Sunday, May 24, 2009

Read Between The Lines . . .

I came across two signs in my neighborhood I wanted to share with you.   

The first is for a restaurant called Laiola.  I am not sure this is the best approach at enticing customers to come into the establishment.  In these economically troubled times where consumers are choosing where each one of their hard earned dollars are spent I would think they would want to put the best foot forward.  But the humor in the sign did make me laugh.
Also, I like that they incorrectly spelled the word "excellent."  Hopefully the food is better than their spelling and service.

The next sign was outside the local Jamba Juice and I just liked the play on the spelling of the word "Chews."

The Train . . .

For my trip home from Seattle I opted to take the Amtrak Coast Starlight.  The trip on the train takes about twenty two hours.  

I boarded the train in Seattle at 9:45 am on Thursday and arrived back in Oakland at 8:45 am the next day.  

Because I had paid for a "Roomette" on the sleeper car, all my meals on the train were included.  Below are some pictures I took along the route home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On A Clear Day . . .

So when I was planning my stay in Seattle, I tried to find a hotel close to the Space Needle.  My ghetto fabulous Best Western is just one block away and my hotel room boasted the great view shown above.

I had been to the Space Needle once before about three years ago on an overcast day.   So this trip I had no intention of going back and paying $16 to ride the elevator to the top.

That was until I woke up this morning and it was a beautiful clear day in Seattle.  Knowing what a rarity that is; I knew I should take advantage of the weather and visit the Space Needle again.  

After the Space Needle it was time to hop on the Monorail and head on into the "Retail Core" of the city.  The Monorail travels right through the middle of the Experience Music Project museum that Brian and I visited yesterday.

And guess where the Monorail stops?

Yes, that's right, The Gap.

From the Monorail station I headed up 5th Ave to Spring St. to visit the Seattle Central Library.  Recommended by my friend Courtney, this really was worth the trip.

The building gives a spectacular view through a lattice work of glass and steel.

Then it was time to ride the Transit Tunnel.  It's kind of like a subway but for city buses.

I ended the afternoon at Pike Place Public Market.

And if you have ever wondered where the very first Starbucks is located, well it can be found across the street from the Public Market.

The Song Of The Day - On A Clear Day by PM Dawn

Music . . .

On Tuesday my brother and I went to the Experience Music Project in Seattle.  The museum was designed by Frank O. Gehry  and is located next to the Seattle Space Needle.  Its facade is made up of multiple layers of wave like color and it looks like a giant art sculpture.

Once inside visitors are greeted by a giant art piece constructed of musical instruments.

The museum takes you on a journey through the rich history of the Seattle Music scene from Jazz to Grunge.

You have the option of taking a self guided "iPod" tour.  I am not going to lie, I found it a little difficult to work the iPod and follow the tour.  It does not play continuously and you have to constantly re-search the menu and click on the number or "track" for the exhibit you are looking at.  Apparently, I was not the only one who was having difficulty because when Brian and I were turning in our headsets two other patrons were asking for their money back.

I had read on the website that you are not allowed to take pictures in the museum.  I tried to quickly snap a couple of shots without getting caught.  I refrained from taking pictures of Ann and Nancy Wilson of Hearts original stage costumes or the hand written lyrics of Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell.

With our paid admission to the museum we were also allowed entrance into the Science Fiction Museum and Hall Of Fame next door.

Once inside the Science Fiction Museum all photography bets were off.  I pulled out the camera and started snapping away.  Brian was taking pictures too.

I mean come on, Storm Troopers, R2D2, a model of the Death Star that shakes the ground when you stand in front of it, I had to take pictures.

And then there it was.  A display of all the original Star Wars action figures.  

Brian and I continued to snap, snap, snap.

It was then that the security guard appeared out of no where to tell us that we had to stop taking pictures.

And because of that security guard I am unable to show you the picture of the Six Million Dollar Man display that also featured the "Sasquatch" toy.  Both of which Brian owned.

And to think we almost didn't go into the Science Fiction Museum.

The Song Of The Day - Music by Madonna

Monday, May 18, 2009

Something Special . . .

Uncle Just Jon would like to welcome his nephew and special guest editor Just Sean to the blog today.  

Just Sean was given an assignment from his teacher to write twelve sentences or a story using all the spelling words for this week.

Just Sean wrote the following mostly true story. (The spelling words are italicized)

  1. It was tough for my Mom to work on my communion party.
  2. She had hurt her calf at boot camp.
  3. She used her phone to call the doctor.
  4. She won't go back to boot camp for a couple of days.
  5. Sean didn't laugh because it wasn't funny.
  6. I told Spunky, "don't jump like a monkey."
  7. He was being too rough around Mom.
  8. "Spunky, Mom has had enough."
  9. At my party I got a lot of money.
  10. I haven't decided what I want yet.
  11. I wouldn't tell Megan what I might spend it on.
  12. I ate half of the lamb cake.
The Song Of The Day - Something Special by JC Chasez

Saturday, May 16, 2009

All Falls Down . . .

This weekend my parents and I are visiting my brother's family in Washington for my nephew Sean's First Holy Communion.

On Saturday we headed out to the local bowling alley while my sister-in-law Amy was back at home preparing for the festivities.

My Mom, as seen in the above video, joined a bowling league with my Aunt Ronda a year or so ago. In the match today she beat everyone in the family.  Go Mom/Grandma!

Here are some videos of each of us trying to get that elusive strike.

First up was Nephew Sean who puts his own spin on the ball.

Now let's see how Dad/Grandpa does

And how does Brian do?

Now lets see Meg knock 'em down!

Finally, I would like to thank Miss Megan for capturing my amazing technique in the below video.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this warning.  If you happen to get a ball or pin stuck on the lane and then go tell the cashier, she will proceed to make an announcement over the PA that a ball and pin are stuck on lane 28 which will then cause all the other bowlers to stop and look at your lane.

The Song Of The Day - All Falls Down by Kanye West

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thank You . . .

I did want to take a moment and acknowledge that this week marks the one year anniversary of Just Jon the blog.

Thank you to all the Loyal Readers who have continued to come back and read my ramblings. 

Thank you to the non-Loyal Readers from around the world who can't spell the word "Manicotti" and were inadvertently directed to my site.  In the five months since Just Jon began tracking visitors, 345 people have misspelled the word "Manicotti" in their search causing them to visit Just Jon.

On a side note, in those same five months Just Jon has been visited by people in 19 different countries/territories!

Thank you to everyone who has left comments, I appreciate the fact that you take the time to share your thoughts about what I have written.

Finally, a special shout out goes to the Loyal Readers who have made purchases from the Just Jon Store. (Don't tell anyone, but it was actually just one Loyal Reader who also happens to be my Mom.)

Celebrity . . .

OK, so I realize this story will probably only be funny to me, but I am going to share it with you anyway.

Last week I told you about my co-worker Branden's last day.

Branden had started the job about two years ago.  At the time my company had an ad campaign that featured some major celebrities.  They even had 5 x 7 pictures of the celebrities that employees could collect and decorate their cubes with. 

When Branden started I thought it would be funny to take one of the pictures and "autograph" it to him as if it was a gift from the celebrity given to all new employees.

The celebrity I chose was Dakota Fanning.  I conjured up my best childlike handwriting and personalized the picture to Branden from Dakota.  My friend An made one for her direct report by forging Chris Rock's signature.  We thought we were very funny!

For almost two years now Dakota and Chris' fake autographs have graced several desks at work. 

Today, someone new moved into Branden's old cube.  Another worker approached and asked if any good stuff had been left behind.

To which over the cube wall I heard this statement, "Well, I did find this autographed picture to Branden of Dakota Fanning that he left here."

At that I burst out laughing and had to tell them the truth.  

At some point I must have taken a picture at work that had the "Dakota Autograph" in the background.  I tried to blow it up so you get an idea of what it looked like. 

The Song Of The Day - Celebrity by *Nsync

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star People . . .

So today I went and saw the new Star Trek Movie.  

And before I go any further let me just put my "geek" hat on.  I am not going to lie, I was very excited to see that what the movie depicted as Star Fleet Academy was actually the Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge (CSUN); my alma mater.

So by default I think that means when I graduated from CSUN I actually graduated from Star Fleet Academy.

The grand stair case up to the library did not exist when I attended the school, but you can see other features of the library's architecture in my graduation photo.  

The top image from the movie is courtesy of

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friend Indeed . . .

Today is my co-worker Branden's last day.  So in his honor he gets a blog.

Here are the top ten things I will miss about Branden:

  1. Even though he only sits one cube away he prefers to communicate via instant message or e-mail.
  2. Our ongoing discussions about Kanye West's girlfriend Amber Rose.
  3. His consistent choice of pairing a button down woven with a sweater.
  4. Discussing the disastrous Wednesday evening conference calls with Sri Lanka and India (This one's for you Richa!)
  5. No one else finds humor in an unkempt dentist.
  6. The daily discussion of "what would you do if someone handed you a pillow and said to go sleep in the hall."
  7. Listening to him bicker with my work wife Jan.
  8. The mustache incident of 2009.
  9. Generic re-caps about television shows he hasn't seen since he doesn't have a TV.
  10. Sitting in the back of meetings and finding something to laugh about.
Good luck Branden, you will be missed!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

When I Dip You Dip We Dip . . .

Continuing the tradition of sharing fast food tips with the Loyal Readers, I wanted to pass this one along that relates specifically to condiments.

Most fast food restaurants now have self serve ketchup.  The little paper cups that are used to hold the ketchup are very small and make it hard for dipping.  

So it occurred to me that if you want a better dipping experience, try turning a plastic drink lid upside down and using it to hold your ketchup.

See how much better my drink lid worked in comparison to the little paper cup above.

I know you are all excited to try this the next time you are at McDonald's!  You can thank me later.

The Song Of The Day - Da Dip by Freak Nasty

We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off . . .

For the second time in Just Jon history a mannequin has made me burst out laughing.

I was greeted at the entrance of a store this weekend by this female mannequin who was accessorized with a pair of shoes, a bag, and nothing else.

Way to work it sweetie!

The Song Of The Day - Clothes Off By Gym Class Heroes

Seventeen . . .

A "Party Foul" occurred at the laundry mat today.  

Often when I wheel my "granny" cart over to the laundry mat across the street from my apartment it is packed with people.  Today was that rare occasion when there was only three other people there.  

One gentleman was just leaving as I entered.  

I started my "triple loader" totally content that I would have time to walk down the street to the ATM and back without worrying about making sure I was there when the load was done to empty the machine.

I made my trip to the ATM and arrived back to move my clothing from the washing machine over to the dryer.  

A "triple load" usually requires about three to four dryers.

I like to use the larger dryers at the back of the laundry mat and there were four available.

I emptied the washing machine and wheeled my cart back to the dryers which was a total distance of one foot.   

I opened up two dryer doors to start sorting.  

As I began to sort, two foreign women swooped in and took the remaining two dryers. 


There were seventeen available dryers!  (see the above photo) Why did they have to come and take the ones I was trying to fill?  Then they kept giving me dirty looks because the dryer door on the unit I was filling kept swinging all the way open and blocked their dryer.

OK, not my fault.  I was filling the dryers first.  Was I supposed to stop what I was doing to hold the dryer door for them?  I don't think so.

Here is the best part, the next customer that came in also tried to use one of the back dryers. The above photo shows the empty laundry mat with every one crowded around the same machines.

The crazy part is the seventeen empty machines are actually newer and cleaner.  I just always have too much stuff to fit into them.

The Song Of The Day - Seventeen by Ladytron