Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Report Of California Holiday

Pat at Midway Car Rental in Los Angeles, first step of our annual California adventure

While I await the Michael Cohen public testimony to begin today, I will attempt to begin the first report of our annual trip to sunny California.

Well folks, California wasn't so sunny this year.  In fact, California wasn't even that warm this year.  

I arrived at LAX Sunday, February 10th.  This year Pat took a different plane and met me in California. In years past he flew to Philadelphia and we flew into California together but he got a better rate by taking another flight.  It all worked out in the end because he arrived within the hour that I arrived at LAX.  

After exchanging hugs we caught an airport rental bus shuttle to the car rental place.  This year, we were greeted by swaying palm trees but, unfortunately, not warm temperatures and rain. I did remember to bring light rain jackets, thank goodness. The temperature wasn't that much different that what I left in Delaware either. Oh well, we were in California and we would still have a great time as we always do when we have our quarterly get togethers.

First problem we encountered at the cheapo car rental place (whose name I've forgotten now) is that they couldn't take Pat's Canadian debit/credit card for rental. We ditched that place and called for an Uber car to take us to the place where we rented a car last year, Midway Car Rental. We had a good experience with them last year.

Then we we encountered at Midway Car rental. The car pat rented, a Hyundai Elantra couldn't get out of second gear. There we were, shortly out of the car rental place, on the busy Los Angeles highway, and our car couldn't get out of second gear!  Oh no, take that car back.  I can just imagine us on the Freeway and our rental car's engine racing in second gear.  

Pat put his flasher lights on and drove back to Midway at about fifteen miles an hour on THAT busy LA highway.  I didn't like the car anyway, smelled like smoke and was too low to the ground which is murder for me getting out of the car with my arthritis.

When we got back to Midway and explained our problem, the rental guy got behind the wheel and took our rental car for a spin around the lot.  Of course then it shifted gears.  Of course.  We get in again, and I'm still not happy with this stinky car, and get head out on the congested rush hour highway.  Again, our car couldn't get out of second gear!  I told Pat "Take this car back.  We can't take a chance on using this car for the next two weeks.  Can you imagine us halfway to Palm Springs and this car couldn't get out of second gear?" Pat agreed. We went back to Midway and asked for another car. The car rental agent gave us an upgrade, a Hyundai Sonata.  A nice car that had that even had that much loved new car smell.  No extra charge.  

Car was still low to the ground but at least we could get out of second gear.  

We left Midway and entered the crowded highway to our destination our Airbnb destination in West Hollywood. Our annual California adventure was about to begin after this "bump".  

We were on our way!









Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Home From California

The down escalator at the Philadelphia International Airport this Sunday.  I was on my way to the baggage claim area and then to get my ride back home to Lower Slower Delaware


Hey folks!  Yes it's me. I'm home from California.  

Arrived home Sunday. Still recovering. 

Perhaps my shortest blog post ever. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still alive and opinionated and ready to blog.  

More tomorrow!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

In Palm Springs

Me and Pat yesterday after The Rains ceased. Nice place this Palm Springs, surrounded by mountains. I love this place!!


Hey folks! Sorry for the absence from my blog. 

We're in Palm Springs now. 

We arrived here this past Wednesday after having arrived in Los Angeles last Sunday.  We stayed three days in LA (our West Hollywood Airbnb) before leaving for Palm Springs. 

First day in Palm Springs we were trapped in a monsoon deluge. Flooding everywhere. I heard that Palm Springs got 64% of their annual rainfall on Thursday.

Yesterday we were finally able to get out and enjoy the delights of this desert oasis.

We're eating good vegan food at three different vegan friendly restaurants. 

Yesterday we experienced some Modernism Week exhibits. 

And last night. Ah, last night. I talked Pat into going to a gay/dance bar called Hunters which is located just around the corner of the VRBO condo which we rented for our week's stay in Palm Springs. By the way, this condo is the best we've ever stayed in.  We will definitely be back here next year.

Last night at Hunters has fabulous. I took videos (as you know I would) and will be posting them when I return home to Delaware next week. For now photos will have to do. 

Right now I'm waiting for Pat to wake up so we can have breakfast at John's restaurant on this beautiful sunny Saturday morning in this desert oasis Heaven on earth called Palm Springs. 

Have a great day everyone!

By the way, we saw Frank Sinatra's former home yesterday. I'm sure the present owners were thrilled I was outside the gates taking a video. Tourists!

Friday, February 08, 2019

California Here We Come 2019

"Frank", my little mascot bear is ready to go with me on our trip to California!


One more day folks to take off from Philly International to Los Angeles.  

As always with trips like this there is some (a lot actually) anxiety on my part. I was just talking to Pat on FaceTime and he says he is also experiencing anxiety prior to takeoff.

This year I'm meeting Pat in Los Angeles. The last two years he flew to Philadelphia and we met up there and flew out together to Los Angeles. But this year Pat found he could get a much more economical flight from Toronto, bypassing Philadelphia.  Thus this year I will be flying out alone from Philly.  I'll miss that six hour flight with Pat sitting next to me but I'll have my Bose cordless headset with me. Remember last year I had to endure the whining of a little boy, seated in a seat right behind me, on my way out to LA. For my flight back I had a little girl crying all the way. I don't blame the kids, after all a six hour flight is a long time for restless kids, but I just can't endure six hours of that unique kind of torture. 

Pat's flight is a two parter. He flies into Denver, has a layover then takes another plane to LA.  Or is it he flies to Texas then switches planes?  I forget now.  I have a direct flight, which I prefer.

This year I'm taking my big suitcase which I have to check in, which I'm not thrilled about.  The past two years I've packed everything in a carryon suitcase but that's just too much for me with my unique sartorial needs. Two years ago, when Pat and I were in Palm Springs for the Spo/Someone nuptials, I wore my giraffe shirt the whole trip.  I posted frequently to Facebook.  My neighbor Barbara commented "Is that the only shirt you have?"  Oh the shame.  Anyone who knows me knows I have a LOT of shirts. And it is a shame not to take a greater selection of my shirts for this annual opportunity to show off my taste in elderly cool gentleman attire. 

The cost for me checking in a bag is $25 which doesn't concern me. What does concern me is the loss of my luggage.  Also standing in line to check in my bag.  But when I take my smaller suitcase, frequently when I board the plane I cannot find any overhead space.  Last time I had to put my carryon bag quite a few seats behind where I was seated. A six of one, half a dozen of another situation. 

I had a little bump in my two hour ride to the airport from the lower depths of Delaware where I reside.  My regular ride informed me he couldn't take me because he's undergoing medical treatment (radiation) and probably wouldn't be up to that long trip.  My back up ride couldn't take me  either, church obligation that Sunday. He will pick me up though. I had to ask my friends Mike and Bob to take me.  They refuse to take any payment form me, which makes me feel guilty.  When I lived in Philly a trip to the airport was a $5.00 thirty minute ride on the shuttle train from center city Philly to the airport.  Not here in Lower Slower though, not in my lifetime it seems. 

One more day folks!  Exciting times. The thought has entered my mind this may be my last trip to California during my lifetime. I hope not. I am so looking forward to a glorious two weeks in sunny California. One week in Los Angeles (West Hollywood) and one week in Palm Springs. 

I hope to keep blogging while I'm in California but the days always seem to go by so fast. Best time of my life folks!

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Stressed Out

The start to this morning

Not doing well this morning folks. 

First thing this morning I had a plumber stop over to check out our four (yes, FOUR) toilets.  First thing he did was get stuck trying to back out of our driveway.  Yep, he backed out in the grass and got mud stuck.  What was he thinking?  Well, things happen. No use screaming at him. Of course Bill was and is very upset.

He checked out our toilets. All went well there after an adjustment or two. Then the challenge was getting his stuck truck out of our lawn.  He even had me in the truck (Butch Ron) gunning it while he pushed his van in the back.  Me among the cigaret butts on the floor of his van. Wonder how long that Butch will stay with me. 

He called for a two truck. While waiting for the tow truck a co-worker of his came by.  They managed to get his van unstuck from our lawn with the help of one of our two by fours.

To compensate me he only charged me half price for the service call. Hopefully our irrigation system isn't damaged.

This week has been something every day.  Tomorrow at 2:00 PM, right during my nap time, Bill has a followup appointment to his cataract surgery.  Thursday is my workday.  I go to work at 3 PM.  I've already told them that I'll probably be late to work.

Thursday I have a dental appointment for my crown replacement. I have a temporary crown in down and for the last two weeks. It's a little tight, not a good fit.  I hope my permanent crown is a better fit. Especially since I'll be taking off this Sunday for my annual California two week holiday.

Yesterday I had a serviceman come by to check out that wall basement leak.  He wanted to tear down my dry wall to get his equipment into where the sewer pipe goes out the basement wall.  Uh uh, no way was he tearing down the drywall to our media room.  I sent him on his way. We'll take care of this ourselves.

This past Sunday I checked with my ride to the Philly airport.  Unfortunately he told me he wouldn't be able to take me.  He's still undergoing medical treatments (radiation) and not feeling well.  I texted my backup ride.  He couldn't take me either.  Then I texted Mike and Bob.  They can take me.  Thank you Mike and Bob!!!

Now I have to decide what to wear to California.  Ah yes folks, I am gay and "what to wear" is a major concern.  I wish I was like Pat.  He can pack his entire two week wardrobe into a shoulder pack.  And yet he still looks stylish.  Some people have that knack. I don't.

Speaking of packing for a trip, a major part of my packing is electronic equipment. Chargers, portable speaker, wires, chargers, and chargers. Did I say chargers?  

A beautiful sunny day here today folks. Yesterday the temperature reached 63 degrees.  I love it!

Have a great day every one.  I'm going to try and zone out this afternoon and take a deep nap to destress myself.

Topsoil and grass seed needed





Friday, February 01, 2019

I Hate To Paint




There are many mundane activities that I like. 

I like to iron shirts. 

I like to pull weeds.

I like to rake leaves and cut grass.

I like to cook.

But I hate to paint. Walls that is.  I can't quite pin the reason down why I hate to paint other than it just annoys me.  I can never seem to get it right.  Always seems to be a spot that I missed. 

This morning I painted our media room a lovely light blue.  I think this is the first time in my life that I painted a whole room.  While I still don't like painting, I didn't hate it quite as much as I thought I would.  Perhaps because all the furniture was out of the room.  Remember, we had a water leak which ruined the wall to wall carpeting so we had to remove the carpet (Berber, very expensive) and paint the floor. Next Tuesday we're getting the leak fixed which is on the other side of the back wall.  

The reason I painted the room was to help Bill. Bill has always done all our painting before including hanging wallpaper which we don't do anymore. Since we've moved to Casa Tipton-Kelly in 2006, we haven't painted any of our rooms.  Yes, all the rooms are the original builder grade boring (Oyster Shell) paint, much to the consternation of our interior decorator inclined neighbor Barbara.  

Bill likes to paint but I could tell this job was too much for him.  He would never admit it, bless his heart, but he was making a good effort.  He didn't protest when I took the roller brush from him.  I told him I was just going to do a few "brushes".  Then I did a few more brushes, and more.  About an hour and a half later I finished the whole room. Bill said he enjoyed watching me paint the walls.  

Bill is ninety years old. Jobs that he used to take in stride no longer come easy.  I do all the driving now. I never had to have a confrontation with taking the keys from him. It just came about gradually.  Same with this job, painting walls.  

Now other jobs around the house I can't or won't do.  My bathroom toilet is leaking again.  Bill tried to fix it but it still leaks.  We have four toilets at Casa Tipton-Kelly. They all need to be looked at.  Two are never used except for the one visit Pat makes every year.  I told Bill I called Service Today to come in for maintenance for our toilets.  

I may not like painting but I can paint. Other handyman jobs?  I'm not doing it folks.  I know my limitation.  Including shoveling the snow from our driveway which Bill always does.  We're going to get a snow blower.  I don't like to shovel snow either.