Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Have an Addiction

I have an addiction. I love art. For most of my life, art was only available at art galleries and flea markets. Art gallery prices were beyond my wallet, and flea market art was of too poor a quality to be very appealing.

Enter the internet. All of the sudden, ebay changed everything. Sure 99% of the paintings on there are pure crap, but it's the other 1% that are about to get me into trouble. If the color, the texture, the composition are just right, I can find it almost irresistible to bid. The painting displayed to the upper left is by Sam Dolman. Oh save me, PayPal my master, before I bid again.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

24 Hours to LA

Two years ago last Labor Day, my wife and I joined 24 Hour Fitness, mainly to allow David (who was a minor at the time) to get a membership since he wanted one. As it turns out, he used his membership only two or three times, but my wife and I have used ours 3 times a week.

Since neither of us had set foot in a health club or gym since leaving high school, this was quite a drastic change for us. We had never even talked about joining until we walked in and did it. It has been wonderful. We both found machines we enjoy using and it has improved our health and physique leading to better self-images.

Talking with folks at work, I found that some of them had received better deals at 24 Hour Fitness than we had by pre-paying for 2 to 3 years. After the initial period was up, they continued to receive the lower monthly payments. I asked at the front desk a few times if we could sign up for such a deal, only to be told 'no'. This started me looking around.

Recently, an LA Fitness club opened up about 2 miles closer to our house. David had already joined and we decided to take a closer look. It is a very nice club, will save us about 30 minutes round-trip driving time each day we use the gym, and they offered us the pre-pay deal I had heard about which will save us about 35% in monthly costs.

We exercised there for the first time Friday night and, while they don't have the exact machines we loved at 24 Hour Fitness, they have equivalents that should be as good as, if not better. Shoot, the bike has a fan and most all the machines have cup holders! That may sound like a stupid thing to be excited about until you've had to put your bottled water on the ground 30 times each trip to the gym.

Take that, 24 Hour Fitness. You should have given us the better deal.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jello, Martial Arts and Partridges

From time to time, it has struck me as strange that we have lived in Southern California for 20 years and have yet to run into a celebrity. The center of the TV and motion picture industries are just up the road a piece and we often read that celebrities love San Diego.

Well, 2007 has been pretty good to us, celebrity-wise.

While having dinner with our very close friend John this summer at the Hotel del Coronado, we discovered David Carradine, his wife and daughter having dinner just two or three tables down. It really added to the evening, though I have no idea what he has done since his Kung-Fu days.

Our son Ron works in Technical Production at Laxson Auditorium in Chico and in that capacity has met many stars, some of whom he has spent several hours with. The first one I remember him mentioning is Lilly Tomlin. This year, he has some great stories to tell about his afternoon with Bill Cosby.

And finally, my wife spent Friday night playing poker at a casino. On my way over to get a glass of wine, I noticed that the chairs next to her had just been taken by a man and woman. I leaned over to my wife and jokingly whispered "so you're playing poker with Danny Bonaduce, eh?" to which she replied "Yes, isnt that weird?" I laughed and walked over to the bar...but wait...that wasn't the reaction I had expected from her. So I got my wine and walked back. It WAS Danny Bonaduce!! And yes, he acts pretty much as one would imagine he would act.

We're not real big star followers, yet it is still a rush to run into them. Next time you see me, ask and I'll share the small glimpses we've had into the lives of David, Lilly, Bill and Danny.