was supposedly representing the Christian community without the baggage of the religious right. He realy makes sense to me.

I have read his magazine, Sojouners for a number of years.

Wet, wet, wet

So far we are staying mostly dry inside.

So Cal Weather

Thought this might come in handy. Beth is concerned that you might have to upgrade to ark. We do have some room for refugees, but there is a lottery system.

Friday, January 07, 2005

24 hrs later

My grandfather's store 24 hrs later. No snow here. Long wet weekend ahead.

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head...

...but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't get out of bed! Cozy, dark, and cool here in rainy Southern California. Stayed in today to do paperwork. Tried to keep the dogs functioning occassional romp in the front yard (no mud and less small ponds to trot through) to find relief and use some energy, a game or two of tug-on-the-towel between Ash' and Sam for strength training, and dry time spent napping in the crate and laundry room respectively, since I have to "go to work" upstairs. They are water dogs, so being outside won't harm them. Perhaps I just tire of buffing them up when the soggy doggies come back inside. The way the water has been coming down lately, it won't be long before mallards and their families take up residence in the backyard. By then, a couple of retreivers with cabin fever could come in handy for some sporting events.

The hills will green nicely and the air will be crisp and clean at the end of the storms. I've been one to brag how I bore of endless sunshine, being from the midwest --- the land of puffy clouds and the home of weathermen who do work for a living. I have almost gotten my fill of the gray precipitation, although I may never grow weary of building a fire and reading. This is that kind of weather! Classroom teachers must be going crazy with the rainy day indoor schedules. Smokers must be wearing out their umbrellas, since few can smoke indoors in our state. Enough complaining. It's not a tsunami.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

VHS Blowout @ WCP

World Cycling Productions is having a blowout sale of vhs s with prices down to $4.94 in many cases. See them here.

No Seventh Tour for Armstrong?

Lance Armstrong said in a November interview, "I am not planning to take part in the Tour," but rather focus on the spring Classics instead. However, he still might be at the Tour de France in July because he hasn't really decided about the Tour yet (as far as he'll tell us). This wasn't actually new information because he already said that.

My Grandfather's Pharmacy

This is the Fairhaven Pharmacy. My grandfather owned this store for most of his adult life. It was established in 1889 by Robin Johansen. My grandfather worked for him as a delivery boy and when Mr. Johansen retired he bought the building and pharmacy. Snow is predicted for Fairhaven and Placerville tomorrow, a momentary connection of sorts.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Years Day Snow

We woke up to snow this morning. Melted by noon, but more is forcast for tonight.

Jonah, Shawntea, and Brianna had a foot of snow and no electricity. So they are here this afternoon for warmth and hot food.

Happy New Year 2005

Cindi, Luanne and I had a snack between movies at the Uptown Mexican Cafe. Then we came home to watch another Johnny Depp film, Pirates of the Caribean, while I finished up the cupboard hardware cahnge over.

Cindi's friend Luanne left at 5:15 AM to see the parade this morning.

We are hanging around at home with snacks, the TV, the dogs and our friends Erica and Jeff Amann.