Archive for the ‘statue’ Category

Giant guitar

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

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Here are Andy and Mark playing KISS miniature golf, standing in front of a giant guitar. I don’t exactly remember how we found out about KISS mini-golf, but I’m certainly glad we did. The course is indoors in a building near the strip that also features some KISS (and many other bands) memorabilia – clothes, signed album covers, and even an old Porsche. Also the awesomest wedding chapel ever. Pretty much the whole place is lit with black lights, except the gift shop. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken a few days ago at the KISS mini-golf center in Las Vegas, and part of my famous Las Vegas, Machinery, and Statue series.

I contend that that giant guitar counts as both machinery and a statue. As usual, Loyal Readers are free to disagree in their own blogs.

It’s 2015! We had a great New Year’s Eve celebration! We went with 18 friends to the Westgate Hotel (the former Las Vegas Hilton) for dinner at Benihana and then an “old school” New Year’s Eve party. Our organizer told us the “old school” designation referred to 50s and 60s music, which I thought would be fun.

Turns out she was wrong. In reality, it referred to “old school” hip-hop music. That worked out to be way better. I recognized a few songs from the 70s and 80s, but most were more recent than that and therefore quite unfamiliar to me. I loved it all! I had no idea I was such a fan of old school hip-hop music. The crowd was fun, the music was great, the DJ was very entertaining, our table was close to the stage and dance floor, and we generally had a wonderful time of it.

Most of us snuck away to go see the midnight fireworks show on the strip. Apparently, seven or eight of the big hotels set off identical fireworks shows from their roofs simultaneously. We could only see three of them from our window, but it was amazing! Highly recommended.

Joanne and I spent the day together today, right up until just a few minutes ago. We didn’t do all that much; after a late start, we came over to my house, made a nice breakfast together, played several Wii games (we both won a few, which worked out well!), sat and chatted, made dinner together, ate dinner together (along with Mark), and then bid a fond farewell so Joanne could get her beauty rest before work tomorrow.

Plus, she has to pack this evening or tomorrow morning for our weekend trip to Denver. The plane leaves at 6:45 tomorrow afternoon, leaving her very little time to catch it after work. I, on the other hand, am planning a somewhat more leisurely day.

I hadn’t played on my Wii for quite some time. When I bought my TiVo, I had to unplug the Wii from my TV because it could only handle a single analog input. A few days ago, I ordered a Wii HDMI converter. It arrived yesterday, so I reinstalled the Wii today. It’s fun, although we only have Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. That’s been plenty of entertainment for me. I wish we had a Mario Brothers game, though. I don’t even know if they have one for the Wii.

I recently read an article by Leo Babauta, who writes the excellent Zen Habits website. Leo frequently writes about living a life free of goals. Rather, he emphasizes mindfulness and the establishment of habits. At first, I had a hard time seeing the difference, but I think I’m starting to get it. Living without goals and to-do lists doesn’t mean you excuse yourself from keeping commitments and completing things. Rather, it means (to me at least), you establish patterns in your life that result in accomplishing what you need and want to do, on time and under budget, without undue stress.

With that in mind, I am not making any resolutions (not that I ever really did), but I do have a few habits I hope to establish this year. Let’s look at my initial list, shall we?

Exercising regularly and early – My desire is to lift weights Monday through Friday, take a nice long walk on Saturday, and take Sundays off. I want to go to the gym at about 8:00 M-F. I appear to naturally wake up at about 7:00, so my current life without an alarm clock won’t be affected by this. Joanne drives to work at about that time, so I would like to chat with her on the phone during my drive to the gym. I have gotten a heart monitor and MVP account on MapMyFitness (thanks, Andy!) to optimize my workouts – and for the entertainment value, truth be told.

Writing daily – I love writing. I would like to improve my skills and perhaps even find a niche where I could grow an audience. I think that starts with writing every day, either here or on a different website that’s accessible to the public. I want to make essentially everything I write public. I would like to publish an article on this website every weekday and on my other websites on a regular schedule.

Reading meaningful content daily – I have always been an avid reader. I spend a large amount of time reading now, but I would like to make my reading more meaningful. To that end, I would like to seek out excellent books, both new and old, and fill my reading time with them. I also want to keep up with the news and other entertaining content, but I don’t want that to take up so much of my reading time that the good stuff gets forced out.

Eating well and in moderation – I would like to make and eat excellent food and to eat it in quantities consistent with good health and a sustained weight of about 180-190 pounds. While I love eating out on a regular basis, I would like to eat excellent food in reasonable portions in restaurants too. I would like to eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not hungry anymore.

Beautifying and simplifying my environment – I love my home. I love the quiet, peaceful feeling here. I love much of the artwork and furnishings. I want to continually beautify my home and yard and continually simplify them as well, getting rid of things I don’t want or need. This will reduce the expense and effort required to maintain my household, make my environment feel more spacious and elegant, and give me an enhanced sense of peace and happiness.

Learning to meditate – I want to learn what it means to be mindful. To that end, I want to learn how to effectively meditate. I believe this practice will give me increased peace.

These habits can’t all be successfully established at once, so I’m going to take them one at a time. I’m starting with exercising regularly and early. I went to the gym yesterday at about 8:00 and I’m going to do that again tomorrow. After I’ve been doing that successfully for a month or so, I’ll pick another habit and work on it until I’m doing it successfully too. I feel a strong desire to establish all these habits right away, so it’s going to be difficult to not try to do too much too soon. I’ll work to stay focused on one thing at a time.

Anyway, that’s my plan for this year, or at least the first half of the year. More habits to come as these get mastered.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: incorrect hamburger order shooting!

See you tomorrow.

Corner dog

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

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Here’s a statue of a dog looking around a corner. Scary! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our June trip to Laguna Beach, and part of my famous Statue and Vacation series.

Extreme Short Shrift today. It’s very late.

Joanne and I went to our friend Kelly’s organization’s awards banquet and silent auction tonight. We had a very nice time, although we didn’t know who any of the people were, didn’t understand what they were talking about, and didn’t really feel a need to learn any of it. It was still interesting, the food was good, and the people we sat with were very nice. So I’m calling it a win.

I was busy all day long, but I’m not entirely sure what I accomplished. I did manage to wrap a very large box for Joanne. I also found the one additional gift I’ve been hoping to find for her. I ordered it and now I’m happy. I think. I also did a bit of work, with much more ready to be done now. I made a quick trip to the pharmacy during the day. Tomorrow’s trips: the bank and Best Buy (shudder) to pick up a gift I already ordered and paid for.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: Aston Martin-eating dog!

See you tomorrow.

Mister Toad

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

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Here’s one of my most admired people: the lovable Mr. Toad. Joanne and I took his wild ride just the other day. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during last week’s trip to Disneyland, and part of my famous Statue and Vacation series.

We’re back from our cruise! We had a great time visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada and generally spending time aboard the ship. The weather was great, the food was great, the service was great, the excursions were great, the entertainment was great, and the company was excellent! Princess continues to be my favorite cruise line. Plus, I have now achieved the exalted rewards program status of Ruby! That’s way better than gold, as everyone knows. Sadly, Joanne is a mere Gold member. I pity her.

We spent two days at Disneyland afterwards and thoroughly enjoyed that too. Friday was very good – lines were short and crowds were smallish by Disneyland standards. Saturday was much more crowded, but we had a great time that day too. We had a very late dinner Saturday night at the Blue Bayou, which was very nice. After dinner, we rode the Pirates of the Caribbean one more time (our fourth for the weekend) and went home.

The fireworks show happened not too long before our Blue Bayou reservation. We were making a quick trip on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before dinner. Just before we got onto the ride, the fireworks started. The view from the ride platform was wonderful! And it was even better from the ride itself. It’s something that’s impossible to plan and amazing to see.

Anyway.┬áMy PhotoDocumentor seminar went very well indeed. John and I held it here in Las Vegas the two days before Joanne and I left for our cruise. Our attendees seemed to be positively impressed with the software and several of them purchased it. It’s very expensive, so I was gratified by how many people bought it. We’re thinking of holding another seminar but haven’t made a decision yet. In the meantime, I’m planning to be in Orlando for the AAFS conference in February.

Let’s see, what else has been going on? Oh, it looks like I’ll be going to Tucson the first weekend in November. Chris is going back to empty out his house and I think he could use the help. I’ll bring my Beloved Pickup again for hauling duties. He’ll be renting a U-Haul and taking all his stuff back with him, including his other car on a trailer. It’ll be good to see him again.

Paul’s coming to stay for two weeks starting on November 12. He will almost overlap Andy’s visit, which will be the 26th through the 30th. I’m looking forward to having so much company!

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: pig-smuggling cricket fan! Seaman Hornsby would be proud.

See you tomorrow.

Lion rider

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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Here’s Mia taking a ride on a friendly lion. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Oakland Zoo during our recent visit there, and part of my famous Statue series.

Joanne and I have been to the Bay Area twice in recent days. The latest one was last weekend. Katie and Cliff had an engagement party on Saturday evening and we decided to attend. Flew in on Friday morning, visited downtown Pleasanton for some gift shopping, checked in to our hotel, and went back to downtown Pleasanton for dinner. We found a sushi place that looked good. It turned out to be good, fortunately.

Saturday morning, we went to Katie/Cliff’s place, chatted for a bit, and picked up Mia to take her to the afore-mentioned Oakland Zoo for the afternoon. We had a great time! It’s not a huge zoo, but the displays are nice and the company was fun. They have a kiddie land with rides near the entrance, so we stopped on our way out to ride the zoo train (one of my favorite things to do at a zoo), the carousel, and the little roller coaster. Joanne opted not to ride the roller coaster, so that one was just Mia and me. Come to think of it, she didn’t ride the carousel either. I stood on that one while Mia rode.

Anyway. The party was great fun. Lots of people attended, including Cliff’s dad. It was great to see Pat and him again. Joanne got invited into a game of cribbage with a couple of guys. She was delighted to not just beat them but thorough trounce them both. She’s an excellent cribbage player and an enthusiastic competitor. She routinely beats me at just about everything, just to keep me humble. It works. Did I tell you about our family bowling experience several days ago?

We came home from the Bay Area Sunday morning, but we’ll be going back in a couple weeks for a visit to Sonoma and to hang out with Katie and Cliff again.

In the meantime, I’m heading back to Detroit on Sunday morning to be with my mother. I don’t remember whether I mentioned it yet in this space, but she’s been diagnosed with liver cancer. It’s not operable and she appears to be too weak for chemo, so they’re talking about giving her radiation soon. She’s in the hospital right now to deal with complications from an earlier surgery that put in some drains for her blocked gall bladder. Her cancer was diagnosed when her gall bladder was blocked and she turned a pretty bright yellow color. We don’t yet know how much more time she has, but I’m. to sure it’s multiple years at this point. Sandy has expressed some frustration that the doctors don’t seem to be willing to give her an accurate assessment of Mom’s chances. I remember being very frustrated with our doctors’ refusal to state any odds of survival for us. They appear to be trained to try to give people an optimistic, cheery outlook. I understand that there’s a psychological component to fighting cancer and they want patients and their families to stay optimistic, but misrepresenting the magnitude of the challenge ahead of you seems to me like a nonproductive way to generate that optimism. I can tell when they’re hiding the truth from me.

Anyway. I’m looking forward to being with my mom. Chris and Tony are there now. Tony will be leaving just an hour or two before I arrive. Chris may probably still be there, but his return plans are still extremely sketchy. We don’t think there’s an immediate need to be there, but we all felt drawn there just the same.

Joanne and I are going to Green Valley Ranch this weekend. It’s a very nice resort here in Henderson. We’re getting a massage on Saturday and will probably spend the rest of the day hanging out by the pool or some similarly relaxing activity. She’ll take me to the airport early Sunday morning and pick me up Friday afternoon.

More fun trips on the near horizon. Details later. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this chocking food violence news: beef rib fire!

See you Monday.

Statue wavers

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

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Here are Joanne and me holding up the statue of Eiler Larsen in downtown Laguna Beach, California. The guy was the unofficial town greeter and now his statue has taken over. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken by our tour guide, and part of my famous Joanne, Statue, and Vacation series.

Pretty good day today. I sent a PhotoDoc registration code to our first customer today! He paid for the program on Sunday. So I made my first sale on my birthday! Cool!

Mark and I dropped the Taurus off at the Ford dealer this morning. It needed an oil change and I had been saving up a few other things to have them look at, so it ought to be there for a couple days. I miss it. The garage looks so empty!

Joanne and I went to dinner with her friend Maria at Gordon Biersch this evening. They were having a bratwurst special. It made for a pretty good meal. Stopped at Rubio’s on the way home and picked up a shrimp burrito for Mark.

I was listening to some music this afternoon and had a moment of grief. Mark heard me trying not to cry and came into the office and put his arms around me. The tears came and lasted for a few minutes. I’m so grateful for Mark. He’s really there when I need him.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: accountant-catching crocodile!

See you tomorrow.