Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Au revoir Palm Springs!

It's been a super holiday but it's always great to get home too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More photos of Harmony

More photos of Roger and Kerry's beautiful first grand daughter!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You have to have rhythm...

We had another great lunch at Pomme Frites Saturday. This time we split a Salade Nicoise...fabulous with seared rare ahi tuna, great anchovies and capers...wow. Then split a steak-frites...also great. \

We had seen this amazing street juggler when we were at Las Casuelas and he was also in view at Pomme Frites so Jim had this idea he would ask him to let him juggle and get some tips. He was very willing and Jim got some good ideas...go slower, get into the rhythm. Jim has got some experience juggling as Richard introduced it to him as a stress reliever. Richard learned it when he was working in the Silicon Valley doing incredibly long days.

Jim getting a juggling lesson.

The pro showing him how it's done.

Friday, March 27, 2009

G20 summit: Fears that anarchists plan to hijack march - Telegraph

And I thought there was more than enough craziness going on in the world...

G20 summit: Fears that anarchists plan to hijack march - Telegraph

The Curlings great mini-holiday

Well...I was going to talk about the great lunch we had the other day at P.F. Changs especially the dessert which was hot banana eggrolls with carmel sauce and ice cream but I think this menu outdoes it!

From Elaine:

We had a fabulous experience last night at the Beringer Winemaker’s Dinner. The reception began in Bear Mountain’s new Wine Cellar. What a wonderful cellar. It has an area perfect for receptions of any type. Stuart allowed us to wander through out the maze of aisles. At the moment I believe there are 12,000 bottles, and room for another 10,000 bottles. Stuart was the organizer of the event and it has taken almost 2 years to pull it off. After the reception wine (a sauvignon blanc) and finger appetizers we went for dinner to The Copper Rock Grill for a 5 – course meal.

1. poached Atlantic lobster with a viognier
2. pan roasted scallop and leek and sunchoke risotto with a private reserve chardonnay
3. Quebec foie gras and duck leg presse (pate) with a merlot
4. citrus fruit sorbet
5. duo of pork: pork belly and a mushroom wrapped loin with a private reserve cabernet sauvignon

The dessert was served in the top floor Westin Penthouse, a mango mousse with fluid coconut jelly and a strawberry crisp with a Semillon sauvignon blanc. It was a wonderful evening. We were very glad to take the elevator to our room and not to have a long drive home. Our room or rather suite was very luxurious and probably bigger than our condo. This morning we had Starbuck’s coffee and cinnamon buns in our suite. Then I went for a great swim at the Club House in their salt water heated outdoor pool. I also hot tubbed. Don thought it best not to try hot tubbing just yet. We checked out about 11:00. It was a great mini holiday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy children in our house

I was wondering what to put on my blog today and then I picked up this message from Elsbeth who sent me this photo of Neela and Liam having fun in our house...what sweethearts!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Resort Course at Tahquitz

We've been playing this course at Tahquitz lately and will play it again with Tom and Claire this weekend. It's very scenic and I love the desert garden features...and there are even my beloved mimosa trees! I also like this course because there is a par 3 early on and the holes aren't quite so long at the beginning. The Legends course is a bit of a killer for long holes early on and no par 3's until the 7th.

I think I will have to paint this so I took loads of photos the other day. I don't seem to get around to painting or doing much of anything except swimming, tubbing, golf, dining out etc. A very lazy existence around here.

My mimosas starting to bloom.

EU presidency: US and UK economic recovery plans are 'a way to hell' - Telegraph

Well, I was very impressed with Obama's press conference yesterday. He was so articulate, smart, and seemed to know all the details of the issues. I particularly liked how he insisted on continuing to invest in energy, health care, and education.

I'm sure the Republicans only action would have been more tax cuts for the rich and praying for a "trickle down" effect to solve all problems.

Time will tell what will work I guess but I do admire the flexibility of Obama and his willingness to try a variety of approaches.

EU presidency: US and UK economic recovery plans are 'a way to hell' - Telegraph

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AFP: 4.7-magnitude earthquake shakes California

I was awake and felt it. The epicenter was around the Salton Sea which is about an hour's drive away. It was about the same size as the one we had in Santa Monica last July. We really felt that one since it was closer and we were on the 8th floor of the Georgian Hotel. Actually I think that was 5.4 so quite a bit more.

AFP: 4.7-magnitude earthquake shakes California

In the TC today...cold economy and cold weather do a double whammy for golf

Times Colonist Digital

Monday, March 23, 2009


Would you believe we took these beach towels to our first trip to Europe in 1972!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Very windy today

We did actually manage to get a tub and swim this morning and get out to Jensen's to buy a great steak for tonight. We went to a movie this afternoon as we couldn't really do anything much outside. We saw Duplicity and found it to be very amusing. This is what met us as we came out of the Mary Pickford theatre.

Animal enrichment

There was an article in the Desert Sun today about zoos doing animal enrichment. I think this has been going on for a while in progressive zoos. Obviously animals are healthier and happier if they can be occupied. Even the EU has recognized this and made pig farmer provide large inflatable toys for their pigs to keep them happy. I mentioned a few years a ago how some poor old Yorkshire pig farmer was fined because he just provided an old tennis ball and frisbee.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

I was interested to hear about this luxury accommodation being offered at the music fest. I thought discomfort was all part of the experience. Being offered at quite a price I must say.

Coachella - Onsite Lodging

Friday, March 20, 2009

A south of France day

We've been meaning to get to the Pomme Frite restaurant in downtown Palm Springs. It's Belgian but they boast moules-frites and Steak-Frite. We wanted to start with a Ricard but they don't have a licence for hard liquor so we contented ourselves with a bottle of Rosé from France and ordered moules and steak and split them. Fabulous meal...moules served like they do in our wonderful restaurant in the port of Carqueiranne..except there were about 2 dozen not 4 dozen...just right. Not quite sure why we haven't got there before. Partly I think because the best outdoor tables were taken but this time we got downtown for an early lunch. Now a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate Jim's offer of teaching in Costa Rica...then to the pool.

P.S. Monique...the frites were perfect...just like the best in France

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Palm Spring Aerial Tram

We hadn't done this before and we were waiting for a hot day (yesterday hit 89 F) because 8,000 ft. up it's 30 degrees cooler. The sun was bright though and we didn't really need our sweaters. We had a nice lunch at the top...great example of chicken tortilla soup. Lots of really rather large trees at the top as there is so much rain and snow up there there's lot of water for them I guess.

I didn't realize it's such an amazing ride since the tram does rotate and also you are very close to the mountain. I took about 100 photos on the way up...just kept clicking. It's about a 12 minute ride.

Tram station

The yellow platform is actually a helicopter pad.

We're on the way up and that one's on the way down.

Us at the top.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spencer's Restaurant

This is getting to be one of our favourite places for lunch. The other day I had the Cobb Salad with Maine Lobster...6 oz of claws and tail...yum. And Jim had a burger that rivals Grill-a-Burger. 10 bucks for 1/2 pound sirloin with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, and avocado if you want the works and includes fries or delicious looking onion rings. Teamed with a $5 beer it makes for a great reasonable meal in a very elegant restaurant.

It was served with goat cheese but you could choose a Roquefort dressing which I did.

Lots of golf these warm sunny days...a few photos.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gamblers we are not...

We went to the downtown casino last night mainly to get a great meal special...$49 for two in an excellent restaurant in the casino. The meal included wonderful French Onion soup then a prime rib with the best meat rating possible ...USAD Prime I think they call it. It was absolutely fabulous...a bit of crispy succulent end cut on the edge and then rare the rest of the way through with lots of marbling. You would pay $40 to buy those cuts of meat at the supermarket. Then just a nice little serving of cheesecake for dessert. We had a wonderful wine that complemented the meal perfectly...a 2005 Fess Parker (remember Davey Crockett...he has a very well know vinyard in Santa Barbara) Syrah. I think we'll see if we can get a bottle at Ralph's.

We had planned to spend $20 each gambling but the gambling part was a smokey dive with people who mainly had sad, serious, desperate looks so we ended up spending a dollar each and getting out into the warm balmy evening and going for a tub and a swim at home.

The mimosa trees are out in bloom so it's making me feel nostalgic for the south of France!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Schools risk becoming Tesco-style identikits, warns teachers' leader - Telegraph

I found this a pretty interesting article on education. How did the UK get into this crazy world of regulation and testing all in the name of diversity? I actually know why because of my stint in the B.C. Ministry of Eduation. It's very easy to forget the real world when you're in the hallowed halls of bureaucracy. Perhaps getting some failed financial advisors into the system might be helpful.

Schools risk becoming Tesco-style identikits, warns teachers' leader - Telegraph

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My petunias were appreciated....

I just got this message from Patty:

You cheeky devil, you. I'm sure you had a good laugh, because we
certainly did. You caught us completely by surprise. I actually had
to run out to see that no Smart Cars were injured in the process!

By the way, Terry was really impressed with the photoshopping job -
pretty seamless, and well done. He wants to know, who is John
Denniston, and how did he get our smart car anyway?

It's obvious to us you have way too much time on your hands!!

Thanks for the good laugh. It's a good way to start Spring Break week.

Stay out of trouble, if you can!


BTW, John Denniston is my cousin who is now retired but was a newspaper photographer for the Edmonton Journal and the Vancouver Province. He posts a lot of great photos on his photoblog at:


I sometimes repost his photos on my blog. Thanks again, John, for the help!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What Richard does...

There was a very nice article in the Vancouver Sun on Technicolor's role in doing digital FX. This seems to be an area that isn't experiencing an economic downturn. Richard tells me Technicolor is busier than ever doing this stuff...lots of long days for him.

With Watchmen and The Hulk on board, Vancouver stands tall in the world of digital FX

With Watchmen and The Hulk on board, Vancouver stands tall in the world of digital FX

Friday, March 13, 2009

Patty and Terry's way cool new car!

I love this new Smart car and can't wait to go for a ride...great choice!

But...hey guys, Smart cars are born to be wild. Thanks for buying one with a nice fresh white canvas...can't wait to get my paintbrushes on it!

- altered photo by John Denniston

Well...she's still smiling so she must like my design.

P.S. Patty hates petunias

This was taken March 9...is this really Victoria...tell me it ain't so!

And more photos....

One of 60,000 varieties of orchid in the Singapore Royal Orchid Botanical Garden.

Motos in Bangkok. I do remember the streets full of them and traffic having some kind of system that was somewhat incomprehensible to me but seemed to work on a system of honking and "giving way".

I remember these houses along the canal in Bangkok...some were really done up quite nicely.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Donna and Neil's amazing adventure...

Donna and Neil went on a super trip to Australia, then 21 day cruise hitting Singapore, Bali, Bangkok etc. Donna sent me some great photos. Here are a few today and I'll post a few more tomorrow.

Neil feeding the locals.

So lovable...

Yikes...wouldn't want to get too close to this guy!

Scooters in Bali. Apparently 90% of the population travel by scooter. The air and ocean pollution is very bad according to Donna.

Bali schoolboys mugging for the tourists. Kids go to school is shifts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Revivals Thrift Store

We went into the Revivals Gallery store which has upscale things and even does consignments I believe. It was very attractively set out and I loved the animal manikins displaying the clothes. Jim bought this very Palm Springs type tie there for $4.50.