Sunday, May 31, 2015

Letters to the Editor

Daily Breeze, Sunday 5/30/15

Gov. Brown, get your priorities straight

Re: "Fix the state's crumbling roads" (May 27th)

Gov. Brown wants to increase the gas tax to pay for road repair.  He went immediately to the Democrats default - our poor children will have to pay for it down the road.

Wouldn't it make real sense to replace 100-year plus old sewers and mains?  Funds could be diverted, too, from the ill-fated bullet train.

California , collectively, needs to get its head on straight.

Nina Murphy
Redondo Beach

Friday, May 29, 2015

So the Surgeon Said...

Prepare to be bored unless you have ever had a broken hip or have had one and you can compare treatments.

I can put as much weight on Bad Leg as I want -- within the confines of the walker.

I am not ready yet for a cane.  Which is surprising as on discharge from the hospital was offered choice of walker or cane.

Bad Leg is 1/2 in. shorter than Good which is natural after hip pin surgery and, in fact, I remember one the paramedics saying "I bet it's a hip fracture - see how this leg is a bit shorter than the other?"

He's sending me for a lift (1/2 in. with a true 1/4th in.) in Bad Leg's shoe. If this evens out my gait, it will be a blessing as I'll then be dealing with two "even" feet.

I remarked that I'd walk more if I had a Handicapped Sign which he promptly issued.  You take the doctor's prescription to Triple A and walk out with a bright red placard.  Now I have to make good on walking more.  "Be careful what you wish for..."

Richie fussed about the foot/ankle swelling but he said he would order a drug that helps.  If this is a "water pill" getting up to pee every 15 min. through the night may not be such a good thing.  In fact, not at all.

He taught me a new exercise for the thigh muscle on Bad leg.  Bend your Good knee and hug it to your chest.  Extend Bad Leg and clench your knee down flat.

I'm doing well, within expected boundaries.  And Thank God for that!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wimberley, TX

I got word today that my cousin Marcia - who lives there - is fine.  Considering the devastation -- 350 houses lost - I was relieved.  And it's a population of 2,000+ - given the odds, she's very lucky or else lives far enough from the river that she was safe.  All's well that ends well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

By page 121, I was Rooting For The Hero to Die

"The Panther" by Nelson DeMille  $27.99  625 pages of nonsense

The "hero" I so despised is named John Corey, now an Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent, married to the unfortunate Kate Mayfield, an FBI agent.  You may have read of their previous adventures.

This particular plotline is:  John killed a major terrorist called The Lion.  A new player called The Panther wants revenge.  He is an American-born convert to Islam.

The US sees this Panther as a threat and dispatches John and Kate to Yemen to deal with him.  So far, so good.

But the reason I wanted John to die is that he is a New York smartass.  He believes his asides and witticisms to be pure gold and they are anything but.  Infantile, peural and quite snide - or so he thinks.  Further these remarks are all remarkably predictable.

I never dreamed I'd root for the terrorists but ... the exception proves the rule.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Like Sitting on Air

Thinking I was developing a pressure sore/bedsore/decubitus (after 40 days of sitting on my butt reading) I made an appointment with the Wound Care Clinic.  There I was told that yes, but it was superficial and the therapist put on a light bandage.

When I mentioned that I'd been using a donut pillow, she said, "No! No those are just for hemorrhoids!  Let me give you a pressure cushion" and scurried off to get one.

She unpacked a wheelchair-sized cushion with air baffles and quilting.  The idea is that the pressure of your body channels the air inside equally making for an "air seat."

They are waffle cushions and you can see what I'm talking about at

Don't think of waiting until you have a medical condition to use one.  Any hard surface where you have to sit for any length of time?  They're tailor made.

The stands at kids sporting events

Coach on Air France (composition of an AF seat - one bare plank, daintily covered with two sheets of Kleenex with the seat fabric stapled across)

Any meeting with folding chairs

And you will feel as though you just settled your derriere upon a benevolent cloud.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Today's Indy 500

I asked my cousin Doug, a long-time resident of Anderson, IN the impact of the Indy 500, if any, on Anderson and he replied that:  It's 40 miles, straight as an arrow on I-69 from the track to Anderson.  The motels and restaurants and camping sites all do well, but of more impact is the Little 500, held at the Anderson Speedway since 1949.

The Little 500 attracts some 25,000 spectators, so yeah, I would definitely expect it to make a real impact.    Ka-ching!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Memmorial Day Weekend!

Richie and "D" have walked down to the annual Hermosa Beach Memorial Fair.  Had I been more mobile, I would have gone, too, but from previous experience, I can tell you exactly what they're doing.

First stop:  Food Court for Santa Maria brisket sandwiches.  Then a digestion-inducing stroll up and down Hermosa Avenue, checking out the various items for sale.  Beach photos,  photos, sandals, bathing suits, decorative lamps, sculptures, outfits for babies.

Then a look is exchanged and they are strolling across the Plaza, heading for the Poopdeck, our long-time hangout.  Which has been covered extensively before.

The only change is that when they're ready to leave, Richie will go back to the Food Court and buy me a container of Cajun shrimp.  These babies are nearly mutants in size and it's $10 for a cup of five.  As they hang over the cup edge, I gave him a plastic zip-lock bag to transport them. 

Hurry home, dear - we've got beer here!

CORRECTIONS  "D"  had a bratwurst, Richie had the Santa Maria tri-tip and the Cajun shrimp guy wasn't there.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dubious Bargains

I recently re-upped my subscription to Bon Appetit and yesterday, I received their "thank you" for doing so.  A gift certificate for Petrosian caviar?  Nope.  Omaha Beef?  Nope, again.

It was a $100 voucher for  What ho?  I went to the Website and discovered that management claims it is  customer funded to bring wholesale prices and to fund independent wineries. 

The wines are pre-chosen and "bundled."  I am not that adventurous.

Here is the hitch.  A mixed case MUST cost $160 (or more) whereupon you are given a $100 credit and pay $60.  Typical basket price:  retail - $326; Naked Wine - $164.

More than that, our guests are all very generous, bringing wine as a house present.  Thus since we don't drink wine with every meal, we have a plethora of a cellar.

And how could I betray my beloved Trader Joe?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


When I was discharged from the hospital, I was offered my choice of a walker or a cane. For a steadier base, I took the walker.  I needed four legs as a base, not to tangle my feet up with a cane.

In the beginning, I was simply delighted to have mobility of a sort again.  As the exercises progressed and I got stronger, I began to want to be more helpful.  Instead of asking Richie, "Can you hand me - this, that, the other thing?"  I wanted independence.

But the problem is that you need both hands on the walker handles.  Small things - ziplock bags make wonderful, albeit small purses.  You can pinch one with your fingers and still use the handle bars.

Supermarket bags are handier for bigger or bulkier items - books for example.

Cross chest purses or back packs are worked able, too.

Graduation?  No walker at all!

Monday, May 18, 2015

"One riot; one Texas Ranger"

This a famous quote all over Texas and has been for a long time.    In view of the bikers in Waco,  I have to wonder, where were they?

Our friend "D" called this morning and during the conversation,  he had a personal story to re late about Waco

In 1991 he was on assignment there.  He said he stayed at the Waco Hilton and noticed a rung track outside.  Wanting to do some laps, he asked the Desk about it.

The desk man promptly said, "Ah, you don't want to be doin' that - Go on to Baylor; they got a real nice track an all kinds a facilities." 

"D"  looked out of the window again and the Desk man said, "Don't chew go out there to run - didn't you know that Waco is the world capital of murders?"

Personally I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement - everything in Texas is the "Biggest!" and the "Best"!  Why not numbers of murderers?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Pleasures of a Rainy Day

It started with a blast of rain on the skylight in the middle of the night.  Since I love rain noises, I rolled over and then went back to sleep.  Nice weather the next day...

But next day we had more rain - but a gentle rain.  The house was toasty warm and I had a good book in which to immerse myself. 


Not that the piddling amount of water changed anything whatsoever about the drought

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy 90th, Yogi Berra

When I read today's birthdays in this paper this morning, I was surprised to see that he was still with us (not that I had ever given it much thought, one way or the other.)

You may not know that his christened name was Lawrence Peter. 

His education stopped after 8th grade.

He and wife Carmen were married from 1949 until her death of complications from a stroke in March 2014.  That was 65 years of marriage.  The couple had three sons.

When they moved from their home to assisted living their home was listed at $888,888 and quickly sold. 

Too often we seem to forget that notable figures in the sports world also had a private life, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Certain Sadness at the Jazz Club

Our friend Sara won't be there.  We hadn't seen her for three Sundays in a row which was very unusual.  I asked around, but no one seemed to know anything definitive.

Then last month the club president answered an e to tell me that she had died -- and the memorial service had been the Friday before.  I was sorry because we would have gone - Sara didn't have a lot of family (as far as I could tell.)  Her most-often named relative was a nephew.  Her husband had died some 20 years previously and while they had no children, they did have a much-beloved (and well fed) cat.  We compared photos (pretend you didn't read that.)

She was smart, very can do and had a good sense of humor.  It will be a reflex to walk in this afternoon and look for her. No slight figure, no black hair up in a '40s bun - no welcoming smile. 

RIP, Sara.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nevermind Wings Beneath Wings; I Want Wheels Underneath Me Arse

And yesterday I got them.  If I'd only thought of this Tuesday morning, I could have gone with Richie to Las Brisas' Cinco de Mayo festivities. 

It's a lightweight "transfer" wheelchair, used solely for things like car to restaurant doors... doctor's office -- the kinds of things that would be easier on the old bod than walking. 

Most importantly to me, it means I can attend Thurs. Writers which I did today.  Since it's not designed for lolling, we stuck the donut pillow on the seat and I passed a comfortable two hours.

It has legs which end in foot flaps and half of the back of the chair folds down for easier placement in the truck or cargo area of a car.

It's easy enough to bring the walker along; the patient holds it while being trundled along to where she has to walk (through a restaurant, for example.)

Do you notice a trend here?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Silly and Serious News

Portland, OR:  First vegan mall opens to much foofaraw.  In addition to all any vegan could ever hope for in the way of Their Food, there are shops (plastic shoe boutique?) as well as "vegan dancers."  I thought this might mean that they keep the poor girls locked in all-veg dormitories when they were not on stage, but it turns out to mean that the dancers are not allowed to wear fur, leather, silk or pearls.  The odds of a dancer wearing genuine pearls struck me as rather remote.  But what do I know?  They are said to be very well paid ...

Pamela Geller, whose blog and the suggestions within sparked the anti-Muslin cartoon festival that triggered the shots fired in Texas seems to be continuing her quest for dubious publicity with the announcement of an August event involving lobsters.  What they have to do with Islamic terrorists is unclear to this writer but someone better tell old Pamela that the terrorist theory of retaliation is NOT aimed at a single person.  Anybody there will be cheerfully included as the terrorist thinking seems to be "Kill 'em all; let Allah sort them out."   Should another event prove fatal to bystanders, the blood is squarely on her hands. 

POSTER - You make a very good point.  I don't disagree with anything that you wrote.  On the other hand, waving a red flag at a bull is never a good idea.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Letters to the Editor

The Daily Breeze asked what their readers thought of Bruce Jenner's proposed sex change.  Here is one reply:

Nothing good ever came out of the Kardashians (singularly or collectively - redacted) and he is closely aligned with them.  It's odd that a man with three ex-wives and six children would suddenly decide to (go from a he to a she - redacted) change his sex.  Since the whole tribe lives for publicity, draw your own conclusions.  I have.

Nina Murphy

This is the first time they've edited me and I'd like to think that they did it due to space requirements.    As in "They like me!  They really like me!"  (who're we kidding here...)

Monday, May 4, 2015

From Redondo to Nepal

Some time ago, we welcomed a new next door neighbor.  A blue-eyed blonde her name was Caryl and she was an industrial designer -- when you walked into a lavishly lobby in an office building, it may have been her work.

She seemed to have a boyfriend; they had a bad breakup and to soother her nerves, she took off  ro go trekking in the Himalayas.  While there she and Nima Sherpa fell in love.  He was a Sherpa with several climbs of K22 and Mt. Everest.   He was also 18 to her 32.   

She brought him home and we adored him.  Handsome, beautiful manners and a great sense of humor.  He was intelligent and learned our ways with fluid ease.

Time passed, they moved to Seattle and thence to running a B & B in the village of Chhuserma, Nepal.  Caryl adapted to her new life with ease and adoration.  She wrote a book about their romance, called, if memory serves "Earth Wind and Fire."

Recently she wrote in the newsletter that everyone in that village lost their home.  Google "Nepal EQ Newsletter" and visit the to see the B & B which does look lovely (if you like mountain views.)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Good Travel Agents Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

A case in point - in March I booked us on an Air France flight to Paris on June 11th.  In due time we were billed and paid.

And then came broken hip.

During Wednesday's post op with the surgeon, I asked him if I could make the flight.  He looked rather shocked (or as shocked looking as he is likely to get.)  He said after some thought, "I'd put it off until September."

This was a surprise.  With my typical optimism I thought it would be a "Go!"  On the other hand, the thought of being subjected to "French medicine" was a daunting one.  The French depend on an ambulance to stabilize the patient rather than to slam the back doors and take off avec tout vitesse to the nearest hospital.  No, thank you. 

So I called Peggy, who had booked the tickets in the first place and asked if it would be cheaper to rebook now (knowing the airline would put the boots to us for it or cancel entirely, get a refund (however much they would allow us) and rebook in late August?  September is a shoulder season in Paris and tickets are bound to be cheaper than peak season - middle of June. 

Before I knew it, Peggy was on the phone with a 3-way conversation with a man at Air France.  Because it was a medical cause for the change and because it was doctor's orders not to fly until September, Air France waived the $300 per person re-booking fee.  We saved $600 then and there. 

And the change in booking is good until March, 2016. 

Peggy Pelligreni
Zen Travel Services
:  Will have spent it by then ...