Saturday, April 30, 2016

Some photos from our trip to Ventura, California

We've been on a vacation and have spent the last few days in Ventura, California. It has been nice and relaxing, with no real plans, we have just made up what we have done as each day transpired. For me, this time, not scheduling very much has been better than running around like over-scheduling soccer moms. Most of the days we have spent some time on the beach, though with Ann's disability, it has been mostly me spending time on the beach, and her sitting and watching the people and the waves from a distance. I have tried to park the car in strategic locations so that she can watch people and the waves at the same time, and I have walked up and down the beach, mostly looking for shells to take home to show the grandkids. Not wanting to spend all day by myself walking the beach, nor to leave Ann sitting in the car for too long, has led to my not spending all the time I'd like with the ocean, but that's okay. And she has actually gotten out a time or two and touched the sand, once even using her walker to go out on a point, called "Rehab Point" to get a better view. I think she had a lot of fun that day, watching the waves and having brief conversations from people as they passed her on the walkway.
One night we got together with the Emmons, whom we knew from online communications, but had never met in person. Surprise, we found out they were people, just like us, who have to live with struggles every day, and who have great things happen from time to time. Getting together with them was one of the highlights of our trip.
Another highlight was visiting Serra Cross Park/Grant Park. Grant Park is a place where you can drive that's up higher and has a great view of the city and the ocean and beaches below. Within Grant Park is Serra Cross Park. Serra Cross named for Father Serra who put up the first cross in the area in 1782, down lower, to note the location of the nearby mission. The cross itself had gone through several incarnations and early in the 20th century was moved to its current location. In 2003 it came under fire from those who think it was a violation of separation of church and state, because it was on public land. The city sold the land to a private group who kept the cross there.
Last night, our last night there, I left Ann in our room and went down to the beach, one called Surfer's Knoll or something like that, right by Ventura Harbor, to attempt to take some pics of the waves and the sunset. The sunset itself wasn't spectacular. It was hazy as it has been all week, and the sky didn't have the wide array of hues that one loves to see in a sunset, but I got some pics and they didn't turn out too bad.
Now today, we are homeward bound. We'll spend the next two nights in Las Vegas, and then get home Monday. The trip has been relaxing, if not amazing, and it has been nice to get away from work, but Tuesday I'll be back at the grind. In a way, I'm looking forward to getting back to normal. But in the back of my mind, I'll be waiting for the next big adventure.
This bird on the beach appeared to be injured or sick.

One of the places where Ann got out to take a closer look.

Pelican

Views from Grant Park/Serra Cross Park were amazing

The cross at Serra Cross park. This was lifelike in size.

Sunset at Surfer's Knoll, near Ventura Harbor


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A thud in the middle of the night

Last night I was startled from a sound sleep by loud thud. Instantly I thought it was my wife, Ann, who wasn't at my side in the bed, but just a couple of seconds later I could hear her footsteps in the hall. "Did you hear that?" I said. "It scared the heck out of me. I thought it was you." It wasn't, praise God!
But it was uncanny because the noise I heard sounded exactly like someone falling to the floor in a heap. After making sure Ann was safe I decided that I could wait until the morning light to find out what had happened. Unfortunately, the adrenalin I had experienced in my brief moment of panic kept me awake for the remainder of the night.
The wind had been blowing hard and I suspected maybe a branch from our large evergreen tree to the south of our house, the one I had talked about with a friend just yesterday. Sure enough, when I walked outside in my pajamas this morning, there was a four inch thick branch lying on our house, right above our bedroom. I pulled it off and inspected the roof which had just been put on in October. Thank goodness, there was no damage. I will be grateful for that, and likely, the nap I will take this afternoon.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

There's nothing like a shedding cat

I don't know what to do about my cat, Scout. She's shedding like crazy and she likes to jump up on the bed and lay down right below my pillow. Ann doesn't like to pull the top blanket up to the pillows, in other words, make the bed, because then Scout puts hair all over the part of the blanket that gets pulled up to her face. So, I end up having to place something on the bed that will reduce our furry friend's ability to lie in her favorite spot. I have a large pile of books on my nightstand, so I spread them around and that keeps her further down on the bed--unless I forget. Which is too often. And every time I forget, there she is, by my pillow. I think one solution would be to keep the doors closed on the bedroom so that the only time Scout can get in is when we are in there with her. Then, we just have to never turn her backs on her, because that's when she makes her move.
It's a tragedy of epic proportions.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Weird Al" Yankovic's "One More Minute" is classic comedy

Okay...so this isn't my usual love song posting. But I think that every once in a while, people need to break away from the serious, and contemplate, well, the ultra serious. "Weird Al" does it in the best possible manner--ridiculous hyperbole. If you've never seen or heard One More Minute, you are in for a...treat. This one is in my top ten all time novelty songs. Here you go.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"

I would say that Al Green's Let's Stay Together is in my top five of greatest love songs. As a music lover, I gravitate toward songs that move me, and this one, most definitely touches me in my deepest emotions. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Till there was you...a great cinematic love song

I have been accused of posting links to no songs later than 1980. It's a wrong accusation. I was made aware of this situation just a few days ago, that I had finally posted a link to a post 1980 song. This one though, isn't such a song. This one, from The Music Man circa 1962, is one of the all time great movie love songs. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Skiing at Deer Valley was a great experience

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go skiing one more time this season. I had never gone skiing this late in the year. My lift pass, thanks to my son Sam who acquired a free pass for me, was to Deer Valley. I had also never been to Deer Valley and had no idea where anything was, nor what to expect once there.
I got to the parking lot and asked directions from the attendant. A few minutes later, I was exchanging my voucher for a ski pass and heading up for my first run.
It was crowded with a bunch of kids taking lessons. As I swept down the first run, I found myself narrowly avoiding people because there were so many. I thought it odd, considering it was a school day. The days had been warm in the past week and the snow had melted then refrozen in some places, making those places a bit treacherous.
As the day warmed up. the icy places diminished and the snow got better. I found myself riding the list with three kids, probably aged 9-13. We began talking and I found out they were from Manhattan, here for a two week vacation. They marveled when I told them I didn't ski more than 3-4 times per year. One of them told me he had season ticket to the Knicks, Jets, and Rangers.
On another ride up, I sat with two parents and a young teenager. They were involved in their own little world, talking amongst themselves, although the woman did say "hi" to me as we boarded the lift. The guy was talking to her about this huge deal that he had just received a confirmation on on his phone. It was some kind of huge trade and it was one of his account that someone had completed in his absence.
Clearly Deer Valley is a ski resort for the wealthy.
I stopped for a rest at about 11:30, then at noon I started again, this time figuring out that if I worked my way around the resort, further away from the original lift, the crowds were quite a bit smaller and there weren't any kids taking lessons (most of them were skiing better than I was, btw). I stayed in the lesser used areas for a few runs, then began to work my way back.
As the day wore on, the snow began to deteriorate again and in some places became so slushy that it was tough to ski through. I was getting worn out at around 2:00 so I decided to leave. All in all, I really enjoyed my day skiing. The only thing that would've made it much better would have been to have someone along to enjoy it with me.