Sunroom 1 — Deconstruction and Construction


Here we go again. Last month, or was it two months ago, we re-did one of our bathrooms so that Charlie had a walk-in shower / tub. Then we had to re-do the heating system and installed new ducting and AC. Now, we’re adding a patio enclosure / sunroom.

Two workers came last week and demolished — de-constructed — our patio cover. I have never seen a neater job of demolition. They also got rid of some of the brick-work where the new sunroom was going.

The next day two more workers came and poured concrete where the brick-work used to be. We now had a solid concrete slab for the sunroom. Rails for the walls and roof were also installed.

Yesterday work began on the sunroom itself. The following pictures are from yesterday and today. The guys work hard and clean up well.

Patio 2
Patio 2
Patio 3
Patio 3

Patio 4
Patio 4
Patio 5
Patio 5



Patio 6
Patio 6
Patio 7
Patio 7



Patio 8
Patio 8
Patio 9
Patio 9



Patio 10
Patio 10
Sunrrom 1
Sunrrom 1



Sunroom 2
Sunroom 2
Sunroom 3
Sunroom 3



While the work was going on in the backyard, I took my wife and one of her retired-teacher friends to a Christmas Lunch at her old school. After dropping them off, I drove back to HB. I stopped at TK’s for a “Big Bargain Special — hamburger and fries — and lunch at the beach. Parked at 17th and PCH and ate lunch on one of the concrete benches along the railing above the beach. Lord, what a beautiful day. Sunny, 62 degrees, a light breeze and clear as a bell. Ate lunch, took a walk to the water, snapped some pictures and read a chapter out of one of my three current books. A little after three o’clock, Charlie called and I went back to Santa Ana to pick her and her friend up and we returned home.

From 17th Street looking South.
From 17th Street looking South.
From 17th Street looking North.
From 17th Street looking North.

Just another almost perfect retired day in paradise.

Oh, yeah. Our gardener comes on Thursday — I don’t think he’ll get much work done in the back.


Read 2 (2015)

2015 Reading List

In reverse order these are the books I’ve read this year. Some of them have been reviewed on my Book Reviews page and most of those, If not all of them, have also been posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Daring (Kris Longknife) by Mike Shepherd

  1. The Cost of Victory by Jay Allen: 3 of 5 stars
  2. Liaden Universe Constellation III by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 4 of 5 stars
  3. Phoenix in Shadow by Ryk E. Spoor: 4 of 5 stars
  4. W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton: 4 of 5 stars
  5. The Spellsong War by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  6. The Elysium Commission by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  7. Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt: 4 of 5 stars
  8. Monsters of the Earth (The Books of the Elements #3) by David Drake: 3 of 5 stars
  9. The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child: 4 of 5 stars
  10. Steadfast by Jack Campbell: 4 of 5 stars
  11. Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 5 of 5 stars
  12. Balance Point by Robert Buettner: 3 of 5 stars
  13. Shadow of Freedom by David Weber: 3 of 5 stars
  14. Survivor by Mike Shepherd: 4 1/2 of 5 stars
  15. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough: 4 of 5 stars
  16. Paradigms Lost by Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  17. The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn: 2 of 5 stars
  18. The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  19. Valor’s Choice (Confederation #1) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  20. The Clone Apocalypse by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #10): 2 of 5 stars
  21. The Clone Assassin by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #9): 4 of 5 stars
  22. The Clone Sedition by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #8): 4 of 5 stars
  23. The Clone Redemption by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #7): 4 of 5 stars
  24. Madness in Solidar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #9): 4.5 of 5 stars
  25. Castaway Planet by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  26. Undercity by Catherine Asaro: 4 of 5 stars
  27. The Clone Empire by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #6): 4 of 5 stars
  28. The Clone Betrayal by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #5): 4 of 5 stars
  29. The Clone Elite by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #4): 4 of 5 stars
  30. Antiagon Fire  (The Imager Portfolio #7) by L.E. Modesitt Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  31. Imager’s Battalion by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #6): 4 of 5 stars
  32. Princeps by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #5): 4 of 5 stars
  33. Carousel Seas by Sharon Lee (Archer’s Beach #3): 4 of 5 stars
  34. Scholar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #4): 4 of 5 stars
  35. The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower: A Biography of C. S. Forester’s Famous Naval Hero by C. Northcote Parkinson: 4 of 5 stars
  36. The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton (A Commonwealth Novel): 3 of 5 stars


These are books I’ve read before and re-read during July and August when I had no new books on hand. It does not include my re-reading of all of the Liaden books to get myself set for Dragon in Exile.

  1. A Rising Thunder – David Weber
  2. Shadow of Freedom – David Weber
  3. The Shadow of Saganami – David Weber
  4. Watch on the Rhine – John Ringo, Tom Kratman
  5. A Cruel Wind (A Shadow of All Night Falling; October’s Baby; All Darkness Met) – Glen Cook
  6. Dread Empire’s Fall: The Sundering – Walter Jon Williams
  7. The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
  8. The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
  9. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
  10. The Dain Curse – Dashiell Hammett
  11. Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
  12. The Truth of Valor – Tanya Huff
  13. Valor’s Trial – Tanya Huff
  14. City on Fire – Walter Jon Williams
  15. The Way to Glory – David Drake
  16. The Far Side of the Stars – David Drake
  17. Ambassador of Progress – Walter Jon Williams
  18. Target (Vicky Peterwald) – Mike Shepherd
  19. The Warmasters – David Drake, David Weber, Eric Flint
  20. Paying the Piper – David Drake
  21. In Fury Born – David Weber
  22. Night’s Master – Tanith Lee
  23. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
  24. The Gods Themselves – Isaac Assimov
  25. Judas Unchained – Peter F. Hamilton
  26. Pandora’s Star – Peter F. Hamilton

Root Beam Float

Here I am on vacation again. I know some of you think this is a redundant statement as I have been retired some three years now, but it is not. There is something about being away from home that adds to the experience.

While reading today’s edition of the Grand Forks Herald, I came upon the following recipes:

White Wine Sangria:

  • 2 bottles of dry white wine
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 3 cups of assorted sliced fruit
  • Combine all ingredients in a clear glass serving pitcher. Stir gently and let ingredients sit for 8 to 24 hours. Serve chilled.
  • (Wine snobs, please, omit the brandy, agave nectar/honey and fruit.)

Root Beam Float:

  • 8 ounces of root beer
  • 1 ounce Jim Beam or bourbon of choice (here’s a chance to get rid of/use the bottle of Old Crow your great-aunt Matilda gave you twenty years ago)
  • 2-3 curls of zest from an orange
  • 1/2 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • Combine the first three ingredients in a float glass. Stir gently to combine bourbon and root beer. Top with vanilla bean ice cream and serve.

Ah, well, time to take the wife shopping. will return in an hour or three. Will open a beer and resume reading one of my books–either Phoenix in Shadow by Ryk E. Spoor or Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume III by Sharon Lee.

Oh, yeah–here are Smoke and Mist, also on vacation. Smoke and Mist at HB North

English Exercise

Picked up several books at Camelot (used book store) today. Among them was Sue Grafton’s W is for Wasted. Looking at the list of her titles in the Kinsey Millhone series, I was reminded of an exercise I used to assign my seventh graders back in those days when I taught spelling, vocabulary and grammar. (May they never return.)

I’d have the kids write sentences using the words for the week–real imaginative, huh? Some of the sentences had to use two or more of the week’s words. For example: outlaw, evidence, innocent, alibi. Although the outlaw had an ironclad alibi, the evidence showed that she was not innocent and that her accomplice had given perjured testimony.

They could change nouns to adjectives to verbs to adverbs, etc. I also gave them a chance to stump me by “throwing” a bunch of words at me and seeing if I could do it on the fly. I don’t remember ever being stumped, but that could be memory’s ego talking. I do remember stretching things, especially when they’d have me do the whole list, mixed up of course, in a single go.

Well, here goes: The alibi the shapely burglar used was insufficient to save her from becoming a corpse as the deadbeat hodad’s board had evidently hidden a gumshoe of homicidal intent who was bent on blowing away the less than innocent as she passed judgment on the killer whose lawless sense of malice acted as a noose around the neck of the outlaw Pauline who realized that her continued existence was in peril as she was the quarry of the bullet ricocheting off the seawall which in its lack of silence was trespassing the pacific surfline and catching her in the undertow of its vengeance and wasted away her life in the uncaring sand.

Ah, well, the Angels won–on to Chapter 4.

9:32 pm on a Friday. Do you know where your glass of wine is?

Yes, it’s on the table beside me–almost empty, but that won’t be its state for long.

Friday, May 28, 2015

The cats woke me up about 5:30 am this morning and I got up to lay on the couch so they would follow me and not wake my wife. Woke up again about 7:30 am and fed the cats. My wife got up and I fixed her tea, breakfast and got her medicine. I put out the trash bins, a day late because of Memorial Day, brought in the newspapers and fixed my coffee.

I then read through both papers (LA Times and OC Register) from back to front–entertainment (comics), business, sports, local and then the front news section. By then it was time for more coffee and tea. Read a couple of chapters of my current book and then did the puzzles from both papers.

Then it was time to read my email (play on the internet), pay a couple of bills and read a couple more chapters from my book.

Breakfast time: scrambled eggs, vitamins and vegetable juice. Read a couple of chapters from the book, made my wife some more tea and went shopping for cat food–and a toy (received with great enthusiasm).

Read some more, fixed more tea, drank some wine, turned on the Dodgers, made dinner–bought Paddington for Charlie. (She loved it–nice to hear gales of laughter.)

I retired to the bedroom to read, accompanied by the cats while Charlie watched her movie.

Movie over she went out to the patio to smoke, play on her IPad and watch a crime series on Netflix. I sat down to watch the Dodgers and Angels and finish my book–which I did (dirty word, dirty word, dirty word). Now, I’ll have to find another one tomorrow.

I’m done with this and done with this glass of wine. Time to put the computer away, find another glass of wine and watch the last half inning of the Angel game.

Angels win; they beat Detroit Two – Zip.

Wash by Smoke
Wash by Smoke