My Blog

Rolling Stones and YouTube

Well, now I really am here ‘alone’! I spent the morning reading and catching up on some house-keeping. I visited with Naomi on WhatsApp for a while — she was having a relaxed morning at my house, drinking tea and doing a puzzle. I was still quite into the latest Rolling Stones album, so I read a bunch of reviews and listened to it again. Reading the reviews got me going back to some of their older albums and so that was the playlist here for most of the morning.

I’d replaced an outdoor lamp on the garage here yesterday, but when I saw the light pattern last night I decided it was way too dark and didn’t really light up the walkway from the driveway to the door. So I removed the fixture and took it back to Lowes. I found a lamp that I thought might be better suited for my location and installed it this afternoon. Well, now it looks a little too bright! Maybe I’ll put just have to replace the bulb with a 40-watt one.

I ate the leftovers from yesterday’s supper tonight. I watched the evening news and looked at the TV guide for what’s on tonight. Hmmm… not really anything I’m interested in. I turned of the TV. I checked the AllMusic website to see if there were any new releases I might like. That got me into a rabbit hole that led to YouTube, and after listening to a couple of tunes up comes a 50-minute concert film featuring the late David Crosby doing a 2011 fundraiser for a school in Santa Monica. Well, that was so good I listened to it twice THRICE! Here’s a link, if you’re interested: David Crosby and Venice – Live at Santa Monica High 2011 (And if you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, go to the 28 minute mark and listen to ‘Ohio‘, featuring the school band and choir!)

And that’s my Friday!

November, Good-bye

Slept in until after 7 this morning. It’s an unusually cool morning — the golfers teeing up just outside my patio doors are wearing long pants, jackets, toques and some even have mitts on! I made my morning coffee and sat down in the living room to read all the latest news on my MacBook. I sat there so long I had to hurry up and make my oatmeal so I could have breakfast before lunchtime.

I had two things on my t0-do list today: fix the outdoor lamp on the garage and make supper for my dinner guests, Robert and Arlene. So after breakfast I got to work. I couldn’t figure out why the light wasn’t working — and then I couldn’t figure out what kind of a light it was. It wasn’t a ‘bulb’ lamp; I was a round circuit board with lots of non-functioning LEDs on it. Is this fixable? Replaceable? So I tinkered on it for quite some time before texting John P. to ask what I should do about this. He texts back that the fixture is only 2 years old — and LEDs are supposed to last forever. I took a photo of the circuit board and used the image to have Google figure out what it was — and that led me to Lowe’s. The actual part was no longer available, but I decided to hop into the van and go see what I could find at Lowes. I had removed the fixture from the garage wall and took it along. I was hoping to get a replacement that had a square wall plate that would match (or cover) the square of ‘old paint’ that was left by the original  fixture. Well, there were no outdoor lamps in my price range that were going to nicely cover the old paint — so I picked something that was ‘close’ but not very expensive. And when I got home and connected up the wires and bolted the lamp to the wall, it didn’t look too bad.

After a quick sandwich I got to work on the second chore of the day. I cut up some vegetables and fried up Italian sausage and chicken. Once I had the sauce mixed I set it to simmer for about an hour. Robert and Arlene arrived at four o’clock. We had some drinks and Robert surfed through all my ‘NHL’ channels, looking for the Jets game. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get it on my TV, but Robert was persistent and sure enough, at five o’clock there were the Oilers and the Jets playing on Winnipeg ice.

By six o’clock it was time for dinner. Robert helped cook the (gluten-free) pasta and Arlene put the salad fixings together. Supper was served — and my sauce turned out pretty good. Too bad the game didn’t turn out so good! The Jets played well but the Oilers played weller, tying up the game and then getting a power-play winner in the last minutes of the game. Robert and Arlene had been busy packing the car and the motorhome today. They plan to leave very early tomorrow morning. After a small dish of ice cream for dessert, we said our goodbyes. I’ll see them in early January in Phoenix. Happy trails.

I put the dishes into the dishwasher and sat down to watch the Thursday Night NFL game and write my blog for the day. Hmmm… the only photo I took today was of the defective LED light — and that’s even less interesting than this whole blog entry, so I’ll go ‘sans-photo’ today.

Golfing with ‘superstars’

Another beautiful day. I got to the Big Rock Golf Course at around 10:30. Our tee time was for 10:50. It’s the last golf game of the year for the Robert and Arlene and Rudy team. And with the new grips on my (and one of Robert’s) wedges this should be a good day for golf.

And so it was. For the first time in all our games together, we got to celebrate a birdie (by Robert) with some birdie juice! The greens on this course are the fastest we’ve played, and most of the greens were sloped, if not undulating. And there’s water in play on about 14 of the holes. But the fairways are wide and most greens are not surrounded by huge bunkers.

After we’d finished the front nine, and just before Robert handed out ‘goodie bags’ with lunch (an act of kindness that’s been a highlight for me when golfing with the Dycks), Arlene reminded us that 2 years ago on this day, we played this very course. And on that day she announced that it was the one-year anniversary of her father’s death. So today is again, a day to remember; it’s been three years since Mr Coleman passed away.

By the time we were on hole 15 the light breeze we’d enjoyed for most of the day was picking up a bit. By the time I ‘fluked’ my last putt, hitting it into the cup in a long sweeping arc from just off the 18th green, the wind was blowing pretty good.

We packed our clubs back into our vehicles and headed for the ‘pub’ which is attached to the clubhouse. It was time for a celebratory drink.

The bar is decorated in rock and roll memorabilia, mostly autographed guitars and posters and paintings.

We snacked on nachos and talked about what’s next. Robert and Arlene are heading to Phoenix the day after tomorrow. I’m staying here for another four-and-a-half weeks and then I too will be moving to Phoenix, and we’ll likely pick up where we left off. It’s been a great month spending time with good friends here in Palm Desert. And while I very much look forward to having my kids join me here for the Christmas holidays, I’ll surely miss golfing with Robert and Arlene.

Last round at Eagle Falls for Rudy, Robert, and Arlene

I had to hurry my morning coffee and oatmeal. I drove all the way out to Agua Caliente Casino to fill up my van before heading out to Robert and Arlene’s place. When I got there I parked and, as usual, threw my clubs into the back of their CRV. It’s our last game together at Eagle Falls, our favourite course.

We checked in and drove out to the driving range to hit a few balls before getting called to our tee-off. I took my two ‘new’ used wedges and hit a few balls just to see if I could notice any difference between the two. The seem good although the grips are hard and worn and don’t match my ‘newish’ grips on the rest of my clubs. And then, boom, we’re off.

My game began so well! I was getting the ball onto the greens in regulation. But then I proceeded to 3-putt (or worse) and so the scorecard didn’t look nearly as good as my game ‘felt’ to me. And, eventually, it started to catch up with me. Although the DAY was super — sun shining, warm and bright, no pressure from golfers behind, not a lot of waiting for the group ahead, and, as has become the ‘usual’, a DELICIOUS wrap, with apple slices and baby carrots, courtesy of Robert and Arlene, for lunch at the 10th tee box — okay, really NOTHING to complain about, but jeepers! why does my game eventually fall apart and I end up with a failing report card scorecard! Well, I guess all I can do is try again (tomorrow!).

After the game we head back to the RV park and Robert sends one of his clubs along with me; I want to take 3 of my clubs to the PGA Tour store to have them re-gripped, and I’ll get Robert’s done at the same time.

Before I head home I stop by at the grocery store and do a bit of shopping. A bit? Well, I only had a few, mostly breakfast things, on my list, but once I roll that big grocery cart up and down the aisles, before I know it, I’ve got enough stuff to provision the neighbourhood! When I get home I need to rearrange the fridge just to find parking places for all my new groceries.

Then I bundle 6 clubs onto my bike with a couple of bungee cords and I’m off the PGA store. The guy doing the ‘operations’ says it’ll only be a few minutes and he’ll have them finished. And he does! So that’s great — no time to wander around in the store and end up with a few more golf shirts and shorts!

I cycle back home and start supper. Might as well take that huge tray of chicken breasts, which probably doesn’t fit in my fridge as is anyway (yikes, the Americans love their chickens with Triple D breasts!). So for half an hour I cut and slice and carve those babies until they’re perfectly ‘clean’ and in individual baggies and resting quietly in the freezer. I keep one out and slice it in half and fry it up in lots of butter and some spices. I microwave one last big twice-baked potato, a leftover from a previous dinner, and fill the one empty corner of my plate with a small salad, and voila! dinner is served.

I wash the dishes and clean up the counters and settle into my place on the couch. I wrote this post while the PBS folks were busy spoiling an evening of excellent musical concerts with their monthly ‘pledge drive’.

And that’s all for today. If anything really exciting happens after this, I’ll have to add it to tomorrow’s post, because I’m just gonna upload a few photos from today’s golf game and then close the computer and watch Sting’s concert in Paris. Good night.

A long bike ride — and a lucky find

I did the usual morning things today: woke up early, checked my phone, read my emails. Got up, made coffee. (Added the usual splash of Bailey’s to make it more of a ‘holiday’ drink.) I read the news, SteinbachOnline, CBC, NYTimes, Washington Post. I checked some of the blogs that I follow. Did today’s Wordle, Connections, Letter-Boxed, Mini-Crossword. You know, the IMPORTANT things 😉

I read a bit of my book and ate my oatmeal with raisins and cranberries. Need to get more bananas. Maybe later. Took out the garbage. Swept the patio. Made a bowl of strawberry-flavoured Jello so I have something to snack on while watching Monday Night Football in the evening. Made some more Rice Krispie squares, with a nice thick layer of chocolate on top. Wrote my blog.

After lunch (leftover pizza, what else!) I got on my bike and cycled down to the Big Rock golf course, hoping someone had turned in my favourite golf club which I think I left there last Friday. It took nearly an hour to cycle there, but I was hoping that a positive result would make the cycle home, against a light wind, easy. Nope, sorry, no one had turned in my club. The clubhouse guy tells me “Christmas is coming!” Hmmm… But what if I’ve been not nice. I don’t think Santa will bring a ‘naughty’ boy a new Callaway wedge. Then he suggested I check out the “Roger Dunn Golf Shop” just a mile down the road — they might have a used club for me. Nope again. And the used wedges were not less than $140 US. That sucks! As I was cycling back home it occurred to me that I might stop by that little par 9 course Naomi and I frequented the last few weeks. They have some used clubs. So I made a little detour and Boy! was that ever a good decision. They didn’t have EXACTLY my club, but close! No 58 degree Callaway, but they had a 60 degree. Plus, they had what appeared to be a brand new Cleveland 58 degree, with the original store price tag ($139) on it. I bought both irons for $35.00! What a deal. I bungeed the irons to my bike and cycled home — altogether a 25 mile bike ride.

When I got home I carved my pan of Rice Krispie squares into squares and stashed them in the freezer. I was going to go out for supper, but when I checked the TV guide I noticed that Monday Night Football, with the Vikings playing the Bears at home, was about to start. So I sat down and started to watch the game. Just before halftime I got a text from Ed Peters: could we do a FaceTime call? So that’s what I did through the halftime show and most of the 3rd quarter. I’d no sooner hung up when I had a second call, this one with Ingrid, who was also watching the game. And the FaceTime calls only interrupted what turned out to be a TERRIBLE football game, so I really didn’t miss anything at all.

After the game (and the FaceTime calls) I warmed up the leftover pizza from yesterday and washed it down with some red wine. Then I wrote my blog and watched some crappy TV until around 9:30. I’ll post this now and then do a bit of reading from my ‘new’ book, Rage, by Bob Woodward. Can’t get enough of that very stable genius!


A Day on the Green and Evening Cheers: Golfing Adventures and Pizza Delights

I had such a good time reading my Kindle that although I’d woken up at 5:00 I ended up having no time for breakfast before leaving the house at 8:20. As usual, I was on my way to the Emerald RV park where Robert and Arlene were waiting for me to throw my clubs into their CRV for the ride out to Eagle Falls Golf Course, about 20 minutes east on Hwy 10. We golfed as a threesome. It was cool in the morning but after a couple of holes I took off my sweater. The day turned out beautiful — not too hot, and not at all cold.

It seems as though the three of us are taking turns having good, bad, or mediocre games. Today my game was back on track and I finished with a score of 92. Arlene’s new putter, which has served her very well for the last few games, let her down a bit — and Robert had one of the more frustrating outings. By the time we were back in the CRV and heading for home, it was 2:00 and we were already looking forward to our next game. We have Tuesday and Wednesday booked, and then the Dycks are leaving me and heading for Phoenix. I’ll have one week here alone before I fly home for a long weekend to celebrate Christmas with Naomi and family.

The Dycks once again invited me to join them for supper. We arranged to meet again at their place for happy hour and to watch the Jets’ game at 5:00 and we’d order in pizza for supper. I offered to pick up the pizza on my way over.

I went home and showered. I checked in with Naomi who is hanging out at my place for a couple of weeks. She’s happy to be back home and will be catching up with her kids and playing with her grandkids. But she’s also okay to have some ‘alone time’ after a busy day of socializing and doing childcare, and appreciates the chance to have some quiet time at my house.

Just before 5:00 I headed back out. I stopped in at Billy Q’s to pick up the pizza order that Robert had phoned in for us. When Robert texted me before ordering to ask what kind of pizza I wanted, I had replied that I liked “anything with meat and cheese. Italian sausage, pepperoni, bacon, ham, and pineapple, whatever…”. Well, it turned out that Robert had ordered me a small pizza with ALL of those toppings! I guess I will need to be a little more specific next time 😉

We ate our pizzas and salads and watched the hockey game, which started off with the Jets outplaying and out-shooting the Predators. But before long the Predators got their game going and turned the tables on the Jets. (Jets lost 3-2)

I said farewell and headed for home after the second period. When I got home I watched the last half of the Sunday Night Football game and FaceTimed with Alex for a while.

I was too tired to stay up late and watch anything interesting on TV, so went to bed at around 10:00. I have a ‘day off’ tomorrow. Maybe I’ll bake a cake.


It’s Saturday. Finally! The weekend. I can sleep in. But I don’t. I read the news and did Wordle etc before I made my oatmeal breakfast. Coffee with Baileys. Nothing much going on today. The pimped-up carts of golfers were pulling up to the forward tees all morning. No golf for me today, though.

I read for most of the day. Got interrupted a few times — Arlene booked one MORE golf game for us before they pack up the motorhome and head off to Phoenix on Friday. So the calendar now has Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday booked for golf.

I had a salad for lunch, then back to my book. I’ve got two big ‘new’ hardcover Trump books that I picked up at a thrift store in Bisbee when Naomi’s brother Wes and I were waiting for the tire shop to repair a flat tire for Wes’s camper. I don’t know if I even expected to read them, but here I am, twirling down into the sewer hole of Trump’s destruction of America. By early afternoon my arm was tired of holding the big tome, so I went online and found a Kindle version. Well, then I had to charge up my Kindle so I could continue on with my reading.

I’d bought a couple of gluten-free frozen pizzas, so for supper I unboxed one of them, added a layer of razor-thin pepperoni slices and another of shredded mozzarella, baked it on the rack in the oven, and washed the finish ‘product’ down with a glass of red wine. Not bad. Not great either.

Got a text from Naomi while I was baking the pizza — she needs a place to get some quiet time in between all her busy-ness with children and grandchildren. Well, there’s always MY house… I texted Alex who dispatched Tim to go over to my place and turn on the water and the heat. Actually, nothing is ever quite as easy as just turning something ‘on’ — but Tim managed to deal with a couple of leaky taps and even went back after his delayed supper to check on the place one more time before the end of the evening. My kids are so good to me!

I watched the local evening news on TV, wasted another hour skimming through all the uninteresting options on Netflix and Amazon Prime and anything else I could find — and finally settled on listening to some music while I quickly wrote this post before returning to my ‘book’. And that’ll be it for today. Looking forward to golfing back at Eagle Falls with Robert and Arlene tomorrow.

Tom, Dycks, and a ‘hairy’ start at Big Rock

Woke up early, just as I always do — I think it was about 5:30 — still dark outside. I lay there quietly, trying not to wake up Naomi. It took me a few minutes before I realized that she was gone. Oh yeah… Naomi flew home yesterday. She’d texted me late last night that she was back in her ‘Victor Street’ house, safe and sound.

I spent far too much time lying in bed, reading on my phone. When I finally got out of bed, it was time for me to ‘hurry up’ and get ready for the day. It was cold this night, and for a while I thought I might actually wear long pants for today’s golf game. But by the time I’d had my oatmeal and banana, the sun had warmed things up considerably, and I left the house at around 9:20 in shorts and a golf shirt and only a light sweater.

The drive to Big Rock Golf Course was about 20 minutes. I’d golfed it with Robert & Arlene twice before, two years ago. I arrived and checked in. Soon the Dycks were there as well. We explored the clubhouse and the attached pub — the place is decorated with autographed guitars and posters and even a couple of ‘stage outfits’ worn by some of the rock stars whose signed guitars hung on the walls and ceiling. The Eagles, B.B. King, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, etc. Fascinating! The guy behind the counter explained that one of the two owners was a big-time collector of the rock and roll instruments and signatures, and that all the items were for sale with the proceeds going to a cancer charity.

We putted a bit on the practice green and then headed off to the first tee. We were about to tee off when the started announced that we would have a fourth join our group. Tom, from Santa Monica, would be riding in the cart with me for the round.

My tee shot bounced through an iron fence and into the garden of one of the homes that lined the left side of the first fairway. Not an auspicious start. Meanwhile, Tom’s tee shot went straight and (very) far right down the middle of the fairway. We pulled up to where Tom said my ball had gone into the year; Tom stretched his arm in through the fence and managed to retrieve my ball. I set it on the fairway and with my next swing of the club, hit the ball across the fairway, into a big pond. I fished out the ball and took another whack at it. Sculled it right. The ball sailed across the pond, landed on the far shore — and then rolled down the hill and back into the pond. After a third swing I was finally on the green, lying seven!

Well, I won’t bore you with a play-by-play of all SIXTY strokes I took on those first nine holes.

The day turned out to be a very pleasant golfing day. Not hot, and not cold. And Tom was a fine golfer and a great cart partner — always positive and encouraging.

Before loading up the clubs and heading for home, Robert and Arlene invited me to join them for supper and a Jets game at the motorhome. I stopped in town to return a pair of shorts that Naomi had picked up for me to try on yesterday. Showered and changed and headed to the Dycks place for a 5 o’clock happy hour. The hockey game turned out about as good (Jets 3, Panthers 0) as the pork chops and Brussel sprouts Robert barbecued for dinner (i.e. superb).

When I got home I plunked myself down on the couch and watched a bit of TV until it was time to stumble off to bed.

A Golf Lesson to Start The Day

Rudy has done some research about golf lessons and this morning he strongly encourages me to go. Despite some misgivings I hop on my bicycle and head off down Monterey to Magnesium falls and follow the bike path along the wash until I get to the driving range and golf lesson course. I meet my instructors Mary and Greg. In the initial conversation with Greg  I learn that he is originally from Winnipeg, although he left a long time ago (1978). He is about my vintage and as we make small talk it comes around to weather in Wpg (bad) and government (equally bad according to him). He is a bit of a conspiracy theorist and says he is so glad he was not living in Canada during Covid. He said he watched the news and it all seemed like it was a bit of a shit show in Canada. He is sure that Trudeau Junior is a nut case. (“You remember his father don’t you?” he says to me, raising his eyebrows knowingly.) He quickly moves on to government control and manipulation. I dance and sidestep the conversation. Thankfully soon all the others arrive and we move on to the golf lesson. Today we are learning how to hit a golf ball out of a sand trap. I am the least experienced in a crowd of aging seniors. In fact I feel like quite the spring chicken. And although I may have an advantage of mobility and dexterity I am easily the most clued out. Thankfully Greg takes pity on me and give s me some pointers on grip and swing. I actually do quite well. I am able to climb in and out of the sand trap without any trouble. Margy has hip trouble and it is more difficult for her. Brad has more mobility but very thick coke bottle glasses. But despite all our infirmities and other strikes against us we do fairly well. Mary, the other instructor with a bit of a superiority complex, regals us with her professional golfing life. It is interesting but these stories leave me feeling just a little bit inept and does not add to the value of the lesson. Soon the hour is up and we all head back to our exciting seniors life away from the golf course.

My exciting life involves biking back to our place and planning what we will have for supper. This may seem mundane but I am positively enjoying my cooking life. I decide to make refined beans, Mexican rice with tomato, spices, lime, and cilantro and chorizo tacos. This involves a quick bike to the grocery store for a few supplies. My trip ends up being longer than it needs to be as I am waylaid at the baby clothes section of the store and I look for deals in the sale racks. Bingo, I find a sunsuit for a sweet little grand girl and something peachy for a blond blue eyed child that is coming later in April. It’s dark before I get home. I quickly make the food and we enjoy it. Afterwards I take my phone flashlight and make my way to the hot tub and pool and enjoy some evening air with a swim and a sit in the spa. I arrive back at the house to find Rudy deep in a documentary. I leave him to this and I retire to bed.

A Grey Day

Miracle of miracles. Today we are expecting rain in Palm Desert. We wake up to grey skies and it feels like a day that we should stay in. We spend the morning doing computer work (Rudy) and crafts (me). By noon we get our rain. All 5 drops of it. Actually there is a bit more but the pavement does not stay wet for very long. I do go out a bit but it ends up being a very relaxing day.

Contrary to what I usually find relaxing but have developed a love for here in Palm Desert, I decide to cook. I search the internet for ideas for supper and decide on a comfort food evening meal. I have all of the ingredients I need in the fridge and cupboard and settle in to an afternoon of cooking. I peel potatoes, chop broccoli and fry bacon for a broccoli salad, and insert cheese and ham into chicken breasts. Because we are going gluten free I research an alternative to bread crumbs and end up browning almond flour to dredge the chicken breasts. After puttering in the kitchen I set out our meal of Chicken Cordon Bleu, mashed potatoes, dijon garlic sauce, and broccoli salad. Yum. All in all it is a great day of relaxation. After supper the storm that was promised actually materializes. There are huge bursts of thunder that blast loudly outside. We are content and cosy inside and we settle in for the rest of the evening.