Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweet Lamb . . .

The Easter "Rice Krispies" Lamb arrived in one piece this week.  Thank you Just Mom.

Happy Easter!

The Song Of The Day - Sweet by Lamb

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Don't You Wanna Stay . . .

My favorite Idol returned to the American Idol stage this week and once again she showed why she won the competition in the first place.

She performed the duet Don't You Wanna Stay with Jason Aldean.   Yes, I do want you to stay and sing another song.

So here are my three favorite live Kelly performances:

Singing Ave Maria for the Pope in 2008.

Performing Surrender on Season One, and she had a terrible case of laryngitis that night!

Performing Stuff Like That There season one.  I think she became the one to beat based on this performance.

The Song Of The Day - Don't You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm So Stupid . . .

This was a story I was not going to share on the blog.  But then I thought about how much Loyal Reader Erin likes when I label stories "Dumb."

I also told the story a couple times last week at work, and each time I shared it I laughed a little harder.

So this story from Hawaii is for Erin and anyone else who has done something stupid.

If you have ever rented a car and read the fine print on the rental contract, you may have seen that the rental car agency can charge a large fee if you return your vehicle with substantial mud, dirt or sand on the interior.

Being that I find that I most often am renting a car while vacationing in a tropical place; the chances of getting mud, dirt, or sand in the car are highly likely.

As Loyal Reader Megan will attest...Uncle Just Jon likes to keep his car clean!  And if you have ever ridden in my car and I have apologized for it being dirty, you were probably thinking to yourself, "what dirt?"

So you can only imagine the minor "pani" I was having as the parents and I got in and out of the rental car while traveling the Road To Hana.  With each stop to see a waterfall or beach the rain soaked ground created the trifecta of evil (mud/dirt/sand) to be tracked into the rental Pontiac G6.

By the final evening in Hawaii I had to accept the fact that there was a good chance we were going to incur the "dirty interior" fee when we turned the car in the next day.

"Maybe not," I thought to myself!

So Friday evening I took the car into the nearest town and found a gas station with a car wash.  I changed my dollar bills for quarters and drove the car over to the GIANT self service industrial vacuum cleaner.

After inserting my quarters the vacuum cleaner fired up like a jet engine ready to suck my trifecta of evil away.

In and out and up and down I climbed over the seat and into the trunk trying my hardest to get as much dirt out of the car.  It was cleaner, but not as clean as I would have liked it to be.

Next up was the self drive thru exterior car wash.

I pulled up to the control panel and typed in the code the gas station attendant had provided me.

Nothing happened.

After sitting in the car a few minutes with no washing action going on; the attendant (who was going on her break ) saw my sorry self sitting in the car wash with nothing happening.

"You gotz to put in da code," she yelled!

"I know! I thought I did," I said.

"Givez me your ticket," she said.

I handed her the ticket and she walked over to the control panel and re-typed in my wash code.  Immediately all the bells, whistles, and lights turned on.

I watched the overhead apparatus as it started spraying soap on the front hood of the rental car, followed by the windshield, onto the sunroof...


Apparently I had not fully closed the rear passenger door when I finished vacuuming because as I looked over my shoulder to the back seat I could see more and more white soap covering the interior of the car!

OH $@&%   OH $@&%   OH $@&%!!!!

I flung my seat belt off and dove over the seat for the back passenger door and was able to pull it closed!

Now all I could do was wait for the car wash to complete its cycle.

Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!

To be honest with you, I am not sure I did wait for it to complete its cycle.  Because at the first green light I pulled out of the wash garage and immediately parked next to one of the gas pumps.  I jumped out of the car and pulled as many paper towels from the window wash squeegee bucket dispenser and started wiping down the interior of the back seat area.

At one point I saw the station attendant watching me dry the interior of the car while shaking her head.

"Please don't watch," I thought, I already feel stupid enough as is.

I was able to get the soap off the interior of the car and use the damp towels to wipe more of the residual mud and dirt off the floor mats that the vacuum could not suck up.

In the end I guess it turned out OK because I didn't get charged for interior dirt when we turned the car in the next morning.

That's what I get for trying to do the right thing.

The Song Of The Day - I'm So Stupid by Madonna

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lookout Weekend . . .

My Saturday Night Date...mmmm Dessert!

As many of you know this past week was my birthday and as much I would have preferred to let this day pass by like any other my friends wanted to celebrate.  So my normal weekend of church and laundry became more about "what meal is next?"

Thank you to Reiko, Greg, Karen, Diane and my special date Adah for Saturday's dinner at Homeroom in Oakland.  A restaurant that basically only serves variations of mac'n cheese!

I enjoyed the Vermont white cheddar with broccoli, bacon, and baked buttery bread crumbs.  Two thumbs up!

Two additional thumbs up for the Sprinkles Cupcakes that Reiko and Greg brought.  Delish!  (If Adah could speak I am sure she would recommend the Red Velvet cupcake!  Yum!)

Thank you to An and Shamoli for a fun day of brunch at Toast followed by a table flipping round of Wii Bowling!  (An won!)

You are all fantastic friends and I am glad to have you in my life!

Found at: FilesTube

The Song Of The Day - Lookout Weekend by Debbie Deb

Secret Garden . . .

Vacant Lot Bloom

"... I still believe
'cause after all is said and done
I'm still alive
and the boots have come and trampled on me
and I'm still alive
'cause the sun has kissed me 
and caressed me
and I'm strong
and there's a chance
that I will grow
this I know ..."

Secret Garden by Madonna

The Song Of The Day - Secret Garden by Madonna

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman . . .

Last night my concert buddies Erin and Michelle had an extra ticket to the Bryan Adams concert in San Francisco which I had the extreme pleasure of taking off their hands. (Thank you Sean, Erin's husband, for choosing not to go.)

Last nights concert was part of The Bare Bones Tour which features Bryan accompanied only by a piano and his acoustic guitar.

While I am not familiar with all of Bryan's work, there were enough hits in his long career for me to sing along to most of the night.

Bryan seemed to really be enjoying himself on stage and often stopped between songs to tell stories to the audience.  I LOVE when artists do that.  I also love when you get to hear a song broken down to minimal instrumentation and it still moves you.

The only negative for the evening was that our orchestra left section seating seemed to be reserved for intoxicated people who may or may not have been drinking since 7am for the Giants season opener that happened earlier in the day.  I am pretty sure that our Canadian friend Mr. Adams could care less that the Giants won the game a few hours earlier and didn't need you to yell that out periodically during his show.

My apologies in advance for the below video which is a little shaky.  The theatre staff was very on top of people who tried to take pictures or video during the show.  Several announcements where made prior to entering the building that "The artist has requested no photos or video."  I got reprimanded the first time I pulled out my phone to snap a shot.  However, when Bryan started to play Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman I had to try and capture the moment for my Loyal Readers.

The whole show was really quite fantastic, and his accompanist was quite a skilled pianist who really worked it out!   

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pump Up The Volume . . .

I would like to thank my friend Reiko who lent me the book Maui Revealed The Ultimate Guidebook by Andrew Doughty the first time I traveled to that island.  I found it so insightful I purchased my own copy for the trip I took last week.

The book inspired my mom and I to go in search of the Nakalele Blowhole on West Maui.

As we ventured out of Kaanapali I quickly realized we had less than half a tank of gas with no gas station in sight.  This put some additional stress on me for the drive along the winding road.

We parked the car at Mile Marker 38 and headed down the trail in search of Nakalele.

After slowly climbing down the rocks we thought we had found the blowhole.  It didn't seem quite as impressive as the picture in the book.  The ocean view however was spectacular.  

After taking in the sights we decided to look around one more set of rocks...and then one more set of rocks...and then one more set of rocks.

Oh my gosh, we had not found Nakalele, because Nakalele was down below us; along with a crowd of people who obviously found a closer place to park and hike down to the blowhole.  


Here are some photos from our hike!

The Song Of The Day - Pump Up The Volume by MARRS

Are You Ready To Jump ? ? ?

Here are the words I never thought I would write, "Carol and Tony went ziplining!"

We went to Piiholo Ranch on Maui where the "zipping" is a little more gentle on the landing because you are seated in a harness.

This was perfect for first time zippers.

First task - cross the suspension bridge to get to the zip course.

Second task - learn the three Zipping Signals (Arrow, Starfish, and Brake.)

And away they go!

The Song Of The Day - Jump by Madonna