Alamitos Bay Dredging Project is Fun to Watch!

July 2, 2012

Grandpa Ron and I went for a long walk in Long Beach last Saturday. We spent quite a while watching the dredging operation scooping mud up from the bottom of the Alamitos Bay onto a waiting barge for use in a new Long Beach container complex. The Long Beach Press Telegram reported that 63,000 cubic yards of sediment are to be cleared with two-thirds of it going to the Port of Long Beach. Here’s an article I found from the Contra Costa Times written by Long Beach Press-Telegram Staff Writer Joe Segura. Here’s my short video – complete with a child’s expressed delight in getting a huge splosh of mud flying everywhere! The operator was obviously having his own fun with us! 🙂

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific

June 12, 2012

Last Saturday we had a wonderful evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific Ocean Conservation Awards which honored Magellanic Penguin expert P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D. and the City of Long Beach. We had lovely conversation with humans and fun interaction with some of the aquarium residents. Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy!

Aw! How cute!

They are as curious about us as we are of them!

Who Me? Whatcha lookin’ at?

Here is more info about the new penguin exhibit.

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Pacific Islander Festival at Aquarium of the Pacific

June 3, 2012

Grandpa Ron and I visited the Aquarium of the Pacific to get a change of scenery for getting my steps in for today. The Pacific Islander Festival was going full swing. We had a great time! Watched a few hula performances as well as the sea otters, seadragons, jellies, crabs and penguins!

All the hula dancers did great!!

All of the sea otters were very active this afternoon!

I love how graceful the Leafy Seadragons are!

My favorite jellies! West Coast Sea Nettles

He looks hungry!

The penguins swim really fast! It is hard to get a good still photo of them swimming by!

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Aquarium of the Pacific Blue Whale Watch Tour

October 22, 2011

Grandpa Ron and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary all weekend long by revisiting places we went just before our wedding. On Sunday, 10/09/11, we went through the Aquarium of the Pacific. My favorite exhibit is the one containing the Leafy Seadragons. Here are a few photos:

After we finished touring the aquarium we boarded one of their Blue Whale Watching Tours. It was great! We saw many whales – mainly blues but a few others. The trip was great! The aquarium docent was excellent and I think everyone had a great time trying to spot whales first! Here are a few of our photos!

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Teaching Positive Behavior

July 5, 2011

The Long Beach Press-Telegram article No Bullying by Kelly Puente got me thinking about how to get our preschoolers to behave nicely with other kids in their daycare classes and on the playground. The PeaceBuilders program sounds like a good way…. Here’s a Kansas study for Positive Behavior Support. I also have many more links from my post I wrote in 2009 on reducing toddler behavior problems.

The Parents Zone: Reducing Bad Behavior
Childcare: Tyrant Toddler
ezinearticles: Controling Your 3-Year-Old’s Aggressive Behavior
Toddlerstoday: Public Discipline
ehow: Correcting Toddler Behavior Problems Behavior Issues – The ABCs Improving Behavior Analyzing Behavior Issues Child Happiness

Most of these links have many other links for further information. More Behavior Issues

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Working the Long Beach Grand Prix

April 18, 2011

Grandpa Ron and I really had a great time working the stands and greeting lots of people at the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach this last weekend. As volunteers and members of the Committee of 300, we stamped people’s tickets and hands as they entered Grandstand 30 – the grandstand at the start/finish line. We were so busy helping people get to their seats we missed the transition from driver intros to the actual race!

On Saturday, Grandpa Ron’s favorite story was about a 9 year old boy who wanted to see the race cars up close because he painted them and he loves the race cars. So Grandpa Ron directed him to where he could go see them up close in the convention center at the Lifestyle Expo. A couple hours later the family came back and the Dad with a BIG smile gave Grandpa Ron the thumbs up. So they had clearly found the race cars!

Here’s a description of the Lifestyle Expo from the Visit Long Beach Calendar:
“Those looking to take a pit stop between races over Grand Prix weekend can check out the Lifestyle Expo for a variety of family-friendly activities. The expo, which runs April 16-18, features 270,000 square feet of exhibit space and more than 150 displays with the latest in automotive, home, recreation and travel products. At the Expo Arena, action sports fans can get an up-close encounter with race cars and motorcycles, operate remote control drift cars and see high-speed bikes and skateboarding demonstrations. Children can check out the Family Fun Zone for interactive games, race car simulators, a video arcade and more. Music lovers might enjoy a new addition to this year’s festivities. The Arena Jamm, a three-day music fest, will kick off inside the Long Beach Arena with about 20 Southern California bands. Each day will feature eight 30-minute concerts. …. The Green Power Prix View will feature weekend-long displays of the latest alternative energy vehicles including the Toyota Prius, Smart car, K1 Electric go-karts and the Novakinetics Electronic Performance Motorcycle. From a tankless water heater to energy efficient windows, those interested in green technology can see dozens of examples of renewable energy sources. The Lifestyle Expo is free to all Grand Prix ticket holders.”

Here are some fun Facebook photos from the Committee of 300 page.

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2011

April 15, 2011

Whew! What a day at the track! It was great fun checking it all out. Tomorrow will be harder because we’ll be actually working in the grandstands for half a day – actually for both Saturday and Sunday. We escaped the warm weather and cooled down a bit by going through the Lifestyle Expo in the convention center. Then we were back in the sun for the rest of the day. Watching the cars is great but noisy! Here is a great video of what it’s like from inside a car going around the track!

The Grunion Gazette has a great pull-out section Special Edition with LOTS of info. The Grunion Gazette LB Grand Prix-View is also good reading. The Grand Prix homepage has all the latest news.

If you are in the area and want to check it out, here is the schedule (although it is noted that it is subject to change). PDF version is here.

Saturday from 8:55 – 9:20 a.m. Team Drifting Demonstration will be held. Grandpa Ron and I like to watch the drifting because we met some of the drivers two years ago. The Celebrity Race is also tomorrow from 11:40-12:40.

Ticket info is here. Almost all (if not all) the special value-added tickets have been sold out except for the Paddock Club, which is operated by the Committee of 300. Once fans are inside the circuit, they can get day tickets for the Paddock Club.

It’s time to get to sleep in preparation for the rest of the weekend! What fun!

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

C-300 Kick-Start Party 2-16-11 for Long Beach Grand Prix

February 14, 2011

Even though the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is two months away (April 15-17), the City Council will talk about the course this coming Tuesday and the Committee of 300 will host the annual Kickoff Party this Wednesday. Harry Saltzgaver reports the details at

Time: Wednesday, February 16 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Hotel Maya
700 Queensway Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802 map
Facebook Event Created By: Kelly Stortz
More Info:

The Committee of 300* invites you to an evening of fun as we celebrate the kick off to the 37th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!

Bring your friends and business associates to the gorgeous Hotel Maya. Situated just feet from the water and with a breathtaking view of the city’s coastline, this venue is the perfect location to appreciate why the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is the must-attend event each year.

Enjoy Complimentary Hors d’Oeuvres, live band, silent auction & no host bar. Proceeds from this event benefit this year’s charity, the Historical Society of Long Beach!

RSVP’s are kindly requested. No cost to attend.
Facebook Event RSVP here

For more information about this event or the Committee of 300, please call the C300 office at (562) 981-9200 or visit us on the web at

* The Committee of 300 is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach, CA. Known as “Redcoats” for the attire they wear, the C300 staffs and participates in community events, the Los Angeles, Orange County and Belmont Shore Car Shows. Participation in non-race community services events is encouraged and members are known to show up in force all over Long Beach to lend a hand!

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

THE RED COATS ARE SEEING GREEN: Veteran’s Park Clean-Up by Committee of 300

February 12, 2011

Grandpa Ron and Grandma Sue are members of the Committee of 300, a non-profit all volunteer group dedicated to supporting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, CA, and performing Community Service for the citizens of Long Beach. This morning Grandma Sue and Grandpa Ron participated in the first ever Veteran’s Park clean-up in Long Beach, CA, with several other Committee of 300 and community members. We had a fun time actually! I think there might be some photos posted soon at the Committee of 300 site. If so, I’ll link to them. The Committee of 300 is also known as “The Red Coats” because of their signature red attire. Here’s an example photo.


Committee of 300 Boasts Partnership with City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
to Adopt Veterans Park and Announces First Park Clean Up Event

LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 4, 2011 – The Committee of 300 of Long Beach is excited to announce its partnership with the City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine by “adopting” Veterans Park located at 101 E. 28th St. The first park clean-up will take place on Feb. 12 at 10:00 a.m. and will continue on subsequent second Saturdays of every month.

6th District Councilman Dee Andrews is joining in the celebration of the partnership and will be on hand as will representatives from Councilman James Johnson’s office whose district the park borders.

“This year our board of directors has placed a strong emphasis on community service, and we’re very thankful to have gotten the support from city council members as well as from the Parks, Recreation and Marine department to help us make this happen,” said Committee President Salvador Farfán. “This is a great opportunity to make a positive impact in the community.

“We hope that by our being out there, the residents and business owners in the surrounding neighborhoods will join us and get to know one another while doing some good. The fact that it gives our members yet another opportunity for service and lets the public know that our organization is active year round is just the icing on the cake.”

The Committee of 300 has been the volunteer group associated with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the inception of the race. The famed “Redcoats” can be seen on race weekend as ambassadors to all things race-related as well as to the city of Long Beach. The rest of the year C-300 is THE premier volunteer group in Long Beach, volunteering on an ongoing basis with a number of non-profit organizations in addition to the yearly selection of one non-profit to be the recipient of funds raised by the Committee throughout the year. This year’s recipient will be the Historical Society of Long Beach. Last year the Committee raised nearly $5,000 for the Steel Magnolias of the Stramski Center.

For more information on the Committee of 300, visit or call (562) 981-9200.

Salvador Farfán, C-300 President 2010-11
562 397-5674
Cheryl Portugal, C-300 Executive Assistant
562 981-9200

The Committee of 300 website tells about the Long Beach Grand Prix race.

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Do Not Fear Cataract Surgery! It’s Amazing!

January 30, 2011

I haven’t spent much time on the computer this month so I’m sorry if you missed my somewhat constant updates. I went without my contact lenses in my eyes for the month of January in preparation for cataract surgery on my left eye. I am so near-sighted and I just can’t see as well with my glasses – even though they are bifocals! Close up work was nearly impossible because I couldn’t fit my reading glasses on my nose on top of the regular ones! No, it is not a pretty picture! 🙂

The surgery went well on the 19th. I was amazed to be able to read the clock on the other side of the recovery room as they wheeled me in from the very short (10-15 minute) surgery! Lots of eye drops of three different medicines has been the focus of this last week – along with experimenting with my new sight ability. On the road trip to Reno the next day, I found that during the day with sunglasses, I did just fine without correction for my right eye. Of course, I didn’t even try to read in the car or to catch up with any computer work. I just watched the scenery go by with new eyes – okay – really, eye! As dusk came, I removed my sunglasses. The hard part came with total night darkness. My ‘new’ eye was seeing absolutely fantastically but my ‘bad’ eye was throwing shadows and secondary fuzzy light spots to the left of all the good lights I was seeing. Putting on my dark glasses helped a little bit.

Some people say the colors are more intense after the cataracts are removed. For me it seemed different. I experimented before the surgery with comparing colors while covering one of my eyes and the colors seemed the same for both eyes. The magic for me has been the sharpness that has returned. I can actually see the texture of the clay roofing tiles on the house across the way when before the surgery I just saw the different shades of color. That probably has more to do with the ReStor® multifocal lens that Dr. Martinez inserted in place of my removed one. I can see! I can see!

My dilemma has been what to do with my uncorrected right eye – I wanted to get it used to the contact again ASAP so I could see sharper and so I wouldn’t have glare – but then I still couldn’t see up close. If I leave the contact out I can read up close with my right eye and use the left one for distance. However, I think my brain is confused because I did have correction to see closer with my left eye, not my right! I can go without the lens during the day but it helps tremendously for night-time vision and dealing with lights. In the office I have to put in the lens because of the glow of the florescent lighting. Without it my eyes tire quickly and I can’t read. So far I like the results of putting in the right contact lens better than being uncorrected. Then I use my reading glasses for both eyes. Dr. Martinez will be able to tweak the left eye with LASIK later after the eye heals from the cataract surgery to get the close vision better. The right eye has a cataract right smack dab in the middle of its lens so eventually it will have cataract surgery, too, and then I will have super eyesight!

It has been pretty awesome to wake up in the middle of the night and be able to read the digital clock across the room and to actually see small items in the low light shining in from the window. I’ve worn glasses or contacts for my bad eyesight since I was seven so this is a big deal for me!

I will get back to normal writing here soon. Please be patient with me right now. Thanks!!

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

%d bloggers like this: