Tuesday, April 12, 2016

White lies!



Another Easter come and gone, and I have turned 75 without incident.  Of course I tell the grandkids that I am 57, but they have long since caught on that their poor ol' grandpa tells white lies about such things.  Anyway in 50 years or so, they will be coming up with their own explanations about the aging process.  Good luck, kids.  



Jenna & Julie - cousins


The day before Easter Sunday, Julie and Grandma sat down and frosted some cookies.  We learned long ago that coloring eggs for teens was futile.  Yeh!  we spent a lot of time the night before hard boiling them, and coloring them up with interesting designs.  We even hid them in the back yard for the young collage adults who were so important in our lives.

Joe, Andy and Wyoming friends, and our kids with friends came for Easter Sunday.  After a nice Easter dinner, we sent them out into the back yard to hunt eggs, and guess what?  Yes, they ended up throwing them at each other, and we learned a lesson. 



This year we didn't even start with dinner until about 6 PM (We went to late afternoon church.)
Everyone brought something, and grandma had a turkey roasting all day long.  Katie brought resurrection (funeral) potatoes, a casserole commonly served in Utah by local churches for families of the deceased, following the internment of the deceased. 

We changed the name to Resurrection Potatoes, in honor of Easter, just because we thought it more appropriate.  Anyway, both turkey and potatoes were completely devoured, which delighted the cooks.   




Julie decorates cookies.

Jenna totally loves to work on people's hair, even at a soccer game.

Sherry and grandma.


Happy sisters and cousin Julie.

Sam, Grandma, Sherry and a distant cousin (I don't even know his name.  Haha)

Greg is the cool dude with his beard.  Just in case you are wondering, I approve of his appearance.  I checked it out closely and found that it was nicely timed, and his neck was cleanly shaven - trims it weekly he says .  Nothing looks as good as a man with a well maintained beard.  Remember that ladies! 

Katie & Greg


Speaking of a ladies man, this is he.  Matthew - tall, smart, athletic, well trimmed hair and cute dimples.  I have been told that the girls in his school class have tried to chase him, but he is to fast to be caught. 



Look for my next posting within the week.  Tammy & Brendan made a whirlwind trip to our house from Olympia.  We had a great time together!








Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Springtime upon us

This is kind of a funny posting, but with springtime upon us and all that comes with it - birds, basketball, birthdays galore, and a cool missionary calling - I thought these photos were very appropriate. 

When we first moved here some 50 years ago, our town was small, about 6,000 people.  Geese were rarely seen in the winter, because they migrated southwards; and so it was with morning doves.  They would leave about September 1st, and not return until March.  Quail were not seen at all, but now they are plentiful, year around.   




Nowadays the population of our town is around 100,000 and the migratory birds stay all winter long, the geese hanging around both in the cemeteries and also in the large, grassy Sandy mall area. 

 

Both morning doves and quail seem to be in all the neighborhoods.  I suppose the reason these birds stay around is because of the abundance of food.  Hey, why fly all the way to Arizona or Texas when we can just stay here.  It gets a little cold but so what?  Because of global warming we don't have to leave.

Morning Dove experiences a moment of pleasure in one of our trees.

Quail calls for a mate while perched on our neighbor's roof.

Now, birds of a feather fly together and so it is with family members.  

Jason, Jeff & Sherry order Mexican meal.

Okay, so Jason is headed to Germany.  At least his new hairdo is trim and short, and it almost looks like one of those little hats the Jews wear, called a kippah.   
  
Jason & Grandpa


Erin & Rachel




Speaking of a couple of nutty birds, well here is a good example.  These two should have gone south for the winter, but decided to stay for Matt's basketball game.  Haha.
Grandma & Erin -  I guess spring brings out the best in all of us.  The morning doves could not be happier than these two.
I think Grandma Rhonda is showing something on her smart phone, as the others seem to be entertained by whatever she is holding.




The game was really boring, evidenced by everyone's lack of attention.  



But after the game, treats were handed out to the basketball players, which made the effort worthwhile for Matt, at least.  (I think his team lost the game)



Well, Grandma Zucc & I cerebrated her birthday by going to dinner at Gloria's Little Italy, located kitty-corner from the new City Center Temple.    



We had a great table with a view of downtown.  It reminded me of the table we sat at in Anthony's, only it was overlooking the ocean.  Later that evening we attended the BYU Women's Chorus concert, which was awesome.







Friday, February 26, 2016

"Wow, Phoenix. What a great place! I was there once."


I suppose the only interesting element in a picture of a city, is the fact that I am subjecting you to it with the hope that one of you would say, "Wow, Phoenix.  What a great place!  I was there once."  Hey, it was my first time there and really,  probably my last.  I didn't experience anything in Phoenix except an hour and a half wait in the airport, and during that time I actually bought a Mexican burrito, rice and beans.  It was really pretty good for airport food.


We did pass over Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  If you click on the link, you can read all about them.



Any of these pics you can get from the web, but since these are mine alone, I will subject you to them; and, by the way, I intend to publish them in my next 'blog to print' album. 

Coronado bridge - pic taken from the airplane.

San Diego Convention Center

Petco Park -  home park of the San Diego Padres

Joe told us of the Old Town Trolley tour.  It was great way to see the city sites without the stress of driving.  Not only that, but we got the advantage of having a tour guide as a driver.  


Our guide was a mature gentleman who must have been trained as an entertainer, because he was full of fun facts, jokes, and stories.  He played music clips from older days and had a great rapport with his guests.  

One great advantage of this tour was that paid guests could get on and off a bus at each stop, because another one would come by every half hour, all day long.  Now, Bev and I didn't do that, but the tour lasted for about 2 hours, so we definitely got our moneys worth.

Going over the Coronado bridge was rousing experience as the driver accelerated the old rattletrap up to freeway speed.  With windows down the road noise was enough to rattle ones nerves, and by the way, the trolley car you see above does have open windows for air conditioning, just like the one we were on. 



   













Wednesday, February 24, 2016

UFO's, ghosts, & haunted houses



This is the posting you have all been waiting for  - UFO's, ghosts, & haunted houses.  But first let me explain the first two photos.  Shortly after leaving Salt Lake International the aircraft, basically following the I-15 corridor,  passed over Scipio, Utah.  

Being an amateur geologist I take a lot of pics hoping to capture interesting landscape features - ones that I can use in boy scout merit badge class presentations.  This one is really cool, as it shows the little central Utah town of Scipio from 30,000 feet in the air.      


When we talk about how populated the Wasatch Front area is becoming, I often tease grandma about us moving to Scipio to get away-from-it-all.  At first she took these suggestions seriously, but now she now accepts my badgering as a bothersome joke.  

Actually, this area would make a great setting for a action/spy novel, considering it's closeness to potential military activities.  Maybe someday, if I finish my first novel, I will endeavor to pursue my idea.   

Anyway, just in the moments before, I used the zoom feature of my camera as we passed over Scipio. This pic shows great examples of water erosion and a couple of fault lines, if you know what you are looking for. 



Moving over Arizona, I caught some curious objects on my camera.  We were well above them and it appears as though they are flying in some sort of formation, well above the river.  Could it be that I actually photographed some UFOs? 



Haunted houses?  Come on now!

In San Diego, there is actually a haunted house tour, which we didn't take.  We did visit the Whaley museum which some say is haunted. I took many pictures inside, but didn't capture anything blatantly obvious;  however I did observe that the glass barriers over the displays, along with the natural lighting of the house may be the cause of interesting ghostly views. No matter what, this place is definitely a worthwhile historical place to visit.




Four negative images appear over the fireplace.  With a little bit of imagination, they appear as dark ghosts.   



A side view of the fireplace clearly shows that the mantel drapery is not haunted with ghosts.  



The dining room was dark, but the kitchen shown behind the glass was very bright.  In the following photo what appears to be a whitish, ghostly form is manifested in front of the wall.  Could this be a ghost?  Also there is a dark, shadowy human form that appears between the hanging picture and the window that is interesting.




Definitely not a ghost, this lovely docent agreed to a photo shot.  Notice the door and moldings are painted to look like hardwood.  Like the Mormon pioneers, the early residents of San Diego yearned for rich, decorative wood but none was available.  



Upstairs is an original little play house, with a raked floor. If I had lived in pioneer days, I would have loved to have seen an actual early-day Shakespearean performance there.  There are no ghosts hiding behind the drapes, and the raven you see perched on the table is only a cast.
  
Honestly, if you haven't at least heard of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven,' then you have likely been living under a rock. This famous poem, written in 1845, made him extremely popular even in his own time, and I'm sure this poem was narrated on this stage.




The only other thing that I could find in this house that even came close to resembling a ghost was this picture of Anna Whaley.  It is located in the general store of the home.  To me she looks pretty scary. 




The only other scary photos I took were of Father Serra statues, located behind protective bars at Mission San Diego de Alcala.  I guess if you donate to him, he will take off his hat. 






Well, my next posting will conclude our San Diego experience.  Like always, it is good to return home in one piece.  We definitely left our Utah reality behind for a few days as we embraced new experiences, and we came back refreshed and grateful for a permanent home. 
































Monday, February 22, 2016

The Kissing Sailor

"V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers."

Last week, Grandma Zucc and I visited the sculpture of "The Kissing Sailor," located next to the Midway aircraft carrier now docked in San Diego.  August 14, 1945 the Japanese signed an 'unconditional surrender' document that officially ended World Ward II.  This sculpture certainly symbolizes that great moment of Unconditional Surrender. 
     
This photo is from the net, as it was of better quality than mine.

           Joe, my son, recommended we eat at Hodad's in Ocean Beach. 



























Hodad's touts being the world's best hamburger, and I think they might be right.



The location is really quaint, with a single-file entrance. As for decorations, surfing was the mode with license plates covering all the walls.




The waiters were very friendly young adults in casual attire. They made us feel welcome in an obviously youthful atmosphere.



One of the servers actually offered to take our photo.  The feeling I had as we left, was that of "Yes, I will definitely recommend this little place to my friends."




Leaving the crowded beaches behind, we continued our journey along the coast.  Where the cars are parked, are warning signs, "Danger, unstable cliffs."  Notice the people sitting on the cliff just above the crashing breaker.  Also a dozen or so have wandered toward the sea in the background.  Humans are so curious, don't you agree?




In an alleyway in the middle of the block just south of Old Town, a shop owner had set up this muppet type creature in order to attract attention to his little hide-a-way business.  Loud, jazzy organ music was actually coming from the stand.  Haha - sure got my attention!  



Somewhere, at a mall just off Friar Road, between the freeway and Qualcomm stadium, we ate lunch at the IHOP.  Just outside sitting a bench, was a bronze sculpture of Robert Frost.  Grandma loves books, so she couldn't pass up this opportunity to sit with him.  



Do you believe in UFO'S, haunted houses etc.?  Be sure to check back in a week or so.  I have some great photos to share with you.