A Line In The Sand

Cycling Activity 2.84 mi   RunKeeper

Part of the draw of California was a life lived more outdoors. There are too many Connecticut days too hot or too cold. Here, most are just right.

The problem is I’ve been sedentary the last six months. The effects of that inactivity are noticeable. At some point you just have to draw a line in the sand. That’s what I planned on doing and what I’ve now done.

Stef and I went out a few days ago to get bikes. She got a yellow beach cruiser and I came home with what was labeled a ‘comfort bike.’ That’s the mom jeans of peddling, right? It’s what we used to call a racer, but with wider tires.

Bicycling was my first choice because it’s low impact and something I enjoyed as a kid. It’s also reasonably easy to control the level of exertion while biking.

I went out for ten minutes Saturday and another fifteen minutes today. Not much. It’s a start.

We live in an area of small rolling hills nestled against the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. There’s little level peddling and lots of gear shifting. I came back sweating and breathing heavy.

As incentive (and because I’m a true technogeek) my rides are being logged with RunKeeper on my phone and Pebble watch. Over time I’d like to see distance and duration get longer and me get stronger.

Stef said this second ride was already one more than she expected to see!

A Night Of Italian Food


IMAG0180-w1200-h1200We were taken out for a really nice dinner tonight by Jeannie Luong, who helped us find our new home. Jeannie is physically tiny, not five feet tall. She’s a dynamo in every other respect!

Jeannie escaped Vietnam as the US withdrew from Saigon. She came to SoCal, got her law degree and now sells real estate. There are lots of immigrant success stories here in Orange County.

IMAG0186-w1200-h1200We were joined by a friend of Jeannie’s and our Irvine cousins, at Il Fornaio. It is a spectacular Italian restaurant nestled amongst the office buildings that flank “The 405″ in Irvine. There are twin bocci courts out front.

Our party was seated directly in front of the left half of Il Fornaio’s split kitchen. We got a meal and a show!

I ordered, Linguine Mare Chiaro:

Thin flat pasta with clams, mussels, prawns and scallops; seasoned with tomatoes, crushed red pepper, garlic and Trebbiano wine

Helaine had, Capellini al Pomodoro:

Angel hair pasta, chopped tomatoes, garlic, marinara sauce and fresh basil

Dinner was very good as was the service from a color coordinated, uniformed staff. I did sense a little disappointment from the waiter when no one ordered wine.

This was a special place, not the kind of Italian food you’d get on a whim. We will be back. Very impressive.

Thank you Jeannie.



Things You See While Shopping In SoCal

I’ve been involved in more shopping over the last month than any other time in my life. I’ve been in stores of every shape and size. If it can be bought, it’s crossed our sights.

That’s given me the opportunity to look closely at the stores themselves.


Winner of the coolest display goes to this miniature tent city from Coleman. When I first approached it I had no idea what I was seeing. Then it dawned, these were scale models.

I’d like one for Doppler, please.


I bought a bike. Stef and I looked at a bunch of stores where bikes are sold before settling on one at Dick’s.

I walked into one specialty store, looked at the bikes hanging from the ceiling and told Stef the price wasn’t too bad.

“That’s four numbers,” she replied.

I thought the bike was a little over $200. Oops.

At one store there were bandages in a first aid kit at the base of the bicycle display!


Finally… Maybe I’m missing something, but I thought squirrels were a scourge? We found one store with a large display of squirrel food.

Seriously? More squirrels? Pinch me.

We are in a neighborhood with a large bunny population. They are all over the place at night

It’s California. Even the wild animals are adorable.

Sweat There, Not Here


I’m almost scared to write about the weather. No one wants me to rub in the weather change moving brought. We left Connecticut at the start of a brutal summer. There have been more tornadoes and thunderstorms in Southern New England than I remember from summer’s past. It is sweaty as a Turkish prison!

The map at the top of this entry (courtesy: http://weather.unisys.com/) shows current dew point temperatures. Dew point is an absolute measure of atmospheric moisture and a better indicator of humidity’s effect than relative humidity itself!

That’s it in a nutshell. All the sweaty stuff is east of the Rockies. That’s not unusual. It’s that the way every summer.


It all has to do with water temperature and the influence of the ocean. The water off the East Coast is warmer than water off the West Coast. Oceanic circulation brings here brings cool water down from Alaska. The Gulf Stream does the opposite in the east.

Even mid-summer, beach water here never warms. Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top, but only toes in the water!

In Connecticut a sea breeze brings humid air. In California it does not.

The dew point here is 59&#176 with a breeze off the Ocean. It’s off Long Island Sound on the Connecticut shoreline today, but the dew point at New Haven is 74&#176.

Dew points in the 70&#176s are stressful enough to be dangerous.

Officially SoCal has a Mediterranean climate, just like Italy and the beaches of Southern Europe. It’s very nice.

We made a good weather trade.


I don’t think it’s possible to explain how much trash we’ve produced since closing in Irvine. Can it breed? Wednesday is trash day and my oversized garbage and recycled bins are full.

Earlier today I cajoled an invitation to the construction dumpster used for some nearby homes nearing completion. Like peeing in the ocean. It hardly made a dent.

There’s was even a Bonnie and Clyde trash adventure with Stef a few days ago. Don’t ask. We’re not talking.

My walk and front steps are filled with broken down boxes, discarded household items and bags of trash. I will attempt to convince the trashman to take this uncanned al fresco trash. If not, I’m not sure what to do?

We didn’t move as much cardboard and bubble wrap from Connecticut as we moved belongings. It only feels that way!

I’ve Got That Can’t Do Spirit

I grew up in an apartment. I grew up far removed from tools or handiwork. When you own a home it helps to be coordinated. I am not what you would call coordinated. We had Chris spend the day with us Monday. He is a professional handyman. Five ceiling fans installed. Check. Two TVs hung. […]

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What Kind Of Sex Toy Is This?

The text message I got this morning was a little cryptic: “Morning meeting crew eta 0900.” It was from Mike Hughes, our mover. Helaine found Mike’s “Working Robots” through Angie’s List. It’s a out of the norm to use a local guy to move you cross country, but it was obvious as we packed, Mike […]

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Holy crap, it’s a real newspaper!

During my tenure at FoxCT I got to work closely with the reporters, managers and staff at the Hartford Courant. It was sad to see them feel they were on a sinking ship. In aggregate, these were the smartest people I’d ever worked with. It’s not specifically the Courant that’s going down, but newspapers and […]

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We Now Have TV

It was a mutual decision. This afternoon Helaine and I came to the conclusion the loft needs a larger TV than the one coming from Connecticut. All the pent up spending urges we’ve been kept in check for thirty years are coming out. At this point, what’s a TV? As it turns out, prices continue […]

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We’ve Got Cable… Sorta

We spent a good part of the afternoon with Federico from AT&T U-verse. He came to install our cable TV and high speed Internet access packages. Our house came nicely wired, but it still takes time. I think we have TV, but I can’t be sure. As of this evening our Connecticut stuff, including TVs, […]

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