Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Winery tractor

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


Here’s an old John Deere tractor that was once used at a winery in Sonoma county. I don’t remember which winery, but I’m guessing they’re not using it anymore. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in Sonoma County, California this past Saturday afternoon, and part of my famous Machinery and Vacation series.

Been a few days since I wrote again. Joanne and I just got back from a lovely weekend in Sonoma valley with Katy and Cliff. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the vicinity and visiting some absolutely lovely wineries. Sunday, we got a VIP tour of the Korbel champagne factory that was very thorough and even included a tiny look at their actual machinery and processes, as opposed to the quaint old stuff they normally show you. It was fascinating!

Today was a quiet day. I did a bit of work on PhotoDoc, got a haircut, got preregistered for my upcoming medical procedure (more about that in a moment), did some grocery shopping, and found some time to relax and read too. Much more PhotoDoc stuff to do tomorrow.

My medical procedure. I have reached that special age when an occasional colonoscopy is called for. So I’m scheduled to do it Wednesday morning. Tomorrow will be the tough day with a purely liquid diet and then drinking a couple of doses of the “special” liquid, followed by staying real close to home all evening. They say the procedure itself isn’t bad at all. We expect to be at the outpatient surgical center for about two hours on the fateful day. Mark has agreed to provide my transportation that day.

I still haven’t fixed my quadrotor. My friend Bob loaned me the parts I needed, but I don’t need them now, as the parts I ordered to replace the loaned ones have arrived. The last ones got here today. I might be able to get the work done tomorrow, or I might put it off until Wednesday while I’m at home recuperating. I think we’ll probably go flying again on Thursday, so the pressure’s on.

And that’s about it for tonight. I’ve leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: robot jellyfish!

See you tomorrow.

Bronze crucifix

Monday, January 12th, 2015


Here’s a crucifix I saw in the Catholic cathedral in New Orleans’s French Quarter. The odd thing is that it didn’t look nearly this good in real life. The light was kind of low in the little room where I found it. My trusty iPhone beautified it for me. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken inside the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, and part of my famous Statue and Vacation series.

I hope it wasn’t inappropriate to photograph inside that beautiful building. I asked Joanne if she thought it was a problem and she said no. I didn’t use my flash and I tried to stay unobtrusive and respectful. Nobody seemed concerned.

Missed two days of posting last week. So my new habit isn’t off to a particularly rousing start, but I’m being patient with myself and continuing to strive for success. The thing is that I really want to do it, but I never get to it until bedtime. I need to post in the morning. Maybe I’ll try that for a while.

We had a pleasant weekend. Joanne and I went to the Kahunaville Island Heat show at Treasure Island on Friday night. It was fun! It was a quasi-luau. The venue was tiny – we sat right by the stage – and there were just a few performers. They had an Elvis-like singer who wasn’t an impersonator. He just had Elvis’s haircut and sang vaguely like Elvis. But he was good. They had two male dancers and five or six female dancers. Their dancing wasn’t exactly Polynesian, but it was kind of close. They had a couple of drummers in the background and piped-in music. The dinner was quite good and we had a very nice time. Not necessarily an authentic time, but a nice time. I’m glad we went.

Friday afternoon, I flew my new quadrotor for the first time. I like it! I haven’t broken it yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I’m glad I had plenty of time to learn how to fly on my much-less-expensive first quad; I think that will greatly lessen the risk to the new one. I took videos and still photos with my fancy little camera and enjoyed watching them. When I get a little more skilled, maybe I can follow children and stray dogs with my camera.

We spent most of the day on Saturday taking down and putting away Joanne’s outdoor Christmas decorations. There were a lot of them, and he have them very nicely organized and stored for next year. We also got her little indoor Christmas village put away. I think her kids may be working on getting the rest of the indoor decorations taken care of.

Saturday evening, we took Mark out to Boulder City Brewing Company for a hamburger, a refreshing beverage, and live bluegrass music. It was fun! One small criticism: I think bluegrass music is best played without amplification when you’re in a small room, and this band was amplified. So it was louder and less personal than it could have been, but the band was very good and we enjoyed it.

Yesterday, we just spent the day together and enjoyed each other’s company. I cooked a nice breakfast at my house. We were planning to go to a place called Du-Par’s in the Golden Gate casino, but we got a bit of a late start, so we stayed at my house instead. We’ll try Du-Par’s another time.

John and I are finishing up our prep work for the February expo where we’ll show PhotoDoc. I spent a few minutes Sunday evening with Ken, talking about how to market it (Mark and I ate Sunday dinner at their house, by the way; it was excellent, as always). I’m working on putting a few ideas down on paper and will share them with Ken.

I’m really nervous about this show. John is encouraging me not to do anything but have the software on our computers in our booth, but I’m positive I need more. I want a banner in the front of the booth, probably some pictures in the back of the booth, some brochures to give out, an invitation to our June training seminar, and something else to give away. Ken keeps suggesting things that will make people want to stop by. We have some ideas, but I’m just not sure yet what will work. I desperately wish I had been able to attend the expo before the first time I have a booth there. I wish I had done a booth before at all!

We’ll figure it out. If we have nothing but our computers and monitors and we don’t sell anything there, it will be an expensive lesson, but it will be a lesson nevertheless. I hate learning the hard way, but that seems to happen a lot.

And it’s time for bed. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: surfing pig!

See you tomorrow.

Snowy dinner

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015


Here are Andy and Joanne enjoying a delicious Pho dinner on a very snowy day in downtown Denver. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our recent trip to visit Andy in Denver, and part of my famous Food, Joanne, and Vacation series.

I had Com Ga for dinner – chicken with rice – and enjoyed it thoroughly. I think that was either the second or third time I’ve eaten at that restaurant and I will definitely go back again. It’s a short walk down the street from Andy’s apartment and it’s an excellent Vietnamese restaurant.

We spent an excellent weekend in Denver, by the way. It was very cold and there was a very nice snowstorm on Saturday, which is perfect for a brief visit to snow country. Joanne hadn’t ever really been in a snowstorm and she was tickled by it. We stayed in one of the guest apartments in Andy’s building. I’ve stayed in that one before and loved it, and I felt the same way this time. I think the price is very reasonable, the apartment is luxurious and nicely appointed, the building is absolutely amazing, and the proximity to Andy is excellent. We visited the Natural History Museum (or whatever they’re calling it these days) and drove around to look at our old houses and my work. We also had some excellent meals, including a Saturday evening stop at a little New Orleans-themed restaurant/bar for drinks and beignets. Excellent! This was the third time in the last few months we’ve seen Andy. I’m already looking forward to our next Denver trip.

Next up in the travel plans: Sonoma, California and a highly-anticipated birthday visit with Katy, Cliff, and Mia! We’re going there later this month.

Not much going on today. Spent a lot of the day reading. I bought a new sound bar for the television in the office. The little Vizio TV’s speakers are so horrible as to be unusable, and the 5.1 surround system I had bought when the TV was new has never been any good. It was a cheap RCA system and had an extremely defective amplifier that made a terrible humming sound after it warmed up. It was a great pleasure to throw it away. The new sound bar is the smallest Vizio I could get and it sounds just fine. It integrates well with the Vizio TV, allowing me to use the TV’s remote control to operate it and just working. It sounds just fine and I’m pleased with it.

I got the sound bar at Walmart. I hate that store, but they have things I can’t get anywhere else. And I’d much rather go there than Best Buy. Their price was exactly the same as Amazon’s and this time I decided not to wait two days to get the goods. So I went and bought it during a trip for a few groceries.

Speaking of which, they were pushing cake mixes for a buck at Walmart, so I bought a yellow cake mix and baked it this evening. I baked the cake, took Mark out to Rubio’s for dinner, and then came home and frosted the cake. I found a recipe for an excellent cream cheese chocolate frosting, so I made that. The cake’s pretty good! I think it possibly baked just a bit longer than it needed to, which is strange, as I baked it for the minimum time specified on the box. I think maybe the pan was dark enough that I should have set the oven 25° cooler, but the box didn’t give a different time or temperature for dark pans, so I didn’t do it. I’m learning, though!

My new powered antenna for the TiVo arrived today. To my surprise, it’s much larger than my existing patch antenna, but it looks like it will fit okay behind the TV. As long as I get good reception there, it should be fine. Otherwise, there’s no way I would put that thing on my wall. We’ll find out tomorrow. An antenna is necessary because I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the TiVo to recognize the local channels the cable company puts on the cable for me. The TV can recognize them, but the TiVo box can’t seem to figure them out, so the only way for it to work is to hook it up to an antenna. Sheesh.

But I sure love not having cable TV bills to pay.

Speaking of which, Dish Network has announced a $20/month service they’re putting on Roku and other systems that will deliver some very popular cable channels, including ESPN, Food Network, and HGTV. It’ll be a month-to-month service and I just may buy it. If they included TCM, I think I’d do it for sure. I’m excited for the service to become available so I can see the details. Even though (or possibly because!) I’ve worked with Dish people on a few rocket launches, I’m still deeply suspicious of their business practices, so I won’t just sign up without contemplating it a bit.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: chocolate heist!

See you tomorrow.

Bourbon sign

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014


Here’s an embedded street sign we saw during our recent trip to New Orleans. As I understand it, Bourbon Street is a rather famous place. All I know is that it was a madhouse the day we walked down it. A fun madhouse, but definitely a madhouse. I can only imagine how it must be during Mardi Gras. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken on the afternoon of December 13, 2014 on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, and part of my famous Vacation series.

Well, Christmas is over. The decorations have gone up and come back down. The presents have been bought, wrapped, and unwrapped. Andy came, stayed, and went home. I’m not feeling disappointed by any of that. In fact, I remarked to Joanne today that it feels great to put the Christmas decorations up and then it feels great again to take them down and put them away for another year. So there’s that.

But Christmas was very nice. We went to the Mob Museum as our Christmas Eve activity, preceded by a delicious lunch at the Triple George Grill. The museum was very interesting, if perhaps a bit bloodier than I would have liked. Then again, the mobsters were much bloodier than I would have liked. It was a bit short on artifacts and long on photographs, but I can forgive it for that. There probably aren’t a whole lot of artifacts to be had. And the pictures were fascinating. Those people committed lots of violence, mainly against each other. There were lots of pictures of happy families, followed by pictures of the family patriarch trussed up, shot, burned, and thrown in a lake. That sort of thing. Really got us in the Christmas mood.

Christmas day, the boys and I opened gifts in the morning, followed by a nice breakfast. In the afternoon, I went over to Joanne’s house to meet her ex-husband Hal and his girlfriend Rhiannon. They’re both very nice people, and I admire the good relationship Joanne has with them both. Later, she came over to our house so Hal and Rhiannon could spend the evening with the kids.

The day after Christmas, the boys and I went shooting with Ken. We went to the Clark County shooting facility, which is on the far north end of town and is very nice. Extremely nice, in fact. Sadly, it was kind of cold and windy, so we weren’t quite as  comfortable as we might have liked. It was great fun anyway.

And that pretty much brings us to today. We may be getting some snow tonight and tomorrow. It ought to make things in Las Vegas pretty interesting. They have no snow removal equipment. Joanne and I are scheduled to go to a fun New Year’s Eve party at the Westgate hotel with several friends. Let’s hope we can get there!

Probably no post on New Year’s Eve because of the party, so I’ll finish 2014 with this post. It’s been the most horrible, difficult year of my life and it’s also been a year full of exciting discovery and love. I’ve grown, I’ve learned how to take care of myself, I’ve learned how to lose myself in service to a loved one, I’ve learned what it means to love, I’ve learned how to survive. I miss Shannon. I miss my mother. I love my children. I love Joanne. I love Joanne’s children. I love my brothers and sisters. I love my extended family. I love my friends. I love my life.

Happy New Year.

I’ll finish with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: tormenting frog!

See you in January.

Corner dog

Thursday, December 11th, 2014


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.