Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I was complaining to the physical therapist at Avenidas about the strong tendency of my left hand to curl up into a weird fist, especially at night.  She suggested that I go to the Stanford Hand Clinic and be fitted for a night hand splint.  The purpose of the splint is to keep my hand straight.

I talked to my doctor, and he wrote a prescription, which I sent off to the aforementioned Hand Clinic.  I received a call back to set up a series of appointments.  Now some years ago I was at the Stanford Hospital for something else, and I remembered that parking is nigh onto impossible except for their parking garage, for which there is a charge.  Further, I’d recently heard that the road to the hospital is pretty messy because of ongoing construction.

So when I’d finished setting up the appointments, I asked about specific instructions, both in getting to the hospital, and how to find the Hand Clinic.  The young lady proceeded to give me very specific instructions, which I jotted down.  After hanging up I thought that it might be a good idea to do a dry run to be sure I’d know where we were going.  So Cliff and I decided we would give it a try right after Avenidas this past Friday.

Oh, boy!  It’s a good thing we did!  The road is in a terrible mess, which slowed us down.  After we finally parked the car, Cliff retrieved my scooter, and we found our way out to the area of the hospital.  Unfortunately the area didn’t look anything like what I’d remembered.  We finally found what we figured to be the proper entrance and then more confusion ensued.  Cliff pointed out an information desk, so we inquired there.  And that’s where we were most lucky.  One of the volunteers guided us to the Hand Clinic, and I even found the young lady with whom I’d spoken the day before.  Bingo!

More luck ensued.  Now we knew where we’d be going the day of the appointment, but arriving on time was going to be iffy.  Then our guide told us about a different route to the hospital, and avoid all that construction work.  At home I checked it on a Google map, and it appears that what the guide suggested will work very nicely, thank you.

Oh, yes -- can’t forget!  Cliff and I were so happy to have that over with, that on the way home, we treated ourselves to chocolate milkshakes!  Delicious!

Cartoon time --

Monday, January 30, 2012


In the San Francisco Bay Area part of California we simply do not get enough snow to make a miniature snow man, let alone anything like the following.  Up in the Sierra’s, perhaps, but not down here.  You get an idea of the dimensions of these sculptures when there are people in the pic.

And this is just part 1 of 2.  Enjoy!

Humor --


A wife returned happy after having bought a new hat decorated with cherries and showed it to her grouchy husband.
He: Why do you have those cherries on your hat?
She: Because I LOVE cherries.
He: I love fried chicken livers, but I don't carry them around on my hat!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I continue to be amazed at the variety of beautiful - unusual - amazing - startling - creative emails sent to me.  It’s fun to share.

Here is what someone else had to say about this artist:

Paper artist Calvin Nicholls.
There is nothing simple or ordinary about his paper art. Where we would simply use a piece of paper and a pair of scissors, Calvin uses everything you could possibly think of to carve, cut and rip perfect details onto his creations.

The motifs are all wildlife, and that must be one of the hardest categories of things to make with paper since there are sometimes impossible details on animals. These details are amazing, and I can't even fathom the time it must have taken to create these masterpieces of art.

Humor --

I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top. 


A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office. "Is it true," she wanted to know, "that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?" "Yes, I'm afraid so," the doctor told her. There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, "I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'."

Friday, January 27, 2012


Here’s a collection of odds and ends (odd ends?) with dialogue by Yours Truly.

And then I said to him ...

 Mine!  No, mine!

 I told you not to interrupt when I’m squawking!

Okay, kids.  Smile!

 I don’t care what you think.  I’ll do it my way!

 Whoop! ap! yip! Look OUT!

Yup, I’m a parakeet.  Cute, ain’t I!

 Wheee!  I love swimmin’!

A Gentoo penguin swims in a pool at the Melborne Aquarium.  They are the fastest underwater 
swimming penguins, able to reach speeds of 36 km/hr. (24 mph).

 Wild turkeys.  Scatter, fellas before Thanksgiving comes around again!

Fun -

The Picnic -
 A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met at the town's annual 4th of July picnic.  Old friends, they began their usual banter.

"This baked ham is really delicious," the priest teased the rabbi. "You really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden! You don't know what you're missing. You just haven't lived until you've tried Mrs. Hall's prized Virginia Baked Ham. Tell me, Rabbi, when are you going to break down and try it?"

The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, "At your wedding."

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Last Sunday Cliff and I attended an organ concert in Los Gatos.   But that does not really tell the story of this remarkable musical extravaganza.  Actually this was two hands and two feet that comprised a full orchestra, conductor and choir.  I’ll have to explain.

According to the program, the organist, Hector Olivera “...was born in Buenos Aires.  His first teacher (who was his father) encouraged him to begin playing the pipe organ when he was three.”  Three?  “Two years later he was appointed organist of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.  At six, he entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory to study harmony, counterpoint, and fugue.  By nine he had composed a suite for oboe and string orchestra which was performed by the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra.”

Well, you get the idea.  Now there is no pipe organ installed at this auditorium, but Mr. Olivera brought his own digital touring organ, which he designed.  Actually he has two touring organs, and the one he brought is the somewhat smaller of the two.  Smaller in size, we were told, but not in performance.  Again from the program:  “It is a Roland Atelier AT-900 Orchestral Touring Organ.  It consists of eight units on wheels plus two small pieces.  The organ console itself weighs about 450 pounds.  There are also four large speaker units, 39 inches high and each weighing in at about 120 pounds.  In addition, the large sub-woofer measures 30 inches high and weighs about 400 pounds.  The seventh unit is the amplifier-mixer case, and of course there is a pedal board and bench.”

Mr. Olivera speaks English with a bit of an accent, and when he was telling us about bringing in his equipment, I thought he said something about the lack of “... a lovely duck.”  Huh?  I finally figured out he was complaining about the lack of a loading dock!  But they got everything in the building.

What makes this gentleman and his equipment so amazing is both the variety of music he plays, and the clarity of sounds that come out of his instrument.  He played classic pieces -- Bolero and a Bach piece.  The Bach was the only one that sounded like a pipe organ.  He played modern jazzy pieces, including a very jazzy sax solo.  He played gypsy (pardon me) geepsy violin music, Stephen Foster music (with a bit of  the William Tell Overture to lead off Camptown Races), George Gershwin music (American in Paris, complete with pedestrians, honking horns and barking dogs), as well as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, including the cannon at the end.

Did we enjoy it?  That’s an understatement!

Office cartoons --

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


How about beautiful golf courses?  Someone sent me a series of photos, and I only thought it fair to share them with you.  I don’t know where these are, but a couple have cacti, which would give a pretty good clue.

Humor -

Wright:  Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
Contestant:  Jesus

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We had just gotten Pepper, and Amalie said she wanted a bird.  A neighbor passed away, and we acquired Honey, a little male parakeet.  I don’t know how old Honey was when she came here, but unfortunately he did not last long.  I did run across these photos the other day.

“Helping” Amalie on the ironing board.  Can you see the size difference?

 This should give you a good idea of their disparate sizes.

 They did hang out together.  I don’t know whose shoe that is; not mine.  They do love shoe strings.

Hey! Enough!  My turn!

 That’s better.  I like chewing on this.

Okay, I’ve got one end.  You have the other.  Now who can we get to play jump rope.
    Actually I caught them in the hall fighting over the string, but that was not the pic I caught.

Boy, all that playing, and tugging just wore us out!

Incidentally, Honey did talk.  I remember saying to him, “Such a pretty bird!”, and him saying, “Such a bird.”

Humor --

Why Go to Church?

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I'm not going."
"Why not?" she asked.
I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), they don't like me, and (2), I don't like them."
His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church:
(1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"