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Today in My History

2000:  Defending the Caveman
2001:  Saved by Koala Poop
2002:  Like Mother, Like Daughter-in-Law
2003:  It shouldn't Happen to a Turkey
2004:  I Saw Sheila Eating Santa Claus
2005:  Geeks Bearing Gifts
2006Day of the Living Dead
2007:  A Show Busy Day
2008:  It Takes a Village
2009:  Channeling Paris

2010:  We Forgot to go Boxing
Butterfly Kisses

Our 2012 Christmas Letter

Bitter Hack
: 12/10
"The Bacchae"

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 12/13
"A Christmas Carol"

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The Paul Picnic

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mail to Walt

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27 December 2012

When I write these entries, I take the previous day's entry, delete the text and start writing the new entry.  When I travel, everything gets stored on a flash drive and when I get home transferred over here to my desktop.  Imagine my surprise this morning when I went to call up the entry for the 26th from the flash drive and find that the whole file had been renamed and all of my files looked like this:

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Needless to say, none of the file was able to be opened.  I'm going to have to do a lot of re-creating today.  Sigh.

We didn't exactly find the pot of gold on our drive home from Santa Barbara yesterday, but with the intermittent rain and sunshine, we certainly were accompanied by our share of rainbows for a good portion of the trip.

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Sometimes it was a bit of a rainbow like this, sometimes it was a   full arc stretching from one side of the highway to the other, sometimes it was bright, other times it was fading, but I saw more rainbows on a drive yesterday than I think I have ever seen before.

The day had started with everyone crowding into Joe's little home office to have a Skype chat with his daughter Jocelyn in the Boston area, and her daughter Charlee (who is just a couple of weeks older than Lacie).

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With five people in front of me in the room, I couldn't get close to the computer, so since I don't know Jocelyn all that well, I opted to sit in the living room with my iPad catching up on Twitter instead.

Sambo.jpg (69875 bytes)We finally packed up and were ready go leave shortly after noon.  Our first stop was at Tom's to pick up a gift he wanted us to bring home for Marta.  They were already gone, so we didn't see the girls.  Then we went down into Santa Barbara proper to the last remaining Sambo's restaurant to buy postcards. 

I just love stuff like this.  Over a year ago, we had breakfast at Sambo's, which is directly across from the beach and has a great menu, and I bought postcards of the illustrations that used to decorate the Sambo's chain restaurants across the country.  They are all gone now, but this one, the original Sambo's (named because the guys who started it were named Sam and Bo -- the book tie-in came later) still remains and they still sell the postcards.  At that time I was keeping my pen pal blog and I posted pictures of the postcards.  About a week ago, I received an e-mail from a guy named Clinton Melander who had seen the photo.  He turns out to be the son of Vernon Melander, who painted the original pictures in 1960!  He told me all about living in Culver City and his father being an artist who had been commissioned to do the Sambo's pictures and how they were created.  He said that if I had any postcards left, he would love to buy them from me.  My cards are long gone, but I went and bought a set for him and he is thrilled  to hear that he will have his own set.  "Vernon Melander passed away a few years ago but left a remarkable legacy of images and feelings that exist in hearts and minds of thousands if not millions of people that have looked upon his work," he writes.

Postcards at hand, we headed north for that very long drive.  We were listening to David Baldacci's "The Forgotten," which, unlike the last book I chose, was perfect for this trip because it is only 11 hours long, so we were able to finish it before we got home again (it's an 7-8 hr drive, roughly).  The last book was so long it took us forever, with trips to and from Sacramento, to finally get to the end of the book.  A good book definitely makes the miles pass faster!

We tried to stop at our usual V's Cafe in King City, but they had taken the week off for Christmas vacation (the nerve of them!) so we went to Denny's instead.  I was happy to see they still hhad their "Gandalf Gulp Melt" on the menu, a turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry mustard), so I could have a turkey sandwich the day after Christmas after all.

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The thing is so big, I brought half of it home to have for lunch today.

Our waitress was a real sweetheart and so efficient that I decided to do a "random act of kindness" and give her a huge tip, almost the cost of the meal itself.  She was touched because she is a law student and all her tip money goes to pay her school expenses.

As the sun was setting, we were heading through some weird weather between the Gabilon Mountains and the Coast range, with ominous black clouds to our left and clear skies to the right....

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...while way off to the right there was a full moon.

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We were home around 8 or so to ecstatic dogs. If you ever feel unloved or unappreciated, get a dog.  The happiness they exhibit when they see you again, whether you've been gone 5 minutes or 5 days, will warm the cockles of your heart.   Polly positively did pirouettes, twisting her body in circles in mid air, tail wagging furiously, while Lizzie just climbed into my lap, rolled over on her back and gave a big sigh.  "You're home at long last!"

I curled up under the fantastic new blanket Alice Nan gave me, with Polly at my side again, while we caught up on the last 3 days of Jeopardy and I fell asleep before I got this entry written.  So I have now done it and can start unpacking.


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We found this tree outside a McDonald's where we'd stopped for a potty break

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