Christmas, 2003

Greetings again from sunny Southern California. Having survived the wildfires this fall, we are back with the roundup of our activities of the past year. Highs included a vacation at Lake Tahoe in the summer. We did some hiking, and had lots of nice dinners out. The low point of the year was when we had to put Cosmo to sleep. She was part of our family for twelve years, and we still miss her greatly. On a happier note, Lucinda is now almost five years old, and we're looking at schools for her.

We saw our share of obscure movies, including documentaries on such diverse topics as the Weather Underground in the '60s, old American cars still on the road in Cuba, the 2000 Presidential election, and Ozzfest. And we saw ''Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary'', which was an interview with Hitler's personal secretary. She said that Der Fuhrer was really quite pleasant in person, and he was very nice to her.

As usual, we took in lots of things at the museums. We went to ''Bubblefest'' at the Discovery Science Center, and saw the Titanic artifacts and ''Risk!'' exhibits at the Science Center, and ''Chocolate'' at the Natural History Museum. Local railroad history was covered in ''From Red to Gold'' at the Pasadena History Museum, and we also took a trip to San Pedro to ride the restored Pacific Electric trolley there. We also rode the new Metro Gold Line train several times. The ''Ocean View'' exhibit at the Autry museum dealt with the California coast and how it is portrayed in popular culture. The Planes of Fame museum and the Wings of Freedom Tour gave us the chance to get up close to historic airplanes from World War II. And we took in some Hollywood history at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, as well as the ''Barsoom to Blade Runner'' exhibit in Fullerton, which showed off props from science fiction movies, including an actual original Tribble from ''Star Trek''.

Art was also represented both large and small. Large was the ''Making'' exhibit at the L.A. County Museum of Art and ''Whiteness'' at the Laguna Art Museum. Small was ''You Are What You Wear'' and ''In Los Angeles Something is Always Burning'' at some of the small galleries in Echo Park. In between was ''Gas and Glass'' at the Museum of Neon Art.

Other random things we did included a tour of the new Pasadena power plant, and visits to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the L.A. Zoo. We also saw a talk about False Memory Syndrome and how easy it is to get people to believe things that are demonstrably false. Very interesting stuff. Outdoor activities included several hikes in the local mountains, as well as one trip to Caspers Wilderness Park in Orange County. We also went back to the Valentine's Day dinner at the historic Fenyes Mansion. This was a very romantic outing, and it was fitting, since we had our 15th anniversary this year. And finally, Cathy has taken up her old disco dancing hobby again. She is taking dance classes and practicing the Hustle again.

Overall, it was another good year.