Archive for the ‘joanne’ Category

Apple pie

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


Here’s a reminder of why I don’t eat at Denny’s anymore. This is a piece of apple pie exactly as it was delivered to Joanne the recent evening we decided to abandon my principles and try Denny’s again. Doesn’t that look appetizing? Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken late in the evening on March 14 at a Denny’s in Henderson, NV, and part of my famous Food, Joanne, and Las Vegas series.

Not pictured above: my hot fudge sundae. That was so disgusting I had to send it back. I have no idea what they did to that hot fudge, but I could not eat it, no matter how hard I tried. I finally decided to stop trying.

On to more pleasant subjects. My, it’s been a long time since I posted, once again. In fact, it’s been exactly one month. Lots of things have been happening, as my Loyal Readers might expect. Let’s see if we can recap a few of them, shall we?

I had a torn and partially detached retina repaired early this month. My eye had gotten a large floater while I was in Florida for the AAFS conference and I finally decided to go to my optometrist’s office and have it checked out. He detected something wrong and got me an appointment with a nearby opthomologist early the next morning. That guy discovered the problem and zapped it with his handy laser. It seems to have worked well. The zapping hurt some, but I gritted my teeth and dealt with it. The floater is still there and affecting my vision, but I hope it will settle over the next few months.

On the day of my eye surgery, Joanne and I went to San Francisco to see the Chinese New Year parade. Katy, Cliff, and Mia joined us, of course. It was fun and very interesting. We got great grandstand seats and were very close to the street. We stayed at a downtown hotel that allowed us to walk to the parade, which was nice. We also rode a cable car down to the Pier 39 area and walked around there a bit, which was nice. The afternoon of our last day, we went over to Katy’s place and hung around for a few hours. I always like visiting them. I love those guys!

Joanne decided she was ready to move out of her great big house into a lower-maintenance, lower-cost condo. She put the house on the market for a nice high price and had it under contract two days later. The sale closed yesterday. In the meantime, we went and looked at a couple condos and found what we both think is a really nice place. It’s in Green Valley, which is right where she wanted to be. It’s relatively small, but it has a very big feel. She’s been there for about a week now and we both love it. Corey has moved with her and Ryan opted to go back to the Bay Area. He left during the weekend.

We’ve been working pretty hard (especially Ryan!) the past couple of weeks to get the house ready to sell, get rid of stuff that isn’t needed and won’t fit in the new place, fix things that needed attention before the handover, and move her things. There’s still some work needed – hanging pictures comes immediately to mind – but she’s basically done. I’m convinced she’ll be as happy with her newly downsized home as I am with mine.

I recently discovered that the Best in the Desert off-road racing organizer is here in Las Vegas. I volunteered to help at the Mint 400 technical inspection a week or so ago. It was a fun but exhausting day. I was basically directing traffic. Every one of the racing trucks came right by me. I love racers! The hand-built tech reminds me a bit of launch vehicles and spacecraft. I’m hoping to get more involved with the BITD people in the future.

And that pretty much brings us up to today. Life is good and filled with love. Just the way I like it.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: massive maple syrup spill!

See you tomorrow.

Gambling statue

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015


Here are Joanne and a new friend at Treasure Island the other night. He’s out in front of one of the restaurants there – Gilley’s, to be specific. The whole casino is sea- and island-themed. And then there’s Gilley’s. Why a country/western-themed restaurant in a nautical/pirate themed casino, I don’t know. We didn’t go inside the restaurant, so Joanne didn’t have an opportunity to ride the mechanical bull She doesn’t seem to have missed it. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Joanne, Las Vegas, and Statue series.

I’m not sure I would want to play that slot machine. It’s just a bit too lifelike for me, I think.

Had a busy day. I got some work done! There’s lots more to get to,mouth I made a bit of progress on preparing for the February conference. It’s just a bit more than a month away!

Mark’s feeling sick today. He woke up very sick to his stomach and continues to have a very hard time of it. He’s finally having a few okay moments this evening. I’m hopeful!

Mark wasn’t sure he could handle the smell of cooking food this evening, so I had cereal for dinner. I complemented my Rice Krispies with a delicious banana. I’m thinking of adding a cup of tea as a nightcap.

The battery on my iPad is getting a bit low, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: wedding buffet pork pie fight!

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.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


Had a chance to think today. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

This has not been the easiest year of my life, with the loss in February of Shannon Morrow, my wonderful wife of 35 years, and then my dear mother’s death in September. I think my heart has broken anew every single day.

And yet out of the ashes of my life has arisen a new, happy, wonderful present and future. Joanne Marie Richards Parsons came into my life in the spring. It started with a serious interest, quickly turned into love, and just recently blossomed into our engagement. Joanne’s love has given me immense happiness and strength. Her circle of friends has embraced me. Her wonderful children have been kind and welcoming to me. My life is filled with love and happiness.

My children have reached out to me and loved and cared for me, even as they dealt with their own loss and grief. My relationships with them have grown stronger and closer. Each one is a strong, happy, independent adult and I couldn’t be a prouder father.

So along with personal tragedies, 2014 has brought me peace and happiness and given me optimism for the future. My past was wonderful, my present is wonderful, and my future promises to continue to be happy and full of wonder. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Nothing to add. See you tomorrow.

Happy couple

Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Here are Joanne and me feeling happy a couple days ago. Note the fourth finger on her left hand. Such a pretty ring! And we look so happy! Why, you might ask, are those people so happy? Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Rubio’s Fish Tacos on November 11, 2014, and part of my famous Event and Joanne series.

The event, of course: my engagement to Joanne. I actually proposed on November 5th, but we didn’t get her ring until the 11th. These things take some time, Loyal Readers.

Anyway. I’m tremendously happy and very much in love. We expect to get married in a couple years, so there’s plenty of time to prepare. The tentative date is November 5, 2016. We’ll see whether that date changes.

Since we announced our engagement to Facebook, there have been many friends who have congratulated us and wished us well. That’s gratifying. Joanne in particular has a very large group of friends, many of whom have become my good friends too. I’m not just marrying a wonderful woman and I’m not just marrying into a sweet family; I’m marrying into a whole ecosystem of friends, fun, and happiness. It’s amazing. I love it and I love her.

Let’s see, what else is new? Oh, yeah: Paul’s here! He got into town yesterday morning. We’ve been having a great visit. He’s looking good and appears to be doing very well. He and I went downtown to have lunch with Joanne today, after which we went to fly quadrotors with my good friend Bob. Sadly, Bob’s quad had broken the day before, so the three of us took turns flying mine. Amazingly, nothing broke and we had a great time running through six of my seven batteries. We then retired to Bob and Diane’s house for a refreshing beverage and enjoyable conversation, after which we headed for home. A very pleasant afternoon indeed.

Back on November 1st, Mark, Joanne, and I went downtown for the Light the Night walk, sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was a beautiful night and the walk was very well attended. It was a moving thing to be surrounded by so many people whose lives had been forever altered by blood cancer and who have chosen to help raise funds to eradicate this disease. I’m especially grateful to my family members who donated generously to that cause in Shannon’s name.

And that’s about it for today. My intention is to start posting more frequently again. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: Doughnut Magnate Crashes Into Honey Bucket!

See you tomorrow.