O.C. Fair 2013 [News]

August 01, 2013 00:00

This year was (for me) just a short visit to the Orange County Fair. I took advantage of a volunteer stint Susan did for her local Machine Knitting supplier. She spent the afternoon manning the booth and I joined her in the evening.


Susan was demonstrating machine knitting to all who were interested. And from what I saw the few minutes I watched, there was a lot of interest from people of all ages.

A new floor for the living room/dining room [News]

July 31, 2013 00:00

A few weeks ago we had a scheduled power outage so that Southern California Edison could replace a damaged feeder wire to the neighborhood transformer. Unfortunately our wine keeper did not survive the power re-start. When I pulled it out to see if it could be reset I noticed that sometime in the past it had leaked.


The wood floor underneath was delaminated. It needed to be repaired. We had a couple of the boards left from the installation 25 years ago. Unfortunately they were not enough. So (...)

We join the solar initiative [News]

July 29, 2013 13:48 | Categories:

The timing seemed right. We had some extra cash and roof top solar seems to have come of age. There is still a rebate for Southern California Edison customers who generate their own power and the Federal tax credit will be in place a few more years.


We selected Nexgen Construction Services to do the project. They started last Thursday and today we have panels on the roof. There is still some work to go—we are upgrading our electrical service panel as part of the process. That wll happen next (...)

We visit Topeka [News]

May 05, 2013 00:00

Ancestral Home

The Billard family homesteaded Kansas before it became a state. They settled in what is now Topeka and became prominent community members. Great Grandfather J.B. was Mayor and even ran for Governor. He had three sons: Reamer, my Grandfather, who moved to Texas, Robert, who lived in the family home, and Louis Philip, who was an early aviator and died in a plane crash in France during World War I.

When my Grandfather and his Brother Robert had died, some family history items were loaned to Tope (...)

Dad has passed away [News]

January 11, 2013 15:51

My father, Jules, 97, a former Senior Editor and Chief of the Book Service at the National Geographic, died December 31, 2012 in his apartment in Frederick Maryland. We have prepared a memorial picture show. Click on the image below.

jbb 2

Dad was a Renaissance man. He was a journalist, photographer, round dance instructor, author, wood worker, needlepoint designer, thespian, stained glass designer, gardener, and stone mason. Amazon still lists 23 of his books and several even appear in foreign tra (...)

An update [News]

January 01, 2013 12:21 | Categories:

Well, two things are different since my last posting.

First, seems the shoulder was more severely damaged than the MRI indicated. There was a 65% tear of the Supraspinatus tendon. That meant the surgeon could not repair arthroscopically. So I have a three inch scar as a souvenir. Recovery is coming along. It is amazing how many things take two hands to do!

Second, my father fell just before Christmas and hit his head. Unfortunately that caused a subdural hematoma from which he did not recover. (...)

Ran out of knees [News]

November 26, 2012 16:00 | Categories:

So, I guess I got tired of not being operated on. Both knees have been replaced and are doing quite well. So I started on shoulders.

Just before Thanksgiving I got a ligament fixed in my left shoulder. I had a visit with my father to get past first. He is doing pretty well for his age

The Knees, current status [News]

April 02, 2012 13:27 | Categories:

Just thought I should update everyone on my knees. I am out of therapy and back to a more or less normal life. The left knee is fine (although it bends less than it once-upon-a-time did.)

The right knee started out progressing better than the left, but things are never so easy. It reached plateau, and I went through the straightening splint exercise with it as I did with the right. I spent a bit more time in outpatient therapy than with the left. The knee remains swollen and sore still.

I do r (...)

Fun with the new knee-continued [News]

September 05, 2011 16:35 | Categories:

Surgery went well as has the recovery. There is a lot of swelling, so I am trying to keep the knee elevated as much as possible. That means I did not get around to this update until now.

Next week I should be in outpatient theraphy, so I am a bit ahead of the progress for the left knee.

Fun with a new knee—the sequel [News]

August 15, 2011 14:48 | Categories:

When I had the left knee replaced I was hoping for a year or two before doing the same to the right knee. (Remember, the doctor’s “when” not “if” applied to both knees.) Well that was not to be. I did get back to playing golf again, but not for long. I managed to injure or aggravate the right knee making a shot into the 9th green. (Missed the green as well.) That was in July. The knee did not get better, so I am having it replaced tomorrow.

The left knee did recover well. I did make it to reuni (...)