Tuesday, March 17, 2009


With senseless violence everywhere in the media around us, I tried inoculating my kids, age 9 and 11 by watching with them the Spielberg classic "Saving Private Ryan" a couple weeks ago. I figure at the very least, I am there to explain to them the brutalities of war in context of a fictional story that is probably graphically accurate. There are other war movies that are most violent and some that are fairly mild but Saving Private Ryan seems like a good choice. Having seen it at least 3 times before, it does seem to get better with each viewing. Unlike other war movies with tough guy leading men, Spielberg's epic stars Tom Hanks, who looks like and plays a school teacher who just wants to go home. Whatever glamorous image war had in my kids mind before the movie seemed to have changed a bit after almost 3 hrs. I guess I am one of those parents these social conservatives refer to as "irresponsible left coast liberals."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Aging Should Not Mean Slowing Down

I had every intention of training for the 31st Annual Firecracker Run in Chinatown held a couple weeks ago but work, family and the weather made it virtually impossible to get any decent preparation run, treadmill or road. I think my last run was before Xmas so the fact that it poured really hard at 5am that Sunday morning made me breathe a sigh of relief. Until of course an hour later, when it was as clear and the road dried. Doh! Bottom line, I could still do a 5K without any training -- finished in 32+ minutes but sad thing is I ran my last 10K in '99 in 49 minutes. During the run, kids who look like 12 or 13 and older runners who could be over 65 were passing me. Aging is never an issue but slowing down is.
(Caveat: The last 10K I did was at the Rose Bowl and it was a relatively flat course. Anyone who's been in Chinatown know how hilly the area is. So I don't think I've really slowed down that much. Still, my old boss, who's at least 55 completed the hilly Firecracker 10K in under 53 min AFTER doing a half marathon in Catalina the day before. He's the best boss to work for but sometimes he really just makes me sick.)

Moving To The '909'

Finally moved into the city where I expect my kids to attend intermediate school (Grades 6 through 8) and high school. Going from a city with a lot of history like Pasadena to a relatively new incorporated city like Rancho Cucamonga (est. 1977) is not something I would have predicted years ago. I've always thought I'll spend the rest of my life in the city famous for the Rose Parade, Caltech, Rose Bowl, Huntington Gardens (and at least 3 other art museums) all within 20 minutes of downtown Los Angeles. Rancho C. is in the 909 area code and with existing cell phone coverage, I don't have to get a land line with a 909 prefix. (Whew!) It was relatively painless 14 yrs ago moving from Santa Monica to Pasadena -- a city established in 1886 that is rich in culture, tradition and history. But Rancho C. will not be an easy adjustment for me. MOCA in downtown LA is now an hour away, LACMA another 20 minutes and the Southbay beaches close to 2 hrs. Yikes. But on the plus side, the upper desert is now only 20 minutes away and Las Vegas just got closer by a half hour. Oh, and the public schools are really excellent in the 'hood I moved into.