Jay Beeler

There was a time when I thought there could be no greater pain than passing a kidney stone or giving birth, even though that later process has not been felt personally.

Perhaps second on the pain scale was having a torn meniscus of the knee, described by doctors as a “crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous anatomical structure.” This was the result of getting on my gazebo-based CardioFIT machine in mid-May, hoping to be physically prepared for a pending trip this fall to Italy, which may involve some extensive walking to see the attractions in Rome.

It’s a bucket list thing, since Italy is one country I’ve never seen during years of international travel on behalf of two global client organizations: International Insurance Society and the World Aquatics Baby Congress.

Getting back to the knee thing, the initial thought was that it was gout related, since that’s another painful condition in the foot area that affects mobility. But the doctors at MemorialCare were more centered on bursitis or the meniscus, which was confirmed after some X-rays and an MRI scan.

Now, some eight weeks later, I’m into an 8-week series of physical therapy sessions that should solve the knee issue. Having a solar-heated pool that reaches 85 degrees is therapeutically beneficial, both from a physical and financial viewpoint. We have not paid for heating the pool with gas for almost 40 years, thanks to my ignorance of not having a spark arrester on the chimney allowing a roof fire from burning some scrap lumber in the fireplace.

We replaced the roof and the State of California gave us tax credits for the solar installation. Much like solar electrical panels, the savings can be huge.

Once again it is time to replace the aged roof, this time with less costly synthetic materials versus wood shakes. We’ll be looking at roofing contractors in coming weeks and welcome your referrals to achieve a minimum of three bids – just like the Contractors State License Board suggests.


One of my favorite quotes is laminated and kept in my wallet. It comes from British-American Author Alistair Cooke, who wrote “In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball and to bounce a baby.”

In recent weeks I was able to bounce Sky Violet, my 7-month-old granddaughter during a visit from my eldest daughter, Janet. Sky must like her grandpa, since she smiled every time we looked at each other.

Janet and Gabe Mackillop – a general contractor – will be rebuilding their hilltop home in Oakland, so Janet and Sky will be staying with us this fall and house sitting during our Italy trip.

The best part of getting older is grandchildren, including Lyla, 11, and Owen, 9, being raised in Rancho Mission Viejo by daughter Mindy and her husband, Bryan Nickerson.


Some random musings to share:

  • The biggest joke on mankind is that computers have begun asking humans to prove they aren’t a robot.
  • When a kid says “Daddy, I want mommy” that’s the kid version of “I’d like to speak to your supervisor.”
  • It’s weird being the same age as old people.
  • Just once I want a username and password prompt to say CLOSE ENOUGH.
  • If I am ever on life support unplug me and plug me back in and see if that works.


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