Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trip to Bodega Bay (Part 1 of 4)

My gig a low surprised me with a weekend trip to Bodega Bay. The plan was that on Saturday my gig a low and his best friend would go salmon fishing. I would hang out with my gig a low's best friend's two foodie sisters. Sounded like a great plan to me. My gig a low bought me a new set of tires for my car, because my old ones were going bald. YEY!

On Friday my gig a low came down with a serious case of something that resembled the flu. He insisted we go because he looked forward to hanging out with his best friend. Humm, something was telling me this was not going to be an ideal trip.

We didn't get out of the house tell after 2 pm. My gig a low was feeling weak and sick to his stomach. So I thought it would be best if I drive. We have a tradition to pray on the start of each trip. We pray that God watch over our doggies and our "stuff" and that God watch over us while we are away.

For some unknown reason the TOM TOM thought it would be fun to take us on a tour of Napa. Sears Point was having a big car racing weekend, so traffic was stop and go, stop and go. That was not good on my gig a low's stomach. We ended up going in this big circle around Napa. The TOM TOM was most likely laughing at us and saying should of used an old fashion paper map (can you here the devilish giggles of the TOM TOM). My gig a low started beating up the TOM TOM in his frustration. It made me laugh because my gig a low showed that stupid GPS who was boss! There is just something really funny about punishing inanimate objects.

The rolling hills and grape vines around Napa were as beautiful on Friday as they were that day I went on the treacherous Napa Valley bike ride. We drove past the bicycle resting place where I had prayed that God would just take me so I would not have to petal one more foot on my bike. This time I enjoyed the view from my car. Some how we managed to get out of the Napa area and we found ourselves in Petuluma. On to Lakeville road, next stop was Bodega Bay.

Driving down the two lane road past what I call "cheese cows" and farm land was pleasant. There were lamas, and bailed hay and grape vines. The fog was high and the weather was cool. Nice change. There was a car behind me, and a car in front. No one was speeding or driving like a crazy person, everyone and everything seemed calm.

A head of me I noticed a white car on the right waiting to pull out to go the opposite direction. The car in front of me pass the white car. I was driving a constant 45 mph. Just as I was getting ready to pass the white car, he decided he could make it, looked me square in the eyes and pulled out in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and turned my car to the rear of his car so I would not broadside him. My car started fishtailing. Jesus take the wheel cause this is going to be bad. My brand new tires were gripping the road as hard as they could, they started screaming. The guy in the white car gunned it and made it across the road, he spun out into the tall grass on the oncoming side. I regained control of my car and missed the ditch on my side. I looked in the rear view mirror and watched the guy drive out of the tall grass and go on his way. I started shaking. I must of missed him by an inch or less. I wanted to cry. We praised God that he saved the guy in the white car and us. My gig a low praise my driving skills, but I believe it was Gods intervention and new tires. A horrid car wreck was not in the plans for that day, at that time, for us.

When we arrived at The Bodega Bay Harbor Inn, I was still shaking.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I said Havana Not Savannah

Last evening Fuchsia and I went to a top notch chef cooking demonstration. The demo was at a high end culinary store. The chef was preparing Cuban food. The air conditioner in the store was broken, so the heat was almost unbearable.

Watching the demonstration was fun. The chef was not used to being in the front of a large crowd. As it turned out the front row was filled up with restaurant groupies. They acted as if they were all personal friends with the chef. The chef was not chummy with them. Me and
Fuchsia sat in the second row. The chairs were hard and wooden. They became very uncomfortable after sitting on them for a very short time.

The chef admitted spending 40 thousand dollers on his cooking education but did not know how to use a fancy high end food processor. His groupies could not believe that. Some person sitting in the back row said that the chef had sous chefs for all the prep work no wonder he cannot use a food processor.

The owner of the restaurant was making virgin cocktails. They were so refreshing.
The Cuban chef made a skirt steak appetizer. It tasted sweet and meaty with just enough spice to make my taste buds jump up and say HALLELUJAH.

My friends who know me well, know I will eat almost anything except for fish, green beans and oxtail. Guess what else was on the menu? Fish - Alaskan halibut. The chef said the colder the water, the better the fish. I was already sweating because it was hot. The thought of eating fish triggered a panic attack, in turn I sweated even more. Breathe, Breathe, I will get through this.

I noticed the raw white fish coming out on cookie sheets. BREATHE.. BREATHE...
The chef said that Alaskan Halibut is very expensive but sustainable. The chef said he will be cooking some local bass very soon at his restaurant. (Oh I had better hurry over there to eat sea bass.)

He crusted the top of the fish and showed us how to pan fry it. The chef says put the oil in AFTER the pan is hot. How hot? his groupies said. You know its hot enough when you put the fish in it sizzles, if you don't get the sizzle your meat is ruined,the chef told them. His groupies argued with him and said that was to dangerous to put the oil in after the pan is hot. The chef agreed that the groupies were right it was dangerous to do it his way. He proceeded to tell us all about the burns he has achieved over the years. All that to say, he still heated the pan first then put in the oil.

The halibut was done. Time to taste it. I had to do it, I was blocked in, there were people to my right and left, I could not run away. I took a deep breath, told myself I could do this. I took a very small bite with my fork. The fish did not smell fishy. It flaked just perfectly. I put the fish meat in my mouth praying I would not gag. Hum, this fish is'nt so bad, maybe I will try it again. 2ed bite- Yes, its not bad at all. 3ed bite- you know this is pretty good, 4th bite- this fish is delicious. Wait a minute, I hate fish. Not this one. (I know you are all in disbelief right now.) I maybe tempted to try this fish it again someday.

I hope to go back to this store and watch more chefs.

Quote of the day 7/28

"You May Have To Fight

A Battle More Than Once to Win It".

Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quote for 7/27

"They say our mothers really know how to push our buttons-because they installed them"
Robin Williams

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayer Rant

I have little doubt that I have had this rant before, but I did not feel like sifting through a couple of years of blogs to find out for sure.

My mother in law called me a few days ago and she was very upset, so I rushed over to her house. My father in law has been in the hospital or convalescent hospital for over 90 days now. He has almost died at least 3 times in those 90 days.

My In Laws have been good Catholics their entire life's. They have gone to the same church for years and years and years. I guess priest come and go. Their current priest has been at their church for about 8 years now. My mother in law was telling me that her priest has not called, offered her personal prayer or visited the hospital. I suggest to my mother in law- maybe the priest does not know that my father in law is in the hospital and very ill, after all it is a large church. No my mother in law said, they pray out loud for him every Sunday during the liturgy (or some Catholic thing I am not familiar with.) The priest is within earshot of the prayer. Not only that my father in law's name is in the bulletin asking for prayer. Therefore, the priest SHOULD KNOW that my father in law is sick. My mother in law feels that the priest should give a call or at the very least offer a personal prayer with her. I have to agree with my mother in law .

I don't understand clergy these days who think they don't need to pray with there flock or visit a hospital. Some how they believe that the "church" should take care of one another. ( I agree to a point) but I still think the clergy needs be be involved with the people, not just standing behind a pulpit telling the church to do everything themselves.

I hear the argument that church go'rs need to take personal responsibility. They should not depend on the Pastor to do "everything" for them. To me that is insulting. What is so wrong with taking some time to have personal interaction with the people who go to your church ?

So I ask myself what do I think preachers do everyday? Are they just way to busy to help their own people? This is my guess of what they may do every week. Write Sunday sermons (even though you can find them online), counseling, figure out how to raise money, study the bible, prepare for bible study, pay bills, have meetings, listen to people complain about stuff? I don't know.

The parishioners are suppose to work, raise a family, clean the house, go grocery shopping, pay bills, study their bible, prepare for bible study, go to meetings and take on the person to person praying and/or hospital visit. It seems to me a priest could cut 30 minutes out of their day to pray for a woman with a very ill husband.

Even though I know a Pastor or a Priest puts on his pants the same way I do everyday, he has no more connection with God then I do. Somehow it still seems special and comforting when clergy takes the time to pray with you or visit you in the hospital. You feel like you are cared for.

I have experienced this do it yourself attitude coming from non catholic ministers, so I understand why my mother in law is very upset.

Quote of the Day 7/25

"It isn't hard to be good from time to time...Whats tough is being good every day"
Willie Mays

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mrs. F

Mrs. F come home today, we picked her up at the airport. I could not stop crying. She was gone for a year and a half. Mr. F will be staying in the deep south, at least for a while.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunday Quote

"You can't pray a lie"
Mark Twain

Quote of the Day Saturday

"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful"
Mae West

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors." - Norman Cousins

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Trend

I am going to start a new trend, gray is the new blond!

Quote of the Day

Youth is a disease from which we all recover. - Dorothy Fulheim.

What do you think?

Monday, July 18, 2011

For all your Aches and Pains

My gig a low has come up a new way to solve all your aches and pains issues. He calls it "guillotine therapy"

Simply said, by chopping off your head you will have no more pain in any area of your body.

Mothball Fleet

Yesterday my gig a low and I went on a boat tour of the Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay. It was a 4 hour tour that included lunch. The tour was with Delta Discovery tours out of Pittsburg, Ca.

I enjoyed the causal speed of the boat. The water was a little choppy going out into the delta, but when we reached the bay, the water was great. (Typical summer pattern we were told)

The boat it self was a bit run down. The chairs to sit on the bow or the upper deck were torn and it appeared you would fall threw at any minute.

The crew seemed a little rough around the edges. The woman crew member who was a server was a bit more then a little rough. Another crew member was a young kid who seemed kind of...well...not very enthused. The captain and the boat owner were very kind and gracious.

When you board the boat you pick a table. You can stay at the table or move around on the top deck or the bow of the boat. The people at our table were very nice. One couple lives on a house boat year round, one elderly couple from the Sacramento area, one man who has lived in Pittsburgh for 47 years, me and my gig a low. Me and my gig a low were the life of the party.

The rough old woman got on the loud speaker and told us that they had life vest in the front and back of the boat. She said Delta Discovery tour did not allow people to do the "titanic." (see below). Almost as soon as she stopped speaking a man and his young son, who look like he was about 6 years old, got on the bow of the boat and started doing the titanic. Mr. Enthusiasm moved quickly and yelled at the father and child NO TITANIC -NO TITANIC!! The man and his son reluctantly stopped.

Doing the Titanic

The crew served "lunch" to your table. I must say Kaiser Hospital has better vending machine sandwiches then the food that was flopped in front of us.

I have read other people complaining that they could not get to the bow or a way to look over the rail on the top deck. I did not have that problem. I just pushed and shoved until I got to where I wanted to go.

Over all I give it 5 out of 10 buoys. Here is why.
It was overpriced

This is why I think the boat ride was over priced:

Groupon was NOT a good deal, it would of been worse if I paid full price..oh wait I ended up paying full price even with my groupon. There was taxes and other fees. A fee for a fee.
The food was a major disappointment!
The boat was run down and the chairs were falling apart.
The crew could of been much more friendly, and have some knowledge of the area. They told you up front they could not answer any questions.

I did enjoy spending a casual day out on the delta with my gig a low.
Here is my photo album.

City of Pittsburg's Marina

Our Delta Discovery Cruise Boat

Vessel Assistant Boat

Mt. Diablo

The marine layer! I love it!

Pelicans coming in for a landing

Our very tasty lunch on board- yeah right :p

The ghost ships

The USS Iowa

She has big guns!

For the history of USS Iowa go to

Captain Ed

Boat owner Steve

Port Chicago Navel Memorial
To read the history go here

Some kind of top secret navy loading and unloading gizmos

This huge cargo ship from Singapore came up behind us then passed us as if we were sitting still.

Would I take this cruise again? No. Did I have fun? Yes. Would I recommend it? I am on the fence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Breakfast @ Wat Mongkolratanaram

For years I have been hearing about a Buddhist Temple called "Wat Mongkolratanaram" that serves delicious Thai food in Berkeley. I asked Dahlia if she wanted to go with me. She agreed that it would be fun. I told her there would be pancakes, what I meant to say was Thai pancakes, not American type pancakes. 
As it turns out Thai food is NOT one of Dahlias favorites, especially at 10:00 am. 

This is the front of the temple

Here is the side view.  It looks like a neighborhood home that had been converted into a temple. I did not go inside, or even see a Monk. 

 In the back they had a beautiful garden you could walk around . It was peaceful.

 To get the food you buy donation tokens from this very kind gentleman. They cost $1.00 each. This is also where you buy your drinks. Soda and Thai Ice tea. 

They had food groups split up under different sections of the tents. 
You stand in line according the the group of food you want.
They had Vegetarian, Meat, Chicken and Dessert (pancakes) When you order it is kind of like Panda Express. You can get a single item or a plate with 2 or 3 entrees with rice. They also had soup and noodles. 
Here are a sample of the menus.

I picked the chicken.

My Thai Ice Tea. YUMMY!
Dahlia absolutely did not like this. 
I guess it is an acquired taste.

Dahlia had yellow curry- carrots, coconut milk, onion, potatoes tofu with 
 fired eggplant with basil, tofu and rice.
Where are the pancakes ???? LOL
I tried the yellow curry tofu. It was pure happiness wrapped in yellow!!

My Chicken Breakfast.

The chicken was the best chicken I have ever had! The skin was seasoned and fried to the most delicious crispy treat. The meat was tender. The rice was sticky sweet. The sauce was sweet and spicy.
I could of drank a gallon of that hot & sweet sauce. 

I noticed Dahlia was picking at her food as I chowed down with great delight. She thought the food was a little heavy for 10:00 am. Didn't bother me a bit. I finished my chicken breakfast and licked the cardboard box. JUST KIDDING I did not lick the box.

We found the pancakes after our meal. There were coconut milk puffs with green onion. It sounds disgusting, but they were hot, creamy and delicious.

I have to applaud Dahlia for being a great friend who wanted to try food she is not that familiar with.

I want to thank Dahlia because She was gracious enough to drive. It was a perfect day to cruise around in a convertible!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yarn Bombers Update with Video link

Have you heard about this new trend called "yarn bombing, knit graffiti, urban knitting?" I must be way behind times, because apparently it is going on all over the world.

This is what is happening. People are knitting "cozies" for public structures. Trees, street signs, sculptures, bike racks, telephone poles, abandon houses, guns, parking meters, rain gutters, you name it. Some of the work is elaborate, other work is as simple as a chain stitch. 

Some yarn bombers prefer to do it stealthily in the middle of the night, some come to a designated area as gang knitters and cover a structure during daylight hours. I got my first look at knit graffiti when I went to Berkeley today. It looked like the mysterious urban knitter(s) still has work to do on the street sign below. 

Now I want to go back to Berkeley and find all the different "tagged" spots. While I am looking for tagged spots, I bet I will get hungry and have to find a uniquely Berkeley place to eat. I will have to put that on my to do list for the summer. 

Check out this video
An artist from NY yarn bombed the famous charging bull statue in the financial district.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pervert at Pizza

I have a friend who LOVES pizza. She could eat pizza everyday of the week. As she ages, she limits her self to pizza once a month, her first payday. I will call her "Mz." A few months ago Mz called me up from the Pizza Palace. She was talking very fast, and I could tell she was really upset.  Our conversation went something like this:

Mz: There is a PERVERT in the Pizza Palace, he is a child molester!
me: What?
Mz: I can tell because he was looking at all the little girls
Mz: YES, and I went outside to see what he was driving, it was a creepy van.
me: you cant accuse someone of being a child molester just because they drive a creepy van.
Mz: I got on my phone and looked the guy up, he has been convicted of child molesting. I have his mug shot right here on my iPhone.
me: What are you going to do?
Mz: I started yelling and telling everyone there was a child molester in the restaurant and I called the cops because he has a creepy van.
me: you did?
Mz: Yes I DID. I am waiting for the police, the pervert left.

So the cops came a talked to my friend Mz. The guy did not do anything, therefore the cops could not do anything. If in fact that was the same guy as the one listed on her cell phone, he has already been convicted and did his time. Now he can go to the Pizza Palace anytime he wants.

So last month Mz called me up and asked if I would join her for dinner at the Pizza Palace. 
Sounded good. 

When I arrived she was sitting at a table in the center of the room. When I sat down Mz whispers loudly,
THERE HE IS.. who I say...THE PERVERT, HE IS BACK HERE AGAIN! I am thinking oh no! So I say show me his mug shot. She gets the photo of the man on her phone, under his description it says he is convicted of lewd acts with children under the age of 14. I look at the photo and I look at the man. I can see they are similar, but I can't tell if it is the same guy. Mz runs outside to see if the creepy van is there. No it's not.  I ask Mz how she knows it is the same guy. He is a middle aged white guy with a comb over.  No tattoos, he did not have a beer belly,  nothing that would really distinguish him from any other middle aged white guy.
Now I wonder what am I suppose to do. There are a million little girls and boys running around the Pizza Palace. Mz gets up and starts going table to table showing the photo of the man on her cell phone. 

All these thoughts start swarming in my head. What if  Mz is wrong ? What if she is falsely accusing this guy? Do I get up and help her go table to table warning people of looming danger if there is none? What if Mz is right?
Does that man have any business sitting in a restaurant full of kids? What if he in fact was sitting there looking for prey? I convinced myself to error on the side of caution.

So I start going table to table saying "there MAY BE a child molester in this building so watch your kids." (how generic is that.) I look and my friend is franticly moving from table to table. Then Mz runs to the front door and stops a people before they even get in. Mz is waving her iPhone around in peoples faces, telling them LOOK, LOOK HE IS SITTING RIGHT OVER THERE. The man just sits there and looks down at his table. Is that a sign of guilt?
I decide it is time to go home and forget about the pizza. I tell Mz I am not feeling well and I go home.

I get home and look up the guy on the computer. I wanted to see a larger photo. I pull up the photo and I still cannot tell if that is the same guy or not. They both have the same comb over, and similar face shape, but it seems to me I could easily mistake the man in the photo for someone else. Maybe it is the same guy, maybe not.
I think I will avoid the Pizza Palace from now on. What would you do? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Internet Dating Criteria

I have a friend who is over 50. She has recently started internet dating. She has learned a few things along the way, so I thought it might be useful information to someone who is thinking about trying one of those internet dating services. 

Here is my friends criteria to get a date from the internet. 

1. You must have hight speed internet (unless you live someplace where that is not available.) if you have a floppy disk, don't bother. You must know how to use a cell phone and text message. If you can send a photo from your phone you get extra points.

2.  Your photo must be current. I guess it is a common practice to put photos up that are at least 10 - 15 years old. 

3. You must have all your teeth.

4. If you wear sandals with white socks - for get about it.

5. If your car does not have an air conditioner, sorry Charley !

6. You must have your own money. Don't expect my friend to pay for the check if you dine out. Splitting the bill is ok.

7. You must not be married (seriously)

8. You must be over 5 foot tall. Over 6 foot is a bonus. (my friend is 6 foot)

9. You must not have one of those bald spots that makes you look like Bozo the clown.

10. I hope you don't mind a background check, and a pervert check on Megan's Law website.

Those are her simple rules. My friend has run into all of the above situations . So now she has her check list, and weeds out the rejects much more quickly.

Miss Sunshine found a man over the internet. They got married and are now living up north. She has a housekeeper and a gardner. They skyped for a year before they got married. Mr. and Mrs. Sunshine are now living happily ever after. 

My friend is now having a meet up this weekend in LA. My friend says she does not work and play in the same cities. It will be interesting to hear how it goes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Super 8 - Movie Spoiler

Sci/Fi - Fantasy

1 hour 52 min, Rated PG-13 
1 F word
1 creepy spider like monster
Very little blood and guts, (it shows the alien eating someone's leg)
A few big blast and quite a bit of gunfire
one kid throws up twice.

I just got back from seeing the movie Super 8. I have to say I really loved the movie. Sure to be a classic like the Sandlot or Goonies. To me the movie had the feel of a Jurassic Park blended with ET.

Super 8's basic concept is about a group of kids trying to make a low budget super 8 zombie movie. While filming the movie, the kids stumble on a government secret... They are holding a really pissed off alien against its will. The alien is only mad because he is scared. The alien just wants to go home.

I love the setting of the movie 1979. It was so much fun going down memory lane (not that I remember that much of 1979)  Super 8 captured the pop culture of the time to every last detail. 

The language made me crack up, "you wanna kick back?" "Mint" "Bitchin'" "Dork"
I loved the clothes! Polyester shirts, hair rollers, deck shoes.
The hair - guys with long hair, girls with Farrah Fawcett hairdos. My foster sister had the same hairstyle as the fat kids sexy sister in the movie. The used car salesman had a toupee that was to big for his head, just like they used to ware.
Cool cars- The movie had Pintos and Impalas and Chevelles. My fosters sisters boyfriend,who we called The Worm used to tell us "no shoes on my upholstery" just like the movie. The Worm would do a comb check before we got into his car. ( no combs in your back pocket) He wanted to protect his upholstery. I think he just wanted to look at our butts.
The police had a HUGE hand held radio, One kid was playing with the very first football hand held video game. The movie made numerous references to talking on the CB radio.
Do you remember Kodak film? The movie took the time to explain that developing film took a long time. Not like the digital age now.
The boys in the group were riding the new style BMX bikes.

Every song made me smile- Don't Bring Me Down (Electric Light Orchestra ), Bye Bye Love (The Cars), Easy (The Commodores) Under Cover Angel (Alan O'Day) Heart Of Glass (Blondie), My Sharona (The Knack.) Heart of glass was playing on a cassette walkman. That was about the time rock and roll, soul, disco and new wave music were competing for the airways. I had a Disco Sucks shirt, I wore it proudly.

Best quote: Joe Lamb: Bad things happen... but you can still live.

You could take the story lines on the surface, or go a little deeper.
A child's mother dies, how he has to let go.
Falling in love.
There is redemption.
Just because something is different then us, we don't have to torture it. 
In your heart you always want to go home.
If I could only use two words to review this movie they would be entertaining and fun.