On Monday, my dad came to our house. We first went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. I ordered the Lettuce Wraps with Chicken, my dad ordered the B.L.T. Pizza and Toni ordered the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza and we all shared. I love Lettuce Wraps, so I had tried them at CPK recently and was pleasantly surprised their version was quite good. My dad and Toni loved them. We quenched our thirst with Peach and Strawberry Lemonades.
After we filled up on great food and drink, we went to see Star Wars Episode III, The Revenge of the Sith. It was really neat seeing it in the theater with the big screen and great sound. We all enjoyed the movie. I liked that Episode III helped me to more fully understand the events leading to the original Star Wars movie.
I particularly enjoyed Yoda in this film. He was so likable and entertaining. It was very cool how he would transpose his sentences for effect, i.e., he would say something like "This blog entry, I created." instead of the customary "I created this blog entry." Now I am finding myself doing this to my own sentences. So on that note, I will close with the following: A fond farewell, I bid you. ;)
Toni, Erin, my dad and I went to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game on Sunday afternoon. It was a very pleasant temperature with overcast skies and the sun peeking through. The game was fun. We were in the lead most of the game by a good margin, but it got a little scary toward the end. We managed to squeak out a 7 to 6 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Tuesday, 31 May 2005 | Culture, Family, Performance
Toni, Erin and I volunteered to help with the 11th Annual Concurso de Ballet Folklorico at the University of California, Riverside. Toni's sister, Trisha is one of the coodinators for this event which showcases traditional Mexican dance and raises money to further Ballet Folklorico and provide scholarships for UCR students.
Toni and Erin had helped with this event in prior years, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to participate by taking photographs. This was my first exposure to Ballet Folklorico. I have to say I was quite impressed with it all. The groups professionally executed their choreographed dance moves with passion and vigor. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances and opportunity to capture the event through my photography.
I had never witnessed in person all the colorful costumes and makeup. I was particularly fascinated by the jewelled eyelashes the your girls were wearing and the shimmering gold earrings. I especially liked the very young boys and girls in their costumes because they were so adorable.
I will continue to add additional photographs of the 11th Annual Concurso de Ballet Folklorico on my Flickr account. Please check for new photos periodically.
Monday, 30 May 2005 | Recipes
1 1/2 pounds boneless rib steak, cut into very thin slices 5 to 6 inches long by 2 inches wide
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped fine
3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Korean sesame oil
Mix the beef and sugar together. Let it rest for 2 minutes, then add the soy sauce, garlic, scallions, pepper and sesame oil. Toss the mixture well to integrate all the flavors, and let it stand at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator) to allow the meat to mature.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef slices, a few at a time, and sear them without oil for 2 to 3 minutes at most. Of course, in summer this may be done outdoors over charcoal.
An alternate method is to grill the beef in a very hot gas or electric broiler.
Serve immediately with white sticky rice and an assortment of side dishes.
Sunday, 29 May 2005 | Pets
Taffy being held up by Erin in the living room.
Friday, 27 May 2005 | Music
Total volume of music files on my computer:
The last CD I bought was:
“Baroque N Guitar” by David Wayne (heard him at Downtown Disney)
Song playing right now:
“Kauoha Mai” by Raiatea Helm
Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
“Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison
“All I Have” by Beth Nielsen Chapman
“I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman
“If I Stand” by Rich Mullins
“At Last” by Etta James
Five people to whom I’m passing the baton:
Thursday, 26 May 2005 | Entertainment, Music, Television
Twenty-two year old Carrie Underwood from Checotah, Oklahoma is the official winner of American Idol. I know my dad is very happy about that. I was also hoping Carrie would win, but actually expected Bo Bice might garner more votes. I guess my entry yesterday in a small way predicted the outcome. LOL
This is the best night of my life. And it's going to get better.Carrie's mother, Carole, said she hoped that success wouldn't change her daughter's quiet, polite small-town ways.
I want my permanent address to be in Oklahoma. Someday, when I get married and I have kids, that's where I want to raise my kids.
It was great to see all the big name musicians appearing on the finale last night. I thought Carrie did a wonderful job singing with Rascal Flatts and Bo Bice was great with Lynyrd Skynyrd! :)
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 | Disneyland
Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue is scheduled to open in January 2006 at Disney's California Adventure in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Riders will be transported through the Monstropolis world of Monsters Inc. The black-light ride will feature over 40 audio-animatronic creatures.
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 | Disneyland
Turtle Talk with Crush will be opening July 15th at Disney's California Adventure in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. The new interactive show will allow children to have a conversation with the surfer-dude turtle from Finding Nemo. Live actors and animators make it possible for Crush to have a live dialogue with audience members.
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 | Entertainment, Music, Television
Who will be the next American Idol?
Twenty-one year old Carrie Underwood from Chekotah, Oklahoma or twenty-nine year old Bo Bice from Helena, Alabama?
We like them both, but think Carrie's voice bests Bo's. So, we voted for Carrie last night to win the contest. Really, we won't mind who wins because we think both of them have talent and appeal.
So who do you think will be seleceted as the new Idol on tonight's 2 Hour Finale of American Idol?
Lois, the Department Chair for the English Department at Toni's Middle School invited us to a lunch on Saturday to socialize and to celebrate Maureen and In's new baby girl, Magnolia who just turned seven weeks old.
Table Place Setting
Lois was the consumate host as always with a spread of delicious food and beautifully arranged tables and flowers. Toni, Erin and I had a wonderful time dining and chatting with all the guests. It was a very relaxing, enjoyable occasion for all.
BBQ Chicken Wings
I brought my camera along to capture some images of Magnolia. I always enjoy the opportunity to capture memories and hone my photographic skills. Maureen and In were very pleased with the results.
Thank you Lois, for a marvelous time.
Maureen & Magnolia
In & Magnolia
Friday, 20 May 2005 | Pets
Taffy shows off her balancing talent.
Thursday, 19 May 2005 | Disneyland
Recently, I was surprised and honored to receive an email from Dave MacPherson, the first person to buy a ticket to Disneyland on July 18th, 1955. Although the park officially opened on July 17th, it was only open to selected guests and celebrities by invitation. Disneyland opened to the paying public the following day.
Dave MacPherson is now 72 years old and resides in Utah. He was awarded a lifetime VIP pass for him and three guests to Disneyland. That's a dream come true for a Disneyland fan like me! Thank you so much for allowing me to present your story on my web site, Dave!
DISNEYLAND'S GRAND OPENING (some little known facts)
by Dave MacPherson
I was at Disneyland when it opened for the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. Since I have some facts about that event that many websites evidently haven't known, I thought you might like to publish them:
It's true that Roy Disney, Walt's brother, requested the first printed ticket for his grandchildren's memorabilia.
It's also true that the park opened the previous day (Sunday) for a preview for only special guests and the news media, that some counterfeit tickets were printed by someone, and that some party crashers climbed over fences surrounding the attraction.
And it's true that when Disneyland opened for the public on that hot, humid Monday (the 18th), Walt Disney posed with Michael Schwartner and Christine Vess, the first two children in line.
But I had determined to make some history myself.
Since I wasn't Walt's relative, or a special guest or party crasher on the 17th, or a youngster on the 18th (I was then a 22-year-old college student), I had only one option. Employing the hard work and initiative that Walt had admired in persons like Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, I focused on being first in line on the 18th and putt-putted on my Simplex motorbike from my Long Beach home to Disneyland during the wee hours of that unforgettable Monday.
Some time later I was notified that I had won a lifetime pass (good for any three persons and myself) - an annual card that I have received each year since 1955 which, in recent years, has also been good for other Disney parks including the ones in Florida and France.
You might say that 1955 was a very good year for a youthful Scotsman!
Because of my line of work, I've had many opportunities while guesting on worldwide talk shows to plug the various Disney attractions and tell about my purchase of the first Disneyland ticket when that park opened to the public.
I should add that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck think it's about time for the media to air the facts I'm sharing here. Since I'm now 72, who am I to disagree with them? I enclose some old clippings from my scrapbook along with the two Daves - 50 years apart - the latest pic taken in 2005 near our home in Monticello, Utah.
Thursday, 19 May 2005 | Disneyland
After nearly two years of enhancements, Space Mountain is scheduled to reopen on July 15th, in time for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary on July 17th, 2005. The ride will feature new special effects, new rocket vehicles and a brand new custom soundtrack. Guests will find themselves thrilling to a new launch sequence including a close call with a meteorite and enhanced special effects in the re-entry tunnel.
"We’re very happy that Space Mountain will re-open on July 15 as one of the many celebratory festivities leading to our actual 50th anniversary on July 17,” said Matt Ouimet, president of the Disneyland Resort. "Space Mountain will be the classic attraction that our guests know and love but better than they anyone remembers it."
Wednesday, 18 May 2005 | Toys
Just in time for the debut of Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, comes this Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head from Hasbro!
It's so funny to see the combination of the Star Wars Dark Overlord and Mr. Potato Head. I used to love playing with my Mr. Potato Head as a kid. I actually had a Mr. Orange Head too. I wonder if I'm the only one to have the citrus version of this toy. Has anyone else heard of a Mr. Orange Head? Well, Darth Tater is very cute and well detailed. I'm sure he's going to be a smash hit with 3 to 5 year olds everywhere; maybe even with adults who are still young at heart like me!
Wednesday, 18 May 2005 | Movies
Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, the last installment in the Star Wars movie series comes to theaters everywhere tomorrow. From what I've heard, it's supposed to be the best movie of Episodes I-III. I've also heard that it's pretty violent, so use discretion taking younger ones. I'm very eager to see this on the big screen. The original Star Wars movie was a phenomenon that I'll always remember from my childhood days.
Monday, 16 May 2005 | Family
When I was four years old, I lived in North Carolina because my dad was in the Army stationed at Fort Bragg. Aunt Ko Ja, my mom's younger sister lived with us too. My mom had sponsored her for U.S. citizenship, so Ko Ja lived with us for a while before she got married.
Well, Ko Ja would spoil me since I was her nephew. Plus, Korean relatives love to spoil their nephews and nieces and grandchildren. On one occasion, I can't remember if it was Christmas or my birthday or no particular day at all, Ko Ja bought me a Lego Starter Set. It had a large rectangular base to build upon and a bunch of Lego bricks of various sizes and shapes and a few windows for good measure all packed neatly into a resealable hinged box with plastic compartments. The bricks came in red, white and blue and the base was green if memory serves me right. Oh, I think there were a few flat light gray pieces too. These were basically just bricks, not any of the fancy pieces you see today. There weren't any Star Wars or Spiderman characters or giant sailing ships sets like there are now.
Even though the set was simple and basic, I loved to express my creativity with these multi-colored plastic interlocking building bricks. It was one of my most beloved toys growing up. I still have fond memories of playing with my Legos to this day. It wasn't just a toy, it was creative outlet for an only child and the creator of childhood memories. Thank you so much Aunt Ko Ja for your gift many years ago. I enjoyed it more than you'll ever know.
Monday, 16 May 2005 | Friends
Toni's friend Susan gave us a travel guide for Oahu since we're going to Waikiki this summer. Susan is a colleague of Toni's from the school where she teaches English. She's a really neat and thoughtful person that Toni enjoys very much. I thought it was a nice gesture to give us the cool Hawaii travel book. It's quite informative and has great color pictures throughout.
Susan is famous for using the phrase, Way Bossa Nova Cool, for people and things that are really wonderful. So, here's one right back at ya from Toni and myself.
Susan is Way Bossa Nova Cool! ;)
Saturday, 14 May 2005 | Family, Food, Restaurants
Green Onion Pancakes
After our involved book buying session at Scholastic Book Fairs, Toni and I planned to drive up to Hacienda Heights to try a Taiwanese Chinese place called Earthen Restaurant. I had heard of Earthen through a friend and seen pictures of their delicious looking food. I was particularly intrigued by the Green Onion Pancakes. They looked so good int the pictures I'd seen. Well, they turned out to be Toni's favorite item we ordered, although everything we had was great.
When we arrived at Earthen, we found it was closed. It seems that they close for a break between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm between lunch and dinner. So we went a couple doors down to RJ Patisserie since we had a 25 minute wait until Earthen reopened. It's a French bakery that has a case full of desserts that are works of art. They gave us a sample of their Tiramisu and Raspberry Cake. They were both very good, the Tiramisu being the clear winner according to Toni and myself. I ordered an Iced Coffee for Toni. They serve it in a tall glass with a small ice filled glass with creamers and a little glass pitcher of simple syrup to sweeten the refreshment. It's such a neat presentation that adds an elegant touch I found very appealing. Toni ordered a piece of Prince Charles Cake to go, which we shared later in the evening at home.
Beef Noodle Soup
Kung Pao Chicken
1639 South Azusa Avenue
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Saturday, 14 May 2005 | Family
I went with Toni to Scholastic Book Fairs in Anaheim today. She has an $800 purchase order from her school to buy books for her classroom. The Scholastic Book Fairs is a a large warehouse store where educators can buy books of all types for reduced prices. She spent an hour and a half selecting a bunch of books. She ended up with three boxes of books. We made it a point to go this weekend because they were have a special 50% off sale and a selection of clearance books marked down even more! When we got to the checkout, we were both a little concerned that we might have exceeded the amount of Toni's purchase order. We were pleasantly surprised to find the total was only $280. That leaves a lot of money for another book buying session in the near future.
Friday, 13 May 2005 | Pets
Taffy peeking over a wall to see what's going on beyond the confines of our front yard.
Tuesday, 10 May 2005 | Family
Sunday, our whole family met at Tony's Spunky Steer for Mother's Day lunch. We had a nice lunch and good conversation. Afterwards, we went to Toni's mom's house as is our tradition on Mothers Day to have pie and open presents. Toni's mother looked so nice with her flowers at Spunky Steer. I can't believe how wonderful she looks for just having celebrated her 80th birthday.
Toni had a very nice Mothers Day too. She got a nice card and tickets to see the Eagles in concert from me and a call from Erin. She was so happy. Toni and I can't have any children together. Erin is my daughter from a previous marriage. Although Toni isn't Erin's biological mother, I consider her to be just like a mother to Erin. She loves Erin very much and always tries to raise her as if she was her own. That's one of the things I love about Toni.
Tuesday, 10 May 2005 | Disneyland, Family
Dad at the Blue Bayou Restaurant
Toni and I took my dad to Disneyland on Saturday for his 70th birthday. We got there a little before noon. It was a cloudy, but very pleasant day. It wasn't nearly as crowded as we expected for being the first weekend after the 50th Anniversary Celebration began on May 5th. I made reservations for lunch at the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square for 12:20 pm. The first thing we did after renting a locker, was to take my dad to City Hall to get his Happy Birthday sticker. When you wear your birthday sticker, the castmembers are extra nice and say happy birthday to you. Even other park guest tell you happy birthday. It's really quite nice.
50th Anniversary Golden Mickey Ears
It was the first time my dad had dined at the Blue Bayou, so it was special for him. The three of us shared two Monte Cristo sandwiches, one of their specialties. It's basically a double decker turkey, ham and cheese sandwich that's battered and fried. It's served with raspberry jam for dipping. If you haven't had it, it's kind of like having french toast. It's yummy, but I can only handle it once every several months because it's so decadent and rich.
Dad's Salmon at Storytellers Cafe
Dad's Mickey Mousse
We spent the rest of the day walking around Disneyland enjoying ourselves. We took in the new Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams and shopped. We went to Storytellers Cafe for dinner. After that, we rushed over to see the new Remember...Dreams Come True fireworks show, which was spectacular.
Mickey Mouse Fireworks
I think my dad really enjoyed his birthday, the first time he's spent it at Disneyland.
Tuesday, 10 May 2005 | Recipes
2 28-ounce cans imported Italian plum tomatoes with
basil (preferably those labeled "San Marzano")
1/4 cup fine-quality olive oil
2 ounces fatback or salt pork, optional
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper (to taste)
6 leaves fresh basil, torn, optional
Pinch dried oregano
Remove tomatoes from the can, reserving the juice in which they are packed. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes, gently remove and discard the hard core from the stem end, and remove and discard any skin and tough membrane. Set aside.
Put oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. If using fatback, cut it into small pieces and add to the pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until all fat has been rendered. Remove and discard fatback.
Then add onion. Sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent and just beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until just softened. Stir in tomatoes, reserved juice, and salt. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook for about 1 hour or until flavors have combined and sauce is slightly thickened. (If you prefer a thicker sauce, cook for an additional 15 minutes).
Stir in basil, oregano, and pepper, and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and serve.
Yield: Approximately 7 cups
Friday, 6 May 2005 | Pets
Taffy's forlorn look because she was in trouble for chewing things she shouldn't.
Thursday, 5 May 2005 | Disneyland
Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration begins today. Disneyland was closed to the public yesterday for final touches and a huge media event. Only select members of the public were in attendance at the event replete with cameras and celebrities. Starting today, the public can witness the new touches at Disneyland during the 18 month celebration named "The Happiest Homecoming on Earth" commemorating 50 years of Disneyland magic. Disneyland's actual birthday will be on July 17th, 2005 and I plan to be in attendance. Toni and I will be going to Disneyland with my dad on Saturday, May 7th, to celebrate his 70th birthday.
On May 5, 2005, the Disneyland Resort in California launches the “Happiest Homecoming On Earth,” an 18-month commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the very first Disney theme park – Disneyland. The highly anticipated event is the cornerstone of a global celebration that is so big that all 11 Disney theme parks around the world have joined together for the first-time for the landmark occasion.
At Disneyland Resort, the “Happiest Homecoming On Earth” is a unique opportunity for new and returning guests to be part of an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime milestone anniversary and the Park’s biggest event ever. The celebration is a tribute to the rich legacy of innovation, creativity and storytelling that has made Disneyland a national treasure.
Wednesday, 4 May 2005 | Food
I went to Panda Express for lunch today. I decided to get a bottle of Dole 100% Apple Juice since it was natural. I thought it would be good to help me get over this cold I have. After I finished the juice, which was very good by the way, I read the label. It said that it was made from 100% juice from concentrate. Then I noticed this on the label:
Contains concentrate from Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, China, Turkey, Brazil and the United States.
Wow! That's my 100% daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C from 10 countries and 4 continents in a single bottle. Very cool! ;)
Monday, 2 May 2005 | Family
This morning at 9 am, Erin took her driving test and passed! She is now a legal California driver, so everyone beware! LOL
Just kidding. Actually, Erin is a very good driver and I'm very proud of her.
Sunday, 1 May 2005 | Family, Food, Restaurants
Yesterday, we had a big birthday party for my daughter Erin who turned sweet 16. Actually, it was a triple birthday party because we also celebrated two other landmark birthdays with hers. We celebrated my dad turning 70 and Toni's mom turning 80. So, it was quite the mega party. We had over 30 family members and friends show up for the event at Pat & Oscar's in Temecula.
On Friday night, Erin had two close friends, Sandy and Alicia, spend the night for a girl's slumber party. I already knew Sandy well, but it was the first time I had met Alicia, a very sweet and polite girl. They had fun eating Chinese food, talking and watching rented DVDs together that night.
I love to have Erin's party at Pat & Oscar's because they can almost always accomodate a large party without prior notice. The management was kind enough to set up a very long table for our group. I sat at one end and Erin sat at the other end. She was so far away that people were joking about calling her on the mobile phone to talk to her! LOL
Lemon Chicken Wings
Baby Back BBQ Ribs
Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce
BBQ Chicken Pizza
There was plenty of yummy food for everyone to enjoy. I love Pat & Oscar's Breadsticks. They are famous for them. They are hot and fresh from the oven, buttered and salted to perfection. I love them! We all ate until we could eat no more. :)
Finally, with our family we have a custom of hugging each other when we greet and say goodbye. At this party, as is always the case, this ritual causes the departure to be long and drawn out. We generally say goodbye to everyone else. We did this inside Pat & Oscar's. Then we mill over to the front door still chatting and continuing farewells. I then looked out the front door of the restaurant and noticed the majority of the 30 something guests just outside the entrance conversing. So then I went outside to once again say goodbye and hug everyone. And for good measure, I said goodbye to a select few as they entered their vehicles to leave. Phew! It's quite an ordeal, but it keeps us close. ;)
Pat & Oscar's
29375 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591