Angels Game with the In-Laws

Friday, 30 Jul 2004 | Family, Sports

David Eckstein at Batting Practice

Last night we had a great time at the Anaheim Angels game against the Seattle Mariners with my mother and father-in-law. Toni and I were treating him as a Father's Day present.

The game was quite exciting and we thought the Angels were going to win. But they ended up losing 6 to 5 after 13 innings and over 4 hours of play. Phooey! Boy, was I tired when I got home. And I didn't really enjoy waking up at 5:30 am to go to work!



Thursday, 29 Jul 2004 | Word of the Day

ser·en·dip·i·ty n.

: an assumed gift for finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for


Apples & Cinnamon!

Thursday, 29 Jul 2004 | Food

I have been having Quaker Instant Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon for breakfast at work lately. I forgot how much I like oatmeal. It makes a satisfying meal in a minute and a half. And, somehow I feel like I'm doing something good for me at the same time.

Isn't it interesting how dried apples rehydrate into fairly normal looking and tasting apples? It's seems a bit illogical to me, but it works. LOL


Athens 2004 Summer Olympics

Wednesday, 28 Jul 2004 | Sports

The Summer Olympics return this year to Athens, Greece where it originated. The Summer Games are scheduled for August 13th through 29th, 2004.

Get ready for all the action. You can get the details on the ceremonies, venues and sports at the official Athens 2004 website.



Wednesday, 28 Jul 2004 | Blog

You can show your support for by using my links to purchase photo, audio and Apple computer products from B&H Photo and books and music from You pay the same low price for the items you order, but at the same time a portion of the proceeds go to help I have been a satisfied customer of B&H Photo and for years and recommend them highly.

Thanks for Your Support!
If you have enjoyed your visit and would like to make a contribution to help support the time and effort involved and defray the hosting fees to run this web site, a donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.



Wednesday, 28 Jul 2004 | Word of the Day

ar·che·type n.

: the original model, form, or pattern from which something is made or from which something develops


Tour de France

Tuesday, 27 Jul 2004 | Internet, Sports

The Tour de France website has the best use of Macromedia Flash technology I've seen to date. The site can be read in English, but the Flash portion appears to be in French only. But that's alright, because you can still understand the idea.

Their Flash Presentation uses animation to convey the information more clearly, not just to add "flash" and animation just to wow the viewer.

I welcome the proliferation of more intelligent use of Flash technology from other web designers.


Maille Dijon Originale Mustard

Monday, 26 Jul 2004 | Food

Hey there, Dijon mustard lovers!

If you love the taste of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, then do yourself a favor and try Maille, (prounounced "my") Dijon Originale Mustard, made in Dijon, France since 1747.

Two hundred and fifty years of experience really make a difference. It's "my" favorite Dijon mustard. Perhaps it will be yours too. ;)

I think it tastes much more complex and smoother than our American counterpart. Try it for yourself and see what you think.


Whirlwind Weekend in Vegas

Sunday, 25 Jul 2004 | Family, Travel

Toni, Erin and I had a whirlwind weekend in Las Vegas.

We left Saturday morning to meet our family for lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian.

Entrance to the Grand Lux Cafe

Since we arrived early for lunch, several of us went to browse for a while at the Grand Canal Shoppes until our entire party arrived.

Alysia at the Grand Canal Shoppes

They easily accomodated our party of sixteen at one long table. We were there to celebrate my sister-in-law, Diana's birthday and my mother and father-in-law's anniversary. Everything went very well. We all enjoyed the food, sharing our entrees with each other so we could get a taste of as many menu items as possible. I would heartily recommend The Grand Lux Cafe for good food at a moderate price in Las Vegas. Their portions were very generous as well.

Gondolas Docked at the Venetian

It's interesting how photographs can often give a very different impression of the scene from reality. The gondolas pictured above were taken in the mid-afternoon sun. You would think that the cool blue water depicts a refreshing day in the 70's. But you would be dead wrong! The approximate temperature was 107 degrees; it was exceedingly hot. I love that through photography, I can present the subject the way I want to convey it. My camera gives me the freedom to isolate and present just what I want the viewer to see. And quite often, the resulting image is even better than it was in person.

Then we all went to the Mirage to look at the tigers. There was one tiger on display and the kids really enjoyed watching him. I bought Erin a stuffed pink dolphin that she really loves. :)

White Tigers at the Mirage Shop

We departed from Las Vegas late in the afternoon to get to our room at Whiskey Pete's in Primm, Nevada at state line. The accomodations were not wonderful, but we just wanted to be closer to home for our drive on Sunday.


The Great Hidden Mickey Quest

Friday, 23 Jul 2004 | Disneyland

Toni and I have always loved Disneyland and Mickey Mouse is our favorite Disney character.

What are Hidden Mickeys?
Hidden Mickeys are Mickey Mouse heads, i.e., three circles, one for the head and two generally smaller ones above for Mickey's ears, meant to look like Mickey, but aren't readily apparent unless you look carefully for them. They're a kind of secret Mickey that can occur anywhere in the park. That's the general idea. For a more complete description of what constitutes a Hidden Mickey, please read the excellent explanation at

I want to compile a list of Hidden Mickeys at the Disneyland Resort in Ahaheim that will be available on my site for my readers, but I need your help.

An example of a Hidden Mickey to get you started is one we found on Pirates of the Carribbean. On the ride, just before you go up the ramp to exit, there are three barrels hanging from a rope above. They are fashioned into the shape of a Mickey head with two ears above.

So there you go. I've got you started. :)

Report Your Hidden Mickeys!
Please let disneymike know about any Hidden Mickeys you find at the Disneyland Resort!

Please include the following:

Which Park (Disneyland, DCA, Downtown Disney)
Location in Park
Description of Hidden Mickey
When You Spotted the Hidden Mickey



Is This Really Necessary?

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2004 | Travel

My daughter just got back from a trip to Washington D.C. with her mom and step-dad. She took a bunch of pictures while she was there, but this one really made me laugh.

Sign in Virginia Beach

She said she loved these signs which were posted all over the place in Virginia Beach, Virginia where they stayed. What's up with this? Do they really have that bad of a profanity problem there? Has it gotten to epidemic proportions? I can't imagine why any place would have such a cursing problem that they would need signs like this.

And what is the penalty for cursing? Life imprisonment? Is it considered some kind of capital offense? LOL

Anyway, I just had to share this with everyone because it's so bizarre! :)


Dad's Doctor Visit

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2004 | Family

My dad saw his family doctor today. He also saw his urologist. He found out that the prostate surgery does not require making incisions. That's a good thing, because it means it is still viable whether his cardiologist decides to perform a balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery.

His cardiologist scheduled his next appointment to go over the planned treatment for his clogged artery for August 18th. The doctor had reviewed my dad's files and determined that he was well enough to not expedite the process any further.


New Comment System

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2004 | Internet

I set up a new commenting system for my site a few days ago.

I really like the pop-up window and features of this updated comment system. One consequence of changing systems is that any comments left with the original system are not viewable. I apologize if you left a comment that is no longer available.

But I do encourage you to leave a new comment. :)


Smugmug Web Photo Hosting

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2004 | Internet, Photography

I came across a photo hosting site recently called smugmug with reasonable prices and these neat features:

Unlimited Photos
No Spam
No Advertising

What I found unique about this site is that there is no limit to the number of photographs you are allowed to save in your account!

They allow JPEGs and GIFs up to 8MB in size, but no limits on the number of files.

Plus, it's really easy to upload and show off your photos with style even if you have little or no web authoring experience. :)

You can try it 7 days for free and if you decide it's not right for you, your credit card will not be charged.

Feel free to peruse my photo gallery.

Check it out and save $5 off the annual fee by visiting Smugmug. (referral code embedded)

Remember to use the link above or the coupon code aJNYnYnBHSIJ6 to save $5.


Dad Back in Communication

Tuesday, 20 Jul 2004 | Family

My dad was relieved to know that his cell phone was not dead. He powered it off and back on and it started working fine last night. He gave it a full charge overnight and it seems to be working as good as new (knock on wood).

The other good news is that it's still under warranty for a year in case any further problems arise. :)


Cardiologist Consult

Tuesday, 20 Jul 2004 | Family

My dad met with his cardiologist today. His doctor now has my dad's medical records from Hawaii as well as a CD-Rom containing videos of his arteries.

The cardiologist said that he would meet with him in approximately a month at which time he would decide how to handle the remaining blockage and when to schedule the procedure. So as it stands, the procedure would likely be performed in September unless the cardiologist decides the situation is too critical to wait.

The wrench in the works is that if the cardiologist decides to perform a balloon angioplasty, then dad will have to stay on blood thinning medication indefinitely because there would be a danger that a blood clot might form. In that case, the surgery to freeze his prostate might not be viable unless there is minimal or no incisions required. Radiation therapy would be required to eradicate the cancer.

If the cardiologist decides on bypass surgery, he could remove the stents and he could discontinue dad's blood thinner and have the prostate freezing surgery.

So, my dad needs to talk with his urologist concerning if an incision is required for the prostate surgery. He also needs to ascertain how the delay due to his heart condition will affect the spread of the cancer.

My dad has an appointment with his family doctor tomorrow. He will also try to meet with his urologist tomorrow.

We hope to have more information by the end of the week once the cardiologist has reviewed his case more thoroughly.


Adoring Muffin

Monday, 19 Jul 2004 | Pets

I have two cats. A tabby named Muffin and a black cat named Sheba.

Sheba is very sleek and refined, but very skittish, therefore I don't have many good pictures of her.

Muffin is my cat that thinks she's a dog. She greets me at the top of the stairs every morning when I come out of the bedroom to take my shower and then again when I go back to the bedroom from the bathroom. She lets me hold her in my arm and rub her tummy and head. She purrs and drools like a dog when I do. She will even chase after a paper ball and fetch it for me at times. LOL

Muffin's Adoring Gaze

Stay tuned for a future post with a picture of Sheba and a little bio on her. :)


Hanauma Bay

Monday, 19 Jul 2004 | Travel

It was truly beautiful at Hanauma Bay in Oahu, Hawaii. It is a natural preserve where people come from near and far to enjoy the beach and the abundant wildlife just under the water. Toni has snorkeled there and has told me many times what an experience it is to be that close to the sea life.

On my trip, I wasn't able to enjoy the water or snorkeling due to my dad's condition, but I had a wonderful time observing people and taking photographs; a pastime I've enjoyed since junior high school.

I noticed a group of Asian boys playing ball in the water. They were haviing such a great time. I decided to capture their fun on digital film.

A boy plays ball at Hanauma Bay

Then I happened upon a much younger boy playing by himself on the beach. He was walking and swaying, oblivious to what else was going on. Shouldn't we take time out to enjoy and interact with nature the way this boy did in Hawaii? I think I'll make it a priority to enjoy the simple things in life. I think sometimes adults can learn lessons from children; in fact, I believe much can be learned from the young and the old; we just need to observe and listen.

Hanauma Boy

Someday I hope to return with Toni to take more pictures and perhaps even take in a little snorkeling. Whatever I do, I'm sure I will have a wonderful time due to the beautiful surroundings and the company.


Dad Incommunicado

Monday, 19 Jul 2004 | Family

Toni got a little worried when she called my dad's home and cell phone after work and didn't get an answer. She thought perhaps something was wrong concerning his health.

Well, he called her back a bit later from a pay phone from church. She was relieved to hear from him. He said his cell phone had gone dead. He couldn't receive or make a call. He could see the caller-id, but couldn't operate the phone.

He loves his mobile phone and it goes with him on his belt everywhere he goes. So, he was quite vexed to find it didn't work. He kept telling Toni that he would not be able to call her or get a call from her until he got home later tonight.

It's so cute, because he is so attached to his phone. Hopefully he can replace it soon and be back in communication with the world.


My New Guestbook

Saturday, 17 Jul 2004 | Internet

Please feel free to sign my new guestbook.

I just set it up today and would love to hear your comments about my web site. You are welcome to leave questions too. I'll do my best to check it on a regular basis. But please be patient if I don't respond to your question immediately as I am usually quite busy.

Oh, please use good judgement in your language and content as I will delete any message that I deem unnacceptable for disneymike.

Thanks! :)


Keali'i Reichel

Saturday, 17 Jul 2004 | CDs

While in Hawaii, my dad found a Hawaiian music radio station that we listened to while driving.

Lately I've been listening to the following album from Keali'i Reichel, a very popular artist in Hawaii.

I really love how Hawaiian music soothes and relaxes me. I particularly love Ka Nohona Pili Kai, which I heard a lot on the radio in Honolulu and Pupu A'o 'Ewa, which is the tune C&H used for their pure cane sugar song. There are also some English language tracks. I like Fields of Gold, Keali'l's rendition of the Sting song and For the First Time, a beautiful male/female duet of Kenny Loggin's popular tune.

I have loved Hawaiian music for several years now since I discovered the wonderful music of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole aka "Iz" through his rendition of Over the Rainbow featured on the popular eToys commercial which appears on the following album:


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!

Saturday, 17 Jul 2004 | Food, Restaurants

Toni and I were out in town today and we had a major discovery!

They are opening a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store in our neighborhood. We were so excited because we just love to get their hot Original Glazed doughnuts fresh off the line.

If you haven't tried them, they are the lightest, yummiest doughnuts ever; they melt in your mouth. My favorite way to eat them is with ice cold milk.

This hot light sign when lit up tells everyone that fresh doughnuts are coming off the line!

I don't know of any other doughnut purveyor that has people lined up buying dozens of doughnuts at any time of the night and day. :)

Krispy Kreme Donuts
40531 Margarita Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 676-4564


Reflecting on Hawaii

Saturday, 17 Jul 2004 | Travel

Couples on Waikiki Beach

While I was driving to work yesterday, I was listening to a Hawaiian CD I bought on my trip.

I had been feeling a little down because my anniversary trip to Apple Farm was cancelled and having to go to Hawaii to get my dad after his heart attack was very emotionally and physically grueling. I had been so happy to see Oahu for the first time in my life, but it was bittersweet because I had very little time to see things.

But then, after some reflection, I realized how blessed I was to go to Hawaii and be there for my father during his difficult time. I had the privilege to be the sole person to help him. It was a little way I could pay him back for all the ways he had been such a great father to me. Of course, I can never repay him fully. I look back at the time I spent with him with fondness and am sure I will cherish that short time I enjoyed exploring Hawaii with him.

I also had a chance to think about my mom who passed away earlier this year. I used to feel bad for myself because she would be very critical of me. But now I realize that it was because she wanted me to be the best person I could be. I remember all the loving things she did to show her caring for me: cooking food, showing concern for my long commute, buying me thoughtful gifts, and on and on. I am so glad that she became a Christian toward the end of her life. She showed me more affection in the last few years than ever before. She would always hug me and she developed a pattern of telling me "I love you all the time." whenever she saw or talked to me. I told her this very thing many times when I visited her at the hospital. I was hopeful that she could hear me in her comatose state even if she couldn't respond. Whether or not, I wanted to express that to my mother. I miss her very much every day, as does Toni.


Lion Coffee at the NEX

Thursday, 15 Jul 2004 | Food, Travel

I stocked up on Lion Coffee while I was in Hawaii.

Lion 24-Karat Coffee

I love their Whole Bean 24 Karat 100% Kona coffee. It's so flavorful and smooth; a very relaxing cup of coffee.

I found a great deal on it at the NEX Commissary at the Naval Station Pearl Harbor. I brought back a carry-on bag full of it to surprise Toni. :)

The Main NEX at Pearl Harbor

The Naval Exchange at Pearl Harbor is the largest one in the the world and the largest military exchange I've ever seen too. It is two stories tall, comprises an exchange, commissary, various shops and a food court like a shopping mall all in one building. There is a cool Wyland mural covering 10,000 square feet inside the main entrance entitled Ocean's Sanctuary. My dad retired from the Army, so I've lived many places and am quite familiar with living on military installations.


Update on Dad

Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 | Family

I received a call from my dad today.

He said that he talked to the cardiology group that will be seeing him and has arranged for an initial consultation visit next Tuesday, July 20th at 12:15 pm. He is scheduled for the San Bernardino office for this visit because the Riverside office is booked.

Once he talks to his cardiologist, we should get an idea of when and how they will proceed with his arterial blockage.


The Cheesecake Factory

Wednesday, 14 Jul 2004 | Food, Restaurants

I am quite excited to know that The Cheesecake Factory is coming to The River at Rancho Mirage, although I don't know when it is scheduled to officially open. I really like their restaurants for their regular food items as well as their cheesecake. Yum!



Tuesday, 13 Jul 2004 | Travel

I want to send kudos to Tripler Army Medical Center for their excellent care for my father during his stay in Hawaii. They are responsible for him being alive today. :)

Tripler Army Medical Center


Dinner at Chili's

Tuesday, 13 Jul 2004 | Family, Food, Restaurants

I met Toni and my dad at Chili's for dinner on my way home from work.

Toni had gone with my dad to his doctor visit today. He met with his family doctor. He told my dad that Tripler Army Medical Center had done very well in his treatment. My dad will be calling his cardiologist group in Riverside tomorrow to schedule a visit to determine the course of action for his remaining blockage. We are hoping that his cardiologist will choose to perform a balloon angioplasty instead of bypass surgery. Although both procedures are serious, the former is less intrusive and will require a much shorter recovery period.

Dad's prostate cancer surgery will have to wait until his blockage is eliminated. The doctor did indicate that he should have the prostate cancer eradicated as soon as possible since it can degenerate quickly in patients my dad's age.


Comments Discovery

Monday, 12 Jul 2004 | Internet

I just accidentally deleted a comment from my Erin Back from Europe post.

I didn't realize that clicking the trash icon immediately deletes a visitor's comment with no confirmation. :O|

Well, I guess you live and learn. I did repost the person's comment since I felt so bad about it.

I have also updated my settings to allow anyone to post a comment, not just blogger members. So post comments away. I will do my best not to delete any of them in the future.

But beware, I will not hesitate to delete comments that I deem unacceptable. ;)


Italian Dinner

Sunday, 11 Jul 2004 | Family, Food

I made Toni an Italian dinner tonight. I wanted to try a recipe from the Longhi's cookbook I bought in Honolulu.

I made Veal Piccata and a mixed green salad with grape tomatoes and onions with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Toni and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to cook again. I hadn't made dinner for us in a while.

Toni always loves my cooking! :)


Erin Back from Europe

Saturday, 10 Jul 2004 | Family

Arriving yesterday evening from Europe, Erins wastes no time jetting off to Washington D.C. with her mom and step-dad.

I was fortunate to see her for a few hours today before she leaves way early Saturday morning for Washington D.C. for nine days with her mom and step-dad. We had a nice visit with her. She showed us a good portion of the over 1,200 pictures she took on her trip to Europe.


Back from Hawaii

Saturday, 10 Jul 2004 | Travel

My dad and I arrived safely at LAX yesterday. The plane ride was fine and my dad did very well. I made sure he got up several times during the flight to get his legs circulating.

Our Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER in Honolulu

I went to Waikiki Beach on Tuesday evening and took some pictures before and after sunset. It was gorgeous.

Waikiki Beach Skyline at Dusk

A Snorkeler Takes In the Waikiki Skyline

A Couple Enjoys the Waikiki Sunset

Then we went to dinner at an Italian place called Longhi's at the Ala Moana Shopping Center which was recommended to me by a street musician in Waikiki. The food was good as well as the atmosphere. I bought one of their cookbooks to take home. It had recipes for Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala, two dishes I really enjoy.


Our Visit to Hanauma Bay

Tuesday, 6 Jul 2004 | Travel

Yesterday, my dad and I visited Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. It was a lovely day and the beach there is just gorgeous. It's a long, steep walk down to the beach, so we took the shuttle down and back up since dad was still weaker than normal. I took some pictures and will post a few when I get back home on Thursday.

We also drove by the Waikiki beach area, but I didn't get a chance to look around.

I hope to get to do some sightseeing before I go, but my leisure time is at a minimum.

Hanauma Bay


Aloha from Hawaii

Tuesday, 6 Jul 2004 | Travel

Today, my dad and I are at Tripler Army Medical Center to accomplish a few things.

We just finished our visit to the Treasurer's Office to pick up his personal belongings that were locked up over the holiday weekend. He was very happy to get his wallet with his personal identification and money in it. He has an appointment today with Urology at 1:00 pm. Then we're free to go. We need to come back tomorrow for a 1:30 pm appointment in Cardiology.

Boy, this hospital is huge and parking is hard to find even if you have a handicapped placard!

I arrived here on Sunday and checked my dad out of the hospital at 11:30 pm Hawaii time which is 2:30 am California time. Then I had to go to the Guest House and check in. By the time I got him in bed at our room and all the luggage moved in, it was close to 1:00 am.


Prepped for Hawaii

Saturday, 3 Jul 2004 | Travel

Well, Toni and I have gotten all my things ready for my trip to Hawaii tomorrow.

I'm anxious to get on my way to see my dad. He's doing very well, but would sorely love to see a family member.

I am taking my camera and hope to get some good shots while I'm there.

I'm gonna miss Toni lots while I'm gone.


Dad's Anxious

Saturday, 3 Jul 2004 | Family

I talked to my dad this morning.

He said he's anxious to get out of the hospital. His doctor told him that he'd be released on Monday and would need to return on Tuesday for a visit to Urology and a few tests to see that he is doing well.

The doctor told him that it would be alright to get out and do a little sightseeing as long as he didn't overdo; I'll make sure of that.

He's also anxious to see me. I will arrive at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) after visiting hours on Sunday, so I will see him on Monday morning just in time for his release. I leave from Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday afternoon.


Dad's Getting Better

Friday, 2 Jul 2004 | Family

I talked to my dad today. He seems to be getting better and better. His voice is much better now since they have had the breathing tube out of his throat for several days now. He continues to have solid food, but can't typically finish the large portions they give him. He just eats until he's safisfied.

He said he was really looking forward to seeing me in a couple of days. As I was talking to him, Kathy from Harvest Christian Fellowship called to ask on his progress.

The hospital has sent a full report to my dad's doctor in California, Dr. Meyering, so that he would be informed and could arrange for a cardiologist to see dad when he gets home. Dad talked to Dr. Meyering today by phone. The doctor told my dad to get up and walk around every hour during the five hour flight home to keep the circulation going in his legs.


Dad's Transfusion and X-Ray

Thursday, 1 Jul 2004 | Family

Dad finally got his blood transfusion over most of last night. He said that he got almost no sleep because they had to take his blood pressure every fifteen minutes or so while receiving the blood. They took some blood samples afterward to assess how his hemoglobin level was doing.

They took a set of x-rays this afternoon to check on his condition.

He told me some more about his experience during the heart attack. He felt a pain in his neck, so he left his seat and walked to the concession area. He then started to sweat profusely and felt nauseated. He drank some water and then went to the bathroom. After he came out, he had some more water. He had some pineapple just before the crusade and thought perhaps it had gone bad and upset his stomach. By then, he was looking rather bad, but he didn't have any idea that it was a heart attack. Someone called 911 to get medical help for him. On the way out, Stephanie noticed him. She was helping sell crusade t-shirts and recognized him. He gave her his digital camera and cell phone. She went along with him in the ambulance. Stephanie was great, keeping in contact with me during the whole ordeal. Dad said he didn't know he was having a heart attack until the doctor told him at the emergency room. After that, he didn't remember much until after his angioplasty. He said the pain was mostly in his throat and neck. The pain wasn't as severe or situated the way he would have expected from heart attack accounts he had heard.


Erin in Germany

Thursday, 1 Jul 2004 | Family

I just heard from Erin on her second day in Germany.

She is still having a great time and says she loves and misses everyone.

She was very rushed for time, so I only found out the basics. She will be leaving for Venice tomorrow.


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