Posted tagged ‘restaurants’


January 8, 2013

TSTSo here it is, Top Sites Tuesday, the day on which  we offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday.  Last week, what with the holidays, I didn’t even notice it was Tuesday, so I missed out.  And this week, I am really busy with a proposal we’re writing.   So, in the interests of efficiency, I’m combining two tasks:  writing two complaint letters I’ve been meaning to write … one serious and one facetious … and Two Thoughts on Tuesday.  Next Tuesday, the proposal will be done and I promise you my undivided attention: (more…)

(Not So) Fine Dining

November 3, 2012

Going out for dinner has always been a significant part of our social life, whether it was an evening with friends or a Date Night.  We have been fortunate most of our life to be able to enjoy the Fine Dining experience, Fine Dining often being a euphemism for small portions of expensive food.   But as Muri and I have aged … and we have, just a bit … we not only eat out more often, we eat more at middle-of-the-road restaurants, frequently chains like like BJ’s Grill or TGI Friday’s.  Service at these restaurants used to sound like this:   Hi, my name is Luke and I’ll be taking care of you tonight.  How are you two doing?  You just knew, Luke was working overtime not to call you Dude.   Then, just as you got the first bite of food in your mouth, Luke would turn up again with, How is everything tasting to you?  It wasn’t Fine Dining service but it was usually efficient.   But these days it frequently  sounds more like this: (more…)

Monday Smiles – 6/4/2012

June 4, 2012


Even before I reached the sixty-something semi-retired state, the boundary between weekday and weekend was blurred by owning my own business (after years of working for large corporations).   One of the best things about being an independent consultant was the flexibility to work when I wanted to, whether that meant the middle of the night or Sunday Morning (Yes, I know.  The Sabbath.  Technically, that would be Saturday.  And in my home-built faith, it, like work, is moveable.).  Now that we’re mostly retired, Muri and I sometimes have to ask each other, What day is it?  Still, old habits die hard and if my weekend isn’t something (say, entertaining … exciting … fulfilling … productive), I’m disappointed.  So, starting at the traditional beginning of the weekend, after work on Friday, here’s my weekend.  It was something. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 4/30/2012

April 30, 2012

Over the years, we’ve had theater subscriptions with a number of couples.  Nothing lasts forever.  Sooner or later, for one reason or another, we’ve agreed to end out subscription together.  Usually, we’ve said, Let’s keep in touch.  We can pick and choose plays one at a time.  It’s never happened.  So, last year, when  the Laguna Playhouse season schedule came out … and we agreed with our friends, Ron and Kerry, that the plays weren’t for us, we said the same thing.   Yeah, same result … until today, when we went to see Tickled Pink, the new play by comedienne Rita Rudner and her husband Martin Bergman, at the Laguna Playhouse. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 1/9/2012

January 8, 2012

December was a blur … much of it a delightful blur, but a blur none-the-less.   It was wrapping and rushing about and family and grandkids.  It was helping out when our son-in-law had surgery.   It was opening presents and playing on the floor with toys.   It was Christmas Eve dinner and endless sweets.  It was putting up decorations then taking them down.  It was two 6 1/2 hour drives to and from Arizona.  It was New Year’s Eve at home with colds.  December was everything but Date Nights.

Saturday night it was time.  Sitting in the park after finishing my Morning Pages, I used Flixter on my Blackberry to find a late afternoon performance of the new Spielberg film, Warhorse, at our local theater then used the Open Table Ap to make reservations at our favorite restaurant, Cedar Creek Inn, for 7:00 pm.   Then I called home.  Is Muriel there? I said.   This is she, Muri said, playing along.  Hi, said I, Would you like to go to the movies and to dinner at the Cedar Creek Inn with me?  She said, Who is this? but agreed to go. 🙂 (more…)

Monday Smiles – 10/24/2011

October 24, 2011

This has not been an especially good week.   It’s not at all surprising in our lives to have the week after a special weekend … which our time in Mammoth Lakes certainly was … be a let down.  But it’s not just that.  A disagreement between us and our son has a silence lingering over the house.   Silence is not my way to deal with conflict and although I’ve learned to respect the right of others to handle things in their own way, it drains me.  The daughter of our dear friends back East is in the hospital, and two other friends of mine are dealing with personal struggles that I can’t help with except by listening.   I’ve been fatigued and unfocused, which leaves me feeling like I’ve wasted the week.  If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed that my posts haven’t been particularly lighthearted.  This is exactly the reason I invented Monday Smiles two years ago … to keep Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog (and Bud) from Going Dark.  So here are a few Smiles I may have Under-Smiled during the week. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 9/12/2011

September 12, 2011

Even during football seasons, Date Nights are first priority … though they may have to be rescheduled.  This week, USC was playing Utah in the first ever Pac-12 Conference game so Muri and I moved Date Night to Friday.  Late Friday afternoon, we saw the just-released film, Warrior, lured by the good reviews and Muri’s love of violent fight films.   Let me give you the recipe for Warrior:

1. Take every fight-movie cliche from the Five Rocky movies.
2. Add excellent actors
3. Remove boxing gloves and all fighting rules
4. Stir well

Get the picture?  After the movie, we set off to find someplace for dinner, neither of us knowing what we wanted.  We ended up at Claim Jumper, the kind of place I usually avoid but it was just fine.  Ribs and shrimp for me, shrimp fresca pasta for Muri, all decent.  We were home early, giving Muri time to read in bed and me to figure out how to get Netflix movies from my laptop to show on our bedroom TV.  I’m still a techie at heart. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 8/29/2011

August 29, 2011

One of the advantages of living in a double metropolitan area … Los Angeles and Orange County … is that there are almost always things to do.   Live theater like the Pantages and South Coast Repertory.  Indoor and outdoor concert venues like the Kodak Theater or the Hollywood Bowl.  If worse comes to worst there are a million and one movie houses … and our two local theaters have everyday $5.00 admission for seniors.  But even here, a Saturday Date Night rolls around  every once in awhile and there’s nothing.  Well, not nothing.  There’s The Smurfs and Our Idiot Brother at the Festival theater for only five bucks.  There’s a tribute to Duke Ellington by the Orange County Pops … outdoors a the Pacific Amphitheater in ninety-something degree heat.  Rita Rudner is sold out at the Laguna Playhouse and besides, we’ve seen her. So, what to do for Date Night? (more…)

Monday Smiles – 8/8/2011

August 8, 2011

If it wasn’t Monday, this post would have a clever title … something like When Mediocre is Good.  But since it’s Monday, it’s just Monday Smiles.  For the first time in a while, I worked all week, so I spent Saturday morning in the park catching up with the bluebirds and ducks.  Muri showed up at about eleven and parked right next to me in  the Muri-Only Zone (if it were anyone else, I’d have given them The Look, then moved my car, probably squealing my tires as I did so).  She rolled down the window and said, What are we going to do tonight?  Date Night was coming up fast with no plans made,  so I checked Flixter on my Blackberry to see what was playing at the local theater.   It was immediately clear it was going to be Dumb Movie Night.  The choice appeared to be either Zookeeper … the talking animal comedy starring Kevin James (13% positive on the Tomatometer) … or Change Up … another two-guys-trading-lives movie with an extra order of toilet humor (and a rousing 21% on the Tomatometer).  The reviews of Zookeeper were actually funny … I think there should be a subdivision of the ASPCA — American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Audiences (Christian Science Monitor) or I would rather lie on a bed of nails watching Dr Doolittle for a week than see a single reel of Zookeeper again (The Observer).  But Muri left the park to run errands with no movie decision in hand. (more…)

Grinners and Shakers

April 2, 2011

Last night my wife and I had dinner at The Fly Farm.   The real name of the place is Knowlwoods – The World’s Greatest Hamburger but back in 1974 when we moved to Yorba Linda, CA nobody called it that.   Back then, the restaurant consisted of a ramshackle main building in the middle of a large unpaved (but partially graveled) lot surrounded by a screened-in eating area that was always populated by a substantial number of flies, in spite of the screening.   Outside, there was a fenced-in eating area with about forty picnic tables and a large number of free-range flies.   Never-the-less, it was the place to go for hamburgers, especially on weekends.   As part of Yorba  Linda redevelopment, the original Fly Farm was torn down years ago and replaced by a small shopping complex which includes a theater, a few stores, and, yes, a cleaned-up Knowlwoods that tries to capture the spirit of the old Fly Farm while fitting in with its new, upscale surroundings.  I doubt anyone calls it The Fly Farm anymore … and the hamburgers just aren’t as good without the flies. (more…)