Today I . . .

Today I awakened at 4 am (or, more properly, was awakened by my wife’s alarm clock). I helped her out of bed and got her going on her morning rituals. I made tea and breakfast for her and went back to bed (4 am is much to early for enlightened retirees like myself).

Turn off the flash . . . or else . . .
Turn off the flash . . . or else . . .

Today Genghis Kat (Smoke) and his Horde (Mist) woke me up at 5.59 am for their 6 am breakfast. I fed the cats, brought in the papers (OC Register and the LA Times), made my wife another cup of tea and myself some coffee. I sat down with coffee and the papers and turned on Eyewitless News. In between sections I made her a thermos of tea to take to work.

Today we actually got in the car a little after 7.30 am (way late) but still got to her school before the opening bell. I drove home, got some more coffee, sat on the exercise bike for an hour and a half. While on the bike I finished the Times and read several chapters of David Drake’s latest RCN story The Sea Without a Shore. After getting off the bike I fixed another cup of coffee and sat in the living room reading and watching the news.

Today was gorgeous and I couldn’t stay inside. Took a salad and cold soda from the fridge and got my book and the puzzles from the papers and tossed them all in the car and drove to the beach. Found a parking space on PCH north of the HB Pier near a bench and camped there for the next two and a half hours. Lunch, puzzles, a good book, great weather and plenty of people to watch . . . ahhh retirement.

Today I stopped by Home Depot on my way back from the beach and bought a hanging plant to replace one that had died during our heatwave a couple of weeks ago and also some rope to fix a patio lounge chair.

Today I picked up some British sweets (candy) for my British wife at our neighborhood 7-11 (it has a section of British foods in the back). I brought her home from work and made her another cup of tea. Went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Today I got myself a beer and my book and lounged in my wife’s garden in the chair I had repaired. I fixed dinner and Charlie fed the cats. We ate while watching a dvr’d episode of Wild Tuna. Following dinner, Charlie again adjourned to the patio to read and I sat back in the TV lounge chair she bought me several years ago and turned on the Dodger and Angel games. (As I type this the Angels are leading the Mariners 4 to 3 and the Dodgers are leading the Reds 5 to 0.)

Cats and Mouse.
Cats and Mouse.

Today I am retired – no student papers to grade, no lessons to plan – aaahhhhhh, paradise.


Huntington Beach Piffle 1

One of the nice things about being retired is being able to read and work on puzzles in the middle of the day. Last week I took myself to the beach three times to do so. To the north of the Huntington Beach Pier there is a nice bike/walking path with benches, grass and on the street parking. It is elevated above the beach and gives one a good view of the beach, the pier and people. Park on the street (with a city parking pass – $125 or $50 if you are 62 or over or are disabled – so I don’t have to feed the parking meter) and take several puzzles from the LA Times and OC Register, a book, and a Trader Joe’s salad.

It wasn’t too busy or crowded, as it would be in the summer, and I was able to read, puzzle, eat and people watch to my heart’s content. If I was still teaching, I would have been in the middle of my fifth and sixth period classes – chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. I took a couple of pictures and posted them on my Facebook page for my still teaching friends and fellow retirees. Ahhh . . . my new purpose in life – to sow jealousy and envy among those still cooped up in a classroom with forty teenagers.

On one of those days it was too windy to sit on the bench and eat or puzzle. So I parked in the small lot just north of the pier and ate and read in the car. The blowing sand was pelting the few people on the beach and most of those out walking had sweatshirts and jackets. I thought about taking a walk out on the pier but there was just too much sand and dust in the air – let those who didn’t have the available time I had brave the elements to do so.

Piffle 2 – Goodreads

Being as I’m reading a lot of books these days, I decided to get a Goodreads account and get some more recommendations. I spent a good deal of time on Goodreads rating books I’ve read and posting a few reviews of some of those books. I am up to 1200+ books and am adding to the “Read” list as I go through our garage shelf library.

One of the problems I’m facing is that as I go through Goodreads lists of books by authors is that I remember reading only somHB Puzzles and Booke of the books by a given author but some of the book names are so familiar that I’m not sure whether or not I’ve read them. Well, at least, I’ll be able to go to the bookstore with a list of books to check and see if I remember the storyline. Of course, if it’s an older book, it means a trip to the library or a used book store not Barnes & Noble or

Piffle 3

Goodreads also has links to authors’ blogs and I discovered that Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (the Laiden Universe – have a second site called the Splinter Universe – short stories by both Lee & Miller and others. If their Laiden books and other novels don’t come often enough for you try