What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ace Train 22: Sunrise

I catch the train just as the sun is coming over the horizon.  It makes for some pretty pictures. These I took from the train as we pulled out from Lathrop/Manteca Station.

 This mural is in Diridon Station in San Jose

 This old house is in Fremont.  I would like to know its significance.  It is fenced in, but not torn down.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Life in Manteca 43: Memorial Day Weekend

I am going to document our Memorial day as it happens; but for now a link to the Manteca schedule:

Memorial Day Breakfast Monday 8-10 at the stake center.

Saturday:  Tony and Jesse to the park.  This is the grate over the water overflow at the park.  Water was about six inches below the grate and the boys were reaching down to it, and seeing dead bugs.  Marin and Joshua came over to play, and we took Caleb to Natalie's party.  Tony insisted we stay and play a while.
Tony and Jesse: Best Friends

Sunday Not Forgotten

Tony and I went strait to Woodward Park after church because I didn't want to miss the flyovers or the tribute to the Forester family.  This is the press announcement: As a tribute to fallen hero Air Force Senior Airman Mark A. Forester, Travis Air Force Base is sending a C-17 Globemaster flown by Major Alex Pelbath to fly-over the “Not Forgotten” event on Sunday May 27th at Woodward Park at approximately 3:15 PM.  As the plane flew over, A young lady "Cheyenne" sang the "Star Spangled Banner."
This is the "Coming Home" program of Mark Forester.

Twice during the day I said the "Pledge of Allegiance" with Manteca.  Not many cities do that.  Tony and I were joined by the  rest of the family, Miranda brought us lunch.  We were joined by friends from the ward, including our neighbors and the Binghams.  Charity and Anthony even showed up.  Sheri and I and the boys came home early, leaving the older kids to see the concert and fireworks.  It was a warm day and I was dehydrated.

This is the Memorial Day Breakfast put on by the high priest of the Northland Ward; good friends, good times.


Birthday Celebrations: Sheri and Caleb

Sheri's big 50 er 39, and mother's day celebration.  Charity cut and highlighted her hair, she got mine too.

Miranda made the cake, with mixed results, as she had a hard time with the frosting.  Tony was biting it from the corners he was so anxious for cake. For a special birthday; a special song--not.


Mothers Day Tribute

Caleb's 17  Caleb had received a guitar previously for his birthday, but Sheri forgot and got him a long board.  Charity made the cake, a dinosaur.  The Normans came over and in the sequence Anna is on the counter, with Natalie sneaking in at the end to blow out candles.  Heather is to the right and Dianna in the background.  We had to do candles three times so everyone could get
 a turn. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life in Manteca and Cupertino 42

This has been another week of concerts, four in all, two in Manteca, and two in Cupertino.  This week has been the Cupertino High School Spring Concert under the direction of Mr. Arons.  This concert featured Capella performing "Lion King" (Nancy Orton did costumes.)  Adam Ure and Scott DChye were giraffes--very tall boys.  Alyssa Orton was a lion.  The men did Beach Boys, and the women's groups "Mary Poppins" and "Wicked."  Mary Poppins is an old favorite. One thing funny was they performed "Changed for Good" which was also presented in the Manteca High School Concert.

Sheri came to town for MD appointment and discovered "Starzz on Stage" was performing.  This is a younger version of the company all the kids danced and sang for.  It was at the Cupertino church, in the gym, so we saw many old friends.  We also saw many young people when the kids performed, who are not so young now.  They sang and danced to "Fun, Fun Fun" which the men of Cupertino High School performed a couple days before.  They ended with "God Bless the USA" which my kids use to also end with when they were in Starzz.

It was also the Sierra High School Spring concert.  Caleb again sung his solo "For the Longest Time."  There were a few new songs.  One was a women's song.  Caleb received a couple awards.  One for being section leader, and the other for the best helper and attitude called the

Finally, today, Caleb with "Hot Spud" performed a three song set for "Battle of the Bands" in Manteca.  Two songs I have previously shared, but I recorded the third which featured a solo vocal.  Caleb was on drum all three songs.

The Battle of the Bands was at the Senior Center, and I discovered some more murals.  For the most part the depict local farming scenes and history.  I apologize for the blurry nature of some, the lights were dim for the concert.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRbp1aXKeCY

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life in Manteca 41: Crystal Apple Awards

Sheri and I had a very enjoyable evening.  Miranda and Tony also went with, as we attended the Crystal Apple Awards at the stake center.  Caleb sang in the youth choir.  This was a program for the students to honor their teachers.  There were nine teachers honored with the award.  One from each of the high schools in our stake, Tracy and Manteca. The young people who nominated their teacher presented the award.  They would explain why they had nominated each person.  The responses included many things; such as, "He listened to me," "She pushed me," "He was my mother's teacher," "He taught me how to read," "He remembers everybody," "He mad math interesting," "I could  tell he cared."  The awards included special education teacher, administrator, music and band teachers, coaches, and math teachers.  One of the special moments of the evening was a young man with developmental delay, expressing his love for his teacher.
The awards went to:

Matt Soeth         Kimball High School
Frederick Russell    West High School
Greg Smith        Tracy High School
Anne Talcott        East Union High School
Benny Dini        East Union High School
Anthony Dahl        Manteca High School
Greg Leland        Sierra High School
Jim Tornell        Ripon High School
Nora Bauer        Delta Charter High School

But the evening was more than just the awards.  There was a youth choir which did a great job.  They sang "Arise" and we Believe."  All the youth sand the "EFY Medley" which was a favorite.  Caleb conducted the men.  Nicole England student valedictorian at one of the high schools this year, talked about gratitude.  President Crockett talked about education, and striving for perfection, for in doing this we achieve excellence.

I had thought this was an annual event, but discovered this is the first.  It was the inspiration of President Maxfield with the help of Kade Peterson administering, and Ruth Christensen conducting the choir with a youth, Nathan VanKatwyk playing piano.

This was a special evening, with a great spirit of appreciation.  After the medley "As Sisters in Zion" and "We are as the Army of Helaman" a special spirit was felt, followed by inspired remarks from our stake president.  I vote it become and annual event.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

At the Movies: ****^The Avengers

 Sheri and I ventured to the AMC to watch The Avengers in 3-D.  I had seen Iron Man I and II, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America.  This show adds the Black Widow and Hawkeye as well as the organizer, manipulator Nick Fury.  All of these stories come together with the brother of Thor, adopted, coming to earth with the hopes of conquest, and making people bow to him.  Of course Thor comes to stop him.  The brother has a source of mind control and takes over the mind of one of Avengers, Hawkeye, who shots arrows.

The theme of the show is you are more together than just a sum of the parts.  Each of these super heroes has a big ego, and it takes a lot for them to com together.  Bickering and fighting, they finally join together to save the world from an alien invasion.  The robot monsters are cool, especially the worm like space ships.  But cooler are the skills of the Avengers, and the Hulk tackling one of those worms is too much.  This movie was a good ride and kept me on the edge of my seat.  It was almost too much action non stop at one point, but that is just me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Movie Night: ***^Iron Man and ****Iron Man II

Both of these movies star Robert Downing Jr. as Iron Man.  The first is in our home library, and the second on instant Netflix.

These movies turn my on deep down.  There is just something about Iron Man when he has his mask on, and when he lands after turning off his rockets, with that big thud, that is just cool.  Actually Tony turned me on to this story, and now that I have watched these movies, I am ready to see The Avengers.  The second video does a better job of introducing some of the Avenger characters.

I prefer the second movie, because the bad guy is so much more bad.  Jeff Bridges portrays the bad guy in t he first movie,  being Tony Stark's business partner, but also trying to kill him.  He is able to compromise Tony's design, and make his own suit, but it doesn't work out for him in the end, as he doesn't have the experience.

On the other hand, Mickey Rourke  portrays the son of the original designer of the small reactorr, who is seeking revenge for his father.  He makes his own suit with powers, and is a worthy opponent.  Although defeated early, Stark's busy competitor rescues him, and gives space to work his revenge.  He turns on the business partner, and takes control of the robots he made, which wreak havoc attempting to kill Iron Man.  Gwyneth Paltrow is great as the love interest, and Scarlett Johanssen as the lady from the Avengers.  Fun ride.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ace Train 21: News and Commentary

Monday morning we stopped on the new tracks at Diridon Station, which means they are done.  However we have not used them since, so maybe it was a one time thing.   We used track eight, and another train used track nine. The station has gone from five tracks to nine.   One thing about Diridon, the gate for track one is often locked.  This is the track we usually use, and it is a pain to wait for someone to unlock it twice a day.

Santa Clara station reopens for ACE Train stops next Monday.  This will add fie minutes to the journey.  Another stop may be convenient at ties, close to the dentist.

The passengers from the train unloading at 6:25 in Manteca, train six, are bound to have a big smash-up some day leaving the station.  Most of the automobiles travel against the arrows, and travel fast trying to force their way into line.  Someday, someone traveling with the arrows, not  knowing how things are done, is going to get killed.  Train eight, which I usually ride, does not have this problem.  ACE needs to enforce their traffic pattern, or redraw the lines.

My train journey is more sleep now.  It is harder and harder to stay awake.  I watch the sun rising until after Tracy, and then fall asleep.  Coming home, I try to make it to Drawbridge, and sometimes Niles Canyon.  Maybe I need a book I can't put down.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life in Manteca 41: Say it Aint So x two

Bad news: The Marketplace Theater has shut down.  No announcement that it is permanent, but it is beginning to look like it is.  Caleb heard a rumor they won't reopen.  This is the place Tony and I could catch a movie for $3 on Saturday.  Now we are going to have to be careful and time the matinee at the AMC.  I drove by last week, and the billboards were down, but the lights were still on.  Now I understand the lights are off as well.  I cannot find anything on the web about their closing, except one review from May 1.  I called there, and they gave movie times like nothing happened, but they are closed.

Bummer number two.  Caleb informed me the McMurtrey family are moving North.  Eric took a job at a hospital in Eureka.  I have featured them in a couple You Tube videos, Lane and Quinn; and it is Lane who longboards with Caleb.  Also my most viewed movie is a duet with Land and Caleb covering "Kids."

I have also written reviews of a couple of April's books which you can find  on this blog.

Enough for the bummer news.  The ****McDonalds on Union and Yowemite reopened after remodeling for a month.  Sheri and I took Tony the first day the reopened to check it out.  It is Tony's favorite place to eat.  They had a very interesting diner concept which lots of booth chairs, but also lots of stools and such to make it easily accessible.  Sheri scored it a success.  They changed the front slightly, which does make it more clear where to go; I got lost once not knowing where to go and several people were served before me.  I have decided one thing, After trying to find the perfect mushroom burger this last year, I have decided that often people make them just too big to eat, and they leave me too heavy.  I have decided that the mushroom burger wrap at McDonald's is the right size, the sauce comes through nicely, and I like the combination of meat and mushrooms.  A touchdown with me.

Caleb had a jazz concert this weekend.  It was their fund raiser.  As such, the performance went much longer than usual.  Also, the group Caleb is playing drums for performed.  They have been practicing in our garage.  Caleb also vocalized on one song.  When they upload, I will add links.