May 20 2012

Solar Eclipse

Drove down to Chula Vista to watch today’s almost total solar eclipse from the Tapias’ house. Last week they had picked up a couple of eclipse viewing glasses from the San Diego Astronomy Society in Balboa Park. We used those to watch the eclipse and take pictures through. Had to wait a couple of hours for it to start but it gave me time to get my camera settings ready before it began. It started at 5:25 and lasted just under two hours before the Sun started disappearing behind the thickening evening marine layer.

May 20 2012

Second Meeting For Comic Fest

After leaving the Safari Park I drove straight to Twiggs on Adams Avenue for my second meeting of organizers/volunteers of the upcoming first ever Comic Fest in October here in San Diego.

This time my drink of choice was a fine 16 oz. bottle of Wisconsin’s own Sprecher‘s fire-brewed gourmet Cream Soda made with Wisconsin honey and pure vanilla.

Oh, and the meeting was productive, considering we’re still in the infant stage. I even put forth a suggestion this time.

May 20 2012

1940 Packard

While driving on the freeway down to the Tapias’ house to watch the solar eclipse, I drove passed this beautiful, customized 1940 Packard Coupe heading south on I-805.

Just don’t ask how I got this shot.

May 18 2012

Gone For Seven Years

Today is the seventh anniversary of my father’s passing in 2005.

His ashes are ashes, from dusk to dusk.

May 17 2012

Starbucks Time

After spending more time in Burlington than I wanted, I walked across Clairemont Square with my mom to sit outside of Starbucks while enjoying some of their delicious coffee. We also picked up some still-warm, used ground coffee for her garden.

Nice way to spend a relaxing, people-watching half hour.

May 17 2012

My Favorite Store I Don’t Like

Spent some time over at a Burlington Coat Factory this morning looking for a present for Randy and Michaelle’s one year-old son birthday on Saturday. I almost always find something there that’s priced pretty well, but I usually have to do some searching since it’s a bit unorganized. The 12-24 month boys section had both boys as well as girls clothes in sizes from 3 months to size 4.

Still, it’s conveniently close and most things are inexpensive, so I was able to pick up two shirts, a pair of shorts and some space monkey pajamas.

May 16 2012

Annual Aortic Aneurism Activity

Took my mom for her yearly CT scan of the aortic aneurism that was discovered a few years ago and which the doctors have been keeping a very close eye on for any changes. While we won’t get these test results for a couple of days yet, so far it has stayed stable which, other than it getting smaller, is the best news we can hope for.

May 15 2012

Mami’s Birthday: Evening Edition

My older brother, Ozzie, and my sister, Beata, along with her husband, Bill, came over for dinner this evening to celebrate my mom’s 81st birthday. Beata had come over a bit earlier to help with the decorating and the making of the crepes (palacsinta, to be more precise).

Dinner was one of my all-time favorite meals, which we affectionately call “barf” because of its appearance. It’s a kind of soup/stew that my mom makes every once in a while with a wide variety of chopped and cooked vegetables, with chunks of beef. I always add mustard (usually over-add) for extra flavor and authentic barf coloring.

Dessert was a decadent carrot cake with a square-rooted nine candles, compliments of Beata and Bill, which unfortunately everyone was too full to get to enjoy.

Even though the whole family couldn’t be here, it was a pleasant way for my mom to cap off her day of birthday celebrations.

May 15 2012

Mami’s Birthday: Midday Edition

Took my mom walking at SeaWorld to continue her birthday celebration. I first went to Guest Services to get her a birthday button but they were out of them. Instead they gave her a voucher for a complimentary feeding tray at the seals and sea lions, which I thought was pretty cool. Inside the entrance we walked straight over to the large, colorful flowerbed near where we got our picture with the Shamu character.

We started our usual walking route and almost immediately ran into some friends whom we knew from back the Terrific Tuesdays days and who also walk SeaWorld regularly. We sat and chatted with them for a bit before heading off again. We stopped to check out a keeper who was showing a nine year-old New Caledonian Crested Gecko named Flapjack who seemed very comfortable with being handled. We continued our walk and then stopped at the sea lions where my mom said she didn’t want to feed them. I picked up the tray, fed three of the sea lions and gave the last piece of squid to a little boy standing next to me so he could feed them as well. He didn’t believe it at first and was smiling the whole time he was holding the squid and  still after he tossed it to one sea lion.

We walked around the back of the Park, stopped to check out the construction progress of Manta, the new roller coaster opening later this month, and then came across a new beach/surfer-themed food service area called “All Fried Up” that will be serving Mexican food, including Baja fish tacos, shredded beef tacos and shrimp cocktails. I’m really looking forward to trying all three of those.

We continued walking but stopped a few more times to check out the new Manta additions before finishing our route and heading out of the Park.

May 15 2012

Mami’s Birthday: Morning Edition

My niece, Kimi, came over this morning to have breakfast with my mom for her 81st birthday. She brought some flowers and a few blueberry Eggos (which my mom always likes) and I had some cream of wheat (which I really like) because of my residual dental issues from a few day ago.

It was a nice way for my mom to begin her 82nd year.

May 14 2012

Amoxicillin Alert

Today I begin my two pills, twice a day regimen of the antibiotic, Amoxicillin. It was prescribed for the painful dual tooth infections I’m dealing with at the moment.

Soft foods, antibiotics, Motrin and ice packs. Could be worse. I could have diarrh…I’ll be right back.

May 13 2012

Surprise Visit

Had a really nice surprise visit this Mother’s Day from my best friends Sylvia and Rodrigo, who brought Lilo and Stitch with them to sniff and run around the backyard a bit. They were thoughtful enough to bring us milkshakes from Jack-In-The-Box since I couldn’t chew anything solid because of my tooth problems. They also took some time to look around my mom’s garden, which always makes her feel good.

While we sat and chatted a gopher kept popping its head out from a hole in the grass.

We so rarely get visitors other than family that this visit really meant a lot to us.

May 11 2012

A Year Out From New Mexico

A year ago today my mom and I entered New Mexico, and eventually Los Alamos, to spend a few days with my brother, Tom and my nephew, Alex. Sorry, Dr. Tom. And while I’m at it, Mr. Alex.

Since it’s been a year, it’s time to start making plans for a return trip. Maybe in August on the way back from a possible trip to Austin, Texas for one of my best friend’s very important 40th birthday. Her name is Brenda and she is pretty and she is my friend and a girl turning forty is an important milestone in life.

But this is about Los Alamos (where discoveries are made) with a need and an urge to go back for a few days.

Here’s hoping that the stars and planets and kivas align.

May 10 2012

Tooth Or Consequences

After making an appointment for an emergency dental appointment and just trying to survive with pain for the day, I arrived for my late night appointment with Dr. Pantangco at On Demand Dentist. Thank the maker for such a 24/7 business of emergency toothache relief. His office was very modern and high-tech with me filling out forms on both an Asus notebook with a touch screen as well as on an iPad. He even had Foursquare check-in for discounts and accepted Google Wallet payments.

His stand-up X-ray machine was much more convenient than the older methods of clamping your teeth down on uncomfortable pads. He also had a giant high-def 3D TV on the wall above the exam chair, which unfortunately was static the whole time with a promo shot of the Green Lantern movie.

That Dr. Pantangco was available on this same day was the good news. The bad news, which I wouldn’t learn until the procedure started, was that it was one of the most excruciatingly painful events of my life, none of which were Dr. Pantangco’s fault. I would have enjoyed the distraction of even watching Green Lantern.

I had three major factors going against me during the procedure: 1) the tooth in question was what remained of an old root canal and crown that had broken off years ago and had left half of the metal post still lodged in my tooth and jaw which helped fuse the tooth to my jaw, 2) that there was a large infection at the root of the tooth that unfortunately could not be anesthetized because of an acidic PH factor ineffectiveness between the infection and the lidocaine, and 3) that he noticed right away from the X-rays that I clench my teeth a lot, which sets my teeth even further into my jaw.

After an hour of me sweating, shaking, panting and writhing, and him injecting, digging, scraping, cutting, drilling, pulling, burrowing, carving, wrenching, torquing, cleaning, plowing, plumbing, grade-checking, jack-hammering, mining and silently cursing, it was over. My shivering and astronomically high blood pressure lasted another ten minutes.

Not the kind of experience I was hoping for but it had to get done. I just wish it would have been on someone else.

May 10 2012

That Chick Called Phoebe

Both of the Phoebe chicks that have been tweeting away in a nest on the north side of our house for a few weeks, finally flew the coop today. One of them landed in the pine tree outside our front door. I cracked open the door long enough to take a few shots of it and one of its parents before it flew away, with a whole new world to discover and poop in.

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