Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 New Years Resolutions

First let's start off with how I did with last years resolutions:

Resolutions for 2010:

Play in the COHS alumni waterpolo game. Failed. We did not know when it was. Need to set up communication with the coach.

Seeing more COHS friends. Yes, and it was wonderful!

Keep another 5-10 pounds off. Nope, I think I am the same.

Get more active: Hiking or swimming. Nope.

Get more active: Helping other people. About the same.

Improve our financial situation (reduce debt). Significant improvements, but still have a ways to go.

Canning: Trade with more people that can; add to what I make: salsa, speghetti sauce, soup. Add to methods of canning such as freezing and using wax. Did salsa, relish and Chinese pickles and two types of pickled peppers in addition the the normal canning of pears and jams. Did not do spaghetti sauce, soup or anything like that. Also did not freeze or can using wax.

Be More Green - this is way to general so I want to accomplish some of the following: Did a few more things, such as hook up a 205 gallon water cistern to collect rain water.

Plant a tree - No

Plant more vegetables: tomatoes, onions and garlic, ginger, herbs - Did tomatoes, onions, garlic, but ginger. Herbs did not work out well.

Increase the number of LED lights in use. Yes, several.

Better composting. Yes

Let fruit we grow not go to waste. About the same.

Resolutions for 2011

Get an AARP card and use it.

Read a book that is not related to work.

Play in the COHS alumni waterpolo game.

Seeing more COHS friends.

Get more active: Hiking or swimming.

Improve our financial situation (reduce debt)

Canning: Trade with more people that can; make: speghetti sauce, soup. Add to methods of canning such as freezing and using wax

Be More Green:

Plant more ginger, herbs and lettuce.

Increase the number of LED lights in use.

Better composting

Let fruit we grow not go to waste.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bucket List

December 28, 2010 I turn 50 years old. Inspired by the movie with Jack Nicholson, I have decided to write my "Bucket List".

Eat lunch with Laura (Tamura) Harris and Kim (Charles) Byrnes.

Travel - Take the trans-Siberian railway. Visit Australia and Africa. In Africa visit Egypt and Kenya and go on Safari (shoot animals with camera).

Take a train to Chicago and back.

Go to the Grand Canyon with my dad.

Get my picture taken crossing Abby Lane.

Take a cruise to Alaska

Swim with dolphins

Travel the Amazon

Live off of the electrical grid.

Have my own well in the back yard.

Have an electric car.

Have a waterless urinal installed at my house.

Have a composting toilet in the Back Yard.

Pay off my house and owe no money.

Be an extra in a film.

Harvest a bison.

Grow Bananas at home.

Write a book, that is not a manual.

Perform with a band (not just singing)

Perform Standup in a Comedy Club

Buy nothing for one week and eat from the food that is stored at home.

Buy nothing for one month and eat from the food that is stored at home.

Make a significant difference in the life of a total stranger.

Monday, December 13, 2010

But I'm Not 50 Yet!

After attending a a biker wedding, I got back just in time to get cleaned up and go to the Roundtable in Ontario, California. I was in Las Vegas the prior week and instead of flying home, I decided to visit my high school friends in Southern California.

The idea is that I post that I am going to be at some pizza place and about 15 people show up and we eat pizza and have a good time going down memory lane. Each time there is some sort of surprise. This time would be no exception.

Debbie Watanabe is someone I never knew. Debbie is David Watanabe's little sister. I never knew he had a sister. Turns out that my little brother David and her were very good friends. In fact they found each other via me on Facebook. So, Debbie says that she is going to come to have pizza with us and that she is going to bring Donald Hoffman!

The Hoffman family lived 4 doors down on the corner. Each of the kids names started with the letter "D". There was Deann, Dell, Duane, Donald and Danielle. Donald, now Don and I did everything. We played, fought, laughed, cried, built forts, flew kites, rode bikes and got into trouble whenever possible.

Donald did now know that I knew that we was going to be joining us. I had also looked at his picture on Facebook, so when he popped in, smiled at me and extended his hand for a handshake, I looked in his eyes and said ""Donald Hoffman". He could not believe that I recognized him. I could see "Donald Hoffman" in his eyes, but I confessed that I had been tipped off.

One of the coolest things I remember about Donald, Duane and Dell is that one day, their dad bought Navy surplus bunk beds, that were bolted to the wall. They were three high. When you are a boy, there is nothing cooler!

Back to Debbie, she is as wonderful as she is beautiful. It is hard to imagine her brother David sitting on her so she would not change the channel on the TV. In fact, if we had known how pretty she was, David would have been treated like a king in high school.

Deann Call Lent arrived with her two youngest sons, her husband Tom and her mom! Her mom was so cool, I really enjoy meeting the parents after all these years. It is always special when Deann can attend. She lives so far away and has such a large family, it is amazing that she can fit us in. We are all grateful to the reunions that she does so much work on. Deann has been married three times, but I must say that the in her case, the third time was the charm. Tom is great, and really should be an honorary Lancer. Tom does not get just the customary handshake, Tom gets a great big bear hug.

My brother Dave, who had not responded to my message asking if he would be able to attend showed up about 30 minutes later. That was a great surprise and he and Debbie and Don had a lot to chat about.

Two of my closest friends are Cobos and Judy Zeiter. They were both there. In fact, I can't remember a pizza event they have not attended. Cobos brought Logan, her grandson. I have known him since he was a bulge in his mommy's tummy. He is such a good kid and always manages to steal all the attention.

This evening, Cobos and Judy were up to no good! To my surprise, they came ready to celebrate my birthday. What a surprise that was. Gifts, Cake, Cards and all. I keep thinking about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The old man kept exclaiming "...but I'm not dead yet!". John Cleese would respond, "You aren't fooling anyone!". I wasn't 50 yet, but apparently I wasn't fooling anyone, especially my friends...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Biker Wedding

David Miller was in the same boy scout troop that I was in. Troop 477, the "Eagle Machine". All of our families were close. Dave was several years younger than I was. Our family moved away the day after I graduated high school. At that time, Dave was shorter than I and was a clean cut kid just like his parents.

When we had the Boy Scout reunion, the Miller's were on the road and were unable to attend. It was a case of next time you are down here, let us know. So I did, only to find out that David was getting married on that day. I had dinner plans and had started some lunch plans, so I thought perhaps we could get together for breakfast, but honestly, the day of a wedding is so hectic.

I just let the lunch thing die, but I didn't tell anyone. I decided it would be a surprise. I could not get anyone to go to the wedding with me, but a good friend (Cyndi Riggle) loaned me her car. The wedding was scheduled to start at 1pm, but they were going to wait for David's nephew who had to take the SAT test that morning, so I decided to show up just before 1pm.

As much as I did surprise them, attending a biker wedding was an even bigger surprise to me. You see, David had become a biker. He was now taller than I, with long hair and a long beard. He had taken the nick name of "Bear", which I thought was an excellent choice!

I was old not to wear a suit, so I wore a dark blue polo shirt and blue jeans. The wedding party was dressed in black shirts with their biker club emblems and patches. They wore jeans, chaps, leather vests and knives in some cases. There were a lot of tattoos and some piercings. Despite the picture you might paint in your mind, everyone was happy, polite and respectful.

I was there for the wedding ceremony, photos, dinner and the cutting of the cake. Like all weddings it started late.

I really enjoyed seeing my friends from childhood. David and his parents Eleanor and Charlie. When it was time to go, there were hugs and kisses just like any other wedding, but the most important part .... David is truly in love and is a very happy man.

I wish him and his bride a long and happy life.