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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sheri's Empanadas

This link is to a good empanada recipe.  I actually used Cuban shells as they were all I could find, and they turned out well.  They were in the freezer section.
Sheri ventured someplace she had never gone before this past weekend.  She made empanadas for a high-priest social for Northland Ward.  She had the mandate from me to not use green olives or raisins which are sometimes in empanadas.
Of course I helped.  I found the shells at the Mexican market.
I thought they turned out very well.  They were a big hit among the older crowd, but at home not so much so.  I loved them and was glad those left for the kids went uneaten.  I has happy to eat them for snacks as they are a great finger food.

Reed and Dee Banks presented on their mission.  The verbal pictures the painted were very amazing.  It is surprising that the church in Florida can be so different than the church in California.  Not different in terms of the gospel and the teachings, but different in terms of participation.  They had a good mission and did a very good job of their presentation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

*****Doctor Who Season Five

This is another wild ride, and the shows seem to keep getting better. This season introduces Matt Smith as the Doctor who loves his bow tie, and Karen Gillam as Amy Pond.  It starts with the Doctor, newly incarnated, coming to help a girl with a crack in her wall.  The crack follows just about every episode this season.  The Doctor says he will be right back, but actually comes back a dozen years later and Amy is now a woman.
My favorite episode included Vincent van Gogh.  I admire his work, and we get to see smatterings of it in the museum, and in Vincent's flat.  Vincent can see a monster others, including the Doctor, cannot see.  The monster has been killing innocents.  In looks like a big chicken.  In the end it is defeated, and they show Vincent his legacy.  However it does not prevent his suicide. 
The weeping angels are back in a two part episode.  Only this time there are hundreds of them, and they are out to get them.  However they are scared of the crack through which if anything passes they are forgotten and never existed.
Rory, played by Arthur Darvill, Amy's fiance, joins her on the Tardis.  They face off against vampires, an evil dream keeper and they have to choose between two dream sets and pick the real one so as to not die. There is a less serious one where The Doctor takes on as a human and rents a room.  He plays soccer and eats biscuits and tries to be human to fool the entity upstairs, where there really is not an upstairs, but through the powers of a space vehicle one was been created in everyone's mind. 
The show then turns serious as the Tardis blows up, and it is actually this event seeping through time and universes, which has caused the crack. The Doctor has to close the crack, leaving himself on the other side, and can only be brought back if someone remembers him.  This happens at Rory's and Amy's wedding when remembers something blue.

Disney Movie Night: Old Yeller, Robin Hood

**** Old Yeller: This is the classic movie of a boy and his dog.  Travis is the man of the house, as his father goes on a cattle drive.  A stray dog comes on the scene causing a heap of trouble the first day he is in charge.  At first Travis doesn't like the dog; but mother insists that the keep the dog for his younger brother, Arliss.  Travis learns to love the dog, as he is a true cattle dog and saves Arliss from a bear, Travis from a from a new mother cow, and from the hogs.  However there is "Hypothermy" in the country.  In saving the family from a wolf, Old Yeller is infected.  A humorous aside is the character of Bud Searcy.  He instructs his daughter in gathering corn, "Make sure you get ears what is sweet and juicy."
* Robin Hood.  I think this is probably the worse  Walt Disney movie ever made.  It is all based on cliche and nothing on character development.  Not much to redeem this movie.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mormon Movie Review: ***^ One Man's Treasure (to mmboe)

This was an enjoyable movie of a mission district taking their P-Day to pursue a treasure map left by an Elder that was transferred out of the town suddenly, and then there were no missionaries for a couple years. 

The missionaries who were just recently assigned to the area, are looking for success.  One elder, the district leader, has had no success, and has his doubts about the hunt for "a treasure." He agrees as long as the hunt is done before P-day ends.  Three sets of missionaries compete against each other.  The clues are fairly complicated, and the hunt is exciting as the missionaries explore the clues. What is more interesting, is that as they are being out, they meet people by being available to do a good deed, an inactive member who invites them over, someone who use to know the missionaries.  They actually have and appointment set up--before P-Day ends.  And as luck would have it, the appointment falls through.  This movie has a minor twist at the end, which was predictable, but was entertaining all the same.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Pictures

 Tony says Happy Halloween from his Halloween festival at school.  He also had crazy hair day this week.
A great  percentage of the pumpkins grown in the United States come form the Manteca area.  We have Del Osso Farms, and Fonseca Farms.  Happy Halloween pumpkin pictures.
from the train

Movie Night: The Wind in the Willow

**^ The Wind in the Willow 1995 Vanessa Redgrave
I loved reading the "The Wind in the Willow" by Kenneth Grahame as a youth, and hoped this movie would have the same magic.  However for me it came up short.  I just seemed like the whole thing was just characters going through the motions, with no real energy or pleasure.  I didn't see mole being so crazed for motor cars as he needed to be, and the capture and escape from jail just didn't have excitement of the book.  Sheri is recycling our old VCRs and this is one I will let her send to the DI.

***^ The Willows in Winter (1996) This is the sequel to the 1995 Wind in the Willow.  It is based on a sequel book written by William Horwood.   The movestarts with children asking grandmother, Vanessa Redgrave, will you tell us another story about the river.  This river story has more excitement and energy than the 1995 "Wind in the Willow."  Mole is lost on the river, Rat is dumped from a plane, Toad crashes the plane but saves the city, Badger misses Toad.  The exploits of Toad are more entertaining, but have the same result and land him in court.  The movie misses the part about Rat and Mole wanting to see the great beyond which are in the book.  http://billywardlefamily.blogspot.com/2012/08/book-review-willows-in-winter-william.html

Friday, October 26, 2012

Disney Movie Night

****^ Treasure Island (1950):  ( to mmboe) This is a movie classic, and it is where we get much of the idea of what a pirate is like, black spot and all.  Robert Newton, with his pirate accent as Long John Silver is incredible.  He and Robert Newton as Master Jim Hawkins create an interesting friendship; Long John as mentor, pirate, thief and man of honor.  On the, other hand Master Jim Hawkins as a naive young man, honest, trusting.  When those that find the treasure are saved from the parents, and things don't work out, Master Hawkins honors his friend and helps him escape.

***^ Pocahontas (1995): This movie portrays the conflict between two cultures.  It has the wicked colonists who are seeking freedom; and gold.  It also shows the people of Pocahontas, who are in perfect harmony with nature and the earth, even though they have their own conflicts between peoples.  Mel Gibson gives voice to John Smith, and Irene Bedard to Pocahontas.  Judy Kuhn provides the vocals for Pocahontas.  David Ogden Stiers is the gold-seeking governor.  Pocahontas is coming to a crossroads in her life, and has to decide whether or not to marry Kocoum, the warrior.  She consults the willow tree to get direction.
    The best part of this show is the meeting of John Smith and Pocahontas in the mist of the waterfall, and the relationship that follows. Another highlight is "Colors of the Wind:"
Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
A beautiful song.
***Aristocats  (1970):  This movie was made during what could be called Disney's down time, and this movie is an example of  this.  It just isn't quite as good as the movies before nor those that come after.  It has the catchy jazz number, "Everybody ought to be a cat;" but is too full of itself with jazz terms.  The story is also too cliched, with the evil bumbling butler trying to do in the cats who are inheriting the mistress' money before him.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Disney Movies: summary

***** Enchanted (2007) Amy Adams
***** Brave (2012)
****^ Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)
****^ Tangled 2010
****^ Treasure Island 1950
****^ Holes
**** Wreck-it Ralph
**** Toby Tyler 1960
****Toy Story III 2010
**** Old Yeller
**** The Journey of Natty Gann 1985
**** The Thanksgiving Promise
***^ Pocahontas 1995
***^ Return to Oz (1985)
***^ The Three Lives of Thomasina
*** Christmas Carol 2009 Jim Carey)
*** Aristocats (1970)
**^ Sorcerer's Apprentice 2010 (Nicolas Cage)
* Robin Hood

Movie Night: ****Toby Tyler

Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus 1960, Walt Disney.  This movie takes me back to my youth.  This is a classic that never grows old with age.  I recorded it off of BYUTV and finally took the time to watch it when I had a day home sick.  I find this movie fascinating from the boy who finagles himself into a couple more peanuts, until he becomes the circus performing star on the horses.  Toby is portrayed by Kevin Corcoran, who was a common Disney Movie actor.  I like the girl, Mademoiselle Jeanette, and had a crush on her as a child.  However I was too young for her as I was only three when this movie was made.  The relationships Toby has with the other members of the circus is what makes this movie work. His immediate boss tricks him out of money which is rightfully his, and doesn't deliver his letter to him from his aunt and uncle.  Mr Stubbs, the monkey, throws his money away he has been saving.  The strong man befriends him and takes him under his wing, and protects him from the abuse the concessionaire boss has used on other boys.  On of the clowns becomes a good friend, Ajax the horse performer is jealous of him and treats him poorly, and the other horse performer Jeanette is loveable as the trick horse rider.  I recommend this movie.  It is a feel good show.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grandbaby Comparison

Jeremy's Skyler James, born 10/21/2012

Mark's Elliott Wilford born December 13, 2011
Two grandbabies side by side comparison.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Diversity in the Mormon Church



These are a couple of articles about diversity in the Mormon Church.  As part of the Stevens Creek Ward, we had shared primary and Young Men's Women's with a Chinese Branch.  It was fun, and some of my favorite people in classes were from the branch.  In our stake now their is a Spanish speaking ward.  The article talks of the Hmong people, and I know there is an Asian congregation in Modesto.  Our ward has people of many different ethnic backgrounds, which makes for a more interesting ward.  This includes a group of hard of hearing.  It is important to welcome all people into our umbrella.

Calaveras Big Trees October 2012

This is our trip to Calaveras Big Trees.  We had a picnic by the Stanislaus River, and went to the visitor's, and went on the almost two mile nature walk through the North Grove.
Tony having fun:
Family walking through a tree tunnel.
Tony lead out on the hike, and for the most part would wait for us to catch up.
Tony splashing

Alyssa, Miranda, Sheri, Tony

I'm ready to help Tony down, I couldn't get up

Visitor's Center

Miranda by roots

Tony inside tree

Mother of the Forest, Killed by Bark Harvesting

Through the Tunnel

Interesting root

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Movie Night: Napoleon Dynamite, Rigoletto

****Napoleon Dynamite  This is the movie that introduces the world to Jon Heder.  Our Bishop's son had a minor part trying to break a Tupperware bowl.  He was also an assistant director.  I saw this at the movie theater, and as I left the theater I heard one women say this was the worse movie she had every seen, while another young man said it was the best thing he had ever seen.  It has a different type of humor, which grows on you the more times you see the movie.  Napoleon is fun with "his skills" which show through in the end.  I also love this movie because it shows Mormon culture without flaunting it.  It has Deseret Industries, rural Preston (which is in Cache Valley where I grew up,) dry farmed wheat, cattle butcher visiting your house, fishing for bass and horse back riding.  This are things I grew up with.

****^Rigoletto:  This movie is a low-budget film which we received through Featured Families, 1993.  It is a musical.  It has Joseph Paur as Rigoletto and Ivey Lloyd as Bonnie Nelson, who is put out to work for the mean Rigoletto.  The movie is disjointed at times, but listening to Joseph Paur sing "The Curse", and to a lesser extent Ivey Lloyd sing "Music Boxes" is a delight and makes this musical very enjoyable.  I have watched this movie over and over.  I am always ready to watch it again.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mormon Movies: Summary (to mmboe)

Movies with a Mormon Connection
***** Krueger's Christmas
***** 17 Miracles
***** A Search for Truth
***** The Guilty (BYU 1978, Gordon Jump)
****^ Cipher in the Snow (BYU Films)
****^ Legacy
****^ Twilight Series
****^ Rigoletto
****^ The Drop Card (BYU 1980)
**** The Emmett Smith Story (BYU)
**** Napoleon Dynamite
**** Saturday's Warrior
**** Star Child
**** Faith in Every Footstep
**** The Thanksgiving Promise (based on the book "Chester, I Love You")
**** The Coat  (By Mormon Channel, You Tube)
***^ John Baker's Last Race (BYU 1976)
***^  One Man's Treasure
*** Run Dick, Run Jane (BYU 1972, documentary)
*** Sweetwater Rescue
*** Singles Ward
*** The Sweetwater Rescue
*** Road to Zion: British Isles
*** Blind Love (BYU 1979)
**^ The Trophy Case (BYU 1979)
**^ RM
** Return With Honor

Movie Night: ***Singles Ward, **^RM

These two movies are old VCRs we have that I watched with family members.
***Singles Ward  This is an early Mormon Movie, which takes many Mormon cultural aspects, and takes a different look at them.  This includes putting a different tune to many of our favorite primary songs, taking a look at some of our Mormon meetings, and takes a laugh at ourselves.  However it does so in an acceptable fashion, as the lead character has his Enos moment, which leads to his repentance and new start.  There is another switch, as he waits for his missionary.  Will Swenson and Connie Young star as the lead characters Jonathan Jordan and Cammie Giles.  They get off to a terrible start as Jonathan's humor and rudeness over the phone make for difficulty when he meets Cammie in person.
**^RM Kirby Heyborne stars as the returned missionary for whom everything goes wrong.  From his family getting the date wrong, there having moved and not told him, mother pregnant and again he doesn't know to everything else going wrong.  His job is not waiting for him, and neither is his girl.  And so he is starting over.  He does meet a girl, Kelly Powers who is portrayed by Britani Bateman.  The funniest thing about this show is the comparison between the relief society, where they bring ice sculptures to enhance the lesson, and the Elder's quorum, where no one can remember whose turn it is for the lesson and no one has a manual, is too true.  Will Swenson stars as the best friend who didn't go on a mission, and ends up getting the RM into trouble with the law.  The decision comes down to one of being honest, even when it is hard.  I don't like the far out circumstances this show portrays, but then I was never part of a fraternity.

Life in Manteca 55: Halloween Preparations 2012

Friday I took Tony to the Halloween store to select a new costume, as he has outgrown his Spider-man costume.  The big question was whether or not he would again select Spider-man.  He didn't, and he is going to go as Captain America.  
Miranda and Alyssa took Tony to Del Osso Farms, corn maze and other fun.
The Halloween store is cool, and Tony wanted his mom to go for some scaring.
scary spider

werewolf was spitting water

Friday, October 19, 2012

Moview Night: **** Emma

This is the Jane Austen A&E movie, 1996, starring Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong.  In Jane Austen's way, it is a romantic comedy involving the British upper society.  It has Emma arranging marriages, and doing rather poorly except with regards to her governess.  She next sets up a young woman of questionable background with the vicar, and this turns our badly; although the vicar does propose to her.  It isn't until after her for her good neighbor confronts her bad behavior at a party, that she starts to realize she loves him, and when another suitor appears, she finds herself even more in love.  This movie has the Austen charm and is well done.  This version is better received than the feature version produced about the same time.   Kate Beckinsale is lovely in her role, and we all hate the vicar's wife, someone from outside to community who happens to have an inheritance but also has airs.

Beach Trip: October 2012

Beach trip yesterday to Rodeo Beach where we met the Petersons.  We had never been to this beach, which is North of San Francisco, across the bridge and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  Plusses of the beach are good parking, no fee, lots of sun.  The sand was a bit coarse, like little pebbles in stead of fine, the water was cold, but doable.  I got my feet wet. There is a lagoon with lots of birds which is good for a walk. 

We took a walk to a light house after, but couldn't get there as the tunnel was closed, but we great views of San Francisco.

Looking back at the beach
We, visited an old battery, Mendell Battery, in use from 1905 tom 1943.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: ****^On the Border

On the Border
Sheri, Miranda and I (well Miranda not so much) had a very nice experience at the restaurant “On the Border.”  This is a franchised Mexican Restaurant.  It was recommended to Sheri by my sister, Dianna.  We went to the restaurant on Dublin Blvd in Dublin by the movie theater.  There is also an “On the Border” at McCarthy Ranch in Milpitas.  This was an “on our way home from the temple stop.”  Their prices were reasonable and their food was delightful.  I had empanadas and tamale.  I must admit I ended up taking most of my beans and the tamale home with me for later.  The empanadas were excellent, I especially liked the crust.  I noticed they were a bit high in calories, and this is because the meat had cheeses mixed in, and then they gave you a cheese sauce to dip them.  My other food choices were all good calorie wise.  When I ate the tamale later it was also excellent.  I also enjoyed the rice and beans.  I had a house salad which was most excellent.  I even ate the tomatoes.  I had honey ranch dressing which I really enjoyed. 
Sheri had two tacos of pork (carnitas.)  She said she really enjoyed them.  Instead of the black beans she had the refried beans.  Sheri had high compliments.  Miranda had a three portion meal with salad, tostada and taco.  She said her taco was ground beef and she wished she may have tried carnitas or something else.  Miranda, after we sat down, announces she is not a big Mexican food fan.   The waiter kept us in chips and salsa (bottomless) which was very nice.  Fresh chips and the salsa had a bit of bite to it but was very addictive.  We did not try drinks other than plenty of water, and were too full for dessert.  We took two doggie containers home which I am still eating.
We compared it to Chili's.  Chili's has more American choices, But "On the Border" wins in the Mexican food department.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Life in Manteca 54: Will the real Kamatsu Stand Up

Kamatsu, this is a monster of a machine, those are the large cones.
A couple road projects by our house are going to greatly improve driving in town.  City crews are putting a new sewer line behind our house under Woodward.  This project has been going for over a year, starting up  by Airport and slowly working down Woodward.  Parts of Woodward have been closed for over a year.

Komatsu is everyone's favorite

 Atherton is also being extended past Main street.  This is the major street on the other side of our house, which goes behind Bass Pro Shop.  They have added a stop light at Main and Atherton.  When finished this road will be a quicker way to Home Depot and Target from our house.