Captain Fun in action

Captain Fun in action

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Patio Parties

One of my favorite things in San Diego is outdoor parties.  We do 'em on the ole patio.  So did the early California ranchers that settled this part of the world.  Sun, friends and a patio table with food is all it takes.  We don't worry about the occaision that much, we just make an excuse like "Fred's birthday from last month" and we get together.  What follows is a cavalcade of patios, friends, family, and fun from last summer and fall this year.

This is an annual Surfer's Bible Study August potluck at Pete and Candice Savage's house.  Add pool to patio for more fun.

The warm evenings make it a great time to catch up with friends and trade lies stories about the local fishing and surfing. I enjoy the close ties that a common faith allows with these folks who we pray for as we meet life's challenges.

Here are a couple of happy patio compadres squinting  in the evening sun as they wait in the buffet line.

Later we migrate inside to the dessert table.  Yummie!

Island Prime restaurant has a nice patio!  My brother Ken and daughter Lisa catch up on one of his Navy stops in San Diego. My mom, Kate, is just beyond Ken at the table looking animated.

A summer favorite is beer on my Mom's patio.  This is a tradition my brother, friends: Mike and Steve and new stepson Daniel are sharing.  Didn't have to ask these guys to smile for the camera.  Good Times!

Biggest patio party ever at my house was Kate's 90th Birthday Bash.  Yep 90 candles!  I had to take the battery out of the smoke alarm in the family room just off the patio for this part.

Just move your furniture outside, invite 60 guests, cater a lunch and viola!  Mom hasn't returned to normal orbit yet according to NASA.

Mom may be a record setter for gathering neighbors, friends, fans of swimming (Neptune Club), and family on a warm July 24th.  In this case we moved the buffet indoors.

If you don't have a patio try a community park, church reception hall, friend's house, or your own backyard with umbrella's.  Everyone will appreciate a little bit of time to graze and connect.  It's just that simple. Don't forget your snapshot camera.  Thanks everyone for joining us this year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still Jammin

My parents started me on clarinet when I was in 5th grade.  It was that or join the choir.  The choir had girls and they made you stand right next to them, so cooties were inevitable and I just couldn't do it.  I'm really glad for music and the rich dimension it added to my life over the years.  After clarinet, sax, flute I took up guitar so I could play rhythm for the band in which I worked my way through college.  I loved woodwinds, but the everyday pracitce for lip exercise killed it when I had a family and full time job.  I gravitated to the guitar more and more....

I have been privileged to contribute to the worship team at EastLake Community Church on a rotation basis where we have a full professional production rock band presentation with video and internet feed to the multimedia worship services offered there. Here is the happy old rocker giving his best to embelish the various styles of worship and secular music we play as a "special" to introduce the sermon topic.  This can be challenging as we do authentic versions of say... Green Day's "Field of Broken Dreams" for a sermon on depression, hopelessness.... or Brad Paisely's "I'm Just A Guy" for Father's Day.

One weekend we did a Mowtown Era Rythm and Blues number complete with horn section.  The church unknowingly hired three guys I had worked with in the 70's: Jim Weis, Carlos Seranos, and Robbie Breen.  Talk about a blast from the past!  They remembered me from my sax days and were surprised to find me playing electric guitar doing comp and some lead fills.  Life is full of surprises.  Thanks to all of you musicians who have blessed me with your musical contribution to one of the many bands and memories of my life.  Keep on rockin and sharing the love!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Friend

I have a new friend.  I never thought I would have a friend like this one.  Sometimes life brings you a little happiness from a corner of the universe you were unwilling to embrace due to bad experiences there.  Three women in my life conspired to change that experience.  Jeanne, Lisa and Renee are a mighty force for the cause of cats!  So, I decided I better give in and go with the flow.  Here is our new cat Abby going with the flow.

Man, I wish I could sleep like that cat! 

Sometimes Abby helps us keep up with important literature. 

Here is a more regal picture of this new queen of the household.  If you question her position she will confirm my claim with quiet indifference.  Turns out I kinda like that.  Guess who she sleeps with.  Makes up for indifference with affection on her terms of course.  I think I like this new friend.  Made any new friends lately?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Veteran

Today I write to tell you that your "little brother" can become your hero.  My younger brother Ken is a veteran of many more military campaigns than most of you know.  I'm very thankful he is still with us to read this and be my brother whom I love and admire and thank personally every Veteran's day for his personal sacrifice to protect me and my beloved country - meaning all of you. My other favorite veteran is all the rest of you who have served in so many ways to keep me free.

This is Ken standing on front of Babylon. This is where his travels with the Marine First Expeditionary Force took him on the way to ending Saddam Hussein's hideous reign over the people of Iraq. The history behind these ruins reminds us that the innocent have always needed protection from the wicked. Remembering and respecting those providing the protection is what Veteran's day is all about in my mind.  Irrespective of your political persuasion, or feelings about war, I hope you will reflect upon the fact that your safety and right to hold and speak your position is dependent on those like my brother.

The tyrant who's defaced image appears on the wall is gone. Unfortunately there are more like him, so we must continue to identify this type of person and guard the innocent from them.  And so I'm thankful for the men and women who are involved in doing that for our country today.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Ken. Here he is at home in Oahu on his lanai having a cool one.  This is the brother I surf with, and share with and love dearly.  Not every brother is so fortunate!  Thanks Ken - from your whole family!  Have a cool one today on me!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Fun

Today is a sunny 92 degrees, but the evening will be cool and this is one of my favorite times of year in San Diego. The end of daylight savings time and shorter daylight conspire to leave less time for the beach and so we move to indoor fun.  For years I have enjoyed the plays at Lambs Players Theatre over the San Diego Bay bridge near the historic Hotel Del Coronado.

 Jeanne has become a fan, and we were blessed to get a stranger to take a picture in Coronado one evening on the way to Lamb's production of "Room Service" an old Broadway hit.

You can join the fun at:  This is a great theatre, with a staff of inspired folks who entertain and challenge you about life's universals and moral issues quite often.  Food for the heart, and mind.

Two blocks to the west of Lamb"s Theatre is the beach (hmmm... recurrent theme here) and the Hotel Del Coronado. This is one of our favorite strolls with memorable surroundings and restaurants and the fresh ocean air.  Romantic?  You bet!  Hope you will be inspired to get out of the house this fall for a little break away from your routine.

Monday, November 1, 2010


One of the qualities I enjoy most in my wife Jeanne is her playfulness!  She often makes me laugh with little observations about myself, an event we are attending, a group of people acting foolishly.  She loves to poke fun, cajole, act out a stereotype complete with verbal accent. Don't get me started on her invention of our alter "trailer trash" personalities "Billy Ray" and "Lula Mae".  She uses them to point out less than considerate behavior in a comical way.  Smart girl.

Recently Jeanne had to have a somewhat serious foot surgery to correct a bone spur and joint problem.  This left her at home with leg up most of the time.  Among other things she passed the time making some GREAT Halloween costumes - yes,  Hippies!!!  Although she and I didn't identify with the Hippy lifestyle or attitude about drugs etc, we recognized that the Hippies did show compassion for one another and appreciation for "smelling the roses" (and many other flowers) along the road of life.  So here is a hurrah for the positive side of "Flower Power" as celebrated during Halloween this year.  Thanks Jeanne!  Peace!

Jeanne in front of our house and the Cosmos flowers planted late summer.  Groovy!

"Rolling Stone" and "Sunshine" - happy Hippy Halloween hopefuls at the Clairemont Square for a movie with my Mom.  Don't miss "Secretariat" the recent Disney production about the famous race horse and the extraordinary woman who brought him to championship form that remains unbeaten even today. 

We surprised our Bible Study by leading worship in costume. Some of the group couldn't figure out who we were. They recognized the guitar and the voices at some point. Happy fall season everyone!