Category Archives: Uncategorized

iPhone Working?? – Aug. 3, 2020

I took my iPhone out of its rice bath this afternoon, then put it on its charger, and after a half hour, it started making noises. It chimed for a while, and kept coming on when I turned it off. But, I think it is now working. I successfully took pictures of our new ice machine which arrived yesterday … my birthday gift from Clark.

It has to be kept 4 inches from the walls and out of light, and needs an outlet, so it wasn’t easy finding a place for it.

This is a top view:

It makes cylindrical pellets. When the basket gets full, a light on the top comes on and it stops making ice. I drink ice water all day long when I am sitting at my lap top, playing bridge or doing email. I was having to fill our lone ice tray 3 or 4 times a day. This is much more convenient. It works like a charm.

Patricia and I had a surprising 59% game today. So, good bridge game, lots of ice, and a working phone .. what more can I ask for?
Thanks to niece Janet for telling me about putting my wet phone into a Ziploc bag filled with rice. Keeping it in rice for 3 days finally did the trick.


Great Lakes Potato Chip Tee Shirt – Sun. Aug. 2, 2020

On Friday Clark received a Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. tee shirt from Paco, and Clark has worn it for the past 2 days.

Clark likes the light weight tee shirt in our hot weather.

The back of the tee shirt has the Great Lakes in white. The gold star shows Traverse City. I think of Michigan as being a left hand with Traverse City located at the base between the little finger and ring finger.

Steve said that the company could not ship the potato chips directly to California, so Steve had to ship them himself to the tune of $73.30 for them to get here by my birthday on Monday!

I still don’t have my iPhone, so I have not taken any pictures to post to the blog. I tried taking these pictures with my MacBook Air. There’s sort of red and green spots on Clark’s face and arms.

I ate bags of Buffalo Wing and Pickled Jalepeño Great Lakes potato chips today, completely blowing my low carb diet.


My iPhone is Dead – Tues. July 28, 2020

Yesterday afternoon I accidentally dropped my iPhone in water. I immediately took it out of the water and ran my hair dryer on it for a while. I noticed in the evening that it was not charging. By morning it was dead.

I haven’t called Apple yet. I think our local Apple Store in Arden Fair Mall is closed as is the rest of the mall.

I miss not being able to glance at the weather, and hear that I have messages, mail, or phone calls

There is some way I can take photos with my MacBook Air, but I have forgotten how. When I look it up it says the it takes pictures, but doesn’t say how.

I cannot text to Brandon from my computer for some reason. Most others I can.

I will struggle for a while!


Potato Chips from Traverse City – Mon. July 27, 2020

This afternoon I received a big package with a card from Paco saying that they were sending some chips from his summer job. The box contained 8 varieties of Great Lakes potato chips … and there were 5 packages of each of the 8 varieties.

Paco says these are from potatoes that he “pushed” this past week.

Steve says that these Michigan Cherry Barbecue Potato Chips are one of the most popular varieties. Traverse City has a cherry festival. The chips are really fresh and crunchy.

Clark gave me this envelope containing an invoice for an ice maker which is due to arrive in the next couple of days. I make ice in our lone ice tray 3 or 4 times a day.

Clark made two 43 cent Barbara Forever stamps for his envelope.

Clark was on the computer trying to use DoorDash to order ceviche from Zócalo restaurant when Colleen texted that she was sending dinner from Amazon and Whole Foods. So, for dinner we had French paté, Spanish serrano jambon, and Italian tunnino in cheese wraps, Korean kim chi, and pistachios.

Patricia and I were happy to break 50% playing bridge on BBO early this afternoon.

Thanks for all of the phone calls, emails, texts, cards, and gifts making this a very busy 86th birthday.


Half Moon Bay – Sunday, July 26, 2020

Niece Janet Keeter sent these photos from a quick visit with my brother Bob in Half Moon Bay.

Bob’s end unit is next to this large field planted with crops.

Janet and Bob in Half Moon Bay where the temperatures was about 58 degrees. It was 98 in Sacramento and we won’t see 60 until 6 am tomorrow morning.

Today is Steve Keeter’s birthday, so after visiting my sister Joan (Janet’s Mom) yesterday in Alamo, Janet and Steve decided to head for a visit with Ken (Janet’s brother) and Anne in Scott’s Valley near Santa Cruz. They stopped in Half Moon Bay to pick up salmon. and had a brief visit with Bob.

Here is a picture of their visiting Ken and Anne on the same weekend last year when the 4 of them bumped into Brandon, Lisa, and Beck in Santa Cruz:

Lisa, Ken, Beck Anne, Steve, Janet, Brandon exactly a year ago on Steve’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Steve!!


Irish Soda Bread – Thurs. July 23, 2020

On Sat. evening my niece Janet Keeter texted me to be on the lookout for a package to be delivered by On-Trac. Early Monday evening the package arrived from Zulily. The Zulily ads that I see online are usually for women’s tops, but this package was too heavy for clothing.

It was an Irish Soda bread recipe dish and stand.

The recipe is printed right on the inside of the dish. And there was also a separate recipe card for the bread. Janet knows that we have been making quick bread recipes when Clark has run out of bread. I love the design and color of the dish.

It was so hot Monday, I thought that I would have to wait until morning to try the recipe. But, by 10 pm Monday, the temperature had fallen into the 60s, so I turned on the oven to 350 degrees.

For the buttermilk I used heavy cream mixed with lemon juice. There was one other problem, though. I had mistakenly bought bulk powdered sugar instead of granulated. The only granulated sugar we had was sugar cubes. So, I pounded about 70 cubes between sheets of wax paper using a hammer to get the 2/3 cup sugar.

My oven thermometer said 325 degrees, but after 45 minutes the bread was a golden brown and firm to the touch.

About midnight, Clark had a good size piece and then another. I had a sliver and then another.

This is what was left Tuesday afternoon. It is addictive…. so smooth, no soda taste at all. It is like coffee cake with a crunchy top. I couldn’t stop eating it, and my small slivers turned into many large ones. So, I am sure that I completely blew ketosis. The bread was gone by Wednesday afternoon.

I read today that you can substitute 1 3/4 cup of powered sugar for 1 cup regular sugar. Has anyone tried that? I was tempted to try it, and make another batch, but, I don’t have 3 1/2 cups of flour. So, I will have to wait until after the next Instacart delivery.

Thank you, Janet. I love the dish and I love the recipe.


It’s Official! Stay off the Roads! Thurs. July 23, 2020

The above was the the content of a text from Steve this morning.

A beaming Paco displays his new Driver’s License issued at the branch of the Secretary of State’s office in Traverse City, MI. The license was issued to:
Francisco Brandon Haas
1918 N. Quail Court
Traverse City, MI 49686

Paco was 16 last Feb. 29th.

Kristen rode in the back seat during the driving test while Steve was headed to the Secretary of State’s (DMV) in nearby Suttons Bay for a appointment to plate the van. Paco took the test on Steve’s Volt which is the car which Paco has practiced on the most.

Congratulations, Paco!!


New Vehicles for Tommy and Paco – Wed. July 22, 2020

Steve wrote yesterday that Tommy has been having trouble learning to ride a bike, so Kirsten found this cool used trike on FB Marketplace yesterday afternoon.

Steve said that Tommy is uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the trike.

Tommy and Kirsten rode/walked down to his old school.

Steve said, “We have also had some changes in our vehicle fleet. While the Honda Fit I bought for Paco ran great and he picked up the manual transmission quickly, he felt it was too distracting. More importantly, Paco wanted something with more space for his drums.”

Paco and Steve and new (20 year old) van. They found a listing on craigslist for this 2000 model year Honda Odyssey minivan. It has only 118k miles and was owned by the original (now 85 year old) owner. He and his wife live in Florida in the winter so the van was stored every winter and never saw snow or salt. This also explains the <6k/year mileage.

The first thing Paco did was to try putting his big marching drum in the trunk. Steve says that as you can see, the van seems custom built for the purpose as it fits perfectly in the floor well behind the third row seat.

Paco just wants to upgrade the stereo since they hadn’t heard of Bluetooth or USBs back in 2000. It’s hard to believe it’s 20 years old!

Bonus, the van made it really easy to bring Tommy’s new trike home.

Kirsten wrote this morning that she was waiting for P at drum line rehearsal. Here’s a little sound bite that she sent:

The rehearsal was at the high school but outdoors and with masks on.

Thanks, Steve and Kirsten. Those boys keep you both busy!


Brandon & Lisa in Santa Cruz – Sat. July 18, 2020

Lisa, Beckett, and Lisa’s Mom Joleen left for Santa Cruz on Wed. for their annual week – 10 days at the beach. They were going to stay at the Dream Inn for 3 nights until the house that they have been renting for the past few years became available today. Brandon joined them yesterday.

Lisa wrote that she and Beckett ventured out of their comfort zones yesterday. It turned out to be a fun adventure. — at Monterey Bay Kayaks.

Today Lisa ran into Ken and Anne Smith having lunch at the Crow’ s Nest in the Santa Cruz Harbor next to the house Lisa and Brandon are renting for the week. Ken is my sister Joan’s son. He and Anne and their 3 children live in nearby Scott’s Valley. Anne wrote that they walked 6 miles to get to the Crow’s Nest in their ultimate pursuit to get to Seascape resort. They planned this pre-covid.

Ken, Anne, and their son Alec and their neighbors, Greg and Kerry Benoit, stopped by the rental house for a social distancing cocktail. Lisa took this picture from the balcony.
Greg Benoit is in the red shirt, Ken Smith is in the light blue shirt, Kerry Benoit, seated, is in the turquoise top. Standing 6 feet away is Brandon in the coulee hat, and 6 feet from him is Anne Smith. Alec Smith is seated wearing the black ball cap.

Ken and Kerry were the bartenders at Ralph’s funeral. And Kerry’s father, John Heagerty, was one of my brother Jim’s best friends in high school, O’Dowd class of 1960.

The high temperature in Santa Cruz today was 66 and the low was 56. By contrast, in Sacramento we had a high of 98 and low of 60.

Thanks for all the news Brandon and Anne!


Scientists ID Gene Responsible For Deadly Glioblastoma – Wed. July 15, 2020

Yesterday Steve Haas sent this interesting article about Glioblastoma, the type of tumor which took Erin’s life.

Hui Li, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the UVA Cancer Center

Scientists ID Gene Responsible For Deadly Glioblastoma
Scientists have identified an oncogene (a cancer-causing gene) responsible for glioblastoma, the deadliest brain tumor. The discovery offers a promising new treatment target for a cancer that is always fatal.

The researchers say the oncogene is essential to the survival of the cancer cells. Without it, the cancer cells die. Scientists have already developed many targeted therapies for other cancers with a similar “oncogene addiction.”

“Glioblastoma is one of the most deadly cancers. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment option for the disease. The current standard option, radiation plus temozolomide, which displayed a 2.5-month better survival rate, was hailed as a great success. Clearly, better understanding and new therapeutic targets are urgently needed,” said researcher Hui Li, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the UVA Cancer Center. “The novel oncogene we discovered promises to be an Achilles’ heel of glioblastoma, with its specific targeting potentially an effective approach for the treatment of the disease.”

Targeting Glioblastoma

Oncogenes are naturally occurring genes that spiral out of control and cause cancer. The oncogene Li and his colleagues identified, AVIL, which normally helps cells maintain their size and shape. But the gene can be shifted into overdrive by a variety of factors, the researchers found. This causes cancer cells to form and spread.

Blocking the gene’s activity completed destroyed glioblastoma cells in lab mice but had no effect on healthy cells. This suggests targeting the gene could be an effective treatment option.

“AVIL is overexpressed in 100% of glioblastoma cells and clinical samples, and is expressed at even higher level in so called glioblastoma stem cells, but hardly expressed in normal cells and tissues,” said Li, of UVA’s Department of Pathology. “Silencing the gene wiped out glioblastoma cells in culture and prevented animal xenografts, while having no effect on normal control cells. Clinically, high AVIL expression correlates with worse patient outcome. These findings and classic transformation assays proved AVIL being a bona fide oncogene.”

Identifying Oncogenes

Identifying an oncogene, as Li and his colleagues have done, is an important step toward developing a treatment. But identifying oncogenes is very difficult. The environment inside cells is so complex that it’s hard to determine cause-and-effect.

Li and his team weren’t even working on glioblastoma when they first caught the scent that led to the discovery. Instead, they were studying a rare childhood cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. (Childhood cancers typically are easier to understand and involve fewer mutations than adult cancers.)

During their research, the scientists discovered an abnormality in the AVIL gene. That prompted them to examine adult cancers to see if the gene could be contributing there. And it was. The researchers concluded the gene plays a “critical role” in glioblastoma, they report in a new scientific paper outlining their findings.

Li and his team believe their approach can be used to discover other oncogenes – hopefully leading to new treatments for a variety of cancers.

“In this day and age, many people thought that all the significant oncogenes have been discovered, Here we uncovered a novel powerful oncogene, and elucidated its signaling pathways, all starting from studying a structure variant in a pediatric cancer. In the past, numerous significant discoveries in cancer also stemmed from studying pediatric tumors” Li said. “We believe this is a strategy can be applied to find novel players in other adult cancers.”

Clark’s youngest son Craig who lives in Kansas City underwent surgery today to remove a cancerous kidney tumor. All went well.

On a lighter note, today is my sister-in-law Pat Canty’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Pat!