Friday, August 20, 2010

Community Center & PC Lab

Every Tuesday morning I volunteer as a supervisor at the PC lab in the community center.IMG_2854 The community center is one of the newest buildings in Laguna Woods.  It replaced the old administration building.  It has three floors that house different functions.

The first floor consists of the administration for the village residents.  This is where you can get permits, gate passes, and, if you have a problem, property services.IMG_2855 There’s also many meeting rooms.  The second floor is mostly devoted to PCM, the management company that maintains all of the property, and more meeting rooms.

The third floor has many educational and recreational facilities.  This is where the PC lab is located.IMG_2856 There’s also a work area in the lab where residents can bring their computers and printers to have them fixed by volunteers.IMG_2859 There’s also a MAC lab for those residents who prefer an Apple system.  There’s also a PC classroom with 30 PCs setup in a classroom style, with a projector.  The PC Club puts on 6 different series of classes during the year.  The next session starts next week.  Linda is going to take a class on Digital Scrapbooking, and I’m assisting in a class on Windows 7.

Also on this floor is a complete workout facility that complements on the main one in Clubhouse 1.



There’s also an indoor ping pong facility.  I didn’t understand the need, but there’s no wind indoors so it makes sense.  It gets a lot of use. 

IMG_2860IMG_2862 They even have a ball machine for practice.

Also in this building is the studios for Channel 6, the inside the village station that has news, the trading post program, and meetings of the different boards.  The trading post allows residents to sell things to other residents and it’s very popular.

So that’s one of the “clubhouses” here in the village.  I’ll post other descriptions of the 7 other clubhouse in the future.  As the classes are starting, we’re starting to get busy.  It’s always good to keep the brain active.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Outdoor Concert

Thursday started with an appointment with a draperies consultant to discuss new drapes for the big living room window and the sliding glass door.  We saw some interesting material and the consultant measured everything.  We decided to meet at her shop next week to review the prices and make a final decision.  We’ve had two other people out for suggestions and the prices were very different, so it’ll be interesting to see what this one is.

Thursday afternoon there was an outdoor concert at Clubhouse 2.  We got there around 4:30 to get some dinner.  They had a catered dinner of hot dogs or roasted chicken.  We had the chicken with potato salad that was really good.  We brought our own beverages (a nice Zinfandel). 

The actual concert started at 6:00.  The band was Doc Anello and the Swing Machine.  I’m sure you’ve heard of them, and probably have one of their CDs.  HUH.  Anyway it was a good group and they played music from the 40s, 50s, & 60s.  The leader, Doc, sang, and they also had a female vocalist, Madeline Vergari.  It turns out that they play regularity at Disneyland for dancing.IMG_2839

There was a small dance floor that was well used.IMG_2845 And the dancing even spread into the walkways.IMG_2838 Clubhouse 2 is a nice setting for the concert as there’s a large patio with tables, and a large grass area for setting up chairs.IMG_2836 We ate on the patio, and then when the music started we moved to lawn chairs so we could enjoy the music without getting blasted.  We even danced a few times, and my hip didn’t bother me a bit.

There’s one more concert this summer on September 3, so call us if you would like to go.  It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Partially Finished & The Start of the Week

We have been trying to finish the remodeling here at the village.  The kitchen was just about done, but we needed pendent lights over the bar and hardware for the drawers and doors. We looked and looked at a lot of different lighting stores, and finally decided on some fixtures from Kitcher.  The first shipment was damaged, but we finally got our order.  We also decided on the hardware from The Great Indoors.

Monday, Ted our contractor came over to install everything.  We’re very pleased with the results.IMG_2811IMG_2814 IMG_2813 IMG_2812 We were having a problem with our dishwasher.  The dishes weren’t getting clean.  We contacted our local repair people and they discovered that the dishwasher was hooked up to the cold water line.  Ted fixed that and now we have clean dishes again.  It’s amazing how the small things can affect how appliances work.

While Ted & I were working on the kitchen, Linda had her biweekly beading club meeting.  This month they’re making a necklace, and I’m anxious to see how it comes out.  She’s feeling much better and is starting to get her energy back

Tuesday I spend in the PC lab as a supervisor.  It’s fun helping people solve problems, and teaching them some new programs.  I’ve forgotten how satisfying volunteering can be since we left Olympic National Park.  I’ll give you a more complete description of the computer facilities here at the village in the future.

Wednesday I got a call from the head of the Photo Lab asking me to sub for the afternoon supervisor.  I was glad to fill in at the lab.  I helped a couple of the more experienced photographers in the club work in the studio with the lighting.  It was fun to learn new techniques.  Here’s a picture they took of me during the session.John-IMG_6483-1 That’s about it for this entry.  Next time I’ll talk about the outdoor concert scheduled for tomorrow. 

Monday, August 02, 2010

Linda’s Getting Better & I Go On a Field Trip

Linda is slowly getting better, but she’s still not well enough for any activities.  It’s better to take it slow and easy until she gets her energy back.

I decided to assign myself a photo project.  I had visited the Laguna Beach visitor center while I was at the library, and picked up some brochures & maps.  As anyone who has known me for a while realizes that this is pretty normal for me.  I can’t seem to drive past a visitor center.  I knew there was a lot of beautiful beaches here, but because of all of the development they’re hard to find.  One beach that was rated high was Crescent beach, north of the town.  So with some clouds in the sky promising an interesting sunset, I took off for some sunset beach photos.

I drove past the beach by mistake and ended up at Crystal Cove.  The $15 entrance fee caused me to turn around and head south again.  I know California is hurting financially, but that seemed like a lot for an hour on the beach.  As I got back into town after all of the gated communities I started to take side streets towards the beach.  I found a pathway down to Crescent Beach, and it was beautiful as promised.  At one end was a point going out with palm trees.IMG_2726 And at the other end was another point.IMG_2719 I saw people standing on the point towards the north and I thought that would be a good place for a sunset picture.  I had to hurry because the sun was setting fast.  I finally found this little park in a residential area.  There was a nice area of grass and some beautiful plantings.  I was surprised there was still an iris blooming.IMG_2739 At the end of the point there were nice views south towards Laguna Beach.IMG_2742 And north towards the sunset.IMG_2746 Next to those palm trees was a beautiful house with all windows.  It had a 180 degree view of the ocean and the rocks down below.  It was fun to watch the sun make it’s progress towards Hawaii.


I wonder if those people in that house really appreciate what they have in their living room every night.  It’s really beautiful, but I still like waterfalls and the mountains better than the beach.  And it’s more affordable.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Quiet Times & A Lot of Reading

Linda is still under the weather with a very bad chest cold.  Her coughing has got so persistent that I met her sister Donna to get some cough medicine with codeine.  We met at Direct Buy, which is a catalog showroom for members.  Donna is a member, and she helped out Matt & Suzanne by ordering some baby furniture.  They saved about 50% on the entire order.  Baby furniture has sure changed since we had kids.  Now it all converts to larger beds as the child grows, so it makes sense to order good stuff that will last a long time.  They are very happy with their choices.

Since we’re staying in one place this summer, we have renewed our interests in reading, and using the local libraries.  We started this in WA when we camp hosted in Olympic National Park.  You can read that blog entry by clicking here.  We also use it in AZ when we stay at Happy Trails.  Here is Laguna Woods Village, we have access to the entire Orange County Library system to look for books, place them on hold, and have them shipped to the local branch.  It works well, but its a little slow, and can take up to 3 weeks to get a particular book. 

While we were in AZ I started reading police procedurals set in York, England.  The author is Peter Turnbull.  The nice thing about series books is that you really get to know the lead characters, kind of like a TV series.  Now I’m reading a series of English Village mystery books set the Dales area of England.  The author of these books is Peter Robinson.  I seem to be stuck on Peters.  He started writing in the middle ‘80s and you can see his progress as a writer over the period of time.  What’s interesting is that he emigrated to Canada before he started writing.

Both of these authors write interesting books that give you real insight to English life in the small villages and towns.  I highly recommend them for a great summer read.

More later with a report on Linda’s health and our exciting life.