Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Another post unearthed from the rubble of this blog…

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Social media has pretty much made this blog a moot point, but I will write a new entry occasionally to justify its continued existence. This past weekend was Jesse’s birthday and Mother’s day. Since he had to work on Saturday, his birthday, we decided to drive down on Sunday following church to have a combined birthday and Mother’s day meal. We also delivered the cards and gifts that grandparents, aunts and uncles sent to him at our address.

After picking him up, we made a trip to Best Buy so he could spend some of his birthday money and then we drove to a discount theater to watch a movie. After spending a few hours there, we went to find a restaurant for dinner. Deciding that we were not willing to wait over an hour for a table at the Cheesecake Factory, we settled on Outback for dinner. Before returning to the Dream Center, we searched unsuccessfully for a hardware store before trying Walmart to get something Jesse wanted for his room. Renee was happy to see Jesse since I had seen him the Sunday prior while in LA to attend the Adobe MAX conference. Jesse and I had gone to see Iron Man 3 and eat In-N-Out when I came down.

The summer heat has arrived and we are glad the cooler is working well. If you have summer plans that bring you out to California, be sure to contact us as we would enjoy spending time with you.

There and back again

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

We traveled down this past Saturday to pick up Jesse and bring him home from the LA Dream Center for the first time in over 3 months. He has been working non-stop and has a lot going on there. Besides the work in the kitchen and food ministry, he completed his 1st semester of Bible School at Angelus Bible Institute. He works on Sunday mornings in the 4-5 year old class at Angelus Temple. Sunday afternoons, he works with a church in South Central ministering to 9-13 year olds. He was ready for some down time and brought his laundry along for the ride.

We stopped at Panera on our way back home to enjoy our favorite “Pick Two” combinations. Afterward, we hit Target and Michael’s looking for a few things he wanted. We arrived home and his Grandma Z was pretty happy to see him. He quickly unpacked and we watched some shows on the DVR that we had saved for him. After watching Tron: Uprising and Walking Dead episodes, he was off to game in his room.

We were up early Sunday and off to church where he spent time talking with his former youth pastor about the Dream Center. I taught the Adult Discipleship Class and then joined Renee in the Nursery as we had a lot of babies to take care of. We went home and grabbed a quick bite to eat before going to see The Amazing Spider-Man at the theater. Upon returning home, Jesse got on his computer and got his gaming fix met as well as his Nick’s Pizza fix.

Monday morning, Jesse and Renee did a little shopping and enjoyed a mother-son lunch for the first time since he graduated high school. That night, I picked up Chinese food to satisfy another of his hometown cravings. More gaming was done as he played DC Universe for many hours.

Tuesday morning, we headed to DMV in Victorville to replace his stolen Driver’s license. The only difficulty was finding where the office had moved to. After searching for it for a half hour, a hunch led us to the right location and he was able to quickly get a replacement license. We returned home for a few more hours of gaming and packing. Grandma Z returned from her overnight trip to San Diego and we were off to LA.

It was great having him home for 4 days and we do miss having him with us. However, we are grateful that he isn’t sitting in his room playing games and finding it difficult to get work in our hometown. He enjoys the work he is doing and has a heart to serve others. While our home is always open to him, he may never do more than just visit from this time forward. We are always grateful for time he has now and cherish the time we had together.

Last year as a teenager

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Earlier this month, we traveled to Los Angeles to pick up Jesse, his roommate James and friend Sean to celebrate his 19th birthday. They dressed up in Steampunk attire while Renee and I wore our usual jeans and t-shirts. We dropped off his birthday presents and cards at the Dream Center and then traveled to the Americana at Brand in Glendale. We stopped at the Jewel City Diner for some delicious burgers and seasoned fries. Afterward, we made our way to the Pacific Theaters to see The Avengers. It was starting its 2nd week of release, but there was still a line and a full theater. It was a great movie with the Hulk having the best scenes. Renee and I even went to see it a 2nd time this past Tuesday.

It is amazing to see the young man our son has become. We are happy that he has found a place where he can do something he loves. He has been at the Dream Center for 9 months now and enrolled at Angelus Bible Institute since January. We talk to him on Skype once a week or more. We went to a baby shower for my goddaughter/best friend’s daughter this past weekend in San Diego and saw many little ones running around. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we had a little one, but now he is a grown man chasing his dreams. We couldn’t be happier for him. We are grateful for the time the Lord gave us with him and look forward to the day we can spoil his kids though not anytime soon. 😛

Time Traveling Through Texas

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Howdy Ya’ll. Last week, we returned from a week long visit to the Lone Star State or as my wife and every Texan I know calls it “God’s Country.” We flew in to Austin on the 21st of July and immediately were made aware of the extreme heat they were suffering under. Before landing, you could see how drought stricken and brown the countryside was. Renee’s parents picked us up at the airport and headed for Copperas Cove. Before leaving Austin, mom was nice enough to stop and pick up some food for us as we hadn’t eaten since United charges for all its meals now. Where did we stop, but none other than Texas own, Whataburger. Tasty burger for the win. We arrived in Cove and would later go to dinner with mom and dad at Logan’s Roadhouse. The next morning we met her brother and dad for breakfast at Lil’ Tex in Cove and then we headed north.

We arrived in Henderson, TX and met up with Renee’s best friend Michelle despite getting lost thanks to the GPS giving us faulty directions to her place. We drove past her work and then went to dinner at the Cotton Patch restaurant where I enjoyed “real” chicken fried steak. We spent the next few hours laughing and playing games at the home of Michelle’s friend Kizzi before calling it a night. We enjoyed breakfast with Michelle and headed to meet our former neighbors and fellow CFNI grads, Sam and Shari Bristow for lunch in Palestine, TX. We hadn’t seen them in 17 years and they brought their son whom Shari was carrying last we saw her. It was amazing how after a 17 year separation, we picked right up where we left off. We laughed and joked through out lunch and thoroughly enjoyed every second we had with them. We left them and headed west toward Dallas/Ft. Worth.

We arrived mid-afternoon in Burleson, TX and checked into the La Quinta. We relaxed in the room for a few hours and got ready for the main event of the night, the wedding of Joni Gingles to Jarid Yankus in nearby Cleburne, TX. When Renee and I were students at Christ For the Nations(CFNI), we started serving as youth pastors for a small church outside of Ft. Worth. One of the very first youth to join us at Aledo Christian Center was the pastor’s granddaughter, Joni. We left Aledo to attend Oral Roberts University in 1996 and Joni would join us there a few years later. We kept in touch over the years and were very excited for her and her announced wedding date. After following a winding country road, we found the location of the wedding. It was a scorching TX afternoon, but the wedding was set in the shade of several giant trees providing much needed relief for the wedding party and witnesses. It was great to see so many families and the men and women we had known as teenagers after 15 years. One of the ministers had been a young man in our youth group along with many of the bridal party. There were a few that were barely recognizable after so many years. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception that we were very grateful to witnesses and attend. It was a pleasure to see and talk with so many people that we knew while in Aledo.

The next morning, we drove south to Copperas Cove and after dropping our luggage off, we headed to our home church, Trinity Worship Center. We met and married there 21 years ago and I have been a minister through the church for 22 years. It was great to see many of our church family and especially Pastor Kirby. After service, we were treated to BBQ brisket at the home of our good friends, Tim and Patty. Tim was my roommate for a short period after I left the Army and before I married Renee. I also performed their wedding 21 years ago this week. We enjoyed catching up with them immensely and were summoned to dinner by Renee’s brother Scott that evening.

Renee’s mom took off the next day from work so they could go shopping. I was along for the first part of the trip as they visited Best Buy and I helped pick out a new monitor and printer for mom. I returned home to set everything up while the ladies continued their shopping. We met for lunch and went to Dairy Queen to enjoy one of my Texas favs, the Dude. It is a chicken fried hamburger only sold in TX. The next day, we did a little touristy stuff as we took dad with us to the Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, TX. Blue Bell has and always will be Renee’s favorite ice cream and I can’t argue with her on how very good it tastes. The tour was a half-hour and then we were treated to a scoop of ice cream of our choosing from 14 different flavors. On our way back to Copperas Cove, I detoured through Elgin, TX to stop at Meyers Smokehouse. I enjoyed a two meat combo plate of brisket and hot gut(sausage). We got back to Cove in time to go see Captain America with Scott at the cinema. Later that same night, we went to catch up with Carol, Renee’s classmate and former youth group member at Trinity Worship Center. We hadn’t seen her in several years as well, but spent several hours laughing and catching up with each other.

The next day, we were up and packed to return to California. Before leaving, we had another important event to attend, Renee’s mother was having a retirement party. We traveled with the family to include her sister Carla that flew up from Houston to mom’s office in Temple. We laughed and joked until the ceremony began. After meeting all of mom’s coworkers and enjoying some refreshments, we headed back to Cove. We went to mom’s favorite, Red Lobster, for lunch. We spent a few more hours with Renee’s family before mom and Carla drove us to Austin to catch our flight home.

It was great to see so many of our very good friends and family while time traveling through Texas. It was amazing to see how much time had passed, but we were able to laugh and talk as if we were only gone a day. If any of you care to reciprocate, our home is always open. We may not have Blue Bell, BBQ, DQ, or many of the other TX delicacies, but we will share with you all that we have here to include a warm embrace. Thanks again to all of you for making the week we spent there so very special. Special hugs to Michelle, Sam & Shari, Joni & Jarid, Pastor Kirby, Tim & Patty, Carol, and Renee’s whole family. We love you so very much. A note in closing, Jesse actually took great care of the house and pets while we were gone. Thanks son.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Time for the monthly, (used to be bi-monthly) blog post. Since the last post, Mom Zeliff came and spent Thanksgiving with us. We enjoyed having her visit and had a wonderful meal together. Mom also treated us by bringing back Bluebell ice cream from her visit to see Aunt Loretta in Yuma. We can’t get it here and my Texan wife Renee was very pleased to have some. During the time off, we got the Christmas tree up and the lights hung outside. Since that time, the wind has beat the heck out of the lighted garland we hung leaving it unlit for the rest of the holidays. I may take it down and try and fix them, but that isn’t a priority with Christmas bearing down on us quickly.

After mom returned to Florida, we were happy to be visited by the Lantz family before they left Ft. Irwin for Texas. Verna was in our youth group oh so many years ago and is now an Army wife with a wonderful family. It was great to see them again and share the Bluebell stash. We hopped her kids up on sweets for the long ride back to base. I feared that would have put us on her naughty list, but she informed me that everyone fell asleep on the ride home.

We did sneak in a couple of movies in the last couple of weeks. We saw the 3rd, and probably final, Chronicles of Narnia movie: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We all agreed that is was bit plodding at times and that the sea monster scene was a bit intense for the many toddlers we saw in the theater. We went to see Tron: Legacy this past weekend. We enjoyed the graphics and CG effects, but the story also seemed a little slow. The ending was kind of anti-climactic as well. We had not seen the 1st movie, so maybe that would have helped our enjoyment. We will revisit the original on DVD and see what we think then.

Jesse continues to raise money for his trip by working odd jobs(raking leaves, hanging Christmas lights, etc.) and selling items online. He has raised 60% of the $4000 goal with his next payment of $586 due January 15th. Thanks to all who have sent contributions or offered your support in prayer. His most current sponsorship letter is available here. He finishes 1st semester finals this week and is looking forward to Christmas break.

If you didn’t receive our Christmas card and would still like to read our annual letter, you can read it here. We wish each and everyone one of you a blessed Christmas filled with love and joy. Know that we love each of you and are grateful to count you as family and friends. We look forward to 2011 and all that it holds for us. Hopefully that includes visits from or with many of you. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

July/Comic-Con News

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

So I waited a little longer between posts this time, it’s not like anyone is paying for these. If you would like to though, feel free to send cash. So let’s try and get up to speed on what’s happened. I enjoyed seeing the Lakers win another championship especially against hated Boston. I was glad to see the USA exit the Group round of the World Cup, but sad to see them advance no further. I celebrated my first Father’s Day after my father passed. Jesse dyed his hair two colors this year and looked like he should be cheering for Brazil with his half yellow, half green hairstyle. Renee and I went to see Toy Story 3 and Sherk Forever After. TS 3 was better, but they both had some laughs. Jesse went to camp in the mountains while I attended the Voices That Matter Web Design Conference in San Francisco. We spent the 4th of July at home and watched the fireworks from the backyard on a rather cool night. Last week, I attended the ESRI User Conference in San Diego and increased my GIS Web API knowledge while enjoying many meals in the Gaslamp Quarter.

This brings us to the past weekend’s activities which revolved around attending our 3rd Comic-Con. We left for San Diego after Renee finished work on Thursday and arrived just before midnight. We settled in at my best friend Jim’s condo after waking his roommate. We were up early Friday morning and off to the trolley station for our journey to the Convention Center. The closer we got, the more crowded the trolley became until noone could get on due to standing room only. We joined the swarm of attendees pouring across the street and found our way to the registration area to pick up our badges, Warner Bros Studio bags and event guides. We headed for the Expo Floor before realizing that we should have stayed where we were for an autograph session. Jesse wanted to get a postcard and autograph from the writer of several Warhammer 40,000 books and the upcoming movie, Dan Abnett. The line was longer than the one for several stars form the Farscpae TV series in the next booth. Afterward, we headed back to the expo floor to begin our end to end journey. We made it 3/4 of the way before deciding to leave so I could attend the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG game panel. We stood in line for an hour and barely made it inside. This room hosted Star Wars panels all day and rooms are not cleared after each one. We left once the question period began and headed to the blood drive booth. We were directed to its new location and then went the Del Rey Star Wars expo booth for a book signing by Sean Williams, author of The Force Unleashed novel and the newly released Old Republic: Fatal Alliance novel. We journeyed across the show floor again and went to the blood drive. It took 1 1/2 hrs to complete the process. We were rewarded with a large True Blood T-shirt (too small for either of us), vampire bite band-aids and a True Blood bottle of water. In previous years, we left with a big bundle of toys/collector items, so we were not very impressed.

Inside Flynn's Arcade

Sign at the back of Flynn's Arcade

I convinced Renee and Jesse to take a walk into the Gaslamp to the spot were I saw Flynn’s Arcade while attended the conference the week prior. We were rewarded with a pass to enter. At the door we were given a Tron coin purse filled with Flynn’s Arcade tokens. The arcade was filled with 80’s games like Joust, Space Invaders and the Tron game Space Paranoids. One wall was filled with TVs showing gameplay from the new Tron game. At the back of the arcade under the Tron sign, a hallway led the Flynn’s workshop. Lights flashed and dialogue played from the movie and doors opened leading to a bright blue lighted hallway. Rounding the corner, we entered one of the coolest rooms called the End of The Line Club. It was designed just like the Tron world with blue lights and sleek shapes. They had many props from the movie and upcoming products based on the movie displayed. They gave us free Coke Zeros in aluminum bottles too. Suddenly, the lights dimmed and we here audio from the movie playing while lights flash and change color. The walls begin to display scenes from the movie and we hear Flynn. During this, a model dressed in movie wardrobe walks around the area. This was one of the coolest things we saw all weekend. After wandering around Flynn’s a little more, we exit and visit the Palm Restaurant to see some of the new Marvel drawings on the wall. We stopped at Cafe Diem from the Eureka TV show on SyFy Network. After catching the trolley back, we visited with my Goddaughter Christina, her husband Marc and enjoyed seeing their soon to be 1 yr old son at Jim’s condo.

After a short night, we packed up and headed for Qualcomm Stadium to catch the trolley. We arrived at the Convetnion Center and hurried through registration to get in line for Ballroom 20. We still ended up on the stairs coming up from the Marina. While in line, I left Renee and Jesse to photograph the 501st Legion Star Wars fans as they posed in costume on the back steps of the Convention Center. Despite the long line, we did manage to make it into the panel for Chuck. It was kicked off by a montage of clips from the previous season and “Jeffster.” Always a fun panel. We decided to stay and sit through Family Guy and The Cleaveland Show so we could see Futurama and The Simpsons panel. The scenes from the upcoming 3rd Family Guy Star Wars spoof were pretty funny. The Cleveland Show did a table read for an episode based on Comic-Con that brought a lot of laughs. The Futurama panel was funny as well with scenes from a Comic-Con episode and a table reading for an upcoming episode. The Simpsons panel was funny, but we left once questions from the audience began to head for another room.

The cast of Mythbusters

The cast of Mythbusters

We were able to avoid a line by going into the Cartoon Voices panel which had many of the voice actors from older cartoons. We were there to see the panel following it: Warehouse 13 and Eureka. We enjoyed both of those panels and then sat through Nikita and Human Target to have a seat for the Mythbusters panel. The Mythbusters stars were a BIG hit and didn’t disappoint with clips of the upcoming season and behind the scenes stories. We sat through 10 hours of panels that day and were wiped out as we headed to the trolley and Qualcomm. We arrived home just before midnight Saturday night. After a short night, Renee was off to work early this morning. It was a fun time, but we think 3 days might be better than 2 at Comic Con. Last year, we did 4 days, but it was just too much. Great time and now we are thinking about next year as tickets sell out faster each year.

What’s up? Work and play.

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The last few weeks have included mostly going to work which, considering the times, is a good thing. A couple of weekends ago, Jesse went to Magic Mountain with his youth group. While he was gone, Renee and I had a day out together. We went to breakfast and then went to see “How to Train Your Dragon” at the movies. I know it’s a kids movie, but we are still kids at heart and always enjoy watching cartoons. Afterward, we went to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. We went to Borders bookstore and wondered which novel Jesse would like, but couldn’t get him on his phone, so we left a message. We then went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and it was busy with students from Etiwanda HS dressed up for prom. We enjoyed a nice meal together and then returned to Borders just as Jesse called us back. We picked up novels for each of us and returned back home. Later that night, Jesse called to be picked up after a full day. A windy, cold day on Sunday kept us inside and out of doing yardwork.

The work week went by and I enjoyed listening in on Live webinars from NAPP on the new features in Photoshop CS5. The weather was great this past weekend so I waged war on the weed kingdom invading our yard with my hula hoe and Renee at my side. We managed to get a large section of the front yard and cleared 10 feet away all around the house. Muscles and joints were a little sore afterward, but the yard looks a little better. I also worked with Jesse to get his speedometer issue resolved on his truck. A little 5w-30 oil on the cable and it is working great. Saturday night, I went into town to see my friend Martial and his band play some R&B style rock-n-roll. They played great. Yesterday, we went to church and came home in time to watch the Lakers get their first win of the playoffs. Renee and I went to the local theater and donated blood in exchange for free movie passes. This also kept me from having to do anymore work in the yard. That’s the latest from our world. Hope that you and your family are doing well and we look forward to hearing from each of you.

Easter Weekend

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Friday, I stopped at the library on the way home to pick up the latest Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi novel Backlash. It is a series set many years after the movies and follows Luke Skywalker and his son Ben as they battle a new Tribe of Sith. The weather was pretty windy so plans of washing the vehicles and working on Jesse’s truck were put on hold. Saturday morning, we did go see Clash of the Titans since Jesse was interested in it. Renee had seen the original over and over because her younger brother couldn’t get enough of it. It seemed a bit slow at times and the dialogue was plodding. They changed the story and it left me thinking the original one in all its cheesiness was a better movie. Great effects, but a badly written remake.

That evening, we met a high school classmate and his wife for dinner. It was really great to see him as I had been told he had passed away soon after we graduated. We discovered that his brother was the one that had passed. Somehow the names were confused and I was told he was dead. This certainly made for great “Resurrection” celebration. Sunday we attended church and afterward, Jesse had his annual hair dye applied. This time he decided against blue. He decided he wanted green hair. Renee and Jesse mixed some of the old blue dye with some new yellow dye and now he has bright green hair. He is either a giant fluorescent leprechaun, a pasty “Green Giant” or the largest Oompa-Loompa ever with need of some time in the tanning bed.

We also had quite a surprise when an earthquake hit Sunday afternoon. The wind was blowing so hard, I mistook it for the house shaking due to it. Jesse said “Earthquake” from his room and when I stood and headed there, I felt like I was going to fall down. It was like having a head rush that makes you lose your balance. It lasted what seemed like a minute. I checked the house and didn’t find any damage.

That was our weekend. Hope you and your family are doing well and had a great Easter/Resurrection celebration.

Holidays on the way

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I had a pretty good weekend. I went grocery shopping with Renee on Friday night as we picked out all the great munchies for Thanksgiving. The cart was full to overflowing as we left Stater Brothers grocery store including my favorite, pecan pie. We got home and managed to get everything packed into the refrigerator.

Saturday morning, I was up early working on my weekly battle image for the NAPP forums before heading to the driving range to meet two co-workers. I recently bought an old set of irons and a golf bag for a whopping $35 after deciding that 43 might be a good age to try and learn how to golf. I played some tennis in high school and college, but never tried golf. I arrived and paid $10 for a JUMBO basket of golf balls(195) not knowing what size I should get. I then spent the next couple hours taking my swings. According to my co-workers, I did well for a beginner. I hit the majority straight and learned some of the technique involved in swinging a club. On one swing, the club head flew off the end of the shaft as I made contact. So much for my 7 iron, at least until I get it repaired. 😛 On another swing, I cut a ball in half, though I suspect it was an old ball and it would have happened to anyone. I returned home for a hot shower and icy hot on my back. That night, we ran to Best Buy and purchased Up and Star Trek on DVD. We watched Star Trek that night before heading to bed. Great movie!

Sunday morning, we finished straightening the house and awaited the arrival of my mother who had flown in to Las Vegas on Saturday night. My hands felt like I had been running a jackhammer the day before and muscles were letting me know that I should not hit as many golf balls next time I go to the range. Mom called to say she was still tired and planned to get some more rest before driving down the I-15. I relaxed and enjoyed watching the San Diego Chargers win their 5th straight game by defeating their division rival Denver Broncos. As the sun was setting, mom called to say she had just awoken from her nap and that we would not see her until the following afternoon. I finished the evening watching the LA Galaxy lose the MLS Cup to Real Salt Lake on penalty shots.

Now for the short work week before the holidays arrive in full force. I am not sure if we will attempt any Black Friday shopping as we usually don’t. We will enjoy a great Thanksgiving feast with my mother and the next day the Christmas Tree and lights will go up. Let the festive season begin.

Let the season begin!

Monday, September 14th, 2009
Chargers start their 50th season

Chargers start their 50th season

After a long off season and sitting through the games yesterday, the San Diego Chargers get their season going tonight with a visit to the Oakland Raiders. This is their year to take it all the way. Time to get things rolling and never let their foot off the gas. Go BOLTS!

So what’s been going on since I last posted. Hmmm! (Scratches head!) Back on August 20th, Jesse came to work with me so he could take his written driver’s test at the Barstow DMV. After waiting in line for an hour, he successfully passed his test missing only 3 questions. Since then, he has been driving to youth group/scaring his dad in the passenger seat. We had a few friends over for Summerslam PPV and BBQ’d some cheddar wurst and burgers. Also in August, the new program manager started at work so I was relieved of being in charge.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we traveled to Yuma, AZ to spend the night at one of my former co-worker’s house. We went to breakfast with her and then went to see my Aunt Loretta and Uncle Ed that live in Yuma. Before leaving, we made a stop at the Walmart to stock up on Renee’s favorite Texas ice cream, Blue Bell. We loaded 5 half gallons into the bottom of the cooler and put a 20 lb bag of ice on top and headed for home. A sandstorm kicked up as we crossed into CA and we would later be pummeled by rain as we passed along the western shore of the Salton Sea. The next day we got together with a bunch of my former co-workers/students from Excelsior Education Center and chowed down on BBQ, laughed until our faces hurt, and enjoyed being together.

Other than that, I have been getting things together with classmates for the 25th reunion coming up in October. It will be great to see everyone and find out about them and their families. Oh, and we snuck off to see the movie “9” in between watching football games this weekend. It’s a weird little movie, but then again aren’t all Tim Burton movies describes in that way.