The Family Visit


Trudi and Jeff are back in Wisconsin. They left here late afternoon and made it home around midnight. Pain-in-the-ass that it is, flying still beats anything else we’ve got!

They needed time off from life’s responsibilities. We provided cover.

It was a great time. In retrospect, that’s amazing. Trudi and I grew up in a constant state of conflict. To think, back then, I’d want to spend more time with her was crazy.

In the less enlightened 50s and 60s, the New York City Board of Education separated the Fox children. She went to PS 201. I went to PS 163. This was a major disservice to our family.

We had few common friends. We had few common activities. We grew up in constant conflict.

Funny thing is, as we became adults we grew closer. It’s been quite a transition. Trudi and Jeff are among our closest friends. We speak nearly every day.

Part of it’s shared concern for our parents. We’re of a like mind when it comes to their well being. Trudi and Jeff have taken on the bulk of the responsibility since our folks left Florida.

Maybe it’s our shared sensibility? There is so much about how life should be lived we agree upon.

Whatever it is, it’s great being in each other’s life in a major way. Their trip to the coast was a total success. Let’s do it again.

Next weekend?

Harold Ramis

“Acting is all about big hair and funny props… All the great actors knew it. Olivier knew it, Brando knew it”. — Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters DVD commentary

I was always a big fan. He was silly while maintaining an intellectual persona.

This title card from the Groundhog Day trailer shows what a real Renaissance man looks like.

Harold Ramis will be missed.


Rain Coming And Folks Are Excited


“It will be good for the state.” Those were Helaine’s words a few minutes ago. We were talking about the threat of rain in SoCal. We’ve had hardly any since last year’s rainy season–also a dud.

The image above is a screengrab from the afternoon GFS, using BUFKIT. If you want to know what kind of person I am, I find it fascinating. I like charts, graphs and numbers. They like me back!

I’m not going to be a whiner. Drought sounds and is bad. However, our infrastructure was designed knowing we get droughts. It needs much less than normal rain to work properly. No one is being forced to conserve.

We will finally end the fire season. That will be a relief to many. California has a tendency to burn.

Our first rain comes Wednesday evening. A cold front off a low hitting the California Coast near the Oregon border is the trigger. Not a lot. The GFS says around a quarter inch.

Meteorologists are lucky here. I’ve read and seen all sorts of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF). It’s our least accurate prediction. They’ll all be wrong, but unlike snow, no one will check up on them.

The rain (and snow) should be significantly heavier farther north, including the Sierra Mountains. They are our sponge! Snowfall in the mountains is slowly released through early summer. Much of what would run to the ocean now flows toward the Southland.

Water from the Sierras is California’s lifeline. It’s how we house people and grow crops in the desert! Like so many other spots in America, we have overcome nature to tame a place not naturally suited for any of what now happens on it.

The second wave of rain arrives Friday morning. The GFS shows three inch range, much more than this area can easily perc. Flooded intersections and slow traffic will follow. Thunderstorms, less frequent here than back east, are possible with heavy embedded downpours.

NEXRAD is pretty bad here. Too much topography. There are lots of holes using individual radars. This is one place where composites help.

During these storms our temperature will stay in the 60s.

Friday’s deluge will taper to showers then some scattered drizzle under cloudy skies through Sunday. People here are looking forward to this brief change. I will miss my friend, the blue sky.

Sunday With the Family


This is my sister and brother-in-law’s last full day in SoCal. We didn’t want to waste it!

family-at-breakfastStef was driving down from Hollywood, so we made reservations for a noon brunch. Traffic didn’t cooperate!

When she called, Stef was crawling through the City of Commerce on the 5. I pushed the reservation back to 12:30.

Brunch was at the Back Bay Bistro in Newport Beach. Like many places out here, Doppler is welcome if we’re eating outside.

g-h-and-dopplerWe sat on the patio, directly on the bay. A boat, just large enough to arguably be called a yacht, was moored around 20 feet away. Brunch was delicious and filling!

We turned south down PCH for Laguna Beach. Laguna was the setting for a few MTV shows, but it’s mainly an arty town with beautiful homes precariously placed atop one another on steep hillsides. Downtown is perfect for window shopping.

laguna-hillsWe found a meter at the beach. I swiped in two hours worth of parking. Laguna’s business district runs right to the water. There are shops and restaurants on the tree lined streets.

I think Trudi and Jeff have enjoyed visiting California. It’s very different from Wisconsin, especially this time of year. We will miss them. They’ll be back.

Fireworks At Disney

We did a bunch of stuff today, culminating in dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, plus Cousins Michael, Melissa and Max.

We ate at Downtown Disney with a plan. After our meal we’d move to the Disney parking garage and watch the fireworks from an upper floor!


Disney Day

Trudi and Jeff, my sister and brother-in-law are visiting from Wisconsin. We’re trying to show them a good time. It seems to be working! We went to Disneyland today. It’s a school holiday in many cities and the park was jammed. We did a lot of walking in both the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s California […]

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The Arrival

Trudi and Jeff, my sister and brother-in-law, arrived this afternoon. Nine hours in transit. We figured they’d need some rest. We mostly stayed home. Lots of story telling and giggling out on the patio. I barbecued. Helaine served the more intricate dishes. More giggling. We’re going to Disneyland tomorrow. Therapy from a full dose of […]

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Guests Mean Baked Goods… And Guests

Guests are arriving tomorrow. My sister and brother-in-law are flying in from the ‘burbs of Milwaukee. Brutal winter. We’ll reintroduce them to the Sun. Their trip from Milwaukee to Orange County will take nine plus hours. I’ve done my part. I’ve been to the store to pick up my sister’s favorite goodies. Helaine has been […]

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BBC World News Comes To My TV

BBC world News HD has been added to our cable lineup on Uverse in Irvine. I’ve spent the last few weeks bathing in its deep pool of content. This is not another CNN, Fox News, MSNBC. No! This is real news. A friend of mine who’s roamed the globe the last few decades says the […]

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Bunny Island

I emailed a link to Stef earlier tonight. It’s video from Ōkunoshima, a small Japanese island. The island houses a colony of very cute, very tame, extroverted, cottontails. It’s commonly known as “Rabbit Island.” Stef called and renamed it. It’s now, “Bunny Island.” She then proceeded to describe the trip I should take her on […]

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