The Journal as of 12/26/97 . . .
Christmas has now come and gone. Started out on the 'eve with a trip to see GMa Schrempp in Concord. That night she was a lively octogenarian. At our somewhat now traditional dinner at the Peppermill she was interested in the conversation around her and even cracked a joke or two. When told that the family carrying her maiden name is listed as the 14th richest in the world she said, "maybe we should have stayed in touch."
Dinner was at my place Christmas day, and what a bash we had! Mom and Dad from Pacifica, Bob and Kate from SLO, Mike and ... from Seattle, Marian, Dave, Ken from Hayward, Rich, Jackie, Brian from Castro Valley. Peg and Gene were in Halifax, and Debbie, Chris and Lauren where with his family. Bob and Carolyn were free this holiday and came by for food and frivolities.
We ate a 17lb spiral ham, 8lbs of mashed, assorted vegetables and munchies. Riven was a big hit, as was the Gooboos construction kit I got in my stocking. Mike and ... told tales of yet another house under contract; perhaps they'll have a housewarming this summer.
I can highly recommend Thunder Calling at the SJ Rep. It's a wonderful musical story told to live blues. A great evening out. "Hello" to Clydene, Joel, and Cody (who now works for the Rep).
Journal as of 12/22/97 . . .
Another week gone by. Went to The Stanford Theater for a showing of High Sierra. Bogart gets out of jail, stays bad to the bone, proposes to a young farm girl he's only known two weeks. Some great lines that today are just not politically correct.
Went by Community Impact on Thursday to help wrap presents for disadvantaged kids in San Jose. We wrapped about two hundred of them before the night was done.
Vance is back from Tibet. He has some super pictures from Lhasa to Everest base camp. Keep watching here for his travel logs. He's traveling a lot these days. Tibet, Taiwan, Los Gatos, London, Los Gatos, New York, Los Gatos. Seven days home in the last seven weeks! I could never do that much work travel. I've got to spend some time in my own home to ground myself.
Plenty of time to do that now. I'm taking the next two weeks off. Spent today puttering around and getting all those things done that have to be done. Miata washed and oiled. Shoes from Rockport. Lunch with Vicky. Pilgrimage to Fry's.
Journal as of 12/15/97 . . .
Last weekend was a stellar time, courtesy of HP SSG. Big bash at the SJ Fairmont. Almost 2000 people turned out, including several that didn't belong to us. It would be too easy to show up in a suit at the Fairmont and just walk into big parties. Hmmm, might do that this weekend.
We had roast beast to feed an army. They were carving these large hind quarters with bones the size of my wrist sticking out of the top. When they loaded a used one onto a white clothed cart and wheeled it away all I could think was, "Get him to OR quick, I'm not sure he's going to make it!"
This week I finally figured out the DSS system. Turns our I get a bunch of stations I don't want for $30 a month. To get anything worth anything is yet another $30 a month. Seems like a cable company all over again. I was a bit put off that I couldn't even get a listing of what programs are on unless I shell out another $5 a month for their version of TV Guide. Of course their version is the size of the San Jose phone book and comes out new once a month.
Hello to the Los Molinas High School alumni! Dad was class of '51.
Journal as of 12/1/97 . . .
Wow, a great Thanksgiving holiday is over. Of course Pacifica with the folks was a good time, then up to Ray's Roadhouse for the weekend. Ray had a super stew on the stove simmering for 8 hours. We were all in hand by 6PM and then it was over to Charlie's for a little salsa party. Never could figure out how that dance goes, but Paula and Pauli were dressed to the nines, as was David and Lothar.
Saturday we hosted a brunch that brought the whole mountain over. Sourdough coffee cake, southern polenta (grits and cheese), and various goodies kept everyone amused until 1PM. Then the rain came. Man, five hours of down pour locked us all inside. Luckily the Jï¿½tel worked wonders and kept us all warm.
Saturday night was yet another party, this time Indian food at David's. I needed some sanity time and stayed home with the Balvinie and water. Reports tell of beautiful Hindu decorations, saris from Berkeley, and delectable treats. Curry, curry, curry. Ginger tea that would blow your head off. Henna paste to decorate hands and feet. How will that look at work?
David hosted us on Sunday to watch the 49ers slaughtered via satellite dish. We'll say no more about that. Check out the photos.
Journal as of 11/22/97 . . .
I just finished my third trip to the top of Everest. Read the book; listened to the book on tape; watched the television special. Whew. What an incredible first person tale. If you haven't read Into Thin Air, it is well worth it. It's not hard to understand how they made mistakes at 25,000 feet. My max altitude is 18,000 at Kilimanjaro and we we not thinking any too clear there.
Big on theater lately. Music Man at AMT was ok. Nixon, Nixon at SJ Rep is an interpretation of the meeting between Kissinger and Nixon the night before Nixon resigned. Sounds dull, but was hilarious. Falling out of my seat funny. Stomp on tour in SJ was good, but I wouldn't see it twice.
Vance is supposed to be out of Tibet by now and in Taiwan for a while, but I haven't gotten any email yet.
Gloria at work found my home page and has been boning up on my trip reports. "Hello Gloria." I'm waiting to publish some of her writing on the web.
Note that the Retirement planning page now has a link to a java version supplied by SmartMoney magazine. It's very fun to play with. One interesting observation: if you're within 5 years of retirement, you can stop saving and start spending. Check it out.
Journal as of 11/10/97 . . .
Last weekend I got out to *the* Grand National. Grand National what? you may ask. Turns out that it's a rodeo! Bucking broncs, jumping, barrel racing. All done at that speedy pace the South is so known for. Outside were a few animal rights activists with signs like "Horses don't buy rodeo tickets." Duh. Halfway through the rodeo out comes an old gray horse known as a bucket horse. "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if it weren't for rodeos these old bucket horses would long ago have been destroyed or turned into dog food." Yadda, yadda, yadda. The bottom line is that buying a ticket to the rodeo is the ultimate vote in favor of animal rights. Boy, I feel better already.
Overall it was a really good time. Next year we'll have to get seats close enough to have mud thrown on us. I'll close with this, found on the web...
David Betterman's top 10 ways to improve rodeos:
10. Superglue bronco riders into the saddle
09. Lions roaming the stadium
08. Glade air fresheners, everywhere
06. Put Rush Limbaugh inside one of the barrels
05. Nude sheep herding
04. Losers do hand to hand combat for second place
03. Rodeo Queen is a man in drag
02. Two words: Joey Buttafucco
and the number one way to improve rodeos . . .
#1. Put more peppers on the nachos!
Journal as of 10/28/97 . . .
Well, I got Buffetted again last week. Bob got tickets and Carolyn, Paul and I joined him for a night of parrot head music at Shoreline. This year the crowd seemed larger than ever before. We were on the grass an hour ahead of time and still had to sit high and way off to one side. We could barely see the TVs! Best song that night was his ever popular "Why don't we get lunch in school?" (Ho ho ho)
Cathy L. had a birthday bash at the Menlo Park ceramic paint shop. She bought a set of undecorated dishes and invited a load of friends to come up and paint them for her. I hope she was ready for the eclectic group of graphics that are going to be her tableware from now on. Some were beautiful works of art, others were... I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it; now I'm hooked. It's a great release for pent-up artistic energy. Watch this site for pictures.
Vance is heading off to Tibet for a week or so on his way to his Hong Kong office. He hasn't been on the road for quite some time and this will be a welcome vacation.
Also heard from Bob and Michelle via email. They are now in Arusha, going on safari. They asked about the house and left the email address of one their safari guide. It's hard to believe that they sent an email yesterday from Africa, I reply tonight, and by tomorrow morning I'll probably have a reply. All for no cost over my monthly ISP. Incredible.
HOT TIP: if you haven't read "Into Thin Air" then go get it tonight.
Journal as of 10/20/97 . . .
Just back from another good weekend at the Roadhouse. We got up late Friday night, just in time to down a half bottle of cognac... urp ... and light the new stove. It's a beaut! We got most of the insulation in so this winter it will be warm inside. The contractor is working on the interior ceiling and it is going to look great when he's finished. With all this wall work covering the studs this Roadhouse is looking like a living space. My god, there's even the stub out for a toilet!
We heard from the regulars that two mountain lions have been spotted prowling the neighboring property. This makes hanging it all out in the woods a lot less interesting than it used to be. Not that it was ever all that interesting.
I'm spending about half my time up in Palo Alto this month, house sitting while Bob and Michelle trip around the world. I've eaten at Cafe Brioche a couple of times and it is wonderful. The sea bass was just delicious.
The new Miata is also working well....
As of 10/10/97 . . .
Had a super weekend! Vance, Jon, Steve, and I went fishing at Pine Mountain Lake. First evening on the lake I pull in a 2.5 pound bass. The sun went down behind the mountains and we kept pulling in the bass. Jon has taken a lot of grief in the past because he's never caught a fish in our presence. This despite the fact that Jon has tackle box bigger than Fort Knox. I mean large; four tiers, extra large bottom. Big enough to keep four reels and still have room for six spools of line.Tonight he's fishing spider wire and a dark blue Power Bait worm with a tail. They are hot. Jon and Steve weren't due until later so we kept these big bad boys in the live well and eventually threw them into the bathtub until the eyes popped out of Vance and Steve.
The rest of the weekend was not as productive for me, although even my meager catch made Vance seem barren. Jon kept yanking 'em in. Big and small he had hooks in the lip, head, even a gill or two. Keep watching "what's new" to the left for pictures.
As of 9/28/97 . . .
Spent the week fooling around with June. We got out to see Air Force One; good movie. Saturday night we were at Mac's in Los Altos for dinner mystery theater. It was a well written play and the food was good. I had the sirloin, June had chicken. This was the treat of Bob and Michelle before they go off for three months around the world. They'll hit Virginia, India, Southeast Asia (wherever is safe when they get there), and then come home. In the mean time I'll be house sitting for them in old Palo Alto. I'll be just two blocks off the downtown!
This morning we made a run in the new black Miata to Moonshadow ranch restaurant outside of Felton. Good breakfast food in an eclectic atmosphere among the redwoods. Very serene. Then we sat at Capitola with my Ricochet, watching the surf and surfing the net.
Anyone want to buy a '91 red Miata in good shape?
As of 9/21/97 . . .
June is back! She arrived in town on Friday and we were off to the mountain winery for The Manhattan Transfer. What a great show. They cruised through a lot of their old songs. This is their 25th anniversary tour and it caused us to reflect on just how old they (we) are.
Then off to LA for Rick and Sheila's surprise 40th birthdays. Rick was in on the surprise but didn't know we were all coming down from SJ. Turns out the only way he could get Sheila to come was to blow the surprise and tell her, "You have to go, it's a surprise party for you!" Then they walk in the door, Sheila fakes surprise and Rick is shocked to see us all there. It worked out well. Thanks to Angela for putting this all together. Viv, Ed, Gary, and Jean were there. Haven't seen them in ten years. Kimi showed up too with a brand new black Cabriolet. Looking sharp Kimi.
As of 9/8/97 . . .
Well, last week we went to the downtown Campbell sports bar for the game. We'd spotted this place while dining at Mio Vicino (excellent food). It's in the old theater that housed the Gas Lighter theatre. We saw a big screen TV where the movies used to be shown. Sounded like a great idea until I showed up. Monday night is rehearsal for the still active melodrama, so the the only open room was the lobby bar. Here we sat with three sad locals sipping beer and watching the poor reception. The bartenders were really nice, but this isn't the place to go.
Last night was Los Lobos and ZZ Top. Lobos was great, so was ZZ Top. Although THEY WERE A BIT LOUD. I HAD TO PUT IN EAR PLUGS ON THE SECOND ZZ SONG OF THE NIGHT. THE MUSIC WAS GOOD AND I COULD FEEL MY GUT VIBRATING WITH EVERY BASE CHORD. I SLIPPED OUT ONE PLUG DURING "CHEAP SUNGLASSES" TO SEE WHAT IT WAS REALLY LIKE AND MY EARS BLED BEFORE I COULD GET IT BACK IN. I FELT LIKE THOSE GUYS IN THE MIR TRYING TO GET THE HATCH ON WHILE THEY LISTENED TO THEIR AIR PSSST OUT THE PUNCTURE IN THE LAB MODULE: NO TIME TO WASTE. I HOPE MY HEARING COMES BACK BY NEXT WEEK'S Manhattan Transfer at the Mountain Winery.
As of 8/31/97 . . .
June is on her way to Singapore today; back in town 9/20.
I've refined the "can you retire?" spreadsheet. Download it and have some fun. Let me know if you find any errors in the calculations.
Hot dog, new baby in the family... Nancy and Greg just brought in Emily Kathleen Haldeman August 20, 1997. 7+ lbs!
Speaking of which, Reynold and Lori report that the baby, Campbell, is doing just peachy. They call him The Campster... what does that rhyme with???
Overheard at the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit in SJ:
Mom: That's Albert Einstein, he was a genius
Son: Is he the father of Frank enstein?
This is no lie.
As of 8/27/97 . . .
Hot dog, new baby in the family... Nancy and Greg just brought in Emily Kathleen Haldeman Augest 20.1997. 7+ lbs!
Just back from Vegas. It was fun, but we didn't win a million dollars. Of course we weren't gambling so that made it tough to win, but also tough to lose. We stayed at Bally's, which is nice and has few kids at the pool. It's also at one end of the new monorail so it's easy to get to the MGM side of town. We visited there and Treasure Island, Ceasers, and the new New York, New York. That hotel looks like the NY skyline on the outside and inside is lit up like your on the street in NY, graffitti and all. We saw a couple of shows: Starlight Express was nice, but just a show. MadHatten was interesting but got old before it was over. George Carlin was filthy but funny. We looked at other hotels with an eye to staying somewhere else next time and decided that Bally's is just the right mix of location and adult behavior (more or less).