Christmas, 2014

This year was a bit odd in many ways, both good and bad. It started off with a severe back problem that caused sciatica so painful that I was almost unable to walk. But a few months of physical therapy later, and things got better. But on the good side, once that happened we were able to plan our wedding, which took place in July. Those are the two biggest things.

I started physical therapy in January, and after a couple weeks, I started doing stairs again. I’m not trying to be the fastest any more, but I’m still doing it. We both did seven stair-climbing events this year, from the little 34-story San Diego one to Chicago and the 103-story Sears Willis Tower. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone looking more relieved than Kathleen looked when she came out of the door on the 103rd floor. In between, we even did the Towerthon, which is only a 20-story building, but it’s all about how many times you can climb it in two hours. I managed to climb it 20 times.

In cultural adventures, we did a number of events with the Obscura Society, including a tour of the Hyperion sewage-treatment plant (“The Crappiest Place on Earth!”), the Corriganville Movie Ranch, a lock-picking class, a tour of Rubel’s Castle in Glendora, and even an evening on Mt Wilson looking the stars through the 60-inch telescope. Apparently, that’s the largest telescope in the world that you can actually look through. We also did some tours when we were on trips, including visiting Bruce Lee’s grave and the Underground in Seattle, and the Weird Chicago Al Capone-themed tour. Closer to home, we took the Neon Tour again, as well as the Helter-Skelter tour of L.A., and a tour of chocolate shops in Beverly Hills. Other forays included the “Hardcore DEVO” show at the Wiltern, Cher at Staples Center, and the John Waters Christmas show.

I went hiking a few times this year. Trips included Mt Baldy, Mt Lukens, Echo Mountain, and the Bridge to Nowhere. And the grandest of them was the climb up Cucamonga Peak. It didn’t sound all that hard, but it turned out to be the hardest one of all.

So the really big news of this year is that Kathleen and I got married. It was a small wedding, held in our friend’s back yard in July.  Afterwards, we took a week-long trip up the coast. We visited Santa Barbara, Hearst Castle, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Along the way, we saw elephant seals, sea lions, and even a few wild sea otters. In San Francisco, we went to the Nike Missile Museum and the Marine Mammal Center, as well as taking a tour of the historic Armory building.

I’m still riding my bike a lot.  To work every day, and the Sunday morning bike club ride. Some of the tours this year included riding up Mt Lee for a view of the back of the Hollywood sign, a visit to the In-N-Out burger museum, and we even saw some llamas in Monrovia one day.

Our kids are all doing well. Trinh got her own apartment this year, which was nice. Melissa started her senior year at UCSD. And Lucinda is in 10th grade and doing well. She is ranked something like 10th out of over 300 in her class. So overall, that’s all good.

The only other bad thing that happened this year was that my father contracted pneumonia, and was sick for about two months. So we spent quite a few weekends going to San Diego to see him and keep him company. But he did recover and is back in his own place again.

So that’s our year-end wrap-up. As always, it’s all on my web site: