Captain Fun in action

Captain Fun in action

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Surprise

This year the family took a rest from traveling and we stayed in San Diego for Christmas. This can be a nice change from the extra effort of car or air travel in the busiest time of year.  We connected by phone and email and blog. 

Our Mom Kate joined us of course. Here Jeanne helps Santa distribute gifts on Christmas Eve.  Yes, we open eve and Christmas morning.

Our cat Abby got in the spirit and brought us our first personal Christmas gift with her skills as a huntress: a fresh lizard kill she had been pursuing for weeks on the patio!!  Good Kitty!!

But that was not the big surprise...   Maybe it was Warren's really big package from Jeanne which had him guessing for more than a week.

A new wet/dry shop vacuum (to help clean that new sports car).

Nope, that wasn't the Big surprise either.  The big surprise came Christmas morning when Lisa and her boyfriend Ray Villegas came over to open presents. Ray got Lisa a football jersey for her favorite team, and in the bottom of the gift bag was a small box.  Hmmm.......  She opened the box......  Ray got on his knee....

And asked her to marry him !!!! .......

She took a deep breathe.... and said "Yes!".  For some reason kissing ensued.

We were surprised for sure!!  Lisa called family before I was allowed to Blog the news, but she wanted to share this Christmas proposal.  They are in no hurry to set a date, but prefer to make plans, counsel, and talk with family and friends about their new life together at their own pace. We are praying for the Lord's direction and timing in this exciting time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Teeth of Winter

Winter (California Style) finally arrived in San Diego. We had some concerned phone calls from our family after making the national news.  Seems like we are either on fire or sliding towards the ocean.  Here is a rainbow I caught the tail end of literally yesterday afternoon.

The persistant rain was tough on the Cosmos plants in the front yard and rearranged some of the garden too.  This NEVER happens in San Diego.  Ok, I hear the chuckles from family with 2 feet of snow on their porch.

Inside, Abby made her usual rounds of the ever changing present pile under the tree and sang a chorus of "It's A Very Meowwwrry Christmas" by Burle Ives.  I think I heard that right....

After a long look outdoors (with harness on and ready for action) Abby aborted the front porch "afternoon outdoor foray" for a longboard cervesa and a nap.  Smart girl!

Tonight Abby will guard the tree while Jeanne and I celebrate my buddy Steve's birthday (yup, Christmas eve eve) as he turns the big "6" OOOOOHHHHHHH.  Good excuse to deliver Christmas goodies to those gathered.  It's beginning to look a lot like christmas.....every where you go......   ho ho ho!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Letter

The ocean water is 54 degrees, the waves aren’t so hot this morning (according to the internet), the Chargers don’t play the Chiefs until 1:00 pm, and the cat decided she wanted breakfast early so she could stalk birds on the patio (on her leash).  I’m looking at the first few Christmas cards that have drifted in from those beloved family members who have been ready for Christmas since before Thanksgiving and I’m thinking “I better knock the annual letter out early this year!”  Well, early for me.  Some of you will read this from a mailed envelope and the rest from my new blog most of you are getting used to at where I can post pictures of our year as well.  I respect those who still like the old way we have practiced so long.
This year Jeanne and I celebrated our first anniversary.  Man, does that sound weird to my mind. Married July 10, 2009 we are still enjoying our new life together and discovering a great deal we admire and appreciate about each other. 

We spent a bit of time this year sorting through the boxes and boxes of stuff to get our garage back from the “we have two of everything” situation.  We had garage sales, gave stuff to the kids, sent a bunch to Goodwill Industries and folks in need. Stewardship is big on our list, and we have been blessed with too much stuff.
Also related to setting up our new life has been a constant parade of redecorating projects.  Jeanne has real talent here and to quote Lisa on a visit to our master bedroom “this doesn’t even look like a room that was ever in this house before!”   We did everything but the hardwood floor refinishing and tile ourselves.  Times are hard for many in our state as across the country, and one option to save money is to skip teeth cleaning.  Jeanne is a dental hygienist and she and many others have had their hours reduced considerably.  So she stayed busy at home planning and making wonderful changes for us.
During one of the projects I got a little overly aggressive with my back and ended up with a herniated disc and the joys of sciatica (pain radiating down my left leg to the foot).  After many trips to the pharmacy, chiropractor, physical therapist, and eventually to the UCSD Medical Center pain clinic for cortisone shots, I finally got some relief.  Phew, don’t want that fun ever again.
In April we flew to Colorado Springs to visit daughter Renee, son-in-law Alejandro and their precious little boy Danilo.  We got to be grandparents for a week and really enjoyed little “Danny” very much.  He is the best grandson in the whole world as you may have guessed. No?  You know a better one?  Really? Well let me tell you, whomever you have in mind doesn’t have a chance of being as smiley as Danny. Below is the first fig newton experience!

Fall leaves are fun!

Especially to throw!!!

This little guy is a pretty happy camper, and is very accepting of his grandpa and grandma who have very limited time with him. 

This visit gave Renee and Ale time to get to know Jeanne a little better too.  Renee and Ale are wonderful parents which is no surprise.  If you want to check in with them visit Renee's excellent blog at  She is my inspiration to start this blog by the way, and it has been a fun diversion that fulfills my love of writing and overcomes my sloth in communicating with those I care about.

Lisa lives just a mile or two away from our house and is a constant joy when she visits.  Working two jobs and still has time for movies and celebrations!  Here she is with her new friend Ray.

This year has also been a pleasure as I get to know my new step-son Daniel better.  Jeanne's only son is a great guy who plays guitar and makes his living implementing and maintaining client/server type computers for a local company.  So we have a great deal in common besides his Mom.  We are growing together as blended families and I couldn't be more pleased.  Here we are celebrating Daniel's  birthday around the pool at his girlfriend's apartment complex.

Many of you are aware that one of my passions is my Toyota MR2 sports car.  This little two seat, mid engine, fun-to-drive companion has been my joy each day as I commute to work.  Alas it neared the 200K mile mark and I had to make a decision about its long term fate.  The decision came when I ended a two year search for a good used Honda S2000 on the CarMax website. 

Yep, I found one in the color, interior and with low miles I was looking for, so I traded the “White Tiger” in for what became known as the “Silver Bullet”.  Jeanne and I love the many warm evening drives to Church with the top down then out for a date.
I continue to work with my SD County government customers working for a small company called Attain who subcontracts to Northrop Grumman.  I work with a team who helps our county choose, implement, integrate and bring to life computer programs for their staff who work in permitting and inspecting operations.  These folks check your food, restaurants, grocery stores, crop treatments, gas stations, all the cash registers at point of sale, construction sites, air quality, etc. for compliance with local and state laws.
Jeanne and I now host a program for recovery from divorce and separation called DivorceCare at Eastlake Church twice a year.  If you or someone you care about is enduring this devastating experience visit to find a group near you to attend.  This faith based 12 week group oriented program can help a great deal.  We also spend time helping our mothers continue to navigate the senior years the best we can.
We hope this communication brightens your Christmas season and helps you to know what we have been up to this year.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year dear ones! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Birthday Boy

Today is a work day for me, but my family got me out for a little Birthday celebrating last Sunday.  I'm truely blessed at 61 to be able to work, play, surf, enjoy the love of family and the radiance of God's profound love for me inspite of myself.  "All this and salvation too" is a common phrase I like to reflect upon. 

Some birthdays are easier than others. If you are facing some of life challenges, or even deep despair (as I have in the past),  please be patient with yourself as my friends were with me and look forward. Don't go it alone. Surround yourself with those who will help each in their own way and let them be your companions on the road to recovery! 

  Here I am with family and friends at "Top of The Market" on San Diego bay.  This is a favorite of mine and Jeanne too.  Great place for a leisurely lunch and birthday desserts.

Lisa made friends with a native San Diegan party crasher.  I love the view and tradition this restaurant is for my family.  My grandmother used to take us here when it was Tom Lai's cantonese food.  My Mom recalled when this opened during WWII. 

My complementary birthday cake was a little small for sharing, so we ordered from the desert tray the waiter brought around.  Hope your next birthday is as pleasant as mine this year.  Thanks for all the birthday calls today as well!  I'm touched.