This week has been fairly quiet as I've been on my own and also working from
the apartment all week. So I used to opportunity to catch a couple of movies,
sort some logistics issues and iron some niggles that were still on-going with
On Monday I went to see "Runaway Jury",
a courtroom thriller written by John Grisham and starring Gene Hackman, Dustin
Hoffman and John Cusack. I quite enjoyed it, but I had never read the book so
had no expectations. One of the bizarre things about the movie is that it has
quite a powerful ensemble cast who don't actually say very much! I recognised
most of the 12 jurors from other movies and tv series, such as Jennifer 'Flashdance'
Beals, who literally has only a couple of lines to say but is seen regularly
throughout the movie. It brought back memories of my time a few years ago as a
juror. I 'served' my time at the Old Bailey and I can honestly say it was
nothing like this movie!
I've had my eye on a new digital camera since I arrived in the USA, having
seen rave reviews of the new Canon digital SLR before I left the UK. I had seen
a couple of mail order ads in US magazines that were advertising the camera
ridiculously cheap, so I tried to source it from them but was having problems
because I didn't have a US-based credit card. So last Friday I was informed
that I could arrange to wire the cash to them, I just had to email them
the order details and they would send me the wire details.
Well by Tuesday I had heard nothing back, even though their web-site
promised email responses within 24 hours. So I phone them up only to be told
"Oh, email is down". So I then got onto discussing the wire transfer
details with them, only to be told "Oh, there is a minimum $1500 purchase
on wire transfers". No-one mentioned that last week.
Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! So politely told them where to go!
Also on Tuesday, thoughts of home came flooding back as Sarah Ferguson was on
breakfast tv, going on about diets and healthy eating yet again. The fact I've
gone over a week now without a do-nut is nothing to do with Miss Ferguson! Nor
my mother or girlfriend!!
Since I arrived at the apartment over 2 weeks ago I had been telling Graham
that I was sure that I could smell gas. Occasionally he would agree, although he
didn't sound convincing! Well, by Tuesday it was really bad so I reported it to
the management office here on -site at the apartment complex. A chap turned up a
short while later to find that the gas for the fireplace was switched fully-on,
and obviously had been on since we moved in. That is very scarey.
Tuesday was also the hottest day of the year. Costa Mesa where I live hit
97degrees, with many of the surrounding areas reaching three figures.
Temperatures today beat those reached during the summer months, and when you
consider this is late October it's quite bizarre. Temperatures are expected to
remain in the 90's for quite a while yet.
Wednesday's highlight was the lottery, or it would have been if I'd
won! The jackpot was $99 million, approximately £62 million. It was won by just
On Thursday I went to see "Under The
Tuscan Sun", this is one for the girls as a newly divorced
woman escapes to Tuscany in an effort to rebuild her life but also ends up
having to rebuild her newly purchased Italian villa. The only reason I went to
see it was that is stars one of my all-time favourite actresses, Diane Lane.
After a discussion with Tori, (it's all your fault!), on Friday I went
down to the local Best Buy store where I tried the Canon camera out and bought
it straight away. More expensive than by mail order but still almost £300
cheaper than buying it in the UK. I then drove down to Huntington Beach to test
it out, you can see the results
The coast was very foggy, surrounded by a 'marine layer' as they say in these
parts, but with the sun trying to break through and also setting at the same
time it led to some good photo opportunities.
Saturday is supermarket day and I crossed the picket lines again to
shop in Vons. The supermarket workers have been on strike for 2 weeks now, with
no end in sight to the dispute as the company are standing firm and refusing to
budge. Anyway, as I was approaching the picket-line the two people manning it
decided to walk over to the other entrance to talk to their colleagues. Perhaps
it was the red & white striped Sheffield United shirt that frightened them
off! (No Richard & Brian, I'm not going to discuss Friday night's result!!)
The big news this week though are the forest fires. As of today there are now
six fires raging around Los Angeles, with the largest now having burnt some
20,000 acres of land and destroyed over 200 homes. Click
here to see a
photograph of today's LA Times headline. Because of the wind direction, ash is
now falling here in Costa Mesa even though the fires are some 20 miles away.
Ok, signing-off for another week. Take care.