Restaurant Review : The Marine Room

View from the Marine Room

I don’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant where I felt that I needed to dress up before entering their door. But last night one of my first Foreign Language Students – Corinne – graduated with her Ph.D and she wanted to celebrate. “After all,” she said, “I won’t be getting another degree any time in this lifetime.”

To say that I was nonplussed when she told me that she had made reservations at the Marine Room for the celebration I was stunned. I figured eating there would only add to the student debt that she must have incurred over the past 3 years.   [Read more…]

Ramblings of An Insomniac

By Judi Curry

10:00pm Got into bed to watch the nightly local news. Set the timer on the television to go off at 11:00pm. Fell asleep somewhere between the weather report and the sports report.

11:15pm Wide awake. Turned on the light and read some of a new book.

12:00am Crappy book; still wide awake.   [Read more…]

The Volunteers of the San Salvador

Editor: The launch of the San Salvador, the replica of Cabrillo’s ship being built alongside Point Loma, – originally scheduled for mid-April – has been postponed. Here, our Judi Curry continues her focus on the many volunteers who helped to build the ship. Cabrillo himself and what he and the Missionaries wrought here in San Diego is still controversial and the subject of a debate on our website.

By Judi Curry /OB Rag

Last year I did a story of the women volunteers working on the San Salvador. If you are not familiar with the San Salvador, it was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 when he sailed into San Diego Bay.  Cabrillo, who sailed from Portugal, was the first European to explore San Diego Bay and the coast of California.

Construction of the 92-foot- long replica almost completed and can be seen driving down Harbor Blvd. on the south side of the street just east of the airport if you are coming from Pt. Loma.   [Read more…]

Restaurant Review: SEA180º Coastal Tavern

By Judi Curry

Many, many years ago, I was the Vocational Manager at San Diego Job Corps. There was not a restaurant that would rank over a “3”then, but times have really changed.

This past weekend I celebrated my $%th birthday. But the way I celebrated it was different than I thought it would be. My friend, “Cowboy” flew in from North Dakota to help me age. But he also had started building a solar panel over my flat roof the last time he was here because I kept complaining how cold my bedroom was during the day. He drew diagrams, checked different places on line for parts, and asked a question that triggered a memory from a few years past. I cannot tell you what that question was, but I knew where I could get the answer.

During the time I was at SDJC, we had an excellent Solar instructor teaching our students how to build and maintain solar panels. Over the years I called upon him to repair various problems I had with the electrical lines going to the house, and I knew that if I ever was in a bind I could call on him.

I put in a call to Randall Mann and he agreed to meet us and see if he could answer Cowboy’s questions. He suggested that we meet at the “SEA 180º Coastal Tavern” because it was close to work and a nice place. And nice it was! Beautiful view, both from the inside and outside.   [Read more…]

Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

By Judi Curry

It has been years since I have had breakfast at Perry’s. It was a place that my husband and I used to go to frequently and always enjoyed the meals we had there. However, since he passed away, I find it difficult to frequent those places that we patronized, because it always brings back memories that I would just as soon forget.

However, one of the members of my widow support group – Ro – had a birthday today that we wanted to celebrate, and she chose “Perry’s” as the place she would like to go. Interesting enough, all of us had been there with our spouses, with the exception of Candy. We asked the very nice waitress when Perry’s opened, since we all had recollections of our previous visits there and she said it was about the middle 1980’s.   [Read more…]

Have You Been To a Foreign Country In the Past Few Weeks?

By Judi Curry

That seems to be the question everyone is asking since the Ebola epidemic started affecting people in the United States. My usual answer would be “no” but I now have changed that and say, “I’ve been to North Dakota in the past few weeks. Does that count?”

It’s obvious that I know that North Dakota is not a “foreign country” in the true sense of the meaning, but I’ve learned so much about the State that was foreign to me before.

How many of you know what a “sun dog” is?   [Read more…]

Sometimes the Simple Things are the Most Fun

Try going to the “ZION” Market one day

By Judi Curry

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a birthday coming up at the end of the week. As a general rule I would just as soon forget the day and move right on to the next one.

Perhaps many of you know that I am a “host mother” to foreign language students in the US to hone their English skills. My latest student is the 413th student I have housed since 1992, when my husband and I began this adventure. I have had students from all over the world; each one unique in their own way; and with the exception of only three students I asked to have removed from my home, it has been a wonderful experience.

Yuri, one of my two students right now will be leaving me in March after being here for one year. Ever since she arrived she has been “threatening” to cook a Japanese meal for me. (Yes, I have cooked one for her – but she keeps saying “I will cook one for you.”) And, apparently, now is the time for a great adventure.   [Read more…]

If You Like Sleep, You’ll Like Death Even Better

A summary of the League of Women Voters meeting on Death with Dignity

By Judi Curry

The League of Women Voters has scheduled nine different discussion locations for the “Death with Dignity” topic.

On Monday. January 12th, the discussion was held at the Point Loma Library.  The turn-out was disappointing to me – three men and nine women, plus the three female moderators.  The discussion, although slow at first, was interesting as the small audience began to participate.  The moderators were Nancy Witt, Shirley Walkoe and Jeanne Brown.

Jeanne led the discussion by handing out a statistical page of Assisted Suicide Laws by State.  We found out that three states have passed legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide:  – Oregon, Vermont and Washington.   [Read more…]

What a Difference a Few Decades Make : An Interview with Kevin Beiser

By Judi Curry

As a public school teacher beginning my career in the early sixties, I have seen the pendulum swing many ways in the past fifty years. (Fifty Years! My God!) Perhaps one of the biggest swings was from the professional organizations of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to the American Federation of Teachers ( AFT) and other labor organizations.

As a member of “management” later in my career, I have been disillusioned with professionals (educators) belonging to labor organizations, because I have always felt that the “product” – read children – we deal with cannot be “recalled” to put in a missing part. We get one time to do it correctly, and God help us all if we are not successful.   [Read more…]

The Answer to the Local Newspaper Dilemma

By Judi Curry

Anyone who has been reading my articles for the past six months should know that I spend a week a month in North Dakota – Fargo, because that is where the airport is, and Blanchard, because that is where my friend the Cowboy resides.

On a recent Saturday before the election it was necessary to go to a farm equipment store for some replacement parts for Cowboy’s tractor.  While he was dealing with the owner, I was browsing the counters and came across the “Hillsboro Banner” newspaper of Friday, October 24, 2014.  And found the perfect solution to the newspaper problem we have here in San Diego.   [Read more…]

Recreating the San Salvador: A Fighting Top Goes Up and Cannon Gets Fired

Part Two: An Update on the Progress in Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

When I arrived at the San Salvador to see the progress being made in the building of the ship, I was a few minutes late and the fighting top was already being placed on the ship.

As I stood on the ground and looked up to the sky, one of the volunteers – Bob Wilson– began explaining to me what was happening. I asked him if it was the crows nest they were installing, but he said no. In the days of the San Salvador, what was being placed there was called a fighting top.

He went on to explain that  a fighting top was an enlarged top with small guns, designed to fire down at the deck of enemy ships. They could also be manned by snipers armed with muskets or rifles.  The fighting top  of yesterday is now referred to as the crows nest but with a slightly different role.   [Read more…]

Vince Sardina’s Labor of Love on the San Salvador

Part One of Two Updates on the Progress in Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

There are not many times in life that you meet a person you don’t want to say goodbye to. This was not a romantic endeavor, but rather a person that is so genuine, so humble that you obtain energy just from being with him.

I recently met one of those extraordinary men – a Sicilian, who has worked in the boat business for 50-odd years, learning the trade as a teen in Sicily. He is a wonderful craftsmen and you can’t help but marvel at the finished product he creates.

Who is this man, you ask? A little background first.   [Read more…]

Midwestern Steam Thresher’s Reunion Reminisces Past With Charm

By Judi Curry

I have become fascinated with the lifestyle of my friend Cowboy in North Dakota. I find that I am flying there once a month for a few days at a time to do things like go to horse, goat and pony auctions. Just recently we went to the Building Steam Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion (WMSTR) in the town of Rollag. Cowboy had never been to this exhibit and since he has so many of the machines on his farm he thought it would be fun to go. We drove the 110 miles to attend one day of the two and a half day show.

I keep taking notes of these activities, with the thought of writing articles about life in the Midwest, but for some reason have never put pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard as the case may be. At the risk of being too verbose – I want to say a few words about the Steam Thresher’s unnamedReunion, but in order to make my point I need to explain a few things about it. The reunion first began in 1940 when a Garr-Scott engine was fired up to thresh grain with steam again for the sake of reminiscing. It has continued to this day.   [Read more…]

Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery: The Slow Death of a Prism of Beauty

By Judi Curry

Note: After visiting the cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 9th, 2014, we three widows were sorely disappointed in what we saw — or didn’t see — two years later. I sent this article to Doug Ledbetter, the director of the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar cemeteries so that he would be aware of what I was going to write. He called me, and we discussed the conditions I have mentioned in this article. His responses are italicized.

Two years ago this August I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. The cemetery has special meaning to me because my husband is interred there, and it will be my “home” when I leave my Pt. Loma home. Over the past two years I have written several follow-up articles about the grounds and have complimented the new director, Doug Ledbetter, on returning the cemetery to its pre-2012 standards.

I recently received an unexpected call from Doug asking me if I had been up to the cemetery lately. I had not, but told him that three of us were going to visit our husbands that weekend because it had been a while since we had been. I told him that we were looking forward to the improvements we expected to see, and I would let him know our thoughts.   [Read more…]

Restaurant Review: Buona Forchetta

Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 381-4844

By Judi Curry

Whomever said “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” sure must have been in the house last night.

For weeks I have been corresponding with Michael, a reader of the San Diego Free Press. He has commented on many articles I have written; has made suggestions about reviewing a variety of restaurants – Jade, for example – and has suggested that we go out together to review a restaurant.

He has been telling me about the Buona Forchetta for weeks and we finally set the date for last night. Lest you think that this was a “date, date” – let me assure you it was not. I met up with Michael, Jerry, Susan and Monique.   [Read more…]

Restaurant Review: Wong’s Golden Palace

Wong’s Golden Palace
7126 University Ave
La Mesa, CA 91941

By Judi Curry

It seems like it’s been some time since I’ve done a review of a restaurant. Perhaps that’s because I am filling in for a friend at the Moxie Performing Arts Theater several times a month as a Front of the House Manager. Perhaps it’s because I seem to spend a few days a month in North Dakota learning how to milk goats. Maybe it’s that I’m not always able to find someone to go with me to try out a new place.

Whatever the reason, I’m back in action.

Wong’s Golden Palace was chosen by my friend, Warren, who went with me to see a play at the Moxie Theatre and knew the restaurant was conveniently nearby. It has been a long time since I’ve had Chinese food — with so many different Asian style restaurants around now I’d forgotten how much I really enjoy the cuisine.   [Read more…]

America Has a Koch Problem

Move-on sponsored movie “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” shown in households all over the nation.

By Judi Curry

Senator Bernie Sanders sent out an email telling Move-on members that “ . . . our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back, and we must do it now in advance of November’s elections.”

I had heard of the Koch brothers for months; I was somewhat aware of the dastardly deeds they were doing throughout our country, and decided to attend the showing of this documentary at “The Hippie House” recently with approximately twenty of our Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach neighbors.   [Read more…]

“How Many Times Can You Be Screwed?” Let Me Count Another Way

“No money would exchange hands, but it would be a win-win for both of us…”

By Judi Curry

I have always thought of myself as a compassionate person. I frequently do things because I feel it is the right thing to do without ever thinking of any compensation – mentally, emotionally or monetarily. So let’s take a trip down the road to “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Let’s get into the time tunnel and go back approximately nine months.

I was walking my Golden Retriever Buddy around the block when I came across a woman I knew exercising her dog in front of her house. She was having some work done on her house and I stopped and talked to her. Her name is Patty, and it turned out that she was also in the field of education and I enjoyed talking to her.

The following day, the same thing happened and I asked her about the work she was having done on her house. She told me that a friend of a friend was a handyman and he was doing some work for her on the roof of her house. Apparently the handyman was down on his luck and was virtually homeless, but he was a good friend of another neighbor – a judge in the San Diego Courts – and he was always repairing things that needed work. …   [Read more…]

The City “Dudette” meets the Real Cowboy!

By Judi Curry

Weeks ago I said that I was going to stop my on-line dating sites.  To a certain degree that was true; those sites that cost money I have now eliminated; those that are free I have kept.  About 3-4 months ago I began corresponding with “Cowboy.”  When he told me he lived in North Dakota  –  near Fargo – no less – I knew that there was no purpose in continuing our relationship, but it just seemed to continue, sometimes talking or texting 20-30 times a day.

After only a short period of time – maybe 3 weeks, he told me that we had texted over 2000 times!  What in the world did we talk about? I don’t know, really, but our conversations went on and on, and pretty soon we were talking on the phone.  For an honest-to-goodness cowboy I was impressed with his knowledge and truly enjoyed our conversations.

A few weeks into our “relationship” he asked me if I had ever ridden a horse.  I told him that I remembered my Dad taking me to the pony rides when I was about 5 years old. We did that every Sunday.  Cowboy quickly sent me two pictures:  One of a pony and one of a horse, pointing out that I had never been on a horse; that ponies and horses are not the same thing.   [Read more…]

How To Train Your Kangaroo Retriever

By Judi Curry

As my Golden Retriever Buddy was quickly losing his ability to stand or walk, I decided it was time to start looking for another dog. I hoped that the new dog would breathe some life into Buddy, and although I had been looking for months for the “right” dog, none came to the forefront.

None, that is, until I found Shadow, a.k.a. Thomas, at the Baja Animal Sanctuary. He was just what I thought Buddy and I needed.

Although we cannot be sure of Shadow’s heritage, he appears to be a pure Retriever. But just what kind is in question. You see, I think I have the Superman of the Retriever genre. He can’t jump between buildings in a single leap, but he sure as hell can jump over the coffee table — with all the geegaws on it — to jump up on the couch where he’ll watch the people go by.   [Read more…]

What Does ‘Clean Elections’ Really Mean?

By Judi Curry

A local organization, Neighborhoods for Clean Elections, is leading a grass roots coalition with plans to put a clean elections initiative on the 2016 ballot.

The initiative — which is supported by Common Cause, as well as a host of other good government groups and a large number of town councils, local community councils and community associations — will provide public funding for candidates for mayor and City Council who agree to a Clean Elections Pledge. That pledge requires that they refrain from soliciting any campaign contributions from private sources, and they further agree to refrain from spending any of their own money for their campaign. It is designed to break the conflict of interest between campaign contributors and candidates.   [Read more…]

Who Has Energy, a Fresh Perspective, and Fantastic Ideas for San Diego?

An introduction to Sarah Boot, Candidate District 2 City Council

By Judi Curry

Over the past several months, I have attended many “meet the candidate forums” for those people running for office on June 3rd.  I have been amazed at the quality of one of the candidates running for District 2 City Council seat because she is so aware of the problems facing those of us in this particular district.  And furthermore, she has answers to overcome those problems.

Let’s tackle a few of those problems right now:  For those of us living along the Sunset Cliffs corridor, I have a question for you.  When was the last time you were able to leave your home and go directly to the Highway 8 on-ramp without being detoured around Ocean Beach?  Yesterday it took me over 10 minutes to get to the freeway because of the streets that were blocked off – again – and detour signs were everywhere.

When I came home from my excursion to El Cajon, the detour signs were gone but the roads from Newport to Santa Cruz were so bumpy I thought my car would end up with flat tires.  That, plus the steel plates all over the road only tell me that today will be the same way, and probably for  weeks to come.   [Read more…]

A Difficult Decision: Saying Goodbye to My Dog Buddy after a Wonderful Ten Years

By Judi Curry

As a mother, an Office Manager, a School Principal I have been called on to make some difficult decisions. But no decision has been more difficult that the one I had to make this morning. The heartache and grief supersedes anything I have  ever had to do.

I have had the most wonderful companion for over 10 years.  He was born on my birthday many years after I came into this world.  He was always so happy to see me; he always had a smile on his face; he never questioned decisions I made; never argued with me, and made me feel better after having a difficult day.  That is why this decision is so hard to make.  Of course I am talking about my Golden Retriever.   [Read more…]

My Buddy Has a Playmate

By Judi Curry

My 13 year old Golden is having some hip issues

Trying to watch him walk down the stairs brings out the crying tissues.

He doesn’t seem to be in much pain and he “smiles” all the time,

Except when he tries to stand up and then you know he’s not fine.

He just helped me “dog sit” my daughter’s big dog,

Who really is a cross between a kangaroo and a frog.

  [Read more…]

An Update on Pumbaa the Shar Pei’s Recovery: Still Not Out of the Woods

By Judi Curry

Editor’s Note: Last month Judi Curry wrote about Pumbaa the Shar Pei, who is receiving canine rehab with Judi’s dog Buddy.

Daisy took Pumbaa to the ortho-vet in Sorrento Valley. He wants to run some more tests on the doggie, but it is nice to know that he has started eating again, and is again being exercised in the pool. So far the tests have totaled about $1000 but Daisy does not know how much more will be needed.

But he looks much better; a little more playful, and in the pool can move his legs well. But, alas, on land, he still cannot put any weight on his back legs.   [Read more…]