Posted tagged ‘restaurants’

Sweet Home Utah Part 2

July 23, 2022

CA to UTWhen we decided to move from Orange County California to South Jordan Utah, we expected a culture change.  In 50 years, we’d become used to the mostly wonderful climate, the plethora of entertainment venues and eateries, the gorgeous beaches and regional parks.  We’d also adapted to the somewhat frenetic lifestyle, freeways so crowded we planned our life around rush hours and the sometimes overwhelming materialism of the wealthy.  What we got was an introduction to living in a beautiful new house during a pandemic, a pandemic during which my wife Muri dealt with breast cancer.  Without face-to-face contact with anyone but our daughter’s family and one couple next door.  We shopped in masks and ordered restaurant food from curbside pickup.   My wife’s cancer treatment was grueling but effective and we didn’t catch COVID (until two months ago).  We emerged from 2020 ready to learn what it was like to live unrestricted in Utah.  Here’s what we found. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 10/27/2014

October 27, 2014

image For our almost fifty years together … including 46 years of marriage … Saturday Night has been Date Night.    I consider weekly Date Nights as one of the secrets to a long marriage and therefore, to a degree, sacrosanct.  Oh, there are exceptions.  One of us doesn’t feel well.  Family emrgencies.  Special occasions.  Taking care of the grandkids.   Fortunately, in Older Eyes Big Book of Rules for a Long Marriage, Make-up Saturday Night Date Nights are allowed on any day of the week.   So, I can say with assurance, we’ve had about 2,500 Date NIghts in our years together.   This year, for some reason my USC Trojans Football Team has been playing in prime time on Saturday NIght, so we’ve been trading Saturday Date Nights for Sunday so I can watch.   However, I’m considering revising Older Eyes’ Big Book of Rules to disallow swapping of Date Nights for football, instead allowing taping of the games … to be watched Sunday, IF WE WIN.   That’s because this year’s edition of the mighty Trojans has a penchant for losing games in the final seconds which leaves Older Eyes gasping for breath and unable to get to sleep later on when he goes to bed.   OK, the gasping for breath part is an exaggeration.  Cursing loudly is closer to the truth.  Last night, we lost with eight seconds left to Utah (Utah! Really? Gasp! Cuss!).   OK, if you’re here for Monday Smiles, stick around … I’ll skip the gory details and move on to Sunday.

Monday Smiles – 9/8/2014

September 8, 2014

solanaSometimes, there is absolutely nothing like a day or two away.   It’s not that we don’t love our home … or that there is anything particularly odious to get away from.   Our life is good.   But home is home and there are always chores whispering in the hallways, asking to be done.  And others calling from the yard.   When you are self-employed … at home … work is always just down the hall, too, singing its siren’s song … Bill some hours, bill some hours.  So Saturday, we headed south on the 5 Freeway, along the Pacific coast to the little town of Solana Beach, where one of our oldest friends, Jackie, lives.  If you need proof that Jackie is a dear friend, all you need to know is that we left during the first quarter of the USC-Stanford Football game.  Fortunately, when we arrived at Jackie’s house, I got to watch most of the second half and even more fortunately, the Trojans won the game, 13-10.   I hate to admit this, but I’m a lot more fun to be around when USC wins. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 6/2/2014

June 2, 2014

time fliesJune already.  Whoever said, Time flies when you’re having a good time, didn’t have my life.  Around here, time flies regardless of whether I’m having a good time or not.   This weekend was a good example.   I had a full day planned for Friday, mostly business, some accounting that needed to be done and a bit of engineering on a small contract we’re slogging through.  That all ended when my wife, Muri, walked into the laundry room and found that our washing machine had died with a load of our son’s stinky work clothes stewing in tub full of soapy water.  Even my less-than-sensitive male nose could tell that getting a replacement would be first priority.  I hate buying appliances and I especially hate buying them in an emergency.  We live in an area where most people buyhi-tech wm appliances that look like something out of Star Trek, flashing lights and computer -assisted talking front panels that tell you exactly what to do … all for an outrageous price.   Salesmen don’t know what to make of Muri and I, since we’re usually base-model-plus-one types.  They incredulously ask, You don’t want touch controls?  This one, they say, pointing to a stainless steel and chrome beauty with a built-in computer monitor and TV, has 175 rinse cycles and will automatically presoak underwear.  They are so disappointed when we pick the modest Whirlpool that doesn’t require a second mortgage.   (more…)

Monday Smiles – 3/3/2013

March 3, 2014

droughtThe rain has finally stopped here in Socal but it’s foggy as far as the eye can see outside my office window.  For weeks, the newspapers have been trumpeting the drought,  the worst in 500 years, they say.  We are offered almost daily pictures of shrinking reservoirs and dying crops.  Politicians, from local to national, scramble to get in on the news-fest by declaring emergency and revealing plans.  So, you’d think the storm would have been greeted with cheers but then, of course, our news media seems to have perfected the art of The Half Emptymud Glass.  After Forest Fires and Drought, Now Rains Torments Southern California reads the CNN weekend headline. And, of course, when I consulted my online news last night as the storm was tapering off, I found that Rain Gives California Little Drought Help (ABCNews) and California Faces Critical Drought Despite Recent Rains (Sacramento Bee).  It turns out (if you are willing to read beyond the headlines) that the storm raised our annual rainfall from 10% of normal to 50% … in one storm.  How much do the geniuses in the newsroom want in one storm?  Don’t they remember Noah?  I can see the headlines. Second Consecutive Week of Continuous Rain Brings Record Mudslides.  Crackpot in Yorba Linda Builds Ark.  Rain Does Little to Help Drought. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 11/25/2013

November 25, 2013

little houseWhen we purchased our Little House here in San Tan Valley, AZ, the plan was to live in Anaheim Hills in the summer and here in the winter once I retired.   Even though these days I’m mostly retired … and most work I have could be done anywhere … that has not come to pass.   The Little House remains our abode for week or two visits with our grandkids, which by itself makes it a good investment.  But we have not developed the social life … either in terms of friends or entertainment venues … that we are used to in California.  But Sunday night, we set off with the only new friends we’ve made here … our next door neighbors, John and Carolyn … for the one reliable live theater we’ve found in the Phoenix area, the Herberger Theater Center.  We found several restaurants within walking distance of the theater online and the plan was to choose when we got there.   We located one Italian restaurant on my smartphone navigator and walked there, only to find it no longer in business, which is a danger of finding restaurants on Yelp.   We walked across the street to Renaissance Hotel that I recalled having a restaurant … but their restaurant was closed on Sunday.  Really?   We asked the concierge who suggested Seamus McCaffery’s, which I thought he said was a steakhouse so we set out again. (more…)

Date Days

October 26, 2013

love-heart-cloudI haven’t said this in a long time so perhaps it’s time to say it again.   One of the secrets of our 45 year marriage has been a Saturday Date Night virtually every week, come hell or high water.  Yes, that’s a cliche but we’re fortunate to have had no hell and never water so high that we went under.  Like all of my secrets of a long marriage, Date Nights can’t save a doomed relationship.  And yet several men I know whose marriages were faltering found a quantum improvement when they took my suggestion and began regular dates with their wives.  Why does it work?  Ask Dr. Phil.  No, on second thought, don’t.  I’ll tell you.  Dating your wife is a reminder of your courtship, making it easier to see again the things that led you to marriage in the first place. From that place, it’s more natural to be romantic, to hold hands or cuddle in the theater. It distracts you from the dramas, big or small, that might be grinding on your relationship.  It gives you a chance to talk things over without the burden of HAVING A TALK.  It’s fun.  What marriage doesn’t need fun? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 8/5/2013

August 5, 2013

Every once in a while, Muri and I find ourselves out of synch.  Sometimes it happens because one or the other has been busy.  Last week was like that for me, filleddifferent with 12-Step commitments and work on the job where Nothing Works.  Sometimes, we have things on our mind that distract us, our no-longer-kids doing things we’d rather they didn’t or an illness in the family.  Yes, my brother is improving but slowly.  And sometimes, it’s just a mood. I am prone to those. I say, at those times, we’re Spinning in Different Orbits and it looks sort of like this.


Eats and Treats

May 14, 2013

mac and cheeseSaturday night, Muri and I went out for an Erev Mother’s Day dinner at our favorite brewery-restaurant here in Arizona, Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery.  It has excellent food for a brewery (Muri likes the Lobster Mac and Cheese) and excellent beer for a restaurant (I like their Marzen, a dark amber beer).  I like to try different dishes each time I go but this time I was frustrated by the number of entrees served withbeer with quinoa kale pilaf as a side dish.   I realize both quinoa and kale are trendy superfoods but if I wanted those I’d go to I’d go to Heather’s Organic Vegan Gluten-Free Anti-Oxidant Diner.  Fortunately, Gordon was willing to substitute garlic sauteed spinach which I actually want to eat.  After all, I grew up hearing Popeye tell me, I’ll fight to the finish if I eat my spinach, before he beat the popeyecrap out of Bluto, who was too stupid to ever figure out that if he ate his spinach he wouldn’t lose all the time.   By the way, after years with spinach salad as a favorite, some food nut felt it necessary to tell me that eating spinach raw is bad for me because contains goitrogens (naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland).  Maybe that’s why Popeye always ate his spinach from a can.  Of course,, which stretches its credibility with the motto, Yes, kids love greens, tells me, To avoid the health risks from pesticides buy only organic dark leafy green vegetables. I guess Popeye managed without that bit of wisdom.  Maybe he was on a budget.  Have you noticed the price of organic vegetables? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 4/15/2013

April 15, 2013

weekend1I love a busy weekend.  It’s interesting, I guess, that after five or so years of being semi-retired … and able to divide our recreation and whatever work I have throughout the week however I see fit … that I still divide the week into weekdays and weekends.   That’s partly because the things we like to do most, like go to the theater, are more available on weekends and partly because younger friends’ lives are still divided that way by their jobs.   But it’s also because old habits die hard.  Whatever the reason, this was the kind of busy weekend I like.  But that doesn’t mean it was perfect. (more…)