Archive | June, 2013

what’s next…?

18 Jun

Yesterday was the 17th and it was on May 17th that I paid a visit to the Del Mar Lifeguard station. They hooked me up to a machine and said “you’re having a heart attack”… then off to La Jolla Memorial Trauma center to see Dr. Harrington. So, now it’s a month later and I’m almost done with the customary four to six-week recovery process. I’ve changed my eating habits and have lost some weight. I’m just getting started with the exercise program. I’ll continue with bike riding and walking at the beach. Plus some work with weights and the rope work.

I spent some time in the dentist office yesterday —

Got a very thorough cleaning and Dr. McDonald told me that I have some significant problems, so I’ll have to find some money somewhere to get these problems fixed (or maybe go to Mexico).  Yes, I seem to be fighting health problems on several fronts these days. But, I guess that’s normal for most people in their 70s. I had a physical the other day and, other than this artery problem, my general health is quite good — I was happy with the report.  But, I’m kind of depressed over this dental thing — some major work needs to be done.

Anyhow… what’s next?  Steve and I are working on this sign business. He’s building a new website and we’re getting ready to do some marketing.  I’m working on the jazz piano instruction business. I have several videos done, both my albums converted to MP3s and a copyist writing my exercises out for me — they’ll be available as pdf’s on the new site.  And, I’m about half done with a new book entitled “55 Tips for the Jazz Piano Player.”  That will be an ebook available on the site plus I’ll get hard copies printed for promotional activities.


Sylvia’s leaving for Turkey in the morning. First stop will be in Maryland and then the travellers will leave from New York on Friday night. It’s a ten-day trip to KalKan, a popular resort on the southern coast.


Holiday destination: Kalkan, Turkey

Holiday destination: Kalkan, Turkey


She’s very excited about going because, among other things, she would like to see where the Apostle Paul was born and some of the famous Biblical cities related to Paul’s travels.

Then while she’s gone Steve and I are going to be working on some projects around the house. The first one will be to put some vinyl flooring in the back bedroom using a product I’ve never seen before –

It’s easy to install and will give that room a much-needed visual lift.

Pauline and Nicole will be here on July 17th, so we are getting things cleaned up and organized for her. I have a tendency to let things slide a little, so when Pauline is coming, I’m motivated to get projects done that have been sitting around waiting for some attention. I only oil squeaky wheels and that’s not a good way to approach maintenance.  Oh well… at least I’m still here… that’s something.

All for now…





The new program…

1 Jun

After twelve years of no prescription drugs, I’m going to have to change my ways.  My mother took Rx drugs most of her life for one thing or another and she did not have a happy life.  Maybe she needed them… I don’t know for sure. On the other hand, my dad kept away from all drugs. He believed in exercise, good food and self-discipline.  So, having observed both lifestyles I chose the one that appeared to be the most beneficial.  He had a heart attack at 79 (brought on by CAD) and then he took some meds until his second heart attack at 81.  After that one he lived for ten days, but between the old arteries and the old heart he gave up the ghost and took off for the wild blue yonder.

In the meantime, I’m going to take the meds, continue on with my exercise program (which I will post later next week), and move off in a slightly different diet direction.  Been eatin too many simple carbs and too much animal fat.  But, thanks to Allison, the dietitian I met at La Jolla Memorial, I have a very good eating plan.  According to the tests I’m borderline diabetic, mostly due to my simple carb-centric diet.  So, she gave me an eating plan that includes complex carbs, protein, fruit and vegetables. Actually, all I have to do is to eat like Sylvia does and I’ll have the perfect diet. So, between Allison and Sylvia I’ll have an eating approach that will yield many more years of good health.

It was two weeks ago yesterday that I had the sudden lifestyle change at Del Mar Beach. I’m still tired and I move quite slowly (even slower than normal — Sylvia’s mom used to say that I had two speeds… “slow and dead stop”).  I only move quickly when it’s absolutely necessary or when I’ve had a good dose of caffeine. I’m definitely not the Type A personality, so that Type A-heart attack concept didn’t apply to me …

So, the new program will be similar to the old one except that I will add all these meds and I’ll alter my diet somewhat to include more fruit and vegetables and cut way back on animal fat sources.


Steve has been back for almost a year, or maybe it’s already a year. Don’t remember exactly.  He has settled in well and has a nice routine.  We run the sign business together and he spends a lot of time on his music.  His band has rehearsals every week, so that’s a good sign.


Proposed book cover for new book coming out this summer

Proposed book cover for new book coming out this summer


I’m still working on the online jazz piano instruction business.  I have nine videos completed  – shot by Alexis Grenier –

– fourteen MP3 tracks from the two albums I recorded in 1961 and 1963 and several pdf’s of my basic jazz exercises.  The book above will be the tool I’ll use to advertise the business.  In order to get this done, once and for all, I’ve hired a coach to keep me on the ball until this gets done — he’s here in San Diego – Brian Traichel –

I tend to be a little on the lazy side, so with Brian’s guidance and encouragement I’ll be making some money by the end of the summer.

Later this month Sylvia will be off to Turkey with our daughter Angela, her husband Majid and her husband’s parents. They own a villa in Kalkan in the central area of Turkey on the coast –

She’s excited about going for several reasons, one of which will be to see some of the places where Paul the Apostle spent some time — he was born in Tarsus –,_Mersin

Then in mid-July Pauline and Nicole will be visiting with us for five weeks.  Nicole just had her fifth birthday last month. Pauline has lived in London for about twelve years and worked for Ernst & Young  —

In May of 2006 she married Englishman Peter Snasdell – a gem of a guy. She’s currently a full-time mom for Nicole and a full-time wife for Peter — we’re thankful to Peter for making this possible.  Those early years are critical to later development and, if at all possible, I think it’s very important for mom’s to attend to their child (children) full-time.

In September I expect to take the trip back east that I had to cancel due to this heart attack.  I was going to spend two weeks back there visiting with Johnny and family in Brooklyn, and also to Maryland to visit with Angie and family and to see their new house. They’re still in Ellicott City, but they moved into a new development.  Also I was going to attend two Barry Harris workshops to get some new piano playing ideas and to hang out with Barry…

So, now that trip has been moved back to mid-September.  I should be in good shape by then — fully recovered and ready to roll.

My “adopted” daughter, Liz McAvoy, has encouraged me to continue writing these blog entries. She’s a writer and a teacher in the Bay area — a very talented young lady.  We’ve known her for many many years, going back to Johnny’s high school days in the mid-80s (they were dating each other at that point). Also, she’s the niece of Sylvia’s good friend Karen McAvoy — we’ve known Karen since the early 80s (or perhaps before that — can’t remember). Karen’s daughter Phyllis and Pauline did Irish dancing together — they studied with the Donna Means School of Irish Dancing –

Those were some fun days — I really enjoyed that stretch of time — attending the competitions and enjoying the music. Anyhow, due to Liz’s encouragement I’ll make a good effort to continue with these blog entries.

So, that’s it for now…