Monday, August 31, 2009

What a great weekend!!! Spent some quality time with both family and friends.

Friday evening Karen and I went to a Quakes baseball game. Boy was it hot!! Our seats were near the press box so any chance of a breeze was blocked. It finally cooled off about 9:30 - 10:00 pm. That's about the time the Quakes heated up. The Quakes were behind by 7-1 going into the bottom of the 8th inning when they scored two runs. In the bottom of the ninth inning they loaded the bases and then scored two runs. The next batter up hit a 3-run, walk-off, home run to give us the win. The Quakes are fighting for a playoff spot so the win was important.

After the game I got to make up for being couch-bound on the 4th of July by watching a fireworks display. I surely do like watching fireworks!!

Saturday I went for a 23 mile bike ride on my mountain bike to nearby Westwind Park. It's only about 3 1/2 miles as the crow flies to Westwind Park from our house, but I zig and zag around the neighborhood and into the dairy areas south of my house to add on the miles. It was over 80 degrees when I left and pushing the high 90s when I got back.

While I was gone, Karen did some re-planting of our ice plant on the hill in front of our house. A salesman sold us some weed killer that he said would kill the crab grass and weeds in our ice plant without killing the ice plant. It killed the weeds, and crabgrass, oh and the ice plant too. So Karen dug up the dead stuff and replanted new stuff Saturday. She did a lot of work on that and I appreciate it.

Karen and I ran errands Saturday afternoon. We got a frosty drink from Starbucks, hit Target, and bought new phones and renewed our contracts with AT&T. Saturday night we had a great ham dinner at home.

Sunday I went to San Onofre State Beach with friends. It was a great day at the beach. Sunny, warm, and the water was quite refreshing. There was the usual crowd with groups three deep back from the water. It may be our last trip there as the rangers may start issuing citations for nudity there after Labor Day. (next weekend) :-( After the beach, Jack and I went to dinner at Fazoli's.

Hope you all had a great weekend as well.
Happy Birthday wishes go out to Richard Gere who turns 60 years old today. Richard Tiffany Gere was born in Philadelphia,Pn. Richard Gere attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a gymnastics scholarship majoring in philosophy but dropped out after two years.

Richard Gere is married to actress Carey Lowell, a "bond girl" in "License to Kill", after a five year marriage to supermodel Cindy Crawford. Richard Gere and Carey Lowell have one son, Homer James Jigme Gere, and Carey Lowell has a daughter, Hannah, from a previous marriage.

Richard Gere started out acting in live theatre in the London version of "Grease" in 1973. Richard was in several movies in the '70s including "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "Days of Heaven".

His career took off after starring in the movie "American Gigolo" in 1980. In 1982 his fame as a leading man was solidified with his performance in "An Officer and a Gentleman" with Debra Winger and Louis Gossitt Jr.

In the 1990's he starred in "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts and "Internal Affairs" with a young Andie Garcia and Laurie Metcalf. In 1999 People Magazine named Richard the "Sexiest man Alive".

Richard won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Actor - Comedy or Musical" for his performance in the Movie "Chicago" with Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Richard Gere is a practicing Buddhist and is an advocate for human rights in Tibet and in AIDS awareness.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So we went to AT&T today to see about lowering our phone bill and discontinuing one data line we have and ended up renewing our contract for two more years and getting two new phones.

I got this snazzy Samsong Eternity cell phone from AT&T. It does more than I have figured out yet. My sons are playing with it and Karen's and teaching us as they go.

What happened to a phone that just made telephone calls???

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday I received the epidural shot. The procedure was really easy. I dressed in a very stylish hospital gown, opening to the rear, and matching hair net, and reposed onto a hospital bed under a warm blanket. It was quite chilly in the room and Karen had goose bumps.

I joked with a friendly nurse while she put an IV into the back of my left hand. I was rolled into a surgical room and moved to another bed on my stomach. The last thing I remember is the doctor warning me, "this is going to be cold" and cleaning my back with some liquid.

I woke up back in the room I started in. Moments later Karen came walking in with a nurse. I got dressed and was wheeled out to the car in a wheel chair. No fuss no muss. Karen told me she was out in the waiting room about 20 minutes. I went home and took a short nap and woke up feeling fine.

Tuesday I went to the gym and rode the stationary bike and walked a bit. Wednesday I walked a bit. Today my back is a little stiff, but no pain. So is the shot working or is my back just better. I saw my chiropractor on Tuesday and he told me I would never be totally "fixed". His job was to maintain a symptom free condition for me.

I think I'm feeling better because of my titanium necklace!!! It could happen!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26 of each year is designated in the United States as Women's Equality Day. Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday afternoon I watched one of my favorite movies, "Dances with Wolves". I'm sure you are familiar with the movie with Kevin Costner as Lt. John Dunbar, an American Calvary officer sent to the frontier to locate an abandoned outpost. He finds the outpost and is befriended by a tribe of Sioux Indians.

The movie won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Picture in 1990, as well as six other Academy Awards. Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, and Graham Greene were nominated for Academy Awards for "Best Actor", "Best Supporting Actress", and "Best Supporting Actor"respectively.

There are a ton on things I enjoy about this movie, but the best I think is that the movie portrays the Sioux Indians as human beings and not as blood thirsty savages. It describes many of their traditions, including how they depend on the buffalo for a great deal of their existence.

The movie brings out the romantic in me as it follows the budding romance between Lt. Dunbar and an Indian woman. We learn that the woman, "Stands with a Fist" , played by Mary McDonnell, was taken by the tribe as a child after her family was slaughtered by Indians. She is found on the prairie by Lt. Dunbar after she tried to commit suicide after loosing her husband. She becomes an interpreter for the other Indians as she struggles to remember English, and of course falls in love with the dashing Lt.

Another great relationship in the movie is between the Lt. and the Sioux "holly man", "Kicking Bird", played by Graham Greene. Initially they struggle to communicate with sign language and later thru "Stands with a Fist". Their relationship becomes quite close and the love between the two men can be plainly seen at the end of the movie when they exchange gifts before the Lt. and his wife leave the tribe.

The chief, "Chief Ten Bears" is played by Floyd Red Crow Westernman. He of course is the wise chief who likes nothing better than sitting by a warm fire smoking a good pipe. There's something to be said about that logic.

In the end, the Lt. and his bride leave the tribe apparently headed for civilization to try and clear the Lt's name after being labeled a traitor.

I'm always left to reflect on the history of the native Americans at the hands of the European invaders. Thousands of Native Americans were slaughtered or enslaved by the western advancement of white settlers, and thousands more were killed by the diseases they contracted from the whites. A sad history to say the least.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thunderstorms for SoCal??

(KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO) - Thunderstorms in August? Believe it or not that's what we have on tap for this weekend's forecast. KNX meteorologist Ken Boone says, "We have low pressure off the coast and high pressure sitting over the four corners region which is setting up to bring in some monsoonal moisture. This is almost a textbook perfect set up to moisten up the atmosphere and bring a pretty good chance of rain and thunderstorms to the Southern California region over about the next 24 to 36 hours, but I think our best chance coming up would be Saturday afternoon into the evening."

A Girl and Her Dog

This is my little sister, Kathy, and her beagle, Lucy. She has down sized from a Harley. Where are your leathers??

This image, released by The Field Museum in Chicago, shows an Egyptian limestone statue depicting an unidentified woman, carved during the New Kingdom Period, 1550 BC to 1050 BC.

The bust has been the focus of interest since the death of singer Michael Jackson as visitors double-take at the eerie similarities between the 3,000-year-old statue and the singer.

Doesn't surprise me, after all, I was Helen of Troy in an previous life!!!

Photo/The Field Museum Peace.
Margot Saites is an atheist from a fundamentalist Christian family. Her new CD entitled, "I Like That" has a song on it called "Steeple Hands". A bit of the lyrics go like this;

When it's time to choose a side, I'll give you a clue.
Where the theories collide, it's not hard to misconstrue.
We're born with innocent wonder,
Don't let religion steal your thunder.
I don't always like what a person says or believes, especially about my president, but I do believe in our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

It's such a loving christian kind of sign isn't it?

MIDLAND, Texas (CBS/AP) An embarrassed Sheriff Gary Painter fired one Midland County deputy and suspended three others without pay after a scantily dressed waitress holding a rifle posed for photographs on the trunk of a patrol vehicle.

The incident occurred last week in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks Restaurant and Bar, which promotes its "fun, friendly and sometimes flirty atmosphere!"

The deputies told Painter that they had about three to five beers each. A fifth deputy who remained inside the eatery got a letter of reprimand.

The AP story had the headline; "Semi-naked and Semi-Automatic: Cops Busted for Busty stunt". I don't see what the big deal is myself. She certainly isn't "semi-naked". I've always said cops and beer is a deadly combination. Add a waitress and watch out!!!
How about Mother Earth??

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I decided to spend the afternoon at Silverwood Lake in the nearby mountains. It turns out the state park is only 40 miles from my house. The weather at my house was a little overcast and cool. By the time I got into the mountains it was 92 degrees.

I tried to pick a spot off the beaten path and ended up in this little cove. There was a small swimming area, picnic tables, and clean bathrooms.

I set up my chair in this nice shaded area, stripped down to my running shorts, and spent the afternoon relaxing and reading. When I got there there were a couple of fishermen, and a group of women with two children. Then a family of 15 showed up, only to leave 30 minutes later for the other, more populated side. Thank goodness.

When I got to my car to leave, I was greeted by this park ambassador, a 3' rattle snake. You know how I like snakes. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I wasn't as close to him as it looks. After he went under my car, he slithered off into the grass.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This is my brother-in-law Dennis Miller, Karen's older brother. He recently married Tong who he met on a trip to China. They recently want back to China and honeymooned in Cambodia.

During their visit to China, they had to visit Hong Kong Disneyland, which Dennis said was pretty much the same as the original in Anaheim.

This is one of the Buddhist temples they visited while in Angkor, Cambodia. The movie, "Tomb Raider" with Angelina Jolie was filmed here. The temples are hundreds of years old.

Dennis and Tong "throwing" gang signs???

When Dennis married Tong, he acquired a 7 year old son, Kevin. Also shown in this photo are Dennis' daughters, Aubree on the left, and Megan on the right.