The first time I got an unpleasant comment on one of my blog entries it made me quite upset.  Couldn’t this person understand that this was just my opinion?  Couldn’t they see my point of view?  But as time went by I became more inured to this.  After all there are some people who just can’t disagree without being disagreeable. 

The other day someone wrote in about a restaurant review I did on Shelby’s Kitchen back in January, 2005.  It was surprising because I had actually given it a pretty good review, merely commenting on the lackluster service.  Obviously this fellow had Googled up the restaurant and came across my entry which he called “one of the most pretentious and obnoxious that I’ve ever read.” 

 Good thing I’ve developed thick skin.



We are watching Wimbledon for the next fortnight (a Britishism for two weeks) and it’s hard to fit in a lot of anything else.  The telecast starts at 4 AM and runs until 2PM.  Having a DVR ( and don’t get me going on how lame the Comcast DVR is after you’ve had TiVo) helps but it is still a lot of viewing.  Today consisted of getting up at 5:30 AM because the #%@## smoke alarm went off, playing tennis, watching tennis interrupted by a trip to the grocery store for Grand Slam watching supplies (snacks and an easy dinner), and checking the internet (a very important activity in our household.)

Otherwise, the medical problems seem to be abating (yay!), we babysat for Nathan on Monday which was very fun, and we have a zillion things to do over the weekend.  Having decided to move back full time to Pleasanton, we are re-establishing our social contacts and it seems we are much more interesting now that we’ve been away for a while.

So, if the blogging seems a little spotty or lacking in content (although there are some things that I am thinking about), it’s because good times have gotten in the way.



Wow, is it hot!  Triple digits and we’re not even in Utah where you expect it be hot.  Here in Nothern California it’s not usually so hot for so long.  In the East Bay luckily we have air-conditioning but over on the peninsula there’s none.  Poor little Nathan (and his mom, dad and aunt Sarah) are really sweating.

I guess it would be easy to think that all this is due to global warming.  But I figure that a few days of heat do not a worldwide phenomenon make.  But maybe if the last 25 years have been the hottest since 1600 and the scientists around the world were alarmed, I might start paying attention.   The policy of the U.S., though, is to stick our head in the sand and just say it ain’t so.  In the meantime, we should all go out and buy our baby Hummers (with their $1.99 per gallon of gas come-on), burn more fossil fuels, raise the level of carbon dioxide, breathe in the sweet smell of smog, enjoy the great tanning properties of the thinning ozone layer and hope somebody else does something about it.



Without getting graphic, I just want to say that getting to be older is the pits.  I’ve been in to see the doctor (both primary and gynecological) for a total of three times in the past couple of weeks.  Not being used to having minor systems malfuctions, I, of course, over- react to everything.   By the third time, though, I managed to keep my blood pressure in the acceptable range.

Why is it that in my head I feel the same way that I did when I was twenty?  Sure, I know I’m wiser than I was back then but when I look in the mirror it’s always a stunning surprise.  What happened to me?  Is the price of experience so brutal that it takes an enormous toll physically? 

Anyone know a good plastic surgeon? 



We had a really nice Father’s Day yesterday.  Sarah and Jon came over and we played a little tennis and then had a cookout which included our friends and their daughter.  How nice it is to sit about talking with one’s grown children!  They are like the closest of friends.  (Although Marymom cannot resist the urge to give motherly advice sometimes.)  Plus they don’t mind if the house is a little messy or the food isn’t cooked quite right.  They’ve grown up with that.  As I have always said,  I have loved and enjoyed my kids  at whatever age they’ve been (even terrible twos and snotty teens) and, whatever moment I’ve been in, it’s always seemed the best.

Happy Father’s Day to John who has spent so much of his life providing us with a great life and achieving the fine balance between the dad role and the work role.  And a special Happy First Father’s day to Jonathan.  He and Ryan are doing a great job with their “little guy.”


Do you ever feel like you are saying stuff and no one is listening?  Well, yesterday I had an experience of someone actually listening.  Last June, we took Ryan and Jon out to dinner at Don Jose’s Mexican Restaurant in St. George.  You can read my review here.  In case you don’t go back and read it, let me tell you that it was really bad.  But apparently there are new owners and the new owners obviously must have googled up their restaurant.  And what they found was my review.  So they wrote to me.  Here’s what they had to say –

“Just wanted to let you know that Don Jose Mexican Restaurant is under new ownership and would love to invite you back for a much better experience.
Changes were made with a lot of the recipes and the response has been very favorable.
We now have someone making fresh corn and flour tortillas. Margaritas were definetly a must so we obtained our liquor license in order to be able to serve Margaritas and a wide variety of beer. Last but not least all you can eat chips and salsa is served with your meal.
Changes have been made and for the better….. ”

Yay, for them.  I think we’ll venture back for a second try.



Does anyone else find it unseemly that we (the U.S.) are celebrating the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi?  Yes, this was a bad, bad guy.  He probably deserved to die in the same fashion that he lived his life.  But it makes me cringe to read the exultant headlines and to see us displaying pictures of him dead.  If you looked at this from the other side, and some important person from the U.S. was killed, we would be horrified at the bragging about his or her death and the displaying of postmortem pictures by insurgent Iraqis. 

We need not sink to the level of the terrorists.  As the great “Christian” nation, let’s try not to revel in someone’s death.



The absolute winners of this year’s political scapegoat contest would be two gay illegal immigrants who want to get married in the U.S.  As a bonus,  they would have children who  burden our schools. And of course they would be collecting welfare for themselves and their children while getting paid under the table for work that other “real” Americans could have done. 

If you fit the description above, please contact your local pol so that you can become this year’s election poster child.




It’s time for Americans to wake up.  While we have been so engrossed in making sure that new immigrants from south of the border speak English officially, according to the NY Times today the French Americans in Maine have been slowly reinsinuating their native language.

Long ridiculed as “stupid Frenchmen” who spoke neither English nor the French spoken in Paris, these Americans are finding their roots.  A whole generation was punished for speaking French in school and ultimately shunned their language.  Now in Maine under sunnier linguistic skies, they are joining French conversational classes and sending their children to full-immersion French schools.

One wonders if today’s mainstream thought of “English only” will apply to these French speakers.  Or are we only interested in making sure that Spanish speakers don’t take over? 



 I remember hearing a skit on “You say potato and I say potato” somewhere.  Was it Monty Python?  The person reading it just couldn’t understand why it was funny.  (He obviously had never heard the song.) It’s more amusing aurally than it is in script.  Anyway, tonight I made mashed potatoes. 

When I was a kid (Oh no, not another “when I was a kid” story), we had mashed potatoes every night.  I mean *every* night.  It didn’t matter what else we were having.  Hot dogs and sauerkraut?  Perfect with mashed potatoes.   Swedish meatballs and noodles?  Another fine fit for mashed potatoes.  Truly, anything could be washed down with a blob of potatoes.

My mother or father used to mash the potatoes when I was little.  Later my older sister would mash them.  Finally, it was my turn.  Just the right amount of butter and warmed milk.  Smash them with masher but then whip them with a spoon.  With a well made in them for gravy or, at my house, stewed tomatoes, they were what dinner was all about.

I’ve grown away from mashed potatoes.  I probably only make them once or twice a year for a holiday – turkey gravy and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, for instance.  But the other day I was talking to my hair stylist about my childhood and how we always had mashed potatoes for dinner.  And it got me yearning.

So tonight I made mashed potatoes to accompany grilled flank steak and broccoli.  I really salted the water heavily.  It’s amazing how much salt potatoes need when you boil them.  I used russet potatoes and threw in about 5 crushed garlic cloves.  After they were boiled, I drained them and mashed the garlic and the potatoes together over a low flame to evaporate any lingering water.  Some butter, a little milk, switch to wooden spoon for whipping and, viola, mashed potatoes.

They were so good and, obviously, they brought back memories of sitting at the family table years and years ago.